Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lego Man Slays the Dragon

I love taking photos of toys as my children have left them.  You could call it my long love for Toy Story, or just looking for humor.  I must admit, I did add Lego man.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Random Tuesday

Peeking my head out of the covers to rejoin the Random community.  Yawn, stretch, it's been a long year since I've joined in the merriment! 

1)  Husband brought this flower inside while it was a bud.  As it opened we discovered a beetle.  He moves occasionally, even after we were sure he was dead.  Maybe he's just alarmed by all the noise.

2)  I've declared today to be the last day Frozen shall be played until it snows again!  I want the kids to fall in love with it again and get excited about building snowmen so I'm hiding the DVD after today!  Sorry little girl.

3)  Fun signs my husband leaves on my work white board.

4)  Did you know it's cheaper to rent a castle in France than to stay at some Disney Resorts?!?  Check out the link.

Hope ya'll have a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 18, 2014

How to do Back to School shopping incorrectly

1 - shop with your kids, ALL of them! 
2 - shop after dinner, when you are tired and less likely to walk away from a transaction gone wrong. 

Here's the scenario:
  • You find a wonderful $10 off shoes coupon from Money Saving Mom and envision shoes for $15 each after coupon. 
  • Rush to JCP with entire family in tow
  • Go through the entire shoe fitting experience complete with two year old insisting she needs new shoes and telling her no, it's only the big kids who get shoes.
  • Get them to fall in love with shoes
  • Take each oldest to the bathroom, separately, because they couldn't consider going at the same time and we were too daft to ask
  • Finally take them all to the register only to find out they don't take Disney brand with the coupon
  • Resolutely redirect entire family back to shoe department to find they only stock brands that are not honored by the coupon.  In fairness to JCP, there was one brand available but they were out of stock on our sizes
  • Give up, buy shoes
Later in the week, stop buy Target to get their 2nd back up pair and find "Buy one, get 2nd pair half off".  Cry self to sleep because the total price of shoes is $37.50 rather than the $49 spent at JCP.

3 - Torture self further by taking all 3 kids (without husband to act as human shield to their grievances) and shop for the last thing on the list - school shirts for one child.  Go to Bon Ton, find nothing.  Return to Target for 30 excruciating minutes of holding two year old because she wouldn't stop screaming bloody murder from the cart and giving four year old a phone with games to play at full volume while trying to convince picky six year old to just pick 5 shirts that are in her size!!!

Next year, shopping will be done on individual child basis. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Refried Beans - Homemade Style!

This recipe is truly a labor of love because refried beans are cheap and how often do you eat them on a weekly basis?  If once a week then $1.00 per can is not going to hurt your budget.  However I like to think it's a matter of taste and preference for making food in bulk. 

I started with this recipe from Money Saving Mom and modified it to my own taste because the amount of onion made it taste too strongly of onion.  Also, I'd like to explain things more in detail and with photos.  If you are seriously into this project I suggest to read MSM's full article along with mine and make your own judgement call.

Soak Dried Beans
  • I started with a 2lb bag of dried pinto beans from Aldi.  I'm told dried beans can contain small rocks and to sift through them.  I found one rock and pulled out all the half cracked beans which was only a handful, washed the entire set in a strainer and put with 12 cups of water to soak overnight.
Cook Soaked Beans
  • The next day, it is recommended to drain the water to reduce flatulence.   Refill the pot with enough water to cover the beans, bring to a boil then cook on low temperature for 3-4 hours.  Some recipe's suggest less time but I like them really cooked through.
Refried Bean Recipe
  • 4 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 3 T butter or bacon grease (my husband actually strains bacon grease and freezes it, see MSM for other fat options)
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (I didn't have fresh garlic on hand)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I found the 2 t. sea salt from MSM to be too salty)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Milk, as needed - I found that splashing it 4 times throughout the skillet seemed to give the consistency I was looking for.  A little more will just cook out so don't worry if it  looks too liquidy
  • Cook the onions in butter or bacon grease for 10 minutes, I cook them this long because I don't like the chunky taste of onions.  

  • While the onions are cooking, blend all spices in a small bow and mix with 4 cups of cooked pinto beans

  • Once the onions are done, add the pinto bean/spice mix and splash milk on top, mix until it gives the consistency you are looking for

  • Cook on low heat for 15 minutes, keep an eye on it because you don't want the beans to dry out so if the milk is disappearing too fast, then you can reduce cooking time.

  • At this point you can mash them with a potato masher if you feel the need to be more smashed but I find that with the additional cooking time on the pinto beans it's not necessary
  • 2lbs of dried beans will make 10 cups of cooked pinto beans
  • We made 5 pints of refried beans which equals 5 cans bought in the store

Friday, August 15, 2014

3.5 hours standing in the kitchen - I'm SO not my mom!

I remember when my mom would spend an entire Saturday on her feet - baking, canning, cleaning, etc.  I'm on my feet 3.5 hours and I'm exhausted.  Oh wait, maybe it's because I'm 18 weeks pregnant :)

Tonight's accomplishments:
  • Homemade Taco Mix - it only takes 15 minutes but you wouldn't believe how long this gets put off.
  • Dried Pinto Beans - washed, sifted for rocks and soaking for the night so we can make a big ol' batch of Homemade Refried Beans tomorrow.  I need to find our recipe and blog about it!
  • 5 Acorn Squash - baked and pureed
  • 2 homemade pie crusts (froze one)
  • 1 Acorn Squash Pie
  • 2 Popcorn bags for kids movie night - burned the first bag LOL
That's it!  Also gave some thought to tomorrow's menu but too tired to tackle that!  Family is coming over so at least dessert is made! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Honest Toddler

Do you follow Honest Toddler?  If you love sarcastic humor from a child's perspective you will love Honest Toddler.  This photo is my tribute.