Monthly Archives: May 2012

"I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections"

I’ve found another kindred spirit in a new book I started yesterday, “I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections” by Nora Ephron.  By page 7, she had me; she was talking about me.  Sad that I have the same memory affliction at 30 years her junior, but comforting to know I’m not the only one.  And it’s always good to be able to relate to someone and laugh about your common experiences.  Funny book so far!

Leftover Wednesday –’s Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos

This is a pic of one of my tacos. Please go to skinny and look at Gina’s  photo – her’s are pretty!

I am pretty proud of us this week!  We had very little leftover today.  We’ve been eating leftovers before making new meals.  Yeah us!  My wonderful friend, Julia, who shared the Grilled Greek Chicken Kabobs and Kraft Foods recipe site with me years ago, shared another recipe site with me last week: Skinny Taste.  Julia also gave me the names of some recipes she’s tried from the website.  One was Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos.  Tilapia happens to be a staple that I keep in my freezer but I don’t have a ton of recipes, so I was excited to get a “thumbs up” from Jules on this one.

Going through the fridge this afternoon, I discovered that the only leftovers I had were baked potatoes and guacamole ingredients.  I had heard about baked potatoes in the crock pot from my friend Clair last year and I’ve seen them on Pinterest a lot, too.  So I made 4 of them on Monday.  Awesome!  When I wanted to avoid heating the house up with the oven for baked potatoes, I just did them in the microwave.  But the quality is not there from the microwave.  I’ll never do them in the oven or microwave again.  I chose not to use the potatoes for dinner tonight because they always get used up in my breakfast hashes.

The hubs makes a fantastic guacamole.   He was going to make some this past weekend, but it didn’t happen.  When I pulled the guac fixins out of the fridge, I immediately thought of the Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos.  So the unused avocado, tomato, cilantro, jalepeno, lime and onion, as well as the tilapia and corn tortillas I had on hand, all went into these tacos.

The hubs and I loved them; B did not.  The recipe calls for 1 pound of tilapia and says it makes 8 tacos.  I pulled 3 tilapia fillets from the freezer, weighing a little under 12 oz total, and cut the rest of the ingredients down to 3/4 of what the recipe called for.  And we still had plenty for 8 full tacos.  Next time, I’ll cut the recipe in half because I don’t want this leftover – not a fan of reheating fish.  However, I bet the leftovers would be great cold, all on their own, or tossed in a cold green or rice salad with a vinaigrette.

I tried one other recipe from this site over the past week – Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiana.  Did not turn out well.  I was the only one who would eat more than one bite and I just forced my portion down.  It was totally user error, though.  Next time, I will sauté or steam fresh spinach instead of using frozen (I end up with more leaf and less stem that way) and will not put so much stuffing in each breast.

I look forward to trying many more recipes from Skinny Taste!  If you try the tacos, or if you try any other recipes from Skinny Taste, please let me know how you liked them!

Day 2 of Exercise or Why I Will Never Do Jumping Jacks Again Without a Sports Bra or Duct Tape On.

I came downstairs yesterday morning and realized I should do my "exercises" before I ate breakfast.  Yes, I just put the word exercise in quotes because, let's be honest, what I'm doing at this point cannot qualify as real exercise.  But I'm moving, and as small of a movement as this is, I wold normally still blow it off, so I'm just glad I am making it a habit.  Anywho, I looked up day 2's requirement on the list: 35 jumping jacks and 15 crunches.

On Monday, day 1, I "exercised" between breakfast and lunch, after showering and dressing, so I had a bra on.  Yesterday morning under my PJs I had on….how can I describe it, because it cannot be considered a bra.  A bra must have support, lift.  The thing I wear to bed is kinda sorta shaped like a bra, but it's a pull over and barely maintaining any elasticity.  What do you call something when it's purpose is, basically, just to sit between my boobs and my stomach?  Cuz that's what I wear to bed each night.  It's basically a layer of material that allows me to avoid the sticky, sweatiness of having my boobs sit on my upper stomach.  I wonder if it falls more in the "bro" or "manssiere" category (Seinfeld reference.  If you don't know what it means, most likely you're too young to be a fan of the show.  Go watch "The Doorman" episode from season 6.  Trust me, my use of the words "bro" and "massiere" will not only mean something to you after watching the episode, but it will also make you laugh.  And, you'll be able to throw it out at the appropriate moment in a conversation with older people and get a great laugh from us.  Now, back to my garment…)  See, moobs (man boobs) are not muscular nor perky.  They are flabby and sit on the upper stomach.  So, yeah, I had on my "bro" yesterday morning.  (Kramer and Mr. Costanza argue throughout the episode about the name – bro or manssiere.  I actually prefer the manssiere, but since bro is shorter to type, I'm going with that.  I'm giggling at the keyboard thinking of that episode.  Please go watch it if you haven't already.  It will make your life better.  You can pull the memory out when you are stuck in traffic or up all night with a sick child and it will make you smile.)  So, I debated going back upstairs and putting on a real bra or, better yet, a sports bra because I know my bro will not contain the girls when I start jumping those jacks.  But I didn't.  Cuz I'm lazy.  And I paid for that laziness.  I walked out to the living room, stood with my feet together and hands by my side.  35 jumping jacks. How hard could it be? We can do this, girls; we've been through worse.  Right?  WRONG.
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I Gotta Get Movin’

The last time I was this heavy, I was pregnant with B.  I have got to start moving, exercising, in order to stop gaining and then start losing.  I found The Starter’s Exercise Plan on Pinterest, so I started it today.  Day 1 wasn’t bad at all: 30 jumping jacks and 10 crunches.  I need to start somewhere, and starting with something that’s easy gave me a sense of accomplishment and the motivation to do it again tomorrow.  It’s a start!

I Just Finished "I Don’t Know How She Does It"!

W.O.W.  What a fantastic book!  I can’t wait to talk about it with my readers who have picked it up since I started reading it.  As you know, I checked it out of the library and posted here how affected I was by just the 1st two chapters.  I was about to start chapter 26 when my own copy arrived in the mail from my brother.  My highlighter has been by my side and put to good use from then on!  Now that I am finished with the book, I am going to read it again from the beginning, so I can highlight what I want from the 1st 25 chapters!

Such a powerful book for everyone, not just mothers.  Dads, men who employ mothers, men employed by mothers, any man with a mother in his life can benefit from this book.  This is an accurate picture of what it is like.  Even I, as a mom, one who has been a SAHM and a WOHM, did not fully comprehend nor acknowledge how unequal we still are to men!  Not only in the workplace but also at home!

I can’t recommend this book enough.

Science Class – Weather Experiments

Great hands-on Science experiments – a homemade barometer and a thermometer and the pushing air trick.

We have been learning about weather in Science class for the last month, and this week we did some experiments.  We learned that air pushes up, not just down and side-to-side, with an experiment that made B feel like a magician.  We made our own barometer to see how the air pressure changes with the weather and demonstrated how a traditional thermometer works.  These experiments can be found on pages 58, 59  and 65 of  “The Usborne Book of Science Activities, Volume Three”.

1.  The Pushing Air Trick
We learned that even though we don’t feel the air around us all the time, it’s there and pushes on everything. We feel it push against us when it moves as wind, but this experiment showed us that it pushes in all directions, even up.

B filled a plastic cup all the way up to the brim with water, then covered it with a plastic-coated postcard and pushed the card down.  He kept one hand flat on top of the postcard and held the bottom of the cup with the other hand.  Then, over the sink, he turned the cup upside down and removed the hand holding the postcard.  He laughed with glee when the postcard stayed under the cup, exclaiming. “I’m doing a magic trick!”  The air under the postcard was pushing up enough to keep it in place.

2. Homemade Barometer

To measure how much and when air pushes more than other times, we made our own barometer with an empty mason jar, balloon, straw, rubber band, tape and cardboard (cut from a cereal box in the recycle bin).
I cut the “neck” off the balloon, stretched it over the mouth of the mason jar and B secured it with a rubber band.  I cut one tip of the straw at an angle to form a point and B taped the other end of the straw to the middle of the balloon.  Then B taped a piece of cardboard to the jar.  Using a pencil, B made a mark on the cardboard where the straw pointed and checked it several times this week for movement.
We’ve had a lot of rain and thunderstorms come and go and the straw has mostly been pointing down. Yesterday morning, B woke me up, pouncing on the bed in excitement, “Mama!  Our barometer is finally pointing up!  We’re out of low pressure and into high pressure, finally!” It was a clear, sunny morning.  When the air pressure outside the jar became high, it pushed down on the balloon, causing the pointed tip of the straw to rise.  When the air pressure outside the jar was low, the air in the jar pushed up and the pointed end of the straw lowered.
3. Homemade Thermometer
B had been asking exactly how a mercury thermometer works.  His Nana has one at her house but we only have a digital ear thermometer.  So this experiment came at the right time.
B took a bottle out of the recycle bin, pulled the label off and filled it with water.  I added some blue food coloring to the water.  With modeling clay, I sealed the top of the bottle with a straw sticking out of it.  B put the bottle in a glass bowl and I poured simmering water into the bowl (see photo, left).
As the blue water inside the bottle heated up from the simmering water outside of it, the blue water expanded and rose up the straw (see picture, below).  As the water cooled, it contracted and the straw emptied back to the way it was at the beginning of the experiment.
As the air around a thermometer warms up, the liquid in it rises.  As the air around a thermometer cools, the liquid inside lowers.
Water inside our thermometer rising from the heated water outside of it.

lilla rose Giveaway Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Amanda for being randomly selected, via, as the winner of my lilla rose giveaway!  Amanda, I have sent you an email with details on how to collect your prize.  Thank you to all of you who entered!

Leftover Wednesday – Impossible Bacon Cheese Pie & Salad

We have 2 trash pickups per week – Mondays and Thursdays.  On Wednesday nights, we clean out the fridge.  We used to toss any leftovers that had not been eaten by Wednesday, but I am getting better and better at using them up.  So, I am challenging myself to start a new series – Leftover Wednesday – where I will post what I made for dinner that night, using up leftovers in the fridge.  Tonight, we had Impossible Bacon Cheese Pie and Salad.

Have you ever had one of Bisquick's Impossible Pies?  If not, than I am happy to introduce you to them!  And if you don't eat gluten, there are GF baking mixes out there you can substitute for the Bisquick, store brand or homemade baking mix of your choice.  I know what your thinking – what is an "impossible" pie?!  It's crustless.  You are making a "pie", or more accurately a quiche, without a bottom crust.  You put your pie "filling" into your dish and then pour over it a mixture of beaten egg, milk and Bisquick.  It's the addition of the Bisquick that allows your pie to stay together.
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My Wonderful Brother

I have an awesome family.  They are very supportive and only love unconditionally.  I have one sibling, my older brother, and he is the best.  He’s the strong, silent type who likes to stay in the background but pays attention to everything.  He’s also a very faithful reader of my blog.

He read my post earlier this month about checking “I Don’t Know How She Does It” by Allison Pearson out of the library.  I got a box from Amazon in the mail today.  Inside was my very own copy of the book with a message from my brother that now I could highlight whatever I want to.  *sniff, sniff*  I love that big lug!

PS – he’s single, has a solid job, owns his own home and is great with kids!

What did we do with all those strawberries?

Why, we made jam, cake topping, a smoothie ingredient and attempted drying them!
First of all, we made strawberry jam.  I've made this the past few years with strawberries and blueberries and it's easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.  But this year, B made the jam!  OK, not completely, but I did not do it all myself, so I am happy to give him props.  I love freezer jam because it is fast – it involves no cooking!  I hulled the strawberries and then B crushed them with a potato masher, added a Ball's freezer jam packet of pectin and some sugar and then stirred for 3 minutes.  That's it!  Then B ladled the jam into the Ball jars that my Nana and Papa used to can their own garden's bounty, I put the lids on them and off they went to the freezer.  They last 12 months in the freezer and 3 weeks once you move them to the fridge.
A year and a half old video I took of B finding out that he was going to DisneyWorld for the 1st time aired on America's Funniest Videos last night.  We had a "viewing party" – invited my parents and my brother over to eat dinner and watch B cross something off his Bucket List at 9 years of age.  My mom made a pound cake for dessert.  I hulled some more of the strawberries we'd picked and just mashed them up with my potato masher.  We served it over the pound cake, vanilla ice cream and pound cake topped with vanilla ice cream.  Did I mention my mom brought a can of whipped topping, too?

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