Seasons

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo was the perfect dish for day 5 of being snowed in!

File Jan 26, 4 41 49 PM

This is how my pot of Damn Delicious’ Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo turned out.

I found Damn Delicious’ recipe for a lightened up version of Chicken Broccoli Alfredo over the weekend. We’ve been snowed in since Friday, but I had all the ingredients on hand (thankfully), so I made it for lunch today. Fabulous! The lighter sauce (all cream in other recipes but part milk and part chicken stock in this one) was just as flavorful and satisfying as the the full fat version, without the food coma afterwards. The recipe says it’s 4 servings, but this could totally feed a family of 6, IMO. You want to bulk it up, add a salad and a loaf of crusty bread. This recipe is dinner party worthy!

You know me, I rarely follow a recipe to the “T”, and this was no exception:

  • I didn’t have rotini, so I used penne
  • Instead of 2 chicken breasts, I used 5, small boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Wegmans Basting Oil instead of olive oil
  • I don’t buy unsalted butter, so I used salted
  • And I added more Parmesan cheese (but I’m not willing to admit to how much more)

I highly recommend this dish and am adding it to our dinner rotation!

 

Winter Perspective

When I see flakes falling from the sky and I’m able to get to my phone or computer, I have to share my excitement on Facebook: “IT’S SNOWING!”  or “SNOW!”  But if I post that when there is no forecast for inches, it’s just a little snow shower rolling quickly through, I inevitable receive a comment or comments such as, “Yeah, but, it’s not *really* snowing.  If we have to have this cold I want snow on the ground to sled in/make snowmen/look pretty.”  Well, here is what I have to say to those type of comments:

I just looked out the window and it was spitting snow, just like it’s done periodically all week. And I *totally* get that some of you don’t want *just* snow showers or snow squalls. You say, “If it’s going to rain down frozen precipitation, I want accumulation!” You want the stark, gray, barrenness of Winter to look clean and pure and white – *covered* in snow – even if just enough to hide the dead, brown grass.

But here’s the thing: when flakes fall from the sky, no matter how plenty nor few they are, I don’t see the dead brown grass. I don’t see the barren, gray tree branches. I focus on the beautiful, white, sparkling flakes floating through the air! I am taken back to my childhood when my brother and I would run outside and catch falling snowflakes on our tongues! And the *only* way to catch them on our tongues was to tilt our heads back and look *upward*!

I can *absolutely* appreciate the days when the sky is blue and the sun is able to shine light and warmth into our Winter. But I can also glorify the gray, cloudy days, because *those* are the ones that offer the hope of snow. Of cleansing. Of purification. Of *promise*!

A possible solution to drop the number of flu cases each Winter?

OK, I’ve kept something to myself for a while now, but i have to let it out. I know it’s crazy and unrealistic and will never happen, but I think it is a good idea that can help. The flu is getting worse each year. The majority of the families I know have been hit, from 1 member to all of them, and 95% of these families have children who go to school outside of the home.

I’d like to see what would happen if children went to school through the Summer and had the 3 Winter months off. Sure, there would still be families with working parents and kids would have to go to camps and daycares during those months, but not all the kids.  I know, I know, there’s always those people who still go out in public/take their kids out in public when they or their kids are sick, but not everyone will.  I’d bet there would be a drop in the number flu cases in the US.

I mentioned my idea at dinner with my aunt and cousins tonight.  My cousin-in-law, who has 2 children, liked the idea and suggested that Florida jump all over it and start the ball rolling.  ;o)

Just a thought.

Spring Forward, Fall Back? What’s That?

As parents, our homes are usually disrupted twice a year when the clocks change, and battles ensue.  But no longer in this house!  I decided last Fall that I was not going to do it anymore and I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner.  We change our clocks, yes, but not B’s natural sleeping schedule.  We have the luxury of doing this because he doesn’t have to be up at any particular time.

We like him in bed around 9pm, although he may go early if he’s sick or tired or go later if we’re out or doing something special.  So, when the clocks sprung forward in the Spring, we didn’t force him to go to bed when the clock said 9pm, because it was only 8pm according to his body.  He went to his room at 10pm and, although he awoke later according to the clock, he got the same hours of sleep.  His own body adjusted over time, and with the changing daylight, and we did not fight that.  After a while, he was going to his room between 9 – 9:30pm.

This past weekend, when the clocks fell back, I did not keep him out of his room an extra hour; he went into his room at 8pm.  All of us went to bed earlier (according to the clocks, but right on time for our bodies) and woke up earlier, but we all got the same amount of sleep.  And we’re happy.  😀

Once again, WHY did I torture all of us for so many years?!  *shaking my head*

The Agony of De Feet

Fall is finally here; it’s my favorite season of all!  The smells. The colors. The sweaters. The crisp air. The pumpkins. The corn stalks. The costumed tiny humans. The darkness at bedtime.  The crunchy footsteps. The festivals. The apples. The turkeys. Important birthdays. An anniversary.  I love it all!  Even my legs are rejoicing that it’s Fall.  “We’re ensconced in jeans!  No more shaving!” they gleefully exclaim.

But not all of me is happy it’s Fall.  My feet are grieving. They can’t breathe in the socks I had to wrestle them into.  They beg to know what crime they’ve committed to deserve imprisonment within my sneakers.  “We were meant to be free!” they cry out.  “You have banished our soul (or is it sole?) mates to the back of the dark closet!  Your flip-flops will rot in there and their death will be on your head!”

Purse-Sized Sunscreen Container that Provides Easy Application

SunscreenBlog

Last week, my girlfriend and I surprised our boys with a trip to Kings Dominion.  We had a blast!  The weather was perfect, there weren’t any crowds, we hit every ride we wanted to and spent a couple of hours in the water park.  Perfect!

I decided I wanted to travel light in the park and chose a petite backpack purse.  My brand new, 8 oz tube of sunscreen would weigh down my bag.  We needed sunscreen, but not the whole tube!  I searched through the kitchen cabinets to find some small container in which to carry a day’s worth of sunscreen for two people.  I came across an old McCormick spice jar that the hubs takes salad dressing in to work with him.  BINGO!  I filled the jar and off we went.

While standing in line to enter the park, I pulled out the sunscreen to lotion us up.  I screwed off the lid, plunged a finger in the jar and then smeared that finger on one of B’s arms.  *Yuk!*  I didn’t want to do that again, so I flipped the top of the cap up, figuring it would pour out the little spice holes.  It didn’t pour out, but there was sunscreen covering the cap and it’s lid.  So guess what I did?  I just stamped that cap up B’s arm a few times!  He rubbed it in and then I stamped the other arm and both of mine.

My girlfriend saw what I was doing and said, “That’s genius!  You need to blog about that and get it on Pinterest!”  So that’s exactly what I’m doing.

We reapplied sunscreen twice that day at Kings Dominion.  Today we went to the pool, we both applied sunscreen twice and the spice jar still isn’t empty.  My neighbor, who carried a 1 liter pump bottle of sunscreen in her pool bag today, saw my little spice jar and loved the idea, too.

I hope this idea makes your pool/beach/park/outdoor adventure bag a little lighter this Summer, too!

SunscreenPinterest

 

Our Summer Bucket List

My friend, Julie, has a wonderful blog, Creekside Learning.  She is the put together blogger and homeschool mom that I aspire to be.  A couple of weeks ago, Julie and the Creekside Family came up with a Summer Bucket List, and I thought that was a fabulous idea.  The other night, while putting B to bed, we thought up all the things we’d love to do this Summer.  Our list is very ambitious (read – too long and unattainable) but that’s us!  I look at it this way – everything we don’t get done this Summer will carry over to next year so we won’t have to create a list then.  :o)  So here it is:

Our Summer Bucket List
 
  1. Drive-in movie
  2. Zoo
  3. Amusement or water park
  4. Beach
  5. Skateboarding camp
  6. Gymnastics camp
  7. Cartooning camp
  8. Get an Avengers LEGO set
  9. Free Summer movies
  10. Go out for ice cream
  11. Catch an ice cream truck
  12. Make our own ice cream
  13. Sleepover with best friend
  14. Sprayground
  15. Lay in the backyard and admire the stars
  16. Campout in the backyard
  17. Make s’mores
  18. Have friends over for a BBQ
  19. Whenever we want/need to go to the library, walk instead of drive
  20. Save a life
  21. Art classes at home
  22. Pick berries
  23. Go on a nature hike
  24. Make a new friend
  25. Scavenger hunt through the alphabet with a camera
  26. Get B to ride a bike
  27. Michael’s in-store passport crafts
  28. Vacation Bible School
  29. Minor league baseball game
Since we made the list, we have done #10 and #24.  Out of necessity (no car) we walked to the library twice in the week before making the list.  We enjoyed it so much, we put it on the list and committed ourselves to continue doing that.  He’s already signed up for VBS later this month and I am working on getting him signed up for the camps he’s interested in.  I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish from it this Summer!
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