Friday, August 31, 2012

Busy Life & Applications

Life has been insane the last few weeks.  I have been running nonstop with the girls and I'm starting to feel it.  Fall is almost here and it seems like I'm wanting to squeeze all I can out of the last of summer.  Mom's club is now in full swing which is probably the main source of my business besides D1 & D2.  I have had communication meetings, financial meetings, committee meetings, multiple emails and weekly updates all going on with a full household.  I am hoping that now the initial meetings are pretty much done that things will calm down.  I have an AWESOME group of women on my board and I got the joint board meeting (last year & this years board meet) under my belt.  Sept 12 is the first general meeting and I am getting the agenda done this week.  Hubby keeps asking me what I am getting paid.  HA!  Funny man!  But really, I do love it.  I get to connect with people and stay busy.... VERY busy.

Looking at my short term future I somehow decided that I have some free time coming up.  As in next fall.  Therefore, I submitted grad school applications for both Ursuline College and Kent State.  Got my essays done, reference packets sent, transcripts ordered... now I wait.  Hoping for interviews soon so I can breathe normally again.  Hoping my path is well lit and that I can accomplish my career goals.  FINGERS CROSSED.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Redemption & Tomato Sauce

Today I FINALLY got to donate blood.  Last week was such a disaster I dreaded what would come of today.  ZERO, yes, ZERO issues.  I was in and out in 50 minutes.  That was even allowing my information to be reentered into the system because apparently Brecksville didn't load me into said system, surprise, surprise.  Oh well.   I will be on Hinckley's 6 week call list any day.  It will be nice to get back into the donating groove.  Red Cross got some redemption.

D2 is ill.  She was very clingy and cuddly.  I almost feel bad that I enjoyed it.  She is 14 months so is in the 'go-go-go' stage and hardly cuddles.... so it was very sweet to have her laying on my lap enjoying me rubbing her back.  Love her.

I am becoming the party planner.  I am working on an event for Mom's club which I am QUITE excited for (hope everyone else is!) and I got the idea in my head that we should do something within our neighborhood.  Our development has only 12 homes with the building neighbors being 13.  I wave at these people daily as I drive or jog by but don't know anything about them, let alone their names.  We have gotten to know our immediate neighbor as well as the house across the street.  I like them a lot.  There have been several people that have moved in since we have and I know NOTHING about them. Well in my party planning mood I decided to organize a block party.  I picked a date... printed up a flier and went door to door.  I received nothing but positive feedback so I hope that is the direction this shindig will go.  We are going to make burgers & dogs and bring some tables and everyone will bring a dish to pass as well as their own drinks.  Fingers crossed.

I'm on overdrive with Mom's club stuff right now.  Planning budget meetings, board meetings and general meetings.  Getting nervous about the year.  I just filled my board and I'm pretty elated to be done that chapter.  I just hope that its smooth sailing from here and that everyone has a great year.  I hold this organization so close to my heart that it would pain me for things to go awry.  I want everyone to have fun and have the club do great things.  Hoping I can lead it in that direction!

Tonight the fruit flies invaded my kitchen.  I HATE flies and I ESPECIALLY hate fruit flies.  I went through the bowl of tomatoes and sorted out the bad ones and made another quart of sauce with the ripe ones.  This time I impressed myself.  Im starting to feel like I should be inducted as an Italian!!!  I'll have to take a jar to my new Italian friend to see if I qualify!!!  I did set up a fruit fly trap (thanks Pinterest) and I've already caught quite a few!  YEAH FOR ME!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Canning & Donating

Today was a whirlwind; hence me blogging at 12am.  Lately D1 has been in the "I want to sleep in mommy's bed" kick.  Every night we get her into her bed and somehow I wake up with an extra body in my bed.  Oh well.  Hubby says we should enjoy it and remember that she will be 16 before we know it and not want to be in the same room as us.  HA!

I let hubby sleep in and did breakfast duty.  I had spent the entire day yesterday cleaning so a few things needed to be done.  That last load of laundry had to be folded, the dishes from the dishwasher had to be put away and there on my counter sat 2 large zucchini.  It has just been TOO hot to bake.  They were intended for my FAMOUS Zucchini Nut Bread.  Today it was rainy and cold.  Perfect baking weather. Once hubby got up I got to work.  I cranked out 4 loaves of bread in a little over an hour.  Im a machine when it comes to this bread.  I shredded the rest of the zucchini for later batches.  I had to try it before I served it to anyone else.  It was AWESOME.  I delivered one loaf to a foodie friend that hasn't ever tried zucchini bread, yes, really!  Another loaf was to go to my BIL as I was heading in their direction to donate blood later in the afternoon.

I got D2 to nap and got ready to head to my appointment. I dropped off a loaf of bread and headed to the community center.  It seemed like there was one conundrum after another while trying to donate today.  I gave them my donor card from 3 years ago.  I have been "off" having babies so I haven't donated in 3 years.  I used to be the every 6 weeker!  Anyways, my info didn't come up correctly.  Then it turns out that my card was generated in Columbus Ohio and is not valid here.  Ummm... ok.  Then I get through the process where they stick your finger to check your iron count.  I needed to be 12.5 to donate. It was 12.4.  Now, I am a medical professional and know for a fact that I have NEVER been low.  They retested and miraculously I was 13.1; ummm. ok.  Then I get back to the recliner and get comfy.  She scanned all the barcodes on the bags and we were all set until the tech noticed that I had a "rash" on my arms.  I had gotten some sort of heat rash while shopping last week and I still had a touch of it.  I was now denied.  I understand the reasoning but I had now been there an hour with 2 finger sticks.  I was a bit irritated.  I rescheduled for next week.  Grrrr.

I then went to the in laws to pick tomatoes.  They now have a HUGE quantity of tomatoes that are ripe and the market is only on Saturday.  I decided to help out and process some into sauce.  We picked 4 crates of tomatoes and 1 crate of basil.  I brought everything home and started the canning process.  The thing that sucks about canning is the return.  From everything we picked I got 2.75 quarts of sauce.  I also processed the basil into pesto cubes.  It really makes you understand why a quart of spaghetti sauce is expensive.  TRUST ME.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Losing & Life

I finished my 10 day juice fast on Friday.  I am pretty strict about my eating habits and I must say that it was harder than I thought. The first days were the easier ones.  Its the last days that get ya.  I tended to be looser with myself, but all in all it went well.  I am still doing 2 juices a day with a normal (sensible) meal for dinner.  I have 10 pounds to go and I plan to get there sooner than later.  Then I will post pics of my before and after.  I shudder when I look at the before photos.

This week I went shopping for D2.  We hit the mall in search of some 18 month jammies and shorts.  Poor girl gets all of D1's hand-me-downs and is growing just a slight bit faster than D1 did.  Time for more clothes.  I was trying to hold off until fall because we have a ton of cute fall outfits but her belly wasn't going for it.  Poor kid is popping out of her PJ's.  While at the mall I happened to walk past The Limited.  Now, I am not a Limited shopper, and I haven't been since high school, but they had an awesome houndstooth skirt.  The outfit on the model was awesome.  I walked in and looked for my size.  I was in luck... they DIDN'T have it.  On my way out I got stopped by an employee.  She asked me to try it on and I explained that they were out of my size.  She prompted me to try on a smaller size. I replied "if I fit into THAT then I will DEFINITELY buy it!"  Well,  I FIT INTO IT!!!  YAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!  Makes that juice taste a bit sweeter!  Now I just have to find a reason to wear it!

Life is settling down a bit.  We are still waiting on the barn quote and I have contacted our financial advisor dude to get his opinion on the situation.  We will see what happens.  I just finished getting my references together for my applications and lastly I have to get my essay ready.  I want to get them submitted this week.  Then its sending off for my transcripts and the waiting game starts.  Hopefully I get my interviews sooner than later so I can relax.  Once I know that I am in (or not) then I can mentally prepare for next year.  Fingers crossed!

Tonight I made an awesome dinner!

Grilled Salmon with a Creamy Pesto Sauce and Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper


Boil potatoes until tender, drain and reserve. Return the pot to the stove top over medium heat. Add butter and bananas to the pot. Cook bananas 5 minutes and add the juice of 1 orange to the pot, reserve the zest. Allow the juice to cook out, 1 minute. Add potatoes to the pot and the stock and sugar. Mash potatoes, banana, stock and sugar together until well combined. Season with nutmeg, salt, pepper and orange zest, to your taste. Mash to combine spices and serve.

1 pound Salmon
8 Oz Cream Cheese (cut into blocks)
4T Basil Pesto
3/4C whole milk

Grill salmon on George Foreman grill (or similar) sprayed with pam.  Cook approx 10 mins until fish flakes apart. In small saucepan over med heat warm milk & cream cheese.  Whisk until blended.  Add Pesto.  Spoon over cooked salmon.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fence & Fast

The fasting has gone well.  I have survived pizza night, Medina Fair night and Bunco night.  Flying colors all the way.  Today..... not so good.  Its day 6 and I broke.  I am completely stressed out with everything going on in my life (which I will explain later) that some sautéed zucchini in olive oil took me.  I know.... pretty funny that it was actually something healthy... but oh well.  Tomorrow I will be back to finish my 10 days (although I will have to try a tad bit of the recipe I am posting this evening!!!).  At least I know that I am on the correct path and that the weight will continue to drop.... 11# to go to get to my goal!

Hubby and I devised a plan today.  We wanted to put up a temporary fence for the dogs since we are having to tear down our fence for the lake excavation.  This project has spiraled out of control at this point.  It started as a lake.... then I though it would be wise to call a barn builder to get opinions on how the barn that we imagine would fit into our pace.  We DEFINITELY do not want to make any mistake that would make us sacrifice an outbuilding.  It was a good call and I am glad we made it.  A very nice Amish man came out and is doing some drawings for us.  The meeting was one similar to when we built out home!  All I could see was dollar signs but I feel that he will be fair.  We will also have 2 others come out to tell us their opinion.  This razing was to be in the 2 year plan but it seems that Hubby is thinking sooner than later.  UUGGHH.  Hubby then thought of a great idea instead of putting the fence back that we could mound dirt and then make a retaining wall out of railroad ties.  Our landscaper came out to give us a quote as well.  MY HEAD IS SPINNING.  All of these pieces have to fit together seamlessly.  We cant dig the lake without building the mounds of dirt... we can't mound dirt where we eventually want a barn.  UUGGHH.  My suggestion tonight was to push the lake dig off for a month to figure out ALL of the details first.  I just don't want to rush and regret.
Temporary fence in!

Doggies new smaller area

I'm also a bit stressed because I have decided to apply for grad school to start next summer/fall.  I think that its something that will HIGHLY benefit our family and it will be attaining a personal goal for myself.  The kids are only getting older which is more reason for me to want to go back to work.  Its all about role modeling.  I think it would be great for my kids to know that I got to stay home with them and then I took the initiative to go back and get my Masters degree.   I hope I get in and I hope I finish.  My fingers are crossed.

Bread chopped
Tomorrow I am having several women & children over to do the annual audit for the mothers club.  Ever since Spring Tea I have been wanting to make a strata.  I chose a country style strata but used italian sausage and added mushrooms.  CAN NOT WAIT TO TASTE IT!!!  Even if its just a bite!
Here's the recipe!

  • 12 ounces breakfast sausage, removed from casings1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 loaf italian  bread, day old or toasted in the oven
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 extra large eggs
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups fontina cheese, grated (should measure 4 cups after grating)

    1. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9"x13" baking dish.
    2. In a large skillet, break up the sausage and saute in the olive oil with the onion until the sausage is cooked and onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Once done, allow to cool and drain out the excess oil.
    3. Meanwhile, cut the toasted or day old bread into cubes about 1" to 1 1/2" in size, set aside.
    4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rosemary, heavy cream, half & half, eggs, salt and pepper.
    5. Layer half of the bread pieces in the baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the sausage/onion mixture, half of the tomato slices and half of the cheese. Repeat, layering with remaining bread, sausage/onion, tomato and cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or over night.
    6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the baking dish and place on a baking sheet. Bake 40-50 minutes (until golden brown on top). Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil for 10 minutes before serving