Monday, March 30, 2015


13/52: We put curlers in her hair just to see what it would do. We just chopped off her hair in October, but girl has a ton of hair already! Geez!!!

13/52, Sunday: She went all out for her Victorian look :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Remember when I joked about becoming a hermit?

Yeah...I've spent the last few days pretty much inside, except for a trip to work yesterday, and a brief outing today.

Between Ella being sick and me somehow hurting a muscle in my arm/neck/shoulder (go big or go home, right?) I've been stuck inside and alternately cuddling a bag of frozen vegges and a heat pack.

Uhm, NO. Hermitude is not for me.

Tomorrow, I have to unpack a truck at the food bank and Ella is coming too. And bringing her schoolwork. So, it's back to my insane life...even though I'll probably sleep with a heat pack again tonight.

In other news, I know something ya'll don't know....

details soon!

Monday, March 23, 2015


12/52: We were in the woods, heading to "her" pond.

12/52, Sunday. She woke up sick....but we stayed true to the project. So, here she is, sniffly nose, mismatched pajamas and all :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Grandma Aniela's Cabbage Rolls (Golabki)

I don't call cabbage rolls "golabki" (go-who-m-bkey) because it means "little doves" and holy crud, who on earth wants to think about boiling little doves?

Not me.

Especially not when Daddy has had pet doves for the past 10 years. So, no. Cabbage rolls they shall remain.

Here we go!

Here's what you need

*Cabbage leaves
*Ground Beef
*Cinnamon. Yes, cinnamon
*Egg (not pictures because I'm bound to forget one thing)
*Diced Tomatoes
*Tomato Sauce

Here's what you do

*Cook your rice

*Chop your onion

*Rinse and boil your cabbage leaves, and apparently make a cabbage leaf bonnet ;)

*Combine your ground beef and your rice and add spices. Yes, add cinnamon. One tiny shake. It makes a world of difference.

*Roll your meat mixture in your boiled (therefore, softened) cabbage leaves and throw in a crockpot

*Cook on low all day, while you do other stuff (like talk to an orange cat) and when they're done, they'll be delish!

Meal Plan, week in review

Meal Planning Monday didn't happen this week. Why? Because nice weather. I did make all sorts of nice meals this week, I just didn't write about them. whoops! But, ya'll should be happy because I will be posting my GRANDMOTHER'S cabbage roll recipe :)

I also tried something new. My sister told me she had String Bean Chicken from Panda Express...and since I live in the boonies over here, and there's not a Panda Express anywhere near me. I thought, heyyyyy, I can totally try to copycat this myself. I googled the recipe and found this site and tweaked a few things (such as no black bean sauce...because boonies)

Anyway, it turned out pretty awesome :)

So, here's what's happened this week, and what will happen :)

Monday: Mississippi Mud Potates
Tuesday: Cabbage Rolls, stay tuned for recipe
Wednesday: String Bean Chicken
Thursday: Taco Soup
Friday: Chicken Stew
Saturday: Pizza Soup
Sunday: Spaghetti

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Desperation in the Kitchen: Mississippi Mud Potatoes (aka the post where I get injured and break 2 plates)

First things first:
Yup, I got injured (burned) doing this recipe.
Yup, I managed to break two plates.
I also found out that I have a lot of weird food hang-ups. (Read on for what they are)

these potatoes are so dang delicious that I would do it all again...and I will, because Gabe has already requested them.

Here we go!

Mississippi Mud Potatoes

Recipe adapted from here 

Here's what you need

*Potatoes (the recipe called for 8-10 cups of potatoes, I used 2 cans of sliced potatoes...why? because I'm lazy)
*2 cups or so of shredded cheddar
*green onion, as much as you want
*bacon (I used bacon bits...laziness)
*mayo (recipe called for one cup, but I used less. I have a hang-up about mayo. It creeps me out.)
*salt and pepper

Here's what you do

*Open your cans of potatoes and rinse, rinse, rinse. Read about my canned potato phobia here 

*Dice your potatoes...I literally diced them in the colander...canned potato phobia, ya'll

*Combine your potatoes, bacon bits (or crisped up bacon, if you're ambitious), cheese, and green onions. This is where I broke two plates. Oh, boy.

*Coat with mayo. If you're a freako like me, have a mini flip-out over the texture.

*Top with even more cheese and bake at 325 for an hour and a half

Enjoy! Despite my food issues, I loved loved loved these potatoes!


11/52: hahaha! Never a dull moment with her ;)

11/52, Sunday: She's a classic beauty in every way.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Why I Meal Plan...Because I Had To Remind Myself

I'd kind of been letting my Meal Planning Slide, because my life has been in all kinds of emotional upheaval lately. Bleh.

So, with the exception of yesterday (because I had the mother of all migraines) I made it a point to stick to my Meal Plan this week and found myself much less stressed!

So, in short, this is why I Meal Plan.

1) Less Stress
2) More time to enjoy stuff other than cooking
3) Saves money. I shop the sales and plan accordingly
4) Did I mention less stress?
5) Nobody asks "what's for dinner?" fifty bazillion times
6) I get to use up what's in my cupboards and come up with all sorts of interesting recipes

Monday, March 9, 2015

Meal Plan Monday

I've started a weight loss challenge (actually three) and OW!

I'm slowly working back to where I need to be...and it feels good.

So, without further ado, here is the Meal Plan for this week, and I'm sticking to it!

Monday: Turkey Spaghetti Stuff (yes, that's what it's really called. stay tuned for recipe)

Tuesday: Cheeseburger Soup 

Wednesday: Omelets

Thursday: Chicken Fried Rice

Friday:  Mississippi Mud Potatoes (trying it out, stay tuned for recipe)

Saturday: Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

Sunday: Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti

Oh. And I've been enjoying the Humane Society in town. I'm thinking about taking a part time job there this summer....hmmm

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Girls and Pearls, February Edition: the one where almost no pictures were taken

February was exhausting, and we almost forgot about Girls and Pearls, no lie!

The last day in February, we ran out to get coffee and to drop some dinner off with Gabe. And Ella said, "Mom! We forgot to wear our pearls this month!" So out they came.

I meant to take pictures of us and Gabe, I swear I did. And then Ella and I got caught up in conversation and hot chocolate, and Gabe and I got caught up in conversation. So, yeah. Fail. Or not....but I'll definitely take more pictures this month!


10/52: Ella is truly an old soul. There is something deeply peaceful about her. We planted seeds on Wednesday, and I caught her in a pensive moment.

10/52, Sunday: I love this kid! I love her dress! and I love the fact that she wears her shell pendant from Gabe everywhere!!!! It's a big ole love fest here :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mother's Day Project 2015

I know it's only March, but I am doing the Mother's Day project again.

This year, Mother's Day falls a week before my girls' birthday and I desperately need something to keep me busy.

Last year, we sent out cards to any mom who suffered a loss. We did not charge.

We will be doing the same this year.

Anyone who would like to receive a card, please email me either at   or

If you received a card last year, you are automatically going to be received a card this year.

If you want to help by donating cards/stamps, you are more than welcome to.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Meal Plan Monday

Lordy, this last month has been exhausting in every way, but especially emotionally.

I am ready to start a new week, and start over a little bit, I guess. Everything tends to suffer when you're stuck at home with cabin fever (and over a foot of snow outside, ugh) But...the sun is out today! I took myself out for coffee, at my husband's insistence. I think he knows I will go insane if I don't get out every once in a while.

I also think he knows that Riley's 10th birthday is weighing heavily on my mind, and St. Patrick's Day, in two weeks, marks 2 months exactly from THAT day, which "just happens" to be Ella's birthday too.

Today, I saw the most amazing thing. I opened my door to check the progress of melting snow on my deck (ya'll, I can see my DECK!) and the next thing I knew, a bunch of balloons floated past me. Pink and white. I stared at them, open-mouthed. I wish I had taken a picture. I love balloons. I love watching them float away. Every year, Ella and I release balloons for Riley Grace.

This was taken last year, when Ella turned 8, and Riley turned 9.

God knows what I need. He will carry me through this 10th year, the way He has carried me through the other 9.

That said, I am taking a breather this week and making the best of it, and the ones after. Here's my tentative meal plan.

Monday: Breakfast for dinner
Tuesday: Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters, Mashed Potatoes, and Veggies
Wednesday: Pizza Mac and Cheese
Thursday: Stuffed Pepper Soup
Friday: Tacos
Saturday: Baked Potato Soup
Sunday: Spaghetti

Sunday, March 1, 2015


9/52: We went sledding on Thursday. Lots of fun! :)

9/52, Sunday: She is still awaiting spring...which is supposed to come But she's happy because we finally found a replacement chain for her beloved seashell pendant from Gabe :)