Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ahhh... summer.  Have I mentioned I don't like being hot?

It's sooooo hot here.  We are in the middle of a rather extended heatwave... temps above 90 for at least the past week and at least the next few days as well.  And of course the historic "derecho" last Friday night.  Scared the crudola out of me.  I hate wind.  We spent the "derecho" over at my in-law's house... we had been swimming and were just changed, snacked and ready to head out the door and took a step outside and was greeted by very hearty wind gusts.  So we were stuck for about 3 hours.  The "derecho" was a very slow slow storm.  Power flickered and then went out.  Kids don't like that kind of thing (and ps: neither do Mommies).

When we had left our home we had no idea that a storm like this was approaching.  (who did?)  We had our awning up over our deck because it was helping to keep the dining room cool.  So, while we were stuck at the in-laws all I could think was well, we no longer have that awning!  Lo and behold though, upon our return home - the awning was just fine... and oddly enough our deck furniture hadn't even blown around.  Even a wimpy wind scoots the deck stuff around, but this one did not.  Odd?   We didn't escape totally undamaged though... the tree on the side of our house split, but that's no huge loss - we didn't like it too much anyway!

I must also add that we were lucky - our home never lost power.. just flickered apparently.  So we were luckier than many many many others.  My sister just got power back to her home late last night!

So in a nutshell - this past week, weather-wise, has been icky.  Just plain ugh.  Gross.  Saturday is supposed to be 100 degrees... my little weatherbug icon has the sun and a cactus.  Yes, a cactus.  VERY HOT it says.  Yay.

Today I took the whole crew (yes, 4 kids) to Target.  We picked up a few things and then I splurged on lunch for the kids.  Now that everyone has been fed, the older 3 are upstairs "cleaning" their rooms.  Here's hoping that when I go up to put Stella down for her nap that the rooms will in fact be clean.  Stella is down in the living room with me currently playing with a tiny flashlight (and periodically tasting said flashlight) and also playing with her diaper that is poking out of her shorts.  Baby shorts are really tiny.  My lazy dog is half asleep on the recliner... really - he just lays around all day.  He only wakes up to bark at the mail man, UPS man or anyone driving too close to the house.  Oh, and if the kids have food.  What a life.

On the business side of things -- I've started sewing a little bit.  My bibs are now available at Pufferbellies Toys & Books in Staunton!  My mother-in-law snapped this pic of them in the store... That's them in the basket in the middle.  So neat!

 I've worked on the website a little - and am still tweaking it.  Take a look -

Stay cool!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Skinny Salted Chocolate Brownies

I just had the best. brownie. EVER.

No joke.

Trying to lose weight with a sweet tooth is hard. OK - so it's REALLY hard. I found this recipe while browsing around and it looked simple enough. And more importantly, I had all the ingredients I needed on hand. (Super important!) Check out the The Realistic Nutritionist -- loads of nice recipes there!

Anyway - here it is for you, with pictures I took while making them.

Again - these are the BEST ever.

Recommend using only 1/2 the amount of sea salt.


  • 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup of semisweet chocolate chips

  • 2 tablespoons of butter

  • 1 cup of sugar

  • 2 tablespoons condensed milk

  • 1 egg

  • 1 egg white

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease an 8 inch x 8 inch glass pan with cooking spray.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and cocoa. Make a well with a spoon and set aside.

  3. In another medium bowl, add chocolate and butter. Microwave on high
    for one minute, stir, and microwave for another 30 -60 seconds. Add
    sugar and mix until creamed. Add in condensed milk, egg, egg white and
    vanilla, stirring until fully combined. Pour the chocolate mixture into
    the well of the flour mixture and stir until there are no flour streaks.

  4. Pour batter into the greased pan. Sprinkle additional salt over the
    batter and bake for at least 22 minutes. Chill brownies for at least an
    hour so they firm up. Enjoy!

Nutritional information per brownie: 125 calories, 2 grams of fat,
31 grams of carbohydrates, >1 gram of fiber and 1.8 grams or
protein.   (about 4 Weight Watchers Points Plus points)

Snow Day

We had snow the other day... Yes, in March! Crazy weather in Virginia at times, but I wouldn't live anywhere else!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Slow Cooker Pork Chops & Potatoes

Made this for dinner tonight. So easy and very yummy. Something different to do with pork chops!

Boneless pork chops (4-5)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup ketchup
Salt and Pepper
4-5 small/medium potatoes

Peel and slice potatoes.
Spray inside of slow cooker.
Place potatoes in bottom of slow cooker.
Season pork chops.
Place pork chops on top of potatoes.
Mix soup and ketchup.
Pour over pork chops.
Cook on high 2-3 hrs or low 4-6 hrs.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Beth's Spaghetti & Meatballs


  • 1 pound lean ground beef/chuck

  • 1 15oz. can Tomato Sauce

  • 3 6 oz. cans Tomato Paste

  • approx. 2 cups water (depending on how thick you want the sauce)

  • Spaghetti Noodles (or other pasta you prefer)

Up to a teaspoon of the following (less if you prefer)

  • Garlic Powder

  • Oregano

  • Red Pepper Flakes

  • Basil

  • Parsley 


  • Add tomato sauce and paste in mid-size sauce pot on medium heat.

  • Stir til smooth and add spices

  • Slowly add water and stir until desired consistency

  • Bring sauce to boil

  • Form ground beef into balls, add to boiling sauce

  • Boil a couple minutes

  • Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours

  • Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions

  • ENJOY!

Foto Friday

Nicole on National Pancake Day this week

Guinevere sleeping

Stella Grace sleeping... oh to sleep like this!

Chandler Dog -- cute as a button.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Do Something With The Chicken

I asked Richard what he wanted me to make for dinner. I said there were chicken breasts and some pork chops in the fridge that had finished thawing. He said, "Well, do something with the chicken."


What does one do with chicken breasts without a plan? Hmmmm.

Grab a zip lock bag.

Cut up the chicken into pieces.

Get some flour and dump it in the bag.

Add some Season-All (I LOVE this... LOVE.) Add some cayenne pepper. Add some garlic powder.

Throw that chicken in the bag.


Throw it onto the hot electric skillet and cook cook cook! (you know, brown each side of the little nuggets and then cook about 20 minutes)

Add some frozen veggies if you wish... well, thank you, I will! (make some rice or noodles as a side dish and voila!)