Thursday, March 17, 2011

Growing Up

This little boy is officially registered for Kindergarten 2011-2012! It's a sad thought that he'll be in school a full day next year. He's the youngest and when the youngest goes to school, there are officially no more babies in the house. No more lazy mornings spent in pajamas, no more lunches out with his mama, no more random trips to Target to get him a toy "just because."

Nope, he'll be with the big kids. I'm going to enjoy every last minute of this school year while he's still home.

I'm going to miss that dimpled face of his when he's in school.

My baby is growing up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Granola Take 2

Okay I'm probably boring you right now with two granola bar posts but I made the new ones yesterday and wanted to post before I forgot. They were a hit with the kids! I did replace the raisins in the recipe with chocolate chips. My kids just will not eat raisins. You could probably starve them for a week and they still wouldn't touch them.

The recipe calls for quite a bit of oil which isn't a big deal for the kids but for us adults that are watching our calories, there are suggestions in the comments for replacing it with peanut butter, applesauce, etc. to cut down. They are more like dessert than granola bars.

You can find the recipe HERE . Enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Granola Bars

Lately I've been trying to replace much of the prepackaged food we eat with homeade. It tastes better and cuts down on the amount of preservatives the kids eat. Also, it makes me feel dumb when I eat things with ingredients that I can't pronounce. The kids have stolen enough of my brain cells, I don't have many more to spare.

This week I tried these granola bars and while hubby and I loved them, kids weren't too thrilled. They are more of the Kashi variety than the Quaker type. I found another recipe that I hope will be more kid friendly and I'll post that one too assuming it's not a complete disaster.

I can't remember where I found this recipe, I believe the Food Network:

Granola Bars

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed (I used less)
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 8x12 baking dish.

2. Toss the oatmeal, almonds and coconut together on a cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

3. Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees.

4. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the chocolate chips, apricots and cranberries and stir well.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool 2-3 hours before cutting.

* I lightly pressed them down again when they came out of the oven.
* Cook longer for a more crispy bar, shorter for a chewy bar.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Back To Reality

So last Monday Hubby and I were married 11 years, wow! More than a decade, that sounds like a long time to me. My parents offered to watch the kids for us Saturday night so we could go out and celebrate. They even volunteered to take them overnight and no way were we arguing with that. We went to a delicious Italian dinner and stuffed ourselves silly till we couldn't walk and the garlic smell was radiating all the way to Canada. (For local readers, we went to Mama Nina's, Main St., Bethlehem-excellent food!) After dinner we met my cousins and some friends for a couple drinks and for a few blissful hours managed to forget we had any responsibilities other than letting loose for a bit. We also managed to forget that we are 30 somethings and not 20 somethings anymore....but that is a whole other post.

After I drove us home (I only had one drink people, we are of the don't drink and drive responsible types.) we shuffled in the house completely exhausted because we're not used to being out that late. We were literally thisclose to glorious slumber when the phone rang. Let me tell you, when your phone rings at 2 a.m., it ain't gonna be good. No matter how you cut it, something is terribly wrong. And it was. Poor Ella was sick and my poor parents had been cleaning up vomit and attempting to not bother us for hours. How awesome are my parents? They were dealing with a sick child and were worried about ruining our night. They are all kinds of awesome. But Ella was crying for her own bed so off we went to pick our baby up.

And back to reality.....

With Ginger Ale.

She's feeling much better so far today and so far so good on everyone else.

Completely unrelated, I went to TJ Maxx last week and they had these bird plates. I thought they were sweet so I grabbed just the one for display....

What are your plans for this Monday? Did you remember to turn your clocks ahead? I feel like it takes days to adjust to the time change here!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Blog Got The Memo

That Valentine's Day is really over. I've been wanting to post for spring for a while but just needed a break. I always feel more motivated to blog after stepping back for a bit. Plus, we finally replaced our broken laptop and blogging is a ton easier without trying to edit pictures on a computer that may as well be prehistoric (that's 8 in computer years in case you were wondering).

One thing I love about having a neutral home is how easy it makes it to decorate for holidays. Just a few bits of seasonal color here and there and things start looking festive pretty quickly. Plus having kids makes a huge impact on holiday decor over here. I started off doing very neutral spring and Easter items, white bunnies, neutral colored eggs, vintage know what I mean. But then something crazy happened....the kids started complaining. Yeah, imagine that. They wanted pastels, plastic eggs, spring colors, fun things to look at.

And even though sometimes it makes me cringe, I realized, this is their home too. So now I let them pick out a few things and it isn't much but to see how excited they get when the holidays change around here is worth throwing a few ugly plastic eggs in jar.

White bunnies living in harmony with bright Easter's like a Hallmark card.

*The brown bunny in the top pic came from TJ Maxx, as well as the yellow place mat. White ceramic bunnies from Hobby Lobby (how much do you love that store, seriously?).