Morning Routine

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Monday, August 30, 2010

It's August 30th...where are my keys????

No new house keys graced my palm today. Sad.

Bev, our realtor, is working so hard trying to piggie-back us moving out of where we are and into our new house. Last I heard, we have 6 days to move out of here, although Bev is doing her best at dragging her feet for us. :)

Well, we'll see......

To be continued......

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Me Oh My!

A couple things have happened this week (that I cannot go into details without either hurting people's feelings and/or cause more harm than good) that made me recall a poster I read once in a classroom.

My attitude may need some adjusting, but I really think this might be a motto to which I shall refer this year:

Oh goodness...pray for me...

Friday, August 13, 2010

New designs

I'm so excited about moving to a new house. I'm terrible at designing a room but I'd love to have a pretty home. Good thing I've got great friends that are willing to give their opinions (which I value deeply). But I want to make sure my house looks like me and not like it belongs to them, kwim? So here's a few pics of rooms I like and examples of what I don't care for.
Mt. Baker traditional dining room

I don't care for that bubble light over the table but I do like the clean lines and simplicity of the room.

Carson Poetzl, Inc. mediterranean entry

I really like the color scheme here.

Entry way eclectic entry

I do NOT like this. For me, it's too cluttered and has way too much stuff to dust.

Trans-Pacific Design tropical living room

This feels like I'm waiting in the lobby of the Mirage in Vegas. Which is a good thing if I'm actually waiting in the lobby of the Mirage. But it's not what I want my home to feel like. :)

Textured surface - contemporary condo contemporary living room

I like this; can't really put my finger on why I like it...but I do.

Modern Bathroom - Hillside Residence modern bathroom

Clean and simple. I like it.

mobili decorati mediterranean bedroom

Those curtains are kinda cool! And I like how bright it is. But...that's all I like.

FISHER ISLAND modern kitchen

Diggin' the kitchen.

Kitchen counter modern kitchen

I like this one even better - the cool, opaque cabinets, the tile that's a different color.

VP Interiors 2010 contemporary kitchen

I like the height you get out of this kitchen. Very pretty.

Ok, well designers, I hope this gives you a better sense of my point of view/style.

Happy decorating!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

All for $8

these for $6
and and these for only $2
I love Albertsons double coupons.

My God is BIG

The place we're in now...yeah, it sold!!! Bev put it on the market on a Saturday, put the for sale sign in the 'yard' Sunday, we went on vacation on Monday, and later that week the buyer signed the contract. The week we went on vacation it sold!!! Totally convenient. The realtor office staff called our mobile home an eternal-listing because they don't sell. Ha, they don't know my God!

We have to be out of here by September 5th. We thought we'd be homeless until our short-sale house we want closed. During this time I had various reactions from people. But my absolute favorites were from two very special people - they opened up their homes for my family of 5 as if it were no big deal at all. Who does that?
It seriously warms my heart to know you guys love me and my family the way you do (and you know who you are!!!! I love you girls soooo much!!!!).

Well, see this house ---->

Yeah, the short-sale house we're buying... IT'S OURS!!!!!!!!

If all goes according to plan (I know, I know...famous last words but I'm in prayer that all will go according to God's's the best one out there!!!) we'll have the keys by 5pm on August 30th.

Perfect timing, God! A week where we'll have access to both homes. I'll take any stress relief while moving. Lord, I love how you love on us!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pasta Caprese

My husband LOVES this dish. He calls it an explosion of flavors in his mouth. Wow! Now that's something. Have I mentioned we're foodie wanna-be's? It's what were meant to be once we have the empty nest syndrome. So we've got plenty of time to perfect our foodiness (is that even a word??).

Here's the recipe. I forgot to take a pic last time I made it.
Oh and we use buffalo mozzarella so I've never tried the freezing the cheese step. But if you have the regular mozzarella cheese, I trust that it's worth the freezing step. Bon Appetite!

Serves 4 to 6.

This dish will be very warm, not hot. The success of this recipe depends on high-quality ingredients, including ripe, in-season tomatoes and a fruity olive oil (the test kitchen prefers Columela Extra-Virgin). Don’t skip the step of freezing the mozzarella, as freezing prevents it from turning chewy when it comes in contact with the hot pasta. If handmade buffalo- or cow’s-milk mozzarella is available (it’s commonly found in gourmet and cheese shops packed in water), we highly recommend using it, but skip the step of freezing and add it to the tomatoes while marinating. Additional lemon juice or up to 1 teaspoon sugar can be added at the end to taste, depending on the ripeness of the tomatoes.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (see note above)
1 small garlic clove , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1 small shallot , minced fine (about 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes , cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese , cut into 1/2-inch cubes (see note above)
1 pound penne pasta or other short tubular or curly pasta such as fusilli or campanelle
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar (see note above)

1. Whisk oil, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, garlic, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add tomatoes and gently toss to combine; set aside. Do not marinate tomatoes for longer than 45 minutes.

2. While tomatoes are marinating, place mozzarella on plate and freeze until slightly firm, about 10 minutes. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain well.

3. Add pasta and mozzarella to tomato mixture and gently toss to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in basil; adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice or sugar, if desired, and serve immediately.

Arroz con pollo

Have I shared my arroz con pollo recipe? It's really tasty and a bit unconventional with the green olives. And since I packed up all my cookbooks, I had to look online for the recipe. It just would've been easier had I posted it here. So just in case I need it in the future, here goes. And once again, I forgot to take a photo of the dish. I'm sorry.

6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
Table salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar plus 2 additional teaspoons
Ground black pepper
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), trimmed of excess skin and fat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 small green bell pepper , stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup water
3 cups medium-grain rice (if using long-grain rice, increase water to 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup green olives (manzanilla), pitted and halved
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 cup jarred pimentos , cut into 1/4 by 2-inch strips
Lemon wedges , for serving


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Place garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl; using rubber spatula, mix to make smooth paste. Add oregano, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to garlic-salt mixture; stir to combine. Place chicken in bowl with marinade. Coat chicken pieces evenly with marinade; set aside for 15 minutes.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, green pepper, and pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 4 to 8 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro; stir to combine. Push vegetables to sides of pot and increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to clearing in center of pot, skin side down, in even layer. Cook, without moving chicken, until outer layer of meat becomes opaque, 2 to 4 minutes. (If chicken begins to brown, reduce heat to medium.) Using tongs, flip chicken and cook on second side until opaque, 2 to 4 minutes more. Add tomato sauce, broth, and water; stir to combine. Bring to simmer; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add rice, olives, capers, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; stir well. Bring to simmer, cover, and place pot in oven. After 10 minutes, remove pot from oven and stir chicken and rice once from bottom up. Return pot to oven. After another 10 minutes, stir once more, adding 1/4 cup water if rice appears dry and bottom of pot is beginning to burn. Cover and return pot to oven; cook until rice has absorbed all liquid and is tender but still holds its shape and temperature of chicken registers 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes longer.

4. Using tongs, remove chicken from pot; replace lid and set pot aside. Remove and discard chicken skin; using 2 spoons, pull meat off bones into large chunks. Using fingers, remove remaining fat or dark veins from chicken pieces. Place chicken in large bowl and toss with remaining tablespoon olive oil, remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro, and pimentos; season with salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken on top of rice, cover, and let stand until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve, passing lemon wedges separately.

Our new morning routine

Update: we tried it this morning and it was AMAZING how my 5 year old cleaned his room, made his bed, and did general pick up around the house with joy! So I added a song to extend this time. he he. We also needed a little longer for breakfast so I added a song there too. So far so good!!!

With our very first day of school....ever...coming up soon, I thought it was a good idea to establish a very structured morning routine with the kids so we don't rack up the tardies. I saw a site online that sells materials that includes music cds that basically trains the kids to stay on a specific task for the duration of a song. And each song's tempo is geared towards that specific task. It sounded like that's what I needed...but not for the $80 price tag.

So tonight I created the playlist that is playing for you right now which is going to correlate to our new morning routine. I figured I'd start it this week to work out any kinks in time for school.

Here's the breakdown:

Song 1: Breakfast at Tiffany's - wake up and get to the kitchen for breakfast
songs 2-4: all classical music, nice and slow to aid in digestion and communication
song 5: get it started - put dishes in sink and wash up
song 6: supercali...- 2 min song to brush teeth
song 7: imperial march (from star wars) - make bed/clean up room
song 8: 2 sec transition
song 9: theme to star wars - 5 min for chores (not sure what I'll have them do but they're doing somethin' darn it...or I can just delete it?)
songs 10-11: I love my shirt and boogie shoes - get dressed
song 12: pod - grab backpack/lunch/anything else you'll need for school and get to the car

each song category is different in tempo and style so the transition will be easy to hear. And time management for a 5 and 2 year old should be easier since the songs keep the time for them.

So from breakfast to out the door, in theory anyways, should only take us 37 minutes.

Let's hope it works cause with the 2 hours I just spent on this, I'm going to be seriously tired tomorrow! :)