Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The End (of February) is in Sight

February has turned out to be a craptacular month and it needs to be over now.  I mean it, now!

So, aisde from the fact that we have seen more snowstorms here in PA then any other winter in the history of the state (actually it is the 2nd most snow filled winter since records started being kept), but we had an ice storm in the beginning of the month that knocked out our power for 5 days. Yes, this is going to sound whiney, but 5 days is a long time without power, in February, when the temperature is 14 or below.  We had to deal with generators, space heaters, trying to keep the pipes from freezing, shuffling people and pets between our house and my parents, etc. 

On top of that the (neighbor's) pine tree that hangs over the driveway way so weighted down with ice that it broke clean in half and fell on the hood of my car.



We were able to get the tree off the car and it is currently entering it's third week in the shop.  Over $5000.00 worth of damage, but hopefully I will be getting it back today or tomorrow (fingers crossed).

After the stress of these two events I got sick and was out of work for almost a week.  THen we had more snow.

Hubby's car was run into by a neighbor (different neighbor) so as soon as my car comes out of the shop his is going in.

And then today, when the end of this shitty ass month is in sight.  I was unable to find a parking spot while dropping Nate off at school this morning and so had to hover and let him out instead of walking him to the door.  He hates this!  I feel like it gets the day off to a bad start.  I couldn't find a parking spot at work, since so many of them are <> covered in snow and had to park on the other side of campus, and... to add insult to injury, I got stuck in the elevator.  I reached my floor and it just died.  Luckily I yelled for help and someone was able to pry the door open,  but still.  

I am over this winter, I am over February.  I am looking forward to March... bring it on!

Monday, February 03, 2014

A Lego Ninjago 6th Birthday

My darling Natey-Bug turned 6 on Wednesday.  6. 6.  Oh my god he's 6!!!!!!  Ok, now that I got that out of my system…  This year Nate requested a Lego Ninja party.  Pinterest proved most useful with decorating ideas.  A local art center hosts Leg birthday parties for a reasonable fee, and since I don;t host parties at home I signed up.  It was a great party!  Everyone had a great time.  My parents declared it Nate's best party yet and my hubby decreed it "one hell of a party."



The goody bags had a Lego minifig, a little ninja, a Chinese yoyo, colorful fortune cookies, and ninja bubbles.







The kids (and parents too) got to build whatever they wanted in the beginning and then after cake they returned to build cars which they raced down a ramp.  It was fantastic!











Sunday, February 02, 2014

A Button Wreath

What comes from a dreadful winter that will never end, a drawerful of vintage buttons, and a glue gun? A button wreath, that's what!



I cut a circle of cardboard out of a box in the recycle bin and glued to my little heart's content.  I am very pleased with the result.  It certainly brightens up the kitchen door during such a dreary season.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Frozen Oatmeal

I do not like oatmeal.  I never had.  Oatmeal cookie? Sure.  Oatmeal granola?  Sure.  Oatmeal? Blech!  That is until I decided to reach outside of my comfort zone and try something new. 

 I don't have a lot of time in the morning so making something on the actual stove and not in the microwave is kind of out of the question.  I have tried instant oatmeal packets and they have not brought me over to their side.  Too processed, too much sugar, too artificial tasting.

Recently, however, I found a recipe on Pinterest (seriously, does anyone find new ideas anywhere else?) for frozen oatmeal pucks and thought that maybe I should try them.   They would save time in the morning, they would be less processed and probably better for me overall.  So I made them and, surprise, surprise, I really like them.  I have amde a few minor changes from the original recipe, so I am going to post my version here:




    6 1/2 cups water
    4 cups rolled oats
    1 pinch salt
    2 tbsp butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup real maple syrup
   
Instructions

 -- Bring water to a boil and add oats. Turn heat down to med and stir until thickens (it will thicken more as it cools) about 5-7 mins. Add butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup and stir. Taste and add more sugar or syrup to taste.
--Grease a muffin tin with non-stick spray. Fill tin with oatmeal almost to the top.
--Then put them in the freezer for a few hours or overnight until they are frozen little pucks! Take them out of the freezer and pop them out of the tin.
-- Store in a ziplock bag

 To reheat: take 1 or 2 pucks out of the freezer and put them in a microwave safe bowl with 2-3 Tbsp of water.  Heat for 3 minutes.




I like to stir in some flax seeds and some chia seeds and voila!  I have a breakfast that really keeps me full until lunch.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Adventure Aquarium

As a last hurrah, Jon and I took Nate to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden on Sunday.  Although Nate said he was "a little bored" (Huh???) we all had a good time.  We touched sharks, sting rays, and starfish and got to hang out with a couple of penguins.

What is usually a great view of Philadelphia was obscured by the fog.





Nate "rode" on this turtle when he was a baby… now he is too big!



We bought dead fish to hand feed the rays with.  Although it kind of freaks me out I did it!







Emo Nemo.




Winter Break

The spring semester started yesterday which gives me a little time to reflect on this year's winter break.  A month off if a wonderful thing and I feel like this year I was able to mix in activities and rest.  Usually i run myself ragged and then get sick, but this year I was able to nip that in the bud, pull back and not get sick.

So this year, we made a trip to Longwood Gardens to see their Christmas display which I blogged about here.  We took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and made a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo which was fantastic since everyone else was off doing Christmasy things we had the Zoo to ourselves.  We had a Jumpers playdate with friends, we had a lunch date with mom-mom at the King of Prussia Mall.  I got my hair cut and colored… I went back to green.


We had Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshakes from Chick-Fil-A


Nate got lots of LEGOs and the new Skylanders Swapforce for the WiiU for Christmas 




I started playing around with lacto-fermenting with these dill pickles


In addition, I did some minor car repairs by myself (!), baked lots, held my annual cookie exchange, met baby Mario, shopped, and played lots of Mario 3-D World.

Now it is back to the working world. Which is good.  As much as I like our unstructured time off, we all can benefit from a little routine and structure.



Thursday, January 02, 2014

Winter is Long

At least, when you have had more snow than the last two years combined it feels like that.  The Polar Votex and sub-zero (literally) temperatures don't help either.  I am certainly not a summer girl, but I would like to put the boots away sometime soon.