February 28, 2011

Monkey’s Safari Party

was a blast! Everything worked out great, we had over 30 people, everybody ate, everybody laughed it was an awesome time. I am blessed to have so many people love my son.  I wanna give a shout out to all the people who helped; my sister for helping make all the food (meatballs, eggplant pam, ziti, two cakes, pigs in the blanket, fried raviolis), my mom coming over early to help, and my 3 best friends who cleaned up almost the entire house after the party. I don’t think these 5 great people read my blog but hey you never know.

How did I do money wise?
I stayed pretty close to budget $325

How did I do time wise?
Ugh, there was so much more that I wanted to do but ran out of time, but nobody noticed what was missing so I think that’s a success

Can’t wait for next year!

February 24, 2011

What do you splurge on?

I normally don’t feel comfortable spending a lot of money on myself but with my birthday next week and thinking of all the things I personally need…it’s time this momma goes shopping.  I don’t need a closet full of the lastest fashion or a bag for every month but I do need the basic and I need to feel fabulous and confident.  So what am I buying for my birthday??? Benefit foundation powder, its $35 bucks but the Lord blessed me with dry, pale, sensitive Irish skin.  This is the cheapest foundation that looks and feels great every day for me.  The downside, it really doesn’t go on sale so I buy a new foundation this time every year because Sephora also those in freebies for your birthday (and while I’m online I will also buy a new eye shadow so I get free shipping).  My face cream is also a little pricey $65 on sale which I make last for a year and half (I shouldn't need to purchase this until the fall). But these two items make keeps my face clear of redness and dryness (my two worst enemies). For the rest of my makeup I shop at the drug store with coupons when the needed items are on sale;)

February 23, 2011

Meal Planning

This is a half ass meal plan since I am busy with Monkey's birthday party this week.
Birthday Party!! I will be making eggplant parm, meatballs, ziti, and mac-cheese.
Sunday: Left over from the birthday party
Monday: Tacos with spanish rice and corn
Tuesday: Sloppy Joes and carrot sticks
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese and tomato soup 
Thursday: I don't cook on my birthday 
Friday: Fish Tacos

Saturday Morning: Won't have time to eat lol 
WeekDay: Berry Ban Muffin/Oatmeal/Cereal

All left over sweets from the party:
Birthday Cake
Chocolate Pops
Chips and chex mix

February 21, 2011

Potty Training= FAIL

It's 4:00pm on the third day and once Monkey gets out of his bath, I'm putting a diaper on. It was still a good weekend, the two of us spent ALOT of time together and I didn't leave my house once in the past three days (which means I didn't spend any money lol)

we will try again in April.

Sorry for grammer and for spelling, I am on my phone.

February 20, 2011

Times are changing

One of the worst part for all working moms are that they have to leave their little ones all day however I have been blessed in that department.  One of my best friends watches Monkey during the day and she is an awesome mom to her little ones that I never have to worry about going to work.  We are both on the same page when it comes to time-outs, his diet, and daily activities that I couldn't of have asked for a better 2nd mom to my son.  It has been a great experience for Monkey and me. But now that his 2nd birthday is two weeks away that means preschool is 6-7 months away.  I know all moms have to face that day where there little ones goes off to some kind of school either daycare, preschool, or even kindergarten.  At least I have more than enough time to ease my way into the idea of preschool.  I have already call a couple of preschool to see if there was a waiting list and even crossed some preschools off my list just by a simple phone conversation, next month I will go and interview and take a tour of my final two preschools.

Update on the potty training

It's the end of day two and I am tired.  Yesterday we had 14 misses (3 loads of laundry) and no success, today we had 1 complete miss and about 7ish success but the potty wasn't more than a foot away the whole day so I was able to put him on the potty once he started to pee.  Twice today he did say "potty" and he went on the pee. My plan tomorrow is to have the potty in the bathroom and for us to stay in his bedroom (the rooms are right next to each other), I will also give him 1 m&m for keeping his underwear dry. Wish me luck and thank God I took off on Tuesday because we are going to need it.

Happy Half-Anniversary

I have been blogging for 6 months and I really enjoy the blogging and the new relationship that have developed thanks to the blogger world. 

February 17, 2011

I am NMPT!!!

New Mom in Potty Training, I feel that I might have bought more than needed for potty training but since this is my first time I am going to use that excuses :) I rather have too much than not enough because I don’t plan on leaving the house for 3-4 days.
The potty supplies
2 Potty Chairs (one for each floor)
20 pairs of underwear
Flushable wipes (not sure if I needed this but NMPT)
2 Fitted waterproof mattress pads

The potty “helpers”
High Fiber Diet~ Raspberries, bananas, pears, bran berry muffins, raisin oatmeal cookies (doubles as reward too)

The Liquid Diet~ Water, Juice, Ice pops (doubles as reward too)

The Rewards
Valentine’s clearance candy
Oatmeal raisin cookies
Ice Pops
Fruit Snacks
A basket full of small cheap toys
Two new sesame street books
Potty chart and stickers for one big reward
Lots of Hugs and Kisses!

The Plan
Using the 3 day method starting Saturday morning, spending 4 full days on PT.  I plan on staying in Monkey's bedroom and the kitchen for most of the times, they are the closetest to the bathrooms.  We will be coloring, playing in the sensory box, cleaning out the toy box, and playing with all his toys all weekend.  I cleaned both bathrooms last night and moved anything that I didn't want to "get in the way" lol.

I will keep you posted...during his nap times of course

February 16, 2011

meal plan week of 2/19-2/25

We will be potty training this weekend so dinner will be SIMPLE for the week which is good because I have a lot of cooking to do for Monkey’s birthday party the following Saturday!!
PT Saturday: Dave will be making chicken wings and sweet potato fries
PT Sunday: Order in
PT Monday: Hot Dogs with mac-n-cheese and carrots sticks
Tuesday: Monte Cristo Sandwiches and cucumber salad
Wednesday: Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo with a garden salad
Thursday: Cheeseburgers (hopefully on the grill) with sweet potato fries
Friday: Order in pizza because I will be cooking for Monkey’s party

Saturday Morning: Bagels and cream cheese
WeekDay: Berry Ban Muffin/Oatmeal/Cereal

Raisin oatmeal cookies
Ice Pops
Green Smoothies
Fresh Berries and Pears

Thanks to a simple week this week’s grocery bill should be less than $75!

February 15, 2011

Healthyish Fettuccine Alfredo

1 cups cauliflower florets, about 4-ounces
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces whole grain fettuccine pasta
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup low-fat evaporated milk
1 cup of heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

1. Put the cauliflower, broth, and 1 cup water in a small pot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is very soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool 5 minutes. Carefully puree cauliflower and all the liquid in a blender until very smooth; set aside. (I make the cauliflower the night ahead and store in the refrigerator)

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, 8 minutes. Allow enough time- fettuccine takes a bit longer than other pasta. Drain well, reserving about 1 cup pasta cooking water.

3. Meanwhile, Bring the cream and butter to a boil in a saucepan. (Watch carefully- it likes to try to boil over!) Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 seconds. Add half the parmesan and a little freshly-ground black pepper to the saucepan, and whisk until the cheese is melted and well-blended. Remove from heat.

4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower puree, cream mixture and evaporated milk and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the cooked pasta, add the remaining Parmesan cheese and about 1/2 cup of pasta water until the noodles are coated but the sauce is still loose. Remove from the heat and toss in the butter, chopped parsley and lemon zest. (If the sauce seems thick, adjust the consistency with the remaining pasta water). Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped parsley.

February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I just wanna say I love you all everyday!! We are a big holiday family at my house but we don’t go over the top with gifts. We actually only buy gifts for birthdays and Christmas instead we spoil with love and attention on all other holidays.  DH made me a nice steak Saturday night and I am making brisket tonight. But I goofed up, I didn’t read the recipe clearly and I knew it needed a can of beer but I overlooked that it needed stout beer, which is the only beer we don’t have in my house. So for lunch I am running to our liquor store picking up one bottle and running home to pour it in then back to work…that’s love.

I also looked at the calendar and realized that Pascha falls on the same day as Catholic Easter, kinda disappointed.  Why, Pascha (Orthodox Easter) usually is the following Sunday AFTER Catholic Easter so I was looking forward to buying Easter candy on clearance, silly I know.  So tomorrow I am going to Target to see what Valentine candy I can get on clearance, I also need it for potty training this weekend.

Hope everybody has a great Love Day!!

February 12, 2011

Sneak Peak at my weekend

There really isn’t a “time frame” but I try getting things done and work around Monkey’s nap schedule

Saturday is explore the world day:  
1) We don’t eat breakfast as a family during the week so Saturday we have one big breakfast, usually my DH is in charge ;). 
2) After breakfast I like to get my food shopping done as early as possible.  Like all moms I am a better shopper by myself, alone, this way I can think. And this gives some time for daddy and son to play and bond.
3) Next we like to take a nice walk, usually my goal is to get Monkey nice and tired for his nap lol
4) While Monkey is napping I try to work out, shower, bible study
5) Once Monkey is up from his nap then it’s lunch time and off to explore the world.

Sunday is stay home and have family fun day!
1) We don’t get home from church till 11:30ish after that Monkey needs to let his crazy out to we talk a walk or go to a fast food play house.
2) Next is nap time for Monkey while I try to read the paper and work out.
3) After Monkey wakes up from his nap, it’s usually another daddy and son time while I prep for that night’s dinner.
4) Then family comes over, we play and enjoy each other’s company.
5) We end the night by watching HBO/stars/showtime series ;)

And that is my perfect weekend, lots of play and lots of love!

February 11, 2011

Sneak Peak at my day as a Working Orthodox Mom

5:30 DH & I wake up- Morning prayers and Scriptures

6:00 Wake up Monkey, then the three of us will cuddle on our bed while Monkey drinks his milk, then I need to do my 5 minute yoga stretch, get ready for work, breakfast, etc.

7:15 the 3 of us are out of the house, drop Monkey off at the babysitter then off to work.  Fun Fact~ I drive in complete silence every morning; this is where I gather my thoughts for the day.

7:45 I arrive at work, I actually eat my breakfast at work, a little makeup and hair, check blog and sales.
Fun Fact~ I only have ONE cup of coffee a day!

8:00 till 4:30 working

4:30 run out of the office as fast as I can, usually have chit chat time with a friend or family member, and pick up Monkey from babysitters

5:15 Home! Monkey needs mommy time right away so I do a Dinner minute while holding him (I usually have dinner done the night before, so it needs little prep work, maybe just turn on a pot of water (which was also filled the night before)) then I can give Monkey 15 minutes of my undivided attention while dinner is cooking.

5:30-6 Dinner time! Even when it's cereal night, we eat dinner as a family.

6-6:45 Playtime/Monkey Lesson

6:45-7 Bed time routine with Monkey then bible study for me

7ish-8ish Shower/Clean/Laundry/Prep for the next day (it’s amazing on how much I get done in ONE hour!)  

8ish-10 Couch & Hubby Time while reading, folding, chopping vegetables, doing paperwork, working on Monkey Lessons (you can do a lot while sitting on the couch lol) *Expect for one night a week, my cleaning night where I clean the whole house from top to bottom

Hopefully 10:00 sometimes earlier Sleep  I sleep like a baby, I hardly move for 7 hours wonder why :) Fun Fact~ 4 out of 5 days I fall alseep on the couch until DH is ready for bed.  We are always in the same room, I think that helps with our lives being so busy.

Side Note~ I really didn’t have a choice in this schedule, I have to work and DH and Monkey need love and attention so God really built this schedule, it just took me a few months to recognize it. Once we found our schedule all three of us is happy because we have time for each other.

February 10, 2011

We are starting to Potty Train!!

As a working mom, my days are priceless I have a 3 day weekend this month so I turned it into 4 straight days on potty training. I will admit it’s sooner that I thought I would potty train my son but he is showing signs so I don’t want to lose this beautiful window ;).  The other day, he said “I gotta go pee” so I placed the toilet ring (free from pamper point, thank you pampers) on the toilet and he peed! For the past two months he has been very interested about the toilet.

I have done and still working on “potty time” things with Monkey.  I am very big into hand washing, so now he is a pro at washing his hands.  I just started teaching him how to pull down his pants.  My kid loves clothes so he doesn’t know how to take off clothes but now I can see that will be very important in a week.

So I did some research on which potties to buy and order two different “floor models” I actually didn’t like any of the expensive ones, I was afraid if it played music he would get distracted, he gets easily distracted.  I proudly bought some big boy underwear, thinking I may/will need more.  And now till next weekend my mom and I are collect all sorts of “gum ball” toys from the quarter machine :)

                                          Do you have any tips for this new mom??

February 9, 2011

meal plan week of 2/12-2/18

I have been making a lot of cupcakes lately to practice using a pastry bag for Monkey’s birthday party so this week I’ll be making one of my DH favorites Red Velvet Cup Cakes.  Red Velvet Cup Cakes needs real buttermilk* so whenever I need to buy a dairy specialty item, I like to use it up fast or I WILL forget about it and it will just spoil in my fridge. So this week I am making breaded chicken, soaking the chicken in buttermilk makes the chicken so moist that my meat picky son will eat it!

*fake buttermilk is 1 cup of milk with a tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice. I use fake buttermilk when it comes to cooking but prefer the real stuff for baking.

Saturday: Baked Fish with rice and steamed broccoli
Big Family Sunday Dinner: Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and vegetable medley and buttermilk biscuit
Valentine’s Day Monday: Slow-Cooker Brisket Sandwiches with coleslaw
Wednesday: LeftOver/Cereal Night
Thursday: Baked Chicken with sweet potato fries and green beans
Friday: Thick Italian Winter Stew with Vermicelli and buttermilk biscuit

Saturday Morning: Scrambled eggs with leftover lunch meat
WeekDay: Strawberry Banana Muffin/Oatmeal/Cereal

Chocolate Banana Pops
Valentine’s chocolates ;)

February 8, 2011

Real Life and BookClub

Cold Sassy Tree is put on hold for two reasons;
1) None of my libraries have it
2) I have been reading any and all toddler behavior books.  Monkey is going through his “terrible twos”. He started acting up a few months ago; nothing crazy just when we tell him “no” or “stop” he doesn’t listen and continuing the wrong behavior. He doesn’t hurt anyone; the only misbehavior he really has a problem with is throwing.  He doesn’t throw anything when he is upset, he does it for fun and he does break things. So No Throwing inside the House is now a house rule and our only house rule, at the moment. I did remove all balls in the house, thinking Monkey didn’t understand why you can throw a ball and not a car.

What made me start reading behavior books is Sunday for the first time he threw a real tantrum. I will admit I didn’t know what to do, I was in shock. Usually in the past when Monkey got too crazy, over stimulated, and wouldn’t listen, I would put him in his crib for a few minutes with a few books and puzzle. I really wasn’t punishing him, I was just trying to remove him from the problem and calm him down.  It would also give me time to regroup and calm down. We have been using the time-out method for a month but we weren’t using it correctly.  We were talking too much, didn’t have a real timer, and didn’t know what to do when he keeps getting up. It’s a learning process for all 3 of us. I’ve been writing down questions for Monkey’s pediatrician, like what is age-appropriate behaviors for Monkey.  I have been keeping a post-it- note in the books I have been reading and in my prayer corner (that’s where I get most of my good questions).

What are your house rules and how do you enforce them?


2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Mix buttermilk, mustard and garlic.  Carefully pour into a large reseal able bag. 
Pound chicken breasts until thin, or if thick, cut on the diagonal.  Place chicken breast in bag with buttermilk mixture and leave marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature  or up to 6 hours in the refrigerator. 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread crumbs in a large shallow dish.  Dredge chicken pieces in crumbs on both sides until completely covered. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and place chicken on sheet. Bake chicken for 20 - 25 minutes.

February 7, 2011

What does a 23 month like to do in a day

Monkey will color, read, sing, jump, eat, dance, play with toys, run, jump in mud puddles, paint, eat, "helps" with cleaning and baking, pretend drives, feed his stuff animals, plays in any water he can find, and eats again.  Thats all in one day and yet he still gets bored and looks for trouble lol. What I wish he would do just a little more is sit still!  

Can you believe it

I am still sick!  I feel fine, but I have NO voice. Needless to say Monkey is getting away with a lot more now that I can't talk.

February 4, 2011

So what does 40 mins and $20 get you in the dollar store..

6 valentine’s cards
2 birthday cards
32 Thank you cards
2 Green Kitchen Towels
1 Bag of nuts (I was hungry)
1 Bag of gummy worms (for hubby)
1 Bottle of coco butter lotion
24 Doilies (for Vday and Monkey Lesson)
300 Rose Petals (for Vday and Monkey Lesson)
1 Birthday Coloring Book
1 Jesus loves me book
1 3-D Animal stickers
Plus Tax

I am disappointed that they really didn’t have anything for my Monkey Lesson theme for the next two month.  Guess I will have to go to the craft store and buy only what I need for this month theme. Maybe Michaels or AC Moore will have a coupon off your entire order this Sunday since it’s super bowl Sunday??

February 3, 2011

It's payday

But I am not excited, I need to cancel Monkey’s book club, I am so mad at myself. I forgot to decline the next “automatic” shipment and got charged $27 on my shopping card that only had a balance of $20 so I got hit with a $35 bank fee, the day before I got paid. I know it’s my fault but I still am going to call sovereign bank and ask if they can waive it. I would send the books back but I have to pay the shipping both ways which is $15 bucks back and forth! The books cost $20 ugh I tried sooo hard to stay on top.  At least the books are book Monkey will like becuase that is going to be his "potty" gift, lol.

February 2, 2011

Please tell me February will get better

Both Monkey and I are sick... no fun because he still has energy to play, jump, and run.  I can't keep up with him and I think he knows it. Help!