Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What is your cleaning schedule like??

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Sorry...no pictures this week. The thing that I have to tackle today is 7 loads of laundry. I keep saying that I will do luandry on Tuesday and Friday, as to not let it pile up. Yet, I find I am still only doing it once a week. Before moving into here (in March), we lived in a one level apartment. I had a routine down and it worked great. I am struggling with that here and want to hear what your routine for cleaning is. At the apartment, my home was always in great shape. The problem here is that we are in a 3 level townhome. The playroom, storage room (which is ALWAYS a mess), and laundry room are in the basement. The main level holds the living room, dining room, kitchen, and 1/2 bath. Upstairs are 3 bedrooms and a full bath. I feel like when I am letting the boys play in the basemment, I can't be on another level cleaning. I also feel my old routine doesn't work here because I would clean certain rooms on certain days, but I hate that if I do that here, it means I am cleaning both bathrooms on seperate levels and the rest of that level isn't clean yet. I would also vacuum those rooms on the day they were scheduled to be clean. I have wood floors here and I feel that if I don't clean all of the levels on the same day, we just track everything around. I am sure we did on the carpet, it just didn't feel like it. Cleaning 3 levels of floors takes a while and it is next to impossible to do with a 1.5 year old tagging along. I use my kirby to clean the floors, so I can't really do it during nap time either.

Okay...so on to the old schedule....
Tuesday--living room/dining room

My house stayed really clean with this schedule. If I didn't get to a day, I had Friday to catch up before the weekend. There are also things that I did everyday...pick up toys before nap time and bed time, do dishes, sweep or wipe down bathrooms if needed.

So....let me hear it...how do you go about cleaning your house?? Do you do certain areas on certain days? Do you do everything in one day? If you have levels in your home, do you do a whole level on one day? How about floors? Do you clean them all in one day? For some reason this house is just throwing me. I do have more rooms (the rooms in the basement) and about 400 more sq. feet to clean.

Head on over to 5 minutes for Mom for more Tackle it Tuesday fun!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Menu Plan Monday...

Last week, the pasta with sausage, onion, and peppers was a BIG hit! So much so that it almost made it back on the list for this week, but I wanted to try some new things and there are a few meals we didn't use last week that I moved to this week.

As with the last few weeks, we went to the farmer's market and got all of our veggies and fruit there. I was very sad to find out that the pasta guy won't be back :-(.

We are trying lots of new recipes this week. I'll note those with an *.

Sunday--pan fried tilapia, 3 cheese tortellini with sauce, steamed broccoli

Monday--salisbury steak, buttery cooked carrots, corn on the cob

Tuesday--chicken pesto pasta*, salad, bread

Wednesday--New Yok strip steaks, smashed cauliflower*, Syrian green beans

Thursday--pork tenderloin, apple slaw*, creamy lima beans*

Friday--chicken breasts, vegetarian casserole* served in pita bread with feta cheese


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Boys are so much fun!!

Lucas (17 months old today) is learning to say more and more things everyday. Some of the things he says we have no clue where he heard them. For instance, while grocery shopping one day, he started saying meatloaf. I'm assuming that he heard someone around him say it, but I didn't hear it. I love when he says it, too. He says "meat-whoaf". Then the other night he said something new. He has been saying baseball for a while, but he added bat to it and now says "bay ball bat". No one here watches baseball, so we aren't trying to teach him to say these things. So, the most interesting thing he learned to say happend at a restraunt a couple of weeks ago. You know how it is, when a baby needs to go, they need to go. Well, it was obvious that Lucas was trying to go while the rest of us were enjoying our meal. Lucas was asked if he was trying to poop and he yells out "POOOOP!!" with a nod of his head. Well, Logan thought it was the funniest thing. "He said poop, he said poop, Lucas said poop". Now, people might not have heard Lucas, but Logan made sure they knew all about it. On the way home, my dad called me on my cell and I was telling him about it. That, of course, got Logan and Lucas both going.."poop", "poop", "poop" came from the back seat along with lots of giggles. Well, then Lucas decided to get more creative..."poop butt". Oh my, I couldn't contain myself. Somehow hearing that coming from such a small boy is just too funny!! Of course, I have to admit that I know where he got that one. When he is poopy we call him poop butt. I guess now he has learned to let us know he needs a diaper change without doing the deed and then hanging out at our feet until we get a whiff of him!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


For more Wordless Wednesday fun, go here or here!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The pantry....

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

This past weekend we continued with our projects that we started last weekend. We got our curtains hung, I got all the laundry done (not even one thing in the dirty clothes baskets...well, at least there wasn't at the end of the day on Sunday!!), cleaned the floors on all 3 levels, cleaned the bathroom and I did a general pick up of the entire house.

Before curtains...

After curtains...

One thing that needed to be done was organizing the pantry. We just moved into this house in March, so it isn't like it has had lots of time to get messy, yet somehow it was. As you can see from the before picture, I had already incorporated baskets to help me organize things. That helped a lot, but a big problem was that I never really finished organizing in there. There were still things that I hadn't found a home for, so I would just stick them in the pantry. The pantry was already pretty full and we had gone shopping at Costco and a regular grocery store so we had things sitting on the counter to put away. I didn't want it to all go in a messy pantry, so leaving it sitting out reminded me to clean my pantry. It worked!! It still isn't 100%, but it is WAY better!!

Here is a picture of it after I finished organizing it when we first moved in....

Here it is after a few months of use...

And here it is after I organized it...again...

Head on over to 5 minutes for Mom for more Tackle it Tuesday fun!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I didn't make the chili rellenos when I planned last week and we actually ended up having them on Sunday. A couple of weeks ago, Sherry had posted about having cumin lime rice and I asked for the recipe. She posted it last week and we had it with the rellenos. It was very good and easy!! Thanks for the recipe!!

This week I planned a menu before going to the farmer's market. We really enjoyed the fresh pasta and sauce we got there last week. I was sad when that pasta guy wasn't there this time. I had to buy my pasta from the grocery store *gasp!* All of my veggies, the bison, and the bread are from the farmer's market!!

Monday--New Mexico bison burgers ** (roasted poblano peppers, guacamole, Monterey Jack cheese), tater tots

Tuesday--pasta with sausage, onions, and peppers, salad, bread

Wednesday--slow cooker pepper steak, rice

Thursday--poppy seed chicken over Jasmine rice, black eye peas, green beans, corn bread

Friday--salisbury steak--recipe below (freezer meal), steamed broccoli

Saturday--chicken and pesto pasta, salad, bread


** I am trying to make a copy of a favorite burger from Ted's Montana Grill

Head on over to Laura's for more menus!!

Salisbury Steak Dinner

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c. finely chopped onions
1/4 c. Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 t. seasoned salt
1/4 c. chili sauce
1 egg, beaten
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (12 oz.) jar home-style beef gravy
2 cups cubed (1/2 inch) unpeeled russet potatoes

1. In medium bowl, combine ground beef, onion, crushed crackers, seasoned salt, chili sauce, and egg; mix well. Shape into four 1/2 inch thick patties.

2. Spray 12 inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add patties; cook 4-6 minutes or until browned on both sides. Drain, if necessary.

3. Add tomatoes, gravy and potatoes**. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and beef is thoroughly cooked, turning patties and stirring once.

** Above is the original recipe. I turned this into a freezer meal by following the directions through step 2 (except I cooked the patties all the way instead of just browning them). I put the patties on a cookie sheet and flash froze them. Then I put them in a ziploc bag. When ready to eat them, I thaw them out and proceed with step 3. Makes for an easy, yummy meal!!

And...just because I haven't posted a pic of the boys in a while. Here is one of them enjoying the newly carpeted play room in the basement!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

All about me....

My good friend, Christi, has tagged me for a list of things about me.....

Four jobs I’ve held:
1. Target
2. Chick-fil-a
3. nurse's assitant
4. dialysis technician

Four movies I can watch over and over again:
1. Dirty Dancing
2. Coming to America
3. There's Something About Mary
4. The Patriot

Four places I have lived:
1. Texas
2. Arizona
3. California
4. Maryland

Four tv shows I watch:
1. So You Think You Can Dance (watching it now...recorded)
2. Survivor
3. Top Chef
4. Big Brother 8
(I like reality t.v.....can you tell??)

Four places I’ve been on vacation (haven't been on many....being so far from family we typically use time off to visit them):
1. Monterey, CA (honeymoon)
2. northern CA (near Eureka) to visit family
3. Ohio for Christmas with my sister and her family
4. Florida when my sister lived there (before I was married)

Four of my favorite foods:
1. pizza
2. pasta
3. cheeseburgers
4. ice cream

Four websites I visit:
1. Untangling Knots
2. Consider the Lilies (another great friend)
3. My sister's blog (private)
4. Bank of America

Honestly, I don't visit a lot of blogs regularly and the ones I do I've already seen them do this one. Sorry to not keep the fun going.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Momma got a new toy....

You can see it better here.

Baby got a new toy....

I edited to add this so you can see it isn't really a golden computer...LOL!

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, go here or here!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Our living room...Tackle it Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Wow....it's been a while since I last participated in Tackle it Tuesday!!

Okay, so I didn't truly tackle this today. We worked on this on Sunday and it took a while. We bought a laptop, so we moved the computer desk in the living room up to our bedroom. My husband set up a new wireless network (which he thought needed a new wireless router), so that involved opening up computers to take old wireless cards out and installing new ones. On top of needing to move things around, my living room was what I call "nasty dirty". There was stuff everyhwere, fingerprints all over the coffee table, the floor needed to be swept, etc...

So, after I did my duties of helping to move the desk upstairs (which left me with a nasty bruise on my leg), I left my husband to set up the network while the boys and I cleaned the living room *wink*. You know how it is. At least it is this way for me...whenever I move something around, it takes me a while to get used to it. At first I didn't like the new living room set up, but after clearing out the clutter and cleaning up fingerprints and cleaning the floor, I thought it didn't look half bad. Yesterday I moved the pictures to go with the new set up. Anyway, here are some before and after pictures (lots!).....



Now I just need to hang my new curtains

Head on over to 5 minutes for Mom for more Tackle it Tuesday fun!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Last week we tried a new recipe that we really loved. It had been on the menu for 3 weeks and we finally had it. It was super easy, too. I have to add that these were huge and neither me or my husband could eat an entire one! Very filling. Here is a picture of it and I will post the recipe below....

Bacon Cheeseburger Wellingtons

We also went to the farmer's market again this weekend. This week we picked up some green beans, tomatoes (including a few green ones), cabbage, red bell pepper, jalapeno, poblano peppers, corn, fresh baked bread, freshly made pasta, freshly made sauce, buffalo suasage, and buffalo hot dogs (those last two my husband chose). I didn't use a couple of meals from last week, so I moved those to this week.

Monday--pasta and sauce from farmer's market, pan fried tilapia, green beans from farmer's market

Tuesday--homemade chili rellenos, rice, and beans

Wednesday--Italian chicken, cheese-filled shells, sauted yellow squash and zucchini

Thursday--pan fried tilapia (bought a fresh pack at Costco, so lots to use up), steamed cabbage (from farmer's market), corn on the cob from farmer's market

Friday--chicken, basil, and sundried tomato burgers (from Costco) with tomatoes from farmer's market, tater tots

Head on over to Laura's for more menus!!

Bacon Cheesburger Wellington's

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 T. au jus seasoning mix (from 1-oz. pkg.)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 t. pepper
2 (8 oz.) cans crescent rolls
8 t. dijon mustard (I used regular mustard)
4 slices bacon, cooked and halved
4 (1-oz.) slices Cheddar cheese

1. In large bowl, combine ground beef, seasoning mix, garlic, and pepper; mix well. Shape mixture into 4 patties, 1/2 inch thick.

2. Heat large skillet over med. heat until hot. Add patties; cook 10-12 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, turning once. Remove patties from skillet; drain on paper towels. Cool 5 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll dough forming 13x6.5 inch rectangle. Firmly press perforations to seal. Cut dough crosswise into 2 squares. Repeat with remaining can of dough, forming 4 squares. ( I just took 4 of the triangles and pressed them together to form a rectangle, then pressed them out a little to make it more square.)

4. Spread each square with 2 t. mustard. Place one cooked patty, 2 half slices bacon, and 1 slice cheese in center of each square. Bring 4 corners of each dough square together in center; twist to from knot in center. Pinch edges to seal. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 17-23 minutes or until golden brown.

*I found this recipe in a Pillsbury cookbook (the kind you buy at checkout stands)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Our Family Table...

I thought I would join in on this one. Head on over to Glass Half Full where Lori has asked us to share a photo of our family table.

We also eat our meals at the table each night. Sometimes the boys and I eat lunch in there as well. Having one in a high chair means I sit at the table for every meal to feed him (or watch him while he feeds himself). But, at dinner time, we are all at the table at the same time. Here is a picture I snapped this morning after we all finished up breakfast!!
(Please ignore the ugly light fixture that I plan on replacing soon!!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

US capitol building

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, check out Wordless Wednesday or 5 minutes for mom!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Fourth of July

We had a great time on the 4th. As you may have heard, the mall was evacuated on the 4th due to bad weather. However, we were on our way to the hotel and heard about it on the news. They said they thought it woule re-open around 7:30, so we arrived at our hotel and hung out there for a while. At about 7:10, we headed out to walk to the mall. Our hotel was 1.4 miled from the Washington Monument, so it was a nice walk. Thankfully, it wasn't too hot out. I think the storm helped cool things down. We sat near the Washington Monument and heard a bit of the concert that was going on there. Then the show began. The boys were both very excited. We weren't sure how Lucas would do, but he loved them!! I took lots of pictures and included a few in a slideshow below. It is just too hard for me to choose favorites, so there are lots. Staying in a hotel was nice. We got back to our hotel about 10:30. The lines to use the metro were horrible, as they had been in previous years. However, I really thought that all the parking garages would be full and that is the main reason we didn't drive in for the fireworks. But, when we were walking to the mall we passed lots of garages and not one of them was full. Next year we may just drive in....we'll see.

Menu Plan Monday

Yesterday we went to the Farmer's Market, so that helped dictate what we are having this week.

Monday--cheeseburger beef Wellington's with tomatoes from Farmer's Market(I think this is their 3rd week on the menu, but we ARE having them today!), tater tots, mixed veggies

Tuesday--chicken pot pie (didn't have this last week)

Wednesday--beef broccoli stir fry, Jasmine rice, egg rolls

Thursday--Italian chicken, cheese-filled shells, steamed zucchini and yellow squash (from Farmer's Market)

Friday--homemade chili rellenos (with peppers from the Farmer's Market), rice, beans

For more menus, head over to Laura's blog!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Fireworks in D.C. 2005

Happy 4th of July!!

For more Wordless Wednesday fun, check out Wordless Wednesday or 5 minutes for mom!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Busy Weekend and Menu Plan Monday

We had a very busy weekend. So busy that I totally didn't prepare my menu. We went to Home Depot on Saturday and browsed. We picked out a paint color that we really like for our kitchen. We went ahead and bought the primer so that we can prep the kitchen for painting. I want to buy the paint soon, because it is on sale and I can't pass up a bargain :-)!

Last night we prepped our house for our new windows to be installed today. I'll take a picture later so that I can post a before/after shot. I am loving them so far!! They are gas filled, so they keep the heat out. Even though our blinds aren't up in the living room (have to let the windows set for 24-48 hours before I can put them back up), they are way better than our old ones. I never opened my blinds before because the heat would just pour in. Now, I will be able to open my blinds and let the sun in without the heat!!

The gutter people are also here and building our new gutters. They will be back tomorrow to install them! YAY....no more waterfalls from clogged gutters. We bought them from Gutter Shutter and they are guaranteed not to clog. If they do, they come fix it for free.

I haven't really made a plan for this week...just gonna kind of make it up as I go. Last week I made an extra pan of poppy seed chicken for the weekend and then we didn't eat it so, we'll have that tonight. I have leftover mac and cheese too, so we'll eat that tomorrow.

Monday--poppy seed chicken over jasmine rice, steamed broccoli, leftover corn
Tuesday--buffalo chicken (Tyson's), leftover mac and cheese, and a veggie of some sort
Wednesday--going into DC for the fire works (and renting a hotel room there) and will likely find a place to eat there
Thursday--Christi's pot pie (I have everything for this and the chicken is already cooked)
Friday--cheese burger beef Wellington's (we didn't have this last week) and mixed veggies