Following the Recipe

Posted 9 April, 2016 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 34 Comments

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Following the Recipe

It’s not infrequent for something to go wrong with my cooking a recipe and my husband patiently asking “did you follow the recipe?” To which I normally give him the look and refuse to answer.

I do the majority of the cooking at home because I enjoy it and I like having control over what we eat. But it bothers me to no end that when my husband does make something, he usually has better results than I would. He is a recipe follower. I am a recipe suggestion taker.

This isn’t to say that I’m a bad cook or even a negligent one, but it does mean that I can often cook the same recipe a zillion times and have the results come out differently each time. It doesn’t bother me, and since I’m the one who does make dinner, everyone has learned to eat my dinners with my explaining what I tried and what I might do differently next time. They really are a bunch of good sports.

You might notice that I don’t share a ton of recipes on the blog even though I cook dinner most nights from scratch. A lot of the meals that I make, I use a recipe as guidance but couldn’t tell you exactly how I came up with the end results. A little more of this, a little less of that, and let’s try this spice tonight and see how it goes.

There are recipes that I’d love to share with you–fried rice is a huge hit at my house, but how do I explain how much oil and butter I use when the answer is “add a few swirls and a couple of pats until it seems like you need more and then add again.” I also have no idea how much rice I use as I always use what’s leftover from a prior dinner. Beans and Rice is a favorite, but outside of making the beginning roux, there really are no directions. Add water to the roux, but sometimes I use 8 cups and sometimes 9. Sometimes half chicken stock, sometimes more. Sometimes I add spice, sometimes I don’t. The end product is always tasty, but it’s always just a tiny bit different from the last time I made it.

How do recipe makers figure out exactly how much of each ingredient to use?

Of course this is also frustrating when I’m stuck underneath a nursing baby and yelling cooking directions to my husband who has picked up where I left off. “No honey, I don’t do it that way.” To which he rolls his eyes. Or I’m helping Elle (help me) cook and tell her, “a little more, a little more, a little more…oops, not that much.”

The irony is that there are a whole heap of things that my mom made when I was growing up that I would like to make at home, but she doesn’t have a recipe. Gravy. She was telling me the other day that she adds a little bit of flour to water and I asked her how much. “I don’t know–until it seems right.” It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I first attempted to make mashed potatoes–it just took a bit of experimenting until I got it right, but it’s one of those things that I couldn’t explain to someone else how to do.

Good thing Elle likes to help me cook so much. Hopefully by the time she’s out of the house, she’ll be able to know when the amount of milk added to the potatoes is just right. Though I think I’ll have to send her to grandma’s to learn how to make the gravy.

Are you a recipe follower or a recipe suggestion taker? Or do you really fly wild and absolutely wing it?

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Linking up with:

weekend cookingEvery weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  “Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.”  Hope you’ll join the fun!

 

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Creating My Happy List

Posted 7 April, 2016 by Trish in Life / 41 Comments

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Creating My Happy List

Two months ago I read a post by Modern Mrs. Darcy about the things that are currently saving her life. At that point I was deep in the newborn trenches, barely getting two hours of sleep in a row, and having a hard time focusing on anything saving my life. But the idea stuck with me.

Two months later there are many sunny days, but the days are long. Sometimes the evenings are even longer. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the ways that I’m sinking a bit–preschooler tantrums, toddlers not wanting to go to bed, and a baby who only likes to sleep in 30 minute stretches.

If I let it, things could get really dark. Instead I’m trying to focus on the light spots in my life. While I specifically chose things for this list that are outside of my family, I have to mention the sweet baby smiles and coos that I get from Cara. I love when I’m holding her and she strikes up a conversation with me. We coo back and forth as I see how long I can stretch out these moments. I love when Evie asks me for cuddles and gives me a big huge hug and kiss without my asking for them. I love her goofy sense of humor and her silly little antics. And Elle. I love when she offers to help me with this and that. I love when I put a smile on my own face and watch her entire face light up. I love her tender heart.

But I’ve always been a big proponent of finding happiness in many places, not just my family–of discovering the things that bring me joy and bringing those joyous things into my life. With three small children, it’s sometimes easy to get lost in the mothering. But as I’ve lost myself before and have a history with postpartum depression, I have to focus on myself as an individual as well as myself as a mother/wife.

I’m hesitate to use the title “things that are saving my life right now” because I don’t want to imply that my life needs saving. But we can all use a little pick-me-up now and then. Sometimes more now than then. The below are the things that are currently on my happy list.

Things Filling My Happy List

Yoga with Adriene

Yoga with Adriene

I discovered Yoga With Adriene during A Day in the Life Event and I’m in love. She has many many many yoga videos on YouTube and I’ve found that I look forward to spending 30 minutes with her every day. Turns out her videos are the perfect length for Cara’s catnaps  and by the time I’m done with the workout and Cara is up, I’m re-energized. Adriene is positive and encouraging and I love her style. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought to use YouTube for workouts until now.

 

Lemon Zinger Herbal Tea

Lemon Zinger Tea

Because of nursing, I’m trying to limit my caffeine intake during the day. I could drink coffee all day long, but it’s mostly the comfort of a hot drink that I’m after. It screams “relaxation” to me. During Cara’s short afternoon catnaps, I love heating up a cup of herbal tea. I’m a big fan of Lemon Zinger with a touch of honey. Do you have a favorite herbal tea you’d recommend?

 

Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

One of my biggest struggles right now is coming to terms with my post-baby body. I’m barely squeezing into my jeans and have few clothes that I feel satisfied wearing. I’d really like to be able to get into shorts this summer, but my lack of muscle tone is getting me down. Yes, I know that in some respects I need to come to accept my post-baby body. BUT, exercise makes me feel good both physically and mentally, so I’m trying to make time for it. I love to run (or at least the idea of it), so Couch to 5K is my go-to exercise jump start plan. I can usually only get in two runs a week, but I look forward to that time alone.

 

Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal

My newest obsession! If you’ve been hanging around here for long, you know that journaling always lands on my yearly “Things” and every year I fail at this task. At the beginning of February, though, I feel down the Bullet Journal rabbithole and haven’t looked back. I love love love working in my bullet journal and it’s the longest I’ve been able to keep up with any type of planner/journal. Above is how I’ve been tracking what I’ve read so far this year.

 

Silk Almond Creamer

Almond Coffee Creamer

In addition to curbing my caffeine, I’ve cut most dairy out of my diet while I’m nursing. It seems to really upset Cara when I eat a lot of dairy, and since I take milk in my coffee (like half milk, half coffee), I was afraid my coffee would never be the same again. Someone recommended Almond creamer (I don’t like soy), and I love it! Plus I don’t need to add artificial sweetener to my cup as the creamer is enough. Coffee is one of my greatest pleasures, so almond creamer is a heavensend.

 

Fresh Grocery Store Bouquet

Grocery Store Bouquet

Everyone raves about Trader Joe’s flowers, but the store is too far out of my way to enjoy their blooms each week. Instead, every time my local grocery store has roses on sale, I splurge on some stems. They last over a week and open up gorgeously. I’ve never received a floral shop bouquet that looks quiet as nice! Even when the roses aren’t on sale, I’ll frequently buy a $5 bouquet, especially if Elle is with me because she loves having the flowers as much as I do. It makes handwashing dishes so much pleasurable.

 

Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Bluetooth Beats

Scott and I will be married 10 years next month and for over 10 years we’ve had the TV on when we go to bed. I don’t mind the TV and can usually fall asleep with it on, but it does mean that I can’t read in bed because I’m so distracted by whatever Scott is watching. When Cara was sleeping in our bedroom, we didn’t have the TV on before bed and it was blissful to be able to fall asleep reading. When Cara moved to her bedroom, Scott was so excited to have his TV back, so I suggested bluetooth headphones. Turns out he loves them as much as I do. Now he can enjoy his TV and I can enjoy my book. How did we survive 10 years of marriage before this discovery?! (and if you’re curious, the framed picture is of me and my two little sisters when we were just babes)

 

It’s the little things. The way that things are greening up around here. The way that the girls snuggle and love on one another. An especially tasty dinner that seemed to magically come together (ha!). In these early days of motherhood, it can be hard to focus on anything other than a needy baby. I’m trying to be kind to myself and remember to bring the things that make me happy into my days.

I’d love to hear the little things that are making your days happy.

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A Day in the Life – 2016 Event Link-Up

Posted 23 March, 2016 by Trish in Life / 37 Comments

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A Day in the Life

 

I love this day so much. Well, I’m assuming I will as I loved it last year so much. Over the past couple of years, I’ve shared a few days of mine at random and commenters always say they’d like to record a day. Thus the Day in the Life blogger event was born. I meant to do a fall session last year, but time got away from me, so here we are a year later.

Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who tweeted or facebooked or blogged about this little event. I’m overwhelmed by the interest and hope that this year’s turn-out will be just as great as last year’s. And if you haven’t recorded a day yet but still want to participate, do it! Record today or tomorrow or the next day and link it up.

As I heard it last year, people keep mentioning how boring their days are. Maybe routine is a better word? But even if your day is boring to you, it’ll be different to the others. I love how this event recognizes our differences but also some of our similarities. I’m sure you can all relate to my trying desperately to squeeze in a few pages of reading here and there!

And because I said it best last year I’m cheating and copying what I said: Here’s to celebrating our differences and finding our similarities. Here’s to sharing a little piece of our own “behind the scenes” and connecting with someone else on a deeper level. Here’s to coming together as a community. Here’s to cheesy music in my head and group hugs.

 

What Does a Day in Your Life Look Like?

 

To submit your Day in the Life, enter the URL of your post, the name you want to appear on the link-up, and your email address. Have fun checking out other participants’ days!

Thank you so much for sharing your day with us! I hope you’ll take the time to pop around some of the other participants’ links. And if you don’t have a blog but want to participate, tell us what a typical day for you looks like down in the comments below.

Happy happy!

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A Day in the Life with Three Littles

Posted 22 March, 2016 by Trish in Life, Mommyhood / 52 Comments

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day in the life

First things first…tomorrow (Wednesday March 23rd) is the Day in the Life Blogger Event. I’ll have a link-up ready first thing in the morning for you to add your posts. Haven’t recorded a day yet but want to participate–record today!! Or record Wednesday and add your link Thursday, etc etc. I hope you’ll join in the fun. Ping me on twitter if you have any questions.

Friday March 11th 2016 Day in the Life

The girls are home from school today and Scott is at work. I didn’t hear him leave in the morning and he gave the girls an ipad to play with so that I could sleep in. Yes this makes me feel a little guilty…but sleep. So. Thankfully Cara has also slept in and the first time I look at my watch after waking it’s after 8. Glorious. Let’s back up a bit…

2:13 – Cara wakes and I nurse her.

5:19 – Second wakeup from Cara. A few weeks ago she was only waking once a night but we’re back to twice. Thankfully it’s usually a 15 minute turnaround time before I’m back in bed.

8:00ish – I wake up and debate whether or not to look at the clock. I lie in bed for a few minutes before I hear Cara stirring. I look at the clock and silently rejoice that it’s after 8.

8:15 – I can hear the girls upstairs so I get some milk for them and take it to them. They’re cuddling together in bed, so I head back downstairs to nurse Cara.

8:28 – Nurse Cara. And hear Elle screaming upstairs. I head up there and Evie has bitten her twice. The reason isn’t clear and I’m not sure if Elle has provoked her. I get Evie changed and urge the girls downstairs for breakfast.

Good Morning

9:00 – Elle requests French Toast for breakfast. She helps me cook while Evie is being incredibly clingy. Cara just hangs out in her swing or bouncer chair. I sit the girls down to eat and pour my coffee.

9:30 – Cara starts to fuss so I take her to bedroom and she dozes. I put her down and she wakes up–this doesn’t surprise me as it’s early for her to go down for a nap but it’s a continual guessing game. We go play in playroom with the girls.  Elle decides that she’d like to do a Kiwi Crate today so we take it to the kitchen to get it all ready.

naptime 1

10:15 – Cara starts fussing again so I try to put her down again. Elle starts screaming at Evie and wakes Cara. I come out and holler that I can’t help them with the Kiwi Crate if she’s yelling and screaming because her sister won’t sleep. Take some deep breaths.

10:25 – Cara is down again. Trying out the bassinet attachment in the pack n play rather than the rock n play where she normally sleeps. The girls and I put together the Kiwi Crate–a fun little claw mechanism that grabs things. It’s complicated but the girls are having fun with it. Meanwhile I finish my cold coffee. :)

Kiwi Crate

11:04 – Cara wakes up from her nap. I bring her to the kitchen while we finish up the last of the Kiwi Crate claw.

11:25 – nurse Cara. Girls are upstairs doing who knows what!!?? Evie is really into clothes today so she’s probably putting on her second or third or fourth outfit of the day. I wouldn’t mind except all the clothes get tossed on the floor and I can’t tell what’s dirty and clean by the end of the day.

11:45 – Elle and Evie come downstairs and play. They’re fighting over the baby carriage and I make a mental note that maybe we need another one. I try to convince Evie that the shopping cart can be used as the baby carriage, but she’s not impressed with my suggestion. Cara is gassy and fussy so I try to work out some of her gassiness. I knew that latte from Starbucks was a bad idea! (I’m trying to be dairy free to help with some of her gas/fussiness). Evie comes to show me that she found a pen. It’s all over her face. Guess better there than the couch?

pen face

12:15 –  I prep lunch and we eat upstairs in the playroom. I did this with Elle a few times when Evie was a baby and she’s been wanting to do it ever since. They make a mess, but the room needs to be vacuumed anyway. There’s nothing in the house for me to make a respectable lunch (we used the last of the bread for French toast), so I munch on some crackers. Yes the girls are eating lunchables. Stop judging me. Don’t you see that container of carrots by Evie’s knee??

12:40 – Try to nurse Cara again. It hasn’t been too long since her last session but I’m hoping to “top her off” in hopes that she’ll take a long nap. Bahahahaha.  I put her down at 12:50.

1:11 – Evie is down. I’m surprised at how easily she goes down. On the weekends she normally fights and fights nap, especially since we moved her into Elle’s room. She wants Elle to take a nap with her, but Elle doesn’t nap and I don’t want them playing. She must be tired because she gives me hugs and lies right down. Elle is taking quiet time in her hideout underneath the stairs. She can play or watch SuperWhy or read–just as long as everyone gets a little downtime (yes, I *need* it as much as they do).

naptime 2

1:25 – I make some tea, check monitor, and Cara is awake. Because of course. But she’s quiet so crossing fingers. I lie down on the couch with Mort.  1:47 – Nope. Crying Cara. I head to the bedroom to get her. She immediately falls asleep in my arms. 2:15 – Think about tea in other room. Holding sleeping Cara in bed. Don’t think she’ll let me put her down. 2:30 – I remember that my friend texted me the other day to tell me she had luck getting her non-napping baby to sleep on his tummy. I pull back the covers and gently roll her onto her tummy. She stirs but I pat her bottom and she falls back asleep. 3:00 I settle on couch and text with Scott. Cara stirs so I pop the paci in her mouth. I know this is a quick fix but I’m desperate.

naptime fail

3:30 – By now Elle and Cara are up. I cut up some apples to eat with peanut butter (my lunch) and Elle pulls out the Color Wonder books and markers. We color princesses while Cara hangs out in the bouncer on the kitchen table.

Afternoon

4:15 – Evie is starting to stir so I send Elle up there to gently wake her up. Ha! Is there such a thing? We turn on Snow White in the playroom and work on puzzles. Cara just hangs out.

5:00 – Cara is fussy and the girls are literally bouncing off walls. I had casually hinted to Scott earlier in the week that it would be awesome if he came home a bit early today. I check my stalker app and see that he’s still at the office. And when I say that the girls are bouncing off the walls…they really are. It’s been a good day but I’m starving and haven’t showered yet. It’s too gross outside to let the girls run loose in the backyard or take a walk.

going crazytown!

5:30 – Scott home. There is much rejoicing.

5:45 – SHOWER! ALONE!! I admit that I take my time, even though I know that I need to get dinner started. It’s amazing how restorative a shower can be. Especially a shower alone (during the week Cara hangs out in the bathroom while I shower and on the weekends it’s not uncommon for a child to share the shower with me…usually Evie).

6:15 – I start dinner. A lot of times on Friday we’ll get take-out but we ate at my mom’s twice this week and Scott doesn’t feel like going out again (I totally want to get out of the house), so we have tacos. The amazingly quick and crowd-pleasing dinner.

6:30 – Scott comes down to take over dinner prep and I nurse Cara. He gets the girls going on their food. 6:50 I sit down and eat as well–after fetching drinks and napkins and and and. Why does everyone wait until mommy sits down to make a request?

dinner and stickers

7:50 – get upstairs!!!! How did it get so late?? On Friday nights we let the girls watch TV while eating dinner. Blah blah blah bad habit, I don’t care. We eat at the dinner table with the TV off every other night, so whatever. While they do this, Scott browses on his computer and I either play on the computer or read magazines or mess with my bullet journal. Cara’s just hanging out in her swing–dozing here and there as she often does in the early evening.

8:05 – Everyone is cleaned up and in jammies so we crawl into bed to read a book. I’m currently reading the girls Where the Sidewalk Ends. Evie definitely doesn’t get it but Elle thinks the pictures are funny and will sometimes get the poems. I’m really enjoying it and they love picking up where we left off the night before. It’s one of the few times where I’m the one saying “just one more poem…just one more poem.” Evie picks out her letter (E) on every page and Elle is looking for her sightword of the week (you).

goodnight

8:24 –  Cara is screaming her head off downstairs so I hurry and give kisses and skip the song tonight. Normally they want Hallelujah, a song I made up about Mickey Mouse, and Let it Go–I’ve made kind of a medaly of the three so that I’m not singing for hours. Then they want kisses–the same routine my mom did for me when I was little where I kiss each part of their face saying “I love your forehead, I love this eye and this eye, etc). It’s really frustrating to me to want to give all of the girls the attention at bedtime when the babe is screaming. To me this is the hardest part of having more than one child–making sure that each child feels loved. And I know in my heart that they do feel that but it’s still a struggle for me.

8:29 I nurse Cara. The girls are not in bed. We just moved them into the same room about three weeks ago and it’s usually Evie that is the one up and talking while Elle is telling her to be quiet. Evie has always been the nightowl! Scott goes upstairs to tell them to go to bed.

8:40 – I put Cara down knowing that she won’t stay down.

8:42 – I go up and yell at the girls. By bedtime I’m done. I don’t want to parent anymore for the day. I just want to adult. I’m really regretting not picking up a bottle of wine at the store the other day. Go to sleep!!!!!

8:48 – Cara is crying. I get her and nurse her again. This is typical every night. Usually Scott ends up taking her and holding her until she’s asleep. I may have just held her tonight or maybe we passed her back and forth. I don’t remember. Often on Friday nights we watch a movie but we’re having trouble loading a movie on itunes so we don’t. Plus it’s late. And I’m tired.

9:48 – Cara is down for the count.

10:05 –  I’m in bed. I read a few clicks of Just One Day and pass out.

2:11 – Cara up.

And we start all over again! While it’s not usual for me to be home alone with all three girls for an entire day, the day went fairly well. Very little frustrations–other than the biting and while Cara didn’t take one big nap, she napped better than she has been lately (her average is about 30 minutes a nap and it’s driving me insane as this is just enough time for me to grab something to eat and settle down to do something and then…!). Today is more typical of a weekend day–except we usually run errands in the morning and I’m not yet brave enough to venture out with all three girls. I’ll take Elle and Cara out together but Evie is the wildcard these days.

I named my blog before I had kids, but every day that insanity part feels a little more real! Here’s to hoping that we all survive and I look back at this post in several years and just laugh.

A Day in the Life

I hope you’ll share what a day looks like for you! Be sure to come back tomorrow for the link-up.

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A Day in the Life with a Two Month Old

A Day in the Life with a Two  Month Old

Ignore the title–you all know that I also have an almost 5 year old and 2.5 year old in addition to the 2.5 month old. Just needed a way to distinguish this post from some of my other Days in the Life posts…including one I have planned for next week with all three girlies at home. I recorded below from Thursday March 10th. I recorded the below in part in preparation for the Day in […]

Posted 15 March, 2016 by Trish in Life, Mommyhood / 35 Comments
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For the Love of E-Reading

For the Love of E-Reading

If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said that I like my e-reader but it’s not my preferred method for reading. Oh goodness has that changed. With each book that I read, my love for e-reading becomes more and more concrete. Though, I do think a lot of my love speaks to where I am at in life. If I’m alone, I still enjoy picking up a paper book–and goodness […]

Posted 13 March, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 30 Comments
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Graphic Novel Reviewlettes 2

Graphic Novel Reviewlettes 2

  By the way, have I mentioned how glad I am that it’s March? I’m not thrilled that we didn’t have a single hard freeze this year (zomg the bugs we’ll have this summer!), but the trees are in bloom and budding and the weather is getting warmer and we’ve even had our first round of spring storms. Bring on spring!! Below you’ll find snippets for the second half of my Comics in February month. […]

Posted 10 March, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 9 Comments
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A Day in the Life – Blogger Event Coming Soon

A Day in the Life – Blogger Event Coming Soon

Hi everyone! Can you believe that a year has already passed since the first A Day in the Life Blogger Event? I had so much fun last year and was overwhelmed by the participation. I meant to do another round in the fall, but time got away from me. Several people have already expressed interest in a second Day in the Life link-up, so I hope that you’ll all join again (or for the first […]

Posted 7 March, 2016 by Trish in Life / 38 Comments
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Nonessential Kitchen Essentials

Nonessential Kitchen Essentials

  A few months ago I read an article on The Kitchn about the wedding registry gifts that really get used and those that don’t. I started thinking about my own registry and the things that are still in our cupboards (I love my Mikasa Italian Countryside dinnerware so much!), and I realized that with the exception of a few items, most of my kitchen essentials are things I’ve picked up along the way. And […]

Posted 5 March, 2016 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 37 Comments
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Two Month Update – 2.27.2016

Two Month Update – 2.27.2016

Well if time flew quickly with my second baby, it is going at warp speed with my third. Make it stop, make it stop!! But every day I am more and more in love with this sweet babe. Cara is a joy and I’m so happy she’s part of our family. Sleep – Cara is a great little sleeper most of the time. We did go through a bit of a rough patch the first […]

Posted 1 March, 2016 by Trish in Life, Mommyhood / 28 Comments
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