Mobirise




Blogging since 2009, I'm a 1950s housewife to the bone and I love to share what I've learned with others. I'm a lifelong foodie, raised with Sunday dinners at my grandmother's and daily scratch cooking in my childhood kitchen. I'm a nerdy homeschooling mama of 3, and a wife of 17 years.

I drink tea when I knit and coffee when I do everything else.



From Memorial Day to Labor Day!
Day 1 - Skirt Steak w/ Chimichurri
Day 2 - Top Sirloin w/ Homemade Rub
Day 3 -
Rib Eye w/ Herbed Butter
Day 4 - Rosemary Chicken
Day 5 - Top Sirloin Gyros
Day 6 - Kansas City Style Pork Chops
Day 7 - Steak and Mushroom Kebabs
Day 8 - Dad's Hamurgers, 2.0
Day 9 - Top Sirloin w/ Mushrooms
Day 10 - Kid's Lunch
Day 11 - Chicken Souvlaki
Day 12 - S'mores Cones
Day 13 - Short Ribs



Kitchen & Sewing Skills!
Intro - Syllabus
Lesson 1 - Running & Whipstitch
Lesson 2 - Cookies

A Little Honesty For You

Domestic, Home, Kids, Marriage

I know that in a lot of ways being real and being transparent are qualities that are celebrated and even encouraged on blogs like mine but since I’ve always viewed this blog as a teaching blog, it has never really occurred to me to write a post about the other side of things. I wrote recipes or tutorials, basically. I did do a series on marriage many, many years ago that was pretty personal, and another one on making the home a welcoming place that was a little less involving but still more than a knitting pattern. I haven’t taken them down, but I haven’t linked to them in years.

A lot has changed in my life and in my family in the 8 years since I started this blog, and since then there have always been times of ongoing activity and times of extended silence. During those times of silence I wasn’t posting because there was just too much going on for me to find the time to do whatever it was I wanted to do so I could take pictures and blog about it. The reality is, I was doing all kinds of things in those times of silence, lots of things I could have blogged about but at the time I just didn’t see them as ‘blog worthy’. It seems so silly in retrospect, especially in how far I have come in communication with you guys! Instagram especially has allowed more people to reach out to me than ever did in my comments section on this blog, and this communication has really opened my eyes to how oddly uptight I am in what I post. There have been some comments and messages I’ve received in the last couple of months that really make me feel like I should be posting more of our daily stuff. There are so many Instagram posts that should just be their own blog post. A single picture or maybe two with a recipe, done! I’m learning not everything has to be a song and dance. Most of the time when I post a homeschool picture on Instagram or Facebook, I am asked about what materials we need or what we’re doing etc, all easily answered in a simple post, right? Right. So why am I just realizing this now?

Picture my life, really. There are things you know because they’re obvious about me, like having three kids and homeschooling, for example. If you’ve been around for a while, you also know that I menu plan every week and that I am a big fan of scratch cooking and baking, and you also probably know that I run a pretty tight ship when it comes to keeping the house clean. You know I love to knit, but you maybe don’t know that I regularly stay up until the wee hours of the morning knitting beside my husband on the couch while he works away on his laptop. I often pay for those late nights though, because the morning? She comes early. I still have to get up and get my husband out the door, wake the kids, feed them and get school happening for the day. Even if we end up starting late (especially if we start late) I have to get dinner happening early in the afternoon so it’s ready when school is over and that late afternoon/evening part of day rolls around. Then you know, baths and story time and cleaning and prep for the next day and a shower for myself and some down time with my husband.

It’s a lot. There are other things I find time to do, but don’t post about much or even at all because I can’t post about them with the regularity I wish I had time for. For example, I work out four times a week, and I pretty much never talk about it. Why? Well, most of my friends who work out, do so six days a week and I feel like a major slacker for not finding the time to do two more days. Even as I type this I realize how ridiculous it is, that if I can’t find time to do something two additional days a week, I should just ignore that I do it at all? Silly. So in that spirit, I’m just going to relax a bit about the rules I’ve made up for myself about this blog. I’m going to let myself post the ‘other’ stuff that happens around here that, in my mind, wasn’t blog worthy. I’m also going to let myself post a recipe with a single picture sometimes and maybe, maybe I’ll even post some failures!

Usually, at the beginning of a year, I choose a cookbook to cook through that year. Though really, I haven’t actually done this in a few years. It took me aaaages to choose a book, I wrestled between The Cook’s Book (because I love technique), Salt Lake City Chef’s Table (because I live in Salt Lake City), Oh She Glows (because sometimes I eat gluten free vegan), and Brunch at Bobby’s (because I am madly in love with everything Bobby Flay does). I have been so indecisive about it, for just a minute while on vacation in January, I decided on doing both Oh She Glows and Salt Lake City Chef’s Table. Then I started planning it out and changed my mind again. This moment, I’m leaning towards Bobby Flay.

I have been choosing a baking theme every year since 2009. Last year wasn’t my most successful year, I only baked 46 different kinds of cookies when I was aiming for at least 52. However, it was my most fun! The kids really enjoyed baking cookies with me, they’re super portable so I was bringing cookies to meetups and friend’s houses. Pretty much everyone likes cookies. So this year, I’m not changing the theme, I’m doing cookies again!

One of my old blogging rules was to not post rambles like this, but in the interest of full disclosure, it stays. Stay tuned for randomness!

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10 Areas to Master For Managing a Household

Chores, Domestic, Home, Kids, Marriage

I used to get the occasional email or social media message asking about how I plan my days or how I run our homeschool or how I keep my house clean. I have noticed that in the last year or so, as I have been sharing more of my life online, I am getting more messages about this subject and truthfully, it’s not a short answer. It’s not even one answer, really. There are as many answers as there are questions and I can only tell you how I deal with this stuff, it may not work as well for everyone else. I’ve been inspired to write a series on this topic, and I hope you can pull little nuggets of information from it to help you. I made a list of 10 areas, though I may have missed something feel free to let me know! I’ll cover one a week, every Thursday, starting tomorrow.

This list can seem overwhelming, so hopefully talking about one thing at a time will break it down into manageable pieces. The main thing to remember is that yes, there is a lot going on, BUT you do not need to feel overwhelmed about it all, you do not need to be constantly working. You can work on your time management to meet your goals, but having downtime mixed in there is very important. Otherwise, you run the risk of burning yourself out and not wanting to do anything for days!

1. Keeping the house clean – Taking ideas from several organizational plans, I stitched together a system that has worked for me in tiny apartments, large houses and all the living spaces in between.

2. Homeschooling, field trips, navigating the kid’s social lives – Not everyone homeschools, of course, but even if you don’t homeschool, you do likely find yourself helping with homework, teaching life skills, planning family field trips and setting up events for your kids and their friends.

3. Daily cooking and baking / meal planning – Arguably the most important, and one of the most often dismissed, part of running a household. If you ever open the pantry at 5 and have no idea what you’re making for dinner, meal planning will change your life.

4. Taking care of yourself – With so much else to do in a day, adding yourself to the list can seem unreasonable, or like another chore. Really though, once you start taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, you will feel and see the difference in your life (and believe it or not, you’ll see changes in your family as well).

5. Having a fun marriage – Not everyone who is running a household is married, or even in a partnership and I don’t want to make any assumptions here. Having said that, if you are in a relationship it can be your biggest asset or the biggest drain on your emotions. Deal with known issues or nurture an awesome relationship!

6. Having a social life – I admit that I am a natural extrovert and that I have been known to strike up conversations with random people out in the wild and make friends. I know that’s not for everyone, but there are other avenues to meet like minded friends. Just as important as making friends, once you have friends you love and care about you need to make time for them.

7. Squeezing in hobbies – I have met wonderful, dedicated wives and mothers that literally have no hobbies. In some cases they had hobbies before their families and haven’t gotten back into them, and in other situations they just never really developed any. Doing something just 100% for yourself is not a bad thing, and you don’t need to find hours every day, just carve out a little time a few days a week and after a while, you’ll be trying to carve out a little more time!

8. Caring for pets – This is a necessity, technically, the dog needs to go out, the guinea pig cage needs to be cleaned, etc. However, most of the time it’s just the bare minimum. Dogs are put outside but not taken for walks, etc. This is one of those categories children should be a part of. Not just for the help it provides, but for them as well!

9. Planner basics – My planner is the backbone of my daily organization. I’ve said before that I let my planner boss me around and that is how I deal with time management. There is a little more to it than that of course, but we’ll get into that later.

10. Downtime – Orchestrating your days to get it all done can get a little addicting, especially once you start to see what you can accomplish! Make sure you have downtime to recover from your day and be ready for tomorrow!

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I Have Missed You!

California, Kids, Marriage

Ugh, being without a computer is rough. I mean, the phone and the tablet and access to the other laptops in the house make it not such a big deal, but when it comes to your pictures and docs, it’s a little unnerving waiting for them to be ‘recovered’. The wonderful news is that my husband managed to recover all my stuff. Go husband! The bad new is, it took forever and I’m pretty behind in my weekly portraits, but I will just jump in this weekend with week 21!

  

In the meantime, here’s life right now, 25 things edition.

1. Our girls are obsessed with Frozen and our Tiny Dancer wraps a blanket around her neck, cape style, belts out Let it Go and tosses the blanket off with ‘…the cold never bothered me anyway…’ As a Canadian family that is bothered by the cold, I find this hilarious.

2. Oldest is preparing for his 8th grade grad next week and I know it’s the ultimate cliche, but I can’t believe he’s starting high school! How, how, how is that possible?!

  

3. On that note, my husband and I just celebrated 14 years of marriage! So rad!

4. We recently started #100daysofbarbecue but we are skipping some days, (because when your husband asks for your grandmother’s chicken pot pie, you just make it for him, ok?), and keeping track of the number of days we’re on. I think we’re on day 9 right now.

5. Dance is on a break until July. OMG an entire month without evening classes?! Note that our Tiny Dancer has chosen to continue with her private lessons and practice every afternoon, so we’re not actually taking a month off, but you know. Some kind of a break is better than none!

  

6. For our anniversary, I made my husband the proud owner of this rad shirt and also this one.

7. I’m more determined than ever to finally finish my Beekeeper Quilt.

8. I’m obsessing over Classy Ladies on Cooking.

  

9. Also obsessing over Sugarpill lashes, but what else is new…

10. We are finally starting to properly furnish and decorate our ‘new’ apartment – it’s been over a year since we moved but we have been really indecisive about staying.

11. I want to start spinning and dying yarn so now we need to find room for a spinning wheel. ;)

  

12. The Fault in Our Stars comes out next week and I’m all set to cry my eyes out the whole time because I’ve read the book so many times my heart is already broken for Hazel and Gus.

13. Maleficent comes out this weekend and I can hardly wait to get my mouse ears on for the premier.

14. Christmas lights in a little girl’s room is the most magical thing ever.

15. Searching for the perfect black strapless swimsuit is harder than I thought. Last year I got wicked tan lines at the pool from being there every afternoon.

16. Avocados go with pretty much everything as far as I’m concerned.

17. I made a new friend and am crushing on her pretty hard. Dear Scout, you’re so rad. Love, May.

  

18. Speaking of! I’ve been making some summer plans and I am so happy to have so many great friends down here. I am seriously so blessed to have met such cool ladies. Vanessa, Tami, Kathryn, Brigid, Erin, Tanya, on and on and on.

19. The girls got bangs and they are painfully cute!

  

20. Every spring I get really motivated to knit for Christmas and usually, I get too wrapped up in the birthdays along the way. Of course, since it’s May, I’m feeling hella motivated. Wish me luck!

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Week Nine Resolution Check In

Churchy, Crafty, Domestic, Healthy, Homeschooling, Kids, Marriage

Wait a minute! Nine weeks already?!

It’s almost like time passes even faster when you’re watching it. Or at least when you’re tracking what you’re trying to accomplish and finally really realize how quickly a week can fly by. We completely lost week eight to a nasty bug that tore through our sinuses. Since moving to California, we have had about one cold a year, and this year really hurt. Two out of five have sinus infections, two went mostly unaffected and the last one to catch it is still fighting it. Week nine was mostly a week of doctor and pharmacy visits and recovery and I am so grateful that we live nearby to our general practitioner, our pediatrician and a 24 hour pharmacy!

Not much was accomplished in the way of working on the blog or editing the family photo site, though I’ll go over that stuff anyway. I was sick, so guess what? I knitted a lot! Yay sick knitting! The one upside to being sick is that since I am fairly on top of things otherwise, I can slack a little when I’m sick and our lives don’t fall apart.

Here we go, week nine! I am still striving to get this out on Fridays, though that has only happened once so far. ;)

1. stay at least one week ahead of our homeschool schedule
We were almost exactly a week ahead and then last week we were all attacked by the worst head cold we have ever had and cashed in all that extra work! So once we finish Monday’s work, we’ll work a little on Tuesday until we are ahead again. It was such a blessing to be able to not stress over school work while caring for sick kids and dealing with a pounding sinus headache.

2. celebrate everyone’s birthday (local and long distance) with a card in the mail.
Doing several things rushed or halfway is worse than not doing them at all. So, yeah. I give up on this one guys.

3. keep our family photo site updated (in the 10 years we’ve had that site, we’ve always been about 3-5 months behind)
I made no progress at all this week, but last week I actually did get most of the index pages up for each section that was missing one and I converted a load of wmas. Maybe I’ll even end up uploading them next week! HA!

4. start a ‘what we did today’ journal (index card version is cute)
I love it. It’s so neat!

5. quit social media that’s not blog related basically I just wanted to quit Facebook
Ok so I am still not on Facebook. My issue is that after three months away from it, I can see how it was bad for me but I can also see that a lot of the ‘but how will we keep in touch?’ concerns from friends and family were true. I spent a lot of unnecessary time on Facebook when I’m sure I should have been doing more productive things. Closets usually need straightening, bathrooms need scrubbing, that kind of thing. At the same time, I miss seeing my Texan girl Jennifer’s posts of her kids who I miss so so so much and I miss getting rando messages from my uncle in law about everything that is going on in our absence. There are a lot of friends and family that are just not on other social media and either don’t have a smart phone or don’t use an IM apps on their phone. Who does that, right? Most of our family, that’s who! I’m not sold on rejoining Facebook, but I’m leaning towards a totally locked down profile with no extras.

6. blog 3-5 times a week
I only blogged once this week. Ahem.

7. make a lightbox and get better at food photography
My shopping trip to Home Depot was postponed so I could nurse my sinuses but I know what I need for the lightbox and staging! I may just give up on actually going to Home Depot and order it! This tile is meant to be a backsplash but a few of them together would make a pretty backdrop for a black plate. I also really love this black and grey tile for bright knitting. I am going to get these and a couple others to play with this month and see how they look.

8. a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
Week Five
Week Six
Week Seven
Week Eight – not posted
Week Nine – coming later

9. bake a cake every weekend
Week One – Nutella Icebox Cake
Week Two – Orange Creamsicle cake
Week Three – White Chocolate Strawberry cupcakes
Week Four – Pink Lemonade cupcakes
Week Five – Red Velvet cupcakes (with cream cheese icing)
Week Six – Dark Chocolate cake with Strawberry Filling
Week Seven – Pink Strawberry cake with Strawberry Frosting
Week Eight – Dutch Buttercake

10. participate in sockdown 2014
One upside to my sinus infection over the last two weeks has been a lot of knitting! I am almost finished the socks I casted on in January and then promptly dropped for school and life in general. Then I can cast on and knit the socks I should have knitted last month. Whoops.

11. finally finish my knitted beekeeper quilt
Still working on puffs!! Making a dent in the additional 100 that I need for the quilt.

I also said I was going to replace alcohol with coffee and I still haven’t had any alcohol since just before Christmas! I get my bloodwork done every 3 or 4 months to make sure my thyroid medication is still doing what it’s supposed to so I’ve been trying to meet my vitamin and mineral levels since I get to see them a few times a year. I had my bloodwork done in January and I will go back in April so we’ll see then how I’ve done so far.

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Thanksgiving Rewind

California, Domestic, Kids, Marriage

So as I mentioned about eleventy billion times last month, we took a road trip out to Las Vegas to celebrate our first American Thanksgiving with our dear friend Nichole and her four children! She is originally from the south and I am..well, I’m me, so we went all out. Our Vegas adventure was short and sweet. We drove out after dinner on Wenesday, checked into Circus Circus, did some late night wandering around the hotel and went to bed alarmingly late. Fun! We had an incredibly lazy Thanksgiving morning, much to Nichole’s dismay, but we did have a fantastic evening together once we finally got there!

The whole menu is pretty crazy, but it was a lot of fun and there were 11 of us total. We had to leave all the leftovers with her (sorry!!), but there are 5 of them so that made sense anyway! She made a lovely turkey with stuffing and gravy, she and her wee ones also made the cranberry sauce, ham, pinto beans, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. I brought my very first sweet potato pie, apple crumble, cocoa brownies for the kids and my trio of tarts; lemon meringue, pumpkin and Sailor Jerry pecan (and of course my cherry apron and matching headband – essential items).

I’m linking to three recipes I just put up on the site from that day. They are all equally bananas-amazing.


Lemon meringue has been one of my husband’s favorite pies since we met so I have a lot of practice with this, and I’ve tried a few different recipes over the years but this has been the absolute best one. (read)

These are another piece of the trifecta of awesome that was my tart collection at our first American Thanksgiving. Half a dozen are made without any run and the other half are spiked with Sailor Jerry. (read)
Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
It sounds typical to say I’m from Canada and I’ve never had sweet potato pie, but I think it’s just all in who you know and my exposure to Southern Belles up to this point has been pretty limited. However, I spent Thanksgiving this year with a real life Southern Gal, and she put me in charge of the sweet potato pie – she even gave me her Granny’s recipe. (read)

On Friday, we picked three of the zillion things there are to do in Vegas with kids and each of them was a hit.

First we just went downstairs to The Adventuredome in Circus Circus. As the name implies, it’s an indoor amusement park, and it’s way bigger than this Canuk remembered from my own childhood! Like, woah. We wanted to get to make sure we got to do all three things before we headed home so we let the kids each pick a couple of rides and away we went! Please note there are very few actual horses on the carousel. Wee One #2 picked the dragon and Wee One #3 picked the flying bunny. There were also flying bears and pigs. I honestly thought that was pretty rad.

We are all a little in love with Vegas and we’re all eager to go back again. This was our first road trip since we moved to LA and I have to be honest, it feels pretty amazing to come home to California. Like, taking a vacation from vacation!

Our next stop was The Silverton to check out the aquarium and the mermaid that was rumored to hang out there. While we waited for her to make her entrance, we saw a leopard print sting ray. What?? We spent some time this summer with Wee One #3′s Godmother, exploring the aquarium in Long Beach and we got to see a lot of sting rays but I had no idea that leopard print sting rays existed! So cool!
The chocolate factory was a must do because every year for years and years and years, going back before I can remember and ending when my granny started getting ‘the old’, my aunt went to Vegas every year with either her girlfriends or her sister in laws or nieces or all of the above. Every single time she came back, she’d bring us Ethel M chocolates. It only felt fitting for us to hit the chocolate factory and pick her up a box of Ethel M chocolate. The kids thought it was pretty cool to see where M&Ms come from, though I’m sure this is not the only place they are made!

This picture is hilarious to me and really sums up where they are right now. Wee Ones #2 & 3 are crazy and hyper and delightfully insane. Wee One #1? Well, he’s 12 now so he’s not about to get into shenanigans with them ON CAMERA, but trust me, he is just as delightfully insane as they are. ;)

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Flashback Friday #4

Kids, Marriage

New readers of my blog may not know that my husband and I married (each other) twice. The first time we eloped at 19 & 21 with only by bestie and her boyfriend as witnesses, and then again 8 years later in the Greek Orthodox church I grew up in. I picked these photies from the second time we got married (in May 2008) for Flashback Friday today because since moving to Los Angeles I miss my sister, my girlfriends, my parents and my extended family and I miss my husband’s family too (who totally feel like my family after 12 years). This day was one of those magical days when almost everyone that matters is together!! Happy Friday!


Greeks don’t mess around when it’s time to make a big deal out of something.

Le sigh. I love this photie. (l-r back row; my adorable sister, Wee One #3′s Godmother, my daddy, my mom, me, Wee One #1′s Godmother and l-r front row; my original bestie circa 1984, Wee One #2′s Godmother and my long time dear, dear sister from another mister friend that I got all bent out of shape about and no longer talk to). Damn. Should I call her?

I love when my mom smiles like this! <3
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Week In Review – Sunday June 24 – Saturday June 30

California, Domestic, Kids, Marriage

What a fun week!! It started out sadly though – my most treasured pie plate (and of course the only one I brought with me) smashed to the floor with a beautiful chicken pot pie in it. I am not a crier and I swear I almost shed a tear over this. It was about 40 years old, snagged from a friend who brought it to my house in Toronto about 5 years ago with a peanut butter cup cake in it. The nostalgic part of this story is that the cake she brought was her entry into our annual bake off for my sister’s birthday and she lost but about a year later we found out the entry that beat her was a store bought cheat!. I lifted my spirits with these cinnamon buns though. Then I made my very first Battenberg Cake for Daring Bakers, it was hard but totally worth it!

Also:

-We have a Stone Cold Creamery across the street and it’s become a weekly treat for the kids to get a small bowl and I am uber proud of myself that I haven’t caved in over a month!
-Strawberry cake makes me extremely happy and yes I snack on strawberries while I bake it!
-Nothing is more fun than a random tutu!
-We went to the pool every weekday this week and man were the kids happy about that (I’ve never been so tan in my whole life)
-Butter Tarts for Canada Day
-Canada Day dinner of Peameal Bacon on a Kaiser with Poutine and a Moosehead

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Flashback Friday

Marriage

I’ve never posted a ‘Flashback Friday’, but I’ve been loving them on a few blogs I adore so here goes!

This was taken at a Christmas party in Sudbury, Ontario in December of 2000. We had been married for 7 months. This night feels both like it just happened and like it was a zillion years ago.

Happy long weekend!!

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Cupcakes in Cones – Happy Saturday!

California, Domestic, Kids, Marriage

Our days are so different since moving to Los Angeles, which I guess is a redundant thing to say because duh but it’s more than just the geographic differences. The two huge differences to life before and after moving here are school and work because my husband has gone from telecommuting from home to working at the office and my kids went from being at school all day to being homeschooled all day! So, 3 months into this adventure we have found a new normal and it’s not what I would have ever expected, but it’s pretty sweet. My husband has telecommuted from home for years, so while him being at work 5 days a week is totally weird, he likes his job and it gives the kids and I a chance to loudly play board games and bake up a storm. Plus how sweet is it to come home from work and your wife is in a cute little apron finishing dinner?! The kids have really gotten into the swing of homeschooling, faster than I did for sure! If a lesson isn’t working for them, there’s always a way to tailor it a bit so it does work for them. Science should be amazing, reading should be inspiring, gym should take place in the pool whenever possible and art should always be messy.

Anyhooooo, one thing that has remained the same is everyone’s love of the weekend. Sometimes there is still some school or work to do over the weekend, but I celebrate every day that I don’t have to set an alarm before I go to bed at night. <3 I try to bake up something fun on Fridays, especially now that Friday has become homemade pizza day it's fun to have something a little epic to go with it. These were a big hit. I'm going to try out a bunch of different cake/frosting combos!

Cupcakes in Cones

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

All I did was whip up a batch of Martha’s Vanilla Cake (recipe originally posted here) and spoon the batter into ice cream cones! I baked them for about 20 minutes at 350 and voila!

The recipe is pretty simple. Just whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in one bowl and beat the butter and sugar in another bowl with a paddle mixer till it’s smooth. Slowly add the eggs and yolks with the mixer on low and then beat in the vanilla. Then add a little of the flour mixture and mix, then a little buttermilk and mix and continue until both are all mixed in.

Cupcakes in Cones
Cupcakes in Cones
Cupcakes in Cones
Cupcakes in Cones
Cupcakes in Cones
Cupcakes in Cones
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Menu Monday – Without the OCD

California, Healthy, Kids, Marriage

I’m editing the site today so if something is wonky or broken, it wont be for long!

This week, I’m linking up with Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday and The How To Mommy’s Meal Planning Monday.

For years and years and years now, I have been a planner. Both in the ‘knowing whats for dinner next Tuesday’ kind of way and in the ‘I keep a notebook of running ideas I add to my calendar’ kind of way. This way of thinking and planning had ingrained itself in me pretty deeply. So deeply that not knowing exactly how long we’d be in California was stressing me out before we even left Canada. It bothered me that as I was reading through blog posts of neat home decor projects I didn’t know when or where I’d be able to work on them, or that I didn’t know what my routine would be like with homeschooling so I had no idea when I’d be blogging or how much time I’d have for baking. I’m not kidding, it honestly stressed me out to think about not having the info I needed to make solid plans and even worse that there was no way for me to find out that info because it just didn’t exist yet. So I packed up our most loved and used treasures, helped my husband change the oil and tried not to freak out about it too much.

yarn, my hair dryer, makeup and my cherry apron - all set!
changing the oil before we head out

At first, about a week before we left when we were still looking at apartments in LA online and trying to pack up the last of our ‘must have’ list, I started to let go of the idea that I’d know exactly where we’d be living. I rationalized to myself that it was ok to not know yet since I’d like to see the place in person before deciding to move there anyway. So leaving Canada without having picked a place in LA ushered me into letting go of planning, which made it a lot easier and honestly a lot more fun for all of us to just enjoy our 2700 mile road trip! We totally did too! It was so so so much fun!

crossing over into Michigan
happy happy and relaxed!
Indiana
Kansas
driving through the rockies in Colorado
road trip love in Utah!
Arizona is beautiful
almost in Nevada
after 11 years of talking online and on the phone I finally met my dear friend Nichole in person!
palm trees make me incredibly happy
there was a lot of Starbucks snacking going on

After that, instead of pressuring my husband and rental-unit-finder person (what’s that job called?!) into getting us a place ASAP, we moved into a really cute extended stay suite with a wee (but sweet) kitchen and spent some time finding a great place for us. Ever since then, I’m pretty breezy about plans. I mean yes I still menu plan, but that’s a sanity saver more than anything else – and I rarely actually make these meals in order (plus down here there is a lot more popping out to Chipotle and tossing all plans aside). Of course there is homeschool planning to do, but really I just read ahead in the homeschool books at night so I know what I’m teaching the kids the next day, I don’t obsess over exactly what needs to be taught each school day and exactly what needs to be on each review for each unit. I will roll with it.

So now that I know that we are here for a while, I’m not freaking out about exactly how long or when we’ll upgrade to a bigger place or if we even upgrade to a bigger place and man – this feels so good! So here’s my tentative menu plan for this week – and yes I’m aiming to make these fudgy snowballs twice because they’re uber simple and a serious hit with the whole fam (even Wee One #1 who is not big on dates).

This Week’s Menu
Monday – Spaghetti with Meatballs and Breadsticks for the fam, Spaghetti without Meatballs for me and Cinnamon Buns for dessert

Tuesday – Scratch Hot Pockets for the fam, Mushroom Soup for me and Fudgy Snowballs for dessert

Wednesday – Breaded Sole with Corn and Rice Pilaf for the all of us and Cocoa Brownies for dessert

Thursday – Scratch Chicken Nuggets and Fries for the fam, Tofu Nuggets for me and Vanilla Cupcakes for dessert

Friday – Mini Chicken Pot Pies for the fam, Mini Veggie Pot Pies for me and Fudgy Snowballs for dessert

Saturday – Homemade Calzones for all of us and Chocolate Cupcakes for dessert

Sunday – Beef Stroganoff for the fam, Crack Wrap for me and Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert

Fudgy Snowballs

Fudgy Snowballs – via Skinny Taste

15 pitted dates
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup whole roasted unsalted almonds
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp + water
3 tbsp icing sugar

Fudgy Snowballs
Fudgy Snowballs
Grind up the almonds into almost dust and add the dates. I pre-chop mine a little so they don’t gum up my food processor! Then add the honey, cocoa and water and process till it holds together.
Fudgy Snowballs
Fudgy Snowballs
Now scoop out small balls and roll them tightly. Just like this, these treats are perfect but to make them snowbally, you need to roll them in icing sugar.
Fudgy Snowballs
Voila! Simple and pretty healthy (especially if you leave off the icing sugar).
Fudgy Snowballs
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