Friday, February 25, 2011

Hair Raising

I've been looking for ways to save more money. (This started before our furnace died Wednesday night and we had to shell out $400 to get it fixed. *Lamaze breathing*) Sometimes, you have to spend money to save money. And to avoid paying $10 for the privilege of watching your son receive half a haircut before the barber gives up. So I bought hair clippers, and scissors, and thinning shears. (Both Eli and I always have to have our crazy-thick hair thinned.)

I really need you home hair cutters to talk me through this. I'm going to start with the boy, and then maybe move on to everyone else. What am I doing?! (Thanks to Swistle and Christina for helping already.)

Feel free to tell me that I can color my hair at home, too, as I've stopped getting highlights and now my hair is all grown out in its "hair-colored hair" glory.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Money for Nothing

I spent my free money. And I tried to be both fun and sensible. So... funsible? "You see what I just did there? That was an explanabrag."

All images from CSN Stores

I thought about purchasing foam tiles for the basement play area I'm carving out, but then I realized I could get two packs of the same size (not as pretty, but cheaper and able to cover more floor space) with Graham's Congratulations on Your Birth from Friends of Your Grandparents Toys R Us gift card. I've been holding onto it because what does a fourth child need besides diapers? And buying diapers with a gift card is just too depressing; I couldn't do it.
Except this image from Toys R Us

So, gift certificate money for foam tiles, and CSN Stores money for:

a wallet to replace my seven-year old wallet and duct-taped checkbook cover. Springy and useful!

Two cookie sheets to replace our rusty (Ew.) cheapo ones that replaced our nice but ancient ones last year.

And a spoonula. Because I wanted one. (They're sold out of the kind I ordered, or I'd link to them.)

Grand total, $54.69 of $55. Yeah, baby. Thanks, Mommy Daisy!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What should I buy?

I won Mommy Daisy's CSN Stores redrawing and now I have to spend $55 by the end of the month and I can't decide! What to buy! POOR ME. And of course I want to spend as close to $55 as I can without going over. That's the fun of the game. That, and free money.

Now, should I be sensible? Not? Half and half?

What would you get?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pierogi Casserole and Pumpkin Muffins

Although it is beautiful here today, horrible February weather, potty training, keeping a budget, and the lack of decent, inexpensive fruits and vegetables keep me turning to the cupboards and freezer for carbs. Warm, comforting, vaguely healthy carbs.

Pierogi Casserole, adapted from our local paper

This casserole is like the love child of pierogis and haluski. My crazy children dislike pierogis because of the texture of mashed potatoes. The casserole, they like.

4 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 lb. package of egg noodles, preferably kluski noodles
1/2 a head of cabbage, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 T. dairy-free margarine
4 T. olive oil
salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes and noodles separately, until cooked. Drain and cover to keep hot. Meanwhile, saute the cabbage and onion in the margarine and olive oil until collapsed and melty. Add the noodles and potatoes to the cabbage and onion. Mix, and add salt and pepper to taste.

If you really wanted to gild the lily, some bacon would be fantastic in this.

Pumpkin Muffins

This is my neighbor's recipe, and the kids' favorite muffin recipe in the whole wide world.

Whisk together:
3 1/3 c. unbleached AP flour*
2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
2 1/2 c. sugar

1 c. canola oil
4 eggs
2/3 c. water
2 cups pureed pumpkin, or one 15 oz. can of pumpkin

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. For mini muffins, bake at 350 degrees for 14-15 minutes. Makes 3 dozen regular muffins or a truckload of mini muffins. These freeze well.

*Yeah, yeah, yeah. Feel free to make a blend of whole wheat and white or what have you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chore Wars

I just found out about Chore Wars, and I am so excited. It's a free Dungeons and Dragons-like online game for cleaning your house. I heard about it from a friend of mine who plays it with her husband. I'm thinking this might be just the thing to help my video game-obsessed children be more motivated to clean. It might make things more fun for the parents, too. It also makes me think about the recent D&D episode of Community. I never understood the appeal of D&D, but this? I get.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Random Hearts

I cannot believe how much candy/how many treats came home from preschool today. Or, to quote my son, "Mama, I thought Valentines were that you cut a heart out of paper and wrote on it." I agree about the paper hearts. Well, paper hearts and chocolate.

I'm going to make a dairy-free version of this chocolate cake for dessert tonight. I made my dad's favorite cake for his birthday this past weekend, and when someone asked, "Where did you get the recipe?" I said, "Where do I get most of my recipes?" Entire table in unison: "Catherine Newman." Yep. (Stephanie O'Dea and Mary Ostyn are two other good guesses. I'm making Mary's blueberry muffins tonight, too. In heart-shaped muffin tins.)

Recently, while making popcorn in the Whirley-Pop Catherine recommended, Scott said, "She's really had an influence on our lives, hasn't she?" She has, and so have you. Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Roll with it

Why can't winter babies have outside birthday parties?

fire in the firepit
(Ask guests to bring their own snow supplies, too.)
extra gloves, hats, scarves

hot dogs cooked over the fire
carrot sticks, pretzels, raisins (for eating and snowman making)
cakes with snowboardingStar Wars guys and princesses
slow cooker hot cider with cinnamon
bottled water

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Five Years

All this growing up is making me woozy. Stop it!

Oh, all right. Fine.

Happy Fifth Birthday, Eli.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Five Months

Happy five month birthday, Graham. Now please stop growing.