Monday, February 21, 2011

A Belated Valentine's Day Post

Lately, I have not been a fan of Valentine's Day. In fact, over the past few years, I've started looking at it as just another day, not getting what the huge deal was. Then I read this inspiring post by TB over at Year 31. She basically says that Valentine's Day should be spent celebrating all kinds of love, not just for couples. I am totally on board with this. And when I looked at Valentine's Day from that perspective, I started getting excited.

I was also envious of the awesome Valentine's Day crafts that she created with her son, and was finding myself regretting that I hadn't planned anything like that for Owen and Ben. But then she kindly pointed out to me that Valentine's Day wasn't here yet, so I still had time to do something. And I did. We totally winged it, but here's how Owen and I celebrated Valentine's Day:

Owen attends a playgroup at a local college that meets every Monday and Wednesday (two hours with just one child!) We were lucky enough to be assigned snack duty on Valentine's Day. We wanted to make something Valentine-themed, but unfortunately, the one time that I actually went to the store, I forgot to pick up decorating items for his snack. So, I improvised. His playgroup is in the morning, so I didn't want to do anything super sugary for snack. I settled on making apple muffins and disguised them as cupcakes. (I'm tricky like that sometimes)

We had some white frosting leftover from my birthday (it was still good, I read the label), and through a stroke of genius, I realized that we could use some strawberry Jell-O powder to color the frosting pink. I am brilliant. (And as an added bonus, the frosting became strawberry flavored!). Owen decorated the "cupcakes" with some red sugar leftover from Christmas cookies.

He likes to keep things centered.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Single Dude's Valentine's Day Blues

As we all know, yesterday was Valentine's Day. It was a day to celebrate the people we love. For some people, it was all about couples. For others, it was about the kids. Unfortunately, it is also a day that many people resent; those people are usually single.

I watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother last night, and it was, of course, centered around Valentine's Day, or more specifically, the day before Valentine's Day, which Barney has so thoughtfully dubbed Desperation Day. ("It's a thing"). The focus was on single women who wear the mask and put up the facade of not caring about Valentine's Day because they don't need a man to make them happy, blah, blah, blah. Barney's theory is that February 13th is the day when a single "10" gains the desperation of a "4" and the eagerness of a "2" (or something to that extent), therefore making it an easy day to pick up hot women.


Anyway. I think that it's time to focus on another type of person who always seems to be ignored on Valentine's Day, the lonely single guy. (Men have feelings too!)

Tasty Tuesday: Lemon-Blueberry Oat Muffins

Back in July, I posted a recipe called The Best Blueberry Muffins. I was mistaken. I have since found a blueberry muffin recipe that I enjoy even more than those and have decided that they are now the SECOND Best Blueberry Muffins. Here are the BEST blueberry muffins:

Lemon-Blueberry Oat Muffins
Not my photo
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour*
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg white
1 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, melted
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries*

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, softened

In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, combine the egg, egg white, milk, butter, lemon peel, and vanilla; mix well. Add to dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in berries. Coat muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or use paper liners; fill two-thirds full with batter. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 400 for 20-22 minutes or until top is lightly browned and springs back when lightly touched. Cool 5 minutes; remove to wire rack. Yield: 1 dozen.

*Note: I use whole-wheat flour, frozen blueberries, and 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice instead of the peel, because I don't keep lemons stocked in my fridge. I have not tried these muffins made as directed, so I don't know if my substitutions change anything.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Daddio=(Enter Expletive of Choice Here)

I was all set up at my computer, with a cup of coffee on one side, and a chocolate chip cookie on the other, to start writing a completely different post than this one, when Daddio called. He is at the store doing an emergency grocery shopping trip. ("Emergency" because while he was away in NYC this weekend, the boys and I ran out of just about everything, including milk, orange juice, and pretzels, all of the daily staples in our house. And since I don't have any money, or access to Daddio's money, as discussed before, we had to wait until he returned to pick up some more. Yeah, it sucks).

But back to the story at hand. Daddio called from the store. Our conversation went like this:

Daddio: You have "cinnamon bread" on the list. What is this?
Me: Um. It's bread with a cinnamon swirl baked into it.
Daddio: Why do you need it?
Krista: Because I am making a breakfast bake to take over to J later in the week. (J is a friend of mine who just had a baby last week. She ended up needing a C-section and arrived home Saturday. A bunch of us have decided to make meals for her during her first week home, since that's the last thing she is going to want to worry about right now).
Daddio: Sigh. (And then in a really annoyed tone of voice), What? She can't make anything herself?

Yeah. That's the inconsiderate a$$ that I'm "proud" to say is the father of my sons. Guess who made the meals in our house after the first couple of days home from the hospital with the boys?

Update: Daddio just called back again: I'm not getting the bread. I'm not spending $4 on a loaf of bread. Make something else.

And he wonders why I'm grumpy all the time.

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's the Right Time to be Pregnant

Man. I wish I was pregnant right now. Not with a third child, but with one of my previous pregnancies. Have you seen some of the cute maternity outfits they are peddling over at Old Navy? Where were these clothes when I was desperate for some cute items while pregnant with Ben? Take a look:

Source Link
I love that pea coat! And it's a shame that they don't offer it for non-pregnant women. And don't you love it when a website does the work for you by putting together an outfit? I wish they would do this more often?

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They do offer a similar version of this sweater for "regular" women, but not the striped shirt.

Source Link
 Yes, that's a lot of pink and peach, but they also have a lot of more neutral colors as well, including blues and grays. Love the looks, but NOT a reason to start working on a third baby, don't you worry!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

10 Lessons I Learned Today.

Today I did something that I rarely ever do. I went outside in the snow. With the boys. And it was fun!

Usually, the only time I ever dare to brave the snow is when I have to walk out to my car, or take the garbage can to the curb. I do not shovel. I do not use the snow blower. That is Daddio's job. However, Daddio is away for work in New York City for the weekend  and dear old Mother Nature decided to drop a foot of snow on us last night. Wet, heavy snow. Thankfully, one of our kind elderly neighbors sent her snow blower man over to us this morning to clear the driveway for us. (One of the many perks of living in Smalltown). So that saved Owen and me the hassle of trying to shovel a foot of snow while Benny was napping. Thank goodness too, because that snow is heavy!

I still had to clear the walkway to the driveway and tidy up the spots that snow blower man missed (not complaining!). So I bundled up the boys, dressed myself up in Daddio's snow gear (to the delight of Owen who could not stop laughing at me. "Probably that don't look good on you, Mom."), and headed outside to shovel some snow!

An hour later, and we're all dressed.
Armed with our shovels and a sled, we bravely set to our task. We lasted about 15 minutes before I decided to take the boys for a ride in the sled instead. 20 minutes later (for what should have been a 5 minute walk under normal conditions), we arrived home and finished the driveway.

I learned 10 valuable lessons today from my 45 minute experience outside:

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Great Debate: SAHM vs. Working Moms

Please bear with me. This rant is going to be a lengthy one!

Typically I don't allow the whole "working" mom vs. stay-at-home mom controversy/argument/opinion/nonsense bother me, but today I happened to come across a comment on Facebook that totally got my goat. (You may need to click to enlarge this to be able to read this better, especially if your eyes are on the wrong side of 30 like mine are).

I know Deb (she's a SAHM with three boys) and I know Ann. I do not know Rebekah and I'm pretty sure that I'm okay with that. And I have a feeling that Rebekah does not know Ann, because if she did, she would have been aware that Ann is a working mom with two young boys, and may have thought twice about making that comment. (I say "may" because I doubt that she really would have. She doesn't strike me as the type of person who would think twice before potentially offending someone).

Wait. Time out.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Stats Don't Lie

Well, it's official. I've been checking out my blog stats and my most popular post is..... Tasty Tuesday: Dinosaur Cake! It has 150 views! Yeah, that's right. I said 150. Don't laugh at me. I have a small-town blog. Actually, it may be more like a village. No, what's smaller than that? A hamlet? My blog is a hamlet. No politics or religion found here! (Seriously, that's the difference between a village and a hamlet; look it up!)

Slowly rising to star status!

Anyway. My second place post only has 30 views, so I'd say my dinosaur cake is the winner by a long shot. If you are unfamiliar with that post, go check it out and maybe I can make it to 200 views! It's not surprising that 8 out of the10 keyword search phrases that led to my blog have something to do with making a dinosaur cake. The majority of the traffic for this post happened this past January, so some lucky kids must have had some dinosaur birthdays to celebrate last month! Let's hope their cakes turned out better than my last birthday cake did!

And one of my top traffic sources? One Blonde Girl. (Thank you, OBG. Even though you don't comment, read, blog, or even essentially exist anymore, at least you are still good for something! XOXO).

P.S. Can someone please tell me how to include the "You Might Like" feature at the end of each blog? I'm looking at you, OBG!
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