December 20, 2013

Easy to Peel Boiled Eggs

This post may seem silly to some but to those who love boiled eggs, get ready to have your day made!!


My kids LOVE hard boiled eggs.  They make a great healthy snack and since we have our own laying hens, the eggs around here are never in short supply.  I like to keep at least 6 boiled eggs on hand at all times.


The only problem is peeling the damn things.  Admittedly, I have even thrown an entire egg in the trash simply because peeling it was pissing me off so badly. (Perhaps a sign I need anger management?)


I’ve read all the posts on Pinterest about baking the eggs, aging the eggs, adding vinegar (stinky), boiling them for exactly 3 minutes with your eyes closed while humming Yankee doodle… (that last one may be made up)


You get the idea.  I am here to solve all you egg problems.  {Because I am assuming you don’t have a life (like me) and egg problems top the list of important problems right now}


The secret: BAKING SODA!!

Put eggs in your pot, fill with water, add a tablespoon of baking soda, bring to a boil, forget about it until you hear the lid rattling because of the bubbles, curse your bad memory, remove from heat and let cool.



If you want them to be REALLY easy to peel, I suggest peeling them under cold water. 


Maybe you already knew this. If so, why the heck didn't you tell ME????


Raise your hand if you are thinking about making deviled eggs for Christmas now.


You’re welcome.



Note: Hover over image for “Pin it” button

December 16, 2013

Christmas Traditions

Every year, at this time of year, my mom, sister and I get together and have a marathon cookie baking day.  We picked a date and had one planned this year but the closer it got, the more that all 3 of us were dreading an entire day in the kitchen.  My sister had a great idea to switch it up.  As our Christmas gifts from her, she wanted to bring my mom and I to one of those trendy Paint Pub places.  She had done it with her husband and thought we would would enjoy it.

Boy, did we EVER!!!!

I don’t get out much (especially with BOTH my mom AND sister since they are my go-to babysitters) but this was definite a great reason to pay a sitter (my teeneage cousin, Gabby) $40 and escape for a few hours.


Here are our adventures:



Sadie working on her masterpiece.






TA-DA!!!!  Look at those paintings.



I am NOT a painter and was expecting disaster but was surprised at how much I enjoyed this and how well my painting actually turned out.  I might even find a place to hang it up in my house.



Of course, all that hard artistic work could not go unrewarded. 


We went to Osaka Hibachi Grill.  It was absolutely amazing food. What was even better was getting to spend some uninterrupted hours with the two most important ladies in my life.  It was exactly what I needed to recharge and get me through the home stretch of this holiday season.  It definitely beat baking all day.

December 12, 2013

Dear Santa

This year the kids are just starting to grasp the concept of Santa.  Yes, we will do Santa.  I know there is a whole movement of transparency and honesty with kids in regards to magical creatures like Santa Clause and the Easter bunny.  That is totally fine if you want to be one of those parents.  However, my kids will believe in magic (at least as long as they are able to).


(And your non-believing kids better not be THAT precocious spoil-sport in Kindergarten telling all his/her  classmates that Santa isn’t real.  Don’t ruin everyone’s fun.  I’m a self declared agnostic/atheist but you don’t see me raining on all my Christian friends’ faith parade.)


{insert shock here, yes I realize Santa is NOT the same as GOD.  Don't get your undies in a bundle folks.}


I digress…back to the blog post subject.


Today, I asked the kids if they would like my help writing a letter to Santa.  Here is what they came up with:


Dear Santa,

My name is Tanner.  My sister’s name is Emmy. (apparently he forgot his OTHER sister, Hattie)


For Christmas I would like a playhouse and a toy house.  (Aren’t these the same thing…I’m confused)


I also want a Dora game and Dora clothes.  And an easel for doing art.  (The easel is what they are ACTUALY getting so I was happy to hear that my “not so subliminal” propaganda was working)


(Emmy’s turn)

I want i-pod!! (In her defense I had just taken my ipod out of her grimey hands)

I want toy circle (huh?), ice cubes (i can do that i guess…), Caillou toys (ok now we’re talking), and Georgey toys (She means Curious George).


(“Hey guys, what about Hattie?  What does she want?”)


(Tanner replies)

Oh yeah, Hattie wants a toy baby doll.


(And Emmy adds)


(I’m not entirely sure if she means a toy lion or an actual lion.  Either way, she is VERY excited about it and feels the need to yell it at me)



Emmy (as signified by a pile of scribbles)


Tanner (whose name is actually legible)


We sealed it in an envelope and they watched me address and stamp it so Daddy can mail it tomorrow on his way to work.  I can’t wait to bust this letter out when they are teenagers to remind them how cute they used to be.

December 10, 2013

Taco Noodle Soup

It's a constant struggle at our house to make healthy, toddler-friendly meal options. We are also a big soup and hotdish* family. (Mainly because I can get away with only dirtying 1 or 2 pans in the process.)

*Hotdish= casserole (for you non-Minnesotans)

Here is what I made today that was a hit with all 3 kids (yes, even the baby)

I'm not sure what to call it but it has taco meat, and noodles and it's a soup... so I just dubbed it Taco Noodle soup. (Original right?) my new turquoise pots??? I'm in love. 

Taco Noodle soup 


1lb hamburger 
1 packet Taco seasoning
1-16 oz canned or frozen corn 
1- 16 oz can pinto beans, drained
1-16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1- 8 oz can tomato sauce
3 cups chickeb broth (beef broth would work too)
2.5 cups penne pasta (whole grain pasta would up the healthy factor here)

In a stock pot brown hamburger and add taco seasoning per seasoning packet instructions.
In a separate pot, boil noodles to al dente. Drain. Set aside.
Add broth, corn, beans and tomato sauce to hamburger. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes.
Add penne and serve.

Feel free to garnish with Sour Cream, cheese, avocado, onions, etc. 


December 8, 2013

Snow Day Activity: Indoor Racetrack

We got plenty of snow last week and now temperatures have plummeted making it dangerous to bring the kids outside. Today, to beat the cold weather with some cooped up crazy kids, I built the kids an indoor race track. It's super easy.

Painter's tape

That's it!!!

I had two different colors but you can just use what you have laying around.  

I told my kids that these were their special tracks and they ran around and around. 

Of course the natural progression was that they needed cars. (That was Tanner's idea) 

So I dug out some boxes and started creating. 

It was simple and the kids were happy with them...


Then I found some cool duct tape...

With a little creativity, tape, scissors and a permanent marker....



I can't wait till my drivers wake up from nap to see what they think.

December 7, 2013


I live in a frozen tundra. I am a Minnesotan through and through but even I have a hard time swallowing this pill. These temps have me wishing I had a pair of adult sized footie PJ's. 

Now to come up with a list of activities to keep us busy and warm today. 

I'm thinking LOTS of baking so I have a reason to stand next to a warm oven. 

Just to cancel out my complaining, here are some pretty pictures of the snowy landscape I like to call home.

December 2, 2013

First Day December 2013

Yay!!! It's one of my favorite times of the year and the last first day of 2013.  My "official" first day started with a long drive home after visiting friends from high school for the night. I snuck in a few hours of sleep before we visited the neighbors (my parents), decorated the tree (which was cut directly from our woods), played games, I snuck in a little cleaning (and crib set up for Miss Hattie who FINALLLY outgrew the pak n play) and of course we ate!

Hope you all had a great first day too!!!