Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Swimming Lessons!

To me, swimming lessons are a summer must-do for kids. I remember my mom taking me over and over (and over AND over) again, year after year. I loved being in the water, but absolutely hated putting my face in. Now I get to deal with the exact same thing with my child.

We started off with a two week swim camp at a FABULOUS place called Bear Paddle Swim School. It really is awesome. The pool is warm, the class sizes are small (3 to 1 ratio!), and it's indoors. We did outdoor lessons last year and froze and dodged storms for a few weeks. Didn't want to do that again!

By the end of the two week camp, she had become a little more comfortable with putting her face in, but still needs to work on it. So, we signed up to do weekly lessons at least for the rest of the summer. And hopefully one of these days we will get a nice, hot, storm-free day so we can utilize our swim pass to actually practice!

You can see more Wordless Wednesday pictures at 5 Minutes for Mom!

Tasty Tuesday - No Bake Cookies

Happy first day of summer! It's a hot and humid one here. I've been yearning to bake something for a few days, but just can't bring myself to turn the oven on anytime it's above 80 degrees! This recipe is great for days today because it doesn't require any baking. It comes from my mom, and I remember her making it often when I was a kid...probably on days just like today!

Uncooked Cookies

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup coconut

In a large saucepan, melt margarine. Add milk, vanilla and sugar. Boil for 5 minutes. Add rolled oats, coconut and cocoa. Cook for 2 more minutes. Immediately drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax-paper lined baking sheets. Freeze until hardened, around 1 hour. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

You can see more Tasty Tuesday recipes over at Balancing Beauty & Bedlam.

You can also see all of my own recipes here.

Menu Plan - June 21

Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday...the weekend totally wore me out! My garage sale experience wasn't fantastic, and all I felt like doing yesterday was sitting around. Happy to have my energy back today!

Here's my plan:

Monday - We had hot dogs & mac & cheese...like I said, I was tired....

Tuesday - Grilled Pizza (ham, red & yellow peppers, green onions), carrot sticks

Wednesday - Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb sauce, bacon (bumped from last week)

Thursday - Spaghetti & Meatballs, carrot sticks

Friday - Meatball Subs, Salad

Saturday - Thinking about trying something new and having "finger food night". We typically don't get home from church until just before 7 and we are all hungry and I don't feel like cooking! Thought it might be fun to prepare a few things (cheese cubes, dip, cut up fruit, etc.) before we head out to make dinner time easier!

Sunday - Taking L to a party, will probably pick something up on the way home.

Check out more menu plans over at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Trip to the Zoo!

I bought a zoo pass last year that expires at the end of this month, so I was wanting to find a day where we could visit one last time. It just happened that the day we had already planned to go was a day where the Wild Kratts were making an appearance.

Wow, it was crowded!!

We had friends that waited in traffic for over 2 hours to get into the zoo and ended up turning around and going home. It was the perfect day to go to the zoo, so I think that with the nice weather, the fact that it is now summer vacation AND the fact that the Kratt brothers were there, made the zoo the busiest I have ever seen it!

But we had a great time. I got terribly sunburned and I'm still feeling the effects today. The kids had fun. It was a great family day!

To see more Wordless Wednesday pictures check out 5 Minutes for Mom!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Banana Muffins

This recipe is adapted from Banana Muffins II over at allrecipes.com. I've been making it for a few years and have messed with it to suit my family's tastes.

Banana Muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Chocolate chips, if desired (how many you want is really up to you!!)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin pan by inserting paper cups or spraying well with cooking spray.

Mix together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix together remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips if desired. Scoop into muffin pans, filling the cups about 2/3 full.

This recipe should give you 12 regular sized muffins or 36 mini muffins. Bake regular sized muffins 20-25 minutes and mini muffins 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

As I have mentioned before, I bake a lot of muffins. Everyone around here eats them. My husband has told me that these are his favorite...and he doesn't even like bananas. Enjoy!!

You can see more Tasty Tuesday recipes over at Balancing the Beauty and Bedlam.

Be sure to check out all of my recipes here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - June 13

Almost half way through June already! I suspect the summer will be over before we know it. :( Had a GREAT weekend and looks to be a good week ahead. I'll be busy getting ready for my garage sale, so my menu plan this week reflects that.

Monday - Beef Tostadas, Corn Chips & Salsa

Tuesday - Grilled Pizza with Chicken, Spinach & Mushrooms

Wednesday - Waffles with Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce, Bacon

Thursday - Burgers (Anxious to try some all-natural beef that I found on sale at Meijer last week!)

Friday - Brats, Mac & Cheese

Saturday - Probably something out, since I'll be busy with garage sale all day

Sunday - It's Father's Day! Not sure what we are doing yet.

There you have it! Now I'm off to take the kids to the park to enjoy the beautiful day we are having!

You can see more Menu Plan ideas over at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Seattle Edition

Here are some pics from our Seattle trip as promised!

Loved the market! All of the fresh fruits and vegetables looked awesome! Made coming back home and going to the grocery store's produce section kind of a let down.

The view of downtown Seattle from Lake Union. We took a 1.5 hour tour on a "Duck"...so much fun!

This is the "Sleepless in Seattle" houseboat on Lake Union.

This is the ferry that took us to Bainbridge Island. The ferry ride was okay, but the island was dissapointing. It was raining and the entire town seemed to be under construction. We basically ate lunch and left.

The view from the bottom of the Space Needle. We were too cheap to actually go up. :)

Me and my hubby!

We had such a great time and I am so thankful to my in-laws for taking great care of my kiddos for a few days! Can't wait to do it again. :)

For more Wordless Wednesday pics, hop on over to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - I haven't made anything...

Because we were gone all last week, I haven't really made anything new to share. Well, I guess I did make some rhubarb bread last night...but it didn't turn out very well. Very dissapointing!! I love rhubarb and managed to get a bunch of it for free from my sister-in-law over the weekend. I have some in the freezer that will hopefully fare better in a recipe next week.

In the meantime, please enjoy some of the food pictures I took on my trip.

Crab roll at Pike Place Chowder...SO good. And see that cocktail sauce? Best. Ever.

Vegetable Samosas from Chutneys Queen Anne. I picked up a Groupon for this place a couple of weeks before we left. It was my first time eating Indian food. It was pretty good, but I decided that it's too flavorful for me. It was really heavy, and probably would be good in small amounts.

Best burger I've ever had...at Blue Moon Burgers. The beef was organic, grass fed, and by far the best beef I have ever tasted. I've decided to look for sales now on grass fed beef at home. I grew up eating grass-fed beef, and have always thought that it tasted better. Now I can't go back!!

Fresh cherries from Pike Place Market....yummo. For me, no trip to Washington state is complete without cherries. When I was a teenager, we would often take summer trips to central Washington and we ALWAYS bought cherries.

That's all for today. Remember, you can view all of my Tasty Tuesday recipes here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - June 6

Happy Monday! We are back from vacation and feeling energized! We had a fabulous week away. The kids had a great time with their grandparents, and hubby and I had fun exploring Seattle! Pictures to come later this week!

Typically when I get back from vacation I am excited to make some new recipes and work on some house projects. Today is no exception! Unfortunately, we came back to HOT weather, and I refuse to turn my oven on when it is above 90 degrees, so this week will be a grilling week!

Monday - Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, Corn on the Cob

Tuesday - BBQ Chicken Pizzas, Grilled Peaches

Wednesday - Late day appointment, so not sure what we'll have

Thursday - Tostadas

Friday - Spaghetti w/ Turkey Meatballs, Salad

Saturday - Working in the nursery at church, so something quick for the kids (waffles, probably)

Sunday - Undecided

We pretty much cleared out our pantry before our trip, so that has made it difficult to make a plan this week! As I get back into the swing of things and see what's on sale, it should help fill in some blanks!

Check out more menu plan ideas over at I'm and Organizing Junkie!