Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tuesday Craziness

So, I hope that your monday had went well yesterday. I had planned on doing an easy 3 miles yesterday however that did not happen. I did a 1.5 mile walk during work, but my legs were still feeling it I decided to take it easy and let them rest and do LOTS of stretching. Thats cross training right?

(this is not me - unknown source)
Man I hate mornings sometimes. I slept in a little bit and threw my whole schedule off. I had to clean dried poop off of Walter (#2), make breakfast (cereal) for the 2 oldest and make sure they eat it, feed and change the baby, shower, get dressed, make my lunch, put the kids lunches together, and get everyone in the car by 7:30. I had planned on making dinner in the morning so it would be cooking as I got home tonight but that just didn't happen. So dinner will be a little later than planned. Good thing is that at least I know what I have planned for dinner.

So, off to work I go...

Todays workout is a planned 3 mile run. Most likely on the treadmill after the kids are in bed.

Happy Running!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy February!

Hey Y'all
We have made it through January which is typically a pretty cold and snowy month here in the Northeast. We actually haven't had much snow and it is warming up for the next week to come. Which means more runs outside, hopefully.

I wanted to give you an update on my running 2,016 miles in the year 2016 goal. I ran 138 miles in the month of January. Which at that pace I will fall a little short, however we are only one month into this challenge so there is still plenty of time to make up the difference.

Wally and I have also signed up for Providence Marathon on May 1st, which means long runs on the weekend. We have decided that one would do their long run on Saturday and the other on Sunday, because we do have 3 small children that need someone home with them while we are gone for 2-3 hours. This weekend had 14 miles on the schedule. Wally planned out a nice route and I copied it for my run. It has been a long time since I have run that many miles at once.

Well today is a cross training day. Which is a good thing because my legs are feeling yesterdays run.

Happy Running!!

Friday, January 8, 2016

New Year, New You 2016

Heres to a  New Year. There is something about the beginning of the year as a time to set new goals for yourself. New Years tends to be a time to declutter your life, try to eat healthier, and better manage your finances. Are you one of the  millions of people that set goals for yourself at the beginning of the year? How are you at maintaining them.

Most years I set goals for myself, what I want personally and professionally. I am sure there are years that I didn't really have the forethought to sit down and actually write them out. This year I have some specific goals I would like to accomplish as well as some general life goals.

Before we get to that I would like to share what ABCnews said was the Top 5 Resolutions of 2016
1) Enjoy life to the fullest
2) Live a healthier lifestyle
3) Lose weight
4) Spend more time with friends and family
5) Save more, Spend less

I would have to say that this is pretty much encompasses everything that I would like in life. There are a few I would add, like do more marketing for Marsh Meadow Bison, to get that business off the ground and running. If I can get this business to bring more income I would consider taking time off of work to stay home with the kids. I don't know many people that would not want to live life to the fullest. Who is just happy sitting around in your normal daily routine.

My family and I already lead a pretty healthy lifestyle. This things that aren't healthy; cakes, cookies, ice cream. I am not willing to give up. Moderation is key with these treats. Sure, I do love my treats and so do my kids. They constantly ask for cookies for breakfast and I wouldn't mind some for myself, but that doesn't mean we have cookies for breakfast. Unless of course it is Christmas.

Losing weight is on my list as well. I gained more than I would care to admit when pregnant with my third baby. She is now 10 weeks old and cute as a button, but I am sick of wearing maternity pants to work because my other pants don't fit yet. I have lost 16 pounds since her birth and would like to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight by 6 months post partum. One major way I plan on doing this is running. I have challenged myself to run 2,016 miles in 2016. I have joined the Run the Year 2016 challenge to keep me accountable.

2,016 miles is quite the feat. It is an average of 5.5 miles a day, or 38.76 miles a week, or 168 miles a month. We are only 8 days into the year and I have 31.1 miles logged so far. I am a little behind with a few days of short runs and one rest day. I do plan on having longer runs on the weekend to make up for shorter weekday runs. Since I am planning on logging the miles I may find a marathon to train for this year. 

I must say that I am pretty excited about the shoes I get to buy. I love running shoes. I typically stay with a certain type. Because they work for me and I haven't had any issues, but this might be the time to try out something new. 

The next goal to spend more time with friends and family is an important one for me. Since starting my family, my children have really become my priority. Which I believe they should be, however I have neglected some of my girlfriends that either live further away or don't have kids. My goal this year is to make more of an effort to get together with them, and bonus if I can do it without kids around. That is not always possible because of Wally's schedule.

Save more, Spend Less!! - Budget - I still have a couple of student loans that I would like to pay off quickly. Luckily this year we really got our spending more under control and paid off credit cards. Since we are now paying for child care for 3 kids, I need to do more budgeting to make sure that we stay in an comfortable place financially. I read somewhere once that if things are tight in your budget you need to either spend less or make more money. Do you get a second job? sell some stuff? work over time if that is available to you? These are all things that have been coming across my mind, I would love to make a little more money - as most people would. But my goal is to pay off those student loans, then start to pay down the mortgage.

Do you make Goals or Resolutions for the New Year?
What are they?
Do you make a budget? How do you do it?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

DIY Ruler Growth Chart

Hey Y'all -
How is this week going. My allergies are going bonkers. Stuffy and runny nose that is worse at night and first thing in the morning. This happens every year at the change of seasons. I have to keep telling myself that I like this time of year. It is cooling down but still warm enough outside that you enjoy being outside without having 4 layers on underneath your coat.

My latest project was a DIY Ruler Growth Chart - thank you Back to Her Roots via Pinterest.

 What you need:
1 - 8 inch x 6 ft pine board
sand paper - fine grit (~220)
small container of Minwax wood stain and/or polyurethane
black acrylic paint

1. I started with gently standing the board down my hand and smooth all the edges. The board I got at Home Depot. I looked at a few pieces to choose one that I liked how the grain and knots were. Also be sure the check out the edges of the board.
2. 2 coats of wood stain on all sides. Follow directions on the can.
3. 1 coat of polyurethane and allow to dry.

I was able to do all 3 of these steps in one day. I let it dry for 24 hrs before adding my ruler lines.

4. Marked out every 1 inch on the board. 1 inch marks for the 1/8 inch marks, 2 inch marks for the 1/4 inch marks.
- I marked the board in pencil first then went back with the paintbrush.
- looking back I shoulder have used a straight edge for the painting aspect. 

5. I then printed numbers 1-6 in a font that I liked. Traced the outline with pencil to make a depression into the wood. Using that depression, I painted the numbers.

6. I Then did 2 more coats of polyurethane after the acrylic had dried.

To hand this beauty, I bought picture hangers from Joann's that was simple to hammer right onto the board. I just did my best to make sure it was center to hang evenly.

Finished Product hung on the wall. I hung it 6 inches of the ground because the "ruler" starts at 6 inches. The lines are pretty close to accurate but not perfect. If I was selling this I wouldn't sell this one, but I like the way it turned out so I'll keep it up. I wrote in the actual measurement when I measured the kids along with the date.

Hope this inspires you to get crafty.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Apples Galore!!

 Happy Almost Fall!!

Well in the Northeast, Fall is pretty much equivalent to apples, pumpkins, and hay bales. We recently were able to go apple picking at a friends house who has a great abundance of apples and was not stingy with sharing with us. So now that you go apple picking and get a little carried away and fill a reusable shopping bag full what are you going to do with them. Thats when I started going through pinterest for ideas. I mean you can only eat so many apples right...

So here is what we came up with...

1) Apple Butter in the crockpot (x2 batches)
2) Apple Sauce
3) Apple pies
4) Apple pie filling - canned
5) Apple fritter bread (x2)

Now don't go thinking that I am some sore of super woman in the kitchen. This was over the course of a few weeks. The apple butter was made from a different batch of apples.

Apple Butter in the Crockpot -
Recipe adapted from Simply Canning
  • Fill crockpot full with apples sliced and cored - I did not peel them.
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
I sliced and cored apples by hand because the apples were drops and not the greatest looking and cut out the bad parts. It did not affect the fast. I let the crockpot sit on high overnight. Then used the immersion blender to get a good consistency and break up the peels. I have a kitchen aid one that I use all the time.

After blending, I wanted it thicker so let it sit on low for another 10-12 hours when went to work.
It will be a nice brown color. You can let it cook and thicken to your liking. Next, just fill your jars with a 1/4 inch of space from the top, wipe the rims, place the lids, and water bath can for 5 minutes.

For canning I place my jars and rims in the dishwasher and run a sanitize cycle. Put the lids in a small sauce pan with water to let those heat up. Then follow these instructions.

I made 2 batches of this it was So easy. I have a half full jar that I didn't can in the fridge for immediate use. Which is excellent on fresh bread.

Apple Sauce -
I did this stove top because I knew that it wouldn't take long. Again, I peeled and cored apples by hand because they had some bad spots, but it didn't take too long to fill my big 8 quart "spaghetti" pot from All Clad.

I added 1-2 cups of homemade apple cider that we had made and canned last year. Side note - I need to use that up, so if you have any ideas please let me know.

 Heat it up - medium heat and stir. The apples break down pretty nicely on their own, just stir so it doesn't burn on the bottom. Sterilize canning jars, fill, and water bath can as you did above but for 20 minutes. I am never sure how long to water bath can so I am usually looking how to see what is recommended. If you are not sure then I would advise you to do that as well. You don't want to do the hard work of making and canning all of this for it not to seal properly.

Apple Pies - I made 3!!

 I cooked one to eat now and it was delicious. I don't use some secret recipe either. Just the one in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. The recipes are tried and true. I use this book for most of my breads as well; zucchini, banana,....

I knew that I had a lot of apples and we are hosting Thanksgiving at our house, so I like to pre-make my pies. I used pillsbury pre made crust to make it easier on me. Then we got to peeling and slicing.

This Apple Peeler is one of the greatest inventions. It is so easy to use even my 3 year old can do it. If you don't have one I would highly recommend it. It also makes eating the apples fun, she calls it a slinky.

We filled this bowl fairly quickly using our fun gadget. Then followed the recipe for the pies. I froze 2 of the pies, unbaked. When it is time to eat them, I just thaw them and bake as I normally would. It really can't get any easier than that. I have been trying to do a lot of prep work, and pre making meals for when I have this baby (due Oct. 20th)

Canned Apple Pie Filling -
I do love apple pie but I didn't want to fill my freezer with pies. I found this recipe for canned apple pie filling. Best of all you can use it for anything. Adding to oatmeal, on top of pancakes or waffles, or just on top of ice cream. This was also fairly easy to make.

Disclaimer; there is some controversy whether you can can cornstarch or need to use Ultra Gel as the thickener. I decided to just use cornstarch and take my chances. I looked for the Ultra Gel and couldn't find it and didn't want to postpone my plans of making this on Sunday.

I filled my jars about 3/4 full with apple slices. Made my syrup (below), filled the jars with syrup to cover the apples, then added more apples to fill the jar. Some needed a little more syrup on top. I filled 6 quart size jars.

 I had a little extra syrup left over and dipped some apples, it was tasty. Can't wait to break one of the babies open. The blog states that you should be able to fill a pie or 9x9 pan (for apple crisp) with 1 quart size jar.

The last thing that I did with these apples was also the first thing - Apple Fritter Bread - thank you Pinterest. I have seen this on pinterest and couldn't wait to try it out. It did not disappoint.

I don't know where it originated from but I used The Baking Chocola Tess Recipe. No need to change a thing. The kids and I ate the first bread I made in less than 24 hours. I made another one this past Sunday.

Happy first day of Fall!! 

~ Katie

Monday, September 21, 2015

Summer catch up!

Hey guys,

Well it has been an incredibly busy summer. I am sure that everyone has enjoyed the warmth and sunshine that we have had lately. We have spent lots of time at the park and working on outdoor projects. The kids have figured out how to work water guns.

In the background you can see the bison fence. That was quite the project here. It is finally done and the bison should be showing up sometime in the next month or so.
Just like any little boy - Walter loves his trucks. He will push this up and down the hill for an hour. Put things in it and dump it out. 

This is a great picture of all the cousins. They range from 7 years old to 1 year old. This is at Granny's house. It is quite the chore to get all of them to sit still to take the picture, never mind trying to get them all to smile. Yay for popsicles.

As a child I used to love going to the beach and playing in the water. I am still searching for places to bring the kids that is close by. I could drive to Hampton beach, but that it about an hour away, and I just can't guarantee that the kids will want to play for long enough to justify sticking them in the car for that long. So this is a near by place on the river with a little sandy strip. They seemed to really enjoy playing with the sand.

Well we hope that you all had a great summer. We sure have. We have lots more to share soon. Be on the look out for my apple post, I was given lots of apples and have been busy in the kitchen.

~ Katie

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sick Kids on a Monday

My oldest was up at 2:30 am throwing up. I am thankful that she has been through this fairly recently and remembered to throw up in the garbage can, at least once she got into my room. She had decided to sleep in her castle last night, so it was fairly easy clean up of her pillow and blanket. She crawled in bed with me, which would not have happened if Wally was around (he is away for work). She threw up 4 or 5 more times until 6 o'clock.

Once Walter woke up, he looked like he had spit up on his pj's so I decided to give him juice instead of milk first thing. Good thing I did, not long after he was throwing up in my bed. It's harder with him, he just doesn't get what is going on. Thankfully I had towels in the bed from overnight with Faelyn and that caught most of the mess. We had a quiet morning of hanging out in Mommy and Daddy's bed and watching cartoons.

Neither of them ate very much, but they did eat and we held off on all dairy. Which I have learned is key when there is vomitting involved. 

Once they were feeling a little better we played outside for a little while and ate lunch. 

She is starting to refuse to nap, however she fell asleep while watching Princess and the Frog. 

After dinner we decided to work on our Father's Day project. Better late than never right. I decided to have the kids make a stepping stone. We have one area that is shady and won't be a great place for flowers and I like the idea of having this keepsake. This is probably more for me than for Daddy.
This kids had a great time doing it and needed a little help to make sure MOST of the stones are right side up. Walter also refused to put his hand in so there is only one.

On Sunday, my sister, mom, and I ran the RibFest 5 miler. It was RAINY, but warm, so it wasn't too bad to run in. It was not our best time, however we were just out there to have fun. My mom, however was only 40 seconds behind us. Man her speed sure has picked up. She recently has taken up cycling after doing the 5 bough bike tour of NYC. Which is also a fun event, not competitive at all. She has completed a duathalon and signed up for her first tri. I am so proud of her, at 61 years old she is still running marathons and now doing triathlons. 

On saturday, we took a trip to the dump, the recycling was overflowing in the garage. Typically Wally makes the dump runs however since he gone for the next few weeks I NEEDED to go. At the dump we have a "Treasure Shack" where people bring things that are still good to use. I found this lovely item, for my little boy that loves tractors it was a win. and FREE. This drives my husband crazy that I do this, but I love it, and also return the favor.

So there was my last few days in a glance, a little backwards but thats ok.

I also had to do some meal planning - just for my sanity as a single mom this week. However things are always subject to change.

Monday: Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas

Tuesday: Eggplant Parm

Wednesday: Curry Chickpeas with Rice (from Pioneer Woman)

Thursday: Mac and Cheese (may also use the Pioneer Woman recipe)

Friday: Leftovers

Question of the Day:

What is on your menu this week?

Do you every pick things up at the dump or off the side of the road?