Saturday, June 25, 2011

painted ladies

for Easter, we got K a butterfly garden kit (fabulous deal on!). we sent away for some painted lady caterpillars, and when they arrived, they ate and ate...and spun themselves into these beautiful chrysalis' with threads of gold...

after about a week, we woke up one morning to find 4 butterflies fluttering about in the butterfly garden. :) after a bit of time, the fifth butterfly hatched...

upon hatching, you must provide them with a food source. we gave them freshly cut oranges and sugar water on wadded up tissues (simulating a flower)...

here is K watchin' her butterflies :)

after observing them for a few days (i think we kept ours for a week - a little too long - you'll see why soon)...we let them go... we waited for a pretty day (it had been raining a lot)...

i put one of the butterflies on K's hand :) it was really neat... :) katherine stood still and watched the butterfly just sit there for a little bit....

the butterfly stayed there for a few minutes and then flew away...

the butterflies laid hundreds and hundreds of little turquoise eggs in our butterfly habitat (which is why i'm thinking we kept them too long...musta been some butterfly hanky panky going on! :)). we got to see them hatch into these wee little caterpillars that were about the size of a half of an eyelash... so incredibly tiny. and absolutely amazing!

we watched them eat some leaves for a few days and then placed them in the grassy/leafy areas of our yard in hopes that they would complete the life cycle again and again...

we'll be looking for our friendly butterflies all summer... :)

(mental note: it's good to proof read your post before it posts... nothing like writing about BUTTflies....)

Friday, June 24, 2011

singin' sister :)

in the mornings, hannah is usually up before katherine. when we see big sister stir, we usually go in together and greet her. :) before i get k out of the crib, i always lay hannah down next to her for morning greetings :) katherine always wants to give hannah a hug and a kiss... it's very sweet...and something that i will always cherish about them as sisters...

on some mornings, katherine serenades hannah :) this was taken in early april... :) katherine has perfected the song a bit these days...but it's still super, super sweet :) and i love how hannah, even at only 2ish months here, pays attention to k singing to her :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

sloppy joes

i will tell you that i'm not a huge fan of sloppy joes...only because they give me terrible heartburn...but every once in awhile, i really want something like sloppy joes...savory...fall all over your plate goodness... :)
if you are anything like me, when i was growing up, my sweet mom took out that can of Manwich, cracked 'er open, and poured 'er into the skillet with the already browned meat... and piled on a good roll, i enjoyed my meal... :)
since i discovered blogging, i also discovered The Pioneer Woman... she's hilarious...i love to read her stories...but she's also an amazing food artist... her meals that i have made are, without a doubt, super yummy... and they are my "go back tos" on many a week... :)

one of my most favorite of her recipes that i've tried thus far is Sloppy Joes... the prep time takes me a bit of time (the recipe says 10's lying)... i'm not at all fast with my knife... but the rewards...oh worth the time and effort... :) and, seriously, i think the "cherry on top" of this recipe is the toasted roll with butter... amazingly fabulous...
and this recipe makes a lot for we always have leftovers... :) and those leftovers are YUMMY, too... :)

get your skillet're gonna want to make this! :)


  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2-½ pounds Ground Beef
  • ½ whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 whole Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-½ cup Ketchup
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder (more To Taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • ½ teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes (more To Taste)
  • Worcestershire Sauce To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (optional)
  • Tabasco Sauce (optional; To Taste)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Kaiser Rolls
  • Butter

Preparation Instructions

Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.

Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft.

Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Spread rolls with butter and brown on a griddle or skillet. Spoon meat mixture over the rolls, topping with a slice of cheese if it makes your skirt fly up.

(see, that's how her recipes worthy but FUNNY, too...aren't you laughing? :))

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

summer hopes 2011

go to the children's museum swim paint on the sidewalk pick flowers go to illinois to visit great grandma visit both sets of grandparents go to the library move K to a big girl bed potty train K go to the zoo go to the baltimore aquarium catch lightning bugs make peach jam declutter play in the sprinkler go to a yankees game explore nature play at the park play with friends go on a picnic

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

{the best} banana bread {i've ever had}

we have weeks here where i put 3 or 4 overripe bananas in the fridge for the purpose of banana bread... i don't like to waste the bananas, especially since they make great bread that is eaten for breakfast, lunch, and snacks... yes, we eat banana bread a lot here...well, actually, banana muffins... or, banana mussins, as K calls them :) (i love when she asks for a bananan mussin) :)
i have 4 or so recipes that i've used... some claiming to be fabulous without much sugar (not bad, but not the best)...and some that come from old cookbooks... but, i came across this recipe on the blog of a sister of a girl that Ry used to teach with (haha, follow that? :))... the sisters come from a big family, and, without a doubt, this is the best banana bread i've probably ever had...
YUMMY... :)
here ya go... :)

1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 1/2 cups of flour
4 T. sour cream
3-4 bananas

soften the butter, cream it together with the sugar. add the egg to the mixture and stir well. add the flour, baking soda, and salt to the butter, sugar, and egg mixture and combine well. mash up your banans and add to the flour/butter batter. once your batter is nice and moist, add the bananas and mix well. the final step is to put the dollops of sour cream (tablespoons) onto the top of your bread mix. stir the sour cream into the batter...
pour into a greased loaf pan or prepared muffin tins.
i added some chocolate chips to the batter, as well... fabulous...
and i used 4 very, very ripe bananas
bake at 375 to 400* for 20-30 minutes (for muffins) or 1 hour for bread.
i made 14 or 15 muffins with this recipe...

let them cool and ENJOY! :)

"meals for" changes

Ry's almost finished with school... a half day with kids on Tueday, 2 work days, and then he bids farewell to the 2010-2011 school year... :)
and since summer is so different than the "normalcy" of a school year, i'm going to do something a little different. instead of posting weekly meal plans, i'm going to post a recipe in the meal plan's place...
i'm always, always looking for new recipes...ya know, foods that will be enjoyed here... :) i keep 2 notebooks...a spiral notebook that i write recipes in that i come across while reading on the internet (blogs), magazines, etc. i also have a 3-ring binder fitted with those annoying sticky photo pages that i use to keep recipes safe and sound... the binder is kind of like the "keeper" - if you make it in the binder, you're good... :) hehe :)
and, if you come here for meal inspiration, then maybe you can try your hand at the new recipes... :)

stay tuned for my first summer recipe... :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

extraordinary moms

sometimes, i find that i'm kind of like a sponge, soaking up as much knowledge and experience as i can by watching others, especially other moms...
and i find the stories of others very interesting, sometimes inspiring, and i try to learn as much as i can...
i caught a pretty neat special on OWN a few weeks ago, just before Mother's Day, and i DVRd it for future watching... it was called "Extraordinary Moms."

Julia Roberts narrated "Extraordinary Moms" and the show devoted time to many different moms... it highlighted women like Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rosie O'Donnell and ABC's Christiane Amanpour. It also talked about amazing mothers who have done some great things - like running ultra-marathons to raise money for research for a genetic illness her son has...and a mom who started a music program...and a mom who has a horse camp in the middle of a gang-riddled neighborhood. basically, it talked a lot about how to raise children, how to balance a job and your family, and an overriding theme of making the world a better place for our children.

and, without getting into a political "discussion" on a blog, i don't agree with some of what these extraordinary moms do or believe... but, when the curtain falls, the fact is that these women have done things to change lives...and that's powerful...
Hillary doesn't give me the warm fuzzies, in general. however, i do have respect for her because i think she's an incredibly intelligent woman...and i think she is pretty strong to survive being a first lady with the smut that was pulled up about her husband and their relationship. Hillary has experienced so much...and for all of this, i have to listen to her; she's wise and i can stand to learn as much as i can! i try to listen to people, regardless of my feelings, and "net" any piece of advice i can catch...

so, during the TV special, Julia Roberts was interviewing Hillary Clinton... Julia mentions how amazing and special it is to represent the U.S. in such a time, etc. and Hillary says, "I will do the very best I can...I think this is a great country and there are so many wonderful people in it. For this period of time, I get to have this position, which in think is such a blessing. We could be Secretaries of State or a very successful movie stars, but at the end of the day, what matters is your kids. And I think that's it..."

amen, Hillary...amen...