Monday, March 28, 2011

Meal Plan Monday 3/28/11

Meal Plan for the week of 3/28/11
*This week is a little crazy as Momma and the kids are off schedule due to spring break and we have two days of birthday parties to plan for.*

eggs and toast
french toast

PB&J w/chips & cut veggies
Fish sticks w/apple slices & jello
Bologna sandwiches w/chips & oranges
one lunch at McD's

Chicken Noodle Soup w/crackers
Ramen Noodles w/jello & cut veggies
Pizza and breadsticks
Lasgana w/garlic bread, salad, broccoli
Hamburgers w/baked potatos
Tuna Casserole w/salad, french bread

fruit snacks
cut apples and orange slices
crackers and cheese
veggies and dip

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Growing your own Dishcloths - Luffa Gourds

Did you know you can grow your own dishcloths and luffa sponges?
How cool is this??

There are seven species of the plant luffa cucurbitaceae.  These plants can be planted after all danger of frost has passed.  They like a trellis to grow on.  Fruit can be harvested about 100 days if used for eating, wait another 30 or so days if you plan on harvesting to make a luffa or dishcloth.  

To dry into a dishcloth, pick when the fruit is yellowing.  Remove the skin and seeds.  Shake out.  Soak overnight in water.  Remove from water and sit in sun to dry. 

You can use this sponge for bathing, washing dishes, cleaning clothes, etc.

Here are a couple links to more on this topic:
Groovy Green - How to Make (and grow) A Luffa!
Groovy Green - More on How to Grow a Luffa

How awesome!  Guess what I'm adding to my seed order to grow this summer?

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lavender Pound Cake

A recipe-share inspired by one of the message boards I frequent.  I found this recipe years ago and can't even remember where it came from.  I filed it away in my "someday when I own a tea shop" file and pull it out when I want something sweet, tasty, and aromatic.

Lavender Pound Cake

2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 C sugar
1 Tbls dried lavender flowers
1 C butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 C sour cream
1/4 C milk


1/4 C water
1 Tbls dried lavender flowers
3/4 C confectioner's sugar

1. Heat oven to 350.  Grease and flour two loaf pans.
2. Pulse 1/2 C sugar with the dried lavender flowers until all the flowers are chopped up.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  
4. Combine sour cream and milk, wisk together until smooth.
5. Beat butter, white sugar, lavender sugar and vanilla together until fluffy.
6. Beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg fully combined before adding the next.
7. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture in about three steps, beginning and ending with the flour.
8. Pour into loaf pans.  Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
9. Let cool in pan about 10 minutes.  Then remove from pan and completely cool on racks.

While the loaves are cooling, make the drizzle.

10. Heat the water in microwave for about 45 seconds.
11. Add lavender flowers and let sit for 10-12 minutes.  Strain out.
12. Wisk together lavender water and confectioner's sugar to make a glaze.
13. Drizzle over cooled pound cake loaves.
14. Slice and enjoy!
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Getting back to my running/walking groove

I'm starting to get back into the running/walking groove.  Of course, just as this happens, we have a late March snowstorm and I can't get outside again!

Last weekend, I managed to put in 3.34 miles on Saturday, 1.25 miles on Sunday and 1.23 miles on Monday.  Mostly did half walk/half run for these.  Not great times, but not too shabby either.

I also discovered a walking/running path around my yard.  If I do the perimeter of the two acres, it is just about 0.25 miles.  If I shorten it, I can get a 0.10 mile path around my drive/the barns/front yard/sidewalk area.  So now I have some options for when Mr. CrazyLife is working late at the farm or his parents house and I can't get out on the road.  I can walk the yard while the kids play outside.  It's not as fun doing that, but at least I get some millage in.

I'm also researching some races to sign up for in the upcoming months - give me something to work towards.  Plus, I really enjoyed the race in February and would like to continue with them.  So here's a possible list:

  • Dow RunWalk - June 4th - 5k
  • Cheesetown Races - June 18th -5 mile -  in the town where I work, probably won't get to this one as it's the same day as dance recitals and it looks like it's in the evening, which totally rules it out. - bummer
  • Volkslaufe Races - July 3rd - 5K/10K/20K - if we don't go up north this one will work out
  • Higgins Lake Sunrise Run - 1/2 Marathon - June 18th - again on dance recital day, so definitely out - bummer
Still looking . . . . 
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Post-Race Funk

Since I came back from the half marathon, I've been in sort of a post-race funk.  I don't want to go outside and walk or run.  I don't want to go to work.  I don't want to workout.  I just want to sit down and read a book and play with my kids.  I just can't quite get into the swing of things again!

I'm feeling a bit like this little guy:

I've got to get out of this funk. 

My house really needs a good once over.  Especially since I had three sick kids this past week.  I've done more laundry this week alone than I did all of last month!!  Ick.  Ick. Ick.  And while I got a good start on spring cleaning last weekend, well it was put on hold with the sick kids.  Need to get back on top of that.

I really need to get out and walk more.  The snow and ice just really deters me.  I'm so ready for spring. 

My garden is covered in huge piles of snow.  I keep dreaming of going out there and digging in the dirt and planting seeds and growing good food.  But then I wake up and there's all the snow.

I'm tired, too.  My left side has been numb for the past week and a half.  It's still functional, but numb.  I keep dropping things.  I can't move fast.  I'm exhausted.  And I keep forgetting where I put things and what I want to say.  I drop words.

The kids are driving me crazy.  Thing #2 has hit my limit of what I can handle alone.  His behavior is WAY out of control and I don't know what to do to help him.  He doesn't do it at home, just at school. 

We're running tight financially this month with lots of things coming due and a lot of extras coming up.  Dance costumes, extra mortgage payment, things for the cows, extra wood for building projects, bathroom projects, three school fundraisers, etc.  Too many things due at one time.

Feeling a bit unconnected with the world.  I just want to stay in my own house and do my own thing and not deal with anyone or anything outside it.



That's my name.

Okay . . . pity party over.  I've got to get up and make some sunshine happen!!!

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Princess Half Marathon Weekend Part Four

After the race, we headed back to the resort and crashed!  I slept for three-ish hours!  Guess I was tired!!!

Then we headed out dinner, where we dined with some friends of Meredith's and met up with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Step-Mother and the Step-Sisters.  And of course we took pictures!!

Then we headed back to Epcot to catch the Fantasmic show.  That was awesome!!!

Monday was my last day in Floriday.  We headed out to the Magic Kingdom for brunch in the castle and some last minute Disney magic.

I had to leave the resort around 4:30 to get back to the airport.  We went back, I packed up and headed out . . . only to find that all the flights going my way were either delayed or cancelled!!!  Tornados and thunderstorms in Atlanta set me back quite a bit.

However, only about four hours late, I pulled into my driveway and crashed into bed.

It was a truly magical experience and weekend and one I hope to do again!

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Princess Half Marathon Weekend Part Three

Finally, it was the morning of the race!  Our alarm went off at 2:30, but I think we were both awake before that...brimming with anticipation!

Once we arrived at the staging area, there were flags, lights, a DJ and a red carpet to welcome us to the race.

Because of the number of racers registered for the race, we were started in heats.  I was in the last corral.  =)  Meredith came back and joined me there.  We pushed as far forward in the corral as we could and ended up just behind the rope.  At the start of each corral, the Fairy Godmother gave a magic spell and fireworks went off signalling the start!

The race went pretty well.  It was kind of exciting there and actually be doing it!  I also thought it was funny to hear all the timers going off for the people following Jeff Galloway's walk/run plan.  It was funnier to see those same people ignoring the timerd continuing to walk! 

We did great, if I do say so myself.  Our final time was 3:32:39.  We did walk most of the way.  We ran the very beginning, most of the downhill parts and somewhere between mile 4 and 5 when we stopped to use the restroom and fell behind the pacers - couldn't let that happen!  But whoever put all the ramps and hills on the last 3 miles should be shot!  Yikes!!

It was pretty exciting to walk/run through the castle and see the trumpeters and all the Disney visitors cheering you on!!  And at every mile or half mile or so there were characters and music set up.  All the mile markers looked like storybooks.  The entertainment really kept you going.

Some highlights:

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Princess Half Marathon Weekend Part Two

The second day I was in Florida, Meredith got up early and headed out to do the Royal Family 5K.  I skipped that one!  =) 

When she came back, we headed out for an Epcot day!!!

We enjoyed the beautiful topiaries.

We visited with some Fairies, who promised to send the sewing fairies up to Michigan to fix the "hole" in my "mitten" so no more snow fell in and to send the Flower Fairies up to plant some purple flowers, too!

We had lunch in "France" and dinner in "China" and thoughly enjoyed the day.  Headed back to the resort for an early night since we had to be up so early the next day for the race!!!

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The Princess Half Marathon - in review

It seems that since I returned home from Florida and the Princess Half, I've been in a kind of post-race, post-vacation funk.  I really haven't done anything more than what I needed to do to get by.  So no blogging, no emails, no internet of any kind.  Just laundry, housework, schoolwork and family.

But I want to share what a wonderful time I had down south.  And I want to share the accomplishment of finishing the Half Marathon. 

And to be honest, I want to re-live the moments through pictures!  =)
Because, really, who WOULDN"T want to re-live this?

So here is a quick photo re-cap of the weekend (all my own photos with a couple stolen from my dear friend, Meredith who I ran the race with!)

I left Michigan Thursday evening with little trouble.  I got to fly to Atlanta with the Michigan State baseball team, which isn't as exciting as one may think.  =)  I finally arrived in Orlando around 11:30 and took the Magical Express to the resort.  Meredith was awake waiting for me.  We chatted for a bit before falling asleep and sleeping very soundly!

Friday morning we started the day at the Fit for a Princess Expo at the ESPEN sports complex.  What a show!!  We were greeted at the door by two handsome coachmen and walked in to find a hall full of vendors selling way too many things I just *had* to have!  Thankfully, I walked out of there with just my race pack, a new SPIbelt and a headband.  Oh, and a 13.1 magnet for my car!

The glass running slipper was definitly a highlight of the Expo.

The rest of that first day was spent at Hollywood Studios where we had all kinds of fun!

Then we head over to the Magic Kingdom for some evening entertainment.

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