Monday, November 30, 2015

Last week recap

  I only scheduled 3 meals for last week and they were all a success.  They were all made, appreciated and with an exception of changing one dish to something else I stayed on course.

  I need to keep reading my books.  That is not going so well.  But there's always hope.

I had some more appointments last week and have a surgery scheduled for next week and finally know what is wrong with my foot.  After an MRI this week and having pains since August apparently I have a stress fracture or at least now I do.  Lol, at this point I will be amazed to be out of the boot by next year.

Meals from the week included:

Cornbread chili!

Broccoli, rice with chicken casserole!

Tuna patties with cauliflower mash and carrots!

I happily announce I met some number goals for the month of November and even though I actually didn't post my November goals I will get right on that to post my December goals!

Date 29

  Let's not beat around the bush.  I will miss the dating prompts.  I have surprised myself with a few.  Not because they were outside the box or even who they were with but the fact that it is about what you make it.  With a little extra work, some time set aside; a date can happen at anytime, anywhere and of course with anyone.

  I like the fact that there doesn't have to be stress.  It helps to label the occurrence  a "date" rather than just a dinner.  It makes it more special but, you don't have to prepare for it weeks ahead or stop the flow of everyday life.  You can do what works for you and make it special time anywhere.

  Today's date is another day for you!  No running away today. Today you are staying home and finding time!  Today stay up later or get up earlier to find yourself some valuable quiet time.  I do set my clock earlier than my kids and although it hurts in the morning staying up later is nice when its undisturbed too.

  Today read a book, finish magazine, paint your nails, style your hair.  Take some time for you!  You could take this date if nothing else and practice it everyday but then it's almost not a date.  If it becomes habit then it's a chore or routine.  So for this one the point is to make it extra special for yourself!  Whatever it is that you never find time for; find time for it and do it.  You always manage to squeeze in a load of laundry so now your just squeezing in time for you. 6:00 Tuesday morning you have a date with ________ doing __________.

Have fun everyone!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Meal plan 11/30-12/4

  As I made my meal plan for the week I came to several realizations.   I have leftovers from last week so I will not be able to start the week off with new recipes until the old food (it's not even Turkey Day leftovers) is consumed. Bummer.  Second it really doesn't matter what day I make the meals so I will skip noting the day and just share the recipes!

  As always I will post 4 - 5 meals a week.  Offering variety and new recipes.  This week is a meatless, vegetarian week! Of course after I get the leftovers out the way.

Baked Spinach and Ricotta Rotolo:

Spaghetti and Bean meatballs:

Zucchini Burgers:

Pasta with White Beans and Kale:

Spinach Tortellini Tomato Soup:

Happy eating everyone!

Date 28

  Well this challenge of a month of dating ends tomorrow.  So for the last two days I have decided to make it about you.  One single person dating theirself.  I'm not forcing you to the movies or even to eat alone.  That is a huge hurdle for some.  I personally have gone our by myself but it's not my first go to activity.  I have even gone to the movies by myself atleast once.  I was even going to actually go again last week but didn't quite make it.  So probably this week coming up.  Sometimes you want to do something and noone else does so why not just go by yourself?

  Today is all about you!  Go away for a couple hours but, no grocery shopping, or errands, or anything related to the house!  Take a ride or maybe a walk and enjoy yourself.  Take a few deep breathes of air and reflect on who you are.  Take the day to enjoy something for you.  Go where you want to go.  Can you get away during nap time?  Can you go away before bedtime.  Squeeze in a few hours.  Take a walk, go to the mall and walk around.  No stress for two hours.  To me that is a nice date. The peace and quiet of few moments.

  Enjoy your day and have fun.  I am going to write and save this date as it would be nice to make time for myself.  I never do and maybe one day a month for just me would be nice.  I'm going to pencil a date with myself every month.  Movie, dinner, eyebrows waxed, lol the sky is the limit!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Date 27

 Today is the last day for dating your kids and there's only two days left of date ideas. I hope this month has offered you some creative new ideas for dating. Today's finally date idea with your kids is to have fun. I guess that's the goal of all dates is to have fun. What else is there?

  So today's date is to play games! You can play one on one, rotating amongst your kids children if you have more than one or play with all your children. A marathon of games. How about setting up games in a few rooms so you change rooms and games after 30 minutes. Set up your game system and play that too. Why pin yourself to just boardgames? You could even set up stations outside if you liked. A game of tag or catch. Regardless of what you choose.

  Have fun and play games with your child. Dating is not a chore; there are many options to have a good date besides dinner and a movie.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Traveling Wine

 Nothing beats taking your trusted brand, your favorite brand of wine on the road with you.  You have sampled a variety of flavors over the years and have finally settled on your go to bottle.  The only problem is not everyone is open to glass bottles.  Don't you wish there was a plastic bottle you could travel with?

  Pools, parks, concerts, ballgames and other outside events like fireworks and picnics restrict glass bottles.  I for one am not pouring my favorite wine into a water bottle to celebrate a monumental occasion. What's a person to do with a bottle of wine?

  Traveling wine bottles.  Plastic bottles that I can pour my glass bottles in and take anywhere? A foldable wine bottle is a great portable way for me to transfer my red or white wine to any event.

  Unscrew cap, fill bottle, secure cap and go!
Now sharing my wine or traveling with it just got easier!

  I tested this product and was pleased with the ease of it.  The top stays secure, the bag is the equivalent weight or slightly less than a bottle, makes transporting wine easy, fun and manageable.  I was able to fill the whole contents of the plastic bottle with the wine bottle I selected.  The bag is made of a durable plastic and was easy to clean and rinse.  Folds for easy storage and I will use this again.  Recommended for any wine enthusiasts!   I was provided this product free for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Date 26

  Only a few days left.  The end is near.  It's kind of bittersweet, don't you think?  We don't need an excuse to hang out with our kids.  We don't need an excuse for a date.  All we need to do is set time aside for it to happen.  That is the hardest part!

  Let's finish dating out strong! Two more days with the kid(s) and then 2 days after that and this show is over.  Today is a walk. You know like you started out doing the first half of the week.  Today is about a scavenger/treasure hunt! So you need to plan this one out! Go to the area and scope it out.  Where will they start and end? Take a left 3 paces from a green fern.  Will "x" mark the spot?  What is the treasure?  I could have chosen a dress up day but to be gender fair;I skipped that. So today everyone is a pirate!

  Have fun! No one is walking off the plank!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Date 25

  Ok, ok no running around today!  It's actually Thanksgiving here!  So take it easy.  The movie theaters are open here and although I didn't plan my dates out today's date can still happen.

  Yesterday, The Good Dinosaur came out and we will be going to check that out!  I'm excited as after 3 girls I can appreciate a boy movie where there isn't a princess!  I may be all princesses out!

  Have a great day and even if you don't get out to the movies may be you can get a Redbox movie. Pop some popcorn, let the child or children pick out a movie and get ready to enjoy their world!

  Have a great time! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Another Saturday got us out the house to
have fun and hang out thanks to +Lowe's .  One Saturday a month (sometimes twice) they offer kids workshops.  Preregistration is required in advance of the date and bring the waiver with you.  Arrive on time as if there are individuals waiting they may get your project if your more than 15 minutes late.

The projects are easy for the most part.  To be honest with you I have had some trouble with a few kits.

When you arrive you give the associate your waiver and she provides you with the building kit and a hammer.

  Open the kit match your pieces and get busy!  There are step by step directions for the whole process.

Sometimes your project does require stickers to be applied.  This is one area I let my kids struggle with.  Otherwise I do help in nailing straight or accuratly and assembling various parts.

Depending on the project plan to be there 15 minutes or up to 30 or 45 minutes.  This week was an easy one. 

My kids enjoy attending these.  They like the ability to fumble and push on in completing their own projects.  They appreciate the toy as the end result.  

To top the cake is receiving that certificate.  My kids are so happy to hear they did a good job and for her to hand them a certificate and badge for their apron.  Not only did they complete a product they are rewarded.

Look up your local Lowe's to see when registration for their next upcoming workshop is and what the project will be.  Go make memories with your kids! 

Date 24

  I don't know about you but if I gave my kids a choice to go somewhere this date option would at least make the top 5.  Some of their choices may be out of state to grandma's or Disney  but if they had to choose locally; the zoo would definitely be a top pick.

  I know you just went to the museum yesterday but the zoo is always a winner.  We even printed a scavenger hunt for the zoo a couple times.  I like asking my child what she sees, what an animal says, what she knows about the animals.  There is a lot to talk about at the zoo.

  I know it seems like the dating this week has been nonstop but aren't kids nonstop.  They always like to keep moving, talking, exploring, repeat.  The week of dating your child is almost over.  The month of dates is almost over.  Let's just hang in there and have fun with it.

  Post some pictures of your animals.  I love zoos.  If I could visit a zoo in every state I would.  All zoos are not created equal.  We have red pandas, are about to lose our elephants and have a walk-thru exhibit in the wallaby/kangaroo/emu exhibit.  DC has panda bears.  It would be so near to see all the different creatures.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Date 23

  I hope this week is proving itself fun.  I hope you are enjoying your undivided time with your child.  Sadly, I need an excuse to stop what I am doing to give one on one attention to my kids.  Everyone is always going in so many different directions that it just becomes second nature to entertain or neglect kids.  But to stop and give undivided attention to just one takes effort.  I need an all hands on deck plan in effect to help. Older ones or dad has to step in so that I can hang out with one child over another.

  So today take your child out and provide them with  some  culture or not.  Today your date is to take them to the museum.  This weekend my youngest daughter and I spent some time at the local art museum.  She asked to stay and look around after we dropped her sisters off. I said sure why not.

  We actually spent the whole day out and about and she really liked it.  The art museum at a childs pace (with a boot) does require patience but as long as she enjoyed herself who cares if she doesn't know who made what.  We discussed different types of art.  I asked if she could make me a bowl with her playdough?  I asked if she could paint the face of a person?  If she could make an abstract picture.  Her little wheels were just turning.  I know she is plotting her future art debate.

  You don't need to go to an art museum.  We have a children's museum as well as even the botanic gardens.  So choose a place they would like to explore. A place you can walk at a comfortable pace and learn and communicate about.

  Have fun!  That's all that matters.  I'm sure your child will just love to experience something new.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Voxbox review (comfort box edition)

  As the deadline approaches for reviews, opinions and comments to be completed I wanted to show you what actually came in my comfort Voxbox.

  A voxbox is sent from +Influenster  to individuals in order to obtain different views and ideas from a variety of individuals.   A select number of people are selected to participate with different boxes. People are selected based on a variety of demographics.

  This is my second physical box after just joining this year.  This box just like the previous one offered a variety of items.  I was not disappointed but intrigued with some items I had never tried before and was fortunate to comment on some I have had before.

 This box had a variety of items in it ranging from physical items, coupons to immediately purchase the items or coupons for items to purchase in the future.  One coupon I needed to use immediately to complete tasks was for Ragu.

The rest of the items came in my box and I was able to use or eat them immediately.
 I made this soup for lunch.  I even bought some Annies cheddar crackers to go with this delicious tomato soup.
  This was another product I was not familiar with.  This bag provides snacks for days of delicious chocolate covered bites of almond popcorn.
 Tide brand I have used to wash my clothes but they now offer another alternative.  Dye free and stain release.  Great product if you have sensitive skin.
Fiber Choice! I have heard of fiber and wasn't really familiar with a chewy option.  These gummies are sweet with a hint of citrus flavor and make taking fiber supplements pleasant!

  So those are all the goodies from this box.  My comfort voxbox.  I can't wait till I get my next box and too see what it holds.

Feel free to use my link to grab some samples and voice your opinions too.

  All products were received free from Influenster and provided for my opinions.  All opinions stated were my own.

Date 22

  Good morning!  Another date with your kids today! Are you excited?  Did you have fun yesterday?  I know that my kids act differently when they are separated as well.  I have less problems, I hear less yelling and I ultimately have less stress.  So when I can hang out with just one it is a little fun.  Boy only children have it made.

  Today it is another date outside!  Whether it's raining, snowing or a bright sunshine day.  Kids love to go outside.  Take a trip to the park.  Not the kind with slides and swings.  This time you and little one are going to walk and explore.  Make a scavenger hunt. I have a few pinned on pinterest.  Walk around a lake or just take a short trail through the woods.

  Today's date is just providing you with an option to spend some quiet quality time with each other. I don't mean quiet as in don't talk; I just mean quiet as in focused undivided attention without the squeals going down a slide.  My two younger kids like going for walks at the park a whole lot more than my older two.  They like to see the squirrels running, a turtle in the water, count bridges on our path or just all the fresh air they are getting.

  So there you go! Go on out and have some fresh air fun.  If you have more than one child maybe spend a half hour with each of them.  It's nice to see their personality without the others around.  I like to listen to them as the describe something to me.  It's so much easier to focus on them individually.  I know they like it too.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Meal plan 11/23-11/27

  Well this is the big week of the month!    That makes this weekly meal plan shorter.  Thursday we will eat a feast and Friday we will eat leftover feast!

 Last week  we managed to get a day off but I didn't give up.  I picked up where I missed instead of skipping that day. (So we finally ate the salmon)  That salmon was on the calendar forever it seemed like.

11/23 Monday
Vegetarian chili

11/24 Tuesday
Broccoli, rice and chicken casserole

11/25 Wednesday
Tuna Casserole

11/26 Thursday
The Great Feast

11/27 Friday
Great Feast Leftovers

Holidays in the air

  What type of cookies are planned for you this year?

  I personally don't know quite yet.  I just kind of decided today we are making cookies and dig out recipes!

  Do you always make the same cookies each year?

  I make a few cookies from my childhood like gingerbread, anise cookies and pressed cookies but also try to make a few different and new to us ones!

  Do you me cookies solo or do you cook with your mom, grandma, children or siblings?

  Sometimes I make cookies by myself and let my older kids make some independently!

  Tis the season to get baking!  I would love some new recipes. Easy or slightly complex.  I get Betty Crocker's 25 days of cookies sent to my email but I don't think I can handle having that many cookies around in my house.

  I would love to hear your cookie stories feel free to post pictures or recipes!

Date 21

  A new week! The month is almost over and that means so is all this dating.  This week we are turning the tables again on the conventional dating.  You dated your spouse, you dated your friend and now this week is your children.  I will even go as far as saying if you have a fur baby go ahead and date your dog.  I only say this because some people call their pets their babies.  I have a dog but he is not my baby.  I have too many babies to include him, lol he's just my dog.  So get creative you furmommas and show your animals some love too!

    Now that we have that established.  Today your date will take place at the good old playground.  Pick the best one in your town, the only one in your town or your kids might even have a favorite one.  Phones are only allowed if you take pictures with it.  Give them your undivided attention.  You are on a date with them. But you are going to take the lead this week.

  You can choose to tell them your dating or not tell them and just tell them they are getting a little more special time to spend with you.  My kids love one on one time.  Sometimes they are even satisfied with just them and 1 other child.  (4 kids is a lot sometimes)

  So today push your child on the swing, kiss them at the bottom of the slide. Chase after them on the playground.  Any interaction will be greatly appreciated!  Have fun with your kids today and meet me back here tomorrow for another date!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Weekly Re-cap

  Let's wrap this week up!

  It has been a crazy hectic week.  I had to get another mammogram and that was followed up with an ultrasound.  I'm lucky to have gone in before I turned 40 because now I have their undivided attention sooner rather than later. To think I could have had all this attention later but just couldn't wait!  Now I'm getting waaay more than I wanted.

  I am however finally getting an MRI done for my foot!!

  This week I hit almost all my target meals.  Monday I went out to eat though and then I decided to pick up the next day with the scheduled meal.  I did skip Friday and we ate leftovers.  So I made 3 meals at home this week.

Tuesday's meal was tacos, rice and beans.  All homemade down to the flour tortillas and I even made fresh guacamole.

 This is the second time I have made the tortillas but my oldest doesn't recall me having ever made them so she was impressed with my hidden talent.  She even jumped in rolled out a couple and cooked them up.  I think she did it for bragging rights.

  The meal I had set up for Wednesday was moved back a day so this should have been Tuesday's but, that's neither here nor there. This meal should have been a crockpot meal but I forgot to make it in the morning.  But it's soup so I just threw everything in a pot and let it do its thing.

 Corn and potato with ham chowder!  It was pretty good. It wasn't very thick but it was filling.  Next time I may make a side of bread to go with it.

  Thursday was finally the end to the salmon that I have been trying to make for the last few weeks.  I paired the salmon with couscous and spinach!

  Since my oldest did such a great job last week making the couscous for our dinner she was in charge of it this night as well.

  I'm still chugging away on my book (s).

  Today was the last day of dating your friend and I will be starting a new week for you starting tomorrow!

Date 20

  This is the last day for dating your friend.  This is the last day I provide you with out the box fun with your friend.  You are on your own from here on out.  However I feel confident that I have given you a basic Foundation to plot and plan your own fun!

  This week was fun as you hung out with your friend.  Today is a spa day!  Whether you go out for just a mani and pedi, get your eyebrows down together or book a half or whole day at the spa.  Spend the day getting beautified.  You deserve it if not for at least one day.  If your short on time go ahead and just stop by one of the cosmetic counters and get dolled up!  Your friend will at least tell you if that shade the sales associate put on is not quite you.  I have been a recipient of the makeup counter and second guessed a few decisions made but without a partner in crime who was I to challenge the artist?

  Have fun ladies! Feel free to send me a before and after, or save it in your 30 day dating book keepsake.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Date 19

  As we are finishing up this week with dating friends.  The last two days are a nice change of pace.  A time to just hang out with your friend.  Time to talk or just time to be together.  These last two days offer new ideas for you to do with your friends.  As always I try to keep it unique!

  Today instead of taking those clothes to the local thrift store trade them with your friends.  You don't need to limit yourself to just clothes.  Check your jewlery, perfume or belts!  Anything you don't use, will never use or bought on a whim!  Your friend may not be the same size but we all speak the language of shoes or purses.

  One day may be short notice but give yourself a week to gather up some items.  Invite some more friends into the friend swap to get more variety.  Set a limit of  atleast 1 item per person; for example if you get 6 girls to join you all of you bring atleast 6 items.

  Pull out some wine and shop amongst yourselves.  Anything leftover although I doubt it could then go to the thriftstore.  Have fun with your new to you clothes!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Date 18

  Today is another date hanging out with your friend.  Another date chatting about dinner last night.  Maybe it's a different friend today.  Maybe you are fortunate to select a different friend each day!

  Today your date is walking.  You can go back to the mall if you like.  It may be warmer there depending where you live.  Otherwise take a walk around the neighborhood.  This date doesn't have to end after the walk.  By all means I started it go ahead and enjoy yourself.  Stay out a little longer.

  Have fun! Burn some calories!  Enjoy the fresh air wherever you are!  Feel free to post a picture of your scenic trip around the neighborhood.  Our color changing leaves are almost gone.  It went by so quick.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday (ATC'S)


  Yesterday I told you about kids artist trading cards.  Today this Wordless Wednesday is going to show you cards from various children at different artistic levels.

  These kids have sent in cards to trade with other kids.  Kids are able to make cards up by any means be it hand drawn, collage style or multimedia.  The only rule is that cards need to be 2.5 by 3.5 in size. 

  Some kids create cards for individual trades.  They can make cards of whatever is on their mind for individual trades.  There are not rules for trading individually  The theme, or topic is whatever the child chooses.
 Art created on a card is priceless.  Art created by a child is priceless.  Art shared with a world of other children leads to learning, discovery, acceptance, motivation and encouragement.

There are a variety of themes. This theme was robots.  Note the level of artists, the techniques and styles.  All cards are traded out amongst the participating children.

Here displays cards sent in for a camping theme.  Each theme requires the child to make 3 cards and in return they will receive 3 back.  They may receive a card as local as California or as far away as Canada.  

  We had monkeys swing in.

Pirates looking for the buried treasures was another theme.  I try to make them child focused.  Even if they are something you can't draw as pictured.  The background was drawn and a sticker complimented the scene very nicely.

We celebrated love in February.
We even celebrated 100 members together.
  This is a good group of kids.  They try their hardest and in actuality no one is perfect.  Cards are welcome for all children ages 4/5 and up.  Parents are more than welcome to assist the children with their cards.  Helping them focus on an idea, maybe cleaning it up a little, drawing an image and letting them color it in.  These kids are happy to give and receive. 
Some learning factors with this game of fun include not only art, but geography, internet research to find ideas to draw, or learn a new technique, and I have had special themes where information was required on the back such as state based cards containing facts about their home state or country!
  There are different themes each week.  You may choose to join one or some.  Mail all the cards together to save on postage or send separately.  Themes are not necessarily child focused, boy or girl focused but I have had fairies, dinosaurs or glitter in the past.  We just finished up a numbers, dragons and unicorns, pumpkins and leaves.    Upcoming events include dinosaurs, planets and bugs.

  This is not an expense activity for your kids.  Cards can be made out of cardstock, cereal boxes/sturdy cardboard, even some of the paint sample cards are the exact size.  I have a lot of cardstock at the moment but have used boxes and either glued paper to it instead of cardstock or used it as the base and worked off that surface.  Any arts and craft supplies you have at home are sufficient.  Feathers, crayons, magazines, pencils, markers, stickers and fabric.  The only real expense is in the postage area.  Mailing to me and sending your return postage with it. 

Your invited to email me, send me a message on Facebook or comment below for admittance into the group.

Date 17

  This date is a repeat from last week.  It is a classic among the options for dating locations.  It is usually a place to go and enjoy yourselves with minimal interaction.  You have to make a big decision at the beginning of the date but after that it's smooth sailing.  Have you already guessed it?

  Movie night again!  I don't think going to the movies ever gets old.  I love popcorn and the movies are always changing.  Even what you saw last week with your partner may not be the same type of movie you would enjoy with your friend.  So here's your chance to sneak off with your friend and catch a movie.

  Take advantage of the matinee fees and get in there before 4.  If you went in early you could be home before kids get home and you have to make dinner.  I would have had to beg a lot to see Burnt with Bradley Cooper but maybe my girlfriend would like to see it, wink, wink!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Date 16

  Dating with your friend or friends today takes you to the outside world.  I haven't been out of the house by myself for an extended amount of time without kids for awhile unless it was a doctors appointment.   Even then depending on the appointment they have accompanied me there too.  So a trip out and about with a friend sounds like music to my ears.

  Take a trip to the mall today.  Your mission if you choose to accept it is to have fun exploring the mall or a strip mall.  Check out a new store, the new fashions, get you nails done or maybe try on random outfits.  This date doesn't have to cost anything.  You are in charge of the expenses for this date.  You can just stick strictly to window shopping, trying clothes on or even raking up laps on your shoes.

  Whatever you choose to do.  Have fun doing it!

Artist Trading Cards (ATC's)

  I randomly like to post the status of a group I am closely related to.  It is a group full of artistic kids.  Kids of all ages and artistic abilities.  Kids from all over the world to include homeschool and public school kids as well as teachers for elementary classes are involved.  Church groups have participated as well.  Any group is invited to join not just individual kids!

  I was introduced to ATC's a couple years ago through another group and eventually started to participate myself before bringing my kids into it.

  Artistic Trading Cards (ATC's) are cards made, designed or decorated  by any means.  The cards are 2.5 by 3.5 in size and traded in group themed events or individually.

  My kids group available on Facebook is comprised of children ranging in age of 4 years old up through teenagers.  Most of the trading is done in the group themed events.  I offer a different them event every week.  Kids make 3 cards for the theme and mail them to me.  I receive all cards and mail different cards back to the participants.

   Kids enjoy mailing the cards off and receiving cards from different kids in different locations.  There is room for more kids if your interested comment below.

  Come back tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday to see the variety of cards!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Meal plan 11/16 - 11/20

  Here we are another week another starving tummy or 6?  Each week my goal is to share recipes with you of what we are eating for the week.  My recipes are NOT original rather just ones I have dug up and am going to cook for my family for the week.  Most of them will not be repeats but if the meal was a real success or super easy it may show up again.

  By sharing these meals with you it offers you a new idea of what you could make, shows you its easy (and hopefully quick) to make.  My meals also help you from surfing the net for your next meal.  I have done all the work for you except bought your groceries and cooked.

  Though out the week I post random teasers on instagram and twitter about the meal of the night.  I invite you to join me to catch a sneak peek even though you already know what the meal is.

  Each week will vary in ingredients, from cooking with the crock pot to meatless nights as well.  This week will be 2 crock pot meals and 1 meatless dinner.

11/16 Monday
Tacos!  Pretty self explanatory.  We will have hard shells and burritos, refried beans and all the fixings


11/17 Tuesday ***crockpot***
Corn and Potato Chowder with Ham

11/18 Wednesday **meatless**
Salmon, couscous and spinach

11/19 Thursday chicken with pasta

11/20 Friday Pulled pork and coleslaw

There you have it folks.  Another week down.  Happy eating!

Date 15

  As you know this week is for dating (hanging out) with your friends.  These dates should be stress free.  They do not require a lot of preparation other than maybe just coordinating a time and possibly a place.  Most of the ideas are minimal in cost if at all.  That makes it fun in itself too.

  Today it is all about a drink!  Grab a drink with your friend.  The drink is up to your discretion.  Coffee, tea, wine.  Of course if you choose to meet her at 8 am maybe wine could be converted into a Mimosa with champagne instead.

  Cheers to you guys today.  Have a good day and toast to your friendship!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Date 14

  Dating... sounds good when you say it but when you start sorting out the details it starts to lose that shine.  Dating doesn't have to lose its shine.  Add some sparkle to your dating life.  You can date anyone you want.  It's really about a person, place, date and sometimes time doesn't even matter. Last week you dated your partner.  This week your dating your friend.

  Call up your friend!  Your best friend from school, friend from work, neighbor or one the mom's you talk to at the gym.  The point of this date is to get out and have fun. The point of this date is to open your eyes to all the available options in front of you.

  Today your date is to play games.  Hang out with your friend and play games.  When was the last time you played a game? Last week with your partner?  This week squeeze some casual conversation in, glass of wine and play games.  Maybe she's part of a bridge group or you like dominoes.  If she's your friend from the gym how about a game of one on one.

Play games or a game with your friend. Let loose and relax. Enjoy yourself!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Date 13

  This is not the last date.  You have the whole month to go!  However let's finish the date off with your partner with another bounding experience.  This date will not cost you anything.  This date will get the two of you together again for the end of this week.  This date will be unique and fun!

  Today's date is about getting in the kitchen.  Cook together with your partner.  Cook together or maybe one of you cooks one part and the other cooks another part.  Take turns being the cook and/or the assistant.  Maybe you can learn how to cook a new favorite meal.

  I cook a lot in my home but my husband will cook sometimes on the weekend.  For us it would be nice to make a dinner together alternating.  It drives me up the wall when he comes along and seasons behind my back.  He also hates to bake and would rather cook.  So this would be a juggling act for us.

  Have a go at it.  Cook something up and let me know what you made.  Hey this was a low cost or free date too.  Unless you went out and bought ingredients for a special meal this date cost zero!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Weekly Re-cap

  This week has been very successful in the weekly meal plan.  I made 5 days of dinners and that was one more than I usually do.  You know I try to jump ship on Friday but not this week.  There are a few leftovers from each meal in the fridge, I will be lucky if it gets everyone through the weekend.

Be hold an international meals trip.

Monday was American!  Featuring hotdogs, homemade baked beans and potato salad.

 Tuesday was a stop in Italy.  Nothing fancy.  Spaghetti and a side of focaccia!

 Wednesday gave us Brats, Sauerkraut, and a German Apple Pancake Zells.

Middle Eastern hit the eager bellies on Thursday!  This was the second time I made this meal before. Falafel, couscous Tabouli Salad and a cucumber yogurt sauce.

Lastly Friday night I stepped up and made eggrolls for the side of chicken fried rice.

Yeah for me! Yeah for the family! Yeah for our bellies!

  I have read half way through one book which is progress as it takes me FOREVER to read a book.  I never find/make time for it.    So if I can finish the 4 books I picked up at the library before the end of the year I will be a happy camper!

  Of course I had my first mammogram this week and I get to go back for another set of tests Monday. (Wish me luck)  I also eagerly await my visit to the Orthopedic for my foot issue.

  Tomorrow we finish up on dating your partner and start in on a new week of dating and ideas.

 I hope your week was great!

Blogger Challenge

  I do like a challenge.  I don't always take on a challenge nor do I take the easy way out and take a easy challenge.  I selective choose them and sometimes I don't complete it but I don't lose sleep over it.  I just keep it moving.  Recently my lasted challenge was to blog for 30 days.

  30 days is a long time.  Let's be honest it 30 days.  The only thing I would like to say I do regularly for that period of time is take a shower, and brush my teeth but I'm not so sure those happen everyday either.  Following through on something for an extended amount of time takes real effort.  Funny how you could be doing something all the time then when you sign up and make it official is when you start losing power, patience,  motivation and getting more easily distracted.  Sometimes work is no fun.  You were only completing it last time for sheer habit.

  I have officially completed a 30 day blogging challenge.  I signed up obviously 30 days ago with the goal of staying on track. Some days I wrote and uploaded sooner than others but always managed to get a story posted everyday.  Some days are easier than others.  Topics don't always flow.  What's that cold?  Writer's block?  Could be more like lack of motivation or just plain too busy that day.

  This challenge was great for numerous reasons.

1.  It was free.
2.  I received a daily email with prompts tips and motivation. EVERYDAY!!
3.  You belong to an exclusive Facebook group where you post daily, holding you slightly accountable as you just don't want to miss a day.
4.  The Facebook group allows you to get concerns addressed by admin in a timely manner.
5.  The Facebook group also gives you acess to other bloggers with the same experience as you.
6.  Everyone is supporting, motivating and encouraging.
7.  You discover new blogs and well as establish relationships with other bloggers
8.  Bloggers helping each other through immediate,recent experience.
9.  Sharing what works for them.  With so many bloggers open to needing one thing or another.  This group even provides you with comments and critiques; of course solicited.
10.  Your hard work is noticed as you get recognized for the progress your making.  I thought it was so neat to see a badge congratulating me on 14 days of writing!

  This is a great group.  If your looking for more tips to better writing, prompts of what to write, how to incorporate certain items into your post then this is the place for you.  Everyone is at different levels and there are even some seasoned bloggers in there as well.  I never felt out of place and enjoyed reading other blogs that were new like mine.  There was not a stupid question and there was always an answer for a question!

If you know you need the motivation.  If you know you don't know everything about blogging.  If you like a challenge sign up! tell +Sarah Arrow I sent you.  She will remember me I left a lasting impression. You know not the star pupil type the other one class clown!

Date 12

  The week is almost over but the fun doesn't need to be.  Your have hopefully spent some quality time dating your significant other and had fun along the way.  Today is day 12 of a month long dating month.  This week was shared for your chosen mate.  Only a few more days left let's make the most of it!

  Today your date mission is to get out and about.  Check out a car show or whatever his hobby is.  For you maybe you like visiting a art museum or looking at antiques. Spend time sharing what the other person likes.  I'm not sure if you can squeeze both activities in on the same day but that would be best.  Even surprising your date mate with what they look to do would be nice.  No money needs to be spent.  Simply browsing or window shopping is sufficient.  This date is about sharing hobbies, a low key fun activity.  Learning from your partner what they like.

  This date can bring you closet or educate you in unknown areas.  I wouldn't mind looking at cars.  However at a slow, check out all the engines and tires rate of speed may get old quickly.  So I may talk about other things to pass the time.  I might be able to have a full conversation with him, an almost undivided attention conversation because he would be happy and content looking at cars. Doing something he likes to do.  Lol, I would win at a museum too because he may decide to talk more to pass the time as well.  We know how men just love to talk.

  Well there you have it everyone.  Get out and about today and see something.  His and hers today. Equal sharing.  Have fun with this and only one more day before we date someone else.....

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Cancer Sucks

 Ta-ta's!  Boobies!  Hooters!  We dress them in fine attire. We hold them up and take great pride in their presentation.

However a breast by any other name is still a breast!

   I am almost to a number in age that makes me an adult.  No turning back.  20's you are learning the world. 30's you are learning your home and family. 40's you haven't quite learned everything but you can function and are expected to function independently.  Currently 40 is also the magic number for women to start getting mammograms.

  I am just shy of the big 4-0 and have jumped into the mammogram world.  I went to my first one today.  We all know once you start it doesn't stop but I am hoping for a pleasant journey in my mammogram experience.  I have that cancer blemish in my family to include breast cancer.  So I'm stepping up to be proactive in the situation.

  I was fortunate with the being able to obtain an appointment the next day of scheduling.  This reduced my anxiety tremendously.  So on my Veterans Day I got my first test.  This will be easy to remember every year.

  Now I remember all the horror stories I heard.  How you are squeezed to death.  So close to crying. The pain is unbearable.  The stories I heard still ring in my ears!  I can't tell you who and where I heard the stories but they played over in my head.

Be hold the headquarters for the next 15 minutes or so.  The command station!  Stand still, head up lean to the right, hand at your side, hold here and breath normal.

Bottom line, I survived.  It wasn't even that uncomfortable pressure wise as much as it was to stay still.  I did ask her if times had changed from the "painful" days and she said yes.  Machines have improved, tension and pressure are not what they use to be.   My experience really wasn't that bad.  I had so much fun I'm eagerly looking forward to my 2nd diagnostic on this coming Monday because one side apparently wasn't as cooperative.

Go ahead ladies! Get out there and take care of the girls! If you take care of them, they will take care of you!

Date 11

  This week you have spent time with your significant other be it a spouse or good friend.  You have enjoyed yourselves out and about on walks, in parks, in movies and at dinner.  A date can be anywhere.  It can also be at anytime.

  Today takes you outside again.  Take a trip to the waterfront.  It doesn't need to be a beach; it could be a lake.  I have a lake close by that you can walk around in a reasonable amount of time or I could just go to the waterside and sit in the car, beach or bench and bask in its glory.

  I always like to see the sunrise.  I don't know if it's about the colors or something internal but, I truly enjoy seeing the sun and water.  Water to me is so entertaining.  The lapping of the waves, the seagulls squawking, and the sand under my feet.  It brings me some kind of peace.

  The sunrise is a hard thing to catch though.  I have made it a few times but I'll just appreciate those random times.  You have to watch the news and get the times then add on drive time.  Too much math!

  Have fun at the water today.  It will not be warm enough for a dip but always cool enough to look at.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Date 10

  Date 10 is your dinner date.  Why squeeze all your alone time into one day.  Let's spread it out and make it more entertaining.  Remember when you were younger and dating someone.  You would go out with him one day and look forward to seeing him again the next day.  Think of it like that.

  Yesterday was the movies and today dinner.  I also notice in my area that restaurants are less crowded during the middle of the week which also leads to more sales.  The restaurants want you in there so they offer discounts to get you in.

  Outback is one place that comes to mind.  They have a No Worries Wednesday deal.  Two meals for a certain price that includes your appetizer to your dessert.  You can't beat that.  They also started a No Worries Sunday as well.  Although other restaurants offer 2 for 1 deals not specified to Wednesday also.  Red Lobster still has one and Chili's and Applebee's also had one but I am not sure if they still have it going on.

  Not a big deal to call around and plan your dining experience.  See what their specials are and the availabilities.  Again it's no fun to go broke dating.

  Have some dinner and spend time together before, during and after.  Your call what you do but today at least spend a meal together.


1970 toys (Wordless Wednesday)

I have searched high and low for some toys I played with.  These are not all of them which makes me think I was spoiled because this appears to be plenty but I had an older brother and toys did get shared between the two of us. So that makes me lucky he shared and smart parents to be so thrifty!

 My first record player!  Yep folks I have come a long way.  These are where the real vinyls came from.

 Every child was subliminally planted with the idea to become a doctor.  The cuff actually pumped a little and I used that stethoscope as a microphone and headset.
 A cruel game that had us sitting down for hours to try and arrange all the colors on the same side.  How long did it take for us to figure out removing the stickers and placing them all on the same side went much faster?

 Merlin! Not quite like Simon but  with the same concept of computer mimicking and interaction.  My brother had this game I was just jealous of the "phone" game.

Our wheels. The big wheel.  I have seen different versions of these now but not sure if they are completely the same.  Rest assured we were kings of the roads with these! Spinning wheelies and burning steam.

  The slinky was an entertaining toy as it seemed to magically move.   Such a fun toy until you got a kink in it then, it just wasn't the same.

 I actually saw this at my kids dentist office.  Another hypnotic toy.  Funny how water, rings and hooks can also amuse you for hours.  My kids want to play with them when they go to their appointments.

  Practiced my customer service, cash handling and math skills on this.  Also helped me learn some colors.  Match the money to the correct slot.  I always gave back exact change!

  I do have a new version of this game.  My younger kids like the suspense of the pending mess when the timer goes off.  Although I still don't know all the exact names of the pieces.

Fisher Price has come a long way!  Everything seems to be plastic.  My toys were a combination of wood, plastic, and metal.  I loved the bell on this toy (as much as the moo from the barn) and the ramp was always fun to roll your cars down.  I have a different version of this for my son as its relatable to children with the ramp and all not the bell or car elevator.

Getting a box delivered of these childhood vintage toys would be comfort and fun to share with my kids.

What were some of your favorite childhood toys?  Did you save any toys to pass onto your kids? Have they survived being passed on?