Colby’s room

Before we moved into our house, I painted both of the boys’ rooms. I hate builder paint! Ok I got to pick the color of the builder paint in this house, as at least that is decent, but builder paint is terrible. I swear they put a microcoat of paint on the walls. You barely touch the walls and the paint comes off or at least gets stained.

I wanted the boys’ rooms done ahead of time since their furniture takes up almost all the floor space. They each have a full size bed, chest of drawers and a desk. We put their toy boxes in their closets.

I used the same “theme” that they had in their rooms in Orlando since we had just done those about a year ago. Blake’s theme is USA and Colby’s is ocean.

We had all the decorations needed to complete Colby’s room so I did that today.

The newest additions are the fish tank that I painted, he had the fish just on his wall in his Orlando room. Also the quote about the ocean is a new addition.

I need a few more items then I can complete Blake’s room.

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Chili it’s what’s for dinner, when it’s chilly!

Last night was was cool, OK well for us it was cold, but for the rest of the folks in this area of the world it was cool. It was in the 50’s for a high yesterday. So, I decided that was a great opportunity to make chili for dinner.

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I think chili is one of those meals that doesn’t get the respect it deserves. The way I make my chili is is loaded with veggies, made with ground turkey and well just yummy. It is one of those dishes that is never really made the same way, but always tastes good.

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This is my chili recipe that I posted on Facebook back in 2009. I can say that I don’t make it exactly like this each time, but there is a lot of things I do always do.

Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 medium bell peppers
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 large jalapeño (I used 1 un-seeded and ½ seeded in each batch)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • grill seasoning
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • coriander
  • red pepper flakes
  • chili powder
  • hot sauce
  • EVOO
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 10 oz can of RoTel diced tomatoes with lime and cilantro
  • bar-b-que sauce ( I use Bull’s Eye Guiness)
  • 1 bottle of beer (I used Long Hammer IPA)
  • 1-2 chipolte in adobo sauce
  • fresh cilantro
  • frozen corn

brown ground turkey in pan. When almost cooked season with seasonings. Add EVOO and hot sauce and bell peppers, onions, and carrots. When almost soft, add in jalapeño and garlic.

Add 1 bottle of beer to deglaze the pan. Let this cook out for a min or two then add in tomato sauce and bar-b-que sauce.

Let this cook down about 4-5 minutes . Add in the rest of the tomatoes and chipolte.

Let simmer… the longer the better!

10 minutes before serving add in corn.

Top with cilantro just before serving

 

This version that I had last night didn’t have bbq sauce, hot sauce,corn, or chipote in adobo because I didn’t have them at home. This also made it less spicy since I didn’t have two ingredients that make it spicy in it. You can add or subtract whatever you like or don’t like. the idea is to make a hearty yet healthy meal.

I also made pasta last night and put the chili over it. I may have mixed it all together for the pictures, and cause it tastes good that way. Typically we have it with just chips and cheese. Occasionally I’ll top mine with sour cream as well.

 

Snyder’s Hummus Pretzel sandwiches

Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels have been some of my favorite pretzels for years. There are a few that I love more than others, but I have enjoyed most of the flavors that I have tried over the years.

Cheddar CheeseOne of my favorites is their Cheddar Cheese Pretzel bites. They are addictive! Take their sourdough pretzels, smash them up, roll them in powdered cheddar cheese and bag. That is what I think they do to make them. I don’t really care what they do they are yummy.  I often purchase them when I notice they are on sale. I would and could buy them at full price, don’t get me wrong. I wait for the sale to limit how often I buy them so I don’t end up looking like a pretzel piece myself!Hummus

But, this blog post isn’t about the Cheddar cheese bites… nope it’s about the newest Snyder’s pretzel taste I purchased.  The other day I was looking for something different to have as a snack and I came across Classic Hummus filled Pretzel Sandwiches. Yep, you read that correct. They took their pretzel sandwich and filled it with hummus.

IMG_20171016_122323These are good, I may like hummus just a little bit?? They have a decent hummus taste to them. It’s not in your face hummus, but just a mild hummus flavor. I think they captured the tang of hummus and mixed with the pretzel it is a good pairing. I personally enjoy dipping pretzel of any kind in my hummus.

So, I now have yet another Snyder’s product that I will purchase from now on. Hmmm which one to get next time?

(I am not paid or sponsored by Snyder’s. This is just my opinion on their product)

Another Monday

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It’s Monday again. Yes, I know I hate to admit the weekend is over again. I enjoy not having to hurry out the door on the weekends and get everything moving so fast. But, it is Monday again.

And, this Monday means the first full week living in our new house. Yes, we have owned the house for a few weeks now. Yes, I have been at the house most of the day for the whole time we have owned it. But, the difference, I’m staying. I not traveling to and from. I don’t have to rush back to the townhouse to pick up the boys only to turn around and go back to the house. Nope, life is slowing down a little bit.

We got a ton done in the last week. All the furniture is here. All the furniture is set up in the correct rooms. Both of the boys bedrooms are painted and we painted Richard’s office. Most of the boxes are emptied. We have filled our recycling bin twice and have more ready for next week.

So what now? Well for this morning, Richard took the boys to the bus stop on his way to work. I’m getting ready to head out to the gym. Then I’ll come home and do typical weekday mom things… laundry, make dinner, maybe bake?

My next house project is to find all the boys’ wall decorations so their rooms are done. I’ll post pictures when everything is hung up. Move all the boys’ book boxes up to Blake’s room where we put the big book shelf. It fit in his closet, which I found fitting since he is the one who reads the most books in this house.

I’m still working on transitioning between feeling like we are visiting to feeling like this is truly home.  I’m not there yet, but we are getting close!

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Sunday- Son day: Blake edition 7-UCF update 2

Hi, everybody. Since it’s been (More than?) two weeks from last time I did the sports update, I guess I have to fill you in with the previous games. So here’s the rundown from last time: Maryland upset by UCF, 35-10. The game after that was… oh yeah, Memphis. So, they’re in the same conference as us, so we play them once in a while. Three weeks ago, we played them. Here’s their logo and football uniforms, or at least their helmets:Image result for memphis logoRelated image

Guess who wins…UCF, right? Right! 40-13, another win for the right-now 3-0 (and 1-0 conference) team. Next week, after that is at Cincinnati. Here’s the logo and helmet. By the way, another conference game…

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…and they win. Again! This time, 51-23, and it was terminated because of a weather delay. They’re 4-0,and 2-0 in the AAC. Now, to the game last night vs East Carolina, or ECU. Another conference game, and you know the drill…

 

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…who wins? Duh! 63-21, ties the  school record of 63 points. And that’s not the only time they got close, this #22 ranked, 5-0 and 3-0 conference team has! I forgot about week 1, so I’ll do that now. It was against Florida International, or FIU for short. Not a conference game 🙂 so I can show you the Conference USA, or C-USA for short. Here’s FIU…Image result for florida international university football helmet 2017Related image

…and here’s the C-USA:

 

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…turns out, UCF used to be in that conference (see below):

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Anyway, UCF won, (wink,wink) 61-17, easy start before Hurricane Irma gave Florida a visit. That’s your sports update. Get ready for NFL football this afternoon,

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see you in two (or more) weeks, and go New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Penguins!                                                                                    -B

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Soergal Orchards

When we moved to Wexford, we looked for a place to go strawberry and blueberry picking. In this search we found Soergal Orchards right here in Wexford. Soergal not only has pick your own, but it also has fresh baked good, farm fresh produce, fresh cider, local/regional specialty items and so much more.

IMG_20171014_110724.jpgThere is so much to see and do at Soergal Orchards on a typical day, but it’s pumpkin time so there is so much more to do!  On weekends in October they have their Fall Festival. We decided to go check this out today. There were carnival style games, hay ride, pony rides and much more. They open up their bbq stand, cider press and bring in additional vendors. This on top of having bins and bins of all types of squash products, pumpkins, gourds, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash and more. They also have a pumpkin patch open to pick your own pumpkins. That is where we headed.

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The boys each picked out a pumpkin to take home. We will carve them closer to Halloween.

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We also went and picked a peck of apples from their apple orchard. The boys had never picked apples off a tree before so this was fun for them. Blake ended up picking about 3 apples and Colby picked 7 or so.

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We stopped and had BBQ for lunch. This was really good. Colby had a pulled pork sandwich that I wished I had myself. I had “Dirty Mac” which was mac and cheese with pulled pork. I liked the concept, but he mac and cheese was just OK. Blake had a hot dog and Richard had nachos with pork on top.

Before we left we stopped into the store and picked up a gallon of cider, 2 half pies (one apple walnut and the other dutch apple, apple cider donuts, cookies and 2 chocolate covered donuts. We have a lot, but everything we’ve purchased at their bakery in the past we have enjoyed.

We didn’t spend money on any of the games. Each ticket cost $1, some games were 1 ticket and others were 2. It was even more tickets to take the tractor ride up the hill to the pumpkins. I am way too frugal to spend money on things like this.

I’m ready to dig my teeth into the apples we got and use them to make yummy apple treats!  I’m sure there will be at least an apple recipe coming from me soon.

So local friends… check out Soergal Orchards now in the fun fall activities or another time just to get their yummy baked goods. I know I’ll be back!

 

Wonder Books

This morning I woke up before anyone else. I love sleeping in on the weekend, but there is something special about being the first person up.

I came downstairs. Turned the lights on and curled up in a chair and read a book. I finished reading Auggie & Me. This is book is written as 3 short stories based on the characters in Wonder. If you have not read Wonder, I would strongly recommend it. Both the boys and I have read the book. Colby’s reading teacher is also reading it to his class at school.

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Wonder is great look into the world of middle school through the eyes of multiple children. If you do not know what this book is about here is a quick synopsis:

August Pullman was born with facial deformities. Over the years he had to have surgery to help him do everything from breath to eat to hear. August, called Auggie, just wants to fit in and be a normal kid. But, when he starts school for the first time in 5th grade he is seen as anything but “normal”. The children in his class have a variety of reactions to having Auggie at school. These range of emotions mirror the way that many children feel they fit in middle school without the challenge of facial deformity. You will meet characters who become Auggie’s friends, his acquaintance and even his nemesis. But, through it all Auggie learns that life maybe hard, but with the right people by your side, you can cope.

Image result for wonder booksIn the book Auggie & Me, you delve into a few of the other characters from the story, who do not talk in the chapters of the book Wonder. The first character you meet is Julian, who is pretty much arch enemy for Auggie in Wonder. You will get his back story and learn why Julian has an issue with Auggie, it may not be what you’d expect. Then how he copes with these reasons.

In the second section you will meet Christopher. Christopher was Auggie’s best friend growing up. Christopher’s family moved away and Chris and Auggie tried to continue their friendship. This was getting tougher and tougher as time goes by. You will read about how Chris deals with his parent’s divorce, adjusting to a new school and being friends with Auggie.

In the last section you will get to know Charlotte and a bit more about the girls in Auggie’s class. Charlotte thinks that she can stay neutral in all the battles of middle school, but in the process alienates a few people. She learned to be a bit more real and what real friendships are about.

I think the Wonder books are a worthy read for adults and children. It is a way for adults to remember what it was like to be a pre-teen and the drama that goes along with it. For children it is a way to learn to look at people for who they are, not what they look like. It is a glimpse into how others feel in various situations and that the outward attitude may not match what people are really thinking.

This is a great book for classroom discussions, but also for family conversations. I know it was for our family. Can’t wait to see the movie and pick up the other books based on Wonder!

 

Menu planning for the week

I just got back from grocery shopping. It is so nice to shop knowing that you have more space to store food. I had a tiny pantry, a tiny fridge and what felt like a miniature freezer in the townhouse.

When I shop I typically only purchase the items that I need for meals the week ahead. I did typically purchase things that are on sale that I know I will use going forward as well.

Today when I shopped I was able to take advantage of the sales on proteins. These are the best sales because you just pop the protein in the freezer and you have it when you need it, did I mention I have a free standing freezer on top of the one with my fridge? I love having the space to store proteins, make ahead meals, leftover and so much more.

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Friday- Red Robin!

Saturday- out because we are taking my parents to the airport

Sunday- ribs

Weekday meals: chili, shredded beef, fish

Thursday- Food trucks at the boys school.

I’m going to switch my shopping day to Thursdays or maybe Wednesday. I was shopping on Fridays but I just don’t like shopping on Fridays… so I’m going to switch it up.

Do you menu plan? If so what is on your menu this week?? Did I mention any food items you’d like to see as a Tasty Tuesday post?

Zuppas Delicatessen Wexford review

My family is up from FL, we were looking for a place to go for dinner. We decided to take them to Zuppas Delicatessen in Wexford, PA. We have been to Zuppas a few times, but I’ve never blogged about it so I decided this would be a great opportunity since we’d have 6 different plates to share.

Let’s start with the boys meals. Blake had grilled ham and cheese, on the left. He had just tried to bite the sandwich when it was hot and the ham pulled out right before I’d taken this picture. Colby had PB & J.  Both the boys always get these sandwiches when we go to Zuppas. They love them.

The left sandwich was Richard’s. He had the Little Italy: “Prosciutto di Parma, fresh mozzarella, cracked black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, arugula and a fig spread on toasted Italian bread.” He really enjoyed this sandwich and thought the fig spread an interesting addition. He would get it again.

The right sandwich was my dad’s. He had “The Rubenator”: “Traditional reuben done “our way” packed between two grilled swiss cheese sandwiches on marble rye.” This sandwhich was HUGE. Although he thought it was a huge sandwich he did manage to eat almost all of it and said it was good.

I got the plate on the left. It was a BLT: “Thick Cut Oven Roasted Pork Shoulder piled on toasted Italian Bread with mayo, fresh sliced roma tomatoes and arugula” and Italian Wedding soup. The sandwich was really good. The pork shoulder was chewy so it didn’t have the traditional BLT texture, but it was very tasty. There may have been a tad too much mayo for my liking, but I would have this again. The soup was delicious. A perfect blend of chicken stock, well seasoned meatballs, spinach and a dash of orzo pasta. I will certainly get this one again.

The plate on the right, is my mom’s. Her sandwich was the Tomato Basil: Oven roasted tomatoes piled high and topped with fresh mozzarella cheese between two slices of basil pesto marinated panini bread. This is a very fresh sandwich with a nice balance of cheese and veggies. She had the soup of the day, sweet potato. This was the one thing we had that didn’t quite live up to the expectation. It didn’t have a sweet potato taste at all. There was a lot of chicken stock in it, so it almost tasted like gravy. She did eat it, but it just didn’t taste like a good cream soup.

If you are looking for a good deli sandwich, bowl of soup or salad (haven’t had a salad here yet), and you are in the Wexford area… try Zuppas.  I know we will be going back sometimes soon.

 

(This review is not paid for, it is just my opinion!)

 

 

Today is….

We are finally moving the furniture out of the townhouse. I’m so ready to be out of here and into the house full time. I’m so ready for the boys to sleep in their own beds at night. I’m so ready to not drive back and forth between the townhouse and house multiple times a day.  I’m so ready for…

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