Monday, May 31, 2010

Flower Power

Since we traveled to see the moms (and Pioneer Woman) for Mother's Day this year, my mom didn't come up for the weekend to toil away in the yard only to be paid in wine spritzers and pizza so I was on my own for flowers this year. Luckily, my favorite go-to flower, vinca, is sprouting up like mad in all the places that we planted it last year, and that meant I really only had to worry about my planters - two hanging ones on the porch railing and two urns at the bottom of the steps.

I planted petunias, asparagus fern, dracaena (the spiky thing in back), and that trailing flower with the little white flowers in each urn. All of them love the sun so hopefully this spot will be just right for them.

In the hanging planters, I used more asparagus fern and the trailing white flower, plus a yellow flower, and that gorgeous purply-blue flower is lobelia. I think it's more of a shade-lover so we'll see how it does. The railings get morning sun but they're in the shade for the hottest part of the day so my fingers are crossed.

(Gotta love the camera's macro function.)

I have two little white tables and four rocking chairs on the front porch so I wanted to dress the tables up a bit with some color. I chose bright pink impatiens, which also like the shade. The tables get even less sun than the railings so I think I'm okay there.

I'd seen some zinnias at Walmart and when I saw them again at Home Depot, I just had to have them. They're annuals so if I love them and they do well in their new home, I'll have to buy them again next year.

These bunches each have a white, light pink, dark pink, and beautiful burnt orange flower in them.

We need to add some fresh mulch to all the beds in the front, but already the yard is shaping up nicely for the summer.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Recipe Recap: Pasta a la McWife

We still had a couple zucchinis and since our grill is on the fritz, I wanted to figure out something to do with the veggies besides grilling them. So, once again, instead of going to the Y (I'd forgotten to pack my sports bra in my gym bag; not the worst equipment to forget, but still...) I went to the store and then cooked dinner. But this time, we had a healthy dinner.

I cut up the zucchini.

Then I sauteed it in a little olive oil and sprinkled it with pepper and garlic salt.

I used a can of seasoned diced tomatoes as the rest of my sauce.

I served the sauce over some Barilla Plus whole wheat penne.

The McHusband liked it and I did, too. It wasn't as flavorful as the BBQ Chicken Pizza I made, but it was tasty and it wasn't bad for us. Although I do think we need to work on our portions. I'm so good about measuring out my cereal and even the milk that I pour over it, but when it comes to homecooked meals, I'm not careful and I know I'm eating too much.
Thank goodness we have boot camp tonight. That and a bowl of cereal or a salad for dinner should get me back on track.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Lost Supper

The McHusband and I have watched Lost since it first started, and tonight is the end of an era with its series finale. In honor of the show, we had shrimp, veggies, and rice for dinner. I figured the Losties definitely caught fish and shrimp to eat, and Sun had a garden. As for the rice... Hmm, maybe the Others grew some of that.

The McHusband brought home a recipe for Shrimp with Asian Barbecue Sauce and since I only needed two ingredients (one of them being the shrimp), it seemed like a good night to give this a try. Since we're trying to be healthy, we had zucchini and rice as our sides. The shrimp and zucchini were supposed to be grilled, but our grill seems to be going through its rebellious teenage years and it only works when it wants to lately so I ended up using the broiler, which worked out just fine. The rice was nuked as usual; hey, surely the Hatch had a microwave.

A word of warning: Be careful with how much Zatarain's Creole Seasoning you use. That stuff packs a punch.

The shrimp was good, but not great. I think the sauce was a bit too sweet for us. If I'm feeling brave one night, I think it'd be worth tweaking to make it more to our liking.

We each had a glass of my Whiskey Slush with dinner. That stuff is GOOD. I'm with the commenters who said they just keep a batch of it in their freezer all summer long.

All right, time to wrap this up and get stuff ready for tomorrow. Lost started at 9:00 (it's 9:20 now), but we're recording it and will start watching it at 10:00 so we can hopefully miss out on all the commercials. The show's on until 11:30 so hopefully we'll time it just right to finish it around when it really ends.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Whiskey Slush

Boot camp was rough tonight. We were on THE HILL for the whole thing except for the sets of 100, 50, 30, and 20 walking lunges but those were no walk in the park. Actually, I guess they sorta were... You know you're working hard when you don't look forward to the walk DOWN the hill because your legs feel like jelly.

So, what did I do when I got home? I made a drink! Actually, I made drinks for about 20. See, I'm going to a neighbor's house for Women's Night tomorrow night, and I have a big ol' bottle of whiskey to use up. Jordan, an exchange student from France, bought a car from the McHusband last fall. The car ended up being a bit of a lemon so the McHusband helped Jordan out a few times. I guess French people think we Americans love whiskey because that's what Jordan got the McHusband as a thank-you parting gift when he went back to France.

I've found several recipes that use whiskey like Steph's Bourbon Balls and Mom's Apple Pie (Who knew she was sneaking the booze in?). But for tomorrow, I wanted a drink that I could share with the ladies and this Whiskey Slush looked like the perfect option for a warm Friday night.

It looks kinda like a science experiment in the freezer, doesn't it?

I'm hoping it's good and then I'll know for future reference that I can make a double batch in this container. In the comments below the recipe, people said that they like to make up a batch of this and just keep it in the freezer to dip into all summer long.

And just to give you an idea of the size of that container, here it is with my favorite ingredient in mixed drinks.

Shh, don't tell Matt and Andrea about my drinking plans for tomorrow, okay? Who knows what they'd dream up for next week's boot camps to counteract that bad behavior.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Offset Spatula: Not just for icing cakes

I skipped my workout at the Y last night and instead made a really yummy BBQ Chicken Pizza for the McHusband and me for dinner last night.

So instead of burning lots of calories, I took 'em in. Not exactly the best way to start out my week, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I'm just gonna get back on the {exercise} bike and renew my efforts to be good eating- and exercising-wise for the rest of the week.

In the meantime, let's drool over my pizza. That's calorie free.

I used a Pillsbury pizza crust, shredded Italian cheese, some Sweet Baby Ray's, pre-packaged roasted chicken, jalapeno slices, and pineapple tidbits.

Oh, and I personalized the chicken by mixing a little BBQ sauce with some jalapeno and pineapple juice and coating the chicken with it.
I used my offset spatula to spread the BBQ sauce.

And to make a mess of the oven and floor. Hey, just keepin' it real.

Ready for the oven!

I'm ashamed to admit that these were just the first of many pieces that I ate. Yes, the McHusband and I ate the WHOLE pizza.

It was just soooo good (if I do say so myself). And I wasn't sure how homemade pizza would fare as leftovers, and I hated the idea of any of it going to waste.

Take another look. You want some, don't you?
I know making pizza isn't exactly rocket science, but I'm pretty proud that it turned out so well considering it was my first time making it and I just made up the "recipe" while wandering the aisles of Walmart.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend: Sunday

On Sunday, we went to brunch with the McInlaws then went to Jenny's parents' house to pick up Chase so we could spend some time with him before we had to hit the road back home in the afternoon.

Chase had a great time on a toy that both the McHusband and Kevin played on when they were little.

When he was done with that, he gave the crate a try. (I promise, Kevin and Jenny, he went in there by himself.)

However, a certain Grammie might've helped him with the locks...

The wagon's wheel needed some adjusting before Chase could go for a ride.

And we got up close and personal with Morgan.

It was a gorgeous day so once we'd seen all there was to see in the playroom, we went out to the barn a.k.a. the big boys' playroom.

After lunch, Legos, and dancing, it was time for us to pack up the truck and get back home.

We really appreciate Jenny's parents sharing Chase with us for the afternoon. We had a wonderful time playing with him, and I'll repeat the same sentiment from the post about Lyla: it would definitely be nice to live closer so we could see him (and the new baby come fall) more often. These babies grow faster and faster between visits. Shoot, they're not even babies anymore, they're toddlers.

Bri, Shannon, Jenny: Could you guys please push the pause button once in a while?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Keepin' it real

How do you keep it exciting? Do you invest in toys? Maybe you bring in a third party. For sure you have to try new moves. The costs can add up, but considering how good it is for you, I think it's worth it.

New clothes are the ticket for me. It seems silly, but something new makes me look forward to doing it again. I know the new outfit's just going to get messed up and I'll be more than ready to take it off, but when I put it on, I feel good.

I got some new tops last night and I've already picked out my outfit for tonight. I wasn't sure if I wanted to post this before wearing the new stuff - it takes away some of the fun of seeing me in it for the first time.

I'm going with the black and white striped top for boot camp tonight.

Had you going there for a minute, didn't I? :) It = exercise, people. My mom reads this blog. The McHusband's mom reads this blog, I can't talk about IT!

I stopped at Walmart on the way home from the Y last night and invested in some $5 and $7 tank tops for working out. (Apparently stripes cost $2.)

I like the gray one's extra detail at the hip and neckline.

I stayed away from white tank tops because by the end of the workout I'd look like I was trying to win a wet t-shirt contest. And we all know that ain't gonna happen.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend: Saturday

On Saturday, the McHusband and I each went for a run shortly after getting up. But we didn't go together. He doesn't jog as long as I do, but I think he probably has a faster pace just because his stride is longer. If I kept up with him, I wouldn't be able to last as long as I'd like so we just did our own thing.

The McHusband spent the day helping his dad with projects around the house while the McMom and I checked out a pottery festival and then ran some errands in town. That evening, we went over to Bri's house to hang out and eat pizza with Bri, Nate, Lyla, and my mom.

Lyla showed us how she likes to play "Go to sleep" in her mom's bed. She was doing the whole snoring thing so I ran to get my camera then she wouldn't do it again until almost the end of the video.

Okay, time to get up and play outside!

We got out Lyla's golf clubs.

It just melts my heart to see that little hand in the McHusband's.

Bri and I wandered to the back of the yard (see if you can find us) while Lyla went on an Easter egg hunt close to the deck.

There was more fun to be had after dinner. Bathtime! (And let's hope these are the last naked pictures of Lyla on the internet.)

After the bath, we decided to go on a walk/wagon ride.

The McHusband drove, of course.

Lyla got to stay up past her bedtime in order to maximize visiting time so we spent a while in her playroom and, more specifically, in her tent. It's bigger than it looks (thank goodness!).

And of course there's ALWAYS time for dress up!

"Here, Uncle McHusband, you wear the hat."

We had a great visit, just too short as always. It's so wonderful to see how much Lyla has grown, but a little sad for me, too, since we don't live closer and she changes so much in between visits. She'll be going from the Cozy Coupe to her first car at 16 before I know it.