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Sunday, November 28, 2010

on the hunt.....

I LOVE brunch on a Sunday morning but we usually end up going to the same place-Due Amici's in Cinnaminson.

Where do u go for brunch in South Jersey? Give it a rating of 1-5 (1 being the best) and a short description. We will welcome all suggestions. Thanks.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Yumeee Beef Stew

I needed a quick crock pot recipe and had limited food in the house so I made a quick and super yumeee beef stew.

1 lb stewing beef
handful of baby carrots cut in half
2 sweet potatoes cut into 1 inch chunks
1 whole onion julienned
1 carton of beef stock
garlic powder

Add all ingredients into crock pot. Sprinkle garlic powder and thyme to make a thin layer on top of the liquid, three or four turns each of a salt and pepper mill. Mix and cover. Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

You can add peas and corn at the end to heat them through and add move veg.

Tastes yumeee with brown rice and nice bread.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My favorite road trip

My parents were divorced when I was very young. When I was in second grade we moved to South Jersey and my dad and his family remained in North Jersey. My dad would travel 2 hours down to my house to pick me up then we would drive back to my Grandmother's house for a family day on Saturday afternoons. My dad would often bring me back that night so it was another 2 hrs in the car.
Being in the car with my father was always fun. I have three favorite things I would do in the car while we were driving. First, we would play the license plate game. I also liked figuring out what the special tags spelled out. (For example--gr8mom).
The second thing I loved to do in the car was read. I was a book worm growing up and anything that was mystery related was right up my alley. My father would always ask me how I could read while the car was moving and not get car sick!
The third things I LOVED to do in the car (and still love to do) is cloud gaze. I have fond memories of laying down in the back seat (this is obviously before the seat belt craze that we now have) and look out the window to make shapes of the clouds as we drove. I specifically remember one weekend when I was about 9 or 10 and as we were driving back home, I saw a perfectly formed funnel at exit 5 on the turnpike. It was a perfectly formed mini tornado funnel over a field. It was parallel to the car as we drove on the NJ turnpike. That was such an exciting day!
I miss having that time to drive in the car with my dad. Now that I am grown and have a family of my own, I am the one driving with my daughter in the backseat to go see my dad 2 hours away. I hope my daughter will have fond memories of road trips with me as I do of trips with my father.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

blackfriday deal

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I tried bison about a year ago because I was told it was low in cholesterol. I have tricked many a people into eating it because you really can't tell a difference from beef. Here is an article I found about it.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

TEN TIPS for making life a little easier

I have ONE daughter and life gets pretty hectic. I try to organize myself the best I can to make our lives a little easier. Here are some tips I use--do you have some great tips?

1. Morning time is almost unbearable in my house. I have done a few things to try to make it a little better for myself and my daughter. The biggest fight we have in the morning is what clothes to wear. Even though Sophia is only 4, she has become a fashion diva. She has decided that she will not wear pants anymore-DRESSES ONLY! After a few days of this fight I decided to pick clothes out the night before for BOTH of us. I even pick an extra outfit for Sophia because there are mornings when she doesn't want to where the dress she picked the night before.

2. The next thing that I have found makes the morning easier is packing our lunches the night before. I usually bring leftovers for lunch for myself and Sophia's preference now a days are ham and cheese sandwiches. I pack them and put them in the fridge and put the non cold items in our lunchboxes for the next morning.

3. I have found that it is easier for me to get everything organized and packed before I wake up Sophia in the morning. I am blessed that she LOVES to sleep in.

4. Once I pack everything in the morning, I hang the bags on the doorknobs so everything we need is ready to go at the door. I am forgetful too so this ensures I do not leave anything behind. I start hanging things the night before if need be.

5. While clothes can be a problem in the morning; shoes are the other half of the problem. I finally bought shoe hanging racks and hung them up on the wall next to her closet. When she takes her shoes off, she knows to put them in the shoe hanger so we do not have to look for shoes in the morning. They are all in one spot.

6. Rides in the car can be tedious with a child if they are constantly telling you they are bored. I have ensured that Sophia will NEVER be bored in our car, whether we are driving 10 mins to school or 2 hours to grandpa and grandma's house. I got coloring books and TWISTABLE crayola crayons and colored pencils (no pencil sharpening in the car, books that Sophia can read to herself, maze books, and a few small toys to keep in the car. I have organized them in reusable shopping bags which hang over the backs of the front seats.

7. I have a problem of keeping track of small items. I lose things often. I decided to buy an ottoman that is also storage and when I need to put something away for "safe keeping" I put it in the ottoman.

8. Keeping track of smaller items is one thing I have a hard time remembering but I also have a hard time with appointments. I have tried keeping a pocket calendar but then i would never remember to look at it. I was overjoyed when I bought my blackberry though because not only can I put my appts. in there but I have the phone set to RING at me BEFORE the appt to remind me. I put the appts in when they are booked so i don't forget to put it in.

9. Grocery shopping is always a chore for people. I do not always have time to do this but I have found that when I do, it makes my life easier. I flip through recipes and plan a menu for the week. From this menu I make a grocery list to bring with me. This is helpful because I not only have a list for the store but I also have meals planned for the week.

10. This brings me to my last tip which goes along with the last tip. Once I bring the groceries home, I make Sunday a cooking day. I cook at least 2 of the recipes I have planned and freeze them so I can take out a prepared meal and heat it during the week. This makes late nights a relief when I come home and know that I do not have to cook dinner after a long day.

I hope you can use one or all of these tips to make YOUR life a little bit easier.

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Thanks for reading!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Thanksgiving Fun and learning....

Sophia loves playing this match game that Ms. Claudia told us about. We haven't seen Ms. Claudia in a few weeks so we are looking forward to tomorrow morning's class!

Enjoy the website game and I hope you learn something new that you can include on your day of being thankful!

For more interesting Thanksgiving talk visit:


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Italian Sunday Dinners

Before I got pregnant, I told myself that I wanted to make Italian Sunday dinners a tradition for my daughter. We had pasta most Sundays when I was growing up. I want Sophia to grow up with this tradition. Today I made chicken gravy and it was better than I could have ever asked for.

Chicken Gravy

6 chicken thighs
1/2 lb bison or ground beef (i like Bison bc it is supposed to be lower in cholesterol and tastes just like beef)
1 medium onion
3 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp minced garlic
2 cans crushed tomatoes
4 tbsp italian seasoning
4 tbsp garlic powder
1/4-1/2 cup red wine (can use beef or chicken broth instead if u like)

Put 1 turn of large pot of olive oil (about a tbsp)
heat pan
add chicken and brown all sides
remove chicken when browned into a bowl
add minced garlic to pot
then add julienned onions (sliced long ways)
cook about a minute then add bison (or beef) and brown
add between a 1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine ( go by ur taste) DEGLAZE PAN
let simmer for about a minute or two
add chicken and juices back to pot
cover all with 2 cans crushed tomatoes
sprinkle all of the italian seasoning and garlic powder on top of tomatoes
Stir and cover
simmer for about 4-5 hours
mix occasionally