Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Freezer Pleasers

I was chatting with a friend about her dinner menu this week. I am feeling completely uninspired by food these days.  She told me yesterday's dinner was soup she took out of the freezer.  She also told me that today she took out stuffed shells she made in advance.

I am going to start to do that more often too.  I just don't have enough time to prep each night for the following night's meals anymore.  

Get It Done Tip: I bought this Taste of Home Freezer Pleaser cookbook awhile back and plan to bust it out to try to find some good recipes to ease the stress of weekday dinner prep.  I will share any good recipes. :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Skip the Chores!


Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. ~ Phyllis Diller
I saw this quote a few months back and thought it was an appropriate Get It Done Tip.  Worry less about keeping your house immaculate and enjoy your life and kids. That's perhaps the best Get It Done Tip out there. :)

This may not fit the topic, but someone posted it today and I love it so much I have to post it. ;)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Genius Reward System

I had to share this little slice of genius for today's Get It Done Tip.  

A mom grounded her kids and told them they had to earn 500 points to get "ungrounded".   Chores on the list below are assigned points and as they rack up enough points they become ungrounded.  Apparently it worked amazingly well for her kids!
You can read more about this genius mom's idea here.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Sunday

Piano.
Baseball Parade.
Whole Foods.
Clean and prep for the week ahead.

GOODnight!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Broadway

Our gathering last night lasted until midnight -- we played for the first time Cards Against Humanity and LOVED it.  We were hysterically laughing. 

The day started bright and early with 8 AM lacrosse and 10:40 Musical Munchkins. 

Around noon my parents came down to watch my kids and my brother & sis-in-law's kids so we could go see Kinky Boots on Broadway.  I have to admit I had zero interest in going into the city to see this show, but wound up loving it.  It was fantastic!

Doing some arts and crafts with the big boys and soon bedtime for all. Goodnight!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Homemade Slime!

My mom found on pinterest a recipe for homemade slime.  My boys love slime. :)

So here is a Get It Done Tip for some messy fun this weekend -- enjoy this recipe for homemade slime


Happy weekend!

Update - Friday night fiesta!  Having over friends and did a fajita bar.  Here are some pics.


 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Organizing Essentials

It's time for a Get It Done Tip related to Spring cleaning. 

However, truth be told, I am awful at cleaning.  Hate it.   So I am stealing from Martha Stewart today and wanted to share this cool link from her Facebook page with Spring organzing essentials. 

Looking forward to my girls night out tonight!  Have a great day all!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Drybar Curling Iron

I have hair envy. 

There is a girl I work with who has perfect hair.  I asked her what she does to make her hair wavy and she recommended the Drybar Curling Iron.  I promptly ordered mine and it came yesterday. 

I need more practice, but I wanted to share this as a Get It Done Tip because it curls way quicker than a regular curling iron.

Check out this youtube tutorial which shows you how it works.



Pretty cool!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Leftover Ham Recipe

Here's a Get it Done Tip for leftover ham from your Easter dinner.

I was excited to host Easter so I could have the ham bone. :)  I am making this easy, inexpensive meal tonight -- Slow Cooker Ham & White Beans

Took all of 5 minutes to throw together and although it does not sound interesting at all and I am not a huge fan of beans....there is just something about this recipe. 

It turns creamy from the beans and salty from the ham and is absolutely delicious. 

My older one loved it in the past. I will report back and post pictures of how it goes down!

All three kids loved it!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Holiday Morning Pictures

Yesterday was so much fun. At the end of the day I enjoyed flipping through the pictures I took and it reminded me to share this Get It Done Tip.

I buy a pair of Spring/Summer Pajamas for the kids each year and give it to them the night before Easter.  I tell them it is their special Easter pj's which gets them even more excited for the big day. 

It's a simple, fun tradition that has an added bonus of making pictures of the morning egg hunt look so sweet since they are all in their new, matching jammies.  :)

Happy Monday all!*

*sarcasm

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter

The Easter Bunny led a trail of jelly beans around the house to lead the way to goodies!

The kids loved every minute of today!

When their cousin came over we did another egg hunt outside which was fun.

Dinner came out great - ham, sweet potatoes, string beans, asparagus, cauliflower, mashed potatoes and carrots.
 

I tried two new recipes - to save room on the stove I made these mashed potatoes which are cooked the regular way on the stove in advance then finished off in the slow cooker.  They came out great and one less last minute thing to prepare. 

I also decided to make creamy carrot casserole that everyone loved.  It's a keeper.

We finished off with cookies and I made this coconut cake, which looked cute and tasted great.




Hope everyone had a great day!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Tradition

8 AM first-ever lacrosse game....gotta get used to that I guess. :)  Followed by 10:30 baseball.  

We then went to my sister-in-law's for their traditional Easter quiche  -- she made like 8 amazing quiches for lunch - so good.  

After lunch we had 80+ eggs for 4 kids to dye.  When they were finished I actually heard one of them say "that's it?".  Maybe 100+ next year will be sufficient??

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stitch Fix

I have a retread Get It Done Tip today.  I received earlier in the week my first Stitch Fix order.  As a reminder Stitch Fix is an online retailer that has trained stylists pick out and mail to your home each month 5 clothing items.

OMG IT IS SO FUN!  

Below is what they sent me.  I kept the 3 things on the left side and returned the two on the right column because I didn't like them (that Helga top is hideous!!).

I wore the bottom left orange silk shirt the other day and got a ton of compliments on it.  I probably wouldn't have picked it out for myself so it was fun to try something new. 

The returns couldn't have been easier.  They include a prepaid bag you can drop whatever you don't want into and have UPS pick it up from you.

 
 
 
If you decide to try Stich Fix click on the link below and I will get credit on a future order. :) 
 
My referral code for stitch fix https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3407841

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow cookers aren't just for soups and stews.  Here's a Get It Done Tip with some great Spring recipes from Martha Stewart that you can make in your slow cooker. 

I have made the loaded slow cooker baked potatoes twice since the kids loved it so much.  In fact, I think I am going to make it again week after next it is so good.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Emergency Dinner

My plan was to have baked chicken and vegetables tonight, but last night (we finally picked up our new car!) and this morning got turned upside down. 

Get It Done Tip:  Always have as at least two emergency back-up plans for dinner each week in case your plans get turned upside down. 

For example, I always have boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs in the freezer so tossed that into the crockpot with a bottle of barbecue sauce.  When I get home all I have to do is shred the chicken with a fork and pile it on some bread for the kids and make a bag of frozen vegetables.  They love it and it couldn't be easier for an insanely busy day!

Will post a picture later.

Have a great day all!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dry Shampoo

Today's Get It Done Tip is from an old friend.  She had her first child a few months ago and just went back to work so is having fun figuring out how to juggle it all.

I asked if she has any tips to share and she told me about something called dry shampoo.  She uses this on occasion for two purposes - extending the time between shampoos and saving her hair color.  Here's what she had to say:

The product is called a dry shampoo. In my experience the most effective ones are aerosols. It's got 2 uses: 1 for extending the time needed between regular shampoos because it freshens and deodorizes the scalp while also absorbing sebum. So if you normally shampoo every other day you may be able to go for three or more days. Besides being a potential time saver in the shower a huge benefit is extending the life of you hair color. Water is the MAIN thing that removes hair color; not shampoos, conditioners or stylers. If you remove even one shampoo a week you can help the longevity of your hair color. 

A few keys to success: use on DRY hair or product will clump, section hair and spray in even lines very close to the scalp, rub into the scalp to help distribute and absorb the oils, brush through and for best results hit it with the blow dryer quickly. This product is not for everyone. People with very dark color may see some white residue (not attractive). They come in various levels of power - which will most likely not be indicated on the can. So keep trying if this product appeals to you but you don't like the first one you try. 

The other use for a dry shampoo is as a texturizing styler. You can spray it throughout the hair to help add volume and remove shine. If you want that "lived in" day after style you could use this to achieve. 
 
Here is one product and here is another one
 

Monday, April 14, 2014

FitDesk Excercise Bike

I have zero time to get to a gym, which is why I finally decided to invest in some equipment for my home.    My cousin recommended the FitDesk and it is today's Get It Done Tip because it is awesome!

It is so incredibly comfortable, plus I love the desk attached to it.  I put my laptop on it, play some pandora and can do some work which is a great distraction. 

An amazing machine for a multi-tasking working mom.  Highly recommend!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dinner Update

The husbands did a great job with dinner last night.  My friend and I sat outside watching our kids play while enjoying delicious appetizers including a dip called mushroom caviar that was really good.

Here is the rest of the dinner they made for us...
 
Green beans with shallots

Salad with a honey dressing

Roasted sweet and white potatoes

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Herb-Garlic-Pepper Coating

For dessert - apple cider floats!


Today we had piano, I ran to Costco and then we went to a local Italian place - San Martino - for an early dinner. 
Hope everyone has a good week!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Insane, Fun Day Ahead

Went to the store at 7 AM for bananas so I could make 3 dark chocolate chip banana breads - 2 for a friend and 1 for the school bake sale.

My husband just took them all to baseball.  When he gets home I am visiting my friend in CT for lunch.

When I get home my other friend and I are taking the kids to Weezee which looks cool. The husbands will stay behind and plan to cook dinner for all of us.  I will report back on how it turns out!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Asking for More Money at Work

My cousin sent through this interesting article from NPR for today's Get It Done Tip.  It talks about how women have a hard time negotiating salaries for themselves, but not for others.

The article provides the tip that "when you're negotiating a raise, think of the other people your salary is supporting so the negotiation doesn't seem like it's all about you".

This is great advice.  I remember a senior female once told me she would be stupid to not fight for her full earning potential so she could have enough money to provide opportunities and experiences to her children. 

**
Happy weekend all!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Epicurious' Six Apps to Help Reduce Food Waste

Found this great article from Epicurious with apps on how to reduce food waste and wanted to share as today's Get It Done Tip.  Enjoy!



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

One Dish Meal: Ground Beef Pot Pie

Love one dish meals. Get It Done Tip: Protein and vegetables all in one dish = easy weeknight meal.
My little people will hopefully enjoy tonight's Ground Beef Pot Pie

I had a pie crust leftover and wasn't in the mood to make a pie googled some dinner recipes using it.  This alongside a salad is a complete meal and couldn't have been easier to throw together.





This is a kid approved recipe!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Free Cone Day!

Get It Done Tip:  It's all about bribery!   Tell the kids to hurry about and get that homework done, clean up their messes and take them out to Ben & Jerry's for a free ice cream cone.  Between 12-8 today they are giving away free single scoop ice cream cones. Enjoy!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chicken Marsala Casserole

CRAZED!   Not a ton of time to write, but wanted to share this quick Get It Done Tip for dinner x2 nights.

Yesterday I went out all day so for the first time ever bought a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods so my men could have dinner without much work.  Threw some sweet potatoes in the oven and made a salad and dinner was effortless.

I had on our meal plan the rotisserie chicken and also knew there might be leftovers and instead of freezing them I went about finding a recipe that could incorporate them into the next night's dinner.   So tonight we're having Rachael Ray's Chicken Marsala Casserole.
It looks amazing. 

Love having a plan in place to repurpose leftovers so we don't waste and I don't put something in the freezer that will never make its way back out again!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

This Day Flew!

Went out last night with a friend and had a good catch up.  When I got home I heard a huge boom -- my youngest fell out of his crib and had a huge lump on the side of his head.  Drama.

Dragged myself out of bed this morning and took the big guys to piano.  The piano guy messed up the schedule and double booked so I gladly bowed out and told him to give us a make-up session over the summer.

Took the much needed time back and went to Whole Foods to get the shopping done for the week, cleaned the house and before I knew it 11:30 rolled around and my sister-in-law arrived to pick me up for a baby shower in Poughkeepsie. 

Stopped by afterwards to visit my grandmother-in-law and home by 7. 

Just got the kids to bed and am looking forward to some mindless pinning on Pinterest before I go to bed.

Goodnight!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ninja/Karate Party!

Had fun impromptu drinks with one of my buddies last night. 

The final kid party (that I have to host) for 2014 is upon us.  I am so excited to fast forward to the end!  Terrible, I know.  I usually LOVE stuff like this, but after weeks of parties I am toast!

Goody bags are stuffed with little ninja men, ring pops, ninja gummies, parachute men, fortune fish and other little goodies + everyone will get a sword.



2:30 party start time can't come quick enough!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Goody Bag Supplies

Crazy day at work then need to prep all the goody bags for all the little boys attending my son's birthday party tomorrow.  

If you aren't aware of Oriental Trading, this Get It Done Tip is for you!   Oriental Trading is the nation's largest direct merchant of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties, and a leading provider of school supplies and affordable home d├ęcor and giftware.

I buy almost all of our goody bag items from here.  I also use it for birthday theme decorations and parties we have had ranging from Mardi Gras, Poker Parties, Luaus and more.  It is a fantastic site.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Today's Get It Done Tip is one of my all time favorite slow cooker meals - chicken tortilla soup!

I am going out tonight to meet up with some old colleagues so I won't get to enjoy it, but hopefully the kids will like it.  It's been a few years since we last had it.

Hope you enjoy it if you try it!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can chick peas, drained, rinsed
1 can chopped green chiles (I left this out)
3/4 cup salsa verde (I use regular salsa)
2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon cumin (I left this out)
1/2 tsp ground red pepper - cayenne (I left this out)
2 tomatoes, seeded, chopped
chopped fresh cilantro leaves, if desired

In a 3 to 4 quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients except tomatoes and cilantro
Cover; cook on low heat setting 5 to 7 hours or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (180 degrees).
Stir to break up chicken thighs.
Stir in tomatoes before serving and garnish with cilantro.
 
The tortilla strips thicken the soup.  It's delicious, low fat and super easy to prepare.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Easter Tradition

I love simple family traditions.  I decorated for Easter and this year bought a strand of Easter (pastel) colored lights.  I decided to call the kids into the kitchen for our first annual "Easter lighting".  We did a countdown before I plugged it in and then celebrated with cookies and milk. 

It sounds so cheesy, but they were so excited by all of this.  I know we'll be doing this little tradition for the years to come. :) 






Get It Done Tip: Find a little special tradition for each holiday or season that you can do each year.  It doesn't have to cost a lot of money and you and your kids will have special memories to treasure forever.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Letters From Disney Charachters

Here is a Get It Done Tip I found on pinterest.  If you write a letter to your child's favorite Disney character they will write back and send an autographed picture. This is the address:

We will be writing to Peter Pan and likely Olaf!  How fun!

I have beef stew in the slow cooker for my dad and kids.  If it's good I will share the recipe tomorrow.  I have a long meeting and work dinner tonight so lots going on!