I'm not sure if we'll follow this plan exactly - Bimmer Man wants to make tacos on Christmas Eve for lunch, I think I'm going to swap the ham/Wild Rice soup because the kids and I will be at a movie (while Bimmer Man and his mom are going to a movie, and no, the kids and I were NOT invited to that one so I had to make the magic happen for the kids. Don't ask).
The CSA delivered a ham, lots of ground beef, about 15lbs of carrots and 10lbs of yellow onions - which means that I don't have to buy either of those for quite awhile. WOOT!!!
The skillet pot pie recipe is from Eat At Home Tonight. And the recipe is so freaking easy - you soften the veggies in a cast iron skillet, make a roux, add in chicken broth and shredded chicken. Put drop biscuits on top and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. SO EASY.
I tend to make Byerly's Wild Rice Soup about once per month. It calls for a roux and cream but I've had no problems swapping out cream for almond milk, especially since I don't normally buy cream, I've had to get a little adventurous in trying non-dairy substitutions. For the most part, they've worked out really well. Is the soup as creamy as it should be? No, but it still tastes really good - and you can swap out more almond milk for chicken broth too. I haven't found a big difference in taste.
Next up on my list of things to make this morning is egg muffins. I do 12 eggs, a package of feta and bake it all in a muffin tin for about 15 - 18 minutes. Also, any recipe that just says prep your pan with A LITTLE OIL is a fucking lying liar. You need to coat the muffin tin in cooking spray so you don't end up with muffins sticking to your muffin tin and being inedible. Seriously. It might take you one or two tries to realize I'm right. Don't worry about it. You'll get there.
Ok, friends. On with the week!!
And OHMYFUCKINGGOD. My children were up at 6am this morning, the first Monday of Winter Break. Thank goodness it's shortened this year to a week and a half, not the whole two weeks. By the end of the last week, the kids hate each other, I've run out of things to do that don't cost money and they've basically thrown their toys all over the house.
And I just scolded Baby Chewie for taking a bully stick from Phil.
This is going to be a long 10 days.
And I just scolded Baby Chewie for taking a bully stick from Phil.
This is going to be a long 10 days.
We've now had the Q-Ba-Maze marble run for several months and I LOVE it! The kids do too and whenever anyone seems bored, I just pull the bag of Q-Ba-Maze cubes out and it lasts for at least an hour, if not more. I first saw these at The Works Museum in Bloomington a few years ago.
Baby Chewie actually picked this out at Target last year and I was thinking it would be just too much for him, but he CAN put the blocks together, however, he has no clue as to how to build a marble run quite yet. That will come with time though, it's a developmental leap and a learning curve. I think it took The Monkey about 3-4 times of building to actually understand how the marble runs work and how to build them so they're level, but supporting all the different ways the marble run. It took me a few times too! Now I've realized that I want way more so we can build some monster marble runs (aka, someone is getting more Q-Ba-Maze blocks for Christmas!).
So if you need new things to do to keep your kids entertained for this winter, try out the Q-Ba-Maze blocks and marbles. They're so much fun (and by the way, I don't do sponsored posts. That's not my jam so don't think I'm making money off this! It's all me!).
Photo credit: Baby Chewie
Long sleeve T-shirt, color is Hunter Pines: Old Navy Luxe Long Sleeve
Leggings: Duluth Trading Company, I no longer see the exact pair that I own (ok, I like them so much that I have two pairs), but I linked to the similar version
House shoes aka slippers: Minnetonka Moccasins Sheepskin Ankle Boot
It's too cold for fashion this week. I may or may not have even stuffed my face with pretzels and pub cheese on the couch while wearing my jacket, scarf, and hat. This is Minnesota. We stay warm however we can. Or maybe I just tell myself that.
OMG. I freaking love to read. My little Monkey is absolutely in love with reading too and honestly, I should have just bought her a $100 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble so she can pick out her own books. She's currently obsessing over the Wings of Fire graphic novel series.
Me, on the other hand, can only read mystery novels if Bimmer Man is home. For some reason my brain is just not wired to see fiction vs. reality and so I have nightmares fairly frequently if I read/watch something that's even a tad bit "scary." YIKES.
I started on the Tana French Dublin Murder Squad series YEARS ago. Before I had kids. And now I'm wanting to finish the series because I just can't leave a series unread if I've started it unless it's just so terrible that it's not worth my time. I really enjoyed the first three novels in the series - however, I also really like how she writes NOT THE SAME CHARACTER as the main character of the book. The first two carried the same - we see mentions of previous characters and I can tell already there's been mentions of future characters in this novel.
Her mystery writing isn't always cut and dry. Her characters have flaws (which in this novel with Scorcher as the main character, he makes me want to bang the book against the wall at some points, I find that makes the author a great book to be able to make the reader have feelings for or against the characters instead of making them bland). The victims also have flaws and I like how Tana French writes the victim's stories to be relatable to people in real life. The victim's family in Broken Harbor has bought a lemon of a house, lives in an estate (neighborhood to Americans) that's been basically left abandoned and the father lost his job. Of course there's more to the story, there always is, but the whole family has been stabbed and a close family friend has been arrested for the murder (this comes about 30% of the way through the novel, I wouldn't call this a spoiler). I'm right in the middle of where the detective partners are upset with each other because neither thinks the other is correct about the guilty-ness of the arrested suspect. So in a way, it's a little predictable but I really like how Tana French writes the "predictable" stuff into her novels. It's there, and it's coming, but she throws a loop with other issues and problems.
So far, I'm about 75% of the way through with this novel, and I can't wait to finish, I think I can do it over this weekend. WOOT!! As long as the kids are occupied and Bimmer Man is occupied, I can generally get in a good 15-30 minutes of reading on a weekend day.
In any case, I'm really excited to finish this novel. I can't wait to sit my rear end on the couch with a very large glass of wine and read!
Plaid Pants, purchased last year from Old Navy - Shop similar HERE
3/4 sleeve sweater - purchased from ThredUp several years ago
Socks - Darn Tough, exact stripe isn't made anymore but more cute stripes available!
FINALLY. I got to wear my plaid pants. Honestly, I should wear them once a week in the winter. I do live in Minnesota and they really are pretty awesome and comfortable. Plaid has turned into a staple pattern in my wardrobe. Growing up I ALWAYS chose to wear plain items - I hated people looking at me and I really tried to just blend into the floors and walls. I've discovered as I grow older that I LOVE patterns and I really do like wearing patterns, especially plaid. I probably have way more plaid shirts than I should (in a variety of colors too!). So I had to add the plaid to my pants too and I've been looking for an excuse. We had a holiday party and it was so much fun to see friends and get all fancy shmancy dressed up. I definitely don't regret buying these - I just need to wear them more!
I generally work out during the day - I send Baby Chewie to his room or let him have my phone so I can workout in peace in the living room without constantly being interrupted. But I decided to make the switch to early mornings. Last week I worked out 3 days at 5 am, and 2 days during the day. My days where I was up early went by so much easier. I actually had time to get things done that I wanted to get done (like clean the bathroom, gross; wash the kitchen cabinets and wash the walls, yuck; vacuum daily; and make sure all my plants are watered). I had a lot more energy and I actually didn't mind being up early. I mean, I actually yawned during HIIT moves in the morning but you know what....I got it all done! And then I even had 15 minutes to make my coffee and watch the news in peace and quiet before the rush of the day started.
Phew. I think I'm going to make the swap to early mornings as much as I can. I have a Beachbody membership so luckily I can access everything from the Firestick or my phone or the computer. I really enjoy going to the YMCA, but there's no way I can get there, get changed, workout, shower (maybe), and be home by the time Bimmer Man needs to leave for work. I tried it earlier this year and I felt awful every day I did it - I just felt like I had too much on my plate and driving all over town and just doing too much in general. I might change it up and go back to the YMCA when Baby Chewie is in preschool some days, but during the day is my time to catch up with the whole house and get shit done so I'm not working at it all after the kids go to bed. I want to be done so I can sit and read my books!
This past fall I really buckled down on saying NO to things I couldn't do, saying YES to me and making my life easier.
This was the second year that I was lucky enough to go to COTA aka Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX to watch North Loop Motorsport win the GP2 Championship!
We were there the weekend before Thanksgiving. It was so much fun! I included pictures of the pits - it seems like so many people are interested in knowing what exactly happens behind the scenes and honestly, a lot!! This was my second year and another partner was there - her second year too. We tend to stay out of the way and help only when asked. I don't know my way around cars but I sure can help with food, clean, get waters, and basically make sure no one has starved themselves and is about to pass out on Pit Lane.
We stayed in an AirbNb which was super awesome - a HUGE house, enough bathrooms for all and a very large kitchen. Every time we stay in an AirbNb, it makes me want to buy another house/condo and do the same. I can't exactly get a job with Bimmer Man working so often - he just can't do days off to watch kids or sick days and so honestly, that's why I stay home. SOMEONE needs to take care of it all (ME). I think I'd be able to stay on top of an AirbNb when Baby Chewie starts Kindergarten in a couple years but I'm not quite sure that's in the cards when we're going to rip the back of the house off next year.
I finished The Lager Queen of Minnesota - so good! Such a cute story and it's SO FREAKING MINNESOTAN. If you like easy reads and FAST reads, I think I finished this in 4 days, only reading at night and then on the airplane and while sitting on the team scooter. HA!!
This is one of my favorite spots at the track - it's the VIP section. Mostly it's shaded but you can see Turn 1 (behind me) and down the main straightaway. The drivers can also see you if it's a yellow flag - this is where I usually sit to watch Bimmer Man and this year I could get to a new bridge to watch. On normal race days for like the Formula One, you're not allowed to stand on bridges and they cover them so you can't see the cars and just cross the bridge.
This is a pit stop - they're doing a driver change. Bimmer Man is going INTO the car. He's ready to jump over the wall. The drivers help each other into the car and out of the car.
And of course, in Austin, TX we had to go to Allen's boots. I bought myself a pair AND I bought The MONKEY a pair. I really hope she loves them!
Enjoy the photos! I really had so much fun in Austin but unfortunately the WRL has a new owner with a new schedule and I don't think Austin is on it. The team owner has also started sprint races and Bimmer Man's M3 is almost finished to start sprint races as well. His first sprint race will happen at some point this spring. We'll have to find another race to go to with as many people as we did this one.
AND the best part - the team won the first day - first place in GP2 AND they won the overall season Championship!! If you're interested in following along with their racing adventures, you can find them on Facebook HERE.
It's been so busy the last month.
Just kinda cray cray.
And with that comes blog posts in waves. I finally get a good hour or two to post and write and create and think and then BAM. Life freaking hits again.
Thanksgiving was quiet, except for the night before. We went to a restaurant for dinner and poor Monkey ended up with food poisoning. She was puking at 1am. UGH. I felt so bad for her. Poor girl.
The next day her stomach was so much better. I was a bit worried for her - I wasn't quite sure if I was going to have to make her a different meal for Thanksgiving dinner or not. Luckily she recovered well and after a few days of probiotics, she was back to normal.
I was so surprised because usually it's Baby Chewie that's the puker - he's allergic to SHELLFISH so we have to be careful at restaurants because most waitstaff forgets that they have deep fried Calimari on their menu - which is mollusk shellfish and then fries AND chicken tenders are cooked in the same oil. That's going to be a forever thing too. Poor kid.
Phil obviously loved Thanksgiving dinner. He helped himself to leftovers in the organic waste bin.
I have lots of updates and photos to share so I'm fairly positive the next week or two of posts is going to be completely OUT OF ORDER. Sorry, friends.