2/2/11

Valentines Decorating and More

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It has been such a nice day, so far. We played outside in the beautiful warm sun (sorry, all the other 40-something states that are freezing right now), and made Valentine decorations (is it Valentine decorations, or Valentine's decorations?). Anywho, I sewed the hearts for the mirror, and Noah cut out and colored ALL the ones hanging up in the living room (we've got to put those nasty plant hangers use). Wow, that paragraph has a lot of parentheses and run-on sentences. Oh well, no one's grading this, and it gives my husband something to tease me about.
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Notice the new paint color? I re-textured that wall and painted it. We also re-textured and painted the kitchen backslash, and I'm almost done with the texturing in the living room. I have some before and after (well, in progress) pictures I'll try to post soon. The paint is a little funny, in that it looks completely different, depending on the time of day. In the morning it's very gray (the look I was going for), in the afternoons it has a slight blue tint and in the evenings a hazy bluish-gray tone. Some days I really like it and want to paint the whole house that color, and other days I want to try a different gray. My husband just wants it all done RIGHT NOW, so it will probably end up being that color. It's just paint, so I can always change it later.
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My mom sent me this dress that she made for me when I was a baby. We put it on Ava and she loved how it twirled. We put a bow in her hair and snapped a few shots.
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Don't you find it ironic how curly Ava's hair it, and how straight Grant's hair is? I do.
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Noah taking some pictures of his best friend, Frog.
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Noah wanted a turn in front of the camera, of course. Isn't he so cute? I think he has the dreamiest eyes.
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OK, now on to dinner. I've been doing a 2 1/2 - 3 weeks meal planning. I don't like to do a whole month, because I find my fresh herbs and veggies don't last that long. Besides, my kids drink SO much milk I have to go to the store more often then I like. The meal planning is working out great. I really enjoy cooking, I just hate thinking of what to cook, so if it's already decided it makes it really easy. So, if you care to read on go ahead (this is more for my records). I plan 4 meals a week, 1 left over day, 1 easy day (freezer meals, mac and cheese, cheese sandwiches, etc.) and either 1 eat-out day or an extra left over day. Doing this has made me realize I can't do 7 meals a week. I need a few breaks, or I lose my stamina to keep cooking. I'll try to post some of the recipes we've tried. Last time I handed Adam a book and made him pick 5 recipes from one cook book, and I picked 5 recipes from another cook book. Needless to say, we had a lot of Thai food (the cookbook I picked) and a lot of hearty American food (Adam had the Costco cookbook). This month I put in more meals I already know how to cook - not so many new recipes. ANYWAY, that was a long introduction to some of our recipes. Just click on the name and it will link you to the recipe. The Costco recipes are a picture of a picture (I forgot to take my own pictures before we ate them).
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I'll tell you how much effort it took on a scale from 1-5. 1 being the super easy and quick (i.e. Rachelle could handle it without even calling for help) and 5 being the hardest and/or time consuming (i.e. Rachelle would need to call for assistance and possible have someone else make it for her).
I'll also rate it on how much we liked it. 1: didn't like it that much and 5: liked it a lot. So, without further ado, this is what we had last night.
MEAL #1
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Difficulty: 3 (above average time to make)
Stars: 5 (little spicy, but very good) leave out the Chipotle chilis if you don't like any spice
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Difficulty: 1
Stars: 5
MEAL #2
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Meatballs and Spaghetti with Garlic Bread
Difficulty: 4 (probably not that hard, but I don't have a broiler pan, so it made it more difficult)
Stars: Adam says 5, I say 4
MEAL #3
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Honey Sesame Pork Chops, Green Salad and Red Potatoes
Difficulty: 1
Stars: Adam 5, Me 4 (I don't really care for chops, but these were really tender and pretty tasty)
MEAL #4
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Difficulty: 2
Stars: Adam 5, Me 4 (the baguettes are really hard, so it's hard for the kiddos - use softer rolls if feeding kids)
MEAL #5
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Difficulty: 3
Stars: 5
MEAL #6
Chilli's Chicken Enchilada Soup (got this from my sis-in-law, Em)
Difficulty: 1-2
Stars: 4-5
MEAL #7
Difficulty: 2 (only for cooking time - otherwise really easy)
Stars: 4 (Adam says he prefers steak fajitas - these have a really fresh good taste)
OK there you have it - 7 meals!! to add to your dinner selection. I'll try to post the Thai recipes soon. They don't have a link, so I'll have to type it all in. Ugh. Sent me a comment if you try any of these, and let me know what you think.

10 comments:

Summer said...

Just notice a few of my pictures are really pixelated. Don't know if it's blogger or how they downloaded. Sorry.

Kyle and Emily said...

Noah's valentines are precious. Ava is so stinking cute. Your food looks really yummy. We are on the same page, I started a blog just for my recipes and I take pics and post as I cook them.

Adam said...

Great to hear, Althea - I'm glad you and Sum are both working on your recipes - I'll expect you both to be on your game while we are in Hawaii...

Ty * April said...

I agree with Adam. i expect both of you to be on your game in hawaii so i can relax. :)
You both amaze me with your cooking and homemaking skills. I want to be like you guys when I grow up. emily I want to see this food blog. I could use a little help. When I am not working 10 hours a day we will be able to get back to this.

p.s. I have a great chicken tortilla recipe that is delicious and make in a crock pot. Easy!

mammasweet said...

Wow! That's fantastic. I did just two weeks worth of menus when I had little kids. Shop once every ten days, saves your life.

mommaquincy said...

Yum! Ava looks like an angel! Cute decorations! Its St. Valentine's Day. Usually you say valentines, but if you are referring to to St. Valentine owning them you'd use an apostrophe. To me that means you can do it either way you want!

Summer said...

Thanks Chris for the clarification. After I read my posts I always find spelling errors and grammatical error, but hopefully people can overlook the errors and just enjoy the pictures. :)

The Yoder's Four said...

Wow, that's some good looking food! I seriously need to branch out with my recipes.

I love the gray on your walls, btw. What do you mean by retexturing? More info, please!

Summer said...

I'm a brat and wanted smooth textured walls (we currently have orange peel). So, I'm tackling one wall at a time and getting what I want. I apply 2 coats of joint compound and then sand until my hand goes numb. Then sand some more, and then clean, clean, clean.............then paint! I'll post about it sometime.

Heidi said...

Love the color on your wall. Love how cute Ava is in your dress. It's so fun to have them wear the dresses we wore as babies, huh? I do remember the one she is wearing in the main blog photo. I think it was April wearing it though in a picture I remember. Can't place the picture though.