Wordless Wednesday: Birthday Bike!

First, We went down the street.

Then we went to the beach. It was an awesome day.


Spring Has Sprung!

Yay for Spring!

It’s still cold here but the skies are blue, the days are getting longer and it seems like everyone is just a little happier – myself included.

During the winter, I took a sanity break.

Here’s what’s been going on:

* I’m pregnant. 24 weeks along.

* Lauren is potty trained. Yay! I’m happy to have a break from diapers before our new addition makes his appearance.

* I got super lazy with cooking and menu planning and didn’t do it. At all. I made a menu for this week this morning, hopefully dinners will go a little more smoothly this week. I suspect they will. I have no clue if I’ll be able to keep it up when the overtime kicks in and the Mister is gone for 90 hours a week. But for right now, when he’s only gone for 60, I’m going to give it my best shot.

* Our little family still hasn’t been able to travel back to California to visit friends and family. We’re missing them so very much but are still waiting our visa extensions to come through. The FBI checks took the longest amount of time. 13 weeks. Finally, we got those back. Now it’s all in the hands of the New Zealand government. I hope they’ll be quick!

Eh, that’s all I can think of.

Here’s my menu for this week, I’ll post the recipe of our favorite dinner at the end of the week. Assuming I haven’t decided to become a hermit again.

Mon: Minestrone soup
Tue: Leftover soup & green salad & sourdough
Wed: Pasta carbonara & green salad
Thu: Veggie Egg Foo Yung & rice
Fri: Chicken Fajita Pitas, refried beans and leftover rice
Sat: Leftover/Takeaway night

You’ll notice there is nothing listed for Sunday. I don’t do Sunday’s. I’ve declared it my day off from cooking.

Menu Plan Monday

Want to share what you’re making this week? Head over to Org Junkie’s site and link up! Also, I’d love to know what you make for dinner when it’s just you or you and a little one. Please share with me in the comments. Thanks!


Talented Ladies

Every day, I think about blogging at least once or twice.

I really want to be able to write about what goes on in this house. I’ve got recipes that need to be typed out, pictures to share, weight loss progress/fails to get out there and quite possibly a post or two about watching hockey playoffs.

I’m going to try to get better about posting more. Even if they’re just short posts. I miss writing and sharing. I miss the comments from all the cool ladies I’ve met over the last year.

But how can I fit it in? Lauren rarely, if ever, sleeps later than I do. In fact, her being up is why I get out of bed as early as I do. She no longer naps every day and by the time she goes to sleep at night, I can maybe sit up and watch an hour long show I’ve squirreled away on the DVR while I’m folding laundry. But very rarely can I accomplish more than that. I’m beat. I have no idea how single parents do it. I’m so tired by the end of the day and I have help for a few hours on Saturday and all day Sunday.

The point of this post? I am completely in awe of the Mom bloggers that can do it all. Take care of babies/toddlers, the house, errands and blogging. Is there a trick to it?

Blogging Mama’s – how do you do it all? Please share your wisdom with me. I need all the help I can get.


Pancakes

Yesterday afternoon, I got a craving for pancakes. Since last night was leftover night, I decided to give in and make them. Why not? Lauren loves pancakes, I love pancakes and the man of the house, who doesn’t love pancakes, wasn’t going to be home for dinner. Perfect!

I have never made them from scratch before. I’ve always depended on mixes. But after making these, I don’t think I’ll ever buy a box of pancake mix again. It took maybe 3 minutes longer, tasted infinitely better and uses pantry items I almost always have. They were light and super fluffy – except for the first two. They fell victim to the first pancake curse and were flat, misshapen and just not quite right. But, the others? They were perfect.

I found the recipe here and the only change I made was to add vanilla. But now that I know they were good? I’m excited to play around with it and make all sorts of variations. I think the first will be adding some lemon zest and blueberries. Nom!

Pancakes! The pic isn't great, I only had one chance. Lauren had no patience with my desire to photograph dinner

Pancakes
Makes 8 pancakes, counting the first 2 funky pancakes
ProPoints per serving (2 pancakes): 7

1 1/2 all purpose flour
3 1/2 t baking powder
1 T sugar
3/4 t table salt
1 1/4 c milk, I used whole because I have it in my fridge and we don’t drink it as quickly as low-fat
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
3 T melted butter

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  2. Add milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet (or warm a griddle if you have one) up over medium heat. I sprayed mine with cooking spray. However, I think this is why my first pancakes never turn out.
  5. Using a 1/3 c measuring cup, add batter to pan and cook. I used a 10″ skillet and could cook two pancakes at a time. Also, feel free to make whatever size you want, I used a 1/3 c and got 8 pancakes from it.
  6. When the edges start to look dry, flip ‘em over.
  7. Cook a minute or so on the other side.
  8. Keep warm in the oven while you’re finishing off the rest. Or give one to toddler who is excitedly jumping up and down screaming, “PANCAKE!”

Wordless Wednesday: Borrowing Granny’s Glasses

Lauren w/ Granny's glasses

I abandoned my linky for some reason ages ago. But I miss seeing all the posts. I’d love it if you’d link up!




Lake Taupo

We briefly visited Lake Taupo last month.

Lake Taupo is 380 km from where we live in Wellington and it took us about five and a half hours to drive there. It was the first stop on our tour of the North Island with my in-laws. It is the largest freshwater lake in the Southern Hemisphere and totally breathtaking.

Oreti Apartment

We stayed on the bottom floor of the apartment

We stayed at Oreti Village, which are lakefront rental apartments on the southern side of Lake Taupo. We arrived late so we didn’t get to enjoy the place as much as I would have liked but the unit had a full kitchen, roomy lounge and two bathrooms. This two bedroom unit was great for two couples or families and without a doubt, I would have happily stayed there for a week if given the chance. The beds were comfortable, there was a large deck area and the view was just spectacular.

Lake Taupo

Early morning Lake Taupo from the balcony

It was quite cloudy and cold in the morning but it made for quite an amazing sunrise. Sadly, I was too busy staring at the lake to take many photos but I did take some. I ended up with some favorites from this day and I’m super happy to be sharing them here.

Taupo

The lake was so pretty first thing in the morning



Lauren's favorite were the visiting quail

Since our visit was so brief, we didn’t fully explore the area on this trip. We absolutely will on the next one. Some of the things we’re thinking about doing next time:

* Maori Rock carving cruise and if we make it in the summertime, we’d love to take the one offered at twilight. Unless Lauren is older when we go. If that’s the case we’ll…

* take a guided kayak tour of Taupo. I love kayaking and I suspect that this would be knock-my-socks-off gorgeous.

* checkin’ out the hot springs

* walking (or biking, if possible) the Great Lake Walkway


Menu Plan Monday: Gettin’ Back To It

Our household has been a chaotic mess for the last couple months. The man of the house started working a bunch of overtime. Then we had house guests. Then even more overtime kicked in for my already tired spouse.

It went from just being my little lady and I most of the time to a crowded house of craziness. When our guests left, it suddenly got very quiet with J being gone an additional 10 hours a week, pushing his total weekly hours to 90. Yes, 90. If you’re curious, that’s 5 sixteen hour days and 1 ten hour day. At least that’s how he’s been breaking it down.

We have been expecting craziness like this for awhile and it did build up gradually from 50 hours a week, which is a standard work week in his industry. And because the company he works for is a good one, they provide dinner for the staff that work overtime.

Because he hasn’t been coming home for dinner, I have gotten super lazy about cooking. So yesterday, we bought a microwave to make heating up leftovers easier. So now I should really make more than toast, grilled cheese and PB&J’s for dinner.

As I was planning my menu for the week, I was clearly craving soup. Most likely because it has been rainy, windy and super cold. And I love how they’re easy to get started during nap time and are ready when we are.

Mon: Salmon fillet with marmalade-dijon glaze, veg, maybe potatoes
Tues: Broccoli cheese soup, sourdough bread
Wed: Chicken soup, sourdough bread
Thur: Leftovers
Fri: Potato leek soup
Sat: No clue, probably leftovers
Sun: J’s request, tbd

I’ll post our favorite recipe of the week on Sunday.

Want to share what you’re making this week? Head over to Org Junkie’s site and link up! Also, I’d love to know what you make for dinner when it’s just you or you and a little one. Please share with me in the comments. I will really appreciate it! Thanks!


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