Friday, June 12, 2009

Learn to sew with me!

Want to join me on an adventure? I found this sewing machine on craigslist for a very reasonable price. And, since my birthday is coming up, Brian bought it for me! But, I have never sewn a stitch! "Sew", over the next few weeks, I will be posting updates on my progress. My mom is taking me to Joann's for my birthday to get me all the supplies I need and some cute fabrics and such. I can't wait to get started! Stay tuned for pics of my 1st projects.

And, since I am brand new to this, I would love some input from some more experienced seamstresses! Any advice or stories you would like to share would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Garden Update

Just a quick update on our garden...


All of the rain we have been getting has actually been rough on our garden. And, don't get me started on caterpillars. My little herb garden has really struggled. Our squash got squashed. Our peppers got pulverized. But, our tomatoes have held on and are now starting to ripen! I have fresh tomatoes and basil and rosemary. I may regroup on the rest of my herbs and start fresh. I just have a NEED for some fresh cilantro:)

Gratituesday-Florida State Parks

One of our favorite things to do together as a family is camp. We have been bitten hard by the camping bug! It is a pretty economical way for us to "get away" every now and then. It is so much fun to sit around a little campfire and talk and drink coffee early in the morning. It is such an adventure to set up camp and explore and "trek" to the "bathhouse" with your kids. It is so freeing to let your kids get as dirty as they want and not worry about it for a little while! This past weekend our family decided to escape from the Bike Fest (motorcycles up and down our street and very loud bands playing on a stage 100 yards from our house, thankyou-very-much!) and head to the "REAL Florida"...a Florida State Park! Gold Head Branch State Park is located in Keystone Heights, Florida...about 20 minutes from our house! This was our first time camping at Gold Head. It was SO NEAT! It is located in the area known as The Central Florida Ridge. It has lakes and sandhills and a huge ravine with every sort of flora and fauna! On Saturday morning, we went on a hike-it was National Trails Day! Part of The Florida Trail runs through Gold Head. It was a lot of fun...Brian carried Avery in the backpack carrier. Hadley was a good little hiker for about the first mile, after that, I carried her on my back a a workout! Ben stayed with Grammy and Grandaddy since he was recovering from an ear infection. He had a great time and enjoyed not having to share the grandparents with his sisters! Florida has some WONDERFUL State Parks...we are very blessed! The camping facilities at all of the parks I have camped have been clean and well-kempt. The staff and volunteers are enthusiastic and passionate about their park. In Florida, we have an ocean, a gulf, rivers, springs, lakes and much much opportunity for exploration! I am just so thankful for the state park system. And, of course, I am thankful that God created so many wonderful things for us to explore! Praise be to Him!

Hadley holding a baby ringneck snake we found on our hike through the ravine

The girls exploring the dried-up lake bed

mommy and the girls just hanging out together at Gold Head State Park

Monday, June 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

We followed last weeks menu plan pretty closely. I am trying so hard to keep us under budget! We did splurge a little on Friday night and I bought smore fix'ns and hotdogs for our camping trip (more on that later!), but other than that-we stuck to the plan:)
Here is what we have planned for this week:

Monday, June 8th~
Shrimp Alfredo
Broccoli with cheese

Tuesday, June 9th~
Loaded Omelets

Wednesday, June 10th~
Baked Pork Chops
pasta salad

Thursday, June 11th~
Dinner in Tallahassee with Brian's parents
(dropping off Hadley and Avery for a weekend with the grandparents)

Friday, June 12th~
Black Beans and Rice with pork
steamed carrots and peas
fried bananas

Saturday, June 13th~
Veggie Stirfry
fried rice
homemade icecream

For more Menu Plan Monday, visit Organizing Junkie and link up your own Menu Plan for the week!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pasta with Tomato-Basil Sauce I am going to start posting recipes. The only problem is that I don't use exact measurements. But, I take a lot of pics...maybe that will help. So, here goes. This is one of our favorite things to eat during the summer months. It is healthy and fresh and easy. It is very basic, but it can easily be modified to suit your taste.

6-7 large roma tomatoes

handful of fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp. minced garlic
liberal drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

light drizzle of balsamic vinegar
sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste
fresh grated parmesan cheese, to taste
1 box of your favorite pasta-whole grain is best!
Cook pasta according to package directions.

cut up tomatoes and throw them in the pan with a liberal drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar, about a tablespoon of minced garlic and salt/pepper, to taste. Cook over medium heat until tomatoes soften a little and are warmed through.

Take about a handful of fresh basil and chop it up...mine is growing in my garden! Don't throw the basil in until the last minute.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss together.

Finally, stir in your fresh grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. We like to eat ours with a fresh, green salad!