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Roasted Romanesco Broccoli

Though this recipe is for romanesco, I’ve used it with regular broccoli as well as both orange and white cauliflower with great results!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head Romanesco broccoli, broken into large florets
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

Heat the oven to 450. Toss your veggie with the oil, salt and pepper. Use as much or as little salt and pepper as you’d like. It really depends on your tastes and how much veggies you’re cooking up.

Spread the veggies out on a baking sheet, you can also cook this in a casserole dish too! Just make sure that the veggies have some space between them. They don’t roast well if they are cramped together.

Anyway, roast it in the oven for 20 minutes. Turning them at the halfway point will make the browning much more even.

Enjoy!

Buttermilk Substitute

We love Irish Soda Bread in our house. But, it can be quite hard to find buttermilk in the stores. Well, it was common in Virginia, but nearly impossible in southern California. So, for those times when you need buttermilk…

1 cup of Buttermilk = 1 Tbs Lemon Juice + enough milk to make 1 cup total

Stir and let stand for about 5 minutes. Voila, buttermilk substitute!

FOCUS

If you are like most Moms, you have a million things on your to-do list.

If you are like most business owners, you have a million things on your to-do list.

So what do us working moms do that have 2 million things on our to-do list do?

FOCUS

I’ve read so many blog posts about people who choose their “word of the year”. It’s almost a grown up version of a resolution. I remember back when I first read posts about this I tried thinking of my word. And just this morning things finally clicked. I tell my son to focus all the time. FlyLady tells us to do it now, stop procrastinating. Pam Young calls us “SHES” Sidetracked Home Executives. I’ve realized now that my word of the year is FOCUS.

With a million things on my Mom to-do list and a million things on my business owner to-do list (not to mention taxes are due next week!!!), I have to slow down and FOCUS on one thing at a time. I need to declutter my mind, my desk, and my visual space. I tend to work from my laptop sitting on the couch. So my visual space includes the coffee table (tax work and inventory lists are currently flooding it), the TV (off this morning thankfully, my son’s table and toys, the dining room with no dining table (currently housing two strollers, a glider chair, and more toys plus an easel that blocks some view. I can also see into the kitchen partially where the bar area is covered with more papers, a toaster oven (wish I could house that somewhere else), 2nd laptop, mug of pens, and basket of napkins.

So my ultra simplified to-do list for today is:

  1. Go to bank
  2. Go to farm (play date scheduled there)
  3. Go to post office
  4. Clear off coffee table
  5. Pick up toys in living room
  6. Work on taxes

There are so many more things on my list to do but this is what I’m FOCUSing on for today. Outside of those 6 things, I’ll pick and choose what I can do off the big lists and field requests as they come in. Mainly requests from the kids. Like my infant who says “mom I’m awake now”. It looks like I get to switch to Mom mode now.

What I’ve been up to…

Well, you may notice I’ve been away for a bit. We welcomed our son to the family at the beginning of the year and it still seems like we are getting used to the new way things are. With the new level of busyness in the house, posts are going to be fit in when and where they can. Before my son was born, my brother gave us a bread machine that my mom sent over. Truthfully, I wasn’t thinking I would use it much since I can, and always have up until this point, made my bread by hand or bought it from the store. I stand corrected. I’ve got our 6th? loaf in the machine right now. It’s saved lots of time and I can make whatever flavor we want without having to time in a grocery store trip or pay for overpriced and often super dry bread. I’ll be sharing some of the bread machine recipes that I’ve been using lately. So stay tuned for more recipes.

Inspiring Blog Nomination

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I am grateful to have been nominated for the Inspiring Blog Award by Forcing the Bloom. I may have been quiet with the posting lately but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped reading and Forcing the Bloom has some of the best ideas and examples for implementing Montessori at home.

So, first of all, thank you so much to Forcing the Bloom for nominating me!! Please check out her award post to learn about her and see her other nominations. Here are seven facts about myself…

  1. I’m having another baby! Yes, we will be having our second child in January.
  2. I’ve dug through all my recipes that I’ve got on my computer but not on my site and have scheduled them out so be prepared for tons of recipes.
  3. I finally started baking bread again in the house. I hope that I keep it up because it tastes soooo much better.
  4. I often struggle these days to keep up with the house (laundry, dishes, toys…).
  5. No one ever warned me that the second time you are pregnant it is harder! Seriously, I get super tired and can’t take a break while little man is asking to read the 20th book for the day or just dumped out the whole bucket of Lincoln logs.
  6. I’m so thankful for my husband who has been super supportive and even though he works a busy job, he still finds time to help out with my household tasks.
  7. I’m going to be a bit selfish and not pass on the award. I know so many awesome people who have already been given it and it’s more important to post this than procrastinate another week or two while I see who hasn’t received it that I’d want to pass it on to. Don’t hate me. It’s time for this pregnant mama to get some much needed rest.

Thanks again to Forcing the Bloom for the nomination because I do really appreciate it.

I’ve Been Workin’ Hard

Hey everyone. I’ve been gone for awhile but I haven’t been idle. Nope, I’ve been working hard. What at you may ask? Well, Little Man and I have been attending a Montessori class on Saturday’s. My wonderful husband has completely embraced his bicycling hobby. He commutes to work by bicycle and then goes on great big rides on the weekend. I’ve also been working on expanding our product line with our eBay store. We’ve had appointments, taxes returns are almost due, and the house does have to stay in some type of livable arrangement. Thankfully, I’ve fully embraced something myself. I’ve fallen in love with Evernote. I’m able to keep notes on supplies, recipes, to-do lists, homeschool ideas, gift ideas (a favorite feature). I can even set reminders attached to notes. Like buy Little Man his birthday present! Anyway, it’s back to work on everything but be sure to check out Evernote. The free version is great but the Premium version allows you to upload lots more awesome stuff. Have a great day everyone!

Moving: The First Steps

So you’ve found out that you’re moving. Now what?? Well, I’ll tell you some step by step things to do in the beginning.

Step 1: Breath

Really, breath. Moving can be overwhelming and you need to remember to relax. Everything will be OK in the end. Will stuff break? Yes! Will You miss your old home, neighbors, friends, favorite store…? Yes! Will you move on and make new friends, find a new favorite shop, fill your new home with memories, and keep in touch with your old friends? YES! So, no matter the problems with moving, it will all be OK in the end and you just need to take a moment to breath and assure yourself that it will all work out.

Step 2: Gather Information

It’s important to gather as much information about your move as possible. I like to keep all of this information in my “Moving Control Binder” which is a binder in a red zippered case. We move a lot and it comes in handy time after time. You don’t need to have something fancy, but at least grab a spiral notebook, binder, or make a new notebook in Evernote to place all the research you are doing. Here are a few things you’ll want to find out:

  • When are you moving?
  • Where are you moving to?
  • How far away is it?
  • How many days will it take to get there?
  • Will you drive to your new home or fly?
  • Are you renting or buying?
  • Will you need money set aside for deposits at the utility company for the new house? (This can range from $0 to $200 per utility I’ve found based on the part of the country you’re moving to and if you have a previous history with the company)
  • Are you moving yourself or is a company moving you? (If you’re moving yourself, I recommend renting a truck from Penkse over U-Haul or Budget)
  • Do you have a set weight allowance (mainly for military moves)?
  • Are you moving with school aged children? Do you need to register the kids with the new school?
  • Are you moving with pets? Are their shots all up to date? (Make sure to get a copy of their records from your vet to take to the new vet)
  • Who do you need to notify of your new address? (Make a list of banks, utility companies [for deposit refunds], friends & family [don’t forget your Christmas card list], magazine subscriptions, health insurance, car insurance, DMV, rewards or loyalty programs, credit cards…)

There are hundreds of other questions but this is at least a start for you. As you find more information, put it in your notebook!

Step 3: Declutter and Downsize

When you are moving, it is easier to do when you have less stuff. If you know the size of your new house, you’ll know if all your furniture will fit. If some pieces won’t fit, sell or donate the pieces so you don’t have to pay to move it. With the big stuff figured out, start to declutter other things too. Go through your closet and see if there are old clothes or shoes that no longer fit, are irreparable, or just plain out of style. If you don’t need it, use it, or love it, out it goes. **Once you are in the new house, everything that gets hung up should be placed on hangers and put the hangers up backwards (hook it from behind). Once you wear something, put it back up the normal way. Then in about 6 months, 1 year, or the next time you move, you can easily see what you don’t wear. This makes getting rid of it much easier emotionally.** 

Go through other things as well, do you need all of your kitchen gadgets? tools? kids toys? seasonal decor? How about going through your papers. Now is a great time to make sure everything is filed correctly and you know where the important papers are (birth certificates, shot records, bank statements, mortgage papers, marriage certificate…) that you will want to move by hand. Recycle or shred any papers you don’t need. I like to use my Neat Receipts portable scanner to scan in the really important papers, and some that are mildly important. The less important ones I will scan and then toss/shred the original. Make sure to use a good quality Crosscut Shredder to shred your documents for higher security.

Great ways to get rid of your stuff:

  • Sell (craigslist, local classifieds, garage sale)
  • Donate (freecycle, church, local thrift shop)
  • Trash

**Please be safe if you are selling or donating your items! Be aware of your surroundings and look out for scams. Pick public places and always have someone else with you if possible.**

Step 4: Start Packing

I don’t mean start packing everything (unless you have a very short time frame). But start packing things you don’t need right now. Pack up your clothes that are out of season, extra office supplies, hobbies… If you don’t need it again before the move, pack it up. Ziploc bags are a great way to keep small things together like office supplies (pens, pencils, paper clips…), kitchen items (chip clips, corn on the cob holders…), bathroom items (hair accessories, nail polish bottles…).

Step 5: Use What You Have

A major pain about moving is that often you can’t take your half used bottles or food items with you. So, use up the last of your soaps, shampoos, lotions… and work your way through the food in the house.

In preparation for my own pending move, I’m currently working on eating us out of stock for every item in the freezer, fridge, and pantry. I took a blank calendar and started planning my menu carefully. I first took stock of all the pasta I had left and decided that every Monday we are eating pasta. Wednesday’s we are eating chicken. Friday’s we are eating sandwiches. Saturday’s we are having breakfast for dinner. Sunday’s we are having a crock pot dish. I went through my recipes and penciled in dishes all the way out to our moving date. We don’t follow it 100% all the time, but we are thinning out our stock of everything! We just finished up the last of our turkey so we won’t be eating that again until after the move. We have one ham, one pork shoulder, one pack of sausage, 3 lbs of ground beef, 3 packs of dogs, some bacon, and a bag of chicken. I have bread in the freezer, and some veggies. In the pantry I need to use up flour and some emergency food supplies we opened. There are other canned goods but they can be donated to the food pantry if we don’t eat them before we go. The fridge gets cleaned out regularly so the only foods we purchase anymore are fruits and veggies, milk and eggs. It has dramatically helped the budget. Click here to see our menu plan, in progress, for August and on with links to the recipes I’m using! 

In the bathroom, I’ve taken stock of all our open items and I’m using them up! I use up the ones with the least amount left first. I’m not opening anything new unless I have to. If I really don’t like it, I’ll either donate it on freecycle or trash it.