Friday, February 7

Wednesdays at Home

Our day at home was really not that exciting.  Other than our attempt to pick up Jesse's truck at the repair shop which led to spending the next 30 minutes stuck about 100 feet from our house, we really had a rather boring day.  And you know what?  It was wonderful.

As I've mentioned here in the past, I've been working with my current job to find a way to be home with Molly a little more each week.  And after some schedule rearranging, I've managed to work a few hours on two different Saturday's each month and extend my working days slightly in order to gain each Wednesday at home.  What a perfect day, too.  It's the best mid-week catch up, for all of us.  Molly's the best napper here at home, and the worst at her babysitter's house.  So we catch up on a good nap.  And some of our favorite books and songs.  We color a beautiful picture depicting what our yard will look like in a few short months.  We traced an idea of our garden layout.  Made a yummy homemade soup and cookies.  Enjoyed our time together.

And I know that I'm appreciating a day at home more than I would if I didn't work outside of the home.  I need to realize the good in my life, and always try to be thankful.  So here are some of the reasons I'm thankful today:

- The look on her face when I tell her "Mommy's home today!", and her response (with a big grin and loving hug) "Mummy no work today!"
- A quiet snowfall outside
- A handy, adventurous husband who gets us stuck in the driveway, then gets us unstuck.
- Washable crayons ;)
- The excitement and anticipation of warmer weather (our drawing was titled "Molly's yard in summer")
- A hot pot of soup on the stove.
- The sweet sound of a toddler sucking her thumb (I know it's not going to last forever).

Happy Friday.
Here's to another enjoyable, media-free weekend over here!



Tuesday, February 4

A Delicious, yet Healthy Appetizer

 By nature, I'm an eater and a food lover.  I started watching Julia Child before I as was a teenager, and I've been in love with all things Food Network since.  And I, along with the rest of the world, am in a constant battle to find the right balance between health and taste.  Between pleasing a hungry farmer and a growing toddler, I'm forever in search of a few great recipes.

I had this amazing bean and veggie salad/dip at a family reunion last year, and I've since made it at least three times.  It's a huge hit.  The ingredients are all healthy (minus the fact that the beans come from a can- but I always choose the low sodium varieties and rinse them really well), and the texture is just perfect.  The dish holds up well in all temperatures, and seriously pleases the entire crowd.

I had to share, in light of the recent Super Bowl festivities, because I'm always glad to have a healthy ready-to-go recipe in time for a crowd.


 Texas Caviar (aka delicious bean/veggie salad/dip)

1 can blackeye peas
1 can black beans
1 can white shoepeg corn
5 stalks celery
1/2 of a small onion
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
2 avocadoes
2 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp apple cider vinegar
1 tblsp honey
juice of 1 lime
2 tblsp cilantro

Drain and rinse beans and corn, add to large bowl. Finely dice onion, celery, bell pepper and add to bowl.  Mix vinaigrette:  mix oil, vinegar, and lime juice, then whisk in honey until well mixed.  Pour over bean/vegetable mixture.  Add cilantro.  Chill this mixture for at least an hour.  Add avocado just before serving.  

I must mention, though, that the acidity of this vinaigrette is just right, so the avocado doesn't turn brown, even 24 hours after making it!
It's best chilled, but it can sit out for hours and and is still really tasty.

I hope you can find a place for this delicious recipe in your wild partying life ;)



Monday, February 3

The First Weekend of February

A weekend really can't start off too poorly when it begins with a baby shower.  Especially when it's a baby shower for our littlest nephew!  My sister is seriously rocking this pregnancy and looks amazing.  She got many beautiful gifts this weekend, and lots of love for baby E.  We can't wait for her second shower closer to her home, in just two weeks.  And then, the due date is just around the corner ;)

One of my best friends drove in for the weekend, and we had the best time catch up.  I'm thankful for good friendships, because even though it's been several months, it feels like we saw each other yesterday.  Kelly always brightens up our lives :)

The rest of the weekend involved relaxing at home, and prepping for the week ahead.  I'm so grateful for quiet Sundays- its just what I need to enjoy my home and my family, and plan for the week ahead.  As Molly and Daddy snuggled, I cleaned and meal planned, then spent nap time gathering the week's groceries.  I'm always thankful for fresh produce found in PA during February, especially when it fits in the budget! 

And you guys, if you haven't tried this bean/veggie dip aka "Texas Caviar", it's a must.  I got the recipe from a family member this summer, and it's always a hit.  I made it for a Superbowl treat, and we've even spent the day enjoying the leftovers.  It uses canned beans, but lots of fresh veggies and a light vinaigrette of olive oil, lime juice and vinegar.  Seriously delicious.  I'm planning on posting the recipe later this week.

And for a new month, a new work schedule!  I'm so happy to report that I've managed to get each Wednesday off, and I could not be more excited.  I'm tacking on a extra hour three days per week and picking up another Saturday morning each month, but I'm so happy.  I really look forward to the mid-week break, to regroup and prepare for the end of the week.  I can't wait to spend a day with just Molly.  I seriously need it.

So here's to a new month, a new baby nephew, and a new work schedule!
Happy Monday!