Friday, December 28, 2007

Advice Forum Friday - Healthy Edition

I am not making a New Year's Resolution. That's so cliche and they never stick.

At least not around here.

What we are doing, however, in the Dirty Laundry household, is committing to get healthy. And the first of the year seems like a good time to start, don't you think?

Obviously, the first thing we've got to do is stop eating a bowl of ice cream (or fudge or whatever) every evening while we're watching TV. Oh, and takeout for dinner on the bed while we watch TV.

Maybe we should stop watching so much TV? Nah. That would be overwhelming.

So. I will probably sign up for Weight Watchers online in a month or so, after our budget recovers from Christmas. WW Online has been successful for me twice.

Obviously Not Long Term.

But one can hope.

So what advice do I need, you ask? Well, for starters, I'd love to know your favorite healthy(ish) recipe. It doesn't have to be tofu and sprouts, although I'm not opposed to that. We'll try anything. At least Big Daddy and I will. The girlies might eat bananas and cereal that night.

A favorite go-to in the past has been faux quiche, made with Egg Beaters, Heart Smart Bisquick and whatever else we throw in there. I have the basic recipe stuck to the fridge, and then I just pour it over whatever we have - spinach, mushrooms, bacon, ham, seafood, whatever.

My very favorite healthy recipe is fresh green beans with caramelized onions and bacon. Here's how I do it.
Step 1. Slice up one onion and place in pan with 1-2 T of butter, margarine or olive oil. Cook on low until they caramelize. Don't rush this.
Step 2. Rinse and trim fresh green beans.
Step 3. Steam 'em.
Step 4. Using kitchen scissors, chop up pre-cooked bacon (it's lower in fat somehow) into the already caramelized onions. Toss the mixture around until the bacon is heated and maybe crisped a little more.
Step 5. Throw in the steamed green beans and toss very well.
Step 6. I like to add some lemon pepper, but Big Daddy doesn't. Do what you want.
Step 7. Eat a big old plate of this deliciousness for dinner. There are some calories in the butter/oil and some in the bacon. That's it.

So. Here's what I'd like you to do for me today. Share with us your favorite healthy recipe. Bonus points if it's easy. You can post the recipe on your site and post your link down below, or you can just put your recipe in the comments section.

And if you have a question to ask my vast readership today, here's how you do it.
A. Post the question on your blog.
B. Link to me in that post.
C. Leave a link to your post down below in Mr. Linky.

Questions? E-mail me.

Answers? Lay 'em on me.

And y'all have a great weekend, okay?

Tink's Wisdom

Tink: You only marry one time, unless you're a rock star. They marry one person and then another. and then another and another. Until they die.

Looks like she's got a good grasp of the facts.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Logan, The Sky Angel Cowboy

Advice Forum Friday

Hey, y'all. So glad you could make it over to my little neck of the woods today. I hope your Christmas preparations are going well. I think I'm doing all right, unless my faulty memory has screwed me and I've forgotten something important.

We're hosting Christmas Eve at our house this year, so I'm looking for some menu advice again.

P.S., Thanks so much to Jennifer, WendyDarling, Meredith and shoeaddict for the great suggestions last week. We ended up adding Eggs Florentine, combining Jennifer and Meredith's recipes for the breakfast casserole, and winging it on the fruit salad recipe. Everything turned out yummy.

So. I am not so much a fan of sit-down dinners, especially since our house is so small, so we're having munchies. So far, here's what's confirmed:

Honey-Baked Ham. Yum. (I'll probably have rolls and condiments so we can make small sandwiches. What about a yummy sandwich spread or unusual idea you have for something to add?)

Tamales. Is this just a Texas thing or what? We love tamales year-round, but especially on Christmas. I wish there was a place nearby that had more varieties, but the old-school pork tamales from our favorite little place will be just fabulous.

Fruit Salad. It was so good last Sunday. If I don't post the recipe soon, remind me, 'kay?

Toll-House Pie. Dang, y'all. This stuff should be illegal. But it's not, at least not until Jan 2, so I'm making it, dadgummit.

Fudge. Yeah, baby.

Truffles? If I can find the recipe that's just canned icing, chocolate chips and liqueur/flavoring.

Divinity, if we can find a good recipe and we have time. Big Daddy used to work for a candy company that made the best divinity in the world. He's just itchin' to try his hand at it again.

Obviously, I need some more suggestions for non-sweets. I think we've got the sweets covered, don't you? Especially since my Mom will be bringing Bon Bons, Pralines, Pecan Pie and Coconut Pie.

And if you need advice for anything this week, you know the drill. Just write about it on your blog, link back to me, and post your link down below.

Merry Christmas, People!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Come on in!

Hey, people! Did you miss me again?

I have been oh, so sick, ended up in the ER Monday night, but I am on the mend and trying to get caught up with humpteen million things. Things like...oh, I don't know...wrapping and mailing gifts maybe? Or finishing Christmas cards? But my priority, of course, is posting photos of my favorite Christmas decorations, and getting in on the tail end of BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes.

Behold my tree. And what's that underneath? I believe it's a little girl! Thank goodness, because I have been wanting one of those forever!

And speaking of little girls, this ornament is a special one to us. Big Daddy and I bought it after my miscarriage several years ago. Even then, we must have known God had blonde, blue-eyed girls in our future!

What? Another treasure 'neath the tree? That's right, ladies and gentlemen, it's Mr. Buster Brown, who took up residence under the tree as soon as we put it up this year. He's senile, bless his heart, but we love him.

Here's one of our nativities. I just sit 'em wherever I can see 'em real good. Also in the picture, you can see my paternal grandparents, Grandma and Daddy Jim. Grandma died before I was born, and my Daddy Jim when I was 3. I can really still remember him; I love that.

And yes, that is our wedding picture up there on the left. Talk real sweet to me and maybe I'll post a good one some day.

My Department 56 Dickens Village. I started collecting it years ago when I worked at a snooty Christmas Store, and I've been cursed with expensive taste ever since! I haven't gotten a new piece in a few years, and I don't even think we put it out last year, but isn't it cute? I'll have to take some more pictures later, cause there are dancing, spinning people in Fezziwig's Ballroom, and smoke comes out of the chimney on The Christmas Carol Cottage Revisited.

My Santas. They're little and I love 'em! Please disregard the fact that my mirrors look dusty. There must be something wrong with my camera. Couldn't be that I never even THINK about getting those suckers down and cleaning them.

Oh look! You can't see the dust nearly as bad when I add sepia tones. Or can you?

And my final treasures, y'all. My sweet little Bear, who's been with me the longest, before there was a Big Daddy, and before there were three little angels underneath my tree.

And those precious angels. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Advice Forum Friday - QUICK!

Hey, guys! I'm looking for some quick suggestions from you this week, so I'll get right to it.

We're having a Christmas Brunch here at the Dirty Laundry household, This Sunday. We've pretty much got the menu set, but I'm always looking for suggestions and new recipes. Here's what we've got so far:

Breakfast Casserole (eggs, sausage, cheese, etc.)
Quiche (Probably bacon & Swiss)
Sausage Balls
Paula Deen's Ultimate Coffee Cake
The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
Crystal Paine's Banana Bread
Fruit Salad

So where do you come in? Well. Turns out Big Daddy is going to have to do most of the Sunday morning work himself, because I have to stay for the second service at church, when I had intended to be home getting everything ready. So I'd like to simplify things a bit.

First of all, I need a tried and true recipe for a Breakfast Casserole. Preferably something I can put together the night before and just pop it in the oven on Sunday morning. I've made a pretty good one before, but of course can't find the recipe now. I have a yummy sounding recipe for breakfast casserole that has a crescent roll bottom, but I think it would probably be best fresh out of the oven.

Also, do you have a recipe for Fruit Salad that uses pudding mix? You know, it kind of makes a creamy glaze in there? I've had it, but I've never made it. Have you?

Finally, since we're not doing our grocery shopping until this evening, I'm open to any other suggestions. Let me reiterate: Easy, oh and did I mention frugal? and bonus points if I can make it in advance.

If you have recipes, you can post them here in my comments, or post them at your blog and sign Mr. Linky. Whatever floats your boat. If you have suggestions, lay 'em on me.

And as always, if you have a question to ask the internets today, just post it at your blog, link back to my post, and sign lonely Mr. Linky down there.

I leave you with the results of our impromptu Dirty Laundry Christmas Photo Session. They clean up pretty good, don't they?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday Q & A

Welcome to the 2007 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends!

I've gotten this e-mail from humpteen friends, so decided to use it for blog fodder. I'm just doing the first few today.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Yes, please. But I've never had egg nog with brandy or whisky or whatever in it. Is that weird?

2. Does Santa wrap the presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa just brings one, and it's not wrapped.

3. Colored or white lights? White!

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Not usually, but I'm not opposed. :>)

5. When do you put your decorations up? ASAP, but this year it's slow going. The tree's up but no decorations on it yet. So we keep them up until the first week of January.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Yes, please. All of them. Oh, specifically? Fudge, Mom's bon bons, good fruitcake, divinity, oh, and maybe some sweet stuff.

Play along at your blog if you want to, and be sure to let me know so I can check it out! Or just tell me in the comments what your answers are.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Win an Insignia Shelf System!

Those great girls over at 5 Minutes For Mom are at it again, and I couldn't be happier!

This time, they're giving away an Insignia Shelf System (with iPod dock, USB port, CD/DVD player, digital AM/FM, HD radio and more), courtesy of Best Buy!

Run over to 5 Minutes For Mom and check it out!

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

God's Provision

So this morning I'm wandering around the house, getting people dressed for church. I still don't know what I'm wearing, because my clothes on air fluff in the dryer are still wet. I opened the upper cabinet to our fancy dryer, and lo and behold, there's my favorite shirt just waiting for me. I may have had a Hallelujah Moment.

Me: THANK YOU LORD! Thank you for your bountiful provision! Thank you for taking care of Mommy, even in her procrastination. I LOVE YOU LORD! Thank you for taking care of me even though Tinkerbell thinks that I'm crazy!

Tink (6): (Deadpan) Well you are.

Alrighty then.

PLEASE NOTE: Although I may have been more exuberant than usual, my Thanks were extremely sincere. I love my God and the fact that he takes care of me even though I'm a procrastinator.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

To Santa or Not To Santa

Y'all, I sometimes feel like a ginormous insecure failure as a parent. How's that for an intro, huh?

It's Santa. I have a love/hate relationship with Santa. I like the fantasy of Santa, but I don't like lying to my kids.

I think that if we'd raised our girls from infancy, we probably would have done things differently, BUT...

When we adopted our girls, they were 2, 4 and 5. The 4- and 5-year-old already believed in Santa, so we didn't tell them otherwise, but we downplayed the whole thing. Santa brings them one gift each, and since Tink has doubts, we tell her this: "You can believe what you want to about Santa, but don't tell anyone else that what they believe is wrong."

Do you know that I've heard parents say that the rule in their house is, "You have to believe to receive." In other words, when you stop believing in Santa, you stop getting presents. WHAT?

My girls will all tell you, "Santa's not important. Jesus is important." But Santa sure is a fun little fantasy, isn't he?

I think I was maybe 8 years old when I figured out that Santa wasn't real. It was actually Easter, we were at my Grandmother and Granddaddy's house, and I was ticked off because all of my aunts and older cousins were in a bedroom with the door shut, going through a bunch of shopping bags. I sat out there ticked off, pouting, trying to figure out the big secret, when VOILA! I got it. I talked to my Mom, she confirmed my suspicions, and the dominoes started falling...Easter Bunny...Tooth Fairy...Santa? I don't remember being upset or disappointed at all. I just knew.

The next Christmas, I remember laying in the bed at my grandparent's house, listening to the screen door slam, knowing that my parents were bringing in the "Santa" gifts. It's really a kind of neat memory to me, the first time I KNEW.

Around the time I learned the truth about Santa, I guess I became aware of the fact that my Granddaddy was a Scrooge. And reason for his Scrooginess? When he was a boy and learned the truth about Santa, he was devastated that his parents had lied to him, and he never got over it.

I'll try to remember to tell you more about my Granddaddy and Christmas later, but for now, let's get back to the point, shall we? The point being: I'm conflicted about going along with the whole Santa's Real thing, but I don't want to come right out and burst my kids' bubble, either.

So we won't. We'll probably just continue along the road we're on. Downplay Santa, but don't come right out and blow his cover. And be more confident in the choices we make, worrying less about what others think.

How's that for the most rambling post you've read this holiday season? Thanks for sticking with me; I needed to get that off my chest.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Advice Forum Friday

Hey, y'all! It's time once again for Lori to show how little she knows about...everything. Cause I'm runnin' to my internet buddies to ask your advice yet again.

Can I just tell you that I love hearing what you have to say about...everything? Seriously! I appreciate it more than you can imagine!

I guess, heck I know, that I'm an insecure type. I always wonder how other people are handling situations, whether they be minor or earth-shattering. And even when I KNOW without a doubt what I should do, it's always nice to hear from someone else's perspective.

So Thanks.

And on to my question for you this week. I would love to hear about your paper organization system. I have a mountain of paper on my desk, and it makes me very sad. I've got homeschool stuff, public school stuff, bills, coupons, church stuff, medical stuff, all kinds of stuff, just like I'm sure everyone else has, too. Where do you put it all? I have files all over the dang place and I've tried 40-eleven different systems, and I still haven't found something that works for me.

I'm hoping that hearing how other people handle this yuckiness will inspire me with a new and successful plan. So lay it on me.

And you know what, if you want to post the answer at your place and then just sign the Mr. Linky down below, go ahead. If you want to post your advice here in my comments, go ahead and do that, too.

And as always, here's the way to get your question seen by all 6 of my readers:

Write a post at your blog
Link to me in that post
Sign Mr. Linky down below

If you don't know how to use the Mr. Linky, please e-mail me and I'll be happy to walk you through it. It's one of the few bloggy things I know how to do.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Look at the great giveaway going on right now at 5 Minutes for Mom! The package includes oodles of toys from the award winning Parents® Magazine toy line.

Go check it out - they're announcing the winner (hopefully me!) on December 9.

Warning: May be Too Much Information

Tink (6): Mom, this is true; my poop was really standin' up.

Big Daddy: Like we really needed to know that.

Tink: Well, it was.

Scooter: Let me see! Let me see!

Tink: It's already gone Bye Bye.

Scooter (4): Aw, man.

We're a high-falutin' family over here, y'all.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

What a Monday it was!

Y'all, my big girl learned to ride her bike yesterday. I'm so proud of her, and her Daddy was almost a blubbering mess.

Our girls have always had bikes, but we live in a very busy neighborhood and their Mommy is a worry wart, so they've really only ridden in the driveway, and with training wheels. Yesterday, Big Daddy was outside working on a project, so Pooh asked him if she could ride her bike. He helped her out a little, and before long he was yellin' for me to come see that girl racing up and down the street! Since it was the middle of a weekday, the neighborhood was quiet, so her Mommy didn't even have a conniption.

Have I mentioned we're proud? So that's my first Happy for today.

And here's my second Happy: Look what Big Daddy and our friend Andy made! It's for a display at church, and I think it's just gorgeous. Right now it's in front of our house, and I love looking at it when I come and go. Isn't it gorgeous?

Number Three on my happy list today is my pair of fuzzy slippers. I love these dudes so very much!

What's making you happy today?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Good Morning, Monday!

Hey, y'all. Don't you love it when you're in a good mood on a Monday morning? Let's get right to my 3 happies today, shall we?

1. Have I mentioned that it's Big Daddy's Day Off? He's right over there snoring because it's his only day to sleep in. I didn't love getting up by myself this morning after staying up too late, but I do love giving him the treat of unlimited sleep!

2. There's banana bread in the oven! I used this recipe from Biblical Womanhood. I can't wait for that timer to ding!

3. How this for a segue...I'm happy because I have a menu plan for this week that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, and that I did it almost completely from my fridge/freezer/pantry. We bought some minimal groceries last night, and we're set for at least a week. Yay Us!

So without further ado, I present to you Menu Plan Monday!

B - English Muffins, Yogurt
L - Spaghettios, Fruit
D - Dinner out with Grammy and Grandaddy, and then looking at Christmas Lights

B - Cereal, Fruit
L - Cheese Pizza, Carrot Sticks
D - Potluck Soup (Odds and ends from the freezer/fridge/pantry with some mushroom soup and Mommy Magic)

B - English Muffins, Fruit
L - Ramen Noodles with veggies
D - Grilled Sausage Sandwiches

B - Cereal, Fruit
L - Mac & Cheese, Carrot Sticks
D - Crockpot Chicken and Rice (rice, chicken, cream of whatever soup, in that order)

B - English Muffins, Fruit
L - Oatmeal with cranberries and nuts
D - Life Group Christmas Party - We're bringing Big Daddy's Famous Ribs and a Toll House Pie.

B - Probably a bunch of unhealthy sweets leftover from the party, with milk for calcium!
L - Pancakes and Sausage
D - Sloppy Joes

Yes, the breakfasts are boring, but we're on a budget here, folks, and we have lots of English Muffins in the freezer!

Y'all have a great Monday. Oh, and tell me what's making you happy today.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Still Happy!

Hey, y'all. Hope your weekend was lovely. Mine was, and here's what made it that way.

1. My church. I love our church, our pastor, and most of all, our God.

2. My Sunday Nap. Man, what is it about Sundays that makes me so sleepy?

3. Big Daddy's work party was at Johnny Carino's tonight; they rented out the whole restaurant. Cool, huh? We had a sitter, so we had a nice, leisurely dinner with adult conversation.

Tomorrow's Big Daddy's day off, so we're finally going to start decorating for Christmas. I hope.

What made you happy today?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Merry December!

Making me happy today:

ONE. I inventoried all of our cold food (deep freeze, fridge and freezer) and am doing my own personal freezer/pantry challenge until it all runs out. More money for Christmas!

TWO. Christmas movies All Over The Television! I can let my kids watch something other than Disney and Noggin without worrying about it!

THREE. Big Daddy's off work for the next two days. They're always my most favorite days of the week!

Hope your weekend is going great! And that you don't have a seizure from all my exclamation points! !