Friday, April 29, 2011

The Pantry Challenge

I can't remember where I first saw this, but regardless I am partaking! The pantry challenge is basically where you try and use up all the food you have in the house rather than buying a whole bunch of new groceries to suit your tastes. Some quick background, I've recently realized that we are wasting a whole lot of food by making up tasty menus every week rather than just eating what we have, so we are going to see how long we can go with just minimal shopping.

Our menu for this week:


  • Cream of Wheat
  • Cocoa Wheats
  • Oatmeal with fruit
  • Bagels with fat-free cream cheese and fruit
  • Cold cereal and fruit
  • Yogurt with fruit and granola

These breakfast choices will all be interchangeable depending on mood and time allotted for breakfast.


  • Grilled chicken couscous salad with chickpeas 
  • Bean tacos and rice
  • Leftovers from dinner

Again, lunches are not planned by day, just made for the whole week.


  • Spaghetti Bolognese with a side of spinach
  • Pork enchilada casserole with lettuce, corn, and sour cream
  • BBQ chicken with broccoli and grilled mushroom kebabs 
  • Skillet chicken and rice with broccoli and cheese
  • Oatmeal waffles with bacon and fruit
  • Omelets or mini quiches with lots of veggies
  • Leftovers
Can you believe we have 90% of the ingredients in the house already? For some strange reason we have an excess of corn tortillas so we will be making another enchilada casserole for my husband's office Cinco de Mayo party! 

While we are eating high off the pantry/freezer, Ham will be dining on our stash of homemade and store bought baby food as well as finger foods too. He has a love of wheat toast with applesauce spread on it. Yummy and healthy! 

Throughout the week I will post recipes and money saving tips. Are you game for the pantry challenge? Follow along and post your recipes and creative meal ideas. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

When are you having another?

Apparently, since my child is nearing a year it is time for me to get myself knocked up again. I am assuming this is common practice as I get asked all the time when I will be birthing a sibling for my poor lonely eight month old. For starters, I think having children less than two years apart is insane. I realize many woman do this, but I see no logical or sane reason for this choice. Secondly, Ham will most likely remain an only for the foreseeable future. I am an only, and I see nothing wrong with onlies. Perhaps someday we will adopt, but my womb is closed for business! After a horrible pregnancy, traumatic delivery, PPD, PPA, and all the other difficulties I have elected to stop while I am ahead.

This does not mean that I think other people should have only one child, this isn't China, or that they should feel the same way I do. I think large families are awesome when it is the desire of both mom and dad to have lots of children. I follow lots of great large family blogs and fully support all parent's choices in that matter. is one of my favorites! I am not anti-large family by any measure.

I think Ham would agree with me that one is enough for us. He seems completely happy with all the love we can offer, the extra toys aren't bad either.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Hair (The Good, The Bad, and the Postpartum)

I used to be really into my hair. By that, I mean that I spent at least an hour giving myself the perfect blowout daily. I bought salon products and went monthly for highlight touch-ups. We won't even go into my make-up, Abercrombie, or tanning habits. I was that vain teenage girl, the one that I currently make fun of.

Since college, I've given up my vain ways for most efficient and cost effective beauty rituals. It was a bit of an adjustment with lots of hair disasters along the way. For starters, I cut all of my hair off, think pixie cut, freshman year and then cried for the rest of the semester. I got a bad perm, cut it all off, then proceeded to get another bad perm, and then cut it off again. Apparently, I do not learn my lesson easily. There were bad highlights, bad haircuts, home hair color, and lots of tears. Sadly, at twenty-four, I am still not at peace with my hair.

My pregnancy ruined my hair in the worst way possible. Despite my never missing a prenatal vitamin or my copious intake of milk, my hair broke off half way down. I had to cut it mid-pregnancy which was a very emotional experience as I was attempting to grow it out. I completely lost the curl in my hair leaving it a straight, frizzy mess. I cut it off again a little over a week postpartum because I no longer had any time to style my hair. Now at eight months postpartum, my hair is still crap. It is dry, frizzy, and waves in odd ways (usually not the same way on both sides). I have spent a considerable amount of money on conditioning treatments, shampoo and conditioner, styling products, brushes, and trims to get rid of split ends. Yet, I am still here with straw-like hair. I am at a loss of what to do. So, I am going to seek professional help. I have no idea how much hair I will have left after this, but I pray that I look halfway decent.

A Short Timeline of my Hair...
My super short haircut grown out a bit...I was about 18 here
Bad Perm #1 age 20?
Grew it out again 21-22
Bad Perm #2 with my husband age 22
Recovery from Perm #2 (my hair is actually still permed but straightened in this photo)
Short PP hair (age 23)
Current Hair age 24

Sadly, I do not hair any pictures of my awesome long blonde hair from high school. Who knows what I will look like next week. Hopefully, it will be one of my good haircuts. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Just a Little off the Top

Little Ham got his very first haircut yesterday and, surprisingly, sat still the entire time! He looks so handsome with his new 'do!

Some fun before photos...
Gotta love the little hand :)
Before Hair!
He kept trying to look at the back of his head when she was cutting it. 
Almost finished!

Eight month update to follow!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I had to share this laughing fit with you! Apparently "Minute to Win it" is pretty hilarious to an 8 month old!

For the Sake of Posting

I don't really have an entire coherent post put together, but I felt like typing out my thoughts anyway.

I haven't felt like myself lately, and I now realize it is because of school. The pressure of being a full-time student, wife, mother, and working outside the home has gotten to me. I can barely function some days and other days I am fine. I hope that I can work this all out come summer. I want this to be a positive time in my life.

That aside, Easter is fast approaching and, for some insane reason, I am hosting Easter. Yes, you've heard correctly, I am hosting Easter just one week short of finals! I have no idea why I decided this was a good idea, but somehow I did. I purchased a cart load of Easter decorations at Michaels a few weeks back, and have since created a simple, but hopefully pleasing, menu. I've invited our respective families, and finished amassing a kick butt Easter pail for my little Ham. Yup, I am so all over this, that is until the day before when I am running around my house having a ham induced panic attack. Maybe next year I'll volunteer to host Passover instead...

Adding to my inability to function has been Ham's rather bipolar shifts in mood. One minute he is laughing his bum off and the next he is screaming for nearly an hour. I can't figure out what is bothering him, but I know that somehow this phase will end. I pray for it to end sooner than later.

Sorry for the in-cohesiveness of this post.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I had to share this picture!

From our recent Easter shoot, as Cubs fans we had to try the Harry Caray glasses between shots.

He was actually posing on his little rocket ride-one in this particular outfit, but he was resting between shots and happened to find the leftover box of eggs from a few poses before. Isn't this just adorable? I had to share. I promise more substantial postings to come as my life is calming down in the coming weeks.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I used to be smart, now it's up for debate

I am still in college at twenty-four. This may not seem too odd to many of you as many moms are in college at my age, but I should be done by now. I am one of those super confused folks who like to change their major as often as their underpants. I cycled through nursing, social work, psychology, elementary education, secondary education, communication, history, political science, medical assisting (which I finished), back to nursing, on to early childhood education, back to nursing, human services, back to nursing, back to psychology, liberal arts, human resources, and finally to business with a concentration in health care administration. I am just a hair short of the number of credits needed for my bachelor's degree, but yet I still have 17+ classes to take to get an actual degree. Apparently they don't have a mix and match option.

Despite my flip-flopping nature, I am an excellent student. With all of my majors and coursework, I have a 3.75 gpa! Not bad if I do say so myself. However, I seem to be losing the battle now that I have a baby, a husband, two jobs, and a household to run. I am barely hanging on in financial accounting, which is the worst thing ever, and microeconomics. Never in my life have I prayed for a 70%. As a textbook overachiever and perfectionist, this kills me. I have three weeks left, and I just want it to end. I feel like I am drowning in something that I can't decipher. Accounting and economics might as well be written in Swahili because I would get just about as much out of it.

I used to be smart. I used to be a good student who knew all her professors and even ate lunch with them. I used to be the girl who answered everyone's questions and took charge, now I am average (or below) just like everyone else. I feel like I lost a part of my identity. Who am I if I'm not the smart girl?