Homemade cranberry sauce

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I decided to try to make cranberry sauce this year instead of opening a can. I've read a lot of different recipes for homemade sauce so I combined a few and came up with my own. 

12 oz fresh cranberrys
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water 
Juice from half an orange 

I just added everything to a pot and brought it to a boil. When the cranberrys started to pop I turned it down to a simmer for 10 minutes. Then I removed it from the heat and let it cool. I stored in the refridgerator until we were ready to eat. 
Everyone really liked it. No more canned sauce for our house. 

Happy thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving dinner was great. I did all the cooking and other than over cooking the turkey a bit, it all turned out great. 
We had the traditional menu which included, mashed potatoes with lots of butter, green bean casserole, stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce and brown and serve rolls. 
I also attempted to make gravy but it was a bit too salty so ended up using turkey gravy that I bought. 
Evelyn and Jack both took a nap during dinner. They ate later and we were able to enjoy an adult dinner. It was a nice relaxing day. 





Getting ready for Thanksgiving and the weekend

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It is going to be a busy week here.  I have a list of to do's two pages long so I am up early today getting some done before both the little ones get up.

My father in law is coming into town on Friday for a few days so I am trying to get the guest room organized.  I also have to finalize our Thanksgiving menu, meal plan for the weekend including the big game on Saturday and I am hosting a table at church on Sunday for our annual ladies Christmas Tea.

Busy busy but with all really fun stuff.


Hot Yoga

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I started working out pretty consistently last month.  I am finally starting to lose some more weight but with nursing 8 times a day I still need to eat more than normal.  I have been running a few times a week but was looking to try something new.
So, yesterday I took a hot yoga class and it was much harder than I expected it to be.  
First, I should mention that I have never taken a real yoga class.  I have taken classes that have incorporated some yoga but, I have never taken a full hour long yoga specific class.
Second. the room was hot.  105 degrees hot.  I wore tight fitting shorts and a tank top.  It was a nice and calm environment and I really was excited to get started.
The class started with the instructor walking us through a few of what I think are normal yoga poses.  Then for the next 20 minutes we were to do a sequence of those movements.  I was totally lost and confused most of the class. And I have terrible balance so I was tipping over a bit. 
But it was so fun. The others in the class were really welcoming and really good. I mean they were standing on there heads. It was amazing I hope to be able to do that someday. I'm definently going to keep going however I'm going to take some beginning courses next week first. When though the class is for all levels I think I would benefit from a yoga 101course first. 
Oh I should also mention that it's been 2 days and I am super sore. I can't believe the all the different muscles that hurt. 

Bedtime for Evelyn

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It was really time to start getting Evelyn on a sleeping schedule.
 Evelyn has never been a good sleeper. We have always had trouble finding a nap and bedtime routine that worked. She has never slept through the night and stopped napping around 22 months. 
We even had her in our bed for the past 6 months or so. 
Well I knew things had to change but I was not comfortable letting her cry. I mean I am the one who never really taught her to get to sleep so I should help her with this issue.
Last week my mother in law came into town and painted Evelyn's room. We choose to do purple with 1 wall striped purple and white. I also bought Evelyn a new twin sized daybed bed. 
Doesn't every girl want a daybed?  It is so cute and can be pulled out to a full size if she needs it bigger. It also had 3 drawers so I opted not to get a dresser since her closet system has drawers too. 
She had been in a youth sized bed but I felt like she needed something bigger. 
We also started a new routine. At about 7:30 we brush her teeth, wash her face and hands and then put on her pajamas. Then we sit on her bed and I read to her. I've always read to her but usually just one book and them it was lights out. For the last week I just kept reading. And you know what? She started falling asleep while we were reading. When we finish a book I let her decide if she wants me to keep reading. 
By the way, her favorite right now are the skippyjonjones series. They are really cute. 
I've actually enjoyed bedtime with her. It's a refreshing change to the usual argument about going to sleep. 
Hopefully this continues to work. 

4 months

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Jack is 4 months old. He is weighing in at 16.7 lbs and is 26 inches tall. 
Lately he has been going through a wakeful period at night and is also taking very short naps during the day. He eats every few hours during the day and although he used to sleep 8 hours straight at night, he has been getting up every 2 to 3 hours. I'm pretty tired but he is as happy as ever. I'm sure this will all pass and my great little sleeper will return. 
Jack is such a happy and chatty baby. 
He laughs all the time and has a lot to say. Just look at those cheeks. He couldn't get any cuter. Love you baby boy. 


Goulash to share

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My mom's group makes meals for each other when someone has a baby.  I love that they do this.  When Jack was born it was so nice to have someone bringing over dinner for us for a couple of weeks. Life is crazy with a toddler and a newborn and having dinner delivered took a big weight off of my shoulders.  

This week I had the chance to cook for one of our moms who just had her 4th child.  I am sure she is really busy so I wanted to make a dish that would not only satisfy her hungry family but would also give her some left overs for a couple of days.  I decided to make goulash.  

Who doesn't like goulash? I mean it is simple but oh so, tasty.  It is a dish that I remember my mom making when I was a child.  So, I was on the search for a recipe that was easy and simple and well, tasted like my moms.  

I came across the Paula Deen recipe and it was exactly what I wanted.  I made a double batch and kept some for us.  This make a HUGE amount.  I really could have just make a single batch and still had enough for both my family and the family I was cooking for.  


http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/view2/bobbys_goulash/


Ingredients 
1 tablespoon Paula Deen’s House Seasoning
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3   bay leaves
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2   (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2   (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
3 cups water
3   cloves garlic, chopped
2   large onion, chopped
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 tablespoon season salt
2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
Directions


In a Dutch oven, saute the ground beef over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Break up the meat while sauteing. Spoon off any grease. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and saute until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, House Seasoning, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the elbow macaroni, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving. 

I served this with a salad, crescent rolls and for desert, brownies and strawberries.  I could eat this for days, and with the amount I made I probably will be.  

Circus

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We went to the circus yesterday. My mother in law is in town so she watched Jack and Evelyn and I had a girls day. We met my sister in law, Dana and my niece Amelia there. 
It was a great show. We all really enjoyed it. 



Night out

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It is so rare that mike and I get a night out. We don't have family close by that can watch the little ones and we have only left Evelyn with a babysitter a few times. My mother in law is in town so we took advantage of a free babysitter and went to the redwings game with friends. We had a great time. It was nice to spend some adult time together. 
I wore a vesr, skinny jeans, uggs and a scarf. It was only around 30 so it was pretty cold. 







Jacks baptism

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Jack was baptized on Sunday. It was a big day for the little man. 
The ceremony was really nice. 
The whole family came and then we had a party at our house afterwards. Jack did great. He looked adorable in his gown and fell asleep right after we got him dressed. 












I phone pics from the week

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Philly stuffed peppers

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This recipe is from the site, quick and easy recipes. I've made it once before and we really liked it. It's simple, tasty and low carb. I had tator tots with it and Mike had salad. I made extra too so we can have some for left overs. 

3 green bell peppers
8 oz fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
7 oz roast beef, lunch meat 
12 slices provolone cheese, deli

Start off by sautéing the onions and 
mushrooms in butter.

While they are cooking slice the peppers in half length wise and clean out the insides. 
Then put a piece of cheese on the bottom peppers. 

Add in the roast beef when the onions and mushrooms and done. Just to heat through. 


Then stuff the peppers and top each one with cheese. 



Then bake them at 350 until the pepper is cooked and the cheese is melted and brown on the top. 

That's is. Easy and delicious. 
Enjoy. 

Open faced spicy avocado blt

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I saw a similiar recipe on piniterest and decided to modify it. 

It has on the bottom a piece of toasted bread. Then a layer of Siracha mayo. Then lettuce, then tomato, then avocado. On top of that it has bacon and a fried egg. 
It was so good. I should have made more. 


Halloween

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We had so much fun trick or treating for Halloween. 
My brother and his family came over. The girls ran from house to house getting treats. They didn't even mind that is rainy and cold. 


Disney junior

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Yesterday we took the little ones to see the Disney junior, pirates and princess tour. 
It was a fun show. Jack stayed up for the first half and was laughing and kicking his feet to the songs. He finally fell asleep after intermission. 
Evelyn really liked it but sat on my lap for most of the show. Mike bought her a Sophia amulant. She wore it to bed and kept telling us that Cinderella calls her on her amulant. It was really cute. 


Pizza soup

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I made a pizza soup tonight for dinner. It was so good and so easy. 

1 lb Italian sausage
8 oz pepperoni
1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
16 oz fresh mudhrooms, sliced
28 oz crushed tomatoes
32 oz low sodium beef broth 
Dried basil, oregano, garlic powder
Freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook sausage, set a side to drain off fat. 
Sautéed vegetables just until tender. Add sausage back into pot and add the liquid. Season with dried herbs to taste. I did a couple of teaspoons each. 
Bring tons boil , then simmer for about 10 minutes. 
Serve hot with some cheese on top. 

Pretty easy and it really did taste just like pizza. 

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