Chocolate + Coffee = LOVE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 20, 2009 by Whit.

Beth shared some recipes today… so I thought I would too. These two recipes are both ridiculously easy and delicious. They’re always a big hit when we get together with friends.

Around Christmas every year, my mom makes a couple of frozen chocolate pies that I’ve always loved, ever since I was a kid. I took her recipe, adapted it, and named it, because I don’t think the pie even has a name. Another funny bit about this recipe: I always have to go through a drive through to get the coffee for it, and most of the time- they give it to me for free. The coffee doesn’t have to be fresh, you don’t need a lot of it, and it can be cold for all I care. I mean, really. We don’t even have a coffee maker at our house.

Frozen Chocolate Mocha Bars

2 Regular Size Bags of Shredded or Flake Coconut (or you can get by with 1 Large)
2 Giant Hershey’s with Almond (or without) Chocolate Bars
1 Large container of Cool Whip (or go Lite)
A leftover cup of coffee
1/2 stick of butter or margarine

Toast the coconut and melt the butter. Mix. Take a 9X13 casserole dish and smush the buttered, toasted coconut into the bottom to form a crust- Sometimes, I go up the sides… sometimes only the bottom. It’s all in how you feel. Put it in the freezer. Next, (in a microwave safe bowl) break up the chocolate bars into small pieces and add about a 1/4 cup of coffee (or more). Stick it in the microwave for 40 seconds, or until the chocolate starts to melt. Stir the coffee/chocolate mixture until it’s smooth. Then, stir in the entire container of cool whip. Spread the coffeed, choclated, cool whip onto the coconut crust. Make pretty designs in the cool whip with the spatula, fork, or the back of a spoon. Put it in the freezer… lick the bowl. Serve slightly thawed.

The next recipe is a Croptober Fest Favorite. I think we (10 of us) finished the entire punch bowl full within a few hours. A-MAZE-ING. And I can’t take credit for it either. This recipe is from Naomi (Na), my lovely Creative Memories addiction supporter.

Coffee Punch

2 oz instant coffee
1 cup sugar
2 cup boiling water

Mix together and chill overnight.

Then Add:

1 gallon milk
1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream
1/2 gallon vanilla  ice cream
2 cups whipped whipping cream (to top)

You could definitely buy that half-chocolate, half-vanilla gallon that Mayfield and Breyer’s make for the ice cream. Just thought of that…

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

On Being a Student…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 28, 2009 by Whit.

Right now, I’m sitting in the student commons building in front of the over priced Chikfila in the snack bar. (No really, like $6 for a cool wrap!)

I just finished a nutrition test that I think I did pretty well on, but I won’t know until Wednesday.

It’s weird… sitting here. Around all these… uhhh kids. teens… they seem like kids anyway. They’re talking about the parties they went to this weekend, and who-made-out-with-who in a drunken stupor. And I’m trying to decide if I should go pump now… or later.

The girl next to me is having a red and blue mixed icee for breakfast, and there’s some volleyball players at a table across the room hoping they don’t get drug tested in the next two weeks- guess they had a little too much fun this weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some parents here too. There’s some young married couples and an interspersed mother. This university even has family housing… so we ARE out there, but I think we’re few and far between, and trying to blend in.

I think there’s a certain depth of character that comes from failing- like from really screwing things up. You can just tell that some people are new at this whole adult business…and they’re doing the best they can.

(God, I hope my boys never have to worry about whether or not they’re drug tested.)

There it is… that creeping-up-of-motherhood. It’s not that I’m judging those around me… I just want them to be careful. Be safe. I want them to know that how they perform now- in class, not on Saturday- will drastically affect they’re future. They NEED to know that.

But for now, I will just sit here on the computer, sip my water, and occasionally invite one over for a real dinner, one with protein and vegetables, with my family.

International Babywearing Week 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 26, 2009 by Whit.

This week is International Babywearing week, and personally I’ve been celebrating by (impatiently) awaiting two new carriers that I bought online. Really, how many times can the UPS man drive down my street without stopping?

While I’m waiting for my babywearing goodness to arrive, I’ll share with you a little bit of my babywearing story.

How did I get started babywearing? When I was pregnant with Kid.The.First, I saw a product page in American Baby listing some great products for new moms. I saw a beautiful brown ring sling with turquoise stars and I knew I found my “fit” as a mother. My very best friend gifted me a chocolate brown Rockin’ Baby Sling, and it’s still the main staple of my babywearing wardrobe.Not soon after kid.the.first was born, I was at the mall with my stepmom (I think) and I saw a very happy12-months-011 mother and baby using a moby wrap. That’s how I was introduced to wraps.  After settling into new motherhood, I realized that I believed in all the principles of attachment parenting, and I felt like I had finally found my place.

Why do I wear my kids now? Well for starters, the Gremlin (aka baby dos) is seven months old which is prime time for babywearing. We experience things together… and we even manage to keep up with kid.the.first every once in a while! It also soothes my “mommy guilt.” Since I’m in nursing school most of the week, my kids spend at least 6 hours a day at “school.” (It sounds so much nicer that way…) When kid.the.first was a baby, we’d spend hours just staring 6692_1180712563022_1384424743_30496154_4428281_nat eachother, now the gremlin and I don’t have the same amount of quality time. There’s lots more to do, and a big brother to keep up with. Babywearing helps me to know that the time he spends in the sling is quality time. He’s learning, we’re snuggling. It makes it easier on both of us. Also… ‘slinging him is a failsafe when he’s fussy or fighting sleep- cradle hold gets him every time! It’s also fantastic for times like church or my morning women’s bible study, when he doesn’t want to go in the nursery… ‘sling him and he’s out cold!

What is my favorite part about babywearing? Sweet, soft baby head… right up close for a million kisses a day. But honestly, this is going to sound really weird, but it might also be the stares and questions I get. I love an opportunity to share the love with anyone who will stop to listen. I was recently in walmart, when a man n208502059_30444513_2380stocking the yogurt section said, “Wow, that’s really cool- and you could even nurse in there too…” which of course I thought was amazing- that he assumed that my baby was breastfed. But really, don’t get me started unless you want a dissertation on how amazing babywearing is.

What slings/carriers do I own? My babywearing collection currently includes: a rockin’ baby sling, a sage green moby wrap, a nest sling, and coming soon: a babyhawk and an ergo baby carrier.When the gremlin gets a little older/heavier, I’d like to invest in a quality woven wrap like a storchenweige.

Fake Hamsters and Tiny Cars- a Giveaway

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 24, 2009 by Whit.

I never had rodent-like pets as a kid. We had birds… finches and a love bird. We had a cat- that ate the finches. I don’t ever really even remember wanting a hamster or gerbil.

But, when I recieved an email from MomSelect about an opportunity to test drive the new Zhu Zhu Pets, I was pretty into it. If you haven’t seen the commercials, then you have no idea what I’m talking about….

zhu zhu hamster

This thing is a battery operated robot hamster that has a house, tunnels, a car (that it does drive), a wheel, a superball, and oh my gosh… everything. Kid.the.first calls it “the fake hamster” and that’s exactly what it is. All the fun of a hamster without the important stuff like feeding and watering and cleaning up of poop… because frankly, I clean up enough poop as it is.

Let me tell you about the cool parts: The hamster makes sounds and really does move freely around his little home. After seeing the commercial, I was pretty skeptical, but it really does work like the commercial. He even drives his little car. It cracks me up (and makes Oliver, our cat, insane). I think the neatest thing about the whole thing is- he knows where he’s going. zhuzhuworld_thumb

How is that possible? Each area (the bedroom, the wheel, the kitchen, the garage, etc.) has a specific leading tunnel that is designed to let the hamster know where he is going. As the wheels move him through the tunnel, a sensor on his underside clicks against specific bumps to trigger special sounds associated with that activity. When he enters the bathroom, he makes bubble and water noises… the kitchen, cooking sounds… the garage, engine noises. It’s really cool…

There are definitely a few things that I think they could do better. The plastic pieces of the “home” are really cheap and hard to put together. Specifically, I can not get the top of the garage to stay on for more than 5 minutes without some electrical tape. The tunnel and room connections are difficult to interchange, but on the flip side, they don’t come apart easily. Another thing that I think would be nice would be a clear on/off switch. Sometimes, you’ll hear that little hamster chirping away in the playroom at midnight. (Then the cat goes berserk and we all laugh.) But the battery ran down quickly because it’s not totally clear how to turn it on and off. So those are two things that I think would be really great improvements. So far, nothing has broken- which is pretty good with a 3 year old!

If you want to see arampslide Zhu Zhu pet in action, here is a great video from youtube.

So here’s the part you’ve all been waiting for: I have a “Pipsqueak” hamster and a ramp/slide set to giveaway. Leave a comment here by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 28. Make sure to include your email or twitter handle so I can get in touch with you… and good luck!

Something for Everyone

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 22, 2009 by Whit.

Tonight, I had planned to make a delicious chicken dish, but our plans changed, and well kid.the.first is currently eating waffles and eggs. So… tonight’s dinner got bumped to probably tomorrow, which is fine because it’s SO easy. SO- I’d like to share with you what we’re eating for dinner tomorrow night.

It doesn’t really have a name… but it’s really easy and turns out great everytime. It’s a great dish for dinner parties and get together’s because it has a flavor that makes everyone think you spent all day on it- and it generally turns out perfect every time! So… we’ll name it:

Easy Dinner Party Chicken

Enough Lean, White Meat Chicken for your Crew- Tenderloins or Breast
2 cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
A Bottle of the Cheapest White Wine you can find
1/2 a stick of Butter
Lemon Pepper Seasoning

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cream of mushroom soup and 2 “can-fulls” of white wine. (So the sauce is one part soup, one part wine.) Trim the fat and/or skin off the chicken breasts and place them in a baking dish. Pinch small chunks off the stick of butter and place them randomly around the baking dish. Pour the white wine/soup sauce over the chicken. It should almost totally (or completely) cover the chicken. Sprinkle the top of the sauce with lemon pepper seasoning and place in a 375 degree oven for about an hour or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

I serve this over egg noodles with generous amounts of sauce! It goes great with a cold, crisp salad with a tart vinaigrette and a crisp green vegetable, asparagus, or sugar snap peas.

Since I know many of you in blogland are of the herbivore persuasion… I thought I’d throw in a nice vegetarian dish as well. On Martha Stewart Radio- the station from which I won a prize- the vegetable of the week this week is eggplant. So, I thought I’d share one of my favorite ways to cook and serve eggplant.

Roasted Eggplant Caprese

1 Eggplant
Fresh Mozzarella
1 Big Round Tomato, although I daresay a roma could work as well- you’d just have to stagger
Fresh Basil
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Slice your eggplant into rounds and coast with a mixture of one part olive oil and one part balsamic vinegar. Place on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Next, do the same with your tomatoes. Slice, coat, and place. Bake for 30ish minutes in a 350 degree oven or until the eggplant starts to get tender. Once the veggies are done, place a slice of eggplant on a plate. On top of the eggplant place a generous amount of fresh mozzarella. Place a fresh leaf of basil on top of the mozzarella and top with a tomato slice. (not unlike a sandwich).

Hint: Be careful when handling your basil not to cut it with a stainless knife or scissors… it will turn black. Just tear it if need be.

See…. something for everyone!

I’m not going to apologize…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 22, 2009 by Whit.

… that I haven’t blogged. I’m a mom with two kids, a husband, 4 classes, and a messy house. A messy life really…

Right now, I’m setting goals to get things straight and do things the right way. Actually be diligent in my studies, get the house straight and organized, keep the monsters and ninjas at bay.

Lately, I’ve been excited about some new things.  I just bought an ergo baby carrier and a pair of toms shoes, and I’m anxiously awaiting their arrival. I have two tests on Wednesday, and today I had to play with a previously dissected moldy cat.

The baby is puling up to standing and is crawling around like a beetle! Kid.the.first hasn’t had a (serious) accident in a few months and is saying please, thank you, and you-berry-welcome.

Things are new and fresh in my marriage.

Life is exciting around this house.

I knew this would happen…

Posted in Uncategorized on August 5, 2009 by Whit.

…because really what do you expect when you have class and tests and papers and children? My house is a wreck, but I survived the semester.

I even have decent grades… (unofficially, of course)

I took my last final of the term this morning. It was for U.S. History 2- which covers the period from reconstruction to the present. Anywho, It’s illegal for professors in the state of Georgia to give out grades via email. Most of them completely ignore this law and will give you any grade as long as you email from your student account.

Leave it to the history professor to be the stickler.

So, at 10 a.m. tomorrow, I can email him and ask him two questions.

“Where are you and what is the temperature?”

To this he will reply with one of the following:

Atlanta
Birmingham
Chattanooga
Dallas
Fargo

And the temperature is what I made on the final.

Let’s just say my prediction is that he’s going to be catching a Braves game tomorrow.

As for microbiology, I’m approximately 8/10 of a point away from an A…. which might be the most frustrating thing in the entire world. Oh well, such is life.

Hopefully, I will see you around a little more. I’ll try anyway. Life may get pretty hairy come next semester, but I’m working on being more organized and I have lots of downtime while I’m on campus.

Maybe I can make this a habit.

Namaste.

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