Thursday, May 09, 2013

What I'm Up To

This is a very busy season for sure!

My "extra" time has been spent working on the garden and other yard work. I've been working out there almost every evening and some nap times the last week or so, in between the rain showers. I've made it a goal to do at least one thing a day. Progress, although slow progress, is being made!

I spray painted some pots and planters that had seen better days--this freshens them up and makes them look very nice and less like plastic. Otherwise, I would throw them out and buy new so this saves money and reduces waste.

The little ones have been enjoying the sand and water table my sister passed on to us. I had passed it to them a few years ago and now it's back! LOL! I have sand in it for now. But at the rate they're going, soon there will be a new sand pile under the deck and then we'll fill the table with something else. Among other things, I gave them a formula scoop, some yogurt containers  and a couple old wooden spoons I had recently replaced for the sand box and they are having a  wonderful time. Who needs to buy sand toys when there are so many other suitable items to use for free?

I cut up all the dried banana peelings I had saved and scattered them on the rose bed and in the garden plot for fertilizer.

I've been putting cardboard down for a path in the garden and got some straw to use for topping the cardboard. The cardboard will act as a weed barrier.

I want to look more into "Lasagna Gardening". A no-dig method sounds perfect for us.

My mending basket had gotten pretty full. I also noticed a growing pile of unfinished sewing projects. So I made a goal to finish all those things before starting anything else. I'm about half-done. Quite a few of these things have taken 15 minutes or less to finish but there are a few larger projects in there too. I hope to post more about this later.

Meals have been ultra-simple lately. I've been using the cook once, eat twice ( sometimes 3 times) method several times a week. It saves so much time and there are not as many dishes to wash every night either.

I need to do some freezer cooking again.

Toddler Girl(age 3) loves Andy. I looked over at snack the other day and they were holding hands. She would not let him let go--"Don't open your hand!" Haha!

She is quite the girl and is The Assistant. She loves to help and can be a big help to me with the littler ones. Toddler Boy (age 2) knows this and is starting to work the system, " Help me!", he'll say pitifully to Toddler Girl after he has dropped things on purpose. Oh my...

Toddler Girl calling to Rock outside, "Rock, come here! Rock, come here! ROCK!!! 1...2...3..." This made me laugh.

Some cute words they say right now:

Toddler Boy-- "Hork" (fork), "Cucumber" (kookaburra, which is one of his favorite songs; he also likes to eat cucumbers)
Toddler Girl -- "Maggots" (music), "Princess maggots" (praise music) So if you hear her say, "I want maggots!", you don't need to be alarmed.

So that's life right now. And nap time is over! Talk to you again soon!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Andes Mint Cookie Bites

After making these cookies, I was inspired to try them in a mini muffin pan as "cookie bites".

I needed to make around 4 dozen  cookie bars or small cookies for a special family occasion in a few weeks and thought that the mini muffin size would be a good bite size and would be easy to do--no cutting of bars and easy to transport!

I don't have a mini muffin pan--I used to have 1 or 2 but never used them--so I borrowed 2 from my neighbor.

Cake mixes and brownie mixes were on sale when I ran to the grocery store on Saturday so I bought 4 Devil's Food cake mixes and 2 brownie mixes to keep on hand. I knew I'd be using the cake mixes anyways so I might as well save a little money! I also bought 3 packages of Andes mints.

I bought a few other things but the cake mixes and candy made up the bulk of my shopping cart. I told my husband that it looked like I had a serious chocolate problem. To which he replied, "There is no such thing as a chocolate problem!"

Haha--we definitely like our chocolate around here!

Anyways, I made a single batch the first time to share for our Sunday Fellowship. Nobody minds being a guinea pig or eating mint chocolate cookies two weeks in a row--I served the original recipe last week!

I put small spoonfuls of dough in each muffin hole and baked for 8 minutes. I cut the Andes mints in half and put one on each cookie bite. I think half-size worked better than using the whole candy. A single batch in the mini muffin size made about 4 dozen.

We all liked them, so I made a double batch the next day which made 8 dozen. We ate a few and shared a few. I froze the rest to take with us in a few weeks so that chore is done and marked off the list!

I just thought I'd share how these turned out in case any of you wanted to try it!