Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tired Tuesday

YAWN.....this mama is tired. This is not my first bout with insomnia, or as I like to call her, The She Devil of Sleepy Mamas Everywhere. I have always been a night owl. But for the last 3 weeks, I only been able to fall asleep before 5am a handful of times. The good thing is, thanks to our vampire (aka 3rd shift) lifestyle, most days I can sleep late enough to eke out 5 hours of sleep. But it makes for a very unproductive day.

the effects of insomnia are not pretty folks. No amount of Mary Kay can make up for 3 weeks of no sleep

The children have been bitten by the no sleeping bug as well. They have never gone to bed early, midnight is their norm. This is so they will sleep until 10am and their daddy can come home at 8am and get good and asleep in his man cave (wish I had a cave to call my own. Punk) before they wake up and all Hades breaks loose. But now at least one every night is staying up WAY late. And it makes no sense at all. They each take a turn. Except Jo, that kid does not lose sleep. She may make me lose sleep because she kicks like a donkey, but she is always well rested (PUNK)
she was, by far, my best sleeper

Two of them take melatonin but Kiki cannot. It turns her into the mean sister in Taming of the Shrew.
Very frightening. But some nights, the melatonin does not work. So what should we do to fix this problem. Here are the things we are trying
1) I take a magnesium supplement and am moving myself up to two Unisoms a night. (Melatonin gives me horrifying nightmares)
2) The kids are getting lots of exercise later in the day. Today, for instance, they have been outside since 5pm and they are still running around out there, screaming (sorry neighbors) at 8:24. 
3) They are taking baths/showers at night and so am I.
4) I am moving from bedtime movies to bedtime music. 
5) I am not allowed to read before bed. This never makes me sleepy. I just want to stay up and read.
I will be waking them up earlier tomorrow as well. 

I miss these nights

What are your tried and true sleep methods? Maybe your advice can help out me or another reader! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Freezer Meals

I have pinned like 287 posts on Pinterest about freezer meals. Before I ever decided to take the plunge and actually make some, our freezer meals consisted of frozen pizza, waffles, and popcorn shrimp. I decided that I needed to try and be a little healthier and a little more cost conscious so I found some new recipes and used some of my own to make 8 suppers. We generally eat out once a week and we eat with Jeremy's parents once a week, so this will last me almost 2 weeks. When I use up all the meals I have now, I am going to attempt to do 12 meals. They are all gluten free if anyone is interested.

These 8 meals took me 3.5 hours (including grocery time and time spent breaking up fights and feeding children). At the grocery I bought:

4 pounds ground beef
4 pounds chicken
6 cans chicken
a dozen eggs
1 gallon milk
1 small container of old fashioned oats (GF)
1 can pineapple tidbits
1 bag brown sugar
1 bottle GF soy sauce
2 cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz each)
1 bag frozen pepper and onion mix
2 cans corn
3 cans Rotel
1 bag frozen chopped onions
2 cans green beans
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 cans fiesta corn
3 cans black beans
1 bottle ranch dressing
1 brick cream cheese
3 boxes chicken broth
1 bottle honey
1 bottle ketchup
1 bag frozen green peppers

This is more than you will need, but I had forgotten my recipes and wanted to make sure I had plenty. I already had all of my seasonings and oils to cook with. This cost about $100 give or take. I am not a big coupon person so that didn't make a difference. I shop at Kroger and I try to take advantage of their sales. As for the time it takes, I use mostly canned or frozen stuff, already diced. Makes life a lot easier.

So here are the recipes:


In a bowl mix 2 lbs ground beef, 2 eggs, 1/2 c milk, 2/3 cup ground oats (I use these instead of bread crumbs), 1/2 c. chopped onion, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp sage

I divided these into 2 small loaf pans, wrapped them in Reynolds Wrap, put the lids on and stuck them in the freezer. When I am ready to eat one, I will pop it in my slow cooker, top with ketchup, and cook for 8-10 hrs. Serve with baked potatoes and green beans. MEALS #1 & 2

Teriyaki Chicken:

I poured 1 can pineapple tidbits, 1/2 c. packed brown sugar, 1/3 c soy sauce, and 2 lbs, chicken into a freezer bag. When I am ready to eat, slow cook for 4-6 hours. Serve with brown rice and salad. MEAL #3

Chicken Cacciatore:

I poured 2 lbs chicken, 1 can crushed tomatoes, 1/2 bag pepper and onion mix, and 1 /2 tbsp Italian seasoning into a freezer bag. I'll slow cook it for 6-8 hours and serve with rice or pasta. This has plenty of veggies so I would only do garlic bread as a side. (I would not make GF bread, because I hate garlic:) MEAL #4

Spicy Vegetable Soup:

First, I browned 2 lbs of ground beef. After draining the grease, I put the beef in a container with 1 can corn, 1 can rotel, 1 can crushed tomatoes, 1 tsp onion powder, 2 cans green beans, 1/2 c green pepper, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1 jar spaghetti sauce, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Freeze and reheat when ready to eat! (I'm a poet...well you know the rest) this is one of my fav recipes. EVERYONE loves it. It freezes beautifully MEAL #5

Cream Cheese Slow Cooker Chicken:

Into a container: 2 cans chicken (drained), 1 can fiesta corn, 1 can rinsed black beans, 1/2 cup ranch dressing, 1 brick cream cheese, 2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 tsp southwestern seasonings, and 1 can rotel. Slow cook 8-10 hours. I serve this with either rice or tortilla chips. MEAL #6

Honey Sauced Chicken:

Into a container: 2 cans drained chicken, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 c honey, 1/3 c soy, 1/4 c ketchup, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Slow cook 8-10 hrs. I serve this with rice and mixed veggies. MEAL #7

Rainbow Soup:

Into bag, 1 cup peppers and onions, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp southwestern seasoning, 1/4 tsp red pepper, 2 cans black beans (drained), 1 can rotel, 1 box chicken broth, 1 can fiesta corn, 1 can corn, 2 cans drained chicken.  Slow cook 6-8 hours. I serve it with cheese quesadillas. MEAL #8

That's it. Next time I will do another post with any new recipes. I am hoping to find some good
breakfast ones. Enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Furious Friday

On the rare occasion I post on a Friday, I usually do Friday's Favs. Things that I am loving at the moment. But today, I am not in a good mood. Nope, not even a little bit. SO in this post I will be noting the things that are driving me freaking crazy right now. Feel free to share the things making you furious in the comments section.
~ Kids who refuse to ask for things politely- My youngest is like this right now. "Give me some food!" or " Let me on the 'puter!" And I never do any of these things until she says please. It has always been that way. You would think she would get the hint.
~ Criminals- Today, while at work, we had someone steal something out of our catering van. In broad daylight. In the middle of the day. Really??? And don't even get me started on the ones who are trying to turn my beloved Lexington into the crime capital of the nation.
~ The powers that be: Certain people in certain positions should not be in said positions. Also, if you don't like the way your community is headed, change the leadership. Vote. The end
~ People who want books to end all cozy and perfect- I love books. I love them more when the ending is realistic. She won't always end up with the guy you want. Doesn't mean you post bad reviews.
now THIS is not a complaint. But it is a great idea!

~ Cooking- I have lost the will to cook. I am still doing it, but my heart is not in it
~ Ants- They are taking over my house. And these are giant, monster ants. Makes me itch just looking at them
~ Dishes and Laundry- For real you two!!! Quit never being done.
~ Fatigue- I have been so tired and run down the last few weeks. This crazy weather is messing with me
~ Freezers- Why has someone not invented a freezer that always makes ice cream? You just push a button, like on the ice dispenser. Then I would not have a loose freezer door from slamming it. Get on this smart, engineering people.
~ Wooden cutting boards- I have this big, thick cutting board. My daughter was using it to make her Easy Bake Pretzels, and when she was done she leaned it against the cabinet. I forgot it was there and bumped it and it slammed down on my big toe. OUCH. I screamed and yelled and picked up the board and in my anger, and a moment of stupidity, I slammed it on my lap in frustration. DOUBLE OUCH. Now I have an almost broken toe and bruised kneecaps.
~ Easy Bake Ovens- Easy? You call that Easy? Maybe for me. But I do not WANT to sit and make pretzels and cookies I cannot eat. The instructions aren't even easy to understand. stupid toys that want to be the real thing but aren't and way more inconvenient.
~ Fast Food restaurants- I just want a gluten free hamburger bun at a place I can drive through. I'll pay more. Sometimes I am craving a Quarter Pounder. And it is just not the same bunless. I have tried, believe me. This makes me sad, especially during grilling season.
~ Customer Service Reps who do not like customers- We've all had to deal with these people. Why they take that job is beyond me. But they can ruin a good day.
~ Decisions- I cannot decide what to do with my hair, or where to go on a short vacation, or where to build a house, or what book to start next. Stresses. Me. Out.
That's all I have right now. (and for those of you wondering, yes, THIS is happening. Makes me crabby, what can I say?)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday's Favs

I have not posted a light hearted blog in a while. So here goes, these are a few of my favorite things (for today. I reserve the right to change my mind...)

*Jo singing all the FROZEN songs. Adorable. Seriously
*Lainey Mae is pretty cute too when she sings them.
*Hash brown casserole that I made tonight. So good. So cheesy
*Gluten free, ready made cookie dough. That I may or may not have eaten with a spoon. For the past two nights. Maybe
*Getting Mary Kay packages in the mail. I don't really keep much of what comes because the point is to sell it, but I still love packages.
*Looking at all the consultant prizes and waiting to pick mine. I think I am gonna go with the cool rug. Or the turquoise purse....
*Cool evenings in June when the kids have to wear hoodies to catch fireflies
*Alone time with one kid.
*Baseball caps.
*Getting rid of junk
*Completing 6 days of school IN A ROW. And the kids did not complain!!
*Working at the shop and knowing they have gluten free strawberry cupcakes
*Planning several mini vacays for the rest of the year. Most with friends or family. They don't know they are travelling with us yet, but they soon will. Watch your inboxes!
*Free samples in the mail. This week I received some free Pink Zebra (thanks Kim) and free Jamberry (thanks Tiffany)
*Anne Bronte'. For real folks. Everyone is all about Emily (WUTHERING HEIGHTS) and Charlotte (JANE EYRE) and I love them too but their sister Anne was one talented woman. She isn't as dark as they are either, but she was true to her stories. If you love Jane Austen, please read her books. And then message me. Because I would love to discuss them.
*Flip flop tan lines
*Primer. MK has foundation primer, eye primer, and lip primer and I adore them all. They make my skin and lips so silky. I use them when I am not even wearing makeup.
*My husband's old police academy sweats. For real, I have been wearing these suckers for 10+ years and they are still holding up. So comfy
*Starting a book club with my besties.
*DRAMA CAMP STARTS NEXT WEEK!! My kids are so excited!
*New neighbors. Well, hopefully they will be my favorites. They have sons my kids'ages. Deuce is THRILLED
*Watching Deuce skateboard. Dude thinks he is Tony Hawk. No really. The girls call him Deuce Hawk
*Little girls with wet hair fresh from a bath
Hmmm, well that is all for now. What are you loving these days?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Every time you support a small business, an angel gets its wings

The title of this may or may not be true. You can't prove it either way:)

The other day, I saw a post on Facebook from someone complaining about the amount of "selling" going on in her FB feed. She was referring to someone in direct sales. Direct sales is a phrase we use to describe the small businesses many people have chosen to represent. Mary Kay, The Pampered Chef, Thirty- One; these are just a few. The people (mostly women) who sell these products will frequently post on social media about booking parties, buying products, or becoming a representative.

I recently became a Mary Kay consultant, so this particular comment struck a nerve with me. People are probably super annoyed by my feed because I post about my business, my sister's cake shop, my friend's self published books, and anything else I can to promote the little guy. Then again, I understand. Before I got into direct sales, I would think "OKAY. I GET IT. You want me to buy your candles (jewelry, clothes, beauty products, baking mixes....). You do not have to jam it down my throat." I am sure many of you feel the same way. However, let's stop for a minute and consider a few things:

A) No one is forcing you to read the posts. Just move the little cursor down and pass it up. It seriously takes less than half a second.
B) This is a small business's way of advertising. Trying to get a radio or TV spot is ridiculously expensive. Small businesses can't afford that. 
C) It probably makes them nervous knowing many people feel that way. Be supportive and nice.
D) Direct sales have taken the place of many "mom and pop" stores. With the overhead costs and insurance, these types of companies offer people, especially women, a chance to be their own boss and choose their own career path. 

thanks Sofia

There are many reasons to support this cause:
1) It is the easiest way to help boost the economy
2) It is good for the environment
3) It helps people work around their family life. Families in America need all the help they can get.

If someone is selling something you are not interested in, then by all means, pass her product by. But try to find a business you can support. I like to do most of my Christmas shopping like this. Whenever I go to an in-home party, I try to think of the people on my list. For example: My mother-in-law is not a makeup person. She is not into skincare either. She may never purchase something from me and that is fine. But I can help out other people by purchasing from them. She loves to cook and anything from Pampered Chef makes her happy. I have purchased a Grace Adele purse for my mom, a Scentsy warmer for my aunt, and an Origami Owl necklace for a friend. I spent the same amount of money I would have at Amazon or Target, the product was delivered to my door, and all of these companies offer a money back guarantee. It's a winning situation for everyone. 

You can support local businesses this way as well. Did you know a $25 gift card to Starbucks costs the same as a $25 gift certificate to your local coffee house? And yet most of us (myself included) will go for the franchise every time. It's silly really. Starbucks won't miss my money, but Coffee Times would sure love to have it. 

You can eat at local restaurants, buy from your farmer's market, order essential oils from your neighbor, visit a small hair salon, become a member of the neighborhood gym, purchase a book from a self published author, support an area band,  order your business cards from a local agency, and buy your cakes from my sister:) It will not take any extra time. I promise you, nine times out of ten, you will receive much better service. They appreciate your business more than you can imagine. 

I am not suggesting you never shop or eat at a chain establishment. This mama is not giving up her McDonald's Coke. I am asking that you change a few things, make more of an effort, try to spread the word for the little guy. It will make you feel good, I promise. And, of course, an angel will get it's wings.
this happened when I placed my first Mary Kay order. Thanks Mom!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday's Garden

The garden is coming along nicely. I should be able to make my first lettuce picking any day now. We are swimming in kale. (please send any and all kale recipes to dizzyhappymama@gmail.com)
The broccoli is coming in too.

My problem this time of year is that I start to lose interest. I don't care about the weeds. I am not excited about the canning my husband will be doing. (He does all canning. And gardening, for the most part) It seems like when I am planning the garden and planting things, I am all about it. But now that it is mostly waiting on stuff to come in, I am all " Blah".

So, what are some veggies and fruits you all are planting now? Maybe I'll be inspired to get inspired again:)