Friday, February 26, 2010

Sickies

Sorry for the lack of posting these past few days, but Everyday Bailey is feeling a bit under the weather this week, so have a good weekend and I will be back first thing next week with lots of good stuff you won't want to miss!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Party Like a Big Girl

After a seriously long day of meal prep, wrapping presents, making cupcakes, running errands, surprise training days at work (thanks E!), talking to all of our relatives on the phone, and my gym class, I am glad that birthdays are over with today. We had to adjust our plans since there was lots of stuff going on that day. Just a quiet lunch at home with our family but we will throw her a party with all of the people who love her when we go home in a few weeks. Pictures and videos are finally loaded so I hope you all enjoy!

The Birthday Girl in her birthday clothes
Her birthday presents and birthday cupcake (pineapple cake with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream...delicious!!)

She actually didn't do too bad...there wasn't much cake and icing behind her ears and in her hair, etc. Nothing Maggie wouldn't (and didn't) lick off of her.


Opening Presents with Mama

She got a baby doll, some soft blocks, several books, some summer clothes and some play food.

Maybe the 101 piece set of play food was a mistake...that stuff is EVERYWHERE!!!
But then, I think it's worth it when she walks around the house chewing on her peas and spaghetti.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Birthday Girl

Well, the time has come to celebrate keeping my firstborn child alive and healthy for a whole year. I can hardly believe it's been a year. This time last year, I was huge and miserable with massive heartburn and elephant sized ankles. It was such a beautiful time...sniff sniff! Since it's a Tuesday, and we don't have any family in the area, we are just going to have a special family dinner with her favorite foods up to this point...and of course, her very own cupcake and plenty of presents. When did that little baby turn into this beautiful little girl?


In case you were wondering, here is what the Bailey's were doing last year!






Friday, February 19, 2010

Thank God It's Friday

After all of the Ebay items I sold, today is the last day I have to make a trip to the post office! Hallelujah!! I am so tired of getting things ready for shipment and making the trip to the post office almost every day. While it was bothersome, I completely paid for all of Rachel's summer and fall clothes this year and I am quite proud of that!!

What else is happening here at the Bailey house? Well, the snow is FINALLY starting the melt (at least for our side of the street, our poor neighbors across the street will have ice in their driveway for weeks since they don't get any morning sun). The snow was nice but the 3-point turn in reverse just to get into my driveway was getting a little old. We are all ready for Spring!! Me and E were noticing that Maggie is getting a little pudgy these days. She is ready for Spring so she can get out and get more walks. Rach is getting bored inside. She would love to get out and go to the park but even the park is still covered in ice! We are going to try a toy swap today to keep things interesting (We swap out half of her toys every month to keep them fresh and new).

In other news, Rach took her first steps Wednesday morning. (I will post the video next week) She can't go very far but she is thrilled at the thought of her new found freedom. We also dropped the morning nap this week so I am just left with the afternoon nap for the next year. Sigh! So much for my morning shower!!

This is what I saw coming down the stairs yesterday. Evidently, Rachel wouldn't leave her alone during her morning nap so Maggie went and hid in the playhouse, that is, until Rachel came in there and kicked her out!

We took a little video of Dancing Rachel this week if you are interested in watching.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What's Cooking Wednesday - Getting Desperate

Since we have had a few snowstorms in the past few weeks, I have been forced to get creative about my pantry items. I have a few meals already prepped in the freezer for E but I want them to stay that way for a while since I plan on going home for a few weeks next month (otherwise I will find alot of Starbucks muffin wrappers and Burger King cups lying around when I come home).

So Friday night, I tried really hard to come up with some random meals that I could throw together with things I already had in stock. But I thought I would share them with you since we all know we have those days where we need to go grocery shopping, there's nothing in the pantry or the fridge, but frozen pizza or pasta isn't going to cut it.

Banana Bread - I found a purely basic recipe and pulled some ripe bananas out of the freezer and let them thaw overnight. Amazing! I tweeked the recipe just a little and if you want to see my version, it's linked over on the right hand side of the page. INSTANT BREAKFAST! (P.S. If you are throwing super ripe bananas in the garbage, you are an IDIOT! Throw them in a food storage bag and put them in the freezer until you have the time or the need to make banana bread, blueberry banana nut bread, banana muffins, souffléd banana pancake, etc...)



Chicken Pot Pie - I had a leftover puff pastry in the freezer (but you could make a few bisquick biscuits) that I thawed and threw on top of all of all the fresh veggies and garlic I had left in my fridge, some frozen peas, some shredded chicken from the freezer, and a can of cream of chicken soup and it was GOOD! I had second helpings!! And it was pretty. I love the way a puff pastry looks ... all golden and delicious.



Skillet Quiche - While I DON'T have a pie crust and have no intention of making one (I am watching my waistline afterall), I DO have eggs and plenty of onions, cheese and frozen broccoli. I also found a single potato hiding the back of my veggie drawer and threw that in for fun too. Voila! (I think I used spinach and mushrooms in the one pictured)
Two-Mustard Chicken - This one is so easy and cheap. We always have all kinds of different mustards in the fridge, honey and rice in the pantry, so this entire recipe is all out of regular stocked items. Just add chicken!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guess Who...


Guess who is tall enough to reach her little hands up to the counter tops to get whatever she wants now?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Post-Valentine's Day

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day! We certainly did...Rach learned lots of new words yesterday and spent the whole day trying to perfect them. She was so amiable and would copy anything we told her to say. Everything was hilarious, everything was a conversation, she was just so funny!!
I spent Saturday prepping our special Valentine's dinner since we had church on Sunday morning. I knew if I didn't prep it early, we would be eating frozen pizza. Solution: Crock Pot Asian Pork Roast. Verdict: Oh My!! This pork was easy to throw together and I threw it in the slowcooker for 3.5 hours. It was SO TENDER and it just fell apart, which made me glad that I tied it first. There were also alot of leftovers for another dinner and then more for sandwiches another day. Asian food always seems so daunting to me since I am not used to that type of cooking (I always ignore that part of the grocery store) but I finally womanned-up and don't regret it. It hit every tastebud in my mouth, perfectly!!

For dessert: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake from Smitten Kitchen. Erika made this for my baby shower last year and after E tried it, he has been wanting this cake again for a while. I told him I was going to wait for a special occasion and Valentine's Day seemed to fit the bill. But a whole cake?? That's alot of calories...just for us!! No worries! I called my neighbors, divided the cake into four wedges and farmed it all out!! We were left with the perfect amount of cake for 2 people. This cake is amazing. Make sure you have milk stocked up in your fridge because it's rich!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

For the Fashionably Challenged...Like Myself!

If you are anything like me, I have a tendency to get sucked into that whole "wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt everyday" mentality. It's just so comfortable and so warm. When I first moved into the city and first started out as a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom), I wore gym shorts and a tank top everyday everywhere...cause I was going to to gym later so why waste time changing clothes??

But I have decided not to be that girl anymore. If I want to leave the house, I have chosen to be a little more fashion conscious. And since I always feel so unsure about making fashion choices, I had to turn to an expert. I started reading the blog, Ain't No Mom Jeans, and got virtually SPANKED for not caring enough about myself and my family to put on real clothes.













Since I am broke, I had to get super creative. My solution? 1 pair of Skinny jeans and 3 pairs of leggings, and a visit to Marshalls and Ross that reaped 7 long winter shirts for under 70 bucks. However, what do I wear on my feet? Boots, ballet flats...that's all I could come up with!! So I sent her my question about footwear, leggings and skinny jeans and she answered my question yesterday. Go check her out!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

If You're Keeping Tabs on Me...

I was able to check off another items on my "List of things to do this Year." So far I have sold and shipped 55 items on Ebay (which is tough to do in a snowstorm). I used the profits and bought all of Rachel's clothes for the summer and the fall. I am so pumped that I am this far ahead of the game. Check!

Next on the list, buying something off of Craigslist. Check! Rachel has been determined to tear down the crib we have now (minus a few pieces that we lost in the move) so I started looking for a "low cost alternative." I found the cutest Jenny Lind Crib on Craigslist and me and E put it together today and rearranged her room since we no longer "need" a changing table. Rach was a little freaked out by the bed because the rails were higher (thank goodness, because she was so close to climbing out), but all is well now and she loves her new bed.


You want more snow pictures? You got em'!! At the end of the day, we had about 2 more inches on top of what you see here. The wind (at 45mph last night) sounded like it was trying to tear the house down. It was a long, loud night!! But the snow shoveling started early this morning and hopefully warmer temperatures are on their way.


Why am I hopeful that warmer temperatures are on their way? Because we are beyond bored stuck inside. I spent the last 2 blizzards organizing my house because I was bored. Now, I have nothing to do!! We are so bored, in fact, that we tried to teach Rachel to ride Maggie, and we tried to teach Maggie to like it. (neither happened)


Snowed-In Indefinitely

What's Cooking Wednesday has officially been canceled for this week. Mostly because I can't get to the store to buy the ingredients I need, nor do they have any ingredients to sell me...so...

Nothing new this week...More Snow! As I watched E shovel the walk, I realized that in some places, the snow was as tall as his shoulders. Another day stuck inside. We are on a blizzard warning until tonight.


I have been keeping Rach inside since she has a runny nose, but E and Maggie have been out and about everyday, walking and playing and exploring. Maggie is such a snow-dog. She loves playing in the white wild. It's so funny to watch her bury her head in the snow and take big mouthfuls of it. Then she runs to the front door because she's cold and wants to go inside and warm up.


E and Maggie went outside to shovel the snow while I took pictures of them, all warm and toasty in the kitchen, holding a cup of coffee.

Rach thinks it's funny to talk to Maggie through the door.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Snow

More snow is in the forecast for today. Specifically, another 12-18 inches. I still have 3 feet in my yard. There is only enough room for one car (barely) at a time to go down our street. Kids haven't gone to school since Thursday. Good grief! Can you tell I am going a little stir crazy?

There are still no groceries at the grocery store that we can get to. Regardless, we are going to go and try again this morning. As of Thursday of last week, everyone began anticipating the snowy weekend and the addition of Super Bowl parties everywhere. Lines that curled up and down the aisles just to checkout. By Friday night, (I made one quick stop before the snow covered the street) as I walked through the produce department, I eerily looked at all of the empty bins where fruits and vegetables had once been and was completely creeped out. Everything was empty! And I mean everything. Had the Apocalypse hit and I was still here? There was no bread, dairy, produce, lunchmeat, cheese, chips, canned food...NOTHING! It was creepy. I stopped in yesterday while I was out to pick up some milk, and nothing had changed. The store was still empty. I also don't think we have gotten mail since Thursday of last week. Weird right? (Funny story, we took Rach on the sled and walked to the convenience/liquor store...plenty of milk...all out of liquor though...Hmmm).

Well, at least we are one of the lucky ones who haven't lost power. You always have to look for the silver lining! Wish us luck tonight.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Baileys On Ice

Well, the GREAT BLIZZARD of 2010 hit this weekend and we are still shoveling snow 3 days later with no end in sight now that the snow is starting to turn to ice due to frigid temperatures. (Did I mention I got the car stuck in the driveway this morning? E wasn't so happy about that when he had to come out and fix it for me.) But 2 bowls of chocolate snowcream later, I am getting a little stir crazy inside. Maggie is going a little nuts, Rachel has a constant runny nose, E just finished writing his last report for a few weeks and I just finished proofing it for him. This great relaxing snow weekend just never took off for me. Here are a few pics from this weekend.

Why does this picture look blurry? Because the wind was blowing 30 mph at the time!!

My little sickie, keeping warm, watching Elmo

Mmmm...chocolate snowcream.

E built Rach an igloo to play in...

It took him a LONG TIME and here, it's finally done...


We rolled out the yoga mats so Rach could crawl out there herself...

We bargained with her and tried everything we could think of to get her to get in the igloo short of throwing cookies in there...

Finally, E got in there and was able to coax her in for a while 20 seconds, just long enough to get a picture...

But at the end of the day, it's more fun to slide off the top of the igloo...

And play dress up with Daddy than crawl in that igloo.

What's Cooking Thursday - Shepherd's Pie

Better late then never on What's Cooking Wednesday.

I have an addiction to One-Pot meals. They are just so great and so easy. I love them. So here's another one for you to try if you like One-Pot meals like I do. Some how this Southern Living Recipe from 3 years ago made it's way into my recipe pile. It was Shepherd's Pie with a twist... Cheesy Carrot Mashed Potatoes for the topping. Something I have never tried and now I think I might keep that recipe and serve it as a side dish for some other meal. It was really good and got 5 stars from our dinner guests. One more thing I like about One-Pot meals...LEFTOVERS!!!


Shepherd's Pie
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground round (ground turkey worked well too)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 (8-oz.) package fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14 1/2-oz.) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Cheese-and-Carrot Mashed Potatoes

1. Brown beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove ground beef from skillet using a slotted spoon; reserve 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Reduce heat to medium.

2. Sauté onion, mushrooms, and garlic in hot drippings over medium heat 10 to 11 minutes or until tender. Stir in ground beef, peas, and next 4 ingredients. Sprinkle flour over meat mixture. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaf, and vinegar, breaking up large tomato pieces with a spoon. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove bay leaf. Transfer mixture to a lightly greased 3-qt. baking dish or pan. Spoon Cheese-and-Carrot Mashed Potatoes evenly over meat mixture, smoothing with back of spoon.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Note: To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step 2. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator 24 hours. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated, shielding with aluminum foil after 25 minutes to prevent excessive browning.

Cheese and Carrot Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 (1-lb.) package baby carrots
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 (22-oz.) package frozen mashed potatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1. Place carrots and 1/4 cup water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; fold back a small edge to allow steam to escape. Microwave at HIGH 8 to 10 minutes or until carrots are tender. Drain.

2. Stir in butter. Coarsely mash carrots with a potato masher.

3. Prepare potatoes according to package directions, using 2 1/2 cups milk. Stir in cheese, next 3 ingredients, and carrot mixture until well blended.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Ore-Ida Frozen Mashed Potatoes. Do not use refrigerated mashed potatoes.




Monday, February 1, 2010

My Misfortune is Your Fortune


I am PEEVED!! I went to the grocery store this morning with all of my coupons spilling all over the place (as usual, oh, and Rachel throws up grape juice all over her white jacket, sigh), got my FREE MILK coupon in hand, bought my milk, checked out and...guess what?? My commissary wouldn't accept my coupon. Since I really don't shop anywhere else, my misfortune is now your fortune.

Somebody should be using these coupons, worth a maximum of $4 each and I have 3 of them. They are good for a FREE Gallon of White Milk, any brand, and it expires on 2/27/10. There is a slight catch though... you have to make a $100 grocery purchase. So, for the first three people who leave me a comment, I will send you my email address and get your mailing address. I will throw it in the mail today. I know...FREE MILK just for buying groceries like you always do.

Being an Everyday Bailey reader is finally paying off BIG TIME right??