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Photo’s, photo’s and still more photo’s

It’s been all quiet here on the Windle front, a very chilled out lazy week for my children, but as they say a mothers job is never done, so not so lazy for this very tired Mommy!
I had a few housekeeping tasks that needed doing this week, number one on my list organize Farrel’s GED, check, number two organize Farrel’s driving test, check and number three blood test appointments for Florence and Blu, not check… Still the week is not quite over yet!

Photos are something I have been doing this week, I was in desperate need of catching up with over 2000 photos on my two cameras, iPhone and iPad combined… I have cleared all devices now, backed them up, sorted them and have been sharing some albums… Finally at the end of July I have managed to share Florence’s 1st Birthday photos back in May… Whaooooo!

I have promised my very square eyed children a trip to do some bowling tomorrow and a much anticipated trip to Sparta’s brand new diner… Should be fun!

As far as menu planning this week, not a lot has been happening, we ran out of gas for the grill so cooking has been happening inside mainly, I’ve eaten two lots of McDonald’s for lunch, so much for the flat belly diet and Quick Chek subs for dinner last night… Note to self, get back onto a healthy eating plan… but on the positive side Paul said I had lost a little bit of weight yesterday, so I’m not feeling too guilty about my slightly unhealthy week!

Next weeks list of to do’s are…
Sort and clear out all not needed clothes
Get shelves for mud room cupboard so that I can store pots and pans from kitchen
Get more hangers so Mabel can continue organizing her closet… That girl is Abercrombie Mad!
… And finally, HAVE FUN!

Be organized, stay cool and enjoy the beautiful weather!

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Birthday Breakfast on the beach…

For the first time in Windle Birthday history we had breakfast on the beach… My alarm was due to go off at 6am on Jordan’s birthday, now some of you may think this is a little extreme, but believe me you cannot beat being on the beach first thing in the morning, there is just something magical about the sea, the sand and the sun at that time in the morning, plus you dont have to sit in traffic all the way there, believe me Jordan thought I was mad, that was for sure, but with a 1 hour 20 minute car ride, I wanted to be out of the house by 6.30am, we made it by 6.40 and by 8.30 we were sitting on the sand eating our breakfast and my children were swimming in the sea!

Apart from the green flies that kept stinging us when we first arrived, we had a fantastic morning… Everyone, except me spent the whole time swimming the waves, Florrie actually sat on the blanket on the sand this time… Jordan got a couple of beach presents to start the day off, a towel that also doubles as a chess set and a purple frisby, chosen by Mabel!

We left the beach at 1pm, just as it really started to get hot… 100f, and busy, we managed to miss all the traffic coming home too, a quick stop in Starbucks and the liquor store and we were home by 3pm ready for our Birthday alcoholic beverage… It has to be done! HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jord!

My summer menu planning has been a tad haywire to say the least, but I have been trying to make sure we still eat very healthily, as it was raining and a little bit colder yesterday, I decided to make the most of the slightly cooler weather and make a healthy chicken taco casserole and healthy whole wheat cheesy bread in the style of Cinnabons… Well they were delicious even though I used low fat cheese! I got the idea from pinterest and it worked out perfectly, I made my usual pizza dough in the bread maker, then I divided it into two, rolled it out into a rectangle and lightly spread butter over it, I then sprinkled cheese, black pepper and oregano over and then rolled the whole thing up into a giant dough sausage, I cut it into 8 and placed it on a tray whilst I did the same with the other half of the dough… I lightly greased some cling wrap and covered the bread, set it to rise for 30 minutes then baked it for 25 minutes on 375f… Serve with chicken taco casserole and a glass of red wine… Delicious! Of course this idea would work with anything, I thought it would make the perfect beach picnic bread, no mess, all baked together… You could use anything before you roll, pesto, tomato, spinach, feta, olives… The list is endless, I’ll let you know what Cinnabon style bread rolls I make next!

Happy Weekend… The sun is shining and the weather is slightly cooler than it was so I’m loving it!

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Happy Birthday Jord

Years ago when we only had our boys, no girls for us, or so we thought, it would have been hard to imagine a Saturday afternoon shopping with just us girls, and for Paul even harder to imagine, but with Blu firmly attached to the Xbox controller at home that’s how we spent yesterday afternoon… 2 gorgeous girls, their Mom and one very lucky Dad having the best afternoon shopping in Rockaway… Yay, mine and Mabel’s favorite pastime ever!

Now don’t get me started, but years ago it would have been not only hard to imagine a girls and their Dad afternoon shopping but an afternoon shopping in a Mall 3500 miles away in the USA, now that would have been really hard to imagine too, but these days we take that all for granted, Macy’s, Target, Abercrombie to name but a few, these are all stores that have become an everyday name to us, sometimes I find it hard to believe that M&S, Monsoon, Laura Ashley are not those stores I just pop into for a quick browse… It’s hard to believe that life has changed so much, yet still in many ways is exactly the same!

With the hot sticky weather upon us I have been finding it harder and harder to menu plan, we are on a healthy eating plan, but we are not taking it too seriously so it does not become an obsession, take yesterday for example we had a healthy breakfast and lunch but then after a long afternoon of shopping we bought a pizza, and instead of feeling guilty which is exactly what I normally do, I’m just excepting it and moving onto another day… A real break though for this Mom who used to be anorexic!

So with the cooking happening outdoors right now, I have been making healthy chicken/salmon and veggie foil parcels for the grill… I bought some Trader Joes sauces to flavor the chicken, I know its cheating a little bit, but its just so much easier, I’ve then been adding my Farmers Market veggies then grilling them until just cooked… They are very healthy, delicious and extremely popular in my house at the moment!

On the menu for tonight is chopped Swiss chard, bruschetta topped chicken served over Alfredo whole wheat spaghetti, with maybe a Mojito on the side!

We were going to head to the beach today but as it is Jordan’s 22nd… Yes I do feel old saying the baby of my older children is going to be 22, anyway as I was saying, Jordan’s Birthday is on Wednesday and most of us are around, we are having an early start for a Birthday breakfast on the beach, with that in mind, Mabel has now chosen a beach theme for Jord’s big day so I’m off to the Christmas tree store for supplies for the big day today… I’m officially getting old, it only seems like yesterday that I was 22 and pregnant with him… Oh well, Happy Sunday everyone!

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The Flat Belly Diet plan

So on a whim, which believe me never happens in our house we booked two nights in two different hotels, mainly because we couldn’t get the hotel we wanted for two nights, we packed our suitcases and drove to Long Island, NY. Tuesday 10pm we booked the rooms and by lunchtime Wednesday we were driving through New York not far from Long Island… Now this is very organized for us! Because we left it so late to book we could not get two nights at the hotel of our choice, so we decided to try another hotel too, which actually as it turned out was the better hotel in my opinion, both were nice though and really as long as they are clean and have a pool our children are happy, as was the case at both hotels!

It was a wonderful surprise break away, and one I intend to repeat, I loved the idea that we did not plan this, it just happened and it was so relaxing as we had no expectations! On the first afternoon we decided to just chill out at the hotel, Blu and Mabes were desperate to get in the pool, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to get Florrie in the water, she loved getting in her bathing suit and walking down the hallway in the hotel, she was so happy shouting all the way to the elevator, but once in the pool she was petrified! Paul took her in gradually and whooshed about, but she looked terrified and clung to him, once out and on my lap she sat so still and calm, which believe me is not like her for the rest of the time the children were in the pool! After our swim we headed to the local bar next to the hotel for a nice alcoholic beverage, of course and some food… We were in the hotel room by 9 watching the fireworks for July the 4th from the window and asleep by 10… Sad I know but I think all the excitement had worn us all out!

Thursday was beach day, with a a picnic from Stop and Shop we headed to Smith Point State Park, the beach here was beautiful, the sand was so white and so very clean, a must for this germofobic Mom… We spent hours watching Blu and Mabel in the water, they took a couple of breaks for fried chicken, a must on any hot beach day picnic… Ha, ha, or it is if your name is Mabel, and a quick sandcastle building contest, but apart from that the water was the main attraction! My little Florrie on the other hand was petrified of the sand, she would not even sit on the blanket, so it was a nice easy afternoon for Paul and I with her sat on our laps taking in everything that was around her… It was just a shame we did not have any wine to go with our gigantic sandwich picnic though!

Friday we headed back into New York and made a stop off at the Bronx Zoo… Wow, we did not realize quite how hot it was until we got out of the car, if anyone has ever looked at the location of Long Island they will realize it is surrounded on either side by coastline, so I think this took away the humidity and gave us a nice breeze and a false sense of how hot the weather had gotten over the last couple of days… The heat and humidity hit us as we walked into the zoo, it was 95 f, we headed straight to the food area, ordered chicken and fries, if ever you go to this zoo, take your own food, it was horrible, such a waste of money! Then we headed out to look for the animals, well we just made it to the giraffes and we all decided it was just too hot and that we should go grab a cooling ice cream in the air conditioning then head home, so that is just what we did!

The best thing about this little break away is having a whole weekend afterwards to get organized, so laundry is all done and put away, cases are completely empty and waiting for Paul to put them away… Now I can enjoy this relaxing Sunday, I have dough rising in the bread maker for home made English Muffins, fresh farmers market eggs and tomatoes ready to cook for breakfast… What more could you want on this beautiful Sunday morning!

This week I am following the flat belly diet menu plan, it is time to lose some of that extra baby weight for me and for Paul, well he just needs to lose weight too… I like this diet as it is just a really healthy Mediterranean style diet, also you can still eat bread, it is so hard to replace bread sometimes, so having it in controlled portions is much easier for me to manage. I think it will be tough organizing all the breakfasts and lunches for Paul before he goes to work as I have been enjoying my lay ins, but it’s something I need to do for both of us, so here we go, tomorrow is day one of the Flat Belly diet… WHAOOOOOO!

A quick note for all my friends and family back home, I am so sorry about the references to all the hot sunny weather we are having, I am sending lots of warm happy, sunny, blue sky thoughts your way, hopefully they will help brighten up the summer!

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