Love and the library…

There is definitely an art to be an organized person… Organized in your personal life, organized with your money, organized with your children and organized within your home… All skills that need constant work by me to achieve, but this year, this is my goal, to be very organized and enjoy more free time in the process!

To achieve this skill I have created a few lists to work from… Oh how I love lists…
List number 1, a daily to do list, list number 2, a budget plan, list number 3, daily chores, list number 4, a grocery shopping list and of course list number 5 my menu plan for the upcoming week, with all these lists on my iPad I’m creating confusion as to where I’m looking for what… But the upshot of all the lists will hopefully lead to a more organized me and more free time for Florrie and I!

Have I told you about the Sparta Library… Well, I’ve always loved our library in Sparta, it’s so friendly, clean and very cute. It won an award for one of the best libraries in New Jersey, it is a privately owned library by the town, we get free movies, games, kindles, iPads, and games machine rentals, oh and of course I’m forgetting the wonderful books, in addition to that they provide free passes for a whole list of attractions across New Jersey… I cannot say enough good things about our library, well that was until recently when I discovered a whole other side to the library here in Sparta… Groups, clubs, meetings all completely free and a lot of fun… Now I am totally in L O V E with the library all over again, Florrie and I have been attending Monday and Friday story stop mornings, you just stop by for a story and then a small craft, my baby girl loves it so much, so now I have registered for mommy and me yoga this coming Friday and then a craft morning next Tuesday… We will see how those two sessions go before we venture any further! Well enough about our library, next stop for Florrie and I is a brand new baby and toddler gym opened just 10 minutes away from our house, Tuesday and Thursday mornings are free play sessions for $10 Florrie gets to run wild for up to 2 hours, no commitment just turn up and see what happens… Sounds good to me!



Help… The laundry basket is sucking me in!

I am becoming a crafting blog addict, so I wanted to share with you all my latest blog find love this link…, I love all her ideas, it inspires me to get my sewing machine out and perfect my skills… Now all I need is more hours in my day to make my ideas into actual creations!

This week menu plan is on a new board on my Pinterest, for all of you Pinterest lovers out there… I am using the food network website this week, after entering twice daily to win the dream home on HGTV, I am now getting sent daily recipe emails from food network so I thought why not plan a menu around them so here it is…

Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs
Dumpling Soup
Cheese Tortellini in Light Broth
Broccoli-Cheddar Potatoes
Beef and Cheddar Casserole

Add to that a stir fry noodle a pot sticker home creation meal and a tortellini pesto and rotisserie chicken meal and that is what we will be eating for the next 7 days… What yummy dinner ideas have you got planned for next week?

My washing machine is once again working, for how long I’m not really sure, but for now Karen’s Chinese laundry is open and in service… I washed all day yesterday and I still have mounds of washing left to go… Bed linen from my parents stay, clothes from all 7 of my children, towels and of course Paul and my own pile of dirty clothes… I’m not sure I’m loving the machine working again, sorting, washing, drying, folding and putting it all away, that is how I will be spending my next couple of days… If you don’t hear from me again I’m lost under a huge pile of dirty laundry… Please send help!



Hope Springs…

On Thursday I had hope that the snow was melting away and spring was just around the corner, yesterday spring was definitely in the air with temperatures reaching a beautiful sunny 55 f, but this morning all my hopes have faded… Grass has once again been replaced by a thick white blanket of freshly laid snow!

Etsy is still in the making… I had a slight setback as the two items I had made to sell, I decided to send back with my Mum as presents for a friends children, it’s back to the drawing board, so to speak… I have an outline of what I want to sell, what age group I am looking at and what look I want for my online shop… Now to put my plan into action, very difficult with a very active 21 month old girl called Florence!

This past week has been a mixture of fun and tears, on Monday we started the week with Storytime at the library, a new adventure for Florrie, but one she absolutely loved, Tuesday was an exciting day for Mabel as I finally went to Ikea to get her long awaited furniture, unlike Mabel but she has waited for a year to get it, and it’s still in boxes on her bedroom floor, so she is still patiently waiting as she has only ever seen it in photos not the real thing! Wednesday was my parents last full day here, so we ran around making sure they had everything they wanted to take back, then sorted through all the presents to send back to everyone and then packed them carefully away! Tears were definitely flowing on Thursday, Valentines Day,after a fun last day here of Starbucks with Dom and Jord and then delicious sushi at Asian Island it was time to leave for the airport, this for me is the absolute worst part of living over here… The leaving. It doesn’t matter how long you live here or how long your guests stay for, the airport is always something I dread and it always brings lots of tears, and this time was absolutely no different, this time I was there on my own so after my parents had gone through into passport control, the tears just fell and then fell right into my quiet car journey home until I finally spiced things up by turning on the radio!

Now yesterday life was back to normal, Florrie and I in the car traveling back to the library for bookmark a story and some fun, later we headed to Target and Trader Joes for some much needed grocery shopping, then onto the pediatricians office. Florrie has not been well for over a week, she had a fever one day and then it disappeared, I could not put my finger on what was wrong but she did not seem right at all, so before we went to Ikea on Tuesday I made a doctors appointment and he said she had bronchitis, my poor baby girl, yesterday after starting her antibiotics we headed back to the doctors to see if she had improved, and yes she is much better, how I wish we had Florence’s powers of recovery, two spoonfuls of medicine and she was like another child all smiles and giggles!

A quick shout out to my niece… She is 9 today… Happy Birthday Rose!



Everything in moderation

Yesterday was a momentus day for Florrie, we bought her, her first McDonalds Happy Meal, now I know there are many people that think that fast food restaurants are the worst thing in the world, but I am not one of them, my motto in life is everything in moderation and a tiny Happy Meal once every now and then is not going to harm my baby girl, the fish bites were whole white pieces of fish, the ten tiny fries and bag of sliced apples went with the whole milk (not flavored) and in my opinion provided more nutrition than some of the products we buy at the grocery store, boxed mac and cheese is disgusting, hot dogs as we all know are yummy but full of junk, and donuts are so full of nutrition… Not, but they are a delicious treat! Now all that horse meat found in so many products on sale in all the supermarkets back in the UK, is another example of us not knowing exactly what we are eating even when we advocate home cooking and healthy foods!

Well Florrie was thrilled with her little bag of goodies, we opened the fish bites and added the fries, she got excited by her bottle of milk with a big girl straw, but when all is said and done what she really wanted was the bobbing Hello Kitty toy… The lunch was forgotten, three fries eaten she was done and in love with her toy which she called Warrel… Named after you know who!

Back to menu planning for my parents final week here, I’ve tried to stick to low maintenance meals to free up some time, so most things on this list will be put into my slow cooker, easy quick and nutritious is my plan!

Menu plan for next week

Sausage and spaghetti slow cooked dinner
Baked risotto casserole with artichokes (bacon)
Red curry chicken and vegetables
Broccoli rice and cheese casserole (sausage)
Better than chicken soup
White bean, chicken sausage and kale soup
Potato and leek soup with Brie croutons

Stay safe and warm, I have all my fingers and toes crossed that there are no power outages with the incoming storm approaching us and that it will not be as bad as it is forecast to be!



Soap box moment…

In this struggling economy we are supposed to feel ‘grateful’ we have our jobs, but the cold, stark reality is that companies are just using it as an excuse to use and abuse their employees… In years gone past loyalty and hard work, commitment and knowledge were all things that were rewarded, but in these times we live in now they are not only disregarded but reasons to take away money and moral from hard working employees… We are no longer people but numbers to gain more and more money in a never ending cycle of greed…

… And this is why I am putting into place my idea of creating my own company on Etsy for my handmade creations… This idea has been around for well over a year now, I don’t want to go back into the working world and be a slave to companies that no longer care about individuals, I want to be my own boss, I am so in love with making handmade items, and I really need a challenge in my life too, that this is so perfect for me to try right now, it may not have a racing start or generate a huge income, but it is something that I can incorporate into my life with my children and give me something to do that isn’t just housework! I have a plan in mind to keep my stock minimal to start with, simple and then just see how it goes… Wish me luck! Watch this space for more details on Florrie’s Attic…

Yesterday I did one of my favorite things visited Jo-Ann’s Fabric store, this one was brand new, sparkly and just so full of everything the avid crafter could think of and more, this is where my idea of my new Etsy company began to emerge again, as I wandered through the aisle upon aisle of colorful fabric and then onto the overstocked yarn department, I knew this was a deep passion in my life that had to be released into the world… I could spend hours just looking at fabrics, I could spend hours choosing yarn for new projects so now it is time to learn, perfect and create… The first one is that scarf I knitted a few weeks ago, I had an idea whilst out shopping with my children, the idea has changed the scarfs identity into a different concept, lets hope it works and it can be my first item for sale!




Snowy Super Bowl Sunday morning…

The Super Bowl is once again upon us, has it really been a whole year since the last one? Last year each of us bought a yummy dish of food for our television watching fest, this year everyone is out except my youngest three children so more wings for us to munch on… I am not a football fan, in fact I do not understand the rules of the game, but I do enjoy game day food!

The menu for our feast is buffalo hot wings with blue cheese dip, chili with cheesy hot dogs, nachos, queso and sweet and spicy popcorn… I have cheated and bought most of the menu, but I am planning to make the chili and cook the hotdogs in it so they are nice and spicy!

The rest of this cold snowy Sunday is going to be spent keeping warm, a morning trip to the Bagel Bistro for brunch is planned and Mabel is desperate to get to the 70% off sale in Abercrombie and Hollister but I just fancy a lazy day at home, so we will see what happens… My thoughts are that she might just persuade me!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday… What ever feast you have planned… Enjoy, the diet can always start tomorrow!