Monday, May 20, 2013

Bountiful Baskets Experience

For those of you who aren't familiar, Bountiful Baskets is a non-profit food co-op. It is completely volunteer based, and they ask you to volunteer at least once every 6-8 weeks of participation. That is how the produce ends up so cheap! For more information click HERE. More than likely there is a BB group in your area, as they are all over the nation! If there isn't one, you can even start your own. This week was the first time I had participated and I loved it. I paid $15 for the conventional basket (as opposed to organic) and this is what I got:

1 Honey Dew melon
1 brown lunch-sack full of Fava beans
5 HUGE bananas
7 Roma tomatoes
 2 heads of green lettuce (NOT Iceberg, GREEN!)
5 ears of corn
1 Butternut squash
1 head of Cauliflower
6 Apricots
2 Mangoes
A MASSIVE Sweet potato (4 servings?)

I think that is it...I might have even forgotten something. I started searching for recipes to employ all this fresh produce and found some yummy looking dishes! I am not a huge fan of raw tomato, but I love me some Bruschetta. I found a pretty standard recipe and BAM! Delicious lunch. As far as the squash goes I can't wait to make THIS little baked side dish/dessert. I plan to have a feast of grilled corn one day, and keep it simple there. Chili powder, butter, salt....heaven. I found lots of recipes for the Fava beans but THIS one really struck my fancy. Finally, the two heads of lettuce worried me, since I don't want to eat myself sick of salad before they go bad. I found THIS little gem hiding on the internets. I am the most excited to make it, as I am very fond of soups. They seem to stay good in the fridge forever, and they even freeze well!

I had some of the needed ingredients already in my house, and the only things I have to get from the store to complete all of them is this short list:

1 lemon
Goat cheese
A baguette (I could make this even)
Parmesan cheese
Chicken stock

Tah Dah! I am definitely going to make this a weekly part of my groceries. It is an easy way to save money, it is fun, and it "forces" me to find interesting, new, and healthy recipes. It is worth noting that there are also usually "side items" you can add to your basket, like fresh bread and treats of all sorts. If any of my local friends or neighbors want to hitch up with me and volunteer together sometime (if you choose to get involved) that would be fun! I choose to go to the Plano-Skaggs Elementary School location. 


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Today's Bad Decision

Let's cut to the chase. We have known each other too long to beat around the bush about something so trivial. I tried to cut my own hair in the mirror and failed. Here is the long story:

A few weeks ago...more like a month and a half, Forrest and I decided we were going to lose weight. Well, my handsome husband is currently 30lbs lighter and I am just about where I started. I decided one day that I needed more motivation. I told him that if I could lose just TEN pounds that I would reward myself with a good haircut. I love going to a salon and having my hair scrubbed by someone I don't really know and then getting a gloriously overpriced coiffe. Unfortunately with a baby and a budget and more things to care about than myself, this does not happen too terribly often. Not because Forrest won't let me go, but because I am a real cheapskate. So, back to my reward system and failure thereafter. Today I got the harebrained idea that maybe...just maybe I could get away with trimming it the mirror myself. I would not be breaking my bet/challenge and my mother-in-law does this regularly and she is still alive to tell about it. Why not, right? Anyway, about 10 minutes and a sink-full of hair later I decided to call it quits and declare myself the loser of this ill-chosen game. I couldn't seem to make my "tiny trim" even on both sides and my hair kept getting shorter...and shorter. I was even using a makeup mirror to trim the back. YIPES!

I ran to the phone to inform Forrest that I needed what I dubbed an "emergency hair cut" and then called a salon to see what they had this afternoon. Two hours later I came home with much shorter hair, but I am happy to say that the gristly home-dyed blond part is all gone! I was really enjoying having long hair. I had even begun to master the tricky art of self-French-braiding. Oh well. It'll grow again!

Here are a few "selfies" that I took of my salon cut. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Dallas Zoo

Or: How "What a waste of money!" turned into "I need a season pass!!!"

Every good mother of a young child knows that there will probably be at least one day each week that neither of you will get out of your pajamas, and there will also be at least one day that you reserve completely for fun times. That is how things run at my house at least. Today I took Augie to the Dallas Zoo and we had quite a day. It didn't start out that way; I don't know if it was the wrong time of day or what, but it seemed like hardly ANY animals could be seen. Then we got to the snake area, and Augie got to pet one!

That was super cool, but wasn't enough to make the $8 parking and $15 ticket worth it. We also saw some penguins...

Once again, cool but I was still miffed. Then, it happened. Right when I was about to leave this sad excuse for a "zoo", we found the The Stream. Seriously, look it up-- it is named "The Stream". It is inside the Children's Area and is was *amazing*. 

Needless to say, we were completely unprepared for this and Augie just played in his regular clothes. I wanted to let him swim naked, but I am not sure everyone else there shared my hippie mentality. 

This kid loved it and when I finally had to take him away he was arching his back and crying. My stoic little Augie-bear threw a fit. It was adorable. I couldn't stop giggling at how badly he wanted to stay. I love water too, Augie. I get it.

I mean, look at that face! "Mama!! Is this heaven?"

But alas, we did have to leave and since this unprepared mama had no change of clothes we just went to the car like this. No pants. I literally got laughed at by one lady. She spoke Spanish, but so do I. Also, it doesn't take foreign language skills to understand what pointing and laughing means. Estupida mujer. 

So, I loveloveloveloveloved the water feature, and I will someday go back, pay $8 for parking and $15 for a ticket and head STRAIGHT to The Stream/Children's petting area and make a day of it. Or maybe I will try and go on a half-price admission day. Ooo, lala.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Garden Update

My little pretties seem to be finally making so progress. One of my zucchini has a flower! 

And my sloooowwww growing little tomatoes are making progress, too...

Even my teensy little onion sprigs are looking peppier. This photo is blurry because I can't figure out how to get a close up of small things without blur. Sarah?

I have also noticed some lovely things growing on my porch. Check out this little jewel. What it that?!?! I have never seen such a lovely "weed" but I have also never seen a tiny miniature pansy. Anyone know?

And finally, I am in LOVELOVELOVE with the moss that is growing between the stones. It makes me feel like I have entered an English garden or something whenever I step outside. I thought only really old places were graced with such ne se quois.

I <3 my backyard, and Augie is starting to look a little tan! I guess hope he has his papa's skin genetics?