Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Malfouf - Lebanese Cabbage Rolls

You would think the best thing I took away from Memorial Day weekend was the fun with my family and extra time with my husband.

Nope. The food. Ok, yes fun with my family and husband, but really, let's talk about the food.

When my Lebanese Grandma asks me if I want to take left over dinner home with me I usually thankfully decline. Why? Because I dread that I would accidentally not eat it in time and run the risk of having to throw it away. I hate it when that happens. I am an excellent leftover eater. My husband, is not.

However, when my Grandma asked if anyone wanted to take leftover malfouf home, I could have stood on my chair, jumped up and down while raising my hand saying, "Yes! Yes! Pick me! Pick me!" My Mom raised me better than that though. I just squeaked out a little, "We would." from the end of the table.

Photo Credit // Mama's Lebanese Kitchen

We would = not if anyone else wants it, needs it, or could use it but really, I am the oldest granddaughter and most spoiled, so who has two thumbs and took a big bag of malfouf home??

This girl.

Even as I am writing this post, I look over to my empty plate where I just finished 3 rolls of malfouf for lunch. Cold. Yes people, I didn't even heat it up. I purposely put the remaining 8 rolls in the freezer as to savor them over the next few weeks. God only knows I could finish the bag here and now!

Mama's Lebanese Kitchen describes malfouf as, "a traditional Lebanese dish which involves rolling cabbage leaves with a stuffing of ground meat, rice, 7-spices (of course), then stacking them in a cooking pot in layers with garlic in between, and then simmering them on low heat in a sauce made with lemon juice, fried minced garlic, water and salt." My family adds tomato sauce or paste of some sort.

While they are not for everyone, they sure are for me. I am sure my Grandma makes (and this time she ordered some from church) malfouf differently, Mama's Lebanese Kitchen gives a very thorough recipe on their website with lots of pictures!

Is there anything your family makes or eats that you just can't help but take the leftovers of?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Current Music Obsession - Cults

I am currently informally training for an undecided __k this summer. Commit much? What does this mean exactly? I would love to do a 15k, will probably do a 10k, but most likely, I will do a 5k. Right now I am just trying to get a good 3 miles in 3-4 times per week. I hope to build the miles up from there and once I have a solid routine, I can increase my pace.

It helps me get out on the road when I have some good music to look forward to. When I was listening to the radio the other month I happened to hear "Go Outside" by Cults. David was in the backseat and said, "See, again?". I Googled the song later and told Pete I was sort of into this song I heard on the radio.

Pete already knew the whole song. I was like, what the hell? All you listed to is KFAN... Well, here the same song plays on his PS3 baseball game (yeah, I don't know the name, don't care, it is his thing! Ha!) and Cults isn't really his thing. So, I decided I would like them even more.

Photo Credit // Ben Rowland Photography // Last.fm

Last night, with storms brewing in MN, Pete and I sat and had a beer (or two) in our camp chairs in the garage. We just jammed out to all sorts of music. Music we are getting into, music from our past, music that was perfect for a rainy night in the garage. Cults was on my playlist.

For a while, I found myself jogging along to Muse, Beck & Scissor Sisters. However, my early evening runs are my escape from the hectic day at home with the boys. I found myself feeling panic and anxiety when I was running. It was almost like I was getting claustrophobic with my ear buds in.

So, with little tweaking of my tunes to a more light hearted genre, I have found my jogs so much more enjoyable. What's on your playlist?

Diaper Deals for the Day

Photo Credit // Ecomom

I noticed a few good diaper deals this morning in my inbox! Keep your eye out for Memorial Day sales starting early!

ECO BUYS 40% off Bumkins Pocket and AOI Cloth Diapers
KELLY'S CLOSET One free diaper with purchase of $64 or more
ECOMOM Memorial Day Sale with $10 off $30, $20 off $50 and $30 off $75.
TARGET DAILY DEALS Huggies Little Movers Jeans Big Pack $16.79 (size 3, 4, 5)

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Free Father's Day Card from Treat.com

Treat Father's Day Greeting Cards

Between now and tonight you can get a FREE Father’s Day card from Treat!

Just use the code TREATDAD and enjoy a free, customized, card. This offer applies to all new and returning customers.

Here is how it works:

· You choose your card from their hundreds of Father’s Day designs.

· Personalize it with photos, nicknames, inside jokes, whatever you want to add. This is your chance to make it YOUR card. Be creative. Be funny. Be sappy. Make dad laugh, cry, or just smile.

· Use the code TREATDAD to get this special deal. (Note: This offer is good all customers, whether this is your first time or 100th time using Treat).

You can choose the “Send it to me first” shipping option to receive the card free. If you choose “Mail it directly to the recipient,” you will be charged $0.44 for postage. Limit one per household. You will also be asked for their credit card to verify your identity and prohibit fraud, but you will not be charged for a free card if you mail to yourself.

Treat will truly brighten your day…and your dad’s! So check them out now and take advantage of this awesome offer!

Thanks, Treat - for the heads up!

Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale Plus 10% Cash Back

Nordstrom is having their Half-Yearly Sale with some great items at a great price. Nordstrom also has free shipping and free returns! Shop through Shop-at-Home and receive an extra 10% cash back, too.

The sale includes women's styles, men's, juniors, kids, baby and home & gifts. Here are some good deals I spotted in women's and baby:

In baby:

Robeez Slip-on $13.90 other styles available
Vans Slip-on $15.90 other styles available
Mick Mack Swim Trunk $6.70

Little Me One-Piece Swimsuit $12.97

In women's:

Top Choice Crossbody Braid Trim Satchel $15.90
Lush Print Chiffon Frame Dress $22.90
Button Front Knit Skirt $12.90
Michael Kors Skinny Jeans (in Tile Blue) $38.90
Scalloped Hem Top $16.90

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The High's of My Day as a Mom, Wife and Daughter: Part 1

Beginning to end - roughly:
  1. James got up to eat at 5:30 am BUT both boys then slept-in until 8:30 am.
  2. I slept great all night.
  3. I slept so great, in fact, I got up first to pick up the boys - I love their happy, hungry little faces in the morning.
  4. David asked me to change his diaper - potty training much?
  5. I made David's breakfast, made coffee, changed a load of laundry and handed Pete and pop-tart - with a smile (really!).
  6. Pete brought me my coffee (with the perfect amount of carmel creamer) - in bed.
  7. We got ready for church with little fuss and minimal snide comments exchanged between Pete and I.
  8. I liked my outfit for the day.
  9. Both boys were amazing in church.
  10. I got to sit next to my own Mom.
  11. I had an amazing homemade cookie from my Grandma. I would have had more. Damn, I wish I ate more of them!
  12. Pete got to do whatever he wanted, kid free, for a few hours. Happiness is: when my husband is happy (really!).
  13. Talking to my Dad about working in New Orleans after Katrina.
  14. David POTP.
  15. Coming home to a picked up house. Thank you, super-husband.
  16. David's face when he sees my husband's parents. Grandparents move my kids like no others.
  17. James getting a bottle from his Great-Grandma.
  18. Seeing my in-laws faces when they see David and James. Grandkids move them like no others.
  19. The way David eats pretzels out of the bag and then shares them with everyone in the room.
  20. The way James smiles and I swear he sees secrets in you.
  21. Diet coke.
  22. The great feeling I get when all the dirty laundry is clean.
  23. Not cooking supper.
  24. Changing diapers with my mother-in-law. Like we get special time no one else knows about - and we do.
  25. Telling my in-laws I am so happy they came over - and I mean it (really!).
  26. Nursing James till he falls asleep and then I take the time to let him sleep over my shoulder for a few minutes.
  27. Cuddling, jammie time with David on the "Mama Chair" before bed.
  28. The way David waddles into the kitchen with his blanket like a cape saying, "Goodnight, Daddy."
  29. Wine.
  30. Real Housewives of New Jersey.
  31. The usual after 10 pm phone conversation with my Mom.
Today was a really great day (really!).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Have a Summer Wedding to Attend?

6pm.com is having a dress for the occasion sale with up to 80% off (and free shippng on everything) through May 20th.

$55 // 80% off

$33.60 // 80% off
more colors available

$137.50 // 50% off

$53.40 // 40% off

More brands include: Elzabeth and James, Badgley Mischka, Betsey Johnson, Halston Herritage & more.

Melted Quesadillas with Leftovers and Happy Wife, Happy Life

Remember the Chicken Kabobs I made Monday night? With 2 skewers of leftovers, I chopped them up and made Chicken Quesadillas the next night for supper!

Quesadilla Recipe:
2 Tortillas - both buttered on one side.
Chicken - leftovers work great!
Cheese - shredded, or whatever you have.
Enchilada Sauce - or salsa, pico, or whatever you have.

Place cheese on one non-buttered side of one tortilla. Mix whatever ingredients you like for the inside of your quesadilla and place on top cheese. Place second tortilla on top of chicken mix, butter side out. Place in medium/high hot skillet and brown to your liking.

Cilantro Rice Recipe:
1 c. Minute Rice
1 c. Boiling Water
Small Handful Cilantro
1 tsp. Salt
2 T. Butter

Boil 1 c. water per the directions on the Minute Rice box. Once boiling stir in remaining ingredients, cover and remover from heat. Let sit covered for 5-8 minutes. Remove cover and stir. Place back on high heat and brown rice with a spoon full of butter till slightly browned and shiny.

Dinner took about 10 minutes to make everything. The boys and I ate around 6 like we usually do, so I left out all my tools for cooking a set for Pete when he got home at 7:30. Even though I have to make dinner twice sometimes, I really enjoy when Pete gets home and takes the boys downstairs for 15 minutes while I get his supper ready. It is quiet upstairs. It is just me and the kitchen and I don't have to worry about David drowning his fish or James accidentally eating a crayon. I feel good about feeding the hubs after he is gone all day. There is something sweet about getting the husband all fat and happy before I put him to work with our bedtime routine.

Some days, Pete gets home and I am in no mood to do anything but hide from everyone in the house, including him. I try to fire a warning shot like, "I am frazzled. I need 5 minutes." or when he asks how my day was, "Great, until an hour ago." After the first year with David, we decided the silent treatment was no way to tell Pete that I might need a little Mommy time (like going to bathroom with the door closed, would be nice...). So, I try really hard to let Pete know if my pot is boiling over. This happens MOST of the time (or so I like to think)!

Thankfully,  quesadilla night was not one of those "get the heck out of here" nights. I came downstairs after 15 minutes of Mommy cooking time, with a plate full of hot food and a sparkling smile. I might have even asked to get him a beer. Happy wife, happy life - right?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Two to the Zoo

Despite spending most of the night tossing and turning, I awoke with an intense desire to take my children somewhere. Just pack our bag and go!

Where to?


Sunken Garden.



Snack in the Grass.


Can I Come In?

When we sat to have a snack in the grass there were kids everywhere! Most of the clumps had matching brightly colored t-shirts as the kids belonged to different schools and pre-schools. I told David that someday soon he would go to pre-school. He asked me, "School bus Mama?" I explained that someday he would get to ride in a school bus to go to school. The bus would come pick him up and then bring him home. David asked with intensity, "James come?".


Monday, May 14, 2012

Texas Caviar and Chicken Kabobs

With the gorgeous weather we had this afternoon, I wanted something summery and light for supper this evening. Usually, coordinating dinner in time for when the husband gets home can be a daunting task, and tonight was no different.

Both boys took short naps this afternoon, which I was partially thankful for, as we had a major grocery shopping trip to do.

What is a major grocery shopping trip? I made it exactly to my shopping budget this week (which includes everything the boys and I might need or do for the week. Including all meals, events out, dinner for Pete, ect.) What day is it? Oh yeah, Monday. Wah-wah.

However, even though we are maxed out, I have meals for everyday of the week! There is nothing that feels more accomplishing in the house than not having to worry about dinner.

Anyway, when we got home from the store, James was ready to eat, David was thirsty and wanted to play outside, the house was a mess. I also had 10 bags of groceries to put away and as I set aside my Texas Caviar ingredients to be prepared immediately following, I had a huge pile-up of veggies to cut, rinse or put together somehow. It took forever.

Not to mention, it was 80 degrees out today and I refused to put the AC on. So, I came to a hot house, gross and sweaty with long pants on after carrying James in his front carrier for an hour and loading in all the groceries - which included two cases of pop and four 2 liters (diet 7-up berry with antioxidants is on sale at cub for $.59!).

Let us think about this for a second... with James in my front carrier, I had to put the two cases of pop in my cart, take them out to be rang in, put them back in my cart to carry to the car, take them out of the cart to put in my car. Then I load James in the car. Then I load David in the car. Then I get home... load in David, load in James, load in 2 cases of pop AGAIN. Load in 109209182098310832 other groceries.

Yep. Should have turned the air on.

So, while I had to actually buy most of the ingredients, the recipe itself is very lenient (really, you can throw whatever you want in the mix you think might taste good. It is near impossible to screw up!), I suggest making it when you have a few ingredients as leftovers.

We were really happy with our chicken kabobs and Texas Caviar this evening! I have never made either quite like the way we did tonight. Of course, I had the kabobs prepared but I had Pete grill them when he got home.

Here is my recipe for the Texas Caviar!

Mix Ingredients:
2 c. Corn (I used thawed frozen corn)
2 c. Black Beans (Rinsed)
1 c. Red Pepper
1 c. Red Onion
1/4 Brick Queso Fresco
1 Avacado
Small Bunch Cilantro (Chopped)

Wisk Dressing in Bowl:
3 Limes (Squeezed)
3 T. Honey
1 t. Salt
1 t. Garlic Powder

Stir together. Tweak to taste.

Here is what I paid for our meal tonight:

1.5 pound Chicken (additive free) $1.99/lb (Aldi)
Black Beans $.59 (Aldi)
Frozen Corn (left over)
Red Onion (left over)
Peppers $.99 for 3 (Aldi)
Limes $.75 for 3 (Aldi)
Honey $2.59 (Aldi)
Fresco Cheese $2.59 (Aldi)
Cilantro $.59 (Cub)
Avocado $.99 (Cub)
Strawberries $1.19 (Aldi)
= $13.78

The honey (I am sure you could use sugar instead) and fresco cheese were more than I wanted to spend but I have so much remaining I will be able to use them for other meals. It helped that we used tortillas I bought in bulk at Sam's Club last month and put in my freezer!

There is also a lot of our meal left over for David and I for lunch tomorrow! I am thinking of making quesadillas!

Ebates 13th Birthday with 13% Cashback at Gap, Kohls and More!

Cash back site Ebates has their 13th Anniversary with 13% cash back at 132 stores. For shopping online at stores through Ebates, you get a cash back percentage that dumps into an account and pays you out a few times each year.

Also, for signing up with Ebates, you get your choice of $5 gift cards to various stores like Home Depot.

Here are few example of some of the good deals you can get right now:

Banana Republic 13% Cash back
    and  25% off $100 or more with code BRSUMMER25
    Free Shipping with orders of $50+
= $65.25 for $100 worth of merchandise and Free Shipping

Kohl's 13% Cash back
     use Kohl's card and get 30% off with code MAY30
     get Free Shipping with code MVCFS4FUN
= $60.90 for $100 worth of merchandise and Free Shipping

Other online stores worth mentioning:
Eddie Bauer

Friday, May 11, 2012

King David and His Banana Smoothie

There is no spoiling spared when it comes to my first born. Especially, breakfast.

Before I had kids, I never would have imagined I could ever be a morning person. I was always over sleeping, doing my make-up in the car and sleeping in till 2 on my days off.

Then I had kids. And you can't do that crap anyone.

But guess what? I don't miss it.

Good Morning, Buddy.

David's morning breakfast, courtesy of happy morning Mom, consisted of a banana, peanut butter, and oatmeal smoothie via This Chick Cooks. I mean really, what is sweeter? The smoothie or my 2 year old's Toy Story Robe?!

Photo Credit // This Chick Cooks

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe
serves 2
2 bananas sliced and frozen
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup milk
Put oats in blender and blend until they’re powdery. Add remaining ingredients and blend until there are no more chunks of frozen banana. Garnish with fresh banana slices if desired.

All you need now is a cute little guy, in a cozy robe, to share it with! And maybe a fancy glass to make every morning feel like it is a special one.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Boon Flair Pedestal Highchair - Orange and White $195.99

Ecomom is have a "Supermom. Super Sale." featuring 30% off tons of earth friendly products for babies, kids and Moms.

The Boon Flair Pedestal Highchair (in orange and white) is down to $195.99 from the original price $279.99.

Graveyard Mall Women's 4 Pack Lounge Pants $5/pair Shipped

Graveyard Mall has women's 4 pack of french terry drawstring lounge pants for $19.99 with free shipping! That is only $5 a pair. Very tempting if you are in need to cycle out your beat-up lounge wear!

  • Get four random pair from these colors: White, Black, Red, Sky, Champagne, Navy & Pink

  • Combed terry

  • 30/1 combed ring spun 85% cotton 15% polyester

  • 6.5 oz/sq yd

  • Low rise waist with drawstring

  • Flare leg opening

  • Solid body

  • No pockets

  • Super soft hand feel

  • Machine Washable

  • Import & Made in USA

  • Looks like you don't get to pick the colors you receive but there doesn't seem to be a bad color in the lot. Also, the cut seems to be pretty good as well with the low rise and flare leg.

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Mighty Swell Spring Sale This Weekend!

    Visit MightySwell.com for more information!

    Photo Credit // Mighty Swell

     Sneak peek photos via Mighty Swell's Facebook:

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

    DwellStudio Mother's Day Sale

    MOMfinds announced a 10% off code for all of DwellStudio's sale items:


    I love DwellStudio's modern prints and they are often gender neutral! Great for Mom's, like me, who don't find out the gender of their babies!

    Here are a few items I am drooling over. We own the Dots Chocolate Changing cover and love it!

    dots chocolate changing cover $19.20
    skyline lt. blue sleep sack $28.80
    zinnia rose gathered neck playsuit $9.60
    zig zag chocolate fitted sheet $16.00
    owls sky madison diaper bag $50 (was $125!)
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