Monday, December 24, 2012

Meg vs. The Bathroom: Paint Sneak Peek

I managed to throw two coats of paint on the bathroom walls before our Christmas trip began. I may or may not have gone to bed at 2am a couple of nights in a row. But I am really excited about the results!

We'll be back in action on the bathroom after the new year.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Meg vs. Giveaways: Little Boston Print Shoppe

Head over to One Sheepish Girl to win a set of two pillows from Little Boston Print Shoppe! So darling. The giveaway ends on December 22.

p.s. I will post again soon, I promise. I have actually been busy working on things, so I will be glad I'm getting things done instead of mad I didn't post about it... I hope you will be too =)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Meg vs. Myself: Weekly Goals December 10-15

I did better this week, but we also all got sick this week (except for John, which was a blessing since he starts his exams today). Still, I'm happy with my progress.

December 3-8
*Touch up bathroom patching, prime the walls. Our friend came over and did an awesome job smoothing over the rough edges, but said he's going to come back and do more to make it even better. Can't complain about that, but I do have to wait to do the painting.
*Put closet door back up in nursery. I painted it and put the hinges on last week, but actually just hung it up this morning. Just a little late =).
*Touch up paint on bathroom door. I painted the door on the boys' room too!
*Do two Christmas activities with the kids. My mom made this easy with her advent gifts. More on that shortly.
*Pick up materials for Christmas projects. Ordered on Amazon. I had to go to Target and Costco on Thursday, and after that I was done dragging the boys around town for a while!

John finishes his exams on Thursday, so we are hoping to get a few more things done toward the end of the week. This depends on the boys getting over their current colds so we can sleep again! We shall see.

December 10-15
*Paint the remaining doors that need it.
*Install the rest of the new doorknobs.
*Do two Christmas activities with the kids.
*Put the vanity back in the bathroom.
*Get our house clean!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Meg vs. Dinner: More Pinned it, Did it Recipes

I cooked a lot earlier in the week, then ran out of steam; Thursday the kids and I split a piece of Costco pizza and a bag of Caesar salad. But we'll focus on the days I actually cooked:

I have made these green muffins a few times, and the kiddos are happy to gobble them up:

I don't use the nuts she recommends since I am not about to go buy them just to make muffins, so I have substituted the ground nuts for ground flaxseed, and left off the topping altogether. The muffins are just a little bit sweet and banana-ish, and you can't taste the spinach at all. They remind me of a really good bran muffin (not the dense, dry, not-so-good kind). These are a new staple around here.

Next up was spaghetti squash. I have been wanting to try it out for a while, and our favorite local produce market had them for $1 each, so I couldn't resist. I followed the instructions for this garlic and butter squash recipe, which was basically to poke some holes in it and cook for an hour at 375. It turned out a little bit crunchy, so my little guys wouldn't eat it (didn't believe me that they were noodles). I read one comment that suggested cooking it at 400 degrees for 60-90 minutes to avoid the crunchiness, so I will have to try that next time and see if I can sneak it into my toddlers' diet. Otherwise, I thought it was pretty tasty and not as difficult as I expected.

Lastly I made up these sweet potato parker rolls:

Hers are so pretty!

Of course I was lazy (I can't keep track of timing rises when I have three kiddies pulling at my pant leg!), so I dumped all of my ingredients in my breadmaker and set it on the dough cycle.

Half-way through, I realized one of the paddles had popped up and so it had only half mixed and kneaded, meaning I had to start the cycle over again. Even so, the dough seemed to rise just fine and the texture was good. So these are some fairly forgiving rolls (very important around here!). Here they are before baking:

And after:

I have to say that I was expecting them to be a bit sweeter than they are. I think they could have used a little sugar, but it could just have been the particular sweet potato that I had or the fact that I botched the whole mixing and rising process! They were tasty enough for me to polish off most of the pan within a couple of days. But they won't be my go-to rolls in the future (unless I happen to have a sweet potato that I can't use otherwise).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meg vs. Dessert: Pinned it, Did it Sugar Cookie Bars

John loves sugar cookies. He especially loves Lofthouse cookies. They are a bit too sugary for my taste, but I get in the mood for one every now and again. When I am feeling energetic I love to make up a batch of Sue's sugar cookies, but it is definitely a lot of effort to roll, cut, bake, and decorate them. When I saw these sugar cookie bars from High Heels & Grills that purportedly taste like Lofthouse, I knew it was meant to be for us.

I told John I was making him a treat, but didn't tell him what it was. He was very excited when I produced these bad boys.

Sugary, Christmasy goodness. They do taste like Lofthouse cookies, but the cookie itself is definitely more dense. Perhaps I should have whipped the batter more, but I think that is just what happens when you make one big cookie bar. Laziness = denser cookie. I personally think that this frosting is better than the Lofthouse frosting (a yummy buttercream; I imagine Lofthouse is shortening-based so that it remains shelf-stable, but I could be wrong), but still sugary enough that I can't eat too much at once (if it were chocolate on the other hand, look out!). Two thumbs up for this pin for sure.

There was a similar recipe that I pinned which used cream cheese instead of sour cream like this one does, and I am curious to try that one out, so we may have a cookie bar showdown some day soon.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Meg vs. Dinner: Pinned it, Did it Pumpkin Pancakes

I realized that I have to do a whole lot of Pinterest projects if I want to meet my 30 x 30 goal of trying at least half of my pins. So I am going to start posting and reviewing them for you!

Let's start tonight with some pumpkin pancakes. I love pumpkin, and so these pancakes from How to: Simplify looked irresistable:

I used half whole wheat flour, and  our special Christmas pan.

Not as nice-looking, but tasty nonetheless. They are like pumpkin pie in pancake form, and amazing with butter and maple syrup. The batter is a little dense, so I had a hard time finding just the right temperature to get them to cook through without being overdone on the outside. But they got rave reviews from my toddlers and my 12-year-old niece, so we will be having them again!

Meg vs. Myself: Weekly Goals December 3-8

Notice how I didn't post anything about any of my goals for this week? About that...

November 26 - December 1
*Touch up the patch job in the bathroom  - Realized I need help, asked for it from a friend, hopefully will get done this week.
*Order cabinet doors
*Paint the ceiling and trim - Can't be done until after the patching
*Re-fill green waste bin, look into getting yard cleared - A series of storms kept us inside all week. Should have checked the weather!
*Mow the lawn - Ditto.
*Get the car looked at -No excuse here.
*Plan Christmas gifts - Still need another idea or two, but mostly know what I will make/buy.

December 3-8
*Touch up bathroom patching, prime the walls.
*Put closet door back up in nursery.
*Touch up paint on bathroom door.
*Do two Christmas activities with the kids.
*Pick up materials for Christmas projects