Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jami’s Favorite Things

For the past 3 or 4 Christmases, my mom has started giving my sister-in-law & I a gift of her favorite things. Kind of a knock off of Oprah’s Favorite Things. She puts some of her favorite things in a bag and has us open them at the same time.  It’s a gift I really enjoy getting because I always end up discovering something new that I LOVE. This year my favorite thing of mom’s favorite things was a jelly watch.  While I can’t give you all a gift of my favorite things, I thought I’d at least tell you about my top 10 (in no particular order). Ready? And Go!

(I have not been compensated by any of these companies for my opinion on their products. These are truly some of my favorite things. If you came to my house you’d find them all. Well, except for the chocolate & the beer; I’ve consumed them.)

1) Arbonne RE9 Corrective Eye Cream

eye cream
I honestly believe my crow’s feet have been drastically reduced by my use of this eye cream. That little bottle lasts me about 3 months. It’s a bit expensive but totally worth it. TOTALLY. 
2) Pampered Chef Stones


I own almost every single stone Pampered Chef sells. And I. Love. Them. All. There is truly a difference in cookies baked on a cookie sheet & cookies baked on a stone. The stones just cook more evenly than other pans.
3) Diet Dr. Pepper

I drink WAY too much of this stuff. But I do heart it. I wish all restaurants carried it. I’ve been know to choose where I will eat based on whether they carry DDP.
4) Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate & Caramel Squares

Just doesn’t get much better than chocolate and caramel together. These really are a little piece of heaven. Santa leaves them in my stocking every year.
5) The Stephanie Plum Series
Stephanie Plum

If you have not read this series, GO. Start now. You will love it. It’s entertaining to say the least. I like to read them on the beach. So, get to a body of water and introduce yourself to Stephanie.
Trust. Me.
6) Dunkin’ Donuts Dark Roast Coffee

I wasn’t a coffee drinker at all until I became a SAHM with my 2 boys. Now, seldom does a day go by that I don’t drink a cup of this coffee in the morning. And, yes, it is really more like a cup of creamer & sugar with a little coffee mixed in. BUT this is the coffee I am stocked up on.
7) The Pioneer Woman’s Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever
sheet cake

Just make it. You’ll see. That is all.
8) iPhone

This is one of those things that I didn’t know I was missing until I finally got one. Wouldn’t be without it now. I’d be lost without it. Lost I tell you.
9) Lindemans Peche Lambic

My husband introduced this to me at a local pub. The peche=peach by the way. Oh my. It is a delicious beer.
10) Bissell Sweep Up
Just got this for Christmas from my parents. LOVE IT. So much easier than dragging the vacuum out every time the boys get crumbs all over the floor. I think I will grow to love it more.
So, what are some of your favorite things?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fresh Swordfish

I cooked this meal for us while we were on our anniversary trip in Florida. I had never cooked swordfish before, but it was so easy and good. And that Robert Mondavi Zinfandel wine? PERFECT with it. Mwah! Can we go back?


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Random Topic—Mac & Cheese

Last week it was socks. This week it’s mac & cheese.

When I asked for a random topic yesterday, my friend and fellow AD fan, Angela, replied with Macaroni & Cheese.

Piece. of. cake.  Here we go.

If I had to pick one comfort food to eat forever? Mac & cheese. Hands Down. It’s ALWAYS been my favorite. Always.

One of my aunt’s favorite stories to tell about me from when I was little—probably around 5:

She, my mom, and I were shopping in a town about an hour from where we lived at the time. My aunt and mom were discussing where to stop for lunch and couldn’t agree on a place. My aunt wanted Chinese food, while my mom wanted a burger.

So, turning to me to be the tie breaker, they asked, “Jami, which would you like for lunch, Chinese or a hamburger?”

My response?

“Macaroni & cheese.”

I grew up loving the stuff & I still love it to this day. My mom made a version of it with egg noodles, Velveeta, & browned hamburger meat. OMGoodness. Heavenly. (That reminds me. I need to make that soon; it’s been entirely too long since I’ve had it.)

I used to always make the boxed stuff. Still do if I am in a hurry. And to be honest…I love the stuff. But homemade is really better, right? All the recipes I had ever found were just to complicated for what I consider to be a simple food. But then I married into my husband’s family. His grandma & mom make killer homemade mac & cheese. The best part? It’s SUPER SIMPLE.

And if you know me at all you know I am all about the simple.

Here’s all you need & part of the finished product (This is actually left over from last night’s dinner.):

Mac & Cheese

Yep. That’s it. Cook the noodles, drain, put in a baking dish, add some American cheese & milk, & bake for about 30 minutes. No need to measure things. I just stir it around after about 15 minutes. Add some cheese if it needs it or add some milk if it is too dry. Just eyeball it. Easy PeeZee.

My conclusion? Mac & cheese is my PERFECT comfort food. What’s yours?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Traditions:Gotta Love ‘Em

I’m not here today! I am guest posting over at Mountain Mum. I shared one of our Christmas traditions in my family with you Friday. Visit me over at Kristina’s blog to read about my CRAZY extended family. After over 34 years we still do this one thing. You’ll have to venture on over to see what it is.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Our Christmas Mantle

I love my Christmas mantle. It is a Christmas tradition around my house. Growing up, Santa & these little elves & mice graced our fireplace mantle every year. My mom gets tickled at me because she never knew it was a tradition to me until the year she tried to change the mantle decorations. I. Threw. A. Fit. And I was about 16 or so. It wasn’t pretty (The fit that is.). Funny how many Christmas traditions grow out of something that you never intended become a tradition. She gave me the decorations so that I could use them in my house.

Here are a couple of closer looks.

Through the years the little mice & elves have gotten chipped and pieces have broken off, but I don’t care. I’ll use them until they are unfixable. Poor Santa bit the dust two years ago now. My husband tried to fix him, but so far he hasn’t had much luck. He was a cutie though. Here he is in a mantle picture from 2007.

Mantel 2007 santa

We have started creating our own Christmas traditions with our boys now. My favorite one is eating Christmas Eve dinner on china in our Christmas pajamas. So. Much. Fun.

What are some traditions you hold dear?


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Boy Toys

The following phrase exits my mouth NO LESS THAN 5 times a day:

“Get your hand out of your pants.”

The boy moms in the crowd are shaking their heads in agreement. You completely understand what I am talking about.

From a VERY early age, both of my boys discovered their manly play toys.  I’d say probably around the same time they were discovering their ears and noses and hands and toes. It was just another body part they discovered right along with the others. When I change diapers, hands are (or were cause the 3 year old is now potty trained) immediately drawn to it. Like a moth to a flame. It’s like a magnet.

The theory I have developed about this as a result of being a boy mom? Women don’t play with their girls because we haven’t had them since day one. Men? Well, their boys have been keeping them company since they were in diapers.

And that’s all I have to say about that.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Random Topic—Socks

I asked for a random topic on Twitter last night. Little did my tweetin’ tweeps know, I was going to take the topic and run with it for this blog post. The first response? Socks--via my Canadian girl Tara. P.E.R.F.E.C.T. Here we go…

Socks. How do I LOATHE thee? Let me count the ways.

1)  The people who make you for toddlers have plotted a conspiracy against parents by putting six different pairs of socks in the same package. Oh, they all look similar, but they aren’t the same! I bought Sweetie Pie & Boogaboo each a six-pack of you. All the of you were white, but each pair of you had distinguishing markings. (which could not be seen because of the packaging)Three pair of you in the set had a gray heal. The other three a navy one. BUT of the three gray ones, one pair had two gray stripes around the top, one pair one gray stripe around the top, and the third no gray stripe. Ditto on the navy. Whyyyyyy? Are you trying to make me lose my mind? Make all the flippin’ socks white (with the size on the bottom—I actually so appreciate that) and be done with it already. Amen.

2) Folding you is a PAIN IN MY ARSE! Seriously. You sit in my laundry basket well after all of the other laundry has been put away. In fact at this very moment, my family is having to dig through the basket to find a pair of you to wear. I will go through 10 rounds of laundry before I admit defeat and finally sit down, bump you out of the basket, & pair you up. And I curse you the entire time I have to do it. Every. Single. Time.

3) Keeping track of those of you that Boogaboo takes off is a NIGHTMARE. What is up with toddlers and socks??? I mean really. Is it that difficult to keep the things on? I find socks in the most random of places. Purse. Garage. Pantry. Blanket drawer. Under car seats. In the yard. And the really strange part? It’s ALWAYS the right one. Never the left. I know this because his right foot is always the one that he strips the shoe and sock off of. To be fair, Socks, this one really is something you don’t control, but you are involved and the situation is maddening.  So I blame you.

4) The washer and dryer eat you. Hence the reason you are a pain in my arse to fold. When I do finally get around to matching you up, half of you no longer have mates. At least no mates that are clean. You must be the washers payment for cleaning clothes. Like one load of clean clothes costs me 5 random socks. All from a different set. Just to make the task of matching the socks up more fun. You know. Because I don’t have enough to do around here.

Ahhhh, I feel better. Thanks Tara.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sour Cream Enchiladas (Please see my comment below.)

I've made this so many times I don't really measure, so these are my best guesses.  I have tried to make these healthier with fat free sour cream and reduced fat soup. They are still good, but using the bad stuff is so much better!
Corn tortillas are key! And, yes, I know these are flour in the pictures. They are still good that way, but I have recently discovered how much better these are with corn. Try them both ways. You’ll see.
1ish pounds drowned hamburger (I brown mine with some chopped onion.)
1 8oz sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1can chopped green chilis
3/4 tbsp cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
Corn tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese
Mix the drained ground beef with the remaining ingredients. This is your filling.

Use CORN tortillas. So much better than flour with these & I'm a flour tortilla girl myself. Wrap the filling in the tortillas (a good spoonful or two is enough. This one is a bit too full.) & place in baking dish.

Leave some filling to cover the top of the enchiladas in the baking dish.
Top it all with a couple of cups of shredded cheddar cheese. (And, POOF! magically the tortillas have turned to corn.) This is a picture of the ones my family will be eating tonight. The enchiladas in the previous pictures have already been devoured.
(Side note: At this point, you can cover them with plastic wrap and foil and freeze them. They work great that way. Then you have dinner made on a crazy, busy night. I’ll double and even triple the batch sometimes so I have plenty in the freezer.)
Bake covered with foil at 350 for about 30 minutes. You just want to get them melded together and hot. Uncover and bake long enough for the cheese to melt and brown a bit.
Hope your family enjoys them as much as mine does. I grew up eating these. Come back and let me know what you think after you’ve tried them!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Yearly Torture

Our trips to take the boys to sit on Santa’s lap have gone like this:

2007: Sweetie Pie was 11 months old. We went to the mall where the picture packages where ridiculously overpriced. Our picture is of him screaming with a puff—you know those Gerber thingies—hanging out of his mouth. Paid like $30 for that. Yes, I know it is a classic picture that you have to have, but we were all stressed out after the event. Took like 2 hours to calm all 3 of us down.

2008: Sweetie Pie was almost 2. We discovered Bass Pro Shops give you a free picture with Santa. Ha! While I did what to have the classic Santa picture, I didn’t want to pay the money if he was just going to scream. I. Was. Thrilled. So, off we went to Bass Pro. And, indeed, I ended up with exactly what I expected. A FREE picture of E screaming while on Santa’s lap.

2009: Sweetie Pie (SP) was—Well, you do the math. And Boogaboo was 7 months old. We went to the zoo for a special event called Santa Delivers. We watched Santa deliver gifts to a few of the animals. Sweetie Pie actually gave Santa a high five. Cut to hubs and I smiling & looking all hopeful that maybe this was the year…we’d get a good Santa picture. But nope. Not from SP. He wouldn’t even get close to sitting on Santa’s lap for a picture. But Boogaboo did us proud. He was still young enough to be clueless, so we did get a good first Christmas picture with Santa of him. With our own camera. Again, Free. I know I am cheap. Or frugal. Or whatever you want to call it.

2010:  With Boogaboo being 18 months now & with Sweetie Pie’s track record, I was FULLY prepared for a meltdown performance from both boys when I took them to see Santa this year. The day we were going, I talked Santa up BIG TIME to SP. All he could talk about was going to see Santa.

I.Was. So. Excited.

I got the boys dressed in their little Christmas sweaters & off we went. To Bass Pro. Because it’s free & they usually have a pretty decent looking Santa. We got there and NO LINE. (Play Hallelujah chorus in the background here.) Santa gave both boys candy canes, which apparently won there hearts because, people, we actually got a decent Santa picture this year.

Complete with reindeer in the background.

Now by decent here’s what I mean. There were no tears. No fits. No meltdowns. SP didn’t actually smile, but he doesn’t smile in pictures these days anyway. Boogaboo does have a freaked out look on his face, but still not tears. Success. I even dropped $10 for a picture package. I know. You’re shocked.

And Sweetie Pie actually TALKED to Santa. Faint! Here’s the conversation.

Me: Sweetie Pie, tell Santa what you want for Christmas.

SP: (as Santa looks intently on) I want ping pong paddles and a big bowl of water.

Me: (thinking ‘What. the. heck?’)

Santa: What are you going to do with the big bowl of water?

SP: Put my boat in it.

Of Course! Children are so logical sometimes. Except we don’t have a boat.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Birth of Boy Crazed Momma

Welcome to my new home! What do you think? I’m in love with the colors.  This blog will be sort of a continuation of my previous blog, The Ditzy Duo. That blog was originally created to tell stories of my best friend and my adventures & eventually morphed into more of a momma blog. So, I decided to separate them. Enter Boy Crazed Momma.

My desire for this blog is simple: I want to connect with people. Please fell free to leave comments galore. Have conversations with me and each other. I love dialogue people. The more the better.

All of my previous posts are here now. Along the side you’ll see links to a few of my favorites.  There is a mixture of momma stories, girlfriend stories (under the Thelma and Louise title on the right side) , random thoughts, and some recipes. 

I hope you’ll join me on this new side adventure.  I plan to use mainly this blog, but I’ll still post a few good Thelma and Louise stories at my other address from time-to-time. Grab your coffee. It’s going to be an exciting ride!