Friday, April 24, 2015

April's Funny Friday

     I recently joined a group of bloggers that take part of different weekly writing challenges.  I decided to start with one called Funny Friday, just to see how it goes and plan to join more after our move and we get settled in.  
     So here's the deal and how it works....Funny Friday, is a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project.  Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month's picture.  Links to the other blogger's posts are below, click on them and see what they've come up with.  We hope to bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend!

Here's today's picture:

* Submitted by The Bergham's Life Chronicles

15 - Bergham's Life Chronicles.jpg

1.  Look the "Great Pumpkin" does exist!

2.  Ok, who sat on the pumpkin again?

3.  Who's ready for some Punkin Chunkin'?

4.  Anyway, like I was sayin', pumpkin is the fruit of the patch.  You can barbecue it, broil it, roast it, grilled it, bake it, sauté it.  Dey's uh, pumpkin-kabobs, pumpkin creole, pumpkin gumbo.  Pan fried, deep friend, stir-fried.  There's sweet pumpkin, spicy pumpkin, pureed pumpkin, pumpkin soup, pumpkin stew, pumpkin salad, pumpkin cake, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bars, pumpkin juice.  That- that's about it.

5. Ninety-nine perfect pumpkins on a wagon, ninety-nice perfect pumpkins, take one down, pass it around...SPLAT!  Oops!  Um.....Ninety-eight perfect pumpkins on a wagon.....

Click on the links below and let some other blogger make you smile

Funny Friday  150 X 150.jpg
Baking in a Tornado
Someone Else's Genius
Confessions of a Part-Time Working Mom
The Momisodes
Sanity Waiting to Happen
Spatulas on Parade
Juicebox Confession
Stacy Sews and Schools
People Don't Eat Enough Fudge
The Bergham's Life Chronicles
Follow Me Home

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Respite, Relax, & Rejuvenate

     Today, I wanted to talk about do you relax?  Do you take long walks?  Do you read a book?  Take a bubble bath?  Do some yoga?  Get a massage?  Drink some wine?  The reason I ask is, with our upcoming move it has been difficult to relax with all the list making, the kiddos (which the grandparents totally stepped up and offered to watch them for us, which is greatly appreciated), the paper work, the waiting, the doctor and dentist appointments, now the packing of all our stuff.  Usually, I like to bake when I get stressed or anxious.  But, lately we have been clearing out the kitchen of food to get ready for everything in it to be tossed, donated to a friend, or packed up.  Which leaves me with no flour, no sugar, no vanilla, no baking powder, no baking soda, no chocolate chips, not even salt.  Ah boo.

    So, I turned to my other go to method.  Can someone say PEDICURE?!  Ya, I love pedi's, don't you?  I don't know of any mommy, let alone a woman who would say "no" to having someone pamper them with a soothing foot soak, gentle hands trimming and filing your nails, massaging knots out, and beautifying their toes.  Heck, there are even men who love this.  For one, my dad!  Yep, you read it here!  My 6'5" giant of a man dad loves, and I mean LOVES pedicures.  Side note, when him and my mom go shopping at Walmart he sometimes excuses himself to go get one, leaving my mom to do the shopping.  Pretty funny huh?  I just wish one day he would come home with pink or purple toe nails, but he doesn't.  He sticks to the clear polish.  BOR-RING.  See, who can resist them?

     With that all said, I just wanted to share my latest spa experience I had just the other day at Duncan Noble Rejuvenating Spa.  Let me start by saying, if it weren't for my friend, Gaby, and her awesome goodbye gift with contained this little gem of a gift card to this place I wouldn't have even known about it.  Which is a shame, because EVERYONE should try out this place!  So today, I am spreading the word!

     With our Las Cruces days numbered and pretty much filled up with last minute errands, cleaning out the house, packing suitcases, dropping garage sale items off at my friend's house, and supervising the packing, I had to find a day for some "me time" ASAP! I called up Duncan Noble to schedule my appointment, which I was in luck because their nail technician, Bernise, was available later that day. The receptionist was very polite and prompt with calling me back to confirm my 5:00pm appointment.

     When I arrived the receptionist was sweet and personable, using my name to speak to me, then preceded to show me to pedicure room.  Before I even sat down, she offered me something to drink, which I just stuck to water, it was a pretty warm day.  Just as I sat down with my cool water, in comes Bernise carrying a tub of warm water filled with blue stones on the bottle.  She was almost magical.  Ok, maybe she wasn't or maybe it had just been too long since I was taken care of.  Moms are so busy, we sometimes forget we need take a few moments to respite, relax, and rejuvenate.

     She greets me with a "hello" and smile.  So pleasing to see a warm smile.  I take my sandals off and dip them into the blue colored water.  The perfect temperature.  

    We get to taking as she lets me soak my worn feet.  I have a bad habit of running around the house and something outside (as in the garage, but there's NO way I'm stepping in our yard full of Las Cruces' finest rocks) bare foot.  Which of course, isn't the best for your feet, oh well.  Anyways, we continue to talk as she begins her work on my right foot.  First taking off the polish, then filing the nails, cutting the cuticles, you know all the basic pedicure stuff.  Not once did she nick me or pull too hard on some skin.  Very delicate in her movements, which made this pedicure so relaxing.  Even when she went to do the heels, which can be a huge tickle moment.  Didn't tickle.  But she did make sure to leave no rough spots.  Very important.  I hate it when you get home and feel your feet, right after you had a pedi to discover your heels still have calluses.  Another boo.

     She continued onto the left foot.  We talked about my move, our kids, about Las Cruces, the military, places to eat...just random stuff.  Then she applied this all natural cooling foot mask, which made me look like I had HULK feet, and let me just relax a bit to let it dry.  She turned off the lights, and at one point I totally could of fallen asleep.  But I didn't, before I knew it she was carrying two steaming hot towels to wrap my feet it.  They were warm, but felt great.  She cleaned up my feet and was ready to get painting, but not before she gave me a great and much needed foot massage.

     During my session, the owner, Beth, stopped by welcoming me to her spa.  She was nice also and mentioned the spa has been open for 17 years!  Pretty cool.  We talked a little more about Germany and the kiddos before she had an appointment of her own.  She's a Medical Esthetic and Nurse Specialist who specializes in advanced skin care with Laser, Botox, and Dermal Fillers and you should totally check her out!  There's so many treatments available, from massages to wraps and scrubs, to a sauna, skin care, facial enhancements, nail care, hair removal, make-up, lash thickening, I just wish I had more time here in the Cruces to try another.

     When Bernise was finished my feet were beautiful again thanks to her and her magical hands!  I may be stretching it a bit, but really, aren't you so happy after getting a pedicure you didn't have to do yourself?  

    I thanked her for her wonderful services then drove back home to show off my pretty purple toes to the hubby, which I knew Little K. would totally love (she has a thing for purple these days).

     Well, that was just my experience.  One that I throughly enjoyed and am totally thankful for.  I hope my fellow Las Cruces friends will check it out too!

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One room at a time

     So today marks the day of our household packers arrival.  Which means we are almost all done! I can't believe the day is finally here when we get to pack our house up! Wow! Seems like it was always so far in the future that it would never get here. But it is, it's HERE!
    As like the other two rounds of packers, storage and unaccompanied baggage, I made my lists, stuck on my Post- It Notes to things "Not To Pack", and waited for them to arrive to I could give them some direction how I wanted things to run. I know it seems a little shall we say controlling or OCD, nah. I just know our past moves had just been "put stuff in boxes".  Which resulted in chaos when unpacking and a few items missing or broken.  This round I didn't want that. I wanted to make sure we had pictures and serial numbers of our high value items and some sort of organization. So far it has worked.



  Some of the packers even told me how organized everything is and thanked me for making it easier for them.  That's great to hear that my hard work is being appreciated and noticed. 
     Today, I assigned them the playroom, Little K.'s room & closet, Big L.'s room & closet, living room, and the dining room.  Everything was done quickly and efficiently. 





     We had a great group of guys who were nice and very professional.  Tomorrow they get to tackle the kitchen, garage, our room, master bathroom, and laundry room. Another busy day planned. 
We shall see how it goes tomorrow! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Easter Mini Pot Pies & Honey Carrots

     Well, I'm still clearing out the kitchen and just because it was Easter Sunday didn't mean we needed to go out and buy more food just to have a special dinner. Instead, I searched on Pinterest to find some recipes using what I had on hand. So for Easter dinner we dined on homemade Mini Chicken Pot Pies & sweet Honey Glazed Carrots.

Pot Pie recipe from A Spicy Perspective
Carrot recipe from Desert Now, Dinner Later

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Here's what you need:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter (cold)
3 or 4 Tbsp ice cold water

Pot pie mixture
8 oz chicken tenders (cut into bite size pieces) I used chicken breasts, since that's what I had
1/4 cup onion (chopped)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 TBsp unsalted butter
2 tsp all purpose flour
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (chopped) 
2 tsp fresh parsley (chopped)
1 - 2 dashes cayenne pepper (optional) I didn't add this
3/4 tsp chicken base (or 1 bouillon cube)
3/4 cup water
3 Tbsp heavy cream
3/4 cup frozen veggie mix
egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbsp water, whisked)
salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

For the pastry dough, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the food processor and pulse a few times.
Pour water over a cup of ice to chill.
Then cut the cold butter into cubes and add to the flour.
Pulse several times until the butter is cut into the size of peas.
Add 3 tablespoons of ice water (without the ice) and pulse again until the dough absorbs the flour and looks like soft pebbles.
Flour the work surface and dump the crumbly dough out onto the surface.
Press together into a flat square, then fold towards the center into a 3-section fold.
Roll the dough down to 3/4 inch and fold again in the same manner.
If the dough is not coming together sprinkle 1 tsp of ice water over the top and keep folding.
Fold and roll the dough 3-4 times, until it is smooth.
Then fold into a rectangle, wrap in plastic and chill.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
Place a large skillet over medium heat, add the butter and onions.
Saute for 2 minutes, then add the chicken pieces and garlic.
Salute another 2-3 minutes, then add the flour, herbs, and chicken base.
Pour in the water and cream, then stir well.
Allow the mixture to come to a simmer to thicken, then add in the frozen veggies.
Taste for salt and pepper, add a couple of cayenne for a little kick (optional).
Remove from heat.
Take the pastry dough out of the fridge and roll out into a 12 inch circle.
Cut it into 4 equal triangular pieces.
Then fit each piece down into the down into the prepared muffin tin.
Spread them apart, they will grow.
Fill the pastry dough with the chicken filling, spooning in the creamy base.
Then loosely fold the flaps over the top.
Brush the egg wash over the top of the pastry dough.
Bake for 20-25 minutes on the bottom rack, until golden brown.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
To serve, run a butter knife around the inside of the edge of the muffin tins.
Tip the knife down and carefully lift each pot pie out.
Serve with the Honey Glazed Carrots and ENJOY!

Honey Glazed Carrots

Here's what you need:

1/2 TBsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb baby carrots
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 TBsp unsalted butter

How to make it:

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the carrots and cook, stirring once until starting to brown, about 2 minutes.
Add chicken broth, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove lid and cook an additional 7-9 minutes more until carrots are tender and the liquid is syrupy.
Remove skillet from heat, add butter and swirl until melted.
Adjust seasonings if needed, serve hot.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Savory Swedish Meatballs

     Here's another great recipe I cooked up using some ground turkey I discovered in the freezer and an assortment of pasta noodles I found in the pantry.  It was really simple and very tasty! Even the kiddos loved it!


Here's what you need:

1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp paprika
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp cream cheese
1 broth cube melted in 450ml (15oz) hot water
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp white flour
1 TBsp mustard
1 TBsp Worcestershire sauce
1 TBsp olive oil
1 box egg noodles (made according to cooking directions)

How to make it:

Boil noodles according to box directions.
In a large bowl add the ground turkey, a pinch of nutmeg, rosemary, oregano, paprika, garlic, and half the parsley, salt and pepper, mix well using your hands.
Form 30 small meatballs.
In a deep and large non stick pan, heat the olive oil and shallow fry the meatballs until perfectly caramelized, transfer the cooked meatballs on a plate to rest.
Using the same pan you cook the meatballs in, start preparing the gravy.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of the very hot broth.
Stir very well until the cheese melts.
Once the cheese has melted completely, add the mustard, the Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of nutmeg, the flour, stirring well until becomes a smooth thick paste.
Add the rest of the hot broth and start cooking on very low heat stirring the mixture.
Keep stirring until the gravy starts to thicken up, taste and adjust with salt and pepper.
Transfer the cooked meatballs in the gravy and cook for a couple more minutes.
Serve the meatballs over the cooked noodles with extra sauce, garnish with extra parsley.  ENJOY!

Fluffy Quiche Lorraine

     With our upcoming move, and I mean it is right around the corner!  I have been trying to come up with meals with what we have in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. I came across this recipe for a bacon and cheese quiche on Pinterest and we just so happen to have all the ingredients.  So I whipped it up in no time for dinner. And EVERYbody loved it! 

                                                        Recipe from How to This & That

What you need:

6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups cream or milk
1 pie crust
1 lb bacon (chopped crispy bacon) I used less, since that's all I had
1 cup Cheddar Cheese (shredded)  I used cheddar, white cheddar, smoked Gruyere, and Havarti
Salt and pepper to taste


How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375˚F.
If not already done, cut the bacon and fry until crispy, drain on paper towel.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream/milk together.
Lay the pie crust out into a 9" pie plate (I used a deep round tart pan)
Shred the cheese if not done already.
Add have of the bacon and half of the cheese to the egg mixture, mix well.
Pour into the pie crust.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Add remaining bacon and cheese evenly over the top and continue baking for 20-25 minutes.
Quiche is done with golden brown and raised significantly (can test like a cake, insert a toothpick when comes out clean its done)
Let the quiche set for 10 minutes.
Slice it up and serve with a fresh salad. ENJOY!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Let the Packing Commence!

     So I know I've been going on and on and on about the up coming packers! But they are actually scheduled to be here tomorrow! Yes, TOMORROW! The first set of packers are for items that go in storage. So it should be quick and easy packing day.  And since they will be here tomorrow, I decided to get organized.
     I found an app called Sortly that lets you inventory with pictures and descriptions of your stuff.  Needless to say, that's how I spent most of my day today. Getting all the crystal, China, flatware, holiday tubs, etc. out. I took pictures of all the important stuff then entered it ALL into the app. It was really quick and easy, just time consuming, since I had a lot of stuff. 
     Sortly is great for dividing up your stuff into bigger categories too. For instance, since the storage packers are coming I can save all tomorrow stuff under Storage. 


     Then you can enter all the items under sub categories (sub locations).

     Once you got all the sub locations entered then you can put in the items with their description, quantity, cost, and pictures. 


     When we found out we were going to move overseas I knew I didn't want to take my valuable items. Which means they would go to storage for a few years and I'm ok with that. But I wanted to make sure I kept records of my special things just in case items went missing or damaged.  See, my mom and grandpa passed down their China, crystal, and silver flatware to me.  Making it very special to me. I don't want anything to happen to it. 
     As I took out the pieces, I took pictures and counted how many I had. It made it a lot easier to inventory when it came time.          

     Now that all of the storage items are entered I feel organized and ready for the packers tomorrow! 
     As for the other sets of packers starting, I'm not ready for those. But I'll have the weekend to organize that! Plus my parents will be here to help watch the kiddos. Yay for grandparents!  Wish us luck! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Internet Friends


     I am so excited to share with everyone that I got a big shout out from my fellow blogger friend Tamara at Confessions of a Part-Time Working Mom!  I was very surprised and flattered that she thought of me for this challenge.  We have been online buddies for about 2 and a half years now.  I'm so excited that with our move to Germany I might actually get to meet her and her family in person!
     She is in a group of bloggers that take on weekly writing challenges by Karen over at Baking in a Tornado.  This particular week was Secret Subject Swap, where different bloggers pick a subject from another fellow blogger and write a post about that subject.  Here is Tamara's:

"Throughout our lives we meet people that show us qualities we want to strive for in ourselves. We also meet people who teach us who we don't want to be. 

Who taught you the most about the qualities you wanted to strive for in yourself? What did you learn? 

What was the most important lesson you learned about who you didn't want to become?"

         After she posted her challenge, I asked how to join this fabulous group of bloggers.  She put me in touch with the coordinator and we've been emailing back and forth.  I decided to join the weekly Funny Friday Challenge I wanted to start doing some other types of blogging where I could put my writing skills to use.  Don't get me wrong, I love posting the parties, recipes, crafts, photography, but I look forward to this new challenge that awaits me!  Join me and the other bloggers for Funny Friday April 24th for a good laugh!

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Saying Auf Wiedersehen is hard

     The time has come for Liam to say goodbye to all his classmates and his amazing teachers.  With our upcoming move fast approaching, we decided to pull him out a little early so we can visit family and friends in Texas before we fly to Germany.  And since we are going to Germany I thought it only fitting to celebrate it! I contacted big L.'s teacher to arrange a German day for his class. 
     I emailed a few games German children play to her which the kiddos had fun playing. Then I also brought some black, yellow, and red decorations to set up in the lunch room for the German lunch I prepared for them.  




     I was really surprised how many kids really liked it. So happy they were brave enough to give it a try.  It was a simple menu of Spaetzle, Sauerkraut, Red Cabbage. Bratwurst, Knockwurst, Pickles, Pretzels, assorted German Cookies, and Apfelschorle (apple juice & sparkling water mixed). 












     After lunch the kiddos went out to play so I cleaned up. Then took little K. out to play too! She had a blast playing with the older kids on the playground. 


     When recess was over big L.'s class went to music class and little K. And I hung out until they were back so I could read them a German book for story time. I found this book on Amazon that was simple enough for me to read to them. Plus it has the English translation. It was a great way for me to practice my German. 


     After the quick story I gave each student a little coloring book about Germany. It was great being able to bring  Deutschland to New Mexico. 




     Towards the end of the day after all the students had packed their bag and gotten ready to be dismissed big L. handed out some little goodbye goodie bags I made to all his friends and teachers. 

     We have really loved big L.'s school. The teachers are so amazing and welcoming, just hope we find some just as good in his next school. He's definitely going to miss his good buddies, but hopefully they can remain pen pals for now. 


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