Monday, June 30, 2014

Mashed Smashed Potatoes

Last night I needed a quick side dish, and since I was too lazy to go to the grocery store all I had was about 15 fingerling potatoes. The hubs wanted baked potatoes, but with these tiny guys that just wasn't going to happen. So I went with my version of mashed/smashed potatoes.
First, I boiled the fingerling potatoes until soft. Once they were easily poked with a fork I drained them, and put them on a sheet pan. I drizzled them with EVOO and set about smashing them. I've seen them done with a potato masher and a fork, but I went straight for the meat tenderizer. Because it was on the top of the drawer and I was too lazy to keep digging.

If the potatoes were small they stuck a little bit, and I just used a knife to pop them off of the meat tenderizer thing.
Once they were all smashed, I sprinkled them with salt and pepper. In a bowl I put two tablespoons of butter and grated up three cloves of garlic and melted that in the microwave.  Once it was all melt-y and mixed, I drizzled a bit of the garlic butter over each potato and popped them into the oven at 400 degrees.
They took about 30 minutes to get nice and crispy on the edges. Once they were, I pulled them out and put a little bit of cheddar cheese on top of each potato and popped it back into the oven to melt.
I served mine with BBQ chicken and the hubs was devouring them, which is always a good sign.
Now, I have to go to the store otherwise its cereal for dinner tonight!
So tell me, what are your favorite easy side dishes?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Flowers, Carousel Rides and a Balloon Ostrich

Otherwise known round these parts as Mothers Day 2014. Yes I know I'm behind, pretend its still May and I'm not completely off my rocker, kay?!
For Mothers Day my sweet boys decided to take me to Phipps Conservatory to look at some flowers, then we hit up Schenly Park for some carousel rides.
Grayson's favorite part? Phipps currently has choo-choo trains on display in every single room. My favorite part? Him in his fab sunnies- how stinking cute is he?!
Not only was he digging the trains, but also the live butterfly room. We are currently obsessed with all things bug- and this place didn't disappoint. They have an entire room filled with free flying butterflies. Grayson spent the twenty minutes we were in there yelling HERE BUTTERFLY! Hoping one would just land on him. When I asked what he wanted to do with a butterfly he told me hug him. Uh, can we get a mop for the puddle of Mom mush over here?
He loved the place- but hes a kid, and he needed to be outside. So off we headed to the park in search of the Carousel.  When we got there it was closed for lunch, so we let Grayson burn off some energy running around. Then it was time to ride some animals. 
After two rounds we topped the day off by visiting the balloon artist in the park.  As Grayson sat waiting for his turn watching the kids get dogs and cats made, Patrick asked him what he wanted. To which my child- who really didn't start "talking" until April- responded, "He make me an ostrich Daddy?" Well, sure buddy.  (I really need to do an update on our EI experience- since Grayson has officially graduated from Speech Therapy!)
He threw the balloon artist a loop, but as he said when a two year old asks for an ostrich, you make him an ostrich.  He asked him what color is the ostrich's body, feet, everything- and Grayson told him exactly how to make it.  What we ended up with lovelies, is Olive the Ostrich. Not too shabby.
It was a perfect Mothers Day, and I couldn't be more blessed to have these two amazing guys in my life.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer 2014 Bucket List

This summer is going to be short for me- like 9 weeks total. This year I go back to work in the middle of August, which is way early. Now I know, if you're not a teacher you're telling me to suck it up, no one else gets summers off and yada yada yada. I wont argue the validity or non-validity of your point, I will simply ask you to come into my classroom for one day and then we will see if you think I deserve a nice long break in the summer. If you don't think I do, then we can discuss your reasoning.  
Anyway- knowing that my time at home with my bubs is limited, I wanted to make sure that I got all of the fun things in that I simply had to do with him. Grayson is at such a fun age, you really do get to experience everything through his eyes. Even things we did last summer are new again, because he was simply too little to remember them.  Here's the problem, I'm also a procrastinator to the core. So if I know I want to take him to the museum, Ill push it off because its sunny today and Id rather go to the pool. Now that's all fine and good until I'm back with my teenagers and I never got to take my kid to the museum.
All that changes however when I make a list. I'm one of those people who get a strange satisfaction by checking things off of the list. It makes sure I get them done, and when the things on that list are staring at me I will not ignore them. So I did what any sane person would do I spent a good 15 minutes using Pic Monkey to make our bucket list, printed it out, and stuck it in a dollar store frame.
Now I can cross off what I want using a dry erase marker and make sure that the things I want to experience this summer get completed.
So tell me friends, what's on your summer bucket list?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Letters

Its been awhile since I've done some good old Friday Letters, so here goes nothing!
Dear amazing people who read this blog-
FIVE MILLION PAGE VIEWS?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!!!  Insert peeing my pants here. Thank you for reading this space, even when life makes me neglect it.  I have tons of ideas I want to post on, and in the coming weeks I want to get back to this space more. I love you all so very much and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Dear Grayson- Baby boy, I love you more than words can say. I'm so excited to have the summer off to spend with you but I really think that it is entirely unfair that when Daddy is home or you are at Aiyas house you sleep till 10. With Mommy, you're up at 7:30. Cut this crap out, okay? Mommy is tired and will be in a much better mood if she sleeps in.  Also, changing your diaper isn't a punishment so please stop screaming as such before the neighbors call CYS on Mommy.
Dear Hubs-
You do realize its not a crime for you to empty/fill the dishwasher, correct? Same goes for changing the toilet paper roll. Other than that, I love your guts. However if that dishwasher thing doesn't change you are going to be eating off of paper plates until you get the idea.
Love Your Guts!
Dear Outer Banks-
August 2nd can not come fast enough. Now,  I do not want to wish summer away but I can not wait to squish my toes in the sand and smell the salty air.
Now if you could just make sure the weather is fab that week, I would really appreciate it.
The lady who REALLY needs a vacation
Dear Mother Nature-
Now I totally get that with summer heat comes the possibility for thunderstorms, but can we catch a freaking break?! It has rained every day since summer started. Just once I would like to make a pool date so I can get a little bit of a tan. Please?!
The entirely too white girl.
Dear Wonderful Peeps at Jif-
Thank you for making the peanut butter and chocolate spread. It is worth every extra minute I have to spend hating life on the treadmill or making a fool of myself at Zumba to indulge in your deliciousness. People have said to try PB2 with Chocolate because its "the same". They are liars.  I secretly want to spread you on all the things because you are that good, but as a big girl I will refrain. And no, that wasn't me sneaking downstairs at three am to spread you on a pretzel rod. I have no idea what you are talking about. Now, can we talk about a zero calorie version?!
The girl who is clearly delusional.
Happy Friday, Friends!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Train Obsessed Toddler Heaven

We did it again, we took Grayson to see Thomas.
Toddler Mind, Blown.
This is our second year in a row trekking out to Ohio to ride on the Blue Choo Choo, and I will say that this year Grayson really understood what was going on a lot more.
What a difference a year makes...last year to this year he really has gotten so much bigger.

 Can I point out that Thomas the Train is pretty much a toddler addiction? Whenever his whistle would sound there were literally hundreds of kids screaming and yelling. It was almost like being at a Justin Timberlake concert for toddlers :)
At first he wasn't too sure- it might have been the 2 hour car nap fog had not worn off yet.

Once we got on the train however, he was much better.  Except when the train stopped- then he just kept saying Green Light Thomas, Go Fast!! Meanwhile Mommy gets motion sick like woah, and that stupid train goes backwards. See that smile on my face? That's really me attempting not to lose my Starbucks. The things we do for our kiddos, right?

Me gots a Thomas paper, Mommy!!

Overall it was a great day. If you have a train obsessed toddler in your ranks, I highly suggest Day Out with Thomas.  The train ride seems pricy at around $20 each, but all of the other activities are completely free.  The big arse Thomas balloon cost me $10, and approximately two minutes after tying it to my hand the top part let go and Thomas floated away.  Luckily they did give me a new one, since that was obviously not my error. Otherwise I would have shelled out another $10 because Grayson was already telling everyone who would listen that Mommy let his Thomas go up to the sky. He still looks up at the sky and asks where his Thomas balloon went. He's got the guilt game down, for sure.
Now he's asking for Gigi and Pap to take him to ride on Thomas, so we'll see if there are two train rides in our plans this summer!