Laundry lessons

Dear Diary,
It’s amazing how one little load of laundry can make you feel like you’ve really earned your title as the Dysfunctional Domestic Diva! I’ve done so much laundry in the last 9 years you would think I was a pro at it by now. I used to like to think laundry was one of my domestic strong points. I’ve always been great and on top of my game with getting clothing clean and dry. Sorting, hanging, folding, and putting it away not so much but that’s another diary entry for another day. This morning as I sorted my latest load I learned that maybe I’m not quite a domestic diva in the laundry room after all. Now I have come to share this valuable knowledge with other dysfunctional domestics like myself. Carry on good and faithful sorters, but go and ruin clothing no more!

7 lessons I learned from this mornings laundry load

1. Always check your pockets. Husbands and children are notorious for tossing things in the hamper with full pockets. I’ve been known to find nails, screws, nuts, bolts, hair accessories, lip gloss, magnets, toys, electric razor attachments, and even my husbands brand new iPod in the laundry!

20130903-113947.jpg

2. It’s probably not a good idea to wash athletic shorts with sequins and fancy lace tops together. EVER!

20130903-114058.jpg

3. You may think you’re only doing laundry for your husband and 3 daughters but apparently, American Girl Dolls don’t do their own laundry either!

20130903-114217.jpg

4. When washing cute little Etsy creations with drawstrings or ribbon ties, it’s probably a good idea to remove said ribbons and drawstrings or tie them into a snug little bow so that they do not meet other cute little Etsy creations in the spin cycle to create one giant ball of cute fabric ribbon that will undoubtably take hours to untangle

20130903-114526.jpg

5. When your 4 year old says she wants to help with laundry, let her but don’t take your eyes off of her for 2.5 seconds or she may toss in an object that has no business in the washing machine like oh I don’t know, a white cap with hot pink sequin apple! Hot pink sequin apples have the potential to not only ruin the item they are on but other items as well. Like her sisters brand new stripey shirt for instance.

20130903-114807.jpg

6 & 7: This one tiny little pink ruffled shirt taught me 2 very important lessons. First of all, no amounts of oxyclean, peroxide, baking soda, or shout will get fudge pop stains from a light pink ruffled cotton top. Second, and probably more importantly, never, I repeat never send a child to grandmas house in a light pink ruffled cotton top. Grandma gives candy, popsicles, and red punch out like it’d going out of style! Black or brown are the only appropriate colors for Grandmas house!

20130903-115155.jpg

Spinach stuffed chicken cups

I’m not one to follow recipes. That’s a little too well thought out and planned for a dysfunctional domestic diva like myself. But every time I make this dish, someone undoubtably wants the recipe. So here we go, I’m going to attempt to give you the “recipe”. Please know that I don’t use very technical measurement terms when I cook. You will never hear me say “add a cup of this or a tablespoon of that”. More than likely you’ll hear “add a dash of this and a pinch of that” so bear with me. Maybe some day I’ll be more organized and technical.
The fist thing you’ll want to do is gather your ingredients and supplies:
-chicken breast (how much obviously depends on how large they are and how many people you need to feed)
-cherry tomatoes
-frozen spinach
-shredded mozzarella or other Italian cheese
-seasoning of your choice (I keep it fairly simple and use an Italian blend, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper)
-extra virgin olive oil
-lime juice (optional)
-muffin tin
-cutting board
-sharp knife
-a small mixing bowl
20130902-135328.jpg
You’ll need to preheat your oven to 350 and slice your chicken breast in half vertically. I used 2 chicken breasts and was able to make 6 chicken “cups”.
20130902-135548.jpg
Chop your cherry tomatoes into 4ths and set them aside. In your small mixing bowl, add the frozen spinach, a dash of all of your seasonings, a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of lime juice, and your shredded cheese and mix well. I used about a cup and half of spinach and 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella but you’ll have to eyeball amounts dependent on how many servings your making.

20130902-140941.jpg
I used heb organic naturals frozen breasts so they weren’t huge but I cut the larger one in half again to make 4 cups from just 1 breast! The other one was smaller and only made 2. Once they’re cut, use a meat tenderizer or your fist if you have pent up aggression to beat the chicken into thin pieces. You may lightly season the chicken with the same seasoning you use for the spinach if you choose to do so. I do! Next, spray your muffin tin with cooking spray and put the chicken in forming individual hollow “cups”. Fill each cup with spinach/cheese mix and put in the oven.

20130902-141130.jpg
Obviously your oven and what not will make a difference as well as how thin you were able to beat that chicken but after about 8 mins (exactly 7 mins and 44 seconds in my case) remove the muffin tin and add your tomatoes and I like to sprinkle a little bit more cheese to hold it all together and clog my arteries a little more. Then put back in the oven another 5 mins or so until the chicken is fully cooked and the cheese is nicely melted.

20130902-141512.jpg
Remove from the oven and serve with your choice of side dish. My kids like it best with angel hair pasta tossed with a dash of rosemary and olive oil but we’ve served it with white rice as well.

20130902-141626.jpg
Mmmmm… Delicious! My kids will eat anything in the shape of a cupcake but if your littles despise spinach you can fill with anything they like really. We’ve filled them with broccoli and velveeta before and they were pretty darn tasty too!
Hope you enjoy!

ABCmouse.com

School started for P last week but T still had 1 more week before her preschool program begins. P attends a classical school where she goes to a traditional classroom two days per week, is homeschooled two days, and has electives on the final day. We love her school and the format really works well for our family. I enjoy getting to share the teaching responsibilities with her school teacher and we love the flexibility we have with the school schedule.

Anyway, on home days, T is always dying to do “homework” too. I’ve stocked up on preschool and kinder workbooks in attempts to give her a jump start at Kindergarten next year and she’s super smart if I do say so myself! This year P’s school has decided to implement some learning through technology and P now has some assignments that she can do in the form of a game online or iPad app. Naturally whatever big Sissy is doing, little Sissy wants to do. We had seen the commercials for abcmouse.com on tv so we decided to give it a go. I’m so glad we did because she loves it and I love knowing the programming is age appropriate and educational.

Each child can select an avatar to represent them and a teacher to guide them. The classroom is bright and easy to navigate and there’s a town map where children can visit a theatre that shows alphabet videos, a pet store, and other shops.
20130901-171446.jpg
They even have class pets they can feed and care for. A hamster and an aquarium. Children can earn tickets for completing lessons to purchase additional pets and accessories.
20130901-171624.jpg
They can choose to free play various themed educational games or follow their assigned “learning path”. Each game or lesson in their learning path awards hem with tickets to use for prizes or to purchase clothing and accessories for their avatar and classroom.
20130901-171850.jpg
The learning path changes environments after you complete all the lessons of one section
20130901-174713.jpg
I asked T to tell me which game was the one she enjoyed the most so I could give you an example but she said she has 2 favorites so I’ll show you both! Hamster ball bowling- the object of the game is to knock down all the pins by selecting the 2 hamster balls with numbers that will add up to 10

20130901-174952.jpg
She also loves Sea Horse racing. The object of this game is to select the correct shape as quickly as possible to give the seahorse a boost to win the race

20130901-175240.jpg
On top of all the fun games and other obvious educational assets, the games also teach alot about general computer usage for beginners.

Try it free for the first month and then it’s only $7.95. That’s a steal in my book for the hours of educational entertainment for a busy body 4 year old!
www.abcmouse.com
My studious little cutie pie

20130901-190537.jpg

Shopping Cart Dash

The girls and I love to play games together so I’m always looking for unique games that will spark their interest. A couple of their favorites have been The tea party game and the Cupcake game so when I stumbled upon Shopping Cart Dash last week, I knew we needed to try it! We cracked open the box tonight for the first time after I put the little troublemaker down for the night. The girls both loved it! Here is our review:

Shopping Cart Dash

A fun with Chimp and learn with Zee game for 2-4 players ages 3+

The game comes with 12 puzzle-like track pieces that form a large square when assembled. It comes with 4 different colored shopping carts, “gold coins”, a supermarket “shelf”, 6 different shopping lists, and 36 “items” (groceries).

The object of the game is to move along the board collecting all of the items on your list based on the color you land on. You must pay for each item using one of your coins. The first to collect all of their items is the winner.

I’ll be honest, I was expecting this game to be more fun for T (4) and wasn’t expecting P (9) to get into it. I was wrong. They both loved it and I too enjoyed playing it with them. It is definitely aimed more towards the preschool crowd as everything is color coded and it is very simple but I think the cuteness factor of it really appealed to everyone equally. The little shopping carts actually have rolling wheels, the food items and grocery list have glittery details, the grocery shelf itself is pretty stinkin’ cute, and the lists had items like a soccer ball or candy added in the “treats” section.

The only con we found to the game was that the coins were sort of challenging to get out of the bottom of the grocery shelf once you were done with one game and wanting to start another round. I think the kids found that less annoying than I did! lol Overall, this was a great buy and we would highly recommend it!

The colors are bright, the pieces are darling, and the object is simple. Would make a great addition to your game closet or classroom. The greatest part of all? It’s very inexpensive! $11.50 on Amazon.com

I will attach the link for Shopping Cart Dash as well as the Tea Party Game and Cupcake Game that have been a few of our go to games over the last couple of years.

20130831-231510.jpg

Love having fun with my girls!

20130831-231622.jpgYou can find Shopping Cart Dash here:

http://www.amazon.com/Chimp-Zee-Shopping-Cart-Dash/dp/B0038O2DOG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378009114&sr=8-1&keywords=shopping+cart+dash

You can find The Cupcake Game here:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Cupcake-Game-by-eeboo/dp/B004LCJJS2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378009150&sr=8-1&keywords=the+cupcake+game

You can find The Tea Party Game here:

http://www.amazon.com/eeBoo-TEAGM-Eeboo-Party-Game/dp/B000FAICF0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378009181&sr=8-1&keywords=tea+party+game