Moody Monday

So my moody Monday post today is going to be able lazy teenage boys.  I won't call any one of the two living in my house specifically but I will give you an idea of their entire day.

Wake up late, because they stayed up late.  Lay in bed, waking up for an hour.  Come out of the room at about 12:30pm at 1pm.  Make themselves a big bowl of cereal-sometimes two.  Scratch, adjust their junk while asking you how your day is going.  Put their bowl into the sink, return to the cesspool of a bedroom.  Have to be told to do their school work, wash that fing bowl they carelessly and stupidly put into the sink and brush their teeth.

That is my life, as a mom to teenage boys who are distance learning during COVID19 in America.



Google Eyes

So since we’ve been stuck at home, I have been trying to think of fun craft ideas for Olivia to do in a way to keep her mind active and not just on school work.  I’ll be honest, I don’t really have a ton of crafting supplies so I had to reach out to trusty Amazon to purchase a kit filled with tons and tons of things like google eyes, pipe cleaner, buttons, puffy balls, glitter and other wonderful girly things.  This was our first project, a google eye pencil pal.  


Does anyone else have any ideas on what we could make?  I’d love to hear them!

Friday Thoughts

Fridays are a day I look forward to right now, because that is a day I can work in my office uninterrupted all day long.  Not all parties are thrilled about that idea, and I’ll admit I have a little guilt about needing this time to do my work - but I am working on not allowing others to make me 1. Feel bad about myself and my decisions and 2. I cannot be everything for everyone everyday, and I am learning to be okay with that.  I have control issues, I know.  I am working on that too, oh my gosh-so much working.

I come out of my office to find Olivia struggling to work under dads rules as a teacher.  His rules don’t really differ that much over my own, he just wants her to look over her work by herself first and see if she can figure out what steps need to be made to complete the paper.  Which is just reading the instructions.  I go over the instructions with her prior to her working on the paper.

Anyway, to sum up the week-it’s been ok.  I am ready for the weekend however. So on to it I go.  I hope you all enjoy your days off as much as I will.

 To wind down, she played a little pool.



Olivia knows......

...the story of her.....

It's been a long time coming, and she's asked for over a year - the story of her.  She has so many questions, and the answers she has been given in the past just have made her that much more confused and curious about how she came to be in this life and in this family.

It started innocently enough today, asking her the same questions-me giving her the same answers.  Her wanting to know how come I am her step-mom and not her real mom because she feels like I am her real mom (her words).  I tell her I am her real mom, I am a real person and a mom, and I am hers and she is mine too.  She blows me off and says yeah yeah but I don't get it if you're married to dad than how did my other mom have me?

I felt that sinking feeling again, that she is on the edge of figuring it all out and maybe she has in some sort of childlike manner-as she is still very innocent and young in mind, body and spirit.  I explain to her that it is complicated and a conversation better suited for when she is older.  She shifts in her seat and all but demands to know what we are not telling her.  She says she is not a baby, though I feel like she certainly is too young to even understand.  I tell her that, and she said to let her try.

I say, let me think about it.  She pleas with me to just be honest.  I say give me a moment to talk to someone, to get some advice and she agrees and goes off to her room while I sit and ponder what to do next and who to even talk to about it.  Of course, my family and friends all know the story of Miss O, but I reach out to one of my sister-in-laws and one of my sisters.  Both give me good advice, but we all know they think like me, that she is just young to understand.

Thank goodness, by the time I collect my thoughts and what I am going to do or say her dad comes home from work.  Our little princess meets him at the door.  She said mom is thinking about how she's going to tell me the story of how I was made and born.  She said she had to talk to someone for advice and he interrupts her and says "baby, do you really want to know, because I don' think you will understand." She says yes, I want to know the truth, I always want to know the truth-she has heard me say that 1000 times so I am not surprised that was her answer. 

I won't go into the details of what was said between her father and her, because that is their private conversation. And if you know me and you read my blog, you already know her story.  You already know that he is a good father and would tell her in a way a 6-year-old girl would understand and most importantly know she was always loved.

I have helped raise a girl who demands the truth about things.  She even wanted to know if there was a Santa Clause because she didn't want to believe in something that wasn't true.  I tried to explain to her that it was the magic of Christmas and she could believe in him.  She wasn't happy with that answer, she wanted to know if it was a trick.  How can I lie?

In the end, I was happy I told her about Santa and I am also happy that her heart and mind have been put at ease with knowing a little more about her story and how she came into this world.

Bless that child.


Weston's German Pancakes

So, I woke up this morning to a partially cleaned kitchen.  I went to bed a little early last night, so I left Weston cleaning the kitchen.  I went to sleep, knowing that when I woke up in the morning I would be upset that the kitchen wasn't cleaned to my standards.

This morning, just as I suspected-I got up to a 1/2 ass job kitchen cleaning.  My mom was lucky enough to text me good morning as I was snapping photos of noodles in the sink left from the night before.  She gave me some great advice, she said: "go wake him up and make him clean it properly, he shouldn't be in there sleeping in....don't go in yelling or angry-just tell him to get up and fix the problems!"  I waited until I was cooled down - and did just that.  He got up and he re-did the kitchen.

Then he made me German Pancakes.

Mom Score!

What he used:

6 Eggs
1 Cup AP Flour
1 Cup Milk
4 Tbs of Butter
1 Tsp Vanilla
Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
Powdered Sugar for sprinkling on top
Syrup for pouring on top if desired

What he did:
Preheated the oven to 425, and as the oven heated he had the butter in a 9x12 pan melting.  While that was heating and melting, he mixed all the other stuff together in the stand mixer.  Once it was melted, he took the pan out and poured in the mixture-baked it for about 10 mins.  Once it was done he sprinkled lots of powdered sugar & then.....we ate it, and it was good-tasted like French toast & quiche had a cool sweet baby!

Oh and bonus, he gets culinary points for making food at home during the distance learning time.




Potato Salad Recipe



I love making potato salad, but it’s not really something I make to much.  I don’t have a recipe, I just wing it every single time.  This time I decided to write it all down so I could share with my friends.

I hope you’ll enjoy it!

What you’ll need

3 pounds of pealed, diced potatoes (I used white & yellow)
1/2 white onion (sliced and diced)
3 eggs
1 cup of Dukes mayo
1 tsp of mustard
1/3 cup of relish
1/2 tsp of dill
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste

What you’ll do:

Boil your potatoes & eggs together for 8-10 minutes.  Take your eggs out and set them aside to cool in an ice bath.  Drain potatoes and return to pot, off the heat, and drizzle with some vinegar and let cool for a bit (30-40 mins).  Once eggs are cooled, you can go ahead and peel and dice them.

Add all the other ingredients to the pot of cooled potatoes and mix to incorporate gently.

Go ahead and test the potato salad out, to make sure it has enough salt/pepper.  If it's good enough, put into your container you plan on it in and pop that bad boy into the fridge for a few hours.  Or just eat it.  Either way!  Enjoy!


Friday Feelings

I have worked away from home for the past 27 years.  During that time, I have said to myself, and out loud "I cannot wait for spring break (or vacation) and I can be off work", I have said "I cannot wait for the weekend!" and I have said on Sunday "I don't want to go back to work tomorrow!"

I am sure I am not alone in this.  It's the human condition, right?  But honestly, after being "safe" at home (stuck) for over a month, I am just now realizing I got what I always wanted-without being fired.  And now I just try not to complain. I don't say out loud that I cannot wait for things to get back to normal.


I am trying to stay positive, not just for me but my co-workers as well as the kids I am now teaching at home (two of which can do their own thing) but one is only six.  It hasn't been easy, finding a new normal.  We had to throw the rules out the window and learn to work at a much slower pace-which is something I wasn't the only one struggling with.  We are on week three of distance learning and our six years old cried because she was asked to slow down-it's just not how she has been living her scholastic life for the past two years.

We have gained a lot from this experience though, even though we are still learning how to slow our roll.  I have sat outside in the sun while working on my tablet, I have started taking two breaks during my workday for 15 mins each.  I am taking a lunch break.  I have also been known to jump up and dance to get the blood flowing again after sitting for a long period of time.

I don't have to get into my car at 4:45am-and try not to hit deer on my way home from work and I don't have to jump into my 100-degree car after a long day at the office and make that over an hour drive back home either.  I don't miss that-but so much more free time.

What have we done with it?  We've painted rocks, we've cleaned rooms (closets too), we have sat outside, we have been on walks, we have grown plants, we have talked and played games, we have read books and learn new things.  We have redecorated the living, the office and even purchased a new rug (as you already know if you follow my blog).  We have cooked and baked.  We have made homemade sangria (okay only I did that).

We have not brushed our hair a lot, and sometimes I have to brush my teeth in the afternoon because I cannot remember if I did it earlier that morning. We are not wearing shoes or bras.  No makeup, unless I have to throw on some powder for a zoom meeting.  We are not worrying about making a grocery list or going to the grocery store.  And we are not staying up late.  We are not seeing our family like we used to, or visiting friends.

Teresa won't be able to visit like planned on April 30th.  I was really looking forward to her visit with Oscar.  I don't get to take the kids to the springs, the beach or go to a park for a few hours so Olivia can get some of that energy out.  I am not seeing my co-workers in person or having lunch with them.  Somethings I really miss.

Well, that's it for now-those are my feelings for the day!

Happy Friday loves!


Spin

She is always down for me to take her outside for some practice photos if I answer her question with "yes you can spin around".....

During this particular series, my setting is not set right on my camera-so we have a lot of grain - but I was running out of light and I just wasn't focused on it, I was mostly focused on trying to use colorful straws to make a rainbow effect at the top of the photo!



I think we nailed it (the effect that is).





P.S.  here are a few more:









Co-Worker Problems

My co-worker, hardly working.  I may have to report her to HR.




New Rug-YES!

One of the most interesting things about being "safe at home" is that you are "bored at home" at times, and you may shop to improve your surroundings.  One thing I am slightly obsessed with is curtains, pillows, and rugs.  Yeah, it's weird I know but it's my thing.

Going back a few weeks (a month) a co-worker and I were chatting about rugs and she told me about some nice ones she got on Amazon, that didn't break the bank!  So, I looked into the brand she was telling me about-found one I liked and ordered it.  I even ordered a big one, 8x10 WHAT?

I wasn't expecting much for $120 but with Maggie's review, I was hopeful!

I wasn't disappointed, what a great rug!  I love it.  Thank you Magster!  


oh and I got these awesome curtains too :)

You can get the rug here and the curtains here

Monday Mashup!

Not many words are needed to really express the relationship that she and I have.  It is safe to say we are in this wicked world together, and we make a great team.


Bunny Butt Pancakes


My mom text me a photo of bunny pancakes, and right away I knew Olivia and I had to make them.  Here is our version-which is almost the same as the version my mom sent me, and sadly I don’t know who to credit for this original idea.  Sorry about that.  But thanks for sharing and inspiring us to make bunny butt pancakes.  Our bunny was not amused, but my honey bunny was <3 



Lela's Lasagna - The Recipe

Again, with the complaining about not having all the things I need to cook something.  To be fair we really never have lasagna.  I am not patient enough for the noodle boiling.  But I got some really lovely whole wheat NO BOIL noodles from DeLallo (online).  Anyway, before this gets too complicated we don't have any mozzarella.  An Internet search, three different recipes and I think I finally came up with one the family will eat.  So the mashup receipt is.....

What you’ll need:

9 No-boil whole wheat lasagna sheets
1 jar of marinara
1 pound of Italian sausage
1 cup of Ricotta cheese
1 egg
Fresh Basil Leaves cut into strips
1 cup of Parmesan cheese
2 cups of milk
3 1/2 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of flour
Sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste


What you’ll do:

Preheat that oven of yours to 350.  Get out your 9x9 casserole dish and spray it generously with some oil so nothing sticks, I find this easier for noodle retrieval and clean up.

First I  cooked the sausage, then I put in the store-bought marinara-heated to bubbly.  While all that is happening, I put in the ricotta, egg, salt & pepper to taste, oh and before I forget.....I also added some fresh basil from my window garden.  Delish-I used about 10 leaves-julienned them and set the mixture aside.

I heated the milk in the microwave for three minutes, meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, I melted the butter and added in the flour.  Let that cook for a few minutes then added in the hot milk and whisked like crazy until it was thick and bubbly.  Added in the cheese, salt & pepper-done.

Now comes the fun part.  Building the lasagna.  I first started with a ladle of the sauce mixture, then put down three sheets of pasta-side by side, then the ricotta mixture-then the hot cheese sauce & repeat-two more times.  I did have a few mozzarella balls-so I put them on top.  Cover in foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove foil, bake an additional 10 minutes.  I let this babysit for about 7 minutes before I couldn’t stand it anymore and had to eat it.

I must say, it was the best lasagna I have not only had but also made.  Billy agreed-and he would know because he loves lasagna and has had way more than me.

Okay well, I am not a professional cook, recipe maker, or blogger.  But I love food, so I am sharing this.

Lela xoxo



Pre-Easter 2020

Well, one thing is for sure....being stuck at home for Easter just isn't the same.  Technically, it's not Easter yet-but about this time we'd be texting back and forth with family - planning a fun egg hunt with the kiddos and all the yummy food we'd be sharing together.

This year, during this pandemic, we are stuck at home (safer at home) just like everyone else in the WORLD basically.  It's hard to get supplies right now, every time we go to the grocery store they are out of basic things we are used to having easily-like eggs.  I gave up only SIX for this little experiment.  I say experiment because we didn't' have "egg dye" from the store-we used food dye that we use to color cakes and icings.  Worked perfectly though, and it's probably the same stuff just in a tablet form.  I didn't do the research on that-so don't quote me.

I used 1/2 cup of warm tap water in five different cups (wine glasses-don't judge) did about 20 drops of food coloring-and 1/2 tablespoon of white vinegar.  Then we just dropped in those lovely boiled eggs and waited a few minutes.  Oh, did I mention we did one PURPLE?  We had to add two different colors to make that......that's very technical!

We are beyond pleased with our final product.....and to prove how happy we were-Olivia and I danced around the kitchen (and living room) to some Kid Rock.



Tire-d of not Swinging

Since we’ve been stuck at home, I’ve bugged my husband to hang a tire swing for Olivia.  She loves to swing, and sometimes she loves to be outside.  Today was the day. After I got off work, I got to witness this all go down.....






Summery Sangria

I love sangria, but I have never made it myself at home.  I am not sure why I just buy the premade stuff and have been satisfied.  But during this time being at home, I have lots of time on my hands - well I should say, extra time on my hands as I am still working from home and teaching from home.  I decided to give it a shot-after looking at several recipes - I decided to make my own & this is what I did:

What you'll need:

1 cup of rum (I used )
26 oz of red wine (I used )
1 cup simple syrup (see below)*
1 cup orange juice if you are not using real oranges (which I do not)
4 strawberries
6 cherries
1/2 cut up apple
mint (optional-I used Lavender)

*simple syrup is just one cup of sugar and one cup of water gently heated on the stove for about 3-4 minutes until the water and the sugar are combined and then cooled completely before adding to the sangria

I put the fruit into my pitcher, along with the wine and rum and muddled the fruit a bit.  Added orange juice and my simple syrup.  Chilled for an hour & then enjoyed :)

xoxo, Lela


Art


So during these dark times, where we are worried about our health, our finances and our country - I decided to pick up drawing again.  I am using an app, as to not have a lot of waste.  What do you think?  I have also done some nudes, just not sure if that is something I want to share on my blog yet. We shall see.  What are your thoughts on that?  What are you doing to keep your mind off home-schooling, working from home and making sure you have enough toilet paper.

XOXO, Lela

Baked Vegan Donuts

What you'll need:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used Gluten Free)
2/4 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs apple sauce (I used unsweetened)
5 tbs butter (I used Country Crock Plant Butter-Almond)

What you'll do:

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Spray two donut pans (got mine from Amazon) with spray oil.

Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, add in sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix together.

Add in the soy milk, vanilla, applesauce and melted butter and whisk together until smooth.

Put batter into a piping bag (I used a large ziplock) and pipe batter into pan.

Bake for about 15 mins, or until lightly brown on top and let cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling wrack while allowing them to cool before using glaze or topping.

*for topping*

Mix some sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl that is a bit wider then the donuts.  Melt some butter in a separate bowl.  Brush each donut one at a time with butter and dip quickly into the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place donut on parchment paper and add more sugar if desired.

You can also melt some vegan chocolate in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until smooth, dip each donut into chocolate and sprinkle with sprinkles if desired.  Place on parchment paper to cool-or put into the fridge for a bit to let chocolate set.



(got the recipe here!)

Home Schooling 101


So my advice for Homeschooling/Distant Learning during COVID19.....no rules.  Sure we have a schedule, but we change it every day to suit our daily needs.  We wear what we want, which is always comfortable.  Sometimes we don't brush our hair & sometimes we just need to draw in the iPad to have a break, and we do take plenty of breaks.  We have rearranged the office/classroom four times before we finally got a set up we both like and are comfortable in.  Every day, we are not only learning how to read, write, poetry, art, mathematics and language. But we are learning how to work and learn in one space together, we are learning to be at home all day and all night. We are learning more about cooking, baking and growing veggies.  We are learning about music, and blaring it when whenever we can, and dancing wildly when we need to just move.

I am excited what else we can learn together.




Making Our OWN Rain!








Just Painting Rocks


We had some rocks left over from painting some about a year ago or so......so today we decided to break out the paints and give it another go.  I think we did pretty good for ourselves.  I mean, it's just for fun right?  I am starting to run out of ideas y'all.  Anyone got some art ideas they'd like to share with us?








 xoxo, Lela

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