The Bridge on the River Kwai

11. Watch 5 movies that have won “Best Picture” Academy Awards (1/5)

Yesterday I watched The Bridge on the River Kwai. This movie won Best Picture in 1958, along with 6 other Oscars. My dad used to watch this movie a lot, I never watched it with him. I really enjoyed the movie and found it interesting to see how the characters developed. Even if you have never seen this film, you know its theme song!!! I'm glad I finally took the time to watch this classic movie.


16. Read 50 books (4/50)

Glen & I recently got into the Showtime series "Dexter." It's about a serial killer who works for the Miami Police Department as a Blood Splatter specialist. We've loved the show and I really wanted to see what the books are about. I borrowed "Darkly, Dreaming, Dexter" from our library and immediately got into it. It very closely followed the story line from Season 1, but a few extra twists & turns. I enjoyed it and will definitely look to finish the series of books soon!


61. Have ten date nights (4/10)

Last month Glen took a day off to use up some of his vacation time. It happened to be opening day of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - Part 1. Brenda took Caleb for the afternoon for us.

We both enjoyed seeing the movie! I cried, Glen was disappointed. :) We had a quick lunch at McD, ran some errands and then picked up our little man. It was nice to sneak in some down time during the week.


Yum - O - Cooking Update!

18. Try 25 new recipes (6/25)
Confession - Glen & I like Hamburger Helper. :) I know its not the healthiest meal, but its a quick easy solution and makes for great leftovers. Brooke over at And A Cookie For Dessert posted this recipe for Cheeseburger Pasta. (Brooke is also the mom of my favorite twins, check out their blog here!) It seemed like a quick comparable option for HH, and I couldn't wait to try it. The first time I made it, I followed the recipe incorrectly and precooked the pasta. The end result was dry and disappointing. I gave it a 2nd try and cooked the pasta according to directions. We loved it! It was so easy and delicious!

29. Bake something once a month for a whole year (5/12)
One of my friends recommended this Pumpkin Cake. I had to make a few revisions based on what I had on hand. (I used part olive oil, part applesauce; and brown sugar/honey). We loved this cake! Caleb kept asking for more. I didn't make an icing for it, I bet that would have only made it better.

84. Take him to a park 50 times (27/50)

Since last updating this goal in early September, Caleb & I have been to the park 14 times! We try to get to the park at least 2x a month with our playgroup, plus we like to venture out on our own or with Daddy. In the last few months we have played at Kids Together, Brier Creek Tot Park (3x), Baileywick Park (2x), Green Rd Park, Wake County Landfill Park, Laurel Hills (2x), Airport Observation Park (2x) and Andersen Point Park (2x).

Caleb's park skills have improved immensely! He is now able to climb up ladders, over stepping stones, swing by himself (very very slowly!) and is much more confident going down slides by himself. I love that him & I get to spend time together outdoors!


61. Have ten date nights (3/10)

Glen & I had a date night at the State Fair! It was such a great night out. We rode a few rides (big scary ones!!) and enjoyed lots of food. We shared: french fries, apple fries, lemonade, deep fried cheesecake, corn, and a Krispy Kreme bacon cheeseburger. The burger is awesome! :) I would like to make this a yearly transition to head to the fair sans kids!

88. Let him ride on the rides at the State Fair

Aunt Beth mailed Caleb ride tickets for the state fair. He was more than excited to use them! Caleb rode the jeep, carousel and the helicopters. On the carousel he kept saying WHEE and clapping his hands, too cute!


16. Read 50 books (3/50)

I just finished reading "Baby Proof" by Emily Giffin. I have read a few other books she has written, including Something Borrowed and Something Blue. This book was a good read, but not nearly as compelling as her others. It was a typical chick book :) I am now reading Harry Potter again, I need to get into some new books soon!

And side note, I found this picture when Googling "Baby Proof" and it cracks me up!


68. Have my nephews & niece over for a sleepover

I'm very excited to have completed this goal. When my sister and I were young, the coolest thing to do was spend the night at our Aunt Lee's house. It was always such a treat and I have a lot of good memories of our time there. I love being the "cool Aunt" who gets to do similar things with the kids.

Beth & Earl are about to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary, and planned a big night out to see Jeff Dunham and spend the night at a hotel. Glen & I took on the responsibility of Beth's 4 kids for the night! We had a blast! The kids played outside, fought over the Wii and loved spending time with Caleb. We made 3 pizzas for dinner and a cake for dessert! (Completing 4 of 12 for #29. Bake something once a month for a whole year)

I don't have any pictures from our sleepover, *someone* borrowed our camera. :) But here is a picture of the 5 kids from our last visit to Grandma's farm.


18. Try 25 new recipes (5/25)

Tonight I made "Brown Bag Burritos." That is the link to the original recipe, I posted mine below with a few changes. Glen & I have been struggling with lunches lately. We usually eat leftovers, sandwiches or takeout. I'm not sure what changed - maybe I've been cooking smaller portions, or we've been eating larger ones. Either way, we often are coming up short with easy lunches to grab. I had bookmarked this recipe a few weeks ago and couldn't wait to try it.

I figured out the cost, and it's approximately $.60/burrito. Even if Glen eats 2 for lunch, that still costs less than $2 for a great home cooked lunch. We have not tried them yet, but we both tasted the filling several times and it was soo good! I will definitely try these again, and I may add rice next time!

Brown Bag Burritos

  • 2 lb. ground beef (I used ground turkey)
  • 2 cans refried beans
  • 1 1/3 c. enchilada sauce (I used 8oz tomato sauce, 1/3 cup salsa)
  • 1/2 c. water (omitted)
  • 1/3 c. minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder (I used 1 tsp)
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 c. shredded cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, whatever)
  • 20 flour tortillas (burrito-size) (I only used 18)

Brown ground beef; drain. Add remaining ingredients (except tortillas). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Heat 3-4 tortillas at a time. (I heated 4 at a time, between 2 damp paper towels for 45 seconds in the microwave)

Spoon 1/4 c. beef mixture down the side of each tortilla. (1/4 cup = 3 heaping tbsp. I used 4-5 tbsp in each burrito. It was easy to scoop with the small tablespoon, instead of a big serving spoon)

Roll up. Wrap each burrito in a paper towel, then wrap in foil. Refrigerate or freeze. I like to pack them in the tortilla ziplock bag. When ready to eat, remove foil and microwave for about a minute. The paper towel keeps the burritos moist. If you’re eating on the run, though, just grab and go!


Can we say SLACKER?!

I've been neglecting my blogs lately. :( We moved from Wilson to Raleigh about 3 weeks ago, and life has been a little hectic! Let's see if I can catch up!

16. Read 50 books (3/50)
I FINALLY finished "Eat, Pray, Love." I started this book in June and had the hardest time getting through it. It was an interesting story but very drawn out. I'm probably just too accustomed to reading fiction. I do not plan on seeing the movie.

18. Try 25 new recipes (19/25)
I made my first homemade pizza! I started with this sauce recipe, it was awesome! The dough recipe came from an encyclopedia cookbook from the 70's. Overall, it was a great pizza. I look forward to making it regularly and perfecting my techniques.

49. Replace coffee and end tables
Our coffee/end tables were from Ikea. The end table had a shattered leg, and the coffee table was starting to bubble. Ikea furniture is cute, but its definitely disposable. I prefer real wood stuff! My grandmother in NJ gave me 2 end tables and a coffee table that are solid cherry wood. They look lovely in our living room. I hope to refinish and polyurethane them someday.

61. Have ten date nights
Glen & I took a night off to enjoy Olive Garden's NeverEnding Pasta Bowl. We triple dated with 2 other couples and had a fun time. Aunt Nancy was kind enough to babysit (and clean up cat puke, that makes an awesome sitter!)

84. Take him to a park 50 times (13/50)
I'm glad to say I do not think I can count all the times we've played at the park the last few weeks. Here is what I can remember: we played at the park in Wilson one last time before we moved, visited the Wake County Landfill Park, Shelley Lake and Laurel Hills with our playgroup, and Laurel Hills again with Daddy. Caleb loves the park and I love getting out!

87. Go out and feed the ducks
Last week we visited Shelley Lake with Ashley & Jenny, and their kiddos Jack & Maddie. The kids all had fun feeding the ducks. Maddie loved eating the bread herself, Jack kept asking for "piece!" and Caleb just enjoyed the throwing. I can't wait to do it again!

Whew! I think we're caught up, no pictures because Glen has my computer disconnected for some updating! Oh well!


End of July Accomplishments!

I have been trying to do an individual post for each task, but I am way behind so here is my catch up for July!

18. Try 25 new recipes (4/25) Corn Cakes
I had 2 ears of corn in the fridge that really needed to be used so I gave this recipe a try. I didn't have any saltines so I used bread crumbs, and we were out of milk so I used heavy cream. The cakes turned out okay, Glen said they were good. Something was not quite right - I'm not sure if the bread crumbs made them too soggy or I didn't cook them long enough. I feel like they should have been more crunchy. I would definitely try these again.

29. Bake something once a month for a whole year (3/12) Blueberry Cream Cheese Cake
Yum! I really liked this cake. It's more of a breakfast/muffiny cake. Glen & I had it for dessert topped with ice cream; I also ate it for breakfast with yogurt. Again, I made a few changes to the recipe - using white flour & white sugar instead of wheat flour and sucanat. Caleb helped me cook (and eat the blueberries!) and he really liked the cake too.

84. Take Caleb to a park 50 times (8/50)
Despite the 100° weather, Caleb & I went out to the Raleigh Road park this week. It's very shady so it didn't feel that hot while we were playing. I brought a little picnic snack with us and Caleb enjoyed his very first Capri Sun.

85. Visit Marbles Kids Museum
Caleb & I went to Marbles last week for a playdate. He was at Marbles once before when he was around 5 months old, so this was really his first experience. He LOVED it! We were there for about 4 hours and played in each exhibit. I definitely want to go back with Glen.




63. Have 3 baby-free weekends (2/3)

Caleb spent a LONG weekend away at my parents' and sister's houses last week, he was gone for 3 whole nights. Glen & I missed him like crazy. We enjoyed the break but definitely realize how much meaning he gives our lives. It was the best to pick him up and catch up on all the missed hugs & smiles. :)

Our weekend was pretty low key, we did some packing, I showed Glen our new house and we saw Toy Story 3. (I highly recommend that, it was such a sweet movie!)

53. Sell at a consignment sale

I was very excited to participate in the Kids Exchange Consignment sale this month. By selling items, I got to shop early before the sale was open to the public which makes a HUGE difference in the crowds & item selection. I think this sale gets better each year - its now in 2 buildings and very well organized.

First, I got a big stack of last winter's clothes that Caleb has outgrown. I hung them on hangers, priced them and dropped them off at the Fairgrounds. I tagged about $160 worth of clothes and brought home less than a 1/3 of what I dropped off. I won't get my check for another week or so but I'm optimistic!
Here are a few pictures of our adventure shopping. Caleb had a ball playing through the field of toys, and then crashed in the stroller while waiting to check out! I only spent $60 on that huge stack of clothes, the bike seat and a big bag of toys!




1. Visit 4 points of interest in the Wilson area (2/4)

Last week Caleb & I went to the Wilson Rose Garden. It's a small garden but was very pretty. It smelled great too! They had picnic tables in a shady area, it would be a perfect place for a picnic lunch. You can also see one of Wilson's legendary Whirligigs in one of the pictures. Caleb had fun running around, climbing onto benches and splashing through the fountain. (I don't think he was supposed to be in the fountain, but ya know it was fun anway...) He is modeling his brand new crocs in these pictures which are the CUTEST thing ever!

84. Take him to a park 50 times (7/50)

A few Sundays ago Glen & I took Caleb to the park. It's fun being able to go as a family! Glen was impressed with how well Caleb climbed up things and that he can slide all by himself. We all had a fun time, except our visit ended with a fall. :( Just a bump but we got the sad crying baby face!


1. Visit 4 points of interest in the Wilson area (1/4)

My sister, Dad, nephews and niece all came into Wilson today. We enjoyed a nice lunch at the chinese buffet followed by a visit to The Imagination Station Science Museum. It was actually a nice museum. We saw some NC history including the original post office from Wilson. There was a whole floor of reptiles & amphibians (yuck!). The kids had fun in the play room where they had tons of educational toys including puzzles, stacking blocks, noise makers etc.

Then of course the science exhibits! We raced against turtles, bats, horses, bears and cheetah. I can run as fast as a bear, but Alex can run as fast as a horse! We all weighed ourselves on a giant scale - our family weighs a little bit more than a male polar bear. The kids enjoyed using the simple machines - levers, pulleys and inclined planes. Overall everyone had a great time!

Here are a few pictures (from my phone), you can click on them to see a bigger view.



84. Take him to a park 50 times (6/50)

During June, NC experienced record breaking heat. This week we finally enjoyed a break in the weather, low humidity and highs in the low 80's. Caleb & I took advantage of the weather to play outside. We visited 2 different parks, one on Thursday & one on Friday. We had a blast! Caleb is pretty adventurous and is not afraid to explore by himself. He loves watching the other kids and trying to do everything they do.

Here he is pushing the merry-go-round and on the swing!


16. Read 50 books (2/50) - Ecliple Novella

I just finished reading "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, an Eclipse Novella." I was not entirely impressed. The book is about Bree, who is a very minor character in the novel of Eclipse. Stephanie Meyer wrote this as an extension to the Twilight Series. After I finished reading it, I couldn't help but think that this book was all about making $$ and not really writing a good story. I was very disappointed because I thought all the Twilight series were great reads.


18. Try 25 new recipes (3/25)

I love to grocery shop. I coupon/sale shop so I tend to stock up our pantry a lot. We're moving in a few months so I'm trying to "pantry cook" and use up more of what we have on hand. The other day I was looking in my cookbook for directions on how to hard boil eggs (no, I don't know how) and saw a recipe for Huevos Rancheros. I had everything I needed and knew I had to try it!

It was DELISH! Glen and I both loved it. (Caleb missed out on this meal.) I made the salsa a little too spicy. I added re-fried beans to the recipe, spreading them on the tortilla before adding the eggs. We had them for dinner and it was a very filling meal. I will absolutely make this again!

(and an update on #47)
My veggie garden is doing pretty well. The zucchini have sprouted and are a few inches tall with flowers. The tomato plant is a little weak looking, but I got 1 tomato out of it so far!


21. Enjoy a Mom’s Night Out 4 times (2/4)

Last week I met my friends at El Senor for a Mom's Night Out. It was .98 Margarita night! Mmmm, I enjoyed 3 of those :) I even tried something new off the menu, I usually order the same things at Mexican restaurants. I can't remember the name of the dish, but it was yummy! We all had a blast talking about our kids, husbands, families and general randomness. Can't wait for the next night out!


13. Go to a Farmer’s Market

On Wednesday Caleb & I went to the new Farmer's Market in downtown Wilson. We had lots of fun even though it was HOT out! I bought blueberries, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and sourdough bread. I enjoy cooking with fresh veggies. I hope to visit the market again over the summer.

It was "Kid's Day" so there were extra activities set up. Caleb had a blast playing in the spray fountain. He was soaking wet when we left. We finished up our visit with a scoop of homemade banana pudding ice cream - DELISH!



61. Have ten date nights (1/10)

Glen and I went to see Iron Man 2 last night. We were in Raleigh and Glen's mom watched Caleb. Glen was dying to see it, I was kind of neutral on seeing it in theaters. I would have much preferred to see Sex & The City 2. :) Iron Man 2 was actually really really good. Good action, good story and good laughs. We enjoyed the night out!


29. Bake something once a month for a whole year (2/12)

This morning Caleb & I got up and started baking. We made up a batch of fabulous cake chews. I got the recipe from one of my playgroup friends. They are super sweet but always a hit. I have made these a few times for Glen's coworkers, and they always ask for me to bring more. This batch never made it to his work, because I had an unplanned trip to the doctor with Caleb. But Glen & I will enjoy them immensely. :)


10. Visit a state I’ve never been to before

I never imagined I would be able to cross this one off so quickly! Glen was sent to Venice, Florida for a 8 day business trip and Caleb & I tagged along. We drove down ourselves and had such a great trip! I won't overload this post with pictures, because I will post them on Caleb's blog and I put up a ton on Facebook.

While in Florida we: visited an orange grove, went swimming at the pool, played on the beach at the Gulf of Mexico, visited by Great Uncle, rode bikes, went to the aquarium (#7) and checked out the local splash fountain. It was all so much fun! I would love to go visit some other areas of Florida in the future.

visited 30 states (60%)
Make your own map here!


21. Enjoy a Mom’s Night Out 4 times (1/4)

Last Tuesday my friends from my playgroup got together for a baby-free night. This was technically a "night in" because we were at someone's home, as opposed to out at a restaurant. We try to switch things up so we don't have to spend too much money for an evening off! There was a lot of other Moms there, and we all had a blast! Next month there is a night out planned to a Mexican restaurant with .98 margaritas! Now that's very exciting!


84. Take him to a park 50 times (4/50)

Last week Caleb and I spent the morning with Brenda and Elizabeth. We checked out the park in Wilson and had lunch at McDonald's. The 2 kids played hard all morning and were worn out. Caleb slept nearly 3 hours that afternoon! Both kids loved going down the slide, here's my big boy sliding down all by himself!


89. Go pick fruit

Strawberries are in season right now in NC. I have never been strawberry picking and was excited to share my first experience with Caleb. We met Beth & the kids last week in Kinston. Caleb had a great time! He learned how to pick the berries, eat them and even put a few in our basket. You can see pictures of that day on Caleb's blog.

I was sad that Glen missed out on the fun, so we all went on Sunday to Dean's Farm in Wilson. We picked another huge batch of berries, then sat and enjoyed some homemade ice cream.

We've been enjoying all the strawberries. Caleb loves fruit, and strawberries are no exception. He usually eats them plain, but I let him enjoy some with homemade whipped cream - that was a hit too!

I am marking this one completed, but I hope that we will get out and pick more fresh produce in the future!


47. Start a vegetable garden

One of my friends in my Mom's group mentioned she planted a container garden. I had never realized you could do that, and was totally excited by the idea. Glen & I finally made it to Lowe's last week to stock up for my garden.

We bought a few plants (tomato & arctic kiwi) and some seeds (zucchini). I plan to plant potatoes in the last pot, but they didn't have what I needed at Lowe's. I planted the seeds last Sunday, and Monday I was SO excited to see little sprouts coming up. I feel like I did something right! I hope my plants continue to grow and produce some veggies for us!!

I have some irises planted too. The pots are all scrounged up from my Mother in law's yard, I hope to upgrade to prettier ones someday.


63. Have 3 baby-free weekends (1/3)

Caleb spent his first weekend away from home with Grandma & Grandpa. He had a great time, you can see pictures of his adventures here. Glen & I enjoyed our down time. We ate out, wandered through Best Buy and slept in!! On Saturday we took a drive out to Goldsboro and hiked at the Cliffs of Neuse. It was fun to get out and hike, something we haven't done in ages. (and if you ever go there, BEWARE OF THE ANTS!)


Visited a (not so scary) park

84. Take him to a park 50 times (3/50)
There is a park down the road from us that I have always found shady. I often pass it after dark driving home from work, and there are cars there. I decided it's a shady place because why are there cars there at night? There are not any sport fields, nothing exciting to do in the dark. Just a playground. But during the day I always see families and kids playing, so I finally decided to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised! We didn't find any drug paraphernalia or used condoms. =)

Caleb really liked this park. He was able to get up to the top of the climber and slide down by himself. There was also a merry-go-round he loved! I think we'll definitely come by here again.