Travelbug

We have been packed as I said but I’ve been trying to compile a nice amount of activities for the little one. We are also bringing snacks! I know I showed you my carry-on before but little ones is ready to go.

We got this porter series from REI on sale after not being able to find something we liked. 


It folds down nearly flat when there is nothing in it which is necessary for storage let me tell you. It also has multiple carry handles and backpack straps. Again I’m in love with these at this stage but I’ll let you know how it goes.

Our carry-on for her is the comet from them as well. Again I promise you Osprey had not given me anything! But we do love these.


The sticker/coloring books are where a laptop would actually go nicely. 

Her carry-on will include:

  • Snacks
  • 1 coloring book
  • 1 activity book+another sticker interactive book
  • Crayons/colored pencils
  • Nintendo DS we got used at our local gaming store + charger
  • iPad + charger
  • Highlights High Five magazine x 2
  • A few small books
  • A double-sided toy story book


I’ll add a few pics of the snacks when they are ready tomorrow. We are also bringing an empty water bottle for spill saftey.

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Countdown

As I write this we are 8 days out from our very first trip “across the pond” I have had some serious education on travel packing and I hope it’s worth its salt. 
The Moose is the researcher and vacation is the one aspect of my life I try not to be a control freak over. I’m not sure if my hubby is that awesome at vacation planning or if I’m in that much of need of a vacation by the time I get one…

I’ll  tell you what we bought and will put the links in only if it ends up working well because no one is paying me anything or giving me anything for free so I don’t want to advertise for something if I don’t love it and find it worthwhile. Something I am totally in love with however that the Moose bought are these backpacks by Osprey and unless they disintegrate (they have a warranty if they do) I can only foresee us using them regularly for trips. 


I also packed a rather large and softish purse full of fun things and my makeup. I love that I can carry the backpack with the shoulder strap, the side handle or as a backpack. We did the whole packing cube thing and I’m glad because I like them for OCD and squeezing purposes if for nothing else.

 


I’m most nervous about flying with Lil Bit because she’s 4 and the international flight is overnight. If I can get her to sleep then I will sleep otherwise this mama bear will be exactly that by the time we land.

We are loading the tablets up with games and a couple of Disney movies that we love, taking a Nintendo and coloring books and as many snacks as they will let me bring. 

I’ll post more once I find out if any of this is worth it! Lol. 

Gym time…or not

Conversation with the Hubs today:

Me: I think I may have to rethink my gym days, Thursday’s are just so late and it’s too damn cold outside to drag Lil Bit out.

Moose: Well what day do you think would be better?

Me: A day where I don’t have to go to the gym and can just play tennis or get skinny watching TV.

Moose: Well I can help with the tennis part on Sunday when it warms up….

The Night Top Gear Tried to Kill Me

BONUS POST! (I couldn’t find this post that I had started yesterday but now, here you go! Enjoy laughing at me, or with me, either way…)

So the other night, lying in bed, my husband and I are watching the newest episode of Top Gear where my three favorite goobers are attempting to make ambulances more efficient, faster and apparently more deadly when I literally laughed so hard at them that I had a bronchospasm and ended up requiring a breathing treatment with albuterol. I shit you not (one of the most dumb but stereotypical southern phrases this empress could think of). Somewhere between James May loosing his patient and Richard Hammond firing his into the pretend “ER” my husband was doing that crying-laughing bit and I was already cracked up by the show AND laughing so hard at him that I literally was almost killed by laughter. Well this is over-exaggerating a bit but I did get into bad shape. Totally worth it though…has to be one of my favorite episodes at this point and we’ve seen them all…even pre-Hamster and Captain Slow episodes.

I know in my blog description I forgot to mention my slight obsession with BBC television and my general annoyance at much of American TV. That’s another rant for another day (but seriously Honey Boo Boo and Little Women LA? WTF ‘Murica? Same land of Jane Russell and Gene Kelly?) Hopefully we will head to Western Europe (and more specifically the UK although that is up in the air) by next year, as that is what the hubster and I are wanting to do before Lil Bit starts school and we want to take my sister with us for her graduation gift…and on that bombshell I must really say good night.

New Macbook, new post

So just thought I’d drop a new post, with my new (to me) Macbook. Woot!

See, my laptop broke awhile back and the desktop, well it’s just not friendly to writing a blog–or comfortable.

I am very excited if you can’t tell and now no longer have an excuse to avoid the blog. So hopefully I can deliver more than one post per month…lol.

So what have I been doing while I’m not on a cool laptop like this one? I’m enjoying mommyhood, working my behind off at work (it’s sick season) and celebrating my 7th wedding anniversary with the Moose. The month of February holds the duel challenge of Valentine’s Day in addition to our anniversary. So I decided to redo and clean our office, a.k.a. the 2nd circle of hell as I’ve referred to it since our “clutter” room became Lil Bit’s room and the office assumed some of said clutter. It now boasts new decor, a home for everything and everything in it’s place and a happy husband I believe. I think he was more surprised at some of the handman-type things I accomplished rather than the tidyness.

My Lil Bit’s ever expanding vocabulary also continues to amaze me. Sitting at the dentist office with me a few weeks ago she became very quite then looks at me with big eyes and says, “I am nervous, I am a little nervous mommy.” The hygienist and this empress stifled laughs as we said, “Why are you nervous baby girl? There’s no need to be nervous.” She looks up and shrugs her shoulders, “I dunno, I am just nervous.” My now 3 year old with her perfect annunciated of multi-syllable words….Good grief the time has flown.

Unfortunately this brief post has also flown and I now have to skitter off to bed as I have a very early morning tomorrow and I think some of the bugs I’ve been exposed to at work are trying to catch me. Have a good night y’all!

=S

Happy New Year/The 2014 Wrap Up

Every year has it’s ups and downs and while overall 2014 was a fairly good year I’m hoping for my family, and yours of course, that 2015 will be very good to everyone.

So far at the start of 2015 I have 5 pregnant friends, some with their first, others with their 3rd. I’ve already started knitting again to be able to send off baby blankets to the newbie parents and instead of donating some of Little Bit’s baby toys, I’ve set them aside in case some of them have girls.

Work seems to be going okay; I’ve always loved what I actually do but I’m not a fan of office politics and sometimes they make going into work difficult.

Little Bit is growing like a weed. Santa was exceptionally good to her and the Moose and I had to rearrange her room to fit the gigantic Barbie Dreamhouse in there. I think it’s hilarious that she’s also playing with my late1980s/early90s Barbie Camper and some actually Barbies (which are made of significantly higher quality than the newer ones and this bums me out as a mom). Also the old clothing is still in good shape and is also mainly cotton vs nylon hoochie disasters from Target.

The Moose is continuing his mission of fitness and wants 20 inch arms by July. He ended the new year with 18 1/2 inches. All looks the same to me….I am still on/off my fitness plan. I think the universe wishes me to remain short and fluffy as every time I get into a good routine I end up with bronchitis or injury some body part. I’m currently confined to yoga and upper body as I literally tore the medial aspect of my calf muscle playing tennis. Fan-damn-tastic right? Especially in the middle of the holidays where goodies are everywhere. I’ll get back on track though–my mother-in-law and sister-in-law want me to do a Disney Princess 1/2 marathon with them in 2016 so I’ll have to be able to jog/run part of the way to get to take pics with the characters.

Our family and my personal New Year’s Resolutions consist of the following: paying off some debts, saving money for our Eurotrip, and being happy!

I leave you with the pic of Little Bit picking oranges at her Aunt’s house…she ate nine, NINE! oranges on this particular day. 🙂

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Our first M ‘n’ M day

No not the candies….although that does sound pretty good at the moment…

Today was our first of what I hope to be many Mommy and “Lil Bit” days. The Empress here finally got the grande ok from all persons (including herself) to go from full-time “40 hours” (truly closer to 60 most weeks) down to “32 hours” (probably actual 40 hrs a week) thus allowing more time for things like the Lil Bit, grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, sanity……

My main issue when deciding to do this was really the perception of how things were supposed to be in my head versus what they really could and probably should be. I’m not loosing (that) much monetary or otherwise by dropping down to 4 days/week, but as today already has shown me, I’m gaining so much more.

My Lil Bit and I had planned since last Thursday to go to the Toddler Time gymnastics at our gym early this morning. She’s under-the-weather with the tail end of a cold but depending on how she was doing afterwards I’d take her to the Tot Drop (that she views as a treat) and go workout a bit myself. Well those plans came to a halt when the wicked witch lady at the front desk informed us, somewhat callously, that Toddler Time had been changed to Tuesdays and Thursdays….great, now I’ve built my darling up all weekend long and am now going to deal with her crushed hopes and dreams hurt feelings. To my surprise she was upset for all of two seconds and then excited to go play with the swarm of other children who just happened to be there when I needed them today.

The rest of the day was grocery shopping, cooking dinner and hanging with daddy….at a much less rushed pace. It’s hard to describe this almost “weight-lifted-off shoulders” sort of elation I’m enjoying at the moment (although some of that may be do to my full belly and half-a-beer warmness I’m enjoying post-consumption this evening.)

So tonight I cooked my famous (at our house anyway) version of Ina Garten’s engagement chicken, I always do variations of it but it’s a quick easy dinner with lots of leftovers that I use the pulled chicken from the bone for other recipes.

The Everyday Empress’ Roasted Chicken

1 whole roaster chicken (I prefer Springer Mountain brand) 4-5lbs

2 lemons

2 heads of garlic

kosher salt or coarse sea salt (approx 2 tsp)

1/2 to 1 cup low-no sodium chicken broth (White Wine and Herb this time)

1/2 cup white wine (if not using above White Wine and Herb)

2 tbs butter, melted and set aside to cool slightly

(optional small roaster potatoes, onion in chunks or carrots, we used rainbow carrots and sweet onion tonight from our local organic co-op)

  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Remove giblets if present from chicken, rinse chicken off and dry with paper towels, salt liberally inside and out
  • cut 1 lemons into 8ths and 1 head of garlic across the top leaving the cloves exposed, removing most of the husk either cut in half or place with 8ths of lemons into cavity until full. (You can tie the legs together but I don’t find the need)
  • Cut remaining lemon into quarters and peel remainder of garlic throw into large basting pan with chicken and veggies
  • place about half of chicken broth/white wine in the pan and if desired the veggies mentioned above
  • Coat chicken with butter using basting brush
  • Cook for about 1 hr then check internal temp with meat thermometer (if you don’t have one, get oneseriously!!! cooking meat to temperature leaves you with juicy, safe-to-eat meat)
  • If top of chicken browning too quickly, place a piece of aluminum foil over it loosely to reflect heat
  • Once chicken to temperature pull it out to serving place to rest and cover with aluminum foil loosely
  • If remaining veggies not quite done, lower temp to 350’F and cook for a few more mins (5-10 usually does the trick)
  • Use drippings and veggies to pour on top of carved chicken and serve immediately
  • Remaining chicken is great to use in chicken salad, chicken tetrazzini or even to toss on top of a salad