What a Weekend!

We are doing great! Just wanted to update you all. Be prepared. This is a very long post containing quite a few snapshots of our weekend. (But it does include an intermission!)

It started with a sick little Peanut. Daycare called at 4:30 on Friday letting me know that he had a fever of 102. Oh my little boy! When I got to school, he was in his cot covered in his blanket. He didn’t even lift his head nor muster a smile to see me— definitely not his usual barrel-me-over self.

That night, I let him eat Cherry ice cream for dinner when he suggested it. “We should have ice cream Mom” says he. Why not? What’s the use of being sick if you can’t indulge in a few little perks? He even got to take a nap on the couch on Saturday. I’m so glad he’s potty-trained.

These are definitely the cutest photos you will see in this post today.

oliver nap

oliver nap

OMG, it was hard to tear myself away from him when he was sleeping. I can’t tell you how many times I kissed those pudgy cheeks.

There he was in his little sweat pants all weekend, clingy and needy and not hungry at all. You know you’re little one is sick when he can’t even finish a sucker. :( I let him drink as much grape juice as he wanted — you know, the kind with way too much sugar — and we  cuddled as much as we could, even with my big To Do list looming. A little dose of ibuprofen helped him perk back to life every now and then, but his cold would not subside, and as I write this, he’s still in sad shape. I called his doctor, but the nurse, reluctant to diagnose over the phone, said there was nothing they could do and to call back if he got worse. He is, in fact, getting better, albeit very slowly. If I could trade places with him I would.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: He told me a few weeks back that his most favorite things are cars, daycare and Target. Yes, Target. As in the store. In fact, as we drove past a Target on Saturday, he perked right up and with all his energy exclaimed, “Look Momma! Target! There’s a Target! We should get one of those!” (I do have a point to make here. Bear with me.) So, today when little guy woke from his nap and his daddy was about to pick him up, (I may have failed to mention that today is a Monday, and I stayed home from work and kept Oliver out of Daycare as well...) he refused to take his medicine nor would he let me take his temperature. I assured him that Daddy was coming to pick him up and that we needed to get Oliver in shape in time for Daddy. He stated that he didn’t need his daddy, that all he needed was Mommy and that he just wanted to stay with Mommy all day and night. As much as I took pride in that statement, it is the battle cry of all sick children waking from their naps. Not even bubble gum flavored pain reliever enticed him, nor chocolate, nor suckers, not even gummy bunnies (his new very favorite). I’d run out of new cars stashed in my dresser for just this type of occasion. (I’m definitely not below using bribery to manipulate.) In sinking desperation, I played the Target card. Literally. I had a gift card for Target.

“You and Daddy can go to Target today and get a car if you want! I have a Target card for you to use! But first, you have to take your medicine. And let me take your temperature.” Well put a quarter in the slot machine and score three big ones. My little defiant one just became supply compliant. He was so eager to see his father that he almost forgot to give me a real kiss good-bye. Half way out the door I asked for a kiss and that little pumpkin blew me one. So much for his undying love for the woman who carried him for 9 months and gave birth to him. He sold me out for a Pixar car. Nice.

So, what else made the weekend great?

If you read my last post, you know that my camera has been MIA for a few days. One of the best things this weekend was the discovery of my camera (yay!) in the disorganized linen closet (happily, no longer disorganized) — an obvious sign that the area really needed some orderly attention.

I had a very good reason for listing my To Do list the other day. I had this blog post in mind as I wrote that list. I have been on an organizing kick lately. Almost every weekend I tackle one disaster after another. When I brought down the pantry three weekends ago, I could kick myself for not taking before photos. If you had only seen it. To harness any sort of requisites that a hard-working pantry such as mine demands was a feat that even Julie Morgenstern would have needed help with. (Actually, I read her book Organizing from the Inside Out and it really is a foolproof plan, me being the fool of course, for setting things straight and keeping them that way.) I did take some after photos to share with you. And if it ever gets bent out of shape again, I shall bear witness to you that I am human and in desperate need of help.

And now I’m about to completely humble myself and show you just how insane my life gets behind closed doors. Imagine, my camera was hiding amidst these items somewhere. I wasn’t even able to open the drawers of the little box organizers because there was so much clutter in there.




Now you can see how hoarderrific I am! I actually take pride in the fact that in my 20’s one of my car mechanics said, “Why do all the pretty girls have messy cars?” :) All I ever heard in that statement was that I was a pretty girl. Never mind what followed went something like this, “We should just roll down your windows, turn your car upside-down and shake it a few times hoping everything will fall out.” Huh? Wha? Did you just say I was pretty?

In any case, here’s the after photo of my linen closet. Nothing to write Martha Stewart about but at least I can find what I need!


Truly, it was this was a feat. I uncovered a lot of great finds!

Now I’ll show you after photos of my pantry. Unfortunately, there are no before photos. If it ever begins to look like my linen closet (before) I’ll document my insanity, but hopefully there wont be a next time. Right now, I’m so proud!




organized pantry

organized pantry

organized pantry

organized pantry

organized pantry

organized pantry

Note: later in this post I will be talking about eating mainly organic foods. As you can see, I have a stack or two of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup stocked. Yes, you found one of my addictions, one of my vices. If any of you knows of an organic version of this soup that tastes just as delish as this one, please let me know. I was practically raised on Campbell’s soups and the one I cannot give up is this. My father was an organic gardener. My roots in healthy eating are deep. Yet this was one item neither my mother nor I could give up. Help!

Ok, back to organizing.....

I used to keep my cookbooks in the pantry. But I sorted thru them, picked out the ones I really cannot live without, and found a new home for them. This is my kitchen cupboard. It too used to be a sea of disaster. I arm wrestled this one as well a few weeks ago. See?

organized cupboard

organized cupboard

These shelves, tormented by my hoarding tendencies, bore no room for anything new. In the oil shelf, I used only the first row of items. I didn't even know what lay behind them. (Lay? Lie? Lied? Not sure which to use here.) So, I rolled up my sleeves, put on my work gloves and tackled that shelf as well.

organized cupboard

Turns out the only item on that shelf that didn’t belong was the furniture polish. Don’t ask.

I even tackled my plastic wear...

organized containers

And my zip lock baggies which I use daily. And Oz’s sippy cup tops.


I’m proud to say, all these areas (the pantry, the plastics, the cook books and oils) have maintained their orderly appeal for 3 full weeks now. One more week and I’ll have made a new habit! Yeah!

So now you can refill your coffee cup or take a bathroom break if you need one, because I ain’t thru yet! :) No worries, I’ll wait.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Ok, well, welcome back! Now back to me.....

Sunday was beautiful. We live in the midwest where we are tough and rough and scruff. We are finally uncovered from the blizzard. The sun has come out. The air is warm. Spring! Spring is coming! It’s above freezing finally! Yes! It’s 36 degrees out. Yippie! Time to head outdoors.

So I decided to make burgers for Peanut. Here’s what I did.

Organic Hamburgers with Veggies

The main ingredient:

the main ingredient

I have to tell you a bit about this first ingredient. I’m an organic convert. I have been serving our Peanut organic foods since the day he was born. When Peanut started on solids, I knew that there was no way I was going to feed him anything but. However, as we started to incorporate meats into his diet, choosing organic proved to be quite pricey. Therefor I have mostly fed him natural, free-range chicken and only on occasion organic poultry. (Have you seen Food, Inc?) The beef has almost always been grass-fed. There are lots of organic sausages on the market and those are within budget, so that's about the extent of his organic meat experience. And now I eat as much organically grown produce as possible. I rarely buy anything else.

Then I found a Groupon (you do know what that is, don’t you?) for  Nature’s Prime Organic Foods. I purchased a Groupon and received $75 of organic foods for $35. Actually I bumped my order up quite a bit so as to get free shipping. Therefor I was able to afford a lot of organic meats! I highly recommend this company if you are in the market for organics. They have incredible meats, cheeses and more. You can buy one of their Groupons regardless of what city the Groupon is being offered in. I actually bought a second Groupon from a New Orleans special.

Ok so in addition to the meat, I finely diced these sneaky partners. Yes, that pepper has seen better days.


I sauteed diced onions and red peppers, then added to the meat. Normally, I do not cook them first, but I wanted to avoid a little unpleasant scent (aka onion breath) emanating from my toddler’s mouth, and I was hoping this might do the trick.

red peppers and onion

I chopped broccoli very fine. Very, very fine lest Peanut pull out the green stuff claiming, “I do not like broccoli!”


And then added the broccoli and chopped ‘shrooms to the bowl. Then I added an egg which I had hoped would hold all this together. Not sure if it does or not. But in my mind it does, so I guess that’s all that really matters.

broc and shrooms added

I decided to add a little cheese too for fun. This used to make my husband mildly irritable because the cheese melts and then sticks to his grill. Be forewarned.

add cheese

To assure an appropriate conglomeration, mix by hand. (Mind you, this photo was not easy to accomplish. I hope you appreciate it.)

mix by hand

Form your patties.

raw meat

I always think it’s best to grill your burgers on a real fire, outdoors like meat was meant to be cooked.

If it's the middle of winter and you live in a place like we do, locate your grill buried in the snow.

the ominous grill

Put on your boots and get ready for a cooking expedition. (Gals, those are Joan of Arctics by Sorel, and you will no longer be able to find them in your size I promise. They sell out quickly each season. Trust me. And no, that’s not real fur, but it is real suede and authentic rubber.)

Joan of Arctics

Spray each patty with cooking oil.

organic cooking spray

Set ablaze.

on the grill



And enjoy....

for oliver

And enjoy some more...


And enjoy more....


And more....


Gosh, it almost looks as if he’s actually devoured this guy’s face off!

Last bite ....

this is good

Don’t forget your manners!

wipe my mouth, all done

I’m trying to break Peanut of the habit of using his sleeve. Not sure if that was a learned behavior or if it’s just a natural common sense. Because it does make sense in an ancient humanoind sort of way.

And yes, those are rotting tomatoes on my window sill. Gross. They went into the garbage after the photo shoot. I absolutely despise having to throw food away!

If you are really refined and into the modern cooking scene, accompany with Arugula. Oh so good!


And there is no recipe today folks. I made this up. I bet you can too.

So, in the light of saving you some time here and allowing you to have a life, I will finish this post (yep, it’s not quite done yet!) later this week. I do have about 400 pages left to read in my book by Friday, so I’m not sure if I’ll get to the post by then, but we’ll see. What’s to come you ask? I can’t wait to show you my organized bedroom and .... the beautiful drawings my little Peanut did for me in my library book. Yes, so delightful.

Until then, happy snow-trudging or sun-worshiping, depending on where you might live! :)

PS. Yes, I am doing well. Very well. I can’t tell you how happy I feel inside. My journey is not always easy, but I definitely have my head above water now and I can breathe, despite the sinus infection I too have.

:) Yay!


  1. You and I are on the same organizing kick. I'm going to check out the book you recommend. I used Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui (don't practice Feng Shui but the clearing clutter message is excellent). I've also been perusing One Year to an Organized Life and while I have gleaned some good tips from it, I'm not THRILLEd with it either.

  2. hi andrea! yes, i remember you :) thanks for stopping by. i hope oliver feels better soon! it's so sad to see our little ones ill. and i am very impressed with all the progress you've made with that organizing. i have a ton of corners around the house that needs some majoring organizing (and a lot of tossing and donating), but it's so hard to get to it with work and a kid. oh and i just noticed all the recipes you have there on the sidebar! i'm always looking for good and easy recipes, and it looks like you've got plenty there. will definitely be checking back often :)


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