EDIT: Forgot to give props to the girls who helped me name this blog!
Thanks to Teresa B. for the exact name and Claire T. for an amazingly similar suggestion.

This is the third blog I’ve started. That’s right. THIRD.
My first blog had 2 posts. I think my second may have had 3.
This time I’m determined to stick with it!!!

What is the purpose of this blog, you my ask?
Well, let me begin by telling you a bit about myself.
I am a 27 year old married mother of two precious little girls.
My Allison will be turning 5 very soon and my little Miranda is just about 6 months old.

When I was pregnant with Miranda I joined an online baby group. Those amazing ladies are my peer pressure. They’ve introduced me to concepts that I’ve thought were neat but chose not to do (cloth diapering – no thanks! I cleaned up enough poop potty training Allison!) and ideas that I loved and have introduced to my lifestyle (making my own baby food, using the crock pot!)

Here’s a fact: I am one of the least domestic people you will EVER meet! We joke that I can’t cook unless it comes out of a can or a box – or it’s cooked in the toaster! The microwave has been my best friend for years.

Until now.

I still use the microwave, but I’m working on ways to make my life more….. traditional and just downright better!

The number of family dinner’s my husband and I have had in the almost 5 years we’ve been married? Before 2012 you could probably count them on one hand! That’s changing. When my husband is not working evenings we are having some sort of hot meal at the table as a family. Not only that, we will all be eating the same meal! We’ve always been a “fend for yourself” kind of family. I’m an extremely picky eater so this will be a challenge, my husband eats everything (I call him my personal garbage disposal!) and Allison is fairly picky. Miranda just sits in her high chair or on one of our laps and whines because she wants real food, too!

Fruits and veggies? In the past they’ve been virtually non-existent in my house! (Did I mention I was a picky eater???) The trouble is, they’re expensive and when you buy them and then forget about them it’s just like throwing your money away! As of two days ago I’ve gotten into freezing bags of fresh veggies for later use! The bell peppers in the photo here? I got those for a steal at Aldi! I think they were $165 for the 3 pack of green, red and orange! At the regular grocery store the green ones are typically about 65 cents and the colored are at least $2 / lb!

Lately, I’ve been scouring the internet for recipes as well – specifically for the crock pot! We had a crock pot that we never used. While moving it one day, my husband picked up the box (yep, it was still in it’s original packaging!) and CRACK! The box bottomed out and the crock pot hit the floor! The stoneware inside of the heating mechanism was cracked beyond repair. We trashed it and, after moving into our house, purchased one on clearance at Target. It sat in the cupboard, gathering dust until I was encouraged by people on the internet to pull it out and give it a shot!

Our first meal in the crock pot was delish! I made Spinach Pesto Lasagna courtesy of The Crockin’ Girls.

The photo doesn’t really do it justice, it wasn’t cooked yet and I kinda sorta forgot to put sauce in most of the layers!!! It was still edible in the end, however the bottom and one side did get a bit burnt. My husband ate those parts 😉 The second time I made it I overcompensated for the previous fiasco and added too much pasta sauce! Oh well, it was runny but still delish!
And did you notice that this has spinach in it? Picky eater! Couldn’t even taste it. Soooo good! I’m a quarter Italian so I love me some pasta!

So that’s it! That’s what this is all about! Trying to do better for my family and myself in the kitchen and in life.

Outside of the kitchen we’ve got other things going on. I signed Allison up for parent/child swimming lessons because my in-laws have a pool and Allison is terrified to get in! She needs to learn to swim! I also wanted her to take a child cooking class, however that conflicts with preschool.  Allison has never taken a class before of any type – aside from her preschool education (she started her first year last September and loves it!) Soon enough I plan on getting her started in dance to see how she likes that as well as piano lessons!k

I’m also a big reader, mostly young adult fiction, so I plan on keeping the girls on track with reading. Every  night we read between one and three bedtime stories. If my husband is home, he’ll often read to Allison on her bed while I rock Miranda in the glider nearby. When my husband is working I’ll sit or lay on the bed with both the girls and read to them. So far they both seem to love books so I must be doing something right!

To continue the reading as well as get the girls out of the house, I’m going to attempt to bring them both to story time at the local library.

Some of our favorite books to read right now are:

And of course we sometimes fall back on the classics:

And we love anything by Sandra Boynton!

Currently I am reading “Envy” by Anna Godbersen – book 3 in “The Luxe” series. I like to refer to them as Gossip Girl… if it took place in 1899-1900!!!

I think that’s plenty for now! I’ll leave you with an image of what we had for an after dinner snack tonight!