Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Schokoladenkuchen! And so much easier to make than to say!

My daughter wanted to be in the photo WITH the cake :)
A wonderful friend of mine regularly sends me great recipes via email and to my loss, I don't try many of them. But this one looked really easy and I thought hey, even if it's no good the kids will enjoy it. Lucky us, it turned out quite tasty! And we ALL had a blast making it! From 2 to 33 there was joy in the kitchen! It's called Instant Chocolate Cake on the Food Network and it takes about 5 minutes to make! I will say, it makes more than you'd think. In the future I would make 1 cake and we could all split it (2-3 servings.) Basically you mix up the batter in a mug and then nuke it for 2 minutes! Voila! Cake! You could easily add a little sauce; we added some Fleur de Sel Caramel sauce from Trader Joe's and holy smacks- tasty! Will it replaced the baked cake? No. But with kids, it is a great dessert! Here's some pictures of ours:
This is how it looked out of the microwave.
Once inverted (did I mention it's really freakin' hot out of the microwave? Beware steam burns!) it looked like this:
One had been sampled already ;)

And last but certainly not least, all doctored up and ready to go!
The hubby opted for powdered sugar but me of course, I went for the whipped cream!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cleaning the Eats!

This week's challenge via Project Simplify: our pantry and refrigerator
Yikes! But much needed! I'll post a before and after picture again and hopefully it will look so much better! I do NOT want to clean the fridge. To quote my 4 year old, "this is not fun for me." Alas and alack, to quote her mother, "to bad, it needs to be done." If any of you would like to join me, here's the link! While you're there, take a look around. It's a connection of Simple sites ranging on everything from eating to homeschooling to living simply; lots of great info there! 

Turning a negative into a positive!

This week we had a little surprise- we had someone drive by and see our for sale sign and want to see our house right then if possible. Well, this conversation (via phone) took place on my front porch so I could hear the caller over my little rock stars inside who were drumming and "singing" as loudly as possible. The hubby was firing up the grill and my rock stars also weren't wearing any pants (this is how you can tell they're real rock stars) so I asked if we could do tomorrow instead? Sure, we'll be by about 4pm. Okay. Then I hung up. Came back inside and looked at my house. crap. Not even kind of ready to show. Not even a little. So the hubby and I stayed up till midnight (that's late in our book) and worked our tails off all night and then all day till 3:50pm. Collapsing on the couch so proud of ourselves for really making the house look great in such a short time! 4p. 4:15p. 4:30pm. We call them, no answer. 5pm. The natives are getting restless and hungry...5:30p. This is when we accepted we'd be stood up. I had the normal reaction and my wonderful husband slowly unscrewed me from the ceiling. So I prayed and prayed because what I wanted to do was kick something. And an hour later realized I was having a great night. Dinner was on the table, turned out well (new recipe), we had some great time playing with the kids, watched a movie together as a family (Brother Bear, loved it! And yes, I totally cried at the end.) Later we put the little one to bed and took the big one out to see the stars. It was an incredible night! Not only had God totally turned my heart around, but in the process we got a months worth of chores done to the house in under 24 hours! I prayed before they came; if this isn't the people God wants in this house, then let them not buy it. So maybe that was it. Maybe they were just lacking in manners. I don't know. But what I do know, is that I gave my stress to God and he gave me a spit shined house and a fabulous night with my family! I tell my girls all the time, God can always bring good out of bad, but you have to let Him. I guess I needed to remind myself of that!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Office- DONE!

Go Me! By Friday? No. But done? Yes! Wahoo! See new and improved desk here!

Just in case you forgot, this was the before:
 I'm beyond glad I did this one! This week's newest challenge is the kids' toys and clothes but I'm not to worried on that front. Courtesy of the upcoming move and 2 spring birthdays I've been skimming their goods for months. Thank goodness for preschool. The Simple Mom website says to do it with your kids and make them ask, "Is it useful? Or is it beautiful?" My eldest will surely be a lawyer because she can justify (easily) everything in her room, from the genuinely useful to the scrap of broken, decaying leaf that's a "treasure" on her shelf. Big blue eyes say, "but Mom! I love that! It's my most favorite [insert item] ever! I don't think I could live without it!" With sincerity. You might craftily counter with, "then why haven't you touched it in months darling?" "Oh, because it's so special I just wanted to treasure it!" Without skipping a beat. Well, at least she'll be able to put us in a good home someday! Since I'm not going to dive into their toys and clothes more than normal and I'm going to be a lazy parent and not have this conversation with my 4 year old, instead I think I'll work more in the office. My desk is lovely, my office closet is distinctly less lovely.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oh no! It's Thursday!

By Friday. Why did I say by Friday? It's Thursday and yup. Not even a dent. Alright, time to get my rear in gear! I WILL do this today! I'm posting this so the two of you who read this can hold me accountable! Ha!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What is it with me and projects?

Something about a project, one I can join, with lists and numbers; it makes me drool! Now that we're leaving in 4 months and as I still haven't finished the You Can Make This in One Day Dress, from last summer, I tell myself, "No, Sus, you can't do this." With that said, I've joined Simple Mom's Project Simplify! I have a problem. But they had checklists! How could I resist? They even have cute pictures:

"Your home. 5 weeks. 5 hotspots. Decluttered." Really, this was beyond me, I had no choice! Last week was week 1 and it was organize your master closet. This was easy, I didn't even really do it. Courtesy of my "bonus" pounds (read: very worth it kid #2) I only fit about 25% of my closet until about 6 months ago when I gave up, tossed and repurchased things. Great! Wait for it. This week is papers. As in my desk. In an effort to force myself to do this I'm taking a photo. Wasn't that how this whole blog started? Here's the before of the disaster that is my desk. I feel a need to justify my piles and tell you all my great excuses, but instead I'll save time and just let you imagine them. They're really, really good excuses. There. I did it. I just took a picture of It. And I'm going to post it. If nothing else my shame will motivate me. Here is the before:
I am sitting here now thinking of excuses not to post this! It must be done. yar. By Friday it should look like it's the desk of a grown up! Then there will be a photo that elicits a nice sigh (rather than a sharp intake of breath and wave of panic.)

Friday, March 4, 2011

A smidgen & progress

Finally, a little basil is growing! $10 bucks says it reaches harvest potential 1 week before we move! That's all right, it will make a nice gift to someone! Or we'll just gobble it up.

Progress- as of today our house is on the market. gulp. Can I just tell you how not ready to sell it is? Nothing like taking photos of your house to show you how much you need to do! On the upside, it's nothing structural, just cleaning and organizing and throwing massive amounts of things away! Slowly but surely. I've decided to try and work one room at a time getting it showable. Lord be with me if someone wants to see it soon! I'll make it work, but it'll take some coffee!

My Learn German the Fast and Fun Way came today; between that and listing the house this is starting to feel real. My eldest is starting to grasp that we're moving far away now and isn't taking it so well yet, though she's talking it out and that's huge. We had a long talk tonight about why we have to move and why we can't just live here forever and why her father can't get a job that never has to move. Sweet girlie. I've ordered some books that are supposed to help, we'll see if they do!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Surprise Beauty

As I mentioned before, the broccoli has been left to it's fate, however today when I went to see how bad it was I was surprised with the most beautiful flowers! And big, fat bumble bees :)
Who knew? I'm not sure how my broccoli would have tasted; it never looked like store broccoli, but I LOVE my flowers! I now (accidentally, but still proud!) have 3 pots of beautiful yellow flowers!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wundebar! and redirect

This blog started as a way to track a project and turned into a tracker and inspirer of many projects! I am thankful for that! However, recently we found out we'll be moving abroad, shortly, so my project now is getting our life in order! My broccoli's gone to bloom, I haven't replanted the tomato seeds my youngest dug out and dumped on the floor and the bread? Well, there's dough in the fridge, but who knows how it'll bake out! The only project I'm determined to finish before we go is the girls' dresses. Did I post about that? I bought a pattern and the fabric for "an easy dress you could make in a day!" (so sayeth the sales lady; clearly we're at different sewing, time management and motivation levels.) That was last summer, 2010. yeah. But I'm 90% done with my eldest daughter's dress, thought the remaining 10% is the buttons. Button holes currently rank with black holes in there level of mystification. I'm sure once I figure it out it'll be one of those, "oh that? Took 5 minutes" kind of things. But not yet. I'm making the exact same dress for my youngest so the second one, in theory, should be much faster, right? Here's hoping!
I will keep this blog on our travels so you can all keep up with all the tasty things I'm eating ;) And perhaps some pics of the kids and sights- but really, priorities here, let's focus on the cheese possibilities!
There is so much do in a few short months! Passports, sell the house, sort the house; stress levels increasing in that order. Oh, where are we going? Germany! Wundebar! Long live sauerkraut and beer! Hopefully I am not as wide as I am tall when we move back! Though truly, if that were to happen, I'd really want it to happen  via strudel.