Monday, March 31, 2014

Whatever: Stitchfix is my best friend

I got a great Stitch Fix this month. If you are new to Stitch Fix, it is a personal shopping service which mails 5 items to you every month (or so, depending on what you decide) for you to try on at home and keep or return. All for $20 a month, which is credited towards your purchase if you choose to purchase any item. Keep it all and get 25% off the entire box!

I have been very happy with all of my monthly shipments. They, and I are getting better at deciding what is a good style for me. I wanted casual/work clothes and I have gotten just that!

This  month's selections were a lot of navy, which is one of my favorite colors. I was hoping for some spring color, but the navy is a good basis for all the other colors I can implement. Great job.

*I would like to premise these photos with the fact that my teenaged daughter shot them. While shooting selfies in between.

First: Great pair of skinny jeans, which I love!  They fit, they did not sag or gap or anything! I love them!

Embroidery Panel Tank:
Comfortable and great detail. This is very cute and versatile. Totally can see wearing this three seasons.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cooking: Birthday Dinner and More

Baby Girl is back! I felt like I was missing a limb all week while she was enjoying the surf and sun in Florida. She was gone on her birthday, which was really weird. I know I will not be there personally for every single birthday, but 13 seems a little soon.

Today, we are celebrating her birthday with a small family gathering with the "in town" grandparents. I made an ice cream cake and we are having Thai, per the birthday girl's request. Simple and sweet.

The rest of the week is back to normal life. Practices, work and family dinners. Life is good.

Spring Break is OVER at Casa Swann Menu

  • Thai Curry Chicken
  • Baked chicken/ left over rice casserole/ sesame broccoli
  • Grilled chicken pita sandwiches/ veggie sandwiches
  • quiche
  • Italian venison stew/ tomato soup with white beans and kale
  • pizza!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Whatever: Almost grown

One of my new year's mental plans was to remember that my family is almost grown up.

We are finally at that age where we can all do fun things TOGETHER.  All those days of extra crap gear being toted are gone. The girls in my family are all the same size and dare I say it, I am now the smallest and possibly the weakest. I am fine with that. (sorta).

What that means is now we can do really fun stuff. Like bike trips and hiking. For real hiking. The epiphany came last week when I realized we could trade my barely used road bike in for a new bike for one of the girls. And take a bike trip.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dirt: The List Update

I somehow missed the list February and now it is the 10th of March.
HOW? I don't know, but I love it.

Last March...middle schoolers...this March...HIGH schoolers

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dirt: Highschool dance

There are days when it really hits me that I have a high school student living in my house.

Most of the time she is just my sweet girl who is curious and weird. Then we go dress shopping for a semi formal dance that she is attending with an actual date. That is a boy. And reality hits me. This is an almost grown person I am dealing with. A high school student.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cooking: Eating on a budget

Living on a budget is all well and good. But the grocery store is my downfall. I have had a general budget of $200 in my head for a few years. I saved our receipts for a month and we spend about $250 a week. Not terrible, but not great. I am trying to get that down closer to $175. Tricky because I refuse to buy anything but hormone free meat and non- Asian fish.  I try very hard to buy as much organic produce as possible. Summers are easy as I hit the local farmers market and while they are not certified organic on paper, most local farms are organic in practice.

I am on a mission. Part of it is restock my freezer, feed my family well and cheaply and find a way to save money.
 I have spent an average of $160 a week the past three weeks, so I am doing okay. I have figured out better the one dish that turns into two trick as well as that  my freezer is my friend. I bought meat today and froze most of it. I hope to be better at the make and freeze meal trick by summer when I can make fresh foods and freeze them. 
My girlfriend turned me onto Aldi. I was a total snob about Aldi,  but I am a convert. I spent $60 two weeks ago on things like cheese, snack crackers, tostada shells, blueberries (organic), carrots, frozen ravioli and more. I was a total cynic and now I am preaching!  I can't do all my shopping there, but what I can buy is cheap. I heard the one across the state line has wine. I like wine.

Life is too short to eat bad food. We are foodies to the core and while we are willing to sacrifice somethings, food is not one of them. 

Swann's Cheap Eats Menu
Swim banquet: I am taking  dessert
Balsamic chicken (crockpot)/ spaghetti squash with Parmesan and tomatoes/ roasted broccoli 
Whole Roasted Chicken/ eggplant Parmesan/ sauteed carrots

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dirt: Gratituesday Mardi Gras

Sometimes all you want to share with the world is the polished, beautiful side of your life.
The Facebook side as I like to call it.
Photoshopped and pretty. Like our life is one big Mardi Gras parade.
We all know life is not like that. Not at all.

I have seen this float in real life.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cooking: LAX is BACK!

What a weekend. My father in law was here again this weekend and went with us to The Belle's first lacrosse game. Parents of athletes are patient people. Freeze your butt off for 2 hours to watch your kid play for 5 minutes. Yep. 

Totally worth it. She loves it and is fired up about being on a team. Of course, she sat on her rear on the sidelines most of the game. That is how we roll. 

Today is Lundi Gras and my children, like me are die hard Mardi Gras fans. So, last night I made not one but two king cakes. From scratch. They take about 4 hours and a million pans to make, but they are so worth it.  I am a sainted mother for sure. Especially since I will not get one bite of either of those.

 Photo: King cake #1 for the girls