Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chanukah - Last Night

Tonight is the last night of Chanukah.  As a friend said... "though I hate to see it go, as a parent a 357 day break doesn't sound so bad.

I felt that I couldn't have 8 nights of Chanukah music and not include Debbie Friedman.  She was an icon in Jewish music.  Sadly, she passed away this past year.  She will be missed in the Jewish community, but her music lives on!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Chanukah Night 7

Tonight we spent the night with my husband's family.  My daughter was very excited to get to spend some time with aunts, uncles and cousins.  As a special treat, my brother in law was in from Vermont.  We had a great Chanukah party!

Tonight's song is "The Hanukkah Song" from Special Agent Oso.  Disney Junior is big in my house, and I am always happy when they show something for Chanukah too.  This song came from an episode where Oso helped children get ready for Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanza.  I'm not sure how long Disney Junior will keep their Magical Holidays on their site, but be sure to check it out.  Oso has an activity than encompasses the three holidays from the show.

Hanukah Day 6

Good Morning!  By the time we lit our Chanukiah (menorah) and got the kids to bed last night, I was a little tired and I guess spacey.  Sorry...

Here is the Maccabeats Chanukah song for this year, Miracle.  As you watch the video, you will notice references to the Miracle Match Campaign.  This is being done through Gift of Life.  This is a great organization, trying to help find bone marrow and stem cell matches for people with Leukemia, cancer and other hard to treat diseases.  My husband worked for them and would travel around the country helping and caring for the amazing people who took time out of their lives to donate a part of themselves to save another.  What is specifically important about this organization is that it is getting the word out in the Jewish community.  You are more likely to match with someone with a similar background to yours.  The more members of the Jewish community to register, the more people can be treated.  The test is a simple swab of your mouth and is not painful at all.  If you haven't done so already, getting swabbed could save someone's life, and there is minimal interruption to your life.

Happy Chanukah!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chanukah Night 5

I have XM radio in my car, and have spent the last several days listening to the Chanukah station.  Now they have a very interesting mix of music.  We have heard Barbra Streisand, Fiddler on the Roof, Debbie Friedman, and then some odd forms of Jewish rap.  (I wish I could think of some the groups or songs we have have heard.  If I can find them I will post them for another night.)

I was listening yesterday, on my way to Publix (bad idea on the Friday before Christmas weekend) and heard a song that really caught my interest.  Throughout my shopping trip I was trying to remember "Rabbi Neal Katz" so that I could find it for all of you when I got home.

Here is Rabbi Neal Katz singing "On the Air."

Hope that you are all having a great Chanukah, and wishing, those who celebrate, a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chanukah, Night 4

It's Friday, so that means we lit candles for Shabbat and for Chanukah tonight.  My island is aglow with two Menorahs and the Shabbat Candles.  I love watching Sprout's face as we go through this nightly ritual.  I'll try and get pictures one night, it's just tough when holding Squeaker to take pictures.

Here is the Maccabeats' song from last year "Candlelight."  We I really enjoy hearing modern music for Chanukah (and Modern Jewish music, in general).  Not sure how Jolly Green Daddy feels, I think it depends on the song, and the kids think it is all the same.

Have a great weekend!

Chanukah - Night, err... Morning 3

I wanted to get the song up last night, but it just got lost in my sleepy brain last night.  Hopefully, we will be better today.

I don't have much to say about this song, other than Jolly Green Daddy and I thought it was funny.  Hope you enjoy it too.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chanukah Night 2

I am happy to say that my house no longer smells like latkes.  As much as I love to eat them, living with the smell for days is not as enjoyable.

Here is my song for tonight.  This is : " Light One Candle" sung by Peter, Paul and Mary.  This was a favorite of my family growing up.  I can remember singing it in Hebrew School music class.  Admittedly, it is a little dated, but the message is still a good one.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Chanukah - Night 1

This is the first year where my Sprout is really beginning to understand about Chanukah.  (She is also more aware of Christmas this year too.)  This has made for much more interesting conversations.  I love watching how eager she is to do projects, light the candles and play dreidel.

On the first night of Chanukah, we had latkes and apple sauce and stuffed cabbage.  Thank you Michael Symon!  They were great.  In fact, I think this year's latkes are probably the best I've ever made.  Who knew that I needed to use that much oil!?

I'm going to try to include a song for each night.  Here is the first:

A special thank you to The Angel Forever for introducing me to this song.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Disney Trip - Raglan Road

Again, I apologize that there are no pictures.  I think I was too busy keeping Sprout and Squeaker entertained (no naps) to take pictures.

I was looking forward to trying Raglan Road.  I had asked Jolly Green Daddy to try a few times, and he was reluctant.  On this trip, he agreed.  I think it was the best meal we had the entire week.

We loved the atmosphere.  The step dancers were a great way to enhance the environment.  They were great.  We also had a fabulous waiter.  When I asked if the soups he mentioned were vegetarian, he said that he thought so, but would double check, and then told me the dishes on the menu that I could eat.  This was very helpful, as I normally have to ask if menu items have any meat in them.

Before we ordered the waiter brought us their Irish Soda Bread.  I have had Irish Soda Bread before (I think I even made it for a project in school), and have never been a fan.  Raglan Road's bread was great.  It was also a great filler for Sprout as I fed Squeaker and we tried to decide what to eat.  If you would like to see our options, you can see the menu, at AllEars.com.

I started with a Butternut Squash Bisque.  JGD (who doesn't like Butternut Squash) thought it was great.  Sprout loved it too.  I thought it was a good soup, but was disappointed as a Butternut Squash soup, as it didn't taste like squash.  However, I had no problem in finishing it all.  I then shared the Raglan Risotto with Sprout.  It was a basic risotto with shitake mushrooms and peas.  This was a real treat for me as most restaurants use chicken broth in their risotto.

Jolly Green Daddy took advantage of the fact that we were at an Irish pub and had a Guiness.  He started with a Caesar Salad, which he really enjoyed.  And then had the Lambo.  This was a lamb shank that was braised to the point where the meat was falling off the bone.  JGD loved this!

We then finished our meal with the Strawberry & Apple Crumble.  This was enjoyed by all of us.

We would go back to Raglan Road in a heartbeat.  I reiterate that I believe it was the best meal we had all week.

Wordless Wednesday - M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2009

Focused on the Magic

Monday, November 14, 2011

Disney Trip - The Hotel

This time we stayed at Port Orleans - Riverside.  I apologizer that I don't have any pictures of the room or the resort.  I really have no excuse...  The above Mickey greeted us on our first trip to Port Orleans in May 2009.

They have since redone the rooms.  We stayed in the Mansions both times.  To see pictures of the resort and the newly refurbished rooms in the Acadian House visit AllEars.com.

This is our favorite Moderate Resort at Disney World.  We find that setting to be very calming and makes us feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the parks.  (Though I will say that we feel that way at many of the resorts.)  We also love that we can a take a boat ride down the Sassagoula River to Downtown Disney.  It is so nice to feel so far away from everything, but be so close.

It is a good size resort, but if you request one of the rooms in a closer building the walk to the Riverside Mill Food Court (I will do a review of this in a day or 2) is not that bad.  There are several bus stops around the resort, so you don't have to walk to the main building to go to the parks.  We drove to the parks (it's easier with the double stroller), so I can't really talk about bus times to the parks.  Though I will say in general, this is the one frustration JGD and I have no matter which hotel we're in.  But it always seems like the bus we want is the one that is running off schedule or left just before we got there.

There are also several smaller pools in addition to the main one on Ol' Man River Island.  Sprout loved the big pool, the kiddie pool and the playground in this area.  She wanted to go down the slide into the pool, but JGD and I were not sure how Sprout would handle the splash at the end.  We would like her swimming to be a little stronger.  There were several parents with kids a little older than Sprout who were either catching their kids as they came down the slide or had them in life jackets.  Honestly, I had to laugh at the kids in the life jackets as the skidded across the surface of the water at the base of the slide.

A great perk of the resort is Bob Jackson, also known as the Piano Man.  He plays at the River Roost Wednesday through Sunday nights.  His show is a great one if you can catch it.  It's kept very family friendly, so have no fear about bringing kids to the bar to watch.  He sings plenty of classics (including some for the kids in all of us) and has a great time interacting with the crowd.  This was a great way to end the night and wind down.  You can see some of his performance here.

We definitely recommend this resort.

I will post more about our trip including restaurant reviews and thoughts about our days in the parks.

Menu Plan Monday

Forgive me for saying "I'm back" and then disappearing for a week.  We had a family trip planned to Disney, and it gave me some time to get back to me...

Anyway... for this week's Menu Plan.  It's a short one, as I'm taking the kids up to my parents for Thanksgiving at the end of the week.  JGD will be at home, as he has a class to teach Wednesday nights. :(


Dinner:  Veggie Pot Pie Soup and biscuits (J.P.'s Big Daddy Biscuits).

I used Rachael Ray's recipe as a base.  I think I used too much wine, but the concept was good.  


Breakfast: Yogurt and Cereal
Lunch: ???
Dinner: Parmesan Tilapia, Spinach and Wild Rice


Breakfast: ???
Lunch: Tuna (and Elbows)
Dinner: Chili and Cornbread


Breakfast: ???
Lunch: ???
Dinner: Probably Breakfast for dinner.  I will let Sprout pick.

If you want to join us and share your menu plans for the week, you can do so here.  Thank's Organizing Junkie.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to me.

When I started the new blog, I felt that it better fit what I was trying to achieve by blogging.  Like so many other mothers, I am struggling with the need to do it all and do it "perfectly".  Well, I know that it can't be done perfectly, but still...  So, I began my quest to find the best me.  This is an adventure that will never end, and I'm prepared for it.  I, also, felt that I could use the blog to try to hold myself accountable for the things I am trying to accomplish.  A few days ago, I realized that the reason I hadn't posted anything to that blog recently, was because it didn't feel right.  So I decided to come back here.

Now, a couple things have changed since I took my "blogcation."  The biggest of these is that we have a new addition to our family.  Squeaker joined us on February 20th, 2011.  (I'll save the story of his birth for another day.  It's a good one.)
Squeaker, a few days old.
8 months

Sprout is now 3, almost 3 and a half.  Where has the time gone.  I can't believe my little itty baby has become such a little person.  Well, "big girl" as she calls herself.

Sprout's first Halloween.  (Dronkey from Shrek)

Sprout, age 3.  Cowgirl (like Jessie and Woody, not supermodel.)

The rest of the changes are mostly, within me.  As I mentioned above, I am trying to be a better me.  On Friday, I decided that this is an important objective for me over the next year.  I have decided if I want the world around me to be the best it can be, then I need to look at how I view the world differently.  Some of that means that I need to work on my physical surroundings, and some means it is time to work on how I think about things.

My goals for the next year:

Have a clean house, or at least one that can be company ready (without a dash and stash) within 15 minutes... Everything needs a place (even if it means leaving the house).  I plan to use the FlyLady strategies to do this.  I have found them to be a good way to start to integrate this into my life.  One of the things I love about this strategy, is that FLY actually stands for For Loving Yourself.

Get fit.  I don't care about the number on the scale (well not too much).  I want to feel like I'm in shape. I want to have energy to keep up with my kids.  I'm also debating trying to start running.  I go back and forth on this.  In the past, I found that I didn't like running, but there is something in me, that says I need to try again.  I would really love to run in one of the runDisney events.  I would, of course, start with a 5K.  I'm also thinking that I might try to do a run to earn money for charity.

I want to spend more quality time with my family.  I love them and enjoy spending time with them.  I really want to make that time be the best it can.  Which does mean that we need to turn the technology off more.

I want to make and stick to a budget.  No matter what income bracket you're in, there is always more you want, but still less that you could live with.  I think we often forget this.  I am working to remember this, and trying to make our family the best it can be for less.  This does include couponing, like this trip to Walgreens, and I'll be investigating other deals too.

I also want to find me.  I'll let you know what that means when I figure it out.

So why, did I make this resolution, and why did I make it last Friday?  It was my birthday.

Here is a picture of the chocolate chip cookie cake, I made.

Here is the cake as I made and decorated it.

Sprout wanted to help.

Mental note, need to add sprinkles to the shopping list.

The final product.  The sprinkles made it better.
This year, my birthday gift to myself, is me!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Trip to Walgreens

So, the Jolly Green Mommy is not only trying to be green.  I'm trying to save some too.  I am going to try to keep track of the deals I get and what I spend.  I hope this is helpful to other people who are starting to coupon.  I know I like knowing I'm not alone.

Jolly Green Daddy was saying that the stockpile of deodorant I had gotten a couple months ago is now gone (guess I need to keep better track of it).  So I was looking for deals on Old Spice.  They were few and far between, but I did find that Walgreens had it as part of a deal with razor blades.  If you bought $30 worth of product you would get a $10 RR.

Here's what I bought:

Transaction 1:

2 - Gillette Venus Embrace Refill      $16.99 each       $33.98
2 - Old Spice Deodorant                    $ 3.99 each        $ 7.98   (on sale, normally $4.99)

Total (pre-coupon)                            $41.96

Gillette Venus Embrace                  - $ 4.00/2
Old Spice                                        - $ 1.00/2

Total Spent                                       $36.96 + tax
                                     Received $10 in Register Rewards

Transaction 2:

Nursery Water                                  $ 1.69
Garnier Fructis Curl Crea                 $ 3.99    (on sale, normally $4.49)
Walgreens Cotton Balls                    $1.79
Conair Bobby Pins                           $2.99

Total:                                                $10.46
Register Rewards                            -$10.00
Total Spent                                       $0.46 + tax

Total Purchased: $54.92
Total Spent:     $37.42
Saved:             $  17.50 (32%)            

Friday, November 4, 2011

I'm Back

It's been a while since I've posted on this blog.  For a while, life just got too busy for me to keep up.  I started another blog, but it just wasn't home for me.  So, I'm coming back to Jolly Green Mommy.  I was going to write a good first post, but I've been too busy checking out the changes blogger has made, and playing around with the blog.  My first real post will have to wait for tomorrow, as I am off to bed now.

Good night.


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