Saturday, August 19, 2017

Slow Cooker Links | Hoorah!





I know. She's so precious. 

This mini chef of mine makes life in the kitchen so much more fun. (And interesting.)

Here's a couple links to a couple delightful freezer-to-crockpot recipes that I've fallen in love with -- We're having the lasagna tonight, actually. After a long weekend of yard sale wheeling and dealing (hurray for a nesting mommy getting rid of excess junk!!) I didn't feel like making a big meal. "Yay for crockpots." And a double "Yay for crockpots."

Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Lasagna  over at "Stockpiling Moms"

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe by "Sidetracked Sarah"

I had tried three or four other recipes that I'll need to tweak and change here and there, but those two were my favorites. I also sautéed and froze some pork chops. Here's a quick "How To."

Sprinkle and rub both sides of Pork Chops with:

Salt
Pepper
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder

Fry in Butter until no longer pink in the middle. After they're cool, put them in a freezer bag and stow them away for days like mine.

Was that hard? I think not. All you have to do is warm them in the microwave, or a skillet. (Just be careful not to heat them for too-too long, or they'll be dried-out and tough.)

Well, I gotta skitter - time to finalize my super easy meal for this evening.

Wishing you Sprinkles and Cappuccinos,
Mrs. Pritchard


Ps. We find out if the baby is a "He" or "She" this Friday!! 







Monday, August 14, 2017

Life Hacks | Meals with Baby

My new baby was fussy. I was completely exhausted. Company was coming. For some reason I chose to make Spaghetti and Meatballs from scratch. 
Some reason.
Some strange reason.
It ended up being two and a half-ish hours of slow going. Very, very slow going. I wanted to sit down. My back hurt. My brain hurt. But it was smelling amazing. The spicy Italian sauce mixing with the hearty meat aroma…

This meal would be perfection. Or at least, pretty good. 

By some miracle finishing touches were being achieved.  

POP.

Rain was falling all over my kitchen floor. The counters, the open shelving, in the bowls, the sink, the plates…

Slowly turning, I realized that the rain was not wet. Or rain at all. It was glass. Everywhere, and in everything. Heart beating fast, I checked the food. 

Speckled and speared with glinting shards…it was all for naught. 

I made Ethan and our company some turkey wraps and sent them to the living room while I slowly cleaned the glass out of everything. Apparently I had set my glass pan down on a burner that was still hot. 

I wanted to cry. I would’ve, if it weren’t for the guests. 

I say, “The End”, to complicated meals. At least while trying to shush a fussy Haven.

With Thing 2 on the way, I’ve been researching FREEZER MEALS. This week I started my first experiments, and I’m in love. It’s totally amazing to dump a bag of prepared ingredients in the crock pot and presto. Supper is ready in the blink of an eye. It took me a single evening to get (if I remember right) twelve meals prepared. So far, they’ve all been pretty fantastic. 

They say these type of meals are best used before six months is up, so when I hit trimester three, I will be stuffing our big freezer for all it’s worth. And I’m so excited about it. 

The garden has had a pretty hefty yield (yay for the first garden ever!!) so I’ve been canning beans, freezing corn, putting up green peppers, making pickles — basically whatever I can get my greedy fingers on. I’m dreaming of opening cans of garden-fresh vegetables to compliment my bags of frozen goodies. Fast food at it’s finest. 

The recipes? Click on the links. 

A little note: I usually reduce sugar, skip soy sauce (replace it with amino acids), and try to stay away from super carb-laden stuff. The recipes below are ones that I’ve tinkered with and adjusted to my family’s tastes, but I’m sure they’re fantastic as they are. 

Feel like giving this a try? Let me know how it turns out!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Two Years Married | Happy Saturday


 Sometimes life doesn’t fit into words. Saturdays don’t. This one doesn’t. 

The contentedness of a mighty large batch of waffles fresh in the kitchen, the warm Carolina sun on my arms, the stretching blue sky overhead - Nope. The words aren’t good enough; happy enough; full enough for the love God has given me for this life.

I never felt like a Northern girl. There’s nothing wrong with icy winters and German people; oh, no. But something inside me always knew that a part of my life would be in the South. I was expecting it, but I wasn’t. When I heard his calm, irresistible accent for the first time, I had no idea that the only reason he was making conversation with the whole group was to get two words in with me. 

“How in the world do you love me?” I’ve asked so many times, squashed into his shoulder from a hug. He always reminds me that he knew the first time he saw me. Would have married me right then. 

And I still can’t figure out why. 

Two years from the day he made me his, we’re still in love. We ride in the work truck with the windows down, talking about skidders, log quotas, whether or not it will rain before Monday, mixed in with a little bit of “what Haven did today”, and an “I love you…” every once in a while. 

We’re still newly weds. He says we always will be; and that’s why were are. 

Thanks Hun. I love you more than a microwave.

<Inside Joke>


Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday | Preggo Inspiration

Naturally, I'm a sleeper-inner. Naturally, he's not a sleeper inner. 
Naturally, I'm a lover of flowers and shabby chic. Naturally, he likes dirt, and the woods. 
Naturally, I like to keep my fingernails clean. Naturally, he's a go-getter who doesn't have that option.

This is why we're perfect.
Anytime either of us step into the other person's natural habitat, adventures happen. 
So every day is an adventure. 
Including today. 
And I can't wait to see what will happen inside it. 

Ha. ha. You thought I had an exciting story to share, right? Sorry. It's part of my warped, Monday-morning sense of humor. 

I was just dwelling on my husband's Super-Man tenacity while I work on drumming up extra energy and pep. Vim and Vigor. Umph. Motivation. ...

It's hard to get started when you're pregnant.

Here's a few handy hints to help get your day started, while I think about starting mine. 

  • Woman, get your hair fixed! 
  • Have protein for breakfast
  • Put on something that makes you feel pretty
  • Have something happy to drink (tea or coffee)
  • Read your Bible
  • Do the next thing

Points 1 and 3 - You will never feel like a competent part of society in your jammies and frizzy bed-head. Sorry, but no. Much as we sluggish, pregnant creatures hate it, getting prettied up for the day lends an air of energy and "Let's do this!"... have a long to-do list? Put GETTING DRESSED at the top of it, even if nobody will be seeing you today. Your husband will be grateful, I assure you. 

Protein is self explanatory. My doctor informed me that I need to eat it frequently to keep my strength up. **Duuuuuuuuuh. Shoulda thought of that...** It's not a nasty, fatty, freakish thing. It's your friend, little mama, dig in!

I'm including a link to this fabulous recipe for ICED COFFEE, in case somebody out there handles caffeine well. (Well-er than me, particularly.) I'm stuck with tea for now, and very-very-nastily-watered-down-coffee-when-I-get-desperate-for-flavor. 

Point 5: How are you supposed to give out sweetness and patience if you never take any in?! Sit down and read a chapter from your Bible. Turn on a sermon, or sing praise songs while you work. It'll keep you sweet and loving on crazy daisies. 

Item 6 is probably the most pertinent suggestion where it comes to mommying and wifeying. Sometimes, stuff happens and you don't know where to start. Or, at least, I don't. That's when my mom's voice rings in my ears -"Just do the next thing." Pick up the emptied cabinet, or start supper, or call about the business errand.... whatever it is, start with the first thing, and breathe. You'll make it. 

Well, duty calls. 
What's on your Monday-List this week?





Thursday, July 27, 2017

Vacation | Wisconsin Livin

It's me. Swinging in for a minute while Ethan is shopping for shotgun shells and Haven is blissfully engrossed in a nap. Things won't be quiet for long though. When the guys get back the excitement will rev up again with a shooting match, then a to-the-death "go cart race" between Ethan and the Pyatskowit uncles.

This here, is a pic of Kara's super-cute graduation party that we arrived RIGHT in the nick of time to enjoy. Driving all night really stinks, people. But it was worth it.





And here's the graduate herself. Luv her.



And here is the babysitter. Becca waits breathlessly for Haven to make the tiniest whimper during naptimes, and whisks her away to play outside at every opportunity. Diaper changing is, apparently, the latest and greatest in importance and popularity; second only to bath time. 




Just kidding. Sauer Kraut is the latest novelty. (Only because my allergies are killing me, mind you...it's supposed to help...so I've been inhaling the stuff.) Healthy food or not, I'm feeling like the Pillsbury Dough Girl while me and Baby 2 are getting close to the halfway mark. Family vacations don't help anything...raspberry pie and stuff...'nuff said. 

But I can't be too grumpy about getting bigger. At least my babe is happy and healthy; and we're a few weeks shy of being half way to holding a snuggly little bundle of angel-soft deliciousness. (Not that we're cannibals, mind you.) 

Anyway. 

Luv and Sprinkles,
Mrs. Pritchard


Friday, July 21, 2017

Mommy inc. | How to Schedule A Life





I always thought it would be kinda cool to be one of those “particular” people. You know; a health nut, or a neat freak, or a work-out fanatic. Hard as I’ve tried to be all three, I always fail to see the value in them eventually, and decide to let life be lived, instead of freaked-out-over. (Pass me another piece of chocolate please…)

However, I’ve always had a pretty particular idea of how I wanted to run my house. Not making the bed all day is a pretty huge mark of failure for me, and unnecessary clutter makes me purty agitated. Still though, I had (“had,” being the key word) a happy-go-lucky view of cleaning schedules. (Which means, basially, that I didn’t have one;  but things always got done eventually, and the house stayed pretty sane.)

Then Haven was born. When she came, my friendly, freelance version of housekeeping suddenly became grumpy and overwhelming. There wasn’t time enough in the day. Or the night, actually. I struggled to balance mopping, dusting, trash-taking-outing, laundering - and, oh wait! WHAT’S FOR SUPPER?!  with no sleep, and a snuggly baby who didn’t want to be alone. Ever. 

Good news: Babies learn how to entertain themselves by a year old. It’s not half as hard now, as it was when she was little-bitty. But about four months ago, I was getting pretty discouraged with the struggle and stress of my cleaning times always being interrupted. Clean house = happiness, for me. Cluttered house = troubled spirit. Basically. 

And that’s when I found out that schedules aren't just for superwomen with go-getter personalities; that’s when I found one that worked for me. 

See, I had tried schedules lots of times. The problem, was that I always tried to stuff my life into somebody else’s Microsoft Excel sheet, and check all the boxes. It never worked for more than a week. I tried Pinterest, and following other people’s suggestions,  - but nope. The baby still fussed on cleaning day, with the first room only half-mopped. Finally, through trial and error, I noticed that my own habits formed a pattern; so I followed them, and started tweaking the areas that needed help.

Here’s what I do to keep our house sane and comfy. Maybe it’ll help you recognize a pattern in your days, as well. But, no copy-catting! (It doesn’t work.)

M O R N I N G
Me and Haven get ready for the day.
Coffee and Breakfast happens.
Unload the dishwasher, tidy the kitchen.
Get something in my head for supper.
Make my bed, and tidy the bedroom.
Make a general de-cluttering/picking up run through the house.
Wash, dry and fold one load of laundry. 
Devotions

A F T E R N O O N
Dust what looks Dusty
Sweep what looks Crusty
Wash glass that needs it.
Workout
Random stuff that crops up through the week. (Business errands, etc.)

E V E N I N G
Pick up the house again before Ethan comes home
Have supper ready fifteen minutes before I expect him to be home
Haven’s Bath
Haven’s Bedtime
Time for: showers, bean snapping, canning, an extra load of laundry, more business paperwork, or, maybe, if I’m lucky, a half hour on the swing with Mr. Pritchard. 

I also love it when I pick out tomorrow’s clothes before I hit the sack - but that doesn’t always happen. 

Obviously, I try to clean what needs cleaned, when it needs cleaning. I don’t wait for a particular day of the week, because trying to clean a whole house in one day with a baby, is exhausting to me. Just a wee little lot. Wiping down the toilet takes about 30 seconds - as does dusting the coffee table, etc. So it’s no biggie. 

T H U R S D A Y 
Is dedicated to changing sheets and sweeping and mopping all the floors. (Bedrooms only get swept most of the time. Not Sorry.) 

Also, handy hint: Keep a scrub brush in the shower, and give it a good brushing while you’re in it!  It’s much easier, and doesn't take very long. Every once in a while, you’ll need to bleach it out, but for a run-of-the-mill week, it works great!

F R I D A Y
I try (notice the emphasis on “try”) to make a point to de-trash the car and vacuum it.

S A T U R D A Y
 I go ahead and make Sunday easier, by packing the diaper bag, ironing the church clothes, making breakfast, a take-along-lunch (not always),  and snacks for Haven … the day before. Then we can just get up, get ready and go on Sunday morning. <Because we drive an hour to church>

I’m sure there’s a lot more that I should be doing, but this little workup keeps our lives running pretty smoothly. Don't get me wrong, though - come over before nine, and I’ll still be in my jammies. Drop in for a surprise visit, and you never know what you’ll find. Life is life. And sometimes, the baby’s teething and needs to be held. Sometimes there’s been no sleep. Sometimes things crop up on Thursdays and the house doesn’t get mopped. Lots of times, I overlook the dust, and do something else (hullo, canning season)… But for the majority of the time - this is what works for me.

As you come up with your own personal life schedule, please, PLEASE remember that you’ll need a little grace for yourself, too. Don’t be so crazy-structured, that you neglect what’s most important: that’s your people. They come first. Everybody can’t clean the house weekly. Everybody doesn’t have to. Do what you need to have done to feel comfortable and happy in your home.

Sure hope this was helpful - and please know that I didn’t write it because I feel like I have it all together. I don’t. I’ll be the first mommy to admit it. But if there’s somebody out there who feels overwhelmed and helpless - Y O U  C A N  D O  T H I S ! ! All things through Christ. Keep your house; don’t let it keep you.

Monday, May 22, 2017

There Once Was A Child Who Wouldn't Sit Still | 10 Months












Finally. A picture worthy of Grandma. 

I'll have to spray shout on that dress for the next ten years in order to get the stains out. . . but we have a picture for grandma. 

Happy Mothers' Day. (Late.)