Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Cleaning List

That dreaded time of year has come. Actually, I passed it a month and a half ago when spring actually started here in SC. But that's besides the point. It's spring cleaning time here in the Rowe household.  Usually I'm pretty on the ball about this sort of thing. I cleaned businesses and hotel rooms in high school and college so I can get a little crazy about mess and dirt and creepy things. So I'm using the baby as an excuse on why I haven't gotten around to it. 


There's nothing quite so satisfying as checking off things from a to-do list when you have OCD. Thats why I've taken the time to type up a spring cleaning list. I even wasted time downloading free fonts to give the list a little more pazazz. Don't you know that font selection is a very important part of the cleaning process. Or the procrastinating process. Whatever.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Kitchen Nightmare

There are many, many things I love about living in Charleston and in the south. Sweet tea, BBQ, seafood, winter weather, and of course, the close proximity of the beaches top the list. But there are a couple of things I really hate about the south. Like really hate. One is the abundance of terrible, inattentive drivers. (SC makes #6 on the list of most dangerous states to drive in. Is it really so hard to wait to check your texts until you arrive?) The other is the bugs.

I grew up in the country. Most of my childhood was spent outdoors  in the woods or harassing our neighbors' farms. So I thought I knew a thing or two about bugs. Cute, right? No one in Wisconsin knows about bugs. Trust me. Since moving south, I've had bugs in my house so big that I let them live only because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to kill them. That I would only anger them. 

The absolute worst is the roaches. All my food is in jars or containers. I have a clean kitchen before I go to sleep. I call the bug guys again and again. I even put the extra dog food away at night. And still they come back. Case in point: this picture.


This was 5:12 this morning. Yes, there are multiple bugs inside the clock.  Kill me. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Making Friends As a Military Spouse

So I've had a couple of people ask me lately about ways to meet people when you move to a new base. Whether you are a new military spouse or you've had 20 years of practice, part of military life is being forced to continually meet new friends. It sucks. Especially if you aren't a naturally outgoing person like I am.

Here's a couple ways I've been able to make friends. 

  •  Bug the s*** out of your husband. Unless he is deployed, odds are that he's going to be working with at least a couple other married guys. Hopefully, he is friends with some of those guys. Bug the hubby to invite them over. Serve adult beverages. Meet you new instant BFF.
  • Live on Base. Or at least participate in the base activities. Sure, base housing isn't always great, but by living off base you isolate yourself from that close-knit community of military families. On base, everyone is in your shoes and it is easy to strike up friendships when you all ready have so much in common.
  • Join some groups or clubs. I know, no-brainer right? Meet other people with the same interests as you!
  • Get a job. Especially if you don't have kids. It's easy to make friends at work and it can help get you the inside scoop on local gossip. Sitting around all day spending money is not going to make for a stronger marriage anyway. 
  • Facebook. There are so many Facebook groups you can join it's not even funny. Through the group for NWS Charleston, I was able to meet other moms with kids Lizzie's age and form a play group just by posting.

Yes, it can be intimidating to have to put yourself out there, but military life isn't comfortable. It's lonely and stressful and exhausting. Of course, if you have the right person it's also completely worth it. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why Mommies Don't Work Out

So the 80 degree weather has me thinking beach season...which means I'll have to wear a swimsuit soon...which means that I'd better start working out. That's fine. The only problem with that is what to do with Lizzie. When I run, it's fine having her in the stroller...if I want to do a DVD though, it takes me 50 minutes to do a half hour workout. Not very productive. This is why.

"Hi Mom. I'm done with the pots and pans."


"Oh I see you are on the floor. Whatchoo doing?" 


"Crunches? Let me help! It looks like fun!"



"I'll lay on your belly and eat your face. I love to eat faces. Num num num.."


Friday, April 5, 2013

Mini Egg and Sausage Muffins

I've been in the craving for a good egg meal this week, and was inspired by Snacking in the Kitchen to make my own Mini Egg Bake. These little things turned out pretty good! 

Just don't forget to grease your pan like I did. 

Ingredients (18 mini eggs)
  • 1/2 lb breakfast sausage
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp veg. oil
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated romano or parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook sausage according to directions. Chop spinach and place in microwave on high 1 minute or until wilted.

Whisk together eggs, milk, oil, baking powder, salt and pepper, and spinach.

Grease mini muffin tin and spoon in cooked sausage, filling each bowl 1/2-3/4 of the way. (I had enough sausage for approximately 14 mini muffins.) Add egg mixture to each bowl, filling to just below the top.

Bake for 12 minutes. Add grated romano or parmesan. Eat.

 I'll admit. My horrible sweet tooth got the better of me and I dipped some of them in maple syrup. You don't need to though, they are quite tasty by themselves. 

This recipe makes about 14 mini muffins so you may want to double the recipe if you have more people. 






Mini Egg and Sausage Muffins

by Ashlee Rowe
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 12 min
Ingredients (18 mini eggs)
  • 1/2 lb breakfast sausage
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp veg. oil
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated romano or parmesan cheese
Instructions

Preheat oven to 375.

Cook sausage according to directions. Chop spinach and place in microwave on high 1 minute or until wilted.

Whisk together eggs, milk, oil, baking powder, salt and pepper, and spinach.

Grease mini muffin tin and spoon in cooked sausage, filling each bowl 1/2-3/4 of the way. (I had enough sausage for approximately 14 mini muffins.) Add egg mixture to each bowl, filling to just below the top.

Bake for 12 minutes. Sprinkle with grated romano or parmesan. Enjoy!
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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Three Minute Flower Chalkboard Labels

Like a lot of people, I'm a big fan of the chalk craze that's going around so I decided to make some chalk labels to add to my kitchen jars. I liked the look of these Pier1 containers but I wanted them to be removable so that I could wash the jars, and didn't want to paint them myself. Here's what I did.

The only thing I bought for this project was some of that peel-off cut-to-size chalkboard paper from Michaels. 

My mom is a Stampin' Up! demonstrator so a couple years ago I was able to talk her into getting me a Big Shot. If you haven't heard of it before, they are like a scrapbooking Cricut, and lets you cut paper into shapes. Only they aren't as expensive as a Cricut. Or as prone to breaking. Essentially, the Big Shot is just a big paper punch. Only much better. 

I decided to use some of the flower templates that I had and worked out pretty good. If you don't have a Big Shot, you could always trace a pattern on the back of the paper and cut it out. It has a nice grid so it would be easy, though I don't have the steady hand to get a good straight cut so I'm glad I have the Big Shot.

This paper is amazing. I think it would be nice to cut out more shapes and stick them around the house too, but the pantry is a good start.

 Now if only I could get my handwriting to be as neat as these labels...