Hello There...

Welcome to my blog. I'm a full-time mommy of a 4-year-old & a 0-year-old, part-time waitress and a rookie blogger. Living on a farm with my son, daughter and husband among dogs, chickens, ducks and other various wildlife keeps life interesting and anything but normal!

Friday, May 16, 2014

My Microwave is Really Clean

So I stopped for a moment to admire the sparkly-cleanness of my microwave. It's so shiny. I know, I know, it's brand new. But the fact that for the whole 2 months I've owned it I've wiped it out and sprayed it down. Every. Single. Time. Seriously, every time I've used it, I've wiped it down. And the two times that the farmer has used it and failed to wipe it out, I was sure to let him know.

All day I've been picking up, and wiping down things in my fancy new kitchen, the dishes are away, the sink is empty, and I'm about to mop my exotic hardwood floors when I hear my dear son from the other room. Rather than just come and get my attention by saying "hey mom, there's a problem with Princess" he prefers to yell things like "ELLE EMERGENCY, ELLE EMERGENCY!" or "ALERT! ALERT!". At this moment he chose the latter and my little warped sense of reality is destroyed and I run into the other room to find the baby dumping out an entire box of Corn Pops all over herself and the floor....wait, how'd that box of cereal get in my bedroom? Oh...when I let Jack eat right from the box this morning because I was too lazy to get up and pour them in a bowl...that's right. Fantastic...but hey it could be worse, right? At least Corn Pops are not microscopic like Fruity Pebbles and they don't require the vacuum cleaner. So I go to grab the baby and put her in the crib while I clean up and I feel something soft and squishy under my BARE feet.

Oh, perfect. Dog poop. ON MY CARPET!? ....and now on my bare feet.

Awesome. Wishing I could go back to my warped sense of reality where I admired my hard work and clean microwave. But alas, there are Corn Pops and dog feces to clean up. And now that I have far more important things to do than blog, like get the baby who is now eating a sandwich from the garbage can...or the 2 new projects I've inherited for CrossPoint Church or the laundromat that needs to be cleaned sometime today...groceries and last minute details for Princess' birthday tomorrow. Oh jeez. And I chose to blog.

Sometimes my reality is warped and so are my priorities. Pray for me, would you?

The Farmer's Wife

Sunday, May 11, 2014

#BestMothersDayEver #LifeToldThroughProfilePictures

Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing moms out there. I also have to say that I love all the Meme's and eCard-esque photo Facebook things that commemorate moms who have gone before us, moms that have lost children, moms that long to be...all moms whatever your circumstance. You are loved and appreciated. You are awesome.

So today is mother's day. I didn't do much...but it was one of the best mother's days ever. Last mother's day I was enormously pregnant and miserable...so there's that. This year I have two beautiful reason's to celebrate being a mom. They are both entirely unique and perfect in their own ways. The farmer so kindly let me pick out and buy my own gift -which was honestly a gift in and of itself! He has been so busy that he confessed last night that he just didn't have time to buy one or even think of anything to get me. I stepped up and said I'd take Jack to Target and let him pick something out for me. Then I strongly suggested a Starbucks gift card. So I got an awesome gift...kudos to the farmer for just admitting he had nothing and letting me pick out my own. Hashtag ItsTheThoughtThatCounts. I mean for real. I'd way rather have a starbucks giftcard than some afterthought of a halfhearted gift because he just forgot and ran out of time. So well played, Farmer. Man points for you!

We went to church, which I sincerely look forward to each week...CrossPoint Church is where it's at! I am excited to go to sleep on Saturday nights because I love Sunday mornings. They are the best. So I got to spend the morning serving the Lord and seeing my church family. And after church we went to my mom's to have lunch, play and relax. The kids played outside, we spent time with Grandma and when the farmer was done with work surprisingly early I got to leave for an hour or two to spend some time with him (kiddo's were asleep at grandmas!) then we had a delicious dinner ala chef Grandpa. Beef tenderloin, grilled shrimp, cauliflower and potatoes. Yum! And my sis brought this amazing Simma's Cheesecake for dessert. Then we came home, promptly put princess to bed, built a bonfire on the driveway - spent a few last minutes with Jack, sent him to bed and I got to  spend the rest of the night with the farmer. So, in short, my mother's day was fantastic. I enjoyed the company of my favorite people, ate great food, drank wine and now I'm on track to be in bed before midnight. Life doesn't get much better than that.

But as I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed tonight I decided to go through my own pictures and look for one of me and both my kids. The only one I could find was right after Elle was born and I was still very bloated from pregnancy...ew. But I made a crazy conclusion that you can really tell the story of your life through your profile pictures (depending on how long you've had Facebook, that is) I've had a Facebook account since I was a freshman in college- 2004. That's 10 whole years that I've been on Facebook. Holy cow. But really, when you scroll through your profile pictures you can see how your life and your priorities have changed. Case in point:
My like 5th ever profile picture. Our dogs. That was what we lived for. Our sweet Lola girl. Look how well dressed we are. I mean, look how clean the Farmer looks. And Reggie. He looks clean too. Oh sweet Lola. We miss her so.

But really, February 2007 this was what our world revolved around.

Flash forward to December 2007. 
Our first Christmas as a married couple. I remember feeling fat in this picture. And now I look back and think Dang! I looked good! How could I have possibly felt fat in that picture!? And why does the Farmer look like an Army recruit? He for sure still wears that shirt. But seriously, I DO NOT look fat. I mean, NOW I'm fat...NO WAY was I fat then!

Ok, flash forward another few months to April 2008:
We bought and sold our first home together. This was my PROFILE PICTURE. Clearly I was obsessed with my home. It was awesome, though. This house is, and probably will forever be, one of our absolute favorites. It was amazing. The farmer rehabbed it amazingly and it had the most awesome view of Waukesha county. It was truly one of a kind! Cleary, though...this was my priority.

And in August of 2009 it all changed:
I became a mom. But even before that, it changed...check out March of 2009:

Before he was born he was a profile picture. And now my profile pictures are dominated by my children. And that's a beautiful thing. Before I had children, my profile was dominated by my houses and my dogs. But now life has become so much more than that.

I don't know why this seems so profound to me right now. But children change you - obviously. But really, they make you stronger and weaker all at the same time. You bear burdens you never thought possible but your heart breaks in a whole new way. You struggle for a whole new reason. Your existence becomes about something new entirely. You don't live for yourself anymore. In fact, you don't even quite matter anymore. If they are happy, content, breathing...then your job is done. And you are satisfied. 

All this to say...mom's we have one of the hardest, most demanding jobs on the planet. And I know not a single one of you would trade it for anything. You want nothing but absolutely everything for your child. And that's what makes you (us) awesome. Love. So Happy Mother's Day. To moms everywhere.To those who have lost a mom, to mom's who have lost a child. To those who long to be a mom and for those who are mom's every day. The one's in the trenches. Wiping tears and butts and picking up the messes. Happy Mother's Day to you. You're awesome.

The Farmer's Wife
(and if not for the Farmer I wouldn't be a mom!)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Avocado Cucumber Relish Awesomeness

Well, here I go again. On a blogging spree.

I did a middle-of-the-night-diaper-change-slash-feeding tonight (at 11pm, which is really not the "middle of the night" for me - 6 am is more like "middle of the night" here on the farm, but whatever, you get the idea.) Princess is usually in bed and out cold from like 7-7 at the very least. Sometimes more like 8-8, but I digress. Lately she's been restless, easily woken. I think she's just teething. But she was screaming tonight, well after she'd been asleep. I rushed to her aid and she was soaked, so I changed her and decided to give her a small bottle to calm her. It seemed to work, she's back sleeping soundly again. But that's not my point.

I am awake, here...in this quiet house. Farmer is asleep, he's got a long day ahead of him. So I've been meaning to share this amazing recipe I use frequently on the farm. I'm not sure why I feel like I need to share it, but that's what bloggers do, after all, right? They post stuff about what they do. And Avocado-Cucumber Relish is what I do.


If I could eat it on every meal I would. But the farmer would get sick of that. Real quick.

It is pure awesomeness.

But my problem is I don't really have "recipes". I just throw a bunch of stuff together and mix it all up and taste test it until it's perfect. That makes sense, right? Then I never write down what I did so that I might never be able to replicate it ever again. Perfect sense.

So I take a little red onion, chopped to somewhere between a dice and mince. Throw in a little diced Roma tomato, a whole avocado and about a half a cucumber (both diced), a couple squeezes of lime juice, a liberal (not the political kind) sprinkle of salt and voila! There you have it: Avocado Cucumber Relish. Yum.

But for real.

About 1/2 small Red Onion (diced)
1 Roma Tomato (diced)
1/2 cucumber (diced)
1 avocado (diced)
Squeeze of Lime
Kosher Salt (to taste)

You mix this stuff up and add it to lots of stuff. Mainly Mexican cuisine, but honestly, you can just eat it by the spoonful. It's that good.

We had steak tacos the other night:
So yummy. And you're thinking - wow, fancy...steak tacos! Nope. I'm talking $5.99 cheap-o steaks from Target. Yep...TARGET! You coat those babies with a little Kosher salt, let them sit at room temp for a little bit before you pan sear them and you got yourself one cheap steak dinner. Sautee a little red onion, red bell pepper and garlic, pan sear those bad boys in a little olive oil and you have dinner faster than you ever thought possible. 

We don't believe in crock pots here on the farm...so I have to find creative ways to make dinner appear very quickly. Thanks to price matching my produce this meal cost us a whopping 8ish dollars. And that was 4 tacos for both the farmer and I each, plus I had a steak left over to make him steak quesadillas with tonight. Mind you we had Lay's potato chips as a side dish, but I made STEAK TACOS...let's not forget that.

I have also used my Avocado Cucumber Relish on:

Tacoish Salad (top) and Steak Quesadillas (bottom). A little bed of lettuce - or greens - relish and your seared steak on top. Perfect salad, good with left over steak served cold. Also, the aforementioned steak quesadillas. Monterrey Jack Cheese, flour tortilla, red bell pepper, red onion- melted together in a flavorful medley sure to please your palate. Topped off with some yummy relish as a garnish. Mmm Mmm.

I did also put this relish on some shrimp tacos the other day-which was equally as fantastic. It's really suitable for any type of taco, if we're being honest. Eat it with tortilla chips as guac, too. Or as an additional garnish for your nachos. Whatever, eat it with eggs for breakfast...or on a baguette...on potatoes? That could work, like baked potato bar...sub it for salsa. Yep. N - E - THING. It's so good. I promise you'll love it. And if you don't., it sure isn't my fault.

Ok, it's late. I'm getting sassy. But seriously. Try this out. And don't pay full price for your produce. Take your Aldi ad to your local Walmart and price match. Or go to Aldi, they have fantastic produce...but Walmart accepts all major credit cards. So there's that.

Ok, happy cooking. Good night, from the Farm.

-The Farmer's Wife

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Chocolate Frosting from a Couponer's Kitchen

Well I am officially off for the summer and after a long winter of working, it's a welcomed change here on the farm! Since we couldn't hit the zoo like I originally wanted to (mostly because we only have one car but also because even though it's May 1 it still feels like February around here!) Jack and I decided to bake. There's cleaning to be done, the house needs organizing...but when I realized he'd been sitting on my bed all morning with the laptop in his face I decided we needed to do an actual physical activity. The cleaning and organizing can wait.

With the farmer out truck hunting and princess down for her nap, it was the perfect time to do a project with my little man. We decided after surveying the supplies in the pantry to make cupcakes. And it dawned on me that my couponing has gotten the best of me. I love baking and it wasn't abnormal for me to have things like cocoa powder, evaporated milk, heavy cream and other baking/cooking necessities on hand at all times. But since I've started couponing, about a year ago now, I am much less likely to have certain things on hand. It made me chuckle because going through my pantry and fridge to find ingredients to make frosting I thought that most couponers would totally identify with me. But I was able to make a few minor substitutions for the ingredients in the recipe for frosting and I made one heck of an awesome chocolate frosting - couponer style!

All the recipes I found needed cocoa powder- but who buys that stuff just to have? Not this girl. But there was an awesome deal on Nestle Toll House chocolate chips at Target not that long ago - came out to like $1.05 per bag - STOCK UP PRICE!! So no cocoa powder at the farm, but plenty of chocolate chips to go around! That got me thinking, so I googled chocolate chip frosting and sure enough a recipe popped up. But it called for cream. Generally I would just sub milk in this situation but I am also currently out of milk - just waiting for the farmer to return so I can run to the store, actually. However, as an avid couponer I always have like 15 bottles of Coffee-Mate creamer on hand, because they're like always free...and when they're free how can you resist from buying an absurd amount? (*NOTE* I do give them to friends and family, I don't just hoard coffee creamer, FYI) But I have like 4 bottles in the fridge, one of which is "Sweet Cream" flavor...which sounds perfect for frosting, no? I'm sure French Vanilla would have worked great too.

So anyways...I gathered my couponed supplies and I made this awesome chocolate frosting:

1/2 c (1 stick) Salted Sweet Cream Butter
1/2 c Sweet Cream Coffee Mate creamer
2 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 c Sugar
1 c Milk Chocolate Chips

In a saucepan bring butter, cream and sugar to a boil. Pour over chocolate chips, add vanilla and beat until cool.

That was it. It was so easy and super yummy! And I almost ALWAYS have those things on hand. That recipe was enough to frost 12 cupcakes and an 8" round...with some left over.

And for those of you who got stuck at FREE Coffee Creamer...check out this or go here. I learned everything I know about couponing from a friend on Facebook, coupon groups and coupon blogs. It's really much, much easier than you think and has saved my family TONS of money! I mean I have not paid more than $5 per pack of diapers for princess - and $5 is high, I usually pay closer to $2-3 per pack. I also got some for FREE, I have a large stock pile of diapers and wipes and it has saved us TONS in comparison to what we spent when Jack was in diapers. Diapers were the reason I started couponing. Now I never pay for things like, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, body wash, razors, cereal, and coffee creamer. Ha, but seriously. I don't. I even taught a coupon class at church once, and it was a huge success, I think I might do it again. We'll see how ambitious I feel while I'm not working this summer.

Ok, so that turned into a whole separate subject. Anyways...here's to summer and lots more fun projects with my kiddos. AAaaaaannnndd here's to summer actually showing up. Gah!

From the cold and dreary farm,

The Farmer's Extreme Couponing Wife