My Handy Food Arsenal

Everyone has staples… things they always have on hand. Most people have the types of staples that you can throw together and create a meal. I do not generally have those types of staples… but I do have things that are always in my pantry/fridge/freezer.


1. Graham Crackers – These are like gold here in my house. They can part seas, end wars, and make people eat their vegetables. Oh and they taste really good too.20140609-192147.jpg

2. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese– Go ahead and judge, but I am sure you can’t be left unattended with the saucepan of Kraft Mac either.

3. Pasta – could be farfalle… may be penne. If i all we have is two half boxes of each,  rest assured it will be both. But we always have pasta on hand. It opens so many doors. Meatless doors, saucy doors and many doors in between. Yup, we like it.

4. Tomato paste/sauce – For marinara, meat sauce, curry, chili… and the list goes on. If it’s not a staple in your house… it prolly should be.

5. Brown rice – We really enjoy our fish and pork chops with a side of brown rice. Not to mention that curry I was talking about really goes well over it.

6. Pierogies – mmm mm mmm , we LOOOOVE  Ms. T’s pierogies. Boiled or fried. Makes no difference. They are a delicious addition to any meal. I have to thank my husband and his East Coast side for introducing me to these delightful potato pillows. They are a mainstay in our home.


7. Peanut Butter – What is life without a spoon and a jar of peanut butter? My mother in law loves us enough to get us organic! You get out what you put in, after all. Which leads me to my next pick!

8. Cereal – sometimes it Cheerios. Most times Trader Joes Coconut, Cranberry Almond cereal. Either way, we can appreciate anything that you can pour milk on and call breakfast.

9. Bananas – Our kids love bananas and now that I’ve found the right way to peel them, it’s even more fun to “Dole” them out…ha ha, get it? Bananas are a little high in natural sugars, but good for potassium and better than many other options.


10. This jar of Jellied Cranberry Sauce – It’s always been there. I imagine a staple is something that’s always there… I haven’t needed it in nine years, but if I do, it’s there.


You see, I really don’t have many staples. Our likes and desires change with the date so I tend to get things by the week. I wouldn’t suggest it. I am hoping that over the next few months I will start planning more menus and using everything I have on hand to make meals happen. Until then, my cupboards are a happy little hodge podge of who knows what. But we make it work.

What are some of the things you keep in your pantry?


This post is a part of the Tuesday Ten Line Up

The Golden Spoons

 Hosted by The Golden Spoons and The Liebers



Frankenbooby and Commercials – Ten Things That Make Me Cry

In honor of National Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day (yes, that is also a thing), this week’s Tuesday Ten link up is all about things that make me cry. Some of them are happy tears. Some are tears of sadness. But these things will absolutely, positively, 100% turn on the water works on this girl.

1. Commercials with Sarah Mclachlan singing
You know the ones. Misty shots of caged puppies shivering in the rain. A kitten playfully bats her paw at the camera. Sarah’s haunting voice dares you to turn away. Seven seconds into this commercial and my face is wet with tears — my mind wondering what those poor animals must be feeling and my heart breaking for the loving home they should have known. I haven’t quite dialed to give yet… but I should.

2. Imitation of Life
This is a wonderful old movie about the relationship between a mother and her daughter. It is also a movie that looks into the more complex problems caused by racism in that era (not that the same issues don’t exist). All in all, an extremely fair-skinned mixed daughter shuns her black mother… and the black mother selflessly bows out to allow her daughter a chance at happiness. I won’t give it all away, but I TRIPLE DOG DARE you to watch this movie without bawling your eyes out. You’ll cry. You’ll cry and you’ll call your mom and tell her you love her. That will be about as far as the conversation gets. You’ll be too emotional to continue.

Imitation of Life Trailer

3. Sonograms
Baby toes are awesome. They are 10x more awesome on an ultrasound screen for some reason. I will never forget watching my little girl in my belly, sucking her thumb and doing somersaults. Whenever I see pictures of my children’s ultrasounds I am immediately taken back to the time they were closest to me. I can’t help but cry (mostly tears of joy) when I look at them then and now. They are such miracles. And I took part in those miracles!

4. Chinese Hot Mustard
It is the most delicious self abuse possible. I can only really describe it as that. I don’t really get a chance to enjoy the food for battling the heat of the mustard, but I can’t help myself. I must always have hot mustard with my chinese food. Tears and snot aside, it’s the only way I can enjoy an egg roll.

5. When My Family Leaves
I love my family. My life is so full of energy and excitement (and happy stress) when I have them near. Every time they come to visit, I promise myself I won’t cry. But after I drop them off at the airport, I get halfway home before the lines on the road get blurry and I break my promise and weep. Some of them are so far! And I miss them all so much. Then I just think about the next time I will see them. That cheers me up… a little.

I  love my family.

6. Most Pixar films
Most children’t films have at least ONE point I want to blubber during. You can judge if you want but to me, that just means you have never seen Up or Toy Story.

7. Stubbing my toe
Cryin’ ain’t the only thing it makes me do. I am more than certain that there is a nerve that leads from the toe to the tears, jumping, and profanity parts of the brain. Sometimes it’s the bed but usually it’s a toy. I hit that toe hard enough and it is INSTANT wailing sailor. A good toe stubbing can reduce a grown man to tears so I don’t feel any shame in that one.

8. Breast Infections
I have been the victim of a number of weird physical ailments. The most notorious, however, would have to be a series of recurring breast infections I first got while I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter. I had a high fever and very sore breast which began to leak the most rancid fluid I’d ever smelled in my life… like it literally woke us out of our sleep. Anyway, turns out, I had a really bad breast abcess that had to be surgically removed and cleaned. I’ve had several since and yeah, they make me cry. The scars they’ve left also make me cry. I’m not a vain person per se, but I am not a fan of my poor mutilated bosom. It sucks but my husband doesn’t seem to mind Frankenboob. More importantly, the first infection was retained in my breast probably to protect the baby. My children are worth the hurt.

My last breast infection last year. Womp Womp

9. Church
It’s amazing to go into a place when you are feeling at your absolute lowest and emerge feeling like there is hope. There is something rejuvenating about being able to open your soul and allow the bad to leave and good to flow in. It is overwhelming to be surrounded by love. I often cry but it is only because I am so happy to be somewhere safe and free from worry.

10. Missing Memphis
I left my hometown 9 years ago this April. I don’t regret leaving. But I do miss Memphis a whole lot. I miss lighting bugs and smelling the moisture in the air. I miss the sound of katydids signaling the end of a summer day. I miss the very specific country dialect. I miss the barbeque. I miss what I know. I don’t cry about missing home as much as I used to but it still happens from time to time.

That sums it up I think. Just be grateful I’m not pregnant or this little list of things that make me cry would have been a novel. I’d like to thank Lisa of The Golden Spoons and Rabia from The Lieber Family for hosting this Tuesday Ten link up. Make sure to go and check out the other things that make them cry too!

The Golden Spoons

If I Could Have Ten Super Powers – Tuesday Ten

Moms, by definition, are super human. We can go for hours without food, days without sleep… we can swiftly maneuver around block towers and are adept at dodging spaghetti and sippy cups. And strength? Let’s just say I never saw Superman at 9 months pregnant

1. X-Ray Vision
I’d love to be able to peer through a wall and see if my son is climbing the curtains or if my daughter has decided to spontaneously disrobe. What I wouldn’t give to prevent the fall out from hijinx behind closed doors. I’m pretty good, but x-ray vision would make me great.

2. Super Speed
I do what I can, but I really wish I could do a lot more. There are only 24 hours in a day and I just can’t seem to squeeze it all in. I always feel like I’m going at full speed, but if I could go just a bit faster I could accomplish more.

3. Stop Time
Quite possibly the only way to solve the lack of time in a day is to simply stop while I accomplish what I need to. I could snatch the falling vase out of the air before it hits the ground. Or grab an extra hour of snuggles with my sleeping littles. Stopping time would be nice indeed.

4. Healing Ability
For when the flu strikes the whole house at the same time… for when Pressy bumps his noggin. I think all mothers wish they had the ability to take away the tiniest amounts of pain. I’m not sure how this power would effect first best friend betrayals, heartbreaks, or losing the big game. I just know I would love to be able to heal. There’s only one person in that business though so… a dream it will remain.

5. Super Stretch Arms
I cannot count the number of times I’ve left the wipes clear on the other side of the room. It is worse than no TP on the roll… worse than a swallow of milk in the carton. There are the wipes in plain sight – and I can’t reach them. Oh the humanity! With super stretch arms I could reach over to the counter and snatch them. But for now, I’ll have to half-way slap this diaper back on the kid and haul him over to the wipes so he doesn’t escape.

6. Invisibility
Aside from this being overall cool, it is a power most nosy people would go for. I wouldn’t say I’m nosy “per se.” I just like to be in the know *wink*. What are my kids really up to when they think I’m not around? What does Mama really think of my casserole? I would imagine I could learn a lot about other people and myself in the process. Growth through resentment formed while spying. There’s a superhero headed for a complex.

7. Ability to Fly
Um. So Who wouldn’t want to fly? I would simply take off from my porch — head west to the wineries or east to the snow. It would be so amazing to have a birds eye view of the mountains. There are some perks to valley living in Sacramento.

8. Telekinesis
How awesome and easy would housework be if it could be done with my mind. With just a thought toys would be put in boxes, cushions adjusted, pillows fluffed. Who am I kidding? I’d use it mostly just to neatly wind the vacuum cord back on the thingies.

9. Psychic Ability
I would love to be able to see what was coming next. The mommy in me needs to be prepared. NEEDS to have control. The truth is even if I had the psychic ability there are still some things I’d never be able to control. But I would maybe hit the lottery… just once… just for good measure.

10. Laser Eyes
Seems impractical… but imagine. Woodburning crafts, lighting birthday candles, renovation, bank robberies, lighting the fireplace, instant grilling, creme brulee torching, cat entertainment joy. Need I say more?

Alas, I am a mere mortal. However, I believe we all possess something super-human within us. Trials of life will test our strength. But our triumphs will prove we are heroes.

The Golden Spoons

Ten Things I Should Say More Often – Tuesday Ten

This week’s Tuesday Ten Link up is inspired by the Kid President’s 20 Things You Should Say More often:

 He had so many great ones I wasn’t sure how I could add to it… especially the corn dogs. Your girl is ALWAYS down for a corn dog. But after some thought, these are the 10 things I Should Will Say More Often:

1. Help
Sometimes it is difficult for me to ask for help. Maybe my pride gets in the way. Perhaps I don’t want to be a bother. Could be I think no one really cares. Regardless of why I don’t ask for help, it isn’t a good reason. Being able to ask for and accept assistance isn’t weakness… it is a sign of strength.

2. How may I help?
I often get wrapped up in my own saga called “life.” I don’t really reach out to others to help me… or to help them. I think this stems from the whole “don’t nobody bring me no bad news” mentality we all have these days. NO negativity. No time for your drama. It happens and none of us like being left alone in the middle of the storm. I can help turn someone’s negativity into the positive instead of turning my back. No flame has ever been extinguished by lighting another.

3. I like your ___
Compliments. SO underrated. I happen to believe that a compliment can turn around anyone’s day. Even if it’s a compliment we give ourselves. Of course the compliment should be genuine, but if you admire someone’s something, say so! It may be the only compliment they get all day… or week.

4. I understand… I’ve been there too
Sympathy is okay. Empathy is better. There is something soothing about someone who has stood in your shoes. You can trust them and you know they truly get what you’re going through. If you encounter someone who is experiencing something you know personally, say so. If only for a moment, they might not feel so alone.

5. I’m proud of you
When I say it I will mean it. When I mean it, I will show it. It is hard to hold on to someone’s failures and shortcomings when you focus on their triumphs and victories. “I’m proud of you” is lovely to hear — and it’s a great thing to say to yourself as well 😉

6. I appreciate you
This one gets forgotten. We don’t show gratitude because someone is simply “doing what is expected of them.” We neglect to remember that our expectations aren’t requirements and what we think someone “should be doing” isn’t our concern. We should take the time to tell them we appreciate them (even if it IS their chore or responsibility).

*I appreciate you Minute Made Papa and grandparents and sister and aunts and friends. You all are amazing.

7. Let’s Go… or NOT Go
Routine is a blessing in a house. Routine is a curse in a house. Somewhere in the transition from party girl to Minute Made Mama, anything that resembled spontaneity packed its’ bags and left. It’s important to break out of the cycle — jump off the hamster wheel you climbed into and do something different. If you’re at home working all the time, GET OUT. If you’re on the go constantly and need rest, STAY HOME. The world will keep turning. I promise.

8. Yes!
Try something new. Do something different. Want to learn calligraphy? Do it. Wanna scuba dive? Make it happen. I will start to say yes to opportunity. It doesn’t always come back (and generally if it does the timing is no better than it was the first time it came a’ knockin’).

9. NO!
As a mother, a southerner, and something of a codependent, people pleasing is my thing. It’s how I roll. And then I wonder why I’m a knotted ball of crazy ready to explode or implode at any second. I don’t have to take on every thing that comes my way. And I certainly don’t have to meet these crazy expectations I (often) set for myself. If whatever it is won’t save lives or feed starving children in Africa, I can say no… and not feel bad.

10. Thank you, Lord.
I think this one is pretty self explanatory but to praise him through the circumstance is to grow spiritually, individually, as a friend, as a mom…. you get it.

Make sure to check out more Top Ten Lists and visit our hostesses The Golden Spoons and The Liebers!

The Golden Spoons