Friday, July 31, 2009

My insanity knows no bounds

So I blogged about the company my husband and I are setting up. I wont say the name but the scoop is that we(meaning T) will be designing and programming the games and we(meaning me) will market to mobile device users-iphones, blackberries, google phones, etc.
This has kept us very busy and I am handling the business end such as getting our LLC paperwork done, getting tax info, writing a business plan. Well I get the brilliant idea that this would be a great time to start selling my crafts! yay, I am an idiot!!! I've been making bows and hair accessories for a few months now and I get lots of compliments on them and people ask where I bought them, so I thought it might be a good idea to put a toe into the craft market. So now I am setting up an etsy store; trying to get approved for local craft fairs, woohoo got into one BTW, and figuring out all the other jazz such as taxes and pricing. My husband thinks we are crazy but we are both type A ambitious people so I guess it makes sense.

Speaking of crafts, I want to share a little project I did.

Take a $5 lamp
plus a $3 can of silver spray paint

and you have a brand new lamp!
It is the one on the right. I had a matching set of the lamp on the left, but I lost one in the move. I was so upset but I think the new one has the same sort of feel. Not bad for $9, right? I picked up a chair last week that needs some TLC, I will post pics when I am done with it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What do you need for twins

I see this question a lot and I get asked it a lot. I thought it would make a great blog entry.

-Baby trend double snap n go.
This stroller only takes infant carseats. It is very lightweight and easy to fold. My girls were in their infant carseats for 10 months so I got a ton of miles out of my double snap n go.

-2 boppy pillows
These are awesome. If you bottle feed, you can put a baby in each pillow and feed them at the same time. If you are nursing, you can use the boppy to nurse. Yeah you can tandem feed the babies but that has a learning curve to it and not everyone can do it. I wasnt able to tandem feed because Ashlyn had a bad latch.

-A really great OB/ Perinologist
I am not a doctor, but I feel like I was an educated patient. We found out about our twins late in the game, 19 weeks, and you best believe that I drilled my OB after that u/s. I asked how many multiples he had delivered, were there practice standards for dealing with multiples, did he view multiples as high risk, how many MoMs to be got to full term?, etc I knew I would be delivering at Magee and I knew that Magee has an outstanding NICU so that did make me feel comfortable. When they discovered the vasa previa, my OB sent me to a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor. I was placed under the care of the Magee MFM and still saw my OB. It is all about good care. I cant tell you how many posts I've seen on multiples message boards that say things like "well my doctor doesnt think I am high risk just because I am having twins", or "My OB doesnt think I need cervical checks". Having multiples is high risk and a patient should be treated as such. 50% of all multiples are delivered early(before 37 weeks) and the risk for preterm labor, pre-e, and other complications are higher when having multiples. Being high risk doesnt mean bedrest, it just means taking extra precautions.

-2 swings
This differs from mom to mom. We actually had 3 swings. Those swings were awesome when we were in total survival mode. Fiona wanted to be held and rocked all the time. I couldnt do it, it was physically draining and I needed to take care of Ashlyn as well. Swings were a lifeline.

-Miracle Blankets
Yes, they are more money than the average swaddling blanket but so worth the $. My girls loved to be swaddled and these blankets made them feel nice and secure and helped them sleep!

-Breast Pump
Even if you exclusively breastfeed and stay at home, chances are you will need to pump. I've only known 2 MoMs who didnt have supply issues. A pump can help boast your supply and create a freezer stash so someone else can handle a feeding

-Baby bjorn/sling/wrap/etc
I wore my girls for months, sometimes two at a time. I could wear them and walk around the house. It helps with bonding and soothing.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1/2 cup KRAFT Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing, divided

1 tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves

Marinate the chicken in dressing for a minimum of two hours

Heat up the grill and cover one half with tin foil.

Place chicken on uncovered portion of grill and cook on one side

At the same time, combine remaining dressing, cheese, basil, and tomato

Place chicken on tin foil covered side of grill, cooked side up, and top with the cheese tomato mixture. Close grill and cook for 8-10 minutes.

Serve with angel hair pasta

You can also cook this in pan. Simply cook on one side, flip over when done and then put on the cheese tomato mixture. Cover it with tin foil and cook.

Spinach & red pepper stuffed chicken

Yummy and comes out to 4.5 points per piece

4 chicken breasts, sliced in half
1/4 cup reduced fat Mozzarella cheese
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 jar red peppers, diced
2 eggs
3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 375
Beat 1 egg for an egg wash and set up your assembly line for dippng the chicken into egg wash and breadcrumbs.
Pound the chicken out to get nice thin pieces. Remember you are going to be stuffing and wrapping them.
In a bowl, combine the spinach, peppers, cheese, 1 egg and the spices. Mix all together. Place mixture on chicken pieces and roll them. You can use toothpick to secure the pieces and make sure the mixture doesnt leak out.
Dip the stuffed pieces into the egg wash and then into the breadcrumbs.
Place on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

WW friendly meatballs & meatball lasagna

I make a big batch of the meatballs(recipes yields 48) and then save some for the lasagna. If you dont think the meatballs are seasoned enough after they are done, just throw some extra dried basil, garlic, S&P on top and bake for a few more minutes.

Mediterranean meatballs

1 jar roasted red peppers
whole wheat bread crumbs 1.5 cups
2 eggs
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 pounds 95% lean ground beef
Salt Pepper cumin Parsley garlic

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine 3/4 of a 12-ounce jar of roasted red peppers, drained and finely chopped; 1-1/2 cups soft whole wheat bread crumbs (about 2 slices); 1/2 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product (thawed) or 2 eggs, lightly beaten; 1/3 cup tomato sauce; 1/2 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed; 1/4 cup snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper; 1/4 teaspoon cumin; 1 tablespoon garlic. Add 2 pounds 95 percent lean ground beef; mix well.

Shape meat mixture into 48 meatballs.
Place meatballs in a foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
Bake about 30 minutes or until done (160 degrees F).
Reserved cooked meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
I served the meatballs with some buttered white rice(brown for me) and a tomato wine sauce-

2 teaspoons Olive oil
1 cup Onion; finely chopped
2 Cloves garlic; minced
¼ teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Fennel; ground
1 teaspoon Dried oregano1 teaspoon Dried basil
⅓ cup Red wine
3 cups Canned tomatoes; undrained (28 oz)-I used tomato sauce instead of whole canned tomatoes
Salt and pepper; to taste
In a saucepan, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic, sprinkle with the salt, cover, and saute on very low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onions are beginning to soften. Add fennel, oregano, and basil and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Whirl the tomatoes in a blender until just pureed and add to the pan. Cover the sauce and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.


2 medium green sweet peppers, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
6 dried regular or whole wheat lasagna noodles
1-1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
1/2 of a 15-ounce container (3/4 cup) light ricotta cheese
1/4 cup soft goat cheese (chèvre) or finely shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
1-1/2 cups purchased light or low-fat tomato basil pasta sauce
1/2 recipe cooked Mediterranean Meatballs (24)
Shredded fresh basil or small fresh basil or oregano leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Place sweet pepper quarters, cut sides down, on prepared baking sheet. Roast, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until pepper quarters are charred. Wrap in the foil; let stand for 20 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, peel skins from pepper quarters. Set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.2.
Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Drain well; set aside.
For filling, in a small bowl, stir together 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, the ricotta cheese, and the goat cheese or Parmesan cheese; set aside.
To assemble, spread 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Layer two of the cooked noodles in the dish. Arrange meatballs in a single layer on top of noodles in dish. Add two more of the cooked noodles. Top with the ricotta cheese mixture, spreading evenly. Arrange sweet pepper pieces over ricotta mixture. Top with the remaining cooked noodles. Spread the remaining pasta sauce over noodles.
Bake, covered, for 50 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with fresh herbs. Makes 8 servings, each serving is 6 points.

Giant chocolate chip cookie cake

The recipe as written makes 7 layers, each being 8 inches. I decided to only make two layers and make them 12 inches. I used an extra large serving plate as a guide.


4 cups all-purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 1/2 tsp Salt

6 Tbsp Butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed Light Brown Sugar

3/4 cup granulated Sugar

3 tsp pure Vanilla Extract

2 large Eggs, plus 2 Egg Yolks

3/4 cup Heavy Cream

3 cups Semisweet or Milk Chocolate Chips , I actually did 1 cup chocolate chips and 2 chips red & blue M&Ms


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Put butter and brown and granulated sugars into mixer bowl; mix on medium until pale and fluffy. Mix in vanilla, eggs, and yolks. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the cream. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. For each of the 7 layers, drop 1 level cup batter onto center of a baking sheet lined with parchment (keep unbaked dough refrigerated). Spread batter with wet hands or a spoon into an 8-inch circle. Bake until edges are pale golden brown, about 8minutes. Remove from oven. Use offset spatula to reshape circle. Return to oven; bake until edges are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack; let cool. Can be stored airtight up to 1 day.


3.Mix cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Spread onto 4 cookies. Stack cookies, placing unfrosted cookie on top. Refrigerate until frosting is set, at least 20 minutes or up to 4 hours. Serve at room temperature.

Stuffed wonton wrappers

This makes a great appetizer and can be tweaked in so many ways.

16 wonton wrappers
1 pound italian sausage
1 red pepper chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Insert wonton wrappers into the muffin pan so as to form small cups. Bake 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow the baked wrappers to cool. Remove from the pan.

In a pan crumble the italian sausage and add the peppers & onions. Cook until sausage is done. add in the cheese and mix. Spoon the sausage mixture into the wonton cups, top with some additional cheese, and then put the pan back in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve Hot

Another variation-
1 pound sausage
1/2 pound crumbled bacon
1 cup blue cheese

Cook sausage and then mix in blue cheese & bacon. Place in wonton cups and bake.

Easy grilled shrimp marinate

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached

Combine all the ingredients in a ziplock bag and then add shrimp. Let the shrimp marinate for 2 hours in the fridge. Place shrimp on skewers and grill.

6 servings, a serving is 10 points


Pesto is a great thing to have in your kitchen. You can toss it with pasta, use it to coat chicken or fish or use it on homemade pizza.


2 cups fresh basil

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

2 cups olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Salt & Pepper

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor; blend until well mixed. Add Salt & pepper to taste.

Stuffed Zucchini

4 medium zucchini
1 medium onion, minced
1 can roasted red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 egg, beaten
2 thyme, sprigs
1/4-1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper
3/4 lb lean ground beef (or chicken, turkey, fish, 1 can of tuna, or other get the idea)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mozzarella cheese-amount varies according to your liking#


1. Wash zucchini, and put in a pot of cold water (do not remove ends).

2.Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes, maybe a little longer depending on the size of your zucchini.

3.Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a fairly large skillet.

4.Sautee garlic first, then add onions, green pepper, thyme, and oregano.

5.When the veggies begin to soften, add ground meat (or whatever you are using), season with salt and pepper, and brown until cooked through.

6.Drain off any exess grease.

7.Set aside to cool slightly.

8.When the zucchini have cooked through, remove from water, and allow to cool enough to handle.

9.Slice cooled zucchini lengthwise, and scoop out center, leaving a little veggie flesh to form a boat.

10Mix ground meat mixture with the red peppers, and the scooped out zucchini (chopped), and the egg.

11.Fill the zucchini boats with the mixture, and top each with some cheese*I use low fat

12.Bake in a 375º oven for 20-30 minutes, until heated through, and cheese begins to bubble and brown.

13.Serve hot

I used lean beef, skim cheese and this was a very WW friendly recipe. Each boat is 4 points.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Things are achanging...

I've been talking about this in passing on FB and emails, so I decided to write a blog post about it. My husband and I are starting our own business. We will be working on developing and selling mobile applications, like games and tools, for cell phones/PDAs. Its been taking up a lot of time lately. We are working till the wee hours, after the girls are in bed, doing research, crunching numbers, etc.
Our goal is to have this be part time for a year and then evaluate our options at that point. Tony is still working at his regular job and I am still at home with the girls. It feels nice to use my education and dust off the old brain cells, but I cant get much done during the day. Its getting to the point where I have to get babysitters for a few hours so I can make calls, email, etc.
Its exciting and scary. While Tony hasnt quit his job as of now, it is a real possibility after the first year.
Just wanted to bring everyone up to speed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This is a complete vent and somewhat TMI

I know I havent been posting, but I've actually been toying with the idea of making this blog public again. Yeah I know, but my logic is that I dont even post much when it is private and I dont post many pictures either. I would really like to start posting my recipes and craft projects.

Well onto the vent. I feel like my body is my own worst enemy right now. My PCP and my OB both feel like I either have a tyroid issue or PCOS. I've had the bloodwork Rx for three months now and have yet to get the bloodwork done. It is not because of my lack of trying. I have no idea when my period will show up so it has been really really hard to plan, especially since I have to fast. The first month, my period was two weeks early and I didnt even have the bloodwork orders yet. The second month testing day fell on a sunday, no way to get bloodwork done on a sunday without a doctor's order-well I would've called my doctor if I had known but AF decided to show up a week earlier than the previous month's. Now we are into the 3rd time and once again my testing day falls on a sunday and AF is once again two weeks early.

I am seriously in tears with the whole situation. I will end up going to test tomorrow(Monday) and Tuesday but I am sure it will throw off the results since my cyccle usually lasts only 3-4 days. Prior to pregnancy, I was regular. I wasnt ovulating a lot but I was regular, but now there is no way to know.

Sorry if this is too TMI, but I know there are some readers out there who deal with irregular cycles. It not only messes with your body but then you worry about going swimming or wearing white or even trying to schedule a yearly exam with the OB.

Hopefully I will get answers soon.

My stress over the tests is totally impacting my dreams. I had a really vivid dream this week that I was in a lot of pain and ended up in the ER. In the ER, they did an ulrasound and concluded that I was hyperovulating, sans fertility meds apparently, and that I had a large number of mature follices( I hope I have the terms right) and that I was in risk of having higher order multiples if I got pregnant. I think my issues with my cycle were totally messing my mind when I went to bed that night. Crazy dreams.