Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sunoco Feature Win tickets to Dover!

As the Summer comes to a close, we could all use a little extra fun!  I've blogged about Sunoco in the past and they have another amazing promotion!

Sunoco is giving away free tickets to the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway

To enter to win two free tickets, follow the four steps listed below:

1.     Fill up at a Sunoco 3 times between August 15th and September 15th. 
2.     Text "SUNOCO" to 811811 and follow the prompts
3.     Text images of the 3 qualifying fuel receipts or upload them www.gotodover.com
4.     Get 2 free tickets to Dover!

Of course to find locations to fill up you can visit Sunoco's gas station locator here: http://gosunoco.com/gas-station-locator/

Good luck!
Jessica 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

School Days

It's been a busy week here, I can hardly believe it's only Wednesday!  It's funny how our last Summer vacation days have seemed to pass in a blink of an eye.  Here's a little bit of what's going on around here…

The Northeast has been experiencing a bit of a heat wave. After temperatures barely making it to 70 last week, the past two days have been most certainly Summer-like. We spent Monday at the beach enjoying some glorious weather. The girls chatted and played in the sand with friends and did a little boogie boarding for the very first time.  There were some major waves and although it was a little stressful for the Mamas, a good time was had by all.  Yesterday was equally as beautiful here, with temperatures in the upper 80s and blue skies.  It seemed like one last gift and a wonderful day for relaxing and riding bikes.  Today looks to be the warmest this week, with temperatures expected to reach 90°. Our first day of school outfits have been altered to ensure warm weather comfort and their water bottles will be packed with ice.  The girls are happy to wear a couple of pretty sundresses so it was an easy switch.

If you couldn't tell, we are still without our family computer so it's certainly been a challenge. It turns out that we had a couple of issues with our hard drive and although it is getting repaired, it's certainly not as quickly as we would like. Again, I'm reminded of how dependent I have become on my computer,  my frustration level has definitely risen when trying to access emails via my $140 notebook computer.  I suppose you definitely get what you pay for and I'm lucky to have something to use. Then again, it makes things difficult, pictures for example…not the easiest from that or an iTouch but you know me, I'm always up for a challenge.  Speaking of pictures, I'm sorry that my posts lately have been seriously lacking any.  It took me almost 15 minutes but I was able to load this one for you…
Yes, that is a snow filled picture and yes it was the only one I was able to access on my iTouch.  I don't know what that's about but didn't want to disappoint ;-)

Finally, its the first day of school for us today. I've written over the years about how quickly time goes by, I think if you're a mother you have those moments where you can hardly wrap your head around how quickly your children have grown. It's certainly bittersweet and most difficult sometimes but it's all part of the process. I tried to take a new approach to it:  I tried not to think about it too much, I tried not to get stressed out about it but of course it has always been there in the back of my mind.  The past couple of days have been quite emotional for me in particular. Of course the kids don't see that, to them I'm just as excited as they are for their first day and when my oldest confides in me that she is anxious, I listen and help her find coping mechanisms to get her through.  It's a transition year for us, meaning a new school for my oldest which leads to a new schedule and a lot of changes for all of us.  Luckily for us, we were able to spend time last week at her new school so she could get acclimated to things, she's met her teacher who is warm and welcoming, seen a lot of friends and was able to navigate the halls before they are filled with 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders.  I'm not gonna lie, part of me feels sick to my stomach when I think about her going and part of me feels excited for her new beginning.  This big change means she will have new opportunities, meet new friends and have access to wonderful learning resources.  She's beyond thrilled to have music and chorus every day, have access to a huge, new, beautiful art room and take part in more school activities. That's what I'm going with, I think it's a constant struggle with whatever schooling you choose, whether you opt to homeschool or not, send them to private or public… I think so many moms have similar feelings when a new school year rolls around.  For me, I hope to make their first day special and memorable and I'm sure today will drag on at a rather slow pace as I'm anxiously awaiting their arrival home from school.  If I get too emotional, I'll simply think back to our wonderful, lightning quick Summer and all the special time we have had.
Here's to new beginnings!

Have a great day!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Garden

I'm not sure what to think about our garden this season. It seemed like we got off to a slow start because of the cooler temperatures this past Spring. Then the poor veggies seem to go through a heat wave in early July followed by a lot of rain, another heatwave and then an extreme cooldown.  I suppose they can't help but be confused.

This week we seem to have an abundance of cherry tomatoes which is what I expect this time of year and we also have some delicious lemon tomatoes which are bright yellow and the girls are gobbling them up.  We continue to have a lot of summer squash and tend to pick them while they're still a little smaller because we prefer the taste at that point. It's definitely slowing down now as the temperatures have been cooler, especially in the evenings.  The cucumbers are sort of oddly shaped, and I'm not sure why this seems to be the case almost every year. They are almost rounded. Still, they are quite tasty and I won't complain when I have the opportunity to pick my dinner.  I'll continue to pick green beans as they have all summer long, their favorite is the stripy purple beans.  Overall, this growing season has seemed to fly by just like our Summer!

On the agenda for this week is to hopefully make a couple loads of delicious zucchini bread and freeze the rest of it for cooking later on this fall. I also I'm planning to make a batch of pesto which is one of our family favorites and judging by the amount of basil I have, we should have enough for at least a couple of meals.

A lot of people have talked about pulling their garden and replanting for Fall crops and I sort of am going back-and-forth about that. On one hand I feel like I still have some time, maybe a couple weeks left when I'm getting fresh tomatoes and a little more produce out of the garden. On the other hand I wonder if it would be smart to pull some of the crops and plant lettuce and spinach?  If any of you out there are reading this, I would love to hear your feedback regarding that process.  Part of me feels like it's the end of the Summer so it should be sort of the end of my gardening and time to refocus back inside but I'm not sure.

I hope everyone is off to a wonderful Monday, we are off to enjoy one last beach day before we head back to school this week.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Salsa!

This week has been particularly Fall like here on The East Coast. There is a definite change in temperature and humidity is virtually gone. Not exactly my wish for our very last week of school vacation but it has been sunny and warm enough so I really shouldn't complain. I still envision kids in the sprinkler at this point but it's just a little too chilly for that right now.  With the change in season and everything that goes along with that I feel the stress of trying to get all of the last things crossed off our Summer "to do" list. Every year I say the same thing: Summer flies by too quickly!  We have to make the most of it! We've had a wonderful Summer, with lots of laid-back days, fun times with friends and family, and sweet moments as we welcomed our puppy into our family.  That being said, we still have a little bit of time to make a trip out to the farm for peach picking, a trip to our local stand for fresh corn, more bike riding and a visit to the playground.

There is just something about the freshest, local produce that I miss all Winter long and that has me scrambling to make all of my favorite recipes before those foods are no longer available. At the top of my list? Fresh salsa!  Salsa is absolutely one of my favorite things to make and my "go to" snack. I absolutely think I could live on chips and salsa alone...throw in a little extra protein and I'm a happy camper! I've shared some of my favorite salsa recipes over the years, here are a few of my favorites:
Corn Salsa
Fruit Salsa
Black Bean Salad
Of course I've probably pinned an additional 500 various salsa recipes and a few weeks ago my friend gave me another yummy option which was easy and delicious. I altered it a little bit to use local ingredients but this chunky salsa is something you could make all year round. Living in the Northeast that is wonderful since I won't have a chance to buy local all year.  I love having options that will work for me throughout the year.  I was also considering going up to our local farmstand and grabbing some of their corn and just cutting it off the cob for freezing.  Never having done that before, does it work?  How yummy would that taste while watching the Super Bowl and routing on the Patriots ;-)?

Black Bean Salsa
1 can black beans, drained
1 can black eyed peas, drained and mixed
1 can corn mixed (you could use frozen or fresh too)
1 can petite diced tomatoes drained or fresh
1/2 red onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 can diced green chilies or jalapenos
1/2 cup Italian dressing (the recipe called for 1 cup but I used 1/2 cup of Newman's Own Lime and it was delicious!
Mix it all up and enjoy!
So for now we are making plenty of fresh and yummy salads and enjoying the last moments of Summer as they come to an end. I know Summer doesn't "officially" end until September but when I start hearing those school buses go by, I know the we are back to our schedule and the days will bring new moments and a routine.  Now to enjoy it, that's the goal!
 
Designed by Delxue Designs