Mastering Mommy Brain » A place for moms to realize they are not alone in their crazy lives and master their mommy brain!

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In Need of a A Deep Breath this December

I have no idea how we got here. When I had my baby girl back in August, my maternity leave, ending in December seemed like it was a million years away. I have no idea how the time came and went so quickly. Looking at my baby girl, I can see how fast it really is going as I have a smiley, gurgling, sweet girl (who is um, still not sleeping through the night), in front of me.

Things have been a little quiet on MMB in the last month. I was hoping this would slip by until one of my blogging buddies asked where my posts had been and reminded me that December is one of the biggest hits months (although apparently my past posts are doing ok and everyone who looks at my site is a lush, because my biggest post for this month, by multiples, is this Cookie martini post:))…and then I had some emails from readers asking if things were ok. Everything is ok (ok in the craziness!) sometimes mommas of three drop off the grid. Well, to everyone except the 3 little people.

This happened mainly because I had a list of things that I was hoping to do on my leave, and well…I kind of left them to do in the last month. I can finally say that all maternity clothes are packed up and out of the house, the bins and bins of outgrown kids clothes are gone, and some other house projects are complete. We also have been hit by all sorts of illnesses in the last two months - Croup, Stomach Bug, Ear Infections, and just plain colds. For a while, it seemed like we were in our pediatricians office weekly and much time was spent comforting kiddos and adults. Add in hosting Thanksgiving, preparing to host Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, running my first 5K, prepping for the holidays with every fun kid Christmas activity possible, oh and finally going live with a little business with one of my closest friends that we have planned forever (more to come on THAT in coming weeks!). With all of that, something had to give, and  when it came to my usual evening writing time, I chose sleep over writing. Oh or Modern Family, Greys Anatomy, or Homeland. Darn you readers who suggested Homeland. We are obsessed!  While I was always good on posting recipes, the cooking went too around our house. Thank goodness the freezer was stocked…although I think now we are just down to frozen breast milk, which really only helps one person in our house!

Everyone is fairly healthy at this point, Christmas prep is just about done, and life is on track (for now!?!). I have worked on putting all the thoughts in my notebook and random text messages to myself into some actual posts. So…MMB will be back in action soon (very soon)…for now though, I hope that everyone is having a wonderful holiday season:)

Sofia Mia Review

Do you know how you have those stores that you always meant to stop into? You heard about it from a friend or you drove by it and it looked cute? For me, that was a local store – Sofia Mia, in Monroe, Connecticut. My dry cleaners is in the same shopping complex, and every time I went to the dry cleaners, I would think to myself – I need to go there. I would then look in my rearview mirror, and would see 3 cute little faces, and know that the timing was just not right.

Photo: SAGE, BEIGE, BROWN AND GOLD TONE BRACELET  Price: WAS: $18.00...NOW: $12.00 Shipping: $5.00 FREE in-store pick up by Tuesday 7pm (coupon code: PICKUP)  Qty: 2  To purchase, comment "Sold" and put your email address, then CLICK LINK BELOW: https://www.soldsie.com/shop/shopsofiamia

I was on FaceBook in the middle of the night on Sunday night, as I was rocking my little miss back to sleep, and noticed that the store was offering Sunday night FaceBook flash sales. I saw the cutest bracelet, at a great price, and wrote those dangerous words…”sold.” While there was a fee for shipping, local pick up was free, and I finally had an excuse to go into the store in person.  Today, I went in to pick up my bracelet (which was all wrapped up in a bag, ready to go once I walked in the door!). Regardless of the fact that my purchase was ready to go, I took a look around, and enjoyed a few minutes of shopping.

I was so so impressed by the clothes in the store – there was an amazing mix – going out, work, casual days…I picked out a couple of pieces (well, maybe more than a couple) with the help of the owner. As a mom to three, she was so understanding of my current body state (not where I want it to be), and helped me select clothing which works for now, but also works when some of the baby weight leaves as well. A gray and yellow chevron shirt with a matching yellow jacket, a black and white polka dot shirt with a red cardigan…oh and don’t get me started on the accessories (they carry one of my favorite local brands of Jewelry – Middle Sister Styles as well!)! Pictures of the clothes to come in the near future…but for now…. I saw a great sign in the store, which made me write this post so quickly….on Black Friday, they are having sales -

8am – 9am: 50% off

9am – 10am: 40% off

10am – ?: 30% off

So, while I don’t buy into all the Black Friday hype….this is one stop I may have to make. Awesome clothes, and supporting a great small business.

 

For my Connecticut readers – I highly recommend visiting the store in person:

380 Monroe Turnpike

Monroe, CT

For my readers further away, I highly recommend liking their FaceBook page to take advantage of their awesome deals.

 

FYI: I did not receive any compensation for this review – I was excited to share such a great find!:)

Cindy - November 27, 2013 - 6:10 am

Thanks for the info on the sale. Not a big Black Friday shopper but I might just have to go here. Love this store!

Thanksgiving Menu and Barbeque Turkey Leftovers

So for the second time ever, all the stars have aligned perfectly (or should I say all the family plans have aligned perfectly), and I get to host Thanksgiving. we alternate holidays between our two families…and we always go to my husbands sisters, and on my side, we rotate a bit. So when it lands on my house in the rotation, i must admit, I am absolutely ecstatic.
The house warm and toasty, smelling all delicious, everyone gathered around the table, football on the TV….it is just the quintessential picture of family holiday to me. The preparations have been started already, because, why not? =)
And due to the fact that I am prepping for Thanksgiving, not much is being cooked in my oven. Today I figured I would share my own Thanksgiving if you are looking for inspiration for a dish, and I would also share one of my favorite post-Thanksgiving recipes.

First up, here is our menu, with a mix of old tried and true recipes, and new ones:

First…the old:

One Roasted Turkey, stuffed with the stuffing muffin recipe (obviously not made into muffins)

Cranberry Sauce (I have been using the recipe on the back of the Ocean Spray bag for 20 years!)

Pumpkin Twice Baked Potatoes

Gravy

Roasted Potatoes

Mashed Turnips

And the new:

One Fried Turkey (my husband is super excited to use his turkey fryer!)

Wild Mushroom-Bacon Sourdough Dressing

Green Bean and Pearl Onion Casserole 

sautéed Leeks and Carrots

Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts

Corn Pudding

For dessert, I will be making a pumpkin roll and my son’s absolute favorite chocolate banana cream pie (yes, that is a chocolate chip cookie crust).

I am going to be pretty busy cooking the next couple days!

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is passing out leftovers, so I know it looks like a lot of food, but I hope that my guests leave with full “doggie bags” as well.  We have found a great way to keep leftovers interesting as well. You know when you are at the point of carving the turkey, and everyone is hungry and itching to start eating? Well…stop. Don’t worry about getting all the meat off. Cut what will work for the meal, and enough leftovers to make everyone content. You are then left with this (beautiful, right?):

Turkey Leftovers - BBQ Turkey

Throw the turkey carcass in the crock pot as you are doing your clean up from your thanksgiving meal for 8-10 hours. The next morning, open up your crock pot, and you will find that the meat has fallen off the bones. Remove the bones, add your favorite barbecue sauce to the turkey, and cook in the crock pot for one more hour. You can either enjoy a turkey barbecue sandwich that day, or put it in the freezer to enjoy at a time when you have forgotten about the Thanksgiving dinner, but need a meal during the busy Holiday season.

Turkey Leftovers BBQ Turkey

I hope that everyone has an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jennifer - November 24, 2013 - 12:58 pm

good idea! I am wondering….do you add any liquids to the crockpot? or turkey carcass only?

admin - November 24, 2013 - 1:19 pm

Turkey Carcass is it! I wouldn’t tell you to cook anything more tricky than that after a thanksgiving feast :)

Ellie {Musing Momma} - December 2, 2013 - 10:14 am

We had brussel sprouts this year, too! I think they are making a comeback. :) I LOVE the turkey BBQ idea. I wish I had read this before Thanksgiving, but I’m pinning it for next year. I have a crockpot chicken BBQ recipe I love, so I’m sure turkey BBQ would be scrumptious too.

admin - December 4, 2013 - 9:37 pm

They are definitely making a comeback (at least with me!! :))

I promise you will love the turkey bbq. Kind of cool too because you already have the turkey going, not much extra work!

Mommy Brain and Potty Training my Little Girl!

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a reader’s potty training story, and shared my hesitation about kicking off potty training with my own little girl. I knew that Mommy Brain and potty training my little girl were going to combine forces to drive me a bit crazy. My daughter is a bit headstrong (no idea where she gets that from) – and I was a bit nervous about trying to teach her to do something that I wasn’t 100% sure she was going to be ready to accomplish.

 

I received some amazing advice from MMB readers to try out a method called oh crap. potty training. A couple of people commented that the method worked for them with little challenge, and hearing that, I downloaded the book immediately.  I will not share too much about the philosophy or method which is suggested by the author, Jamie Glowacki, because I think that you will do better reading her book. And honestly, the $15 is the most well spent money I have spent in the last couple months – I think she should financially benefit because she is so darn realistic and amazing. Also, I had to READ her words to realize that my past approach to potty training was just plain stupid…and I felt ridiculous coming to that realization, so I am going to make everyone else go through that as well. After a couple of days hunkering down at home, focusing on potty training, my daughter is doing awesome. We have had minimal hiccups, and I am really so proud of how well she has taken to everything. People thought I was crazy to potty train with a 3 month old – but I can be sure that if I knew how successful this method was, I probably would have done it when I was 7 months pregnant (haha, I say that now….don’t blame me though if you try it under those conditions and it doesn’t work!).

 

Regardless of how great a method works though, I think that potty training is quite simply, living on the edge. It is tiring, stressful, and exhausting thinking about someone else’s pee and poop all day, and making sure that it goes in the proper place. We have decided to night train her as well, because everything is going so well…which means a couple of bathroom visits during the night. My husband and I talked about this approach, and what we would have to do night one.

 

The next morning though, I was totally confused when talking to him. I told him I took her to the bathroom when my alarm went off the first time, and she didn’t have to go. The same thing happened with the second alarm as well. He then looked at me, and told me he had set his alarm as well….his clock is set for 8 minutes faster than mine is. So, he woke up, took my daughter to the bathroom, came back, went to sleep, and my alarm went off shortly after…I woke her up, took her to the bathroom, and went back to bed.  We never woke with each other’s alarms, or even heard the other person get out of bed. I am thinking that sleep deprivation is working full force in our house:)Our poor little girl though – she totally looked at me so confused…oops!!!

 

Any good potty training stories out there? Any other mommy brain moments to share this week?:)

 

Stuffing Muffins

Thanksgiving is coming, and I am so excited to be hosting the big day. It is one of my favorite holidays, and I am excited to be making some old and new recipes. With 3 kids, juggling the preparations can be a bit tricky, so I have worked on the food already, using my freezer!

Stuffing MuffinsOne of my favorite side dishes is stuffing. I love this version of stuffing muffins, because not only is it a great option for a side dish, but when all of the stuffing runs out (and it always does in my house!), and the turkey leftovers are still there, you can pop one of these in the oven to enjoy.

Here is the recipe…but I would also love to hear if you have any favorite side dishes that you will be making this year for Thanksgiving?

 

 

Stuffing Muffins
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 18
 

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. sausage, casings removed
  • ¼ cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 package corn bread stuffing (14.5 ounces)
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 eggs, beaten together

Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage until cooked through. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In the skillet, add the butter, and melt. Saute the celery and the onions until tender. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage. Add the stuffing, apples, cranberries, salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken broth so it becomes moist, and add then add the eggs.
  3. Spoon into greased muffin cups (makes about 18). Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until brown. Cool, and then remove from the pan. I find it easiest to run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen them, and then remove from the pan.
  4. If you are choosing to freeze, place the muffins in a resealable plastic bag after they are cool. To use, thaw in refrigerator, and then place the muffins on a greased baking sheet. Cover with foil and reheat at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, or until heated through.

 

Alison - November 15, 2013 - 4:38 pm

We always make my grandma’s corn pudding recipe. She unfortunately passed away in 2000 so it’s a way to include her in our Thanksgiving celebration.

[...] Roasted Turkey, stuffed with the stuffing muffin recipe (obviously not made into [...]