I Hate Painting

I hate painting. You know, you start out all fresh and rarin’ to go, and by the end you’re sweaty and dirty and have that damn blue tape stuck on your butt. I had the brilliant idea to paint both of the boys’ rooms. I did J’s first. Since it was summer, I thought I’d just move the furniture out from the walls and do one wall a day. Nice and easy. It would give it time to dry in this humidity, and I wouldn’t have to do any heavy lifting to get stuff out and I wouldn’t need tarps. Well, it took me a week and a half to finish his room, and it looked like a hurricane hit it the entire time. But I finished. It’s a beautiful turquoise-y blue with glossy black trim. Then I decided to get crazy with T-Lo’s room. He picked purple, but his room is dark with just one small window. I didn’t want it to look like a dungeon, so we did opposite walls in a grape purple, and the other two are a pale gray. So pale it just looks white to me. What a pain in the ass. He has a loft bed so I needed help with moving that to the other side of his tiny room. It left me with just enough room to fit around it and paint. It was awkward and hot and it sucked. I just finished and it looks great. I have to take the doors off next weekend and paint those and the door trim, since I didn’t do that yet. It’s been 2 weeks for just T-Lo’s room! So yeah, I hate painting.

And now to completely change gears. Wanna know what we’re eating this week and next week? Here goes:

Monday–Bison Shepherd’s Pie. My own creation and I may post this because it was so good! I started out trying to make sweet potato latkes but they weren’t holding up in the pan, so I scrapped it and saved the mixture. Then I browned up the bison with onions and spices and made a little gravy in it too. I topped it with the sweet potato mixture and it came out awesome! The boys ate it and Mr. Dawn liked it too. Bison was a manager’s special at the grocery store. I picked up 3 pounds for 1.99 a pound!

Tuesday–Spaghetti Squash with meat sauce

Wednesday (today)–Bone in pork chops in a mushroom sauce

Thursday–Colcannon. Our weekly starchy potato allotment. Bacon, potatoes, cabbage, onions, and cheese. Heavenly.

Friday–Mr. Dawn’s favorite: Burgers!



Meatless Monday–Greek Salad

Tzatziki Tuesday–Salmon with tzatziki sauce

Wang Chung Wednesday–Chicken stir fry of some sort

Thrilling Thursday–Bone in Pork Chops…I think maybe breaded with spiced up almond flour? Maybe a compound butter for them as well?

Fromage Friday–Chicken breasts in goat cheese sauce

A quick update on the diet and exercise goals….I’m doing well. I’m down 4 pounds which is nice, but I don’t even really care about the number as much as I care about how I feel. I’ve been feeling like a sloth lately, and it’s nice to feel lighter and peppier. Can’t wait for school to start and get back to some sort of regular routine!!


Winding Down or Gearing Up?

I guess both, since summer’s winding down and we’re gearing up for school here at PD headquarters. I start school the 29th, a full week before my boys. Which is very annoying, since Mr. Dawn has to take off from work to watch them while mama gets her academical on. He has the vacation time, so it’s better than hiring a sitter for the week, which would be pricey! I’m going to a new campus this semester for my chemistry class. My school has 3 different campuses, and this will be number 3 for me. The second class (precal 2….again….don’t ask) is at the main campus which I’m totally familiar with, and the last class is online. That last class is also my first official ‘teacher’ class. Intro to Education! Yay for being taught to teach!!

So we are all getting ready. J needs new sneaks and the last bits of his school supply list. I have all my books and notebooks and my favorite mechanical pencils. T-Lo doesn’t need to get ready, he doesn’t have a supply list and he wears a lot of hand-me-downs. I usually pick up a few new things for him, but the first days of school all they wear are their summer stuff anyway, so we’re not in a rush. I also managed to perfect my pencil skirt pattern, so I whipped up a few new ones to rock the pin-up girl look while taking notes and raising my hand to ask relevant questions 😉 Hey, moms need new school clothes too!!

I have to say, this summer I didn’t really play as much as I wanted to. However, I read a lot more than I did last summer, so I accomplished something! I also think that this summer caught me off guard as far as diet and exercise go. It started in June when J had mono, then went steadily downhill from there. I had a few fine moments, but I’d say the 80/20 primal rule was more like 65/35 the past few months. Eek. Not good. I will say though, moving forward, I think better preparation for summer madness is in order next year. I got off track and never really got back on fully. This is another reason I’m looking forward to the school year. I have a set schedule, less junk in the house for the boys (and me), and I’ll be busier with school/studying/chores/activities.

Speaking of activities…..both boys are taking swim classes, J is probably going to start drum lessons, and I’m looking into either acro or some dance lessons for T-Lo. With T-Lo’s energy and pending ADD/ADHD diagnosis, the developmental pediatrician says that more physical activity is the way to keep him (and us) happy and calmer. I know, I know, developmental what? ADD? When did this happen? Long story, but I started noticing some things a few months ago, talked to his school and the district, had a meeting, and voila, here we are. I was going to do a whole post on it, and I may later on, but it’s still sort of new and I haven’t sorted out my thoughts yet.

Well, there you have it. Nothing from me except menus for ages, then BAM, you get a nice little update on how life really is in this crazy house. Enjoy these last days of freedom, ice cream trucks, sunscreen, beaches, barbecues, and kids up your you-know-what 24/7. I know I will.

This Is What We’re Eating This Week

I decided the title for this post because I’m tired of typing “Menu” or any variation for the…well, the menu post!

I have a lot to write about, but we just got home and I need to A: get the pics loaded up, and B: get my thoughts organized. So, here goes, hot off the presses!!! The Primal Dawn Menu!!!!!

Monday– Homemade Sloppy Joes. J requested this last week, but I forgot we’d be gone and we missed it.

Tuesday– Chicken fajitas. No tortillas, silly! Just a hot, steamy bowl of awesomeness!

Wednesday– Tuna patties. J loves these, and I don’t like to do too much tuna due to mercury levels, but it’s yummy and quick and we all like it.

Thursday– Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad. I loved the new dressing, and we really like this quick meal on a hot day.

Friday– Thai pork wraps. I am totally digging making stuff to put into lettuce “shells”. Try it. You’ll like it.

Do you plan your week’s food or do you wing it? I used to think it was a little OCD, but now I really like doing it, it’s kind of a little ritual to get prepped for the week. It takes almost no time now that I’ve got it down. I keep a record of all the menus in a little pad, and I can go back and see what was really a hit and what wasn’t, and refer to it when I’m stuck for inspiration. We do most of our protein shopping at a warehouse club (until our grass-fed beef comes) so I have most of the meat we need on hand, it’s just adding produce and spices. That is how I make my grocery list for the week…..okay, who am I kidding, I go to the store almost every day!!!! I like to see what looks good and what’s on sale and I just like to get out of the house by myself for a few minutes. That would be without kids. By myself. All alone. Love me some alone time.

Menus For The Week and The Most Funnest Thing Ever

Okay, menus for the week. Hey, I’m just curious, but would you guys like it if I told you where I’m getting these recipes? Some are from online sources, some are cookbooks, and some are all me. It recently occurred to me that I’m not giving you the lowdown on where I am getting these recipes.

Anyway, here we go:

Meatless Monday–Butternut Squash in Green Curry Sauce (The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley)

Tuber Tuesday–Chili Cheese Fries….*sigh* this is great comfort food and I try to minimize the damage by using Cascadian Farms organic fries (just fries and salt and oil and apple juice to prevent browning) and making my own chili (no beans, of course)

World-Tour Wednesday– Asian Infused Lettuce Wraps and Chilled Moroccan Tomato Soup
THitalian THursday–Primal Chicken Parmiagiana….is it parmigian or parmigiana? I almost typed “Parm”. I also couldn’t come up with a clever alliterative name for this day. This is my own creation.

Kid-Friendly Friday– Homemade Sloppy Joes….bun-n-none stylee, aka buns for the wee ones and none for the older peeps. This is also a recipe from food.com, but you can find a simple recipe anywhere I think.

There you have it.

Okay, on to The Most Funnest Thing Ever. Geocaching. We went out Friday to a park and we attempted 4, since we had J with us and he gets whiny/hot/tired/bored quickly. You gotta pace yourself with kids. I say we attempted 4 because we only found 2. The first cache we tried we just couldn’t find. Then we got our first multicache, which is where you go to the coordinates for the first part of the cache, and that cache will have the coordinates for the second part of the cache, where you will log your name and trade swag. I find it hysterical that I was with Mr. Dawn and J, two of the male variety of human, and yet this Primal Mama was the only one who would just go into the brush! I’d get a stick and push the stickers and branches aside, with them following closely behind after I had done the dirty work. Sheesh. But I had so much fun with them! The second one we didn’t get was because we followed a trail near one that we had gotten, but it started circling the wrong way and it was taking us back to our car, so we just headed back. This is the outing where my homemade bug spray saved the day! I will tell you though, having a head of hot pink hair attracts the bugs like crazy. They were hovering around my head, but not the guys’. I still didn’t get bitten, but next time I’ll wear a hat!

I Should Just Write My Own Damn Cookbook! And An Update…

I have this slowcooker book. Actually, I have two from the same author. One is regular, one is vegetarian. I tried a Stuffed Chile Casserole from the regular book. What a disaster. First off, I don’t know if my technique was wrong or what, but I roasted the poblano chiles in the oven on 500f just like she instructed. They became very dark and black and puffy. I covered them with a damp towel and let them sit for about 10 minutes, just like she instructed. I then attempted to get the skins off, lop off the top and scrape out the seeds…..as she said, “try to keep the chiles whole for stuffing.” Yeah right. I don’t know what this lady’s thinking. The recipe said it serves 4, I bought two extra chiles and it was still only enough for Mr. Dawn and me. *eyeroll* This isn’t the first time her recipes have been “meh”, either. They are very much hit or miss. I made a potato cheese soup once. Well, I tried to make it. After letting it sit in the cooker for the hours specified in the recipe, they were still raw at dinnertime. I had to scramble to make dinner. I just wonder sometimes if these cookbook authors really test their recipes or they just cobble them together and assume it will work! I’m not naming names, because I’m not about bashing someone, but man, I’m about to throw these books out!!! /rant over/

I’m still working out. I only did 2 Body Rocks this week, but I am planning on another one this weekend. I love those workouts. They are intense and leave me positively spent afterwards. The hula hooping fell by the wayside this week, but there’s still a day and a half left for the week, right?? It could happen.

Even though I only worked out twice this week, I made up for it by geocaching for a few hours yesterday. We had our first multicache! This is a cache where you find the cache first with your GPS, then that cache has the coordinates to the actual logged cache. It was very clever. The first cache was a puzzle. We had to squat down on the ground and put it together and then program the coordinates into the GPS. So the exercise was just hiking/walking all around, swinging a stick for the bushwhacking. We try not to leave too many marks, but in summer the overgrowth around caches can be pretty thick. We all had a great time, but I wasn’t too crazy about the bugs, so I think fall and winter are going to be my best geocaching seasons.

Oh, I’ve been experimenting with natural bug spray and I think I have a good one to tell you all about. I tried using baby wipes that I dribbled lavender and tea tree essential oils on. That one didn’t seem to work very well, we still found a few ticks on us during geocaching. I was trying to figure out how to do this, and you know what popped into my head? My Misto olive oil sprayer! Yep. I don’t really use it anymore because I don’t cook with extra virgin olive oil due to it’s becoming unstable and rancid at high temps. So I put in some witch hazel from the drugstore, then I added a lot of drops of tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and lavender. I then pumped it up and we sprayed ourselves before heading out. AND IT WORKED! No harsh chemicals and we had some bugs flying around us, especially my hot pink hair (I think they bugs thought I was a flower!), but nobody got bitten. I don’t really have a ratio for you guys, but I’m telling you, just use the oil sprayer and mix up your own bug repellent. There are lots of sites to help, and here’s a nice one. Down with DEET, up with Mother Nature!!

I also thought I’d update on my hair and body products. I’m still doing the Oil Cleansing Method. I haven’t broken out once since starting, and that’s something since it’s very muggy and hot here in New York now. I don’t even have to use moisturizer most of the time. I will dab a little on if I feel tight, but that’s not very often at all now. The whole family is using Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap for bathing/showering. We use the one made for babies, with no added scent. I kind of miss my smelly soaps occasionally, but it’s really not a big deal. So the hair…..well, see, I dyed my hair bright pink, and I need to use shampoo made for dyed hair. BUT….I am using a more natural one without the sulfates.

So that’s all the news from Primal Dawn Headquarters!! How’s your summer going??