Sunday, July 28, 2013

Primanti Bros. Kid

How many of you don't know what Primanti Bros. is? Well if you live near Pittsburgh, then you probably grew up knowing exactly what they serve and what to order - I grew up about two hours from Pittsburgh and knew at a very young age about a Primanti's sandwich. For those of you that might not know, it's an awesome place with the original restaurant in the Pittsburgh Strip District, being most famous for putting coleslaw and french fries on the sandwich. 

The restaurant was featured on the Travel Channel's Man vs. Food - when the reason for putting everything on the sandwich was given - truckers that were traveling needed a quick way to eat and only use one hand to do it while driving.

Anyway, I'm not sure I know of anyone that doesn't love this place and if you've ever been to Heinz Field or PNC Park to have a sandwich, well please go to the restaurant - it's a whole different experience and in my opinion so much better. My husband and I have been to the restaurants several times and he always gets one if we go to any Pittsburgh game but at this most recent outing the whole family went. We went to the Primanti's in the South Hills because we were in the area for my son's doctor my son decided he wanted pizza, they have a large menu at this location. Well..."it is the best pizza I've ever had." He was crazy about it and pizza is probably his favorite food (besides chocolate) so he has a lot of comparison. He talked about how great it was through our entire lunch. 

When we were leaving he asked his dad why we don't go to that restaurant more often, his dad and I explained it's really not close our home and we actually don't go out to eat a lot because it's sometimes difficult to take kids out to eat. Anyway, he had the perfect solution - "let's move closer to the restaurant, daddy you can just drive further to work and then we can go there for pizza all the time." I tried my hardest not to laugh out loud but it was so cute because he hated the process of moving when we did it in February but he would completely go through it all again to live closer to Primati's. 

If you haven't tried it, please do and let me know if you love it as much as we do. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Momma's Little Gardener

After canning the peppers, my son and I decided we would try to freeze some of the green beans from the garden. He was not very interested in helping me pick the beans off the plants, mainly due to the fact he didn't want to search for the largest ones. We do have a couple really little beans in the mix but now there is a variety.

When I picked all that I thought could and came inside the little guy stood on a chair at the counter and helped me snap off the ends to get them ready to boil.

While he was busy snapping I got the large pot of water boiling. We placed all of the beans in the boiling water for about four minutes and while we were waiting those quick couple of minutes my son got the ice bath ready.

When we both started to smell the green beans we immediately cooled them in the ice water. This was my son's favorite part, mixing and dunking the beans in the ice. After they thoroughly cooled we placed them into the freezer bags.

This is such an easy process and perfect for a five year-old because other than the boiling water, he can help with everything. An additional bonus was that when his dad came home from work, he was able to go through the step by step process and tell what he did to help.

Insanity Exercise - Update

If you ever need or want a complete butt kicking workout, I really recommend the Insanity program. It's crazy, my husband and I are now on our third week of workouts and while I sometimes dread what we are going to do, at the end drenched in sweat and thoroughly exhausted, I feel so much better. Stronger! This week our workouts begin late at night because of the shift my husband is on and the kiddos need to go to bed first. Even though it's only been two days, this has been the most difficult week thus far to even be halfway motivated. However, I refuse to stop because I'm tired, I am slower than what I should be but I'm still pushing.

The workouts are tough and a decent amount of variety, although if you don't like jumping or if you have bad knees or hips this program may not be for you. I am enjoying getting my heart rate up, sweating a ridiculous amount, and found out that I love working out with my husband. The only bad thing, while he pushes himself exceptionally hard he constantly tells me to take a break, go easy, and would completely let me slack. This is difficult for me because I need and prefer someone yelling at me to do better and work harder.

One other thing,  I didn't take the before photos but my body hasn't changed because I eat horribly. So if you want this workout program to really work and benefit you, your diet is extremely important. My husband has lost weight (and he wasn't overweight in any way to begin with) and you can clearly see that he's becoming toned. And yes, I'm insanely jealous but I also know it's because of what I'm putting into my body.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bye Bye Baseball Season

This baseball season has come and gone extremely fast and I don't think anyone in our family was ready for it to end. Tonight we had to turn in the pants and belt so the season really is over whether we like it or not.

My son started out being so excited about being on the baseball team but not focusing at all on the actual practice or game. At the start of the season he was four years old soon to turn five and I know that age of kids generally have short attention spans but my kid seemed to have a shorter one than anyone else on the entire team. I spent a ton of time telling him he needed to pay attention, look at the batter, quit playing in the dirt and if you don't watch the ball you are going to get hit. His dad would even give him pep talks before practice and games - swing the bat hard, run as fast as you can and when you are in the field pay attention to where the ball is.

The first game was kind of a disaster. I think he was highly intimidated by the crowd, nervous about the first game and the kids weren't quite all friends yet, the team had only practiced twice. Each game he gained more confidence and started to really like playing. He especially liked playing more when daddy went to the games.

He started out only being able to hit off the tee and barely trotting to first base to actively swinging and hitting off the pitch and sprinting around the bases. We still have a long way to go but compared to where he started the season (never playing before the first practice) and where he ended the season was a huge improvement.

First Garden, First Peppers

This year my husband wanted to plant a small garden, he talked a lot about it to me and our son but had discussed waiting until next summer. I wasn't necessarily keen on the idea of starting a garden this year so I avoided the conversation and didn't ever bring the topic up. However, as you can clearly see from the post's title, we have a garden. I was extremely apprehensive because little potted flowers don't do well when I take care of them.

My husband planted beans, banana peppers, bell peppers and tomatoes. We thought he planted hot peppers but they are all banana peppers, we were kind of disappointed about this but we'll know for next year. Our family doesn't eat a lot of tomatoes unless they are in salsa but one year I juiced a ton of tomatoes to can the sauce for chili. My husband loved the taste and ease of having huge mason jars already prepared. So we have seven tomato plants and because this is our first time even having a garden we weren't really sure what to expect or how many we will get.

Our first garden.
I have to be completely honest, I wasn't actually sure we'd get anything to grow, I mean I know nothing about gardening. Nothing! But my husband is a natural.

Well the first thing our garden produced was two red ripe tomatoes. I can't even begin to tell you how excited and pleased I was that things grew. I spent a lot of days weeding our tiny garden - enough that it almost became an obsession to keep all the weeds out. In hindsight we should have sprayed weed killer all over before we planted anything but we are learning as we go.
Kids with first tomatoes
from the garden.

A few days after the tomatoes we also had about four banana peppers. We ate those but decided with the next batch that were ready to be picked I would try to can them. I searched multiple blog sites and popular recipes for jarring them but remembered that my aunt and uncle jar hot peppers each year and they are delicious, plus they stay super crispy, crunchy.

Their recipe is very simple but has been very effective for them; I'm hoping it works for me too.

Hot Peppers
Boil together:
1 Quart Vinegar
1 Quart Water
2 Cups White Sugar
2 Tablespoons Oil
Put peppers into jars with 1 clove peeled garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in each jar.
Pour HOT brine over peppers and put lids on, no need to cold pack.
Makes about 7 - 8 pints.

Now because we only had enough peppers for four small jelly jars I cut back the recipe to fit my needs.

My fingers are crossed that they stay good and crunchy, please keep yours crossed for me.

Banana Peppers

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Flying Monkey 5K

I have recently signed our entire family up for the Flying Monkey 5K Race in August and my son is beyond excited.

A couple of years ago our son, that just had turned two years old, my husband and I participated in my first ever 5K walk and I wasn't entirely sure I would make it. (Previous post.) But I did, we all did. Then last year we participated in another and instead of riding in a stroller our son walked or ran the majority of the three miles. My husband only carried him a small amount because when people cheered our son on, he ran as fast as his little legs would carry him. It was fun to watch and I was pretty proud that he did so well. And he received a ribbon for participating - he was just ecstatic and fully exhausted as you can clearly see in the picture.

Now, each summer he begins to ask if we can do another race and this year we chose the Flying Monkey - mainly because of the name. Who doesn't want a shirt that has a flying monkey on it, well I'm hoping it has a flying monkey on it. This year I believe he will be able to walk the entire time, and as a bonus, the course is completely downhill so I only have to push a stroller down the hill, not up! I'd be kidding myself if I only said our son is excited because I'm looking forward to our whole family participating.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Body After Baby

Today I was given clearance from my doctor to resume all activity that was restricted due to a c-section, and my husband and I had decided to do the Insanity Workout program as soon as I was able.

So, today we started.

The first workout day is only a Fit Test to give you a baseline of what you can do, or maybe I should say, what I can't do. It's only 30 minutes and there is a warm-up and cool down. I thought how bad can this really be...the test has eight exercises that are each a minute and you are to keep good form but go as fast as possible. You rest in between each exercise but by the time I was finished, my butt was kicked. I mean really kicked! I'm looking forward to trying tomorrow's exercise AND a little worried about even getting through it. Wish me luck.