Now I am not one to endorse anything. I also do not get excited easily unless of course you tickled my fancy just right…..but that’s a WHOLE other blog. So roughly a year ago my aunt comes over to visit and brings lots of goodies since I just had the Squids. You know the visit, they bring food, goodies, and then oogling over the baby. Well in her bag of goodies I received some wonderful Organic pasta dishes, bags of steam fresh vegetables (which are a dream for making dinner), bread, Goldfish (a family favorite) and HOLY COW!

Holy Cow you ask? What the hell is Holy Cow, other than a fabulous catch phrase for anything astounding. Well here is what Holy Cow does in my home, with my kids, husband, dog, stains, goober, gunk, grunge, goop, and gobbly gook:
Now picture #1 is after my daughter gorged herself on “cuties” (mandarin oranges), blueberries, cheese, chicken and whatever else she had for dinner that night along with whatever else she had that day. This is a TRUE picture of all the food build-up from the day. As a mom you know that some stains are just outright NASTY and take lots of Spray N’ Wash or Shout or Oxyclean, whatever you prefer, and maybe a good soaking to get the stain out. So I am now armed with my bottle of Holy Cow, I spray the shirt in picture #1. I am not one to do laundry at night unless I can’t sleep, so I let the shirt sit over night in Holy Cow. Picture #2 is after a long nights sleep in the stuff and I do laundry that day. Picture #3 is what the shirt looked like after Holy Cow and Tide. No soaking, no extras, just the Holy Cow and Tide.
Not only is this stuff amazing on stains, but counters, bathrooms, you name it! I personally use the concentrated green formula and the pink. I use it for just about everything and the best part is there is no harsh chemical smell, feel, taste. You know that feeling after you have used a harsh cleaner that you feel like you need a breath of fresh air. Holy Cow has a very mild scent and is fabulous. Check them out for yourselves!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Green Chile Stew Recipe – Cure for the Common Cold

While I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico (yes, New Mexico is a State, the 48th state to the Union I believe and in between Texas and Arizona…..you’d be surprised how many people do not know this), anyway off on a tangent there.

While living in Albuquerque I would thrive, drive for miles, beg, steal, cheat, scrap, slap, bum, cry, and whine for this sacred cure for the common cold. What could be so sacred? What could be the ultimate cure for the common cold?


Ah, yes, green chile stew is the end all, be all, hotter than hell, or milder than mild, open your airways and pump you full of vitamin C while being a tasty Southwestern alternative to chicken noodle. I for one and am not a fan favorite of the boring, old red canned version of chicken noodle. So I opt for the green chile stew. And now with the family down with the sickness, I reached into the depths of my pantry to find the oh so tasty ingredients to make my very own version of a New Mexican favorite. Mind you this is the lazy white lady version of a New Mexican favorite, so I will include the original ingredients in parentheses:

3 chicken breasts (1lb pork), diced or shredded
4 (4oz)cans green chile, hot or mild or both (6-8 large fresh, large roasted Hatch green chiles)
1 Large can of stewed tomatoes, or 1 10oz can of diced tomatoes
4 c. beef or chicken broth or 5 bouillon cubes, chicken or beef
3 garlic cloves
1/2 red onion
3 T. Cumin
1 T oregano
1/2 bag, of cubed frozen hashbrowns, or fresh diced potatoes
1/4 c. (about a handful) of cilantro
1 dutch oven or large kitchen pot

  1. Grill and or brown the meat of your choosing, adding cilantro before completely browned. If browning meat instead of grilling, use dutch oven or kitchen pot to brown, remove meat after browing and cooking thoroughly making sure to keep pot warm.
  2. Add EVOO, finely chopped garlic, and chopped onions, sautee, and brown onions until almost carmelized, then returning meat to the pot.Cook for 3-5 minutes in sautee mix of garlic, onions, and EVOO.
  3. Add 2 cans (or half the chopped roasted Hatch green chile), being sure to stir and reduce heat to medium, medium-low.
  4. Add can of tomatoes, stirring slowly, and during this time add bouillon cubes and or slowly add stock and or broth 1/2 c. at a time, cover and stir slowly from time to time.
  5. Add remaining cans of green chile (or remainder of chopped Hatch chiles), add cumin, oregano and stir thoroughly. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes.
  6. Finally, add half bag of frozen, cubed hashbrowns, stir thoroughly, cook for another 3-5 minutes, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with warm tortillas.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 272 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 137
Calories from Fat 23
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.6g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.6g 3%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 500mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 13.0g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3.2g 13%
Sugars 2.0g
Protein 15.0g

Vitamin A 7%
Vitamin C 27%
Calcium 7%
Iron 15%

DIY Chocolate Covered Strawberries – Last Minute Valentines

For those of you who have procrastinated for Valentine’s Day and are not sure what to give as a gift….I have a solution! My DH HATES and I mean HATES Valentine’s but he plays into the whole holiday for me….even though I truly don’t care for it. But I love the holiday only because he proposed on this day 9 years ago and not over dessert but in the desert! Yup, in the desert, in front of a Jeep, at the base of the Sandia Mountains over looking the twinkling lights of the city. So to celebrate I made some easy do-it-yourself (DIY) chocolate covered strawberries at home.

He did this just when I thought that the whole night was over and he was never going to propose. I was wrong. THERE! I said it…..I was wrong. He will be so pleased. Anyway, off on a tangent, back to the gift idea. FOOD! Yes, food is the best gift when you can’t afford to go out and spend a fortune and you can’t spend a fortune to get a unique gift so here is the gift idea….ready for it………

Chocolate covered fruit! Strawberries always come to mind, but hey, oranges are great, blueberries, bananas, just about any dang fruit out there is FABULOUS in chocolate! So here is you pantry list:

  • Fruit: Strawberries, bananas, anything listed above
  • Chocolate chips or Hershey Kisses
  • Toothpicks
  • Wax paper
  • Cookie sheet or 13X9 baking pan

1. Pour 6 ounces (3/4 cup) chocolate chips or kisses into a microwave safe bowl and melt for 1 minute on HIGH. Stir, and reheat if consistency is still chunky.

2. While chocolate is melting, prick all your fruit with toothpicks. This makes dipping and placing a breeze and cleanup is a snap! Line sheet/pan with wax paper.

3. Start dipping fruit and place carefully on sheet/pan.

*If you want to get creative use a couple different chocolates like semi-sweet and white for fancy designs or different flavors like the picture posted below.

4. Place fruit into fridge for 2-4 hours for chilling and setup (overnight preferred) and VOILA! You have now created a loving gift of food for your Honey Bunny without breaking the bank and who doesn’t just love chocolate on Valentine’s and chocolate covered fruit to boot!

For more last minute foodie ideas that won’t break your bank or require an extra trip to the store feel free to email me at karie@thefivefish.com and I would be more than happy to provide some fantastic recipe ideas. Bet you didn’t have any idea I was a chef!

Before and Not Quite After

So I said like a week ago that I would be playing construction and not sure if I could blog……well let me share the fruits of my labor for the last week(s) or so which includes moving 200 sq. ft. of sh-tuff into my garage and other miscellaneous storage areas in my house. My shed is slowly morphing into what we will call the “pool house” if we ever sell our house. (BTW- We do have a pool to the left of the picture of the “pool house”)

Painting is a slow and go….only because I hate to primer ugly colors…..so enjoy my crasptastic primer job that I am still working on. But the pool house will hold our office and a futon for folks to stay with us and the current office will become 200sq. ft. of play area for my munchkins with all their toys and a twin bed for naps and extra bed space. The huge queen seen in the picture will be moved into G’s room so maybe he will quit sleeping in our room. He sneaks into our bed in the middle of the night since we have a super comfy Seely Posturpedic. So he gets the comfy huge queen. Luckiest 5 year old I know!!

Anyway here is what the interior looks like now….equipped with A/C for those bloody hot summers here in Arizona. Now all we have to do is put up the wall coverings and insulate the ceiling (I did a lot of the insulation with DH….and ALL of the painting by myself). But once the walls go up…..VOILA!!!! Office and area away from the kids. I plan to decorate the area and paint with colors that suggest….um…..whats the word….peace, solace, calm.

The Working Mother

Ah yes the working mom. We know the stereotype as the Mom who works outside of the home. The mom who commutes and holds a “real” job. I can say I have come to resent that whole stereotypical bravado of “the working mom”. I mean really, what am I doing…..sitting on my duff watching soap operas and eating take out?

I used to be the working mom. The stereotype in the expensive suits commuting to the office making me and my bosses lots and lots of money. I would get Starbucks for lunch and have expensive Vodka drinks after work and I would also be the working mom who would pick up her son from daycare. Yup, I was that Mom. I would drive tirelessly home to fix dinner, cawtch up on laundry and miscellaneous house work and get my son and husband to bed and I would finally crash, then I would wake at 5am to do the same thing all over again. Yes, I was the working mom.

But things haven’t changed. Well, my wardrobe has and I added a few kids (by accident, not like I planned for my biology to say “Here, here’s an extra egg smart girl”).
Here is to the true working mom! The undervalued, underappreciated, underpayed, no thanks at all Mom who busts her ass everyday to take care of her children, her home, her husband and show pride in doing so. We are the true working Mom’s.
I used to mock those women who would stay home. Like “What the hell? Yeah, you so do not have it rough lady?” Oh how I ate my words. Yes, one child is such a breeze. Believe me I got so much more accomplished but add a couple more and let me tell you…..well you probably know. The job is hard. Trying to appease three little mob bosses barking at you for more food at the table. Caring for the homeless when those children ask for “money”, “Food” and “a ride somewhere”. Yes, I just referenced children to being like a homeless person. Then add in the mix laundry, housecleaning, running the kids to this function or that, to and from school, yard work, dinner, dishes, then add a couple of screaming kids and you have to stop what you are doing to pay attention to that situation and your whole day can be shot. So the “working Mom”…yeah….that broad has got it easy. I did your job….for many years…..you come do mine and then we’ll compare notes. Until then…..here is to the true working mom and all of our selflessness for caring for the ones we love and showing pride in our home. Way to go Girl!!!

Project Manager

I think that is my new term I will use for everything since I am not treated like the CEO who runs this operation almost flawlessly everyday. Here is how a typical week of operations look like, including G and the Squids:
Sunday: attempt to finish any school projects, follow around kids cleaning up messes, attempt to blog about said messes, feed dog, water dog, brush pool, sigh at weeds that need pulled, make lunch, breakfast, dinner, play clown to Squids, personal assistant to G and Chad, watch my HBO shows, set up coffee for morning, bed.

Monday: Awake @ 3 by Squid Seth, lost bottle looking to crawl and fails miserably, back to sleep until 5 where I stumble for coffee and attempt to wake up alone and in peace only to have said Squid wake up babbling LOUDLY (dada, yaya, lala….squeals in the dark), in shower by 6 or 6:30 to be dressed and ready before G wakes up at 7 to feed him breakfast that he argues about (every morning), get him ready, Squid Sara is awake, load all three in car, drop off G at school, haul back to the house to put garbage can out by street before I miss pickup. Home to look over school, attempt to do some school work, squids down for a nap, take inventory of all dirty laundry (at least 3 loads), make beds, have Pepsi, back to pick up G at 11. Back home, fix lunch, take inventory of perishable and non-perishable food items including those that add to the side of my rear end (because Costco has the best damn cookies EVER!!!), make Costco run for said needed items. Come home, unload, back to Fry’s to pick up small items not needed in bulk from Costco, back home to unload. Fix dinner, play clown and wait staff to the three small mob bosses barking at me from the counter eating. Clean up dinner, baths all around, then bed for the three little amigos, I then pull in the trash can sitting at the curb all day waiting for someone else other than me to bring in. I get to watch some DVR shows with DH (if he is not occupied by War Crack, I mean War Craft) bed.

Tuesday-Friday: Rinse and repeat. Except on Thursday, put out recycling bins instead of trash bin.

Now in the mix throw in doctors appointments for the Squids which is a circus (oh are they twins, oh, oh….SLAP), PTO committees, school functions like the Halloween parade on Friday, picture retakes, school recycling program. I swear, you think that parents are like the parents on TV and from Desperate Housewives….I mean seriously….who is over scheduled here? The kids or the parents? Sheesh!

Add on top of all of this….I have an electrician doing something outside of my home…that I need to check on right now…he is doing what we asked…though I hear funny noises. I have to pick up G in 20 minutes, write two papers this week (BLAH!), cut the last two pieces of trim for my room that DH said he would do Saturday (is it still Saturday?!!!), nail said pieces of trim in, caulk, touch up paint, move bed back, somewhere in there clean my house and find some peace. So as project manager I will delegate all BS projects to DH as I am tired of getting them all done. Which also include making a trip to an e-cycler (electronics recycler) to do my duty to our environment and get rid of the SHIT computer stuff taking up precious space, trekking through Home Depot with the Squids to pick up building materials, and I don’t even know what else!! So, that is my rant for today. Here is what I have done though so I have proof of my hard work!! Now all of these items have been cleared out so the entire shed is EMPTY!!! Ready for the electrician to run lines and us to close in, etc.

McCalls Pumpkin Patch

G was in Albuquerque last week as we all know since I had some free time (HA!) last week. During his stint there Grandma ran him around and they did all sorts of fun stuff. One of his memorable activities was visiting the McCalls Pumpkin Patch in Moriarty with his cousin Colin and Colin’s church day school. Here is how their pumpkin patch visit went along with pictures of BIL #1, G-Mommy (Great Grandma), cousin Colin, and pictures of the hayride. G was able to pick out his own pumpkin which is so cute since it is the size of a softball and he brought home baby pumpkins to our baby pumpkins. Such a great brother! Also big thanks and love to Grandma Bev for setting up the field trip for G for the pumpkin patch and all the great pics!

Playing Construction

I won’t be blogging…..at least I say that now….for a few days as I will be playing construction to my home along with junk sorter extraordinaire!

Chad and I decided to convert our gigantic shed into an outdoor office so now we have to relocate junk, stuff, tools, and lawn mowers somewhere else! I am thinking we need a bigger house. So I was up late last night cutting trim to finish trimming our bedroom and today I will be finishing homework so that I can finish the aforementioned.

I will post pics of the before and after! This should be fun. Especially because I have an electrician coming on Tuesday and I need concrete cut and all the junk moved! YIKES!

But the good news is that the office will be the kids’ play room for all their JUNK and toys and we will probably put a bed in there for folks to stay. Off to run power tools, research useless information, and stash junk where I have no place to stash it! HA!!

Ten Things Tuesday

I have to first say Thank you to Mrs. Brownstone the XBOX wife for this wonderful gift to share with everyone!

1. I am thankful for my sister. I am thankful for having my sisters, Brittany, Nicole and Tori. I don’t always get to talk and spend time with them but I love them dearly and am thankful for them. Especially because I saw Britt doing Ten Things Tuesday and thought HOW AWESOME!

2. I am thankful for the fact that I can have breakfast for dinner and my kids eat it, they love it, and nutritious to boot!

3. I am thankful for my twins being able to sit in their high chairs to feed themselves and they ate their mashed potatoes all by themselves!

4. I am thankful for my G being able to wash his own body every night when he takes a shower. He still needs help washing his hair but he can wash his body and that is super awesome!

5. I am thankful that I will be spending Thanksgiving with 75% of my family….now I just need to convince the other 25% to come out (hint hint Britt!).

6. I am thankful for all of my extended family and this weekend I will be able to see all of their crazy selves and spend time with them. Although it may be for a sad occasion with the passing of my Aunt, we will be “waking” in her honor and celebrating life just as she would want!

7. I am thankful for this blog and other blogs and being able to share in my friends’ and families lives. We may not all connect all the time but thanks to the net we can still stay in touch.

8. This one is odd….but makes sense…I am thankful for my chunky monkey body. If I didn’t have a chunky monkey body, that would only mean I am childless and I am thankful I am chunky because that means I have three wonderful gifts to share my chunky self with hugging each one of them everyday.

9. I am thankful for my mother for teaching me how to be tough. Because some days, when I want to give into my kids, I remember my mom and how she would NEVER give in to me and she taught me independence.

10. My dishwasher. Because I have a BOAT load of dishes and my hands are so cracked and dry anyway from cleaning that I couldn’t bear to wash dishes. So I am thankful for my Whirlpool to do it for me.

Passing Out Love

Chadley had lunch today with some of our favorite people. One of which is still trying to convert us for half price Sunday’s and 50% off our annual tithings (not bad!) and the other told Chad he gets all his gossip from my blog!! WOO HOO! That is a productive lunch! So here is a shout out from your Neighborhood Common-Law Mormons, the Herring’s, to:

The Jarvis’ and My Mowers

Check them out and their beautiful families!

Another shout out as well to my BIL who finally hit adulthood! Way to go Brentley, Happy Birthday! Welcome to being 30! Go check out my BIL’s beautiful wife, my sister, Mrs. Greer!

Finally, to my SIL and my brother. My brother who finally communicated to me personally…after I don’t know how long of always talking to his wife! Love you Chris and Nic! See you guys Sat!