Yummy Corn Chowder – Lenten Friendly

I am always looking for good recipes during Lent and this is one of our family favorite. Super easy and very tasty! Even our 1 1/2 year old loves it. I usually double or triple the recipe so that we have extra to freeze.


Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder, Lenten friendly

This recipe serves 4-6
Hands-On Time 25m
Total Time 45m
* 2 TBS good olive oil
* 1 large sweet onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 2 10-ounce packages frozen corn
* 3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
* 1 cup half-and-half
* kosher salt and pepper
* 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced


* Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch Oven over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and red pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the corn, broth, and half-and-half and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
* Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Make sure to add a little at a time or else you’ll blow the top off of the blender. Return to the pot, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and stir to combine.
* Divide the soup among individual bowls and top with the scallions.


Best Toys Ever (at least for an 18 month old)

Little People Noahs Ark

Little People Noah’s Ark

I’ve noticed that my most popular posts, as of today, have to do with age appropriate toys I have recommended. Since I haven’t done this in a while, I thought I’d suggest a few play items that have kept my 18 month old daughter well entertained.

  • Little People – My daughter will play with the Little People characters for hours.  She lines them up takes them all over the house.  She even placed “Noah” from “Noah’s Ark” in my suitcase as a memento while I was away on business.  Although there are all different varieties, she has gotten the most mileage from “Noah’s Ark” and “Santa”.  However, if you do not want to spend the money on the entire kit, you can buy small sets with just the animals which are really fun and great for “on-the-go” play.
  • Board Books – specifically ones with pictures (photos and drawings) of animals.
  • Baby dolls with removable clothes (or you can use your child’s small clothes).  Use your child’s old bottles and silverware (spoons, bowls, etc.) and let your child “feed” the baby.
  • We set up a little table with two chairs, one for Madeline and one for her dolls/bears and they have snack time together.  You’d think she’d died and gone to heaven!  She thinks it so cool to be a “big girl” and eat at a table without a bib or high chair.  However, we only give her dried foods…
  • Small stroller with a basket underneath for storing items (ie. sippy cup, toys) Doll Stroller
    Doll Stroller

    or shopping cart

Giving up “Jon & Kate plus 8”

I am very sad to say that I have watched my last episode of “Jon & Kate plus 8”. I miss the old times, when they were a normal couple trying to figure out how to raise eight, adorable kids. I miss the times when they painted their own rooms and hung their own shelves. I miss being able to relate to them as parents and as a young couple trying to find a balance between work, family, and each other. Last night, I watched two recent episodes – the one where they get the puppies and the one where they get their new appliances (Whirlpool washer and dryers for her…hmmm, wonder if she paid for them…doubtful!). All of the shameless product placement and obvious free goods got me really steamed. It’s turned into the “Kate show” where you do get to see all of the free stuff she’s getting but you barely see the kids and Jon hardly talks during the interviews. Anyway, now that they’ve moved into their big, huge house and get all sorts of freebies, I’ve found that I don’t really find the show all that interesting. It was much more interesting when they had to deal with issues to which the average, American family could relate.

God, I hope Octomom doesn’t get a show…what a train wreck.

Dan Zanes – free giveaway!

A fellow blogger mom is giving away 5 Dan Zanes CDs and so I thought I’d pass this along to everyone.

Go to her blog on Cleveland.com for more information

Nightlight Trick

Last week, I went to CT to help my friend get her 14 week old to sleep better at night (we actually got him to sleep through the night (from 10:30pm – 7:15am) on my third night there!  Go us!  It got me thinking about how important it is to establish good sleep habits early on – to help your child sleep well and fall to sleep on their own.  However, it made me start to wonder how to continuously reinforce these fundamentals once a child leaves the crib and enters a “big kid bed”.

Although we’re still a year away from this happening, a friend told me about a neat little trick that works for them.  Place a nightlight in your child’s room and attach it to a timer.  Set the timer to turn on at bedtime and turn off at the time your child is allowed to leave their room in the morning (for us it would be at 7 am – when we normally go in and get her).  When the light is off, your child knows it’s ok to go and get mommy and daddy.  Apparently, this eliminates middle of the night interruptions with your toddler jumping into bed with you.   It seems as though it would work well…but if anyone tries this, I’d be interested in hearing whether or not it does in fact work.

Stroller Rental – Try before you buy!

I’m so sick of paying hundreds of dollars for strollers without even being allowed to try them! For $10 you can road test the stroller in the actual outdoors, with your child in it, around the block, in a park setting, etc. If you’d like to try the stroller for longer (24 hours) you can do so for $30. If anyone else out there has strollers they’d be up for “renting” out, let me know!

I currently have the following strollers that I have available for “rent”:

If you’re interested, send me an email. I’m in Cleveland, Ohio.

Should this be legal?: Sex offender wins $500K lottery

This sort of stuff makes my skin crawl. It’s illegal, I know, but it is MY OPINION that convicted criminals (especially murderers & sex offenders) should not be allowed to have anything good happen to them…particularly winning a lottery which was set up to help provide support to victims. Check it out…