Bittersweet Goodbye...

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Crazy Domestic has been such a fun site to start up and watch grow. In less than 1 year, we have met some fabulous people and have had some awesome opportunities sent our way. Both of us are stay at home moms and our little ones certainly make life fun and they make life crazy and we wouldn't have it any other way! Just as I am sure most moms feel at times, we have struggled to find a balance between family life and the blogging world. It has forced us to reevaluate our schedules and simplify our routines. We have thought several times about letting go of this blog to help manage our time, but our encouraging readers and creative outlet have kept us going. 

Now that both of us are expecting babies again, we are thinking once more of ways to simplify. New babies are such a blessing and are so exciting, but they can also turn your world upside down! Megan's "discovery" of carrying twins just kind of solidified the deal for us- we really need to focus on our families. 

We have decided that instead of growing this blog, we want to watch our kids grow. We want to play with our kids and better our homes and we want to have one less "to-do" item on our list. (Mom's have enough responsibility anyway, right?!) 

Our decision to stop posting on Crazy Domestic is bittersweet. We love our readers and the support of the creative blog community, but as soon as we both agreed that it was time to let go,  it all seemed to fit and make sense and we are sure that it is what we need to do.
Crazy Domestic's archives will remain available for now. All posts have also been transferred to Somewhat Simple where I plan to continue my routine over there. Megan just might be back with her own ideas on a brand new site once she gets a handle on life as a mom of twins.

For now, we thank you for your loyalty and your support and we wish you all the best!


Kitchen Basics Workshop - Week 5 of 5

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One last time: It's Ginny again from Cooking with Chopin, Living with Elmo. I have so enjoyed being with you this month. I'd like to leave you with a few (random) kitchen tips and ideas.


Perking Up Fresh Herbs:

Fresh parsley is something I always have on hand. It lends tremendous flavor to many recipes and makes them more visually appealing.

But it gets kind of flaccid and wilty in the refrigerator crisper drawer.

So I treat it like the fresh plant that it is!

I snip off about an inch of the stems,

put the bunch in water,

and it will perk right up.

(Forgot to snap a pic of the perked-up parsley. Sorry.)

The parsley will stay fresh for almost a week this way.

And it's kind of pretty to look at.

(This trick works with almost all types of fresh herbs.)


Steaming Fresh Veggies:

Fresh steamed vegetables are an excellent addition to any meal.

The steaming process is gentle and helps preserve all the great attributes of the vegetables (as long as you don't overdo it).

Drizzle a little olive oil and lemon juice over the steamed veggies and VOILA! You have a delicious, healthy side dish.

I use this pot every time I steam veggies.

The thing on the top is a steamer basket.

The veggies hang out here and have their little spa day as the steam rises from the boiling water in the pot beneath the basket.

Steamed asparagus are my favorite.

Even my 2-year old enjoys them.

(Too bad there's no audio clip: my four-year old, sitting nearby, is gagging on his asparagus in the background, crying because I'm "such a mean mommy to make him try it" and he's pretty sure "other mommies don't make this kind of yucky stuff.")

You win some, you lose some.

I also love to steam fresh green beans.

We have these about once a week, drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkled with slivered almonds.

Here's a helpful guide to steaming vegetables:

Artichoke (medium)....................40 minutes

Asparagus (thin spears)...............3 to 4 minutes

Asparagus (thick spears).............5 to 6 minutes

Beets......................................30 to 35 minutes

Broccoli florets..........................4 to 5 minutes

Broccoli spears..........................5 to 6 minutes

Brussels Sprouts........................7 to 11 minutes

Cabbage, cut in wedges..............6 minutes

Carrots, cut 1/4-inch thick..........6 to 8 minutes

Cauliflower, head......................12 to 15 minutes

Cauliflower spears.....................4 to 6 minutes

Corn on the Cob.......................5 minutes

Green Beans.............................4 to 5 minutes

Kale.......................................4 to 5 minutes

Parsnips, 1-1/2-inch pieces.......8 to 10 minutes

Peas..........................................2 minutes

Potatoes, new (small size).........12 minutes

Potatoes (2-inch pieces)............15 minutes

Spinach.....................................4 to 5 minutes

Sweet Potatoes, whole..............40 to 50 minutes

Sweet Potatoes (2-inch pieces)..12 to 15 minutes

Winter Squash, peeled, 2-inch pieces....15 to 20 minutes

Zucchini, 1/4-inch slices............5 to 7 minutes

from info found here


Pots, Pans, Whisks, and Docking Stations:

I get a lot of questions about my most-used kitchen equipment.

Here is an ever-growing list: My Favorite Kitchen Things


Kids in the Kitchen:

You may have noticed (*wink*) that it can be a bit of a challenge to cook a meal with little ones (4 and under) in the kitchen.
I put together a page with a few tips to occupy those precious little hands and minds while you cook. Please (please!) comment or email me (cookingwithchopin@yahoo.com) if you have a tip that needs to be on this list: Cooking with Kids in the Kitchen.


The Power of the Table Experience

In closing, I'd like to talk about something very near and dear to my heart.

The act of gathering your family around your table.

Dinnertime. What once was simple has now become complex.

Our schedules? They're crazy. Soccer, piano, dance, gymnastics, baseball, football, basketball, swim lessons.
But you already know this.

As moms of the 21st century, we have a harder time than any of our predecessors in getting hineys to fill up all of the chairs around our tables on any given night of the week.
We live so much of our lives on the road. In our cars. In the drive-thrus.

I'm reading an incredible book called "The Table Experience" by Devi Titus.

Devi highlights the link between regular family meals (around the table) and stronger families who have deeper connections and healthier relationships.

Several research studies have confirmed that families who take time to eat together at the dinner table do better in every area--body, mind, soul and spirit.

In fact, a decade-long study by the American Psychological Association reports that children who eat at the family dinner table have greater academic motivation and are less likely to experiment with drugs and sex.

(I realize no one is eating in these pictures...my family gets wary of all my picture-taking, so I try to be "present" when we're eating, and not behind the camera. These were taken after a meal.)

Devi very much intertwines biblical insight into the fact that God Himself designed the dinner table to be central to the family.

In fact, she points out, God could have created our bodies so that we never had to eat at all, or perhaps we'd only need to eat once a month or even yearly. Why, then, did He make our bodies in such a way that eating is a DAILY need--even three times a day?

Because eating together is a powerful tool for healthy family relationships. Being only a table-width apart and having eye-to-eye, face-to-face conversations with the precious members of your family is the way to establish safe and secure bonds and to really FORM those darling hearts.

I could go on and go because I am completely enthralled by this book and its principles.

But at the same I realize we're busy people, living in a culture that applauds busyness.

So let's not heap guilt on ourselves if we rarely gather our family around the table for a meal.

No self-condemnation allowed!

Let's start small.

What if you just ask yourself this question: When CAN you eat together as a family? Saturday mornings? Sunday nights?

Set an achievable goal: once a week perhaps.

You don't have to spend money. Use what you have. Want to use paper plates and cups? GO FOR IT.
Just get some bottoms in those chairs and make eye-to-eye and face-to-face connections with your family over a meal.
I think you will be blown away by the positive impact it will have on your family.


Thanks again to Megan and Stephanie at CrazyDomestic for giving me the opportunity to share these posts during this workshop. It's been a true blessing for me.

Please stop by my blog for a visit anytime: cookingwithchopin.blogspot.com


Steph and I can't thank Ginny enough for sharing her amazing talent and extensive knowledge with us this month! This was definitely one of my favorite workshops we've had! I learned A TON, and laughed a lot along the way! Be sure you check back often with Ginny @ cookingwithchopin.blogspot.com.


All Things Domestic Blog Link Party

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Hurray! The weekend is almost here! I can't believe the week is almost over, has it flown by just as fast for anyone else? Maybe it's gone by so fast because I have to speak at church this Sunday, and I've been procrastinating figuring out what I'm going to talk about! Time always goes fast when you want it to slow down! Anyway...last week's party was GREAT, we had some really amazing projects linked up! Here are the top ten most viewed links from last weeks party.

Make Up Magnet Board by Laura Thoughts

Little Girl's Nursery by Live Laugh Love Lucy

Kitchen Reveal by Maillardville Manor

Tissue Pom Pom Chandelier by Two Sides of the Rainbow

Everyday Message Board by Delightful Order

Faux Stained Glass by All Thumbs Crafts

Homemade Reusable Make-Up Remover Pads by At Home by the Baye

Calendar/ Menu/ Memo Board by Red Heads Craft More Fun

Make Your Own Baby Wrap Tutorial by Five Little Ladies

I'm really excited to see everyone's ideas this week!!!

Here are the rules just to make sure we are all playing fair:

1. Link to your specific post, not the main page of your blog.
2. Grab our party button so everyone can get in on the fun.
3. Do not enter links to online shops or links to advertise giveaways.

This link party will start at 6pm Friday and end at 11pm Sunday (Arizona time!) By entering your link, you are giving us permission to use any part or all of your post including pictures in a spotlight on somewhat simple and Crazy Domestic. (Proper credit and links will be given to you, of course!)