My Mundane Musings

Growing up I longed for the fast paced life of big city life and corporate America. Now I’m a stay at home mom of 4 in a small rural community! And I wouldn’t have it any other way! (At least for now).

Menu Plan Monday – September 22nd… September 22, 2008

Filed under: food,healthy living,life,recipes — Rebekah Sanders @ 8:13 am

It’s early, so forgive me any typos. I just almost typed May 22nd into the title. It was a long night of weird dreams. Crazy weird.

Someone forgot to tell the weather people that today is FALL and they are calling for temps in the mid 80’s all week. I’m ready to start breaking out the fall/winter meals, but it really does need to cool down first. It’s just not the same eating chili or a nice thick soup when it’s so warm outside.

I’ve added a new page to my blog – it has most of the recipes that I’ve posted on my blog in the last year. The ones we actually liked anyway. I really need to go back through the archives, but y’all – there are a LOT of archives. Next month, I’ll celebrate my 7th year of blogging! I’ll get through them all eventually.

Monday – Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes

Tuesday – Shrimp Scampi

Wednesday – Stromboli

Thursday – Sweet & Sour Chicken

Friday – Quesadillas

Saturday – Baked Ziti with garlic bread

Sunday – CORN (Clean Out Refrigerator Night)

What are you having for dinner this week?


Goop on my hands… September 10, 2008

Filed under: family,food,healthy living,life,Nifty Stuff,works-for-me-wednesday — Rebekah Sanders @ 11:22 am

I love to cook. Really. Hate my kitchen, but still love to cook. Especially after discovering vinyl gloves!

We went to a friends house for dinner one night and as we walked in, she was chopping garlic and had gloves on her hand. Not big gloves like dishwashing/cleaning gloves (do those things make anyone else’s hands sweat like they do mine?), but latex/vinyl gloves like doctors wear.

My mind screamed BRILLIANT! And starting racing with the possibilities.

So, I went out and bought a box. They were buy the first aid supplies at my Target. And now I find myself using them almost daily.

I use them any time I have to do anything with dough. I don’t even have to take my rings off anymore. I use them any time I have to handle raw meat with my hands. I use them any time I might otherwise find myself washing my hands over and over and over again while I prepare a meal.

And you know how it is – as soon as you get your hands dirty, one of the kids needs you. The phone rings. There is a knock at the door. When you’re wearing gloves, you simply pull them off and go! GENIUS!!!

What’s your favorite kitchen tip?


Menu Plan Monday – September 8th… September 8, 2008

Filed under: family,food,healthy living,kids,life,marriage,menu,recipes — Rebekah Sanders @ 7:56 am

Well, Chip threw his back out last week, so we never ate any of the meals that required grilling. That’s right – we’ve been married 12 years and I’ve never once been forced to endure the grilling. Chip enjoys it and I enjoy letting him! rofl Hopefully we’ll get to those meals towards the end of the week.

I’m going to try letting the kids cook with me more often. If nothing else, they can help with side dishes. I’ve heard one story too many lately about people who just don’t know how to cook. There was a time when I was convinced that I couldn’t cook. It just wasn’t a talent that I picked up on as I was growing up. But I’m learning. Chip and the kids even tell me that I’m an excellent cook and request food all the time. I never thought I’d get to that point. Seriously, I couldn’t even boil water successfully at one point. So. not. kidding.

So, I know if I can cook, then my kids can definitely learn to cook. And I figure I might as well teach them when they are still at an age where they *want* to help me. So, for the most part, my menu this week is kid friendly and has stuff they can do to help me…

Monday – Black & Blue Nachos

Tuesday – Homemade gnocchi with marinara sauce and cheese sauce (or both I suppose) and garlic bread

Wednesday – We’ll eat out this day because of football

Thursday – Grilled pork steak

Friday –  Shrimp lettuce wraps and/or springrolls

Saturday – Garlicky Grilled Orange Chicken

Sunday – CORN (Clean Out Refrigator Night)

How do you involve your kids in helping prepare your main meal? Or do you just let them do the dishes?


Walk with me… July 30, 2008

Filed under: family,goals,healthy living,kids,life — Rebekah Sanders @ 4:49 pm

I’m going to take 1,000,000 steps in the next three months! That’s right, one MILLION steps! In THREE months! That’s about 11,000 steps a day. About 1500 LESS than I need to meet the “walk to lose weight” goal of 12,500 steps a day.

Oh my word – I’m throwing a lot of numbers at y’all there, aren’t I?

I finally found a pedometer that I’m not only happy to have, but THRILLED to have. I’ve gone through 4 or 5 before now. Most of them would register steps that I didn’t take. Every time I went over a bump while sitting in the car, every time I stood up or sat down, and have mercy if I actually dropped it. Which I’ve been known to do. And NONE of them was designed to be carried in my pocket.

Until I found the one I have now. It’s the Omron HJ-112 and it’s WONDERFUL! I only logs actual steps that I take. I know this because I dropped it today and it didn’t register ANY of the bumping around as it skipped across the kitchen floor. I can wear it on a lanyard around my neck, put in my purse or my pocket, or clip it on my belt. But since I don’t wear a belt, ever, and I don’t carry my purse everywhere I go every second of every day, and I’m not known to wear a lanyard, I just stick it in my pocket.

Before breakfast, I’d already registered 2,000 steps! I’m trying my hand at keeping track of all my steps on so that I can actually know when I’m meeting my goal and when I’m not. I think 10,000 steps averages out to about 5 miles a day. I always KNEW that I got a bunch of exercise chasing 4 kiddos around all day. Now I’ll know exactly how much I walk in an average day.

How much do you walk?


Menu Plan Monday – July 28th… July 28, 2008

Filed under: family,food,fun,healthy living,kids,life,menu — Rebekah Sanders @ 7:48 am

Before I get to the menu, I have a question…

Do your kids snack all the time? 

My kids never whine or complain about wanting a snack. Ok, maybe occasionally, but it’s not the norm. However, Chip’s nephew was here for a month and even 15 minutes after he’d eaten dinner he’d be asking for a snack or saying, “I’m hungry!” He’s 6.

And it’s the same thing with the 8yo that I babysit for during the summer. She eats at home before she comes and then usually eats again when my kids do. Then by 11am she’s asking for a snack. We eat at noon and by 2ish, she’s complaining about wanting more to eat.

And neither of them just wanted a “snack” – they wanted a whole meal it seems! When I think snack, I think a handful of pretzels, some chex mix or dry cereal, some grapes, an apple. That kind of thing. But they want a sandwich AND one of those things.

Other friends parents have commented on the fact that my kids don’t beg for snacks at someone else’s house (when did people stop teaching their kids basic manners?).

So, what’s the norm when it comes to snacks in your house? Do they get a snack every day? And what is it?

Monday – Zesty Crockpot Chicken BBQ – yes, I know this is the third week in a row this has been on my menu. No, we have not actually eaten it yet. Tonight’s the night though!

Tuesday – Grilled Turkey Pizza Burgers (I mix 2 lbs of ground turkey, 1 egg, Italian bread crumbs and mash them all together and shape into burgers. Then we top them with pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese).

Wednesday – Spicy Orange Chicken over rice (this isn’t my original recipe that I use, but it’s close. I do not use raisins and I make my own “chunk chicken” since I see no reason to use already processed chicken when I can make it fresh without the preservatives)

Thursday – Baked Ravioli with garlic bread (oh, I can’t wait!)

Friday – ??? I’m unsure what time we’re leaving yet on Friday. It’s possible we could leave before dinner. I’m thinking I’ll make chicken wraps and we can eat in the van if we have to.

Saturday – VACATION!!! I’m thinking PF Changs sounds delightful!

Sunday –  VACATION!!! Anyone have any great recommendations for the St. Louis area?


I’m sure I’ll be heading over to before the end of the day to see what other people are cooking up. What’s on your menu for this week?


Spicy shrimp recipe… July 19, 2008

Filed under: family,food,healthy living,menu,recipes — Rebekah Sanders @ 7:10 pm

Oh my goodness! We just had shrimp for dinner and I *loved* it! I had a recipe that I was going to make, but couldn’t find everything it called for, so I improvised! Something I’m actually pretty good at. This is the recipe that I ended up with.

What you’ll need:

  • Shrimp – peeled, deveined (size doesn’t matter – I used the little cheap ones)
  • 1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (by the Mexican food in most grocers)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of chopped oregano

I mixed everything but the shrimp together really well in a plastic ziploc bag. Then I rinsed and patted dry the shrimp and put them in the bag. Let marinade for an hour. Put on skewers and grill for 4-5 minutes on each side. (Remember if you use wooden skewers they have to soak for 30 minutes before putting them on the girl – or you could just buy some metal ones).

These were SPICY! My kids who like spicy foods ate them with some ranch dressing to dip them in to cut the spice. I served them with a pasta salad (because we are still range-less until at least tomorrow).
If you make these – stop buy and let me know what you think. They are definitely on my list of things that I’ll make again!
As Seth would say – “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!”

Healthy Living Challenge update… July 17, 2008

Filed under: healthy living,life — Rebekah Sanders @ 10:05 am

Ok, so things are going ok. I’m exercising almost daily. The last two nights we’ve gone for walks in 90 degree weather. I simply did not know it was possible for a person to sweat that much! But we’ve been faithful in our walking. And we’ve been walking faster without the little boys at home. Because let me tell you – having to stop every 50 feet or so to wait for a little one to catch up can really cut into what could be productive exercise!

My weight is dropping a little at a time. I’m keeping track of it all on and so far the weight loss hasn’t been all that great. But it’s starting to come off. And I still weigh less than my husband! Not that it’s a contest or anything, but for some reason it’s very important to me that unless I’m pregnant that I weigh less than he does.

The healthy eating hasn’t been too bad. We’ve tried some new things. Garden season is in full swing, so I’m eating more veggies. And Raisin Bran has become my breakfast of choice (it’s about the only “healthy” cereal I can stand – I’d much rather have Cap’n Crunch or Cocoa Krispies).

I haven’t eaten anything past 10pm since the month started. It hasn’t been hard at all. On the nights that I’m tempted to go grab a snack, I simply go brush my teeth. Because everyone knows that food just doesn’t taste right with freshly brushed teeth. Not to mention that if I eat something, then I’ll just have to go brush them again.

The water thing on the other hand has NOT been going well. I so do not like water. I’ve tried everything that I can possibly imagine to make it easier for me. I bought a new cute bottle to have water with me all the time. Because water will taste better in a cute bottle obviously. WRONG! I tried keeping it in the fridge with some lime/lemon/orange slices in it. I thought it made the water taste like a lot of “natural” cleaners smell. I’ve tried drinking only bottled water. I’ve tried being sure to drink a glass of water every time I go in the kitchen. I’ve tried drinking water with meals. I simply do *not* like the taste of water.

And for those of you out there who say water has no taste, well… YOU’RE WRONG!!! Maybe my tastebuds are just more keenly aware than yours, but water definitely has a taste. And I don’t like it!

So, the weight is coming off slowing. My jeans are getting big and I’m hoping to be able to move down a size in the next couple weeks. I can feel some habits forming through all of this – which was the purpose of it all. So far, so good…

(original healthy living challenge outline)