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Save Time with Dinner

27 Dec

Wow, where did Christmas go?  I hope you and your family were able to relax and spend time together.  It seems like we spend the whole month shopping, baking, decorating, wrapping, visiting, and with the blink of an eye it’s over.  As we do every year, Nathan and I went to NJ to spend time with my family and it was wonderful to see everyone.  I have to admit I am like a child at the holidays and was excited that Santa was, as he is every year,  so good to us.

Now that Christmas is over, it’s back to the grind and back to the routine.  It occurred to me this morning, as I was getting ready for the first day back to work that I need to think of something to make for dinner.  Ugghh-I feel like that is a never ending saga: what are we going to eat?  I know, I know- #1stWorldProblems.  Seriously though, our work schedules and traffic filled commutes are so crazy that a lot of times we get home from an 11 or 12 hour work day and the last thing I want to think about is what am I going to make.  Of course with making the dinner comes the clean up, doing any other chores that have been neglected, get work bag re-packed, and of course try to spend some quality time together.  Before I know it, the evening news is long over and its 9:45pm.

Since this blog is about newlywed life and all that comes with it, I thought I would share some ways you can save time with dinner.

1. Make enough food for two meals.  This will allow you at least one night of leftovers, which means at least one night of not cooking!

2.  Take food out for dinner in the morning.   This morning I  took frozen Italian Sausage out for dinner, so when I walk in the door tonight and Nathan asks, “What’s for Dinner?” he knows and with any luck he has already started cooking the pasta to go with it. 

3. Cook Together.  Use this time to start talking about your day.

4. Clean as you cook.   If you clean the mess as you cook, you will have nothing to do after eating, except put your plates in the dishwasher and enjoy the rest of your night.

Cheers, Tara

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Falling For Fall

17 Sep

Fall is by far my most favorite time of the year! Don’t get me wrong, I love summer and everything that comes along with it; the beach, pool, cookouts, outdoor games, sun dresses and sandals but to me none of that even competes with fall! The fresh smell in the air, cool breezes, sleeping with the windows open, leaves changing color, the return of Football and of course, Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice Latte! Fall is so colorful, cool and fun and holds an even bigger special meaning to me now; since Joe and I’s anniversary is September 24. This year the first official day of fall is September 22, but fall has been in the air the last couple of weeks. I always look forward to fall not only because it means the end of summer humidity and bug bits (was it just me or were the mosquitos worse than ever this year?), but because Halloween, my birthday and Thanksgiving aren’t far away!

With the beginning of cooler weather comes the changing out of your wardrobe. I have been waiting probably since the beginning of August for the weather to cool, so I could break out my favorite boots, scarves and sweaters.

The cooler fall weather gets me excited for a visit to the pumpkin patch, apple picking, apple cider and Halloween activities.

Another fall activity MUST is camping. I have always L.O.V.E.D camping, if you have read this blog before you know I L.O.V.E a lot of things and camping is just another one of those things. There is just something about camping and being in nature that eases me. My parents used to take my sisters and I camping when we were little. Each morning my dad would heat a little tea pot of punch over the camp fire. Before he handed us our little mugs he would put a cinnamon stick in it. The smell and taste of the punch was comforting and warming. I would sit by the campfire and drink my little cup of cinnamon-y goodness. I haven’t had it since I was little, but I want to make it this year when we go on our family camping trip with my aunts, uncles, cousins and sisters. For the last couple years we have gone camping at Point Lookout State Park in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. The park is gorgeous! If you live in Maryland or if Southern Maryland is close enough to you to travel I highly recommend this campground! So many trails to explore and you are right on the water. Last year our camp site backed to the Chesapeake bay, so at night we crabbed off the pier and my cousins, sisters and I took tons of sunset pictures. I can’t wait for our camping trip this year, cool crisp nights sitting around a campfire with family, playing games, talking, laughing and eating s’mores until we feel sick. It’s those simple pleasures that make fall so special to me. The pictures below are from our camping trip last year.

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This last one is of my sisters, cousin and I.
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One last reason I am so glad that fall is here is because I can start running outside again without the presence of stifling humidity! Yey!

In honor of fall here are a few of the fall things that have caught my eye:

I can’t wait to try this Pumpkin Pie White Hot Chocolate recipe! It looks so easy to make and delicious!

This Martha Stewart Chicken Pot Pie recipe will be perfect for a cool fall night.

I.Want.This.Outfit! Perfect for fall!

I’m loving these green accessories.

I am thinking about turning attempting to turn one of my old sweaters into these adorable mittens.

Last year I made the fall wreath below that I found here. I was really happy with how it turned out and am still searching for an idea for my wreath this year.

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I hope all of you are enjoying the cooler weather as much as I am! Are you trying any new fall recipes? Have you already brought out your fall wardrobe? I wore my favorite boots for the first time last week. Oh how I missed them! 🙂

Cheers!
Elise

Keys To A Successful Marriage – As We See It

13 Sep

It is anniversary season here at MazeChesky!

Nathan and Tara just celebrated their 1st year of marriage and 10 years together! Joe and Elise are coming up on being together for 8.5 years and 2 years of marriage!

Now we know what you’re thinking, what have you learned? Well, you are in luck because we have collaborated and come up with Keys to a Successful Marriage – As we see it. In no particular order:

Pick your battles! If he wants to buy himself a big-boy toy (aka a convertible car and can afford it) let him! Constantly telling him no is just going to lead to an unhappy man, and a mid-life crisis when he is 50. In general, is what you are fighting/arguing over really worth arguing over in the grand scheme of things? If not, then why waste your time arguing over it?

Try to find activities that you enjoy doing together. Joe and Elise play on a co-ed softball team during the spring and just started playing on a co-ed flag football team this fall. It’s a great way to spend down time together and something we both enjoy doing – “Couples that play together stay together” 🙂

Don’t say things you don’t mean! You don’t have to be married to know that saying something you don’t mean is hurtful, doesn’t resolve anything and makes you both feel awful.

Make and try new meals, you might surprise yourself. Nathan and Tara made sushi together one night and it was so fun (mostly because rolling sushi takes practice and  too much wasabi was added) but the meal was edible!  So, go ahead-break out those recipe cards and cookbooks from your bridal shower and get cookin’.

Note to viewers-this is not how our sushi turned out:)

It is very easy to put those comfy sweatpants on the minute you get home, but the men will tell you not to pack away the lingerie from your honeymoon, break it out once in a while. As the Spice Girls sing “Spice up your life”!

Let him have boy time! If he wants to go to the beach for a weekend getaway-let him. Plan a girls night to watch TV, drink wine and stay in your sweatpants 🙂

Elise and Tara while the men are away at boys weekend

It’s okay to go to sleep angry. During arguments, people advise you to walk away and cool down. Why not go to sleep to cool off? You may wake up with a different perspective.

Try to do the chores together. If he cooks, you clean up. If his laundry is in the pile, he can fold it too. Don’t forget-he survived before you and knows how to do things. Do not infantile a grown man, it’s very unappealing.

Marriage isn’t always 50/50. Sometimes you may have to pull more than what you would consider your fair share, but you have to remember that marriage isn’t always easy and takes a lot of work and compromise. There will be times when your spouse may have to pull more than their share to help you.

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Make time each day to spend quality time together; whether it’s cuddling on the couch, cooking dinner, watching your favorite t.v. show, or going to the gym together. It’s easy to get caught up in the crazy of everyday life (especially during the work week) and forget how important it is to take time to stay connected.

Don’t dwell on the bad, try to focus and remind yourself of all the good. Sure sometimes you drive each other crazy with your bad habits and strange quirks, but are those things really worth being annoyed/frustrated over? After-all, you most likely knew about those bad habits and strange quirks before you said, “I Do”.

Most importantly have FUN together, LAUGH together, TALK to each other and LOVE one another! ❤

Feel free to share what your keys to a successful marriage are! How long have you been married?

Here’s to the years to come! Cheers, Elise and Tara

Birthday Resolutions

20 Aug

This past Saturday I turned 29 and while I am completely freaking out comfortable with being this age, I can’t help but be reminded that 30 is next.  I have decided to make a birthday resolution list, things I would like to accomplish before turning 30.  So, I have 363 days before August 18th, 2013 arrives.  Lets see how many I can accomplish.

In no particular order—–

  1. Make my mother-in-laws spaghetti sauce. I have the recipe, just need to take a stab at it.
  2. Travel to Memphis with my cousin Jen, (we have been talking about it since we were 10!) Graceland here we come!
  3. Run in a race–5K or 10K, or maybe both!
  4. Sign up to have all of my bills paid online.  You would be amazed how often I forget to make the car payment. Sorry Nate!
  5. Organize and clean the spare bedroom, before someone calls A&E to showcase me as a hoarder. 
  6. Visit with the family more often, yes in-laws too 🙂
  7. Call the eye doctor for  a new pair of glasses, having the same pair since college is unacceptable. Time for a new look.
  8. Start paying attention to the biological clock.
  9. Make church more of a priority.
  10. Pick a weekend for NJ girls weekend, and stick to the date.  Making time to see friends that do not live around the corner is becoming more and more important as time seems to be going faster the older I get.

I will keep you updated on my progress throughout the next year.  If you have any suggestions to add to the list, please let me know!

Cheers, T

Why Women Still Can’t Have It All

14 Aug

Great article about juggling family and careers. Gives you a lot to think about

Why Women Still Can’t Have It All – The Atlantic.

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