Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm a snowman!

Today I was visiting with a friend who was dropping their son off to play with my oldest for the day. My oldest was in the bathroom and taking an extremely long time to come out. Deciding to wait until after my friend left to check on him, I went in there after what had been quite a while.

I walk in on a half-dressed little boy smeared (hair and all) in foam from our soap dispenser. With a huge smile on his face he says, "Look, Momma! I'm a snowman!"

Love that kid.

Every moms dream, right? A boy who is keeping himself clean :)

Hot, Hot, Jalapeno rolls!

I'm always at a loss of what to bring to get togethers, especially the typical Christmas ones where you bring appetizers. Why? Because these are my favorite types of parties and the food MUST be great (I mean I look forward to these appetizers ALL year!) so I put pressure on myself to bring something that I think is amazingly tasty. Ha, and if nobody else cares for it, I am MORE than glad to finish it off :)

We went to a Christmas party this past Friday and I wanted to bring something savory. I decided to be a good wife and keep my hubbs in mind when creating this appetizer. Along with my friend Lindsey, we dreamed this creation up.....

2 cans of crescent rolls
1 1/2 packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sharp shredded cheese
crumbled bacon(as little or much as you like)
diced jalapenos(seeds removed), I used about 1/3 cup, adjust according to your taste!
dash or so of garlic powder
dash of pepper

1. Unroll one can of crescent rolls and pinch together the seams that you would normally tear apart

2. Mix together the rest of the ingredients

3. Spread half of the mixture over the dough

4. Roll the dough (hot dog style, NOT hamburger) like you would cinnamon rolls

4. Using a sharp knife cut the roll into slices 1/2"-3/4" wide

5. Repeat with second can of crescent rolls

6. Bake at 375 degrees for 11-14 minutes

**This recipe will make about 40 rolls**

These turned out better than I thought they would. My hubbs and I loved them and had to force ourselves to stop "taste-testing" them so we could arrive with some at the par-tay :) Enjoy and Merry Christmas Parties!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A room of your own...

Wouldn't it be nice to have a space ALL to yourself?! Once I had my sweet kiddos, of course, I lost all sense of "personal space". There would be times when my own husband would try to hug me and I would slightly freak out because I couldn't take one more person in "my space". Poor guy. About a month ago I was reading a book that a good friend of mine loaned me. It's called Boy-Sterous Living by Jean Blackmer (I recommend it to anyone who has boys, teaches boys, or just wants to understand their hubbs better). It's hilarious, is encouraging, and is all around a good read. Becky, you will be getting this back soon, promise!

Anyways one of her chapters is titled, "Think Pink." Basically the premise for why I started this blog, living out your "girl". As one part of this chapter she encourages women, moms, create a room that is just for her. She says this will help encourage a connection to your girl..."create, grow, pray, and be filled so you can go out and be useful to others".

My first thought, "I TOTALLY agree with this!"

My second thought, "I don't have a whole room to spare!" Mrs. Blackmer addresses this as well and points out that even if you can just make a corner your own, do it!

Getting so old!

Now that my youngest is approaching the year mark I have slowly been able to regain some of my personal space and time(even though he still insists on being attached to me as much as possible), because him and our 3 year old are able to play together. I have decided to take Mrs. Blackmer up on her challenge to make a space just for "you". Until we move the boys into a room together next year my only room currently that is somewhat mine is the hubbs and my bedroom.

SO I have decided to reclaim our bedroom. And eventually when I redo our room this next year, a "girl" corner for myself to relax.

My first step? Limiting the kiddos "use" of the room. A few months ago I began teaching our oldest the word "privacy" especially when it involves women and their need to have time to themselves(ex: in the shower) and this is another aspect of giving others privacy. Our kids have never really slept in our room or anything, because my husband has always seen some the importance of keeping the bedroom a "special" place for just mommy and daddy. I secretly have always loved this rule, it made me feel special that he valued our time together that much. Anyways, back to limiting the kiddos in the room....

Sometimes the only time I get to myself during the day is when I take a shower and sometimes when I put on my make-up. Doing your hair and getting dressed has proved pretty interesting and definitely not peaceful while a baby is climbing up your leg, in the toilet, and pulling things off shelves and a 3 year old is bouncing on and off your bed(which is a no-no in our house, but of course that is tested daily). Today I decided that they did not need to play in our room because they have plenty of toys in their own baby-proofed rooms and do actually enjoy playing together. So, what did I do? I put up the baby gate in the door going to our room (I seriously have not utilized this device enough).

At first I felt bad about restricting them, but then I relaxed, just a little bit, giving myself a slight break from the pressure I felt to constantly be in the same room at all times. I was okay with it because, a) the room they play in is 3 feet from our bedroom door and I could see and hear them, b) I have learned to get ready incredibly quickly, c) they didn't mind it a bit, and d) I could get ready even faster because I wasn't having to fish things out of the toilet that our little man decided needed to go in there.

The old me, the pre-kids me, would have thought this was an incredibly selfish thing to do. BUT now I realize that in order to be a better momma, a less stressed person, and a much more "loving" wife and mother, you need to take some time for yourself. Know your limits of course...A typical 5 minute routine probably shouldn't turn into 2 hours :)

Day 1 of reclaiming a space for "me", a success. Here's to hoping our 3 year old doesn't realize that he is, in fact, strong enough to push down that gate...

Eventually I'll get to that "corner" in our room.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

There's snow day like a snow day....

This morning I woke up to the most beautiful scene! Snow was everywhere and I was energized. This is the perfect day for this post, which will be kind of a mish-mosh of things.

FIRST, what do you want on a cold day like this? In my house we love something hot to drink and warm soup to eat. This week has been pretty busy and I haven't had a chance to go to the grocery store. Luckily I had about 5 lbs of potatoes left from a 10 lb bag that I scored for $.99! SO I decided to make potato soup for dinner tonight. You can follow this link to get the recipe

Make it as healthy or yummy as you like. Healthy version would of course be to use a skim milk instead of the cream, light sour cream, etc....

Now for the something hot to drink...After marrying my wonderful hubbs I learned how to make his family's Wassail. Sort of a requirement of sorts :) It is the perfect recipe to warm you up on a cold day and is super easy to boot!

1 gallon apple cider
Pineapple juice(as little or as much as you want...I have started using half a can of frozen pineapple concentrate per recipe because it's cheaper!)
1 bag of red hots
cinnamon sticks or just powder cinnamon if you don't have sticks

1. Put it all in a large stock pot
2. Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally
3. Pour a cup, curl up, and enjoy!

NOW for the second part of this post.....
This weekend we had one of my sweet friends, who has recently moved away, come visit with her beautiful little girl. We had a blast letting the kiddos play and catching up. One of the projects that we undertook was one of my "Pinteresting Pins". We made adorable and EASY snowman shirts for our kids. They were gender neutral which was great since we had to 2 rowdy's and 1 princess. Quick tutorial on how we made them.......

1. We began by buying white shirts to fit each child, and 3 different fabrics. One darker black patterned fabric, a lighter black patterned fabric(we used black gingham) and an orange patterned fabric. To make 3 shirts we only used about 1/8 of a yard of each fabric PLUS had enough leftover to make a tutu for the princess of the bunch. You will also need a needle, black thread, and orange thread.

2. Make your patterns. We found four different circles(You decide how big or small you want 3 yr old's were slightly bigger than our babies) to trace onto cardboard to make the pattern for the mouth and eyes. Cut them out to trace onto your fabric.

3. Using the 2nd largest circle trace 2 circles onto the lighter black patterned fabric(our gingham). After finishing that go ahead and trace all four circles onto the darker black patterned fabric. Cut out each circle.
We traced the circles onto the back of our fabric. Ha, and we used what we had (lots of toys!!) to make our patterns!
 4. If you can find a triangle in your house to make a pattern out of then great, but if not you might try free-handing it OR find a triangle you like online, printing it, and cutting it out. Naturally, we used one of my son's triangle blocks and rounded the edges while tracing it to give the effect we wanted.

 5. After cutting out everything we arranged them on the shirts the way we wanted and pinned them in place.
 6. Now, if you are the fancy type you can use your sewing machine and secure each piece down. We wanted the raw look so we doubled our thread, knotted it at the end and just did a hand sewn running stitch around each piece (it will fray slightly in the wash).

We were extremely HAPPY with how they turned out. Inexpensive, easy, and adorable.

Our cutie pies were pretty good sports for us as we tried to get pics of them in their shirts!

Yep, they're getting married some day ;)

Loving this snow day and  loving our little snow cuties. I hope you are having a great day as well and hopefully can enjoy the next snow day like I have!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Explanation, please?

How do you explain a "baby shower" to a 3 year old? We had this task last night as I was trying to explain to my oldest where I was about to go. Here's a quick recap....

Me: Momma is going to go to a baby shower for a little bit then I will be right back

C: You are going to take a shower?

Me: No, we are just going to give baby gifts to one of momma's friends.

C: (Still stuck on the shower idea) You are going to take a shower with your friends? (Getting kinda bad)

Me: No, no, no. We are not taking a shower.

C: (Typical male still stuck on one idea) You are going to get naked and take a shower?

Me. Wow, no, no, no....You know what? I'm not going to a shower, I'm just going to a party for a friend who is having a sweet baby girl.

C: You are going to give the baby a shower and get it all clean?

Me: Allllright, I love you. I will see you in a little bit!

Love that kid and can totally understand why he is so confused.

Here is a short article about this very question:,-and-How-to-Have-a-Great-One&id=3108737

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not....

The past month or so I have been on a mission to save our family money! We love to travel and are trying to save money so we can buy a bigger car(we are quickly outgrowing ours!). That means I need to get creative with our already slim budget in order to be able to save money like we would like!

One of the things I hate spending a lot of money on is food. But the problem? I love food. One of my solutions to "saving" is by not wasting what we have already spent our money on.

Here are some examples of ways I have been able to "waste not, want not" :)

1. Leftover veggies from a meal? Keep a container in your fridge specifically for veggies and add to it after each meal. When you have a full container make a soup or stew!

2. Who loves cake?! I do! But who loves cake after 3 days? Yeah it's safe to say it loses it's *spark* at that point. What should you do with the leftovers?? Make cake balls! All you need to do is take the cake (with icing on top) and crumble it/mush it all together. If it is still a little dry, add a small amount of milk (or I used half and half yesterday) to moisten it and roll the "dough" into balls. I refrigerate them until firm then stick them in the freezer until I am ready to dip them in chocolate. The next time you have company you have a dessert that is almost ready to serve them!

3. Leftover cornbread? I got this tip from a lady I sparked up a conversation with in line at the fabric store (random!). Stick it in a freezer bag and put it in the freezer. Add to it each time you have leftover cornbread. When you get a significant amount stashed away make cornbread dressing/stuffing!

4. Leftover hamburger buns/hot dog buns? Our small family never uses all of them that come in a package at one meal. So, again, freeze!

5. Leftover rice from stir fry night? Add it to some black bean, chicken, sour cream burritos (YUM) in the next few days and toast it. We always have leftover burrito filling from this meal so we fill more tortillas and wrap them in wax paper and foil and stick those in the freezer too! Can you tell I love our freezer? Use this recipe and tweak it as needed: 
Pinned Image
6. Leftover pasta, but don't have any more sauce? Again, Freeze :) Pop it out later, thaw, add it to a sauce, and bake. You have a pasta bake that took hardly any time at all to make!

7. Buy a bunch of grapes but don't think you will eat them all before they go bad? Freeze them. They freeze great (some people like to eat grapes frozen) and I can put frozen grapes in my son's lunch in the morning and by the time lunch rolls around they have thawed but are still cold.

8. In my house I am the only one who loves onions and bells peppers. My hubbs will stand them, but usually picks half of them off. This means that I typically only use half an onion or half a bell pepper for a recipe. With the halves that remain I slice them thinly, put them in a freezer bag and label it "Fajita Veggies." Now most of your prep is taken care of for the next time you want to make fajitas!

9. Buy a big bag of potatoes, onions, or apples? I do this all the time because you can save about half the money you would typically spend by buying them loose.
  • Potatoes: Make soups and freeze, put them in breakfast burritos, make twice baked potatoes (bake) and freeze them....the list could go on...(Fav potato soup:
  • Onions: Did you know fresh onions freeze well? Chop them up and put them in pre-measured bags for the freezer.
  • Apples: Have the apples been in the fridge a little too long? Make apple pie filling and freeze it. You can also chop them up and make an apple cake. OR make two and either freeze one or give to a neighbor.
Okay I've rambled enough. There are SO MANY ways to save money by not wasting the food you have. What are some ways you "Waste not, want not?"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Queen of the Castle...

I've heard this many times over once people found out that we were having another boy, "You'll be the Queen of the castle!" It's rare that at the age of my boys currently that I feel like the "Queen," but today was one of those rare days. My oldest was in an unusually good mood for a Monday. I heard "pleases, may I's, thank you's" so much you would have thought I was slipping him bribe candy all day or something. But, in fact, he was just being his sweet self.

Tonight I taught him how to play "London Bridge is Falling Down."  He loved it and caught on really quick. He especially caught on to the "Fair Lady" part. And me being the "lady" he sees more than anyone else I became his "Fair Lady." My husband then told him that the Fair Lady needs to be protected by her knights, thus naming him my knight and shining armor. I'm not going to lie, my heart did do a little flutter to hear that I was someones Fair Lady and that I had more "protectors" out there.

Amidst all the craziness that entails having a house full of boys, there are many upsides that accompany them! This M.O.B.(mother of boys) has felt very loved and respected here's to hoping that this trend will continue tomorrow....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fab Food Friday: From the Hubbs!

This entry is a la Hubbs. For my birthday he planned a couple meals and spoofed me by taking pictures of one of the things he made...he thinks he's so cute...and he is.

Whenever I get my new Southern Living in the mail, glee, giggles and ignorance of all things "chores" take place...I love my SL's for many reason's, one being the recipes. I earmark the one's I want to try and write them on my "To make" list that I keep on the side of the fridge. This is one of the recipes that I wrote down from the June 2011 mag....

Grilled Tomato Bruschetta


  • 16 (1/2-inch-thick) French bread baguette slices 
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil (he used dried)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 


  • 1. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. (My hubbs opted to use the oven instead) Brush both sides of bread with oil. Grill 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side or until toasted.
  • 2. Toss together tomatoes and next 5 ingredients; serve over bread slices. The hubbs chose to top each with a slice of Mozza then toast them longer in the oven until the cheese is melted.

These, were AMAZING....I was quite surprised by my wonderful husband and VERY pleased with this bruschetta. The onions made the dish and I probably could have eaten these for my whole meal, but we decided (for protein's sake) to throw in some chicken that had been marinated in Balsamic vinegar with garlic and herbs = great combination!

Gah, reading over this is making me want to make these tonight with dinner instead of what I had already planned, hum....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October Overload's been a while. Yeah. Blame it on the month we call October. In our house that means two birthday's, visits from family, pumpkin patches, Fall Festivals, Football, etc, etc....which left me tired and not wanting to spend time typing. So I guess I took an unexpected break from blogging. Quick recap of our month....
A little boy's 3rd Birthday! Planes, Trains, and Automobiles...
Fishing with Dad

Some girl's birthday :) Can you say CHOCOLATE?! YUM

First Football game!

Mummy Dogs and "Web dip" an October specialty

Sunflower field at the Pumpkin Patch

Cutest little pumpkins ever

My kind of carving...with power tools!

Little man with his pumpkins

The Hubbs and I dressed as Texas and OK for a Halloween Party
I was so proud of my hubbs creative take on it :)

Angry bird(his choice) and a baby lion...So precious
Busy month, but a fun month. Some of my other pursuits this month...Saving money on groceries (post later), getting back into shape (yikes), and now attempting to simplify :)

In the next couple days will be a post a la Hubbs. He is excited about this one...for my birthday he planned some meals to cook for me and spoofed me by taking pictures of the process for a "post" :) He thought he was real cute...and he kinda was.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fab Food Friday: Nutella Cake Balls!!

Nutella.....Can I get an amen?! 

This week we were having some new friends over for dinner and since I hadn't made a REALLY good dessert in a while I decided I wanted to make one. Something rich, soul comforting, and well...of course probably not very healthy :) I decided Nutella was going to be my key ingredient. My husband and I love Nutella mainly because it reminds us of our time in Italy (it's EVERYWHERE!). Italy is filled with great memories for us so that fills the requirement of "soul comforting."  

I had never made cake balls before and wanted to. I decided to search Pinterest(of course) under Nutella to see if there was a recipe for Nutella Cake Balls. To my *luck* I found a recipe on there from the Confessions of a Chocaholic blog. Now that's my type of blog!

So here it is....My recipe is slightly different from her's...of course not too many pics, but I did remember to take a couple!

Nutella Cake Balls

Yellow Cake mix
13-20 oz of Nutella
12 oz package of Milk Chocolate Chips
some Baker's melting chocolate(I used white)

Step 1) Bake your cake mix according to package...I substituted some of the oil for applesauce because I figured it would make it a little healthier and you wouldn't even be able to tell once it's all said and done!

Step 2) Let the cake cool completely and then crumble it into a large mixing bowl

Step 3) Add about 13-18 oz(I like more Nutella flavor so I did about 18 oz) of Nutella to the crumbs and mix until all the cake crumbs are moist

Step 4) With your hands(clean of course!) form the cake into about 1 inch balls and place on a pan

Meatballs anyone???
Step 5) This step is really hard....Refrigerate overnight or a few hours if that's all you have

Step 6) Melt your chocolate chips(I added 2 squares of white chocolate baking squares) and to give it MORE Nutella flavor I added a few ounces of Nutella to the melted chocolate. If you've never melted chocolate before....put all your chocolate into a pyrex type dish and microwave at 30 second increments stirring each time until it is completely melted! Too much time in the microwave will make the chocolate me, you don't want that!!

Step 7) Using a toothpick stuck in each cake ball I dipped them into the chocolate and using a spoon I made sure they were completely covered with chocolate.

Step 8) Some people "dry" their cake balls different ways, but I just wanted to let them set on some wax paper. I let them set until the chocolate was firm, then I put them in the fridge until I was ready to serve!

Beautiful, aren't they??

Result? Y-U-M!! We loved them, but **warning** they are rich, so a nice cup of coffee goes great with these!

Also, I had leftover cake balls that I didn't have enough chocolate for. You can freeze these and use at a later time!

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Vow....

I Vow... keep my hair long even though my boys are constantly pulling on it. continue to wear my bracelets, necklaces, dangly earrings, etc...even though the boys are WAY to fascinated by them and pull at them ANY chance they get. keep making my "fancy" vegetables even though I get weird looks and growls by the males each time I do. still put decorations out in my house despite how many get knocked down, hit by footballs, or sometimes, broken. still attempt to keep a tidy house even though 3 seconds after I pick something up it is misplaced again. TRY to find joy and humor in the paint smudges on the walls, mud on the floors, hair being pulled, bruises from being tackled without warning, and food they don't like being "accidentally dropped" for the dog.

Yes, this is my vow as a mom of boys...who is also striving to remain a GIRL.

Yep, they look cute, don't they? This fact gets me through a lot ;)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

When the Music Fades....

This post I guess isn't so much about being a "girl", it's more about being a mother. I probably could post something else on the "girl" side, but this is what is on my heart right now.

Yesterday I had a....well, quite a day...with my almost 3 year old. Anyone who has had a child this age probably knows what I'm talking about when I say this. It was explosion after explosion and it left me wondering who this child was and it also left me really disappointed in myself and how I handled some of his wild fits. After a much needed nap and some time to reflect on this day, last night I remembered when someone told me that their fits are usually because there is something going on inside them that they aren't able to communicate well. This makes sense because during one of the fits when I was trying to get him to tell me why he was getting upset one of the questions I asked him was if something hurts and he said, "yes, momma, my feelings hurt." Break. My. Heart. His feelings were hurt, and possibly because of how I handled some of his outrages. I handled them more with discipline that with "care."

Typically I am the type of mom that believes everything can be fixed with a kiss and some "snuggle time," (at this age anyways!) and have in a way "taught" this to my oldest who now requests "snuggle time" often. But on days when I feel like there is a lot to be done and accomplished "snuggle time" isn't made an son on the other hand, still needs it. I realized that all he wanted me to do was to slow down, put the chores and errands aside and spend some one on one time with him. Not to say that this needs to happen all day but a good balance is necessary for him to feel secure in his day.

This morning during my quiet time I opened a paper that I keep to mark my place in my Bible. It has the words to some of my favorite worship songs on it. The song "When the music fades" stood out to me and I read/sang it through.

Verse 1
When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus

Verse 2
King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath


I'll bring you more than a song
I'll bring you more than a song
More than a song
I'll bring you more than a song
I'll bring you more than a song
You're looking into my heart
Looking into my heart
You're looking into my heart
Into my heart
I'll bring you more than a song
I'll bring you more than a song
I'll bring you more than a song
I'll bring you more than a song

With my mind still on the day before and "parenting" still on the brain I really connected to it and began correlating it to our TRUE mission as parents to our children in this world.

It is so easy, as parents, to get caught up in the....Schooling, "Sporting", Clothing, Socializing, "Manoring", Fine motoring, Gross Motoring, "Erranding", etc....that we lose the true "heart of parenting."

"All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart"

What is something that is TRULY of worth to our children and their hearts? I believe it's the Love of Jesus and our God. "Above all, Love."

"I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus"

 I was told once that children are given to us only for a time, but that they will forever belong to God. What a precious and important gift! (Along with that paper with the lyrics on it I also keep a picture that someone gave me of my first born asleep in his carrier next to their Christmas tree and all of the presents underneath it. This picture is a constant reminder to me that "Children are a gift," even though a temporary one.)

If teaching and showing our children the Love of Christ is the most important thing we can do for our children, why do we cram their lives FULL of all these other things? It's easy to do because most of these things are fun, but collectively it can get to be TOO much. A balance perhaps is the best choice?

I am realizing now that yesterday my son's "world" was not balanced. Love was not the primary focus. In my head right now I am envisioning a balance (like the one in a science class) with "God's Love" on one side and all the "Others" in our lives on the other (If I wasn't computer challenged I would design that up for you!).  This is going to be my personal goal for my life and my children's. I realize it will take saying "no" to things more often than I say "yes," but I guess that's what being a parent is all about...not always making the easy choice for your family, but making the right choice for your(every family is different) family.

Rambled enough? I think so :) But I hope you can also do some reflecting on your parenting "goals" (or life goals if you aren't a parent) and try to realign yourself if you have fallen away from the track.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Order vs. Chaos

I like order, the boys in our house prefer chaos. Order is the last thing on their minds most of the time. The "men" might appreciate it if I described it as being a little more "free." This can be a great Yin to my Yang on most days, but on the days involving paint and tiny hands, let's just say that I prefer order over chaos.

On Tuesday after dinner I got the idea in my head that I wanted to paint a Fall picture with the boys...something to keep and cherish (aww). In my head I had a picture of the four of us with smiles on our faces, taking turns, and taking our time to make a beautiful piece of art. What I got was not what I pictured...paint flying, hands with paint on them touching way to many things they shouldn't, impatient males putting their mark on the "art" wherever they wanted(not where I specifically told them too!), and me losing my cool a few(maybe more) times.

In the end, we all still ended up having fun AND I realized the original "picture in my head" was absolutely ridiculous! Needless to say, I'm learning about boys, adjusting my expectations at times, and trying to just let boys be boys. The boys were actually pretty cute and we still wound up with a pretty cute picture that we can keep :)
Hand prints on the tree and thumb prints on the ground

Caden's favorite part is the brother birds :)

Attempts at getting a "good" picture of them with their art...

.....try #1, 236....

And we said uncle.....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pinning is winning...

Lately you might have heard, "are you on Pinterest???" about a million times. Some think this is one of those new "fads", but I don't really agree. I have found it incredibly useful and a lot of fun! For a person who loves getting ideas for new projects, I have loved it! I just wanted to share some of the things I have made recently from some versions of my "Pins" on Pinterest.....

DIY Interchangeable Welcome Sign - made with 4x4 and 1x6 wood. Seasonal signs would be so fun to make and change out.
And my version...

Mine is a little different from the original, and looks great in person. The original one was black and distressed on the edges. I painted mine orange on the edges and spray painted it a satin inside/outside brown paint. I distressed it on the edges to let the orange show and then sprayed a couple poly-urethane coats on it. We also put an oil rubbed bronze hook on it. I love how it turned out and am excited that I can just interchange the signs on it throughout the year. This sign is temporary, I am hoping to make a more Halloween-ish sign in the near future. I can't wait to put out mums and pumpkin decor on the porch with it! Yay, for Fall!

Initialed Front Door Wreath

And my version of the pin...

The wreath is a wreath I made a few years ago with a grapevine wreath and two different Fall swags I got on sale. I have always loved this wreath, and have no plans of getting rid of it until I have too! When I saw the initial wreath on Pinterest I liked the idea of "Jazzing" up my Fall wreath with our initial. I found the wooden "S" at Hobby Lobby. I spray painted it the mustard yellow that I also used on the tin pitcher in my kitchen. I inked the edges with a brownish-green and hot glued in onto the wreath. I toyed with the idea of adding a bow, but my hubbs and I decided that we liked it better this way. The "S" really makes it stand out when you look at it from the street.


And my "darker" version...

Okay, I love orange and not just in the Fall..can you tell? I also loved the ivory color of the original, but it would have been sorely out of place in our house where we have mostly dark frames. I found this beautiful oval frame 50% off at Hobby Lobby and covered the inside in burlap I already had. I found the "S" at Micheal's and painted a few different shades of orange. After a couple dabs of hot glue, it was finished! We really like the different texture the burlap added to it. Right now it is in my kitchen, but I am throwing around the idea of adding it to a frame collage I have in our hallway...we shall see!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Be a woman who...

I found this sign this morning and even though I have already found my man, I still like it and hope we all have and will find a man who will be this type....

It also started me thinking...if we expect this out of our man, shouldn't we also set ourselves with the same expectation?

Be a Woman...
1. Who promises to give your spouse laugh lines when they are old,

2. Who tells him you're proud of him on a daily basis,

3. Who puts your spouse's happiness on the same level as yours,

4. Who uses positive superlatives when describing him and your relationship with each other,

5. Who uses "when" and not "if" when talking about your future and how he fits into it.

Also can be used as a mother to your children...

Be a Mother...
1. Who promises to give your children the case of the giggles every day,

2. Who tells your children you are proud of them on a daily basis, even when they have grown up and moved into a house of their own,

3. Who puts their well-being on the same level as yours,

4. Who uses positive superlatives when describing them to others,

5. Who uses "when" and not "if" when talking about the future of your family and how they fit into it.

---Something to strive for on many different levels---

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Galvanized cover-up....

A month or two ago I wrote about how I decided to redo my kitchen decor. I wanted it to be country, pretty, but simple. I got into my head that I wanted to put a pitcher on top of my fridge with some sprigs poking out of it. I found a pitcher that I LOVED...but the downside, it was $40. Not horrible, but NOT what I wanted to pay, so I held off.

In preparation for an upcoming garage sale I was going through one of our closets and found and old galvanized pitcher that I used to put sunflowers in. I have always liked it, but remembered that the reason I don't have it out is because we use mostly bronze or darker metals in our house and not the silvery color. Then I sparked an *idea*. I decided to spray paint the pitcher and distress it with some sand paper and see how that worked....
The pitcher before
My tools: Fine grit sand paper and mustard yellow spray paint
Finished product

I love the details on the tin and sanded them so they would stand out more. This is up on top of my fridge right now with some other Fall decor...the "sprigs in it are growing on me, still trying to decide on those, BUT I am happy with how the pitcher turned out!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fab Food: Italiano

Oh man, I'm still salivating from this weeks fab food. 

When planning our meals for this week, I planned on my "Fab Food" being a homemade chicken Alfredo. Not because it is extraordinary in technique, etc...but mainly because it is amazingly delectable in every way. I went grocery shopping on Monday aaaaaand because I was so excited about this meal, I made it that very same day.

Because I like stories, I'm going to preface this recipe with one...

One summer when we were newly married, my husband and I went back to help out at the summer camp he grew up going to. He was helping out with the kids while I was put in the kitchen(typical!). I thought that I was just going to be doing salads, other easy things, etc....but no, no...I was actually a cook. 6-8 hours in a kitchen (in a foreign place with people I didn't know) just about drove me nuts, BUT I did come out of it with some new friends and some great recipes. One week we had a *guest head cook* come in to take over the kitchen (I welcomed this). Her name was Sonja, and her food was incredible. This is Sonja's Alfredo Sauce topped with  marinated chicken...

Note: Due to the extreme excitement to eat this dish, I did not take the time to take pictures of, well...anything while cooking. So please, get out your best thinking caps (this is the teacher in me talking) and do your best to imagine :)

Marinated Chicken
--First things first, thaw about a pound of chicken in about a 1/2 cup of Italian Dressing and let marinate for an hour or so. I use a light dressing in order to lighten this dish a *little*

--Cut chicken into strips and put it in a large skillet along with another 1/3 cup of Italian dressing

--Cook over medium heat until done

--Take your favorite pasta (we used linguine) and begin boiling...hopefully you know how to finish the pasta without me explaining it....

*Alfredo Sauce*
--Once the chicken and pasta are cooking begin your sauce.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half & half (ouch)
1 cup milk (we used Skim...another shy effort at lightening this)
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
Garlic to taste
All of your fav Italian herbs...mine? My classics...thyme, oregano, basil, and rosemary

1. Melt butter in 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat

2. Whisk in flour (should be clumpy), gradually stir in half & half, milk and bouillon

3. Cook, stirring constantly with whisk until sauce thickens (about 5-10 minutes)

4. Add seasonings, stir in grated cheese and cook until melted
*Note: if it is not thickening add small amounts of flour until thickened to your liking, or if it's too thick just add milk!

5. Top cooked noodles with sauce and incredibly yummy chicken.
6. Retreat into your own happy place...momentarily tune out children...savor...delight...devour...get seconds...

--This recipe makes about 3 1/2 cups--

While I didn't get pictures of the cookin' I did get pictures of my happy and pleased boys afterwards...

 They loved the Chicken Alfredo! It almost made up for the broccoli I also made them eat with this meal...

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