Thursday, February 28, 2013

Darryl's Birthday Weekend

On the 22nd of February, my husband turned. ..  .older.  :-)  Since we just went away for Valentine's Day last week, I had to get a little creative and decided that we would still go away but we would go to my parents house since the room was free, meals were free and, well, babysitting was free. 

First of all, I took the boys to the store on Thursday to find a present for their dad.  We stopped near the toy/candy/flower section and I told them what they were doing.  Nate turned around said, "I want to get him flowers" and Josh said, without hesitating, "I want to get him a treat".  Wow!  Who knew they already had ideas.  Nate walked through the flower section and found a daffodil plant he wanted to get because "It looks like our sunflowers mom!".  Josh had me help him pick out a huge bag of Hershey Kisses - he knows his dad loves chocolate!.

Second, on Friday, the boys and I packed and made a few things - a cake and cards :-)

They loved frosting the cake and yes, Nate is using a whisk - he said his spatula was not working well.  :-)  By the time they were down, the cake was beginning to crumble ;-)  They loved it though! 

Once Darryl got home, we headed out to my parents house for dinner, cake and gifts. 

 The boys put all of the candles in the cake . . and then rearranged them about 4 times HA!  They were so proud of their handiwork.  This is the first birthday party of an adult that they have really gotten into and it really was super fun.  We had a great dinner of ham, Baked beans, Potato Salad, and baked apples. Yum!

 This photo speaks volumes.  Darryl was pulling out the flowers and wasn't quite sure who picked them out; Nate standing off to the side quietly said, "I picked them out all by myself just for you dad".  How sweet is that?  That made them super special.
 This is Darryl opening Josh's gift - see Nate's face?  He's screeching, "It's a treat dad" HA!  Such excitement!!

 Blowing out the candles on the cake - Homemade Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - his favorite!
The birthday boy!!!

On Saturday, we started out with breakfast at a place called Mega Coney.  The whole family went and it was fun.  Once we dropped the boys back at my parents, we took off for the day.  Our first stop was bowling but (oops) I should have called. They said they had opening bowling on their website but I did not realize there was a tournament that day.  So instead we just headed to a fantastic indoor outlet mall called Great Lakes Crossing.  Darryl wanted to pick out some new clothes so it was the perfect place to shop. I forgot out awesome the mall is - we haven't been there in about 10 years.  We walked the whole thing (it is like 2 miles) and, of course, got an Auntie Anne Pretzel for a snack half way through :-)  Then we went to dinner at Chili's and saw a movie because, well, we could.  Once we got back to my parent's town, we actually went back to Mega Coney Island for Milk Shakes (and maybe a Coney Dog and Hanni . . but I can't remember HA).  It was a great day

A nice relaxing weekend :-) 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

March Goals

Check my February goals HERE

So, I learned an important lesson this month that is two-fold.  1) Don't wait until mid month to post your goals on your blog and 2) Don't forget to print them so they are in your face.  Surprisingly I did get more done then I thought I did but several of the items totally fell off my radar!  Quite a few of those items will be showing up again!

1. Work on Landscaping/yard design plan - FOR REAL!  Spring is coming!!
2.  Get that darn coat rack!!!
3. Continue to save to paint the house - the goal is to start this project in early May In process
4. Get an estimate on replacing the front porch and doors Estimate done; on course to do project this spring
5. Get an estimate on what it will cost to redo the kitchen counter tops
6. Get an estimate on putting in the garage door opener Estimate done; this will be done soon!

1. Continue the Diaper Boys challenge
2. Complete Lessons with the boys - the goal in March is to finally finish Letter C and D plus do a review week over the first 4 letters.  I'd like to get to letter E . . .we'll see!
3. March Weather is always crazy - so depending on the Weather we would like to start taking walks and maybe start geocaching. It is still winter here . .. we've played outside on a few nice days but it is not walking weather yet!
4. Make one thing related to the birthday board!
5. Put into motion the chore chart
6. Sign the boys up for an activity depending on what is available

1. Scrapbooking - I have one scrapbooking event to go to this month - just a 6 hour crop- so my over all goal this month is to finish October and November 2012 (November was a very small photo month!) and also complete the boys 1st year baby books. Josh's is basically done and Nate's is about 70% done.  I'd just like them both 100% done!
2. Get Earbuds for the m3 player :-)
3. Increase my steps - 8000 steps a day!
4. Read a book on my topic study
5. Begin Memorizing "The Sermon on the Mount"
6. Learn to Play 2 piano songs
7. Work on healthy lunches My goal is to find a 4 week rotation - Week 1 - Tomato Soup, Laughing Cow Cheese/Crackers and Fruit; Week 2-  Tuna fish on a bed of lettuce, crackers, veggies/dip; Week 3 - A Homemade soup and crackers w/fruit (I.e. Meatball soup, Broccoli Soup); Week 4 - Salad.  Either a lettuce salad, egg-salad, a chicken pasta salad along with fruit and crackers
8. This is the month I'm going on a snack strike at night.
9. Take care of my feet for this month - get them ready for summer and sandles

1. Get Dental Insurance
2. Begin "A word a day"
3. Have a movie night with the Hubs.
4. Plan April's budget before April 1st.
5. Pay $25.00 towards the balance on our truck
6. Subscribe to the Sentinel

1. Plan Metrobeach trip with a priceline hotel for overnight Done :-) (We stayed at my parents but did our yearly trip to the beach)
2. See LesMiserable (Think I might take myself to the movies while the kids are gone those few days)

1.Read "How to Photograph your baby and do it
2. Make a list of 100 things about me
3. MakeJohn Deere blanket for Nate
4.  Finish February's Pinterest Projects
5. Pick out 4 (or so) new projects

1. Finish the basement - the kids will be gone a few days this month so I already plan on using that time to finish this up.
3. Organize Recipes into several binders Done
2. Organize manuals into three ring binders
4. Organize our tax documents into a file box
5. Organize DVD's - need to order system from Amazon

1. Plan special activities for St Patricks Day Done
2. Plan special activities for Easter

Lots and Lots of thing to focus on this month.  I'm hoping to hit this stuff hard this month.  March is much less busy than February was so I'm hoping for much better success! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Too Cute Not to Toot

So, this list of muffin tin recipes from Recipe By Photo caught my eye so I thought I would share this with all of you. 

I must be hungry but my next idea is also a recipe and comes from Lemon Sugar . These would be great to make for camping or our over night hotel getaway's - a special treat for breakfast.
These little "elephant" feet from Martha Stewart are way too cute not to make.  I can see having these on hand for a rainy day this summer. 
We all have TP rolls at home, right?  Well there are some cute crafts over at Kids Kubby - great inexpensive craft ideas :-)
Well, I usually try to come up with at least 5 ideas but I'm running dry this week so . . .since I posted two links that share multiple ideas, I guess it's ok ;-) 

Happy Crafting!

Monday, February 25, 2013

February Preschool

February has been a little bit of a bust as far as preschool.  Now, don't get me wrong,we do things daily that aren't structured.  We played our version of "I spy" this week where we would "spy" a color and the boys would run through the house to find anything they could that matched that color.  The boys played with their computers - Josh taught Nate how to play his favorite game . . well he tried.

This past week we just tried to recover from a busy week the week before and it took all week!  We were all tired out from our adventures the week before and did a whole lot of nothing!  We did do two things - 1)We went to the grocery store on Thursday plus I took the boys to the bank and out to lunch.  These are great teaching times :-)  2) We made birthday cards on Friday for Darryl

We will be getting back into our groove next week with lessons, activities, a craft or two and maybe a field trip on Thursday since my husband doesn't work that day.

So, are you looking for some ideas for March?  Check out my Pinterest board for ideas.

You can check out some general preschool ideas on this Pinterest board too!

Have a great week !

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What Pinterest Inspired Me to do

In January I did not share what Pinterest ideas I was honing in on - I meant to but the post kinda got lost so I thought I would share them now.

First up is something for the boys room. The inspiration comes from The Keeper of the Cheerios and looks like this:
My boys, much to my husband's chagrin, have many stuffed animals.  The boys talk about their "friends" or "kids" or "dolls" (yes, dolls - I'm trying to stick with kids and friends HA) and actually know when one is missing, which one belongs to which boy and they love them all.  As much as I love this "zoo" idea lets get real.  I'm not about to build anything (math is not my forte!) and the boys don't have room for cages in their bedroom.  So I too the above idea and turned it into this:

Just laundry baskets :-)  I know - so not as pretty as the inspiration but they fit right next to the boys beds and the boys love playing them - they haul the baskets out and dump out their friends; set them all up and puppet shows for them.  Then roll around in the baskets for fun HA!  I consider this a success! I already owned one basket so this idea only cost me $3.99 for the second basket.

Idea number two is just a photo pinned to my Pinterest Board - I'm not sure where the original idea came from as the link takes you back to a photo board.
Toy storage in the bathtub!!  We have one bathroom so the toys drive us nuts - for the longest time I've kept them in a bowl in the cupboard and it is such a pain to get them in and out.  I loved this idea but, again, with one shower, this was going to really crowd the adults that take shower (I.e. my husband and I HA)  So I went looking for a similar idea and came up with this!

It is actually a shower organizer that hooks on the shower curtian hooks.  Instead I hung some command hooks and hooked it onto those.  This gives plenty of space for their toys, body paints (which they love!) and even a place to hang their scrubbies.  The toys dry out and are keep out of the way since it hangs at the back of the shower.  The best part?  It cost $9.99.  Super simple and inexpensive!

The last idea is something for the classroom and comes from Attempting Aloha and looks like this:
This is what mine looks like :

I love it!  This Shoe Holder was $5.99 at target and it holds a lot of stuff.  I keep stuff I don't want the kids to get into in the top two rows.  The other stuff I don't worry about so much.  This really is the perfect storage solution for SOOOO many things!

That's all for now but I'm already working on my February ideas :-)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weekly Menu

Hello there!  This is a normal week, I think! Last week's menu did not go as planned.  I had planned to go to the store on Tuesday but then we got hit with a rain/sleet/freezing rain/snow storm that started on Monday night and lasted all day on Tuesday.  We went no where!  Just to get from our door to the garage meant ice skating across the sidewalk due to all of the rain that "flash froze".  I finally made it to the store on Thursday (My husband stopped on Tuesday on his way home from work to pick up a few things so we would "survive" hehehehe) so I "shopped" from home for Tuesday and Wednesday night.  We had Ham and Cheese Quiche, Donut muffins, and hashbrowns on Tuesday and a Roast, Potatoes and Carrots on Wednesday.  All good food :-)

This past week while at the Scrapbook Weekend, several of us got to talking about menu planning.  One of the women said she thinks that that effort/time of prepping/cooking/eating/and clean-up is over rated and she hates it.  This is what they eat every week - Sun- Order Pizza, Mon . . this one I can't recall, Tues is Tacos, Wednesday is her husbands day, Thursday her Mother-in-law makes dinner and Friday/Saturday they eat out.  Seriously??  Most of us said we menu plan and the meals are different every week or we get bored.  Remember my family favorites?  I put them all back in their normal places of my recipe book - I'm tired of them.  Seriously.

On a slightly different note, I've started to think about summer cooking.  I want to have a plan this year - a small "summer" recipe book maybe with things that are not so "hot" to cook or eat.  It's funny to think about right now as I watch a snow storm out the window but I know that if I don't think about it now, we'll hit the first hot week and eat out every night (which, by the way, we will eat out more in the summer - it's even going to go on the menu!!) 

Here is this weeks plan!

Monday - Homemade Pizza and Homemade Sauce - I've had this recipe sitting around for awhile and decided this was a good time to try it.  If the sauce is good, I'd like to make a huge batch and freeze it . .. if it isn't, I'll go back to the can!  We will also have breadsticks (probably just pillsbury kind) because my 3 year old doesn't like pizza!

Tuesday - A few weeks ago we were supposed to meet friends for dinner but my truck died so we had to cancel.  This is our "make-up" day :-)

Wednesday - Darryl has practice so I decided to try something new that might not be his favorite - Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice.  This is a pinterest recipe that has HUGE reviews even from people I actually know.  We'll see how it turns out.  Darryl might just have to learn to like it :-)

Thursday - I've had quite a few "I want to try this" recipes floating around in my recipe book for awhile - this is another one and it is Apple Stuffed Pork Chops with Herb Gravy.  I'm going to serve it with Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes and a veggie I have in the pantry . . .green beans, carrots, peas - I'll decide by dinner!

Friday - I saw a recent episode of Pioneer Woman - she made Lasagna and Garlic Bread - I'm going to try her recipe; it is just slightly different than mine but the changes look like they are a good thing :-)

Saturday - Tonight we are heading to a night of "Dinner and Praise" at a local church.  We get to eat dinner and then there is a music service (Yep, I'm singing).  Should be a great night.

Sunday - After church - Puerto Rican Chicken (we use this recipe for our Thanksgiving Turkey), Stuffing, Mashed Potoates and Gravy and Green Beans.  Later in the evening I think we will get a Pizza or something.

Monday - Korean Taco's, Chips and Cheese and Oven Roasted Green Beans.  This is my first night back to practice with the Lakewood Choral Society so I wanted something easy for dinner :-)

Our sweets this week - Chocolate Chip Butter Cookies, Oatmeal Scotchies in a Pan and Cool Whip Dessert.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Food Friday - The Perfect Lemonade Punch

The Perfect Lemonade Punch
Adapted from Pinterest

First up, this photo is not mine :-)  I forgot to take a photo of my punch plus this one is much prettier since I didn't add lemons to mine.  I recently made this punch for a Ladies Meeting with Ladies from church and it was a huge hit.  It was a great combination and so easy to put together.  I plan on using this for future get togethers for something different to drink than just soda! 

1 cup Country Time Lemonade Mix
2 cups Cold Water
1 Can (46 ounces) Pineapple Juice - Chilled
2 Cans Sprite (I used Sprite Zero)

Mix well and serve. I added ice cubes to mine and also, like the photo shows - sliced lemons would look awesome in it! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snowman Craft

I saw this idea originally over at Confessions of a Homeschooler and knew it would be a great craft to do with the boys.

We tackled this at the end of a preschool unit at the beginning of February and the boys loved it.  I think they loved it most because we got to use "blue!" (I.e. glue hahaha)

You will find a full list of supplies through the link above but this is our version!

Before we started this craft, I drew the snowman body on the blue paper.  I also cut out the hat, nose and buttons so the boys just had to follow some simple instructions . They had to find a white crayon (or a "whipe" crayon ;-) ) in the bin and draw snow on the ground around their snowman.  They then had to find a brown crayon and draw the stick arms.  Finally, they got to use the glue and paint the bodies (we use paint brushes to paint on glue - it keeps the HUGE puddles of clue from forming.)

I love their finished products.  The boys ages and personalities really come out in an art project like this.  Nate's is the top photo - he thinks outside the box and is still very abstract.  Josh's is the bottom piece of art - he stays inside the lines and follows directions pretty closely with just a little flair of his own.

This is such a fun easy project for the kids and, depending on their ages then can do more (or less) of the project on their won. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A little time away

Last week we had some great, fun things take place and I know you will find this hard to believe but I did not take a single photo!  Sometimes it feels good to leave the camera at home and just enjoy the moment.

On Tuesday, the 12th, my kids left to go to Papa and Nana's for a week.  It was fun watching them pack ;-)  I SHOULD have taken a photo of what they gathered!  They each have a bag that they are allowed to fill with anything they want to take.  Those bags included everything from trucks to tools to . .. . a bag of cookie mix and green sprinkles HA!  Yep, they wanted to make cookies at Nana's house :-)  I'm kinda surprised it all fit in Nana's car with the dog but we made it work and I sent them on their way!  The reason they left on Tuesday is because I was hosting the Ladies Meeting for church.

Ladies meeting - where the ladies from church meet together once a month at someone's house to play a game, eat snacks and have a Bible Study.  It is too hard to host when my kids are home since there is no where for them to go so I lined this time up once I knew there were other things going on at the same time.  We had a good time at the meeting - a lower turn-out than normal but we all still enjoyed ourselves.

Wednesday - Ahhhhh no kids :-)  I got up early and took my husband to work so we only had one vehicle to deal with over the next two days.  Of course I laid back down to get some extra sleep ;-)  Once I got up, I packed for an overnight trip with the hubs, loaded up, and headed to get my hair cut.  This was a much needed cut after having to cancel when I was so sick in December.  I picked up a Mocha Frappe and went to enjoy an hour's worth of pampering :-)  I had a few minutes to spare after I was done so I went next door to the scrapbook store to pick up a few supplies for my weekend adventure before heading into downtown to pick up my husband!

We were given a gift at Christmas that we saved for Valentine's Day week.  Back in January, we used our best friend, Priceline, to reserve a hotel for Wednesday night.  We also had a gift card to Red Lobster so we started out by stopping for dinner and we both looked at each other and said, "There is no time table for the next two days", then we took a deep breath, sat back, and relaxed.  We took our time at dinner, enjoying our food, quiet conversation, and laughing at other people (Yep, I said that out loud).  After dinner, we did some window shopping.  We have a long list of things on our wish list so we went to our local Art Van Furniture Store to check out some things.  Ironically the one thing we found that we loved was a Sofa and that was the one thing that was NOT on our list HA!  We loved the sofa so much that, if we were impulse buyers, we would have bought it right there but we aren't so we didn't!  Instead we headed to our hotel to check in and relax.  We got all situated right in time to watch Survivor.  Then at about 9:30 we did one of our favorite things - we got a "treat".  Normally, when the kids are with us, we wait until they are asleep, then Darryl runs out and gets a late night snack for us but this time - we both went and ended up at Culvers for burgers and Fries.  (What? we ate "dinner" at 4:00! and that was the only real meal either of us had eaten!).  We even stayed up to watch the late night shows - something we never do anymore.

Thursday - we slept in. Yes we did.  It was great.  Usually we have kids in our room by 7:00 AM.  Once we got up and got ready, we headed to Grand Traverse Pie Company for an early lunch and some internet time :-)  Then we headed to a movie.  Darryl picked one that was more "artistic" and is something I would have never picked to watch but it actually kept my interest.  The buttery popcorn and large Pepsi didn't hurt either :-)  From there we did some more shopping - we started by picking up new batteries for our computers - those were actually our Christmas presents to each other.  Both of our computers had given up the ghost in batteries months ago. (It is so nice to be writing this post, sitting on the couch, not at my desk, since I no longer have to plug in!).  Then my husband "made me" go next door to Payless and bought me boots.  I finally can play in the snow . .. that has all melted HA!  Darryl wanted to stop at the Guitar store to check out some stuff so I went next door to an upscale furniture store just for fun and found another couch that I love that was on clearance . . .but we still didn't buy :-)  Finally, we headed to Baker Book House - a Christian Book Store - that has recently remodeled and includes a coffee shop.  We used to go to the Book Store all of the time but now, we never get a chance to so this was a treat.  Oh. my. word.  The coffee shop was to die for.  I wish I had taken a photo of our coffee - the Barista had even written "Mocha" in chocolate on top of our drinks and wrote in Chocolate on the plate that held a slice of cheesecake.  It was so good!!!  I did some shopping while Darryl enjoyed the Wi-Fi.  I picked up a Devotional book and some soundtracks :-)  So much fun!.  We wrapped up our day by picking up a pizza to take home - it was free :-)  We had REALLY bad food from them a few weeks ago so they sent us a gift card to try it again.  The pizza was very good, the service to get the pizza was awful - we won't go back.

Friday - Darryl expected to work today, even made the 45 minute drive in only to find out that his cab had been given out to someone else.  It was a nice bonus to have him home but it would have been nicer if he had not had to get up at 3:00 AM :-/  Anyway, for me, I was repacking for a weekend away!  I left on Friday to head to a scrapbooking weekend and would not be home until Sunday evening :-)  I ended up completing 70 pages and two small projects that had been hanging over my head for . . .well. .. years :-)  It was a great get away and Darryl got to enjoy some time alone and get some recording done too.

The boys returned on Monday and life is slowly getting back to normal . .. did I say slowly?  :-)

This would have been a much more exciting post with pictures :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Too Cute Not To Toot

So, this first idea is really a Valentine's Wreath but the concept is something you could use for various holidays - wouldn't a July 4th Wreath be awesome?? Check it out at Tales of the Scotts.

Club Chica Circle shares a great to follow tutorial for making Borax Crystals.  Again, this one is specific for Valentines but you could easily make Clovers for St Patrick's Day.
More than once I've talked about making quiet books for the boys.  I'd still like to . . .so when I saw this page from Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows, well I got inspired again especially since I think she has given similar posts for all of the pages in her book.
This idea for a big beach blanket is awesome and the idea comes from My Material Life and she gives a very easy tutorial.

Along the same lines as the above idea, is this idea for a sunbathing buddy from Moda Bakeshop.  It really is a super cute idea especially if you head to the beach a lot in the summer and don't want to haul a chair :-)
This next idea I want to try for sure - it comes from The Frugal Girls.Com and is for making your own foaming soap.  The reason I love it is that it uses Baby Soap.  Now, my boys love soap but I hate it that it is harsh and will burn their eyes so this solution is perfect.  :-)   Can't wait to try it!
That's all for this week!

Monday, February 18, 2013

February Preschool

Well, there isn't much to share about this past week!  On Monday, the boys and I went to the grocery store so that was our "school".  Trust me, by the time we finish at the store, eat lunch, and unload everything I am d.o.n.e. WHEW!

On Tuesday, the boys headed to Papa and Nana's for almost a week (wow) as I actually have some things going on this week (Like a weekend scrapbooking crop !!)

The boys are actually returning today so we will (hopefully) get back into lessons on Tuesday.

Enjoy the week!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Snow Cream

When I was a little girl, I read (and re-read) the Little House Books.  One of the things the girls did was make Sugar Snow.  I always said I wanted to do that but, of course,never have. Then, recently I started hearing about Snow Cream.  I decided that in the first BIG snow of the year, I would make some . . .and we finally had that storm at the beginning of February.  I used this Paula Dean recipe that calls for Evaporated Milk and it was to die for - seriously.  A friend of mine shared this recipe from Childbearing has Stolen Their Brains which just uses milk and sugar.

This is what inspired me to make Snow Cream! Look at all of that snow!!! 

Josh liked it and ate about . . .3 spoonfuls.  Nate tasted it and did not want anymore.  I ate my whole bowl ;-) HA!  It was very yummy but extremely sweet.  One little bowl was more than enough for me! I think, for now this is just a "once a winter treat". Maybe when the boys are older they will like it more and ask for it more . . we'll see!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekly Menu - the one with Darryl's birthday!

I'm enjoying February so far :-)  Hardly cooking last week and, this week?  Hardly cooking again HA!

Check it out!

Tuesday - Turkey!!!  Stuffing, Potatoes, Corn and Biscuits. I have a Turkey in my freezer I would like to use so this seems like a good time.

Wednesday - Turkey Soup with stuffing meatballs.  I made this a few years ago and we really liked it . .. at least I seem to remember that we liked it :-)  and Homemade Bread

Thursday - Lemon Chicken,Savory Rice, Broccoli, and rolls

Friday - Now this is where the fun begins!!!  Today is my husband's birthday so we are heading to my parents house for the weekend.  Tonight we are going to have Jet's Pizza with the family including my parents and my brother's family.  It should be fun!

Saturday - This is "Darryl's Day".  We are starting with breakfast at a local Coney place that he has never been and then heading out of the day.  I have a cool resturant picked out for dinner - can't wait for that!!

Sunday - We are going to church with my parents and then will have dinner before heading for home.

Monday  - Chicken Fried Steak, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Fried Corn - I'm ready for a great "comfort food" meal :-)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Food Friday - Superbowl Style

Sunday, February 3rd, was Superbowl Sunday.  As you know, if you follow this blog, we love Football in this house so not only is Superbowl Sunday a day of excitement, we are also sad because, well, Football is done until August :-(  Instead of sharing just a recipe today, I'm going to share are day and give some links for a couple of new recipes I tried out.

We actually got snow!  The first week in February brought quite a bit of snow - especially Thursday - Saturday.  So, on Sunday, when Darryl got home from work, the boys got dressed for the snow and they played outside for well over an hour.  Sledding, shoveling, and then, sliding.  Darryl would fill the slide with snow and the boys would "plow" down it.  HA!  When Darryl finally came in, Josh laid down on the deck, face down, and cried ;-)  He loves his daddy!  No, I didn't play in the snow . . .I haven't bought boots yet and plan to buy them this week which means we'll have no more snow until next year :-/

Once we convinced the Snow Angels to come inside, I had fresh, hot donuts waiting for them thanks to my Mini-Donut Maker.  They are awesome and the perfect size for little hands (and for popping the whole thing in your mouth if you want to!!)  It was a great afternoon treat.  I then snuggled in on the couch to watch all of the pregame stuff, as did Darryl.  Josh set up the Game Cube and he played Pac-man for most of the afternoon (Don't judge - he is only allowed to play when Darryl is home - most specifically on Sunday afternoons so we can relax and watch TV too!) Nate wondered from toy to toy and snuggled with me for awhile too.

Before Kick-Off, I set up all of our snacks.
For this party, I made some old favorites like the Fruit Dip, Meatballs, and Shrimp Cocktail.  I will admit two things: 1) The meatballs overcooked.  My crock pots seems to cook really hot so I should have waited to put the meatballs in plus I tried a variation on my normal recipe and it wasn't as good.  2)The Shrimp Cocktail was lacking. . .the sauce was old (I should have checked it!) and the Shrimp, which was bought frozen was a little on the tasteless, mushy side.  I think I need to find somewhere to buy good, fresh shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail.   Then we tried two new recipes.  First up is something called "Texas Trash" or "Warm Bean Dip."
This recipe comes from Life as a Lofthouse and was probably the favorite of the night.  I have a cold bean dip/layered dip that we love but I wanted something different and this fit the bill.  It had great flavor and, would be even better if you threw some chopped lettuce, onions and black olives on your plate to make it more of a "nacho" style dip.Note: I did cut this recipe in half and made it in an 8 x 8 pan.

The second dip was Feta Dip.
This recipe comes from Clover Lane and is super easy . It reminds me of a Bruschetta but with a greek flair thanks to the Feta Cheese.  I didn't really measure - instead I just took out a dinner plate since ours have the "sunken" center and just layered the ingredients inside that area based totally on my eye :-)  This ended up being the perfect amount for my husband and I - there was just a little left so it didn't get wasted.  This was also really good but you have to like Feta Cheese to like this :-)

The game was fantastic - it was the best kind of Superbowl because it went right down to the last few minutes of the game and there were some "desperate" plays at the end to make it even more fun to watch.  Plus the team I was cheering for actually won this year!

If those appetizers look appealing to you - just click on the links and you should find them!  (If not, let me know and I'll get them to you.)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope you get to enjoy a wonderful day!  My husband and I are enjoying a date day since the boys are with Papa and Nana and he has the day off.  I don't think we've done anything on Valentine's Day in . . .years! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The "To Do" Index File System

Throughout the past year, I've tried out a few different types of organizers in order to find one that works for me.  Lets back track just a little.  Since college, I was a "Franklin-Covey" girl. My dad got me started with that system and I loved it.  I would get giddy walking into the store each November to buy my new filler for my binder and loved filling it all out.  It fit my lifestyle all the way through my last year of teaching.  I continued to use it when I worked at the bank but over that 7 years I found I really didn't "use" it,yet I just couldn't let it go.  I was paying a lot of money for blank pages.  Things really changed when I made the switch to staying home.  My planner sat on my desk and got dusty.  I found I needed a small pocket calender in my purse so I didn't need to carry a planner around in my hands.  It was at that point I started experimenting.  First, I jumped onto the Erin Condren bandwagon and purchased one of her great Life Planners.  The planner is awesome!  I love it and want one but . . I don't need one.  :-(  Again, lots of blank pages and, honestly, it was a pain to carry.  It didn't fit into my purse and I don't have enough hands to carry a purse, planner, diaper bag, and hold onto two boys hands.  So, in June I created a Planner System that I found over at The Oxford Place Diaries.  Again, I really loved the File Folder system.  My problem was the lack of space on my desk.  It was so crowded, I never could really use the system well. With that in mind, I realized I need to go smaller . . .

So, last October, I created my own system which I know has been  used by others but it came to my brain on its own so . .. I created it for me HA!

I picked up a 3x5 index card file, some index cards and some post-it label tabs.  (Do you have any idea how hard it is to find these little 3x5 index card files nowadays??)
Each tab represents a month.  Behind each tab, I label an index card for each day of the month (Friday, February 1st, Saturday February 2nd . .ect)
Each day, I write out my to do list on the card.  I also list any appointments at the top of the card so I remember what needs to be done. I can then easily leave this on my desk and mark things off as I complete the task.  This system has worked perfectly for me for over 3 months.

I'm also using this as a future tickler file.  I will save the previous years cards to review each month to see what I need to remember for the current year.  Everything from when the kids went to the doctor to when we went away for a special treat.  I also love that it only takes up a square on my desk and helps keep all of those big papers off of my desk (no more desk clutter!)  I carry a small pocket calender in my purse for my "planner" and that is more than enough.

My boys also love this little file so I bought them each one for their stocking so they have their own little papers to use instead of pulling out mine :-)