Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Popcorn Bloomer and Blouse GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Popcorn Bloomer and Blouse GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

This set is so darling. I only wish it was a larger size so Big A could wear it. I guess if I win I will give it to a friend with a younger, smaller daughter. The gal from Grosgrain is simply amazing. Check out her website and enter the contest for yourself. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Menu Plan Week of July 28th - New Recipes

Wow the weekend has just flown by. My son, little a celebrated his first birthday yesterday. We had a wonderful party with family and friends. It was just delightful I couldn’t have asked for a better celebration of my sons first birthday.

Consequently, our plans changed tonight. We were supposed to go see a concert tonight at a wonderful, small venue theater in the city, but we were just exhausted. We didn’t sleep much and then cleaning before and after a party really wears you out. I was thinking about tonight’s meal. I ended up having my in-laws over for dinner (wearing my pj’s) and I was not really planning on making dinner tonight since Mr. D and I were supposed to go out. Well my in-laws were going to baby-sit and since they didn’t get to they wanted to see the kids and spend time with them. I decided to use the left over grilled chicken from last night to make enchiladas. They turned out great. We also had Spanish rice and a citrus salad for dinner. I was amazed at how easy it came together. If that would have happened to me five years ago I would have ordered pizza. My FIL is an amazing cook and I still get nervous cooking for him, especially when he had lunch at a gourmet restaurant in the city. Well he liked the food tonight enough to have seconds, after telling me he wasn’t hungry. It was great.

So as for a meal plan this week I am still in the deciding phase right now. This is all tentative below. I snuck a peak at some other menu plans and decided to use some of your recipes this week. I am excited to try a bunch of new recipes.

Menu Plan

Monday: Left over chicken enchiladas, from scratch Spanish rice and salad

Tuesday: Thai Chicken (Crock-pot recipe I borrowed from Laura at Organized Junkie), spicy cauliflower and brown rice

Wednesday: Mu Shu Pork Wrap (a variation of this recipe) and some sort of salad or additional veggie

Thursday: Walnut Pesto Pasta, wedge salad and homemade bread

Friday: Spicy beans and sausage over brown rice with a veggie side

Saturday: Not your mom's pasta salad (recipe here)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Reversible Bird Seed Skirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

Reversible Bird Seed Skirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

What an adorable little skirt. I hope I win the whole outfit for Big A. Check out Grossgrain's blog. She is so talented and who doesn't want the chance to win something so precious?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Spaces

We moved into our home new about three years ago. We love the neighborhood. We have wonderful neighbors with lots of kids about our children's ages. It is a nice neighborhood walking distance to a lake and our town still has that small town vibe. We have beautiful views from the backyard and upstairs bedrooms. Although we are grateful for our home and enjoy it a lot we have thought about moving a few times for a several reason. The first and main reason is the space layout of our home, starting with it being three levels (basement, main level and upstairs). Plus the house only has three official bedrooms (on the top floor); however, it has two bonus rooms one in the basement and one the main level. Plus an additional living room and family room. We decided to improve upon our living space in our current home instead of going through the hassle of moving. About six months ago we started the process of finishing our lower level basement (adding a bathroom, a rec room space, a kitchen and turning the previous bonus room into a bedroom). We also decided to build a wall to create a hallway and a closed office where our living room used to be. Here are the before and after pictures of the office. I am so excited that the space is finally completed. We are about 90 percent finished with the basement and I will be posting pictures of that project soon as well. I feel incredibly blessed to have this new space and use it daily.

The new wall being construct.

Now the new wall is complete, the doors are painted and my office is already moved inside. Here Big A and the dog are standing in the newly constructed hallway. What a difference!

Here it is with the French doors open. You can see all my craft stuff on the shelves.. I am still working on organization with only open shelving. I wish I had some closed storage, but overall I am very happy with my new space.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Menu Plan July 20th through the 27th

I must say the fish tacos on Saturday night were great and really easy as well. Little a just loved them. He couldnt get enough. I am going to try to make more recipes that use things that we already have on hand this week. Weve had a lot of expenses this month and it will be nice to not have to go to the store this week for more than a few items and little As birthday party supplies. Yes, my little man turns one on Saturday. I will elaborate more on that in a different post.

Menu Plan

S: Spinach salad with mangos, avocado and grilled chicken and orange vinaigrette dressing

M: Smoked salmon pizza with white sauces, served with a side salad

T: Grilled Chicken, grilled mango, coconut rice and a wedge salad (homemade bread) (friends coming for dinner)

W: Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish rice and artichokes

Th: A pasta dish of some sort with veggies (This is my Bible study night and since I wont really eat dinner it is a great night to serve pasta)

F: Smoke Salmon Quesadillas with a side salad and Spanish rice

S: Little As birthday party BBQ hot dogs, hamburgers, beans, salad, chips, fruit, veggies and a messy cake show.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer Cleaning...Stamps for Sale

I am cleaning out all of my crafty stuff as I get ready to move everything into my new office. I just don't have the room to keep everything so I realized a few months ago that I would need to downsize my stamp collections and so I am posting these stamps here and on Craigslist. Here are the Stampin Up stamp sets I am selling. Most of the sets below have only used a few times if any.

I have priced them individually, but I would sell them for less all together so please make me an offer. I am also willing to ship these with buyer paying shipping charges. I would only charge whatever the exact shipping and would not profit from shipping.

Thanks for looking.

Stamp Sets for Sale
Mostly Flowers $5

Occasionally $15 (only two have been mounted and used, the rest are un-mounted)

A Greeting for All Reasons $12 Reduced because the set is missing the butterfly and the squiggle stamp 12 stamps total, originally 14

Block Party $15 (Regularly price $28.95)

Swirl Fame Fun $12

Bold Mini Greetings $5

Quick and Cute $10

Delightful Doodles $5

Petite Patterns $5

Tiny Teapots asking $5

Wedding Day $10

Sketch it $12

The collage is a picture of the sets, but I did not take the pictures. My digital camera is out of batteries and I wanted to get this posted. If you are interested in all the sets or a few just email me and I will take a picture of that exact set and let you know the details of it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

1930's Wife Test...Little did I know I had it in me.


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Train Stop Shirt Dress GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Train Stop Shirt Dress GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Here is another darling giveaway. I just love this dress! Someday I will learn to sew like this. :) Please enter to win. If you win and don't want it you could always pass it on to me. I would love for big A to be able to wear this darling dress.

Well I am getting ready to do some much needed organizing. Now I just need to decide where to focus my efforts. Happy Saturday!

My Newest Bargain: Puma Shoes

I don't know about you, but I love a bargain. I love feeling like I found a treasure; something that someone else couldn't use anymore, but the item still has a lot of life in it. I guess I prefer previously owned bargains to new bargains. For some reason buying used items feels like more of a bargain. Plus, I love the concept of re-using, re-purposing and reducing my environmental footprint. I love thrift shopping, going to the Good Will store or Value Village. I actually purchase most of my children's clothes from baby consignment stores, garage sales or they are passed down from friends children. This week’s bargain was found at a neighbor’s yard sale. They are perfect. The green pair doesn't even appear to have been worn more than once and the gray pair has only been worn a few times as the most. I am so excited. I have wanted some new shoes that are a little bit sporty, but could be worn with jeans and what not for a while. I am one happy mama. These were a great bargain at $2.00 a pair. Do you enjoy bargains? What kind of bargains have you found lately? Where do you find the best bargains?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Grab What You Have Frittata Recipe

Well it turned out great! The recipe is below. I hope you have a chance to try this one. It is yummy. Feel free to vary ingredients depending upon your likes and dislikes. I think it is pretty difficult to mess up, but if it doesnt turn out right, just do what I do and make grilled cheese or PB&J for dinner.

Grab What You have Frittata Recipe

10 Eggs (mine was a little low, although it does rise, you may want to use more if you like eggs a lot)

½ of a container of Light Sour Cream

A cup or two of milk (I used 1 percent)

Dash of Mustard

Dash of garlic salt


Veggies I used green onion, green bell pepper, artichoke hearts and grilled white corn

5 breakfast sausage links with skins off cooked in pieces (these were kind of sweeter sausage and my hubby loved them in the frittata, but you could use any sausage)

Bacon Crumbles

Shredded Cheese (I used Cheddar and Parmesan)

Bread (normally I use whole wheat bread, but this time all I had defrosted was hamburger buns so I threw those in the frittata and it turned out great)

Combine and whisk eggs, sour cream, milk, mustard, basil and garlic salt. Set aside egg mixture. In a 9 x13 baking dish (sprayed with cooking spray) layer the following starting with the bread, veggies, meats, cheeses then top with bread. Pour egg mixture into baking dish. Top with cheese. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for approximately 30 minutes. I would make sure it is brown on top and the egg is not runny, you want it to jiggle a little, but not be runny.

Variations: I have made this with feta, ham and asparagus or blue cheese and bacon is good. I have used mushrooms and chicken before with English Muffins for the bread part. There are so many variations to make this dish with. I would say whatever you like in your omelet you will like in a frittata. I havent tried it, but you might even be able to a southwestern frittata. My family enjoys them and they are pretty easy to pull together when plans fall through. I have also served these for a brunch baby shower twice now and they were a big hit.

Flexible Menu Planning

Well I couldn't have typed my menu post too soon on being flexible. Things changed and we are not having dinner at my mother in laws this evening. My hubby never got around to calling her about changing the date and we can't make it on Wednesday so we were hoping to change it to tonight, but obviously that didn't happen. I pulled together an egg frittata last minute for tonight’s dinner. No sides unless you want to count left over taco salad from last night. I am excited about the frittata; because I managed sneak quite a few veggies into it. I had some artichoke hearts, green bell pepper, green onion and some white grilled corn that I put into it. I took some pictures of it before I put it into the oven and I will post them later with a picture of it cooked and the recipe.

So much for a meal plan, huh! I am glad that my father in law has taught me a little bit of improvising and just throwing meals together with what you have on hand. He is so much better at than I am, but it is fun to give myself the luxury of experimenting. I mean what is the worst that can happen? If it doesn't turn out and we will eat grilled cheese for dinner; I am okay with taking that risk once in a while. What do you do when you plans change and/or you don't know what to make for dinner? Please share your thoughts, easy recipes or questions here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

I have thought a lot about cooking and my menu this week. My menu in previous weeks may have deceived my readers into believing I am a confident cook and make gourmet meals every night. Nothing could be further from the truth. A friend of mine was very impressed with my menu and I was sort of taken back by it. It was a compliment, but I don't want to miss lead any of my readers. I have grown to enjoy cooking. My mom is not a cook and I grew up dreading dinners, especially steak since it was cooked or charcoaled beyond recognition. My mom admits to not enjoying cooking and her food shows. She walks away from whatever she is cooking...gets distracted with something else and honestly she is afraid of under cooking so much she goes to the other extreme. I love you mom, but I don't want to be exactly like you in the kitchen.

Since getting married I have worked really hard to learn how to cook well. I now really enjoy cooking for my family. I still have the occasional night where I don't know what to make or I am tired or in tonight’s case too hot to cook, but most nights I enjoy creating healthy meals for my family. Even though I will be heading back to work in the fall working on a sixty percent contract I am dedicated to continuing meal planning and trying my best to make as many foods as I can using whole ingredients and purchasing less processed foods. Ideally, I would like to make all my bread for the month on one weekend day and then freeze it so we have bread for entire month. I have started to purchase foods in bulk and I am figuring out a way to store them now. I have read a lot of blogs on whole food cooking. I am looking for some easy breakfast ideas that I can freeze for my family ahead of time, for example cereal bars, but homemade. I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I am hoping to before I begin teaching again.

For this weeks menu I am going to try a few new recipes. I am very excited to add some new recipes to my family meal options. I have found that menu planning is a great way to help me save time and money. If I plan my meals according to what I have on hand I don't have to go to the store that week or several times in a week. On a side note if this post is a little all over the place I am having a difficult time concentrating little A is teething and has had a lot of trouble going to sleep. I have tried giving him some teething tablets as well as baby pain reliever, but he is still wailing upstairs. So I go up there and I calm him down just now and then I notice that there is light coming I apologize for this crazy post.

Meals this week:
Sunday: Turkey Taco Salad
Monday: Dinner over at my MIL to celebrate cousin Joanna's birthday :)
Tuesday: Frozen pasta dinner with left over turkey taco salad on the side (I am actually going out with the girls so the hubby will have the kiddos all to himself)
Wednesday: Cheesy Turkey Sausage Stromboli (new recipe) with a side fruit and spinach salad
Thursday: Veggie and Basil Tart (New recipe, adapted from Better Homes and Garden August Issue)
Friday: Grilled Turkey burgers, homemade buns (I am still looking for a whole wheat recipe for these), sweet potato fries grilled and grilled veggies
Saturday: Fish Tacos with cilantro rice and artichokes

Now please know that this is only plan and I probably only follow my menu plan 85 percent of the time. I have found that it is good to have a plan, but I need to allow myself flexibility in that plan. I think there have been a few weeks that I have followed my meal plan exactly, but most weeks I plan and then meals get moved around or we end up having company and I have to change a meal, or someone gets sick or something happens where I need to change something. It feels good to have a plan, but feels even better to know that I have options and I don't have to be rigid.

Here is an easy meal that you can make with things that most of have on hand. I didn't have a lot of veggies to put in my salad to night, but it still tasted delish.

Easy Ground Turkey Taco Salad
I just took: green leaf lettuce chopped, green bell pepper, black beans, olives canned whole and sliced, frozen corn (grilled in a pan), avocado, olives, Cheddar cheese shredded, avocado, some crunched up corn chips and then dressing of your choice. Oh and some ground turkey that I had previously cooked and froze. I love doing that and highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is so nice to have ground beef and ground turkey already cooked and in small freezer bags, ready to pull out and use in a dish. It also means fewer dishes.

The above picture is my kitchen after my husband waxed the floor as a birthday gift for me. :) I love having a clean home...too bad as soon as my house is clean someone comes along and it is no longer clean. I guess that is just part of having little kids. :) Sorry for the extra long post this week.

Pinata Pinafore GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

Pinata Pinafore GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

I just found this blog and this woman is amazing. Check out this darling dress that she is giving way. She puts me to shame in what she can accomplish in a weekend. :) Enjoy the blog.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fourth of July Weekend

We enjoyed such a wonderful Fourth of July. My in-laws are here for the summer and it was so nice to spend a leisurely day with them. We barbecued chicken and sweet potato fries, had some yummy appetizers (fresh veggies/dip and cheese bread), enjoyed a pie from Pie Company in La Connor, sipped on wine, talked, played with the kids, watched fireworks and just had a great time. Marc and I took the kids for walk in the wagon in the mid morning (Here is a terrible picture of me and the kids...it was so windy, but what else do you expect by the lake). It was a nice walk. We even went through a model home on our way back. Check out little A in the amazing kitchen of the model home. Wow! The home is pretty pricy, but has some amazing designer touches that our home does not have. The interior design, as well as architecture is very eye catching and appealing. I love the darker wood too. The rest of the weekend we played with the kids, worked a little on the basement addition and well I read.

Yes, I am a reader, but I have not been into a series of books like this since I don’t know when. I didn’t think the Twilight series would really grab my attention. It is a series aimed at a teen audience where a junior in high school falls in love with a vampire. The author Stephanie Meyer is an incredible writer. I love the way she allows the reader to get into the characters thoughts. It is really a well done series. I have read the first two books Twilight and New Moon in a little over four days. I was amazed at how much I love these books. Once I post this post I will be off to workout and start the third book, Eclipse while my kids are napping. I have very little time to read and why not multi-task and read while I work out. I try to do both well, but I am sure my workout is not as intense if I am reading. Oh well. I am addicted to these books. If you are looking for a great summer read I highly recommend this series, although be careful they are very addictive.

Meals for Summer Week 3 July 7 through July 12th

Well here are my meals for this week. Last Thursday I actually made homemade bread for the first time. I use whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour, so it was a little denser than most breads, but very edible with olive oil and vinegar or butter. My family devoured it. This week I am trying to branch out of this rut I seem to be in with summer cooking. I am trying to make more things from scratch. We will see how it goes. Enjoy the meals.

Monday: Leftover Turkey Enchilada Pie, salad and homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

Tuesday: Grandpa’s Birthday (dinner at Grandpa’s and Granny’s)

Wednesday: Salsa Chicken and Rice Meal (recipe below) served with a wedge salad

Thursday: Turkey burgers, French fries and grilled veggies

Friday: Homemade Pizza Night

Saturday: Frozen Meal (MOPS garage sale so I need to be flexible)

Southwestern Chicken (I forget where I got this recipe…I apologize I would normally give you credit for it) I have adapted it a little.


*4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I pound mine a little to make them tender before putting them in the baking dish)
*1 can cream of chicken soup (reduced fat)
*1/2 C water
*1/2 a bag frozen corn

*1 can of black beans, drained
*3/4 C uncooked long grain white rice or brown
*1 1/4 C of your favorite salsa (I use mild so my kids can eat it)
*2 to 3 Dashes of cumin
*1 to 2 Dashes of cayenne
*3/4 C Mexican Blend Cheese, shredded

Taco seasoning according to taste

* 4 oz can of green chilies

How To:

In your favorite 2 Qt baking dish mix soup, salsa, water, corn, rice, green chilies, beans and dashes of cumin and cayenne.
Lay the chicken on top of this. Sprinkle paprika over the dish, cover with foil and bake at 475 for about 35 minutes. Remove the foil, cover with cheese and bake another 10 minutes or until the cheese turns that delightful golden brown and gets all bubbly. Then you know it's done.

Serve with cornbread and you have a 1 dish meal.