Saturday, May 30, 2009

One Lovely Blog :)

Kelli at Outside My Kitchen Window, Amy at Keeping up with the Schultz Family Becca at Becca's Backyard and Angie who has a ton of blogs, one being From Pigpen To Paradise have presented me with the One Lovely Blog Award. You can see I'm a little behind on these...

Here are the rules if you want to pass along the award:
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

**I know some of you have already received this - Just want you to know I love your lovely blogs as well :)

The Work of Childhood
A Mommy's Adventures
Live Life Simply
Jolly Mom - her Craft Site!

A Little Fun With Me and Lu
Adventures of a Flake
A Wednesday Afternoon
Hand Me My Apron - go see the ice cream bucket casserole tip!
Psalm 104:24
Mother Is Not Concerned
There is no place like home - she has great paper crafting ideas on Wednesdays!
Frugal Femina - The Way To a Man's Heart carnival is fun :)

Homeschool Creations

Bonus! Smoothies Ahead!

There was a huge box sitting on our doorstep yesterday. I swore to my husband that I had not ordered anything so we couldn't wait to see what arrived. We tore it open (literally) to find these awesome surprises! A few weeks back someone from Chiquita Smoothies contacted me about sending some smoothie related items. Woo Hoo! How did they know my food processor has to be specially rigged to work? I am blessed.
I know most of you are thinking, "Why would I need a mix to make a smoothie? They are as simple as it gets." In the next few days I will try them out (can't wait to try the Banana Colada) and let you know!

And just to let you know....playing in the cupboards never gets old. The baby started this mess. The older girls joined right in!
Enjoy your weekend. We are going to the Twins game in Tampa :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kid Friendly Friday - Cleaning

Welcome to Kid Friendly Friday where we share anything that is kid related.

Anyone with kids knows the dangers of chemicals around the house. I'm sharing two things that seriously limit the cleaning products you need to have around.

The book Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck is a great resource for non-toxic cleaning. I was able to find it at my library. I'm sure most of you already know that vinegar is one serious all purpose cleaner. I have used it in the past but needed the reminder. I have used an already prepared spray to clean my fruits and veggies but this stuff can be expensive. Instead, spray the food with vinegar and then with hydrogen peroxide. Two spray bottles and a bottle of each vinegar and hydrogen peroxide is less than one bottle of the prepared spray. Plus, you can use your vinegar to clean pretty much everything. Did you know that instead if Jet Dry, you can pour vinegar into the rinse dispenser in your dish washer for sparkly dishes? Lots of other quick, easy, and non-toxic tips in this book! Less chemicals = happier me.

Last week I gathered up all my Bed Bath and Beyond gift cards and bought a steam cleaner. I had seen them on many blogs lately - product giveaways do work, and no, I am not getting anything for this plug of their product :) I have mostly tile floors in the house and a crawling baby. I need these floors clean but don't want baby crawling all over harsh chemicals either!
The beauty of the steam cleaner is
1. You are using only water, no cleaners
2. The steam is hot enough to disinfect
3. The pads that are used get thrown in the washing machine - so no waste!
4. Easy, quick and does the job fantastically
Sherry at A Little Fun With Me and Lu is starting a Kids in the Kitchen carnival on Thursdays starting in a few weeks. She cooks a dessert with her daughter every Wednesday (go see) and has inspired me to cook with my girls more often. Start getting those little aprons out!

Enter your own Kid Friendly Friday post into Mr. Linky below (just click on the Mr. Linky box and he'll come up in another screen). Recipes, reviews, name it. Come back to see what other great ideas are posted. Thank you for participating ~ Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thousand Word Thursday

This short week really has me out of sorts. My computer has been acting funny and Mr. Linky (for me with the cheapy membership) is still not working. Not sure if we'll be able to use it for tomorrow's Kid Friendly Friday. I still have not gotten to look at the posts from last Friday because I was out of town for the weekend. I can't even get it together enough today to think of three random things with Michelle over at Psalm 104:24

The endless rainy days (thank you!) must be making this little guy happy. I picked up the plants a few years ago from FreeCycle and finally one has potential!! Isn't he adorable??

Cheaper Than Therapy holds A Thousand Word Thursday each week. Go visit to check out other pictures!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cute Site

It turns out that most of you are like me (the ones that comment anyway)...jeans, tee, flip flops....Kara suggested this site....I wanted to pass it along because it made me laugh!

Kara has left a new comment on your post "Aloha Friday - Fashion Inept Mom Seeking Advice :)...":

Like most of the commenters, my closet is full of jeans and long sleeved t-shirts in a variety of colors. :) Then occasionally I need something fancy and I panic. This blog is fun - "How to Not Dress Like a Mom"

Tempt My Tummy - Roasted Eggplant Dip

Hello Everyone! We spent the long weekend at the beach (beautiful!) so there is now some catching up to do :) Last week I made hummus after reading about Michelle's hummus and it was amazing. As luck would have it, I had an eggplant (and everything else on hand) AND just received this hummus-y recipe from Everyday Foods.....yummy AND easy!

Roasted Eggplant Dip

1 large eggplant
4 garlic cloves (skin on)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
paprika, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425. Place eggplant and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with 2 tablespoons oil. Roast until garlic is soft and golden. Remove garlic and set aside. Continue roasting eggplant until soft and deflated - 20 to 25 minutes more. Let cool 20 minutes.

2. Slice eggplant open and scrape flesh into a food processor. Peel garlic and add to bowl, along with lemon juice, tahini, salt and 2 tablespoons oil. Process until smooth.

Can be refrigerated up to 2 days. Serve drizzled with more oil and sprinkle of paprika. Great on pita wedges, pita chips, or crackers.

Take Me Back 80's

*****EDIT*****LOL - I originally put 1993...1994...etc. but this is for SURE the 80's!!!
Welcome to Take Me Back Tuesday! You can participate and/or check out other Take Me Back Tuesday posts at A Giveaway Addicted Mommy.
This is me and my (still) good friends Andrea and Lori. This must have been right after Christmas because we got Cabbage Patch Kids. 1983 - Third grade. The jacket I am wearing EVERYONE had in our small town. If you were a kid, you had a "Packer Jacket" with the flap in the back (guys jackets didn't have the flap but a maroon and gold collar) and your name embroidered on the front. In high school you just moved on to a nicer quality jacket which had your letters on it. Andrea (top picture) moved to Texas when we were younger so she was exempt :) The picture with Lori was on our way to Winter Carnival festivities. Fun stuff!

This picture, which is 1983 or 1984 ( edit...this is 1985 - 5th grade), is the epitome of 80's elementary school fashion. I'm working it ALL here....big bow, springy earrings, layered shirts, polo collar UP, springy bracelets, bandanna around the waist, pin striped pants...which are most likely rolled or pinned tight around the ankles. Make fun all you want - LOL - at least I wasn't in my 20's sporting the same style. I'm sure blue eye shadow would have been involved at that point.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Aloha Friday - Fashion Inept Mom Seeking Advice :)

"In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response."

So head over to her site, An Island Life and answer her question but while you are here you might as well answer mine:

I am completely fashion inept. I have no clue if I can wear this necklace with that neckline or layer this with that. Where do you go to find what is "in-style?" I for a t-shirt, jean (or shorts), and flip flop loving mom that has no desire to have the latest....just want to find out how I can fit a scarf into my wardrobe or what I can do with my existing stuff to look good. Simple stuff. Any ideas?

Enjoy your weekend!

Kid Friendly Friday - Questions??

Welcome to Kid Friendly Friday. This week I have a couple of questions for you.

1. I try to have 100% waste free lunches for the girls but have concerns about the containers I use. I recently found a good idea to replace the napkins (see post HERE) which completes my mission. The concern lies with the little plastic containers I use for everything. I'm not a huge fan. I know over time it breaks down and leached chemicals into it's contents. I've looked at stainless (here is my ideal container) but it's expensive. you have any ideas to replace these??

2. Does anyone use bread bag tags for anything creative? I always pause when throwing them but can't figure out anything useful.

Enter your own Kid Friendly Friday post into Mr. Linky below. Recipes, reviews, name it. Come back to see what other great ideas are posted. Thank you for participating ~ Enjoy your LONG weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

3 Thing and Thousand Word Thursday

Cheaper Than Therapy holds A Thousand Word Thursday each week. Go visit to check out other pictures! Michelle over at Psalm 104:24 hosts Three Things This Thursday. I like to do them together. Randomness and pictures.

1. Weather Radios: How many people do these actually help...and how many people are like me? On Tuesday our weather radio went off numerous times throughout the night giving me a possible heart attack each time. I know the thing has volume control but quiet is not an option. Each time I frantically dove to the radio pressing every button I could to make it stop (picture you and your alarm clock in college). Only one time during the night did I look at the display and read TORNADO. I told my husband that there is a tornado warning (he cannot recall this). And we both went back to sleep in a matter of seconds. So when I woke up and see this.... "A possible tornado ripped the roofs off several homes late Tuesday in (THE CITY I LIVE) and sent a tree crashing into a house near (ANOTHER CITY) as a system of severe storms continued across the peninsula, officials confirmed early today." I am wondering the merits of this device. Even though I ignore it I won't unplug it. But I honestly cannot believe a weather radio because tornadoes and other natural disasters are things that happen to other people. I know, wait until I find out this is not always true. And besides, we don't have basements so there isn't a great place to go if one did hit. So do you listen to your weather radio?

2. Summer TV: I have never been a huge TV watcher (except sports) until the birth of my third baby. She isn't a crib sleeper. She is a "I won't sleep in anything but Mommy's arms" sleeper. You don't have to tell me how that might affect her later on....I've heard it all. Most evenings she falls asleep around 8...and I can either go to bed or do something that requires no movement whatsoever. I have watched more TV in the last 10 months since my college days (you are getting a glimpse of my laid back college experience today). I am now hooked on 24, How I Met Your Mother, Biggest Loser, 90210 (ahem, college BH 90210 junkie - the whole sorority would watch it before bar time), and America's Next Top Model. I have always watched football and baseball but this year I have even watched lots of Magic games (Woo Hoo). I am, however, excited that they have all had their season finales and I am free to watch, or not watch, whatever I want. I know, I am free when they are in season as well...but come on.

3. Pictures!!! Lemon teether, SO BIG, Get me out of this thing!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Bowl On My Head

Check out more Wordless Wednesday posts HERE , HERE or HERE.

Works For Me! Lunch Box Napkins

I love to stick a fun napkin in with my daughter's lunch with a little note on it. I have napkins for all the different holidays and such. I just want to make lunch away from home special for them. A few months back I made cloth napkins for the house and just love I'd been thinking how I could do cloth napkins for lunch boxes but still have them special. I found the answer in antique hankies. They fit my list of wants:

Cheap (had a few but also picked up a lot of 21 on ebay for $12)

Small (perfect size)

Reusable (and no big deal to launder with the rest of the napkins)

Different (they are all different and got a few Cristmas ones as well)

Special (they are FANCY, with crocheted edges and embroidery)

I write a tiny note on a scrap of paper (I plan on sewing little note pockets onto them) and they are good to go.

The only thing you might have noticed is that most of them are white. I am thinking that once they get pretty stained that I will dye them the girl's favorite colors (or tie dye them a bunch of colors).

This works for me! Check out We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tempt My Tummy - Coconut Sticky Rice

I was going through my recipes this evening and came across this one. I made it several times in years past and am now craving it. Mangoes are on sale everywhere right now so I am going to make it this week. Mangoes not on sale in your neck of the woods? Most often we ate the rice without the mangoes. It's just as good!

Coconut Sticky Rice

1 cup sticky rice (or just use regular medium or short grain rice - long grain will not get as sticky)
1 can coconut milk
2/3 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
mango (optional)

Cover rice with cold water and rinse, repeat until that water runs clear – about 3 times.

In medium pan bring 1 ¾ cups of water to a boil. Add rice and stir briefly. Reduce heat to low simmer and cover. Cook 20-25 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

In another pan combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Boil for 3 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Mix the milk mixture and rice together. Stir well.

Cover top of rice directly with aluminum foil. Let rest for 30 minutes at room temp. Serve with cubed mango.

Friend Makin' Mondays...

Friend Makin' Mondays...
All That Is Good hosts Friend Makin' Mondays... ! I saw it on a few blogs I follow so decided to join in today! You can go HERE for the rules and facts about this fun little bloggin' game.

Today's task: Copy and paste these questions to your blog and give them your own answers.

You wouldn't be caught dead where?: at a NASCAR event

Do you have any hidden talents?: I can still do pretty high kicks from my danceline days :)

Name two things you consider yourself to be very good at: cooking and gardening

Name two things you consider yourself to be very bad at: passing up baked goods and spelling

Have you ever won a trophy? yes, for running

Name one thing not many people know about you: I am a fan of America's Next Top Model - sshhhhhh!

Name your earliest memory: getting burned on the 4th of July with a sparkler. We lived in CA at the time so it was before I started kindergarten. I am still hesitant about those things.

What was your favorite musical group in jr. high? I have such a bad memory that I had to google "1987 music" but should have known....Bon Jovi. That was my first concert as well. They played with White Snake and someone threw up on the back of my seat. Fun stuff!

What was something the worst roommate you ever had did? My freshman year college roommate was very possessive of me. She did not like me going out with other people and even would tell people I wasn't there when I was and didn't give me phone messages. It was really weird.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?: I have no idea. I still don't :)

What was your worst dating experience?: Again, freshman in college set up (can't for the life of me remember by who) with a scrawny, (I like my men bigger than me) drug induced hippie type. He took me to see Needful Things and then back to his place...complete with a black light, velvet posters, and lava lamp. I had my share of hippie things but grew out of that phase shortly after graduating high school. I fled the scene as quick as I could!

If you were about to die what would your last meal be?: Ruth's Crist Filet, their chop salad and loaded baked potato - apple crisp ala mode for dessert :) If I ended up not dying I would have to work out hard the next day!

Who is the most important person in you life?: My husband

If your house was on fire what 3 things would you grab on your way out?: If I have to count all three girls individually, then that is that.....otherwise I would also grab my scrapbooks and my hard drive (I am not good at backing up things)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Aloha Friday - Stageable Talent?

"In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response."

So head over to her site, An Island Life and answer her question but while you are here you might as well answer mine:
If you HAD to participate in a talent show, what would your talent be?
I don't have a stageable talent. All of my "talents" are too long for a talent show. So, I would have to don my long forgotten tap shoes, break out the piano and make it into a comedy routine :)
Enjoy your weekend!
Check out Kid Friendly Friday and come away with some great ideas!

Kid Friendly Friday - Bananagrams!

Last year we were taught a game using Scrabble tiles where (long story, short - instructions here) you make words (each player works on their own crossword type grid) using all of your tiles before anyone else. Fun and, if you are like me, a little addicting. I love word games (Boggle anyone?). I got my parents to play with me the last few times they have visited. I even tried to get my husband to play when I was in labor...luckily we didn't, because we barely made it to the birthing center in time.

When I saw Bananagrams I knew it was a must-have. What I didn't realize at the time was the learning/teaching potential this game has. This simple game is comprised of is a banana zipper pouch filled with hundreds of letter tiles. You could, of course, dig out your Scrabble game and use it's tiles for the same purpose.

My kindergartner likes to use it to spell words and make sentences. I can't wait until she is old enough to start playing this (and Boggle) with me for real. Did I tell you that my husband no longer will play Boggle with me?

My preschooler likes to put her alphabet in order (great letter recognition). We also use it to make patters with the letters. Or I will write down a word and she will find the letters to spell it as well. For a little harder activity I will write out a word in lowercase letters and she will find the uppercase tiles to match. Because she is just starting to read I'll give her 4 tiles (TECA, for example) and have her try to spell cat (I do tell her she'll have 1 tile that she will not use :). Great for working on phonetics. For preschoolers the activities are endless.

And if your husband is as sweet as mine, you might find this on the table in the morning!

And for me....I spend a good deal of time nursing. And sharpening my skills :) Maybe one time I'll have enough time and space to use all 300 tiles!

Link up with Mr. Linky below to share your kid friendly ideas (recipes, reviews, crafts, books, whatever)! Check back to see what my creative participants have come up with as well. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We Heart Art!

Her favorite medium is paint!

Emma loves to draw animals!

Domestically Challenged , 3baybchicks and I am living Proof God Has A Sense of Humor are holding a blog contest called We Heart Art, where they feature children's art. They each have a Mr. Linky up at their sites. Go check it out! You KNOW that your children will give you a little more time to blog if they know you are posting their art :) These will also be my Thousand Word Thursday pictures over at Cheaper Than Therapy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie

Love the Pie

I don't have any pictures of this pie - it's THAT good :)

Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie
1 cup vanilla wafer cookies (about 20 cookies)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tbl butter, melted
Cooking spray

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz.) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz. container frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
1 1/2 cup sliced banana (about 2 bananas)
1/4 cup chocolate sundae syrup

Crust preparation:Place cookies in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Add the cup brown sugar and butter; pulse 2 to 3 times or just until combined. Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9" pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 deg F. for 10 minutes; cool completely on a wire rack.

Place 3/4 Cup brown sugar, cream cheese, peanut butter, and vanilla in a mixing bowl; beat with mixer at medium speed until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Arrange bananas in bottom of prepared (or purchased) crust. Spread peanut butter mixture over bananas; drizzle with syrup. Cover & freeze 8 hours; let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.

Visit for more pie recipes!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Kid Friendly Friday - Boo Boo Pack

Happy Friday Everyone! Welcome to Kid Friendly Friday where we share kid friendly ideas, recipes, books, reviews, art projects, etc. Please link up your post with Mr. Linky below. Check back to see what everyone came up. feel free to link back to an old post!

This week I made rice heat therapy wrap and cooling eye pillow sets for gifts. With some scrap fabric I decided I could make small rice packs to store in the freezer to use for our MANY bumps and bruises. They are nice and soft (I used a satiny fabric), form to whatever area needs comfort, small enough for little hands, and are cool without the bite of an ice pack. We have already used it several times.
1.Cut two small rectangles of fabric.
2.With right sides together, sew three sides.
3.Flip right side out and fill about 2/3 full with rice.
4.Sew closed.
5.Stick in a plastic bag and freeze. Easy.

**New Carnival**
Domestically Challenged 3baybchicks and I am living Proof God Has A Sense of Humor
are started a blog contest called We Heart Art, where they feature children's art. They are going to have people put up pics of their children's artwork, and then link up for prizes. Their first post is up today and gives the details as to what they are going to do. Go check it out! You KNOW that your children will give you a little more time to blog if they know you are post their art :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Aloha Friday - Are YOU cooking?

"In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response."

So head over to her site, An Island Life and answer her question but while you are here you might as well answer mine:

Do you cook your Mother's Day dinner? If not, where are you eating? If so, making anything good (hopefully you don't have to do the dishes too)?

We are going to brunch at The Cheesecake Factory! Then to my in-laws, which I 'm pretty sure she'll be making a big dinner for us all. Maybe we need to rethink this for next year.

Thanks! And have a great weekend~

Happy Birthday Honey!

Three Thing and Thousand Word Thursday - Crib, Muliple Choice, and Something To Think About

Michelle over at Psalm 104:24 hosts Three Things This Thursday. A Thousand Word Thursday picture is hosted by Jen at Cheaper Than Therapy. I really like these two memes together. A little randomness and a few pictures thrown in.

1. For the first time ever Little Bit slept in her crib...for an entire 3 and a half hours! This is a huge deal. There wasn't even any crying (mine or hers) involved.

2. Little Bit is going to be our climber. I have had a compliant baby (Bigs) and a mess maker (Mimi) so she is our first climber.

Do you thinks she will be
(a) a computer programmer
(b) a fitness instructor
(c) a multi-tasker (after mommy's own heart)
(d) none of the above, but covered with bumps and bruises.
Not seconds after this picture she took a step too far right and tumbled off of it. You live and learn.

3. A quote that someone heard at a funeral recently. The wife of the deceased found this worn out quote in his wallet. Great reminder.
"I have concluded that the accumulation of wealth, even if I could achieve it, is an insufficient reason for living. When I reach the end of my days, a moment or two from now, I must look backward on something more meaningful than the pursuit of houses and land and machines and stocks and bonds. Nor is fame of any lasting benefit. I will consider my earthly existence to have been wasted unless I can recall a loving family, a consistent investment in the lives of people, and an earnest attempt to serve the God who made me. Nothing else makes sense."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Mother's Day Tea

Mimi and her friends sang a beautiful Mother's Day song and also chose to sing A Tuti Ta (not sure if this is the real name or spelling of the song). Thumbs up, arms back, knees together, bottoms up, tongues out.....So funny!

Check out more Wordless Wednesday posts HERE or HERE.