Friday, December 10, 2010

My go to meal......

Chicken Broth
Frozen Veggies

These four items are always in our house.

Permanently on my shopping list and definitely stocked up on when I find them on sale.

For those nights when the kids are cranky, or we have multiple basketball practices, or we get home late, or I'm just plain unprepared, those four items can quickly be whipped up into a chicken stir fry dinner that is easy and everyone loves. Well, ok, I can't say they all love all of the meal, but I know everyone will at least eat the chicken and rice part of it! And for my house, if everyone eats at least part of the meal, that meal's a keeper.

I don't really look at the recipe when I make this anymore so half the time I forget the ginger-still tastes the same. I've also started using 2 cans of chicken broth and doubling the soy sauce and cornstarch to make more sauce for us. I've used lots of different vegetables to make this too-I usually just use whatever frozen vegetables I have in the freezer, sometimes a bag of stir fry vegetables, sometimes I just cut up onions and peppers and throw them in.

Easy, quick and yummy!

Family Friendly Food at Serenity Now


Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Community-Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"

It's Thursday night! The one night my husband and I definitely sit down to watch some of our favorite shows on NBC. Often, and don't ever tell my kids, with a pizza from our favorite pizza place...... pizza with carmelized favorite!

Tonight on NBC, at 8:00 EST ( oh, wait until you see this episode, you won't ever want to say standard again!) "Community" airs their brand new Christmas special. It may not seem as if it's new though. It's an all stop-action animated episode just like all the Christmas specials when I was younger -songs and all.

When Abed (Danny Pudi) wakes up in stop-motion animation, he takes it as a sign that he and the group must re-discover the meaning of Christmas. Meanwhile, Jeff (Joel McHale) and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) become growingly concerned about Abed's mental health and enlist the help of Professor Duncan (John Oliver). The group undergoes hypnosis to explore Abed's winter wonderland and soon unravel the truth behind Abed’s madness. Chevy Chase, Yvette Nicole Brown, Donald Glover, and Ken Jeong also star.

I had a chance to preview this episode yesterday. Love the ending and how Abed's friends stick by him. Laughed out loud all by myself at some funny one liners. And as I said above, I'll never say Eastern Standard Time again!

"Community-Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" air tonight on NBC at 8:00 EST/7:00 CST.

This review is my own opinion. I viewed this episode through One to One Network. No money was received. My post will be entered into a drawing to win a prize.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I have become a human tissue....

for this little guy....

who's down and out with a nasty little cold. A cold that has invaded our whole house for a couple of weeks now. A cold that is so bad, if it were a Christmas cold, it would be the Grinch cold. A cold that has morphed into a sinus infection for one of the 7 and a respiratory infection for another.
So, between the coughs, when his nose is running, he has decided that my arm or my shoulder or my leg - really, whichever body part is the closest and available - make a wonderful tissue and swipe, there goes his nose across my arm or shoulder or leg.
The sad thing is -that in my sleep deprived state-I think gross, yuck, but then think oh well, and go on my way. Whoever would have thought that before having kids.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and if you ventured out yesteday, I hope you found all you were looking for.

We have a nasty virus hanging around our house so my 9 year old and I stayed home for Thanksgiving and feasted on ice cream and Cake Boss. My little guy started with it today. I am not thankful for nasty viruses!

Since the kids weren't feeling well, I hadn't made any plans to go out shopping on Friday and stayed home in my comfy pj's. It was a perfect day for online shopping-well, what day isn't perfect for online shopping-and I got a good deal on some sweatshirts at American Eagle and 77 Kids.

We only had one small tragedy this holiday weekend,

my handmixer gave up on me in the middle of a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Guess the cookies were too much for her to handle.

So now, I've added to my Christmas Wish List, this baby


Probably not in red, but I think she could handle a batch of chocolate chip cookies just fine. Along with all the cakes my 9 year old is planning on baking a la Cake Boss.

I am participating in Infarrantly Creative and Tatertots and Jello’s Blog Hop for a chance to win a Mint Cleaner. It is the revolutionary machine that cleans your hard floor surfaces for you.
Click here to join the blog hop and a chance to win!Mint_cloth2
The Mint Cleaner is available at the following places:

Friday, November 12, 2010

I {Heart} Cupcakes

and since the kids were home yesterday, I thought is was the perfect time to try out The Perfect Cupcake (using a mix) recipe I found at Tidymom.
I had an assistant who was more than willing to lick the bowl along with me bake cupcakes with me.

and another assistant who decided he needed to have the dozen of eggs on the counter and climbed up while we were filling up the cupcake pans.

needless to say, he wasn't very happy when I removed him from the eggs and refused to participate in any more cupcake baking.

I'm very happy to say that The Perfect Cupcake does live up to its name! And to make it even better, it was no harder or longer to do than using a cake mix and following the instructions on the box. The batter was much thicker than the batter made when just following the directions-noticably thicker. Taste is yummy, yummy!! I cooked mine a tidge too long so next time I'll grab them out of the oven a bit sooner. Other than that......quick, easy, delicious=no more just following the instructions on the box for me!

The ladies at eighteen25 have started a new linky called Snapshots of Life.

They post a specific time of the day on Wednesday for you to then take a picture on Thursday to then link up on Friday. Cute!

This week the time was 10:00 a.m.

Usually it would just be my son and I at home at 10, but since the kids had no school yesterday, at 10:00 a.m. my 10 year old was getting ready to go on a bike ride with her friend. At about 9:55, I was none too happy that my husband had hung all the bikes up in the garage (still don't understand why but I'm not asking) and I had to finangle to get hers down!

Linking up to eighteen25 Snapshots of Life, I'm Loving It at Tidymom, Round Robin with Amy at Keeping up with The Schultz Family and Weekend Bloggy Reading with Amanda at Serenity Now

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shutterfly.....Christmas Photo Cards Made Easy

Well, ordering and receiving the cards will be easy, I can't guarantee the same for the picture taking!

Even before Halloween was over, my kids were already anxiously figuring out how many weeks and days until Christmas. If it didn't take so long, they'd probably know the minutes too! The calendar has been poured over, the Toys R Us Toy catalog is in tatters and I hear almost daily "8 weeks until Christmas"!

Aaahhh! 8 weeks!

Definitely first on my Christmas list-cards.

Love, love, love to send and receive photo cards-my kids too. They can spend hours looking at all the pictures of their cousins and friends and it's a great way to catch up with everyone, especially those who don't live close by. The past few years I've ordered my Christmas cards from Shutterfly and personally, I've had a great experience. Easy to order and quick to deliver. I've never had a problem.

Shutterfly has some beautiful new holiday cards this year-I'm thinking maybe choosing may not be so quick and easy-I'm loving quite a few of them!

Loving the blue and red together......

and the bright colors......

more blue and red.......

Love all three of these photo cards!

I have to admit, I usually stress myself out each and every year trying to find the perfect picture for my cards. Every year, I say to myself I'm not going to, but I do! I'm so glad that now there is the option to put more than one picture on a card-just brilliant!

If I can't get a picture of all 5 of my kids together-where one of them isn't looking the other way....or making a goofy face....or jumping up so they just look like a blur.....I'm going with this card. I know there are 6 openings but I saw a great idea on the Shutterfly site. In the 6th opening, they just had a Christmas kind of picture-like a picture of one of the kid's hand holding an ornament. More brilliance and no stress for me!!

If you want to get a jump start on the holidays and cross some things off your to do list Shutterfly is offering 20% off all holiday cards.

Disclosure: This is my honest opinion about Shutterfly's Holiday Cards and my experience with Shutterfly. I am participating in a holiday promotion with Shutterfly and they are providing me with free Christmas cards.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Too. Much. Candy.

My sentiments exactly!

Although my daughter wasn't saying she didn't want any more candy.....

oh, no, quite the opposite for my kids...they are loving it!

I on the other hand, have eaten more candy in the past few days than I do all year.

And that includes all the peanut m&m's I keep hidden away for those moments when I need to sneak away for a bit of alone time.

My kids had a blast on Halloween. It was a bit chilly but we beat the rain and didn't miss trick or treating at one house.

This was about all my son wore his Halloween costume for-just a few pictures. He trick or treated dressed as himself.

No problem wearing his sister's costume though!

Hope you had a wonderful Halloween!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

May you have all treats and no tricks!!


Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 29, 2010

Easy Last Minute Halloween Decoration.........

Getting ready for our school Halloween party today with my little helper.
A package of fruit snacks makes things easier for mom-uh, I mean much more fun!
A few years ago, I was looking for some easy and inexpensive ways to decorate our school gym for the Halloween party-nothing scary, just something to make it look a little less gymish and a lot more fun. We try to keep the budget low for the party, but I wanted something fun.

I found a great idea on Martha Stewart's website

Witches Curtains

Easy, quick, inexpensive and the kids love it.

So perfect it's scary!

Please ignore the mess on my stairs in the background-it's been a party getting ready, cupcake baking, crazy kind of day.

Grab a trash bag and a pair of scissors and you're ready. Hopefully, you can find a pair of scissors without searching through the whole house like I did! I use any kind of trash bag I have-I don't think I've ever used a heavy duty one like suggested.

I follow the directions here. I usually start by cutting up about a 1/2 inch in on one side and then all the way across the top. Don't pull too hard after you've cut your strips or the strip will tear. No worries if one does though, just adds to the spookiness. The one I made about still needs to be stretched out a bit.

The kids love walking through this to get into the party. We have three doors to get into the gym and I usually put them on all the doors and then put spider webs all over the tops and sides of the doors. Some of the strips get pulled off during the party, but I've never had alot. The kids just like jumping up and touching them as they walk in.

Have a great Halloween Weekend!

I'm linking up to Weekend Bloggy Reading with Amanda at Serenity Now

Friday, October 22, 2010

Great tween/teen costume idea...

that's quick, easy and inexpensive!
Columbus Day Weekend is the start of the Halloween season for us-we camp that weekend and it's a huge Halloween party all weekend. We're usually camping with up to 5 other families so between Halloween and great friends, it's a blast.
The last couple of years, all the kids in our group have been planning....starting in the dress up together in a group costume. Better odds in the costume contest and it's just plan fun to do it all together.
Last year, all the girls were flowers and my son was a bumble bee-too cute. We decorated the wagon like a garden and he sat in it while all the girls pulled him around. It's fun to dress up yourself but double the fun to dress up as a group.
This year my neice saw an awesome idea in American Girl magazine. I checked their website but couldn't find it online. This year the 5 tween/teens went as a Pile of Magazines.......

All the girls picked their own magazines. My oldest was Seventeen and my 10 year old was Sports Illustrated. Guess you can tell what they both love-although, my 13 year old doesn't read Seventeen, she loves anything fashion. We also had a Glamour magazine, a Kids National Geographic and a puppy lover's magazine.

The girls really enjoyed working on their costumes and thinking of all the catchy phrases for the front covers.

We used foam board for the covers-my sister thought of that-I was going to get poster board, but I'm glad I wasn't in charge of purchasing supplies, poster board would have been too floppy. My brother-in-law cut a hole in each foam board so the girls could put their face in it. We used the computer to print out the titles of the magazines and make them larger and used different fonts and colors to make all the phrases. We cut those out and glued them on. We traced one of my 5 year old's shirts for the body and colored them in.

Easy, quick, inexpensive, fun and creative!

and they won Most Original!!

I just love that this costume was age appropriate and they had so much fun creating it and they'll always remember when they dressed up as magazines.

So excited too-the Lady Bug Costume I made for my 5 year old was featured on Tatertots and Jello. Be still my heart-there was just a bit of jumping and screaming in the house this morning......oh, and the kids were real excited too! They loved seeing their sister and she looks so cute if I do say so myself!! Just a bit biased you know!

I'm linking up to these parties

Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now, Look at Me Party at Fun to Craft, I'm Loving It Fridays at Tidy Mom, Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and Jello, Categorically Crafting at Someday Crafts-costumes

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lady Bug Antenna and Wings....

or is it antennae?
I used 2 strips of fabric from the top of the tshirt and a plastic headband.

and just wrapped the strips around the headband. I used my glue gun at the beginning and end and in the middle when I ended one strip and started another.

I then took 2 black pipe cleaners and wound them around my thumb. I glued 2 black pom poms on the end of each-only used 2 because Walmart didn't have the bigger size pom pom.

I just wrapped the end of each pipe cleaner around the headband and twisted the ends together. Quick, easy and cute!

At this point in my lady bug costume making, I was beginning to run out of time. I also had to pack all our clothes and the camper. Although I would have loved to make fancier wings-and probably will for Halloween-I decided clothes and food for the weekend were more important.

I decided to make a pair of wings out of cardboard and decorate them. I grabbed a cereal box for the cardboard, traced a wing shape using the side of the box as the middle of the wings and cut them out. Now, when you hold the wings by the middle piece (the side of the box), they are not flat but point outwards and also flutter back and forth. Yeah, I planned that.

I attached the wings, after they were decorated, to the back of her lady bug dress using ribbon, but need to find a better way to attach them. I'm thinking velcro.

A cute, fast, easy and inexpensive costume idea! Next this week, a great idea for tweens/teens that's also cute, fast and easy. And doesn't cost a lot of money or need a lot of supplies.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Super Easy LadyBug Costume......

I was knee deep in Halloween costumes last week.
No, I'm not super prepared and early.
We went camping this past weekend and the campground has a huge Halloween celebration-trick or treating, costume contest, games, the whole works.
So, instead of being super prepared, I was last minute as usual.
Not my fault though, I'm totally laying this one on my kids, they were changing their minds everyday and couldn't decide.
My 5 year old, with a little help from mom, finally decided she wanted to dress up as a lady bug.
Cute as a bug! She looked adorable!

The costume was super easy too and mostly made with what I had around the house.....easy and cute and inexpensive.....even better!

The PolkaDot Chair has a cute pillowcase shirt tutorial that I've been wanting to try and thought it would be perfect for this project. I started with a red men's tshirt and pretty much followed the tutorial along with some shortcuts.

Since the the tshirt didn't have side seams I figured I'd save some time and work, I just cut the length of the shirt and left the sides and hem of the tshirt.....score one for quick and easy! I followed the tutorial to cut the armholes but because the tshirt is jersey, I didn't put any bias tape around the arm holes.......score two for quick and easy!

I turned over the top edge of the shirt 3/4 of an inch but didn't turn it 1/4 first....score 3 for easy! I threaded in my elastic-I ended up cutting the elastic 1/2 the measurement of the top edge-and sewed in my ribbon.

I then took a old pair of black jersey shorts and used a cream cheese container to trace circles. I sew about 7 on the front and 5 on the back.

Since it was a little chilly, we paired the shirt up with a long sleeve red shirt and black leggings.

She loved her "lady bug dress" and even wore it the next day!

Since this is getting a bit long, I'll share how I made the headband antenna and a trick I accidentally discovered while making the wings over the weekend.

Next week I'll share a quick, easy, inexpensive, fun costume for tweens/teens that can really express their personality!

I'm linking up to these parties

Weekend Bloggy Reading at Serenity Now, Friday Pity Party at 30 Days, Look at Me Party at Fun to Craft, I'm Loving It Fridays at Tidy Mom, Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and Jello

Posted by Picasa