Friday, September 28, 2012

Photo Friday

This past weekend we were in New Jersey for my brother's wedding. It was beautiful. So much fun to get together and celebrate! He married the perfect girl and now we get to keep her!

Here's a couple of my favorite pictures from their day.

Linking up at Ladies Holiday
http://www.ladiesholiday.com/2012/09/photo-friday-blog-hop-7.html?m=1

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Three things

***Updated with smoothie recipe***
 
My daily photo today was "3 Things".  After a trip to NJ, I needed to clean out my fridge. Hence the fridge pic.  The other two are great ideas! 
While cleaning the fridge, I found an unopened carton of yogurt that expires tomorrow.  Not wanting to throw it away, I made a large batch of smoothies and froze them in jars.  I didn't find 'freezer' jars I wasn't looking very hard, so I just used regular ones and didn't tighten the lid very tight until they were frozen.  I will just take a jar or two out the evening before we would like to have them for breakfast. 
 
It's always nice to have something made ahead!
Make Ahead Strawberry-Banana Smoothie
 
1 carton vanilla yogurt
2-3 cups frozen strawberries(slightly thawed) I heap them in my 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup and microwave for 30 seconds at a time just until they start to soften a bit.
2 frozen bananas
milk to thin to desired consistency
 
For the big batch like this, I put all ingredients in a large bowl and used my immersion blender to mix it all up.  Freeze in freezer jars leaving a bit of room at the top.  Allow about 10-12 hours to thaw in fridge.  I usually take it out the evening before and stick it in the fridge. Here is where I talk about how I make a regular batch.  You can use any type of frozen fruit.
 
 
 
 
My second idea. I've been doing this for a while and finally got around to sharing it.  I'm sure a million other people do this, but the day it hit me I was thinking "why did it take me this long to figure this out".
 
First off, let me say I love Scentsy.  I haven't found anything with the 'coverage' their scents have. When I say coverage I mean how far their scent reaches.  I can get away with one warmer for the house.  Two would be better, but one is good enough for now.  Candles didn't quite reach as far if that makes sense. 
 
That being said there are still some candles I really like but wanted to be able to use them in my warmer.  Usually I'll just take out my melon baller and take out a couple of scoops to put in the warmer.  Today I actually made extra bars. 

The Glade holiday candles are out and they are some of my favorites.  I picked up Cranberries and Frost at the store.  When I got home I emptied one of my bars into a Ziploc bag and labeled it.  I scooped out a bunch of the candle and let it melt in the warmer. When it was all melted, I poured it into the bar container and let the pieces cool until I could pop them into their own labeled Ziploc bag.  Now I have exactly the scent I want and I still have some candle to burn if I choose to do so.
 
I will still order from Sarah, my friend who sells Scentsy Hi Sarah! I still LOVE my warmer and the scents I've ordered from you!, but now on a day I know exactly what scent I want, I can use it either way. 
 
Have you had an "a-ha" moment lately? Any great tips to share?
 
 
 
Linking up at
 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall Decor

Pumpkins. Pie. Apple picking. Pumpkin Spice Latte. Cool, crisp air. Fall is here!

We are driving back from my brother's wedding in New Jersey and the leaves are starting to change. The prettiest so far has been Virginia. It has really put us all in the fall mood!

I'm not done decorating but there are a few sprinklings of autumn in the house. I printed some pictures from a trip to the pumpkin patch a few years back. I love using some older pics as seasonal decor. Add a candlestick and a pumpkin and there you go!

We've had a busy month. A birthday party at home, a wedding to get ready for that all 4 of us were in, and a trip across the country to be a part of the wedding celebration (which we are driving back from as I type). We have had such a fun month but its time to change the house up for this new season!

Linking up to
Stringtown Home's Harvest Tour of Homes at http://www.stringtownhome.blogspot.com/2012/09/1st-annual-harvest-tour-of-homes-2012.html?m=1

lowercase letters at http://www.carissagraham.com/2012/09/miscellany-monday_24.html?m=1

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Girly Room Part 2: Butterflies

The bedroom is taking me a while to finish. There just aren't enough hours in the day. But, I did get the butterflies up on the wall. I LOVE it! Better yet, Kayla loves it too!

I totally copied this from Living With Punks. Go check it out! She has great ideas! http://www.livingwithpunks.com/2012/02/tutorial-come-fly-with-me.html?m=1

I found this picture after I painted Kayla's room. They just happened to be close in color. I just loved how the yellow looks with the wall color!

It's slowly getting there!

Excuse the pic ... It was a blurry sort of day.

Linking up at

Romance on a Dime at www.romanceonadime.com

Stringtown Home at www.stringtownhome.blogspot.com

Ladies Holiday
http://www.ladiesholiday.com/2012/09/photo-friday-blog-link-up-6.html?m=1

Monday, September 17, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: A Short Version

Hey all! 
 
Here's what's cookin' at our house.  It's a short week for us which is why our menu looks a little slim.  Hope you at least get an idea from it! 
 
Breakfasts:
Cheesy Scrambled Eggs
Cereal
Waffles
-all with fruit and milk or water
 
Lunches:
Meat and Cheese Rollups
Tuna and Crackers
Taco salad
-both with carrots and celery sticks with ranch, fruit and a little something sweet
 
  • 3 clove  Garlic
  • Salt To Taste
  • 1/4 cup Italian Flat-leaf Parsley
  • 2  to 3Tbsp Fresh Chives
  • 1/2 cup (Real) Mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • Buttermilk- add if you want to thin it out to a dressing.  Omit if you want a dip.
  • Splash of White Vinegar (optional, To Taste)
  • 2 Tbsp Lea and Perrins 
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp fresh Dill 
  • Chop and mix all ingredients together.  Chill and enjoy! 
    Dinners:
    Chicken Noodle Soup- This is a new recipe from a book I'm reading: Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure.  If it is a hit, I'll share more.  So far I am loving the book! 
    Taco Night- I think this was on the list last week, but we didn't end up making it.
     
    Here's what Taco night basically looks like. Add silverware, milks or water and either taco shells or tortilla chips to each place and you've got it!  I love this dinner because everyone makes exactly the taco they want.  (excpet olives this time. I forgot the olives) I put out tomatoes from our garden, a chopped avacado, lettuce, sour cream, seasoned black beans, refried beans, shredded cheese, red onion, fresh cilantro, taco meat and salsa if I have a batch in the fridge.  If not, it tastes just as great with out it. I always make mine a salad an crumble a few tortilla chips in it.  Yum! 
     

    That's about it for us this week! 
     
    Linking up at

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    Homemade Sink Scrub

    I like to use Comet to clean my sink. I'm all out and don't want to go to the store or wait until I need to go.

    A quick search and I came across Homestead Wannabes and an easy recipe for homemade Comet. I had both ingredients and a sugar shaker so I gave it a try.


    1 cup Baking Soda
    1 cup Borax (what CAN'T this stuff do)

    I tried it in the sink and it worked great!

    Give it a try!

    Linking up at
    www.stringtownhome.blogspot.com

    Monday, September 10, 2012

    Meal Plan Monday on Tuesday

    Every morning, Noah had 'Dummy bears and dapes'
    Easy Peasy is the theme for this week!
    I'm feeling the need to eat fresh so salad and are going to be found here plenty this week.

    Well, except for tonight. I made smothered chicken. I kind of combined a few recipes and came up with something good.
     
    Smothered Chicken
    4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1 carton sliced mushrooms
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 can cream of potato
    1 can of milk
    4 oz softened cream cheese...or more :)
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    salt and pepper to taste
     
    All I did was put the chicken in the crock pot, mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken. Let it cook all day! Delish!
     
    But the rest of the week....easy peasy!

    Breakfasts:
    Cereal
    Waffles with yogurt
    Eggs Sunny Side Up with fresh fruit
    Smoothie and Blueberry Muffins
    Breakfast at iMom at school!
     
    When we have waffles we don't have syrup. I just can't do it.  We get to have it at Grandpa and Grandma's house and that's good enough for me.  What do we put on them?  One likes just a bit of butter on his and the other one likes...get this...jalapeno jelly.  I need to make some of this from the jalapenos in our garden this week so come on back for that recipe.

    Lunches:
    Deli meat and cheese roll-ups
    Chicken salad (me)
    Sandwich
    Quesadillas
     
    There is always a fruit and a veggie, usually carrots, and a little something sweet in the lunch box. 

    
    Hungry Girl
    Pioneer Woman


    
    Dinners:
    Smothered Chicken
    Greek Salad with Chicken
    Taco Salad Bar
    Leftovers
    Pumpkin Chili (crock pot)
    BBQ Chicken (Pioneer Woman's sauce is our favorite)




    If you are ever struggling to fill up your meal plan or just want to try some new recipes, just head on over to Pioneer Woman's website and dig around.  So good!







    How about you guys, anything good for dinner this week I should try?

    Linking up at
    Romance On A Dime
    miscellaney monday




     

    Monday, September 3, 2012

    Girly Room Redo Part 2: Upholstered Headboard

    This weekend I tried my hand at upholstering! What a fairly easy way to update a piece of furniture! We have had this headboard for a number of years but just haven't fixed it up.

    I picked up a bag of rolled up foam from Hobby Lobby, ordered material from The Fat Quarter Shop and got to work!

    It was as easy as tracing, cutting, pulling and stapling! The only painting I did was on the legs since they would show.

    It isn't perfect in the curves But it works for us!

    Next it's on to wall art!

    Linking up to

    Catching Up and Creating a Happy Home

    Happy Labor Day everyone! Were only 2 weeks into the school year but I welcomed the vacation day. I had every intention of starting the year out organized but it hasn't happened yet. After a productive morning, I feel much better!

    I don't relax when I feel like things are disorganized. I get short and grumpy. There were neglected areas of the house. Things I meant to get to but just hadn't yet.  One was the mantel.  Our tv hangs above the fireplace so I don't want anything too busy.  I decided to go with a back to school theme for a couple of weeks before I make the change to fall.  I picked up some rulers and pencils and stuck them in mason jars.  For the quote, I put some pretty scrapbooking paper in a frame and used a Crayola Window Marker to write on it.  I can change the quote whenever I want!  I think this will stay.  And how easy is it to simply change the paper when the seasons change?!  On the other end of the mantel I placed a small globe I picked up at Target on clearance.

    After that was done, I started decluttering.  I put things back where they belonged or threw them out. It amazed me how long this took.  When things are spread out it doesn't seem so bad, but it took me quite a while. 
    I also made a trip to the thrift store to drop off some donations that were taking up space. 
     
    Whew!  Much better.  Keeping your house clutter free (or close) helps so much.  If you can do nothing else, do this.  Stay up late one night if you have to and just get things to their proper places.  It will look so great in the morning when you walk out of your room!  We have a birthday this week and it will be nice to decorate with a clean slate.  After that it's time to dig out the fall goodies and spread some harvest cheer!  I'm very much looking forward to doing that!  I've been pinning some fun fall ideas here!
     
    Something else I know I need to do is plan my meals.  The afternoon goes so much smoother when I actually take the time to plan what I will feed my family.  I picked up a pack of 3 notebooks at Target.  This one is for meal planning and I actually have my first week written down.  It makes grocery shopping easier...I don't have to run to the store every day to pick up something little to make a dish I hadn't planned on...and it saves money!  I know what I have at home, so I started there when planning what meals to make. 
     
    This week for supper we are having:
    Shredded Chicken Tacos
    Cobb Salad
    Baked Potato Soup
    Battered Talapia
    Birthday Dinner Out!
    Pizza
    Sausage and Greek Salad
     
    I picked up a Taste of Home magazine this summer that had a number of meals we really liked, so that's where I went to look today when planning the week.  I was also ready to throw a yummy soup in the rotation again.  Did I mention I'm ready for fall?
     
     
    The other notebooks are for To Do's and project planning.  I like notes.  I write a lot of them.  Having a designated place to write and keep them will help when I need to find something. 
     
     
    Bake a sweet treat! Picture of Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
     
    Cooking a dessert makes everyone feel loved and cared for.  We don't have a dessert at every meal or even every week but when we do it feels special.  We enjoy eating it together. 
     
    Tonight I'm not making this although this recipe is pretty close to mine but I am making a recipe that is close to my husband's Grandma Shirley's recipe.  I think it really means a lot to him when I make something that brings back memories for him.  It doesn't have to take a lot of time, just a little planning. 
     
    Even above all these ideas...be happy.  Our attitudes make or break the atmosphere in our home.  "If Mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy!"  That's the truth, isn't it?!  It can be very hard sometimes but we have to put on the happy even if we don't feel like it.  Our kids are watching us and learning from us.  How great would it be for them to remember coming home from school to a mom who is so happy to see them?! She isn't on the phone or checking her email, she isn't cleaning and complaining about all she didn't get done during the day...she's ready. She's ready to spend time with her kids. To look them in the eye and LISTEN to what they have to tell her about their day.  She's ready to sit with them and have a snack.  Ready to connect.  Ready to make a memory.   I heard somewhere that even if we aren't thinking about it, "our kids are making a memory.  It's up to us if it's good or bad".  A sweet Mama can help make many good memories!
     
    Well, I'm going to go light a yummy fall scented candle, put on some Glenn Miller and create that great feeling in my home. 
     
     
    Linking up to
     

    Saturday, September 1, 2012

    Girly Room Part 1: Subtle Stripes Tutorial

    After 2 years of living in our house...I'm finally painting bedrooms. Starting with Kayla's room, I have the first step done and couldn't love it more!  I picked Valley View by Valspar after oohing and ahhing over Camille Roskelley's old home.  They don't have that color out anymore, but it was still in their computer so they were able to mix it up for me.  
    I really wanted stripes but very soft and subtle stripes.  When I picked up the paint I asked for 2 gallons of Valley View in semi-gloss and 1 quart of Valley View in a satin finish. Using the different finishes looks like two slightly different colors.  Time to get to work.  
    First I painted the other three walls, then tackled the striped wall. 
     
    Supplies:
    Painters tape
    Paint in two finishes
    the longest level you have
    pencil
    ladder
     
    Ok, here we go.  I started at one end of the room on my ladder.  I put the level which also has ruler markings on it. against the ceiling. I marked every foot all the way down to the floor.  I moved the ladder and did it again.  Repeat until you get to the other end of the wall. 
     
    Now it's time to connect the dots.  Using the level, start at the top and connect the marks drawing a light line.  Move down to the next mark  and move your ladder when you finish one section of wall. No sense going back and forth so many times.
     
    Time to tape. I started with the semi-gloss stripes. When you tape, you have to surround the stripe to be painted.  Tape off all the semi-gloss stripes and paint.  When they are dry, peel off the tape carefully.  And tape the other stripes.  My friend Kristi gave me the best tip. The picture below shows this step.  You have your contrasting stripe taped. On the edge of tape that will be the new color, paint over it to seal the tape. This will give you a nice clean line when you peel the tape off. When that is dry, go ahead and paint your contrasting color. 
     
    Wait for it to dry. Peel the tape off and get excited about how great the wall looks!
     
    This weekend I'm working on an upholstered headboard.  Check back to see how that turns out! Now that school is in full swing I'll be able to get posts up much faster.  :) 
     
    **************************
    Since today is September 1, I'd like to invite you to start taking a photo a day.  Fat Mum Slim posts a great list of prompts at the beginning of every month. She even gives you a list of ideas for each day to get you thinking.  If you miss a day, no biggie!  Either take the pic on a different day or just skip it altogether.  These prompts are a great way to have a variety of pictures that show your every day life.  If you are on Instagram you can follow Prairie Girl to Southern Belle (prairiegirltosouthernbelle). I'd love to see the pictures you take!  Let me know in a comment that you are following so I can follow you too!  Don't have a smart phone go ahead and take the pictures and post them on your blog!  It is so fun to see how everyone interprets the prompt for the day. 
    Grab your camera and get going!
     
    Sometimes I link up to:
    The Shabby Nest
    Tidy Mom
    Blissful and Domestic
    At The Picket Fence
    Simply Sweet Home
    Nap Time Crafters