Friday, January 28, 2011

Lil G's 2nd Birthday

Monkey See... Monkey Do! My little monkey is turning 2! 

Posted by PicasaStay tuned for more party planning details for his 2nd birthday party in February!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Peanut Butter "Snow" Cookies

Every time it snows I lose my husband for at least a day.  His company does home remodeling year round, but in the winter they LIVE for snow.  Yesterday we received our first round of snow and with the forecast calling for even more through the night...and boy did we get it!  While I was making dinner last night I decided to make him and his "snow plowing boys" a snack they could take along with them in the trucks while they were out.  I knew it had to be something hand held and something I could make quick since he would be stopping home in 30 minutes.  I opened the cabinets, saw cake mix and decided cupcakes were too messy but cookies would work...although I didn't really have time to go through all the steps of baking cookies.  I tried this quick little peanut butter cookie recipe with cake mix and they turned out great!  Only a 5 ingredients, mix, and bake...can't get much easier than that!


1 vanilla or yellow box of cake mix
1 cup peanut butter- I used Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter, you could use any kind crunchy or creamy
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together and drop by the teaspoonfull onto ungreased cookie sheets. 
Flatten slightly using a fork so they look like this.
Bake about 10 minutes and allow to cool.  Then sprinkle with powdered sugar just to make them pretty :)  Makes about 4 dozen.  Hope you enjoy...the "snow plowing boys" sure did!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Group Dealz

Have you all heard of GroupDealz??  Here's how it works.  They are able to offer daily deals of up to 90% off because they can guarantee a minimum number of purchases with their group buying power! GroopDealz finds amazing deals for YOU! Each day you'll find great new things to do and buy at HUGE discounts.   I have already gotten some great things at GroupDealz so far, such as these adorable flower rings for a few of my girl friends at Christmas...

STELLA -  petite Rosette Statement RING - YOU PICK THE COLOR
And these vinyl letters I used to make this plate for my mom for her kitchen for only $4 from Wonderfully Wordy (plate from Walmart for $2 = $6 gift, but don't tell her that!)...

And this camera strap from Shey B (I can NOT wait to put on) the new Canon I got for Christmas :)  It makes me so happy!
GroopDealz: Discover the City Around You

And today I grabbed this adorable pillow for my gray/yellow bedroom makeover (which we finally started painting on Sunday, but that means we have been sleeping on a mattress on my sons floor for 3 nights already!)

And you can check out GroupDealz too!  Click to see today's deal (how cute would this pillow be for Valentine's Day!) or to sign up to receive the daily emails.  Happy Shopping :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Easy Tortellini Soup

My friend Carla is ALWAYS cooking something good in the kitchen!  She loves to cook for her family and friends.  She is a hardworking mommy and when I asked her for one of her go-to week night favorites she gave me this tortellini soup recipe.  I'm going to make this over the weekend and maybe add some diced chicken to it....yummy!  She made it for her family last night :)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion (about 1/2 small onion)
  • garlic clove minced
  • 4 -6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 (14 ounce) can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (9 ounce) package fresh or dried tortellini
  • salt and pepper
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach or frozen spinach, defrosted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)


Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 30 mins

  1. In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring often until onions are translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add broth and tomatoes, turn heat up to high, and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions.
  5. When tortellini is almost done, add spinach and taste, adjusting seasonings with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve immediately.
  7. Garnish each serving with a sprinkling of parmesan.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yellow and Gray Bedroom Inspiration

I know I'm behind the times, and the color combo of yellow and gray has been floating around the design world, magazines, and even stores like Target for quite a while now, but I still LOVE it. I think it works great in a bedroom.  I love gray in a bedroom, don't you?  I'm hoping to make our master bedroom the perfect balance of happy yellow and tranquil gray...and get rid of the blah we have now (I'll show you some before pictures soon).  Our bedroom has always been the neglected room. 

I've been looking for the perfect bedding for weeks, although it feels more like months, and I think I may have finally found something that works.  I ordered the bedding and a small area rug from today :)   And speaking of, while browsing Krafty Kat's blog for Valentine's Day inspiration I found a coupon for 10% off your total order  Yay me!!  After all we are trying to do this whole bedroom makeover on a very small budget.

Here are some inspirational pictures I found...

I'm hoping the paint we have had for months (hubby picked it out) is about the same color as these walls in this room designed by giannetti architecture and interiors, inc :)

I love the picture rail above the bed with the yellow wallpaper below. This is the same color wood furniture we have in our bedroom and combined with yellow and gray is a great combo. (from Ideal Home)

I really like this chair, but I think a bench will work better in my space.  After searching Craig's list and every thrift, antique, and furniture store I can think of I going to attempt to make my own bench, well with the help of my hubby of course...can't can't wait to see how that turns out.

And I LOVE this print Marrakech print, Crate and Barrel but $249.00...REALLY???  I'm thinking I can create something similar on my own.

Here are some fabrics, curtains, and a pillow I have picked up so far.  I still need to find lamps, another thing I have been searching high and low for!  So what do you think?  I can't wait to see how it all comes together.  We have A LOT to do!  I hope to show you the final transformation soon, but these home projects always take longer than I think!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

EASY Mexican Chicken

There's nothing a busy mom on the go loves more then coming home to find dinner already cooked.  And really, how often does that happen...UNLESS you use a quick crock pot recipe you can throw together before you run out the door in the morning.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1 Jar Salsa - It can be any kind.  I usually use the store brand because it the cheapest and it doesn't mater much since it's going to slow cook for hours.  You can also choose mild or spicy depending on your preference.

Optional Ingredients:
Cooked Rice
Tortilla Wraps
Shredded Cheese - I used a Mexican blend 

I threw the frozen chicken in the crock pot yesterday morning and then dumped the jar of salsa on top.  I filled the jar about 1/4 of the way with water, swished it around to get the last of the salsa out and also dumped that in the crock pot.  Then I set the crock pot on low and left it for about 8 hours.

When I got home, I took a fork and shredded the chicken.  It basically falls apart from cooking so long. 

I warmed up some tortilla wraps on our flat top grill on our stove, but you can use a skillet or just microwave with a wet paper towel covering them.  I used left over rice from the chinese stir-fry I made on Monday night, but you could use any cooked rice.  My favorite is the Uncle Bens 90 second pouches and they even make them in brown rice now (since we are trying to eat healthy)!  I put some rice on the tortilla, placed the chicken salsa mixture on top, covered with cheese and then rolled them up to eat.  You can also top with all your favorite taco toppings, such as sour cream, lettuce, olives, etc. You can even serve the chicken mixture directly over rice, without the tortillas.  This chicken has so many possiblities once it is cooked and it is so cheap and easy!

I made this for dinner last night and it is a family favorite every time!  Hope you enjoy it too!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day Valentine's Project

We have been covered with the white stuff pretty often this winter and last night when the snow started falling I decided to do a quick little Valentine's Day wreath for my back door.  Everything starts looking a little bare this time of year once the Christmas decorations come down, and I wanted to get into the spirit for the next holiday which I don't have many decorations for :)  I just LOVE the pop of color it gives my back door!  This would be the perfect snow day project, because it is so quick and easy and you only need a few supplies you may have around the house.  And I know a lot of my teacher friends have the day off today, so I thought I would share...

Cute right??  And so easy :)
You will need:
A wreath or wreath form - I found mine at the dollar store :)
Some ribbon - I used some eyelet ribbon I had left over from another project
Tissue Paper - I found Valentines Day tissue paper, again at the Dollar Store :)
A hot glue gun & glue sticks (about 4)

First I glued the ribbon around the wreath, just to cover it like this...

Then I cut the tissue paper in 4 inch squares

 Then I took each piece of tissue paper and pinched it in the middle and glued the pinched part to the wreath like this...

 I continued to do that, using the different print and color papers around the entire wreath

And it started to look like this :)  At the end I went back and filled in some empty spots I could see and that was it!  You can't mess it up!  Really easy and cost me $2 :)  Here's another picture of the finished project.  You could easily do this with fabric scraps or cupcake liners as well!  Here's a link to one I just found today...  And switch up the colors and it's a great simple project for any time of year :)


Friday, January 7, 2011

New Year...New Year's Goals

So it's a new year and like everyone else I have some new year's resolutions myself.  Ok lets not call them resolutions, let's call them GOALS.  New Year's resolutions always seem to be broken.  Everyone says they are going to diet, exercise, get organized...and that works for a few weeks months, then they give up and go back to the same old ways.  Isn't there a point at the end of every year where you ask yourself, what exactly did I do this year?  Okay, maybe it's just me....but anyway, this is my way to hold myself accountable for the things I want to accomplish this year. 

And first up was starting this BLOG...I have been asked already why? ...and don't you have enough to do already?  And I'm not sure I have the best response to either of those questions...yet.  For now it just an avenue for me to share my creative ideas, thoughts, and struggles...and maybe, just maybe, find other people that can relate to my life.

SIMPLIFY...get rid of the clutter and things we don't use and really organize.  Not just cleaning out closets, but really getting in there and organizing things, labeling, and putting everything in nice boxes.  My biggest project will be my own closet or should I say that entire spare bedroom that I take up with my clothes now and would like to have back as a spare bedroom :)  I have some other projects like a new message station in our kitchen that I hope will keep us all organized (I will show you that one soon, so stay tuned).  Hopefully everything will get its place and there will be less hectic "where did I leave that last" moments in house in 2011.  Doesn't everyone want need a pantry that looks like this one courtesy of House of Smith's blog (she even has the word Simplify over the door)...

LAUGH more, STRESS less.  Spend more time letting my son help and less time worried about how much of a mess the outcome will be.  Spend more time with friends and family and less time worried about how clean my house is when they show up unexpectedly.  Stress less about the small stuff, and concentrate on more time at home with my family doing nothing but enjoying each other's company, more focus on myself, and a better relationship with God.