Friday, July 29, 2011

Party Preview :)

Hey everyone! I apologize for my lack of posts this week, I'm in SUPER planning mode for tomorrows party!! Between half a dozen trips to the grocery store and Sams Club, out to dinner at Ceviche for hubby's cousins birthday,
Holy Leftovers! Yes there are 8 containers there.
house cleaning, a playdate,

menu and then food prepping,

plus a trip to Busch Gardens thrown in there...

I haven't had time to breathe let alone blog!
Here's sneak peak of tomorrows party!! I'll be back soon :) I promise.
Food labels
Have a GREAT weekend!

Monday, July 25, 2011

My first sewing project!!

So all along I've been saying that I can no sew to save my life!! Everyone tells me that it's decently easy, but I have never quite taken the plunge... UNTIL TODAY!
I am happy to announce that I have made my first real sewing project (embroidery doesn't count in my opinion, all you do is pick the thread, set up the fabric, stabilize, and program the machine).
Ok technically, this is like my second project, the first one was a bib and burp cloth that I made last year for a friends baby shower... but my mother-in-law was supervising (which reminds me, I should make more burp cloths as gifts).

So anyway, for my FIRST EVER SEWING PROJECT (by myself), I followed Make and Takes quick and easy tutorial for a hooded towel... and EVEN I could do it!! I used (half of) a hand towel and a normal size towel.

Not too shabby for my first project, and Charlotte LOVES it! ... and I'm pretty proud of myself, haha.

It IS a little pointy for my taste, so I'm going to round the hood a little more for attempt #2.

When I get braver, I'm going to attempt a slightly harder (and more funhooded towel tutorial over at Not Just a Housewife.

Wish me luck!!

#24 on my To-Attempt List completed.

Linking up: Blackberry Vine, Bacon Time, Not just a Housewife, Homework

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pizza Night #10 - Cajun Pizza {Cajunlicious}

It's been a little while since we had family Pizza & Movie night between us traveling and my being out of town. So when I saw Cajun Pizza by Jessica over at Cajunlicious | all things cajun come through on my blogger reader, I just KNEW I had to give it a shot!! (the pictures made my mouth water!)

This was AMAZING! (ok, so anything after week 9's pizza night would be great, but no joke... Ah-may-ZING!)

Going through all of our pizza weeks, hubby and I have picked up different "tips", I guess you would call it, from each recipe and added them to our repertoire. For example, one recipe told us to use cornmeal on the pan instead of flour... LOVED IT! So now we always use cornmeal.

ANYWAY, the tip we picked up from Jessica's Cajun Pizza recipe was to brush the entire pizza with a butter/garlic (and of course Cajun) mixture and then bake for 8 minutes... and THEN top with rest of the toppings. The dough was nice and crispy, but not like too-thin-crunchy-flat bread pizza. Come to think of it, we may jump back to our portobello pizza recipe and do this.... I'll let you know how it turns out :).
My little Emeril... "BAM!"
The ONLY thing I changed when making this recipe was we used our grocery stores pizza dough (found in the bakery section), I use a cookie sheet instead of the pizza stone (mental note... must go buy pizza stone), and it was covered in cornmeal... oh and I used more Andoulli sausage. Other than that... this recipe was FANTASTIC !!
Doesn't that look wonderful?
I HIGHLY recommend Cajun Pizza by Jessica over at Cajunlicious | all things cajun !!

Pizza Night #10 - COMPLETE Success!
No Movie, we got started too late!

Linking up: CRAFT, Making the World Cuter, Running with Glitter, Delicate Construction, Marvelously Messy, Litte Rays of Sunshine, Keeping it Simple, Creating my way to Success, Blackberry Vine, Bacon Time, Not Just a Housewife

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Have you heard of

The bottom line (as far as I can tell) is members get inside looks at new brands, products, and online content. Pretty sweet huh?

Free. of. charge.

I just went to the website and sign up -- so far, nothing, but it's been what... 20 minutes? haha. But anyway, that said... I am new to this site and don't entirely know how it works. The following information that I am sharing with you is from their website.

Smiley360 is the first social network to bring it's members new things to try and share. The more you share, the better your status is in the Smiley360 network (and THEN you get the good stuff!)

Some benefits to joining are:
- knowing your opinion will be heard
- the change to try new products (services and experiences)
- the fact that your status will improve as you add your knowledge and experiences to the Smiley360 community

This is not, I repeat NOT, a freebie site (darn)... while members sometimes get free stuff to sample, it is primarily to give us consumers the chance to learn about new products and services.... and to have OUR voice heard by sharing opinions! Sweet.

Why not give it a shot? What can it hurt? Click the link below!!—Be Heard. Be Happy.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Craigslist JUST got easier!!!

You guys are probably aware of my love for craigslist, freecycle, and consignment... so it should be no surprise how STOKED I am about my latest Craigslist find.

No, I don't mean I found something else for awesomely cheap on craigslist... I found a website that will do the searching for you and then send you an alert when someone posts what you are looking for.

Genius right?! Heck, I was thinking that if I had more time I would write my own craigslist crawler; it would help me keep up my programming skills! BUT, alas... Ted and John of beat me to the punch (thanks guys, I'm not sure when I would have found the time!)
I am currently looking for a few things on craigslist: 3T girls clothes, Fisher Price Laugh & Learn House, and a teeter totter. So I went ahead and set myself up an alert for each. The "Make a new alert" page has all of the fields that craigslist does (except prettier); search terms, for sale, category, state, city, and price range. So I entered my desired search terms and once my search returned, I was given the option to enter an email address and set myself up an alert (so I did!).

Craigslist is searched on the hour or so and then an alert will get emailed that looks something like:
1 new post found for "girl 3T" (Category "(All For Sale)", Region "************")
This will be followed by a link to open that search in
Of course, I have an email address specifically for craigslist stuff (I have my own domain, so I have TONS of email addresses), so now I just get to sit back and wait for my craigslist finds to come to me!!

Happy Craigslisting!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pizza Night #9 - MAJOR fail!

Sorry this post is about a month late... I never got around to posting it before all of our trips. Actually, I debated NOT posting since it was a complete and utter failure, AND a waste of good toppings, but what the heck...

I consider myself a pretty darn good cook (according to the 'about me' to the right), but apparently, homemade pizza dough eludes me.

I wanted to do a meat lovers pizza... AND make my own dough. So I got meatball, crumbled sausage, and pepperoni, yummy jarred pizza sauce, and cheese. Time for the pizza dough; so I open my trusty Joy of Cooking and pizza a simple pizza dough recipe.

I THOUGHT I followed it to a T, I guess not. I ended up with a gooey sticky mess.

But not sure how pizza dough looks before it rises... I decide to let it rise... It DID double at least. 

But when we tried to work with it... it was like slimy goop. We added more and More flour to FINALLY make it manageable

and hubby did some magic to make it look like pizza.

We were still hopeful, so we went ahead and had fun putting on the toppings.

It even looked edible.

BUT this is where it ended up.

It literally tasted like cardboard. Sheesh.... back to grocery store fresh pizza dough for us!

Pizza Night #9: MAJOR FAIL

Friday, July 15, 2011

Recipe ::. Chicken & Spinach Stuff Shells

I got this recipe from one of my good friends in my mom group. In fact, this was the meal she brought me after my 2nd daughter was born. We all loved it so of course I had to ask for the recipe. This is a great freezer meal also! I was out of town for 4 days and hubby had to (gasp!) watch the girls the entire time. One night he baked one of of my freezer meals of this and LOVED it!!

Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells

16 oz. package large pasta shells
2 15 oz. containers ricotta cheese (I use part-skim)
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb bag frozen cut leaf spinach, thawed and drained
1 deli rotisserie chicken, chopped
2 jars pasta sauce
2 cups shredded italian cheese blend

1. Heat oven to 350F. Cook and drain pasta according to box directions, rinse with cool water and drain again.
2. In large bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, spinach and chicken

3. Spread 1 cup of pasta sauce of the bottom of two 9 X 13 glass baking dishes
4. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of ricotta mixture into each shell
5. Arrange shells filled side up in dish

6. Add remaining sauce on top of shells

* When I made this I was cooking for my daughter and I so I decided to freeze most of this recipe. I placed foil in glass baking dishes and continued with recipe until bakin step. I placed pans freezer until they were frozen then I removed from baking dish and wrapped completely in foil. You can also use disposible baking pans, but I didn't have any on hand.
7. Salt & pepper if desired
8. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes
9. Sprinkle with italian cheese and bake uncovered for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted


To reheat from frozen: Place (frozen) foil packets in a baking dish and bake at 350* until warm. Then uncover and top with cheese. Bake additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Linking up: Fingerprints on the Fridge, DelicateConstruction, Naptime Crafters, Cookin' for my Captain, Ladybird Ln, Just a Girl, Lolly Jane Boutique, jessica n designs, Nifty Thrifty Things, Little Rays of Sunshine, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Making the World Cuter, Hazel and Honeysuckle, Keeping it Simple, Running with Glitter, Marvelously Messy, Not just a housewife, Homework, Blackberryvine, Dragonfly Designs, Sweet Peas and BB, Momnivores-Dilemma, Gluesticks, It's a Keeper, Faith Trust and Pixie Dust



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Freecycle - My new obession!

A friend of mine recently introduced my to the Freecycle Network, have any of you ever used this? It's great!
But anyway, she was telling me about Freecycle and I was like, 'well, I use craigslist to get cheap stuff' and she was like, 'no no, you get free stuff from people'. FREE?! Intrigued, I went to the site to track down my local group and immediately signed up. Mine happened to be in a yahoo group (not sure if they all are) so to make it easier on myself, I created a new yahoo group and new email address for strictly freecycle stuff, and then I set up that account on my phone and I got ready to start getting free stuff!
It's not as easy as all that I found out. Well, ok it's easy, but you don't just get whatever free stuff you want. Someone will send out an (approved) email and say "OFFER: george forman grill" or something along those lines. If I decide that I want that item I can reply and say "Hi, I would love the George forman, I can come pick it up tomorrow afternoon". So I replied and then I waited and waited and waited to hear back from this person. A half a day later I see an email from the group go out that says "TAKEN: george forman grill". And I'm all annoyed that I didn't get it (ha). So then I see another item that I want and I jump on the email as quick as possible and say I'd like it. Again.... I waited and waited, and then I saw a "Taken" email go out. BAH!
I thought I was doing something wrong, but then when I offered something free, I figured out REALLY how it works. When you are "offering" something, you may get tons of responses and then you get to choose one. Apparently, you don't reply to the others and say "sorry, I've chosen someone else".

I guess it's kind of like a lottery, but hey.. you can win big.

The other day I received a large garbage bag FULL of 2T/3T girl clothes. I scored the mother load. I got like 15 pairs of pants (only 2 of which were really "used"), 6 dresses including a fancy Christmas one, about 8 "play" t-shirts, a sweat and 2 sweatshirts, 3 skirts, a dozen used pajama tops, AND red sparkly shoes. For free. I mean, really... you can't beat that! They even left it on the porch for me to pick up at my leisure.

I must say, I'm hooked! I highly recommend the Freecycle network.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

AAnnnd I'm back!

Wow... I put my blog on auto-pilot for about 2 weeks and I break the 200 follower mark! Sweet. Maybe I should go away more often!

Phew... It has been a hectic few weeks between the Atlantic City bachelorette party, baby shower and birthday (and the embroidered gifts that go with them), driving 8 hours up to Georgia with hubby and 2 kids for the 4th of July (and the embroidering that went along with that trip too),  AND finally, leaving 1 day after getting home from Georgia to be in one of my best friends wedding up in Jersey (without the kids and hubby, meaning I had to prepare detailed instructions, meals, and grocery shop for everyone).  Well, I. am. home!

Not to worry, I will (attempt to be) back on my regularly posting blog routine shortly!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A funny thing happened ...

Funny.... but could have been REALLY annoying (if I didn't have a spare).
Here was I, opening a can of garbanzo beans and all of a sudden stuff just started falling apart. Litterally!
Talk about shoddy craftsmanship... sheesh.
Luckily I had another one, or I would have had a really hard time opening the can of red beans for dinner!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Starting to Christmas shop...

 So I'm technically not REALLY starting my Christmas shopping, BUT I did just pick up the girls BIG Christmas gift and I need to mention that I LOVE CRAIGSLIST!
I've been perusing Craigslist lately because I want to get the girls the Step2 Up and Down Roller Coaster. Charlotte has played with it a few times at various places and she absolutely loves it!

The other day, I come across a listing for the roller coaster, located about 20 minutes away, for $25! Oh I jumped on email as FAST as I could to see if it was still available; this thing retails $100. Plus, according to the listing, it was "Great condition"  and "Only used indoors". Now, I know you can't always believe those postings, but the picture looked good and I was hopeful.

Long story short, I get there and it's in great condition! So I hand over my $25 (after a question on the price... he thought it had been listed for $50, and I assured him I looked at the post this morning and it was $25, so he pulled it up and.... $25). I am thrilled!

The only problem is finding an out of the way place to hide it.... mmmm. Luckily, at 2, Charlotte won't be looking for her Christmas presents!


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