Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

SUNDAY was...

MONDAY was...
Chicken Parm courtesy of the hubs

Date night

Boursin Bundles... again - request of the kids

Skinny Tuna Melts with soup

Taco Night

We have house guests... so maybe pizza... OR homemade pizza kind of night!

Oven Baked Tilapia

*New* Avocado Mozzarella Bruschetta Chicken (pin)

Boursin Bundles

Taco Night

Finally made... Ground Beef Tater Tot Casserole
And I realized after the fact that this particular recipe I followed was missing a key ingredient :(


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Our raised garden :. The first month

Last year we attempted to have  a garden in our backyard, and it started out so nice (see here). We even got our green beans to start to sprout from seeds, yay (see here)!! AND THEN we got one of our famous heavy rains, realized that ALL the water drains to that corner of our yard and the ground got so saturated that water literally oozed around my foot if I stepped into the garden; and then the sun scorched everything. Good bye garden 2014 (I stopped taking pictures so there is no evidence of this).

Hubby still really wanted a garden, and we had a "wild garden" (aka weeds) growing in this certain square of our yard, so for 2015, we are trying a raised garden bed. So after hubby built the garden bed and filled it with dirt, we put everyone to work.

Click here for all garden related posts.

The Garden: Day 1

What is in our garden:

After 1 month:
 It's going pretty good I think!! Fingers crossed; like I've said before... I do not have a green thumb. I'm just the day-time weeder and monitor... unless I forget.

What have we learned: With our first successful (so far) garden, I'm sure there are going to be a LOT of lessons learned
- When head lettuce says it needs 10-12 inches... it really means that. The hubs takes that information as "suggestion". I think we will need to remove some of our plants otherwise we may get some rot.

Super crowded head lettuce
- It was recommended to us to put the strawberry plants in between our tomato plants; but by now the tomato plants have exploded and block out the sun from our poor strawberries... so we moved the strawberries to a separate container.

Strawberries in pot
- We are still trying to figure out if our bush (green) beans require the supports that hubby made... mother-in-law says no... hubby isn't sure.

This months yield:
- A couple of strawberries
- A WHOLE lot of basil
- Some red romaine lettuce for several nightly salads and a couple of sandwiches
- No ripe tomatoes yet, but we got quite a few starting

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan ::. Post-Spring Break

Spring Break has come and gone and now it is officially time to get back into the swing of things.

SUNDAY was...
Oven Baked Tilapia with macaroni and cheese and a salad (lettuce from OUR garden!!)

*New* Avocado Mozzarella Bruschetta Chicken (pin)

Boursin Bundles

*New* Slow cooker Zupa Toscana (pin)

Taco Night

Ground Beef Tater Tot Casserole

Recap from last week (or so)


Friday, March 13, 2015

February's Cookie Trial ::. Red Velvet Glazed Cookies

I sort of cheated with February's cookie trial; I was nearing the end of the month (um... maybe THE last day of the month) and STILL hadn't made cookies, so I checked my pantry and found a box of Duncan Hines Red Velvet Decadent Brownie mix and saw a recipe for the Red Velvet Glazed Cookies and I was sold. As a bonus, I had all the ingredients necessary: boxed brownie mix, eggs, lemon peel, and butter.

We thought the cookies were fabulous... we didn't think so much of the cream cheese glaze. Luckily, I only glazed half of the cookies because the hubs wasn't so sure about the cream cheese icing. Phew! But seriously, the cookies were great!

Red Velvet Glazed Cookies (src)

1 package Duncan Hines® Red Velvet Decadent Brownie Mix
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 tsp. grated lemon peel


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Set aside cream cheese packet.
2. Combine brownie mix, butter, eggs and lemon peel in large bowl with wooden spoon until blended.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
4. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool cookies 1 minute on pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
5. Cut the cream cheese packet according to package directions and drizzle over cookies.
* Baking Tip: Use a 1 to 1-1/4-inch scoop to form dough into balls. For best results, bake one baking sheet at a time. If baking two sheets together, rotate pans halfway through baking.

2 thumbs up (minus the glaze).


Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Noon" Years Eve Birthday Party

The craziness of December has come and gone (as has January and February)! Can you believe it is already 2015? Yikes!

Poor Lizzie .. she's my third child AND she was born in December... she is never going to have an all-out-pinterest-planned birthday party! The end of the year is crazy for us (as well as most people I know) - we (1) travel out of state for either Thanksgiving or Christmas each year, (2) we have our annual Christmas Cocktail party at the house, (3) there's the dozens of Christmas activities we try to squeeze in before (4) the big mans visit, all culminating in (5) an end of the year activity of some sort, and now (4).... poor 3rd child's birthday has to get squeezed in.

For the past few years, we have gotten together with a bunch of friends for a "Noon" Years Eve party at a park. With the craziness of this year, I decided I'd throw in a cake and some lunch and call it Lizzie's birthday party.

I ordered pizza for lunch, but had a cheese/crackers and veggie tray, cheetos, pretzels, and jello jigglers.

Side note about the jello jigglers - I got the idea here (pretty huh?) -- they didn't turn out as nice. It looked pretty cool when I sprinkled the big sugar crystals and the gold glitter on it... but it started to like melt my jello. Big boo! So just a warning if you try that -- doesn't work as well as the picture showed in the pin.

And you can't have a Noon (or New) Years Eve party without a toast... so sparkling white and red grape juice for after the countdown.

I made a "clock" cake using an 8 (or maybe 9) inch cake pan, a dozen cupcakes around the outside for the hour numbers (with 12 more for backups), and I used gold icing spray and gold star edible glitter (picked up from Hobby Lobby). For the numbers, I printed out a font that I wanted onto computer paper, covered it with parchment (or wax) paper, and using Wilton Chocolate melts, I traced the numbers and stuck them in the fridge to cool.

They pealed very easy and I stuck them on top the morning of the party.

I'm quite pleased how well this turned out -- and it was easy!

This one was pretty easy -- I stuck to "low-key" and had some plastic table cloths, a box or 2 of the New Years Eve party hats, crowns, and noisemakers... that's it.

We had a table set up where all the kids could make and decorate their own "noise makers" using clear plastic cups, bells, beads, dried pasta (a leftover from a previous party), and stickers to decorate the outside.

Also, we were at a park, so that sort of took care of itself and this park has a walking path around it so some kids brought bikes and scooters and they had a great time.

But I'd have to say that the best part of the party was...

... because, I mean that is what you do at New Years, right?

I picked up 5 large rolls of bubble wrap from walmart, laid them out in lines, and lined the kids up in between the rows. To be honest, it was a bit windy that day so they kept flying up.  All set with New Years party hats and noisemakers we started our countdown.

When we hit 1, the kids blew their noisemakers and jumped up and down on the bubble wrap and - Oh My Goodness - since we were underneath a park shelter, it actually sounded like fireworks. It was pretty awesome and the kids loved it!

and Lastly...
On top of the noise maker craft that they kids did earlier, they also got to take home a ring pop so they could "Ring in the New Year".

Birthday girl had a blast!

Linking up: Vintage Gwen , Shaken Together , remodelaholicLolly Jane , I heart naptime , Crafty Moms Share , Nifty Thrifty ThingsDIY ShowoffA Bowl full of Lemons , Homework , Elizabeth and Co , Creating my Way to Success ,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Meal Plan

Our usual Oven baked tilapia with asparagus and sweet potatoes

Parmesan Roasted Shrimp
(we didn't get to this last week)

Spinach Salad with warm bacon dressing and pork tenderloin
 (maybe this recipe stuffed with apple and brie if I get the go-ahead from the hubby... he may just want my usual recipe!)

late-ish Gymnastics night
Haven't quite decided... either
Crockpot Meatloaf
Slow Cooker Ribs

Breakfast for dinner!: )

French Bread pizza with the kiddos

Ground Beef and Tatertot Casserole

Taco Salad

White Bean Chicken Chili

Steak and potatoes

Chef Salad


Link within

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