Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Movie gift cards shouldn't make you sad...

This made me sad today.


Because we got this movie theater gift card for Grandpa for Christmas and hubby handed it back to me today.

The girls' late Grandpa LOVED gift cards and had a lot of them, so when hubby was going through his stuff he came across a whole stack of them, he decided to split them between his sister and us.

So as I start flipping through our little stack and see a few restaurant gift cards, I come to the movie theater gift card that I had personally bought and it struck me... he never got to use it. And he won't be taking Charlotte to any more movies.

You see, Grandpa and Mimi brought Charlotte to her very FIRST BIG (In other words... movie theater) movie. They had a ball! Charlotte sat in the middle and held the popcorn, passing out pieces as she felt necessary.  Since Grandparents never really NEED anything for Christmas, we got them each a set of movie theater gift cards so they could take Charlotte some more.


Time to go work on a little "Memories of Grandpa" project!

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan #15

This week is going to be a little weird and hectic with all that we are trying to do for hubby's dad's funeral on Friday.

SUNDAY we had...
Peachy Hot wings, sweet potato fries, and salad

Taco Night with Black beans

Chef Salad

WEDNESDAY (my parents come into town)
Chicken Florentine Soup... maybe

THURSDAY (hubby's extended family come into town for the funeral)
Dad's Spicy Garlic Shrimp

We are going out to dinner after the funeral

Last weeks recap
Crock Pot Pulled Pork

Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Pork stuffed baked potato
Inspired by a roadside BBQ place outside DE

Panko Crusted Tilapia


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Memories at Steak & Shake

My kids LOVE Steak and Shake.

Is it the oh-so-unhealthy fried chicken fingers and fries?No, although they are fan... of course.
Is it the tasty milk shakes?!
No... but again... they do enjoy them.

It's because of Mimi and Grandpa.... and the CLAW MACHINE! This is a game that I, mommy, do not play but Mimi and Grandpa play a few dollars EVERY single time they go. And they're pretty good...the following is the score from DECEMBER ALONE:

And this is from the few months before.

The pictures of their "score" just goes to show how often we/they went to Steak and Shake and how big a part of our lives Mimi and Grandpa are. Weekly lunches, "playdates", stopping by the office to say 'hi'. The girls are very lucky to have their grandparents so close.
Mimi, Grandpa, Jillie, & Charlotte
But lunches at Steak and Shake aren't going to be the same anymore. 

A week can make a HUGE difference if your life.

Friday, shortly after lunch with hubby, Grandpa started feeling sick with the flu. All weekend he was laid up, but he told hubby on Sunday that he was feeling better and would be back to work (they work together) on Monday.

Hubby was at drill this weekend, so Sunday after church I went to lunch at... you guessed it, Steak and Shake with Mimi and the girls. Grandpa didn't join us because he was still sick with the flu. The girls missed Grandpa, but they understood he was sick.
The "claw" with Mimi on Sunday
Monday's meal plan post... but we had some pretty bad news, Hubby called and said Grandpa had a stroke. Well, after a day in the hospital it wasn't a stroke, it was infection which turned out to be from the gall bladder. Oh, and he also had pneumonia.

I went and tapped into the power of social media for prayers and thoughts... and it seemed to work because Tuesday things were looking up. Hubby went from talking about his father as if he had already died to talking about what we were going to do with him in a few weeks and how our trip to Disney would be fun. Wednesday was much of the same, the vitals were getting better but he was still on life support. Thursday was kind of annoying because they were messing with his dialysis and tubes and he went without dialysis for about 8 hours, which made hubby nervous but he was "still going to get out of this". Friday, hubby rushed out of the house because Grandpa was not doing well. To keep normal, I get everyone dressed and ready for Ladies Bible study at church. I text hubby right when I get there to keep me posted and that I was at Bible Study. I get back "Will do. It looks like he will pass away".

WHAT?! So my wonderful friends at Bible study come to the car with me and get the car seats so they can pick up the girls after Bible study and watch them while I'm at the hospital and I rush over there. It turns out Grandpa might have MRSA due to bacteria imbalance so I can't go in there. But hubby wants to stay in there (understandably) so he tells me to head back to Bible study. So I do.

I sit back down in Bible study and my mother in law calls to tell me they are going to DNR (do not resuscitate) him and I need to come back for hubby. So, again, I rush out... luckily my friends are amazing and are going to take the girls. Back at the hospital it is not looking good.

A few hours later, my hubby's father, Grandpa, passed away surrounded by his loving family, way too soon, after one crazy week.

January 2011
It is going to kill me the next time we go to Steak and Shake for lunch and Charlotte asks for Grandpa...

Christmas 2011
Thank you for being the best father-in-law a girl could ask for and the best and most fun Grandpa for my daughters.

PS - I am REALLY glad we got Professional pictures of Grandpa and girls for Christmas last year


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

{party appetizer} Sausage Caprese Skewers

I LOVE LOVE these skewers for parties! They are SUPER easy and I have been making them for a while.

SAUSAGE (optional) Caprese Skewers
Cherry tomatoes
mozzarella balls  (in water)
Summer sausage (optional)

Skewer cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and the optional sausage in whatever order suits you.
Can be made the day before.
Drizzle with balsamic dressing (I actually ran out of balsamic dressing so I also used some balsamic vinegar too) just before serving.

This is how I served them my first year:
I cut the tomato in half, skewered half, then the mozzarella ball, then the other half of the tomato.

The next year I added the summer sausage (yum!)

Theese even work perfectly for a LUAU!


Linking up: Blue Cricket Design, Someday Crafts, Vintage Gwen, 
Bacon Time,

Faith Trust and Pixie Dust,
Ladybird Ln,
Tatertots and Jello, Lamb Around, Lolly Jane Boutique,
Nifty Thrifty THings, CRAFT, 
Marvelously Messy
Making the World Cuter
Keeping it Simple,
Creating my way to success
Shwin and Shwin,
Elizabeth and CoHomeworkNot Just a HousewifeChef in TrainingA Bowl full of Lemons

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan #14

Well, this Monday isn't turning out as I would have hoped. I got a call this morning from hubby shortly after he left for work.... he said , "Dad had a stroke". What?! Shock! So my father in law is in the hospital and has an infection and we just found out that his kidneys failed...

So, I am at home with the girls (hubby doesn't want to bring them to the hospital until they know what kind of infection is it) trying to "do our normal day stuff" which, I might add, is quite difficult.

I figured since I had my post prepared, I might as well share it today.

If anyone is the praying type, we could use some today. Thanks!

So here's trying to be normal ...

SUNDAY we had...
Crockpot Pulled Pork (sale)

Panko Crusted Tilapia (sale) with linguine and asparagus

Leftover Pulled Pork with baked potatoes

Chicken (sale) & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Beefy Mac Soup (sale)

Homemade Pizza Night

Pesto Stuffed Burgers

Last week in review

Andoulli Sausage, red beans, and rice

Baked Mushroom Chicken  with green beans

Shrimp (freezer) & Artichokes served over rice
Spaghetti with grilled Italian Sausage

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

Whole Baked Chicken (yummy like usual) with mushroom wild rice (yummy!) and smashed cauliflower (not our favorite, but it was in the fridge)


Sunday, January 22, 2012

{Kitchen Tip} Storing Leftover Bacon

Has this ever happened to you? You have bacon with breakfast, but don't eat an entire package. Or what about those recipes that use 2 slices of bacon and bacon grease? Now I know you can buy those precooked bacon packages... BUT if you want to cook the bacon and use the bacon grease here's a suggestion for you... freeze it!

Well, of course, duh, we know that, right? But mom passed down a simple tip that might make it easier for you to have a slice or two of bacon every once in a while without (a) wasting the rest of a package or (b) going to the store to buy a NEW package.

Grab your self a gallon freezer bag, some snack or sandwich baggies and your bacon.

Separate out 2 or 3 slices.

Cut the slices in half.

Place your 4-6 halves into a sandwich baggie and repeat with rest of the bacon.

Once you have your baggies filled, put all your baggies into  your freezer bag (and label so in a few weeks you will actually be able to find your bacon).

NOW... jump ahead a few weeks. It's a Saturday morning and hubby decides he wants to make some eggs. What goes great with eggs? BACON of course!

Simply take out a few baggies, thaw*, and cook.
* To thaw, I usually wrap my frozen bacon in paper towel and microwave it 30 sec or slightly more until the bacon is soft. Then I separate the bacon out and either use my microwave tray or pan fry it. Also, I've seen that you can bake your bacon on pinterest for a healthier alternative.

VOILA! A yummy bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit!

I also use my frozen bacon when making my black beans, BLT's, this past week's Crockpot Pork chops over black beans and bacon, and well, any recipe that you have that calls for a few slices of bacon.


Linking up: Creating my way to Success, CRAFT, Nifty Thrifty Things, Lamb Around, The Girl Creative, Handyman Crafty Woman, Twin Dragonfly Designs ,Sew Much Ado, Trendy Treehouse, My Girlish Whims, Gingersnap Crafts, DIY by Design, Raegun Ramblings, Blue Cricket Design, Someday Crafts, Vintage Gwen


Friday, January 20, 2012

My little helper!

I'm sorry... this was just too cute not to share!

The girls FAVORITE thing to do is feed Duke; and they are surprisingly good at it too! Here's my little helper (one shoe'd) after she carried the full bowl all the way from the garage.

And she then proceeded to place the bowl down, attempt to bring Duke to the bowl... and then giving up, she feeds him herself.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The best thing about having girls...

Ok so it's not really the BEST thing... but right now it's super cute and makes my mornings just a little bit easier!!

So in the morning, when I am in the bathroom getting my hair and makeup on for the day....
...so are the girls!
PS - Isn't Charlotte "curling" Jillie's hair the sweetest?



Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan #13

Happy MLK Day everyone!

SUNDAY we had...
Andoulli Sausage, red beans, and rice

Baked Mushroom Chicken (freezer) with green beans

Slow Cooker Jambalaya (freezer items)

Shrimp (freezer) & Artichokes served over rice

 Lady and Son's Smoked Boston Butt (on sale)

Pizza Night

Baked whole chicken (sale) with sides

And now for last weeks recap....
Chicken, Mozz, Sundried Tomatoes, ricotta, basil pizza

Slow Cooker Pork Chops with black beans and bacon

Shrimp Pesto Pasta

Beef, tomato soup, and veggies

Chicken Parm

If you are interested in ANY recipe, please let me know! I am more than happy to share :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

{TAG} You're It!!

Today I got tagged by Leslie @  Peace Love & Everything Pink to be part of the The Blogger Game: Tag! You're It!
The Rules:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
4.Tag eleven people and link them on your post
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

11 Fun Facts
1. I was born in England
2. I am the only lefty on either side of my family as far back as we know
3. I do not like baseball, but I played softball in high school. Actually, I didn't like watching softball either. BORING!
4. My phone number in my dorm room in college was 555-TEAL (no I know, not 555... but still, someone must have that same number now) and I used to give my number out to every single guy because it was so easy to remember (my roommate was not amused) and I liked guys calling
5. I do not have any tattoos... nor do I ever want one. Oh, and I am only pierced once in each ear and no where else.
6. I met my husband by going on a date (or two) with his best friend/roommate... and this best friend/roommate ended up being a groomsman in our wedding
7.I am an Alpha Chi Omega Alumnae (and I am still active with the local chapter) - LITB
8. I don't care how the rest of my house looks as long as my kitchen counter is decluttered and clean (in my eyes that a successful cleaning)
9. I am the youngest in my family and have 2 older brothers, yet I was the first to get married AND have a baby.
10. I have a hard time saying "no" to stuff. For example, this year I am a chair for my Junior League committee (after I vowed not to chair again), I am the VP of my daughters preschool parent teacher committee, AND I help out with my local sorority chapter as an advisor.
11. I go through digital cameras (point and shoot) just about every 2 years. I REALLY need one of those shock-proof, water-proof, child-proof, and Stevie-proof ones!
Leslie's  Questions for Me!
1. What is your favorite TV show?
Hubby and do NOT miss NCIS or NCIS: LA; although when I have a moment to rest by myself (and I'm not blogging) I catch up on Once Upon a Time and PanAm.
2. One place you are dying to visit?
Ireland and (more local) California
3. Do you think money buys happiness?
No, but it helps :) I think I'm pretty dern happy with how hubby and I are doing. We know we'll never be millionaires, especially with me staying at home with the girls, and we are ok with that. I'd like to think that if we ever won the loto we would (a) not tell anyone and (b) be reasonable and smart with it.
4. Cat or Dog?
CAT!! oooooooooooh so cat! We have 2, however we also have one HUGE laboradoodle named Duke.
5. Are you a beach girl or city girl? Why?
Hmmm I would say neither. I grew up outside NYC and liked day trips, but could NEVER live there like some of my friends do. I now live by the ocean but we aren't there nearly as much as we should. I prefer suburbs... in the Carolinas if I had my wish.
6. What is your guilty pleasure?
Oooh tough one. Entering giveaways, stupid I know. As for food... it would be doritos with melted cheddar on top (yes, weird but OH so good).
7. Werewolves or Vampires?
Not gonna lie, there's downsides to both... but I think Jacob is way hotter than Edward so I'll lean towards Vampires (although I don't think Professor Lupin of Harry Potter is that hot so I dunno)
8. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Target probably... ooh no I take that bath. William-Sonoma (if only they weren't so derned expensive!)
9. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead who would it be? Why?
Probably my desceased Grandpa; my family began to take videos of him telling stories of the family on the farm and they are so fascinating!
10. Do you think you should have been born in a different time period? Which one?
Sometimes I do, like when I see Pride and Prejudice and other "old timey" movies... I wish I lived back then. BUT then I remember that it was hard and it was "Easy" if you were born into a rich family, but if not... not so much. So I think I'm pretty good. I do wish we had more "skills" that they did... too much TV nowadays. I wish I could sew, play the piano, sing, needlepoint, etc.
11. Why did you start blogging?
The urge just hit. I probably should have started a year earlier when hubby was deployed but I did it at the end. Some of my friends call me "martha stewart" although that's probably because they don't surf some of the crafty blogs out here... I got nothing on them, so I decided to "show off" all my projects. Little did I know I wasn't very good OR clever. lol. It's fun now!

My Questions for you ladies are:
1. Look back 10 years, is your life where you thought it would be?
2. When do you fit blogging in?
3. How often to you cook dinner?
4. What kind of music do you listen to?
5. Do you have any pets?
6. What is your favorite thing to do at the beach?
7. If you were stuck on a dessert island, what book would you bring?
8. Do you prefer going to bars or clubs?
9. What is your ideal date night?
10. Where would you go on your next vacation if money were not an issue?
11. What is your FAVORITE all time meal? 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Recipe::. Spicy Chipotle Dip

This post starts a series in which I review all (or most of) the recipes that I used for our 5th Annual Cocktail party last Saturday. This is a SUPER easy and yummy dip! Be careful about the adobo sauce (4th ingredient down)... this is what causes the recipe to be spicy (well, that along with the chipotle peppers, cajun, cumin, chili, etc... I'm just warning you to go easy on the chipotle sauce)

Chipotle Dip (Chili Cheese Spread)
Chipotle Peppers in
adobo suace
2 (8-OUNCE) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, finely chopped
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (Pictured: I found mine in the "ethnic" section)
1 teaspoon adobo sauce (sauce from the can of chipotle peppers)
½ teaspoon Creole seasoning (I used cajun)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon Worcestershire
¼ teaspoon Chipotle hot sauce
1/3 cup pecans, toasted OR chopped roasted, salted almonds
Assorted crackers and vegetables

1. Combine first 10 ingredients in a food processor or blender. 

2. Pulse 3-5 times, stopping to scrape down sides. 

3. Stir in toasted pecans (or almonds), and chill 2 hours. 

4. Garnish if desired with more chopped nuts. Serve with assorted crackers and vegetables.
Chipotle Dip in action at our 5th Annual Cocktail Party :)
Linking up: Crafty Mom Share, CRAFT, Making the World Cuter, Vintage Wanna Bee, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl full of Lemons, Elizabeth and Co, LadyBird Ln, Bacon time, Delicate Construction, Naptime crafters, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Handyman Crafty Woman, Twin Dragonfly Designs, Someday Crafts, Vintage Gwen

Link within

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