Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday ::. Just add greenery (repost)

Wow, it doesn't matter how prepared I think I am (ie... i pinned a LOT of stuff), the holidays just get away from me. I JUST ordered my Christmas cards... yes, there are 9 days left until Christmas and I just now ordered them. They're be New Years Eve cards!

I've been flying by the seat of my pants on meals too... I really need to figure out a meal plan one of these days. Anyway, I didn't want TOO long to go by without a post.. so I'm going to repost a tip from 2 years ago...

Just add Greenery! Go run by a place that sells trees - Home Depot, Lowes... actual tree lot if you are so lucky to live by one, and see if you can get some clippings/branches that they trim off of the trees they sell. They may charge you, but I usually get them for free.

So this was our mantle at our old house (yes, I'm strapped for time and am not going to be taking new pictures yet!). Pretty. Simple.

BUT, just add some live greenery and look what a difference it makes...

Here was our full mantle... there's not a lot of Christmas stuff up, but with the greenery it looks super festive. Plus, it smells awesome and then after the holidays you can burn the greenery in a fireplace or fire pit. Win-win. 


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Fun ::. You've Been Snowed On

My girls had SO much fun Boo-ing our neighbors back at Halloween, so when this "You've Been Snowed On" neighbor thing from Tatertots and Jello came to my attention, I knew we had to start it on our street.

I ran to the dollar store and picked up a few things:
Red & green disco-like ball necklaces
Holiday erasers
Gummy Rudolph noses

Then I printed out the pdf from Tatertots and Jello to make it easier for the neighbors and threw in some yarn "snow balls" that I was making for my daughter's Kindergarten class, threw them in a lunch sack and we were ready to go.

The girls had an absolute ball sneaking over to our neighbors houses after it got dark and dropping off their goodies.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Book Advent Calendar

On top of our usual Advent Calendar, which by the way I had growing up and it was my FAVORITE thing to do every morning during Christmas, I have decided to add one more fun "calendar" to our holiday season. All it took was one quick walmart trip and a night of tv watching time to prepare. I had decided to do the "Christmas Book" Advent calendar that I saw all over pinterest. To make things even better... I already had 22 Christmas books (yes... crazy!), so I only had to go buy 2 new ones to make this work, thus the quick walmart trip. Score!

My favorite Advent Calendar growing up
So I wrapped all my books and then on Thanksgiving, after the big meal and naps, we set it up. I don't know about your family,  but with my 3 girls, I can foresee a nightly fight on which book gets chosen, so I decided on a different approach to figuring out which book is read on which night.

I wrote numbers 1-24 on labels and then divided the labels between each of my 3 girls. Then the girls taped their given numbers to whichever books they wanted (they obviously didn't have a number). That way each girl feels they got a say as to which book is read on which night and I avoided the nightly fight! Score 1 for mom!

Putting day numbers on the books

 By the way, Mr. Elf Elf (until the girls decide on a better name than last years decision), arrived this morning showing the girls which book was first on the list.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan

I'm not gonna lie, I really dislike it when I don't set aside time to prepare a meal plan. I feel that I have eaten less-healthy and spent more money in the past few weeks that I haven't post one. (and I've made more trips to the grocery because I am figuring out dinner day to day)

That  being said... even though it's late... here is this weeks meal plan to try to get me back on schedule.

SUNDAY was...
Corned Beef, Cabbage, carrots and Potatoes

MONDAY was...
Roast Pork Loin with Macaroni and Cheese and salad

Italian Sausage Lentil Soup and salad

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with sauteed cabbage

Chef Salad

Oven Baked Tilapia

... maybe a Hockey night for the hubs birthday

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Grilled Salmon

Crockpot Ranch Pesto Chicken Thighs

Andouille Sausage, Red Beans and Rice


Thursday, October 30, 2014

{Pinned there, Done that} DIY Huge Black Spider

So I pinned this Huge Black Spider from Listotic's list of  16 Awesomely Homemade Halloween Decorations list a while ago. As I was wasting time and pursuing PInterest the other day, I found it again and in looking at the supplies require I did a little happy dance, because I just so happened to have:
1. Duct tape - I mean, everyone really should, right?
2. Empty Milk Carton - Just finish yesterday, check!
3. Pipe Insulation - surprisingly yes, I had exactly 4 (long enough for 2 legs each for our 8 legged friend) leftover from when I made pirate swords for Jillie's 4th birthday.

Awesome! So, supplies on hand, I gathered the girls up to help me make our spider. However, let me tell you, (a) it was not a "family project", it was a "mommy project" and (b) it's not as "easy" as the diagram showed. It wasn't hard, just kind of tricky.

From the pictures, it looks like the spider legs are bent around the handle. So that's what I attempted, but the legs didn't want to stay secured to the edge of the milk jug (circled in the picture below). When I turned it over, I could see the whiteish underside of the duct tape.

Next time, I may cut out a few more wedges to let the "legs" bend.

Also, my legs ended up being like all straight next to each other, not nicely spider-like bent as shown in the picture. I had to manually place my legs (and get them stuck) in the spider webbing to make them separate. Again, I would have cut a few more wedges out to make the legs more bendable to my liking.

But all in all, I think this turned out super fun! The hubby raved (ok, maybe "rave" is a big strong, he talked very highly) about our new buddy, Mr. Spider.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan

Grilled out with friends, then we had an outdoor movie night!

Kids are off for school, AND it's my birthday, yay. So we went out to lunch and we will go light for dinner.

Chef Salad

Ground Beef Casserole
(we had this last week and it was super popular)


Caprese Chicken

 Noodle Bowl Soup
Low Country Boil

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We've been boo'd!

Does anyone "Boo" in your neighborhood? If not, why not start it yourself? Someone has to get the ball rolling.

If you don't know what it is, a simple google search will tell you, it's super simple and the kids love it.
 The general idea is one house decides to start the boo-ing, and they select 2 neighbors to start with. They go buy or make a treat and print out the "You've Been Booed" and "We've Been Booed" signs. Then sometime at night, they sneak over to the neighbors house they want to boo, ring the doorbell, leave the gift, and go hide! Those neighbors have 2 days to pick new neighbors to Boo and hopefully soon you will have a neighborhood full of "We've Been Booed" tags. The fun is guessing who Booed you.

I didn't take a picture of what we got (woops), but let me tell you, when the doorbell rang, and the girls opened it to find a goodie bag with halloween treats that said "You've Been Booed", they were ecstatic! Their bag had some pencils, candy, and stickers along with the "You've Been Booed" and "We've Been Booed" tags.

We put the "We've Been Booed" tag on our door so we don't get Booed again and got started on our own "Boo Bags". (The signs that our secret boo neighbor used are found here)

The next day, I ran to the dollar store and got some pencils, pumpkin bubbles, stickers, and a few other Halloween doodads and the girls help me organize them. (yes we did 3... I wanted to kick-start a new street!)

That night after bathtime while the girls were in their PJs, we snuck out did our Booing. The girls had a blast!!

I found some cute printables here. Here is another cute blog post about it too. TomKat Studio has a cute free printable as well.

Happy Booing!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan

Noodle Bowl Soup

Family Size Low Country Boil
(hubby went a bit overboard while buying food for this past Saturdays low country boil... so we are going to have more)

Easy Shepherd's Pie

Crockpot Flank Steak

*new* Ground Beef Casserole

Family pizza night

Dinners in Review
 Pretzel Mustard Chicken (it was ok)

 Tuscan Sausage Soup and Avocado Tomato Grilled Cheese

Corned beef, potatoes, and carrots


Thursday, October 9, 2014

{Pinned there, Done that} Baked Pesto Chicken

This past week I was on a new recipe kick, so I went to my Recipes - Dinner board to find something new and fun to try. I decided on Baked Pesto Chicken from Kalyn's Kitchen.

It did not disappoint, and to be honest, I think my almost 2 year old ate it the best! We served it over egg noodles with steamed carrots and broccoli.

In case the recipe gets lost:
Baked Pesto Chicken
src: Kalyn's Kitchen

4 boneless, skinless cchickenbreasts
salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning chicken
1/2 cup basil pesto
2 oz. (1/2 cup) grated low-fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken pieces, then cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces.

Spray a 9" x 12" baking dish with non-stick spray, then spread 1/4 cup basil pesto over the bottom of the dish. Lay chicken strips over the pesto, then spread 1/4 cup more basil pesto over the chicken.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (or use a baking dish with a tight-fitting lid) and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. (Don't cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.)

When chicken is barely cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle chicken with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted. After melting the cheese for 5 minutes, switched oven to broil and broiled for 5 minutes more, just long enough to get the cheese lightly browned.

Serve hot. There will be some flavorful juice in the bottom of the dish when this is done, so you may want to serve with rice, couscous, or quinoa to soak up the juice.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

{Pinned there, Done that} Avocado, Tomato, & Mozzarella Grilled Cheese

The other night while planning my meal plan, I was looking for something to go along with my Tuscan Sausage Soup and I stumbled across this Avocado, Tomato, and Mozzarella Grilled cheese from Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife. Since I'm on an avocado kick I decided I had to try it.

It was great!! A nice "grown up" version of the grilled cheese.

In case the recipe gets lost online, here you go (not that you couldn't probably figure it out):

Avocado, Mozzarella and Tomato Grilled Cheese
src: Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife

1 avocado, sliced
2 pieces of Mozzarella cheese slices (I goofed and only put one... clearly I misread the instructions)
1 tomato, sliced
olive oil

1. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
2. Butter one side of 2 slices of whatever bread you're using. Place one slice butter side down in the pan.
3. Top with sliced avocado, mozzarella cheese slices and a couple slices of tomato. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Top with remaining piece of bread, butter side up.
4. Cook until bread it golden brown (2-3 minutes), then flip and brown the other side. Serve.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan

SUNDAY was...
Kind of an annoying day... so we went to Chuckie Cheese to redeem the day

*new* Hummus Crusted Chicken

*new* Crockpot Mongolian Beef

Snow Crab Clusters (on sale!) with a salad topped with chicken)

Crockpot Chili

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells
OR Family Pizza Night if daddy is home

Breakfast for dinner!

 Baked Pesto Chicken
 Chicken, avocado pizza
Tuscan Sausage Soup with Avovado, tomato and mozzarella grilled cheese

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Weekly Meal Plan

Tuscan Style Sausage Soup (a favorite!) with Avocado Tomato and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese
... or a marghertia Grilled Cheese... that looks awesome!

Special dinner out for Jillie's birthday!

Pulled Pork (sale)

*New* Pulled Pork Nachos

* New* Pulled Pork Cobb Salad (if there's any leftover... otherwise we will use chicken)

*New* Cowboy Tatertot Casserole 

I dont know... ha
 The husbands family's Baked Sausage, Potato, and Onion
 Baked potato, broccoli, and a barber chicken breast
Broccoli Cheddar soup with grilled cheese

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Girly Pirate Party ::. Food

I'm not gonna lie; I had fun with the food! I pinned so many things that I had a hard time holding myself back. Luckily, it was all pretty simple to do. The cookies I made several weeks in advance and froze.  Same thing with the cupcake toppers. The cupcakes, jello, and the cake were the only "last minute" things.

1. Gold Nuggets - rolos
2. Cupcakes - I like the cupcake toppers so I made cupcakes too
3. Pirate Ships - blue jello in clear cups with an orange wedge, topped with a "sail"
4. Fudgy Gold Doubloons- using my go-to button cookie recipe with yellow sprinkles

5. Grape Chili Cannon Balls - Grape Chili meatballs
6. Fish n' Chips - goldfish and chips
7.Corndog Peg Legs - mini corndog bites
8. Pieces of Eight - orange jello knox blox

9 . walk the pretzel plank - pretzel sticks
10. Cheesy Cannon Balls - cheese balls
11. Skully want a crack ... with cheese - cheese ball rolled in nuts
12. The signs showed guests where drinks were too

CAKE - A Treasure Chest

While the cake may look SUPER hard and intricate... it's not. (shoot, the secret is out of the bag!). The cake is really just a square, two layer cake, iced with chocolate icing, and decorated using a round tip and a wilton decorating bag. The treasure chest top is not edible. My mom made that with some craft foam sheets, ribbon, and a skull and crossbone print out.

And here is the entire spread.

Happy Birthday, Jillie!

Linking up: I heart naptime , Lolly Jane , Creating my way to successNifty Thrifty Things , CRAFTBowl full of Lemons , Elizabeth and Co , Marvelous Mommy , Gingersnap Crafts , DIY by Design , Someday Crafts . Handy man, crafty, woman , My Girlish Whims , Flavors by Four ,

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