Monday, August 30, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

** reported on Tuesday

Monday: Chicken Divan
Fresh Baked Rolls (from frozen Rhodes dough balls-my kids new fav)
Extra broccoli on the side
Tuesday: Hamburgers on the Grill
Fruit leftover from party
Wednesday: Grilled Pork Chops
Bob Evans Sour Cream and Chive mashed potatoes

Thursday: Dinner out (Girls' have dance class)
Friday: ?
Saturday: Grill out elsewhere
Sunday: Mason's Bday party--dinner there :)

I have also collected a few recipes to share from Sunday's party. Those will be up soon. Pin It

life IS good

I can finally share! Yesterday we had a surprise retirement party for my Mom and Jim. Since my mom has adopted the mantra: Life is Good, I made that the theme of the party. I created the banner above with oodles of collected scrapbooking paper cut down to size. Very simply I began with 4x6 solid cardstock, next I cut patterned paper 5.75x3.75 and the top layer to 3.5 x5 (roughly). The doodle frame is a digital scrapbook element and the font is century gothic at 180. After I glued them all together, I just weaved a long black ribbon through them all to create the banner. Super easy and I made it with things I had on hand. The shades of red, white, blue and pink from the patterned paper dictated the color scheme for the whole party.
(click to view larger)
Balloons were an easy, affordable addition. I also made lots of hanging tags by punching various shades of paper and cardstock. The life is good on white with the pink flower were made using free fonts so I will upload those as a pdf for anyone wanting to create stickers or tags for themselves. The water bottle labels were a cinch to make. I found dimensions via a google search and then designed them using a flower from my digital scrapbook stash. This flower is an oldie from Heidi Larsen at LDD. The rest of the decor was rounded out by using my collection of milk glass filled with red, white and pink flowers. I bought cheap-o blue table cloths from the Dollar Tree and made paper garlands to place down the center, an idea I saw on one of my favorite blogs.
I added the hanging lanterns in the tree on our deck and that was one of my favorite parts. I originally used these for Olivia's First Communion and loved them outdoors in the tree. What took me so long to think of that?!
Although the party prep was fun for me, the real fun was having friends and family together. My Mom and Jim requested just this one group photo--the two of them with their grandchildren (and one great grand child!). I'd say this one is a keeper.

My sister Kelly came out Friday and did the majority of the house cleaning so that I could do what I consider the fun stuff. Thank you Kelly! We also had TONS of great food. I may compile a short list of recipes next...

Download a sheet of 20 Life is Good flower tags HERE. PDF file.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Saturday, August 28, 2010

what's been going on

This little bundle was born on Wednesday. I snapped this on Thursday, when he was just shy of 24 hours old.

Thrifted sheet score!
I visited a new to me thrift shop right before I picked the girls up from their first day of school and was rewarded with this stack of vintage sheets. I got all of this for less than $5! Next week I am going to being cutting them down into fat quarters to share with the ladies from this group.

I know some of you just will not "get" the whole used sheet obsession. I cannot explain it either but I like them and like making things with them. So there.

And this is a little something I made quickly in photoshop. Since retiring, this has become my Mom's mantra. I like it. After tomorrow, you will too....big teaser, surprise to come....
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Thursday, August 26, 2010

school days: day 1

My first grader.
My fourth grader.
Two together before we headed up to the bus.
And this one. This is how I know that deep down they do love each other. As soon as the bus came into view, Olivia put her arm out for Shelby. I guess they really do know right from wrong and good from bad. I hope I had something to do with that :)

They were still quite content when I picked them up at 3:20. If only Hip Hop Dance class had gone so swimmingly. One, I won't name names but she may be the oldest, was full of frowns. Ugh. Apparently she did not like the dance class although it was darling and the moves looked a lot like what I see on the Disney Channel...I am just saying.

One down, so many more to go!
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

this week...

...we are preparing for school to begin by labeling school supplies, taking backpacks to be embroidered, meeting teachers (early!), fitting in one last day at the park, attending orientation tomorrow and actually starting school on Thursday
...I am excited about my jobS...I am so fortunate to work with the people who I do and that I totally enjoy all of the industries I have a hand in...look for changes and improvements at the Brides Buddy, one of my part time careers!...I am in disbelief that by tomorrow evening, my good friend will be a Mom (after two LONG weeks on hospital bedrest) and I cannot wait to meet Baby B
...I will know the feeling of walking home from the morning bus stop ALONE with no one waiting at will be just me, Skipper the Dog and my amazing lists of things to do for nearly 8 hours per day
...I am mourning the loss of no routine while anxiously anticipating the return of routine :)
...I have been totally defeated in the eat better, move more campaign. I will do better next week.
...I am looking forward to a family celebration this weekend
...I am trying to pause and reflect on how lucky I am...between refereeing battles between my girls Pin It

Saturday, August 21, 2010


The big celebration, welcoming 3 babies in the very near future, was last night. Above is a little onesie I made. These were taken with my iphone, inside, at night so the quality is kinda "meh".

And here is the only picture (with blankets open) that I have of the blankets I made for the new girlies who are on their way. I really have gotten the hang of this pattern now and totally love making them. You can find online directions here and here. This last one helped me to finally conquer the perfect mitered corner...the whole 90 degree angle cutting thing turns out to be important!

I also made stacks of burp cloths from flannel after seeing that idea online, and not having any diapers for burp cloths on hand. I totally loved how those turned out too. Very soft and sized right. With the strips left over from the self binding blankets, I was able to make nice contrasting sashes on the burp cloths. I did not measure my final product, but once I got in a groove, I was making 4 from a yard of flannel...which can be really inexpensive when JoAnn's has it on sale.
These simple projects really are improving my sewing skills and confidence. I am feeling more at ease about giving "handmade" gifts too b/c my workmanship has improved. Pin It

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

sneak peeks...

There are a few young ladies getting close to expecting their first baby (babies!) in my neighborhood. Well, their parents actuallylive in my 'hood but when it comes to babies I cast a big net to include myself in the baby-ness! So without spoiling the surprise altogether, here are some pictures that give a hint at what I have been sewing up! I am not quite finished yet and the shower is Friday but I am feeling confident :)
Also on our agenda...

Kings Island
Haircuts before school
Final shopping for school supplies
Church festival

Extra prayers for little Baby B as he is trying to make an early escape! His Mama is resting at the hospital keeping him snug as a bug for the time being.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Friday, August 13, 2010

made by me

A sunglasses case! Totally inspired by this and I think I knocked it off pretty effectively. I took the photo with my iphone and "photogened" it.

I may be sending this off as a gift but plan to make more. Pin It

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

in just one day...

This most beautiful girl...
went to her first concert with two friends (note the matching ROCKSTAR necklaces that O made for each girl) and one brave mom (not me!)
and rocked out her outfit like no other.
And this little girl lost her second tooth in a mini bottle of red Kool Aid. So it is stained a lovely shade of pink :)

Blink, blink. There they go...growing up.
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Monday, August 9, 2010

with pictures

(click collage to view larger)
I know my last post was link and word heavy so this one has some photos! The picture booth one of Olivia is from a Pool Party she went to last week with her friend E. Ok, I took a pic of the pic with my iphone so the quality has been compromised, but aren't they beyond cute?!

The other 3 photos are from the Xavier Women's Basketball team's Girls Night Out last Thursday. Holy, fancy locker room! The girls got free t-shirts signed by all of the players in attendance. The bottom center is of more girls that came from our school to the event. I was very impressed with XU and the Cintas Center.

Today I made this coffee drink: one 6oz container of French Vanilla Yogurt (100 calorie), 1/2 c. cold coffee, 1 tbl. chocolate syrup + a splash of skim milk. I blended that all together well and then added crushed ice and blended that too. Um---YUM! And from my guess, that is just about a 100 calorie afternoon treat. I am getting the hang of this eat better thing. Now I just need to get my butt moving more. Not nearly as easy when it is 95+. I must overcome...
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Sunday, August 8, 2010

cool things found on the internet...!

Party Booth. I need to throw a party and try this out. Looks super fun. I might do the 10 day trial and just set my kids loose.

Home Ec. A way cool online sewing class that starts tomorrow. So tempted to give this a go! One of the teachers is Rachel Denbow, I am a huge fan of hers. And vintage sheets which many of the projects feature. My Mom found me a cool one on Friday at a thrift store. I will take pics of it tomorrow to share.

I had a great time last night visiting with old friends at an annual Fiesta hosted by long time friends.

I made it through 7 days of sticking pretty faithfully to Step 1 of the Joy's Life Diet. I have found several foods that I really like and plan to keep in my arsenal. The soup is not my fav although the only thing I don't like is the cabbage so I pick around that. Today I made the Dark Chocolate and Cherry muffins b/c those are allowed for breakfast or as a snack during Step 2. I taste tested one tonight and at first I thought B L A N D but really, they are pretty good. That was my first bite of chocolate in 7 or more days. The recipe is in the book or online here. I got my book from the library. I also tried the Funky Monkey coffee drink. Not a fan of the banana with the coffee so I think I will leave it out and just increase the yogurt and try it again later in the week. A similar (but not so calorie conscious version) is here. I bet the addition of sweetened condensed milk would make it extra yum.

I will weigh in tomorrow but I think my week's efforts help me to shed 4 lbs. Not bad. Pin It

Thursday, August 5, 2010

what keeps us busy

Last week, me and the girls, a grandma, an aunt and some cousins went to COSI which was a very fun adventure.

This is the last of the group before we headed home. Some had left earlier for sports and practices.

Saturday, Kacie came out and transformed the chairs I bought a few months ago. This yellow totally pops and matches her fun dotty fabric perfectly. Love these.

And last night, we hosted 15 or so 4th graders for a Brownie Swimming party.

Tonight we are headed here for a basketball Girls's Night Out. Pretty soon I am going to have to get serious about practicing multiplication tables, shopping for school supplies, school uniforms, shoes....
Posted by Picasa
Pin It

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

things i am doing in august

...eating better two of no coke or artificial sweetener
...saw the cutest movie: Ramona and Beezus (costarring a very dreamy Josh Duhamel)
...survived Day 1 of the 30 Day Shred...barely
...signed a contract for my PT job making me official for 2010-2011 school year
...attended my first PTO meeting as a Board member (Madame Secretary) the entire Brownie troop for a swim party tomorrow! Pin It

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I am ready...

My soup has been prepared, I have tasted it and it is pretty good. I think 2 cups seems like an awful lot to eat prior to dinner but perhaps I will be that hungry?! I am also well stocked on vegetables and some of the other items called for that hopefully will see me through this week.

I had a large McDonald's Coke today which should be (hopefully will be) my last for this week and longer. I also had PBJ on white bread for lunch. I think that menu item is pretty much long gone too.

I feel excited about this challenge. I'd love to know who else may have tried any part of this plan. I just reserved Joy Bauer's book from the library and hope that it has more menu ideas in it.

So tomorrow it is operation eat super healthy and get my butt moving 30 minutes per day. Go!! Pin It