Friday, October 29, 2010

halloween fun friday

(click to view larger)
Above is a collage of photos from today at the girls' school. Each year, the Halloween parade is a big event. The shrek crew is the principal, school secretaries and the nurse. They always plan great costumes that coordinate.
Shelby's costume packaging referred to it as "soldier sweetie". She looked cute as a bug but plenty of people asked me what she was. For the sake of simplicity, I was just glad she quickly chose something, it fit and made her happy--I did not so much care what it actually was!
Her sister created her own 80's outfit. I think the inspiration came from a very bad B movie that she and I watched on Sunday morning called Teen Witch. This flick did not star any of the Brat Pack but did come through big time on the 80's fashions which my girl soaked right up! She pieced together this outfit at Target just yesterday. Yes, silver lame (pronounced la-may) pants are currently for sale at Target and it is October 2010. Leg warmers are also there for just $5. The shirt got a little snip around the neckline and at 9pm I made a bright pink hair scrunchie and the outfit was complete. Ooh la la.I made the water bottle labels for Olivia's class by recoloring a digital graphic I had on hand and then cutting them to size.

About an hour ago, the girls and I made these Milano cookie ghosts. Fun and easy. I saw them here this week.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

big news

A new vehicle has been purchased!
We bought during Beechmont Toyota's Grand Opening Celebration and it was truly a great buying experience. I know they won't have a manicurist, magician, massage therapist and origami expert on hand every day but they did on Saturday and it made for a fun day (although it was long). This photo was taken when we finally finished all the paperwork and were taken to the cleaned up Highlander. I had to have my salesman, Steve Warren, take a picture with my phone...I am a blogger afterall!

So far the new wheels are amazing. The biggest (and perhaps ONLY) thing I miss about the mini van is the sliding rear doors. Both the girls and I are adjusting to "regular ol' car doors!". Also strange, there is not an ignition that requires a key, it is a push button start?!

If you live in the Cincinnati area, I highly recommend this company. Not that I look forward to servicing the vehicle but when I have to go I won't mind browsing the gift shop and enjoying Starbucks coffee. Crazy, right?! Pin It

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Meal Plan

Monday: Stouffers Stuffed Green Peppers (these were so tasty, I ate two!), hot dogs for the girls, salad on the side for me and cucumbers and carrots + dip for them
Tuesday: attending a funeral so we will try to grab a sandwich on the go
Wednesday: Baked porch chops, Bob Evans mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli
Thursday: crazy busy night, take out for Dave and the kids and I will be at a Business Expo
Friday: Pizza or Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Salad
Saturday: ?
Sunday: annual neighborhood Halloween party at our house. The peeps with even numbered addresses bring something hot in a crockpot and the odds bring a snack or dessert. I will supply all drinks, hot dogs for the kids and a hot pot of something too.

More to come this week. The car shopping has ended with a purchase...details to follow soon. Pin It

Thursday, October 21, 2010

good food

The chicken potato bake from yesterday was delicious. So easy to prepare and a very flavorful result. There is nearly an entire chicken breast leftover that I plan to enjoy today in a salad or wrap for lunch.
(photo taken with i phone)

This little beauty became a junior girl scout yesterday, one step up from a Brownie. The leaders gave out the Junior Mints, cute idea, huh?

And in bigger news, el picky eater, ate nearly a dozen steamed baby carrots at dinner last night. First she said they smelled good, then she asked if she could taste them. Once I said she could add butter and was ON! Her diet is fairly limited so the addition of carrots as a side to her chicken nuggets is a very good thing. Pin It

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Weekly Meal Plan

How's that name?!

Sunday: Steaks on the Grill
Monday: BLT + Mac N Cheese
Tuesday: Burgers, Carrots, Cucumbers, Chips + Dip
Wednesday: Baked Chicken + Potatoes (split chicken breasts) in Italian Dressing--I recently saved this recipe but cannot remember whose blog it came from. Here it is though:

Chicken Potato Bake

2-3 split chicken breasts
3-4 red potatoes, chunked
3/4 cup zesty italian dressing
1 T italian seasoning
3/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400ยบ. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Meanwhile parboil potatoes to soften slightly. Drain and add around chicken breasts. Drizzle chicken and potatoes with dressing. Sprinkle with cheese and seasoning. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 20-30 minutes more.

Thursday: Carryout
Friday: Stuffed Green Peppers (I got the Stouffers on sale about 2 wks ago) my kids will likely have hot dogs
Saturday: ?
Sunday: Birthday dinner for my sister at my Mom's (Pork Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Homemade Dressing--I must share this recipe b/c she makes the best, most unusual dressing!) I am a little excited about this meal :)

As for car shopping, the Acura ship has probably sailed :( I test drove a Honda Pilot and really liked it too. I am currently suffering from sticker shock so the whole thing may be on hold for awhile. Pin It

Sunday, October 17, 2010

recipe review and car shopping

First, the Tortellini Bake was delicious. Rich, rich goodness. I made it with the asparagus and wish I had gotten it out a bit sooner b/c they got mushy, otherwise this was a big winner with salad and garlic bread. I think this would also be good with broccoli and b/c it is so rich, a plain noodle instead of tortellini would be sufficient. It made a lot. Oh, and without chicken I think it could be a great potluck side dish too.

Today we, including the children, spent 3 hours looking at and test driving vehicles. It's exhausting and overwhelming...dang, new vehicles are expensive. Topping the list right now is the Acura MDX but we'd have to obtain a 2010 to even make this feasible.
(Acura MDX)

Our main priority is a vehicle with a third row seat since neither of our kids is big enough to sit in the front seat. If each of them has a friend, we've got a problem. That limits the playing field dramatically. Off the list, the Chevy Traverse. I so wanted to like it, but I just could not see out well and did not feel safe with all the blind spots.(Traverse)
I will say, the Traverse has the most roomy interior. Inside, it is much like our mini van and you can move about as easily.

So, the hunt continues with me wildly hoping for a call regarding a 2010 Acura that will somehow fit our budget :) Prayers, anyone? Pin It

Thursday, October 14, 2010

love the one you're with

I recently read about this movement, it may have been the basis of a book, where the idea is to use the camera you have on hand. Basically, make do with what you have but don't miss the memory. This theory has led me to use my iphone as a camera a lot more. Case in impromptu visit to Shaw's farm on Monday. I did not have a camera with me but instead captured these, total keepers, with the Hisptamatic App and my trusty phone.

Quite honestly, the rest of the week has been mostly a blur with tons of activities and commitments.
One commitment...heading up the Cook and Bake committee for the school PTO. Part of this included me bringing home dirty dishes two nights this week after the teachers' dinners. Above is a scary photo of what that looked like on Tuesday around 9p. Cleaning 3 crockpots= dislike.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

meal plan monday...on tuesday

Here I am again. On Tuesday.
Monday: Grilled Pork Chops, Steamed Broccoli, Bob Evans mashed potatoes
Tuesday: Taco Salads (hamburgers for the girlies)
Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pies, Salad (chix nuggets for the girls)
Thursday: Dance class + school conferences = fast food night
****I am organizing dinners for the school teachers on Tuesday and Thursday b/c they stay all day and night for conferences. I am making this super easy and yummy potato casserole for Thursday.*** ( I just layer the ingredients together, I don't mix them all first. And sometimes I use potato chips instead of corn flakes for the topping, depending on what I have on hand).
Friday: Tortellini Bake, Salad (It is going to cool off and this sounds like the epitome of comfort food!)

Want to read a whole boatload of meal plans and recipes? Go HERE. Pin It

Sunday, October 10, 2010

accepting a compliment

Today at church with my girls, right after the sign of peace (for those of you who are not catholic, during this time we shake hands with those seated around us) the woman next to me said: you have two very beautiful girls. I was caught a bit off guard and simply said: thank you, thank you very much. Typically if I were not at church and forced into a short response, I would have likely made a joke or said something more like: thanks but they are high maintenance.

In the next few moments of silence in the church, it dawned on me the merit of simply just saying thank you and accepting a compliment. I hope I can remember that.

And because blog posts without pictures tend to be boring, how about this nugget:

Today only, you can buy 10 digital scrapbooking kits for just $10 at Little Dreamer Designs. Pin It

Saturday, October 9, 2010

a weekend visitor + quilt in progress

It was Olivia's turn to bring home one of the MANY class pets.
Hello Goldie.
Or Golden. We are not quite sure of it's name. Or gender. But the girls are L O V I N G it.
And I finally just said "heck with it" and sewed all my vintage quilt blocks together realizing that I was not going to finish a dozen more in a timely manner. I will make do with a lap quilt size...although it is really more of a baby quilt size. I'd love to photograph a wee newborn on this (or two, hint-hint!) someday. The back will be the yellow sheet that features the butterflies prominently. Wonder how long it will take to get me to that step?

View more crafty goodness by clicking the button above. I shared my quilt :)
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

a yarn wreath + a dog

My yarn wreath.
For some reason, I still cannot seem to capture the flowers well. In this photo, the sun was shining directly on them it seems. Each one was handmade using a different method and just things I had...yarn, felted sweaters, felt, fabric.

(photos from iphone)
I photographed it on my front door but it cannot stay there b/c I do not have a porch or any protection from the elements out there. I have always wanted a porch and now since neighbors have installed a fabulous one on their house, I have major porch envy.

I will find a cozy home for it indoors. Maybe hanging over the mirror on my mantle? I was super inspired by yarn wreaths from all over the internet but particularly from this Flickr Member.

Here is a photo of the wreath using my Hipstamatic App on the Iphone.
And a picture of my pooch with the same photo treatment. I love how it bumps up the quality of a simple camera phone and makes almost anything look artsy.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

meal plan monday + more

My Monday blew by me in a jiffy. I spent 8:45-3pm ish with Shelby at a school field trip to Sun Rock Farms in NKY. Wow, that place (and the staff) are pretty amazing. It is an animal lover's paradise. It was quite chilly least the parents thought so, I never heard one child mention it.
I think I was home 15 minutes before I had to return to school for Olivia's basketball practice after she mistakenly rode the bus home after school instead of staying after. So back we went with me in very dirty jeans from the earlier part of the day.
I guess we got back around 5:30p and quickly attacked some homework at the countertop while I made dinner.
I was back out the door again at 6:45 for the monthly PTO meeting. See... I told you it was a busy day!

Which means the meal plan gets shared today but includes Sunday :?

Sunday: Baked Split Chicken Breasts, Corn, Green Beans and mashed potatoes (just have to share that 2 chicken breasts were a mere $2.67 and we have leftovers for another serving of chicken salad maybe?)
Monday: Hamburgers on the grill
Tuesday: Spaghetti, meatballs, garlic bread and salad
Wednesday: Pork Chops on the grill, rice maybe?
Thursday: Dance + Basketball game = drive thru
Friday: ?

If you want to see a crazy amount of people planning meals with links to recipes, visit the original Monday Meal plan blog.

And since I am not sharing any true recipes again this week, let me share what I made for lunch. Using the thin style buns, I added sharp cheddar and thinly sliced apples. I warmed up the panini press, sprayed it with light cooking oil and cooked this until crispy. It was super. The apples kept sliding out of the sandwich though! Pin It

Sunday, October 3, 2010

new look for the old blog

Did you notice my cutesy upgrade?! I got the "ready to wear" blog design from Little Dreamer Designs. It was SO easy to update using all of these premade items. The only downfall for me was that my blogger template is O L D so I could not use the page backgrounds. Bummer.

Get yours by clicking the photo below.If you use them, leave me a comment and a link! Pin It

Friday, October 1, 2010

what's making me smile this friday

...working on a version of this wreath and have this one in my sight (sights--sight's?) next
Yarn Ball Wreath

...Shelby did NOT cry before school this morning :)
...I am about to put a pot of chili on the stove brownies are ready for frosting and taking to Kacie's tonight
...this dip is nearly ready to go too
...enjoying Pandora radio and my own personal "Outfield" station. Just heard "When Love Walks in" by Van Halen and boy did that take me back a few years (decades?!)
...this day is pretty close to perfection, sunny and just the right chill in the air
...I am pretty sure that I am about to get up and clean well enough that I will feel comfortable getting out our Halloween decorations. I am getting up to do that n o w . . . Pin It