Friday, September 30, 2011

Insta Friday

Insta Friday, uploaded entirely from my i phone.

My new i phone wallpaper. Free download available at CatScrap Designs.

My girl home for a sick day {today} enjoying a $5.25 Cold Slab cone.

That's my Shelby in the goal at practice.

And my sweet beautiful girl prior to dance class. Love.

My friend Kim turned 40 this week and I created this gift that I saw originally on Pinterest.

Deep intake of breath when I look at this one. Is she a beautiful girl or what?

The house update.

Join other Insta Friday peeps by clicking HERE.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday Meal Plan

On Tuesday. {sigh}

Monday: Chicken sandwiches and Ore-ida Fast Food fries. {My kids ate these fries! They never eat fries that I make at home}
Tuesday: Burgers on the grill, chips and fruit.
Wednesday: Pasta with Chicken and Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cooking Creme {first time trying that}, salad and garlic bread.
Thursday: Pork Chops, Baked Potatoes and green beans. {kids will eat chicken nuggets, Shelby might eat the pork chops}

Next week I am making at least one crock pot meal. I have seen two beef stroganoff recipes where the reviewers raved. I have never made or eaten beef stroganoff so this is a departure from the norm. My kids will likely just eat the noodles with butter and parmesan cheese. Here's the recipe I think I will try first.

As always, for more meal ideas and recipes, visit the Organizing Junkie.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Insta Friday at Suddenly I See

Some of the blogs I frequent have been playing along in this little round up of sorts and sharing their Instagram photos (or simple phone pics). I have a few this week so I thought I would share:

 Yikes! A bit up close and personal of me.
 My nightstand. I updated to the new version of Instagram and was having some tech difficulties so I quickly shot this one to see if the problem had been fixed. Yea, the troubleshooting instructions on the site worked! and all the subject matter here is BLAH, I like the tones and highlights of their b/w.
 A love note and doodles I found in the family room yesterday courtesy of Shelby.
 It's spirit day at school today. Titan #1.
Titan #2.

To view more insta Friday players, visit Life Rearranged. Click around and read some posts there too. Sweet family.

A note:
Dear Mom, these pictures are made to look this way via an App. It is not because I am a bad photographer or that my cell phone takes odd quality photos. Love, your daughter Pin It

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

what's been cooked and eaten around here

Aside from all of the wonderful meals and treats my Mom provided last week, I have done some cooking myself over the past few weeks and even in recent days.

Awhile back I mentioned I was going to try the Chicken Helper meal. It was good! I cannot do prepared meals that include any kind of canned meat so the fact that I was adding my own chicken breast made this A-OK for me. We had the fried rice version. I recommend it.

Next, I think I also shared that I wanted to make homemade granola found via Funky Vintage Lovely. I made that on Sunday and This stuff is addicting. Even Olivia ate it and she is the picky palate in these parts.

And I got on the bandwagon and made Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich.
I guess all the hoopla resurfaced because it was featured on Food Network on Saturday (cute episode btw Ree, b/c I am so sure you read my blog). Let me start by saying, I have never eaten cube steak before nor have I ever prepared it. Now I understand why Ree could slice it into strips, the outside looks like ground beef but inside it is still a more solid steak like texture. Just sharing this for other new to cube steak chefs. I went ahead used nearly all the butter she called for and by gosh, the sandwich was delicious. My only regret was using a sad hamburger bun instead of getting a nice sub roll.

As you can see, calories are still apparently of no concern around here. This must change but in the meantime, I am enjoying every tasty bite!

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Monday, September 19, 2011

meal plan monday - sep 19

Attempting to return to regularly scheduled programming! First, since this post is on the topic of food, I want to thank my Mom for bringing me lots of good things to eat while I recovered from a minor surgery over the weekend. One of the dishes is a favorite of mine, Chicken Divan, which I have made often and shared the recipe here before. Chicken Divan Recipe found ::HERE::.

Monday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad, Garlic Bread
Tuesday: Beef Barbecue (another dish my mom delivered and it's waiting in the freezer) Beef Barbecue Recipe, chips and coleslaw
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken, Rice and a veggie
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner
Friday: dinner out?

I hope to also make this granola. I got a bunch of yummy ingredients at Trader Joes over a week ago. While there, I also got their granola, which I cannot find on the website. Trust me when I say, it was the most delicious granola that I have ever tasted. I polished off the bag in no time, eating it as a snack.

Interested in more meal plans and recipes? Visit Organizing Junkie.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

dinner with neighbors, recipes courtesy of pinterest

Pinterest. Pinning. Do you know about it? It's like an online pinboard, a bulletin board to store all the great ideas you find online. I have a Pinterest button over there -------------->, click it to see what I collect and FOLLOW me if you'd like.

So, in order to justify my time {although I typically do this at night from my i phone} I thought I had better implement some of these great ideas.

First up, an appetizer, Blooming Onion Bread, from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

This was delicious. Indulgent, yes; but very tasty. I added onion powder to my melted butter otherwise I followed her instructions exactly.

Next up, Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Tomatoes from A Big Mouthful.
This was so tasty. I served it room temperature at dinner but have already eaten it cold today for lunch. Yummy. I added some green onions only because I had extra cut up from the bread above. 

Moving on to dessert, Olivia assisted me in making S'more Croissants from Northern Cottage.
Next time, I would do some tweaking to this one. I would brush the outside with butter and sprinkle with sugar before baking so the whole thing had a sweet, pastry taste. Also, the marshmallows seem to have heated and escaped so I might try again but work to seal the contents inside better. Despite all that, the center with the melted morsels was divine.

In addition to these recipes, we had grilled beef tenderloin, baked coconut shrimp, Sister Schubert's rolls and an additional dessert of strawberry shortcake. I cut up the strawberries, covered them in about a half cup of sugar and let them sit on the counter for the afternoon which results in a sweet sauce. For my shortcakes, I dredged grands biscuits in sugar and cinnamon and baked them. I served those warm with the strawberries and whip cream.

It was a great night.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

using a 35mm lens on a digi slr camera

This is NOT news, but just getting by day to day is expensive. I am a mom who loves to take pictures and this year, more than ever, I found myself wanting a zoom lens that would help me capture my girls better doing their thing {s} and cheer leading.
I poked around online to price a Canon DSLR lens and on the low end, I was looking at around $150 but for a better lens, $300-400+.
This is not in the budget. But, back in the day when I used a Canon 35mm camera, I had a Sigma 70-300mm lens. I guess when I started out as a photographer I had deemed this one necessary. {funny b/c my all time true love is at the other end of the spectrum, the 50mm lens}.

Years ago I tried this on my digi camera and without getting at all techy, it simply just magnifies the zoom. Back then, my kids were smaller and moving more and in unpredictable directions, so it was not a good fit. FF to this weekend and I took a few test shots at home and then gave it a whirl at the football game. The result? I am extremely happy with the pictures! It is not a perfect solution but a great work around for a mom, and amateur photographer. The only real downside is to focus the lens, I had to be pretty far away from my subjects, well beyond 5 feet.

What do you think?

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Monday, September 5, 2011

meal plan monday + continued sharing of The Hour That Matters Most

Monday: family birthday celebration for my nephew
Tuesday: grilled hamburgers, baked beans + fruiut
Wednesday: fajitas with leftover steak from Sunday, mexican rice and chicken nuggets for the girls
Thursday: BUSY {pto and meet the teacher for me, golf for dave and soccer practice for shelby} we will all be eating on the go
Friday: grilled beef tip, coconut shrimp, salad and more {having my neighbors over for dinner to thank them for caring for our house and pup while we vacationed last month}

As I poked around a bit more after sharing my thoughts last week on The Hour That Matters Most, I realized they have a dedicated website for the book.  I absolutely encourage you to visit and click around. I especially like the PDF downloadable files, for Conversation Starters. I even included a few of these in my girls' lunches last week thinking that would be a fun way for them to make small talk with their friends.

Again, the authors are the duo who began Dream Dinners, which is a concept I LoVe! I have only visited once for a fundraiser but the one dish I came home with, was wonderful. Someday, I would like to attend a full session and have a freezer full of go to meals simply waiting in my freezer.

**sharing my meal plan monday at Organizing Junkie.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

photo tools

I moved back upstairs today to my desktop, and my full version of PhotoShop. The photoshop elements on my laptop does the trick but what I miss most are my actions. Particularly the Pioneer Woman freebies.

Anyone can crop a picture and I did that first. But look at the the photo on the right with a color boost, slight lighten and a sharpen. I am pretty sure I will print this as an 8x10.

And for posting purposes, I made a collage using Picasa (it's free) and added the text on there as well.

I also dusted off the 70-300mm lens from my old 35mm camera. I took some test shots today and I think it is going to work just fine as a zoom lens on my Digi Rebel. Watch out soccer and cheer, mama's got a new lens in her bag!

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Insta Friday

I take a lot of photos with my phone. Actually, most of my photos. I love the look of the Instagram and Hipstamatic pictures. (some of my family members do not prefer this look: my mom, my child...). First, let me say I know it is Saturday. Second, I will add that I am linking up to Insta Friday with some other very cool, internet people. My first foray into this game has only a few entries but I like them.
 Sunday. First official game. My cheerleader.
 Captured on Thursday at her soccer team picture taking session. It was 100 degrees. The kind coach dismissed us after pictures but prior to any physical activity. Thank goodness.
 Skipper the dog. In Olivia's bed. Dude usually sleeps in the kitchen and often in his crate. He had a spa day at PetSmart so he brought his clean self to bed time. Is he smiling? I think he is.
 He may get used to this life. Note: O's hand on his bottom and the way he is wedged in next to me. Ignore the lumps and bumps on my reclining body.

Interested in more InstaFriday? Visit Life ReArranged. 

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