Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter- a burn, cute kids, and homemade deor!


The kids were actually with their dad on Easter so I had them dress in their Easter finest the Sunday before and took a few pics.  Glad I did- that day was a gorgeous day and on Easter it rained!

I did not go to church on Easter Sunday... and I feel terrible.  But there was no way I was going to be able to sit for 3 hours with the wicked sunburn I got on the back of my legs.  My mom and I laid out on Saturday and I'm not entirely sure how I ended up sunburned but she didn't get a bit.


Isn't this little stand adorable?  I got it at Tori Spelling's store in California.  It is the perfect size for a cupcake... or 3 twine covered Easter eggs :)

With my Easter decorations I found some old plastic eggs and I had seen on another blog that they wrapped them in twine and I loved it so I decided to do the same.  It really gives it a natural feel that goes in great with my living room.  They were easy enough- hot glue, twine, egg.  Even J2 helped make one.  I think they turned out great, although I should mention I had no clue what to do with the tops so they are a little pointed *lol*

Hope you had a great day with your loved ones of Easter and celebrated the many blessings that we have in our lives!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cupcake-a-what?

Did anyone see the version of Cat in the Hat with Mike Myers?  If so, then you get the title.  If not, then I seriously need you to watch it.  Yes, it's ridiculous. But also wicked funny!  Promise me you'll watch it OK?


I love cupcakes. 

So much so one day my dad came up to my work randomly and brought us a 6 pack of cupcakes.  Yep, just out of the blue.  Because he loves me.  {I think that's why.  He probably wanted me to bring J1 over so they could hang out!}

This store is adorable!

When I was in Pasadena earlier this year, I passed by this adorable cupcake place several times.  After the 4th time I went by I finally decided to go in.

And I wish I hadn't.  Their cupcakes are SINFUL! 

We tried some minis- including a maple bacon one that I bite into somewhat tepidly and was a freaking explosion of flavor in my mouth- and they were outstanding.  Seriously, I've had good cupcakes before.  Like the kind that you drive 45 minutes to Dallas for and pay for one what you could make 24 with... *ahem* Sprinkles.

Sprinkles Cupcakes


These were even better.  I'm not kidding. DROOL



To further prove my cupcake fascination to you, I will tell you- somewhat sheepishly- that I ordered a dozen cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake, of DC Cupcakes on TLC.  They were well packaged and I was impressed with that but they were not as good as these.  Sorry, they just weren't.  I wanted them to be!  Especially for the price of overnight shipping.




I just went to the Dots Facebook page and was a little stalkerish but it paid off because I saw that now have "Pot of Cupcake" which is a cupcake mini in a jar that you can have sent to you!  I will most definitely be finding out more about this. The one they show is the Fleur de Sel which was my favorite.  And if my friend Kathleen hadn't been there, I might have eaten about 10 of them.

What about you, do you love cupcakes?  What were the best cupcakes you ever ate?

Monday, April 2, 2012

For you, the single mom

I saw this on another blog and thought it was sweet.  I've been a "single" mom for so long, I just consider myself a mom now.  But so much of this is true!




Single Mom
You–the strong woman (even if you don’t always feel like it) that runs her household alone.  <--- Must be said though, that the kiddos sure can help a lot.  Especially the one who is taller than me and can reach the tall stuff ;)
You – the mom who wakes up before everyone else so she’ll have enough time to empty the dishwasher, pack lunches, get ready for work, and get the kids to school without being late.<--- Some days it's a mad dash but we get there!
You – the mom who takes the garbage out and cleans the leaves out of the gutter and fixes the sprinklers when they’re not working.<--- Ok, this might not be me.  It's only my chore to take out the garbage when the kids aren't here.  And if something was wrong with the sprinkler I have so many great friends, neighbors, and of course my dad!
You – the mom who rakes the leaves and gets the oil changed in the car and runs to the grocery store at 9:00 at night so her kids will have milk.<--- But usually with the kids in tow because who is going to leave their kids alone at 9 at night?
You – the mom who stays up late helping with math problems and vocabulary words, even though she’s exhausted.<--- There might be some annoyance involved and a great deal of exasperation but we get all the projects and homework done!
You – the mom who cooks dinner and pulls everyone together for a meal, even though she’s the only adult at the table. <--- This is actually not that bad, especially if my sister comes over {although, she is my third child}
You – the mom who signs the school forms that come home in the backpack,
and who remembers when school pictures are due,
and who walks her kids door-to-door selling fundraising candy around the neighborhood for their sports teams.<--- I may not always remember when things are due until the last second but pictures get bought, fundraisers get sold, and folders are signed... and if I forget my mom works at the school and is always my backup!
You – the mom who goes to bed alone,
and who might get a little scared in a rainstorm,
but who never lets the kids see her fear. <--- This is semi-true,  I might have them come sleep with me so we can all be together!  Thank goodness for a king size bed!
You – the mom who carries the weight
and the responsibility
and the joy
of being a parent
with pride and determination
and perseverance.
You – the mom who is showing her kids how to be strong,
simply by being there for them,
simply by loving them,
simply by being a mom they know they can always count on.
You – the one who is making a difference
day by day,
hour by hour,
moment by moment,
second by second.
You.
The single mom.
The good mom.

This was so sweet and much needed today!  I worry for my kids so much and I always wonder if I'm doing the right thing by them.  It's nice to be reassured every once in a while, even if it is from a stranger...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekend wrap up... and a TV appearance!

OK, so it wasn't a TV appearance for me but someone I knew.  :)  Got your attention though right?



~Does anyone else watch Jersey Couture?  It took me a minute to get into the show because the two sisters and the mom and all their obnoxious yelling was quite annoying. But as I came to accept that it was just the Jersey persona, I grew to like the show.  Imagine my surprise when I was watching this last episode and there's a mom and daughter from West Virginia on there- and I know them!  How the heck do I know anyone in West Virginia!?  It turns out this girl, Natalie, was my Mary Kay lady when I was newly married with an infant.  We bonded because she was young and had a young daughter, too.  When she eventually moved on with her life she sent me to her aunt Kim, who has been my MK lady ever since.  I haven't been a good MK customer these last few years but every time I talk to Kim I ask about Natalie. What a fun surprise!


~While at Target this weekend we found Tasty Kakes.  THIS IS A BIG DEAL!!  They are an East coast delicious pastry company.  Or maybe it's just because we don't have them down here that we have thought they were so tasty.  Anywho, whenever I go to see my grandma I always make sure to pick up a few to bring home to my dad {and of course, some for myself!} I had heard that Tasty Kakes were down here and the last time I was at Target I saw some of the Krumpets but nothing that I got too excited about.  So imagine my surprise when my mom started freaking out because they had... wait for it... LEMON PIES!  These are our favorite! I only bought 2 and it's taking everything I have to NOT eat the second one today.


~Also while at Target I found white chocolate M&M's!  I love white chocolate so this was huge.  Again, trying to NOT eat more than a few of these.



~Are you guys watching Celebrity Apprentice?  The girls are making it really hard to root for them.  I love Lisa Lampanelli.  Teresa Guidice has not done a THING, I am super upset that she's still there. Aubrey, while SUPER obnoxious, does have good ideas and is playing the game... hard. And Dayana, whoever she is, needs to go once and for all.

This weekend has flown by!  Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, March 30, 2012

How does your garden grow? Year 2....

Our garden idea last year was creative. I talked about it HERE  and HERE.  It worked- for a bit.  I just don't think there was enough depth to sustain the plants and we also planted a little on the late side and the brutal Texas heat snuck up on us pretty quickly.

This year we weren't going to take any chances!  We enlisted the help of some dear church friends who happen to be amazing gardeners AND had a tiller AND a willing heart to help serve!  They brought over their cute grandkids to help too- the more the merrier!


Piter and N working hard!

J1 turning the soil.

You'll notice my sweet little girl is noticeably absent in many of the "hard working" pics... she was attending a Ladybug Luncheon at church for girls 8-11, so we'll forgive her.

It was determined that the soil was too wet {you just will NOT hear that very often in Texas!} so we let it dry out for a few days before Piter came back over to till a few more times.

Piter instructing J1 on what the purpose of turning the soil is.  This man is a SAINT!

Finally, we got to where we were ready to plant!

 
Aren't we cute?

We enlisted the help of a few more people {namely, my poor sister with whom we are trying to soak up as much time as we can before she leaves in May, and my niece} and got out our supplies.


We did a mixture of seeds and plants.

While I was making a game plan and trying to figure out what needed to go where I found out that onions are a good pest deterrent when planted next to carrots and lettuce!  I arranged it so that this happened and probably planted more onions than I'll ever use or want but hey, we are really excited about those darn carrots, OK?  And while I was working hard so were the kids....

Soccer!  Not sure how the smallest two ended up being the goalies but hey, they were having fun!
I let everyone pick out what they wanted to plant and we had at. We did cucumbers {plants and seeds}, tomato plants, carrot seeds, lettuce seeds, onion seeds, pumpkin seeds, squash plants, and cantaloupe {plants and seeds}.  I'm really hoping the cucumbers grow well because I'd like to make homemade pickles!

J2 wanted to plant the carrots.  It took all 3 of them apparently. :)

Pretty sure they were over it.  Plus it was hot yesterday.  And it's not even April!
We had 811 come out to search for lines before we dug, because we're good citizens like that- OK and because my friend Heidi said to!- and they left a ton of flags so we used those as markers as to what is where in the garden.  I also made a "map" on paper but in case that gets lost {and for real I don't know if you live in a house where things disappear, but it happens. A LOT.}


Watering everything all in!

We're hoping to not have to endure too many learning curves and that our plants will grow and thrive under our watchful care.  We also hope that we will maintain watchful care! ;) I promise to keep you all apprised- if we grow something edible you WILL hear about it!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nocturnal Naughtiness! {don't be scared...}

So lately I seem to be falling asleep as soon as the kids go to bed... which means clothes aren't getting folded, shows aren't being watched {hello, I've tried to watch the finale of Alcatraz like 6 times now!}, basically things just aren't getting done.

But the other night, for whatever reason, I couldn't sleep.  No problem as I was able to catch up on a few shoes and surf Pinterest- I swear I found the end of it. No really!  But with late night web surfing on Pinterest comes late night shopping.  And because it's the middle of the night apparently you lack self control and common sense.

You do find deals though!  And random fun places you never would have found otherwise!

Like this website GO FAVOR Cute cute costume jewelry for CHEAP!  And shipping is free if you spend $15 {and I dare you to spend less than $15}. I found this adorable camera ring



that I previously  pinned on Pinterest- but wasn't the reason I clicked on the link to that site!

Also while on Pinterest I came across a cute outfit that of course linked me to Polyvore- random aside on that, could they please make a Polyvore with only Target, Old Navy, H&M, etc items?  Most of the time the cute outfits I see I could probably only afford the the buttons on the shirt!- and of course I clicked on one of the items which lead me to another site that was awesome!

TILLY'S is kind of a teen site I think but I found a ton of jewelry that I liked and it was almost all buy one get one half off!  Including this amazing bracelet


which admittedly may not be most people's style but living in the South you know we live by the motto, "The bigger the better".  Or is it, "Everything is bigger in Texas"?  Or, "Go big or go home?" Irregardless, they have some cute stuff.

I suppose the moral of this story is to just go to bed and not stay up so late because bad things do happen!!

What are your favorite new sites?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

More Hungry Girl Goodies and Reviews!

Remember my rave about Lisa Lillien's Hungry Girl recipes?  Click here if you don't....

Well here are some more recipes I've tried- good, bad, and delicious!  I took pics of most of the things I made but they were all with my phone and sometimes they just don't do it justice so I used a few pictures from her site and linked you back to it directly for the recipe on each picture.

So read my reviews and go make something for yourself- and then let me know what you think!



Beef Strogataki
Beef Strogataki- funny name, delicious dinner!  To be honest my mom makes the best stroganoff ever.  And she usually makes it with homemade egg noodles, which are also the best ever.  So I was nervous I wouldn't like this dish.  I opted to make it with brown rice because I figured if I could have my mom's eggs noodles I didn't want any noodles to go with it {yes apparently I'm 5}.  It wasn't quite as rich as my mom's but it definitely tasted delicious and I was able to make two servings out of this- seriously good job on the portions HG!



Sloppy Joe Stir Fry
Sloppy Joe Stir-Fry Slaw- this was possibly the best dish I've had yet.  I LOVE a sloppy joe, and this had plenty of that flavor with the crunch of the broccoli slaw that made me sigh out loud.  I put mine on the low calorie sandwich bread and it was possibly even MORE delicious- give it a try tonight! Oh, and did I mention only 3 ingredients?  Hello, easy!



Banana-Fana-Fo-Yummy Shake
Happy Monkey Banana Pudding Shake- Did you taste the deliciousness that was Chick-Fil-A's Banana Pudding Shake last year?  Because if not you missed out- but don't worry it will be back soon!  I seriously had one every few days (and I wonder why my waist was ever expanding?)  I found this trade off and hoped for the best.  And can I tell you?  It was every bit as tasty!  It feels like a lot of work for a shake I just guzzled down but I think I'm going to pre-make a few and put them in the freezer to be thawed later and blended right up {um now that I said that, I'm really hoping it works}!





Super-Duper Spaghetti Pie Part Deux
Super-Duper Spaghetti Pie Part Deux- this was ok.  Not my favorite.  Maybe because I was sick?  I'll put it away for later and try again.  Now that I'm thinking about it, I think I got a little texture from the pumpkin that I wasn't expecting and it threw me off.  But seriously, one of my fave things about HG are the portions.  I put this in a round pie pan and the serving size is 1/4 the whole thing!





El Ginormo Southwest Oven Baked Omelette
 El Ginormo Southwest Oven-Baked Omelette-  this wasn't one of my favorite but looking back I think I did a few things wrong.  I used egg whites only and next time I'll make sure to use the Egg Beaters- apparently I'm special and didn't realize there was a difference.  Also, I think the beans were a little too much for me. I did however top it with sour cream and salsa and it was tasty.  Again, huge huge huge portion size.



EZ Cheesy Lasagna For Two
EZ Cheesy Lasagna for two- This recipe called for eggplant which I wasn't a fan of the one time I tried it so I left it out.  Which then left a huge chunk of the recipe out.  But it still was delicious to me.  Definitely cheesy and lasagna-ish.  And something I'd make again for sure!





Chocolate-Chippy Cheese Danish
Chocolate-Chippy Cheese Danish- This is definitely something that I can get on board with!  Pastry and chocolate goodness?  Yes, please!  I actually cut my pieces a little bigger {also, I think I layered it wrong to begin with so make sure you pay attention to how to braid it- live and learn} and only got 7 portions out of this but still I think it's a great snack without too many guilty feelings!





Cinna-Nilla Apple Oatmeal Parfait
Cinna-Nilla Apple Oatmeal- this was delicious!  I made the oatmeal the night before and instead of layering it all pretty I just threw everything in a bowl the next morning.  Nothing bad to say about this!



Takes The Cake Ziti Bake

Takes-The-Cake Ziti Bake-  This was great!  I was obviously on an Italian kick that week but this was definitely a winner.  1/4 portion of the whole thing- went a long way!



More reviews to come....

Monday, March 26, 2012

Testing this week!

Standardized tests this week for the kiddos.  J1 today and tomorrow and J2 tomorrow and Wednesday.  Saw this cute idea on Pinterest {where else?} and thought I would make it as encouragement.  I think it turned out super adorable!


Plus, it made a 13 year old boy smile at 7 am- I can't think of anything better!

This weekend we started our garden with the help of our good friends from church.  It's still a work in progress but I can't wait to get it going full swing.  More on that later.

Just starting the tilling process.

We also kind of laid low this weekend, ate pizza, watched the ABC show What Would You Do? Such a fun show and one that I feel good about watching with the kids. 

Came across this picture of Louis Bullock online this week on the funniest website ever Suri's Burn Book.  If you haven't been to this website, go now. It will have you rolling on the floor {only if you enjoy snark and celebrities, but really who doesn't?}  Back to Louis though, Sandy B is quoted as having said that he is a ladies man and I don't want to break it to her but I think he is a ladies man, just in the BFF way.  Check him out though- rocking this scarf HARD. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

I hope they call me on a mission....

Ok, well not really me because um, I can't with having two kids and all. 

But my sister can hope!  And she did and guess what?

She's going on a mission!



To Salt Lake City, Utah.  {phew} Seriously, she's my second to youngest baby sister and I can't imagine her in the foreign jungles of Nicaragua or something like that.



At least in Utah I know she'll be safe.  Oh and apparently it's gorgeous up there.  I've never been.  I'm a slacker.

And I'm super happy for this experience that she is going to have.  But can I just say that doing this will never be the same?


Don't worry, Momo, I will get plenty and think of you every time!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The FUNK-y bunch

Well, I don't know if there's a bunch of us out there today but I sure am...


....in a funk!

My contacts are hurting my eyes.  Surely it's not from not taking them out in so long I can't remember when I did it last...

I got my Easter decorations out last night and they were not anywhere near as cute as I remembered. I'd say half of them I'm going to toss, they're that tacky.

My room is a disaster.  There's clothes to wash, and fold, and put away.  There's the unmade bed.  There's the random things that end up in there because it was once the garage and there's nowhere else to put it.  And papers.  All the papers.  Where do they come from?

Then there's my hair. I can't even begin to start in on that today.

Pretty sure this is me right now.  I thought I had a cute updo going on today, too.


And how are we at the end of another week almost and we haven't had one day to relax yet?  And nope it won't be happening on Saturday either.




I wonder if any of this has to do with the fact that I'm listening to Broadway tunes on Pandora and I've heard Phantom of the Opera songs for about 3 hours straight now?  Perhaps, I need to change the "station" on Pandora and then change my own tune!  I promise to try more of this...


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Can a girl get some help around here?

Ok so if you've been paying attention you might have noticed that I am really trying to do better about eating.  For reals. Except for cutting out Coke.  I'm sorry, I'm not there yet.


My biggest weakness is ice cream.  I love it so.  And the other day when I wasn't feeling good and having to wait at the drugstore for my prescriptions I grabbed a pint of Blue Bell to make me feel better.  I didn't realize how long  I would have to wait so at some point I exercised some will power and went and put it back and did NOT go get another one when I was ready to go. 

But there's a place here locally called Brusters and they are amazing.  They make their ice cream from scratch every day so not everything is available all the time.  My favorite is something called graham central station- it's chocolate {I think} with pieces of graham cracker goodness and chocolate pieces and I'm sure other stuff that I just never think about when I devouring it.  Since it's not available all the time once a while back when I was there they offered to put me on their email list and let me know when they make it.  This was like months ago.  Then I got this as I was walking out of the above mentioned drug store, seriously:

From: Brusters <brusters@flavoroverflavor.com>
Date: 13 Mar 2012
Subject: Graham Central Station was made - 3 PINTS FOR $11.00

Favorite Flavor
The Bruster's in Arlington made Graham Central Station today
 

Don't see your flavor on our menu board? Tell the scooper you got a Favorite Flavor email!

  DISCLAIMER: Certain flavors are more popular than others. This notification does not guarantee your flavor will be available when you visit the store.



Um, rude much?  Don't they know that I would love to buy 3 pints and stash them in the back of my freezer but my brain knows that it's there and come 10pm every night I'd find myself unknowingly sneaking to the freezer to get some hungry or not? Meh!


I didn't break down and go get some and I may just have to reward myself for that with a snow cone from my favorite little place that's open for spring break this week....



JUST KIDDING!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hungry Girl goodness

Do you like to eat? 
Are you like most women and consciously or subconsciously watching what you eat?

Then have I got a special lady to tell you about!  Her name is Lisa Lillien {cute, right?} and I'm not ashamed to tell you I have a little girl crush on her.



I found her cookbook a while back and had to get it.  Then a few months ago I found her show on Food Network. It's like we were meant to be <3
So I dug the cookbook back out and started meal planning with it.  I am going to share recipes and pictures as well as the verdict on the meals with you and I hope you might join me on the Hungry Girl bandwagon too!

The first recipe I made was the Hungry Girlfredo Veggie Explosion.  Yep, that's the for real title.  Doesn't that make you hungry even just saying it?  It's alfredo, HG style.  Here's what you'll need...

Remember, I'm not a food blogger so you guys are even lucky I took a pic!

If you look at that picture really closely you will see the Tofu Shirataki noodles.  Say wha?  Yeah, when I first started reading the book and watching the episodes I felt the same way.  But the way that she talks about them {40 calories in the WHOLE bag!  Low carbs! Gluten free!} made me excited for them too!  You can read all about them on her website HERE and she gives you all the deets on how to prepare and where to find them {for me I just had to shimmy on up a few miles out of the way to the North part of the city to Whole Foods... I know, big time, folks!}

In the meantime I was making the kiddos Asian Helper, chicken fried something or the other.  With real eggs.  *sigh*

This is what I ended up with...

Smells delicious.  Looks pretty good too! 

Also, just to show you how massive a portion it was let me tell you this bowl contains 1/2 of the serving.  I'd have needed a bigger bowl to eat the whole serving.  And to show you how big this bowl is I placed one of our regular bowls next to it.  Dang.  That's a monster serving size!


It was pretty darn good to tell you the truth!  I loved the veggies in it and it was creamy and resembled the bajillion calorie alfredo I love to eat at a fraction of the badness!  Try it for yourself!  I have since made a tons more of her recipes and plan on sharing them as well, so feel free to keep coming back and checking out more.

P.S. Let me know if you do try anything and what you think!