Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


Sewing Love :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DIY Shadowbox for Toddlers

I have been on a hunt for a great shadowbox for Andrew to show off his favorite cars. There are some great ones out there, but I'm not paying $50+ bucks for something I'm not even sure he will like. After dropping him off at school, Alex and I headed over to Hobby Lobby. An hour and a half later, I came up with a solution!

I found these little cardboard boxes you would uses for little jewelery/trinkets you would give as a gift or something.


I bought 12 of them for $0.99 each, some Krazy Glue for $2.99 and some boyish ribbon for $0.99. I didn't use the ribbon so I may either save that for something else or take it back later. And, I'm not sure how...but my total was $13 something, but I wont complain. :)

After playing with a few different configurations, came up with this:


I know you are wondering where the 12th box went. For some silly reason it was a bigger shape and wouldn't work right. So, I made a square and stuck on in the middle. I just glues all the sides together and used my chip clips to hold it in place for a bit.

I nailed it up in a fun spot and Andrew loves it! So does Alex. I guess when I take the ribbon back, I will grab some more boxes and make him one, too.


 Getting his cars situated :)

Such a cool dude. I asked him if I could take his picture. He says (very quickly), "Ok. Cheese." Good thing I was ready to take it!


**Linking up with**

Monday, February 27, 2012

This Week at the House

My goodness, the weather is amazing here this week. As I have said a million times before THIS IS WHY I LIVE IN THE SOUTH! Beautiful!

Anyway, today I signed the contract for Lowe's to come install our fence!!!!! SO EXCITED! YAY!

I'm thinking that if the rain holds off until the afternoon (and once I know when the fence guys are coming), Alex and I may head to the library for some mommy and me time. He's been walking like crazy today and I promise to put up a video soon. I think he crawled like twice today. He is such a big boy now! And speaking of him being a big boy, I gotta get to planning his party! I have so many wonderful things planned that I will share with you along the way. We cannot believe he is going to be 1!!! Time flies with 2 boys running around the house :)

Book Update:
I had to quit "reading" (it was an audio book) Following Atticus...I was really hoping it was going to great, but it just went on and on about the guys paper he writes a column for that the poor little dog didn't really show up until an hour or so into it... Eh, I'll just write a book about Max. Only, he is 12 and sleeps most of the day. Exciting. Love our little furball.

I finished The Potluck Club: Trouble's Brewing! I could not put that thing down! I already picked up the last book from the library, too: The Potluck Club Takes the Cake.

But, I am not going to touch it until I finish Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom. What an amazing guy by the way! WOW! He was a monk in secret while he was a surgeon...he was in the war but then left it and then came back with a fight to the finish... So amazing! Go read that book to hear more about his fascinating life in the interview at the beginning. But you have really got to search for it. I had to get my copy from amazon through an old book seller that had the book from a very old church library. Even the book has a story!

Our boys are loving all the books we are getting from the library. Andrew even takes his own bag to fill now. He LOVES grabbing books off the shelf and shoving them in his little bag. I have got to get a pic of that! He used to just take whatever. Now, he looks at the cover, the back of the book, asks me what it says, and finally, decides what to do with it: To read or not to read? LOL Cutie pants!


Outings:
Really this all depends on our fence guys - which I really need them to start ASAP! :) But if it wont be until next week or later this week, then...
Zoo outing
Playground and a picnic
Library for Tot Time

Projects:
DIY Chalkboard Tray - I couldn't find anything to makeover at the house, so heading to Hobby Lobby :) And our fab trip made me stop thinking about anything else!
Work on plans for kitchen backsplash
Plan Alex's birthday party

What's your week looking like?





Menu Plan

I found a fun printable menu planning freebie on Pinterest to share our good eats for this week! If you are interested in any of the recipes, please let me know and I will point you in the right direction :)



Cute menu, right? You can find it at Ollibird here. Whatcha cooking up this week?




Sunday, February 26, 2012

Goodbye Atlanta

The time has come to say, "Goodbye Atlanta." It was such a fabulous weekend, but we definitely missed those two little guys back home, too. Here are a couple more pics heading out:

How cool is that pic? Leaving the ATL and NOW I learn how to use my camera phone...LOL 

Goodbye, W Hotel - thanks for the awesomeness!! :D

 If you missed the first day of our weekend, go here. (this pic is in the collage from that first post)
 Need another dose? Go here.

Fabulous Weekend Getaway - Day 2

Have you watched Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network? Guy Fieri is Andrew's favorite - only because he thinks that is the Guy in Five Guys Burgers. LOL. Anyway, we went to an amazing little diner for breakfast Saturday morning: The Silver Skillet. And, yes, Guy was right. It was soooo good!! So good that we went there for breakfast before leaving to head home!

So cute!

 Looking at all the pics on the wall and found Guy!! And we saw the owner. And our waitress was the waitress in the clip! AWESOME!

 Play some trivial pursuit while waiting :)


We drove around Atlanta checking out the sights and did some shopping at Lenox Square after grabbing some pizza for lunch at Ray's NY Pizza.

Love these buildings. I just love city buildings. They are so pretty!


Then we saw this crazy thing (which was pretty cool) from the highway on the way to Lenox Square. It's is a sculpture for a church project for Freedom from Slavery - it is made out of items that you wouldn't realize are still keeping slavery an issue. Soccer balls, stuffed animals, jeans, chocolate, etc. 

 I have seriously got to get better at the camera phone thing...I didn't even know I took the pic! Anyway, getting ready for a fancy night out at Houston's! An amazing place recommended by Jason's coworker :) Thanks!!

 Us being goofy on the train ride over :)

Dinner was awesome! Spinach-Artichoke dip, more crab cakes for me, bbq ribs for Jason, cosmopolitans and rum and cokes! Such a fun night! Ended our last night by having a bottle of my fav bubbly (what we had on actual Valentine's night, too!) from Jason's mom:


Pick from Valentine's Day since we were very very silly after our 2nd night of celebrating!

If you missed our first day, check it out here.

Stayed tuned - we are saying goodbye to Atlanta in the next post :(


Fabulous Weekend Getaway

Over the summer, I entered my name in one of those sweepstakes that I never ever win. Well, I no longer can say, "Not fair! I never win anything!" I had won a $500 gift certificate to any W Hotel in the US. I know, right?! How awesome is that?!?!?! We chose to head over to the W - Downtown Atlanta since that was a quick drive over and back. The boys got to hang out with Jason parents, Nana and Papa :) They had a blast! I will share pics from their fun soon, but lemme just show ya how you live up the city life when you are 2 young parents who won a much needed vacay!


On our way!! WOOT!!

I know...WHOA!!! OK! There is a LOT of awesome in that collage, so let's go by the columns - starting on the left. AND! Remember, you can click on the pic to see it bigger :)

Left Column:
Our AWESOME room!!
The shower - wow! And, yep. you can see right on through to the bedroom LOL 

Middle Column:
Our view from the room :) Wish I had thought to take a pic at night. 
On the windows on the main and second floors there were the W's all over the place - so cool. 
The AWESOME hotel! 
The gym with a view - on the 16th floor :) And, yep! We worked out wile we were there! 
All over the walls in our room there were these crazy modern mirror art pieces. Loved it.

Right Column:
The top two pics are of the pool area - also on the 16th floor. Closed since it is winter, but very awesome :) And they have a bar there, too - the Wet Bar
Crazy cool lamp in our room. Jason wasn't a fan, but WOW!
This is the awesome thing with this hotel. It is a very "green" hotel. Most everything is all recycled in some way. In the "Living Room" (1 of the hotel bars - there are 3) there were these amazing mobiles all over the ceiling made from recycle aluminum. Loved it and kinda want to do that to the boys' room LOL

 Heading down to the Living Room for some celebration time. And, apparently, I have NO idea how to take a cool mirrored elevator pic...

Cheers to the freakin' weekend! WOOOOOT!! 

 LOL Ok, I really need to learn how to use my camera on my phone. My smart phone is making us look like dorks. Ha!

We went to Ray's in the City for an amazing seafood dinner Friday night. Complete with hot sake, sushi, crab cakes, mahi-mahi, and a praline bowl that I have GOT to figure out how to make! The whole dinner was awesome.

 Checking out the W's 2nd bar - the Drink Shop - after dinner :)

 Being silly after a super celebration to our first night out on the town. I really want a waffle robe now. I am SO getting one this week.

Anyhoo! That is our first night of our amazing weekend getaway. Stay tuned for Day 2 and Saying Goodbye to Atlanta :)







Tuesday, February 21, 2012

BIRDS!!! {again}

Remember last year's version of Alfred Hitchcok's film that took place in our backyard? Well, this year, they are lurking in the trees wondering where the bird feeder has gone.







video

The Simple Things

Movie with Daddy


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Menu Plan

Picture from Mardi Gras Going Away Party

{Monday}
 Beef and Asparagus Pasta

{Mardi Gras}
Pancakes and Bacon
King Cake

{Ash Wednesday}
Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze

{Thursday}
Basil Chicken and Veggies

{Friday}
Baked Sole with Tomatoes and Garlic

{Saturday}
Leftovers

{Sunday}
Lazy Crock Pot Mushroom Chicken

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tango

My mom's furbaby had to be let go today. Tango, the Maltese-Poodle, lived a great life in a house filled with all sorts of things - 4 loud boys, millions of treats, and enough toys to rip out the stuffing. Only, he had 1 baby he never laid a paw on except to hug it - his Lamby. It was quite cute actually. He carried that thing everywhere. He was just like a little kid - only covered in hair that resembled a marshmallow. Ok, that could be ANY kid!

A little story about Tango:

My mom and Tango were definitely meant to be! I'm the oldest and was about to have my first child when she was talking about getting a dog (ok, she ALWAYS talked about getting a dog...). My 1st younger brother was in college and moved out. The next younger brother was in high school and the next 2 were in middle school. And, the last "baby" had just decided he didn't really need her at school (only not in so many words, ya know) - she was a room mom/volunteer at his school.

So to sum up...she's been a mom 26 years (Is that how old I am?) and is still going strong. She still wants to be a "mommy" to someone or something.

She found that in Tango. After she had helped me out when I had Andrew, she got an email from the shelter about a dog needing a home. This poor little guy was horribly neglected and scared. To make it worse...he was going to be put down if a home could not be found with in 3 days. She fell in love with him after meeting him and brought him home.

 My favorite pic of Tango!
Christmas 2009 (he was adopted in October 2009)
This is him yawning singing while Mom plays "Moon River" 
Ok, I don't know the song she was playing, but that what I always hear her playing...
 

Tango, we will miss you - especially your buddy, Max.


Prayer of St. Francis for the Animals

God Our Heavenly Father,
You created the world
to serve humanity's needs
and to lead them to You.
By our own fault
we have lost the beautiful relationship
which we once had with all your creation.
Help us to see
that by restoring our relationship with You
we will also restore it
with all Your creation.
Give us the grace
to see all animals as gifts from You
and to treat them with respect
for they are Your creation.

We pray for all animals
who are suffering as a result of our neglect.
May the order You originally established
be once again restored to the whole world
through the intercession of the Glorious Virgin Mary,
the prayers of Saint Francis
and the merits of Your Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ
Who lives and reigns with You
now and forever. Amen.



Tubble

When I pick up Andrew from school, we run through the typical questions: How was your day? What letter did you learn about today? What songs did you sing? Etc...

Well, it was a bit different coming home this week yesterday. I only got to the first question. 

Me: Hey, sweetie! How was your day?
Andrew: Tubble
Me: What? Trouble?
A: Mm-hmm. Andrew tubble. 
Me: You were in trouble?
A: Mm-hmm. Andrew fends trouble. 
Me: You were in trouble and your friends were in trouble?
A: All tubble.
Me: What happened?
A: [enter spitting noise that is SO NOT allowed]
Me: Andrew....you were spitting?
A: Mm-hmm. Friends, too.
Me: Did you go to time-out?
A: Yes. Sit table. 
Me: We talked about this, Andrew. That's not nice. Are you going to spit again?
A: Mm-mm (and shaking his head no, too)

Oh, my goodness. Can I just tell you that I was sooooo happy to be sitting in front of him! I was dying silently of laughter. I had tears! No, I know. It is so not funny. But it was sooo cute!! 

When we got home, I picked him up and told him how happy he made me for telling me what happened at school. He smiled and gave me a hug and said, "Sorry." Since that day, there hasn't been any "spitting" going on here. Keeping my fingers crossed. It's hard to get mad a such a cute face...



Learning How to Quilt

And for FREE!!

I just got into sewing last year and I am wondering how hard it is to quilt. I have some adorable clothes that my boys wore when they were brand new in this world and to make a quilt out of their clothes would be so cool!

Now would be a perfect time to learn!! Craftsy, a new daily deal site geared towards arts and crafts, is now offering the Block of the Month class. This is a completely free, year-long online class instructed by expert quilter, Amy Gibson. How cool is that?!


 Join now to LOVE CRAFTING and START SAVING!



This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my Disclosure Policy for details.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Recipes from This Week

I've gotten a few emails from you guys asking for the recipes to some of these dinners I am making this week.

I joined Food on the Table over the weekend and am LOVING IT! It is a menu planning site that gives you recipe ideas based on what is on sale where you do your grocery shopping. I know, right?! Genius. I saw a post about it on Passion for Savings.

On to the recipes!

Pineapple-Lemon Chicken (link)
1 (14.25 ounce can) sliced pineapple
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 (tablespoon) cornstarch
2 (teaspoon) Worcestershire sauce
2 (teaspoon) Dijon mustard
4 (5-6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (small) lemon, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Combine juice with garlic, cornstarch, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard to make sauce. Arrange chicken in a shallow 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Stir the sauce and pour over the chicken. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken. Arrange pineapple and thin lemon slices on top of chicken, baste with the sauce in pan and continue baking 5 minutes longer. 


Tilapia Asparagus Bundles (link)
4 (4.0 ounce fillet) tilapia
12 (whole) asparagus spears, trimmed
(to taste) salt and pepper
2/3 (cup) chicken broth
1 1/2 (teaspoon) cornstarch
2 (tablespoon) lemon juice
1/4 (teaspoon) dried basil
1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a baking pan.
2. Wrap each fillet around 3 asparagus and secure with wooden toothpicks. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then place in prepared baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes.
3. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
4. While the fish is baking, heat the chicken stock in a small saucepan over medium heat. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and lemon juice and whisk until there are no visible clumps. Add the cornstarch mixture to the chicken stock, cooking and stirring to prevent any lumps. Cook until cornstarch is completely dissolved and slightly thickened. Add dried basil.
5. To serve, remove the toothpicks from the tilapia fillets and spoon sauce over top.

Notes - I did not have foil. How? I have no idea... I place the dish on the top rack, then moved it to the bottom rack. Also, I put the sauce in the baking dish instead of doing the last step.

 Tilapia Asparagus Bundles for our Valentine's Dinner :)

Smoked Salmon Friend Rice (link)
6 (cup) water
3 (cup) long grain white rice, uncooked
3 (tablespoon) cooking oil, divided
2 (whole) eggs, beaten
1/2 (whole) onion, finely chopped
1 (whole) green onion, chopped
4 (ounce) smoked salmon, chopped
1/2 (cup) frozen peas
(to taste) salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Pour the water into a saucepan, add the rice, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons of cooking oil into a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Stir in the eggs and cook until scrambled to desired consistency. Remove eggs from the pan, and set aside.
3. Using the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and heat over medium heat. Stir in the onion and green onion; cook until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salmon, rice, peas, and scrambled eggs, and toss until evenly blended. Cook and stir rice mixture until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This is our Friday dinner. I will let you in on any notes if I change anything up :)

If you are interested in other recipes that I have shared on our blog, please let me know in the comments. Also, don't forget to check out our Recipe Page where there are many yummy things to eat or freeze for later.




*The above recipes share are NOT my own. I provided the links with each one from it's source, Food on the Table. For nutritional information concerning these recipes, please follow the link. Thank you.*

I Gave In

So, we had lunch at Chick-fil-a today and there were NO KIDSs to be found, other than mine. And, we were sitting right next to the play area. Andrew ate all his lunch and asked so sweetly... "Play? Andrew big boy?" See, I tell him that that place is only for big kids because, let's face it, the other parents are obnoxious at times (Not the kids so much...they wouldn't be an issue if the other parents would do their job. That's another post, I guess.

Anyway! It was so sweet how he asked. I looked around nervously for the sign of those parents/kids and the coast was clear. So, I gave in.

And it was great! Alex is big enough to where he can stand and play and Andrew...well, Andrew is Andrew LOL




There was another parent with his son who just turned 3 in there, but they were fine. That little boy and Andrew were running around and playing together. Alex was cracking up at them. It was great. And, a lot of fun to watch, too!

Another upside to this mini-adventure...they went down for a nap with no trouble and are STILL sleeping! Got all the laundry done, kitchen clean, and some posts shared. Sweet. Maybe we will go back again ;)

Valentine's Day Fun



 
My sweet boys in the morning before school :) Can you tell who is the morning bird and who is the night owl?
 
Alex and I dropped off Andrew to run a few errands before heading back to the school for a Valentine's party. His little class is so CUTE!! 

Enjoying his juice :)

Why is he such a big boy already???

Alex "talking" to one of Andrew's friends. 

He was telling me about his Cheese Puffs and that I need to "camera down." Men... lol

Time for Valentines to be handed out - Look, Alex got one! A little girl said that she likes my baby and he can have a Valentine. LOL Love little kids.

I wish I had gotten his FACE! The boys were so NOT happy to get Princess Valentine's. It was so funny! I told Andrew that he gave out ones with cars on them and the girls were ok. Little did I know that he would respond, "Mama. Cars cool." Wow. He has grown up, huh? 

When we got home, Andrew and Alex played "mail" with the Valentine loot. 




After a while and nap time had passed it was time to get ready for dinner. Jason and I are celebrating our Valentine's with a weekend out of town very soon, but I still had a yummy dinner and cupcakes for everyone.
 
YUM!! Tilapia Asparagus Bundles! Very good :) I will share the recipe in just a bit. 

 Vanilla Red Cupcakes!

And, of course, you can't forget the bubbly!! 

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!


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