Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thankfully the weather is going to cooperate this weekend and we will be heading out on our aborted trip from last weekend.

It will be nice to just spend some time with family and relax. And conveniently there is a quilt shop in town that I plan on checking out.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Snowy pics and a recipe

We got about a foot of snow last night. It is still snowing today, but luckily it is just light snow so hopefully it won't add up. The boys and I went out this morning to play, but they had a hard time walking around because it was so deep.

Cooper is on day 7 without his binky. I am hoping that we have finally turned a corner. I love seeing him without that thing in his mouth. Of course he talks non stop now, but that's ok. You never know what is going to come out of his mouth!

Cody's face says it all about how we feel about winter. We are ready for it to be other with. Cody doesn't like having to wonder if they will have school and I don't like having to deal with all the crap that comes with snow. I had so much snow on my car last night when I came home that it leaked from the garage into the utility room. I guess we have to add fixing that to the list of projects for this spring.

Here is the view from the road towards our house. As you can see most of the bushes are buried under all this snow.

Someone came and snowblowed our driveway today and I don't have any idea who it was. I wish I could find out because I would like to take something to them. That is not an easy task.

As promised, here is the recipe from our dinner last night. It is adapted from a recipe in the You on a Diet book. That one called for eggplant, stewed tomatoes, and no spices. It is really yummy and really healthy for you.

Pasta Provencale
1 box whole wheat rigatoni
1 zucchini, chopped
1 squash, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 14.5 oz cans crushed tomatoes
¼ C parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning

* Cook pasta according to directions
* In meantime, sauté zucchini, squash, and pepper in 1 Tbsp olive oil
* Once softened, add tomatoes and Italian seasoning
* Simmer until warmed through
* Drain pasta and add to tomato mixture
* Mix in parmesan cheese and serve

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I swear this has been the longest winter ever. It is crazy how many times it has snowed. Of course it only seems to snow on days Cody has school. I hate debating all morning whether or not I should take him. Like today. It started snowing around 8, but it wasn't too bad. The roads were still clear and nothing was really sticking. I got to school just fine and decided I would just wait around there. School usually gets done around 3, but about 2 I decided that we needed to get moving. By the time we left it was crazy. The roads were an icy mess and of course I had to get behind a school bus. It was not a fun drive. Now I am sitting waiting for my husband to get home. His car is crap in the snow and we are working on saving up the money for a 4 wheel drive. It won't be this winter, but definitely by next winter.

Other than that I am working on some little projects. I went to a fabric store around here, but there wasn't anything that was really my taste. There are a few other ones around that I want to go to, but have to find the time and deal with the weather.

Well off to make dinner. I will post the recipe later. It is really yummy and super healthy.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Talk about a non productive weekend. I didn't get anything done that I wanted to.

We did take the boys bowling Sunday morning and they had a blast. Sadly until the 6th frame they were beating both Jeremy and I. I guess all that WII bowling really doesn't translate!

We also spent a couple of hours chipping the 3 inch layer of ice out of the driveway. We didn't get it all done, but it's better than it was. I am so ready for winter to be over with.

I made a couple of really yummy recipes this weekend.

For breakfast I made Jam and Cheese loaf. It is really good and I love it because you make it the night before and all you have to do it bake it in the morning.

Jam & Cheese Loaf
½ C warm water
1 pkg dry yeast
2 ½ C Bisquick
1 beaten egg
1 Tbsp sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ C sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ C jam (or more)

* Dissolve yeast in water. Mix Bisquick, egg, yeast mixture and Tbsp sugar. Knead for 20 strokes. Place in center of greased baking sheet. Roll to 14” X 9”
* Combine cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice
* Spread cream cheese mixture down center of dough. Make 3” long cuts approximately 1” apart down both sides. Fold strips over filling. Cover and chill overnight. Bake at 350₀ for 20 mins. Spoon jam down center of mixture and bake another 5 minutes.

Then for dinner I made Rachael Ray's Turkey and Stuffing Stromboli. I normally don't like her stuff, but this is really good.

Turkey & Stuffing Stromboli
1 can refrigerated pizza crust
¼ C Strawberry jelly or cranberry sauce
3 C shredded turkey breast
2 C stuffing
2 C cheddar cheese

* Preheat oven to 400₀
* Unroll pizza crust onto floured surface
* Cut into four equal pieces
* Spread jelly along the diagonal of each piece of dough
* Place turkey and stuffing on top of jelly
* Sprinkle with cheese making sure not to overstuff
* Roll opposite edges over so you have stuffing down the middle and sticking out each end
* Place on baking sheet making sure they don’t touch
* Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown

The only thing I did different was make one big stromboli. It is a really good use of leftovers. I don't recommend using deli turkey meat because it won't shred or have the same texture as regular turkey breast. You can buy precut turkey breasts that you can bake or grill and they work great.

Hopefully this week is more productive than the wekeend!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Well we decided to stay home this weekend since the weather is going to be crappy where we were headed. I am sorry to miss my daddy's birthday, but I am working with the kids to sing Happy Birthday to him on the phone. Plus if all goes well we will be able to go next weekend.

Since I have extra time this weekend, I plan on getting some things done around the house and maybe get some mommy time.

My hopeful to-do list is:
  • Defrost our chest freezer. Stupid me didn't realize it wasn't self defrosting. I have no idea how often it is supposed to be done, but I'm guessing more than once a year.
  • Clean the inside of the stove. A french fry dropped off the other day and I completely forgot about it until it became a chared mess on the bottom.
  • Get all the fabric for the inlaws car seats pinked, washed, and patterns transferred.
  • Work on a few more sewing ideas I've got rolling around in my head.
  • Take the kids bowling
  • Get groceries since there is nothing in the house
  • Probably shovel the stupid driveway. Next house we buy will have a flat driveway!

I'm sure more things will come up, but at least that is a good start. Luckily I've gotten most of the cleaning out of the way during the week.

Off to play WII with the boys (our new favorite morning activity, really wakes you up!)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Semi finished craftiness

I've been working away on some new patterns that I designed. I still have to get some backing fabric and binding, but I am loving the way they are coming out.

Here is a table runner that is just a simple random geometric pattern. I love how it all pretty much blends together and you can't really pick out any one fabric. I have no idea why it looks uneven on the bottom.

These are a coordinating set of potholders I made. Some of the fabrics are the same and some are a little different. I didn't want them to match completely and I think it worked out pretty well.

I probably won't get to finish them until next week because I have a ton of errands that need to be done tomorrow and then depending on the weather we are going to be travelling this weekend.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Just another day

Nothing much exciting happend here today and I like it that way.

I am still working on the organization and decluttering of the house. I worked on the bathrooms today. I threw out a whole garbage bag full of stuff that was either expired or we couldn't use anymore. We are going to be remodeling the bathrooms this summer and downsizing the vanity and medicine cabinet so I wanted to get things pared down now. It is really nice to open the cupboard and nothing falls out at you.

I did make the tops to some potholders, but I didn't have any backing or binding fabric so the pictures will have to wait. I am really happy with how they turned out. I am loving doing these small projects where I can actually see progress.

At some point in time this week I have to run some errands. I am loving staying home and not having to worry about getting Cody to school or going out in the crappy weather.

We paid off both cars last week so I can officially say that we are debt free! It feels so good to not worry about our budget every month and finally get some savings built up.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The weekend review

Well this weekend was highly unproductive. My inlaws came out which was great. The boys tired them out playing games and football and just being boys. We were supposed to work on the seats of their Gremlin, but let me tell you that making car seats from scratch is not an easy task. They are supposed to be denim with all this double stitching. It was a pain. Right now I have a piece of denim hanging in my bath tub because we realized after the first one that it really should have the dye bled out of it. Luckily the first one we stitched we messed up so we weren't out anything other than time.

Other than that we watched the Daytona 500 and relaxed. It was nice to have someone else to get up with the kids at 5AM and get a little extra sleep.

I worked on my table runner pattern today. It is coming along, though I made it harder than it probably had to be. Hopefully I will have pictures to show tomorrow. Depends on how the boys nap.

Friday, February 15, 2008

February Goal Update

How did it get to be the 15th of February already?!? I swear each day goes by faster than the one before.

I am sad to say that I haven't done very well on my goals for the month. I would love to say that it is because of some major thing that came up, but honestly it is mostly out of laziness.

So here is my list of goals and my pathetic attempt at meeting them.

  • Complete the Firm rotation - Since it is a 21 day rotation and I haven't done anything in about 10 days I would say that is out.
  • Drink at least 16 oz of water a day - nope, haven't drank any water at all since the 1st . Yes I suck
  • Carve out time at least once a week for me - I actually have been pretty good about this. I've been going into my sewing room quite a bit and getting something accomplished.
  • Become more informed about my religion - I have been reading, skimming some of the books I have and I am trying to find some new ones to try
  • Try to go to church more (hard to do with Jeremy's schedule and the kids) - Between hubby's work schedule, the kids being sick, and my laziness this hasn't happened either. I will be going though when I go home.
  • Work on cleaning out my Yahoo mail (that will take way more than a month) - I have made some good progress on this. I still have lots more to do, but I did get a bunch deleted.
  • Make it a priority to try and keep up with the clutter and find ways to get things more organized - I have made some good progress on this. I found a show cubby for downstairs, I got my sewing area cleaned up and organized, and I have got the bedrooms pretty much organized. The next half of the month I want to work on the paperwork on the table upstairs and the computer desk. They are both just dumping grounds and I need to get them under control before I lose something.

My inlaws are coming this weekend so I probably won't be able to update. I will be doing some sewing since I have to help my MIL sew some seat covers for their Gremlin.

So until Monday...have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lazy days of winter..

Our day was spent hanging around on the couch and watching it snow/ice/rain/snow. Yep, I love winter. We had planned on taking the boys bowling, but no such luck. Luckily we were smart and didn't say anything so we didn't have to listen to that whining all day long!

Here is Cooper in rare form...without his binky in his mouth. Notice though it isn't too far away!

That is my Cody with an actual smile. Usually he is all goofy for the camera.

A boy and his cat checking out the new Avon catalog. At least it is on the Cookie Monster page.

This is what happens when you spend too much time inside!

And I did manage to get some sewing done today while everyone napped. I've been messing around with this pattern for a few days now trying to get it to work out and I think I finally got it. The construction still needs some tweaking, but I'm happy with this first try.

Hubby and I spent at least an hour tonight watching Jeff Dunham videos on YouTube. He is the ventriloquist (sp??) with the cranky old man Walter. He has quite a few other puppets like Peanut, Jose the Jalepeno on a stick, and Achmed the dead terrorist. We laughed so hard our cheeks hurt. If you love comedy (especially some not so politically correct) check him out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Finally making progress

I have finally made some progress in my organizing and cleaning.

I finished typing up all my recipes, have them in the protective sheets and just need to put the tab dividers in. It feels so good to finally finish that since I've been working on it for about a year. Now I just have to force myself to keep up on the new recipes that we are trying.

I also got my sewing area organized. I found a little 3 drawer organizer for all the little things that are next to my machine. And I found a cute little christmasy mug on clearance that is just the right size for scissors and pens.

My next organizing challenge is finding a shoe cubby for downstairs. It is a mess and I am sick of tripping over shoes every time we open the door. I would really like a plastic one so we can just throw in wet shoes, but haven't had much luck yet.

Since the weather is going to be crappy again tomorrow and hubby has the day off I am hoping to get some sewing done. I have an idea for some potholders and table runner that I really want to work on. There are some new charm packs that are calling my name!

Now I'm off to bed to catch up on some sleep. Both kids have this cruddy cold and were up a lot last night. Hoping for a better night tonight.

Monday, February 11, 2008

New recipe

We tried a new recipe last night and it turned out really good. I have been trying to find ways to get veggies into the kids. They are pretty good eaters, but they could always be better.

The recipe is creamy chicken stir fry and it came from a Betty Crocker email.

Creamy Chicken Stir Fry

1 lb chicken breasts cut into strips(I used about 3 and it was perfect)
1 10.75 oz cream of celery soup (I would think about cream of chicken next time)
3 small heads fresh broccoli
2 C chopped carrots (I used carrot coins cut in half and they were the right size for the boys)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce

  • Spray wok with vegetable spray and heat over medium high heat
  • Add chicken and cook until juices run clear and liquid has evaporated
  • Push to side and add in veggies
  • Cook until crisp tender slowly mixing in chicken
  • In small bowl mix soup, garlic powder, and soy sauce
  • Pour over veggie chicken mixture and cook until everything is well coated and the sauce is warm

I served it over brown rice which worked good to soak up the sauce. I also used the Healthy Request soups so it wasn't so salty with the soy sauce.

We have been trying to do one new recipe a week. I am getting sick of the same old thing all the time. So keep your eye out for something new next week!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

How many more days till spring?!?!

I hate winter. We have been stuck inside for days and I am running out of things to keep these two crazy boys entertained. We can't even go out and play in the new snow because it is so cold and Cody has a little cold.

I plan on making Valentines for our family and package the ones for his class, but other than that I am out of ideas. We've read a thousand books, played games, played cars, did paint with water, and played lots of wrestling.

Hopefully the weather will be all right tomorrow and we can go to swim day at Cody's school tomorrow!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Debt free...

...well almost. We have been doing the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University online for the past few weeks and we are finally moving somewhere with our finances. When hubby went to shore duty we lost quite a bit of our pay and it was a shock to our budget. Add onto that being homeowners and our savings took a hit.

I am happy to report that by the end of the month we will have no debt other than our mortgage. We cashed out our savings bonds and mutual fund and will use that to pay off the cars. Then we are using our tax refund to build up our savings. The $400 we save in car payments will go towards an emergency fund. Once that is built up we will work towards retirement and the kid's college.

It is great to finally make some headway. We have switched to all cash for our purchases. It is amazing how much less you spend when you have to fork over cash. Before I was rarely looking at the total when I signed the slip.

It has been a big change, but as Dave says "First you have to live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else."

Friday, February 8, 2008

About me

I just kind of jumped into this blogging thing so I figure it's about time I write something about myself.

I'm 27 years old, married to my crazy husband of 5 (almost 6) years. He's in the Navy and we are finally on shore duty! It was a rough time for awhile, but we pulled through and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. He will be getting out at the end of his time here. I know it's not the right decision for everyone, but we know it is the right one of us.

We have two boys. Cody who is 4 going on 14 and Cooper who will be 2 in March. They keep mommy on her toes and busy. I love them to pieces and no matter how crazy or annoyed they make me there is always at least one point in the day where they make me smile!

I am a stay at home mom and love it. I would love to do some work from home stuff, but right now that isn't in the cards. I have a degree in public relations and speech communictions. I competed for a semseter on my college's speech team and I LOVED it. That is a huge thing for me considering that in high school I had the worst fear of public speaking. I would love to some day work with other people who have a fear of public speaking and show them you can overcome it.

I love to do crafts. Quilting and cross stitching are my favorite, but sometimes I will crochet or knit also. I also love to bake. I'm not so great at the cooking, but I do it anyways. Lucky for me the guys at hubby's work love sweets. Last time I made cookies for them I made almost 3o dozen. It was a lot of work, but totally worth it.

Other than that I am a pretty boring person. I don't have a lot of close friends, but I am extremely close to my family and my husband's family. We live far apart, but we talk almost everyday.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I am enjoying writing it!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Things have been pretty low key around here lately. I've been in a big organization mood. I have been trying to find everything a home and getting rid of some clutter. I am not rushing through so that maybe things will actually stick. I got my baking supplies organized with some modular mates that I bought. It is nice to open the cupboard and know nothing will smack you on the head. I also got a handle on all the snack bags and stuff that were overtaking gap on the pantry.

There is a lot more to do, but I'm not sure what I want to tackle next. I think it will be reorganizing and cleaning out my kitchen cabinets, but who knows.

I am still plugging away at typing up all my recipes. I am sick of sorting through 100 pieces of paper to find which one I want.

Now I am off to watch Project Runway and enjoy the peace and quiet of sleeping children.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Anybody want a couple of really cute boys? They are free and you will be responsible for all related costs. Be forewarned that they never sleep, whine, and constantly need attention. However, they are adorable and will melt your heart when they give you a big hug and say I love you!

Can you tell this mommy has had enough today?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I've been busy in my sewing room working on some ideas I've had rolling around in my head for awhile. I am happy to report that after a few trials and errors everything came together just like I wanted.

First up is an embroidery floss holder. I have been doing cross stitch for a long time and have never found a sure fire way to organize my embroidery floss. I started out with a bunch of plastic bags on a big metal ring. I hated it because the bags would tear and it was big and bulky. Next I got some plastic pages that were made for this purpose and put them in two 3" binders. Yeah, that didn't work either. Everytime you moved the books things would fall out and they were impossible to store.

After the eight millionth time of moving these things I finally came up with something better.
It is awesome because I can just lay it out and pick which ones I want. They are in there tight enough where they won't fall out, but easy to remove. And when I am done with it I can do this:

Nice and neat and easy to store. It holds 102 cards which sadly is about 1/3 of my stash, but even three of these are easier to store and deal with then the two big binders I did have.

My next project was a coupon holder. I wanted something small that I could keep in my purse all the time. I had a big plastic one, but it was too big for my purse and I hated getting to the grocery store and realizing that I didn't have the coupon I needed.

This thing was a pain in the behind to get together. It still isn't perfect, but it works. It is nice and compact and fits perfectly in my purse.

Here it is all empty. The pockets are nice and wide so that I can get in and sort through the coupons without taking them all out.

And here it is with the coupons. I don't have a lot yet, but it will be nice to go shopping tomorrow and be able to find whatever I am looking for.

I have a few other projects in the works, but I think I am going to take a break from sewing for awhile and work on something else.