Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Sundae to Make a Little Girl Smile!

We stopped at Bruster's last night on our way home from gymnastics.

My little gymnist wanted the brownie sundae.

It didn't look that big in the picture!

No. She didn't finish it. Daddy did but Mommy got a bite!

Have Fun!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday ~ Sept. 28th!

Wow! It's Monday already and you know what happens on Monday!

I join Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie for her Menu Plan Monday Party. Last week there were 430 bloggers who joined the party! Now that's what I call a party!

Here's my menu for the week:

Monday - We are going to Chili's for dinner to support St. Jude's Research Hospital. Today all Chili's give 100% of their profits from today's sales to St. Jude's. If you are able, take your family to a Chili's near you to help find a cure for childhood cancer.

Tuesday - Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup with fresh baked bread.

Wednesday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn. (Yes, this was on last week's menu but we surprised Curtis for his birthday and met his family out for dinner so it was on my menu because he reads my blog.)

Friday - Homemade Pizza

- Grilled Chicken Salads (Pittsburgh style)

- Pork Tenderloin, with Lemon-Butter Red Potatoes and green beans.

Have Fun!
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Little Stroke of Luck!

This happened a while ago and I forgot to share it with all of you. I found this picture when I was going through some pics in my files.

I bought some Schwebel bread one day. There was this little ribbon of extra plastic where you twist the bread shut. I looked at it and it was for a contest. I thought, what the heck, I'll send in an index card with my name and address on it. I never gave it another thought. Well, guess what???

Yes! I won!! Quite a while later, I received a letter and a $50 VISA Gift Card! I couldn't believe it! I was SO excited!

You see. I am not the lucky one in the family. Curtis and Allison are...especially Allison...you can read about her winnings here and since that post, she's won two more door prizes! So. If anyone wants to join us on a trip to Vegas when Allison turns 18, let me know because I've started a list. :)

Since my little win earlier in the year, I've entered more of those easy contests. I haven't won anything yet, but who knows.

Have Fun! Pin It

Friday, September 25, 2009

Recipe Crazy!

I've been a little recipe crazy lately!

I've been posting recipes over at my cooking blog. Baked Potato Soup, Cornbread, Amish Peanut Butter just to name a few and there's more coming!

You can find the link over there. --->

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Little Guy Needs Our Help!

This is Carson.

He is the nephew of a friend of mine.

Last October at 3 1/2 years of age, Carson was diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma cancer.

He had surgery to remove the tumor and sadly it came back in the Spring of this year while he was undergoing chemo for the first tumor. In June he had brain surgery to remove the second tumor and his chemo had been extended for that tumor.

Today, his parents received the devastating news that there is a third tumor.

This child and family have been through so much in the last year and still has so much more to go through.

It just breaks my heart.

Carson's Mom and Dad are amazing and doing everything they can for this adorable little guy but they need our help.

I believe in the power of prayer and we need more people praying for his recovery. So please, please, please. If you are reading this, please say prayers for him and his family.

Thank you and God Bless! Pin It

Taking a Spin with my Lettuce!

I'm linking up with Kristen over at "We are THAT family" again for her weekly blog party of "What Works for Me Wednesday." If you need things working for you, click on over there when you are done here to see what works for others.

My friend, Sherie, and I were talking a while ago and the subject of a salad spinner came up. I never really thought much of them...just another kitchen gadget I didn't need or have room to store. Sherie said she couldn't "live without my salad spinner!" Wow! Maybe it's something to look into!

Well. I did. Look into it that is and I decided that I just couldn't justify spending twenty or more dollars to spin my lettuce dry.

Well patience is a virtue, right? Or maybe frugality is...I'm not sure but waiting worked for me and so does my salad spinner!

This is my salad spinner. It's a Tupperware one. It's retail price was $37.50. Wowza! I know! Crazy!

However! I picked mine up at Goodwill and let me tell you I don't think it has ever been used. Well okay...maybe once but it looked brand spankin' new!

Are you ready for what I paid for it???

Are ya?

::::drum roll please::::


I know! I couldn't believe my luck too!

By the way, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my salad spinner and to quote Sherie "I couldn't live without my salad spinner!"

Mine even has a lid that keeps the lettuce fresh in the refrigerator if you don't use the whole head. I just chop up the whole head, put it in the spinner in ice cold water and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then I dump out the water and take my lettuce for a spin. Oh my! The lettuce is crisp and dry. I'm definitely loving my salad spinner!

If you decide to get one, just remember NOT to open the lid until the inner basket stops spinning. If you do, you'll have lettuce all over the counter and floor...although your 8 year old will find it "hilarious"...mine did!

Have Fun!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What's for Dinner, Mom?

I know making your own chalkboard has been done and overdone in blogland but I finally got around to making one.

I have this space on the end of my cupboard which is the first thing you see when you walk into my kitchen. It's boring. I've changed what I've had there many times...never being satisfied. I can't have anything too thick because you could hit it with your shoulder if you walk to close to the cupboard.

So while perusing the Goodwill store, I found this picture. Isn't it pretty? Well. I'm sure it was at one time but now it is quite faded. However. It is the exact size I was looking for and the frame has a low profile. Yes! It's perfect for what I had in mind! Score! I paid my $2.99 and went on my merry way!

I took it apart, sanded the frame a little and then spray painted it bright red with a $1.00 can of spray paint from Wal-Mart. Yes. I know I dislike Wal-Mart but it beats paying three plus dollars for a can of spray paint at some other places. I painted the frame with 3 coats of spray paint and after it dried, I sanded it lightly with 120 grit sandpaper. After wiping away the sanded dust, I took basic acrylic black craft paint and watered it down. I painted over the sanded frame with a sponge brush and then wiped it off immediately to obtain a streaked look.

I also spray painted the glass with chalkboard paint...four coats. For those of you who don't know, you can get the chalkboard paint in spray or liquid and use a brush to apply it.

I'm planning on repainting my kitchen and changing it up a bit. I wanted to introduce a red/burgundy color as an accent color. This frame came out exactly how I had imagined it and I'm very pleased with the results.

Here is my cupboard before...
...and here it is after.
My plan is to write my week's menu plan on it but I only have sidewalk chalk right now and the lines are too thick. As soon as I get to the store for smaller chalk, I'll post our weekly menu for the family. This will help me too because right now, I have to run to the computer and pull up my blog to see what I'm making for dinner! Oh, the memory is going!

*I'm linking up with Kimba at A Soft Place to Land for her DIY day.

Have Fun!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday ~ Sept. 21st!

I'm a little late in posting my menu for this week. Last night I started to get a sore throat that has lead into a cold today so food isn't exactly what I've wanted to think about. However, what I've learned in the past few weeks, having a menu in place cuts down on my "what to make for dinner" stress. With that being said...here's my menu for the week.

Monday ~ Tuna Noodle Casserole (yes, this was on last week's but we had Chinese take-out one night so I never made it.) and green beans

Tuesday - Chicken Fajitas

Thursday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn.

Friday - Homemade Pizza Night.

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - Chicken Parmesan (again, this was on last week's menu but I never made it because I actually made Chicken Marsala as a surprise on Sunday for Curtis' birthday), over angel hair with tossed salad.

Be sure to click on over to Laura's blog, to see what others have planned for their week and some amazing recipes. There were almost 400 menu plans posted last week! Amazing! I think one of these weeks, I'm going to do a week of recipes that I find from posters on her blog.
Have Fun!
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ice, Ice, Baby!

Okay. Corny title, I know. I'm sorry but I couldn't resist!
I'm joining Kristen over at "We Are THAT Family" for her blog party of "Works-For-Me Wednesday."

Before I share what works for me, I want to be clear that this is not my original idea. Nope. I blog-thefted it off of several blogs! Quick! Hide me before the blog police come and take me away!

Enough of this silliness! On to my tip!

I have this fear of not being able to keep my sweet Allison's lunch items cold enough. It's not that it keeps me up late at night but I worry. What can I say? I'm a Mom. Isn't it my job to worry?

So. I've had this ice blanket for a couple of years just hanging out in my freezer. Yup. It just sits there until I'm ready to use it. Truth be told, it's only been used once. :( It's a little too big for the insulated lunch bag that I bought for myself so I don't use it.

HOWEVER! Some Mom (because you know it had to be a Mom) out there in blogland, decided to cut the little cubes apart to make mini ice packs! I know! Ingenious! She deserves a Gold Metal...whoever she may be!

Well! I ran right to my freezer and grabbed my scissors, cut some off that too big of an ice blanket and LOOK what I have now!!!! Mini ice cubes!!!

I scored double with this AWESOME idea because now not only do I have mini ice cubes but I have a smaller blanket that fits in my lunch bag for when I go back to work. Oh gosh...that time is coming soon. Please excuse my tears...I'll be fine. Okay. Let's refocus here. The mini ice cubes fit perfectly into the compartments of her new Bento Box. Look at the pic below. One fits perfectly in the smallest box so now my baby will have ice cold grapes or whatever I put in her lunch.

Now that you are done with my tip for "Works-For-Me Wednesday", click on over to Kristen's blog and see what works for hundreds of other Moms!
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rest in Peace Patrick!

Patrick Wayne Swayze
August 18, 1952 ~ September 14, 2009

I was saddened to hear of his passing but I also felt a sense of relief from the pain for him. He fought a long hard battle for 20 months against his pancreatic cancer. He is now with his maker and in peace from that horrible disease.

Sleep with the angels, Patrick and thanks for wonderful entertainment you left for us.

You will never be forgotten.

"It's amazing, Molly. The love inside, you take it with you. See ya."
Patrick Swayze as Sam Wheat in the movie, Ghost

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Menu Plan Monday ~ Sept. 14th!

Wow! It's been a little boring around my blog the last couple of weeks! Since Curtis reminds me often that I haven't posted, I better get to it!

Before I post my weekly menu, I posted a few weeks ago what I thought would be our last rose of the year. However, my little struggling rose bush decided to surprise us with her beauty this week. She produced only two roses this year. Curtis cut one and we left the other one the bush. Here is the one we cut to bring in and enjoy. Isn't she beautiful??

Now on to our menu for the week! Don't forget to click on over to Laura's blog, Organizing Junkie, to see what others have planned for their families this week. You can get some great ideas and recipes by checking them out!

Monday - Southwest Chicken with oven fries and corn.

Tuesday - Crock Pot Swiss Steak.

Wednesday - Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Thursday - Smoked Sausage, Potatoes, Peppers and Onions.

Friday - Homemade Pizza.

Saturday - Chicken fries, macaroni and cheese and baby carrots.

Sunday - Baked Chicken Parmesan, pasta and green beans.

Have Fun!

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Menu Plan Monday ~ Sept. 7th!

It's Menu Plan Monday again at Organizing Junkie! Stop over there to see what other busy Moms have on their menu this week!

I'm so glad that I started doing my weekly menu plan again last week. It was SO nice knowing what I was making for dinner...one less thing I had to think about during the day!

Here's this week's:

Monday - Kathy's Delicious Whole Slow Cooker Chicken This is a new recipe for me. I've never done a whole chicken in a slow cooker but we are not going to be home during the day so I thought I would try it. I'm hoping it's a home run! I plan on serving Rice Pilaf and Green Beans with it. By the way, if you have a recipe for a whole chicken in the slow cooker, please let me know. I would love to try your recipe!

Tuesday - Steak Salad -Pittsburgh Style (for those of you that don't know, we put fries on top of our steak salads here!)

Wednesday - Mesquite Marinated Pork Chops with Roasted Potatoes and Lima Beans.

Thursday - Baked Shrimp with Broccoli Cheese Rice and Steamed Broccoli.

Friday - Homemade Pizza.

Saturday - Breaded Chicken Breasts, Mashed Potatoes and Corn.

Sunday - Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Tossed Salad and Fresh Baked Italian Bread.

Have Fun!
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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Do You Love Ice Cream?

If you love ice cream, you'll need to stop over at my cooking blog today.

I've posted the most sinfully delicious and easy ice cream dessert!

Make one for your Labor Day picnic!

Your friends and family will love you even more than they already do!

Have Fun!
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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Mom's Secret Weapon!

Run! I have a weapon!

Well not THAT kind of weapon!

If you know me and my Allison personally, you know that I struggle with getting her to eat. She's been fluctuating a pound up or down around the same number for over 1.5 years. Our goal was 40 pounds. She got there but now she's back to 39.8. We just can't get her to stay at 40 or above. It drives me insane!

It's not that she's a picky eater. She just doesn't eat. She thinks it's boring. She thinks it's a waste of time. She would rather be doing something else. That's it plain and simple!

This is definitely NOT what I expected from a kid of mine!

She's in 3rd grade and most of the Kindergartners are bigger than she is. They have to give her a special desk/chair combination in school so she doesn't look like Goldy Locks in Pa Pa Bear's chair.

So. Anyway. In the September issue of Family Fun Magazine (my favorite magazine and if you are not getting it, you are missing out!), they showed a "Bento Box" on page 54 as one way of packing a healthier lunch for your child. I saw it and immediately thought it could be this Mom's secret weapon in getting Allison to eat more at lunch!

Here it is below. The thing I like most about it is that when she pops the lid, all of her food is there in front of her. Every item is on a level playing...er...I mean eating field. You see she tends to open one zipper bag and nibbles a bit and then doesn't bother to open anything else up. This, of course, frustrates this Mother when most of the food she packed comes home to her at the end of the day!
I'm hoping she'll consume more because it's all there and so cute in the bright pink compartments. It's just more fun! Right? Oh and the thing that really appealed to her was that it is earth friendly. No more plastic bags or plasticware filling up the landfills since it comes with it's own little fork and spoon! She loved this idea! Over the next couple of weeks, Allison and Grandma will be making fabric napkins so she will be even more earth friendly!

A little more about the box...two of the containers comes with lids so if you are packing something wet, it won't spill out. It also comes with a cute little dip container for sauces or salad dressings. They are not just for kids either. When I go back to work, I plan on purchasing one for myself. They are perfect for portion control and also makes you think if you've packed yourself all the food groups.

If you are interested in getting one for yourself or your child go to Laptop Lunches, they explain everything on their website. They even have a very extensive photo gallery with suggestions and ideas. At first I thought it was a little pricey but then I thought of the cost of buying a new lunch box every year, all the baggies and wasted food, and decided it was worth it. I also did a search online and found a promo code to get 20% off. If you need help finding a code, let me know and I'll try to see what I come up with.

Have Fun!
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