Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February By Phone Photos...

 Haven't you ever let your 3 year-old go to the mall in the middle of winter in full beach apparel?  Complete with googles and wingies??  I wish I could say we didn't turn any heads that day.   

Clare made the "Handwriting Wall of Fame" on the 100th day of school!  

Ellen is into her babies...and their clothes. 

"Shelly" put on her uniform and went to school with Clare for "Show and Tell."  

Sister bonding time.  

Someone can climb the bunk bed said ladder has been removed for awhile.

The glider can really wear you out! 

This 1984 Transformer movie has been a HUGE hit lately.  
Many thanks to our local public library!

Love Clare's latest piece from art class!

Happy Leap Year!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cinderella Project

I read about the "Cinderella Project" in our local newspaper a few weeks ago.  The goal of the project is to help provide formal dresses, shoes, and accessories to underprivileged teen girls for their prom (or other formal event).  The project is sponsored by various organizations across the U.S.  Gently used, clean dresses can be donated to this effort.  

Yesterday I was happy to make a donation at our mall for this cause!    

(Love this dress...but I was 4 weeks postpartum when
I originally wore it, and I haven't worn it since.)

Go to to see if there is a "Cinderella Project" is in your area because prom season will be here soon!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monogrammed Wall

After giving our downstairs bathroom a fresh coat of paint, I started a "monogram wall"  behind the toilet.  I recently finished it up and like how it turned out.  

(Although Jude told me that a plate hanging on a wall is "weird" and suggested I take it down.)  

I found most of these at Hobby Lobby and Michaels.  
I printed out the one on the top right on card stock in a font 
that I liked and slipped it in a 40% off frame.  

And I still need to do something with the one on the bottom right.  
(Or find the time to do something with the one on the bottom right...)

PS - Here's a neat way to find new apps that you may like for your iphone, ipad, or android...check out appSmitten here!
*Disclosure - I receive a small payment for new newsletter subscribers.*

Linking here.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hearty Black Bean Soup

This soup is very easy to make and very tasty!  (It's one of our favorite Lenten dinners!)  
We like it paired with cheese quesadillas. 
(Or if you're having company, serve it black bean and corn salsa or Mexican corn salsa!)    

Hearty Black Bean Soup
1 cup tomato salsa
2 - 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups (1 can) chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 tsp. lime juice (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream (optional)

Heat the salsa in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring often for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the beans and broth.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the soup, covered, for 15 minutes.

let the soup cool slightly, then ladle half of it into a food processor or blender and puree it.  Return the pureed soup to the pot.  Stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro and heat the mixture through.  Serve the soup warm, topped with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Linking here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012 day late.

Here's why...  Ryan had his hernia surgery on Friday and things went downhill at our house quickly from there.  While his surgery went well and he is healing fine, I became increasingly sick after he was home.  Saturday landed me in my doctor's office with scrips for Tamiflu and a narcotic cough medicine.  As my luck would have it, the side effects I got from the Tamiflu were the nausea and vomiting.  Thankfully I finished that prescription yesterday and was able to nap here and there (something I normally never do).  The kids have also been exchanging a fever/cough/runny nose, so I haven't had anyone to pick up or drop off at school...(or sleep much at night).  

I *think* things are on the upswing here.  So today I will finally be putting Valentine's decorations away (sorry, neighbors!) and getting "Lent" out.  

Here are some things we have done in the past that our kids enjoy and we find meaningful for Lent:  

And last year I bought this lamb at the Dollar Store and tied a purple ribbon around it.  It sits above my kitchen sink and is a simple way for me to remember what Lent is about. 

Here's hoping our Lent finishes out stronger than it started!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog Hop

I hope you are enjoying your weekend!  I am excited to co-host this blog hop with Kelley from The Grant Life!  Hope you can make some new friends today!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Prayers please...

...for Ryan who is in surgery today.  As if the appendectomy of 2011 wasn't fun enough, he's having hernia surgery today.  I'm just thankful this was scheduled...and not the week before Christmas!

I'll be perfecting my nursing skills, and patience, this weekend.

I also have to say that we have the most thoughtful friends and family who have
been so kind to offer us meals and childcare this weekend.



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Another Lost Tooth!

Clare lost another tooth this week!  She is 3 for 3 in having Ryan pull/help them out.  (She always wants him to yank them out for her...I was never that brave!  Mine would dangle by a thread for days!)  And she is always SO excited about the whole ordeal!    

She looks too grown up with this tooth missing!

Clare was excited to use the Tooth Fairy bag that I made for such occasions. 

(Click here to see how we made our's.)   

And the Tooth Fairy even left some "fairy dust" on the floor in Clare's room!  There was lots of excitement the next morning!  (Especially since she noticed it on her own - score!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Guest Posting Today

I'm happy to be over at The Grant Life today sharing my "Labor of Love" story about Ellen's arrival!

Kelley was so kind to include me in her series on labor and delivery stories.
I'm also excited to be a part of her "Mommy Panel."
(more info here)

So grab your coffee and head over to The Grant Life with me!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope your day is filled with love (and chocolate)!  

And if you are looking for a last minute gift...go visit eighteen25 for this cute (free!) printable:


(You can choose from yellow, grey, aqua, or red.  I printed a grey one out for our anniversary...but still need to frame it!)  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chinese Cole Slaw

This is one of Ryan's very favorite foods.  I have been nice and made it twice recently.
Hope you like it, too.

Chinese Cole Slaw
For dressing:
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup of sugar
3 seasoning packets from chicken flavored ramen noodles

Mix the dressing ingredients and let marinate overnight. 

Combine the dressing with these remaining ingredients:
1 cup glazed pecans (optional)
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 bads of cole slaw mix
10 - 12 green oinions
3 bags of ramen noodles

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

True Story

So Modern Family was (finally) new and that got priority over anything exciting happening over here...

Can't stand up Phil Dunphy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tissue Paper Wreath

This is my Valentine's wreath.  Total cost: $4.  

Here's how to make your own...

You will need:
1 wire hanger
2 packages of tissue paper, any color

Take a wire hanger and form it into the shape of a heart.  
Next take your tissue paper and cut into strips about 6 inches long by about 1 inch wide.  
Take one tissue paper strip and twist around the hanger like you would do so with a twisty tie.  
Repeat around the entire wire heart.  

Keep bunching your tissue ties together as you go.    

This one is red because it's one my neighbor made after she saw mine!  :)  

Hang and enjoy!

PS - Speaking of all things "love"...stop by The Grant Life for this week's "Labor of Love" story by Amanda.

Linking with these parties.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

He's Growing Up...

We went to the library the other day and these are the books I picked out for Jude:

And these are the ones that he picked out for himself:

Looks like we aren't exactly on the same page anymore...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Glowstick Valentines

We made Clare's valentines for her class this year.  They were so easy to make and turned out really cute!  Clare is very happy with them, too.

Up close...

I decided to do the picture vertically to try to prevent the glow sticks from snapping and "activating."

You can go to to add text to a picture (for free...and right now they have FREE access to all of their premium designs).  I had a 60% off coupon for prints from Walgreens.  Then I grabbed 2 packs of glow sticks from the Target dollar aisle.  We cut a slit on the top and bottom of her hand in the picture and slid a glow stick in.  

Total price for her Valentines with treats was under $4.

And here are all the funny outtakes.  Maybe I'm bias...but she's too cute.  :)

(PS - I'm happy to be handing out a non-candy treat because if people are like us, they still have candy canes in their pantries!)  

Linking with these parties.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mexican Chili

This has been our new favorite chili this year.  It would be great for the Superbowl on Sunday!

Mexican Chili 
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
28 oz. diced tomatoes (2 14oz. cans)
15 oz. canned kidney beans  
17 oz. whole kernel corn with juice
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 package of taco seasoning mix
3 cups vegetable stock

 Brown ground beef and onion.  Drain fat.  Add remaining ingredients.  Simmer for 1 hour.  Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or tortilla chips.  


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Homemade Window Cleaner

We have had an unseasonably warm winter this year (unlike the snowpocalypse of last year!).  So we spent some time outside yesterday morning and then...I got the urge to do some early spring cleaning, specifically windows.  I had windex on my grocery list, but wasn't planning on doing any shopping yesterday.  So I made my own window cleaner and it worked very well!

Simply combine equal parts white vinegar and water.  You can also add a few drops of dish soap or liquid castile soap.  Pour everything into a clean spray bottle and shake to mix.    

I did the 4 downstairs windows facing the east side of our house (even though you're not supposed to wash windows on a sunny day) and we enjoyed the winter sunshine even more!  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Trivia Night

Happy Wednesday!  So here's my little announcement...Kelley over at The Grant Life has asked me to be part of her Mommy Panel and her "Labor & Delivery" series.  I'm up in a few weeks, but Jill from Two Yellow Birds Decor is starting things off today.  
You can check out the first post of the series here.     

And one of the nice things about being a parent is when grandpa and grandma babysit the kids...  
Our good friends were so thoughtful and hosted us at their trivia night table over the weekend.  (They must not have known how bad I am at trivia...although Ryan always makes up for us!)  

The "theme" for the night was Hollywood so we chose "Singing in the Rain" for our table.

The food was amazing (thanks to Mickey!).  Although my cookie typo was not so amazing...

Delicious and festive cake balls!

We looked so awesome in our matching rain coats that we were awarded an honorable mention!  

(Back view.)

Unfortunately that wasn't the only thing we were awarded because we came in...last!

Nonetheless we had a great time!  Thanks again for a fun evening, Steve and Mickey!