Thursday, January 31, 2013

"Energy Bites" (AKA, "guilt-free" treat)

I pinned these from my friend Jessica.  I was looking forward to trying them as soon as I saw that they "might taste like a healthier version of a no-bake cookie."  Sold.  

(The original recipe can be found here.)  I made mine with:
1 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed 
(I goofed and didn't grind mine, so my first batch was more crunchy...)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla

Stir everything together and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.  Roll into balls (about 1 inch in diameter).  Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

They are a yummy little treat!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blogo #2

Clare's Rainbow Birthday Cake

Today is the 2nd birthday of this little blog!  I was encouraged to start this project of sorts 2 years ago and have been glad I took the plunge and did it.  It has been rewarding to see my blog grow, a fun way to keep my family up on what we have going down, and lets me be creative in my own way on a day to day basis.

A big thank you to all who have stopped by my neck of the blog world, commented, followed, shared, and encouraged!  Looking forward to what lies ahead!


Monday, January 28, 2013

DIY Boot "Socks"

My mother-in-law l-o-v-e-s her boots.  For her birthday I made her these boot socks/cuffs after seeing them for sale on etsy for $20 a pair.  (I found the idea and tutorial on making them here.)

First, I found 2 sweaters at my local thrift store.  (One was brand new from Target!)  I specifically looked at the sleeves on the sweaters to make sure they were wide enough to wear as a sock, and looked to see if the cuff would work in a "sock-like" setting...  

After washing the sweaters, I cut about 6 inches of each sleeve off each sweater.  

Then, I sewed a hem to the cut edge so it would not fray.

And...that was it!  
Total cost for 2 pairs of boot socks: $7.    

 I thought they looked pretty cute with skinny jeans and boots, but without the bulk of wearing knee socks.  (They probably look good with leggings, too, but my preggo self has me avoiding anything that tight right now...)

PS - I'm looking for a handful of guest post-ers over the upcoming weeks/months.  
Please contact me if you are interested!

Linking here.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mr. Snowman

We ventured out in the cold to the library the other day and had fun with this craft.  We have had cold temperatures, but not many  flurries.  (OK with me, not so much fun for those that are itching to use our sleds!)

To make the "snow" for a snowman, mix equal parts of white glue and shaving cream.

Do not make the mistake of tasting it like Ellen did...

...because in no way will it taste good.

We piled the snow on the outline of a snowman, then added accessories.  

He's nice and fluffy like real snow...and maybe was a foreshadowing of yesterday's weather!?!?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup {Crock Pot!}

I recently had this soup at someone's house for lunch and everyone agreed that it.was.delicious!  And we alllllll asked for the recipe, especially since it was served out of a crock pot!  The hostess found the recipe here.  I made it and kind of tweaked it a bit...

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (8 oz.) package mushrooms
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 (14 oz.) cans chicken broth
3 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained *I am not a fan, so I omitted these*
2 cups cooked brown rice *I used leftover rice*
2 cups whipping cream
optional garnish: toasted slivered almonds

Add olive oil to large skillet on medium heat.  Cook celery and onion, then add in mushrooms, and garlic.  Cook until softened.  Combine this mixture, chicken broth, chicken breasts, frozen corn, and water chestnuts in crock pot, cover, and cook for about 6 hours or until chicken cooked through.  Uncover and shred chicken.  Stir in cooked rice and whipping cream.  Cover and cook to warm newly added ingredients.  Garnish if you wish.

This is delicious....both the smell of it cooking and then once it lands in your belly.  Enjoy!    

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pretty Pedi

Dear Clare,

Thank you for my unsolicited pedicure.  It was nice to be pampered, but I'm secretly thankful it's not flip-flop season.  


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Social

Making the Sunday Social rounds again with Ashley and Neely...

Sunday Social

1.  Top 3 favorite kinds of food.
(Even though I'm tempted, I don't think it counts to just say chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate...)
1 - I like Mexican food.
2 - I could also eat a double cheeseburger from Swensons (local hamburger joint in my hometown) at any given moment.
3 - And Ryan says I spot any kind of grilled chicken or pasta (or combination of both) off a menu.

2.  First 3 things you do in the morning.
Use the bathroom.
Wash my face.
Put my eyeballs (contacts) in.

3.  Last 3 things you do at night.
Check to make sure the doors are all locked and the garage doors are closed...sometimes I do that 3 times.
Check on the kiddos.
Put on chapstick and hand lotion.

4.  3 TV shows you NEVER miss.
Modern Family is pretty much the only show I watch on a regular basis.  Clare and I have been catching Property Brother together lately.  Other than that I really don't watch a lot of TV.  I might catch the news here or there.  

5.  3 places you want to visit.
Ireland/England on some empty-nester dream vacation.
Family trip to DC when the kids are old enough to appreciate it.

6.  3 people you can always count on.  
My parents.
A good handful of friends that we have been blessed to know as our roots here have gotten deeper.

Have a great Sunday!  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Week in Review

Happy Friday to you!  Linking up with Jen with a rundown of our week...

--- 1 ---
Someone hung up his shirt after Mass on Sunday!  All by himself!  (Can you tell??)  With no one asking him to do so!

He also put the toilet paper away for me after grocery shopping...his idea!  And it was stacked up nice and neat!  (I admit I had low hopes in how I was going to find it arranged.)  There is a light at the end of the tunnel! 

--- 2 ---
I love my OB.  (So much that I log 75 miles driving to and from his office for my appointments.)  I had a said appointment on Monday and Jude and Ellen came with me.  (I'm not totally crazy - I knew this was a quick check-up and I planned to head to an indoor play area after the appointment.  Of course said play area is closed on Mondays.)  Anyway, Jude has been very affectionate toward his unborn baby brother.  My OB witnessed his curiosity at my appointment and let him "help" with the ultrasound machine and take some pictures of the baby.  Needless to say Jude was very proud to be the assistant.  (Also needless to point out is that this baby has a full head of hair.  No surprise since all older siblings have been born hairy!)  

--- 3 ---
Since I'm on the subject of my kiddos, I will brag and share that Clare brought home a great report card on Tuesday!  Lots of "outstandings" and "very goods" and comments of praise about her improvements since the last quarter.  And she tested into a 3rd grade reading level.  We are passing 1st grade with flying colors! 

--- 4 ---
Current/interesting cast of characters on Jude's bed right now: Murray from the Wiggles, Batman, and Baby Jesus.  Not sure what else to say about that...

--- 5 ---
Ryan and I celebrated our 9th anniversary yesterday.  While hanging out in Clare's room with Ellen, I noticed what she wrote on her calendar on January 17...  She is very sweet.

"Anniversary of Mommy and Daddy."

--- 6 ---
Jude enjoyed "Beach Day" at school yesterday.  He wore his bathing suit, a rash guard shirt, flip-flops, sunglasses, and brought in his beach towel.  Of course Ellen also had to dress in her beach apparel when we dropped Jude off at school.  I think she was only slightly confused though when I brought her home to take a nap and we didn't end up on a sandy beach.  

--- 7 ---
I will send you off to the weekend with the current You Tube craze around here.  Don't worry, it's only 5 seconds of your life to waste.  I won't tell you how many times I've had to watch it...

Have a wonderful weekend!  

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happy #9!

9 years
108 months
468 weeks
3,288 days
78,912 hours
4,730,400 minutes
284,083,200 seconds
...and counting!

Happy 9th Anniversary, Ryan!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dinner for a New Mom (and Family)

I recently took a meal to a family that had a new baby.  (What's better than receiving a homemade dinner delivered to your door??)  Here's what I brought for dinner...

Fresh pineapple ready to eat.  I always like having fruit cut up and ready to eat in the fridge after having a baby.  Makes me feel like I'm headed toward massive weight loss.

Black bean and corn salsa with tortilla chips.

Dessert.  (This was around Christmas, but I think any type of dessert is always welcomed by a nursing mother!  If you gave her fruit, she deserves something sweet, too.)

I brought everything in disposable containers that didn't need to be returned and didn't need to be washed.

I doubled the main entree so my crew had the same dinner that night.  Easy for me, too.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hooded Towel

One of the things Santa brought for Ellen this year was a full sized hooded towel (AKA a "big girl" towel).  Clare and Jude each have one and love them.

(Clare has enjoyed her Pottery Barn Kids pink elephant towel for awhile...)

I Mrs. Claus found how to make a hooded towel on pinterest (found here) and got to work.  (Although I did somewhat of my own version on this.)  The whole project took all of 30 minutes tops.  (And that included setting up the sewing machine in the kitchen while Ellen napped and the older two were at school...I love afternoon preschool!)

The hooded towel is made from a hand towel and a regular size bath towel.  I washed both before sewing.

Fold the hand towel in half.  Fold so the right sides are facing in.  Measure and mark 10 inches from the bottom and 10 inches from the open fold.  (You are making a 10 x 10 inch pocket for the hood.)

Follow your markings and make a square by sewing across and then sewing down.

Cut off the excess material and turn the hood right-side-out.

Next, find the middle of the bath towel.  Open the hood and center it on the bath towel.  Pin the bottom of the hood onto the towel so that all seems face inward.  Sew the hood onto the towel.

All finished and someone is l-o-v-i-n-g her new towel!  

Thanks, Santa!  :)

Linking here.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Social!

Linking up with Ashley today for another round of the Sunday Social!

Sunday Social

1. What is the name of your blog?  How long have you been blogging? 
The name of my blog is making it feel like home.  
I have been in the blogosphere for almost 2 years.

2. Why do you blog?
For me, it is a creative outlet and is my little project that keeps me busy.  It is also a way for us to keep our out of town family updated on what we have been up to.

3. What is the first blog you ever followed?   
I love the simplicity, order, and love Sarah gives her home and her family.  I actually wrote her an email once and she was so kind and wrote back!

4. What is your favorite post you wrote in 2012?  
I'm going to give a tie on this one...
The most exciting post for me personally was an announcement I made in November.  (See here.)
But I also give favoritism to my post about our "frosted" windows since it has been my most viewed page of all time.  Holla!  (See here.) 
5.  What are your blogging goals for 2013?
To simply be myself.  

6. Name your top 3 favorite blogs.
Can't leave it to just 3...some of my favorites are:

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Things He Says...

We love our self-named "Best Guy" as well as some of the things that come out of his mouth...

"Mom, spiders aren't insects.  They're arachnids."

"Your belly looks like a big hill.  And your back looks kind of fat, too."  (Makes my self-esteem go through the roof!)

"Excuse me.  Watch out.  Kid coming through."

"Mom, I'm just going to rub my baby brother's back for awhile."  (Said while rubbing my stomach.)

"What are these 'ankle-helpers' doing down here?"  (Referring to old crutches in basement storage.)

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

We were gifted a Christmas ham again this year by Ryan's boss.  I made ham and navy bean soup with some of it the other day and it was delicious!  And perfect for the cold January weather we've had recently.

Ham and Navy Bean Soup
1 cup dry navy beans
2 cups cubed ham
1 Tbsp. butter/margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups sliced carrots - optional :)  

Rinse beans.  Combine beans and 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Let stand covered for 1 hour.  Drain and rinse beans, set aside. 

In a large pot melt 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine.  Cook onion and celery, add cubed ham.  Cook until softened.  Stir in beans, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and 5 cups of fresh water.  Bring to boiling, reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 1 - 1 1/2 hours (or until beans are tender.)  

Add carrots if desired.  Simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.    

**For other ways we've used our hams in years past click here.**  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bathroom Update...and Something for You, too!

A few months ago, we painted our downstairs half-bathroom grey.  

Most recently we (finally) hung some new things behind the toilet...  

The shelf is from Hobby Lobby (purchased with a 40% off coupon of course!) and the
print is a custom 5x7 from Delivered by Danielle on etsy.  

The best part about the new decor is that Jude really is washing his hands without being reminded every time he uses the restroom.  He told me he doesn't need me to remind him because now he has the sign to tell him what to do.  Score!  

And here's a score for you, too.  Delivered by Danielle is offering my readers 20% off an order through January 31, 2013!  Just use the code "LIKEHOME20" for your discount.  She has lots of cute prints available.  View her etsy shop here.     

Friday, January 4, 2013

5 Things I'm Loving

Linking up with Julie today for the first edition in 2013 of 5 Things I'm Loving Right Now...

1.  Catching Clare reading on her own.  She's reading more and more and it's fun to find her wrapped up in a book.  

2.  The weather.  It may be 18 degrees outside, but that means dry heat inside, even with the humidifier on in our house, and that means my hair couldn't be enjoying better days!  Selfishly loving some good hair days.

3.  Early bedtimes.  School started back yesterday, and with our recent travel and overall Christmas/New Year's exhaustion, everyone has been in bed by 7:30PM at the latest.  (New Year's Day some were under the covers at 6:50, which means I hit the pillow early, too!)

4.  Christmas gifts yet to be enjoyed:
Subscription to the Magnificat from my in-laws and gift certificate for a mani/pedi from my parents!

5.  Jude talking about how much fun he had while visiting my family over Christmas.  (Confession: when asked what he liked so much about our trip out of town, his response only mentioned playing with all of the toys that are at Grandma's house, mostly the action figures he discovered this past trip.) 

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013


In an effort to drink more water during the day, I've been filling up this mega 32 oz. hospital mug (c/o Ryan's 2011 appendectomy) in the morning.  It sits on the kitchen counter and is a good reminder for me to hydrate throughout the day.  (Of course others have been helping themselves, too.)    

And I always get excited about filling in my new calendars.  I like the design on the small one I bought.  I'm too left-brained and I need to write everything down with paper and a pencil.  My brain won't function off of the calendar on my phone.  

And Clare's enjoying her 2013 calendar, too!  Like mother like daughter...