Social Icons

Down And Out

I weighed myself this morning, after 7 days of Jillian's 30 Day Shred, and I didn't lose anything but my motivation.  I'm rather frustrated, to say the least.  Today I'm still sick, still super tired and then add the lack of weight loss on top of it and I don't want to even think about going downstairs to work out.  9:00 and 10:00 came and went (both deadlines I set for myself to go downstairs and workout) and I haven't budged from my chair except to wash up a few dishes and make Bren and me some lunch.  But I am not going to give up, so after I pick up Aiden from school I'm going downstairs to exercise.  I AM!!!

Wish me luck,

Rainy Days & Mondays...

It's a dreary day and I have no energy, which means the housework isn't getting done.  I have a bit of a cold that is dragging me down a bit, too.  I did manage to exercise with Jillian this morning, day 7 for me.  Wow, I've never stuck to an exercise program this long before.  I know, 7 days is a really short amount of time, but for me to keep at it is huge to me!  I had to force myself to do it today.  All I wanted was to lay on the couch while Bren watched a movie with the hopes of catching a few zzz's.  Instead I reminded myself that I have a pair of jeans I want to get into, I have a trip I want to look good for, and I have a wedding I am now doing the readings for that I want to look good for.  So downstairs I went.  It's funny how once you get going it doesn't seem so bad.  I've heard people say that before and thought they were fibbing but it's true for me. Tomorrow I weigh in, I'm anxious to see what happens. 

Quick question -- at what age do you tell your kids no more baths, showers only? 

Talk soon!

What's On The Menu? Monday -- Hamburger & Cheese Dip

This dip is known as 'Linda's Dip' in our family, because it's my aunt Linda's signature potluck contribution.  And it is everyone's favorite!  I have made it on a Sunday night for an easy supper and both my boys love it.  I made it yesterday for our Daytona Party (don't get me started on that, darn rain!) and Andy and I finished it off for supper last night.  Here's the deal:

1 lb Velveeta cheese (holy moly has Velveeta gotten expensive!!)
1 10.5oz can chili no beans
1 10oz can tomatoes and green chilies (I use Rotel)
1 T Worchestershire Sauce
1 T Chili powder
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained

Easy shmeezy, you just dump it all together into a crock pot on high for about an hour.  After it's all melted and stirred together well turn it down to low so it doesn't burn.  Then grab your bag of tortilla chips and dig in!  Yum, yum, yum!

Oh, and if you like it spicier you can adjust the chili powder and use the hot Rotel.  Happy dipping!


P.S.  My birthday was amazing this year!  My boys all spoiled me rotten and got me the green, cast iron, enamel coated 6 qt dutch oven I've been drooling over for quite some time.  Plus flowers and a book, but the dutch oven is my favorite gift!  I can't wait to cook a roast in it tonight!  Talk soon!

They Say It's My Birthday (na nah nah nuh nah na!)

Yay!  Tomorrow is my birthday!  I love my birthday which is why I celebrate a birthday month, and since it's Leap Year I get an extra day to celebrate this year!  Anywho, it's not just my birthday tomorrow, it's also my sweet little Grandma's birthday (the one I address these to).  She passed away almost 4 yrs ago but if she were still here she'd be celebrating her 90th birthday tomorrow. 

I always felt so special sharing my day with her.  My mom told me once that she didn't want my mom to have me on her bday because she didn't want me to have to share my special day with anyone.  She couldn't have been more wrong than that.  Sharing my birthday with Grandma is my favorite gift every year.  I miss her so much.

Grandma spoiled me rotten (as much as she could, she wasn't the type to spoil someone with money and gifts).  She gave me her antique doll stroller that she played with as a little girl. She also gave me an amethyst ring that Grandpa had given her when they were first married (our birthstone).  Her and I had a special connection and we used to write each other letters, even though we only lived 10 miles apart and saw each other almost weekly.  When I went to college we wrote every week.  I'm glad I saved those letters, they're fun to look back on. 

Here's a photo of the two of us together.  I'm not 100% sure how old either of us were in this pic, but I'd say I was maybe 7??  Happy Birthday, Grandma!  I miss you every day!


Ho-Hum Day

I'm having writers block today (i.e. I don't have anything to talk about.)  I'll be back tomorrow with something to say, I promise! :)
This is an image I found on Pinterest, thought it was a funny kids' costume.  Enjoy your laugh!


Pillowcases & Jillian

2 years ago my other grandma (an amazing quilter) made Aiden a pillowcase with John Deere material.  He loved it!  So last year I thought I'd take a whack at making one for Brennan.  I found some super cute material that had little, cute, green frogs on it for the accent piece, and a blue and yellow stripped material for the main part of the pillowcase.  I loved how it turned out and it was one of the easiest sewing projects you can make -- perfect for any of you novice seamstresses out there.  Anywho, I thought it'd be fun to make a girly pillowcase for my niece (turning 3 next month) since she still uses a boppy as a pillow.  So I found some super cute material at a nearby quilt shop yesterday and, during Bren's nap, whipped it up.  I.LOVE.IT!!!  I want to sleep on it, it's so cute!  Nora's going to have some super sweet dreams on it.  Here are 2 pics.

Nora is very into pink right now, so that's what I initially went in looking for, but this yellow material with the bright flowers and butterflies caught my eye and made me think of her bold personality.  So I pulled the pink into the 2 accent materials.  What do you think? Will she like it?  Seriously, it took me less than an hour.  Only 3 seams to sew.  Brennan liked it too...

He fell asleep on it last night when watching TV!!  He kept talking about Nora Jean's pillow.  :)  I hid it after we took him to bed so he could't/wouldn't claim it as his own!

On a different note, I started Jillian Micheal's 30 Day Shred yesterday.  Ugh, I am so out of shape!  I tried this before and didn't make it past the first level.  I did it for about a week and then just stopped, I don't remember why.  Probably boredom.  So, I am giving it my all this time.  I AM going to do it every day for 30 days (or longer).  Last night was day 1 and I DIED.  I kept imagining myself in a pair of jeans I have that I'd love to fit back into.  I kept telling myself to keep at it so when we got to Las Vegas in a few months I can lay by the pool with 2 skinny minnies we're going with.  It helped.  So this morning when I did it again it was HARDER than last night's.  But maybe because I was a tiny bit sore from last night's trauma. :)  But I tried the same tactics to motivate me and I made it through again.  I took my measurements and weight this morning and will keep track of those throughout.  I think I'll weigh myself every Wed but only measure myself at the very end.  My goals: lose 5 lbs, lose 5 inches.  Wish me luck.

Talk soon,

Birthday Prep

I finished up Brennan's birthday invitations yesterday and stuck 'em in the mail today.  They turned out so cute!  I'm going with a farm theme because he loves spending time on Papa and Mama's farm and he loves playing with his animals, barn and tractors.  I found a link on Pinterest (if you haven't joined Pinterest yet you need to ASAP) to make a barn shaped cake and chick, pig and sheep cupcakes to go with it.  It gave me the inspiration to make a 3D barn to sit on top of a cake where I can stick some of his barnyard animals and tractor on.  His party is 2 weeks away so you'll have to wait til then to see my creation.  But the original cake my sister and I are going to split doing for Bren and my niece's joint party.  She's taking the cupcake animals and I'm doing the barn cake.  Can't wait to do them!

Here are his invitations.

Ok, seriously, I can't figure out a.) why it's sideways, and b.) how to rotate it on here!  Sorry!
I wrote the 'song' on the back, was inspired by this website.  This is also where I got the barn image.  And here's the link for the barn cake.

Have a great day!

What's On The Menu? Monday -- Ham & Cheddar Cups

Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to tell you that our Mustache and Mullets Party was a hit!  We were a bit bummed because 3 couples backed out at the last minute and one of our best friends and his girlfriend couldn't make it, but the crew we had here was a hoot!  We laughed the entire time and had so much fun.  We had 2 guys here without their gals so when we paired up for the Newlywed game they were a 'couple' and they took it and ran with it.  It was so much fun! 
(That's me on the right, I drew on a mustache w/ eyeliner)
Now for the recipe!

Ham & Cheddar Cups
2 C finely shredded cheddar cheese
2 pkgs (2 1/2 oz) thinly sliced deli ham, chopped
3/4 C mayonnaise
1/3 C real bacon bits
3 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tube (12 oz) large refrigerated flaky biscuits

Mix together all the ingredients but the biscuits.  With those, you can peel them apart in layers, so peel them into 3 layers, then put those layers into a mini muffin cup pan (ungreased).  Stuff them full of the cheese mix, bake at 450 degrees for 9-11 min (golden brown, cheese melted).  YUMMO!!! 

They were so super easy and tasted to me like a Loaded Omelet Biscuit at Hardees.  I thought they'd make really easy and yummy breakfast biscuits, just mixed in some scrambled eggs and halve the amt of cheese.  Oh, and I think the next time I make these (Sunday for the Daytona Race!!!! Can't wait!) I'm going to use 3 pkgs of the ham to boost that a bit.  These seriously melted in my mouth.

Have a great afternoon, talk soon!

Party Time Flop

I love having parties and I hate having parties.  You plan and plan and plan, invite and get rsvp's, buy ingredients to make amazing dips and snacks, clean till your fingers bleed, then 2 days before the party those who said yes they'd come start dropping like flies.  So our party of 11 is now a party of 5 - wha wha whaaa. Whatevs, we'll still have a good time and there will still be good food to eat. 

Here's what I'm making for the party, I'll share the recipes later. 

Ham & Cheddar Cups
Hot Chicken Dip
Celery w/ PB (have to throw one healthy thing in there)
Cookie Dough Brownies 
Vodka soaked Gummy Bears (a Pinterest find)

We always have a theme for our party, which always falls around Valentine's Day.  This year's theme is Mustaches and Mullets.  Previous themes have been The 80's, a Redneck Wedding (the year I was 8 months pregnant w/ Brennan -- I got knocked up so we had to hurry up and get hitched!) and a Luau.  All have been fun, it's amazing how people interpret these themes and come dressed to impress.  This years we went with an easy theme, just throw on a fake mustache or mullet and go.  Who knows what next year will bring.

Well, have a great weekend.  I'll be back Monday with a new recipe (from above) to share.

The Things They Learn In School...

OMG!  I cannot BELIEVE the nasty things kids learn at school from their friends.  I remember all too well the awful things I learned on the bus - swear words, about sex, about violence - so I shouldn't be too surprised that Aiden is learning bad words at school, even though he doesn't ride the bus.  When he was 3 in preschool (at a Catholic School, no less) he learned the naughty phrase 'G. Dammit'.  Last night, while playing the Wii with Andy he yells out "Take that you pussy!".  Holy cow.  Andy stopped the game right away and asked him where he'd learned that.  Aiden cowered, knowing he was in trouble so didn't want to say.  He finally told Andy a kid at school said it at recess.  Ugh.  He didn't know it was a nasty word, now he does, so hopefully he won't be saying that one again. But what's next?  My 7 yr old nephew called his toys "F-ers" one day and that is definitely not a word his parents use -- I'm wondering why any parent would say that in front of their kids?  Obviously some parents do or Charley wouldn't have learned it from a kid at school. 

Question -- Do I tell the school or just let it go since we talked to Aiden about it and he knows not to say that word every again?


Happy Valentine's Day!

I love Valentine's Day, it's one of my favorite holidays.  Andy asked me today what I love so much about it.  Well, the colors (PINK! FUSCIA! BRIGHT RED!), the hearts, the extra hugs and kisses, and that it means my birthday is only 11 days away!  February is a great month for me, not just because of my birthday and VDay, also because my dad's birthday is this month, and I share my birthday with this Grandma I write these letters to, and it always, always warms up into the 40's at least one day this month, which gives us hope that spring is on it's way.  This year it's been in the 40's half the winter so it doesn't seem so necessary to have that 40 degree day this year.  Anywho, I love February and I love Valentine's Day!

This morning I dragged myself out of bed to make Andy (and the boys) a special breakfast.  I made heart shaped pancakes (panpakes is how Aiden used to say it, it's hard for me to say it the right way now).  They thought it was fun.  I also gave them some fun cards.  Brennan's had a monkey on it and he kept saying "My monkey is talking to me."  Hmm. :) 

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day and a happy February!

What's On The Menu? Monday - Scrambled Eggs

I know, Scrambled Eggs sounds like a funny recipe to share, but I believe my recipe is the best Scrambled Egg recipe EVER!  They're your normal, run of the mill eggs, but with one twist -- cheese!  So, here's what I do:

Scrambled Eggs A 'La Erin
6 eggs
1/2 c milk
salt and pepper
1 thick slice of Velveeta cheese (1/2" thick??)

I like to use my blender to mix the egg mixture, it makes them so much fluffier.  So, dump everything but the cheese into a blender, blend away for 30 seconds or so, then pour the mixture out into a hot skillet that has about a tablespoon of butter melted in it (medium high heat).  Turn the heat down to medium, then break up the cheese and put it in.  Stir the eggs and cheese until the eggs are cooked and the cheese is melted.  Serve and enjoy!

I'd say, depending on how much you normally eat, this will feed 2 adults or 1 adult and 2 kids.  I always serve mine with toast so I can scoop up a little egg onto my toast and eat it that way.  I hope you give this one a try.


Good Old Movies

A couple of weekends ago the movie 'Swiss Family Robinson' was on TV. 

 As a kid I loved that movie!  So I was so excited to be able to share it with Aiden.  He really liked it, although it got a little long in some spots for him.  Unfortunately we had somewhere to be so we only got to watch about half of it.  So I added it and 'The Parent Trap' with Haley Mills onto our Netflix queue and we've watched them both over the last week. 

I love, love, LOVE good, wholesome movies like these.  So good. 

Netflix has actually been a lot of fun for me, I've been able to watch a bunch of 'old' movies that I loved as a kid, such as 'Pillow Talk' with Doris Day and Rock Hudson (he's so dreamy!). 

And the added bonus is that Andy watched them all with me and liked them, too.  I'm glad we have access to these oldies but goodies.

Have a great weekend!

Kindergarten Racism

Last night Aiden told Andy that they played basketball at school and the teams' names were The Hawkeyes and The Mexicans.  "You know, like Mexican food!  Isn't that funny, Dad?"  It broke Andy's heart, because he knew it didn't mean Mexican food.  At first we weren't sure who to handle this.  1.) Ignore it.  2.) Tell him the truth.  So, I went with #2 and this morning had a talk with him about what that really meant.

Ok, ok, I am NOT that person that is PC (politically correct).  I say white, black, Mexican, sit Indian style, etc.  And I do not say them with any racism or derogatory-ness (I'm sure that's not a word, sorry) behind those words.  I'm a black and white kinda gal, meaning it's this or that, there's not a lot of 'gray' in my thinking.  I've never once been offended when called 'white'.  Now, I know there are some people that say these things with viciousness, I am not one of them, neither is my husband and neither will my children be.  SO, I was the one called upon to try and explain this to poor Aiden.  Ha!

How did it go?  I think ok, although that boy's mind runs a mile a minute and I don't ever know if he's really hearing me or thinking of what he's going to be playing with at playtime that day.  Basically I told him that no, it did not mean Mexican food, someone meant it in a mean way.  I told him we're all different, no one is better or worse than anyone else and we don't ever say mean things about people because they may act or look different than we do. 

Honestly, I didn't think we'd ever encounter this with our kids.  I naively thought our generation was past that and wouldn't be passing it on to our kids.  Wrongo.  Grr.  Seriously, can't we all just get along?  I did send an email to his teacher, she was not happy about the team name and spoke to the other kindergarten teacher.  They decided together to have a class discussion about this before recess today.  I'm anxious for Aiden to get home so I can find out what he learned from that discussion.  Hopefully he doesn't realize I'm the tattle tale.

Have a great afternoon!


Dear Grandma,

Somehow I got sucked in to watching The Real Housewives of Orange County.  During the afternoons they play back to back to back episodes.  I cannot believe people actually live the way these woman do.  It's unreal!  Not reality.  You can tell some of this is staged, some of this is acting and some of this is just plain not how it really happens.  But, it's entertaining and I'm watching it.  I've never seen so much drama, and I worked in a salon full of women!

It's a dreary day, hope the sun comes out tomorrow.  It's supposed to be colder this week (normal temps for once this winter).  I'm ready for spring, I'm really excited to get out in my flower beds.  They need to be dug up and re-worked because the previous homeowners didn't tend to them.  It's going to be a big job so I want to get started on it. 

Better get moving, talk soon!

What's On The Menu? Monday

Dear Grandma,

Ham Balls!  OK, so these are not the ham balls my high school served.  Those were salty and boring.  I have an aunt who says she hates cooking and doesn't do a lot of it (just basic meals) but I have about 4 recipes of hers that I use on a consistent basis, so she's doing something right!  One of those 4 recipes are these ham balls.  Not sure where she found this recipe but it's a goodie.  I serve it with either mashed potatoes or cheesy shredded hash browns (will make sure to add that recipe soon), and a veggie.  The glaze make the balls!

Ham Balls
1/2 # ground beef
1# ham loaf (my grocer stocks this, otherwise just ask at the meat counter)
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1/2 c oatmeal or cracker crumbs
Mix this together and form into 2" balls.  Then roll the balls in some flour, this gives them a little "crust" when you bake them.  Next, place them in a 9 x 13 baking dish.  The recipe says to chill for 2 hrs, but I've never done this and it doesn't seem to make a difference.  One quick tip here -- make a double batch and freeze half in the freezer.  Then you have a quick supper on a hectic night. Just increase the baking time by 15 min to allow time to thaw in the oven (or throw in fridge that morning to thaw all day).  OK!  Now,

3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 T dry mustard
1/4 c white vinegar
1/2 c water
Mix this together in a small saucepan on the stove, then bring to a boil.  BE CAREFUL!!!  This WILL boil over and it WILL be a headache to clean up.  So just keep a careful eye on it.  Here's another tip, I really like this glaze and I put my balls in a 7 x 10" dish so the glaze is deeper in the dish and doesn't seem to disappear like it does in the bigger dish.  So, if I do use the bigger dish I make a slightly bigger batch of the glaze.  Ok, now you pour that delicious, but STINKY, glaze over the balls, throw it in the oven and bake it at 375 degrees for 1 hour.  That stinky smells goes away as it bakes (it's the vinegar) so don't panic when you're boiling it and gagging, that's not how it tastes in the end. 

This is a super good, super easy dish.  It is fancy enough to make for Easter dinner or Christmas supper, but I make it monthly on a Tuesday night (or whatever night, what I'm saying is you can make it as an 'every day' dish).  I hope you give it a try!  If you do, let me know what you think.

One quick cutesie story about my Bren.  On the way home from the grocery store today I said to Bren "I love you!"  He said back "Thank you."  :)

Talk to you soon!


Dear Grandma,

Are you bored with this blog??  I think it's boring to look at, I should be adding photos every day but of what?  When making supper I never think to take pictures of a recipe I'm planning to share on here, I'm just concerned about getting a decent meal on the table before I hear someone whine about how they're starving.  I will try harder on that front. But what about the other days? 

Have a good weekend!

Super Bowl Sunday Plans

Dear Grandma,

The Super Bowl is this Sunday.  I remember when it was so important to either go to or have a party to watch the big game, this year we're staying home with just the boys and can't wait for the quiet evening.  I'm going to make some buffalo wings (saw a super easy recipe on The Food Network's Pioneer Woman show, also on her website, a hot cheese dip, popcorn, and some kind of bar for a sweet treat.  I love the food you eat at parties so we're going to do our own thing, make our favorites and veg out in front of our tv.  It's going to be so relaxing and won't rile the boys up so their exhausted on Monday, just in time to head to school. 

I saw a preview of some of the commercials on the Today show this morning, looks like there are going to be some fun ones.  I've been so disappointed these past few years in the commercials, hopefully they'll have some good ones Sunday.

What are your plans for the big game?  What are you favorite snacks to share at parties?


Freedom And Failure

Dear Grandma,

I'M FREE!!!  I finished my project at the bank yesterday at about 1:00.  When I walked out the door to get in my car I felt like running just in case they came out after me to ask me to stay a little longer!  So I hoped in my car and zoomed WalMart of all places.  But it felt so good to walk around there, by myself, with no time limits.  Then I went to my sister's to pick up Bren and since he was asleep sat there and chatted with her for over an hour.  That felt so good too.  So, freedom is wonderful!

I FAILED!!!  Remember on Monday when I said I was giving up pop?? Weeelllll....we went out for supper Monday night to Pizza Hut, and they took forever to come take our drink order.  So after waiting for over 5 minutes we got up and left.  I was mad, so when we did to get a restaurant that had a waitress who was on the ball I ordered a Mt Dew.  Then yesterday, when checking out at WalMart I saw the cooler full of delicious Mt Dew and bought one in celebration.  Then today, my first day of freedom, we went to meet Andy for lunch and I ordered another Mt Dew.  Ugh, I have no willpower.  Part of it is habit (we always pick one up when checking out at WalMart and I always order one with my pizza at today's restaurant), part of it is water is so boring!!!  I know, I know, what about wanting to just feel better?  I still do.  I hope with time it'll come. 

I'm off to enjoy my freedom,