Thursday, April 28, 2016

Teacher's Appreciation is Coming!

 Teacher's Appreciation is here once again and it's so much fun!  Teacher's need to feel loved on.  They have the hardest job taking care of our littles and big kids, teaching them, loving them, and dealing with all the politics and pressures that come with their job.  They work way more than they are paid for in order to make your child's day fun and enriching.  Last year, I got the fun job of organizing our Parent Club's celebration for the teachers and I created some tags to go with some treats that were put in their boxes each morning. 

At the bottom, you can find the links to each printable.  Feel free to print out some and use them to bless your teachers!  Please use them for personal use only. 

You can find more printables & ideas here, here, here, and here

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Connection Time!

Well, it's safe to say that we are starting to countdown to summer!  We are incredibly ready for lazy mornings and adventure!  Today, my oldest actually got up and got ready without dragging.  I think it had something to do with his field trip to a local gymnastics place, because I know if given the opportunity he would stay in his pajamas and watch a good show curled up on the couch with his favorite blanket.  He is is mamma's child.  Mornings are hard. 

But, we are pressing in and enjoying a beautiful spring.  It might even rain today. . . I emphasize might, because it is slightly breezy out and crystal blue sky out there. (UPDATE: I took a break and went and picked up Ethan from school. . . it went from sunny to stormy with a snap of the finger!  Bring on the Hail!)  Baseball is in full swing and I am having fun watching Ethan try something new.  He's having fun!  We're having fun!

Today, I just want to catch up and get connected with everyone.  I started this last month and I would love to hear what you guys are seeing, doing, thinking.  Join in the fun on Facebook or in the comments. 

 Here's what's happening in my word. . . 
Outside my window...The sky is getting super dark and the wind is blowing.  I am pretty sure that I will have to re-sweep the patio after all the bottle brush needles fall to the ground.  I am love a good storm!

I am thinking...That there is a good chance that I should finish making my list for this week.  I know I am going to forget something! Oh, and next week is teacher appreciation week. . . please spoil your teachers. . . they need love!

From the kitchen... This week, my kids have devoured there way through a batch of pumpkin muffins.  Right now, there is carne asada marinating, and beans in the crockpot, and some bananas screaming to be made into banana bread.  I also made a very large batch of cold brew for an upcoming gathering of ladies. 

I am pants and a sweatshirt.  I got up and got 2 miles in this morning, and have been working like a crazy person trying to get cleaning and school in. 

I am creating...Right now there are some top secret things happening in the craft room.  I am also working on Teacher Appreciation stuff for Ethan's school for next week.  It's safe to say, that the craft room is crazy right now!

I am going... sit here and enjoy the quiet, while I sip the latte I just made.  I've got tired kids and I just waiting for a meltdown to happen (and praying that it doesn't!). 

I am reading... I just started a book by Dee Henderson, called Full Disclosure.  It's one of those books that's just been sitting there waiting for me to pick it up.  It might get put down for a bit, because when it comes to fiction, once I start, I have a hard time stopping.  Anybody else have that problem?

I am hoping...that it rains.  Maybe even a power outage. . . that would be awesome. 

I am hearing... the clink clink of legos and the wind blowing.  I can't hear my washing maching going, so I should probably get up and go switch it over. 

Around the house... A few piles, evidence of Weston learning about flowers, fresh flowers that I bought yesterday, and clothes that need put away (why is this so hard?!?!). 

One of my favorite things...My husband's gas grill.  I won't lie.  We are charcoal people, but I am loving the gas grill.  I use it way more than my husband and seriously, it's one less pan or dish that I have to clean.  I think that's why I use it.  Plus, the meat comes out so moist and juicy this way!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Breathe.  It's going to be busy, but I am going to breathe and get what I can get done done.  Wow.  Weird sentence.  Sorry about that. 

What I'm listening to:  I'm not listening to much this week.  But, I have watched all of season 2 of Girl Meets World. 

So, now your turn:

Copy and paste your favorite, or all of them and try it out in the comments:
Outside my window
I am thinking
From the kitchen
I am wearing
I am creating
I am going
I am reading
I am hoping
I am hearing
Around the House
One of my favorite things
A few plans for the week
What I am listening to 

Happy Connecting! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Living Room Fun!

 I still sit in shock that we bought a house 6 1/2 years ago.  When we bought this house, Ethan was 2 and we were slowly outgrowing our 2 bedroom upstairs apartment.  This house was not my most favorite of all the houses we looked at, but we loved the area of town, the school our son would attend and quite honestly, my best friend lived (and still does) 2 minutes away by car.  Our very amazing realtor and my husband kept reminding me of the potential of the house, because it was hard (at that time, I wasn't watching a ton of HGTV shows!). 

Our home is a 1966 Headliner home.  It has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a living room/dining room kitchen and family room.   Our kids share one bedroom and we use the other one as an office/craft room. 

Today, I share with  your our front room.  This is my favorite room and it took a long time.  We don't ever do a project without the money to do it.  We aren't going to go into debt to make our home amazing, but we do want to have a home that welcomes you in and makes you feel comfortable.  
 This is how it looked when we first moved in.  All the windows had already been changed out to Dual Pane (another one of the selling points to this 1966 home).  The white paint was old and had scuff marks all over it (you can't tell in the pictures. . . it wasn't that pretty!).  It was also really hard to arrange our furniture with the layout of the room.   And that carpet (yep. . . it's orange!)!  Eventually our sectional couch moved to the family room and for awhile there were just book cases in here.  When we hosted Bible Study, we sat on the floor.  It really wasn't comfortable.  Oh, and the drapes came with the house. 
In Spring after we moved in, we painted as many rooms as we could.  The walls just screamed, "paint me!"  And paint is super cheap (compared to other projects).  It was also 6 years ago, when painting crazy colors was a little bit more trendy than it is now.  Even so, we painted it and Jon picked the color and it is wonderful.  A year later, we bought the couches and chair and then last summer, we redid the floors.  Our home, I think, will always be a work in progress.  I don't mind.  

I think one of my favorite parts of this room is the collage wall.  It took awhile to talk my husband into it, but once he saw my vision, he started hammering.  We still have a few things to add here and there, but generally, this is our finished room.  I can't wait to show you the rest!

Paint:  Midnight fog, by Valspar
Couch, chair & ottoman: Ektorp, by IKEA
Bookcases w/glass doors: Billy, by IKEA
Expedit: also IKEA, but now they have the Kallax, like this one
Flooring:  Costco's Honey Maple Laminate Flooring
Coffee Table and End Table: Hemnes, by IKEA
The side board and shelves are all Target.
Rug, Nate Berkus for Target (no longer available, but the small one is)

Monday, April 04, 2016

What's for Dinner {Catching up edition}

It's been a while since I've posted a "What's for Dinner" post, but I thought I would do a quick catch up really quick.  I've made a few new things the past few months, but there are have also been some lazy weeks and I think one week we just weren't home that much.  There have also been some repeats from previous "what's for dinner" posts like Pioneer Woman's Simple Sesame Noodles and this BBQ chicken (it's my go-to recipe now!).  So here are 5 of the meals that stuck out to me as Yummy! 

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

This recipe was amazing.  I probably won't use anything else but this from now on.  I used two pork tenderloins and it made the meat so flavorful!  We made tacos and taquitos out of the meat and even froze some for a quick dinner another night. 

Honey Soy Chicken
This recipe took the place of one that I had planned and then decided not to do it after all.  It was quick and easy and pretty flavorful.  We had it with rice.

Everyday Meatballs
When Dee at Smitten Kitchen blogged about these, I knew that they had to be on our menu the following week!  I ended up making a double batch (we will be eating them tomorrow night, in fact!) of the sauce and meatballs, so I could freeze some.  We made meatball subs the first time and tomorrow night, we will use the sauce for our Spaghetti.  I can't wait to eat them again! 

Lemon Chicken Fettuccine (Dairy free!)

This was delicious!  No one even noticed that there was no cream used in the making of this dish!  We will definitely try it again! 

Bacon and Avocado Macaroni Salad
My  husband doesn't eat mayonnaise or avocado so I have to make recipes like this when I have friends over for lunch.  This one was delicious and super simple.  I can't wait for another excuse to make this! 

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

If you are looking for more yummy recipes, if you look below there are links to other posts that are similar.   Usually other what's for dinner posts are down there.  Soon, I will have a whole page for you to go and click on the links.  What meals have you been making?  Please post in the comments!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Let's Catch Up & Connect

Where did last week go?  We stayed home all week long, but I never got a blog post posted.  Sad face.  I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!  We are getting back into our daily routine (one that does not include sleeping in!).  Yesterday was sooooo hard for all of us.  Last week, I was looking at some really old posts and found something that I had started doing way back when Ethan was a baby (and now he's 7!).  I thought it would be fun to start it up every now and then.  And then you can pick one or all of them and post yours in the comments.  I would love to hear what's going on in your life.

Outside my window... roses are blooming, leaves are rustling and the sun is streaming in.  It's a beautiful day outside! 

I am amazing it would be to shut my eyes, but I need to make dinner soon and take care of some things first.  Oh, and I really need to get organized and make a list. 

From the kitchen... nothing much going on this week.  In fact, the kitchen is a disaster and will be cleaned today.  I am grilling up some BBQ chicken thighs for dinner, as well as Damn Delicious' Pesto Asparagus Pasta Salad.

I am pants, an old t-shirt and a hoodie.  I have no make up on because I got up 15 minutes before heading to the lab to get some blood work done. 

I am creating... Oh man, I have so many works in progress and things to start it's crazy.  Like I said, I need to make a list. 

I am going... to work out tonight and make that list I keep talking about.  I am also getting to share a little of me with some college girls tomorrow night.  It's all about mentoring and It's going to be awesome! 

I am reading... through my Bible Study book, Glory Chasers, written by a sweet friend.  I also am working on finishing For the Love, by Jen Hatmaker. . . it's almost done!

I am hoping... to try out another batch of macarons.  I bought a food scale, so I am excited to see if it makes a difference.  I am really loving the challenge!

I am hearing... kids playing and birds chirping.  Oh, and a dog barking.  It's actually pretty quiet around here.  We call this time "Quiet Time" so the kids are in separate rooms doing a quiet activity.  In reality, they are resting and giving me some peace. 

Around the house... piles. piles everywhere.  Definitely need to clean house.  It's driving me crazy!

One of my favorite things... Right now I am really enjoying fresh flowers.  It really livens up a room and just adds some freshness and beauty to the room.  I also am so excited for season 2 of Fixer Upper on Netflix. . . we are HUGE fans.  I think having coffee with Joanna would be a dream!  I'm even trying to talk Jon into shiplap. Oh, and have you seen the new vintage inspired Pyrex at Target?  Oh my, I think I'm in love!

A few plans for the rest of the week: survive?  Make a list.  I think that that would be the first thing to do.  I feel like my thoughts are scattered and I am going to forget important things! 

What I'm listening to:  This week, I am blasting Greater, by  Mercy Me and Holy Spirit by Francesca Battistelli. 

So, now your turn:

Copy and paste your favorite, or all of them and try it out in the comments:
Outside my window
I am thinking
From the kitchen
I am wearing
I am creating
I am going
I am reading
I am hoping
I am hearing
Around the House
One of my favorite things
A few plans for the week
What I am listening to

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pi day pie

I'm sure that you all have heard by now that it's that day that makes math fun and worth eating pie for.  I think it gets more and more popular each year because PIE!!!  Seriously, it's also potato chip day, did you know that?  Probably not, because it's PIE day!!!  It's a big deal in our house, because my hubby is a math guy and well. . . mathies (is that a word?) do Pi!  

This year's pie is awesome!  My husband said it was really good . . . and rich.  So, if you are looking for something quick, easy, and richly delicious, you've come to the right place!  I actually made this pie Saturday for a memorial service (there was a ton of pie!).  

And because it's Monday and my body is exhausted from a fun weekend & that horrible time change, I am just going to let the pictures speak for themselves.  But, really this pie is awesome and it's easy and you could totally whip it up right now and impress your family with awesomeness. . . oh and this would be super tasty with a big scoop of vanilla on the top. . . just sayin'! 

Did you make a pie?  Or eat potato chips?  Comment in the comments! 

Chocolate Chip Pie
From Nestle

9 inch pie crust
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325.  Beat eggs in a mixer on high until foamy.  Beat in flour and sugars.  Beat in softened butter.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spoon into pie shell. 

I used a frozen pie shell I found at Target for this recipe because I didn't want to worry about losing my pie dish.  You can also use the roll out dough. . . or if you want to make it a little bit harder, make your own crust. 

Bake for 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack. 

Other pies ideas 
Peanut Butter Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Skillet Apple Pie
Apple Danish Cheesecake
Brownie Truffle Cups
Strawberry Rhubarb hand pies

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Let's have coffee and chat. . .

This is me.  Having coffee and chatting with you, because it's been a few weeks since my last post (sorry about that, by the way!).  It's spring here and with that came full blown allergic mess.  I had the worse cough and all I did was sit around and drink tea.  I felt completely fine except for the breathing part. . . that was hard.  So, I didn't function for about a week. . . I kept the kids alive. . . that's really all that mattered.  And so, once I did feel better, my house was a complete disaster!  So, I spent last week digging myself out of the mess that had established itself during my state of ick.  So, now, here I am trying to get back into the swing of things and get things blogged.  I have a long list now of things to share with you.  So, here's some things that have been on my mind. 
I attempted macarons today.  This was my second attempt. . . this time chocolate.  They didn't quite come out right, but they taste wonderful.  The ones I made before Christmas were almost perfect.  I should find that recipe and try again with those. These ones are chocolate with a chocolate buttercream.  So.Very.Delicious.  I normally like the look (and taste) of ganache, but I was out of heavy whipping cream, and really wasn't in the mood to run to the store. 
Have you heard of Ello glass bottles?  I have a few and they are amazing.  But, I am really more of a straw and lid kind of girl, becuase it's a whole lot easier to drink as I am walking around the house (you really don't want to see me drink and walk at the same time. . . it's not pretty!).  I got super excited when I saw that they had finally came out with a straw bottle (I find them at Target. . . because I kind of live there. . . ha ha ha).  It's definitely not perfect, but it works just for at home.  The lid is not super secure, so if you like to toss it in your bag. . . probably not a great idea.  I keep mine on my kitchen counter so when I walk by, I can drink.   I am horrible at drinking water and this helps me. . . especially when I put fruit in it. 
Target (seriously. . . I may have a problem!) started carrying Ben & Jerry's dairy free ice cream and it's delicious.  I was kind of dissapointed, because they use chocolate with soy, so Weston can't partake. . . but more for me!  It is really good! 
And finally, we started a new study this week and it's written by my friend Dorina!  I am looking forward to seeing and understanding the Glory of God better. 

Okay, so now that I have chatted your ear off, I am going to go and get dinner ready. . .


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