Friday, September 28, 2012

- a well needed reminder -

The little one in our house has been challenging lately, to say the least. Between her lack of sleep (yes, we are still dealing with sleep issues), and her turning 3 very soon (I've heard age 3 is worse than 2!) she has been full of crankiness, punchiness, and straight out attitude. Last night was a rough one. The lack of naps in almost a week coupled with her constant night time wakings was getting the better of her, and she was just a pill last night. I was trying so hard to be patient, but I don't think I was very successful.

After I finally got her into bed, and listened to her cry and whine very loudly for almost 20 minutes, she finally settled down and fell asleep. Needing some mindless browsing, I logged onto FB, and saw a post from Shawna sharing this link. It was EXACTLY what I needed to read at that moment.

I'm not always going to be the perfect mom who doesn't lose her patience when dealing with a sassy toddler...but I CAN remind myself how fast she is growing up, and while I don't have to necessarily enjoy the rough moments of parenting, I can at least savor every day with my little girl, taking the bad with the good, knowing that someday I will look back on this time and wish I had it back.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

- my latest pinterest projects -

I'm not the most creative person in the world, so most Pinterest projects that I eagerly pin, I know I will never get around to doing. I did find a couple of easy ones though, that I was glad I tried!

Now, these are not the most original projects...okay, I'm sure you seen both of these projects a million times. But they were quick and easy, and that's all that mattered to me. Originality was not something I was too concerned with.

This first one is super some canvases from your local art/craft store, buy the fabric of your choice, and staple the fabric around the canvas. Seriously?? That's ALL there is to it!! (okay, well, you gotta iron the fabric if there's wrinkles, but that's really it).

I love how they turned out! They added some color to our otherwise boring room (our room is a work in progress!)

(Please excuse the pictures...they are from my iPhone and then they were Instagrammed with a filter)

The next project was just as easy! It also involves fabric...and embroidery hoops (I used wooden ones, but you could use colorful plastic ones as well). Put the fabric in the hoop and cut the excess fabric that is sticking out. That's ALL there is to it! (okay, I did do a little more...I once again ironed the fabric and I also spray painted the hoops an ivory color before I got started). I love how the fabric compliments the colors in Ellie's quilt that is on her bed. 

(btw...yes, that is her video monitor in the corner above her bed, and yes, the cord is safely tucked into a cord cover that is nailed to the wall. We have made sure she has no access to the cord to prevent any cord accidents)

 I think I might want to add a few more hoops because it looks a little sparse right now. But I only had time to finish seven and I was getting impatient and was dying to get them on her wall, so right now, seven it is!

I know, I know, not the two most original projects, but I had fun with them, and they add some much needed color to both the rooms!

Monday, September 24, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Happy Monday!! Football Sunday is officially past us and it was a sad day in our house, as our team did not fair well yesterday.

But on to happier news, I'd like to introduce you to Jana from, An Unstyled Life. Jana is a part-time bail bondsman, a full-time event planner, a full-time social media manager and a full-time wife and momma. She mostly blogs about their life, but she's been known to blog about trashy reality shows (she's addicted!), maybe a little fashion, and pretty much anything that strikes her fancy.

(Image credit Jana)
Slow Cooker Three Envelope Pot Roast Sliders
1 3-4 lb beef roast
1 cup water
1 cup salsa
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 envelope Italian dressing mix
1 envelope Au Jus mix

Place roast in the crock pot, whisk together the water, salsa, onion soup mix, Italian dressing mix, and Au Jux mix in a bowl, pour mixture over roast, cook on low for 8-10 hours, high for 4-5 hours. Shred roast before serving. You're going to want to make the creamy chipotle sauce that Six Sisters made for these. All you do is mix 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp chili sauce, 2 tsp creamy horseradish sauce. Place open hamburger buns on a cookie sheet, place a slice of cheese on the bottom half of the bun (I would use provolone or swiss), and pop in the broiler long enough to toast the buns and melt the cheese. Once cooled enough to handled, spread the chipotle sauce on the top half, place a spoonful of the shredded beef on top of the halves with cheese, assemble the slider, and serve!

Sounds so good Jana! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! We're big fans of sliders at our house, so I will definitely be trying this recipe out! Jana loves finding new blogs, so go say hi so she can visit yours! You can also find Jana on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Friday, September 21, 2012

- no napping in this house -

This is what my stinker wonderful angel has resorted to doing instead of napping! 

(turn your volume all the way up for the full experience!)

(please note how she is clapping for herself  and saying "all right Ellie" after she successfully completes her somersault!)

Needless to say, sleep is not going any better in this house at the moment... least its Friday, right??

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

- the little one through my lens -

Here are a few pictures from my most recent "photo shoot" with Ellie. These pictures were a "collaborative" effort between myself and my amazing friend/photography mentor, Nina. My best pictures always seem to be the ones that are a "collaborative" effort with Nina....hmmm, maybe because she's amazing at what she does and totally knows how to take my pictures up to the next level! Thanks again Nina!

Monday, September 17, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Hello, hello and Happy Monday to you all! Today I am re-featuring a dear friend of mine, Ashley, who I've known for a few years as a real life friend, but who also happens to have a pretty awesome blog called The Pickled Bean.

I featured one of Ashley's recipes earlier this year, and I am so glad to have her back again! Ashley is a wonderful mom to two gorgeous kids. Taylor is their beautiful little girl, full of sass and charm, and Cooper is their little blessing, diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, and teaching them so much about the beauty of life, and bringing them so much joy! Ashley is one of the most positive people I know, and she is always so supportive and encouraging. She is always looking for the silver lining in every cloud and I absolutely love that about her!

(Image credit Ashley)

Ashley is sharing a great fall recipe with us today! This is not a recipe for the calorie counters, but it is warm and lovely on a crisp fall evening. As a working mom, Ashley loves having a comforting meal that she can toss together in minutes... and the whole family loves. I can't wait to try it out!

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
4 cups macaroni noodles
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
1 pound Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper -- Or any other seasoning you like, some like paprika, dried mustard, fresh nutmeg. My mom likes chopped white onion. To each there own here.

Cook noodles for 7 minutes, or 1 to 2 minutes less than the package instruction suggests. Melt the butter over medium heat until melted and add flour. Mix together until smooth and cook for a minute of two until all of the raw flour taste is gone. Add milk slowly and whisk on low heat until the mixture thickens. DO NOT LET THIS COME TO A BOIL. Season with salt and pepper or any other seasoning you would like. Take off heat and mix in all but 1 cup of your cheese. Spread in a greased casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. The last 3 or so minutes bring your oven to a high broil so that you have a nice crispy top. Serve with steamed veggies or a nice big green salad.

(Image credit Ashley)

Thanks again Ashley! Perfect fall recipe! Perfect football watching recipe! And super low calorie, low fat right?? ha ha!

Make sure you go say hi to Ashley if you haven't already done so before! She is definitely a super momma with tons of great craft, cooking, and fun ideas on her blog!

Friday, September 14, 2012

- summer bucket list update -

Okay, is summer officially over now? Please say no, because we haven't completed everything on our summer bucket list. Okay, it's kind of embarrassing, because I swore this year we would do better on crossing things off our list...and I don't really think we did!

I am determined to get some more of these things crossed off this list...even if summer is supposed to be over!

Arts & crafts with Ellie...getting a couple's massage (heaven)...watching a movie outside (courtesy of our outdoor TV mounted out on our patio...yeah, it's pretty dope)...visiting a local brewery (I stuck with wine, but Matt enjoyed the beer)....concert in the park (so much fun)...and a new tattoo (yes, yes...another tattoo...and I love it).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

- a fresh new look, and the giveaway winner -

How do you like my fresh new look? 
I absolutely LOVE it! So crisp, and's so me!

A couple of weeks ago, I reached out to all of you to ask for some recommendations for someone who could redesign my blog. One of my long time (and super sweet) bloggy friends, Tori, from Eye Candy offered to redesign my blog, and I just had to take her up on it because I trusted her so much! This gal is the cutest! And she is so good at design (as you can see). She absolutely nailed my style on her first go around....and, she was so, so, so, so patient with me! (Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an absolute perfectionist with every little detail...and poor Tori had to deal with me through the whole design process. Sorry Tori)! Oh, and Tori was FAST too! I expected it to take weeks and weeks...try 3 days! And that's only because I made her go back and forth trying out a million different things since I was so indecisive. She finished so quickly! I was very impressed!

If you are looking for a blog design, you seriously need to contact Tori. She's professional, talented, and will get your blog done quickly! I promise, you won't be disappointed!

(If you are reading this via, google reader, etc..please open up my actual blog to admire my new look!) 


Now onto the exciting news of the giveaway winner!

The winner of the $25 Scentsy Gift Certificate (randomly picked by Rafflecopter) is....

Entry #57- Susan Huber-Peck
(Susan, I will be contacting you via email to get you all of the gift certificate details)

Thank you so much for everyone who entered and promoted the giveaway! 
And a huge thank you to Ashley for the giveaway prize!

Monday, September 10, 2012

- quick recipe of the week -

Are you ready for some football?

 Have I told you how excited our household is now that football is back? College, NFL, we like it all! My hubby actually mounted an "all weather" outdoor TV on our patio right by our fire pit, just in time for football season. It's gonna be the best place ever to watch games, all the way through January!

Although I do always have to have a moment of silence for the passing of summer...Summer, hands down, is my favorite season, and I am always a bit nostalgic when the days start getting shorter, and the weather starts getting cooler. And technically summer can't be over yet...because there are so many more things we have left to do on our summer bucket list! An update to our list will be coming this week!

For now, here is a perfect fall recipe. I made it last week, and I have to say, it was super, super easy, and really good! It freezes well too, so this would be a great meal to make and freeze for later...or to deliver to a new mom who needs "easy to warm up" food to fill their freezer.

I found this recipe over at Danavee's blog, The Vintage Grove. I actually featured her a couple of weeks ago and this was the originally recipe that led me to her blog in the first place! Enjoy!

Sour Cream Noodle Bake
1 1/4 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
onion powder (to taste)
8 oz. egg noodles (I used whole wheat)
3/4 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cup small curd cottage cheese
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the beef and drain fat. Season the beef with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Add the tomato sauce and let simmer for about ten minutes. Cook egg noodles as directed on the package. In a medium bowl, mix the cottage cheese and sour cream together. After draining the noodles, stir them into the sour cream mixture. Grease a 9 x 13" dish. Layer half the noodles on the bottom of the dish. Cover the noodles with half the beef. Then add a layer of cheddar cheese. Repeat each layer using the rest of the ingredients. Bake for about 20 minutes.

(Image credit Danavee)

It was definitely tasty...and a perfect fall, football watching, kind of meal! You could even throw some spinach in there to add some greens, if you want to be a little more healthy, while you're watching your football games! 

How many of you are football fans? College? Pro? Or do you dread the beginning of football season? 
(I know there are some of you out there that do!)

P.S....Don't forget about my Scentsy giveaway!!! Share the giveaway on your blog, twitter page, or FB page for some big time entries!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

- happy birthday to the world's best -

he is our hero...
...our everything.

Happy Birthday to the world's best husband and daddy! 
We love you so much!

(Image credit Nina S)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

- fabulous scentsy review and giveaway -

 I was recently offered a chance to review some fabulous products from Ashley, who sells Scentsy products. If you haven't heard of Scentsy yet, you are definitely missing out!

Scentsy Candle Products are a safe alternative to scented candles! Scentsy Warmers melt and warm the wax releasing the fragrance into the air which means – NO BURNING. This makes your home safer for you, your family and pets. Scentsy Warmers never get too hot to pose the threat of fire. The Warmers are safe to have around children and pets!

I have been wanting to try their products for some time now, and just never got around to placing an order through a Scentsy rep. When Ashley approached me and asked me to do a review, I was honored and super excited!

Ashley sent me the Full-Size Angora Warmer, and three different Scentsy Fragrance Bars to use in my warmer...

The first thing that impressed me was the amount of care that Scentsy put into their packaging. The Scentsy bars are made of wax, and they are shipped in a freezer bag with ice packs, specially made to keep the bars cool and prevent melting. All of my products came intact, and in perfect shape!

Everything about Scentsy products are straight forward and easy to use. I unwrapped the warmer, screwed in the warming light bulb, placed a fragrance bar in the warmer, and plugged it in.

Within a minute or two, I began to smell the fragrance. It was strong enough to be noticeable, but not too overwhelming. The scents I had were from their Spa Collection and they definitely were pleasant. I kept it plugged in for over two hours, and I never noticed the smell disappearing. I like that about a fragrance unit. I can't tell you the number of times I have used scented candles, or Glade Plug Ins and find the scent is pretty much gone within 30 minutes!

Overall, I was extremely satisfied with my first experience with Scentsy. I would definitely recommend Scentsy to anyone! Well worth the money! Of the three fragrances I tried, I would have to say "Be Still" was hands down my favorite one! I am really excited to try out more fragrances in the future and I will definitely be ordering more. With Fall quickly approaching, I am so excited to order some fragrances from their Fall and Winter Collection. Nothing sounds more inviting than making my home smell like Honey Pear Cider, Frosted Ginger Cookie, or oh my gosh....wait for it...Caramel Pear Crisp!

Overall, I would say the only challenging thing about ordering Scentsy products is having to pick out the fragrance by simply reading the description of it online. It is a little challenging to imagine what each fragrance will smell like. However, I am sure once I get more familiar with their different fragrances, I will quickly figure out which ones are my personal favorites!

Thank you so much Ashley, for allowing me to review Scentsy! And there's more! Ashley would like to give one of my lucky readers a $25 gift certificate to use on her Scentsy Website so that you too can try out Scentsy!

There are 7 different ways you can enter the giveaway and some will give you multiple entries! The 2 mandatory entries include following my blog via GFC (if you are not already a follower) and visiting Ashley's Scentsy Website to take a look around.
( TIP- to view and/or buy Scentsy Products from her website, click on the second tab labeled "Buy" and then on the next page, click "No, continue shopping" on the right hand side, halfway down that page).

This giveaway closes on September 11, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. (EST)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 3, 2012

- taking a quick recipe of the week break today -

Sorry folks, but I got so caught up in the long holiday weekend that I completely forgot to write up my recipe post for today. Instead of rushing to do it, I decided to just take a break this week! 

So I guess you can blame me if you just don't have anything new to cook this week...
Give yourself a break and go out to eat instead! 

Happy Labor Day!

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