Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My dead microwave

The other day I just wanted to microwave butter. So, I put the butter in a Pyrex measuring cup and set the time for 15 seconds.

About 3-5 seconds in the microwave session it started making a unit noise and then a funny odor started to tick my nose.

Well, long story short my microwave died. It was a very tragic time for me. I didn't realize how dependent I was on this modern convenience.

I bought individual microwave meals for the kids for lunch one day. They were begging for them. Well of course I couldn't cook it in the microwave. I tied cooking it on stove, but that just didn't work. The kids hated it and wouldn't even eat it.

We were very fortunate to find a friend who had a spare microwave we could have. Here is the old microwave, we bought it right after we got married.

Here is the scorched plate from the flames that were coming out of my microwave.

Here is my counter where the microwave set for the past 6 years.

Who new it could get sooooo dirty there! I promise I keep my counters clean, I know that is hard to tell from this picture. I never thought to clean under my microwave before! I probably won't again until the new one has to be moved. They are just big and bulky to move all the time! So I am sure my counters will look like this again in 6 more years! Just a vicious cycle.

Happy cleaning!!


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Monday, October 3, 2011

Easy Baby Shower Decor

A couple weeks ago I had a baby shower at my house. I drew my color scheme from the baby bedding my friend was using.

I had seen this cute yarn balls made from wrapping yarn around balloons, and thought they would be so cute for the shower.

They were definitely a splash of color. I was WI rises at how long, and hard they were to make. I think my balloons were too big. It was hard to wrap the wet yarn around the slick balloon. It also took along time to dry. Some of my warn was still wet the next morning.

I used the left over yarn balls as decorations in my glass dish. This was on the present table, it made a nice back drop for all the lovely goodies for the new baby!

Then I made a door banner out of the color scheme.

I bought plates and napkins in the color scheme to eat all the yummy food off of!

Here we are playing a few shower games.
Here are some of the many presents.

The sock monkey was such a cute gift topper!

Very easy, and cheap too!

I would love to hear some of your party planning tips!

Happy Partying!


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Friday, September 30, 2011

More Wristlets!

I showed you a while back the wristlet I made for one of my friends birthday using the tutorial by From an Igloo.

Well I made four more! Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of three of them :(

The one I am gonna show you today is one I made for another friend. We were out and about and we needed some random items, which I had on hand. My friend was awed that I had such random stuff with me.

I decided to make a wristlet for her so she can have a little random bag too! I need to fill it with band aids, hand sanitizer, a little fold up brush, Kleenex, eye drops, spray ointment, and anything else a mom might need. I know that could include everything but the kitchen sink.

Her diaper bag is red and white, so I used some left over scraps and came up with this...

These are just so easy to make. I really need one for myself. Maybe eventually that will be something else I can check of my to make list!

Happy sewing!

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Modpodge Pendant

I know this is nothing new, but I made a glass and paper pendant the other day for a friends birthday.

I really liked the way it turned out. The glass marble adds new dimension to the patterned paper. I like the iridescent look that the pendant provides too. This was neat, and I want to make some more soon!

Happy crafting!

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Workin' at the Car Wash

Well, I wasn't really working at THE carwash as much as I was working on washing MY car.

Last Thursday was beautiful day. The kiddos wanted to watch cartoons after I got done at the gym. I just couldn't let them waste time sittin' on their little booties when it was perfect outside. It wasn't hot and it wasn't cold, it was just right, like baby bear's soup.

My car, which is white, was lookin' pretty rough. It doesn't take much for my car too look rough, I mean it's WHITE! If I can help it, I will never own a white car again. My Dad thinks white is great because it is the easiest color to match if you ever need a section painted. That may be true, but it is also the hardest to keep clean! And it gets dirtier way more often that it does repainted. Which in 8 1/2 years it has never been painted! Oh, and what color is my dad's vehicle? White right? Nope, candy apple red!

Okay, sorry off my little rant.

So, I got out all the cat wash stuff from the garage and went to work. I sprayed bug remover on the front bumper to try and dislodge the colony of dead insects that now called it home. I scrubbed dirt, road grime, and who knows what else off the bottom half of the doors.

When I was done I was left with one shinny white car. It is funny I always forget how white my car is until I give it a bath. Kinda like Mr. E. He loves playing in the dirty and will often have random dirt spots on him somewhere.

look at those fluffy clouds in the sky.

I even shinned the tires!

This baby had the works, washed, waxed, shinned, and rainexed. Here is all the stuff I used to transform my gray drab car back into the bright white it truly is.

Of course it rained the next day and all was for naught. But for a couple hours it looked perfect!

Hope you have been able to get out and enjoy some of the last nice days before fall really kicks in!


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Kiddy Krafts with Mr. E

Last Friday Mr. E brought me a pad of paper and a pencil. He then proceeded to dictate to me a list of things he wanted to do the rest of the day. ( another list maker in the family:). One of the things on his list was to make a pair of binoculars. This seemed like a random request until he started telling me all the supplies he would need and how he would construct the binoculars. I asked if he had made binoculars at school that day, but nope they hadn't.

I don't know where he came up with the idea, but I thought it was cute none the less!

I told Mr. E that I was gonna take picture of him making his binoculars and make it into a tutorial for my blog. He didn't seem to car, but I was just so stinking excited that he had thought out how to make something.

So here we go, you are gonna need so e toilet paper rolls, Popsicle sticks, yarn, tape, staples, and stickers

First, hold the toilet paper rolls up to your eyes to see where you need to position your binoculars.

I took a string and measured the distance from the middle of each roll and then placed it on the Popsicle stick so I would know where to attach the toilet paper rolls.

Now staple your toilet paper rolls to your Popsicle sticks. There needs to be two on the top and two on the bottom, Mr. E was quite adamant about this step.

Now measure your string. Mr. E wanted his binoculars to hang down to his waste.

Now, tape the string to the Popsicle sticks. This took a couple pieces to really secure the string.

Use stickers, paint, crayons, markers, or anything else to decorate your binoculars.

Put those puppies around your neck.

(Miss C's turned out a little wonky, her eyes don't point in opposite directions)

Now go exploring!


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What's for Dinner- Italian Spiral Meatloaf

This is a recipe out of a Taste of Home magazine. I love trying new recipes, especially ones from Taste of Home. I haven't met a bad one yet!

I made this meatloaf several months ago when we had company. It was a huge hit. Four adults and three kids (that includes my two who don't always eat big portions) almost completely devoured this dish. Did I mention it is supposed to feed 15?

When these friends had a baby recently I offered to bring them supper. When I asked the new Dad what he might want, he suggested this casserole. I ended up splitting the recipe and making two meat loafs. One for them, and one for us to keep. I couldn't give it all away, I mean it is just too yummy for that!

Here is your list of ingredient ( for the 15 servings)
2 eggs
1 cup pizza sauce, divided
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 tsp. Dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 lbs ground beef
1 lb Italian sausage
1/2 lb sliced deli ham
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (6 oz.) jar sliced mushrooms

In a bowl combine the eggs, 3/4 cup pizza sauce, bread crumbs,onion, pepper, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper. Crumble the meat and sausage into the bowl and mix all the ingredients well.

On a piece of parchment paper pat the meat mixture into a 12x10 rectangle.

Layer the ham, 1 1/2 cups cheese, and mushrooms over the meat mixture to within one inch of the edge. Roll the meat mixture up jelly roll style, starting at one of the shorter ends. Peel the parchment paper away as you roll. Seal the seam and the edges of the meatloaf. Place seam side down in a greased casserole dish.

Brush with the remaining pizza sauce.

Bake at 375 uncovered for an hour. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160. Using spatulas transfer to a serving plate.

Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Happy Baking!


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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

Wow, has it really been a week already? Man time is zooming by. It is already fall, and before we know it Halloween will be here, then Thanksgiving, and before you know it Christmas.

Well, I have to confess that I haven't been putting much thought into my outfits lately. I just haven't been that motivated. This week I have really tried to go to the gym every morning, and when I get home I just want to put on more comfy clothes.

Wednesday, took Mr. E to school. Wednesday is show and tell. He had to take something that started with the letter B. What did he want to take? A baby doll. I don't mind that he plays with his sister's babies, but I wasn't ready to send him to school with one. We finally decided on a bank. That night I fixed supper for some friends with a new baby, and then went to my ladies bible study.

It was a gorgeous day and we spent most of the day outside! I am afraid it might have been our last warm day. I think it is time to retire the shorts for the year, unless we take a trip to a warm destination! One can hope!

Friday, I had a meeting with a teacher that is going to let me teach her class. I am super excited for the opportunity to get in front of some students and start teaching! The meeting went well. When I came home Mr. E had the entire afternoon planned out. That is another post within itself.

Saturday, the kids went with my in-laws for a squirrel scavenger hunt in our downtown shops. Some local artists made ceramic squirrels and they were hidden in the shops. You got a neat little card with the photos of all the sqiirrels so you could check off the ones you found. They ended up fi ding 9 of the 12 or 13 squirrels. The hubby and I went to our I terminational festival with so e frie ds while the kids were busy. We got to try some new food, curried goat from the African booth and then deep fried Oreos and snickers from the everything fried booth!

Sunday, we went to church and the came no e and I started working on next years VBS literature. My church writes our ouwn literature and sells it to other I treated churches. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture.

Monday, I typed up and scanned in all the VBS literature. This took me much longer than I had anticipated. Thankfully my MIL had the kids so I was able to work uninterrupted.

Tuesday, I went to the gym and when we got home the kids wanted to play outside. I had some stuff to do outside too so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. We hadnt been outside long when my grandfather showed up with some workers to fix our yard. They used special equipment to roll up our grass like carpet and then made a small slope off the back porch to help the water drain away fro the house. We are hoping this will keep the basement flooding for a third time! Mr. E loved it, he followed the workers around the entire time. He thought he was one of them, and that he was about half grown. They were really good and made Mr. E some little jobs so he could help too.

Well that is it for this week. Will see if I can do some better wardrobe planning next week!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Frugal Finds-Kid Addition

It is that time of year. Kids are going back to school and the weather is starting to change. What does that mean? New clothes for the kiddos.

I like to think of myself as a frugal shopper. I love a good deal! I mean who doesn't right?

Being a stay at home mom who is going back to school really cuts the family budget. I don't mind because I still get to have lots of fun shopping. I just don't shop in the same places I used to.

I know there are blogs dedicated to thrift store apparel, and I agree with those bloggers! You don't have to buy retail to buy brand name! Not to mention buying at thrift stores and yard sales is a true boost to our economy. That money goes straight in to American bank accounts! (sorry for the political side bar)

Anyway, back to shopping. Around the beginning of fall is when I start thinking about what ,y kids are going to need for the cooler weather. I go through their closets and see what they have. For instance I still have several outfits from last winter for Miss C. She is such a little skinny mini that some of last years clothes still fit in the waist. These will probably only last for a little while and then she will be moving up a size by Christmas. Mr. E has the same situation, except last years pants are too short and most have wholes.

After accessing the situation I start shopping. I love going to my local Goodwill stores. Kids clothes are $1.50 an item, and this includes coats! My town also has a local consignment sale. That just happened to be this weekend. I went Thursday night to shop with my Mom and we were able to finish stocking up on my children's clothing needs.

Here is the spread of clothes for Miss C.

I have a few more things that are already hanging in her closet too. This ate some things I previously scored on Goodwill visits.

There is a total of 16 tops, 4 pairs of pajamas, 8 sweaters/jackets, 14 pairs of pants, 6 dresses, 3 skirt and top outfits, 8 pairs of new panties and 9 pairs of socks.

Here are some of my favorites.

This white dress is a beautiful smocked dress I found at the consignment sale for $9. The red dress is from heartstrings that I found at goodwill for $1.50.

I love this mini Boden outfit! It was only $5.

This adorable brown jumper is handmade! I love the fall colors.

I also picked up a couple of pairs of shoes. The princess snow boots are Miss C's favorite item!

Now for Mr. E. I have been collecting for a while for him. I have a coup,e of friends with boys a little older and a size or two bigger than Mr. E. These friends have been gracious enough to let me go through there kids old clothes and buy some of their stuff!

Mr. E can still wear his winter jacket from last year, so that was one big item I did t Haney to worry about. I did find a cool pair of ski pants for winter play though! I stocked up in 8 pairs of jeans. The kid would wear them year round if I didn't hide them in the summer.

We also were able to find several church outfits with button up shirts. I have a couple of clip on ties for him to wear, and I plan on making a couple more out of some ties I found at Goodwill and some my Dad didn't wear anymore.

Lastly we got tons of tops! I got two brand new plain t-shirts at the Dollar Store. They were on,y a dollar, and both were brand name t-shirts. I plan on them to be layering items with summer t-shirts. I may go a head and do some freezer paper stenciling too. Not sure yet.

As you can tell my kids aren't going to be lacking in the clothes department this fall!
And when you total them all up it is about $200-$250 for each child. I really don't think that is bad for the massive quantity I was able to score!

If you have never tried Thrifting, then you need to give it a chance and see what deals are out there just waiting to be made!

Happy Thrifting!


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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's For Dinner Wednesday-Pineapple Casserole

This is a Paula Deen recipe. I mean if she made it it has to be good, right?

Last month we had dinner with some friends and she made this recipe, pineapple casserole. I have had this before at family reunions, but I never liked it. This recipe was different, it was GOOD!

My hubby requested that I take it to our church picnic on Sunday. I got tons of compliments too!

Here is how you can make this yummy goodness, and get compliments on your yummy dish.

2 -20 oz cans chunked pineapple, drained, 6 tbsp. reserved
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp. all purpose flour
2 cups shredded sharp worker
1 cup cracker crumbs
1 stick melted butter

In a large bowl mix flour and sugar. Ands the pineapple and cheese. Mix well. Place in a greased casserole dish. In another bowl mix the melted butter, the cracker crumbs,and the pineapple juice. Place the cracker mixture on top of the pineapple mixture. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Once you take it out you get this sweet yummy goodness.

It is Almost like a pineapple cobbler. Warm, sweet, and delicious!

Happy Baking!


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