Monday, January 30, 2012

Letter of the Week and Our Fancy Meal...

I probably should work on dividing up my posts since Preschool and Fancy Meals have nothing in common...I'll see what I can do about that..
First things first. Letter of the Week.

I'ts letter "Cc" week. We made a caterpillar today and ate Cars Crackers with Crunchy peanut butter on a Cowboy plate. I know, pretty themed right? I'ts especially amazing since tomorrow is grocery shopping day..


Here's my Little Mister eating his snack and wearing his Cars shirt...I know, I know stop already. 
Let's move on to fancy meals. Most of the time, we do not eat fancy. Mainly because we are not fancy people. Well Little Miss is pretty fancy, but the rest of us, not so much. But every once in awhile I like to make a fancy meal for me and the Hubcap just for fun. This is my copy cat version of BJ'S Balsamic Chicken dish. It's not exactly the same, but its still really good. And with Valentines Day coming up I thought I would share!! 
Balsamic Chicken with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus and Crispy Onions

First, you start with your chicken. You will need: 
3-4 chicken breasts, flour, salt and pepper, olive oil, 6 garlic cloves, 4 tblsps balsamic vinegar, 3/4 cup of chicken broth, 1 bay leaf, 1 tbsp butter
First put your oil in a skillet and get it nice and hot.
I usually pound my chicken breasts to make them thinner. (And I usually cut mine to make them smaller leaving me with 6-8 smaller pieces of chicken, but you dont have to. )
Salt and pepper your flour. Dont be shy with the salt and pepper... it will kill the chicken if you dont have enough. 
Dredge your chicken in the flour and then add the oil. Cook for about 3 minutes over  or until this side is nice and brown over medium high heat.
Turn chicken and cook the same for the other side. Also add the garlic cloves.
When both sides are nice and brown add the chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, and bay leaf. 
Cover and cook for 10 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally.
Once they have cooked through, remove the chicken and put on separate plate. Cover..I usually put mine in the oven. 
Now just add the butter to your sauce and let cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf. Cover until the rest of your meal is ready.

Now for the mashed potatoes. I usually have the potatoes peeled and chopped before I start the chicken, and start the water for the potatoes when I start the oil for the chicken, The potatoes cook about the same as the chicken. 
When its time to mash them I add milk, cream cheese, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper and 1-3 cloves of minced garlic. I add a little of each at a time to make it the right consistency.  I am sorry if I just overwhelmed you with fat content...
Start cooking your asparagus, now... :) I put mine in a steamer bag and cook it in the microwave. If your going to steam in on the stove, start this earlier.
Now on to the onions...
I heat about 1-2 tblsp of olive oil on the stove. 
Then cut up your onion into rings and then in half. The thinner the better. I dredge them in a flour mixture same as the chicken. (But not the same that you dredged the chicken in..thats kind of gross)
Once the oil is hot you add your onions, and watch them like a hawk...they cook fast!
Now its time to assemble...
Pick a pretty plate... (very important) 
Put a nice mound of potatoes to the middle of your plate.
Add a chicken breast and pour about 1 tblsp of sauce over. 
Top with asparagus. I usually do four pieces, two crisscrossing another two. 
I then add some mixed greens. Its pretty and makes you feel better about the mashed potatoes.
Top the greens with your crispy onions.
Eat!!
This is one of my favorite meals.Its so yummy, and really not too hard, just alot of steps. 
Enjoy!
Ok the kiddos and I are off on an adventure. Here are some pictures of our adventure last week:  

Cute right? 

My little man, he loves throwing rocks into water!! He would do it for HOURS if I let him...

Oh gosh, she kills me. Michael and I make cute kids.  Who would have thought?!?! 
Happy Monday Friends! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Homemade Goodness: Laundry Soap and Mac N Cheese

Today I am celebrating all things Homemade! I love homemade everything, I get that from my mom. I usually make everything from scratch, its way cheaper and in all actuality does not take that much longer to prepare.
First things first: today I made my first batch of homemade laundry detergent.
Dont even get me started on how HAPPY this makes me. The recipe is so easy, I found it here. (This is one of my most favorite blogs and I was so excited when she shared how she makes her soap.) The savings are amazing! 
One box of Borax was $3.38 which will make 7 batches of soap which equal 56 cents a batch
One box of Washing Soda was $3.24 and will make 4 batches which equals 81 cents a batch
And one bar of Zote was $97... 
so all together it cost me $2.34 for a batch of soap, which will last me a long time considering you only use 1-2 tblsp depending on the size of the load! 
Ok, so I really, really love that I just saved a bunch of money on laundry. I mean its not that fun, so why should it be expensive??!! :) 
Here are some other things I am LOVING!!
I found this cutest book at Wal-Mart...it will definitely stay in my kitchen even after Valentines Day. It reminds me of my Little Miss to the tee...

I am loving Pinterest and that I got the idea for these wreaths even if they took FOREVER and a day to make and my fingers still dont like me from all of the hot glue gun burns...that  tulle one was a killer! 

And I am loving these cute paper plates and bags that my sister in law and I  found at Hobby Lobby. Like she said, "These are you." I am still trying to think of ideas for the bags...should I save them for when the kiddos are in school to pack their lunches...thats a long way off!! Any suggestions???

And finally I love this face!! I love that he wanted me to take his picture and say cheese. I love that when I asked him to please take his finger out of his nose and stop eating his boogers he said, "No thanks". What a polite, gross kid. I love that he loves to sit at the bar stools and then tell me "Me High Mommy, Me high" I really love that he hasnt said that in public yet, I mean, how do you explain that one? 

Here is something else I love, more  Homemade Loveliness: Mac N Cheese. Now dont get me wrong, I do love Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. It is pretty good. But theres good and theres great and Homemade Mac N Cheese is great. Heres my recipe: 
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup of flour
2 cups milk
1/2 pound of Velveeta
1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
2 cups cooked macaroni
Melt butter in large saucepan. Add flour while stirring. Add milk and continue stirring constantly until thickened. Add Velveeta cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Combine with cooked macaroni. Pour into casserole dish and top with grated cheese. Cover and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 to melt cheese. 

I usually double the recipe. I know that you are thinking, how in the world is she going to fit into those jeans she just washed in her cheap soap? I am not really sure... 

Ok I will leave you with the last thing I am loving. My Hubcap (who I do love as well) bought me the Scotty Mcreery cd for Christmas. Please dont hate on me, he reminds me of being pregnant with Little Miss and watching American Idol. Especially on the night she was born and I realized that she was born on the same day as Steven Tyler...that explains alot about that wild little girl. Anyways, his new cd has the sweetest song and I will leave you with the words from the chorus. It puts things in perspective and makes me oh so happy to live the life I live. 
"So, I’m Gonna Thank You, Lord
For Noisy Children And Slammin’ Doors
And Clothes Scattered All Over The Floor
A Husband Workin’ All The Time
Draggin’ In Dead-Tired At Night
A Never Ending, Messy Kitchen
For My Little Busy Bees
Beggin’ Momma, Momma Can We Please
Always Wantin’, Needing, Callin’ Me
Loads Of Laundry Pilin’ Up
Crayons Crushed Into The Rug
And Those Little Sticky Kisses
And Dirty Dishes"
Off to do my dishes! Happy Tuesday! 

10 months

Little Miss, you turn 10 months today! Can't believe that in two months we will be celebrating your first birthday!!! WOW!
 Sweetest baby girl at 10 months you:
~crawl,crawl crawl
~can stand and walk holding onto things
~LOVE your food,you've had macaroni and cheese, bacon, waffles, casserole, minestrone you love it all! 
~have two teeth
~LOVE music, any time you hear the music, you dance and clap! Funny at church...
~Love your cousin and your brother...they are your best friends
~love your mama the most, I hate leaving you for work on my work days because you are always so clingy when I come home because you dont want me to leave again..
~your hair is getting longer and crazier by the second...
~love to be outside, eating rocks,sticks and dirt...inside you want to be held as soon as we get outside you say, "let me be free"...
~love your dolls and play kitchen, your brothers train and cars and his kangaroo
My sweetest Little Miss you are growing up oh so fast...I love you so much and love watching you become "you". You really are sugar and spice and everything nice...
Love, Mama

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Letter of the Week and this and that

Last week our letter of the week was "Bb"! I've just been so Busy that I haven't posted until now!
First we made this cute little Bumblebee...
And then of course we had to make a bubblegum machine for my little bubblegum lover....and a B made of bubblegum! 

I found the cutest heart shaped chalkboard in the dollar section at Target. The only problem was is that it had the ugliest hearts in the corner.... so I covered them up with some cute ABC paper and voila!...now we have a fun way to display Mister's work! 

Last we soaked up the sun before the storms came! Little Miss LOVES to be outside. She loves the leaves and the dirt, sticks and rocks. She's my outdoors princess!

LOVE this picture of her. This hat is so big on her, but she loves to wear it. 

I'll be back later with this week's letter of the week and yummy food! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Going on an A hunt, Alligator Snack and more Valentines...

Day 2 and 3 of "preschool" were fun. Yesterday we did this:
Mister made this rip art apple out of a paper plate. He actually did this by himself besides the stem and leaf. This is a great craft for a two year old! 
Then today we went on an "Aa" hunt. I cut out "Aa's" out of paper and hid them around the house. Then I let Mister find them. 
Can you find the Aa's? 




Here he is with his A's... 
Since we went on an A hunt I thought it would be fun to have an Alligator Hunt themed snack.. I saw something like this on Pinterest and tweaked it to make it a little healthier and more suitable for a two year old! 
On to Valentines Day!! Mister and I made these hearts...

We just painted on paper however we wanted using Valentine colors. And then when it dried I cut out heart shapes and strung them on a piece of string by hot glueing two hearts together over the string... So cute in our window.
Then I made these envelopes: 

I saw this idea on Pinterest and knew I had to do it!! I absolutely love them! They look so cute on the kiddo's chairs. I plan on putting a reason why I love them every day of February leading up to Valentines Day and then a big Valentine on the big day. 
And here is this cute little canvas I did with Little Miss! Oh so cute... I love Valentines Day! 
Happy Crafting Friends!! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Besties....

Oh my babies! You two are oh, so cute together!! From the moment Little Miss came, Mister has been smitten by her. Wrapped around her little finger I would say! And she loves him so much!!  Every waking moment they are together!! As soon as she wakes up from a nap, Mister will say, "Addadee play with me!" and will make her follow him to his room. Or if she wakes up first as soon as she sees him she does this super cheesy weird breathy laugh thing and it gets him every time!! He dies laughing!!! Oh how I love them...

My favorite picture of the two of them! This is right when he met her for the first time. I love it because you can totally see in the corner of his eye he is not quite sure what is happening but he knows this is his baby and he loves her! 

Here are some snapshots from today! Playing kitchen...

Feeding his sister...

Making silly faces at us so we'll laugh! 

Inside joke apparently...



I love this picture... Just so content. 

The bestest of friends! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Letter of the Week and a sneak peek to Valentines....

Well today Mister and I started "preschool". It is one of my goals to do "preschool" with him at least twice a week. Planned out, prepared preschool. Now I realize that he is only two and has a lot of time before he is a big, bad kindergartner. It is more of a personal goal for myself, to be intentional with my time here at home and with my kids. I don't ever want to take what I have been given for granted. I know that I am blessed and want to be a good steward of what God has given to me.


Our letter of the week is "Aa". When kids are learning to write their letters its best to go in this crazy weird order based on how easy the letter is to write. But since were not learning how to write the letters at this point, just letter recognition and sound I thought I would just start at the beginning. 





A is for alligator , Aa, Aa, Aa. 

How much do you love those chubby little hands? 



I LOVE this book. It is adorable and alot of fun. It was one of Mister's stocking stuffers. 




Our snack for the day: Applesauce!! 

All together it went really well. Mister loved the Alligator chant and had fun with the projects. It was only about 30 minutes, which was the perfect amount of time for the both of us!
My sister in law and I got together yesterday to make Valentines Day crafts. I loved the end result so much I had to hang it up. Since I put it up I figures I should put out my Valentines Day books as well.


Isnt the banner so cute?

We just used burlap, fabric, lace and hot glue. Adorable. I am so glad I have a sister in law that loves to craft! Mister and I are going to make some more hearts later this afternoon when he wakes up from his nap. I love Valentines Day and all it's cheezy goodness! Happy Monday friends!




Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Years

Happy 2012 Friends! I am so thankful for another year to enjoy! We had a quiet New Years Eve, well quiet party wise that is. With Mister and Little Miss quiet is kind of hard to come by. We stayed at home the entire day and just enjoyed our own little family. We made these cute crowns the day before and Mister couldn't wait to wear his! 

Mister gave me a Million rides on his quad. How lucky am I to have such a cute chauffeur? 

I decorated the table and bought little champagne glasses which we filled with sparkling cider. I made  Fettuccine Alfredo and we did cheers probably a trillion times because its Mister's favorite. 

Here we are partying hard after dinner! The kids went to bed at their regular bedtime and so did Hubcap and I. It was the perfect way to spend New Years Eve for us, enjoying the people we love the most! 

The higlight of our 2011 was definetly the birth of this little beauty! Such a sweet addition to our home, we all love her to pieces and are so glad that 2011 brought such a sweet baby girl! 
I have made alot of resolutions this year, but I think I am going to call them "goals" instead of "resolutions" just because it sounds easier to reach. :) My "goals" for 2012 are:
~ do plannned out preschool with Mister twice a week
~have a date night (even if at home) with my husband at least once a month
~do family devotions all together every night
Hopefully I can stick with my goals. I am excited about all three of them so hopefully that will motivate me to see them through!
From our family to your's Happy New Year!