Friday, February 17, 2012


I'm leaving the Mister and this city for some nice R&R at my Grandma's.  My cell phone does not work there and I will have no internet for the next four days.

To be quite honest......I can not freaking wait!

Until next time Cyber Friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clara is brushing up on her bubble blowing skills......or bubby's as she likes to call them!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Jitter bug

Yesterday was such a sweet day.  Yes it is cliche, but the Mister really does go above and beyond what he should do for us every year on this fake lovers holiday.  

(Please don't tell him that.  We enjoy it.) 

I especially enjoyed when this box came.  
  I have never had a box of flowers show up on my doorstep before.

Now I must say that it is officially 45 days till the wedding and I am really nervous about getting everything done in time.  It's making my eye twitch and giving me heart palpation's.

Why didn't I elope?  More importantly, why didn't I just hire a wedding planner?  (Over 3/4 of the wedding party don't even have outfits yet!)  I think I might have a serious nervous breakdown if things don't start going according to plan soon.

 Breathe in..........Breathe out.............(repeat) 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day of Lovers

Happy Day of Lovers! 

Clara drew this yesterday and said,  Daddy.  Daddy.  Pretty accurate drawing of Daddy, if I do say so myself.

Funny story about Valentines Day

If you were ever to go to the cemetery where quite a few of my relatives are buried you will find about 5 or 6 (maybe more) headstones that read either "John Valentine" or "Valentine John".  Not exactly sure what the story behind the original name is but I am told that the name was passed down from father to son to grandson etc because we live in a family of jokesters.

Every year, without fail, this is what I think of on valentines day.

John Valentine and Valentine John

Now lets get to the food.

Hey ladies & gents, want to show your other that you love him/her?  

Make em this.

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joe's

I based this entire recipe off of this one here.  

*  I'm missing a part on my food grinder so I ground up chicken breasts using my food proccessor.  If the chicken is somewhat frozen it will grind easier.

  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 2 M onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2 cup Franks Hot Buffalo sauce * we like spice.  I felt like it needed more.
  • 1 c water or chicken stock (I used water)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp corn starch (mixed with 2 tbsp cold water)

  1. Put chicken in a deep skillet and cook over MH heat for 5-7 minutes.  Make sure you break up the chicken while it cooks to keep it crumbly.
  2. After about 7 minutes add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, salt and pepper.  Cook for another 5-7 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato paste and chicken stock/water.  Add to the chicken mixture, coat well and let it cook for 3-4 minutes longer.

At this point the Mister and I felt like it tasted good but didn't have the right "sloppy joe" texture.  This is why I added the cornstarch mixture which fixed that problem instantly.  I served this on hot dog buns, because that was all I had in the house.

This recipe is good but I feel like it could definitely use some tweaking.  

Have you ever made anything like this?  How did yours turn out?

Happy Valentines Day, Loves! 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Homemade Crab Cakes

As this weekend rolled around the baby started to get really crabby.  We took her temp and found she had sprouted a low grade temperature.  We have been LONG OVERDUE for a quiet weekend and used this opportunity to slow down, pull out our cookbooks and spend some quality time together as a family.

We started the weekend off with getting ahead on some homework...

Then the Mister and I did something we haven't had the chance to do in quite some time.  We rolled up our sleeves and made a beautiful and delicious mess in the kitchen together.  

(This recipe comes directly from The Lady & Sons cookbook.)

Delicious Homemade Crab Cakes

Buehrle is silently willing the Mister to drop a piece of crab on the floor.   Drop it!  Drop it!  Drop it!!!  Droooooop iiiiiiiiiiiit!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know about you, but I am a huge fan of crab cakes.  I order them for an appetizer almost every chance I get.  I was surprised to find these homemade versions cost just as much as one appetizer (usually 3-4 cakes) while dining out and was incredibly easy to make.  The recipe says it serves 4-6.  We used them as the main course, while also serving sauteed asparagus and mashed potatoes.  At the end of our dinner we still had leftovers!!

  • 1 lb crab meat (We bought lump crab meat and it worked perfectly)
  • 1/3 c crushed Ritz crackers
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped with tops 
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper (We used yellow)
  • 1/4 c Mayo
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of cayenne 
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1/2 c peanut oil
*This recipe also had ingredients for a tartar sauce, but I thought it was disgusting.  Next time we make these I will find another sauce to dip them in.  I would love suggestions if anyone has a good crab cake dipping recipe!

  1. Mix all ingredients together except flour and peanut oil.  Shape into patties and dust with flour.  (When you shape them into patties make sure you squeeze them a little to get rid of some excess moisture.)  This will help them retain their patty shape.  After you make the patties dust them on both sides with flour.
  2. Pan fry in peanut oil over medium heat until golden brown.  (4-5 minutes) Flip and cook the other side till golden brown as well.

* After the first one you are either going to need to cut your cooking time or turn your oil down.  We also lined a baking sheet with paper towel and set the oven to 200 degrees to keep the cooked crab cakes warm while we finished cooking the others.

This meal is definitely family approved.

We finished our weekend with Yahtzee.............

(Where Rhiannon promptly kicked our butts twice!)

(This is how Clara plays Yahtzee.....)

Story time for the babes....

An early Valentines Mani/Pedi for Rhiannon and I!

Our color choices

And with one of the most delicious things ever created.......

How is this beer still the most delicious beer in the whole entire world?  I'm in love!

Happy Monday!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vinyl Finger Paintings

Well I don't know about you but I am so glad it is Friday.  This has been one of the most emotionally and physically trying weeks I have had in quite some time.  On top of half the household getting the flu and the dog deciding to start using the floor as his toilet again and being told my dress probably wouldn't get fixed in time for the wedding when the wedding is six weeks away,  I was also dealing with unjustly getting dumped on emotionally.  At times like these I have to remind myself to revert to my old motto's.  Forgive fully and It can always get worse.  Yesterday that is just what I decided to do.  I took a deep breath and walked away from the situation.  I hope by doing so things will just eventually calm themselves out.

Sometimes it is so hard to walk away and keep your mouth shut when you know there is so much more that could be said.  I know that I have especially have a problem with that.  Now that I am older I am trying to not get sucked up in anything negative and keep only positive thoughts.  Like most I know, I lived most of my twenties being angry, confused and mean.  While I wrap those awesome 20's up I am doing the best I can to keep things positive.

That is actually why I started this blog.  To have a constant reminder of all the good this life has given me.

I must say, the week of hell ended on one of the most positive notes ever! Life has proven to be good again!  Last night I got an email announcing the arrival of one of my most precious friends first baby!  And it is a BOY!!!!!!!!!

I am going to steal that adorable little guy and do all sorts of boy-ish field trips that my girls would never do with me.  I am SO PROUD of you N&A!  You are going to be such wonderful parents and I can not wait to meet the little man!!!!!!!!

Easy Kid Art

Back to my pinterest crafts.  I saw a lot of kid paintings that involved vinyl lettering and finger painting.  Not only did it look easy I had everything in my house to do this, so one random tuesday night when we had nothing better to do I busted out:

  • Trash Bags (easy drop cloth)
  • Paint (finger paint would probably of been the best choice but we used acrylic)
  • Canvas (bought on sale over a year ago)
  • Vinyl lettering (leftover from the science fair)

Take your trashbag and cut it so it lays flat for the worlds easiest drop cloth clean up.  Then take your letters and write whatever you want as well as make any design you want on your canvas.  Ours looked like this.

Then put your paint in separate blobs on the trash bag and let the kiddo's go at it!  

Right before...

A few minutes into this I realized Clara was still confused on what she was supposed to do...

So Rhiannon and I helped in giving her some direction.

(As you can tell by the video, she definitely got it after that and it didn't take long for the canvas to be caked with paint.)

Since the canvas was so caked with paint it was a little hard finding the letters with out messing up their creation.  I am actually pretty sure there are some dots still buried under all that paint!

Final project:

Clara is so proud of this.  She always points to it and says "Mine, Ne-ne.  Mine, Ne-ne."  (Toddler translation:  Look what Rhiannon and I did!  Look what Rhiannon and I did!)

One last friday thought for you all, I found this online and feel like I need to share.  This is how I am living the rest of this year.  

The only thing that is missing is MORE HAPPY.  


Monday, February 6, 2012

Salad Shakers and dairy free fudgecicles

So Clara had a pretty good birthday at home.  She got bacon and potato pierogis, paper dolls (Tangled, of course), Sticker book (of Tangled), a cake (with Tangled, do you see a trend here?), a trip to the park with all of her favorite people and BALLOONS!!!!!

The kid loves balloons.  So I bought 16 helium filled balloons for our little party.  

Do you know how hard it is to get 16 balloons into a small car????  

It took me about 15 minutes and when I finally got them all in the trunk a couple across the parking lot started clapping.  They watched me the whole time.  I'm sure I looked VERY special but I didn't pop a single one!

Funny thing about this cake, I procrastinated on getting one ordered in time for Clara's actual birthday.  The ladies at Jewell told me there was NO WAY they could have her cake ready before 3 pm.  

I asked if I could just get a print out of the tangled scene I wanted to use and put it on a plain old cake.  Did you know you could buy just the printed frosting sheets?  I got the cake done in plenty of time (seriously all you do is put it on top of the cake) AND her cake only cost $3.99 as opposed to $23.  I will be doing this from now on.


(Clara approves of my $3.99 cake.)

Now on to the food talk I promised last week.

Don't these salads look AMAZING?  

On my never ending quest to make my family eat more vegetables I stumbled across the idea of premaking a weeks worth of salads for easy lunch grabbing for the Mister.  I wish knew the website I got it off of but I do not.  It only took me about 3 1/2 minutes to do this and even on the fifth day the salad wasn't soggy at all.

  1. To make these you simply put your favorite salad dressing at the bottom of a glass jar.   
  2. Add your veges and other parts of stuff you want in your salad.  (In these I put edamame, bacon, a hard boiled egg, carrots and sunflower seeds.)
  3. Put whatever type of leaf you are using on top.
As long as the salad and salad dressing don't touch your salad will stay fresh and ready for you to eat all week.  When you are ready to eat them just shake the jar and enjoy!!

Dairy Free Fudgecicles

Because of the dairy allergy in my house I always have to come up with creative ways for the baby to eat "ice cream" too.  I have bought the rice cream, soy cream and coconut cream.  They usually do the trick but those things are expensive!  I came across a nutella and banana recipe that was supposed to taste just like a fudgecicle.  After scouring the grocery store I came across this product....

And it is completely dairy free!!!

The original recipe called for 1/3 cup of nutella and 6 bananas.  Put it all in a blender and blend it up until smooth and freeze in Popsicle molds.

These were REALLY good and the girls gobbled them up rather quickly, however, I think next time I might bring the number of bananas I put in it down to 4.  The banana taste was almost overpowering, and when you are making a mock fudgecicle, you only want it tot taste like chocolate, not bananas!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Sweet little baby girl, I am so proud of all you have accomplished in your two short years on this world.  You are forever my little shining rock.  We love you with all of our hearts!  Happy Birthday Clara Marie!!

The life of a rock star goes something like this....

Day #3 in this world

Birthday #1

Birthday #2!

I realize this might be the creepiest start to a video ever, with the creepy singing, walking into a dark room and creeky door and all, but just listen to the cutie pie and don't think about how creepy I sound in the morning.

Happy Birthday Clara. I Love You!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2nd Birthday Preparation!

I was going to post about food today.....but 

  Tomorrow is Clara's 2nd birthday!  

So instead I am dedicating the entire day to cleaning so we can all relax and have fun and eat lots of cake tomorrow.  I am so happy that I get to have a sweet little baby (big) girl who can run and play and eat cake.  

We love you little buggar!  You have NO IDEA what fun is in store for you!

(Probably not as much fun as this was, though.)