Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What's for dinner, January Week 5

Vegetarian Divan~Just made this recipe pictured above, without the chicken, used just broccoli (filled the pan) spooned the sauce over and topped with cheese.  It was still yummy!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Florentine Casserole
I'm going to trade out ham with turkey bacon and leave out the Gorgonzola cheese, since it's not something I keep in the fridge. :)

Brian's Birthday!  He wants Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas, we'll have chips and salsa and salad, too.

Crock Pot night, trying out a new recipe~Mexican Lasagna using Morningstar crumbles instead of the chicken


Birthday dinner for Brian and Mario

Super Bowl Sunday, so we'll have some Hot Wings, Layered Dip (maybe these individual cups?) and some fruit and veggies.

I couldn't find a BAKED recipe for the Hot Wings, so here is the loose-y goose-y way I make them.
Dump the wings into a 9x13 pan or two and bake in a 400 degree oven until halfway done.  Coat with 1 cup or so of hot wing sauce, like Franks, and bake until done.  We like ours more on the chewy side, less on the gooey side, so we bake for an hour or so total for fresh wings, longer if you're using frozen drumettes.

I'm linking here:  Menu Plan Monday

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A letter to my son before he gets his driver's license...

My oldest child will be getting his driver's license soon.  Not only does that make me feel old, but it also tests my limits on how much control I am willing to give up in his life.  Right now he is mostly a captive audience; he can't go anywhere beyond the small town that we live in without a ride from someone.  But that will change soon.  I'll have to trust that he will remember the things I have taught him and forget the things that I have done while driving that I'm not so proud of.  So if I can write down some tips here for him, maybe it will make me feel a little bit better.  I hope.

Dear Brian,

Pretty soon you will be getting behind the wheel of the Yukon XL without your dad or I climbing into the passenger seat beside you.  (If I am crying, just hand me a Kleenex and pat me on the shoulder.)  I knew that this day would come sooner or later, and there are some things that I want to share and/or reinforce with you before that day comes.

Driving is a privilege:  Carrying a brand new license with your sparkly-eyed, excited picture in your wallet will not entitle you to using the car whenever or for wherever you feel like going.

Driving is a convenience:  Having your driver's license will (hopefully) be helpful to your dad and I.  You can drive yourself to meetings, friends' houses, the grocery store, and wherever else that will save us some time.

Driving is a responsibility:  Getting into a car and driving it as a law-abiding, sign-watching, responsible teenage boy will take forethought and maturity.  Remember to put your seatbelt on as soon as you get in the car.  Practice doesn't make perfect, Practice makes Permanent.  Keep your eyes and your mind on the road.  There are so many distractions when driving, so even fiddling with the radio, checking out a cute girl, rummaging around for a piece of gum, taking a drink of your Gatorade, or talking to someone else in the car can distract you enough to make a mistake.  And do as I say, not as I do.

Driving takes practice:  Even though you have a shiny new license burning a hole in your wallet, that doesn't a professional driver make.  You will constantly be improving and learning as you are behind the wheel.  Take it slow.  Watch for pedestrians, especially kids.  They are short, and don't show up in your windows and mirrors.  Check behind you, beside you, and in every mirror and out every window, and then check again.  Try not to be in a hurry, and leave with plenty of time to get to where your going. And most importantly; beware of other teenage drivers.  Don't try to show off to or one-up any other drivers on the road.

I know this sounds like my usual lecture, but I'm only concerned because I love you.  And because I want you to learn from mistakes experience.

Love, Mom

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Paint Spraying in my Art Journal tutorial

Paint is fun.  Remember being in grade school and just being able to create whatever you wanted?  Or fingerpainting?  Or even stenciling?  I love using paint on my scrapbook pages and other projects.  I wanted to try doing some paint spraying on my art journal to see how it would turn out.

Paint spraying is a little bit different than spray painting.  My paint spraying was inspired by Donna Downey who uses the little plastic spray bottles to spritz paint onto her pages.  I've filled mine with half water and half paint, or you can even make a smaller batch by using 1/4 of the bottle each with paint and water, and then just shaking them up when I want to use them.

I bought these in the travel section at the store for less than a dollar apiece.  They're just the thing for a burst of color on this gloomy, rainy day.

These are simple 5 inch french doilies from Cash and Carry.  I put them on a 12x12 scrapbook paper so I can use the sprayed paper once they're done.

 I spritzed over the top of them, getting them pretty saturated.  Then I let them sit for about ten minutes before taking them off.  Don't let them dry on the paper or they'll start to stick.

Here's the paper with the doilies off.  The photo's a bit out of focus, but I think it will do nicely for a future project.

I spritzed the pages of my journal with white, aqua, and orange paint.  I tested them on scrap paper first, since you can see that each of the nozzles has a different spray pattern.  Then I butted up a piece of scrap paper to the edges of the book so I wouldn't get any overspray on the cover.

I flipped the doilies over to show just a tinge of the aqua instead of the saturated side.  I like that look.

I finished off the page with a quote printed on regular printer paper and cut into strips, then edged with a little ink.  The circles are chipboard covered with patterned paper.  I just wanted a pop of orange, and decided on something bigger than buttons.

Then I used the stencil as a guide for a little bit of journaling.  Again, no doodling and nothing crazy, just a quick page to continue on my One Little Word journey.

I'm linking up here:

Three Mango Seeds

you are talking too much

Monday, January 23, 2012

What's for Dinner, January Week 4

I know I usually do a dinner menu, and this is titled "What's for Dinner", but I thought I would throw in a breakfast that we've had lately.

Last Saturday we were at home for breakfast, and the older 2 kids were gone.  Joe requested crepes, which sounded fine to me once I realized I wouldn't be standing over the pan all morning since 2 out of the 6 of us were missing.  I love crepes (which Monkey calls "craps") and they are simple to mix up and really don't take long to cook, but with only one small pan they can only be made one at a time.

Quick and Easy Crepes

3 cups milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 Tablespoons oil or melted butter

Put all ingredients into a blender pitcher and blend for 30 seconds, scrape sides, and blend again.  This will make a nice smooth batter.

Heat and lightly grease (or spray) a 6-inch skillet on medium heat.  Pour in 1/4 cup of batter and lift and tilt the skillet to spread the batter.  Brown only on one side.  Crepe will usually slide right out of the pan when done.   Repeat with all remaining batter, re-greasing the pan as needed.  Will make 20-24 crepes.

Serve with whipped cream and strawberries, or even with plain maple syrup, or apple pie filling, or almost anything you please.

Dinner Menu:
Creamy White Chili made with the turkey meat from last week's menu
Homemade bread in the bread machine

Leftover Creamy White Chili and Cornbread, or clean out the fridge night!

Pork chops baked with apples, red potatoes and sweet potatoes

Thursday:  This is a night filled with basketball, meetings and singing practice.  I'm leaving it open to sandwiches or picking up something on the go.

Taco bar

Mario's birthday dinner, and he's requested homemade pizza.

Leftover Soup in the crockpot

Linking to:  Menu Plan Monday @ orgjunkie.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Art Journal

I have realized that I'm even grumpier than usual when I don't get to dabble in creating once in a while.  My family might say that they can't tell the difference between grumpy me and not quite as grumpy me, but there is a difference.

I mentioned in my last post that I've started an Art Journal.  I've had this particular journal kicking around for a few years, made from an old book and a kit that I bought from Teresa McFayden that had some gorgeous old  Autumn Leaves papers and watercolor paper as the inside pages.

This book is covered in some of my favorite things:  damask print, gold, red, scallops, and book print.  The clips are just there to hold the pages open flat for working.

This page was meant to be a jumping off point for my One Little Word: Thrive.  I didn't overthink the pages (obviously), and it took me just 15-20 minutes plus dry time, but I knew that I wanted to use this saying:
I Can Do Hard Things

Gray and aqua is a favorite color combination of mine right now, and the pops of pink added a little warmth to the coldness of it all.  I added some simple stamping and just a little bit of doodling.  (maybe could have added more doodling, but like I said, I didn't want to overthink or spend too much time on this.)

My journaling reads: 
With a new year comes new goals and resolutions.  But change is hard.  Stepping out of my comfort zone is hard.  Stretching beyond my limits is hard.  But...
 I Can Do Hard Things

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Project Stash...

Have you heard of Project Life?  It is the memory keeping brainchild of scrapbooker extraordinaire Becky Higgins.  She has gone back to a simpler, more straightforward type of scrapbooking for preserving everyday life.

I love the concept of simplifying the process of memory keeping.  I also love making the more artsy pages, so I've also started an art journal to play around in to get those artsy juices flowing.  The only thing holding me back from getting the Project Life system was--I've got to admit--my frugal nature.  I have all of these supplies jumbling up my shelves and drawers, and I couldn't see plunking down any more money to start from scratch with this album.  It was tempting, but then I had an epiphany--

What if I make my own kit out of the supplies I already have?

So I dug around and came up with some stuff that I thought would work.  I already had a 3-ring 12x12 album and some various sized photo sleeves, which I hadn't even tried using yet, and some kits and other sets of paper to start my 2012 out with.  I grabbed some alphabet stickers, rub-ons, scissors, and a tape runner.  Here's what the title page ended up as:

You can see that I'm being very optimistic!  I've got big plans for 2012, whether it likes it or not!

These Photo Sleeves for Ring Albums by We R Memory Keepers are the perfect "page" protectors to mix and match to make the album so versatile.  I started out with 12x12 pages with 6-4x6 pockets in horizontal and vertical directions, and a package of sleeves with a 6x12 pocket on top and 3 vertical 4x6 pockets on the bottom.

This is also a great way to use up the scraps of the gorgeous papers that I can't bear to toss.  I've gathered some of the things together that I know I want to use and just stashed them in the pockets so I've got it all together when I sit down to create.

I mixed in some regular 12x12 pages, and next time I'll show you an "envelope" page to stash the memorabilia that I don't necessarily want on a page but I want to keep with the album.

One of my favorite, favorite, favorite things right now is Simple Stories.  I adore everything that they have!  These papers are from their Happy Days collection, and I got it from my local scrapbook store.  We have two birthdays coming up on the next few weeks, and just celebrated another, so I got these last year to document some of those.

I'm so excited to feel like I am actually on the ball about something!  And it hardly took any time at all!

Since I'm not jumping onto the Project Life bandwagon, I guess I'll call mine "Project Stash"?  We'll see.  ;-)

I'm linking up here: 
Three Mango Seeds 

you are talking too much

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What's for Dinner, January Week 3

I skipped week 2.  Just like that.  I was a little busy working on other projects and we flew by the seat of our pants as far as dinners went.  One of those projects was cleaning out the freezers and inventorying what was left. I made a list of what is in there and moved items I wouldn't be using up in the next few weeks into the larger extra freezer.  While I was at it, I prepped some things to make cooking a bit easier:
  1. All of the bread crusts that were stashed were put in the food processor with some Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese and then put it in a mason jar and popped it back into the freezer.  
  2. Boneless/skinless chicken breasts: 1/2 were baked in the oven for a future meal and the other half I cut into 1/2 inch cubes and cooked in a pan on the stove then added taco seasoning.
  3. Black beans were cooked, half of them made into refried beans, then frozen for burritos along with the chicken with taco seasoning.
  4. Leftovers were consolidated and put into labeled containers for Crock Pot Leftover Stew.
  5. Vegetable stock was made in the crock pot and frozen in quart sized bags.
My plan is to cook mainly from my pantry and freezer the rest of this month.  I'll have to shop for produce and dairy, but I've got meat/grains/pasta/canned covered.  This will be a great budget saver!  I'm even using the bread machine for bread, and I used up some open cereal and marshmallows to make some homemade cereal bars.  Mine were made using Kashi cereals and regular Cheerios with dried cranberries.

And here is what I threw together with a small piece of roast hidden in my freezer.

Easy Beef Stew in the Crock Pot

1 pound beef cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces
1/2 package onion soup mix 
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
2-3 tomato cans of water

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large potatoes, or 4 smaller potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Put all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 8 -10 hours.  That's it!

Menu Plan for January, Week 3

Monday:  Tuna Casserole, Green Salad and Sweet Potato Fries
(I have peas, milk, and sweet potatoes to use up)

Tuesday:  Pasta, Broccoli, Salad, and Breadsticks
(Frozen pasta dish already stashed in the freezer.  Add cheese to the top and bake it with the breadsticks.)

Wednesday:  Roasted Turkey, Potatoes, Stuffing, Brussels Sprouts and Salad
(Yep, we've got a couple of turkeys in the freezer and bags of stuffing to use up)

Thursday:  Crock pot stew with homemade bread
(Natalia has back-to-back basketball games tonight so something easy that can be eaten when we're ready instead of when it's ready)

Friday:  Pizza!

Saturday:  Polenta and Stew with Salad
(Stew is in the freezer, polenta in the pantry)

I'm linking here:  Menu Plan Monday

Tasty Tuesday 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just Pin It!

What is Pinterest?  Well, here is one person's definition.  To me, it is a virtual bulletin board; an online, streamlined, takes-up-no-space  version of the file folder stuffed with torn out magazine pages.  It is a recipe book, eye candy, scrapbook idea board, fashion magazine, and interior design firm all wrapped up in one.

Here are some things that I've "pinned" on my boards this week:

Lined Canvas Bins (from Diaper Boxes!)

5 minute Artisan Bread

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Mentally Training for a Race

DIY Mason Jar Herb Garden

The most pinned item from my blog is the Bread Pudding in a Jar post from last year. 

To say that Pinterest is addicting is an understatement.  Here is a great overview/tutorial by Tesa from 2Wired2Tired.  If you haven't joined in and want an invitation, comment on this post and I'll e-mail you back with an invitation.

You can find me on pinterest here:  Annie Savor This Moment .  Happy Pinning!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What's for Dinner, January Week 1

Wow, the first week of a new year, and it's back to the grind of thinking about what to feed these people, especially the boys with the hollow legs, and trying to keep everyone happy with the "healthy" food we'll be having since I'm working on my 6 week goal.

Monday:  Leftovers from the weekend-chili, pasta, baked potatoes, veggies.

Tuesday:  Turkey and Black Bean Tacos

Wednesday:  Curried Quinoa, Green Salad, Roasted Carrots

Thursday:  Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit and Veggie Sticks

Friday:  Dinner out because of basketball tournament

Saturday:  Homemade pizza, Salad

Sunday:  Roasted Chicken, Broccoli, Spinach Salad, Whole Wheat Rolls or Breadsticks

Linking Here:  Menu Plan Monday

One Little Word for 2012...



: to grow vigorously : flourish

: to gain in wealth or possessions : prosper

: to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances —often used with on

My initial thought was to choose the word "purpose" as my One Little Word for 2012, but after thinking about it for a couple of days I've decided that "THRIVE" is what I'm really after.  

Even though I have my One Little Word to think about, I also like to find quotes and ideas to support that theme and help to keep the word in focus.

To really "thrive" I'll have to put the work into it.  And steadiness.  And organization.  And non-procrastination.  And a positive attitude.  And basically working at being the best that I can be. 
"A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them."
Liberty Hyde Bailey
My word is just that:  Mine.  I'm going to be selfish with it.  I'm not going to force it on the rest of my family, but I'm hoping they will get some residual benefit and maybe even an afterglow from being near me while I'm working on myself.  :)  I'm gong to keep this word in the back of my mind for now and write down any ideas that come into my thoughts. 
 "Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." - Benjamin Franklin
I'm going to Make 2012 a GREAT YEAR!
If you're looking for One Little Word to focus on or use as your "mantra" for this year, here is a huge list.  Do it.  It's painless.  I promise.  And you might just love it.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Learning and Growing (or should I say, Shrinking)...

It's been a couple of weeks since I've spent any amount of time on the computer that didn't include finding a recipe or typing something up quickly for a project, but here I am now.  I'm not sure that I was missed, but I miss being on here in the peace and quiet after everyone is in bed and I can focus my brain for a few minutes.

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and an awesome New Year's celebration.  I know we had both; spending time with family and friends re-energizes me.  

Since it is Monday we had Family Home Evening tonight.  The lesson was on goal-making.  I've been pretty lax with it these last few years; it seems that life is getting in the way of me reaching my goals.  (I've go to put the blame on something!)  So we talked about personal goals and family goals, and I wanted each of us to write down at least three goals to work on.  This week we'll all be working on putting a plan together to help us focus on and work toward our goals.  We also talked about being accountable to each other and supporting one another.  I hope a little bit sank in!

I'm excited to work on my goals and resolutions, and I'm determined not to let myself get scared off or overwhelmed by them.  One thing that helped put things in perspective was an article in the January Ensign magazine by Elder D. Todd Christofferson called Recognizing God's Hand in our Daily Blessings.

Here are just a couple lines that I'm taking to heart:

“As we reflect on the value of resolving to do better, let us determine to discipline ourselves to carefully select the resolutions we make, to consider the purpose for making them, and finally to make commitments for keeping them and not letting any obstacle stop us. Let us remind ourselves at the beginning of each day that we can keep a resolution just for that day."
President N. Eldon Tanner (1898–1982), First Counselor in the First Presidency
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently taught that consistency in simple daily practices such as family prayer, scripture study, and home evening is crucial in building successful families. “Our consistency in doing seemingly small things,” he said, “can lead to significant spiritual results.”

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), speaking of repentance, gave this counsel: “We must be careful, as we seek to become more and more [Christlike], that we do not become discouraged and lose hope. Becoming Christlike is a lifetime pursuit and very often involves growth and change that is slow, almost imperceptible.”

So here's to change!  One of the first goals I am working on is to improve my health, my weight, and my eating.  I've been steadily putting on weight this last year and a half, and I'm ready to fit into (and look good in!) my clothes again, and to be able to wear my wedding ring, too.  I'm joining the 6 Week Frugal Weight Loss Challenge at Stockpilingmoms.com.

My goal is to lose at least 10 pounds in that six weeks' time.  I'm giving up my lovely Diet Cokes, having a water-drinking goal, eating smaller portions, and walking at least 30 minutes/day 5 days/week.  And if I keep telling myself that I can do it just for that day, I think it will make all the difference in the world.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...