Friday, March 18, 2011

Five on Friday: Shower Curtains

We have officially moved!  Yay!!!!  We had some *minor* trouble getting the internet switched to our new home.  I was not happy in the least.  But, a very sweet man named Mike finally set us up and we're ready to go again!  Now I can rejoin the blogging world.  For my Five on Friday post this week, I would love to ask your help in choosing a new shower curtain.  Little Man has his own big boy bathroom.  I see tons of super cute children's shower curtains.  Like this one maybe...
So cute!  However, this bathroom is the one that anyone coming over will use.  I'm weird about not wanting it to be overly childish.  Although, I really love the cutesy alphabet!  Here's what I've got instead.  Let me know which one you like.  Pretty please?

I think this one is my favorite right now.  I know it's a children's shower curtain, but it doesn't feel like it's too much.  I wouldn't put those pictures on the wall.  it would probably be something a little more subtle.

There's nothing really exciting about this one.  I would have to find some cute pictures to hang on the wall or something.

I'm a little iffy about this one.  At first I really liked it, but now I don't know that I can picture myself loving it in the bathroom.

I liked this one simply for the green and brown, but I think I like the other one better.

This has nothing to do with Little Man's bathroom, but I absolutely LOVE it!  I'm thinking it would look perfect in my bathroom, right?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Plan Mondays - Feb. 28

It's officially moving week!  I'm a little stressed.  How did it sneak up on me?  I would also like someone to please explain how on Earth a mom and a little man can accumulate so much stuff!   I went through little man's room last night and found so much that he never even touches!  I have recently become a fan of Freecycle.  This is seriously the greatest thing ever!

Here's the plan for this week.  Let me assure you, it is nothing exciting.  Almost everything is frozen.  It's almost an exact copy of prior weeks.  I'm finally getting to the end of some of these packages of frozen foods.  That means less to move, right?

Monday - bean and cheese burritos
Tuesday - chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes
Wednesday - fish sticks and corn
Thursday - meatball subs
Friday - Pizza Fridays!
Saturday - Ha!  First night in the new apartment.  I'm guessing sandwiches ... or Ramen.
Sunday - Anything we can find!  It might be a drive-thru night.

I know that's a lot of frozen food.  There's nothing to get excited about or really even enjoy eating.  However, I did make a delicious Honeybun Cake that I'll be munching on throughout the week.  I'll try to post the recipe to that sometime (whenever I can take another break from packing).  I promise you'll enjoy that recipe!  :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five on Friday: Projects

I have decided to start a weekly "Top 5" post.  I'll do a variety of things each week.  This week I want to share five projects that I'd like to complete sometime soon.  Once we get moved, I'd like to start these projects for our new home.

 Cookie Cutter Art - I also really like the one for a boy's room.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Menu Mondays - February 21

We are officially moving in two weeks!  I'm super excited!  However, I am not nearly close enough to being packed.  Actually, I've barely even started.  At least I live in a tiny apartment and it shouldn't take all that long.  My plan is to get rid of everything I possibly can.  It's time for a completely fresh start, right?  With that said, my menu for this week is going to be very low-key.  It will be lots of frozen dinners or something I can throw together with what I have in my pantry (which isn't much).  I will be trying one new recipe.

Monday - Baked Crab Cakes*
Tuesday - Queso Soup
Wednesday - Chicken Nuggets and Mashed Potatoes
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Pizza Friday
Saturday - Meatball Subs
Sunday - Cookout at a friend's house - We'll be taking Sausage Dip.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Cozy Recipe: Strawberry & Spinach Salad

This is definitely a romantic salad!  It looks beautiful and tastes sweet.  For Valentine's Day, Tyler made some delicious steaks and pasta.  I tried making this salad for the first time and I loved it!  I made it again on Wednesday for a dinner playdate.  One of the many wonderful things about this salad is that the ingredients can be changed if something doesn't suit your taste.  I know many people do not like Bleu Cheese or baby spinach.  Substitute Romaine lettuce and chopped walnuts.  I've also seen a recipe for strawberries and bananas instead of strawberries and Bleu Cheese.  Maybe for a summer cookout...?

Strawberry & Spinach Salad
1 package baby spinach
1 small package of fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced
1 container Bleu Cheese crumbles
poppyseed dressing, to taste

My favorite way to toss a salad is to simply dump it all into a large ziploc bag and shake it up.  Be careful with the dressing.  Poppyseed dressing is very sweet and it takes less than you might think to create the right flavor.

This post is linked up at ...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Challenge

I am a big fan of challenges.  I love reading challenges on Goodreads.  I love cooking challenges on The Food Network.  I have seen this challenge on a few blogs, so I thought I would try it.  This year, I will complete 52 brand new recipes.  Well, they'll be brand new to me.  I love cooking, but as of yet, I have not attempted actually creating new recipes.  Challenge for next year maybe?  I want to find a few new go-to meals.  You can find my progress on the page "52 Recipe Challenge."

Here are the ones I've completed so far...

1. Bacon Parmesan Pasta (1/3/11) - It's taken several times to fix this recipe to be exactly what I want.  Hopefully I can make it again soon so I can post the recipe.

2. Almond Biscotti (1/8/11) - I really enjoyed this and it has inspired me to start keeping biscotti on hand for a quick, grab-and-go breakfast.  My mom sent me two new biscotti recipes I'd like to try (chocolate chip and chocolate pistachio)

3. Tomato, Olive, and Feta Pasta (1/19/11) - Yummy!  This is definitely something I'll be making more often.

4. Buffalo Chicken Dip (2/7/11) - This was yummy, but very spicy.  I need the right occasion to make this.

5. Greek Cookies (2/12/11) - These were different than what I remember eating as a child.  I want to try mixing the nuts into the dough.

6. Strawberry and Bleu Cheese Spinach Salad (2/12/11) - Absolutely delicious!  This might be my new favorite salad.  I want to make it again this week so I can post the recipe.

Menu Planning Mondays and (finally) an update on the resolutions

Menu for the week of 2/14
Monday - Meatball Subs
Tuesday - Queso Soup
Wednesday - Strawberry Spinach Salad with Bleu Cheese
Thursday - Chicken Nuggets and Mashed Potatoes (cleaning out the freezer before we move)
Friday - Pizza Fridays
Saturday - Bacon Parmesan Pasta
Sunday - Crockpot Sunday - Broccoli Alfredo Baked Potatoes

A quick review of my resolutions...
1. Run a 5K
2. Three runs each week
3. FlyLady routines
4. Fast food only once each week
5. Grow the blog

5K - Ha.  I still haven't run yet.  I think about it all the time (seriously, all the time), but I feel like I just don't have time.  We've been busy at work.  We've had snow days.  We're in the process of moving.  My new course load is crazy busy.  Excuses, excuses.  Ugh.  To get myself motivated, I promise promise promise to run at least one time this week.  I'm thinking Tuesday looks like a good day.  The weather is supposed to be nice.  I won't have any assignments due.  That's what I'm going to do.  I'm hoping after one run, I'll remember all the reasons I love it and keep going.

FlyLady - I love her program, in theory.  Parts of it work great and parts of it don't (for me, at least).  I've been thinking about working to modify the program to make it really work for me.  I still need to stick to the routines.  For the month of February I'm still going to work on the same things as last month ... Weekly Home Blessing (I did this one pretty successfully), shining my sink (I did it about half the time), and 15 minutes of decluttering each day (I really need to work on this to get ready to move!).

Fast Food - I did this ... mostly.  I know I had a few slip ups.  They've all been in the last two weeks though.  I think I've been feeling stressed and that's how I justified it.  Not anymore.  I'm getting back on track.

Blog - I've been working on this and I've been please.  If you like what you see, please follow the blog.  That lets me know that people are actually reading.  I've also been inspired to start some of the crafty projects.  I've started a file in my bookmarks of all the projects I'd like to complete.  Sometime soon I really want to make this hanging book display.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Cozy Project: Heart-Shaped Crayons

This post is for all of my mommy and teacher friends.  I'm sure we can all relate to the problem of that hideously ugly, broken crayon box.  You know what I mean ...

At the end of the school year, I end up with a bunch of ugly, broken crayons.  I know that I hate using ugly crayons.  The paper is peeling and dirty.  There's no pretty tip.  The crayons have speckles of all the other crayons.  It's just yucky.  

I've been wanting to make homemade crayons (or semi-homemade crayons) for quite some time now.  I finally decided that Valentine's Day was the perfect opportunity.  Silicone ice trays are everywhere now. I found a set of two heart-shaped trays in the Target Dollar Aisle (love it) for $1!  So yesterday I brought home my big tub of crayons (I started a new one this year in my art center).  I stopped by Target and picked up some ice trays.  I went home, poured a glass of Cabernet, turned on an episode of Glee and I was ready to go.  I started peeling ... and peeling ... and peeling.  Let me tell you, it gets gooey.  Some of the wrappers had been on there so long they had turned into a glue-like substance.  Yuck.  Once I finished peeling, the rest was simple.

Preheat your oven to 225.  Break your crayons into 1/2 inch pieces.  Place the pieces in your ice trays however you heart desires.  I tried mixing random colors, similar colors, or all one color.  I think my favorites were actually the solid color crayons... but a few swirly ones were great too.  Do whatever your kiddos will like.  As a side note, the name brands do work a little better for this project.  There's something about the wax in some of the off-brands that doesn't melt into the other wax very well.  It will still work, but I found it separated a little and the color melted into the other wax and I ended up with white wax chunks.  In my particular trays, it took about five 1/2-inch pieces to fill one heart.  This is about the equivalent of one or two whole crayons, but since you probably don't have whole crayons, that is really pretty useless information.  Once your trays are filled, put them in the oven until they melt.  They won't be completely melted, just ooey gooey.  The colors will start to swirl together.  Once they have melted to your liking, take them out and put them in the freezer.  It took about an hour or so for mine to freeze.  I popped them out of the trays and they were all set for little hands!

I actually used these as my valentines for my students this year.  I put two in a little treat bag for each kid with a little note explaining what it was.  I didn't want them to think it was candy.  This is a project I will definitely do from now on.  It was super simple and it's something they'll actually use.  I had a few extras, so I threw some in my new crayon box in my art center and I saved a few for my own little man.  They're the perfect size for his little toddler fingers.

Now ... it's time for some more Glee. 

This project is linked up at

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Cozy Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Dip

I'm a little late in posting my Superbowl recipe, but here it is.  And let me say, it is yummy!!!!  I must be behind in my dips, because I had never had this dip until over the Christmas holidays.  We visited some friends in Philadelphia and they made it for us (among many other absolutely delicious dishes!).  Then I come back to the blog world and start looking at Superbowl recipes and it's all over the place!  Here's my rendition.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
8oz. cream cheese
8oz. Ranch dressing
8oz. Bleu Cheese dressing
12oz. hot sauce 

Preheat oven to 325.  Boil and shred the chicken.  Coat in hot sauce.  In a saucepan, comine cream cheese, Ranch dressing and Bleu Cheese dressing, stirring until completely smooth.  Cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan with chicken.  Top with cream cheese mixture.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbling.  Serve warm with tortilla chips.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A Day Late

We've been snowed in all week. Well, iced in really. I lost track of days. This is what I did instead.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Link Parties

I'm still fairly new to the whole blogging world, but I'm loving the idea of link parties!  I thought I'd share a few buttons for the link parties I participate in.


All Things Domestic Link Party

Mommy’s Kitchen

Potluck Sunday

Organizing Junkie

Menu Planning Monday

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Cozy Recipe: Tomato, Olive, and Feta Pasta

I was searching for a recipe that would simple enough to make on night's that I'm eating alone.  Even if no one else is home, I still like to eat something yummy.  As part of my resolutions, I'm really trying to avoid fast food.  Well, I found the perfect recipe.  This dish is yummy, fast and cheap!  I found it in a can opener gourmet cookbook.  To be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be all that great.  There are no fresh ingredients, just things from a can or a box.  I was pleasantly surprised.  This is something I will definitely be making again!  Next time I might throw in some sausage or chicken... yummy!

Tomato, Olive and Feta Pasta

8oz. pasta (I used penne)
2.25oz. sliced black olives, drained
14oz. diced tomatoes, not drained
1/4c. vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
feta cheese (to taste)

Boil the pasta.  If you only use 8 ounces, it is the perfect size meal for two people.  In a separate saucepan, add the vegetable oil, olives, and tomatoes.  Simmer for a few minutes, then add the basil and garlic powder.  When the pasta is done, drain it and return to the pan.  Add the sauce and mix well.  Add the desired amount of feta cheese as a topping.  Seriously, this meal was super yummy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Winter Vacation and Fried Pickles

I know this is Wordless Wednesday, but I would like to state that these pickles were not made by me.  We ate at the delicious Famous Uncle Al's Hot Dogs in Virginia Beach.  They were absolutely delicious (and a surprise because I was expecting pickle slices, not spears)!  I would love to find a recipe to make these yummy bites at home!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Mondays - January 10 (and a few resolutions for the new year)

It's a new year and it's time to really get back into the swing of things.  I love the holiday season, but it takes routines and schedules and throws them out the window.  It's a snowy day here (rare in Texas) and schools are closed.  This means a free day for me!  I've got a full list of things I'd like to do, my favorite of which includes a trip to the library.  Oh, how I've missed it!  Before that though, I need to do my Weekly Home Blessing and make a quick run to the grocery store.

Here's what's on the menu for this week...

Monday ~ Tyler's cooking for me tonight.  He said it's some sort of pasta dish.

Tuesday ~ Queso Soup

Wednesday ~ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Thursday ~ Garlic Herb Chicken with green beans

Friday ~ Pizza Friday!

Saturday ~ Meat Crust Pizza and tossed salad

Sunday ~ Slowcooker Sunday - Broccoli Alfredo Baked Potatoes
(I had no idea that you could make baked potatoes in a slowcooker.  I just found a post at Crockpot 365 that proves otherwise.  I'm super excited to try this!

I also wanted to post a few resolutions for the new year.  Every year I've said something along the lines of eating healthier, exercising more, losing weight, etc.  I'm pretty sure we've all had similar variations.  This year, I wanted to set specific goals.  Something that I can easily check off as done.  So here it is...

1. I want to run in a 5K before the year is over.  This will take training.  I enjoy running, but I have never been determined enough to run any amount of distance.

2. In order to meet my goal of running a 5K, I will run at least three times each week.  If for some reason I am unable to run (weather, children, etc), I will walk an indoor 5K.  I'm counting on Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds to help me with this!

3. I will stick to the FlyLady program.  I have been a huge fan of this program for a long time.  However, I always seem to let go after a few weeks.  This time, I'm going to do it right.  I'll take baby steps.  My specific goal for January is to keep up with the Weekly Home Blessing, shining my sink and 15 minutes of decluttering each day.  Her Seven in 2011 motto is just fabulous!  Go to if you haven't looked into this program before.  Love it!

4. I know I need to eat healthier, but I also know that just saying I'll do it won't work.  I have a *small* problem with grabbing fast food on my way home.  My goal for this year is to limit myself to one time each week.

5. I want this blog to grow.  I loved writing the few posts I have done.  I want to keep going.  My plan is this ... Menu Mondays, Wordless Wednesdays, one new recipe each week, and a weekly update on my resolutions.

I'm really looking forward to a fresh start this year.  So many things have changed in my life lately.  I'm ready for a fabulous future!

Stay cozy on this snowy day!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Cozy Recipe: Almond Biscotti

The holidays have officially come and gone.  I'm happy and sad.  2010 was a strange year for me.  I certainly didn't end it in the same position I started it.  I'm planning on 2011 being a fabulous year!  I look forward to new experiences this year.  One of my resolutions for the new year is to cook more ... to try lots of new recipes!  Here is a new one I've found and really enjoy.  I think this (and variations) will definitely be staples in my home from now on.

During Christmas, I was searching for a diabetic recipe.  Several of our family members are diabetic, so I didn't want to only take super sweet foods.  I came across this delicious biscotti recipe on  I've tried biscotti in the past, and I can't say I was a huge fan.  However, after trying it with my coffee, I decided it is something I should make more often.  Using the Splenda and whole grain flour adds a certain element of healthiness too, don't you think?  I want to start keeping some in a canister so I can grab a couple on my way out the door.  Coffee and biscotti ... such an easy breakfast.  Why didn't I do this before?  I'm planning on adding dried cranberries to my next batch.  Yummy!

Almond Biscotti
1/4 cup slivered almonds, finely chopped
1/2 cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking
2 T. margarine (trans-fat free)
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 t. almond extract
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a small baking pan, bake the almonds for 7-8 minutes or until the almonds are golden brown.  Watch carefully to avoid burning.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix sugar and margarine with mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Add egg whites and almond extract.  Mix well.

In another large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended.

Add egg white mixture and chopped almonds to the flour mixture and mix well.

Spray two 9x5 loaf pans.  Split the dough in half and spread it evenly into the hands.  Wet your fingertips to make this easier.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove pans and turn dough over onto a cutting board.  When it is cool enough to handle, cut across loaves in 1/2 inch strips.

On a cookie sheet, lay each slice on its side.  Bake for an additional 5 minutes on each side.  Store in an airtight container.

This recipe is linked up at...
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