Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's on Suzie's Menu?

AND holy 4 day work week!

I woke up in a horrid mood this morning; I'm not sure if it's because I am still tired or because I'm bothered by life happenings, but I was not a happy camper.

Then I went to wake up my Little Steven who was already awake, standing in his crib, crazy hair all over the place, ready to be loved on.  That made my morning significantly better.  I am so grateful for that little boy.

I still haven't posted my meals from last week, mostly because I only 'pictured' one of them.  Remember the BBQ Chicken Pizza that was ready to be made for weeks?  Well, turned out I didn't have pizza crust like I'd thought, so that turned into BBQ Chicken w/ Cheese Tortellini, which was so good that Little Steven ate every last bit of it.  I also made the Pork Chops w/ Dijon Sauce and the Cheater Fish Sammies and forgot to take pictures.  A blog without pictures is bananas, so I will share another time.

I had these divine plans to take the Summer off from school and focus on life, but somehow ended up signing up for my second and last Anatomy course along with 3 online courses.  So much for that!  With the working from home coming next week (so help me, God, if it gets pushed back again...), I still think my life will significantly calm down, so it was a good decision to keep up the momentum in school.

Now, for the real task at hand:

Sesame Beef w/ Rice (left over from last week)
Baked Spaghetti
Cheater Chicken Pot Pie
Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas - maybe with Homemade Tortillas if my mood improves :)
Frozen Pizza?

Friday, I am going to see NKOTBSB in concert, so Big Steven is in charge.  We are celebrating my little brother's birthday Saturday, so it'll probably be some delish food on the grill.  Another easy week for me!

Now, off to chug the rest of my coffee in hopes of a better mood.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

My week of CVSing.

Is it sad to say that I was very excited to go to CVS today?  Yes.  It was a great excuse to get out for a walk with the little one, so I rather enjoyed it.

Since I'm starting without EBs, I was at a bit of a disadvantage and spent much more than I normally would, but got all things I needed and still ended up spending about $30 less than I would have without the card and got $12 in EBs back.

Transaction #1:
3 Suave Men's 2-in-1 Wash
3 Suave Kids 2-in-1 Wash

Used: 3 FREE coupons received from Suave
Total OOP: $5.49
Received: $3 EBs

Transaction #2:
1 Garnier Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer
1 Garnier Face Cloths
Used: (2) $2/1 Garnier Product, $3 EBs from Transaction #1
Total OOP: $17.13
Received: $10 EBs

Transaction #3:
2 Purex Laundry Detergent
2 Listerine Zero
2 Banana Boat Sunblock (SPF 30 nad SPF 50)
1 Hawaiin Tropic Shimmer Effect Sunblock
1 Playtex Sport (which I just realized they charged me $3 too much on and I will get it corrected)
Used: (2) $1/1 Banana Boat Products + (2) $1/1 CVS BB Products, (2) $1/1 Listerine Zero, $1/1 Hawaiin Tropic Product, $1.50/1 Playtex Product, (2) $1/1 Purex Laundry Detergent, $10 EBs from Transaction #2
Total OOP: $24.20
Received: $12 EBs

Total Before Coupons and EBs: $77.18
Total For All Transactions: $47.49
Received: $12 EBs

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Ps.com - here is my Laundry Detergent 'stock pile:'

pardon the wall...
I didn't pay more than $2.50 for a single bottle up there; most of the time, it was under $2 :)  The dryer sheets I got this week - there are 4 - each was under $1!

The Thursday Push!

we are a warm weather family!

Almost a 3 day weekend!

Annoying things, weird things, and cool things are happening:

Annoying things.  Working from home has been pushed back yet again until June 8th.  Truly, I am very grateful for the opportunity, but a bit annoyed that the communication is pretty horrid.  I send emails often that go without response...whatevs, but this is something that effects me, my sitter, my son, and my bf, so I should know without having to ask multiple times what's going on.  Right?

Weird things.  Yesterday, I had to take Little Steven to the ER because he stopped breathing at Mrs. L's house and turned blue.  She had to hold him upside down and blow in his face to make him breathe.  Super scary, right?  We got X-rays done and there was no fluid in his lungs, but he does have an upper respiratory infection and a slight ear infection (again!).  I went for a follow up to his Dr. today to see what she thinks; and here's where things get weird - evidently Little Steven volutarily holds his breath out of anger/frustration.  Dr. Jackson says he'll probably do it multiple times and will probably pass out from it and potentially have a seizure.  Not to worry, the body's natural insticts will kick in and he'll start breathing again and be okie dokie.  Essentially, my precious son is sort of a brat.  Honestly?  I was SUPER happy to hear this because I know nothing is really wrong with my sweet little boy aside from his daddy's temper.

Cool things.  I get to spend the weekend at Lake Anna!  I do have to come back (1.5 hr drive) to go to class Sunday morning, but I will make the drive back to the lake afterwards and stay until Monday afternoon/early evening.  I can't wait to spend time by the water and in the sunshine!  Lake Anna is my absolute favorite place to be; it's relaxing, fun, and I love the people that go.  The song 'Redneck Yacht Club' was pretty much written about us.  Truth.

Something to push ya:

Obviously, the 3 day weekend.  Even though many of you are Mamas, the 3 day weekend will hopefully allow some family time for you and a chance to enjoy this gorgeous weather. 

Less obviously is the little blessings in life.  So my son is going to be a nice big handful for a while with these fits, BUT at least his lungs are clear, his O2 levels are good, and he's happy and healthy.  So I have to go into the office for another week and half, BUT at least I'm eventually going to have an opporutnity that many people would like to have and never get.

I know it's not always easy to see the bright things in life when little bumps come along, but I honestly believe they're always there.  Sometimes it just takes more time to see the little blessings when we're so focused on the negative.

Happiness is creating opportunites out of heart-breaking moments.

Call me optimistic and unrealistic, but at least I'm happy.

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Harris Teeter Triples Trip #4!

This one was a bit more expensive, but I still saved bookoo bucks; 'bookoo' being taken from the French word, 'beaucoup.'  I, friends, am a Google fiend!

What You See:

2 Buitoni Whole Wheat Tortellini
1 McCain Smiles
1 McCain Sweet Potato Fries
1 Snuggle Dryer Sheets
2 Fresh Express Salads
1 Sargento Shredded Cheese
3 Lunchables
4 Babybel Cheese Packs
1 Hormel Compleats Kids
1 4pk Wisp
3 can Green Beans
4 Totinos Frozen Pizzas
1 Texas Toast Garlic Bread
1 Texas Toast Croutons
1 Texas Toast Tortilla Strips
2 Sunny D Orange Juice
2 Wisk Detergent
1 Gallon Milk
1 Kings Hawaiin Rolls

Total OOP: $44.05
Total Saved: $67.42

On this trip, I used many coupons that didn't triple, but took advantage of the sales.  I had Wisk coupons for $2/1 and they were on sale for $4 something, so that was a great deal.  I also had coupons for $1/2 Babybel Cheese (which happen to be my FAV cheese that I never buy due to price) and those were B1G1 at HT last week, so I bought them.  The McCain products were on sale for $3 this week and I had $1/1 coupons as well as $1/1 E-Coupons at Saving Star , so that was a GREAT deal.  The Fresh Express Salads were 2/$6 and both packs I picked had $1 off stickers; I paired that with my $1/1 coupon I got on their Facebook (no longer available) and got a great deal on those.  The Buitoni products were B1G1; I didn't have a coupon, but Little Steven loves these products, so I bought them.  The Lunchables were only $1 and I thought those would be a great snack to take to Lake Anna this weekend...little did I know that Big Steven enjoys them.  HAHA!  But, they were a great price.

This ends my HT Triples trips.  I did notice that the Babybel Cheese is still B1G1 this week and I have more coupons, so I may have to do it.  We will see!

My first CVS trip in a long time is happening today!  I am pretty excited.  I had to use my EBs on Infant Advil and allergy meds, so I am basically starting over today, but the ad this week is AWESOME.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Confessions of a Real Life Mom.

My Weekly 'To Do' List never gets completed.

I follow many 'mom blogs' and those women inspire me and confuse me.  Not only do they have these gorgeously organized lists, but they seem to actually get it all done.  I'd like to think that I'm a pretty productive person, but I can't seem to ever get it all done.

My bathrooms hate me.  I mean, I hate them.  I used to scrub them down every other week, but I am so over it.  It's been about 3 weeks since my master bath had a good cleaning, though I did manage to clean Little Steven's bathroom and disinfect all of his bath toys this week.  Sometimes I sort of wish I'd wake up and the toilet, tub, and sinks will just be spotless!  That has never happened.  WHERE ARE YOU, CLEANING FAIRY?! 

This list is impossible to read (TYVM non-smart phone), but you get the idea.  My list is an entire page long and half that stuff was there last week.  Are you FIDDING me?!  All of this needs to be done before I leave for Lake Anna (WOOP!  WOOP!) this weekend.

Wish me luck. Death by 'To Do' list would be rather embarrassing.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Harris Teeter Triples Trip #3!

This is a horrible picture, but here are the detes:

What You See:

3 Totinos Party Pizza
3 Eggos Strawberry Waffles
1 Dozen Egglands Best Eggs
3 Desitin
6 Yoplait Greek Yogurt
3 Nature Valley Granola Thins
2 International Delights Coffee Creamer
2 Trop 50 Raspberry Lemonade
2.88 lbs Bananas

Total OOP: $19.93
Total Saved: $36.16

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Tri Color Pasta & Sausage Bake

You Will Need
1 package Smoked Sausage
1 bag Wacky Mac (or any other Tri-Color, but Wacky Mac is good for the kiddos)
1 bag of Frozen Brussel Sprouts Peas
1 cup Shredded Mozarella
1 cup Milk
1 can Cream of Chicken soup

Okay, so Brussel Sprouts was a bad idea.  Big Steven refused to eat this.  Good thing he was working that night or he would have been really hungry.  Little Steven, however, just picked around the Brussel Sprouts and really enjoyed it, so THERE.

Preheat oven to 400.

Boil Wacky Mac according to package.  Drain and transfer to baking dish.

Slice and brown your Smoked Sausage until cooked all the way through.  Drain and add with Wacky Mac.

In a large bowl, combine Mozarella, Milk, and Cream of Chicken.  Add mixture to Pasta and Sausage.  Then add your Brussel Sprouts Peas and mix all together!

Bake for about 20 minutes or until dish is creamy not runny :).

I am a total pro.

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What's On Suzie's Menu?

I decided that blogging (though I love it dearly) will not be a priority on the weekends unless I have some serious down time, which is rarely the case.  I started my Anatomy class on Sunday and I will not be happy with another 'C,' so I'll be focusing on that during my teeny weeny weekend down time.  I did manage to move my dresser into our master closet and make way for some paint to go up.  This weekend being Memorial weekend does not bode well for the paint to happen, but maybe I can sneak it in on Thursday when I'm out of work.  If I can get half the room painted this week, I'll feel like I'm at least moving forward.

Here's what last week ended up looking like:

M - Peppered Steak w/ Home Fries - no pics!
T - Cheeseburger Pie
W - Crab Meat Roll Ups
Th - Tri Color Pasta & Sausage Bake - no blog yet
F - Grad Party/No Cooking!
S - Voila! Frozen Meal
Su - Pizza Hut saved the day

Here's my plan for the week:

BBQ Chicken Pizza (this WILL happen this week)
Sesame Beef w/ Rice
Chicken Alfredo Shells
Pork Tenderloin w/ Dijon Sauce
Cheater Fish Sammies

Because the weekend will most likely be spent at the lake, with the exception of me having to drive all the way back for class (CRAP!), I am looking forward to meals down there and will try to get some good recipes out of my wonderful step-in-laws.  I love spending time down there and I think Little Steven will really enjoy running around there all Summer.post signature

Crab Meat Roll Ups

These were so delicious, but SO heavy.  Next time I make them, I will use much less butter.  I have to say, though, these really hit the spot.

I got the recipe from All Recipes  but forgot the Sesame Seeds, which was no big deal.  I used about 3/4 lb of butter instead of the full thing, but next time I think 1/2 lb will do fine.  I also used Fresh Crab Meat instead of canned Crab meat and used my food processor to mix it all together.

It was quite divine.  Serve it with a really light salad because it is ultra heavy.  The only thing missing the night I made it was a nice glass of wine.

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Cheeseburger Pie

I had originally planned to make Cheeseburger Crescents, but I opted for Cheeseburger Pie.  Really, it was going in a direction that wasn't Crescent-like, so I improvised.  Improvisation is my middle name.

You Will Need:

1 lb Ground Beef (Turkey or Boca will totes work)
2 cans Pillsbury Crescents
2 cups Shredded Cheese
3 tbsp Worchester Sauce (optional)
1 tbsp Hamburger Seasoning (optional)
S & P to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

First, brown your Ground Beef and drain.  Return to skillet and sprinkle sprankle with Worchester Sauce, Seasoning, and S & P.  Worchester Sauce is also optional, but it's so dang good that I don't know why you'd opt out of it; it makes beef ultra juicy/tangy/somethin' I can't explain.

Spray a baking dish ( I used 14x9 small one, which will take a bit longer to bake).  Line Crescents along bottom and sides of the dish like a crust - I suppose you could really use a crust here, but in my case, Crescents were cheaper.  Fill with cooked Beef Mixture and top with Shredded Cheese.  Layer second can of Crescents on top of Beef Mixture and bake for 17-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out without the doughy stuff.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Harris Teeter Triples Trip #2.

The other HT by my house had some of the things I couldn't find yesterday, but was still lacking in other areas.  I bought some things without coupons *GASP* and still managed to come out spending a small amount.

What You See:
9 Athenos Greek Yogurt
2.8 lbs Bananas (no Q)
1 Oreos (no Q)
1 Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (no Q)
2 PowerBars
3 Bisquick Easy Pour
1 Wheat Pita Bread (no Q)
1 HT Hummus (no Q)
3 Dozen Eggland Best Eggs
4 Swanson Chicken Breast
4 Keebler Graham Crust
2 Kelloggs Fiber Plus Cereal
3 6 pk Luigi Italian Ice
1 Frenchs Dijon Mustard
1 McCormick Crushed Red Pepper

Total OOP: $33.87
Total Saved: $58.44

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The Thursday Push!

Is it seriously only 10:45 am?!  I feel like I have been here forever.

My day starts around 4:30 am.  Okay, the last month or so, it's started around 5 am and sometimes 5:30.  A girl has got to sleep!  By the time lunch rolls around, I am ready to be done with the day.  Not to mention the extreme starvation that comes along with it.  I mean, I am seriously famished right now!

Today, though, is not a normal Thursday.  Today is like my Thriday!  I am not working tomorrow because Mrs. L is closed because her hubs is graduating.  My bro-in-law, Jas, is also graduating, which means I have no sitter because he usually helps me out when I need it. 

BTW, I am VERY excited for Jas' graduation because he's worked hard for this moment.  He's not just graduating, he's graduating Magna Cum Laude and was inducted into the  Lambda Pi Eta Honors Society; I mean, that is SERIOUS accomplishment.  Truth be told, I'm mostly excited that this means he and my sis can start working on Little Steve's cousin.

there is something to look forward to!

{i have successfully begun to step it up a notch with my clothing,
but i keep forgetting to take a picture with my real camera!  dang it!}

In short, the only thing getting me through the exhaustion, hunger pains/pangs, and missing my boy is knowing that I get the day off tomorrow without anyone being sick *knock on wood*.  I'm also greatly looking forward to getting a small start on my bedroom makeover, whipping out my sewing machine, and starting my new Anatomy class.

Yes, I said it, my new Anatomy class has me excited.  Though the first class was the bane of my existence for 17 weeks, I am looking forward to getting it over with in just 12 weeks this Summer and being that much closer to a fullfilling career, future, and lifetime.

In a little over a week, I will wake up, throw on a cute dress, and get my day started right in my little, lovely, cozy home.  I will enjoy breakfast and coffee at my desk in my home office, I will enjoy breaks with Little Steve, and I will say 'farewell' to the hideous traffic that is characteristic of Northern VA.

Surely you have something to look forward to, no?

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Smoked Sausage & Broccoli Fettucini.

You Will Need:

1 package Smoked Sausage (Hillshire Farm was  used)
1 package Fettucini (Bertolli was used)
2 cups frozen Broccoli
1 tbsp Nutmeg
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Shredded Cheese
2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
S & P to taste

Boil Fettucini according to package, drain and return to sauce pan.  Add Milk, Nutmeg, and Shredded Cheeses.  Add S & P to taste.

Brown your Sausage in a skillet with just a touch of EVOO.  I usually drain it just to get the extra grease off and return to pan and saute with frozen Broccoli until Broccoli is heated through.

Add your Fettucini mixture to the Sausage and Broccoli and BOOM, done.  If desired, and I always desire more cheese, sprinkle Parmesan on top and serve!

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Lazy Sunday.

Last weekend, Big Steve and I had a chance to do something we haven't done in a VERY long time - we got to spend time together alone.  Generally, when we have someone babysit Little Steve, we hang out with friends, but this time I requested alone time.  And I got it!

We went to dinner on Saturday night and over indulged in Outback deliciousness.  Then, we went to the Redbox at my favorite Harris Teeter behind the house.  This is where the night got particularly exciting for us; we used code 'dvdonme' to get a FREE rental, browsed movies and suggested various movies (I suggested chick flicks and he suggested violent films) until we saw 'Due Date' and both excitedly said "DUE DATE" at the same time.  He then proceeded to say, "end of discussion," I hit the button, and we high-fived each other.  In the car, we shared some laughs about how lame we were for getting so excited AND high-fiving each other in public.  When we got home, he fixed me a glass of wine, popped some pop corn, and we laid on the couch (actually next to one another!) and enjoyed each other's company.

Sleeping in until 9:30 was definitely my favorite part.  Then I got to make him some breakfast and enjoy it on our front porch together with a  nice large cup of coffee.

{his plate = lots o bacon}

{her plate = i wish i had his metabolism}

{front porch view!}

Now I desperately want some bacon.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Harris Teeter Triples Trip #1

Okay, so that was wildly disappointing.  Since I started couponing, the number of couponers (at least the ones that go to Harris Teeter) seems to have sky-rocketed.  I am very glad people have taken advantage of the great possibilities that couponing brings, but the selfish me wishes they'd take advantage of it AFTER I get to the sales first.  Haha!  ALL of the free stuff was totally wiped out, but I still scored great deals and will still go back tomorrow; I may try a different Harris Teeter that doesn't seem to get as much traffic.

What You See:
1 Gallon Vitamin D Milk
1 Earthbound Greens
1 Kraft TOP Cheese
6 Power Bars (necessary)
1 4 pk Breakstones Cottage Cheese
1 Breakstones Cottage Cheese Combo
2 McCormick Inspirations
1 McCormick Garlic Powder
1 Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce
3 Eggos Waffles
3 Welches Juices (variety)
2 Texas Toast Garlic Bread
3 Desitin
3 Snuggle Dryer Sheets
6 Totinos Pizzas

TOTAL OOP: $31.39

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In Other News...

...I am going grocery shopping.  I know, I know!  I wasn't supposed to shop this month at all, but the wise Big Steve pointed out that, thought he knows my goal was to not shop in May, it makes more sense for me to get things I need when I can get them FREE or CHEAP!  And, I gotta say, he's right.

Harris Teeter is having Triples this week, which means they will triple any coupon up to $.99.  All of the coupons I'm using today are from Red Plum (RP) and Smart Source (SS) inserts from the week end paper with the only exception being a few coupons where I signed up to get free products (why don't YOU do that?) and they mailed them right over and the Athenos Yogurt Coupon can be found here (if you don't also have the B2G1 Free coupon, you'll still get 2 for free).

Here is my plan for the week so far.  My plans never go as planned.

Transaction #1 (today)

3 Frenchs Honey Mustard - FREE
1 Frenchs Worchester Sauce - FREE
3 Mahatma Rice - FREE
1 McCormick Garlic Powder - FREE
2 McCormick Inspirations - FREE
1  Smart Balance Pop Corn - FREE (so yum!)
1 Frenchs Spicy Brown Mustard - FREE
3 Dozen Egglands Best Eggs - $2.25
3 Luigi Italian Ice - $.50
8 Power Bars - $4.00
1 Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce - $1.24
Milk - $3.29
1 Earthbound Salad - $2.99 (received coupon in the mail)
1 Kraft Touch of Philly Shredded Cheese - FREE (received coupon in the mail)
1 Breakstones Cottage Doubles - FREE (received coupon in the mail)
1 Breakstones 4 pk Cottage Cheese - FREE (received coupon in the mail)

TOTAL: $14.27 + tax

Transaction #2:
2 Special K Crackers/Chips - $1.68
3 Nature Valley Granola Thins - $3.72
2 Texas Toast Croutons - $1.38
3 Bisquick Easy Pour - $3.00
4 Keebler Pie Crusts - $3.00
6 Totinos Pizza - $6.00
3 Eggo Waffles - $3.12 (if I can appropriately use this on regular waffles, they'll be much cheaper; not sure about the specifics of the coupon yet)
4 Yoplait Greek Yogurt - $1.40
3 Athenos Greek Yogurt - FREE

TOTAL: $23.30

Transaction #3:

3 Betty Crocker Super Moist Cake and 3 Betty Crocker Frosting - $3.48
3 Welches Juice - 5.22
1 Frenchs  Honey Dijon - $.99
6 Yoplait Greek Yogurt - $2.10
2 Desitin $4.48
3 Snuggle Dryer Sheets - $2.22
2 Fiber Plus Cereal - $4.58
2 Texast Toast Garlic Bread - $2.00
3 Athenos Greek Yogurt - FREE

TOTAL: $25.07
Transaction #4:
4 Swanson Chicken Breast Chunk $4.16
3 Texas Toast Garlic Bread - $3.00
2 Best Life Butter - $2.18
3 Welches Jelly - $1.50
1 Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce - $1.44
1 Smart Balance Cooking Spray - $.94
1 Smart Balance Peanut Butter - $.74
1 McCormick Crushed Red Pepper - $.24
2 Yoplait Greek Yogurt - $.70
1 Bisquick Easy Pour - $1.00
1 French Honey Mustard - FREE
1 Welches Juice - $1.74

TOTAL: $17.64

All of this is assuming my calculations are correct...which is rarely the case!  Often, though, it is less than what I'd anticipated because I always forget my VIC card coupons, so I'm quite looking forward to it!  Yes, I know that's a lot of mustard on there, but it's not overboard and there are so many recipes that use mustard.  Hopefully things don't fly off the shelves like they do during Super Doubles or I think I'll end up missing out on a few really good things :(.

Happy Couponing!

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Big Plans.

I have very BIG PLANS for my life and my house when I start working part-time from home.  Not only will I be able to schedule my work around Little Steve's naps and self-play times, but I am also looking forward to more time doing things around my house.

I've been wanting to do my master bedroom and bathroom for a LONG time, but - as I frequently say - life has gotten in my way and these things have been put off.  You saw my poor excuse for a love nest during a confession; if you can believe it, it has gotten worse.  Last night, I decided to move (or have Big Steve move) my exercise bike from the living room to the bedroom.  I want to get Little Steve an indoor slide like he has at Mrs. L's house because he so loves slides.

I was working out last night in my bedroom that looks like  a confused teenager's room, and I came up with some great ideas and am looking forward to getting started this weekend.  Don't worry, you all will have a front row seat in turning my pubescent abode into a love cave.  It's going to take time...I am NOT a fan of things taking time, but I will be patient.

Stuff is getting moved, painted, and prettied up - deal with it, Big Steve.  I may even try to sneak in some girly colors when he's not looking...

Earthy walls?
I love orange...but on a smaller scale for Big Steve's sake.


Color Inspiration (think handmade pillows!)?


I also have plans for hiding stuff and making the room look super gorgeous!

But for now, I have to go get my wonderful braces tightened.  I am not a fan of this process, so I will reward myself with a free Strawberry Lemonade afterwards for having to endure such a thing.

Recipes tomorrow!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Confessions of a Real Life Mom.

Ohhhh, hey!

If you know me in real life, you know I get a bit 'preachy' about skin care.  SPF, moisturizing, washing, exfoliating...I am a skin freak.

Yesterday, Big Steven went for a run and 'discovered' a public school playground that's about a mile from our home.  I thought it would be a GREAT idea to go find it myself and grabbed Little Steven, water for the both of us, a snack for him, his sun hat, my cell, and went on my way!  I did not, however, apply sunscreen to myself.  Big mistake...I mean, BIG!  I am fair-skinned to an extreme.  My arm has gotten a bit toasted from my 45 minute drive home before, so this 2 mile (both ways) walk sans SPF was not a good idea.

Not only did I not find the park, but I had to take a contact out on the way home (stupid pollen!) and could literally feel my precious skin  burning.  It was horrible! 

{this doesn't really do the shoulder burn justice, but trust me, it's there}
Basically, I forget things.  I even forget about things that are REALLY important to me.  So, now I am in recovery mode - lots of Aloe/Vitamin E After Sun Lotion (that has the BEST smell ever), lots of water to help rehydrate my skin,  and SPF 100 until it goes away.  Think I'm kidding about the SPF 100?  I'm not.  That's what I use on Little Steve - he'll just have to share this week.

The good news is that I had a great work out  and I know now that the park was just out of sight for me and I'll try to find it again this weekend.

In other confessions, I suck at trying to be a runner.  I've tried out the walk/jog combo on walks with Little Steven multiple times and I just really don't like running.  I know how great it is for my body and I know that it's super heart healthy, but I don't like it.  I love to walk, though, so that's sufficient, right?

I'll keep trying, but I cannot promise I will like it!

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Happy Monday!

I feel well enough this week to think about food - maybe a little too well because I'm pretty excited to get back into cooking.

I love the Spring and Summer seasons because Big Steven really enjoys cooking on the grill, which makes my job pretty easy a couple nights a week.

Tonight, we are having Peppered Steak on the grill w/ homestyle fries (cheater - Simply Potatoes) and steamed veggies.

Here are my options this week:

Chicken Alfredo Shells
Cheeseburger Crescents   Cheeseburger Pie
Sesame Beef w/ Rice
Easy Peasy Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings
BBQ Chicken Pizza (STILL haven't made it)
Tri-Color Pasta & Sausage Bake
Crab Meat Roll Ups

I'm a bit skeptical of the Crab Meat Roll Ups, but it's worth a shot :).

I really want to bake this week, so I'll keep you posted on that.  I'm thinking something gooey....

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Breakfast Casserole!

Last weekend, I was reading through my 'Taste of Home' Cook Book that was gifted from one of my favorite nurses, Hilde, and found a breakfast recipe that sounded delicious!  I made some slight changes to suit my tastes (typical!), but it turned out pretty yummy.

You Will Need:

8 Eggs
1 pkg Hashbrowns - thawed (20 oz)
8 slices Bacon - cooked and crumbled
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
S & P to taste

Basically, you just throw all of these ingredients in a large bowl and mix it together.  That is one of the many reasons I love casseroles - they are easy and easy is so perfect for a lazy Saturday!

I baked mine at 350 for about 40 minutes.


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Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Thursday Push!

Well, this is has been a ____ week.  There is not really an adjective to describe it; it's not been great, but I know many people have it worse.

Being sick all week has pretty much sucked the life out of me.  The little bit of life that I had left was emotionally drained, so I am not sure how I'm functioning today.

Let's just say that my life is about to endure a big time change.  I'm ready for it, but that doesn't mean it's going to be easy.  Eventually, when it doesn't feel too personal, I'll share the detes with my readers, but for now...The Thursday Push!

I've prayed a lot this week.  I've prayed for guidance, answers, love, and healing.  Last night, a quote kept running through my head over and over again:

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

I've always loved this quote, but it especially hits home in my life right now.

When I have my 'moments,' as I call them, when I just want to cry forever, reality eventually does set in and I realize I can't spend the rest of my life crying.  Then I start thinking about why I'm crying.  Am I crying because I feel like it?  Or am I crying because someone pushed me to that level?  If it's the latter, I always remind myself that I've allowed that person to hurt me.

There is nothing wrong with crying - I do it all the time.  The problem lies in allowing someone else to have control over your happiness.

My current issue goes far beyond crying, unfortunately.  But this is a place for me to start. 

If someone can make you cry and not care that they've made you cry, do they really care about you to begin with?

If only I'd asked myself this question years ago.

One more day.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Circle of Influence as Inspired by The Shine Project.

If you don't follow or read The Shine Project, I recommend it.  I am constantly looking for ways to improve myself and be a better person in order to fully enjoy life and give others joy; I am consistently amazed at Ashley's sincerity and love for others.

A couple of years ago (when I found out I was pregnant), I made a conscious decision - with the help of many years of prayer - to keep people closest to me that build me up and make me a better person. 

Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.
 - Proverbs 4:23

Since then, I've developed a few really great friendships and built on some old ones.  I don't think that anyone is innately 'bad,' but I do believe that some relationships bring us down for various different reasons; generally, it is two-sided.  I'm a pretty open book, but there are some details of my life that I keep private because I believe these things are only meant to be shared with a few.

These are the people that have the greatest influence on me and are rock-solid constants in my life:

{siblings: twin, hinny, and nenny}
{my beefs!: amanda w. (almost z!), whitney, amanda o.}

{the man.: big steven}
These people are the ones that I interact with most frequently; if I'm dealing with internal issues, work issues, baby issues, etc., I call these friends first.  Of course I always have my parents, but no one wants parents to worry, right?

After reading Ashley's most recent challenge, I was inspired to take a good look at all of my relationships (the ones here and the ones beyond these) and really ask myself if there is anyone who brings me down; I've been and still am struggling to find the true answers.  I think sometimes I convince myself that people have my best interest at heart because I want them to, but really examining their actions leaves my heart conflicted.

Recently I was told that I am 'too sensitive.'  It's okay that I was told that because everyone is entitled to their opinions, but it brought me back to a moment when I was told the same thing by someone different.  I decided when that someone spoke those words to me that I would never let these words define me negatively because my emotions are what make me a good friend, girlfriend, and mother.  The statement that I am too sensitive takes validity away from what I feel and feelings are always valid.  The problem with being told that I am 'too sensitive' is that I don't feel like I can share my true feelings with that person any longer.  This is heart breaking.

I suppose my point is that examining relationships is important.  If we just allow people in our hearts that break it, we will soon become hard-hearted in the same way.

"Happiness is not by chance, but by choice."

These words could not be more true.  We choose our actions and our reactions, we choose who we allow in our lives and who we don't.

Choose these things wisely.

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