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Archive for May, 2012

Make A Gray Day Happy!

(Tank, jeans, sandals, necklace & earrings  – Maurices, Jacket – Thrifted from The Scarlet Poppe, Bradelet – Target)

Making Peanut Butter Ritz snacks with my children make it Exquisite!

I LOVE baking especially when I get to do it with my kiddos!  (I can’t wait until school is done next week so I have all four of my little chicks at home to share these moments with!)  I was craving some sweet peanut butter treat and these are an easy quick fix.  This is the first time that I’ve ever made these and I’m really not sure why because I always like them when other people make them.  I confess that I did not follow a recipe (I rarely follow recipes which annoys my sister and some friends.)  and they were even better than I remembered!  

Here’s what I:

In a medium bowl combine 1/3 cup each of peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar.  Cream together until smooth.  Generously spread this mixture over a Ritz cracker and top with another Ritz cracker to make a sandwich.  (You will use one package (not box) of Ritz crackers.)  Melt 12 oz chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and evenly coat your PB & Ritz sandwich with this chocolate.  You can then garnish with melted white chips and sprinkles (My kiddos favorite part)!  Let dry and enjoy!

I may not have been correct when I said my kiddos favorite part is garnishing with melted white chips and sprinkles…I’m pretty sure it’s eating the left over melted chocolate!

And if you are wondering why I’m laughing in my last outfit picture it’s because a little girl was supposed to be napping but decided she’d rather be outside with me!  Moments like these, cookie making and cute, innocently sneaky babies, make me smile!

*NOTE:  Pay no attention to all of the weeds in my garden.  I’m blaming it on lack of time due to the bedroom project and I just plain hate weeding.  I’ll get to it…eventually.  For now I have a doctors excuse to rest my back and take it easy so it might just be weedy for a little longer:-)

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Yes, I know “Marry-ment” is spelt incorrectly but I did it on purpose and you’ll soon know why.

My husband and I haven’t a had chance to fit in a May date yet.  You see, even with a scheduled date each month, it’s still hard to fit a date in.  Our big excuse right now, as you all know (because I think I mention it in at least every other post), is the attic/master suite project.  Yes, it is still soaking up all of our time.  Soon, very soon, we’ll be done (knock on wood).

We originally planned to take full advantage of this weekend with my in-laws taking our kiddos while we hit The Avenger’s Friday night and my cousin’s wedding Saturday, but you may recall from my last post that my back went out a week ago and I’m still not up to par.

Since it was more important to me to attend my cousin’s wedding on Saturday than go to The Avenger’s we took it easy and just did a short dinner and headed home to lay on ice.  I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty good and super excited for my cousin and her big day!

Weddings are always so beautiful and hold so many exquisite moments!  I always enjoy seeing the bride on the arm of her father.  Her, with a big grin that says I’m more than ready to spend the rest of my life with that handsome man standing there at the front of the alter.  The fathers face, also holds joy but there’s a bit of sadness there too, as he recalls all the special moments he has had with the woman, yet just a girl in his eyes, who he’s walking down the aisle.  In that short walk I’m sure he’s recalling many special moments he’s had with her, from the time he first held her in her arms as a tiny babe, to now be giving her away and knowing he’s not the number one man in her life anymore.

My favorite face to watch is the groom, when he first beholds his beautiful bride and tries to keep his emotions in check, but you can see the overwhelming joy and awe in his expression and you know he believes he’s the luckiest man in the world to soon be able to call that smiling bride his wife.

I remember that moment as I was standing within arms reach of my future husband but still had my arm locked within my fathers.  I remember looking at my husbands face feeling so much love for him and from him.  I also remember feeling a bit sad at having to let go of my father’s arm and not be my Daddy’s little girl anymore, yet feeling like our pastor couldn’t ask fast enough, “Who presents this woman to be this mans wife?”  I watched Justin during this and the look of passion and love on his face for his bride and I could tell that he couldn’t wait for that question to be asked either.

And as they finally took each other’s hands and made their vows to love, protect, cherish and serve each other all of their lives the smiles grew bigger.

 And my favorite moment was this…

A great big high-five after their first kiss as husband and wife!  This is so Justin and Rebekah and I know they’ll have many more high-five moments in their marriage!

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Justin Peters!

(And now you get the “Marry-ment” in the title, right?  Merriment + Marry!  I told you I can’t resist a play on words!)

My attire to this formal affair was 20’s inspired!

(Dress – Modcloth, Heels – JCPenney, Jewelry – Claires, Clutch – Herrbergers)

My handsome husband and I!

(Too bad he doesn’t have a fedora!)

We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing and taking it easy with my family.  There may or may not have been some Scrabble involved!

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When my son requested to have a pirate themed birthday party for his 5th birthday I was so excited.   You might even say EXTREMELY excited!  Immediately the dramatic side of me kicked in and it was off and running with all sorts of fun ideas to make this the most fun pirate party our budget would allow.

(Warning a TON of photos will now ensue!)

A cake fit for a Pirate!

Nautical Pirate Food!

My son requested all the food and I did my best to put a piratey or nautical spin on it by labeling the foods with different names to fit the theme of the party…

The table replicates the bow of a ship with a sail and jib.

Golden Nuggets (chicken nuggets)

Crabs & Shells (crab salad) & Canon Balls (meatballs)

The Deep Blue Sea! (Blue jello with cool whip that is dyed a light blue and gummy sharks circling for a snack.)  The kids loved that I had put sharks in the jello also!  Definitely a “Cool” snack!

I’m pretty sure this frightful fella was the biggest hit as far as food display goes!  I got the idea from Pinterest and since my husband is an awesome pumpkin carver I gave him the job of carving this watermelon shark.  I think he did even better than the one I found on Pinterest!

Shark Bait (fruit salad inside a watermelon carved to look like a shark) & Polly’s Crackers (gold fish) behind the shark!

Name Your Poison!

A “Name Your Poison” sign sits above the beverage and snack table that is complete with Pirate Punch (blue punch with scoops of vanilla ice cream and gummy sharks floating about!) and Pirate Rum (kool-aid and water)!  (I’m sad to report I didn’t get a good picture fo the beverages, sorry.)

Pirate Ships (oranges sliced to look like a boat and topped off with a Jolly Roger flag stuck through a toothpick)! Another Pinterest idea!  I’ll admit I was disappointed that mine did not float.

Barnacles (a mixture of caramel and salted popcorn)!

The birthday boy (aka Jack Sparrow for the evening) enjoying some Mermaid Kisses (Hershey’s kisses), Sour Matey’s (sour patch kids) & Go Fish (swordfish)!

No Pirate Party Would be complete without…

A Pirate Ship…

We hung a Jolly Roger flag like a mast to our play area so that it made our play set look a bit like a Pirate ship!

 Piratey Signs…

(We had about a dozen signs posted around our yard.  You’ll see more in later pictures.)

A Tattoo Station…

If you ever have a pirate themed party a tattoo station is a definite!  I kept it simple by topping an old crate with a wooden dish full of 50 temporary tattoos, a small old pitcher and bowl filled with cold water and a wash cloth to adhere the tattoos.  I also set out a small “Sea In A Bottle” (Do you remember that middle school science project?!) for the little pirates to play with while being tattooed.   “Savvy Tattoos” (the name I gave our tattoo parlor) was a HUGE hit with not only the kids…

but adults too!

My brother-in-law pretending to be in pain while my husband gives him his tattoo.

 Piratey Games!

Sword Fight On A Plank!

The point of this game was to start with two pirates on the plank and fight until one of them fell off the plank of was disarmed.  When somebody fell or dropped their sword that person was eliminated and another pirate would step on the plank to try his best.  This kept going ’til only one pirate was left standing undefeated on the plank.  The winner received a pirate water gun!

(We used swim noodles because I didn’t want the kids getting rough and hurting each other with plastic swords.)

A Tresure Hunt!

My son, Captain Jack Sparrow telling his crew to gather around the plank as he reads the first clue.

It started with my son, the birthday boy who insisted he be called Captain Jack Sparrow during the party, running out with an old bottle and pirate map in hand yelling, “Guys, look what I found!” (I may have told him what to do.)  They were to follow the map to different areas on our property, that were all marked with an old sign that had piratey names on them, and search for more hidden bottles with clues.

My nephew found the first hidden bottle and second clue on Cannibal Island!

Trying to read the map and see where the clues are leading them too.

Crossing Death’s Path! (Don’t worry there were adults with.)

Port McKenzie!  This is one of my favorite pictures, all those little buccaneers are so serious as they hunt for the buried treasure!

The clues led them to wear the X marked the spot on the map…The Black Forest. Abandon All Hope He Who Enters Here! Now to travel west and find where the treasure nest!

I think they found where it was nesting!!!

The Captain opening the treasure box!

The treasure was full of jewels, penny’s and small pirate booty bags for each little buccaneer! In each bag were penny’s, Rolos and assorted Hershey’s Golden Nuggets. Basically anything golden color because pirates love gold!

Yes, Another Treasure Hunt!

For this treasure hunt the captain and his crew had to dig in the sand for hidden ping-pong balls.  The balls had a number on them that corresponded to an outdoorsy prize like, sidewalk chalk, giant bubbles, frisbees and water guns!

(I did have other games that aren’t pictured one was a game that if the kids or adults used pirate lingo or danced or sang to the pirate music we had playing during the party they would earn a pin.  The person at the end of the party who had the most pins won a prize! I also had a little pirate quiz that went along with some pirate facts I had posted around the yard.  The person who answered the most questions right was the winner of a box of Captain Crunch!)

 Next was gifts and cake!

We had to move indoors due to rain and I was so disappointed that my beautifully decorated Pirate Ship had become a bit of a shipwreck by the time we got to enjoy it.  I couldn’t believe it beacuase I had about 30 skewers in it to prevent that very thing from happening.   Oh well,it still tasted delicious!

 

The cannons were lit to announce it was time to sing “Happy Birthday, Dear Pierce”!!!

It was a really fun party, one of my favorites to plan and everyone, even the adults seemed to enjoy it!

Happy 5th Birthday, Pierce, I mean Captain Jack Sparrow!!!

*More of my favorite pictures from the party…

(I apologize for my absence lately and sorry to say it may be awhile before I get to post any outfit posts.  I have been laying in bed with a bad back since Sunday afternoon.  I guess the Pirate Party was too much for me:-0.  I’m just now feeling well enough to be able to hold the computer on my stomach.  Hopefully soon I can get some more outfit posts for you all since those seem to be your favorites.  I’m healing slowly but surely and just praying I’ll get well enough to go to my dear cousins wedding on Saturday.)

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(Blouse – The Buckle, Shorts – American Eagle, Sandals – Maurices, Jewelry – Forever 21)

No, I’m not narcissistic enough to think of myself as Cinderella.  The blouse just made me think of the childhood rhyme I use to sing while jump roping.

I was on the hunt for a buttery yellow blouse for this spring/summer and have been scouring racks since February not able to find just what I was looking for.  Thank God for my husband and his wonderful sense of style!  Knowing my desire for a pretty buttery blouse he picked this one out for me and I’ve fallen in love with it and him all over again.  It’s so awesome having a husband who likes to shop!

My favorite thing about this blouse is the back, it definitely fits into the “Exquisite” category in my opinion!

You may recall me posting this outfit awhile back.  Ever since creating that ensemble on Polyvore I couldn’t get the coral shorts out of my mind but  I knew I couldn’t afford the J.Crew pair at this time, since I was reaching the end of my summer clothing budget. (Yes, I said the B word and, yes, I hate having to budget but thus is life for a family of six.)   So when I saw this pair at American Eagle for half the price I snatched ’em up!  

Now I just need to find the sea green blazer!

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I made this “three generations favorite” hotdish last night for dinner!  When I posted to Facebook that I was making it for dinner I had a couple of people interested in the recipe so I thought I would share it here.  I promise you that if you like pasta, cheese and toasted bread you will not be disappointed in this dish.  In fact I’ll go as far to say that I bet it will be one of your families favorite dishes too!

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

1.5 tsp. garlic powder

1.5 cups cooked elbow macaroni

1-2 cans cream of onion soup

1/2 lb grated colby cheese

5 slices of white bread

1/4 cup  butter

In a large pot start your water for your macaroni.  While waiting for noodles to cook to el dente, in a medium saucepan combine ground beef and garlic powder and brown til cooked through.  Strain both your el dente pasta and browned beef.

Preheat oven to 350*.

In a large mixing bowl combine pasta, browned beef and 1-2 cans of cream of onion soup (I prefer two cans for a creamier consistency) and mix together thoroughly.  Pour mixture into an oven safe 10×10 pan that has an oven safe lid.  Cover pasta/beef layer with grated cheese and set aside.

In microwave safe bowl completely melt your butter.  In a medium-sized mixing bowl tear your 5 slices of bread into crouton size pieces and pour melted butter over bread pieces.  Stir lightly making sure each piece is coated with butter then disperse over cheese layer.  Cover and bake in 350* over for 30 minutes.  At the end of 30 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until bread is toasted and golden brown.  Remove from oven and serve!

Note:  I sometimes double the pasta/beef/soup mixture and freeze half to make at a later date so that all I have to do is thaw this and add my cheese and bread later.  Big time saver!

I hope you enjoy it!

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(Pants, Sandals & Jewelry – Maurices, Shirt – thrifted)

Have I ever mentioned my love for things red?  I’m pretty sure I have but in case I haven’t…

I LOVE RED!  

How much do I love red?  Enough that I have two pairs of red pants (these and a burgundy pair), not to mention just a few other red clothing items, my van is red, my dinning room is red, my house is red, a purse that is red, red lipstick…red, red, red.  I love red!

I was inspired Friday morning, by this picture when I saw it on Pinterest.  When I looked at that image I just new red pants were in my very near future.  So near, in fact, that I wore this outfit that very same day to my daughter’s school where I had the wonderful blessing of listening to her and her class read their poetry and gaze upon their beautiful pieces of pottery!

My daughter reading her verb poem about becoming a Rock-Star!

Giving her “What A Wonderful World” presentation along with the rest of her classmates.

Her beautiful piece of pottery.

Gabrielle with her teacher, Mrs. Kabdi.

Thank you Mrs. Kabdi for an enjoyable afternoon!

(Linking up The Pleated Poppy)

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Mother’s Day is a fun day for me because it’s a day that’s all about me.  I get breakfast in bed, with a bouquet of dandelions and creeping charlie.  I get to do whatever I want, like take an hour-long bath then snuggle on the couch with my angelic offspring, while they shower me with hugs, kisses and “I love you’s”.  Usually we go mini-golfing or on a hike with a picnic lunch.

This year however I had to share Mother’s Day.  It wasn’t the first time and it certainly wont be the last.  Do I mind?  Not one little bit because the reason I have to share this day is one of the reasons I get to celebrate this day in the first place…

Five years ago, on a beautiful warm Mother’s Day morning, I sat in church rubbing my swollen abdomen.  I was 37 weeks along and I was thinking that my braxton hicks contractions felt a little stronger than normal and seemed to be coming at more regular intervals.

As the service was nearing an end and the tightening was intensifying I whispered to my husband, “I think we may want to go to the hospital after church.”

My husband looked at me with slightly wide eyes and said, “Do you need to go now?”

Since I’d already been through labor two other times I knew we were okay to stay for the remainder of the service, “No, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to meet this little one today,” I said with a smile.

After the service we collected our daughters from the nursery and kids church and made our way for the exit, which proved to be slow going.  This was my first time back in church since I was 20 weeks along, due to me going into preterm labor and having to be on bedrest.  There were a lot of people who were wondering how I was doing and why I wasn’t still on bedrest.  I assured them that I had made it past the critical stage and my doctor had told me I was okay to be out of bed now since it would be safe for my baby to be born now.  My husband or I never once mentioned or let on that we were heading to the hospital the moment we exited the building.

When we got to the hospital and were settled in my room, we found that I was already dilated to  six centimeters.  Things were a lot further along than I thought and I didn’t want my husband to have to try to keep our five-year-old and two-year-old occupied, I wanted him with me so I phoned my mother.

“Hey,” I said when she answered her phone.  “Happy Mother’s Day!  We wont be able to meet you guys to go mini-golfing now.”

“Why?” She asked.

“Because I am sitting in a hospital bed ready to have a baby.”

“What?!”  She exclaimed.

She and my dad came to the hospital to get our daughters and my husband I spent the next few hours alone waiting, waiting and waiting.

I asked my husband to grab a nurse and see if I could be taken off the monitors because I wanted to walk around for a bit, which she did and informed us that I was about eigh centimeters now.  I got out of bed thinking I had plenty of time to walk the halls, but we only made it about half way down the little O.B. hallway when I felt the urge to push.

Since we were near the nurses station, I looked at her and said, “I need to push.”

“Already?”  She snapped up, “That was fast.”

We walked back down the hall to the delivery room where she phoned my doctor to let her know it was time.  However, my doctor didn’t make it in time to deliver my baby.  Our nurse, Sue, had to step in because it was less than two minutes after that call to my doctor that I was holding my sweet baby boy in my arms.

That is the most wonderful Mother’s Day I’ve ever had and he is the most wonderful Mother’s Day gift I’ve ever received.

How can I mind sharing my special day every few years with him, since he’s one of the four reasons I get to celebrate this day anyway.

So since Mother’s Day also happened to be his birthday, he go to call the shots and when I asked him what he wanted to do on his birthday he said, “I want to do nothing and eat everything!”  Sounded good to me.  So since his birthday this year is pirate themed (his party is next Sat.) we had a Pirates Of The Caribbean movie marathon, opened presents…

ate lots of snacks like pizza, cheese popcorn and don’t forget the cake, after singing “Happy Birthday”, of course…

and were really lazy all day long.  Except for when we flew his new dragon kite (at least tried in the 1 mph wind)….

and jumped on the trampoline…

I don’t mind sharing Mother’s Day with my son every few years.  In fact I think it’s even more exquisite when I get to share it with him!

By the way I still got a wonderful breakfast and took a long hot bath in our new whirlpool bath in our future bedroom!!!

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