25 December 2011

Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy!

That's what we had for breakfast Christmas morning!
I was a little scared to try a new recipe on Christmas but I am so glad I did, they turned out great!

The kids had theirs with whip cream and sprinkles 
BUT, I am fond of bacon, so bacon on top for us!
I found a couple different variations of the recipe, all basically the same so I decided to try it until it looked/tasted right. I made a LOT, easily could have made half this I think!

In a bowl I mixed together
1 1/4C sugar
1/2C Coco Powder
1/2C Flour
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

I stirred those together well to make sure there was no lumps
you could use a sifter if you needed to, I just used a whisk.
oh and salt, a couple pinches!
Then in my pot I measured 4 c of milk,  I used nonfat but I am sure any will work fine.
I warmed the milk up a little before adding the dry mixture in and whisking like crazy.
I just kept stirring it on med/high heat until it thickened up and there were no lumps.
Once it was done I added about two tablespoons of butter (I didn't measure it, but all of the recipes called for butter) 
And then about 1/2 tsp of vanilla.

It was pretty easy, just took a few minutes and the kids all liked it! Not an everyday breakfast, but fun for a special treat! 

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22 December 2011

Parties from the last couple years!

I was just thinking how I am SO excited for the biggins to have separate parties this time, and hoping I can do better than the past years! So in case you are a new follower or didn't catch them the first time. I am sharing a few pictures from previous parties. There are absolutely some things I will never do again! And some stuff I can't wait to do again!

I think THIS Yo Gabba Gabba party was the first I really put THAT much effort into and planned for a while!

 I obviously didn't leave enough time to do it all though, because I think I had hubby wrapping water bottles as people were getting there! Looking back now, there are SO many things I would have done differently.

Then it was Sydney's Squirrelly first birthday, she isn't mine but I love helping friends with their parties too!

And shortly after that was Finnley's first birthday. I finally felt really good about this one, I don't think I would have changed much about this one! And there were actually 2 posts for it. Here and Here

And this Feb. the biggins had their last shared birthday! Cowboy and Cowgirl themed! I loved some of the stuff and other things not so much. It is far too hard for me to do boy and girl birthday party themes together.

 I did love that although there are hundreds of printables, I made everything I could. I think I would have been even more bummed about it had it been a whole lot of printables. The straw was totally fun for the kids even if it was a TON of work to clean up afterwards! We all did it together and it was nice to just unwind and sweep with the kids. Favors were really fun! And I actually loved the table too! Finally felt like I might be getting the hang of timing and planning!

And it's amazing but this time last year I was already full on planning Finnley's 2nd Birthday party in Sept! We threw him a Little Lumberjack Party and I knew we would need some woodsy stuff and red.
 Both seem to be abundant during the Winter Holidays.

 When it finally came time for his party I loved every single thing, other than my drink holder leaking a little. The rest I loved! I loved that I hadn't seen another Lumberjack Party done before.  Loved that Kim helped me find the perfect treats from Japan with just 1 tiny picture for a hint! Loved the little accessories and that I could make all the food match the theme! The little marshmallow axes took a good while to make but they were so perfect I would do it again even if they took twice as long!

I am SO excited to get started on the biggins individual parties this year. Alice in Wonderland style bake shop and a vintage inspired Baseball party! Both are done often, but hoping to have a few new things to add!
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19 December 2011

12 days left in the year?!

Anyone else have a HUGE list of things they thought they 
would have done before the summer that are still there?! 

I DO! Now that the kids are on Christmas Break I am enjoying being home more, and playing taxi less. Time to get all these things done so I am not dragging them into another year!

~I have to paint these little clothespins I talked about painting them HERE  IN OCTOBER of 2010!
~Cover another shelf in the pantry with the oil cloth, which I have had for 6 months easily! I finished 1 shelf here last December!

Those 2 are for sure happening today! I have to wrap a couple more gifts and I will be done. 
Any last minute non Christmas related projects you don't want to drag into 2012?

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Menu Monday and a couple recipes

I can't believe it's that time again already!
But I do like that this 2 weeks has all kinds of fun stuff going on so I have less meals to plan!
I explained 2 weeks ago how I plan our meals hereAs students who are studying cooking at online accredited colleges know, planning meals can be beneficial for numerous reasons.
So December 19th through New Years is what I am planning now.

19th~ Chicken and wild rice and some veggies
20th~Those White Chicken Enchiladas AGAIN, cause they were delicious!
21st~Spaghetti and meatballs (unless we have family plans)
22nd~I am taking our girly to The Nutcracker so I think the boys will have to find something to do!
23rd~Meatball Subs (making extra meatballs this time!)
24th~Family stuff
25th~Family stuff
26th~Chicken Stir fry
28th~Chicken with pasta and veggies
29th~It's my birthday so we are going out!

In case you didn't see the recipe for the White Chicken Enchiladas it's HERE.
Don't they look yummy?! ( These weren't baked yet)
I did them a little different because Hubby doesn't like chile's, I just dumped the can of chile's in the magic bullet for a swirl first, so we still got the flavor, but NOT the chunks/texture!
And the Cowhand Stew I have shared a couple times, it is a favorite around here!
Link to the Recipe right HERE :)

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16 December 2011


Thank Goodness we made it to Friday! Today was the first day of vacation for our kids. I am so excited to NOT have to taxi everyone someplace this week. Enjoying the time at home with the kids! 
Today I took care of the Laundry Room. It was messy with piles of clothes for a couple friends and some goodwill stuff. Once nap time is over we are off to Goodwill.


And SO much better now!

And we have added this cute little thing to help the kids remember their chores for the day! Now if only I could remember to write on it everyday!

I need to stop waiting until the laundry room is FULL of stuff before I make the trip to Goodwill, but it's so easy to put all the extra in there!
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12 December 2011

Organizing Friday!

I'm not sure how it's already Friday Saturday again but I've got plenty of places that needed some help yesterday. And since we have 2 birthday parties coming up in early Feb (8 weeks! EEK) I figured I better get that cupboard cleaned up so I don't by duplicates and so I can find the stuff that needs to be worked on in there.

It was pretty full and messy before!

And it's still pretty full but I was able to get their things separated and get a good idea of what we have and what we need.

For the bottom shelf, most of that stuff is always there. It's the things I use often like paintbrushes, hot glue guns and other tools. But I do love the $1 section from Target for the cute little buckets which are a good size to hold glue, pliers and all the other little stuff.

One day I will STOP working on their birthdays for more than a year ( the other shelf has stuff for their parties in 2013!) and we won't have the cabinet full of party stuff! 

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06 December 2011

Half done Christmas Decorations!

Well if I don't share them now I'm not sure I will at all!
I think I am having a reaction to our tree, I was already getting sick and now it's just getting worse, the closer I am to the tree (and it smells SO good) the worse I feel.  I am kind of behind but I am ok with it! Learning to let stuff go is HARD but I am getting better. 
I had to decide between getting the chores done or heading to the craft store. For now, the chores win.

After our youngest was born 2 years ago I decided to change the Christmas stuff we had, I had already kind of outgrown the other stuff and I really prefer matching stockings and couldn't find one with his initial to match. That's how it all started! Every year I add a little more but it's obvious it's not finished.

Like these obviously are missing a candle! I found some that are perfect, but they are out at our Target and I just can't justify trekking the extra half hour to get them, they just aren't THAT important right now.  But I do love the little Michael's $1 section frames, that need pictures in them!

I love the lime green! Can't really tell in the picture but the little snowballs are shimmery (and ALL over if the fan gets turned on!)

I tend to be attracted to Elf Shoes! They are just so stinkin' cute!

The mantle is definitely lacking the FLUFF I am hoping to add to it. 
I used to love greenery but it just doesn't match the lime I like and its usually too full and blocks the TV (darn TV!) so when I get to the craft store and have some extra coupons I will be adding some white boas! 
Our Elf Cookie just happened to be hanging out there today.

All looks unfinished but I love where it's going! (cept that one is kinda crooked)

These are the stockings that started a new look, good thing I still LOVE them!

Random fluff from around the house

I did get some outside stuff done! I still don't have the monogram wreath I have been lusting over. I did try a DIY version.. TOTAL fail.. all it did was break the big G! Soo no wreath yet cause I can't decide what to do instead!

No lights up yet, maybe this weekend!
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05 December 2011

Menu Monday

I did my grocery shopping on Friday for the next 2 weeks (except a milk and produce stop). I'm pretty sure I have shared before that when I am on task we have the same "style" of thing every Monday-Friday. It makes grocery shopping less expensive because I am not buying that 1 ingredient I won't use again before it goes bad, I can stock up when stuff is on sale because I KNOW we will use it!
Monday's are Chicken (usually with rice or pasta)
Tuesday's are Mexican
Wednesday is a pasta meal and occasionally a meatless one
Thursday is Soup or Salad (or both)
Fridays are usually sandwiches of some kind
Weekends are when I get to do the more elaborate cooking or try new recipe's.

This is what we will be having the next 2 weeks, starting today. And we have fruit and veggies with every meal but I don't always plan exactly what it will be.
Monday~Chicken with rice and veggies and chicken sauce
Tuesday~Turkey Taco's
Wednesday~Spaghetti and meatballs 
Thursday~Grilled chicken salad
Friday~Turkey Burgers (unless there are leftover meatballs)
Saturday~Pork Tenderloin and potatoes
Sunday~Cowboy Stew

Monday~Teriyaki chicken and stir fry veggies with rice
Tuesday~ White Chicken Enchiladas (it's new for me, but looks amazing!) recipe HERE
Wednesday~ Baked Chicken Parmesan
Thursday~Loaded Baked Potatoes and Salad
Friday~ Turkey Burgers( if we didn't have them last week) or grilled cheese and tomato soup
Saturday~undecided, something with pork though!
Sunday~Probably Pizza
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03 December 2011

Birthday Party Planning Already!

I swear these 2 JUST had their birthday 3 weeks ago! February is coming up quick! Last year was the LAST time for a shared party (at least for a while) it was SO hard, they are 2 years apart and finding gender neutral themes was not happening!

I am excited and nervous, 2 birthday parties to plan at the SAME time, EEEK!
Trying to start early to avoid the last minute rush!

Both kids have picked themes that will be easy to find some ideas/products if I get behind.
He chose Baseball.. but I want to do it a little vintagey
She chose Alice in Wonderland.. no red and black here!

Pinterest is FULL of great ideas for both!
I'm sure I will sharing some of the party fluff soon!
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02 December 2011

Organizing Friday!

Ok, so it has been a while since I have been posting on Fridays, because I really haven't been doing much on Fridays! I got in a slump. But I am on a mission and starting with the most used clutter collecting spaces. So some of these might be a repeat, but believe me they needed help again.
Pinterest is sure a motivator when there are such pretty organized spaces!


Today I finished our closet downstairs, I don't really know what to call it, it's between the hall and bathroom and pretty big. We keep all our media stuff in it, my workout stuff, cleaning supplies, extra diapers and wipes, TP and when I am being bad 200 other things!
I actually started it yesterday, and of course didn't take pictures, cause I NEVER remember. But I will tell you there were NO open shelves, they were all covered with gifts that needed to be wrapped, and some that had been wrapped, random bows, wrapping paper and gift tags!  So now that I've go that done and we have a place I could really get in there and get it cleaned!

it's MUCH better now. I think I have cleaned this closet at least 4 times in the last 2 years, like MAJOR and shared about it! HERE is the very first "before" picture. And done HERE and last time it was in JUNE! Only 6 months and it got So bad this time! Here is the June post with some before and afters.
So even since I took these pictures an hour ago, I've already made more changes. The handheld steamer, RARELY gets used. I think I am not going to keep it, I'm moving it to the garage, and in the Spring if I haven't used it by Spring Cleaning time, it's going!  I've also made sure I don't even LOOK at Scentsy stuff for a while! I have obviously too much in the basket on the left.

The gingham basket is full of rags, I don't think I need that many, I keep the microfiber cloths and use them for everything. So I moved it to the garage too, if I don't need them by Spring they can stay out there for Hubby to use.
I even got rid of a couple of aprons!

These disc holders are AMAZING! They each hold about 100 Cd's and they are so much smaller than 100 Cd's in cases. By far my favorite organizing for media

And I clearly need to stock up on wipes and TP :)

I really have been trying to purge like crazy, for a couple reason. The first is we just have too much stuff! Stuff we aren't using right now, and who knows if we will again. The other reason is there are only 29 days to get your donations in for the tax year. I don't want to wait until the beginning of the year to do all this.
Cleaning products, I had started getting free samples of stuff, or a good deal on clearance items. I just have to stop and stick to what I know I will use. Vinegar, magic erasers, baking soda and microfiber! The bin of cleaning stuff was (and still kind of is) overflowing. I figure with all this cleaning and organizing I should use up some of the extra stuff and have it to a manageable level again soon!

Not sure what next week will be, maybe the pantry (especially since I have had oil cloth for a year and haven't used it!)
Hope everyone has a good weekend! Who else is getting their tree this weekend?

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30 November 2011

It's almost time!

To start those Advent calendars!
We have a little ginger bread house one that we put little things in, it's this one.

But we also got a couple new ones this year at the Lego Store! They had 2 different Advent Calendars this year, a Lego City one

And a Lego Star Wars one
The kids don't know about these yet, they will be SO excited!

And Pinerest has SOO many cute ones!
This one is a free printable!

SO many cute ones, and lots are DIY! Check out the rest on my Christmas Pin Board HERE!

What do y'all use?
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23 November 2011

More Elf Stuff

This year Cookie (our Elf) is bringing the kids some Elf Pajamas and an initial ornament to tell them he/she missed them (and because they need some Christmas jammies)!
These are the Pajamas Cookie is bringing

They are from Crazy8 but are mostly sold out (18-24month is left online). The stores might have some still. I Cookie just thought the kids would love some Elf jammies. These came out in the end of Summer, picked them up then, not knowing that Pottery Barn was going to have seriously cute stuff, check these out!
And a sweet little set of matching DISHES?! So cute!

I can't wait to see what else comes out with Elf on it!
Does your Elf bring anything for the kids?

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22 November 2011

Elf On The Shelf!!

We got ours last year, the kids LOVED it! Ours is named Cookie, and last year we didn't do much with it, moved it every night, read the book. Nothing like what some other awesome families are doing! Can't wait for the visit this year!

Pinterest (of course) has all kinds of amazing ideas!
Found all these via Pinterest!
This Flickr page! Such cute ideas, like this one

This site has 101 ideas!

This family has a Elf named Melvin and they share his adventures, cute ideas like

And I have a bunch more saved on Pinterest, where I am sure I will be adding more and more, find my Christmas board HERE.

When does your Elf come out to play? 
What's your Elf's name?

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