Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Get moving....

I have two more reasons to get my butt out of bed in the morning and out the door to exercise....

Not only do I need to get an exercise routine going and keep it on track. These two adorable pups need to drop some weight too.

The cute chubby black and white one, Marti (or fatty patty as I lovingly call her), well in dog terms she's obese. Marti should weigh 14 pounds and she weighs about 19. It's pretty harsh really. How would you like to be considered obese when you are 5 pounds overweight? I noticed that she is having a bit more trouble getting her bottom half on the couch when she jumps up. I don't think that food is really her issue. She would sleep 23 hours a day if we let her. She is LAZY and proud of it.

The white cutie-pie is Mandi. She should be a little dog and her fur sometimes hides things. But she can't sneak through the pool fence anymore. She probably weighs 10 pounds and shouldn't be more than 8 or 9. She isn't lazy so much as she is a piggy. She stalks the boys when they are eating to get whatever scraps she can find.

So until we get a routine going, I am alternating taking one of them on a walk each morning. They are a bit impossible to walk together and I need to want to get out of bed in the morning and being dragged by one dog while the other one lallygags along isn't going to make me race out the door.

So first up was Marti, she enjoyed her walk this morning. Mandi on the other hand was very mad that she didn't get to go. Tomorrow will be Mandi's turn and I am certain that our LAZY Marti will stay in bed under the covers and not even know we are gone.

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's the Climb...and yummy cookies

We have a climber on our hands. Jackson has been climbing on everything lately...the coffee table, the fireplace mantel, the ottoman, chairs, whatever.  I told Mike he just wants to be up higher so it is easier for him to get in our face (he is quite bossy). The problem is we think he can get up just fine, it's getting down we are worried about. Nicholas never did this, so it's a new thing. I am sure my mom would call it payback.  Apparently I was quite the acrobat back in my day.

I got home earlier than normal for a Friday, so I decided to find out what happened when you take these....

and mix them up like this.....

you get something that looks like this....

I found this recipe for Reese's Peanut Butter Egg Cookies on the Picky Palate blog.  I love her recipes they are usually relatively easy to follow and every one I have tried is easy to make. When I saw this recipe earlier this week I knew I had to make them, the Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs are probably my favorite all year.

The recipe said it would make 4 dozen, my scoop must be a bit smaller because I ended up with 5 dozen. So I think my co-workers will be happy on Monday with some of these.  There is no way we can keep them in the house. It will be impossible not to devour them over the weekend.
Since I am wanting to learn to sew I have been on the look out for blogs and ideas to get started. The other day I came across DIY Dish. They posted their first episode last week.

Episode 2 is up now to.

Through March 31st you can enter to win one of TWO Janome sewing machines. Visit this post to get the details,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I've been a bad girl.....but I am so happy about it...and a few Color Me Daisy peeks

Yesterday I left this message for Mike "oh good, you didn't answer so I don't have to tell you what I did at lunch".  He called back later and said "you bought a sewing machine, didn't you?".  Well I guess I wasn't getting away with anything, was I?

A couple of years ago I wanted to learn to sew just so I could stitch on my scrapbook pages, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a machine. So I got the bargain basement Singer from Target on a Black Friday sale.  It took me almost 2 years to actually learn to use it. I've sewed with it some, but it jams a lot and now that I have dabbled a bit in some fabric sewing I know it isn't going to cut it for long. I had known when I bought it that if I got the sewing bug I would go ahead and upgrade.

I have been including fabric in the Color Me Daisy kits for the past year and every time I go to pick out fabrics I am so intrigued (I think it's just like scrapbook papers in that respect). I look at it and touch it and see so many possibilities.

I also want to do a makeover on my kitchen and master bathroom, as well as finishing some window treatments around the house.  They are so expensive to have done I keep putting it off. So I thought maybe I could learn to sew them myself.

So after a lot of research I finally settled on a new machine:

Isn't she pretty? This machine does 173 stitches including some basic embroidery. But the coolest thing about it (for me) is the bobbin loading. I hated the one on my old machine, this one is so much simpler. I have a class next week on how to use it, but I plan to play with it this weekend. I even have an apron in mind to try to make.

Earlier this week I went to Michael's in search of some of the new EK Success Border Punches. They didn't have any yet, but I did find a star border punch in the American Girls section. I like flowers as much as the next girl, but with 2 boys a star border is a bit more useful. Of course I found what I was looking for at JoAnn's yesterday when I bought my machine, but I couldn't justify spending even more money after the sewing machine purchase.

I also picked up some yarn to try my hand at crocheting flowers. I haven't really crocheted in years, I started a blanket when Nicholas was born but never finished it, and fortunately I didn't have to because my "second" mom is a whiz at crocheting and she did a gorgeous one for him. But I still want to learn how to do flowers. So I brought a few fun colors on sale and have found some tutorials on a few blogs and plan to give that a whirl.

And last, but definitely not least, I have a few sneaks from one of my layouts I finished with the Color Me Daisy Spring Fever kit that will be released on April 5th.

I love the Jillibean Soup corrugated alpha's, they give you so many possibilities...

The kit has 5 fabric's included and the Idea Guide included with the kit will have no-sew fabric ideas.....

and Pink Paislee's new Artisan Elements are very fun to work with....

If you want to see additional sneak peeks for the Spring Fever kit visit the Color Me Daisy Blog or  Featured Designer, Becky Williams.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What I Have Learned as a Mother

Today on Stacy Julian's blog I saw this post about 22 Things I Learned Being a Mother which was inspired by  Amy Krouse-Rosenthal who I remembered from doing an Encyclopedia of Me (A-Z) inspired scrapbook a few years ago based on the book by her, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AN ORDINARY LIFE.  So I took Stacy's challenge and wrote down my 22 before reading Stacy's or watching the video by Amy.

My list was a bit different since my two boys are still toddlers, but I think it will make great journaling for a scrapbook page.  So make your list of 22 Things and then read mine and Stacy's and watch Amy's movie. I am sure that we will all find little nuggets in common.

22 things I have learned as a mother
  1. You can’t protect them from everything
  2. Independence is a good thing at any age
  3. There really is nothing sweeter than hearing mommy 100 times in a day (one day you’ll miss it)
  4. When your children do something that you are really proud of you know you must have done something right
  5. Routines are important
  6. I look forward to hearing “mommy’s home” when I get home from work at the end of the day
  7. Watching the world through their eyes as they explore and learn is very cool
  8. When your child is hurt or sick or struggling you would do anything to take their pain away
  9. Snacks are a good thing
  10. Sometimes (okay most times) it is just easier to let your very picky eater have chicken fingers or hot dogs than it is to have a melt down
  11. When you hear “I love you mommy” for the first time your heart will immediately melt
  12. Children do things at their pace not yours
  13. They grow up too fast
  14. It is really cool to watch your sons bond with their daddy
  15. It is okay for daddy to be the main caregiver and have mommy go to work everyday
  16. You do not need to yell at your kids to let them know you aren’t happy with something they did
  17. Barney, The Wiggles and kids TV shows in general are not terrible and you are not a bad parent if you let them watch
  18. Getting your baby to consistently sleep through the night makes for a much happier home
  19. Sometimes bribery is okay to avoid a public meltdown
  20. Your house will never again be as neat as it once was and it won’t matter
  21. You won’t have all the free time you used to have and sometimes you’ll miss it
  22. But, when those little guys crawl in your lap and want to cuddle with you, you will forget what life was like before they were here

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is it only Tuesday

I am already ready for Friday. We took the boys to the park tonight to tire them out before bed (I think it worked). I will be glad when American Idol is back to only an hour. I hate 2 hour tv nights. No time for anything else.

I made this layout over the weekend using the Studio Calico March kit, I love this face that Jackson makes, I call it his cheesy smile. He started doing it right around when he turned one, and still does it all the time, especially when I have the camera out. I love the wood veneer pieces that Studio Calico included in their kit this month. I misted the sun piece with Lemon Maya Mist. I can't wait to use more of this stuff.

Back to American Idol, I think that either Paige or Tim Urban are going home tonight.  Either one deserves to go, and it works out fine for my American Idol pool points, I won't be too far out of it if one of them gets the boot. But overall tonight, the show stunk. Pick better songs people. You can do better. But I think Miley Cyrus is a doll, and did alright as a mentor. She has a good amount of confidence for a 17 year old.

Off to read a few pages of my book before crashing for the night,

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Musings

Happy Spring! We are loving the spring weather here in Arizona. It won't be long before we are in the frying heat of summer. (I'll apologize now for the wonky text breaks, I have spent 15 minutes trying to fix them, and it isn't working out, so if it looks weird on your browser it just is what it is).

Today Mike and Nicholas went to a spring training game (Angels vs. Dodgers) and Jackson stayed home with Nana C. 

Nicholas had grown out of all his Angels shirts. Yesterday when we were cleaning out the boys closets to make room for their new summer clothes, Mike found the shirt Nicholas is wearing. It was a onesie type shirt (snaps between the legs).  Well at 3 that doesn't go over very good with the kiddo anymore. So I cut off the bottom and stitched a hem around it (not a great hem, but you can't really tell). And now Nicholas had an Angels shirt for the game today.

The shorts, well they were ones we thought he would grow out of when we cleaned out his closet last year. But as I was going through the hand me down bag for Jackson yesterday I came across these and Nicholas is so skinny he can still wear these 12 month shorts.

Mike and Nicholas had fun at the game but it was really hot. Nicholas was "all done baseball" in the 3rd inning, so they headed home. But they still had time for hot dogs and lemonade (and of course cheeze-its).

On Saturday we had a family day and did some shopping to stock up on warm weather clothes and stuff. We hit up Kohl's first and in addition to some tops and capri's I found these 2 fun spring purses. The patchwork one (1) is bright pink on the inside and the green one (2) is pink and green stripes (and is reversible). The 2 purses and the pink wallet were all 50-60% off. I also found a couple of necklace and earing sets. This one (3) is perfcet with one of the flower clips (4) I recently bought from my good friend Jen. She has recently started making and selling these cuties and other hair accessories and adorable tutu's. They are selling at local craft shows and on their site and will do custom orders as well. You can find them at

We headed to the mall to have lunch and hit Children's Place and Baby Gap for the kids and American Eagle and the Gap for Mike. We ate at California Pizza kitchen 
and Nicholas took several pictures of Mike and Jackson, this is one of my favorites:

After shopping we stopped at Coldstone for some ice cream. Nicholas was in ice 
cream heaven with his chocolate and M&M's ice cream:

Sunday we hung out at home. I started a re-model on my blog and played around with some fabric flowers.  I also got to work on my Color Me Daisy April kit layouts. 
The sneak peak is up on the Color Me Daisy blog...Spring Fever....Catch it!

I finsihed one layout last night and will share a sneak tomorrow.

For now I will leave you with a bit of scrappy stuff I did this weekend with my 
Studio Calico March kit:
A really cool thing happened Friday morning when I got Jackson up. He was still a bit sleepy. I took him back to our bed for a little while and we just cuddled. While 
this may not seem like a big deal, for us it is.  For months now he has been all 
about Daddy, and I have been only good enough if Daddy wasn't around, but not 
really unless he wanted to eat or if he was upset. But something has changed in the past couple of weeks and we are bonding again. I knew it was a phase, but there 
were times I missed his snuggles. So I just enjoyed every bit of that  "Mama 
moment" Friday morning.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

This Weekends Cooking Adventures and Other Ramblings

It is hard to believe it is Sunday evening already. So catching up from earlier this week, I did get this page done to commemorate Nicholas's achievement this week. We have had one more success, so I am holding out hope it won't be much longer and we can say goodbye to diapers for one boy in this house. Mike asked me if I was going to take a picture of the toilet to scrapbook, but I didn't have to I had these from a few months ago. LOL!

 Studio Calico January Kit and Add On's (October Afternoon, Basic Grey Studio Calico PP, Bazzill CS, October Afternoon Rub On's letter stickers; American Crafts Thickers; Jenni Bowlin Die Cut; Maya Road Chipboard Scallop Oval; and vintage "N"), plus Fiskars and EK Success punches, Keller Creations chipboard star, Maya Road Cherry & Blue Raspberry Mists American Crafts Slick Writer and Making Memories Paint.

Thursday Mike met his parents at the park.  Nicholas had a ball playing and running all over, Jackson on the other hand is not as adventurous, Mike had to hold him or push him in the stroller the whole time. As adventurous as little J is at home, he is quite intimidated by new situations when he is out of the comforts of home.  Mike e-mailed me this picture of Nicholas from the park, and although he didn't even think of it at the time it will be a perfect photo to use to document one of Nicholas's favorite book, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (coming soon).

Saturday morning Nicholas and I went out to pick up a few birthday presents for Mike and to Michael's to get some kids craft stuff. Nicholas's report from pre-school this week was that he needed to work on cutting with scissors. We didn't have any kids scissors, so I figured we should get some. We spent a couple of hours Saturday afternoon doing crafts.  We practiced cutting shapes with his scissors and decorated an egg with glitter glue and stickers.  I found this paint with water book (I loved these when I was little).  He kept asking to paint yesterday and made 3 of these. 

The biggest part of our weekend has been Adventures with Food.  Earlier this year we bought a TV for the kitchen and Mike has been DVR'ing some cooking shows. One of the bonuses I ended up with after Mike became a stay at home dad was that he started doing a lot of the cooking. Now he loves to cook and experiment with new recipes.  I happily support this hobby and that was part of the shopping Nicholas and I did Saturday was buying Mike a few cooking tools for an early birthday gift.

He really has liked Tyler Florence and his show Tyler's Ultimate.  Last week one of the shows was called Ultimate Sunday Dinner and this week it became our Saturday night dinner.

I took on the Flourless Chocolate Cake and Mike was in charge of the rest.  The Pot Roast took about 3 hours to cook, so he got that started first:

Lots of yummy vegetables and herbs in this and the house smelled wonderful while it was cooking.

After he got the Pot Roast going I got started on the Flourless Chocolate Cake.  It was actually quite simple to make, and absolutely full of rich (aka fattening) ingredients.  

First you melt a pound of dark chocolate with a stick of butter in a double boiler.

While the chocolate is melting, separate 9 eggs.

The egg yolks are whisked with sugar, and the egg whites are beaten until they make a meringue.

Chocolate is melted (doesn't that look yummy)

The chocolate is first mixed with the egg yolk mixture and then folded into the meringue mixture.

Pour into a spring-form pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with whipped topping.  The recipe called for making your own whipped cream from heavy cream.  But we aren't whipped cream fans much, so I just got fat free cool whip. The only thing stopping me from devouring the whole thing was knowing how much fat and how many calories this had in it. 

While my cake was baking and the pot roast was simmering, Mike was back to work on the side dishes.  He got to play with one of his new birthday presents, a Cuisinart 11-Cup Food Processor. Mike loves to cook, but chopping and anything that requires using knives, he's not so much of a fan, so this is going to be quite a good tool for him. He was all set after watching the how-to DVD that came with it.  Slicing parsnips was quick work as was the fresh herb mixture that went on them.

Parsnips on the stove in his new chef's pan in his herbed butter mixture.

Next was the Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey Butter. I am not sure where the butter came in, I saw him using honey and olive oil and topping them with cinnamon and salt and pepper.  

And shortly afterwards we had this beautiful dinner that tasted so very good. 

Although I decided I was not a fan of parsnips, I did like the herbed butter they were cooked in.  The roast was tender and flavorful. The sweet potatoes were pleasantly sweet and the flourless chocolate cake was decadent. And now we have leftovers for the week.

It was a fun evening, just cooking and hanging out. With 2 little ones we have only recently been able to start doing this again. This is definitely one of the things I missed from our pre-kids life, although now it is even better, because I don't have to do all the cooking.

You would think Mike had enough after that meal he made last night. We all slept in (with Nicholas in our bed) and Mike got up and made us Melt In Your Mouth Pancakes, it's basically a recipe from the Bisquick box that adds baking powder, lemon juice and sugar to the recipe and it really gives an added fluffiness to the pancakes.

While he was making pancakes I wandered out to the yard and picked some oranges from the abundance we had on the orange tree.

Sliced in half, ran through the juicer...

and a few minutes later we had fresh squeezed OJ to go with our pancakes.  It took 11 very juicy oranges to make that little bit of juice.

After breakfast I hung out with the boys while it rained outside. We played and I was even able to get a few good pictures of them.

While I was playing with the boys Mike was still the busy chef making this Pico De Gallo to go with Beer Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak for tacos tonight. Both recipes were from from Food Network's Mexican Made Easy show.

And just to leave you with a little scrappiness, I framed this cool paper from Graphic 45.  I cut out the middle and popped it up, but otherwise used the paper as is.  I made one for us and another for my MIL for her birthday. I am probably going to antique the frame a bit with some cream paint and crackle medium.  I love when a paper is so perfect you can frame it.

When I got the mail today I had two fun packages, a box of books from Amazon and my March Mosh Posh kit with lots of new American Crafts Dear Lizzy and Cosmo Cricket Material Girl. So I am off to play this evening.  I know I won't get any scrappy time next weekend, since we will have Mike's brother and his family here. Instead we will have a full weekend of Spring Training baseball, the zoo, and Mike's birthday to keep us all busy.

Have a great week.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Doing the Dance

The "potty dance" that is! Every night before bath time, we have been giving Nicholas a chance to try it out on his Cars potty seat. We have a little song we all sing and all that. Well tonight he said he was done, and after he got off what did I see? A bit of tinkle in the "potty". Hoping we are on our way!