How lovely are your hand prints?

I decided to make an ornament with Audrey's handprint this year.  This year all she did was put her hand on paper.  Next year she can help make one with me.

It's very self explanatory.  I mean, I figured it out...  You just start by tracing and cutting out lots of little hands.  I cut out 18 but my tree only used 9 so I'll be making another one. 

Then you just layer them at angles to make the tree gluing as you go.  I flipped them so that the thumbs were the outside 'branches' on each row.  Then cut out a star and a truck and VOILA!

I think I'll by some glitter to decorate it with.  Another great idea would be to use a hole punch and punch several different colors and glue them on as Christmas balls.


Well, it's yet another week but this one is short for me!  I'm heading to my 10 year high school reunion (gasp!!) so I won't be home to prepare meals the entire week.  Instead I will be dining at Cafe Mom.

I think Fall is finally here for the long haul in Georgia.  I do believe we'll still have some 90 degree days but the 70's and low 80's have crept in so I'm dusting off some fall recipes.

We went to the Miller Lite Chili Cook-off on Saturday and sampled from close to 300 competitors!  One day I WILL compete in this thing!  You can enter in 3 categories - Chili, Brunswick Stew, and Cornbread and I believe that I could compete in all 3.  So, in honor of that and fall we're having My Secret Chili this week.

Monday - Crock Pot Chops That'll Make You Eat Till You Pop
Tuesday - My Secret Chili - the recipe is state secret, sorry :)
Wednesday - Leftover Bonanza!

Head on over to Orgjunkie.com for hundreds of other MPM participants menus.
I went to church with a lady named Linda that has a photography business, Clear Creek Images.  She's amazing.  I love the bright colors and the candid shots she gets of babies.  Well, she has partnered with Doodlebug Boutique for a giveaway.  Doodlebug has some super cute bows and tutus.  Brace yourselves, they're way cuter than the one I made...

They are giving away a custom-made tut costume from Doodlebug Boutique valued at $40.  You get to choose from a fairy, bumblebee, ladybug, or princess.  How cute would my pudgy princess be as any one of those!  We already know she's stylin' in a tutu!  :)

Along with the costume you'll receive a Halloween Mini Session valued at $35 from Clear Creek Images.  It's 25 minutes and includes 3-5 edited digital images for 1 child.  The catch is that her studio is in Acworth, GA so you'll need to be close.  Lucky for me!

If you're interested in entering the giveaway go on over to Doodlebug Boutique's blog and read the entry information.  And if you win and I don't, I'll never be your friend ever again.  I kid, I kid!  Good luck!
I know, I know...  I've been away for a while.  I did plan my meals the past few weeks just didn't post about them.  So I'm trying to have meals with a more bland pallete this week since we have a bout of upset stomach in our house.  We'll see if we stick to it or if we crave spice before the week is over.

Monday - Chicken Ravioli Carbonara, salad
Tuesday - Salisbury Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Cream Corn
Wednesday - Chicken Broccoli Casserole - Side TBD (new)
Thursday - Chicken Cordon Bleu, Green Beans, Carrots (new)
Friday - Meatball Pizza

Head on over to Orgjunkie.com for hundreds of other menu plans.
I'm sitting here today watching the coverage from 9 years ago and my heart is truely saddened.  I cannot get over the changes that have happend in our lives as a country since that tragic day in 2001. 

My daughter wanted to snuggle with me and I let her until she fell asleep and then left her in my arms even longer taking the time to reflect on those events and keep my most precious treasure close to my heart.

Today as we prayed we prayed for the leaders of our nation and for the military members at home and abroad and for those that lost their lives and their loved ones.  My heart aches for them all.

I will always remember.
Well, my daughter's first birthday has come and gone.  I've been kind of MIA while planning for that and a surprise baby shower I was throwing for a friend of mine.  My party planning days are done until Thanksgiving!

Everything went very, very well.  For the baby shower we didn't know the gender so we did a beachy theme.  I used sand buckets for the chips and shovels to scoop them out with.  I put a beach towel down as a runner and decorated with random sand toys.  The cake (not made by me) was simple but oh-so-yummy yellow cupcakes with white icing and crushed graham crackers sprinkled on top to look like sand.  She also used a sand castle mold and packed it full of vanilla ice cream and then turned it out onto the platter and sprinkled it with crushed graham crackers too.  Sorry I didn't manage to get any pictures with my own camera.  I'll have to hound my friend to send me the ones we took with hers.

On the menu was:
Seven Layer Dip
Lindsay's Dip (My friend Lindsay always makes it so I worked hard to come up with the name)
Pillsbury Savorings
Watermelon Baby Carriage (prepared by my hubby)

Now on to the birthday girl's party!

A girlfriend of mine convinced me that I COULD make her cake myself rather than buying one at the store so I did...  I stressed over that more than anything for the party and it really turned out cute!  I was very surprised with myself.
Smash Cake
Party Cake
 I had another good friend that loaned me some decorating bags, icing tint, and tips and I made the icing from scratch.  The cake was just a boxed yellow cake mix.  I printed out a butterfly in the size that I needed from clipart and cut it out.  Then laid it on the cake and traced the outline with a toothpick and then filled it in with a start tip - Wilton cake decorating 101 style.

For the food I wanted to go simple because I knew I was going to be so stressed about the cake because I tend to be a teeny bit of a perfectionist.  So we had a nacho bar and I just had all the fixin's laid out in the kitchen.  For the little kids I made cheese quesadillas.

For the guest of honor's attire I made a tutu to match the 'birthday girl' shirt that my girlfriend bought for her.  I was inspired by Busy Working Mama when she made a tutu for her daughter.  I used these instructions and it was a SUPER easy task that received lots of compliments.

Modeled by a left over baby shower bucket.

Modeled by the Birthday Girl!
We had a great time with our family and friends at the party and everything went over very well.  My daughter even played in the cake!!  I couldn't have asked for anything to be any better.

I'm trying to really get the hang of couponing.  I've been clipping coupons and using them at Publix and Kroger for a few months now and only saving about $20 per week and still paying around $100 every week.  I know - not very good...

Well, the past couple of weeks I've been shopping at Publix instead of Kroger and I've been better.  I don't know if it's the change in store or that I'm trying to be more strict in sticking to my list.  Right now I spend entirely too much time preparing for my trips but I think that will decrease soon now that I'm finally getting the hang of it.

Today was BY FAR my best savings day yet.

I took advantage of the +UP Rewards program at Rite Aid.  If you are not doing this then you are really missing lots of savings.

Here is what I bought:

Transaction # 1
-2 Dial Body Wash - Regular $5.49
        On Sale for $3
        (2) $1/1 Manufacturer's Coupons
        $2 +UP wyb 2
-2 Gain Dish Soap - Regular $1.49
        On Sale for $0.89
        (2) $1/1 Manufactuer's Coupons
     Total Due $5.53

Transaction # 2
-2 Nivea Men's Body Wash - Regular $4.99
        On Sale for $3.50
        $4/2 Manufacturer's Coupon
        $2 +UP wyb 2
-$2 +UP
     Total Due $0.18!!

Transaction # 3
-1 Nivea Men's Body Wash - Regular $4.99
        On Sale for $3.50
        $1/1 Manufacturer's Coupon
-$2 +UP
     Total Due $0.36

Total of all items before Sales & Coupons = $28.93
Total OOP Expense = $6.07!!!
Total Savings = 79%
Well, I have chickened out on my running for a while now.  Probably somewhere close to 2 months because of the heat and humidity.  It's been truely horrendous!  But my favorite weatherman said that the lows were going to get down into the 60's last night so what did I do? 

I opened my windows!!

And when I woke up this morning to the sound of music (literally) I decided that it felt amazing and I should be a trooper and get back to running.  So, I fed the baby and off we went. 

I didn't know quite where to pick up so I jumped back to week 2 and accidentaly did day 2 instead of day 1.  But that doesn't matter this week because all of the runs are the same.  It's 6 repitions of 90 second runs followed by 60 second walks.  I did pretty well.  I didn't get to totally finish the last run because the baby threw her pacifier down to say, "Hey Mom, I'm DONE!  Let's go swing."  So, we swang in order to preserve the peace at the track.

It felt really good to get back into it today.  I just hope the temperatures stay like this!!  We'll see.  There's a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving that a friend of mine asked me to run in with her so I'd like to be able to be finished by then.  My original deadline was in 2 weeks but that's not gonna happen.
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Okay, I gave baking in my crock pot a shot yesterday and I have to say I was rather pleased with the results.  I made Chile Relleno Casserole

From what I've read in order to bake in your CP you put your food in a separate dish then place that dish in the CP and make sure it's elevated.  I guess this is for even baking.  I placed mine on top of some foil balls.  Then, since the foil didn't get dirty I threw them in the cabinet in an unused pitcher for use again at a later date, perhaps today.

It takes a lot longer to bake in your CP than it does in your oven but you have the added benefit of not having to heat your house up.  And any of those casserole recipes you have you can prepare in the morning and throw them in and dinner will be ready when you are.  I had mine on low for 2 hours then bumped it up to high for another 2.

Here are some pics.  Now, keep in mind that the casserole kind of looks like mush, but don't most casseroles?  And I am in no way a professional photographer.  I like to EAT food, not photograph it.  It doesn't usually sit still long enough for that.

I'm linking this post up to Tasty Tuesday that's hosted over at Beauty and Bedlam.  This is my first time posting there so I'm excited to look around at all the other tasty recipes!  Did I mention that I love eating?

Okay, the next two weeks are going to be busy for me.  I'm having a baby shower this weekend and my baby turns ONE next weekend so we're having her party for that!  I'm doing appetizers/finger foods at both so I have to figure out recipes for that.  Also, I'm crazy and decided to make the cake for my daughter's birthday.  I've never decorated a cake before so this should be interesting.  I'll post pics afterwards.

I heard last week that you could bake in your crock pot.  Now, I use my CP frequently in the winter but never thought to bake in it.  Today I'm trying it!  Why don't I use it more in the summer when I don't want to turn on the oven??

Monday - Chile Rellenos Casserole, black beans, mexi rice
Tuesday - Heavenly Hamburger Casserole
Wednesday - Sandwiches (Mommy's not cooking)
Thursday - Creamy Burrito Casserole
Friday - Pork Chops Yum Yum, Green beans, another side TBD

For my apps and finger foods I'm thinking of a few different things:

Spinach Artichoke dip (frozen, I know...)
Pepperoni Pizza Dip
S'mores Pops
Tortilla Pinwheels
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Whew, that's a ton of recipes!  If you have any appetizer recipes to share that would be great!! Post a link in the comments section or post the recipe there.  I would be eternally greatful...  Now, go on over to orgjunkie.com for tons of other meal plans.
Hello to my fellow bloggy friends...  I need some advice.  I'm hosting a couple of parties over the next several weeks and I'm going to be preparing some finger food/appetizer type dishes.  Do you have any tried and true recipes that you can recommend to me?  I have a couple but usually I'm taking an app to a party, not supplying all of them.  Here's one that I do regularly:

Tortilla Pinwheels

1 8oz pkg cream cheese - softened
1 8 oz tub sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 small can diced olives
8-10 tortillas

Mix first 5 ingredients together well and spread evenly on tortillas.  Roll up with ends open and place in dish and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill to set then slice and serve.  I usually serve with some salsa for dipping.

So, I was waiting on a small pot of coffee to brew tonight (either wine or coffee and I still needed to function so coffee it was) and looked over at my stove.  Well, the light was shining on my black stove just right and I could see all of the grease that had built up on it.  I wipe it down but never really realized that SO MUCH had built up.  I decided I had a couple minutes to do something about it.

Now, I'm not a maid or a good house cleaner.  I don't even play one on TV.  But let me tell you something...  Mr. Clean is my new friend!  I opened the cabinet to grab my standby Clorox wipes and saw a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser laying there and decided to give it a shot.  One word - WOW! 

Of course I didn't think to take a before pic of it but maybe if you look at yours you'll see what I'm talking about. (Or maybe I'm the only one that doesn't notice that part of the stove.)  The after is so shiny that I can see myself!!

This week Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work for me!!  Visit We Are THAT Family to view lots of other tips and tricks.
Hey guys!  Nicole over at Colie's Kitchen is hosting an amazing sounding giveaway...  Are you ready for it??  CAKE!!!

Daisy Cakes is giving away one of their 4 layer 24 Karat Cakes.  Did you see that?  4 layers of decadent cake and as if it needed to be any better than that, it's topped with cream cheese icing.  I ♥ cream cheese...

And if I haven't already tickled your sweet tooth, here's a picture of the cake:

Okay, now that you're drooling all over your keyboard go on over to Colie's Kitchen and enter the giveaway.

Well, summer is over here for the kids but the heat isn't!  It's so hot that I can't stand the thought of cooking and I really enjoy cooking.  It's tough but I'm trying to make things that don't require using the stove or oven too much.

Monday - Crock Pot Chops That Will Make You Eat Til You Pop! with mashed potatoes and green beans
Tuesday - We're getting the oil changed in the car so will grab a bite next door while we wait.
Wednesday - Pizza Roll Up Burritos
Thursday - Taco Soup and cheese quesadilla dippers
Friday - Grilled chicken salads
Saturday - Date Night (hopefully) or breakfast for dinner

Visit Orgjunkie.com for tons of other menu plans and recipes.

My daughter will turn 1 in LESS than a MONTH!  I can't belive it.  I'm starting trying to prepare for her party by brainstorming gifts I would like to get her and what I want her cake to look like.  She doesn't watch TV so she's doesn't have a favorite cartoon character or anything yet.  I mean, she may get overly excited to have a cake with Paula Deen on it.  That's the kind of stuff we watch :)

Still, I'm learning all about this first birthday party thing.  We're just planning on having friends over and I'm going to have a smash cake for her that will hopefully provide TONS of super fun pictures.  I'm having fun looking at ideas and pictures for this!  And to make things better.... my Mom and sister are flying in to celebrate with us!  Ooh, maybe I can put Grandma on cake clean up!  What? A girl can dream.

So, last week life happened and I didn't get around to every meal that I had planned so there will be some repeats this week.  I'm trying to watch our grocery bill and I've been couponing and saving between 20-30% each week but I'd like to try to still try to trim it back some.  This week I only bought a few staple items at the store and I'm going to be cooking from the pantry/freezer stock.

Monday - Chicken Ravioli Carbonara, Salad
Tuesday - Meatloaf Muffins, Mashed Potatoes, Green beans
Wednesday - Honey & Soy Chicken Thighs (maybe grilled though), Rice, Broccoli
Thursday - Meatball and Pepperoni pizza
Friday - Teriyaki Chicken and veggies (Okay, okay, it's from a box...)

Head on over here to see what Orgjunkie and the rest of the MPM crew are cooking up in their kitchens this week.

Morning everyone!!  This week my MIL and my SS are here and today is their birthday.  I've prepared a menu for them but I need to find out what they would like to have for their birthday dinner.  SS wants either a cheese omlette or crab legs.  Well, eggs are in my cooking realm - crab, not so much. :)  So we'll see how this goes.

With a couple extra mouths to feed I'm going to go for recipes and extra sides to try to stretch our meals farther because we usually have leftovers for dinner the following day since DH works 2nd shift.  So, here's my attempt for this week:

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans
Chicken Ravioli Carbonara, salad, bread
Chicken Pot Pie - MIL's recipe
Grilled BBQ Chicken, Corn, Squash and Zukes
Pork Chops Yum Yum, Corn Bake, green beans (maybe)
Breakfast for Dinner

Corn Bake

1 Box Jiffy Cornbread
1 Can Creamed Corn
1 Can Whole Kernal Corn - UNDRAINED
1 8oz Tub Sour Cream

Mix together and pour in buttered or sprayed dish and bake at 350 until golden brown on top.

I've been missing for the past couple of weeks but I'm back now!  I know, you were all worried to death, I'm fine. 

So, I'll keep it short and sweet this week.

Monday - Cheeseburger Twice baked Potatoes
Tuesday - Skillet Enchiladas
Wednesday - Homemade Corn Dogs
Thursday - Chicken Spaghetti
Friday - Pizza - Supreme and Pepperoni with extra cheese

Visit Orgjunkie.com for tons of other menu plans.

Last week we didn't stick completely to our menu plan.  But that's okay.  We had a couple of impromptu dinners with friends - and we love those.  So this week has some repeats.  Also with the holiday I'm behind my regular grocery schedule so I'm cooking mainly from what I have in the house this week.  And another wrench in the plan is that Hubby starts 2nd shift this week so I'm not sure yet how we're going to work out lunches and dinners.  Visit Orgjunkie.com for lots of menu ideas.

Monday - Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Tuesday - Chicken Ravioli Carbonara and maybe some bread
Wednesday - Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Thursday - Shrimp Tacos, Rice and Beans
Friday - Homemade Pizza - BBQ Chicken
Saturday - Grilled Bruschetta Chicken, Sides TBD

Now for a little C25K talk since it's been a while.  I'm on week 3 again this week.  I should have started week 4 but the past couple of weeks have been tough with my step son here.  He sleeps later than the time that I usually go to the park to run and he's not a morning person AT ALL.  I was also sick while he was here and it rained another day.  So between all of those things I missed a few days.  So I decided that I'd do week 3 again this week and start week 4 next week. 

In Atlanta they have the Peachtree Road Race every year on the 4th of July.  It's a 10K, one of the largest if not the largest, in the country.  This year there were 55,000 participants.  I started thinking that I might like to be in a position to be able to run in it next year.  I know, I need to get in a position to do a 5K first but I'm well on my way to that!

Okay this week I'm going to share with you the most amazing tip I've come across in recent times.

Brace yourself because it's truely life changing!

Here's a video that shows you how to dice a tomato!!

I know... you're thinking "What is she talking about, you just dice it."  But really it gets squishy, and messy and I need it to be neat and pretty.  This has revolutionized my use of tomatoes!

Simply UH-mazing right??  Told you so.

Visit We are THAT Family for lots more tips.

Another week gone of summer...  It's flying by!!

Last week feeding my step son was interesting.  The winning recipe of the week was the Cheeseburger Twice Baked Potatoes.  He said it was the BEST MEAL EVER.  Did you read that?  Better than a meal of pizza or mac n cheese!  Score one for Mom :)

Let's see if this week will have another one that hits home too.

Monday - Blackened Salmon, grilled veggies, rice
Tuesday - Enchiladas
Wednesday - Chicken Ravioli Carbonara
Thursday - Mexican Pizzas (didn't have these last week)
Friday - Probably dinner with friends - it's my step son's last night here before he heads back home.

Okay, so last week went mostly as planned.  I got sick on Thursday and had to call hubby home from work to help take care of the kids so that I didn't...  let's just say so that I didn't cause them to have to take 15 baths that day.  So hubby cooked Thursday night and we didn't end up having the Chili Dog Casserole but it's on the menu again this week.  It's a family favorite.

So, I have a 6 year old peering over my shoulder antsy for me to give him things to do so I'll make this short and sweet.

Monday - Spaghetti with Zukes from the garden, salads
Tuesday - Mexican Pizzas, black beans and rice
Wednesday - Cheeseburger Twice Baked Potatoes, baked beans
Thursday - Chili Dog Casserole, Mac N Cheese (Mom's group and hubby has class so it's got to be easy!)
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Well, despite getting sick this week after a day spent in the car to pick up my step son I still somehow managed to scramble in my Father's day gift for my husband from the kids.  Let me tell you, this was the cheapest gift EVER and probably the most sentimental one.  My husband LOVED it.  He even cried.

I got the idea from blog browsing that lead me here.


Well, this week I get to have 2 kids!!  No, I'm not having another baby.  My step son is coming to stay with us for a couple of weeks and he'll be here tomorrow.  This means that my menus have to be kid friendly and I might have to do some easy lunches too.

Monday - Spaghetti and homemade bread sticks - no recipe yet
Tuesday - I'll be on the road picking up my step son so dinner will be whatever is available at the closest exit when I get hungry.
Wednesday - Maple Rosemary Chicken (new recipe), sweet potatoes, green beans and stuffing
Thursday - Chili Dog Casserole, baked beans
Friday - Homemade Pizza - pepperoni or cheese for the kiddo and a yummy combination of something else for the grown-ups (not sure yet)
Sunday is Father's Day so we'll have a whole day (maybe on Saturday) of hubby selected foods. 

Visit orgjunkie.com for tons of other menu plans and recipes!
Well, I did week 2 day 2 today and it was better than I expected starting out.  This week you run for 90 seconds and walk for 2 minutes in between.  I only missed about 30 seconds of one run!! 

I don't want to say that it seems to be getting easier, because it's not.  It's still tough.  But, I think I'm getting more motivation the further into it I get.  So it seems that I'm pushing myself just a little harder to keep going and not stop running before I'm supposed to.

My husband went with me last week and he was so proud of me.  He commented after we got home that my face was finally a color besides RED  for the first time which showed him just how hard I was pushing myself.  I also found out that there are a couple of girls at my church that are doing this too so it's kind of given me more motivation to be able to tell them that I finished it.

At first I wanted to keep it to myself that I was doing this so that if I decided to quit I wouldn't have anyone to tell that I'd failed.  But I've told quite a few people IRL now so I kind of feel accountable to finish.  I believe that I can do this and more importantly I WILL do this :)
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Good Morning out there!  Whew, what a busy weekend we had.  We ripped up some monster bushes in front of our house and planted a little flower bed in it's place, went garage saling ALL day, went to an auction, church and spent time with friends.  And the biggest accomplishment of all??  Drum roll please..... My daughter slept in her bed all night long!!  Oh, and throw into the mix that my new crawler is now pulling up on things.

This morning I started my 3rd week of the C25K running program.  I started week 2 today and I am really proud of myself.  I was supposed to run for about 9 minutes and was able to do 8 of them.  I counted up and the 18 weeks will hit the week of my daughter's first birthday so that should be an interesting goal.  I'm thinking of signing up for a Labor Day 5K.  We'll see.

Now onto my menu plan:

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia
Pork Tenderloin, Wild Rice, Veggies
Mexican Pizzas
Rosemary Maple Chicken, Stovetop Stuffing, Sweet potatoes
Homemade Pizza - Buffalo Chicken this week!

View more menu plans at Orgjunkie.com.
Well,  I've been gone for the week.  The holiday threw me off and my daughter started crawling so she is ALL OVER THE PLACE!  There's not a minute that I can take my eyes off of her unless she's sleeping.  And she's still not doing that really well. 

I finished my 2nd time of doing Week 1 on the C25K program (since I'm going to do each week twice).  And I feel great about it!  Other than going to Curves before I got pregnant this is the most active I've been E.V.E.R.  And trust me when I say that this is tough for me.  When I went out for my 2nd time this week my shins were killing me so I couldn't run but I did walk the entire time instead of quitting which I would have done before this.

And last night I made an incredible BBQ Chicken Pizza.  Seriously, it was THAT good.  I used a crust recipe that I got from my IRL friend.  Thank goodness she shared her recipe with me because the recipe I tried was not good at all before.

Pizza Crust
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp salt
1 T garlic
1 T parsley
1/2 T Basil
4 - 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 T yeast

Combine water, oil, salt, garlic, parsley, basil. Add half the flour and mix thoroughly. Add yeast and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5-6 min) Let rise until doubled in size. Divide in half and roll out to make two medium pizzas. Add toppings and lest rest for 10 mins. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 mins.

Then have your hubby grill up some chicken and slather it with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Make some crispy bacon strips (I used 6).  Then slice the chicken thin and spread all over your crust.  Add your onions and crumble your bacon onto them as well.  Top with cheese and bake as directed. 
Sorry that I don't have any pics of it.  It really didn't last long.  We had a friend stop by and he ate some and took the rest with him to have for lunch today at work.  That's how you can tell when something is Uh-mazing.  It's gone before you can even take a pic.
Well, as I mentioned on Monday I'm going to give this C25K thing a go.  I did day 1 (or part of it) on Monday and boy was it tough!  Today, even though I was exhausted because the baby didn't sleep well I loaded her up in the car and off we went.

It went better today to my surprise!  I still didn't run every time I was supposed to but I have faith that I'll get there.  I think this time I only missed 2 minutes of running.  So, I'm a little bit proud of myself today and have my head a little higher and shoulders a little straighter.  But, to keep this up I've GOT to get some running clothes.  My pants keep falling down and that wouldn't be a pretty picture... 
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And here we are in yet another week.  It's the first week of summer for the kids here which means that traffic is automatically 50% better!  Why is this important to me as a SAHM you ask?  Because I've decided to try and start the C25K program.  It's an interval running program designed to get you from the Couch to a 5K in 9 weeks.  I think I'll take it a little slower and go 18 weeks because I'll be pushing a jogging stroller carrying a 20+ pound baby...  Nevertheless I'm doing it!

I decided that I don't want to run in my neighborhood becuase it's full of hills and there are no sidewalks either so I'm going to drive to a park with a track.  Hopefully I can stick with this and make it through.  It would be a HUGE accomplishment for me because I've never been an active person. E.V.E.R.  So this will be a huge test to my will power but I know that it's something that I need to do for my health and for my family.  I want to be around to enjoy them for the rest of my LONG life.

So, now on to my menu plan for the week.  It's gonna be kind of light because Hubby is going on a camping trip this week so I don't want to cook for myself.  I'll stock up some leftovers or grab something out with a friend.

Monday - Honey Pecan Glazed Salmon
Tuesday - Bourbon Chicken - I double the sauce and make it in the crock pot
Wednesday - Hamburgers on the grill - hubby doesn't know he's cooking yet :)
Thursday - Up in the air
Friday - Up in the air
Saturday - Pork Chops on the grill
Sunday - Cook out at friend's house

As always you can visit Org Junkie for tons of other menu plans and recipes.

So I'm back from my trip for my sister's graduation and I'm ready to get back into the swing of things.  I got together a menu for this week and hopefully I can stick with it the whole week.  Sometimes it's difficult to go back to normal when you get back from vacation.

Chicken & Ravioli Carbonara - new recipe this week
Shephards Pie - with leftover meatloaf muffins, mashed potatoes, corn, carrots and some cheese
BBQ Grilled Salmon with rice and veggies
Homemade Pizza - need a new crust recipe though

Visit OrgJunkie for tons of other meal plans and recipes.
Hip Hip Hooray!!!

After 2 years (I know that's nowhere near as long as most) my braces were finally taken off yesterday.  I was sooooo happy! 

Then I got my retainers.

I have essix retainers which are clear trays that slip over your teeth.  I think they are probably better than a traditional Hawley retainer but they are still the devil.  I'm going to have to do some fine tuning on mine and maybe it'll be a little better and I'm sure like all things it'll just take some getting used to.

My first meal after braces was RIBS!  I skipped the wings and will just have them some other time since they're off for good and all... 

So, without further ado here are some before and after pics...

This week there is a theme to the WFMW over at We Are THAT Family.  This the backwards edition where instead of posting tips for you I ask a question and you post a tip for me.

So, as I sit here at 12:10 AM typing this post my question to you is:  How do you get your child to sleep through the night again??

My daughter, 8 months old yesterday, came home from the hospital sleeping through the night.  I know right?  Lucky ME!!  Fast forward 7 months to Spring Break vacation and that came to a screaming screaching hault.  She started waking up off and on throughout the night sometimes as much as every hour and she's wanting to nurse many of those times.  She has had a few glorious nights where she has slept all night but really, there have only been a few in the past month.

So do you have any tips to help me out?  Am I doomed to just ride through this phase and keep the coffee on?
Mother's Day is quickly approaching and although I've been a step mom for several years now I have my own bundle of joy this year that can ALMOST call me 'Ma Ma'!!  I'm lucky this year I get to go home and spend Mother's Day with my mom too!  (Thanks sister!!)  So here's a pic that says to ME what motherhood is all about... smiles like those...


So, this week I've had to put extra work into planning my menu because I'm flying home for my sister's graduation next week but the hubby is staying home.  So, because I'm such a good wife (and he doesn't really need to lose any weight)  I'm going to make meals this week that I can freeze for him to have again next week.  You can view lots of other menus at Menu Plan Monday at Orgjunkie.com.

Monday - Chicken Spaghetti (not sure if I'm going to freeze this one or not)
Tuesday - Lasagna X 3 (one for now, one for next week, and one for a friend)
Wednesday - Drum roll please......   drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..............
       I get my braces off after 2 long years so I'm going to dinner for ribs and wings. 
Thursday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans
Friday - Chicken Enchiladas & Quiche so that he can have breakfast all week too... :)

NOW, on to the recall!!
Johnson & Johnson has issued a recall of their Children's/Infants Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec & Benadryl.  I have 4 bottles of recalled stuff at my house alone and I've been giving my teething/allergy laden daughter doses of this stuff for weeks now!

They are saying that the recall is a voluntary recall and that there aren't health concerns involved.  Just that the products don't necessarily measure up to their safety standards.  Click here to visit the recall page to see if your products are included.

Here we are on yet ANOTHER Monday...  Funny how that works, they just keep coming!!  Well, we didn't totally stick to our plan last week but we made it through all the same.  The Chicken Suiza Sammies were absolutely fantabulous!  They will definitely be going into our recipe box.  This week I'll be trying a couple of new things so we'll see how it goes.

Monday - Grilled Salmon with Datil Pepper Mustard, veggies and rice
Tuesday - Stew & cornbread - it's supposed to be in the 60's so I can use some of my frozen stew meat
Wednesday - Chicken Spaghetti (or tacos and Waterboy with friends - he just graduated USMC bootcamp)
Thursday - Homemade Pizza and salad (making salad for my Mommy's group so I'll make extra for dinner)
Friday-Sunday - leftovers and dinner out as usual

Wanna see more menu ideas and recipes?  Check out the MPM post at I'm an Organizing Junkie hosted every Monday.

So, I'm trying to get back into my routine but it's tough...  We've had an insane amount of work going on at our house over the last week along with just getting back from vacationing at the beach so it's been difficult to get back into the swing of things.

I normally go grocery shopping on Monday but with a teething/tempermental baby, you do it when you can so I went yesterday instead.  I'm planning on getting together with a few friends today so it's nice to have that out of the way already.

Here's my menu for this week:

Chicken Spaghetti
BBQ Pork Chops on the grill with grilled squash & onions
Meatloaf muffins
Chicken Suiza Sammies - I know, I know... I STILL haven't made them!! This is the week though!!

Go over to Orgjunkie.com to view tons of menu plans and ideas.

I'm ready to pull my hair out with my 7 month old...  We just got back from a week vacation in Florida with lots of friends at the beach and boy was it ever a sorry vacation for me.  She screamed almost the entire week and we couldn't console her with anything. 

I took her to the doc today sure that she had an ear infection or something and they told me that she was perfectly healthy!!  I was quick to offer for them to keep her for the afternoon while they rethought their opinion...  :)  Of course while at the office she was a perfect happy baby bouncing on my knee and blowing raspberries.  So far since we left there she's been good but I guess we'll have to see how it holds up.

So now that I'm back home hopefully I can resume my schedule and get my meals planned for the week.  I guess my daughter will let me know if I can go back to normal or not. 

Okay, so last weeks menu didn't exactly go as planned but we made it through.  The weather didn't exactly work for the Bruschetta Grilled chicken so I had Honey & Pecan Glazed Salmon and my potatoes weren't adequate size to use as a baked potato so for that I made a shepherds pie instead.  That was my first attempt at one and I thought it turned out wonderfully!

So, today is my birthday and I don't want to do much cooking.  We also will be leaving for the beach for Spring Break this weekend so this week will be kind of hectic so we're having quick easy meals.

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken (gonna to it today!!  or at least hubby is :) )
Pulled Chicken Suiza Sammies

That's all I'm planning for the week.  I might try to bake some bread for the first time this week!  Please pardon any typos or spelling errors.  My daughter is in my lap and loves moving the keyboard tray back and forth and back and forth and well, you get the picture... :)

So, hopefully we'll stick to it better this week but who knows?!?  Go on over to Org Junkie to see other recipes and meal plans.

Kristen at We are THAT Family hosts a blog carnival on Wednesdays with the theme Works For Me Wednesday where fellow bloggers post tips that... you'll never guess... WORK FOR THEM!!  You're so smart!  So anyway, here's my WFMW tip on baby stains.

So, as a new mother I'm new to the newborn realm of stains on clothes.  And for mothers of breastfed babies you know what I'm talking about.  So, In my daughter's room I have her clothes hamper right next to her changing table.  And sitting within arms reach on her dresser... drum roll please....  my bottle of stain remover!!  Yep, it's a novel idea, I know!  I use Zout and I fully believe it has magical stain lifting powers.

So, when I have to change my daughter and there's a messy mess, I grab the Zout, spray it on her clothes right then and toss them in the hamper.  Then when I'm ready to wash I just toss them in the washer.  I don't have to worry about the stain setting in and remembering to put something on it when I do the laundry.  And the majority of the time the stain comes out without any further treatment.  Hey, it woks for me!

So, stroll on over to the WFMW post on Kristen's blog and read through the TONS of posts for tips on all sorts of stuff.

I've been following Menu Plan Monday at Org Junkie where over 400 people post their weekly menus.  I'm finding that it's been a big help to plan out our meals for the week because when it's time to cook dinner I'm not standing in the kitchen scratching my head wondering 'what's for dinner.'  So, here's my menu for the week in no particular order:

Chicken Pot Pie
Grilled Bruschetta Chicken (if I can get up the nerve to grill chicken myself)
Spaghetti for the masses
Cheeseburger Twice Baked Potatoes
Leftover Buffet
So...  I'm new to this whole blog thing.  Since I've become a SAHM, I've started to read several different blogs mainly about crafty stuff and recipes.  So, I thought it was only fair to start one of my own.  I mean, the world is filled with bloggers so why not jump on the bandwagon right? 

I'll try to share recipes, maybe some pics of the food here and there, and reviews as well as talk about the funny things that happen in my life.  If you've ever met my husband, you're already shaking your head thinking of all of the crazy stuff that will be posted on here about him...