Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Halloween Cupcakes

This layout is bittersweet for me. The kids and I made Halloween cupcakes last fall and had so much fun together decorating them. Will was just old enough to join in for the first time. Just days after we did this we found out about his food allergies. I'm so thankful that we did because it has helped him tremendously, but at the same time it makes me a little sad for the things he can no longer have. We can't bake cakes or cupcakes due to the eggs. He can't have chocolate due to the soy. We have found many new products that he can enjoy and that makes life a little easier for him. It's so heartbreaking to hear your 2.5 year old ask for food he cannot have and then automatically ask if it has soy in it. I hope and pray he will grow out of a lot of these one day!

I did this page for one of the Calendar Girls challenges at 2P's. I combined it with one of the 2P's Crop Challenges for the crop last weekend. I really like how this page turned out, but it looks much better in person. The orange is a true orange and not the burnt orange it appears.

Since this page was about the kids making the cupcakes, I wanted to go with a real child-like feel for the page. I thing the Doodlebug stickers and embellishments add to that feeling. I used papers from MME, Doodlebug, KI Memories, Little Yellow Bicycle and Sassafrass.

Hope you all have a great day!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bubbles, Scooby-Doo, Fugitives and Earthquakes

What a week this has been! So much has been going on locally and world-wide that I decided to make a blog post to write it all down.

First of all my thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan! I can't imagine what they are facing looking for loved ones and trying to start over. It will be a long road to recovery for them.

Locally, this has been on our minds all week. Tuesday night two fugitives from Louisiana were on the loose in our area and have not been seen since. We've all been on edge making sure our windows and doors are locked and overall being extra careful. It's a beautiful day outside today but William has to go out of town so I'm staying inside with the kids and locked down. I sure hope these guys are caught and brought to justice quickly!

On a much lighter note, Rylie has been practicing blowing bubbles for what seems like forever and finally has it down!

William got Will these new Scooby-Doo pajamas and he just loves them! Scooby-Doo is big in our house at the moment so the timing was perfect.

Here's hoping next week is much lighter all around! One more week until Spring Break!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Let's Go Camping

It was a cold and rainy weekend here so we never left the house. Rylie was sick with a horrible cough and I had a sore throat so we didn't feel like doing anything anyway. It was nice to just stay home and relax, but I'm kind of glad it's Monday since I was getting a little stir crazy.

I did take some time out to create this weekend. These pictures are form Rylie's first camp out last summer. She had been begging to go camping, but we weren't really sure she'd last too long and Will was really too young to try to take so William pitched the tent in the backyard one night and the two of them camped out. She was so excited! She had her radio, books and toys. I stayed with them until time to get Will to bed then I came inside and enjoyed the comforts of my own bed. Rylie made it until about midnight then they both came in for the rest of the night. It didn't matter to her thought because she had been camping and that's all she wanted. We camped a couple of other times last summer in the back yard and she's already asking when we can do it again.

I used a sketch from Sketchabilities on this page. I've been wanting to use these October Afternoon papers since I got them and had a lot of fun with them. Since this page is about Rylie, I went totally cutesy on it. I only used one patterned paper for the blocks because I loved the animal scenes. I went with those animals and created a scene with them below my journaling. I used some older Basic Grey and KI Memories letter stickers with some October Afternoon embellishments for my title. It's a little more cutesy than what I normally do, but Rylie loves this page and that's what it's all about for me. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekly Meal Planning

Dinner time used to be planned when we came in the door in the evenings. Not only is this not good for the budget because we were always running to the store for something, but it wasn't good for us because lots of time we were so crunched for time we would go for something unhealthy. With my son's food allergies we have to plan ahead now and it has made a world of difference in how we eat and our pocketbook. Our grocery bill has really increased since his diagnosis anyway from having to buy special foods for him (snacks for home and school mostly; if you haven't noticed just check - soy is in everything!), but by planning our meals out for the week ahead of time and sticking to that list, we have been able to watch our food budget more closely. I thought it might be a good idea to list some of our weekly menus here to offer ideas to others and for me to keep up with what we've had lately and where we can improve. Keep in mind that we have to pack DS's lunch everyday and DD only eats at school a couple of times a month. Also, DH and I take our lunches most every day so a lot of these leftovers will be used for lunches the next day. Here is our menu for this week:

Sunday - Jambalaya, green salad and fruit salad
Monday - Sloppy Joes, sweet potato fries and fruit salad
Tuesday - Potato soup with chicken, homemade bread and fruit salad if any is left over
Wednesday - leftovers night
Thursday - BBQ pork chops in the slow cooker, macaroni and cheese and steamed broccoli and cauliflower
Friday - Hot dogs/chili dogs, pita chips and baked apples
Saturday - leftovers or hamburger casserole (will make if have to; if not will make next Sunday)

My kids are good eaters. Broccoli is one of their favorite foods and they eat leftovers and salad and cauliflower without complaints. I do not cook separate foods for the kids; we eat together as a family and they eat what the rest of the family eats. I tell them I am not a short order cook. :) I do however, take what they like into consideration. I try not to cook things they hate and often get their suggestions into the weekly meals.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Thinking of Spring

The weather has turned chilly again and it's rained for two days straight. I'm stuck inside and dreaming of nicer days and spring weather (except for the storms spring brings to our area) so I make a couple of spring layouts.

This is the kids finding what the Easter Bunny brought them last year. You can tell they had just gotten up by the bed head and dreary eyes. :) When I was looking for papers for this page, I saw that the We R Memory Keepers Hippity Hoppity line matches the Echo Park Sweet Summertime line match perfectly. I used a combination of these two lines on my layout. I used this sketch by Allison Davis at Sketch Support. This came together so quickly with the pre-made embellishments from the two lines.

This was done for the February Products You Love Every Which Way at 2P's. The challenge this month was to use punches and try to use them in a new way. I found this sketch at Creative Scrappers to use on my page.

I used the Boys Will Be Boys Cricut cartridge for my title. I love using scraps with my cricut; I'm using up a lot of my scraps stash lately. For the 2P's class challenge, I used a border punch, but then put the paper upside down from how I usually use it. I used some stickers from the sticker sheet to fill in the page and then grabbed my old Creative Memories circle punches to cut some from patterned paper. I sill wanted a couple of different designs so I decided to cut some from the stickers on the sticker sheet. I took this sticker sheet and punched circles from the kite, strawberry and some of the flowers to finish of the page. Everything on this page is from Echo Park.

Monday, February 28, 2011

What I've Been Reading

If I had more hours in a day I would definitely read more. I love to read, but about the only time I can fit it in is when I go to bed at night and then I usually fall asleep while reading. I have tried to fit more reading into my schedule this year and so far so good.

Here is my list of what I have read so far this year. As you can see by my list, I have an eclectic taste in books and enjoy a range of genres.

My favorite so far this year. Wonderful book that I highly recommend. I gave a review of it here .

I really enjoy this series. If you enjoy a light read now and then I suggest these Stephanie Plum books. I am working my way through the series - there are about 17 or so now. I have number 7 and will be reading it soon.

Couldn't wait to read this one after all the buzz about it. It was long, but I did enjoy it. Great story with twists and turns. They are making it into a movie and I can't wait to see what they do with the story lines. My husband is reading this one now.

I am currently about half way through this one. A friend recommended it and then I read some reviews and thought it sounded interesting. It is set in the English Channel Islands just after WWII. I really like historical fiction and this one is no disappointment so far. It is written as a series of letters and is a very quick and easy read, but really makes you think about how much ordinary citizens used to sacrifice for their countries during times of war. I can't wait to see how this one ends.

I'm not sure what I'll read when I finish my current book. I have a large pile of to-be-read books by my bed to pilfer through and pick from when the time comes. I have so many I can't wait to delve into that I may have to rely on eenie meenie miney moe to make the decision for me.

What are you currently reading? Any suggestions for me to add to my list?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A New Family Favorite

I saw this recipe recently on Southern Plate . I enjoy Christy's posts about her Southern kitchen and life and have tried several of her recipes. I've been wanting to make this recipe since I first saw it and finally did tonight. It was a big hit and is one that will become a slow cooker staple in our home.

As I always do, I made a few changes to the original recipe.
* I omitted the corn; DS is allergic
* I wasn't thinking and cooked 2 cups of rice not thinking that it would be more than 2 cups cooked rice. This ended up being a good thing because mine had a little too much liquid in it. I ended up using all the cooked rice and it was perfect.
* I used brown rice; we don't use white rice if we can help it.
* Next time I will add a little fresh cilantro and sour cream when plating. It was fine like it was, but it think it would "kick it up a notch" to borrow from Emeril. :)