Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hot and good stuff

You have got to try this!

Holy yum! I just found my new favorite tea. It is Hot Cinnamon Spice from Caribou Coffee. I ran in there a couple weeks ago on a whim. I had just dropped off the kids at my mom's and I had five minutes to myself. Big deal unto itself! I would never go to a coffee shop with my kids, too many expensive treats just waiting to be bought (stuffed animals- ugh!, ginormous cookies, gourmet candies, you get the idea) and I am way too intimidated by all that coffee lingo. I have never developed the coffee taste/love so going to a Starbucks is kind of like going to a foreign country. I get stuff for big tall hubby sometimes when I am trying to suck up for being at Target too long while he is taking care of the kids, I mean, just because I love him! But then, I always get whatever the holiday special one is, like peppermint latte, or whatever. And I never say, "vendi" and all that other nonsense, I point to the big cup and say, "this size." Why pretend that I know what I am talking about!? Is it just me or are those coffee shop people snooty? (I'm sure not all of them are, before I offend anyone, just the ones I have encountered?)

Anyway, I was freezing (not unusual, I have no tolerance for cold) and I thought, by golly, I am going to get myself some tea. Wowzers, they have a huge selection. I asked the baristas what they recommended and they immediately said this flavor. It is absolutely delish! No kidding. It does not require any sweetener. AND it tastes exactly like a red hot cinnamon candy. Eeeeee! I love it. I told my mom all about it and she surprised me with this box. Sadly, I have drank about half of it already. **sniff sniff** I hope you get the chance to try it sometime, you won't be sorry.

You can order some here, if you don't have a Caribou nearby.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday stuff and scrapbooking

I am thankful to be home!

I am glad Thanksgiving is over. Whew. My tummy can't take any more! Coincidentally, today is the launch of a brand new Weight Watchers program. Yipee! I love it. I have been "doing" this one for a couple weeks (as an employee, we had to learn it before teaching to new members obviously) and it is so awesome. Anyone who wants to get healthy and maybe lose some weight, you should take advantage of a free meeting to learn the new program. Anyway, I am not even worried about Thanksgiving weight gain, because the new program has given me lots of freedom and I know if I did gain (which I probably did!) it will be super easy to get back on track. With that being said, I am glad to be home and eating my own food and exercising regularly. How can one long weekend throw me off so much?!

My Things to Do this week:
  • put away fall/Halloween decor
  • store Parker's clothes he has outgrown (for Tanner)
  • cut materials for my Christmas cards
  • sort two scrapbook albums and put pages in the correct order (see below)
  • buy needed scrapbooks at Hobby Lobby (sale this week!) for scrapbook pages (see below, again)
  • decorate our Christmas tree!

My Menus for this week: (easy week, because I know we will be busy)
  • we had spaghetti last night, so yummy after all that Thanksgiving food
  • tacos for the kids, tofu taco salad for me (Paul has PhD class- easy meal)
  • chicken pasta with bitter greens
  • shrimp sandwiches (repeat from last week, so yummy, have leftover shrimp frozen)
  • homemade pizzas
  • tortellini with mushrooms and peppers

I am a scrapbooking girl and have been forever. Really. I have old Trapper Keepers full of scrapbooks I made when I was a kid! I don't get enough time to do as many pages and albums as I'd like but on the occasion I do get some extra time. You can bet I am camped out at my desk with my adhesive and my scissors.

A couple years ago, I came across an idea from Stacy Julian (a pioneer in the scrapbooking industry in case you didn't know) that encouraged you to scrapbook whatever you wanted, in no order. OK, so this goes against what I had always done which was to scrap things chronologically. I had files set up for holidays, birthdays, by dates, etc. Then I started scrapping pictures I really liked or just wanted to get put on a page. Well the problem was, I still liked having my albums set up chronologically. (Stacy did not recommend this, she said to have album categories like "holidays", bugged me, couldn't do it.) So I started putting them in a big box until I could get them in their correct albums.

It looked like this...
Yikes! It would not close. Not good. So I sorted them by year (for our family albums) and by child (for each one of them)...
I have albums for 2006, 2007, and 2008. I have to buy one for 2009 and 2010. I also have to decide if I want one for each child for each year (of course their first year is huge) or for a series, like age 2-5. Not sure on that yet. (Hence getting to Hobby Lobby for the 50% off sale this week!)

Now I have to sort each year by date and put them in their correct album. It is a big project and I have decided that Stacy's idea just doesn't work for me. I guess I have to do it my way, and that's ok. The crazy thing, once I get the pages in the albums, the album will be almost done so I was basically still scrapping chronologically!

While I was sorting, I checked in here... (I forget about this basket because most of my "have to do projects" are on my desk)
Lo and behold, there was a project that I started this summer (it was a class with one of my favorite scrapbooking diva designers Margie Romney Aslett) and never finished. It was a shabby chic mini album that was supposed to be a banner you hang up. Well, as much as I love the idea, again, I had to make it my own. I have no where to hang a banner that won't get destroyed. Here are the pages...
Whoops, sideways, you get the idea.
I put my "cover" on some thick cardboard (Sarah, I thought of you when I did this!)
Punched some holes in the pages and put them on rings.
Added leftover ribbon to the rings.
Voila! Love it!
And I used the leftover paper scraps to make some cards. I just have to stamp some sentiments and they are done. I swear, seeing all my finished projects is so energizing! I could have stayed up all night cutting and gluing!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night

Wow, seriously, it's Thanksgiving already?! Holy smokes. Then you know what is just around the corner? OK, I won't go there, yet.
I hope everyone has a great holiday.
Enjoys lots of food.
Visits with loved ones far and near.
Takes time to remember what they are thankful for.
Gets some exercise. **
And shops while getting awesome bargains, for all you crazies who get up early on Friday morning.

Now for some visual Thanksgiving stuff around my house...

Awesome vintage postcard, so want to go antique-ing to get some more of these guys
The big pile of crap, I mean stickers we had to go through to find just the right one for
this homework project of Parker's. (Homework for preschoolers?! Don't get me started.)
Cute tag I made (if I say so myself), can you believe I do not have a turkey stamp?! Amazing.
And this, why do hand stamped things always make me cry!!!!??? ('Cos I'm a sap, that's why!)

**According to Shape magazine, it takes 70 minutes of hiking to negate one slice of pecan pie which is approximately 480 calories. (p. 126, November issue). Holy pie! I'd better walk the whole way to the big tall in-laws' just to negate all the yummy stuff I plan to eat. (Consider this my "watchin' my weight post for this week- he he he)

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone. Be safe in your travels.

See you next week.

Gobble gobble ;)

Monday, November 22, 2010

thanks mom and Monday Stuff

My mom recently came home from a beach vacation and gave me a slew of new things to read.
I was looking through the pile and HELLO STING!!! Can you bet what I read first? I love it that she obviously stole this from the plane because she knows about my addiction to Sting. Thanks mom. (Jeez, that guy is such a hottie.)

My things to do this week:
  • pack for trip to see big tall hubby's family
  • enjoy Thanksgiving dinner! yipee!
  • sort scrapbooking pages and figure out how many scrapbooks to buy (post for this sometime soon)
  • clean out casserole and baking pan cabinet- whoo, it is crazy in there!

My menus for this week:
  • we will be eating lots of leftovers this week, because we have them in the fridge from last week, and because it is Thanksgiving and I am not going near the grocery store, too many crazy ladies there right now fighting over turkeys and all that stuff
  • grilled shrimp (tofu for me) sandwiches
  • grilled cheeses for the kids
  • hopefully, turkey sandwiches, turkey casserole, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes and all kinds of good leftovers on Friday- Sunday

Friday, November 19, 2010

preschool feast

Ok girlies, if you don't have one of these, put it on your Christmas wish list. My big tall mother in law gave me this one because she said she never used it. (Yes, she knows I call her that, big tall hubby's entire family is over 6 feet tall so I am like the midgit who hangs out with them. At their house, I have to climb on chairs to get things out of the cabinets and shelves. Seriously.I tell them I am like Jack in the Beanstalk among the family of giants. They think that is super funny. I especially love it when it is family picture time, "jenny, you get in front ok!" Yep, got it freakishly tall people!!!) Wowzers, it is so cool (or hot!).
Look it has cold packs or hot packs. I love these. I take them with me when I go to Whole Foods (it is far from my house) and they stay cold forever. The hot packs get warmed in the microwave, how rad is that!?
Parker's preschool had their family feast on Wednesday. I made fruit salad. Mmmm, not a piece of fruit was left. The raspberries were scrumptious.
Homemade mac n cheese, Emeril's recipe from the October issue of Everyday Food (one of my favorite magazines, you know I love Martha!!!) Oh my goodness, it was super good. I really think it will be yummier when I make it at home and don't have to transport it. Super hot and gooey. We only were asked to bring one dish to share but the day before the feast, Parker's poor teachers were begging people to bring more, I mean, some people are so crummy. Why couldn't they bring in something to share, who cares if you made it or bought it on the way to school? I felt so bad for them, I offered to bring two things. Ugh, some people just don't get it. I wanted Parker (and his classmates) to have a nice feast with their teachers, yeah, it was kind of a pain and I had to do some extra work but it was worth it. I actually heard parents saying, "I have so much going on, blah blah blah." Really irritated me. Jeez our kids are only in preschool once in their lives, let's make sure it is great. OK, enough ranting and raving.
This is the only picture I got from the feast. Parker and a couple boys from his class were really enjoying each others' company and I felt like the bad mom because my kid was running wild throughout the event. Oh well, he said he had fun and loved the turkey and the brownies. Tanner loved all the food. I don't think I ate anything, too busy chasing boys and wiping faces.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm a blog stalker

I know you are too, a stalker that is. Don't you just have that one blog that you read each day or each post and say, "man, do I wish that was me?" I have one and she is a local Cincinnati girl, I keep thinking I might see her, except she is younger than me and doing the whole executive thing, not the mommy at the park thing, so I probably will never see her in person. (There are other blogs I love too, hers is just the one that is most like I want to be but know I never will be.)

It is What I Wore Today, her name is Kasmira. (Is that such a cool name or what!?)

I love how she blogs about what she wears every day. Way back, before marriage and kids, I thought of myself as somewhat stylish. I bought new clothes regularly at cool stores like Express and the Limited, I wore accessories, I even had lots of heels that I wore. Whodathunkit? Now, well, I try but seriously, I wear jeans almost every day. I am not complaining, at all, just sayin'.

Kasmira puts together some crazy combos that somehow work. She crafts, thrifts and alters things to fit her and she looks great all the time. I am trying to incorporate some of her practices into my mommy-wardrobe, like wearing jewelry. I don't have near the pretty, wild things she does, but in my own way, I try to channel her inner style when I am getting dressed. Sometimes a cute necklace makes even boring jeans and a t-shirt cute, I must admit.

I also admire her photographs. How in the heck does she get such good shots (I know her boyfriend does some of them.)? In honor of my blog-stalker-ee I took pics of me in a kind of dressed up way. (I was wearing a blazer from Goodwill- Kasmira would be so proud of me! Jeans from Goodwill- double Kasmira points! And a really old scarf from my collection that was not really right for fall, but I wore it anyway.)

Here I am so sassy!
Fuzzy, out of focus, would not do for a fashion blog.
Looking like a conehead.
Smirking, my grandma would tell me my face is going to freeze like that!
So I didn't get a full body shot, I tried, couldn't do it. I let Parker take a picture, bad idea, nostril shots and more coneheadishness. So I'll probably never be a fashion blogger, wouldn't it be fun though? I will however continue to be a blog stalker.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

watchin' my weight Wednesday

Hydration is soooooo much easier when you use a straw. I know it makes me look like a diva but water tastes much yummier when it is through a straw. I am shopping for some stainless steel ones so I don't keep using these plastic ones, bad for the environment and all. I keep one of these on my counter all day long, it is like my third hand, always there.
I finally got this from the library. I have been waiting for about two months. I have already read the first two chapters and I went ahead and ordered my own copy from Amazon so I can write in it and take lots of notes. You gals know I think Jackie is da bomb! This book seems super helpful and so common sense. (It reminds me of Jillian Michaels' "Mastering Your Metabolism" which I also loved, it convinced me to kick my soda habit!) I am excited to finish this one and put some of her ideas in place.
Look at her body, it is a-maz-ing! I know I will probably never look like this but if I can get some info from here to help me on my lifelong healthy journey, I will be forever grateful. The title of this book does not do it justice, really, it is about kicking our sugar addictions and working out smarter and getting our hormones under control naturally. I think everyone could benefit.

I am pretty sure she is going to be on Access Hollywood tonight, I got a Facebook notice. So be sure to check it out. She is an inspiration for me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

little cutie

Lovin' this craft

Look at this little cutie I made. It is a regular binder clip with some teeny scrapbooking paper scraps and letter stickers. Can't you just imagine the possibilities? (I also made one for Zoe with her name on it for school.) I Mod Podged the paper after I put the stickers on, I thought about using stamps but I was trying to save some time. Love it. I am thinking monogrammed ones for teachers? Hmm.

the back, just some coordinating paper, sorry about the poor lighting, this was on my desk late at night...

Monday, November 15, 2010

the joy of boys and my Monday stuff

Ah, the joy of having boys.
I was a grumpy, cleaning madwoman this weekend in preparation for our open house on Sunday. (We got a new realtor, no more "for sale by owner", and she is all gung-ho about us having an open house, ugh, I hate those darn things, anyway.) I was in the middle of twenty things, you know dusting, mopping, decluttering, etc. when I had to take a potty break. I open the door and find this giant stick! At first I was a little startled because how often do you find a giant limb in your powder room? Then I just laughed. Seriously. Parker found this thing about two weeks ago and he calls it his "grim reaper" sword (I know, so creepy, the kid loves Scooby Doo). This was the first time the sword made it into the house. This is not however the first time pug butt has made it into one of my pictures. I mean, what the heck is he sniffing for in the bathroom?!? Jeez.

For more funny bathroom pictures showing stuff kids left behind visit Clover Lane. Her blog is awesome as most of you know but her bathroom pictures crack me up.

my things to do this week:
  • drop off fundraiser things to family in nearby town
  • take Parker to the dentist (oops, I had this for last week, but his appointment is this week, just looked at the calendar wrong- dentist and family live in the same town)
  • take my books to Half Price Books (didn't get this done last week)
  • weigh in at Weight Watchers (groan- not quite sure about this one)
  • make three cards and mail (two thank yous and a retirement)
  • get my coupons sorted, way behind on this

my menus for this week:
  • taco salads
  • some sort of spaghetti
  • chicken chili
  • jambalaya and bread
  • homemade pizzas
(Ok, so my menus are lame this week, feeling very uninspired to cook, I have not had much time to look for new recipes)

Friday, November 12, 2010


A big kiss for you!

Hey ya'll, this is a recipe I am sharing for Jill over at Blessings of a Stay at Home Mom. She requested it and I am happy to oblige. Check her out, she is one of those gals who just oozes sweetness and serenity. Totally unlike me, I'm probably more like spastic worrywart. Anyway, it is for a super duper yummy frittata. I did not take a picture of my creation because those food photographers are geniuses and just getting dinner finished is an accomplishment, I don't think I'd ever remember to take a properly lit and staged photo. Hubby and I really liked this one, I added mushrooms and way more garlic and some onion. Kids wouldn't touch it, little neanderthals!

I must end quickly today. My little buddy has strep throat and I haven't slept for two nights AND we have an open house Sunday so I only have a couple hours to get some major cleaning done.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shh! Don't tell them!

Don't tell my kids that I eavesdrop on them all the time! I seriously have supersonic ears, I can't see worth a darn (thank you glasses and contacts) but I can hear loud and clear. I do not even need the baby monitor. Never have. I am tuned in to what is going on around here. I can tell you exactly what my big tall hubby is snacking on late at night when I go to bed just by hearing him get out dishes and what he gets out of the pantry. He is always marveled at that talent!

So anyway, the kids think I need the baby monitor to hear Tanner when he wakes up. Nope. I can hear him just fine without it. I use it to monitor them when they go upstairs and are getting into mischief or stuff they're not supposed to get into. They always say something like, "mom, how did you know we were getting in your scrapbooking stickers?!" Ha, ha, ha! I will never tell. And don't you tell either. Do you think they'll be suspicious if I keep using it for the next ten years or so?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

watchin' my weight Wednesday

My "trainers" in my face, keeping me motivated.
Actually, they are on my treadmill.

I keep these gals' pictures on my treadmill and I mentally "hear" them talking to me. I know it is so kooky, but imagining Jackie saying, "are you working to intensity Jen?" is enough to get me to go faster or increase the incline. I love her show "Thintervention" (you gals know I do) and I am so sad it is over. I hope she comes back for another season. I adore Jillian too but I don't like how "The Biggest Loser" eliminates people, I wish they could all stay on the show until the end, anyway. These gals are my motivators. (Just for the record, I rarely watch tv while I am treadmilling, I know the remote is there, because I am usually on it at 5AM, nothing worth watching then. Now, if I am treading at night, I love to watch VH1 shows and Dancing with the Stars.)

Yesterday, I overslept through my alarm and the trampoline was my cardio for the day. (Why is it when big tall hubby is gone I cannot get out of bed?! He was at a principal conference. Hmm, wonder.) Parker loves having me jump with him, even though my bladder hates it when I jump!
I also took a nice long walk with Tanner while Parker was at his choir class. I was however pushing the stroller. ;)
So Jackie and Jillian weren't in my face to motivate me, but I worked out the best way a mommy can when she snoozes through the alarm!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Something to make you laugh


OK, girlies, my big tall hubby sent me this video. It is kind of long, but I assure you it is well worth it. If you need a good laugh, check it out. It is one of the best things I have ever watched on the web, promise.

More Elmos, Monday stuff

I don't know about your house, but around here the "good" Halloween candy is just about gone. The good stuff, meaning the chocolate. Thank goodness. All that chocolate just staring at me for a week was killing me! I ate my fair share for sure and I'm positive it will show up on the scale. I am glad all that is left is the sugary stuff (like taffy, sweet-tarts, etc.) which does not call out my name all day long, just begging to be eaten.

Tanner is really in Elmo mode. He is borderline obsessed. We found these Elmos (and other characters, sorry Ernie and Big Bird) from our toy cave in the basement and he is in heaven. He combines them with his beloved animals and is content to line them all up and "count" them. He says, "un, un, un, doo, too. Yeah!" So funny. Oh, and he likes you to say all their names as he points to them. That is super fun when you do it about 20 times in a row!

"Un, un, un, doo, too, yeah!"
He lines them up facing the same direction, is that weird? maybe he is just detail oriented....
"Momo, mommy!!!!" (say that super loud)

This is his bunny which he calls, "mou". Like "mouse." He is a bit confused, he thinks bunnies and squirrels are mice, hmm, have to work on that.

My things to do this week:
take boxes to Goodwill
take books to Half Priced books
get Parker's hair cut and take him to the dentist
buy Christmas card supplies at Hobby Lobby (missed the sale last time!)
get out my winter shoes and put away my summer ones (sniff, sniff)
deliver fund raiser items that Zoe sold for school

My menus for this week:
BBQ pork and coleslaw
Veggie fritatta
meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans (special request from hubby)
white bean chili
grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

Friday, November 5, 2010


Tanner has discovered Elmo ("Momo" at our house). No one can sit at the computer without watching at least one Sesame Street video. He climbs right up on your lap and keeps saying "Momo" louder, and louder, and louder until you find a video for him.

He sits intently, watching every second, studying like it's the SATs or something. (He likes Ernie, Cookie Monster, and Grover too).

It's even better with a lollipop, he's in heaven.
I love this mohawk-made-by-lollipop hairdo. So funny.
I will be soooooo glad to get rid of the Halloween candy. Everyone is sticky all the time and the temptation to eat it all is overwhelming!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

making progress

First let me say, we are having our home photographed today again for a new realtor to list our house. I am soooooo tired of trying to sell this place, I am over it. Really. I won't be all grumpy and gloomy about it, just know I am severely irritated and could go on about how stinky the real estate market is for about five hours. But I will spare you all that.

Next, I would like to say I am making progress on my "things to do" list...


Here is my gift area before...

And after, not a big improvement but some. The best part is that I made a master list of what I have and who it is for. Every thing got stashed in these blue reusable grocery bags or the big tub. Sorry for the dark picture, this is my closet and the lighting is reeeeeeally bad. (the Target bags are holding breakable things I didn't want to put with other stuff)
The kids' winter hats and etc. before
After, I am training them to put their gloves inside their hats. There are three piles, Zoe, Parker, and Tanner. Now, I know this won't be all neat and tidy forever, but it is good to start the season all ready to go. And I realized that I don't have to buy any new stuff for the kids, they have enough for a couple good rounds of snow play (you know extras for when they get all wet and cold!). Glad I was able to take stock.
Big tall hubby and I keep our stuff on the shelf in the coat closet, good for him, bad for shorty me. Funny thing, I think these baskets were the first things I labeled for us when we got married 9 years ago! Still using them.
Have a super day y'all. I am going to go put all my stuff back that I had to move for the photog so my house didn't look like mine while she took the pictures. Ahh, the joys of selling a home in 2010.