Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Change O Dinner Plans

I had made up our weekly meal plan and then, darn it, melskitchencafe goes and intices me again with this Potato Soup recipe!!  While the weather outside is sunny right this minute, it is expected to drop 20 degrees before dinner time and there is even a chance on white stuff to fall from the sky!!  Huh?? 
So in my attempt to stay warm and cozy, I decided warm and creamy soup is the way to go!!!

What is your favorite soup???

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Forgetful....But always trying to find inspiration to share...

As I sit here, C is sick, J is exhausted and soundly sleeping, M is in Florida and I am trying to catch up on a lot of things at the same time. I was just Skyping with friends, and now I checking email, uploading photo's and trying to keep up with things before the holiday bustle really starts!!

I have been searching BLOGS lately, as I like to do, but because I am on Facebook AND Pinterest I sometimes forget I have this little blog too.....I find recipes, crafts, inspirations in so many places.  I keep them on my computer but forget to share them. Lately, I have been emailing my bestest friend K, each morning with something to make her smile when she gets to work.  We do not live close to each other, but each day I like to let her know I am thinking of her.  It is a little thing I have enjoyed doing.  I got these from Pinterest and they have been a few of my favorites to share with her.....

Sometimes I find free printables online and save them for the shadow box frame I have in my kitchen.  They are an easy way to decorate for the season or holiday.  Currently I have this one displayed

Soon enough I will print this one for the winter season

and then ofcourse I will have to have this out for a holiday party or something...I mean really, who does not love Buddy!

But in all of the busy of my every day life, I have accepted a part time job!!  Last school year, I helped plan and execute a HUGE event in our school district with the Harlem Wizards. (Remember this post??)  I loved every minute of it, loved the show, the Wizards, the company...everything....A few weeks ago, the Wizards called and asked me if I would be interested in helping "sell shows" to schools in Illinois.  After many questions being answered, many conversations with Mark and my parents, and learning more about the job, I accepted it.  This is a new position for the Wizards to tap into a somewhat unknown area in the mid-west.  It is part time, I can work from home, with no travel, unless I choose to travel and perfect for someone who knows a thing or two about planning one of these events.  I am most excited to share my excitement about this team and these events!  The best part is that it gives me a little something to do, when I can.  When we told the kids about the job, after leaving a Wizards game that was played locally, J said "Mom, are you going to be playing with the Wizards?"  Clearly this child thinks mommy has mad basketball skills, but I let him down easily saying "No, I will be working with the guys to play at other schools like they did for us".  He was fine with that answer but is eager to see them play more around here!

So while I am adding another "thing" to my list resume, my first job will always be mom and wife.  That job is the most rewarding....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Knee Deep into Fall!

I love seasons...I think that is why I love living in the mid-west, we see seasons, the changes in the outdoors, and it just makes me happy!  We are into fall here at our house....Granted the high is to be 73 today (and Friday it could be 78!)  Indian Summer is ok with me too! 

C and I made a plan to make oodles of pumpkin muffins today, no matter what! I made 2 dozen 8 days ago and the family ate them in 3 days.....Breakfast, with lunch, snacks etc.....They are a hit!  So we made another 2 dozen today along with a pound of bacon for breakfast this week!  (Time saver tip!  I usually make a pound of bacon on Sundays to give the boys all week long at breakfast to give them some protein in the morning, but we were busy this weekend!) 
Those of you that "know" me, know I do not bake....Nope, I am a cook, and measuring is NOT my thing....Baking to me (and my boys) is using a box mix and adding some other items (as per the directions!)  Our favorite pumpkin bread "mix" is from Trader Joes

Like the box says...Just add eggs, oil and water...Now that is baking to me! :) 

My kids love it, as do M and I!  We even add a few chocolate chips to the tops to make it "better" (as per J & C).  

We are off from school for a long weekend so we have some fall fun planned.  A trip to a pumpkin patch, perhaps apple picking too and we are working on crafting more pumpkins for our indoor and outdoor decor!  I have recently become addicted to Pinterest and have been inspired by some of the things I have found.  My hope is that we can make some fun new things to add to our decor without breaking the budget!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Routine, Routine, Routine

I, like many of you, am a huge believer in a routine.  I have many each day.....I make breakfast the same way (although each day differs in the choices for J & C), I have a routine for my weekly chores, and I am trying hard to get the boys in a good bedtime and morning routine on school days.

While I read many BLOGS each day, I do find reading others routines helpful and get ideas on how the make routines easier for all of us.  Today, while reading my favorite Blog EVER, I came across her morning routine printable (which is FREE and that makes it even better) to assist my boys!  I have her bedtime routine printable already hanging on the boys doors, the new morning routine will soon join it for the boys to use as a guide.

Routines are apart of everyone's lives even if we do not really know about it.  I think setting the right routines in my kids at an early age will be helpful as they grow into the big people too....

Friday, September 9, 2011

Freedom....sort of

Finally C has started school and I am learning to enjoy my 2.5 hours of quiet time, alone.  With that said, I am making lists of things I can tackle "sans kids".  The list is long, but easy projects that can be done in the amount of time I have. 

The list continues as will my clean out areas...I am tackling the basement currently.  A dear childhood friend and her hubby are visiting us next weekend and staying with us.  We do not have a guest room (boo!)  so they will be taking over the basement and I want to make it clean and private for them to have a place to relax "sans kids".  I am deep cleaning this weekend, then adding finishing touches to the quick decorating I have done.

Our family room and the boys playroom are down there so there is plenty to clean out.  The toys need to be gone through (without them) to add batteries where needed, ditch any things that have snuck into bins and art work needs to be hung (there is a pile!!)  The family room side is quite clean and organized so there is little to be done but add some things for our guests to make them comfortable.  It is kind of exciting to have guests coming!!!

Next on the list is painting a bathroom, and then I will start to tackle our master bedroom.  Since I have limited alone time it will take some time, but I can do it. One wall at a time!  The budget is ZERO so I need to re-purpose items and get crafty.  I am now addicted (honestly!) to Pinterest and cannot believe the ideas I am finding there for so many things!! I love it!  I have made boards to organize them on the site and can mindlessly look at things, and "pin" them to a board.  It is so easy!!  Kids crafts, fashion, food, decorating...All the things I love to get ideas for! 

Off to take C to school and then get back here to work in the playroom...Its a rainy day here, but we have plans with our dearest friends here in town.  Pizza nights are back now that school is out.  This is our family time with them and we love our monthly dinners together.  Happily our kids love pizza night as much and M and I do! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oh me oh my!! I just found a fun craft for me AND the kids can help (maybe!) 

I found a new blog from an old favorite that I check often.....This new blogger gave a tutorial on how to make frosted jars for floral arrangements.....I have an idea brewing in my head for my mantel and I think this could be the perfect (and cheap) way to do it!! 

Had to share, now off the to grocery store before the rain starts and I am not motivated to leave the house with the boys!

Just can't get enough

Of Mel's Kichen Cafe blog!  Daily ideas for amazing meals!!

Tonight's meal is a favorite of mine, but I am going with her version instead!  Quick-and-tasty-cheesesteak-subs 

I love cheese steaks...I should have been born in Philly, but in Chicago we change the toppings, use less juice etc.  I am sticking to her recipe 100% tonight......We will have to compare later!

While I was searching her site (again) I came across this too....Menu's!  And not just for one week but FIVE!!!  Oh my, the meals and the NOT repeating meals!  I gotta work on this. Sure, we have our ol' standards that I whip out for the kids (or when mommy is not motivated) but for a set 5 weeks of meals, the ease! 

How far out to do you plan your meals? One week?  Two?  FIVE WEEKS??