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??

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet Your Teacher Day

Today J gets to find out his 2nd grade teacher.  Little does he know I know!  I accidentally found out last week while adding money to his lunch account. I decided to keep it a secret from him. He likes surprises and the day is so fun for the kids!  They all line up outside the gym until the doors open and rush the lists on the walls to see the teacher they got and who is in the class...Some of my friends told their kids, but I kindly asked them to not mention it to J.  They agreed and he is still in the dark. 

It is also the last time I will be going to Meet Your Teacher alone with him.  In the past my parents have taken C so J and I could do this solo, but it donned on me this morning, that next year C will be at the same school for kindergarten.  How did that happen? 

My babies are growing up....I am happy about that.  I am thrilled to watch them as they become the boys they are.  It will also give me to opportunities to do some things I have wanted to do outside the house.......Stay tuned....

Friday, August 19, 2011

Always looking!

I love to look at blogs that help me organize my life, my family, my house etc.

I am a huge believer and fan of Cozi and the amazing online calendar, list maker and articles! We live by it and weekly, if not more, I reference it for something.  We have it on our phones, we print out the monthly calendars, I make lists on it, I text M reminders from it.  It has truly made our family commitments so much easier to handle.

I am also a huge fan stalker of iheartorganizing.  Jen is amazing and inspirational and there is not a week that has gone by that I have not found SOMETHING on her site that has not motivated me to better our home, or lives.  While I might be a silent fan, I still read all of her articles and then plan to do them on my Cozi calendar!  Hello, organized???!!!!???

Jen's latest post on getting lunches ready for school has be ready to tackle a new lunch making routine.  I have made out 30 minutes each Sunday on the calendar to prep for lunches!  I have some bins ready, I have shopped, I have lists of lunch ideas prepped and I am ready to roll out yet another genius organized routine for this family!

How or what keeps you organized?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Knee Deep

School has not even started and the PTO is already making me busy!  As the VP of Fundraising for just one more year,(yea!)  I need to get moving (since I basically took the entire summer off!)  Making fliers, planning events and hoping people help the school out.  How I would love for someone to just write a big Ol check so my job would be easier!

J goes back in 6 days, (not that we are counting!).  We are trying hard to get ourselves out of bed earlier each day so the shock of a 6:45am wake up call does not leave us all crabby on the first day.  It is not going well.  The alarm goes off, but mommy is having a hard time getting out of bed.  I am hardly a good role model if I keep hitting snooze!!

C does not go back until after Labor Day, but he will be on the same morning routine because he has to.  He is not my worry!  J and I are the worries. I need to get serious!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yum! New dinners!

So now that I have been home for more than a week and I have learned to live in the real world with a real kitchen again, I am back to one of my favorite pastimes....Looking for recipes!!  I have found many that I have added to the "must try file" in my recipe binder but this one popped out at me this morning and I have decided I am changing the meal plan for tomorrow night and we are having this!!!

BBQ Macaroni Salad

*Note: For a less meaty version, you can leave out the kielbasa entirely. Alternately, you can substitute many different types of meat for the kielbasa: deli ham, smoked sausage, etc. 

*Serves 8-10

8-12 ounces turkey kielbasa, diced
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
4 green onions, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon canola oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped turkey kielbasa and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a paper towel-lined plate and let it cool slightly before using in the recipe.
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the macaroni and cook until nearly tender, about 6 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse with cold water until cool, draining again briefly. Transfer the moist pasta to a large bowl.
Stir in the kielbasa, bell pepper, celery, green onions, vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Let the pasta sit for about 5 minutes to absorb the flavors. Stir in the mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. The salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Check the seasonings before serving and stir in a few tablespoons of warm water before serving, if needed to bring the salad back to it’s creamy texture.

I am telling you, I am craving it!  Granted I have been having a lot of cravings for BBQ lately.....I could eat it all the time, I love the smoky flavor and the sauces!  :)

Try it! We are and I am sure it will become a new go to meal for us!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Lovin---Havin a Blast!

Summer break left me with little time to blog...Sorry....All 3 readers!  LOL

Besides the fact that we left our home in mid-July for almost a month to spend at our summer house, we got a lot of pool time and fun in before that! 

C & J painted gifts for M and my dad for father's day in the gorgeous sun!  It was easy too!  Some cheap canvas boards, paint and brushes!  They were very excited about it....So much they took their shirts off!!

For Father's Day we went to an antique car show close to home.  The boys loved all of the cars, but this one was great since the owner let them sit in it!!!!!  A 1963 Austin Cooper! 

Once again my parents hosted a 4th of July parade party! (Perks of living on the parade route!) and some of our closest and best est friends came to celebrate the 4th with us.  Later, some of them joined us for our annual BBQ and then we headed off to fireworks!  Such a great day!

And the boys (4 of them, 2 obviously are NOT mine) had a blast at a park honoring all of the American wars.  Although the kids enjoyed the history, the tanks that they could climb on was a way bigger hit. I think I sat on a bench for 2 hours letting them climb!

Those were our fun highlights., besides hitting the pool every day that it was sunny!  Sure there were some not so fun moments too...like losing power for 56 hours in June, then again for 36 hours in July.  NOT FUN, but grateful for a friend who loaned us her generator saving our groceries and letting me try to cook "generator style"!!!

I have lots to catch up from our summer vacation at the cottage too.....Stay tuned....