Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Functional Kitchen

 When you think of a Kitchen, well when I think of a kitchen... I think of a space/room I am practically in all day. Cooking 3 meals a day plus snacks for 4 people plus sometimes visitors isn't always easy. Don't get me wrong, I love cooking and I love having people over but sometimes I run out of ideas. Yes, Even I run out of ideas. I could write an entire cook book but when it comes to doing something for my family I can't decide on what I want to cook.Which then I turn to my husband and ask, "What would you like for dinner this week?" But I bet you can all guess what he says.... the infamous words from husbands about food, "Whatever you want." And then you are back at square one.
That got me thinking, If I had an in home chef and they asked what I wanted for dinner, you better believe I would be giving them all kinds of things to cook. I would want something new everyday for lunch and dinner. So why is it that I can't make up my mind for my small family of 4?
Well honestly most of the time I can, it is just those few days here and there that I can't decide.... I think we all have those. Where we wished someone would come in and cook and clean up and leave us to enjoy a quiet dinner.
Maybe that's what it's like after the kids leave home...huh....but I don't think it is reality for most of us!
But back to what I was saying about kitchens--When you spend so much time in a room you want it to be functional. You want to be able to find everything and have a spot for it all, right?

Guess where everyone always ends up? You got it---in the kitchen.

Work on taking the space you have and making it workable. Clean the clutter, organize your pantry and just give your kitchen a new and improved look for FREE.

Because I have different taste and designs for rooms it differs from day to day with what my favorite choice would be for a kitchen. I tried to find a picture to give you an idea of what my "ideal" kitchen would be but I couldn't find it. I think that's because it's in my head and I haven't seen it anywhere.

So if you get a chance this week write and tell me what room in your house is your favorite and which room you spend the most time in...I can't wait to hear.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baby Registering

As I was thinking about all the friends and family that are pregnant right now I couldn't believe how many of them are going to be first time parents. It is such an exciting time but can be very overwhelming. I remember the day my husband and I went to Babies R Us to register and all those feelings started to come back to me.Wow! There is so much to think about and so many decisions to make. I wish I would have had someone who could have helped us go through the store and tell me what was really important to have and what wasn't important. We ended up doing a pretty good job though. But for some it won't be as easy. Even though some things vary from baby to baby and mom to mom there are the standard things that stay the same. Registering for your first baby can be extremely difficult/tiring. Even if you register for everything on "the list" there are going to be some things you won't need or use.

I hear it every time a soon to be mom walks out of the store from registering, they are exhausted and overwhelmed and all they want to do is sit down and not think about another thing.
This is normal. It happens to all of us. So what can us moms who have been there before do to help?
We can tell you what made our lives easier.. It is as simple as that!

So lets help...
I want to help these soon to be moms out by giving them our top picks for surviving the first few months.  Make a comment and list the things you used the most and that you felt was a necessity for you and the baby. I will compile a list and post it in within the next week.
Let's get to typing and help out! We all know we needed it.


Monday, March 29, 2010

{Good Morning Monday}

This past weekend was one of those weekends that flew by. First I will tell you about the stuff that isn't any fun that I dealt with.
I battled a bad migraine for most of the weekend. It came and went and when I just about thought I had relief it would come back. At one point I literally felt like my eyes were pounding in and out of my head. It was not fun AT ALL. Then the baby had a fever for most of the weekend. It seemed to stay around 101. 4-102 but would go higher as soon as the 4-6 hour medicine limit came around. I don't know of one specific thing that could have cause it because he has a tooth coming in, a cold, and is raspy again. He now has a terrible rash on his bottom due to all the pooping he has been doing.
I know you just couldn't wait to here that.
As soon as he goes potty I clean his diaper but I think it is so acidic to his little bottom that nothing is helping. I feel terrible and last night I just held him in tears as he cried himself to sleep. He is was so miserable.
But I have a good report this morning-- it was great to see him smiling when I went in his room to get him. His fever has broke and he is acting normal again. I am so thankful!

So about the fun stuff-  I attended a childhood friends baby shower on  Saturday and it was great seeing her again. It had been along time--to long-- really. 
We also had family in town from Tuesday of last week til Saturday. It was my husbands Aunt and Cousin that came for a short visit.I tried to enjoy every moment I got to spend with them because we never know how long it may be before we see them again. They don't live close so with kids and traveling it makes it really hard to see them as often as we would like. Plus our Cousin is expecting and so she won't be traveling much anymore either.
But the main reason for this post is to share with you a simple but delicious recipe. Called Sour Cream Coffee Cake. We enjoyed this cake over the duration of our families visit and thought it might be a great recipe for you to have on hand.

Coffee Cake

1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
8 ounces Sour Cream
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Sugar Mixture
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix the butter, 1 cup sugar, and eggs to creamy. Then add sour cream. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla.
Pour half of the mix into a bunt pan. Pour half of your sugar mixture on the first layer of mix. Then add the remaining cake mix. Top with the left over sugar mix.
Bake at 350. Honestly I have never timed it so I would say 30 minutes to start out and just keep checking it from there. I think it usually take around 45 minutes in my oven.


Friday, March 26, 2010


What comes to mind when you think of spring? 
Here is some things I think of or enjoy when Spring arrives.

I just love gardens and flowers. Although I don't have a garden, I still enjoy walking through them and enjoying the beautiful things God has created.
 I took this from Martha Stewart but I love the feel of this picture. It is comforting and relaxing. A place you would be able to sit and take in all the gorgeous weather that comes with Spring.

Ahh. Amazing is what comes to mind here.... Just breathtaking. I would love one of these in my yard!

I know-- This isn't what comes to mind when I think of spring but I thought it was really cute. Hope you get a laugh out of it just like I did.
p.s. I did not take any of these photos. Just in case you were wondering.
Have a great weekend~


Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Son Turns 4

Today my oldest son turns 4. I can not believe that 4 years has gone by already. I just gaze at him in amazement just as I did the first moment I laid eyes on him. I wanted to take you back for a moment since this blog was started in the fall of '09 and most of you don't know the birth story of my son.

The day I went into labor was a Friday. I was on my 5th day of maternity leave and I was about to get ready for a wedding that I thought I was going to attend for sure. I had been cleaning house and started to feel tired so I sat down to relax for a bit before I grabbed a shower. All the sudden I had to use the bathroom and let's just say--thank goodness I made it to the bathroom. My water BROKE. Yes-- I was on the toilet! I was VERY surprised and just kept thinking that this couldn't be possible, I was determined to go to that wedding. But instead I called my husband and the Doctor immediately. My husband frantically drove home and was a complete basket case when he arrived.  But he was so sweet and cute.

I was all calm and packing my bags because I didn't have them packed yet. See--My water broke almost 3 weeks early and I was planning on doing the bag packing the next week.
Lessoned learned (pack your bags as early as possible.)
But back to the calm part. I just kept telling myself this couldn't be real, I felt like I needed to be pinched. I have no idea where the calmness came from...

We finally arrived at the hospital around 5:30 (about 2 hours after my water broke--but I was taking my time.) I forgot to tell you I grabbed a shower and washed my hair before we left. I wanted to feel clean, what can I say?
I was admitted and hooked up to the monitors. About 6:30 I started to have contractions that I actually started to feel.  I was allowed to walk the halls and spent most of the time on the potty. It was the only place that I felt less pain on. The contractions obviously got worse as the night went along but at 2:13 am I held that sweet little baby boy in my arms for the first time. It was love at first site and I felt so blessed.

He was 5 lbs 12 oz. 18 1/2 inches long and just perfect!

As I look at him now I sometimes have to take a second glance because he has changed so much. That baby boy is turning into a young boy. He is SO curious and SO smart. I have to pinch myself still that I was so blessed to have such a sweet and healthy child. Yes--he has his moments but what child doesn't? He is always telling me, "mommy you are beautiful" "mommy you are so sweet." Oh how I love to hear these words. It just melts my heart!

So today--We are going to have fun, eat some cupcakes, and I am making his requested dinner. This will be another great birthday to remember.

Thanks for going back 4 years with me today as I reminisced the day he was born.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Homemade Butter in Minutes

homemade butter in less than 10 minutes... It's funny how when you tell the average person that you make your own butter, they look at you as if you've never heard of things like electricity and modern day conveniences. Maybe that's because their only memory of making butter involved two hours of non-stop shaking of a Mason jar of cream back in kindergarten days. But honestly, if you have ten minutes on your side and a pint of heavy cream, then you can have fresh, homemade butter without the least bit of effort.

Homemade Butter
2c heavy whipping cream
salt to taste (I used a pinch of kosher salt)

Pour the cream into a food processor. Blend for 6-10 minutes until the cream forms into a ball. Remove the solids from the liquid. Squeeze out the excess liquid and pat butter into a dish.

It is pretty cool how the liquid comes together. The first four minutes, it comes together looking like thick whipped cream. Then within a minute of two, it starts to curdle and the liquid separates almost immediately. Another minute or two later, you have a nice round ball of butter.
It taste fresh and you can call it your own. So give it a try!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

{Tell All Tuesday}

Why do I blog? 
I sometimes ask myself this question. 
It is no secret that being a wife and mom is hard work. For those of you who are one know exactly what I am talking about. But don't get me wrong,even though it is hard work, it is worth every minute!! Amen--
I have recently been asking myself this question more and more. 

Why does writing sometimes come easy and other times I can't seem to get it together? Is it because I  have SO much on my mind that I can not focus. I think sometimes it is and then other times I am all pooped out to have any energy to write or say another word. 

I honestly don't have all the time in the world. 
Blogging takes time. But so does raising two growing boys, who are only getting more rambunctious by this very moment.

So why do I blog? I blog because it helps me express moods and feelings. It helps get out ideas and topics that would just other wise, well....I guess go nowhere.
I blog because I love too. I blog so other women can be encouraged and see that they aren't alone in whatever they are going through.

And the list goes on.....

 If you blog, tell me why you blog? Do you find it easy all the time?


Monday, March 22, 2010

Good Morning Monday

This past weekend has been an absolute blast. As those of you know who saw Friday's post knew we had lots planned for this past weekend. The weather was perfect on Friday and Saturday which made it even that much better. My middle sister Brittany watched my boys for the day (on Friday) so I could enjoy a day out with the hubby. Thank you Sis, It was wonderful and we appreciate you so much!

Here is my weekend:

My weekend started out on Friday at lunch. My husband took me to the French Pantry for lunch. This place is only open Monday-Friday from 11-2 and always has a line out the door, so you can see how hard it is to get into. My husband who has only been there once before didn't know what he was going to get so as he reviewed the blackboard menu he decided on the Thai Chicken Salad. I however was going to get what I always get, the Tomato Bruchetta Salad with Goat Cheese. As we got up to the front of the line I noticed my favorite dessert sitting in the window calling my name, so I gave in and we got a piece of Farmers Cheesecake also known as Blueberry Cheese Tart. Which was amazing and after almost finishing it before my salad got to the table my husband and I agreed we could have ordered two pieces. Maybe next time, but one was all I needed that day! Once seated, a plate of piping hot bread, butter, and dipping oil was delivered to our table. Good gravy--it was delicious. Our entree's were terrific and exceeded my husbands expectations! See-- I knew it was going to be awesome and there is no more convincing him.

Then we headed to the Town Center to do a little shopping. It was a beautiful afternoon and I enjoyed just strolling along and going into stores I don't normally get to go into or stay long in because of the 2 boys I always have with me. For some reason they are fine walking but the minute you walk into a store they go bonkers. I guess that is just a boy for you.

After Shopping and looking for most of the afternoon we headed to dinner. Where we had reservation for 6:30 at B.B's. We enjoyed talking to the friends we met there and just taking our time for the evening. I think you feel the need to scarf down food when your children are around or you won't finish--so it was nice to take our time and relax at a meal.
After reviewing the nightly specials and looking at there normal menu I decided on a 1/2 Chicken with Nocchi and Spinach. My husband decided he would go a little lighter, since he was still full from lunch, and got the Grilled Chicken Sandwich.
Of course--who can go to B.B.'s and not get dessert? So--Yes--We got dessert. We ended up choosing the Bread Pudding with Ice Cream and the Oreo Mouse Pie. My Bread Pudding was served warm and tasted just what I hoped it would taste like. So as you can imagine I was stuffed and practically felt I needed to be rolled out the door. It was an awesome day and my husband couldn't have done a better job with it all.

Saturday I spent the morning helping a friend with a baby shower and then around 1:00 I headed home to quickly change into outside clothes for our Sunday School Class Party.
But wait-- Gus had another surprise. He surprised me with a Sheila's Birthday Cake. Yes--Another dessert. But it was amazing! It was a Strawberry cake with Strawberries in the cake and Cream Cheese Icing.
We enjoyed the afternoon playing in the Sun, talking to friends, and letting the kids run freely around the yard.

It was certainly a marvelous birthday....

For more on Sunday (my actual birthday--day and Tucker's dedication) check back later this week.

My Dinner Friday Night
My Dessert
My Cake Saturday


Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Forward

Wow--This week has been a whirlwind. We are certainly springing forward fast. March and April are the busiest months for birthday's and anniversary's for our family. Back in February when I was planning out the weekends I realized I didn't have a free weekend until May. Yeah--May. And then I have my husbands birthday. So we are certainly staying busy right now.

But despite the business I am exceptionally excited about this weekend. Sunday is my birthday and my youngest son is being dedicated. So it will be a BIG day! Since my birthday falls on a Sunday and we have the dedication, my husband and I are celebrating it starting today.

My sweet husband told me this week to be ready at noon on Friday and that he was going to take me shopping and to dinner with friends. Well, I planned the dinner and he planned the earlier part of the day. My marvelous sister is watching our boys with her husband so they will have there hands full. There will be 4 boys running around between 9 months- 3 1/2. What a great gift to me though. It will be really nice to get some quality time with my husband.

So I am off to get ready so I can have a nice lunch with my husband and then shop for a bit this afternoon before we head to dinner. Everyone have a great weekend! I know I will.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pictures of the Day

Do you ever look back at pictures and remember the moment when you took it or why you captured that particular moment?
I do--Often.
Sometimes my son and I grab a Creative Memory book and just sit and look through all the old pictures of when he was little. It is the cutest thing watching him laugh and say "that's me, and that's me, and that's me." He starts to ask questions and I have all the memories come back to me as to why we took those pictures. 
If you don't do this often with your hubby or children you should. It is such a sweet time. 
Today I want to share with you 3 picks for the day.
This picture was taken while the boys were all in the backyard. They love to be outside but what boy doesn't? This was a chilly afternoon but we were getting ready to have some friends over and they were helping daddy outside by the grill.
This picture is taken of my oldest. We were at the Zoo and he climbed on a (fake) gorilla. He said," Mommy take my picture."
This picture was taken after my baby had just finished his lunch. I pulled him over to the light and wanted to capture his sweet smile that he kept giving me.

 Pull out your old pictures and reminisce on the memories.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Decorating Bathrooms

 If you haven't guessed yet, bathrooms is the topic today....
This bathroom below doesn't scream kid friendly or realistic for me or anyone I know. Even though you might love to have one of these on a vacation or occasionally dip into the tub for a nice long bath it just isn't going to be seen in most homes. It also appears somewhat sterile but yet serene. I mean honestly who would sit in a tub anywhere in Jacksonville with windows that big looking out to the entire world? But as you can tell there are mountains in this picture. So maybe that's why this bathroom worked for the owners.
Thornton Executive Bathrooms

 Bathrooms can be somewhat expensive to fix up and the last thing on the to-do list for most homeowners.  But why wait so long to fix up a room that you go to every-time you get ready? Bathrooms can be sproused up without spending alot of money. All you have to do is any or all of the following options: paint cabinets, change the fixtures, add a decorative curtain, or add a splash of color. If you really want to make a big change fairly easy then take out the old cabinets and add a classic double sink console.If your bathroom is small add a single console. It will make a big difference.

Pottery Barn
Now this picture looks a little more realistic. Do you agree?
You could also find consoles at garage sales, or stores around town and have a hole cut out of the top for your sink. Which means you would get to pick the sink out. Note: you would also want to check the back of the furniture and make sure you can cut an area out, allowing room for pipes, but a handy man 
(aka-husband) could easily do that.  

Southern Living Picture

Yes, this bathroom is yellow but adding a splash of color makes small bathrooms look bigger. It also shabby chic. 
Cruisckshank Remodeling Company
This is the normal layout of most bathrooms these days. These owners took a standard bathroom and kicked it up a notch by creating a natural and calming bathroom. They added a dark custom framed mirror, cabinets that look like a piece of furniture, and a pinch of color on the bathroom wall.

Remember bathrooms can be a source of decorative inspiration, making them the place that people prepare themselves in the morning and rejuvenate at night. So the next time you walk into your unfinished bathroom think about the simple inexpensive things you can do to create a space that you will enjoy. Something that will give you more storage and be functional for you and your family. And of course you can always e-mail me and I would be more then happy to help you out! I love to decorate!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Dishes

St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow and I had these excellent recipes. I am not one who makes a big deal about this day but since some of you might like to make an Irish dish, I found these just for you. They are all pretty good recipes so I had a hard time picking 1, so I gave you all 3. 

And... recipes always look better with pictures.

Irish Beef Hand Pies


Makes 8
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 2 pie crusts (9 inches each), homemade or store-bought


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium; add cabbage and potatoes. Cook until beginning to brown, 7 to 9 minutes. Add beef; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire, thyme, and 1 cup water. Cover, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly mash mixture with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each crust into a 14-inch square; cut each into 4 equal squares. Place 1/2 cup filling on one half of each square, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the filling. Brush borders with water; fold dough over filling to enclose. Crimp edges with a fork to seal. With a paring knife or scissors, cut 3 small vents in each.
  3. Transfer pies to 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets; bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.
  4. To Freeze: Prepare through step 2. Arrange unbaked pies on a baking sheet (they should not touch); freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Wrap each pie in foil. Place in a resealable plastic bag; freeze up to 2 months.
  5. To Bake from Frozen: Proceed with step 3, increasing baking time to 28 to 30 minutes.

Irish Lime Squares 


Makes 16
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
  • 2/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) graham-cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoons grated lime zest
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with melted butter. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.
  2. In a food processor, finely grind pistachios with graham-cracker crumbs, sugar, and zest. Blend in butter. Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool crust, 30 minutes.
  3. To make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk. Add lime juice; whisk until smooth. Pour filling into cooled crust; carefully spread to edges.
  4. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool in pan on rack; then chill at least 1 hour before serving. Using parchment paper overhang, lift out of pan, and transfer to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping knife with a damp kitchen towel between each cut. To store in refrigerator, cover with plastic wrap.

Irish Soda Bread


Serves 16
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, raisins, caraway seeds, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons butter. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients to form a dough.
  2. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, about 4 minutes; add more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Form dough into a 9-inch round; place on prepared baking sheet. Brush loaf with remaining tablespoon butter. Using a sharp knife, score an X on top of loaf.
  3. Bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on wire rack before serving.


Monday, March 15, 2010


Dads are important, do you agree? They mean more to some of us then we will ever be able to express to them. I want to take you back to when you were a child and talk about how important Dads are to children.

When you were a child, he towered over you. In many ways, he might still. He was the one you called on to kill a spider. The one you came to for the car keys. The one you counted for locking up the house at night to figuring out "some assembly required" on Christmas  morning. He showed you how to whistle, how to bait a hook, how to throw a ball. He taught you to pull a tooth. He footed the bill for almost everything yet he still found enough money for ice cream. He carried a picture of you in his billfold and kept a place for  you in his heart. He had a name for you and a greeting for you. "Hey, tiger! How's m'boy! Hey Sport! There's my little princess!" 
Chances are, it was years before you learned he even had a name. The only one you knew him by was "Daddy." Somewhere along the road to growing up, you began to drop the Y and simply call him, Dad. Your middle school and high school years came and went and the business of studying, sports, and sleep overs begin to take the place of wrestling matches, playing Barbie, or playing outside. 

We often forgot to say that simple word "Thanks." Thanks for working so hard, for giving so much and for never giving up. 

As I think about all the things above I know I have a huge responsibility with my children and in teaching them how to be respectful and never take there Daddy for granted.  Even if you don't have children you might one day and the effect that Daddy's have on children is detrimental to the bringing up of children.

Today I entitled this 'Thinking' and the reason is because I wanted to get you to think about how important Dads are to children. Pray for your husband to-be, or husbands to be a Godly leader and Father. My son looks up to my husband as the greatest thing that walks the earth. My son has a tender heart for his daddy and loves him dearly. Knowing this, my husband prays to be the best Father and example that he can possibly be.

So today.....Think about how important Fathers are to children. 
Have a great Monday!

Ps. 23:1-4
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters. 
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of rightousness 
For His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I fear no evil, for You are with me.
(Some notes taken from the book Thanks, Dad by Ken Gire)


Friday, March 12, 2010

Easy Fixes

Do you ever wonder how you can get your entryway or back door organized? 
Well today I am going to share with you some easy fixes.

Shutter Organizer
Wooden shutters can be just as functional and good-looking indoors as out. Refinished a set of shutters and hang them on the wall over a table or over bench storage.
Do you notice that cute little mail organizer above? You can easily make one of these.
Here's How:
 Paint or stain a pre-cut plaque, available at crafts stores. Paint hooks to desired color. Secure the hooks side-by-side with 1/2-inch wood screws. Repeat to form additional rows to separate your mail.
This is the end result

Mudroom Organizer
Now these are just pictures for you to get ideas from. Don't feel that your space has to look like this but just use some of the things you see to add a new touch to your space.
If things that are constantly underfoot in your home, give everybody a separate space. Assign a sturdy metal storage bin to each member of the household. Slide the bins underneath a bench in the front hall, or line them up in a mudroom. Use magnets or a photo to mark who each one belongs too. You can also do this in a closet if you like to hide odds and ends.

This is another choice for storage. Put your storage low and add a bench or sitting area for small spaces.

 Pin Boards
 Keeping clutter at bay starts the moment you walk through the door. Use square fabric covered pin boards, secured with staples on the back, to pin activity dates, a menu, grocery list, mail, etc.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Two Cute Easter Crafts

Easter is just around the corner, actually only a few weeks away. It is never to early to get started on some cute Easter decorations, gifts, cards, menu for dinner, or teaching your children why we really celebrate Easter.
The most important reason for Easter after all is Christ resurrection. 

This week I want to get a head start and share with you two fun crafts that you or your kids can do to get into the Easter spirit.
1. Jelly Bean Carrots
2. Bunny Envelopes 
Jelly Bean Carrots
These make cute favors or gifts to hand out during Easter. 
Tools and MaterialsPlastic pastry bag
Orange jelly beans
Ribbon of your choice

Jelly Bean Carrot How-To
1. Fill a plastic pastry bag 3/4 of the way with orange jelly beans.
2. Tie bag closed with a green rickrack or ribbon.
3. Include the carrots in an Easter basket or fill a basket with them and set them out as favors for a party.

Easter Bunny Envelopes

1. Seal the flap of an envelope, and draw bunny ears on the sealed side, as shown below. You can draw your own or use a template.

2. Cut along the line through both layers of the envelope.
3. Flip the envelope over; the side of the envelope becomes the bottom of your treat holder.
4. Cut pink construction paper to make eyes and insides of ears, and glue them on the front of the envelope. Use colored pencil for mouth; glue on a pom-pom nose. Fill with yummy Easter sweets.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chicken Marbella

This dish is simply--amazing...
My husband, kids, and mom loved this dish when I made it for them last week. Even though it has unusual ingredients in it and it might be out of the ordinary, you have to give this dish a try.
Serve the dish with mashed potatoes, noodles, or rice.
I hope you really do give it a try and love it as much as we have.

Chicken Marbella
Serves 10-12

4 chickens, 2 1/2 lbs each, quartered (I used all chicken breasts) ( You could also use 8-10 chicken breast)
1 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed (I just minced it all-it's a lot and time consuming)
1/4 cup dried oregano
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2  cup capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine (or cooking white wine)
1/4 cup Italian parsley or fresh coriander (cilantro) finely chopped

1. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the last three on the list. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350 F

3. Arrange chicken in a single layer in one large baking pan and sppon marinade over it evenly.  Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

4. Bake for 50 mins. to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Avocado and Healthy Skin?

A weird combination right?? That is what I thought. As I was reading an article the other day about healthy skin I came across avocado's and how they effect your skin. As we all know, what we eat and drink has alot to do with how our skin looks. So why eat an avocado?

Avocados are high in fat, but most of the fat is mono-unsaturated and thus is considered a healthy fat. An avocado is a good food for skin because, as is the case with omega-3 fatty acids, it keeps skin plump and youthful looking it also helps prevent dry skin.
Avocados contain both vitamin C and vitamin E, which act well together as a powerful skin anti-aging combination. 
So the next time you are wanting to have a healthy appetizer or spice up your meat try this recipe below. 

 Pineapple and Avocado Salsa

This is an interesting mix but would be excellent on Chicken, Pork, or Fish. It would also taste great to add cream cheese and serve with chips or crackers.


  • 1 (14-ounce) can sliced pineapple in juice, drained and juices reserved
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, pitted and flesh cubed
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves


In a medium bowl, make the dressing by mixing 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice with the lime juice, honey, oil and jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the pineapple and onion. Gently fold in the avocado and cilantro. Let the flavors blend for at least 15 minutes before serving.



Monday, March 8, 2010

{Good Morning Monday}

This past Saturday...

My oldest was recently invited to a friends 3rd birthday party in Savannah. It didn't take us long to decide after receiving the invitation that we would love to make a day trip and attend this birthday party. We were very blessed to meet some families while living in Savannah for 8 months this past year and felt it would be fun to see them again.

So Friday night we packed up our car and set our alarms. Early Saturday morning we headed to Savannah and drove straight to the party. The little boy's party was a car theme and it was so adorable. They had games, snacks, pizza, car races,car painting (no...not real cars. The kids painted small wooden ones from a craft store) and more. The kids had a blast and my oldest told me, "Thank you for letting me come to his party." That was such sweet words to hear. Although on our way there he kept telling us, " This is a long, long, long way. He lives really far." I guess he thought it was just across town or something. But both boys did great.

After leaving the party we drove around Richmond Hill (which is the town we lived in) looking at neighborhoods. I know you are probably wondering why? Well, there is a possibility we could end up there sometime this year. This move would be a permanent move though. It is sad and happy at the same time. I don't honestly think much about it anymore b/c there is alot of little details that would need to happen before it became possible so we are just praying and waiting. So if you think about us, just say a pray for us. We appreciate it tons.

Next we had to run by Gus' job for a little bit. There were some issues that had come up and since he was in town he needed to take care of them in person. So the boys and I waited in the car and played and talked. By this time we were all starting to get hungry tummy's (as my oldest would say) so we ventured to downtown Savannah. Man was it crowded....but we managed.

We ended up eating dinner at a place could Heuy's. It was a great restaurant on River Street and we ended up getting Blackened Chicken and Pesto Ravioli's. Go figure....But it was so good!
I will tell you the boys favorite part--those sweet potato fries and corn bread. Our oldest loved it so much that as the waitress came by to clean up our plates she picked up the plate with 4 fries left. Our oldest looked at her and said, " I wasn't done and almost started crying." The poor waitress gave his fries back and the look on his face was priceless.

By this time it was getting dark and decided to walk along the river and of coarse had to stop by the best toffee store in town. River Street Treats. So we topped our night off with 2 hot toffee and nut pralines. Yummy....
Now it was starting to get extremely cold and windy so in my opinion it was time to head home. We loaded up, changed the boys into P.J.'s back at the car and headed back to Jax.

What a day but we had such a great time!
Hope you all had a great weekend as well and got out and enjoyed the weather... It was certainly a beautiful weekend.

Here are the boys playing at the party.

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