Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bye Irene!

We survived Hurricane Irene! Woohoo! We didn't have any damage other then a mess in the yard to clean up the next day, and we lost power Saturday afternoon - through Monday afternoon, but it could have been a million times worse! We have a good generator set up, so we still were able to keep our fridge cold, keep fans in the house, and even watch TV lol. The important stuff you know! Thankfully we have natural gas so I was able to cook normally, and we all had hot showers. We had some fun with friends that stayed with us during the storm as their area floods easily, and since our husbands are both police officers and had to work that night we were able to just hunker down together in our house while they were at work. We really were lucky though. The girls and I took a walk the next day, and we saw a few houses that had trees down on their houses, and a small boy in our town was killed when a tree came down on their apartment. So sad!

Since we came out with out any unexpected damage I am now the proud owner of a sweet Ford Fusion! I freaking love it! Another cool feature on it is it has this interior lighting that you can change the color on, and one of the options you have is pink! Hehehe, when I found that on the car it sealed the deal. Yesterday we made it official and the car now has a happy home with us.

Hurricane Irene also has continued to mess up my daughters first day of being an offical Elementry schooler....The area where her school is at is still without power... I am crossing my fingers that Thursday or Friday she will be able to go.

Other then that we have just been hanging out, and I have been busy plotting my next cooking projects, as I want to try out some new receipes...stay tuned for those!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Who doesn't love cookbooks?

Recently I was approached by The Cook Book MarketPlace, to share an amazing 40% off discount with my readers! The Cook Book MarketPlace can be your resource to purchase pretty much ANY Junior League cookbook, as well as other wonderful organization cookbooks from other non-profits. You all know I solemnly swear to you that any Junior League cookbook is going to be worth Every. Single.Penny. My own mother, who pretty much has her own cookbook library in her pantry, will even tell you that Junior League Cookbooks are the best hands down. They have the best recipes that are tried and true! Amazingly, if you purchase a cookbook from their website, and use the special code NAP40 when you check out, you will receive 40% off your purchase! You just can't beat that! Think of all the wonderful books you can add to your collection, or give out as gifts. I plan on purchasing several to give as Christmas gifts. Have any bridal showers coming up or new neighbors? Buy a cookbook, tie on a pretty cooking spoon with a bow and you have the perfect gift! Over the next few weeks I plan on talking some about my favorite cookbooks that you can purchase from their website, and trying out some yummy reciepes! Get to shopping and remember to use the code- NAP40


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Go away Irene!

Hurricane Irene is messing with my child's first day of Kindergarten, which is supposed to be tomorrow.... she still had meet the teacher day, in which we went down to her classroom and checked everything out, and met her teacher, whom we already knew as she lives one street over. Laura was shy, but seems to really like her teacher and thinks her classroom is awesome. A few pictures from the morning, before we took off to Costco to buy water, bread, and other needs to get us through the unknown of Irene! I am heading out tomorrow morning to Food Lion to get a few more needs, AND I think we have found a car... but will probably wait until after the storm before we bite the bullet! It's pretty though!

So we have a generator, plenty of food, so hopefully we are set to go. We have plenty of games, and arts and crafts stuff and books, so hopefully if we are without power for a long time we will be occupied and safe!

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Thursday thought dump....

*This week our area experienced a earthquake. Don't get excited- most people didn't notice it. I was in my SUV, and actually thought my car was about to die, so I was excited to find out my car was ok and it was just an earthquake.

*A hurricane may impact our area, and gas, water, and bread are already hard to find. Hopefully everyone makes it out safe, and with the least amount of damage as possible.

*Dave is hunting for a new work car for me. The Pontiac is fine, but we want something with better gas mileage as I will be attempting to take our oldest to school every day, and I have a bit of a commute to work. Plus, let's be honest, there's a lot of miles on Miss P. He's attempting to find a Ford Fusion that's a couple of years old.

* This has been the craziest busiest week, and of course I still can't make everyone happy, because everyone thinks the world revolves around them. News flash. It doesn't.

* I have to go to Costco today to get a few things, and I am trying to mentally prepare myself for the hurricane freak out crowds. I will attempt to behave myself with the shopping cart, and not mutter curse words.

* Thank your police, firemen, healthcare providers, utility repair persons, and military this weekend, who will be working overtime to make sure the general public is safe during this storm, and can't be at home to protect their own families.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend cooking and new cookbooks!

So this weekend I tried two new recipes... both from Pinterest. The first one I made was a cookie bar recipe that consists of a graham cracker crumble crust, melted chocolate chips, and cookie dough with heath bar topping, all baked and cut into bars. A-freaking-mazing.... I honestly gave most of it away, and cut them in small bites since it was so rich...

Sunday morning I attempted Breakfast Muffins, but I have a huge muffin pan, so my result looks more like a breakfast bite rather then muffin. Dave and I loved these, but the kids are apparently not fans of their eggs, biscuit, bacon and cheese all mixed together. They like all of those things seperate, though they did try them at least. These were good, and I wouldn't mind making them again for just Dave and I.

*I will go back and put in the links for the receiepes but Pinterest is down right now, so check back later for the links.

Recently I went to a local antique mall, and while browsing for nothing, I stumbled upon three Junior League cookbooks.... I have learned that my favorite receipes either 1. come from the interenet via food websites, blogs, or pinterest. or 2. Junior League or other woman organizations cookbooks. You just can't go wrong with Junior League cookbooks! I didn't spend more then $5 on each of these cook books, and that's a steal! I had been wanting the Tidewater on a Half Shell one for quite some time, and the Out of Our League one, is a best seller and one that I remember my mom cooking out of. I am looking forward to looking through them later tonight and planning on making some items from there soon!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cramming as much as I can into summer....

Saturday was a busy full day for all of us. As Laura starts school this friday, I am attempting to cram in some last minute fun. Several months back on in our area, there was a paint your own pottery deal at a place in Williamsburg that I snatched up. The girls had never done it before, and I had been wanting to do it with them for ever... We finally went out yesterday to use it as it expired soon. Our friends with a new baby joined us too, so their 3 year old could particiapte as well.

Rachel picked out a piggy bank, Laura chose an owl bank, and well let's be honest, we chose Emily's item which was a small fish. Rachel kept calling her piggy bank and guinni pig bank lol. Rachel decieded to paint her pig all purple with some polka dots on it, and Laura took her time and did different colors on her owl. Emily kept saying "NO HELP!" and painted her fish blue and orange. They had a lot of fun and already have told us what they want to paint next time. Even David admitted he wouldn't mind painting his own coffee mug. I'd love to go back and paint a platter. You can have the items shipped to you, but since I work in the area I will just pick up all of our items in about a week.

After our pottery time, we had lunch at a park the girls had never been to. They enjoyed playing, and I made them take a picture with a massive oak tree!

We headed home, and attempted to all take naps, before heading out to the movie theatre. Emily was very cranky so we didn't try to take her, plus we were heading to see Glee the 3d concert experience, and didn't think she would miss much. So this was all of our first 3d movies at a theater, and let's just say we spent a small fortune...oh well, we hardly ever go to the movies, so it was a special treat. When the ticket lady gave us the total I even had her repeat it to me twice, and I was shocked lol. I mean it wasn't a real concert for goodness sakes, just a movie concert. It was worth it though as the girls did really like it, and I have to admit the 3d stuff was pretty cool.

I ended up making a yummy dessert/snack I saw on pinterest, and I have plans to make a fun breakfast here in a few for everyone once they wake up. I will share pictures and links for all of that later! Happy Sunday everyone!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Cornhole board picture and baking adventures....

*Here is a picture of one of the boards Dave is working on, plus a picture of a baking adventure I had. I think Dave has done an amazing job on the boards, the picture doesn't do it justice! He's going to finish them up today, so his friends can have it for when they leave for the beach tomorrow.

*So my baking adventure... Our friends who had a baby girl are home from the hospital, and today I am going to surprise them with dinner, and figured I would also use it as an excuse to make a dessert I saw via . It's a cream cheese pound cake from Southern Living. The picture looked amazing! So I have to say, since I cut the whole thing up in slices so I could take some to other people as well, that is good, but not as good as I pictured. Mainly because the freaking thing took over 3 hours from start to finish, and I had to smell the goodness the whole time. By the time I could eat a slice I was dying to go to bed, and I was expected to taste heaven, and it was ok. It was easy to make, and maybe I will like it better if I try a piece today. We shall see what other people say I guess. Here is the link on how to make it if you want to try.

*So the Elmo theme won on the poll, and to be honest I made my mind up this past weekend I was going to go with Elmo as well before the poll closed. I fgure she has a long time for Barbie, but not much longer for Elmo. I already have her birthday card read to send to be print (I already printed a test copy to make sure it looked ok), I also bought supplies to make her goody bags for friends, and have a friend that has a bounce house for outdoors that is going to let me borrow it! My plans are totally in motion! As for her birthday gift, we are redoing her room for her, and of course we will get her some clothes or something to open, but we are not going to go crazy on toys as there just isn't a need. A room redo, and some new clothes will be just perfect for our youngest! I already bought the bedding, and she went bonkers over it when she saw it!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Thoughts....

*Yesterday my mom and I saw the movie The Help. Oh. My. Goodness. I loved this movie. My mom and I read the book when it came out, and we really enjoyed it. I had heard good things about the movie and we were not disappointed! Most times when I see a movie based on a book, I leave disappointed, but I really think the movie did the book justice. I really can't say what I liked better as both were so good! I thought the casting was great, all of the details were perfect, and I lovvvveddd seeing all of the dishes, and other antiques used on the set. I saw some Fostoria glasses that I have from my grandmother in a couple of scenes, which made me smile. Such pretty stuff! If you have read the book, please go and see this movie, you will not be disappointed.

* Dave has been making cornhole boards again. He's not selling any, but just really making a set for a good friend of his, and then working on his own. They look amazing! He bought some nice quality wood that he could stain, and then he is being all creative by using a vinyl sticker as a stencil, and staining the inside of the vinyl sticker image a darker color. The one he is making for a friend has a large palm tree silhouette. I will post pictures of it when he is done. He is trying to get them in time for his friend to take to the beach by this weekend.

*Once he is done with that project, he is helping me make a art gallery for the kids. Basically just making something for the hallway upstairs in which we can hang the kids art work and change it frequently. I saw the idea on what else:, and we want to hurry up and get it done in time for the kids starting school. It's going to be awesome!

*This weekend I think we are going to take the girls to use a groupon that I have for a paint your own pottery place. It expires soon, and in my attempt to squeeze in some last minute summer fun before Laura heads to school, I want to do that with them, and take them to see a movie.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Topics, and you can tell I have been cooking a lot again....

* Yesterday Laura got her Twinkle Toe Sketcher shoes, I have never seen that child smile as big as she has over them. Of course, making her happy, also makes me just as happy =)

* Some close friends of ours had their second baby girl this morning. There is nothing like a new baby! The husband came over to have dinner with us tonight, and we just had Taco's but I also whipped up a recipe that I found via
It's called Taco Dip - and the link to the actual blog that has the recipe is here:

I did make my own changes though. I first of all cut everything in half as I didn't need such a large portion for us. I also attempted to make it healthier with low fat cream cheese, low fat ranch, being easy on the cheese, whole grain chips etc. It still tasted great, but hey I don't think I have tasted any sort of dip that I have not loved ....

*I also braved up and made something from my good ole stand by and BFF, Pioneer Woman... So what did I make? I made a dessert, the Prune Cake. Let's be honest, when I flip through her cookbook I always saw that and thought- EWWWWW. But little by little when I looked at it, and read that her husband was obsessed with it, and what a hit it was, I just had to see for myself. I also had a huge bag of prunes from Costco that we bought to snack on and give our youngest, when (ahem) she's needed a little help...The cake is Ammmmmmaazzzzzzinnngggg. You don't taste the prunes at all. Honestly it's pretty darn yummy, I had to cut myself off, and then go to the gym and do 45 minutes of intense cardio. True Story. Here is the link to the recipe....HERE
Make this asap, and if you need prunes, come to my house, were all stocked up here thanks to Costco...

* I am going to see the movie The Help with my mom tomorrow! So excited, both of us loved the book, and our local movie theater is running a deal this summer in which you can get $5 movie tickets for movies before 5pm Monday-Thursday, and we found a showing at 4:50pm, so we are taking advantage of that! Can't wait!


Monday, August 15, 2011

And then Laura told me she was getting married....

Not really, but I am sure that day will be here sooner then I will be prepared for. Laura lost her first tooth Sunday night! It's been loose for a while, and she came running to tell me it was REALLY LOOSE. I wasn't really taking her serious though as it's been loose for like a month lol, so I told her just to be patient. She looked at me and said she was just going to take it out, and in went her hand and out came her tooth lol. I about passed out. She was so excited, started calling both sets of grandparents with the news, and then ran over to personally show my parents the empty space. My dad promptly gave her $5, so the Tooth Fairy got the memo she better top that. We found her tooth pillow (I bought each girl their own when they were all infants lol, at the Richmond Bizarre Bazzar show). She went to bed early eager to see if the tooth fairy would come, and she was presently surprised in the morning! Tonight she is taking her money, and with a little help from Dave and I she has asked that she gets a pair of those Sketcher Twinkle Toe shoes. We are headed out tonight to get them, and we are not coming home until Laura is wearing them on her feet!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Great weekend....

This weekend was the best weekend that we have had as a family in a long time. Things have just been nuts it seems all summer. I have needed to simplify my life, and this weekend is just what I think we all needed. We had a lot of fun, so no we didn't just sit on our buts. The girls had a friend spend the night, her dad and my husband used to work together in their college days, and they live the next street over from us now. We took her with us to another couple's house for dinner, we did art projects (copied a butterfly hand print idea I saw on I cooked everyone a huge breakfast this morning that would make Pioneer Woman proud. We ran to Lowe's and have brainstormed a million projects we want to focus on and do together, I baked chocolate chip bars for the girls and other family members to eat, organized some kitchen cabinets, did some laundry, and enjoyed each and every second of it......

Pssst.... if you have not gotten on the bandwagon yet, you are missing out! If you need an invite let me know and send me your email address.... great stuff!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Party Help

My youngest daughter will be turning three years old next month. I am in the very early stages of planning her party, but before I can do much I want to figure out the theme. I have asked her and she goes back and forth so I figure I get to be the tie breaker, but I need help. Should it be a barbie theme or Elmo theme??? Keep in mind she is three, and the party will be small and at our house. Help a sister out. Leave me a comment and in the mean time I am going to try to figure out how to make a poll for votes on this thing too....
**Update- poll in on the right side of my page!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Making Playdough...

This past Wednesday I came home from work, and the girls wanted to get the playdough out (well Laura and Rachel did, Emily was napping). They got out the playdough, and discovered that most of it was dried out and gross. I checked the cabinets, and we had everything we needed to make our own. I make it a lot, but this time I decided I would let them help me make it, figuring it would be a learning experience for them, in measuring, counting, safety lesson, etc etc. This is pretty big for the control freak that lives inside me. David took some pictures of us in the process.

The girls loved helping, and making our very own pink playdough. At the end though when I asked them to tell me how we made it, they didn't care to rehash the details of it all, and either couldn't tell me what we used or just didn't want to... oh well hopefully if nothing else they had fun =)

Here is how we made it:
1 cup flour

1 cup warm water

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon oil

1/4 cup salt

food coloring
Mix all ingredients, adding food coloring last. Stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from pan and knead until blended smooth. Place in plastic bag or airtight container when cooled. Will last for a long time.