Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thoughts in my head...

* My legs still hurt from the 5k.  I am planning to run another 5k in November, and they also have a 10k that day, my friend asked if we could do the 10k instead of the 5. No way jose, I will just wave from the sidelines at her. Or maybe I can convince her to push me in a jogging stroller the whole way?

*I am going back to the gym tonight, and I might attempt to see if I am able to turn the treadmill on today. 

* Finding a perfect balance in life between all of persons roles is impossible.  I beat myself up on a almost daily basis with attempting to do my best with all of my different roles that I have.  I think in the last couple of months I have learned that you can't make everyone happy and do everything perfectly, so just do your best and look out for your self and family first.  Hopefully your friends, coworkers, and others will understand when things are tough from time to time.   

*For the love of sweet tea, do not ever buy a magazine subscription from someone knocking on your front door.  Your not going to change their life, or help an organization, or ever get your magazines.

* I really could use a pedicure right about now.

* I am getting feather extensions for my older two daughters Friday.  They think I am the coolest mom ever.  I will remind them of this when they get upset with me about forcing them to clean their rooms.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Running just as fast as I can...

Saturday I ran in my 4th ever 5k race.  I am not a runner...I was curious how I would do after the weight loss, and with being good about working out at the gym with lots of cardio,  and hey it was a fundraiser for my baby's school.  Friday when I was at the gym, I attempted to get on the treadmill to see how running would go, and I couldn't even figure out how to turn the stupid thing on!   Seriously, I followed the directions and sat there for a good 5 minutes trying to get it on.  Yes I pushed the quickstart and nothing happened...  I finally gave up and just go on the ARC machine....
So anyways, I went to this race with two girlfriends, and my main goal was to do at least 1 mile of the race without stopping...Yeah sadly, I always end up walking some before I hit 1 mile in every race before...I am excited to report I didn't stop to walk at all through the entire freaking thing!!! Of course I wanted to, and came close to near the end, but I didn't, and even attempted to spring the last little bit...  My final time was about 31 minutes, the official times have not been posted yet, but I am still excited!  So am I an offical runner now?  No way, but I am so freaking proud you would have thought I did a marathon!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Iced Blondies

My girlfriend bought me a junior league cookbook off ebay called The Charlotte Cookbook, from the junior league of Charlotte North Carolina.  She knows me too well lol. It's an older one published in 1969.  I was trying to think up something sweet to make, and while flipping through this little gem, I saw Iced Blondies.  I have always wanted to make blondies and iced ones sounded even better!  I had everything on hand, and it looked pretty easy and it was.

2/3 cup of butter
2 cups light brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (I left these out as I didn't have any, and I am not a nut person in sweets)

Melt butter, and brown sugar over low heat until all melted.  Mix remaining ingredients together.  Combine both mixtures together and pour into a greased  9x12 pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 min.  Ice while warm and cut into squares

4 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of milk
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Boil butter, milk, and brown sugar for 2 minutes, beat the powderd sugar in after removing from heat.  Ice the blondies as soon as they are taken from the oven .

My husband woke up to these this evening, and said he had to test them out, and kids happily assisted.  They gave this one two thumbs up!

You too can but this cookbook brand new from this website: HERE  and get 40% of with code NAP40

Thursday, September 22, 2011


*I need fall clothes really, really, really, bad.
*I need a magic fairy to fund these.
* I need it to quit raining.  My kids are going bonkers, and after a couple days of it it gets old quick, rain is nice but after a couple of days it makes me feel all doom and gloom.
* I need to go grocery shopping tomorrow
* I need to do a practice run before the 5k Saturday.  Or maybe not.
* I need to get to the gym to get in at least two more workouts this week
* I need to take a library book back
* I need Emily to be more interested in potty training
*I need some midol or everyone is going to catch it today.


Monday, September 19, 2011

I am late making this, but I wanted to see how Rachel has changed over the last few years...these are pictures taken on her on her first day of school every year while at her preschool from ages 2-4.....Time needs to slow down!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Emily!!!

Well she's three now....I can't believe it, my youngest is 3!!!!Wow! Her party went great, and she had a good time. We had a friend who loaned us a small bouncey house, but the rain prevented us from using it, but that's ok, I think everyone bounced all over the house lol.
For the table in the dining room I displayed the Elmo tissue pom pom I made (super easy, no need to ever buy tissue pom poms again from etsy, just google a how to and your good to go, if you can fold paper ala fan style your gold). I had made white chocolate dipped pretzel rods with sprinkles a few days before that I put out, and I had some gold fish crackers for the younger ones, as well as some carmel corn in a dish for people to snack on. I also put out my Elmo cake that I was so stinking proud of, and the cupcakes.
As far as the actual dinner, my husband smoked some bbq, so we had plenty of that in two different sauces, and I made mac and cheese, fruit cabobs, and buffalo dip. I had planned to make more food, but this morning I figured enough was enough, and it seemed to be plenty!
I usually make cherry limeaide in my beverage dispenser for every birthday party, but knowing it was a red drink I figured I would go with the Elmo flow, and stick on eyes and nose so it could look the part too. Later my father in law stuck the eyes and nose on his red shirt to fit in as well =)
This year Emily really enjoyed opening her presents, and was moving as fast as she could on them. She got a lot of clothes, as well as a few toys like a barbie that she asked for as well as some other neat things.
I think she had a good time, and hopefully time will slow down a little bit, and she wont continue to grow up so fast!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A few random thoughts...

1. I kicked Elmo's arse.... I had no issues getting the cake out of the pan, and I decorated the cake with three children running around the house, determined to give me a stroke.

2. I now know why these ladies who have their own cake businesses out of their house charge so much for birthday cakes. It's a pain in the butt, and takes forever!!!

3. The cake looks good, pictures to come later, and at this point, I don't even care what it tastes like as I am just so freaking proud that it looks like elmo, and I didn't mess up or end up in tears.

4. I am very proud of myself for making a birthday cake for my child, but I think next time it will be a lot less stressful to just buy a cake...if I had not have borrowed the elmo pan from a friend, it probably would have cost the same as buying a cake from Costco anyways...

5. I had a million of other ideas for the birthday party, and I didn't do but a few of them, but I doubt Emily will mind. At this point I am tired, not so much from the party planning, but just with running kids around and trying to keep up with life. I am ashamed to even admit how much diet coke I have consumed the last 2 weeks or so. I even cut back on a lot of outside activities, and I still feel overwhelmed and busy. I think it's mainly trying to get adjusted to the kids schedules. I never handle adjustment well, and just when I get comfortable with things, schedules change all over again.

6. I really, really, really hate that people wont freaking RSVP. Seriously, people. Do you have any idea how hard it is to cook food when you have no idea who is coming or who may bring an unexpected guest along.

7. I am about to get off of here and crack open a diet coke or two and chill out for a few.


Friday, September 16, 2011

She's almost 3....

Today we celebrated Emily's birthday at her preschool! I can't believe tomorrow she will be turning 3...We brought Krispy Creame doughnuts as her special snack for her birthday, since she is a huge doughnut fan. She is enjoying school, but was very shy when everyone sang happy birthday to her, and she refused to wear her birthday crown that she made this morning with her teacher lol. Her personality reminds me a lot of Laura's, as they can both be very shy, especially when the focus is on her.

Today I am getting ready for the cake drama to begin.... I may or not be trying to put it off. I started decorating the dining room table, and filled the goody boxes with some homemade cookies that I made. I made a elmo paper ball thingy that looks like his head, and I hung it from the light in the dining room. I also took my Creative Memories collage frame and slapped on her invitation that I made, and used the Cricut to cut out happy birthday to hang from it. I also ran to Michael's this morning to get the freaking thing to decorate the cake with....As soon as I pick up the younger girls I will be ready to tackle the Elmo cake.... If Elmo wins I will be so mad.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's me vs. Elmo........

My obsession with Pinterest has leaked into me using it to help plan my youngest child's birthday party for Saturday. I made an Elmo Party board, and I have been attempting to finish up some details. One thing I am doing for the first time is making a birthday cake. Ok, so I have made cakes before.... but never one that required me to decorate. I can make a sheet cake, or slopp some icing on something, but let's take a moment and pray for me as I attempt to make an Elmo cake.....

A girlfriend of mine loaned me an Elmo pan that she used for one of her kids, and told me it will be easy. This chick makes all of her kids cakes, and she is good, so her idea of easy for something I have never done before is probably a lot different... I have to dye icing. This freaks me out. I have to use a star pointed thingy and make a million dots on the cake. That frightens me. Of course I wont be even able to do that if I can get the cake out of the Elmo shaped pan, which I have been told I have to lube the bejesus out of. I can't make my mind up what receipe to use for the icing or the actual cake part, I'm freaking here people!

Of course my husband has made fun of me for my cake anxiety, and said he would just do it.... NOPE, this is something that I want to do, I'm just freaked about, as I predict it will be an interesting process....with probably a few screwups a long the way... even sadder, the cake pan isn't that big so I might have to make two cakes or just forget about it and make some cupcakes to go along with the cake.

Oh yes, I do have a back up plan though.... Another mom at the ball field was listening to my worries while I got the pan, and said she makes cakes on the side, and she gave me her number to use as an emergency hotline lol. Hopefully I don't have to call her, and can report to her that it went well....

If worse comes to worse, I will just say I let Emily help make it lol.

Pray guys....


Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Jeans and New Sauce!

(photo borrowed from the blog link at bottom of this post)

Sunday, after everyone got up and was fed, we ventured out to Costco to get milk and cereal while Dave played a quick round of golf. I have been eyeing a pair of Calvin Klein jeans for a while, and figured I would see how they fit, and I am happy to report they fit great, so they will be my replacement for the ones I had gotten at Loft the day before. Such a great deal too at under $30. I saw a few other cute things at Costco that I may have to go back and get. I just love that freaking store!

Once we left there and hung out with Dave for a while, I fed the kids lunch and made up a jar of Comeback Sauce. I found this via Pinterest, and my friend Melanie made it a few days before and said it was really good! Your supposed to let it marinate overnight, but I have a feeling I will end up trying some on my burger tonight to test it out! Some people call this a white bbq sauce, or even use it as a dressing. Apparently it's supposed to be good on anything. I felt all domestic making it lol, and felt all Mother Earthish by reusing a glass jar to store it in. Want to make your own? Follow this link- it's easy, and I am pretty sure from the sounds of it, it will be tasety too!



Our Saturday Scene.....

We had a busy Saturday! We started off the day having breakfast, and then when Dad came home from work we worked out together at the gym, mainly in preparation of eating the peanut butter cake I had made the night before.... After the gym I ran to Ann Taylor Loft to take advantage of a sale they are running this weekend in which the entire store is having an additional 30% off. I bought a pair of jeans and a shirt....I tried on the jeans at home, and though I can wear a size 2 from there now, I apparently have lost my butt entirely so the jeans behind area looks AWFUL. For a second I thought about buying the booty pop underwear that I saw on TV, pondered butt implants, and then I just sucked it up and figured I would return them and try a new style and see if a different cut works better. I have a fab pair from Jcrew that fit great, so I may just have to head back there. I have to say I really wonder about Loft's sizing, as I seriously am not that teeny.

While Dave crashed for the day, the girls and I played, napped, and then headed off to T-ball practice. Rachel and Laura are on the same team, our our little cousin white lie worked, so our friends two kids are on our team too lol. Laura really is impressing me with the skills she is building, as she's catching balls, and working hard. She's come a long way from last season this past spring. I honestly think she's more confiendent out on the field with her sister and friends out there. Rachel is having a blast, and she can hit the ball pretty hard, but she's all legs as she's so tall for a 4 year old! Seriously, she's in the 95% for height, and everyone thinks she's 6. I laughed out loud when she hit the ball and ran straight for 2nd base instead of going to 1st. She's a trip! This fall season of tball they only have 6 games all on Saturdays, so it's pretty laid back.

After tball we ran home to change and then went to my inlaws house to visit with some family that came into town. The girls were excited to meet a cousin their age and play. I took the peanut butter cake (guys this cake is frigging AMAZING, if you even like peanut butter in the smallest way you will love it. If you love peanut butter then you will go nuts). I also made Snappy Mustard Dip because I wanted a pretzel dip, and brought that along too.

I have posted the Snappy Mustard Dip before, but it's such a easy and yummy fall treat if you like things spicy that I will post it again. This is from the cookbook Very Virginia (Junior League cookbook from Hampton Roads). Awesome cookbook, but it's not being printed anymore since the league is concentrating on other publications, but you can still still find it on Amazon.com. It's still a favorite of mine, and worth adding to your collection.

Snappy Mustard Dip

1/4 cup of dry mustard
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
1 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup of sugar
1 egg yolk
1 package of cream cheese softened (I used the fat free kind and it still tasted fine)
Combine dry mustard, vinegar, water in a saucepan, add sugar and egg yolk stirring over medium heat until thickened. Let cool. Then whip together mustard mixture and the cream cheese until smooth. Pour into serving bowl and serve with pretzels.

Dave was able to make it over after he got some sleep in and eat with everyone, and later we ended up at a local festival (Bay Days) to walk around and watch the fireworks. It's safe to say we walked off the calories from dinner since we had to park so far away, and pretty much just walked around until the fireworks started. I have blisters on my feet.... Our only break being when we all got on the pretty carousel and rode the horses in the downtown area. The late night at least ensured the kids would sleep in this morning !

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Menu Planning....

I survived grocery shopping at Walmart. I was there early in between school pickups so it wasn't really that bad. I had to go crazy and buy the place out pretty much, I am attempted to meal plan this week and prepare for Emily's 3rd birthday party this next weekend....

So here is what I think we are having tonight through next Saturday.... I am going to attempt to stick to the plan, but it may change....

Friday night: Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti -http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/chicken_spaghet/ I made this a while back and froze it, it's time to bust it out and make everyone eat it.

Saturday Night: Cookout at inlaws- I am bringing the peanut butter cake- http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/peanut-butter-sheet-cake/ if it isn't a flop. If it fails then I will figure out something else to bring. I am making this tonight and will taste a smidge of it to make sure it tastes ok =)

Sunday Night: Cheese and Jalapeno burgers for Dave and I, hot dogs for the girls.

Monday Night: London Broil from My Mama Made That- book can be purchased from here:


Tuesday: Maple Pecan Chicken from page 155 of My Mama Made That. I sure do love this cookbook lol. I have not tried this or the london broil recipe before but I have been dying to try both for a long time now.

Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner. Because sometimes you just need do that. Might do pancakes, or waffles, and we are obsessed with using the pancake recipe from the Virginia Hospitality cookbook. Click this link to purchase the cookbook: https://www.frpbooks.com/store/store_details.aspx?iid=282&tid=4 Probably will also cook some bacon to go with it.

Thursday: This is a mommy slacker night. I have a committee meeting for the Touch a Truck event the JL is planning, so we might bust out some soup, or leftovers, or heck just make a sandwich.

Friday: Taco's- another easy meal but I will probably be spending some of this night prepping some food for Emily's party the next day, so it's Taco's or going out to eat somewhere to make it easy on me.

Saturday: This is my baby's 3rd birthday!!! My husband will be smoking some BBQ. I plan on making Mac and Cheese, fruit kabobs, some sort of chip dip, cherry lime aide punch, green beans, and maybe a few other things. Just depends on time!

Don't forget, if you want to save 40% off any of the cookbooks I mentioned make sure you enter code NAP40 at check out!!!

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Friday thoughts.....

*We have survived the first week of school- I feel like a taxi cab already, and it's so weird seeing my oldest walk into school with the big kids....

*I signed up for a freaking 5K, as Laura's school is having a race for a school fundraiser in two weeks... I am doing it with a friend. It's a flat course I believe, and I know it's for a good cause, but I am already dreading all the huffing and puffing I will be doing. I work out pretty often, but being on a cardio machine is a lot different then actually running on a street. Hey, I get a T-Shirt out of the deal, and since we have two birthday parties that day at least I will burn some calories....

*Laura and Rachel have their first fall ball t-ball practice tonight. They are on the team called the Tigers! We are hoping that our friends kids are on the same team. We may or may not have told a while lie that they are cousins to try to pull it off....

*I am so ready for Fall.... I actually am planning on pulling out the fall decorations this weekend. I am proud of myself for attempting to restrain myself and not pull everything out last weekend. I did think about holding off until after we have Emily's birthday party, but I am getting to antsy about it lol.

*I am making a trip to Walmart while all the kids are in school this morning. I have to buy a lot and I want to get the most bang for my buck. I am doing some deep breaths to get ready for this shopping adventure.

* I am planning on making a peanut butter sheet cake complete with peanut butter icing this evening, saw the recipe on Pinterest.com I am already hungry thinking about it!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day of School- Preschool

Today was Rachel and Emily's first day of preschool for the year. This was Emily's first day ever for school, and she was excited! The girls all got ready early this morning, and Emily pretty much pitched a fit asking when she was going to go, as she wanted to go right then and there! They only had school for an hour today, but never the less it was the first official day!

When we dropped them off at their classrooms, Emily did seem a little nervous, but she quickly warmed up when she saw the toys in the room. Rachel was a champ, and walked in like she owned the place =)

I can't believe that this is Rachel's last year at the preschool, and that my baby Emily has begun!

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day weekend treats....

It was a gorgeous labor day weekend, and we were pretty lazy around the house, but I was busy in the kitchen trying out a few different recipes.... We had some friends over Sunday night, and Monday we cooked out at a family members house. I broke out some new cookbooks from the awesome website: https://www.frpbooks.com/store/store.aspx From the cook book: Seaboard to Sideboard the Junior League of Wilmington North Caroline I made Southern Sweet Tea. This tastes a lot like an Arnold Palmer, and my children and husband (my husband normally hates tea), LOVED it...

To make the Tea you will need:

8 cups of water

12 small tea bags

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 12 ounce can of frozen lemonade concentrate

Mint leaves for garnish (who I am kidding, we skipped this part)

Bring the water and tea bags to a boil in a saucepan over high heat, let steep for 5 minutes, remove the bags. Add the sugar and the lemonade concentrate and mix well. Pour into a 1 gallon container, and fill with cold water. We had quite a ordeal over figuring out what a gallon contanior looks like, and even ended up googling how many cups are in a gallon.... (16 just in case your on the edge of your seat wanting to know) I wanted to make sure the tea wasn't overly strong or too weak. The tea was really good though, and I will make this again very soon!

Yesterday from the cookbook: Your Invited Back: A second helping of Raleigh's Favorite Recipes from Raleigh's Junior League I made a dip called Deacon Dip. This is quick and easy as well, and involves no cooking.

Deacon Dip:

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Sugar to taste

1 15 ounce can of black beans drained and rinsed

1 15 ounce can of white corn drained

1 10 ounce can of Rotel partially drained

4 ounces of Feta cheese crumbled

Mix the vinegar, oil, and a small amount of sugar in a small bowl. In a larger bowl combine the beans, corn, rotel, and cheese. Add the dressing and toss to coat well. Store in the fridge for at least 8 hours, and serve with tortilla chips. (I didn't have 8 hours to let sit, BUT it still tasted good, however when I had some with my lunch the next day it was amazing! The flavors had all come together and it was really good!

I am thrilled with my newest cookbooks, and look forward to cooking more from them soon! To get your own copies of these cookbooks for 40% off, please check out this website https://www.frpbooks.com/store/store.aspx and remember to use the code NAP40 to get the discount!


Friday, September 2, 2011

When breakfast needs to taste like dessert.....

Upon the advice of a wonderful blog reader I decided to try a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks- My Mama Made that. (Get yours for 40% off from this website by using the code on my sidebar!) Baked Cinnamon French Toast on page 49! I thought this would be great to make for us to have Saturday morning. It needs to sit in the fridge overnight, so I thought it would be perfect to make it for us to wake up too, and for my husband to come home to after working all night.

I did make a slight change, and used wheat french bread, rather then white french bread... There was quite a sale on the wheat kind, and I figured it would be semi healthier....

You will need:

1 loaf of french bread

8 eggs

2 cups of milk (I used skim)

1 1/2 cups of half and half

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1teaspoon of cinnamon

1 1/2 sticks of butter

1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons of light corn syrup

Cut the bread diagonally and arrange the slices in a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish. Beat the eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla and cinnamon in a large bowl until smooth. Pour over the bread, and chill covered for 8-10 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350, heat the butter, brown sugar, and syrup in a small saucepan until the butter melts and starts to all be bubbly. Pour over the bread and egg mixture, and bake uncovered for 40 min.

The recipe says it will serve 4, but it was more then enough for our family of 5 and we have leftovers. The girls and husband loved this and have asked me to make it again soon!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oh goodness....

Meet the teacher day at preschool!

Not only did my oldest have a HUUUGGGEEE day going to Kindergarten for the first time, but after she was done with school, my other two had meet the teacher day at their preschool. Let's all have a moment of silence as this is my baby's first year of Preschool..... I can't believe Emily is old enough....It makes me so sad. But, she is so excited, and very proud, and I know her big sister Rachel will look after her.

Rachel is excited that there is a pet hamster in their class. Apparently during vacation and things like that the parents can take turns taking it home. I remember being sad I was never able to do that as my mom isn't a fan of animals like that, so I will make sure we sign up to take home the classroom pet.

Emily is excited about the play kitchen in her class room, and was happy to see her name on a bus on the wall. In tradition Emily sported the same apple dress and red maryjanes that her sisters all wore when they went to meet their teachers on their first day of school.... I will have to make some sort of cute shadow box with the dress and their pictures taken in it....

We finished the day with a fun lunch at Chickfila, and I fixed them a fun dessert when we got home! I can't believe my babies are growing up!


Laura's first day of Kindergarten!

Can it really be true that I child in Kindergarten???? Laura had a great first day, and I am so excited about the school she is going to... best decision ever!!!!