Life is more fun when you RAWR!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

We're mixing it up this week.
When I was planning our menu I sat down with Grant to see what he wanted for dinner.  He came up with all of our meals and I think he did a pretty good job.

Monday: pork chops, rice, green beans, corn
Tuesday: sandwiches, chips, carrots
Wednesday: spaghetti, green beans, rolls
Thursday: steak, mashed potatoes, corn
Friday: pizza and carrots
Saturday: chicken, rice, ramen salad (ok - G didn't ask for that but I'm adding it)
Sunday: hamburgers and french fries

have a great week!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Return and Report: Race for the Cure

On Saturday, 10/1 my Mom & I ran in Charlotte's Race for the Cure.
That race is so fun and so well organized.  We both really look forward to it every year.
This is my 2nd 5k this year, and I'm really happy with how my time has improved.  My first mile was 13 minutes!  I couldn't believe that one!!  Miles 2 & 3 were 16 minutes so our time was just over 46 minutes for the 5k.  I was really hoping to be under 45 minutes but I guess that will have to happen in my next race.  We hit the 3 mile mark before 45 minutes so I'm pretty happy with that.  Stupid .1 mile that screwed up my time!  Also, I got a little thirsty and gulped water at the last water station (just before mile 3) and let's just say that running up that last hill with a tummy full of water wasn't fun at all.  Not. at. all.

My new big addiction though is spinning.  There are some pretty amazing instructors at the gym we go to and I find myself not only looking forward to spinning but scheduling my days three days a week to make sure I'm at the gym by 8:30am so I can get a bike and spin.  Wow, how times have changed, huh? I've also started taking the body pump classes which are very very good for me but leave me very very very sore.
Unfortunately though I'm stalled at about 18lbs of weight lost.  I'm going to need to refocus on cutting carbs but that is just no fun!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

DIY: From Place mat to purse

So, I found a single awesome place mat at the new local thrift store and fell in love.
So stripey.
So cheerful.
So lonely there with no matching place mat friends.
Don't you worry happy little place mat.  I have an idea for you.
You'll be an awesome purse in no time!
This project is insanely easy, requires sewing as few as two straight lines and you can make it as complex or as simple as you want.

The first thing I did was make a strap by cutting a 1.5 inch strip about 16 inches long.  I ironed on a small strip of interfacing down the middle then folded in the sides 1/4 inch, ironed then folded in the sides again and ironed again making a long strap that I zig-zag stitched down the middle.

Fold your place mat in half.  This is the body of your purse.  We'll stitch up the sides in a minute but lets add some function inside first.
Using the same fabric I used to make the strap, I sewed a small pocket into the inside of the purse.  I measured the pocket to accommodate my iphone.  You cold make a phone pocket, a key pocket, add snaps or zippers or skip this all together.
Time to add the strap by sewing it where want it.  Sew it into the inside of the purse because it looks neater that way.
Now, sew up the sides.  To make it super secure go over your stitches a few times.  If the edges of your place mat are prone to fraying you can sew it inside out and flip it, keeping the seams on the inside.  My place mat had nicely finished edges so I simply stitched up the outside and was done.
A lonely thrift store place mat became a cute, functional purse for under $1 and in less than 1 hour.
It doesn't get better than that!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thrifty Finds

CVAN (the local battered women's shelter/helpers) opened a new thrift store and I've been so excited to check it out.  I stopped by one morning while the boys were in preschool and boy I wish I had gone earlier.  I could have spent hours sorting through the racks.  I was in the store about 45 minutes and made some amazing finds.
Check it out!:

Those Christmas plates were 49 cents each.  Seriously?  Yep. The cool vase, robot bucket, striped place mat, yarn, and beads were 99 cents each.  My total for all of that stuff was just $8.  It doesn't get better than that.
The robot bucket now holds cars in Andy's retro-robot room.
I turned the place mat into a purse!  Tutorial comes tomorrow.
The beads and yarn we use for tactile fun activities in the afternoon.
As for the vase, there is an explosion of paper-flower tutorials on pinterest and I think that a big ole' white flower will look really sweet in that green glass vase.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

The weeks just zoom by, don't they?  I've been so so crafty but haven't blogged my crafts and before you know it - it's Menu Plan Monday again!  I'm determined to post some of my crafty adventures this week so stay tuned.
For now though, it's time to make my menu for the week and put in my order at Lowes Food to Go and get ready for what is already shaping up to be an insanely busy week.

Monday: Honey BBQ grilled chicken, faux tater tots (see below), ramen salad
Tuesday: Brown Sugar Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, buttered corn, rolls.  Stolen straight from here.
Wednesday: Baked chicken, rice, steamed broccoli
Thursday: Taco Soup - my mom's recipe (I'll post it below)
Friday: Smothered Steak, baked potatoes, salad
Saturday: I think this is the night we'll celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary.  If so then I think right now the plan is for us to stay home and cook rosemary lamb chops.  If we go out then hooray for us!
Sunday: burgers and fries.

Faux tater tots:
1 (1 pound) bag of fresh or frozen cauliflower
4 tablespoons butter
2 large egg yolks
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
onion powder (to taste)
garlic (to taste)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook cauliflower until tender. Drain well.
Blend in food processor.
Add butter, egg yolks and Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
Place mixture in piping bag or ziploc bag and snip off corner.
Pipe cauliflower mixture into 1 inch lengths onto non-stick baking sheet.
Place baking sheet in freezeer and freeze before baking in oven (helps to hold shape.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until browned.

Granny's yummy taco soup:
4 cans Ranch style beans (which they do not sell here!!! subbing pinto and kidney beans GRRRRRR.)
2 cans hominy
2 cans corn
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
2 pkg taco seasoning
2 pkg dry ranch Dressing mix
1lb gr beef or chicken.

Directions:  cook the meat, add everything else, heat through.  Eat.  It's especially yummy with cornbread.

For breakfasts this week we'll have cereal, eggs, bacon, yogurt, toast, oatmeal and applesauce available.

Lunches will be English Muffin mini-pizzas, turkey pinwheels, grapes, apples, peanut butter, cheese.  We need to expand our lunch options!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

The fun, festive birthday weekend is over.  Granny and Pop are back in Texas.  We enjoyed leftovers for dinner tonight but it's time to order our groceries and make our menu for the week.

Tuesday:  sausage, peppers, onions, rice
Wednesday: Mac & Cheese, salad
Thursday: Tacos, salad, Spanish rice
Friday:  pork chops, steamed veggies, mashed potatoes
Saturday: Honey BBQ Chicken, roasted broccoli, green salad
Sunday: burgers and fries

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Day in 2s

What I did for my 2nd birthday by Andy:

It was an early start to my 2nd birthday.  I had some trouble clearing out the cobwebs.

Mom was there with my breakfast and I knew it was going to be a great day.

How about some early morning dump truck races?

And now it's time to play with toys.

 Now I'm dressed for the day.

Mom really loves me.

I love to swing.

And swing

And dig

And explore.

I had a yummy lunch.

My whole family was there.

But even Bears need naps.

And snacks with dad.

And mom.

I love my yogurt.

Bath time!

Happy baby in the mirror!

Green Eggs and Ham is my favorite book.

It's time for me to go to sleep.

Night night!

A second birthday

Andy turned two today and what a fun day we've had.
We threw a simple family party with a Curious George theme.  Every party idea came from the PBS kids website.
First we made an awesome Curious George cake.  I was so nervous about doing this but I'm pretty happy with out it turned out.

A few things about how my cake is different than what the PBS Kids directions suggest.  First, I used a cake pan rather than a glass bowl.  I'm guessing the glass bowl gives the cake more dimension and roundness.  The cake pan worked great though.  Also, I couldn't find caramel or butterscotch frosting so I mixed chocolate and vanilla to get the shade of tan I wanted.

Next for the decorations.  I cut out circles using my cricut and made the hanging streamers.  I printed out the party hats from the PBS website as well as the confetti.

Check out the cute monkey plates we found at our local grocery store!

For the birthday lunch I used this recipe found thanks to Pinterest.  The taste-alike Chick-fil-a nuggets were delicious and darn near the real thing.

All in all, our Curious George party was so much fun and so easy and Andy had an amazingly fun day.
Looking for pictures??  Come back tomorrow!  We did something really special for birthday pictures and I'm excited to share them with you all.