Friday, October 29, 2010

I Wish....

1. That sometimes my laundry would get folded AND put away on the same day.

2. That my satellite wouldn't go out in the middle of a favorite tv show when the little black rain cloud decides to block the sun for a moment.

3. That my dog wouldn't have gas....or sleep on my side of the bedroom.

4.  That I didn't have such a hard time staying up till 10pm. What kind of loser am I??

5.  That P90X worked after one workout.

6.  That we lived close enough to ride our bikes to our school.

7.  That my best friends lived in my neighborhood.  At least I think I wish that. Maybe if they lived closer we'd get sick of each other. Let's * this one since now I think it is similar to the wish I had when I was little that my friends and I lived in the school.  We each decided what rooms we would live in and how we'd all eat together in the cafeteria and how cool it would be to have the library all to ourselves....what kind of whacked-out wish is that?

8.  That I would remember to write down the crazy stuff my kids say because one day I could pull that stuff out later and really embarrass them in front of boyfriends/girlfriends.

9.  That my car lift gate worked when I wanted it to and not just when my husband looks at it. Evidently my bad juju extends to cars now.

10.  That my dentist office had tv's in the ceiling.

Happy Weekend, Ya'll!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm Ready

As I've said before, Halloween is not my favorite holiday.

My husband and kids love love love it.

We'll be having Darth Vader, a Storm Trooper, Princess Leia and a Varsity car hop at my house this year.

Me? What will I be this year?

Well, this year I'm going through a hair crisis. (Stay with me. My hair has everything to do with the Halloween costume question.)  I cut it super duper short and am in the agonizingly slow process of growing it out. I do this a lot. My hair guy knows when my hair reaches a certain length, I'll come to him with a picture of some 16 year old model/actress (because they are ALL model/actresses now, right?) with a pixie haircut and beg him to cut my hair just like the picture.

Unfortunately, I'm not 16.  I'm not Twiggy and I don't have Mr. Hairstylist-who-goes-with-me-everywhere-so-my-hair-is-perfect-every-day.  Thus the haircut, while cute in and of itself, quickly becomes something to harp on.

So, this year, in honor of my hair being in that fantastic stage that is growing out a short haircut, I'm going to be.....
Justin Beiber!!!!

Heck, I think I even have that purple sweater in my closet.  My hair can *totally* do that. 

Trick or treat, man.

So Sweet

In recent weeks my little circle of friends has gotten a lot of bad news.  Today we got more bad news and sometimes it helps me deal with the bad stuff to look at super cute stuff.  It makes me smile.  I hope it makes you smile too.

Decorating sugars in fabulous colors AND coordinating polka-dot mini-cupcake liners.  Excuse me now while I go find a super fabulous cupcake recipe that is worthy of these fabulous things. (Can I say fabulous one more time? I think I just did!)

Head on over to League of Moveable Type and check out this font you can download for free!!! After I figure out which awesome mini-cupcakes to make, I can package them up and make a label with this oh-so-girly font. Love it. 
Well, maybe I just love the site/blog because I love to read and think it is cool people are creative enough to come up with these different fonts! Sans Serif and New Times Roman? Soooo yesterday.

They're reusable wall decals.  You can actually dress the doll.  They even have trees to decorate, birds and such sweet things for your child's walls.  Maybe my middle daughter's? Hmmmm.....

Okay. Shut. The. Front. Door. How cute is this centerpiece? I don't particularly care for Halloween. (Don't ask. My husband LOVES it enough for both of us.)  But seeing this makes me want to head out, get some ghostly peeps and get busy!  For sure click on the link above the picture and visit the site.  
Thanks go out to Jennifer at Little Household for introducing me to this site. Thanks, Jennifer!!

Go out. Be sweet. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sucked In

No. This isn't about Spanx. But I do love a good pair of Spanx. If they made one that would go from my neck to my ankles, I'd be a happy girl.

The title of this post has to do with the fact that one of my favorite shows, NCIS, comes on in re-runs and I happened to find it this afternoon while folding laundry.

There I am, being productive with my laundry and watching my show.  Then I watch the next show.  And maybe one more. See? I got sucked in by Gibbs, Tony, Ziva and Abby.  Now I'm done with my laundry and  am just sitting glassy-eyed in front of the tv. (I know, I know. I'm setting such a fine example for the youth of America.)

So I peel myself away from Gibbs, Ziva, Tony and Abby just long enough to realize I have *gasp* not started dinner and it is THAT TIME.

Notice a trend, here? I tend to wait till the last possible minute to make dinner.  Oh well.  If that is my vice......

Here's my dinner tonight.  I've had this recipe forever - from when I was little, through college and now with my family.  It's a favorite with everyone.

I decided to blog this on the fly, so some of the pictures are excluding some ingredients.  I'll post a complete ingredient list before the filling and topping. The actual assembly isn't hard.

Presenting........HAMBURGER PIE! (we are soooo fancy here)

For the filling: 1 egg, 1 lb ground beef browned, 1 can corn, 1/2 c soda (or ritz) crackers, crushed, 1/2 c chili sauce, 1 T minced onion (I used the dried ones), 1/2 t oregano

Brown the ground beef. Duh. Then drain the beef and put back in the pan.

Add the egg--I beat it before I put it in--and then crush the crackers up and add to the meat.

Add oregano and corn.

Put it all in a pie plate or pyrex dish.  I've never done the pyrex dish before but it should work.

Pop it in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.

While it is cooking, start the topping.
You'll need: 1 c (plus extra) grated cheddar cheese, 1 egg, 2T milk, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t dry mustard, 1 T Worsteshire sauce

Mix all the ingredients together and top the pie.  My husband would like me to tell you all that there really should be bacon on top of the hamburger pie.  This is true, except that I didn't have bacon in the fridge, so no bacon for us tonight.  We'll just have to muddle though.

Put back in the oven till the cheese melts.

Voila! Dinner. Steam some veggies and wham bam you've got yourself a hot meal in less than an hour.

I'm spent. Working all those cases with my NCIS team has me beat.
Ya'll have a good night.

30 Minutes

I'm a stay-at-home mom.  I love it.  Most days. 

I can honestly say that I'm busier now as a SAHM than I ever was when I was working.  The other day I had about 30 minutes before the kids came home and I decided to get off my rapidly expanding posterior and do something productive. Welcome to real life. 

Let me share what my pantry has become. 
In my next house I'm having a large walk-in pantry. 

Things aren't falling OFF the shelves, but it's pretty bad.  Jars and bottles everywhere.  Boxes of cereal that have been there since the summer.  Reusuable shopping bags shoved at the bottom.  I couldn't find anything.  You can't tell from the picture, but there are 3 bottles of white wine vinegar in there. WHO needs 3 bottles of white wine vinegar?

Less than 15 minutes later.....

Just looking at this picture makes my heartbeat go a little slower. Aahhhh....organization. Makes me happy.

Let's move on to the closet I transformed into a catch-all for the kids.  I had big plans for this one. Places for the backpacks, first aid kit (you can't have too many bandaids!), picnic stuff, and bulletin boards for the important papers.

Let's have a look at my amazing organizational ability.

I know, I know.   Those faint of heart should avert their eyes.  I see this and think, "WHAT HAPPENED??"


Again, makes me happy.  So happy.  I'm going to get myself a cold beverage and enjoy this example of neatness.  
And while I'm enjoying my icy cold beverage, I'm going to wonder exactly what I was storing in that closet?  I didn't throw out that much stuff.  I did, however, decide to slowly take over a room in my basement that was initially intended for the girls.  

Here's what is now residing in the room formerly known as the "room with the red couch".  Eventually it will become my crafty room....OUR crafty room. 

All this done in less than 30 minutes. 

I guess this is my one productive thing for the week.  

I hear Regis and Kelly calling. You'll find me on the couch. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Farm

Uncle Bob's Farm.  13 preschoolers.  8 parents.  Wait--maybe 10 parents. I honestly can't remember.

No snack time.  Port-a-Potties.  Yuck.

And the complaining...oh the complaining.  From the parents.  We were hot.  We were cold.  We were wet.  We were battling the humidity.  Welcome to fall in my state.  It rocks.


It all starts out so well.  Sweet children, walking hand in hand down the gravel path toward the first exhibit.

Here we are in the first exhibit- Bats.  My son is on the left.  I wonder exactly what was showing in that bat movie?

Look how cute they are. They are listening to a potter talk about clay. And oxidation. And hydration. And ionization.  Sure.  Our 4 year olds are super smart and completely understand the natural coloring process of our native soil.  Yeeahh. Riiight.

By this point we're past snack time with no snack.  The kids are restless.  The parents are restless and some of us were trying to figure a way to snag the school bus and head out to pick up some refreshments...

  And the little pumpkins have melted into what you see during the sheep shearing demonstration.

They weren't interested in shearing sheep.  I'm sure all the little girls are behaving perfectly.  See the cutie pie in the braids paying attention and all the boys looking on at the fun of breaking that tree?

I love preschool faces.  They crack me up.  They were so good. Through it all--rain, wind, heat, humidity, the corn maze (don't ask) and  patiently waiting while all of the parents in the general vicinity took thousands of pictures to preserve this moment forever in time.

And here is reality.  Don't think I didn't think about using  photoshop.  It was like herding cats.
Just keeping it real.

Happy Tuesday, Ya'll.  I need a nap.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kenny Chesney & Schoolhouse Rock

Our weekend out and around. Homecoming at our school.  It's the elementary kids are involved in the festivities.  Start humming "Boys of Fall" because it was the theme music for most of our activities this weekend.
Go War Eagles!

Saturday: Breakfast of Champions

Saturday: Breakfast of Mom

Go War Eagles: The Run-Through

War Eagles: The Talk
We lost the game, but our coaches include the cheerleaders in the "after-the-game" talk".  Then they pray. They pray thanksgiving for no injuries, for the opportunity to have fun with friends and for the privilege of playing with the heart of a good sportsman.  I love that.  

Lunch of Project makers 

Project One: Welcome to Middle School. You'll need to make a model of the solar system.
Start humming Schoolhouse Rock theme music here.

Project Two: Welcome to Second Grade. You'll need to make a model of a Native American's home. 

Project Three: How Can I, the 4 year old brother, best bother my sisters while they try to finish their projcets?

Busy days. Our Sunday will truly be a day of rest.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sweet Paul

So evidently my sheltered existence has kept me from discovering something I think I might love.

Online magazines.

I can hear my husband sighing now because he works in, around, on, and through the internet every single day and has probably known about these amazing things for a long time.  Thanks for sharing, honey.

Through my blog-stalking, I've discovered an online magazine that is simply beautiful.  Lovely.  I want to jump into the pages of this magazine.  Or rather, I'd like to jump into my computer screen and insert myself into the places they go.

Did I say I love it?

It's called Sweet Paul.  And I want to eat the front cover.

This is their second edition.

I want a Louis Vuitton pumpkin. 

I want to picnic in the forest. Heck, I want to call it a forest and not the woods.  Forest sounds much more special, don't you think?

These are from the forest. Here is the rest of the story.  Let's go find some leaves.


One of my first posts was about my fabulous, wonderful, awesome neighbors who were moving to Birmingham.  Boo hoo for our neighborhood!

Before she left, she gave me some great recipes.  She shared a few that were her "old stand-bys" when company came over.  I'm going to share one of them with you.  You'll love it.  Promise.

You'll need 1/2 c salad oil, 1/4 c soy sauce, 2 T Worcestershire sauce, 2 t dry mustard, 3/4 t salt, 4 1/2 T red wine vinegar, black pepper and a flank steak. (I forgot the red wine vinegar in the picture...sorry!)

Mix all the ingredients and plop the steak in the marinade. Let it sit 4-6 hours or overnight.  Beautiful.  I love stuff that can be made in advance.

Grill 5 or so minutes on each side.

After the meat comes off the grill, do the Food Network thing and cover it with foil so the juices don't escape.  But if you look closely, you'll see that those juices are making a run for freedom!

(pay no attention to the massive amount of juice on the cutting board!! I got impatient)

So here it is sliced.  By this point I've already "tested" 2 or 3 slices.  It is sooo yummy! 
We eat it with potatoes and a salad, but it is equally good cold the next morning for breakfast.  Yes. We're weird.

Tonight I'm going to try this with homemade bread!  Here is the start...we'll see how it goes. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Seasonal Color

So my front step looks pretty cute with my fake pumpkin topiaries and ghost door decoration.  (patting myself on the back for those...)

The rest of my house looks just as it usually does.

I was thinking I should get out and plant some "seasonal color".  That's what my yard guys call it...seasonal color.  Sometimes I call it "the bane of my existence".

I didn't inherit my mother's or grandmother's green thumb.  You'd think since I was the child of two Southerners and having grown up in the South pretty much my entire life that some kind of gardening gene would have been activated.

You'd be wrong.

Until today....look at what I saw out my kitchen window....

Look...rising from the depths of a long forgotten mum or geranium or some other seasonal color from bygone days is, dare I say it, SEASONAL COLOR!!!

Against all odds it is thriving.  I mean, look at this example of container gardening.  Impressive, isn't it?  I  think Southern Living is calling. 

Notice the pots.  Notice the pot IN the pot and the pot ON the moldy plastic side table. I'm protecting the innocent from the mold on my plastic side table. 

Stop me before I plant again.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Making a List

So far my Saturday has been pretty great.  Got all 3 kids up, fed, dressed and off for a day of working around our school by 9am.

Dropped off two kids and took the remaining kiddo to cheer at a football game.  It was amazing.  We lost (boo-hoo) but the atmosphere at the game was so wonderful.  More on that later.

Came home to a relatively clean house...I don't know about you, but I never know what I'm coming home to when I leave to run children hither and yon, so coming home to anything less than every toy being out on the floor is a win.

Now my house is relatively quiet.  One girl is visiting Grandma and Pop.  The Boy is dozing on the sofa and The Oldest is making the list of things we need to run get for a science project.  I have a few minutes to browse the blog world and wanted to share some things I found.

It's mid-October.  I've already started my Christmas list.  You?

Picture and awesome necklace from Yellow Blackbird

Shut the front door.  I want this.  If I was creative or had the inclination to sit and actually figure out the most fashionable way to string the buttons, believe me, I would.  But since that is not happening in my lifetime, I'll sit here happy in the knowledge I'm supporting someone else who has that creative gene.

Picture and super cute fabric flower bobby pins also from Yellow Blackbird

I have short hair. I don't know why I'm continually drawn to the fabric flower things for hair.  If I were a brave Steele Magnolia I'd wear one for sure.  I'm not Steele Magnolia material yet.  My girls would look cute with them, though!

Picture and Owl pendant from Freshy Fig

I'm having an owl moment right now.  I think they are so cute. So retro, in a weird way.  But somewhere in the back of my mind I think I remember someone telling me that owls are bad luck.  Is that some urban legend? An old wives' tale? Heck, it could even be from a recently half-listened-to episode of Scooby-Doo.  

I'm also having a lariat necklace moment.  Shut. Up. Also from Freshy Fig

Chased Dreams photo

Photo from Chase Dreams

Those last two pictures are from Chase Dreams.  The Birchwood gift tags.  How special would that make a present? I wouldn't want to give them away.  I'm seeing Modge Podge, special paper....hmmm....
And how amazingly cute are the mustache crayons?  Precious.  And hysterical.  

I'm baking tomorrow.  I read somewhere that real Southern women bake.  I'm trying.  So if you're in the neighborhood, stop by and you can sample. 

Happy weekend, Ya'll.