Monday, November 29, 2010

Meal Plan Monday - November 29th

Wow, am I glad it is a new week!  We had two weeks of the flu at our house and our Thanksgiving holiday visit to my parents was canceled.  So disappointing.  I was even too sick to really enjoy the delicious Thanksgiving dinner my mother in law whipped up for 9 people instead of 5 at the last minute.  The highlight of the week - my parents drove down with a cooler full of my favorite Thanksgiving leftovers and my mom made Turkey and Dumplings last night.  Delish!

Monday - Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken Strips, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Cornbread and the last of my mom's dressing and Pound Cake

Tuesday - Crockpot Baked Potatoes, Fruit, Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday - Lasagna and Garlic Bread

Thursday - Meatball Subs, Chips and Fruit

Friday - Double Corn Chowder with Bacon

Saturday - Christmas Party - is it really time for Christmas Parties????

Sunday - Maggiano's after seeing Santa Claus

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Favorites

Here are this week's Friday Favorites.  For more great lists and inspirational posts, visit Living to Tell the Story. 

Modge Podge Fabric Ornaments at I Heart Naptime were the Thanksgiving Day craft at my mom's house yesterday.  My family didn't get to participate because we didn't get to travel to Kentucky as I came down with the flu.  I have all the stuff to make them, so I guess the kids and I will put them on the list for next weekend. 

I can't wait to make this Doll Sleeping Bag for my daughter's American Girl doll for Christmas.  I think she will love it.  The hardest part of this project will be picking out the perfect fleece!  Thanks to Clean Mama for posting the pattern and such great directions. 

After my daughter's adorable Thanksgiving clip fell apart yesterday, I went searching for an easy, workable way to make all these great felt hairclips.  Skip to My Lou has a great tutorial.  I will be making all our clips like this from now on. 

And finally, This and That Creative posted about the homemade bows she uses on her Christmas tree.  This reminded me of the years when my kids were little and in order to save all my expensive blown glass ornaments we decorated our tree entirely in bows I made.  It is one of my favorite trees ever.  It truly was beautiful.  I still have those bows and I think I will pull them out this year and put them on our tree, with the glass ornaments. 

Linked to
Living to Tell the Story's Friday Favorite Five
It's A Blog Party's Share Your Favorites

Monday, November 22, 2010

My To Do List Update

I posted earlier in the week about my Must Do List.  I am pleased to say I have accomplished most of it.  Out of 11 items, 7 are completed, 3 are under way and 1 is going to have to wait a bit longer. 

1.  Staining the book cases - this is going to have to wait.  It is too damp for it to dry quickly, so I am going to have to wait for another opportunity.

2.  Get started on my Mom's calendar - pictures are ordered (my sister finally sent me her pics!) pages and themes are planned and I have started pulling scrapbook paper for the pages.  A pretty good start.

3.  I have all the supplies and patterns and will be cutting them this afternoon.

11 - Complete pages for Halloween Album  - I have one more page to go and that project will be complete until next year!

Not bad progress for a couple of days. 

Favorite Things Party

  I am joining 320 Sycamore's Favorite Things Party, kind of like Oprah's, only better. 

A Few of My Favorite Things

1.  My Kitchen Aid Mixer - a wedding present 15 years ago, it gets alot of use and I don't think I would know how to cook with out it.

2.  The Original Southern Living Ultimate Cookbook.  This is my "go to" cookbook.  Anything you need to know how to make, it is in here.  Mac and Cheese, Rosemary Foccacia, Raspberry Oatmeal Bars, Squash Casserole, the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - all these are family favorites found in this great book.  No Southern kitchen is complete without this cookbook.

3.  Tervis Tumblers - my whole family loves these great tumblers.  We each have our own personalized style, on one fights over them, they don't sweat on the furniture and they keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold and most importantly, they are dishwasher safe. 

4.  Pumpkin Spice Creamer - I don't have the luxury of either the time or money to swing through Starbucks everyday for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, so this creamer is my cheap, at home answer to satisfy that craving.  I always buy several of these and freezer them so I can enjoy it throughout the year as well.  YUM!

5.  My Nook - My Christmas present from my DH last year, I don't know what I would do without my Nook.  I love that I can download a book from anywhere, in just minutes.   I love that I can use all the Barnes and Noble gift cards I get from students, I love how easy it is to use, and most importantly I love that I can have a huge library at my fingertips, any time, any where, no matter what I am in the mood to read.  I really think e-readers are going to revolutionize the way we read and they way we teach kids.  This is fantastic technology.

6.  Our Back Porch - We added this 32" covered porch to our house about 6 years ago and it was the best thing we ever did. (Please excuse the mess - it is in need of cleaning right now!)  We spend so much time here.  We celebrate birthdays, eat dinner together, spend quiet time sharing a bottle of wine, we invite our friends and neighbors over and enjoy wonderful times together, I enjoy my morning coffee here whenever possible.  We hold our annual Halloween Hayride here and in the winter, we hang up tarps, turn on the heaters and celebrate the New Year with our very best friends and family.   This is probably my very favorite place on earth.  I tell my husband "thank you" for building it all the time.  It (and my huge kitchen) are the reasons we probably won't ever move from this house. 

Go link up your favorite things at 320 Sycamore!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

To Do List

OK, I need a To Do List.  The number of things I have floating around in my head to get finished in the next week is more than a bit overwhelming.  I also have a number of WANT To Dos that are conflicting with My NEED To Dos.  So, a MUST Do List is in order. 


1.  Stain bookcases for office - I had these unfinished bookcases made and they have been sitting in my garage, taking up valuable real estate, since April.  I even have the stain and brush too.  This must get accomplished....

2.  Get started on my Mom's calendar for Christmas.  This will involve a call to my sister today as well.  The only thing my Mom asks for each year is a scrapbooked calendar of her grandkids.  I ordered most of the pictures this morning, but my sister  has yet to send me her contributions. 

3.  Cut felt ornaments and get supplies ready to travel.  Boo Boo and I are making throwback 70's felt ornaments and she wants to work on them while we are at my parents house for Thanksgiving.

4.  Make reservations to see Santa and dinner at Maggiano's.  This is a family tradition and I am hoping to get this done early this year.

5.  Take down fall decorations and begin the Christmas transformation.  Once the Thanksgiving holiday is over I won't have much time to decorate, so hopefully I can get all but the trees dones this weekend.

6.  Put together cheer coaches gifts for banquet tomorrow.  This should be super quick, just need to make myself sit down and do it.

7.  Finish the last 2 loads of laundry before they start dirtying clothes again....  As you know, this is a never ending cycle, but I feel a sense of accomplishment if there are 4 hours in which there are no dirty clothes anywhere in my house.  It's the little things folks.

8.  Menu for the week with grocery list.  This keeps me sane.  If you don't do this, you really should try it.  Makes the world of difference around here.

9.  Returns to Kohl's and Target - shoes for Boo Boo while we are out - better check Bubba's dress shoes while we are out and get his too, if he needs them.  What am I talking about, he is 11 and has grown 2 inches in the past 3 months, of course he is going to need new shoes. 

10.  Mail Thanksgiving cards.  I know, many will arrive after Thanksgiving, but its the effort that counts right? 

11.  Finish the layouts for the family Halloween album.  I need to do this so I can get the pictures and supplies off my desk to start my mom's calendar.

There is so much more, but this will get me started.... 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Favorites

I have bee home all week with a very sick child, so I have spent a good deal of time cruising the holiday ideas everyone has been posting this week.  Here are a few I plan on trying out.

This Spaghetti Ham Bake from Taste of Home via I'm An Organized Junkie is on the menu for tonight to use up some ham left over from the Delicious Ham and Potato Soup I made last week. 

We made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby earlier in the week to get the supplies to make these Felt Ornaments from Bugs and Fishes.  We have completed 6 already.  Be on the lookout for pictures soon.

We had a bumper sweet potato crop this year and I need some new ways to cook them so my family won't mutiny on me.  I'm pretty sure these Honey Nut Crunch Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries from All Home Cooking. All Year Long. will be a  hit. 

My kids will be making a few of thee Button Wreath Ornaments from Lets Go Fly A Kite for our handmade tree. 

I have already started on this adorable poncho from Lion Brand Yarn for my daughter for Christmas.  Had some great purple varigated homespun yarn in my stash already, just need to pick up some fun fur for the trim.  I might even make one for myself. 

Posted at It's a Blog Party's Share Your Favorites
Living to Tell the Story's Friday's Fave Five

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How To Eat At Home Week 7 - Rice Bowls

Welcome to Week 7 of How to Eat At Home on the Go, a series where I offer my tips, tricks and recipes to eat at home, even when your family is on the go for sports, church, school, work or anything else that may come up.  You can check out the rest of the series here - Week 1, Week 2 , Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, and  Week 6. 

Before school started I completed a HUGE, mega freezer cooking session.  You can read about that adventure here.  One of the items I made were grilled chicken strips.  I marinated boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and sliced them, then froze in meal size portions. 
Here they are in the freezer, waiting to be used in a quick, delicious, homecooked meal.
I usually thaw these and use in salads, wraps or thow them on top of homemade pizza, but I wanted something different last night.  We love the bowls you can get at Moe's and Chipotle, so I decided to make my own.  This was a super quick dinner, completed in 20 minutes - perfect for eating at home on the go.

Rice Bowls
modified from Big Oven

3/4 c long cook rice ( I use jasmine rice)
1 1/2 c water
1 bouillion cube (you can use chicken broth, but mine was frozen and I didn't have time to thaw it)
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c diced onion
2 c cooked chicken strips, thawed (mine were marinated in Asian Sesame Dressing before cooking) - cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 c frozen peas, thawed
1/2 jar baby corn, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 t low-sodium soy sauce
2 t water

Cook rice in water with boillion cube according to package directions. (Takes 20 minutes)

Heat olive oil in non-stick skillet.  When hot, cook garlic and onion until tender.  Add chicken and cook until warm through.  Add peas and baby corn cook until hot.  Add soy sauce and water.  Simmer until rice is done. 

Serve rice in a bowl, top with chicken and vegetables.  Serve hot. 

These can also be made with any left over meat you might have in the refrigerator - pork, beef, turkey, or vegetarian by adding a varity of vegetables.    I am going to try them next with the buffalo chicken strips in my freezer - subbing regular corn for the baby corn and buffalo sauce for the soy sauce and thowing some fresh cilantro and cheddar cheese on top before serving. 

Linked to
It's A Blog Party's Delicious Dishes
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday
Eat At Home Cooks

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meal Plan Monday - November 15, 2010

Last week's menu was an abyssmal failure.  Nothing went the way it was supposed to and I did not cook one single yummy meal I had planned.  Hopefully this week will go smoother and I will get to cook at least a few of the meals I plan.

Sunday - Italian Sausage and Potato Roast, Lima Beans, Cheddar Biscuits, Pumpkin Crisp

Monday - Chicken Rice Bowl, Sauted Apples
Tuesday - Broccoli Cheese Soup, Ham Sandwiches, Fruit 

Wednesday - Chicken Pot Pie, Fruit

Thursday - Football Banquet

Friday -

Saturday - Cheerleading Banquet

Friday Favorites

What great things to be seen around the 'net this week.  So many wonderful Christmas projects I don't know how I will get to do them all, but I most certainly am going to try.  

These homemade sugar scrubs from Tidy Mom just look so luxurious and less expensive than buying them at the spa.

I have always wanted to make a ribbon wreath, but was too intimidated by the process.  She's Kinda Crafty has a great tutorial.  I think I'm heading to the craft store today....

I am a fan of everything cranberry and these Cranberry Bars sound delcious.  Thanks to Red Couch Recipes for posting.  These just might show up at the coffee station at work this week.

As my daughter gets older, she is not as enamoured of hair bows as she used to be, but she still needs something to keep her hair out of her face.  These embellished bobby pins from Honey Scrap might just make us both happy! 

This is another project I have in mind for my daughter.  We are in the planning stages of re-decorating her room and this pom pom pillow from 3 Punk Mom will have a prominent place in it. 

That's it for this week.  Let's see if I can accomplish any of these fantastic projects.

It's A Blog Party's Share Your Favorites

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How To Eat At Home Week 6 - Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

Welcome to Week 6 of How to Eat At Home On The Go, a series where I offer my tips, tricks and recipes to eat at home, even when your family is on the go school, sports, work, church or anything else that might come up.  You can check out the rest of the series here - Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5. 

This is a cold weather favorite.  In fact it has been on the menu twice in 3 weeks since Hotlanta finally saw temps below 80.  Whenever my kids see it on the menu board, they can't wait.  This is one of those recipes where I should have lots of leftovers, but it never happens.  Originally from, I have changed it just a bit.  It is a very forgiving recipe and can be put together in 30 minutes or less, plenty of time before or after you participate in your evening activites.  I cook the soup as soon as I get home from work, refrigerate it and just warm it up after football, lacrosse, gymnastics or cheerleading.   This is a very thick soup.  I have been know to stretch it by using more water and milk.  Works great.

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

3 1/2 c peeled and diced potatoes
1/2 c finely chopped onion
1 c diced cooked ham (I use about 2 cups)
3 1/4 c water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 t salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
5 T butter
5 T all purpose flour
2  c milk

Combine potatoes, onion, ham and water in a stockpot.  Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 - 15 minutes.  Stir in bouillon, salt and pepper.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute.  Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form.  Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, about 4 - 5 minutes. 

Stir milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through.  Serve immediately topped with shredded cheddar cheese and bacon bits. 

Enjoy with a piece of warm crusty bread on a cold night. 

Linked to Its A Blog Party

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Meal Plan Monday - November 8th

No new meals last week, but we did have two of our favorites, Sloppy Joes and Ham and Potato Soup.  Once the temperature drops, we have these alot.  My kids just never get tired of them.  I will be posting my version of the Potato Soup recipe tomorrow. 

This week, we are home most nights, so we are going to add a little variety to our menu.

Sunday - Pizza and Wings

Monday - Chinese Dumplings, Egg Rolls and Fruit (all from Costco)

Tuesday - Dirty Rice (a Zatarains's mix I found lurking in the pantry) and Fruit

Wednesday - Italian Sausage and Potato Roast, Lima Beans and Cheddar Biscuits

Thursday -  Grilled Chicken, Saffron Rice and Asparagus

Friday - Ravioli with Roasted Tomato Sauce, Salad and Garlic Bread

Saturday - Going to a 40th Birthday Party

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Favorites

Time to share some of the really great things I have seen around Blogland this week.  I am determined to do all of these

These fantastic glitter Christmas trees from eighteen 25 will look fabulous on my mantel. 

Can't wait to play around with these photography prompts from life through the lens.

Chalkboard chargers!  How cool is this idea from Tatertots and Jello.

I have been meaning to makeover my childhood dollhouse for my daughter.  This post from Seven Sisters reminded me to get started.

Guess I need to get busy!

Linked to It's A Blog Party's Share Your Favorites
Living to Tell the Stories Friday Favorite Five

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Meal Plan Monday on Wednesday

Halloween and two days of school holidays have thrown off my blogging.  Here is what we have eaten and are eating this week.

Sunday - Halloween Party - everyone brought something to share.  I made Deviled Eggs, Spicy Tortilla Roll Ups, Sugar Cookie Bars and Jalapeno Pepper Popper Dip

Monday - Sliders and Homemade Mac and Cheese

Tuesday - Special Treat - Chili Dogs from The Varsity!

Wednesday - Sloppy Joes, Chips and Veggies with Ranch Dip

Friday - Leftover Soup

Linked to Meal Plan Monday at I'm An Organized Junkie