Monday, March 30, 2009

Meal of the Moment : Spanish Twist Breakfast Bake

I introduced a new post topic that I will be doing occasionally. The purpose of these Meal of the Moment posts are to find ways to create new meals using leftover food. Please see the original post here for more details. For this meal, I needed to use up about 2 cups of leftover red enchilada sauce and about one pound of crumbled pork sausage.

I chose to make a breakfast dish by doing the following:

Beat 8 eggs and add some dry mustard, pepper, and salt.

Cook some frozen hash browns and season with onion powder, garlic salt, and pepper.

In a casserole dish add the hash browns and crumbled sausage. Pour eggs over the mixture. Then pour enchilada sauce over everything.

Top with shredded Monterrey jack and sharp cheddar cheese.

Bake covered in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until set.

Serve piping hot with a bit of sour cream and green onions if desired! :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Just Add a Glass of Milk

At my youngest son's request, warm chocolate chip cookies are served on a little plate.

After all, it's the small touches that we add to our childrens' lives that seem to bring them the biggest smiles and make them feel like Momma and Daddy love them to the moon and back. It may be a plate of cookies, a new bouncy ball hidden in their coat pocket, a little note tucked in their lunch box, or an exciting story at bedtime...So next time you give that little detail, notice the big smile that spreads across their sweet faces.

A rare moment for my boys: time on Momma's computer to play a Thomas the Train game! It is a treat for them and they didn't want to go to bed...

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Heart This <3

Oh my goodness! THIS is a vintage dress from the 1950s and I want it! I don't have a 25 inch waist and I have no place to wear it, oh no. :(

I want to get married all over again just so I could be a princess in this for a day...but I would never want to take it off!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Works-for-me-Wednesday KID ZONES

My tip for the week on making your household run a bit smoother is an idea my amazing husband figured out a few years ago: making zones in your house for your kids. This will greatly improve toy clutter and the unfortunate event of stepping on a Lego in the middle of the night! It also aids in making your home more organized. You explain it to your kids using a
traffic light
as an example. You can be as creative as you want by drawing a big traffic light sign as example, etc.

Green Zones = they can have their toys in these areas and play freely (usually their rooms and playrooms)

Yellow Zones = they can be in this area BUT with no toys (usually the kitchen, family room, dining room)

Red Zones = they cannot be in this area (usually master bathroom, bedroom, office)

Let me know how this works for you!
I am joining in on Works-for-me-Wednesday hosted here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

BYOB (that's Bring Your Own Blog of Course!)

PARTY AT THE BLOGS 2 (double o) 9!!
Ok, I'm new to the blog world and trying to experience life in the parallel world. So, I am participating in a blog party! Here is where you go to get all the details:
Ultimate Blog Party 2009
BYOB (That's Bring your own Blog) of course! ;)

Back to Basics Brushing

Want to know an inexpensive way to make your teeth feel ever so clean and fresh and white without spending much?

Get some baking soda...sprinkle some on your toothbrush...

Brush, Brush, Brush...then clear with water.

Now, rinse with some hydrogen peroxide (this stuff is cheap!). Keep rinsing for a bit...

Finish by flossing. Your mouth will feel SUPER clean. This is also a great way to naturally whiten your teeth. I use this method about once a week in place of traditional toothpaste.

OH! Don't forget to get a new toothbrush every month! ;)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Heartwarming Friendship

My dear friend Brandi just posted something special on her blog for me.
It completely made my day! And still makes me smile when I think about it. I couldn't ask for a better best friend. I love this girl...for always


Friday, March 20, 2009

Meal of the Moment: Artichoke Shrimp

I am going to periodically do posts called: Meal of the Moment. These are meals I prepare using food that must be used up quickly! One of my greatest annoyances is wasted food! It bothers me to no end to have leftovers or partially used portions of food sit in the fridge until they are bad only to be rinsed down the sink or dumped in the trash.

Over the years, I have used a bit of creativity to use up all of our food. These Meal of the Moment posts will be some examples. Enjoy! And, I would be very excited to hear your ideas as well.

For this meal I had some fresh jumbo shrimp that needed to be used and an open can of artichoke hearts that had half the can remaining.

Saute some onions and garlic in olive oil. Toss in shrimp and artichokes, add some white wine, a bit of lemon juice, vinegar, a few drips of hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Serve over a plate of whole wheat pasta. This was simple and tasty. Feel free to modify this recipe to your needs. This same template can be used if you have leftover chicken and broccoli, etc.
You get the idea! ;)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Backyard Adventures

I suppose there are some positive aspects to having no landscaping in our backyard. I just usually don't see them...

Instead I notice the dust clouds that swirl in circles threatening to enter our home.

I notice the deep mud that the rain brings and dreadfully anticipate big splashes of muddy prints in the doorway.

I notice the sticks that litter the yard, clogging up our drainage.

But this day I noticed the creativity of my boys as they designed and built safely forts! As the walls went up, I could picture my boys chatting excitedly about the enemy coming and the need to establish their safe haven quickly! I could image the excitement on their faces as they sharpened their swords (tree branches) for battle. I knew that they didn't notice the dirt all over their clothes, because in their adventurous boy hearts, their filthy clothes were shining armor and their sand-filled hair was covered with a majestic knight helmet. They rushed around, lost in their own exciting reality, talking in tough voices to one another, forgetting that they were not on a far-stretching battlefield, but only in their disorganized backyard with no landscaping.

So, I suppose those are the benefits to not having neatly trimmed shrubs, perfectly-potted flowers, and fresh cut grass. Isn't is amazing how our eyes can see the same thing as either beautiful or ugly? It's all how you look at it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm a Barbie Girl

This doll is now officially on my wish list!

Plastic is fantastic...right?

Barbie's 50th Birthday was celebrated not too long ago and I want to celebrate by buying my last Barbie! Check out this link for the incredible Hollywood Glam celebration! Don't you think this Barbie doll tops the list?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Surprise! Leprechaun Pie

Happy Green Day! This grasshopper pie has been a family tradition ever since I was a little girl. It has tons of marshmallows and an assortment of "over 21 years old only" ingredients. It is FABulous! We call it Leprechaun Pie, named appropriately for the holiday. I don't get this pie every year since I'm married and out of the house...BUT my sweet mom surprised me and made it for me today! Yes, I'm in heaven for awhile.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Touching Momma's Heart

Chris and I have an entrance out our bedroom back door that steps out to a backyard porch. Dakotah was outside playing with chalk today and this is what he showed me:

He drew this right outside our bedroom back door. He said, "Momma, I drew a picture for you and Daddy to see right outside your door. It says love because you and Daddy love each other and it has a truck for Daddy and a beautiful flower for you..come see..."

This is what it's all about, right? I went from having flat emotions today, to having my emotions soar to heights that only a child's true love can bring. I need that little 6 year old boy! What brings you joy...What makes your emotions move with pure bliss?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Titus' Dinosaur Birthday

We had great fun today at the Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita.

For food, we had dino eggs (Eater Egg Whoppers), Fossils, (stick pretzels), and lava juice (Hawaiian Punch).

For games, we did a dinosaur egg hunt using Easter eggs. Hidden inside were dino fruit snacks. We also did the foam art project that I talked about the other day, we had a coloring contest and each child got to take home one of those inflatable dinosaurs. And the "real" dino egg project was lots of fun! Chris was our paleontologist and he cracked the eggs to reveal the baby dinosaurs.

The kids also got to enjoy playing at the museum.

Titus loved his special day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

More Party Prep & the Cute Cake!

Here is the dinosaur cake I made today, he has a smiley face too, however it is hard to see in this photo. He is a cute little dino, who would want to eat him? :(

The boys helped put together these treat bags for the party. Each child will have their name on it followed by "saurus", like Titusaurus...or Dakotahsaurus.

This is one of the crafts we are going to do: draw a landscape picture and glue on the foam dinosaurs.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Looks like it may be getting warmer...

Party Prep

Titus is having his dinosaur party soon and I wanted to share his invitation and a fun party idea that we're doing. For his invitation, everyone gets to color the dinosaur pictures and bring them to the party for a coloring contest. It is sort of hard to read, so I will post the wording below...they turned out too cute!

Dinosaurs spotted in Fruita! Come join Titus and his crew for a
DINO-mite fun time!
It’s a party…hurry…Titus isn’t prehistoric yet!

Stomp on over to explore and celebrate at the
Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita at 550 Jurassic Court.

This is one expedition you won’t want to miss, don’t be extinct!
PLEASE RSVP soon. Call Lisa 000-0000.

*color this picture and bring it to the party for our coloring contest!

For one activity, we are giving out dinosaur eggs. I made a pasty clay and snuggled plastic dinosaurs in the wet clay, then I wrapped them up in the shape of an egg...(well they ended up looking more like potatoes, but you get the idea). They should dry in a few days. At the party each child can crack open their egg and find their baby dinosaur!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Coffee's Perfect Accessory

Everyone loves a sweet coffee cake on a lazy Sunday morning. I was browsing recipes to find something quick and I found this one on that used Bisquick baking mix to speed the process along. The caramel sauce was like perfect candy (I loved the idea of using vanilla pudding mix in the sauce...I will have to remember that!). However, the cake itself was dry. I wouldn't recommend this recipe, but I would try the sauce on a favorite breakfast bread of yours, apple cobbler, or even over vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No More Toddlers in the House

Titus got to open a present this morning and here they all are playing with it right before we leave for school. Titus is having a dinosaur party later in the month.
Happy Birthday Titus

Today Titus turns 5 years old.

We already said goodbye to soft little baby bundles wrapped up like burritos, as we welcomed the new joys of crawling infants that explored everything! Then, we watched with pleasure as they walked sloppily across the room, babbling aloud, and pointing at every fascinating wonder they saw. Messes were made as the tupperware from kitchen cabinets got thrown over their heads onto the floor, and as toilet paper was rolled out from the bathroom into the living room. We looked on with smiles as each toddler said "momma!" or "daddy!" for the first time as they wrapped their little arms around our legs.

Each discovery caused delight in their precious faces:

when they flattened their hands out and whacked the water in the bathtub, watching it splash high,

or the first time they felt their feet sink into the mud,

or finding out that baby powder looks like soft snow if they sprinkled it over their toys.

Then suddenly, and almost without warning, they evolved from toddlers into little boys. Our boys drew pictures to grace our walls, and they began sounding out words in books which turned into sentences. Every sound they formed with their little mouths, brows furrowed in concentration, was an accomplishment! Their sweet voices sounded bigger, and the questions they asked made us stop and wonder how on earth they thought of such complex thoughts! Each one took his place as a 100% boy, outgrowing the cherished moments of toddlerhood. And today, our last one steps up to join his brothers as a "big boy". So, we have no more toddlers in the house.
In place of milk bottles we have Dasani water bottles. In place of soft foot patters down the hall, we have loud thumps as they run. In place of little squeak toys, we have lego kingdoms.
However, some things remain the same. They still blow us kisses each night, they still think momma and daddy are the best people on earth, and they still bring that unexplainable joy to our hearts as we watch them grow.

And I suppose that is why each birthday is a celebration...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Super Moist Banana Bread

This Banana Bread from Recipe Zaar was mmMM,delish! I am a big fan of getting recipes online. I have religiously used for a few years, but recently my mom told me about and it has some great stuff too! There are a couple things I enjoy about online "cookbooks":

1) If I have an ingredient at home that I need to use up, I can easily go online and do an ingredient search on the site. This brings up many recipes to choose from.


2) Most recipes are rated by other users who leave feedback. I absolutely LOVE this feature and I rely heavily on it.

This banana bread recipe turned out lovely and very moist. I changed a couple of things. I only had half of the bananas that I needed, so I used applesauce for the other half. I added a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla too. Also, I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar in the bottom of the bunt pans to add some extra sweetness and sparkle to the bread!

I HAD four loaves, but this one never made it to the tray...

Dave Ramsey Adventure

I have been fascinated with Dave Ramsey for over a year now, and frankly, too chicken to try his recommendations...until NOW. Dave Ramsey is an incredible motivational speaker who gives regular people, sensible advice on their finances. It's not rocket science, but it does require a lifestyle change....err, ummm, quite a painful lifestyle change! I'm not sure I can hang with Dave or his crowd, but I am determined to try! His advice moves me.

Last year, I read over 30 books on finances. I will probably be reviewing some of them on my blog in the future. One of those books was Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. He also does a 13 week class called Financial Peace University that I am taking right now. I am in week 2, so I will document my progress here!

If you're American and you have any sort of debt, read this book! It's a quick read and I highly recommend it!