Monday, March 28, 2011

Our Daily Walk (Springtime Edition)

We go on a lot of walks around here. Sometimes when the boys are getting to each other or they're both getting to me, I declare it time for a walk! Some are surprised that I rarely (except at the zoo) use the stroller for Evan (2 yrs 3 mths)... he's got a lot of energy and being idle gets him in trouble! So he walks too!

Last week was a very pretty week, and we were really busy (still going to the gym daily too!), it was nice to take a walk and see some of springs artwork!

My roses have bloomed all year round with just a smidge of a break during our few freezing days in February.

I'm still figuring out azaelas, I feel like my bushes are scrawny. The blooms are pretty though!

I love this lil bird that hangs out in the front yard flower beds

Put the spring wreath up... but I'm thinking maybe I should add some more to it? Hmmmm....

Nothing more pretty that a redbud in the springtime!

We made it to the park!

It's a pretty little park

Even the palm (palmettos) are happy about spring!

Then there's this... isn't this what spring is all about!?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's spring, what can the boys "help" do?

It's full fledged spring here and we're sure enjoying it! A million little things to do... but what would be something good for the boys to "help" with?

Last year I got one of these herb kits (maybe $4)... yes totally a convenience item. But last year Evan was still so young and into everything. We were so busy, I never even did the kit! LOL! (geez, look at the pollen coating the table! It's crazy down here!)

Decided to bust it out this year, hopefully it'll still grow! It comes with everything you need, easy peasey!

Jake poured in the dirt...

And here we are with a nice cheesy "finished" picture...

We did this last week and we're already starting to see little green sprouts poking up!

Yesterday we planted all of our flowers (in non-kit form)! Long afternoon... I was filthy and the boys were soaked from playing in the water table! I'll have to take some pics of them soon too!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Old T-Shirt + Scissors = "spring shrug/cardigan thing"

I was thinking not too long ago that I need a spring version of a shrug or open front cardigan. Then thought, why not a tshirt cut open in the middle. Keeps it casual, knit is easy to cut and heck doesn't even need sewing!

I've had my eye on a green old tshirt of mine. I figured I'd just need my scissors, pins, and measuring tape. I worked it all out in my mind (my very basic non sewing mind, need I remind you)... this morning I just decided to do it! I figured if I got into too much trouble that perhaps my sewing-phe-nom friends Ellie & Kate would possibly bail me out??

This was all done amongst a train going across the table I'm working on, a dinosaur chasing said train (or sometime catching a ride!) and some screaming. Nothing like a project in the midst of commotion and craziness... wait... that's ALL my projects ;) Luckily it didn't take more than 10 mins, maybe 15!

My 6 year old Old Navy shirt. I don't really like to wear logos anymore and it's a bit shorter than I like to wear now, but I liked the color and the fit around the arms.

Turned inside out (I would love to find a shirt that I could turn inside out as the finished product, the seams adding interest)

I then measured in 5"  on the sides (guess-ti-mating to the neckline) but could of gone 6" and left more coverage.

Pinned a few times to help guide me as I was cutting. I could of (um, should of!) used a pen to make it straighter but I wanted to wear it this morning and didn't want to worry about leftover pen marks. I mean I'm wearing a cut up shirt out as part of my outfit, why add pen marks as well ;)

Cut up one side and up the other (I would never make a good surgeon! It'd be a jagged mess!)

Obviously you could really vamp this up with some a little sewing, ribbons, add-ons, biased, I'm sure the list goes on. But for a simple thing to throw over a tank during this hot/but yet not hot weather... good to go!

Goofy awkward self-pics are always required to show the final results! (oh look you can see the scrap fabric bracelets I made a while back too).

What do you think? Are you going to make one?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A little bit more progress in the foyer!

I feel like I've been MIA. Guess I have been. Adding the gym to our schedule has thrown me for quite a loop and has taken up some time (with hopefully some good results)!

Blogging has taken a few steps down of the list of things to do... I guess it's been noticed. I've lost some followers :( Trying just to take it with a grain of salt and move on (still kinda hurts to know someone specfically went through all the steps to remove me from their blog list!)... I never promised anything with this blog except that what you see is what we are! Sometimes I'm really crafty, sometimes not. Sometimes we do a bunch around the house, sometimes not. Sometimes I speak of what is weighing on my mind, sometimes it's light fluff. Sometimes it's all about the boys, other times they don't get mentioned and mama guilt sets in ;) But, it's always just plain "Us"!

Anyhoo... back to that progress in the foyer! Last time I showed you this space, I transformed an old picture into a mirror.

Since then we've added a bench and a little side table that was in the attic.

Waiting to find a coat rack still. Then that will complete the "meat & potato" part of the design plan. Then I'll add a small framed picture to the bottom right of the mirror. Plus color, we need some COLOR! A different lampshade, some kind of neat/colorful/childsafe knick knack (does that even exist?) on the small table. A plant in a colorful pot on the floor next to the table and then a rug too!

When I mention baby steps, I sure mean baby steps around here! Little by little :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

We made a big change!

Yesterday the whole family joined the gym! It's only 10 mins away. We went this morning!

It's also the first time that Greg and I have EVER (besides date night) been without kids for even an hour, especially not a morning! Okay wait there have been a couple times like when we went to the Covered Bridge festival last fall or when we went on our morning hike in Arizona... but the fact that I can think of like 2 whole times... that's pretty sad!

We're excited about it for many reasons! Of course the benefit of exercise, getting in shape, and being healthier... but also for the break it'll give me during the day from the boys. I love my kids & job as a stay at home mom, but I'm pretty much with them 24/7 (my nights out with friends are when the kids are asleep, so that doesn't carry the same "break" mentality).

Unfortunately I've been aging, I've had 2 big babies, and well, it's starting to show (and starting to wear me down mentally/emotionally). Ugh. I haven't been very happy with how I look for awhile now :( I have a lot of guilt because we have a wonderful home gym that I touched upon when once or twice. But, after almost 2 years I just have to wave the white flag :( I cannot workout at home AND watch my kids. They already wake up at 6am, I refuse to get up any earlier. Especially since it's only been about 4-5 mths since I got over my horrible year long insomnia. We tried to have me workout when Greg gave the boys a bath. By 6pm, I'm just beat... it was always about a 20 min workout of pure no-fun! It never stuck. It was time for a BIG change... this was my mind set...
Exercise Cartoon Today is the day that I am going to think about thinking about joining the gym.

This gym offers a TON of stuff to do. I'm very excited about it. However, I feel like a total goof! Like I'm going to be walking around looking like a complete moron and I'm nervous about the kids off on their own with people they don't know at all. Today Evan filled his pants of course and I was unprepared, left my bag in the car. Luckily our workout was over when they paged and I just changed him when we got to the car.

This might be how it is for awhile...

Just gotta find my own groove and also come up with a completely new system/schedule that we operate on around here. So that will throw us for a loop for awhile!

Then maybe this will be me????

Okay, hardly... but one can dream ;)

If anyone has any tips on how they navigate the gym especially with 2 little ones please let me know what works for you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chicken Veggie Chowder

The other night I started out to make Chicken Corn Chowder. It's a very yummy dish that I thought was good for a rainy early spring day. Then about half way through I thought it needed something else... more veggies! Chances are the corn/chicken/creaminess would allow the boys to eat more of the veggies.

So I used the following recipe, just throwing in a small bag of mixed frozen veggies to make Chicken Veggie Chowder! I made notations as to what I did different (because for the life of me I can NEVER follow a recipe completely) :)

1 box of fat free chicken broth
2 cans of low-fat cream of chicken soup
3 chicken breasts- cooked and chopped (and s & p to taste)
2 logs of frozen ( thawed) cream corn *I just do one can of golden creamed corn and 1 can of white creamed corn*
Half and Half ( or real cream) ( about ½ the container)
1 chicken bullion cube
Salt & pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste

In a large stock bring broth, soups and corn to a boil. Stirring
frequently so it won't stick. Then add chicken, bullion, salt, pepper
and garlic to taste. Turn down on low and cook an hour or longer.
About 15 minutes before serving add half and half for a creamier
soup.  **Instead, I just used a crockpot on low for about 4 hrs, baking the chicken in the oven for the first 1 hr then chopped and put in to finish simmering with the rest**

Served with some buttermilk biscuits!

Results: Yum! The 4 yr old gobbled it ALL up, the 2 yr old did initially and Greg (my hardest sell) really liked it too! Yay, more veggies for the fam! I had it for lunch the last few days too :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

These look very DIY... check it out!

When we were staying at our fabulous vacation rental in Arizona they had these on the dining room table. In fact, the whole place was very well accessorized! The minute I saw them I thought "Oh wow, I can see these being a good springtime DIY"... what do you think?

Hmmmmm... My guess is that it would involve a floral foam sphere, about 3 sticks, a small cheapie pot, lots of hot glue, twine/bendable craft vine, bark paper (or something similar), some grass, and then whatever makes up the top... which the fact that it's not moss is what makes it different and more springy... but not sure what those would be... will have to scope out the floral department!

Anyone care to give it a whirl?!?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Early March Mantel!

Since Fall my mantel has been finally getting some attention ('bout time!).

When we left for our H Family 2011 Road Trip Feb 19th Texas was still in winter mode. When we came back spring had arrived!! Hooray! So time to cut back the dead stuff outside, prep for some planting soon, and change the mantel ;)

I left the H and the black frame.
Added in some stick/twine balls, a black bird, and some touches of green(ery).

Thought I'd add in just a splash of St. Patricks Day with a picture of castle ruins on the Irish coast, and a four leaf clover from my aunts St. Patrick Day wedding 21 years ago!

I'm happy with it!

Are you getting out any St. Patrick's Day decor this year since it and Easter are so far apart this time around? I also put a little shamrock ornament on the hook in my kitchen that gets switched out with the holiday/seasons! Nothing too over the top, but enough to give it a little extra pep :)

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
~Irish Blessing

Also joining some linky parties for some fun!

Third Annual   St. Patrick\

Us and Them


Debbiedoos Newbie Linky Party 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tried something new! Spaghetti Squash!

Spaghetti Squash. I've had it before, it's just been a long time. But thought I'd introduce it to my family, in hopes of finding a veggie they'll eat... always a chore, especially with the big one (Greg!).

My major goal since it was something new, was to present as something pretty normal to them.
In hopes they'd eat it.

Here's a spaghetti squash... it's HUGE. They come smaller, but this is what my store had. It probably cost around $5 (wow, more expensive than I thought when looking at the receipt just now). It's about 1 1/2 lbs.

I baked it in the oven at 350 for about an hour on a baking sheet.Then sliced in half and removed the seeds.

Then take a fork and pull back in forth to release the "spaghetti squash".

Season as you see fit, I used some Parmesan, and good ole salt & pepper.

I used it in place of noddle or rice, trying to visually trick them into thinking it wasn't some alien food. I made pork cube steaks dipped lightly in some egg & flour and fried up in olive oil. Topped it with some white gravy.

The result: the boys still wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole, but Greg did - he LIKED it and ate quite a bit! It definitely has a different texture and a different taste, but it was pretty yummy!

I still have a HUGE thing of it left due to the other half of the squash. I saw a recipe for using it in a frittata perhaps that's next!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

2,465 miles later...

Our H Family Road Trip is complete. We had a WONDERFUL time in Arizona! The drive there went really well, even if we can't say the same for the trip home. You know how it is, once you know your vacation is over, you just want to be home. Even more so for young children!

I'm so behind! I was so hoping to blog on vacation, but then my laptop went all weird on me. So to summarize...

First stop: San Antonio!

Then a looooong day of driving ending in El Paso, Tx!

One more day driving through New Mexico & Arizona....

To get to our fabulous rental home north of Phoenix, Arizona!

We ate...

We hiked (with the boys & without)...

We swam...
We relaxed...
We enjoyed ourselves...

Now we're home and I have a million and one things to do! So hope to get all my chores done, my ducks in a row, and get some blogging done. It's been one busy week to come home to... had pajama bunco with my neighbor ladies last night and tonight I'm going with my friends to a Sugarland concert! YAY!