Monday, November 23, 2009

Felt Food Giveaway!

Melissa at Polka Dot Chair has a giveaway going on for a Felt Food Set. It would go perfectly with the DIY Play Kitchens! It's any set from Kristen's Etsy shop Lu Bird Baby.

Head on over to enter!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I found these the other day and I can't wait to try them out.....


The best part is that these adorable little pies were taken from freezer and put directly in the oven. How easy. And how yummy!

Here is the link for instructions: Single Serving Pie-In-A-Jar

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Accessories for the Play Kitchens!

I have heard of a few people getting play kitchens for their daughters. Or even embracing their creative sides and making one! So I thought I'd share two different sites with wonderful tutorials for making food for your kitchens!

This first tutorial can be found at So You Think You're Crafty!

Many other tutorials are available in this round-up over at One Pretty Thing.

For those that don't sew - some of these I'm sure could be modified slightly and glued instead!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sweater to Sweater Dress

I don't have a daughter (yet) but things like this make me wish I did. Check out this adorable Sweater Dress and find the tutorial on how to make it by Ashley on Make it and Love it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Great Craft for Boys: Car Cozie

I was given the Chalk Mat (similar to this) at my shower for my little boy (the older one). He of course loves it. He spends more time begging us to draw something in order to wipe it of and see us pretend to be upset. It's so cute. He also loves it when his Dad draws a race track for his cars. So when I saw this cute idea I knew instantly I'll be making one. I'm thinking Stocking Stuffer? Complete with new cars! Sharla over at My Little Gems provides an excellent tutorial on how to make this adorable Car Cozie.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Incredible Bread Pudding

My sister had this bread pudding at a hoity toity restaurant. It was so incredible that she begged for the recipe. And lucky for you I will share it with you as well. It truly is so so yummy!

Amazing Bread Pudding

1 1/2 loaves fresh french bread (if you are feeling ambitious...make your own!)
1 cup sugar
8 eggs
1 quart milk
1 quart half and half
2 tsp. vanilla

Cube the bread. Beat all other ingredients. Pour egg mixture over the cubes of bread and gently mix. Put in a 9x13 (or save yourself a bowl and just mix the bread and egg mixture in the 9x13 pan) dish. Cover with foil.

Bake at 325 for 2 hours. Or until the knife comes out clean

Serve warm with Vanilla Sauce and half and half poured over.

Vanilla Sauce

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup un-whipped whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
vanilla to taste

Add all ingredients and cook over stove top until nice and bubbly.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Betty Boo Sock Doll Pattern

I haven't posted in a while, but I saw this and just had to share. The pattern for this adorable little sock doll is available free over at Heather Bailey's site. There's just enough time to make one in time for Halloween!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Dip

As promised, here is the Pumpkin Pie Dip I made for the Halloween Party play group. The picture shows it being served with gingersnaps, but I served mine with sliced apples and pears.

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Gingersnap cookies


In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger until blended. Serve with gingersnaps. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 4 cups.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Creamy Pumpkin Rice Pudding

(Sorry for the small pic - I borrowed it from the Internet)

For anyone that is a fan of rice pudding, this is a perfect Fall version of the dish!


2/3 cup water
1/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
2/3 cup Pumpkin Puree, or canned pumpkin
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1 medium red apple and/or green pear, cored and thinly sliced (1 cup)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp. honey
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In small saucepan combine water and rice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring once.
2. In medium bowl combine eggs, milk, Pumpkin Puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt. Stir in rice and 1/2 cup of the cranberries. Pour mixture into 1-1/2-quart straight-sided deep baking dish. Place dish in baking pan on oven rack. Pour boiling water into baking pan until water comes halfway up sides of baking dish.

3. Bake 30 minutes; stir. Bake 35 minutes more or until outside edge appears set. Remove dish from oven. Cool slightly on wire rack.

4. Meanwhile, in bowl combine remaining 1/4 cup cranberries and boiling water to cover. Let stand 15 minutes; drain. Just before serving, toss together apple, walnuts, honey, and cranberries. Spoon over pudding. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

5. To store, cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Strawberry Dessert Soup

At the beginning of the summer, Craig and I went to Rodizio Grill in Salt Lake for a wedding rehearsal dinner. The mere mention of the restaurant makes my mouth water! But anyway, they had this delicious strawberry soup that was to die for. As I was going through some old cooking magazines the other day, I happened upon this recipe and decided to try it out. It was a little different than the soup we had at Rodizio's, but its still super yummy. So, here's the recipe if you'd like to give it a try!


1 cup water, divided
1 cup apple juice
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
2 cups strawberry yogurt
2-3 drops red food coloring (optional)
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
2 tbs milk (optional)

  1. In a large saucepan, combine 3/4 cup water, apple juice, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  2. Place strawberries and remaining water in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Pour into apple juice mixture. Stir in yogurt and food coloring. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until well chilled.
  3. Ladle soup into bowls.
  4. Optional: Combine sour cream and milk; spoon about 2 1/2 tsp into the center of each bowl. Using a toothpick, pull mixture out, forming a flower or design of your choice.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You Tube

Do any of you have fun finding random videos for your children on I've found so many from the hilarious to the disturbing. The Rhino Song, Elephant Song and some others are fun. Go look them up. Normally my son doesn't go for foreign language songs but this is the number one hit at my house this week:

Hope you enjoyed that.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Boost Kid Essentials Deal!

K so my toddler doesn't always eat healthy foods. VERY picky eater! So when I saw this deal couponing I had to get it. They are a great way to give Kenz some good nutrients and vitamins! I printed two of each coupon and went to target. At the Kent Target the price was 8.99 i think but when I was at Wal-mart I noticed they had them for 6.99 which makes for a GREAT deal!

So Buy 4 Kid Essentials (6 pk.): $6.99-8.99 ea.
Use 2 BOGO Printable HERE
Use 2 $5.00 Printable HERE
Final Price: $1.00-2.00 ea.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hair Clip Holder

I saw a post on Craft this afternoon about this adorable hair clip holder for girls. So for all my friends who have girls to dress up, hair to style, and love crafts: here's an adorable, and simple looking project. If I ever make one I'll write about my experience, but for now you'll just have to go to Nested to learn how to make this. The instructions look good. (But as per usual, I already have a different variation of the project in mind.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another Cute Play Kitchen

I just saw another cute DIY Play Kitchen on the Sutton Grace blog. I must admit, it had me wishing I had a play room to make one of these for. Seriously folks, I've seen so many Entertainment Center's cheap or free on Craigslist, this would not be an expensive project! Her cost $65.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Funky Lunch Anyone?

I found this site via Hostess With the Mostess that has made me excited for lunch time again. It's not really an original idea for lunches: Sandwiches and Vegetables. It's just the amazingly original presentation. I don't know very many kids that wouldn't smile for a Funky Lunch. I know it's not an everyday thing, but when it will only take a few more minutes for a really happy lunch time, I'm willing to put in the effort. Check out more pictures in their gallery.

Please note that this is a start-up company. They are trying to get a book together to teach you how to make lunches like the ones in their gallery. I love their company goal and hope you all will share this site with your friends and family!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thai Soup

(I don't claim to be a good food photographer :) )

During my last trip to Idaho, my mother-in-law made this soup for me. It was SO yummy and SO fast to make. I thought it would be a good recipe to share. It can be made with chicken, halibut, salmon, shrimp, crab, or any combination of the five. In the above picture, I combined shrimp and crab.


1 14oz can of coconut milk

2 Tbs red curry paste

2 Tbs brown sugar

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 of one red bell pepper (chopped)

2 Tbs fish sauce

1/3 cup water

sticky rice or jasmine rice

chicken, shrimp, crab, halibut, or salmon


Make rice according to package directions. In another pot, simmer coconut milk and curry for 5 minutes. Add all other ingredients and cook until heated through. NOTE: Because the seafood cooks so fast, you can just add it uncooked. If you are using chicken, cube and cook BEFORE adding to the soup.

Spoon rice into serving dishes. Ladle soup on top and serve immediately.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tomato Sauce From Heaven

My sister in law is Italian. And this is her divine recipe just the way that she used to make it with her Nonna when she was a little girl. So you should make it (with homemade pasta) and feel like you took a step into Italy!

Amazing Tomato Sauce

16 Roma Tomatoes (dark red), cut into eighths
1 yellow onion (chopped)
extra virgin olive oil (about 1/2 c.)
4 cans 16 oz tomato sauce
6-8 cloves garlic (peel off the white paper and keep the cloves whole)
1 bunch of fresh basil (Carpinito Brothers located in Kent sells gloriously huge bunches of basil for only 99 cents!)
Salt and pepper

Cover large pot bottom with olive oil.
Saute onions, salt, pepper, basil and cloves of garlic.
When onions are tender toss chopped tomatoes into pot.
Don't stir.
When red water appears on top add the tomato sauce.
Cook 1.5 hrs on med/low and 4 hrs. on low (covered)

If sauce is too thin add a bit of tomato paste to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Now take a chunk of fresh baguette and dip it into the sauce. Mmmmm. Enjoy! And let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Weeks vs. Months of Pregnancy

Do you ever get really confused by the weeks and months of pregnancy. If you ask someone how far along they are and they say 6 months what does that really mean? During pregnancy it's much easier for me to think in weeks, but often when I tell someone how many weeks I am (especially those who haven't been pregnant since before I was born) I get confused looks. But for me months confuses me. I think maybe because it's a little more vague.

So the other day someone asked me how many months I was and I had no idea! They looked at me as if to say "You must be a real idiot." So I looked for a good way of seeing the breakdown. Here you all go:

So I'm 32+ weeks along which means I'm 7 1/2 months pregnant. I'm in my eight month and third trimester. Yes, for me it's coming soon. I hope this helps some of you the way it helped me.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reward Systems

So I've been looking at Reward Systems. I've been using Candy for Potty Training. Actually, I'm going to pop the candy out in the open now, in a gumball machine and use that as even more motivation to go potty. But I have recently been pondering the introduction of rewards for good behavior and chores. (Of course it would be chores my son could handle.) I've see several star charts or happy face charts. I think that will work for now. But as he gets older I've wondered if he'll remain as excited about putting stickers on a chart. I've also recently come across these Happy Tickets from Ambrosia Girl. She has them available to download on her blog. Cute as can be, and I can see them being more effective once the kids are older.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Here's another Sunday idea for Moms. This is specifically for the little girls. These Cupcake Tic-Tac-Toe games are hiding out in the dollar bins at Joanns Fabric and Crafts. They come as shown in the picture for $2.50. If you have a boy I'm sure a Train version would be easy to design and make (just do it out of paper and laminate it instead). But seriously, if you have a girl, there's no need to even bother making one!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sunday Sanity

Here's a little tip for Sunday Sanity: Get some Sticker Scenes. I'm planning to purchase a few sets from The Oriental Trading Company. There's only one problem - the sets come in packs of 12! Some are 12 for $4.99 the others are 12 for $9.99. So I'm looking for 11 other Moms who would like to go in on the purchase with me. I'd like to buy 6 sets which I'm thinking with shipping would work out to a maximum of about $6. (That's if all the sets were the $9.99 sets.)
Please let me know if you're interested.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Little Kitchens

Do you wish you had a little kitchen for your child? Do you look at them and dream, then look at the price tag and think it will remain a dream? Do you have the patience and skills to possibly make it yourself? Yes? Then look what you can do:

IKEA Hacker is a cool blog for the many brave do it yourselfer's out there. I'm was so excited to see their recent posts on kitchens. The simple white and green kitchen cost about $35! Try to get that price at Pottery Barn! These are my two favorites: The Furusund Play Kitchen (second kitchen in the post) and the inspiration for the first one, Play Kitchen. I think it would look awesome in some gender neutral greens.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Free Time at the Children's Museums

I've looked up information for a few kids museums that are local (or near enough for a day trip). Here are there links, and the days that are free there.

Children's Museum of Tacoma is free every Thursday for the months of July-August. I think during the rest of the year the first Friday is free?

KidsQuest Children's Museum in Bellevue is free every Friday night (5-8pm).

Kids Discovery Museum on Bainbridge Island is free every first Thursday.

Any other places that you know of have free days?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Breakfast Parfait

I love the idea of creating cute and fun lunches to encourage my son to eat. But when it comes to breakfast it always seems like I'm stumped. Unless it's pancakes or waffles or some special egg dish how do I make it appealing? Here's a quick and easy idea I found for dressing up a simple cereal breakfast.

The Breakfast Parfait

Yogurt Flavor #1
Rice Krispies
Yogurt Flavor #2
Banana Slices
Whipped Cream
Maraschino Cherry

Assemble the layers in a parfait cup as shown above. Serve and Enjoy. Stacy Julian of Stacy's Big Picture suggests you speak in a lame French accent when you serve this to make it even more special!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Free Summer Movies

This week (tomorrow actually) starts the Free Summer Movies at Regal Cinemas. Every week between now and the end of August, the theater will show 2 movies (one "G" and one "PG") at 10am, usually on Tues and Wed, for free. What could be better? They aren't always the greatest choices, or able to hold my toddler's attention, but we usually find a few throughout the summer that are fun to go to-- either at the SuperMall, or at the new theater in Renton. I think AMC does this as well, so one of their Southcenter locations participates. Happy Movie watching!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Homemade Granola Bars

I occasionally like to watch this great cooking show on the food channel called Good Eats. The other day, they had an episode on making homemade granola bars and power bars that were much healthier (and without all the preservatives) than the ones you buy at the grocery store. They didn't look too hard to make, so I decided to try them both out. The granola bars were great and very easy to make, so I'm going to post the recipe here. The power bars were . . . . okay, but I wasn't a huge fan, so unless someone requests it, I'm not posting that recipe. As a WARNING, most of the measurements are done in ounces, so you'll need a food scale to make this recipe. Also, I found most of the ingredients in the bins at Winco.

Homemade Granola Bars

Dry Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1.5 oz raw sunflower seeds*
  • 3 oz sliced almonds
  • 1.5 oz wheat germ
Wet Ingredients:
  • 6 oz honey
  • 1 3/4 oz brown sugar
  • 1 oz butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Other Ingredients:
  • 6 oz of a variety of dried fruit (blueberries, cherries, apricots, raisins)
  1. Place all dry ingredients on a cookie sheet. Stir so all ingredients are mixed together. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine all wet ingredients. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat and add dry ingredients and mix.
  4. Chop all dried fruit and add to the mixture in the saucepan. Mix well.
  5. Place in a well-greased 9x9 inch pan. Press very firmly and evenly into the pan.
  6. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool completely. Run a knife around the edges and turn the bars out of the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into bars.
Properly stored, these granola bars will last in the cupboard for 2-3 weeks.
*The recipe calls for unshelled sunflower seeds, but I would recommend that you use the shelled seeds (unless you like eating the shells).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Barbecue Cup-cuits

This is an extremely versatile recipe. In other words you can pretty much change the ingredients to suit your needs and it will still turn out!

Barbecue Cup-cuits

2 1/4 Bisquick Mix
1 cup Milk
1 lb Ground Turkey
1 tbsp Dried Minced Onions
1/2 cup BBQ Sauce
Cheddar Cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan.

Mix the Bisquick Mix and 3/4 cup Milk then add milk slowly until you get a good biscuit texture. I mixed in just less than 1 cup of milk total. Mix it all together and kneed about 7 times. Divide into 12 balls. Flatten and spread across the bottom and sides of each cup in the muffin pan, forming biscuit cups. Bake for 2 min.

Put the Onions in a small bowl and fill with water. In a skillet brown the Ground Turkey. Drain the fat, then drain the Onions and add them to the Turkey. Cook for another minute or so. (You can just throw in the onions dry, or use a fresh onion, I prefer to rehydrate them so the dry ones aren't too strong.) Remove from heat.

Mix BBQ Sauce in with Turkey and Onions.

Fill the biscuit cups with the Turkey mix, cover all with grated cheddar cheese.

Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven, cool, and enjoy!

Like I said before these can be made with any variation you can think of: bacon or sausage and eggs, taco meat, use canned Sloppy Joe or Chili mixes (Manwich), use refrigerated biscuit dough or your own biscuit recipe, make your own BBQ Sauce, add your own special toppings (just like a taco if you use that, or gravy for breakfast ones), canned chicken with vegetables in a creamy sauce, or come up with your own family variation. Just comment and let me know what variations you try so I can know what works.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Road Trip Survival Tips

Honestly, the idea of making a road trip with my Toddler overwhelms me. We always bring lots of snacks, toys, and of course the DVD player, but I confess that it's usually not enough. I read a post this week on Nap Time Journal that made me realize I could be doing a lot more. Her Summer Time Kid Car Kit is super cute! Not only is it a nice container but she's got a fair size list of suggested items and activities to fill it with. I'm hoping one of these kits will help us last just a little bit longer before the DVD's come out!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Watermelon-Berry Lemonade

I found this recipe in one of my magazines and it is tasty! Perfect for a hot summer day!

Watermelon-Berry Lemonade
Yield: 12 servings (about 4 quarts)
  • 8 cups cubed watermelon
  • 3 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
  • 2 cans frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 8 cups water
  1. In a blender, combine half of the watermelon, strawberries, and lemonade. Cover; blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer to serving container. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Add water.
  3. Serve over ice.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Great Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
(Picture found on the internet not my bread, but it looks similar :) )
Whole Wheat Bread

Put all ingredients in your Kitchen-Aide mixer, always mixing on low speed with your dough hook attachment.

2 Tb. Yeast
5 1/2 c. water (very warm)
6 c. whole wheat flour
Mix these 3 ingredients together
2/3 c. Oil
2/3 c. Sugar
2 T. salt
6 c. whole wheat flour, add 1 c. white all purpose flour (or 1/2 c. gluten)

Mix all ingredients on low speed for 8-10 minutes. Cover w/ a wet tea towel, and let rise until double, about 30-45 minutes. Grease bread pans w/ Pam. Punch down dough and divide into quarters. With well greased hands (I use Crisco) pull apart each quarter, slap the top of the loaf and tucking the sides in, form loaves. Let raise until the top of the loaves are peeking over the pans. Bake in a preheated oven @350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until loaves are brown.

Makes 4 loaves of bread.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

How Tall Will Your Child Be?

Do you ever wonder how tall your child will be when they are all grown up? I sure do. You know from the start where they are in comparison to other children. But that doesn't tell you their eventual height. Baby Center's Height Predictor gives you an idea. Or at least the best guess out there. It works for children 2 and up. Sorry to those with little ones who will have to patiently wait.

This calculator predicts my son will be around 6' -6'2" by the time he's 18! I'm going to have a very tall, skinny teenage boy!

Have fun trying this out for your kids!

Friday, May 8, 2009

What do you do with old medication?

I've been thinking more about baby/toddler proofing and where my medication really should be located. I'm still not sure where the best location really is. During the whole thought process though I realized I have medicine that is "expired". I have bottles of old medications from when my son was born, some that I reacted to last year and had to stop taking, and yet another bottle of something or other that I just didn't use up. Don't worry, when it's mandatory to finish the antibiotics, I do. I don't want to cause super bugs.

Anyhow, out of curiosity I decided to do some research. It is not wise to just dispose of your medication. I knew that. First, the bottles have a lot of your information on them, but also, I don't want to contaminate the water supply or have someone else end up with my old pills.

During my search I found the best way to dispose of all my old medications. Take them to a return location! Luckily for me there is one in town. You can look for a location near you on this website: Unwanted Medicine Return Program.

The Hazards of my Home

I swear it's just when you think you've baby-proofed completely that you realize it's never enough.

My 2 year old can already pull off outlet covers.
He has hit the door knob locks hard enough to break it off the knob.
He has pulled hard enough on the bi-fold doors that the locks pop off.
He can climb up things now, so putting stuff up high isn't enough.
He is sneaky enough to remember hours later if you left a door, a window, or a latch open or unlocked. And wait patiently until you are not paying attention to actually do something about it.

Cute and innocent? Sometimes, but there are those days I feel like he's always got the one up on me.

Oh well - I guess I can't complain. This is all coming from the girl caught escaping from the hospital when she had been left in a tented crib. The same girl who hauled a chair to the laundry room climbed up on the washer and into the closet to get a small key, then dragged that same chair into the kitchen, climbed above the stove and unlocked the medicine cabinet. Luckily she didn't take any because her favorite blue medicine was out. Did you know a leg could be broken just from going down a slide? She proved it! Her poor mother! So yeah, I should consider it all payback.

I guess this post is a warning - someday, somehow, your child will make your own mother very proud.

I sometimes wonder why I ever encouraged my son to grow or learn to walk. And yet, I love and adore him all the same. Motherhood is a glorious thing.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pina Colada Muffins

I came across this recipe in one of my cooking magazines a while ago and finally got around to trying them out yesterday. They are delicious! Here's the recipe:

Pina Colada Muffins


1 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup oil

2 Tbs packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup pineapple juice (from crushed pineapple)

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 cup well-drained crushed pineapple


1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

2 Tbs butter, softened

2 Tbs packed brown sugar

1 Tbs flour

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper liners or spray with PAM. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
  2. Beat sugar, oil, and brown sugar at medium speed for 1 minute. Beat in egg until blended. At low speed, beat in coconut milk and pineapple juice until blended. Beat in flour mixture just until combined. Stir in 1 cup coconut and pineapple.
  3. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling three-fourths full. Combine all topping ingredients in a small bowl; sprinkle on top. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Oh What do you do in the Daytime?

So do any of you have difficulty coming up with things for your toddler to do all day long? Or wonder why there are days when it seems there has been way more crying than laughing? Some times my adorable boy is content to play completely on his own, all day long. But then there are those days he wants to be entertained ALL DAY! I know he gets bored with the same old thing, and honestly so do I. So when my friend posted a link to this list: 101 Things To Do With Your Toddler I was excited. It's not my only resource, but it's a good one. I'm sure many of you have other great ideas too. Please share them (links or personal ideas) in the comments.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Consignment Sale

May 2nd 9am-7pm Spring Sale
Cascade Shopping Center 16950 116th Ave SE Renton, WA 
(Near the corner of Petrovitsky and 116th)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fish Stew

I had some Tilapia in my freezer that I needed to use up so I browsed through some of my favorite food blogs for ideas. Here is what I found and it was absolutely delicious! You know its a delicious meal when your house is filled with the smell of fresh, sauteed spices and vegetables.

*Special side note: recipe claims to serve four, and maybe Jaron and I are just big eaters, but the recipe barely served our little family of three and that's including little Liv who doesn't eat much. So, you might want to double or even triple the recipe.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Summer Dresses

I have been wanting to do some sewing for the girls for a while now. So I went and grabbed my mom's sewing machine and got to work! Here are the two dresses I've done so far. I love them both but the purple one needs some work!

So i'm starting on another one now... I'll post more pics when I'm done!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

London Broil



So, I stole the following advice off of my cousins blog
Three things that a marinade needs:
1. oil Oil enhances the flavor and bastes the meat.
2. an acid, (vinegar, citrus, wine, buttermilk, yogurt) acids act as the tenderizer
3. seasoning (salt, pepper, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, spices, garlic, onion).

So with that here is the marinade I use for pretty much about everything and its wonderful on chicken, steak, and shrimp.

-equal parts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (I don't really measure but I would say about 1/4 cup of each)
-2-3 crushed garlic cloves
-2-3 T Worcestershire sauce
-2-3 T Honey
-juice of one lime
-1 cup soy sauce
-1 tsp cumin

Now this is how I did the London Broil that some of you ate the other day. If I had really been on top of things I would have thawed the London Broil the day before so it could marinate for at least six hours before broiling it, but I'm lazy and only marinated it for one hour but it was still great! Though I would recommend marinating it for at least 6 hours so that the meat has time to get real tender.

Before marinating you can tenderize the meet with a mallet or rolling pin and cut little shallow slits all over both sides of the meat so that the marinade can work its magic.

After an hour to 6 hours of refrigerated marination goodness put London Broil on a broiling pan or grill and broil apx 3 inches away from top rack for 5-8 minutes on each side. I did five on each side, because I like it a little red, but cook to your liking.

Yum, this is making my mouth water.

Oh and a tip on buying London Broil: Sometimes Albertsons has great meat sales, so check it out, and try to find London Broil when its on sale. I bought mine when it was a buy one get one free day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Planting

All the gorgeous sunshine these past few days has me getting so excited to work in my flower gardens. Plants however, can be expensive. Last year I was able to save a LOT of money on flowers and bushes at plant sales.

The one thing that I did wrong was I bought a whole bunch of plants at one sale and took forever to plant them. (It's hard to garden with a toddler.) This year I've decided I'm going to try to go to at least 2, if not more sales and spread out the purchases. My plan is to plant all the ones I buy the same day or weekend! I'll let you know how it goes.

You don't need a huge yard to buy plants, some pots from WinCo can grow you some nice flowers and herbs on your patio. Yesterday I had fresh chives from my garden on our baked potatoes and loved it!

Anyhow - here are some of the plant sales coming up:

Thursday April 16th - Saturday April 18th
This is part of the Spring Fair at the Puyallup Fairgrounds.

Saturday April 18th  9am-5pm
Many of these plants were propagated on the Hospital grounds and their groundskeepers will be there to offer expert advice!
6901 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle

Saturday April 18th 10am-4pm
Kent Memorial Park 850 N Central, Kent

Saturday April 25th 9am-5pm (Apparently the largest sale in the Puget Sound Region)
Warren G. Magnuson Park (Building 30) 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle

Saturday May 2nd 9am-1pm
9817 51st Ave S, Seattle 98118 (Check out their beautiful gardens too!)

Saturday May 16th (I think it was 8am-3pm Last year)
Kent-Meridian High School

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Brandon's Famous Salsa

This is Brandon once again. This time I won't post my wonderful experience with cakes in a box, but I do make a mean salsa that people really seem to enjoy, so I finally published the recipe. Check out our family blog for directions. You won't be disappointed!

Brandon's Salsa

Friday, April 3, 2009

Consignment Sales

Looking for a cheap way to clothe your child? Need some new toys, cribs, beds, and/or other child related items? Don't want to spend full price? You might want to check out these consignment sales. You can sell there too so you might want to look over your stash of goods! So far I have been able to clothe my son using hand-me-downs, sale items and consignment shopping. I think in the last year I've purchased one item full priced.

These two sales are only once or twice a year so mark your calendars and  get ready for some great deals! 

April 24-26th Spring Sale
Puyallup Fair & Events Center Expo Hall

You need to join their mailing list for FREE admission to the sale for you and your friends.  First time parents and military family get in EARLY.

By the way - maternity clothes can be bought and sold at this sale. Might be something to look into. Well I'll be looking!

May 8-9 Spring Sale
Kent Commons

Instructions to sell are available on their site. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad

Unfortunately we won't be making it to the Easter Bunny Express as we had originally planned, but for anyone interested this sounds like a great activity. Especially if you have a train enthusiast in your home like I do. We'll be trying to catch a ride on pulled by one of these steam engines another time this year!

Hop on over here to find out more information. Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Teaching My Kids

Motherhood is full of wonder and surprise. Some days I am overwhelmed by the brilliance of my toddler, while yet others I am overwhelmed by his needs. I must confess a sick, clingy, grumpy child is not easy to deal with. But my true struggle has been coming up with ways to teach him the gospel on a daily basis. We read scriptures and hold FHE but to me that has never seemed enough. When a friend of mine posted about the blog Teaching My Kids I was so grateful for some new, fresh ideas. I enjoy her posts about fun books, music, FHE, and all the other ideas thrown in. But I really liked her post about Morning Devotionals. As I read it I thought "brilliant, now why hadn't I thought of that already?" Oh well, as her blog states "parenting is a learn as you go kind of thing".

I appreciate that she's sharing what she's learned with the rest of us so we can all benefit. Do any of you have fun ways you teach your kids the gospel? I'd love more ideas!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Dip

My Sister-in-Law introduced my family to this favorite recipe of ours:

1 (8 oz.) package Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely chopped Roasted Red Peppers
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup grated Pepper Jack Cheese (I use Tillamook as it's so moist)
1 box frozen chopped Spinach (thawed and strained)
1 large can Artichoke Hearts (drained and finely chopped)
1/3 cup finely chopped Onion
2-3 finely chopped pickled JalapeƱos (Optional)
1. Blend together Cream Cheese, Mayonnaise, and other Cheeses until smooth.
2. Stir in all the other ingredients. Place in casserole dish.
3. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350°F (or until lightly browned).
4. Serve with Tortilla chips, toasted breads, pita chips, or vegetables.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

White Chicken Chili

I love this recipe... it's super easy and filling! Plus it makes a big batch and is great for leftovers!

Ing. (everything is an estimate)
2-3 cans white beans or 2-3 cups cooked white beans
2-3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup concentrate
1 jar Chile Verde salsa
1/2 jar reg salsa
1 cup tomatoes either canned or fresh
1 cup corn either canned or fresh
McCormick white chicken chili seasoning packet
3 cups water
Directions: Put everything in one pot on stove, heat to boiling then reduce down to simmer for 30 minutes or until everything is hot.

We like to top ours with shredded cheese, sour cream and fresh avocado.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Moist Cornbread

For the most part cornbread is dry. Crumbly. After you swallow a bite you have to immediately gulp milk so it doesn't get stuck in your throat. 

I have happy happy news for you. Throw away your old recipe and give this incredible recipe a try. It is so good that I made it twice last week. And I received quite a few requests for the recipe. Here it goes:


Moist Cornbread

1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 375 F
2. Cream applesauce and sugar, add eggs and cornmeal.
3. In a small bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder. 
4. Alternate mixing milk and the dry ingredients into cornmeal mixture. 
5. Grease and flour a 8x8 dish pan. Pour mixture into pan and cook for 25-30 minutes. When cornbread is golden on top put a piece of foil over the top to prevent burning. 

Now....go ahead. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Delicious Fruit Dip

There are so many different variations of Fruit Dips available. Even with this recipe you can play around a lot.

Fruit Dip:

7 oz. Marshmallow Cream (1 jar)
8 oz. Frozen Whipped Topping thawed (1 tub)
4 oz. Cream Cheese softened (1/2 package)
1 tsp Lime Juice
Lime Zest


Blend all ingredients until smooth. Sprinkle with a little Lime Zest and serve with sliced fruits and/or Graham Crackers.

Use a different Citrus fruit juice and zest - grapefruit, orange, lemon.
Use Cranberry flavoring and dried cranberries.
Use a flavored Cream Cheese instead.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Today my toes are cold. I think it is time to make some soup. This is one of our favorites. It is a bit spicy and really wards off the chill on a cold day! I always make it over the stovetop, but you of course can try the slowcooker method in the directions below!!! Enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can of Beans (black or pinto), drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
7 Corn Tortillas
Garnish: Cilantro, Cheese, Lime, Avocado, Sour Cream...whatever you have in the fridge!

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and beans, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Spray cookie pan with PAM. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup. Load on the garnishes!

Okay, now eat it. Slurp up the warm goodness of happiness!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Finger Painting

My kids really love to color, paint, draw, etc. and I'm sure your kids do too. I came across this idea on the Internet a few months ago and my boys love it. For a fast, easy, and super cheap way to finger paint, all you need is:

  • Shaving cream (the really cheap white stuff)
  • Food coloring
  • Fingers
All you do is mix white shaving cream with a few drops of any color food coloring you want. Its even fun to show your kids how mixing certain primary colors will turn them into different colors (blue + red = purple, etc). Then all you do is let them go to town on some paper. I bought a roll of "butcher" type paper at IKEA a while back for around $6. I tape it to my kitchen table and let my kids go crazy. They love it. Anyway, I just thought I'd share!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Pizzadilla

Are you a pizza lover like me? I love it. Growing up at my house we made home-made pizza every Friday night. It was the best pizza ever. I look forward to continuing this tradition with my own kids.
I must confess however, making the dough takes time, and patience. Something I don't have when it's lunch time, or when dinner should have already been served. Thankfully my sister taught me a really fast, simple recipe for mini-pizzas. It's delicious, fast, and if you love thin-crust pizza, you will love this.

Flour Tortillas
Pizza Sauce 
Toppings (Ham, Pineapple, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Peppers, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place tortilla(s) on a baking sheet. Spread thinly with pizza sauce. Be careful not to use too much at this point or your toppings will all slide off. Top the pizza with the cheese and then your toppings. Again, don't put too much on or your tortilla won't hold it all. Place in the oven and cook for 5 minutes, then turn it to Broil and broil the top of the pizza for about 1-2 minutes. This is to get the cheese bubbled up and slightly browned.

I'm already in a hurry right? So if I don't happen to have pizza sauce, or don't feel like opening a large jar of spaghetti sauce, I just use a little ketchup and shake on oregano and garlic powder. It's not perfection, but it's still yummy.
I also cut the toppings smaller than I normally would. For example, crushed pineapple, or tidbits are much better than chunks. Remember, the heavier the toppings, the more likely it is to all fall off the tortilla.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Best Banana Muffins Ever

It's nice to take something like this:

And make it delicious again....

3 large bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Mash bananas very well, add egg, sugar and butter. Mix well by hand. Combine dry ingredients and add to banana mix. Don't overmix.
Makes 12 muffins baked for 20 min. or loaf bread bakes for 30-35 min., or 'til inserted toothpick is clean.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Post by Brandon

This is Brandon. I came across this blog that my wife is part of and just had to post my newest and most favorite recipe ever. I was casually walking down the grocery store isle and came across the most ingenious thing I've ever seen. It was a cake in a box. In fact it had a name, Super Moist Triple Fudge Cake. Being overcome with such awesomness in a box, I purchased it immediately went home and followed the most awesome instructions. All I had to do is add some eggs, oil and some other awesome ingredient that is slipping my mind at the moment. I mixed that bad boy up and threw it in the oven (note-i was feeling a little gitty, so I made cupcakes for the kiddos instead of a cake - oh and I was overcome by giddiness, so I even made little cupcakes). 30 minutes later we had Super Moist Triple Fudge Cake cupcakes for our SuperBowl viewing. I would recommend that you Simply Doing Something Ladies check out this magical isle in the supermarket for these most awesome boxes. I have even added a picture to help everyone locate such awesomness!!!

Just for Laughs

A friend of mine posted a link to an entertaining blog on her blog. I have to admit it was just type of the random entertainment I needed last night. That said the blog is: Why Mormon Girls Stay Single.
While most of the authors and readers of S.D.S. are married, I still had to share. It takes me back to single student life and even my teen years. These young men endeavour through their posts to provide advice for the single LDS woman. I'll admit, some of it is a little over the top, but if that is what it takes for some girls to wisen up, maybe it's worth it. For me it was mostly entertainment value, but I honestly wish I could share some of these posts with some girls I've known through-out the years.
And if you're up for another good read after that head on over to My Super Hopeless Romance. It's Fiction, it's totally cheesey, but it's entertaining. You'll want to start at the beginning of the blog.
Happy Reading All!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baked Potato Soup & Apple Crisp

Baked Potato Soup and Apple Crisp are two of the dishes I took to Kelly when she had her baby. I made mini bread loaves to serve the soup in (soup-in-a-loaf style). By request, here are the recipes:

(Yield: 5-6 servings)
2 large baking potatoes
6 Tbs thinly sliced green onion (about 3)
3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs flour
2 tsp snipped fresh dill or 1/4 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cups milk
1 1/4 cups shredded American cheese
4 slices of bacon, crisp-cooked, drained,and crumbled

  1. Bake potatoes at 425 degrees for 40-60 minutes (or until tender). Scoop out white portion of each potato. Break up any large pieces. Discard skins.
  2. In a large saucepan cook 3 Tbs of the green onion in butter over medium heat until tender. Stir in flour, dill, salt, and pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir for 12-15 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Add the potato and 1 cup of the cheese. Stir until cheese melts
  3. Top each serving with the remaining cheese, green onion, and the bacon.
NOTE: I'm kind of a salt addict and I didn't feel like this recipe called for enough salt. If you are like me, you will need more salt! Also, I ended up needing to add more flour/corn starch to thicken mine up, so you may need to do that as well.
4 medium apples (I prefer Granny Smith)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cram, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 8x8 inch pan.
  2. Spread apples in pan. Mix remaining ingredients except cream and sprinkle over apples.
  3. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender.
  4. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
NOTE: If you like your apple crisp a little "gooier" you can use a can of apple pie filling instead of fresh apples.