Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday Wonder


Sometimes it can feel like Spring is coming early, what with snow disappearing and green grass already showing through when you look out your windows. But then you remember how far North you live, and you check the future forecast, and then you just need a bunch of flowers from the grocery store to help keep Spring alive in your heart. The end. xoxo

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Monday Friends! 

I'm sorry I'm getting to this post late, but I was tidying up the house a bit this morning and having fun with my daughter. My kiddos are on break this week and my daughter and I then went to lunch with one of her friends and her Mom (a friend of mine), and then they came back to our house to visit. A lovely way to spend a rainy day (which it's been doing here all day!).  

I do hope you had a nice weekend. This past weekend here was a very productive one as we started Spring cleaning. I was going through all of my kitchen cabinets and getting rid of old things, reorganizing, washing them out etc. My Hubby helped by getting our shampooer going and shampooing some of our carpets and big rugs. It was such lovely weather again  - we felt like tackling those jobs. Throw in getting my daughter to some volleyball practices and doing some Spring shopping (some Spring & Summer clothes) and it was a full weekend! Now on to this week ahead:


40's and rainy (as I mentioned). Tomorrow they're calling for 50's and sun! Crazy crazy weather for this time of year here! Looks like by the end of the week may get back down into the more normal 20's. But the snow we do have is sure dwindling fast. I think chances are good for an early Spring in the northwoods - here's hoping! ;) 


Toast and coffee.


Listening to a youtube video. I think I mentioned him before - but I love Johnnie Lawson's nature videos (usually taken of forests or by rivers in parts of Ireland). They're as beautiful to sit and gaze at as they are to listen to- I'm listening to a little stream run with tiny falls  and birds are chirping like crazy. Makes me feel like it's Spring even as it's rainy, muddy, puddly and melty snow ugly outside right now. 


Pouring rain right now. I see puddles in my driveway out the office window and it's getting dark already - even though it's only late afternoon/early evening.


Still clean and tidy from some Spring cleaning projects on the weekend and from this AM. The fireplace is going since it's feels cooler with the rain and I already have the  lamps on due to darker already. Feels very cozy and love my lamps stained glass glow. 

ON TODAY'S (& this week's) TO DO LIST:

My daughter has her friend sleeping over - and planning other fun things while my kiddos are on break. The teenager is off having a fun day with his girlfriend today. My kiddos both have several appointments this week as I figured good time to get them in while on break (ortho and other appts). I need to get groceries at some point and I'm playing wallyball this week. Will visit my MIL and my daughter has some volleyball practices. My son's winter hockey is done for this season - so a little break there.


Still magazines at the moment but ready to start my Harry Potter book soon!


I watched the new series The Good Fight - spinoff from The Good Wife with a lot of same characters and I think I"m going to just love it!! I loved TGW so much and miss it  - so I'm very excited they came up with this one. Billions came back for the season and my Hubby and I both really like that one (first season last year - really good show!). I have some cooking shows and hallmark shows to catch up with yet too.


MONDAY: No idea - see what leftovers I have in the fridge and get creative with some freezer things thrown in

TUESDAY: If I get to the grocery store I'm craving slow cooker pot roast & veggies over mashed potatoes. 

WEDNESDAY: busy night probably something easy (Subway or make breakfast for dinner)

THURSDAY: might be Annie cook night, maybe something fun like mac & cheese in the muffin tins with mix -ins

FRIDAY: Spring chicken (recipe under my recipe tab), baked potatoes, garden salad with roasted squash & parmesan cheese


Scrapbook catch up, watercolor coloring & mixed media cards, jewelry ideas.


Not sure yet - still working on menu and grocery list




I used to a keep a grateful journal - need to get back to that!


Ruby sunbathing this weekend when it was so beautiful out.

reorganizing in my kitchen ( I still need to do my pantry cabinets), but I added this coffee bar basket next to my keurig coffee maker.

The beautiful weather last weekend had me dreaming on Spring and flowers and looking back at my flowers from last year. 

I spy an ice fisherman on our bay in the beautiful weather. If it keeps up the ice won't be that thick for long!

I also spy green grass poking through the snow on our lawn! ;) 


Image result for spring inspirational quotes

I'm linking with Sandra of Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

BBQ Chicken Tenders

Hello Friends! 

I thought today I would share a fun recipe that's especially great for kids. I think I have mentioned before that when I make baked parmesan chicken breasts I coat my chicken with some light mayo. I use that instead of flour, eggs, breading kind of thing. I coat a little of the mayo on the chicken and then roll it in italian bread crumbs with some shredded parmesan mixed in with it.  It makes for a more moist, but still some crunch kind of crust. 

Well I had pinned this a while back and thought it sounded good, as my kiddos love honey mustard:

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce ~ tender, juicy nuggets are baked to perfection and served with a lightened-up, Greek yogurt-based sauce for a simple, yummy, family-pleasing dinner! |

It basically involves using pretzels as a coating for chicken nuggets (or tenders) - as pretzels taste so good with honey mustard for dipping. You can find the recipe for this on my pinterest board "favorite recipes" which you can find here.  However, I make something like this with the light mayo and mix in a little honey mustard with the mayo before I put it on the chicken. And then roll the chicken in the crushed pretzels. Get that honey mustard flavor in there right away, besides just dipping.

Anyway, where I was going with this is that this recipe inspired me to make a BBQ version, as my kiddos like BBQ a lot too. 

So for this one I did the same method. I coated chicken tenders in some light mayo mixed with a little BBQ sauce and then rolled them in....get this - CRUSHED UP BBQ KETTLE CHIPS! Yep, I did that. And boy were they yummy and very....well.... BBQ-y. ;)  For those that like a more specific recipe here's what I did:


1&1/2 - 2 lbs of chicken tenders
seasoning of your choice (salt, pepper, garlic powder etc)
1/2 to 1 cup light mayo (I like Kraft)
1-2 Tbsp BBQ sauce 
BBQ kettle chips (about 2 cups)

Directions: Put mayo and BBQ sauce in bowl and mix well. Season chicken tenders if desired. Due to salty chips - I just peppered mine a bit, but feel free to add some garlic powder or whatever flavors of your choice. Coat chicken tenders in mayo mixture. Crush potato chips into a large shallow dish - or onto large flat plate. Roll coated chicken tenders in chips. Place chicken on sheet tray with wire rack insert. Bake in a preheated 375* oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side for dipping. 

I think there a lot of fun possibilities for cooking chicken with this method. Think sour cream and onion chicken - with a little onion dip in the mayo to coat the chicken and roll in sour cream and onion chips. Or I've even seen recipes for chicken coated with different cereals - like Captain Crunch!  Here's a photo of that:


And this is from a recipe from the Pioneer Woman which you can find here.  Really the possibilities are endless. Use your imagination - along with your own favorite flavors! 

Annie and I have been working on her cooking skills and she is now making dinner for us one night a week (with a little help yet). And I think one of the best things I can do is teach her to have fun with it all! So go on and play with your food! ;) xoxo

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Romance Necklace

Happy Wednesday my Friends! 

I didn't get to pop in yesterday, but I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day. It was a nice one here filled with lovely cards and goodies from my Hubby and Kiddos. I made a little dinner and Hubby, Annie & I snuggled in for some tv time and cherry dessert that I had made. My Aaron took his girlfriend out for a treat - and bought her roses and a teddy bear. ::sigh:: My teenager is growing up too fast!  

In this month of all things romance - flowers, hearts, jewelry.... I thought I would share the latest "scrapbook necklace" I've made. I took a mixture of scrapbook materials and jewelry materials and created a one of a kind piece! It's another part of my scrapbooking hobby addiction I guess. ;) 

 I have always loved vintage or vintage inspired jewelry. I think I'm just a hopeless romantic at heart. 

photo courtesy of pinterest

I have especially always loved clothing and jewelry from the Victorian period all the way through the 1930's to 40's. I loved the show Downton Abbey as much for the costumes and jewelry as the story lines!

Here I took some vintage looking floral paper and cut out an oval the correct size to fit on my jewelry base. I adhered it withe some jewelry glue.  I then found a brad I had that fit the jewelry look I was going for. I broke off the backing of the brad, as I didn't want the pearl bulging out -and glued that on as well. 

I didn't have a chain dainty or small enough so I just added a pretty ribbon for now. 

I usually like to make a homemade card to match the necklace I made, but I didn't get to that yet for this one. I'm working on plans for my Etsy store that I hope to open by the Spring. It will include items like this, as well as other paper crafting things. Semi-paper crafted jewelry, some as sets with matching cards for gift giving. As well as, special ready made scrapbook albums and small mixed media canvases. An example being an album  where you could keep heirloom recipes to treasure or give as gifts. I'll be sharing more over time.

I think this one looks particularly pretty on a soft pink roses sweater I like to wear. 

Here are a few photos of other necklaces I have made in the past. Next up, I'm working on a bracelet and some earrings. I will probably dabble in some more modern pieces over time as well. 

Another area bringing romance to my northwoods lately have been the beautiful skies over the bay:

Here a gorgeous sunset.

And early this morning this beautiful sky when I let Ruby outside. 

I hope this lovely February has been bringing you romance and many beautiful things that make you happy!  

**all vintage floral pictures from pinterest 

I will be sharing at these lovely parties:


Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Homemaker Monday

Hello Friends!

Another week is upon us and we find ourselves at another Monday. Where did the weekend go? It was a quick one but quite nice here. We got some things accomplished around home. Little grocery run. Watched my son's hockey game. Went out to dinner with Friends and then came back to our house and played cards while our kiddos played and hung out. Some hockey practices thrown in and before we knew it the weekend was over! One sad thing is that my MIL had a rough fall at her facility and even needed some stitches. She seems to be doing well now though. Any prayers & good thoughts sent her way are greatly appreciated. She wears a special anklet that sets off alarms - but she's such a wanderer and sometimes stumbles into trouble.  Our health care workers are so important and do so much - all while often short staffed. A big struggle in our country in my opinion. Health care has become such big business and some changes are so needed. 

I digress though - now on to this week ahead. 


Partly cloudy, but bright and sun pops through now and then. It's supposed to get up in the 40's today! And this week looks really mild overall. Kind of crazy for this time of year in my northwoods. Cooler day Wednesday, but otherwise, 30's and 40's all week and maybe even close to 50 on the weekend! Feels like Spring to us - crazy weather!! (however I'm NOT complaining) ;) 


Fruit, string cheese and some coffee.


Listening to some devotional kind of music and going to take some time for that and meditation after I do this post. I've been doing house chores this AM and playing with Ruby outside throwing snowballs for her. 


Due to mild weather on the weekend we've had more snow melt already - so the piles are going down. It's still nice and bright - with the sun glowing on our current snow.  


Nice and tidy overall.  A few more jobs to accomplish, but not too bad. 

ON TODAY'S (& this week's) TO DO LIST:

A lot of the usuals. Daily chores. Visit my MIL. ONe kiddo appointment. Kiddo practices and religious ed. More scrapbook work and my office/craft stuff. Daily workout time. Hoping to tackle some of the kitchen and go through cupboards - clean out, scrub and then organize. I do have a fun day planned with my Mom for some shopping fun and maybe a nice lunch out. 


I finally got the newest Harry Potter (The Cursed Child) however, I still haven't started reading this. I found an old book I hadn't finished plus doing some magazine catch up. But I will dive into H.P. before this month ends!


I caught up on Grey's Anatomy and some cooking shows. Still have some others to catch up on. Plus, I taped the move Me Before You and I'm excited to watch that. I wanted to read the book first but didn't get to it. 


MONDAY: didn't have it last week so - taco salad (the old fashioned kind my Mom used to make with french dressing and doritos) :)  Kiddos will probably just have regular salad as they don't like taco salad.  Might throw in easy pizza rolls for them too. 

TUESDAY: sloppy joe sliders, veggie pasta salad, cherry hand pies - because Valentine's Day of course. 

WEDNESDAY: Annie cooks night (something new we're trying) so probably grilled cheeses and soup.

THURSDAY: use up some eggs (scrambled or make little omelets), polish sausage (I grew up with this being our breakfast meat sometimes), fruit, muffins or toast.

FRIDAY: potentially beef stroganoff over egg noodles (over brown rice for me), veggie side dish, dinner rolls. 

**If I still have some yeast I may make another loaf of easy dutch oven bread.


More jewelry, cards, scrapbooking things (more of the same this week).


I recently pinned some recipes for homemade Hamburger Helper. I used to make hamburger helper when Addie and I were first married and I was still working on becoming a cook and there were some we actually really liked. However, they're so filled with sodium, preservatives etc - I like the idea of controlling the ingredients and going down memory lane with one of these homemade versions. So I may need to add these to the plans for next week. 



Okay, is it just me or does this seem like a bit much? I think I'd feel silly asking someone to pose with an item and telling them it's so I make sure they return it to me.  What's your thoughts on this one? 

My favorite car buddy on later night hockey pick up runs.

Did you catch the amazing moon over the weekend? I snapped some (not great) photos from the car on a hockey pick up run. Here it is right behind the yellow light and as big and bright as the big street light on the right!

Heading over the bridge to Minnesota and all the pretty city lights at night.

More gazing at the moon. Do you see my speedometer sharing my speed on the road in front of me. I have the option on my escalade to have some info show on the windshield and it looks like its on the road in front of me. I'm used to it this way and like it as I don't have to look down to check things. 

And back home from hockey run and had to get one last shot of the moon among the trees. I was obviously quite smitten with it. ;) 

A fun Valentine from Nana to kiddos and a lovely homemade Valentine sent from a dear blogging Buddy! Thanks Patsy! xoxo

Image result for valentine inspirational quotes

Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow from the Northwoods! xoxo 

I'm linking with Sandra of Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.