Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday


Happy Monday My Friends! 

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready to begin anew again this week. I feel like it flew by and we were busy between family things, house things, and hockey. They weather was so beautiful on Saturday and we took advantage of as much sunshine as possible! Today is sunny but really cold again. Boo! I'm behind in blogland and didn't get much time there - so need to come and visit all of you wonderful friends. ;)


Quite chilly as I mentioned. It was 10* when I took Annie to school this AM and with windchill probably colder than that. I want Saturday's 56* back!!


1/2 a bagel with some butter and vanilla hazelnut coffee.


Nice and sunny which helps the energy level. A squirrel is trying to climb up a tree with something big in its mouth, but I can't tell what it is? Lol


Listening to some praise and worship music and trying to get a good mind set on the week ahead. It's going to be a busy one and I'm not feeling ready for it. Maybe I need another 1/2 cup of coffee this morning.....YAWN


Things are pretty tidy. Usual culprit of laundry.  I need to change sheets too - didn't get to that this weekend. We got the deck all shoveled off this weekend on that beautiful Saturday. So it was completely clear and I went and sat out in the sun and soaked up wonderful vitamin D. It has snowed again since then so there's a good 1/2 to1 inch of snow on there again. ::sigh:: 


PTA meeting later today. I have appointments to make for this week and several projects that need more tackling. Could be a busy week of  workers here too. WE're getting a new insert in our fireplace - it hasn't worked for several years and we finally decided to tackle it.  We've had the plumber & city inspector here, and now electricians need to come...and then the fireplace folks can come and put it in. 


I just started another Nora Roberts book - pretty good so far.


I watched the Oscars last night. I thought it was kind of a weird one, but I was happy Leo Dicaprio won - but I felt badly for Sylvester Stallone. I really thought he'd win in his category. I thought Lady Gaga's performance was amazing and so moving! I don't know if I've seen any of the nominated movies this year, but I guess I'll have to do some catch up when they come out on Demand later.  I've always been a lover of movies and worked in a movie theater for many years through high school and part of college. 



MONDAY: pesto tortellini with marinara sauce, garlic bread and veggie

TUESDAY: cream of broccoli soup with baked sandwich roll-ups & fruit

WEDNESDAY: monte-cristo breakfast sandwiches with ham, cheese & raspberry dijon - salad

THURSDAY: meatloaf, baked potatoes and green beans with toasted almonds 

FRIDAY: not sure yet - maybe out for dinner & I can have fish

*Think I'll bake up some caramel cashew bars this week for in-law's too. 

**Also, this weekend we're planning a fun game night with relatives over. We've been meaning to do it over the course of the long winter, and timing finally works. I'm going to make a big crock pot of chili with toppings, sandwich fixings, and we're going to have a big sundae bar. I think I may make a recipe for wet walnuts I have to try on the ice cream too. Yay for game night! 



Scrapbooking project that will be a gift for a cousin of mine in the future. Also recipe card project for a friend...and along with that trying to finish up Annie's cookbook scrapbook and organize my recipes better at the same time! 


The wet walnuts recipe would be a new one -and sounds so good!!


I want to work to get my most frequently used recipes organized more by season (things I may make more in winter vs summer etc), as well as by common categories (main dishes vs desserts etc) and put it all in a binder. Have the pages in a plastic sleeve or laminated - and have them be easy to pull out for ease to shop for ingredients. That is my goal anyway. Lol  I have so many frequently used recipes all over the place - like in a cook book here, in a recipe box there, and yet another on the computer over there. I want it all in one place!  

See - a clear deck!! (at least at the time)

Ruby and I enjoyed the WARM sunshine immensely!!

My snuggle bug


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

Friday, February 26, 2016

Five on Friday:Spring Stuff

Happy Friday Folks!  

As many of you that follow me know - I've got Spring fever pretty bad this year, and I keep dreaming on the warmer season ahead. So I'm sharing some of my Spring focus today.


Of course one of the number one things that start this time of year is dreaming on flowers and gardening. I've been getting the catalogs in the mail and I have many pins on pinterest. It's good to dream, right?

building a perfect raised bed @Shari Brown Brown Brown Brown Burkey @Amber Sweaza Would be great for gardening!:
photo courtesy of pinterest

Elegant Lantern Terrariums - zero maintenance miniature gardens. Some even light up for nighttime viewing!:
photo courtesy of pinterest


I've been slowly putting out a few more Spring decorations. I found a couple of my Irish/Celtic things for St. Patty's day since it's around the well as a few more things that make me smile and think Springy thoughts.


I've even been figuring out my plans for our future Easter dinner and looking into ordering the ham. We always love our honeybaked ham and order one from that company every year. It comes fully cooked and with a crunchy sweet glaze all over it already. So yummy!

photo courtesy of honeybaked website


I'm also thinking ahead to things I want to make with my essential oils! I'm still learning about them and so fascinated. I need to order some more - and I've pinned many good things on pinterest for ideas too. I'm thinking I'm going to make my own dryer sheets soon...and I also want to make some soaps and lip balms. I think it would be so fun to make soaps with fresh herbs from the garden added in too. I need to find some fun molds and lip balm containers. 

This DIY Lip Balm only takes 5 minutes to make!:

Homemade DIY Dryer Sheets! Love this all natural idea for laundry! It smells great and comes with free printable labels too. Fun!:
photos courtesy of pinterest


And of course I'm also thinking about shorts and bathing suit weather and so I'm trying to increase my exercise time. I've also been pinning lots of healthy ideas too.  My old fitbit was having issues - so I recently upgraded to a new one that has even more features! I've been doing our treadmill and sometimes an indoor track at our local YMCA, but I can't wait for the ice and sloppy streets to clear up so I can do more walking outside! I have done some zumba discs now and then too. Do you have a favorite kind of exercise? Or place where you like to work out? 

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband, Black, Large

The new HR Fitbit photo courtesy of amazon

Lose weight and stay healthy by choosing snacks that nourish your body. Say See ya! to junk food and try these 25 clean snacks under 150 calories. #cleaneatingsnacks #healthysnacks #lowcalorie:

photo courtesy of pinterest

Abs on Fire Workout:
photo courtesy of pinterest

I'm linking with Amy of Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Cinnamon & Sugar Tortilla Sundae

The other night for dessert I was thinking I wanted to do something with some flour tortillas I had in the fridge and needed to use up. So I thought of The Pioneer Woman's (PW) recipe for cinnamon crisps which are made from tortillas. I had it in my head that I was going to make a "dessert nacho" kind of thing. I planned to take the homemade baked cinnamon and sugar tortillas and break them up onto a plate and cover with some chocolate sauce and cut up strawberries. Voila! Dessert nachos. 

But then when I was looking up Ree's (PW herself) recipe and she had hers with ice cream and I thought that looked so good. So I basically put the "nachos" on ice cream and boy were they good! 

So I basically followed Ree's directions to make the tortillas, or crisps - but didn't take any photos until they were in the oven. So here are few photos of Ree's directions:

Cinnamon Crisps | The Pioneer Woman

Grab a cookie sheet and place tortillas on there. Take melted butter and brush on the tortillas - making sure to coat REALLY well. Then flip them over and coat the other side too.  

Cinnamon Crisps | The Pioneer Woman

Mix up some cinnamon and sugar and coat the tortilla - again REALLY well.

Cinnamon Crisps | The Pioneer Woman

Then flip over and coat the other side well with the cinnamon sugar mix.

She used the small size tortillas, and I only had the larger ones - but they still worked great!  Then bake them in the oven until they're brown and crispy. 

Here are photos from them in my oven and then when I took them out. There were some I was less "generous" with the cinnamon and sugar and they weren't nearly as tasty. So again - coat everything REALLY well! Lol

The tops of them will still look kind of "dusty" with the cinnamon and sugar like you see in the above photo, but the bottoms will kind of caramelize or crystallize with the sugar and look like this:

This is definitely how you want it to look on the bottom. Such a yummy flavor and texture!!

Then get creative with them. Make dessert nachos or a sundae or even fruit salsa and scoop them up with these "crisps"! Here's the recipe off of PW's site:

  • 1 stick Butter, Melted
  • 3 whole Flour Tortillas (small Size)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. 

Brush butter on one side of the flour tortillas. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar. Flip tortillas to the other side, then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar. 

Bake for 15-17 minutes until very crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. 

Break into pieces and eat as snacks...or serve with ice cream!

On another fun "sweet" note - have you seen the waffle bowls in the grocery store? The kind you can buy where the boxes of sugar cones are located? Well I found a box of mini ones the other day. They're so cute and perfect for a small treat - just 1 scoop of ice cream, or pudding etc. But Annie and I got creative and made a fun "treat" breakfast with them yesterday:

We filled them with the yummy strawberry banana yogurt she loves and then cut some banana slices on top for a delicious yogurt sundae! Life is too short not to make it sweet, right?? 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Belated Five on Friday:A Fun Trip

I hope this is a better late than never post. 

 I didn't have enough time to prepare a 5 on Friday post ahead of time last week before our trip. And even if I had I didn't bring my computer and it would have been difficult for me to link it.  However, I saw on Amy's blog (Love Made My Home) that she extended her 5 on Friday all the way to Thursday of this week, as she's doing a giveaway too! I meant to get this post done yesterday, but it was a caregiver day - so I just didn't get time. So I thought I'd go for it today and it would be a fun way to show more photos of our recent trip and why it was such fun! 


Great Food:

Like this breakfast we ate in a cafe near a college area one morning.  I had read about so we gave it a try. So yummy!!  What did we do before Trip Advisor for great hotel and dining ideas??

Fun Hotels:

Like this really cool place we stayed at in Milwaukee that had been a former brewery. They had renovated into a really cool hotel that still had the big copper brewing drums and you could even see up into them from as domes in the lobby. The whole aesthetic there was sort of steampunk meets industrial. Our suite was so nice with a full kitchen and living room and even beer suds on the french doors leading into the big bedroom. Very cool! 



We went to several fun museums. A favorite was one that had turn of the century "old streets of Milwaukee" and showed old shops and homes where you could peek in the windows. I especially loved the ones that showed homes from all different nationalities with their dress, kitchens and dishes. The one above was the "Polska Chata" or Polish House. 

Other Sights:

My Kiddos loved Sky Zone which was a large trampoline facility. They could enjoy a basketball, dodgeball, and volleyball court all on trampolines. Also a giant jumping area where even the walls were trampolines. Yes, they could literally jump off the walls! Annie got some rosy cheeks at that one. ;)  We also had our breath taken away at a gorgeous Basilica built over a hundred years ago by Polish immigrants. (there's obviously a big Polish population in Milwaukee - which is some of my obviously my kiddos' too). We enjoyed the beautiful lakeshore and teal green waters of Lake Michigan. And ended out trip visiting family in Green Bay and enjoying a Green Bay Gamblers hockey game. 

Bonus Ear Piercing:

My daughter even worked up the courage to get her ears pierced while we were shopping in a mall on the trip! So I think this trip, and family time, was extra memorable for her!! 

I'm very belated, but I'm still linking with Amy of Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.