Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday Happenings

Hello Friends! 

I hope you had a lovely past weekend. I feel all messed up with my week already, as we had a nice long 3 day weekend with Memorial Day.  So today feels like a Monday, not a Tuesday.  Memorial weekend is always a wonderful time to stop and reflect on the wonderful men and women of the military that have served our country. Past and present. I continue to be so proud of my baby brother Steven. He has been in the military his whole adult life and is a medic in the green beret special forces. God bless all of our military people and their families for the sacrifices they make!!  xo  

I thought since yesterday was basically a day off for reflection and fun time too - I would do a mini version of Happy Homemaker Monday today - since it feels like Monday to me. Lol 

First of all I was late getting to this post as we went and toured a facility that could potentially be where we would have my MIL move in the near future. It was a really good visit and very lovely place. I think my FIL was impressed too -which is a wonderful. It was a beautiful place, as well as it seemed they had wonderful staff! Fingers crossed we will all find peace in a plan that will be healthy for everybody... and find it soon.  

Next I thought I'd give a mini version of a weekly update - like HHM: 

*THE WEATHER TODAY:   unfortunately windy and rainy. At least it was nice for most of yesterday for Memorial Day. I see puddles in my driveway as I look out my office window. I'm sipping my water and listening to some praise and worship on pandora.  


Monday - BBQ leftovers 

Tuesday - hasbrown and ham & cheese breakfast pizza and mini pancakes, fruit 

Wednesday - sandwich roll-ups, french fries, salad, fruit 

Thursday - get groceries -maybe tacos? 

Friday - leftover tacos or out for dinner

SHOWS: I was able to catch up on Outlander and Game of Thrones. I still have some cooking shows taped. I see America's Got Talent will be starting back this week. That's always a fun one we watch as a family.

READING: I'm not sure what I want to read next. I have several books written down my friend Carrie from Anniehow has recommended. However, I kind of want to read You Before Me as well. I've had that on my list and I see they've now made a movie out of it.


 Planted more fairy gardens this past weekend. We had beautiful weather among a few raindrops.  I like adding little solar lights to some of my pots. The darker photo above is one that changes colors!

I'm loving all of my baskets and blooms this year!

We had some nice - just chillin' time too.  ;) 

I made a very tasty triple berry cobbler & ice cream for dessert for yesteradays BBQ. I'll share the recipe soon!

There were some badminton games on the hill.

And we were able to get our pontoon ride in before the rain!

We need to get Ruby a captain's hat, as she is queen of the pontoon when we go! She loves it so much - it's just pretty darn adorable. 

We spotted a bald eagle on our trip.

And some Mommy & Daddy geese with their babies. 


Wishing you a wonderful and blessed week ahead! xoxo

Friday, May 27, 2016

Five on Friday:Shopping Party

Happy Friday Friends!  

Today has been rainy and gray, but I'm still looking forward to the long Memorial weekend as the forecast shows beautiful days ahead. We even got the pontoon boat out of storage...so maybe a BBQ and a pontoon ride will be in my future! ;)  Do you have some fun weekend plans? 

I know I'm late, but I'm still wanting to post my 5 for Five on Friday today. We recently had Annie's 10th birthday party and she had a lot of fun with her friends!! She decided she'd like to have a shopping themed party up at our local mall. I looked up a few different ideas on pinterest and this is how her party went:


After the research I decided I liked the idea for a fun shopping game the girls could play at the mall. There was also a plan to keep the group small and there could be a sleepover too. So Annie invited 5 friends and 3 were able to come. I found this cute poem online and used it to create the invitations above. The rest of the info on the invite (not shown here) share what time the party would start & where. It also explained it was a sleepover and for the guests to bring sleeping bags and pillows. And that we were going to play a shopping game that I would provide, so the girls didn't need to bring any money with them.

I found this adorable banner that was perfect with her theme. It had shopping elements and sleepover elements! 


The threw their coins in, and made wishes in, the mall fountain.

For the mall game I took Annie and her friends up to the mall and we stopped at the food court and had a snack and talked our game plan. I explained to the girls we would go to 4 different stores of their choosing and at each one I would give them a different monetary amount of money each to spend. They could decide which stores would get the higher amounts each ($12 each) and which would get the lower ($5 each). Once that was decided -  I had a bonus question of how many total stores were in the mall and the gal that guessed the closest number won $5 more to use at whichever store she wanted. I then explained that they could buy individual items or pool money together with others and buy bigger items. But, I explained, they wouldn't necessarily be keeping what they bought.  I told them we were going to take all of the items back home - pool them together - then number them - and then take turns drawing numbers for the prizes. They had such fun (even using calculators!) figuring out tax and deciding what they wanted to buy at each place. They loved it!! Then at home we did the fun game for the prizes and Annie opened her birthday presents. 


After all of the shopping and prize fun was done - we went back to our house and the Gals enjoyed pizza from one of Annie's favorite places and just goofed around outside a while just being....well  - GIRLS! Lol!


Then it was, of course, time for birthday cake and making wishes!  Strawberry is Annie's favorite and I made both her cake and frosting and both had fresh strawberry in them. I put some handbags and shoes decorations on top (good shopping references - wink wink).  After all of the action it was time to snuggle in and get ready for the sleepover party! I'm not sure if they got enough actual sleep - but I think it was one of their favorite parts!


The next morning I made mini pancakes, bacon and fresh fruit for breakfast for the birthday Crew.  And even though the Girls had their prizes from the mall - I love goodie bags - so I sent each Gal home with their own cardboard "handbag" with high heel name tag that contained chapstick, stickers, treats and play money. Annie said it was one of her best birthdays yet! 

**TIP: take pancake batter and pour 1/3 amount in each well of a muffin tin sprayed with cooking spray (I made 2 pans - so 24 pancakes) I then let the girls put toppings on each...we did blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and chocolate chips. Or you can leave them plain.(Chocolate chip and strawberries mixed was the best!!)  ;)  Bake at  350* for 10-12 minutes and voila! Mini pancakes.  They LOVED them (thanks again pinterest!!).  

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


Monday, May 23, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday


Hello My Friends! 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! I can't believe it's Monday already. It feels like that weekend really flew by! Although it was quite a busy one around here that held my daughter's Spring concert, her birthday party with her friends and family friends of ours, plus belated bday with some grandparents as well as soccer and hockey practices for both kiddos! Whew!!  I think I need more hours in a day. Lol!  Life is also busy with many end of school year things, as I've mentioned prior, so that has kept me from blogging world and visiting as much as I'd like.  Please know that there are only a few more weeks of school and then I will be far more free with my time during the day. I try not to blog as much on nights and weekends, as that is time I try to mainly reserve for my family. Thanks for your patience and I will become a more involved person in blogland again soon!! ;) 


Cloudy but pleasant at close to 70 degrees.  Every now and then the sun peeks out a little...but storms are on the way and I can see the clouds building up. Some rain planned a few days this week - but otherwise should be in the 60's or 70's and nice.


A piece of toast and some coffee with natural sweet creamer.


I see squirrels chasing each other and clouds continuing to form. A blue jay just flew in front of my window too.  I think there's only been one small thunderstorm so far this season (although we have had rain). I think sometimes it's nice to have a good "thunder boomer", plus we really need more rain around here. It's been dry and fire danger has often been high. 


In my office - drinking my water from my big 40 ounce water bottle (got to keep getting my amounts in each day!), and listening to beautiful violin music from the Joshua Bell pandora station. Thinking of the busy week ahead and looking through the appointments I have this week. 


Everything is still pretty tidy from the weekend - having cleaned well before all kinds of birthday events were held here! I need to do more laundry and a few dishes from last night.  One of Annie's new lego sets is on our dining room table and I'm leaving it out for her to finish. She loves to build those sets and play with them. ;) 


Laundry, devotional time, paperwork, take Annie to dentist for tooth extraction later, and working on getting paperwork together as we are working to activate the Power of Attorney papers for my MIL - so that we will be all set when she needs to go to a facility. Some changes were made with her meds and she has been a little better and more stable (she's had 2 falls recently) - so my FIL is really trying to hold out a bit longer keeping her at home. Such hard stuff and continued prayers are so appreciated!! 


 Back to a Nora Robert's book  I hadn't finished yet.


I watched the season finale of Call the Midwife. So sad! (sniff) I still need to catch up on several shows: cooking shows, Outlander, Game of Thrones, Shark Tank....



MONDAY: leftovers

TUESDAY: spaghetti hot dish, mixed veggies and Red Lobster's garlic cheddar biscuits

WEDNESDAY: something easy - sandwiches/soup

THURSDAY: egg bake or frittata with sausage, peppers & cheddar cheese, lemon poppyseed muffins, fruit

FRIDAY:not sure - leaving open for maybe going out for dinner, otherwise my grill something


Finishing baby album for my cousin's gift.  Putting together more things for the heritage album I'm working on as well.


Not sure yet.


It's such fun to listen to podcasts instead of music sometimes when doing housework. Lately I've loved listening to the podcasts from Ronald D. Moore about the making of the Outlander episodes. He does a podcast for each one and shares a lot of behind the scenes info and why he chose to have things shot a certain way etc. Very interesting if you like those books and now the show.  I just put in my headphones and go around the house getting things done!


My Big Girl on concert day.

Throwing coins in and wishing over the mall fountain at Annie's bday. She had a fun shopping themed birthday - including fun shopping game. I'll share another post on this soon.

Back at our house during her birthday party with the kiddos all goofing around on the trampoline.

Out for dinner for Annie's birthday with some family friends of ours and a lovely walk on the lake walk after with the full moon coming up to greet us.


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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cherie's Toffee Bars

Hello my Friends!  

Hope you're having a great week so far.  Life here feels very busy! So I'm sorry if I haven't been by recently- still playing blog catch up and I should be able to spend more time this weekend. Also, that's why I'm late posting today. Lots of end of year school things for my kiddos, still helping with the in-law's however I'm able, helping my Mom with new puppy time and getting ready for belated bday festivities for Annie this weekend. 

I forgot that Annie is doing her birthday party with her friends this weekend, and belated with my Dad and step Mom and some family friends. So I'm making a cake for her and thus I didn't make my MIL's toffee bars. However, I thought I'd just share the recipe with you today anyway...even though I won't have photos of the bars themselves. They've always been a favorite and they are SO easy and so yummy! Since I don't have pics of the bars I thought I'd share some of these sweet scrapbook photos and baking layout I did of Annie and my MIL  a while ago.

I love doing baking kind of layouts for scrapbooking. It's so fun to capture photos of what's being cooked or baked and there's always such fun papers and stickers to find to go with it. My MIL was always a fabulous baker and it was a hobby she enjoyed. In these photos Annie was helping my MIL make "monster cookies" (over sized) for an animal organization where she volunteered back when.

Grandma's sweet helper.

Time out for a book break. Grandma was the best reader too!

These photos go straight to my heart as my MIL was always such a wonderful Grandma to her grandkids. She was always so patient and fun and now she doesn't even know who they are anymore. So sad...especially for them being stripped of so much time with her.  I love being able to look back at these pictures and memories, though, and really see the terrific Lady of the past. It helps me remember what she was really like - and it's a wonderful tool for the kiddos to remember her as well. We have family videos too - precious treasures now.

Thanks for going down memory lane with me.  Here's the recipe from my MIL for her yummy toffee bars  -and I especially love that they're in her handwriting and from a memo pad she had with a dog on it. The organization she volunteered for was called PAWS and helped with animals and she was always such an animal lover. Especially of dogs. 

These bars are wonderful for a crowd because it makes a good sized pan and you can cut them into small squares. Really good with coffee or tea too! Enjoy - from my MIL's home to yours. ;)