Thursday, January 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday #6

This little throwback takes us back to January 2010.  We had 13 inches of snow in less than eight hours.  Here is what 13 inches looks like.


I do not think any birds came near our bird bath.  That my friends is a lot of snow at one time.


Then, three days later we had an additional eight more inches making it a total of 21 inches on the ground. We had this snow for weeks and weeks because the cold front kept it from melting.


The night it snowed 13 inches was the first day I have ever called in work due to weather.  I walked out into the middle of our road to actually see the depth to determine if my car could make it through all the snow because our street was not plowed as of yet.  The snow was nearly up to the bottom of my knees.  No way was my car going to make it.  Poor Todd attempted to drive down it.  He was working third shift then and was trying to come home.  He called for me to send the boys down the street with shovels.  He was stuck.  He ended up driving to our Hy-Vee grocery store and parking his car and walking home in the snow.  *sigh*  I hope we never have that much snow all at one time again.

Today I think of the poor south who are not prepared for even a dusting of snow because typically they do not have snow.  Although they may find it fun to play in, I am sure they are seeing the dislikes with driving and getting around.  I am thinking of all my Southern friends today.  I hope you all rode the storm out and are safe and warm.  We are expecting another one Friday night and Saturday, of course when I am planning on heading to Des Moines.  UGH... I am so ready for Winter to be over with.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wednesday Woo Hoo~ The Day of The Blizzard That Never Happened *PLUS RECIPES*

I am ready for Winter to be over with, however I did love Sunday.  We were under a Blizzard Warning, so we prepared to have a warm day inside.  WOO HOO!  We were going to have Taj all day too.  We have not seen him for one week and one day, but who is counting?!

Our day started with a big hot breakfast.

 Pancakes and Ship Wreck (to others it is also known as Skillet Breakfast.)
 
Add a small amount of Olive Oil to the pan.  
Add Potato O'Brien and cooked sausage to the pan.  
Cook until potatoes are brown (about 7 minutes)
Push the sausage and potatoes to one side of the skillet and add the scrabbled eggs to the other side.
(TIP:  When scrambling several eggs, scramble one egg prior to adding the next egg.
This will whisk the eggs more thoroughly.)

Once the egg is cooked (scrambled) mix the egg and potato and sausage together.
Most of the time I add cheese as well, but did not this day. 
 Of course we had to have coffee as well.
What a great day to start a blustery day.
 I top my Ship Wreck with some of our canned salsa.  Yumo!
 After our breakfast we played upstairs (the main floor) for awhile.  We played with Sully
 
 I just love him peeking at me in this picture!
 He played with his Uncles.  Playing with the trucks is one of his favorite things at our house.

For lunch we had left overs.  The children had left over Taco Bake.  You can find the recipe by clicking here.  Todd and I had left over  Mexican Crock Pot Chicken.  This is one of our favorites.  You can eat it on a bed of Romaine Lettuce or a fajita shell, or a tortilla shell.  I used low carb tortilla shell this time.  
 Mexican Crock Pot Chicken

Ingredients:
  • 3 chicken skinless and boneless chicken breast
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (drain the juice)
  • 1 can of black beans (do not drain)
  • 1 can of chili beans (do not drain)
  • 1 package of Taco Seasoning
  • 1 can of black olives (drain the juice)
  • 1 can of chopped green chilies
Directions:
  1.  Place the chicken at the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed and do not mix.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Once cooked, shred the chicken with two forks. (The chicken is tender and moist.)
  5. Stir well.
You can also serve this with chips if you wish as well.

The boys had a snack cake for dessert.  Taj thought it would be fun to wear his frosting.  This kid cracks me up.

After lunch we went downstairs to our main living room and built a fire.  We bought four bundles of wood to be prepared for our day of indoors.
We watched videos and took a nap.  Papa was the first to fall asleep.
 Then Taj snuggled into his Papa. 
 After our nap, we watched more videos and played with the trucks near the fire.  Until I had to go upstairs to cook dinner.  Matthew and Hannah stopped by.  It was snowing a little and the winds were picking up.  They stayed for dinner.  Kielbasa Sausage, onions, and potatoes.  I was going to try a new recipe but I forgot to add the different spices because I was enjoying my conversation with Hannah.  I really like this girl.
 After dinner the two left and Kera arrived.  She ate dinner and shared how her class is going.  She completed her first week.  She has decided to go back to school to get her massage therapy license to add to her clientele and get more appointments at the spa where she works. 

Our Blizzard thankfully did not produce a lot of snow.  Hardly any, but the wind did howl and the temperatures did drop.  What a wonderful day Todd and I had!  Woo Hoo!

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Valentine's Day Painting


I love Valentine's Day!  It is my absolutely favorite holiday.  Now, I know some people think it is over rated and you should not just once a year share your love and well  I DO NOT!   I share it every day but this holiday has always been a true holiday.  It is all about LOVE!  The one holiday my Dad never ever ever was drunk on.  It is not about the gifts because I have had more Valentine's Day without gifts.  I love it because of love is everywhere.  It is such a positive holiday.  Now, I understand some are down because they do not have someone or feel that way.  Well, I have never felt that way even when I was single or without a date.  You can find love with your friends or family. 

I came across this saying while on Pinterest.  "Every Love Story is Beautiful, but OURS is my FAVORITE."    I knew I wanted to make a painting to place on my mantel at that moment.  I thought it would be great to add two birds in the mix as well.  Once I had that idea, I knew exactly what I wanted.


I am thrilled with the way it turned out.  Here is a picture of my background.  

 Once the background dried, I made my branch with the hearts in place of the leaves.
 Then added my birds. 
 Here is a close up of the birds and the branch.
Last, I added the saying.
 
You know, I am so happy with the way it turned out, 
I almost do not want to pack it away after Valentine's Day.
I may need to find a place to hanging it permanently.


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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tackle It Tuesday ~ Pixar Paintings


This week's Tackle is a painting series I made for Taj.  Originally I had planned on completing it for a Christmas gift, but too many things were going on I only finished the back ground for Buzz Lightyear and Woody.  My little grandson is a big Pixar fan.  The Ben Franklin (sadly and the only one) was closing near our home. I picked up four 6x6 canvas at a great deal and told my husband I had something special planned for them for Taj.

I decided I would paint the background on the canvas and print out pictures of the Pixar characters I wanted and I would Modge Podge them onto the canvas.  Now, I had to choose which characters...Buzz and Woody a definite must, same with Lightning McQueen, and Mike Wazowski (I love listening to Taj say his name.  he he he) with Sully.  The fourth one I thought a little while and then thought it had to be Nemo.

Tada!  My Pixar Series for Taj.
Taj loves them.  I wanted to keep the backgrounds simple because I wanted the actually character to be the main attractions.

 Buzz and Woody
I wanted to have a background which represented both characters, so I though how about the sky?
I wanted a sky night with whimsical stars and then the clouds in the sky.
 Finding Nemo
Actually this is Marlin(Nemo's Dad) and Dory
Naturally it had to be under the water.  Oh, I had to restrain myself with this one.
I was so tempted to add beautiful coral but again, I wanted simplicity.
Lightning McQueen
Alright, this one I did a little more detailed.  I wanted to represent the racing portion but thought a
checkered flag would be too much, so I chose to add a yellow border for the top and bottom.
(It is actually my favorite one.)
 Sully and Mike Wazoskie
This one baffled me the longest, so I went with Boo's door.  
I think it is the plainest one and my least favorite background.

Taj loved them and Kera was happy with the way they turned out too.  Now I cannot wait to see them on his bedroom wall.  I loved his smile when he saw each painting.

I also had time to work on another painting on Saturday.  I am so thrilled with this one.  Here is a sneak peak of it.  It will be featured on my Wednesday post.


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Monday, January 27, 2014

A Casserole or Not A Casserole...That Is The Question!


 As many people, I love Pinterest, so many ideas...so many inspirations...and so many recipes.  I am always searching for new healthy recipes sometimes something on an old classic.  I came across a recipe for a Keto Reuben Casserole.  It was very low carbs and I was super excited to try it.  If it is as good as I was hoping then it would be definitely our St. Patrick's Day meal.  I made sure we had all the ingredients for Saturday's dinner.  As it was baking, I read on {click here for origin of recipe}, oh a lesson I have learned I will definitely read everything from now on.  Within this post, there were mentions of how it could be used as a dip, then further on the comments of others one mentioned it was not a casserole to them but a dip.  Our conclusion:  NOT a casserole!  We believe it would be a great sandwich however.  The Caraway Seeds give the Rye Bread taste, so it would be great on low carb/calorie bread or flat bread or rounds.  It is a great dip too.  We tried it with pita chips and even tortilla chips.  I think cauliflower might be good to dip with it as well as celery or carrots.



Ingredients:
  • 1/2 pound corned beef diced
  • 1 can sauerkraut drained
  • 2 cups Swiss cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup low-sugar ketchup  (I used the ketchup we canned.)
  • 2 tablespoons pickle brine  (I used pickle juice.  The original site has an alternate to pickle brine if you do not have any.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a sauce pan, melt the cream cheese, mayonnaise and ketchup over low heat. While that is melting, slice and dice your corned beef into half inch chunks.
  3. Once the the mixture is melted, add the can of drained sauerkraut, a cup and a half of the Swiss cheese and chopped corned beef. Mix until all incorporated and the cheese is melted.
  4. Take the sauce of the heat and mix in the pickle juice if you have it. If not, add a tablespoon of salt, a teaspoon of vinegar and a pinch of garlic salt.
  5. Pour into a greased dish (I used my pie pan however it must be a shallow pie pan, I noticed my casserole...um dip was bubbling over, so I placed it on a baking sheet.) and top with remaining Swiss cheese. Garnish by sprinkling caraway seeds on.
  6. Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes until the mixture is bubbling and the cheese on top is melted.
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday's Song


This week's song is one of my favorites from Paul McCartney and Wings.   I remember just sitting in our dinning room and staring at my Dad's 8 track of this album.  I guess I liked Paul McCartney before third grade then.  Enjoy!



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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday Woo Hoos




Prior to me posting Happy List on every Tuesday, I did Wednesday Woo Hoos.  No more Happy List party, which I understand but I have to keep posting happy things because well we all should dig at least once a week and post happiness, so I am going to bring back my Wednesday Woo Hoos.

I love blogging.  It is a great way to let my feelings out.  It is a great way to share my life.  It is a great way to meet others and make friends.  Meet Patty from Patty's Pretty Things.

Patty's Pretty Things

 I enjoy her blog very much.  She is such a sweet person.  I love reading about her adventures since she has retired.  She used to be a registered nurse.  She has a very talented daughter, Ashleigh, who is an artist and a son, Danny who is married to Natasha who have blessed her within the past year a grandson.  Woo Hoo for being a grandparent!  Her husband Dan, seems to be a great guy and from what I can tell loves his wife.  Patty is pretty creative too!  I love her craft posts.  One day Patty posted about some tags she made.  I loved the Mason Jar tags and she shared a link to where you can find the template.  Sweet Patty being the person she is, she offered to send me some because she enjoyed reading about me canning.  She surprised me by sending more than the canning tags.  She truly is a sweet person!  
 She made a beautiful card.  I love the butterfly cut outs.
Two different sizes of the jar tags, and flowers with heart tags.  
The flowers remind me of my lily garden.
She also knitted the wash cloth.
I feel very blessed that I have found Patty through the wonderful world of blogging.  Thank you Patty.  The gift was definitely a pick me up last week when days were tough.

Yesterday I received one of two give-away gifts.  I was super excited about this one.  Woo Hoo!!!
Meet Charlene from Adventures-In-Mommy-Land.   Charlene is a mother of six.  She works part time and has gone back to school.  She blogs a lot about children crafts and books.  Charlene also has an Etsy Shop where she makes aprons and bags.  She had a give-away to win one of her bags.  Seriously!  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.  The bag is much larger than I thought.  I am so torn right now as to what to do with my bag.  I will have to think a little more on it.
 It is reversible too, although I love the Cat In The Hat side more.
Woo Hoo Thank you Charlene!

I won a second give-way but I will wait to post about it once I receive it.  I found out about winning both on the same day.  I felt very lucky that day.  I think I should have played the lottery!

Woo Hoo moment about Dad.  I want to post something funny every week, well as long as I can find his humor.  Sunday we went to visit and prior to our arrival, my Dad had an accident.  He misses a lot, so he told my sister and she told him it is okay, go change.  He put a clean pair of Depends on and went out to the Living Room where Miranda was and was dancing for her (mainly swaying while he was holding on to his cane.) He was standing there doing his dance and singing to her "It's Okay Miranda.  Grandpa wears diapers too."  while the boys and I walked in.  We all just busted up laughing.  My Dad being the spirit he is, was not embarrassed one bit.

What do you have to Woo Hoo about?

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tackle It Tuesday~Pantry Style




It has been a very long time since I participated in Tackle It Tuesday.  I think I may have tackled this same project one other time too and posted it.


This is my pantry.  I love it because of the size!  However, I became lazy and just piled and piled and piled food in it.  One night Todd went to make Sloppy Joes.  It has been a very long time since we had Sloppy Joes for dinner.  He grabbed the can in the pantry and realized it was expired...by TWO years.  I knew I had to clean it out at that point.  It took me two weeks to clean it out because of how much food I had to throw out.  We can only have one garbage can unless we pay for tags for each bag after and I really was not thrilled to buy tags for spoiled food.  *Head hanging in shame*  I threw out five tall kitchen bags of food from my pantry and my one cupboard I keep food in as well.  Yes, FIVE.  Some of my cans and boxes expired in 2010.   After cleaning them out, I decided to move all of the food in the kitchen into the pantry only.  Now my cupboard looks like this...
However, I have plans for it later.

Here is my pantry now.  I was too embarrassed to take the before picture.
 The very top keeps my vases, coffee pot, and bread slicer
Second row:  Home of the extra set of knives for now, cereal (hot and cold), pop tarts, anything sweet snacks (out of reach from Taj), Pringles, and all my canisters (beans, flour, sugar, and pancake mix.)
 Third shelf has a small shelf in the back.  It houses all  store bought canned goods 
and extra peanut butter and dressings. 
 It also has a small basket where I put packets of seasoning, such as taco season, 
crock pot seasoning, and stir fry seasoning if I use them.
Below it on the main shelf is any boxed food we have and extra condiments, hot chocolate, a canister of different tea bags, a basket for snacks like flavored crackers and beef jerky, next to it to the wall is several jars of my canned tomato goods.  Once this section is low, I refill from my other closet full of canned goods from our garden.
 Hanging baskets below this shelf holds bagels, bread, and rice cakes.
Bottom shelf:  tub where we keep the chips, ramen noodles, juice bottles, place for Todd's and my lunch box, and to the far right, all my baking essentials to refill canisters.
 On the floor I keep my bread maker, punch bowl, ice cream maker all in the boxes they came in.

I know I could always buy more containers and place the food in to have it more organized, but the food in my pantry changes and I do not see a reason to purchase more containers.


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