Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WFMW - Smooth Start to Your Day

To any of you moms who have it all together...this post is probably not for you - let's face just don't need it! In fact, if you keep reading, by the end you will probably think...DUH!?! - where's the big tip here??? But I was thinking, last night and this morning, what my tip for this week would be...and drawing a big, fat blank! But then I thought...what is it that makes my days smoother, easier and much more pleasant? It's doing just what I did this morning...


Okay, I know...this really isn't rocket science, but let's face it...we've all had days when that just didn't happen...days when you had the best of intentions and then life happened. I remember just after having my little boy talking with another mom of a newborn and her being shocked that I'd actually had a shower every day. Now granted, they weren't all first thing in the morning, but they did happen. As he's gotten older (now 19 mos) there are days when my dear husband gets up and goes on to work and I get to spend a few extra moments in bed that are then interrupted with Walker waking up...which then introduces chaos to my day. Let's face it...he needs to have his diaper changed and breakfast and then suddenly you're thrown into the midst of your day. I'm a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom, so there's always something that *needs* to be done...before I realize it, it's 11 AM, I still haven't had a shower, so I'm wearing my pjs, sweats, etc, and realize, I just don't "feel great". There's something about being dressed, ready to greet the world, and having shoes on that just makes you feel good about yourself. And while you don't have to "dress up" - don't just throw sweats on either...wear something that makes you feel good about yourself...put on makeup, if you so choose, and put yoru shoes on! Shoes are definitely empowering! (Thank you FlyLady!)

I have finally realized that if instead of indulging my ever-present desire to spend "just a few" more minutes in bed (that can turn into hours, if W continues sleeping) - if I'll just hop up when my hubby gets up or at least as he's leaving, my day is much nicer. I'm able to get a head-start on what I need to do before Walker ever wakes up. I can get my shower, get dressed, and be ready to go. (And, if it's one of those mornings when he wakes up way earlier than I had hoped, at least I'm not as far behind as I could have been!) And then on those days when DH calls and needs me to leave and bring something to him ASAP (we have our own business and those things happen from time to time) - I'm ready to walk out the door with no problem - it feels great!

So like I said....this one isn't rocket science, but it definitely works for me! Head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for other great WFMW ideas!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sorry I've been a slacker!

So sorry that I haven't gotten many Walker pics up here recently...I've been a picture slacker, what can I say? Hope you'll enjoy these!

These are of W eating his first Sister Schubert's sausage roll...loved the bread, not sure what to make of the sausage!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Giveaway #2 - and the winner is...

christie - #6 - congratulations! Thanks to all who played along and to all those who gave me great ideas and visited my shop! Hope to see you back soon!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Giveaway #1 - and the winner is.....

#73 - ginny...generated by - congrats!! Please contact me so that we can design your pillowcase! Thanks to all who entered!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway #2

And it's time for giveaway #2 - if you missed #1, scroll down and make sure you enter there too! In honor of getting my etsy shop, StitchesSewSweet up and running, I'm offering a personalized onesie for the cutie in your life - your choice of the four styles above.
All you have to do to enter is visit my store and tell me what your favorite item is. If you neglect to tell me an item in your comment, your entry will not count!
A few details...the contest will run until midnight, Saturday, April 26th. I'll randomly choose a winner and announce their name the next afternoon. Contest is only open to US mailing addresses. Please make sure you leave a way for me to contact you - several people in the first contest did not! You must return my contact by April 30th, or I will move on to the next person in line! One entry per person, please!

Thanks so much for stopping by and best wishes to everyone! Make sure to check back later this never know, there might be 1 more giveaway in store! And don't forget to head back over to Bloggy Giveaway Central to enter more great contests!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Isn't this gorgeous??

Don't you just love this locket??? Ran across this giveaway today while entering several of the bloggy giveaway contests...couldn't resist sharing it with you guys here...of course, I do hope that *I'm* the winner LOL!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Yippee - it's Bloggy Giveaways Carnival time!

Who doesn't love a giveaway? I know I certainly do! When I saw the post a few weeks back about the upcoming Bloggy Giveaways Carnival, I just knew I had to participate! I'm in the process of launching an etsy shop this week, so in honor of that, I thought I would do a few embroidery giveaways...first up

...what little one wouldn't love to sleep with a pillow with their name on it? If you're the winner of this giveaway, I'll work with you to design a pillowcase that your little one will love!

A few I'm in the midst of opening my Etsy shop, in your comment, let me know what type of embroidered item you would most like to see in the shop. This contest is for 1 (one) white pillowcase with a name and/or embroidered design. The contest will run until midnight, Friday, April 25th. I'll randomly choose a winner and announce their name the next morning. Contest is only open to US mailing addresses. Please make sure you leave a way for me to contact you! One entry per person, please!

Thanks so much for stopping by and best wishes to everyone! Make sure to check back later this week...I have several more giveaways up my sleeve!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Dreams I Dream for You

Last night Brad, Walker and I headed over to NewSpring's Greenville campus to see the construction progress and hear Perry cast the vision for Greenville. We are so excited about NewSpring coming to Greenville! If you've ever visited the Anderson campus, you have probably seen names written all over the auditorium walls...names of people that someone wants to see saved...names of people that someone is praying for and inviting to church...names of people who need to meet Jesus. Last night, as part of kicking off the Greenville campus we were given markers and asked to write names on the auditorium floor...names of people we want to come to know Christ. The carpet will be going down shortly and these names will remain as a testament to who we're praying for. It is amazing to realize that this could very well be the building where both Walker and Alexa will one day meet Jesus. What an exciting thought!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Umm, no thank you!

We've been working to get some yard work done this project of which was to get hanging baskets that we bought 3 years ago planted and hung...FINALLY! I've got a big outdoor container that I keep potting soil in that we keep up next to the house, so as I started getting ready to plant the baskets, I started to move it a little closer to the porch and saw
something moving in the looked like the tail of a snake. I quickly yelled to Brad that I thought I had seen a snake and to grab a shovel and come kill it...he brought Walker to me, changed shoes (as he had on flip flops) and started moving the leaves around with a shovel...I just knew the snake was long gone, but in rooting through the leaves, suddenly we saw it. It wasn't very big...and Brad was able to decapitate it, but it made our skin crawl nonetheless. You can see the majority of the snake in the picture...I think it was pretty much only the snake's head that is missing...we're guessing that it was a rather young snake, which begs the the mama (and/or siblings) still around? I certainly hope not! We don't let Walker play outside by himself, we're always quite close by, but certainly don't want him walking up on a snake. We may need to be looking through the paper for a good outside cat...or maybe a pet black snake! LOL

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WFMW - Disposable Gloves & Ground Beef

Brad and I both love to shop at Sam's Club - there's no doubt about it! Several years ago we started buying our ground beef there - they have a 90/10 mix that with only 10% fat cooks up really well, and you get the lower fat content without having to pay ground sirloin prices, which definitely works for us! They sell their meat in trays of 6-7 pounds, but we always look for a tray that is as close to 6 pounds as possible - that makes it quite easy to split up.
The first trick - wear disposable gloves! It makes the task at hand so much easier and definitely not as messy. Once again - we bought a box of disposable gloves at Sam's and we keep them in a kitchen drawer...then when we're dealing with raw meat (or other messy chores), we have the option of slipping a pair of gloves on and keeping all the juices off of our hands. I love it! Now on to the meat...once you get home, you can essentially divide the tray in half (which they've pretty much already done for you) and then split each side in thirds. We then ball up the meat and place approx 1 pound in a ziploc sandwich bag. We've found that splitting each pound in half and making 2 balls of meat makes it easy to get the meat into the sandwich baggies without a struggle. Typically one of us wears gloves and divides the meat and the other one of us holds the baggies open while the meat gets dropped in.

Once we have all of our meat divided up and in baggies, we label a ziploc gallon freezer bag and place all the individual baggies inside. Depending on the amount of meat you buy, it may take 2 gallon bags. And then anytime you need ground beef for a recipe, it's there in your freezer, in 1 pound increments, ready to go.

And there you have it...a great buy on meat and a quick no-mess way to divide it up and make it ready to go when you're ready to cook!

Head on over to Shannon's site to check out other great WFMW ideas!

Monday, April 14, 2008

You win some & you lose some

As I posted previously, we had spaghetti and meatballs last week one night for dinner that we then morphed into meatball sub sandwiches on Saturday...and let me tell you, they were delicious! Quite possibly the best meatball sub I've ever had, and as they're one of my favorites, I've tried them *tons* of places. Anyway, it was a homemade sauce that I originally made to use in making manicotti, but that got derailed when I realized I had forgotten that we were out of mozzarella cheese, but I digress...Brad really loved the sauce and I was so excited to be so thrifty with it...spaghetti & meatballs, meatball subs for dinner, 2 more meatball subs that we prepped for lunches this week and still some leftover sauce that I could feed to Walker with some extra noodles one day for lunch this week. What a brilliant way to stretch such a great inexpensive sauce...except that after prepping the 2 extra subs, we stuck them back in the oven with the thought that everything would meld together really nicely and be more enjoyable when we heated them up...except then we forgot to take them out of the oven and put them in the fridge. So tonight while cooking dinner, I was like...what's that shiny stuff in the oven...OH, THE MEATBALL SUBS!! Ugh - like I win some, you lose some!

Chicken/Veggie Stirfry with Lomein

Brad loves Chinese food - in fact, can't hardly get enough of it. We've noticed recently that while Walker is picky about some things, he seems to inhale Chinese food, veggies and all. We've tried a few stirfrys before, usually without much success. This past week we decided to try again and feel like we found a recipe with LOTS of potential. Now keep in mind...this is one of those recipes that you probably want to adjust to your tastes and play with over time...I know we certainly will!


Sunbird Stirfry Packet – mix according to directions
Welpac chow mein stirfry noodles – prepare according to package directions
1/2 can baby corn (we thought a whole can was just too much)
1-2 carrots sliced thinly on bias
3 chicken breasts thinly sliced on bias (if you can cut them while they're still partially frozen it's much easier to get a thin slice!)
4 handfuls shredded cabbage (remember that cabbage really shrinks down)
½ package of fresh snow peas
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
Small head of broccoli cut into florets
Soy sauce – SanJ
Sesame seeds
Sesame oil
Canola oil

Heat oil in wide-mouthed chef’s pan or wok. Add chicken & stirfry – our chicken was still partially frozen when we added it, so it added a lot of liquid to the pan while cooking. (We decided that next time we should cut the chicken earlier in the day while it was still partially frozen and then allow it to thaw in the fridge and drain or pat it dry before adding it to the pan to forgo the additional moisture.) Once the chicken was cooked we added the carrots, peppers & snow peas…definitely wait to add the snow peas if you make this recipe! They ended up a little on the soggy side L. Feel free to drizzle in a little sesame oil for added flavor. Sprinkle in sesame seeds. Once the carrots have cooked a few minutes, add broccoli, baby corn, cabbage and snow peas. When broccoli is crisp-tender add the stirfry packet (already prepared according to packet directions) – Brad said next time he would also add some additional soy sauce at this point. Add the stirfry noodles, give everything a good toss/stir to get it all coated and transfer to a serving platter. Enjoy!

This is the brand of soy sauce that our favorite Thai restaurant uses.

I'm pretty sure we found this seasoning packet at Wal-Mart.

Noodles definitely came from Wal-Mart. They were also quite yummy plain.
Walker was downing noodles, baby corn & carrots like there was no tomorrow. We fed him leftovers the next day and he cleaned his plate - woo hoo!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Week in Review

So I have to confess...I found out I was pregnant in January of 2006 and almost immediately any desire I had ever had to cook went out the window. I was very fortunate in that I didn't really have any morning sickness at all...however, I did just feel nauseated from time to time...especially when I smelled food cooking...especially if I was cooking it. My sweet husband was very patient with me and we cooked some together, I cooked some from time to time and we did a lot of eating out. Now mind you...we're fairly frugal people, so the majority of our eating out was probably under $15 for a meal for both of us (including tip) - sometimes under $12...we have a great little place down the road from us, Classic Cafe that takes Buddy's Lot coupons, but I digress. It's now 2+ years later and I've just never gotten back into the swing of cooking like I should. It feels like a constant battle for me...I finally realized that it's not so much the cooking, but the coming up with what to cook that drives me crazy, so we've both started working together to come up with weekly menu options and then it's much easier to do the cooking without feeling like I'm shouldering a huge burden. All of that to say, I thought I would share what we cooked this past week as well as a recipe that we came up with for a delightful stir-fry. In addition to maybe sharing some dinner planning ideas I know that posting menus here will also help hold me accountable to cook the way I should! So here is our deal for last week:

Monday: Chinese takeout @ my parents' house (before they went on vacation)
Tuesday: dinner @ Classic on the way to pick up Walker
Wednesday: Tacos/Gorditas with refried beans and fixings
Thursday: Chicken/Veggie Stirfry w/ Lomein Noodles (recipe to follow)
Friday: Spaghetti w/ meatballs
Saturday: meatball subs

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cookie Monster?

So it's been a long week and truth be told last night we just needed a break...I've been craving some cookies so after dinner we decided to go for it and bake some. We've been rather strict with Walker's sweets intake...we don't give him a whole lot. In fact, out of all his Easter candy, I think he actually got to eat 2 or 3 bites. Anyway, last night as soon as we started baking, it was like he'd been down this road a million times and knew just what was coming next. As soon as the first pan came out of the oven he started begging for one...and we just couldn't resist! Today we've had to literally hide them because if he sees the bag on the counter he immediately starts pointing and asking...ladies and gentlemen, I hope a few cookies haven't created a monster!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

WFMW - Kitchen StepLadder

Our little guy is now just over 18 mos old and wants to constantly know/see/touch what is going on around him. Every morning when he gets up, I fix him eggs for breakfast, which he loves. However, he also wants me to hold him while I'm cooking so he can see the eggs, which is difficult at best. Last week it occurred to me to pull the seldom used step ladder out of our closet and try it in the kitchen with him. Voila! Sold - I can place it such that he isn't close enough to touch the stove and get burned, but close enough that he can see "the action" and not pull at my legs the whole time to pick him up.

It also doubles as a work space for him with his puzzle, which he's totally in love with, so that he can work on it while I'm working in the kitchen. Works for me!

Check out other great WFMW ideas at Rocks in My Dryer!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Just a quick update on Walker - his fever has stayed under 101 today - so that's a huge improvement over the last few days!! Woohoo! Hopefully he will be able to sleep through the night tonight and get some much needed rest...God has been so good to take such good care of our little fella! Thanks for your prayers!

Not up to par

I'll try to update later on this week with recent pics, but Walker has been under the weather, so we've been fairly busy just trying to love on him. Sat afternoon we realized he had a bit of a fever, 102, so we dosed with tylenol and watched it...Sun morning, we stayed home from church bc it was still in that range, however after his morning nap, was up to 104.2 - not what a mama wants to see! After talking with the nurse, she told us to work to keep it under 105, which thankfully we were able, and then we saw the Dr. yesterday. Sounds like it is most likely a virus that needs to run it's course, so right now it's just wait and see. We'll keep you posted!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Take just a minute and...

hop on over and enter the giveaway for Gotta Go Mitts on Megret's blog. As W is still part of the diaper world, I must admit that I really hadn't *thought* about when we're using the potty on the go, but it didn't take long to think about little fingers touching EVERYTHING. This looks like a great product - the entry is simple...hurry on just might win!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fun with Papa

So the other day when I shot the "Easter truck" video, we used our camera...had never tried that feature before - had never realized how incredibly easy it is. So now, hopefully we'll be shooting lots more video and trying to share more with you. Last night, Brad came upstairs after work and picked up Walker for a hug and to play some, and Walker started grabbing his head, wanting Brad to "get him". So stinkin' cute...I grabbed the camera and filmed away. Couldn't resist sharing the video of our little cutie - hope you'll enjoy!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Walker & The Easter Truck

So this is totally new to me...hope it works well...if it doesn't we'll try again. We ran some errand yesterday afternoon and then had dinner at Steak & Ale via a Christmas giftcard (thanks Grace!! - it was yummy!!). After we got home, it was still early and the weather was so nice, so we got out the bubble machine and went out on the deck. Then Papa brought the Easter truck out. We played and played and had lots of fun. At the beginning of the video you'll see Walker dance a little - which I think is so stinkin' cute and then the boys started playing with the truck. Hope you'll enjoy!!