Wednesday, December 30

For Those Better Than Me

I am posting this for all you domestic divas out there. Have you ever started cookies or brownies only to realize you don't have enough eggs? AOL homepage headlines offer some hope as it teases about a "great idea" for egg substitutes. I quickly clicked over to be enlightened by this ground breaking information that would change the way I bake forever.

My excitement quickly turned to annoyance as I read, " For each replaced egg, grind a tablespoon of flax seed and dissolve it in 3 tablespoons of water. "

Seriously? Seriously AOL? If I am out of eggs do you honestly think I have a tablespoon of flax seed lying around? And even if I could scrape up some flax seed, do you think I would have the tools to grind it or even know how to grind it?? Whatthecrapever.


I'm putting away my apron and opening up some Oreos. No egg requirement there.

Thursday, December 24

The stockings are stuffed and so are we...must be Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 23

Dear Mrs. Tresher...

Andy brought this note to me this afternoon. "Mom, see what I'm giving Mrs. 'Twesher'," he said. As Kindergarten teachers we ask them to "write what they hear." He did that. It just gets a little complicated when you happen to pronounce all of your "R"s with the "W" sound. Bless his heawt.

Monday, December 21

Mandy's People Chow


Get out your little index cards girls because you'll want to add this one to the files--Mandy's People Chow. YUM. Maybe it isn't *new* but it was *new* to me. I thought Mandy was talking about the ol Puppy Chow or White Trash recipe but this is way better than that- plus there's no white mess on your sweater when you're done!

Pour a box of Honey Graham cereal in a big bowl. Set aside. Melt a block of white chocolate/vanilla candy bar. (I melted mine in the microwave and it was much less mess than stove top.) Add 2 (or 3) little boxes of raisins to the melted chocolate. Pour over the cereal. Stir. Keep Stirring. Stir some more. It takes quite a bit of stirring to get all the cereal covered. Add in M&Ms. Not too many...just enough to give it some color. Stir a bit more. Pour the mixture out onto a BIG piece of wax paper. Let sit to harden. Break apart, bag it up for your friends, and save some for your family.

Next time I am going to swap Reeses Pieces for the M&Ms to add a little peanut butter flavor. Ya'll know I never can follow a recipe exactly.

Voila. People Chow! Or as we like to call it, Neighbor Chow!

Saturday, December 19

Cue the Christmas Music

As you prepare for the holidays, I hope you are listening to some lovely vintage Christmas music. (of course Buble counts!)To get you started I added a few to my playlist...some vintage remakes (love that Buble) and some real deals. Oh yeah, a dash of the present was sprinkled in for good measure. Turn up the volume and enjoy the season. Every. Single. Day!

Thursday, December 17

Holiday Tour

I'm so excited to particpate in the Nesters Christmas Tour of Homes! Here are some snipets of our holiday decor...
The Picture Tree in the dining room...don't tell but this one stays up year round.

G-mama Roberts's angels...she gave them to me when I was a little girl just because I said I liked them one time when we were at her house.

The kids tree on the landing-a place for all those school/church ornaments to call home.

Maci's Tree


Downstairs bath...

This Santa House was a giveaway- One gal's trash is my treasure- Andy's too!


"Teacher gifts"

Peeking Snowmen

A warm fire...we actually need a warm fire this week.


The first present under the tree....to us from Andy...bless his heart, he really doesn't think we know what it is.


Monday, December 14

Crunching Numbers

See that food up there? That is a tiny tiny sampling of what we ate at Disney and it didn't cost us a !dime Literally. We got in on the "free dining" promotion which entitled us to 1 counter service, 1 table service, and 1 snack- per person per day. The above tray was from The Land at Epcot.

What we did have to pay for was the gratuity on the table service meals. Brad also purchased some breakfast items and we partially paid for our last meal at Hollywood Studios (day 8) because we were out of credits. We spent a grand total of $261. Not bad for 8 days and 5 people! Especially not bad when you consider that our bill for Teppan Edo at Epcot's Japan totaled $214. The night before at Crystal Palace came to a grand total of $206, and the average counter service bill was $60 for our little family.

After adding all the receipts, we ate $1754 worth of food for $261!

Obviously taking advantage of the free dining is a no brainer.

If we would have had to pay for the dining, it was going to cost us $1200. Taking into account the additions we purchased we still would have been ahead $293. However, while the dining plan is convenient and a great way to splurge, you really won't save money purchasing it vs. not purchasing it. Not unless you plan to have a dessert with EVERY meal- including counter servce, always order drinks- sometimes smoothies, and stuff yourselves with an additional snack per day just for the heck of it.

Moral of the story....free dining...best deal in the World. Plan on it...wait for it...snag it! Every. Time.

Wednesday, December 9

In Case You Can't Wait

When Disney's parade comes on Christmas morning and says "Live" at the bottom of the scren, they are fibbing a bit. I wouldn't even say it was recorded live because there are multiple takes on everything. So maybe it means the performers are live rather than the audio-animatronics versions that are so common in the parks. Yeah. That must be what they mean.

Anyway, they did the taping last weekend. There were weather "issues" (downpours) on Friday morning which led to them moving Celine to the Floridian and the parade taping to Sunday. We missed the Jonas Brothers but were fortunate enough to be a part of Celine's taping. Here is a video of some pretaping fun (that went on almost 2 hours!) followed by Nick Cannon and then Celine's performance. If that first guy looks familar, he played Ken on the Barbie videos back in the day. For real. He actually was a really funny guy and did a great job with the improv entertainment!

Tuesday, December 8

The Pictures

Better take a seat if you plan to look at them all...

Sunday, December 6

ReEntry


Much like Epcot's Mission Space, the re-entry into the real world from Disney World can be a bit rough. Because the blog is my version of scrapbooking, I have several posts coming on our trip. I want to cover the dining plan breakdown, things to remember for next time, funniest moments, etc. etc. But for now I just wanted to say we are back and in that "I wish I was still at Disney...but I'm not so I'm going to go through the pictures, passporter, and plan the next trip" funk. Right now I am off to work on our Christmas picture...you knew it would be a Disney picture didn't you?? ;)

Thanks Brownies for sharing this magical experience with us!!

Friday, November 27

Hang on gang....we are on our way! See you soon.

Sunday, November 22

Are You Kidding Me?


I don't think this has ever happened to us before- all three kids are currently on antibiotics for strep. Maci came in first with Andy following 6 days later and then Aaron joined the party today. Thank goodness for a doc that writes 3 Rx's at the first appointment. She knew how this was going to go down. Now...anyone know a doc that will write a "just in case Rx" for Brad and me? Otherwise we may be looking for a doc in the crowd at Disney!

Friday, November 20

Finally! An Announcement!


I've been waiting. And waiting. And waiting for my niece Jana to make her announcement to the blogging world. Finally the day has arrived. So since it has now been shouted from Facebook to Blogger let me shout it too-- Jana is having a baby!!!

This is the first baby in our family in the last 17 years that hasn't required me throwing up, gaining 30 pounds, going into labor, and waking up at all hours of the day and night. FINALLY a baby I can snuggle and play with yet pass off when she cries or poops.

Hooray! Hooray for Matt & Jana. Hooray for the new generation of baby mommas. Hooray for new tradiitons...I gotta come up with a tradition...my sister always sends a big box of goodies to my kids on Vday. I need a tradition like that for this kiddo. Maybe Easter packages? Maybe 4th of July? Hooray for tiny little feet and pretty little noses. Hooray for that Johnsons & Johnsons shampoo smell and hooray for a reason to shop at Babies R Us.


So many reasons to just say HOORAY!

Monday, November 16

Ashley's Chicken Enchiladas- Kicked up a Notch


We like Ashley's chicken enchiladas- alot. We also like spice- alot. So here is the recipe for Ashley's enchilads kicked up a notch on the spice scale.

diced cooked chicken
1 can medium enchilada sauce
1 can hot enchilada sauce
1 can chopped green chiles
large flour tortillas
small container of sour cream
1 package of Ranch mix
couple handfulls of cheese
jalepenos

Combine the chicken, medium enchilada sauce, green chiles, sour cream, ranch mix, and 1 handfull of cheese. Spoon mixture into flour tortillas. Line flour tortillas in a caserole dish. I use the square Pampered Chef stoneware. It fits 4 large tortillas. Pour the hot enchilada sauce on top. Sprinkle on the other handfull of cheese. Add jalepenos to the top. Make it looke pretty. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes or so. Let it sit another 10 minutes or so.


Sunday, November 15

It's Me on Voki!


Get a Voki now!


Get a Voki now!

BF- It IS a Good Thing

I love love love Black Friday. I also love love love preparing for Black Friday. If you are still preparing the night before, you are way behind the times. Sites like Black Friday Ads begin posting weeks ahead of time. You can also sign up for email updates. The email updates let you know about the before BF sales as well. Brad and I caught a *major* deal last week for the kids! Another feautre is the list creation option. As you scan the ads, simply click to save the items you are interested in. Items are sorted by store and when you print it out the night before you are given a handy dandy organized list.

Additional points of interest- Toys R Us opens at 12:01 this year. Old Navy opens at 3am. Target is at 5am. Best Buy is 7am. No news yet on Wal-Mart. So....the possibility of shopping all night is looking pretty good. Old Navy will have jeans for $15 and kids jeans for $10. They are also offering Lego RockBand game FREE with any $20 purchase--while supplies last.

See how fun it is? Look at these people....don't they look like they are having fun? Clearly these are prepared shoppers. They are taking advantage of the day to the fullest possible potential.


See these people...rummaging through the paper while they wait in line. They don't look happy. They look unprepared. Sad day for them. They will likely miss out on some of the best deals.
Learn from their ignorance. (Bless their hearts.) Do your homework and have a fabulous Black Friday!

Tuesday, November 10

Mm Mm Good


Now is the time to stock up on all your Campbell's Soup needs. Grocery stores are going to be having sales like crazy for the holidays. WalMart has veggies for 50cents right now by the way. Anyway, you *always* need cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup in the pantry. Always. They are the perfect base for so many recipes including these:


Baked Potato Soup

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 "can-fulls" of milk
1 small carton sour cream
cooked bacon pieces
diced green onion
couple handulls of shredded cheese (I use mont. jack / colby mix)
2 cooked and diced potatoes
Start by popping those taters into the microwave. While they are *baking* go ahead and pour in both soups and the milk. Stir well. Add in the sour cream, bacon pieces, and green onion. Continue to stir and when it is heated through, add the cheese. By now your taters should be ready. Dice them up (I leave the skin on but that's just me) and drop them in. SOOO easy and SOOO yum!


Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can milk
1 bag frozen broccoli pieces
pepper
cut up velvetta cheese (about *that* much)
Cook the broccoli as directed. Drain. Add in soup and milk. Heat through. Add cheese. Let simmer until broccoli gets to desired tenderness. This one is even easier and still sooo yummy. It also takes fabulous with crumbled ritz pieces on the top.

Both of those recipes came from me taking pieces of other recipes and then changing howthecrapever I wanted or needed to. Recipes are just a guide. Use them accordingly.

But now baking...that is a different story. There is a science to baking. Recipes must be followed there. Exactly why I don't blog about baking. I'm not really into the rule following part of it.

Friday, November 6

Mistreatments Take Two


This mistreatment is my first sewing project since 8th grade. For real. Perfect? No. Lovely? Yes! They appear a little uneven in the picture because...well because... they may be a little uneven. But in real life they are up way high and it's not noticeable. I haven't lost a wink of sleep over the matter actually.
I made these curtains for the boys' room out of a flat sheet and a dust ruffle. See that header thing...that was tricky. Yes Mother, they are still wrinkled. Don't worry. Those wrinkles will fall out- eventually. Plus, the boys don't care.

Wednesday, November 4

Future Mistreatment


Ok, THIS shower curtain from Anna's Linens will be perfect for my dinging room! Click on the picture to make it big and see the detail. The colors will be fabulous with the new decor of the downstairs. The big question is the *how to* for this one. Should I get two and make panels? Just do a valance type topper? Maybe add fringe to it and make a straight topper? Hmm...ideas anyone?

Tuesday, November 3

$12.48

See that huge clock? (Like you could miss it!) It was on clearance at Target for $12.48! Check those endcaps girlies. Check those endcaps. You never know when a treasure will be back there hiding. Now the story won't be complete without adding that originally the hands were a bit "floppy" but my daddy fixed them!

Monday, November 2

Mistreatments Take One

Before. Please don't laugh at my ivy. It served me well for many many (many) years.
After. This is my first take at a mistreatment. I found a darling zebra shower curtain at Target. Yes I said shower curtain. But that part doesn't matter. What matters is that it is a darling zebra print. Add that to my red bathroom and I have a fabulous window mistreatment as well as a nod to my high school alma mater. The how to part wasn't too bad either. Add a few curtain clips to attach to the top. I folded instead of cut because I may actually want to use it as a shower curtain one day. It took a couple safety pins and about 30 minutes of playing around to get it folded and pinned like I wanted it. It could take less time if you aren't as picky. I eventually gave up on perfection and went with "looks good to me." This is a crappy picture...I'll try to remember to get a better one and try again. Keep checking back....many more mistreatments to come!


Sunday, November 1

This Is What FIRST Place Pirates Look Like

Way to go Porter Ridge 6th Grade Girls!!! They worked more hours on this than you can imagine and it all payed off as they accepted thtat FIRST place trophy! Stop the music below before you press play.
video

Saturday, October 24

Headed to the Nest


You know how you pop from blog to blog searching for a new crafty idea or some inspiration. Most blogs you go in and out of quickly. Occasionaly you find one to save as a favorite and once every million clicks you find *that* blog. The one that becomes your go to blog for all things fabulous. You don't even know this person which makes them very celebrity like in your mind. Everything they say resonates with you. Every craft they do is fabulous. Every picture is perfect. Well imagine finding out that the celebrity blogger you adore is having a yard sale AND then imagine that you find out the celebrity blogger is not only having a yard sale but she actually lives in your metorpolitan area?! Can you hear the giddyness in my typing here?


Nester is having a yard sale and I can go!!!


Who is Nester you ask...stop right now and head on over to the nest. Read about her window mistreatments here. Read about her fabulously frugal ideas here. Be still my heart.


I'm trying desparetly not to scare off the Nester with my stalker like tendencies. I'm hoping she is flattered and not frightened by the attention. I don't know Nester but I bet she understands. I bet she has a mentor blogger too. I bet she won't even call the police when I show up 12 hours early for this yard sale.

Sunday, October 11

Over Due

The last time we went to Disney World Maci and Aaron looked like this-
Brad and I looked like this-
As you can see, we are loooonnnng overdue for another Disney trip. Thank goodness the next one is only about 40 days away. Get ready Mickey because Maci, Aaron, Andy, Payten, and Carter are headed your way!!!


Thursday, October 1

Who Knew


Who knew that cheesy little show I would catch every now and then on TLC would turn into the biggest drama since "who shot JR?" By the way...who did shoot JR? I must've been too young because I really don't even know!

Who cares why Jon stopped production- Just be glad he did!

Wednesday, September 30

Saving My List

I saw this on my facebook page and had forgotten I had done it...I just wanted to kinda keep it so I'm going to "save it" here on the blog. (so #26 could be that I am quite forgetful and #27 could be that I am also quite sentimental.)

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you

1- I've been tagged by Mark, Tammy, Julia, and Ashley for this so I feel obligated now. Why does this sort of thing make me feel obligated?
2- I love summer.
3- I love the beach in the summer. I love seeing Brad and the kids loving the beach. Everyone is just content there.
4- I am not so fond of January or February. Or October. (great...October is back again...)
5- I have a complex about having to do things myself- if I want it done right, I have to do it myself type thing. Not so great.
6- Little things matter to me.
7- Brad's favorite number is 7. He always has the kids pick a number between 1 & 10. It is always 7. Andy hasn't figured this out yet so he always loses.
8- 8 is my favortie number. I tell my kindergartners that it looks like a snowman that ate his head. Eight- ate- get it???
9- I'd like to spend every fall and winter at Disney and spring and summer at the beach.
10- I am a list maker. I have lists for everything.
11- I like my lists to be neat.
12- I hate those pens that spit on the paper. Yuck. I prefer those smooth felt tips or thin line markers.
13- I like to shop and I love Dillards, Hobby Lobby, and Target most of all.
14- I love living in the South and raising my kids here. It's just different here.
15- I love it when my house is full of family or friends. Wall to wall. Love it.
16- I love spontaneous road trips...that I plan.
17- I am so thankful for my friends here. I've been so blessed.
18- 18 is another favorite number of mine.
19- I'm a bit of a rebel.
20- But I hate it when other people don't follow the rules I am following.
21- I love red. If you are buying me something- get it in red.
22- I love steak, fajitas, and loaded nachos. (not at the same meal!)
23- I wish I knew how to cut hair. I may go to beauty school when I retire, just for the heck of it.
24- I am as loyal as loyal can be. But if you mess with me...you never get my full trust back.
25- I may be a rebel and not tag 25 people...maybe just 10...or maybe 26. That's how much of a rebel I am!

Saturday, September 26

Lost Pics of Summer

Somehow I overlooked the pics from our backyard camping experience. I should've posted these weeks ago. Camping in the backyard is quite fun, however it really isn't a summer sport. Maci and I lasted until about 1:30am and then we "camped" in the living room under the cool air conditioner. That still counts though because we didn't go upstairs to our beds- we roughed it on the couch and the recliner. The boys suffered through the heat all night though- except Spicy...he came in with us girls!




This "seven man" tent really only sleeps 1 dad and 1 boy on the ground plus 1 mom, 1 tween, 1 baby boy, and 1 Spicy dog on an aero bed.



One more Smore please.

Yes, it was dark outside...I had no idea my camera flash worked so well!

Even campers need light, water, a cell phone, and a house phone.

Tuesday, September 22

Annoyed...For No Good Reason


I'm just generally annoyed today. This post has no real purpose so if you are one of those "everything must have a purpose" people you may want to go ahead and exit now. Because I am just annoyed for no real reason. My "not good enough to annoy me yet are annoying me" reasons are:

*Cubbies without doors. I don't like the kids crap falling all over the place. I need the doors...and when it gets cold and the they have coats, gloves, hats, and mittens.
Aw geez.
*Come to think of it, anyone that thinks NC winters require coats, gloves, hats, and mittens annoy me.

*That apple book I tried to do with the kids today was too hard. What was I thinking?

*Why can't my hair be as blonde as it used to be (15 years ago!) without me spending so much $$$ at the salon?

*Why are my hair appointments usually one week too late?
*People making wrong decisions annoy me. Yes. I am thinking of one in particular.

*The drama at the tanning place. Drama at the tanning place...seriously...that in itself is annoying.

*I don't have another free evening at home until Sunday night. Sometimes a girl just needs a night to come home and put on her pajamas.

See. I told you I didn't have any real reasons.