Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Meatloaf Mini's~

O.K, so I try to make dinner every night. "Try" is the main word there!
It seems to be getting harder and harder to find the time to whip up good meals with having the store {Quizno's} and my daughters schedule getting busier!
So lately, I've been lovin' the crock pot and short cuts!!

I've gone back to going bulk shopping once a month, planning meals and cooking all day to get things in the freezer!

For the meatloaf...
I mixed up my meatloaf as usual and then put portions in a cupcake tin! When they were done I let them cool, flipped 'em out of the pan, put them in a 1 gallon zip lock and popped them into the freezer!
This way of doing meatloaf is wonderful!! When you get home at 6 and don't want to eat at 8, these little babies are done in 30!! Plus, no big clean up!!
You can pull out as many or as few as ya like! If my husband works late, Jo and I only need a couple!
 Works great in a pinch!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Get Hoppin' on the BlogLovin' Blog Hop!!~

I'm SOOO EXCITED to be Co-Hosting the July BlogLovin' Blog Hop hosted by Jenny at The NY Melrose Family!! If you haven't checked out the other Co-hosts, I strongly suggest it! They are some amazing ladies with AWESOME blogs!!

Now onto the HOP!!!...

If you're looking for Whimsy Wednesdays you can find it here.


I am super excited to be hosting a Bloglovin' Blog Hop with Cari and Courtnee from Two Sasters, Amy from While Wearing Heels, Pam from Pam's Party Planning & Practical Tips,  Kristy from Cup of Jo, Carrie from My Favorite Finds,  Megan from Our Pinteresting Family, Barb from Second Chance to Dream, Jacqueline from The Detox Diva and Megan from Shaping Up to be a Mom for the month of July. 
What's Bloglovin' you ask?  Well, only the greatest way to keep track of the blogs that you love.  With the discontinuation of Google Friends Connect, I decided that I needed to find another way to keep up with all of my favorite blogs that are not hosted by blogger.  I signed up for Linky Followers and I've had great success with gaining new followers, but I’m finding I don’t get any traffic to my site from Linky.  I also do not enjoy reading my favorite blogs from there.  I stumbled upon Bloglovin' and I am in love!  It is very similar to Google Reader, in that you can see the beginning of the post and the first picture attached to the post.  Plus, Bloglovin' automatically updates your posts, unlike Linky Followers, which you have to manually update each time you write a new post.  I don't know about you, but I just don't have the time to do that every time.  Another added bonus is there is a Bloglovin' application for IPhone and Android devices.  Woohoo!  Like I don't spend enough time reading blogs.  Now it's a simple touch.  Love it!

***These are the complete instructions for sign up, so skip to the rules if you already have Bloglovin'***
In order to participate in this hop you need to sign up for Bloglovin’.  Go to Bloglovin'.   Hit the green sign up button in the right hand corner.  Next enter an email address and create your password.  You will get a confirmation eamil that you will need to follow a link back to Bloglovin' to continue the process.  Once you click on the link you will be brought to a page where it says to choose blogs to follow.  You don't need to do this.  Click next in the bottom right hand corner.  The next screen let’s you know about the mobile app so just click next again.  This screen will show that you are not following any blogs.  Click on Account in the upper right hand corner and toggle down to widget.  Choose the widget you want displayed on your page.  Put your url into the search query and it should pull up your site.  Click on your site and it will say display this icon.  The next page should bring you to a screen that has you display it into your layout.   Once you hit publish you’re done!  If you view your blog you should see the icon and now your followers can add you to their Bloglovin’ feed.  Seriously, so simple.  So let’s get to the blog hop.  This is a party so make sure to have some fun and mingle.

 There’s only a couple of rules:
2.      Add Bloglovin' to your blog.
3.      Post our button for the blog hop on your page to promote the fun.



If you're interested in co-hosting next month shoot me an email at russej10@gmail.com.  I also have some sponsor spots still available for August, which you can find here.  Alright, so let's have some fun and mingle!  Please link up your bloglovin profile.

Egg~cellent Idea

I've always boiled eggs. Never even thought to do anything different. Why would I?
After seeing this on Pinterest {here} I had to try it.
It says to bake at 350 for 25 min. There's several other PINS out there that say you can place the eggs directly on the rack, but I had no idea what might happen, so I preferred the cupcake pans!

My daughter making sure they're all even {doesn't matter!}

After baking them, they came out with all these little spots, but look at the bottom center one...
After the ice bath, the spots rub right off!

Speaking of the ice bath...
I left mine in for 20 minutes!

This process is to keep them from cooking longer and is supposed to make them easier to peel.
As far as the peeling, I don't think it made a huge difference. When they're boiled, I pop them in an ice bath after and they peel about the same.
Taste was a different story! Baking makes them have almost a smooth creamier yolk. Even my husband said they tasted better {twice!}
Very tasty and highly recommended!  3 thumbs up!!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Marvelous Monday!!~X3

There are so many great things about today!!!

1. I'm over at the lovely Jenny's, The NY Melrose Family, with a surprise giveaway!! Woo Hoo, love those!!

2. I'm also over at the super sweet Laura Beth's, A Step in the Journey, sharing a story that hits close to home to more women than I imagined.

3. OOOHHH....number 3!....

My daughter's been wanting a play house for at least 2 years now! First we thought she was too young, then my husband had his hip replaced, so no way could he build one! So, no play house for our spoiled, oops, "well loved" little bean! Until.... last week she got him to put up a tent out back that she could use as a play house. {Very clever little mind she has...}

Within a weeks time, has become this....which will end up being a wonderful playhouse!!
{He's working on it as I type!!!}

Woo hippity hoo!!!  My husband thinks I might be more excited than my daughter { I doubt that!}, but how can I not be?.. I can't wait to decorate!! Curtains...flower pots out front...LOVE IT!!!

Obviously, Kiley's very excited! I think her note to Dad says it all...

I better get out to help!!! Have a great day!!!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blog Hoppin'~

Hello! I hope every one's having a wonderful weekend!! Usually I wouldn't be here on Sunday,  but today I had to make an exception!... Kelly kicks off the  July Blog Hop!! Make sure to buzz over, link up and make some new bloggy friends!!

                           While my hubby watches the golf tournament, that's where I'll be!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mmm~ Strawberry Shortcake

Doesn't it seem like we're always looking for a new recipe to whip up and try?
On  the 4th of July my Sister-In-Law was in charge of dessert and good 'ol Strawberry Shortcake is what she brought. It totally hit the spot! I'm embarrassed to say, that I'd never made it before! I'm not sure why...how stinkin' easy it is!! I made it yesterday for my neighbors and for us!! Makes sense with all the fresh, juicy, ripe strawberries in season!
Using the recipe from the Bisquick box, super quick and again, hit the spot!!
This just became my Summer, go to dessert! We're having friends over this weekend...I can whip it up ahead of time and it's quick to serve!...Perfect!
Would it be wrong to eat it for breakfast?? It has fruit....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Butterfly Garden~ to have or not to have???

I'm sure almost everyone has seen the commercial for getting your very own "Live Butterfly Garden"
Yeah right, PASS!!
Every time the commercial came on my daughter was hooked! Of course TV makes it look amazing, fun and wonderful! Go figure, here comes Kiley Jo, she wrote down the website address to help me out!! Grrr...yes, I ordered them!
Oh, but what a great deal for me...since I ordered "today" I got 5 extra caterpillars for Free!!
Hmm...I was thinking I needed something for free since it said they were $19.95 and of course with shipping it was over $30 bucks!
Not even a week later, UPS was knocking on the door with these tiny little fuzzy critters. 
The box had the caterpillars (obviously), Fact sheets and what to do, a fun sticker page and a butterfly "home".
Freak mode!!..the caterpillars DID NOT MOVE! Surely they are dead! Great, my daughters tender heart will be broken! I should have read the paperwork right away...this is normal!

We began to see a little movement, I think?!?! Very little if any!!
 They must be at night because the "food" in the bottom was being eaten!
YES, definitely moving around! Whew!

7 days into having these little guys {oh, and girls} they grew 3 times their original size! Within another 3 days or so after that, they crawled up to the top of the lid and transformed into Chrysalides. Seriously, this is getting pretty cool...uh hum, I guess...!!

 Coming to the end of the week...You've got to be kidding!!!....Is that a butterfly in there??
Nope, FIVE so far!!
One night we sat for over 2 hours in front of them waiting for a butterfly to emerge...Ugg! We had to leave for 45 minutes and that's when it happened!! We really wanted to see that part!

ALL 10 became beautiful butterflies!!!

We kept them for a few days, waited for good weather and then trotted out to let them be free!!

This was the coolest part ever...can ya tell I'm starting to like this idea?...
They crawled on her finger and sat there flapping their tiny wings! Then just like that, POOF, off they flew into the big blue sky!! AMAZING!

My husband even joined in this kind of fun!!

This little gal, Violet, {yes, my daughter named every one of them} had a little problem. Somewhere along the line, she lost a large part of one of her wings. She can't fly...{sad sad face}
Kiley asks, "What happens to a butterfly that can't fly?" Oh no...how do you answer that nicely??
You don't, you give the facts and guess what??...

     You have a new pet!!!
                          It's been almost 3 weeks now... Lil' Ms.Violet gets let out twice a day to play in the grass and flit around. Fresh sugar water and an orange wedge are put in her home daily, along with fresh flowers for her to enjoy!
I tear up every time when I think of how sweet and nurturing our daughter is! I hope she keeps that tender heart forever!

Since having little Vi, I've been on the Internet trying to find a way to "help her". I found a very interesting U-tube video..."How to glue a Monarch wing back on"
Crazy, I know!!! It's pretty amazing and believe it or not, I found Violets entire wing piece in the bottom of the mesh house. I kept it for...I don't know what reason!! But we have it and might just attempt a little miracle!! If so, you'll see it too!!
For now though, Violet seems pretty happy hanging out under the protective watch of her "mommy"!

Final decision...5 thumbs up!!! This was the best purchase ever! I would spend twice what I did to have this experience for my daughter {and my hubby and I}. We're both over 40 and haven't seen anything like it! Truly amazing and a must have for anyone with kids!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Package Pal Gifts for ME!!~

Looky Looky what my wonderful Package Pal, Dana, from Our Life's Legacy, sent me! What a fun package to receive!! I truly enjoyed being matched up with Dana! I've learned over the past month....               1. We have things in common
                             2. She's a crafty chic
                             3. She's flat out funny!!! Great sense of humor! 
Look at this wonderful Fall Wreath! The "R" is actually on a thick piece of wood board!
I'll be sportin' it on the front door when the leaves start to change!

I Love a glass of wine now and then {preferably Moscoto!} and this is a fun little cork to dress up the bottle!

LOVE LOVE LOVE Stamps! You can do so much with them!!!

Who knew {not me!} you could make earrings out of paper clips! So fun! Not to mention, they match a fun little dress I got for the fourth of July!!

How sweet of Dana to think of my little one! I loved pick up sticks when I was a wee one! She even color coded them with paint from around her house! I know, crafty!!!

This was the first time I had participated in anything like this and I'll definitely be doing it again!!

BY THE WAY...Dont' forget to jump over to
It's from all her lovely gals sittin' on the sidebar (oh, that includes me! {smile})
It's one you don't want to miss!!!

Lovely Lemonade Stand~

Woo Hoo Look at me! I did it! Last week one of my Friday Finds was by Kristyn,
Since we were having our garage sale benefiting Children's Hospital the following weekend and my little one was selling lemonade and cookies, this would be PERFECT!!

Hi-ho, Hi-ho off to Home Depot I go...
I bought (4) 2X4's  12'-0
(10) 6'-0 Cedar planks
All said and done, $38.00, Not too shabby!!

I've watched my husband use the chop saw many many times...how hard could it be???
Well, it wasn't...once I called my dad and asked him how to get the "safety" off!
 Just have to pull this little pin out to get the head to lift up!!

Kristyn's cute stand had a top on it as well. I chose to use a 4-0 table we had {made it a little easier for me to make} and build a "cover" to go around it.

First, I cut all my cedar pieces down to 29 1/2". This was for the front and the sides.

Second, I cut the 2 x 4's down to make the frame.

I used long screws to put the frame together and used small nails to apply the cedar to it.

I used the paint I had left over (7 years ago!) when we painted Kiley's baby room!

Picked up some cute fabric at Joann's {using my 40% coupons!}
1/2 yard of each {3 patterns}
2 yards of one for the table cover and lil extra for bunting
Total spent: $17.00
{I used the fabric for this, but also had plenty left over for my fabric scrapbooks!}

My husband did have to help me add the top part, but other than that it was all me!!

Total spent: $55.00 Totally worth it!!

This will be fun for all Summer! Not to mention, I wrote the Lemonade in chalk, so it can easily be changed when we do the cupcake fundraiser at Quzino's in August!
SO MUCH FUN and my daughter LOVED IT!! She thinks I rock!! Ya think she'll still think that  when she's a teenager?? {Hope so!}

                                             Thanks so much for the inspiration Kristyn!!

Enjoy!! Kristy