Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Not So Guilty Pleasure!

My aunt who is lifetime Weight Watcher member gave me this recipe a few years ago.  One box of cake mix, (any flavor) and one small can of pumpkin.  Mix the two ingredients together and that's it. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.   Makes 14 large muffins.  You do not taste the pumpkin at all in the muffin.   I have tried spice cake, yellow cake and chocolate cake.   These are low fat, low calorie, moist and yummy!  A little pleasure without the guilt!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Life Is Good

I'm sitting her enjoying a glass of champagne and reading blogs!  
Eric got me the champagne for our campfire last night...it doesn't get any more redneck than that, does it?!  Eric is watching football and Brady is playing a game on the computer.
Brady was hitting tennis balls against the garage...but it started raining out and that's why he's inside!

On Friday, I went shopping and out to lunch with a friend. 
We actually only went to two stores...and then ran out of time!
We spent more time talking in the stores than shopping! 
We had lunch at Chili's.
I don't get to spend much time with this friend ,but when I do get to see her,
 it always leaves me feeling more refreshed and energized to be a better mom and wife. 
I think good friends just do that to us!

On Friday evening we dropped Brady off at our rec center for Parents Night Out.
 He got to play with friends, have pizza and go swimming.
 Eric and I went to dinner and walked around Target.
 I'm so lucky that my husband likes to shop.  If we only had the funds...we would be really good shoppers! 
 I was excited to get these paper napkins and plates:

Eric woke up Saturday morning and insisted I NOT come into the kitchen.
He tried to make made me a "McGriddle" breakfast.
I often joke that if I had to pick my last meal...it would be a McDonald's McGriddle sandwich.
And a big bowl of gummy bears.
Breakfast was good...he put enough on my plate to feed at least four people!
He kept apologizing about the "presentation"...and said next time he has plan to make it look better.
I love him tons.

My mixer broke a couple of months ago.
It wasn't a fancy kitchen aid or anything.
I bought one this morning at Walmart for $6.98!
If I would have known I could get one for that price...I wouldn't have waited so long!
I'm sure the expensive ones are nice...but my little hand held serves me just fine.

Fall is my favorite time to cook.
I love everything pumpkin....and I have tons of fall recipes.
So, I decided to put them all together in one place.
I bought this photo book for $1.50 and made a little cover for it.
Now, I just have to fill it with all my pumpkin recipes!

A couple laughs from this weekend:

Brady turned the tv on last night and saw that the Phillies were playing.
He told Eric the Phillies were winning 2-Love.
Too funny!
I guess it's obvious Brady doesn't watch much baseball!

Brady said this afternoon after he got his haircut.........
"They should call it Good Clips (instead of Great Clips) because....
the lady that cut my hair wasn't so GREAT!

Look what I got in the mail!
I bet you can guess what I've been making!
I'll show you my finished projects soon!

So, it's been a great weekend.
Time with a friend.
A date with my husband.
Conversations w/ family by the campfire.
Lots of laughs.
And, a little crafting!

Life is Good.
Hope you're enjoying your weekend too!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Clicker Bag


I took a class the other day at our rec
center and learned to make these clicker bags.  It's actually about the size of a make up bag.  Its called a clicker bag because it clicks at the top when you open it.

                This is what makes it "Click"...

We cut two pieces of tape measure
and sewed it into the top of the bag.
I rounded the edges with scissors and
then wrapped the ends in duct tape so the
 sharp edges wouldn't eventually
poke through.  Yesterday I picked up more
fabric to try and make another one.

Hopefully I'll be able to follow the directions and figure it
 out on my own...we'll see about that!  If anyone wants
 the directions, leave me your email address and I will
send them to you!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Seven And A Half

On Sunday, we celebrated Brady's 1/2 birthday!
I got this idea from Cindy at Loving Lifes Little Things...
she celebrates her daughter's half birthdays with a cake
and a book.  When I read her blog...I knew right away
that I wanted to do this too!

The cake is just a box cake mix and one
can of confetti frosting. (Brady's favorite!)
I have seen several different Kit Kat cakes
all around blogland....so I thought I would
give it a try!  Boy was Brady suprised!  He
loved the cake and wanted
to know how I knew it was his half birthday??

We sang "Halfy Birthday to you"
Isn't that funny!
Ok, we may have gone too far on that one!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

A True Winner

"Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying
when you know you can lose."
~Tom Krause

Brady played in his first USTA junior tournament yesterday.  Two weeks before the tournament, he started a "countdown" on a piece of paper in his room.  I can't even describe how excited he was to get to the chance to participate in this tournament.  I on the otherhand was not as excited.  I felt sick in my stomach the day before and the day of the tournament.   He would be competing in the 10 and under age group...but I knew that meant playing against kids that are 2 and 3 years older than him.  That makes a BIG difference in the level of strength and play.  I made this perfectly clear to him that it wouldn't be easy...I know that he's used to winning...and this would not be the case.  Brady said, " even if I lose Mom, I will still get the practice and it will make me get better."   Okay...so he definately did not get his confidence from me!

The first match Brady played against a boy that was 9yrs old.  We watched from an enclosed glass viewing area on the second floor above the courts.  (To add to my nervousness, this room where all the spectators and parents are...is so quiet you could hear a pin drop.  No talking, clapping, nothing.  What a stuffy group of people...I mean seriously?!  Not my kind of crowd that's for sure.)  So, Brady and this boy are all alone down on the court, warming up, making calls and keeping score all on their own.  I was so proud of Brady and how he handled himself.  A few times I found myself tearing up...I would have never as a 7yr old, put myself in that kind of situation.  Brady had some great rallies, had a couple of deuce games and never gave up.  He lost 6-0, 6-0.  After his match, he ran to the net and shook his opponet's hand.  On our way to meet him...I wondered if he would get teary when he saw us.  Would he be sad he lost every game?  Would he be ready in another two hours to play his next match?  We couldn't wait to give him a big hug and congratulate him.  When he came skipping up the steps to find us, he had the biggest smile on his face!  He was so proud of himself.  He said to the other boy, "you're a really great player."   I'm not sure we've ever been more proud of him than we were that very moment. 

This picture was taken after his second match.

Brady played really well his second match.  His opponet was 10 1/2 yrs old.  At one point during his match, Brady looked up and gave us a thumbs up.  Brady lost 6-0, 6-1.  So, for those of you who aren't familiar with tennis scoring....it means, Brady lost 25 games and won 1.  When he won his first game (towards the end of the match)....he jumped up so high and did a big "fist pump".  He was elated.  That one tiny victory was all he needed.  We thought for sure this tournament would be an eye opener for him.  Maybe he would realize he needs to get a little older and a little stronger before he starts doing more tournaments.  On the way home, Brady said, "how long until my next tournament?"  Oh boy.

Congratulations Brady on your first junior tennis tournament!

We are so PROUD of you!

Love, Mom & Dad

Friday, September 17, 2010

Boo-tiful Little Lights

I saw this idea in Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine.

Here's what you'll need:

Spray paint the base.  Draw the eyes and mouth
with a pencil and fill it in with a marker.

Add a tea light...and there you have it!

My glass shade is a little more curvy than the Lowes one...
but it was only fifty cents at the reuzit shop...so I went with it.
Super cheap and easy...my kind of craft

I suprised Brady with this in his bathroom yesterday after school.
He loved it!

(Thanks for all the comments and encouraging words
regarding my Diet Mountain Dew addiction.
  I'm happy to report thatI only had two sodas yesterday...and lots
 of water.  I planned my entire day around when I would have
 those two drinks!  Anyway, I will look back over your comments
when I need a little reassurance!  Thanks again!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Am I Trying To Kill Myself?

A few weeks ago,  my mother-in-law asked if I would save my soda cans for the
youth group at her church.  Why was she asking me this?  Does she know I drink
a little soda?    Does she think I have a problem?  I told her I would...but it slipped my mind
and I finally thought of it yesterday.  Not that it matters...she would never realize that I
just started collecting.  I got out a garbage bag and filled it with our cans.  We put out
our recycling on Tuesday nights...so I had exactly one weeks worth of cans.
Seeing the soda in the bag, made me feel half sick...although not sick enough...
because I drank two more before the night was over.  

All the soda I drank last week.

I know I'm not setting a good example for my son.  He tells me often that I need 
to drink more water.  It seems the only time I drink water is when I am at
the gym or playing tennis.  We allow Brady one caffeine free soda a day...and I 
drink all the Diet Moutain Dew I want.  I know it's terrible for me.  I'm not a complete
moron....I have googled and read all kinds of awful things about diet soda.  I will give it
up for a couple of weeks...and then one day I have one and then it's right back to
6 or so cans a day.   

I've tried seltzer water...I can't even bare the taste of that!  I've tried cutting up
fruit in ice cubes to make my water more appetizing.  I'm not a fan of hot tea
or coffee....cannot stand milk.  So, it doesn't leave me with many options.
It seems like if I give up DMD ( it's what my husband and son call it) it's all or
nothing.  It seems I can't handle the responsibility of having just one or two a day.
I want to be healthy...I mean who really knows the affects of diet soda and all
that aspertame and nutra sweet.  I only know it can't be good...and I want to be
around a long time for my family. 

 So, starting tomorrow I will limit myself
to two DMD's a day and that's it.  No matter what.  I will do this until
my caffeine headaches subside and then I will start having just one a day and
then go from there.  I thought by telling you guys ...it might make me a little
more accountable.  
I will do it for my family because I love them too
much not to take better care of myself. 

 I can do it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Was Wrong On This One

Brady had been asking for months (thanks to the
 commercial on t.v.) if we could buy
 the Live Butterfly Garden and I kept putting it
 off hoping he would forget about it.  I admit, I thought
 it was a waste of money.  Twenty-five dollars?! 
 Who buys these things?  Anyway, in August we went to
 Hershey Gardens and Brady spotted the butterfly
kit immediately high up on a shelf in the gift shop.
 He wanted it so badly...and said he would use his
 money if he could just please buy it.  I still continued
 to try and talk him into a less expensive souvenier
 but I wasn't getting anywhere.  So, he made his
purchase and was happy as pie all the way home! 

We sent away for the caterpillars,
 followed the directions, watched as the larvae formed into chrysalids and then waited again for the butterflies to emerge in
their new habitat.  The entire process took about three
weeks.  And I have to say, Brady thoroughly enjoyed
observing them everyday and watching the entire
 process unfold before him.  He fed the butterflies
for a few days, and then released them in our backyard. 
 He did a great job taking care of them each step of the

At first, I felt bad that Brady used his own money
(which took all but $2 of his savings)....but he didn't
 hesistate and hasn't once regretted his decision.  I may
have been wrong in thinking the butterfly kit was a waste
of money...but I think I was definately right in letting
Brady use his own money to buy it.  

We plan to buy more caterpillars next summer!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ten on Ten: September 2010

The object is to take a picture every hour for 10 consecutive hours on the 10th of the month.

My day was definately ordinary....I even thought about being sneaky and taking pictures yesterday on the 9th instead ...because today I really didn't have much going on!  But just like I learned last month from doing this challenge...I was reminded to find the beauty in the ordinary moments.  And that I did.

Brady's breakfast!

Getting Brady's lunch packed.

I was touched by Jen's blog this morning.  You can read it here if you want. 

I stopped in here this morning. 

And found this for $3.95.
 I was thinking of painting the frame and adding a different matte....and
 maybe paring it with an old wooden tennis raquet for the hallway.   When
I showed it to Brady after school, he smiled and said, "that's nice".  I could
tell he didn't like it...but that's my boy...he never wants to hurt my feelings!
Maybe I will fix it up and sell it on eBay!
(The more I look at it...the guy is a little creepy looking!)

I stopped into the Bead Outlet.  I've been wanting to stop
in there for about 4 years now!  I found out they have classes....I wonder
if I can talk some friends into taking one with me?!

I got out a few Fall decorations.

My husband called this afternoon and needed me to come
pick him up...his truck died.   At least he was at a gas station near our house.  
 I think me taking a picture definately helped to lighten the mood! 
It ended up just needing a new battery.  Thank goodness!

Brady's getting his raquet and he's off to play tennis for a couple or so hours!

I made pretzel hugs for a campout in the livingroom tonight!
The easiest little treat you'll ever make!

If you haven't tried ten on ten yet...you should give it a try!
You can find the link party here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Learning At Its Finest!

So many times when I ask my son
 "where did you learn that?".....
he says he learned it from......

Spongebob Squarepants

Really?  That's just great.  A little yellow sponge guy.    That's who my son learns lots of stuff from.  Not that any of it has been negative...he's learned some interesting things that even impress me sometimes...but still...you know what I mean. 

Today I picked Brady up at school and he said to me...."QUICK somebody call the heavens....because an angel is missing and her name is YOU!"  
Oh my!   I'd never heard that one before....I asked him who he heard that from....and he said, "Spongebob".  All day at school and he's thinking of something he heard on tv!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

About Those Corn On The Cob Cupcakes...

Remember I said I was going to make these cupcakes for a
 Labor Day Cookout?  Well, I didn't get to make them.  My friend asked if I could bring a dessert...something other than "cake" since
 she was making a cake for her husband's birthday...to have at the cookout.  Bummer!  In her defense, she didn't have
any idea what I was planning to bring. 
 So, I decided to make these:

It's a good thing most people ate birthday cake...because I didn't think they tasted like anything great at all!  The recipe called for almond...which I'm not a fan of, but put it in anyway.  I should have added vanilla instead.    I had a hard time understanding the directions...so my husband went ahead and rolled the dough and figured it out for me. (He's nice like that!) The sesame seeds and raisens helped to make them look more like watermelon.   If anyone is interested in this recipe...let me know and I'll get the recipe to you.  It didn't make "the cut" for my blog...so I won't be posting it!

I also made this for the cookout...and this
recipe is definately worth sharing!

Corn on the Cob Potato Salad

This is one of my go to recipes in the summer when we are invited somewhere.
It is so colorful and everyone always wants the recipe.
(ps. not one person asked for the watermelon cookie recipe...
whats that tell ya?!)

Here's what you'll need:

1 1/2 lbs. small red potatoes
2 cups cooked corn and cut from cob
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 TBS. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 TBS. chopped parsley

Bring potatoes to a boil and then simmer about 15 mins until just cooked.
  Cut potaoes into halves or quarters.  In a large bowl, combine corn,
onion, celery and potatoes.  In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine
oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and thyme.  Shake well.  Pour over salad
and stir.  Add parsley and stir again. 
Makes 8 servings.

I like to make this the night before and refrigerate...I think it taste better that way.
I also don't follow the recipe perfectly....I do 4 lbs of potatoes and then improvise
with the rest. 
 I hope you'll try it!

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