Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to leave a quick note wishing everyone a Happy New Year. Jeff, Maddie, and I went to dinner with another couple and then came home. Maddie got to stay up a couple hours past her bedtime, but didn't even make it close to the new year! :) We did get some good pictures before she got too tired though! Hope you had a good time celebrating!

PS: I will get to the posts about the Bahamas within the next day or two!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in the Bahamas

This year we spent our Christmas in the Bahamas. As I previously wrote about, my dad got orders and this is where he is! :) I know, I know. My dad has it hard. This place is beautiful. I am so glad that we got the chance to come out and enjoy this beautiful weather. Sunny and anywhere from 78-84 on any given day. Maddie is having a blast. Not only because she gets to see Mimi and PopPop, but she has a golf cart that she gets to ride in the front, gets a ride whenever she asks (which is several times a day), and gets to run the house! She loves going to the "pool" everyday. We are now getting her to say beach, but for the first two or three days, it was a 'pool'. Her method of thinking was who needed bathing suits when you can jump in the water with your clothes on. She wants to go all of the time and not get out.

I have taken so many pictures, but unfortunately Maddie dropped my laptop and hard drive and now my hard drive doesn't work. It not only had all of my pictures from this trip up to that point, but years worth of pictures. Luckily, after a while of Jeff researching, he thinks that he can fix it. We have to wait to get home for all of the tools, but my fingers are crossed. I do have the last two days worth of pictures, but I will put that in a post itself since there are so many. I have so many stories to say, but that will go in another post, as well. What I am saying is, expect a lot of posts once I get home in a couple of days! :) Until then I plan on soaking up the sun, taking more bike rides, and enjoying the beautiful island.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Homemade Garland

      Any one who knows me knows that I love doing any sort of craft, new recipe, or anything that is homemade. I think that homemade gifts are the best gifts to give because they hold more value and personalization than a store bought gift. Anyway, I have a wall in my living room that has a big painting, but other than that, it doesn't have any sort of Christmas thrill to it. That bothered me to the core. My house is decked out and for that wall to look so bare is simply unacceptable. I had to change this and quick. After getting Jeff's input, I decided that wreaths would make a great addition. I already have homemade garland everywhere, why shouldn't I have wreaths to accompany it?

     We set out to Joann's ( I can not get enough of that store) and looked at decor for it. I already bought the garland needed, but wasn't quite sure what to put on it to make it look like it belonged in my house. Keep in mind that Jeff and I have complete different taste. I love the country, glitter, homey feeling. My parent's house is all country and I LOVE it. Jeff, however, likes modern, clean, and clutter-free. I am not sure we can get more different in our taste. Anyway, Jeff had a brilliant idea! Why not use our extra ornaments and place them on our wreaths. They would mat our tree and garland. Why didn't I think of this??

     We got the items that we ( I ) needed and went home. Once again, Jeff and I couldn't agree on how the ornaments should be placed. I should really just do what I like and get his opinion after. We finally came to an agreement and I couldn't be more happy.  Although, I did have to add something else because it just didn't look complete. "My awesome and amazingly talented husband" made the bows for me (I had to use those exact words.. he made me). I have to say, my room now looks complete and I love my wreaths.  My pictures just don't do it justice!

      If you are interested in learning how I made them, comment here and I will be more than happy to tell you.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Maddie's First Ride

In a previous blog post, I posted pictures of Maddie getting her new car and her excitement when she found out about it. This blog will be about her first car ride outside and a few stories that I can't not share.

When Madison started out, she would go/stop/go/stop all of the time. Well, when we got her behind our house and out of our small backyard, she went for it. We have soccer fields and a tennis and basketball court behind our house, so it is all free reign for her.She was so excited to get out and go! She made sure that daddy was keeping up with her and her 'fast' car. Jeff took her out and came back with some really funny stories. Every time she would see rocks in her way, she would get out, and push her car to the side of the rocks so she wouldn't go over them. She, then, got back in her car and drove off like nothing ever got in her way.

Mimi asked for some video of her riding in it, so Jeff was taking video and Maddie thought it would be a good time to go crazy and attempt to run over him. She kept screaming 'stop, stop' at him. He would stop and she would go full force straight at him. She found this to be hilarious and attempted for a couple of minutes to do this. Unfortunately for her, he always managed to get away.  This was a funny video to watch.

This is her 'backing up'.

protecting her car from rock damage

If you look at the bottom left hand corner you will see the rocks she was trying to avoid

Crazy hair!!

Pulling it into her parking spot
This is the only car that can fit in our tiny garage
What a pro!
 She had a lot of fun and asked to go out again! Enjoy!

New Blog

This blog is a mixture of my family life and my kitchen life, so I started another blog that I will only be posting recipes and such that from my kitchen for those of you who are only interested in the recipes that I post. I realize that this personal blog may not be for everyone. This way, you can decide whether or not you want to continue to read about my personal life. The website is  I have already started to move some of my recipes over, but it will take a while. I will still continue to post recipes on here for those who are interested in both aspects of my life. Thank you :)


Marbled Ornaments

I have a very crafty friend who can do it all. Last year, around this time, she made marbled ornaments with her daughter and they turned out really cute. This year, I thought that this project would be a good craft project for Maddie and I to do together and a great inexpensive way to make gifts for family members. I will admit that it was a little harder than I thought, but they turned out so good. Maddie had so much fun and thought she was Miss Independent trying to do this herself!!! Jeff and Maddie got to do a few ornaments this weekend, as well.

This project is a fun activity to do and will mean so much to those on the receiving end of it. To start off with, we chose to do plastic clear ornament balls. I didn't want Maddie to break these in anyway. We grabbed some different paint colors, newspaper, and paper towels. Since we chose to do the plastic ornaments, we had the dilemma of trying to get the paint bottle's opening into the ornament. Some of these ornaments were really closed off and made for quite the mess. Needless to say, I had to toss Maddie's shirt because she wiped so much paint on it.

We took the caps off of the ornaments and played around with the first ornament. What was the best way to make it have the marbled look, but not an entire streak of color. We finally figured it out. After pouring all of the paint directly into the bottom of the ornament, we were able to swirl it and get all of the inside covered with the 4 paint colors of our choice. Daddy had it a lot easier on his day because I figured out all of the tips and tricks to doing it and not making a complete mess! We set them aside to dry and they are now ready to be shipped off!

Enjoy the pictures!
The main items needed

Watching Daddy
She was determined to do it herself! The red was the hardest one, too!

Clearing the hole for more paint

Some of our end creations

These are the ones Maddie and I made. Jeff's turned out better somehow! Shh! Don't tell him that.
Maddie helping Mommy out

Her doing it with Mommy
Enjoy! :)


Monday, December 12, 2011

Maddie's new ride!

 Mimi and PopPop ( my parents) got Madison a VW Bug for Christmas! We went ahead and let her use it since we won't be here for Christmas and I want her to be able to get as much use out of it as she can. She was so excited to see it by the Christmas tree in the morning. She has seen it in the garage and has always said "me car, me car"  and I would always comment back "no, mommy's car." " Oh! mommy's car?" "Yes, mommy's car" " no, me car"! lol. She is way too smart for her own good! The pictures are self-explanatory. 
Maddie's new ride

Her expression when she saw it.

She was so excited!

Showing her the forward/reverse buttons and gas pedal.

She's ready Daddy!

We had to practically force her to eat breakfast. She thought if she ate two bites of breakfast that she could ride her car. After her nap, Daddy took her out to play. She was hilarious! I have some videos that I will post on another blog. She's a pro at driving now and is so excited every time she sees it. Thank Mimi and PopPop!!! : )

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making Christmas cookies

My friend had put on her facebook that she made peanut butter cookies and for days after, I would dream about eating a peanut butter cookie. I couldn't even tell you when the last time I actually made one of those cookies. After like what seemed an eternity (probably 3 days), I gave in and had to make them. Of course, my little baker had to be right there to help. Naturally, I grabbed my camera and you wouldn't believe what I caught!!! 
That's RIGHT!!! I caught her licking the peanut butter out of the measuring cup!!!
I have proof! She can't deny it!
Don't worry! I didn't let her actually eat any of it
She's turned into quite the sneaky girl. 

Now, for part two of this blog... 

We ordered some cookie dough from a friend and Jeff was feeling quite the sweet tooth and since we ran out of those peanut butter cookies like nobody's business, He opted to bake some up. How sweet! :) Of course I suggested that he waited until Maddie was up from her nap that way she could help! She would be very upset, you know! Well, the batter was a little more tough to play with than we thought, but I got some good pictures!

She tried her hardest to get that dough in our scoop!
There were a few times that She tried to put it on herself, but eventually needed help from Daddy

She is our future baker! She loves the kitchen

Well folks, that's all I have for you! Those are our latest baking adventures! Oh yea, Maddie tries to sneak cookies and cookie dough now! I wonder who she gets that from..... : D


Christmas Decor

Jeff grew up snowboarding, so I thought this would make a great piece to add to our decor.

We have our six stockings (Me, Jeff, Maddie, each dog, and then one for whoever visits us that year) Our stocking hangers say "peace" but since I don't have a fire place or really any place to put it, I had to split it up.

I made this garland myself. You can't see the decor good enough in this picture, but it turned out really good! It was a lot less expensive making it myself! Don't forget the Mistletoe

I made this one as well. It is actually two strands of garland together because the window was too big.

This is just a slightly different view

These are few more of my decorations. I don't have enough space for big tables or shelving, so I had to work with what I had in this military housing.

On each side of my cabinet is a 4ft. tree. You just can't see the whole thing because the doorway blocks it. It looks really nice at night when it is all lit up.
I had a friend who wanted to see pictures of my Christmas decor. I didn't want to post them on Facebook, so I posted them on here. I am in the works of making garland wreaths to put on each side of a huge painting on our main wall in the living room. It looks too bare for me. I'll get a close up picture to show you what my garland looks like up close. I love Christmas and decorating and putting crafts together is what I love best! If money was not an issue, this house would be DECKED out in some homemade crafts!


Monday, December 5, 2011

New Favorite Recipe for Potatoes

   I follow a food chef blog and gt their emails when they post a new recipe. I like a lot of the food. Some may be a little too complicated for me or had too many ingredients that I don't have in my cupboard, but some of the recipes are so good. This particular one is SO good. I tried it this past week, but didn't take pictures, because I was in a rush to get it done. You're probably wandering what amazing recipe I am talking about. It is called Ranch potatoes. You can go to HERE to see the pictures that they have posted.

   Jeff really enjoyed it and even thought that if I chopped the potatoes a little smaller and doubled the sauce then we could make it into a soup! Sounds good to me! I am going to try it next time. The blogger said that I didn't have to boil the potatoes, but I did and I am so glad that I did. This will be one recipe that I look forward to and will even work with it to make it a soup.

Ingredients needed:
8-10 medium potatoes (cut into ½” cubes)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)
1 ½ cups milk
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
salt and pepper
6  bacon slices (cooked until crispy and crumbled)

 Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Add potatoes to a large pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are almost tender. Drain. Lightly grease an 13×9 inch casserole dish. In a bowl mix together cream of mushroom soup, milk, ranch dressing, 1 cup of the cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes in the casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cup of shredded cheddar cheese and the crumbled bacon over the top. Place into the oven and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
(Makes 6 Servings)

Enjoy! Let me know what you think!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Putting up the Christmas Tree

We normally put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving and put our new ornaments up before any other ornaments. Well, this year was a little different. My good camera wasn't working anymore and taking pictures and having those memories is probably one of the most important things for me. So, we waited until the next day when I got the new camera and could take the pictures that I wanted. I was so excited this year because Maddie is big enough to help with the tree and placing the ornaments on. Well, I was a little bummed that she didn't care to really dig in and help with it all. She did help with things, but it was only a few moments at a time. It was getting to be dinner time by this point and knew she was hungry, so we stopped for dinner and returned with a full stomach. Then we couldn't stop her! She got to look at all of the pretty ornaments and help put them on. She was putting like two or three ornaments on one branch. We couldn't keep enough ornaments on hand for her. She really admired the tree and all of the ornaments that it has on it. I am always catching her playing with the pooh bear ones and taking several off. No matter how often I explain that they need to get left on, she still takes them down to play with. Since she was putting them all on the lower half, we kept a few aside to put on top after she went to bed. We decided to save some additional ones that she could add to her tree. She was thrilled when we showed her bag of ornaments. She ran right to her tree and started adding.  I love having all of these memories with her and being able to look back at these pictures and see how much fun we all had. Family memories are so important and should never be taken for granted. Enjoy the pictures.

putting the tree together
it's a tree. now the fluffing and lights
assisting daddy
helping mom fluff
she wanted to put the topper on
that's our tree
the ornament he got from my parents
the ornament I got from my parents
Maddie wanted in the picture too
Maddie putting her first ornament on
This was the first ornament she chose
The look because daddy was taking some ornaments
She was loving the tigger ornament