Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bizzy Bizzy!

Today was a really busy day, but very productive and rewarding! I love those days, even though I'm pooped out by the end of them!! 

You've heard me talk about The Pioneer Woman (Ree) and you should know that you will probably hear a lot more about her and her recipes and photography. Yes, she is amazing at both, amongst other things. Although, my favourite thing about her is how she makes me laugh so hard, tears run down my face. It's just her quirky sense of humor that sets me off. It's that extra bit of sunshine that I need. :)

Now where was I? Oh!! I had been looking forward to making these goodies all week. I had to do it on a weekend where I had the time. Lemme show you.....

After mixing and letting rise, I rolled it all out. Poured on the butter. I mean *really* poured it on. Ree said so, so it's ok ;)
From This
**Yes, that is my Mac helping me out while I**

Then you roll it all up and cut them apart, and you get this. 
To This

And then after you bake them and add the totally non-caloric *cough* frosting on them, you have the yummiest cinnamon rolls ever!!
And Then Heavan

Yes, her recipe said that it makes 7, that's S-E-V-EN pans of these mind blowing little jems and I made the entire recipe. (somehow I only got Before I started I told myself I was taking three pans to the office, and one pan was going to one of Zee's friends parents and then I was keeping two pans. I knew if I didn't designate, I'd lock myself in a room and eat them all! Its better to share and my hips thank me for it :)

I also made something healthy. It was delish as well. Melt in your mouth goodness. 
Before it was baked and simmered in wine, broth and herbs.....

Then right before I gobbled it all up...
Embrace The Pot Roast

I also made the potatoes separate and mashed. I used the tasty juice left over from cooking the pot roast to make my own gravy. Yum!! 

I also got the blocks done this week for the pinwheel quilt along over at :) Yay! 
Pinwheel Block #3

Pinwheel Block #4

Pshew..I'm tired. Anyone care to give me a foot rub now? ;)

Much Love!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Keep It Simple Silly

Thank goodness it's finally Friday. I'm not sure what made this week drag but it felt like it was three weeks worth of days at the office. 

I've mentioned before that on Fridays we get "humor of the day" emails and today's left me smiling as well as shaking my head. 


Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. As they lay down for the night, Holmes said, "Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see."

Watson said, "I see millions and millions of stars."

Holmes: "And what does that tell you?"

Watson: "Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Theologically, it tells me that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?"

Holmes: "Somebody stole our tent."


I'm like Watson. I over think everything. Well not everything. Ice cream and chocolate cake.  I don't have to think about what I'll do with those. Good thing, because my brain needs a break sometimes ;)

It's not a bad thing to be that way, in most cases. I just have to remember that sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Trust your instincts. Don't look so deep into things when the answer is staring you right in the face. It's not always easy to believe what should be so obvious to us and once in a while we need a helping hand to point it out. Thanks Holmes. :)

And brown eyed girl....
Day 57 - Sweet Niko

Ain't she sweet? 

Much Love!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Can't Fight This Feeling

Lately I've had the itch to go to concerts. In my lifetime, I haven't been to very many. Less than I can count on both hands. It was just something I didn't do. I don't really know why but times are changing and I'm hooked. Nothing like a live concert. 

Last night I went to 38 Special, REO Speedwagon with headliner Styx. 

38 Special was a hoot. Donnie is quite a character and knows how to get a crowd going and the lineup was awesome!!! 
38 Special
Sweet Backdrop

Donnie Van Zant & Danny Chauncey
Just jammin!

Bobby Capps
Awesome on keys and has amazing hair. Only certain guys can pull off long hair. He is one of them :)

Now, I grew up with REO's music. It was one of the few bands that my dad listened to that I actually I remember begging him to play REO because he always played Pink Floyd. Granted, I love Pink Floyd now (thanks dad!).

REO Speedwagon
The gang's all here.

Kevin Cronin
Kevin, you still got it!

Kevin Cronin
He's getting up there in age but he still rocks it out! Nice moves KC!

Headlining was Styx. I honestly don't know a ton of their songs but I very much enjoyed the performance and the music. A very talented group of men! OMG..their drummer is crazy nuts and he makes some very interesting faces as he's!

JY - Styx

Styx Group Shot
Their energy level skyrocketed all night!

Ricky Phillips
Ricky Phillips. He has amazing hair too. 
Do you see him? He's blowing me a kiss. Ok, maybe he's not, but I'd like to think so :)

Lawrence Gowan
This shot was taken for one reason, and one reason only. It was a tight shot ;)

Day 55 - Mullet?
Now this guy CANNOT sport long hair very well. Thank goodness he was just supporting the 80's theme with a!

All I can say is that it was an amazing night and besides all the fun, singing, dancing, screaming, and sweating, I even got a Styx drum stick, complete with beat marks and sweat (thanks to my hubby...hee hee). There was a fight for it, but it's mine all mine! Sorry lady, but you didn't have a chance! Ha!

Much Love!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

This weekend was incredibly busy when it was supposed to be a lazy one. Friday night was our "running around" night. Dinner and a movie, The Lightning Thief. This was a really good movie but my daughter was not happy because she kept saying, "They got it totally wrong!! They go it totally wrong." Apparently the book was quite different.  

One of the trailers was for Karate Kid with Jackie Chan. I can't wait to see this! Have a look....

Saturday and Sunday we were just going to get stuff around the house done and, well, be lazy for once. That didn't happen because I wanted to go looking for a new lens for my camera. Who knew they were that difficult to find. Ended up driving all the way to Madison and deciding on a different lens, which, as it turns out, is a much better lens and I even got a mini lesson on it! Woo Hoo! 

Sunday I worked on my pinwheel blocks for a quilt along. This is definitely going to be  a fun quilt to make and I can't wait to see how it comes along! 

Pinwheel Quilt Block 1
Pinwheel Quilt Block 2

Today was full of a few surprises. 

I picked up my daughter from school today and she said she had something for me.  I said, "I'm scared". She giggled and then showed me what she had! A turtle pen!!! I saw this silly little pen the last time she had conferences but they were out of them so I didn't get one.  :(  Conferences came around again and her friend was having hers last week (as they run them for two weeks) so she gave her friend the money and asked her to buy one. Now, I had no idea she was doing this so when she told me what she did, I was taken aback by her thoughtfulness. She's a keeper! We both had fun playing with the popping out eyes...hee hee!
Turtle Pen
Turtle Pen - Eyes popping out :)

I know..this is a long post, but it's been a few days. Just two more things, I promise :)

The second surprise I got today came in the mail. I had no idea it was coming and had no idea what it could be. It was from my dad and his wife. Bewildered, I tore off the wrapping. I couldn't stop laughing when I saw what it was. Apparently the last time I was there, I complained about how often the remote got lost...LOL.  Yes, that is MY hand you see in the photo. :)
Day 53 - Giant Remote

Last but not least is a photo I have to share of Bug. We had spaghetti for dinner tonight and as I was eating I looked over at him and grinned. I proceeded to go and get my camera and started taking pictures. Now, he thought I was taking pictures of his messy face. Then I showed him the pictures and asked him if he saw something that didn't belong. He started laughing. Do you see what I saw? LOL.
Spaghetti Bug

Neither of us knows how it got there, but we got a good laugh out of it. Thank goodness for messy boys :)

Much Love!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I {heart} Pancakes

I've never been one that "likes" to cook. It's just one of those things that you have to do. Well either that or eat fast food for the rest of your life. Bleah. 

However, every once in a while I get excited about cooking. Why? Well, for instance, when you find a super yummy recipe that tastes like it came straight out of a restaurant and each and every ingredient is one that you have heard of before and you can find at the local grocery store. In addition to that, the prep is easy and you don't have to have a $500 pan to make it. I like to cook then.

Also, when I find a really good recipe that is easy and tastes good and my kids ohhh and ahhhh and tell me what a great cook I am and ask when I'm going to make it again. I like to cook then.

Tonight was one of those nights. My kids were whining about how hungry they were and every two minutes would not-so-subtly remind me. My son even said, "mom, don't you hear my stomach growling?".  They made it sound like it was 10 o'clock at night and they hadn't eaten all day. 

I have to admit, I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner tonight. At the same moment that I was about to strangle pat my kids on the head and tell them that I was going to get dinner ready, I happened upon this blog post. Oh. My. Yumminess!!! This woman just might ruin my hatred for cooking because everything I have made of hers is The Yum! The Pioneer Woman just may be my hero. Especially tonight. 

Guess what I made for dinner? 

It started like this....*ahem*..Yes, I know I use too much stuff. Don't judge me! 

Pancake Prep

Then the best pancakes that I've ever eaten served up with butter and with my home-made syrup....The Yum!!

Day 47 - Mmmmm Pancakes

Kids loved them and ate them in like five seconds! I recommend doubling the recipe. If not, you will just be mixing it back up again :)
Oh, wanna make my home-made syrup? It's easy peasy!

Take 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup karo syrup, 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar, 3T of butter and mix until melted. Then bring to a medium boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes. If you want it thicker, add less water. Too thick? Add a bit of water until desired thickness!  I no longer will eat store bought syrup. It's that good. 

I hope you try these. Let me know and enjoy!

Much Love!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's Hammer Time

Bug loves being in scouts. He gets to do all the things that boys love. Hiking, camping, building, hunting, fishing, and a million other "boy" things. 

Tonight at his den meeting the boys made bird houses. He was so excited. I think it was more of the fact that he was going to get to use a hammer and it wouldn't have mattered what it was they were building. That must be a boy thing. That a hammer in the hand makes you feel all big and manly.

It was actually fun sitting there with him, holding the pieces and guiding him through it., watching his face light up and high-fiving him when he was finished.  He did every bit of the hammering and he was so proud. He only hit his thumb twice and still has all of his fingers. Lucky for me, so do I. 

I chuckled at him when at one point I was holding the nail for him. He looked at me and said, "Mom, let me hold that. I don't wanna hit your fingers.". Awww....Only 8 and looking out for his momma already. 

We were the first ones done. Not because he was rushing or doing a bad job. We just worked together well and he was determined. I think I even got a few "howthehelldidyoufinishsofast?" looks from all the dads that were there. Apparently they were surprised that I could build. Yes, anything you can do, I can do to. :)

Here he is, showing off his masterpiece.

Day 46 - Bugs Birdhouse

I'm glad you had so much fun building it! :)

Much Love!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Love Day

Happy Valentine's Day sweeties! 

This holiday is kind of a hokey one in my opinion. Another Hallmark Holiday where more flowers and jewelery are purchased than any other time of the year. A marketing scheme, if you will.  

It shouldn't take a specified day for us to make an effort to tell someone that we love them or to do something special. We should be doing that all year long. That is part of loving someone, right? Making them feel special and loved, all the time?  Besides, if you want to surprise a loved one, why do it on the same day everybody else is? Make it a surprise. A real one that is totally unexpected. Those are the ones that generate the bestest and warmest fuzzies! :)

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate this day. I love to see all the fun things that come out and it's the only time of year I can get my conversation heart fix. Which this year some imposter came along and made some really gross ones and I couldn't find any by Brachs so I didn't get my fix this year. *sigh*. Anyone have any extras they wanna send my way? **crosses fingers**

Also, please do not think by any means that I am telling you to ignore this holiday, because I am definitely NOT telling you that. Even if it's hokey, it's still nice when you remember.... ;)

Love is the same, in any language! 
Much Love!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Too Much Cute!

"Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering." ~~Winnie The Pooh

For some reason, this week went unbelievably fast. In some ways, that is a good thing, and in others, not so much. I always want the work week (or rather, just the work part) to go fast, but I wish the rest of the time didn't fly by so quickly. Of course, time doesn't go by faster or slower one day over the next, but it's odd how it seems that it does. 

This week ended on a very good note. For the second time this school year my daughter received this letter. I am so proud that in her first year of junior high she has made straight A's both quarters so far and also made the high honor roll, twice. Total proud momma moment! {{insert giant cheesy grin}}

Day 43 - Honor Roll x 2

Then....remember Niko? My silly puppy that makes me laugh? Well, she makes my daughter laugh too. She also thinks she is a lap dog. Ummm.....think again Niko! 
Niko. Lap Dog?
She is saying, "See, I am TOO a lap dog!!"

Aww Nikooooo...
This is the look I got after I told her to get down because she is NOT a lap dog! Pathetic, huh? LOL

Niko's Tongue
She still didn't want to get down. Apparently she was tired and thought she'd try and take a nap on Zee's lap. I like the black spots on her tongue. They started out as one little black spot and they keep growing, just like her daddys. :)

Last but not least, I have the sweetest picture of my other buddy. Although, I'm beginning to wonder if he only likes me for my Mac ;)

Hopefully you got a smile out of these just as I did. :)

Much Love!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Journey

When I came home today, the first thing I noticed were the fresh tracks in the snow in the front yard.  They were the footprints that my children left on their way to school this morning. They each chose their own way, making their own mark, yet getting to the same destination.  It reminded me how similar it was to life. We all may take different paths in life and make our own impression, encounter different obstacles and hopefully we will all end up at the same destination: a life that was happy, fun, passionate, loving and full of memories and few regrets. These are only some of the things that I wish for my children, but the sight of these footprints made me smile. I can only hope, that no matter how old my children get, they will always leave footprints nearby.

Day 42 - TheJourney

I wouldn't even mind if they left a few fingerprints on my windows....just so long as they are always near....

Much Love!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

For The Love Of Snow

Back in December I said that staring January 1st, I was going to be doing a photo a day for the next year. It seemed easy enough. Just take a photo and post it. Hm. I have realized that its not so easy for me because I am not happy with just posting any ole picture. It's gotta be just right. A wee bit anal maybe? Perhaps. I see it as a good thing now. It really makes me stop and think about the photo I want to take and the story I want to capture. I peruse Flickr and admire all the amazing photographs and hope that someday I will capture a smidgen of that talent.

Today's story features my absolutely wonderful baby girl, Niko. She is 9 months old and the sweetest thing ever! She makes me laugh every day because her personality is so quirky. You scratch her anywhere and her back leg thumps. She loooooooves to be She also licks the air when you scratch her. Yes, she licks the air...hahaha! You have to see it but it is comical to watch. Something else she loves is the snow. Well we have plenty of it so she is in heaven!  The only thing she doesn't like is that she gets snowballs stuck in the hair between her toes. Then she has to nibble them all out, and that interferes with her play  Today she was out back playing, rolling in the snow, digging in it and then throwing it up in the air with her nose! She stopped wiggling for a split second for me to snap this shot. Isn't she cute with a snowy nose? :)

Day 41 - Niko Loves Snow!!

Now, if I could just get her to mop up her wet foot prints when she comes in the door ;)

Much Love!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lookie Lookie!

I have two things to share with you today. Two things that make me very happy! In no particular order....

First is a recipe that I must share. It would be a crime if I knew of this recipe and didn't spread the word. It really is *THAT* good. If you don't cook, have someone make it for you. They will be glad you did once they taste it. 

Ok, ready? It's called "The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever". Now, I didn't name it, but it IS the best ever. How do I know? Because The Pioneer Woman said so and because I've tasted it!! It is so full of chocolaty goodness that my mouth is watering right now. Your arteries may scream at you because it has nearly a pound of butter in it (Oh, Julia Child would be so proud), but just ignore them. Your taste buds will thank me later! :) Just click the title of the recipe and she will take you step by step in how to make this cake. Once you're there, you may as well check out the rest of her blog. That woman cracks me up till I'm laughing so hard that I'm in tears! Yes, she's that funny! :)

Day 38 - Best Chocolate Cake Ever

The second thing I want to share is that my daughters quilt is finished! I love that word. Finished. This quilt was definitely easy to put together, but I love it because I drew out the design and she was smitten with it. Then I took her shopping and let her choose all the fabrics, whatever she wanted. We made this together and it just makes me smile. Even more so, because she absolutely LOVES it!! :D

Zees Quilt
**Began on January 20th, 2010 and completed on February 7th, 2010!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hook, Line, & Sinker!

Over the last year and a half, maybe two years, I've really gotten into reading again. I've always loved to read, but somewhere along the way I didn't have much time to do it. Until now. Now, I always have a book going, sometimes two. 

I'm supposed to be reading The Lightning Thief per my daughters suggestion (and I WILL read it) but when I was out and about today, I saw a book I've been wanting to read.  I hadn't purchased it yet because I have other books waiting in line to be read. 

It was the last one on the shelf. It was lonely. I couldn't resist. So I bought this....
Dear John

Then I saw this book. I shouldn't have read the back, but I did. Hook, line, and sinker.  I bought it too. 
True Colors

I know both of these books will have me blubbering. I'm ok with that. Anyone have an extra box of Kleenex? :D

Much Love!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Art Appreciation

I hadn't realized that today would have been Norman Rockwell's birthday. Thank you, Google, for bringing that to my attention with the sweet piece of art on your page today.
I've admired Norman Rockwell's work ever since I was just a little girl. I had spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up, and they had pieces all over the house. I love them because they are of every day images with, sometimes, a bit of humor portrayed in them. They are real, and true, and full of emotion. That is what I love most about them.

There are so many that I adore, but here are some of my favourites:

This one because it makes me wonder.

This one because it makes me giggle.

So does this one.

This one makes me think of mom....

This one makes me go "awwwwww" :)

Thank you for all the smiles, Mr. Rockwell!

Much Love!!

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