Friday, March 29, 2013

*Last night we had a leadership meeting for Tmoms.  One of the girls made the most rich, dense, wonderful brownies.  I've been skeptical of this "browned butter" fad and if you can really tell a difference in recipes.  This butter flavor was very pronounced, which I'm assuming was the browning. :)

*This week the kids in Cam's class presented their leprechaun traps they had made over spring break.  It was QUITE exciting.  Take a look at Cam talking about it...

*Today over lunch I read to the kids about Good Friday from the Jesus Storybook Bible.  It was so good and descriptive.  It spurred good conversation which included a touching question from Kendall, "Mom, when we go to heaven, can I sit by you?" :)

*Rented Zero Dark Thirty the other night, which follows the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.  Excellent (as long as you can get past the first 20 minutes which have a lot of torture).

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

*My homemade refried beans turned out well except that the recipe I used called for too much pepper.  I do think I will make them again since they are super easy and cheap.  I was skeptical about freezing them, however my MIL and SIL convinced me I I'll give it a try.

I did not pose Kendall for this pic.  This is what she did as soon as I opened the lid of the crock pot with the beans (which had cooked overnight).  I'll be honest, they don't make your house smell like roses.

*Last night I experimented with Wonton wrappers.  They are very low in calories and I had seen a few recipes using them in muffin tins.  I made enchilada filling and filled each cup.  They were tasty and my mind has already started spinning as to the possibilities you could fill these babies with. :)

*After dinner we treated the kids to Rite Aid in honor of Cam's great report card/parent conference.  They both got cotton candy (holy cow is that stuff nasty looking AND tasting!!). :)

*I've started buying 5 dozen eggs at a time because we go through them fast.  I usually use 5-6 egg whites most mornings for Chris' breakfast.  I'm curious if the good protein is in the white or the yolk??  Hmmm...

*The kids got a lot of Easter candy in their baskets when we celebrated this past weekend with Chris' family.  It's nice that they forget all that they got because I snagged both of their Sees mini boxes and stashed them away for myself. :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

cute, cute, cute!

I wanted to share this because I thought it was such a great idea and I'm going to do it the rest of the week :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013


THREE TV shows I look forward to watching each week...
Pioneer Woman, Southland, Celebrity Apprentice

THREE foods I wish I could eat an unlimited amount of...
El Burrito tortillas, my MIL's homemade rolls with lots of butter, underbaked brownies

THREE places I'd like to go...
New York (been there but want to go with Chris), Austin (just heard it's a super cool city), an all day spa

THREE fun memories from Cam's spring break...
Trip up to my in-laws, play date with Jen (whom I don't see enough), Palm Springs park for bike rides with the kids

THREE things I would spend $50 on...
A food dehydrator (the kids love dried fruit but it's so expensive), clothes for me, a day at a waterpark with the kids

THREE things I wish I did more (or at all)...
Experimented with meals and not cook the same things all the time, crafts with the kids, volunteered somewhere other than church

THREE things I'm excited about this summer...
Trip to San Diego with my in-laws, trip to Reno to visit Chris' Aunt Noonie and Deb, beach trips with the kids

THREE random things I'm thankful for...
A mom who gives the best advice, a husband who works long hours for his family, kids who are loads of fun to hang out with

Friday, March 22, 2013

*I'm so proud of my little guy.  He saved his Christmas money and combined it with allowance (and a few bribes from my dad to ride scary rides at Disneyland) to buy his latest Lego set.  He was VERY excited to make his big purchase yesterday. :)

*Today was the last day of Cam's spring break.  I'm a little sad as we've had a lot of fun filling our blank slate days. :)

*We are celebrating Easter with Chris' family this weekend.  I'm attempting homemade refried beans for the first time.  I'm anxious to see if there is a big taste difference between them and the canned.

*Today I was helping Cam complete his "pick up Zoe poop" chore.  I'm going to be honest and say that I kind of enjoy picking up dog poop.  I liken it to my enjoyment of changing the kids' poopy diapers.  I get GREAT satisfaction when it is complete, making it kind of an exciting task. :)

*I'm not sure if Crocs are still in style or not, however I really could care less.  With the warm weather this past week, I was again reminded at how wonderfully easy they are since they are quick and Kendall can put them on herself. :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

exactly how our "big chicken bakes" work...

So here is the breakdown of our chicken bakes.  This past week we bought $48 worth at Staters (we only buy when it's $1.99 a pound).  This amount included a bottle of Italian dressing, which is what we use for a marinade.  I find this flavor to be very versatile, even in Mexican dishes.

After BBQ'ing, chopping them up, then dividing them all into baggies weighing 4 oz. each (yes, I weigh each one so I can know the exact portions), it amounted to 57 baggies.  Not too bad!

This will last us QUITE a while especially since I don't end up eating much of it.  No, I have not become a vegetarian. :) I just don't eat much meat at all anymore for a variety of reasons.   I mainly like having it on hand for Chris' lunches.  I typically make him a wrap or chicken and rice, both which are made soo much easier by having a bunch of these in the freezer. :)

Cameron loved making a tally chart as I loaded the baggies into the big bag. :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

snippets from our weekend

*Yesterday Kendall and I attended a birthday party for the daughter of some friends.  It was a "girls only" party, which I made a big deal about, letting her wear her Easter dress.  She was quite excited.  The party was incredibly cute with four craft stations for the girls.  There was a fruit/veggie tray with foods in each color of the rainbow.  For purple, they had beet chips, which I LOVED and am now determined to find a recipe for...much to Chris' chagrin :)

*While we were at the party, Cameron and Chris hung out with Chris' brother's family, then we all met up afterward.

*Today after church and nap, Chris got to work on our backyard which needed some attention. :)

*While Chris was outside the kids and I did some play with food coloring, water, and baking powder (thanks, Teresa, for this idea!).

*Amidst trying to keep the food coloring OFF their clothes, I made some cupcakes for our neighbor, who had loaned us his lawnmower (our mower is still broken due to our beloved dog chewing through a cord).  I topped them with maple frosting.  Quite yummy!

*Chris is on his way home from a Home Depot run right now ready to BBQ a fridge full of 20 lbs. of chicken.  Tonight we rented the new James Bond movie, which I've heard great things about!  

Friday, March 15, 2013


Yesterday we started out with the park...

Squeezed in a Winco and Costco trip...

And ended the day with Slip N' Slide...

Then this morning was a walk to the donut shop...

And all this was made possible by wonderful weather! :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

weekend up north

Some highlights at the in-laws':

*Our 11th anniversary was Saturday.  We ordered food from Chris' favorite restaurant, "Espe's".  I think I should be allowed one cheesy thing to say since our anniversary only comes once a one might ask if I would have rather go out with just Chris to a fancy restaurant.  Nope.  I really could care less about setting aside a night.  I just don't need it since I have the most amazing husband every single day of the year anyway. :)  Okay, I'm done. :)

*Our favorite pumpkin patch, Hillcrest, was open (obviously without pumpkins).  The kids LOVED riding the train, running around the trails, and climbing all over their play house and castle.

*We got to hear Chris' dad preach on Sunday.  I had never heard him before so it was neat for all of us to be there.  He did a great job!  Here are the kids after church.

*The kids helped Debbie bake homemade rolls and cake.  In addition, Debbie played about a gazillion games of Uno with Cameron.  To say this boy is obsessed with that game is an understatement!

*Monday I visited my friend Jana for the morning.  The kids played so well that we got a lot of talking done...which is one of my favorite things to do with her.  Such a great friend...

*Debbie treated me to a pedicure...sooooooo relaxing!

*Debbie had baked a cake for our first night there.  This cake was responsible for the next three nights of sending me to bed with a stomach ache (seriously) due to the size of my bowl.  It is among my top five favorite cakes.  Amazing.  I mentioned it a long time ago because not only is it so yummy, but it's super easy because it's made in the crock pot. :)  It's called Chocolate Mess.

Friday, March 8, 2013

*What were my kids watching in this pic that has them absolutely captivated??  The weirdest movie I've ever seen checked out from our library...Castle in the Sky.

*Had a fun speaker today at Tmoms who spoke about cupcake decorating.  She mentioned that she hadn't made many from scratch, but figured they would be more cost effective then boxed cake mixes.  I've actually heard the opposite.  I've heard that when you get a cake mix on sale (like I just got a few for 88 cents), they are actually cheaper than making cupcakes from scratch.

*I do not see EITHER of the Bachelor's final two with Sean.  :(  Ahhh...why did he let Dez go???

*Tomorrow we are leaving for a weekend up north with my in-laws.  Upon our return I have already prepped Kendall that we wil begin, "Operation Sleep in Undies Overnight"!!  She is actually quite excited.  We'll see how excited we BOTH are in the middle of the night while changing sheets!!  :)

*A few weeks back I sent two of my friends (Jen and Chalet) "pictures of the day" for a period of five days.  Each day was a set of random pictures from our past, from jr. high all the way through college.  This one was a picture of us in 7th grade.  To the right is a souvenir we got when we went to go see a taping of Saved By the Bell, The College Years.  We thought we were ULTRA cool for seeing this show live!  Ahhh...Zack Morris :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

*I'll let you in one of my pet peeves.  I watch Food Network as well as read cooking blogs a lot.  I often hear/read comments that irk me somewhat (totally petty, I'll admit up front).  Here they are with what I want to say in response:

   --"I'm from Texas, so a love of good food runs in my blood."  Really?  So if you AREN'T from Texas, you can't love good food as much???

  --"We are Italian, so all of our family gatherings are centered around food."  Really??? Aren't MOST cultures' family gatherings centered around food?  In fact, what family gathering ISN'T centered around a big meal?

I guess I get irritated when people claim ownership on the love of good food or cooking simply because they are from a certain region of the U.S.  I think loving yummy food is a universal thing, right?  :)

*My two little T-ball'ers...both at 3 years old (this past weekend was opening day for Kendall).

*Last night I made a dish for the kids I had been wanting to try for a long time, healthy mac and cheese. Ingredients?  Milk, whole wheat pasta, and cheese.  You cook the pasta IN the milk, then add the cheese.  The kids really liked it and it was sooo easy!!  Here is the recipe I found on Pinterest.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

craig's list

Lately Kendall has been talking a lot about her birthday, despite it not being until May. :) Many of our conversations are centered around wanting a dollhouse.

I started browsing Craig's List and felt a little discouraged at the prices.  However I then stumbled upon one that seemed too good to be true.  Luckily, it wasn't!  My sweet dad drove out to pick it up and it now sits hidden in my closet.

Want to take a guess as to what we paid for it (including the box you see of adorable furniture pieces)???  $30!!!  I found the same one online at Toys R' Us for $129!!

 Oh...the look on her face...I simply cannot wait!!!!

p.s. This post is dedicated to my friend, Jen, who is the queen of finding amazing deals (like tons of Pottery Barn stuff for her house) on Craig's List. :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

*LOVE this weather!  Yesterday after school we headed to the park.  Kendall had been talking about this park for a few days because it had a merry go round.  Ironically she didn't ride it much since there were "too many kids" on it. :)

*Last night Kendall had a cupcake.  Here she is eating/licking the wrapper.  I know we should put an end to the habit, but Chris and I think it's so funny/cute because we'll often look over and she is licking her dessert plate, drinking her empty bowl of ice cream, etc.  Sidenote:  I thinks she takes after her Papa with this habit. :)

*Last night was one of the oddest nights in a loooong time.  Cam woke at 11:00pm to pee, but then couldn't go back to sleep...until 4:00am.  5 hours.  Not a wink.  We tried everything (letting him read, turning off his clock, watching TV, etc.)  I can tell he is going to be extra sensitive and on edge today (who wouldn't be after a night like that??) I sure hope this is a fluke since he is normally a great sleeper.

*Chris was gone yesterday to OC for business.  I planned a super yummy dinner once the kids went down to accompany a Hallmark movie I had recorded.  Earlier I had stopped by El Burrito in Redlands and purchased one flour tortilla (the best ever!).  I filled it with rice, cheese, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.  Those chips added so much flavor and texture.  Yum!!

*I never thought seeing your kids play together would be one of the sweetest things of my day to watch. Yesterday the kids spent most of "special upstairs time" in this chair.  Kendall would pinch Cam's nose and they would both giggle as he talked in his nasal voice.  I love it. :)

*Right now Chris has the kids at "breakfast #2" (a.k.a donuts).  I'm watching some good ol' 90210 reruns.  Not sure what it is about this show that makes me all nostalgic about college days, gathered together in Jen's room with friends each week to watch, no responsibilities other than studying and having fun....ahhhh... :)