Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Valentine Ideas

With Valentine's Day coming up I thought I'd share a few things I've found recently to add some fun touches of love to the day...

I recently found a site called The Dating Divas. This site is dedicated to ideas for dating your spouse. There are lots of fun ideas for dates and little gifts. This is definitely worth checking out. I'll admit that my husband and I need to work on this...we are fortunate in that we see each other a lot more than most couples because he works from home almost every day. But rarely do we set aside time to go out without the kids and really focus on each other.  Gotta work on this...

Here is a great Valentine's printable from Kristin at Simply Klassic Home. I love this one and used it last year on a table in my entryway.

We Love Being Moms posted 14 Days of Valentines for Kids...really cute little treats that would be fun to do for kids. 
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Pinterest is full of cute ideas for Valentines for kids to hand out at school.  This is one of my favorites...
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Source: batemanbuzz.blogspot.com via Jennifer (HomeMatters) on Pinterest

There won't be a special date night or anything for us on Valentine's Day. I'll be shuttling my daughter to and from dance class, there will be homework and a quick family dinner...just like any other Tuesday evening in our home. Date night will have to wait for another day.
But I'll be sure to have a few fun treats for the family to show my love :)
So, do you have anything special planned for Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Life has been hectic for the past week.  We dropped everything last week when we learned that Rob's grandmother passed away.  We quickly made plans to leave town for a few days and we headed to Pennsylvania for the funeral. 
I am glad to be home.  I've spent the weekend doing mountains of laundry and helping both kids with school assignments that their teachers gave them to complete during their absence.  It's always hard to get everything back on track after a quick (unplanned) trip like that. 

So, here's hoping for a less eventful week ahead!

  In my attempt to get things organized for the week I thought I'd share my dinner menu with you.  I really do rely on this plans to keep me organized during the week and at the grocery store.  Check out Menu Plan Monday at Org Junkie for lots of menu planning inspiration.

Monday...spaghetti & meatballs, salad, garlic bread
Tuesday...Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Chicken sandwiches, baked fries, slaw
Wednesday...Chicken Pot Pie Biscuits*, fruit
Thursday...loaded baked potatoes and salad
Friday...Belgian waffles and bacon
Saturday...out for a cub scout event
Sunday...Italian Chicken & Veggie Soup, bread

This week's sweet treat...Easy Banana Pudding Parfaits.

*I'll post the recipe soon!

So, what do you have planned for this week?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Favorites

After all of the drama and unexpected chaos that happened yesterday, I am happy to report that today was quiet and uneventful.  I've received many emails about my previous post about yesterday's events and I thank you for your kind words.  It was quite a day!

So, on to my Friday Favorites.  Here are a few things I've pinned recently that I am anxious to try...

I love Holly's Chocolate Swirl Cake...easy and YUMMY!  By the way, if you've never seen her blog , Life as a Lofthouse, I encourage you to click over right now and check it out.  She always has yummy recipes!
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I like this Tree of Love from Tatertots and Jello...a cute Valentine project for my kitchen table.
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I saw that my friend Mandy pinned this "recipe" for a homemade Soap Scum Killa.  Last night she reported that she tried it and it worked great.  I am giving this one a try this week too!
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What a Day!

I had a nice little post planned for yesterday...then life got in the way...big time. 

This is what our afternoon looked like...

That is my husband, Rob's, Jeep.

He and a co-worker were driving down the road heading to lunch when the engine shut off and he lost all power.  He could see a place to pull off the road just ahead.  Oncoming cars began honking and flashing lights.  Rob and Matt had no idea what was going on. 

Rob managed to drift onto a small access road off the main road he was on.  He put the car in park but it kept moving so he pulled up the emergency brake.  About that time smoke was rising from the hood.  He and Matt grabbed a few of their things and hopped out of the car as flames bagan rising.  Within about 45 seconds the car was engulfed in flames. 

A sherriff had been driving by as it was just beginning to happen.  He turned on his dash-camera so we have video of what happened.  He was a great help and stayed until everything was all taken care of 3 hours later. 

One of the drivers who had honked at them came back to make sure everyone was ok and said that flames were visible underneath the Jeep as they were driving/coasting to get to a pullover spot. 

Three fire trucks responded and it took about 30 minutes to get the fire out completely.  The fire marshal arrived.  It was quite a scene. 

It's amazingly scary how fast that Jeep burned.  Needless to say it is totaled.  Here's a picture of the fornt seat area from the passenger side window (that was completely melted and shattered).

We are SO very thankful that no one was hurt.  Both Rob and Matt got out just before the flames really erupted. 

We have no idea what caused this...and we may never know.  The insurance people and the Jeep people are beginning to investigate so we wait. 

Rob and I (and I'm sure Matt too) really hope for a calmer, less eventful day today.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sloppy Joes

I love this recipe.  I've grown up eating these homemade Sloppy Joes.  They taste much better than any canned version!  It's so quick and easy and I bet you already have the ingredients on hand. 


Sloppy Joes

2 lbs ground beef
1 bottle ketchup **
1 small onion, chopped (optional depending on taste.  I never use it)
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
dash of salt & pepper

**the old recipe does not list a bottle size.  I use whatever I have on hand.  Eyeball it until it looks good and saucy.  You may not use a whole bottle**

DIRECTIONS:  Cook the ground beef in a skillet.  Drain grease and wipe out skillet.  Return meat to the skillet and add the remaining ingredients.  Mix well and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Serve on buns. 

This recipe can easily be cut in half for a smaller amount.  Leftovers are great and it also freezes well. 

I am sharing this recipe at Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Reading and Kristin's Simply Klassic Sundays.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Favorites

Wow...where did this week go?  I had such good intentions of posting a few times but somehow that didn't happen.  However, I have worked on some posts today and you will see them next week, including my recipe for Sloppy Joes and one for the birds :)

I did manage to find a few minutes to see some neat things online this week.  Here are few favorites...

I am anxious to start creating some of my own fun printables thanks to the tutorial from Thrifty Decor Chick...
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I thought this was a good tutorial for making the Scrabble tile coasters that are all over Pinterest.  This was found on Domestic For Dummies.

And since I have been trying to stick to healthy eating choices I have no immediate plans to make these treats but I know at some point I will give them a try.  Don't these look amazingly yummy!?!?  Thanks Cookies and Cups!

Have a great weekend! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Catching Up

Well, it's been a while since I've posted.  I didn't really intend to take so much time away during the holidays but it just sort of happened.  Life got busy.  But my family and I did enjoy a nice Christmas and I hope you all did too.

Now on to the new year...
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I've been working on getting the house back to normal after putting all of the decorations away.  As much as I love having the house all dressed up for Christmas, I'll admit I was ready when the day came to pack it away and clean up. 

I am excited that we've almost completed our first home project for the new year.  Rob built a big 4 x 8 shelf for the garage to store most of our Christmas stuff.  This will make it much easier to get to each year.  The shelf hangs down from the ceiling but it's above where the garage door opens (does that make sense?).  He's finished one shelf and is going to build a second one soon to complete the project.  I love the extra storage!

It's a terrible photo but I snapped a quick picture to show how the shelf hangs from the ceiling.  The garage door is partially open so you can see that aspect too.  There's lots of room up there. 

I'm back to menu planning for our dinners.  Do you do it?  It really helps me feel organized to know what I am making each night and keeps our budget under control too.  I base my plan on using items I already have on hand, plus items that are on sale at the store each week.  Here's how this week looks...

Monday...Oregano Chicken with rice, green beans
Tuesday...loaded baked potatoes and salad
Wednesday...grilled chicken and veggies on angel hair pasta
Thursday...penne with vodka sauce, salad
Friday...Sloppy Joes*, oven fries, slaw
Saturday...Taco Soup, beer bread
Sunday... grilled tilapia, rice, steamed veggies

* I will post this recipe very soon.

One of my goals this year is to try at least one new recipe each week.  I did this last year too.  We found some good recipes that have become family favorites.  I look forward to sharing some new recipes with you too. 

Some of the recipes I am anxious to try will be on the healthy side.  Yet another one of my goals for the year is to get healthier, which means losing some weight.  I have started making some changes...drinking more water and eating more fruits and veggies.  I've walked some too but I need to be more consistent with it.

So, what kinds of goals have you made for the new year?  How are you doing so far?