Thursday, November 8, 2012

Losing your Mojo. Hoping the condition is simply LoJo and not Nojo.

It's challenging when you hit a rut, a rough patch, tough times.  My times are not as tough as many.  I have a roof, I have food, I have a beautiful family.  We are just in a spot.  Some of it self induced, some of it bad timing, some of it just.... well just.

I'm lucky to have support.  SoMeone to hOld me up, soMeone to remind me that it's going to be okay.  Someone to pull me or tug me or just gently coax me from that edge.  I've been edge dwelling, and not in a Lady Gaga glorious kind of way, not at all.  It's not pop-rocky or sexy or weird or award winning.

I hope that I am that someone to someone at sometime or anytime.  I understand.  I love.  I respect.  I listen.  I am here.

Love the ones your with, love the ones you have.  Appreciate what you have. Be kind, be patient, be thoughtful.  It's worth it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dear Blog,
       I apologize for my absence.  I have not forgotten you.  You really are important to me.  I have been so overwhelmed with the real world that my digital world has been negelected.  Please forgive me.

       Yours faithfully,


Okay, thank you letting me take care of that little piece of business.  I have so much guilt and needed to make a formal apology.  Soooooo, what's new???  Everybody good?  Good.

I'm inspired to be here because Ladycakes has her own little bloggyboo and I want to help her stay inspired.  Believe it or not, she has an incredibly progressive, creative Honors English (brag,brag) teacher who has his students produce their own blogs. So Lily's Craft Cloud is alive and kickin'.   And that means, this post is about to take a crafty turn.... HOLD ON TIGHT.

Via Instagram.... I shared this little teaser.

The costume Ladycakes is constructing requires green leggings.  I have found through experience buying "blanks" (white items) and dying them is the most cost effective way to go.  Dharma Trading is my go to supplier for this type of stuff.

Now, for another teaser.  And as it may seem, NO!, we are not still working on the kitchen, but it's still not done.  Don't ask.

This is another costume in progress.  Give it your best shot.  What do you think?

The boys have costumes in the developmental stages.  I will share sneek peeks of those when the time comes..... maybe November 1.

How are you haunting at your Hive?  (alliteration attracts an audience)

Add "Faithfully" by Journey to My Life Soundtrack.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

All aboard the Breakfast Bandwagon or I'm bringing Breakfast Back! #Sundaymorningbreakfast

A family that cooks together stays together.  I think it's actually if you makes sure you eat together as a family everyone will be happier, healthier and in the know.  In other words, your kids are more likely to talk to you about the stuff that's going on in their lives.

Mr. Handsome and I totally agree with this.  We make it a habit of eating together as a family.  Often that puts our dinner time later than we like but it's a sacrifice we are willing to make.

Mr. Handsome and I also really like to cook and now that we are cooking in a new kitchen, we are enjoying it even more.

I have invited a new tradition into our Sunday mornings.  I make quiche.  And because Mr. Handsome, Q and Elvis are "real" men.... they eat it.  Not just eat it, DEVOUR it.  Ladycakes and I are lucky to get a slice, although Ladycakes makes eating her business.  She isn't one to get walked all over, God I love that girl!

Last night I posted a list of ingredients on my Facebook wall for voting.  Friends helped us with their choice of ingredients and also shared their ideas for #Sundaymorningbreakfast with me.  Then in the morning, we took a picture of our finished dish on Instagram and shared it via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.   SO FUN!

If you would like to join the fun, put it on your calendar for Saturday night.  Then post your ingredients, get some friends to give their input.  Join me on Instagram @hereatthehive with a picture of your breakfast and if you want to show me on Twitter @hereatthehive I would LOVE it.  Use #Sundaymorningbreakfast to label it and lets see if we can inspire others to jump on the breakfast bandwagon.

It's a great way to get some new food ideas, share the way you are hanging out with your fam and give our social media skills a little workout.

Win, Win, Win.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Putting Lipstick on a Pig

It's a funny thing, remodeling a kitchen.

It requires a lot of patience.

It requires a good sum of money.

It requires a lot of decision making and then flexibility in those decisions.

And then once complete, it requires you to wear blinders when looking at the rest of your home.

Mr. Handsome and I discussed this when we first threw around the idea of remodeling the kitchen.

           *He said, "You know it will make the rest of the house look like shit."

           * I said, "Maybe, it will inspire us to work on some other plans for the rest of the house."

           * He said, "Really?  You know you are going to want to change everything."


I totally want to change everything.   However, we are flat broke.  There is no more cabbage.  The wallet chirps like crickets upon opening.  It's goose eggs in the ol' bank account.  Nada, no more.  Gonzo.

So I have to make cheapo changes.   Like, re-arrange vs. re-do.  clean-up vs. demolition.  vacuum vs. replace.  spray paint vs. re-frame.  All oldies but goodies and most can be done for Zero Dollar$.

Let's start here shall we?  This is Elvis's closet.  Elvis is a hoarder.  Elvis will perhaps be on a TV show one day about kids who never really learned the fine art of "playing."  Just the fine art of dumping every bin of toys they own into a giant pile.  You could not even open the door.  Frightening.

So in an effort to keep me from calling in the contractor to build an elaborate set of shelving and then bringing in the professional organizer to set up a system that works for the average hoarder, I dove in with a trash bag.

Truth be told, it's a rare day that I "call in"  the experts.  I have a very high regard for my skills and blindly believe I can pretty much take on any task.  Seriously, maybe it's too much HGTV, maybe my self-esteem is better than I lead on but I'm willing to tackle a task before consulting an expert.

Open heart surgery, anyone?

With garbage bags full and vacuum plugged in, I am proud to say, this is how it looks now.

And then I went and did this.

Tomorrow I shall paint.  Because I have it in the garage.  So essentially it's free.  And it will be fresh and new and I will be happy.  

On a side note,  the kitchen is nearing completion but not complete.  Once it's done, I promise to provide a final reveal.   

Friday, August 10, 2012

Racing to the Finish Line

Remodeling a kitchen is all consuming.  It is pretty much all I think, talk and worry about.  Our remodel has probably taken the "normal" amount of time but it seems like it's moved at a snail's pace.  Some of the foot dragging was my fault.  Spending large amounts of money makes my head spin.  Finding the best deals takes extra time.  I had to do some research to get the most for our money.

With that being said, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  It's getting to the end and I am so pleased with the results.

I am a big fan of the blog  I wish I could DIY the way they do.  I've relied on sub-contractors for most of this project.  I did some drywall work and I painted but the rest has been left to the hand's of experts.  Mr. Handsome did bust out his tools yesterday and attached all of the cabinet pulls.  He fashioned a template and did an amazing job.  Not only did it save us some money but it gave us both a sense of accomplishment.

We do realize that some this work could be done by us.  We are smart individuals, we just lack a little confidence.  In the future, we have decided that tackling some the work ourselves will be step one of any project.

From here:

To here:

And from here:

To here:

Today the appliances go in.  Seeing the finish line........ MUST PUSH FORWARD!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

When Pinterest and Real Life Collide....that's supposed to happen right?

I hang around Pinterest.  Not too obsessed but when I can't sleep it's a great joint.  And I don't mean "joint" in a "doob" kind of way more of a "library" kind of way.    I find some interesting stuff there.  Food, nail polish, hot guys in a creepy kind of hot guy way (not my fav), some religious stuff I could do without but what the hell, it's there and I can skip over it and I see some GREAT ideas that suit my current sitch (as Kim Possible would say.)

So today,  I took one of those "sitches" and am making it my own.   I am re-using my pantry door in a new spot.  It's a door with a glass front.  Back story, we live in a "model" home  (oh how far I could take that nonsense.)   As a model, having the pantry door with clear glass obviously opens the space.  In real life, a clear glass pantry door drives one crazy.

With the remodel, the entrance to the pantry is in a new place.  Awesome.  Because we are counting our pennies, we are using the old pantry door.  I don't want it to be see through anymore.  I'm taking care of that.  Thank you Pinterest.

Door, covered in black contact paper with lines and math and lines and stuff.

Door from another angle.  And yes,  it is currently the door to HELL which sadly is so appropriate and inappropriate at the same time.

Praying to Hades that my door way to HELL turns out.  I meeeaaannn, here's hoping that step one leads to a great step two and that when you come to my house you always, always feel welcome.

Progress people.  Progress.

Please add Kim Possible Theme Song to my Life Soundtrack.  Beep Me. Anytime you need me.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fifty Shades of Gray..... my review.

Wait, what?

 There's a book?

 A book about WHAT?!

So not what I'm talking about.  Wow!  I'm talking Gray.  Not Grey.  There's a difference.

I think I have officially looked at 50 shades of gray.  At least.  There are so many variations in gray and I have had a hard time nailing one down.  The cabinets in the new kitchen are gray.  A very light shade of gray, it's very hard to see.  When you hold something white up to them,  it becomes more obvious. While it is subtle, in a weird way it's a very obvious part of the kitchen.  With that said, making a color choice for the walls has been challenging.  Those who know me (all 22 of you) understand that this is something I can lose sleep over.  Have lost, might still lose, and subsequently losing.

Initially I headed in a blue gray direction.  But we are not really blue people.  We like blue but living with blue is not something we do.  We head more in a warmer direction.  If you can possibly imagine, there are grays out there that have golds and reds and umbers in them.  Who knew!

After throwing some paint on the walls, we think we've come to a decision.

Which color would you choose?  Let us know.
To vote, go like this
B.  C.
     D. E.

Go ahead, tell us.

I am SO NOT a professional blogger!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

One Step Closer to Being the Home of the Worldest Largest Refrigerator

I've been hiding.

Hiding from the dust, the filth, the financial impact.

 I've been hiding from the kitchen remodel.

 Let's face it.  It's ugly.  It's messier than you expect, it takes longer than you expect and it ALWAYS costs more than you expect.

I know, this is not new information.  But we all jump into these ideas with pictures pulled from magazines, a Pinterest board overflowing with loveliness and full on blind ambition.  It's so fun to be naive and childlike until you get a big fat smack in the face by a piece of crown molding that cost you more than your 14 year olds braces.

Okay not really, Mr. Handsome put the kibosh on the solid gold crown molding.... he felt it might, oddly enough "cheapen" the space.

But because all 22 of you are dying to know what the hell is going on here at the hive.... I will pleasure you with some pictures (I figured going with an "adult" metaphor I might pick up a few comments or followers.)

So for your viewing pleasure (to make the experience even more exciting see the post before this to get the full effect, kind of like a flip book from the olden days)







I realize my photography skills are not ideal.  I would have mapped it out if I were a professional blogger.  I would have put an X on the floor and shot from the same spot.  But wait, oh that's right ...

1. I am not a professional blogger.
2. I am currently not living in the space and wait for it......
3. I have 3 children that are so busy it's mind blowing!  Okay, I'm good.

It looks lovely.  We are thrilled with what is happening.

For those of you curious about sources or how we are doing this on a TIGHT budget, ask away.   I am happy to share what I am learning, what I am sacrificing and how I think you can do this without spending what the professionals tell you to spend.  It certainly isn't DIY.  Sadly, we just don't have the time for that but someday I could see Mr. Handsome and myself taking on a few projects by our little ol' selves.

Party on people.  Next time you see me perhaps there will be countertops.  If you are good, I might do a dance on them for you (totally not meant to be an adult metaphor.)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G Song, it just might help if you sing along.

There was a time when Mr. Handsome and I were going to become avid campers.  We were going to tackle the challenge of becoming experts in the field of camping or camping in a field.  A pop-up camper or even a larger "hard-walled" camper was an investment we considered.  The Utah, The Matterhorn, The Cascade.... the options are endless.  We had dreams of camping with the kids, finding that perfect campsite next to a bubbling brook.  Campfires, smores, our own "glam"ping menus that we planned out ahead of time.  We could come up with great meals, perhaps author a cookbook of gourmet food that people could make while camping.   Well, it's not happening.  Not happening AT ALL.  We would be terrible campers.  We would like it for about 36 hours and then we would be ready to turn that "investment" right around and head home.

Instead of the great outdoors,  we are camping out in Mr. Handsome's parent's house.  It's kinda like a little vacation.  Funny how just a change of scenery can change your point of view.

The kitchen reno is underway.  Slowly but surely.  Slowly by design.  It's SSSSOOOO expensive and I do not do well handing out money left and right.  Also, because it's pricey, we are being extremely thoughtful with our choices.  It's out of nece$$ity.  Plus, who doesn't love to get the most out of their money?

I promised myself I would document the progress.  So as I promised..... here you go.  I sold our old cabinets on our local classified website.  The new owners of our old cabinets came and removed them.  And did it quite expertly..... thank goodness.  The granite came out in whole pieces.  Hallelulijah.  We will either attempt to use the pieces in bathrooms or will put them up for sale as well.







Next step?  Well, the new cabinetry is scheduled to be delivered.  The island (see it up there, in the corner of that picture, right there?)  needs to be removed and the refrigerator needs to find it's new home in the garage.  We have some tile to pick out for our backsplash and some appliances to order.  That heinous(!) wallpaper that was expertly painted over with textured paint,  needs to be removed.

After typing that last sentence, might I add......

1. Be careful where you choose to put wallpaper people.
2.  If you don't like existing wallpaper, take time to remove it properly.
3.  Seriously, textured paint?  Sorry Ralph Lauren, it was a bad idea.  BAD RALPH! VERY,VERY BAD!

In the meantime, we have a comfortable place to stay that doesn't involve pooping in the woods or washing our clothes in a bubbling brook.  We made microwave s'mores last night and I have to admit they were pretty good.  All in all, this investment is a much better choice for this crowd.

Just to prove that we aren't complete home bodies..... here are the kids enjoying some time in the great wide open.  We love nature.  It's just nice to come home to a snuggly bed.

Add "The Campfire Song" to my Life Soundtrack.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things..... go ahead just start singing it. I am.

Okay, I'm a fan of a lot of stuff.  Puppies, clean sheets, black olives, coupons.  But I have a couple things that are my favs.

1. KIDS ARTWORK!  It's the only artwork I own.  Not entirely true but it's a statement I use broadly.  I'm that person that has a rotating gallery of frames that showcase my kids' artwork.  In all seriousness, I love their art and I believe showing it off is good for everybody's self-esteem.

2.  BLANK NOTECARDS .  You can use those bad boys for any occasion.  Birthday? yes.  Graduation?  yep.  Congratulations on the new job?  you betcha.  Sorry to hear about the wart?  Absolutely!

3.  RUBBER CEMENT.  I'm almost positive I have mentioned this somewhere on this here little ol' blog but I'm too busy to research that.  It is the best bonding agent for paper and it's super fun to peel away. It just is.  

4.  HAND WRITTEN, SENT IN THE MAIL, THANK YOU NOTES.  While I spend a good amount of time on the computer with email, Facebook, Pinterest blah de blah blah, I still LOVE getting snail mail.  So, making my children write thank you notes is pretty much the reason for which I live.  I'm a task master for this.  It will make them better adults, I'm sure of it.

Elvis is a year older.  He's got some thank you notes to write!  I picked a piece of his artwork that makes me smile and made copies of it.  Slapped the copies on some blank notecards I had around the house with trusty rubber cement and we are 1/3 of the way there.

Experience has made me wiser.  I know that little people find this task, well, tedious!  So I try to ease their pain by taking care of the sentence structuring.  It's way more fun to fill in the interesting parts.  It makes the task quicker, less painful and something they aren't turned off to for life.

Elvis completed four thank you's in 15 minutes.  He's proud of his accomplishment.  The gift givers will be psyched to receive the thank you and I am proud of his work.

I know you can buy something similar at almost any big box store these days.  Don't bother.  Make your own from original artwork and about 5 minutes on the computer.  You can customize the inside to fit your child's personality.

Okay I'll get off my Emily Post soapbox.  Rock on people.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pushing my buttons, so to speak

I've been trying to work some creativity into my daily life lately.  I easily fold 2 baskets of laundry a day, make a bunch of beds, contemplate 3 meals and 2 different snacks, push around a bunch of papers and waste at least an hour on Facebook daily.  I forget that taking the time to be creative is truly a psychological outlet for me.  Hence, the altar.

These little cuties are bracelets I've been making.  I have a button machine dedicated to making silly swimming buttons.  The kids decorate their swim backpacks with them and I've made a little money selling them at swim meets.  When I saw the bracelet concept in the button supply catalog (yep, there's a catalog of those kinds of things)  I couldn't resist trying it.  Super FUN!

I went throught some other catalogs I had around the house.  You probably have the same bunch, Garnet Hill, Pottery Barn, West Elm.  I found patterns that were appealing and got busy.  They are really cute and add a little punch to any outfit.  You know me and bracelets and the people who wear them.

Lookie there, money saved on therapy.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Vivir la vida al maximo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I have created this altar for a friend.  She proves to be an inspiration to me time and time again.  It has been a pleasure to try an art form that is outside of my heritage but definitely follows my
 "use what you have" philosophy.   It's my hope she loves it.

The theme revolves around tequila.  Tequila is one of the things that brings us together.  The vintage bottle in the middle is filled with the lovely gold goodness inspired by tequila, note the worm crawling out of the bottle.  The sides of the altar are wallpapered with "One Free Drink" tickets.  The skeletons represent our friends with sharp dress and angel wings.  It's a fun and different way to thank them for just being them.

Live life to the fullest!  Every day.  Seriously, every day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The one where I use my noggin and don't go to Hell.

I have a list of to-dos that could wrap around my house about 30 times.  I cross one thing off and then add 5 things.  I know I'm not alone.  All of you out there deal with the same stuff.  I actually have become more lenient on myself.  A few years ago, if I didn't get a birthday present out in time, I was probably going to Hell.  Seriously, in my mind there was judging..... lots and lots of judging.

Well, that's where today's story begins, a birthday present.  And you thought it was where I was going to Hell, silly you.

My darling nephew is turning one year older TOMORROW.  Look what's sitting on my ironing board.  Yep, it's his present.  And guess what, I have to ship it.  Yep, it's gonna be late.  But, that isn't even the real story.  Look at that cool Skylander (as seen here) and then a stack of candy which any good Aunt would send, then look at that snazzy boyish, yet hip gift bag.  No licensed characters.  Just a great combo of turquoise and red.  Complimentary colors.  Yum.

Well one cannot have a gift bag full of Great Gift, if there isn't tissue paper to fluff it, stuff it and make you work for said gift.  It breaks gift wrapping rules in some universe.  My universe.

Solution?  Indeed.

I came home with the infamous Target plastic bags.  Apologies to my friends out there who remember to take their reusable bags into the store.  I am not one of you, I forget.  EVERY TIME.  I love that bullseye design.  It's just nice and graphic and WAIT! the colors are perfect for what I am doing.

Armed with my scissors, I cut up those bags and created my own pieces of "tissue paper."

NICE!  The remaining parts of the bag will go into the shipping box as packing material or will be recycled tomorrow curbside.

The package is stuffed, fluffed and ready for delivery.  The gift tag is obviously a paint swatch/color sample.  Turns out it works beautifully.

I cannot wait for his gift to arrive at his doorstep.  He won't care that there is "tissue" paper but I do.  Happy Birthday, Roman.  Don't eat all that candy in one sitting and welcome to the addiction that is Skylanders.  It's my way of torturing your Dad.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Remodel Step One. The hardest part of any journey is taking the first step.

Step One.  Or "the first financial decision" we must make.

Here's what we are looking out of currently.  French doors one side opens, the other is a fixed panel.  It opens directly into our kitchen table.  That's annoying.  To make it even MORE annoying, the wood blinds clank incessentantly.  No one can break into our house because of those damn blinds.  WAIT..... Call off the reno!

The window, oh the window.  It's seal has blown.  My running joke is that we have a pet pterydactol.  It seriously looks like a pre-historic bird took an enormous (which goes without saying I guess, those old birds were big) shit on my window.  It's been a fun joke, but at this point I'm just ashamed.  Ashamed.

We have over thought so many options here.  New window, sliding door?  Two sliding doors?  A terrace door and a slider?  Let's blow the whole thing out and put in a greenhouse (never really an option.)  Who knew you could talk about doors so much?  Who knew you could fall asleep and still talk about doors?

We believe we will go with a 12 foot slider.  It requires a little more engineering ($.)  But we are trying to make smart decisions for our current situation and then when we plan to sell, which might be tomorrow considering the number of children in my driveway today.  I've become that adult.  I just have.

So.... step one.  You've been warned.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Robert's Rules of Order, What's new and What's missing, It's all about Dog mama or perhaps dogma..

I personally would like to call this blog post to order.  The following are in attendance........ well, me.  That's something.   I have been attending a lot of meetings lately that require the use of Robert's Rules.  I'm a sorority girl ya' know.  I learned the "rules" when I was in college.  They make me feel comfortable, orderly, in charge.  I love being in charge.

The meetings have been mostly school district stuff.  At first, it scared me.  I felt intimidated.  Education is more than showing up and pulling out your crayons.  Of course, I know this.  However, the "business" side of education, public education, is most interesting.  So needless to say, I've heard some "moving" "seconding" and "holy shit man, you need to stop talking, let's put that on next month's agenda."  AMEN!
However, I have a whole new place to experience Robert.  I plan to hang with a friend of mine at some Utah Swimming Board meetings.  Just so I can feel like I'm in charge.  I plan to come up with some dooozzziiieees when Public Comment is encouraged.  Or at least stand up when that seems to be missing from the agenda.

What's new?  Seriously?  How have you all been?  I'm sorry I've been absent.  I get thinking about writing then I have to do laundry.  I find a picture I want to base a post on then I end up at the grocery store.  So here's the newest, new at our house.....

This is our "old" kitchen.  It is still intact.  While it appears really nice, it just doesn't function.

With the guidance of our builder,  we put our cabinets on our local classified website.  They sold.  Seriously?  They sold.  And, the buyer can wait.  So I am currently caring for these cabinets better than I cared for any of my newborn children.  Wiping them down the minute they have a mess on their face. Someone bumps into them, I hip-check them into the next room.  Damn it, we don't own these anymore, have some respect!

So my thought is, as I bring this blog to order in these next few weeks, I will be showing pictures of our kitchen re-do.  Lots of dust and plastic and maybe some carrerra marble or Kashmir white granite, cabinets and me holding my knees, rocking in the corner.

What's missing?  Besides my lack of inspiration for blog posts?  Well, something big.  She was big and beautiful and part of our family for 11 years.  She was ready.  We weren't but it wasn't about us.  Emma was the most wonderful English Mastiff friend a family could ask to love.  Love her, we did.

Foster mama, a nanny of sorts.

Here's our fabulous, crazy and totally loved Lola.  She believed Emma was her Mama.  Emma was her mama and gave her the best instruction and guidance any dog mama could give.  Another reason we are thankful for our Emma.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jesus is coming......look busy.

I saw that on a bumper sticker yesterday and the Catholic in me (who is already feeling super guilty for missing Ash Wednesday) thought "Well, there you go.... get your Lent on."  Lent.  I don't know.  I mean I remember back in the day when I gave up candy.  As if candy was flowing out of every cupboard and drawer of my childhood home.  It wasn't.  My mom kept York peppermint patties in the freezer and Doublemint gum in her purse.  She also love(s)(d) a good Hershey's bar with Almonds... but it's not like she fed us pixie sticks for breakfast and Nerds for lunch.  You are what you eat by the way.

I have many a vices.  Many.  Not quite a bucket full but I lack some self control.  I know that about myself.  I have a few things I could work on for Lent.  But then "Ash Wednesday" turned into "What the Hell, it's already Friday" and then tomorrow is gonna be "We are going to get some shit done, Sunday."

I have decided I will take a little more time to focus on what the hell it is I am doing here (as in the space I share with my family.)  I will focus on me.  Just little ol' me.  And what it is I need to do.  Should I sew something? perhaps.  Should I organize the junk drawer? most definitely.  Should I improve myself?  you betcha!

Because I dig her like a pot gut [The term "potgut" is a Utah slang name or nickname for the Uinta Ground Squirrel which is usually only recognized and used by Utah natives (possibly a popular term in Idaho and Wyoming too). However, in Utah the people will usually just call any rodent-like creature a potgut.] **    digs up a Park City backyard.  This is my song dedication to the terribly talented Kate,  this is my Lent song.

Okay friends.  check in with you later.

**  I Love me my Kate.  Cuz she's a talented writer.  I used "dig" in the literal sense when I threw out the comparision and therefore am not comparing Miss Kate to a pot gut.  She is not a rodent.  She is a wonderful loving mother, wife and all around human being.  Oy.  I should stop blogging.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's like Cupid on Crack.

Valentine's Day is once again upon us and I,once again, achieve to over-achieve.  Elvis, the first grader, of course, is first on the list because let's face it.... 5th grade boys have no interest in creating valentines because "it might send the wrong message."  And in 8th grade, you are either making out or you aren't, and thank my lucky stars Ladycakes aren't!

So Elvis is just slightly, mildly.....okay, overly obsessed with a video game (I swore I would never introduce them or guns as toys, I failed on one.)  Skylanders.  If you have a 6 to 11 year old boy, you probably know what I'm talking about.  In my effort to spin all things positive, I decided to take Skylanders to the level of valentines.

Let me just clarify, if you have tried since Christmas to find, touch, look at or even come in the vicinity of, much less throw down cold hard cash for one of these Skylanders you are out of your mind.  They are 2011's Tickle Me Elmo gone amok..... why, why do I fall for this stuff?  So it would make sense to push them forward to the next holiday, am I right?

Holy Shit, you can get Pokemon, Star Wars, Hot Wheels, Phineas and Ferb, Justin Beiber or Dr. Dre Valentines but not Skylanders?  Well, probably not Dr. Dre.....

Each Skylander character comes with a "trading card" so I put my color printer to work and got started on some super cheesy sayings (this is where an 8th grader really comes in handy) and we were like Cupid on Crack.

The resulting valentines are not only handmade ( I love this kind of stuff ) but also something Elvis will be excited about handing out and totally unique.

Next stop a 5th grade party!  As Room Parent, how do I come up with something different for kids that have been decorating cookies for years?  I'll fill you in next time.....

This is my way of forcing myself to post more than once a month!  See you soon!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chicken and Chimichurri, Delicioso! And a Cool Trick for using Knorr Cilantro Cubes

The New Year has arrived and with it my realization that I totally buy into the idea of a "fresh start."  I honestly believe that every January I can make major life changes from weight loss to financial re-birth to finding my true life calling.  I am an intelligent adult  however I continue to think there is some magic button that gets pushed on January 1 and all of my will power is restored.  I'm an idiot.

So to show you all how awesome I am at making resolutions and then totally breaking them by February, today I am posting an adapted recipe I fixed for the children and myself.  Mr. Handsome is traveling so I am forced to cook.  Actually, I love to cook but of the two of us, he is more creative, confident and skilled in the kitchen.

Breaded Chicken Breasts with Fresh Herb Chimichurri
Cilantro infused Jasmine Rice


1 lime
3 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 green onions(white and green parts) cut in thirds
3 T. water
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 t. fresh ginger (try it out of the tube, so much easier!)
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes (we like it spicy, use less if you don't)
1/4 t. salt

For the chimicurri, into a food processor, juice the lime and add cilantro, basil, green onions, water, garlic and ginger.  Cover and pulse until the ingredients are coarsely pureed.  Remove puree from processor bowl and place in smaller bowl.  Add red pepper flakes and salt to taste.  Set chimichurri aside.

Chicken and Rice

18 low-sodium Club Crackers, crushed (Use whole-grain crackers to sneak that into your diet)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 t. light mayo
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 T. canola oil

1 1/2 cups cooked jasmine rice (My trick here is use a rice cooker, substitute low sodium chicken broth for the water and add a Knorr cilantro mini cube seasoning, clever right?)

For the chicken, place cracker crumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (watch carefully or these bad boys will burn before you know it.)  then remove from the oven.  Using a kitchen mallet, flatten the chicken to 1/2 inch thickness. Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Mix mayo and mustard together in a small bowl, then with a basting brush cover chicken with mayo/mustard mixture.  Dredge chicken in cracker crumbs and press firmly to coat.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat about 1-3 minutes.  Cook chicken 5 minutes per side (this is so subjective because everyone's stovetop is slightly different, just make sure the juice run clear when cut and it's not pink in the middle.)  

Add 3 T. chimicurri to your cooked rice and mix well.  

To serve, I cut the chicken and placed it on top of an artistic shmear of dijon, then added chimicurri to the top of the chicken.  The rice was served on the side.

Okay, there you have it.  An excellent meal choice for my New Year, New Me, New You, Who Knew Celebration!   That's not really what I'm calling it but it's fun to think I could have a whole ad campaign going with a celebrity endorsement etc......

My children LOVED it.  I loved it.  We have chicken left over that I am having for lunch over a bed of arugula.  

I hope you make this, I hope you love it and I hope you let me know what you think.

Here's to an exciting January and then once February roles around we can all get back to normal.

disclosure:  This recipe is my adaptation from the Make it Fresh Make it Healthy cookbook from The Pampered Chef company.  I have made some changes to better suit my family's needs and the way we prepare food.  I do not claim to have invented this recipe or even dreamed up this recipe.  There.  Got that out of the way.

Thanks Carol@ Songberries