Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spring Mantel

Ok, I know it's not Spring JUST yet, but when we have had days in January that are in the 70's, my mind tends to wander that way. Plus, I live for Springtime, and the flowers. So, I try to hurry up through the dark and dreary days of Winter.

Here is my mantel that I put together for the Spring. I am trying to simplify things a bit this year. After Christmas, I was tired of the dark colors and wanted to really lighten things up a bit. So I went with fresh creams and sages. Dark colors bring me down, so I wanted something light and happy. Even the wreath has a bit of sage in it, and looks better in person then the photo. But I love how every thing matches the curtains.

Looking forward to seeing the sun again, Lori

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Just another typical menu for the week, but I am trying three new recipes. Since this is actually Wednesday that I am blogging (just to get it in the system), I can say the Chicken Divan and the Chicken and Wild Rice Soup were wonderful. Huge hits in the house. I would add the links, but this Mama is tired...and I don't feel like it. Ha ha.

Here is this weeks menu:

Monday: Chicken Divan (not the cream of soup kind either...ick) This was really good. Made great leftovers!

Tuesday: Brenner

Wednesday: Homemade Panera's Chicken and Wild Rice Soup (this was delish and made a TON)

Thursday: Cobb Salad with The Pioneer Woman's Homemade Ranch Dressing (family favorite)

Friday: Spaghetti

Saturday: The Pioneer Woman's Mushroom Steak (the hubby's favorite)

Sunday: Johnny Marzetti (classic comfort food)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Little Family Update

Little Missy Moo turns 10 months old today! What a joy she has been in our lives. On a daily basis My Sweetie says, if we could have 27 more just like her, we would. So, we are trying! Ha ha. She has been the best baby and is always happy and sweet. She is the best little eater too. Always wanting whatever we are eating and always wanting to be with the big kids. She is loved by all who come in contact wit her. We can not imagine our lives with out her little chubby legs speed crawling across the floor. We love and adore her.

Sissyboo is three and half years old and is full of life! She is quirky, so she always keeps us on our toes. She always has to have a dress on, a hat and shoes. She is often found playing with her favorite Buzz Lightyear toy. She loves him so much and he is never far away. She loves to work puzzles and draw! I often find rainbows drawn on windows, chalkboards and her mega doodle board. She is such a happy go lucky little girl. We just adore her sweetness and I always enjoy her willingness to help me around the house or with the baby.

My little Double D is not quite two and a half. He is such a Mama's boy. He loves hugs and giving hugs. However, he is all boy when it comes to his favorite toys. He is most often found running around with a train or a car in his hand. He loves me to read to him and count out things in books. He can say all of his ABC's and identify them. He knows all his colors and can count and is quickly learning how to add. He loves learning and it seems to be pretty easy. He already knows some words in French. His favorite little toy is his Brown Teddy Bear named Brown Ted. He can not sleep with out him. My favorite thing is that he loves for me to rock him before bed time. I love how he snuggles with me as we rock and we always have a sing-a-long. He asks me to sing Bicycle Built for Two at least three times as we rock. He is a sweet natured little guy.

My Sweetie is doing very well, just busy with work. I can not imagine my life with out him. We are just happy as clams raising our little family. He often says to me that he can't imagine why people wouldn't want children. My thoughts exactly. We often say if we would have met in our 20's we would have had 15 children by now. I am just so thankful for him and that he is my helpmate in every sense of the term. He is always eager to help me and seeks ways to make my life and work at home easier. I love him more every day!

That is what is going on with my little family at the beginning of 2012. Looking forward to seeing what this new year holds for us.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Remembering the great Martin Luther King Jr.

Hope you all have had a wonderful long weekend and are ready to start a fresh new week.

Here is the menu plan for this week (some are the same as last week, since I didn't get to them due to an illness in the family):

Monday: Turkey Burgers with Roasted Carrots

Tuesday: BBQ Chicken with The Neely's Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw

Wednesday: Homemade Sloppy Joes and potatoes

Thursday: Homemade Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

Friday: Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps with fresh salsa and chips

Saturday: Chicken Fricassee (My hubby was watching America's Test kitchen and thought this would be good. It looks delish!)

Sunday: Bowtie Lasagna

Have a wonderful and glorious week,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I could not live with out...

Being a Mommy to three little ones means that there are always little messes to clean up. So when I discovered Hoover Deep Cleansing Detergent I was overjoyed. At the time when My Sweetie purchased our steam cleaner for the carpets he also purchased the detergent. So before we steam clean the carpet and furniture I used to make a spray bottle with the detergent highly diluted and pre-treat the stains. Now I keep a spray bottle filled with water with a cap full of the detergent mix on hand. I am always amazed that just a little amount of the detergent could remove hard set in (when did that get there and just what the heck is that) stains.

Whether is is an entire bottle of soy sauce on brand new carpet or red juice spilled on the fabric dining room chairs, Hoover Deep Cleansing Detergent has removed them all!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

After having a wonderful weekend with the hubby and kiddo's, it's time to start another week. Here is my meal plan for this week:

Monday: Chicken and Dumplings

Tuesday: Ham and Biscuits with Hollandaise Sauce and Fruit Salad

Wednesday: Turkey Burgers with Red Onion Jam

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner: Waffles with fresh fruit

Saturday: Pork Tenderloin, Green Beans

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

I was home last week to visit my family and made this little appetizer for our New Year's Eve family get together. These are perfect little appetizer that are surprisingly easy but delicious.

1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups ketchup
1 pound bacon
2 (8 ounce) cans water chestnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup.
Cut bacon in half. (The original recipes doesn't call for this, but I partially precook the bacon for about 10 to 15 minutes. This way they are still pliable, but the fat can be drained off).

Wrap one slice of bacon around each chestnut. Secure the bacon with a toothpick. Arrange the water chestnut wraps in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour the sauce over the water chestnut wraps and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from water chestnut wraps from the oven. Let cool for 5 to 7 minutes.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Oh January, you do this to me every year!

Poor yourself a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and grab your latest seed catalog. I am not sure about you, but right after Christmas, my mind starts thinking about warmer weather, spring time flowers and my garden beds. We have had unusually warm weather this week, with it being in the mid 60's today and again tomorrow and it makes me want to run out to the garden and start planting.

I am no sure why, but in January, gardening gets under my skin. Several years ago, my husband and I were talking right after Christmas and he looked at me and asked what we should plant this year. I love him for caring...and knowing that when January rolls around, I have already started planning and dreaming.

One day, our dream is to have enough land to plant an orchard, a small vineyard and have a large garden and even a few animals. I would like chickens and maybe a sheep or two. But for now, we live in the suburbs where I like to pretend I am on a farm with my little garden beds in the back yard.

Have you started planning your spring garden? So far, I know am planting tomatoes and corn, and will add to my herbs in the front.

Here are my favorite NON-GMO seed catalogs and websites to help you with gardening: I have used Baker Seeds in the past with amazing results!

Genesis 1:12
The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and
trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that
it was good.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

No New Year's Resolutions for Me...

I have never made a New Year's resolutions. Maybe it's because I have never met anyone who has kept one! So instead of making a resolution, I want to try twelve new things in the twelve months of 2012. One new thing per month.

Here is my list of twelve new things would like to do or try this year (however, no skydiving will be involved):

January: Plant a herb garden in the kitchen window sill

February: Learn to make crepes

March: Spend time learning to take better photographs

April: Visit the St. Louis Botanical Gardens

May: Grow corn in the garden

June: Give birth to my fourth child (Hey... it is something I have NEVER done)

July: Put up a clothes line (I am sure the neighbors will love this. But I will take it down at night before they get home from work)

August: Learn to make sky high southern style biscuits

September: Make my own apple butter

October: Make Halloween costumes for the kids

November: Learn to make homemade noodles (like my Mom used to make)

December: Make my own wrapping paper

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

Monday, January 2, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

In this new year, I am looking for recipes that are inexpensive but also make leftovers for lunch the next day. Here is the first menu of the new year:

Monday: Roast Chicken and Green beans

Tuesday: Chicken Quesadilla's

Wednesday: Panera Bread's Cream Cheese Potato Soup

Thursday: Beef and Noodles

Friday: Pizza Bites

Saturday: Sesame Chicken with Broccoli Stir-Fry

Sunday: Dinner out with the family at Outback Steakhouse