Wandering Wednesday

this caused a literal LOL.

Do you see these shoes?!?  Want!  $75

this man's art is amazing.

these beautiful fall colors... oh how I love the fall.

this should be hanging in my kitchen!  no one seems to know where the damn sink is...

D-I-M Mobile

That's a "Did It Myself" mobile...

I think I've looked at a million different mobiles for Rowan's crib. The ones that I L-O-V-E-D were just way too expensive! I mean, $50 to 70 or more for a mobile that (according to the powers that be) will only be in/on/above the crib until the baby can sit up, just seems ridiculous to me.  Babies outgrow everything so quickly!  And the ones in the stores just weren't unique enough.

This is where my Pinterest came in handy.  I was looking for baby stuff and came across a pin for a do-it-yourself crib mobile.  Several actually, but this one in particular looked very do-able for me.  The simple circle pattern that I used comes from this blog.  However, you can easily just make your own circles.

8 inch embroidery hoop - $1.19
Scrapbook paper - 11 different papers (8 colored, 3 patterned) @50% off - $2.64
Fabric for hoop - $1.49
Fishing line that my husband already had in the garage - FREE
Hot glue gun & hot glue - Already had these so again - FREE

Total = $5.32

DIY Mobile

Friday Funnies

These two commercials really crack me up!  I've been complaining lately about the lack of intelligent commercials around the TV-sphere.  Those ridiculous Keystone Light commercials make me want to poke my own eyeballs out.

So because I'm gonna be singin' about some denim all day and I honestly like these commercials, I thought you should join in with me!  Enjoy!  So much glitter!


Shredded Beef Tacos

Print it here!

This recipe comes from My Kitchen Addiction.  We've heard such good things about the Chipotle Mexican Grill, but the closest one to us is an hour away.  When I found this recipe I knew I was going to have to give it a try.

Here's what I used:

  • 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • appx. 2 lbs boneless chuck roast
  • 1 tsp mild chili seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • a pinch of sage
  • 1 cup of beef bouillon
  • 1 tbls tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (forgot to mince it! Oops!)
  • 1 tbls onion soup mix
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • flour tortillas
  • For toppings: monterrey jack cheese, lettuce, sour cream, etc., etc.
Some of the ingredients have been adapted from those in the original recipe.  

And here's how I cooked it:

Add olive oil to a skillet and heat it over medium high heat.  Or in my case slightly below medium high.

Mix the dry spices (chili seasoning, paprika, sage) --MKA recipe calls for cumin, not sage, but I was out-- and rub it on the roast.  The original recipe says make sure to rub spice on all sides, but I ran out of spices so I just made sure to coat the top and bottom well.  
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Sear the beef on all sides then remove from skillet to slow cooker (or stock pot), though I would suggest using the slow cooker.

Leave the skillet on the heat, add beef bouillon to remove all the bits of burned on goodness from the bottom of the skillet.  Add the tomato paste and the minced (remember I forgot to do the mincing...) chipotle --which I found in the ethnic food section at Wal-Mart-- and whisk it all together.  Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and let it thicken up.

Dice up that onion (again... I forgot to get an onion so I used some onion soup mix...), mince up that garlic and put on them on the roast.  Pour the sauce over the roast, cover and cook for 6-8 hours.

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Since I used a stock pot instead of a slow cooker, mine wasn't as tender as I would have liked.  After shredding, I added in some of the sauce from the stock pot.  Add beef to tortillas, join them with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy!
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These were a huge hit in our house.  Surprisingly even the kids were impressed!  I think because I forgot to mince that pepper, it made the roast less spicy.  It still had the flavor, but not a lot of heat.  This was so easy to make and so yummy, we will definitely be making them again!

Tuesday Tunes {The Verve}

Already Done Wrong

You would think already having two children, I would have known better than to go down this path.  Alas, I've gone there.

We didn't have a bassinet so we purchased a play yard instead.  I was thinking of getting the most use out of the money we were spending.  Rowan is a month and a half old now and we've let her sleep in the play yard at night and for naps.  Our room is far from the girl's room and since she shares a room with her older sister, I didn't want Kaia to be awakened a few times a night.  Hence sleeping in the room with us...  See where I've already gone wrong here?  I should have only been letting her nap in the play yard and sleeping at night in her crib.

Rowan copyThe past couple of days I've tried to get her to gradually take a nap in her crib.  Just one nap during the day in the hope that she will start to sleep there at night.  She WILL NOT sleep in that crib!  It is a bit strange because I have to lean over so much farther to get her to the bottom of the play yard!  Attempt after attempt has been made to gently place her in the crib without waking her.  I've utterly failed.  I should never have allowed her to sleep consistently in the play yard.  It's convenient for me, but in the end, it's not working.

I did try to let her cry a bit before going to her.  Just to see if she would ease herself back to sleep, but after 15 minutes of screaming, I can't bare it any longer and will go pick her up.  She immediately goes to sleep in my arms.  I don't know why I thought this whole process was going to be easy.  I guess because she's only 7 weeks old I thought she wouldn't notice.  She noticed... oh boy did she notice.

The 60's Revisited

I'm an Old Navy junky.  Back to school shopping usually focuses around when they are having a sale.  If you wait just a bit, you can hit up the clearance racks and score big.  Their everyday prices aren't too bad on the wallet either.  Recently I've seen this commercial...

Does anyone else notice that these "flares" are actually BELL BOTTOMS?!?!? Why are they marketing these jeans as "Retro Flares"? Just call 'em what they really are... BELL BOTTOMS!

How I Make Puppy Chow

or Muddy Buddies or whatever you call them where you are from.  I bought a box of Chex the other day and this recipe was on the side, not to mention I saw it last week too.  I said to myself, "Self, your kids are going to L-O-V-E to eat this when they come home from school in the afternoons."  If your kids are anything like mine when they get home from school, they are starving when they walk in the door.  It's so close to supper time that I don't want them eating a "meal", but a snack.  Honestly, I think I may eat more of them than they do 'cause it's super yummy.  I walk by, grab a handful, pop it in my mouth and travel on my merry way.

Upon looking around my kitchen, I realized I had the ingredients.  Well, I had MY ingredients for them.  White chocolate instead of chocolate chips, extra crunchy peanut butter instead of regular.  The crunchy PB has little bits of peanuts so you get an extra little crunch with your chow.  I was right about the kids loving it.  So much so that I had to make some more!  I thought I'd add it to the recipes since I haven't shared any new recipes lately.

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You can go to the Chex website and use the exact measurements for their ingredients or you can wing it, like I did.

Put the peanut butter, chocolate (I used almond bark), and butter in a 1 qt. sauce pan.  Melt and blend them together over low heat, be sure to stir consistently so it doesn't scorch.

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Pour mixture over your cereal. I only used about 5 cups of cereal and the recipe calls for 9 cups. There really is so many different ways to change up this recipe. I contemplated adding some raisins to the mix, but I realized I was out at the last minute. Fold in the cereal until it's well coated, then add your powdered sugar.
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I used a large Rubbermaid container. Put the top on (or seal your bag) and shake it girl, shake it!!!  Once it's all coated with sugary goodness, spread it out on some wax paper so it can cool off a bit. Then put it in any ol' container you can find! You really should put it in a seal-able container so it doesn't get stale, however, it goes so quickly in our house that I don't even bother.

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Here's the recipe!

What you'll need:
     9 cups of Chex
     1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or butterscotch chips, or white chocolate, or whatever)
     1/2 cup peanut butter (I used the crunchy kind for extra pea-nutty-ness!)
     1/4 cup butter (or margarine, but let's be honest here... there is nothing better than BUTTER!)
     1 teaspoon vanilla (I didn't add this and I didn't notice that it was gone)
     1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I only used about a cup)

How to make:
     -In a 1 qt. sauce pan, add peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butter.  Warm over low heat while stirring.  Once it's all incorporated, add vanilla.
     -Pour mixture over cereal and blend well.
     -Add cereal mix to a large plastic bowl with top or to a large Ziploc bag.  Add powdered sugar, seal, and shake well.
     -Spread mixture out on some waxed paper to let it cool.  Store in an air tight container.

The Chex website gives instructions for using the microwave to melt your chocolate, pb, and butter together, but I'm not a fan of using the micro for melting chocolate.  I like to have more control over my melting.
Click image to download recipe card for printing!

Tuesday Tunes {Cee Lo Green}

Ring, Ring

first day of schoolToday ends the first week of school here.  My baybee, Neil, started middle school this year.  I thought I was going to be all emotional when they left for school on Tuesday, but it never happened.  I watched them get on the bus as usual and off they went!  I spent all day actually getting stuff done around the house, in between diaper changes and feedings.

At 3:30pm, the hubs made it home from work.  Normally the kids and Chris get home around the same time, but they weren't home.  We waited... waited...  Finally around 4pm the bus rolled up.  It turns out that their bus has a later schedule this year for the afternoon pick up at their schools.  They came bounding through the yard, happy to be home.  Both of them said their first days went well.

Then it happened...

Neil said, "I need the phone."


The next afternoon, the same thing happened.  His "girlfriend", H, calls from her cell phone.  My kids don't have cell phones of their own.  Mainly because we can't afford for them to have phones, but also because, in my opinion, there is no reason for my 10 year old daughter or my (nearly) 12 year old son to need them.  I understand the need for some children to have cell phones (divorced parents, latch key kids, etc.), but my kids have no need.  I told him to ask H if she is on the same company that we are on.  She is, so I tell him to call her from either mine or his father's phone to keep costs down for her parents.

Big mistake.... uh, muh bad!

Thursday morning, his friend, J, calls here at 6:23AM!  Six o'clock in the freakin' morning y'all?!?  I told him to get off the damn phone.  Who the heck calls someone that dang early anyway??

Guess what happened yesterday afternoon?

Yep, right off the bus, my home phone is ringing and it's his friend, J.  Not 15 minutes later, the hubs cell phone starts ringing.  It's the girlfriend.  He was on the phone with her for an hour before I told him he was going to have to get off the phone so we could eat dinner.  He asked if he could text her so we said ok...

Big mistake... uh, muh bad!

Back and forth, back and forth... until finally the hubs texted her back with, "Neil is going to bed now."

How did this happen?  How did we get here?  I had no idea that the whole pre-teen mess would start so abruptly!  So suddenly!  I mean, we are only 4 days into the school year!  How am I going to survive next year when both of them are in middle school?!?

Happy Monday!

I know that I am completely overwhelming y'all with photos of Rowan.  How can I resist?  She's a cutie patootie and loves to have her picture taken already.  Probably because she's had a camera in her face since she was born, but we must ask ourselves.... is that really a bad thing?

It's so hard to believe that she is already a month old!  It literally feels like yesterday that she was born.  She's already up to 9.6 pounds!  The nurse seemed genuinely surprised when she asked if Rowan was breastfed, bottle fed, or both, and I told her she was only breastfed.  The wonders of nature...

Rowan at One Month

Rowan at One Month

Four Weeks Equals...

Technically Rowan is four weeks old today.  Officially, I guess she's not quite a month old if you go from 7th to 7th.  Either way, she sure is cute!

Rowan - 4 Weeks

A Single Photo Unload {Plus a video!}

I've been clicking away with the camera(s), but haven't really had time to do much with the photos I've taken.  I'm still hoping for some cooler temps outside so we can take some real family photos.  It's just been way too hot to even attempt right now.  Which bums me out a bit, but hey, what'd ya gonna do?


Rowan is finally starting to keep her eyes open... occasionally. I wish I could get as much sleep as she does in a day! I'm planning on napping while she is napping once the older kids go back to school next week. Maybe I'll be more pleasant to be around once I'm getting more than 3-4 hours of sleep every 24 hours.

Here's a cute little video of her just chillin'. 'Cause that's pretty much all she can do right now! Enjoy!

Lost in Space

I'm still not sure exactly what happened to my modem between Friday afternoon and Saturday around noon-ish, but I've been INTERNET-LESS for almost 3 days!  Yikes, right??  Well, actually it wasn't so bad because since Rowan was born I've only sporadically been on the internet anyway.  Just a couple of times a day is all I can manage and it's been good.  Before we headed to the hospital I removed all updates that were sent to my phone to discourage myself from wanting to constantly be checking stuff.  Now it's like little Christmas presents when I finally do get the chance to sit back and relax with a little time on the interwebs!

Now begins the daunting task of reading the 36 emails and the 128 blog posts in my Google Reader!  The only thing I was really bummed about was that I haven't had time to post any photos for this week's photo challenge!  Guess I better get busy!