Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Bitty Jar

Ever since her sister received her Bitty Baby for her birthday, Lo has been DEVASTATED that she doesn't have one too and for some strange reason she thought we would just buy her one. Um no. Then she heard the dreaded phrase sure to make any 6-year-old turn into full meltdown mode, "You'll have to earn it yourself." She didn't like that idea too much. She originally decided that she'd ask for one for her birthday, but that's 11 months away...much too long for an impatient 6-year-old to wait and Mommy thought working for it rather than just getting it was a much better plan. Her next idea was to have a lemonade stand. Potentially a good idea (it takes work, planning and a budget so you are not spending more on your supplies than what you make on your sales), but not to practical in the winter here in Indy. Her next idea was to make books and sell them. Daddy was so proud of her entrepreneurial spirit. When I asked her more about her "business plan" her response was, "I'm going to write one book and sell it for $50. That way I only have to sell one book and then I'll have my Bitty Baby." I'm not sure even Grandma would spend that much on a Logan original. My suggestion was to do extra chores around the house AND in the spring set up her lemonade/book stand. My idea was immediately shut down because it would require "too much work!" I gently tried to point out that if she did both she would have it much faster. She reluctantly agreed.

I thought a little visual inspiration would help...and with that idea the Bitty Jar was born. It sits on our counter as a daily reminder that hard work and focus will get her to her goal. She sees it every day filled with the money she's already earned and it has really prompted her to actually ask for extra jobs to earn money. She's our new cat box cleaner with makes everyone happy and she's really good at it (I can't wait until spring and we can crown her the official dog-pooper-scooper!). It's been a really good lesson for Lo. She's starting to understand that earning money isn't easy and it takes time, but if it's something you "REALLY, REALLY want" it's totally worth it!

What kinds of reward or money earning systems do you use for your lil' ones? Please share! We can always use new and fresh ideas!!!

Have a great Wednesday and thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Father-Daughter Dance

Right before my eyes my baby is growing up...
This weekend she had her first dance and she was beyond excited. It was the annual Father-Daughter dance for the Girl Scouts. The theme was Walk The Red Carpet and she LOVED getting all dressed up, curling her hair and most importantly, wearing high heels! She even helped Daddy pick out his tie so that they could color coordinate. They spent the whole night dancing, eating yummy treats, taking silly pictures and just enjoying special time together. 

...and while Lo and Daddy were tearin' it up on the dance floor I got to spend some special time with my Monkey. All she wanted was an ice cream sundae from Mc Donald's, and I was more than happy to oblige! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Make Over Your Monday

Happy Monday!!! How was your weekend? I was BIZ-EE! I got a ton of things done for the "yellow room" and I'm really hoping to have it finished by next weekend!!!

So were you able to find some me-time last week? I was able to sneak away from the house a little this weekend and roam at a few of my favorite places...Goodwill, Lowes and other crafty girl favs!

This week's challenge is another fun one: bake cupcakes (or cake, cookies or candy). Nothing puts a smile on your face than a yummy dessert. As an added bonus your house will smell fab-u-lous too!

Have a wonderful week and I can't wait to hear about all the sugar rushes that I've encouraged this week!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cathy's Banana Bread Recipe

I don't know who Cathy is, but apparently her banana bread is the bomb. This is all that's left of the two loaves I made...
Let me start by saying that I don't like banana bread. You are probably wondering why I made it. Well...I had two overly ripe bananas and apparently that is what you do when you have overly ripe bananas. Plus, my girls love bread and it make for a yummy quick breakfast for our mornings when we have to be out the door quickly. I found "Cathy" on Allrecipes, it was rated 4 1/2 stars by over 750 people so I knew it had to be good. It makes enough for two loaves of bread so I was able to share some with my wonderful co-workers who have been kindly feeding me and the baby chocolate on a regular basis. Their loaf didn't make it past lunch. My youngest has repeatedly ask me to go to the market and buy bananas "too squishy to eat" so that I can make more bread. Is there a point to all my rambling? Of course! The point is, those that eat banana bread LOVE this banana bread so if you eat banana bread then make this banana bread!

1 cup mashed bananas
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup margarine
1 1/3 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 9x13 or two 7x3 loaf pans.
  2. Combine banana and sour cream. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and banana mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir into the banana mixture. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan or pans
  3. Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Have a wonderful Friday and I hope your fruit bowl is filled with bananas too squishy to eat!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My New Boyfriend

After days and days of boyfriend FINALLY the mail. It was love at first sight.
The hubby was not as thrilled as I was with our new bed-mate, but I'm looking forward to a more restful nights sleep wrapped in his comfy puffy arms. It's like he's giving me a big hug all night long. 


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Broccoli Cheese Soup-"It's Even Better Than Panera Mommy!"

Last night I received what is quite possibly the highest compliment from my toughest critic, Lo. She told me this soup "was even better than Panera!!!!" I'm not going to let the fact that she sounded more surprised than excited that it was better dampen my mood. The point is she LOVED it and ate two huge bowls of it for dinner last night and I agree, it was REALLY good! It comes from Mel's Kitchen Cafe and it has been added to our regular meal rotation list!

  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (4T) butter
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, preferable sharp or extra sharp
  • 1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • 2 1/2-3 cups chopped, lightly steamed or blanched broccoli (To make life easier while the soup is coming together, you can put the chopped broccoli in  a large glass bowl, cover with saran wrap and microwave for 3-4 minutes. It cooks perfectly and just in time to add it to the soup.)
Simmer chicken broth and chopped onion for 15-20 minutes in a covered small saucepan, until onions are soft. Heat milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes. In a separate medium-sized stockpot, melt butter then add flour, salt and pepper. Cook together, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, then whisk in warmed milk. Stir and heat together on medium heat until soup starts to thicken, about 5-8 minutes. Add warmed chicken broth and continue to stir until well blended. Add cheeses and stir until completely melted. Stir in steamed broccoli**. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve immediately in bowls or bread bowls.

**I decided to use my immersion blender to break up the broccoli. My girls like it better that way, and it makes it creamy and delicious! We topped our soup with croutons and shredded cheddar cheese.

Serve with warm rolls or crusty Italian bread, they are both great for dipping!

It's the perfect soup for a chilly winter day! ENJOY!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hard Boiled Eggie Trick

I love spending time in the kitchen trying new recipes and making yummy food. I can make lots of different things, but for some reason peeling a hard boiled egg was super difficult for me. I'd end up with an egg not only missing it's shell but most of the white part too. It's a good think I typically used them for egg salad sandwiches because they were not a pretty sight. I was so excited when I found a tutorial on how to boil and peel the perfect egg. I can't remember where I found it, but I sure did remember all the steps! I'll never peel a hard boiled egg any other way.

1. Put your fresh eggs into your saucepan.
2. Cover your eggs with COLD water (I also add salt to the water because I heard it makes the shells peel easier).
3. Put on the stove and set the burner on high.
4. Bring to a rapid boil.
5. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand for 20 minutes.
6. Immediately run under COLD water. Keep changing the water as it becomes warm.
7. You can also add ice cubes to the water. The goal is to stop the eggs from cooking.
8. The next part is the fun part. Drain all the water and ice. Fill with approximately 1/4 inch of water. Put the lid on and SHAKE your eggs. Hold onto the lid real tight and shake, shake, shake! The shells will crack and many will peel off on their own.
9. Under running warm water gently peel the remaining shells off your eggs. Pat dry with a paper towel and store in a zip-lock back in the fridge. 

I love it when I find great kitchen tips to make my life easier!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Make Over Your Monday

Happy Monday! I have to be honest, it was a LOOOONNNNNGGGG weekend for me. The hubby was gone and the girls had me losing my mind! Good thing I had a little down time with Catching Fire and I'll be heading out first thing this morning to get Mockingjay! I did find a little time to be crafty and I'm gearing up for a busy week!

So how did you do on last week's challenge. I really tried to keep my word in the forefront of my mind. My girls were a real challenge this weekend and sometimes I had other words screaming in my head, but we all survived and ended the weekend on a good note.

This week's challenge is: 
We all know we can't take care of anyone else without first taking care of ourselves. So make sure you do something for yourself this week!

Enjoy your "me time" and thanks for checking in!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gnocchi with Grape Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Basil

I love recipes that taste wonderful and only requires a few ingredients. When I found {THIS} one at Eat, Live, Run I knew it would be a hit. Gnocchi literally takes 2 minutes to cook so you can have this wonderful dish on your table in just minutes. 


  • Gnocchi
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Goat Cheese
Yup! That's all you need for an amazing, delicious and quick meal. Honestly I don't even think about exact amounts. I just put in how much I like.

  • Cook gnocchi in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes until all the gnocchi float. Drain and save 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  • Transfer the hot gnocchi to a large bowl, add goat cheese, cooking water, cherry tomatoes and basil. Mix well so the cheese melts. 
  • Season with a little black pepper to taste. Server immediately (this isn't a good dish to reheat).
Serve with warm crusty bread and ENJOY!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day Yumminess

I always like to do something special for the girls on holidays. It's fun for me to see then run downstairs to see what fun awaits them. 
This year Valentine's Day fell on a work day for me which means our day started early and we would be in a rush to get everyone out the door on time. I got everything ready the night before, but it wasn't necessary. The girls were WAY too excited to be slow! They got ready in record time!
On the menu for the day...Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Syrup...Yum and yum!
Thank you Kojo Designs for the de-lish recipe. I'm sure they will be making an appearance next Valentine's Day too.

Want to make your own? YES YOU DO!!!


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cups red velvet cake mix
  • 1 T sugar
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1-2 cups of milk
Mix the dry ingredients, add in the wet ingredients. Mix with a blender until there are no lumps-it should look like pancake batter. Pour into a medium-hot skillet, about 1/4 cup per pancake. Cook for about a minute on each side (maybe more). Serve warm with cream cheese syrup and sprinkles.

  • 4oz whipped cream cheese
  • 1 T vanilla frosting
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
Combine all ingredients. Whip with a mixer until smooth and syrupy. Serve over red velvet pancakes and top with sprinkles.

Not our typical healthy breakfast, but it was a HUGE hit at our house!

Lo's already planning her St Patty's Day breakfast...I like the way she thinks!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Checkin' Out

It has happened again. I have suspended all cleaning, crafting and cooking until further notice.

This is the culprit:
I haven't been into a book this much since the Twilight Obsession of 2008. During that time I read all four books back-to-back. During the first two my children watched an insane amount of TV while I occasionally threw Fishy Crackers at them. The last two almost ruined my marriage as I read then on vacation with the hubby. I don't think I said more than two words to him for the first 3 days of our trip as I parked myself in a lounge chair by the pool and didn't move. I would have taken them to our meals if I didn't think he'd file for divorce immediately. 

The good news is that I'm almost done...with the first book...the bad news? There are at least two more books in the series. 

Alright this post has already eaten too much of my precious reading time...Have a wonderful Wednesday and I'll be back as soon as the last page is read!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Printables Revisited (and possibly a Picnik substitute)

We all know how much I L-O-V-E Goodwill. There's nothing better than finding a great deal and turning it into something magnificent and unique!

Last summer I found this great mirror for Lo's room. It's plastic. It was cream, dirty and gross. I love seeing beyond the disgust. One can of spray paint and a few fabric butterflies leftover from a mobile that was tangled beyond repair, and I had the perfect piece for above the World's Ugliest Dresser!
Personally I think I have the best luck at Goodwill when I'm not really looking for anything specific. It's not like you can walk in there with a shopping list and leave with everything crossed off. That's why I was overjoyed when I saw this frame last month.
Hell-O! It matches the mirror perfectly!!! It was Kismet! It too was gross, dirty and begging for a coat of spray paint! It was also PERFECT for the printable I made for Lo's room.
I am beyond excited with how it turned out. I add the last of the fabric butterflies and used scrapbook paper as the "matting" (I just placed the photo over the paper and it looks like a high-end matting). 

It was the perfect addition to her room and I love how the mirror and photo coordinate with each other.
Little by little her room is coming together and we are both excited!

Happy Valentine's Day!
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Picnik my fav photo editing and printable making site will be shutting down in April. They are offering Google+ as an alternative. I don't know much about Google+, but I don't think it's something that I'm going try. It's more of a network (you have "friends" you "share" things) rather than a site for editing pictures. Yesterday Cheri over at I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar blogged about a great alternative and personally think it's a great substitute. She did a very thorough evaluation and comparison. Click {HERE} to hear what she has to say.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Make Over Your Monday

Happy Monday everyone! How did you do on last week's name challenge? I think I did pretty well. I sincerely hope I made some people feel a little more appreciated!

This week's challenge is to revisit your word that you selected last month. Are you doing your best to achieve the word you selected? Honestly I have been doing the exact opposite of my word and I REALLY need to focus on it more. It's so easy to slip back into old habits and that's what I've done this month. But like most of us, I'm a work in progress and all I can do is my best and you can bet I'll be working hard to make the necessary changes.

Have a wonderful week!