Thursday, December 10, 2009

There WILL be a white Christmas at my house!

What's that saying? A sucker is born every minute?
Well, my friends, my minute has come.
I realized this after I clicked "order" on this site.
Yes, while most of the country is trying to dig themselves out of that snowy mess, I am ordering "Snow in Seconds." Come on though, how awesome is this stuff? You can sprinkle it outside and it will look all snowy-like. In a few days, it will dehydrate but all you have to do is spray it with more water and BLAMMO! Snowy again!
I'm totally sold. I bought the big-boy pack.
My Dad will probably scold me when he sees it and whip out a massive stash of it yeah he totally is THAT Dad. I distinctly remember him drinking orange soda out of beakers when we were growing up. We were quite possibly the only kids in the neighborhood that had hazmat spills in our garage.
I am totally stoked to get this stuff in the mail. I am possibly MORE excited than the kids will be.
**All of you who are cursing me and my "warm" weather can hush...or move here. Yes, YOU. You know who you are.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Beautiul Christmas Wall Art & SITSMAS!!

First and foremost, Merry SITSmas!! Head on over to the SITS girls' site and link up for some bloggy love.

My hunt for all things Christmas knows no bounds. I found this fab little idea on Lowe's website. Yeah, I browse the Lowe's website. I must be perfectly honest with you here: I did not make this project. My good friend Ali did. She works at a lumber yard and had to work last Saturday. I knew it was gonna be slow due to the cold, yucky weather that was forecast so I emailed her the link and suggested it as a way to pass the time.

You probably have most, if not all of the needed items at home!

The only thing she did differently is that instead of building a frame and using a drop cloth for the base of the project, she simply re purposed some old artwork from her college days! I was none too happy with her for painting over her artwork, but it's already done! As an art major, she has a bunch of old paintings on canvas. She said it took her about 1/2 hr to complete the project. She bought a string of lights from the dollar store that have 8 different settings! It really makes the snowflake look awesome, AND it's fun to change it up with the different light patterns.

The first of our children to see this hanging on the wall just stood there screaming "OH MY GOSH!!!" They LOVE it, and so do we.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Peppermint Marshmallows

I know, right? Why do I opt to do baking/cooking/crafty things when I very well should be cleaning or something? I dunno, but I do.

I did all kinds of productive things this weekend. And by productive, I mean in the sense that it's productive for my sanity...not so much in the productive for my home's aesthetic appearance sort of way.

Friday night we got snow. Ok, that is perhaps a lie. The surrounding areas got snow. We got a lot of really cold rain. BUT, around 11pm there was a patch of snow on the radar that was making it's way our direction. Unfortunately I could not keep my little eyes open to wait and see if it actually snowed. Whatevs.

In any event, it was cold. I introduced the kids to hot chocolate. What goes better with hot chocolate than marshmallows!! Even better still? Peppermint marshmallows!!

I had seen a recipe for marshmallows on RootsandWingsCo WAAAYY back around Easter time (I wonder if they consider me a stalker?? lol). I had full intention of making their chocolate covered Easter egg marshmallows, but that never happened. I did, however, save the recipe.

3 envelopes of Knox gelatin

1/2 cup cold water

2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cups corn syrup

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons pulverized candy cane

Powdered sugar for dredging

In the bowl of your stand mixer, dissolve gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small pot on the stove, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 1 minute. Pour boiling mixture into dissolved gelatin. Whip on high speed for 12 minutes, adding salt and vanilla. Here is where I strayed.

I have a TON of those giant candy canes. I broke one in half and pulverized the son of a gun in my magic bullet. I added about 2 Tablespoons to the marshmallow mixture.

Transfer mixture to a foil lined pan that has been sprayed with Pam. It also helps to spray your spatula or spoon. I took of my rings, sprayed my hands with Pam and spread evenly into the pan. Cover with a sheet of foil (again sprayed with Pam) and allow to set for an hour or so.

**NOTE** do NOT run your stand mixer on high during a very important Saints game, as they narrowly hold on to their perfect season. It will most definitely upset your husband.

After removing the top foil I sifted powdered sugar all over the top. Be liberal here people. Turn pan over onto cutting board and peel off bottom foil. Sift more powdered sugar. At this point my kitchen had a white haze floating about. It was kinda nice, lol. Made me happy!

Using a large kitchen knife, cut into cubes. You're going to need A LOT more powdered sugar to keep 'em from sticking to your knife. Toss all of the marshmallows in powdered sugar.


Friday, December 4, 2009

The Land of Milk and Honey...Balls

Oh how I love some good balls.

Tis the season for various balls of yumminess.
Get your minds out of the gutter people!
Since I found this recipe on Mr. Breakfast, I've made them 3 times (only found the recipe last Sunday). Seriously, The Dude loves these and so do the kids, soooooo why not? They're super easy, nutritious, and a quick breakfast.

Milk & Honey Balls
1 Cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy, your choice)
1 Cup honey
2 Cups oats
2 Cups nonfat instant dry milk

Combine all ingredients in medium sized bowl. You can mash it all up with your hands or with a spoon, whatever you fancy. I think I used about one Tablespoon per ball. Shoot for about a one inch ball. Your hands will be with it.

The add-in possibilities are endless: chopped dates, raisins, mini chocolate chips, nuts, coconut (toasted or not), and dried fruit actually. I could probably go on and on, but I'll stop there.

These are a little sticky to eat. Actually, sticky is a strong word. There is an ever so slight stick to them. You could easily remedy this by rolled them in toasted coconut, crushed pretzels, crushed cereal, nuts, whatever. I like them just how they are.

Nutrition Facts (per ball)
Serving Size 35 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 1%

Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2%

Iron 2%
Nutrition Grade B
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Very Special Thought on the Pot Thursday

You know, like a "very special episode of Home Improvement." Seriously? You're gonna take on serious subject matter on "Home Improvement?" Well yes, this Thursday's installment is semi-serious. Not serious in the "oh crap my arm just fell off" off sort of way, but in the "well that just sucks" kinda way.
My twinkies just turned 4. On Tuesday we had their 4 yr old checkup. We did the complete physical, including vision checks, blood draws, urinalysis and a hearing check. That last one was where we had a problem. Twin A all but failed her hearing test.
I stood just outside the door of the tiny room where they were giving the test. I could only see her little legs casually kicking as the nurse stood in front of her, operating the machine.
"Raise your hand when you hear a beep."
"Come on hunny, let me know when you hear it."
Still nothing.
"You can't hear that?"
"What about this?"
At this point tears are streaming down my face. The nurse looks back at me and says,
"We're gonna close the door now and try this again."
Twin B looks up at me and say, "I could hear it Mama. Why can't she hear it?"
I had suspected that Twin A had some sort of hearing problem but ignored my instincts and let other people, ahem, tell me that it was nothing.
All of those times that she asked for a song or the movie to be turned louder, I told her to simply pay attention more.
All of those times she'd respond to my questions with a "what?" or "huh?" I'd brushed off as her being inattentive.
The speech problems, I let people tell me that it was normal and that she'd grow out of it.
"Don't compare the girls. They are different and will develop at different rates." But I knew something was off. I wish I had done something about it sooner.
Twin B came home and proudly recited The Pledge of Allegiance. When I asked Twin A if she wanted to do it to, she looked at me blankly and said, "I've never heard that before." Cripes, how much has she been missing?
How many times did she go to time out for "not listening," all the while, she simply couldn't.
I'm fairly certain I won't be getting any Mother of the Year awards this year. What can ya do? She more than likely will not remember all of this stuff when she's an adult, but I will. Ah yes, nothing like parental guilt.
So yeah, these were my Thoughts on the Pot today...actually, they've been my thoughts since Tuesday morning.
I realize this is not a fatal diagnosis. I realize that there are other children with much more serious issues, but this is MY kid so it's a big deal to me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside

Perhaps cold is too strong of a word. It was mild outside today. Puts me in the mood for some nice soup. Hot soup with some fresh baked bread puts me in a super good mood.
I have a friend from college who is now a personal chef/caterer. I know what you're thinking, "She went to colleg??" I dabbled a bit. Anyway, she is always posting pictures of these fabulous things she makes and sometimes shares her recipes! This one is for Tomato Basil Soup. And away we go!

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

8-10 Roma totatoes, halved
2 large onions, quartered

4 large cloves of garlic, whole (I used an entire head of garlic)

2 cans of tomatoes (juice and all, kids)
1 Cup fresh basil or 1/4 Cup frozen (apparently Trader Joe's sells frozen basil, I have personally, never seen it)

2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 quart chicken stock/broth (or vegetable stock for vegans)

Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

In a large bowl, toss tomatoes, onions, and garlic with olive oil (she uses 5-6 Tablespoons, I did not use nearly that much. Just coat them all really well). Season with salt and pepper. Spread out onto a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Add the roasted veggies and remaining ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes.
Using a hand blender, blend ingredients well, or do this can be done in a standard blender in a few batches (please let it cool down a bit before doing this, otherwise you'll have a mess on your hands!).

You can serve as is, or run it through food mill to get a smoother soup. Straining it would also work. I just served mind as is and it was wonderful. You can garnish it with some fresh cream and it would be fab! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Happy 234th Birthday Marines!

Oooh-Rah, Teufel Hundin!

Much love to all of the Marines out there, especially to MY Marine. Love you babe.

Monday, November 9, 2009

They just keep growing.

Testing, this thing on?



Alrighty well, so I've been MIA quite a bit. I have no real explanation for that. I still read everyone's blogs, I just felt I didn't have anything to talk about.

This past weekend we held the girls' 4th birthday party and we had a blast!

Mostly, I'm just gonna throw a crap ton of pictures your way.

But first, let me tell you about the cake. OMG, it tasted SUPERFAB! The cake itself was alternating layers of vanilla almond and chocolate almond cake (one twin prefers vanilla, the other chocolate) with alternating fillings of whipped ganache and almond cream. Seriously, yum. I also tried my hand at modeling things out of gum paste. It is actually a lot easier than it seems. The twins love the movie "Ratatouille" so that was the theme of their cake and we made our own pizzas to keep with the chef theme

My first go at the character Remy turned out cute. Unfortunately he lost his head in "Pam falling out of the cabinet" incident and I had to quickly make a new one which did not turn out so, whatever.

On with the pictures!

The birthday girls! This was their first outfit. They changed at least 3 their own insistence.
The Dude and Twin A.

A MammaDucky and her ducklings


Jumpin' around

I got plenty of kisses

Twin B

This, my friends, was an action shot. Seriously. I know, right? I should like, win awards for my stellar photography. Stop laughing.

I saw the girls drive their Jeep behind the bounce house. Then I heard cries for help amidst giggles. This is what I saw. My brain could not figure out how they possibly had accomplished a wheely in their Barbie Jeep.

It wasn't until I came around to the side, seeing The Dude nearly in tears from laughing so hard, that I saw how they had done it. They had driven UP AND ONTO a big ball. They wanted to do it again and again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thought on the Pot Thursday

Small towns, do I like living in one??

Major dislike: Everyone knows your business. As in, when The Dude was growing up and he got in trouble with his parents, the news had spread via gossip exactly what he had done and what his punishment would be BEFORE he'd even started serving his time (so to speak).

Major Likes: Everyone Knows your business. My mail delivery lady not only delivers to my office, she also delivers to my babysitter's house. She, having seen me at work, seen me on our commercial, and having seen me drop off the twins at the babysitter's after preschool, knows all of my children. She reports back to me how they're doing. Just this morning she said, "Yesterday when I was delivering, your son was on the porch and kept saying 'You're not my Mommy!!' He had been waiting for you to drop the girls off from preschool and got excited when he heard my footsteps. Cute kids!"

Come on! You don't get that in big cities!!!

I guess I like the small town living.

Do you have any "Thoughts on the Pot?" Link back to my Thursday Thoughts so I can rest easy knowing I'm not the only one. HA!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thought on the Pot Thursday

Today's thought actually started before I sat down. It started when I looked in the mirror. As I stared in horror I thought, "Dang, I look like death warmed over" ("Death warmed up" for anyone in the UK").

I sat and began to wonder. What, exactly, does that phrase mean? Is it a back-handed compliment, as in you look slightly better than death cuz at least you're warmed up? Or is it and even greater insult, as in food warmed over (or up) isn't quite as desirable as fresh food?? So I look worse than death? That is quite a possibility.

In either case, I don't look so hot today.

I did a Google image search for "Death warmed over" and came up with this
Ha, I wish.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Every Little Thing, Is gonna Be Alright

I woke up this morning feeling rather crappy. I caught the sinus infection that my little ones had last week. Whatever. A Mamma must push on, right? So I got up and started into my regular routine. I'll admit it, I wasn't in the best of moods.
It was then that I heard the sweetest sounds coming from the other room. My three little birds were singing "Three Little Birds."

What a wonderful way to turn my yucky start into a beautiful morning.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Welcome to the World

Welcome to the world Miss Charlie. Can't wait to meet you.

Love your Aunt,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thought on the Pot Thursday

Ya know how everyone else's blog has those cutesy days of the week, where they do something specific that day, each week? "Think about it Thursdays," "Foto Fiesta Friday," "Not Me Mondays," you get the picture.
Well, I've come up with my own. It's neither cutesy or ladylike. It's bound to repulse some people. Eh, whatevs. You no likey, you no lookey.
Here at the office I get a little special time just to's when I'm using the bathroom. I don't get that at home because usually, there is an audience, or at the very least, someone barges in demanding something or crying. Never fails. The Dude, now he gets all the alone bathroom time he wants. Me? No so much. Anyhow, at work I get to close the door and lock it. Not that there is a need to, but the simple fact that I can. Mwuahahahahaha!
I've mentioned before how Fifi's bathroom is pretty and relaxing. In my brief visits, I always have some kind of odd, kooky, fun thought. Thus, "Thought on the Pot Thursdays" was born.
This week's thought: I wonder how much weight I can subtract from my own weight when accounting for boobage and hair. I have A LOT of both of those. I have large Ta-tas and tons of thick, long, hair.
I'm figuring I could subtract at least 5lbs, maybe as much as 10lbs. Yes, I am ridiculous like that. In my head, I will think about how much weight I can subtract for my shoes, clothes, jewelry, etc. Common, you know you do it too.
Remember WAY back at the beginning of the year when I said I was gonna lose weight? Yeah, well, not so much. As per usual, I gave up fairly quickly. Then I visited my Dad and Step mom and saw how awesome they were doing with their weight loss. I had to know the secret ASAP!
No secret at all. It was just an absolute change in how you think about eating. Now I'm eating 6 times a day. I'm eating a high protein breakfast, where as before I skipped all together. I count calories using the "Lose It" app on my iPhone. I'm accountable for what I put in MY mouth. In just over 2 weeks I've dropped 10lbs. I have more energy. I feel better!
This is something I can stick to. I am never hungry, and don't feel deprived. Now, do I get an occasional chocolate craving? Heck yeah, but I choose wisely and exercise portion control.
Next week's "Thought on the pot Thursday" won't be this in depth...promise.
Now I'm off to figure out a little button thingy, lmao.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dear Pickles

To my dearest baby boy,
Should you again wake from your angelic slumber at 3am, thinking it is a good time to play and jump on your bed, please re-think the matter.
Mommy does not play well at that hour.
Mommy does not want to see your flashlight, flickering in her face at 4am.
Mommy loves you, and simply ADORES your smiling face, but I love it even more when it is peacefully dreaming, in the middle of the night.
Would it be too much to ask that you leave your little pecker INSIDE your diaper when you sleep?
Mommy doesn't quite enjoy cleaning peeps off the wall and bedding when I could be dreaming about relaxing in a hot bathtub.
Should Mommy, in an exhausted, desperate state, decide to bring you downstairs
please do not proceed to rip out her bookmark from her copy of "Breaking Dawn"...that's her happy place.
All of that being said, thanks for the extra cuddles and all night cartoon-a-thon! I never quite GOT "Yo Gabba-Gabba" until I watched it in that sleepy haze.
P.S. Can you share with Mommy your secret recipe for energy?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Random Thoughts Know No Bounds

I've mentioned before that some of my best thinking is done in the bathroom at work. I have several theories as to why this is so, despite the fact that my visits are generally less than 2 minutes in length.

Anyhow, so I'm sitting in there and notice a big, dead bug, right smack in the middle of the floor. After recovering from my shuddering, I realize the bugger is still alive. It kinda thrashes about every few seconds. What, exactly, is it doing? Is it attempting a suicide by human? Is it trying to lure me out into the open so it's little friends can attack? Is it simply waiting for it's grandbugs to be summoned to his deathbed so he can utter some cryptic message?

I envision the bug muttering, "Rosebud" to it's perplexed kin before expiring.

It's then that the little sucker jumps up and runs away.


Deep thoughts,


Friday, September 25, 2009

Pasta Salad's Finest Day

Everyone has had pasta salad. They all kinda start to taste the same. Similar ingredients, similar dressings. Very blah. The bakery/cafe I used to work at out in Riverside, CA used to have THE BEST pasta salad I had ever tasted. It was so different from every other one I'd ever tried. It was prepared well before even the early crew got there, so I never got to see exactly what went in it. I made my guesstimations, but it was never quite right.
Enter Meagan, stage left. Meagan's family and I bonded while her brother and The Dude were in Iraq together. Our two Marines actually shared the same birthday. I traveled to Texas to visit and Meagan made this wonderful pasta salad for me. Jaw on the counter. THIS WAS IT! This recipe tasted just like the one back in Riverside! So yummy. I ate well more than my share.

Meag's Pasta Salad
1 lb pasta (I used tri-colored, cheese filled tortellini)
¼ lb summer sausage or salami
¼ lb sliced pepperoni
¼ lb Asiago cheese, diced
1 6oz can sliced black olives, drained
1 red bell pepper, chopper
1 green orange or yellow pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 (7oz) pkg. dry Italian salad dressing mix
¾ c extra virgin olive oil
¼ c balsamic vinegar
2 T dried oregano
1 T dried parsley
¼ lb grated Parmesan cheese
1 small block mozzarella cheese, cubed (I had fresh mozzarella balls on hand)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water

Chop/slice all of the ingredients that need it.

It all looked so pretty lined up on my cutting board. I couldn't decide which photo I liked best.

So I included them all.

In a large bowl, toss the pasta with salami, pepperoni, Asiago cheese, black olives, red pepper, orange/yellow pepper, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Stir in the envelope of dressing mix. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Just before serving, pour dressing over the salad and mix well.

Man, I'm telling you, F A B U L O U S! If you're bringing this to a function, be sure and make a few copies of the recipe because you WILL be asked for it!

**You can totally leave this vegetarian. Omit the meats and toss in some artichoke hearts or mushrooms or whatever!

Don't feel bound by the recipe, use whatever things you have in the fridge. The key here is the dressing!