Thursday, July 31, 2014

Shoprite sneaky deals found - 7/31/14

Just a quick post about a few sweet deals I found at the grocery store. Now even if you don't have a Shoprite in your area, please remember that you can sometimes get deals, at your local grocery store, that you aren't expecting to, because you aren't looking for it. Look for it!!

Herbal Essence Shampoo/conditioner
On sale $2.88
-  Mfr cpn $1.00
TOTAL: $1.88 ea.

St Ives spray lotion
On sale $5.99
-Digital cpn $3.00
-Mfr cpn  $2.00
TOTAL:  $.99 ea.
Suave Professionals shampoo/conditioner
On sale  $1.99
-Digital cpn $1.00
-Mfr cpn $1.00

Happy Shopping!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tell me what's on your mind!

 OK, so I had an entire other post typed up and almost done, then I decided not to post it. It was supposed to be a day in life of all the busy stuff I did today, but then I ended up not doing too much.
So I guess I will just ramble.

First thing  that has been first on my mind lately is....our first HALLOWEEN PARTY!!! Woo Hoo!!!! I am so excited. I have been researching decorating ideas, and food ideas, and making lists of ideas, and places to go shopping and.......aaahhhh. I can't wait to get started!!!

I was getting so stressed with BD parties, and worrying about who was actually going to show up and and taking things personal for my kids, that I decided to skip it and just have one big party a year. This way, whoever shows up shows up and we have fun no matter what. 

Next on my mind....should I run to my parents tonight or hit the gym???  Ya know.....I keep trying to get INTO the gym thing and I just can't. In my head I think that I am all gung ho about the gym, and exercising, then something gets in the way and I give up. In a perfect world, i would work out whenever I want, but as a working mom.....YEAH RIGHT!! LOLOL Nice dream.

Thinking about I like working, it gives me a break from real life there really a need for us to work full time????  Why can't they just hire more people, pay them more, and everyone only works a max of like 25-30 hrs a week. I'm telling gets in the way of our lives. SMH  Issues of the world.

Ok that's enough rambling. Comment and let's discuss!!! 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Kitchen Accent Wall

Hey all! A while back we did a kitchen make-over. Not a big one, but it was significant enough that our kitchen looks completely different.  I was trying to get some good pics of it all perfectly cleaned up, but now I have moved on to the next room re-do, so I think its just time to post about the kitchen.

I did not like the walls in our kitchen from the day we moved in, but my husband did. And we had to paint a bunch of other rooms, so I decided not to be too worried about it. After all, this was a huge kitchen and I didn't even know where to start.  Below are a few before pics, from the inspection day right when we bought the house.
 No folks, that is not real exposed brick, that is faux brick paneling.  Hated it!
 I did however, love all the cabinets. I was used to apartment living. So I was overwhelmed and kept forgetting where I put things. But these cabinet I did love...they were brand new, simple white, clean lines, and brushed silver simple handles.
 More of the ugly brick wall on the other side of the kitchen.
After looking through Pinterest, I decided I wanted to an accent wall. That way the color wouldn't be too over-powering and it wouldn't be as tedious of a job. But what wall? The far wall! That way, it jumps at you from the rest of the house. (we lived in a duplex/row home style house, so you walk in and see the whole length of the house) But what color? I thought of a deeper burnt red and hubby liked the idea. I went out and got a few paint samples, and I fell in love with the idea and HAD to do it.
From there, he decided to finally finish our 14 yrs old kitchen table.  He sanded down the top and stained it a darker color and painted the legs black. Shockingly, I loved it. But now something else needs to be black to match....I decided to get all new knobs and drawer pulls for the kitchen cabinets.

From there, hubby decided to get new trim works and stain it darker...well, you can't have darker trim on honey colored doors, so those got a coat of stain as well.
About the same time, we got a cabinet/hutch that my mom was getting rid of. We decided to paint the top black and I got new knobs for that as well.  We also got a new microwave cart, and stained the wood top dark on that as well, along with darker pulls for that too.

To finish it off, I got new cute cafe curtains for the back door.

All in all, I love my kitchen!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Naturebox - July 2014

I hate to say but this month had a bit of some mis-leading flavors. Not all bad, but still, you can't judge a book by its name either.


Apple Pie Oat clusters -- These were my fave item this month. They did smell wonderful of apple pie, but didn't taste so much like it. It had chunks of raisins in it, but not apple. They were very tasty though. A hard to put down kind of snack.

Blueberry Whole Wheat Figgy bars -- these were just as they said. Like a cereal bar but more outter crust then filling. Although the filling was very fresh tasting. Not too bad.

Cherry Ganache Granola - NO cherry in it what so ever. More like dark chocolate granola & but cluster. And I am not a fan of dark chocolate, but whatever. This I would think might be good in vanilla yogurt.

Teryaki Twists -  These have a very fun snack like chewing texture, crunch and size. The teryaki flavor was so mild you could barely taste it. And after a while of eating these, they start to have a strange after taste.  Not a fan, which sucks because I was excited to try these.

Baked Cheddar Potato Fries -  Another where I was left asking, where is the flavor? It DID have flavor, just not a cheddar flavor. My kids think these are like the cracker sticks you get in the little cracker and cheese snacks. They weren't too bad, but not much cheese flavor and there was a slight spicy after taste.

Day in the Life - Summer time and working from home

Things are so calm around here lately, I feel like I have nothing to blog about. So, I decided to just give you a play by play of my day. I am literally going to be updating this blog post throughout the day as I go.  Its summertime, the kids are home, and I work from home as well.
yes I know this might bore the pants off of some people, but it might help you have a little insight to how my day REALLY goes.

8:45am:  Drag my butt out of bed. Head downstairs. Swap out the computers & get it booted up, while I make my coffee.

9:00am:  Check my work email, reply to some & sort through it all. Check social media real fast and personal email accounts.(don't judge we ALL do this)  Do the morning number orders and sort through more work stuff to mentally get set for what is needing to get done that day.

10:15am - 12:20pm: Time to go wake up the kids. They have summer camp this week. its only from 12:30 to 2:30pm, but it gets them out of the house for a bit. Also got myself dressed, made another cup of coffee. Dug back into work while doing some verbal parenting.

12:20pm: Take 1/2 my lunch break to drop twins off at summer camp. Also had to stop at store real fast for drinks for the house.

12:45pm - 2:15PM: log back in and continue work. Make myself lunch and eat while at my computer.

 2:15 PM - 2:45PM:  Take half my lunch break to pick up kids from summer camp.

2:45pm - 4:30pm:  Work while parenting from my desk. Throw a load of laundry in and fold whats in the dryer already.

4:30 - 5:00pm:  Conference call while silently shushing my kids and mouthing at them to shut up.

5pm - 6pm; More working, while trying to prepare dinner in tiny little steps.

6:00pm:  Go back and forth about dinner, while ultimately deciding on soup. Do a little dishes before leaving the house.

6:30ish: head to my nieces house for BD cake for one of her kids, and mingle with people I either don't know or haven't seen in a while.

Today wasn't so bad, it was actually a quit quiet day. I will have to do this again on a full eventful day. But its still an insight as to what its like to work from home with kids.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ipsy - July 2014

 This month's Ipsy bag was bright!! Neon actually. What you see is the real color of the bag.
As for what's inside...not too bad this month.

 Pop bronzer - not bad. I have been using it and have been pleased. There is a slight shimmer to it. But I like the large surface for the larger brushes.

PIxi lip balm - this goes on like a chap stick but has color like a gloss. The color was a bit bright for me, but the product itself was nice.
 5 in 1 liquid eyeshadow - I don't know if I just don't know how to use them, but I don't understand what the point is of liquid eyeshadow. Therefore, i don't prefer this product, But i tried it anyway. This one went on nicely. The applicator was soft and easy to work with.  the color was not as dark as it looked, but it took a while to dry. I ended up putting some similar colored shadow over it, just to keep it from transferring and getting it dried a little faster.
 Beach spray - I have not used this yet, but wanted to try. Will do review once I have used it a few times. (I tend to pull my hair up a lot in summertime)
Another product, I have not tried just yet, but it will review when I do. I am eager to see how it works, because I am one of those that tend to burn, and not "tan" easily.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Who is really the boss here???

Today I had one of those mom moments that I really wanted to give in on, but I couldn't and I WOULDN'T!!

We were at our cousins house, as we usually are a couple times a week. The kids were all on the trampoline, and they started complaining about each other. I told them to try to work it out themselves, because the whining and complaining about each other is not fair to them or us (the parents). I advised MY children that the next time they whined about an issue, they were done with the trampoline for the rest of the visit.

Didn't take long and someone started whining. So my 2 were DONE for the rest of the night. There was a tear or 2 but I made them move on and play something else.  They continued to ask a few times, but I simply told them no. I tried to not go into the whole long shebang about how we got to this point, in the first place, as they already know that answer.   My hopes are that this helps them figure out how to work things out themselves next time, and take turns.

There is nothing more I can't stand then whining over stupid shit.  And when my kids cry about things, I let them get their feelings out, but then  I make them stop. Crying does not need to go on and on. I want my kids to learn that I am not always going to give in just because they cry a lot and bug the crap out of me. I feel like that will only turn them into bigger brats as they get older.

Now trying to do this type of parenting, sometimes makes me feel like a big ole meany head. I sit there an think to myself a lot "is there REALLY a reason I am saying NO?"  Sometimes it may not be so obvious, but my reasoning is that its the principal behind it. I am the parent. Not a middle man sent here to do their negotiating for them. What I say goes. Even if its for my own selfish reasons.

I don't understand why us parents make play dates for children, spend a couple hours, then the KIDS try to convince us to have the others come home with us, or go over their house, or spend the rest of the day with them? Why can't we just go out sometimes, enjoy each other for a few hours, and come home to finish our daily life, whatever that may be?  NO, if I say we are going to the park then back home, that is what we are doing.

Now that I have said that all, I will admit I fall victim to the guilt children put upon us, and I give in. And every single time, once I get home that night, I regret it. Then I end up taking it out on the children a little, when in all actuality, its not really their fault....its my own for not standing up to my kids. I let THEM rule me.

Well I am making this my moment of clarity. I WILL stand my ground and not allow myself to be guilted into letting my kids get their way. I am the queen of NO in the stores, why can't I be the queen of NO in this situation. Its not like I am not letting them have fun at all, I just want to set limits...I have a life too damn it.

(Now that you are all done laughing at me, stay tuned to see how this REALLY turns out. Ha Ha)

Mexican chicken burritos ala crock pot

 OMG, I just ate dinner and it was sooo good. And it was so easy!!!

I hit the crock pot again and made these Mexican chicken burritos.

*Chicken breast
*packet of taco seasoning
*can of corn
*can of black beans

Just cook it for a few hours until you can shred the chicken, then let it simmer together a little longer. I served this on a soft tortilla with cheese. OMG!!! You gotta try it!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Not just another day at the park

I realized the summer was almost half over and I hadn't really spent any time with my kids, doing anything fun. So I took a half day of work, and planned a day at the park. Yes, we go to parks and playgrounds all the time, but its usually just for the playground for a little bit, then we leave. But I decided we need to "plan" somethings to do and make a Thing out of it.  Of course, I have 3 kids and they can't occupy themselves, so we needed more kids. We invited our cousins and we had a mom day field trip. 6 kids, 2 moms, lets do this!

First thing was to pick a place. We needed a park that was not far away, had plenty of shade in case it was a hot day, had actual bathrooms, and plenty of space. So we hit Red Bank Battlefield park in National Park, NJ. (link posted below)  My kids have been here before plenty,  but haven't' been in a while.

 First when we got there, the kids played on the playground for a little bit.

 Next we ate our packed lunch I made, complete with PB&J sandwiches, juice boxes, grapes and snacks.
Once we all cleaned up and threw our trash out, we decided to wander around the park and along the river. However, kids can get bored just walking, so I made up scavenger hunt bags for them all. I staples a list of items they need to look for and collect, as we are walking. 

We were lucky enough that it was low tide, and the gates to the river were open, so were were able to go on shore and do some exploring.
We were also lucky enough, to find that we were there during the operating hours, of this free butterfly house they have set up. The kids got to go inside, and be one with the butterflies and check out all the stages of butterfly life upclose and personal. As they left, they were given information and coloring sheets.

All in all it was a good little trip. Kept the kids busy for about 2+ hours. Also, us mommies got in our exercise as well. Best of all, it was FREE!

Red Bank Battlefield park - National Park, NJ

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lemon Blueberry cupcakes

I have had my eye on all of the lemon blueberry recipes this summer, and I finally tried one. 

Only 3 ingredients needed. Lemon cake mix, vanilla frosting, fresh blueberries.

First I made the icing. I did this so there was time for it to get re-cooled and hardened a little in the fridge while the cupcakes were being done. 
Take about a handful of blueberries and boil them with a about 2-3 tbsp of sugar and just enough water to cover the bottle of the pot. (this is the smallest pot size I have, one of those tiny ones for gravy) Ideally, I wanted to use a blender for this part, but parts of mine were missing, so that's an option too.  Once they are cooked to a really soft consistency, I just blended them with the hand mixer to try to get out as many chunks as possible.

Once that was done, I used the  hand mixer to incorporate the blueberries with the icing. I added a little of the blueberry compote at a time, so that I didn't accidentally make the icing too watery. Once that was done, I stuck the bowl of icing in the fridge, to allow it to thicken and harden a little, because at this point with the hot blueberries and the heat of the kitchen, it was pretty "melty".

Now I just proceeded to make the cupcake batter per the instructions on the box. Along with this step, you want to take maybe 1-2 tbsp of the cake mix and toss the remaining blueberries with it. This is supposed to help them from sinking to the bottom of the cupcakes. However, I think mine still sunk a little. However, this is not all of a bad thing. Just try to only 1-3 blueberries in each cupcake liner, and it won't be that bad or messy.

Once your cupcakes are done, add the icing to the top, in whatever fashion you choose. I used a piping bag with an icing tip.


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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back to School deals

The kids may be getting settled into their Summertime routines, but for us moms, its time to shop for school!!!!!!!!!

Below are some deals I have found for this week. I know its already half way through - sorry. But a lot of these deals last more then a week also. Check your local stores ad to verify the dates. 
If I come across anymore, I will notify you as well.

*Toys R Us:
-Each year they have a deal where is you buy a backpack at $12.99 or more, you get a free lunch box.
 -24pk Crayola crayons - $1.49

-Backpacks are Buy One Get one Free
-in ad coupon for folders,  7/$1.00, ends 7/19
- Wexford® Filler Paper, 130 sheets or Composition Book, 100 sheets, $.79
- Penway® Kids Colored Pencils, 12 pk., $.79

Folders - $.50 each
Backpacks - printable coupon on site for 10% off
-  3x5 index cards, 100 count, $.66
-Fiskar scissors for kids - $1.47

-3x5 index cards, 100pk, $.48
-Prismacolor MAGIC RUBVinyl Art Eraser, White, 3/Pack, $1.00
-Staples® Pink Wedge Erasers, 3/Pack, $.96

-One subject notebook - $.20
-Sharpie - black, 2pk, $.69
-Papermate pens, 10ct, $.79
-Filler paper, 150 sheets - $.88
-10 pk pencils - $.50
-Composition notebooks - $.50

***Local grocery stores - check out these ads weekly, you might be surprised what you find.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Duct Tape makeover

Hey all!  Hope you are having a great Saturday.

I just wanted to hop on here and show you what my project for today was. We made over the drawer fronts of a couple of my girls dressers and drawers with some of that funky duct tape they have out now. Its not the most perfect project, but I think its much better then looking at the before.

The below was one of those Rubbermaid drawers, that we once used as temporary dressers. they are now used as toy bins for the twins. But as you can see, they were a bit dirty and one drawer was even cracked.  Well, we still need them and can't afford another set right now so....we added some duct tape. It was pretty easy. I just had to take a pocket knife/Xacto knife around the drawer pulls to remove the tape from them.

This one is the nightstand in my almost 11 yr olds room.  I did have a before pic, but for some reason it didn't save and I didn't know until I was finished. It was just a plain golden wood type of color. (it looked like the knobs do, as we didn't do anything to those...yet.   This one was even easier to do, because of all the straight lines. I am even considering doing her plain white dressers now too. Hmmmm...??

If anyone else out there has done something like this, or decides to after seeing this post, I would love to see. Have fun!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pork & Gravy - crock pot style

  Night 1 of forced crock pot dinners.  Maybe the oven will be working in a few days, or maybe we will have a new one next week. Not sure yet.  However, to prevent the same old same old, I am trying to get a bit creative. And hopefully through my posts, others will realize, as I did, that crock pot cooking is not scary and sooooo easy when you just don't know how to cook meats (like me).

 Tonight's dinner is pork chops with gravy.

*pork chops
*pork gravy
*package of onion soup mix
*sliced onions

1 - I pour the gravy into the crockpot
2 - fill the empty jar with water about 3/4 of the way and pour in the soup mix. SHAKE IT and pout into the crockpot. 
3 - Mix everything together & put the pork chops over top.
4 - Cook on high for about 2-3 hours, then add some thick sliced onions, and turn the crockpot to low.
Serve when its done, to your liking. 

Our thoughts on how this turned out:
I used too much water, so it was more cooking in a broth then in gravy. still tasted pretty cook.  I wish I has another thing of gravy, because regular gravy poured over the pork chops cooked like that would have been a little better. 

PS - Later this night we tested the stove again and everything was working just fine again. Weird. But due to summer time, I am still doing a lot of crock pot cooking anyway and will be trying out a new Mexican recipe this weekend.

My nail polish collection

I know this might be a little boring to some of you, however, oddly I take pride in my nail polish collection.

I used to just collect to have a nice collection when I felt like doing my nails, but barely touched them because...I used to have acrylics. Why collect and pay for nail polish when you can get your nails painted with what the salon has already, for free?

The last time I had tips on was for my sisters wedding, but I decided to not get them refilled. I had toddler twins and they just got in the way. So I took them all off. And amazingly my real nails - all 10 of them - stayed in tact under the acrylic. So...I ran out and got some nail straightener and took care of them. here we are almost 5 yrs later and I still sport my natural nails. Who knew a 30 yr nail biter could stop cold turkey.

Over the last few years I started playing around with nail design. Well now I need MORE colors. On top of that I learned to coupon. I have been known to take $10 in coupons and get 5+ polishes free.
Before long, I had to upgrade to a bigger bin. But I grew out of that bin fast.  I mentioned I needed a nail polish my husband built me one!  Now my goal is to not exceed this rack. I have so many duplicates of the same color its ridiculous.

I was a subscriber to Julep, but the color choices were all similar to something I already had, so I ended up canceling for now.  

Below is a list of some of the larger "collections" that I have. And most I never paid more then $2 for - if that. (remember, I like to coupon also)

*Spoiled by WetNWild
*Wet N Wild

I also have a lot of odds and ends that I got in beauty boxes or as gifts or still left over from my Avon obsession days.

Hope you enjoyed taking a sneak peek into my nail polish world.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cheesesteak stuffed peppers

This is a recipe I saw on Pintrest and its a new favorite of ours. Cheese steak stuffed peppers. Yummm.
Its very simple. And you can alter it to your liking as well.

*Slice the tops off of bell peppers and clean out the inside, so you can use it as a bowl. Stand them up in a casserole dish.
*Cook up some Steak-Um's in a separate pan and drain the grease.
*sautee onions until they are brown (or to your liking)
*Spoon the steak and onions into the peppers.
*Top with shredded mozzarella (or cheese of your choice)
*Heat these in the casserole dish, in the oven, until cheese is melted. 

Last night, we left out the onions and added some bacon in with the meat. Brian put a tomato slice on top of his under the cheese as well. 

Pretty yummy all in one meal!

Side note:
As these were ready to go onto the oven, our stove crapped out. So...i will be experimenting with MORE crock pot recipes in the coming week, so keep your eye out!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How MS helped my marriage

I know that some people are going to take this the wrong way. But I want to express this because, sadly its true. My husband having MS has opened my eyes and possibly saved my marriage.

Over the past few years, there have been quite a few times where I have thought that I was done. His moods were out of control at times. I thought he was bipolar. Times would go where he would be on the ball with helping around the house and then there were other times, where it seemed like all he did was sleep. Times it seemed like everything bothered him and no one wanted to talk to him. He would blame me for anything and would take responsibility for nothing.  We would do everything separately, just to keep the peace.

Then he ended up in the hospital with stroke like symptoms, due to his high blood pressure. He was on meds for it, so they did testing to see why this was happening. During this, I would not leave his side. Which helped me realize that no matter how much he drove me nuts, I did care. (which honestly I was in doubt of). He was told that he might have MS, but needed to get his blood pressure under control and re-do the MRI six months later.

Over this 6 months, knowing there very well could be something wrong, but not knowing for sure, my emotions were up & down again. Hated him for sleeping so much. And when he wasn't sleeping, he was working long hours, leaving me with the kids all the time.  And then there were times where he was so helpful, and wanted to spend every waking moment with us. I tried to push my feeling aside but they slowly resurfaced again. This again, made me re-think if I cared anymore.

Then in May the diagnosis came. And by this time, the MS had progressed enough that about the same time of diagnosis, he got his first flare up. He couldn't really walk AT ALL. We have a 2 story house and the stubborn man he is, would not stay upstairs. I was following him around like a toddler trying to walk. Since this was new to him, his balance was horribly off. He couldn't lift his leg at all and at times needed my help getting dressed.  This lasted close to a week.

I could see the frustration in his face. My husband doesn't cry at all, but I swear he was on the verge a few times and held it back. So I did the crying for us both, after everyone was in bed.  There was nothing I could do. I didn't know exactly what he was going through. I can't feel what he was feeling. I could only assist in any way I could.

At first my thoughts were "I fell more like a nurse then a wife."  The fact that I felt like this killed me. But even still I was right there. I mentally took on everything. I made it in my mind, that he couldn't do anything. I was willing to do everything. I started pricing rancher style houses and figuring out expenses as if he had to go on disability. Then I realized, I was doing this all, so he didn't have to...he had enough to do deal with. he had to learn a whole new way of living with this new disease.  Then I realized...if I am willing to stand by this man, and push all my feelings aside, I care enough the go through this with him. I married him for better or worse and I am not a quitter, as he isn't either...he is still here too.

He made it through the flare up, and was able to ease back into work. But through reading about MS symptoms, and thinking back.....WOW....he's been dealing with MS for almost 5 years and we didn't know it. His symptoms were making me hate him. How messed up is that to think about?? My marriage could have ended because of things he could not control and was not aware of what was happening.

Knowing all of this now, helps me keep a little calmer when I am getting frustrated. I have come to terms that he can't go go go, do do do. Now I when we simply go run a few errands, yes he may NEED a nap, its not him just being lazy.   When he comes home from work early, I don't get annoyed at the money he is missing out on, I see it as "he's having a bad day and needs to rest".

Through this I also think its helped my husband realize that when he is having a good day, he can take advantage of it a little and take the kids to the park or help with housework. He doesn't think as much as before "it can wait" or "ill do it later", which in turns has helped me appreciate what he does more often then not.  I am learning Patience with him and he is finally learning to open his eyes to many things and actually 'listen' now when I try to communicate with him & not shut me out as much.

Like now, he is taking a nap.  In the past I would get annoyed and think...why go BACK to bed after you have already been awake, just stay up and get shit done. But I let him sleep because although I was trying to fix toilets at 2am...he had morning insomnia...and did a little grocery shopping for me.

This man, fighting with a new diagnosis, still does more then a lot of other men I have seen and heard of. He is trying his best to not let this keep him down. And for that I cannot complain.

Sad but true, too often we see illness make people finally open their eyes, and not let the little things in life get them so angry anymore.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Finding time & making excuses

OK, here we go again. Another diet/exercise revelation I have come to. I want to get back to the gym. Heck I am still paying for it, for the simple reason that I have NO excuse not to go, as long as I have a membership. But damn if I haven't been great at finding one excuse after another. UGH

But this time I NEED to. I need to stop fighting it. I am NOT happy with my body at all so I don't know what makes me not want to. Other then the fact that my life takes up so much time, I have to "find time" to hit the gym. And for me, having to "find time" to do anything optional, is not always an option.

I admit, as a mom of 3 with a husband who works nights, when I have nothing to do, that is just what i want to do, NOTHING.

I told myself when school started... last year....that I would hit the gym after dropping off the twins, everyday, even if it was only a 20 minute workout. Something is better then nothing. And I did good with this for a while. Not getting much in, in the morning, made me push to find time in other areas of my day. Then I decided, to swap drop offs with Brian, and take the earlier drop off, so I could get in a 45 min morning work out. This lasted all of about 2 months.  I was starting to have aches and pains for no reason. I had to take ibuprofen just to go to the gym. And I wasn't seeing results. So I gave up for a while, to let my body chill out, so I could better analyze what was going on.
Then winter hit and it snowed all the time. I hate the snow.

Spring came......once again I was all gun ho about doing this. I hit the gym on a Saturday afternoon so it wasn't too busy and I came out to a flat tire. Really?????  I have a paranoia about flat tires, so now my brain is associating the gym parking lot with getting a flat. UGH

Then I told myself that I was going to force myself to wake up a little early, at least 2-3 times a week during the summer, and get in an hour at the gym before work. We are on week 3 of summer and I am still making excuses. I DID go out and buy some new clothes for the gym so I can't use the excuse that I don't have the right things to wear.

My last step to making sure I have no excuses, is getting back to going to bed earlier. I have been side tracked by taking the kids out every night and we all end up being up until 1 or 2am, but I need to get back to an earlier schedule again, so its easier for me to get up earlier like I want to.

I can do this....I NEED to do this......I should probably be at the gym right now as I type this.....

Monday, July 7, 2014

3 days of chasing fireworks!!

Don't get me wrong, I like the 4th of July. But...I really wish it would just be ONE day...not three.
When I first thought of this, I thought, well its on the weekend and that's why.  NO....its 3 days every year no matter what day it falls on. For some reason, the towns around where we live, I swear like to battle for who gets the most visitors at their events. Not everyone had their fireworks on the same day.  Therefore I have kids, who feel they NEED to watch fireworks every night.

So, here is how our holiday went. We DID have some fun. But it didn't start out that way.....

Our town has a carnival every year, the week before or the week of the 4th. Well, we tried to go on Wednesday night. We got in 3 rides, and clouds came rollin' in. We saw lightening in the distance and they started not letting people on rides. So we left and it rained all night.
The next night, we tried again. Weather was cloudy but according to the radar we had at least 2 hours. NOPE. As soon as we got there, the winds kicked up and the skies opened up on top of us. But only for 2 minutes at a time....each time we tried to get on a ride. So we did a couple games, and finally the kids got on the merry go round. And then it rained again. The clouds started to part but the carney's decided to shut it down, as another storm was headed in anyway.
As we drive away, we saw the rides moving. WHAT??????? UGH
Luckily the tickets are transferable to other carnivals and can be used whenever, even if next year.

Now we are on day 3 and its finally the 4th of July!!!! We headed to my moms for a BBQ and later hit the fireworks in my home town with one of my oldest friends. We go every year.

 Day 4 of the 4th of July....pretty un-eventful on purpose. Got some cleaning done, cooked a real dinner, and then we headed up to the pier in our town. We were able to see fireworks from our right and left. 

Day 5 - the final and last day!!!  We had some family meet up with us for our towns parade, which was followed by the fireworks (which were delayed due to rain).

It was a long 5 days, but the kids had fun and I guess that's all that matters in the end. Hoping you all had an eventful and fun weekend as well!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Crock-pot fajitas

I have been on a crock-pot kick lately. Not because I am lazy but because with my working hours and kids wanting to go out and do this and that, I have been letting dinner slip. And it needs to stop. So I have decided we are going to be utilizing our crock-pot a lot this summer. 

Yesterday, I knew we were going to be hitting the pier for some fireworks, and wasn't sure what the day was going to bring. So instead of standing over a stove sauteing chicken and veggies, I decided to just throw it all in the crock-pot and see what happens. Not a bad idea.

* chicken tenderloins
*Teryaki bottled marinade
*sliced up onion
*sliced up pepper

Put all of these in the crock-pot on high. Now, because we have a pretty good sized crock-pot, the ingredients pretty much only covered the bottom and that's about it. So I put it on high and they were done about 3 hrs later. From there I kept it on the Keep Warm setting the rest of the day.

Quick, simple, and can eat whenever you want. That's the theme of my summer dinners this year. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Patriotic cupcakes!!

Happy 4th of July!!! Hope you all have a great day.  Here is my idea of how to end the day sweetly with a little Pop, Crack & Boom!!

These are red, white and blue cupcakes, with Pop Rocks topping.

First I started out with 3 different cake mixes. I already had a box of white mix I picked up when it was on sale a few weeks back. Then i ran into these mixes at Walmart last week. Although its not pictured, I had one for blue and one for red. No extra food dye needed.

Once all 3 mixes were ready I started to layer them. I put blue in bottom of all the cupcake liners, then white, and last red. I used a spoon but now looking back, I think it might have been a little more even, if I used an icing bag and piped the layers in, but oh well. Will try that next time. Lastly, bake as instructed on packages.

Again, I used some plain vanilla store bought icing, and added blue food dye to get the desired color.
Lastly, I topped them with some red Pop Rocks candy, to give you mouth a little fireworks kick. (note, add the Pop rocks right before serving. They will loose their spark if refrigerated and left out in warm temperatures.

And that is how we added a little fireworks to our rainy 4th of July holiday 2014. Have a great holiday!!!