Friday, June 28, 2013

"Never eat more than you can lift. " - Miss Piggy

We FINALLY had our second dinner club! Of course I forgot to take pictures. There were only five of us able to attend last month. The theme was "Cinco de Mayo"!

Dishes included chili dip, Chicken Tortilla Soup, enchiladas, and spicy salsa & guacamole. All were washed down with margaritas of course! All the food was delicious, although I didn't like my dish that much. :( The enchiladas were a little too beany for me. Is that even a word? If not, it is now!

We all voted again and the winning dish by an unanimous vote was.....

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP!!!! (Congratulations mom!)

She said she got this recipe from a teacher she works with at school. It was delicious! Unfortunately, my daughter didn't like it, so I will have to wait until she moves out in order to make it. Only 9 more years to go!

If you like Mexican food, and you can't have dairy, this is a perfect recipe for you! You can make it as spicy as you want with your salsa. Enjoy it!! And hope you had a wonderful Cinco de Mayo!!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
(This dish can bee made on the stove or in a slow cooker!)

1 can of refried beans
1 16oz. can of chicken broth
2 cups of salsa (my mom used mild, but you choose your spiciness)
3-4 chicken breasts cut up into bite size cubes
1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
1 15oz. can of whole kernel corn including liquid

If you are cooking on the stove, bring all ingredients to a boil. In a slow cooker, mix all ingredients and cook on auto for 4 hours.

Serve topped with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

“Love is like seaweed; even if you have pushed it away, you will not prevent it from coming back.” - Nigerian proverb

I'm baaaaaaaack!!!!!! I know you all have been so depressed in my hiatus, I'm sure you have had nothing amazing to read while you waited! =) Self-centered much Kate?!

Honestly, the end of the school year and softball almost killed me! I had no time to breathe, almost literally. So if you are one of the many, many people I haven't responded to emails or posts, I truly apologize from the bottom of my heart. I am slowly, and I mean S-L-O-W-L-Y working my way through all of it to respond. I've only been on summer break since Thursday and Grace had a playoff softball tournament this past weekend, so really, this is day 3 of summer vacation!

Any who.... although I've been absent from the blog, my ideas and thoughts have not been. I've been jotting things down to write about and projects to take on while off for the summer. I can't wait to make blogging more of my weekly plans!


This is my blogging notebook. I have loved it, but it is not as organized as I'd like it to be. I try to write my ideas and points about the idea below it. Eventually, it gets very random in this thing! I'm working on a more organized way to plan.

If you know me, you know I have have binders and notebooks with lists for literally EVERYTHING!! Below it my "To Do" binder. I get made fun of wherever I go with this thing. For one, it's the smallest binder many people have seen. It seriously is cute it's so small. Then I have it divided into categories: Home, School, Blog, Miscellaneous. Of course people say, "You must have a lot to do." In all honesty, if I don't write it down, I can not remember to do it! My mind is all over the place half the time, and I try to do eight things at one time, so simple things like "make dentist appointments" can COMPLETELY slip my mind if I don't write it down.

I like to categorize it so that when I'm at work and remember something I have to do at home, I can write it on the at home list that I will look at once I'm home. And vice versa. Blog just holds ideas I think of in the car, or in the shower, or at 3am when I'm wide awake, all times and places that I do my best thinking! I usually don't have time to write details, but I can quick jot down the idea and move on so I don't forget later. Miscellaneous holds my errands and whatnot.

Ok, so I'm crazy! I know, but it's how I function. I even have a notebook for different things I'm involved it. I have TONS of these notebooks. If you are a teacher you know how composition books are overflowing in your storage. Well I decided to use a few of my donated notebooks. I have a notebook for different activities I'm involved in, like the dinner club and book club I started this year. I thought I was pretty creative in making "dividers" for the notebook so I wouldn't waste a whole notebook for one activity. I really don't need a whole notebook to manage those ideas. Those are pieces of duct tape and white label stickers I had. I'm so fancy aren't I! More like cheap, I know!

Categorizing my lists have seem to help me maintain calmness and not seem so overwhelming with one HUMONGOUS running to do list. Thought I'd share for anyone else out there looking to organize their random thoughts! :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

"After exercising I always eat a pizza. Just kidding, I don't exercise." - unknown

So I posted a picture of my dinner tonight on facebook and got quite a few requests for the recipe through posts and emails. So I thought I'd blog it.

Truth is I was being completely lazy today and wanted something junkie for the Super Bowl (since I'm not at a party to eat junk food there) and something quick. So I had an idea to make Pizza Quesadillas.

It's super easy! Warm a frying pan on medium heat. Place one tortilla on frying pan. Place about 1/4 cup of cheese on the tortilla, 2-3 tablespoons of pizza sauce on top of that, pepperoni slices on the sauce (or whatever topping you like), and then another 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese on top of that. Place your second tortilla on top. Brown for about 2-3 minutes on both sides or until golden brown. And there you have it! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did tonight! Go Ravens!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

'If at first you don't succeed, remove all evidence that you ever tried' - unknown

That quote was proven today at my house. Evidence being the three to four extra holes in my bedroom wall. But no worries!!! It's hidden by the amazing barn door find that I picked up at Lucky Finds for $40. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted it for a headboard in my bedroom!! Not vertically like I've seen all over Pinterest, but one door horizontally instead. Unfortunately, the door has been sitting in my hallway for quite a few weeks because I didn't have the right tools and then that darn emergency gallbladder surgery got in the way.

I haven't been able to lift more than 10 lbs since my surgery two weeks ago. But, my amazing friends (Moya and Knotts as I lovingly call them) surprised me yesterday armed with cleaning supplies, as well as screws and hooks to help me hang up the barn door. I was so excited!!

Knotts came today armed with wrapping paper to create a makeshift headboard so that we could center it and know where  the studs were before putting any holes in the wall. She saw this on Pinterest somewhere, but I do not have the link. It was a great idea!


The epic failure in this project was in the stud finding. Knotts also came with her magnetic stud finder!! It looks like this when it finds a stud (supposedly) .....

My advice, and I think Moya would agree since it was about an hour and a half into this project, spend the money on a BETTER stud finder!! We went with where this stud was supposed to be, but of course there was no stud there and we drilled 3 more holes trying to find it! haha.... No worries though, because the new barn door headboard covers them all. :)

After much math being done, and AMAZING (hehe) supervision on my part, my wonderful friends got the door up. Doesn't it look great?!?! I love it! Any of you make a cool headboard in your house?

Can't wait to continue to create my bedroom into the vision I have in my head, one piece (and good deal) at a time!

Friday, January 18, 2013

"I was going to have cosmetic surgery until I noticed that the doctor's office was full of portraits by Picasso." - Rita Rudner

Just another day in the life of a crazy single parent....

Well I've been forced to take a mini vacation (yet again) from work. I have my gallbladder to thank for that! Last Friday I was bent over in severe abdomen pain scaring children all around me. The poor things! After four very long painful days of waiting for a plethora of doctors to make a decision (don't get me started on that!) my gall bladder was removed. Problem solved! No more gallbladder pain, now just surgery pain. See needle war wounds below.

Therefore, my sweet ever giving parents, are forced to keep my daughter, dog, and I for a bit. The view, food, and comfort are much better here.

Since I have so much time on my hands, I'm going to see what this Downtown Abby business is all about..

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home." - Phyllis Diller

My favorite time of day with Grace is bedtime. Mostly because I know she will FINALLY be quiet. Don't get me wrong, I love hearing her stories, but the fact that I listen to kids all day as a teacher, I just get excited for the silence.

Even though she's 9 years old going on 21 years old... She still likes getting a story read to her each night. We have moved on from picture books to chapter books, I read a page and she reads a page, but other then those MAJOR changes, it's still the same as it was when she was 3 years old. We snuggle, and talk about what we read afterwards. And then I tuck her in and stop at the door on the way out to say "I love you." in sign language, then goodnight. Seriously something I walk away rom EVERY night and thank God for.

What's your night time routine? Something special like mine? Leave your stories in the comments!

Monday, January 7, 2013

"At Christmas everyone thinks they're Martha Stewart." - unknown author

Every year I decide three days before Christmas that I need to create something as a gift for someone. My poor family members have been the receiving victims of this need. Most years I make some kind of ornament for everyone. This year I didn't. Instead months before Christmas I decided I was going to search for a gift to make and begin it in plenty of time.

I found something on Pinterest that I thought was cute. It was a link to just a picture though so I had to wing it on my own. The victim of this most fabulous gift for 2012.... My mother!

She's my usual target because I know she will still love me even if she hates the gift! :)

Mom has wanted a updated picture if the three grandchildren. She also always calls her own children's dogs her grand puppies. So this year I combined those to concepts into one gift!

I started with a wooden frame (no glass) that I found at Micheal's. I painted it black as well as the clothes pins you will see on the final project pic.

Then I Mod Podged scrap book paper onto the wood backing. Lining this up was a pain in the tush!!! If I have to do it again, I will DEFINITELY plan this part better. But as you all know when it comes to a project I jump in and just want to finish it to see the final project! (If only I were that enthusiastic about my laundry & grocery shopping!) I also used stencils I had to write Grandkids... of course I "eye balled" this part which left it uneven so I had to free style a little heart at the end!

Then once everything dried, I Mod Podged the clothes pins on the bottom of the frame. Printed the pictures and Mod Podged them onto the remaining scrap book paper and cut them to frame the pictures. But then I couldn't decide whether the little red jewels looked good or not, so I sent a few feelers out to friends and family.  The little red jewels won!! Soooo is the final project!!

I think it looks pretty good.(except that I can't get the pics to turn! Sorry about that!) The Mod Podge made the black and white pictures a little too shiny for my liking but my mom said she really liked it! I'm hoping she really did!!! I'm thinking about making another one for someone else.... will YOU be my next victim?? :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it."- Julia Child

It's official! The first crock pot meal experiment of 2013 is complete!! And it was .....
One point for mom, zero for picky eating daughter!
What was on the menu you ask? Slow Cooker Bacon Ranch Chicken that I found on this great blog called MomsWhoThink.  I was reading a few recipes and this one looked so easy. As it so happened, I had every thing but the ranch dressing mix. Here's the recipe in case you can't open the link for some reason.
Slow Cooker Bacon Ranch Chicken
4 boneless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons of real bacon bits
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 package of ranch dressing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
egg noodles

  1.  Place chicken in greased 5-6 quart crock pot (for the record I have no idea how big my crock pot is! but it worked!)
  2. Combine ingredients #2 through 5 and mix well.
  3. Pour over chicken in crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours
  4. Shred chicken using two forks
  5. Serve over cooked egg noodles

For the record, I have NO idea how big my crock pot is, but it worked. Also, I only had 3 chicken breasts AND I cooked it on low for 6-8 hours (because I was at work). When I got home from work I boiled some egg noodles....

Stirred the chicken mixture and scooped it on top so it look like this....

And it was a SUCCESS!! Picky Grace loved it so much there was NOTHING left on her plate (see below!!) and she can't wait to have left overs for lunch tomorrow! It's the little things that excite me! :)

What's your favorite easy slow cooker recipe? Share in the comments!! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"Happy to You!" - Julianna Wood

I don't normally make new year resolutions because I usually break them before January 2nd. But this year, while perfectly procrastinating taking down my Christmas decorations, I was reading a few Home & Garden blogs and saw a theme on a few. These amazing bloggers, like Layla Palmer of The Lettered Cottage, were talking about their "Word of the year".

The blogs I read described a word these women chose to work on or "see" in their lives that entire year. After reading those stories, I began to think that this was kind of a neat twist on the New Year's resolution thing. So, I began making a list of words of my own. There were plenty of things on my list that I could work on in 2013. Of course I want to work on ALL of them.

But, this is what I do all of the time to myself. I try working on many things at once, and then feel like a failure when I have only finished one or two. In fact, I've come to find that I get MORE accomplished when I work on one thing at a time. Long story short, after many days of contemplating, I chose the word health.

Well that's what I thought I had chosen...

Sunday at service the pastor used the word "seek" (a LOT). As I left service I was thinking that I was excited about seeking my relationship with God this year. And then it hit me.... "Seek"!!

Seek will be my word for 2013! I can seek so many things in life (God, happiness, acceptance, better relationships, etc) and I can't wait to get started! And I look forward to telling you how "seek" impacted my 2013 this time next year!

 What word will be yours for 2013? Let me know in the comments!