Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A cake for my young man

We had a barbeque at Shawn's parent's house to celebrate both Shawn and Nick's birthdays. Nick wanted a lemon cake so I did my best to make him one. I had some lemon extract that I added to a white cake mix. I also tinted the cake mix green as it is his favorite color. I decided to tint the frosting yellow since we were attempting to make a lemon cake. I had kept a small bit of frosting off to the side and tinted that green and used it to write on the cake. Nick thought the beaters looked really cool. He compared them to easter eggs.

The finished product. It didn't have a strong lemon taste but everyone got a kick out of the cake being colored. We used vanilla frosting.
I had also made Samantha's cake this year. We had always purchased their cakes in the past. I think the kids appreciated these cakes more than any of the ones that we bought.

My "garden"

We are trying container gardening this year. We are doing it with our next door neighbors. We have a wide variety of items as I wanted to see what would work for us. These are the two tomato plants on the neighbor's patio. We have Grape and Early Girls.

Sweet peas at the top, cucumber in other big pot. Arugala in top small pot and cilantro in other small pot.

Brussel sprouts in the big pot and sweet basil in the small one on the corner.

Straight neck squash.
These were all planted the weekend after Memorial Day. We have added a few more items to the "garden". I will post pictures of those in another post.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm Still Alive

Things have been a bit hectic around here. I'm going to try to catch on posting about the vacation tomorrow.

I wish I had thought to take a picture of our breakfast on Sunday. I put Nicholas to work as my sous chef. We had "dunky" eggs, bacon and homemade hashbrowns that had onion and mushrooms in them with toast on the side. He seems to enjoy cooking. He has stated to Grandma (my MIL) that "Miss Erin is teaching me to cook". I'm trying to teach him the basics and how to be frugal when preparing meals.

We got an awesome deal on eggs at a local store this weekend. 1 dozen large eggs were 2/$1. There was a limit of 6 so we grabbed the limit. I filled up the spaces in the fridge door. I had 4 eggs left out of one package. The door only holds 20 eggs. I took those 4 eggs plus another dozen and hard boiled them. We try to keep hard boiled eggs on hand as Shawn will take them with him to work as quick and easy protein. It can get confusing though when we have cartons of non hard boiled eggs in the fridge also. I think I found my solution today though. I had picked up a 4 pack of liquid food coloring when I made heart pancakes for Valentine's Day breakfast. I pulled the bottle of green out and put some in the water that I was boiling the eggs in along with a splash of white vinegar. My idea worked. Now it's very easy to tell which eggs are hard boiled. They are the green ones.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Well, we are currently in Fayetteville. We spent Friday and Saturday night in Pigeon Forge, TN. Dollywood was our destination on Saturday. Had a great time there and will discuss further in another post.

I think I will be waddling this whole vacation. We have eaten at buffets for 3 nights in a row. Friday night we ate at Duff's . Shawn had remembered eating there when he was younger with his family. We were not too impressed now. Saturday night we dined at Wood Fire Grill Buffet. It's part of the Western Sizzlin company. We loved it. Tonight we dined at Golden Corral . It was as good as I remember from growing up. It was also great to get real Sweet Tea that I didn't have to make. I joked with the waitress that she could just bring a pitcher to the table and leave it for me.

We been so far to The Lost Sea in Sweetwater, TN and Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN. We plan on making a trip to the NC aquarium at Fort Fisher and taking the kids to see the ocean while we are there. They have never seen the ocean. I grew up visiting the ocean. I guess I took it for granted that everyone has seen the ocean not thinking about the fact that most of the country is landlocked. We have a few other ideas up our sleeves but not sure what will happen yet.

I have pictures from The Lost Sea and Dollywood that I will post in separate posts about each attraction.

Talk to ya'll later.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Is it Thursday yet?

Make that Holy Thursday (4/9). We will be leaving that night on vacation. I'm so ready for it. We're starting to warm up here but I just looked at the weather widgets in my sidebar and it's 55 here and 68 in my hometown. We're going to my hometown.

Dinner tonight will be fish due to it being Friday during Lent.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Time for the Big Dance!

This is one of the times of the year that I look forward to the most. I grew up in ACC country. I was born and raised in North Carolina watching 3 of the greatest college basketball coaches ever. For those who can't figure it out, I'm talking about Dean Smith (UNC), Jimmy V (NC State) and Coach K (Duke).

I'm expecting this to be an interesting tourney in my household as there is the possibility of the Championship game being a Michigan team (Michigan or MSU) vs a North Carolina team (UNC or Duke). I have my brackets set up as it being MSU vs UNC. Of course the Tarheels will prevail just like they did when they met MSU at Ford Field (site of this year's Final Four) back in December during the Big 10/ACC Challenge. If my bracket holds up, ya'll may hear some serious screaming coming from my household on the evening of April 6th as Shawn and I would be on opposite sides of the living room yelling at the television and trash talking to each other.

Shawn has stated that he hates dealing with me during Tourney time as he knows I'm going to trash talk about the Big 10. ACC rules in College Basketball!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A 12 Year Old's Cake

Samantha decided she wanted a homemade cake for her birthday. She wanted a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. I had some food coloring left from when I dyed the pancake batter red for Valentine's Day. We had heart pancakes. Back on subject now, Samantha's favorite color is purple. I asked her if she wanted white icing or if she wanted me to try to make it purple. As seen in the picture, she chose purple. I didn't get a picture of the candles lit though as I was the one holding the cake but they were cool.

I'm a Crochet Nerd

Well, I'm still making the totes. Here are a few of my latest and the yarn combinations I have already for future bags.

Country blue and tan in cotton yarnNavy blue & white in acrylic yarn. This one was done as a gift but has already gotten me two orders.

These colors are really bright. I think it will make a fun beach bag.

Pink camo yarn. I'm thinking this one for a friend's teenage daughter.

More bright colors.

Girlie colors.

Samantha wants these colors for one of her bags. She also wants one that is pink and green.

More girlie colors.

I also made two other bags that I don't have pictures of. One was made totally out of the multi color yarn with the pink. It was for my niece. The other was a all red one. Shawn's ex bought it from me.
I've looked at a few websites for the possibility of selling these. I'm also going to look into local craft shows. I might enlist my mother in law for those as she knits the washcloths.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Busy Day

We're celebrating Samantha's 12th birthday today. Her party will be this afternoon at my inlaws' house.

I gave her the option of a store bought cake or homemade cake. She decided on a homemade cake. I currently have a Chocolate Fudge cake in the oven along with a beef roast for lunch. The cake will have Vanilla icing. Shawn and Nicholas found some cool candles when they went shopping this morning. The flame is the color of the candle. There are 6 different colors in the package and 2 candles of each color. I'm going to do my best to get pictures of them later.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What I've been up to lately

I have gotten back into crocheting. I found a free pattern on a website for a market tote. I decided to give it a try with some yarn I had at home. I liked the way it came out and have been making lots of them. The pattern calls for cotton yarn but I have also used acrylic yarn.

This one is made from acrylic yarn and was made for my best friend's daughter.
This one is from cotton yarn and was made for my mother in law.
Another acrylic one made for my best friend.
Made with cotton yarn. Wasn't made for anyone. I'm thinking I might keep it. I like the way the colors go. I'm currently working on this one. Made with cotton yarn. It's for my consumers' mom.

I'm debating about making these up and selling them. Right now, I'm making them for friends and family.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What Comfort Food Are You?

You Are Mac and Cheese

When you are stressed out, you seek safety above everything else.

And nothing is more nourishing than a big warm plate of carbs.

Taking risks takes a toll on you, and you prefer your comfort food to be old fashioned.

You're the type of person who could eat the same meal every night, especially when life is hard.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A cute craft *Updated link

I received my February 2009 issue of Family Fun yesterday. As I was flipping through it the Quadropus caught my eye. It's on page 24 for those that want to see. I haven't found it on their site yet but will link it later if they put it up. The link is now up.

I'm planning on making several of these. I want to make one for each of my two consumers. I also want to make some for the POHI classrooms at Samantha's former elementary school. I will be sewing everything rather than using hot glue in order to make them sturdier.

I will take and post pictures as I make them. I'm off work tomorrow so I plan on getting the supplies I need to make them.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What's For Dinner?

Here's what is planned for our table this week:

1/25 - Chicken thighs, Broccoli cheese rice, pears

1/26 - Biscuits & gravy

1/27 - Fettucini Alfredo with turkey

1/28 - Breakfast for dinner (probably eggs, sausage links and HM hashbrowns)

1/29 - Tuna Helper

1/30 - Hamburgers, chips

1/31 - Pasta w/sauce, Texas Toast garlic bread

2/01 - Up in the air but might be pork chops

Monday, January 19, 2009

My ears have finally.....

stopped ringing. I hinted the other day that Samantha and I would be doing something last night.

Our destination last night was Joe Louis Arena. It was the venue for a concert by The Jonas Brothers. I do believe that the crowd that was there last night was louder than any crowd I've heard there for a hockey game. (Joe Louis Arena is where the Detroit Red Wings play)

Several times I picked Samantha up out of her chair and held her so that she could see the stage better. They did have 3 huge projection screens showing the boys close up. I think Samantha was surprised that I was able to recognize most of the songs within the opening notes.

It was a great show and was enjoyed by all. It was Samantha's first concert. She talked to Grandma (Shawn's mom) on the drive home and was commenting that she didn't think she would be able to go to sleep.

I can't believe my "Samzilla" is getting this old.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Who put me in the freezer?

I'm ready to be finished with our frigid weather. I only went outside yesterday when I absolutely had to. I'm off work for the weekend. I'm starting to enjoy the fact that I have the weekends off now. I've only had a Monday-Friday job one other time in my employment history. I've almost always worked retail which has some of the craziest hours.

Samantha and I have plans for Sunday evening which include her mother, Samantha's friend and her mother. I'll will post details on Monday about it.

We're waiting to hear from our mechanic today about Shawn's car. The radiator blew on him yesterday. Samantha and I had to go back out last night and pick him up from the mechanic's work. Hopefully it won't be too major of a bill. Our mechanic (Nicholas' best friend's dad) will let us know whether it can be repaired or if it would be better/less expensive to replace it. We are dealing with a 1973 Plymouth Satellite Regent. Think Brady Bunch station wagon. The Bradys drove a 1971 model.

Well, they just stated on the news that no more sub zero temps for a few days. We are expecting to get 3-4" of new snow by sunset though with another 1-2" overnight. I'm really beginning to hate winter. (Sorry Shirla. I know you love it).

Friday, January 16, 2009


Well, we are currently at -7F. Our wind chill is -22F. Our high is expected to be 7F. I will be working a longer day today as most of the area schools are closing.

Speaking of school closings, our local FOX station has a cool feature. I was signed up via our NBC station to receive e-mail alerts when the kids' schools are closed. Our FOX station does the same thing but also offers text messages. I signed up for the text messages this morning for each of the kids' schools, districts and transportation districts. Samantha is transported by two different districts. I got up at 4:30 am to check on closings. I then signed up for and verified the text messages. As I was getting ready, I received a text that Samantha's district was closed. She originally had a 1/2 day today. I called Shawn's ex to let her know telling her that I was getting ready to head out the door to come to her house. While I was letting my car warm up and getting the ice off the windshield I received the text that Nicholas' district was closed. With that text I knew that I would be working longer hours today and would not be able to help out Shawn's ex. My best friend is Samantha's caregiver but she is currently unable to do her job due to a medical emergency. We will have Samantha this weekend and Nicholas will be going to his aunt's. The visit to his aunt was already in the plans for this weekend as it was not our scheduled weekend.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Menu Plan 1/12 - 1/18

Monday: Beef roast with veggies in crockpot

Tuesday: Turkey a la king with peas

Wednesday: Stroganoff using l/o roast from Monday

Thursday: Soup & sandwiches (turkey most likely)

Friday: Chicken Helper Fettucini Alfredo made with turkey

Saturday: Pork ribs, Broccoli rice, Fruit cocktail

Sunday: ?????? Shawn suggested doing a CORN night but we usually don't have too many leftovers as most are sent with him for lunches. I'll come up with something. It might be soup and sandwiches again as we have a decent amount of canned soup and I'd like to get rid of it.

We'll see how this week goes with starting my new job.

Stayed pretty close.....

to the original menu plan for last week. I didn't get pictures of all the meals though.

Sunday's dinner: pork ribs, peas, garlic italiano rice a roni
Monday's meal: We started with salad.....

and finished with pasta with sauce and texas toast garlic bread.

Tuesday started with another salad. Meal was sliced turkey served over sliced french bread, peas and garlic mashed taters.

Wednesday we ate at Big Boy on the way home from Shawn's work. I had the Big Boy & fries special that came with a drink. Shawn had the soup & salad bar.
Thursday's dinner was pork steak that I coated with potato chips left from Christmas that I crushed up. We also had green beans and pierogies.

Friday's dinner I didn't get a picture of but we had breakfast for dinner. We had "dunker" eggs, bacon and toast.
Saturday I cooked a whole turkey and then stripped it. I have two good size bowls of meat. I separated white and dark meat. I also have two bowls of homemade stock. For dinner we had: turkey, cranberry stuffing, peas and cranberry sauce.
We mainly ate off what we had this week and I know it helped having a plan.
This coming week was a bit harder to plan as I'm starting a new job. I'll be working in the afternoon/early evening so I have to come up with different meal ideas.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What's for dinner?

Part of my plans for the new year include planning a menu for the week since we are trying to eat healthier. I'm also trying to trim our grocery budget some. I made my menu yesterday after rearranging the kitchen cabinets to determine exactly what we had. We have almost everything on hand for this week's menu. I do have to pick up a few items but should be able to keep it under $20. Our Saturday dinner will look like a holiday meal. We didn't cook big meals for Thanksgiving or Christmas. We got a turkey for 84 cents/lb. I know it's not a great price but I'm interested in seeing how far I can make it stretch. I got 4 meals and 64 oz of HM stock from a whole chicken I cooked on NYE.

This week's menu:

1/4 - Pork ribs, roasted garlic rice a roni, peas
1/5 - Pasta w/sauce, salad, pudding
1/6 - OnCor Frozen Turkey Meal, mashed taters, peas
1/7 - Pork Steak, Pierogies, green beans
1/8 - Breakfast for dinner
1/9 - CORN
1/10 - Turkey, stuffing, mashed taters, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce

1/11 - Turkey a la king (or similar creation)

I hope to post pictures of dinner each night. We'll see how that goes. Shawn thinks I'm weird to take pictures of our food. He has asked me before when I was taking pictures, "Does everyone need to see everything we eat?".

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year

First, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I hope that everyone's 2009 is better than 2008.

I've been absent for a few weeks. I recently received some medical news that put me into a funk. I'm coming out of it now. I'll know more about the situation in about 6 weeks.

In just under 3 months, I'll be having to get my Vitamin D levels rechecked. Normal levels are 25-30. I'm at 9. I'm currently taking 50000 units of Vitamin D once a week for 12 weeks. They will then check my levels and see where it is.

Other than the Vitamin D issue and the other issue my physical came out pretty good. I do need to lower my total cholesterol as I'm at the very top of normal. I also need to bring my HDL (good) up some and bring the LDL (bad) down although my levels are not horrible.

I have a family history on both sides with high blood pressure but my reading in the office was 110/80. Granted, I rarely cook with salt and try not to eat high amounts of sodium.

Diabetes also runs on both sides of my family especially my mother's. My fasting blood sugar though was 82.

All other tests came out fine. My weight is high but I knew that going in. We did get a Wii as a family gift from Shawn's parents. We then got the Wii Fit. I've been doing my best to do 20-30 minutes on the Wii Fit total for the day.