Monday, January 31, 2011

Miscellany Monday

I am linking up with Carissa over at lowercase letters for Miscellany Monday.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Friday morning was a teacher workday.  I didn't have to go in.  I woke up with my husband around 6 am to 4 text messages.  They caught me off guard.  I immediately called my friend, Erin.  Our friend, Kelly Parsley Jackson was dead.  Kelly had been shot Thursday morning in her her husband.  Her sweet, beautiful, and innocent daughter, Brynn, age 9 witnessed this horrible event.  Her tiny, handsome, unsuspecting son, Baryck, age 2 was in the house when it happened.  I sobbed.  I still cannot grasp what can it be true? Kelly was a GEM of a amazing mother, supportive friend, and just a rarity of a soul.  {HERE} is one of the news articles about this unnecessary event.  I am heartbroken and weep daily for my friend who will never see her children grow up and for her children who will never be tucked into bed by their mother again.

2. I had a coupon for a free Peanut Butter Snickers.  I picked one up at the grocery store tonight.  I thought it was pretty good.

3. It is supposed to be in the high 60's here on Wednesday.  I am super excited for that.  I wonder if I will look CRAZY if I wear a sundress and sandals to work? I sure am ready for spring.

4. I picked up The Social Network at Redbox this afternoon.  I love Facebook and have been looking forward to watching this movie for some time.  Has anyone else seen it? What did you think?


5. I picked up the ingredients to make my husband this chocolate ganache cake that I saw over at Keeping up with the Jones.  I plan on making it tomorrow.  I think he will really enjoy it. Kendall has some fabulous recipes that I cannot wait to try.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Today, I'm linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love to share 3 things I'm loving this week-

I'm loving that I stayed home from work today and got to eat my favorite yogurt with granola in bed while watching last night's Teen Mom 2 epsiode.  On the other hand I feel terrible I have missed so much work recently and plan on attending work EVERY day in February.
I'm loving that Friday is a teacher workday and I have enough attendance cards to stay at home.  My grades are done and will be submitted before I leave Thursday.  I need to plan something fun to do with Madison since we will both be home.

I'm loving that we have been doing much better with cooking and eating at home.  The other night my husband (while eating dinner) looked over at me and said "This meal is so great...its a shame we are always going out to eat".  This week I made fabulous Lasanga Roll-Ups and Spicy Oven "Fried" Chicken Breasts.  I still look forward to our weekly dinner is nice to not have to prepare and clean up every meal.  Last night I made grilled cheeseburgers and oven baked potato wedges.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Yummy Dinner Recipe - Lasagna Roll-Ups

I love to cook.  Lately we have been eating out way too much.  It's easy and there are no dishes.  I am trying to cook more at home.  My Aunt Kris gave me a Quick Cooking cookbook for Christmas.  The Lasagna Roll-Ups were the first recipe I tried.

Here is the original recipe -
I tweaked it though.  This is what I used-

10 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 package ground spicy Italian sausage* (I used this because it was on sale at the grocery store)
1 package (8 ounces) of chive and onion cream cheese **(I thought this would give it a better flavor)
1 jar (26 ounces) Vodka sauce ***(I picked this up at Trader Joe's last week and thought it would be good in this recipe)
1 bag shredded Italian mixed cheese

*You can use hamburger, ground turkey, or turkey sausage
**You could probably also use veggie cream cheese
***Your favorite pasta sauce will work

Cook the noodles according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in softened cream cheese and 1/3 cup of the pasta sauce.  Drain noodles; spread 1/4 cup of the meat mixture on each noddle.  Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese; carefully roll up.

Spread 2/3 cup of pasta sauce into an ungreased 13in x 9in baking dish.  Place roll-ups seam side down over the sauce.  Top with remaining sauce and cheese.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Uncover; bake 150-20 additional minutes longer or until bubbly. 

Note - I struggled with rolling them.  It was pretty messy.  In the end it was worth it.  Both my husband and I really enjoyed this meal.

Miscellany Monday

Today I am doing Miscellany Monday with lowercase letters
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

I was off of work today.  WOOHOO.  It was also 75 degrees today. Woohoo.  Madison and I had lunch with my friend Kara and her son, Connor, and then went to Old Navy to get Madison some summer clothes..   I was able to pick up a ton of new summer clothes for Madison.

On the way home we stopped at Sonic and I got a diet cherry Coke - my favorite...although they put too much ice in it and I could barely taste the cherry flavor...which just means I will need to go back tomorrow for another one.

I made a meal plan/grocery list for the week...but have yet to go to the store.  I plan on making this Chili Honey Chicken, homemade pizza, Beef and Cheese Foldover , and Chicken and Dumplings this week.

{I promise it tastes way better than it looks}

I have a HUGE love for GROUPON.  I would say I buy at least one a week.  Today I used my Groupon for Canvas on Demand and had this wedding photo made into a 16x20 canvas.  It was a great deal.  I think I only paid $35 or $40 for the Groupon.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Easy Dinner Recipe - Spicy Oven "Fried" Chicken

Spicy Oven "Fried" Chicken
Easy and uses just 4 can't beat that

{I served it with salad (not pictured), scalloped potatoes and green beans}

- Boneless skinless chicken breasts - I used 4
-Plain yogurt - about a cup
-Italian flavored bread crumbs - about 2 cups
-Seasonings - I used Penzey's Black & Red *. You could use any seasoning flavor.

* We got a fabulous gift set as a wedding present from my cousin, Lisa.  It was something I never would have ordered for myself...even though we needed a more extensive spice collection...and we have sure enjoyed using it.  Everything we have tried has been fabulous.

{Order Here}

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a foil lined baking sheet with Pam cooking spray.
-Fill a baggie or a shallow bowl with breadcrumbs and seasonings.  I didn't measure any of the seasonings I used.  Fill a separate bowl with the plain yogurt.

-Dip the chicken breast in the plain yogurt until it is well coated and then in the bread crumbs again until well coated.  Arrange on the baking sheet.

-Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken is crispy and cooked all of the way through.

So it's a Sunday... This morning I...

This morning I ... was happy to get up before my husband and daughter.  I love quiet weekend mornings before everyone else gets up.  I watched a bit of Say Yes to the Dress, filled out a survey for Buffalo Wild Wings - received a code for 6 free wings the next time we go, and worked on balancing my checkbook and our budget.

This morning I ...  finished my Happy Valentine's Day sign.  It will go on the front door once it dries.

This morning I ... got an email from our landlord saying he had listed our beloved home for rent.  It is bittersweet...definitely bittersweet.  We love this home.  It was our first home as a family of 3.
This morning I ... participated in the Sunday Strolling Blog Hop.  Please check it out and add your blog to their page.

Sunday Strolling Blog Hop

This morning I ... tried to run the dishwasher but it was making a weird noise.  So I left it.  When my husband gets up I will have him check it out.  I wanted to make blueberry muffins for breakfasts this week...but I needed to run a load of dishes first.

This morning I ... made a TO DO LIST for today.  I need to do laundry, run to the grocery store, make those blueberry muffins, and make dinner.  I am making oven fried chicken using plain vanilla yogurt.  I will put up the recipe tonight after dinner. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

To Have Another Baby or Not?

Not my usual recipe...or craft...but something very much on my mind.

Did you recently see Octomom on Oprah? Did anyone watch? I watched it yesterday on the dvr with my husband...who happened to come home from work to me watching it. She had Suze Orman on there giving her financial advice.

One of the things I felt that was the best part of the show is they Suze told her you are no worse than the parents who have 4 kids...are struggling to provide and have a 5th, no worse than the parents with 1...who are struggling to provide, and have a 2nd. She had 6...was struggling and ended up with 8 more. But she knew she was struggling with the 6 and decided to have another pregnancy. It really made sense to me. It really made me respect her more that she admitted she made a mistake, is struggling, and needs help.

It also made me think a lot of about my own situation, my desire to have another baby, yet knowing we are about to embark on a big move for our family, to a place where I don't have a job yet, not sure if I will find a job or what I will do, and we are also about to spend lots of money on orthodontic work for Madison (starting today...she has a 3pm appointment). My parents offered to pay for all of the orthodontics for Maddie. How silly would it be for us to go ahead and have another baby when my parents are paying for the medical bills of the child we already have?

Up until now...well ever since the wedding we have just been of the mentality if it happens...we even had a month where we definitely thought we were expecting (very late period)...but we weren't. I am going to resume birth control with my next period for at least the next year when then we will be able to take another closer/harder look at our situation and where a new baby would fit.  I definitely think its the smart decision to do...a decision that is made with our heads...and not our hearts.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

 Today, I'm linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love to share what things I'm loving this week-

{1} I am home again.  Madison and I spent 4 nights visiting my parents.  My sister was also in town from Las Vegas with her two children.  We had a nice visit.  But I am glad to be home today.  Here are some photos from our visit of my nephew, niece, and Madison -

{2} While I was on vacation I worked for several hours on a meal plan to start tomorrow along with grocery lists for both the local grocery store and Trader Joe's.  I am also incorporating a few new meals that I am excited to make for my family.  I plan on blogging about the recipes I make and including them on the blog.

{Check out my meal plan HERE}

{3} My husband...who I haven't seen since Saturday morning will be home in about 30 minutes from work.  It was nice to come home today to a sweet card on my pillow from him.

{4} I just caught up on last night's episode of Teen Mom 2.  Yes...I am 32 and it is one of my favorite shows.  With the exception of Jenelle...I think these three moms are doing good so far with their babies.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today is Our 6 Month Wedding Anniversary

Today is our 6 month wedding anniversary!
{My favorite wedding photo}
Six months ago today I woke up in our beautiful hotel room, headed out to get my hair done, and then enjoyed one of my favorite lunches at Panera.

{Our cupcake tower -my husband built}
Early that evening I got ready for what I thought was to be my beach wedding...only for rain to come, the beach to close, and our wedding ceremony to be moved indoors.  I would have thought that moment would have have turned me into a BRIDEZILLA...but it didn't. 

{We had a candy bar set up...these were the containers our guests used to put their candy in}
We had a lovely was definitely US .  I chose my two favorite colors- pink and lime green, created our wedding invitations, and we wrote our own vows.

It was amazing to see everything I had planned and designed come together on our special day.  It was definitely a day I will never forget.

{Another one of my favorite photos}

Here are some more of my favorite photos from our special day.
{My nephew, Owen, who loved the candy bar}

{Our daughter, Madison}

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Fabulousness

It is Friday :)  WOOHOO!!

I am super happy for many reasons...the biggest one being... I do not have to go back to work for a WEEK!!!  Monday is a holiday, I took personal days for Tuesday and Wednesday, and Maddie has an appointment on Thursday so there is a sick day for us.  I am on cloud 9.

Anyways, Monday January 17th is our 6 month wedding anniversary and because I am going out of town for a few days and will not be here to celebrate with my husband I ordered this for him -
He absolutely loves Ohio State football...cookies...and well buckeye I thought this was perfect.  It was scheduled to arrive Monday...well it came today.  I let him open it...There were NO buckeye candies in of the main reasons for choosing this gift.  So I called their customer service number and spoke to a great employee there...told her my issue...and guess what? She is shipping out a new tin...with the BUCKEYES for FREE to my husband.  Can I get a WOOHOO? 

I have ordered various things from this company in the past...have never been disappointed...and will continue to order in the future because of their great customer service.  In a time when too often customer service is was nice to know that Cheryl's is committed to customer service.

I am looking forward to dinner with my husband and daughter tonight, watching a few episodes of Californication thanks to Netflix with my husband, and of course a bit of laundry and some packing for our trip.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What I am Loving Wednesday

It is time for What I am Loving Wednesday again thanks to Jaime over at This Kind of Love.  Go there to check out some other great What I am Loving Wednesday lists. 

(1) My Short Work Week Next Week
Tomorrow is Thursday.  I am so ready for the weekend.  I am taking 2 vacation days and a sick day next week + a holiday = only 1 work day next week. YIPPEE!!  I need it.  Today at school I was called STUPID by a student, watched as another student sobbed like a baby when his father came up to school because he has been misbehaving, and felt like a failure when about 50 out of my 130 students failed their super easy/we've reviewed it 100 times quiz on nouns....sigh...

(2) My Niece & Nephew
These two are flying to Virginia with their mama on Friday.  I will get to spend several days with them.  I cannot wait.  And of course my sister (their mom).  They are coming all of the way from Las Vegas.
{Christmas cute are they in their matching jammies?}
(3) Hot Blueberry Muffins
I picked up a mix at Target this afternoon and whipped up a small batch of muffins for my family to have for breakfast tomorrow morning.  Usually my husband has coffee, my daughter her a Pop-Tart, and I have nothing.  Muffins in the morning will be nice.  On another positive note, I have been showing recent restraint at Target with my random purchases...YAY ME!!

(4) 2 of My Favorite Blogs
Almost every day I sit down with my laptop and read some of my favorite blogs.  I love reading other blogs just as much as I love writing my own.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Kelle Hampton's Blog - Enjoying the Small Things -I cannot say enough about her, her blog, her writing, and her photography.  She is simply amazing.  I am sure many of you know about her, if not you should check her out.  You will love her.

Megan's Blog - Tales of the Trees - She is young, fun, and hilarious.  She is expecting her first baby.  She always has entertaining stories to share.  I really look forward to reading her blog whenever she posts.  Check her out.

Wacky Wednesday

Kara over at Happy Go Lucky and I are co-hosting our first Wacky Wednesday blog hop party. 

1.  Create a blog post on your blog sharing funny memories, quotes, and events you've experienced recently.  This can be anything that you feel will make others laugh.

2.  Link up your blog on her page.

3.  Be sure to grab the button below and add it to your site so others can join in on the fun.  Follow both of us and we will be sure to follow back.

4.  Read what others are writing about and share some love by leaving comments.

5.  Have a great Wednesday and enjoy a good laugh with us!

Here's what's making me laugh lately:

Here is a funny picture of my daughter in her 'nerd' glasses my husband made for her out of some 3D glasses they picked up at a recent movie.  She thought it was the funniest thing ever.

What's made you laugh lately?  Link up your Wacky Wednesday post and have fun!  Don't forget to show some love to the rest of the participants by leaving comments.  We can't wait to read your posts! 

Thanks for making us laugh!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Terrific Tuesday

1. Two Hour Delay

They were calling for snow.  It never snowed.  We still ended up with a two hour delay.  I didn't have to be at work until 9:40am.

2. Library/Computer Lab Day

Then once I got there I immediately took my kids to lunch.  Then I only had two classes today.  The first one was in the library  The second one was in the computer lab. It was a pretty easy day.

3. Sonic Happy Hour

I stopped on the way home at Sonic Happy Hour.  I had a large diet cherry Coke.  My favorite.

4. A Yummy Dinner

I made these yummy Turkey Meatball Marinara Paninis.   Turkey meatballs, spaghetti sauce, white American cheese, on bakery bread.  Easy and fabulous.