Monday, October 25, 2010

For the love of BOOKS...

My name is Lisa....and I love books. We have so many books, yet I can't seem to part with them! Today during big boy's nap, I decided to tackle a book case in our game room. After like 7 years of book club (approx 80ish books cause some months we have skipped) plus the countless other books I have read on my own, plus matt's books, plus some books from college, that is a LOT OF BOOKS!!

I love to share my books, but I also LOVE to look at the shelf, remember the book....the emotions, when I read it, etc and it makes me smile. Therefore, I have waaaay too many.

What do you do with your books? Immediately read and then loan or sell? I need to decide how to keep and how to let go of some books. I think I created a pile of about 50, but I still have another 100 or so I couldn't part with it. Any tips on how to let go of books? I am a book hoarder I think?!?! :)

12 month Check up!

Today I took the boys into the doc for Mark's 12 month check up. It was slightly stressful as these 2 do not like to a) be still for too long and b) be confined to a little doctor's room! :) They did pretty good waiting, but once the doc was there and ready to chat, m was getting antsy and z wanted mommy's attention. I always get a little embarrassed and they really were not even bad, just being a 1 and a 2.5 year old! ANYWAY, I asked doc about M's recent bout with eczema and on and off diarrhea. He said it is a possibility it could be related to the introduction of cow's milk, even though we have been doing fine with cheese, yogurt, etc for months. He said we could a) give it a couple more weeks to see how things go, b) switch to soy milk which I don't want to do or c) get a food allergy work up and make sure it is actually that. So I have a call into my insurance to check coverage for that and we will go from there. Oh yeah, and we have the start of an ear infection. Good times!

Markey got 4 vaccinations AND his flu shot and Zach got a flu shot so for about 3 minutes, there was insane crying and screaming coming from our room and I had to get another nurse in the room so she could comfort and hold one while I held the other! But thankfully they quickly recovered and were smiling before we even walked out the door.

Now for stats:
Weight-24lbs (50%)
Height- (90%)
Head- 46cm (funny thing we had to do this one twice because the first one showed his head had grown WAY too much since last time...that's happened to us with Z too!)

And interestingly are Zach's @ 12 months.
Height- 31" (75-90%)
Weight - 23.1lb (50-75%)
Head- 48cm (90%)

Almost the exact SAME! So weird, they look so different to me! All in all though, everything is healthy and normal and I am glad to have this visit behind us! :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Monster Birthday Bash!!

The Pumpkins

Two weekends ago we headed out for our 3rd annual pumpkin patch trip! The kiddos had a great time, especially the older ones. Climbing on pumpkin piles, bouncey houses, train and hay rides, so fun! The little ones were good sports and went along for the ride! :) Enjoy some pumpkin cuteness!! :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mexican Casserole

While stumbling through blogland today....I found this GREAT recipe site called Plain Chicken. Seriously, there are so many yummy and EASY looking recipes I cannot wait to try! I made the first one on the list because a)it sounded good and b) I had everything at the house. Score! Verdict? DELISH! Hubs enjoyed it too and said he would like it again. Good thing too is it is filling so we have plenty left for lunch or dinners tomorrow! :)

Easy Mexican Casserole
(Printable Recipe)

1 pound lean ground beef
1 can Ranch Style beans (I used the ones that already had some onion in them)
1 10-12 ounce bag tortilla chips, crushed (I just crushed enough for a thin layer)
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes drained
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided (I didnt use quite that much, just enough for good covering and i used 2%)
1 package taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
sour cream and salsa for serving (or fresh avocado like we did!)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large skillet, brown meat and drain off fat. Stir in beans, tomatoes, onion, taco seasoning, soup and water. Simmer over medium-low heat until everything is well combined and heated through.

Grease a 9×13 casserole dish (I actually used a square one, the layers looked to spread thin to me in the rectangle one). Put down a layer of crushed tortilla chips, followed by a layer of the meat/bean mixture, then half of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly.

Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with sour cream and salsa.

Try it, you will like it! And check out this yummy blog too! :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Markey!

Yesterday, my baby turned one! I still can't actually believe it! We celebrated with a Halloween party with friends on Saturday, and yesterday my mom and I took the boys to the zoo. Mark celebrated by showing us his independence and shunning the stroller and only wanting to walk hi way around the zoo ;-)

It has been quite a year full of ups and downs personally and for friends... between job loss, deaths, births, loss, new mommies and a whole lot of other things, but our sweet Mark has been a complete source of joy through it all.

My babycenter email yesterday was titled, Your Toddler:1 year old and don't you know I shed a year to see that change from baby to toddler!

My sweet Markey, I love you to the moon and back, sweet boy. You have made our little family even better than before and I cannot imagine our lives without you. You came into the world with a fury and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for you yet! Love you, baby boy!

Oct 18, 2009

(Excuse the ugly pic...I did just give birth without drugs, lol!)

1 year later

Oct 18, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spinach Enchiladas

*EDITTED to add......a package of frozen SPINACH! HAHAHA! Ya'll probably thought I was crazy! Thanks Mary for pointing that out to me!! :-)

This is a staple in our house. It is fast, it is easy, it is YUMMY, and it is ww friendly.

1 pkg frozen spinach (I nuc mine in the microwave for about 5 min and then drain/squeeze out some of the liquid)
4 large tortillas (I use the low fat ones)
16 oz Ricotta cheese (I use either the low fat or part skim ones)
shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded cheddar cheese
onion powder
garlic salt
dried oregano

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Mix together the ricotta and a handful of mozzarella cheese...somewhere between 1/2c and 1c. Add in about 1tsp onion powder, 1/2tsp garlic salt and 1/4tsp pepper. Mix it all up!
3) Score the mixture into fourths. Top each tortilla with a 1/4 of your mixture and roll it up and fold the ends in.
4) Top with salsa and shredded cheddar. Hubby likes his HOT so I add jalapenos to his 2 enchiladas.
5) cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
6) Take foil off and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so until cheese is melted.

And that's it! These guys are big 2, so we serve ours with a side of black beans and each eat one enchilada and have 2 leftover for the next night! I think they come out to be about 7 pts per enchilada so not bad when you are only eating 1. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween Mantle

I think I finally finished my Halloween mantle. Still playing around with some odds and ends but it will do for now! :) Funny thing is half the stuff up there is handmade! The one thing that bothers me is the painting back there....we have it there year round but it doesnt quite fit the theme for now! Pondering...maybe a nice big mirror?
My Halloween Ribbon Wreath....I used Jen's tutorial over at Tatertots and Jello! LOVE IT!
A little halloween candy for decor....
My little "Haunted House". I found this house as unfinished wood at goodwill for $2 and covered with some scrapbook paper and a little mod podge and voila!

The pumpkin and the kitty were bought, but I made the pumpkin topiary with three $ store pumpkins and $ store candle stick. Not satisfied with the white one, that may end up re done but I like the other two!!
And these last little pumpkins I found in the target dollar section today like this...
I pulled off the plaid and added some halloween ribbon, and voila! Love it!
So there you have it, I am having fun decorating for Halloween and looking forward to having the house all gussied up for Mark's 1st birthday party on Saturday! How is your decorating going? Are you decorating for Halloween or skipping straight to fall?

And just a little cuteness....this guy has not wanted to take his costume off since Grammy brought it over on Sunday!!

Birthday Presents?

Baby boy is turning 1 in a week...I am still in disbelief but we aren't talking about that part yet! ;-) Several good friends have asked what to get the little man for his party....and truthfully, I have no idea? With 2 kids of the same gender and pretty close in age, what do you ask for that you do not already have? I am sure there are some new things out there, but I am not really sure what. Now I know that Mark is getting to the age to where he wants to play with Z and will get mad when you take toys away, but not quite sure we need/want 2 of everything? Especially because I think Z doesn't necessarily wants what Mark has...he just doesn't want Mark to have it...little stinker!

ANYWAY.....if any of you mommas out there with same gender kiddos have any advice on gifts, let me know! OR, if you have a 1 year old or close to it and know of some toys your kiddo loves, let me know that too! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Shabby Chic Pumpkins

I found this frame at goodwill for a few dollars...originally it was gold and housed some lovely little floral prints ;-) Originally my plan was just to paint the frame and put pictures of the boys in it since it had such a nice mat, but then I decided why not pumpkins for the fall?

So after "shabbying" up the frame with paint and sandpaper, I cut out some pumpkins, added a little distressed ink and some more paper for the background....and here ya go, some original shabby chic pumpkin art for our guest bedroom! :)

Go Check out More cool crafts!:

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap   up           party!

Friday, October 8, 2010

christmas shopping

I have not even finished decorating for Halloween and I am already thinknig about Christmas...I blame the stores since they are inudated with Christmas goodies already!

Anyway, every year I vow to be finished shopping early and not to overspend. I usually overspend because I am shopping late and haven't really taken good time to think about what I want to buy and therefore end up buying more than I need to. Anyone else do this?

So yeah, I am going to start shopping sooner and also plan to buy LESS. This week I bought 2 things for Zach, one of which will be his "big" present. Its called an Early Rider and I researched it a bit online before we purchased. It was featured on zulily this week and was almost half off. Basically it's a beginner bike and pedaless....encourages your kid to learn to balance and when they are ready for a bike, won't need training wheels! EVERY post and review about it, the kids LOVED it! If you have ever been to our house and seen Zachary WHIZZING around the house on his motorcyle that the Simonds gave him for his 2nd birthday, you will know how much he loves riding things and I think this will be perfect for him. The other purchase I made was for rain gear....I have been wanting some adorable rain gear forever and never wanted to spend the money. But this week in Berings, they had a great deal where if you purchased 3 items, you would get 10% off cheapest, %15 off 2nd, and 25% off most expensive item. I ended up getting him the most adorable fireman set....coat, boats, and umbrella! How cute is that? It's even cuter in person....I only wish they came in sizes small enough for Markey too!

And of course I have started my own shopping list too...I want a sewing machine and a 50mm lense for my camera. That's it for me! :)

What about you? Have you started your shopping list for your family or friends? Do you have anything on your wish list??

Gap's new Logo

What do you think?

I think it is kinda silly. The classic navy and white logo is so well known, why mess with a good thing, especially to something that doesn't look all that cool....I have to agree with the masses, go back to the old logo!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's a Man's Job...

My tire pressure light has been on all week...glaring at me and reminding me that the left front tire needs air. But alas, I have no clue how to air up my tires!! Anyone else have this problem? I leave all things car and mechanic related to my husband or my dad! I think I seriously need a lesson on airing up tires, changing tires, mowing the lawn, etc....or maybe not? ;-)

Thank goodness for hubbies and pops!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another New Recipe

Been a couple weeks since I tried something new again, but we did last night and it definitely passed the test! I found the recipe on the Pilsbury website and its called Zesty Italian Crescent Casserole. It was easy, I used all lite or reduced fat ingredients and it was still very tasty!

1 lb. lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup tomato pasta sauce
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)
1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls (I used reduced fat)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Stir in pasta sauce; cook until thoroughly heated.
2. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine mozzarella cheese and sour cream; mix well.
3. Pour hot beef mixture into ungreased 9 1/2 or 10-inch glass deep-dish pie pan or 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish. Spoon cheese mixture over beef mixture. (I used a rectangle 11x7 and it was perfect!)
4. Unroll dough over cheese mixture. (If using pie pan, separate dough into 8 triangles; arrange points toward center over cheese mixture, crimping outside edges if necessary.) In small bowl, mix Parmesan cheese and butter. Spread evenly over dough.
5. Bake at 375°F. for 18 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown. (Mine was cooked about 20ish minutes)

More Pictures

Got my cd in the mail of all the pictures from our Chubbyfoot session last oh my how cute are these boys! Of course I am partial to them, but Mackenzie did such a good job! Here are a few of my favorite ones!