Thursday, May 30, 2013

Blog break...

I have taken a blog break....I have many intentions and ideas, but I have been busy working on little Miss K's bday party.  And there are so many end of year school functions and dance recital coming up.  Oye...busy season!!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Steak Tenderloins & Bluecheese sauce

I was at Sam's, it was a perfectly beautiful sunny day outside.
I thought......lets grill some steaks, corn & potatoes for dinner.
As I left from the next grocery store I stopped at, the heavens poured down.  I was afraid I would have to unload all my groceries in the pouring rain, but as I turned into my neighborhood, the rain let up.  Horray!

But, it was still rainy and yucky when I was thinking the hubby could grill the steaks.  
I love it when my husband can grill, saves me time and saves on washing dishes.  Unfortunately, we had to turn to the full-proof method on cooking steaks to perfection, INSIDE. 
We like our steaks rare to medium rare.
We used steak tenderloins from Sam's.

You can't see the inside, but it is lightly red & yumilicious!!!

And here is the tenderloin, with the delish blue cheese sauce on top

(source from

So, I gave my hubby the task of cooking the corn.
Instead of just boiling it, he found a recipe online that called for boiling the corn in butter, milk and whipping cream to make it sweeter.
It was so fun to watch him measure and follow a recipe. I don't get to see it that often.
I totally enjoyed cooking with the hubby.

I liked putting each ingredient for the salad in individual bowls so that whatever was left over wasn't ruined (however, there was no leftover)

I ran out of candied walnuts, which the recipe calls for.  
So, instead, I sprinkled toffee bits on top.

Everybody loved the new change
And, I mean
out of 

Here are sweet Kayla's teeny tiny strawberries she picked on her field trip.  I placed humongous ones from Sam's on top.  They were both delicious in our salad.

The whole dinner was yummy!

****I hope you enjoy my recipe cards, but please do not print them for distribution for yourself or others**

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good Reads....(Children Books)

I love to read.....have ALLWAAYS loved reading

My children have too.

My youngest wasn't into books (or learning) as much as her older sisters, but she has found more of a love this past year.  Which is great timing since she is now learning to read.

And boy..... has she come into a collection of books.  She gets every book her sisters have ever owned, which is a lot.  We buy lots of books, mostly through book fairs at school over the years.
We also inherited a lot since my mother-in-law was a teacher - she gave me all her children's books when she retired.

I love reading books out loud to them. There are a few snoozers though.

Thank goodness I don't have to read Princess stories anymore.  

When the older two were younger, those were their favorites.  The hubby and I would skim lots of parts 1) because they didn't know the difference 2) we had read them soooooo many times.

My youngest never really got into the Disney Princesses like her sisters.

But there is a fun spin on some Princess books - these are a FUN read!

this one, Ariel, I need to get my hands on ....haven't read this one yet
I think there is also a Peter Pan/Tinkerbell one, have never come across that one either
**(update-we own these now, thanks to my mother-in-law)

One of my all-time favorite series is........ Judy Schachner

It is such a funny read, very the kitty reminds me of our own Siamese kitty, Chase

And this is the newest in the series, we don't have this one yet

This next book is what brought this whole post to light.
Miss K brought me 3 books to read one morning after her sisters were at school.
As I mentioned earlier, she hasn't always been one to really want to be read to.

After reading 2 of the 3, I decided to do a post about good kid stories (my personal opinions, of course)

This is a super cute read and I totally recommend it.  :)
I love this one with the staccato style of reading

You can find Part Two here.
You can find Part Three here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Good to Know......

I came across an awesome app today from     that I wanted to share with everybody.

It is called    
(you can get it on iPhone or Android.)

Once you get in the App----

~ find the store that your card is from
~ type in the card # from the back of the gift card and the Pin #.
~ unfortunately you do need to know the amount of your gift card, that might be kind of hard if you have used the card previously, but don't know the balance. I just called the # on the back of my card to find out the balance.

You can also scan the back of your gift card in case you typed in some #'s wrong. (click Optional details to do this)

Gyft provides the correct "cover" for each card, but you can also scan the front of your card if you want.
Which is what I did, because I have Justice cards for each girl with their initial written on it.  That way I was able to scan the front of the card and see who it belongs to.

If the store isn't there, you type in the name, and click "add store"
(see on right hand side above keyboard)
I was trying to add one for Bed, Bath & Beyond

When all done:
~click add to wallet
You can then scroll through all your gift cards on the main screen.

You can BUY gift cards for yourself or SEND gift cards to other people
You can regift gift cards.....

If you are worried about somebody stealing your gift cards if they get ahold of your phone, you can set up a passcode to get into the app

I wanted to purchase a Walmart or Target gift card for myself, just to test it out tomorrow, but neither of those stores were listed.  But there were tons of others to buy gift cards to:

There were plenty more, I just listed a few popular.

I can't wait to try it out.  I will update and report back after I use it for the first time.

Hopefully my wallet just got a little lighter.

***Update - I used the app at Justice & Claire's today.  It worked.  They weren't able to scan it, they had to manually type in the #'s.  But that is OK.  
I know we have all been somewhere where we forgot to take our gift cards in, so this way, as long as you type them all in, you always have them.
You do have to update your balance if you don't use it. Hopefully they will fix balance info in a future update.  That is really just for you, their computers will know the balance when they type in the #'s whether you have the right amount in your gyft app or not.
The sales clerks had never heard of the app of course, they were curious to try them out:)

Original source

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Taco Tuesday

We have labeled Tuesdays as Taco Tuesdays around here.

We usually have your standard tacos--soft, hard, corn shells fried in vegetable oil, OR taco salad with tortilla chips.  Last week we had taco salads, using Azteca taco salad shells.

I have decided to try to change it up - make  different versions each week the key word

This week, I went for 

Brown your meat
add packet of taco seasoning
stir in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
 & 1/2 - 1 cup of salsa
Mix together
fill in desired amount in the taco in a glass dish

Sprinkle more cheddar cheese on top

Bake for 15-20 minutes in 400 degrees oven

Add lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream on top when it comes out of the oven

original source

Monday, May 6, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week

It is teacher appreciation week around here.
Most years there is a theme for every day....bring in a flower, bring in a card.....and so on.  This year there was no theme.  
But I knew I wanted to do something special, for those people that teach and keep my children 5 days out of the week.

I had tons of ideas pinned on Pinterest, but none of them appealed to me.  I did a quick search, scouring more ideas, and this one 'spoke to me'.

So this is what me and my girl "A" made:

Apples & Caramel Dip in a jar
( It really needs a more creative name)

****disclaimer (a big ooops, I accidentally left the main ingredient of caramel out of this picture.  But, then again, I was out of caramel as I had made the goodies the previous night, and this picture was taken the next day)
~ apples (1for each person you are making it for)
~ 8 oz Mason Jars (1 for each person you are making it for)
~ 15 oz Caramel dip
~ 8 oz cream cheese
~ Heath toffee bits
~ clear cellophane bags (big enough to fit the jar, mine are from the gift section at Target)
~ twine or ribbon (I used strands of burlap)
~ tags (as shown below, not pictured in supply picture - oooops)
**optional - I added these cute little pencils I found at TJ Maxx

These are the tags I used
As I was taking a picture, my oldest daughter, "J" grabbed her owl ipod case and put it on the "branch"

These are the 8 oz jars, my daughter "A" hand washed and dried.  Thanks girlie!!

~ Mix 8 oz of softened cream cheese with more than half of the caramel dip
~Put several scoops in the bottom of each jar
~ Add a layer of caramel on top
~ Sprinkle toffee bits on top

~ Put each jar in the bottom of a cellophane bag
~ Add an apple on top
~ Tie with your choice of ribbon or twine
~ Add a tag & Voila!

Here is the original link: