Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Fun and Rants

Boy this Summer has gone by really fast I cannot believe that my girls will be back in school in only several weeks. They visited my parents for two weeks in Michigan as soon as Summer Break began. As soon as my parents brought them back off to Michigan City, Indiana we went for fun in the sun and lots of beach time on Lake Michigan.

 I tried to catch Aliya making a hand heart against the sunset after several attempts her arms were tired so this had to do.

This was after the sun had set on the horizon.

 The girls spent so much time on the water, they even got the hang of the kayak's for the 1st time.


Here is the view from the beach house. This is beautiful Lake Kai, the same lake that the girls got to work on their kayaking skills.

Can you believe it not even an hour after we returned home. A terrible storm rolled in with 80mph winds and it knocked down my kids fave tree. Thank God that we and the car were all fine but we will definitely miss our tree, it practically grew up with the girls.

 Have a great one and remember to love your home.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fourth of July Food,Drink and More

Happy Birthday USA. I cannot believe that you are 236 years old today. All over our nation, family and friends get together to celebrate your birth.

Usually we go to a parade and then to the community fireworks which is always a blast. We skipped the parade today because it was just miserably hot. With the heat index it was already in the low 90's around 9am this morning as I was giving my flowers a drink.

I also decided to get most of the eats together so that we could all just chill later in the afternoon.

This delicious yogurt pop was made the night before ready for the kids to indulge on this hot Fourth of July. It was very easy to make and not as time consuming as it may seem. I just purchased a tub of Vanilla Yogurt and layered the popsicle molds. I took several huge spoonfuls of yogurt and added red food coloring until I got the color that I desired and I let the 1st layer sit in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then the next layer is pretty simple just add the vanilla right in and freeze for about 10 minutes, last but not least add blue food coloring to about several spoonfuls of yogurt (in a separate bowl I forgot to mention). Now place the sticks in and freeze until ready. There are tons of ways to make layered frozen treats this was a healthy one that I wanted to try and the kids loved them.

Even with the air conditioning on in our house, it was still a little on the warm side so we had to make these festive Red, White and Blue ice cream sandwiches fast. You can see what I mean looking at the right side of the sandwich. All you have to do is unwrap them and dip the edges on a plate sprinkled with your fave decorations. We only had a little of the candied sprinkles so that sandwich was eaten before I could grab my camera. This one was made with sugar sprinkles. Easy Peasy.

Our Red, White and Blue Spritzers were a hit also. All you have to do is pick your fave drinks in America's colors making sure the way you want them layered are based on the sugar content in each drink. Our blue had about 31 grams , the white or clear (Jones Cream Soda) had 25 grams and the Red had no sugar at all. So you see the highest sugar content goes on the bottom and so on. Remember to pour these slowly to get that cool affect. Refreshing.

This Confetti Corn was really good and easy to make. 1st dice red and green bell pepper and suatee in a skillet (I used my cast iron) with a little bit of your fave oil. I used two cans of 16oz corn not realizing until I made it that one was regular kernel corn and the other sweet cream corn. I mixed them anyway and it was delish. Oh yeah don't forget a little salt and pepper for added taste.

My family loves Mac and Cheese so I had to make it. I always bake mine the coloring on top you see is a little Chili Powder. You can omit this step if you'd like. Here's how I make it.

Other than that we had burgers, dogs, and pulled pork sliders not pictured here. Now a little rest before we run out to see the fireworks. From our family to yours Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Vacation Organization

Can you believe it?  Summer vacation is finally here. I'm not sure what's usually the first thing on your list to kick off your summer to do list but to keep my mind at ease. I put the girls to work right away on the first full day of Summer Vacay.

I have them gather up anything that they brought home from school. That includes supplies, tests, quizzes, etc. and we pretty much have a purge party.

Here's what things looked like after the process. I know it looks like junk but let me tell you why. Well, I left this here to show you first of all the piles of stuff they brought home. Trust me it was much neater before this because everything had a home.

We go through absolutely everything and they don't have a problem with it. I grab shopping bags as trash bags seen in the photo and they go through their binders and pull out things that aren't needed any longer. Old quizzes, tests and even important handouts that they can possibly use for the next school year we keep. I take those and put them in sheet protectors and either put them in a binder or an acordian file folder for reference. Any supplies like pens, pencils, pencil pouch, lunch bag, back pack etc. are stored away if they are in good shape. I say why waste money if my child's supplies still look great.

Next school year both of my girls will be in Middle School. No more babies in elementary :(  I really hope this post helps someone. I rather get rid of the unwanted now and not bother them with it mid summer, don't you agree?

Until next time. Have a great Summer!!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Brand New Eco Friendly Products

Have you heard about Jessica Alba's new eco friendly product line for your family and home? The line is called The Honest Company filled with goodies for your baby {diapers and wipes}, Bath and Body {body washes, soaps, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen and etc.}and Cleaning products {laundry detergent, dish soap and dishwasher gel}. The website isn't completely up and running as of yet but it looks like you can begin shopping now if you like, you can view the website here. I'm really interested in the laundry detergent. The products are biodegradable and free of SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate), perfumes and dyes plus they are very affordable, gold star for that. You will also be able to set your orders up for autoship each month if you prefer. Some other nice benefits I see on the site features free trials and gift cards as well. If you are concerned about the toxins you are bringing into your home, you may want to check out this site for more info.

Note: *I am in no way affiliated with The Honest Company nor am I being compensated for this post.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Throw It All Together Spring Salad

Hi All! Yesterday I had a taste for salad at lunch. So I went shopping in my kitchen to see what I could throw together. Well we already had salad of course. Even though it says pre-washed. I post-wash mine every time; I'm just sayin'... ;-)  We had a left over rotissiere chicken from Sunday dinner so I grabbed that along with an apple for the the springiness (I know! That isn't a word). Even though the salad already had carrots in it, I threw in some extras because Aliya and I are the only ones who eat them so I didn't want them to go bad and Voila! Already for a little dressing. I'm not a big fan of store bought dressing but I haven't tried making my own yet either. So I used Kraft Light Italian House dressing. Oh darn I forgot to  add my almonds. Oh well still yummy to my tummy! If you'd like to share some of your homemade dressings for me to try. Please share.

I didn't really think that I needed to add an ingredient list since I posted it above but for those who love to keep recipes on hand. I decided to share it in a print friendly version for you. Enjoy!

Love your home and your body. Healthy eating!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Not A Bad Deal From Target

Yesterday I had to run one of those errands to grab much needed things so I went to Target. Lately I've been trying my best to be as frugal as possible. Changing jobs last year and coming home actually put me on a budget but what is really funny is I'm really noticing how far a buck can go and how much money I used to waste on things. I love, love, love Targay and I always have, but I'd always spend way too much than I'd anticipated once the register rang up my total. You see the emotions face in the lower left hand corner? Yep that would be my face every time I'd check out at Target because I wouldn't have a plan of attack before I entered.

So here is what I got plus feminine items that I didn't think I needed to share because well if you're female or not I'm sure you know what it is so there really there isn't any need. Let's keep some things to ourselves. Anyway, all of this for $30 baby!!!! I really think that this was good for me because usually I'm spending between $80 to close to under $100 :-|   

Most of these items that I'd usually buy would be the popular name brands like Crest or Softsoap but if they typically work the same way, why not pay $0.89 for something that I'd normally pay $2 and some change for. I don't know about you but I feel really good about my accomplishment. I walked out of there with three bags for $30 and with the happy face on the upper left hand corner. Happy Day. Anyway friends I wish you a happy day as well. 

Love your home and your pocket book.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Day In The Life Of A Work At Home Mom

A lot has been going on around here lately so I haven't been able to be as social but as promised I am here to share with you The Day In The Life Of A Work At Home Mom. If you've read my previous post you already know how hard it was for me to balance working from home and doing work for the home and its still a work in progress each day. In other words (the housework). I would totally get side tracked on a continuous basis, since I am a weirdo and I actually love to clean and organize I would prefer to that than what I am supposed to be doing getting the bills paid. Hmmm. Factor all of that out and you get complete lack of self discipline. I always had it in corporate America why not here. Maybe because I went from someone else managing me to me managing myself. Yeah that's it!!

Well I got my booty in gear and became an adult about it and things are working fine for me now. I print out a month's calendar, pencil in my work schedule along with anything that needs done for the kids and my month is planned.


This Day In The Life listed above isn't always perfect but what is nor is it always exact. It gives you an idea of what goes on around here though. Next school year I will have both of my girls in Middle School together so we will have to create a totally different schedule. Until next time.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Life As A WAHM

Wow its been a minute since we've last connected. I tell ya balancing work and home is no joke. Seriously. I started working from home without worrying about interacting with brick and mortar for about four months now and as I was sitting on our bottom stairs and then our mudroom bench in progress staring at our blooming male pear tree (meaning it bears no fruit).

I was thinking of my reason why I became a WAHM. It was for my girls. My last career as a healthcare professional lasted almost a decade. I really did love what I my profession but being here for my daughters is.... well.... priceless. I wanted to be totally available to them no matter what seeing that my husband travels at times for work. Being available to them wasn't an option before. I would wake up at 5am leave the house at 6:30am and our office would open at 7am on the dot and the patients would pour in literally waiting for us to open the door as if we had a sale a blood draws and EKG's that day.

Now a days I wake up and I'm able to get the girls up and ready for school and greet them when they return home. I love it but there is a catch. The catch is that I had to learn the hard way how much discipline is needed with being a "WAHM". In the beginning I jumped in without a plan. No plan results in distractions from every household chore that stares you in the face. Dishes, laundry, dusting, vacuuming, mopping etc. etc. Don't get me wrong by no means am I saying that these things are no longer important but what I am saying is that a balance is definitely needed between work, home and family. That definitely takes serious discipline, without it the day comes to an end and you realize that you haven't done any work at all and when its time to pay bills... well um.... I'm sure that you can figure out the rest of this story. I will be sharing with you A Day In The Life Of Me in an upcoming post and what I have done to resolve this issue. To hopefully help out other Moms whether a WAHM or a SAHM that maybe new to this or just needs help in this department as well.

Until Next Time.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

I apologize for being M.I.A. as some of you know. I work from home and my blog isn't my main source of income. I've been self educating myself for what I do so that I know what I'm talking about as I assist my customers. Anywho.

I've had a few of you ask for this recipe after I broke it down on  how to prevent cooking too much Mac well without further ado ;-)


1 cup shredded cheese (I prefer a mixture of sharp cheddar and swiss)
2 tablespoons of flour 
2 tablespoons of margarine
3/4 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon of salt or seasoning salt or both :)
1/2 teaspoon of pepper

Prepare a pot of boiling water to boil 3/4 cup of macaroni. Boil for approximately 8 minutes or until aldente. Once the pasta is to your liking simply drain in a collander and sit aside until ready to prepare for baking. Next melt margarine in a boiler and add the flour whisking continuously until you've made a roux. Next add milk and continue to whisk. This may take about 5 minutes until you've created a creamy sauce at this time add cheese and adore the beautiful cheese sauce you've just created.

Now its time to combine the pasta and cream sauce in a glass dish for baking. Preferably I sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the pasta as well making sure each bite is tasty and not bland. At this time sprinkle some shredded cheese on top with a dash of chili powder for decoration and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.

Note: This is only one way to make home made baked mac and cheese. How do you make yours? I'd love for you to share. I'm up for trying new recipes. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I'm So Proud

Who really just cannot say they are proud of at least one accomplishment that their child has made. This acheivement that Aliya accomplished happened in early February but yet and still I'd like to share it.

I'm sure those of you who have or have had a child in the fifth grade maybe familiar with the D.A.R.E. program. A police officer comes to their school to teach your children the negatives of drug and alcohol abuse. After several weeks of learning, the kids write an essay on what they've learned and how it will affect them for the rest of their lives. A few of the essays are hand picked to be presented at the D.A.R.E. graduation in front of the entire fifth grade class, fifth grade teachers, parents and principal. Certificates are also presented by the officers and teachers.

Aliya's essay was one of the ones that was chosen, her Dad and I were so proud. It holds a special place in my heart because she's always felt that her big sister has been awarded with so much and she wanted her time to shine well baby here's your time. Congratulations and may the words you shared with all of us hold true for the rest of your life and that you can become a great role model for kids who are following in your footsteps.

One more thing. I just had to share a pic I found of Ayanna in 2010 with her D.A.R.E. officer at her graduation. Its only fair right?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Honey Do! (Mudroom)

How many of you have a honey do list? You know. Honey I would love it if you could do this or Honey I would love it if you could do that? Technically in this particular case my plan was to do it all myself but I didn't have the craftsmanship to do what hubby has done so far plus I think he may have gotten tired of hearing me say what I had plans to do but I didn't have time or money to do what I wanted.

If anyone follows me here. You may already know that I've had future plans of someday creating a mudroom in our home because I've always wanted one but we just didn't have the space for it. One day I thought why not create one right where our entryway closet is. All sorts of visions danced in my head.

What once was a junky coat closet. Is now turning into a beautiful vision. Sorry Joe wasn't messing around before I could take an actual before photo he'd already removed most of our stuff. Mostly everything was removed at this point. There was so much more in here including a shelf with tons of hats, gloves, scarves etc.

So far we've taken down the doors and emptied the closet completely. Hubs removed the doors and put up paneling that will be painted eventually by yours truly. He installed this really nice light for cloudy days or night time when we are coming or going.

 The best part is the bench that will also be painted and decored with nice pillows cost us nothing at all it was once a storage trunk that Joe had in the Army. He did a little trimming with his saw and Voila! It was in his parents basement just waiting to become a part of our family can you believe that they were about to throw it out?

Here is stage 2 of the process. Here you can gradually see the art taking place.

He even added decorative trim that gives the new storage space definition. This space will store the girls backpacks and any of our outdoor things like shoes, etc.

Well this is what we have completed so far but before I go. Here is a pic of the space when the new light is lit.

 I just wanted to take you along this journey with us. So fun. I've helped out a little bit using Joe's staple and nail gun here and there but the real work for me hasn't come yet. Stay tuned for updates.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Chicken Tortilla Soup

I'd like to share my Chicken Tortilla soup with all of you today. I have to get used to having my camera with me at times like these. The photo was taken with my phone so the quality isn't the best. This soup is really delicious and I usually don't end up with much for leftovers.

What You Will Need

3-4 Chicken Breasts
64oz. Chicken Broth 
Chunky Salsa
15.25oz. Canned Corn
Canned Black Beans
4oz. Green Chiles
Corn Tortillas
Seasoning Salt
*Canola Oil

Clean chicken breasts and season  as you desire with salt, pepper and seasoning salt. Cook breasts several minutes on each side in a pan or. Don't overcook to the point where chicken looks too golden or brown. Remember it will still be cooking in the soup. On the same note don't undercook no one wants to eat raw chicken.

This part is so easy. Pour everything except for the chicken into a stock pot on medium high. Yes you read correctly. Everything. The Chicken Broth, Salsa, Corn, Black Beans and Green Chiles. You be the judge on how much of the Black Beans, Corn and Green Chiles you'd like. After you're done the chicken should be cooled enough to shred or dice. Now you can put the chicken in as well. Once it starts to boil you can turn the soup down to simmer. 

Tortilla Strips
*Warm up a small pan with about 2 tablespoons of desired oil. I use canola. 

I love corn tortillas. This is how I make my strips. I take about four corn tortillas stacked upon one another and I slice them in quarters. Then I slice the quarters into desired sized strips. 

Place strips in the pan and let them cook until crisp. You really have to keep your on these. They cook fast.

Place them on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil and season with a dash of salt if you desire.

Once everything is done. You know what to do. Bon Appetit.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Nellies Laundry Soap Review

Right around the holidays I purchased a brand new laundry soap since I've been trying to stay away from as many  perfumes and dyes as possible. The reason for my search for the best laundry system for our family is due to Aliya having mild eczema that only shows up every once and awhile. I've tried a few things and I really do like this laundry soap.

The oxygen brightener is really good as well. The whole idea of it is supposed to remind you of OxiClean to brighten your loads.

You only need one tiny scoop of the laundry soap to wash one whole load the suds aren't from sulfates like most soaps meaning it eventually dissolves but it still has enough cleaning power to do the job. I love it that everything is natural. There's no perfumes so you smell nothing but clean.

You don't need fabric softener because the little lavender sticks you see in the small glass jar is all you need, one fits right inside one of their laundry balls and lasts up to two years. Wow is that savings or what? I'm not getting compensated for writing this review but I thought I'd share how I really love the product and I'm pretty much out now and would love it if I could get my hands on more quickly.

Have you gone green in your laundry room? If so what do you use or what have you tried?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Special Day

I know that I've already stated how important love is here and how it shouldn't really be a focal point on one reserved day. Yes it should be shown daily to whomever the special ones are in your life.

I never really make huge deals out of birthdays, Christmas or Valentine's when it comes to the commercial aspect. Of course for my birthday I thank God for giving me another birthday. I definitely celebrate Christmas and Easter for the real reason but gifts for me I don't ask for it. I give but I don't ask. Just appreciation is enough for me.

With that being said I still thought that I'd share what I did get for Valentine's Day and in my eyes a little definitely means a whole lot.

Ayanna really wanted to give me something but she wasn't able. I told her that I didn't expect anything. I mean that. Joe gave each one of his favorite girls a single stem rose, pink for them and red for me. The box you see beside them was heart shaped with assorted candies and a balloon which he gave each of us our own. So sweet. I'm a sucker for candy.

Aliya made me a 25 reasons Why I Love You book. She decorated an old journal with glitter and attached her brand new pencil that she received at her last dentist appointment to it. It just so happened to have red hearts on it. Awww.

Here are a few exerpts of what she wrote:

#3 You can make a bag of candy disappear like magic (she knows me)
#7 You're very good with kids (I do my best)
#9 You make me laugh (I think you're the only one who gets the most tickled at me)
#12 You came home to be with us (heartfelt)
#20 You're the best Mommy in the galaxy (all smiles)

Words from the heart mean so much when they are sincere. These are the things that make me happy. Of course we all like some material things but I can cherish something like love for always.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...