Thursday, September 29, 2011


"When you are exasperated by interruptions, try to remember that their very frequency may indicate the value of your life. Only people who are full of help and strength are burdened by other persons' needs. The interruptions which we chafe at are the credentials of our indispensability. The greatest condemnation that anybody could incur - and it is a danger to guard against - is to be so independent, so unhelpful, that nobody ever interrupts us, and we are left comfortably alone."

from The Anglican Digest
My wonderful sister-in-law Mary had this up on her blog a few days ago and I love it!  It certainly puts things into better perspective and helps me to remember the things that matter most!  Thanks for sharing Mary!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Home Made Jam

My mother and grandmother would be proud.  Not only did I make my own jam, but I used containers that I saved and washed out.  This time I used baby jars but I also find myself keeping the containers from butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, etc.  My grandma Watkins was the Queen of saving everything and my mom told me it was because she grew up during the depression and was taught to save it all.  Well I didn't grow up during the depression but I still would agree that Tupperware is expensive!  I guess I'm making Mother Earth proud too :) 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

On the Move!

She scoots, she's cute, she crawls!  At least she is getting there.  These are some videos (mainly for my family far far away) of Elise figuring out how to crawl.  She has perfected the scoot and can crawl but doesn't do it all the time.  She takes one or two then switches to scooting again.  Either way, it is so cute to see her learn something new and how proud of herself she is when she has made it somewhere new all by herself!  This top video is of her starting to crawl, the second is her scooting around.  Enjoy our cute girl :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Swap Party!

I'm not sure what it is with me, September, and reaching out to my fellow crafters but something must always get me going!  If you are a regular reader of my blog you probably remember this post from a  year ago with the idea for a quiet book. This is not an idea for a quiet book but a swap of homemade goods!  I've seen lots of ideas for things like this on Pinterest and thought it sounded like a very fun idea! Plus, getting a package in the mail with present inside?!  What could be better?  I know I have so many talented friends, sisters, and extended family and readers I know we could make this good!
So let's do it!!  Let's swap!!  If you would like to participate go ahead and "enter" by leaving a comment with your name and email address. Once sign-up's have ended you will receive an email from ME assigning you to a partner.  Go ahead and email your partner and get to know them a little bit so you can make the gift more personal for them.  You know stuff like their favorite color, favorite fabric line, do they want a gift for a child or do they need something for their wardrobe or kitchen?!  That kind of stuff :)  Sign-up's will END on FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH. 

Once again, the gifts MUST must MUST be home-made.  I cannot say that enough!  Obviously a part of it can be store bought but you get the general idea. No buying stuff from a craft store that is home made but you bought it, etc. 

All gifts must be finished and post-marked by OCTOBER 15TH 2011.  No ifs, and's or butt's about it! If you need ideas or inspiration check out some of these blogs:
-Craftaholics Anonymous
-Make it and Love it

And a thousand more websites for ideas. And if you are like me you probably already have an idea in your head!!  Good luck, thanks for playing, and I can't WAIT to see what we all come up with!  Happy Crafting!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Farmers Market

Yesterday some friends invited me to come with them to the West Allis farmers market.  It is a neighboring city and they hold the farmers market every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. They had so much delicious produce there! In Wisconsin as part of their wic program, they also give you vouchers for the farmers market.  All of the food pictured above was completely free to me.  I feel like I am swimming in zucchini they gave me so so much!  The woman I bought them from told me to grate them and freeze the grated zucchini so I can enjoy "fresh" zucchini bread all winter long too.  I came home and was so excited with all of my new fresh produce I decided to make some zucchini muffins! Here is the recipe if you want to make some too!

Zucchini Muffins

3 eggs                                            3 C. flour
2 C. sugar                                      1 t. baking soda
1C. oil                                           1/2 t. baking powder
1 T. vanilla                                     1 t. salt
2 C. zucchini (grated)                     1 T. cinnamon
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)

Mix ingredients together. Divide batter into greased muffin pans or with muffin liners. Fill 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes about 24 muffins.
*If you want, you can make a somewhat healthy muffin totally unhealthy and add some chocolate chips to the batter as well.  You won't be sorry if you do.  Yum!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I have had several projects waiting in the wings for months and months that I didn't want to do until we had moved and were settled in again!  I finally got the motivation to do them on Labor Day.  Here they are:
These birds go in Elise's room.  The quilt that my mom made for her has cute birds that look just like this appliqued on it.  So these are a perfect fit!  All I did was paint them and modge podge on the fabric and voila!
Several months ago there was a groupon for this simple vinyl- I think it cost $1.00.  I bought it and made a promise to buy a plate to put it on for our weekly dinner menu.  I finally got around to buying a plate for it last week and put it together.  It was super simple and I just use a dry erase marker to write our dinners up each week.  I think it turned out pretty cute!

Tuesday night is pizza night!

If you read my post on my meal plans, you will have seen that Tuesday's are pizza nights!  I have been trying to get the perfect homemade pizza and tried several doughs and sauces and last night I hit the jack pot!  I am so proud of myself I just had to blog about it.  Ha ha.  Zack doesn't get the thrill I get over making something from scratch that is perfect so I had to share it with all of you. 
 Have you ever tried the Chicken Garlic Pizza from Papa Murphy's??  You should, it is delicious!  It has been a family favorite for years and last night I tried to re-create it from scratch.  Here is what I used to create this baby:
-Our Best Bites recipe for the alfredo sauce
-Our Best Bites recipe for the pizza dough (and there was enough left over for bread sticks!)
-Then I added  green onions, tomatoes, chicken and garlic bread seasoning sprinkled on top!
Are you sensing a theme here?! Thank you to Our Best Bites for making our life taste even better!  Go ahead and try out this recipe if you want!  You won't be sorry!

Little Lise

Oh what to say about this cute little girl!  I could go on for days about how cute she is.  I haven't been the best Mom at writing down her accomplishments each month but I thought I would write down a few of the things she has been up to lately! (Oh and in case you wondered we pronounce Lise (short for Elise) like the word lease.....)

-She eats like a champ!  She eats her fruits and veggies and loves to eat whatever we have as well!  She has tried a pretty good variety of foods and I can't wait for her to be on them full time.
-Sometimes when we feed her she will grab her binky and put it back in her mouth almost as if she is teasing us!  Other times she will have it in to start with and when she sees food she likes she blows it out of her mouth and opens up. It is so funny.
-Still loves her bath time!  I took her to a swimming pool the other day and played with her in the zero depth area and she kicked and giggled for hours.
-She is sleeping through the night!!!!!  I usually put her down around 8:30 and she will sleep until about 8am- it is wonderful :)
-She is so aware of everything-still.  She loves baby einstein movies now and laughs and gets excited to see the puppets.
-She is starting to not want her binky when she sleeps.  I used to always nurse her then rock her to sleep and place her in her crib but now she gets tired but stays awake so I have to put her in the crib until she cries for a few minutes and falls to sleep on her own.  I feel bad, but you gotta learn to fall asleep by yourself sometime, right?!
-She sits up and has for awhile now but isn't very trustworthy.  She can push herself to sitting up and if she falls to the side she catches herself, but she also sits back which usually ends in disaster.
-She is so close to crawling!!  She is quite the little scoot bug and gets herself a lot of places which usually is under a chair, table, or her feet wedged under the fridge.
-Still doesn't have any teeth.  I know some other babies who are only 5 months and have 8 teeth but she still has nothing.  Which is fine with me!  They will come eventually!
-Is still the most beautiful child we have ever laid eyes on!  We love her so so much!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stress Free Meals

I'm pretty sure that I have posted about this before, but one thing that I HATE and I mean really HATE is coming up with what to eat for dinner every night.  Cooking it, even doing the dishes from it isn't as bad as coming up with the idea!  I have had several people offer up great ideas for me and I sorta combined all of them into one plan that works for me!  This is not some super magical idea that I came up with, but one that I like and saves me LOTS of time and thought...and negative thoughts about dinner ha ha.  I thought I would share it with all of you! 
(please excuse the weird screen shot I took to give you this photo)
It is probably hard to see from the picture, so go ahead and click on it to make it larger.  I decided it is SO hard to come up with an idea since there are a million billion things I could make for dinner.  So I decided to give each day a "theme" or style of food.  Here is what I chose: Crock Pot, Mexican, Pizza, Italian, Asian, Breakfast, Soup/Sandwich.  With these categories it narrows down the possibilities by a LOT.  And if I made a calendar all I had to do was come up with four different entrees'.  Simple as that!  Dinner around here has been much more planned out, healthier, happier and stress free!  Feel free to copy from me if you like!  Thanks to my cousin Erin and friend Shantel for their ideas, inspiration and recipes that helped me make this!  Happy eating to all!