Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday's Dose of Brilliance

Quincy Daily Photo-Today's site features a different photo every day from a smallish town in Mass. I really like these and I'm pretty sure it's speaking to my desire to live in small town america. The artist doesn't seem overly concerned with getting some artsy shot with plenty of shadows at some awkward angle…just great pics. I especially like the "this old house Thursday" posts he does of great, beautiful houses in quincy, mass where all the photos were taken I think.

This blog is part of a large blog project called city daily photo where there are tons of daily photos of different cities around the world. Here is Chandler's daily photo site. While I completely enjoy the photos…it's not quite the same as the east coast ones. :)

Try finding your city of choice here:

Oh and can anyone tell me what I need to do so that all my pics I post enlarge when you click on them? Some do and some don’t…

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

does anyone else besides me realize what this is that my son found? ugh.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crockpot Tuesday

More chicken today. i bought a bunch of stove top stuffing when it was on sale several weeks ago. I am not really sure why i bought several boxes of stuffing, but i did. and i'm glad.

Chicken with stuffing

3 chicken breasts, halved
16oz package of frozen corn
2 cups water
1-6oz box stuffing-chicken flavored pref.
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Spray slow cooker with non-stick. Place chicken in bottom of crock. Dump all ingredients over chicken, cover and cook for 2-2 1/2 hours.

ok, instead of water i used a can of chicken broth...figured it will add more flavor. and, instead of frozen corn i just used a can of corn-i had no frozen corn on hand. i also added 1/2 tsp of minced garlic because garlic makes everything better...and because i just got minced garlic and it's about 200x better than dealing with garlic cloves. Ok, this recipe was so, so yummy. Jeffrey said it was his favorite so far of all my recent crocking :) Hope you try it and love it as much as we did!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Things I'm loving right now

My friends Tiffany and Katy have done a post called What I’m liking right now and I like it. Now, I’m def not doing a weekly post, but I have a few things today…

My new cheapy necklace I got at target. I’m really trying to wear fun jewelry rather than my diamond studs, wedding ring and a silver chain with one of many pendants on it. This isn’t actually it but it’s pretty similar and I’m really loving it right now. Plus, it was $8.

This creamer-chocolate raspberry goodness. I drink a lot of coffee during the day in hopes that the constant restroom breaks will make my day go faster. This creamer helped today.

How cute is this little musical owl? you hang it in a crib or a carseat or wherever. I love owls and i'm pretty sure i need one of these.

A birthday crown for connor for his bday. Since the big 2 is coming up in April, the planning is underway...and I think a really cute felt/wool/whatever crown would be super cute. So, at this point i need either a. a friend who can sew or b. the desire to buy one online. any takers?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weekend Rundown

We’ve really been trying to cut back on the amount of activities we have jam-packed into our week. This weekend we didn’t really manage to do that unfortunately, but it’s not as bad as it’s been in the past so I still kinda feel like we’re making progress.

Tonight, we’re getting together with the fam to celebrate my FIL’s birthday. I think we all kicked in and got him a chair of some sort, though I’m not positive. Um, Saturday we have swim lessons at 9 like every week. After swim I’m hoping we’ll just go home and relax as I have bunco later that evening at Jobi’s house. Twilight themed bunco…I heart it. I’m guessing that many of us will end up going out after bunco and I’m hoping to not make it too late, as I have book club the next morning at 11. We’re going to JP Pancake House in Scottsdale. The reviews are pretty great and I’m really looking forward to it. I love brunch.

So that’s about it. we still have stuff to put away from being gone all last weekend so that will need to be tackled this weekend. Happy Friday everyone!

Friday's Dose of Brilliance

Who doesn’t like free stuff? or winning free stuff? I love both. Earlier this year I became a wee bit obsessed with entering contests to win swag. I won a few things from various sites like a great lap table thingy for reading or laptop, cute chenille hangers, some Mamma Mia cocoa butter cream that I’ve never used because the instructions were strangely intimidating and some Organic dish soap…all good stuff. Most of the amazing stuff they showcase won’t be landing in my home anytime soon-$40 onesies for my kid to pee/puke/poop on, no thank you-but I do love the ideas and giveaways they do daily. Today’s site, giveaway today, has at least one free giveaway every day. Today’s giveaway hasn’t been announced yet, so I am constantly checking… Just recently they've featured makeup bags, pretty blankets, jewelry, stationary…all kinds of awesomeness.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crockpot Tuesday

I really need to continue keeping an eye out for sales on soups because they make the best crock pot meals! Last time soups were on sale, I bought a ton of cream of chicken, cream of cheddar, cream of mushroom, cream of celery…you get the idea. So last night we made something that wasn’t really from a book or recipe. I don’t really know what to call it so we’ll go with easy, creamy chicken because that’s pretty much what it was.

Easy, Creamy Chicken

3 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of cheddar soup
1 can chicken and rice soup
8 oz sour cream

I season the chicken with some garlic powder, salt and pepper before dropping it into the crock pot. Pour all soups into crock as well. (I’ve seen recipes where you mix up the liquid ingredients before adding to the crock so they are well combined, but I do the slow cooker for the convenience so I def don’t do that part.) Cook 6-8 hours. Add sour cream during the last ½ hour of cooking and you are all set.

This was really great. I was nearly out of soup, so I just used what I had (listed above in recipe). I think that as long as you have plenty of liquid, you can use any creamy soups you have on hand. I’m all about using what I’ve got in the cupboard. The chicken was so flippin tender and I think it was because I didn’t halve it. I think that since I tend to cook things longer, I need to stick with keeping the chicken breast whole so it doesn’t dry out after 8 hours of cooking. You could certainly toss in some frozen veggies during the last hour or so if you wanted to just do your side at the same time. I’m a fan of that, but it’s not as simple when the crock is already done by the time you get home from work.


Nearly Wordless Wednesday

#1, yes there is actually an adult cabaret in Payson…and #2, yes they advertise with a cow figure. I think I may be offended if I were one of the employees, but perhaps that’s just me…

The snow was starting to melt over the weekend and so the snow is spotty, but it was so beautiful. The views from the cabin are just amazing, so here are just a few.

connor's little footsteps

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Payson, AZ

getting family photos is tough and this one is setting the timer on a camera is a nightmare :)
Happy Tuesday everyone. This weekend was great. We got out of the valley for a little bit and I think the trip really confirmed (for me at least) how strong this weird desire is to move somewhere a bit smaller, a bit slower. I doubt we’ll ever do it. The pull of having family so close by is far too strong to ignore and I really love having so many options…options for work, options for dining out, options for schools, a major league baseball team, etc. That isn’t really something available in such a small town. I really like the idea in theory though.

So, we drove up Friday evening. I think we left the house around 5:30. Connor was coughing a bit and had quite the gross runny nose action. I swear colds never, ever go away! When we got into Payson, we still had about 20 minutes until we got to the house. Connor was screaming, literally screaming, “poo poo” from the back and so we pulled over and got out to quickly change him-he’s a liar by the way. It was freezing, absolutely freezing. The ground was all icy and there were piles of snow all over the ground. He was exhausted and so changing him in the freezing cold didn’t help. He was coughing and so pissed that he puked the minute we got back on the road. Lovely. Took his temp and it came in just under 101. Even better. Let me just try and tell you how fun it is to be driving down an icy road (that you aren’t familiar with) while your kid pukes all over himself and the back seat. There are just no words to explain how super duper it is so I won’t try.

The cabin is amazing and we had tons, plenty of room. There is a great front porch and an even larger back porch so that was great for photo taking. Yes, I took a million pics. Duh.

Saturday we went and got breakfast and did some grocery/supply shopping. My truck got stuck in like 5” of snow or something equally lame. We had to dig out, but we were really determined to make it to McD by 10:30 for breakfast. We made it. barely. So all of the tire trauma caused my hazard light to go on. I stopped in to visit with jiffy lube guys who were nice enough to put plenty of air in my tires for free! I swear that just doesn’t happen in Phoenix…first they would have made me wait for 30 minutes just to charge me $25 to check and refill.

We headed back to the cabin and played around in the snow a bit. The nice thing about having a child still in diapers is that you don’t have to worry about getting them all bundled up just to hear that they have to go to the bathroom. Not an issue, feel free kid. Connor wasn’t eager to get in the snow. After several days there, he still didn’t walk in it…don’t think he thought he could. He loved touching it and kicking it (such a boy!) and really loved watching Jeffrey and I throw it around. We’d toss a snowball and he’d say (and sign) More! More! I think next time we head north, he’ll play a more active role in the snow.

For most of the weekend, we did the same. Lounging around the cabin watching movies, and playing outside. Here are lots of pics from this weekend. There are tons more and I’ll post throughout the next week.
earning his vacation
((Well, we got home yesterday afternoon so crockpot cooking wasn’t really a realistic idea (pizza rolls and veggies were-yikes)…if we do anything in the crock later this week I’ll post…otherwise there will be one next week for sure! ))

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Connor's Valentine for his classmates :)

Hope everyone had a great Valentine's day...or just a great weekend if you're not into that sort of thing. We were away in Payson over the weekend (lots of photos coming...) so our greeting is a bit late...

Friday, February 13, 2009

“When it snows you have two choices: shovel it or make snow angels”

Very excited, we are heading up to Payson tonight. My friend Dawn’s mom has a cabin in Star Valley (just outside of Payson) and was nice enough to let us stay there this weekend. I’m really looking forward to it. Connor has never seen snow and I think he’ll enjoy himself. We’ve packed up all the long sleeved, hooded, wool items we own and I think we’re all set. So, we’re driving up tonight and coming home Monday…or Sunday if Connor tolerance is questionable. He should be fine though, and as of this morning there was snow on the ground. Hopefully there won’t be too much snow though, my truck isn’t 4x4 and I certainly don’t want to deal with chains this weekend. If you hear about a family of 3 stranded on the beeline, that’s us…send help! :)

We don’t have any plans for our few days up there, which is strange for us. I usually like to have events and activities planned, but I’m really trying to resist the natural urge to overbook! Unfortunately, I did find this list, so the urge is getting stronger. I think we’re going to sled in the back yard, play in the snow and just relax. Maybe dinner on Saturday, but just to see the town-not for the Valentine’s Day reason.

We aren’t huge into Valentine’s Day so this was a great weekend to go. I’m not one of those anti-Valentine’s peeps by any way, but I’m just not a fan of all the build up to this one day. I really like Valentine’s as far as kid’s are concerned. I know that the teachers have quite the day planned at Connor’s school. When I picked him up yesterday, all their little Valentine mailboxes were set up for today’s cards. Super cute.
Hope you all have a great Valentine's/Presidents weekend and I'll have pics and stories next week!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crock Pot Tuesday

Chicken is one of my fav things to do in the crock pot. You can add just about anything to chicken and you’re good to go. It’s so simple and versatile. This week, we made Teriyaki Chicken…mostly because we had the three ingredients on hand. We just served it with some veggies, but you could also do a salad or serve it over rice!

Teriyaki Chicken

3 chicken breast halves
2-16oz cans chunk pineapple
1 c. teriyaki sauce

Add the chicken and teriyaki sauce to the crock pot. Pour the juice from only one of the cans of pineapple to the crock pot. Pour in all chunks of pineapple. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or HI for 3-4 hours.

This was good, but the chicken got a bit dryer than I’d like. I think that when I do this again, I will only pour the juice from the pineapple cans initially and add the chunks at the very end of cooking so they aren’t soggy. Does anyone have any suggestions to ensure that the chicken doesn’t dry out? I always have plenty of liquid and I don’t think I overcook.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

connor lovin on zoey...zoey struggling to flee
just hanging out in his chair with no pants pants. sitting on an upside down chair. he turns it upside down, sits on it and gets stuck, screams until we get him out and then does it again.

Playing some catch up today...

So I kinda slacked this week with blog postings…pure laziness I think. So, I’m getting caught up now…Crockpot Tuesday and Nearly Wordless Wednesday are on the way…promise!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7 of your life

Happy Monday everyone…blah. So I have good news and bad news today. Actually it’s not quite news, as it’s more like good stuff and bad stuff going on as I type this. Nothing really earth shattering, trust me.

I always start with bad to end on an up note. There is a guy I know, we’ll call him X. he clips his nails at work. So everyone can hear him. It’s so incredibly disgusting that I can’t even handle it. I hate that noise so much that I even make Jeffrey wait until I’m far enough away that I can’t hear it. Maybe that’s what X's wife makes him do too, so he’s only left to do it at work. What am I saying? No excuse. AND…I hear at least 20 clips. So now I’ve started to wonder if he’s not just doing his finger nails. Ew. It’s too gross I cannot even think about it. I hope you pity me.

Now, on to the less disgusting news. My company won an award last week or so. I've talked about this award before. Because of the award, we get Jeans Week for one week per month. I don’t know what it is, but it just makes me ridiculous happy to get to wear jeans to the office. :) I know that so many of my friends get to wear jeans daily so maybe you won’t really understand this…but it seriously makes my week. We get several ops to wear jeans-every Friday is casual Friday, then once per month we have Dollars for Denim where you can bring in $1 to that month’s charity to “purchase” a day of jeans wearing. Love that too. Anyway, so today is the start of February’s Jeans week and I’m just loving it. Honestly, I looked forward to it all weekend. Too bad I have a meeting tonight I have to get dressed up for so I’ll have to change out of the jeans.

So i just re-read this and it's terribly boring unless you are, well me. Have a great Monday.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday's Dose of Brilliance

Children's Museum of Phoenix-Today’s site is for the AZ people. It’s the new-ish Children’s Museum of Phoenix. They participate in Phoenix’s First Friday event and offer free admission the first Friday of each month. Today is free admission so gather your fam and go to the museum. They have great hands-on, interactive exhibits for kids of all ages (birth on up). We went last year and had a great time. Here are the pictures from our day there wtih Jobina, Julio and Madison...and although it looks that way from the photos, Connor did not spend the entire time in his stroller. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Connor's new hair-do. i'm really liking the spiky look :)

Connor and I spent lots of time outside this week. i tried for 30 minutes to get him to throw his ball to me but he refused and continued to throw it at the trees in the backyard. crazy kid.

connor was convinced that the grapefruit we stole from the neighbor's tree was a ball--right up until we ate it!

yummy cracker

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Shennanigans

There's no Crock Pot Tuesday this week. Since we hosted Super Bowl at our place this past weekend, there is a ridiculous amount of food here and we won't be cooking for days-seriously.

So, instead of a crock pot recipe, I decided to post some pics from the SB party. There were about 30 people there and although the Cards weren't able to come away with the win, it was a good time. We did some betting, screamed a bunch, drank a bit and ate a lot. Abby watched the kids and besides a few minor tantrums, all were pretty well behaved! Connor and Cadence bagan their love affair that Jill and I have been trying to force foster for nearly a year so that's good news. Here are some pics (and a quick video), mostly of the kiddos of course.

i'm pretty sure this is baby sign for "let me the $%#@ out of here" :)

dawn, who almost always avoids getting her photo taken:)

horrible photo, but i took so few that had adults in them

carly & bobby

lauren & jack

kinda creepy...i'm thinking of submitting this to cakewrecks!

Thanks to all who came. We had a good time and hope you did too. :) The rest of the photos are HERE.