Monday, March 30, 2009

Crockpot Tuesday

Creamer Cooker Dinner

2 cups shredded cheese
2 cups macaroni, uncooked
3 cups milk
2 cans cream of something soup
2 chicken breasts, cubed

Place all ingredients in slow cooker and stir so it's all mixed up. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours, or until macaroni is cooked, but not overdone.

The recipe actually calls for 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, but i only like mushrooms a little so i subbed one of the cans for cream of chicken. Plus i have tons of cream of chicken so that works for me. I really was not a fan of this recipe, but Jeff liked it. First off the timing totally sucked for me. I love recipes that are 8-10 hrs because I can set it in the morning and come home to it. For this one, i came home after work and set it and THEN went to pick up connor from school. Kinda an ordeal, though I could have certainly adjusted it to cook on low but well, i didn't think of that until now and I like to follow the recipe. Anyway, this was pretty soupy and I thought it would be more of a plate meal than a bowl meal. I kinda thought it was chunky too (and not in a good way), but jeff really liked it so he can have all the leftovers. If I were going to do this again, i'd maybe add more cheese and maybe some potatoes to sop up some of the liquid. it was kinda bland too, but an italian seasoning packet would surely help and go well with everything else.
Hey, they can't all be winners I guess!

Friday, March 27, 2009

20 Questions

i really love these survey things. i have a difficult time resisting them. hope you play along too!

1. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a really young child I wanted to be a dancer. Then I think it was lawyer. Then it was a child psychologist. After getting my psych degree i realized that being around children all day who had serious issues would really mess me up at home. call it selfish, maybe. i call it self-aware :)

2. What have you done in the past week to help someone else?
probably nothing. i'm a self-aware jerk i guess.

3. Who is the best-dressed person you know?
um...this is tough. probably my friend christy. she doesn't read this though so that compliment was wasted. damn.

4. What is on your nightstand?
Lame, alarm clock, old pic of jeffrey and i at disneyland, some random jewelry, connor nail clippers, the tear out ads from a magazine...random junk.

5. If you were a cat, what kind of a cat would you be?
an awesome one.

6. If you lived in a house surrounded by acres of trees, what particular type of tree would you want flourishing on your land?
I'm an AZ native so the only trees i really know about are palm and palo verde. but i think i'd want trees that don't drop stuff all over my flourishing land.

7. What do you find to be very overrated?

8. How many email addresses do you have?
Three. One personal that i use all the time, one work, and another random that i never ever use.

9. Have you ever felt replaced?
Yes, i suppose so.

10. Would you rather watch football or baseball?
Football, hands down. Baseball is horribly boring and the longest season eva!

11. What is the wallpaper on your phone?
on the front of my phone, it's a closeup pic of the fabric from my diaper bag since it's so purty. the inside is a pic of connor in the snow

12. Name a lyric from the song you're listening to.
I got some fancy shoes to try and kick away these blues They cost a lot of money but they aren't worth a thing.

13. Do you use a feed reader?
Oh yes, Google Reader.

14. What chocolate do you always leave in the box?
This is a funny question because everyone does this. i don't like the ones with different colored inside stuff. or stuff with nuts.

15. What would you do if you found out your ex is engaged?
Send a congratulatory card

16. Do words hurt you?
Sure. anyone who says they don't is probably not being entirely truthful.

17. Are you a talker or a listener?
I honestly think i'm both, but i've always been a talker.

18. Have you ever walked on the beach at night?
Strangely, no i don't think i have.

19. How long do you sleep at night?
yikes. not enough is the obv answer. I'm up daily at 5am and typically down at 11pm, so i guess that's 6 hours typically. I need way more than 8 hours too so i'm really not doing well with that.

20. Which TV show have you seen pretty much every episode of?
Several but let's go old school with Saved by The Bell shall we?

Friday's Dose of Brilliance

Today’s site was inspired by an amazing gift we got from Corliss for Christmas. This company Indigo Night creates amazing personalized night sky prints. You specify the date you want, the location and they create a beautiful photo for you, based on the location of the stars, moon, planets on that night in that exact location. Plus, depending on the location you choose you can see the skyline, mountains, trees, lakes, or whatever. Corliss got us one from the night Connor was born (4.18.07) and chose Chandler, AZ since well, since that’s where he was born. I love ours and it’s pretty amazing-we found out that there was actually a comet passing over Chandler the night he was born so that’s in the image as well. Each print is truly one of a kind and they make great birthday gifts, anniversary gifts (showing the sky the night you were married-ahhhh), new baby gifts, and more. You even add your own message to the print so I think this just makes an amazing gift.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Free is for me!

This is a completely copied post from my friend Karen's blog-it's an amazing find and I wanted to help get the word out! I was going to save it for my Friday's Dose of Brilliance post, but it's too exciting to wait. Enjoy!!

Starting on April 1, you can get a ticket to local museums, the Phoenix Zoo, and other must-do attractions (like Desert Botanical Gardens, The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, The Arizona Science Center, The Arizona Museum for Youth) for FREE. FOR SEVEN DAYS. FOR FOUR PEOPLE.

Here’s how it works - you pick up a Culture Pass at a local library anywhere in the Phoenix area. The pass is good for seven days & for four people. Some of the places it gets you in: Arizona Museum of Natural History, Arizona Science Center, Heard Museum, The Bead Museum, The Phoenix Art Museum and more are all covered by the pass. Times are tough & everyone is looking for free/cheap stuff to do. To see a full listing of FREE attractions, as well as more details, take a look at:

Spread the word!

Random thoughts and ideas

Here are a few more random things I’m working on right now. Now that Connor has a playroom I really want to make it awesome for him. He spends lots and lots of time in there. As soon as we get home, he runs to the door of his room and pounds on it until I’ll open it for him. Patience? No, none at all.

Right now the walls are painted a medium brown color and I think I’ll keep them that way-it’s a great neutral and I can add anything to it and it works. He’s obsessed with Mickey Mouse right now, but I just don’t know how long that will last so I’m not in a hurry to order up some pricey mural that he’ll be over in a year or two. I need something with staying power!

I really love the vinyl lettering and decals that I see everywhere. I would put them in every room of my house if I didn’t think it was a bit of overkill. I’ve always wanted something for the playroom that goes around the perimeter of the room…maybe up at the top of the walls kinda like a wallpaper boarder (gag)…or maybe closer to chair-rail level so it’s obvious. Hopefully that makes sense. I’m thinking the words to Take Me Out to The Ballgame would be cute. Connor loooves baseball and all sports so I think that would be appropriate. I wonder how difficult the vinyl letters are to work with…and how permanent they are. Hmmm.

Maybe something in a cute pennant with his name. Not these colors, but I really like the idea (and his name was the sample!). I’m into personalized stuff, big time. Monograms, entire names, all of it. I think I’d go with Navy and Brown maybe.

Something like this wood wall hanging would be cute. I love lots of different kids quotes like this Winnie the Pooh one. Or Dr. Sueus has a bunch that would be great on the wall as well. I see playrooms all the time that are so grown up looking, but I want Connor’s to look fun and bright and have kid type stuff in it. I love quotes and this this would be really appropriate over the door or somewhere too small for anything else to really fit.

This vinyl alphabet wall thing is amazing. It’s a statement piece and I know that Connor could spend hours just staring at it. I’m no way trying to teach my toddler to read, but helping him become familiar with the letters is fine by me. I just read the description and the red square behind isn’t included, so we’d have to do that ourselves. I really like the colors of it and don’t think I’d change anything!

My kid is “all boy” as they say. He’s messy, loves balls, ornery, and pretty wild. I really like all the funny sayings about boys and would def consider putting something like this in his room too.

I'm pretty sure i need this little guy in there too, just cause i'm a nerd and self admittedly obsessed with owls.
So many cute ideas so I’m having a tough time deciding what to do. Luckily, there are so many toys in that room that there’s no huge need to immediately cover the walls for the sake of filling the space…so I guess I’ve got some time to think on it and shop around. Any ideas are welcome!

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

the pure delight from pouring an entire bottle of water down your shirt and pants

two bats are better than one
sweat equals good times
lining up his putt-very serious business

Monday, March 23, 2009

Crockpot Tuesday

Well, i'm starting to lose a bit of steam with coming up with new recipes every week, so I decided to try something new and make a soup. So many of the yummy soup recipes I've come across have a million ingredients so I decided to find one using just my items in the pantry this week. It's more ingredients than I typically prefer, but I had everything on hand and so it was simple.

Taco Soup
1 lb ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
1 can whole corn, with liquid
1 can kidney beans, with liquid
1 can chili beans, with liquid
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
2 c. water
1 can peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (4oz) can diced green chili peppers
1 tbsp minced garlic

I know I've mentioned before that for me, crockpot(ting?) should be a one step process, so I just dump the ground beef into the crock to brown. I just can't understand browning it before when the slow cooker does it perfectly! So for this recipe, I combined everything the night before and then just took it straight from the fridge and plugged it in. Cook on Low for 8 hours and it's done.

Now, if you like it more soupy you could add more water or other liquid. This was just perfect for us tasted like a really yummy chili but with more liquid. It wasn't watered down at all and I don't think i'd change anything next time I do it. With regards to the actual recipe above, I use more green chilis...mostly because the green chili cans i have are 8oz and we really like green chilis so we use the whole thing. Also, I put some minced garlic in, maybe a tablespoon, because I think most things are better with garlic. A recipe like this is simple to add/omit whatever you have on hand and make it your own. Enjoy :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Dose of Brilliance

I've already talked about how much i love i can has cheezburger, but Cute things falling asleep really did it for me this morning when I saw it. it gets an A for Adorable with funny videos of kids, kitties, puppies, goats, etc. all dozing off while being caught on film. Enjoy and Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


So sorry about any weirdness that you may have seen on my blog yesterday…long story but the short version is that I forgot that great responsibility comes with having a public blog :) so I had to go through all my posts (shockingly there are 176!) and be sure it was all appropriate…or at least appropriate enough. Anyway, it should be all handled now, so i'm back up and running for public viewing!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

random thoughts...

i always have a few things that I really WANT to getting these projects, crafts, tasks done is a totally differnet thing...

so i figured i may hold myself a bit more accountable if i write them here and can check them off.

1. I saw this adorable wreath on We Are That Family and it seems like a fairly simple project that will pretty up my front door a bit. A cheap wreath, some almonds and a ribbon? done. Maybe I'll somehow incorporate our last name into it too--though i'm not sure how. We'll see. Just something I'm thinking about. and i have a Michael's gift card around somewhere so win-win.

2. I need to come up with a favor for Connor's 2nd birthday party coming up next month. Last year I did cute baseball cookies. I really wanted to put connor's monogram on them, but Katy convinced me that would be like martha on crack so i resisted. This year's theme is Mickey so maybe something along those lines. there will be 20-25 kiddos there so nothing too pricey. any ideas?

3. i have several pairs of shoes that are reaching that point. the point where they are just a bit past their prime and begging to be retired. I think some shoe shopping is about to become necessary. I for sure need some cute low heels for my pants that are already tailored for 2 inch heels. Before Connor, I wore 3-4” heels all the time. When I was pregnant I tried keeping it up for a while, but I was so pukey and sick that I quit and wore ballet flats for the rest of my pregnancy mostly. Then once he arrived, I had a tough time going back. It’s like my body rejected heels from that point on. So I mostly wear flats or something with a heel of 2” or less. I’d love to get back to heels…I think it will just require some training! :)

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Connor was on spring break last week. spring break-woohoo. So instead of sending him to "camp" and paying extra the fam took turns staying home with him. Since my dad is retired, he got to hang out with connor for two days. Wednesday, he and Corliss watched Connor and as always ran him all day long. :) They go for walks, go to the park and all three of them love it. Here are a few pics of their day together.

connor and grandpa...strangely connor had this same shirt on last time he went to grandpas for the day so all of our photos look similar...

blowing dandelions together...i was told that after this photo connor brought the dandelion too close and ended up spitting out petals for quite some time.
we call this his chucky face. it's creepy & cute at the same time.

Connor and Corliss on the slide

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Crock Pot Tuesday

Now that I'm into the crock pot thing, I try and make everything in the crock pot...even something simple like spaghetti. Although spaghetti doesn't take too does take up 3 burners and therefore requires some time management so that the pasta isn't all gluey while the meat is still I went in search of a spaghetti recipe for the crock pot.

Crock Pot Spaghetti

1 pound ground beef
1 package spaghetti
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
spices of choice

spray bottom of crock pot and dump meat and sauce in crock pot. break pasta in half and place in pot. Mix up well. Add any spices you like. I use black pepper, minced garlic to taste, and oregano. You can hardly go wrong with adding Italian spices to spaghetti. Cook for 4-5 hours and enjoy. You can add some fresh Parmesan cheese for the last 10 minutes or so.

Happy Leprechaun Day

whether you are irish or not, have a great st. patrick's day.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body

I had book club this weekend and we selected the next 5 books that we'll be reading. I've never heard of a single one of these, but they are all pretty different so i'm anxious to get started on them.

Balzac & the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie-The Cultural Revolution of Chairman Mao Zedong altered Chinese history in the 1960s and '70s, forcibly sending hundreds of thousands of Chinese intellectuals to peasant villages for "re-education." This moving, often wrenching short novel by a writer who was himself re-educated in the '70s tells how two young men weather years of banishment, emphasizing the power of literature to free the mind. Sijie's unnamed 17-year-old protagonist and his best friend, Luo, are bourgeois doctors' sons, and so condemned to serve four years in a remote mountain village, carrying pails of excrement daily up a hill. Only their ingenuity helps them to survive. The two friends are good at storytelling, and the village headman commands them to put on "oral cinema shows" for the villagers, reciting the plots and dialogue of movies. When another city boy leaves the mountains, the friends steal a suitcase full of forbidden books he has been hiding, knowing he will be afraid to call the authorities. Enchanted by the prose of a host of European writers, they dare to tell the story of The Count of Monte Cristo to the village tailor and to read Balzac to his shy and beautiful young daughter. Luo, who adores the Little Seamstress, dreams of transforming her from a simple country girl into a sophisticated lover with his foreign tales. He succeeds beyond his expectations, but the result is not what he might have hoped for, and leads to an unexpected, droll and poignant conclusion.

The Shack by William Young-Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant "The Shack" wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!

A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive by David Pelzer-David J. Pelzer's mother, Catherine Roerva, was, he writes in this ghastly, fascinating memoir, a devoted den mother to the Cub Scouts in her care, and somewhat nurturant to her children--but not to David, whom she referred to as "an It." This book is a brief, horrifying account of the bizarre tortures she inflicted on him, told from the point of view of the author as a young boy being starved, stabbed, smashed face-first into mirrors, forced to eat the contents of his sibling's diapers and a spoonful of ammonia, and burned over a gas stove by a maniacal, alcoholic mom. Sometimes she claimed he had violated some rule--no walking on the grass at school!--but mostly it was pure sadism. Inexplicably, his father didn't protect him; only an alert schoolteacher saved David. One wants to learn more about his ordeal and its aftermath, and now he's written a sequel, The Lost Boy, detailing his life in the foster-care system.

Sway by Ari and Rom Brafman-What makes people act irrationally? In a timely but thin collection of anecdotes and empirical research, the Brafman brothers—Ari, a business expert, and Rom, a psychologist—look at sway, the submerged mental drives that undermine rational action, from the desire to avoid loss to a failure to consider all the evidence or to perceive a person or situation beyond the initial impression and the reluctance to alter a plan that isn't working. To drive home their points, the authors use contemporary examples, such as the pivotal decisions of presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush, coach Steve Spurrier and his Gators football team, and a sudden apparent epidemic of bipolar disorder in children (which may be due more to flawed thinking by doctors making the diagnoses). The stories are revealing, but focused on a few common causes of irrational behavior, the book doesn't delve deeply into the psychological demons that can devastate a person's life and those around him.

The Wapshot Chronicles by John Cheever-The Wapshot Chronicle is the telling of the history and circumstances of the eclectic Wapshot family. The small, perhaps antiquated, New England river town of St. Botolphs is the home of the Waphot family: Honora, born on Oahu of missionary parents but raised by her paternal Uncle Lorenzo; Leander, an aging and gentle ferryboat operator and would-be suicide; his wife Sarah (Coverly) Wapshot, mother of Moses, the errant and mischievous elder brother to Coverly, the adoring and somewhat lambent brother. "The Wapshot Chronicle is an exploration of the clash between pious and bourgeois respectability, the slippery mores of a new and vigorously changing America and the inner drives of hearty, small-town New England stock.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Friday's Dose of Brilliance

I really just love Rob Pattinson. Jeffrey doesn't get it, but that's ok I understand. Sometimes his photos are not great, but this one-the GQ cover is pretty amazing.'s site is a link to the GQ article and other photos. Enjoy:)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

I shockingly don't have a ton of pics this week, but not for lack of doing stuff. I took Monday off to hang out with Connor and we hit up the mall and the park. i think it's tougher to take pics when it's just me with him...usually i take the pics while jeffrey stops him from jumping off the monkey bars head first. i opted to skip the photos and play monkey bars police this time.

look mom, i can unlock my seat belt. awesome.

pick you up? absolutely not.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Crockpot Tuesday

We had some salsa that we needed to use this week so I decided to revisit the Salsa Chicken I made a few months ago. This time I took a look in the pantry to see what else I could get rid of. That’s what crockpotting (you are welcome for the new word websters) is about for me…using what you have and making it simple. This recipe below that I came up with has more ingredients than I usually like, but they were all right from my pantry so it was simple enough.

Salsa Chicken

3 chicken breasts
2 cups of your fav salsa
1 can of corn
1 can of beans
1 can of green chilis
Salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheese

Season chicken with s&p. Dump all ingredients in and heat on HI for 2-3 hours or low for 6 hours. Sprinkle shredded cheese at end of cooking.

This was so very yummy. I put the all ingredients but the chicken in the crockpot the night before so I could just drop the chicken in the morning and be done with it. I only use about ½ of the liquids from the canned ingredients so it’s not too soupy, but still enough liquid for the chicken to be tender. You could put some sour cream in at the end too if you wanted. We shred up the chicken, which is easy since it’s so tender, and make soft tacos. Yum. We’ll def do this one again! I’m thinking about using a taco seasoning packet or even a chili packet next time to spice it up…seems like it doesn’t matter what salsa I use the spice is always mild.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Anniversary Wrap Up

I love presents. I'm not going to be that person who says, oh i just like to give gifts, it's no fun to receive. I call BS. No one thinks that. Sure, I loooove to give presents just as much as the next guy, possibly more, but I also don't mind getting loot!

This year, Jeffrey did great with the 5 year wedding anniversary gifting. We went to dinner at Donovan's and that was scrumptious. Then we exchanged gifts and I'm so glad Jeffrey was thrilled with his golf gift. He really wants to play more and with it being such an expensive hobby this ended up being a great idea. whew! So, i thought i'd share what mr. barnes gifted me with for the 5 year mark...

Sex and the City, the movie

Twilight, the movie (on preorder--out on March 21st)

New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn to complete the series...i never want to own books, but i made an exception here!
this was absolutely my favorite thing...a letter C initial (for Connor) necklace. I'm loving it!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday's Dose of Brilliance

Because today is our 5 year wedding anniversary, I figured today’s post should be something about anniversaries. I always try to make my gift for Jeffrey have to do with the traditional/modern anniversary gifts. This year it’s wood or silverware-super. I really stretched it this year, but stay with me here… A wood is a type of golf club. Jeffrey loves to golf but doesn’t want to spend the money on pricey tee times…wood-golf…well, I know that eric (of erin and eric) uses to book last minute tee times for lots cheaper. So I am giving him $$$ to book tee times. I think he’ll love it.

So, today’s site is happy anniversary where you can find out the modern and traditional gifts for any anniversary. They give great suggestions too, and who doesn’t love help picking out the perfect gift?

Five Years Today!

Holy moly…I cannot believe that jeffrey and I have been married for 5 years. Part of me feels like the time has just flown by and the other part feels like we’ve been together for so much longer! Well, I guess in actuality we have. This summer we will have been together for 10 years-nutty.

Here’s the short version: Jeffrey and I went to the same highschool, but didn’t really know each other until my senior year in HS and his first year at ASU. We worked together and struck up a flirty friendship until we eventually got together in the summer after I graduated. We went to ASU together and he practically lived in the sorority house, moved into our first (and only) apartment together in 2001 and then bought our house in 2003. We got married in 2004 and had Connor in 2007. Good times. There is nothing simple about being married, but nothing as comforting either.

I should be cool and put some wedding photos on here, but I don’t have any on my usb drive, so sorry. All I have is one of me alone and that doesn’t seem to do it. I’m discovering that before connor arrived, I took barely any photos, so here are just a few of our little family over the past couple of years…

jeffrey holding connor right after he was born. i'm assuming i was still in surgery

jeffrey and i (very pregnant) with the cradle my uncle made
So our big plan is that tonight we’re going to go to dinner at donovan’s and my inlaws are keeping connor overnight so we don’t have to wake him up super late. Don’t be too jealous, we’ve still goy to get up early and go to swim lessons! But, I am excited because Katy and Erin will be there to watch Connor swim. I love my friends and that they love my kid so much.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Because complaining can be therapeutic

I’m sick. Yesterday around 11 I’m at work and my throat starts hurting. By noon, I’m all snotty and full on sick. Such a nightmare. I’m actually a really good sick person. I don’t whine about it, call in to work or ring a bell for my husband to come running with tea, cookies and massages. Well, one of those things I may do. All I ask in return for being such a good sick person is for my doctor to throw some antibiotics at me. Is that too much to ask? Clearly, yes. I got into the dr yesterday evening, fully expecting him to take one look at my puffy face and snotty disposition and write out an Rx for a z-pack or something similar. I know my body and I know what a sinus infection looks/feels like, and I’ve got one. So mr. doctor man looks at me, asks about allergies, etc. I tell him nope, it’s a sinus infection, here are my symptoms… what do I leave with? Nothing-he’s sure it’s a cold and will clear up in a few days. Such bs.

Is there a black market out there for z-pack? Cause I’m buying if there is. Just putting it out there. Connor is on something right now for his ear infection and I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t think about it…

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday (slide edition)

we spent lots of time at the park over the past week or so. PARK has become one of the many words that we now have to spell out to avoid that a word? well, it is in my house.
connor wasn't sure about the movable bridge, so jeffrey had to go up and get him across
this is what happens when you don't spell out the word PARK and you don't suddenly appear in the park in two seconds.

steph and i trying to get a good pic of connor, aidan and gabi on the slide-it never really happened