Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quick Fix Recipe

I'm a bit rushed today unfortunately and don't have time for a detailed blog. But I figured I would share this little recipe with you guys. It's great for a quick fix, and it's really easy to transform to your own tastes. You can pretty much add whatever you like. Sooo good, and so easy on those busy and hectic days...

                                                                        Pizza Casserole


Prep Time: 30 Min
Cook Time: 30 Min
Ready In: 1 Hr
Servings 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (you can use sprinkled garlic seasoning as well. It's less mess and quicker)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup sliced pepperoni sausage
16 ounces pizza sauce
4 tablespoons milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cook noodles according to package directions.
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef with the onion, garlic and green bell pepper. Do the same for sausage or whatever meat of your choice. It helps give it more flavor
 Drain excess fat.
Stir in the noodles, pepperoni, pizza sauce and milk, and mix well.
 Pour this mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes, top with the cheese, then bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.

It is sooo yummy, and quick and easy.

You can add whatever you like, or take out whatever you like. Add mushrooms, black olives, you can replace ground beef with sausage, it's really endless. As we all know about pizza it can be doctored up any which way and still taste fabulous. And don't forget to sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top of your helping for an added taste. Very good. And brownies are a very nice dessert follower to this meal.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Terrible Toddler



Usually referred to as the terrible two's or the terrible three's, we may as well face it, from the age of 2-5 is pretty terrible. 2's weren't so bad for my son, a cakewalk compared to his 3's. And now that he's entering his 4's it seems to only get more intense. Tantrums intensify and now more so in public. It's pretty embarrassing but a part of the toddler process nonetheless. I am learning that a proper schedule, and privileges are the key to success, at least where my son is involved. Kids and especially toddlers need a set schedule, and often times we make the mistake of giving them what they want or giving in to what they want to avoid the terrible part of the toddler process. And that is our mistake. My son has TV time, craft time, play time, and reading time in addition to the other things scheduled throughout the day. If he acts up one of these privileges are taken away. He has lost all these in one day multiple times and has spent the day having mealtimes and sitting on the couch and that's it. We also incorporate time out. These actually work for my son, and the more we incorporate theses disciplines the less he seems to act out.
Now that does mean that the previously mentioned options will always succeed. As growing children they will always test our patience, repeatedly. It's in their nature. Think back to when we were young. They will do it as toddlers, children, teens, etc. And all we can do is be prepared.
It is hurtful to feel like the "mean mommy" who takes away all the fun stuff, especially when your child is crying to you begging you "please mommy I'll be good". My heart aches and I want to give all the privileges back, but I have learned to stand firm and maintain a positive attitude and not only will the tantrums lessen, but my son seems to have more respect for me.
It's easy to get frustrated, as adults we often forget how WE were as children. And when our children are being difficult no matter what age they are, stop a minute, go inside your head and reflect back on to when you were there age. Every child is different as is their methods of choice. But by keeping a positive attitude and standing firm we will gain respect and over time they will learn that tantrums do no good at all.
There are other ways of disciplining a child besides spankings and such. And for my son the privilege system is really showing great results. And I'm preparing myself for the future tantrums to come.


As an added note I would also like to add that often times also talking to a child gently and soothingly no matter their screaming or yelling will often times prove successful. Ask the child what they are feeling at that moment and why, and then talk through it. It can take some time because they are toddlers, but as they are also asserting their personality's it not only helps them learn, but it helps them realize how to work through feelings and emotions.
 And if your in a public place or have company and your child chooses this moment to act out, ignore their stares of disdain that many people place. It's a part of the childhood process to try and act out, and by standing firm we will always get the respect and the good behavior...eventually. It just takes time. Love and affection can go a long way in a child's life. And whipping and yelling will only make tempers worse in children. Hopefully this has been helpful.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Romantically Inspiring

Too Rich For A Bride
By: Mona Hodgson
 
 
A bit of background on the novel:Ida Sinclair follows her ambitions to a mining town in Cripple Creek, Colorado. She joins her two sisters Kat and Nell as she pursues her goals to become a successful business woman. In a predominately man's world Ida finds out that becoming a business woman is not approved by everyone. Getting a job with a well-known however not approved of local business woman Mollie O'Bryan Ida soon finds she has a head for stocks and books. However this does not stop two men's interest in her.
While her sisters try to focus on persuading Ida to settle down, and try to fan the flames of curiosity that Ida has for both men, Ida insists that she isn't interested in a romantic relationship. All she is interested in is her path towards success, which is where she quickly finds herself. However she can't ignore the attraction she feels towards both men. There is a preaching ice man Tucker Raines who is a traveling preacher and who finds himself in Cripple Creek to try and save his families ice business, and then there is Colin Wagner a successful businessman and attorney whom Ida often works with in her line of business.
As Ida tries to keep everything composed and choose the right decisions for her life she finds that without God's help things could quickly crumble, and materials can't build them back together.
 
 
My Thoughts:I sort of connected with Ida Sinclair's ambitious ways, and I even admired the fact that no matter what or whom stood in her way she still obtained what then was the unattainable for women.
This is Book 2 of the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek, but if you haven't yet read the first book you needn't worry. This is a sort of stand alone book, however after reading it you will want more. And you will more than likely find yourself going back to read Book 1. This book tells the tale of many characters, but for me the most intriguing was Tucker Raines. His family and life struggles were gripping and his character is mysterious yet noble. I really enjoyed this book, and while I haven't yet read Book 1 I will be now. Book 2 definitely left me wanting more. It isn't dull at all, and it has a great sense of history to it. Women actually did have to deal with many downfalls to achieve their desires while living in a then man's world. And it also goes to show that with God's help anything is possible, and while we have our plans in life they may not always be what God has in store for us. But if we just trust in Him things will turn out much better than we had even hoped.


Disclaimer:
Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

You can get your copy of this delightful novel HERE as well as find some other great reads!

Cliff's Edge by: Lori Beam book review

Cliff’s Edge
By: Lori Beam

A bit of background on this novel…Set in the late 1600’s this story follows a young girl named Megan. Separated from her parents she is taken to live on a Cliff with an old woman who raises her, and a ghost, referred to as Lady Of The Cliff, as a companion. The Lady of the Cliff often gives her advice and protects and helps her throughout the story.
She has an ethereal beauty and turns men’s heads wherever she goes. You will follow her in this story as she falls in love with three men. It truly is a story of rape, betrayal, revenge, deceit, erotica, etc. Megan is a very strong willed person and does what she wants to do no matter the consequences. She even becomes captain of her own ship and runs a crew of men who would do anything for her. Through all the hardships Megan goes through it only helps to build her inner strengths.
Falling in love with three men it is often hard for her to choose which one she is truly and madly in love with, and as time goes on she has to find out what is true love and what is infatuation.
 
My thoughts on this novel…I sort of enjoyed this book. I wouldn’t say it was terrible because I enjoyed the plot of the novel, but it was very hard to follow. There were a lot of inconsistencies as well as things that were just to unbelievable. Such as in certain conversations between the characters they try to act like they don’t understand things that are so obvious you will think to yourself that “You have got to be kidding that he/she can be so blind. It‘s obvious what‘s going on here”. That’s the best way I can put it without giving anything away about the story. I will forewarn that there is a lot of erotica in this novel and it gets pretty intense and detailed many times. Another problem I had whilst reading this novel is it was hard to follow. It’s definitely a bumpy read, and it felt like I was on a roller coaster. It just jumps ahead without warning, and I often found myself going back and having to re-read what I just read to make sure I didn’t skip over anything. I did not connect with Megan at all. She seemed sort of schizophrenic, and she was a very brazen girl. She had sexual interludes with the characters it seemed one right after the other without showing any emotion or care. There are however some very interesting twists and turns in this novel however that will keep you reading despite the flaws. And if you can ignore the inconsistencies and implausible parts of the story it can be very enjoyable. However, I just would like to forewarn again that it does have a lot of sexual content in it so definitely don’t leave it around any teenagers reach, it is definitely for adults only.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

You can pick your copy up by visiting: http://dorrance.stores.yahoo.net/cliffsedge.html
As well as find other great books!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Importance of Shopping Lists & Meal Planning

For as long as I can remember my mother always got out her pen and paper, sat at the kitchen table, and spent about an hour planning her bi-weekly “grocery list”. Now most people call it a grocery list, but I have personally dubbed it a “shopping list”. Especially since I am often buying more than just groceries for our household. It really doesn’t matter, but that’s my own little personal thing.
Now whether you get weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly income a Shopping List is always a good idea. Depending on your pay schedule it could take a short amount of time to plan or a long amount of time to plan, but the time spent planning is definitely worth it.
Many times we go to the store and there are so many great deals, and things on sale that we can’t resist we just stray off our main path. I mean it’s hard to resist a sale of any kind especially the more tempting things like junk food. And with the many of you that have kids a lot of times when we go to the store and have our children especially ones with young kids, kids tend to get rowdy and there’s the, what I like to call, “I want factor”. “I want this” “These are on sale lets get this” “Can we get this?” etc.
Things can get pretty hectic and it’s easy to get side-tracked. Then when we get home we have spent a fortune on basically a few meals and a bunch of junk.
The easiest way to make a grocery list is to sit down with a pen and paper and make a meal plan. This includes breakfasts, lunches and dinner.
Example:
SUNDAY
Breakfast
Egss, Bacon, Toast, Orange Juice
Lunch
Tuna Melts, Tossed Salad
Dinner
Grilled Chicken, Corn on the cob, Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Dinner dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Then do the same for the rest of the week. It really does make things much easier, and it makes it easier to stay in a budget as well. It’s also easy to take a calculator to the store and quickly punch in the prices of everything gathered. Making a meal plan makes making a shopping list easier, and it makes it simple to stay in a budget. It also cuts out unnecessary buying.
I like to take an afternoon and go grocery shopping, or a morning when things aren’t hectic and go to the store. I grab everything on my list calculating everything as I go. I take a mental note of any items on sale, or special snacks I know my children would enjoy, and once I have crossed everything off the shopping list I take a quick stroll back through the store and pick up anything extra that may fit in the budget or that I want to splurge on or whatever. Sometimes if I want to indulge in something I will add it to the back of the list and if I have enough left in the budget I know that it’s an option. But it really does make things easier and while it’s a con to sit and fill out the list and make a meal plan and somewhat time consuming when we are already so busy the pro is it is a huge money saver, and actually saves more time in the long run because everything is already planned out. J Meal planning and shopping lists are a great budget keeper, and it makes things so much easier. Even if you decide to switch the meals up just plan a Day #1, Day #2, etc.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

SAHM Sunday #2

This Sunday we aren't able to attend church so I will spend most of the day playing with my kids and catching up on some reading & crocheting.

Currently Reading: Too Rich For A Bride by: Mona Hodgson (review upcoming)

Sunday Dessert: Double Chocolate Layer Cake with Marshmallow Decorations
Sunday Night Dinner: Irish Stew

Craft I'm Working On: blue and white crocheted twin size blanket (pictures upcoming)

Looking Forward To This Week:
Neighborhood Rummage Sale followed by a Family Picnic Thursday (hopefully weather will permit)

Weather In My Town: Rainy and windy. Temperatures have been up and down.

Weekly Tip:
If your an avid book reader, like me, you probably have quite a few bookshelves. It is easier to categorize genre's by shelf and alphabetize by genre. It makes it easier to choose whether your in the mood for romance, mystery, non-fiction, etc. You can even seperate two genres on one shelf with a knick knack or book ends.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book Review #1

The Final Summit
By: Andy Andrews
 
David Ponder has lost the most important thing to him in his life, his wife, Ellen. A very successful man he sits alone successful but depressed.
Discovering the Seven Decisions many years prior, David Ponder is now called upon again in the hopes of saving mankind from the end as we know it.
Hoping to find an answer as to why humankind is hurtling towards its own destruction David must find an answer.
As a Traveler, David gets the help of five other previous travelers including: Winston Churchill, Eric Erikson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington Carver, Joan of Arc, and King David. Together they only get five chances to discover a two word answer to save the world’s end. The question seems simple: “What does humanity need to do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?” Join David and his team of fellow travelers on their journey to restore civilization as we know it.

                                                                      ~My Thoughts~
I had to wonder if I would be able to actually get into this book, and if it would hold my attention. I have to say that I was not disappointed. I couldn’t put it down. It was intriguing, inspiring, and very informative. I learned about some of the past greats that I wouldn’t ordinarily have thought to look up. It also made me question myself as well as the world. It really opened my eyes to many things that I hadn’t even really thought about. Especially when it comes to faith. I would definitely recommend this book. There is also a great questionnaire in the back of the book that really helps you learn more about yourself and civilization in general. All in all a good read, and I definitely enjoyed it. Also I would like to add that this is the sequel to the book The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews.


To learn more about this book please visit: http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=9780785231202


DISCLAIMER: I was provided this book for free through Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review. Opinions expressed are mine alone.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Manic Monday

Welcome to Manic Mondays! Today is a gorgeous day in my area. A bit windy, but I am definetely going to take advantage and spend the day doing some yard work.

Craft I'm working on this week:
Crocheted Twin size boys blanket (blue and white, will post pics soon)

On the menu tonight: Teriyaki stir-fry

Book I'm Reading:
The Final Summit by: Andy Andrews (review upcoming)

Today's To Do List:
Laundry, Sweep & Mop floors, re-organize boys room, Yard, clean windows work

Weekly Tip:
To clean your windows mix water and about 4% vinegar in a spray bottle, spray on windows, ball up a newspaper wad and wipe windows in up and down motions.
A trick I learned from my Nanny at a very young age it cleans windows like no other and with no smears! It creates a crystal clear view! and the newspaper ink does not smear by the way. Also the vinegar smell fades in about 10 minutes. Its all worth it for crystal clear windows though.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

        Well, it’s Mommy’s Day tomorrow! I can’t believe I’m a mommy myself! Life goes by so quickly! It is truly a day to be celebrated. Not many people realize all that mother’s go through for their children physically, mentally, and emotionally. We carry our children, have them, work for them in any way we can throughout our lives. We love them, we worry about them. It truly is a never-ending job, but it’s one that no matter what we wouldn’t change it for the world.
I salute all the mother’s in the world that do their best by their children and love them with all their heart. Without us, where would the world be?
I read on a friend’s blog where she posted about stay at home mom’s. This is what she posted on the subject:

A stay-at-home mom works many jobs throughout the day. She's a nurse, chauffeur, chef, teacher, playmate, housekeeper, laundry attendant, accountant, babysitter, and MORE all rolled into one. She doesn't receive a paycheck for the 24 hours a day, 7 days a week she's on duty. She doesn't get a pay raise, sick days or 401K plans. She is a mother, the most important job in the world. The glue that holds things together.
Now I am a stay at home mom myself, but I would just like to apply this to all moms because we are all special in our own ways, so to all you stay at home moms, work at home moms, or work out of the home moms Happy Mother’s Day!!! We are all mother’s 7 days a week. There isn’t a moment where our children aren’t on our minds, when we aren’t worrying about them, or thinking of them.

So to all the unselfish moms out there who traded sleep for dark circles, salon haircuts for a ponytail, long showers for quick ones, late nights for early mornings, and designer bags for diaper bags, and wouldn't change a thing. To the moms who don't care what they gave up and instead LOVE what they got in return...............Happy Mother’s Day!!!
 
 
For today’s quote in honor of Mother’s Day I am adding 3.

“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” ~Tenneva Jordan

“Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.” ~Mildred B. Vermont

"May she who gave you birth be happy."
-Proverbs 23:25



As my oldest son likes to say when he wakes up in the morning and looks out the window: "It's gonna be another great day."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Location

Let me just start by thanking all those that follow me to this new location. I hope it is easier to post comments here and thoughts.

It's a bit late, but here it is. First let me start off by saying that I apologize this is going up so late. We have been super busy with the whole spring cleaning challenge. It is AMAZING how much you can accumulate throughout the years, especially when you add marriage and children into the mix. Let's just say we are going to have TONS for donations.

Everyone is talking about the death of Osama Bin Laden. And a lot of American's are actually upset that President Obama will not be releasing the pictures of his dead body. I have to say I understand a lot of American's, especially those that lost loved ones due to Bin Laden's wrath, want the closure. They want the reassurance that Bin Laden is dead and want to see the pictures. However, sometimes in life we just have to have faith. And while I understand most people's desire to see these pictures I agree with the president's decision. I don't think they should come out for public view. It could start a whole mess of troubles, and it's probably pretty gruesome.
While I don't rejoice in a death of anyone no matter how terrible they actually are, I am relieved that his personal reign of terror is at an end. But let me just leave you with this quote:


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction…The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars--must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
“Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.”

                                                        -Martin Luther King JR

And in my last remarks I just want to remind you all again that Good will always overcome Evil. God is always with us, and in the end justice will always be served.

Have a good and beautiful day!
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