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Monday, January 31, 2011

February Goals

Well today is the last day of my January challenge of no drinking and no buying any alcohol. I'm glad it's over cause I do want to have a beer on Superbowl Sunday!
Tomorrow starts February and a whole new set of goals.

My goals for Feb are as follows:

*Make my own Fondant
*Decorate cupcakes with Fondant
*Make my own bread
*Work towards being Debt free
*Join a bible study
*Register for a pastry class
*Snowshoe in the mountains

Anyone else working towards goals for Feb?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Weekly Menu {late}

We had roasted chicken with green beans
sour cream mashed potatoes

We had Poppy seed Chicken bake
served on white rice

Turkey Lasagna
Garlic Crescent rolls

Clean out fridge/freezer

Boys: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Me: Soup

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Garlic breadsticks recipe

Here homemade breadstick recipe I talked about.

Garlic Bread sticks
3 cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbs dried parsley or Pampered Chef Italian seasoning
1 Tbs Baking Powder
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
Minced Garlic to taste

Preheat oven to 425, high altitude I would do 400 degrees.
Mix all dry ingredients into bowl, stir. Pour milk and minced garlic in and stir until forms a ball. Knead dough for about 1 minute. Roll out onto floured surface. Cut dough into strips with pizza cutter.
Get a 9 x 13" pan, put butter in pan, melt in oven. When butter is melted, put strips of dough into pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Now I can work on my artisan bread!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 26 Challenge

I'm now half way through day 26 of no drinking. With only 5 days left to go on my 31 days of no drinking challenge.
I feel fantastic and I'm very proud of myself. My friends and family are very supportive of me which makes it so much easier.  Thank you friends and family! 
I drink tons of water but have found myself drinking a few sodas. So as of Monday I have vowed to keep that in control too. It's not good for one to quit so many things at one time you are setting yourself up for failure.
I have lost 3 pounds but I don't really want to count that cause once I eat a bite of my beloved chocolate or drink a soda I will gain it all back. That's just how it works with me! My husband hasn't eaten dessert all week and of course lost 5 pounds...I hate men!
I'll keep on working hard towards my goals.


One of my bucket list items is to snowshoe. Thanks to RMNP I'm going to complete another item off my list in February or March!
I will take a 4 hour snowshoe adventure in the Rockies while learning about wildlife. I wanted our entire family to do this adventure but the husband doesn't think the boys could last 4 hours. Good point. Then he says, "Why would you even want to snowshoe?" OMG I think it would just be so fun. I love to hike and this just adds extra fun being in the snow with those funny shoes. Great exercise too.
I'd love to do this is Feb. but the weather in the mountains I'm sure is still going to be just frigid and I don't own ski pants. March will still be cold but not as bad. So stay tuned for my bucket list mark off and pictures.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Homemade bread sticks

I got really busy yesterday and didn't have time to make Italian garlic bread so I did bread sticks instead.
I probably won't make this again unless I'm in a hurry. T had a great time helping me though, he was great at holding the pizza cutter so I can take a picture too.

I will have to admit, the boys liked these a lot. I didn't think they were the best. If you got a piece with little butter it was to dry. I need to find a better recipe. I did this one because it was super quick and I didn't have time to let dough rise.
So I'm going to pass on sharing this recipe unless you leave a comment. Come back for a better recipe in a few days.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mini Bundt Cakes

I had a Crowd savings deal to the local Nothing bundt cakes shop. So I stopped in with my lil' man to pick out our 3 cakes. He was in hog heaven.
We got a Cinnamon Swirl, Chocolate Chocolate Chip and lemon cake. They are small and full of icing. The cake was moist and delicious!

I just love the smallness of them all and the little packaging. Because we are a family of 4 and only had 3 cakes each of us got a lovely small plate of goodness.
My favorite was the lemon by far. Cinnamon Swirl was all the boys' favorite. The store had a few more flavors but not to our interest.  The mini bundts are only $3.99 and the larger ones are up to $30 which is way out of my price range.
I'm thinking making my own bundt cakes are in my very near future!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Identity Crisis?!?

I'm in a Identity Crisis, mid-life crisis, a simple career change crisis, not sure what to call it really?
I've been in the Restaurant/Hotel industry since I was 14. My first job was a hostess at my favorite Mexican restaurant, leading me to working as a server and finally a manager. When I was a teenager I walked into the Seattle Four Season's hotel and fell in LOVE. From that moment I knew I was destined to be in the hotel industry. Many positions later, in the start and the height of my career I had kids. I realized several years later that the yearning for my children all day while I was at work was not going away. I needed to quit, so I did one morning before the restaurant opened. I left and haven't looked back.

Now several years later, the nest is becoming empty. At this moment in time, I had always planned on getting pregnant and having a daughter. We are still undecided on baby #3, we are a very happy family of 4. I've never wanted 3 kids, I've only wanted 2 but I thought I would of gotten 1 of each. I can't shake the feeling of what it would be like to have a girl. Financially we don't feel that having #3 is possible at this time, so in several short months I will have no kids during the day. So, I asked my DH what I should do. Hoping that he wouldn't say get a job! To my surprise he said whatever you want. I personally think he likes having a housewife.

I know there are many things I want to do in life and not having kids during the day would definitely give me time to accomplish them. But much to my surprise I have been really thinking hard about what Job...yes Job I want to do. What am I going to do with my life? I have come up with a few listed in importance below.

1. Pastry Chef
2. Ministry..(mission trips)
3. Human Resources (in a hotel)
4. Simply work in an office as someones assistant

SO, are you understanding my crisis now? Is there even a name for this crisis? I'm hoping that I get it figured out soon, in the meantime I'm planning my goals for February and my summer!


Friday, January 21, 2011

My 1st Rosette Balls

After looking at a few blogs to get  Valentine's Day Decor ideas, I decided on Rosette Balls.
I attempted to make my first rosette balls for my front table
So here it goes
                                                                Dollar Store balls
                                                      Measured out my 1st couple strands
                                   of my dollar store tissue paper....many rolls and burns later I got...
                              this lovely piece. I then started on a white one so red wasn't lonely.
And now my front table currently looks like this. I need to print up my subway art, redo a picture frame and I'm done. Not pictured to the right is my NEW Apothecary Jar filled with pink and red candy.

Have a great mantel you want to share or idea for Valentines day? I have a Linky until end of the month.


My Great finds this week!

Dollar days at Michael's craft store has got to be the most exciting this for me all week! I made a killing in sales!
Here are my finds!
 Happy Holiday's sign with snowflake and some silver sprigs things, I'm thinking next year to use them for a front door hanger. Spent .35
 Heart for rosette project, mini punches (dove and cupid) $1 each, balls .15
 My very 1st Apothecary Jar!! I cannot wait to get another one. Normally $14.99 I got it for $7 with a 50% off coupon. That's cheaper than Ross, they have them for $10.
 Yes, a cake tool kit. I cannot wait to spruce up my cakes and cupcakes this year. Normally $30ish I spent $2.99! Yes only $3, wouldn't you buy it too?
 Cute paper on sale for .19. Don't know what to use it for yet.
 Cake cutting mat for that fondant I plan on trying to master.
and finally a $7 board for $2.50. I want to make a name plaque for above my front door. I just love clearance sales!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

$50 Giveaway to Willow House

I recently found this amazing blog and tonight they are doing an amazing giveaway! Go here and register for the giveaway a $50 GC to Willow House.
I am dying to get

and the NOLA beverage bucket that I can't seem to download.
Go and register!

Things I'm going to learn to make

I make a menu each week for dinner, but after school snacks, and lunch, I'm sometimes missing 1 or 2 ingredients to finish my dinner meal. It drives me nuts and I do not ever go to the store unplanned. I am also reading Julie and Julia by Julie Powell right now and think why can I not just make it.  Then I think I blog about my baking why not take it up a notch with regular cooking too.
So, today for dinner it's tortellini with garlic bread. I have no garlic bread! I am going to try and make homemade garlic bread.

I also want to make:
Potato Leek soup
Deep fried pickles
Artisan bread (from 5 min. a day to Artisan bread book)
Red Velvet cupcakes with a fondant design for V-Day

My own pasta (when I run out of my overstock)
Chocolate Silk Pie

I just thought these up last night, so the list will get longer. Anyone have any suggestions or recipes you want me to make?


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 18 No Drinking

I am now on 18 Days of no drinking. I've made it through another 3 day weekend with no drinks! I do have a special cranberry splash Sierra Mist in a wine glass to make me fit in just a bit, with a water back.
Friday night we had pizza at the neighbors, I had sierra mist and water. Others had beer and wine.
Saturday night we had all the neighbor friends over for game night. I thought it would be really hard to keep from joining in on all the beer and wine sitting on the table and hogging my fridge. It wasn't at all! I didn't even think twice about it. I had my wine glass with soda in it with my water and I was fine.
Game night was a great success and I cannot wait to do it again.
I got a very nice message from one of my neighbors thanking me a million times for the great time and for including them, also that I didn't drink was awesome. It makes me happy that I can pull off a last minute get together and no one got in a fight!
The husband and I also knocked it out of the park with our food. I made a monkey bread and cheesecake spread dessert and he made bacon wrapped jalapenos appetizer. They were amazing! I will make them again for a blog post so keep your eye out.
So 18 days down and many more to go! (I don't know if weight was lost, my scale is out of batteries).

Anyone else do game nights? What games do you play and what food do you serve?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Homemade Beignets Recipe

For some reason I posted about by Beignets and never posted the recipe, very unusal for me. So here is the recipe!
Combine in Med saucepan and bring to a steady boil the following:
1/2 cup water,
4 Tbs Butter,
1 tbs sugar,
1/2 tsp salt.
Add all at once 1/2 cup flour.
Stir vigorously over med. heat until mixture comes together and takes a shine. Continue cooking 2 minutes. When removed from heat flour will form on bottom of pan. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add one at a time beating on med. speed 2/3 minutes scraping bowl 4 large eggs. The mixture should be smooth and shiny and fold over on itself in a ribbon when the beater is lifted.
Beat in 2 tsp vanilla. Immediately drop the dough, a scant tablespoon at a time into fryer at 365 degrees. Fry 4 or 5 beignets at a time until puffed and golden on both sides.
Drain on paper towel and dust with powdered sugar.
See complete post here:

Weekly Menu

Weekly Menu:
Tuna Casserole, Boys Hamburger Helper
(we never made this last week, so got to get it done)

Taco Tuesday
Ground Turkey tacos
Boys Cheese and turkey quesadillas

3 cheese Tortellini with Garlic Bread

Any Leftovers
Boys-Hot Dogs
Fruit and veggie

Canned Soup
Boys-grilled cheese & tomato soup

Valentine's Day Decor

I love to decorate for all holiday's, so coming up faster than you think is Valentine's Day. I plan on getting my decor out and to start making some decor this week. I am wanting to just do my fireplace mantel and my front entryway table. I spent sometime on Sunday googling mantel displays and such, with not much luck, but a few on some blog searches.
Valentine's Subway Art seen on this blog. I got two white frames from goodwill today to use.

I have yet to make anything rosette but it's getting popular. So I want to try making one of these in red and white.
rosette balls
Have you made anything yet for Valentine's Day? Want to share your ideas? Link here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Say it Saturday



I didn't get time to plan out my post for today, so here are a few pictures with some 'motivating' words.
Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Zodiac Sign?

I'm sure all the blogs are just going crazy right now along with Tattoo parlors!
Out of the blue last night this Parke guy says there is a 13th zodiac sign. This is coming about because the moon's gravitational pull.  So now this new sign comes before Sagittarius called Ophiuchus? I don't even know how to say it. And it gets better the sign is a naked man with serpents wrapped around him.

So being a Virgo my entire 31 years you want to tell me I'm actually a Leo? I don't think so. Everything about me is Virgo! I refuse to change my sign because some guy says I should.
I feel bad for all those dedicated horoscope people that believe this and actually went out and tattooed themselves with there sign.
Do you believe in this new zodiac sign?
I found this article to help ease your concerns, Find the truth here

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tea/Treat Holder

I had to wait and post this after my mom got her gift, but this is what I made her for Christmas. This really cute holder can really be used for anything but I used Tea bags. I drove up to the Celestial Seasonings factory in Boulder and bought a bunch of different tea flavors and stacked them in.
Here's how I made it:
 Get an old foil or parchment paper holder. Remove cutting spikes. Get scrapbook paper, felt and craft glue and scissors
 Wrap the scrapbook paper around the foil holder. Glue down on each flat surface and corners. Make sure it's straight.
 Now glue on your felt. Glue down one piece across the front first. Then glue on felt along the top flap around to the other side.
When all your felt is on the way you want it. Get an old button and string. You will need to glue down the string, make sure it's long enough to wrap around and loop around the button. Place a piece of folded paper under button and glue on both. Make sure string can close flap.
You have now completed your new project!
You can use this to put chocolates inside, tea, cookies, pencils, craft materials and much more!
Anyone else make this or something similar, feel free to post your link on comments!
Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes

I don't know about you guys but I'm so not ready to give up my pumpkin baking just yet. I had a big hankering for something pumpkin but not my usual chocolate chip pumpkin bread, not my pumpkin dip, something delicious and sweet. So after googling pumpkin food images and decided on Pumpkin Cupcakes!!

In one word to describe these Pumpkin Cupcakes would be HEAVEN! Yes, I said this at least 4 times eating my cupcake, very slowly and trying not to miss one crumb.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Preheat Oven at 350 degrees
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree

In Large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, spices and salt. In mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs then vanilla. Add flour and puree in shifts. Make sure the flour mixture mixes at the beginning and the end.
Bake 18-20 minutes. Cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz. Cream Cheese
2 tbs butter at room temp
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
In mixing bowl beat cream cheese till smooth. Add butter in until smooth. Add vanilla and sugar for 3 min. Pipe or spread cupcakes.
Top with Garnish: toffee bits!
On the cupcakes photoed above I used vanilla frosting because I didn't have enough cream cheese.


recipe and photos also at bhg.com

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 10 Challenge

Today is Monday 10 days into January and I am still on the 'wagon'!  Yes I thought of having a glass of wine with my friend on Saturday but just had ice water in a really nice glass.  I had mentioned to husband that I went over to the neighbors for a bit and he got all big eyed and said, "OH, did you have any wine?" He thought he had me, but not a chance!

 I felt like a beer watching football all weekend but I had ice water instead. Go Seahawks! I'm usually rooting for the Saints but not this time.
My favorite winter drink on this cold 7 degree day was calling my name after shoveling the driveway, but I had just plain Apple Cider then a cup of coffee.
So far no weight lost, but that might also be because I watched Eclipse all weekend with popcorn, candy, and other fantastic desserts! So back to the gym this week and hopefully I see a difference.

Weekly Menu

Sunday-Roasted Whole Chicken with Broccoli and Mashed Potatoes

Monday-Lunch: Red, Beans and Rice Soup
 Boys: Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup
We had a snow day today so this was a perfect day for soup!

Dinner: Homemade Natural Cheese Pizza (little fun for the kids)

Taco Tuesday: Fish Tacos with Mexican Rice

Wednesday- Chicken Panini's with veggies

Thursday- Tuna Casserole, Boys: Hamburger Helper

Friday- Wild Tree's Mexican Skillet Meal

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cupcake Obsessed

I am just totally Cupcake Obsessed lately. So once a month I am going to go all out and make the best cupcakes my family has ever seen or eaten. I do think that means I will have a minor run in with fondant which is so hard to work with. But it may be better than that royal icing I still cannot figure out. Which reminds me that I still need to work on that this year.
Here is a preview of cupcakes I want to tackle.
                                                      iphone cupcakes...CLEVER! {via}
                     Food cupcakes will be a big hit around here, I'm going to do something like this first.
First one comes in February. So check back.
Anyone try this before? Please post a comment with your link to share!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7 of No Drinking & Venting!

From my previous post I am on a 30 days (maybe more) no drinking goal.
I made it one full week, that's 24/7 of no drinking! Why am I so impressed with myself after only 1 week. Well my week has been totally different than normal.
Monday still off for winter break and having the boys home that long and trying to go to bed early was a challenge.
Tuesday was up early and back into our normal routine, I had blood shot eyes and was so tired.
OK so onWed. late afternoon. I inherited 2 extra kids for the remainder of the week! That's right I had 4 kids this week! Here's the scoop:
My neighbor friend went out of town and her Ex husband refuses to take care of his own kids while she's away, and being that I cannot say no to people, said I would watch her kids. I find myself on edge and very cranky when I have them. 4 kids is a lot, and 2 of which are not mine and I don't feel comfortable reprimanding them.
Today now Friday morning, I am so stressed out that I feel sick to my stomach and my chest feels like I have weights sitting on them. All the kids are at school and I still feel stressed!
I've done this several times and each time I'm told that I will get paid. I've never seen a dime! But I do hope that when I need help, she will be the first to step up. That's most important.
I do hope that the reason the kids are a bit to handle is because they are so comfortable with me. They don't look at me like the sitter but as the cool next door neighbor friend.
So to go 7 days without drinking is a good achievement!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Donut Muffins

My boys just love donuts, I think they would eat donuts everyday if they could. I came across a donut muffin recipe and was so excited. I think this may be a little healthier! We all loved them.

                                                             Donut Muffins
                                                            1 3/4 cup Flour
                                                    1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
                                                              1/2 tsp Salt
                                                         1/2 tsp Cinnamon
                                                          1/2 tsp Nutmeg
                                            1/3 cup Oil (I currently use canola)
                                                            3/4 cup Sugar
                                                             3/4 cup Milk
                                                            1 Large Egg

                                                          1/3 cup Sugar
                                                    1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Spray Muffin Tin or use muffin cups. In bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder and spices. In separate mixing bowl combine sugar, egg, milk and oil. Add dry ingredients and mix. Pour batter into muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 15 min.
Cool for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile melt 3 tablespoon unsalted butter in microwavable bowl. Make sure bowl is wide enough for muffin tops to be dipped in.
Dip muffins into melted butter, then right into topping. Roll around to coat evenly.
Feel free to do the same for the bottoms too!