Monday, December 31, 2012

Our Monday Meal: Meatloaf

We had meatloaf for dinner tonight. The recipe I use is seriously the simplest you will find. And its full of flavor too. Growing up I never would have thought I'd be caught dead saying that I love meatloaf. I guess I never fail to surprise even myself.
The ingredients:

Anywhere between 1-2 lbs ground beef
1 box of Stove Top stuffing (I prefer savory but any flavor works)
2 eggs
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine ingredients
Press into baking dish

Bake for 30-60 minutes

I somehow ended up without a picture of the cooked loaf. I swear I remember taking it so I'm not sure what happened, but it looks pretty much the same except...dryer. A little crisp at the edges. It is also a fairly inexpensive meal. I can make it for a little over $4 if I buy the stuffing during sales!


I have never been fan of New Years Eve. After years of something always going terribly wrong and the night turning out a complete disaster I have grown to pretty much avoid all things New Years Eve related. But Monster is old enough now that given the opportunity, she could really have fun with it.

When I was a kid my parents always had a platter of crackers with meat and cheese and sparkling grape juice. My sisters and I would take turns "serving" everyone, as if we were at a fancy party. Maybe I will run to the store this afternoon and pick some stuff up to pass down the tradition.

Thanks to YouTube we can even watch a video of the ball dropping from a past year. This way she won't have to miss out on it entirely. There is no way she is staying up late enough to watch the real deal.

This afternoon we can make party hats and noise makers.
I will teach her: What makes a year? What is a resolution? And why do we make them?
(Confession: I think New Year's resolutions are a bunch of B.S. Maybe that's because I have never been able to keep one (I know I'm not alone here). I have just never liked the idea of making promises to myself just to break them a month or so later).
I suppose it wouldn't hurt to come up with something. After all, I'm going to be explaining to her that everyone has room for improvement. Goals to work towards. There should be no reason I can't make a promise to her to better myself in some way. Let her hold me accountable.

Now to come up with a realistic resolution...

If you are looking for a book you can read your preschooler/kindergartener on the subject, has a digital copy Barn Yard Betty's First Ever New Year's Resolution by Claire Wynne as low as free with Amazon Prime.

Friday, December 28, 2012

***GIVEAWAY*** $5 Amazon Giftcard *CLOSED*

Who would love to win an Amazon Gift Card to kick of the new year? As a kickoff to my blog I am giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card! Enter below for your change to win

Be sure to leave user names for verification and e-mail address where I can contact you if you win.

Mandatory entry:
Comment letting me know what you love most about shopping at Amazon
Optional extra entries:
1 entry for each: Follow me on Twitter, Like me on Facebook, Follow on GFC, Subscribe to e-mails, Follow on Networked Blogs, Add me to your Google+ Circle, click the G+ Button on the bottom of this post, Vote for me on Picket Fence, and Comment on another post.

Winner will be drawn Janurary 11, 2013 at  8pm CT
Winner will be contacted by e-mail and has 48 hours to confirm or a new winner will be drawn. 
Gift Card will be deliver via e-mail.
Disclosure: This is a self-sponsored giveaway and is in no way associated or sponsored by Amazon

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thankful Thursday no. 5: SAHM

This week I am thankful that I do not work outside of my home. One of the perks of being a stay at home mom is that I never have to worry about driving on icy roads or in the rain or dark. If the kiddos wake up early and I am feeling like a zombie, I can stay in my jammies all day. Or if they sleep in, I can too! I am here to prepare meals for my family so no one has to rely on "convenient meals". I am always home when Mr. I is off work. While I was also working we rarely got to see each other. But most importantly, I get to spend quality time with Monster and Alien. When Monster was the age Alien is right now I got to spend two days a week with her. The rest of the time I got to wake her up in the morning and put her to bed at night. I can also go grocery shopping whenever I want. I can take the kids to the park or zoo without trying to squeeze it into a busy schedule. These days are so special to me. I really am very lucky.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nook Color GIVEAWAY from Tech-Know

Stumbled upon this awesome giveaway today. Teck-Know is kicking off the opening of their blog by giving away a Nook Color. This is a seriously awesome giveaway with low entries. But head over quick and get those entries is because tomorrow is the last day to enter! How nice would be it to win of these for Christmas?!

So without further ado, here is the link where you can enter: 
Tech-Know: The big opener... A BIG giveaway!!! NOOK COLOR!: Nook Color.... BAM! Yes it's true. We are lucky enough to have a brand new, in the box Nook Color to giveaway! This is our prem...

And stay tuned because I have my first giveaway coming up soon...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter Storm Draco At My House

Last night:

Thankful Thursday no. 4: Hubby

I was up all night last night, anxiously awaiting Mr. I's return home from work. We got our first snow last night, thank you Winter Storm Draco. The roads were awful and he has a half hour drive (on dry roads). He made it home safely and today is his day off but worrying about him reminded me of how thankful I am for him. I remember the night we met. My sister had set us up and upon seeing him for the first time I ran up and hugged him. (Confession: I may have been a little tipsy). Within a week we were dating, 3 months later we were engaged, and just over a year later married. It won't belong before we see the 6 year anniversary of the night we met. I don't know where I would be without Mr. I. He is the love of my life and my best friend.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Shame on you, Instagram.

I love Instagram. I love how easy it is to upload photos and I REALLY love the cuteness factor the filters create. I love seeing pictures of my family, especially my darling nephew. And our family loves seeing pictures of my littles too. That's a lot of love. And now its all gone. 
Yesterday Instagram changed their Terms of Use (effective January 16, 2013). You can see that here: The apparently think it is okay to sell our pictures with ZERO compensation. I have my account sent to private. I do this for a reason. I only want those I approve of to see my the pictures I upload. No one else. So today I will be asking my family to pretty please text me pictures. Or e-mail them. I will still take pictures of Monster and Alien and I will still share them in other ways. My Instagram account is being deleted. I'm completely bummed. And angry, very angry. 
If you would also like to delete your account here is a page I found that tells how to do just that and also how to download your photos so not to lose them:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fun on Friday no. 2 - Barbies

Despite having played with Barbies myself as a young girl I never really wanted Monster to have any. I didn't want her growing up thinking that's what women were supposed look like. I figured there were plenty of other toys that would be, well, better, and she would be perfectly happy without them. Fast forward to present. She see previews for Barbie movies on some her her other DVD's and begs to watch them. I cave. She loves these movies and while I would not go so far as to say I like them, I don't hate them. She could be watching worse. She has also been gifted a few Barbie dolls since her birthday this summer and started taking interest in actually playing with them. Today she talked me into playing Barbies with her. My confession: I had a blast. Our Barbies went to the park, on a tractor ride, they ate ice cream, and watched the fireworks. It brought back so many memories from my own childhood. Who would have thought that playing with Barbies would end up being such a special bonding time for her and I?

Thankful Thursday (on Friday) no. 3: Children

I know my past two Thankful Thursday posts were about family but with the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary I can't stop myself from feeling overwhelmingly thankful for my own two babies. That they are here for me to hug, kiss, and even scold. My heart breaks for the families involved in today's shooting. I can not even begin to imagine the pain they are feeling and my prayers will be with them.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Our Monday Meal: Pasta Fresca

I while back I found a recipe on Pinterest for a knockoff of Noodles & Co. Pasta Fresca. I decided to give it a try tonight. It was very easy to make and it didn't taste bad but it didn't taste exactly like Noodles & Co.

2 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 box of Farfalle Pasta
1 Roma Tomato, cubed
1/2 Red Onion, Sliced
3 Handfuls Baby Spinach
3 Tbs Minced Garlic (probably would have been better in I used fresh)
1/4 c. Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 c. White Cooking Wine
1 c. Olive Oil

Saute 2 Tbs olive oil, cooked pasta, tomato, and onion
In a separate bowl combine balsamic vinegar, wine, and olive oil
Add Spinach and 1 oz. sauce mixture 
Heat until spinach is warm
Serve topped with feta or parmesan.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thankful Thursday no. 2: Family

Today I am thankful for my family in general. My family has traveled back "home" this week to celebrate Christmas. Or something like that. Unfortunately it is more like bouncing around between different family members and just trying to spend a little time with everyone. But Mr. I couldn't get off work any closer to Christmas so we do what we can. Since moving this summer has put more distance our families we do not get to see them often. Therefor I am thankful for every opportunity I get to spend with them.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Traveling With Kids

The other day my family and I loaded up the truck and took off on a seven hour road trip to visit family. We stopped at a Subway along the way to (obviously) get a bite to eat and change Alien. I head to the ladies room and surprise: no changing table. There is next to no room to change him in the truck not to mention it is freezing outside so I had to change him on my lap while sitting on the toilet. Next we get our food and head to table. I go to grab a highchair but the label states not to use with children under 2 and really it was more of a booster seat than anything. So I have to eat my meal with him on my lap. Not that I don't love holding my squishy but I prefer not to spill food on his head. Not a very family friendly place. So that's my rant...

What do you just love about traveling with children?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Here we go

Hitting the road today - on our way back "home" to see family for an early Christmas.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fun on Friday

We made Christmas cards today. The Christmas Trees are made from baby Alien's footprints, the string of Christmas lights are Monster's thumb prints. Monster had a blast and thought it was awesome after it was finished and she figured out what she made. Sneaky Momma didn't tell her what she was making. Good thing she enjoys having her thumb painted various colors. Alien wasn't a fan. I'm actually surprised I was able to get his squirmy little feet placed on the paper in a way that could even be turned into a tree. Babies. Go figure. Don't they know how much funny getting messy is?! Anyhow, I don't think they turned out so bad and I think those who are to receive them will agree.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday no.1: Alien

I am going to try and dedicate Thursdays to stopping and thinking about the things I am thankful for. One week ago today was Thanksgiving and I spent a lot of time thinking about the many blessings in my life. It is important to me that I don't forget about those things now that the holiday has come and gone. And so I present to you, Thankful Thursday no. 1. This week I am thankful for Alien. He completed our little family this past April. His arrival has been the highlight of this past year. He is the happiest little baby, a complete joy to be around and his smile makes me melt. I love my little Alien.

New Kid On The Block

Welcome to my blog. I can’t say for sure what this will all become but I plan for it to be somewhere I can post about my life, recipes I try, good deals I find, and products I love/lust after.