Sunday, June 29, 2008

CVS - I believe, I believe

Okay, so I started reading this gal's blog dealseekingmom realizing I have no idea about the deals to be found at CVS. I don't shop there, I've always felt it was an overpriced pharmacy. Well, no more. After reading about her shopping "sprees" at CVS and how much money she saves, I thought okay, today is the day I give it a whirl. Got my Sunday paper, got my coupons, got my scissors, and found the flyer for CVS.

So the deal is in the weekly flyer, they advertise cash back money for purchases you make. Now I'm not going to go there and buy stuff I don't use or want or need just to earn cash back. But today there were a few things with enticing cash back rewards. For example, Coppertone sunscreen, Gold Bond Ultimate restoring lotion (thanks to Aunt Bev for turning me onto this), Q-tips, and Softsoap. Some things had incentive points, like buy two Coopertone products and receive $10 back in cash rewards to be used at a later date. I mean, come on, it doesn't take much to realize some of this is a good deal. We go through sunscreen like crazy.

CVS had a lot of buy one, get one free. And, I had coupons for most of those items. So I got two bags of Doritos for $1.00 and Off Insect Repellent for $.80 (it was already on sale, plus my coupon). I came out of there pretty happy with my purchases. I'm going to try a new, different store next time because the one I went to was older and fairly small. I am now a believer.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Birch Tree ....

I took this photo on Sunday at my cousin Julie's house in her beautiful birch tree, which my kids cannot resist climbing every time we go there. Pure happiness.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mexican Corn Dip

This came from a friend and it has become a favorite. I make mine a bit different (** see below), which I'll explain at the end, but this recipe as shown is exactly how Gina gave it to us.

3 cans fiesta corn, drained

2 c. cheddar cheese

3/4 c. mayo (Hellmanns)

1 c. sour cream

fistful of chopped cilantro (fresh)

fistful of scallions

2 tsp. cumin or more if you like

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (opt)

1-2 bags of Fritos scoops

Drain corn and add to large bowl; add the cheddar cheese, mayo, sour cream and mix. Add cilantro, scallions, cumin and pepper. This makes a lot. Use Frito scoops to dip.

**My changes, I just use 2 cans of bi-color corn and 1 can of regular yellow corn. I do not do the cilantro unless I have it on hand. I use the scallions, but not the other spices. I do use Tastefully Simple's Fiesta Mix. So I use 2 Tbs. of that mix into the mayo/sour cream mixture. Basically my version is corn, mayo, sour cream, scallions and the Fiesta Mix. This is one of those recipes you can play around with and it will still come out great. Chill a couple hours before serving, so the flavors of the Tastefully Simple mix set.

Fabulous Blueberry Tea Cake (or Muffins)

I get so excited when I see the fresh blueberries at the market. I love, love this blueberry tea cake. I think the recipe originated from my Aunt Barbara, but my mom has also made it forever it seems. I usually double the topping recipe because my husband loves that part. The recipe below is the original.

2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
2 c. blueberries

Crumb Topping:
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Cream butter and gradually beat in sugar. Add egg and milk and beat until smooth. Carefully add blueberries. Spread batter in greased and floured 8" or 9" square pan or muffin tin. Make crumb topping by mixing dry ingredients and then cutting in cold butter to form crumbs. I usually cut the butter in very thin slices and then just mix with my hands, it's easier. Bake 350 for 40-50 minutes for cake and 15 minutes for muffins.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Crayola Lemonade Brigade for Charity

I'm so proud of my kiddos today. We entered the Lemonade Brigade sponsored by Crayola Crayons. 1000 kids were chosen from around the country to sell Crayons Pink Lemonade. They were provided with a really cool stand and a couple cases of drink. My kids did so well, sold over 130 cans in 2 hours and brought in over $200 for the Autism Society Charity. Way to go kids. We had to send in photos of our completed stand and the kids will be entered into contest for the 10 best lemonade stands. Fingers crossed!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A reminder of the good things challenge from little bit funky

A blog I often read is a little bit funky. This gal is very creative and is very inspiring to me. Yesterday she asked that we take a minute and remember all the wonderful things in our lives for which we are thankful. This is my list:

My three boys

And this little girl

My parents and the light of my childrens' eyes

These two precious poochies
My new retractable cord folding hair dryer :-)
Our beautiful home my wonderful husband works so hard to provide
Thanks Crystal. This was an inspiration and a nice reminder to remember the things we are thankful for. So many times we only remember the bad and the things that are going wrong.

My Husband's Idea of Heaven

His absolute favorite cake in honor of Father's Day

Saturday, June 14, 2008

fabulous garage sale find

(what's going on with this photo? This is the second one I took and they both did the same thing. I think the reflection is messing with my camera. But you can see three little square drawers on the bottom)

I'm about beside myself with giddiness (is that even a word?). I am not an avid garage sale chick. If I happen by one and can see from my car something that catches my eye, then I'll stop. I don't enjoy rummaging around table full of junk to look for treasures. So imagine my excitement when I saw this on the driveway of a house. I was talking to my husband on my cell phone and I think I actually hung up on him when I saw this. I had to run and grab it, even though no one else was even there, I knew it would be snatched away before I could get my grubby little hands on it. Okay, now how much did this cost, you ask? $5. Yes, five buckeroos. I couldn't believe. I had even talked myself into spending $20 on this baby before I even was close enough to look at it. How cute is this going to be freshly painted, hanging in my studio? Giddy, simply giddy with excitement.

her first pet rock

well, it's gotten a bit more sophisicated since we did it as kids, and now, of course, there's a kit to buy with all these samples of pet rocks. So she's off and running with her first pet rock.

Friday, June 13, 2008

front porch containers

If you saw my post from a couple weeks ago of my planters on our back patio, you will notice one similarity. Yes, I LOVE purple flowers. All shades of purple. Out back I did purple and white and a touch of pink. Out front I did purple and yellow. The petunia in this photo look more blue than purple, although in real life, they are really a grape purple. My porch urns are really pretty right now, finally have grown and settled in. I even noticed when taking these photos that my purple grass in one of the urns was sprouting its plume. That's why I love these grasses.

Here's one fact about me many people don't know, I hate, yes hate, red flowers. I also hate, yes again hate, roses. Hate the look of them, hate the thorns, hate the SMELL of them. A lesson my husband learned early on during our dating game. But I was nice about it. :-) He soon realized daisies make me happiest.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Broccoli with Cashew Butter Garlic Sauce

Okay, kuddos to Steph, my fab neighbor, who shared this recipe a couple years ago. I just made it again the other night and had forgotten how much we all love it. Here you go:

1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped salted cashews

Place the broccoli into a large pot with about 1 inch of water in the bottom. Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes, or until tender but still crisp. Drain, and arrange broccoli on a serving platter.
While the broccoli is cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper and garlic. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat*. Mix in the cashews, and pour the sauce over the broccoli. Serve immediately.
*If your sauce seems a little thin, you could add a bit of corn starch to thicken it. You just have to do it for your taste. This sauce is also good on chicken and rice and other veggies as well. Oh, in a pinch, you could use frozen broccoli too.

Morning conversations with Sophie

This morning:
Sophie: Mama, look how tall I am.
Me: Yes, I know. You're too tall, would you please stop growing?
Sophie: Mama, you know I can't help it.
Me: [whining] please, please, stop growing. I want you 5 years old forever.
Sophie: I like being 5, but I want to grow big like you so I can have babies.

Yesterday morning:
Sophie: Mama, look! If I stand on my tippy toes I can reach the cabinet.
Me: I see. You're getting so big.
Sophie: I'm the tallest 5 year old that I know, except for Emeroy.
Me: Yes, you are tall. I really, really wish you would stop growing and stay 5 years old.
Sophie: I cannot control my insides, they just keep growing.
Me: I know you can't control your insides, but I want you this size forever because I can still carry you.
Sophie: Well, on TV, there's this stuff, on a commercial, that says you rub it on you and keeps you looking young every day. Do you want to buy that for me? There's a phone number you have to call on TV. I'll watch for it today. [we never did watch TV any more that day so we didn't get the number!]

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Off to ETSY these go ....

My new boutique signs.

Fat Quarters from Etsy - I'm in LOVE

These delicious fabrics came in my mail today. I love receiving these packages. I cannot wait to dig my hands into this beautiful stuff, but first, I have about 5 orders I need to get out. I cannot begin another project until I finish what I need to finish!!! My weakness. These were purchased on Etsy, of course, from this seller fabricsupplies.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

And now ... the Pirates

I have three boys on this team, one in each row. The big guy (in blue) is my husband.

21 things we want to do this summer by Cole, Brock & Sophie

  1. Go to Zoombezi Bay (at the Columbus Zoo)
  2. Take a walk or bike ride every morning
  3. Go to the pool every day (yea, right)!!
  4. Do the reading program at the library
  5. King's Island
  6. Go to the beach (good luck on that one).
  7. Get a slip n' slide
  8. Children's Museum in Indy
  9. Play in the sprinklers
  10. Go to a pool out of town (Sophie's idea)
  11. Science camps
  12. Dancing hares water fountains at Ballentrae
  13. Get ice cream at Graeter's
  14. Visit our cousins
  15. Invite family over for cookouts
  16. Finish basement
  17. Paint swingset and put on a new tent (canvas)
  18. Have lots of friends over to play
  19. Go to the doctor and dentist (this is Cole's idea of fun?)
  20. Have a watergun fight with Mom and Dad
  21. Go to Cedar Point

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Coasters going to Etsy today

Summer is here .....

and one guess why we know in our house? Because the kids are asking for s'mores. Gotta love it. We usually do them in the microwave. These rock. I always have graham crackers, big fat marshmellows and Hershey's choc. bars on hand throughout the summer and into the fall.

The boys' last day of school was yesterday and that means the camps have begun. Actually they aren't doing as many camps as last year. Today through Saturday it's football camp at one of our high schools. Then they'll have two week long science camps and then football picks up in August. We still have baseball through the 4th of July. Just enough time to toss in a short vacation or two. Sophie just had her last gymnastic class today. She'll pick up some swimming lessons at our local pool (which happens to be right next door to the kids' elementary school) and then she'll have safety city later this summer because she's going to be a big kindergartner in the fall. Oh boy!

Monday, June 2, 2008

baseball season ....

Is it really the end of the school year?

Brock and his teacher, Mrs. Bair - 1st grade.

Cole and his teacher Ms. Lehman in 2nd grade.
The boys had such a wonderful year, we sure are going to miss these ladies. Hopefully (fingers crossed) Brock will have Ms. Lehman next year.

Ikea's flower light

This is the sweet, sweet pink light we bought at Ikea. See how the cord is actually green and looks like a stem. LOVE IT!! And yes, that's Lily's hamster cage complete with penthouse suite. Only the best ... LOL

How long ....

do I leave these signs made by Cole on his bedroom door with sticky tape before I worry about the paint peeling away?