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Friday, January 30, 2009

& the winner is...

and the lucky gal is number 17, kristin who said:

i'd love to share an organizational tip with you, but truth is, i have none. there isn't a single label in my house. and i'm constantly talking about how much easier our lives would be if could find stuff, but just don't know where to start. moving twice in the last five months doesn't help, but 2009 is a new kristin! organization here i come!
i'm hoping your new p-touch labeler will help you get a bit more organized, it did wonders for me! be sure to email me all your particulars, so we can get that p-touch labeler out to you as quick as quick can be. please, please, please contact me by wednesday, february 4th, otherwise i'll be picking a new winner. thanks again everyone for playing, & congratulations kristin.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

work in progress.

i have to admit, it's still hard to believe that i'm having a girl. already outnumbered 3 to 1, i was totally prepared to hear that another boy was on the way. so, it's taken some time to adjust to the fact that this little one will be bundled in a little bit more pink than blue. & to tell you the truth, the thought of all that pink kinda scares me! so i'm starting slowly, i wouldn't want to overwhelm my senses. this first quilt is actually more blue, with just a few touches of pink... it's all about the baby steps.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

breakfast of champions.

the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the air is crisp... it's a beautiful morning. eating a breakfast that tastes more like dessert, makes everything even more enjoyable. bread pudding topped with a vanilla-y caramel sauce is just as delicious, the morning after it's made. i can already tell, it's going to be a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


last wednesday little gavin had a birthday (i guess that means he's not all that little anymore, which makes me feel really old). of course we spent the day at the happiest place on earth (we couldn't pass up the FREE admission)! besides presents & cake, quite possibly the biggest thrill of all was that he is finally tall enough for all the "big kid" rides. wahoo!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

p-touch labeler giveaway.

i don't know... maybe it's just the typical new year clean & purge, or maybe it's the typical pregnancy nesting. whatever the reason, i've definitely been on an organizational kick. my pantry is organized, the pots & pans are neatly stacked, i've cleaned out all of the closets & organized them all by color. toys have been sorted, the fabric stash is now neatly folded, even the hubby's tools in the garage have been labeled & put away. & let me tell you, this isn't normal "kelly" behavior. sure i'm tidy, but i've never been an organizational queen. but i have to admit, it's actually rather fun. & as mary poppins says:

in ev'ry job that must be done
there is an element of fun
you find the fun & snap!
the job's a game.
so how does a non-ocd girl like myself, find herself addicted to organizing, you ask? it's all thanks to the latest addition to our household... a p-touch labeler. who knew this tiny, hand-held device would change my life? although, i'm the first to admit that i've probably gone a bit overboard (do you think labeling the "toilet paper" shelf is too much?), but it's so much fun watching those little labels print out.

so are you jealous yet? wishing you had your own p-touch labeler? well, you are going to LOVE me... this week, one lucky person is going to win their very own p-touch 1010. how about that?

so here are the rules of the game:
* you have until midnight PST on thursday, january 29th to enter.
* simply make a comment on this post to enter... i'd love to hear your favorite organizing tip, or how you'd use your very own p-touch labeler.
* anyone can enter (so tell your friends), although anonymous comments will be ignored unless accompanied by an email address.
* please, just one entry per person.
* the winner will be randomly picked & announced friday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

caramel crack.

it's rainy, it's pouring... & i really wish i was in my bed snoring. i don't know about you, but for me it's been one of those weeks. luckily for me, i'm not against self-medication. this week's drug of choice? an old stand-by... caramel oatmeal bars, or as jeffy calls them - caramel crack, because once you start eating them, you just can't stop.

caramel crack
2 sticks melted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 jar of caramel topping (think smucker's)

1. preheat oven to 325 degrees, & grease a 9x13" baking pan.
2. combine the brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, baking soda & salt. add melted butter & mix until "crumbly".
3. press HALF of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, & bake for about 15 minutes.
4. remove from oven & spread the ENTIRE bottle of caramel topping on top, followed by the the ENTIRE bag of chocolate chips, & then finally sprinkle the remaining prepared dough mixture over the top.
5. continue baking for an additional 15 minutes or so, until it's a light golden brown.
6. once you've removed the caramel bars from the oven you need to let them cool & chill until the chocolate is set.... then it's time to cut them & start feasting.

trust me, these babies might not be able to solve world peace, but they will definitely brighten your day, & hopefully my week. still not sold on their magical powers? then head on over to christie's blog. these yummies are one of her favorites too, she's even provided a step-by-step how to. i dare you... just click on over HERE, & then try & tell me that you aren't a believer.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

chicken tortellini soup

this soup is super easy. okay, okay, all of my recipes are super easy, but this one takes little to no effort. & everyone in my family ate it up quick, & even asked for more. it definitely hits the "spot" on a chilly winter's night.

chicken tortellini soup

9 oz. frozen broccoli
8 cups water
4 tsp. of chicken bouillon (i used 8 cubes)
3 cans chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups cubed chicken (i added more, but i like a lot of chicken)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups sliced carrots
2 clover or tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 package frozen cheese tortellini

mix everything together, except the cream of chicken soup, & bring to a boil. add the cream of chicken soup, heat and then serve.

delicious with some crusty italian bread!

Monday, January 19, 2009

i spy bottles

i know, i know.... for those of you who read a zillion blogs, or at least read tip junkie, (i was a guest blogger there a couple of weeks ago), then you may have already seen this post. but for those who didn't, & for my own personal reference, i wanted to repost it here. the boys & i had so much fun making these "i spy bottles" for our friends over the holiday season, & the best part? unlike the i spy bags, there is absolutely NO sewing involved. anyway, back to the subject or rather post at hand....

i spy bottles

prep: 1 large plastic bottle (i used the 33.8 FL OZ smart water bottle), a mr. clean magic eraser, goo gone, approximately 30+ small doo-dads & findings to fill bottle (peruse craft stores, etc. for "little" stuff. buttons, scrapbook stuff, household odds & ends. for ex: paper clip, button, penny), poly-pellets (you can find this at craft stores, it's usually used for doll stuffing) or you can also use bird seed or rice as the filler, funnel, super glue, clear contact paper or packing tape & confetti (although this is totally optional, it just makes it look pretty... alphabet & number confetti works really well, & adds a fun component - find all the letters of the alphabet, etc.).

for a step-by-step picture tutorial, simply click on the pictures at the right to enlarge...

1. start with a clean & dry bottle
2. using the Magic Eraser remove any black printing on the bottle
3. remove the label from the bottle & use the goo gone to remove any of the residual stickiness.
4. fill your bottle with all you "goodies", don't forget to make a list of what you put in!
5. using the funnel, fill the bottle about 2/3 full with your filler (the poly-pellets, rice, or bird seed). you want it full, but not so full that when you shake it, your items don't move around.
6. if you are adding confetti, you'll want to do so at this time.
7. at this point you'll want to screw on the bottle cap & shake, shake, shake! (i tend to start singing shake senora at this point.) mix everything up really well... plus it works well as a trial run. if the "goodies" aren't moving around, you may have to take out some of your filler.
8. once everything is shaken up & you're pleased with the amount of filler, etc. it's time to super glue on your bottle cap - you definitely don't want little hands & fingers getting it unscrewed! & don't forget to cut off that little "extra" part of the cap that is floating around now... you know the part that you "unscrew" the bottle cap from, when you first open the bottle.
9. print up your list "can you spy a..." with all of your goodies listed. tape or glue it to the bottle & cover it with clear contact paper or packing tape, so it doesn't get lost. (you can also laminate the list & tie it to the bottle, if that works better for you.)
10. at this point you can be done, or you can add some colorful curling ribbon to make it pretty.

ta da! your very own i spy bottle. now it's time for the fun to begin. i spy a...

Friday, January 16, 2009

life can get hairy.

especially when your parents don't want to cut your hair.

unfortunately, the day might come when you think your hair is just a touch too long, & you ask you parents to cut it. at first they might resist, but when they realize that you have to lift your head, just to see out from underneath your bangs, they'll probably give in. & even though jack says...

i don't think the new haircut looks that bad. it's like the best of both worlds, a little long & shaggy on top, but short enough that you can still see without having to tilt your head.

getting organized.

like many of you, i've been on a organizing kick. cleaning, purging, finding a place for everything, & putting everything in it's place. this week i took on the boys' rooms. christmas provided quite the influx of new toys, & so i decided it was time to get serious on toy organization. luckily, it was easy as 1, 2, 3.

step 1: separate toys into "groups", i.e. cars, trains, transformers & power rangers
step 2: make shrinky dinks representing each group
step 3: fill basket with toys & attach shrinky dink "label"

ta da! toy organization complete. & the best part, my boys actually KNOW where each & everyone of their toys go, so it makes cleaning up a snap! (okay... my boys are 3 & 2, so cleaning up really isn't ever a "snap", but it's definitely made it much easier. & as always, click on picture to enlarge.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

falling off the wagon.

battling personal demons is never easy. just when you think you have them under control & you've finally whipped them in the butt, there they go... popping up again. for years i've battled an addiction. this past year, i decided this was "the" year. no longer was i going to let my problem rule my life. & for a time, i was triumphant. i actually had overcome my addiction, & it felt good. unfortunately, & i'm embarrassed to admit, i've relapsed. & while it doesn't justify my actions, i do have a good excuse - pregnancy. there is just something about a tall glass of crushed ice, filled to the rim with cherry coke, that satisfies my cravings. i'm just hoping that i haven't fallen off the wagon forever. soon enough, i'm sure i'll be fighting the urges to "use", until then, i don't mind indulging myself, just a bit.

image via flickr.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ooey, gooey, chocolatey & chewy

ooey, gooey, chocolatey & chewy? you know if those are the words used to describe something, it's going to be good. i whipped up these bad boys last week & they were gone in just one night. note to self, next time, bake a double the batch.

rocky road cookie sandwiches
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cups chopped pecans (but you could use almonds or cashews too)
10 tablespoons marshmallow cream

1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. using a mixer, cream the butter & brown sugar until fluffy. beat in the egg. mix in the salt, baking powder and baking soda at a low speed, then mix in the vanilla and flour. stir in the chocolate chips & nuts.
3. drop a rounded spoonful of dough onto a greased cookie sheet. bake until the cookies are golden at the edges and slightly soft in the center, about 12 minutes. transfer the cookies sheets to racks to cool completely.
4. sandwich the cookies with 2 tablespoons marshmallow each.

yum! & maybe on the next go round we will do ice cream instead, for some homemade ice cream sandwiches.

Monday, January 12, 2009


sorry for disappearing for so long, that was never the "plan". but the holidays have come & gone & our household still hasn't quite recovered. it seems we are all taking turns feeling "under the weather". just as someone starts to feel a bit better, this nasty little bug takes his next victim... it's a vicious cycle. but i'm hoping we are almost over this little bump in the road, i think i'm starting to see the the light at the end of the tunnel. until then...