Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Recipe: Easy Peasy Salsa

The first time I ever made salsa, it was a disaster.  Randy and I were just married and he was watching some sports game.  He mentioned how it would be nice to have some chips and salsa so I tried to make it happen.  I baked some chips from corn tortillas and attempted to cut fresh tomatoes and a bunch of other stuff and mixed it all together.  Let's just say it sucked and he was really nice and ate some of it anyways.  It still makes me laugh to this day.

But I have learned since then and this salsa recipe is not like my first attempt.  It is actually really good that he almost didn't believe that I made it. Ha!  It tastes just like the salsa we have at this resteraunt called El Toreo and it is super easy to make.  You can find the link to the recipe here.  I tweaked it just a little to fit our taste buds.  Looks yummy doesn't it?!
Ingredients
1/2 can of diced tomoatoes
1 can of original Rotel
1/2 small onion roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2-1 jalapeno [I seeded it because I don't like it too spicy]
1/4 tsp of honey
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 handful of cilatro slightly chopped
1 lime

I wasn't sure what Rotel tomatoes were so here is what the can looks like in case you were wondering too:

It isn't called easy peasy for nothing.  You place everything in the food processor [or a really good blender], pulse it a few times or until you get the consistency you want.  Taste the salsa and add whatever you think it needs more of.  Then sit back, turn on the tv and enjoy.




Monday, May 28, 2012

Let's Get Wild

So you know that book I am reading [What a Husband Needs from his Wife], the book inspired this trip.  One of the practical examples of loving a husband was to plan something for the family.  My hubby is amazing.  He always does all the planning and takes care of everything when we take a trip.  I decided to give him a day off on being the acitivy cordinator and plan an itty bitty trip.

I heard about this Wild Park really close to us, set the date, packed a picnic, and got the direction.  We had a blast!  It was so much fun.  I think of it as a German safari.  You pretty much drive on this dirt road and stop to feed all these different animals. 

Photo Challenge May 21-27

I had a lot of fun with the photo challenge this week. Not only in taking the pictures but mainly with editing them.  I let myself free and edited the pictures the way I wanted to funky or plain.  This was also a fun week for us since the weather was nice it was a treat to take these pictures.  If you want to join, you can get the list from Fat Mum Slim.

May 21:  Where you stand.  This is where I stand, looking out the window in our living room.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

B-L-AH

I think it is time again to start exercising. I have recently been feeling so BLAH.... Bloated, Lazy, and just B-L-ahhhhh.  I just don't feel all that great about myself and I think it is time for me to get up and get moving. I was telling all of this to my hubby and I kept saying I need to work out and he finally said then do it. It kind of shocked me but he was right. I need to just get up and do it. If only it were that easy to get motivated and push aside the excuses to actually do it.  This perfectly describes me and shows just how much I exercise.
I always wonder how my hubby does it. I mean he is crazy busy but he still find time to go to the gym or go for a run. I realized that one big reason is that excercise is apart of his lifestyle. For me, it's a fad and that is why I don't exercise on a regular basis or even bother to think about it unless I feel BLAH. I do it when I need to, when there is a new fun workout, or when I feel B-L-AH.  I really want to change that and I would really like for my body to be healthy. Heck, I don't want to be out of breathe just from walking up and down the stairs. HA!

So, slowly, very very slowly, I am going to try to include exercise into my life. I want my work out shoes that I have had for 6 years to stop looking brand new. I am going to do a workout video or go on a jog for at least 10 minutes once a week.  I know, I know, what is 10 minutes a week going to do?!  Well, I really like these 10 minute cheesy work out videos.  I figure it is a start in the right direction because you gotta start somewhere, right?  It sounds silly and my hubby chuckled but that is all I can commit to.

This is week two and it is going well.... Last week, I looked for all my workout videos and it has been so long I couldn't even find my favorite one... Sad day. I did find one of the two, put in my 10 minutes giving it my all and I was sweating and out of breathe. The last time I exercised was after Cindy was born so my body was shocked!  I am hoping as the weeks go by I can add more ten minute workouts to our already busy schedule.

Yup here is my attempt to make fitness part of my lifestyle and not just a fad that comes and goes.  I am really hopeful that it won't just last a few months.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What a Husband Needs from His Wife

In the mornings after Cindy and I read together I have started reading a book for myself.  I haven't read a real book in a long time and I thought it wouldn't hurt for her to see me reading.  We have a ton of books on our shelf that I still haven't read, one of them being What a Husband Needs from His Wife by: Melanie Chitwood.
I bought this right before Randy and I got married [three years ago!], but I guess I was so caught up with graduating college, planning a wedding, and moving that I never even got past the first chapter.  Pathetic, right?!  Well, God knows because it wouldn't have been the right book for me to read back then.  It is the perfect book for me right now though. 

It doesn't say anything new but is a great reminder of those things we know.  I really enjoy the stories and excerpts from other books.  There were some things that stood out to me and I didn't have a highlighter so yup crayon it was.  True mark of a mommy right haha.  I love what this says.... so very true.
Thought I would share the quotes I marked in the book.  When you read these, remember that this book is about how we should treat our husbands [not how they should treat us]. If you don't like something, remember that it is just a quote and before you make judgments you need to read it in context.  These are the highlights from the first half of the book. 

"I need to make helping my husband a top priority before I help anyone else." 


"I do have the burden of being both parents to our children and running a household but I still enjoy being home.  My husband, however, has the burden of his work, plus the discomfort of being away from home and family."  [Very true, especially in a deployment].


"A marriage is not a joining of two worlds, but an abandoning of two worlds in order that one new one might be formed."


"A husband needs a wife who is forgiving not bitter."


"As a helper, one of my jobs is to help my husband in the role God created for him, one of leadership, protection, and provision for his family."


"Whatever a man chooses to do in his life he'll be successful.  Not because of how much money he makes or how many degrees he may acquire but because he has a woman who believes in him."


"A husband needs a wife who is content, not complaining."


"A wife's positive attitude can permeate her home like the sweet aroma of freshly picked flowers, or her negative attitude can pollute her home like stinky garbage."


"Teach your children to drop everything when daddy comes home so they can big him a big hug."


"God made us to be emotional, but not to be ruled by our emotions."   [Tough one for me].

"Take a time our for yourself before shouting ugly words."   [Yes, I have a time out corner].

"Our husbands are all grown up, but they still long for cheerleaders, not critics."


"Titus 2:4-5: "Encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands so that the word of God will not be dishonored."  Notice that loving our husbands comes first in this list of commands, thus showing its importance."  


A good book so far and something I can relate to for sure. Definitely one worth checking out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Recipe: Mini Apple Cakes

My lonely mixer has been begging to be used and I had the perfect recipe for it. This recipe is for mini apple cakes with a caramel glaze given to me by cousin Krista [thanks!]. The cake is good by itself, but the glaze is just OOOHH SOO yummy.  Served with a scoop of ice cream it is irresistible! This would be great to have in the fall. Don't they look so good?!  This recipe makes about a dozen mini cakes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Photo a Day May 14-20

My friend Bri from Life at the Zoo always shows these fun pictures she takes from a Photo Challenge she joined.  I finally jumped on the bandwagon and joined in on the fun.  The idea is to take one picture every day for the month and share it on facebook, twitter, instagram, or whatever.  I decided to share my photos each week here on my blog.  Check out the list at Fat Mum Slim.

I didn't get to take one picture everyday but I got most of them.  What a fun way for you to see a little bit of life from where I am standing.

May 14: Grass

May 16: What you are reading...  Mostly Cindy's books but there is one in there that is mine.

May 17: Snack... S'mores Pop Tarts [toasted of course] with a glass of milk


May 18: Something you made...  I made this tote a long time ago and now I use to for my trips to the market/bakery.  Look at that impatient little face telling me to hurry. 

So that is it.  I failed to get any pictures for the weekend. We were pretty busy celebrating my brithday [Ahhhh I'm 25!].  Crazy how time flies!  Maybe next week I can get all the pictures done, ha!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tutorial: Headband Holder [Pin it and Do it]

Okay so I wasn't such a fan of this when I first saw it and after I tried it anyways, I still don't really like it.  The one I pinned here is cute  but mine just looks a little off and it still looks like an oatmeal can.  I guess for now it will have to do until I can find another solution to hold her headbands.  At least it matches the adorable new bedding we just got her!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tutorial: How to Make Felt Headbands

As promised, here is the tutorial for the felt headbands I made this week.  The pictures and quality are mediocre but I was rushed because I had to get this done in one nap time along with sweeping the house.  You will get the idea of how to do it.  Cute, right?!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Turkey Panini with Bell Peppers and Mushrooms

It's nap time, the house is actually clean so I though it would be the perfect time to share a yummy recipe. 
When I don't cook a big breakfast I usually make a big lunch.  I have really been into making non traditional sandwiches.  This one is yummy and hubby approved!  I don't have a panini or quesdilla maker yet but that hasn't stopped me!  This is also a great one to help use up those small amount of left over veggies you have [bell peppers and mushrooms was what I was trying to rid of].

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Felt Headbands

Each Monday I have joined Busy Monday at a Pinch of Joy.  Be sure to check out all the great ideas that are uploaded to this awesome link party!  I thought I would actually post a  crafty thing to share this Monday.  I used some leftover felt to make.... headbands.

Cindy started pulling off headbands awhile ago but I really miss them so I am on a mission to convince her they are awesome.  I bought a pack of plain elastic headbands for $1 back when I was in California, so if she refuses them, then I won't feel so bad.   I browsed google pics for some inspiration and here is what I came up with.

And of course a picture of little miss priss wearing it.  Making felt flowers is a lot harder than it looks people.  Especially those really gorgeous, huge, intricate ones.  I need more practice and big props to those arsty ladies who do make them.  I am still pretty happy with how it came out.  I will post the tutorial later on in the week.  

I like flowers on headbands, but I LOVE big bows.  It's that southern girl deep down inside.  SO, here is a felt bow headband.

She wore it on Mother's Day and looked absolutely darling in it.  It also stayed on her head longer than 20 minutes [score!]. 

So, if you have something crafty or you have something to share, be sure to head over to a Pinch of Joy and link up!
apinchofjoy.com

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mommy Day to all you mamas out there! I have gone through this hermit phase and all I really want to do is stay home.  It's probably a side affect from our recent travels but this year, no hotels, no sight seeing, and the hubby kept it simple. And I got what a Mom really wants.  It was PERFECT.

I got to sleep in while he watched the little monster and he took me on  shopping spree. OH YEA! Yup a day for me to be frivolous and buy whatever my heart desires.  This time my heart desired lots of kitchen-y things.  I haven't really bought much for our kitchen because we got 90% of what we needed from our wedding.  With my recent desire to cook it was so fun to buy all these kitchen goodies I just had to share my two favorite purchases.

The first, are these ADORABLE tins from good ol Martha Stewart.  I love the quality and the design of most of her products.  I have always wanted vintage tins and these were perfect.  The lid has this seal, which is a nice big modern day plus.  I love the size and the colors match my kitchen perfect.  Definitely a splurge on my part because I would normally never spend $12 [a pop] on tins.  They sell $14.99 retail without tax so I feel justified because I saved money hehe.  Once I got them situated I knew it was worth it.

My second absolute fave fave fave is my new Calphalon 10 inch pan.  I am in love.  Our 10 inch non stick is starting to peel and though I love it's powder blue exterior, it was tine for it to retire.  This was the best gift to give a mama like me.  I got it for $35 which is $14 cheaper than on amazon so I am happy.  I'm a Calphalon believer now and my next non stick cookware set is going to have to come from them even though it cost almost $500.  It's worth it to me! [That is yummy Chicken Parmigiana cooking oh so very nicely].

Hope you had a wonderful Mother's day as well!  


Friday, May 11, 2012

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups [Pin it and Do it]

Because I have been doing so much cooking and baking, it is only fitting that this post be a recipe, right?  I saw this pin about making your own fruit roll ups with real fruit [found on my kiddy food board] and I knew I had to try it.  Looks pretty good huh? [But I have to admit I like the sugar filled fruit roll ups better].  But for Cindy this is perfect and she loves it.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Felt Baby Book

Oh me oh my it has been a long time since I have sewn anything and boy am I rusty!  I really am not fully  happy with how this turned out but oh well.  I am just glad it is done because I hate leaving things unfinished.  It only took me almost a year!!  I know how re-donkeylous!  Not such a fan of needlepoint and won't be doing that for awhile.

It was suppose to be a book for Cindy when she was a itty bitty baby.  I guess we will just use it to practice her sign language.  In the sewing book I got the idea from, they also stitched the words but I ran out of patience.  I hate the way the pages turned out though and I wish I would have been more patient and precise about the construction.

My favorite page is the doggy.  It  is her's too!  For some reason, she loves touching his little eyes.

Surprisingly, she liked it and spent a little bit of time flipping through the pages.  I guess it wasn't such a waste because our next baby [the one in the far away future] will be able to use it too. 

The next felt book I create will be way more fun than this one [if I ever do get to making another one].  Want to make one and looking for ideas??  There is a great one on you can see at The Crafting Chicks. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Recipe: Banana Bread

Right now I am really into cooking and baking... I usually go through waves... cooking, sewing, paper cutting.... Every other craft is getting ignored because of it but the hubby sure is enjoying every moment.

Anywhoo, I had some ripe bananas, made some bread and thought I would this banana bread recipe that is easy to alter according to your taste.  This recipe is a nice one for us beginners.  Even though it isn't a super easy, pour everything in a bowl, it is well worth the work.  [Mine is a little overcooked because I forgot to set the timer but you get the idea]. 


Here are the ingredients:

1/2 cup of softened butter
3/4 brown sugar [you can use white if you want]
2 eggs
2 1/3 cups of mashed ripe bananas
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon [add more if you like it]
1tsp of vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Optional:
1 cup of chocolate chips
nutmeg [I'm not a fan of it so I leave it out]

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until it is light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition.

Stir in mashed bananas and vanilla. 
*** Just a note:  One of the secrets to moist banana bread is having enough mashed bananas. ***
In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients [flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt] Mix it together.

The second banana bread secret is DO NOT OVER MIX.  My first few banana breads were always a little dry and I realized that I was over mixing.  This is where a mom's gentle touch comes in handy.  Add the dry ingredients in a little at a time just until it is moist.  Even if there are a few lumps don't go stir crazy!  

Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.  Line the pan with parchment paper. And bake at 350 for 50 minutes to an hour.  If your top begins to brown too quickly like mine just cover it with foil. 

And there you have it a yummy banana bread!! My hubby loves it and it makes a great snack to eat for the week. 

If you are looking for something that is more simple but just as delicious, try the banana muffin recipe.  It guarantee, it won't disappoint.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

How to Make Play Dough [Pin it and Do it]

Since before we went on our trip I have been dying to try this!!  It is so easy I vow never to buy play dough again.  Seriously, as easy as making oatmeal on the stove top and I finished it all in one nap time with time to spare.  PLUS I found everything I needed right there in my pantry and didn't have to buy anything extra.  HERE is the pin and the recipe can be found on Art Nest.

To save you some clicking time I posted the recipe and how to here.  What you will need [for 2.5 cups]:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

When in Rome...

As I mentioned before, we have been on vacation.  It was remarkable and I never in my life dreamed of visiting such places.  It gives me an itch to start dreaming about the next place we will see.  I didn't realize just how much I love traveling until the hub joined the AF.  

If you haven't guessed by the title, the main trip was to Rome!  So magnificent, rich in history, and full of beauty.  One thing about going in "vacation" with my hubby is the itinerary is a mission sights to be conquered.  Here are the highlights of my favorite places:

The Colosseum... the only thing I could think of was the movie, the Gladiator hehe...

As busy ax it was the Fountain of Trevi was remarkable!  I am still craving the coffee gelato we had there. 

The ruins of Pompeii.  It is so interesting to see how the Romans lived in those times and eerie to see the bodies mummified by the ash.

And you can't go to Rome without seeing Vatican city.  There really aren't words to describe how breath taking St. Peter's Square and Basilica are.

We saw so many things it would take forever for me to tell you all about it so here are some pictures all clumped together.

One of my favorites was the Sistine Chapel and seeing Michael Angelo's painting.  I can't even fathom how he accomplished that!  There were so many people there, I wish I could have sat in that room by myself, laid on the floor, and stared at his work for hours.  Sadly, no pictures were allowed in the actual chapel but you can see the grandeur in the museum.

Doesn't this make you want to get up and just travel?!  I would say me too but this trip pooped me out.  I need a break and as much fun as I had it is nice to be back in the real world.  Now I just have to conquer the house work so I can start crafting again.