Saturday, April 28, 2012

Consignment Sale

I hit the JACKPOT!

I got almost all of my kids a summer wardrobe in one fail swoop last night…at a consignment sale.

Yes, thats right I got piles and piles of clothes shoes and accesories (some even new!) and most everything Gymboree or Gap or a some name brand. I even picked up a full set of 30 level 1 and 2 early reader Scooby Doo books on my way to the checkout!

I did not have the time, or motivation to price and get all my stuff to a sale this Spring, but I was able to work 2 hours yesterday morning  (with free childcare for 3 rascals!) setting up for this sale and in return I got to shop at the pre-sale. This is the way to go!!! I helped put out clothes for the sizes I was looking for so I had an idea of what was there and where it was. Then I got to go shop last night without the crowds, the shoving, the pushing, the waiting in line... It was GREAT!

I am telling you with 4 kiddos who LOVE to play outside and do arts and crafts, this is the only way to go. Then if they ruin something, oh well…. No sweat.

Let them play and have fun and look cute doing it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Peanut Butter Granola Balls

You know we love our homemade granola bars in this house! Well, this week I had a friend say that she made the chewy ones I posted a couple of weeks ago and they did not stay together for her, so I went on the hunt for something similar and I found a recipe on Pinterest and decided to see if these would work better. 

Well, they were easier and stayed together… and they taste like the bake cookies…but with no sugar in them. How can you go wrong with that?!?! So here's my version of the recipe.

Peanut Butter Granola Balls

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 T butter (I used Smart Balance 50/50, so even a bit more healthy!)
1 cup rice kris pies
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1/4 cup chocolate chips

In a small saucepan over medium, heat honey, peanut butter, and butter. Stir until loosened and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cereal, oats, and chocolate chips.

Drop mixture by the tablespoon into mini paper cupcake or candy liners. Place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.


I linked up with Pin for the Wednesdays on Mommin' It Up

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kids Rooms

For a week now we have been in transition as we moved kids rooms. Melina moved into the room that Meeka and Carson had been sharing and Carson moved into Melina's room. 

It was a lot more work than I had anticipated. I finally finished tonight though and I am sooo releived. The feeling of not being "settled" drives me NUTS! So now I can sleep tight tonight knowing that Carson no longer has pink curtains and the girls clothes all fit in the closet!

Carson's New Room!

I found some cool wooden signs at Home Goods!
(shhh, don't tell Michael I have been shopping at Home Goods!)

Vintage Metal Car
These pictures were Logan's from when he was little.

Logan made this for Carson.
(I had to let go of my OCD and let him do it hits way!)
Sure turned out CUTE huh?
Logan and Melina put these on the wall for him.
Again, a good test of letting it go and letting them help!
They were so proud of how it turned out!

Carson loved this vintage airplane we hung in his room!

 Meeka and Melina's New Room!

The Closet.
It all fits!

Meeka got a new vanity for her birthday.
She LOVES it!!!

Melina has the top bunk.

Meeka has the bottom.

Bookshelf and hair stuff.

Toys, toys, toys!
Everyone LOVES their new rooms!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Taco Cupcakes

So on my quest to make more easy, time friendly dinners, which can be "sturdy" and by this I mean eaten by different family members at different times through the evening and still taste good, I came across this recipe for Taco Cupcakes. Sounds Crazy…but they were a BIG hit with EVERY member of my family! I made 24 cupcakes and they were all gone!

AND to top it all off, I got the inspiration through Pinterest from a blog where the blogger writes weight watchers recipes…so not only are they good, but they are good for you! Can't beat that!

I made the cupcakes about 2 hours before I baked them and they were still crispy, but I am not sure I would recommend letting them sit all day. Also, I did brown the meat earlier in the day and let it cool completely before assembling the cupcakes.
First put a wonton wrappers in muffin tins sprayed with cooking spray.
Then top with a dollop of queso.

Then add a small spoonful of meat mixture, a small dollop of salsa and a sprinkle of cheese.

Then repeat the entire process on top of the first set of layers.

They will look like this…but with cheese on the very top.
(Meeka was slowly eating helping with the cheese at the time I took the picture)

Out of the oven the look like this.
Top with sour cream and/ or guacamole.
You can pop them out and eat them with your fingers once they are cool.

Taco Cupcakes

Yields 24 Cupcakes


1 ½ t olive oil 
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 package taco seasoning
¾  can reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can chopped black olives48 wonton wrappers (found in the produce section)
queso dip 
 chunky salsa (I used black bean and corn)
 shredded Mexican cheese 


1.    Pre-heat the oven to 375. Lightly mist 2 muffin tins with cooking spray.

2.    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground turkey cook until all browned. Add taco seasoning, black beans and olives and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until warm.

3.    Push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each of the 24 muffin cups. Spoon a teaspoon of queso dip into each wonton wrapper and spread across the bottom. Follow by spooning some of the meat mixture into each cup (using about half the total mixture) and then place as dollop of salsa into each cup and top with a sprinkle of cheese evenly over the top of each cup. Press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat the layering steps with the remaining ingredients.

4.    Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crock Pot Pesto Chicken

I have decided I need to use the crock pot more because we now have sports and other activities Monday through Thursday nights…kinds makes life crazy in the evenings! Now let me say that I love the idea of the crock pot, but more than half of the recipes I have made in the crock pot  over the years have not been family favorites. I think chicken made in the crock pot is dry…no matter how much wine chicken broth or other liquid I cook it in.Yesterday I decided to try Pesto Chicken in the crock pot. This is a recipe which we all love, but I usually bake it in the oven. I did not set out to write about this, but after tasting it last night I thought I had to share. So no pictures or any exact measurements, just an outline for a good, TENDER, chicken!! It was literally falling apart as we were eating it!!

Crock Pot Pesto Chicken

Chicken Breast
Mozzarella or Parmesan Cheese or both

1. Put Chicken breast in the crock pot.
2. Sprinkle with a little bit of cheese.
3. Pour pesto of your choice on top.

I also cooked potatoes with the chicken. I just covered the chicken with foil. Stuck a couple large redskins with a fork and threw them in on top of the foil. They cooked perfectly.

I put 2 very large frozen breasts in at at about 2:30pm and cooked on high and they were done at 7.

Thats it. 

Yup, its that simple!!

How could I not share a GREAT recipe that is soooo easy!!! 

PS - Just tell your husband how it took you hours to make, he might actually believe you after he tastes how good it is!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Meeka Mouska Mickey Mouse!

My beautiful, feisty, energetic baby girl turned 3 on Saturday. 

We celebrated with a Mickey Mouse Birthday Party at the Roller Rink.
Birthday Girl!!

On the rink. without skates!
She did not stay still long enough to take a picture that was not blurry!

Meeka and her school buddy Lincoln.

Eating Pizza!
Blowing out her candle!
With the birthday girl!


Her invitation
Mickey Mouse Cupcakes

Treat Bags for our guests

Mickey Mouse Ear Hats

Favor for the treat bag

Our party set-up!

What a great celebration!
She is still talking about having fun at her roller skating Mickey Mouse Party!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Meeka's last day

Meeka and Casey
Today marked Meeka's last day with the Help Me Grow program. It is her last day because as of Saturday she "ages out" and is no longer eligible for services through the program.

Where do I even start???

I know I have written of this before, but when we first started Meeka could say mama and dada and that was about it. She was 2 and some…thats not so good. Now at 3 she speaks in long phrases and sentences. So has come so far in the amount of time she has been working with them.

Casey and Marty and the staff at Four Oaks are AMAZING!!! They have fabulous lessons planned for these kids that are better than some preschools! By the end of this program the kids are sitting in circle time for half and hour or more….seriously amazing for 2 1/2 yr olds! And they were so willing to help us know what to do with her at home to work on her speech. They made worksheets and cards and gave me ideas on how to use them and play games to help her practice her sounds.

They were patient and caring with my little fireball and they took the time to get to knew her, her style and her quirks and figure out how to work best with her! I can not say enough about how FABULOUS this program was for her and I am so sad that today was her last day. I cried when we left and I get tears in my eyes every time I think about it today!

All is can say is that we have a whole new Meeka and part of that is due to Casey and Marty and all the GREAT folks at Four Oaks!! WE LOVE YA!!!

We made Thank you pots for Casey and Marty that said,
"Thanks for Helping Me Grow!"
We put Meeka's handprint on the back!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Healthier No-Bake Granola Bars

No-Bake Granola Bars

We have tried others, but we seems to always revert back to our trusty granola bar recipe from Allrecipes which we love. But today we thought we'd give it another whirl. This time venturing into the realm of crisp no bake bars. This a variation of Rachel Ray's recipe. Hers calls for granola, which I am sure would be good, but also packed with so many more calories than oatmeal. These turned out pretty good!! In fact, we will probably go back to this recipe. Maybe try adding some peanut butter or raisins. It is a good twist from what we are used to with the crunchy granola bar!

No Bake Granola Bars

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats {not rolled oats!}
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

1/4 cup mini marshmallows
In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness.  Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and marshmallows and press down lightly. Cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Store at room temperature.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!

Our Easter in Pictures.

Easter baskets were low on candy this year. Just 1 chocolate bunny
and PB Egg.

Raspberry Lemon French Toast for breakfast.

The kids made a thorough mess while I was getting ready for church.

All dressed up and ready for church.

And with a little more enthusiasim.

Carson hunting eggs

Meeka at her Egg Hunt

And Melina

And finally Logan

Playing with their new yo-yos and bubbles after church.

Logan wanted to take a photo of the two of us.

We made Chocolate strawberries while the little ones were napping.
This was a kids request.


The final product.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Party!!

This morning was the Dayton Mamas Easter Party. These are a lot of work, although I have it down to a pretty good science now and I have GREAT people who are willing to help, but the are soooo much FUN!! The kids really enjoy themselves and it makes it all worth it! We had a blast this morning. You can see from the pictures how much FUN we had!

Our Easter Treat we made to share!

Happy Easter!!!
Melina loved the Bunny right from the start!

Once I showed Carson what to do with the eggs, he was set!
He loved finding eggs!!

He put them in his bag. And would not let you go the bag! :)

At the beginning of the party Meeka would not even be
on the same side of the room as the bunny. By then end…
well you can see! (And yes we know…Crack kills! )

Fun and Games!
They played the limbo, bunny hop, Macarena and more!

More fun and games with the parachute and balloons!
Melina was busy inspecting her eggs as she got them!

Logan and his good friend Carl show off their eggs!

Family Photo, plus 1 ! :)