Saturday, April 6, 2013

Wolf River fun-- Spring is here:)

Deacan and I have been enjoying  a well-kept secret other side of Shelby Farms.  On Saturdays, we have been hiking and enjoying what we call "our own private beach".  It is amazing that no one knows of this spot!  The best part about this spot is that is less than 5 minutes from our house.  Sweet!  We even made a sand casting today.  I will make a separate post on instructions on how to do it.  Here are some photos I took today:

This bridge is on the way to the "beach".  We named it "Little Green Foot".  Maybe it has Native American roots- haha!

   Deac was so happy to get to the water!
So, once we get there- he tells me he has to take his shirt off.  His exact words were, "Because that's how I roll".  I about died laughing!  He was so serious when he said it!  I said, "What?".  He replied, "Because that's how I roll when I'm by the water".  Too funny!  Guess he picked that line up from Mommy.  Because that's how I roll.  :)
In these photos the water looks quite dirty.. It is actually really clear.  We have lots of fun combing for pretty rocks..
Deacan even found a mussel shell last time we were here.  A few other photos a took today:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Shelby Farms w/ ChloBo, KyJo, and Deacan:)

Last Saturday we had a super fun time playing at Shelby Farms with Kylee and Chloe.  It was a bit colder than we thought it was going to be but once we got moving we were good to go!!  At first I was freezing.  Luckily, we brought a ball.  We had fun playing "volleyball" and "keep away".  Nothing like a little movement to warm up-- and so much fun, too!  Here are some photos I took while we were there:

                                            Just A' Swingin' !!!  Swingin' !!!

                                           They have "Spidey-Sence" !!!

         So cute going down the  slide all together!  Look closely for Deac in the back:                                                                                               :)
 It was too cold for the water pump to be on.  Luckily, Aunt J.J. had a gallon of water in her car!!  Oh, Yeah!!!  Who says it's too cold for water, anyway?!  Can't stop us!!  :)

               Kylee and Deac zipped down the slide for a bit while Chloe and I played ball:
     Deacan was so happy to spend a couple of great hours with his SUPER COOL cousins.  In spite of the chill-- we all had a blast, myself included!  We ended the day with a trip to C.C.'s Pizza-- great food and a few games.  Once again, I have to ask, why can't every day be Saturday?  :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Christmas 2012

     Well, the most exciting thing that happened this Christmas was that Deacan actually found a REAL jingle bell on the balcony!!  We left carrots and raw oatmeal outside, as usual.  This year was particularly special because a bell fell off a reindeer and Deac now has it!!  How awesome is that?  Here are a few photos to prove it:  Unfortunately, my computer is in need of a tune-up and the video will not upload (ANNOYING!).. But we do have a pic of the bell and a letter from Santa.. Totally admissible proof to the amazing wonders of Santa!  And I got my day planner in my stocking-- how in the world did he know just what I wanted?!?  Of course, we did not fail to recognize the true meaning of Christmas-- we sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus!  Praise the Lord:)

After a huge delay*********** We are back!!!

   Hello, peeps!!  After a timely delay, I happy to announce I have purchased a device to read my photo memory cards.  YAY!  The memory card reader on my laptop has gone out, thus explaining the lack of posts.  Posts aren't nearly as worthy without photos to put a better focus on the topic at hand ( be it my adorable and amazing son, dish, or craft).  Maybe I am being a bit too proud of my baby.. ummm, no, I don't think so!! ;)  Thanks for hanging tight------here come some posts!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Panko breaded chicken tenderloins with fresh tomato basil Sauce-- time consuming but worth it!

So, let me first say this meal took me about an hour and a half to make.  If you have fresh, home-grown tomatoes at hand-- it is worth it.  If you aren't sure where your tomatoes came from-- you can buy the sauce and enjoy the Panko encrusted chicken, nonetheless.

I set up a Toss, Dunk, Press process. As in toss the chicken tenderloin into the flour, dunk it into the egg, and press it into the panko crumbs.  I do toss the Panko crumbs with Italian seasonings for flavor.  Bake at 350  for about 25 minutes. It ends up looking like this:
Now, if you don't have home-grown or farmer's market tomatoes, go with your recipe of choice for topping.  If you are lucky enough to have special tomatoes on hand, this is a great recipe for sauce,, You will have wanted to start this about 1 hour prior to your chicken cook time.  Quarter the tomatoes and place in a pan with 1 cup of water.  Combine with diced onions comparable to the amount of tomatoes you are using. Also add about a Tbsp of sugar, salt and pepper, garlic to taste.At this time add your spices/herbs to the sauce.   I love fresh basil.-- amazing!!   Let them simmer to the point they are breaking down.. At that point, mash them with a potato masher, set to the side, and allow to cool a bit.Then peel and discard all the tomato skins you mange.  They will peel easily.
 So, we are almost done!!  Next, spoon about 1/2 cup onto each chicken tenderloin, top with a slice of mozzarella, return to the oven.

In about 3 minutes-- dinner is served!!  And it is fabulous!!  So thankful God has given us this abundance of ingredients to use and the skill to use them:)  Enjoy and Bon Appetit:)

I can't believe I didn't get a photo of these babies when they were out of the oven.. Do try.. And do cook.. And do enjoy!  Bon Appetit!   :)

15 minutes, 0 preservatives, cheesy ravioli = yummy weekday meal!!

    Here is a quick, easy, veggie enhanced choice for a week night meal (or a weekend lunch).  This is so easy to prepare.  At the same time, it is super cheap and free of all those nasty tasting, non-nutritious preservatives.  Deacan has a very hard time with "Chef" Boyardee-- but will eat it if that is the only source available.  Try and taste this and you will never go back!!

3 steps-- easy peasy!!

1st step:  Buy frozen cheese ravioli and boil them for about 3 minutes...  Aldi sells an excellent product for about $3/ 8 serving bag.  After boiling, strain, and toss with a bit of olive oil..
Above photo, in the same pan, mix up a jar of pasta sauce (your choice).. We love Aldi's Mushroom Pasta Sauce-- but roll with what you like.  I also added a can of stewed tomatoes to this batch. You could even branch out and do an alfredo or pesto! 

I like to get a bit fancy and add 2 tablespoons of mince garlic (for our immune systems/ Deacan's lack of adequate hand-washing).  I also throw in a handful of basil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Really- the world is your oyster here.  Whatever spices and sauces you like-- wonderful!  Just make sure they are complementary.  We can't have Judy Bloom with James Patterson.  Right?
Fresh basil, minced garlic, store-bought tomato sauce=  3 minutes to a culinary YUM!! :)  It all melts down to a beautiful medley also known as tomato sauce.. Now spoon onto those raviolis and you have an awesome meal in less than 15 minutes flat!  Sweet!!  Or shall I say "A'More!"  :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How to make Canvas Map wall Art-- easy & inexpensive!

     So, I have collected maps from my travels and whereabouts over the years.  I have been meaning to make wall art with them for quite some time (um, about 6 years).  I FINALLY got around to actually doing it! Yay!  This project is simple and costs around $10, depending on the canvas you chose.  My future project will be a bit more expensive due to the large canvas. I got two canvases in a value pack for $8 at Micheal's.  I loved the square ones:
Then it was time to bust out the maps!  Thankfully, I had them stored in a nice, neat packet and a file folder:
Once unbound, it was a bit of a mess!

After much deliberation, I found the perfect pair to go with for my "beginner's project".  I wanted to save the most special and larger maps for later, in case I messed up.  I went with a couple of maps from the Sonoma Valley wineries.  Oh, how I wish I could visit that majestic land again-- RIGHT NOW! ! :)

There are several tutorials online about how to wrap the maps around the canvas, which looks really nice.  I chose to paint a border around mine due to the size of the maps once I cut them.  If you have a larger map-- check out the wrapping technique. 

That being said, my next step was to blend a few of my paints to make it work and create a border.  I also painted wall facing edges of the canvas. 
Then, just Mod Podge onto the canvas, pasting the pieces of the map onto there per-determined spots.  I emphasize PRE-DETERMINED  because the piece will not remove easily-- hence crackling and folding.  Be extra sure where you want it-- it is a bit unforgiving of error.  My final product had a few creases.  That being said, relax but be positive about your lay out in the beginning..
Once it is all Mod Podged, it will still be kind of wet.  In spite of this fact, add another layer of Mod Podge over it.  It will seem as if it is gunky and will perhaps disenigrate -- it won't! Trust me.. Throw on a healthy layer of M.P.
Do not touch!! Put in a safe place to dry.  And within 24 hours you will have some super-cool wall art to hang.  YAY!!  Here is my finished project, sadly to say I have not hung them up yet.. I need to find my nails. HA!