Sunday, February 28, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

You know my drill by now!! I have to say that I LOVE this New Year's resolution--I LOVE not spending my drive home from work wondering WHAT I'm going to make for dinner, I LOVE not having to resort to accepting dinner through the driver's side car window (much to the little boys disappointment--HA!) and I love the $$ savings that this creates. I go through the local grocery stores flyer and plan around what's on sale, or pull out of the freezer items that I previously bought on sale. Because I'm cheap (or Kurt will say "frugal" or "thrifty", but cheap works for me!!) Head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie's blog too--I'm telling you, TONS of ideas over there!!
Last week we tried 3 new recipes: 2 were definate hits (one is in the oven right now!). This week I'm falling back on a couple of favorites that I haven't made in a while--in fact, looking back on past posts, I have had VERY few repeats for the entire year, another benefit of meal planning, variety!! I am trying a couple of new things too, I'll let you know what we think =)

Monday: Class, no cooking for me!!
Tuesday: Tara's Chicken Tortellini, crusty bread
Wednesday: Kielbasa and cabbage, mashed potatoes
Thursday: Burgers on buns, fries, baked beans
Friday: Fish fillets, mac & cheese, peas
Saturday: Rosemary roasted pork tenderloin, roasted taters, veggie
Sunday: Incredible chicken breasts, rice, veggie

Just a note: 9 times out of 10 a "new" recipe that I do will come from, so if I don't get the recipe posted here, chances are you'll find it there!!

What's for Supper Saturday

This was one of my new recipes I tried this week--super simple and it was a hit as well =)

Cranberry-Pineapple Chicken

Boneless, skinless chix breastss (I used 8)
1 can crushed pineapple
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

Place breasts in a 9x13 pan. Mix pineapple and cranberry sauce together, spoon over the chicken. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cover with foil. Bake for 30" at 375 degrees, remove the foil and continue baking until the chicken is done. That's it!! Enjoy =)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Flashback Friday!

So one party in these pictures is my BFF, Patti. (the other half is me--HA!) I made the HUGE mistake of introducing her to her hubby, b/c his job has a residency requirement and it made her have to move away from me--WWWWWAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
She's not THAT far away, but busy lives x 2 means we don't get together NEARLY often enough!! A HUGE hardship when we used to see each other daily and talk multiple times a day. At any rate, I have these 5 photos in a frame and EVERY time I look at them it makes me smile to remember when each of them was taken and THANKFUL that a camera was not ALWAYS with us on our escapades =)
MISS YOU, BFF!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Once a year, Red Lobster has its Lobster Fest promotion and through the power of advertising I was drawn in. Which means Kurt (because he loves me and seafood, but me more. A little more. I think--HA!) took me and our 3rd wheel Beckett out for lunch today. Which means a trip to Madison. The East side. With Beckett--did I mention that?
Actually Beckett was a perfect lunch date--sat nicely, tolerated pictures, ate ALL of his dinner, survived a stop at the mall and remained remarkedly adorable through it all =)
Oh yeah, we had the Ultimate Feast--it only comes around once a year, right?!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hello Luh-vah!!

Yes, I am that dork. I am SO in love with my seal-a-meal!!! Part of the new-organized-meal-planning-maniac me is SO glad I asked for and received (thanks Chad--my BIL!) this little beauty for Xmas. He gets pulled out after each trip to the grocery store (yup, everyone so far!) I can buy sale meats or bigger packages and divide them into smaller portions and freeze them in these heavy-duty bags so they STAY fresh in the deep freeze--which is great for me, because sometimes I forget what's down there and it gets buried HA!
This bad boy goes on my highly-recommended, thumbs up list =)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

WooHoo--I'm on a roll!! Kurt is going to be home 4 nights this week (yay!) and he even offered to take those nights for dinner-making. BUT, being the super-organized meal planner that I am, I've already gone ahead and laid the ground-work for the week, HA! However, that doesn't mean he can't go ahead and make what I've got planned, right?!
I will again be linking up with Laura over at "I'm an Organizing Junkie", her blog link is in my sidebar. Last week there were almost 500! blogs linked up just for meal planning!!! Lots of great ideas over there, really =) So for us:

Monday: I have class, no cooking!
Tuesday: Goulash, salad
Wednesday: A casserole I froze a while back
Thursday: Steak Continential (new recipe), baked taters, veggie
Friday: Tilapia with lemon pepper and baked, rice, veggie
Saturday: Pineapple-cranberry chicken (new one), pasta side, veggie
Sunday: Beef roast, mashed potatoes, roasted veggie

Once again, I am trying to pull from the freezer! I discovered just how much chicken is down there from previous great sales, so it'll will be appearing weekly for a while longer!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What's for Supper Saturday

So when I did my menu planning for the week, I knew chicken breasts were happening on Saturday, but wasn't sure what I'd do with them. My go-to solution is to check out and see what I can find--HA! This one caught my eye, so supper it became! I've listed the ingredients as they were meant to be, but truth be told--I'm a huge "eye-baller" (for COOKING anyway, BAKING I do things right!). It was very moist and I do believe I'd turn to this one again =)
Chicken Breasts with Herb Basting Sauce
3 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs minced onion
1 crushed clove of garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbs parsley
4 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on

Mix the olive oil and spices together. Toss breasts in this to coat. Place breasts skin side up in 9x13 pan and cover. Place in pre-heated 425 degree oven. Bake 35-45 minutes, basting occasionally with juices. I took the foil off for the last 20 minutes to brown the chicken up nicely.
You could make the same basting sauce and toss it over some potatoes to roast along with the chicken--we had rice as a side though =)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Flashback Friday!

When Kurt and I were married, we chose a historic hotel in Downtown Galena. It dates from the Civil War and is decorated in period pieces. At the bottom of the wide sweeping staircase is a "fainting couch". This is Arielle doing her impression of a young lady in need of such a piece of furniture--HA!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snuggling with his sister

He's got more than one brother, and who wants to snuggle with them (beside Mom, of course!!)? To find Arielle at home is a pretty big deal, so Paxton isn't one to let an opportunity pass him by =)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Checking out their latest issues of "Train Monthly"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My little research assistant....

So this semester of clincials means doing care plans. Lots. Of. Careplans. And they are quite detailed: Every medication has to be addressed (classification, indications for use, pertinent lab values, side effects, dosage, action), all labs have to be included, each body system is assessed, nursing diagnosis in relation to the clients diagnosis and 2 interventions WITH rationales have to be included---just to name a few things! At any rate, it is a lot of work to get these hammered out and emailed in following clinical.
BUT, lucky me had Beckett pounding away on his laptop right next to me and my laptop (and 6 reference books). I'm not sure he made the work go any faster/easier, but he sure made it more enjoyable =)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Monday again!!! This weeks meals are all originating from the freezer--Kurt will be VERY happy about that =) He's usually the one who gets the "pleasure" of taking groceries down there and he has been known to complain occasionally that there is no room in there--HA!! Yet again, I invite you to head over to "I'm an Organizing Junkie" and check out the PLETHERA of meal plans that these organized ladies have going on! Her blog link is in my sidebar--I've given up trying to embed them in my posts =(
Monday: I have class--no cooking!!
Tuesday: My Mom's group is meeting, Kurt will be in charge of dinner
Wednesday: Tortellini & sauce, salad, garlic bread
Thursday: Porcupine meatballs, pasta side, peas
Friday: Beef stew and baking powder biscuits
Saturday: Chicken breasts (not sure how I'll do them yet), rice, green beans
Sunday: Baked cube steaks, taters, corn

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!

So, just to re-affirm what a wonderful hubby I have, yesterday morning (at 5am!) as I rounded the corner on my way into the kitchen to get my lunch before heading out for the hospital, THIS lovely sight came into view!! Kurt had set out a little Valentine's day gift out a day early and it sure sent me off with a smile on my face!
In the bag was a vase of yellow roses, yes a whole dozen. Yellow ones are my FAVORITE--they were my wedding bouquet and what he got me when each of the little boys were born. Also inside were some mini Reese's PB cups, whoppers, hugs and kisses candy and a bottle of my beloved Pepsi. On the card he wrote that he knew I'd be getting a fountain pepsi at the hospital, but I could save the bottle for when I was working on my homework he knew that I'd have =)
I surely was not planning on him doing any V-day shopping, but I recovered nicely and bought Kurt the DVD season 1 of NCIS and a bag of chocolate-dipped fortune cookies =)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Making Valentines

So far, each year for Paxton's valentines I have made them at home. Handstamped so no cutesy cartoon characters or latest Disney sensation happening here! AND, instead of taping another piece of candy to the envelope, this lame Mom includes a toothbrush for each kid (Arielle is CERTAIN this gets Paxton beat up on the playground, but I think he's still safe. I, on the other hand, think the parents appreciate it!)
This year marked the first time that he/we had to come up with the container to hold all of the loot. Enter a shoebox from one of Parker's pair of shoes and construction paper. I papered the box while he wrote out the names of his classmates. He did get to stamp the lid, so he DID have a hand in that part =)
Next year this process will be multiplied by two. Jealous?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Flashback Friday!

Because Valentine's Day is right around the corner, today's Flashback moment is a picture of our wedding day--technically night, HA!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!!!

As in my parents! They've been married 9 months longer than I've been alive--HA! Dad was in the Army and stationed in Washington DC, Mom was working for the FBI (during J. Edgar Hoovers tenure--who knew they liked to dress alike?) when they met. Married 7 months later, hows that for moving quickly? The city girl came to live a more rural life and here we all are to show for it =)
Kurt and I--and a couple of tax deductions, took them to a Supper Club (big in Wisconsin, folks--Google it!) for dinner. As you can see, the little boys took their meal selection quite seriously...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

So, where's the blue light?!?!

Beckett told me this weekend:
Mom!! Green light means go! Red light means stop! Blue light means go backwards! Yellow light means slow down!
Hmmmmm, 3 out of 4 isn't bad--but I have NO CLUE where he picked up the whole blue light idea. I am pretty thankful that he's going with "yellow means slow down" rather than the other meaning: PUNCH IT! HA!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Yes, yes--it's that time again! I'm actually still up and will get this post linked before I'm number 400+, yup, THAT'S how many other blogs regularly link up, so you really want to head over to Laura's blog: and see the other great menus! For us this week:
Monday: I have class, no cooking for me
Tuesday: Chicken in the crockpot, veggies and taters are in there too.
Wednesday: Tacos, Spanish Rice, corn muffins
Thursday: Ham primavera (leftover ham from last week!), crusty bread
Friday: Turkey Legs in the crock pot, stuffing, veggie
Saturday: BBQ spareribs, coleslaw, baked beans
Sunday: Still undecided!!!

Picasso never had a Glo-Doodle!!

Can you imagine if he had?! Oh what masterpieces could have been created on this childs plaything....
Well, no Picasso lives here, just Beckett. And check out that look of pure concentration on his face--tongue out and everything! So far his portfolio contains Smiley Faces. Lots. Of. Smiley Faces. Each of which he insists I take a picture of. Each of which I do. For a while =)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Flashback Friday!

Awww, look how YOUNG they look!! Arielle and Parker, obviously--FIL came to the house shortly after we bought it and did a ton of pictures of these two (for those that don't know, FIL is a professional photographer [yet ya'll are forced to look at the stuff I shoot--hardly seems fair, does it? HA!]) They would have been ages 10 and 7--where did the time go?!?!?!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Truthful Thursday--New Year's Resolution Update part 2...

Keeping myself accountable again--what better way than to spill in front of the eyes of the tens of readers that I have, right? HA!
First of all, weight loss: I am down 6 from the first of the year, so just about back to where I was before those durned holiday pounds came creeping about, so YAY there =)
Next: DECLUTTERING!! And that brings me to explaining the photos that go with this post! Obviously, this would be my darling daughter all dolled up for her Jr. Prom. Well, Parker's Jr. Prom will be next Spring, but as I'm pretty sure I will not be able to convince him to wear Prom duds that we already own, I needed to chase this piece of pretty out of my house! Enter a local clothing store near where I work. Last year they held an event where you could bring in previously worn Prom attire and they would sell it on consignment. A co-worker did it and had a fabulous experience, so I was all over it this year!
They ask for $5 to take the dress, you fill out a form with the HS that the dress was worn to, how old, designer, original size, any major alterations, etc. They've been displaying some of these dresses all week in the window--lots of pinks and purples, some blues--the 2 ladies gasped when I unzipped the bag on Arielle's lime green dream! (Now, they may have totally been blowing smoke in my ear, but I SO fell for it--HA!) They were excited to see something besides the "usual" shades of dress =) You set the price of the dress and an absolute minimum that you'll take. I had to ask for guidance on that one, I am no expert =) They said usually the rule of thumb is half of what you orginally paid, BUT they both thought of the $400 that her dress retailed for I should ask $275 and go no lower than $225 and they stopped short of guaranteeing that it would fly out of the shop at the $275 price! They take 30% of the final price, leaving 70% for me =)
Honestly, the decluttering and getting that dress on another HS girl is the BEST part of the whole arrangement, but I sure will enjoy some bones in my pocket as a bonus!!!!
One last note about the pics--these were ACTUALLY taken on the day AFTER Prom, I had SO few of JUST her in that dress I made her put it back on so I could get some more, so her hair is all undone--but I still thought it was pretty all curly-like =)
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