Momnesia

This morning while sitting at a stoplight I observed a funny (to me) sight.  A woman was at a veterinarian office and went in with a baby carrier but no pet.  It made me giggle a little out loud thinking, is she at the wrong place, did she leave her pet at home and bring her baby to the vet?  Having two children of my own I know how scatterbrained I can be about things and end up driving right past where I was supposed to be going or forget to go at all.  I blame it on my children and say the pregnancy depleted my  brain cells!  But have you ever wondered why some mothers are like this?  I mean, think about it… what really makes us moms put the cereal box in the fridge and the milk carton in the cabinet?  Our children didn’t really suck out brain cells out, making us stupid.  So what makes us like this?

According to WebMD  being pregnant doesn’t really make you stupid but it may affect how sharp you are mentally.  Some of the factors that lead us to not being so quick on our toes could be stress…..stress?! Really?! Who’s stressed with feedings, naps (or power naps if you have that kind of little angel), diaper changing, cleaning, cooking, and everything else that goes along with Motherhood!  Lack of sleep is another cause.  Yes those moms that tell you to nap when the baby naps and the laundry & dishes can wait aren’t just feeding you a bunch of bull!  Go to bed ladies!  When the kids are down for the night, DVR your favorite shows and get some sleep! You can watch them the next day. And hormones!  What?! A pregnant lady with hormones….Nooooo.  Yes, it is a fact that your body produces up to 40 times more progesterone & estrogen and those my dears affects your circuits!

So what can you do to help ease your Momnesia?  ASK FOR HELP!  Ask your spouse to take the baby so you can take a nap.  If your spouse is unavailable ask someone you trust so that you can relax and get a good nap.  Keep a notepad with you or in each room that you frequent.  Jot down things that you think of whether is what you need from the grocery store or things you remembered you need to do around the house.

If your Momnesia is getting to the point where you forget to put your clothes on or forgetting to take little Jimmy to daycare then you should probably consult with your doctor.  Otherwise get some rest, make your lists, and enjoy being a mother.  Oh and don’t forget write down some of your Momnesia moments to share…….if you can remember them!

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

I’m all about trying new things on Pinterest  and I love cooking for my family.  The other morning, I was craving cinnamon rolls. I opened up the refrigerator and discovered I had none!  Then a light bulb went off and I remembered the Pin I had on Pinterest for Cinnamon Crescent Rolls.  So I pulled it up, printed it out, and got to work.  They were very simple to make and smelled OH SO GOOD in my house while they were baking, but when I opened up the oven when they were done… what a mess!  All of the filling baked out and it was a greasy mess.  My husband is not a big fan of buttery stuff so he was not too impressed.  I have since adapted the recipe that I found to make my own creation.

Here is a link to the original recipe I found if you would like to have a go at it.

And here is mine:

 

Pink is Oh-So-Sweet

Everyone knows October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. People raise money and awareness by celebrating with pink, the official color of the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon. If you are planning a “pink day” this month and are looking for a coordinating treat, I have a fun recipe just for you!

A while back, I was blessed with a Kitchen Aide Mixer. Yes, you read that right… blessed! One of the first things I decided to make with it was extra special pink chocolate chip cookies.  They turned out wonderful!  My husband even liked them and he is picky about his cookies!!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, slightly softened
1 (17.5 oz.) pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 egg WHITES (do not use whole egg or the yolk will turn cookies orange)
Red food coloring (about 12-14 drops, or until desired pink color is achieved)
1 cup baking chips (dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate or candy pieces like M&Ms)

Preheat oven to 375°

Cream butter and cookie mix. Add powdered sugar and flour and mix until well blended and crumbs are fine. Add egg whites and mix until well blended and mixture sticks together.  Add red food coloring, several drops at a time, mixing after each addition until desired pink color is achieved and is uniform throughout the dough. Stir in chocolate pieces.

Drop by rounded spoonful and bake for 10 minutes

I did my first batch on a cookie sheet and the other using my Whoopie pie pan.  They turned out very cute and very chewy just like my husband likes them.

  

Enjoy! PS – I didn’t taste the food coloring at all.

Saying Goodbye

Dealing with death is seldom easy for anyone. It can be especially hard for children to understand.  Or so I thought!  Last week, I was up mentally and emotionally preparing myself to say goodbye to my grandpa.  He had been in the hospital with pneumonia several times, but this time he seemed to not be able to kick it and come off the ventilator.  Sometime around 2 am on Wednesday, September 5th, he passed away while the song “I’ll Fly Away” played on the radio.  My granny, my mom, and my stepdad were there to see him off.

Now, I had already told my girls, who are four and eight years old, that Sam [which is what we called my grandpa] was sick and in the hospital. The next day I prepared myself to tell them that he had passed.  I actually Googled it so I had the right words and didn’t get into too much.  I found a very helpful article on babycenter.com that gave me some great tips and verbiage. There were actually two articles that I came across on their site that broke it down by age groups: preschoolers and school-age.  I sat them both down and told them that Sam had died.  My oldest’s response was, “Awe…..can I have a snack?”  My youngest wanted to know, “Who is Granny gonna have now?” (She meant who would live with Granny.) I told her that Granny has Scooter, her dog, that we would visit, and that Granny has friends too. And that was it. There were no questions after that. They handled that part well. I decided not to take them to the funeral home because I didn’t think the youngest would handle it well. My husband stayed home with them while I went.

The next day was the graveside service and we took them with us.  It wasn’t graveside actually… it was a service held in the mausoleum. On the way there, I explained what they would see. I told them about the casket being kind of like a big pretty box and that Sam was in that box but they wouldn’t see him.  I told them about the pallbearers and how they would roll the casket in the room, and someone would say a prayer and talk about Sam a little, and then they would pray again.  I also told them that they may see Granny and other people crying, and that was ok because Granny was sad.  We arrived at the graveyard and started walking towards the mausoleum. They were getting ready to pull the casket out of the hearse.  We stopped while they finished that part.  My husband was holding our oldest daughter’s hand and he said that she squeezed his hand at that point.  He was worried about them getting upset during the service.  He loves his girls more than anything!  We proceeded down to the family and stood outside while they prepared for the last viewing.  After that was done, we were led into the room.  The girls sat quietly. My youngest checked out all of the flowers that were on the walls and was amazed at how they got them all up so high.  While walking out, she looked up at me with her beautiful blue eyes and said, “I’m sure gonna miss Sam.”  I lost it there for a minute!

The rest of the day was filled with laughter and memories!  The girls know that Sam is in Heaven and have dealt with it well.

Quick Banana Ice Cream

Would you ever think to make ice cream from bananas?  Well you can!  I saw it first on Dr. Oz.  This ice cream is good for you, and so easy to make.

If you have friends or family that are vegan, have milk allergies, or anything of the sort, pass this quick and easy recipe along to them or make it for them and enjoy together!

Peel & Freeze bananas (whole or frozen) until ready for use.  Bananas will be frozen within 1 – 2 hours.

Place bananas in blender – cut into pieces if frozen whole.
Optional – add other frozen fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, or peaches to add a different flavor.  Make sure to use frozen fruit to keep the ice cream consistency.

Blend until desired consistency occasionally scraping sides of blender.

Serve & Enjoy!

Summer Safety

I read tonight on Facebook where two people were arrested for breaking and entering. Do you know how they picked their houses?  The lady in the operation would check her Facebook friends status to see who was out of town!!  Yup, Facebook scoping!  I try to refrain from posting on Facebook when I’ll be out of town. Of course my house is Fort Knox with a monitored alarm system including 8 video cameras that record every movement outside. I’m not really worried that someone would break in but I do get nervous at night if I’m here by myself!

My husband owns his own alarm company with his brother.  They do alarm systems for homeowners and businesses.  They also do a number of other things such as mounting flat panel TVs, hooking up audio-video components, and PC networking.  (That explains why we are Fort Knox around here!) I tell people all the time that they need an alarm system and the response I can’t stand the most is, “I have a 4-legged alarm system.”  Really?!  I don’t care what kind of kill ‘em, chew ‘em up dog you have, if someone comes in with doggie treats, some raw hot dogs, or bologna and throws it out the door… there goes your 4-legged alarm system!  Don’t be that person and don’t kid yourself!

Here are my suggestions for keeping your house summertime safe while you are out of town:

1. Have an alarm system installed & monitored.  You know I had to plug that in there!  But seriously, shop around and find a subcontract company for one of the big names and hire them to do it.  It will be less expensive, trust me!

2. DO NOT post on Facebook or Twitter that you are going out of town!  I don’t care how jealous you want to make your friends and co-workers, someone could be stalking your house! Especially since you bragged about the nice 52″ flat panel 3D TV that you got for Christmas!

3.  DO NOT post about your nice 52″ flat panel 3D TV you got for Christmas!  I know its so easy to brag but you are just feeding the criminal all the information they need!

4.  Have a family or close trusted friend stop by your house at least once a day to turn on a light in the house.  Make sure they turn on a different one each time.  Or have your home automated so the lights come on and go off at certain times of the day.  For more information on Home Automation, contact CommTech LLC or your local alarm company.

5.  Consider adding motion sensor lights to the exterior of your house.

6. Make sure your windows are locked and deadbolts are used on the doors.

7. Have a family member or neighbor pick up your mail & newspapers.  A sure sign that you are out of town is piled up newspapers.

8. Make sure your neighbors know that you are out of town. Ask them to keep an eye out.  And let them know if you have someone set up to stop by your house and what vehicle they might be in.  There is nothing like having the cops called on cousin David because you didn’t inform your neighbor that he would be stopping by!

These are just a few things that my family does when we go out of town.

And if you have an alarm, please use it.  Even if it is not monitored, if a burglar tried to break in the sound alone will frighten them off!

Now go have a Happy Summer!


(Photo credit.)

 

Hand-Drawn Posters: Helpful Hints on Creating a Masterpiece

As I sat here coloring my poster for an upcoming Open House, I want to share my secrets on creating this masterpiece with all of you!  So here is the scenario – there is an event, school project, or something you need a poster for, and you don’t have the best drawing skills or handwriting.  So you want it to be legible right?  Here is a trick I learned, although I’m not sure where!  You need to have a computer with a word processing program like Microsoft Word, or a desktop publishing application like Microsoft Publisher, or similar.  Once you have decided what you want your poster to say, type one word to a page. Use a large, legible font that is fun or pretty.  Make sure you use black ink only. Color ink will not work for this project.  Before you print the words, reverse the font so that everything is backwards.  On your poster board (don’t use the glossy side) arrange your words where you want them. Take a pencil and trace, or just rub over, the back of the paper like so.

Once you have done the first letter, lift your paper to see if you are applying enough pressure.  You will see a faint tracing of the letter.

Repeat this process until you have finished with all of your lettering.  You can even do rubbings of clipart onto your poster board too.  This is helpful if your drawing skills need a boost.  Fill in your letters and clipart with markers, colored pencils, or crayons.

Here is a poster I did for a fundraising event last summer.  All of it was traced, but it looks like it was hand drawn! :-)   Good Luck and happy coloring!

Pizza with a Twist

I try to come up with different things to fix for dinner that my children will eat. I mean, you can only do so many things with hamburger or chicken that they will actually eat!  The other night I was making pigs in a blanket and only had a few hotdogs to use, so I thought I would mix it up some.  I used crescent rolls and cut them in half to make smaller rolls.  Then I used turkey and American cheese in a few, and pepperoni and cheese in the others.  My favorite would have to have been the pepperoni ones!  A co-worker of mine used to make them in rolled up biscuits.

Fast forward a few weeks, for my oldest daughter’s birthday. I usually do hotdogs because it is cheap and easy to fix. But like I said before, I’m trying different things. I decided on making the pepperoni rolls with biscuits… yea, um, not so smart!  I had to roll them out flat, cut them in half, stuff them, and roll them back up.  That’s just too much time and not enough hands!  My advice is, if you ever want to make them, just go the easy route and use crescent rolls.

Here is what you need for Pepperoni Rolls:

1 pkg small pepperoni

1 pkg shredded cheese

Crescent rolls – qty determined by how many you want to make

Divide out your crescent rolls on your baking sheet. Layer pepperoni then cheese and roll up as directed on package.  Bake in oven as directed on package.

Serve with dipping sauces like pizza sauce or ranch dressing.

Pepperoni Pizza Cresent Roll Ups
(Photo credit: bos-bowl.com)

How about a Pizza Ring:

This requires a round baking sheet/baking stone.

You will need the same ingredients as above but add in your favorite pizza toppings!

Pizza Sauce

Shredded Cheese

Ground beef

Sausage

Chopped Peppers

Etc.

Separate your crescent rolls and lay them out, overlapping corners around your baking sheet creating a circle.

Add your layers starting with a thin layer of pizza sauce, moving to meats, veggies, and finish with cheese.
*If using ground beef, only put about a spoon full of meat on each crescent roll.

Once all toppings are completed, fold the ends of the crescents over and tuck them so the filling is enclosed.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes making sure the crescent rolls are baked completely.

Enjoy!

Montreal Chicken Salad

I love chicken salad but have found very few brands that I actually like.  Some are very garlicky tasting and some are just weird tasting.  I thought since my chicken casserole recipe turned out pretty, I’d try my hand in some chicken salad.

I use McCormick Montreal Chicken for my chicken casserole and for baked chicken.  It’s a really good seasoning and kind of has a little kick to it. I have also grilled with it and it is wonderful.  The whole line of the Montreal Seasoning is really tasty.  Keep in mind, I’m the only one who eats chicken salad at my house, so this recipe is for a small amount of chicken salad. Add more to the ingredients if you want to make a larger amount.

Chicken Salad

1 chicken breast

McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning

1/2 celery stick – chopped

sweet pickle cubes

Mayo

Optional – 1 boiled egg, chopped onions, halved grapes, chopped pecans

Directions: Preheat oven to 350.   Tenderize chicken breast with fork by poking chicken thoroughly on both sides.  Sprinkle seasoning on both sides and bake for about 30 minutes or until juices run clear.  Let cool a bit after baking.

Chop cooled chicken to desired coarseness then mix with the remaining ingredients. Add mayo last to your desired amount.

Serve cooled & enjoy!

Name Art

This past Christmas was my sister and her husband’s first as a married couple. I wanted to get them a gift that was a family gift.  Something that would go well in their home and something that could be kept around. I decided on Name Art.  I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures that are taken or cropped to look like letters.  Well, there is a whole site that has different shaped/colored fonts of letters and they are free to download. Click here to view that website.

I chose two recent photos; one was from their wedding.

The other was from a recent family photo session they had done.

Then I chose the letters.  It was really hard at first to choose the right ones but after spending a couple of hours on the first two letters, I finally just picked a random page and made myself choose a letter off of that page.

I meshed them together in Photoshop, did a little fancy erasing and blending, then turned the whole thing black & white. I had the photo printed as an 8×10 at Walgreens.  I framed it in a nice black frame that had a nice double matting, which I bought at Walmart for an inexpensive price.

And this is the finished product – without the frame.

This is a great, inexpensive, personalized gift perfect for upcoming weddings!