Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Random Thoughts...

... I'm so tired.  I really shouldn't be though.

... I really don't like being told "You have broad shoulders like your mother".  REPEATEDLY!

...I really want to re-decorate our bedroom!

...I'm so proud of Michael.  He's doing great at this whole school thing.

...I have nothing fun to blog about.

...I hope no one is disappointed by such a boring post

...I cannot believe it's the last day of June.  Where did half a year go?

...What will the next six months hold?  Will they go just as fast?

...My hips hurt far more than a 30 year old's hips should hurt.

...Dinner was yummy.  Dessert would be great right about now.  Darn being "good"

...Yep.  Still very tired.

...Why doesn't this blog thing have spell check?

These are my thoughts from last night.  Writing a blog every day is so much fun for me, but also a lot of work and sometimes a good amount of (self inflicted) pressure.  Sometimes... it just needs to be simple, boring, and real.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I *heart* mushrooms!

I love mushrooms!  I know that most people either love them or hate them.  I happen to be in the "love them" category!  Stuffed mushrooms at Olive Garden = love.  Mushroom Ravioli at Brio = love.  Mushroom pizza from Papa Johns = love.  That's right.  I eat pizza with only mushrooms on it.  Weird to some, but yummy to me.

I am always buying mushrooms at the store to put in recipes, salads and omelets.  I don't know about your store, but my store always seems to have the little plastic wrapped containers of them on sale... usually 2 for $3.  Deal! :)

The only problem is... Michael doesn't like mushrooms!  He'll eat them in things I make and I've even got him to  come around to having them in his omelets too.  However, I usually can't get through a container before it starts to get bad.

That is, until I read a FANTASTIC tip.  (No idea where I read it.  Some magazine I think.)  Now my mushrooms stay fresh much longer and I feel better because there is no waste.

For those of you out there that love mushrooms as much as I do and just need to know... here it is.  Take them out of the plastic and put them in a paper bag.
Yep, it's as simple at that.  Of course the article went on to say why the plastic makes the mushrooms mushy faster, but I didn't have time to pay attention to such things. :)  I just wanted the info.  To be honest, I was a bit skeptical too.  But after throwing out almost an entire container, I decided it was worth a try.  IT WORKED!  I've been brown bagging them ever since.
 Hopefully someone out there will be just as excited about this little tidbit of information as I am! :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

List o' fun--"The Dancing Bunnies"

Whew!  I don't know about where you live, but it has been stinkin' hot here in central Ohio the past few weeks.  I must admit, 90 degree weather is not necessarily what I consider enjoyable.

So to fight off the heat, what do you do?  Play in water!!  There are lots of places around town to do this.  One place that is fun for all is what is affectionately known as "The Dancing Bunnies".  They are located at Ballantrae Park in Dublin.

The "dancing hares" are three fifteen foot rabbits made out of scraps and recycled material.  The appear as though they are dancing around together.  The sit up on top of a hill.

The dancing bunnies themselves aren't that interesting... it's what's on the side of the hill that is where the fun is at.  There are lots and lots of waterfalls and water being shot up from holes.

It does get very busy, but it's a great FREE way to cool off on a hot summer day.

There are a few tables with unbrellas for the mom's to sit at.  Lots of moms sit on blankets or lawn chairs too.  There is a huge field to lounge on.  However, it was so hot the last time we went, that I am for sure wearing my swim suit and playing in the water myself next time!

Of course, after all the water fun, the kids love running up and down the hill.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"So Let It Grow"

I came across an interesting writing this week and the verse that was used kind of just hit me where I was at.  I'm not going to write some deep post or get all introspective and emotional.  I just wanted to share the verses.  I think it might be what some of you need to hear as well.

James 1:2-4 (The Message)

 2-4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

James 1:2-4 (New Living Translation)

Faith and Endurance
 2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

James 1:2-4 (New International Version)

 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 So here I am... trying to 'let it grow'.  Happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Ugly Tray

I found this (ugly) tray at Home Goods while out shopping with my sister one day.  I bought it for $7 and had grand plans to change it into something beautiful.  It's been sitting in my basement waiting oh-so-patiently for it's transformation.  Originally I put it off because were going to move.  I wanted to make sure that whatever I did to it matched the new colors and schemes of the new house.  Well, we took our house off the market 6 months ago and don't plan on going anywhere for quite some time, so I figured--what the heck?  Now or never.

I decided I wanted the edges a green color.  I sort of liked the design around the edge, but the green wasn't quite the right shade.  So I decided I would paint it green and add my own scrolls and embellishments.  I ended up using a metallic colored green that I had from another project.  It was very thin and after a few layers you could still see the design.... but I ended up liking it like that!  I love it when "accidents" turn out to be awesome.

Then I bought some magnetic primer and chalkboard paint at Home Depot.  

I was super excited when I found out you can get chalkboard paint that can be tinted a color!
  I chose coffee because I thought it would go with the colors already in my kitchen.

So I got to work painting the magnetic paint on.  It's very thick.  It says it's best to do three thin coats as opposed to two thick ones, but I don't know how you can do a "thin" coat with that paint.

They shake the paint for you when you buy it, but you have to keep stirring it.  Even after I painted one coat and let it dry for 30 minutes, it was needing another stir.

After the three "thin" coats were dry.

Then I had to paint the chalkboard paint on.  It was super THIN.  Especially compared to the magnetic paint.  I was very worried after the first coat, because it hardly covered and you could see the black through the brown paint.

The finished product was actually brown.  Phew!

Then I had to figure out how to attach it to the wall.  I had seen some "disc" plate holders before somewhere (and stored them in my brain for later use).  I got online and ordered one from Amazon for $1.50.  (But I actually had a $2 code, so it was free.  SCORE!)
*Please excuse the shadows.  I apparently wasn't paying attention!

Anyway, different sizes can hold a different amount of weight.  I bought a bigger one.  I think it's suppose to hold five to seven pounds.

The back has a wallpaper like glue on it.  You get your fingers wet and rub the glue around until it makes a sticky glue.  Then you let it set for a few minutes.

Attach it to your clean plate tray.  Let sit overnight and then hang!

The finished product...
The only thing is... the magnetic paint isn't all that strong.  I had read a review somewhere that said you needed super strong magnets for it, so I sort of knew it going into it.  But for the price... it should be stronger!  Oh well.  It's still cute and fun and will do for now.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Flashback Friday

I know we just took a look back at our wedding, and sorry to bore you, but today we are going to take a "flashback" to another important date.  Four years ago today, we got engaged!! 

Michael calling his mom to tell her...

We knew we were going to get married very soon after we started dating.  We even chose our wedding date (based on when I was done with the school year), before we were engaged.  Michael got the ring and was itching to ask me.

We had already talked about getting married at our church (which ended up not working out because of Saturday night church), so he called me up one Sunday morning and asked if I wanted to go check out a park near the church to see if we wanted to get pictures taken there.  I said sure.

We started walking around and he asked if I saw any place that I would like to take pictures at. We were near a gazebo will a big circle in the side.  I said it would look cool to take pictures in there.  We got into the gazebo and he got down on one knee, said all sorts of nice things, and proposed.  I said yes, of course! :)  We made all the necessary calls, had a relaxing evening and then went out for a celebratory dinner.

We later got our engagement pictures taken at the same park we got engaged out.  Cool, right?
Our wedding photographer threw in the engagement pictures for free.  He ended up taking like 80-some pictures and sent us a disc of 55 to print as we wish.  Here are some favorites...
notice the gazebo circle in the background

In the gazebo...

The others will have to wait for my "oh how I love thee..." posts! :)
Happy Engagement Day Babes! Love you!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

School, School, School

Monday is the big day!  Michael starts this new adventure called school.  I'm so happy it's finally here.  We've been waiting for months for the new quarter to start.  I just want to get the process going.  Michael has mixed emotions about the whole thing, which is to be expected.  He's excited to get it going, but also a little apprehensive.  He's never gone to school (outside of high school) full time, so this will be a new experience for him.

To help make the transition a little fun and a little easier, I went and got him some fun school supplies and some goodies and made him a little "back to school" basket.  Who doesn't want to start a new stage in life with a gift basket? ;)

I sorta want one myself! :)

Here's how the basket breaks down...
Shout wipes, gum, white out, crystal light type packets for water, post its, and colored pens.  I just think colored pens make everything better.  Of course, I'll be getting the purple one for my collection, because Michael will not use it.

Highlighters that erase?!, hand sanitizer, tissues, snacks, pencils with extra lead and erasers, "flag" post it notes, and a little (manly colored) pouch thing to contain all writing utensils.

A planner, a multi-subject notebook, and a binder.  I love my binder so much, that I figured he could use one.  Plus, there is an encouraging card in there.

I was going to put a roll of quarters in there for the vending machines.  I just didn't get around to getting one.  Oh well... he knows where the coin jar is!  I didn't want to get too many school supplies because I figured he may want to pick out some things himself.  This will at least get him started.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Black Bean Chicken

Do you ever have those nights where you really don't want to cook?  Or if you have to cook, you really don't want it to take forever or make you think!  Well, if so, then I have a recipe for you.

I got this recipe from a weight watchers website a year ago.  It's quick, easy, and relatively healthy.  One of the reasons I chose it was because we were trying to eat more  beans.  They are so good for you, so any way to get them in and still have it taste yummy works for me.

You need a pound of chicken (four 4 ounce pieces), a can of black beans, a jar of salsa and a bag of shredded cheese.  It recommended WW cheese, but I just use the reduced fat kind.  It's 5 points for those counting. Preheat your oven to 350*.

Take some foil and make little pouches.  Put one piece of chicken in each pouch.

Cover the chicken with the (rinsed) beans and salsa.
It says to use the whole can and the whole jar.  That's a bit much, but I usually still do and then we just don't always eat it all.  What am I going to do with a 1/2 a can of black beans left over?

Fold the pouches up and cook for 30 minutes

Cover with cheese (again, I didn't use the entire bag)
Cook for 15 minutes more

It can be done when the cheese is melted (so not the entire 15), but make sure the chicken is done!
Mmmmm... melted cheese! :)

I serve it with rice.  Be careful when you open them though, because they tend to have lots of liquid in them.