Makin’ Things

What is it about the words, “I made it myself!” that feels so good?  I don’t know about you, but I get a whole lot of warm fuzzies inside when I get to say it.  There is a sketch-comedy character named Stuart that says, “Look what I can do!” and does a little dance.  Tommy and I frequently will say that to each other (okay, it’s more me than him) and laugh.

So, guess what I made???

Let me show you…

Pepperoni stuffed crust, all cheese and mushroom

Pepperoni, ground turkey and 3 cheese

This is dinner tonight. I made 5 pizzas. This will also be lunch tomorrow. Before you get all crazy and tell me that 5 pizzas is too many for a family of 5…let me remind you that I have ALL BOYS and we like thin crust pizza. I’m just sayin’.  I used ground turkey, seasoned with Italian Seasoning as well as turkey pepperoni.  I made the crusts this afternoon and par-baked them at 500 degrees for 5-6 minutes.

Next up…

Homemade Laundry Detergent made with ZOTE. I hear there's a special way to pronounce "Zote" but I don't know if I believe it.

Look how cute and pink my new laundry detergent is. I have been so pleased with this batch – my first with the new bar soap. I like pink detergent. Makes me feel so lovely as I throw in load after load of boy clothes.

Followed by:

Homemade table runner, napkins and other fun.

The Cricut cut out "I love you" and the boys' initials...they each got some Sculpey clay. Good times.

On Valentine’s Day, I had a ball making special things for my guys…we made love notes to each other on paper hearts and taped those around the entry to the dining room. I am saving those forever. My favorite said , “I love you Mom. You almost always make good food.”

And last:

This was our yummy Southwest Chicken and Rice. Remind me never to photograph food on the yellow plate again. It looks a little vomitrocious.

This was a great dinner that doesn’t look like it from my photography.  The boys all liked it. That’s a nice thing for this Mommy.

That’s all for now. I have been busy makin’ things around here in addition to what is pictured. Of course, I’ve been baking. 🙂 I also made a sweet little picture for my kitchen using a photograph from our trip to the Musee D’Orsay in Paris. It makes my smile when I see it. Since this is not how I feel when I look at the pile of laundry, it’s a nice diversion for me.

So, what have YOU been making?

Do tell….



tonight’s the night

Tonight I have invited some girls over to play a card and dice game. We’ll have snacks (of course!) and hopefully lots of laughter. I can’t wait. I love snacks and laughter.

On the menu tonight for the family is an oldie but goodie recipe. I am making a variation on Suzanne Somers’ Creamy Tex Mex Pork Chops. I am making it with Chicken Breasts, though. It is so yummy. I am going to post the recipe:

4 boneless pork chops, salt and pepper, 2 teaspoons of her Tex Mex Seasoning Blend or just fajita seasoning, 4 T butter, 1 c heavy cream (I know…), 1 c salsa, lime wedges

Pound the chops until they are 1/2 inch thick. (I don’t think I do this part…ever) Season each chop with salt, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of TexMex seasoning. Turn the chops over and season again.

Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add chops to the pan. Saute for 2.5 minutes. Turn them over and cook for an additional 2 minutes. (Basically, cook those chops on both sides, but don’t overdo it) Remove from the pan and transfer onto a serving platter. Cover with foil to keep warm.

Add cream and salsa to saute pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chops. You can squeeze lime juice over the chops before serving (but I never do)

Tex Mex seasoning (makes 1/2 cup): 1 T plus 1 t cayenne pepper, 2 T plus 2 t dried oregano, 2 T plus 2 t ground cumin, 1 T plus 1 t ground coriander, 2 t black pepper, 2 t sea salt (or reg salt)  Combine. It will keep up to 6 months.

As I mentioned, we love this recipe. I am going to serve it with basmati rice. And frozen fruit bars. Yeah, we like those.

Now for a question: Is it wrong for a woman my age (and with my, ahem, lumps) to own (and wear around the house) leggings? I have a pair on right now and I am questioning if they should be transferred out of my closet. Kind of like the witness protection program. I am thinking they are not kind to my rumpus. It is scary. And I opened the front door wearing them today. Do I really need to mention that I don’t have on a cutesie tunic over them? I don’t.

Hey! Look what worked today! I have no idea why it won’t go into the last post – but here it is in all it’s glory. You can clap quietly now.

FINALLY! It must have wanted a post all to itself: see the Burberry tp holder and above it hangs the framed antique maps - downloaded from graphicsfairy

So I’m leaving you with a picture of our toilet. Nice. When my parents went to Europe the first time, my Mom brought home 30 pictures of the toilets and bidets at the hotels they stayed at. It must run in the family.


overnight delight

Sunday afternoon brought me a gift: My Mom, sister and 4 precious nephews drove in!  We had much hugging and kissing and then got down to business. The boys ran and played (well, Hayden watched – as he was recovering from the dreaded Mohave) and the girls sat on the couch and talked and talked while we drank coffee. It was perfect.

I had prepared taco stack-up for a late lunch and made 2 lasagnes for dinner. We also tried a new recipe which I highly recommend. I got it from the PioneerWoman website. I made her Rosemary Dinner Rolls. Because I was making so many, I did not make them in a cast-iron skillet but instead used my cinnamon roll pan. They were delicious. I don’t know how they could have been bad though, as they had a stick of melted butter poured over them at various times during the baking process! Just to clarify, I served those with the lasagne not the  Taco stack-ups. Don’t want to confuse you there.

The girlies stayed up late (or early, depending on how you look at it). We didn’t head upstairs until after 2 am. It was worth it. They had to leave right after breakfast. I had baked some blueberry muffins the night before and had them in a container for the boys. I was glad I did that so I could spend more time with Mom and Erin. And kissing my nephews. Thankfully, two of them don’t mind the nonstop kissing. The older two are getting too cool for that.

So today, it feels like their visit was just a dream…but it was a very sweet dream!

We have a busy week…tomorrow we have a lifegroup at our home. I will prepare something yummy for snacking. Any suggestions? I am thinking one sweet thing and one savory thing. On Thursday, I am hosting a game night at the house. If you live in Bville, I hope you can come! We have a workday planned for Saturday morning and of course – Sunday – Valentine’s Day.

We made paper heart lovenotes to each other and taped them to the door opening in the dining room. They make my heart melt a little bit each time I walk past them! I planned ahead and have chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer for a giant heart-shaped cookie for my sweetie on VDay. He has an unnatural love for them. It’s just not right. He can’t resist them at the mall. That makes me smile.

In crafty news, I am finished with the powder bathroom downstairs. I got inspired. It is themed. London. I hung some beautiful pictures we took on our trip many years ago as well as two parts to an antique map. I have a Burberry plaid basket to contain extra tp and spray (is it okay to talk about these things?) The only thing left is the “perfect” brown rug for the floor. So far, that has been difficult to find. The elusive brown bathroom rug…  Because I think you should picture it in your mind even while you are sitting at your house – here are the pictures to prove it:

London Calling

Changed the mirror - this one is wrapped in brown leather. Me likey.

I also got crafty when the whole house (except me was throwing up) Doesn’t everyone grab their glue gun when they are dodging throw-up? I needed a pen holder for my JannaNook (you remember, it’s my desk next to the powder room) so I made one. I save my jelly jars, spaghetti jars, etc because THEY DO NOT RECYCLE here at the new dwelling land. I can’t bear the idea of trashing them and it came in handy last week. I took a jam jar, wrapped it in black and white toile. Hot glued that down. Wrapped feather trim around the top. Hot glued that down. Burned finger on glue gun. Wrapped black and white ribbon trim around top and bottom and hot glued that down. I love it. It is waaaay over the top with the feathers, but sometimes the lone girl needs that kind of stuff. I spray painted the burn-your-eyes green filing cabinet I had. I love it. I bought some fabric to make a slipcover for my chair but haven’t done that yet. I guess I need someone else to get sick around here!  Here’s the pictures to prove I’m not just making this stuff up:

Black is the new black for me. Lookie there - it's my laptop as I am writing this very entry. How fun is that?

I might need pink scissors, what do you think? Try and ignore the giant stack of "to file" behind this cutie-pie pen holder. Can you see the toile just peeking out from the bottom? I know, it's cute.

Well, that’s that. I am horrified by the cords in the picture of my desk. But the chair usually covers them up. Really.

I also can’t figure out why I can’t see the third picture of the bathroom. I have tried three times to stick it in this post. I guess you’ll have to come and see it for yourself! 🙂

Mr Darcy is calling from the upstairs that I had better finish up typing because Lost is about to come on. It is the one show we watch. Passionately. So don’t tell me why we shouldn’t watch it. Because we love it and don’t want to hear it.


total surrender

I have been thinking about this phrase: total surrender.  I sing about it, I have uttered it in prayers…but do I really have any concept of what that means? Completely surrendering my flesh to the God who created me? Dying over and over again inside when it’s not going my my way? Will I ever be able to know total surrender? I don’t know. This life is spent in acts of partial surrender, I think. Can I truly love someone more than myself? I can try. But why does servanthood make me just think about me and what I am doing for someone else?

I have been pondering other, less selfless things this morning as we start our week once again.  Like – what is on our menu this week? 🙂 What should I put on the grocery list?  I did better at that exercise than my first one and here is what I’ve got:

Monday: Leftover cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing,/Sonic (coupons) / Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken and rice.  Daddy Bear has a stomach thingie so we are going to make some Jello for him, as well.

Tuesday: Granola (I made it today!) with yogurt/ leftovers/ tortellosti (corny,  but the Lost premiere is on!)

Wednesday: Muffins/mac and cheese/ grilled bbq ribs

Thursday: Granola/Pizza (free coupons for reading)/Spaghetti (too many tomato products?)

Friday: Eggs and toast/Grilled Cheese/Kids’ Choice Dinner (Dad will be at a Men’s BBQ)

Saturday: Dad makes b-fast (Mom has b-fast out!)/Chicken legs on the grill/Chili

Sunday: Granola, Company lunch – lasagne, and  taco stack-ups for dinner