Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 11/15

Here's whats on our menu for the week!

Monday- Lentils and Sausage
Tuesday- Baked Garlic Parmesean Chicken
Wednesday- Rustic Tortellini
Thursday- Beef Tips and Noodles and Collards
Friday- Meatball Subs
Saturday- Panini Sandwiches

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Snapshots of Life 10am

This is the first week I have remembered to take a photo at the time the ladies at Eighteen25 have told me. Snapshots of life is where you take a photo at the time they say and then you upload it to see what normal people are doing at different times of the day! I love seeing what people are doing. It's like looking in their window and seeing whats going on. Pretty cool so far! So here is what was happening at our house at 10am this morning!

Yep at 10am my son was eating cookies and sharing with his mommy. Sign me up for mother of the year! In my defense he has been up since 5am so it's not really that early for him! :) We had just finished cleaning up the house in preparations for speech and occupational therapy, and are going to have a fun family day celebrating our Veteran. Some might call him AD2 DeVries. But we call him DADDY! Happy Veterans Day!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 11/8

Lately I've had a craving for spicy food. I just can't seem to get enough hot sauce these days. This weeks menu shows it!

Monday- Rotisserie Chicken with baked potatoes and broccoli
Tuesday- Chicken and Rice soup (using leftover chicken from Monday)
Wednesday- Lentils and Sausage
Thursday- Crockpot enchiladas (either using left over chicken or with beef)
Friday- Red Beans and Rice with Sausage
Saturday- Sesame Chicken (freezer meal made by Contessa)
Sunday- Chimichangas (make enough to freeze)

You can get more ideas at

Friday, November 5, 2010

I want to learn something new!

Back way back when I knew how to crochet. Like middle school way back when. But honestly I wasn't super good at it and I didn't know what to make. All I ever made was a scarf and it started out great and got narrower and narrower. Frustration/boredom took over and I gave it up.

But when I was browsing through the crafty blog land I discovered "Inner Hooker"!

Her hats were so super cute that I just had to make one for my boys. One problem, she sells the patterns, I have to make the hat. Guess I have found my new hobby! I found my crochet needles, found some yarn and got to practicing. Turns out you never really forget the basics. By basics I knew how to make a chain and that was mostly it. You Tube to the rescue! So now I've learned a couple stitches and I am ready to make something.

Then one of my favorite crafty/mom bloggers Little Miss Momma is doing an Inner Hooker giveaway! SCORE! So I entered and entered and entered some more and hopefully I win the giveaway! The giveaway ends tonight so it's not too late to enter to win yourself!

So Little Miss Momma said she is going to learn to crochet so she can make an Inner Hooker hat and I think I will do so too! I'm holding her too it! (I hope she reads this so she knows that.) Make sure you follow along with me as I learn to crochet again!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 11/1

Can you believe it's November? WOW! I love the holidays despite how busy they are! We start the craziness with Thanksgiving in November, Mr. Destructo's birthday the week before Christmas and then Christmas in December, New Years, Blue Eye's Cranioversary and my birthday in January, then Hubby's birthday and Blue Eyes birthday in February. By the time it's all over we are at the end of February and exhausted. Hopefully if I can keep up the Menu Planning through all these holidays things will run smoothly.

So let's get to the menu for this week. I must have been in a Taste of Home mood because all the recipes this week come from my favorite magazine.

Monday- Cassoulet for Today.
Tuesday- Steak and New Potato Toss
Wednesday- Chicken Stir Fry
Thursday- Shredded Beef 'n' Slaw Sandwiches (takes 2 3/4 hours to cook, to save time you can cook the beef and shred ahead of time)
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday- Almond Chicken with Apricot Sauce
Sunday- Frozen Dinner Entre (Stouffer's Chicken and Broccoli Bake) If you do ever get one of these Stouffer's Easy Express Meals, I should mention it says cooks in 17 minutes if you microwave it otherwise it's 80 minutes in the oven. Just a little FYI)

So that's the plan! You can get more ideas at

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Thing 1 and Thing 2! I hope you all have a great day! Stay safe and have fun!

I love making my kids costumes! I'd love to see some of your costumed cuties! If you write a blog, leave me a comment with a link!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 10/24 and I'm Published!

Last week I got some very exciting news! I have been working with young lady and her mom on a children's book for the last few years. Some of the photos I took for her are in this book. This has been a long project and I am so excited to announce that the book is finally published and available for sale!!! Whoo hoo! You are now reading a blog written by a published photographer! This is super exciting for us here! Stay tuned for more info about the book and how you can purchase your own copy! You can subscribe to my blog over there on the right to stay up to date!

Now on to our menu for the week.

Monday- Chicken, Vegetables and Rice soup
Tuesady- Leftover rotissery chicken, broccoli and garlic taters
Wednesday- Apricot Chicken
Thursday- Spaghetti and Meatballs
Friday- Sweet and Sour Chicken
Saturday- Something not chicken
Sunday- Halloween- Trick or Treating that night so probably something on the go.

You can get more menu ideas at

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 10/18

Gosh last weeks menu was good! I am on a menu planning roll lately! We didn't have the Cinnamon Apple Chops or the burritos last week. Instead we went on a date one night and I can't remember why we didn't have the other dinner. Here's whats on the menu this week:

Monday- Corned Beef, cabbage and potatoes
**Edited to add** Apparently this time of year is a pricey time of year to purchase a thing of Corned Beef, it was quite expensive! $17 for 4 pounds. That's a lot to me. Good thing I love my hubby, he's been begging for this for awhile.
Tuesday- Ruebens (using left over corned beef) Hubby really loves these!
Wednesday- Burritos
Thursday- 4 Cheese with bacon Mac n Cheese (recipe to follow)
Friday- Bourbon Chicken (double the sauce)
Saturday- Apple Chops
Sunday- Freezer meal, breakfast for dinner, or leftovers

Get more MPM ideas from

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Just some happy faces.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 10/11

Last week's menu was a huge success! Lots of yummy foods last week. Hopefully this week won't disappoint either!

Monday- Baked Teriyaki Chicken
Tuesday- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (This is a new family favorite! I leave out the taters and use egg noodles.)
Wednesday- Homemade Pizza
Thursday- Cinnamon Apple Chops
Friday- Burritos
Saturday- Stromboli
Sunday- Not sure yet. Anyone have any good ideas?

Check out for some more MPM ideas!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010


OK I'm kinda excited about this project because I came up with it all by myself!

I found a scrap piece of wood, used some black and white acrylic paint, this decorative container filler I found at Dollar Tree, a couple spiders from Walmart ($2 for 8 spiders), and some black ribbon.

First I painted the front of the board white. Then I drew out the letters E-E-K on the board and painted them black. When that was dry I dumped my little stryofoam balls out of the floor and got out the Elmer's glue and a lid to a jar. I squirted out some of the glue into the lid and dipped every individual ball into the glue and then placed it on the black letters. (That's 337 tiny balls if you were interested.) I'm sure there is a better way of doing this but that's what worked for me.

After it all dried, I hot glued some ribbon along the edge. I did this for two reasons. 1. I am lazy and didn't feel like painting the sides in the beginning. 2. I thought maybe it would give it some more texture.

Then I hot glued on some glitter spiders from Walmart. I wanted to paint some spider webs on it too but I realized I am not good at freehand painting.

I still feel like it needs more but for now this is what I have. I think once I add on the fake webbing from my mantle it will all be good.

So what do you think?

I'm linking this up to eighteen25's first link up party!

Libman Freedom Spray Mop Review

I just wrote a review on the Libman Freedom Spray Mop! Super easy to use! Check it out here!

Menu Plan Monday 10/3

Have I mentioned yet how glad I am to be home? It doesn't seem like we've been home almost a week yet, but I guess we have! My family is way over eating out and our menu shows it. Lots of very yummy food this week!
My new Rachael Ray Magazine came this week and my new issue of Taste of Home came this week. Hubby actually flipped through them both (that's a first) and picked out quite a few things he wanted to eat! YAY! So here's whats on the menu!

Monday- Balsamic Pork Scallopine with Egg Noodles, Baked Brocolini (When I do the egg noodle part of that recipe again, I won't do the cream or cheese. We liked it better with just the balsamic sauce. Also the brocolini recipe was very sour and I would only do 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice next time, not two.)

Tuesday- Beef Stir Fry

Wednesday- Italian Sausage Grinders

Thursday- Cranburgers with Sweet Potato Fries

Friday- Ravioli

Saturday- Sweet and Savory Chicken Wings

Sunday- Leftovers

You can get more MPM ideas at

Thursday, September 30, 2010

What a great welcome home!

My family and I just returned home from St. Louis on Tuesday.

The welcome home we received was not at all what we wanted!

We didn't notice the lovely gift until I saw a wet piece of paper in the corner of the living room. My initial thought was the potty trainer peed on the floor. Then I noticed the carpet was way to wet for it to have been a 2 year old. I looked up and saw it!


A wet ceiling sagging down ready to fall. I didn't get a picture of it before hubby started poking at it with the fireplace tools. Then it all just came down.
See that there in the bottom right corner. That's mold. Luckily for me I thought to put down a piece of plastic down first. It might explain why Mr. Destructo seems to be sick so often and have red eyes all the time. I'm not sure how much mold it takes to make one sick or if this is even the right kind of mold but it's a thought.

Lovely gift to come home to huh?

It was just plain nasty! Soaking wet! I knew from checking the weather on the drive home that we had a big storm coming and I knew we had to get this tarped up quick! I later found out the the big storm was actually tropical storm/depression Nicole. Figures we'd get a leak in our ceiling now!
This is the junk that hubby pulled off the ceiling. See the mold!!

$350 later, the roofers had come out and emergency tarped our roof just in time. The rain started that night and here it is Thursday and it's still raining. Expected to continue till tomorrow. 11 inches of rain in some areas. Crazy.
This is the bottom side of the texture that was on the ceiling. More mold.

Anyways, my phones been ringing like crazy as we try to get a hold of various roofers, the previous owner of our house, and our insurance lady. We've got our estimates and work might start as early as this weekend! It's crazy how the estimates are all over the place. The lowest estimate and the highest estimate have a difference of $1800! HOLY COW!

Unfortunately insurance doesn't cover our roof but they do cover the damage inside! Whoo hoo! The interior guy came by today and told me they are going to fix all the damage, re-texture the entire ceiling and repaint my whole living room! I just have to decide if I want to keep the color I chose and painted not even a year ago or if I want a new color. Decisions, decisions!

Until then, here's the newest addition to our living room.

We keep finding more and more water damage. I can't wait for the interior guy to come in and pull this icky stuff out!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- Giant Hole

What we came home to. More about this to come! UPDATED: Here is the link to this story.

My Fall Mantle

It feels so good to be back in Virginia! We had a great trip to St. Louis. I had hoped to first blog about all of our adventures, then we came home to a leak in our ceiling. Then I was going to blog about that first. But now I think I can't look at that hole anymore right now so I want to share with you my first fall mantle!

We moved into our house in November of last year and didn't get to decorate for fall at all. This year is different! I'll show you my mantle and then I'll show you each project as well as a link to how to make one for yourself!

I'm pretty proud of my very first mantle! All with things I made all by myself!

I found the idea for these wooden pumpkins here. I used some scrap wood that I had left over. I should have used a saw to cut better lines but I didn't want to go back out to the skeeter house that is my back yard and I may have gotten so excited to finish that I may or may not have forgotten I was going to do that. Instead I used a steak knife. Shhh don't tell. I sanded the edges in my kitchen sink. Don't tell on me about that either. I like them, hubby is ok with them.

Next we have my 2 topiaries. Ehh. I'm not a huge fan of them but I guess they work. I think I need different textures in them. I saw them on Decorchick but her's are much prettier than mine. Make sure you check hers out here. The metal containers they are sitting in I found at the Dollar Tree and I spray painted them an antique white color.

The enter of my mantle is a fall version of something I made for the spring just with fall colors. I also used skewers for the sticks although some real sticks would be pretty too. Again I didn't want to go outside to find some stick. They are sitting in a hurricane that I made from various Dollar Tree items. And I filled them with some little plastic pumpkins and acorns that I also found at Dollar Tree.

Next we have the wire pumpkins. In the tutorial I read she said to use 20 gauge wire. All I could find at the only store I was stopping at that day was 14 gauge wire. Big mistake! It was much harder to work with than I imagined but doable. I used some floral wire to close it all up. I like them silver but I may end up spray painting them. We'll see.

The last thing on my mantle is my Harvest Banner.  I've seen these all over blog land. I used some scrapbook paper, twine and some big paint chip samples that I found at Wal-Mart. They are Better Home and Gardens colors. It was pretty easy and only took me a few minutes to make.

So that's my mantle! Hope you enjoyed!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 9/20

This week's plan is super short because we will only be home for 2 days!!!! YAY!!

Monday- Pot Roast leftovers that I made last week.
Tuesday- Ham and Pasta bake
Wednesday- Sunday- GONE!!!!

You can get more MPM ideas at .

Tot School- Letter I

Tot School

Mr. Destructo is 33 months and Blue Eyes is 18 months.

This is our 4th week of doing Tot School. Again, not much going on this week. We were busy planning and cleaning for our Fisher-Price House Party and getting ready for our trip! (If you have some travel advice I'd love to hear it on this post.)

But we did manage to squeeze in a few "I" related activities.

First we made an I ice cream. I saw this on No Time for Flashcards.

Last night we also made Homemade Ice Cream with some ice, rock salt, sugar and milk. I don't have any photos because Mr. Destructo did not want to touch the cold bag at all and we were dealing with cheap-o bags that were leaking. Ugh.

Blue Eyes had his normal Occupational Therapy this week where he played Mr. Potato head, puzzles, shapes and did some pouring with the noodles in the sensory tub. No pictures of that either.

Mr. Destructo and I made spIders. His new thing is spiders and since I wasn't going to buy something for him to break I thought we would make our own. If you want a tutorial on how we made ours I can show you. Just let me know. Here is his:

Mr. Destructo also got to play with a butterfly this week. Another new favorite thing is butterflies. He was so relaxed and calm with it. You can see more butterfly photos here.

He also had an unexpected life lesson. Try explaining this in the spur of the moment with a hysterical toddler.

Yes that would be a Mickey Mouse tied to a garbage truck. I guess those guys thought that would be funny. It was not funny to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fan. He cried and cried. When I told my mom about it later on she said I should have told him Mickey was helping the trash man today. Yea, I didn't think of that then. I think I was just as shocked as he was.

Last but not least there were some loving moments with the boys this week. I caught this:

and this:
And I don't think it was an apology! I love seeing these loving moments!

So that was our week. It was busy and hectic and not always "school" related but it all works!

You can get more Tot School ideas at 1+1+1=1.

Muffin Tin Monday- Shapes

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

This weeks theme on Muffin Tin Monday was Shapes.

Well... I made a tin, but it's awful! It was spur of the moment and just plain awful. So instead I'm going to re-post the shape tin we made 2 weeks ago.

So here is the boys Muffin Tin. 

We did Star shaped cheese, square PB&J pieces, and oval/circle grapes.

You can find better tins at Muffin Tin Mom!

Also we are heading out of town for a little bit. There won't be any muffin tin making for me! So if you have any travel advice for driving with two toddlers, read this post!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Travel Advice Wanted!

In less than 1 week my husband and I will be driving 1000 miles to Missouri with an 18 month old who doesn't really like long car rides an a 33 month old potty trainer along for the ride.

So I would like any tips you have to make the car ride more... sane enjoyable.

We are already leaving in the wee hours of the morning in hopes of getting 7 hours in before the kids wake up.

I also checked out "The first 100 episodes!" of  Spongebob from the library. I later found out that is 36 hours! Umm no! So we do have a DVD player with the kids favorite movies.

Other than that is there anything I can take with us to keep the kids happy or make the trip smoother?

Any crafts or activities I can make? Something you took on a trip with you that you were so glad you had? I'm all ears!


Wordless Wednesday- butterflies

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 9/13

This is our last full week of eating at home before we go on VACATION!!!! YAY!

Here's what's on my menu this week:
Monday- Taco Bar (inspired by Taco Bell's new take out buffet)
Tuesday- Smothered Pork Chops
Wednesday- Pea Soup (childhood recipe)
Thursday- Ravioli (already made and from the freezer)
Friday- Salsbury Steaks
Saturday- Fisher Price House Party in the morning, will be too tired to cook. Probably order out.
Sunday- Cheesesteaks

Head on over to Org Junkie for more ideas!

Tot School- Week 3

Tot School

There was no organized tot school this week. :(

Instead lots of life lessons happened.

A lesson in apologies:
Mr. Destructo learned when you tell a nice woman at the store "MOVE, you in my way.", you get a stern talking to and have to apologize to the woman. He was then banished to the shopping cart where he sulked until we left.

A lesson in body parts:
We visited our new pediatrician this week. Turns out we love him! I was so nervous to switch to a new doctor, but I wish we had done this sooner! The boys were smiling and laughing instead of the normal crying and screaming.
Dr. S. introduced Mr. Destructo to "boy shins". (Bruised up shins commonly found on rough and tumble boys.) Not sure why that was so funny but he hasn't stopped laughing about it sense! He also learned "both cars are in the garage!" when Dr. S did a quick look see in the pull-up area. The boys new doctor is so funny! But Mr. D isn't quite sure where the cars are. He didn't see any of his Hot Wheels but he still thought that was funny.

A lesson in animals:
We took the boys to the zoo this weekend. We actually got to see a lot of the animals this time! Usually it is so hot that the animals don't even want to move. These photos will be printed and I will be making an animal book out of them.

A lesson in Mommy's other job:
Occasionally I work as a photographer and this weekend was one of those occasions.  Mr. Destructo got to watch Mommy do her other job.
This beautiful young lady has a children's book coming out soon! I am proud to say that my photos of her have been used in the book! I'll keep you updated on that! Here are some more photos of that shoot.

Mr. Destructo asked me when we got home if he could take pictures of butterflies too. So I taught him how to use my camera. I may have to get him his own camera for Christmas this year. This Fisher Price Kid Tough camera looks pretty awesome!

Blue Eyes did get his Speech Therapy this week. He learned how to sign "all done". He also has started saying "book" this week. We are also working on signing and saying "open". He's getting it! Occupational and Speech therapy will both be here next week.

So not much "schooling" but we had a fun week. Maybe this week we will get something in before we leave for a few weeks for St. Louis!

Don't forget to check out 1+1+1=1 for more tot school stuff.


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