Friday, November 23, 2012

Meet Snowy!

Why hello there friends! 


Do I know that I haven't posted anything since June?  Why yes, yes I do. 

Was this blog supposed to be my magic key into not having to send Christmas cards?  Why, yes, yes it was.

Was I able to keep up with this damn thing as much as I would have liked?  Well, obviously not since my last post was in June.

Whatevs - I'm back now to update you on a very, very, important development to our household.  We have a new live in - and his name is Snowy the Elf, and he is our very own Elf on the Shelf, brand spankin' new tradition.

God granted me a miracle today, and helped my kids sleep until 9 a.m.  This was a true blessing because I went out into the cold and braved a mile long line to shop with a bunch of crazies at Target on Thanksgiving night.  I then came home and shopped on Amazon and Kohls.com until about 2 a.m.  I had managed to remember our Elf on the Shelf before I finally made it to bed last night (or early this AM, depending on how you look at it.)

I knew, once B woke up that he would come into our room first, so I set the whole package (book and elf) on our nightstand.  Of course, he did, just as expected come into our room and immediately spotted our new friend.  I told him that I had no idea where it came from and that Santa must have snuck it in while we were all asleep.  He was beyond excited and went to tell his sister about the surprise that Santa had left us. 

We read the book together, named him Snowy, and went over the rules:

1.  You can't touch him, or he'll lose his magic.
2.  He can see everything, and will report all behavior (good and bad) to Santa
3.  He flies back to the North Pole at night, and it's the kids job to discover where he ends up the next day.
4.  You can't touch him.  Yes, that was rule number 1, but I figured with my kids they might need 1 or 1 million reminders. 

So, there you have it - I'm inviting you all along to share in our Elf on the Shelf journey.  Will it keep the kids acting like angels?  Probably not, but I'm gonna give it my best shot.

Let the Holiday happiness begin!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

You're It!

Hello friends!  I was recently (well, like a week ago recently) tagged in "blog tag" by one of my personal blog favorites, High Heels and Dirty Dishes!   The game is simple - once your "tagged", then you use your blog to answer the 11 questions thought up by the person that tagged you.  So, here we go!

1. I admitted that I'm a bit of an aficionado on the Manson Family; What is your eccentric curiosity?
 
  I am completely obsessed with women that go crazy and commit crimes.  There's a show called "Snapped" and I absolutely love it.  It profiles women who commit crimes after they've been wronged or sometimes just after they've gone a little nutso.  I think my husband is a little creeped out about my every Sunday Snapped Marathons though.

2. Most people would be shocked to hear that I can _____/ I cannot ______. Choose one, or answer both. Whatever floats your boat! 
 
 I cannot ride a bike!  That stupid saying - It's like riding a bike, you never forget, is a complete load of BS.  I was able to ride a bike when I was like 10.  Can't do it anymore.  My husband made me prove it to him and I ended up riding/falling right into a ditch.  True Story!

3. List a song that makes you laugh and one that makes you cry.
 
Laugh - Red Solo Cup - Toby Keith...mainly because everytime I hear it, I think of how my kids break into the chorus every Sunday during silent prayer time at church.
Cry - God Blessed the Broken Road - Rascal Flatts....my sister in law sang that at my wedding.  I cried then, and I cry every time I hear it.

4. If you had a hired hand to do just one thing for you all of the time, what would their duty be? 
 
This  is an easy one - I would used my hired hand to keep everyone out of the bathroom everytime I go in there.  Every.single.time.

5. There's still a part of me that dreams about becoming a __________ someday, even though it's complete bullshit and never going to happen.
 
An actress.  Although it's never going to happen, it doesn't stop me from preparing my Oscar speech every year!

6. You've been given an all-inclusive trip to one place, anywhere in the world, and could bring 1 guest. Where would you go and who would you take with you?
 
I would take my husband on a romantic Sandals all inclusive vacation.  Just us.  Doesn't matter where, as long as it's warm, has white sandy beaches, and clear blue water. Oh and margaritas.

7. If you were a character in a James Bond movie, what would your character's name be?
 
Agent Double O Sparkle

8. List 3 of your guilty pleasures in life.
 
1.  Watching The Bachelorette and Pretty Little Liars and pretty much anything on MTV.
2.  Leaving work early to go shopping...all by myself.
3.  Twilight.  Go Team Edward

9. What's the best and worst thing about the community you live in?
 
Best - I love the community activities:  community Easter egg hunts, movies in the park, Homecoming parades, Friday Night Lights,  festivals, ect. 
 
Worst - We don't have a Hobby Lobby.  I would really love a Hobby Lobby!

10. The older I get, the more I ___________.
 
worry.  I worry about things that I never worried about before.  I worry about my kids and their future.   I worry about my husband.  I worry about other kids that I don't think are getting the love and attention they deserve.  I worry about natural disasters and the zombie apocalypse.    I used to be pretty laid back, but I'm definitely a worry wart these days!

11. What's the punchline to your favorite joke? Just the punchline.
 
Because people are just dying to get in!!! 
 
O.K. - So here's the deal....I subscribe to all my favorite blogs by email and I'm pretty lazy so if you are reading this right now, and you have a blog...consider yourself tagged!  Copy the questions below into your own blog, answer them and come up with questions of your own and then tag people...or just be lazy like me!  Happy Blogging!
 
1.  If you could meet one living celebrity, who would it be?
 
2.  If I were to give you a million dollars right now, what is the first thing you would do with it?
 
3.  What's your favorite breakfast food?
 
4.  What's the first item on your DVR?
 
5.  What was the last alcoholic beverage you drank?
 
6.  How many hours of sleep do you normally get at night?
 
7.  Think about one person that you can't stand.  List what you think their 3 worst qualites are.
 
8.  What's your favorite recipe?
 
9.  Spiderman or Batman?
 
10.  Name the most exciting place you have ever visited.
 
11.  If you could choose any other name for yourself, what would it be?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Week that Was...

It's been quite a week since my perfect, super calm, non dramatic, did I mention perfect Mother's Day.

No really - my Mother's Day was absolutely wonderful.  The hubby got me a card (and actually signed it this year) and my favorite gift:  Money.  I told the kids that their gift to me was to take a long nap.  They bought it and they did just that. 

Now, at work I have this little toy that sits next to my computer - it came from a Happy Meal and it has two buttons:  When you push one it says "Yaaaaaayyyy!"  and if you push the other button it says "Booooo!" I need to find another one that can go in my purse, because if any week warranted a few Yay's and a few Boo's, it would have been this one.

Monday:

Monday was appointment day for us.  We had B's four year well visit (with no shots) in the morning and then preschool screening in the afternoon.  Grandma and Grandpa had Em for the day so it was just the two of us.  My boy was over 42 Inches tall and weighed 39 pounds.  In the afternoon I took him to his new preschool for screening.  He did great, except for the following things:

1.  He refused to copy shapes.  Just flat out refused.
2.  He cannot hop for 5 seconds on either foot.  He could stand on one - just not hop.  Oh well - they let him in anyways :)

Monday = Yay!!!!!!  


Tuesday:

Tuesday was B's actual birthday.  I took the day off of work because that's one thing I promised myself I would always do.  As a working mom, I am completely aware that I've missed some pretty important things.  And it sucks, however from the day he was born I made a promise to him and any future children that they would A.  Have some kick ass birthday parties and B.  Have my full attention on the actual day of their birth. 

We partied hard on Saturday at the park with a "Messy Birthday Party".  I filled his room up with balloons Monday night after he went to sleep.  They eventually made there way to the living room which was perfectly fine.  I downloaded all of the new games he got on his new video game thing he got for his birthday.  I made him his favorite breakfast.  We went to see The Avengers and we came home and made pizzas and ate cake.  It was a great, great day. 

Tuesday = Yay!!!!!


Wednesday:

Wednesday was my first day back to work from a 4 days off.  It wasn't so bad - I only had 12 voicemails and 505 emails to catch up on.  It wasn't really that bad, but the day was prety uneventful.

Wednesday:  Yay!!!!!! For being uneventful and Boo!!!!!! for having to go back to work!

Thursday:

Thursday came in two parts.  First of all, we bought a new truck which we got to pick up later in the evening.  It was supposed to take an hour.  It took more like 3.  Oh well, it's nice, my husband is happy and we all love it.

So - Part one Thursday = Yay!!!!

Part two (which actually came before Part One) was when Em (who is 2) broke her wrist in two places.  It's in a splint now - it's getting casted on Monday.  A long story short, she was standing on a chair looking at our fish tank.  (Sometimes it sucks being extra short).  She turned around and fell off and landed just right (or wrong) and broke her wrist.  My husband felt like crap because it was on his watch.  But it could have happened to anyone.  Last week she was standing on the same chair playing with her brothers legos, while I was cooking dinner and she fell off.  I was lucky in that she didn't break anything.  I (along with anyone else that knows our family) would have placed money that B would be the one that would have broken the first bone - go figure.  As I said, we're casting on Monday.  And that cast is going to be bedazzled out the wazoo.  No daughter of mine will have a plain cast.  On a side note - she calls the splint her "puppet".  It's pretty dang cute!

Part Two Thursday = Boooo!!!!!



Friday:

Friday we celebrated my dad's retirement with a big bash in my sisters and cousins backyard (they live next door to each other).  I don't have any pictures but it was fun - I love a good party - especially one that celebrates not having to go to work anymore. 

Friday = Yay!!!!!!!! 

Saturday:

We did nothing today and it was beautiful.  I took a nap and I had a 50% success rate with getting my kids to take a nap.  My husband went and picked up dinner for us so I wouldn't have to cook.  I pinned on pinterest, laundered the laundry, and played some Legos.  I watched Finding Nemo with my kids.  And I put them to bed - they are both fast asleep.  My treat for the week? See below.  I'm ending Saturday with a 100%:  Yay!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Garage Sale Survival 101

Hey friends!  Sorry it's been a while (yet again!)  I'm beginning to really take notice just how busy we truly are.  I don't think we had any sort of down time until today - and looking at our calendar for the next 3 months....it's only going to get worse busier.  Oh well - I will continue to write when I can and post when I don't fall asleep before 11!

Today, in our little community, was the big City Wide Garage Sale.  Every year, the first full weekend in May, hundred of families join forces, set all their crap in their drive way, and try to sell it.  Some sell their stuff for next to nothing (we like those people.)  Some try to sell their junk stuff for a small fortune.  We don't like those people.  Now,  we have lived in this small town for a little over 5 years.  I can say with 100% certainty that I have never been out on City Wide Garage Sale Saturday....I had a garage sale a couple of times, but never went out myself.  And for good reason, I'm not big on the massive amounts of traffic this time of year brings to our normally not busy streets.  I'm not big on sweating.  And I'm not big on hauling around two toddlers in and out of the car.  Normally, we wouldn't go, but recently Brayden (almost 4) has taken a serious interest in garage sales.  It may be because we've been watching endless marathons of Storage Wars.  It may be because he will end up being on hoarders some day.  It may be that he inherited some of his Great Grandpa Beasley's genes (he loved to go garage sales on a nearly daily basis.  It may even be that his Grandparents have rubbed off on him.  Whatever the reason - I told him we would get out this morning and go to a bunch of garage sales and that we did!

He was mad because he left his cup inside.  (P.S. - I went in and got it)

She was happy - because she had a dress on, pink sunglasses, and lip stick.  (Calm down - it was just chap stick)


I admit, I had second thoughts about going after I felt how flippin' hot it was outside.  I promised though and Brayden was SO excited.  I should not, could not, and would not disappoint.  So we went - and had SO much fun together.  And with that I present my survival guide for going to garage sales.

DO bring cups, filled cups and Don't forget yourself!  And extra water.  As I mentioned earlier, it was hotter than Heck outside.  And between the heat, walking around, and getting in and out of the car - the kids needed liquid.

DO bring cash/DON'T bring big bills.  People don't like to take checks and as a rule don't take credit cards.  There is nothing worse than paying with a $50 bill for 75 cents worth of goods.  We got our money from the grocery store and asked for small bills.  People like small bills.

DO expect for your kids to embarrass you.  Brayden saw a big, scruffy guy sitting on a couch at one house.  And he yells "Yikes!  There's a big, scary, monster!"  Of course it was loud enough for everyone to hear.   And Brayden also asked every house we went to if he could come inside and look.  (Don't ask me why - because I have NO idea.)

DO set a time limit.  Unless the weather is perfect and you know a bunch of people that can end up being potential bathroom stops, don't keep the kiddos out all day.  We left the house at 9 - and we were back (with some good deals and lunch) by Noon.  

DO bring a stroller if your younger child is under the age of 2.  Brayden is perfect walking around by himself.  Emma likes to run - so it was easier for her to ride.   If my husband were writing this he would say Don't bring a stroller.  He doesn't know what he's talking about though :)

DO check out if any local churches or organizations are doing some sort of snack bar.  We did just that and it bought us an extra 3 sales.    We bought two cupcakes and a diet coke.  Were the cupcakes messy?  Yep, but it kept the kids occupied for the last few houses we went to.  (The Diet Coke was for me)

DO jump on a good deal.  After several of so-so sales, we landed on a gold mine.  They had Brayden's size and Emma's size for 50 cents a piece.  All name brand, all hardly worn,  way cute stuff for next to nothing.  I bought 3 stuffed bags of clothes and a talking Eeyore for my new little niece who should be born any day now!  Don't give up - we didn't find this sale until the next to the last house we went to.  We were finding nothing but junk before that one.


I can't state enough - my babies were so good today.  Emma has always been a good shopper, but Brayden - that child didn't beg, kept up with the walking, and was just a doll the entire time (except for the embarrassing parts - but I've come to expect those).  Today was a good great day. 

Do you garage sale?  Do you have them or just go to them?  What are your tips and tricks for holding  the best sale or finding the best deals?

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm baaaaaack!

Why hello there!  It has been a crazy, long time since I've even logged onto my blog!  So long, in fact that the whole dang thing has changed.  So, I am obviously going to have to write a whole lot more to get used to this whole new thing.  I'll do what I can! 


I seem to have the most thoughtful, hilarious, and random conversations with my son (who will be four in a few weeks) when it's just the two of us.  This past Sunday, I was playing hostess for a baby shower for my sister in law. The car trip to get there was about an hour and a half and  I had decided to leave my baby girl with my parents because I didn’t think I would be able to handle both kids and do the hostess with the mostess thing.  Plus, by the time we got my car packed…there wasn’t very much room left at all.   Brayden is usually a pretty big help with just about everything, so I didn't think twice about him being my date/big helper. 
We had been on the road for about an hour when we stopped at a Rest Area to use the potty. (Brayden had sucked down a blue slushy before we had left the Quik Trip Parking lot.) He had been watching a movie for most of the way, but after we were done – he decided we needed to talk. I wish I would have had a video camera on him for the rest of the day. Here are some brief snippets of our conversation(s) through out the rest of the day.
In the car, on our way to the baby shower:
Brayden: Mom, what is this shower all about? Is this baby really going to take a shower?
Me: No, a baby shower is where you shower the mommy with lots of presents for her new baby.
Brayden: Oh. Well, I still don’t know why Aunt Jammy ate that baby. She must have been real hungry.
Me: She didn’t eat the baby.
Brayden: Well, how did the baby get in there?
Me: Ask your dad.
Brayden: O.K. How does the baby get out of there? I mean, I was in your tummy right?  Was Emma there in the same time?  Were you great big?
Me: You go into labor and that's how the baby gets out.  You were in my tummy, but not at the same time as Em.  And yes, I was great big.
Brayden: Don’t tell Aunt Jammy that I said she was great big.   And I don't know what labor is.
Me: O.K. I won’t and you'll know someday.
Brayden: I hope no one tries to take my blanky when we get there.
Me: Well, maybe we should just leave it in the car.
Brayden: No, I’ll just tell them that there is poop on it. That should keep them away.
Just a few minutes later, after I had taken the wrong exit, I pulled off to the side of the road to recalibrate the GPS on my phone. (Yes, we were lost.)
Brayden: Mom, are we lost?
Me: Yes we are. But don’t worry, we’ll find it.
Brayden: We never get lost when daddy is driving us.
Me: That’s because when daddy takes us someplace he has me in the passenger seat telling him where to go.   I have a diaper cake in my passenger seat.
Brayden: Maybe you should switch seats then mom.
Me: That won't work -I have to drive.
Brayden: Oh my gosh, we will probably never get there.
Once I had the GPS set to go and was on the right path, I had to slam on my breaks at a straight to red from green stoplight. As I was screeching my tires, trying to avoid smashing into the car in front of me, this is the next conversation that transpired:
Me: Oh Jesus!
Brayden: You’re right mom! We should pray about being lost.  That will get us there.
Me: Speechless.
Brayden: Our father who art in Heaven….
(He proceeded to say the Lord’s Prayer, then look up and say:
Brayden: Nope – we’re still not there, better keep praying.
This continued about 5 more times, until we finally made it.
During the baby shower, Brayden kept the party guests laughing. (I guess I should hire him for entertainment).   Surprisingly, he kept his clothes on and didn't beg to pee on a tree outside.
He made sure to let his Aunt know that all those cute clothes she was opening were not going to fit her:
That is not going to fit you you are to big.”
She opened a pack of baby shampoo, lotion, and Desitin. And Brayden said:
“Oh that’s called butt cream for when you got a rash.”
And the lines kept coming. On the way home, he was pretty quiet (I think he was practically in a sugar coma after the 27 Cake Pops he had eaten.) As I was exiting onto the highway, he says to me:
Brayden: Mom?
Me: What buddy?
Brayden: You know you are the fastest car driver in the universe, right?
Me: Yep, I know.
Brayden: O.K. Just checking. I won’t tell Daddy though
Me: Sounds like a plan.
Brayden:  Yep, and I love you.
Me:  And I love you Mr. B - To infinity and beyond.

Tune in tomorrow where I'll share my favorite recipes from the baby shower and some pictures!  Peace out - and thanks for sticking with me ya'll!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Ask me what I was doing exactly two years ago on this very day.  Go ahead - ask. 

My husband and I were spending our last night as parents of one child - we were headed to the hospital the next morning to have our little girl.  I remember watching "The Blind Side", eating Peanut Butter Cups well into the wee hours of the morning, and not sleeping a wink.  I remember sitting in my baby girls room - looking at the masterpiece of pink and pinker that my husband and I had created.  I went through her closet one last time and double checked our hospital bag about 25 times to make sure she had her very first flower clip for her hospital pictures. 

It may sound cliche but two years has gone by SO fast.  Her birthday is tomorrow and we're going to head to the American Girl Store - (our birthday tradition) and pick up a new red headed Bitty Baby and a party dress.  We're going to have Dora Cupcakes.  She's going to open her presents.  I'm going to try not to cry, try not to cry, and try not to cry.  She's definitely not a baby anymore - she's growing up.  And I'm going to continue to thank the Good Lord for both of the biggest blessings in my life.  Happy (1 day early) 2nd Birthday to my sweet, beautiful, baby girl!  We love you!

P.S.  I think it's beyond obvious that I suck at Wordless Wednesday! :)

Getting ready to head to the hospital!  I heart scheduled inductions!!! 

Our first family photo - The kids are both SO little!

Monday, March 26, 2012

R.I.P Spider

My husband and kids recently brought home a new "pet".  I was at work and they decided to take advantage of our school district being on spring break as well as the unusually warm March weather.  Although we have every toy imaginable in our back yard: water table, play house, swing set, slide, etc.  - both kids still love to walk to the school that's a couple of houses down and play on the "big kid" playground. 
Now I may be missing some details here, because I usually don't find out the full version of what happens while I'm away until days- - -sometimes months later.  But the gist of it goes something like this:  One of the kids found a craw-dad....well crawling on the ground.  There was no body of water to be found anywhere near the playground.  I'm pretty sure if they would have looked, they probably would have found a ditch near by to drop the crawdad back in.  They didn't look and instead my husband convinced the kids that they should take it home and let him live in our fish tank.  When I found out about this, I said:  "You should have left him there - he was obviously on a suicide mission".  My husband said: "Oh no - he was just looking for a good home."


When I got home from work, both kids were so excited to show me their new "friend".  "Look mommy - it's Spider!," Emma squealed.  Brayden said, "Daddy, let us bring him home!"


Spider didn't try to kill the other fish in the tank.  He got a little rough with Mickey Mouse (yep all of our fish have names) and he taunted Kool Aid a little bit, but for the most part he kept to himself in the sunken pirate ship next to some neon rocks.
Fast forward one week later.  Garry called me on my way home from work to let me know - Spider jumped off a ledge....he literally escaped from the fish tank, jumped off the cabinet and made an attempt to crawl to the light (our patio door).  He didn't make it and Garry found him (dead) right next to the door. 


So, here's to Spider.  The best darn crawdad our family could have asked for.  He will be missed, even though we only had him for a week.   We love ya Spidey!


Spider - 2012 to 2012 (He's in the opening to the sunken pirate ship).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tasty Tuesday! Turkey & Veggie Meatloaf Minis

Turkey & Veggie Meatloaf Minis

One of my favorite comfort foods during the winter (or anytime of the year for that matter) is meatloaf. I'm still perfecting my own meatloaf recipe but until that happens, I happened to stumbled upon a new recipe for a Turkey Meatloaf over at hungry-girl.com.   I wasn't a big fan of the bagged broccoli cole slaw that the recipe called for, so I substituted the slaw for some other veggies and made some other (minor) adjustments as well.
These were a big hit at my house - and I'm pretty sure they could be frozen to use at a later date. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture - enter frowny face here, but trust me....They were SOOO yummy.
Ingredients
1 Small Onion - Diced
1/2 cup of Ketchup
1 Pound of Ground Turkey (don't knock it until you try it!)
1 1/2 cups of cooked spinach - (chopped in a food processor)
1 medium red bell pepper - Diced
1 egg
1/2 to 3/4 cup of plain instant oatmeal
Seasoning (I used about one teaspoon each of salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
Directions
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with baking cups.
Mix diced onion, ketchup, ground turkey, spinach, red pepper, egg, seasoning, and oatmeal
Fill the cups with the mixture
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes (I like to make sure my turkey is thoroughly cooked.)
P.S. I had one of these for lunch today - and OMG - I think they were even better the second time around! As always, I want to hear from you! If you have a recipe to share or have feedback for this recipe - email me at tiarasandtantrums2012@yahoo.com.
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I've been waiting for the perfect opportunity to introduce my newest blog sponsor and Tasty Tuesday, happens to be that perfect time! Please welcome NorCal Wood Design to the ole' blog! Check out their bio below as well as some pictures of their handy work!
NorCal Wood Design, a father and son duo from beautiful Northern California (I'm SO jealous!) handcrafts unique housewares and beautiful furniture out of wood. They are avid farmers and builders and have perfected their craft and recently expanded by opening their Etsy shop.  Follow them on Twitter at #caliwooddesign, "Like" their Facebook Fan page or check out their website at www.norcalwooddesign.weebly.com. You can also send an email to norcalwooddesign@gmail.com. They are continually adding new items in the Etsy shop so make sure you stop by, check em' out and order a handmade cutting board, napkin holders, office decor and more! Have someone to give a gift too? Maybe some newlyweds or a someone who is moving? What a great and unique gift idea!



Monday, March 19, 2012

DIY: Cereal Bracelets

The kids and I did this craft a couple of weeks ago - it was my take on candy necklaces - the only differences were we made ours with elastic cord and fruit loops instead of string and hard candy.  It was fun for both kids - the three year old loved stringin' the loops and the one year old loved eatin' the loops.  Simple. Fun. Fast. Easy Clean Up.  That's my kind of craft! 

We used fruit loops - any cereal with wholes in the middle would work though!

Brayden: Concentration

Emma:  Enjoying all of mine and Brayden's hardwork.

All you need is a cereal of your choice (has to have the holes in the middle), elastic cord, and scissors for cutting.  Tie a knot through one cereal loop and begin stringing your bracelet (or necklace) to your desired length.  Tie up your two ends and Bam!  You have cereal jewelry!  It's supposed to rain here in the metro for the next few days, so now would be a perfect time to make sure you have everything you needed to get craftin'.

I shouldn't have to say this, but I'm going to anyways.  Children under the age of 3 should probably be supervised during this and any other kid craft or DIY kid project I post.  There's your warning!  I don't cut my kids loose with scissors and glue and neither should you!

Do you have a DIY craft or project you do with your kiddos?  I'd love to hear about it!  Send an email to tiarasandtantrums2012@yahoo.com and you could be featured in a DIY post!  And don't forget to check out my Facebook Fan Page by clicking here!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tasty Tuesday! Crock Pot Lasagna

Crock Pot Lasagna


I am by no means queen of the kitchen - I do (almost) always try but occassionally I have major dinner time flops.  A perfect example would be the time I intended to make chicken noodle soup in the crock pot - I decided NOT to use the provided recipe and instead went at it full force.  All by myself.  It was a hodge podge of ingredients and my end result was a ginormous crock pot full of chickeny mush.  We all ate a little bit, but the rest ended up being trash.  I couldn't tell you exactly where I went wrong, but I'm guessing it started somewhere around the whole "not following the recipe" part. 

With my blunders also come some fantastically delicious meals as well.  Meals that don't get turned into a mushy mess.  Meals that delight my family because they are filling and delicious.  One of my favorites of these delicious meals is crock pot lasagna. 

I first came across this dish from a girl I go to church with.  I've since tweaked it and changed a few things around and its turned into a simple, easy dish that can cook while I'm at work.  I encourage you to try this out and make your own adjustments - comment below and let me know what you think or you can send an email to tiarasandtantrums2012@yahoo.com!   I'm also always looking for recipes from everyone and everywhere - so if you've got a good one to share, send it to me!   You can also check out my Facebook Fan page by clicking here.   I'll do my best to make sure that Tasty Tuesday recipes are on Facebook too!

1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon each of: salt, dried oregano, and dried basil
1 large can of Pasta Sauce (I use the Hunts Four Cheese variety)
2 cups of mozzarella cheese
1 small container of part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup of low fat cottage cheese
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of water
1 box of uncooked lasagna noodles

1.  Cook ground beef and onion in skillet over medium heat.  Stir in pasta sauce, salt, dried oregano, basil and water. 

2.  Mix 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, all of the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and cottage cheese. 

3.  Spoon your 1/4 of your beef mixture into the bottom of the crock pot. Top with noodles until your beef mixture is covered.  Spread a portion of your cheese mixture over the noodles.  Repeat until you've used all of the beef mixture and cheese mixture.  (Your final layer should be the uncooked noodles, topped with a small portion of your beef mixture.)

4.  Cook on a low heat setting for 4 to 6 hours or on a high setting for 2 hours (or until noodles are tender.)

5.  Sprinkle lasagna with the remaining mozzarella cheese and let melt.

Serve and enjoy!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In case you missed me....

Long story short, our Internet has been out/spotty since late Monday night.  We've My husband has been on and off the phone with our provider since Wednesday morning.  As of Friday afternoon, it still wasn't fixed.  He ended up unplugging and plugging the router back in and it magically started working again.  So, in all honesty there's no telling how long we were really out of commission.  If we he would have tried that Tuesday night, it might have worked and we wouldn't have lost touch with whats going on in the world.  You know, things like brooms standing in the center of rooms by themselves?

I didn't realize how much I would miss the Internet, until it was gone.  Even my phone was playing stupid and not letting me do a little Facebook stalking scroll thru.  I couldn't Pin.  I couldn't blog.  I couldn't read my favorite blogs.  It pretty much sucked - so here's a recap of what I would have liked to have said earlier in the week.

Tuesday
Tuesday was another day and another dollar.  I made the mistake of drinking about 48 ounces of water right before I left work.  The wind was blowing like Wizard of Oz - tornado crazy and there was an accident on the two lane road I use to get home.  The only detour was a tiny gravel road, which on a normal day would probably see 3 cars - of course today it had probably 300 cars on it.  45 minutes into my detour, and still a good 45 minutes from my final destination - I was cursing that deliciously refreshing tap water that I had downed.  I had to go to the bathroom really bad.  It didn't help that every song on the radio had to do with water or bodies of water.  This play list did not help my situation:

Waterfalls - TLC
Set Fire to the Rain - Adele
Some Beach - Blake Shelton

After the last song, I gave up and turned the CD player on.  Of course, what CD is in there?  Some kid CD and it was tuned to....Rain, Rain, Go Away - followed by The Itsy Bitsy Spider.  UGH.

In case you're wondering, I did end up making it to the bathroom - with no accidents - but barely. 

Wednesday
I've been dealing with a flat tire that keeps going flat for a couple of weeks now.  I drove Garry's "truck" to work Wednesday morning.  There are a couple of things to note about Garry's "truck":  The Check Engine light has been on for 3 years now, the door handle on the drivers side is completely broken off,  and occasionally (pretty much every time I drive it), the driver door will go all Christine on me and lock by itself and won't unlock.  This happened Wednesday morning.  I probably should have turned around and gone home at that point, but I made my escape from the killer truck my climbing over to the passenger side and going through the other door.

I came home with pizza from Little Caesars.  To thank me for my thoughtfulness, my hubby took my car to get not 1 - but 4 new tires on it.  The kids and I had a dancey dance party while he was gone.  It was supposed to be a cleaning house party too - but it ended up being a 100% booty shaken' dancey dance party. 

Thursday
It was another rough one at work.  You won't hear me say this often, but I do let the words slip out of my mouth:  This kind of work is above my pay grade.  I researched one issue for probably 4 hours - and I still couldn't find my answer.  Honestly, I had more contact with The Library of Congress, DFAS, the DOD, and the Federal Times than I care to talk about.  One word to describe my work day:  Annoying.

I lifted my spirits with a little retail therapy on my lunch break and after I left for the day.  I scoped out Hobby Lobby and picked up some things to craft the perfect centerpiece for sister-in-laws baby shower, headed to Payless Shoes to utilize my 50% off coupon:  two new pairs of shoes for me and two new pairs for each of the kids, and checked out the new grocery store that had opened.  I was definitely feeling better by the time I got home, however my baby girl was not.   Poor thing was a coughing and a tad whiny.  I'm not a psychic, but I could see a Doctor visit in our future. 

After the kiddos went to bed, I got my Crafty Cathe hat, plugged my glue gun in and got to craftin'.  Cute centerpieces, the bottles are brand new so can definitely be re-used and the flowers can be turned into hair clips once the party is over!  My hot glue gun can cure the blues on any given day.

Baby T's Centerpieces!

Friday
I had to call in sick to work on Friday - my princess was up most of the night with a fever and a cough, which almost always leads to ear infections, so we wanted to nip this in the bud quickly.  Sure enough, her ear was a little red, but it was nothing to serious.  We're on our second day of antibiotics so here's to my little girl getting better quickly!   I woke up with a sore foot Friday too - so bad I could hardly walk on it.  I either got used to the pain or it went away, because it seemed to be better by the evening.  I had two BIG glasses of frozen daiquiris so that could have something to do with it also.

Saturday
I woke up with the same pain in my foot today that I had yesterday.  I don't run/exercise so I don't know what's causing it, but self diagnosis via WebMD is a bitch.  What the hell is Peripheral neuropathy and Metatarsalgia?  Seriously??!!

What the heck is going on?

I spent the evening watching Toy Story (for the third time today) with my babies.  Emma asked to go to bed about 6:45 so I tucked her in tight.  Brayden asked to stay up really, really late so I let him - because I'm a cool mom like that.  He declared he was "king of this castle" when I let him stay up until 8:30 watching Scooby Doo.  "Who's cool? I am". 

This was right before he pulled two marshmallows out of his pants and said "Surprise!"  I'm a lucky momma!
I hope every one's week was fantastic.  Here's hoping my Internet connection stays clear through Tuesday, where I will be introducing "Tasty Tuesday".  Tasty Tuesday is where I  share my favorite recipes from (occasionally) my own head but mostly from my mom and around the web.  I'm starting with one of my favorite crock pot recipes: Crock pot Lasagna!

I'm also re-welcoming The Rustic Pearl Boutique!  Because of my computer issues, I didn't get to share the page as often as I would have liked - so make sure you check em out!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Christmas in March

Christmas in March - sounds kinda crazy, right?! 

Well, as much as I LOVE Christmas - I do not celebrate it all year long.  This year, my Christmas tree/inside decorations started coming down on December 26th.  I had caught a slight bug of some sort on Christmas night, so the spirit of the season had left my body in more ways than one.   During the week in between Christmas and New Years, I continued to take down trees, pack ornaments away, and place all the decorations in their assigned spots. I was on a roll!

Flash Forward to March 1, 2012:  As I got in my car in the wee hours of the morning, I paid more attention to the front of my house than I have in mmm...probably the last couple of months.  What I noticed, was actually what I had failed to notice over those past couple of months.

We still have our outside Christmas decorations up/out in the open for all the world to see.  I could have sworn that we put those damn things away.  It was dark outside when I realized it so I couldn't take pictures to prove they were still up - but wouldn't you know - when I got home from work, those dang decorations hadn't gone ANYWHERE!  Soooo....my belated/early Christmas present to you is, Christmas in March.



This is a "Christmasmoose" and at the moment, I couldn't tell you how long he had been laying, face down in our front yard.  He's a cute little guy when he's standing - all wrapped up in garland and lights with a big round red nose.  How lazy of a homeowner can you be to not just pick him up and tuck him away in the garage?  Helllooooooo oblivous homeowner!


These are the outside decorations that I did take down (along with some of our Little Tykes Slide and Water table that were supposed to be put away at the end of last summer).   Notice how the slide doubles as a candy cane holder?  I would also go out on a limb and say that we've probably lost most of the stakes that go with those Christmas trees.   Oh, and let's not forget about the inflatable 6 foot tall Frosty the Snowman, draped over the slide.  Is it to early to say that I'm just getting ready for next Christmas?  Eh, probably not. Hellooooooo tacky and oblivious homeowner!


Ignore half the dog butt in the picture and pay attention to the railing.  Still wrapped in green garland with white snowflake lights going across.  Pretty huh?  I debated leaving the garland up since it's green and St. Patricks Day is coming up, but I wasn't sure if everyone would see that as creative genius or.....lazy, white trash homeowner!  I went ahead and took it all down.  I even moved the play equipment to the back yard - it's harder to see back there, thus making our front yard look less tacky. Hellooooooo tacky, lazy, AND oblivious homeowner!

Moral of the story?  I end each holiday season with the best of intentions.  As I'm typing, I notice that I still have red lights, heart garland, and red tissue paper flowers hanging up in my house.  I've definitely got my project for tomorrow!

Do you have holiday lights, Christmas Trees, or decorations still hanging around at your house?! Leave a comment below!

And.....Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it......it's a new Sponsor!   Please join me in welcoming The Rustic Pearl Boutique!

"Mindy Porter and Brittney Moreland are the creative minds at The Rustic Pearl Boutique. We create one of a kind jewelry. Mindy recently began designing and creating one of a kind custom wood blocks. All of our inventory is created by hand so please keep that in mind when placing and receiving your order. We work from our homes; that is how we are able to keep prices reasonable and affordable. Our prices range from $15-$35 dollars. The necklace price depends on the beads/stones that are used and approximately $3.00 for S/H. The custom wooden blocks are $5 per block plus $10.95 Priority medium flate rate box. I can do just about any theme or color for the blocks.
Our customers can contact us by email @ therusticpearlboutique@yahoo.com or visit our Facebook page."
 




 
 
They've got some super cute things!  Make sure you check them out and give them a holler and tell em that Tiaras and Tantrums sent you!  I hope everyone has an AMAZING week!   Oh - and if you have a second - please go and visit my Facebook Fan Page - Tiaras and Tantrums and give me a like! I would love to see you there!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Worst.Chore.Ever.

I am on my first day of a three day weekend.  It's a spring cleaning/party planning/get caught up on everything kind of weekend.  I have a second birthday party to plan for this month, a baby shower to plan in April, and a fourth birthday party to plan in May.  Plus, I want all my spring cleaning done by the time spring/summer actually roll around.  I want to spend as much time as possible outside with my kiddos soaking up every beautiful day we come across.   I'm taking a mini break from tonight's chore, laundry to bring you my most hated of all chores:  Folding Socks.

I give you Mount Sock-Suckous!


There are a million and one things I would rather do then fold those socks.  I wear my husbands socks quite often because he has more than all of us combined.  I've sent Brayden to pre-school with the socks with that weren't quite a match.  I've put snow boots on Emma because I couldn't find any socks period for her.  More often than not, when someone needs sock - they are required to go and find the sock pile and pull out a match.  When you have six trillion socks in the sock pile though it can get kind of difficult.    I need socks, the hubby needs socks, my kids need socks, and I also need my green basket back to store some downstairs toys in.  I'm going to do the grown up/good mom/good wife thing, and fold them.  Normally, I would go buy a new basket and put new socks for everyone on my Wal-Mart list.  Tonight, my kiddos are asleep - I've got wine on my side and I'm gonna become a sock foldin' fool. 

And on a side note, specifically for my husband (who secretly reads my blog), a gift certificate to Merry Maids would be great appreciated for Mothers Day.

I'm off to fold socks - but I want to know - what is your most hated household chore?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Oh The Places You'll Go

"My name is Cat. I don't like hats.  I once saw a bat.  It wasn't fat.  Imagine that? A not fat bat.  It was thin.  I named him slim."

O.K. My attempt to Dr. Seuss it up was pretty lame - I'm obviously no Dr. Seuss. 
Green Eggs, Ham, and Cinnamon Rolls.  And a three year old hand trying to nab my dessert.
We celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday with a dinner that consisted of green (scrambled) eggs, ham, and cinnamon rolls.   While the eggs looked oldy moldy - they were pretty yummy (and incredibly easy) to make:

Mix your scrambled eggs up like you normally do.  (I use eggs, milk, salt, and pepper).  Brayden put the food coloring in - we used the gel kind and we mixed it all together.  I wanted really green eggs so we used a lot of the food coloring.  Cook em as you normally would and bon appetite!  Your green eggs are served! 

Now, it took some coaxing to get my husband to attempt to eat the "green" eggs but he eventually did and didn't complain about the color.  My three year old gobbled them up and asked for seconds.   My one year old just flat out refused the eggs but did enjoy the ham.  I was with B on the yummy factor.

After dinner, "The Foot Book", "Green Eggs and Ham", and "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" were our books of choice for the after dinner reading show.  My kids see these books as funny and whimsical with a new rhyme at every turn.  I, as a parent see these books as a learning tool - teaching them important lessons, even though they might not know it at the time.  The whole point of "Green Eggs and Ham" is - "try it, you might like it" - something I say a million times a day. 

My favorite Dr. Seuss book by far, is "Oh, the Places You'll Go!".  I received my copy of this book as a gift on my high school graduation day - way back in 2002.  The book starts out simple enough:

"You have brains in your head. 
You have feet in your shoes. 
You can steer yourself any direction you choose." 

Most parents can relate to.  We all want our kids to be able to make good decisions and steer themselves in the right directions. Even though it's not always easy:

"You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. but mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?"

We are all in charge of our actions.  Life is full of ups and downs and then back ups and back downs.  There will be amazingly bright and brilliant moments followed by some of the darkest times in a person's life.   Your entire life is indeed a balancing act:

"You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go. 
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
A Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left."

"And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)"

Stay balanced, stay focused, if you get knocked down - get back up, if you travel the wrong road - get back on the right road - you will succeed, 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.

Reading has been important to me since I was little.  I remember going to the library every week and getting to pick out ten books. (10 was the max.)  As I grew, my love for reading did also.  I still carry my love for reading with me as an adult.  There is nothing more relaxing (other than two simultaneous glasses of wine) than getting lost in a great book. 

My kids are well on their way to having their own library.  We bought books for them before they were born.  I passed down books that were kept from when I was little.  "Good Night Moon" and "Big Red Barn" were instant favorites.  Emma goes to bed every night with her "Barney: Alphabet Soup" and "Barney: Opposites" books.  There are many nights I can hear her in her room trying so hard to repeat the words that were read to her just an hour before.  Many nights, Brayden will sit quietly in his room, flipping through pages of dozens of books.  He loves everything from his sisters "baby" books to books about the Presidents and the First Ladies - or the "President's Girls" as he calls them.    I take pride in the fact that they each have their own library cards and have seemed to already develop an early love of reading and story telling.  They have an entire world of imagination at their fingertips - those books and stories can take them anywhere.

Unfortunately, not all kids are so lucky to have books at their fingertips.  I would strongly encourage everyone reading this to seek out local organizations that encourage literacy and donate - donate new books, donate your time reading to elementary kids, or donate money to purchase books.  It really can take something as small as donating a book to make an enormous difference in a life.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Who wants a Dollop of Diane?!

Just in case you didn't know - today is Leap Day!  And in the land of (some) bloggers, it's also Leap Blog Day!  Leap Blog Day is where you have the pleasure of posting on anothers blog.  After a couple of tries of swapping with someone who was already taken...(does that sound weird?), I was introduced to Diane through a friend.  Once I started reading through her blogs, I realized we were a match made in blog heaven!   A switcheroo was born!  Please enjoy Dollops of Diane's post below.  And make sure you follow her regularly at Dollops of Diane!  I'm positive you are going to enjoy her posts as much as I do!  And to see my post - based on an interview with myself head on over to Dollops of Diane!  I (Cathe) am planning some fun things in March so make sure you stay tuned!  Ready, set, go....it's time for a blog swap:

Everyone parties like this, right?



Hi Everyone!  I'm so excited to be guest posting here today at Tiaras and Tantrums.  For those of you who aren't familiar with my blog, I'm a stay at home mom with a four year old daughter, three year old son, and an (almost) 19 month old son.  My everyday life consists of diaper changes, sippy cup refills, and playing referee.  However, this past week I had the opportunity to attend Blissdom (a blogging conference in Nashville).  This was the first time I had spent any extended time away from my family since the kids were born.  It was AMAZING.  I had the chance to meet some pretty cool people and even mingle with a couple of celebrities.  I was basically living in my own little real life fantasy for five days.  Best.trip.ever.  Of course, all good things must come to an end and I'm now adjusting to life back in the grind.  Upon coming back to reality I've learned a few things, so now I give you...


The Top Things I've Learned after Being Away for Five Days


(1)  I actually didn't miss out on too much since Isabelle (4yo) told me EVERYTHING that happened while I was away.  She also placed a huge emphasis on all of the "naughty" things that the boys did while I was gone.  My favorites were the ones that Tim (hubs) did since she always ended these stories with, "Ohhh, that Dadda!"
(2)  Nothing is where I left it or where it belongs.  Where is the diaper cream??
(3)  I can't recover like I used to.  I partied it up while I was away.  I drank like a fish and stayed up way too late (that's what you do when you're kid-free, right?).  By the time Sunday afternoon had come around, I was exhausted, feeling a big blah, and longed for a day/night in my sweats on the couch!
(4) No matter how much fun I had while I was gone, nothing could beat the shear happiness I felt when I saw the kids SO ecstatic to see me when I got home.  The hubs was also pretty excited to see me!  He did an incredible job while I was gone and was a total champ.  I guess when all is said and done, there really is no place like home.


Okay, I'm now off to start tackling my endless "to do" list which apparently didn't take a vacation like I did.  If you've enjoyed my post, I'd love to see you in the future over at Dollops of Diane!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Anniversary

Today would have been my Grandpa and Grandma Beasley's 68th wedding anniversary.  Can you imagine, 68 years?  They were married February 28th, 1944.  I'm going to keep this incredibly simple tonight, because I've reminisced all day to myself about what wonderful people they were.  I miss them terribly but I am sure that they are celebrating in heaven tonight.  I can only hope that someday I'm celebrating 25, 30, 40, and 50 plus years of marriage.  Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!






This is my last post for February - however, tune in tomorrow, because there will be a special guest!  We're trading blogs for the day so make sure you check in with us both! 

It's been a good month and even though I didn't write every day like I had planned, I'm happy with the results.  I've gotten a lot of great feedback and it honestly means the world to me when someone says "Hey - I'm missing your blogs!"  So, I just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone that keeps reading.  I can't promise a grand slam every time I write but I can promise I'll keep trying!  You guys ROCK!! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time in land far away, lived a beautiful princess…..
February 26th was National Fairy tale Day. While my life is nothing like I thought it was going to be and certainly not the Fairy Tale I had imagined it is indeed has become my grown up version of a fairy tale.  Sure my kids don’t always behave, I have a messy house, and my husband I have an occasional argument (or two or three). I’m not sure I can remember the last time I got more than 5 to 6 hours of sleep at night. I have bags under my eyes, most of my wardrobe has been purchased from the Salvation Army, and I have more things to do than hours in the day.
What I do have, has far exceeded every expectation that I ever had for myself.   Instead of Knight in Shining Armor, I have Garry. Garry bickers with me and picks on me but he also loves me unconditionally – even when Crazy Cathe comes out he is still always there.  He (as corny as it sounds) is my rock and my version of prince charming.  He's also nothing like who I had pictured I was going to marry - instead he is a million times better.
My babies are independent, free thinkers. (This is code word for stubborn and stubborn). They are adorable and love to have fun. They are a constant reminder of what life is and should be about. While they are not perfect, they are my God given blessings and I wouldn't change a thing about them.  They are my treasures.
My castle is not quite what I envisioned.  I always thought I would live in more of a mansion instead of a split level ranch.  I’m envious of whirlpool bathtubs and walk in closets. I long for the days of big bay windows, an eloquently landscaped yard, and an in ground swimming pool.  We don't have any of that but our home is filled with love, lots and lots of love. 
So, while my I've never lost a glass slipper, lived with seven short people,  or swam under the ocean as a mermaid, I have helped to build a pretty charmed life.  If you told me 20 years ago that my fairy tale would consist of a gorgeous Sunday afternoon of haircuts, shakes, and playing outside I would have told you that was crazy.  Now that I'm living it, I have to tell you:  it's pretty awesome.
Brayden got his first official haircut!  (Daddy had been cutting it.)
Smile!
We played in the park!

We had Shamrock Shakes (and mommy had a frappe)!


We dressed up in costumes and played pretend!



We watched the Oscars and in honor of movies big night, I dug out the Oscar that my hubby
bought me from the Hollywood Wax Museum - "Best Girlfriend" -  circa 2005.


"Life itself is the most wonderful fairytale of all."
 – Hans Christian Andersen