Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Less Words Wednesday-BFF Necklaces

My girls and I have BFF necklaces to help me cope while they are at school.  Lolly informed us that the "BFF" stands for "Best Family Forever". 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tip Tuesday-Packing A School Lunch!

Since Lolly started kindergarten (TWO YEARS AGO!!!) she has taken a home lunch to school.  She went to all day kindergarten and we found that buying school lunch everyday would kind of cost a lot and wasn't exactly what I would want her eating every day.  Because we like to compromise, she gets hot lunch once a week (on a day of her choosing) so she doesn't feel like she misses out bringing her lunch.  But sending a lunch every day can get to be....challenging.  Most people don't want to eat the same sandwich everyday.  I know I don't!  So I try to shake things up a little.  Sometimes it works, other times...not so much.  But for the most party, Lolly is pretty happy with what I send in her lunch.  And occasionally amused. 

Here are some random pictures of random lunches that I have sent over the years. 

By the way, those things that look like meatballs are actually mini zucchini muffins.  If they are in a peanut free class, I send them as is, but if they are allowed peanuts then I send them with peanut butter.  As you can see, I tend to send a lot of tiny tomatoes, but only in the fall when they are growing in our garden.  In the picture just above, the Hello Kitty container has a yummy dill dip.  I always try to make sure that there is a fruit, veggie and protein in her lunch so that it's a good combination of yummy, filling and healthy.  Of course, there are those days where it is painfully obvious that I need to go grocery shopping.  I just don't take pictures on those days. 

My very most favorite part of packing her lunch is the napkin.  I just send a paper napkin but each day I put a little picture or message on it.  If there is something special going on that day, like a test or activity, I will make the napkin about that.  And for her birthday week, there are birthday themed pictures on every napkin.  The best part about it is that if you have really crazy busy morning, you can make the entire week's worth of napkins on Sunday night and just stick one in the lunch box in the morning.

Actually, the very best part is when they start writing messages back. 
This is a napkin from the end of Lolly's kindergarten year and it made me day!  And, yes, I plan on keeping this paper napkin forever. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lolly's First Day of 2nd Grade!

Today is my Lolly's first day of second grade.  New year.  New school. 

She was so excited, she even felt it necessary to wake me up every half hour or so to see if it was time to get ready for school yet.  Starting around 2 am.  Of course, once it actually was time to get ready we were a little less than focused. 

The first day of school is a big deal. To quote Lolly, it's "one of the busiest holidays of the year!". 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Summer Highlights

Our summer has been amazing.  We have done lots of fun stuff and lots of simple, hang out stuff.  I have horded my children to myself and not done very many play dates.  It has gone by way too fast and now that we're on the very last day of summer vacation, this mama is sad.  But instead of whining, we're going to relive some highlights of our summer.  I'll save the whining for another day.

Swimming Lessons

On the last day of swimming lessons they got to pick a treat from the candy machines.  I'm a big spender. 
Fourth of July Hair and Patriotic Pedicures!

Annual Trip to Bear Lake!

Had a great time at the closing social of EVO'12.

And even wore the face paint to church the next day.  Oops.
Celebrated CG's birthday going to a nickle arcade and giving him binoculars to use when he goes to Cirque de Soleil in November. 

Made a paper chain to count down the days until school started.  It lasted about two days before we forgot about it.

And, of course, back to school shopping.

Had a couple of lady bug picnics and even made some colorful bubbles. 

We need more summer. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Alfredo Sauce

I originally got this recipe from the Utah Deal Diva site and have absolutely loved it.  It's a simple recipe that tastes wonderful.  I've never tried freezing it, but I hear it freezes well.  This recipe, and many others, can now be found on Butter, With A Side of Bread. I haven't tried a lot of recipes from this site, but they do look good and it includes all the recipes previously posted on Utah Deal Diva. 

Alfredo Sauce (original recipe here)

3 Tbsp.  butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk (I use skim & it works well)
Half of an 8 oz. block of cream cheese, cut into chunks (I use fat free)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in sauce pan then whisk in flour.  Gradually add milk while whisking, allowing to thicken before adding more.  Once the milk has been added and is hot, add cream cheese.  I usually add the garlic powder, salt & pepper during this time.  Heat the sauce back up and then add cheese.  Simmer until it is melted well. 

I have found this sauce recipe works well for about 12 oz. of pasta. 

Recently, I tried out one of the recommended additions.  I added grape tomatoes (sliced) and fresh basil.  Oh my goodness, it was so good!  It was so good that my girls each had four servings.  FOUR SERVINGS!  So I highly, HIGHLY recommend it. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Utah Parade of Homes 2012

This year our little family has gotten to go see a few of the homes in the Parade of Homes.  Hopefully we'll get to go see a few more before all is said and done.  I actually was able to attend the preview party for the DIY Blogger House in Daybreak. 

If you're looking for a house that you can tour that is filled with ideas that you can actually use in your own home, than this is the exact house you should visit.  Everything in that house, whether  it was DIY or not, was very affordable and accessible to anyone.  Items (especially furniture) were re-purposed and many of the accessories were purchased at Home Goods, making it affordable and possible for the the average home owner.  Some proof.....
 Love this painting but a local artist.

If you happen to be in to historic home restoration (which I totally am) than you absolutely have to go see the Brinton-Dahl home in Holladay.  It's lovely. 

And then there is the Loeffler home in Draper.  We called it the castle because, well.....
it kind of is a castle.  I couldn't actually get the entire house in the picture, but I only cut off the 3 car garage and main floor craft room.   

Now this is the house to visit if you want to see proof that there are actually people who live like this!  The greeter in the entry way (who happened to be dressed in a tux) told us the size of the house is 21,000 square feet.  That would be approximately 100 times the size of our home.  Ironically, our house actually feels a little too big for us. 

Here are a few pictures of the master suite, which was upstairs in the west wing of the home, along with the 2 children's rooms.  I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I tell you that the master suite is probably about the size of the main floor of our house.

 Don't you just want to climb right in that tub?!  Thankfully, the plumbing is not connected yet so my family was spared that particular embarrassing moment.

You can kind of the get the basic idea of the walk-in closet from these pictures.  You can see parts of three of the four walls.  The other wall was filled with shelving for shoes. 

The house was decorated very tastefully and was actually welcoming.  The theater room was especially welcoming and even came with it's own candy counter, which was quite exciting for my girls.  And we all loved the school room (that's what we called it) that had a huge map covering one entire wall.  Plus it had a cute little table to do homework and some fun bean bag chairs for hours of reading. 

And, if you are anything like us, and happen to visit the Honeybucket (port-a-potty) at every other house (if not every house) and you're standing outside waiting for your child to finish, there is a strong possibility that a passing car will stop, roll down the window and comment on how ridiculous you look hanging out by the Honeybucket.  And that your white-trash-ness may be documented on the Jay Leno show. 

So.....look for us on Jay Leno.  We're meant to be famous. 

**Note to self: Wear nicer clothes next time....

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