May 20, 2012

Solar Eclipse

Anyone else catch that eclipse tonight? WOW! I didn't have the special glasses and I didn't make an eclipse viewer, but I DID have two pairs of sunglasses that I layered together! ;) If you squinted and shaded your eyes a bit, they worked just fine. Just don't look for TOO long at a time.

You can kind of see it in this picture, if you look at the flares below the sun, you'll see the full eclipse effect. I used those two pairs of sunglasses as a filter for my lens. Awesome, right? HAHA!

Here it is when it was just starting, without the "filter." The sunglasses were shielding my eyes for this one. 

We totally rocked this look. ;)


May 19, 2012

Cheesy Chicken

This is going to be another edition of HOLY CRAP MY CUPBOARDS ARE EMPTY WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO MAKE?! It's another "in between paychecks" week, and my kitchen is definitely looking like it. I have a freezer full of chicken, thankfully, which is going to get us through the next few days. It just will require a bit of creativity and willingness to experiment. ;)

So while staring at my little pantry, willing groceries or an idea of what to do appear, I came across a random can of bread crumbs left over from some other meal. I KNEW I could do something with those! I also had about half a bag of the 2 cup bags of shredded cheese left. Done. Normally, it seems like breaded chicken recipes use eggs to dip the chicken in before coating in the bread crumbs. I didn't have eggs. But I DID have a can of evaporated milk. I figured, what the heck, let's go for it. So I poured the evaporated milk into one bowl. In another bowl I had the bread crumbs mixed up with the cheese. Dip, coat and into the frying pan the chicken went! (I have no idea what the evaporated milk did, other than to make the cheese and bread crumbs stick to the chicken.)

I had one can of green beans left over. Normally I like to heat the green beans up in boiling water, drain, then add some butter and salt to them. (Not healthy, I know. But I like what I like. lol!) But, alas, today I had no butter left. (It's going to be a long week. HAHA!) I did have some leftover chive and onion cream cheese and some more bread crumbs. So I experimented. I boiled the green beans and drained them. Then I mixed in the bread crumbs and a dollop of the cream cheese, then put them into a little pan and baked them in the oven at 350º for a few minutes. I think with a little Parmesan sprinkled into that mix they would have been killer! As it was they were pretty decent for some random green bean experiment.

Over all, a pretty good meal. This chicken is for sure a keeper! It was so good! I was pretty impressed with myself, I must say, which is why I had to share. ;)

May 5, 2012


So we're two days in to riding bikes to school and work. We are LOVING it so much! Well, the first day I loved it in the morning but was dying and ready to call it quits by the time we got home. Here's how it went:

I got up at 5am and started making breakfast for us all. Oatmeal. I thought that would be a nice, hearty breakfast to get us through the bike ride. Got the kids up and ready and we were out the door by 6:10. The night before, Alayna said a special prayer for my bike to work, because for weeks now we've had one problem after another with my bike situation which kept preventing us from starting. Long story. But the day before we set off for our first bike commute, my awesome boss loaded the bike up into his truck, brought it to work and fixed it. So Alayna said her prayer that it would stay fixed and that it would work so we could ride bikes in the morning. As we set off and got going, she was SO excited that we were finally getting to ride our bikes. She kept saying, "My prayer worked! Jesus fixed your bike, Mom! He made it work!" Oh my gosh, I love that girl. She also kept saying that she had been dreaming and wishing to ride bikes to school for so long. She cracks me up!

About halfway to the school, Hunter needed a little break. He's just on his scooter until I can get him a bike of his own. Poor guy! But overall they were such champs! Amazing little troopers, I am so proud of them. It ended up taking about 40 minutes to get to their school. It's not FAR far, but it is a bit of a distance to go, especially for kids. I am just constantly amazed by them! We got to the school with about 15 minutes until their before school program started, so they got to play on the playground. Bridger was SO excited to get to play on the "big kids" playground! They were all so cute together. Alayna helped Bridger play on zip line handle bar thingy, and Hunter is seriously a little pro on the monkey bars.

This is my "WE MADE IT TO THE SCHOOL!" shot.

It always amuses me to see little Bridger dangling like this.

After we got Hunter and Alayna settled in class, Bridger and I set off for the next leg of our "commute." That part only took just over ten minutes to get to my work.

And here's my "WE MADE IT! WE MADE IT! WE MADE IT!!" shot.

Bridger's daycare is about three blocks away from work, so he and I have walked from the office to the daycare. The road is a lot busier and has no shoulder to ride on. We're good with walking. It's Bridger's official job to push the buttons to cross the street and he LOVES it.

I definitely didn't have enough to eat to sustain that kind of workout twice in one day. And oh my gosh, that seat HURTS so bad after a ride like that. By the time I got Bridger in the afternoon and we needed to set off to get the other kids, I just couldn't do it. I was starving, tired and sore. So we walked to the elementary. And then the kids rode while I walked the bike and trailer. They'd stop and wait for me. I'd keep trying to ride again, but I just didn't have anything left in me. We got to a park a little ways past the elementary school and I let the kids play for a while before we set off again. And then I walked pretty much the rest of the way home. By the time we reached home, I was so frustrated with myself and absolutely not feeling well. I started shaking, I was freezing even though it wasn't cold, allergies or a head cold set in, and I was SO sore. Then it felt like a bit of asthma was kicking in. I was ready to call it quits! I did not see how I could do it again the next day, when I was feeling like that.

Well, the next morning came. I slept in a bit, thinking I was just going to call in. I laid in bed thinking, and fighting with myself. I didn't want to be a quitter, but I did NOT want to feel like that again. I didn't want to do it again, but the kids had a field trip they'd been looking forward to for weeks. I couldn't let them miss that. So I finally dragged myself out of bed, thinking it was going to be impossible and painful to move. But it wasn't. Well, not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. So we did it again. And this time I even rode MOST of the way home. (I did walk for a bit, I'll admit it. lol)

I am SO glad I didn't give up so easily. Yes, I'm sore. Yes, it made me tired. Yes, I KNOW I'll get used to it. After just two days, it already got a little easier. I've been able to spend more time with my kids. It's amazing how rushed I felt with a car. Knowing I could sleep in longer, still rushing to get us all ready, zooming to school and daycare and work. Missing out on so much! I've seen the sunrise twice now. I've spent so much extra time with my kids, playing and doing something good for ourselves! I've accomplished something I didn't think I could actually do. I've become even more proud and grateful for my kids. Just two days. Totally worth it!


The sunrise from Thursday:

The sunrise on Friday:

Friday morning, at the school (Bridger refuses to be in pictures):

I'm kind of glad our car died. We're getting a lot more out of life this way.

May 2, 2012

Spinach Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust

I made this for the first time a few months ago, and it's been a favorite ever since! SO easy, it's a great go to recipe that isn't a ton of effort but tastes like it was.

I wish I could remember where I saw the original recipe. But I've changed it a bunch, so I won't worry TOO much about not being able to properly cite my "source."

2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup grated cheese
5 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups chopped spinach
1 cup sharp cheddar
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

Mix the rice, 1/4 cup cheese and 1 egg. Press into a greased pie plate and bake at 450º for 5-7 minutes.
Mix remaining ingredients and pour into the crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Simple, right? ;)

April 21, 2012

Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad

This salad has been a staple at our family parties for YEARS. I'm not sure where my mom found it, but it's seriously one of my most favorite things on this planet. And there are so many variations and things you can add or change about it to make it yours. Normally I add cashews and craisins, but I didn't have either of those things and it tastes perfectly yummy without them. I love a good, versatile recipe! (I'm eating it as I type this. I may have to go get me a second bowl. Good thing it's veggies!)



Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place the strips of bacon on the foil and put in the oven. Turn heat on to 400º. (Don't turn the heat on until the bacon is in the oven.) Let it bake for 17-20 minutes, checking on it during the last few minutes to make sure it doesn't burn. When it's done, put the bacon on a plate covered in a paper towel to soak up the fat. When it's cooled, crumble the bacon up.

While the bacon is baking, chop your broccoli and cauliflower and put it in a bowl. Add your cashews, craisins or any other things you'd like to throw in there.

For the dressing:  Mix together the mayo, vinegar and sugar. I've never measured any of these things, I just add them to taste. If you like it more vinegar-y, add more of that. Start small and add more of each ingredient until you get the taste you like and amount you need. You don't want to soak the salad, but give it a thin coating. Trust me, you don't want to soak it. :S

Once the bacon is cooled and crumbled, add it to the bowl with the other ingredients, then add some dressing and toss it all together. Add the dressing a little at a time until you get what you want in there.

And you're done!

April 14, 2012

Life Lessons From Nature

April 13, 2012

Teresa Collins (Notations)

I am thrilled to be a guest poster for the Scrapbook Steals blog today! They are the most fun people over there, and have fantastic daily deals on scrapbook supplies TWICE a day. And their blog is always full of such fun scrapbooking ideas.

Here is a sneak peek of the project I have created, using the papers from Teresa Collins "Notations" line. I LOVE this line! The neutral colors makes it go with anything! I know first hand when Teresa designs a line, she makes sure that it is as versatile as possible for all you crafters and papercrafters out there. This line is also the steal of the day!

For the full post and instructions, click HERE.

April 3, 2012


The winner of the photoshoot giveaway is . .. . .

Congratulations, Barbara! I am so excited to do some romantic, fun pictures for you and your husband!! I've sent you an email. We'll get something scheduled!

Thank you so much for entering, everyone! If you didn't win, I am hosting another giveaway over on Brookie's Baby Bargains blog. You can enter to win:

• Photoshoot (click HERE)
• Free print (click HERE)
• Perfectly Posh Prize Pack (click HERE)

Good luck!!

March 30, 2012

A Turn Behind the Camera

One of my kid's most favorite things to do is to take my little Canon Powershot and wander around taking pictures. I absolutely adore seeing the world through their perspective, and seeing what they take pictures of. Mostly of themselves or each other. lol! Or their snacks. I thought it would be fun to post of few of their images.

Here are a few from Hunter:

A few weeks ago, I took Bridger out on a few photoshoots with me and let him use the Canon so he could be my assistant. He did get a few fun shots of our people and he got a ton of (I think) SUPER cute ones of himself for me. He never lets me take his picture when I have him dressed all cute and nice, so I guess I'll take whatever cute pics I can of him! hahaha

I didn't have any that Alayna took right now. I'll have to turn her loose with the camera and see what she comes back with. :) I love that they get so excited about doing anything creative.

March 27, 2012

New Wheels

Ok, so I've had this brilliant plan forming for a couple of weeks now. I'm going carless. For reals. I'm getting rid of Bruce Greenapple (this is what my kids came up with to name our minivan, which gives you an insight into their personalities. LOL) and we're going to start biking it. Or walking it. Or public transportating it. Or for those trips to Nana's & Papa's house, we'll give in and Enterprise it. ;) (They have fantastic weekend specials, just sayin'.)

My new plan will mean extra money each month. No gasoline or having to carry vehicular insurance will make my bank account happy. I'm really looking forward to that aspect of this plan.

My new plan will mean extra exercising EVERY DAY. I'm SUPER looking forward to this part of the plan.

My new plan will mean waking up extra early. I'm not so much looking forward to that part of the plan. BUT I know once it's a habit, then it's a habit and won't be a big deal. I'm hoping I can time it so that I can get the kids to school and my youngest to daycare in time for me to hit the gym for some weight training before I pedal myself on over to work. Luckily my gym is just a few blocks from work. I even got my youngest into a new daycare that is also a couple of blocks from work.

This plan will mean I have to force myself to be organized and prepared. I'm looking forward to pushing myself in this regard. Meal prep, gym things, kid's things, work things. It's about time I get back to being organized this way. It will be good. Hard, but worth it.

The only problem with my new plan is figuring out WHICH bike to get myself. I really have no idea what is a good bike. LOL! Luckily, the guys at work all bike, and can help me put a bike together. (I totally could on my own, I just don't have the tools for it. C'mon! I used to build sets for theatrical productions, I think I can handle putting together a bike, right? ;)

These first three look sturdy, like they could handle hauling a bike trailer.  

I like the red one because, well, it's red. I need no other reason. 

The yellow would be good, it would stand out if we did any evening riding.

This one is just cute. And it's red. And it has that thing over the wheels that I could strap my gym bag or anything I need to. But could it haul a trailer? I don't want to order it and then find out it's not equipped to hitch the trailer to. GAH. Really, this one is my favorite. Pretty much for the extra places I could strap things to. And it's cute. And red. My top two requirements for basically anything. ;)

Decisions, decisions. No matter what I end up getting, I am SO EXCITED to get going on this!

March 26, 2012

Travis & Rita

Had a blast at Liberty Park with these two! Travis always has the most beautiful women he brings along to shoot with! And it was such a gorgeous day, I could have stayed in the park all day long!

March 25, 2012

Newborn Shoot

March 24, 2012

Kira & Paul

Ok, these two have got to be one of my most favorite couples. Ever. So fun. So cute. So patient with my little photo assistant, Bridger, who wouldn't get off the tractor. lol! Oh man, he's so fired. haha!