Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Making a Birthday Card & The New 'Do

For my Mom's birthday, I decided to make a card with the kids hands (I prefer homemade cards so I usually make them...) and tried to figure a way to incorporate writing the whole Happy Birthday message. I saw a similar accordion type idea on Pinterest (that website gives me so much inspiration and its like CRACK!) so I tried it out with my own twist :) First I got 2 colors of construction paper (a color for each kid) and did Jackson's hands in green and Maris' in the pinkish red. then glued them together and cut them so the wrist part was all even and flush with each other. like so...

then cut (and glued 2 strips together, making it thicker) a banner for the inside of the card. I wrote my message simply in marker.
Then folded the inner message like an accordion and glued the ends to the hands so that when you open the card up, it looks like you are saying "I love you this much" while holding your arms out :) PLUS with the even ends I cut, the card stands up on its own to display!

We dropped in on my Mom to deliver the card and a photo collage frame of a portrait session I did of the kids, pumpkin cappuccino, Boston Baked Beans candy, and a balloon (Jackson was really fighting for a ghost balloon he saw but we got her a butterfly and flower one haha) She loved her surprise and the kids had fun bringing it all in to her.

So later in the day, after the visit to Mom, we went out to lunch with my sister, somehting quick, just some taco bell. My kids LOVE cheesy rolls... we stopped at Joanns fabrics to get some supplies to make the chef hats Maris says they both want for the play kitchen and for when they help me cook. I got enough ADORABLE fabric to make them and also matching aprons. I will post as they are done - hopefully in the near future. I have been turning the crafty part of me back on lately! LOVE IT. and then went over to the beauty supply store to pick out my red hair dye. Every few years I crack and dye my hair red again and I was past due! :D My husband HATES it and showed his distain when he walked in the door this evening.... but I LIKE IT! I feel the best with red hair and i think it suits me. Makes my eyes pop and look really blue for some reason :) WHY DOES HE HATE MY RED HAIR?!?! He goes "oh... your hair is red...I don;t know why you always go back to it... it doesn't look nice at all>>> but its your hair so oh well" Everyone at work seemed to like it... and most importantly... I LIKE IT! HAHA Maris was upset that I would not do hers as well and also that our hair isnt the same color anymore. I said when she gets older we will dye her hair... as an adult :) I posted a pic on facebook with many positive comments... cant please everyone I suppose! Judge for yourself:


I have a burgundy red bridesmaid dress to wear in 2 weeks... I will match it! lol Just came to that realization :)

well, off to catch up on my Modern Family I missed while at work then off to lay in the dark until I fall asleep. Oh! I tried a caffeine limiting experiment to see if my intake was affecting my sleep behavior and I concluded that if it is, its not by much so back to caffeine I went :) CANNOT live without my tea!!! I have always had bouts of insomnia ever since I was little so its nothing new. Just figured whatever helps would be nice. These days this Momma can get rather cranky from lack of sleep. I love having energy and focus to do things with the kids. That's what I stay home for - those moments with them. but off I ramble again. Goodnight all!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday to my Mom/Gramma Ankle! We love you!!! See you soon - we are dropping by to see you at work :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall Foliage Festival =)

A town in our area that I am very very fond of held a fall festival street fair this weekend. I have so many cherished memories on those streets with my grandparents and other family members... it may have a bad rep, but I adore Port. It has its flaws like most places do... but it has such charm and like I said, memories. My sister and her fiancee joined us as we walked the street fair and had some delicious treats from Riverside Creamery. (BIRCH BEER FLOAT FOR ME! MMMMM) Well, here are some pics from our day. I got a few good ones!

<3 loving this warm fall weather!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Night Off! From BOTH Jobs!

the sunset view from my house after dropping the kiddos at my Mom's :)

so we had an opportunity to indulge in a kid-less night out so we went out to eat, had some drinks... relaxed... and then headed to the Tuscan Cafe for some more drinks and to see our friends' bands. It was so nice to see everyone! I work most nights so I miss everything anymore so it was so great to see everyone and to let loose and have a few drinks. I even tried pumpkin ale (I'm a fan!)

Shrubs ^
Kevin and Jimmy. Sure Jim smiles in pictures NOT involving me... jerknose haha

view from the back, the Armedalite Rifles doing their thing

so we hijacked the setlist and made a few revisions :) Props to the Rifles for actually attempting most of them!

I miss these guys... :) and being an early 20-something with no worries really... it brought me back! I love my life and my kids, but regressing every now and then is always fun.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome Fall!

Today is officially the first day of autumn... it is my favorite season by far BUT I was still kind of hoping for a bit of an indian summer like last year. It could still happen, but the definitely not today! It is nasty and rainy out. We are having a relaxing day at home with movies and Duplo blocks. I have been organizing and the only time we stepped out today was to head into town to the Dollar store to get a hook and headphones (I am going to try music for this insomnia I've been experiencing) and then to the Quick Chek to get some pumpkin cappuccino. This momma needs caffeine!! ESPECIALLY since there is talk of going to the bar after work. The cruel part of my sleeping troubles is that I am NEVER tired at night. I AM tired like clockwork around 4-5 pm and then again around 8pm. and also when I have to get up in the morning around 7-8am. I get home from work anywhere from 11pm-2am depending on the night and I am wired and can't sleep. I've tried all the "tricks" lay in the dark, just turn your mind off.... watch a book... go on the computer to unwind (what I usually do)... but to no avail. I do drink iced tea every day and most of the time. I started drinking water towards the end of the night to see if it is the caffeine keeping me up but my body MUST have some immunity built up since I drink so much all the time. My body's refusal to sleep is a reoccuring event... I am pretty much used to it, but last night was an eternity of tossing and turning. Try watching a clock for 3+ hrs.... wishing to sleep....long as hell... but I'm tough! I'm wide awake and ready to begin organizing some more. I will be tired later this afternoon but sometimes I can get dinner started and take a power nap before work. Jim's good like that - letting me pass out in the little time he sees me. Small sacrifices I suppose.

AAAAnyway... I have been trying to downsize all the stuff we have in this apartment. I held on to so much stuff for so long in hopes of eventually getting a bigger place... but it will just have to be put off a bit longer. We aren't going to come into any more money in a loong time so I guess we are here until I can work again during the day. and possibly still at night too. Being poor sucks sometimes. We are comfortable and can afford to feed and take care of our children, but we certainly aren't getting ahead anywhere. Here I go rambling again... =) my point being::: if anyone needs clothing (kids or womens) or toys... hit me up. I have a giant pile taking up my walk in part of my closet that was set aside for a yard sale that I never found time to have. If this indian summer hits I will have to drag it all out on my sisters lawn and have a yard sale =) I HATE just throwing things out... Id rather they go to good use somewhere. Maybe someone knows of donation spots I can take stuff. There's a little bit of everything. My children are so blessed with loved ones and friends that provide so much for them. random thought... just appreciative.

Jackson dragged out his training potty by himself today and has been running around commando for about an hour with no accidents... (I'm hooping not to turn around to him peeing on the couch or something... hahaha) he refuses to wear the training underpants... just no diaper. at least he is wearing his clothes today...
Maris is playing the wii like a teenager or something... she can set the av channel and pick a game and everything. Jim bought her another kiddie game on the nintendo channel last night. She is doing rhymes and matches. Keeps her busy and its educational....

Alright I blabbered on enough for today! I have been thinking heavily about music today and did a music survey of sorts... those who know me know I am a list fanatic... here's what I have first reactions, off the top of my head.

5 songs that make you happy without

1. el scorcho - weezer
2. stuck in the middle with you -

steeler's wheel
3. waiting on a sunny day - bruce

4. two princes - spin doctors
5. walk with you - ringo starr ft paul


5 songs that make you sad without fail

1. brick - ben folds 5
2. fools rush in - elvis presley
3. the river - bruce springsteen
4. with you in your dreams - hanson
5. lost cause - beck

5 favorite songs sung by men

1. watching the wheels - john lennon
2. wild world - cat stevens
3. for the longest time - billy joel
4. in my life - the beatles
5. waiting on a sunny day - bruce


5 favorite songs sung by women

1. fast car - tracy chapman
2. crimson and clover - joan jett
3. i love Cher... if I had to pick one

I guess Just Like Jesse James
4. Like a Prayer - Madonna
5. Feels like Home - Chantal Kreviazuk

5 favorite bands of all time

1. The Beatles (duh.)
2. Weezer
3. The Clash
4. Talking Heads
5. The Cars

5 Favorite Female Singers

1. Cher
2. Joan Jett
3. Cyndi Lauper
4. Pink
5. Alanis Morrisette

5 favorite Male singers

1. John Lennon (instead of taking up 4

of the 5 spots, I will list my

favorite Beatle haha)
2. Bruce Springsteen
3. Billy Joel
4. Rivers Cuomo (Weezer)
5. Michael Stipe (REM)

5 favorite soundtrack songs (movie scenes)

1. Where is My Mind - The Pixies (Fight Club ending!)
2. Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now - Starship (Mannequin)
3. In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel (Say Anything)
4. Stuck in the Middle with You - Steelers Wheel (Reservior Dogs)
5. Eaten By The Monster of Love - The Sparks (Valley Girl!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


my monsters
Today was a BLAH day... had a frustrating time with the kids... Jackson has woken up screaming on the top of his lungs (night terrors??) for 2 nights in a row. Jim jumps up to get him but ends up yelling in his face to stop crying *both nights* bc he's tired... I really don't think that Jackson is "there"... sleepwalking or something. His eyes werent registering anything, it was weird... seizure-like. Well, hearing Jacks crying loudly, then Maris crying that she got woken up, and Jim yelling at them to go back to bed... Ive had to get up both nights to help console everyone and then make myself fall back asleep. ugh... well HOPEFULLY tonight all in the house will remain quiet so I can sleep more than 2 hours at a time. Im dragging today. the kids seem to pick up on that bc when I am tired, they seem to try to get away with more. Today was like I had no authority. they just kept doing bad things... blatantly. I finally got them to listen by building a fort. Now Im the cool Mom again... its the little things... haha and I taught them ring around the rosy. BIG MISTAKE... haha Ive played it 4 billion times today. they finally figured it out on their own and do it with their stuffed animals... what a pointless post... lol ah well. enjoy! well ,off to make dinner and go to work. come home and repeat... good night!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Car Woes and Chuck E Cheese

I was having some car troubles so we dropped the car off at Firestone (my new fave place to take the car) after having yet another bad experience with Healey. They told me I needed a 700 part that I had just replaced half a year ago and Firestone said is FINE and told me what was really wrong with the car and FIXED it. The only problem was... I dropped the car off at 945 and walked across the parking lots to Chuck E Cheese to kill the time. Little did I know that I wouldn't be getting the car back until after 4pm. We spent basically all this time in CEC. Another rave... CEC was fantastic this time around. Never really had any problems there, but we were basically the only people there besides a few kids here and there that came in for a hlaf hour tops. Its funny sitting in this place ALL DAY and seeing how many people just drop in for 10-30 mins and then leave. The manager (or some higher up - had a nice shirt and tie on...) kept asking us if we were ok and if we needed anyhting. He even got the Chuck E out to say hi to the 3 kids in the entire building. Maris and Jackson were pretty excited about it... then unsure of him... but then excited after all. They threw tickets up in the air for the kids and we ended up with almost 1200 tickets after all our time there. They got a pretty nice playground kickball and basketball for their tickets at the end of the visit. I treated them to ice cream and we started the long walk back to the car place. Sorry if this is ramble-y or whatnot... just got out of work and tend to do my blogging in a sleep deprived state... it is my computer time with the kids sleeping... only quiet time I get so its hard to part with it and go to sleep. but all in all, the kids had a GREAT day and I got crazy momma points for it, they are still talking about it and thanking me... I had a great day bc my car is fixed and the kids were happy. All is well at the moment =)

side note : been in a crafty type mood so upcoming posts will be about what I create! Love this time of year... =)

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili - Recipe and Rave

SERIOUSLY... eat this.

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

1 onion, chopped
1 16-oz can black beans
1 16-oz can kidney beans
1 8-oz can tomato sauce (used paste - worked fine)
10 oz package frozen corn kernels (used 2 small cans of corn kernels and some frozen - the kids love corn)
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies (used 1 with chilies and one without - not too hot then!)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
24 0z. (3) boneless skinless chicken breasts (used a bit more to stretch it a bit)
chopped fresh cilantro

Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Top with fresh cilantro. Also try it with low fat cheese and sour cream.

Mine was topped with cheese and I wish I had sour cream in the house... next time!

I actually also made baked tortilla bowls with a set I bought at a yard sale for a buck. They came out great!!! the kids LOVED the "chip" bowls :) you just take a regular tortilla and put it in between the pan molds and bake for a few mins. sooo delicious

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bridal Wine Tasting

I co-hosted a bridal shower for my lovely cousin Megan at the Westfall Winery yesterday. What a beautiful place! Soo many hours inbetween work and kids and a bit of sleep were put into prepping for this party and it turned out great :) I made the cupcakes (red velvet with cream cheese icing) with custom wrappers I made in photoshop. I also made my famous spinach dip and the favors (kisses with custom bottoms that match the cupcake wraps - in tulle) I took a billion pictures too and will be making a book for the bride. Here are some pics from the day.

the beautiful grounds. We saw a deer in the scenery

sampled some delicious wines - pictures w/ my Mom and Sister (skyland blush and raspberry were my faves)

here are the cupcake wrappers and favors I made :

Bridal Party - Diane, Marisa, the bride Megan, and MOH Heather

some of our spread

Fantastic Day!

Now it is onto bachelorette party planning. hehe and Maris starts her enrichment classes at KCH today. Reading club and math and science club. 3 whole hours with only Jackson! Maybe treat him to a park day to himself if the weather holds up! :)