Friday, December 31, 2010

new year cometh.......

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Stay safe tonight if you're out and about this New Year's Eve.

In the south,we eat certain foods on New Year's Day to bring luck to us in the upcoming year.

New Year's Day Menu

Black eyed peas
Collard greens with turnip roots
"fried"/baked chicken strips
iced tea

Friday, December 24, 2010

2010 is almost over.........

Just taking a few mins to wish all my readers (yes,every single one of you!) a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Or if that's not your holiday,I wish you a very merry "whatever" LOL....May it be filled with lots of good food,family,friends, and merriment. I can not believe it is almost 2011. I can not believe my son just turned 8 years old. That is amazing to me. I don't do the resolutions-because we all know they get thrown out after a few weeks. What I do is make a mental note of some things I want to work on through the year-kinda like resolutions,I guess but not as formal. This year I want to blog on a more regular basis. I want to spend more quality FUN time with my child. I want to lose some of the stress. I want to put more effort into things that I enjoy doing and into MYSELF in general. Sometimes as moms,we tend to lose those little things that bring us joy and focus more on our families-not a bad thing--but we need to realize that moms need to be happy too. I want to stash more $$ into savings. What are some of your things to do in 2011?

Eating better in the new year

I think like alot of people,we are eating better now that we KNOW better-as in knowing what's really in our foods and knowing how they are REALLY made. One thing I'm trying to do with my son is to take him off food colorings and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). His fave flavor juice pouch-capri sun has HFCS in it. I thought it was a pretty good choice (roaring waters cherry) until I took a closer look at the label and saw it listed. **SIGH** so I bought two of the other 100% fruit juice (no colorings/hfcs) flavors (apple juice and berry fruit punch) and he won't touch them. Now as a baby/toddler he drank 100% pure apple juice boxes all the time. Now he won't touch it. He's been drinking more water lately and soy chocolate milk too. He has had a thing for reading food labels since he could read so now I'm teaching him to look for the food colorings and HFCS.

He's been on strattera for almost a full week now. We only have a few mins of fuss over taking it now and that's a big relief after our last try where he would literally put himself into an anxiety attack over swallowing a the pill. We've gone back to hiding it into a spoon of pudding. He's proud of himself for swallowing it. We up the dosage in a few days and go to the regular dosage his dr will put him on. I hope this works.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Menu

cranberry glazed turkey meatballs and cocktail weinies
chips and crackers with hummus and artichoke dip
hashbrown casserole

panettone bread pudding

turkey breakfast sausage


Cranberry glazed ham
buttery mashed potatoes
turnip gratin
pumpkin cheesecakes
**fruity pavlova
parmesan brussel sprouts
homemade cranberry sauce

Monday, December 13, 2010

Well the bowling party was a big hit....

Bowling birthday party----he's even got the "bowler's" stance....might be a pro one day? Maybe....

snuggly and warm in her blue fleece hoodie....

All decked out in her fuzzy skull hoodie.....

Everyone had fun-adults included I think. The kids bowled and laughed and had a ball. Even a few grown nephews that had never bowled before had a blast. I am going to have them over again soon and take them bowling again. It was fun to watch them. The cupcakes turned out fabulous-thanks to Jessica. I'm going to have to get her recipe and maybe share it on here. Now that my son is 8 and the parties are over,now it's time to breathe a little easier and relax a bit and enjoy the holidays. The next 10 days or so are going include making decorations and baking and decorating lots and lots of cookies with my son. It's gotten C-O-L-D way down here in Mississippi. It's sooooo cold....Just ask my Tinkie-pooh. She's had to wear a sweater a few times when we've gone out for a walk....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just sayin'

I love these shoes on the background of my blog.....Going to have to see if I can find me some pink heels! I haven't worn heels since I was working at a bank and we had to wear "dressy" clothes. ;)

Chocolate Rice Krispies.......a nice little pick me up....

My neice was chatting today about making Rice Krispy Treats and that this was her third try of the day and that the other 2 didn't turn out. Well she was using marshmallow fluff in the jar instead of real marshmallows. In the third batch,she used real marshmallows and all was right! I've been wanting Rice Krispy Treats too. I decided to go see what I could find in my pantry-I knew I had marshmallows (french vanilla,gingerbread, and some goofy shapes leftover from Halloween). I used all of the french vanilla marshmallows plus a few of the halloween shaped ones. I didn't think that gingerbread plus vanilla would go to well together. I used a quick and easy recipe from a little "no cook" cookbook that I got for Zachary last christmas.

Chocolate Rice Krispies

6cups chocolate rice krispies
4cups marshmallows
3TBS butter

place butter and marshmallows into a microwave safe bowl and "cook" on high for 1minute-stir and cook as needed for 30seconds more until marshmallows are melted and when stirred they are smooth---add 6 cups of cereal into a large bowl--pour in the marshmallows and stir well until all cereal is coated--place in buttered casserole dish and chill in the fridge until set.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A little less stress...........

Well,I was chatting about food issues and cakes with a good friend yesterday and was telling her I had NO idea how I was going to have something for everyone coming to the birthday party to eat-we all have different dietary concerns-ranging from food allergies (gluten,nut allergies) to just trying to stay away from preservitives and food dyes/colorings. She told me another one of our friends might make a cake for me that would be appropriate for everyone.REALlY!? That would help me out so much not having to do more than one cake.Not that I'm complaining about accomidating everyone,believe me,I have my own food issues to deal with. I'm allergic to tomatoes,carrots,blueberries and am diabetic to boot. But with so many issues it's just hard to feed everyone! So I chatted with the other girlfriend and she is going to make cupcakes for me.I swear next time I see her I'm going to give her a giant bear hug! She just doesn't know how much this will help me out!!! Thanks,Krista and Jessica!!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Dinner

I think this year for Christmas dinner we will do something sort of different for us.We usually do another roast turkey--can't get enough roast turkey for my taste,I love it! But it can be alot of work (and stress). So this year we are going to do a baked ham and a roast chicken. I'm not really big on ham,but the hubby wants it,so I don't mind. He wants mashed potatoes and green beans as sides. I will probably do another brussel sprouts dish or another veggie for me. And I definately want to do something different for desserts this year. I'm thinking about making a cheesecake for him that is a staple in my family. It's basicly a lemony cheesecake with a sweet cherry topping. If I can find a way to make it less sugary for us diabetics, that will be awesome. Maybe I can just do the lemony cheesecake without the topping. I'll have to do some thinking and browse some recipe magazines and see what I can come up with. I wanted to make homemade rolls for thanksgiving but it didn't happen.I caved in and bought rolls. Maybe I will take a little time and make them for Christmas. I wish I could find a way to eleviate all this stress that comes on starting Dec 1st. I'm a stresser LOL-no matter how many times I say I won't let it get to me and I won't worry about it all,it does. I need to learn to LET IT GO! Any other stressers out there? Raise your hands!

Birthday Party coming soon.....

Made it through one holiday-now it's a mad rush till New Year's. My son will be 8 on December 12. We usually have his birthday party at our house and I feel so rushed and stressed and want everything to be perfect,so this year I've decided to try to take some of the stress out of it all and have the party at the bowling alley. So now the only thing I have to stress about is having a cake that everyone can enjoy! I know the kids will enjoy bowling and I will enjoy not having to have the house "picture perfect" for company. I haven't decided what to give him for his birthday yet. He wants the new "princess peach" video game so I might get that. With his birthday being so close to Christmas it's always hard to make the two feel like separate "holidays".

Sammy Kershaw - Christmas Time's A Comin'

Thursday, November 25, 2010

an extra recipe

This is another recipe I found in one of the many food magazines that come to my house. I just love magazines!! We had this as a side on Wednesday. I want to find a replacement to the canned soup but I haven't had time to experiment. It was good and the canned soup will do in a pinch--always get the one with the lowest amount of sodium!

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
1 bag country style hashbrowns
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups light sour cream
salt/pepper to taste
2 cups cheddar cheese
panko bread crumbs
few pats of butter

mix soup,sour cream,salt/pepper and cheese in a large mixing bowl---add the hasbrowns and stir well to mix---pour into a greased casserole dish---top with the breadcrumbs and a few small pats of butter to help the breadcrumbs brown---bake 350*F for about 45 mins-or until it's bubbly and the top is browned.

**original recipe called for onions but I left it out-add in if you like--and cornflakes but I used panko instead--this was delicious!


HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my family,friends, and blog readers. I hope everyone had a great day. Well,my plans of having my dinner menu with pretty pics of each dish didn't happen LOL-it got eaten before any thought of taking pictures happened. But I will share what we had.

Roast Turkey
Roast baby yukon gold potatoes
roasted brussel sprouts
homemade cranberry sauce
delicious pies mentioned in previous post

I found the recipes for the potatoes and brussel sprouts in food magazines and I just had to try them. If I can find a link to them online I will post.

Roast Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes with onions and cream

2packs of yukon gold baby potatoes
1/2 white onion sliced
salt/pepper to taste
1/2-3/4 cup cream
1/2-3/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

slice the potatoes in half and layer in a baking dish--add as much salt/pepper as you like--pour the cream over and top with parmesan cheese--bake 400*F until bubbly and the potatoes are browned and cheese is melted (about 30+mins)
**the original recipe didn't call for the cheese but I had some left from the brussel sprouts so I added it--delish!

Roasted Brussel sprouts with cream and cheese
2 packs of steam brussel sprouts
1/2-3/4 cup cream
shredded mozzarella
shredded parmesan
salt/pepper to taste
panko breadcrumbs
few pats of butter

in pan melt a few tbs of butter--add in uncooked brussel sprouts and cook for a few mins-salt and pepper to taste--pour into a casserole dish---add in the cream--top with the cheeses (I used a few handfuls of each)---top with a light layer of the panko--place a few dots of butter around the top of the dish to help the crumbs to brown---bake 400*F until the top is brown and bubbly

**this was delicious!!!!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
2 bags of cranberries
1/2-3/4 cup of cranberry juice concentrate
splenda to taste
1/2 cup water

In sauce pan place the cranberries and water--add cinnamon---let cook until the cranberries start to pop---add splenda and stir to mix--reduce heat and add the juice to make it as thin/thick as you like--let cook on very low uncovered until it is as thick as you like.

**homemade cranberry sauce is sooo much better than the can--and sooo easy! I love it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

experiment---Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

4cups all purpose baking mix
1cup chocolate chips
1 cup splenda
dash cinnamon
30 oz pumpkin pie mix
2 large eggs

mix together until it is all just combined and the flour isn't visible---pour into greased bundt pan and bake 400*F for about 30 mins or until done in center

I have a giant can of sweet potato pie mix that I am going to try this with also--I will update and share the results.


There are 3 diabetics in our household,so in most of my "sweet" recipes I will use Splenda--if that doesn't work for you use your sweetener of choice.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

8oz weight watcher's cream cheese-softened (or neufchatel)
1 1/3 cup pumpkin pie (I used canned pie mix)
1 1/3 cup splenda
dash of pumpkin pie spice
dash of cinnamon
8oz cool whip (or homemade cream topping)
1 large graham cracker crust (or shortbread cookie crust)

beat cream cheese,pumpkin,sugar, and spices until well blended--add in cool whip and mix until well blended--pour into cookie pie shell and chill until pie is set 3hrs+ (overnight is better)

SweetPotato Cheesecake

8 oz weight watcher's cream cheese-softened (or neufchatel)
1 1/3 cup of mashed sweet potato (I used canned pie mix)
1 1/3 cup splenda
dash pumpkin pie spice
dash of cinnamon
8 oz cool whip (or homemade cream topping)
1 graham cracker crust (or shortbread cookie crust)

beat cream cheese,sweet potato,sugar and spices until well blended---add in cool whip and mix well--pour into cookie pie shell and chill until pie is set 3+hrs (overnight is better)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I hope this is a sign of good things to come.......

Ever since he was big enough to make his "own decisions" about what to eat,feeding my son has been a struggle. If it wasn't a french fry,potato chip,or chocolate candy bar most of the time it was a struggle to get him to eat it--SERIOUSLY. And if it was meat in any form it was out of the question. The most "meat" I could get him to eat might be a itty bitty bite of a chicken nugget-but most of the time he'd just eat the "crust" off the nugget and leave the meat part. Tonight,for laughs I made him a ham/cheese sandwich and cut it out with a ghost cookie cutter. It was the first cutter that I pulled out of my drawer,so GHOST sandwich it was. I have been frequenting some online sites about making bento lunches for kids (and adults) and this one uses alot of cookie cutters to make fun kid-shaped foods. It looked so fun I have been saying I was going to try it with Zachary. And tonight I just did it. My son didn't ask what it was-ask if he had to eat it--he just gobbled it right up. And about an hour later came and asked me to make him another GHOST SANDWICH. I was flabbergasted!!!! You just don't know how long I've been waiting for my son to eat a sandwich that wasn't made of peanut butter and a tortilla (what we call a peanut butter burrito).......I hope this is the start of a change in my son's eating habits. Don't worry,I'll keep you guys updated!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Season of Thanksgiving.....

I plan on posting my Thanksgiving menu-and pics of special dishes--PLAN on it LOL whether it happens or not I don't know yet. I haven't even really started my holiday grocery shopping yet. I do have a turkey! YAY! lol But other than that,I don't have much. So sometime tomorrow,going to hit the store. I don't care if the hubby goes with me (except for the fact that I can get more when he's with me cause I can put him to work pushing another buggy)---but it's MANDATORY for him to be home when I get done to help unload the car. Otherwise,I turn into a very GRUMPY WIFE! Especially if I have alot to unload.

OK,I think we should share some things we are thankful for--I mean since it is the season and all. As one of the kids at our harvest party said today "I am thankful that the pilgrims came here". I agree-that's a pretty good one. I'm thankful for the usual healthy family, friends that I can be myself with and don't have to be fake and can be as goofy as I want and they will still like me. I'm thankful for my son,although he can push ALL my "WRONG" buttons,he is my joy. I'm thankful for my MUTT Min-Pin Tinkie, she has changed my life-never knew I was a dog person. I'm thankful for all the plentiful things in my life. I'm thankful that I can be a stay home mom and housewife and homeschool my son. I could go on...It's good to take time to remember the things in our lives that we are thankful for-not just on the last Thursday in November,but everyday. We should live each day with a little bit of Thanksgiving in it.

I hope all of my readers (**waves at readers**) have a very safe,happy,joy filled holiday filled with bountiful blessings and time with friends and family. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A few faves.............

I have to be careful about strong scents in my house-whether it be in candles,air freshener sprays,potpourri,cologne or perfume--I have horrible allergies and can't wear most perfumes or colognes because they give me horrible headaches/migraines. The same thing with other scents too. But I found a few I can tolerate-being some of those glade seasonal candles. I love the ANGEL WHISPERS's scent--and just found a new one called Chocolate Cherry Sparkle-smells just like chocolate covered cherries! I also love the glade relaxing moments sprays and candles-especially ISLAND ESCAPE. There's another one from that collection but I can't remember the name. The ones I can't handle are cinnamon,vanilla, and evergreen scents--those will give me a headache quick!

I love cooking/recipe magazines--and magazines in general. I love the kraft FOOD AND FAMILY magazine. It has great recipes and info on new kraft products. It's a really fun magazine and a real bargain too.

I won a free subscription to EVERYDAY FOOD (a Martha Stewart Magazine) earlier this year and I don't think I will be purchasing a subscription when my free one runs out. Although I'm not big on Martha's recipes,I have found a few that I want to try out. Martha Stewart just isn't my style LOL.

I love Weight Watcher's Magazine --not only does it have great dieting/lifestyle tips for getting healthy and of course losing weight,it has wonderful recipes and inspiring articles from people who have had success using the weight watcher's systems.They also have yearly recipe books with all the recipes from each year-I have the most recent 3 books and love them. I've gotten great recipes from them.

I also like the FOOD NETWORK magazine --and the FOOD NETWORK TV channel as well. I did get the EVERYDAY WITH RACHAEL RAY magazine for a while and did enjoy it but found that it was getting repetitive so I didn't renew when my subscription was up-but I'm thinking about renewing.

I also really enjoy the TASTE OF HOME magazines-and boy,they have alot to choose from-I think I've subscribed to just about all of them at one time or another. They have wonderful ones to choose from whether you are looking for light and healthy recipes-to family favorites-to special holiday editions. You can find just about everything in TASTE OF HOME. This is another one I need to renew.

And for a little family fun,I have just recently subscribed to FAMILY FUN MAGAZINE. They have lots of great ideas for spending quality time with the little ones in your family-and most of the ideas are either FREE or CHEAP. That's always good in my book.

And how could I have forgotten about WOMAN'S DAY? I've subscribed to Woman's Day magazine for about 15yrs now.What can I say? It's iconic.

Another magazine I really enjoy and need to renew the subscription to is ALL YOU . They have great tips about just about everything-some recipes and ALOT of coupons--GOOD coupons. It's a great magazine with alot of great info-you should check it out!

And while enjoying my monthly pedicures,I've found two new magazines (at least they were new to me) that I've subscribed to: SOUTHERN LADY and Tea Time.

I think when the hubby or anyone asks me what's on my wish list this year I'm going to include a few of the magazines that are up for renewal! ;) The husband says I need to find some more MANLY magazines so he can have something to read LOL-anyone have any suggestions? LOL What are some of your fave cooking or other magazines for us girls?

Thanksgiving is just around the corner......

I'm making out my list of recipes that I'm going to make this year--and trying to make a shopping list to go along with it LOL so hubby won't have to run out to the grocery store the night before thanksgiving like last year and grab me a bag of brown sugar and butter like he had to do last year. Poor hubby! lol What's on your menu for this year??? What are some dishes that you have to have every year for your celebration? Please share-I'll post my full menu in a few days........

Calling all readers!!!!

what are some of your fave crockpot/slow cooker recipes? I just bought a great book called FIX IT AND FORGET IT-600 holiday slow cooker recipes....I have found alot that I want to try. It has everything from main dishes--to hot cider/toddy recipes.

another slow cooker delight

Tuesday evenings we have music class and afterwards,I'm USUALLY NOT in a mood to be standing over the stove and cooking. So this week,I planned on using the crockpot. Tonight's fare was RED BEANS and RICE. It turned out very good.

1 package of red beans (soaked overnight if possible)
2 packages of turkey kelbasa (or your fave sausage)
1-2 cups of brown minute rice (or your fave rice)

After soaking the beans overnight,I drained and rinsed them well this morning.I then added them into the crockpot along with the turkey kelbasa chopped into small bite sized chunks and 1/2 of a white onion diced. I added a little salt and water and let it cook all day. When I got home from music class,I added about 2 cups of minute rice and a little more water and let it cook about 15-20 minutes longer to make sure the rice was fully cooked (even though it was minute rice).

This is definately a hit. I think I'm even going to have enough leftovers to stash some in the freezer for another cold evening.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lentils and the crockpot

I've been using the crockpot more and more this week. It's nice to be able to throw something in it,turn the button and have dinner ready in a few hours. Today's fare was brown lentils with chicken/apple sausage. I'm not really big on beans,but this turned out delicious!

Lentils and sausage

1 package of dry lentils (soaked for a few hours)
chicken apple sausage cut into bite size pieces

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

slow cooking on a rainy evening.....

The weather's getting cooler--at least cooler than what it was here in the deep south. And it's raining---FINALLY! So that makes me want to prepare something warm and hearty for the family. Last night, I put some beef stew fixings in the crock pot and it cooked all evening. Today,I baked a couple of the HUGE russett baking potatoes and a loaf of french garlic bread. I served the stew over the potato and served the bread on the side. It's nice and thick and delicious!!!

Slow Cooking Beef Stew

1 large packet of beef stew cubes
salt/pepper to taste
1 package of dried slit peas
3/4 of a package of frozen carrot slices
1-2 cups of frozen corn kernels
1 large white onion diced

**soak the dry peas for as long as you can (I think I soaked mine for 1/2 a day)

Basicly,you add everything into the crock pot,add enough water according to your size crockpot and let it cook on high for about 4+ hours (or low for 6-8hours).Whenever I wandered into the kitchen,I would check on it and give it a good stir!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tonight's baking spree

mom's little cake decorator

Zach's Cake!!

Because tomorrow's going to be super busy with our homeschool group's halloween party and I have no idea what is on the agenda for Saturday,I decided to do a little fun baking tonight with the kiddo. We made chocolate chip cookies and halloween cookies (pillsbury ready bake) and we made 2 small pumpkin shaped cakes. I let the kiddo decorate one any way he wanted. Of course he had to put his name on it and declare that it was HIS CAKE LOL. What fun.


I found a new product that I thought I would share with my readers. **HELLO,READERS** I am always on the look out for anything quick,easy,and of course it has to taste good. I found some stuffed chicken breasts at Sam's club (sorry,I don't remember the brand name) that are just fabulous! They are stuffed with brie cheese and cranberries--right up my alley! You must try them! They also come in cordon bleu (stuffed with ham/cheese) and broccoli and cheese. I have tried the broccoli and cheese and they are good enough,but the brie/cranberry is just divine! The portions are kinda small-that's the only thing I would change.


A few weeks ago,a friend (***HI NICHOLE!!!**) mentioned something about how she had only spent like $30 something on groceries that week. I was like OK,What are you doing? LOL She said she had joined E-Z Meals and that they send you a shopping list and menu plan each week. I checked it out and joined. It's $5/month. I have only used 1 recipe off the menu from last week.The husband didn't really like it,but it's a nice idea. (I tried an asian chicken salad with "raw" cabbage-hubby didn't really like it.) I need to get organized so that I can see if by going by the menu that it will save us money or not. I still haven't gotten the hang of menu planning-have been "trying" for years LOL. Something always happens and throws me off track and I get mad/frustrated and give up and just cook whatever I pull out of the freezer! LOL Anyway,I thought I'd share the link in case anyone might be interested.

E-Z Meals

Monday, October 25, 2010

What's for dinner?

Tonight's Clean Out the Refrigerator Night......leftover chicken/dumplings. There wasn't much meat left so I added in a package of chopped chicken tenders and 2 small packages of chicken/cheese stuffed tortelinni. YUM!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spicy Sausage Cheese Balls

I've never made sausage balls before-always been lazy and bought them from the frozen appetizers section LOL. So this is my project for this evening:

Spicy Turkey Sausage Cheese Balls
16oz spicy turkey sausage
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk (think I needed more)
3 cups baking mix

mix well and shape into balls---place on lightly greased baking dish and bake at 350*F for about 25-30 mins.

**I just peeked in and checked on mine while they were baking away and they look like some are falling apart---I think I should have used more milk (or less baking nmix)--the "dough" was kinda sticky.....will try that next time.....

****These tasted good,but not spicy at all (even though the package was marked HOT and spicy turkey sausage).Next time I think I will use another recipe-one that doesn't call for so much baking mix-and maybe a little more milk.

original recipe at kraft foods

chicken noodle casserole

I really played with this recipe-just using the "outline" as my guide.I didn't have any broccoli rabe (or regular broccoli for that matter) so I used long,thin,green beans.I didn't have any onions on hand or any of the major spices so I just used salt/pepper--I really need to build my spice collection back up.Basicly,I boiled the noodles until they were about done and drained them.I mixed the beans in with the shredded rotisserie chicken (meat only).I layered the chicken mixture and the noodle mixture in a large casserole dish and ended up with noodles on top as the last layer. I made a roux using about 1/4 cup of olive oil and about the same amount of whole wheat flour. Once that was cooked,I added in about a whole can of condensed milk. The roux was still a little thick and gloopy so I ended up adding more water until it was "loose" enough but still thick enough for a sauce.I added in a little chicken gravy powder mix and a pinch of salt/pepper to the roux also. I poured this over the casserole making sure it was good and soaked. I mixed a few handfuls of panko breadcrumbs and mozzarella cheese and put that as the final layer of the casserole.I dotted on some butter to get the breadcrumbs nice and crunchy. I baked about 30+mins at 425*F. This turned out very good-even though it wasn't the original recipe--even the hubby said that was "GOOD" LOL.

original recipe here from Rachael Ray's Week in a day Chicken Divan Egg Noodle Casserole

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

trying out ratatouille

I saved some zucchini for me and topped with some italian cheeses.YUM-I just love zucchini!!

I want to make ratatouille for am upcoming get together I'm "hosting". So tonight,I made it for the guys-I can't eat it because I'm allergic to tomatoes,so they are my guinea pigs. It smelled and looked fabulous,so here's hoping it was a hit.

Basicly,chopped everything and roasted in oven.For the eggplant,I peeled and salted it before cutting it into chunks and roasting.I added in a can of diced italian tomatoes and then some tomato puree-I think it's a little too soupy,so next time I won't add as much puree.I used a "lazy" version of ratatouille from THE COOKING CHANNEL .

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spicy Turkey and brown rice

I think I got the turkey TOO spicy tonight-my mouth was on FIRE!

This is one of my staples when the guys want something I can't eat-I try to have some in the fridge or freezer at all times. It can also be made with Quinoa (which honestly I prefer).

1-2lbs ground turkey
2 bags of quick cook brown rice
sam's southwest spicy mustard
salt/pepper to taste
olive oil

Add a few tbs of olive oil to a skillet and cook turkey until completely done-drain-prepare the rice according to box instructions--drain--mix with the turkey--add in enough of the mustard to make the mixture "moist" but not runny....
*sometimes I will eat this in whole grain wraps or in taco shells--it is delish!
*you can add in corn/black beans--or bell peppers-whatever you like!

Tropical Cake

I've found a recipe on a fave blog (mennonite girls can cook) that I've been wanting to try. It's for an orange cake-don't worry,I'll share the original recipe with you at the bottom of this post. LOL I didn't have any oranges but I did have some sweet,flaked coconut and some pineapple. HMMMMMM (can you hear the wheels turning?) That sounds good to me! I cheated a little and used a box cake mix,but again,it's for a good cause-I'm cleaning out the pantry!

Tropical Cake
1vanilla cake mix
1 small can of pineapple chunks (keep juice)
1 large can of crushed pineapple
1 small bag of sweetened,flake coconut

prepare cake mix--adding in a few handfuls of the coconut and all of the pineapple chunks (NOT THE JUICE-keep that for later)--bake according to box instructions--

Pour the juice from the small can of pineapple chunks into a small sauce pan and simmer to reduce--remove from heat

When cake is done,remove from oven and poke holes in it--pour the thickened pineapple juice over it--top spread some of the crushed pineapple over the cake (it's ok if some extra juice gets on the cake)--top with a few handfuls of the coconut--let cool and enjoy!

Orange Cake by Mennonite Girls Can Cook

scratching for breakfast.....

Chocolate-cinnamon rolls

Still trying to use up everything in fridge/freezer/pantry before I go shopping later this week. I had 2 tubes of pillsbury refrigerated pastry sheets in the fridge that I had planned on using as crusts for potpies but that never happened so I had an idea to make cinnamon rolls with them. I popped the tube,rolled them out on my cutting board spread a little butter on it,topped that with brown sugar and cinnamon and rolled both up and cut into "chunks" and baked at 425*F for about 20mins. They were a hit.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pantry Diving

Bubbling away......stir,stir,stir......

All done and ready to eat!!

This week,I'm scrounging around in the pantry trying to use things up until I can go to the grocery store later this week. Every time I see someone on FoodNetwork making risotto I always get the urge to make it-it always look sooo complicated though. Well,tonight I pulled out a bag of brown rice and went for it! It felt like I stood over that risotto for over an hour stirring,adding more stock,stirring some more LOL. It turned out tasty for my first try. Next time I don't think I'll add in so much butternut squash. I had pureed butternut squash that I pulled out of the freezer and I think the original recipe called for chunks of the squash.

Brown Rice Risotto
1 small bag of brown rice
chicken stock (kept at a low simmer)
salt/pepper to taste
butternut squash puree (about 2 cups)
2-3 TBS of olive oil
1/2 stick of butter
parmesan cheese (grated)

Add olive oil and butter to the pan and let get hot--add package of brown rice and stir to coat all of the rice in the oil/butter mixture--let it cook a few mins---add in a few big spoonfuls of the chicken stock--stir well---let it cook until all of the stock has been absorbed---repeat and repeat LOL---When all of the stock/water has been absorbed and the rice is soft and creamy,it's time to add your squash and cheese---stirring well to mix everything-

**keep your stock simmering on low so that you won't be adding cold stock to the risotto as you cook it-you want to add warm stock/water as you cook it

Original Recipe

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Morning Muffins

My batch had enough to make a full tray of full-sized muffins and a tray of mini muffins.

Well,I had the kitchen to myself for a bit this morning while the hubby took grandpa to PT. I wanted to make muffins for sunday's breakfast but was soooo rushed that it didn't happen,so they turned into today's treat. This was the first time I've made muffins totally from scratch--I usually take the easy/quick way out and use a packaged mix. This wasn't tooo hard--and they turned out DELICIOUS! I found a recipe on FOODNETWORK,but didn't have everything so I tweaked it a bit....

Chocolatey Muffins
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I had special dark)
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I had minis so I used 2 cups)

In large bowl,wisk together the flour,cocoa,baking powder,baking soda, and salt--
In another bowl wisk together the eggs,butter,sugar,milk,oil, and vanilla---

pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until it is just combined.
Pour into greased muffin tins (or you can use the cupcake paper cups). Bake for about 25-30mins at 350*F

Original Recipe

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I have a new fave cookie recipe for you......

a box of cookies......................

Today,I had a chocolate attack and just HAD to have something good. I found this recipe online and just had to try it today. It's quick,easy,and soooo very good!

Brownie Cookies
1package chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup margarine melted
2 eggs beaten
1cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1cup rolled oats (I used quick cook oats)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. (it will be very thick-that's GOOD)--mix well--drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheets and bake at 350*F for 8-10mins.

Mine didn't turn out as "pretty" as the pic on the Mennonite Girls website-mine were more "mountainy and lumpy" LOL but they were oh so good and gooey!

Brownie Cookies

Friday, October 8, 2010

FINALLY---Chicken and Dumplings

This turned out DELISH!!

Chicken and Dumplings
2 rotisserie chickens (from fave deli)
1 package of Mary B's kettle dumplings
1 stock pot of homemade chicken stock

I used the leftovers from the rotisserie chickens to make the chicken stock.I added in the shredded chicken and brought to a rolling boil.I added in the dumplings and turned to a high simmer for about 30-45 mins. Salt and Pepper to taste.

I have tried several times to make homemade dumplings and every time it all turned out to be a gloopy,nasty mess. I saw some frozen dumplings at the store and decided to give them a try. I'm so glad I did. This was soooo good! I can't wait till the hubby gets up from his nap to try it. The kitchen smells AMAZING!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

the best of plans........

Had planned on making chicken and dumplings tonight for supper but by the time we were done with the morning studies,I was just tooo worn out to shred the chicken and make stock--so that will be tomorrow's dinner.I took the time after supper tonight to do everything except add the dumplings so it won't take much time to get dinner done tomorrow--yay! That's always a good thing!! Tonight the guys had burgers with mashed potatoes and gravy. I had the left over black-eyed pea patties and salmon croquettes--I didn't really have much of an appetite. The hubby went to the doc this morning because ever since he got the flu shot monday he hasn't felt well. He didn't know if it was the shot that made him sick or if he was getting sick before the shot. Twice this week he has come home from work early. He got a shot today and by afternoon,he was saying that he felt better already. Tonight's the last night of "mids" for a while---I HOPE! LOL He has worked nights FOREVER it seems like. He will be working a more "normal" shift now. He says he's ready for a change--I know I am. I'm sooo burned out on him being gone nights. We have a play date tomorrow with our homeschool group,so it's going to be a busy morning. We're still trying to play catch up on a few things we haven't gotten done the past 2 weeks. Hopefully that will all be done this weekend.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fried Black-eyed Pea Patties......

I had leftover black-eyed peas from last night's supper,so I figured I would make fried black-eyed pea patties.I had seen Alton Brown talking about them a while back,but couldn't find his recipe,so I loosely followed one that Paula Deen has listed on the FoodNetwork website.They were sooo good-I could have eaten the whole batch!

Fried Black-Eyed Pea Patties
leftover black eyed peas

Mash your black eyed peas--add just enough flour to hold the patty together (I used about 2-4 cups of black eyed peas and about 1 cup flour)---Shape into patties and fry in olive oil--drain on paper towels and serve

Paula's black-eyed pea patties

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

went on a baking spree this morning..............

The hubby's fave bean soup--16 bean soup with kelbasa.

I used the same recipe as in the loaf below,just sprinkled top with almond slices and baked in bundt pan.

I've been wanting pumpkin bread for a few weeks and today the baking bug just bit me I guess. I was going to make some strussel muffins,but got tired LOL. So I will make those later this week.The pumpkin bread was very easy to make. I was out of a few items and had to make substitutions,but in the end,you couldn't tell. It was very good. One of the loaves was devoured by the hubby and grandpa. I have one loaf that is supposed to be for the freezer but I think I might leave it out and let the guys snack on it. I split the bundt and delivered to friends and neighbors.The hubby was feeling sickly today (blames it on getting the flu shot yesterday), so I made him a feel good meal--his favorite soup-16 bean soup with kelbasa. I usually throw it in the crockpot and let it cook all day,but today I cooked it on top of the stove-it still cooked most of the day. It turned out nice too-perfect eats for a chilly evening.

Pumpkin Bread

2cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups whole-wheat flour
2teaspoons baking powder
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
1teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 small can -15oz pumpkin pie mix
2 eggs
1cup splenda for baking
1/3 cup fruit juice (I used cran-strawberry)
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
the peel of 1 whole orange

combine the flours,cinnamon,allspice,salt,baking powder and baking soda--
in another large bowl,combine pumpkin,eggs,splenda,honey,juice,orange peel-stir well--slowly mix in the flour mixture until it is just combined--pour into greased baking loaf pans (or bundt pan) and bake at 350*F for between 50-55mins ***if you would like you may add nuts to the mix or just sprinkle on top like I did with the bundt--

Monday, October 4, 2010

countdown till the hubby changes shifts.....

Well,the hubby's been on night-shift for about the past year (or so it feels like). Where he works,they change shifts every 4months or so,but he's stayed on nights the past few rotations. I'm burned out on it and he says he is. Since he's the only one working for a paycheck,I always tell him to work what he wants to,but personally I'm tired of him working overnight. Starting Tuesday (because of the holiday) he will go into work at 2 and get off at 10 and he will have a normal weekend with sat-sun off. He says he'll start going to church with us after schedule change. I hope so!

Tonight's dinner turned into an improv of sorts. I had planned on making "minute steaks" for the guys and scrounging for something for myself,but the hubby said that he would take quickie chimichangas and I had mentioned making a potato-ham casserole and for me to make that. Good,I won't have to scratch around for my dinner tonight. I can't handle alot of red meat,but I figured the hubby was ready for some sustinance. He is always saying that I'm going to turn him into a chicken--he's already a turkey! LOL For sides,I am making field peas with snaps-YUM. I got the recipe from another cooking blog that I follow. Check it out-she has other yummy recipes on her site. The only thing I changed in the recipe was that I sprinkled the top of mine with parmesan cheese....can't wait till it's done-the kitchen smells sooo good! Zachary will get samples of what we are eating and noodles and a grilled cheese sandwich cut into a fun kid shape with a cookie-cutter.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Casserole

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday supper and thinking ahead to Sunday ....

I really didn't plan on cooking tonight-thought I'd make everyone FEND for themselves,but at last minute,thought I didn't want a sandwich. I made SMOTHERED TURKEY BURGERS and brown rice-added in some mixed veggies for good measure and called it a night. Instead of regular "gravy", I used 1/2 a can of cheddar cheese soup and added in a little bit of chicken gravy mix. It turned out DELISH. And since Sundays are busier for me now,I have a roast in the crockpot to help make it less stressful for me. I added in a jar of mild picante sauce and plan on making myself something with chicken LOL.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recent GOOD DEALS that I have found......

My sister swears I can smell a deal from 20paces at walmart.LOL Well,I did work at walmart for almost 8 years---most of that time being spent in the layaway department (oh the holidays I could tell you about LOL). I love to shop. And I love a good deal. And I love anything that will help make my house smell fresher. I love those new auto air-fresheners that they have out now--the motion activated ones. I have one in the bathroom and now thanks to a good deal,one in the living room,too. I found a $2 coupon in the Sunday paper and I think the retail price was over $5 so I paid $3 for a starter kit. I love it! I'm always looking for a deal on bedding. About a week ago I was taking a short cut through the sheets/bedspreads and happened to notice that they had quilts on clearance. I got a kingsize patchwork quilt for $21--regular $40+. I LOVE IT!!!! I'm going to change the bedding tomorrow and will post a pic of my pretty find.


Ditalinni Florentine

package of ditalinni pasta
a bag of frozen spinach
2 jars white alfredo sauce
bag of shredded mozzarella
bag of shredded asiago and manchego cheeses (or white italian shredded mix)

boil pasta--drain--pour into a large bowl--add spinach and stir well--add in the mozzarella and stir well--add the alfredo sauce and stir well--pour into prepped casserole dish--top with the asiago and manchego cheese--bake at 400* until it is bubbly and the cheese topping is browned.

** You could make it more of a "one pot meal" if you added in some shredded rotisserie chicken or turkey. This is the first time making this and it turned out awesome!!!

Winding-down Wednesday

The past few days have been crazy busy for us. Both Zach and I have had dr appointments at the crack of dawn both Monday and Tuesday. And wouldn't you know it,my child that's usually up BEFORE the crack of dawn decided to take those days as sleep late days. Now for both of us because we take meds/vitamins in the mornings,SOMETHING for breakfast is a must-even if it's just a quickie yogurt smoothie. We have to have something in the morning! OR ELSE! So from the time I got up,it felt like I was in a race with the clock-I hate days like that. I am trying to get on a better schedule for us as a family and with our homeschooling. And I hate anything that takes us off schedule-even if we are just getting on one. And both days I was thrown for a loop. Add in a messy house that I just didn't have the energy to deal with and a TON of laundry that had been nicely waiting for me to put it away,some PMSing,2 allergy shots and a flu shot, and I was just overwhelmed and exhausted. I told the hubby that HELL OR HIGH WATER I was NOT going anywhere today--and I would probably spend the day in pjs. Well I'm in shorts,but it's been a good day. I got all the laundry folded and put away and our side of the house swept and mopped and the next round of laundry separated and lugged down to the laundry room. We've had morning devotional--meaning Zach has read another chapter in his kid's bible. Today he learned about Adam and a little about the Garden of Eden. We're on lunch break and I had the intentions of organizing more of our lessons for the year--I will get to that soon,but had to do a little blogging. I was inspired this morning. I have the intent to share a little of what we do as lessons every day on our homeschooling blog. I want to get back to posting more recipes here. Lately our dinners haven't been very inspiring-they've been quick and easy and not too elegant LOL. Hopefully that will change. I just need to go through my cooking magazines and favorite cookbooks. I love fall cooking. And Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking---I'm sooo ready to put some meal plans in order for those special days.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

been busy.......

Well we're in the full swing of the new school term for us and things are going well. He's also been on meds for add/adhd for about a month and we are seeing some great results. We are having more good days than bad. And the bad spells are most of the time followed by quick appologies. Now if they had a magic pill to take away some of the hard-headedness he has life would be perfect LOL. Kidding-it's pretty OK now. We visited friends,yesterday so Zach and the girls could get some play time in and my friend showed me some of the new things she was doing in her homeschool routine this year and let me just say,"SUSAN,you are the organized,curriculum QUEEN!" LOL I'm hoping to be able to start and KEEP up some of the tips she shared with me. I've been trying to get us organized since around Kindergarten and we're now in 2nd grade and I don't feel sooo together at all! LOL Now just gotta hit the store and get some files and divider thingies! hee hee hee I ordered some add-ons we're going to use in our curriculum today too-I can't wait for them to get here.

Fall is here! YAY~! I feel sooo alive at the change of seasons this time of year. I love Autumn and all the harvest celebrations and good plain fun that comes with this time of year-and the food--Squash,apples,OH MY! I get into a baking mood and just want to cook everything! I'm already thinking about Thanksgiving menu! Yesterday I baked an Orange-Zucchini loaf and a Pear/Cranberry "crumble"--can we say DELISH! It was fabulous! I'll see if I can find links to share for those interested.

Dieting hasn't been going so well.I haven't gone up or gone down so I guess that's good. It's just at a standstill. Now that the weather is cooling down,I hope to get out more and walk more. The hubby doesn't like me to go out alone in our neighborhood with the puppy and kiddo,so now that his schedule is changing in a few days he won't have any excuse not to join us in our jaunts around the neighborhood! Maybe the walks will do him some good too.

OK-can't get the link thingie to work today so if you're interested in the recipes I used check out:

and search for** Pear-Dried Cranberry Crisp**

and check out:

and go back through their older posts until you find**Zucchini Orange Loaf**

**maybe you can copy/paste and get the mennonite girls recipe to come up.....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

notes...notes...and more notes...

For the past week we have been finishing up workbooks and I've been reading over some notes from THE WELL TRAINED MIND to help get us back into the swing of homeschooling this year.I'm going to try and do things as described in the book **mostly** and that will be a new "system" for us.So I'm jotting down points to cover in our studies and making lists of people we need to learn about in history and need to make a list of library books that will re-inforce what we're learning. ALOT of work,but I love it!

Also getting ready to go out to dinner with the hubby next saturday for our 9th wedding anniversary. Sept 1st is our anniversary but we can't get a sitter till that saturday-still haven't really made our choice of where to eat. In a town that is LITERALLY OVERFLOWING with restraunts,it's sad to say that most of them are still mainly fast food-even the "sit down" type restraunts. Hubby took off extra days next week for our anniversary,so he's only working 3 days. Still not sure what to get him-I've looked online and for the 9th year the "gift guides" say "pottery and willow" I guess I'll get him a coffee mug and a willow tree!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

still waiting

Still waiting..........The floor guys came and measured Monday and got our samples for what we want to put down when they re-do our floors. We picked a mahogany wood for most of the house,an brown italian tile for the kitchen, and grandpa wants carpet for his little nook/den area. They were supposed to get back with us with an estimate for how much $ damage it will be LOL the next day,but we're still waiting.....Hubby will try and call them back tomorrow. Going to get the car detailed tomorrow too-been wanting to for the past few months,but something always comes up and it doesn't get done,well tomorrow it is! Those guys are going to earn that $ LOL cause my kid has made a mess in the back seat. Hubby used to detail and keep his truck clean as a whistle but has gotten lazy with my car. I had an eye appointment today to have my eyes checked. I'd noticed that when I would play a game on my cell phone that things were blurry and that when I was reading sometimes I couldn't make out the words if I wasn't right at the book. Funny,the doc said my eyes were still almost perfect and that I just needed a little help when reading,so I'm getting reading glasses. Gotta love eye coverage-a $300+ eye exam plus glasses only cost me $16. LOVE IT!!! Now gotta make hubby an appointment. He's over due for an exam.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Something's gotta give.............

I am so tired of things needing to be "fixed" or "repaired" or "replaced" around the house. I mean SERIOUSLY. A few years ago we had to have the bathroom on our side of the house re-done-all but the sink area and I would like to have that done next. Now Fast-Forwarde to today. About 2 weeks ago we saw some bulges in our floors. We got to looking and they are in every room of the house (except the downstairs area and the laundry room area cause they have concrete floors). There is a huge BUCKLE/BULDGE in the kitchen and an even bigger one in the living room. The ones back in our bedrooms aren't that bad but they are there. Had one guy come in and tell us that if we put some plastic under the house with a fan that the floors could possibly go back down on there own. Well that was last week and hasn't happened. Really didn't think it would. Now we had another guy come yesterday and he actually went under the house. He came back out and told us that it wasn't a water/pipe leak but the "sub-flooring" was wet and that was what was pushing our main flooring up. Imagine that the incredible hulk is down under the house trying to push his way up through the floor. That's what it all looks like. So we called our insurance and they won't even send someone out to look at it-saying that they don't cover "moisture" damage-but if it had been a broken pipe now they would cover that. LOL funny they said the opposite when we had them look at our bathroom-we don't cover leaking pipe damage but if it had been moisture we would cover that. The hubby thinks they are BSing and trying to get out of covering whatever we send in. The only other option we have at the moment is to use some of the equity built up to do the repair. Called the bank to get that started and we have to get an appraisal done on the house. Hubby's been calling appraisers today and it'll run just under $500 for that....It never ends!!!! If we ever get to the point of having it done another problem comes up-where do we put all out furniture and stuff-told the hubby we're going to have to rent a storage unit or something because it's every freaking room of the house!!! And we're going to have to find a pet friendly/dog friendly place to crash while it's being done...LOVERLY-this just keeps getting better and better....AAAAAH where's a big oversized bottle of CALGON when a girl needs one? No,really,I'd much rather have a genie or magic wand so I could FFW a weeks and get this crap over with!!!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

playing the waiting game

Well I called Zach's dr and she said the pediatrician would be the actual dr prescribing the meds for us,so I put a call into their office the other day. They only deal with these "issues" on certain days-like they do the yrly physicals.So the next opening they had for us was August 30. So we have about a month's wait! REALLY frustrating. I talked to a friend who has teen sons dealing with asperger's and other issues and she told me another place where she gets their meds,but I don't want it to seem like I'm switching doctors and it would be a hassle getting the medical records sent over there. I guess we'll play the waiting game and see how it goes and if I don't like how the pediatrician does the meds with us,I will use this other facility for the asperger's/adhd meds.

I survived the sleep study test Friday night and hubby and Zach got along well-zach was in bed before 10pm LOL-the hubby got off easy that night,let me tell you! The tech said that she couldn't "officially" give me any results but from what she's seen and what showed up usually means that they will want me to come back and do another sleep in with a CPAP machine. GREAT-they just don't know how big of a hassle it is for me to be away from home at night. I haven't decided if I'll do it,but I guess I will hear what the dr has to say about my results and take it from there. My sister has a CPAP but doesn't use it cause she says it's the most UNCOMFY thing in the world to her and she just won't use it. I know getting quality sleep is better for your health,but come on,we all snore-and my hubby does it worse than me-but getting HIM into do a test like that would be worse than pulling mule's teeth! LOL I keep telling him he should do it cause he really does stop breathing when he is on a snoring spree-he sounds like a mad bull moose sawing logs,let me tell you! LOL

And the house situation just keeps getting worse and worse. We had our bathroom done about 2 years ago-had a hole in the floor patched and the tub/shower replaced and the toilet moved over a littel from the tub. Now we are having problems with the floors buckling in several rooms. We had a guy come look at it last week and he put some stuff under the house to dry it out and is supposed to come back about September to see if the floors have gone down or gotten worse. Well he's coming back in a few days. A few weeks ago we had to re-cauk the bathtub/shower cause the cauking was coming off. I went into the bathroom the other day and the clear cauking had turned reddish brown-talk about FREAKING OUT! I have bleached the tub and scrubbed it soooo many times trying to get it off,but it keeps coming back. The hubby says that it's something behind the cauking (and probably shower walls too) causing it to do that so he thinks there's a leak in one of the pipes around the tub and if so that might be causing our flooring to buckle. That situation is REALLY PISSING ME OFF! (sorry) If we have to re-do the bathroom and the flooring OMGOSH I am going to go ballistic! I am not a happy camper right now LOL.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

well we talked to zach's dr about meds today.......

And she agreed that they might help in our situation. I didn't want to have to do it,but we desparately need some peace in our house. There is alot of yelling that I do not like and zach's temper has come out more. So I have to make an appointment with his pediatrician who will actually prescribe the meds. We need alot of good thoughts to help us get through this. I hope this first set of meds will help and we won't be jumping from one meds to another for weeks and months till we land on one that works. I dread this,but I am trying to be hopeful that this will help us and zachary.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

might be taking a few college classes.............

MAYBE-------Been toying with the idea for a while now and a few of my girlfriends from highschool are now going back to get the college education they didn't get earlier in life so I said "OK WHY NOT ME TOO?" I'm not sure I want to go for a full blown degree,but there are some classes that I've always wanted to study.World Civilization-World History-Ancient History-World Religions-Creative Writing.I've had this novel "in my head" and in a ton of notebooks that I've been writing on since I was a teenager.WRITING literally saved my life when I was a teen-when I was going through some bad situations.Then after high school LIFE happened and I went to work-I still kept writing on it and changing and coming up with new story lines and doubting myself LOL.And then later in life FAMILY happened.Each new year I make the same old resolution to either WRITE IT or BURN IT LOL. Haven't burned my notes yet LOL,so I've decided to finally try and get it all sorted out and on paper.I HOPE LOL. And about the college classes,I put a phone call into an advisor today to see what all it entails and how much it would cost to take a couple of classes online. I hope it's feesable. I'd be homeschooling my son during the day and then once we were finished with his studies I would do mine.I would only take 1-2 classes at a time because I don't think I could handle much more and again I'm not sure if I'm going for a degree-I just want to further my education in a few areas. The more I think about it,the more excited I get.I mentioned it to the hubby a few days ago but I don't really think he was paying attention to me so when he comes home from work in the morning he's going to get an earful LOL.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's been a while............

Gosh-the past few weeks have been super busy. Zach and I both were sick with sinus infections over a month ago and things just snowballed from there. The hubby's dad has had problems with not being able to feel one of his arms-at one time he had dr visits every day for a week-and then surgery. Well he had another surgery this past friday.Hopefully this will fix whatever is wrong.Going to the drs everyday with him is getting to my hubby--it's draining. Zach was supposed to have swimming lessons this past week also but he has had a lingering cough that just will NOT go away.It started around the 17th of this month. I called the drs office and they didn't want him to come in unless fever went over 102*. After about 2 weeks I took him in anyway and the dr we saw said either reflux or ashtma. So we are treating with reflux meds-I've seen a small improvement but he still has the cough at night. It's so bad that he will wake up in the middle of the night coughing to the point of almost getting sick. That's draining on both him and ME. I made an appt at the asthma/allergy clinic to have him tested for asthma this coming week. I'm thinking they might even go ahead and do the allergy testing,so I've tried to explain what might happen to zach and to get him OK with it just in case. He has a dentist appointment tomorrow morning to have the sealant put on his teeth that is supposed to prevent cavities. Thank goodness insurance covers at 100% for us. I'll only have to pay $7 from what was left over at his last cleaning appt. Then Friday I have to go into the sleep study clinic at 8pm and spend the night. LOVERLY! LOL I dread it. Since I've been using the at home oxygen machine out electric bill has jumped $200. Now there is also a HEAT WAVE going on in the deep south,so I'm not sure which culprit is to blame. I could tell it was working and felt more relaxed and slept somewhat better after first using the oxygen at night,but now I can't. This will be a BIG adventure for zach and dad. Mom has always been the one to put the kiddo to bed and to tuck him in and get him to sleep at night-daddy has worked nights almost all of zach's life LOL (few breaks in between months but he works mainly nights). Zach thinks of daddy as "time to play" lol and minds me a little better-at least at bedtime.

Zach's been going monthly to see DR COOPER (our behavior specialist) for his asperger's. I can see some changes-but he still has a quick temper and boy when it flares up,you better watch out! And he is still impulsive about crazy things-the other day I found him playing in the bathroom squirting water from a bottle onto the mirror and floor. OMGOODNESS! what a mess I had. Tantrums are becoming less--in a good week LOL--but they still happen. Next dr visit I might ask if there are any meds we can try that might help level off his temper and some other things. Or if she thinks he needs any. Still really torn about it-don't want to medicate but some days it just wears the both of us out I think-both zach and me.

Well it's August.We're going to be getting back into the swing of homeschooling in a few weeks.Now we are stocking up on those 25cent notebooks lol. I want to get a few bookcases and we will be all ready I think. Zach doesn't play with toys-he likes electronic video games,ipods,cell phones,etc--so a few weeks ago I got rid of some of the clutter in his room and threw the toybox out.It was a catch all for trash that he was too lazy to take to the garbage can anyway. His room is a little better. He needs a new dresser too,so maybe I can find a good deal. I plan on really changing his room around in either December or January when I am going to get him a sofa bed and get rid of the "loft" bed that he has now. He'll have something to sit on and a bed included. I think that will actually work for us and get him into his own room some nights.

This coming week,the weather man predicted 3 digit numbers for our temps and with matching 100*+ heat indexes. I can't tell you how ready I am for a good 30* cold snap--SERIOUSLY! I'm also ready to decorate for fall. I can feel the changes starting-I'm ready to bake,craft,and pull out all my cute little fall decorations. I hate that I have a few more weeks to wait LOL but I am soooo ready to see little pumpkins out on porches and see cute little scarecrows decorating doorways!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Home-made freezer pops

I saw this recipe in a FOOD NETWORK magazine a few months ago-haven't tried them yet but they are pretty.The recipe says to combine 1 1/2 cups of fruit juice or fruit nectar with 2 TBS of superfine sugar with 1 1/2 cups of peach nectar. As usual,I didn't-I made my own variation.I used straight nectar and froze it into freezer pop molds.I also froze the leftovers into extra ice molds.My son has been asking for a "snow cone". Now down South,that's basicly shaved ice with a SWEET,STICKY,SYRUP poured over the ice-not really something I want to add to his diet,you know.I know this has some sugar but probably not as much as the stuff at the snow cone stands.Last year we bought a homemade snow cone maker.I got to thinking that instead of using the syrups at all that I could freeze juices/smoothies,nectars into ice molds and then just shave it and it would already have the flavor in it.We haven't tried it but I just might pull it out this weekend.

Well it's official--we are both sick---sinus infection/upper respiratory infection-AGAIN

Didn't we just go through this back around March? At least that's what my last bottle of antibiotics say.SHEESH~! I need a break. Yesterday I took kiddo to the doc and he's on antibiotics for 10 days-the usual pink stuff we moms all know. Took myself to the doc today and I got antibiotics and a shot-great my blood sugar has been sky high all day since.I hope it's down tomorrow. I feel like CRUD! I managed to be lazy and get 1/2 a cat-nap today LOL. I got up and made a quickie supper for the guys and had leftover spaghetti squash and salmon cakes for myself.I saw them on D-D-D a few nights ago and I've been wanting them.I cheated and used the canned stuff because I haven't felt like doing a big grocery trip and I thought they were delicious.Might have to make them again SOON!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally FRIDAY!!!!

Well today was a crazy day---but we all managed to make it through without injury! I had the echo-cardiogram done today.All in all the procedure took about 30-45mins.I had one done in 2003 a few weeks after Zachary was born,but my new dr wanted a new one.The tech said everything looked "OK" but that he could tell that I had high blood pressure by watching my heart "work" during the ultrasound.I'm going to put a call into my dr on Monday just to make sure there were no surprises in the test.I don't have a scheduled appointment with her for about 6 months and there is NO way I can relax till I know everything is OK. Thanks for all the good thoughts/well wishes.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

EchoCardiogram Friday

Well I have to have an echocardiogram done tomorrow.Mainly just to go along with the other "baseline" tests that the cardiologist wants to have-not having any problems (at least that I know of LOL),so hopefully it will be a quick in and out procedure.

I received a few comments and am still trying to figure out how to reply to them.Thanks for the well wishes and comments.I appreciate them all and will reply as soon as I can figure it out!

The 4th of July is coming up and I am so excited.I haven't seen my neice in person since 1989.She is all grown up and married now and is coming to town for a family reunion.They have been living the past few years in Oregon,and have now just moved back to Mobile (her hubby's in coast guard).We are going to have so much fun together.We both love history and researching family genealogy!!! EEEEEEE I am so excited to have Tisha home again! ;)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

well.....another sleep study is in the works I think

Zach and I went over to a friend's house friday evening to watch a movie and for him to get a little playtime with one of his homeschool friends.When I got back home,hubby told me that the cardiologist had called.She wants me to see another dr about the sleep study.I called back and the first visit will be a consultation and depending on what the cardiologist told him and what he surmises from the consultation,there will probably be another sleep study-this one in clinic.I really dread this.The hubby is going to have to take a night off work (unless I can get it done on the weekend) and Zachary doesn't go to sleep for daddy.LOL He and his daddy clash and fuss and bicker. LOL On a good note,I think I'm finally getting used to sleeping with all the cords and the oxygen.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


to my new followers----and to my regular followers.I happened to notice a few new "faces" in my followers today.....just saying HI-and welcome.....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Oxygen is for old people,right?

Wisdom from my son after the home health place delivered the oxygen equipment to my house today.Got the results from the home sleep test this morning and it showed I was at/below 63% oxygen for an hour at some point during the night. I guess that means I have sleep apnea. I put a call into the drs office to find out how long she wants me to do this and what the next step of treatment will be,but they are out of the office on Fridays,so I will have to wait till Monday to find out.Supposedly,my insurance will cover this at 100%,so I am willing to give it a try.Tonight will be the first night of it.I hope I sleep better than last night-I am BEAT!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Doctor

A few weeks ago I went for the dreaded yearly gyn visit.Things were OK but because of family history and the health concerns I had during/after pregnancy,my dr wanted me to get established with a cardiologist.Gotta love genetics-there are strokes,heart attacks,diabetes galor in my family tree.Yesterday was the first visit with Dr Rodriguez.She was a fabulous dr.Like my gyn,she sits down and really talks and listens to the patients-not just the typical office visit. They did an EKG and it was normal thank goodness.They want to schedule a sleep study for me.I told them there was no way I could go in clinic to have that done because the hubby worked over night and there was noone who could be with my son,so they are seeing about renting the equipment and doing the sleep study at my house.Kinda dread it but it will be alot easier to do it this way than the hubby to get time off work-plus zach doesn't go to sleep well for his daddy either LOL. They are doing an echo-cardiogram on me in about 2 weeks.She said that the blood pressure looked SO GOOD that if I can get other numbers improved over the next 6 months that possibly I could come off the blood pressure medicine-that kinda worries me because I've been on some type of bp medicine since the late 1990s-but I will discuss that with her when the time comes.She wants me to walk 30mins per week 5xs per day-in addition to what else I'm doing.Things are crazy stressful at home right now-with working on Zach's asperger's issues and the husband's schedule and just typical life-so I'm going to see my family dr next week to see if I can get something to help---I REALLY WANT SOME XANAX!! lol

Saturday, June 5, 2010

well it's been another few weeks since last post

LOL what I was hoping to be a relaxing summer has turned quite busy. Every other week,we are seeing Zachary's behavioral specialist.The first visit went well-she said he talked about his friends to her and as she talked to him about some things he could work on,he asked her to write them down so that he could remember them-ahem,my child is 7? lol He can be quite serious sometimes. He's been pretty good lately,and pretty willing to do what is asked of him and meltdowns have been few and far between,but when he has a meltdown it's a DOOZY.

And I'm seeing that I need to relax more.Yeah,Right! When? I need to make the time.Really unless it's a rare trip to the store by myself,I usually only get out of the house BY MYSELF twice a month for my biweekly salon manicure/pedicure appointments.I want to get back into yoga and figure out meditation.I pulled out a book I got many years ago.I hope it helps give me some pointers.I've been reading THE WELL TRAINED MIND and have gotten alot of good homeschooling pointers from it.One that I hope to add to our household and homeschool schedule is a daily rest/relaxation period.That's a hard one because I can't get it into my son's head that it's not a nap time per say-but if you want to nap great,but just be quiet and relax for a little while.It will be good for the both of us.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

another busy week

Well,it looks like I've jumped right into another busy week.On a good note,the scales say I'm down 5pounds in about a week and a half.I'm hoping it's PROGRESS and not just a fluke-haven't really been able to exercise much because of the blood sugars but I am still taking poopy out for short walks 2-3 times a day.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

new blog

I'm starting a new blog to chronicle our adventures in homeschooling my son.It's not really filled with much at the moment,but soon we plan on adding lots of fun things.....

so much for good intensions

Last week was kind of a set back-at least emotionally for me.I've been struggling with high blood sugar levels probably since back last year-whenever I'd get them under control,I'd get sick (usually with a sinus infection) and have to go on meds which would then cause the blood sugars to SKY ROCKET for as long as I was on the meds.It's been a real blood sugar roller coaster.Well,last week I decided I was going to get them down no matter what-I counted carbs like a mad woman and it still was high.And I had been doing good exercising every day till the high blood sugars took over.When blood sugars get to a certain point (for me 300+) if I exercise,they go even higher.So I wasn't able to exercise all week-except for leg lifts.I did a TON of leg lifts LOL.Friday,I had had enough and put a call into the drs office and asked if I could add another dose of one of my meds.The dr called in a stronger medicine.So this is my first day on it,we'll see what happens.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Quickie update........a new week....

Sorry for not posting last week-had a full agenda with visits to the dentist and allergy dr for the kiddo and a full week of trying to keep up with the laundry and trying to stay sane LOL.After a 2 week break from our homeschool studies,I think the boredome has set in for my son. LOL We will start again next week but at a more relaxed pace than normal (since it is summer break). Zachary went swimming at with one of our friends friday and had an absolute blast! He has never been in a BIG POOL-just the kiddie blow up pools that we have had in the backyard every summer LOL. He really surprised us at how quickly he acclimated to the water.Once we showed him how to lay/float in an innertube,he was all set.He was trying to sneak over to the deeper end by the time we left--he was getting brave! We missed the deadline to sign up for swimming lessons both at the local park and at "college for kids".A friend gave me the email of a local swim coach so I'm hoping she can set us up with someone reliable-still haven't heard back from her. As for exercise last week,I did pretty well-alot of leg lifts and walks with the dog. The menu was ok till the end of the week and with the hubby off work for 4 days it kinda went down hill--not that I ate badly,I just ate more than usual. So it's back on the wagon for me bright and early Monday morning....Anyone else's husband drive them as batty as mine does sometimes? ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

FOOD LOG May 10-16

Monday------ended up being 2points over my WW daily
iced tea w/splenda
Weight Watchers Smart Ones Egg and Cheese English Muffin
1/2 apple
few pita chips

few pita chips
Ranch chicken salad

few whole grain cheez its
pita chips
diet sunkist

Diet Coke
Asian Chicken salad
Smart Ones Egg and Cheese English Muffin

water (crystal light hunger satisfaction strawberry/banana)

May 11
diet coke
weight watchers smart ones egg/cheese english muffin

ranch chicken salad
peanut butter on whole wheat deli round
crystal light green tea with honey lemon

8oz diet coke FREE
oat revolution strawberry oatmeal
1 pepperidge farm deli round with peanut butter

iced tea/equal
weight watchers smart ones tuna noodle gratin
1 pepperidge farm deli round with peanut butter

late snack
1 pepperidge farm deli round with peanut butter

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Weekly Exercise BLOG May 9th -May 16th 2010

May 9th
Leg Lifts
30mins light walk around yard with dog

May 10
60mins light walking around store
30mins light walking with dog
30mins light walking with dog

May 11
20 mins on bike (4.25miles)
30mins on bike (6.34miles)
30min walk with dog
30min walk with dog

Saturday, May 8, 2010


In the past few days I've eaten about 5 salads! And I'm really enjoying it. My basic "chicken" salad recipe is as follows:

Take either a lean chicken breast,chicken tender,or breast strips and "braise" (boil) in low sodium,low fat,NO MSG chicken broth until they are fully cooked.I add salt,pepper and garlic. I either chop them into bite size pieces or shred the chicken-depending on my mood. I then add whatever type of shredded cheese (low fat) that I have on hand and add that to a big bowl of hearts of romaine lettuce.If I have it on hand I will add broccoli or cauliflower florets (or both like I did at supper today).I will then add whatever dressing suits my fancy.Lately I've been wanting ranch. Instead of croutons,I will either crunch up a few pita crispy chips and add to the salad or just eat the pita crisps on the side.This has been my lunch and supper today and it can be really filling.

What is your fave salad? What is your fave dressing?


I've been using garlic for a while in cooking. I can't usually find any GOOD LOOKING fresh garlic in the stores around here (they all look dried up and yucky),so I have been using the pre-minced garlic in jars.It has been suiting my needs until the last jar.It just wasn't good eats-BLAH. So a few weeks ago,I started buying the pre-peeled in the jars.That has done better,except I can't ever chop/mince it small enough for my liking.Today I got a garlic press. I AM SO EXCITED!

Friday, May 7, 2010

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY----------EARLY.......

pretty heart necklace with pink stones--chain is too short so hubby's gotta get me a longer one.....

calla lillies-I got matching pots for each side of the porch....and a big bushy green fern (pic wouldn't upload)

pretty cake-zachary couldn't wait to dive into it!

The kiddo's good mood quickly turned FOUL this afternoon after we came home from shopping at Sam's,so after a quick bite to eat,I made him lay down for a time to settle down and of course he fell asleep-mom did too.The hubby took this time to go out shopping for mother's day-even though I told him that I wanted him to take Zachary WITH HIM this year. It's always cute to see Zach try to sneak in the other room with daddy to sign the mother's day card and to then bring in whatever the present is with a big grin.This year it was a pretty pink cake along with flowers and a necklace from the hubby. LOL Doesn't this man know I'm on a diet? and trying to avoid SUGAR? LOL I think he bought the cake so he could eat it too LOL.HMMMM It's pretty and yes I love all the gifts....The hubby--he means

After that huge breakfast fiasco LOL,lunch was a grilled chicken salad.Supper was a a braised chicken salad with an apple and a few pita chips instead of croutons.I think I did pretty good.I'm going to get another bike workout in--it's almost 90degrees out there today in East Central Mississippi....ICK HOT!!! GOTTA LOVE THE a/c.

Fabulous Friday

At least I hope it's a fabulous Friday LOL..Kiddo seems to be in a better mood at least...Gotta get up and get moving this morning and go to Sam's..We need groceries LOL! Haven't decided if I'm going to make it a double hit and go to WM this afternoon too-depends on how much energy I have. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Morning.......NOT!

LOL woke up to a delightfully,grumpy little kid this morning---he's always MR ATTITUDE in the mornings....SHEESH!!! I need a vacation this morning!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

a Tuesday in May

We had our "end of year" homeschool party today. A few of the families were going out of town in the next few weeks so this was the best time to have it where everyone could attend. It was fun--fun games,funny kids, great food and company. It was a great day. Could have been about 20-30 degrees cooler for my taste LOL but it there was a nice breeze blowing,so it really didn't feel that hot. Zachary got over heated,but with his fair complexion it's easy to do. On the way home he said he was tired. When we got home,I got him into the tub and he cooled down and played. On the way home,he also asked if we were having a summer. I knew that was coming! LOL he's figured out that summer means NO SCHOOL/HOMEWORK! LOL Well, we homeschool all year,but we definately slow things down a bit during summer and do it at a slower pace. I knew I was going to be in trouble when he found out the TRUE MEANING OF SUMMER LOL!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Other Happenings........

Guess I have alot to blog about today. I had my yearly gynocologist visit last week--fun fun. Hate the whole idea of it,but I have a fabulous doctor. Dr Nelson makes things comfortable for her patients,she LISTENS to them if they have questions,concerns,she ASKS them about things other than what's going on in the exam room (family life) and really listens. She treats just about all of the gals (old and young) in my family. She's more like a friend. She helped me through a very dangerous,difficult pregnancy and I really like her. My son is one of her favorite deliveries. She gets pics of all the babies she delivers and likes to keep up with them over the years. She has pics of tons of babies all over her office,but she has like TONS of my son. I hear from friends and family all the time saying "oh I just saw Dr Nelson the other day and saw a pic of your son". Guess he made an impression on her when he peed on her after she delivered him LOL. She was pregnant with her first son when I was pregnant with Zachary. They were supposed to be born within weeks of each other,but Zach ended up coming 2 months early.

OK,back to the dr visit. **SIGH** She wants to send me to an cardiologist. Heart disease runs rampant in the family tree. I'm on medication for both blood pressure and cholesterol and of course diabetes. The blood pressure gave us alot of problems during pregnancy,but has been good in the years after. And I'm not having any problems with heart issues,but she said because of my age (made me feel old **sniff sniff**) LOL and because of family history that she wanted me to see the cardiologist. Makes sense-but still scares the crap out of me. I know Dr Rodriguez is going to run a battery of tests and I just dread all that. My first visit will be in June.And I know one of the first things she's going to tell me is that I need to lose about 80pounds. Easier said than done. I did join WW a few months ago and lost about 6-8pounds but with each monthly cycle,some of that lovely weight gain we all get at that time stayed around. I know I need to get tighter with watching my points and sticking to the exercising every day,but it just gets so darn frustrating to work so hard and not see any progress or loss....and I know in part it's the insulin that makes losing weight that more's like a no-win situation.....

Sunday--Sunday-a stormy Sunday

Just because it was Sunday and just because the marshmallows were buy 1 get 1 free at the store the other day LOL,today I made strawberry rice krispy treats. I tried to get kiddo to help me,but he was more interested in Grandpa than helping mom in the kitchen.

Zach is happy as a clam because his laptop came back a few days ago.We had to send it off to be repaired.

WOW! It's been a week since I blogged,hasn't it? I've had the intentions,but other things just kept coming up. Today's been a bit more laid back (at least the late afternoon has). Last week,we had an appointment with a pediatric behavior specialist. We had testing done a few months before to see if Zachary's behavior would fall into the add/adhd category-which it did. He also has very mild asperger's syndrome. Even though I was expecting to hear it,it still hurt my soul a little. I know-I know,it's not the end of the world and won't affect my son's health,it still hurt to hear those results. We're not going to go the medication route-at least for now. We're basicly going to try behavior modification "therapy". Which means I have to do some things at home with him-like if he has a tantrum it will have a certain consequence. If he has any other sort of unappropriate behavior another consequence will happen. And then every 2 weeks we will go to her office where she will have play "sessions" with Zach-which will basicly be behavior modification too. Kinda nervous about that cause mom's not invited to those sessions usually LOL. (Can you tell I'm an over-protective mom?) That whole "hearing" the results and letting it sink in has really been draining on me. I have been sick since April 22nd. I ended up going to the dr and getting antibiotics for a sinus infection. The next day,Zach was at his dr with basicly the same thing. Another thing to drain away my energy. We're both over it (thank goodness).

I splurged a little bit the other day and got an electric ice cream/sorbet maker.We have an old electric one but it's soo messy and loud and I've been wanting one of those nice ones on FoodNetwork like when Emeril makes a fancy sorbet.It wasn't a big splurge-just $28,but for me it's a splurge. LOL Funny how the hubby's idea of a splurge and my idea are sooo different. His idea is to spend hundreds of dollars on guns or amo and mine can be as cheap as a new kind of make up I've been wanting to try-or an ice cream maker LOL. I can't wait to try it out. I've got an idea of using vanilla soy milk and seeing how it comes out. This model says it can make it in 15mins. YUM.

On the schooling front,we're trying to play catch up and finish a few workbooks before we start the 2nd grade studies. I ordered a great "kiddie" microscope and it came in yesterday. Zach is already "itching" to pull it out and explore all the slides that came with it. All the workbooks for 2nd grade that I ordered have come in too,thank goodness. I think we're all set-supply wise,but I can't wait till all the supplies go on sale in a few weeks--love all those 25cent notebooks and pencils!
Our homeschool group is doing a party Tuesday to celebrate the ending of the school year. Zach doesn't really know what a summer break is-since we homeschool year round. We take breaks as needed. I think if he found out that other kids had like 2 1/2 months off school for summer that might be dangerous! LOL

The front yard is looking really good. Grandpa handed me $200 the other day to get flowers for the yard with. Our yard really needed it too. I got 4 azalea bushes-we think they are all PINK. I got a blue hydrangea bush to go with the pink one I planted in the yard a few weeks ago. I got a flat of Gerber Daisies and other Dasies that my son helped pick out. I got a blue bush that I think is called a PLUMBAGO. I got two hot pink little flowers that I hope will run up the little bamboo arch that they were planted with. They look like hibiscus but aren't. If I can remember the name,I'll update LOL. I got something I call "spider grass"-it's a tall grassy plant that has little purple flowers. I might get more of that to fill in the bare spots in the flower beds. I just love the purple flowers. I got two pothos plants to go in a hanging basket on the front porch. I went to a little plant shop that is on the route that hubby takes to work--PLANT THE EARTH. They have just about every flower/plant you could ever want! I just hope it all lives LOL. There is just one bare spot in front of the house that needs to be filled with some color. The guys are putting new soil down for me and I'm waiting till that's finished before I add more flowers. I already have picked out what I want to go in that spot. We also got an ELECTROLUX HE washing machine-the only color at the store that day was red LOL. So I have a red washing machine. We're going to get the matching dryer in a few days. Our other washer/dryer wasn't old-probably 2yrs old at the most,but Grandpa wanted to upgrade things and is even talking about a new dishwasher. I think he's seen some things about how the newest appliances are more energy effecient. Pics coming soon......