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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cinderella Cinderella!


Recently Santa brought the movie Cinderella to my youngest Miss Zoe Anna. We have watched it a couple of times and I have a rekindled love for this character and a strong dislike for the Step mom and sissies. But if we can look beyond those step characters, I feel like Cinderella EVERYDAY!!!! Although our commands come from sweeter faces and our name has been changed to mom, I still feel overwhelmed at the tasks we complete on a daily basis. Get the girls ready, do their hair, and now my daughters have to get their American Girl Dolls ready every morning too! I did not adopt two more children...thanks Santa! And tie shoes, help with breakfast, remind my kids to clean up breakfast-but somehow I am still cleaning up after a few...hmmm how did that happen? Sweep the floors, clean the bathrooms, help kids do their laundry, wipe down counters, clean up and organize Christmas, put away my own clothes and the hub's, make my bed, yell at my kids to make their beds for the 5th time, vacuum again, unclog my cheap-%$^# vacuum, again! The lists goes on and on, and I am sure it might be longer and a little different for each of you moms out there, and maybe for you dads too! Who knows...all I know is at the end of the day I am as pooped as Cinderella, but so much more loved by my family. It's exhausting, I'm exhausted, but I wanted to remind all of you it's okay if it doesn't get done, and if it did get all done, congrats! You're amazing! We all are! "Mom!!!!!!"......gotta run, need to assemble a Cinderella bike for Zoe tonight. I'm going to pretend she's calling Cinderella, it makes me feel prettier! Good night!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tapping


The emotion captured in this picture goes so much deeper then one can see. For one my sister will probably get mad that I posted a picture of her crying, but I feel she is so beautiful and raw in this moment that she might forgive me; for the story behind this moment is worth sharing. These two women you see here have a love story that stands the test of time. 37 years ago my sister made my mom the happiest mom in the world. So happy, she was actually able to get pregnant after 10 years of trying. And my mom gave my sister a home full of love and created a young lady that loves like no other person I have met and gives like Jesus did. And on this Christmas Eve day when we went to visit mom like we always do, sissy played some piano and brought life into this now empty, but oh so clean house. Mom sat next to her listening, but not showing any emotion. Then sissy played These are a Few of my Favorite Things, a song we all know very well. It was the only movie my mother let us watch, The Sound of Music. And when sissy played this song my mother's foot began to tap to the beat and she started to sway side to side. And although there wasn't a smile on her face, we knew she was enjoying this song. And we both began to cry, but sissy kept playing and mom kept swaying and tapping. Tapping to the memory of singing this song with her girls; of dancing along with Julie Andrews and her kids. This disease has taken away those memories and all she was able to do, but they are still in there, hidden behind this terrible malady. And when we are able to reach them and see her recollection our hearts are broken and we are brought to our knees in sadness that we have come so far. I love my sister's love for mom and those brief moments when we feel our mother's love. Merry Christmas...I pray you all tap to the memories you are making today.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

Well here it is...our annual Christmas card! I love sending them out every year and I LOVE receiving so many from my friends! My cabinets and pantry door are completely covered with all of our dear friends! I always hate to take them down. Kelli Munro took our pictures and Cori Friesen did our cards, Merry Christmas everyone!

Minutes

Merry Christmas. When these words are shared everyone has a different meaning they internalize and memories that go along with it. Some are happy memories, some might be angry, offensive, traditions, and or laughter. When I hear those words, I first remember how Jesus Christ came to save us, born in a manger. Then I think about all the things I need to get done between now and the 24th of December. I am sure all of your lists are as long as one can imagine. All of us mommies are "busy" with Elf on the Shelf, Presents, decorations, parties, and keeping the magic alive. And don't forget those blasted pictures with Santa! We finally went and got that done yesterday with 8, yes 8 children! One being only 10 weeks old! Some would say how ever did you do this? While others who have been there done that, look at you with pride because they know what you just accomplished! But here it is, our 2012 picture with our 8 children. My sister's two, our Anna's two, and my four, yes I provided half, and what a moment that was. Loukas asked Santa if he could pull his beard, and he did; Zoe shared the famous line from The Elf movie when Buddy told the pretend Santa that he smells like beef and cheese! And yes we waited for almost an hour just to sit in his sleigh. These are the minutes, the precious minutes that simply escape us. The minute of the smiles and magical looks on their faces that so quickly we miss. The minutes of all three of us hiding behind the two strollers so that Aleko won't cry.  The minute we had them anything just to get a smile out of them so we can capture this minute forever. This is it...here it is! It's the magic we as adults try to hold on to but simply can't. It seems like only yesterday this is what our Santa pictures looked like...
 I wouldn't trade my minutes for the world. Embrace your mins...as quickly as they come, they go. Merry Christmas

Monday, December 3, 2012

Flats

Walking through the halls of church this morning with Christmas all around us, reminded me of when I would walk these halls with my mom and dad. My mom always wanted to stop at the coffee carts and get her cup of coffee and see who she could talk to about the day. She would begin wearing her Christmas sweaters and long black skirts with her black boots. They always had a little heal, she never liked to wear flats. She'd smile big the whole way we walked and everyone knew Stella. Everyone would stop her and compliment her style and tell her what a wonderful hostess she was at the last party. Everyone would wave "hi" and everyone would want to stop her and talk about the boutique and how they were planning on decorating the church. And then it hits me, I'm walking these halls without my mom. She's not wearing her heals, she's home with my dad. No one from church ever visits her anymore, she sits alone with my dad, Effie, and her very devoted best friend Popi. Sissy and I always come by and bring the kids. She sits in her home that her husband built many years agoand continues to improve. I now walk these halls with my boots on, with a heal, and my red sweater, not stopping at the coffee carts because I don't like their coffee, but saying "hi" to the few that I know and I think to myself, I don't like wearing flats much either.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to decorate your Christmas Tree

So Sissy and I have been decorating trees since we were little. My mother's favorite time of the year were the holidays because she could decorate the entire house with her centerpieces and beautiful pieces from Vonda's. And Sissy has been decorating trees professionally for quite some time here in our town! So when we were decorating her tree yesterday we thought we would do a step-by-step tutorial of how we go about decorating our trees. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

First, take down your tree from the attic (we use fake), plug in your lights and begin fluffing. If your tree doesn't have lights, put as many as you can on it and remember to fluff those branches! The lights should be tucked in from deep inside your tree so that is can illuminate from the inside out. After that has been done, you are ready to decorate your tree. (side note, our children each have their own trees to decorate with all their lovely homemade treasures. In my house with 4 kids the girls have a tree and the boys have a tree!)

Okay, let the fun begin.
Step one, after you have fluffed and filled with lights add some netting. This can be found at Sam's Club for $6.99 or Martin's for $9.10. I believe Micheal's carry's
 it as well, but can't quote you the price. Mesh or netting can be done in two ways, one, wrap it around creating a downward motion or cut in pieces and create the same look without going around the entire tree. With a fake tree you can bend the branches and pinch to hold in place. With a real tree try to stuff inward so the netting or mesh and stay in place.
Step 2: Create your topper. For some of you who like the traditional angel or star on top of your tree you can do the same effect and replace the poinsettias in this picture with the angel or star. The fun of the top of your tree is to create a bigger impact by using branches or sticks that are decorated in sparkles or more natural decorative sticks if you prefer a more rustic look. With this look we took 3 large ornaments to use as our base, added 2 sparkly poinsettas from Martins and 3 red sparkly leaves from Mrtin's as well. We then stuck a lot of glittered branches or sticks coming out from the top. 
Step 3: Add some garland. This can be beaded, flowery, natural,  cranberries, etc. In this tree we used beads.

Step 4: Add some fillers. Fillers can be branches with leaves, flowered branches, feathers, Large decorative leaves, pine cones, etc. Here is what we used in this tree.


Place sparactically throughout the tree following your netting. Like this:



Step 5: When we collect ornaments, we like to collect different sizes and shaped. Too many balls can ruin a tree in my opinion. Using a variety can give your tree dimension and texture. Begin placing ornaments on your tree. One tip to creating a full looking tree is to decorate from inside the tree to the outer part of the tree. Don't be scared to stuff ornaments inside the tree and piling a certain branch with more than one ornament. Like this:


I like a full looking tree and try to put as many ornaments I can find onto my tree. I have a 12 footer and fill it from top to bottom. This tree in this picture is 6 feet. I even put larger decorative items in my tree. This year I have a chandelier on the very top! Here is how your tree will look if you follow this tips:
My sister's tree
My tree

Merry Christmas!









Tuesday, November 20, 2012

These are a few of my Favorite Things

So with Christmas quickly approaching (our Christmas trees are up, I know) and Oprah revealing her favorite things list, I thought I would share some of MY favorite things for Christmas this year. These are things I want, already have and love, and put on my Christmas list. Enjoy and merry shopping!

Guess Asymetrical Collar Boucle Coat 149.90 Nordstroms (wish list!)

Topshop Supreme Platform Pump $176.00 Nordstroms (Wish List!!!)

Jcrew Heartbreaker sweater $73.90 (wish list!)

Lauren Conrad simialr heartbreaker sweater only $35.00 Kohls (wish list-nice steal!)

LOVE this dress by Lauren Conrad!!!! It's $60.00 and a great festive holiday dress that I think I should purchase with my 20% off!!! At Kohls

Lululemon Scuba Hoodie in red! Love these hoodies-never lose their shape and SUPER warm!!! My favorite thing, but want in red!!!! $108.00 Lululemon.com

Nothing better than Lululemon Groove Pants...I have a knee length legging, but would LOVE a pair of these!!! Again, they never fade and never lose their shape! $108.00 lululemon.com

How cute is this dress by JLO! I don't think I could pull this off, but if I could I would purchase!!!! Only $35.00 at Kohls!

Tori Burch cosmetic bag for your purse! Too cute and fits every lipgloss I carry!!! My sister has this and I want it! $55.00 Tori Burch

JLO Boots with the fur! Only $64.99 at Kohls!

Ahhh...if I could wear white this is a coat I WOULD definately want!!!! Love the style and cut of this coat....super slimming. Nordstroms $189.00

Love this bangles at Target! They look like the Tori Burch bangles, but WAY cheaper! $16.99 at Target

Super cute Chevron inspired cuff...totally would like Santa to put this in my stocking this year (which is very possible!) Black and white Bangle Hinge $16.99 Target

This bangle is a total knock off of Tori Burch...love it! At Target $16.99
MY FAVORITE lipgloss to date! Benefit Nooki Nooki Lip Gloss $16.99 Macys

Lululemon Scuba hoodie in black...always a staple in the closet! $108.00 lululemon.com

Super cute stocking stuffer for the Starbucks lover (that's me!) This was first given to me on my birthday and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! So refreshing, easy just add water, and you're set! 
Very Berry Hibiscus Tea $5.95
*Note to self and others...add WAY more water then suggested.




Saturday, November 17, 2012

Laundry Detergent


Okay, so my friend Annette made her own detergent 6 months ago and just recently had to make her second batch. So I decided to try it out! I mean who doesn't want to stop spending 25 every couple of weeks for detergent? So here is my attempt. I must say it smells very good and it can be used with HE appliances. It is great for sensitive skin and it is suppose to last 6-9 months! Total cost about $20.00!!!! WOW!!!! I know! So I was able to find everything at Target except for the 
box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) which I found at Winco and 
3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, which I also found at Winco (if you use Zote bars use 2 bars instead, Zote can be found at Home Depot). I added Purex Crystals for added aroma. I bought the 55 oz. and put it all in there! I am excited to try this out! Good luck to all of you!!! The recipe was found at the following blog, Being Creative

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Horn of Plenty


My mother made me this cornucopia almost ten years ago. I remember when she made this because it was her very first one. She was so proud to bring it to me and have me display in in my home.  Soon, the word got out of this "horn of plenty" that Stella made for her daughters, everyone was asking her to make them one. I think a few of you out there still have yours and put it out to this day. This cornucopia is a reminder to me every November that our lives are overflowing with plenty. That there is never a moment where I don't have plenty to be grateful for. This horn is a symbol of our lives; even though there are some branches that are missing, some fruit that need to be re-glued, and some bows that need re-fluffing, we have plenty. My mom was always so good about helping me to remember that one simple concept. We have so much, we have plenty. Some months it may not feel like that, even some days, but we do, we have plenty. I miss my mom's exuberance for life and everything beautiful. She could always take an arrangement that needed some love, and make it grand. I put that love in every centerpiece I create and every candy buffet I design. There is a little Stella in everything I do and today I just miss that love, that life she would always bring with her and put in everything that she touched. 
Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

THE BEST Chicken Parmesan Burger EVER!

my very own picture, taken by my cell!

So the other night I found a recipe in one of my old Cooking Light Magazines. It sounded simple and quick-one of the requirements for all my meals-so I decided to make it that night. All I needed was ground chicken, some fresh basil, and a few of these delightful cibata rolls! And voila! A very fabulous, hip conscious (as Martin would say) meal! Even my kids loved it!

Ingredients

2 (3 ounce) square cibata rolls

garlic clove, halved

  • 1/2 pound ground chicken $
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons lower-sodium marinara sauce, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • basil leaves

  • Preparation
  • 1. Preheat broiler.
  • 2. Cut rolls in half. Place bread, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Broil for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove bread from pan. Rub each slice with cut side of garlic. Set aside.
  • 3. Preheat oven to 375°.
  • 4. Combine chicken, 1/3 cup marinara, rosemary, thyme, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Divide into 2 portions, shaping each into a 1/4-inch-thick patty. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties to pan; cook for 3 minutes. Turn patties, and place pan in oven. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes. Top each patty with 2 tablespoons cheese; bake 1 minute.
  • 5. Layer bottom half of each roll with 2 basil leaves, 1 patty, 1 tablespoon marinara, 2 basil leaves, and roll top.

  • Cooking Light APRIL 2011

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's Good to be Alive

Sunday has become a day of spending lunches with my mom and dad. I love entering the home I grew up in and finding my dad taking care of my mom. He always smiles when we walk in. The noise doubles instantaneously, the house becomes messy in about 5 seconds, and joy fills the house immediately. Sitting in the patio today, with my mom, dad, the kids, Johnny, and Martin, every worry, every problem just faded away. The questions of the why and how will we be able to in life leave my mind, and I in that moment thought, "it's good to be alive."  I look over at my mom who is wearing a new velour sweat outfit my dad got her with jewels covering the top half. She is smiling today because she feels pretty in her new, bejeweled outfit. She is laughing today, and on her own came to the table to be a part of all the commotion  It almost seemed that in this one moment she was with us, enjoying us, enjoying being alive. Next to her Athena with her missing tooth still, is leaning on my mom and chowing down on her sandwich swinging her legs side to sided; not a care in the world for that little girl, it's good to be alive.  Loukas and Zoe laughing and having their own conversations about triangles and the miracle they learned at church today, while Niko is keeping us updated on Sliver-Black-Attack; it's good to be alive. I look over at my dad eating the sandwich he said he wasn't hungry for, and talking over the plans for his cabana with Martin and Johnny and what is holding up the building plans; it's good to be alive.  In that very moment today, I stopped and breathed in as much as I could to remember that there were no worries at this table this afternoon, no stress about tomorrow, no lack of love. And as we drove home the song by Jason Gray, It's Good to be Alive, came on as we all sang together. It's a moment in life that I will hold on to. "I wanna live, like there is no tomorrow, love like I'm on borrowed time, It's good to be alive, yeah."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Saturday Night

My dad's favorite picture of my mom...she's so pretty.

It's Saturday night. Some of you are out on the town living it up with friends and loved ones. Having a couple of drinks, good food, great music, and conversation. Some of you are home quietly enjoying the peace you might have as all your kiddos have gone to sleep. Others might be at Church, while others are working the night shift. Some of you may be already asleep, others watching the football games, and some enjoying family reunions. But there might also be some mourning the loss of a child or loved one, marrying their soul mate, looking over finances wondering how they will make ends meet, crying over a broken heart, or giving birth to new life. In the midst of all these events taking place all over the world, there is a man at home sitting with his wife, holding her hand. Talking with her and enjoying the stillness of the moment. There's a man, tonight, who is looking at his favorite picture of his wife and how youthful and beautiful she is. It's his favorite picture and he was spending the evening sharing that memory with her. "She understands, Nina, she does", my dad said over the phone tonight. And yes she does in her special way let my dad know she loves him and hears him. If she could express what she is feeling she would tell you dad that she is so lucky to have you in her life. That she loves how you take care of her, her children, and grand-babies  That she is so sorry to put this burden of taking care of her every need and how she wishes she could help you out and take care of you. She would tell you how proud you make her every day and how honored she is to be your wife. She would tell you that she remembers all those memories you share with her nightly and how she loves the new cabana you're building in the back yard for Effie to live near her. And when you have those bad days at the office or someone has hurt you, she would want to hold you and tell you how much she loves you. This is what mom would say if she could express herself right now. You are a good man and I am so thankful for you in my life, and so is mom. Good night.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Popcorn Cake

Recently I stumbled upon this grand idea of Popcorn Cake. Two sites at incredible pictures and recipes, so I decided to try them both! Here is the one from Cookies and Cups
Super cute, calls for popcorn, M&M's, pretzels and melted marshmallows. It tasted okay.
Then here is the one from Baker Girl
This one called for popcorn, sprinkles, mini M&M's and melted white chocolate and Vanilla cake...it was AMAZING!
Here are my pictures...
Baker Girl Version...which really was sweet and salty. I added Peanut M&M's regular size and it was bomb.com! I also put it in a mold so as to look more like a cake.

This is Cookies and Cups version, looks good but it didn't have that sweet factor to it as much as the white chocolate did! But it looked great and my kids enjoyed!


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nice

An old photo from 2007...love the craziness of this picture and 
the unseemingly calmness and happiness from both mom and dad!

Last night my dad dressed up for an event. He shaved, put some cologne on, put on a tie and a suit. He was looking very dapper for an event. This is where he would of loved to have Stella on his arms and spend a nice evening with his partner in life. Unfortunately we all know Stella cannot join him, so with our caregiver staying late, he kissed her good night and said I love you. And Stella replied with the word "nice". That one small glimpse where my mom shows herself; breaking through the disease that has entrapped her doesn't come around very often. But it seems to come at those pivotal moments, when we are all busy doing life. It stops us in our tracks and makes us appreciate the smallest, most important parts to life. Those four letters, that one split second, breaks through my dad's strong exterior and brings him to tears. How could he ever not be with the one he loves. I admire my dad once again for honoring his vows to a wife unable to be who she really is, but who is alive and living the best she can with this horrible disease. I love you dad; for the man I have always known you to be and for the man of even greater character you are becoming everyday. You love with your entire being and that is "nice".

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dinner on the GO!

If you are a mom, you are on the GO! Just like those Target Ad...life is a moving target! Well, to keep up with this moving target, this is one dinner we repeat weekly as it is easy to hold on to while driving and tieing  your soccer shoe and running out to the field! And it is filling and full or protein!  I NEVER get any complaints! What is it? It's the Garlic Bread Chicken Sandwich...to go! 
All you need is a piece of bread, garlic spread, left over chicken breast cut up, and go!
(I broil the bread for literally 5 mins, stuff the chicken in it, wrap it and we are in the car! Good luck with that moving target this week!!!


Monday, September 17, 2012

BFF's


Many years ago a mother of a young strappy boy traveled to Greece to bring home his wife. Her son's bride was 15 years younger and excited to go travel to the USA to live with her new husband. She would travel alone on a plane back to the states after her mother-in-law to be had come for her. When her mother-in-law came she grabbed her belongings, said good-bye to her family and got on a plane. The mother-in-law had noticed another young lady traveling back to Greece that her son knew from English classes at Roosevelt. She asked her to take care of her son's bride on the long flight back to the USA. And from the moment on, these two ladies became best of friends. Not just best, but lifetime friends. Almost like sisters, since their own sisters were in Greece. Here they would raise their families together, learn English together, and try to assimilate into this foreign land. They watched their Soaps for language, had play dates with their babies, and cooked their meals from the old country for dinner. Many nights, sharing their meals and lives.
This year in December, the young bride is turning 60. Yes, this lady is known by many as Popi and I love her like my mother. Especially during these times when my own mother has been suffering from an illness that robs one from their own lives. Many times Popi has been the one who has come over and folded my laundry, cleaned my home, and brought me homemade pasticio. Many a nights we've sat together and held mom together and wept over the loss of a loved one. She has been a yiayia to my babies and has babysat when my mom couldn't anymore. When I was recovering from my Thyroid surgery, it was Popi and George who came over to my parents and they all sat there watching me, making sure I was okay. I love this women and I know she has gone through some great loses in her life recently. But in the midst of these great loses she is dearly loved and greatly esteemed in the lives of my family and of course sissy's.
She has been the lifetime friend to my mother and the only one who comes on her lunch break to visit her best friend. To sit with her, to hold her, to love her. And I love her for that. It makes my mother so happy. And if my mother knew how she would end up in her later years of life, she would be so grateful that Popi is here to love on her girls and her grand babies for her.
I will always hold dear the "best in the West" BBQ chicken dinners we would have, the limo ride to Vegas for Jason's wedding, the recovery, the births of all our babies, and the endless supply of hugs and kisses from my dear Popoula and her pillows! I love you.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

What's for Dinner, Mom?!!!?!!


Ugh...seriously, lately I have been dreading this dinner questions as our lives have changed from babies to school active children. I used to do Freezer Cooking-where you made all your meals for the month and stuck them in the freezer-but with constant living in my SUV, freezer cooking was not cutting it for me. My friend and I couldn't find the time to make all 30 meals and nor could I find the time to be home to make a meal. Between 4 kids, their school, their HW (another post!), dance, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, and church, I find myself hardly in the kitchen. So many nights we are eating what is easy, fast, and on hand, which usually means pasta with butter, cheese fruit, and broccoli. But even though it's my kids favorite meal besides pizza, it's just not going to cut it. So lately this is what I have been doing. Since my kids eat more than when they were infants and we are never home, I have on hand the basics for 10 of our favorite meals and try something new when I have time (see how I don't hold myself back with a schedule? I have enough schedules!). And although I do not have a "written" menu, I switch between the basic 10, as I like to call them. Here they are, they are fast, they are planned (in my head), and healthy. I ALWAYS purchase fruits and veggies weekly and no,  I do not have time to coupon as intensely as I have been known for in the past. Life's a target, and I am barely hitting the bull's eye! Hope this helps you moms out there!

The Basic 10:
1. Tomato Sauce from Costco:
Instead of buying marinara sauce, I keep these on hand to make my own. I add two jars, salt and pepper to taste, oregano, italian seasonings, and minced or fresh crushed garlic or garlic powder. And I taste it till it's perfect and voila, add to pasta on one of THOSE days!
2. Broccoli in a bag from Costco:
I love these broccoli florets. They are already cut and all I do is stick in a microwavable bowl with lid and some water and zap it for 3 mins (this idea came from my good friend Annette-saved me time for waiting for boiling water). Steamed broccoli. Add salt or whatever your kids eat it with and you have your nutrients. It lasts about 3 weeks in our house.
3. Salmon from Costco:
I always purchase a couple of Salmons from costco. This is something I have made my family eat. Two of the kids LOVE it, two of them eat it because of the treat at the end. Whatever the motivation, this is so nutritious and easy. I take out in the morning before we leave for school and put in the fridge. When we get home from soccer and what not (around 6:30 or 7:00) everyone goes to their baths and I put the Slamon on a jelly rool pan, line with foil, cover in olive oil, Greek Seasoning (a staple in this house!) and cover with feta (from Costco, duh!) and bake for 30 mins and dinner is served!
4. Chicken Breasts from you know where:
There are a TON of things you can do with the ever popular chicken. Here are my 2 FAVORITE and super fast meal options...
A) Chicken Nuggets from Skinny Taste.
B) Shredded Chicken-boil your chicken the night before and make whatever you want the next day...from shredded tacos, chicken quesadillas,  cheesy enchiladas (remember that video?), chicken pasta, the options are endless!
5. Ground Turkey...whenever they are buy one get one free from Vons or Savemart, I stock up!:
With this the options are endless again, but I always make it in lasagna or tacos. The tacos are easy which I season when at home for 15 mins and have it ready for the evening. That way assembling it up to everyone...tortillas, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, all ready to go!
6. Ground Beef:
I will put Lasagna Recipe here...it's easy and when I make it I always make two so one can go to the Freezer. It's fast and easy and it feeds us for two days!
1
lb ground beef
3/4
cup chopped onions
2
tablespoons salad oil or olive oil
1 (1
lb) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6
ounce) cans tomato paste
2
cups water
1
tablespoon chopped parsley
2
teaspoons salt
1
teaspoon sugar
1
teaspoon garlic powder (I use real clove garlic, minced)
1/2
teaspoon black pepper
1/2
teaspoon oregano leaves
4
ounces lasagna noodles
1
lb ricotta cheese
8
ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (I like it cheesey, so I use more)
1
cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. In large heavy pan lightly brown beef and onion in oil.
  2. Add tomatoes, paste, water, parsley, salt, sugar, garlic, pepper, and oregano; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile cook lasagne as directed; drain.
  4. In 13x9x2" baking pan, spread about 1 cup sauce.
  5. Then alternate layers of lasagne, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesean cheese, ending with sauce, mozzarella and parmesean.
  6. Bake at 350 for 40 to 50 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling.
  7. Allow to stand for 15 minutes; cut in squares to serve.
  8. Makes 8 servings.
  9. I make this a lot and serve with Italian garlic bread and salad.
  10. It always gets a rave review, especially if the mozzarella strings with every bite.
7. Block of Sharp Cheddar Cheese:
I always have one of these on hand...I can make cheese quesadillas, which can be served with anything. From left over chicken to even your salmon! It's a great way to spruce things up! I always shred my own cheese!!!
8. Bell Peppers & Zucchini:
I always keep these on hand lately because stir fried veggies are fast and add a lot of nutrients to our bodies! And it's always a quick side to any meal. Add some onions, garlic, and seasonings and it adds a great punch to any meal!
9. Fruit:
These are the fruits I keep on hand 24/7. I always cut fruit and have it accessible for quick snacks and served at dinner for the kids...The hubs always sneaks some too! All depending on season as well:
Blueberries, Apples, Watermelon, Cantalope, Strawberries, Kiwi, grapes, and bananas!
10. (559)299-3060:
This is the number to the Me-n-eds on Willow and Nees. I am not ashamed that they know my name and my order. Sometimes, maybe even often, you just have to order a pizza!

Good luck with dinner...share your basic dinner secrets! I love seeing what works in everyone's home!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Check this out!

So while on pinterest I found this totally cute pic of a before and after...

I mean...how cute is this? Did she really take two shirts and make this most adorable skirt? Why yes she did! I have a sewing machine and I would LOVE to try this out...not sure it would look that cute on my bottom, but that's another blog post. So I clicked on the pic to find out more and it is all about this adorable young mother who loves style and hates to cook! LOL! She is super cute and so is her blog Cotton and Curls! Lots of DIY on fashion...who knows...I just might actually attempt this!