August 29, 2012

Menu {Meal} Planning: A Parody

Quite often I see some of my favorite bloggers {and posts on link up blog hops} featuring their menu/meal plans for the week...sometimes the month!

Usually these said meal plans are adorably crafted, incredibly organized and well thought a pretty frame.  Sometimes I'm a bit envious of them...the organization and the cuteness of it all.

I thought I would share my meal plan with you.  I am calling this a "parody" because...well, you'll see...

Yup...that's what mine looks like {when I even do it}.  It is...Not pretty.  Not fancy.  Not cute.  Not special.

I've never kept my dislike for the kitchen {cooking, baking, doing dishes, and the like} a secret.  Surprise, surprise, meal planning and grocery shopping would fall into the above dislikes.

Once or twice I tried to plan out our meals {dinner} for the week...let's just say it didn't go so well.  I tried to plan each day out and we didn't follow it at all {cravings and not being in the mood to eat the planned meal of the day took over}.  What do you do if you're not in the mood for the planned dinner that day?

So how do we plan or decide what we are going to eat each day {for dinner}?

It goes something like this...

I keep a list of the main food that the kids/whole family will actually eat...I don't include sides because we always do salad, fresh veggies, or fresh fruit with every meal and always have them on hand.  It's a pretty "kids" looking list {I'm not about to make a separate meal for my hubby and I though}.

To make things a little easier, I usually sometimes try to keep this's what we have on hand...and that's what we choose from, or the hubby stops at the grocery store on the way home.

I'm sure many people would tell me that I'm wasting time and money by not planning out meals, but oh well...guess what, I don't coupon either {I tried it, it lasted about a took too much time}.

I'm also not ashamed to share the fact that I really, really don't enjoy the grocery store either.  I mean I really don't like it...
I don't like it with my four kids in tow, I don't like it when I'm there "solo".
I don't like it for a cart full of groceries, I don't like it to run in for one item.
It's just such a miserable place for me! I can tolerate the fresh produce area, but usually I've lost all interest once I've gathered all my fresh fruits and veggies.

Here's a glimpse of my shopping list...

Maybe someday something magical will happen and either a) I will suddenly gain interest in "cooking" and planning, or b) my dreams will come true and I will be able to hire someone to do it all for me!

Am I the only one out there with no interest in meal planning and grocery shopping?  I'd love to hear your story.


August 28, 2012

Fall Fashion for the Kids {in the works}

Do you ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day?

Lately, I do.  I have soooo many projects "in the works" and in my head that I just want to sit down and "hammer out", but I don't always get the chance to.

We had guests stay with us this last weekend.  When they left early Sunday afternoon, the whole family was a bit tired and decided to take naps and "quiet times"...I made a bee line for my project pile and sewing machine.

I have so many things that I want to make for the kids this fall and I am hoping to get stuff done before the cooler weather arrives.

I did get this little cardigan done for my 'little man'...

Refashioned from an old sweater of mine that has been sitting in my closet unworn for quite some time...

A tutorial will be following {it's in the works...being written}. Thank you for stopping by!


August 27, 2012

Freezer Paper Stenciling {not for everything}

So, you may have noticed...I love freezer paper stenciling!

Seriously.  I love it!  It's easy to do, even the kids like to do it.  And, you can do it to almost anything...

I've freezer paper stenciled things from shirts to rugs.

Recently though, I discovered it doesn't work too great on some things...{OK, this was spraying, which I've done before with awesome results}.

Like "cheap" cotton tote bags from Michael's...

Maybe it was the weave or cheap "crusty" material?  The freezer paper just would not adhere to the material the way that it typically does.

So, my paint "bled".

Sadly I was doing this for part of a didn't turn out too well.

The recipient was six, so hopefully it didn't bother her too much.  I ended up having to try and "redeem" my project by filling it in with fabric markers.

Oh, win some you lose some. Right?


August 22, 2012

Scrambled Wall Art {Word Painting Tutorial}

I've been creating more wall art...of words.  I guess I have a thing for word art lately.

I recently posted about "sprucing up" the kitchen.  I decided the walls needed a bit of love...something to fill them up.  I have a really hard time with art.  My favorite things to put on the walls are family photos and photos of the kids.

Since my style and "likings" change so frequently I decided to make my own artwork for the kitchen.

I decided to make my own "eat. pray. love" might notice the words are scrambled up {there's an explanation at the end of this post}.

Here's how I made my sign...

I had a leftover canvas board from my daughter's "art party".

I painted the entire canvas a solid color {gray in my case}.

Next, I printed the words I wanted to paint on my canvas from my computer/printer in the font and size that I wanted them to be on my sign.

On the backside of my paper printed words, I shaded the entire area with a pencil.  Like this...

Once I decided on placement for each word, I placed the paper right side up on my canvas and traced each letter with a pen.  This left a pencil marking of each letter on my canvas.

I then painted in each letter with a fine tipped brush {it took a couple of coats}...

Voila...done!  Well...I would like to find a white frame for it and then I need to hang it...then it will be "done".

Now...I know the saying is "eat. pray. love.", but when I was printing out my words and deciding on the positioning, my daughter was looking on to see what I was doing.

When I told her what it would say, she commented that she didn't think it was right.

I of course asked "why?".

And she responded..."well, you're supposed to pray before you eat"...yes, she's correct {that's how we do it in our home}.

After I agreed, she continued "and loving people is more important than eating"...right again.

So, in this kitchen, we do "pray. love. eat."


August 21, 2012

Giveaway WINNER!!! & Getting to know You {Me} Randomness

First off, thank you to everyone who entered my custom blog design giveaway!

I recruited the help of my very "spirited" two year old to pick a name for me out of the bowl.

And, the winner is...Myranda!  Congratulations!!! {an email has been sent to you, Myranda}


I had a craft post all set to go for today, but decided to switch things up a bit.

I don't know about you, but when I find blogs that I enjoy reading and visiting, it's always a little more fun when you connect with the blogger or feel like you have "stuff" in common with them.  So, I'm going to share a bit of randomness about myself with you {which was prompted by this award nomination...Thank you, Jackie}.

Lately, I have had an incredible increase {for me/my little blog} in traffic to my blog and a number of new followers.  THANK YOU to everyone who has been stopping over and following!  I really do mean it.  I want to get to know my readers as well, so don't be shy!

11 Random Things about Me

  1. I swore I would never drive a minivan...guess what I drive.
  2. Jello, pudding, and marshmallow cream creep me out
  3. I can't stand closet doors, cupboard doors, and the like being left open
  4. I love fruit!
  5. Putting laundry away is a dreaded task {I don't mind washing/drying and folding it though}
  6. I love reading all the nice comments on my blog {it makes my day}
  7. I enjoy the show "Good Luck Charlie" {I've even watched it when my kids aren't present}
  8. I live in Minnesota and absolutely HATE winter...I get "down" just thinking about it
  9. I LOVE fountain Dr. Pepper with crushed ice!!!  Bring me one and I will be your "bestie" forever!
  10. Swimming in lakes is kinda creepy to me...I'm definitely a pool girl
  11. I'm a night owl...always have been 
Congratulations again, Myranda!!!  You will love working with Tiffany!


August 20, 2012

Easy Peazy Cakes! Birthday Cake Round-up

This past weekend my son turned one {so bittersweet}.

I discovered a frosted cake donut works awesome in place of a cake for the birthday kiddo.

It was much easier for him to pick up {less crumbly}.

We threw him a little party with the family...nothing over the top...{like I did once upon a time with our first child...I may have some explaining to do someday}.

What I did do is have three different cakes for this fine little boy {OK, for his guests}.  Yes, three!  All homemade, nothing store bought.  This may be a shocker {for those of you not familiar, I am not a girl of the "kitchen"}, I actually made two of the three cakes!

They were soooo good, and soooo easy!

My grandma made and brought a chocolate cake {bless her heart...I have to have chocolate at a birthday party} far the easiest cake for me since I didn't have to make it.

The best {and by best I mean first completely consumed} was a homemade ice cream cake.  I have made these before by crushing oreos, and layering in a pan with ice cream, fudge and so forth {not a fan because the oreos get so messy}.  This version though, I could do over and over again!  I just saw it on a blog the other night {and even commented on it}, but cannot find it again for the life of good friend said she's seen it all over Pinterest also.

This is the one and only picture I was able to get before it was all gone!  It was a hit!

Here's what I did for mine...

2 boxes of 12 count ice cream sandwiches - we used chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches
1 large container of cool whip
1 bag of Heath bar crumbles/pieces {found near the baking chips}

To Make:
Use a 9x13 pan {I used a glass baking dish}
Unwrap and line bottom of pan with ice cream sandwiches {covering bottom - I had to cut some in half}
Cover sandwiches with a layer of cool whip {like frosting a cake}
Unwrap and add another layer of ice cream sandwiches
Cover with another lay of cool whip
Top with Heath bar crumbles

Cover and keep in freezer until ready to serve.

This one was a hit with the hubby...Pineapple Angel Food Cake...Using only 2 ingredients!!!

Now that is my kind of baking!  I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Sew Many Ways, at almost midnight on Friday night and decided I had to make it for the party.  

If I keep finding recipes and simple ideas like these, there could be hope for me in the kitchen yet!

Don't forget my giveaway that ends this evening...

Have a great Monday!


August 19, 2012

Sunday just got Sweeter {and Giveaway}

Hello, everyone!

I hope you've had a wonderful weekend.  I know that I have.  We spent yesterday celebrating our son's first birthday...with some yummy desserts, family, and friends.

This evening just got sweeter as I discovered I am the Sew Can Do's "blog of the week".  {I'm so giddy and honored...I feel like I was just crowned Miss America!}  I am so humbled by this "recognition".  I have been an admirer of Cheryl's blog for quite some time.  If you haven't been to Sew Can Do before, head over and check out some of her great projects.
And...don't forget, my awesome giveaway for a custom blog design package ends tomorrow evening!  If you have not already entered, click here and follow the directions to enter.


August 18, 2012

A Birth Story {baby 4}

A couple weeks ago I decided to share the birth stories of my children...{honestly, I decided to write them mostly for personal finally get them "written" down}.

Consider yourself warned...this could be a very lengthy and wordy post.

Today is the first birthday of my last one and only precious boy.

I love this little boy so much.  There really are not words to describe my love for any of my children.

This may be the longest and most difficult birth story for me to put down on paper.  As this pregnancy and birth was very emotional for me.

I realized and knew I was pregnant on December 31, 2010.  Yes, I say realized {there was no need for a pregnancy test}, maybe it is natural maternal instincts or something, but I knew for certain without a doubt that I was pregnant.

We were on our way to our best friends' home for a New Years Eve family get together.  My husband knew "something" was going on in my head that I wasn't sharing.  On the long drive, I blurted out my news.  Within minutes he was pulling into a Walgreen's parking lot to get a test, hoping my "intuition" was wrong.

We already had three kids.  We never planned on four.  We were already going through a lot of "stuff".  We did not have the capacity for another baby.

Upon arriving at our friends' home, I made a bee line for the bathroom, coming out minutes later not able to even look at my husband {which confirmed the answer...yes}.  We didn't talk about it for days.  We didn't share our news for months.  We came to grips with having another baby and soon embraced the gift we would have.

We decided to find out what we were having at my twenty one week ultra-sound.  The technician confirmed it was a boy.  I was shocked!  We already had three girls.  I was sure I was having another.  Girls were all that I knew.  I was frightened to have a boy {to say the least}.

My pregnancy was quick and healthy.  Although, it was the most tiring of them all...I guess having a six year old, five year old, and a one year old will do that to you.

I had a scheduled c-section at thirty-nine weeks.  We went in to the hospital on the morning of August eighteenth {2011}.  I was very nervous and scared, as I have been for delivering all of my babies.

The c-section went well, even though it seemed to take so much longer than any other.

We had a beautiful baby boy.  Born at 12:09 pm. 7 pounds, 7 ounces. 21 inches long.

I was given a quick glimpse of my little boy before he was taken into another room to get stats and cleaned up, while the doctor and nurses finished with me.

Upon arriving back to my room, the nurses, my husband, and a pediatric specialist entered the room with little W for a very quick and brief second to inform me they were taking him to the NICU.  Apparently he was having trouble breathing.  Little W was whisked off to the NICU while the specialist stuck around to give my husband and I horrible news that it was quite possible that W could have a rare lung disease that less than 1% of babies have and it was most typical in boys.

The doctor continued to explain things and "possibilities", told use about tests, and so forth.  But, all I heard was "Bad. Bad. Bad."  What I was feeling was heartbreak, failure, bad mother.  What I was thinking was "this is all my's all because I wasn't initially excited about another baby", "what did I do wrong?", what could I have done different?".  And I was praying...and praying...and praying...for this precious life.

I was so heartbroken, and scared, and feeling guilty.  There is nothing worse {in this situation} than just having a baby and not being able to hold him.  I sat in my room recovering, trying to rest, but unable to do anything except for worry.

I willed myself out of bed just five hours after my surgery to get down to the NICU to be with my baby.

He was under an oxygen hood and was connected to oodles of hardware and machines.  My heart broke even more.  I sat by his "crib" and just cried and cried.  I stayed as long as I could tolerate the pain before I had to go back to my room to rest.

I continued to go down to the NICU to stay with him every chance I could.  Each time I went I would sit by his bed, offer my finger - which he always grasped, and pray as the tears would fill my eyes.

It took a couple of days, several x-rays, and several tests before we were given an answer that he did NOT have the feared rare lung disease.  Instead it was {curable with time} under developed lungs and minor "stuff" that would just take time and patience.

Every day from the first day, I would beg and plead with the doctors and nurses to let me hold him...his stats always seemed to improve when I was near him or would sit with may hands on his body.  The nurses were on board with my plea, but the main {scowly} doctor in charge never allowed it and refused to let me.  On day three one of the nurses made the executive decision to let me hold my little boy {the doctor caught us and was so not happy - we didn't care though}.  His stats sky rocketed with improvement and it felt so wonderful to have him in my arms.

The doctor forbid me from holding him again after that for a day {until a different doctor came on board and I mentioned having my son moved to another hospital that favors "kangaroo" care with the mommy}.

I was discharged from the hospital after four days...leaving my baby in the NICU.  I felt a whirlwind of emotions playing tug of war with me.  Each day I went to the hospital 3 to 5 times a day to be with my little boy.  When I was at home with my other children, all I could think about was how I should be sitting by my baby's side in the hospital.  When I was at the hospital to feed and hold my baby, I felt guilty that my other kids needed me too.

Over the course of ten days, our son's health improved tremendously...he was a strong fighter.  His lungs developed much quicker than the doctors thought they would, and we were finally able to bring him home!

It felt so wonderful to have our little boy home and to be a complete family under one roof.

Less than one week after coming home, we were getting ready to go to bed around eleven pm.  I had little W in the baby swing.  As I was getting ready and brushing my teeth, I heard W make a funny gagging sound so I went to check on him...he was clearly having troubles breathing and seemed to be choking.  I grabbed him out of the swing, yelled for my husband, and called 911.

My heart and stomach felt like they were crammed in my throat.  The 911 operator lead us through a couple things to do.  Within minutes we had quite a spectacle of emergency responders arrive, just as my husband was able to get W to take a breath!  Thankfully, everything from this "episode" turned out OK, and W has been healthy and happy to this day.

For my little baby boy...
I cannot believe you are already one year old!  A year ago I fell so in love with you and feared the worst things a mother could imagine.  You are such a strong little boy.  You bring so much joy to my life.  There are no words to adequately express the unimaginable love that I have for you!


August 17, 2012

Friday Fun...Being Mom{me} means...

Tomorrow my little boy will be one.  I've been working on writing my kids' birth stories {just to have}...his was emotional to write, so I decided I needed to lighten things up today...especially since I'm having one of "those" days.

I've read several posts lately about mommy mishaps, things kids do, what being a mom is all about, and so forth.  So, here's my "take" on being a mom{me}...

Being Mom{me} is...
sitting down to paint your nails, only to have a total of 60 other toes and finger nails to paint first.

Being Mom{me} is...
panicking at the sweet sound of silence, because it is NOT nap time or quiet can only mean a two year old up to no good.

Being Mom{me} is...
having an entourage of little people by your side when you just wanted to go to the bathroom alone.

Being Mom{me} is...
being {a little} relieved all the kids are in the bathroom with you rather than utilizing that time to get into mischief.

Being Mom{me} is...
allowing the two year old to empty the dishwasher, hey it's one less chore for mom to do...even if it looks like this...

Being Mom{me} is...
not understanding why the delivery man at your door is looking at you like you're an alien, until you close the door, see yourself in the mirror, and are reminded that your 6 year old daughter had just done your hair and makeup.

Being Mom{me} is...
driving 5 extra miles just to get to a Caribou coffee or Starbucks with a drive-up window so that you can indulge in a coffee without lugging all the kids in with you.

Being Mom{me} is...
driving in the car without kids, singing along with the radio...only to realize you're listening to Kids Place Live.

Being Mom{me} is...
feeling like you need to let the Target employees and security personnel know that you're not plotting trouble or doing anything wrong {as you slowly walk up and down every single aisle ALONE}.  You are just taking full advantage of every quiet minute shopping at Target without your children and spouse.

Being Mom{me} is...
having a little one "sneak attack" you, hitting the delete key while you're trying to finish a post!

Happy Friday, all!


August 16, 2012

{DIY} Name Wall Art

I've been back to the projects...trying to tackle some of the "little things". 

Some of those "little things" include decor in the kids' rooms.

There are so many adorable customized name prints available through Etsy and other shops.  Some of them are very reasonably priced, and some are a bit ridiculously priced.  I've thought about ordering some for my kids but always get stumped on what color to get, or how long will we {I} like it for, etc., etc.

I wondered and then thought...they really can't be that hard to make?  {I've made similar type things in the past for my portfolio and other projects.}

So, I decided to try to make my own!

My two older girls frequently ask what their names mean...I know that they know, but am thinking they just like hearing the words out of their mommy's mouth.  

I decided to make something with their initial and then include their name meanings.  Here's what I came up with...

They're pretty basic...nothing too fancy.

I don't have Photoshop {although I WISH that I did, and would LOVE to have it}, or any illustrator programs, so I was working at the mercy of Word.  The fonts and capabilities were limited, but I'm not exactly a graphic designer, and am pleased with how they turned out.  {Like I said, in a short while I will probably be tired of them anyway.}

I saved them as an image and in pdf form and just plan to take them to the printer to be printed, and then stick them in a cute frame.


August 15, 2012

Kitchen Projects {window treatments first}

In the kitchen I see many things...{projects}!

I've mentioned before, we are temporarily renting a home from our good friend.  I have free reign to paint or do whatever I want throughout the house {the only requirement is the woodwork stays white}. However, I just don't want to be sinking too much time, effort, and money into it.

We've been here {in our house} for over eight months now.  One of the first things I knew I wanted to "touch-up" was the kitchen.  Sadly, I just haven't gotten around to it...until now.

Here is a small "glimpse" of what I'm working with {decor wise}...
{sorry, bad pic, I know}

It's OK {for some}.  It's just really not my "style".  Every time that I would look at these curtains, I would think of a children's book my children used to love getting from the library, Pizza Pat.

I found a "cheerful" fabric at JoAnn Fabric for a steal of a deal {over three months ago}, and finally got around to making the curtain replacements the other day.

our too small for six people eat in kitchen...{complete with the faux pas ceiling fan}...

OK, I still have the window over the sink to do, but luckly these are so quick and simple to make that I should have no problem getting it done...except that our schedule has suddenly become incredibly busy!

I'm also working on some artwork to "fill in" the walls, and some other decor.  Already it feels much more "fresh" with the window changes.

It feels so great to be getting stuff done.  What are you working on?  Where are you linking up?


August 13, 2012

Blog Design Giveaway!

Hello.  Welcome.

You may have noticed the new look around here that recently debuted.  I love the color and simple, fresh design.

I am {most often} a do-it-yourselfer...but when it came to my blog design I decided it was not something I wanted to take on by myself.  So, I enlisted the help of a wonderful designer, Tiffany from Tiffany Kuehl Designs.  She was so wonderful, fun, and easy to work with.

Since I am so pleased and excited about my new blog look, I am partnering with Tiffany to offer a fabulous giveaway of her Keeping it Simple package for half the price {just $27.50}!

This awesome package includes:
  • custom header
  • coordinating background
  • standard navigation bar
  • custom template style {widths, fonts, colors}
  • custom favicon
  • installation
{or, use the $27.50 credit to apply to an upgraded package!}

You can see a snapshot of Tiffany's portfolio here...

Here are the rules...{four possible entries per person}
  • FOLLOW Me {GFC, google reader} - leave a comment with the name you are following with
  • LIKE Being Mom{me} on Facebook - leave a comment letting me know the name you used
  • FOLLOW Tiffany Kuehl Designs - leave a comment letting me know you are following Tiffany
  • Write a post sharing & linking this giveaway on your blog - leave a comment with the link to your post
Simple. Right? The giveaway will end on Monday, August 20th at 10pm CST.  The winner will be announced and notified within the next day or two.

Good luck to you!


August 12, 2012

Facebook & upcoming news...

Hi, everyone.  I hope you have been having a great weekend.

Ours has been very busy...complete with a birthday party, a family get together, a trip to the zoo, and two days worth of missed naps.

Some news though...Being Mom{me} is now on Facebook!  I hope you will click over to "Like" Being Mom{me}.

And...I have a very exciting giveaway coming up!  Come back tomorrow to check it out!

Have a great rest of the weekend!


August 10, 2012

{Homemade Copycat} Pizza Hut French Bread Pizza

I'm sure you've seen the advertisements for the new Pizza Hut french bread pizza???  

The other night while watching the Olympics the girls saw the commercial and immediately started telling me how we should order it sometime soon. {We haven't ordered pizza in quite a gets too expensive with the add-ons, delivery, tip, and so forth, not to mention it's not that healthy, right?}

When I told them we could make it at home...even they could make it, they were just as pleased.

So we gathered up all our ingredients:
     * one loaf of french bread
     * pizza sauce {we chose a jar of store bought, but homemade would be awesome}
     * toppings {my kids are pretty basic...only pepperoni or cheese}
     * mozzarella cheese

{My kids promptly left me to play with the neighbor kids...saying "it's OK mom, we don't need to help"}

     * preheat oven to 350 degrees
     * get a baking sheet to bake pizza on
     * (optional) I lined my pan with foil since I hate scrubbing pans!
     * slice your bread to approximately one and one half inch thick slices

* (optional) I lightly buttered one side of my bread and lightly "toasted" it on a pan because the bread was a bit dry {it also gave our pizza a "buttery crust" similar to the Pizza Hut golden crust.

Place your bread on the baking sheet {toasted side up if you choose to toast it}

Generously spoon sauce onto each bread slice.

Add pepperonis {or other desired toppings}.

Sprinkle cheese, generously covering toppings.

Bake {at 350 degrees} for approximately 8 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.

* (optional) we like our cheese "browned" similar to Pizza Hut's, so I broiled it for approximately 3 minutes.

Lastly, enjoy your french bread pizza for a fraction of the cost of ordering delivery!  We were able to get 18 slices out of our loaf.

Thank you for stopping by!  Have a super weekend!!!