Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday Thoughts-Week 22

Week 22-This too shall pass...

To say the least the last few years of my life has been hard.  In fact hard might not be the right word to describe it.  A lot of hard decisions, bad life choices and heart ache have plagued my life.  In fact last year at this time I would have NEVER thought that I would be where I am right now...HAPPY!!  That is the good thing about life...bad times pass and life can be what you had hoped it would be.  Thank goodness!! Sweet time-

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tacos al June

For some reason and much to my children's dismay...I LOVE Mexican food!!  I crave it!!  Like an addict...I crave it!!  The chips, the salsa, the guacamole, the sour cream, the rice, the beans...the entire experience just makes me happy...end of story!  Unfortunately my kids do not feel the same love...in fact they might be perfectly happy to never have to eat it again but...well...I am the the mom and I am the one cooking...so sometimes they just have to deal!!  Poor sweet babies!

One of my favorite dishes at a Mexican restaurant is the Tacos al Carbon.  It is a warm corn tortilla filled with heavenly marinated meat and pico de gallo...simple and yet so tasty.  Today's recipe is not exactly the same but it passes my seal of approval.  I started by marinating Round Steak (cheap and yummy when marinated) with a mixture of 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice, 1/3 cup water, 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 large clove of garlic (minced), 3 teaspoons vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder.


Mix well and poor over meat.  I let mine marinate in the fridge overnight, being sure to turn it a few times...


Let it set out and come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before it is time to grill.  I grilled it over a medium high heat for about 6 minutes on each side and then covered it with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting very thinly, I also grilled a few onions...


A little meat, grilled onion, pico de gallo and guacamole on a warmed corn tortilla=HAPPINESS!!

 

Like I said, it may not be as wonderful as some I have had at restaurant's but it is darn close.  The marinade really flavors the meat and gives everything just the right touch of spice.  I love the simplicity of the dish...yet it is so delicious.  So next time you have a hankering for a taco try this and you will definitely not be disappointed.  Sweet taco-

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Campout

I just spent the last three days camping in the snow filled mountains of Lake County.  I'm not quite sure why it decides to snow EVERY year on Memorial Day weekend but we toughed it out.  Adult camping trips are entirely too much fun...I think that would be the reason that we only do it once a year!!  My poor body could not handle any more than that.  It is a weekend full of adults who act like kids again.  We played ladder ball (I was the champion the first night), ate amazing grub (thanks to my brother-in-law), took long drives in the snow, drank adult beverages and I even got to jump a vehicle (aka The Danger Ranger) three times!!  It was such a great time with friends and family.  I thoroughly enjoyed every last moment although I may be recovering for a few weeks days.  Here are my some of my favorite shots from the weekend...

Ryan (camp cooker) & Amus...

Eric & Lolly...

Scotty stuck in a snow drift...

Dusty, ready for the day...

Stuck again...

Rainbow around the sun...

View from the top...

Fixin sunglasses the redneck way...

Dinner, YUM!!

Me and Darb...

Some fun with the girls...

Jumping time...

Made it to the top...

Motocross Meg...

I hope all of you had a safe and wonderful weekend.  I want to thank all of the amazing men & women who serve, have served or even given their life for our freedom.  I appreciate all of you more than you know.  Sweet camping-

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bear with me...

For some reason my handy-dandy computer is not letting me download pictures to my posts and because computer teching is NOT my calling...well...it means I have not been a bit productive.  I do have things ready to go...I really have been working on recipes...promise!!  I have pictures...I have things typed...I just have no idea of how to fix my problem but I will work on it and hope to have a handful of fun things for you next week.

For now I am off on an ADULT camping trip for the weekend with some great friends!!  I'm beyond excited and ready to have a great time.  I want to wish all of my great readers a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend.  Sweet computers-

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Thoughts-Week 21

Week 21-Forgiveness is not something we do for other people.  We do it for ourselves-to get well and move on.

Sometimes forgiving someone can be such a difficult job to do.  The thing to remember it that forgiveness needs to happen in your own time and on your own terms...when you are ready to let it go and not when you are under pressure to do so.  Don't forgive someone to make them feel better...forgive someone so that you can let go of the burden.  Sweet forgiveness-

Monday, May 21, 2012

Camping Checklist...the food

I don't think I am alone when I say that food tastes SOOOO much better while camping.  I'm not sure what exactly makes it that way but it is true.  A simple burger in the woods is so much tastier than the one that I make at home.  I think this to be true for a number of reasons...we are away from daily stress...relaxed...enjoying family and friends...technology free (or at least we do)...more in the moment than at home.  Now packing the food can be another story altogether but with a little planning it can be so much easier...

CAMPING FOOD CHECKLIST

Breakfast

__Cereal
__Milk
__Pancake Mix (Homemade version coming soon)
__Syrup
__Butter/Margarine
__Eggs
__Bacon, Sausage or Ham
__Shredded Potatoes
__Breakfast Sandwiches
__Breakfast Burritos

**I like to put together pre-made breakfast sandwiches and burritos that are wrapped in foil and ready to be warmed on the fire or BBQ.
Lunch

__Hot Dogs
__Buns
__Chips
__Condiments
__Lunch meat
__Bread
__Sliced Cheese
__Tortillas
__Sliced tomato and lettuce

**A sandwich wrap is such a great alternative to a simple sandwich and just as easy.  Fill with whatever you want and serve warm or cold.

Dinner

__Hamburger Patties
__Hamburger Buns
__Steak
__Sausage Dogs
__French Rolls
__Onions (to grill)
__Tri-Tip
__Salads (Potato, pasta, macaroni or fruit...make ahead and take for the perfect side)

**I like to add grilled onions or even mushrooms to an evening meal.

Snacks

__Smore stuff (Graham crackers, marshmallows and candy bar of choice...peanut butter cups are good)
__Nuts (for some reason I love to eat pistachios while camping)
__Jerky
__Cookies/Bars (Make something ahead for a homemade touch)
__Fruit (precut and wash before you go)

There are so many other things that I love to take while camping but here are some of the basic.  I will be sure to share more ideas throughout the next few months.  Hope you have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend.  Sweet food-

Friday, May 18, 2012

Another thought for the week...

I know, I know...I have already bored you with my thought for the week on Tuesday!!  I also know that I have already posted today but sometimes there are just things that touch my heart in a way that I can't explain.  Something that is so powerful that I feel like I want to share and that is why you are getting hit with a double post and additional thought...so please bear with me.  Thanks!!

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PRAYER

I just can't even explain to you how true this is and although I will not be going into any type of depth...I just have to say how grateful I am for that.  Sweet prayer-

Money Card for my nephew...

My nephew is turning 11 in a few days and what do all kids want for their birthday???  Money...well and brownies if you are Kaden.  So he is getting both with a fun twist.  Instead of putting the money inside a generic card that costs as much as the money in it, I have decided to do something a little more fun...


It was super easy to do and tied to a box of brownies...let's just say that I think he will be a very happy boy.  I started with a $10.00 bill (but you could use any denomination)...


 I turned it upside down and then folded both ends to the middle, like this...


I then folded it in half again, with the 10 on the outside, like this...


Then again in half...or almost half.  You want to be sure that you can see the 10...


An then just fold the top over in a triangle...


I then made another one out of a $1.00 bill (for a total of $11.00) and taped both of them to card that I wrote on.  To finish I tied it to a box filled with chewy fudgy brownies...


The perfect gift for an awesome nephew.  Happy Birthday Kaden!!  Hope you have a fabulous day!!  Sweet nephew-

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday Thoughts-Week 20

First of all I have to say that I can hardly believe that we are in the 20th week of the year...where in the heck has time gone???  Before I know it I will have two teenagers...that is totally freaking me out!!  This year is flying by WAY too fast!!
******************************************************************************
Week 20-Let your faith be bigger than your fear.

This may be the best thing I have ever read...it really sums up so much to me right now.  I think at one point or another we have all let fear get the best of us.  We all need to remember that we only have one life.  Letting the faith we have in ourselves be bigger than the fears can be hard but worth it.  Move on from things you can not control and take chances even when they scare you...I will be reminding myself of this everyday.  Sweet faith-

Monday, May 14, 2012

100th post giveaway...an update...

Some of you may remember that a few weeks ago I posted my 100th post and in celebration of that milestone I had a giveaway of some of my favorite things.  Well somewhere in between that giveaway, a move, 2 kids and other fun stuff...I STILL HAVE NOT GIVEN MESA HER PRIZE!!  I realize the complete flakiness that exudes and I truly never meant for it to take so darn long.  Thank goodness most of you have just as crazy or even crazier schedules that I do and completely understand.  It is kind of a parent code of understanding...we realize that we are all under different pressures and luckily Mesa has given me a lot of slack!

I'm glad to say that I FINALLY have it ready to deliver and I wanted all of you to be the first to see exactly what she is going to be receiving...


The items include:
-A silicone baking sheet, my favorite item for cookie baking.
-Diet Coke, my drink of choice.
-Haribo Gummy Bears, the only kind of gummy bears in my opinion and my favorite treat.
-Mini Chocolate Chips, so cute and fun to bake with.
-Sharpie Markers, one could NEVER have too many.
-$5.00 gift card to Bloomers, I just love going there and checking out all of their fun items.

So there you have it.  Nothing too exciting and EXTREMELY late but life gets in the way sometimes. Congratulations to Mesa once again... I hope that all of the Mom's out there had a fabulous day yesterday and enjoyed your precious families.  Sweet giveaway-

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Idea...

My newest obsession is...


Now that I have purchased the chalk board spray paint my mind is racing for ideas of what to paint next.  The possibilities are truly endless!!!  Then the other day in an attempt to organize my craft room I came across these two Terra cotta pots...



They were crying out to be painted...so I obliged...


It was easy.  I just set them outside on a garbage bag and gave them a couple of coats of paint.  Then I let them dry.  Once they were dry I filled the bottom of the pots with a few rocks to help with drainage...


It was now time to plant.  I put a small amount of soil in the pot and then added these simple and sweet petunias that I picked up at my favorite place...Bloomers...


After that is was just a matter of tying a piece of burlap around the top edge and writing what I wanted to on the pot.  One for each of my children's grandmothers...


&


It was easy and fit right into my budget (less than $5.00 each).  Perfect for someone special on Mother's Day.  Sweet mama's-

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Camping Checklist...

Memorial Day is quickly approaching and in Lake County I feel like it marks the beginning of camping season.  Going camping is one of my favorite summer activities!  It is so nice to leave the real world for a while and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery.  To me it is therapeutic...it calms me and makes me a VERY happy girl.  As much fun as it is there is always the packing and as a mom we have A LOT of packing to do!!  Ever since my kids were young I have kept an ongoing list of things to bring and I thought that some of you could benefit from it as well.  Because this list is one that I have had for years it may have things that you no longer need or never needed to bring but it just might help. 

Camping Checklist-

CLOTHING

__Shorts/Long Pants
__T-shirts (Long & Short Sleeve)
__Sweatshirts
__Jackets (Hat and gloves if cold)
__Hat
__Socks
__Underwear
__Bras
__Extra Shoes
__Bathing Suit
__Pajamas

SWIMMING ITEMS

__Towels
__Sunblock
__Water Toys
__Sunglasses
__Water Shoes
__Life jackets
__Swim diapers

BEDDING

__Sleeping Bags
__Pillows
__Favorite Blankets (kids)
__Cot
__Extra Blanket/Sheet
__Portable Crib
__Inflatable Mattress/Air pump

MEDICINE/1st AIDE

__Lotion
__Chap stick
__Bug spray
__Tylenol/Ibruprohen
__Prescribed Medicine
__Benedryl (Liquid & Topical)
__Band aids (Different Sizes)
__Neosphorin
__Hydrogen Peroxide
__Eye drops

TOILETRIES

__Toothbrush/Toothpaste
__Deodorant
__Hair Brush
__Body Wipes
__Toilet Paper
__Feminine Hygiene Items
__Body Soap
__Glasses/Contacts & solution

PAPER ITEMS

__Paper Plates/Plastic Silverware
__Cups
__Garbage Bags
__Ziploc Bags
__Dish Soap
__Matches/Lighter
__Paper Towels
__Table Cloth
__Foil

MISC. ITEMS

__Camp Chairs
__BBQ/propane
__Toys
__Bikes/Helmets
__Games/Color Books-Crayons
__Books/Magazines
__Camera
__Flashlights w/ extra batteries
__Fishing Gear & license
__Clothes Pins and line
__Saw/Axe
__Pocket Knife
__Shovel

I also have a check list for food items and meal ideas that I will share next week.  I hope this is helpful and I hope that it makes you want to camp somewhere soon.  I'm very excited and ready to go!!  Sweet camping-

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts-Week 19

Week 19- Just relax and enjoy the CRAZY!!

I know that all of you can relate to this...especially this time of year!!  Last week seemed to be EXTRA crazy for us...Taylea had her last track meet.  We had one of her friends and her sweet puppy for most of the week while her parents were out of town.  Two softball games...one out of town and one that I helped coach (which Taylea does not enjoy).  Two performances of Tales dance recital.  A birthday party and Tate's friend over for a night.  Oh and I decided to have a Cinco de Mayo party at my house on Saturday night, which was so much fun!!  Not to mention the 2 pigs and 3 dogs that need our attention.  Needless to say by Sunday I was feeling a little tired (the margaritas the night before might have had something to do with that).  Before I knew it we were on to a new week of craziness and to tell you the truth...I wouldn't have it any other way.  Sweet mama hood-

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe was one I had planned on posting last week for Cinco de Mayo but time got away from me...so here it is today!!

"Chicken Again"...that is what my bratty sweet children ask me and I just sigh.  I get soooo tired of trying to make everyone happy at dinner time.  Do you feel like you can never make EVERYONE happy like I do?  I often wonder if I am alone in this culinary journey of dinner bliss.  I have to say that I do take my children's taste buds into consideration when planning meals but I never make more than one meal to please everyone.  If you are one of the gracious one's then more power to you...I can hardly get one meal on the table in an evening let alone two.  In fact I'm tired just thinking of it!!

This is one recipe that everyone likes at my home but it hasn't always been that way.  I have discovered that my children's palate changes just like mine.  Besides everyone liking this recipe the very best thing about it is that you are using up the leftovers in a delicious way and instead of standing at the counter and rolling enchiladas we are going to layer them like a lasagna.

I have adapted this recipe from one that my Aunt Meme gave me about 16 years ago.  Her recipe called for chicken (and that what I am using today) but I have found that the leftover turkey works perfectly.  So remember this in November when you have 2 gallon Ziploc bags of turkey laying in the fridge. To make this recipe you will need:

Two cups of leftover chicken or turkey-chopped, 1 pkg. of tortillas (I have used both corn and flour), 1 can of enchilada sauce, 1/2 can of sweet corn, 1 small can of olives, 1/2 can of black beans, 1 cup of cooked rice (mine was leftover), 2 cups of shredded cheese (sorry that didn't make the picture), 1/2 cup of jarred salsa (it didn't make it either) and 1 small container of sour cream...


To begin combine the 2 cups of chicken, rice, corn, black beans, sour cream, salsa and 1 1/2 cups of cheese...


Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and add a small amount of enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the dish, then add a layer of tortillas...


Add the chicken mixture to the top of the tortillas...


Then another layer of tortillas, more enchilada sauce, the remaining cheese and the olives...


Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.  Serve with a side salad and dinner is on the table...


It is easy and delicious...



Sweet enchiladas-

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Seesters aka Sisters...

I was lucky enough to be blessed with two AMAZING seesters!!  When we were younger and would fight like cats and dogs my dad would always tell us that one day we would be best friends...we thought he was CRAZY...but now we know that he was just wise!  I even tell my kids that sometimes and they don't believe me either.  The one thing I know to be true in life is that my seesters are my constant.  They are there through it all...Good and Bad!! 

Amus and I having a great time in Sunriver...


Our annual Branding picture...
(Me, Amus and Jamus)


Birthday Dinner with my sister Amus, my mom and best friend Jenn (who is just like a sister)...


I have also been blessed with two extra amazing friends that are just like sisters to me.  Tonia and Jenn have been there for me through EVERYTHING in life.  It is great to have such amazing ladies in my life.  Thank you & Love you!!  Sweet seesters-

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Homeade Taco Shells...

One of my sweet mama's signature recipes is her Homemade Taco Shells.  They are divine and since Cinco' de Mayo is this weekend I thought that maybe this would be perfect for your upcoming Mexican fiesta.  Having taco's at my parents is not just a meal...it is an event.  When my seesters (I know that isn't how you spell sister but that is how we do it...hehe) and I were young we had taco's EVERY Saturday night after church.  We said we were having "Taco's at Taco Bill's" (my padres name is Bill and as you can see from my posts I NEVER really call anyone by their given name).  It was a family tradition, which you know I absolutely LOVE!!  I'm shooting you straight when I say that once you have a taco at my mom's...well then...you will never want anything else.  Does it seem like I might be going a little overboard??  I promise you I am not!!

The only way I can explain them is that they are a cross between a crepe and a corn tortilla.  Fill them with all of the goodies and top with some chili and your taste buds will be in H.E.A.V.E.N.!!  I want to warn you that the first one NEVER turns out perfect but don't be discouraged...keep on going.  Today we are lucky enough to be shown by the master herself...my MAMA...


To make them you will need 1 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of yellow cornmeal, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, 1 cup of milk, 2 eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning salt (this will make about 8 shells.  Whisk all of the ingredients together well.  It should be a little thick but still runny...


Heat a non-stick (very important) skillet over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray.  It should be warm enough to only be able to keep your hand over it for a few seconds...


Add about 1/4 cup of mix to the pan and swirl around to cover the bottom of the skillet...




It only takes about 20 seconds for the top to set and then you flip over...GENTLY...


Another few seconds and you are ready to start on your next one...


We like to fill them with unseasoned ground beef, grated cheese, lettuce, tomato, olives, onions, sour cream, taco seasoning...roll it up and top with chili...


I love these taco shells and I love my mama even more...look at this face!!!


Sweet taco shells-