Friday, January 30, 2009

Review of homemade laundry soap -- w/pics

In this post I said I was going to try making homemade laundry soap. Well, I made some earlier this week and guess works. I made 2 adjustment, first I double the borax & washing soap because the kids clothes can get especially dirty and secondly I added an essential oil called tranquility.

I put between 15-20 drops in the 10 qt bucket and I really like it. I had a hard time finding a place that sold essential oils, I finally found some at an organic grocery store. They had so many samples that it was hard to choose and keep the smells separate in my head. Most were so concentrated that I couldn't imagine the final smell....if that makes sense, and some were just gross!! Will post picture's later today. Below I put it in a jar so you could see the color, but it didn't turn out too well, its like a creamy off white and the next day its a clumpy jell mix.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In other news

Behold a feast.....

The kids have made a feast for us. They brought in Lincoln's small talking kitchen and a step stool, some boxes and have created a feast. They set out play plates, cups, canned food and random food from the pantry. Then they brought in small action figure toys like, princesses, pirates, trains, and then random framed picture's of our family, like they are eating with us.

In other news, Ditka went back to the vet today to investigate his sore nipples....rolling eyes....yes I said that. His nipples have actually bleed....poor guy. He has infected does that happen, he is a neutered male dog...not a female who just gave birth and is nursing a whole litter of pups.

But the most exciting news from the vet......he is going to be featured in the animal clinic's newsletter. You could only imagine the range of topics, man's best friend, most expensive pet ever, potty training 101, crate training, nope none of these are topic of choice. But I am sure you have figured it out, its because he eats weird things. Mainly they are going to talk about how he ate the diaper and baby Jesus. When the newsletter comes out I might post it here, and at least they aren't putting our names in it......sigh of relief.....

Monday, January 26, 2009


Lincoln's appetite these days are not what I want to call ideal. The boy only wants 2 things okay maybe 3. Apple juice (watered down by half), cheese (colby jack) and chocolate. Its driving me nuts that he won't eat what he use to eat.

Friday, January 23, 2009


We are all coming down with colds. We all have sore throats, runny noses, sneezing know the drill. But I have seem to be hit the hardest, and you know when I'm sick because I let Reagan eat black olives out of the can. I know, I know, gross....but tonight I don't care. I'm pooped.....sigh

I leave you with a picture of Ditka playing with the kids outside in very cold but sunny weather.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Madie Who Quilt

I call this the Madie Who quilt because I was inspired by the pink owl flannel print. Shana, Madie's Mommy told me one had to be pink and I went from there.

Inspiration, maybe it can remind her of the cold night when they lived in Alaska. Not so cold now in Arizona that is for sure. Aren't those owl's so cute with there little snow hats on and scarfs and big eyes...I just think they are darling.

I was so tired of triangles and half squares that I tried this new and super easy nine patch design out and loved it. Basically you just sew these 3 squares together all the same size to make a row. When you have 3 rows sewn then sew them all together to make 1 big piece. Then divide it into 4's. I ended up folding it in half then ironing it so I had a line to follow when I cut it. Then do it again for the other half. The outside 4 corner square's become the largest square on the blanket, so choose wisely.

Play with the design until you like what you see and then sew those rows together.

I had some left over chocolaty brown minky fabric and used that as a border and then used the pink minky for the back.

I had some left over so I made this little dolly blanket or travel blanket for Madison as well, its so cute. I tied it with cream yarn.

Her little brother has a pirate theme now I just need to find pirate flannel.

Free Make Up

Free make-up for you:
There was a class action lawsuit against some high-end makeup companies for over charging customers and there has now been a settlement. You can go to Macy's or Nordstrom and pick out 1 free product from Este Lauder, Clinique, Loreal, Lancome etc. They have the select products out on the counter for you to choose from (mascara, bodywash etc) and they have you sign a piece of paper saying you've bought something that was that brand within the last 15 years. NO RECEIPT needed. This was announced yesterday and it is supposed to last for another month but it's only for as long as supplies last.

My Best Friend Emily sent this to me and I thought I would share it with you all...enjoy!!

I got the call

Well, I'm so healthy it is embarrassing. Nothing was even borderline or close to being some what of a concern. He checked everything, liver, blood counts and I'm of picture perfect health!! That is great news, I feel a little silly but now at least I can keep my cute jeans....that is until we get pregnant. I guess giving up diet coke, birth control and that sleep aid really did make a difference. I am going back in a couple of weeks because my hands and knuckles are still bothering me when I sleep. Thanks for your prayers and notes.

--update/review at end-- passing the I bake

Grilled Flatbread with Ricotta Cheese,
Fresh Tomatoes, Oregano and Roasted Garlic Oil

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay

Roasted Garlic Oil:

1/2 cup olive oil

6 cloves roasted garlic

1 recipe Flatbread, recipe follows

1 (8-ounce) container ricotta cheese, drained

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chiffonade fresh basil

Roasted Garlic Oil:

Place oil and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain.

Flatten flatbread dough, gently press into a large rectangle, brush liberally with olive oil, and throw on grill. Grill on both sides until golden brown. Spread 1 side with ricotta, sprinkle with salt and pepper, scatter tomatoes over, drizzle with Roasted Garlic Oil, and garnish with basil and more freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.


1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)

1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive or canola oil, plus more for bowl

Mix water and yeast in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes to proof. Gradually pour in 2 cups of the flour and stir to incorporate. Mix for about 1 minute to form a sponge. Let stand, covered, for at least an hour.

Put sponge in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, add the salt and oil, then add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a dough. Remove from bowl and knead. Place in a clean oiled bowl and let rise, slowly, about 2 1/2 hours. Divide dough into 4 balls, if desired, let rise again for 1/2 hour, and then roll out as desired.

Yield: 4 individual flatbreads or 1 large flatbread

Right now I'm waiting for the bread to rise. I need to run to the store and get some mozzarella cheese & fresh basil and some tomatoes. I'm trying to recreate an appetizer from a local Italian restaurant that I just love, but they won't give me the recipe...brats!!

--Update Review--

I didn't make the roasted garlic oil, I already had an idea of what I wanted on top of my bread. I also didn't grill it on the BBQ as it was about 40 degrees today. I oven baked it at 450 for about 10 min. Reagan then made her and Lincoln a pizza for dinner and they both ate it and it was the perfect size. I also didn't have all white flour as we are trying to not use that anymore so ours is a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and unbleached all purpose flour. Tasted good and nobody could taste the difference.

Toppings included in order of application were:

Olive Oil, kosher salt, Parmesan cheese, tomato slices, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, fresh mushrooms, and roasted garlic cloves. It was sooooo good. I then dipped it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was perfect....mmm

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dr. Ron

So, I went to the Doctor and told him my symptoms and he asked me a bunch of questions, looked at my hands, then he said...I'm not flirting with you but I need to run my fingers through your hair....okaaaayy I say. It was some sort of break test on my hair because a lot comes out in the shower and through out the day. He did say that stopping birth control and the sleep aid would aid in weight loss and he wasn't as concerned and told me to stop conferring with Dr. Google (he knows I do that and I tell him because he is a great doctor.) They took blood and I might know something today, but most likely it will be Wednesday. When I know something I will let the whole Internet community know....unless its too that case I'm not sure what I would do.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake -- updated

Chicken Florentine Artichoke Bake

I am making this for dinner tonight, its in the oven as I type. It looks very good and can't wait to try it. I will let you all know how it tastes. I added more cheese and instead of sun dried tomatoes, I used a sun dried tomato paste.....couldn't find whole sun dried tomatoes. I also used colby jack and medium cheddar because we didn't have monterey jack and I used more than they recommended. I also cooked the chicken and the onions at the same time, Tim suggested cooking the spinach with it too next time...which is a good idea.

This was soooo good, we all loved it except for Lincoln but he wouldn't even try it. Next time I think I will add black olives and prosciutto.


  • 8 oz. dried bow tie pasta
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In medium skillet cook onion in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside.

2. In bowl whisk together eggs, milk, seasoning, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir in chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, half of the Parmesan, cooked pasta, and onion. Transfer to 3-quart rectangular baking dish.

3. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. In small bowl combine remaining Parmesan, bread crumbs, paprika, and melted butter. Sprinkle mixture over pasta. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes more or until golden. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

somethings not right

A couple of weeks ago I told you that I was in a smaller jean size which is a lot of fun. However, there is something else that is going on. I am loosing weight and my eating habits haven't really changed. I was telling myself that it was because I gave up diet coke, was off birth control and another sleep aid drug....all those help you keep on extra weight.

But, the whole time there was this little voice in my head saying, you have never lost weight this easy, something else is going on. Here is a list.
  • I am tired all the time....yet I can't sleep.
  • My hands and feet are super cold all the time.
  • My hair is falling out, it always comes out but this is much more and my scalp is very coarse.
  • My knuckles on my hands hurt and I have a finger that I can barely bend it hurts so bad.
  • My shoulders hurt more than normal and when I sleep I wake up because my hands feel like they are stuck in cement and hurt very badly.
  • My ankles have also gave out on my several times.
  • I have been having skin issues on my face as well....I'm in my 30's when do you stop getting zits????
  • I can feel my heart beating and it feels like its loud...if that makes sense.
  • The main one, unexplained weight loss, I now wear a size 2 from old navy.
When I go to Dr. Google its over whelming, I see the doctor on Monday and hopefully after some blood tests he will figure something out. My best friend said that it sounds just like what her sister had. Hyperthyroidism. But that doesn't solve my problem of the cold hands and feet.
The other hard part is that we are trying for another baby and well, I don't know what is going to happen next. I feel a tad bit guilty because I prayed to be skinny, but I didn't want this. I like being thin but not at the cost of my health. Sometimes I think I'm going crazy.

If anyone out there has experience with this, feel free to share.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cousin Haley

So in this post I mention, playing make-up mickey mouse party photo shoot. Here are the picture's from that party. They are funny, crazy and well just down right silly. But that is what we do best....silly.

This is me trying to get all the kids to smile and look at the camera at the same time......easier said that done....that is for sure!!

Lincoln gave up and I still had a hard time.....but we love Reagan and all her fun faces!! Did you notice that in almost all the picture's Haley is picture perfect.....I think she has experience ;)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

~~Update~~Homemade peanut butter dog treats....super easy

Peanut Butter Treats

· 2 tablespoons corn oil
· ½ cup peanut butter
· 1 cup water
· 1 cup whole wheat flour
· 2 cups white flour

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine oil, peanut butter and water. Add Flour 1 cup at a time, then knead into firm dough. Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut with small bone shaped cookie cutter. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Makes 2½ dozen.

This is so easy, the kids and I used our cookie cutters and made a jar full for Ditka and he looooooooooves them!!! Here he is waiting so patiently for his treat.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Free today only!!!

My best friend Emily just sent me this email and I thought I would share it all with you.....enjoy!!

Today only go to: and click on suavenomics at the top. They will send you a coupon for a free full size bottle of suave shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, body wash etc.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Calculated Craftiness

I have decided that my craftiness is going to be premeditated, thoughtful and deliberate. I pray when I sew and all these things that I have made are from my heart. Here is a little blind teddy bear that I made Reagan for Christmas, she loves it, and I love it because she loves it and she doesn't care about all the tiny flaws, she just loves her blind teddy....he will have eyes....we just haven't settled on what they will look like.

This is the stack of fabric for my next quilt. I got them all on clearance for about $ .75 I want to do a crazy eight pattern but I haven't found one yet.

This is a sneak peak at what I am working on right now for little miss Madison. It is a Pink quilt because it just has to be pink. She is turning 3 in a week and I must finish up, I can't wait until its done and I can post the rest of the picture's.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Safari Sam's

We went Safari Sam's with my SIL Leah, niece Haley, their friend Michelle and her son Noah. It is a giant indoor jungle gym type structure. They also have arcade games, bounce house and black light mini golf for an extra fee. We just stuck with the giant jungle gym. Here are some pictures from our adventure.

We spent almost 3 hours there, and after all the running, climbing, eating, getting lost, getting stuck, climbing in tunnels, up ropes, down rope mesh ladders, bouncing on one fell asleep in the car on the ride home. But, they were cranky. Haley & Leah head back to Hawaii on Monday and we are going to miss them all so much, Todd already left last week.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ditka, Ditka, Ditka......sigh

Ditka eats and chews on a lot of things. He has tested my blood pressure many times with the things that I have found or left over from his chewings...not sure that is a word. But today took the cake.

I found one of Lincoln's old wet diapers, on the couch with the gross part completely gone. The Velcro parts were there to attach the diaper but there was a giant hole missing. I said to myself...I should call the vet....just to make sure. They tell me to rush down right away because they need to make him throw up. Easy enough task, but our niece was over and we were in the middle of playing make-up mickey mouse party photo shoot. We were all running around trying to find our shoes, coats, pants, purse, leash and then rush out the door. We prayed for Ditka on our way.

We drop him off, I fill out some forms and they tell me to call in an hour. When we were leaving all three kiddos were walking with heads hung low, I said why is everyone so sad and they all said that they didn't want to leave Ditka.....he has such a big fan club. As we are buckling up and getting all situated our awesome vet tapped on my window. I got out and he told me that, Ditka threw up the diaper, he said it was a large white foamy mess, with some bark chips and part of a small toy. But Ditka would be just fine, and I could come back in a couple of hours to get him.

I'm convinced that he has an iron stomach, please entertain with me just a few things he has eaten. These are just the things that we have found already chewed, he would chew a lot more if we let him.
  • My brand new pair of summer strappy heals from to wear once
  • colored pencils
  • pen caps
  • dryer sheets
  • bark chips
  • rocks
  • stuffing from his bedding
  • streamer from Reagan's new bike
  • cardboard
  • wrapping paper
  • pom-pom string from a cheer leader know what I'm talking about
  • tomatoes....from my garden
  • soap
  • snack size 3 musketeer bar in the wrapper....wrapper came out the other end
  • Lego's
  • hair clips
  • stuffed animals
  • Polly pocket parts
  • balloon
  • crayons
  • wet diaper
  • baby Jesus....yes he ate a baby Jesus that my sister in law Beth got for me when Reagan was a baby, I loved that little nativity set and now its missing the star of the show.
We do love Ditka very much and he is a much better dog now that he is getting older, but seriously people he is going to make my blood pressure shoot through the roof.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A mother's guilt

C-sections best for baby when close to due date from Associated Press

Lincoln's due date was March 5th, 2006 and he was born February 22, 2006 at 28 weeks and 3 days. Had I waited 4 days I could have sparred him 3 days in the NICU. I know that there is no way of knowing, but being that I asked for that date I feel responsible. Because of what happened with Lincoln, I decided long ago about a week after Lincoln was born and after I knew what TTN was....that the next baby we have would be born with in days of their due date.

Reagan was born via c-section only 6 days before her due date, but I had been in labor and she was ready. She was posterior, was not cooperating with labor because I have something called a bicornuate uterus. I am extremely fortunate to not have suffered any miscarriages so far because of this condition. I just need to take clomid because my body doesn't play by the rules.....(speaking of why do I still get zits at my age).......We will see how things go.

Monday, January 5, 2009


After 3 weeks off from pre-k (it was only suppose to be 2 but with the snow it ended up being 3), we are getting back into our normal routine. Today I had high hopes of going to costco and winco to get some much needed shopping done. But, we all slept in and got out the door late and I wasn't organized and ready to do my shopping. So, Lincoln and I came back home and just puttered around here, doing the dishes, some light cleaning, laundry, go pick Reagan up, but truth be told I couldn't sleep last night.

So instead of sleep....I was watching Big Love on HBO. Its about polygamy, this guy has 3 wife's and he needs to make some bank to support his families. I wouldn't mind 2 extra pair of hands to help around, but in my world they are called a house cleaner, a nanny, and a chef. We had to let Sally go because we can't afford it anymore, but am hoping to reschedule her to once a month or every 3 weeks instead.

This morning right before we left for school I almost ate a dog treat. I had a pill in one hand and the dog treat in the other and the wrong hand went to my mouth. I knew instantly and just dropped my head so I wouldn't touch it with my lips...grosss!!! The dog didn't seem to mind, but I think he would eat a cracker that was on his own dookie.

I bruised my tushy. I thought I was sitting in a chair we have but instead I came down really hard on the arm of the chair and it was square with my tush. It hurts real bad!! I can't sit for too long and it really hurts to stand up from a sitting position.

So, I gave Tim a gag Christmas present this year along with his real ones. Its very funny and thought I would share it all with you. When I took Ditka in for a pre-op appointment for his neutering, I was joking with the vet that I wanted to give Tim Ditka's testicles for Christmas because he really didn't want to get the dog neutered but knew we had to. The vet said that he could put them in a little jar for me when I picked up Ditka. Well, when I went to pick up Ditka he gave me the jar and he even put a bow on top. I put them in his stocking and on Christmas morning we all had a great laugh. Some of our friends thought it was gross, but I think its pretty funny and so does Tim, so I guess that is all that matters.

Just a side note, they are larger than I thought they would be.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

choo choo

Lincoln got some Geo Track trains for Christmas and we have had fun setting them up and playing with them. Lincoln really gets into it.

He got this one that has this really fun airplane that flies on a track that loops around. When we have all the trains going and the plane its like being at Newark Airport in NJ.

Here it is all set up. Right before bed Lincoln told me that it was time to clean up and we had to put it away....much to my surprise. I think he just likes snapping the pieces apart.

Completely off topic, I got a very cute black dress for Christmas from my wonderful mother. I saw this very cute mommy over on flickr who took picture's of herself in different clothes, trying to pick out something to where. Anyway, I think I need better light, and way more practice. Seriously, I don't have time to practice taking picture's of myself, but I wish I did, maybe then I would be more photogenic. So here is picture A, I have boots on but I think regular pumps would look great too.

I almost didn't include this picture but we all need to laugh sometimes....right. First I'm not even in focus, there is the monkey, then the iron, and the can of starch, but if you are wondering who the man is in the frame....that is my hubby's high school senior picture....I know!!!.... he is a hottie!!!

The other striking thing I noticed about both pictures is that I need something on the walls, we have lived in this house for 4 years now and I don't have 1 picture up in our master bedroom, nor do I have a proper color...just eggshell boring. I was thinking about painting just the wall behind the bed. Now I need to find a color and some art, preferably all on the low cost side.