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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ohhh distractions :p

Wow, I didn't realize I'd get so distracted with the kiddos on vaca last week!  They have this thing...they see Mommy touch the computer (hell they don't even have to see it, I think they just sense it!) and I'm automatically "absolutely neeeeeeeded" for something.  Anything.  Nothing really.  Lol.  They do crack me up.  They make life complicated at times, but always worth it.  ;)

Then the gorgeous weather lately, yup we've been OUTSIDE in the SUNSHINE!  :)
Well, I'm tryin'...I've got quite a few posts up my sleeve...

So I suppose, now off to bloggy land...

Sam

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stop now? I don't think so!

With SweeTidbitz going along pretty good, now SweetNailz started...I've been thinking why stop there??

My newest idea?  How about a blog about party/event ideas?  Yup, I think so!  I do some pretty sweet things for my munchkins' birthdays, fundraisers, classes, etc.  I figure, eh why don't I log them all in a blog!  Great idea, Sam!  Go you!   :)

That one is probably going to take me some time to get all organized & post-y.  But I do know I've got tons of awesome stuff to post about!  I guess I'll letcha know when it's good to go.  :)

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Sam

2-ingredient Lemon Bars

Yup, I like trying out new things.  So when I saw this recipe, I figured sure why not!

The recipe is pretty simple & I suppose that if you choose to sprinkle some Confectioner's Sugar on top, then they're technically 3 ingredient Lemon Bars.  ;)


**NOT my photo...forgot to take one of my lemon bars.  :(

*Can of Lemon Pie filling
*Box of Angel Food Cake mix

~Stir the pie filling into the dry cake mix
~Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees
~Sprinkle top with Confectioner's Sugar

That's really it!  They were VERY easy & pretty tasty too!

Homework frustrations

All children are different.  Mine prove this every day.

The only issues we had with Hollie & homework were that she was bored.  The work wasn't challenging enough.  She felt it was a "waste of time".  
Hunter, we only have an issue in the spring, when the weather gets nicer, because that child could LIVE outside if you let him.  But, still, not too bad.

Now Mason...ohhh emmm geee...it's terrible!  For the past couple of months, it's been hell trying to get him to do his homework every day!  Excuses, procrastination, you name it - we deal with it.  
Cabin fever?  Possibly, but we make sure they have plenty of outdoor time regardless.  
Work too tough?  Nope, not at all, he breezes through it.  
Just a butt?  Yeahhh, I'm thinkin maybe...Lol  
We've tried everything from setting a timer, bribery (ice-cream, etc.), time-outs (I did not like this one), making him save it until morning, etc.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, has helped.  He's stubborn.  Very stubborn.  (I have not yet figured out where this stubbornness comes from...*rolls eyes*.  Ha, yeah right!  Lol.)

Daddy-O may have found the trick though.  I hate rewarding my kids for things they should do anyway (cleaning their rooms, feeding their animals, doing their homework, etc.) but have been at a total loss as to how to make this situation better.  It's been wearing on us all.  
So, the deal is that he has until 3pm to eat his snack then must have his homework done by 4pm.  (Yes, outside time taken into consideration.  Since it's light out later now that the weather's better, he still has plenty of time to play.)  Each day he achieves his goal, he earns a dollar.  He is very excited about this plan, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!  Yesterday went well.

I'm really hoping this is the solution!  I'm sure I'll update you in a couple of weeks, see how much cashola he's banked.   ;)

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Yummm!


With summer now on it's way, just wanted to re-post this older post of mine...still one of our favorite grilling recipes.  :)

THIS is what I used last night for dinner...Lawry's Seasoned Salt marinade.  I found a recipe for Grilled Chicken BLTs, so that's what we had!  Omg, they were sooooo good!!  I remembered to take pics this time!  Lol.  =)

Grilled Chicken BLTs
I think I did a pretty good job, considering it was raining!

Seasoned Salt mayo, bacon, Seasoned Salt marinated chicken, tomato & lettuce, all stacked up on a roll = DELICIOUS!!

Mmmmmm...mmm...mmm...!!!

MOI...grilling away in the rain!  =)


Here is the recipe for those of you who may like to try it!
(HIGHLY recommended!!)

Grilled Chicken BLTs

* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (approx. 1 1/4 lbs.)
* 1/2 cup Lawry's Original Seasoned Salt marinade, divided
* 1/4 cup mayonnaise
* 4 Kaiser or other crusty rolls, toasted
* 8 slices cooked bacon
* 1 medium tomato
* 4 lettuce leaves

Directions:
1.  Put chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish.  Add 1/4 cup of the marinade & coat well.  Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (longer for extra flavor).
2.  While chicken is marinating, mix the mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons of the remaining marinade in a small bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Remove chicken from marinade & discard any remaining marinade from the bag/dish.
3.  Grill chicken over medium heat 6-7 minutes per side or until cooked thoroughly, brushing with the remaining 2 tablespoons of marinade.  Spread the mayo mixture evenly onto rolls & top with chicken, bacon, tomato & lettuce.

**NOTE:  We used the same amount of marinade, but added more chicken (still came out amazing!)...lots of mouths!  Lol.  We cooked the bacon & cut the tomato while the chicken was marinading.  If you're one who likes things timed well, this works best!  =)


*~*~*  This posting brought to you by a proud BzzAgent!  I received Lawry's marinades free of charge as a BzzAgent member to use.  All opinions are my own, honest opinions.  *~*~*

Freebies of the day


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"Re-starting" food? Yes, really!

I read somewhere about fruits & vegetables that you can "re-grow" or "re-start" some of them from a piece, a shoot, roots, etc.  That's where I found this idea & we decided to give it a try!

When done with a celery bunch, put it in water for a few weeks.  Once it starts to grow new stalks, transfer it to soil.  Bam!  You just grew celery!   :)
Just that simple?  Yuppp, sure is!  I included a few photos of ours so far.  When we get ready to move it to soil, I'll post again.




These are after 4 days in this glass of water.  I do change the water every other day...


I love this!  I'm slightly frugal, so any way to save some moolah is my kinda thing!   ;)
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Sam



Sunday, April 7, 2013

SweetNailz!

Blog created & first post up!  Yayyy!  We feel very accomplished today!  :)

Check out the new blog Hollie & I started:


Dedicated to DIY, affordable, beautiful nails!

Vermont Maple Open House Weekend 2013

We live in Vermont where maple sugaring is kinda of a big thing.  For us, it is the sign that winter is over & spring is finally here. 
We make our own maple syrup right at home every year.  A much smaller operation than sugar houses but it's fun & the kiddos love to do it.  I've already planned a separate post about that.  ;)
Here are some pictures from our visits to a few area sap houses during Vermont Maple Open House Weekend...

 Harmony & Mason having a taste of the Sugar Shack's maple syrup after our tour of their process.  We also got to try some Maple Taffy when we visited Kim in the store!   ;)

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Paul Ennis, Jr. explaining how their equipment works...they see this every year yet they get so into it.  :)

Enjoying some hot pancakes with fresh maple syrup at Ennis' Sugar House.


Our annual sugaring photo opp at Ennis'.

Mason, loving those pancakes!

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Then we visited Kobik's in Shaftsbury.  Here's Mr. Kobik showing the kids his wood pile.  He boils his sap with wood heat.

Kobik's again.  We loved the maple oatmeal cookies they offered here!  Yummmm!

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It was a great day!  We learned (more re-learned, lol) all about maple sugaring plus got some free treats!   :)

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Sam


Do it up, buttacup!

As most of you who currently read this already know, the princess in my life is my daughter Hollie.  A little bit about Miss Hollie...she's an amazing eleven year old.  She is smart, sweet, creative & just plain awesome.

(this is last year's pic)

One of our favorite things to do is our nails.  I cannot stomach spending what the salons ask just for a pretty or cool design sooooo...I do it myself.  I've come up with some pretty great ideas.  Our creativity & fantabulous brains certainly come into play well with this.  The best part is it's a-f-f-o-r-d-a-b-l-e!

Well, Hollie's shown interest & support with my blogging over time...she's now excited to help me create & maintain a separate blog dedicated to our nails.  We simply like doing it & want to show 'em off.   :)

Our blog will give lists of what you need, step-by-step instructions & of course pictures of our creations.
Now to get it started!




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I think this freebie's been around for as long as I can remember!  (I used to get American Baby back when I had Miss Hollie...she's eleven!)  
Anyway, it's still free...sign up for your FREE (always) American Baby magazine subscription here.

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Sam

Saturday, April 6, 2013

All-American Macaroni Salad

As it's finally starting to feel like spring here in good ole Vermont, not only do we get excited for the great weather but also for summer foods!  
I thought I'd share quick my All-American Macaroni Salad.  I'm pretty sure I found this recipe (well, close...I change everything up a little) on a macaroni box years ago.  I am not a tuna fan and trying to get my boys to eat peas? Yeah, right!  So this salad is now everyone's fave.


2 lbs. elbow macaroni - cook as directed
1 large cucumber, peeled & chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 or 2 green onions, finely chopped
Cheddar cheese, cubed (I add more because we love cheese, but add as much or little as you'd like. Mild seems to be better but sharp is also fine...a personal option really)
Mayonnaise

*Mix them all together & refrigerate.  Yup, pretty simple.   :)

TIP:  I always make it at least a few hours in advance...give it a chance to absorb some moisture (I usually need to add more mayo.)  Also, it gives it better flavor...don't ask me why, just does.  Lol.

Enjoy!

Freebies of the day

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Sam



Friday, April 5, 2013

Small steps

I am a very creative person.  There are so many things I enjoy doing, most of which I am pretty good at.  Lately what's been on my mind is what to do with WHAT I do...then HOW to go about doing it.  
With each & every thing I make or do, I wonder how I could turn it into something...

Well, everything has to start somewhere.  

So I sent some of my pictures to an online stock photo company yesterday.  They require you to upload 10 photos for review before they will accept you as a contributor.  You must give a very short description & tag them with keywords.  If you are accepted as a contributor, you get a percentage whenever someone buys your photo.  This is, by no means, any type of get-rich-quick strategy.  I just figure that since taking pictures (of everything, everywhere, all the time) is something I do anyway, if I can make a little extra cash-ola from it then why not right?

I was pretty proud of myself for taking this first step...also a little nervous though, as criticism is a hard thing to take.  But I've already decided that no matter what the outcome (their opinion), I love my pictures & it will never shy me away from taking them.   :)

Now currently in the waiting process...I'm sure I'll post an update when I hear back.





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Freebies of the day


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Sam