Friday, June 28, 2013

Summer So Far

At the end of May, Aidan finished his second year of Mother's Day Out. It's so hard to believe that he was a little, shy 18-month old when he started his first year, and now he's a big, silly, rough and tumble 3 year-old!


And, just for a look back at how much he's grown... Here are his first and last day pictures from last year! :)

 
His school has two programs a year, one for Christmas and to close out the school year. Each class always performs a song or two and then the whole school gets together and sings. And, so far, for every performance, Aidan has just stood there like a deer in the headlights.

 
So, imagine our surprise when he actually sang and enjoyed himself this time! Jason and I were thrilled. And, I'll admit that I was a bit teary-eyed watching my big boy sing and do all of the actions to "We Want to See Jesus Lifted High" and "Our God is an Awesome God".
 
Afterward we went back to his classroom so he could give his teachers one last hug before summer break.
 

He was especially close with Miss Jessica. I'm so glad that he was able to form such a strong bond with her. Her love and patience for him definitely made his rough days easier. :)
 
 
And, now, it's summertime! We've jumped in head first and have been having a blast!

We went tubing up in Hill Country over Memorial Day weekend with friends...

 
Have been spending lots of time at the pool....


Working on our artwork...
Playing in the sprinkler...
 
 
Getting cuddles in from Daddy while he's not traveling...

 
Finishing up the Spring baseball season...

Playing at the park with friends...
Enjoyed trips to the Children's Museum, roller skating rink, Zoo and more!
 


And have just been enjoying being together. :)

Yes, it's definitely hard to have both of the kids home all of the time, but I'm doing well. Let's just hope I can wear them both out enough each day so that they nap and I can maintain a bit of my sanity!


 
Right now, I'm in Ohio spending a week with my sister who just had her second baby. I'm so excited to be here alone... which means I'll have plenty of time to catch up with her and the rest of my family and to soak up all of those sweet, newborn baby snuggles. It's been great.  :)

 
This morning, my other sisters are heading up this way and we are going wedding dress shopping for my baby sister who is getting married next August! Afterwards, we're headed to my brother's Country Club for dinner and fireworks. It's going to be an awesome day. :)
 
My in-laws came down from Ohio to stay with the boys while I'm gone so that Jason doesn't have to take time off of work. I'm not sure they realize exactly what they're in for... Ha ha!

Still to come is a trip to Carolina Beach with my family, a visit to Jason's brother in Florida, swimming lessons for both boys, soccer camp for Aidan and lots of time at the pool! I'm also pretty excited about my upcoming trip to Haven. It's gonna be a good summer, folks. :)

How's your summer going so far?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Texas Caviar {Recipe}

We invited friends over this past weekend to celebrate Father's Day. I made way too much food, as usual! The phrase "eyes bigger than stomach" definitely applies to me in these types of situations! :)
 

One of the more popular dishes I made was Texas Caviar. I've had it a few times, but had never attempted to make it myself. It was a hit! And the recipe made A LOT!
 
There was enough of it left, that I was able to take it to a play date the next day. Us Moms spend the majority of the play date huddled around the bowl of Texas Caviar, taking turns dipping our chips into its deliciousness and then stuffing them into our mouths. It was quite a site to behold! ;)
 
Yesterday, I posted a picture of it on my Facebook Page and had a few requests for the recipe. I thought I'd just post it here for all to see. You'll definitely want to make this at your next get together. It's simple and oh so good!
 
Ingredients:
1 can black-eyed peas, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 8 oz. bottle Zesty Italian Dressing
(optional add-ins include: colored bell peppers, jalapenos, fresh cilantro)
 
Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Cover and refrigerate atleast 3 hours (over night if possible). Top with (optional) cilantro and stir well before serving.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com
 
You'll want to serve this up with Fritos. The scoops variety work great. And get two bags... Trust me, you'll need both!
 
Enjoy! :)
 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Easy Monogrammed Tray

This project is one of my favorite kinds.... one that is cheap free and can be completed in the course of one nap time! It doesn't get better than that, am I right?

 
I'd love for you to head on over to Huckleberry Love to see how I created this fun, coral monogrammed tray out of a drab brown one that I picked up at Goodwill.
 
Happy hump day, friends! Make it a good one. :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Family Favorite {Pretzel Jell-O}

 
Hello, friends! Today I'm over at Darling Doodles Design sharing one of my family's all-time favorite recipes: Pretzel Jell-O!

 
I know that I shared it here quite a few years ago (I think it was actually the first recipe I ever actually blogged about!), but you'll want to stop on by Brie's blog and check it out. The pictures are much prettier and it looks ever so tasty.
 
 
I'll be back later this week with a few snippets of how our summer is going so far. There's been lots of time spent with friends, at the pool, playing in the backyard, riding tricycles and keeping cool inside when the Houston heat gets too fierce. We've been really enjoying it. :)
 
See ya soon!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

DIY Glass Bottle Wall Sconces

These past few days I've been working on and off on this little project. And I am simply in love with the results!
 
 
Who knew that with some old fence boards, used Snapple bottles and a bit of paint you could come up with this??
 
Stop on by Huckleberry Love to get the how-to, so that you can make these yourself! They will brighten up any space! :)

Have a great day, friends!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Stuffing Topped Chicken with Mushrooms and White Wine Sauce {Recipe}

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago... I hated mushrooms. I mean, HATED! They were the scum of the food world and belonged at the bottom of the food chain and were also at the top of my will not eat list.

But, as I grew up, my feelings changed. And I began to like mushrooms. And now? Well, I love them! One of my favorite snacks is mushrooms sautéed with a bit of butter and splash of red wine. Delish!


 
And so, it should come as no surprise that one of my all-time favorite recipes is heavy on the mushroom factor. I actually double the amount needed. ;) No fear if you're not a mushroom fan (like my husband), because you can pick them out and wouldn't even know the difference!

Trust me, you'll want to make this, whether you're a mushroom lover or not. It's cheesy, warm and perfect on a chilly winter night or a warm summer's eve. This dish was passed down to me years ago from a client of mine back when I worked at Curves. Yes I really did work there. Best. Job. Ever! I literally got paid to talk and workout. It was perfect. :)

Anyway....

Here's what you'll need to get started:


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
8 slices white cheese (I prefer Swiss)
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced (I double it!)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 8 oz. package chicken stuffing, prepared according to package directions
1/4 cup butter, melted

Let's get started!

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare stuffing according to package directions.


Next, place chicken breasts in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Top with cheese slices...


And lots of mushrooms. Mmmm!


Now, combine soup and wine. Blend well. Pour mixture evenly over chicken, cheese and mushrooms.

Spoon prepared stuffing over the soup layer.


Drizzle with butter.


Bake for 45-55 minutes.

This serves 8, but I can guarantee you'll want seconds! The crunchy stuffing, melty cheese and moist chicken all combined into one heavenly concoction will be sure to please even the pickiest palate. Don't believe me? My 1 1/2 year old devoured this for dinner last night! ;)


Enjoy!
 
Tell me, what are your feelings on mushrooms? Yay or nay?

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

{Yellow and Blue} Summertime Vignette

I'm baaaaack! Did ya miss me?

Things have been super busy in our little corner of the world. Aidan's last day of preschool, plus his end of year performance, preparing for and then working at my first craft show, spending the holiday weekend in Hill Country with friends and just playing catch up around the house. I am finally beginning to feel that everything is falling back into place and life is on beginning to feel normal again.

I have so many things to share! How my show went, pictures and stories of our travels, and more! I can't wait to y'all all about it! :)


But, first, I wanted to let you take a peek at a little Summertime Vignette that I put together. In case you couldn't tell by my blog design, I love yellows and blues. They make the perfect bright and breezy combination- great for spring and summer!

We recently relocated our TV above the mantel, so I no longer have that space to decorate. *tear*

So, I've decided that our little entry table is the next best thing. :)


You may notice a few of the elements in this vignette were from our Spring Mantel. I love that I can interchange decorations for both seasons- it saves money and space.

Score!


The coffee filter wreath, hung on this spray painted frame (Catalina Mist by Krylon) is one of my favorite focal points... the eye is just drawn to it. And it's pretty. And inexpensive. :)


My pretty blue lamp was a Goodwill find that I spray painted to better match our décor. I wasn't loving the shade I had put on it and have been on the hunt for a new one. Luckily, I found this pretty burlap shade at Pottery Barn Outlet and it was exactly what I have been looking for!


These little bird canvases are something that I whipped up one day on a whim. Awhile back I had spray painted them yellow, but then didn't know what to do with them. They were abandoned for quite some time in my craft pile. One day the washi tape addict in my decided it was time to deck them out... and I did! Then, I simply stenciled the blue birds onto them. Easy and pretty- my favorite kind of project. :)


The tray is another Goodwill find. I lined it with blue chevron scrapbook paper to cover up the outdated flower print that is underneath. On top are these fun yarn letters that I sell in my Etsy shop. They'd make awesome bookends! Standing at 8 inches a piece, I can customize them in any color(s)... so if you're interested, let me know!


Oh how I love this little glass bird. I found it at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on my birthday and just had to bring it home. It's actually a Christmas ornament, but I keep him out year round. I'm wild and crazy like that! ;)


And finally, my rag tie garland. I. LOVE. IT! This guy screams shabby chic and I'm totally smitten. It's also for sale in my Etsy Shop, if you're looking for something similar.

All in all, it's a very happy little summertime scene. I smile every time I look over at it. :)


I am so glad that summer has finally arrived! The boys and I are planning many trips to the pool and library.. and later this summer we're headed to North Carolina for a beach vacation with my family. I can't wait!

Have you decorated for summer yet? Do you have any fun summer vacation plans?
 
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