Sunday, March 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday #28

March 29th-April 4th

Monday, March 29th:

Tuesday, March 30th:

Wednesday, March 31st:

Thursday, April 1st: April Fool's Day
dinner with MIL at McAlister's

Friday, April 2nd: Good Friday!

Saturday, April 3rd:
5k walk/run for my parents church; I'll be walking since I'm 5 1/2 months pregnant
Easter Egg Hunt for the kiddo's at my church, I'm the organizer, so I'll be exhausted after that!
leftovers for dinner

Sunday, April 4th: Happy EASTER!!!
Dinner with Daniel's mom's side for Easter

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nyla's Bow Holder

My mom and I ventured out today to her church's annual Spring craft's fair.
They had some really great stuff, especially sweet little hair bows! I've always seen the bows around at the crafts fair but never had reason to stop and really see what was out there.
Now that I know we're having a girl, we of course had to look at all the hair bows that people were selling. I think there were at least 4 vendors selling bows. So much fun!

Well, I think between the two of us we bought about 15 bows. Haha!
But baby girl has no bows and this girl had some GREAT prices! She had small bows for $1 each and she had buy 2, get one free! You can't beat that.

Well I've been wanting to make a crafty project for Nyla's room for quite some time now and this gave me the perfect reason too. I needed somewhere to put her hair bows.

After we left the crafts fair we headed over to Big Lots just to see what they had, (I love me some Big Lots)! I found a small 11 x 14 pre-stretched canvas for $3. Can't beat that! I wanted to paint something cute on it and glue some ribbon to it and create my own hair bow holder. And so my craft began!

I forgot to take a picture of the blank canvas, but I think we all know what a white canvas looks like. :)

I had all the paints I needed for the project so it didn't cost me anything in paint expenses.
I started by painting the background Turquoise, (I used acrylic paint for this entire project).
Then I painted different colored polka dots; 2 different pinks, purple, gold, pumpkin orange, lime green and a light blue. I let that dry completely and then had to decide of what I wanted to do for her letter or letters.
I was debating between her full name, a monogram of her name and just the first letter of her name. I obvious chose to do just the first letter. I asked Hubby what color I should do the letter in. Black, chocolate brown or white? He liked white and I agreed. I think the darker colors would've been too harsh for the baby room.
The letter is free handed, but I think it turned out pretty well.
After the paint dried completely I attached the ribbon with a glue gun on the back. I had leftover ribbon from some other project from way back when and cut the strips evenly. I had just enough of each, made it even better!
I had a bright pink with small white polka dots and a white with multi-colored polka dots. The paint did end up matching the ribbon pretty well, which made the project turn out even better!

And that is how I made my own hair bow holder, for $3!

I did find one at the crafts fair for about $12 and it was very cute. It had a wooden letter which cute polka dots painted on and 2 ribbon strands attached to it. I have a feeling we'll need more than 2 ribbon strands, that's why I did 5. But I wasn't about to pay $12 for something I could make to my liking and since I love crafting, this was great!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Multi-Colored Cupcakes

These cupcakes were fun to make!
Our kids had a church lock-in last Friday and the Director asked for junk food for the kids, since they'll be there 12 hours. Yikes!
So I wanted to make something fun for the kids to bite in to.
I mixed the cupcake batter up as stated on the instructions from the box, then split it up evenly between four bowls. I then added a different color food coloring to each bowl. For this time I added red, yellow, blue and green. I did use a yellow cake mix, but I know the white cake mix would hold true to the colors better, just fyi.
Then I mixed them up well, added more color if needed and began the next steps.
I sprayed my cupcake tins with non-stick spray, then 2 tsp-1 Tbsp at a time of colored batter. I think I did red, then yellow, then blue, then green. I did not stir them around, for fear of it turning into a brown blob mess. Yuck!
I let each layer settle before adding the next. It did not cover the layer before but that was okay with me. This is better than getting brown goop once it all baked!
After I filled them all, let them settle for a few minutes I baked them as directed.
I then let them cool completely before icing them.
Now, I'm a homemade icing kind of girl, but for kids, not so much. I knew the kids might only eat half the cupcake so I wasn't going to waste my good icing on them. I just bought a canned, white icing (that's what the kids usually go for) and topped each cupcake with that. Then I placed a few colorful sprinkles on top to make them more enticing, like that is needed. haha

Here's my finished product!

Cute right?
I think this is 2 bites in because I couldn't see the green at first. It's how the colors positioned themselves in the cupcake tin. I think it's rather fun and springy. I may have to make these again for the Easter Egg Hunt in a few weeks! What a great spring treat to bite into!

I hope the kids enjoyed them!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday #27

March 22nd- March 28th:

Monday, March 22nd:

Tuesday, March 23rd: Happy Birthday to my Dad!!!

Wednesday, March 24th:
Grilled Chicken Roller-Oh so delicious and easy!

Thursday, March 25th:
Saucy Pepper Steak-I love this one, b/c I love the roasted bell peppers!
Then, I'm going to see the musical, South Pacific at the Orpheum with my mom and my sister!

Friday, March 26th:

Saturday, March 27th:
Birthday Party for my dad! No idea what we'll have. He loves to grill so whatever he wants to fix, plus sides and dessert made by my mom and me.

Sunday, March 28th: Palm Sunday/Happy Birthday to my good friend Laura!
Lunch at friend's house for Easter (we celebrate early since we all have other family and friends to see the weekend/day of Easter)
Cook's Day of Rest

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Simple Chocolate-Almond Ice Cream

This is so good and easy!
I made this ice cream to go on top of my mom's ice cream cake last week. It was a hit!

Simple Chocolate-Almond Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 cup whole milk, chilled
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract

Place ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and combine until well blended. Pour into freezer bowl, turn the machine ON and let mix until mixture thickens, about 20-25 minutes. If desired, transfer ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer until firm, about 2 hours, OR serve immediately for soft-serve consistency.

*Follow your manufacturer's instructions on pre-freezing your ice cream bowl. Mine says freeze at least 6 hours prior to ice cream making, I do it overnight to ensure complete freezing.

Makes 10, 1/2 cup servings
Calories: 253

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

French Bread Pizza

We have pizza in our house each Friday night. It's a great way to end a long week.

While I love pizza, I get tired of the same old thing so I try and mix it up with different the different pizza recipes I have.

Last week I made some french bread pizza. Yummy!

I started out by making french bread in the bread machine. I followed the directions through the whole thing, baked it and let it cool a bit.

Then I sliced it long wise to open it up then in the size pieces I wanted to serve. I used my pizza sauce and garlic seasoning, added my choice of cheeses and pepperoni's. Of course you can add your favorite toppings. I have a picky husband and all he wants is pepperoni's.

Heat the oven to BROIL, place pizza's on baking sheet and let broil for 3-5 minutes. Keep an eye on it, it can burn quickly. This gets the bread and toppings nice and crispy and delicious!

Remove from oven, put on a plate, sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired and enjoy.
Pizza night is as easy as that. It's especially easy if you already have some french bread made and in the freezer. Thaw it out and add the sauce, etc and enjoy.

This post is linked to Blessed with Grace's Tempt My Tummy Tuesday. Stop by and check her wonderful blog out!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday #26

March 15th-March 21st

Happy First week of Springing Forward! I'm exhausted from the change. It's always hard to adjust to live jumping ahead. Oh well, by week's end I'll be good!

Not much happening in our lives this week and that's okay with us!
I had a bit of an emotional week last week so I'm glad to welcome a new week.

Nyla and I are still doing wonderful. It's amazing how her kicks are stronger each week. I was lying in bed last Thursday night and I think she was doing flips in my belly because she felt like she was everywhere. It was awesome. Hubby could feel a few of her kicks too, they're getting so strong. It's awesome!

Have a great week and I hope you enjoy the menu!

Monday, March 15th:

Tuesday, March 16th:
Simply Lasagna-yummy leftovers

Wednesday, March 17th:
Cheesy Chicken Pot Pie-I've made this before, so good

Thursday, March 18th:
Cheese Ravioli-want to make your own ravioli, go here. She has great step-by-step instructions (with pictures) on how to make your own ravioli. I haven't given it a try yet, but I will soon. They just look so yummy!

Friday, March 19th:

Saturday, March 20th:

Sunday, March 21st:
Cook's Day of Rest

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ice Cream Cake

Yummy ice cream cake!
We celebrated my mom's birthday last week and I offered to make her cake. I've been wanting to try my hand at SnoWhite's recipe for ice cream cake. I'm glad I did, so good!

And since it's finally starting to warm up around here, I thought ice cream would be in order. Well, why not just make an ice cream cake? So, I did.

Ice Cream Cake-modified from SnoWhite at Joy in my Kitchen

1 cup flour
1/4 unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup oil (or applesauce)
3/4 cup warm water
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In large bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
3. Then, whisk in the sugar.
4. In another bowl combine the water, egg, vanilla, oil (or applesauce).
5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just moist.
6. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking pan, and bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes.
7. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. My cake too about an hour.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 15 minutes before you plan to use it to soften a bit. I made homemade ice cream and started making it about 45 minutes into the cooling of my cake, so they'd be ready at exactly the same time. Since I made homemade, it's a soft-serve consistency, this made it easy to spread onto the completely cooled cake.

Spread the ice cream over the cake.
Get it as smooth as possible, then cover with plastic wrap or foil and freeze to harden, about 4+ hours. I put mine in the freezer overnight.

The next day, combine whipping cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Whip until stiff, about 6 minutes.

Spread the whipped cream over the frozen ice cream.
I then drizzle chocolate syrup on top and added 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. It looked so pretty!
Place back in the freezer for at least 2 hours to let whipped topping harden.
Take out 15 minutes before serving to soften, cut up and enjoy!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday #25

March 8th-March 14th

Not much going on in our place this week and that's okay with us!
Last week seemed to go on and on and it was so busy. It was a great week of course, just very busy. So this week with not much going on will be nice.
There's quite a few new recipes on our menu to try this week, hopefully we'll be happy with them.
I hope to post the Ice Cream Cake recipe this week that I got from my friend SnoWhite. It was definitely a hit at my mom's birthday dinner. I did modify the recipe a bit since my mom loves chocolate more than anything. :)
I've been working on Nyla's room quite a bit this week as well. I'm definitely beginning to "nest." I spent the end of the week cleaning up, cleaning out, organizing and redecorating our apartment. We sent quite a pile to my mom's church for their youth garage sale they throw every year. This sale helps them send a large group of youth to the Appalachian Mountains to help build and rebuild homes each summer. It's a great program and great for the youth to go and see a different side of life. So all our used stuff is going to a great cause!
I'm also getting into coupon clipping again, well maybe. I shop at Aldi for the most part, but I'm looking for a new challenge, to see if I can save even more money buy using coupons instead of just shopping at Aldi. I've asked my mom to start saving all the coupons she gets in the newspaper on Sunday's and any other coupons she comes across. I don't know if it'll be worth my time or patience, but I'm willing to look into it.
So I do have a couple of projects going this week. I hope to get better about taking pictures and posting "before" and "after" stuff on my posts so hopefully you can get some decent ideas from me.
Have a great week!

Monday, March 8th: Children's Ministry Meeting @ Church

Tuesday, March 9th:

Wednesday, March 10th:

Thursday, March 11th:

Friday, March 12th:
Breakfast; pancakes, bacon and eggs

Saturday, March 13th:

Sunday, March 14th:
Buffet Brunch with my Parents at the Country Club, yummy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We're having a.....

We are proud to announce that our little baby is a GIRL!
We are so excited! (We would've been happy with a boy, of course, but it's exciting to finally know).

The Doctor said everything looked great and baby is looking wonderful. She is growing and is perfectly healthy. Her heart rate was 155 bpm and she weighs 13 oz. I can't believe she's almost a pound! Crazy!

Please continue to pray that the baby continues to grow and be a sweet girl to her mama.
She has started to kick quite a lot, thankfully she's still too small that she doesn't her. Her little kicks just feel like bubbles popping, which is quite funny, and ticklish at times! But I know soon I'll be able to feel them more and they'll get harder. I just pray they don't hurt too bad.

Everything is still on track and my due date is still July 19, 2010.
20 weeks down and 20 weeks to go (approximately)!

Monday, March 1, 2010

An exciting day!

Today is the day we find out if we're having a boy or a girl!
I can't believe the day is finally here.
It seems like we've been waiting for weeks and weeks for this day to get here.
And now it's finally here.

We're praying for a healthy baby and hoping everything looks good with the ultrasound and we have a good checkup.

Tomorrow is our "Gender Reveal Party" for some family and friends. We aren't telling anyone today what we're having, they have to wait. :)

Come back Thursday for all the details from the reveal party. It'll be a blast!