Thursday, July 29, 2010

On being the mom of boys...

Here's a little story that is sure to ellicit a wide range of reactions. Those of you with boys that are oh, say, 6 and above will sympathize. Those with toddlers or cute, adorable little baby boys, this is your warning. And for those of you out there who are considering procreation, take this as a form of birth control. And if you still want kids after reading this, well...I'll pray for you.

The hubby is coming home for the weekend...it'll be the first time he'll be back home since he left for training 2 weeks ago. I want to make sure the house is clean when he comes, so that he doesn't have to spend the weekend pitching in...just playing with the kids and getting some quality family time in since he'll have to leave again Sunday night. So today I formed my plan of attack, and it started with the boys' bedroom. I knew it would require the most energy so I started there first because it was in BAD SHAPE my friends. I walked in armed with garbage bags and the vacuum cleaner.

Three and a half trash bags (of broken toys and papers...no food!!) later, I was in the home stretch and helping the almost-9 year old fix his bedspread. And when I lifted the pillow, I saw it.

The jock strap, cup still encased in the pocket.

UNDER. THE. PILLOW.

Baseball season ended in May, folks...no wonder the boy can't fall asleep at night! How I did not see this months ago is beyond me. I require them to make their own beds every day; apparently it's time to run some quality control around here.

So, my fellow readers, let this be a warning to you: If you have boys, you better get that iron stomach ready because you'll have to face all kinds of craziness.

I'm getting a twitch in my eye just thinking about what the teenage years hold in store for me...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday-on-Tuesday: PW's Fried Chicken

This recipe is from the great Pioneer Woman and her superbly amazing cookbook.

I recieved this wonderful book for Christmas from a very dear friend (Thanks Nat!!) and it is by far one of my favorites. If you don't have this book in your cookbook library, you need to get it NOW. I made this fried chicken recipe when we had friends over and their son said that it was the best fried chicken he'd ever had. How's that for a compliment?

Here's what you need:
2 cut up fryer chickens (we just buy the bags of drumsticks from Walmart or Sams...they work just as well!)
1 quart plus 1/4 cup buttermilk
5 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsp season-all salt (like Lawry's)
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup milk
Canola or vegetable oil for frying

1. Thoroughly rinse chicken and then cover all the pieces with the quart of buttermilk and soak overnight, or up to 24 hours. Remove from the fridge and let set for 30 minutes prior to frying to take off the chill.
2. Preheat oven to 350* and mix up the breading: place flour, season-all salt, pepper, thyme, paprika & cayenne in a large bowl and stir together.
3. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup buttermilk and milk. Pour the milk mixture into the flour and, with a pastry cutter or fork, gradually mix until there are little lumps throughout. If needed, add a littlemore flour or milk to make it lumpy.
4. Heat 1.5" of oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over med-hi head until a thermometer reads 365*.
5. Working in batches, thoroughly coat each buttermilk-soaked chicken piece with breading, pressing extra breading onto chicken if necessary. Place breaded chicken on a plate.
6. Add the chicken to the oil 3 or 4 pieces at a time. Make sure they aren't sticking to ether then tover the pan and fry for 5-7 minutes, checking to make sure chicken doesn't get too brown. Turn the pieces over and cook another 3-5 minutes more. Continue to moniter the temp of the oil so the chicken doesn't burn.
7. Place chicken on a baking sheet and continue frying the rest of the chicken in 3-4 piece batches. When all of the chicken has been fried, bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cut into the thickest part of a large piece and if any pink is visible (meat or juice) continue in cooking in the oven until no pink shows.

Serve with your choice of side. I promise you this will be a big hit!

Monday, July 26, 2010

And the winner is......

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:2
Timestamp: 2010-07-26 17:51:45 UTC

JodiR You've won a $20 gift certificate to LillyBella Bows!!! Congratulations! I'm sure those two little princesses will love their new accessories! :)

Check back again on Friday as I will have a new review/giveaway!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Finds on Etsy: LillyBella Bows- Review & Giveaway

This one is for all of you with little girls. I know that when I found out we were having a little princess after having 2 boys, I was so thrilled. I immediately started searching for headbands and bows for her little head. Every portrait we have of her she has something in her hair. I just couldn't resist!
Before I started making bows to sell, I found KC on Etsy...she had another shop at the time but the quality of bows has not changed a bit. Her new shop, LillyBella Bows, is definitely one of my favorite places to browse. And even though I make alot of Sophia's hair accessories, I still purchase from this gem of a lady because I just can't stay away. That;s how much I love her and her items!
Here's some of my favorites:

Sophia has this monkey bow and when she wore it the other day we got a million compliments. Trust me when I say you won't be disappointed!

And since KC is seriously a sweetheart, she has offered up a $20 gift certificate to one of my lucky readers! This is NOT a giveaway you want to miss out on!!

Here's how to enter:
Head over to LillyBella Bows and pick your favorite item from her shop. Then come back here and leave me a comment telling me what you love. One comment per person please. Be sure to leave contact info in our comment so that I know how to get ahold of you if you're the big winner! Contest ends Monday, 26 July.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

And the winner is....

Drumroll please.....

badabadabadabadabadabada

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
8
Timestamp: 2010-07-19 20:04:49 UTC

And lucky the person who wrote comment #8 is:
Emma said...
Jen, you add more and more stuff every time I look. What a neat little gadget. I like the spring fling print.
July 17, 2010 5:06 PM

Congrats Emma! Contact me asap so that I can pass your info along :)

I'm hoping to do another giveaway in a couple of weeks, so keep checking back!

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Buttery Dill Carrots

This recipe is so simple, but oh so flavorful. You'll wonder why you never tried it before!

Here's what you need:
1 pound baby carrots (or about 3 cups of cut up carrots)
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp butter/margarine
1 tbsp snipped fresh dill weed OR
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/8 tsp salt

* Place carrots and water in a large, microwave safe container with a lid. Microwave on high for 6 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender. Drain.
* Add butter, dill weed an salt; toss gently. Serve immediately.

See?? It really can't get much easier than that. But trust me...it's so yummy you'll want to eat it every night!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Finds on Etsy: Review & Giveaway!!

I have been wanting to resurrect my Friday Finds on Etsy posts for awhile now, but life keeps getting in the way. But boy oh boy this one was worth the wait...trust me!!

For my very first product review/giveaway, I contacted Pillow Sew Cute about their Ouch Pouches. I'm a mom of three active kids that are always seeming to get cuts & scrapes, and I can NEVER find the bandaids and Neosporin in the cavernous black hole of my purse. But after getting this product in the mail last week and putting it into my purse straight from the envelope it came in, I didn't have that problem anymore.

I was sent this Ouch Pouch....FILLED no less!!...and it has saved my bacon numerous times in the last week! When Sophia somehow cut her finger open riding a tricycle around Toys R Us on Saturday, I just reached for this handy dandy pouch and whipped out a bandaid for her booboo. I was a hero. When Jonah fell and scraped his knee playing outside at the park, I sprayed some Neo to Go on it and he was off and running again. The lollipop even came in handy when I was trying to bribe Sophia into behaving while we were at Jonah's dr's appointment on Monday.

I don't know how I survived these last 8 and a half years of mommyhood without it.

Karen at Pillow Sew Cute is such a sweetheart, that she's decided to offer one of you lucky readers a filled Ouch Pouch of your choosing! Her pouches regularly come empty, so this is a great giveaway!

Head over to Pillow Sew Cute and pick your favorite style and then come back here and leave me a comment. One per person please. A winner will be chosen on Monday, 19 July.

And since Karen's so amazing, she's also offering my readers a $1 discount on any regular priced empty pouch in her shop!! Just give her the code "Jen" when you check out! Isn't she spectacular?? Now you have no reason not to have one of these for yourself!

I'm hoping to have more reviews/giveaways in the future. If you have an Etsy shop or know someone who does and want to do a review/giveaway, just drop me a line and let me know!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday- on Tuesday. Red White & Blueberry Pie

Better late than never, right? I was hoping to get this up before the 4th as it's the PERFECT dessert for those holiday bbq's, but my life has been a whirlwind lately. More on that in another post.
Anyway, this tasty dish is from Pampered Chef's Delightful Desserts cookbook. I got this book when we were stationed in England about 4 years ago so I don't know if it's even in print anymore. If you can find it somewhere GRAB IT! There are so many mouthwatering desserts in here that you'll forget about your diet!!

(Photo from PamperedChef.com)
Here's what you need:

1/2 pkg (15 oz) refridgerated pie crust (one crust)
1 qt fresh strawberries
4 squares (1 oz each) white baking chocolate
1 pkg (8 oz) reduced fat cream cheese, softenened
3/4 cup cold milk
1 pkg (3.3 oz) white chocolate instant pudding
1 and 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup frozen light whipped topping, thawed


~Preheat oven to 425*. Let pie crust stand at room temp for 15 minutes. Gently unfold onto a lightly foured surface. Roll to 11.5". Place crust into a deep dish pie plate, pressing the dough into the bottom and up the sides. Prick bottom & sides and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
~Rinse strawberries and pat dry. Select 8 strawberries as close to identical as possible and cut in half through the stem ends. Set aside for dipping in chocolate. Hull and slice the remaining strawberries using an eggs slicer.
~Melt white chocolate in microwave on HIGH for 1 minutes, stirring every 10 seconds until chocolate is melted and smooth. Do not overheat. Dip strawberry halves in melted chocolate and place on a sheet of parchment paper, cut side down. Refridgerate 15 minutes or until chocolate is set.
~Scrape the remaining chocolate over the bottom of the prepared pie crust, spreading evenly to coat the entire bottom & sides of the crust. Then layer on the sliced strawberries.
~ Beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk until well blended. Add pudding mix, whisk until mixture begins to thicken. Spread mixture evenly over strawberries.
~Arrange blueberries evenly over the top of the pie filling. Using a pastry bag or decorating tool (with a star tip) filled with whipped topping, pipe topping evenly around the edge of the pie. Place dipped strawberry halves on whipped topping border. Refridgerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

God Bless the USA

"This nation will remain free only so long as it is the home of the brave." ~Elmer Davis

Enjoy your 4th of July festivities today, but don't forget all of the men & women who have given their lives to ensure that you get the chance to celebrate every year. God Bless our Troops and the wonderful land they fight for!