Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What's New?

I have sat down I don't know how many times to write this post, but never seem to get anywhere.

Its been in the works for months now. We will be moving. Sometime. Sometime in the next couple of months, hopefully. My in laws bought a new house and will be moving out of the house on the main part of the farm. We will then be their new renters in their old house. There are a few things they are having done in their new home, and then we will be changing a couple of things in our new home before we can all move. It will all be for the best I believe. The biggest bonus in this whole deal??? Dylan will be in a school district that we actually like. I wont have to worry about getting him enrolled in district that we don't live in and driving him to and from school each day. We will happily be in a decent district. And we couldn't be happier about that. Its a big weight taken off of our shoulders.
So in preparation for this move, whenever it happens, Ryan and I have already bought new carpet and are looking into flooring for the dining room and kitchen. We also bought new living room furniture. We didn't really mean to buy it so early, but we went into a local store one day just to look. They had something on sale that we liked, and somehow we ended up buying it. They are holding it for us for a month. But we are almost up on that month. So we aren't sure what we are going to do once we run out of that time slot, haha! Wait and see I guess. But yeah, we had no intentions of buying that day. But I'm not all that picky and neither is he. We saw something we liked and just went with it. Easy!! Love it.
And in the last 2 weeks, I have been packing stuff around the house. The dining room is ready to be moved. Everything is packed. Actually the dining room is where I am storing most of the stuff that I am packing. So that room is kind of a mess right now, but it works. I'd say that about half of the stuff in the kitchen is packed. Aside from food and the stuff that I use on a weekly basis. Ethan's room is in boxes, aside from his clothes. But there wasn't a lot in his room really. Pictures are off the walls and things are about to get bare around here. I still have quite a bit of stuff that can be packed ahead of time. But I am getting there and it feels good.
Last week I went to empty the attic. I got some stuff out and downstairs. But before I could finish the half of the attic I was working on, I caught a glimpse of something on some boxes in the corner. You know what I THINK it is??? A shedded snake skin. Am I sure? No. Am I going to get any closer to find out? Hell no. Snakes terrify me. TERRIFY!!!! I hate snakes I hate snakes I hate snakes!!! Needless to say, I am done in the attic. I told Ryan that he is going to have to drag all of those boxes out and then I will deal with them. But you can bet your ass that this girl is not going back into that frickin attic. I am DONE!
So that's been the latest happenings here. I am doing my best to get everything that I don't use on a weekly basis packed away. When it comes time to move our stuff, I want to be ready. I don't want to be packing at last minute. It is much easier to do it room by room now, when I can have time to go through things rather than at the very last minute. So there will only be one room in this house that is cluttered. There is too much stuff in this house to be waiting until the last moment too. I would drive myself crazy rushing around.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Short post. I played around with a long exposure and the fireplace to get my week 4 picture. Here are a few...

And here is the one I like. #4 of 52

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Weekend+half week review

Well I had originally planned to share a photo or 2 from Ethan's birthday, but there are other people in each one, not just Ethan. Oh well no big deal. In your head, just picture a 2 year old boy trying to blow out 2 yellow candles that are stuck into 2 cake balls, and then shoving halves of them into his mouth. There's your pictures!
It's been a relatively slow week. We are finally back to our normal routine. Yesterday was my day to be in class with Dylan. It went well, it usually does. After those mornings though, I am so stinkin tired! We got home a little later than we normally do. Ethan went straight to sleep and Dylan went to his room to rest. I laid down on the couch and nearly fell asleep..again. I say again, because that has been the name of the game these last few days. The day before yesterday, I just fell asleep after the kids went to their room in the afternoon. Then, this morning, I fell asleep while the kids played. I can't help it. It is almost uncontrollable. I didn't sleep long this morning, but I do remember dosing off.
On top of being so tired, I have had little patience for anything. But that is probably because I am so tired. I'm sleeping halfway decent at night, so I'm not sure where all of the exhaustion in coming from. I don't think it helps that while we haven't had much of a "winter" it has been so dark and gloomy. We haven't had that many sunny days. It does take a toll on your mood. It hasn't been all that cold or snowy, but rain. Rain every week. Cloudy nearly every day. I would take cold and sunny any day over this pattern of above average temps and gloom.
As of Tuesday, Betty, the new kitty has been with us for a week. Things are a bit more settled now between her and the other cat, Max. For days, Max would run under the couch anytime he saw her. And there were a few times where we had to carry Max to the litter pan so he could do his business and eat dinner. It was a bit ridiculous. So one day, I got out some of the baby gates that we had, and blocked the back of the couch so he couldn't run under there. Sounds mean, I know, but ya know what? It worked. It forced him to stand up for himself. Now, they semi get along. They aren't curling up together for naps or anything, they halfway play together and they no longer growl and hiss at each other. So after only 1 week, Id say things are pretty good between them.
That's all for now. Hopefully I will be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My attempt at cake balls

For Ethan's birthday I wanted to do something a little different. I normally order a cake from the grocery store bakery, and have been pretty happy with this particular store's cake. Until Dylan's birthday in October. It just wasn't great. So I was either going to bake my own cake, which didn't sound great, or try these cake balls. I'm usually up for trying different ways of doing things, so cake balls it was. I looked online for ways to do it and hopefully get some tips on how to do it better. I looked at a 'recipe' from Bakerella and one from a blog called Kelly's Korner.
I bought chocolate cake mix and vanilla icing. I also got candy coating from Kroger. I baked the cake and then used my food processor to pulse it and crumble it.

After it was crumbled, I mixed in the icing. I noticed while searching around for the recipe, that there was a bit of variation on how much of the icing to use. So I started with half of the container. I only ended up using about 3/4 of it. I just kept mixing it and trying to form it until it came together just right.

Then formed it into small-ish balls and placed them on a cookie sheet to go into the fridge to cool for a while before the whole candy coating part. I don't remember how long I let them chill. A few hours. Then came the coating. I had an awful time with this. I only melted a little bit at a time in hopes of preventing it from hardening before I got them all dipped. Well it still happened. It was a lot thicker than I imagined it would be. I don't know if I did something wrong or not. I followed the directions on the package and it was quite thick. I did manage to get them all dipped but due to the chocolate being sooooo thick, they weren't the prettiest things in the world.

You notice I tried to add color to them by adding colored sugar. After doing 2 of them, I realized that it wasn't going to work well, so I stopped. They don't look pretty do they? But you know what? They tasted great! Interesting too. The hard candy shell on the outside, and the soft, fluffy cake/icing in the middle.
When I served them at Ethan's birthday party, I served 2 per person along a scoop of vanilla ice cream. That was a fantastic combo, let me tell you! YUM. I had taken 2 of the cake balls and stuck candles in them for Ethan to blow out. I will mention his party a little more in another post. It was a small get together, but I didn't have it in me to go big.
I would like to try these again. I just don't know how to get the chocolate to be thinner. That is the problem.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Random post

First, I am tired. Not sure why really. Just physically drained. I haven't been doing what I should be doing, because I feel so wiped out. Second, my patience is so very thin right now. But I think that goes back to the first part.

Ethan's birthday party is this weekend. I am keeping it small. Ethan's Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents. I just don't have it in me to go big. I feel guilty about that, but at least we are having something for him. I finished the cake balls for his party today. Don't know what those are?  Will post about them later.

I am hungry. I ate lunch. But still hungry. And a little thirsty.

Tuesday afternoon we adopted a cat from the shelter. Back in the fall one of our 2 kitties passed away. Since then we have missed having that second cat around. We are definitely a 2 cat household. But no more than that. So we had been looking at the local shelters in the surrounding counties via Petfinder.com. We had been looking for a while but weren't sure if we should get one. We were all set to go get one last week, but found out she had been adopted. So we kept searching. We came across another listing for a couple. So we went to go meet them and make a decision. We met 2 cats and made our decision. Her shelter name was Bootsie, but Ryan re-named her Betty.

She seems to be adjusting well for only being here for a couple of days.

Dylan has been a handful lately for some reason. But I am hoping that it starts to get better since he is finally back to school. Between the long break and then that stomach bug we all had, he had been out of school for near a month! So I'm hoping it gets better.

The dog is sleeping...and dreaming. She is barking and growling in her dream. I can't imagine what that dog would have to bark at. So it must be an interesting dream!

I am making an easy dinner of hamburgers tonight. But I get bored with just plain hamburgers. I just cant seem to find an awesome hamburger recipe. Why do they taste so much better in the restaurants?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Ethan is 2 years old today. He had his 2 year check up too. All is well and he is constistant with his growth curve. Tall and skinny.

Happy Birthday Ethan!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A ten year journal!

Recently I was informed that about a product called Journal 10. It is a journal that has enough space for writing 10 years worth of entries! At first I thought that there was no way I could do a big journal entry everyday. I can't keep up this blog everyday. So I went to the Journal 10 website to check it out and was totally surprised. And in a good way. Yes it is a journal. But its different. It gives you just enough space for a few sentences a day and that's it. No pressure to fill up a full page per day. Just a few lines! I was excited to get this.

So when it arrived, I opened it and flipped through it. There are a lot of extras in there too. There is a section called "Looking Ahead" that you can record your goals for you or your family each year. There is a section where you can keep track of your appointments for many different things. You can record special dates that you want to remember as well. And even an address book!
Now to the main part of the journal. There are about 4 lines per day. So all you need is a couple of minutes to record the highlights or even low lights of your days. If for some reason, you would want more space, there are pages towards the back called "carryover pages" where you can pick up where you left off and continue. They make it easy to record the page number of your carryover pages as well, so there is no hunting for your entry. I got it a few days after the new year, so I went back and did my best to remember what was going on and recorded it. Since then I have done very well at keeping up with it. And because there are only a few lines, its perfectly quick. That's what I like about it best. No pressure to fill a big empty white space.

My first thought when I got this journal was "I wish I would have known about this with each pregnancy!" How great would it have been to record your daily happenings during pregnancy, and then throughout your kids life. And give each kid their book when they get older. I would love that! So honestly, keep it in mind for a baby shower gift.
Like I said earlier, I was pretty thrilled to get this. I have such an awful memory. It is perfect for someone like me. Those little details wont get lost somewhere in my mind now.
If you would like to read more about the journal, go to their website journal10.com. While you are there, read some of the testimonials and see how others have used their journals. Honestly, wish I knew about this years ago.

*All opinions are my own. I was simply given this journal for review. I was not paid.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Homemade Pasta and 2/52

I told you yesterday that I had high hopes for dinner last night. Well it all turned out. A little bumpy getting there, but I got there.
I set out to give my first go at homemade pasta. It didn't look complicated, so I thought I could do it. To go along with the pasta I wanted to make the Olive Garden-like bread sticks I tried once before, another go. So I did the dough for those in the bread machine. When they were done, I got them rolled and baked. They were done way ahead of the pasta, but that was my fault. Oh well. If you want the recipe for those wonderful Olive Garden-like bread sticks, I got them from a blog called the Country Cook. Click and it will take you right to the recipe. They are pretty stinkin close if you ask me. They certainly satisfy the craving!
So then came the pasta. I browned up half of a pound of ground sausage to go with our pasta. Once it was done, I went looking for my sauce, so that they could simmer together for a while. Guess what I didn't have! Yeah....pasta sauce. I could have sworn there was one in there. But no...thankfully Ryan hadn't got home yet, so I had him stop and get a jar. Dinner saved!
So I did the dough in the kitchenaid. Seriously love that mixer. It did all of the work. I just poured in the ingredients. Let it rest for a bit and then divided it and went to rolling and cutting.

I had cleared off a section of counter top so that I had enough room to work. I could have used the table, but if I did that I would have had 4 additional and probably grubby hands trying to "help." By dividing the dough, I needed much less space than if I tried to do it in one sheet. I used a pizza cutter to cut the dough. I did try a knife, but that took a little longer. While my cuts weren't completely equal, I did a decent enough job. Half way through the rolling and cutting, I started the pot of water so that it would be boiling when I was done.

This last photo also brings me to the week 2 of 52 part of the post.
Anyway, it was good! I knew Ryan would be less than thrilled, because he really is NOT a pasta person. He tolerates it probably less than once a month from me. I love pasta! Dylan ate a lot of it. So it passed. I was worried that my fresh "linguine" sized noodles would cook into a much larger than normal "fettuchini" noodle, but they didn't! Somewhere between the 2 I'd say. While it was exactly hard, it was time consuming. It took a while to roll and cut all of it. If you'd like the recipe, CLICK HERE and you will be taken to the recipe. Time is about the only special ingredient you would need.
Very proud of myself for trying it and thrilled that it turned out!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Did I Speak too Soon?

Well I posted yesterday about how we were coming out of the fog. I've been up since 4:30 this morning with Ethan. He had thrown up twice. Ugh!!! So I got him cleaned up and brought him into the living room in hopes of him going back to sleep on my chest. He only slept for about 30 more minutes and was up playing. I could barely keep my eyes open, but he was wired. I went in to get Dylan up for the day to get him moving so one of us could take him to school. When I went in, and the bucket we had in his room (in case he got sick) was sitting on his bed. I asked him if he puked. He said he almost puked. Almost was enough for me. I called the school and told him that he wasn't going to be there. Now, *knock on wood* there hasn't been any more puke today. I am so surprised too. But it wouldn't surprise me if it showed up again. I thought for sure we were done. Guess not. I don't know what caused either of them to get sick again overnight. I am just so done with this crap.
And I know that it is Friday and that I should be showing my photo for my project 52. I snapped a couple yesterday of the snow, but they are still on the camera, and I haven't looked at them since I snapped them. I still have until Saturday to get a decent shot if those aren't anything special. Honestly, I have high hopes of tonight's dinner being lovely enough to show off. If it all turns out, I will pass it along. If its a failure, you will hear about that too!
Have a good weekend!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Coming out of the fog

I think we are finally getting past this nastiness. It was an awful tummy bug, that's for sure. Dylan hasn't been to school all week and I will say, its driving me a bit insane that he hasn't been to school much since before Christmas!!! And now we have a bit of snow on the way. If the local schools are even on a 2 hour delay, then the preschool is closed. So there is a good chance that will happen tomorrow. And then again, they don't have school on Monday. Blah.
I havent been working on my Project 52 either. I have yet to take a photo for the week. Its a good thing that I didnt start out trying to do a 365 project. There is no way I could manage a photo a day! Maybe the bit of snow we get over night will turn out to be a pretty scene around the area.
Hopefully the rest of the week and weekend continues to improve and that next week, we can get back to normal. But I am happy to say, that we are feeling better!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Between a sick kid, then a sick me and another sick kid, there's been no time for this. I havent felt like it. I feel like poo.

Be back later...sometime.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Foto Friday! And 1/52

Its been a very long time since I have taken the time to link up for all of the great link ups happening today. Actually its been a while since I have felt like I have anything worth sharing. So first, a few of Ethan. He got a toy computer type thingy for Christmas, and carries it around from time to time and acts like he is working. He will find something to sit on and have his computer on his lap. So cute! And needless to say that I was able to make my photo for my Project 52.

And here are a few that I snapped this morning. First day in a while that we have had a lovely sunny day! So now to the link up and Project 52.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Slow Week

Its only Tuesday. Yesterday must have been the slowest day in history. Tomorrow Dylan finally goes back to school.
I sat down to write this post and it has taken me 10 minutes to write that first sentence. I am so fricking tired. So now I decided to cut it short. We converted Ethan's high chair to a booster last night before dinner. Dinner was a little distracted because it was something different and he kept pushing away from the table. But lunch today was much better. Here are a couple of photos. I made spaghetti for lunch. And because of that, lunch was immediately followed by a bath...

Sorry they aren't the best quality. They were taken quickly with my cell phone. And I swear that MY phone takes the worst pictures ever. I have so many issues with this phone....I hate it. Anyway, notice in the first picture, he has a fork. He just doesn't use it. I remind him everyday. And he listens for 2 bites or so and then goes back to using his hands...Dinner is never clean around here.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Weekend Review

Saturday, New Year's eve went well. It went from a 'nothing' night to a fun evening. That afternoon was the same time my headache started too.
Anyway, like I said it was a nice evening. That afternoon we ended up getting a couple of phone calls that others would be joining us. So we all made a plan on the phone and it turned into a party. Everyone brought something. I made a dip and went and got  few pizzas as well. Kids played, watched a movie and the 2 younger ones crashed out before midnight (duh). The guys spent a bit of the evening in the kitchen chatting and the girls hung out in the living room. All of the kids were acting pretty good and even left their mommas alone so they could relax as well. Ethan had a meltdown around 9. So I put him to bed. He was a little over tired and overwhelmed so he cried for a while before he actually fell asleep. The rest of us actually made it to midnight to watch the ball drop. Unfortunately as the evening went on, so did my headache. Nothing I did was going to get rid of it.
By 12:30 we were in bed. And as tired as I was, I still had an awful time sleeping. That's been the normal for so many months now and I hate it. It didn't help that that headache wouldn't go away. Ethan only slept until about 8 that morning on Sunday. I was tired. So was Ryan. But he still had a few things he had to get up and do that morning. I think the boys were still pretty tired too. The combo of the cold they had and being up late the night before had them a little slow. Dylan watched a couple of movies that morning and Ethan wined off and on before he laid with me a little on the couch. And yes, I still had that headache. Day 2 at that point. We were supposed to leave that afternoon to be at a birthday party for a nephew, but something happened and Ryan wasn't able to get away, so we were unable to make it. I laid on the couch praying that my head would stop pounding and the boys went down for a nap. Ethan slept a long time that afternoon. Much later in the evening I ended up going to get groceries while Ryan was able to stay home with the boys. Bedtime came and I sat down with a cup of caffeine free herbal tea, hoping it would help me relax enough to sleep well. Still with the headache.
Sleep wasn't coming easy again last night, but I was sooooo tired! Today the headache has eased a bit but it is still there. I have stopped trying to take anything for it. It will just have to go away on its own. Its has been a little while since I have had a 3 day headache. But it is nothing unusual. I think it is totally hormonal. Damn hormones.
Overall we had a nice weekend and a great New Year's eve. Today it has been snowing and blowing all day. It is very cold out. I am so glad that we didn't have to leave the house today. Dylan starts back to school on Wednesday but is off the next 2 Mondays as well for different reasons. He keeps asking when he is going to go to school again.
I think that I am going to try something new. There is a thing out there called Project 52. Where you take a photo each week no matter what. Some people have weekly themes and some don't. I am just trying to make a goal for myself to pick up that camera each week. I have lost so much motivation lately that there has been weeks where I haven't touched it. I just haven't been doing something that I really enjoy and its awful. There are 365 projects out there where you take a photo every single day for a whole year, but I don't think I could stick to that. So I am going for at least 1 photo each week. I'm not sure what day I will share it on here yet. We'll see how it goes. I did take a few pictures today of Ethan being a goober. So we are off to a decent start. I can't promise that they will be good photos,but at least I will make an effort.
I hope you all have a nice week!


A few weeks ago, I was contacted about selecting a product from eShakti.com and doing a review of my selected product. eShakti.com is a clothing retailer. But what makes them different from other clothing retailers is that you can select the product as is (just like any other retailer) or you can select the garment, and then customize it to your measurements! They provide clothing for women in sizes 0-26, with the ability to customize each of those sizes to YOUR size. If all of that sounds like too much trouble to you, well of course you can still order your size without the customization if you choose. eShakti can be easily found on their Facebook page HERE. And honestly judging from their facebook communications, they are very personal. They read everything and respond to nearly every single post on their wall. Of course there is always Twitter too! Check them out HERE
So I chose this garment HERE. I chose not to customize it. But that is just me. I was afraid that if I tried to measure myself I would somehow mess something up, lol! So it got here fast. I opened it, and tried it on. It fit nicely. But one of the first things that I noticed about the shirt itself is that it is a thick fabric. It was 100% cotton. And thick cotton. Not cheap stuff. Nicely made. That surprised me. So I took it off and washed it. Knowing how cotton can easily shrink, I read the washing and drying instructions on the tag in the shirt, and prayed it wouldn't shrink. After it was all done, I tried it back on and it did shrink a bit. Not all over, but just lengthwise. So its not quite as long as it was. If I raise my arms, it comes up and shows a bit of my tummy. That makes me a bit uncomfortable. But it is still very wearable. I will just stick a cami underneath to keep any skin from showing if I raise my arms. It just makes me feel a little more comfortable. Aside from the little bit of shrinking, it is totally fine.
Here is a pic of the shirt.
and another pic close up of the neckline.

If you looked at the original photo on the website of this shirt, and then my photo you will notice the neckline. It looks different. It isn't as flowy as the website shows. And no matter what I did, I could not get it to look just like the website.
Like I said, the shirt is nice and thick. Its not cheap. And the color is very pretty. I don't see the color too often, but do have 1 other shirt in that color and really like wearing that color. I would love to be able to get the neckline to look like the website. Maybe it was sewn backwards. Meaning, the shorter end of the ruffle should have been sewn on over the longer end, rather than under the longer end.
Do check them out though and give them a look. Especially if you have trouble finding clothes that fit right. Their ability to do custom sizing is what makes them special.

*Opinions are all my own. I was not given any money to do this review. Simply provided with a product of my choice in exchange for posting a review*
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