Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm so tired I can't even think of a good post title

So, I've been thinking.

I think I'm going to give LTTMMSE a rest for awhile.  Just a little breather. Maybe a long breather.  I don't know.  We'll see.

And I want to bring back Date Night Challenge.  Mostly because I could use some lovin'. 

And that's really the extent of my thought process.  Which is kinda sad considering I spent 5 hours in the car driving today after a work trip to Kansas City.  You'd think I would have been able to come up with something more substantive to write about what with all that free time.

But I'm brain dead, so that's all you get.  Also, I am very, very full.  I ate like a maniac while I was in KC, what with all the client dinners and breakfastes and lunches and such.  I'm surprised there wasn't a client snack involved.  Or a client tea.  Or a client Taco Bell run.

Although I must say, I was quite disappointed with the first dinner.  I ordered chicken picatta and was all excited waiting for my chicken in lemon butter sauce with capers and artichokes and yum! And then it came in a lemon butter and tomato sauce. What the what!? Tomato sauce on chicken picatta? Sacrilege.

Anyhow, my tank is empty, so I think I'm going to call it a night. Also, my computer is having a hissy right now so I think it best not to anger it anymore and log off while I still can.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

BBQ Redemption

Thanks for the spaghetti help, y'all.  What is it about writing instead of saying "y'all" that makes me think I can get away with it?


Anyhoo, I made 1 HUGE box of spaghetti, 4 jars of sauce, and 3 pounds of meat.  I thought it was the perrrrrrrrfect amount until both my brother and my husband confessed to me later in the night that they were still hungry.  So they went off to the bar and ate chicken wings.

Spaghetti dinner fail.

BUT, I have a chance to redeem myself on Friday night when everyone's coming back over for a family BBQ.  Actually, Scotty will do all the major cooking for that, so really all my worrying is done.

Speaking of the backyard BBQ, remember when I said my backyard was filled with WWII trenches??  Well.  Scott is just about done with all his landscaping and it looks incredible now.  And the best part of it is we no longer have standing water out there when it rains....apparently the trenches were some sort of complex drainage system that is way over my head to explain.  I can't wait to take pictures to show you all how it looks.

Speaking of backyard BBQs AGAIN, Scott and I are also hosting a BBQ on Saturday for my group of girlfriends and their families.  We are just BBQ-ing fools, what can I say. 

I'm going to make my world famous pasta salad (so easy and sooo delish) and my family's secret recipe for potato salad (but I'll tell you the recipe if you want, because I'm terrible at keeping secrets).  And I should probably make a few other sides too.  Anyone have any awesome side dish-BBQ recipes you want to share?    Scott's in charge of all the main fixings, so no need to create extra work for yourselves there.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spaghetti Question

That post title is extremely literal.  I really do have a spaghetti question.

Tonight, I am cooking a spaghetti dinner for 7 adults and 5 children.  I am making very simple spaghetti because that is all I can handle for a group that large.  Ground beef in Ragu.  Maybe I'll throw some basil in there if I'm feeling adventurous.

However, I don't know how much spaghetti to make to feed that many people.  Hence, I need your input.

1.  How much spaghetti should I make?  3 boxes???  More?  Less?

2.  How much meat?  3 pounds?

3.  How many jars of Ragu?  3 or 4?

Help a sister out. 

(If you're curious, this is a dinner I'm having for my little brother, who's in town for a short time before he leaves for Iraq.  He's going to be doing a contractor-job over there for a year.  I'm dealing with him leaving by focusing on things like spaghetti and Ragu jars rather than how much I'm going to be worrying over the next 12 months.)


Monday, August 22, 2011

Fairy Houses (or Hotels)

The kids and I built a fairy house this weekend. Actually, I just said "Hey, let's build a fairy house!" and then they took it from there.


What's a fairy house, you ask?  (The kids asked too).  Well, I read about it here and thought it was a super cute idea. 


Basically it's just a little house built out of nature.  I told my kids that if we built one, maybe a fairy or two would come and sleep in it that night.


They made leaf beds for 8 fairies, so really it was more like a fairy hotel than a house.  Also, Owen was very concerned about whether or not the fairy house needed a potty.  (Owen is a little obsessed with potties.)


Ashley also made sure there was a driveway.  For fairies who drive instead of fly, I guess.


When they were all done, they were quite impressed with their creation.  And it kept them busy for like an hour.  That's a record, people.  Fairy houses are where it's at.


We might make another one this weekend that involves sticks.  The fairies are gonna love it.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Anniversaries, Birthdays and More, Oh My!

So, yesterday was our wedding anniversary. We got married all the way back in 2002.

My aunt posted this picture on my facebook page yesterday...


Awww.  We were such babies!  Scott made the most beautiful toast to me at the reception...I'll never forget it.  He looked at me and tears filled his eyes as he said that the minute he saw me in the church everyone and everything else faded away, and it was just him and me.  It was our church.

And I can say, from the bottom of my heart, that he's been with me everywhere I've gone since that day.  He is always with me.  Always.

(Love you, Scotty.)

And if this post isn't sappy enough, I also need to wish my baby girl a happy birthday today...


Oh, my gorgeous child.  Words cannot even express how much I love you.

We're gonna pick her up from school today with a mylar balloon, take her to soccer practice, and then to her favorite restaurant (Red Robin, of course) for a birthday dinner.  Can't wait!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stream of Consciousness

I'm on vacation this week. Well, technically it's a "staycation" since we're not going anywhere. I did take a couple extra days off last week, though, which we spent at Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City. Ooh, that place was fun! Well, for kids anyways. I'll write more about it later.

This week is just nuts - there is so much going on. First, hello, I'm on vacation. FINALLY. That's huge, people. HUGE. I've been trying to take a vacation all summer but work has been so busy I haven't been able to take one until now. Second, Ashley started kindergarten on Monday, as you know. THIRD, it's my wedding anniversary this week. Scott and I have now been married nine years. Nine. Numero nino. All I can hear in my head is the principal's voice from Ferris Bueller saying "Nine times." It is nine times, right? I'd google, but I'm on my iPad and it's not simultaneous blogger/google friendly.


FOURTH, it's Ashley's birthday this week. She's turning 6. Holy crappers. You know, if I was a good, thoughtful blogger, I would probably put together a nice post about the decision process we went through in deciding to wait to enroll Ashley in kindergarten until this year, putting her on the older side of the spectrum. But meh, I'm a humor blogger, so I probably won't do that. As the wise Pinkalicious says, "You get what you get and you don't get upset." Or is it "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit"? I can never remember. And again, the blogger/iPad/google conundrum.

Fifth, I have all this random stuff I want to write about. Like, for one, I watched "The Human Centipede" on Netflix Streaming the other week. Um, EW. Do not watch it. I repeat. DO NOT WATCH IT. I felt like I needed to soak my brain in rubbing alcohol afterwards.

Also, I keep meaning to talk about Twitter. And how I suck at it. I keep seeing posts in the blogosphere about how awesome Twitter is and how people didn't "get it" until they joined but now OMG they GET.IT. Well, I still don't get it. I feel like I'm standing in a room full of crowded people just yelling out random statements at the top of my lungs, but nobody notices. And I got nothin' to say. I'm all like "I LIKE MOVIES!" Or "IT'S HOT OUTSIDE!" Yeah, I suck at Twitter.

Finally, I just wanted to say that my Scotty made me a vanilla milkshake tonight just because. Wasn't that sweet? I drank it in like 2 seconds.

And yes, I realize this post is totally stream of consciousness/random as hell/extremely wordy. But that's fun every once in awhile, isn't it? Anyone? You still with me?

Hmmm, maybe I've figured out my Twitter problem. Brevity is not my friend.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First Day of K (indergarten)

It was Ashley's first day of kindergarten today...


HOW is this possible?  She's still so little!  (Although she's got the pose down pat, I'll give her that.)


She had such a great day.  She made some friends, ate her lunch, tried to take a nap on her nap mat but "the boys were being too noisy, mommy, ugh!", liked her teacher, and skinned her knee on the playground during recess (but got a super cool bandaid so all was well).


Before we dropped her off this morning, Aidan said "I gonna miss you, Ash-ee." 

Me too, buddy.  Me too.


And yes, I cried.  (It's mandatory when you drop your first child off at kindergarten.)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

To Nap or not to Nap

Now, let's just say, that hypothetically speaking, your daughter is supposed to start kindergarten in a few weeks.

And let's just say that, hypothetically, of course, the list of school supplies sent out by such kindergarten lists a "nap mat" as a required item.

Where would you go to buy said nap mat? At Target? What aisle would you go to? Bedding, back-to-school, some unknown-to-me-before-now "nap mat department"?

Because I have no idea (a) what a nap mat is; nor (b) where to find one.

Also, do they make them in adult sizes? Because a nap mat sounds really nice for work.

P.S. Do they make nap mats with restraints? Or built-in ambien? Because this child hasn't napped since 2007. Good luck, kindergarten. You're gonna need it.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited: August 2011 Edition

It's the 1st of the month!  And you know what that means.  It's time to get STUPID excited!!!!

For those of you new to my blog, "Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited" is a feature I post on the first day of each month. It's like Oprah's Favorite things - if Oprah was really cheap. And loved to shop at Kohl's.  And now that Oprah's off the air...well, let's just say I'm glad LTTMMSE can fill the hole in our collective heart that's been left behind.  ;-)

Grab the button below and link on up in the comments if you want to make your own list! I'd love to read what makes you STUPID excited too!! And if you'd like to see my past lists, they're all linked up on my LTTMMSE page.

Little Things That Make Me Stupid Excited


I've got *TEN* stupid exciting things for the month of August!  Oh, girl.

"Shrimpo de Gallo" Recipe by The Pioneer Woman

Oh.My.Word.  This is sooooooo freaking delicious!!  You all know The Pioneer Woman's recipes are the bomb, so click on over to her site to get the nitty gritty details.  One change I made - I didn't chop up the shrimp.  And, instead of using it as a dip, we used it as a filling in tortillas.  So basically I made shrimp tacos with it.  It was so fresh and tasty!  Perfect summer recipe.


I bought this stuff on a whim a couple months back, and you know what, I really like it!  I don't just use it for under eyes - I also use it as a concealer on the rest of my face, and dare I say it, I think it works better than anything else I've ever bought concealer-wise.  Check it out!

"Little Things" App for iPad

This app.  Ugh, this app.  I have a love/hate relationship with it because it is so damn addictive!  It's a seek and find game and trust me, you can play it for hours.  HOURS.  The kids like it too.  Although sometimes it can be difficult explaining what a "jerry can" and "shuttlecock" are.

Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's.  Peanut Butter Cups.  STUPID delicious.

Ice Cream Cones

You know how when you grow up you're supposed to start liking sugar cones and waffle cones and fancier ice cream receptacles?

Not me.  Give me the plain old kid cone.  I love 'em.  Put a little scoop of mint chip in there and you've got one happy lady on your hands.


I bought this dress months ago (in red and black) months ago at an Old Navy outlet and have been waiting for it to go online for FOREVER so I could list it in LTTMMSE.  It is soooo flattering!  And comfy!  Buy it now, before they're gone forever!  Also, they're on sale! 

Tomato Sandwiches (image credit)

Mmmm, tomato sandwiches.  Nothing says summer to me quite like a home grown tomato, sliced, salted and stacked on bread with lots of mayo.  Yum-me.


My mom bought this stuff to keep the kids entertained during the family reunion we had a few weeks ago (apparently Schnitzelbank does not keep the pre-K set entertained for very long - go figure!).  Anyways, it's genius.  It's paper and markers that draw all metallic-like.  SO cool.  My kids loved it and colored for forever.  Where was all this cool stuff when I was a kid???


This is my local grocery store's free magazine, and I get so stupid excited when it comes.  It always has great recipes in it, awesome party ideas and gorgeous pictures.  They post 'em online (see link above), so even if you don't have Hy-Vee in your town you should check it out.  And if you do, sign up for this magazine stat!  I love it.

Picasa/Picnik Photo Editing

You know, I don't have much time to edit my pictures.  Which is why I heart Picasa and Picnik so, so, so much.  They are both so easy to use and have great features.  I fixed up the above picture in about 5 minutes.  Not a big difference, but enough to make it blog worthy I think.  Picasa is free, and most of the features on Picnik are too.  But I did buy a premium account on Picnik ($25 a year, I think?) because you do get a few cool extra features.  It's pretty nice if you don't have Photoshop and want to do a little clean up on your pics before posting them!


And that's all for LTTMMSE this month, peeps!  Hope you enjoyed it!