Monday, May 30, 2011

Phew... What a Saturday!

It has been a crazy few days! We went and saw Les Miserables at the Capitol Theater in Salt Lake City.

 It was amazing. We had perfect seats, front row of the Grand Tier. We were so close we could see the tears as they fell off the actors faces! I had never seen Les Mis before this and it was truly a magical experience. We were lucky enough to go with our friends and I think we all had a great time. Afterwards we went to dinner at Tucano's. That my friends, is a great place to eat. 

If you have never been to a Brazilian BBQ you must give it a try. Every time I go there I try and limit myself to just a few treats, but the problem is all these men  just come by your table wielding knives and large sticks of meat, they slice off piece after piece of meat for you until you finally give up.  The meat eating induced coma you get afterwards is brutal! They also have a huge salad bar (I think they call it a salad carnival) that includes everything from traditional salad, pasta salads, soups, fruit, rice and beans, and my personal favorite, these cheesy bread things.... those are yummy!

Then to make the day even better it was fight night. Once a month we go over to our friends and we have snacks and watch the UFC fight night. Now, Chad and I aren't "that" into it, we can't really remember who is who but it's fun for the fellowship with friends and to watch grown men beat the snot out of each other! :)

Overall it was a great Saturday. Today we are busy cleaning house and getting ready for our friends and their families to come over at 5pm a BBQ... it should be great! :)

Another Memorial Day-Sam L. Carter 2005

Sitting here today, reading a poem "Our Flag is Great", I ponder another time'
I'm reminded, for several years, its come & gone, the "9/11" terrorist crime!
A discernment prior to then, about people's indifference & disrespectful ways,
Left feelings that drastic times were coming, but not as terrible as the "9/11" days.
At public gatherings, people had no thought of reverence for our Flag's history,
For sacrifices made by friends & family, many dying patriotically, to keep us free. 
Giving their lives or limbs or minds in times of crisis that threatened our liberty,
Going proudly, knowing this Country grew up fighting from sea to shining sea.
Of course there was concern, not wanting to leave loved ones so far behind,
But knowing in their hearts it was necessary to protect this land, so never mind.
Those not returning believed & fought for freedom others earlier died to earn.
For too long this history lesson escaped many, but was soon to be "re-learned."
Such a sad commentary, we have short memories of freedom they died to earn,
Not adhering to basic principles our founding fathers set out, will we ever learn?
It's noticeable by all those that had loved ones die in War & what it meant,
In war time, when they died, honoring our flag was showing them a compliment.
Those feelings never left this old country boy's thinking or appreciative ways, 
Being one of a handful to remove a hat or place a hand on our heart in prior days.
I can too vividly remember disrespect at ball games, parades, or at race tracks,
"No Respect" during National Anthem, only laughing & hollering, a sad fact.
Then 9/11/2001, a dastardly deed causing the current liberating Foreign Wars,
Fighting terrorism in places it originates, pushing it away from USA's door.
Many more personnel in harms way have died over the past several years,
"Memorial Day" gives us pause to be aware of survivor's heartbreaking tears.
So many died for this freedom in establishing frontiers for Liberty worldwide,
Continuing today with our U.S troops, we should support them all with Pride.
For those dying long ago & the ones giving their all now in current campaigns,
To afford so many, a blood soaked Liberty, honor by letting freedom bells ring.
We should reflect continually on the history of our flag & all the lives given,
Maybe pause today, raise the Flag & say "thank you" for a free life we're livin'.
"Another Memorial Day" to appreciate all the fallen since the rockets red glare.
Honor all deceased military at this time on "Another Memorial Day" in prayer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

School's out and teacher let the deals out! :)

Today is that last day of school for Ethan and Rileigh. They will no more be 2nd graders and its the 3rd grade now for them! I am in no way shape or form prepared for them to be home for the entire summer! BUT I am looking forward to not having a set schedule, no school projects, no PTA assignments and not having to get after them for not doing their homework! 

Pamper yourself with a little Bath and Bodyworks!
Buy 3 get 3 free with $1 shipping!!! Why not stock up for the summer?
Click here!

Who doesn't like Welch's Fruit Snacks? Get a free sample HERE!
Free Sample of Gillette Fusion ProGlide! Click HERE!

Here's a great instant print coupon for Huggies Little Swimmers & Regular Diapers! Click HERE!

Get a coupon worth $4.00 off two entrees at Olive Garden on their Facebook page HERE.

FreeFlys: Free Samples, Free Stuff, Freebies and Coupons

Freefly's has awesome freebies all the time!
Cheap is good but free is better!

Zulily has great deals on everything kiddo and mommy! 
Best of all the sign up is free and you save up to 80% on brand names!
Click here for more!

Why not make your hubby happy?
Hurry! Vocal Point is offering a FREE $10 promotional card good on ANY Craftsman C3 tool to qualifying zip codes.
My Utah zip code did qualify!

Check your email. If you’re signed up for Kellogg’s newsletter you should have a code from them good towards  helping you get a  FREE $5 gas credit!
Kellogg’s is running a special promotion. Watch for specially marked Kellogg’s items with the Passport to Adventure Cars 2 codes. Use the codes to get FREE Gas Cash or FREE Movie Cash! You only need 4 codes to get the $5 gas card!
If you haven’t signed up yet here’s what to do:
SIGN UP HERE for the Kellogg’s program (there’s $5 worth of Kellogg’s coupons waiting for you)
Click on the Promotions Tab (top right)
The second banner to load will look like the one above.
Enter your codes. 1 Box = 1 point, 4 points = $5 in FREE gas!

I'll be back later today with more freebies and deals!:)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sloppies and Lilacs

Ok, so this REALLY isn't a crock pot meal... but it does go in the crock for as long as you need it too and the longer it's in there the better it does taste :)

Super Sloppies
This can be doubled if you have a troop to feed!

1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped (green works too)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups tomato sauce 
(Yeah, I know, I used Ragu... I didn't have plain sauce, but it tasted fine! If you do this add 1/2 cup ketchup too)
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add meat, onions and pepper to the pan. Once the meat is fully browned drain the meat (rinse if desired). Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and combine. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, peppers, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer. Place mixture into crock pot for up to 3 hours. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, pile sloppy meat onto toasted, buttered bun bottoms and cover with bun tops. 

I think there is nothing better than getting flowers from a boy. 
It's even better when they are from your 2 1/2 year old son!

I think he is taking credit for the whole bouquet here, when really he just picked me the dandelions. His Daddy got the lilacs!

Yesterday Rileigh had her first softball game  and Ethan had his first baseball game!

This is a rare shot of them smiling together!!!

I didn't get any good photos of Ethan's game since the two were playing at the same time in two fields that were as far apart as they could possibly be. But we do have another game for both of them on Thursday and I will get more then!

Here's is Rileigh waiting on first.

Giving Hi-5's as she came home...


Monday, May 23, 2011

Beef Shish Kabobs and Grilled Bananas!

Today went fast. Between Doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, planting and yard work there wasn't much day left :) As I was prepping dinner I was kind of wishing I had planned a crock meal today. But when I was eating dinner I was glad to have made this. 

Beef Shish Kabobs

Depending on the cut of beef you decide to use you may need to marinate longer or less... the tougher the cut the longer you marinade.

I used new york strip steaks. ONLY because they were on sale for an insanely ridiculous price. Otherwise I would have used a chuck roast....

The Marinade:

1c Soy Sauce
1/2c Red Wine Vinegar
1/2c Water
1/2c Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
1 tsp. Minced Garlic

Cube your beef into 2 inch cubes and place into a ziploc bag, add marinade and toss into the fridge. With NY Strip I only had it in there for 2 hours and it was beyond perfect.

Fresh Veggies:

Red Pepper - Cut into 1 inch squares
Orange Pepper - Cut into 1 inch squares
Yellow Pepper - Cut into 1 inch squares
Red Onion - Cut in half then in quarter wedges
Whole Mushrooms
Zucchini- Slice in 1/2 inch rounds


Grill... I use a gas grill. All burners were on and set to med-high. I used vegetable oil on the grates.

Chad and I like our steaks Med-Well. That took about 8 minutes or so on each side. We served it with brown rice.

After cleaning and getting all the kiddos to bed, it was time to try our hand at a new dessert!

BBQ Bananas!

What you say?! That's absurd!?!

Don't knock it till you try it!!!

Here's what you need for this delicious yumminess!

4 Bananas (or more)
1 T of Lemon Juice (I was out and used OJ, No taste difference)
1c Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
Vanilla Ice Cream
Preheat grill for low heat.

Halve each of the bananas lengthwise, then width wise. 

Sprinkle bananas with lemon juice.

 In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
 Roll banana pieces in sugar/cinnamon mixture until well coated.

Since this can make a huge mess of your grill I would recommend using a aluminum tray or just loosely wrap them in tin foil.
Arrange bananas on preheated grill, and cook for 3 minutes per side.
 Serve in a bowl with vanilla ice cream topped with a sprinkling of remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture.

This was the most delicious desert I have had in a very long time. Everyone wanted more!!! 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Crockie Challenge!

I have an innate appreciation for the
crock pot.

I love my crock pot.

Not like I love my kids...

Not like I love my hubby.

But if there is some way to be in love with an inanimate object, my crock pot does it for me :) I love that I can put deliciously easy and yummy meals in there and it cooks it for me all day. No slaving over the stove. No heating up the house all summer long like using the oven does. I love it so much I have two :) For those really big meals when you can't get it all to fit in just one. I could handle 3, 4 or more maybe...but my hubby has put his foot down! So I get only two.

I have decided that since I am currently unemployed, I am going to commit to using my crock pot at least 3 days a week for our dinners (the other days will be most likely be spent grilling, I love that just as much as my crockie and the occasional take out!) and I'll blog about it to all of you. This way it will give me a chance to experiment. I'll share all the gory, disgusting, rancid, tasty, sinfully yummy, truly delicious meals with all of you. The flops and the masterpieces. I'll post them all on here for the world, well... my little circle of friends :) to see. 

Today I decided I would make a spaghetti sauce in my crockie.

I made this with what I had on hand....

1 Small Can of Tomato Paste
1 Large Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes in Tomato Juice
2-14 ounce Cans of Stewed Italian Style Tomatoes
1-14 ounce Can of Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 lb of Lean Ground Beef
1 Cup of Diced Onions
1 Tbs. Minced Garlic
1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
1 Package of Polish Sausage (Diced)
If you have a large family this will feed 10 with some left overs using 2 boxes of spaghetti... if there is less of you, only use one box of spaghetti and freeze the remaining sauce for another day :)
Place all of the tomatoes into the crock pot (I use a 6 quart) and mix in the Italian seasoning.

Brown the ground beef with the diced onions and minced garlic, drain off fat and rinse. Add to tomatoes.

Brown the diced polish sausage for about 8 minutes. I like to rinse it off too and then toss it in the crock.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 5-6. Serve over Spaghetti.

But wait.... there's more... ok, so this isn't a crock pot recipe, BUT you can't have spaghetti with out garlic bread! 

Get your oven preheated to 400 degrees!!!

1 Loaf of Store Bought French Bread
1 cup of butter
1 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
3 Cloves Garlic Minced
1/2 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper

Melt the butter...
Add the seasonings...
Slice the french bread in half lengthwise... and slather on the garlicky goodness.... 

Pop into the oven for 10 minutes or so, you may have to turn on the broiler for a minute or so to achieve your desired golden brown... slice then serve :)

So to review....

I promise to blog to you at least 6 days a week my Crockie/Grilling adventures for this summer... feel free to judge, ridicule and praise (if earned) the recipes! :) This is going to be fun!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Most Important

A blogger mommy friend of mine asked a very simple question of her audience.

What is the most important part of being a mom?

Wow. me thinking.

What is the most important thing? Is it making sure they are dressed well, happy and well fed? Or is it making sure they are ready for their next step in life?

Looking back I can vividly remember when I was just a little girl what I wanted when I grew up. I wanted to be married to a wonderful man, have a beautiful house (with the picturesque white picket fence) a nice car and of course to be a mom. Before I knew it I was married (Yes, he IS wonderful!), living in our dream home (no picket fence yet!) and our kids are growing way too fast! Being a mom seems to be an ongoing life lesson. I have learned what will work for one, may not work for another. I have learned to appreciate the small things and not to sweat over every painstaking detail. Life is too short for that. I have learned that "Supermom" doesn't exist no matter how much I want to be like her (FYI that's a great lesson, if you haven't learned it, conquer it!).

So for me I think the most important thing about being a mom is what you learn from it. I think we all believe that we are raising our kids, but in truth they are raising us. Teaching us compassion, patience, unconditional love, how to hold on tight AND let go... these are all things that I never really grasped until I had kids. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pantry Raid, Toilet Jams and Dinner!

Today has been a nice lazy day. Nothing too pressing and we needed that after yesterday's dog fiasco! 

Yes that's flour, a bag of tortilla chips, those dark stains are BBQ sauce and the light orange is taco seasoning! Buster decided that it was a good idea for him to raid the pantry while we were gone!

We did have some minor drama today....But I am really proud of my husband and Dad for taking care of it themselves! Since Chad and I have a master bathroom we rarely use the main bath. We did notice last week that the toilet was flushing a little slow and we neglected to take care of it then. So today Chad and my Dad decided to take up the toilet to see what was going on!
One of them had the great idea to take it outside and hose it down...I of course was just wondering what all of our neighbors were thinking! Apparently one of the babies decided that they were sick of  the bum ointment and they flushed it! 

Now on to dinner... lol  Not hungry? I can't imagine why?!

So tonight is Pot Roast and Crock Pot Roasted Potatoes!

The potatoes take 5 hours so make sure you add that into your schedule :)

2.5 lbs of yellow potatoes (or small reds)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon instant minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried parsley
4 tablespoons butter

First clean and quarter your potatoes...

Then toss them into the crock pot!

Get out your spices!

Mix the spices well, pour the 1/4 cup of water over the potatoes, add the spices and toss to coat evenly. Add your divided butter on top of the potatoes. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours! :)

We will come back to that later...

Now the pot roast takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to cook, but when it goes in the over it has to be at room temperature and that will take about 30 minutes.

While it's on the counter waiting to get in the over I make a rub of basil, garlic powder and pepper.

Once it's to room temperature, I pop it into a 325 degree oven for 2 hours and 45 minutes.
This was a 4 1/2lb roast and cooked to medium-rare in that time.

It was a tasty meal and left overs will be beef stroganoff! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Deals.... did someone say deals? Hide my credit cards!!!

Here are some great deals!

Do you have young girls at home? How about saving 40% off your entire order at Justice?!
They have the cutest clothing, but hurry this deal is only good through the 23rd!

Shop Justice! 40% OFF Site Wide, w code 779!!

Check this site out! This is the coolest thing since sliced bread!
Out Growing in is an awesome site that you can join for free and actually SWAP clothing with other families! A great way to save some money and get cute clothes! Check it out HERE!

Move over VistaPrint and their long shipping waits! 
20% Off at - Use code FLOWER

I know you have probably all signed up for Groupon. I just can't tell you enough how cool they are! Its free to sign up and they will send you daily deals that are geared for your area! You can save bundles!
Moms need a break too!

If you live in Utah we have this awesome "Groupon" daily deal site called the Utah Deal Monster. Let's face it, it's just that much cooler in Utah :)
 Today's deal is off the hook! What mom out there doesn't deserve THIS?!
You can get a 5 hour massage pass for only $145!!!