Monday, February 28, 2011

Monster Cutouts

My youngest son's birthday is less then two weeks away. With two birthdays so close together I tend to focus more on the first one and then rush to finish the second one. My youngest will be 2 years old and we have decided to do a monster theme for his party. While wondering around JoAnn's craft store looking for monster ideas I came across the Cricut Expressions machine. It had a cute little monsters cartridge that goes with it. I have been thinking about getting one for awhile and when I found it for almost half off I jumped on it. I spent two nap times playing around with it and made these monsters. I can't wait to see what I can make next.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Menu Plan- February 27th - March 5th

I decided to make my meals easy this week so I can get caught up on some things around the house. Most of the dinners will be from the freezer. It is so nice to have an easy cooking week once in awhile. Breakfasts: Cornbread Pancakes Omelette's Cereal/Oatmeal Pancakes Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Lunches: Leftovers Lunch with friends Egg Salad Sandwiches Eat Out PB Sandwiches Dinners: Hot Dogs on the fire Roast Taco Soup Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti, veggies Breakfast- Sausage, Hash browns & Eggs Baked Potato Bar Sloppy Joes & Fries

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dr. Seuss Day at Target

If you are looking for something fun to do this weekend check out the Dr. Seuss Storytime at Target. It is Saturday February 26th from 9-11 AM. Enjoy giveaways, coupons and hear Dr. Seuss favorites. Check out more info here.

Robot Birthday Party Part 1

Last weekend was my sons 5th birthday party. He chose a robot theme. We held the party at an old school house near our home. It had snowed for three days prior to the party so we were nervous no one would show up. Luckily most of our friends showed up and we had a great time.
The party robot welcoming our guests to the party. Happy Birthday Trevor banner
He insisted on having his blow up 5 there so we hung it on the little fire place in the front of the room along with the robot he made.

Robot Birthday Party Part 2

The drink and dessert table
Robot and Sprocket Cupcakes
These were on the food table. We had Robot Fuel Cells, Computer Chips, Robot Screws, and Nuts & Bolts.

Robot Birthday Party Part 3

On each table we had a robot color sheet, a robot cut out to decorate and a foam robot to put stickers on. We also had markers, glue, googly eyes, gems and pipe cleaners. In the center of each table was a robot. The ring toss robot. Behind him is a picture my son painted to put on the gift table. The robot tree. My son loves holidays and thinks there should be a tree for every one of them. We made this robot tree with a "tree" I got at a yard sale for $1. It was originally gold but I spray painted it silver. We made robot Shrinky Dinks to go on it and a couple robot ornaments. He was very proud of it.
The robot costumes
Our short robot and the pinata

Robot Birthday Party Part 4

Kids playing with the Ring Toss Robot The robot my son made by himself
The pinata! The last string they pulled released the goodies.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tilapia Parmesan

I recently learned that both of my boys like fish. My husband and I don't have much experience with fish but we are willing to give it a try. After talking to the lady behind the meat counter at the store, she informed me that tilapia is a good fish to start with. I found this recipe for Tilapia Parmesan and thought it sounded great. And it did not disappoint. We polished off the whole pan of fish with my boys each eating a half piece. We will definitely make this again soon.
2 lbs tilapia fillets (I used 4 pieces which was 1 lb)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tbsp butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
3 Tbsp finely chopped green onions
1/4 tsp dried basil
black pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce (I used Frank's hot sauce)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a buttered 13X9" baking dish, lay fillets in a single layer. Do not stack fillets.
3. Brush top with juice.
4. In a bowl combine cheese, butter, mayo, onions and seasonings.
5. Bake fish in a preheated oven 10 - 20 minutes or until fish just starts to flake. 6. Spread with cheese mixture and bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Watch fish closely so it doesn't overcook. I served mine with Basmati Rice and steamed broccoli. I am linking up to Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and What's on Your Plate!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Target Trip February 20th

Total Spent $21.40
Total Saved $73.22
I stopped by Target to pick up my prescription and decided to walk the perimeter real quick while I was there. I am so glad I did. I found some great deals.
2 stuffed dogs-I am going to use these in Easter baskets (Reg. $9.99, clearance $2.49)
8 Hunts tomatoes (Reg. $.89, Sale $.80 - .75 Q's = .05 each)
Marshmallows (Reg. $1.15, Sale $.95)
Valentine's Wreath (Reg. $19.99, clearance $4.99)
2 Monsters-for Valentine's next year (Reg. $9.99, clearance $2.49)
4 Bubbles -for Valentine's next year (Reg. $1.96, clearance $.49)
4 pairs Robot socks (Reg. $1, clearance $.10)
5 file folders/dividers (Reg. $1, clearance $.10)
2 Robot Plates (Reg. $1, clearance $.10)
6 Board Books-for Easter Baskets (Reg. $1, clearance $.10)

CVS Trip February 20th

Total Spent $2.28
Total Saved $1.60
I went to CVS to pick up the free jelly beans and mini eggs to use for my boys Easter baskets. While I was there I noticed their Valentine's stuff was 75% off. It was pretty picked over but I was able to pick up some stickers to use next year.
Cadbury Mini Eggs (Reg. $.87, Sale $.75-I was supposed to receive a $.75 ECB but it didn't print so she manually gave me one for $1.)
2 Valentine's stickers (Reg. $.99, clearance $.25)
Jelly Beans (Reg. $.99, received $.99 ECB)
My total was $2.24 plus .04 tax, final price $2.28. I earned $1.99 ECB for next trip.

Menu Plan- February 20th - 26th

We recently learned that both of my boys really like fish. We don't eat much fish around here but now that I know they like it, I am gonna try to learn to cook it. I found two recipes that sound tasty yet simple to make. I am really excited for this weeks menu. Breakfasts: Donuts Cereal Ham & Eggs Oatmeal French Toast and Bacon Egg in a hole Waffles and hash browns Lunches: Eat out chili sandwiches left overs hot dogs, chips and fruit Dinners: Dinner out with In-Laws Tilapia Parmesan & Broccoli Soup & Bread Tater Tot Surprise Pimento Cheese Chicken & Carrots Italian Breadcrumb-Crusted Tilapia with Lemon & Salad Meatball Subs, French Fries and Fruit

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun Birthday Idea

Last year I came up with the idea to blow up a bunch of balloons and fill my sons room with them while he slept. When he woke up on the morning of his birthday he was thrilled to see all the balloons. It was a fun way to start his day.
We tried it again this year and filled his room with a bunch of colorful balloons. At 2 AM this morning my son came running in. He had woke up and saw the balloons then went downstairs and found the decorations and presents. He wanted us to get up and start opening presents. I think next year I will get up a little early to fill his room with balloons.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Robot Piniata

My sons party is only two days away so I am working hard to finish the last minute details. One thing my son really wanted at his party was a pinata. He has never had a pinata so I thought it would be a fun treat for him. I was not able to find a robot pinata, so I made my own. I had everything on had so the project ended up being free. I started by taping some boxes, cans and tp rolls together in a robot shape. I spray painted it completely silver, let it dry, then painted on the rest of the details by hand.
I made this pinata the pull string type by taping on a bunch of "fake strings" and painting them over with silver paint.
I added some fun details on the front like my sons birth date, time he was born and weight. He is getting so excited for his party and even cleaned his room to make more room for new toys. My baby is 5!! :(

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

House Party- Pull-Ups Potty Dance Day

I was so excited when I was chosen to host my 4th House Party. This one is a Pull-Ups Potty Dance Day House Party. My host kit arrived today and included the following:
  • 15 Pull-Ups Potty Dance instructional mats
  • 14 coupon books including a Pull-Ups $2.00 off product coupon and savings on other household items
  • 14 Big Kid Central DVDs with potty training tips, activities, and Pull-Ups Potty Dance song and dance video
  • 14 Reward stickers for potty training progress
  • 15 Enjoy the ride rewards points to collect and save
  • 15 Pull-Ups fact sheets
  • 15 Pull-Ups coloring sheets
  • 1 Free Pull-Ups product coupon
  • 1 Pull-Ups customized Big Kid flash drive, filled with potty training tools and "The Potty Dance"

If you have never heard of House Party you should check them out. Basically you fill out a survey for the parties you are interested in hosting. If you are chosen to host a party they send you a host kit to help with the party. In the past I have hosted a Shrek McDonald's party, a Fisher Price party, and a Quilted Northern party. They have all been fun and I have received some great stuff.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Chicken

On a busy day nothing is better then having dinner cooking in the crock pot. It makes dinner time run much smoother when our food is done and I just have to throw a few quick things together. One dinner we really enjoy is creamy ranch chicken.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 T butter, melted
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 oz packet ranch dressing mix
1/4 t minced garlic
1 dash paprika
1/8 t dry oregano
1/4 t dry parsley flakes
Wash and dry chicken breasts and place them evenly in the crock pot. Sprinkle with paprika and ranch dressing mix over chicken. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon melted butter over chicken breasts.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
Melt remaining 1 Tablespoon butter with minced garlic and saute slightly.
Add cream of chicken soup, cream cheese cubes, 1/2 cup chicken broth, oregano and parsley flakes. Stir on medium until smooth.
Add to crock pot, cover and cook on low for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Serve chicken with ranch sauce on top. Great with mashed potatoes and a veggie. This post is being linked to Tasty Tuesday and What's on your Plate!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Menu Plan- February 13th - 19th

While I was making my menu plan for the week I realized I had everything on had except 1 bag of cheese. That makes for an easy shopping trip. We have a busy week with Valentine's Day and my sons birthday party so we will be eating out more then usual. Breakfast: Donuts Heart Shaped Pancakes, sausage, banana Cereal Oatmeal Breakfast Burritos Ham, Eggs and toast Bagels Lunch: Left Overs from night before Sandwiches, chips and fruit Hot dogs, Yogurt and oranges Pizza at party Dinner: Creamy Ranch Chicken, carrots and salad Heart Shaped Pizza and S'more quesadilla Soup and French Bread Homemade Mac n Cheese, sausage and veggies Breakfast- Ham, Hash browns and Eggs Eat out for sons birthday Eat out with In-Laws

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Crunchy French Toast

This morning we had Crunchy French Toast so I figured I would share the recipe.
In one bowl make up your egg mixture as you normally would. We use egg, sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. In a second bowl crush up Special K cereal. You can also use Frosted Flakes if you wanted your french toast sweeter.
Dip the bread in the egg mixture on both sides then dip in the cereal mixture. Make sure the bread is well coated.
Cook the bread on a preheated griddle until both sides are golden brown. Usually takes about 3 minutes per side. Top with syrup and enjoy!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine's Day Mantel

After seeing several posts online about people decorating their mantels for holidays, I decided to give it a shot. Usually I would just throw a few holiday related items up there for my kids but this time I actually gave it some thought. I am pretty happy with how it came out and am already looking forward to the next holiday I can decorate for.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Country Fried Apples

One of my boys favorite places to eat is Boston Market. They love the apples there. When I found this recipe I knew it would be a big hit. I was right, they can't get enough of these yummy apples.
Country Fried Apples 5 to 6 cups of firm tart apples such as Granny Smith 1/3 cup brown sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 2 Tbsp corn starch 1/2 cup apple cider Peel, core and slice apples into slices. Place apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in slow cooker. Dissolve corn starch in apple cider and blend well. Pour over apples and stir to blend. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Stir halfway through cooking. I am sharing this recipe at Tasty Tuesday.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Menu Plan- February 6th - 12th

After skipping a week of grocery shopping due to illness, I realized how much of a life saver my weekly menu plan is. I attempted one last week but we ran out of milk, bread, eggs and fruit. Let's just say we were super tired of sandwiches and hot dogs by the end of the week. I am really looking forward to the variety of food we will be eating this week. Breakfast: Pumpkin Pancakes and Bacon Blueberry Muffins Oatmeal/Cereal Breakfast Burritos Baked Oatmeal Egg in the Hole Crispy French Toast (I will post this recipe later in the week) Lunch: Left Overs from the previous nights dinner X 5 Eat at a Birthday Party Dinner: Super Bowl Food (Little Smokies w/ BBQ Sauce, Chips and French Onion Dip, 7 Layer Dip) Buffalo Chicken and Country Fried Apples Swedish Meatballs, Cheesy Potatoes and Green Beans Bud & Kristen's Enchiladas (This is a recipe from my brother and's not even really enchiladas) Soup & Bread--from the freezer Crock pot Creamy Ranch Chicken and Salad Sloppy Joe's, Fries and Carrots

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Freezer Cooking Day- Soups

When I saw that Jessica at Life as Mom was hosting Freezer Cooking Days, I decided to hop on board. I have done a little freezer cooking on my own but have never done it on a routine basis. Since I have a busy weekend ahead I decided just to do a few soups and breads on Friday morning. It was a lot of fun but my house smelled of onions and garlic all day....which isn't the worst thing in the world. :)
I made a double batch of Taco Soup, a double batch of Autumn Soup, a double batch of Tomato Cheddar Soup and a batch of Roasted Garlic Soup. I also made two loaves of French Bread and 2 bags of rolls. Several of the rolls disappeared but I did manage to get some in the freezer.
It took me about 4 hours to cook and clean. I was able to put 18 meals worth of soup plus the breads in the freezer to eat over the next few weeks. It will be so nice to have some easy meals to pull out and heat up.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Robot Birthday Party Invitation

I looked around for several months for a party invitation for my son's robot party but I never could find exactly what I wanted. They were either too young looking, too expensive or had more to do with outer space than robots. So I decided to make my own.
I found a color page that I liked, cut out the picture and then traced it on gray card stock. I cut out the robot and traced around it with Sharpie to outline the details. I then cut out colored card stock to make the eyes and nose.
(little robot army)

I created the party details in two parts. The part with the information I glued onto the gray card stock. The decorative part I designed on the computer and printed in color, I cut it out and attached over the party info with a brad that looks like a screw.

To open the invite, you just swing the top up and it reveals all the information about the party.