Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shutter Love: Trees

There is Beauty All Around
If you live in Utah, you know one of the best places to be at Christmas time is Temple Square.  But did you also know it is amazing in the Spring, too?
It is one of my favorite places on Earth.
And their tulips are in full bloom on Mother's Day.
So we plan our Mother's Day around Temple Square.
Sadly, it was raining this year.
But it was absolutely stunning last year!
The flowers were beautiful, but my absolute favorite were the gorgeous blooms on the trees.
How could I resist entering this picture into Shutter Love?

Here's a couple more fun shots from our little outing.

I can't believe how much they have all grown this year!
Still the cutest things, EVER!

What do you do in the Summertime?

This beautiful day has had me humming a childhood song all day.  "Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?"  is from the Primary Children's Song Book, and it was one of my favorites growing up.  I was humming to myself, when I thought, Turn it into a sign!  Yay!  So fun, and so cute to bring a little summer lovin' inside!
So I got on Picnik and whipped up this little cutie.  The fun, bright colors almost ALMOST make me want to throw on my bathing suit and go run through the sprinklers...maybe I'll just turn them on for the kids!

BWS tips button

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Whatcha Got Cookin' {Sweet & Sour Chicken}

We love us some Chinese food.  Like, crazy kind of love!
We have this favorite take out place down the street.
When we walk in, the sweet old guy that owns the place says, "Ah, House Lo Mein  and Sesame Chicken!  How are you today?"
Yeah, he knows us by our order! 
The other day, my hubby called me and dead seriously told me we couldn't move.  I asked why and he said because he couldn't leave our beloved Chinese takeout behind.
Yep!  We're that crazy!
Anyone else think Chinese food and decide to leave it to the pros?
I did, until I found this recipe that I adapted a little,
And, dare I say, it is PERFECT!

Sweet & Sour Chicken
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
Cut chicken into 1 to 2 inch cubes. Place chicken and garlic salt in large ziploc back and shake to coat chicken.  Let sit for 30-40 minutes.  Add egg mixture and cornstarch to bag and shake.
Fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Sweet & Sour Sauce

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. vinegar
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1/4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1&1/2 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
Mix all ingredient in pot or electric frying pan (I use the electric frying pan because I can just add the chicken right to the sauce and heat through).  Heat sauce until it starts to thicken.  Add chicken and heat through if your chicken has cooled after frying.
Serve with rice.


If you're brave or just plain crazy! , you can let your kids test out the chopsticks.
Little Miss Bear was a rock star with the chopsticks.
The other kids...struggled, to say the least!  I ended up feeding both of the younger two because they refused to eat with a normal fork but couldn't get the hang of the chopsticks.
And don't even ask about the sticky rice mess I had on my hands!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Teacher Appreciation {Notes for the Teacher}

 Kota's school has an agenda for each day of Teacher Appreciation Week.
Monday they were supposed to bring them a treat.
Tuesday they made a gift in class.
Wednesday they wore their teacher's favorite color.  (Mrs. Black's is yellow)
Thursday the were supposed to bring their teacher a note, card or letter.
 I thought, Well, gee.  That's kind of boring. So I came up with a fun little way to present the note.
  I tried to make it teacher friendly without screaming "School Days"  you know what I mean?
I decided to use her teacher's favorite color instead of apples or chalkboards (not that there is anything wrong with those.  I love them!  But she has been teaching for several years, and you can only get so many apples before you are overwhelmed!)
 I LOVE how it turned out!
We were so blessed with an awesome teacher!
We are sure grateful for all the love, patience, and education she has given Kota this year!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Teacher Appreciation {You're a Treasure}

Looking for a quick and easy last minute teacher appreciation gift?  Look no further!
 Grab a bag of chocolate Treasures
 Whip a cute little note
(Kota told me that she told her teacher it was a treasure map.  What a cute kid!)
 Tie it all up with some pretty gold ribbon
And let your treasure deliver the goods!
Easy Peasy!
Tomorrow I'll show you the other gift Mrs. Black will be getting.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Unicorn 5th Birthday Party

Charly loves all things unicorn.  It started out as horses, and has recently developed into an obsession with all things unicorn.  It's kind of cute. So, naturally, she had to have a unicorn party this year.
 I had planned to make some fun invitations on the computer, but as I mentioned before, my (enter unpleasant word here) computer got a virus, so Charly and I went old-school, and made these entirely by hand.  I think I like them more than I would have liked the computer ones.  Mostly because Charly helped me, so she thought they were amazing!
Thank goodness I only had to make a few!
We had a build-your-own-pizza bar
We started out with dinner
I pre-cooked some pizza crusts, then let them go to town with the toppings.
And go to town they did!

After dinner we played some games
Horse, Horse, Unicorn

and Pin the Horn on the Unicorn

Took some pictures in our unicorn party hats
I made the hats out of glitter paper.  Just as I get all the stubborn glitter washed out of the girls' hair, they find one of the hats and the ugly cycle starts again!
But they turned out so cute and the kids loved them!
I went as simple as possible for the cupcakes.  I bought some chocolate cupcakes that matched the color scheme.   
I added some new unicorns for the birthday girl.

We used trick candles
She huffed...
and she puffed...
and she gave up and let Daddy put them out!
If you ask what the best thing about being 5 is, she will tell you that she gets to school.  She is so excited!
It took her a while to realize that she didn't get to go as soon as she turned 5.  She still has a couple months, but she is getting excited about learning.  And that makes me excited!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Whatcha Got Cookin' {Spicy Mac}

First of all, I know.  I kind of dropped off the face of the earth for the last few days.  But I've been a little overwhelmed with...everything, life.
First we had problems with the internet.  We have Verizon.  We love their phone service, but we aren't feeling so charitable toward the internet.  They told us when we signed up for it that we were getting the biggest package and there was no way we would ever touch that much internet.  Then they changed how they bill and we go over every month.  And it is a BIG ol' fee when you go over!  Grr!  So I had to turn the computer off and hide it until the usage rolled over again.  Then, the day the internet rolled over, I got online to look for some images for Charly's birthday invitations, and BAM!  I got a virus!  Double Grr!
While all this was going on, Daddy Did It found out he got a job out of state and we will be moving this summer. YAY!  And AH!  And YIKES!  all in one!
We got the computer back the day before he left, but I have been so busy playing single mommy that I haven't had a chance to post.  But I swear I have some stuff saved up. Hopefully I will be able to get some pictures edited after I get the kids to bed tonight and get some fun posts up for ya!

So, for now, here's one of our favorite comfort food recipes.  Because with everything going on right now, I am in need of some serious comfort!

Spicy Mac
  • 2 cans cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup (I used one of each)
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. mayo
  • 2 tbsp. chopped onion & 2 tbsp. green pepper-microwaved for 1 minute
  • 1 can diced green chilies (4 oz.)
  • 4 c. grated cheese
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Boil 6 cups of macaroni for 4-5 minutes.  Drain.  Combine with sauce.  Spread in 9x13 pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes, or until cheese is melted all the way through and the top is bubbly.

This mac and cheese is sooo yummy.  The name is a little deceiving.  It isn't really all that spicy, but it is delicious!  ** It also tastes great with a pound of ground beef mixed in!