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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day...and my 200th Post!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!! Is everybody ready for Corn Beef and Cabbage? What a great day to write my 200th blog post!!! I can't believe the last 100 posts went so fast...lol. Thank you to everyone who has stuck by me and my crazy rants. It's been a real roll-a-coaster ride.

On to the good stuff....Cian had his 7th Birthday party yesterday and today! Sean had to work all day yesterday, so we gave him the option of celebrating his birthday really late last night or having two days of fun, since Sean would be taking PTO today. You can guess what he chose....what kid wouldn't want their birthday to last for 2 days...lol. So, after classes, we made 3D Shamrocks and rice krispie treats with green frosting...yuck...lol. When Sean got home, we ordered pizza and opened baseball cards. (He is currently shopping for presents as I type). Here's a new picture of the birthday boy. He lost his top front tooth the other day. Funny, I was looking at his 6th birthday picture and noticed he had lost his lower baby tooth. We're on pace to loose a tooth a year...lol. I will post more birthday pictures after todays party, but in the mean time, here are a few pictures of our art project. ENJOY!












Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Sean!!

It's been a busy week. Sean went on a ride-a-long for a new position within the company. Its a promotion that would get him out of running a retail store and into more independent work. He would be in charge of 40 retail stores like Target, Walmart, Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc. He basically motivates the GM to sell more of the products from his company with incentives. It requires a lot of travel, around 100 miles per day, but he would have weekends off and an office in the cooperate building. Oh, and out of that ugly uniform. Business-casual attire. The only draw back, we may have to relocate to a different part of the state that is more expensive, but then again, we would be closer to the ocean and he'd he'd get paid a lot more. To his understanding, this is a fairly new position and not in demand quite yet. He's hoping to get an interview soon.


Sunday was Seans' 37th birthday. He usually gets pretty pissy on his birthday. He HATES it. This year wasn't bad. We barbecued cheeseburgers and hot dogs.A yummy spinach, bacon, and egg salad and chips. He got a new speaker system for the kitchen, so we blasted 80's music and played baseball outside with the kids. We had a quiet evening watching Major League on Blu-ray. Oh, and really yucky birthday cake. All in all, it was a good day. Next, Cian celebrates his 7th birthday on St. Patrick's Day. The long line of birthdays begin.....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Living Room Make Over Complete!

It's official, we finally finished the living room! The oil paintings came on Monday and we hung them last night. What a difference a little color will make. The living room looks so much brighter. I would still like to get this cute mirror set to go on either side of the O'Keefe painting in the background (next to the tree), but we've spent enough money for now...lol.
Our next project, the kitchen. We decided to go with vintage tin Coke signs across the top of the windows and doorways. Sean really likes that look and it will really brighten up the room. I'd like to find some curtains, but I have yet to find anything I'd like, any suggestions??

I have been so sick for the last week or so, (now all the kids have the cold as well) but I did manage to put together three new beds in the boys room. Solid cherry wood, each weighing around 200lbs. Sean could barely get them into the house. It took me two days to put them together, but finally finished. My boys can destroy anything in a matter of minutes, so Sean threatened certain death on all of them if anything happens to the beds or mattresses. (The last set they ripped apart to the point of springs sticking out in all directions) I will update with pictures when they clean they're room...lol.

Friday, March 4, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Recipes

As part of my St. Patrick's Day theme, I'm posting my FAVORITE Shepherd's Pie recipe. Good comfort food that's easy to make and the kids LOVE IT!! It does require a little work, like cooking mashed potatoes and chopping a few ingredients, but well worth the effort! Sean and I have been making this for years. We've tweaked it a few times and made it to our liking. You can even make it healthier by substituting a few ingredients. Its great for St. Patrick's Day or any winter meal. Enjoy!



Ingredients

  • 2 pounds potatoes, (I use russet) peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or softened cream cheese (cream cheese makes a richer taste)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup cream, (for a heart friendly version, substitute vegetable or chicken broth)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, season to taste

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, (1 turn of the pan)
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef or ground turkey (turkey for a healthier version)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped (I like to buy the frozen peas & carrots, I'm lazy...lol)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef stock or broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, a couple of handfuls (again, kill two birds with one stone)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)

Directions

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine the sour cream, egg yolk and cream or stock. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth (I like to mash and whip them with my mixer).
While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet (non-stick is best) over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or turkey. Season meat with salt and pepper (we also used garlic powder). Brown and crumble the meat for 3 or 4 minutes. (May take a bit longer) If you are using turkey and the pan is fatty, spoon away some of the drippings. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with the meat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. (This is tricky and takes some practice) Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.
Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole dish with the meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the potatoes and serve. (Best if eaten right away)

Sick As A Dog......

There are several terms in the English language that make little sense to me..."You're S****** Me". What on earth does that mean? It's really gross if you think about it. Who wants someone leaving "poop" on them? My husbands favorite term..."Take a dump" Really??? Where are you planning on taking that dump too? Shouldn't it be "Leaving a dump? After all, we're not taking it with us, we're leaving it in the toilet.

In my case, and what this entry was actually about, I am "sick as a dog". (Sean  brought home a cold last week and one by one, we have all caught it.) Sore throat, runny nose, cough, and just plain tired. I'm not really sure were a "dog" fits in with that. I didn't think a dog could catch a human cold. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a dog sick. So where did the term come from? Clearly I'm delirious from lack of sleep, so I'll just leave it at that....lol.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Attempting to make a blog button....

Ok, so I want to make a blog button, but I'm computer illiterate. I've done a tun of research but still don't get it. I guess I have to post the picture to my blog to get the code. So, here we are. Sorry for the goofy random post!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Upgrading the Living Room!!

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that we decided to spend our tax return on decorations and furniture this year. Well, I'm happy to say that our new sectional arrived yesterday and looks wonderful in the living room. It's so nice to have a couch that everyone can sit on at once and not be sitting on top of each other. To the right is a before picture (with the ugly green monster) taken Christmas of 09'. Since then, we have added new carpet, a much lighter shade and some trees, pictures, and soon to be art work. (Should be arriving some time next week). To the left is the new carpet and sectional! The couch is so cozy and soft. It feels like a velvet material of some sort. (The boys were playing tick tac toe with their fingers on it this morning..lol) Its not too soft or hard. There is actually a chase lounge that goes with it, but we're still debating whether to purchase it or not.

My other new project was putting up a few collage frames in the hallway, by the front door. I did post the frames in an earlier blog. Since then I have ordered the pictures from Snapfish and put the collages together. Here are the finished product! I'm quite pleased with the way they turned out!!

St Patrick's Day Crafts for the Kiddies'

As part of my St. Patrick's Day theme, here are a couple art projects the boys and I will be working on in school. This first project is the Tissue Paper Shamrock that I found at Crafts by Amanda. (It's one of my favorite crafting blogs.) I actually remember doing a similar craft in elementary school and remembered how much fun I had doing it. It's very simple, all you need are:
1. Green construction paper
2. Green tissue squares (I get mine at Discount School Supply)
3. White glue
4. Scissors
5. Pencil
6. Poster board
7. Hole punch (optional)
8. Yarn or string (optional)
9. Shamrock pattern

For a cost effective project, Ebay has a really cute simular craft kit for only $1.50 + shipping. (She only has 7 left)


Here's another fun St. Pattie's Day project. This little leprechaun face is so cute and easy for the little ones to help with. All you need are:

Green, black, orange, white and yellow construction paper

Googly eyes
Crayons
Glue
Scissors
Leprechaun template


How to make your Paper Leprechaun Craft


Print our template and cut out the pieces. Trace them onto the specified colors of construction paper. The face and the nose should be copied onto white paper and then colored peach (unless you can find peach construction paper!). If you want something even simpler, just have your children color the pieces. Cut out your leprechaun pieces.

Glue the beard onto the round face piece.
Glue the yellow band onto the green hat. Then glue the black buckle onto the yellow band.
Glue the shamrock onto the hat.
Glue the hat onto the leprechaun's head.
Glue two eyes and the nose onto the leprechaun.
Use a red crayon to draw on a smile.

Hope these make there way into your arts and crafts time with the kiddies. I look forward to making them with my kids!!