Playing with my boys

Playing with my boys
They keep life interesting :-)

Saturday, June 22, 2013


  1. A state of extreme physical or mental fatigue.
  2. The action or state of using something up or of being used up completely: "exhaustion of fossil fuel reserves".
weariness - fatigue - depletion - lassitude - prostration

I. Am. Exhausted.  Physically, mentally, emotionally fatigued.  Do you ever feel so tired that you honestly just don't think your brain can hold anything else?  That's where I'm at right now.  I keep trying to tell my brain to just STOP THINKING.  But, its not listening to me.  It. Just. Keeps. Thinking.

I am in desperate need of some quality time with a good girlfriend.  I want to be able to sit, and just exhale, and not have to be responsible for anything more than breathing in and breathing out. 

Kids are asleep, husband is out...bed is calling!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Block Party

Our neighborhood is pretty small - 36 houses total.  All our houses are close together, and there are a handful of "common areas" scattered throughout the neighborhood.   This past Saturday, on one of those grassy patches of common area, we had a neighborhood Block Party, complete with grills, kiddie pools, water tables, and a big bouncy house for the kids.  (It should be noted that of the 36 houses here, most of them have multiple children living in should see this place at Halloween! ) 

In addition to all those things set up for family fun, we also had a bike parade for the kids!  Oh my goodness, they were SO excited!!  They all decorated their bikes/tricycles/push cars with streamers, balloons, flags, flowers...whatever they could get attached (I saw a Cookie Monster doll tied to one little boy's ride).  They paraded up and down the street around orange street cones -made it very official that way, hehe.  At the end they were all awarded with...what else?  CANDY!!  It was a great time for all the families there and I feel so lucky to live in a neighborhood bursting with little ones :-)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Peanut Butter Kick

I'll admit, I have a slight obsession for all things peanut butter.  Most mornings, in the rush of getting the kids fed, cleaned, and out the door on our way wherever, I don't have time or the desire to make myself a proper breakfast, so I have a cup of coffee and a spoonful of peanut butter.  A spoonful of pb keeps me satisfied far longer than a bagel or a bowl of cereal does...its perfect!

So, you get the point.  I love peanut butter.  The other day while Liam napped, Aidan and I made a Father's Day cake for AJ.  I had a gold butter cake mix and one jar of store bought chocolate frosting.   I wanted to make it a little more interesting though.  I put a half cup of peanut butter and a half cup of confectioners sugar in a bowl and blended it together using my hand mixer.  Then I blended in the jar of chocolate frosting.  It didn't seem right yet, so I added a heaping spoonful of Fluff!  Now, it was good. 

I had baked two round cakes and, once cooled, put my chocolatey peanut butter concoction in between the 2 layers.  The hubs stopped at the store on the way home to pick up more chocolate frosting so I could cover the top and sides of this masterpiece.   Once frosted, I had to add chopped Reese's cups to the top.

This cake was a big hit in my family!   I served it after Fayher's Day brunch and my brothers and even my diabetic father loved it!*  They all said it tasted just like a Funnybone...which apparently they all love and I didn't realize just how much!

*I don't know whether I should be so proud of my finished product that it made a hardcore diabetic crossover to the dark-sugary side, or if I should be ashamed for allowing my dad to fall off the no/low sugar wagon.  I asked him several times if he was sure he really wanted a piece...he even admitted that he'd be hurting later, but he just had to try it!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Crockpot Freak

I'm kind of a crockpot freak.  I LOVE cooking in the crockpot.  I just seems to make life so much easier!  There are a handful of recipes I make on a regular basis and I'm going to share 2 of them with you right now.  If you need something easy, but totally flavorful and delicious, these fit the bill.

Salsa Chicken
I love this recipe because not only is it so tasty, but the ingredients are things I generally have in my fridge and pantry regularly anyhow, so I don't often have to plan for this meal.

1lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 jar salsa (you can choose your desired level of heat)
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 container sour cream

Put the salsa, taco seasoning, cream of chicken soup and sour cream all in the crockpot and stir it all together.  Add the chicken and make sure they are completely covered by the mixture.  Cover and cook for 5 hours on low.  Remove the chicken and shred it using 2 forks.  Place shredded chicken back in pot and mix with the sauce.  I generally let it cook another 30 minutes or so just to absorb as much sauce as possible, but your chicken is fully cooked so you can eat it now if you want too! 

I have served this as an appetizer with tostitos, as shown in the photo (from Pinterest), or over white rice, or in flour tortillas as burritos.  This dish is SO versatile!

Pesto Ranch Chicken
It sounds like such a strange combination, but it WORKS!

1 dry packet of Ranch salad dressing mix
1 jar of basil pesto (I prefer the Classico brand over any others I've tried)
1 cup of chicken stock
8 skinless chicken thighs (I have also used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and shredded it at the end - my 3 year old loves it that way the best)

Add chicken to crockpot.  Cover chicken with the jar of pesto.  Sprinkle the packet of Ranch dressing mix over the pesto covered chicken.  Pour the chicken stock over chicken, cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours (depending how much chicken you use).

I serve this over pasta and LOVE it!  I'll have to remember to take a picture next time I make it.

If you try either of these recipes, let me know how you like them!

A Nemo Party!

Back in November, for Liam's 1st birthday, I threw a Nemo themed party.  I have been meaning to write about it but just kept forgetting.  So, NOW, I write :-)

I had SO much fun with this theme!

The combination of turquoise and orange just made me happy.  I love those colors together, and they looked fantastic all over my table.

I saw those turquoise pails holding orange plastic utensils on Pinterest, and my theme took off from there.  I was so excited to find those pails in the dollar bins at Target!  I was really proud of my homemade chocolates too - orange goldfish, turquoise seashells, and dark chocolate lobsters...yum!

These chocolate, graham cracker crumb, goldfish covered marshmallows I made were a BIG hit! The general consensus was that the combination of all those flavors together tasted like the inside of an Oreo. Delicious!  Thanks Pinterest for the inspiration for these.

The orange swirly lollipops came from Oriental Trading, and the goldfish bowls are from
Dollar Tree...I love a good bargain!

The favors were mini orange metal pails filled with Easter grass, sea life gummies, bubbles, a fishy finger puppet, and a lollipop - also all from Oriental Trading. 
I was SO pleased with how these came out!

And of course no party would be complete without a cute cake! This masterpiece is from
Veronica's Sweetcakes (in Marshfield) - not a bargain, but totally worth it ;-)


It was a VERY happy birthday for my little Liam bug!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Peanut Butter Perfection!

So, I found this recipe on Pinterest for a "skinny" peanut butter pie.  It looked pretty good, but it called for ingredients I didn't have in my house (like reduced fat cream cheese), and ingredients I didn't WANT in my house (like fake peanut butter...what IS that anyhow?!?).  So, I made this... all its full fat glory (with additions like, oh, I don't know...peanut butter cups!) and it was PERFECTION!

Here is my ingredient list:
5 oz cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup of Confectioner's Sugar (I'll admit, my 1/2 cup was heaping)
1/2 cup of peanut butter (again, this 1/2 cup was a little over...and for the record, I used Skippy Creamy)
8 oz tub of whipped topping (from the freezer section at the grocery store, thawed - and I did actually use the "light" kind)
1 chocolate ready-to-eat pie crust
1 king size package of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (4 cups), chopped
1/2 Hershey's milk chocolate bar, grated

Beat cream cheese and confectioner's sugar in a medium bowl until blended.
Mix in peanut butter and beat until smooth blended.
Fold in whipped topping.
Spoon filling into pie crust.
Sprinkle shaved Hershey's chocolate over top of pie, and sprinkle the chopped bits of peanut butter cups on top of that.
Cover and chill pie for at 2-3 hours before serving.

If you try it, let me know how you like it!