Monday, December 30, 2013

Elvin's Antics

Three years ago we started the Elf on the Shelf fun here at our house.  I didn't go buy the expensive little guy that came with the book.  I just grabbed a cute little elf at a local craft store (much cheaper) and off we went.  This year was a lot of fun, as usual.  Here are some of the things he got into this year:

 Elvin was the d.j. at his going away party he threw himself!!
 the party guests
 Dressed up and ready for church
 wrapped up some gifts for the kiddos
 Packed and ready to head to WV with the gang.  Unfortunately,  I needed him to stay home and care for the kittens!!
 Showing off for the ladies
 Giving a Christmas concert for some friends
 He tp'd my tree :-(
 Making himself a house to stay awhile
 He made us some cookies
 Elvin was missing the North Pole - he made it snow in my house??????
 Roasting marshmallows
 Captured by the south
 Tangled in the tinsel
HE'S BACK!!!!!

I know the pics are backwards,  but I added them the wrong way!!  He was a lot of fun this year.  I can hardly wait for next year, I already have a few ideas brewing!!!

Blog Neglected

Wow,  it's been a long time since my last post.  My excuse? Well, I have a few; work, kids, school, travel, holidays, elf on the shelf antics, etc.!! I should have made time for it, but I was just so tired from everything going on that my down time was spent in the bed (naps and a few extra stolen minutes in the am).

 I have been working two extra days each pay period to get some extra money for Christmas and our Disney trip coming up.  While the extra money is nice, the days away from the house has taken its toll.  I could show you with photos, but I'd be embarrassed!!!

We also traveled to West Virginia to see family between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here's a peek:

 Doing what we do best - eating!!!
 My brother and his youngest - isn't she cute?  You can see half of my sister to the left there :)
 The annual pic at great grandma's house so she can see how much they've grown.  Unfortunately this year, she was on the couch and unable to actually come out and see this.  But, we all hugged her neck and showered her with kisses!!  
 Opening presents :)
More presents :)

The day after Christmas, we headed to Pigeon Forge for a few days with our Church youth group(that was a lot of fun packed into just a few days).
 Dixie Stampede
 How is a person suppose to sleep with these two?
 One of the youth leaders climbing for the team!!
 Chillin' in the room!!
One of our teens doing the chicken dance :)

So,  there has been a lot going on and I hope to get back into the normal routine of blogging, again!!  This happens far to often.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Menu Plan Monday November 11, 2013

The colder weather is rolling in according to the news, they are even throwing around the "s" word.  Snow down south sends people into a panic. I personally love it.  It's so pretty for a short period of time,  then it's gone!!!
 This was our house a couple years ago.  This slowed people down for about 2 days. This is nothing where I'm from, so I'm waiting to see. 

 This colder weather means my menu this week has soups, comfort foods, and a lot of hot chocolate on it.  I will share the hot chocolate recipe later this week - IT IS AMAZING!!! 

I'm off of work this week, so we are super focused on getting a lot of school projects that require my attention done.  It looks to be a hands on week in school, which means less time in the kitchen.  I'll be putting my 3 crock pots to work for sure!!!

Here's the plan:

MONDAY - Pulled Pork(crock pot) sandwiches, roasted potatoes, green beans

TUESDAY - Potato soup (crock pot)

WEDNESDAY - Whole Chicken in crock pot, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls

THURSDAY - Crock Pot Lasagna, garlic bread

FRIDAY - Roast, potatoes, carrots (in the crock pot)

SATURDAY - hamburgers, fries

SUNDAY - I work again, so it's up to hubby where they eat!!

For more meal planning ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie.  Have a great week!!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chicken, Green Beans, and Potatoes

Here is another fabulous Pinterest recipe find!!  I am always looking for quick, throw together meals to feed my picky family.  This recipe gets an A+, with only one change made.

It just doesn't get any easier than this.  

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Place 3-4 chicken breasts down the middle of a 9x13 pan.
3.  Drain a can of green beans and place on one side of the chicken.
4. Wash and cut into quarters 6-8 red potatoes (amount depends on size) and place on the other side.
5. Sprinkle a package of Italian dressing mix over everything.
6. Melt 1/4 stick of butter and pour over the green beans and potatoes. *The original recipe calls for 1/2 stick of butter - I halved that because I did not pour it over the chicken too.
7. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of Italian dressing over the chicken. *I poured this over the chicken instead of the butter.
8. Cover with foil and place in the oven. 
9. Bake for 1 hour.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Menu Plan Monday November 4, 2013

It's here!!  The last crazy, busy football week of the year is here!!!  Can you hear the excitement in my voice?  I love football,  and I enjoy watching my boys play. HOWEVER,  I am very glad that it's time for a break.  Hubby has been very helpful in taking them to practice, but having our family going in so many directions 5 out of 7 nights a week gets old. So,  a big cheer for the Greenville Hurricanes as they will be playing in their conference championship game this Friday night!!  GO CANES!!!  

My other news ............................... weight for it...................................  I have once again officially joined weight watchers.  I tried to do it without accountability and FAILED!!  So,  last Monday I joined back up and set a 5 lb goal for the week.  I lost 8 lbs.!!!  My reward was a date night with the hubby at Texas Roadhouse (probably gained 3 back).  I saved my points all day (only ate 0 point fruits and veggies)  and hubby took me out for a steak.  

On to this weeks menu, which hopefully is weigh watcher friendly:

MONDAY - Baked chicken, steamed broccoli, glazed carrots

TUESDAY - Chicken Giardino for them,  grilled chicken and steamed veggies for me

WEDNESDAY - Vegetable soup


SATURDAY - Homemade pizza

SUNDAY - Zaxbys for them/ work for me :(

For more meal planning ideas, visit Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Menu Plan Monday October 28, 2013

I can not believe it is already the last week in October.  The year goes into hyper-speed right about NOW.  It will be Christmas before I know it and I haven't even started shopping.  I did manage to get my porch decorated for fall though.  I must say it looks pretty good - if I do say so myself!!

After what was an extremely fun and busy weekend,  it's time to get back into the normal weekly routine.  Just for fun though,  I'll share a couple pics of our church's fall festival and what we were busy doing.
 Baking cakes for the cake walk - red velvet with cream cheese icing
 Chocolate chip with butter-cream frosting.
 My favorite - Chocolate cherry - YUM!!!
 Besties with their faces painted at the fall festival.
 My view from the sweets table.
My contribution to trunk or treat!! Had to steal from my porch for this one.
 My peacock princess
 Alice in Wonderland
 Bat Girl
 My little cowboy
Our hair-do for the peacock princess.

Good times had by all, I assure you!!  I wish I had more pictures of the fall festival, the church went all out!!  We had rides, games, the cake walk, and a dunk tank!!  It was super fun!!! 

On to this week and the many more fun, busy things we have to do.  Our boys' football team has their first play-off game this Thursday night - GO CANES!!!!  Our church is having fall jubilee this week as well.  So, running every night means I HAVE to plan this week out.  PLUS,  I'm very serious about eating better - for EVERYONE - not just me.  I have a lot of weight I NEED to lose and our diet needs some major changes.

MONDAY - Chicken, green beans, and potatoes (a pinterest find - recipe to follow)

TUESDAY - Amazing crock pot pork tenderloin, potatoes, and carrots

WEDNESDAY - Baked chicken, grilled sweet potatoes, corn on the cob

THURSDAY - Tacos, chips n' salsa

FRIDAY - Chicken Lo Mein (new recipe)

SATURDAY - Pizza for the kiddos/ Out to eat for me n' hubby if I lose my goal weight this week

SUNDAY - Teriyaki chicken n' rice

For more meal planning ideas and recipes to steal, visit Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Amazing Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin

I LOVE my crock pot!!  It makes things so easy on my busy days.  I should use it more often!!  Last week, I veered from my menu plan and tried this pork tenderloin recipe I found.   I'm usually not a fan of pork, because it's so hard for me to fix without being tough or dry!!  I made just a couple of changes,  but the results were still AMAZING!!!!!

Here's what you need:
          2-3 pound pork tenderloin
          1 tsp garlic powder
          salt and pepper
          1 envelope onion soup mix (I use homemade)
          1 cup water
          1 cup chicken broth
          3 tbsp soy sauce

Use salt, pepper, and garlic powder to make a rub for the pork.  I didn't give specific amounts, because I didn't measure.  I just sprinkled and rubbed it into the pork.

 Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a skillet and sear the pork before putting it in the crock pot.  While the pork is browning in the skillet;  whisk together the  water, chicken broth, and soy sauce.

Once the pork is seared, place it in the crock pot and pour the dry onion soup mix over it.  While the skillet is still hot,  pour the liquid mixture in and stir it around to get all the flavors from searing the meat.  Then, pour that over the pork.

 The original recipe called for this to be cooked on low for 4 hours.  However on my crock pot, the 4 hour setting is high.  I went ahead and used the 4 hour setting and it came out absolutely delicious.

My hubby and oldest child was into this before it ever got to the table.  It was also requested again the next day.  Unfortunately,  there weren't any leftovers to be had!!!  This recipe is definitely a keeper!!!  I paired it with some roasted potatoes and glazed carrots.  DELICIOUS Sunday afternoon meal.