Saturday, February 26, 2011

Football Party

Its almost party time and I am exhausted but so excited about Harrison's party. We changed a few things around but are still going with the football theme. I knew that I wanted to do a dessert table as the main decoration in the room and I was able to sketch up what I had in mind. This actually made things so much easier as I was able to get a better idea of what I needed and how things would fit.

I decided to go with a football ice cream cake  and orange dreamsicle cupcakes since we were entertaining little guests and figured that would be easier to serve and quick for them to grab as they were playing. I also stayed with the orange,brown and white color scheme and it was so much easier to make decisions based on the coordinating colors. We put out all sorts of orange colored snacks and drinks and even had a popcorn machine. 

 I wanted to do a custom banner and cupcake toppers but did not want to have to purchase a template so I looked around and was able to find a few free ones.I am in love with all things TomKat but again, I was trying to keep costs down so I decided just to use some of her parties for inspiration.  I am in love with this crab shack ideadesserts+1.jpg

I have my own cupcake towers and will use a trifle dish for a pedestal for the cake. I'm going to have bagged football cookies for favors and orange cake pops. I picked up a few different orange and brown candies to have on the table as well. I love how she coordinates all of the little labels and although I didn't do that this time, I'm going to try to get started a little bit sooner on the next party so I have time to complete everything.  I love this tablescape and think any child would flip to see a table of treats like this.


I mean are you kidding me!? so stinkin cute! This again was my inspiration and I strive to one day be able to emulate what she does. I would like to think I am pretty creative but this lady blows me out of the water. Her blog  is full of the prettiest little parties you have ever seen.

So back to Harrison's big day, I knew that I wanted little pennants as the toppers to stay with the theme and found a free template at fogandthistle for these cute little guys.


They are available in boy or girl colors and looked so cute sticking out of the cupcakes. I also found a template to make a happy birthday banner. I can't remember where I found it but if you search for "paper pennant" you will find a ton of tutorials. I ended up cutting the triangles from scrapbooking paper and cut the letters with my cricut machine. I used a hole punch and embroidery floss to string the letters together and hung it on the front of the table.

Next year I would like to make a fabric one like this. It is so cute and would be perfect for a boy or girls party.  
I am loving the little ruffled edges. Do you see the little flame on each letter? So cute.
I've got to get things set up but I will post pictures of the party later. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Harrison is turning 4!

I can't believe my little guy is going to be four years old. He has decided that he wants to do a football themed party this year and thankfully we have a big back yard so we can do lots of sports themed games. I am still searching for fun ideas for the party although I always seem to get overwhelmed with all of the options. I think going one step further with the football theme and making it a VOLS football party will be a lot more fun since we have some die hard UT fans around here. Anyway,here is what I've got so far.

Party Games:
o.k. I figure these are four year old kids so they arent going to want games that are too difficult to play. A friend has corn hole that Im going to ask to borrow and i saw an idea for throwing a football through a hula hoop or a tire. We are also going to borrow a small bounce house that should keep them busy for quite a while.

I thought we could stick with the whole football concession thing and serve nachos and cheese dip, hot dogs and popcorn. I think our local rental place has a popcorn machine that we can rent to make fresh popcorn. I'm gonna check with chloe's school and see if I can get a stack of the little paper boats that they serve hot dogs in to use for the food. I'm gonna make some orange and white punch. I'm thinking something easy like orange fanta and vanilla ice cream and some yummy orange tea for the adults. We will have cheetos, carrots with ranch, and probably a few other little treats that are orange and white.

Harrison decided early on that he wanted a football cake so I'm gonna do an orange dreamsicle cake that looks like a football field. I found a delicious looking recipe that I am gonna tweak just a little bit but I think it will be amazing.

Dreamsicle cake recipe

1 package (18.25 ounces) lemon Supreme cake mix
1 small package  orange jello (3 oz)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon orange extract
1-1/4 cups orange 
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened orange Kool Aid
Preheat oven to 350°F and spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
Place cake mix, jello, oil, eggs, and orange extract in mixing
bowl.  Add orange juice and Kool Aid and beat on low  until moistened. Increase to medium and beat a few minutes longer. The batter will be smooth. Pour into pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Don’t overbake.
If the creamcicle cake humps up in the center, when you take it out of the oven, put a folded towel over it and press down with your hands. Viola – a perfectly even cake (what you are doing is pressing the air out).  Let cool while making topping:
Pineapple cream cheese topping for the creamcicle cake.
Beat together:
1 can, about 20 oz, crushed pineapple, drained or not – whatever you like (undrained your frosting will be a little softer – I like that version since it has more flavor)
3 oz cream cheese, softened
3.5 oz package instant vanilla pudding
Then fold in:
8 oz or so thawed whipped topping
Spread on cooled cake and garnish as desired.

If by some turn of events the weather is hot, I think I might make this version as well. 


  Orange-Raspberry Dreamsicle Cake

  • Recipe Ingredients
    •  2 pkg (13 oz each) coconut macaroons (we used Archway)
    •  3 cups (1 1⁄2 pt) raspberry sherbet
    •  2 pt vanilla ice cream
    •  3 cups (1 1⁄2 pt) orange sherbet
    •  Garnish: pretty iced cookies Recipe Preparation
     1. Line a 13 x 9 x 2-in. pan with foil, letting foil extend about 2 in. above pan at both ends. Lightly coat with  nonstick spray.
     2. Line bottom of the pan with macaroons; press to flatten and form a layer. Freeze 20 minutes, or until firm. Meanwhile, refrigerate raspberry sherbet and 1 pt vanilla ice cream to soften slightly.
     3. Drop spoonfuls of softened sherbet and ice cream into crust, alternating flavors and packing them down as you go. Freeze 2 hours, or until firm. 
     4. Repeat with orange sherbet and remaining vanilla ice cream. Freeze 30 minutes to set, then swirl surface decoratively. Freeze 6 hours, or until hard, and serve, or wrap airtight and freeze up to 2 weeks.
    5. To serve: Lift foil by ends onto cutting board; remove foil. Cut in 9 bars; cut bars in half diagonally to make wedges
    This should be super easy. We are gonna stick orange and white pom poms everywhere and hang orange and white streamers from the doorways and over the table with the cake. I may try to print out big football players and tape them to the floor for the kids to color. I'm gonna head to sallys to get some orange and white spray for the kids to put in their hair. We are going to invite all of our guests to wear their orange and white and im going to try to find someone to borrow ref shirts from for monty and I to wear. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oh Baby

Shout to the heavens! It is one am and Jacob is asleep in his crib. So it is night two -well technically 3 but Monday didn't count because I gave up at 2 a.m. and finally just brought him to bed with me- of teaching Jacob that he doesn't have to sleep with his tiny baby feet in my back and neck any longer. As with the other two, I felt that co-sleeping was the best option for us when Jacob was preparing to make his way into the world. I have thoroughly enjoyed cuddling with him every evening and did not mind at all the middle of the night feedings and waking up at 3 am just to lean down about an inch from his face to make sure he was breathing. I only got out a tiny mirror and held it under his nose once. ok, twice but you have to really make sure when they are so tiny. It is hard to tell if their chest is rising and falling so that really was my only option. back to the point. I have been so blessed to have a healthy baby boy who loves to snuggle right up next to his mommy. I was not in any kind of a hurry to make him go sleep all the way across the hall in his huge crib all by himself. My husband on the other hand is ready to get our bed back. He has been sleeping on the very edge of the bed for about six months now and I think he is over it. He informed me the other day that it was time to begin the transition into the crib. I, being the flexible, supportive wife that I am said, "of course! you are so right! It is important to develop good sleeping habits at an early age and if we ever hope to sleeping soundly through the night with all children tucked into their own beds then we must get Jacob used to sleeping in his crib now." That is a lie. What I really said was, "are you kidding me? he is so little! He still likes to eat a few times during the night and needs me near him. His room is so far away. all the way across the hall! and his crib is so big and he might get cold but he cant tell us because he cant talk and what if he gets too hot and starts having trouble breathing? SIDS has been linked to babies getting too warm while they sleep. No, we need to just wait a little bit longer. What about when he is one?"

So here we are....night number two of him sleeping in his crib. We are trying to establish a nightly routine but I'm still haven't figured out what the magic number is for his bedtime. We have tried 645 and 8 and both times he woke up around 11p.m. ready to play and have a snack. Tonight I put him down at 9 because he had a late nap and he slept soundly until about 11. I went up to feed him and got him back down. It is now 1:45 and he has woken up crying six times. I know they are supposed to learn to self soothe but I just cant seem to get on board with that one. When he wakes up he starts crying and if I get there soon enough, I can give him his pacifier and he will go back to sleep but if I wait and try to let him "cry it out" he flips out and gets more and more worked up. I don't know what I'm doing at all! meanwhile, I'm like a zombie walking around half awake trying to get through my day. He has been quiet for the last 45 minutes so I guess I'm gonna try to go on up to bed. I thought maybe I could wait it out and stay up until he was good and asleep for the night but I did not know it would be this late.

Do you ever get tired thinking about the next day and you haven't even gone to bed yet? That is just sad. Oh well, it won't be like this forever. I must remember that and be thankful for all that God has blessed me with. Thanks for stopping by and supporting my ranting. Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I love swagbucks! If you haven't heard about it, it is a search engine that gives you the opportunity to win "swagbucks" for doing things you probably do anyway:search, shop, answer polls and more. Your points are tallied up and you can redeem them at anytime for items in their swagstore. The best thing I have found is the amazon gift card. I have redeemed points for amazon and smilebox gift cards and am currently saving up for another $25 gift card from amazon so I can get a new gps that they have on sale for 67.00. I have heard of a few people adding up their points all year and redeeming them in october for amazon gift cards and using them for all of their christmas shopping. I think I may try to do that for a few months at least.

Another great thing about swagbucks is that you can refer people and when they sign up, you get points as they win points. Imagine if you got even 10 people to sign up. Ive racked up almost 3,000 points in just a few months. It is basically free money for something you are going to do anyway. It is free to sign up and they will award you 30 swagbucks to get started.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

creating a banner

So as scatterbrained as I am, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I sat down two hours ago to write a post and ended up getting sidetracked when I decided to change my banner really quick. I created this blog over a year ago and the design is pretty generic. I have been wanting to personalize it for some time but I just haven't got around to doing it.

As I mentioned before, I started to just change my "about" info and decided to look up a quick tutorial on designing a banner and here I am two hours later with no post and no changes to my blog. SO frustrating. I found a few different tutorials that seemed pretty straightforward but try as I might, I just am not any good with reading code. I tried over and over again to cut and paste new code into my html but I kept getting an error message.  Am I seriously just retarded or have any of you had problems with this as well? I actually think I may have found a site with a step by step on creating a banner and plugging it into the header section. Hopefully it won't involve reading any code. Hopefully it will look something like one of these pics below.

I think the bottom right is my favorite!

I watched The Social Network again this weekend and it is amazing to me to think about sitting and writing code for hours upon hours. I took a web design class my junior year in college and somehow managed to create a website from scratch. I remember bits and pieces of what I learned but I think it was mostly just copying from the book and plugging in a few words here and there. Maybe its time to dig through the book shelves and see if I can find any of the books from my class. I think I am going to give it one more shot. Hopefully before my next post I will have a pretty new personalized banner. Once I figure it out, I will share what I learned.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Favorite Dinner Ever!

A friend of mine shared a recipe with me the other day for bruschetta chicken and I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I am not so good at picking winners when it comes to new recipes so I was a bit nervous but oh my goodness. It was amazing! This is probably one of the best meals I have made in a long time. I was thrilled because, for once, everyone liked it. 
Bruschetta Chicken. Yum!
I have had soo many requests for this recipe already so I thought I would pass it along to all of you. I served it with Ronzoni garden delight fettucine and asparagus. If you like bruschetta at all you will love this dish. I actually doubled the topping and used it for traditional bruschetta tonight. I am so excited for you to try this.  It actually is a really quick and easy meal that is sure to impress. The recipe calls for traditional bread crumbs but I use panko because it stays really crunchy while baking. Let me know what you think!

  • 4 Servings
  • Prep: 10 min. Bake: 30 min.


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in flour, then in eggs; place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over chicken.
  • Loosely cover baking dish with foil. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 170°.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon over the chicken. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes or until tomato mixture is heated through. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving (prepared with 1/2 cup egg substitute) equals 358 calories, 13 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 623 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 36 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4-1/2 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cleaning House

I finally had a yard sale this past weekend. Yes, I know it is November. Yes, I know that people usually don't do yard sales this late in the year. My husband was threatening to throw everything away though so I figured it was now or never. I have made him move those boxes around for the past three years. I always meant to get rid of everything but things always came up so the pile actually grew and grew and collected dust. A local preschool offered to "host" the sale for a small donation from each person selling and it worked out pretty good because the school is located on a busy street.

So here is what I learned about yard sales:
-I am definitely a rookie when it comes to having one. I had no idea what I was doing.
-apparently just showing up and setting everything out on a table is not such a good strategy
-your stuff isn't going to go for nearly what you think it is worth
-people are cheap,cheap,cheap
-be prepared to haggle and don't back down!
-it is a lot less stressful if you have at least one other person to help you and if you price things beforehand
-next time(of there is one) I will color code everything and use a master price sheet

I was genuinely surprised at how cheap and aggressive people were with my things. I was second guessing myself on a lot of things because people were commenting on how they didn't want to pay what i was asking. I ended up settling for a lot less than I could have because I was unsure of myself. I have a feeling that some of my things will probably be resold for a bit of profit. Oh well. lesson learned. at least the garage is somewhat organized now. I spent about 4 hours out there yesterday afternoon organizing and going through things. Our plan is to be able to park the car in there by December 1st.

It is amazing to me how much stuff we collect as we move along in our lives. I am the type that gets distracted easily so it was very difficult to stay on task while cleaning the garage. Every time I would open a box I would sift through it and get caught up looking at old pictures and art projects. Little toys that got shoved here or dropped there. I have talked about "cleaning up" and becoming more organized for the past three years but I just can't seem to get it done. I hate clutter but it makes me sad to get rid of old things. I guess mostly stuff that Chloe made or gave to me. Its all just stuff though and its not the stuff that matters.

We will see how long the cleaning streak lasts. I'm sure I will find another project to focus on before too long.

Winter seems well under way. Stay warm. We'll talk soon