January 31, 2013

It's OK Thursday

Today is Thursday! So today it's OK to just be OK!

Got back from Vegas late last night. 
Got a huge hug from my baby girl in the airport at Phoenix! 
Thank You Mama and Ari for watching her while we worked. 
You guys rock!

IT'S OK that I ate these desserts while I was in Vegas.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Right??
Including Calories :-)

IT'S OK that I drank 2 of these! 
Hanging with my girl Kristine! #mamasnightout #vivalasvegas

IT'S OK that I am signing with a vendor at Market just so I could buy this for my house.
I need this in my kitchen. #itshuge #lovemetalart #soperfect

IT'S OK that I sat on this sofa, just so I can say that I did.
#don'tfallasleeponthisone #ouch #divacouch #checkoutthepurplebedbehindit

IT'S OK that I did a Coca-Cola tasting tray by myself.
#killingtime #that'salotofcoke #totaltummyacheafter #soworthit

IT'S OK that I begged the gate agent to give Zach and I an empty seat between us on our flight home late last night. Sleeping baby in the middle. #wishIcouldlaydown #latenight

Don't worry Mamas. We didn't take Zoie to Las Vegas with us. I am NOT that Mama! As I explained HERE. We met my mom in Phoenix and left Zoie with her Nana and Papa. Her big sister Ari even tagged along. They had a great visit. Saw Grandparents, went to the aquarium, visited neighbors, went shopping, and played outside which is something we can't do at home right now. #sofreakingcold

Linking up today with Neely!

Happy Thursday Everyone!

We'll get back on track here tomorrow. After I get unpacked and do all the laundry. #ugh #hatelaundry


January 26, 2013

Sunday Social ~ A Blog Hop

Good Morning All!
For those of you that are new here, and for those joining from Sunday Social Blog Hop;
It really is great to have you all here.

Today, I am linking up with Neely!

Sunday Social

This Weeks Questions: Gettin' Deep

1. What is your ideal way to relax?With a cup of tea (anything fruity) and my heated blanket on the couch catching up on my weeks DVR'd shows. I know it isn't super relaxing to most, but it allows me to escape from my life. And sometimes, I need a little escape.

2. Where is your favorite place to be?
The Beach! Any Beach! I LOVE the Oregon Coast, but any beach will do.
3. Who do you consider your biggest role model?

My Mom! She taught me to be kind, not judge, and clean with elbow grease. She's taught be how to be a good mom and role model to my daughter.

4. What does your life look like in 3 years?
Wow! I'm gonna have a 4 year old in 3 years! My life is going to be CAH-Razy in 3 years. I do hope for a little less stress in our business. I would love for my husband to not worry about work and money. #Ilovehim #heworkshardforthemoney #myhubsisthebest

5. If you could go back and change one decision what would it be?
This is hard, all of the decision I have made, brought me to where I am now. I don't know that I would change anything if it could alter where I am now. #imsuchasap

6. What is your biggest accomplishment in life thus far?
My happy healthy marriage, and my happy healthy daughter and step-kids. #Ilovemyfamily

These were tough ones... how will you answer?

Have a great Sunday friends!

We are currently on a plane. Off to Las Vegas this morning for Furniture Market.
I'll be sure to Tweet and Instagram LOTS of pics from Market. What kind of stuff do you want to see?? Let me know in a comment and I'll be sure to find it for you. Anything from a sofa or loveseat to a particular home decor item. I'm sure to see it there.

You can find my Instagram HERE.
You can find my Twitter HERE.


A Gift From Ryleigh

Last weekend Ryleigh spent a lot of time in her room with the a bunch of craft stuff. I didn't know what she was working on until late Monday evening when she gave me a gift. It was so lovely and warmed my heart to receive a gift from Ry. 

She made me a scrapbook with all of her favorite pics of the family in it. 
It is so special to me!

I will cherish it for always.

Thanks Ry! Love You to the Moon and Back!


January 25, 2013

Fitness Friday

It's a Blog Hop Kind of Morning!
For those ladies joining from High Heeled Mama, WELCOME!
For those that are new, Check. Her. Out!

Let me just start by saying that I am in no way, shape, or form at my preferred weight or fitness level. Things seem to have ... gone down hill since I was pregnant with Zoie. She is nearly 15 months old now... I don't have any excuses. I just need to start! I need to get into a routine that works for me. 

I wish I was one of those girls that lost the baby weight within weeks of delivering, but sad to say I am not that Mama. I am the Mama that gained 70 pounds during her pregnancy and was another 5-7 heavier after giving birth. #thankyouswelling #ohthejoysofdrugs #ihadahugebaby

I wasn't one of the beautiful pregnant ladies either. You know the ones... with the tiny frame and the cute baby bump. I was so swollen and huge throughout my whole pregnancy that people thought I was farther along than I actually was.

"No, Lady in the grocery store. I am not due today! I have another 3 months to go."

So ... here I am today. Not at my ideal weight but longing to be there. 

What's funny... I am wearing all the pants from when I was in my best shape before I got preggers... what sucks... is all the extra tummy that I can't seem to get rid of. All my 'extra' seems to go straight to my tummy. #Ugh

I have PINNED 1000 ways to get back in shape.
Now I just have to do it!
So here's to doing it! 
Here's to getting in shape!
With the link up to High Heeled Mama, I have more accountability for what I am trying to accomplish. 
The occasional lunges and crunches here and there aren't cutting it anymore.
Bring it on body! I am ready! 

An Emotional Friday

We have a young teenage girl in our family.
A 13 year old to be exact....

Do you remember that age? 

Goodness, I remember:
Knowing Everything
Hating Everything
Wanting my own way ALL the time
Having ZERO control over my emotions
Being completely Irrational with my parents

Being a young teen girl is hard.
Boo to Hormones and Changes!

Now I know how my parents felt.
I should call them and apologize.

Anyone else have a young teenage girl in their midst? Do you remember what I'm referring to? Did everyone else block it out as I have until now? Anyone have any advise on how to deal with this? How did your parents handle teenage emotions?


January 24, 2013

It's OK Thursday!

It's hard to believe Thursday is here already! The week has flown by!

As for me, it's been a busy week and yet I feel like I haven't accomplished anything.
Ugh... I serioiusly hate that!

Today I am linking up with Neely and Amber.

Its Ok Thursdays

Seriously Kara... It's OK

It's OK that I can't walk this morning ... cause I did FAR too many lunges and squats!

It' OK that I only did all those lunges and squats cause I felt guilty for eating a quart of ice cream by myself. It was Tillamook! You can't pass up on Tillamook! Plus, it was Cookies and Cream! It had me at Hello! #Nowthatsafatassprob 

It's OK that I chose to watch a rerun of NCIS on Tuesday instead of mopping my kitchen floor.

It's OK that I have a business trip coming up on Sunday and I have nothing to wear... #mamaissues

It's OK to feel like I need new clothes to feel prepared and confident for said trip.

It's OK that my luggage has been sitting in my living room since my last trip. #lazyass

It's OK that it took me a week to get Zoie into the Dr. It was only a minor sinus infection. #insertsadmamafacehere #guiltymama

It's OK that I didn't clean Zoie's room yesterday when she destroyed it. #Illpickitupeventually

It's OK that I am too lazy to pick up the random pieces of Zoie's clothes I find laying all over the house. #sheprobablyleftthemforareason

It's OK that I put Zoie to bed a little early last night so I could have a little ME time. #sometimesIneedalittlemetime

OK... So... Probably not the best list. But at least I wrote it.
Counting down the days to Sunday when I get to see my girl Kristine!
Happy Thursday Friends!

I'll be back tomorrow with a quick tutorial.


January 22, 2013

Rambling Recap of the Weekend

Good Monday Tuesday Morning to you!
Wow, that weekend went by fast. We even had an extra day with Monday off and it still flew by. My mom always said that time flies when you're having fun. And we sure had fun this weekend.

Did anyone else have a great weekend???

Friday evening was pretty uneventful, even for us. We didn't go anywhere or do anything. We just spent time at home as a family. I like evenings like that. Can't get enough of those with our busy schedules.

Saturday morning Maci came over to spend the day with us since her mom (my Sis) was working. She is a hoot to have around; has always been the life of the party day. We really enjoy having her at our house. I love that kid!

So ... Saturday morning we ran some errands in town, which took longer than we wanted. It always does. A quick trip to the Store always turns into three or four hours of my husband dragging us all around town running errands. This day however, we met up with my little brother and his girlfriend (JC and Taylor) for lunch. Taylor was on her way back home to California that afternoon as her vacation to Washington was over. Boo! We like her :)  JC was headed to Hanford, WA for a job that is starting there. He is a Lineman! (I say that with an exclamation because he thinks he is very important.) It was was good to see them both before they left town.

After a quick stop at Hobby Lobby, we lost Zoie in Home Depot.

When we finally made it home, the girls and I had craft time.
We bought some square white tiles that we found on clearance at Home Depot and I have A TON of scrap-booking supplies.
We made Coasters for Valentines Day.

The girls each took their time cutting and styling their gifts and I helped them with the Mod Podge.
It was a lot of fun. We all really enjoy crafting.

Like the matching pajamas? Maci just happened to have them in her bag when her mom dropped her off... that way my Sis couldn't say no when Maci called her to spend the night.

Sunday was another uneventful day. I can't even remember if we left the house. Ryleigh's mom picked her up and took her shopping for summer clothes with their stash of Gymbucks. Lucky Ducks! Maci and I spent most of the morning continuing on our crafts and we did a few chores around the house. Not as fun as shopping, but it was still a great day.

Yesterday was awesome though. 
We are VERY LUCKY to live about 10 miles from Mt Spokane. Which as some of you may know is great for skiing and snowboarding, but what you may not know is that there are also 2 tubing hills on the mountain. I actually didn't know there were 2 hills, I thought there was only one (the one that's been there for 40 years). Turns out they put in a new run up at the Mt Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park.

So when we were to meet some friends up at the tubing hill, we went to the old one and they were at the new one.... and there is no cell service on the mountain. So we tubed as a family and finally touched bases with everyone later in the afternoon when we got home. 

It was great fun! The hill was fast but even Zoie had fun zooming down it. 

After a long weekend, we all hit the sack early Monday night. 
Another week begins today. Are you ready for it?

How did your weekend go??


January 20, 2013

A Mama's Vent About Restaurants

Do you guys ever eat out?
What am I asking? Of course you do! Everyone eats at a restaurant at some point... right?
We have been trying to eat out less often, but it doesn't always work the way I would like. We are a busy family. I would like to imagine that I have time to make a wholesome dinner for my family every night.

But who am I kidding?!?!

I have a serious (to me) beef to pick with some of our local and chain restaurants. They all seem to do the same thing. I am usually much to timid to say anything at the time... but not on here! So here goes nothin'!

Do any of you order off the kids menu?
There usually aren't very healthy options for kiddos on the 'Kid's Menus'. It's especially difficult when my child refuses to eat meat.

Her options are usually, Pizza, Grilled Cheese, or Macaroni and Cheese.
So unhealthy. But beggars can't be choosers.

Here's where my problem comes in... Ordering for a child on the 'Kids Menu' typically means the food will be going to a CHILD! So when the food is delivered, shouldn't the temperature be optimum for a CHILD?? Not as if you just took it from the surface of the sun?!?

Am I the only one that has this problem?
I understand the importance of getting people their food while it is still warm. (warm, not hot) But if a servers tells you to 'Fire' a Kids Mac & Cheese... use your brain and realize that it is for a kid. And some kids don't understand the concept of blowing on their food.

(Don't get me wrong, I am a proud Mama to say that Zoie can and will blow on her food if you tell her it is hot... but not enough to actually make a difference before it goes into her mouth.)

This Mama is tired of spending the first 10 to 15 minutes after our food is delivered blowing on Mac & Cheese while everyone else enjoys their meal. Well... they enjoy it as best they can while my 1 year old cries at me because she is hungry and you can't give her a bite of her food.

Then... when I finally get her fed and I am able to eat, everyone else at the table is either done with their meal, working on their dessert, or ready to go. So they are forced to wait while I scarf down my meal without any ability to enjoy it.

Ugh... The dilemas of parenthood!
I should write a letter to someone!

Rant Over!
Happy Sunday!!

January 17, 2013

Phili Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers {Recipe}

Yesterday I was drawing a complete blank as to what to make for dinner. My husband gave his usual input of, "Whatever you wanna make."
Worst answer ever to give to someone as indecisive as me.

So... I decided to grab a recipe from Pinterest.
Not really knowing where to start, I just grabbed what I thought looked good at the time.

This deconstructed Phili Cheese Steak type picture jumped out at me.
It was with great disappointment that I soon found there wasn't a recipe attached to the link.

So I took matters into my own hands and decided to try it on my own.

Here is my version of

Phili Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

2-3 Large Green Bell Peppers (1 Pepper per person)
1 Medium Yellow Onion, sliced
1/2 lb Cremini Mushrooms, sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
5-6 Large Slices Roast Beef
6-8 Slices Provolone Cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
I stared by slicing my onion and mushrooms.
The onion was cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into about 1/2 inch pieces. Set aside.

Slice Mushrooms. Set aside.
Chop 2 cloves garlic. Set aside.

Slice bell peppers in half and clean out the inside seeds.
(When I make these again, I will roast the peppers before stuffing them. They weren't fully cooked the way I finished them. Drizzle with olive oil and give them about 10-15 minutes in the oven to sweat out most of their water.)

Slice Roast Beef into strips. Set aside
I use the roast beef from Costco which comes in fairly large slices. 
If you buy a smaller sliced meat, you may need more. I used 6 pieces.

Heat skillet to med/high heat. Add butter to your pan to melt.
When pan is hot and butter is melted, saute the mushrooms until done.
Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside for later. You can put a foil tent over these to keep them warm.
Add the onion to the pan and saute until done. They should be limp and semi-caramelized.
When the onion is about 3/4 done, add in your chopped garlic.

Remove onions from pan and set aside with mushrooms.
Add roast beef to pan and stir around until heated. Since the meat is already cooked, you only want to reheat it. Once warmed, add back into pan your onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Stir to combine.

Remove from heat.
On a clean work surface, take each 1/2 of bell pepper and place a slice of provolone cheese inside. Layer that with a nice helping of meat mixture. I used about 1/2 cup. 
Place the second slice of cheese on top of meat mixture.

I put a piece of foil on a cookie sheet and placed the stuffed peppers on the foil.
Bake in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Cheese should be lightly browned and bubbly.
This recipe serves 2-4 people. The mixture should fill 3-4 peppers


We sure loved how this recipe turned out. You can tell by the empty plate. My husband ate 2 of them, they are fairly filling. I hope you enjoy. I can't wait to share the next recipe we try from Pinterest. There are so many yummy things to choose from.

Hope you all have a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend.


January 15, 2013

A Dining Room Mantel

I have been struggling for several months to decorate the mantel in my dining room. It's strange to me to have a fireplace in a dining room. 
However, since it gets mighty chilly in there, I am thankful for that fire.

Back to the decorating...
I see lots of ideas for decorating mantels on Pinterest. So many in fact, that I have a whole board dedicated to them. I will take in all the inspiration I can before I make a final decision as to what to do. 

I did decorate it a bit for Zoie's birthday.

Then got lazy and left the pink puffs up there through Thanksgiving and most of December.

After Christmas it sat empty again until I could figure out something to do with it.

I have a lot of ideas in my head as to how I want to change things. The mantel itself is not my favorite, but Zach likes that it looks old, so it stays. The tile is plain and cheap looking, but changing that is far more invasive than I want to get right now, so it stays.

With a few ideas in my head and Pinterest on my phone I headed off to Hobby Lobby to try and find something to fill it in with. 

I knew the finished product needed to have some relation to food or eating since it is in the dining room. So I started with a canvas picture of a bistro I liked. I think it looks french and that could work with the decor carved into the mantel.

From there I went in search of colors that would draw focus to and from the canvas. 
I also wanted to incorporate a spoon and fork somehow. Zach and I both remember our grandparents having those HUGE ones in their dining rooms when we were growing up. A bit of nostalgia.

Since Hobby Lobby had all of their ceramic ware 50% off last week, I really couldn't pass up incorporating a little of that too.

The finished product is not necessarily as finished as I would like. But it is a good point to start and I can always fill in more later. A little old world, a little nostalgia, and a little clock that Zach got from his Grandma. I think it originally came from her parents when they came from Germany in the early 1900's.

(And of course a baby gate... cause you can't have blazing hot glass without a baby gate)


January 14, 2013

Sad day for Football and A Chili Recipe

What'd I tell ya?!?

I get my hopes up and then I get let down.
Big Time (Insert Sad Face)

(Spoiler Alert)

The Seahawks lost yesterday. But not for lack of trying!
Anyone else catch the game?? Whoa! What a come back!! They went from losing 7-27 to winning 28-27 and then to lose it all in the last 31 seconds. It was a nail biter for sure!
Good game Atlanta! Good luck against the 49ers!

Even with the sad sad loss of our Hawks, we had some great food.
I made our family chili recipe and it rocked like always.

So Easy... Are you ready??

Chili That's Great - From My Mama

1/2 LB Hamburger
1/2 LB Ground Italian Sausage (We use the sweet cause it's not too spicy for Zoie)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Whole Yellow Onion, chopped
1 Whole Green Pepper, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped

1 16oz Can Tomato Sauce
1 14oz Can Beef Broth
1 Cup Water
1 6oz Can Tomato Paste
1 4oz Can Diced Green Chilis (Mild)
1 16oz Can Pinto Beans, Drained and Rinsed
2 16oz Can Kidney Beans, Drained and Rinsed

3 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Cumin
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (May omit, does give a bit of a kick.)

In a stock pot (at least 6 quart) heat oil and brown sausage. Remove sausage from pot and add hamburger to brown. When nearly done, add chopped onion, green pepper, and garlic to hamburger. Cook 2-3 minutes then add sausage back in. Cook another 2-3 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients. I usually add all the canned items and give it a good stir, then add the spices.
Let simmer uncovered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Enjoy!

Corn bread makes a great pairing to any chili, although recently my husband discovered adding  noodles thanks to our neighbors. I like a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheese. If I'm really feeling it, I'll eat it all with Fritos instead of a spoon. Our girls like to mix it with Mac & Cheese.

To get a hotter chili, change up the peppers. Use fresh  or canned jalapenos instead of green chilis, Add a little more Cayenne. Use hot italian sausage instead sweet or mild.

We like meat in our family, so we usually use a whole pound of hamburger but the chili is a little thicker.

I used cased sausage and cut into chunks; my husband likes to know it's there. (You can see in the pics that my sausage wasn't all the way cooked when I removed it from the pot the first time. When left in the casing it burns easily so I cook it about 3/4 of the way and it will cook completely when you simmer.)

Hope you all enjoy. It is one of our favorites. Even Zoie will eat it.