March 30, 2010

LimeRicki Giveaway!!

Want a chance to win a free bathing suit?  Heather is having a giveaway over at her blog! If you'd like to enter, go here. If you don't win one, LimeRicki has given her a discount code, too! How generous of them!

I ordered this suit (on the right) from LimeRicki last year and can honestly say ONLY positive things about their suits! They are made well and this year they have such a variety of cute suits!  I loved that my tankini top was long enough to cover up my back and sides even when I was trying to wrangle two kids two years old and under at the pool--that's a lot of bending over--and I did not have to tug my suit in all different directions for fear of exposing someone.

If you are in the middle on what size to order, go with the larger size:  I wear a 4/6  or S/M in tops. I ordered a M top and it was perfect.  (I have to say that I didn't order their bottoms, though. I just used my brown swim-skirt from Target from the summer before, so I can't tell ya how those run...but I do know from experience that they're excellent about returns/exchanges.)

March 26, 2010

Friday Funnies: Restroom Edition Take 2

Remember the last Friday Funnies: Restroom Edition?  This one isn't quite as bad, but it sure did remind of that unforgettable moment when we were in the bathroom stall at church.

We were on our way to a friend's riverhouse last week, and I had too much of my large Sonic lime water (if you know me well, you know this is my most favorite drink. EVER.) and my bladder was about to burst. Asher had to go "tee-tee", too, so we stopped at a restaurant to use the restroom.  As I squatted over the toilet Asher was carefully watching me:

A: Hey, Momma...where is your pee-pee? I don't see it.  Is it missing?

M: Umm...I don't have one.

A: {in a very sympathetic voice with his eyebrows furrowed.} Awww...poor, Momma doesn't have a peepee. I'm sorry, Momma.  Your teetee has to come out of your bottom.  How sad.

(I carefully-and briefly-went on to explain that girls don't have "pee-pees".)

A: Oh! So, only boys have pee-pees? Only boys and Daddies?

M: Yup. Only boys and daddies.


Asher tooted really loud.

McKlayne: That's a good one, Asher!!

Yogurt Making Revision...

I will be adding this and the recipe to my original post, but I wanted all of you who have already tried the crockpot yogurt to note: Every other batch needs a new "starter" from the store.  When I first make a batch, I use the 1/2 cup of store bought yogurt to add the live cultures to the warm milk.  The second time I make it, I use a starter from the "crockpot yogurt" batch.  But I've learned that the next batch (the third), needs a new starter from "store bought yogurt" otherwise it is very runny or MUCH less like yogurt tasting. So...every other batch. I've been buying a large (32 oz) container of yogurt (organic lasts longer than non-organic) for every other batch.  Hope this keeps you from ruining a batch!

March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patty's Day!

Look at what came in a package from Aunt Kyle so that no one would get "pinched"!

What you don't see it? She MADE that dress and t-shirt out of old shirts! Talk about GREEN!  She is so talented!  Totally puts to shame the Halloween dresses I made! I think I'll leave the clothing making to her :)

March 16, 2010

Gender Reveal Party

Last week I had the privilege of helping Chelsea plan her Gender Party, which was last night!  It was so much fun!!  Heather posted about it here.

I love how Chelsea is weekly tracking her pregnancy.  Go check it out here.

March 12, 2010

DIY Play Kitchen & FF

(The Friday Funnies are in here, I promise...just keep reading.)

Charlie worked very hard to make the kids a play kitchen for Christmas...and I can't believe I haven't showed it off, yet! (For some reason, I thought that I already had.)

When we first started talking about what to get the kids for Christmas, we decided that we would make them something. I had seen so many DIY Play Kitchens on the blogosphere. And every time we'd go over to someone's house with a child's kitchen, that was the first (and most of the time, only) thing that my kids would play with.

Knowing that if my Charlie could take this kitchen:

and turn it into this (more details here) :

then, a tiny little child's play kitchen would be no big deal for him. I started showing him different examples of play kitchens that people were making out of unwanted furniture.

I think they all started with this girl...isn't she a genius? (Speaking of "genuis", I had to change that when spellcheck saved me...but I just outed myself, so, whatever.)  Originally I had wanted to do something small like one of these (more example of Jane's work) out of a nightstand or cabinet.  

But then we got to avoid breaking up many future shoving wars, I thought it would be better to have a bigger kitchen so both of the kids could play side by side. I was inspired by this one:

Don't the countertops look like granite? They are modge podged fabric!!  (And, she was kind enough to answer my bazillion questions.)

So, we started with an entertainment center that we got off Craigslist for $20.  Asher had lots of fun helping Daddy build the "shelf" as we kept referring to it:

But once it actually started to look like a kitchen, there were several evenings and weekends that I had to distract the kids while Charlie worked:

He spent many late nights finishing all the details.  One of the many reasons I love him.

Our finished play kitchen:

Charlie, the perfectionist, sliced every bubble in the fabric countertop and got it completely smooth.  We got the faucet & knobs for the stove from the Habitat ReStore.  The sink is a buffet steam tray.  The burners are yogurt lids.  The oven racks are cooling racks from Dollar Tree.  The pans are hanging on dowel rods (and we got the hooks from Ikea when we lived in our very first apartment that had one drawer and maybe three cabinets...we hung everything in that kitchen but I didn't care...I was just so happy to be married.)  The oven handle is from Lowe's.  One of my favorite elements, is the wine glass rack that Char just had to make. (I'm glad that he insisted.) 

My crafty-sister, Kyle, had drawn the kid's names for Christmas.  She knew they couldn't have a play kitchen without some accessories!  She made them these adorable aprons with some felt food and wooden spoons in each pocket.

McKlayne received a felt poptart (how perfect is that?) in her apron pocket. (You can't see it here, but she sewed each tiny "sprinkle" bead on by hand.  Talk about a labor of love.)

Asher received a bag of ravioli:

As soon as Asher opened the gift from Aunt Kyle, he gasped with excitement and picked up the wooden spoon, "Our own spanking spoons!?"

One side has hooks to hang their adorable aprons:

(There's a better pic of that poptart!)

And the other side has a chalkboard that keeps the kids busy drawing:

For Christmas, each of the grandparents gave the kids food for their kitchen: pizza, bread, veggies & fruit, and a felt food set of hamburgers with all the fixings!  And the "College Station Grandparents", Duane & Marylou, gave them pots, pans & utensils!  Thanks everyone for helping furnish the kitchen!

There were so many girly things I wanted to applique on the linens...

BUT, I had to keep it neutral, since we want even manly men to feel comfortable cooking in this kitchen!  I decided on the stack of bowls:

Here is Asher cutting up veggies for soup.

One day I was cooking dinner in (my own) kitchen, while the kids were back in McKlayne's room playing with their's. And I hear Asher yelling, "Momma, McKlayne's making babies back here!"

M: {What?! Did I just hear right? Where did he hear that?} What did you say, Asher? {as I hurry back to her room}

A: McKlayne is back here making babies!!

And I walk back to see this:

The only complaint Shortie has about the kitchen, is that she can't quite reach the back of it, so she often climbs into the sink to play.

Now, I'm on the lookout for a stool that is light enough for her to move on her own.

Charlie's labor of love was well worth it.  There isn't a day that goes by that these two don't play with this thing.

March 5, 2010

Crockpot Yogurt

Okay, so I've finally become one of "those" people...sort of.  I've wanted to be one of "those" people for a long time-you know the kind of people that make their own yogurt, granola, etc.

I found this recipe from the Crazy Crockpot lady who used the crockpot to cook every day in 2008.  If you can pour milk into a crockpot then you can make your own yogurt!! It's seriously that easy.

I can usually get my organic milk marked down for $2-3/gallon at Kroger.  But even if you can't get organic (if you want to drink that) milk marked down, this will still be much cheaper than buying organic yogurt...I used to think getting a  6 pack of those teeny tiny 4 oz YoBaby Yogurts for $2 was a great deal!

Edited to Add (03/26/2010):

The following is the original recipe from the Crockpot Lady with my revisions in RED:

The Ingredients.

--8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk--pasteurized and homogenized is fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized. (Debbie recommends starting with whole milk until you get the hang of yogurt-making)
--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter-But only every other time! Every other batch needs a new "starter" from the store.  When I first make a batch, I use the 1/2 cup of store bought yogurt to add the live cultures to the warm milk.  The second time I make it, I use a starter from the "crockpot yogurt" batch.  But I've learned that the next batch (the third), needs a new starter from "store bought yogurt" otherwise it is very runny or MUCH less like yogurt tasting. So...every other batch. I've been buying a large (32 oz) container of yogurt (organic lasts longer than non-organic) for every other batch.)

--frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring
--thick bath towel
The Directions.
This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.
I used a 4 quart crockpot. This is so exciting. My fingers are shaking!
Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.
When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

Put the lid back on yourcrockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock forinsulation.

Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.
In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.
Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. I did mango, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren't a big deal, and will settle eventually.
Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.

I've only used whole milk while making this, so I can't say if anything else will turn out as thick...but we haven't noticed a difference! We've been using it in our smoothies.  (We've just started drinking green smoothies.  I am experimenting to see if we eat enough lutein, if it can improve Charlie's vision to where he wouldn't need to wear glasses.  I love him in his glasses-he looks so adorable-but, he hates wearing them.  I first heard about this concept from this video...about 2:50 into it. )

I also like to eat this yogurt with a bowl of frozen blueberries! It is such a yummy treat when I am craving sugar!

My kids LOVE eating frozen GoGurts which they refer to as "yogurt pops".  I can get them for so super cheap using coupons so it's been tempting to not buy them for a quick, easy and almost free snack.  But since we've been on the quest to slowly eliminate HFCS and other weird chemicals from our food, Charlie finally put his foot down and said no more.  So...I've had to be creative.

By blending frozen fruit with our homemade yogurt and some agave nectar (which I am still on the fence about since I hear differing reports depending on what I read...does anyone out there know if this is really a better alternative to sugar? or is honey still better? or could you at least break it down for me in laymen terms?) and freezing them in popsicle molds, we've been enjoying our homemade yogurt pops!  (If not now, you should be able to find these really soon at Walmart or Target in their seasonal spring/summer aisle.)

Now, I'm on the mission to find some homemade granola recipes.  Do you have any that you've tried that you LOVE?!

Friday Funnies

My niece received a microphone for Christmas.  As soon as Asher got the chance to play with it the first thing he said into the microphone was, "Good evening and welcome to New Life. My name is Allen..." 

(but he was cut off by bursts of laughter.  Allen is our pastor at our church-New Life.)


We've had the same DVD playing over and over in the car for the last couple weeks.  There's a preview for Meet the Robinson's that comes on before the show and it is absolutely McKlayne's favorite part of the whole DVD: 

EVERY time she sees that, she giggles, screams and says, "Sorry!!" and then giggles at herself even harder.


If you hang around our house long enough you'll hear an "Oopsy daisy" from one of the kids if they spill or drop something, or an "Oopsy daisy" if they trip or fall.  

The last several days, I've heard  "Oopsy Mickey" or "Oopsy Pluto" or "Oopsy Goofy" whenever Asher makes a mistake.