Sunday, November 20, 2011

A New Beginning

It was time. Time to gain control of our eating/cooking situation. I never have loved to cook. Fun baking is one thing. But the daily grind of dinner...meh it is just tedious and boring and I'll do anything to avoid it. I'd rather not eat than have to cook! Cereal, bagels and PBJ's for everyone!

The worst part is, my mother was amazing and cooked dinner every night, exhausted or not, having worked outside the house that day or not. I should be ashamed! LOL

But it was getting old. It had been like 4 months since I had been in a good dinner routine. I've been throwing together things at the last minute, eating out, and having lots of "fend for yourself" nights.

And there's "the question." The question I hate more than anything in the world. "What's for dinner tonight?" It almost always came from Mr. G and almost always resulted in the same face splitting open and snakes flying out. Okay, I'm joking. Mostly. To most a harmless and inane question, but to me it represents two things. 1) The fact that I'm reluctantly and resentfully in charge of feeding everyone (sorry, but it's true. It's my least favorite part of being an adult, being a wife, and being a mom)  and 2) The fact that I have failed at it, and have NO FREAKING CLUE what's for dinner.

The reason I am so reluctant to cook isn't just because I'm's because I'm too type-A. When I think about cooking dinner, I think well before I cook, I need to go to the grocery store. And before I go to the grocery store, I need a list. And in order to make a list, I need a menu. And I'll need to clean out the fridge and do these dishes first, and UGGHHHHHHH! It just never gets done :(

Until one day about a month ago. I was doing the dishes, staring at my Daily Menu chalkboards I made almost a year ago, and I started to think, what if each day had a theme? As I started to imagine the different themes, I realized that as long as I had 5 different meals in each category, I could manage to cook each thing only once a month. And we would never have to make more than one menu, because eating something as infrequently as once a month isn't often enough to get tired of it! :) So, I whipped up a perpetually rotating 5 week menu.

Sundays are for pasta (not just 'sketti). Mondays will be vegetarian, Tuesday night Mr. G teaches so that is our 'free' night. Wednesday will be the favorite...the kids LOVE breakfast food! Thursday is Mexican night, (not just tacos). Friday is the night for the kids' favorites. Saturdays will be soups during the Fall and Winter, and salads during the Spring and Summer.


I made a clothespin to indicate which week we're on! And, I laminated the printout for durability. (pardon the cruddy pic!)

And of course, I saved the .PSD file so I can switch things up if we discover a new recipe we can't live without--I'll just put it into the rotation! 

We went to the store and did all of our major shopping for the next 5 weeks in one fell swoop, and it is SUCH an amazing feeling! We'll just go back for milk and bread and stuff....*this* I can handle. So a hip, hip, hooray for new beginnings! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Comfort Zone!

I have to share a few layouts that I recently of them totally pushed me out of my comfort zone!

I adore this layout for two reasons. 
1. I adore the girl in the layout
2. I adore the kit it was created with!

Now, that being said, that was where my comfort level ended. I used a template being offered up over at Scrap Orchard for a template challenge. It just had the tiny photo on it, the circle one. That's a beautiful way of scrapping, and the original layout was amazing, but I hate having such tiny photos! So, I modified it by adding a second photo on there that was a little large at least. It's important when you're scrapping to make things yours in that manner. It only takes a few touches to personalize your page. 

I'm working on my photography skills and I want to show off the photos when I get great ones. So I'm trending towards layouts like this one lately:

(using Elise's Pieces' Just Friends at The Digi Chick)

Now, I enjoyed creating both layouts, but my heart leaps for a large photo like that. I'm still glad I tried the first one though, because it's a good thing to get out of your comfort zone every now and then! 

Till next time, friends! :) 

Friday, November 11, 2011



In honor of today's special date, I wanted to do a page. I decided to go the route of 11 things to accomplish before 12/12/12. My supplies list:

Template is Nettio Designs' No. 8
Kit Is Bella Gypsy's' If Not Now, When? (avail tomorrow @ GottaPixel)
Zoe Pearn Color Your Own Pencil Alpha
Dani Mogstad Felty Numbers
Susan Bartolini String Flowers
Shawna Clingerman Sparkleousnessmess
Dani Mogstad Imperfect Circles
Traci Reed Bad Sewing Machine
Traci Reed Bad Sewing Machine Brackets
Lauren Grier Let's Make Resolutions
Julie Billingsley Storybook Princess
Lauren Grier & Julie Billingsley What's For Dinner
Lauren Grier Day Trippin
Lauren Grier & Manda Bean Cinemania
Julie Billingsley Santa's Bake Shop
Melissa Bennett Safari
Kristin Cronin-Barrow Oh Snap
Lauren Reid Blocked Out
Fonts are CK Jot, Little Days, 2 Peas Architect and Amelie

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Boo Bash 2011

Every year, my sister and I get our kids together and throw them a Halloween party in lieu of trick-or-treating. Trick or Treating depends on the elements. It can be dangerous. It is exhausting when you have small children (and for my sister Tabatha, one nursing and one in a wheelchair)'s just not always feasible to trick or treat. We're not opposed to Halloween or anything, but we determined 3 years ago that a well-planned party and a pinata filled with candy will be just as fun for the kids and more enjoyable for mom and dad, too! Here are the highlights of this year's Boo Bash!Photobucket

  • Naomi and Parker (Naomi's costume is a ghost but looks like Mickey Mouse in that photo! She also had a mouthful of candy in that photo :) 
  • Our Candy Corn veggie tray which everyone neglected.
  • Juice Box Mummies :)
  • A very shy "owboy" nephew Julian.
  • Candy Corn pudding in a trifle bowl.
  • Franken-marshmallow-pops. These turned out great and were a bit like Cake Pops: The Rematch (this time Lena wins!)


  • Naomi hitting the pinata, and NOT like a girl I might add!
  • My nephew tristan taking out all of his 7 year old agression on the poor ghost.
  • Parker ain't afraida no ghost.
  • Eventually my brother in law Tim had to dump the candy out for the kidlets because one of the kids hit it so hard that the plastic zip tie holding the ghost onto the tree broke, but the pinata itself wasn't ready to give way yet. 


  • Our boo crew
  • Ghostly brownies
  • Miss Sophie AKA the mermaid who refused to smile. (she smiled PLENTY once out of costume)
  • Parker chasing down a ghost!


  • Like vultures descending on their prey.
  • The ghost chasing the ghostbuster. Something's wrong with this picture. 
  • More ghastly treats :) 
  • Gabriel as Spiderman and Gwendolyn taking a nap in the sun. This is funny on SO many levels. We have photos of Gabriel sleeping at every family function EVER. We always say it's not a holiday unless Gabriel is asleep. Since he has special needs and can't be forced into a sleeping schedule, he sleeps when he wants to :) Since Gabriel mostly crawls everywhere, when all of our guests came in on foot and Tim sat Gabriel down and Gabriel started crawling all over, Gwen (who is REALLY laidback) arched her back and backed up. Tabatha and I were laughing so hard at the cat being afraid of the "giant baby" (He's not as big as every 8 year old, but he is pretty big). So, she obviously decided that Gabriel wasn't a giant baby trying to eat her, and decided to indulge in a nap with him.
  • Monster eyeballs. Probably the grossest thing we made, and the least eaten. Which is sad, because Mr. G worked hard on them. 


  • The coolest cowboy.
  • Monster pudding cups. Well, the best I could do. It is HARDER THAN IT LOOKS to draw on a cold plastic cup with a Sharpie.
  • This was supposed to look like a ghost. The individual balloons were filled with candy and they took turns popping the balloons. It was a lot of fun!
  • Our treat table.

Here's a quick 13 second video of one the balloons:


  • Witch hats, filled with ice cream!
  • Mummy Hershey bars
  • My nephew Bumblebee (Sometimes we call him Tristan)
  • I love her ghastly expression here. 
  • The pinata before it was sorry it ever met these children. 
It was another great Boo Bash...Thanks so much for sharing our photos with us! What do you think? Till next year, friends! :)