Friday, May 28, 2010

A Kindergartener and a Pay Raise!

Well today is the BIG day…the last day of school!

My babies last day of Pre-k and my eldest’s last day of fourth grade.
They took their annual end of the year cookie cakes to share.
In school colors of course!
They refused to corporate with the photographer looking directly into the sun.
I was saddened that my boy is now a kindergartener, for about two seconds. Then I realized I no longer have to write a daycare check each month. So today not only is the last day of school, it’s also a pay raise for us!

In reality, the money won’t go for daycare anymore; we will still be righting that check each month. Just making it out to their college fund instead. It will be nice to know that the $600 a month will now make money. Even though it’s just a little, it’s sure better than nothing!

We are off to the BIG 12 baseball tournament this weekend stopping by one of my favorite joints to eat, Big Truck Tacos.

I feel blessed to live in such a wonderful FREE country thanks to all the millions and millions that have, and make, it happen.

Have a fabulous blessed weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Here Comes Okie Cottonwood!

I woke up yesterday morning to a sinus headache and puffy eyes. Thought to myself ugh, can’t wait for these seasonal allergies to be over with.

Made my way to the kitchen for my usual “Good morning, WAKE UP Dt. DP” passing by the window when this caught my eye.
No, I’m not talking about the heavy dew and the nice steam coming of the pond. Look a little closer…
Yep, if you live in my neck of the woods you know what I’m talkin’ about.
The dreaded Cottonwood Tree.

Looks a bit like a light snow for Oklahoma, in late May!

It’s the time of year that this lovely tree pollinates. They are like dreaded 40 feet weeds. They grow unwilling anywhere and EVERYWHERE!

I had the kiddos fooled for a bit about another snow day. Then I was bombarded with a zillion questions about this fabulous “snow” tree as we have now dubbed it!
But, this time of year also brings me lots of this from my garden.
And pretties like these to fill my vases.

Excuse me now as I need to run to my local pharmacy and get me some more allergy meds. Cross your fingers that I have not reached my purchasing limit for the month. Those dang meth lab people have really messed the access to my Cotton Wood “fix it” pill all up!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kate's Beer Cup Smoothie!

First, let me explain my beer cup.

No we do not drink alcoholic drinks, ever! I will buy a can of beer every now and then to cook with but that’s the extent of it. However, I have been tempted on many long, very long days!

I don’t hide the fact that I am an avid lover of the New York Yankees. About once or twice a year we will fly to NYC to catch a few games. During the game I am always making friends with the concessions stand employees trying to talk them into giving me anything from popcorn bags to hot dog carriers.

You see everything has a NY logo and ya’ just can’t buy them at your local party store. So when I realized  they had these frosted cups with the classic NY logo I had to get me some.

I made my way around the stadium but no vender would budge. If I wanted to get a cup I was going to have to pay the $10.00 EACH to get one. See, they use them to serve beer and that’s just not how I roll!
So I ponder and notice how fans were chugging this stuff and tossing the cups on the ground.

Yes, yes we did! 

After the game I made Ryan walk with me as we picked up used beer cups! And let me just tell you we were not alone. I took them back to the hotel rinsed each one out and put them in the plastic dry cleaning bag from the hotel. When we got home I tossed them in the dishwasher and we were good to go.

Think about it, there really is no difference than using a restaurant cup, is there?

We have a collection of about 20 or so and they make great ice tea and smoothie glasses. I like to think of it as my $200.00 worth of beer cups, for free.

Now onto the smoothie makin’.

I have created a fabulous smoothie that is packed with protein, low in sugar and out-of-this-world good, using my beer cup!

The recipe below is how I make it. I will add more ice and split it between Ryan and me for a great snack. Or drink a whole one as a stick with ya’ meal. They are perfect for hot summer days.
                  Kate's Beer Cup Smoothie

½ Cup vanilla yogurt               70cal 0fat
½ Cup 2% milk                        60cal 2 grams fat
1 banana                                  100 cal 0fat
1 TBL. PB                               100 cal 8 grams fat
1 Scoop protein powder          170 cal 1.5 grams fat
{Vanilla or chocolate flavor}
1 ½ glasses ice
3 packets sweet in low

Dump all in a blender and mix until smooth. I like to use chopped frozen bananas for an even thicker drink {think extra thick milkshake}. Now if you split the recipe above you will consume 250 cal.,16 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat, perfect for a good snack. Drink the whole recipe as a meal for 500 cal, 32 grams of protein and 11.5 grams of fat.

Sharing my Beer Cup smoothie at this great blogs today Tempt My Tummy - Tuesday At The Table - Tasty Tuesday

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Decrapification Weekend!

God Bless my Mother-in-law!

She texted me Friday afternoon wondering if both the kids could come home with her and stay the weekend. Then meet up at the Zoo on Sunday afternoon.

It was all I could do to get my little fingers to text my reply back fast enough…SURE THING!

See, I had BIG plans for the weekend already.

No more early soccer games, no T-ball game and no home baseball games. Ryan was on the road and we had the weekend to ourselves. And now I had it all to myself.

I contemplated calling friends to go shopping with pedicures {sigh}. Reading books on my “have to read” list. But I stayed strong and stuck to my guns.

 And as any thrifty check would say… the time had come to start the decrapification of our garage.
It was a mess!
Yes, we could park both cars in but the ongoing pile of “crap” that had begun to collect was getting out of control.
I took everything that you see here out of the garage and dressed up our entire front yard. I had many slow drive by’s trying to access if it was a yard sale, or just the aftermath of our recent tornado outbreaks.
All that was left was the deep freeze and sink. I scrub down the ceiling walls and floor. And if I had planned ahead this would have been the perfect time to paint.
Before anything came back in I hosed it down and decided if it had earned a spot back in our garage. {Please note that the clothing is hanging there after I cleaned out our master closet. I think we will have a small yard sale before taking it all to Goodwill.}
6 hours 9 minutes and 23 seconds later I was done! And without a doubt this would have been a two day project with the kids around.
Granted the next morning this body needed a bit of help trying to move it’s stiff and aching muscles.

Now it’s on to the decrapification of our attic. I wonder what the weight load is for those beams up there?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

No Place Like Home!

For the past thirty years I have lived in tornado alley, and every March, April and May look a bit like this…

For the most part, of those 30 years, I have lived in the central part of my state. That’s where I like to say all the “action” takes place!

Last night I believe that we had our last hurrah of the season! And did we ever go out with a bang!
Though I feel that our meteorologist tend to go a tad bit overboard on their forecasting {they take a scare the pants off you approach}. May have difficulty pinpointing ice and snow, but they’ve got this tornado thing down pat.

On days when the weather is headed south, and fast, all major channels show nothing but storm chasers tracking the paths of the storms{hour after hour}. Giving you ample time to take shelter.
No matter how many times we tell the kids not to worry let mom & dad take care of it, they freak out!
One weather man suggested making your children put on helmets to protect them from flying debris and large hail.
Isn’t amazing how well they can {will} listen to others? Maybe I can slip them some $$$$ to help put the fear into them about doing their homework!

We spent a fun filled half hour bunkered down with our neighbors, who so graciously allow us to share their storm shelter.

It missed us this time by about 2 miles.
Oh how I love the beauty of the sky after a storm passes by….

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Photo Fab!

I have to brag a bit and talk about what a fabulous year Hannah had in soccer. Her 4th grade soccer team went undefeated and took home a 1st place trophy. Whooo…hoo….


This past weekend we attended the annual end of the year soccer party at Coach Redwine’s home. The team always chips in and does something really nice for him and his family.

But to celebrate this season I also wanted to give him a few pictures I had taken. I did a twist on just framing them in a “normal” way.

I started with a dollar frame for my local Goodwill, wire and a few eye screws.
I cleaned the frame and removed the glass before spray painting it black. Marking off my spots where I wanted to place the eye screws. And trimming wire to make a nice tight line.
Placed a photo on each wire using medium sized clothes pins.

And we had perfectly framed photos ready to give to coach.
We have been so blessed to have found this team and Coach Redwine for Hannah. He has been such a positive and supportive coach to this young group of girls. After a nice summer break they will be back at it strapping on their shins guards and heading out to the field.
  I will be linking up over at these great blogs today Show and Tell - Works for Me Wednesday -   

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

For the Love of PB!

I was visiting one of my favorite foodie blogs last week and she posted about these fabulous cookies. And to feed my love of everything peanut butter, chocolate and nutella they had to be made!

She got the recipe from her friend Michelle who got it from a friend who got it off Tasty Kitchen where it was posted by Karly, who originally wrote about it here. Karly in turn found the recipe on posted by someone named Stephanie. Just so ya’ know this is not an original recipe from me.

These cookies will forever change my waistline, yet again!

Magic Peanut Butter Middles

- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup peanut butter {Kate change: I ran out of PB so I used Nutella as a sub…yum!}
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3/4 cup peanut butter

In small bowl blend flour, cocoa and baking soda. Mix until well blended.

In large bowl beat sugar, butter or margarine and 1/4 cup peanut butter, until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beat. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Set aside.

To make Filling: Combine confectioner’s sugar and 3/4 cup peanut butter. Blend well.

Roll filling into 30 – 1 inch balls. For each cookie, with floured hands, shape about 1 Tablespoon of dough around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7-9 minutes. When cookies are done, they should be set and slightly cracked.

I will be linking up to all these great sites Tempt My Tummy - Tuesday At The TableTasty Tuesday

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Pimp" Your Popsicle!

I bet some of your minds are in the gutter right now after reading that title{smile}!

If only I had these when Hannah was little, I think for sure we could have saved a tree or two!

Again this is another genius idea that I feel in love with over here. My kiddos are always complaining that they NEEEED a paper towel because their fingers are FREEZING!
So I planned on making a few for us and a few to give away, with a huge box of popsicles of course!
I purchased a quarter of a yard of polar fleece at my local fabric store. Folding the length in half I measured off 5 ½ inch rectangles.
Sewed each side shut, making sure to back stitch, leaving the top open. FYI... My fabric allowed me to make 20 Freezer Pop Holders.

Trimmed along the edges with my pinking shears and that was it. So simple!

Makes a great start of summer or end of the school year gift.

Just toss in the wash to get 'em clean.

I will be linking up to these great sites Made it Monday's - It's So Very Cheri - Junkin Monday- The DIY Show - DIY Day - Get Your Craft On -

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Trip to Homeland!

I wanted to share with ya’ll today what I was able to do at Homeland yesterday. If you happen to have a Homeland near you, you might want to take advantage of a few of these things.

I purchased everything that you see in this picture for $4.62. That was my total after taxes, and this is how I did it.

Sargento Shredded Cheese $4.39 B1G1
$.75/1 4-18
= $0.69 for one

Colgate Toothbrushes $1.89 B1G1 ($.95 ea)
$.75/1 4-25 SS

Rold Gold Pretzels $1.99
$.55/1 5-2 RP
= $.99cents

Ken’s Steak House Salad Dressing $3.79 B1G1
$1/1 5-9 SS
= FREE + possible overage of .10!

Yoplait Yo Plus $2.79 B1G1
$.50/1 4-18 SS
= $0.39 for one

Powerade Zero $.83 each
$.75/ off two coupon on product
=$0.08 each

Aunt Jemima $4.37 B1G1 ($2.19 ea)
$1/2 5-2 RP
= $1.19 ea

Yoplait Kids PK $1.64
$.75 off one
= $0.14 each

Borden Slice Cheese $1.99
$1.00 off one {internet}
= FREE + .01 profit

SmartPasta $1.99
$1.00 off one {parent mag.}
= FREE + .01 profit

At Homeland coupons double up to a dollar and during their B1G1 sales, the item actually rings up half price. So in reality, you only have to buy one and not 2!

Here is another great buy that I plan to go back and get.

Kellogg’s Cereals $4.29 B1G1
$1.50/1 HERE
= $0.64 for one

I had Hannah with me on this stop and she was amazed at what we got for $4.62. She is my budding coupon queen. And it goes to show that it's worth the small time it takes to cut coupons. This trip alone we saved $29.00.

Even if you have the means to pay full price why would you? Would you walk by a $20 bill and not pick it up becuase you really don't need it?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Doilie Bag

I was giddy yesterday when I found a fabulous new blog, just plain giddy with joy.

Ashley Ann is not only an amazing photographer put has some fabulous original ideas. Unlike me, who just likes to borrow ideas rather than thinking them up on my own!

I came across this post and decided they would make great gifts.

It didn’t require much in the way of “things needed” which is a great sign for someone like me.

Taking canvas tote bags I ran an iron over them to get out all the wrinkles and folds.

Taking a 12inch doilie I applied spray adhesive to the back and stuck them to the right corner of the bag.
Using a sponge brush apply a little paint to the tip of the dollies pattern. You can tell form the two that I did which one I chose to work a little faster on. Still a great look just a bit “heavier” look than the one I took more time with.
I typed up initials using microsoft word with MS Minco font. Traced them onto freezer paper and created a stencil to use.
These make great gifts for just about anyone. I am planning on making a few for graduation gifts and filling them with items that any grad would be happy to get.
They would be great to take a meal in to a new mom. Or to fill with snacks for the hospital.

Perfect for a teacher.

The uses are endless!

I will be linking up at these great sites. Stop by if you get a chance!
Toot Your Own Horn - DIY Day - Get your Craft On -

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Death by Starch!

I know that many of us have a good ole’ standby potato casserole recipe filed away, or stuffed, in our holders ready to go.

This Potato Casserole was passed onto me from my Mother-n-law. And now has become my go to potato recipe for the last few years.

It's a no brainer and requires just a hand full of ingredients.

20 oz. bag cubed hash browns
2 Cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup milk
2 cups (16oz) French onion dip
Handful of onion flakes
1 can cream of chicken soup {undiluted}

Using a large bowl mix everything together except the potatoes and butter. Once everything is well blended stir in the frozen hash browns. Top with ½ stick butter sliced over the top. I like to mix mine up the night before and cover with foil and let set in refrigerator until the next day. Bake uncovered @ 350* for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The result is ooey starchy goodness!

I will be linking up at these great sites Tempt my TummyTuesday At the Table - Tasty Tuesday

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