Friday, March 30, 2012

10 Things About Me (in honor of my 1 year Blogiversary!!)

January 28, 2012 marked my 1 year Blogiversary!! I don't know if any of you keep track of when you started blogging, but this has been a very fun year for me! I have really enjoyed having a space where I can be creative! I know this started out primarily as a blog about my baking, but once Little K was born, I didn't always have the time (or energy) to bake.... or to fight with him to stop trying to hang on the oven door! Apparently that is great fun! hahaha :) I have enjoyed sharing my love of all crafts with you. I thought I would put together a list of 10 things about me to help you all get to know better. I encourage you all to the same (if you haven't already!), I would love to get to know all of you better.

1. Family
My husband, Big K, Little K, and baby #3 (who is due May 31 and doesn't have a name yet) are my world!! They make me so happy and I could not imagine my life without any of them!

2. Photography
Photography was my love before the hubby and kids ever came into my life! It often gets put on the back burner to life, but I love taking pictures! It is what I went to college for, and I would still LOVE to start my own photography business one day!

3. Baking
I love to bake! I am not a really good cook, but I am pretty good at baking! I do not bake near as often as I would like to, but I find a certain joy in sharing baked goods with people.

4. Turkey Hill Diet Iced Tea
If you have never had any, you have never had tea! My goodness! I have a serious addiction to the stuff! For those of you that do not know, Turkey Hill is a local company to the area that I live. They make drinks - teas, lemonades, fruit drinks along with milk and ice cream. We drink their milk, and buy their ice cream as well. I cannot go a day without drinking their Diet Iced Tea! I used to drink the regular tea, but the store was out. So, I bought the diet. I just like the taste better. It has been over 10 years now, and I haven't gone a whole day without it! If I try, I get awful headaches! It is terrible!

5. Lip Smackers
My chap stick!! I don't go anywhere without it! I always have a tube with me in my pocket. I feel lost without it!

6. Coffee
I love my coffee with cream and sugar. My favorite creamer is Coffee-Mate Pumpkin Spice.  It is, however a seasonal flavor and cannot always get it. I really like their Caramel Macchiato. I am actually a Coffee-Mate Brew Crew member. Check out my post. I am so glad that I get to share my love of Coffee-Mate with everyone else! :) I can't wait to be able to drink coffee again! I have cut back to about 2 cups a week during my pregnancy.... boy do I miss drinking coffee everyday!

7. Knitting
I have been knitting since the 4th grade. I tend to take looonnng breaks from knitting. The kids seem to think the yarn is a fun toy. If it's a ball of yarn, Little K takes it and throws it across the room. It is relaxing and I enjoy giving my friends and family homemade gifts for the holidays.

8. Scrapbooking / Card Making
I think these 2 go hand-in-hand... I do not scrapbook very often, and when I do, I end up making individual pages that never seem to make it to an album. I love making my own cards! It is so much nicer than buying pre-made cards. It's much more personal.

9. Gardening
We have a very large garden.... 3 of them, actually. We have a fruit garden that has strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, a variety of raspberries (red and yellow), black raspberries, gooseberries, currants, and a few others. We have a vegetable garden that we plant broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, potatoes, corn, all kinds of things. We are still trying different things in our vegetable garden to see what grows best in our soil. Our last garden area is our melon garden. This is where our plants that grow on vines go - mainly watermelons and cantaloupes - because they tend to take over! This year, we will be cutting back on the vegetable garden. Between my husband's work schedule, and the baby due to arrive right before summer, neither one of us will have much time to really take care of the garden.

10. Sight Seeing
I love to go on drives with my family to see new things. Even if we go somewhere we have been before, you always see something new every time you go. It is always so much fun to show the kids some of our favorite places. Kids always see things different than adults and have a way of pointing out new things. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My First Coffee-Mate Event!!

On Friday, March 23, 2012, Coffee-Mate hosted a Free Flavor Friday day. On this particular day, they had Coffee-Mate members on the streets of 5 different cities giving out 125,000 coupons for a FREE bottle of Coffee-Mate! If you didn't live near any of the cities, you were still in luck! On their website, they gave out 200,000 coupons for FREE Coffee-Mate! While there were a lot of frustrations when dealing with their website, it was a total success! :)

As a Brew Crew Member, I had the opportunity to host a Free Flavor Friday party! The party itself did not have to be held on Friday - just at some point over that weekend. That worked out PERFECTLY with the annual egg hunt my Mom has. I usually help her plan it closer to Easter, but she will be away over Easter this year, so we had to make a few weeks before hand. Everything turned out great! Even with the rain that we had, everyone had a wonderful time!

I wanted to share a few pictures from my first Coffee-Mate event!

Here are some of the Thank-You cards that Coffee-Mate provided for me to use for my party.

They were also kind enough to give me the napkins and cups, too!

A few of our party guests!

The littlest Coffee-Mate fan!
For those of you that are worried - he has an empty cup! He just wanted to be like everyone else! :)

Thank you very much for checking out my post!
-Lisa -- A member of the Coffee-Mate Brew Crew

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mamatography - Week 12 - March 18 - 24

Mamatography for the week of March 18 through 24

Week 12

3/18 - Sunday -
Today was a rough day for Little K... he fell and hit his poor little face on the porch at his great-grandparent's house. Luckily he didn't hurt himself too bad - just a little brush burn and some red marks. I took this one of them playing after we got home.

3/19 - Monday -
Mommy to the rescue! Little K's gloworm battery died and Mommy fixed it! :) Little K is VERY sad when the batteries die... it's one of his favorite toys and he uses it at nap time and bedtime!

3/20 - Tuesday -
Little K likes to play his DS while sitting on my lap. Today, he was playing with one hand and kept his other hand on my belly. He is so sweet when it comes to the pregnancy / the baby.

3/21 - Wednesday -
I tried a new recipe today - it's Fried Rice.

3/22 - Thursday -
I had a Dr appointment and as soon as we got home my hubby grabbed a snack. Little K climbed up on his chair and took a chip without Daddy knowing! I walked into the room and caught him red-handed! ;)

3/23 - Friday -
We started planting things in our garden today. This year, we decided to try and start a few things from seeds that we normally buy from the greenhouse. We are planting broccoli in these 6 pots that will be transplanted to the garden when the weather is right.

3/24 - Saturday -
Today we went to the annual Easter Egg Hunt that is held by my Mom. This is the first year Little K could find and pick his own eggs. He had his own little section of eggs to pick so the big kids don't take them all. Big K was off with the big kids and completely done finding eggs by the time I walked over there to take his picture!
*We're participating in a 366 day photo challenge at Diary of a First Child. To visit past Mamatography posts, please go here . To see other Mamatography participants, please visit any of the links below! 

Are you up for a challenge? One that will take something from you every day, but give a whole lot back too? How about joining me for the photography challenge in 2012 then? A photo a day of whatever your day involved. You can jump in any time through the year!
If you’d still like to join us, you can start at any time, just sign up here and our host will email you further information.
Without further ado, here is the current list of all participants for Mamatography 2012 so far!

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Chicken, Noodle & Broccoli Alfredo

    This is another favorite in our house. I started making it a few months back when the hubby was working second shift. I needed quick and easy meals that the kids would actually eat. All of the ingredients are listed in the title of the recipe! It is THAT simple!


    1 box of noodles (I use Barilla Picoolini Mini Pipe Carrots and Squash - it has a full serving of veggies)
    1 - 16 oz jar of alfredo sauce (I like Great Value brand Classic Alfredo)
    1 steamer bag of  broccoli (We prefer Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers Broccoli Florets)
    Popcorn Chicken - we use Perdue, and I use probably 5-6 pieces per person (depending on the size pieces)


    Cook the noodles per the box directions.
    Once you get the water on, put the chicken in the oven / toaster oven. (I use our toaster oven for this small amount of food.)
    Half-way through, put the bag of broccoli in the microwave.
    Open the jar of sauce and dump into a bowl big enough to combine all ingredients. I always add seasoning to our sauce - black pepper, white pepper, nutmeg, rosemary, celery powder, curry powder, a dash of Mrs. Dash Original Blend seasoning.
    Once things are finished cooking - add the broccoli to the sauce, mix well.
    Drain the noodles ( it is okay if you don't get all of the water out), and add the noodles to the sauce and broccoli.

    Now for some pictures! :)

    The box of noodles and the jar of sauce that I used.

    This is one of our favorite vegetables! Not only for this meal... the broccoli is very delicious! :)

    I pour the sauce into a big bowl while everything else is cooking.

    I add some of our favorite seasonings to the sauce, and mix well.

    The noodles are just about done...

    When the broccoli is finished, I open the bag and dump it into the sauce.

    When the noodles are done, I drain most of the water out. If a little water gets mixed in, it's okay. Mix everything together really well.

    It's time to plate this yummy meal! :)

    We top with cheese and popcorn chicken.

    This is a quick, simple, and delicious meal! This is a family favorite! :)

    Thursday, March 22, 2012

    Make Ahead - Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches

    The inspiration for this recipe is another Pinterest find! I have actually made this recipe twice now. I made it once in February following the directions per the original recipe. I made a few changes and wanted to share my pictures and the changes that I have made.

    The first time I made this, I only made 6.... 3 following the original recipe and 3 where I scrambled the eggs instead. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures the first time around.

    **I am not a fan of how the eggs look when the eggs are just cracked and baked. I have never liked that part of the true Egg McMuffins, either. I think sometimes the egg yolk doesn't look like it's fully cooked, and that really bothers me. (I am a little weird when it comes to my food. If I don't like the way it looks or smells, I can't eat it. I would blame that on the pregnancy... but that doesn't have anything to do with the pregnancy.)**

    Recipe with pictures:

    Make-Ahead Egg and Cheese Sandwiches

    12 eggs
    12 English Muffins
    1-2 cups of shredded cheese (depends on how much you like cheese)
    chopped onion (optional)
    butter (optional)

    Start by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees.

    Lightly grease your muffin pan or a whoopie pie pan. I used a whoopie pie pan. I thought it worked great!

    While the oven is pre-heating, I start getting everything else ready. I start by cutting the English Muffins in half and start toasting them. (This step is completely optional.) I toast the tops and bottoms and can toast 4 1/2 English Muffins at a time.

    While they are toasting, I start working on the eggs. I use my mini-whisk from Pampered Chef and a 1-cup prep bowl (from Pampered Chef) to whisk each egg individually.

    I crack 1 egg at a time, add some pepper and whisk together.

    Then, I pour into one cavity of the pan. This picture was taken after I already started baking the eggs. I forgot to take a picture before I put them in the oven. I had 3 medium sized eggs left, so the first 3 in the back row are medium eggs and the rest are large eggs. They both work fine, but the large eggs spilled over the edges a little bit when I moved the pan to the oven. You bake them for 15-20 minutes.

    Meanwhile - I butter the first round of English Muffins while the next round is toasting. I lightly butter both sides and set the top on the bottom while they are still warm to help the butter melt a little bit.

    The box the English Muffins came in comes in handy. I place 3 bottom halves in there once they are buttered and it helps to hold the sandwiches as you build them. I put a few pieces of onion on the bottom half.

    The eggs are finished.

    I started with 1 cup of shredded cheese, but ended up using 2 cups.

    Place one egg per sandwich.

    Top with cheese.

    Top with the other half of the English Muffin.

    You can either eat now, or save for later!
    If you decide you want to eat them later, put the sandwiches in the refrigerator or freezer for at least an hour to make sure everything is no longer warm. (The original recipe says to place them on a tray in the freezer, but I put them back in the English Muffin containers and placed them in the fridge. After about an hour, I switched the top row of sandwiches with the bottom row of sandwiches to make sure they are all cooled.)
    Then, you want to wrap the sandwiches individually in foil and place them in a freezer safe bag.
    *I label the foil with the date that I made them.
    When you are ready to eat, pull out of the freezer, and open the foil. Place in the oven or toaster oven for about 20-25 minutes @ 350 degrees. I take the sandwich apart prior to reheating - to make sure the egg is warming evenly.
    Enjoy! :)
    I will definitely be making these again! They are very good and aren't too bad for you. My son loves them as breakfast before school!
    I think next time I will try adding bacon to them. You really could personalize these to your tastes... especially if you are eating them right away. Play around with it and see what your favorite combination is! I would love to what you think of them! :)

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    Mamatography - Week 11 - March 11 - 17

    Mamatography for the week of March 11 through 17
    Week 11

    3/11 - Sunday -
    We spent today just sort of hanging ear infection still is not any better despite having been on antibiotics for 5 days. Today, I actually feel worse than any other day. My sinuses (on the left) are swollen and that has made my face, along with my left eye, hurt all day!
    My mother-in-law bought us some stuffed chicken and while I have never cooked anything like this before, it seemed to turn out pretty well. The kids LOVED it! :)

    3/12 - Monday -

    Oops! I forgot to take a picture today!

    3/13 - Tuesday -
    I had to go and get my Rhogam shot for my pregnancy. (Yes... that means I am one of the "unlucky" women that has a negative blood type that has to get extra shots during pregnancy! As if they do not prick me enough with all of the blood work they do and what-not!) We had to wait an hour and a half in between when they drew the blood and when I could get the shot. So, since it was a BEAUTIFUL day outside, Little K and I walked around outside while we waited. We saw some planes flying around, and he had a blast looking for them! :)

    3/14 - Wednesday -
    Happy Birthday to my little sister! :)This is what I made for her! A separate post will follow - with links and my own pictures for any of you that are interested in making their own!

    3/15 - Thursday -
    This is the second one that I made. This one is a little different than the one from 3/14. I made a few changes. I am not sure which one I like better yet.

    (This picture was taken before it was finished being put together.)

    3/16 - Friday -
    Big K was practicing his guitar, and Little K likes to "help" his brother! Little K absolutely LOVES to play his Bubub's guitar!!

    3/17 - Saturday -
    Looks like you get 2 pictures from today! :)
    I made a "make-ahead" Egg & Cheese breakfast sandwich. We ate some of the this morning, but also plan to freeze some to eat later.
    (You can check out the recipe and more pictures here.)

    We decided to go to a few local greenhouses today. The one has this pretty coy pond. Little K was too little last year, but this year, he really liked it! He didn't want to leave!

    *We're participating in a 366 day photo challenge at Diary of a First Child. To visit past Mamatography posts, please go here . To see other Mamatography participants, please visit any of the links below:

    Are you up for a challenge? One that will take something from you every day, but give a whole lot back too? How about joining me for the photography challenge in 2012 then? A photo a day of whatever your day involved. You can jump in any time through the year!
    If you’d still like to join us, you can start at any time, just sign up here and our host will email you further information.
    Without further ado, here is the current list of all participants for Mamatography 2012 so far!

      Friday, March 16, 2012

      Crock Pot Recipe - Pulled Beef BBQ - with pictures

      **I updated this one to add pictures, but I left the original post in case anyone wants to print out just the recipe.**

      Lisa's Pulled Beef BBQ

      This recipe is super easy! It only uses a few ingredient, too!


      2-3 lb roast (we prefer a bolar roast, but usually will get what's on sale)
      1-2 bottles of your favorite BBQ sauce
      Onion sliced (optional)
      Sliced cheese (optional)
      White rice (optional)


      I turn the crock pot on low for 8-9 hours. Put in a little bit of the sauce and if you plan to use onions, I put them in now. I trim any excess fat off of the roast before I put it in the crock pot. If it's too big, I cut it into bigger pieces to put it in. Then, cover it with more BBQ sauce. When there is only about an hour or so left, take out the roast and pull it apart using two forks. Then, put it back in the crock pot. If needed, add a little more sauce. Once it is finished cooking, the two ways that I serve it are: as a sandwich with cheese and over white rice.

      You can substitute the beef for pork. I have also cleaned out the fridge of sauces when I make this. Sometimes we try a new sauce that we don't really care for, so I add it in. This is good all year round!

      Enjoy! :)

      Now for the pictures:
      Only 1 of the pictures would load the right direction.... I am really not sure how to fix this. :/ So, I am sorry if you have to turn your head to look at these!
      This is what I started out with. A roast that is a little over 2 lbs. and  a 40 oz bottle of our favorite BBQ sauce. (This is a large bottle - and I did NOT use the entire thing.)

      I lined the bottom of the crock with the BBQ sauce.

      Added the roast.

      Covered with more BBQ sauce.

      I'm pretty sure this picture was taken about half-way through when I flipped the roast over. (I like to make sure it is all coated with the sauce.)

      When I shred it, I use a fork and my Pampered Chef Hold and Slice (at least that is what I think it's called). I have found that this is the perfect tool to hold the bulk of the meat while I shred with the fork. I also like to finely shred it.

      I put it all back in the crock and mix it well. I let it in there about 30 minutes before serving.

      Doesn't this look delicious?? I mix it right before serving.

      This is how we like to enjoy this meal. White rice, the Pulled Beef BBQ and topped with shredded cheese! :)  You could also enjoy this in sandwich form. We like to have this as left overs, so the rice helps to stretch it a little bit.