Thursday, April 30, 2015

I need to work on that!

I've always been a 'wash and go' kind of girl, which usually means my hair ends up in a ponytail or a messy bun after I brush it.  I am mostly okay with that - with the occasional 'I wish I had the patience to spend an hour on my hair' thought.  However, when I couldn't find my hairbrush this morning...and I couldn't remember the last time I actually used it :/ (I'm pretty sure I brushed it when I went to the doctors 2 weeks ago) Yeah I decided I need to be a little less lazy lol.  (Don't get me wrong - I do wash it but then it just goes up into a bun).  So I decided that anytime I leave the house I am going to spend at least a few minutes on my hair, even if it's just a simple braid added to my ponytail look.  I'm not even going to try to say I'll do anything more than brushing it when I'm at home all day, but small steps... :)  Maybe I'll even live dangerously and add make-up every once in a while!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mini Greenhouse Update

It's been four weeks since I planted my mini greenhouses and I thought it would be a good time for an update!  As you can see they are doing really well!  I am leaving the plants in there for a few more weeks, but on nice days I think I will start opening them to give the plants more sunlight.  I really like this method for starting veggies - but I'm not too sure how Eric will feel about having a ton of milk jugs on our back porch next year lol...maybe it will get me a greenhouse ; )

I'm still recovering from being sick so I haven't gotten very far on any of my other projects - I feel like it's taking longer to recover than I'm used to.  I think it must be that now I can be lazy and say I'm not feeling well - and before I always had to go to work so it wasn't really an option?!   Well hopefully this week I'll be able to get back up to speed - my house is a mess lol!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rain sticks

My son's Autism BI and I have decided to do theme week. This week is the first, it's all about rain!   Yesterday we made pictures with cupcake liners as umbrellas, Xander thought to put a toothpick under it for the handle.  

Today we made rain sticks. I emptied some water bottles the night before. This morning we added toothpicks and Amaranth which makes the perfect sound. I was thinking a can of Pringles and throwing in some skewers would be awesome too.

See this Pinterest post, this is where I got the idea from!

These themes are already paying off! If you happen to be a parent to an Autistic child you know that having the attention on them is undesirable. This is working so well to focus on something else and he gets so excited about our crafts, science experiments and show and tell now. We do these things together so there's less stress on him. Not to mention having a rain stick is so awesome. He took it to school to show his friends.

This is a great sensory project. Share we us your sensory ideas!

Friday, April 24, 2015

I'm a bag lady

I've been trying to rack my brain today what to post. I have been having sewing on my mind a lot. These things happen a lot when I can't do them. I have a whole loft for my crafts. It's not clean and it has some of my husbands things taken over as well.

One time our summer here it was so hot and you wouldn't believe it but I had to bake! Luckily my husband got us an air conditioner so now I can bake in 80+ degree weather.

I have this idea in my head to make a bag that would be perfect for me. I have some really nice hand bags and I have really cheap bags that I have adored for a long time. So I'm hoping to make something that is durable and super functional. I like pockets. I'm one of those ladies you see digging in her bag for things so I need pockets. It's hard to find something that is fun, beautiful and functional. So that's what I am trying to figure out how to make.

I also like backpacks and sling bags. I need to be hands free being a mom. I used my backpack for the MS walk and I haven't switched back. I need to be able to put it on quickly and have it stay on. I have weird shoulders and none of my bags will stay on if I have it on one shoulder.

I would like to have zipper pockets as well as open pockets and I don't like outside pockets. I do know that it needs purple, my favorite color. I have quite a lot of purple fabric so I'm sure I will be able to figure something out. To help make it durable I think I will quilt it.

Sorry I didn't have something fun and exciting to post about today. We have been dealing with a sick sweet boy. We are about done thank goodness, he had a fever in the very beginning and that didn't last too long. then he had this raspy cough, luckily that is about gone. We can't wait for the summer heat to get here and these sicknesses to go away!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rice crispy S'Mores

Oh yeah! I really like rice crispy treats! I made some for the MS walk we just did. See here to read more about the walk. I also like S'Mores so I thought I'm going to combine the two, not that this is brand new news, it's been done before! It just sounded yummy. I also buy threesisters graham cracker cereal from Whole Foods. One time I made a mini S'Mores it cracked me more than anything. I was thinking about it again hence this awesome recipe.

I like Shelley's recipe I used it for the walk. Though I didn't have everything to make it correctly, it turned out yummy anyways. This time I used the correct amount, I did of course make it slightly different but these turned out better because I followed more closely.

Prepare a medium size sheet pan or a 11 by 7 baking pan, the sheet pan works best if you like them thinner. Line the pan with foil and grease, or grease pan with butter.


5 Tablespoons butter
8 cups plus 2 cups marshmallows 
3 cups rice crispy cereal
3 cups graham cracker cereal
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl add butter and 8 cups marshmallows microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Or you can melt butter over low heat in a large pot add marshmallows and mix until melted. Add cereals and salt, mix in 2 cups marshmallows and lightly press into prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and press onto top. Let cool and slice and enjoy!

See all the layers! Just like a S'More. Adding the whole marshmallows help them be gooey and I think helps you from pressing them down too hard and making them bricks.

Next time I'm going to try and let the mixture cool a little more then mix in the chocolate chips. Some of them fell off. Which is no big deal S'Mores should be messy right!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

I pulled out a chuck roast out of my freezer and yesterday I had to cook it, it had been 2 days since I pulled it out. It was 6:30 by the time I got it into the slow cooker. I cooked it on high for 4 hours. I prefer the 8 hours but I didn't want to get up in the middle of the night to put it away.

I'm so excited to have this for dinner tonight. I might actually make dessert since I will have time. I should finally make that banana pudding!


1 packet slow roaster pot roast
3-4 lbs beef chuck roast
1.5 lbs small white or red potatoes
4 carrots chopped
1 cup water
1 packet Au Jus

Place your roast in our slow cooker, add potatoes and carrots. Mix cup water with pot roast packet and pour over meat and veggies. When the roast is done sprinkle the Au Jus packet over the roast and veggies and mix in it will make a delicious gravy. Let rest for 10-15 min then scoop off the fat and serve.

Or you can do what I did and put in the refrigerator and the next day the fat will harden and you scoop that off before reheating.

I tried it last night, you know for quality control, it was so yummy that gravy was so mouthwatering. The potatoes popped in my mouth just like cooked tomatoes. I'm going to make my yummy rolls from the bread machine to go with it.

I hope you enjoy this!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Excited and Frustrated!!

I was hoping to make this post about how much I was able to get put away now that the first two layers of cabinets have been installed for my pantry...but as you can see nothing has been put away.  Eric was so great about getting this done for me this weekend, but I got sick on Friday and I haven't been able to kick it yet :/  It wears me out just thinking about doing anything - and the coughing gets me every time I decide to just try anyway lol, so it will have to wait until later this week.  Hopefully by Wednesday I'll be able to show some progress!!  In the meantime I will be sitting here under my comforter thinking of all the things that will fit in there (each section is as wide as a fridge and they are as tall as one too!!!  So excited - even if I can say so because of the coughing!)...

Have a great day!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Buttermilk Biscuits

These biscuits came together quickly. I usually don't make biscuits, I'm afraid they will be hockey pucks. They didn't, they weren't fluffy so I still need to work on them. Tomorrow mornings biscuits and gravy will still be delicious.

I got this recipe from Pinterest.

Line a baking sheet with a silpat or foil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.


3 cups flour
1 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup butter, cold diced
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup melted butter (optional)

In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, cut butter in with 2 knives or pastry cutter until the mixture looks like it has pea size balls. Mix buttermilk and egg well. Add wet to dry ingredients. Add water if needed. Don't over mix pour out on to a floured board and roll out evenly. Cut biscuits, with a knife or cutter, place on baking sheet and bake for 12-16 minutes. Brush melted butter on tops and enjoy with honey or jam!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Starters and Sunshine

As much as I wanted to have my new garden beds done in time this year - it just didn't happen.  I am sure I will be able to get them built this year, but I will not be able to get my early veggies planted in time (I kind of already missed that boat lol ).  Even though I won't have the beds ready, I still need to get my starters ready to be planted outside.  Not all of my starters made it - I will definitely need a better set-up next year - but most of the tomatoes and peppers added doing great, as well as a few artichokes.  It's still a little early to move the tomatoes and peppers outside, but the weather is supposed to be nice for a few weeks so I decided to move things outside during the day and bring them in at night for awhile.  The plants are certainly enjoying it!  

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

When I say bake, I only mean 5-10 to melt the cheese! This picture doesn't do it justice! I should have taken one of the pan. I know it doesn't look like much but is so yummy! This dish lingered in my house late into the next evening due to the garlic. It makes me want oven and over. I love those kinds of recipes, I have about 3 that do that to me.

Here's the original recipe, this is on my keepers list.

 If you have a rotisserie chicken or left over cooked chicken this could be a one pan dish. I had a couple of chicken breast thawed, so that's what I used. I chopped them up into bite size pieces and cooked them over medium heat in a large skillet.


2 Tablespoon oil
6 garlic cloves minced
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
12 oz pasta
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 cups cooked diced chicken
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

If you don't have an oven proof pan you can use a 9 by 13 baking dish.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large skillet heat oil to medium heat. Add garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper and salt until fragrent for about 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes water and pasta, bring to a boil. Cover and reduced to a steady simmer for 12-16 minutes or until tender, stir frequently. Add chicken and 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese, pour into baking pan if using. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. place in oven and bake for 5-10 minutes.

I hope you enjoy this as we did!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Taco Soup

I wanted Taco's yesterday. Then I remembered seeing Pins of taco soup. I searched and not one was quite what I wanted. So I came up with my own.

We topped ours with sour cream and cheese along with chips and green onions. I didn't add all of it because of the picture you, couldn't see the soup as well.

This recipe is great because you can use fresh ingredients or like me and you want some quick prep use cans.


2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 lb ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
1 ranch dressing packet
Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings options
Sour cream
Shredded cheese
Sliced green onions
Sliced olives
Tortilla strips

In a large skillet brown ground beef, drain fat, add taco and ranch packets mix until combined. In a large pot add tomatoes, corn and beans with liquid bring to medium heat. Add cooked meat and bring soup up to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy with your desired toppings.

Luckily this is on our to be made again list! It's so nice to blog I can come back and my notes are here on what I did or wanted to do.

Have a great night!

Monday, April 13, 2015

MS Walk 2015

This was Jamie's team for the MS Walk in Seattle on April 12th.  We had a lot of fun and the team raised over $2000 in donations!!  Go Jamie!! We are already looking forward to next year...

Have a great day!
Beth and Felicia

Friday, April 10, 2015

Lasagna with a new twist!

I was shopping at Trader Joes, I will post next week about my prepping food, I picked up a no boil lasagna noodles and it had the recipe. I picked up the other ingredients to make it. I'm so glad I decided to make it. It called for marscapone cheese instead of the norm ricotta. My husband actually liked it. He doesn't care for ricotta so I was going to use cottage cheese instead, I took a chance and I'm glad I did.

I stopped by my local bakery and got a whole wheat loaf to go with it. It was so good! If you're ever in Duvall WA check out Grateful Bread Bakery.

You will need an 8 by 8 baking pan or if you're like me a 9 by 9. You will need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit after you have assembled the Lasagna. Which will need to rest for 30 minutes.


1/2 box of no boil lasagna noodles, which is where you can find the recipe.
1 pound uncooked sweet Italian pork sausage
1 jar of tomato sauce, I used pomodoro pasta sauce
10 oz marscapone cheese
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan
Lightly grated nutmeg, I have the whole nutmeg, this is where the recipes differ, I didn't grate 1/2 teaspoon I like a light flavoring. If you have ground you can use 1/2 teaspoon.
Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet cook sausage at medium heat, breaking it up into smaller pieces as it cooks. When it's browned add the jar of tomato sauce and heat through and remove from heat.

In a big bowl mix marscapone, milk, 3/4 cup Parmesan, and nutmeg. Pour a little bit of the mixture into the prepared pan.

Now to assemble, you should have 4 layers. Dip a pasta sheet into the cheese mixture and place in pan. I had 3 layered, then add a little bit of a the sauce mixture, start over with the pasta sheets. On my last pasta layer I poured the remaining cheese mixer on top then the remaining sauce mixture. I topped it with the other 3/4 cup of parmesan.

Now you let it rest for 30 minutes before baking. This would be a great recipe to prepare in the morning and bake in the evening. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 40-50 min and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

T-shirt Redesign

I feel like I am the Queen of Worst Selfies Ever, but I definitely wanted to share this great t-shirt idea (and Winda is no good at taking pictures!).  So ignore the weird faces, funny arm poses and (why oh why did I wear) black pants...and hopefully you can find an easy t-shirt solution that will work for you.  It does require some sewing, but it is very easy so anyone can do it! 

Last weekend at Sakuracon I was really excited to find t-shirts of some of my favorite anime (there was one I really wanted but the 'adult' women sized would have fit a teenager so that was a no-go).  Unfortunately,  I have never been able to comfortably wear t-shirts - the necks are too small and in order to fit across my chest I have to buy at least an extra large, which was huge every where else.  But I really wanted those t-shirts - so I decided to find a way to fix my problems.

Here is wear I started:

So my first step was to carefully cut out the neck and shoulder seams.  Make sure you cut right along the seam so you get the correct shape, and so it wont end up falling off your shoulder.  I cut about 3/4" past the hem of the sleeve as well.

Next, I made a new neckline by folding under the edge twice and stitching it.  You can do a large hem than I did, but it will make the neck larger.  

Once the front and back of the neck is hemmed, stitch the shoulder seams with the wrong sides together (this will seem wrong but keep going).  I put the edge of the fabric at my machines 3/8" mark, and had the needle to the right so it would sew as close to the edge as it could.

Turn the t-shirt inside out and stitch the shoulder seam again.  I used the 1/2" mark this time, keeping the needle to the right.  This will encase the raw edge of t-shirt inside the seam, leaving a cleaner seam on the inside.

The white thread is to demonstrate the large gathering stitch, if it is easier for you to see than you can use a different color as well, but it isn't necessary.
Leaving the needle to the right, change the stitch length to the largest size and sew along the same 1/2" seam to make the gathering stitch (don't stay stitch this or you wont be able to gather it).  Tie the two strings at one end together, and pull one of the strings on the opposite side.  Once it is all gathered, tie the two strings for that side together.  Be careful when you gather to not break the string - you will have to take it out and redo it if it breaks.   

Once the sleeves are complete, find the sides of the t-shirt.  Iron the edges for a nice clear line to follow.  Find where you would like to have the gathering end and place a pin on either side as guides.  Using the iron line, sew a gather stitch from the bottom hem to the pin on both sides.  Gather the t-shirt the desired amount (it wont be the same amount as the shoulders - so you will need to look in the mirror to judge where you want it to end up).  My waist is very short so I did about 12" up the sides and gathered it to about 6".  Once you are satisfied with all of the gathering, the last step is to sew over the gathered sections to reinforce them.  Just lay the seam flat under your arm and stitch over the top.  Be careful that you have evened out the gathering because it will not move anymore.
 TA-DA all done!!  Now go take some weird selfies like these:

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Fun Outing!

This last weekend I was able to go to an event that I have been wanting to go to for awhile - and it was even more fun because I was able to go with my mom and youngest siblings.  Sakuracon is an anime convention held in Seattle each year.  We had a blast - and I looked dorky in every picture lol.  Oh well - I look dorky in most pictures I am in :).  We made costumes and that was a lot of fun - but also a lot of work (it took 3 patterns and my own design to put mine together).  Another part of my costume was 3D printed by Eric - the ears and hairpieces for my character.  It was a bit of a rush job but they still turned out pretty cool.  Here is the link to see the original character Chii from Chobits.

One of the best parts was people watching and seeing all of the different costumes.  Some were incredible, some were thrown together - but they were all very creative!!  It was also neat to see all of the artwork and items on sale.  I can't wait to go again next year!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bread Machine Rolls

I have this recipe in my "use constantly" board on Pinterest. I made a couple of batches for Easter too and they were a hit. I just wished I got up early and made them the day of. To tell you the truth reheating them taste really good too. For QA purpose I had to try one to make sure they were tasty. I did that with each batch that came out.

Makes 24 rolls

You will need 2 baking sheets or 1 9 by 13 inch glass baking dish. I like them both ways. I lined my sheet pans with silpats. I would butter the 9 by 13.

1 cup milk, at 70-80 degrees
1/2 cup butter softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoon or 1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 stick of butter melted for hot rolls

Place ingredients in bread machine in same order as recipe. Select dough setting. Remove from bread machine and knead 5 times. Separate dough in half, then each half into 12 sections. Roll each into a ball and place in pan or on sheet pan. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 13-16 minutes. Brush will melted butter and enjoy!

My favorite way to have these roles is splitting them open adding more butter and spooning a little raspberry jam. It's so amazing! I have a roll pictured with some compound butter, I mixed butter and raspberry jam and mixed until combine. You can do that with so many things, crushed pineapple is my all time favorite, other jams, bacon would be awesome, and herbs is also wonderful.

Let us know how you like them!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pasta Primavera

I was thinking over the weekend how nice a pasta primavera sounded. So I grabbed what I wanted and threw it together. I can't believe it's spring! I'm not completely ready to let go of winter evidently. I grabbed butternut squash and an eggplant. We have butternut squash here all year long and it I love what it does to pasta dishes. So of course that being said this doesn't look like a normal pasta primavera. It came out a little orange. Still wonderful though.

I have several moments where I crave veggies, I almost could be a vegetarian. This hits the spot and it doesn't take much to put together. By all means you can add what ever veggies you want! Asparagus, peas, carrots, bell pepper, onion and squash are very common in this dish.

Here we go...

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound asparagus
1/2 red onion chopped
1 carrot diced (peeled if you like)
1/2 butternut squash
3 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water (chicken broth would be so yummy in this, I just didn't have any)
salt and pepper to your liking
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 box (8 oz) pasta I used elbows

In medium pan bring water to a boil for the noodles. Cook as directed.

In a large skillet heat oil and butter at medium heat. Add asparagus, onion, carrot, and butternut squash. Cook for about 8 minutes add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add cream and water or broth if using. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until thickend. Remove from heat and let sit for a minute, add cheese and stir until melted. Add in cooked pasta and spoon into bowls

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