Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Menu

Happy Halloween!!! It is a beautiful day here and will be a great evening for a little trick or treating. I put together a little "happy" for Joseph. I'm gonna give it to him after he gets up from his nap.


I've decided to start a new weekly post of our weekly menu. I know I have trouble figuring out what to fix for supper and sometimes seeing what someone else is making inspires me. So, I'm hoping I can give some of you some ideas when you need it. I will post links to the recipes when I can. I will blog about any meal that is new that turns out to be something special. 
Starting out with tonight, I always make these for Halloween:
They are called Trick or Treat Turnovers. They are so cute and really good. We will be having them with Mario's Carrots.

Here's the rest of the week:
Tuesday: 15 Minute Bean Soup, cornbread
Wednesday: Peanut Crusted Chicken Fingers, sweet potato fries
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Caramelized Cajun Pork Chops (the recipe link is for chicken, but I'm using chops instead), sliced baked potatoes, green beans (I use a variation of this recipe)
Sunday: Leftovers

I hope ya'll have a great week!! This is the last day of my Blogtoberfest!! I don't know when I'll be back...Just kidding..I'm sure I will post pics from Joseph trick or treating tomorrow or the next day. :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A House Divided

Cowbell baby

As you probably already know, I am a huge Mississippi State (and also University of Tennessee, but we will focus on just State today) football fan.We were lucky to be given tickets to the MSU vs UK game that was in Lexington this weekend. I ordered a "House Divided" shirt from Sew What's Going On on Etsy. It is so stinking cute and made for a great family photo:
 Of course, Joseph was not interested in taking pictures, as usual. You can't really see it but I had Bitsy Blings on Etsy make me a really cute State necklace. Check out her store. She does good work.

The State trailer was parked right by the section where our seats were. I love you, Dan!:
 We had really great seats on the lower level. Two years ago when we went, we were in the nose bleed section.
 It was super cold, but I actually kept my coat off for most of the game because UK was having a black out and I refused to participate (and my coat is black). I was fine until all the UK fans started leaving...the more people that left, the colder it got! We were good fans and stayed the whole time....what am I talking about? My team was winning...of course we stayed!!!
 Final score UK 16 MSU 28 Woo HOO! My marriage lives to see another day...until the UT game next month...

My glitter shoes did crease quite a bit:
I will also say that glitter does not add any insulation!! I think the glitter shoes would work better in a lighter color glitter. I don't think you would notice the creasing as much. I still love them and will touch them up and wear them again! They didn't shed glitter wasn't like I left a trail of glitter...which was good.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trick or Treat Brownie Cupcakes

I whipped these up today. They were on the Betty Crocker calendar that I have hanging in the kitchen. I've been staring at them all month and finally made them. I wouldn't say that they are anything spectacular, but if you want something Halloween-y that you can make in a snap, these are a solid choice. How can you go wrong with an iced brownie?

Trick or Treat Brownie Cupcakes

1 box (1 lb 2.3 oz) Brownie mix
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 Tbsp water
2 Eggs
1 c white vanilla baking chips
1 3/4 c powdered sugar
6 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
3 Tbsp Milk
6-8 drops yellow food color
6-8 drops red food color
24ish miniature candy bars

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease 24 regular sized muffin cups.

In a medium bowl, stir mix, oil, water, and eggs together for about 50 strokes (pretty standard brownie making). Divide batter among cups. They will be 1/2 full or less. I was only able to do 22 cups. Bake 13-18 minutes or until done. Cool 30 minutes in tins and then remove.

In another bowl, microwave vanilla chips on high for 45 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted. Cool slightly.

In medium sized bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, milk, and food colors until fluffy. Stir in melted chips. Spoon frosting over cooled cupcakes. Top each with a candy bar.

I will say that the candy in the original picture looked like little I went searching for little square chocolate candy. All I found were fun size peanut butter snickers. They actually took up the whole top of the cupcake so I cut them in quarters. You just can't see the cut side in the pics. I think it's cute.

Anyway, we are gearing up for the big UK vs MSU game tonight. I am about to go get ready! YAY! I just thought I should probably blog before since it could be pretty late before we get back!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Night Lights

 Before tonight I hadn't been to a high school football game since 2000 (with the exception of my 10 year reunion last year but I don't count that since I didn't watch a bit of the game). Michael's high school is undefeated this season. We've been toying around with going to a game all season, but kept forgetting or something would come up. Tonight was their last home game. It was definitely football weather.....COLD! The school colors are maroon and white and I have lots of that since it's the same as MS State. However, I had it all covered up with my coat. Joseph got to stay with his Granna where it was warm.

It was a less than stellar performance....but when we left in the 3rd quarter they were up 28-6. They just looked rather sloppy. Maybe they were cold. I don't know.

I loved people watching. It was your standard high school game where the whole town pretty much comes out to watch. I also discovered why teenagers are so skinny....they don't wear enough clothes in the cold and just shiver. Best weight loss plan ever.
 I really dug the pink pom poms for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Oh and the kid on the poster there....he's like 6'7". He was at least a head taller than anyone else on the field. The quarter back would just chuck the ball in this kid's general direction. He caught it sometimes. The other team had this guy that couldn't have been much more than 5'. He was fast though. I picked fun at him, but then I thought..."I need to stop...that's probably going to be Joseph."

I took the camera off sport mode and this is what happened.... They are super fast!!

It's just going to be a football weekend. We are going to the UK MSU game tomorrow night. I am REALLY excited....mostly to wear my glitter shoes. I'm going to be all marooned out. I just sooo hope they win. I'm not a good loser.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What I've Been Working On - Wreath Ornaments

I've been working on a few things....most of which I can't show because they are gifts for people who follow this blog. These wreath ornaments may end up in some of your hands, but I don't care if you've already seen them. They will most likely be used as gift toppers. I saw these on Martha Stewart and thought they were adorable. So the next time I was at Michael's (the craft store), I picked up a big bag of pipe cleaners. I have a few more that need embellishment but these were the ones I got finished before J got up from his nap...there is NO crafting when Joseph is awake. It's disastrous! But these wreaths are really easy....cardboard, pipe cleaners, ribbon, and something to embellish. I plan on doing some with buttons (I'm kinda obsessed with buttons lately). Martha put a little pipe cleaner candle on her's but I forgot to...I'll put one on the next one or two or three. I have lots of cardboard circles traced out so I will make these until I run out of pipe cleaners. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cooking with the Shaws - Graham Cracker Cookies

I made Slow Cooker London Broil for dinner tonight which meant I didn't have a lot to do to get supper on the table except make some rice. Joseph was enthralled with a movie so I took advantage and decided to make something sweet. I decided on Linda's Graham Cracker Cookies. I have made things similar to saltine cracker toffee and such. I made a half batch because I knew they would be deadly...I have trouble stopping myself from eating these. And actually I only used about 1/3 of a box of graham crackers because that's what fit nicely on my small cookie sheet and a 1/2 box didn't really fill out my next biggest very well. I spent about 15 minutes rearranging crackers on 3 cookies sheets....and finally settled on my smallest cookie sheet...more buttery goodness per cracker. It worked nicely.

I hope the pecan trees are doing good this year, mom...because those are the last of my pecans that you see on these cookies!!!! The HORROR!!!

Graham Cracker Cookies (p 290)
1 cup butter
1/2 c sugar
1 box graham crackers
pecans (I think roughly chopped would work better than whole)

Melt butter. Add sugar and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Line cookie sheet with graham crackers. Pour butter mixture over crackers and sprinkle with pecans. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

A super quick and easy sweet treat....I was eating them within 30 minutes from the time I started them. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Like I need another way to waste time and come up with ideas for crafts and recipes. I gave in and joined Pinterest today. I've already found a ton of cute ideas and tasty treats that I simply must try. I'm actually pretty excited about it. :)

Other than that it's been a pretty ordinary day. I went for a run with the dogs this afternoon. I've decided not to run the Black Cat Chase this Friday. I haven't been training enough and that race is such a circus that if I'm not going to do it well, I would rather save my money. Also Michael's high school football team is undefeated and their last home game is Friday and he has really wanted to go see them play.

We just finished watching Green Lantern...2 super hero movies in as many nights...if I can manage to get Captain America tomorrow I will just be in super hero overload. :)

I hope ya'll have all had a great day. Hang on...I promise I will have some more tasty treats to show ya'll soon!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Joseph was obsessed with tractors as usual during our trip to TN. He had to sit on every one that my parents own...which is quite a few. He's covering his bases in these pics with an Oliver, a Ford, and a Farmall.

Joseph had his 18 month check up today. He was actually 60th percentile in height but a measly 3rd in weight. Wish I could borrow some of that thinness. :) The doctor wants me to start trying to get him to drink whole chocolate milk and milkshakes made with pediasure (because he won't drink it by itself). I'm so jealous....I want to go on a milkshake and chocolate milk diet!!!

We got our flu shots too. As usual I am feeling kinda crappy afterward. It always seems to knock me down for a day. My body doesn't like it. Joseph took quite a long nap today but other than that, he seems fine from his.

We just got done watching X-Men First Class. One of the only types of movies I like about as well as sports movies are super hero movies. I'm weird.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Little Chicken

I finally got him in his chicken suit and took some pictures. I didn't put the chicken feet on him because I really didn't want him to get chicken poo on them. :)

We had a great long weekend with my parents. It was too short as usual. I will try to do an actual post tomorrow. This is another short one because I am bushed!!! I will also tell you that if you decide to do an experiment and see if you can leave your house messy, dirty, and stinky if your hubby will take it upon himself to make it neat, clean, and smelling will come home to a house that is dirty, messy, and stinky. I have my work cut out for me tomorrow. So I will probably hit the hay early tonight. And Michael, don't get all mad. I didn't really expect anything. I'm glad you did the dishes. Just wanted to see how much would be done without me asking you to do it. :)

Now I'm off to get the little chicken into bed.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Joseph and Paw Paw

This pic is not from this weekend but it really shows how attached J is to his Paw Paw. Joseph loves his Paw Paw!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The rest of what I've been working on...

 My friend, Meredith, recently started a blog and featured the idea for the above wreath. Check out her blog for the original inspiration from pinterest and also she's got some other great wreaths and stuff.
 I absolutely LOVE these felt flowers. Meredith's blog tells how to make them. Super easy and way cute!

I also finished Joseph's chicken pants and shoe covers for his Halloween costume:
 Daysie approves.

Then I just HAD to make a felt rose out of some of the felt left over from the shoe covers......
 And proceeded to torture Daysie with it....
 And Smokey...
 Not even Shelby was safe. Only Pumpkin...I guess she was smart and hid.
The yard sale went really great today despite being REALLY cold this morning. Sold a lot of junk..err...fantastic stuff! We will be back at it again tomorrow. Joseph was not a fan of the yardsale. He really just wanted to ride around the farm all day. He thinks yardsales are boring. Ta ta for now...I'm out!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One of the Things I've Been Working on...

I am in Tennessee at my parents' house. Big yard sale in the morning! I was going to show pictures of not only my fabulous glitter shoes but also my fantastic yarn wreath and Joseph's Halloween costume. All the others will have to wait. The pics were taking too long to upload and I really want to get to bed. :)

These shoes are so cute and super easy to make. I saw them on the Martha Stewart Show one day and knew I HAD to make maroon ones to wear the the MS State game next week!! Big surprise though....maroon glitter...not easy to come by. I would not be discouraged! I ended up mixing red and black glitter 1:1 and I think it turned out great. I got the shoes at target for I think $10. I know they probably won't hold up well...I'll let you know what they look like after the game. I'm not wearing them until then!

Here's the tutorial.

I will say that you can expect the shoes to look like a hot mess after the first coat of glitter. This is normal.

Well, I am off to bed and hope that we sell LOTS of stuff tomorrow. Not just to make some coin but also so we don't have to pack it all back up! Toodles.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Almost didn't make it...

I had actually already gone to bed and then remembered that I had not blogged. Technically it's 12:05 AM so I didn't blog on 10-19. I'm counting it though!

Joseph and I are going to Tennessee tomorrow to help with my parents' yard sale. This week has not been so great so I'm pretty much ready to get out of town. It's been raining the past couple of days...I hope it stops and we have good weather for the yard sale.

I took my car in to have new tires this only took 3.5 hours. And that's 3.5 hours of chasing Joseph around trying to keep him from busting through the doors back into the work area. He said "car" an ornate amount of times today. I was about to lose it before we got out of that place.

I finished Joseph's Halloween costume tonight. He is going to be a chicken. I already had the chicken "coat"...I bought it last year and he hasn't outgrown it yet. I just had to make some orange chicken pants and some chicken feet shoe covers. I wanted to get it done before I left for Tn because I want to take pictures of him in his costume with some actual chickens. :)

Well, I am going to go back to bed now. Big day of gymnastics and traveling tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cooking with the Shaws - Orange Raisin Muffins

My mom has raved about these muffins of Bernice's. But she talked about how complicated they were as well. I figured that it's a complicated can it be? I will say that they are every bit as delicious and tedious as advertised. Combine that with a recipe that is fairly vague and it was almost a recipe for disaster. I made these for a MOPS meeting so I was making them fairly early in the morning so they would be fresh and hot for the meeting. I really didn't think they would turn out and was already making plans to pick up some donuts on the way, but miraculously, they turned out just fine. I will say that I rewrote the directions for how I made them. The ingredients are the same but the recipe was kind of confusing.

Orange Raisin Muffins

1/2 c shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 orange
Powdered sugar

Zest or peel the rind from the orange. Juice orange and combine juice with enough powdered sugar to make a thick glaze.

Put orange zest, orange pulp, and raisins in a food processor. Process until smooth and paste-like.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mealy. Combine buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture. Add orange raisin paste to batter and stir to combine.

*That's how I did it and it worked just fine, but in hind-sight, you could cream the shortening and sugar, add eggs, and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk. Add raisin orange paste. Mix to combine. *

Bake in greased muffin tins at 350 for 15 to 25 minutes (check at 15 minutes but may take up to 25 minutes) Spoon glaze over muffins while still warm. Bernice suggests to top with a cherry but I did not.

These were the most moist muffins and they were still just as good 2 days later....which I find is rare for a muffin.


Monday, October 17, 2011

15 Minute White Bean Soup

This has become my go-to busy night meal. It's really easy and seriously only takes 15 minutes. So healthy too! I think I make it at least one night a week. This recipe is perfect for 2 people...and a Joseph. It's a Martha Stewart recipe. I am not usually a big bean fan but I have discovered that I really like white beans. I know I have at least one reader who is vegetarian so here's one that she can enjoy (as long as she sticks with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth)!! It's rare to find a main dish from me that is meatless. Here's the recipe:

15 Minute White Bean Soup

2 tsp olive oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced (I've used chopped yellow or red onion too)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 can (14.5 oz) vegetable broth (I use chicken broth)
1 can (19 oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
course salt and pepper
freshly grated parmesan

Heat oil in 1.5 quart saucepan. Add scallions, garlic and oregano and cook, stirring frequently, until scallions begin to soften (about 3 minutes).

Add beans and broth. Cook until heated through (5 minutes or so). Remove from heat and add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parmesan.


If you want to print this recipe, go here.

I almost finished 2 craft projects today...YAY! That's about all the news I have. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

I saw a pumpkin like this in Martha Stewart Living this month. I'm always looking for new and unusual jack o lantern ideas. I used a small pie pumpkin for this one. I carved out a spot for the fangs and then carved out a couple of eyes and wedged red marbles in for the eyes. It looks really cool lit, but the candle won't stay lit since there isn't much air flow. I am planning on getting one of those battery powered tea lights for it. Joseph likes to take the lid off and stuff as much random stuff inside as he can. :)

I hope ya'll had a great weekend! I am working on a few recipe posts for this week so there should be some good eats coming up. Stay tuned!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Short and Sweet


The little man and I have been together a lot lately. It's really started to wear on me...and I'm sure he gets sick of me sometimes too. Today for my birthday (which is Tuesday), Michael and I went to Louisville and left Joseph with Michael's dad and step mom. It is the first time I've left him anywhere other than our house or my parents' house (which I still consider "home" so it doesn't count). I was initially worried that he would get upset when we went to leave, but that was so not the case. He was like, "BYE!" We came back to get him around 7 this evening and he was still smiling and happy. He was ready to come home I guess because he waved at his Granna and Papaw and said "BYE!" He then proceeded to chat in his car seat....I assume that he was telling us all about his day. Michael said that I looked the happiest that I had looked all day on the way back to the house. I can't help son brings out the best (sometimes the worst...but mostly the best) in me. That's all for tonight folks! I'm out!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Final Photo Shoot

First of all, you will notice a slight change in the way my blog looks today. I have been getting lots of complaints from people not being able to comment on my posts. It makes me sad not to have any comments and I know it must be frustrating for ya'll too. I do appreciate the people who track me down on facebook to tell me what you were going to comment on here. When I browsed the blogger help section one of the first things to try and fix this issue was to change the template that I was using. So, lets see if that works. 
Joseph and I headed downtown today for our 3rd day of shooting this week. Believe me, he was so over it already. Basically I spent the morning chasing him around downtown. Frankfort seemed a bit busier than usual so I was a nervous wreck trying to keep Joseph out of the street. We started out by the river but Joseph was acting like he was going to run right off the edge so we didn't stay there long. We ended up at the old Capitol building until Joseph tried to dive off of a ledge. In the midst of all the chaos, I did get a few good pics. Then we ate lunch at Buddy's Pizza downtown where Joseph ate my salad and I had a huge slice of pizza. Joseph aspires to be a baby model, but I keep telling him that baby models are fat.....skinny models don't get to be models until they are older.

What you can't tell in this one is that he is "hugging" a big light box in front of the Old Capitol. I cropped it out as best I could because his face was so cute in this pic!
Joseph was dressed a little better before we headed out but I had a flat tire and Michael changed it. Joseph thought he needed to help and got completely filthy. I would not be deterred...I had 2 full batteries. I wasn't about to wait for another day.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I don't wanna...

I am going to catch this horse....

Today at gymnastics Joseph rocked the things he wanted to do (kicking blocks on the balance beam, bouncing on the tumble track) but then would clam up and throw a fit when it came to things he didn't think were fun (hanging on the bar, hopping on the balance beam). He would eventually do whatever it was he didn't want to do and I would shake my head and tell him that he is so much like his daddy. I mean, I have always been fairly focused and have done lots of things that I didn't want to do. I made it through a masters degree.....believe me, I did LOTS of stuff that I didn't want to do. I didn't fuss that much about it, did I? I had come to the conclusion that my son might look just like me, but he is his daddy on the inside. 

Maybe that assessment is not so accurate.....

I caught myself being a little Joseph-like today. 

"I don't want to cook I won't" I did by the way...and it was really good and I took pictures of said supper and will blog it later. :)

"I don't want to put the laundry away....why do I always have to put the laundry away....I'm not going to do it." I did, though.

"I don't want to clean the kitchen....I'm not going to." Still haven't.

"I don't want to put all the toys away....I didn't get them they can just stay out if it's up to me." Toys are still all over the floor.

I know that I will inevitably clean the kitchen and put the toys away and do all those other things that I don't want to do. But my inner toddler is throwing a decent tantrum.

So maybe we aren't so different. I just keep my toddler on the inside...and he lets his hang all the way out....but why shouldn't he? He IS a toddler.

I know that I usually show what I'm working on in my Thursday posts, but I didn't take any pictures this week. I have a bit of craft schizophrenia. I have a wreath that I started today, little pipe cleaner wreath ornaments and a cross stitch that I am giving as a gift to someone who reads the blog, so I can't show it. I also have a few more projects that are in the planning phase. I have been spending WAY too much time (and money) at the craft store lately. :) 

Hope ya'll are having a great Thursday!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Still Shooting

 We went to the barn this afternoon to take some more 18 month pictures. I got another few good ones, but Joseph mostly just had fun playing in the shavings pile. Then he got into my grooming box and started eating the horse treats. I called it quits after that and gave Spice a good brushing before heading home for supper. Here are a few of my favorites from today:

 He was determined to catch a horse

 And a special thanks to the barn owner's son for helping me get him to smile!
 He's filthy, but I will probably still hang this one on my wall.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shooting Joseph

When I bought my fancy-smancy camera last year, I decided to start taking all of Joseph's milestone pictures myself. I started with his 6 month pics which were a cinch because he really couldn't go anywhere and just stayed where I put him. Then came his 12 month pictures. Still not too bad. He wasn't walking yet so he couldn't go anywhere too fast and cooperated pretty well...even if his clothes didn't (his pants kept falling down). Then came 18 months. And I started putting off taking the pictures. I just knew they would be a pain. Joseph is all over the place and I am not so good at action shots. I think I took about 150 today in a matter of 40 minutes. Basically I chased him around the backyard snapping away. Here are 3 of my favorites:
 I set up a cute little photo area with a chair, flowers and pumpkins...this is about the only pic I got there before he took off.
 When the camera would beep he would say, "Nooooooooooooooo."

 I wish I had gotten him a little more centered, but at this point I felt like Austin Powers...I wasn't even looking at what I was shooting....I was too busy acting silly, determined to get a smile out of him. 

Then he started eating dirt and it was all over:
I am planning on taking him to the barn tomorrow for a photo shoot. I'm going to pick up some pumpkins on the way and set out some hay bales...we'll see how it goes. Maybe I will get another 3 good ones. Thursday I am going to take him downtown for his final photo shoot. Then I can get these ordered and meet my goal of getting his 18 month pics before he turns 19 months. :)