Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mummy Dogs and Dressing Up

This is the last Halloween themed recipe and post for the year.  I decided to make a festive dinner to go along with all of the other fun we have been having.  I attempted to make mummy dogs.  They looked a lot better in the picture than mine, but they were still fun and tasty.

All you need to make these are hot dogs, cheese slices, and a package of crescent rolls. Wrap cheese around the hot dog, cut the crescent roll in strips and wrap around the hot dogs to look like mummy bandages.  You can also use a little bit of mustard to make eyes.  They were delicious.

Elijah looked adorable in his costume.  He even went trick-or-treating with his older cousins.  I just thought he would enjoy walking around but he took a cue from the older kids and helped himself to plenty of candy.  He would go up to the bowl and grab as much as his little hand could hold.  (I would make him put all but one piece back even though everyone kept telling me it was OK, he could have as much as he wanted).  How much candy does a 1 year old need?  He had a great time!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More Halloween Fun

This year Halloween was full of fun chili cook-offs, parades, parties, and still trick-or-treating to come.  It has been a very full and event filled year. 

We attended a fun Halloween party with a bunch of little ones all dressed up.  There was also tons of good food to eat.  Elijah has really been enjoying all of the fun this year.

Taking a break from all of the fun.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Cookie Pie

I decided to go all out this year and attempt several Halloween recipes.  This one was just fun.  It looks great and is easy to make.

Here is the recipe I ended up with:

1 roll refrigerated sugar cookies (I was pressed on time so used the store cookies, you could make your own)
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup candy corn (I used the autumn mix with the little pumpkins)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup marshmallows
1/2 cup coconut
1 can ready to spread vanilla frosting (or again, you could make your own)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-inch pizza pain with aluminum foil; grease the foil- I used the spray.  Spread the cookie dough evenly on the pan to form the crust.

Bake for 15 minutes for a softer cookie.  If you want it crispier, bake for 20 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Let the cookie cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Lift the crust from the foil and place on a tray.  Spread the peanut butter over the cookie.  Sprinkle on the candy corn, raisins, marshmallows and coconut. 

Melt the desired amount of frosting in microwave safe bowl for 10 seconds.  Drizzle evenly over the cookie pie.  Cut and serve.

*Note*  I baked the cookie for 20 minutes and it came out very crispy.  It was nice because it made it easy to spread the peanut butter and sturdy for the toppings, but I would like to make it a little softer next time.  I like my sugar cookies soft.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween PJ's

When I saw these, I couldn't resist.  It is fun to wear festive PJ's. 

(While he still lets me dress him) :-)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Chex Mix

This year I decided to make some festive foods for Halloween.  The first thing I made was Halloween chex mix.  This was where the disastrous attempt at melting chocolate came in.  It was originally going to be with white chocolate, but I ended up making it with semi sweet chocolate chips instead.  It still came out tasting delicious.

This is a really quick and easy recipe to make for potlucks or just for the family.  It looks festive with the candy corn as well.

This is the recipe that I ended up with:

1 bag of chocolate chips (regular or white chocolate)
6 cups corn chex cereal
3 cups pretzels
2 cups raisins
1 11oz. bag of candy corn ( I used the autumn mix with the pumpkins and candy corn)
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 cup mini marshmallows

Melt the chocolate until it is smooth and creamy.  Add in the chex, pretzels and raisins until evenly coated with chocolate.  Stir in candy corn and marshmallows.  I sprinkled the coconut on top.  Pour it all out onto wax paper to let the chocolate cool and harden.  This will take 30-45 minutes.  Once it is cooled completely, break into pieces.


I ended up adding the marshmallows and coconut after I finished to give it a little something extra since the white chocolate didn't work out.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Melting Chocolate

The smallest things in life can be challenges for me.  I needed to melt some chocolate to make a delicious looking chex mix treat for a potluck I was going to.  I really did not put any thought into this.  How hard can it be to melt chocolate?!?!  I thought it was a no brainer.  I bought this amazing bag of chocolate to melt.

I love Ghiradelli Chocolate!!!!

I put it in the microwave for 2 minutes.  It did not look like it had melted very much so I put it back in for 2 more minutes.  When I took it out, it was completely burned and crumbly.  I was very sad.  I did not have another bag to melt, I had only gotten the one and I was NOT going to go back to the store with Elijah in tow. 

After contemplating what to do, I went into the pantry to see what I had in there.  I found a bag of chocolate chips and decided this would have to do.  I decided to read the bag first to see if it had directions for melting.  To my amazement, it actually did!!! (Now you can tell just how much time I spend baking).  This time I microwaved for 30 seconds, took it out and stirred, and then put back in for 30 second intervals until it was melted.  I also melted only 1/2 the bag at at time.  It worked much better the 2nd time around but I had to settle for this.....

Still delicious but not the same

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Know When To Fold Them

We recently had a very long, drawn out, expensive TV repair experience. A little over 6 months ago the picture on our 50" Samsung plasma TV went out. The volume still worked and the picture would work occasionally, and then it stopped working at all. We decided to see if we could have it repaired.
We went with a local company that does TV repairs. They will come get the TV and do a diagnosis to determine what is wrong. They charge $85 to look at it, and if you have the repair done, that goes toward the final charges. It was determined that a board went out and would be almost $400 to repair. We decided to go ahead and have them fix it since we already paid $85. After a few days, the TV was ready. We went and picked it up because they were "too busy" to deliver it to us. We were just glad to have it back and working.

After about 2 weeks, the TV went out again with the same problem. They came and got the TV, and told us it was a different board that went out and needed to be replaced. At this point, I was very unhappy. We had just paid almost $400 to have our TV for 2 weeks. After discussing this with the owner, he told us he would replace it for just the cost of the board at his price and no labor...... another $200. We decided that since we just spent $400 we should pay the $200 and get it fixed.

After about a week the owner told us that the part was on back order and he would let us know when it was ready. After about a month of it being in the shop, I called to let them know that we were moving out of town soon. He said that he would see if he could expedite the process to get it fixed. That did not happen!!!!

After 6 MONTHS of it being in the repair shop, it was finally fixed. This was after repeated phone calls and this guy being excessively rude. He talked to me as though this entire thing was my fault and I was just a thorn in his side (that I'm sure was true). When the part came in, he wanted me to pay up front to have it fixed. I let him know I was not paying him a thing until I had the working TV in my possession. He said it would be done the next week.

When the TV was finally ready, he called to let me know I needed to get it immediately because his shop was full and he has already been storing it there for 6 months. I laughed a lot when he told me this. Yes sir, you have kindly been "storing" it for me the last 6 months!!! Thankfully we only moved two hours away so I could drive and get it. I had to make this 4 hour trip for the long awaited TV with my 15 month old, that was an adventure.

There are many lessons that I learned during this process. Next time I will know when to cut my losses and walk away. I am sure that I could have just purchased a new TV for the same cost as fixing this 5 year old TV. Some things just aren't worth repairing, and sometimes local isn't better.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Speaking of Sleep

Elijah often falls asleep in the car while we are driving. I try really hard to keep him awake so he will nap at home. I sing, make loud noises, turn the radio all the way up, shake his feet, you name it, I try it. IT DOES NOT WORK. No matter what I try, he passes out.
A brilliant idea came to me today. I need to keep a spray bottle in the car and just spray him with water to keep him awake. Is that cruel? If I dont' come up with something, we can never leave the house. This is what the outcome was today. He fell asleep in the car for 15 minutes. When we got home I gently got him out of his seat and put him in his bed. He immediately woke up and started screaming. After awhile I FINALLY got him back to sleep....... in MY bed.
At this point I think I should just give him my bed, put it in his room and get myself a new bed. It might be the only way.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ode to sleep

My son, Elijah, is almost 15 months old.   I thought for sure he would be sleeping through the night in his own crib by now.  This has not been the case.  At night this is where he spends most of his time.

  In case you are wondering, that is our bed.  He is convinced that the king size bed is his and we just get to share it with him.  This is where he takes his naps, in his crib.
  He looks so content and peaceful.  I do not know why he will take naps in his crib but will not sleep there at night.  He will work himself up to full hysterics at night in his crib until someone comes to get him.  As soon as you get him, he calms down.  Also, I just discovered, if someone else puts him to bed that isn't myself or my husband, he will sleep in his crib.  If he wakes up and discovers he is in his crib, he will cry until someone gets him.  So, the question is:  How in the world do I get him to sleep at night in his crib!?!?  I would really enjoy having my bed back.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

All In

There are many times during the week that I come up with ideas of things I should do. I usually think about them for a few days telling myself they are fantastic ideas and I will really do them. Each time I feel like it is great and something fabulous is going to come from it. Most of the time, nothing becomes of these ideas, they stay in my head. Every once in awhile an idea will make its way out. 

Once I decide to make something happen, I usually go all in. This is what happened when I decided to start this blog. I had read a few blog posts to get some inspiration for names and how to start up, and then dove in. I decided that I should have my own website so I would own the blog. It should be mine for me to do with as I please. 

I signed up with a site to host my website and register my domain name and paid them for these services. I was excited, I was ready to go. I spent many, many hours working on this. I wrote my first post, did some design work, and started on my next post. This is where I stalled. I finally realized.... I have NO IDEA how to set up a website.

I decided to use the online support to help me on my way. After a couple hours of this, finally..... NOTHING!!!! I had gotten no where. I was more confused than when I started. I still couldn't get my website up and running, nor could I write any more posts unti I got that finished. I finally came to terms with the fact I can't become a website running master in a week or so (or ever for that matter).

This is when I decided to abort the mission. I cancelled my account and domain name. Thankfully this was not a very expensive lesson. I had only paid for one month and to register my domain name. They even refunded me part of the money I paid. After some thought I changed the original name and decided to do the smart thing (what I should have done in the first place) and just start a blog using a free site. Now I don't have to stress about knowing how to get my website even able to view. I just sign in and type. Ahhhhhhhhh, relief. As I finish this post I realize that as of right now I don't know how to upload pictures to my site from my iPad. I will figure this out. I have also considered getting myself a laptop. I currently have a really old broken one that works more like a desktop. Maybe I should take some time making the right decision before I go all in.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I often think to myself that one day my life will be perfect.  I will have the perfect home, be the perfect mom, wife, homemaker.... and so on.  I will have it all.  There won't be anything that I can't do.  In my mind the dialogue often sounds something like "Once you only work part-time you will be a better mom and the house will look better," " Once you get the house clean and organized it will always be clean and organized," "Once you look up a couple new recipes you will make delicious homemade meals every night."

Over time I have come to realize that I will never reach "perfect" and that is OK.  As I read earlier, Good Enough is the new Perfect.  I do not have any areas or talents that I can say that I excel in.  If I had to choose once great trait,  it would be that I work hard.  That is it.  I am not crafty, a supermom, ultra organized, a fabulous chef, a terrific homemaker, or anything related.  I just work hard. 

As I grow older I realize that the only way to live life is the "hard way."  We learn by our failures, attempts at trying or mastering new things, and just by going about our daily routines.  I don't think life would be truly enjoyable any other way.  This is what makes it so frustratingly fun. 

I have definitely come to rely on the knowledge and skill sets of others.  I learn a great deal through what others already know.  I often seek out advice and wisdom from those that I know, as well as those that I have never met outside of the Internet.

I thought that I would share with others what I have learned and continue to learn as I live life the "hard way."  There are things that I have found to work and be life-savers, as well as things that I have tried and have failed.  Hopefully others out there can save some time and sanity from the things that I have learned and the tips and tricks I have discovered. 

Even as I start this blog it teaches me life is frustratingly not as simple as I think it is going to be.  As I write this post for the second time, the first post having disappeared and not saving, I have learned to save as I type to avoid unneeded headaches. Here is to the new "Perfect".  Hip Hip Hooray!!!  

This is an adorable picture of my handsome little guy when he was a lot smaller. He is almost 15 months now. I think that he is about as perfect as you can get.