Friday, September 30, 2011

Tomorrow is October

I really love this time of year! Today it's relatively cool out (60s), and it's sunny and breezy. I have the windows open and nice fresh air is blowing in. Yesterday I replaced the flowers in two of my planters out front with mums...
And today I spent the day cleaning and getting ready for Annabelle's party tomorrow. I also made pizza dough for tonight...homemade pizza is so simple and easy! I sent in my recipe to Gooseberry Patch, I'm hoping they'll add it to one of their cookbooks.
One day when the kids and I were in Hobby Lobby, we saw cute two-foot tall artificial Christmas trees, and lots of miniature ornaments to go with them. We thought it would be fun to get one this year for each of their rooms. So, today I ordered two trees from Kohl's, one purple and one green, plus tree skirts too. They were on sale, plus I had $20 Kohl's cash, PLUS I had a 30% off coupon and a free shipping code. You gotta love Kohl's. They take stuff back so easily too...even if clothes have been washed, no tags, etc.
OK, gotta run...have a great weekend friends!

♥ Jen

Thursday, September 29, 2011

And the winner is...

Today is the day! The winner of the Gooseberry Patch Tiny Tips books has been randomly chosen (Annabelle picked the number)! Without further delay, the winner is...

M.J.! Her wonderful comment was, "I would love to win Tiny Tips for the Kitchen.I just love Gooseberry Patch books...thanks so much for the chance." Congratulations M.J.! Please email me your mailing address. I will get your book out to you as soon as I can!
Thanks for playing everyone! I'll have another giveaway soon!
♥ Jen

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Perking up!

Yesterday, Jen asked me how the Crock Pot Girls' Balsamic Chicken turned out...I realized that I neglected to post my review...whoops! Well, it was delicious, I definitely recommend it. Here's the recipe:

Balsamic Chicken
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • 2-14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (Not chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. each: dried oregano, basil, and rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • ground black pepper and salt to taste

Pour the olive oil on bottom of crock pot.
Place in chicken breasts, salt and pepper each breast.
Put sliced onion on top of chicken.
Then put in all the dried herbs and garlic cloves.
Pour in vinegar and top with tomatoes.

Cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours, serve over angel hair pasta.

I really liked the texture of the chicken. It was moist and tender, and of course very flavorful. Leftovers were delicious the next day!
I went grocery shopping this morning, and I was happy to see that this seasonal item was back:
These muffins are soooo good. With a cup of coffee, yum! It's autumn, baby!
Annabelle's birthday party is this weekend, and one of the things we're planning to do is make these cute candy creatures from American Girl magazine...
Aren't they cute? So I've been collecting supplies...starbursts, candy dots, etc. At Wegman's today, they had Runts in the bulk candy section, so I picked out a whole bunch of bananas to use for those little horns. The checkout lady must have been wondering about that one! I mean who would pick the bananas if you were just going to snack on them, am I right? LOL
I'm feeling much better today. Thanks for all the well-wishes, I appreciate them a lot. I might not even take a nap this afternoon! Well we'll see about that. Don't forget, check back tomorrow because I will announce the winner of the Gooseberry Patch Tiny Tips book giveaway! Didn't enter yet? You can do so here.
See you tomorrow! Here's a pic of me and the kids from the weekend...

♥ Jen

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Being sick for more than a day is just not cool. I woke up this morning, expecting to feel much better...instead I feel pretty much the same. I had to run some errands, so I did that. I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror at Target and just loved the giant circles under my eyes! Ugh. So I'm lying on the couch now, hoping some rest will help. I see another nap in my near future.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for the Gooseberry Patch cookbook! I'm choosing a winner on Thursday. I'm too lazy to link to the correct post, but just scroll down a bit and you'll find where to comment. Next week I will probably have another giveaway, this time for some awesome scrapbooking software. I just have to play around with it first, when I can muster up the energy.

OK, enough is enough...nap time is here! See y'all tomorrow!

♥ Jen

Monday, September 26, 2011

Abby's quilt

Hey everyone! I missed posting this weekend, I was busy with birthday festivities. We postponed Mason's party until Sunday, which worked out well because he was feeling much better (he had Strep). All the kids who were supposed to come on Saturday came the next day. We couldn't get in touch with one girl, so she showed up on Saturday...I felt so bad! But she came back on Sunday so it all worked out.
I can show you the baby quilt I made for my new niece! I sent it to her last week so I won't spoil the surprise now. I forgot to take pictures after I got it bound, labelled and washed but these will have to do! I was in such a hurry to send it off, I guess.
It's made with yellow and brown Lily and Will II fabrics from Bunny Hill Designs. I love the little bunnies worked into the elegant prints. The pattern is a freebie I found at Moda Bake Shop, called Lap Quilt in a Jiffy by Kari Ramsay. It required a layer cake, 1/2 yard of fabric for the binding, and three yards for the backing. It was a pleasure to make and I would definitely use this pattern again.
Today I woke up with a stomach bug. I went back to sleep for three hours after the school bus came! So unlike me. I still don't feel so great but I'm hoping this doesn't last longer than the day. I'm going to go and get some ginger ale. Hope you're having a better day! Talk to you soon!

♥ Jen

Friday, September 23, 2011


Hey there! What's up? My little guy came home sick from school this morning. He woke up and said both his ears really hurt...but then after some Advil they were fine. Dave looked in his ears and they looked ok, so we sent him to school. Well less than two hours later the nurse called. He's got a 101.5 fever, headache, and stomachache. I'm taking him to his pediatrician later this afternoon. He's prone to Strep so I'm wondering if that's what it is. The school cupcake party had to be postponed; I'm hoping he'll be okay for his home party. I don't think we'll make that call til tomorrow a.m. Luckily I got to do some errands before I had to pick him up. Poor Mason...he was all teary when I got to the school. No fun being sick at birthday time.
I have dinner in the crockpot...I'm trying another one from The Crock Pot Girls, this one's called Balsamic Chicken. I hope it's good, I'll let you know! Has anyone tried the Ranch Bacon Chicken? That was a good recipe!
My sister and her new baby are going home today! They're both doing well. My niece has the cutest chubby cheeks! Both of my kids were little when they were born so they didn't get chubby cheeks until well after birth. Love seeing them right away!
Today in my tart burners, I'm melting Gobble Gobble Goodies (a mixture of pumpkin pie, zucchini bread, and sugar corn pudding) and Pink Sugared Noel Cake (Pink Sugar, Vanilla Bean Noel, and Birthday Cake). Mmmm, it smells good in here! Later I'll light some candles too. It's warm out but I'll pretend it's actual autumn weather.

Have a wonderful day!

♥ Jen

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Get ready to fall asleep

Hey there everyone! This is another late post, sorry about that. I've been getting ready for the weekend (Mason's birthday party, Oma's visit), and of course that overlaps with getting ready for Annabelle's party. It's always a crazy few weeks around here! Plus this year, both their parties are going to be at home. They wanted it that way, which is fine but it does add a bit more work.

Did you watch the season premiere(s) of Modern Family last night? That show is hilarious. Tonight I'm sitting here on the computer, watching yet another Republican debate. Getting a bit tired of them, I must admit. Tomorrow I have some housework and errands to do, then I'm bringing in cupcakes to Mason's class. Crafting will have to wait until at least next week, if I have some time between festivities!

I apologize for the boringness of my posts lately! If you're still awake, thanks for checking in with me...hopefully I'll have something more exciting tomorrow!

♥ Jen

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nighty night!

This is a little late but I wanted to check in and say hi to everyone! This day just kind of got away from me. I'll chat more tomorrow, but it's late and I need to go to bed! I hope you had a wonderful day...sleep tight!

♥ Jen

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A day of birthdays

Hello and Happy September 20th! Not only is it my brother-in-law Greg's birthday today (he's a twin too!)...but my niece Abigail Hope was born early this morning! She weighed 8lbs. 14 oz, and she's 21 inches long. My sister Kathleen and she are doing very well. Rebecca is a proud big sister and Steve is a proud daddy. I can't wait to meet Abby...we're planning to go visit in October (they live about 4-1/2 hours away). I've seen pictures already and she is gorgeous!
Don't forget to enter my giveaway on yesterday's post. I tried the tip about spraying the cheese grater with cooking spray and it really did help! These books are chock-full of these little gems!

♥ Jen

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tiny Tips books review and GIVEAWAY!

Happy Monday everyone! Personally I don't mind Mondays. I'm sure the fact that I'm a SAHM has a major part to do with that! But after busy weekends, it's nice to get things re-organized, re-clean, and just start fresh. Last night I sat down to read these two cute little books that Gooseberry Patch sent me for review...
These books are made up of the little tips and tricks that are sprinkled throughout GP's cookbooks. For me, the tips and the illustrations (also included) are the best parts! There are other titles in the "Tiny Tips" series as well. Of these two, one focuses on little touches for your home; the other focuses on kitchen hints. Here are some samples from "Tiny Tips for a Cozy Home:"
  • Need a tablecloth fast? Simply toss a quilt on the table!
  • Keep an eye open at tag sales for a wicker backpack. Filled to the brim with seasonal foliage, it makes an inviting back-door greeting.
  • Small candles floating in water-filled glass goblets add sparkle to the dinner table.
There are so many but those are my favorites! Here's a sampling from "Tiny Tips for the Kitchen:"
  • For thick and creamy casseroles, try using dry bread crumbs instead of adding flour.
  • Did you know bread will stay freshest if it's stored on the counter, not refrigerated?
  • For quick clean-up, lightly spritz the outside of a grater with non-stick vegetable spray.
Little books, but big on charm! Would you like to win one? I only have these two, no I will part with ONE of them, I can't be too selfish. LOL Just leave me a comment and tell me which one you'd prefer. I'll choose a winner on September 29th. Please please please, make sure your contact info is linked to your name, or at least email me your info...otherwise I can't include you in the drawing. These books are also in-stock on Gooseberry Patch's website if you just can't wait!

Thanks for playing and have a great day!

♥ Jen

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Itty bitty post

Just a little quickie post today! I wanted to check in and say hi...I hope you have a beautiful day where you are! It's sunny, cool and dry here, absolutely gorgeous. I've been hangin' with the family, doing pickups, errands, etc. Mason's birthday party is next weekend, and Annabelle's is the one after that...this time of year is very festive! Anyway we've been getting set for those.
I'm gonna go watch some football, maybe have a beer. Have a good one!

♥ Jen

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Crafty and Candle-y

Hello and Happy Saturday! Did you get to Bath and Body Works today? I heard that their free gift ran out really quickly online, and that some stores sold out early as well. I was lucky, I got to my B&BW right after 10 and they were already allowing you to get the gifties (it supposedly started at 11).
I bought three mini candles for $5 (the ones on the right), and got the ones on the left and the tote bag as a bonus.
The kids each got a little hand sanitizer while we were there. Then, we browsed around Yankee Candle and the Hallmark Store. Lots of the new Keepsake Ornaments are out, so we had fun looking at those. We followed that up with lunch at Wendy's, then came home. It was a good morning. Chilly too! The inside temperature was 63 when we got up. Both kitties slept all snuggled up next to me last night.
I spent a good part of this afternoon ironing. I've had my niece's quilt top finished for awhile now, so I washed the backing fabric and pressed it. The fabric is so pretty...It's from Lakehouse, and it's a delicate white floral on a pink background. I got it from Desperate Quilters for $3.99/yd! Love that when you need 5 or 6 yards.
I also had to press the quilt top since it had been folded up for awhile. I think I have enough batting; if not, I'll be making a trip to Joann's next week.
Allright, gotta run...have a good one, folks!

♥ Jen

Friday, September 16, 2011

Crockpot success

Happy Friday! It is just beautiful out here...around 60 degrees and sunny. Perfect! Yesterday evening, there was a rain shower and a huge, gorgeous rainbow followed. Love those gifts from above.
So I am happy to say that the chicken recipe was delicious! I couldn't stop myself from scraping the plate, the serving spoon, etc. Here's the recipe, from The Crock Pot Girls on Facebook:

Bacon Ranch Chicken

2 Tbsp of real bacon bits
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix
can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Egg Noodles, prepared

Combine the first 5 ingredients.
Pour over chicken in slow cooker.
Cook 3-4 hours on high or until chicken is cooked through.
Serve over hot noodles.

I used low-fat sour cream and "healthy request" Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup. Also, instead of serving it over noodles, I made baked potatoes. And, my chicken breasts were frozen so I cooked it for 8 hours on low. It was very, very yummy...the chicken was moist and the sauce is to die for.
So what's going on this weekend? Annabelle's going to a slumber party tomorrow night...they were supposed to sleep outside in tents, but it's supposed to be 40 degrees so now they have to sleep inside. All 13 of them! I feel so bad for the parents. Annabelle wants to have a slumber party for her birthday, but I'm limiting it to 6 guests. I think THAT'S plenty! I've got to get over to B&BW tomorrow, and besides that I'm hoping we get to go to a festival or two.
Enjoy your day...see you tomorrow!

♥ Jen

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rainy Day happenings

Hey there Peeps! Today is chilly and rainy...I love it! I am so not a summer person...heat and too much sun drain me. A cool day is invigorating! I've been doing a lot of things around the house, cleaning, etc. I'm trying another crock pot recipe from The Crock Pot Girls facebook group. The Teriyaki Chicken was disappointing, but hopefully this one works out. It's called Bacon Ranch Chicken. Sounds good, right? If all goes well I will post the recipe tomorrow. Carol had tried the Teriyaki Chicken after I had posted it, but before I had given it a thumbs-down. That one day I didn't post got me into trouble. LOL Carol, if you're reading, let me know what you thought!

I was in Target the other day and spotted this cookie mix. (sorry about the dark picture!)
I love Betty Crocker's bagged cookie mixes. I rarely have good luck with scratch chocolate chip cookies, or sugar cookie for that matter...the bagged mixes always turn out delicious. Anyway I took the suggestion to frost these with cream cheese frosting...
...and I added some cinnamon sugar for a little sparkle. Haven't tasted one yet, but they smell great.
Open House went well last night. I got to talk to each teacher and both kids are doing great. I wrote them notes and left them in their desks for them to read today. I signed up to be Mason's class Room Mother. I alternate every year, and Annabelle had a turn last year. I wish I could do both but I can't be in two places at once.

When I got home from that, Dave told me that Waterfall the goldfish had expired. Sure enough, the poor little guy was motionless at the bottom of the fishbowl. We had a toilet bowl funeral, a la Bill Cosby, but we didn't get dressed up. Bubbles is doing okay, she's hiding her grief well.

Ok I have to go fold three loads of laundry so that's it for now. Be back tomorrow!

♥ Jen

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This is today's post title

I've been trying to thing of something semi-interesting to talk about today, but I'm not coming up with much. How about shopping?!  Jen told me that she bought one of the candles I mentioned, so I thought I'd make a PSA and tell you that Bath and Body Works is having a Home Fragrance Event this Saturday, Sept. 17th. All you have to do is purchase any home fragrance product and you get an adorable tote bag and a three-pack of mini candles. Click on this link if you want to see what you get.

If you're looking for ideas of what to buy, might I suggest this little guy...
This scent, lavender macaroon, is wonderful. Apparently it only came out in the large 3-wick candles in a few "test" stores. The rest of us can only get the mini ones. But I got three for $5 and they are yummy! So you could nab a few of these (or even just one!) and get the freebies. Plus three-wick candles will be 2/$20. Just thought you'd like to know.
Tonight is Open House at the kids' school. This is the last year that they'll both be at the elementary school...I can't believe Annabelle will be in the middle school next year! Crazy. Whoever said, "The Days are Long, but the Years are Short" wasn't kidding!

Have a good one!

♥ Jen

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good dinner...phew!

The enchiladas were really yummy. It's one of those recipes that I wonder why I don't make more often. You can prepare it ahead, and the leftovers are really good too. In fact guess what we're having for dinner tonight!
I did some errands today, lookie what I got at Dunkin' Donuts!
I'm so excited to try these. If you notice, there's only 14 in the box, and it's a pretty big box too...sneaky! And it costs the same as a regular 18-pack. We'll see if it's worth it.
I went to HomeGoods and found the cutest felt autumn garland. Do you like?
It was $7.99, I could never make it for that cheap. I had seen it last week, and debated whether or not to get it. I ended up putting it back. Since then I've been picturing it on my fireplace. I took it as a sign when I only saw one left today and grabbed it. I'm glad I did, I think it adds a nice touch.
While I was taking pictures I remembered I wanted to show you this little dish I bought at Christmas Tree Shops. One dollar! I had the stand already. It's on the ledge over my kitchen sink, and it makes me smile every time I look at it. It's little, only about 5 or 6 inches in diameter.
Off to take some cookies out of the oven...see you tomorrow!

♥ Jen