Friday, January 28, 2011

Decorations: Picture Frames

I love pictures!!!  Of course when having kids they became the focus of our pictures.  In our house there is a ledge on the stairway and this is what it looks like.

This is a spot where I can look at them everyday several times!
I purchased the frames at Wal-Mart, The Begley Home letters were from a store in South Haven, MI and the Live, Laugh, Love are wall stickers from the Dollar Store.

The Saying I Live By...

Or at least try too
This what I have in my Kitchen so I can see it EVERYDAY!!!  I purchased the sign at Hobby Lobby.  Got to love that store!!!

Organize: Jewelry Board

So I set out to be Martha Stewart this week:)  I went to Jo Ann's to find a piece of fabric.  Then I dug through my husbands tools and hardware and got what I needed.  And this is what I created!!! 

I am looking at making more to sell on Etsy...we'll see what happens!
I am also going to add this handle upside to create a cup for rings and other small jewelry.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reading: Books I Have Been Reading

I wanted to share with you some books I have been reading.  I am a sporadic readers so I have many books going at one time.  Some I just browse through.

Pottywise- I need to start potty training Keelin.  So I am refreshing myself since it has been 2 years since Bryson was potty trained.
Preschoolwise- Now that I am home with Keelin all day I am learning that she can be a big stinker so I have to structure her day and make sure she is on a good schedule and I am disciplining her correctly.
Childwise- With Bryson he is going through the stage where everything is done his way so I am reading to learn how to train him to make some decisions for himself but also let him know that we are in charge.
Parenting with Love and Logic- Using this as a reference.  Great book!

 Be CentsAble- Easy read and great tips

Clean Home Green Home- This has great ways to clean and with all natural products.  Once I get organized I am going to post the recipes for different cleaning solutions.  I think it will save money plus be better for our household.  With children in the house it makes me very nervous to have chemicals around that could harm them especially when there is natural solutions that clean just as well out there.

**A lot of these books I do get at the library.  I have fallen in love with the library - what a great free resource we have.  Our library is within a network so if they don't have it at the local library but it is within the network chain you can get it.  You place it on hold and it is delivered to your local library for you!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Recipe: Maurice Salad

If you love pickles you will love this salad!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 Tbsp. sweet pickle juice
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp. Chopped Onion
1/4 cup minced Sweet Pickle (add more if you like pickles)
Large Head of Lettuce
1 cup of cheese- Cut in cubes or you can use shredded

3 hard cooked eggs, minced (optional)
1 tomato, cut into thin strips (optional)

Since I am vegetarian I don't add meat but you can!
1 cup turkey, ham or chicken deli meat sliced thick and cut into cubes

Combine mayonnaise, pickle juice, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.  Stir in eggs, onion and pickles.  Allow to refrigerate 1 hour (optional).  Break lettuce into bite-size pieces.  Add dressing to lettuce and cheese and toss salad.  Add salad to bowls and top with meat and tomato.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Craft: Ruffly Felt Rose Wreath

This looks like fun to do!

Recipe: All Bean Chili

2 cups black, red kidney or other beans, soaked (I bought a bag of beans and cooked them in the crock pot over night.  You could also buy canned beans and just drain and rinse.)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 onions diced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped (I used 2 teaspoons of mined garlic)
4 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper
3 cans of diced tomatoes (I bought chili ready)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
A dash of red wine vinegar

Garnish: sour cream, cilantro, cheese

Cook beans or have the cans ready.

Saute the onions in the oil in a skillet over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes.  Add the garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, cumin, oregano, paprika and crushed red pepper.  Lower heat and cook until the onions are soft, another 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes with juice and cilantro.  Simmer for 15 minutes, then add beans to the mixture.

Continue cooking so the flavor can soak in.  If you need to make it more soupy add some water.  Add a dash of red wine vinegar.  Taste to see if you need to add more spices to help with flavor.

Serve it up!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Recipe: Pasta Fagioli

This was a soup I made last night.  It had a great taste and it was really easy.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups of chicken broth (I used vegetable broth and used more than two cups to make it more soupy)
1 (15 oz) can of while beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 1/2 oz.) tomatoes
1 cup Barilla small pasta
1 cup cut green beans
1 cup frozen lima beans
2 cups spinach leaves, cut small
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of Basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Combine oil, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in large saucepan.  Cover and cook on low heat until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add broth, all beans and tomatoes.  Cover and cook about 15 minutes.  Add greens and pasta.  Cook until tender.  Add salt, pepper to taste and pinch of basil.  If desired, add more broth to make soup less thick.  Stir in cheese and serve.

Recipe: Stuffed Shells

Oh yummy...I made these last night and they were delicious

Stuffed Shells

1 (16oz) package of Jumbo Shells
2 lb. Ricotta Cheese
1/2 lb. Mozzarella Cheese
2 eggs
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 (29 oz) jar spaghetti sauce or homemade sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained (optional)

1 1/2 hours before serving, prepare shells as label directs.  Combine Ricotta Cheese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper and optional beef in a large bowl.  Stuff each shell.  Grease 13x9 pan.  Spoon some sauce into the bottom of 13x9 inch pan; lay shells (seam side down) over the sauce in one layer.  Spoon remaining sauce evenly over the shells.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake 30 minutes or until shells are heated through in 350 degree oven.

I prepared these in the afternoon and cooked them for dinner.  Served them with Caesar Salad, Garlic Bread and Pasta Fagioli Soup (recipe next).  It was so good!

Organize: Reading Blogs through Google Reader

One of my friends was over and showed me how she follows are these blogs through Google Reader.  It is SO great.  I have always wanted to keep up on blogs but just couldn't get to everyone of them so this way I can go to Google Reader and see them all and also see if they have updated.  Of course, Google is AMAZING.

Here are some of the blogs that I subscribed too and I can't wait to find more now! (Sorry I just copied from the edit menu of my Google Reader.

Bargains to Bounty
Rename Unsubscribe
Add to a folder...
Coupons Equal Cash
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Add to a folder...
Ginas Skinny Recipes
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Add to a folder...
Rename Unsubscribe
Add to a folder...
Rename Unsubscribe
Add to a folder...
Living Proof Ministries Blog
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Add to a folder...
Rawkinmom's Blog
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Add to a folder...
Summer's Living
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Add to a folder...
Sweet Josephine
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Add to a folder...
the anderson crew
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Add to a folder...
The Domestic Wannabe
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Add to a folder...
The Mistress of Oxford

Add to a folder...
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Add to a folder...
You paid more than me
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Add to a folder...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Activity/Recipes/Fun Stuff: Family Fun

I love this website and their emails they send out.  I have gotten so many ideas from them and they are all very fun things to make - whether it is food or a craft!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Craft: Valentine's Day

This looks like fun to do.  I might just give it a try!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Recipe: Poppers

My friend makes these and I feel in love with them so I have to share them.  This is a great appetizer or I make rice and serve it as a meal.

20 to 24 jalapeno's (the bigger the better but not the huge one)
1.5 packages cream cheese (you can use light)
1 pack Italian sausage or veggie crumbles
1.5 cups Parmesan Cheese

Cut the jalapeno's in half and clean them out really good. If you don't they will be to spicy.  If you get all the seeds out they are not that spicy at all.

(Tip cut them under water and it helps not to get the yuckies on your fingers)

Mix everything else together and stuff each half.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. You want them to be brown on top.

Finished and Delicious Product

Parmesan Cheese, Cream Cheese, Morning Star Meal Starters Sausage Style Recipe Crumbles & Peppers

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Organizing Pictures and creating Photo Books to capture memories

I LOVE pictures especially once we had kids.  Don't get me wrong I loved them before kids but kids are such easy people to take pictures of.  With having kids and building our family, I want to make sure I capture every memory (or as many as I can).  I used to paper scrapbook all the time but I just didn't have time to do it anymore.  You know how it is - dragging out all the stuff late at night when the kids were sleeping, only getting a few pages done, putting it all away and not pulling it out again for another month.  I just could not keep up on it so I went digital.

One day I went to order pictures from Costco and they have a program they use called MyPublisher.  It is a very very simple program which I like because I can use it and I can do it fast.  There are other fancy digital scrapbooking sites out there but I have stayed for now with MyPublisher because they run great deals too.  When I am creating my photobooks I want as many pictures as possible and some explanation.  I have come up with a pretty good lay out that I like.  I do a family book for each year and then if we do a special vacation I will do a separate photobook because there always tends to be a lot of pictures:)

In my family book, I start off with an intro page to compile the year for the Begley family.
I organize the pictures by month.  This way I can work on it throughout the year.
At the beginning of each month, I do a page with the Month and Year and then I do a split page.  On side is Bryson and Keelin's milestones and the other side is all the events we did that month.  Then I fill the pages to follow with pictures to reflect the month and the events.  You can choose many different styles and you can print up to 100 pages. 

Once I complete the book, I upload it to the site and have it printed.

Here is two that I have done:

The Begley Family 2009 Book

The Begley Family Disney Vacation 2010 Book

Organzing Clothes for Kids

I got a tip from one of the momLife ladies about a clothes organizer for the closet so I got one.  On laundry day I fill it up with pairs of clothes.  Throughout the week the kids can pick whatever outfit they want to wear.  This way I know what they are wearing but they still get "to pick".

Here is a picture of Bryson's (Keelin has one too)

This organizer is from Target $15.  There are lots out there but I wanted something that will last.  This has other closet organizers that match for later use too.

Organizing Front Closet- Shoes

Since moving to Grandpa's house we have a front closet.  This is where we keep coats and shoes.  I hate all the shoes being everywhere so here is what my closet looks like.

I got these baskets at the Dollar Tree.  The green basket has some hats and gloves in it.  The Red basket is Keelin's shoes and the Blue basket is Bryson's shoes.  Mine and Shawn's go on the racks.  We also have a hall tree that has a place for a few pairs of shoes so that is where the wet shoes go so they don't get the other shoes wet.

The baskets have worked great for the kids.  I like to have the shoes lined up nicely and they just don't do that so the baskets have relieved me and they know exactly what to do.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Scripture Memory and Daily Reading

A friend and I are doing a scripture memorization for the year 2011.  You memorize 24 scriptures throughout the year and check in on the 1st and 15th of every month.  We are doing it through Beth Moore's Blog -

Also my friend expressed that she was doing a Life Journal so I decided to do one as well.

This year I really want to focus on growing closer to God and learning the scripture.
My first scripture is Proverbs 15:1 (NLT)
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh word stirs up anger.
I need to hide this one in my heart especially when dealing with kids.

For the journal, I am going to read through the Bible in a year with "The Daily Walk" Bible.  I am going to journal as directed on the Life Journal site plus add a little journaling about my day too.

I have chosen right now to do my reading first thing in the morning in bed.  If I get up and start moving I do other things besides reading the Word and really doing it with my whole heart and spirit.  I will then do my "day" journaling at night before I go to bed.

I am excited to see what God has for me and my family in 2011 as I strive to draw closer to HIM!