Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Cleaning Begins in May

Spring is here!  Time to do my cleaning to declutter and make my house sparkle:)
Here is my plan of attack:

Week 1 of May- Declutter
  • Bathrooom- Clean out drawers, throw away old stuff, organize drawers and linen closet
  • Bedrooms- Clean out clothing from dressers and closets
  • Living Room and Dining Room- get rid of things that I don't use or relocate them to the appropriate place
  • Kitchen- clean out and organize cabinets, clean out food cabinets of expired food
  • Closets- organize and get rid of extra belongings
  • Bring out summer items and put away winter items
Week 2 of May- Clean
  • All Rooms- Wipe down walls, ceiling, fixtures, floors
  • Clean all windows
  • Flip matresses
  • Wash all bedding
  • Clean Refrigerator
Week 3 of May- Organize Basement
  • Declutter Basement
  • Organize Belongings
  • Containerize Belongings
  • Clean Washer and Dryer
  • Paint Basement Stairs
Week 4 of May- Get outside (this may happen earlier but if not it will be this week)
  • Clean Windows
  • Clean up yard
  • Plant garden
  • Remove bushes
  • Lay grass seed and fertilizer 
  • Organize/Clean garage
  • Clean patio furniture
  • Clean outdoor toys
  • Get ready for garage sale (if I end up doing it June 4th is our neighborhood sale)
This is just the beginning so look back because I am sure I will add more to it

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Calorie Tracker

I have a friend who told me about this website to track my calories.  I have tried other ones before but they just didn't do it for me- too much work.  My Fitness Pal has a huge database so you don't have to type in all your information, it is there for you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monkey Bread

For the moms study group I go to our tables rotate taking snacks each week.  So this week I made Pigs In A Blanket and Monkey Bread.  The Monkey Bread was delicious and simple.  Here is the recipe!


  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package cook and serve vanilla pudding mix
  •  1/4 cup white sugar
  •  1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits


  1. In a plastic bowl with tight-fitting lid, combine pudding mix, sugar, cinnamon and pecans if desired. Pour the butter into a shallow bowl. Cut the biscuits into quarters. Dip several pieces into the butter, then place in bowl; cover and shake. Remove to a greased 10-in. fluted tube pan or a 9 x 13 pan. Continue until all the biscuit pieces are coated. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Resurrection Rolls

I am going to do these!

Article and Picture FOUND at

Easter is just around the corner and as a Christian family it has always been a time of reflection of all that has been done for us.
If you are looking for a fun and simple way to share the message of the cross with even the little members of your family then this recipe is for you!
As parents we need to share our faith with our children at all ages.  This recipe is a great way to do just that, and they get to enjoy a yummy treat at the end of the lesson.

Resurrection Rolls

1 package Cresent rolls
melted butter
large marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350 degree
Give each child a triangle from the cresent rolls
The cresent roll represents the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in
Give each child a marshmallow.
This represents Jesus and His purity.
Have child dip the marshmallow in melted butter.
This represents the oils of embalming.
Dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon and sugar.
This represents the spices used to annoint the body of Jesus.
Wrap the coated marshmallow tightly in the cresent roll
(not like a typical cresent roll up, but bring the sides up and seal the marshmallow inside, otherwise the marshmallow will leak out.)
This represents the wrapping of Jesus’ body after death.
Place in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
The oven represents the tomb
When the rolls have cooled slightly, the children can open their rolls (cloths) and discover that Jesus is no longer there,
The marshmallow melts and the cresent roll is puffed up,
but like the tomb - IT IS EMPTY!
I found another recipe that is completely home made and doesn’t use refrigerated cresent rolls. This may work better for those of you who already have the simple ingredients on hand. You can find the recipe here.
I think this is a great tradition to add to your Easter time celebrations that takes the focus off the eggs and chocolate bunnies for a while and puts it right where it belongs!

Here are my Resurrection Rolls- they were super fun and delicious too!!!
 Some of them didn't seal up so well but the ones that did and did not leak the marshmallow were perfect!
They were empty!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Recipe: Rocky Top Brownies

I want to try these and haven't had the chance too.  Rocky Top Brownies- found in the Southern Living Kids Cookbook.
I rented my cookbook from the library after seeing it at a friends house.  We love it!

  • YIELD: Makes 32 brownies
  • 1 (19-ounce) package brownie mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 (13-ounce) package miniature chocolate-covered peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Stir together first 3 ingredients until blended. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 13- x 9-inch pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until center is set. 
  • Remove from oven, and sprinkle brownies evenly with chopped candy. Return to oven, and bake 2 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven, and cool completely on a wire rack. Cut brownies into squares.
Here are the pics when I made them!  They are super rich!

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Color Wheel Meals Blog

    My friend Samantha has a great blog.  I was just looking through it all and is amazed at her discipline for healthy eating.  I just love her stuff!  She has encouraged me to add more fruits and vegetables to my kids diet but to mine as well.  Check it out! 

    Here is a link to her About Me page:

    Recipe: Easy Fettuccini Alfredo

    Easy Fettuccini Alfredo

    • 1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
    • 1 (4 oz) cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
    • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 8 oz. cooked fettuccini noodles, cooked and drained
    Stir cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, butter and milk in a saucepan on low heat until smooth.  Add fettuccini and toss and sprinkle more Parmesan cheese on top.

    Add Grilled Chicken if you want!

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Recipe: Caramel Apple Dip

    A family friend makes this delicious Caramel Apple Dip.  She was featured in our local paper for it and once you eat it you will know why.

    • 1- 8 oz. Cream Cheese, soften
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 cup chopped lightly salted skinless peanuts
    Mix 1st - 3 ingredients well, add peanuts, mix.  Cut apples in wedges and dip!

    This doesn't turn out well (is very lumpy) if you use FF cream cheese.  You can use light cream cheese.
    If you have a small electric food chopper, that works great for chopping the peanuts, you want them very fine.

    Recipe: Waldorf Salad

    A very yummy salad that I used to say to my mom, "that is so gross"- now I love it!

    Desired Amount of:
    • Apples (small bite size pieces)
    • Grapes (cut in half)
    • Celery (Diced)
    • Walnuts
    Place in a bowl.

    • Hellman's Mayo (I use light)
    • Sugar to taste
    • Cinnamon to taste
    • Drops of milk (make consistency you like, don't make it to runny, as it will thin out as it gets mixed into the salad)
    Dressing should be a light brown.  

    Add dressing amount you desire to the Ingredients.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Recipe: Simple Nut Mix

    Here is a simple nut mix that my mother-in-law makes and it is yummy!

    • 1 pound Almonds, plain
    • 1 pound Walnuts
    • 1 bag of Dried Cranberries or Cranberry/Orange from Trader Joe's
    • 1 egg white
    • 1 tespoon water
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
    Pre-Heat oven at 225 degrees
    In a small bowl add egg white and water.  Whisk until frothy.
    Add Almonds to coat
    Toss almonds with sugar, cinnamon and salt.
    On a greased baking sheet, place a single layer of Almonds.
    Bake at 225 degrees for 1 hour.  Rotate every 20 minutes

    After almonds cool, add walnuts and cranberries and mix.  Store in an air-tight container.

    Recipe: Ravioli Lasagna

    Ravioli Lasagna

    Recipe Ingredients

      • 1 jar (26 oz) triple mushroom pasta sauce
      • 2 bags (13 oz each) frozen square cheese ravioli, thawed
      • 1 1⁄2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

    Recipe Preparation

    1. Heat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-in. square baking dish and a sheet of foil with nonstick spray. Put pasta sauce in a bowl; stir in 1⁄2 cup water.

    2. Spread 1 cup sauce in dish. Top with 20 ravioli (or 1⁄3 of the total), flat sides up andjust touching each other. Spread with 3⁄4 cup sauce; sprinkle with 1⁄2 cup cheese.

    3. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining ravioli, sauce and cheese. Cover tightly with foil, sprayed side down.

    4. Bake on a sheet of foil (to catch any drips) 1 hour or until bubbly around edges. Uncover and bake 5 minutes until cheese is barely golden.

    My mother-in-law made this for my birthday and she brought frozen spinach, let it thaw and added it to the layers.  It was simple and delicious!

    Recipe: Meat Loaf Miniatures

    I am not a big fan of meatloaf but a friend brought this to me after we had Kee Kee and I feel in love with it.  Now that I don't eat meat I just make it for the family.

    Meat Loaf Miniatures

    • 1 cup of Ketchup
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
    • 3 cups Crispix Cereal, crushed
    • 3 teaspoons onion powder
    • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 3 pounds of lean ground beef
    In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard.  Remove 1/2 cup for topping; set aside.  Add the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, cereal and seasonings to remaining ketchup mixture and mix well.

    Press meat mixture into 18 muffin cups (about 1/3 cup each).  Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  Drizzle with reserved ketchup mixture; bake 10 minutes longer or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

    Server desired number of meat loaves.  Cool remaining loaves; freeze.  Transfer to freezer bags; freeze for up to 3 months.

    To use frozen meat loaves:   Completely thaw in the refrigerator.  Place loaves in a greased baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through, or cover and microwave on high for 1 minute or until heated through.

    **You could probably do this as a big loaf too.  Sometimes mine do fall apart but they are delicious!

    Here is a link to the recipe as well:

    Recipe: Tortilla Tuilles

     I love this recipe!  So yummy after a meal!  This is from a Woman's Day magazine and I found the recipe again online.  I added my own words too!

    Tortilla Tuilles

    Recipe Ingredients

      • 4 fajita-size (6- to 7-in.) flour tortillas
      • 3 tsp cinnamon sugar
      • 1 pt vanilla-raspberry swirl frozen yogurt or whatever ice cream you choose

    Recipe Preparation

    1. Heat oven to 375°F. Crumple each of four 20-in. strips of foil into a ball; place on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

    2. Cut twenty-eight 8 x 1/2-in. strips from paper. Spray both sides of tortillas with nonstick spray; place in a single layer on wax paper. Lay paper strips on tortillas; sprinkle each tortilla with 3⁄4 tsp cinnamon sugar. Carefully lift off strips. Center a tortilla, cinnamon-sugar side down, over each foil ball. Gently press tortilla around foil to shape.
    I just cover the whole thing with cinnamon so I don't do the stripes

    3. Bake 11 to 13 minutes until lightly browned and crisp. Remove tortillas from foil with tongs to a wire rack to cool.

    4. To serve: Drop scoops of frozen yogurt into tuilles. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs, if desired.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Recipe: Yummy Mostaccioli

    This is one of my favorite and easy recipes to make!  Great for large groups too.


    • 1- One Pound Box of Mostaccioli Noodles
    • ½ to 1 pound of Hamburger
    • 1- 28-32 oz meatless Spaghetti Sauce- Prego Traditional
    • 1 heaping Tablespoon of Sugar
    • ½ cup of Water
    • Approx. 1 pound of Mozzarella Cheese
    • Approx. ¼ pound of Parmesan Cheese

    Boil noodles until tender firm.  Brown hamburger, drain, add sauce, sugar, water and heat up.  Mix drained noodles with ¾ of the sauce.  Put in bottom of sprayed 9 x 13 pan.  Top with generous amount of cheeses.  Add rest of noodle mixture.  Top with rest of sauce and cheeses.  Bake at 375 degrees uncovered for 30 minutes.

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Tips To Make Meals & Snacks Easier Throughout The Week

    How many times have you thrown away food because it went bad, especially produce?  You buy it at the store and have good intentions on eating all of it.  What is the hold back from eating it?

    For me it was the prep it took before you could eat it!

    Here are some tips that have helped me have better weeks with food:

    1.  Make your grocery list and be practical about how much you are buying.  If you don't buy enough you can always go back to the store.  If you buy too much you waste the food.

    2.  For produce, when you get home, cut and prepare those items that can be.  Clean and cut your peppers, onions, strawberries, grapes, cucumbers...If it is ready to eat you will likely eat it.  If you have to do the prep work and eat more likely you won't do it when you want the snack.  Prep your stuff for dinners too.  I had so many times when it came time for dinner and I was tired the last thing I wanted to do was clean, cut/ then I would just do something easy instead of something healthy.

    3.  Put out some veggies and fruits and let the kids snack on them throughout the day.  My kids love helping themselves when it is out on the counter for them.

    4.  For snacks, buy some snack baggies and place snacks in the baggies so the kids or you can just grab and go.  This will also help you control portion sizes.  My kids think they need a whole sandwich baggie full of whatever snack they choose and I end up throwing half the bag away. What a waste.  So I can handle portion control with the snack baggies prepared.  A friend of mine using one of her draws in the frig for snacks the kids can eat whenever.

    I do all my food prep when I get home from the grocery store so then I have no excuses!

    Organizing Meal Idea

    Here is a blog that I follow who put up an idea for Meal Organizing.

    I am not sure if this way would work for me because I use lots of same things for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner.  My friend, Kara (who set me this blog), were emailing and we were thinking well our frig isn't big enough but maybe it could work with one or two bins and you fill them the night before or in the morning.

    I thought of one thing that would be a perk to doing meals this way is that your family won't eat items that you need for the meals throughout the week.  Maybe not put condiments in the bins but all the perishable items.

    Homemade On The Go Meals

    I was reading my Family Fun Magazine this month and I loved this little idea that was in there.  This mom makes her own On The Go Meal when traveling instead of stopping at Fast Food Places.  Love the idea!!!

    Here is the link to read the article:

    A Game of Things

    If you haven't tried this game you should...

    I was introduced to this game by my sister-in-law at Christmas.  We played it with my husbands family along with my 7 year old niece which I thought was fun that she could join in with us.

    We just played it with a group of about 12 the other night and we laughed so hard.  Ages who played we as young as 10 years old all the way through adults.  I don't want to share too much about the game because I don't want to ruin your first experience. 

    You will learn some crazy things about people and enjoy a great time of laughing.  Great game for Game Night!!!

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Trader Joes Dripless Candles

    I LOVE these candles from Trader Joes.  They are perfect for your table.  8 per pack for $3.00- Taper type candles with no drip.  They burn for a long time too!

    Here is a blog where some wrote about them as well:

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    Easter Bunny Cupcakes

    Easter is coming fast!!!  I love Easter and all the celebration that comes with this special day.  Jesus' death and resurrection, Welcoming of Spring and Warm weather, Egg Hunts, Easter Baskets, time with family, cute Easter clothes and of course yummy food.

    I received an email from Family Fun with this fun recipe on it.  Here is the link and it is a short video on how to make these Fun Easter Bunny Cupcakes

    Pandora Radio

    So if you haven't heard of Pandora Radio or haven't tired it yet - YOU HAVE TOO!  It is my absolute favorite App for my IPod Touch.  It is so easy to use and you can use it on your computer as well.

    On your IPod Touch, IPhone or IPad- search for the the Free Pandora App.  You will need to then create an accountant.  Once you have created it, open the App and click "New Station" and type in a group, style that you like.  For example, I love Rascal Flatts so I typed in Rascal Flatts and now I have a station titled Rascal Flatts.  When I choose that station it plays Rascal Flatts and other artist like them.  I have lots of stations on mine and love the variety of music.  I even have stations for the kids, Christmas, etc...  It is fun thinking of all the artists you want to type in.

    While it is playing and you hear a song or artist that you don't like you can give it a thumbs down and they won't play that artist.  If you give it a thumbs up they will play more like it.  You can only skip 3 songs within one hour of listening.

    From the computer, go to and follow the instructions there.  It works the same except every so often if your music stops go back to the webpage screen because it wants to know if you are still listening.

    Give it a try and I know you will LOVE it!

    The Begley Welcome Spring Party

    On my early posting I put the ideas that we were going to be trying for our Welcome Spring.  Our theme was The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

    First thing Bryson asked was "Where's the games?".  To that I replied, "I don't have any games this time buddy.  We are going to do some fun activity sheets."  Well this is what happened after that answer.

    He made up his own game all by himself.  We had to start on the paper with our name and then we had to run and grab a caterpillar which was worth lots of points or you got stuck with a cocoon which was worth 0 points.  We had fun!!

    We did lots of activity sheets.  I read the story to them and then they glued the order of the different items on their page.

    We decorated a wall with the story pictures!

    Of course we made a caterpillar with cupcakes too!

    And the last here is a picture of our whole party and the food we ate for lunch!

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar was a hit in our house!  It is one of our favorite books (we read it lots too at our party)!