January 2014 Goals Reviewed

Alright, so let’s get to how well I did with my January goals.

And just so we are completely honest with each other, I made these goals about Jan 15.

I had already been working on some things so I just decided to give myself to the end of the month to complete them.

Paint Caroline’s RoomCheck!– My wonderful husband painted her ceiling and her walls since I wanted to give her room an update since she’s almost five and it’s looked the same way since she was born. Since I’m not sure if our room arrangements will be the same next year I wanted a neutral color. I really wanted to paint the room all white but chickened out once I got to Sherwin Williams. I decided to go with Repose Gray at 75% (it’s 25% lighter than the color). Now that it’s painted, I really like the color and am glad I went with it.


Record Exercise – check! I’ll share more on that late in the week as well as a printable to go along with it.

Date Night with Hubby – fail! – Nope, but my sister is coming in town this month so we are going to take advantage of her being there – thanks Kelly!

Sew Christmas Tree Skirt – check! – Believe it or not I completed this task and probably written the first Christmas post of the year. I won’t be sharing it to the fall but I’m really excited about it since I started making it with the kids two years ago.

Go to bed at decent time – check!

Add 1 new product to etsy shop – fail!

Finish Christmas thank you cards with kids fail! But we are getting there, only a few more to go!

Finish and hang family word art fail! Project is complete now though.

Try 2 new recipes – check! – Look out world I went crazy and tried 3 new recipes.

We ate this Slow Cooker Lasagna the other night – probably won’t make it again since I thought it was just okay but if I do I will use sausage instead of ground beef. My 8 year old really liked this meal (I doubled the sauce and cheese amounts).

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – I made these before school one day and to say the kids were shocked is an understatement – what, no cereal this morning? I didn’t make the icing for them and just served them hot out of the oven which my kids enjoyed. I will make these again since I’m so happy they didn’t come from a box.

Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe – We had this at a friends house one night and we loved it. I made this recipe the next week and again we all loved this. We had it with some coleslaw and fruit and we will definitely make this again. Once the meat was finished cooking we mixed it with some BBQ to make it extra yummy.

If you see this packet in the grocery store, pick it up since you’ll need one to make the recipe:


Write More – check! Although I didn’t write as much as I would have liked, I did write more than usual so that’s a win for me. Next month I need to be better about just sitting and journaling at a specific time.

Any progress on your goals, resolutions, and lists?

Weekly Menu

I hate cooking.

No, that’s not actually true.

I really really dislike cooking.

It’s not calming for me, it’s not enjoyable, I just don’t like it.

I don’t like menu planning either.

(I have obviously now entered my Archie Bunker phase of life).

But I do both because it’s hard to be a stay at home mom and not be the one in charge of cooking. I have I tried to lobby to hire a cook, but somehow, my husband sees that as my role.

So seeing as this appears to be my gig for awhile, I decided to make a menu planning board.


I used a frame I already had, printed out a free menu planning printable, and used an old expo marker I had from teaching to write out the meals.

We’ve been using this for a few weeks and somehow it just makes the whole process a little more enjoyable.


And yes, we eat out once a week.

I need to keep moving toward that white light at the end of the week or else I’d completely give up and just serve cereal for every meal.

*In case you are interested I found the meal plan printable here.

*And just for the record, my husband is awesome and always helps me cook.

Chicken Fried Rice

I recently discovered this recipe for chicken fried rice from Iowa Girl Eats and it’s delish. She has the recipe with step by step pictures instructions which are perfect.



Since I was going for easy one night I used the chicken fried rice which I already had in the fridge along with a bag of frozen chinese food and some frozen egg rolls. While the egg rolls were good the frozen chinese was not. I guess this is not really a surprise.



Dinner is served.


Mac n ‘Cheese Pizza

Yesterday I told you how the boys are cooking this summer and getting to choose what they make.

My 8 year old loves the Mac n ‘Cheese pizza at Cici’s so he wanted to make his own version.

Mac n’Cheese Pizza by Andrew

 Step one: Make pizza dough using this recipe.


Step two: Layer dough with mozzarella cheese.


Step three: Cook macaroni and cheese using the recipe on the box.


Step four: Place cooked mac n ‘cheese on top of the mozzarella.


Step five: Put pan into oven and cook for about 15 minutes.

(picture before put in oven)



 And if Mac n’ Cheese pizza is not your thing maybe this recipe will be….

Key Lime No-Bake Yogurt Pie

Caroline and I made this recipe one afternoon and it was a big hit with everyone.

Happy Cooking!

Oven Jambalaya

I am reposting this recipe today since I have made this delicious dinner twice in the past week. It’s great for bringing to work as a lunch and also on a 100  degree day. Okay that is partly a lie but it’s so good that you will even eat it on a hot day 🙂

When we had our Mardi Gras party one of the items my husband cooked was Oven Jambalaya. It was a big hit then and again when I made it a few days ago.

The recipe is titled, “Mrs. Casey’s Oven Jambalaya,” since I got the recipe from Mrs. Casey, a long time family friend.

If you decide to make this recipe I promise you will question the outcome after you pile everything into the same dish.  Stick with it. Put the dish into the oven and let the magic happen 🙂

Click here to download the recipe.

My Favorite Things – Day 3

Welcome to Day #3 of Big D & Me’s Favorite Things

What’s today’s favorite thing?

Why it’s my favorite sandwich in the whole. wide. world.


It’s actually my  answer to Subway’s delicious flat bread veggie sandwich. If I had not found my own version there’s a good chance I would have eaten our grocery budget for the month in these – I love this sandwich so much!

So here’s how I make my favorite sandwich:

Start with this yummy flatbread – I buy ours at Costco.


Melt your favorite cheese on it – give me a break people, it’s a veggie sandwich, I deserve some cheese.


Chop your favorite toppings: red onions, cucumbers, banana peppers, spinach, & tomato.


Add some spicy mustard


Pile everything on (and yes, that’s another flatbread on top ready to go after I eat this first sandwich)


Roll and devour 🙂


So there you have Day #3 of Big D & Me’s favorite things.

Come back to tomorrow for Day 4!

Recipe Ideas

You would think eating out for an entire week would get old.

But, guess what?

It wasn’t! It was great.

As an added bonus there are no dishes to clean! Double great.

But…it is expensive so alas once the refrigerator was fixed we were back to cooking at home

Since being away from the kitchen has not awakened my creative side in the kitchen I had to go looking for ideas. I found many recipes I’m hoping to try. Here’s just a sampling.

Easy Sesame Chicken from Yummy. Healthy. Easy

Sesame Chicken1

Bacon Cheddar Jalapeno Chicken Roll-Ups from The Lazy Susan


Sweet Lump Crab Cakes from Memories by the Mile


Baked BBQ Pulled Pork Taquitos with Avocado Sauce from Rindy Mae


Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup from A Bushel “n” a Peck


I know.

I’m hungry too.

Maybe I’ll go cook something.

Fruit as a Dessert?

Fruit is not a dessert.

I repeat. Fruit is not a dessert.

I hate it when you are visiting someones house and they say, “For dessert, I got ice cream for the kids and some some water melon for the adults.”

First, the kids should get the fruit, they’re still growing. The only part of me growing is my rear and I’ll be the one to worry about that thank you.

Second, watermelon is NOT a dessert.

Chocolate. Toffee. Marshmellows. Cake. Frosting. Cookies.   Those are desserts!

But, in an effort to expand our horizons I decided to try a new dessert recipe which includes fruit.

Gasp! Horror!

I came across a recipe for a simple Blackberry Blueberry Pie and decided to give it a shot.

(unfortunately, I can’t find the original source so if you know it, tell me, and I’ll give proper credit)

Because of my hesitation for this kind of dessert, I decided to less the fruit in the recipe by one fourth.

After all, we don’t need to jump into crazy and implusive changes all at once!

The recipe is super simple and is mighty pretty when it’s all done.

The moment of truth came when it was time to taste this dessert.

I thought it was okay.

Fine. I’ll admit it was good.

Alright. Alright. It was GREAT! My husband and I loved it. I’ll have to admit that my vanilla ice cream ratio to blueberries was not equal BUT it was good and it is a fruit desert so that’s saying a lot from me.

The kids were less than thrilled with the dessert but considering two out of the three of them thought I was poisoning them and didn’t even try it, I’m still counting it as a win.

(and just for the record, those two pie haters love eating blueberries and blackberries right out of the container, but throw a little ice cream on there and it’s poison suddenly)

Since I have one more pie crust left I’m going to cut up some apples and follow the recipe using those while adding some cinnamon too.

While this dessert will never take the place of anything covered in chocolate in my mind, it was pretty tasty.

What about you? What’s your favorite dessert item to eat?

Chicken Pot Pie and Lemon Cake

Instead of trying one new recipe, we’ve already tried two new recipes this month!

I found a Chicken Pot Pie recipe over at Chef in Training and a Lemon Poppy Seed Cake recipe in last week’s Dash (included in the Sunday newspaper).

For the chicken pot pie, I used the pillsbury premade crust.


After using these extremely easy pie crusts I vow never to waste my time making a crust from scratch…this will probably be pretty simple since I’ve never made a pie crust in my life.

I found my package on clearance at the supermarket for only $1.49 -that’s only 75 cents per crust plus it took me only 10 seconds to unwrap and fold over the pie.

By the way, the Chef in Training‘s recipes are printable which makes it super easy for me to just print off and bring to the kitchen.

***For dinner a few nights later I made a beef pot pie using the same recipe, only using ground beef and beef buillion cubes instead – delish!***

Have you tried any new recipes lately?

Easter Mess

Two days ago we had tornadoes come through the Dallas Metroplex.

Around 2:00 the sky started to look ominous. My oldest was home sick so I went to see if I could get my six year old out of school a little early. I was told the school was on lock down due to the tornado threats; no children were being released. I went back home and watched the news coverage for the next hour, all the while listening to our city’s tornado sirens. I knew my six year old was safe in the school but it was quite nerve racking to not have him in my sight during this time.

Roughly an hour after school should have let out, the school starting releasing students. I picked up my son who enthusiastically told of being stuck in the teacher’s bathroom for an hour with his class. (In my mind, his teacher should receive Teacher of the Year for being in a bathroom for an hour with twenty-two kindergarteners – can you even imagine?)

So… because of the storm…our night activities were cancelled…so….we were able to do two Easter “crafts.”

First off, dying Easter eggs (and yes, Caroline does not have clothes on, it’s cleaner this way for everyone).

Notice the fingers…that’s what happens when your technique for dying the eggs is completely hands on.

Once the eggs were dried, it was time to decorate with stickers.

Just because it was time didn’t mean it actually occurred.

Apparently, peeling your eggs was more fun (I’m looking at it from the perspective that it was a scientific learning experience).

My six year old said, “Oh yuck! These smell like rotten cheese! No, wait. They smell like rotten ham!”

Just for the record, he has never been served either one of those options.

For our second craft of the night, I thought it would be fun to create some No Bake Chocolate Egg Nests which I saw on the Chef in Training blog.

This is what we were going for…

but this is what we ended up with…

but we sure had fun making them…

although I’m not sure if anyone but Mom really completed any nests…

since they were too busy “cleaning up.”

Easter Mess


Easter Fun