Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Where Has That Crazy Lady Been?!

That is the million dollar question of the day.

Miss me?????

Yeah, yeah, I know, every bullet so far huh?!

Weeeeell.... Saturday was our anniversary. Since it was the day before Easter my gorgeous hunk of USMC hubby took me away for the weekend. It seems that I am such a wonderful, fun to be with kinda gal and he wanted me all to himself! We left on Thursday for Freemont, IN which is right on the border. Our room had a jacuzzi in it, so needless to say, I spent the whole weekend getting in and out of the jacuzzi and dripping water all over the carpet. You know, the kind of thing that I yell and scream at the kids for.

Friday we went to Marshall, MI.

It was rainy so we walked around in some of the antique stores on Main Street. Then we decided to hit the casino! They make the best chocolatinis! I even won at the slot machines! 120 dollars won! On one pull won! Ok, so maybe I won't be retiring soon, but I was excited!

Then we went to Schuler's and had the best ever meal! It was funny cause I was in the restroom when the food came. The waitress put a lid over my food so it wouldn't get cold. With 3 kids, I didn't know how good food is when it is served hot! Who'd a thunk it! I, of course, stuffed myself beyond all recognition and THEN ordered dessert too! YUM!

We had so much fun. I didn't want to come home. But, we did. I do think we need a few more getaways like this!

Marshall is a gorgeous little town. It is the oldest in Michigan and was supposed to be the capitol. The standards for education in Michigan schools were started here. I definitely plan on going back this summer to wander through all the little stores along Main Street.

As for Easter, the bunny brought the kids new bikes. I really don't know how he can drive all three bikes at once, but he did get them there safely.

Someone was particularly excited to get a "big girl bike". She was determined to ride it all by herself too. Since Sunday, it has been wet and rainy so she has not been able to ride it. Atleast it isn't snow....

So that is where I have been. Now I am off to catch up on what all of you have been doing!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Dinner!

So, the other day I was talking with the boy child. I was telling him how I wanted to try some of the lemon recipes I had seen on the internet lately.

"I bet you would eat lemons for dinner if you could"

"Oh yes, yes I would"

"You couldn't make a WHOLE dinner out of lemons!"

"Oh yes I could"

"No, you couldn't"

I will save you the 5 minutes of me and him going back and forth like 4 year olds. So on with the challenge....

OOOOOH! Did you know that Lynne @ Happier Than A Pig In Mud is having a Paula Deen Cookoff May 15th?! Uh-huh! So with a little early planning here we go!

Want to try a yummy, juicy, delicioso chicken? You have got to try Paula Deen's Lemon Pepper and Rosemary Roasted Chicken.

Just the smell of this will have your mouth watering!

Ready for a lemony side dish?

How about with....


Super easy too. Just steam the asparagus until tender. While the asparagus is steaming, mix in a small bowl

2 Tbsp mayo
Juice and zest of one clean lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

This is a creamy, lemony sauce that goes perfect with steamed asparagus.

And, don't forget dessert!

This one does take a little planning. The pound cake is very moist, but takes 24 hours to cure. I got the recipe from Stone Gable. I did take a little liberty with it though. I didn't add the poppyseeds and glaze. I did though, smear some lemon curd over it and top with sliced strawberries. Oh yeah, I also sprinkled it with powdered sugar.

So, for those of you wondering, yes I can make dinner out of lemons!

I know you were sitting on the edge of your seat pondering this question.

Monday, April 18, 2011

You Know What They Say About Michigan....

If you don't like the weather....

....wait 5 minutes....'ll change!

Seriously, this is what we woke up to this morning.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

PW's Cinnamon Rolls

I have seen and heard about these all over! Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls!

The good thing is they make 7 pans of rolls!

The bad thing is they make 7 pans of rolls!

I mixed everything like the recipe says. I made mine in a large stockpot with enough room for the dough to double in size. It's been a little chilly here so I preheated the stove and let the dough rise in there.

I also had a couple of extra helping hands! It really helped with rolling up the 3+ feet of dough! We had an assembly line going. I cut, the big one buttered and put them in the pans. The bitty one was just there for comic relief!

Mmmm.... hot and out of the oven! I did find the dough a little difficult to deal with. You really need to work fast once you put the butter on so it doesn't soak in too much. Otherwise the dough turns really wet. I got the pans 3 for a dollar with lids at the Dollar Store.

Lawd knows I don't need 7 pans of noncaloric Cinnamon Rolls. So, tomorrow I am giving some to the preschool teachers.

I am linking this to the wonderful Lynne at Happier Than A Pig In Mud's Celebrity Cookoff. This month she is, of course, doing the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.

Come on and see what everyone else is cooking!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Would Rather Lick A Toilet Clean Than Hang Window Treatments

There! I said it! I HATE HANGING WINDOW TREATMENTS! I suck at it too, as you can see from the swiss cheese that grows around my windows.

I dread doing that more than anything else in the world. When I switched around everyone's rooms it took me 6 months to work up to changing around the window treatments. When I repainted the living room though I wanted a different look. Wood blinds. I got my blinds at Lowe's, they are by Levelor. I mean how hard could they really be?!

They came with instructions! Not really detailed instructions. In fact, I even tried to read the ones written in French and didn't understand them any more. Probably cause I can't read French. Why is it when they write instructions in a foreign language they put a whole lot more words than the English version? I mean the French instructions had 4 lines of instruction. The English version just said "install bracket".

The first step was to install that there piece on the window sill. Sounds easy right?! There were two packets of parts and screws that I ripped open and didn't find those pieces. Now the smart person probably would of looked a little harder. Me? I ripped open the other 3 boxes thinking that maybe I had a mutant box with no brackets. Oh yeah AND tore open all the parts and screw packets too. After an hour of searching, cussing, screaming and crying, my oldest daughter found them.

"Aren't these them Mom"? No..... maybe..... go see what your sister is doing! Yeah, I thought they were covers for the rollers or something. They totally do not look like the little cartoon picture on the instructions! Now here is a little tip. If they say you need a drill, you need a drill. Don't try to "predrill" your spots with a hammer and high heeled shoe. That only consumed another hour of digging through the garage to find a drill. The same drill that I couldn't find for the last 2 years that my hubby SWORE he didn't have. Liar! But I digress, first I had to get the old mini blinds down.

I was whipping on through, taking down all the blinds and it never fails. Half of the blinds down and one stupid freaking screw has to screw me. It wouldn't come out! Try as I might, I couldn't get it out either! After an hour of monkeying around with it, I took a chisel and just lobbed off the part that was sticking out! Take that stupid screw!

I did eventually get the brackets installed without falling off the stool. That was a feat in itself. Nothing would complete this project more than a quick 8 hour trip to the ER. Now that the brackets are up and your arms are wore out, you just lift the 85 lb blind contraption made out of wood and steel up onto those brackets.

Thankfully, I got them all in the right spot and didn't have to redo any! I did have to take down the first one though. They didn't say in the instructions, English or French version, to put on the valance clips. See the wood part that is covering the metal part? I know, I get so technical sometimes! Anyways, there are plastic clips you have to put on to hold the wood part up there.

Don't forget the end caps either! They just pop on the bottom slat. The hole in the middle is for these other little plastic brackets that will hold the blind down. I didn't install those so I can easily raise the blinds and open the windows if I want to. They also give instructions on how to remove some of the extra slats, but since I understood those less than the installation ones, I didn't do it.

So there ya go! I got the wood blinds up. Now to find some panels and hang them. I also should patch all the previous attempts at hanging window treatments. This took almost all day to finish, I wonder how long that will take?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Feeling Like Spring!

So, when your kids have been sick for a week, what would you do with them? I know this definitely will seal my nomination for Mother of the Year. I sent them outside in their bathing suits armed with water guns and a hose!

Yesterday it was 80 and sunny and seemed like spring was here. I guess I got a bit of the warm weather bug!

I do have a little bathing suit tip for you though since we are coming up on the season. If someone needs to keep pulling your suit out of your buttocks, it might be a bit too small.

We all enjoyed the warm weather that we had. Kids were jumping on the trampoline and the grill was fired up.

Even these little piggies came out to play! Aren't they pretty little toes?!

I got started on some of the gardening that I want to get done around here. First up was the veggie garden by the patio. I pulled out all the old plants and raked up the debris. I got some plants from Walmart and even got them in! It may be too early for them, but I did it anyways. Did I tell you that I am known around these parts as "The Plant Killer"?



.... and tomatoes!

This cute couple is watching over everything this year. I got them last year in the fall for 50 cents.

Mrs Scarecrow did require a little nose plastic surgery. Like how neatly I did it too? I like how the blob under her nose looks like she has a runny nose. I really should snip off those threads too. So far they have managed to totally freak out the 120 lb Dane. They move with the wind and that just scares the crap out of her.

I think this weekend, if I get some time, I am going to put in some more strawberries, tomatoes, cauliflower and broccoli. Hopefully. The big one is having a slumber party Saturday night. That might put a damper on my plans.

So, until we meet again....

Nar laga Dia thu!

Oh! If you would like to see the little something something that I whipped up at my little sister's house, you can see it here!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The "Pass The Germ" Project

This week was Spring Break for my kids. No exotic beaches, fun trips or anything fun for us at all. Nope, we decided to play an exciting game of "Pass the germ"! I know, you are all jealous of all the fun we have here at the farmhouse. What can I say, we know how to spend quality time together.

Now in this game, I was just supposed to be the rule keeper. No puking on the floors, keep all temps normal, when you pass "Go" shut up and take your medicine. You know all the usual stuff. Oh no, this round, they decided that I needed to play along. So before the Drama Queen retired to her death bed, I started this project.

Here is my living room. As you can see, I take great measures to keep it clean and tidy. Yes, yes, I know. Merry Maids keeps on calling to offer me that supervisory position based on the neatness of my house. I know it is kinda hard to see even though the pic is so brightly lit. The walls are yellow since that is what color they were when we bought the house and I have yet to change the color. In fact, when I have repainted, I matched the same yellow. The color is "Lemon Chiffon" by Sherwin Williams. Not only is it very easy to repaint with the same color and not miss a spot. It also shows my level of imagination and creativity!

There are 4 windows in the room which doesn't leave a whole lot of room for displaying all the artwork dispersed around the room. The poor fireplace just kinda serves as a catchall place for any junk that I just don't know what to do with. I do love the couches and tables in here though. Of course, I don't have a pic of them! The couches are brown leather with nailhead and wood trim. The tables are iron and wood scrolled with glass tops. The drapes and valances my sister and I made a few years ago. They are still really pretty, just too dark now.

We also have this massive entertainment center that absolutely does not have to stay. Usually there is a flat screen in here, but it is in the tv hospital right now. We won't even venture into the foyer area right now since that is a total disaster. Remember, my stellar cleaning?! It is really evident in there!

So, while the kids were happily playing, I cleared out the room and repainted. Of course choosing a color was no small task either. I wanted something light and neutral since I do change my mind quite often. A color that would make the darker furniture pop out against it, not blend in. After driving the poor SW guy crazy mixing different samples of paint for me, I settled on the same color that I painted in my bedroom.

You can see all the sample colors on the wall on the right that is still yellow. The color is Killim Beige by SW and kill 'em I will if there is ANY drawing on these walls! I also did the hardwood floors since I haven't done them since last summer/fall. I use a refurbishing kit on them about once a year. You have to wash the floors first. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be so close to wet wood. If only you could can that smell. Kidding, kidding.... The next step is to spray the floors with a neutralizer and wipe into the floor. Then after that is dry, you apply the sealer. So each section of wall that I painted, after I did the floor area in front of it.

When I was on my deathbed, my son graciously moved everything back into place for me. Now that my vision has cleared and I am not just running through the room to get to the bathroom, there are a few places that will need a second coat.

Do you know what happens when you are on your deathbead?! Your baby sister brings you gifts! Sherbet and candlesticks! Your loved ones can always use the candlesticks to hold a vigil around you praying for your wellbeing. Hence, you cannot have enough candlesticks!

Aren't they gorgeous???? You know what else? They totally fit in my scheme of wanting to be Yvonne @ Stone Gable when I grow up cause she has the same ones!

You can see them in this tablescape. BTW, I'm looking for some of those dishes if anyone has any idea where to get them. My sis is so sweet and thoughtful for getting me them in my time of strife and despair. She has grown up to be so wonderful, which is amazing since she was such a brat when she was young! LOL!

Thank You Muchly Sam!

Now that I have recovered from the typhoid, I am ready to do some more! I actually did do something else too, but you are just going to have to wait til next time we meet....

Nar lagai Dia thu!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rainforest Cafe

Not much has happened here last week. It seems that this stomach bug that is going around is nasty. You are sick with it for 1-3 days, better for a day or two and then another round of it.

We were on round 2.

So I thought that since I have done nothing except for cleaning, having the hubby home from a week in Chicago and then him getting the "bug", I would post pics from the Rainforest Cafe.

The Rainforest Cafe is in the Great Lakes Crossing Mall and is just gorgeous. The preschool class is studying about the rainforest and some of the animals that live in it.

The outside of the restaurant has a rocky front with vines and plants. It really is a beautiful place to visit.

There is a waterfall with a pond near the entrance to the gift shop. In it is a mechanical alligator that scared the crap out of the bitty one. Do you know the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? One's teeth point inward and the other's outward. Don't ask me which one though, I wasn't l able to hear that well over the screams of "Don't let it get me Mommy!"

Yes, they do have a gift shop that you have to pass through before and after just incase you haven't spent enough money on lunch. Lots of little goodies that they just NEED!

This is one of the many aquariums throughout the restaurant. You pass through here to the dining room. I had to carry the bitty one through since she was sure that even though it has been here for 10 years with no incident, as soon as she would go through the acrylic would break and the fishies all fall on her.

Did I mention that we did have fun? The center of the restaurant has a sky scene that is what you would see in the rainforest.

The entire ceiling is covered with ivy and plants except for this patch of sky. The stars really twinkle too. There is a huge fountain/waterfall at one end with this statue in the collection pool.

All around the restaurant are animal displays that move and make noises every 10 minutes. The manager gave the class a tour of the restaurant and told the kids different facts about them. Do you know the difference between an african and indian elephant? I know this one! The african has ears shaped like Africa and the indian has ears shaped like Mickey Mouse. They also should be capitalized, I am just too lazy to go back and correct it.

These are the gorillas that we sat by that every time they went off Syrina and her friend Jeracko would freak out over.

Another one of the aquariums in the dining room. They really did a great job on the decorating in here.

How cool are these stools in the bar area? They even have tails! How cool would I be to have a few cocktails and fall off a zebra's a%& ?! I could always use the tail as a seatbelt or as a safety rope to pull myself back up.

Anyways, that is for another day! Here is our table of cutie patooties!

From left to right: Hayden, Tyler, Syrina and Jeracko

My friend Corey, Hayden and Jeracko's mom, have decided that we need to go back sans kids. Great Lakes Crossing is a HUGE outlet mall. Lots of shopping! Lots of eating with 4 food courts! Then of course there is the cafe with the cutesy stools....

So there ya go! A tour of the Rainforest Cafe. If you are ever in Auburn Hills, MI stop in the Cafe and pull up an a@%, you'll love the place! I do recommend the Tomato Basil Soup! Yum!