Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter

We had a wonderful Easter! It was so much fun being the Easter Bunny this year! I was up Saturday night very late (actually, it was Sunday morning) cooking for lunch the next day. My mom hosted a Greek Easter lunch (inspired by April's Southern Living Greek spread), and I made lemon-roasted carrots and potatoes to go with the lamb...


Strawberry lemon Greek tarts...



Vanilla-stuffed strawberry cupcakes (I make them every Easter)...



Pineapple upside-down carrot cake...



And I made strawberry and wine sorbet. Whew! Needless to say, this Easter bunny didn't get a lot of sleep Saturday night! :)

Since the little one isn't walking yet, we didn't really see any point in hiding eggs, so I put them in a heart around his Easter basket.



He had so much fun throwing the eggs around and playing with his new car and bunny rabbit!



Since we were running late (shocker) for church, I had my sister snap one picture of Nathan and I before we left (notice the hubbs is not in this picture...hmmm...wonder why we were running late). Lol! :)



Here is a picture of my dumplin's Easter outfit from The Toggery:


After church, we all went over to my parents' house for lunch. It was relaxing and fun!


Lil' Duck Duck

Okay, I simply have to do a plug for lil' duck duck! I ordered my son's jungle birthday party invitations from them, and they are perfect! I couldn't have asked for cuter invitations! So, if you're looking for a great place to order invitations from, I would definitely suggest checking them out! :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

So-Gal's Recipe: Sinfully Seductive Strawberry and Wine Sorbet

You will need:
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 lb. of fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
1. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved; set aside to cool.
2. Place the remaining ingredients and the sugar syrup in a blender for 1 minute. Transfer to a 9X13 dish.
3. Freeze for 3 hours and serve!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Place Cards

Whether you're hosting Easter breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or supper, you need to have cute place cards at your table! Here are a few adorable designs that I found on-line:





Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pickle Envy


For the past few years, I have raved to everyone I know about the fried pickles at The Chicken Shack in Hot Springs. Several times, I made trips all the way down to Hot Springs just so that I could eat the fried pickles there. I've dragged friends down on several occasions. I don't care if you hate fried pickles--you would love these. Best in the state. Without a doubt. This is coming from The Queen of All Things Fried.

Recently, The Chicken Shack closed, and needless to say, I was heartbroken.

But what did I get for my 24th birthday from one of the owners? That would be the recipe, my friends. And I'm sorry to say, that this one goes in the vault with the Moffett chicken tetrazzini and my momma's Mississippi Mud Pie brownies.

I am so elated! I made them tonight for dinner, and we couldn't stop eating them they were so perfectly delicious! Yours truly is officially the holder of the recipe of the greatest fried pickles in the natural state. Go ahead. Admit it. You have pickle envy. ;)

A Trip to the Hospital


Oh my, have we had an eventful evening! My son woke up early this morning, and because it's a Tuesday, my mom watches him for most of the day. She called me around 2:00 and told me that she thought her grandson might have a fever.

So, at 2:00, my mom arrived with the little one, and we took his temperature: 101.9. Whoa! His temperature had never been that high before, so I was immediately worried. I'm the at-103-we-book-it-to-the-ER kind of momma. I gave him some Advil, put the air in the house to 68, gave him a bath, and let him play in just his diaper. I got the fever down to 98.5. Phew. No need to worry.

Wrong.

At dinner, I noticed that he was acting very lethargic and that he was really red in the face. I decided to check his temperature again: 102.9. Ummmm, not good. So, we decided to take him into the after-hours clinic. While we were waiting, he started to seem really out of it. He was getting so hot that I was literally sweating just holding him. I started to panic, and my mind started playing out all the things that might be wrong.

Finally, we were called back. The nurse took his temperature under his armpit, which surprised me, because I know it's always less under the armpit than in the ear. His temperature was 103.5. My heart just about exploded with worry when I saw that number.

We were taken back to a room, and the first thing that they decided to do was catheterize my son. I thought it was totally overkill and that they should have bagged him, but I kept my mouth shut. And what happened? They couldn't get any urine out AFTER catheterizing my barely-breathing-because-he-was-crying-so-hard son and THEN decided to bag him. Steam coming out of my ears, I tell you.

Then, they had to do blood work. They got the vein in his foot, he screamed his lungs out, we bounced a baby on our knees and watched Sid the Science Kid on Daddy's PC tablet (thank the Lord!). Then, about an hour later, they came back needing more blood. They said they didn't get blood the first time. Please, Jesus, let me not scream my lungs out at someone tonight. This time, they decided they needed to restrain my son. So, they took a blanket and wrapped it tightly around him except for his head and arm. Needless to say, he was going ballistic.

Then, we needed a chest x-ray. That wasn't too traumatic.

Finally, after five-and-a-half hours in a tiny room with a screaming child, the doctor came in and announced the verdict:

Ear infection in both ears.

These things went through my mind:

1. Thank you Lord that it wasn't something more serious!
2. I'm going to strangle somebody.
3. Momma needs a margarita when she gets home.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Battle of the Birds

I've been up since 5:30 am; yesterday it was 3:30 am. Why? Because a baby bird (or birds?) has just hatched right outside my son's window. That's right.

I love baby birds, because they're precious. And it's really cute to see its little feathers all around the flower beds when we go outside to play. But other than that, why oh why oh why did that momma have to build her nest right there!? 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to Make a Personalized Easter Basket

Today, I made the most adorable Easter basket for my son. It was fun and easy (and inexpensive) to make!

What you will need:
  • Basket
  • Ribbon, at least 1 1/2" thick (I used the Ribbon Boutique--always great quality)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Thin, wooden letters that spell out your child's name or initials
  • Paint (that corresponds with the ribbon color)
  • Paintbrush
1. Paint the letters on both sides.
2. Get your basket, ribbon, and hot glue gun ready!
3. Thread the ribbon through the outside of the basket, like this:

4. Secure the ribbon, either by hot gluing it (what I did) or by tying a bow and hot gluing it.
5. Hot glue the letters onto the ribbon/basket, like this:
And you're finished! Wasn't that easy!? If you have a girl, you might want to add more decoration to the basket with beads or with tying ribbon around the handle. But remember: your child will still be using this basket in high school. I had to remind myself of that today at Hobby Lobby. :) Ha-ha!

Happy Easter egg hunting with your little ones and their cute, personalized baskets! :)

And Then There Were Two

....birdhouses, that is. :)


Back in the fall, I painted a birdhouse, and I absolutely loved it. I have enjoyed it so much since then. Every morning, when I open the blinds, it just makes me happy! Here is a picture of the first one that I painted:



Since the first one that I painted had only cool colors, I decided I wanted to paint one with warm colors.

So, ta-da!


I love it! And I loved painting it while the little one was taking a nap this morning! As usual, I used Americana paint...my favorite! I used Tuscan Red, Mulberry, and Bright Orange.

I look forward to enjoying both of my birdhouses this summer with all of the time that we spend in the back yard playing, having friends over, and grilling! :)


Sunday, April 10, 2011

So-Gal's Recipe: BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

You will need:
  • 2 lb. of boneless pork ribs
  • 2 tbsp. of dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of pepper
  • 2 (10.4) oz. cans of beef broth
  • McCormick Spicy Montreal Steak seasoning (or your favorite)
  • Jack Daniel's Original No. 7 Recipe BBQ sauce (or your favorite)
  • Hamburger buns
1. Pat meat dry. Sprinkle with steak seasoning.
2. Pour broth in crock pot. Add brown sugar, salt, and pepper.
3. Place meat in crock pot. Sprinkle steak seasoning in crock pot.
4. Cook on High 4 1/2 hours.
5. Remove meat and shred. Pour broth down sink.
6. Place meat back in crock pot along with BBQ sauce. Stir and serve on buns!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Video: More Chocolate Icing

Today, when I was icing some golden butter cupcakes, I decided to give my son a little bit of the icing to try. This video is of him tasting the icing, and the pictures are of him following me out of the playroom, down the hallway, through the living room, and into the kitchen to obtain more chocolate icing. :)

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The Plop and Walk

This is totally how I have felt lately. The little one used to go down for a morning and an afternoon nap, but lately he has been changing up the schedule on Momma. Is he outgrowing his morning nap? Is he teething? Does he have a fever? Is something wrong? Am I the worst mom in the history of moms? Am I going to have the one child that doesn't take a consistent nap every day? Welcome to my mind.

So, in a desperate attempt to recapture my sanity, I've developed a move called the plop and walk. When my son is fussing on the floor, fussing in my lap, doesn't want food or milk, and is just generally being a fussy wussy (as I call him), then I do the plop and walk. It's where I walk--determined, mind you--into his room, kiss him, plop him down in his crib, say "I love you so, so much! And you can fuss all you want to, but Momma isn't coming back in here for an hour," and then I walk out. Thus, the plop and walk. An instant sanity saver. :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A New Coat of Paint

I am so excited that my husband finally repainted our front door! We've been waiting for the weather to get just right, so that we could leave the door open all day and not freeze or fry. I decided back in the fall that we should repaint our door black, and over the next several months, we are planning on putting up black shutters and black light fixtures and numbers. I can't wait! Anyhoo, here is what our front door looked like before (we've also had our roof redone since this):


And now, it looks like this:



Yay! I love it! And the grand total? Eighteen bucks! You can't beat that! Thanks, honey! :)

So-Gal's Recipe: Ritzy Cheddar Chicken Casserole


You will need:
  • 2 sleeves of Ritz crackers
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 3/4 cup of chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp. of butter
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (as much or as little as you want)
1. Grease a 2 1/2 qt. dish, then crush one sleeve of Ritz crackers and sprinkle on bottom of dish.
2. Cook chicken and heat oven to 325.
3. Melt 2 tbsp. of butter and sprinkle over crushed Ritz crackers.
4. Combine shredded chicken, Cream of Mushroom soup, sour cream, and chicken broth. Spoon mixture onto crackers.
5. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over mixture, then add remaining crushed Ritz crackers on top. Melt remaining 2 tbsp. of butter over top of crackers.
6. Bake at 325 for 35 minutes.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Growing Up Too Fast

Every week since the little one was born, I have thought Gosh he is growing up! It is astonishing just how fast babies grow and develop.

But I swear something has been different in the past week. I keep looking at my son and having to do double-takes. Who is this big (almost) toddler who is crawling like a speeding bullet through the house and standing up holding onto my legs saying, "Mama, baba" (Momma, bottle)--surely not that little tiny seven pound angel that I held in my arms nine months ago!?

I have been really nostalgic of late because of how quickly my son is developing. I was reading a book to him yesterday, and I said "Bird--tweet, tweet, tweet," and he immediately said, "Tee, tee, tee." And what blew my mind was that I kept reading to him--I was surprised that I wasn't surprised. :)

I had a friend ask me several months ago if I could picture him as a two or three year old, and I know I must have looked at her like she was crazy. But I see it now! I can see him running around the house, skinning his knees, getting into all kinds of trouble (he already is!), and using complete sentences. I never thought I'd be here--but I'm here.

I saw a teeny tiny baby the other day, and for the first time I didn't think "Oh, that poor mother--getting no sleep, trying to figure out life, juggling a bajillion things." Instead, I thought how much I missed having a little one. My sweet tiny isn't so tiny anymore. He is growing up (not out, though--Lord I have the skinniest child on planet Earth), and it is making me sad. I'm treasuring these sweet moments when he's really absorbing the world and learning new things every day. He knows when to clap, when to pat the ground, he knows how to say Mama, Dada, Hey, Hi, he asks "mo" or "mo po" for "more" or "more please," he's learning to pick up his food and use a sippy cup, he's pulling up and walking while holding onto things. I never thought we'd be here! But we're here! And, I can't wait to see what's next. :) Without a doubt, best nine months of my life!

So-Gal's Recipe: Hot Sausage and Crescent Spirals

You will need:
  • 1 package of Big and Buttery crescent rolls
  • 2 hot sausages, Jimmy Dean
  • 8 oz. of Philly cream cheese
1. Brown all sausage then drain. Put browned sausage and cream cheese in a large bowl and stir until mixed.
2. Open rolls and make rectangles out of paired dough. Mash the sides so that they are seamless.
3. Spread sausage mixture on dough. Roll up tightly into logs.
4. Freeze logs for 1 hour.
5. Slice and bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 for 12-15 minutes, or until golden.

These make great appetizers!

Video: Finding Dangerous Uses for Toys

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