Monday, March 15, 2010

Newborn Wrap Diaper Shirt

Here is a photo of the Newborn Wrap Diaper Shirt that I made. I have to say that I did not read all of the directions I printed out before starting on this. So...the shirt is not newborn size, but preemie size. It's very, very little. But it did turn out quite nicely. Next time, I will have to try the newborn size. LOL

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Tried and True Family Recipe

It's been awhile since I've made the recipe that I'm going to share later in the post. It's one that I made a lot while the kids were little and money was tight. My husband asked me this morning if I had any ideas about dinner tonight and after thinking about what we had in the freezers, I said we would have my "2 Cup Stir Fry" using chicken. The kids love this recipe regardless of what variation I make of it and today was no exception. There are no leftovers for tomorrow. It's relatively inexpensive to make and it makes a good size quantity so there's usually leftovers. So, here is the recipe:

"2 Cup Stir Fry"

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 Tbsp. oil
2 c. frozen vegetables (I use peas with the chicken)
2 pkg. ramen noodles (I use chicken flavor since I'm using chicken for the meat)
2 c. cooked rice
2 c. water
2 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
2 tsp. chopped garlic (optional)

Cut the chicken into strips or pieces.
In a large skillet, stir fry the chicken in the oil.
Add the vegetables, the ramen noodles (minus the seasoning packets), and the 2 c. water.
Sprinkle the lemon juice and the garlic on top.
Cover with a lid and cook over low - medium heat until the noodles are done and the peas are cooked, stirring occasionally.
Add the ramen noodle seasoning packets to the hot cooked rice. Mix well.
Add the rice mixture to the skillet mixture, stirring well.

Variations - use any kind of meat, vegetable and ramen noodles that you wish.

Hot Potato Salad (quick and easy)

Mix equal parts of mayonnaise and Italian dressing.
Toss with hot cooked potatoes and chopped red onion.

Meat Loaf Subs (recipe using leftovers)

Top both halves of split club rolls (or hamburger buns or hot dog buns) with thinly sliced leftover meat loaf.
Top each half with 2 Tbsp. of marinara sauce (spaghetti sauce) and 1 Tbsp. shredded mozzarella cheese.
Broil until the cheese melts.

Oven Fried Chicken Tenders

Coat chicken pieces with nonstick spray.
Dredge in instant potato flakes; sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Movie Time Update

After viewing both movies - "9" and "Where the Wild Things Are", it is a consensus among my family that they are "boring". In my opinion, both movies are not appropriate for the younger age group (K through 6), and neither have enough action to keep the older kids (7th-12th) interested. Now, I am not a movie critic by any means, and I'm sure that many people out there have loved both these movies. I am not trying to incite a riot or anything else like that. I'm only offering my opinion, and the opinion of my family which consists of three kids. So that's my update on the movies.

Movie Time

We will be watching the following movies here in my household today:

"Where The Wild Things Are"

We are doing this as the movies have to be previewed before allowing them to be shown during our band movie night at school. There are two groups of kids (or two showings) and we usually try to do a different movie at each one. But, we are limited in what we can show. The younger group (K through 6th grade) must see a G rated movie. The older group (7th grade through 12th grade) can watch up to a PG 13 movie, but it must be clean. So far, we have little luck in finding something that is appropriate for that age group. There's almost always a complaint from a parent. So, this time, both groups will be watching a G rated movie.

Has anyone seen these movies? What do you think of them? I'll post my impression later on, after I've watched them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What to do with....

15 lbs. of lightly seasoned taco meat. You are probably wondering why we have so much of it. Monday was the CAC District Music contest here at our school and as I'm the band booster president, we ran a concession stand to try and make some extra money for the band program. Part of the food we sold were Walking Taco's. You make them by opening up a bag of snack sized Frito's, adding taco meat to the bag, plus shredded cheese and taco sauce. My friend Vicki organized everything since we were gone in Mexico, but she and I both donated 15 lbs. of meat for the walking taco's. We didn't end up selling it all, so we now have leftovers. Here is what I'm doing with ours over the course of the next several weeks:

Meal #1 - Taco's
Meal #2 - Burrito's
Meal #3 - Sloppy Joe's (since the meat is lightly seasoned, we will warm it up and add sloppy joe mix to it for this meal)
Meal #4 - Mexican Casserole (in a large casserole dish, put homemade burrito's, refried beans, salsa and shredded cheese. Bake until warm. Then top with lettuce, onion, tomato, more cheese, etc..)
Meal #5 - Mexican omelets (use the warmed up taco meat in the with salsa and cheese....they are quite good)
Meal #6 - Taco Salads
Meal #7 - Nacho's

Normally, we would cook about 2 to 3 lbs. of taco meat up when we have taco's as the kids would eat the leftovers for snacks the next day after school. The rest of the meat is placed in freezer bags and frozen until we need it. The portion in each bag varies according to what we will be making with it.

My "hat" guy

When we asked our youngest son what we could bring him back from Mexico....he said he only wanted one thing....a sombrero. *sigh* So we finally decided to get him one and had to bring it home on the airplane as a carry-on. Here he is...showing how happy he was to see it. After all, we had told him we wouldn't be able to get it as it would be too big to bring home.

Shopping Mall

As part of our tour in Cabo San Lucas, we went to the mall for some shopping. The mall was only a bit bigger than what you are seeing in the photo. It's very tiny compared to what we are used to here in the USA.

The Arch

We took a boat tour in Cabo San Lucas. One of the attractions we saw was the Arch. It is the most famous natural landmark in Cabo San Lucas and was created by many, many years of water erosion.

Mexican Show

We went to see a Mexican show in Mazatlan. These photos are just a few of the highlights. It featured many kinds of folklore activities and dances. My favorites were the cowboy doing the rope tricks and the guys dancing with the machetes. These were photos two and three.

Cliff Jumpers

In Mazatlan, we went to see the cliff jumpers. Our tour guide told us that there are approx. 15 men and young men that give these performances. And that they do it for tips. They do not earn a wage for doing this. This is extremely scary and all my husband could say was that it took a lot of guts to do this. They land in the water very close to the rocks.

Towel animals

One of our favorite parts of the day (while on the cruise ship) was coming back to our room at night to see what towel animal our room steward had left for us to find. They are really cute!

Random photos

Here are two random photos of us in Puerto Vallarta. The first is of me....holding an iguana. Did I ever mention that I like lizards? Iguana's are running wild all over the city and when you look out the windows of the tour bus you can see them along the sides of the road and also up in the trees.
The second photo is of my husband and I in front of the Puerto Vallarta sign and statues at the pier. We took this while we were shopping in the flea market before boarding the boat again.


I've got to figure out how to get the photos to post in sequence. I know I upload them in order. I guess I need to try uploading them in reverse order. Maybe that will work. Anyway, the beginning of the process is the last photo and then the middle photo is next and then the first photo is last in the whole order.
These are some high flying acrobats that use nothing other than a thick rope tied around their waists. It's outright scary. When they sit down at the top of the pole, they then circle around it 13 times to wind the rope around the pole. We were told that if they circled more than 13 times, the rope would be too long coming down and they would hit the ground. This is a "free" performance along the boardwalk, being done over and over again for the tourists. After the performance, a hat is passed around for tips. They are not paid to do this by anyone.

Sights in Puerto Vallarta

The first photo is of a famous church in Puerto Vallarta. This is the church that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton went to and they showed us photos of the kids that took first communion there during one year and they all became the godchildren of Elizabeth and Richard as was customary.
The second photo is their most famous landmark located by the beach along the boardwalk.

The third photo is their jail. It's where Dog the Bounty Hunter came back and turned himself in after picking up a man that he was there looking for. Bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico and he had broke the law, so he did the right thing by coming back.

The fourth photo is of the town park which is located in the center or heart of the city. This is traditional. You will find nearby, the jail and a church (from the photos). Which is also traditional.

Cabo San Lucas

These are the photos of us coming into the port at Cabo San Lucas. I was running behind that morning and didn't get more photos like I should have. These are taken off our balcony on the ship. This is the only port where we didn't dock. Instead, the boat anchored in the water and we took tender boats to the pier. The ship was too large and the local government doesn't allow them to come any closer as it will damage the coral reefs in the area.


These are photos of Mazatlan as we were coming into port. They didn't turn out quite as nice as the photos of Puerto Vallarta. It was overcast as we were coming in that morning. It is still a very picturesque place though.

Puerto Vallarta

Here are a few pictures of Puerto Vallarta. These were taken from the ship as we were coming into port to dock.


I've been slow in posting this month because my husband and I have been gone to MEXICO! We went on a cruise aboard the Carnival Splendor ship.

We left the Long Beach, CA port on Feb. 28th and arrived back there on Mar. 7th.
We went to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.
One thing that surprised us was the military presence everywhere we went. We weren't prepared for that. To see the fully armed guards constantly watching us. But we had a lot of fun while we were there!

Next Crochet Project

My next crochet project is ... the Newborn Wrap Diaper Shirt . This is another free pattern published for your personal use or charitable donation. I'm making this one in Bernat Baby Coordinates yarn in white since I have several skeins of this yarn on hand. I just started working on it this morning after finishing the pinafore. I am on Row 3. I think that this pattern is really darling and I hope it works up well as I would like to make several of these to have on hand.

Angel Wings Pinafore

Inspiration struck last night while I was holed up on the couch resting my leg. The TV shows weren't holding my interest at all (except for Survivor), so I broke out the crochet. I finished the pinafore this morning as I only had one row plus the edging left to do. I think it turned out quite nice and it's very cute. My next trip to Wal-Mart will involve buying the three buttons for the back of the dress. That is the only thing I don't have done on it. If I were to make any changes at all with the pattern, it would be to do the base of the dress in a different color than the yoke. I think I will be trying that here before too much longer, now that I know that the pattern is quick to make up and also pretty easy to follow.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My next crochet project is....

the Angel Wing Newborn Pinafore . This is a free pattern for charitable crochet donations. I have actually started this project but I am only on Row 2. I am using Bernat Baby Coordinates yarn in white. Since I am laid up due to my knee injury, I may actually have some time to crochet. I just have to get myself "in the mood". I am the type of person that goes through periods where I love to crochet and then periods of when I can't stand it. Anyone else like this?

The Total

The total number of baby booties that I currently have for donation is ... 14! Woo Hoo! I am burned out on crocheting at the moment....I just have no inspiration for it.....(sigh). If I get "back in the mood", I will try to do a few more pairs of booties, but there's no guarantee. If not, I know that the 14 pairs that I do have done to send off will be appreciated.