Monday, February 28, 2011

Valentine's Day at the Park

I know this post is LONG over due, but at least I'm getting it in before the end of the month!

A few of the girls in our Sunday School class got together last minute for a park playdate on Valentine's Day. It was a PERFECT day to be out!  The park had a sand volleyball court that Jack LOVED playing in.  We brought buckets and shovels and trucks for the boys to play with.
 Here's J-Dub with his buddy C.  These two have the most fun together!
 This picture cracks me up.  It looks like J is saying, "What are you doing over there, C?  I wonder if I should do that, too."
Can't wait for SPRING!  (And Summer, please don't come too soon because I don't like to sweat.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Michelle's MUST-HAVES

Kelly's Korner's Show Us Your Life this week is... Beauty Secrets.  I'm linking up even though I'm probably NOT the most qualified to share any information on beauty tips!  I don't use a lot of beauty products.  I like makeup, but use the same 5 items: concealer, foundation, eyeliner, mascara and blush.  Always the same colors.  Nothing different unless it's a special occassion.  I sometimes go to bed without washing my face.  Gross, I know.  If I wash my face, it's just a Neutrogena cleanser.  So, you may not want to read any further, but I DO have a few MUST-HAVES that I can't hardly live without.

1. Clinique Superfit Foundation
I LOVE this stuff.  UNFORTUNATELY, it's been out of stock for the last year or so.  I've been salvaging what I have left (only DROPS) and have been holding out on trying something new.  The saleswomen at the department stores kept telling me that Clinique was just having a production issue with the product and that it may go back into production "soon".  A year later... and I didn't have any luck finding it until a couple weeks ago, but didn't know my color off hand so I couldn't get any.  From their website, it sounds like they aren't going to restock the product anymore.  Bummer.  I think a few places may have just gotten a small stock of it, so I may try to find my color for one more round of this awesome foundation.

I have SUPER STRAIGHT HAIR which means my hair lays FLAT on my head.  SO, when I want to feel pretty with super model hair, I use one of these products.  They both work great!

2a. Aveda Volumizing Tonic
Aveda Volumizing Tonic with Aloe, 3.4 fl oz (100 ml)

2b. John Frieda Luxurious Volume Lavish Lift Root Booster
John Frieda Luxurious Volume Lavish Lift Root Booster 6.77 fl oz (200 ml)
I have SUPER STRAIGHT HAIR which means my hair lays FLAT on my head. SO, when I want to feel pretty with super model hair, I use one of these products. They both work great!

After towel drying my hair, I'll spray either of these products to the root of my hair, working the product in.  Then, I blow dry my hair upside down and then style it as I usually would with a round brush.  What I love about both of these products is that they aren't sticky and don't leave flakes in your hair.  I don't use hairspray in my hair because of those reasons, and the smell of hairspray is too strong for me.

3. Biosilk Silk Therapy
Biosilk Silk Therapy 5.64 oz
I also have random hairs that stick straight up at my part line. I like this stuff to tame my "fly-aways".

This product lasts FOREVER because you don't need to use a ton of it.  I can usually get away with squirting less than a dime size into my palm to work into my hair.  And it doesn't leave your hair feeling greasy.

4. Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner
Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner with SoftFlex, Black 201, 0.01 Ounce (28 g)
I ALWAYS had trouble with smudgy eyeliner until my friend Tasha told me about this stuff. (By the way, she also introduced me to the Biosilk!)  I heart this eyeliner!  I think it's the best "over the counter" find ever!

Can't wait to read about everyone else's beauty secrets!!

What's Cookin'?

J came home tonight from being gone a couple of days on a recruiting trip to the Motherland, i.e. College Station.  Yes, I was jealous.  He got to eat at Wings and More and saw some of our old professors and friends from college.  Trips like this make me miss working in the Construction Industry... almost.

Anyhoo, I figured since he probably ate out every meal that he should have a meal at home.  So I fixed this for dinner.

BBQ Chicken, Roasted Asparagus, and Biscuits
Nothing super fancy.  It's kind of a random combination, but it's what we had in the fridge and needed to use.  I didn't want the asparagus to go bad.  Ever run into that situation?

I marinated the chicken with Stubbs Chicken Marinade overnight.  J LOVES this stuff.
Then, 10 minutes before it was done in the oven, I brushed the chicken with some BBQ sauce.

On the asparagus: I tossed it on a baking sheet with some olive oil, sea salt, and course pepper, then cooked it in the oven on broil.  It took about 8-10 minutes.

The buscuits were frozen.  I'm all about easy there.

We didn't have anything for dessert, so I suggested we go around the block to McDonald's for some soft serve. 
Doesn't this photo make you salivate?  I LOVE McDonald's soft serve ice cream.  I even think it's better than Dairy Queen's!  If you've never had it, please go try some... and invite me along.  We were shocked when our two cones rang up for $1.06.  Not sure if the cones go on "sale" for the winter, but we were pleasantly surprised!

The only thing that stinks is I have to share my cone with J-Dub.  But he's worth it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February Special - FREE Digital Files with Photo Session

My friend Liana is running another GENEROUS special for the month of LOVE.

If you book and pay for a photo session during the month of February, she will THROW IN all the edited, high resolution files from your session, WITH a copy of her signed release form for F-R-E-E!! The CD will contain anywhere from 25-35 photos, depending on what she is able to capture during your shoot.

The only requirement is that the session must be completed by the end of May 2011.

Here is a photo from her latest shoot. Isn't it precious?So book TODAY!! You can find out more information about the February special by clicking here.

I'm guessing you wish you had a generous friend like mine. :)

*Please note that the February special may not be combined with the Free Newborn Special offer.

Little J with Santa

I know it's already February, but I HAD to share these pictures because J-Dub looks like such a big boy! Here he is with Santa at Josh's company's Christmas party. I didn't get to make it with Josh this year, but our good friends the Kaminski's were able to take a few pictures of J-Dub for us. Thanks Erin and Russell!

"Who are you, and why is your hair so white??!""Oooo.... PRESENTS.....""A reindeer!"Doesn't he look so grown up?Love you J-Dub!

Chicken Noodle Soup

I got a picture of my homemade egg noodles in my chicken noodle soup before I devoured it tonight. It was even better tonight! Even J-dub likes it. He had a good 3 servings in his bowl (I'm aware it's pink. We make do with what we have around here.)
Here's how I fix my soup:
  • Boil chicken until done (I use chicken breasts and thighs). Remove chicken and place in bowl to cool, and save broth in pot.
  • Saute a couple cloves of chopped garlic, chopped onions and chopped celery until tender.
  • Add the above to the pot. Add sliced carrots.
  • Add in some dried basil, dried oregano, garlic salt, salt and pepper to taste.
  • When chicken is cooled, shred it and throw into soup.
  • Add your homemade noodles to the soup.
  • Cook for at least 20-30 minutes on low to medium heat. (I do longer because I like my noodles tender.)
  • NOTE: To thicken up the soup, I took about 1/2 a cup of the broth and mixed it with about a Tbsp or 2 of cornstarch in a measuring cup. I kept repeating until I got the right thickness I wanted.
  • ANOTHER NOTE: If you need to add more liquid to your soup, use chicken broth instead of water.

J likes to top his soup with grated cheese. I think that's weird. Anyone else do that out there so I can think it's less weird?

Anyway, hope you enjoy! Again, if you have a recipe you'd like to share, please feel free to!! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Egg Noodles

Guess what I did yesterday evening... I made homemade egg noodles to put in my chicken noodle soup that I made for dinner this evening. This was my first attempt to make homemade noodles. My old boss at Key Construction makes some of the best chicken noodle soup and uses this same recipe for his noodles - thanks Teddy for passing the recipe along! (By the way, THE BEST chicken noodle soup is from Panera Bread, so if you've never had their soup, go have some. IT'S MY FAVORITE.) I was pretty pleased with how the noodles turned out.

I forgot to take pictures of the soup tonight, but here's a picture of the noodle making... We had plenty of leftovers, so I'll try and get a soup picture tomorrow night! Oh, and here's the recipe I used (I THINK it's from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, but I'm not sure). If you have a favorite egg noodle recipe, please share!!

Homemade Egg Noodles
2 cups flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/3 to 1/2 c water (as needed)

Put flour in mixing bowl. Make well in center of flour. Mix in egg yolks, egg and salt. Mix in water 1 tbsp at at time until dough is stiff but easy to roll.

Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll one part at a time into thin rectangle on floured surface. Loosely fold rectangle into thirds and cut crosswise into strips.

Unfold strips and place in single layer on towels for about 2 hours until stiff and dry.

When ready to use, break noodles into shorter strips or desired length.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snowed In

Wow. We've been stuck at home since Tuesday. I love little J, but inside all day long is a bit much. We did have a playdate yesterday, though. My friend Hagan and her son came over to play. I think we both needed it (the mommas). Wish I got a picture of the two boys - ADORABLE! I'm so glad she braved the roads for my sanity's sake!

Hagan and I were looking forward to hitting the gym this morning with the kiddos. Unfortunately, we woke up to SNOW. I called the gym and they were not holding classes OR having daycare today. Bummer. Josh ended up staying home and we spent part of the morning outside enjoying the snowfall we had. I did capture a few pics of the little guy. He's such a toot!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

FREE Newborn Photo Session

My amazing photographer friend Liana with Liana Randel Photography is offering FREE newborn photo sessions to build her portfolio. Yes, I said FREE. She typically charges $200 for a newborn session, so she must be feeling pretty generous!! There is no catch - no obligation to buy prints and no hidden costs.

This deal will include the photo session and (1) 5x7 print. AND if you want additional prints made, you can purchase them from her at 25% off (you can find her print pricing here).

There are a few guidelines to qualify for the FREE session:
-You must 'LIKE' her fanpage on Facebook and share her page with your friends
-You must reside within 30 minutes of Fort Worth, TX
-Photo session must take place before the baby is 8 days old
-Photo session must take place within the next 2-3 months

This is a great deal for anyone expecting a child within the next 2-3 months, so please forward this on to your pregnant friends! You can find more information on her blog. Get in touch with her today because space is limited!
(By the way, she took the middle and right photos in my header banner above.)

My New Rainboots

I've been wanting a pair of rainboots for a while now. BUT, since we are on an allowance system (J and I get a monthly cash allowance that we can spend however we choose), I am pretty careful about my unnecessary purchases. Most of my allowance goes towards lunches for me and little J. It's always a nice treat for us to have lunch out with friends when we can. PB&J and turkey sandwiches get old quickly. I'm sure you other moms know exactly how I feel.

Target was carrying black and white houndstooth rainboots (youth size) that went on clearance about a month or so ago. They were around $10, but I just couldn't bring myself to buying the boots. They now have the black in white in adult size for full price - I think $24.99. Kind of sad I missed out on the black and white ones, but look what I found this week:

PINK houndstooth. These boots were on clearance with the black and white ones last month, but I have to say I disregarded them because I am not a lover of all things pink (sorry pink lover friends). It's a nice color - I don't hate it, but I prefer black and white. These boots were 75% off this week.That's right. A whopping $4.98. I'd rather the boots be in black and white, but I like the pink, too (especially at that price!). They had them in my size... YOUTH size 3. Yep, they fit rather nicely. If you're wondering if they'll fit you, I wear a 6 or 6-1/2 in women's shoes.

I know what you're thinking. "You saved $5. What's the big deal?!" Well, that $5 will buy me and little J lunch somewhere! :) Yay for my very first pair of rainboots ever!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blog Makeover

I'm BACK! I was motivated to revamp my blog thanks to my friend Whitney (by the way, check out her blog here and here and click on all of her ads!). She reminded me that my last posting was in NOVEMBER. Sorry friends. Since we've been locked up the past couple of days due to major ice (brrrrrr!!), I got the chance to work on my blog... it's still a work in progress, so stay tuned! I'd love to hear what you think... all 4 of you out there.

We will see how long I last this round in the blogging world. Wish me luck!