Monday, August 29, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday: I'm Still Here, I Promise!

In case any of you have missed me, I am still here! I am trying to balance mommy time, teacher time, and bloggy time. In other words, bloggy time has had to take the back seat. Teacher time and mommy time have been much more important as I make the adjustment of going back to work. The first week back to school has left me drained! Do any of you have tips for finding time to get everything done? I find I am slipping with the housework as well. I know hubby has noticed but has been extremely smart and not commenting.

Here are some randoms about what I've been up to since I last posted.

1. As I mentioned above, I have started back to work. I am extremely tired when I get home and want to just lay on the couch. But instead I play with Holly and then wrestle her when it is time for her to go to bed. I know she's tired also. She has been very grumpy every night this past week. I hope we both get adjusted soon!

2. I have tried some new recipes! I hope to post them soon.

3. Last weekend I took a trip to the Omaha Zoo with my sister in law and her kids. It was very fun but a long day for Holly. She did have fun making noises at the monkeys and seeing all the different animals. At the hotel she learned how to jump on the bed (thanks to her cousins!) and enjoyed the pool.

4. This weekend I had no plans and it was great just sitting at home and doing just about nothing. I did some laundry, baking, and we had a picnic in our backyard. I even got to sleep in! Yeah!

5. I got some new books to read! I bought The Help by Kathryn Stockett and Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. I have The Best Of Me by Nicholas Sparks and 1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber on preorder. I am so excited to read The Help. I am that person who has to read the book before I see the movie! I was also excited to find out this week that The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks is going to be made into a movie. The release date is set for next August.

6. I also received my first Gifts to Grow reward for Holly. I have been saving my points from Pampers diapers to get her this awesome shopping cart. She loves it and pushes it all over the house!

7. I have a massive pile of zucchini and cucumbers that magically appeared on my kitchen counter one day. Someone must have brought them while I was at work. This calls for some yummy zucchini bread! My neighbor also brought me some tomatoes and green beans. I guess I didn't need my own garden this year!

Well, that is all I can think of for now. Stay tuned for a very special Wordless Wednesday that you won't want to miss!

Linking up to miscellany monday with lowercase letters!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Monday, August 15, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday: Two Days to Go

Well I start back to school in 2 days. Yup. I have the rest of today and tomorrow to enjoy myself. Today will be spent running errands and tomorrow will be spent in my pajamas. Unless we go outside to play which in that case I might get dressed. Notice I said might. Here are some randoms for miscellaneous monday!

1. I am going to sign up for a cake decorating class. I have always wanted to learn this art so I am going to go for it! The biggest benefit I can see here is cake and buttercream. Yumm!

2. I got to eat chinese last week. I love me some chicken fried rice with no veggies! I think I'll order some more sometime this week.

3. Holly went to daycare twice last week so that I could work in my classroom. She hasn't napped there yet. I hope she starts to once we get in a better routine! Oh, and she charmed everyone with her amazing dance skills. She must get that from me!

4. Holly also received her first black eye. As I was opening the door she ran into it. Hard. Hard enough for a black eye. I feel awful but it will heal. However, it does go well with her chipped tooth (which I have no idea how that happened!)

5. I have been crazy obsessed with watching Food Network Star. I was so excited to see Jeff win last night, although I also really liked Susie. Did any of you follow this show? Who did you want to see win?

Linking up to lowercase letters for miscellany monday! Have a great week everyone!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Favorites: Summer Memmories

What are my favorite summer memories? Here are just a few!

1. Spending time with Holly. She has grown up so much over the summer!

2. "Take A Back Road" by Rodney Atkins. Best summer song. Ever.

3. Sleeping in everyday until whenever Holly decided to get up. Love it!

4. Graduating. More time for my family next summer!

5. Play dates for Holly and Mommy.

6. Tons of time for new recipes!

7. Getting to watch "Friends" everyday. I miss that show.

8. The little things. Like how I just decided that I want to go for a walk to the park.

I love my summers!

Linking up to Friday Favorites with Finding Joy.

friday favorite things | finding joy

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I Did It!

I know that I've already mentioned that I graduated, but I just have to brag one more time. It's a big deal to me and I'm super excited!

Linking up to Wordless Wednesday with Pinke Post!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

S'mores Bars

I am definitely a summer gal and I love everything that comes with summer. I especially like summer foods. Nothing beats a juicy burger off the grill with a tall glass of lemonade and fresh sweet corn. I even like cooking hot dogs over the campfire. And I LOVE s'mores over the campfire! I recently found a recipe for s'mores bars on Pinterest that I thought I would try and they were delish! I can now have s'mores year round, even during a blizzard (given I have electricity)! If you like s'mores as much as I do, you need to make these! You can find the original recipe here.

You need:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (I used 4 regular sized bars because that is what I had)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Add in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide the dough in half and press one half into the bottom of your pan. I used my handy Baker's Roller. It made it real easy and left a nice ridge on the edge.

Put your chocolate bars on top. The original recipe says that two king size bars will fit about perfectly in the pan. I had regular bars so that is what I used.

Spread the marshmallow cream on top of the chocolate.

Spread the other half of the dough on top. I flattened pieces with my hands and pieced them together to make a top crust. It worked for me best this way.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Cool before cutting, if you can wait! Don't these just look fabulous?

Linking up my new favorite remind me of summer treat to Made From Scratch Tuesdays with From Mess Hall to Bistro!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday: The Countdown Begins

The countdown to school began about a week ago for me. I have been working in my classroom trying to get it ready and I have also been working here at home to finish up some projects. I don't think that I'll get them all done before school starts back up, but I'm going to try!

Hubby and I celebrated four years of marriage last week. We had a rare date night to celebrate! We saw the movie The Change-Up and we went to eat at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. We had a great night! Oh, and I made hubby's favorite french silk pie!

I have been on the lookout for winter gear for Holly at garage sales. I know it is early, but it is garage sale season, after all! I scored an awesome coat for $5 and a pair of snow boots for $.50. Now I just need to find some snow pants! I also scored some fall clothes for both Holly and I. I think we are almost set!

I finally hung my drapes for our patio door. It only took me all summer, but I was procrastinating on ordering the rod. But it's all done now and looks great!

I also finally got my honeycomb shades for the big picture window in my living room. I had them professionally hung, along with the rod for the patio door, so that I would get it done! Otherwise, I am pretty sure both would still be in the box in the garage, waiting for me to be brave and go for it.

I bought a new vacuum. I am considering this my graduation present to myself! I splurged and bought a Dyson. I can't believe the junk that thing sucked up out of my carpet! And I have brand new carpet!

Have a great week!

Linkup up to lowercase letters for miscellany monday!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Four years ago I hubby and I finally got hitched after 7 years of dating! (Our actual anniversary was yesterday, but I was too busy to post!) Here's to four, and many more, years!

Linking up with The Wife of a Dairyman for Thankful Thursday because I am thankful for my hubby, my family, and the time we spend together!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Miscellany Monday

A lot has been going on around here! As the school year approaches, I am finding myself scrambling to get all these projects done that I thought I would do over the summer. I guess you could say I procrastinated a bit, but Holly and I sure had fun playing while I did so!

On Friday we celebrated my hubby's grandparent's 70th wedding anniversary. Yep. 70 YEARS! Can you believe it?! They are such a great example for hubby and I and an inspiration for all. They have been through a lot together and are still going strong!

We also celebrated my dad's 56th birthday. We weren't able to get together but I think we will next weekend. He loves my potato salad so I think I'll make some for him!

Hubby brought me sweet corn to freeze today. I was not planning on freezing any corn since I am running out of time, but he brought enough for 18 pints. He even helped me, which was huge! It would have taken me all day to do what we did in a couple hours! And Holly husked her first ears of corn. She snuck in a few bites, too! You can find my recipe for freezing sweet corn here.

Hubby also helped me clean the house while I cleaned the silk off the ears. He vacuumed and cleaned the dining room and washed Holly's booster seat. Boy, is Holly a messy eater! Those of you who are married to farmers know that when there is fence to fix, hay to bale, and cows to check, this rarely happens. I am considering this an anniversary present.

Hubby and I will be celebrating 4 years of marriage this week. Not quite 70, but we have been together for 11 1/2 years! I am trying to plan a date night to celebrate! That is if I can get hubby off the farm for a few hours!

I graduated with my master's degree on Friday. With everything going on, I was unable to make the ceremony. I am anxiously awaiting my diploma in the mail! I am so glad that I am done! It feels good knowing that now I have more time to procrastinate and play with Holly!

Have a great week!

Linking up to lowercase letters for miscellany monday!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Jalapeno Stuffed Burgers

We are about to fill our freezer with beef next week! Ooh, yummy! In order to get ready for this, we cook as much beef as we can to make room! I have been making a lot of beef dishes lately. Now, however, all I have left is ground beef. I don't really want to heat up the kitchen with outside temperatures so hot, so I have been enjoying being able to use my grill! Since we have been eating a lot of burgers, I have been thinking of how to make the mundane burger a little more interesting. So last night I added a jalapeno popper in the middle! A jalapeno stuffed burger with a side of homemade onion rings! Perfect for the hubby who loves jalapeno poppers! And perfect for me since I love onion rings!

I started out by cooking my jalapeno poppers. I cook them first so that they aren't undercooked when the burgers are done.

Then I got my burgers ready. I added some salt and pepper to the ground beef and mixed it all up with my hands.

Then I shaped the patties. Again, I just used my hands and I made the patties kind of thin since I would be doubling them up and adding a middle!

I put a popper on the two thin patties that I made.

Then I covered them with another thin patty and sealed the edges. 

I made two jalapeno popper stuffed patties, one regular, and one mini burger for Holly. 

Grill until they are done. I had them on for about 4-5 minutes on each side. I wanted to make sure that they were done and the cream cheese in the popper melted! Serve with topping of your choice! Hubby really likes cheese, lettuce, and tomato. He dipped the burgers in my homemade ranch dressing, too!

Now, for the onion rings. I really don't do anything special for this. But I will tell you that using vidalia onions is what we do since they are a sweeter onion. I also salt the onion rings as they come out of the fryer to bring out more flavor. They taste better this way!

Do you have any interesting burger recipes that I could try? I'd love more suggestions!

Linking up to Hunk Of Meat Monday with Beyer Beware!

Hunk of Meat Mondays