Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Living Proof - Mary J Blige

I heard this song last night for the first time as I watched last weeks episode of Private Practice.  SO good, I immediately went to the internet & started trying to figure out what this song was.  Today, I discovered it was in the movie The Help.  After seeing clips from teh movie today while watching this video.  I may very well pick that book back up & try to read through it.  I was having a hard time & had been told to keep going...at some point I wouldn't be able to put it down!

30 days of Thanksgiving - Day 22

Day 22 - I'm thankful that I got to go to the Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast at Tanner's school this morning!

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 days of Thanksgiving - Day 18, 19, 20 & 21

WHOA...I am SERIOUSLY behind!!

Day 18 - Thankful for Friday!  Ready for some family, friend & me time!
Day 19 - thankful that our sweet neighbors, Dustin & Anna, invited us over for dinner! Dustin cooks up a mean pork butt!

Day 20 - I'm thankful for this cold weather that has me in basement clean up mode!

Day 21 - I'm thankful that we have such creative writers in the world to give us good books, tv & movies for entertainment! And then the producers, directors, actors/actresses...This came to me last night as I was watching The Walking Dead!

A Scentsy kind of Christmas

Friday, November 18, 2011

A yummy apple sunflower just waiting to be eaten!

found on www.catchingfireflies.com website
I sampled this tasty fall treat at a friend’s birthday party this weekend & was immediately hooked. Plus I love that it only has 5 ingredients, is simple to make & looks lovely on a party table.

Here’s what you’ll need…
a tub of apple caramel dip (you won’t use it all)
8oz block of cream cheese
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2-3 Heath bars
4-5 granny smith apples (the tartness pairs well with the dip mix)

Mix the cream cheese & brown sugar together until fluffy. Spread in a circle in the middle of a serving plate. Top with a layer of caramel dip. Then cover with chopped bits of the Heath candy bars. Cut the apples into thin slices & place them around the dip.

Ta-dah! A sunflower-esque presentation that looks quite stunning & is super delicious to snack on

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Must have's from Trader Joe's!

So, a friend just emailed this list onto us...it's from her friend who is an avid Trader Joe's shopper!  We just got our Trader Joe's here in Kansas City last Spring & are still learning what to try over there!  Her friend lives in St Louis & is a Trader Joe's shopping pro!

Spanish Olive Oil - 32 oz for $5.99
Roasted Red Peppers - $1.99/jar
Chicken Broth packets
Whole Wheat Cous Cous
Whole wheat spaghetti
TJ's whole grain baking mix - like bisquick but with fiber. Makes great pancakes, biscuits, shortbread - don't use very often.
TJ's no fat brownie mix - just add yogurt.
TJ's frosting mixes are good too....
Fig butter - it's been out of stock :( I bought some pumpkin butter but haven't tried yet.
Turkey meatballs or Veggie meatballs (Frozen)
Chicken Potstickers (frozen)
Wild Alaskan Salmon (frozen)
Frozen haricort vert (french green beans)
Frozen grilled asparagus
Frozen roasted corn kernels - have had a couple of times
TJ's frozen fruit is pretty cheap - I buy for smoothies.
Whole wheat crackers
Handful of Almonds packages.
Cheese - goat cheese crumbles and they have a good cheese selection at fair prices
Hummus - haven't had for awhile
Regular Salsa
Salsa Verde
Corn Salsa
Sliced baby bella mushrooms

They usually have good prices on milk, yogurt and eggs

Poor experience with a Kansas City area "photographer"

You really have no idea what you're going to get when you hire a photographer.  You've looked at their website, you've seen pictures they've taken of a friend's child etc....but until you have your own experience with a photographer - you really have no idea what you're going to get! 

Julie Phillips was that photographer for us!  She calls herself a photographer, but after what I've heard from other professional photographers about the work she did for our family, I really would beg to differ:

The pictures are shit. Shot with a low end camera, edited to the point of no return, and turned over to you in a resolution unfit for anything more than a Kodak print kiosk. 96dpi is what I publish to facebook so that people can't print them. I give all of my digital files in at least 240dpi with most in the 300dpi range. This means that you can enlarge to poster size without any degradation.

It's been altered so much – it's losing quality. The photographer has added an effect where they are getting the color out of whack with adjustments to saturation and brightness. You should ask for the original – not one that has been altered so much. I think they are trying to add some creative effect — but I'm not feeling like it's working! It really has been degraded a lot!

An image can end up grainy from being underexposed to start with or SOOC straight out of camera. It also can happen with over editing.  The other images except for the last one don't look like a professional  photographer took them. Mostly because you all are in sun, you should not have sun hitting a subjects face, creating blow outs( loss of detail from being too light) and deep shadows. This is where the over editing and grain can come in, in an attempt to fix the problem. See how the sun is hitting the side of all three of your faces? The bridge would be cute but there are shadow lines on your face. Hope I am not sounding rude, just looks like a new photographer :( now I really sound like a know it all. The best image, from a technical standpoint is the last one. See how the light is even on their faces?  Also being where the sun hits you like that causes squinting,

Funny thing - you go to her website and our pictures have been removed.  I guess she doesn't stand behind them quite the way she said she does...strange.

While I love what was captured in some of the pictures, the technical aspect is poor. Placing us in direct sunlight which then created for heavy shadows (almost can't see my eye in one), squinting, Tanner's hair looks white in some, squinting eyes rather than bright open eyes. One of the pictures is so grainy I can't get a decent 4x6 printed adn the 8 x 10 is terrible! I'm terribly disappointed with this whole dealing...I really need to figure out how to wipe it out & smush the anger.

30 days of Thanksgiving - Day 16 & 17

Yep, did it again!  I never posted on here yesterday...

Day 16 - I'm thankful for ice packs! 

Day 17 - I am thankful that we found our house 8 years ago! Looking around our kitchen as Tanner & I were heading out this morning I was thinking of how much I just LOVE our house! It's the perfect size for us, even if we get that 2nd child!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 days of Thanksgiving - Day 14 & 15

Seriously!?  What is wrong with me...How is it SO HARD for me to get on here & get my thankfuls down? 

Day 14:  I'm thankful for old friends! Love you Jodi Smith Pelliccia

Day 15: I'm thankful for our memory!  Without our memory we wouldn't be able to relive in our minds the wonderful times wtih those that are no longer with us!  I sure miss my Grandparents, Dad and so many others that are still alive, just not in my life anymore.  Oh and even just getting to relive special times wihh Tanner when he was a baby & growing up in his first 6 years!

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Days of Thanksgiving - Day 12 & 13...OOPS!

Day 12 - I'm thankful for my friend Holly Stone for loving the same kind of shops & taking me to the Holiday sale at Steve Hess' house!
Day 13 - I am thankful for my sweet niece Britta! Happy 11th birthday sweet girl!

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 days of Thanksgiving - Day 11

Day 11 - So...I have two b/c I really just can't decide what I'm more thankful for - my talented friend Stacy's abilty to shape my eyebrows so nicely


that I didn't gain a single pound this week from all the girl scout cookie binging! and let me just say that I ate a sleeve & a half last night! Those stupid peanut butter cookies, I have no will power when it comes to those!  Ever since I was a little girl, those have been my favorite cookies! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 days of Thanksgiving - Day 10

So all day I just kept trying to think what I was thankful for.  There honestly are a lot of things, but trying to choose ONE thing to write about each day has been harder than I thought it might be.  So, today I decided to write about how thankful I am for the internet! It allows us to stay connected with family & friends, reconnect with old friends and provides hours of entertainment & education!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 days of Thanksgiving - Day 9

Day 9 - So today I am thankful for the bright shining sun we have in Kansas City today! Two days of rain (badly needed) makes you even more thankful to see that sun again! 
Wish I were able to be out and about enjoying it today!  Oh well...gotta make money to pay the bills & keep shopping some how right? 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 days of Thanksgiving: Day 8

This morning I was having a hard time thinking of waht I was most thankful for today. As I watched Tanner getting out of the car & the expression on his face as he was half smiling & trying not to look at me when he got out of the car & was walking into his school building - I felt such pride and just so much love and adoration for my son. It hit me - today I am SO THANKFUL that I get to drop my son off at school each day & watch him as he heads off into the world to learn! Thank you Mrs. Scarlett for providing such a fun classroom environment that Tanner looks forward to coming into everyday!

30 days of Thanksgiving - Day 7

OOPS!  Once again, I didn't make it over here to post!  Day 7 - I am thankful we're finally painting the kitchen after 4 months of talking about & having picked out the color!   We've been in our house for 8 years & although I've always loved the color, I'm ready for a change!  We're going with Granny Smith Apple!  If I had my way though - we'd be painting the kitchen cabinets too!  They are oak & they had redone this kitchen say 7 years or so before we bought it in 2003.  My husband already said we WOULD NOT be painting the cabinets.  I'm hopeful then that I can get new countertops! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 days of Thanksgiving - Day 6

So this morning I'm reading my book, since Tanner woke me up at 6 (really 5 with the time change), and then later I'm moving stuff around in the kitchen, doing laundry, still trying to put Fall decorations out in the family room, taking pictures & uploading things to craigslist, facebook, uploading pictures to the computer, pulling all garage sale stuff from the basement & loading it into my car...a trip to Michaels, Target, Sams club - SO MUCH to do all the time around here & I LOVE it!  I am so thankful that I always have a million projects going on so I'm never bored!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 days of Thanksgiving - Day 5

Today I was thinking how thankful I am that we have such great stores for shopping!  I went to Olathe Glass this morning, they were having their Holiday Open House today.  SO MANY FUN FUN FUN Holiday decorations!  I absolutely LOVE this store anytime of the year, but this time of the year it just leaves you in awe...I want to scrap some, ok most, of my decorations & start from scratch with everything new from that store!  Just love it all!

This wreath is THE thing that I went out there for!  But, an old friend of mine said I could totally make that so I'm going to give it a try!  It was $80 & there really is too much on this for it to fit on our front door.  We have a storm door so there isn't that much space & a wreath on our front door can't be too puffy.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it thought!  This green rocks!

30 days of Thanksgiving - Day 4

Oh my!  It just hit me that I did not post yesterday on here!  I managed to get it on Facebook, but not my blog.  So yesterday, day 4 - I said I was thankful for our extended family living in town so Tanner gets to have a releationship with them.  Tanner has both of his Grandma's, both aunts & all of his first cousins living here in town.  Grandma Jo, my Mom, watched Tanner everyday from the time I went back to work at 7 weeks old until he was just past 2 1/2 years old.  It's funny b/c he's always been much closer with his Aunt Rachelle, Brandon & Michaela b/c my sister, Aunt Helen, is just so busy & doens't ever have time to spend wiht him.  He's spent the night at their house once I think, I think she's only watched him maybe 3 times in his 6 years?  I can't even count how many times he's spent the night with Aunt Rachelle or how many days he's spent hanging out or running around with Aunt Rachelle.  Funny how life works out...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 days of thanksgiving - day 3

I am so thankful that I had such a loving Grandma in my life for so many years! I still miss my Grandma everyday and I think of her so often! She was an amazing woman that was loved by so many!



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

looking for yummy cupcakes!?

Amy Bryant makes THE YUMMIEST cupcakes I've ever had!  Her prices are so reasonable & one of our friends that tried one of these at my husband's birthday - said they are way better than Smallcakes!  And wasn't Smallcakes on one of the food challenges on Food Network?  I've also had her make some for teacher appreciation at my son's preschool & they were, as we all were at the birthday parties enjoying these little beauties pictures, in HOG HEAVEN with the cupcakes! 

You can reach Amy at 913.378.5852 or amyscupcakes@gmail.com

30 days of Thankgiving - Day 2

So as I think of the MANY things that I am thankful for, I think how thankful I am that my son is such a happy little guy!  He's always got a smile on his face & just has such a love for life and people!  I'm working very hard as a Mom to make sure that he is always respectful of others and to be compassionate.  He's pretty good from what I hear about his actions when I'm not around and that makes me proud!  Such as helping with the special needs kids at school in the library.  Love love love my smiley, happy little guy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 days of Thanksgiving

So a friend had this on FB & now that I think about it, I think I saw people doing this last year & thought it was a great idea!  TOTALLY forgot too until now that I was going to have us make a paper chain with the things that we as a family will right down each night that we are thankful for!  Oh well, there's tomorrow night & we'll start it then and do two nights! 
So today for me, day 1: I'm thankful for fun size Snickers! Yes, that really is what I said...fun size Snickers!