Friday, October 28, 2011

Italian Penne Recipe


So I came up with this recipe...It may exist out there I just didn't look for it and thought it up..FYI. So I thought I'd share. Really excited to eat it. I'll let you know how it tastes. ha.

Started with whole wheat Penne noodles that were sitting in my lazy-susan ready to be used.

Then I cooked some grass-fed, hormone/antibiotic-free ground beef (1/2 lb). I put garlic powder, minced onion, pepper, and italian seasoning in it.

Then I made my sauce. Used some Hunt's All Natural sauce and tomato paste. I also put Tomato Basil cooking creme in the dish. Threw in italian seasoning, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, pepper, and some chili powder.

Put sauce at the bottom of the pan so no noodles would stick for some reason.

Layered the noodles and meat.

Then sauce.
Then mixed it with about 1/4 of the Philadelphia Cooking Creme.

Then I added some leftover cheese ravioli stuffing I made last week cause it's delish!! It was cottage cheese with an egg, 1/2 cup low fat mozzarella, and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese mixed together. I will bake it at 350 for probably 30 minutes. And bam a new dinner!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011



Having a child brings a whole. New. World. The world of education. When do you start teaching them things? What do you teach? Should they go to pre-school? Public school? Home school? Private? So many questions!!!

Well that's WAY too many questions to answer right now. But I do know that as of now I am planning on homeschooling and honestly it's already starting. It's nothing fancy or really structured. It's just being intentional and interacting with her. I do have this book that I got when Abigail was first born. I am for the Montessori methods at the young ages, for the most part. It's an awesome book that explains a lot of their development.

I also got this book. You know that dvd set, My Baby Can Read? Well, this book is from the actual institute and guy that stumbled onto this concept of teaching kids to read. It's extremely informative and I couldn't put it down!! It lays out all the steps of how to teach your child to read and all the benefits for their brains when doing that.

Here's a few things I have for Abigail right now. I have a couple Montessori toys for her and a book that has tons of crafts and ideas. Then I have cards that are sand paper letters and cards with pictures on them.

Here are those cards. I am so excited to use them with her!

My Baby Can Read....
I have heard a lot about that program and a couple of my friends have it now. One of my friends who has it doesn't really use it anymore, but today we decided to put our girls in front of it. After looking at everything, the books and dvd's, I have concluded that I like it but I don't. I don't like putting my child in front of the TV for 25 minutes straight and expecting her to watch it all. I do like the books and cards though.

Kyle and I decided before Abigail was born to not have her watch TV at all for the first couple years of her life at least...not that it won't ever be on. But I mean put a show on just for her and sit her in front of it. It's extremely bad for their ability to learn and causes lots of issues. Everything I've read has said that there's no reason for a child 2 years and under to watch TV. So true! They don' know anythings about it. We as parents are usually the ones to introduce it to them. It's usually by our laziness that we sit them in front of it.

So when I sat in front of the My Baby Can Read, I cringed. I know it's educational but I don't think it's necessary to teach her that stuff through the television. I can teach her the same stuff without it. Will it take more time on my part? Yes. Will it be inconvenient sometimes? Yes. Will it not give me a "babysitter" when I want to get a few things done. Yup. But the truth is, I've been fine without it the whole time! I enjoy not turning on the TV everyday. I like listening to music or just playing in silence. That's ok.

Now, if someone reading this has this dvd set and likes it, that's fine! This isn't bashing or looking down on anyone who does. It took me a while to get myself "off" watching TV when Abigail was first born and it was hard, honestly. I was addicted to stupid morning shows and crude primetime dramas. So I don't want to go back to watching it during the day and especially using it as a tool to get stuff done and keep my child occupied. So that's where I am with education right now. Would love advice from parents who have taken similar routes as I am. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birthday Party!


Abigail's first birthday party!!!

Like I said, my daughter turned 1. CRAZY! Well, the party was mostly a success...I didn't get to do everything I wanted and was rushed right before the party cause I didn't give myself ample time to decorate and such :/....but life goes on and it was her first birthday...she's not going to have a clue!
Here's the invitation. I did different paper backgrounds. I liked it :)

Here's a fun banner I made.

The spectacular cake and cupcakes Abigail's grandma made!

Here's the birthday girl in her party hat.

Not so sure about this cake and frosting deal.

Ate some frosting but that was it. Wasn't really into it....all that healthy eating is paying off ;)
We also went to Chick-fil-a on her birthday and let her try chicken nuggets there for the first time. She liked them until I put a grape down and threw the chicken on the floor to eat the grape. ha! I love it.

But all the people that came were so amazing and gracious. Abigail got lots of presents and money towards her Education Savings Account! Thank you to everyone who made her first birthday special :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Birthday Present


This is a shorter post, but you're probably relieved! ha. I am working hard on stuff for Abigail's first birthday party which is on Saturday. So lots and lots of things to do! Can't wait to post pics of it all.

My future sis-in-law...that's what I like to say...Rebecca...had a birthday on October 13th. I saw her this last weekend and gave her the birthday present I made this last week. I think it turned out great and I've never made one like it before!

It is a block! I used a piece of wood and painted the back, then used scrapbook paper and buttons for the rest. My handy-dandy Cricut was fabulous and printed the letters so fast. All I had to do was glue everything on! She seemed to like it and I am so excited about the future :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

1 Year Old


Happy Birthday to my little Abigail!!

One year ago I was in the hospital recovering and soaking in my child. I was in awe at how precious she was. I still think it's amazing, even more so since having a child, how two people can create another human being. God's design is mysterious and beautiful.

What are all the things my little monkey doodle does now?! Well, she is pretty much over crawling. She walks as much as possible. She is learning to use a fork and a spoon, and is good at it! Drinking out of her new sippy, with a straw, is going well too. Doggie and kitty are words Abigail is working on. Her love for books is still going strong. She has found a new love for the outdoors. At first she hated being outside in the grass. Now, she will practically jump out of my arms to get out the door if it's open!

Here she is in her playhouse outside. She finally discovered it the other day and played in it at least 5 minutes. :)

My walking girl!

Playing more.

Can I get cuter? Somehow she does....each day!

My little girl, how I love you. I can't explain the bond we have. I am so blessed and grateful to be your mommy :)

Monday, October 10, 2011



On Friday night my sister and I threw a surprise party for my mom's 50th birthday! It was fun and we had fun doing it. I wish I could blog about all the other fun things I've been doing but there really is no time! Maybe someday...but who really wants to see my life anyways??!

Here's what was on the menu:

Appetizers...3 different kinds of hummus, almond and cranberry chicken salad, both served on melba toast, and mozzarella sticks (what do you expect with men at the party? ha)

Main Dish...Caesar salad, veggie lasagna, sausage and mushroom lasagna, ground beef lasagna, and garlic bread. We made the noodles for the lasagna. This was as homemade as you can get! The veggie lasagna had lots of different vegetables in it also. Fantastic!

Dessert....I made vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting and my sister made a butter pecan cake. We had some french vanilla ice cream too. yum!

I took some pics of part of the noodle making process. We made spinach noodles. Man, my sis can cook! Wonder where we got it from????? ;)

The dough started in a ball (kneaded for 10 minutes) and this is when she started rolling it out.

Here is it getting bigger...

Now she is cutting the sheets for the lasagna. This thing was almost as big as my island!

Here's a pic with my parents...we are being goofy :) It was a success and my mom loved it! Happy 50th Mom!