Tipsy Tuesday (#261)

A little energy saving tip in honor of Earth Day...

Tip #261

Adjust your TV settings to maximize energy efficiency.

From livescience: Although today's flat-panel televisions use far less energy than previous models, you can easily increase the savings even more. Go to your TV's picture set-up menu and choose the "home" or "standard" screen setting — the "vivid" or "retail" settings are unnecessarily bright and burn up to 20 percent more power. Don't forget to disable the "quick start" function that allows your TV to boot up a few seconds faster, but eats significantly more power during the 19 hours or so your TV is in standby mode and not being used.

Now, if only I could get the Rev to get me a flat screen....


Coconut Layer Cake

It's time to reveal another Cake Slice Bakers winner! April's choice was Coconut Layer Cake. It was easy to make and was devoured at a work potluck (I didn't eat any since I am not a coconut gal!). I did have a few spoons of the buttercream frosting, which used a whipped method that I had never tried, and it was delish!


Nelle Sew Along

You might recall that one of my goals for this year was to sew more for Elise. I had so much fun picking fabrics and sewing this Nelle dress by Brownie-Goose with a group of Brownie-Goose lovers over on Facebook. One dress for summer down, several more to go!


Tipsy Tuesday (#260)

mld103351_0608_lemonade.jpgA little warm weather has me itching for summer and strawberry lemonade.

Tip #260

Try this tip from Martha Stewart to easily squeeze lemons or other citrus for fresh juice.

"Use a pair of sturdy tongs to get more juice out of lemons, limes, and oranges. Cut the fruit in half, and place a piece between the prongs. (The inner lip on metal ones will minimize slippage.) Working over a pitcher, squeeze the open end of the tongs with both hands. When finished, pour the juice through a sieve."


Elise - 18 Months

Dear Elise,

Today you are 18 months old. You learn something new every day! Here is what you are up to:

•Eating: Most days, you will eat just about anything, you have a real love for broccoli and corn on the cob. You still aren't much of a beef eater, but you have 9 teeth now, including 2 molars, so that may change as you can chew better. You are learning to eat with a spoon and fork and to drink from regular cups. I'm not sure when or where but you have learned what a cookie is, in fact you think anything sweet is a cookie. You start a "cookie" chant any time you see one. We really work to limit sugar and you don't drink juice for that reason.

•Sleeping: You are all over the place when it comes to sleep, you usually take a mid day nap and sleep through the night, but we've had a few rounds of teething and croup, which led to some sleepless nights. You've learned to say "the end" when we finish our bedtime stories and tell us "night night."

•Wearing: You are in mostly 12-18 months clothing, with a few 18 months mixed in. You have taken to wearing any clothing left on the floor on your head, you think that you are hiding!

•Walking: YES! And running, too! You love to take walks on the driveway and collect little flowers and rocks. You aren't much of a climber yet and I am not complaining!

•Talking: You have added too many new words to count. You are a jibber jabberer. You have really begun to master second syllables in the last few weeks. You can pronounce Scarlett plain as day now. You can also make sounds for most animals. You call us "Mama" and "Dado" all of the time now....not just when you want something!

•What You Love: Music and dancing, drinking from a big cup or water bottle, finding things in the yard, playing ball, bubbles, running naked before bathtime, hiding in your tent, rocking yourself in the rocking chair, trips to the park, helping in the kitchen, sidewalk chalk, squeaky shoes, talking on the phone (when you hear any phone ring, you put your hand to your ear and say "Hello"), playing with your babies, bouncing on the bed and bird watching with Daddy.

•What We Love: ALL OF YOU! You always find the most sour looking person when we are out and about and you wave and say "Hey" to them until they finally crack and smile and say it back. I hope you always have that spirit of bringing joy to others!

You are our most favorite girl!

Mommy (and Daddy!)


Easter Treats

Just a quick post to share a few super simple Easter treats that you can give to neighbors, family, and friends. I love printables for holidays, they make it so easy to add the cute factor to a treat. Up first is a little something that we gave to Elise's preschool teachers and a few of my office co-workers. All you need is this printable and M&M's (I used individual packages, but you could easily buy in bulk and put in snack baggies).

And for my office helpers, I gave Little Debbie Easter cakes with this printable attached. It took just minutes to add the tags to a dozen treats with a little washi tape.

And finally, had to share these cool eggs that I found at WalMart with you. They are made from 100% recycled plastic and you can dye them! They feel kind of like a hollow wooden egg, very lightweight. They are going to be perfect for the little hands at my house that would probably crack a real egg and I love that we can save and reuse them and grow her collection every year. This Mom has done all of the legwork to give you the tips and tricks to dyeing these eggs. How awesome would your neighbor kids think that you were if you left a dozen of these eggs and some fun dye kits on their doorstep?


Tipsy Tuesday (#259)

The Rev just planted some of my favorites and I can't wait to cut some to bring inside and enjoy. Use this tip to keep your tulips lasting longer.

Tip #259

Add a few pennies to the water in your vase and you will prevent your flowers from withering and getting droopy so quickly

Some say this is just a myth, others swear by it. How do you keep your flowers lasting longer?


Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Elise loves books and we are so glad since we believe an early love of reading is essential to success later on. We were excited when Elise brought home an application for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library from preschool not too long ago. From their website: "The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a unique early years book gifting programme that mails a brand new, age-appropriate book to enrolled children every month from birth until five years of age, creating a home library of up to 60 books and instilling a love of books and reading from an early age. Any community in the USA, Canada or UK may replicate the Imagination Library and sponsor the regular gifting of books to every child under five in their community. At present, over 1300 communities sponsor Dolly’s Imagination Library for over 650,000 children."

Our community just started a program and invited participants to join. Elise will receive a free book in the mail monthly until she turns 5. Right now she enjoys the books, but if she is anything like her Mom, I know that she will really enjoy opening the mailbox to special mail just for her as she gets older. A kickoff was held this weekend, complete with crafts, cupcakes, and choo-choos, she had a ball!

You can see if your area participates here and enroll your child here.


Giving Up Stuff: An Update

Just a quick update on how the giving up stuff for Lent is progressing. Four rooms are completely cleaned and organized, on tap for the weekend is Elise's room, which will just be switching out clothing seasons and boxing clothes up and the living room, which is just cleaning out the DVD's and games in the entertainment center. It's all leading to the basement over Spring Break...


Easter Menu - Help!

As I mentioned last week, I'm planning our first Easter dinner at home this year. I'm working to narrow down a menu. So far, I know we will be having ham (I've never cooked a big old chunk of meat - any tips?) I'm definitely thinking boneless, spiral sliced with a yummy glaze. Do you have any brand of ham that you swear by? Is it wrong that I'm more excited about using the leftover ham in my favorite Funeral Rolls the next day than I am about having the actual ham on Easter?

And you can't have ham without having macaroni and cheese...well, you can, but why would you want to? This is my favorite go to recipe for macaroni and cheese, and I think that I will be able to put it all together ahead of time and bake just before serving, which will help.

I'll also add green beans and maybe this Strawberry Fluff Salad, since I think Elise will like it. I may sub cheesecake flavored pudding for a richer flavor. Do you have any other fruit or fluff salad that you usually serve for holiday meals?

Of course some bread, since that is the way to the Rev's heart...the man loves a crescent roll...and his little girl LOVES helping roll them up. Bread is usually her dinner duty, she is an expert biscuit placer!

And of course, we will need dessert, and I'm coming up blank....WOW ME! I need yummy, but with little fuss, what have you got? And what are you eating for Easter?


Tipsy Tuesday (#258)

No serious tip today, just a prank tip for you!

Tip #258

Turn a co-worker's world upside down for a laugh

Because I have no poker face, spend all day on a computer, and am a lame prank puller, this is all I can help you out with on April Fool's Day. Press Ctrl+Alt+↓ to turn the display on a computer screen upside down. (Just press the opposite, Ctrl+Alt+↑ to return it to normal display.)

Now, what is the best prank ever played on you? Are you gullible like me?


Scalloped Pineapple

Easter dinner is one of those times when I miss having a big family meal, but marrying a pastor pretty much means that you don't travel on Easter. Normally, we join our friends and they graciously take us in for Easter dinner. But this year, they are going out of town and for the 1st time in our 10 year marriage, Easter dinner is my responsibility. I had this recipe once and wanted to try it again as a possible side for Easter ham. It is rich and a little definitely goes a long way, but it is yummy, kind of like a pineapple bread pudding.

Scalloped Pineapple

1 can crushed pineapple with juice
6 slices white bread, cubed
1 stick ( 1/4 cup) butter, softened
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar

Cream butter and sugar together.

Beat in eggs and then add pineapple with juices.

Stir in cubed bread and then add milk.

Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


A Last Visit to MeeMaw's

I had the chance to spend a little time with my Mom and Elise at MeeMaw's house this past weekend, a last visit before the house is sold. Lots of memories in that house and in these pictures, thankful for every single one.


Tipsy Tuesday (#257)

Trying to avoid some of these fashion don'ts since there is a big birthday approaching...

Tip #257

Don't let the way that you dress age you.

According to All You magazine, the following fashion mistakes can age us:

Wearing too much black
Choosing the wrong bra
Wearing turtlenecks
Baggy clothes
Matching your accessories

I'll 'fess up first, I've been guilty of all of these at least once in the last year. How about you?



Listening...to Telecast...its my mellow morning music choice.

Eating...my morning apple....boring.

Drinking...Diet Cherry Pepsi - insert singing birds here.


Wearing...jeans, burgundy 3/4 sleeve sweater, brown flats - have I ever told you that I love 3/4 sleeves? Summer, spring, winter, fall, I love them.

Feeling...a little irritated with all of the people that use the desk at my 1st office (I split duties between 2 schools) when I am not here. They move my stuff and gross up my phone.

Needing...to find a cute Easter basket (or some other container) for Elise, something that will hold what I want and be reusable for the next few years. Any suggestions?

Wanting...time to speed up so that it will be Spring Break (3 more weeks!) and then slow down so that it lasts forever!

Thinking...that I need to get in one more practice dress before I cut the expensive fabric that will become Elise's Easter dress..

Enjoying...my little girl, she is becoming such a little character, with her own personality emerging. Her newest phrase is "You OK?" - this is accompanied by a pat on your cheek or her cheek if she can't get to you. She uses it if you cough or sneeze and it is adorable.