Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Project Life: Week 29

Week 29: July 16-22

I loved this week. Not just the layout, but I loved this actual week when we were living it. And if I didn't have this project, I would forget about how much I loved this week. I would remember having some friends over for dinner, drinks and games. But I might not remember Claire and their daughter chasing each other on the trampoline. Or that trying to teach slightly tipsy people how to play Ticket To Ride does not always go so well, particularly if you're slightly tipsy yourself. And I might remember going to the mall...in general. But I wouldn't remember Anaya & her friend seeing the Justin Bieber stand-up poster at the mall and posing with it (even though Anaya's picture is blurry - whoops). I wouldn't remember how excited Claire was to get her Alvin build-a-'bear' and Simon & Jeanette. I probably wouldn't remember how much Claire LOVES the carousel. I would eventually forget setting up my old tent in the livingroom and Claire HATING the very idea of getting in it. And yes, that is a picture of Claire's NEW clean underwear that she's been wearing because we're finally potty training her. Eventually it would turn into just underwear because underwear is not exciting, except for when you have underwear instead of diapers.

Week 29 (1)

There's an insert in here of our trip to the mall on the front and the game night we had with my friends from college on the back.

Week 29 (2)
This journaling card in our of those things I would forget if not for this project...I wrote it during the actual week 29, put it in my album and COMPLETELY forget about it until I was putting this week's pictures in their slots. Good thing I had one unplanned 3x4 slot or I would've had to leave out a picture. I didn't have any pictures from going to the pool, but Claire finally started going down the kids slide. She wasn't good at waiting her turn.

Week 29 (3)

The Mom Creative

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Menu Monday

Last week - we changed things up a little bit. We moved the two chicken dishes to the weekend because I didn't make it to the grocery store earlier in the week to get chicken, but we didn't end up eating either of them anyways. On Saturday we didn't eat until really late due to a late snack followed by a trip to the pool so we just had leftovers. On Sunday I wasn't feeling well, so we ordered Pizza Hut. Oh well.

I decided to go ahead and plan this as our vegetarian week. We'll have chicken on Monday just because I already have it in the fridge, but the rest of the week is vegetarian. I've never made most of these recipes so we'll see how it goes. I bought Justin some deli meat and I'm going to get him some frozen burritos and corn dogs to eat since he's not into vegetables. Oh, and in our Vegetarian world, eggs are okay.

My plan for next week:

Monday - Shake & Bake Chicken, Pasta Side, Peas
Tuesday - Cauliflower Quiche
Wednesday - Bean Burgers
Thursday - Pancakes, Fruit (and Sausage)
Friday - 2 Bean Tamale Pie
Saturday - Eggplant Parmesan
Sunday - leftovers

Next week I'll try to post opinions on each dish from the people that actually ate it, except Claire since she's not quite up to dictating blog posts yet. Hopefully at least someone likes each one...otherwise I'm going to need a new plan for leftovers night!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tell Your Story - Photography Challenge 3

I had this post ready to go and pictures taken, but then Jenny Meyerson ended up not doing the link up (which is fine, she has her own life), but I wasn't sure if I still wanted to post this since it was part of the link up anymore. But oh well...here goes! Not all of these pictures are new ones from the past few weeks. So if something looks out of season, that is why.

tys 3

1. A favorite outfit
This summer, I have been LOVING skirts. I wear them to work at least once a week and when I wear jeans to work, I almost always change into a skirt when I get home. They are just so comfy. I wear this (or something similar) at least once a week to work. Jersey knit skirt & a nice shirt - I love this particularly shirt, I got it as a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law, such an awesome shirt.

2. What and how you read
I LOVE to read. I read lots of different things, although right now I am going through a romantic mystery phase. Lots of Stephanie Bond, Janet Evanovich and a few other authors. I get most of my books from library since I read so much and I don't usually re-read. I do occasionally buy a book at Target or buy an e-book thru the Kindle App on my phone. I like e-reading because it is easy to take a book everywhere with me, particularly since I use my phone as my e-reader.

3. Something round
This is Claire's water table. One night I started setting all of Noah's animals up around the edge of the table and Claire helped. I spaced them so that they would be evenly spaced. Turned into a pretty fun picture.

4. First thing you see in the morning when you wake up
I suppose my alarm is actually the FIRST thing I see when I wake up, but I usually hit the snooze button until it is either absolutely time to get out of bed if I don't want to be late, or this one comes in to say hi. She is a cute alarm clock. And sometimes she'll cuddle with me for a little bit before I have to actually get out of bed.

5. Your workplace
I'm a software developer. I spend 85% of my work day sitting at my computer. I wish there was a way to make it sound more exciting, but there's not really. And we're not really allowed to take pictures of work. Although, it's not my job anymore, but here's a picture of something awesome that I used to do...and now I can't even find a picture of it...but here's a picture of another project that I worked on for them. This is a light grid on a "christmas tree" (metal triangle) and I used to write both the software used to control it AND the actual light shows that are shown on it. Pretty cool, right? I've also been known to program Christmas lights to music but shhh, it's a secret because I don't put anywhere close to that much effort into my own house.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Project Life 2009

I'm working on Project Life 2009. Yes, I know it is 2012 but the only scrapbooking that I did in 2009 was Claire's baby book, which I didn't even finish. I think I got to month 9 or 10 and then did nothing else. Anyways, I want to scrapbook some other stuff from 2009 and decided to go ahead and order the Clementine Binder and a second set of page protectors. Then sometime early this year, I sat down and picked and ordered pictures for January through the beginning of May 2009.

I have three weeks mostly done. I haven't figured out how I'm including the dates/week yet. I didn't buy a core kit for this album, so whatever I do it'll be something I make. I might just get a set of 3x4 grid cards and stamp the date/week on each one with some journaling. For now, I still have little green sticky notes on each page to keep track of my dates. Since I have filled every pocket, I'll probably end up clearing out one 3x4 pocket for the date card. We'll see. It's something that I will have to keep in mind when I order my next batch of pictures.

week 1
The first week of 2009, I was hugely pregnant with Claire. Seriously, I was so freaking BIG. Claire was due Jan 26, so I still had about 3 weeks to go. I was still doing a lot of "normal" things. I went to work. We had Anaya's friends over quite a bit (although now we have one of Anaya's friends spending at least 12 of every 24 hours here). Preparing the nursery for the baby. And lots and lots of MarioKart. I got to the point that no one could beat me - I had a lot of time on my hands back then.

week 2
Due to some worries about extra fluid, I was induced and Claire was born about a week and half early! I included a couple of pictures of earlier in the week of Anaya at the library and of her missing tooth, but this week is mostly about having a new baby.

week 3
During Week 3 we were still pretty impressed with Claire. Let's face it, this is my first born and I was on maternity leave spending every single moment with her. 2009 is a lot about Claire. When I was going to pull the pictures I felt a little sorry about not taking many pictures of Anaya. I notice that I still do this, but at this point it is more because Anaya is almost 13 and is doing her own thing while Claire is only 3 and doesn't mind if I sit there playing games with her and taking a bunch of pictures.

I kind of wish that I was doing Project Life back then. That might have made me think more about taking every day life pictures. I was taking a lot of "Look how cute my baby is" pictures.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Recipe: Mexican Manicotti

I meant to post this over the weekend since I actually made this last Friday, but I never got around to it. But hey, better late than never!

I got the recipe from the Taste Of Home website and pretty much followed it...although I did double it since we were having friends over for dinner. I think I could've made one batch and it would've been enough (especially with chips & dip and veggies and dessert). The recipe says 8 servings, which is almost 2 Manicotti shells per serving. My 8oz boxes had 14 shells I think which means we had 28 shells for 6 adults, 2 tweens and 4 young-ish kids. And we had at least 10 shells leftover. And I didn't realize it until about 10pm the night before we were having this, but the recipe calls for assembling it the night before and then refrigerating it until the next day - that ended up working in my favor since I had to work before we had friends over and Justin could just pop it in the oven.

manicotti (1)

The Recipe

Here's the original recipe: Mexican Manicotti from Taste of Home.

I did tweak the seasonings a little, so here's my recipe (single batch):
1 pound lean ground beef
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoons Penzey's Adobo Seasoning blend
1 package (8 ounces) uncooked manicotti shells
2-1/2 cups water
1 jar (16 ounces) picante sauce
1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican cheese blend

Mix together beef, beans and seasonings until well blended. Using a spoon (or whatever other method you have) stuff the beef & bean mixture into the manicotti shells. (It's really gross, I got my step-daughter to help me because I was tired of doing it after about 5 shells and since we were making a double batch I still had 23 shells to go.) Anyways, grease a 9x13 pan and arrange the manicotti shells however they will fit. Mix the Picante and water and pour over the top of the shells. Then cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge until the next day (or later that day, but probably no more than 24 hours).

Bake at 350 for a hour, remove from over and spread with sour cream and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to melt the cheese.

Our Thoughts

Everyone said they liked it. We didn't finish all of the leftovers, but we did eat it two more times before it went bad. I'm not sure how I feel about the beans in the meat. I think the texture was a little weird for me. It was good, just kind of weird. But definitely something we'll keep around, it's quite a bit of work for a normal week night dinner, but if I want something to prep the night before and just have Justin put in the oven, this recipe would work for that.


I can't remember how she learned the word goggles, maybe from Anaya or some game on the iPad. Either way, she knows what they are and when/how they are worn. Last night, Claire dug one of Anaya's old pairs of goggles our of the swim bag. She brought them to me and wanted me to help her put them on...so I did. Then we went to the pool and she wore them for almost an hour!

I kept asking if she wanted me to take them off since they were getting water in them, but she got upset if I even attempted to mess with them. So I guess I'll probably get a pair that will actually FIT her. But I'll have to take her with me to pick them out or she probably won't wear them.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Project Life: Week 28

Week 28: July 9 - 15

Nothing really interesting went on this week.

week 28 (4)
We started really seriously potty training Claire this week so we pretty much stayed home. I did include the tag from the new package of underwear that Claire picked out - Minnie Mouse. I'm still liking the grids of what we ate for the week. Although I need to get better about labeling them or something. I know in less than a year I'll look at some of these and be like, "What was that?".

week 28 (7)
We did make a trip out to a different pool instead of our normal pool. The big girls liked it a lot more than our normal pool. Claire liked the slides once I finally got her to go down them. Overall, just a fun but not terribly busy week.

The Mom Creative

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Menu Monday

We ended up not having the pork chops last week because we went to the mall and ate at Five Guys Burgers & Fries - YUM! We had a bunch of crap on Saturday (egg rolls, taquitos, chicken tenders, and french fries) all frozen things that just had to be popped in the oven. And the frozen pizza happened on Sunday night.

My plan for next week:

Monday - Mexican Manicotti (leftovers from last week)
Tuesday - Marinated Pork Chops
Wednesday - Hamburger & Pasta Skillet
Thursday - Shake & Bake Chicken, Rice
Friday - Eggs, Bacon & Hash Browns
Saturday - Hot Dogs
Sunday - Kung Pao Chicken (recipe coming next week)

So, after I made the menu plan, the grocery list AND the first of two grocery store runs, my 12-yr-old step-daughter announced that she wanted to go vegetarian next week. I don't have a problem with that, in theory, but EVERY single dinner this week contains meat. She's being convinced to wait until a week where we can plan for it and make sure we have menus that will work for 2-3 of us to be vegetarians while 1-2 of us continue to eat lots meat.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Project Life: Week 27

Week 27: July 2 - 8

I was planning to start a new album this week, but I don't have a new album and I haven't decided yet if I really want to do that. I ended up with two inserts this week. One specfically about the 4th of July and another of just random pictures. I haven't printed 4th of July insert yet because I made an awesome 8.5 x 11 photo collage, but I didn't realize/think about Target not printing that size (or anything bigger). I'll probably end up ordering it whenever I get around to ordering another big batch of 2009 pictures for my "catch-up" album.

week 27 (5)

week 27 (7)

I really like having these little 6x4 collages of things that we ate during the week. It's a nice way to include it without having to print big pictures of everything. Also, the picture of Claire spinning would be my favorite every if I could've gotten her to do it somewhere besides right in front of my car. But it is still pretty awesome.

week 27 (9)

week 27 (11)

The Mom Creative

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Menu Monday

The only thing we ended up not having last week was the Chicken Stir Fry. I was going to do it on Sunday night and not have breakfast, but Anaya asked if she could make Biscuits & Gravy. We let her...it turned out pretty good.

My plan for next week:

Monday - Chicken Stir-Fry, Rice & Egg Rolls
Tuesday - French Toast & Berries
Wednesday - Pasta with Red Sauce
Thursday - Pork Chops (on the grill)
Friday - Mexican Manicotti
Saturday - leftovers or Frozen Pizza
Sunday - Egg Sandwiches

We're having a friends over for dinner & games on Friday night, so Justin is making Mexican Manicotti. It's a new recipe. Justin has made manicotti before and it's really good, but I wanted mexican food, so he decided to try Mexican Manicotti. We'll see how it turns out (expect the Recipe on Saturday).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Claire likes to watch the show Jake and the Neverland Pirates on Disney Jr. The show has been on for a while, but in a way not like Disney at all, they haven't had any Pirate toys come out until just the past few months. I had resisted buying any of them once they were out because I had just bought three Barbie Mermaids because she was/is really into Mermaids.

The other night, we were all up at Target and Claire was looking at the Jake's Spy Glass toy. Due to how it was packaged, she couldn't look through the spy glass unless we bought it and took it out...so that's what we did. Now we have a little pirate running around here.

It also came with a bandana (velcros in the back). I got Claire to wear it for a picture, but I haven't actually seen it since then. Although Anaya was running around wearing it, so maybe she has it still. Yes, sometimes the toddler loses toys because the 12-yr-old steals them. Of course, the opposite happens too. And it came with a map. Claire LOVES maps. I'm not entirely sure why, but she does. When we got to the mall, she'll run up to the mall map and just stare at it. When we go to Deanna Rose Park, she'll run up to all the maps and tell me something about them. She was quite impressed with having a Neverland Map. She was pointing things out and saying...something...about it. Then she'd hold it out to me and say "Map!". So cute.

Maybe she'll be a Pirate for Halloween this year. Although who knows what she'll like 3.5 months!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Project Life: Week 26

Week 26: June 25 - July 1

This is my full layout for Week 26, I ended up doing an insert using a Design D pocket page. I really like this layout. This might be one of my favorite weeks so far. We went to a baseball game, and played in the backyard, and Anaya hung up Justin Bieber posters all over her room, and went to see Brave. Overall, a fun week.

Week 26 (20)
Page 1:

Week 26 (2)

Page 2:

Week 26 (8)

Close Up Page 2:

Week 26 (4)

I had more journaling than I did more to put it and I also wanted to include one of our tickets to the game, so I printed out my journaling on a 3x4 grid card. I attached the ticket to a 4x6 piece of Cobalt cardstock and trimmed off the parts of the ticket that were too big. Then I just slipped my journaling card underneath the ticket. It's pretty easy to pull it out if I want to read it, but it should stay in there and not just fall out.

Page 3:

Week 26 (16)

It was insanely hot in Kansas this week, actually it has been insanely hot for about 3 weeks now. I don't have an iPhone and my HTC phone can't easily take a screenshot of the weather screen. I have an iPod, so if I would remember to do it, I could take a fun weather forecast picture using that, but I usually don't think about until it's too late. So I just took a 3x4 journal card and wrote out what the high was each today.

Page 4:

Week 26 (13)

Close Up Page 4:

Week 26 (10)

I like this journaling card that I made in photoshop. I took a screenshot of a Google image search for Justin Bieber, then I pasted it into a blank canvas in photoshop. I cropped it to 3in x 4in with a resolution 300 ppi. Since I wanted to type on top of the images, I added a layer and using the fill tool colored it white and changed it's opacity to 70%. Then I added a couple of text layers to add the title and all of my text. I decided I wanted to highlight a few of the pictures of JB so I used the rectangle selection tool to draw boxes around a few of the images and then with the white layer selected, I just deleted those areas so that the background was showing through completely - make sense? Then I just flatted it and put it on a 6x4 canvas and order it like a normal picture.

The Mom Creative

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Menu Monday

Last week:
I think I mostly followed the plan from last week. I did a little re-arranging on the weekend (Hoagies on Friday, Mac & Cheese on Saturday, and Mexican Chicken Panela on Sunday) and the only thing we didn't have were the Chicken Nuggets because we ate late snacks at the mall on Saturday and ended up not eating dinner until 9pm.

My plan for next week:

Monday - Marinated & Grilled Pork, Fruit, Peas
Tuesday - Chef's Pasta Salad, Rolls
Wednesday - Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Shells, Green Beans
Thursday - Breakfast Something, Fruit
Friday - Chicken Tenders, Fruit, Corn
Saturday - (Pork or Chicken) Stir Fry, Rice, Egg rolls
Sunday - Hot Dogs, Tater Tots

So, Anaya has been with us every day for the past two weeks and she has had friends over almost everyday and I cannot believe how much 2-3 tweenage girls can eat in a day. At least one of them is always hungry and then all of them end up eating. I think I went to the grocery store at least 3 times last week (including on Friday, not even 3 days ago) and I need to go again because we're out of milk, crackers, (most) fruit and have one box of cereal left.

And I meant to go to the grocery store last night, but Anaya & I went to Sonic for ice cream and then came home and she wanted to watch the Glee Movie and I sat with her while I worked on Project Life. So...hopefully no one needs a snack today? And luckily I bought the pork chops on Friday when HyVee was having their meat sale.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Recipe: Mexican Chicken Panela

Tonight I made what I am calling Mexican Chicken Panela. For anyone not familiar with it, Panela is a type of cheese. I could not find it at my grocery store, but I'm still calling it Mexican Chicken Panela because I like that name better than Mexican Chicken Jack - the Jack cheese that I got is actually "Golden Jack" it's from the fancy cheese area. The recipe also calls for Cotija which I finally found in the "processed/shredded cheese" area instead of the fancy cheese area.

This recipe is adapted from Mexican Style Chicken Parmesan. I kept the ingredients mostly the same. I did change the directions to match how I make Chicken Parmesan in a skillet; I didn't want to turn the oven on.

2 to 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into two thin pieces
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups picante sauce
1/4 lb panela (or jack) cheese sliced thin
1/4 cup cotija crumbled
1 teaspoon oil

Mix the cornmeal, salt, cumin and chile powder together. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip chicken in the cornmeal, then egg, then cornmeal again to coat. Brown the chicken on both sides, approx 6 minutes.

Remove chicken from skillet and drain oil. Return chicken to skillet, place one slice of Panela cheese over each piece of chicken, then pour chile sauce over chicken. Simmer until chicken is cooked through (about 10 minutes).

Serve with cotija crumbled on top of each piece of chicken.

The Verdict:
I think we all liked it. Claire ate her entire piece of chicken without me having to prompt her to eat it. Justin would like to try it with flour instead of cornmeal. We also weren't entirely sure about the Cotija cheese - it was good when fresh, but once it got wet from the picante it had a funny texture, almost rubbery. I liked it with jack cheese, if I ever see Panela cheese and I'll have to try it that way too. Overall, it will definitely be on the menu again.

Friday, July 6, 2012

31 Before I'm 31

There's this thing going around the blog world - at lest the blogs that I read - where on their birthday people make a list of things they want to do before their next birthday. The number of things on the list is the age you'll be on your next birthday. And since I am kind of a follower, I decided to do it too!

So, we're going to call this my 31 things I would like to do before I'm 31. Now, in the interest of honesty, I've had this list on my mind for a while, but my birthday was back in April, and now it's July. Some of them have been done in the past 2.5 months and some of them are things I just thought of as I was writing my list. I also didn't include anything that I really may want to do, but I know it just isn't going to happen this year, like going to Disneyland/world. I wanted my list to be mostly reasonable, not outrageous where I would be setting myself up to not be able to complete them.

The List

  1. Make a Cheesecake from scratch
  2. Run (not walk) an entire 5K
  3. Take a photography class (online or in-person)
  4. Take Ali Edward's 31 Things story tellng class - IN PROGRESS: the class was May 17 - June 16, I took the class, but only finished about half of it.
  5. Continue with Project Life 2012 - IN PROGRESS: PL Layout Posts
  6. Clean out the basement room
  7. Bake cookies at work - DONE 7/2/2012
  8. Complete Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred
  9. Find reason to hang out with friends at least once of month
  10. Go to the Nelson Atkins Museum
  11. Repaint master bedroom & bathroom
  12. Make 6 kinds of Pie - IN PROGRESS: Peach Pie, Apple Pie
  13. Read 12 non-fiction books (ideally one per month)
  14. Finish PL 2009
  15. Go to KC Market
  16. Stop biting my fingernails (yes it is nasty, I know)
  17. Take an adult swimming stroke improvement class
  18. Update blog regularly throughout the week (approx 20-25 posts per month)
  19. Finish December Daily Album from 2011
  20. Go to the Aquarium - DONE 4/28/2012
  21. Take a scrapbooking class through Big Picture Classes - IN PROGRESS: Taking Becky Higgins Project Real Life class
  22. Mail a card/letter to someone every month (starting in July)
  23. Rent an expensive camera lens for the weekend - DONE 10/20/2012 Calling this done, although I borrowed from a friend instead of rented from a company
  24. Go Camping-ish
  25. Host a charity bake sale type thing?
  26. Make 12 different kinds of cupcakes
  27. Invite people to my house
  28. Tour the Roasterie Coffee plant
  29. Go to a wine tasting (yes in KS)
  30. Visit Science City - DONE 8/1/2012 (Vacation Day 1)
  31. Become an Aunt (coming Oct 2012)

Let's see how many of these I can't get crossed off my list by April 24, 2013! Obviously a lot of them won't be crossed off until next April since they involving doing something EVERY month, but that's ok. And if everything doesn't get crossed off, that is okay too. And okay, number 31 really doesn't have MUCH to do with me really, but oh well.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recipe: Apple Pie

For the Fourth of July, my brother specifically requested an Apple Pie with a pie bird in it. Being the awesome sister that I am, I humored him and made an Apple Pie using a pie bird (borrowed from my mom).

I couldn't decide on which Apple Pie recipe to use. So I kind of made up my own based on Smitten Kitten's Apple Pie recipe plus a few notes she made about the pie afterwards. And I switched out 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar for brown sugar since so many of the other recipes I saw used a mix of both. I couldn't find McIntosh apples and ended up using Golden Delicious.

2 9" pie crusts (this recipe makes two)
3 Golden Delicious apples (cored, peeled and sliced)
3 Granny Smith apples (cored, peeled and sliced)
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 egg - beaten
1/2 cup Granulated White Sugar
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Flour
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Salt

Put apples & lemon juice in large colander and toss carefully.

Carefully put one pie crust in the pie plate lifting the edges of the dough to push it down into the bottom corners of the pie plate - try not to trap air bubbles under the dough. Brush with some of the egg (helps the crust not get soggy while baking). Place in fridge while preparing filling.

Combine the sugar, flour, spices and salt in a large bowl. Add the apples and mix gently until all dry ingredients are wet.

If you are using a pie bird, place your pie bird in the middle of your prepared crust. Dump apple mixture into prepared pie crust around the pie bird, create a slight mound in the middle of your pie. If using a pie bird, cut a slit in the middle of the top crust to allow the bird to come through. Carefully lay second pie crust over the filling and press the edges together with the tines of a fork (or however you want to do it). Brush top crust with remaining egg. If you are not using a pie bird, cut slits in the crust to allow the pie to vent.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30-35 minutes. If crust browns quickly, cover with foil, or a pie shield, for remaining cooking time. Pie filling will probably be bubbling through slits when the pie is done.

The Verdict:

My pie was REALLY soupy. I'm not sure if it was because it needed to cook longer - the crust wasn't very brown. Or it I had too much sugar - although that was pretty much standard between all the recipes I looked at. The taste was great, there was just lots of liquid. I may have to try it again to see if I can get the filling right.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Website Review: Zenni Optical

I love Zenni Optical - https://www.zennioptical.com/. They are awesome, particularly if you have kids that wear glasses, because let's face it: glasses are EXPENSIVE, even with insurance.

I've been ordering glasses from Zenni for about 4 years I think. The first order, was just glasses for Anaya. Her prescription had changed not terribly long after her mom had bought her a couple pairs of glasses. Since she was living with us at the time, we were going to be buying the glasses and I couldn't bring myself to pay what our eye doctor charged for glasses.

I learned about Zenni from one of my favorite bloggers, Mir, on her blog WantNot.net, she reviewed them in January of 2008, our first order was in May of 2008 and we have continued ordering from them about every 6 months ever since. In fact, I just placed our third order this year - mostly because I suck and don't think about ordering Justin & myself each a pair of prescription sunglasses when I ordered a pair for Anaya.

They ship them in a padded waterproof envelope with each pair wrapped in a soft cleaning cloth and in a hard plastic case so that they are (hopefully) not damaged during shipping. Now, I'm not going to say I love every single pair of glasses that I have every gotten from them. In fact, the pair that I ordered for myself that I just got last week, I hate them. It's not Zenni's fault unless I want to blame them for not being able to try the glasses on before I buy them, but such is the internet. And I could call and get a return number and mail them back to them and get a 50% review (which isn't bad considering the lens are my prescription), but when they only cost $6.95 in the first place, I don't think the effort is worth $3.50. Plus, even though I don't LIKE them, I could still wear them if something terrible were to happen to my normal pair.

They have a ton of different styles starting at just $6.95 up through about $50 I think. They also have transition lens which we've gotten a few times. And they can apply a tint, we've only gotten one pair of tinted lens to far, but we have two more pairs on order right now. They have different colored tints which we haven't tried because I neglected to mention that to Anaya, otherwise I'm fairly certain she would've wanted colored lens instead of normal sunglasses.

Just a few of our Zenni glasses throughout the years:

Also, just so you know, I am in no way associated with Zenni Optical and every pair of glasses that I have gotten from them I have paid for - although not much because their glasses cheap! And not bad cheap where they fall apart, good cheap where they just don't cost much money.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Menu Monday

I've actually already re-arranged the menu plan, but I figure it doesn't count if I haven't posted it online yet. We've had Hoagies on the menu for 2 or 3 weeks and we still haven't actually had them. Mostly because I schedule it for the weekend, so when I make my mid-week grocery run I don't buy the deli meat, but then I don't feel like going to the store on Saturday. We'll see if we end up having them this week.

Monday - Steak, tots, jello
Tuesday - Ravioli, garlic bread
Wednesday - 4th of July at my mom's (bringing an Apple Pie)
Thursday - Breakfast Casserole
Friday - Chicken Nuggets, Mac & Cheese
Saturday - Mexican Chicken Parmesan, Rice
Sunday - Hoagies

The only new recipe is the Mexican Chicken Parmesan. I'll probably change the name of it if I decide to keep the recipe around because it doesn't have Parmesan on it. It's just the same basic concept as Chicken Parmesan, but Mexican style.

On the 4th, I am making my first ever Apple Pie. I've already found a recipe and bought the apples. Now I just need to get my mom's food processor and a pie bird (because my brother is insisted that my pie needs a pie bird).

Project Life: Week 25

Week 25: June 18 - 24

I looked at my pictures from this week and discovered I had a few from every night that we were outside playing in the water table, and pictures of our dinner, and that was pretty much it.

week 25 (2)
I liked the little set of pictures that I made for this post about the water table, so I made something similar along the bottom of both pages with labels on each picture of which day it was taken.

week 25 (5)
I also liked last week's collage picture of our dinner's for the week, this time I had four dinner pictures, so I made 2x3 crops. Instead of the recipe name, I put the date on each picture. And this week I finally bought Claire a Mermaid (she now has three, but this was her first Mermaid and first Barbie). She's been seeing kids playing with mermaids are the pool, and whenever a kid leaves one laying somewhere, she goes and picks it up. So tonight I bought her a one of her own.

week 25 (1)
Justin bought me some "just because" flowers - I love Spider Mums, they might be my favorite bouquet flower. I made a new muffin recipe and they were yummy. In the picture where Claire is sitting on me while I'm holding the iPad, I was trying to buy an app for her, but she kept hitting letters whenever I would go to type in my password. My attempts to get her to leave it alone were making her giggle. Justin took that picture. So great to have non-posed pictures of Claire and I. Usually any pics of the two of us are taken using my camera's timer.

The Mom Creative

Thanks for coming and seeing my Project Life!