Saturday, October 13, 2012

Autumn Turkey Loaf

In Celebration of cooler weather, I set out to make a "fall like" dinner.

I am not a big fan of meatloaf... I could say I hate it, and it would be the truth. I have tried to make it several times, and it just never turns out. Today I was feeling creative... but we only had some turkey burger and some salmon in the freezer.

I grabbed the turkey burger and stuck it in the microwave to defrost. I was going to make something yummy.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees

I chopped up a carrot and a stick of celery and put it in a bowl.

Next I added half the box of stove top stuffing. There is about 3 cups total in 1 box... so you will be adding
1 1/2 cups. Be sure to shake it up good first. The seasonings settle to the bottom. 

Add your 1 pound of ground meat.
Add half a can of cranberry sauce. I used jelled, but whole berry would be just as good. SAVE THE REMAINING HALF OF THE CAN! 

 Add 1 egg (beaten)
 Roll your sleeves up... stick your fingers in the gooey mess... and pretend it is a chore and you really aren't enjoying it. Once everything is all mixed up good. Stick the mess in an un-greased loaf pan.

 Bake for an hour. I made some mashed butternut squash "tatters" to go with my creation (baked a butternut squash for an hour at 350, pealed it, mashed it, whipped it. Added some milk, butter, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Baked for 20 minutes at 350. I didn't measure anything... I just added what seemed enough) . I made up the remaining stove top also.
Ana was looking extra darling... I had to snap a pic! 

 Once the hour is up, and you have removed the loaf from the oven. Add the remaining cranberry sauce.

I usually call a creation like this "slop"... we often have slop for dinner in our home... but this was super tasty... and easy... I will make it again. So this creation has a permanent  name of "Autumn Turkey Loaf"


Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Woody

What do you do when...

It is so hot outside that you are certain that a trip to the mail box will leave you melted to the sidewalk? So you stay inside... with the A/C pumping sweet cool air to every inch of your home.

But then your children start climbing the walls... they are literally taking objects and stacking them to make a ladder to touch the ceiling.

They are bored... so bored and annoying... and it is only 9am and you are already on your 5th cup of coffee... and your stash of emergency chocolate has been depleted for 15 minutes... you panic!

One kid is crying "but WHY can't I have a burp day" (birthday). "I see the napkins". (I found some decor for his party on clearance... and hid it in the closet... which he found... his birthday isn't for 2 months)

And the other kid is taking my yoga ball and slamming it into the crying kid.... with this evil look I have never seen before. She is out for revenge I am sure.

I try to curl up smaller on the couch... praying for the couch to swallow me... I need a moment.

The oven timer beeps. I reluctantly get up to take (our new favorite) Pumpkin cupcakes out of the oven. Read here on how I whipped up these in under 5 minutes!

I then have an idea!

Why can't we have a party???

I see a Woody doll fly into the kitchen... out of the hands of Eli... and he starts crying "Why can't Woody fly? I WANT EGGS I HUNGRY".

I start making eggs, it takes like 4 minutes... I am still thinking about this party... what am I going to do??? HMMMM...

I serve Eli  his eggs... and give some to Ana in her high chair.

Eli starts crying again... "I do not like green eggs and ham I do not like them in this house"... he is balling his eyes out.

I didn't make him green eggs... whatever... he is being so stinking sensitive today. He is bored... we all are bored... it is too hot to go anywhere... we have been inside for DAYS.

I pick up the Woody doll... and the eggs Ana threw on the floor...


"Oh I forgot today was Woody's birthday! We need to have a party!"

Eli's face lights up! "ya it Woody Burp Day!"

"Hurry eat your eggs and go put Woody down for a nap and we will get the party set up"

Eli gobbles up his eggs, runs and puts Woody in his room... and I hear him read Woody "Green Eggs and Ham"... it is Eli's new obsession... that is where he got the "green eggs" bit from.

I go out to the garage... and dig in my "party" bucket... it has all the leftovers from all the parties we have. I find the leftovers from Eli's 2nd birthday party... WOOOO! He had a Toy Story party... perfect for Woody's Birthday Party!

 I use the pumpkin cake I made this morning for Woody's Birthday Cake. Read here how to make this scrumptious goody! 

 Eli was so excited! He was playing "host" of the party. Telling us to sign "Happy Birthday" and everything. 
 Ana wasn't sure what was going on.
 I gave Eli a gift bag, and told him to find Woody a good present... something Woody REALLY likes. 
 He gave Woody an old 'Toy Story' cowboy boot. How perfect! 

 He says "what is inside Woody? OH A ORANGE IN YOUR BOOT, no snake HAHA"
 I then lite the candle, we sang Happy Birthday for like the seventh time, and Woody blew out the candle.
 We all enjoyed some pumpkin cake.

This is how we enjoyed the 105 degree weather today... How did you beat the heat and enjoy today? 

Pumpkin Cake!

It is hot... very hot outside... this is a attempt to will cooler fall like weather

My family has become a fan of pumpkin cake... and it is so stinkin easy to make, I can't find a reason not to make it on a whim... even when it is 105 degrees outside!

You will need:
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 can of pumpkin
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup (any) milk
1tsp. pumpkin pie spice
powder sugar

This recipe can be make without milk, chocolate chips, powder sugar or spice... it taste good still without any or all of them. You could also add a nut of choice... or raisins... raisins sound good... I am going to try that!... also, I don't exactly measure any of the ingredients... I just eyeball it. This is a hard recipe to mess up... it is very flexible!

Preheat oven to 350degrees

Mix the above ingredients

Spoon into cupcake trays, or pour into a cake pan

To make cupcakes, bake for about 25 minutes
To make cake, bake for about 30 minutes

Sprinkle powder sugar over cake/cupcakes


Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Princess's 1st Birthday

“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” 
-William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Before Ana was born, I often dreamed of her first birthday. Planning all the pink details and getting nostalgic for my baby (who at that point hadn't been born yet) growing up. I wan't her birthday to be special, of course... but when we decided to move, just three weeks before her 1st birthday, I panicked! We had never lived in a home that was big enough to host a party before... we really wanted Ana's 1st birthday party in our new home! We worked NON STOP, packing, moving, unpacking and setting up our new home. 

We started the festivities with putting approximately
30 balloons in Ana's crib.
She was unsure of it at first... just waking up and all... 
but as soon as Eli came in her room, she was really excited! 

Ana is really into dressing up these days. She loves fluff and sparkle! I tried to get a picture of her looking in her Princess Mirror, but she is just too quick for the camera. 

Ana loves talking on phones. Here I imagine her saying "hey girl, you commin to my party or what?" Read here for step by step instructions on how to make this toddler tiara EASY and FAST and for under $1!

  I picked up this "I'm One!" diaper bloomers from

 I had Amy Baber make this tutu for Ana. She does custom orders... FAST too! Visit her Etsy shop here

 The wind was terrible! Most things had to be kept inside, and streamers, plates and cups were flying everywhere. This really did look better in person. 

Ana had SO MANY presents to open! 

 She is one blessed little girl to have countless people loving her!

 These Strawberry Lemon Buttermilk cupcakes, though look kind of dull and "iffy" were the BEST tasting cupcakes I have ever made! They are fantastic... easy... inexpensive, and are making me drool just thinking about them! Read my post here on how I made them! 

 Ana's Strawberry Lemon Buttermilk personal cake! 

She wasn't too sure about the cake. But once she got going... there was no stopping her!

 All in all, Ana's very special day was an event to remember! We are so thankful for the people in our lives who love our children! They sure are blessed kids AND they LOVED having these awesome individuals over to their home. I love that our kids are proud of their home! 

I can't hardly believe that my baby girl is one years old! 
Happy Birthday Anamarie May Whipple

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Toddler Tiara

I searched high and low for a tiara that Ana could wear for her Princess Party. I found many that were over priced or that were just too "stiff" for a one year old. 
While visiting Michaels for a new frame, I came across some foam visors... some were sparkly... and I thought... "if only I could find a tiara made out of this material..."  I held it in my hands for a moment... held it sideways, backwards then upside down.
 Then I had a BRILLIANT idea! 

 I bought a couple (they were only 67cents or so) so I could mess up a few times. 
I started by laying the visor flat against some plain white paper. I traced the visor arch.

I folded the paper in half, so that the peaks of the tiara would match on both sides. Then I cut it out.

Next I traced the peaks onto the visor itself. Then I used my "exacto" knife and cut out the peaks.

Oh... while in Michales I found some pearly stickers... I thought they would add some bling bling to the tiara. I just stuck one on each peak... hot glue wasn't necessarily needed, but I knew my daughter would try to eat the pearls off. The hot glue was extra precaution against a nibbling baby.
It took me maybe 5 minutes to do the whole thing. EASY! REALLY EASY! I am no crafty girl either!

You can read some of my other "crafty posts" HERE

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Peek Into the Whipple Home

Our new home is lovely! We are so blessed! I am so proud of Daniel for working his way up at Walmart, so that we can live in this home! I have had a fun time decorating... funny thing about moving to a nice home-- all your old furniture suddenly looks really cruddy. 

Being on a tight budget, but using my frugal skills- I set out to improve our surroundings.

This red dresser was given away by my Aunt. Before it was red, it was a multi-colored mess... complete with an anarchy symbol and the lyrics to a popular Pop song. I sanded the dresser lightly and used two coats of spray paint and added new knobs. 

The dresser displays my Kitchen Aide mixer and many cook books. I am so proud of my mixer! Read my post here about how I came to own such a awesome appliance. The dresser also doubles as a "pantry"... it hides all of my canned foods! 
 I used chalkboard paint to re purpose a few serving trays. I posted a blog on "how-to" here. 

This is my favorite wall in my home! Over a year ago I won the "Family Rules" subway art sign from a blog give-away. A relative of mine makes them :) I kept the sign rolled away... praying God would lead us to a home where I could properly display the sign! When we looked at the house, before we decided to move in, I saw the brown wall and knew that my subway art sign would be perfect there!

To display the sign I needed a 20x30 frame... which are unique in size and aren't sold at Walmart... I had to go to Michaels. I waited till all of their frames were 40% off, and paired it with an in-store coupon for 20% off. I then imported a few of my favorite pictures from Facebook to the Target photo processing website... choosing the "black and white" feature. Then picking them up in the store. I then went to the Dollar Store... again... and picked up the necessary size frames for the pictures I just got developed.

You can visit Alexander Creative here on their Facebook page to get your own Subway art sign! They come in different colors and have a variety of sizes and sayings. They even come on a canvas! Currently a different blog is doing a give-away with Alexander Creative artwork... you should visit the Facebook page and enter! The link is HERE

AND---- we have a fireplace! AND it works too! I can't hardly wait for winter!!! Cozy! 

My new couch... don't mind the mess around it... Children DO live here also! Daniel got me a new couch for Mothers Day... he is a pretty swell guy!