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Monday, October 31, 2011

On A Mission Monday

Okay, so it's Monday!  Happy Halloween everyone!  Last week, was not really a weekly project by definition.  I gave myself a break from anything new to catch up on things I just kept putting off time and time again.  I actually did finally get some things off my checklist that have been way past due.  Appointments made for doctor and dentist.  Check and check! Left a message for a hair appointment, so real soon that will be in the works too.  I tend to put off things for myself.  Looks like this November I am attempting to get better with that.  Thank goodness!

Anyways, in the spirit of Halloween, I thought my mission for this week could be something spooky.  At least, spooky for me.  Again, it is not really a project this week.  It is more of a challenge. ....(sigh).... I need to find a babysitter.  Ahhhhhh! I know most people do not have a problem with this whatsoever.  Call me a freak, but I have been nervous (to say the least) to do this.  Now, our daughter has stayed with family and close friends a few times before, but we live across country from our family.  Anyways, she has not yet had a typical sitter that we are not related to, etc.  Excuses are long, but mainly I have not needed to get one. Chad and I have been on the same page with this.  We have "date nights" at home after our daughter is asleep or we take her out to sushi with us.  However, she is 2 1/2 years old(!) now.  We are going to test the waters and try for a dinner somewhere without her.  Starting with an afternoon playdate so our daughter can meet the sitter maybe, leading up to us with a dinner away, to hopefully a regular sitter that can be called when needed.

I said earlier "call me a freak", but please don't really...or at least not to my face. Haha!  Everyone has a fear of something.  This is one of mine.  Got any fears you'd like to face this week?  Kind of a spin on Halloween....tackle a fear rather than get all scared.  I know I've probably built this up too much.  It will be fine. Yada, yada, yada.  This week!  I'm putting it out there blog world!  I'm calling a sitter.  Hopefully calling and meeting a sitter.  Yikes!!!  

HaPpY HaLlOwEeN!!!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Family Friday

I recently saw this really cute idea on Pinterest. I am beginning to think that all cute ideas might come from that wonderful site, but that's okay because a good idea is a good idea. Don't you just love Facebook, Pinterest, and blogs for that reason alone?  Let's all just share the ideas and spark some more....makes life more interesting!

Anyways, this was the pic that caught my eye....

The idea is to hold a pic of another pic on each anniversary.  Well, I don't know how this would work for every year, but we just celebrated our 5th anniversary.  I totally planned on doing this, and we WILL do it sometime this week.  So far though whenever I think to do it, I'm either still in my pj's or Chad is running out the door for work, etc.  I figure we still have time to get our pic with our pic.  Until it is actually taken though, this is what we did in the meantime.....

Soon we will take a pic of us holding this. This week! We can do it!

In the meantime, here we are holding up 5's for our 5th anniversary.

Comparing these two photos, I don't think we look that much different. Thankfully, we haven't drastically aged over 5 years or anything. Hush if you disagree! However, there is one noticeable difference there in the middle!  I still love this pic, and I still want to do the original plan.  I am thinking though that we will do one of just us holding our wedding day shot, and one with Blake in there too. It'll add interest for when we take our 10 year anniversary pic, or for any year we feel like. How cool to someday be sitting there with our kids and grandkids!  Anyways, just an idea to throw out there if anyone else would like to do the same or similar.

Have a great weekend everyone! Oh, and if you didn't catch it yesterday....all next week I will post only from my "Daily Cup of T" Facebook page (click here to see it).  So please "like" my page if you'd like to read next week's posts.  Thanks! Who knows?  Maybe I'll get all official and have a fun giveaway or something the way the other fancy blogs sometimes do!:)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thoughts for Thursday

Well, I decided to start my blog back up during this past summer. I have somewhat surprised myself that I have actually stuck to it. This is my 11th week to be "daily". I know I have heard from some friends who seem to enjoy reading it. I figure I might also be getting on some people's nerves. Haha!  There's Tasha, with her blog...again.

If you haven't already hidden me from your feed, I figured maybe I'd try switching it up a bit next week. I do have a "Daily Cup of T" facebook page. I thought I'd try strictly posting from that next week to kind of separate my blog from my personal page.

So if you like reading my posts, please like my "Daily Cup of T" facebook page to keep on reading. Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday

So I saw this video this morning with some friends at my usual Wednesday morning gathering.  I thought it was well done and pretty thought provoking.  If you have a couple minutes...did I already lose you?  I hope not. :)  I thought it was cool... and I have this blog... and today is my Wonderful Wednesday I thought why not? It was something wonderful on Wednesday. Why not share it?  I hope you will give it your time.  I know without a doubt it applies to us all.  I hope you feel the same.  If not, no biggie.  Thanks for checking it out.  Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

Have a great day everyone! Half way to the weekend! Woo woo!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Whoops!  It was all gone before I had a chance to take a pic!

Doesn't this spaghetti just look delish?!  Well, let me tell was!  We devoured it in a jiffy!  I forgot the before pic, but the after pic should be worth 1,000 words. Almost everyone likes spaghetti, right?  However, you've had one spaghetti, you've had them all.  Not always the case!

I had this spaghetti several years ago at a friends house, and I remember thinking it was not your ordinary spaghetti.  It was the bomb-diggety of spaghettis.  I always meant to ask my friend Cheri what exactly she did differently.  So recently after commenting to one another through Facebook, I just went ahead and asked her. Remember that time I had spaghetti at your house like 6 years ago?.....

Well, I am so happy I did!  Chad and I feel the same on spaghetti.  It's good, but Cheri's spaghetti is GREAT! Here's what she told me:

Spaghetti Bomb-Diggety  
(my personal name for it that I just made up 2 seconds ago)
  1. Brown Italian ground turkey sausage with mushrooms and onions.
  2. Cook your choice of spaghetti as directed.
  3. Combine it all together with 1 jar of red sauce, and 1 jar of Alfredo sauce, and spices. Spices can include: basil, garlic, chili powder, and Cajun seasoning.
      3, 2, 1.....Eat your face off!:)


Thanks again Cheri!:)

Monday, October 24, 2011

On a Mission Monday

Having this blog has been fun.  It gives me motivation and a deadline to get things done.  However, sometimes it gets difficult because it adds one more daily thing to this crazy thing called life.  Well, two more things actually.  For example, Monday gives me a weekly project to focus on.  So that requires doing the project at some point and taking the time to blog about it.  I am human. Very human. This week I did my mission, but it feels a little half-done to be honest.

I cleaned out everything expired in my fridge. When I open the door, nothing is falling out at me anymore.  So all-in-all, mission accomplished.  Did I clean all shelves and drawers? No.  Did I reorganize to where it looks impressive? No. Have I yet thrown out all past due leftovers? Yes.  Are all containers clean yet? No, they are in the dishwasher though.  Soon. I will wrap up all loose ends soon. In fact, that is what I will be doing right after I finish this post. Here is my  before and after shot.



Not a vast difference from my shots, but I did it.  Believe me, it is actually improved upon greatly! I am now more aware of what I have on hand. I can see how much food we have (to be thankful) and yet don't have (to get myself grocery shopping). We are out of eggs.  We are running low on many other things that we usually have.  If only these things could be self replenishing?!

Next week:  Catch up before committing to any more "projects"! I have been meaning to make myself a doctor and dentist appointment since my birthday. That was in August.  Hair appointment...yep, way over due. Laundry?  Piling up as always.  Why am I so behind?  Who knows?  Reasons include...having a toddler...catching up with relatives long name it!  It's life, huh?  We do the best we can.  I don't think even "Martha Stewart" can be "Martha Stewart". Anyways, I am going to catch up and report back to you all.  

P.S. Happy to hear from some of you over this past week!  I had three people tell me they were trying a recipe from Tasty Tuesday.  I also got a picture of a canvas painting by someone who said I inspired them to go for it!  So nice to hear!  Have a great week everyone!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Family Friday

Chocolate's "Return"

On our family vacation to Disneyland, only one thing went wrong.  We accidentally left behind one of our daughter's favorite stuffed animals in our hotel room. Shoot!  It was a little pink pony that she named "Chocolate".  Why the name Chocolate for a pink pony? Well, we met a real live horse named Chocolate not too long ago, and ever since then Blake started calling her pony that too.

Chocolate's last whereabouts.  The circle is courtesy of my new Smilebox app. :)
Anyways, we realized this was not a major problem.  However, we didn't know how Blake would react. She has a lot of stuffed animals, but this was one she was more attached to. (Remember the elephants Him and Her? They are so last season.)  Well, we checked with the hotel several times, but Chocolate never turned up.  She must have just galloped off into the sunset with some other family! Talk about one silly filly! I am still a little shocked, but we are moving on. ;)

Luckily, Blake really didn't seem to miss her as much as we thought she would. Every now and then she would ask for Chocolate, and it was starting to get more and more frequent.  We just kept replying that we weren't sure where she was, and that we'd find her later. 

We know it wasn't necessary, but for around $10 we did find a replica and just ordered it.  Another reason I love Google!  I simply put in "pink corduroy stuffed pony" and found her within a couple minutes of searching.  Awesome!  "Chocolate #2" or "Chocolate the Second?" arrived last night.  

As you can see, Blake is happy that we "found" her Chocolate.

The swap went off without a hitch! Blake was thrilled to see her pony again! Chad and I went from panicked to stalling to relief.  Next trip we will be more careful. Wallet, phones, rings...check, check, check...Chocolate...double check!  

P.S. I love that my partner in crime, Chad, was concerned enough to make calls to the hotel for several days about this matter.  Also, that he considered buying more than one pony to have a back-up on hand. Haha!  I love you Chad!  Blake is a lucky girl to have a dad like you, and I am a lucky wife.  Looking forward to celebrating 5 years of marriage with this great guy tonight!:)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thoughts for Thursday

Deep thoughts, random thoughts...just some thoughts for Thursday.

How many times do you take the same route during the day, and notice something new? On a drive the other day with my daughter in the back seat, she pointed out something new to me.  We were at a busy intersection at a red light. There were cars and people everywhere, and Blake says "Look at the birds!" I had to look all around to notice a TON of birds sitting on top of the gas station's roof across the street. Now I see that birds are there all the time.

I love when she'll notice different details that as an adult I would just look right by.  This is only one of a lot of examples.  It's always interesting to see through her eyes. It also can make boring things fun. She loves trains.  My normal response would not be excitement to get stuck at the train tracks waiting for one to pass by, but now I actually hope one stops us.  I have even passed up the tracks and then taken a U-turn if we just miss getting stopped by one. The look on her face makes it all worth it. It also makes the routine drive a little better each time.  I never know what she will find joy in next, what is "down the tracks", and I absolutely love that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday

Something I've Found to be Wonderful....
...whether it's a book, idea, product, website, movie, etc.

It's an App for Today

Don't you just love it when you find out about some cool new thing?  I do.  This is why I am lucky to have my friend Molly.  She is up on many cool new things.  Last week I received a cute picture text from her that was labeled.  Now how did she do that?  Well, it's called "Smilebox".  The company actually has a cool website that can do a lot of other awesome things with your photos too. Check it out at  I am sticking with one cool thing at a time though!  So first be sure to check out their awesome app for iPhone.....

Look what I did!  I think it's so fun!

If you'd like to check out something else cool, click here to read what I love about Daily Mom Report.  Molly is one of the two geniuses behind this gem... so it's no wonder that she's up on what's all out there! Love ya Molls! Thanks again for the tip about Smilebox!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

While most all of the recipes I have come from all different sources, this one is different.  I did not get it from a cookbook, magazine, or the web. This one is a handwritten recipe on a note card from Chad's mom.  It's one of our favorite comfort food meals, and it's also comforting to read her handwriting when we make these.  She passed away in 2009, and we always think of her when we have this for dinner.  I'm sure that when she wrote this down, she wouldn't have known we would treasure it the way we do, or that it would end up on the Internet.  Ha! Funny that a handwritten note can be so unique these days.  Maybe someday I will write down a collection of our family's go-to meals.  Anyways, it's a recipe worth sharing.  Hope you like it too!

Stuffed Green Peppers

(I decided to write it in note card form, so I just underlined the ingredients)
Serving size: 6
Oven: 350 degrees.

Cut off tops of 6 medium green peppers; remove seeds + membrane. Precook green pepper cups in boiling salted water about 5 minutes (or until tender); drain (For crisp peppers, omit precooking).  Sprinkle inside of cups with salt. Cook 1 pound ground beef and 1/3 cup chopped onion till meat is lightly browned.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt + dash pepper.  Add one 1-pound can of tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice, + 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.  Cover + simmer till rice is tender, about 15 minutes.  Stir in 4 ounces sharp process cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup).  Stuff peppers; stand upright in 10 x 6 x 1 1/2 - inch baking dish.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. "ENJOY"

(We love these just the way they are.  Sometimes we will switch it up by adding more cheese on the top though.  We've also tried it with orzo or couscous instead of the long grain rice.  Every variation is great. The original is one of a kind though.  Thanks again Judi!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

On A Mission Monday

Finally! I did a weekly project that was NOT done at the very last minute.  I wanted to paint a canvas to cover a blank wall somewhere in our house.  I got brave, and decided to cover the most noticeable bare wall we had.  The area above our sofa in the front room was a sore spot.  If you were to come in our front door, you would have seen it. This wall had nothing there for almost the past two years. Gasp! I know!  I just couldn't ever find anything I liked, or anything I wanted to pay a lot for. So...I made something myself...and voila! No more blank wall!:)

Here are some pics:

First I made sure I had the canvas sizes I wanted.
I found these for $30, $40, and $30 at Michael's!  I also got to use my 10% military discount, and luckily I already had almost all of my paint and supplies from my last painting project.  Click here if you would like to see that one.

Next I plopped them down one by one on the kitchen island.
No fancy easel required.

I tried to get them to match as best as possible.
I'll admit that there was a time when it wasn't looking too good.  It was harder than I expected to match the colors on all three canvases.  I am also not the best at eyeballing a straight line.  On top of that, I really didn't know 100% what I was doing. I did this Thursday night while watching Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice in the background. Chad was on the sofa and could hear my negative comments when it wasn't quite working.  He told me to just not worry about it and said "just relax and create".  Haha! This got me to laugh because hand gestures were included. Kind of a fanning of the hands.  Can't you just picture it?

Anyways, I thought who needs a completely straight line?  It's my canvas. My rules. So I sponged in some lines to give it an imperfect look and sponged on some metallic circles too.....

These were fun to add!:)
I knew just the guy to hang them!
No more blank wall.
I like how it works with our rug and furniture too.
I know this is not everyone's "style", but it is ours.  I went for neutral colors because everything else in the room is color and I didn't want to be so matchy-matchy.  I do still need to varnish them and touch up some areas that I notice need it, but all in all..... it is just what I wanted!

Next week's about "blank".  I don't want to over commit.  I think.. I am going to...... clean out our freezer and fridge.  That's doable, right? Things are crammed in there and falling out at me when I open the door.  Just kidding!  Kind of. ;)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Family Friday

I feel like once October hit, we have just hit it in high gear.  We had our big trip to Disneyland, and we've been to some smaller activities such as a carnival, an open house at the fire station....looking forward to getting to the pumpkin patch, our anniversary is coming up, and the list goes on.

We've been busy, but it's a good busy.  The more we get out and about though, the more I get behind on stuff around the house.  I need to hit the laundry room and the grocery store.  So now the real fun begins! Here are some recent pics for my little family update.  Hope you all have a great weekend and a busy October as well!

We really enjoyed this little family vacation!

Blake was super excited to meet Mickey.

Picking out a unicorn at the Caruther's Fair.

Blake took this one of us.  This is what we look like to her.  Poor kid.

She got to see a bunch of firetrucks and spray the water hose.

Blake does not look enthused, but she was having a good time!:)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thoughts for Thursday

Deep thoughts, random thoughts...just some thoughts for Thursday.

Why is it kids can want to do what we dread, and don't want to do what we long for?
Some examples:
  1. Blake thinks it is super cool to load the dishwasher.  I think "time to unload, reload...again". 
  2. Blake does not want to take a nap.  She can fight it until she eventually caves.  I could be out in less than 3 minutes any given time of the day whether I've had coffee or not.  
  3. Blake watches me in wonder when I wash my face.  She looks at me and smiles saying "Whatchu doing mommy?  You washing your face?" While of course we do bathe our child, it's not like she stands at the sink to wash her face.  I have to force myself sometimes to do this simple task simply because I may not feel like it.  I have let her crawl up to our sink before, and believe me, she would wash her face all day long if I'd let her.
Is it just a kid wanting to do more and an adult wanting to do less?  A grass being greener on the other side?  If so, are we ever truly happy with being right where we are at?  I think I usually like each stage of life I have been in.  I would be happy with more naps though.  ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday

Something I've Found to be Wonderful....
...whether it's a book, idea, product, website, movie, and now apparently cereal.

I thought I'd share my latest addiction with you all.  I really LOVE this stuff!  As you can see here, I buy the "crunch lover's pack" so I am not messing around.  I don't really like it with milk, but just as a dry snack in the morning ...noon... and night.  It's full of protein and fiber too which apparently are healthy.  Try it yourself and I bet you'll like it too!:)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Well, I think the spirit of Fall finally got into me! The weather here has not been Fall-ish, but with all these pumpkin and apple pictures everywhere in magazines and on the beloved Pinterest, I caved.  I don't ever wake up and make a breakfast of homemade pancakes.  The box version works for me. I usually don't even have pancakes mid-week. However, I did make these delicious pumpkin pancakes and believe me I will do it again!  Easy and oh-so-good!  

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
As found on Annies-Eats

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
1 cup milk
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and stir with a fork to combine.  Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, egg and oil or butter in a liquid measuring cup.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together just until combine.  (It's okay if the batter is still lumpy.)
Preheat the oven to 200° F.  Have an oven safe plate or serving dish ready.  Heat a greased skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Once the skillet is hot, add a 1/3 cup scoop of batter to the pan.  Let cool until bubbles begin to form on the top surface.  Carefully flip with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown, a couple minutes more.  Transfer the cooked pancake to the oven safe dish, and place in the oven to keep warm.  Repeat with the rest of the batter until it has all been cooked, greasing the pan again as needed.  Serve with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, and/or whipped cream.

*I did the whole preheating the oven to keep the pancakes warm, but they just went straight to our plates.  Hope you enjoy them too!:)