Jeans redo

by Stephanie

Ok.  This might be kind of a stretch to say “redo”.  But they did have a hole…that you can no longer see.

Usually by this time of year my kids are in shorts….full time.  But here in the northwest…we are lucky to hit anything over 65 degrees.  So….no shorts…yet.  And yet, they have holes and are growing out of them.  I REALLY don’t want to buy new pants.  They will get about a months wear and then put them away only to get them out in the fall and they will be too small.  I am coming up with creative solutions…like a heart.  Right on her little bootay. 

Here is the before.  Seriously…how did she get that?  Was she sliding around on her behind?  I have no idea….


And here is the after…..


Okay, not earth shattering.  But I am pretty proud that I didn’t have to buy another pair of pants and we can make these works. 

I had some denim and cut a heart to fit and just zig zagged the edges with navy thread into place. 


Corn Bread

By Stephanie

I got this from one of my great dinner group friends from Las Vegas-shout out to Carrie!!  She serves it with white chili.  YUMMO.  I love it because it is cakey and sweet.  It goes great with something spicy and hot…like white chili.

I have been making it into muffins.  Portion control.  Either way it’s super easy and really, I don’t even put butter and honey on it.  Really.  It’s that good.  But you can if you want to.P5028472

Corn Bread

Makes 12 muffins or servings

1/2 cup butter softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup corn meal

1 1/2 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups milk

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time and beat well.  In other large bowl mix corn meal, flour, baking powder and salt.  Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to egg mixture.  Then add 1/3 of milk, and keep alternating until all is mixed together.  Pour into 8X8, 9X9 or 12 greased muffin pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes for cake or 15-18 minutes for muffins.  They are done just when the edges are light golden.  Don’t overcook it. 



By Stephanie

The one constant in life is that it is always changing….

Then why is it as women we are hardly ever content?  We are most always looking for something in the future.  A good example is my hair.  I am either growing it out, looking for a great short do, wanting bangs, wanting to grow out the bangs I had cut, getting ready for a color change, or wanting highlights.  And this usually comes within a week of having it done.  Why?   Why can’t I just be happy with what I have…for more than a week? 

Same goes for our living conditions.  (At least for me).  Right now we are in a beautful place.  Literally.  But then I look at the temperature in Vegas…and I am totally jealous.  Our house here has a ton of personality.  It was built in 1900.  Anything built in 1900 has been torn down in Vegas.  The houses pretty much look the same, stucco with tile roof.  And rocks as landscaping…Here we have lush green…and flowers.

See..this is out our window on the side of the house….


this is out my kitchen, and yes that is a bunny that just hopped over from next door…



Who would not KILL for this view (no it’s not mine, but we live about 20 minutes from here..)


Or not have your heart full when you see this…(yep about 30 minutes from us)


And this is what I see when I take my kido to softball…I have to drive through these feilds



And yet…I can’t help but want to get to our next step.  In my husbands career we are at a place where the next few promotions will be moves.  Big moves.  Most like to a different state.  It should happen within the next year (we are hoping).  Maybe as soon as in six months.  And I am anxious to start planning and packing.  Since my crystal ball still isn’t working, I have no idea when or where.  So you would think I would be content, just enjoy it here….um….not really.  I am trying…

Don’t get me wrong.  I am grateful he has a great job.  With places to move up.  And we aren’t worried if his paycheck is going to clear (we know..we have been there too).  We have a home that works for us and is close to shopping and his work.  Rent is pretty cheap.  The kidos have a great school with fantastic teachers.  We have some great friends here…and….still anxious to get to our next step. 

It might be that I am to learn patience…again.  Really?  You would think I would have that one down.  Alas, no, not yet.  So I will continue to work on it and try to stop and enjoy the lush green of our current surroundings.  And try to not be jealous of those that have made it over 70 degrees this year! (If you are tan and swimming already this year, I don’t want to even know about it!!)


Kandee Land

by Stephanie


kandee johnson

So if you haven’t been to Kandee Johnson's website…you should.  She is a blogger, makeup artist, a mom of three,  and has totally changed how I think of makeup.  Seriously.  Love.  Her.  Here she shows you how to do liquid eyeliner.  Cool huh?  Obviously this is not for everyday…although if you want to put on liquid eyeliner to clean the bathroom…I am all for it!  Your hubby might get nervous if he comes home to you in liquid eyeliner.   He might think he forgot a special occasion…..



by Stephanie



Zulily.  Have you seen this site?  If you have little kids, you should check it out.  Actually there are lots of great things for women too.  But it’s the kids stuff that is getting me.  They really do have some great prices on things!  I am NOT being paid to say this.  I just am drooling over a few of their dresses, swimsuits and accessories.  So I thought I would share for those of you that haven’t been on.  AND if you get friends to sign up, you can get a $15 credit.  That is $15 for EACH friend!!  That can add up fast.  See their site for details. 

They are a site that has events each day…so if you see something you like, you might want to jump on it.  But they have a huge variety and for the things I have been looking at…good prices.


White Chili

By Stephanie

My mom made this for me a few years ago.  I fell in love.  Super easy and a nice variation of taco soup that I have been making for years.  And yes, the kidos do eat it!  And not too bad on the diet. Bonus!  Unless you are doing Atkins, in which case you can have nothing I make…


White Chili

Serves 6

2 Chicken Breasts cut into 1” pieces (or if you have left over rotisserie chicken or grilled leftovers-really any chicken will do, but lets pretend you don’t have any)

1/2 onion diced small

1 tsp cumin

1/2 clove garlic minced

salt and pepper

1 Tbsp oil

2 cups chicken broth

1 can white beans

1 can garbanzo beans

1 small can chopped green chilies

1/2 cup sour cream


In large pot put oil in pan over medium high heat.  Add chicken, onion, salt and pepper and cumin.  Cook until onion is soft and chicken is golden on the outside.  About 5 minutes.  Add in cans of beans (including liquid from beans) and chilies.  Simmer at least 15 minutes but up to an hour.  Add in sour cream (or you could use 1/2 cup half and half or 1/4 cup heavy cream) and stir.  Dish up and top with tortilla chips, cheese, avocado and/or green onion chopped as desired. 


Pumpkin Cookies

By Stephanie

My kiddos had a bake sale for their choir at school.  I made 4 dozen cinnamon rolls and a few trays of pumpkin cookies.  I know, I know, it isn’t fall.  But these remind me of fall.  And they were a hit at the bake sale.  I actually made some of them bigger and flatter and put two together with the buttercream frosting and substituted maple for the vanilla and they made a pumpkin whoopie pie.  (Kind of brilliant…I know)

This recipe came from my friend Holly.  When she brought them over for the first time we were just getting the kids in bed.  Now my hubby isn’t a big dessert guy.  So I figured they were fine till morning.   Uhhh, no.  He ate one, then another, and another (all unknown to me) until they were…GONE.  The next morning he didn’t feel so good.  Duh…

He said they are like crack.  You eat one and think “these are okay”.  They you start thinking about them and another sounds really good.  And you eat another one, and it’s better than the first.  Repeat.  Until they are all gone and you don’t feel so good. 

Only make these if you have people coming over so you can share…

and not eat them all…by your self.  Or do, whatever.


Pumpkin Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lemon juice

Cream shortening and sugar.  Blend in egg and pumpkin.  In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and spice.  Add to wet ingredients.  Dough will be sticky.  Drop by tablespoons onto greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  When cool top with maple frosting.

Maple frosting: 1/4 cup butter (softened), 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. milk and 1/2 tsp maple flavoring.  Stir to combine. 


PSSSST! Let me tell you a secret!

by: Jenn

Ok so all of my little blog buddies out there, I want to tell you a great secret that I found a little while ago. This secret product will help you with most of your body issues…. I know, I know, how many times have we heard this, but I really promise this works. This product I found will help you with cellulite, it will help you with large pores on your legs from shaving. It will help you get rid of shaving bumps on you bikini area and your under arms, not to mention STRETCH MARKS will diminish in size and color and possibly DISAPEAR! IF you suffer from bacne (which is acne of the back) it will help with that, while giving your skin a great anti-aging lift. This is also a really great product for those tiny bumps people can get on the back of their arms called keratosis Polaris.

Are you dying to know what this product is…. what if I told you you can buy it at target for 2.94. No I am not kidding it really is that cheap and easy. Okay I have held you out long enough  the miracle product I am talking about is the Saint Ives Apricot scrub! This little beauty has it all in one bottle. The key is the tiny apricot seeds ground up to be even tinier little scrubbies. In Cosmetology school and when I went on to get my Master Esthetician license I learned how important exfoliation is for your skin. Most anything you go and do at a spa for your face and skin are just different forms of exfoliation. Dermabraision, glycolic peels, lactic peels, facials, salt scrubs (and the list goes on and on) these are all different exfoliation methods. The “secret” ingredient in those proactive bottles is salicylic acid which is an exfoliant! Retnin-A which is great for anti-aging, Exfoliant! I am telling you people start exfoliating and you will see  a great deal of difference in your skin. The best one I have found in the saint Ives apricot scrub because its gentle enough to use in the shower everyday and all over to get great skin from head to toe.    


What’s for dinner?

By Stephanie

When I get my show on the food network, it’s going to be called “What’s For Dinner”?  Isn’t that the question we face…EVERYDAY?  Sometimes when my kids have had a long day…it’s the first thing they ask when they walk in the door from school. 

Whether you are married, single, have kids or don’t…you always have to decide…what’s for dinner.  Unless you are one of the blessed who has someone else that figures that out for you.  But even if you end up at a restaurant, you still need to decide…what’s for dinner.   You decide if it is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, or non of the above.  Sometimes it’s frozen pizza or cold cereal.  Or the quintessential American meal of hotdogs and mac & cheese.  Sometimes we just need those options.  And sometimes it is pot stickers, fried rice and Dan Dan noodles. 

I have had some help over the years in figuring out…..what’s for dinner.  Along with my recipes, I will have a few posts of things we have done to help you solve this mystery in your home. 


A little late!

I hope you like the phrase "better late than never"! I wanted to say a Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's out there, but was laid up.  So, I'm doing it now.  I also found this really cute video about mother animals and thought that it was perfect for how all women (and many men) have this instinct to nurture and hope we listen to this part of our nature for everyone around us because all of us need some more positive nurturing in our lives, not just the babies!


Won Ton hand pies

by Stephanie

I usually have left over wonton or spring roll wrappers.  I don’t like to throw away anything.  Especially food.  So one night we tried an experiment and it went well…so I will share.  Take each wrapper and fill it with some sort of pieish filling.  We started out with chocolate ganache and nuts, then apple pie filling, then nutella.  Peaches would be great too.  Really anything you have had in a pie that won’t melt.  (I don’t think pudding would work, but you are welcome to try if you really want to).   Then make sure to use water and dip your finger in the water and go around all the edges.  Then fold and seal it shut (let out the air too when you do this).  Then heat up a LOT of oil.  I used canola oil in a deep and large stock pot about 6” deep.  But if you have a deep fryer (lucky) use that.  Heat your oil to 350 degrees and drop those babies in a few at a time.  Watch out they bubble up fast.  And they only take a few seconds (like 15-30) on each side.  Flip to cook other side.   Pull them out and let them cool slightly and top with powdered sugar (or whipped cream) before diggin in. 



Pot Stickers and Dipping Sauce

By Stephanie

It was my hubbies birthday.  I cook whatever they want on their special day.  So I asked him, “what do you want for dinner?”.  Something unexpected came out…pot stickers…oh and fried rice.  Really?  I don’t love to cook Asian food.  It takes about 100 ingredients and that is just for the sauce.  Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit.  But when we go out to eat I always pick Chinese or Thai food.  Those are things that take forever to make and a ton of ingredients.  It’s just easier to buy it. 

But it was his birthday.  So I bought everything and made pot stickers and fried rice.  Here is my very American version.


Pot Stickers

Makes about 12

Spring Roll Wrappers (in the produce section of most grocery stores)

2 cups cabbage shredded (either Asian or regular works)

8 oz. ground beef

2 green onions chopped fine

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp. sesame oil

salt and pepper

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup water or chicken broth

In large colander put in cabbage and add 1 tsp salt.  Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes to wilt down and drain off liquid.  In meantime brown ground beef in medium skillet over medium heat until just starting to turn brown (a little pink left if ok).  Add warm meat into cabbage to further wilt.  Add in garlic, onions, soy sauce and sesame oil.  Mix and let cool.  Take 1 Tbsp of filling and put into center of spring roll wrapper.  Take water and with your finger wet all four sides of wrapper. Take two opposite corners and bring together.  Press to seal.  They take other opposite corners and bring up to top and seal all edges.  Work quickly to make sure wrappers don’t dry out.  In large sauté pan add 1 Tbsp oil over medium high heat.  Add in half the pot stickers flat side down.  Cook without moving for about 2-3 minutes until bottom is brown.  Add in half the water or chicken broth and immediately cover.  Cook until liquid in absorbed another 3-4 minutes.  Take lid off and let bottoms crisp up again, another minute.  Repeat again with rest of pot stickers.  Serve with dipping sauce:  1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 2 Tbsp water, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 green onion minced fine and 1 tsp chili oil (optional).  Mix together well.


Mother’s Day

By Stephanie
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!  To my mother, my mother-in-law, to all you out there with kids and those that “mother” even if you haven’t given birth. 
My father-in-law called to wish me an early Happy Mother’s Day.  I told him I was changing my name to “dad” for that one day as my gift.  He laughed.  It’s true.  When they fight ,“mom” they yell.  When they can’t find one of their shoes, “mom” they yell.  When they can’t reach the cereal, “mom, mom, mom”.  I hear it all day, every day.  So for one day I am going to let my hubby answer to that. 
I also got myself another gift.  Why did you get yourself a gift you ask?  Doesn’t your hubby get you one?  Yes.  My hubby gives fantastic's gifts….every five years.  It’s true.  In 14 years of marriage I have received diamond earrings, a diamond necklace and a coach purse.  One more year and he is up for another gift.  Sooooooo……in the meantime I have learned not to look at it as a problem, but a blessing.  Every Christmas, birthday and Mother’s Day, I pick out what I want, I pay for it and enjoy it.  No returns necessary.  I always get just what I wanted.    And no he doesn’t cook either.  He usually isn’t allowed in the kitchen unless it is to pour cereal or milk for the little ones.  So that isn’t an option either.  (Yes, I cook on Mother’s Day, and every other day).
This year was no exception.  I got a book.  Don’t roll your eyes.  Yes, it is a book on “mothering”.  Try to stay with me…it is called “A Mother’s Mite” by Deanne Flynn.  She was speaking at a conference I went to, but actually before I know that, my own mother told me about this book.  It talks about the widows mite being all she had and she gave all and how we as mothers give all we  have, even when it seems a pittance.  She also has a website.  It is a great forum to see what other mothers are doing.  There are recipes and stories from women that help “fill our buckets” and help us to realize…we are not alone!  Other mom’s feel overwhelmed and underappreciated. 
So have a wonderful Mother’s Day…..

Netflix for my workout

by Stephanie

So recently we got a Netflix account.  We don’t have Xbox live so we just wait for our one DVD or stream it to our computer.  Yesterday at our “finer things club” my friend said she was streaming exercise DVDs to her computer.  WOW.  Why didn’t I think of that.  I had been getting a bit bored with what I was doing.  Now I have like 100s of  workout DVD options.  I did some Pilates today.  I am trying to focus on getting my thighs down.  Perfect, and for NO EXTRA money!  I like that too!!

Happy workout…….


Diet Help

By Stephanie

As swimsuit season is flying at light speed toward us (me), I am trying not to panic.  I am trying to keep up with my online calorie counter (FREE). 

Shrink thighs, shrink….

But sometimes I want something…yep just something.  Usually something sweet.  That is where my Stash herbal tea literally saves me.  Flavor and NO calories.  Maybe you are saying, I don’t really like herbal tea.  And maybe you don’t.  But have you tried Stash herbal tea?  They are SO yummy.  I got a sampler box and my favorite is the Licorice Spice.  It is a bit spicy and very sweet.  Perfect when the kids are having ice cream and I need something because I am 10 calories over already for the day!   Also the Myer Lemon,  Peppermint and Chamomile are in my cupboard.  I love, love, love these!!

A simple and cheap trick!

One of the easiest ways to change up a room is to change some of the fabrics in the room. pillows are a really simple way to change a room and bring colors together just by going to your local quilt shop and finding a fabric you really love and making 2-3 pillows out of a yard of fabric you can change the feel and the way you look at your room. That’s all I did with these ottomans I liked the storage and extra seating they gave me but I hated how plain they were so I found a yard of fabric I loved and re-covered the top of them to make them my own…. Now I love them!20110503202113[1]20110505093653[1]


Thank you to our military

by Stephanie

Sorry for the pause in posts.  I had a wonderful women’s conference last weekend (I will post more on that later), Jenny is a busy mom of little ones and Amy had been sick (she had surgery a few weeks ago and is in the hospital with an infection). 

There are some tutorials and recipes I am working on..but they aren’t ready yet. 

So I will take this opportunity to thank our military.  Those amazing men and women and their families who sacrifice everything to make sure we are safe.  I can’t imagine having a husband that is in the line of fire and not knowing if they are okay.  Going to bed each night praying for them.  So that we can walk down the street.   Or go to the grocery store.  Or send the kids to school. 

Thank you doesn’t seem to even begin to express how much I appreciate the freedoms we have because of the many, many lives lost now and over the generations. 

I only hope that we can see the bigger picture so that we don’t give away those freedoms.  I am praying for them and us…