Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Singapore Noodles

One of our family favorites :) Mmmmmmmmm.

Singapore Noodles
1/4 cup Cooking Oil (part sesame gives good flavor)
4-6 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 TBPS. Sliver ginger strips (I just mince these as well)
2 cups cooked pork, chicken, shrimp or beef, cut up
1/3 cup slivered green onions
2 tsp. crushed red pepper (may be halved) - I often omit
1/4 Oyster Sauce
3 TBSP. Curry powder (may be halved)
2 tsp. Soy Sauce
Cooked noodles. The recipe calls for vermicelli nests (4-6). This isn't our favorite, so I always just use spaghetti noodles.
Make IT:
Heat first amount of cooking oil in wok or frying pan. Add garlic and ginger. Cook until tender. Add pork, green onion & red pepper to wok. Stir-fry until hot.
Add oyster sauce, curry powder & soy sauce. Stir & toss well to mix thoroughly. Add & toss with drained noodles. May be served now or cover & place in 250 oven to hold until ready.
Enjoy. It's an easy recipe to play with too as far as how spicy your family likes it. We're fairly mild here, except for hubby.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

miss you.

As the house slowly looks more like a warehouse with boxes stacked high and little place to move, I find myself also preparing for the goodbye's that will inevitably come. I hate that ride to the airport with all the kids to say goodbye to Daddy week after week. I'm hoping being at Grandma's will provide some excitement and make the goodbyes less teary. Made a card ahead of time for the kids to write in & slip into his bag on one of his trips away. Again bits & pieces. Ribbon pieces that I simply glued behind the image (using glue dots, love those) and some natural hemp and a metal rimmed tag. The image was colored with Stampin' Up!'s watercolor crayons on watercolor paper. I love the softness that watercoloring creates and those crayons can make anyone feel like an artist :)
Posts will be sporadic as I try to organize my days. With homeschooling the kids now, that takes up my morning so the afternoon I try to get as much packing done as I can. Of course with three kids at home, there's still snacks and regular NEEEEEEDS for MOOOOOOOMMY! Stamping items are getting packed up as I try to sort things to take, things to store. Paper is my hardest - what to take, I do think hubby is going to die when he sees how much I want to take. Think I'll be holding boxes on my lap! HA. So I hope you are all having a great week - I shall pop in now & then for a break & a "visit" :) We got a snowfall last night (unreal, kids had a lemonade stand last weekend!!) so that was disappointing....hopefully it'll clear up for moving day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All American Meatloaf

There are *so many* different meatloaf recipes. My Mom makes a yummy one with cottage cheese, another with stove-top stuffing... I think the options are endless. THIS recipe is one of our family favorites - I love that it has veggies right inside! I make a couple changes to this recipe (whole wheat bread instead of white, kids don't like heat so I leave out the Tabasco sauce, I find the onions on top burn, so I omit those as well...) that's the thing about meatloaves - you can switch things around and it turns out yummy! My hubby loves the leftovers in a sandwich (not my thing - but, to each their own! LOL). Enjoy!
Serves 6
3 slices white bread
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 celery, strings peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves, loosely packed
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons ketchup
4 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
8 ounces ground pork
8 ounces ground veal
8 ounces ground round
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus more needles for sprinkling
2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, cut into 1/4 inch-thick rings
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove crusts from bread, and place slices in the bowl of a food processor. Process until fine crumbs form, about 10 seconds. Transfer breadcrumbs to a large mixing bowl. Do not substitute dried breadcrumbs in this step, as they will make your meatloaf rubbery.
2. Place carrot, celery, yellow onion, garlic, and parsley in the bowl of the food processor. Process until vegetables have been minced, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. (Chopping vegetables this way saves time and ensures that vegetables will be small enough to cook through and not be crunchy). Transfer vegetables to bowl with the breadcrumbs.
3. Add 1/2 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, pork, veal, beef, eggs, salt, pepper, Tabasco, and rosemary. Using your hands, knead the ingredients until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. The texture should be wet, but tight enough to hold a free-form shape.
4. Set a wire baking rack into an 11-by-17-inch baking pan. Cut a 5-by-11-inch piece of parchment paper, and place over center of rack to prevent meat loaf from falling through. Using your hands, form an elongated loaf covering the parchment.
5. Place the remaining 3 tablespoons ketchup, remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons mustard, and brown sugar in a bowl. Mix until smooth. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the glaze over loaf. Place oil in a medium saucepan set over high heat. When oil is smoking, add red onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and golden in places. Add 3 tablespoons water, and cook, stirring, until most of the water has evaporated. Transfer onion to a bowl to cool slightly, then sprinkle onion over the meatloaf.
6. Bake 30 minutes, then sprinkle rosemary needles on top. Continue baking loaf until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees. about 25 minutes more. Let meatloaf cool on rack, 15 minutes

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Packing/Moving 101

Even after an unmentionable amount of moves in my life, I am *NOT* a perfect packer/mover. Inevitably, at the end of the move, I too, am grabbing ANYTHING to fill up a box. In the end, when I'm tired, sick of all the boxes, sick of all the sorting I throw things in the box with the thinking "I'll deal with it when I get there".... those boxes are usually still FULLY sealed by the time the next move is underway. Why have we moved so much? It's often a reason of needing to find something cheaper, or something bigger...DH was a builder so then it was different reasons, but moving all the same. We often stayed in the same area, but still a move is a move! My first bit of advice - if you're moving, pack well. I don't care if you're moving 5 blocks away - pack well. It's in those "close" moves that everything gets broken. Seriously, you think it's no problem, only down the street, I can carry this teetering stack of dishes on my lap while I drive, can't I?! You get the point. :)

I've been an off and on flybaby. It's an amazing program, and although life has been beyond chaotic and I haven't been true to her "system", I still find myself in the habit of doing many of her methods. If you haven't heard of this, check it out HERE. I tried to search out her moving tips because I know they're on there somewhere, but I see she's added a ton of stuff. Even stuff for kids that I will FOR SURE be checking out!!

So Kim wanted me to blog a few tips & tricks of moving. :) So Kim, here you go, just for you....

If you think you're going to be moving in the near future, the first thing I would start with is decluttering. This is tough for some of us. Ask yourself the tough questions: Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it? Do I have TWO of these? {it's crazy how many times you'll say yes to that one!} If you answer no, to any one of these questions, then (A) Toss it or (B) Give it away. And if you go with B, then you need a box or bag ON THE GO, that once it is filled... you put INTO YOUR CAR AND DRIVE IT TO GOOD WILL! Get it OUT of your house. It's too easy to slip in there & grab it back out! Go room by room. A flylady tip - work in 15 minute increments. You can do anything for 15 minutes! Seriously, if it's a really tough task I will use a timer! Start with a closet, or a shelf in the closet.... break it down to sizes you can honestly work with. Don't pull EVERYTHING out and think you can get it all sorted & back in place in 15 minutes. You won't, and you'll just be frustrated with the mess you have now created! Next is to start packing the items you use the least or items you won't need in the next few months {think good china, some of your books, kids' toys, seasonal decorations & clothes....get all that winter stuff packed up now, that sort of thing}. Also, start hunting for boxes. I've had great luck at our local Extra Foods (bakery section), but I also found some amazing boxes, even wardrobe boxes off kijiji which is an online used/classified site. I know there's also craigslist and used nanaimo (specifically for you Kim). I found like-new moving boxes for free. Love that. So keep your eyes open because you always run out of boxes and it's nice in the middle of packing not to be stopping only to be searching for boxes! I find the kitchen is my last place to fully pack as I'm still needing to cook & prepare until the actual moving day. I still however can pack up a lot in there and I simply limit myself to what is left. You can pack up small appliances and things like that. Just be sure in those final weeks to plan a menu. OK, that's just a tip for everyone regardless of whether or not your moving, but that way you're not going to pack your 9x13 pan only to realize you need it and go through boxes to open & hunt for it. Very frustrating (and yes, it's happened 3 times already in this move that is taking weeks and weeks). If your kids are old enough, give them a box and have them pack up there room. Give them packing paper (no newspaper!!) and tell them if it's something really special and breakable to wrap it up well. No packing paper? use what you'll be packing anyway - towels, sheets, blankets....

Take breaks. Right now we have about 10 days before we leave. As I look around sheer panic runs through my body as I wonder HOW ON EARTH this will happen with hubby working the WHOLE time. What I find difficult is motivation, so if you have a friend or family member that's willing to come along side, it makes ALL the difference. If for nothing else, but to have someone to chat with and keep you on task. But when you're feeling cranky {or is that only me?!} stop & give yourself a break. Hopefully, you'll have more than 10 days! :)


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Springtime Fun.

As the countdown until the move continues to decrease, I still find myself avoiding the inevitable {packing} and still seeing my kids make memories in these last couple of weeks. The last three days they have spent HOURS manning an iced-tea stand. It has evolved into an iced-tea and bake stand. Mommy, could you please bake some cupcakes became Mommy could you please bake cupcakes AND popcorn balls... and then today they added mini lemon cakes. In three days they've made over $250 !! Can you believe that? I remember when I was happy just to get a bill at the end of it when I took all those coins to the bank! My kids are so bummed that it's suppose to rain today - not good for business! HA. I tell ya though, it has kept them busy. They set up at 11am and run through until supper time. Gives me a quiet house to, err... what was it I was doing again? ....
...enjoy your weekend, even if it is a bit drizzly! :)

Friday, April 17, 2009


I'm not sure if you pick a word for the year. I know Ali Edwards had that challenge on her blog over the new year. It was actually something I had never thought about before. A word. One little word that would be the foundation for the year ahead. As I read through some of the words chosen for this challenge I found myself wondering what my word would be. I found it, although I didn't verbalize it (or write it in her comments), but my word would be SIMPLIFY. As life seems to be a series of change for our family, the one thing I seem to be striving for is simplicity. Not only clearing out the clutter in the house, but in our lives too. Finding joy in the simple things. Finding peace in the simple items we have. Finding creativity in simplicity.
This card screams simple. And for that I love it. Seriously a 5 minute card. I punched out a circle, lined up my scallop punch - punched again to create this *frame*. I pencil-drew a light stem line, punched it with my sharp thingy (not sure what that is called! LOL, but a darning needle will work well too, or a tack even!) and then used embroidery floss to stitch the stem of my flower (which is actually a button - love that little package my mom got me for my birthday!!) I tied the center of the button with a little linen thread (Stampin' Up!). Once the flower was on, I glued on the frame (my 2-way glue pen from Stampin' Up! worked well for this). A little stamped Happy Birthday and a tiny little white rub on flower (again both from SU) and my card was done. It does into my August birthday folder for my Grandma - who will be turning 96 this year! Amazing!!
What do you do to simplify your life, your home, your craft space, your .... ? I'd love to hear!! :)
I hope you're weekend is sunny & lovely,

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Already? Weekend tomorrow? WOW. Kids are home (technically on Spring Break), but with the move they're home now and will complete the year (what's left of this school year - where did that go???!!)at home. So that will be a change for us - kids home all day. Love it though. Simplifies life a bit without all the rushing. Although I have to stay organized to keep things running smoothly. I operate well with things organized, chaos drives me insane!
This was one of those cards that slowly evolved...and yes, it evolved yet again from the scrap bin! HA. It started as pieces that I put together. Thought it was missing something so I added the star brads, then added a couple more star brads. Then as it sat on the shelf waiting for its photo I realized it was still needing *something* I found a metal edged tag (found these little ones at Staples way back when for cheap cheap!). I hand-doodled a little outline, then punched out a star and used some foam tape to pop it up off the tag. All in all for a mish-mash type of card, I think it came out ok. :) The image is from PennyBlack and the "wish" is a rub on from my stash.
Enjoy your weekend - I wonder how many boxes I can get packed.....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fried Rice

I think the person in our family who likes this most is...ME! I love making a HUGE batch and having it for leftovers - such a yummy lunch. Takes some effort in assembling, but worth it. Make sure you use COLD rice (leftover, or premade the day before is best). Warm rice will *not* work - it'll be mush - eww. NOT what we're going for here! :)
Fried Rice
8 bacon slices, cut in small pieces
1 cup shredded or finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup cooked peas
3 cups cold cooked rice
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
Make IT:
Put bacon, carrot, onion and celery into frying pan. Saute until onion is soft & clear. If it appears dry, add some cooking oil. Add green onion, Saute another 1-2 min. Add remaining ingredients. Saute until heated through. Check for salt. If you are not using soy sauce, you may need more salt ( use the soy sauce! LOL). Serves 6-8

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday's Share.

A few more favorite blogs for you to enjoy your morning coffee with (OH HOW I MISS MY COFFEE!!!) - Trying to remind myself WHY I went off of coffee, LOL. Mostly for health reasons. When I realized the NASTY headache I got when I DIDN'T get my coffee... I realized I needed to go off of it for awhile. Hate addictions in my life (other than stamping of course!) Also I'm horrible at getting enough water in me...going OFF coffee has really helped me with this. I'm sure I'll be slowly weaning myself back -- at least the iced varieties as summer is coming, right?! Ok... enjoy these -
  1. 3191 Miles Apart
  2. Retro Mama
  3. Pencil Lines (great scrapbooking sketch blog!!)

Remember too, drop me a comment with a favorite blog or site you like!


Monday, April 13, 2009

a little birthday

My youngest daughter was off to a birthday party this past weekend. The sun was shining and they were even able to get outside for an Easter egg hunt - she had so much fun. This was the card I made for the party - still using up scraps, bits& pieces....lots of layers helps with this. I always go to my scrap bin when I'm going to use this alphabet set. It's perfect for scrappy little pieces!! My kids also LOVE it when their friend's name appears on the card :)
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend :) The countdown is on now until we move our stuff into storage & head to BC for the spring/summer. So I'll be a bit sporadic with my blogging -- but I do have some more cards to share, as well as recipes and links.... blogging is a great procrastination tool! :) LOL. I got my Mother's Day cards finished yesterday, so I'll share those with you soon too - have you got yours done yet? :)
enjoy your day,

Thursday, April 09, 2009


I think soft when I think of this card. I think it's mostly the plaid design paper that I used. I can't remember the company - bear something.... rats, should write these things down. My brain seems to be mush these days - perhaps the packing tape is giving off harmful fumes & I must quit packing?! :) The photo of this card is lame. Sorry. It does look better in real life. I stamped the image using markers and then didn't reink to give the card a fading "off" feel ??? The middle image is a rub on from stampin' up. I'm DETERMINED to use up my rub ons. I have hoarded for FAR too long. The time has come. So you'll see a bit of this & that on my cards as I try to use up before purchasing more (why is that so easy to do - the buying more I mean!) :)
Oh yes... and there's that fiskars punch again! Thursday already - hope you're having a great week, getting lots accomplished & making a few memories along the way!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Weeknight Lasagna Toss

It's one of those nights where you don't know WHAT to have for dinner. You want something good, something the kids will eat and something QUICK! This is your recipe! I got it from my Kraft What's Cooking magazine. This is a total pantry raid....:)
Weeknight Lasagna Toss
3/4lb lean ground beef
2 green peppers, chopped (we used red)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (700mL) jar pasta sauce
1-2/3 cups water (you may need a bit more, we did.)
1/4 cup Kraft Zesty Italian
12 lasagna noodles, broken into quarters
1 cup shredded Cheese (whatever kind you like)
Make IT:
Brown meat in large saucepan; drain.
Stir in peppers, garlic, pasta sauce, water and dressing; bring to boil. Add noodles. stir. Cover.
Cook on medium-low heat 10-15 min. or until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese; cover. Let stand 5 min. or until cheese has melted.
My family GOBBLED this up - very good :) We also stirred in 1/2 cup of cottage cheese into the noodle mixture before sprinkling with shredded cheese... little added protein! ;)
We'll be making this one again before our move - nice & easy.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


I have a few blogs that I *always* visit. I just find great inspiration from them. They're not all stamping sites; some are photography, some food, some scrapbooking, others family... just love how everyone can have a place to share. And I get to peek in & enjoy it along with them.
So today I'm going to share with you a few of my favorites. I'm hoping that you'll leave me a comment with ones you love... perhaps I'll be able to add them to my ever growing list! :)
  1. Molly Irwin
  2. Ali Edwards
  3. A Beautiful Mess

Ok, those a few.... share a few more with you next week. So... what are yours? :)



Monday, April 06, 2009


My friend is having a birthday soon, and she Loves, LOVes, LOVES to shop! Thought this was the perfect image to use from stamping bella! I went crazy for awhile there and bought up a bunch of these images. Great for coloring (I used my Copics for this one) and also great for paper piecing - have you tried that technique before? I'm still trying to use up my bins of scraps and decided to find a design piece that I was going to use & then matched my coloring to that. The stamp is by Stampin' Up and the sentiment is a rub on by deja view. Still loving my threading water punch by fiskars (THANK YOU MOM!!) and you'll see it pop up often. I find it gives us a girly feel to cards. A little lace ;-)
It's a simple card with layers, couple of black brads... and done. Coloring always takes time, so then I find I keep the other elements simple. Enjoy your new week. We'll be busy packing (I hope), only have hubby off work a few days before he has to work a straight 18 shift - ugh! So I'll work him hard with packing while he's here! :)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Feeling Better = Stamp Time!

I'm feeling *SO* much better this weekend! I can breath through my nose freely - LOL - LOVE IT! Still low on energy, but I found enough to get stamping this weekend... so stay tuned, I'll get some uploaded and actually have some of my OWN work to show you :)
Hope you're having a great weekend & enjoying the warmer weather as much as we are. Kids have been out all day and we even managed to get out for a walk together - perfect weekend.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Still sick.

Well the week is drawing to a close & I didn't seem to find the energy to get a stamping day in - very disappointing. This cold is a nasty one & I can't seem to beat it. So, I'll share with you a couple layouts I found online that I liked! Then I got to thinking... is this allowed? Or I guess allowed... but "proper"? I'll be sure to give credit & links to the creators, but I just got to thinking....hmmmm....drop me a line on your thoughts.

K, first one is from Jennifer McGuire. Click *HERE* for all the deets!

I love how she used her ribbons here. I also like the overflow of everything off the page - just different. Then I wondered if her base page was a bit *smaller* than 12x12 so that it would fit in a page protector - what do you think? Yes?
The second is this card....from the blog - PINE IS HERE...great full tutorial check it out!

I thought it was so cute with the stamping behind & the use of buttons. Cute, cute, cute. So no creations from me, but a couple that did inspire me :)!

Have a fabulous weekend -


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Best-EVER Banana Bread - and this is NO April Fool's :)

Ok - this is the BEST Banana bread you will make. Seriously.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups mashed ripe bananas ( 6 bananas)
4 eggs, well beaten
2-1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1-1/2 cups frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Add bananas and eggs and beat until well mixed. Mix dry ingredients and blend with banana mixture, but do not overmix. Fold in blueberries. Pour into 2 lightly greased loaf pans or a bundt pan. Bake 55 minutes to 1 hr; test for doneness. Cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Freezes beautifully. :)