Jane turns 4

Jane’s birthday party was over the weekend and here are a few highlights from the prep to the party.

I started with the invites as those would be my jumping off point for ideas.  I used a graphic design program and came up with invite below.  A quick upload to Walmart Photo Shop online and I had invites in no time.

IMG_2454 Now for the stuffs.  Jane’s pirate outfit included a stripped shirt, a red tutu, pirate hat and pirate necklace.  The kids (and adults) all got eye patches and pirate hats.  The princess wands were available for those that wanted them.

Jane's Pirate Princess Birthday

 

 IMG_2470We had a tattoo and sunscreen station 🙂 , a small pool for the littles and a larger pool for the bigs.
IMG_2476IMG_2482Jane enjoyed herself immensely in both.
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 IMG_2501A little pinata action.
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Happy Birthday Miss Jane!  Mom and Dad love you.

Jules’ Room Reveal

Earlier this month I was thinking that Jules’ room was done…..when I was taking the pics of the room – I realized I have some work to do with the interior wall.  (and the mirrors that I have above her desk – but that’s different)

As a reminder – Jules and Jane shared a room until Christmas time.  Click here.

IMG_2364I purchased a few things from Ikea for her room.

https://thehappycrazyhouse.com/2013/11/07/denver-purchases/

Above the square mirrors, I had a series of adhesive circle mirrors in a flowy pattern.  Unfortunately, the adhesive did not work well with the texture on the wall Jules’ room.  I have another set to put up, but I am looking for another adhesive.  I have used the Command picture tabs in the past…and think that is going to be my go-to.

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IMG_2407Kermit is from Dave’s childhood and has been passed down to Jules.

IMG_2368Straight across from the bed is the closet.

IMG_2366We are working on putting clothes away.  She is getting pretty good – when I remind her  🙂

Here is where I need to really re-think.  Dave hung the family pictures up for Jules and then I came along with the other 2….and just hung them up…..YEAH…I just hung them up without thinking it through.  I am so p-o’d at myself.  The drywall is brand new in that room and I just willy nilly put 2 holes in it.  Remember my pile of pictures to go through from the office?  Click here.

IMG_2372I have a few pictures from my arty art past that are going to be added to this wall to finish it out.

So….Thoughts?

 

 

 

Friday Wrap Up – Vacation style

Here is a recap of the amazing vacation that we took over 4th of July this year.  We decided to rent a cabin on the Canadian side of Lake Metigoshe.

We crossed the border at Carbury, ND and traveled through the land of Manitoba to the north side of Lake Metigoshe.  The cabin is situated right where the C is.

Canada1Dave had the boat out on the lake for roughly 10 minutes….bringing it from the boat launch to the slip….when it blew a piston.  Sob.  Long….long….long….story short.  A very nice Canadian offered us his boat for the week and saved our vacation.

Here are some pics celebrating the awesomeness of vacation, kids, and 4th of July.

IMG_1786IMG_2197IMG_2219IMG_2229IMG_2268IMG_2256IMG_2287IMG_1774IMG_1762IMG_1738Summer is Awesome!

Chicken with Orzo and veggies

New recipe experiment.  I bought a bunch of wheat Orzo that has been sitting in my cupboard…while I have been using the same old, same old recipe for it.  NOT TODAY.  Here is what I did:

  • 2 chicken breasts – cooked and sliced up
  • 2 cups cooked Orzo
  • 1 cup sauteed broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sauteed pepper slices (red, yellow or green)
  • corn (from a can or boiled/grilled on the cob and then sliced off)
  • lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

I started with cooking the Orzo – 1 cup uncooked Orzo into boiling, salted water.  I cooked for roughly 9 minutes – stirring every once in awhile.  I then drained and set aside.  In my skillets, I made the chicken and broccoli/peppers (roughly 10 minutes).  I then added all (including the corn) to the same pot –

IMG_2057I added lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.  I also had 1/2 a loaf of sourdough bread that I toasted.

IMG_2059This made WAY more than my family of 4 needed…..but I saved 1/2 as a freezer meal.  It will be a nice dinner on another night when I am running short on ideas/time.

 

 

Cookies for the Neighbors

Just a few things about my neighborhood…..it’s the best.  We live on a quiet street, with amazing people and I feel comfortable letting the girls have the run of the neighborhood.  Jules has been wanting to do something for our neighbors for awhile…..so last week I got organized and we made cookies.   I found an Oatmeal Cookie recipe that I wanted to try, The Pioneer Woman’s Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies.  They turned out great.

IMG_1961IMG_1962We wrote a note for each neighbor and the whole family signed them.

IMG_1964I have a plethora of metal tins…..so Jules and I picked a few out and used those to package our cookies and notes.

IMG_1966Final step was for Jules and Jane to deliver to each of our neighbors.  The girls were beyond excited to have some to give our great neighbors.

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Teacher appreciation gift

Teacher Appreciation – End of Year gift for a male teacher……who knew it would stretch my brain.  Jules has had female teachers in the past and all of my Go-To gift ideas are all geared towards girls…..so I had to get creative.  Our Christmas gift to Mr B was very light on imagination, so I was determined to do it right since Jules had a blast in Mr B’s classroom this year.

When you google male teacher appreciation gift, you get a lot of ideas…..but none of them quite what I was looking for.  In my search I came across a printed picture of a tree with printed fingerprints as the leaves and the teachers name at the bottom.  Soooooo riffing off of that I merged that idea with a family tree.

IMG_0090To start my tree – I started with straight up black acrylic paint.

IMG_0093And to fill in the names on the branches, leaves and school year – I used .3mm fine point marker pens.

IMG_0094Kinda girlie but still better than some of my other ideas.  I did something creative and by throwing in some guy stuff like a gift card to iTunes, Amazon, anything BBQ related……Mr B gets something useful and I get to use some creativity.  Win, Win!!

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala

My cousin made this for me years ago, and I begged her to find the recipe so I could make it for Dave and the girls.  She pulled through for me and searched through her plethora of recipes and found it!!  Click here for an electronic expanded (original) version. (jamieoliver.com)

I adjusted the electronic version for ease and for my family’s taste.

1 lb. chicken breast sliced into strips – or shredded chicken thighs

1 onion – sliced

1 serrano chile – seeded and chopped finely

fresh ginger (I used a piece 1 inch long and 1 inch thick) – peeled and thinly sliced

oil and butter

14 oz’s diced tomatos

14 oz’s coconut milk

1 jar (12 oz) tikka masala sauce – I used Seeds of Change (this is a time saver)

4 oz’s of sliced fresh mushrooms

handful of bean sprouts – use based on how much your family likes them

rice and/or Naan (I purchased pre-made in the interest of time as well)

lemon – if you like it

rice vinegar to taste

IMG_0064I placed a pat of butter and a glug of vegetable oil into a pot and started sauteing the sliced onions, serrano chile and sliced ginger.  Man does this part smell amazing.

IMG_0063Not kidding….this part smells so good.

Once the onions are translucent – add in your sliced or shredded chicken and the tikka masala sauce.  Toss that around for awhile, then add in the diced tomatos and coconut milk.  I simmer this for roughly 20 minutes – ensuring that it never gets dry (you can add water if needed).IMG_0065This is when I taste test……I tend to do it often….just to make sure the sauce is yummy.  Here is where I season to satisfy the family.   I added some salt, pepper AND rice vinegar……that is a specific taste and my kids love it…so in it went.  While this is simmering and between tastings – I made some rice and I pulled my small cast iron skillet out to saute the mushrooms and bean sprouts.

annnnnnnddddddddd.  Done.

IMG_0070I layered rice first, then the chicken tikka masala, and then the sprouts/mushrooms.  Naan to the side and a slice of lemon to squeeze if I so desired….and I so desired.