yes, i know it’s summer

tried a new crock-pot recipe today. 

Vegetable Beef Soup (Makes 8 servings)  taken from “Fix-it and Forget-it Lightly cookbook”

(yes, i know it’s summer….maybe it isn’t the season for soup….but it’s good and low-calorie!!!)

great because you can stick it in the pot and forget about it all day, while you enjoy the sunshine! 


  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lb. potatoes, pared & chopped  (i only used 3-4 potatoes)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped (i only used about 1/5 of the onion)
  • 2 (4 oz.) cans mushroom pieces, drained
  • 1 envelope dry low-sodium onion soup mix
  • 16 oz. jar low-sodium chunky salsa (don’t let the salsa scare you…my son hates salsa, but liked the soup)
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped (i used more than that)


  1. Brown ground beef in non-stick skillet.  (i prefer to do it in the microwave and then use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat into the crock-pot so that the grease drains)
  2. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, (crock-pot).
  3. Cover.  Cook on low 8 hours or on high 4.

Nutrition Facts per serving (1/8):

  • 200 calories, 5 g total fat, 2 g sat. fat, 0g trans fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 1230mg sodium, 22g carbs, 3g fiber, 5g sugar, 14g protein, 80% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 4% calcium, 10% iron.

This recipe is peanut-free.

Give it a try!!!!

graduation time

made 2 graduation cards last night. 

they were for twins….i used their school colors….and since they are guys, i didn’t use ribbon or anything too frilly. 

i’ve always loved these cap & gown stickers…..they’re just too cute!!! 

the pictures aren’t too good…it was late and i had my cellphone handy and didn’t feel like getting my good camera. 

i helped serve at their graduation open house today.  it was great to see a few friends that were in town for graduations. 

after that i hit starbucks for a little ‘me time’.  lol 

next on the list of places to go today, 

i attended a wedding shower for my nephew’s soon-to-be wife. 

can’t believe he’s going to be getting married in a few months. 

one of my first “dates” with my hubby, (at the time boyfriend), was babysitting for him…he was a only a few months old and he spit peas all over us when we attempted to feed him… he’s almost 23 & getting hitched! 

i’m getting old.  yikes. 

hope you enjoyed your saturday…happy weekend!! 


sentimental shadowbox

this was a fun project that i made last night. 

a friend called me and needed some help getting some last minute preparations done for her cousin’s wedding this weekend…so she asked if i could do their engagement shadowbox. 

the large shell on the far right corner actually held the ring when he proposed….and the tiny colored shells around the bow were off of her shower decorations.  the picture to the right points out the actual spot on the beach where he proposed to her.  

this project was a lot of fun! 

there may be more shadowbox projects in my future! lol 


…just not right…

…it’s just not right…

it’s summer! 

we’re usually asleep for a few more hours!  at least!!! 

nick started summer gym today. 

that means my alarm goes off at 6:15AM. 

…that’s just not right…

he needs to be at the school by 8:00AM. 

…that’s just not right!

i had a list of errands that i had hoped to accomplish during those 4 hours…. 

what was i thinking? 

the mall doesn’t even open until 10:00~!

…it’s just not right…

just like most of the destinations on my to-do list….not open yet… 

of course, my starbucks was waiting for me….despite the early hours! 


…it’s just not right.

let’s catch-up

well.  let’s catch up. 

it’s now summer break. 

above is one of my favorite summer spots.  our patio swing.  i love it!  i really enjoy swinging while enjoying a good book. 

i love spending time outside in the sun.  yesterday, i decided to take the camera outside and snap a few pix. 

(still having fun messing around on….love how easy it is to edit photos on there!) 

also made some monkey munch.  yum-o!  as blogged here we LOVE monkey munch! 

therefore, i don’t make it tooooo often because we easily eat wayyy too much of it! 

it’s soooo yummy!  & addictive.  can’t just eat one handful. 

(this version is also peanut-free) 

we store it in a XL 2.5 gallon ziploc.  reaching in, you get covered in powdered sugar!  (you would think that would deter us, but no!) 
the extra large pieces that stick together are the first to go….oh yum!!!
below, nick and i picked up our lunch today…current low-cal favorite, subway & starbucks.  

he, of course, dodged out of the picture as i snapped it. 


that would be his laptop.  in the car.  no, this wasn’t a roadtrip. 

simply a long line at the drive-thru, so he pulled out his laptop. 

isn’t that normal for a teen in 2009? 

well, i am REALLY wanting to scrapbook.  lots of ideas bouncing around in my head. 

feeling very creative.  just need to do it. 

maybe i will post some layouts tomorrow! 

hope you are enjoying your summer so far! 

thanks for stopping by!

summer snack review {1}

welcome to the first edition of “summer snack review”. 

i will be your guide this evening….and official taster & reviewer.

tonight we will be discussing Wendy’s new Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty, (chocolate). 

being a chocolate lover, i opted for this frosty with a chocolate base.  it is also available in vanilla base

the picture above shows one represented at the bottom of the picture, the one without a straw. 

here’s how it rated (scale of 1-5) (1 poor 5 being is was fabulous):

  • overall taste:  4  (i enjoy the regular Wendy’s chocolate frosty, so this was even better)
  • added goodies: 3 (there were a lot of toffee bits in it, but i always enjoy more crunchy chunks in my ice cream)
  • size/value:  2(i didn’t even look at the price, to tell you the truth, but i did ask what sizes are available and it only comes in one size…..i don’t like that….i like options….if i’m hungry and wanting a big snack, i would like to be able to get a medium or large….if i’m keeping my calories low that day and only want a small, i want that option also.  this one i shared with my hubby and it wasn’t quite enough for both of us. lol)
  • “coffee-ness”: 4(an excellent balance of coffee flavor and chocolate.)
  • nutritional facts: 1  (550 calories / 21 grams of fat / 83 carbs / 68 grams of sugar) YIKES!  (not sure i would waste that many calories on this snack.)

over-all rating for the Wendy’s Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty, (chocolate): 2.8

special note:  this snack contains items that are made in a facility that processes or uses peanut products…this item is NOT safe for those people with a peanut allergy.

have you tried one yet? 

what did you think? 

altered oatmeal container tutorial {sunday scrappin’}

happy long weekend! 

hope you are enjoying time with family & friends!! 

here is my sunday scrappin’  ta-da project: 

  • my altered oatmeal container

you may have one of these in your pantry already, and don’t even realize it! 

a quick crafty gift box, made by recycling (re-purposing) your oatmeal container. 

let’s get started! 

1.  i gathered the paper that i wanted to use to cover my container….including any papers, embellishments, or ribbon in the same color pallet.

2.  i simply cut a sheet of paper to fit around the  container.  a 12 x 12 sheet almost makes it around.  (tip: as you are wrapping it around, using your fingernail as a guide, tuck it under the lip that is at the top.)  (i used double-sided tape to adhere the paper.) 
3.  next, to cover the gap, i used 2 sheets of co-ordinating paper to make a ‘front’ for the gift box.  you can do this however you like.  (again, i used double-sided tape.)  (i also rounded the corners with my corner punch.) 
4.  once the container was entirely covered, i measured some rick-rack ribbon to go around the top & bottom.  i prefer to adhere ribbon by using my smaller sticker-maker.  (this is awesome for ribbon!!!!!)
5.  i was hoping to use my new stamp set, seen below.  “a little caffeine”   i ordered it online last week, thinking that it worked with my self-inking stamper…horribly wrong….so i had to mess with it a little and it still didn’t stamp well….bummer.  guess i will have to find a base  (wood mount) for it.
6.  ok, moving on.  i simply cut a circle that would fit in the plastic lid.  (i’m not into measuring…heck, i didn’t even trace it…i just started cutting a large circle and adjusted as i went.) 
7.  again, i ran my ribbon thru my sticker-maker and adhered it to the lid. 

8.  using one of my favorite tools, my marvy punches, i cut different size circles/scalloped circles to make a tag for the top.  (i also adhered these with double-sided tape.) 

9.  of course, i had to use my other current favorite, THICKER STICKERS!!!!  love them!!! 

10.  also for the front, i made a 3 layered “flower” and topped it off with a THICKER…  (to make sure that the layers stuck together, i used a strong, clear glue adhesive.)  (my 3-D embellishment for sunday scrappin’.)

so, here’s the finished look!  of course, you can make it as fancy or crazy as you like. 

Oh! and importantly, i filled mine with my favorite homemade biscotti….made by my SIL….thanks, jan!  this chocolate biscotti is to.die.for!!!! amazing!  i also included some different flavors of starbucks’ chocolate candy! 

so.  there you have it. 

an easy scrappy project and you may already have the supplies on hand! 

my sunday scrappin’ to-do’s:

  • anniversary cards
  • my summer love mini album, (so that it’s ready to go when school’s out at the end of this week!!!)

enjoy your long weekend!!!!!

find some time to scrap!