Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Hot Button Issue

I am so, so excited about this project I just completed, and so, so excited to share it with all of you. I'm a fairly creative mind, and I think homemade crafts are just about the cutest thing around. However, whenever I attempt one something always seems to go terribly wrong. In fact, I usually hurt myself. Imagine stab wounds by needles and super glued fingers. There is also always - I mean, ALWAYS - a paper cut or a thousand involved. Anywho, I stumbled upon this gem of a craft idea one late night on the Internet. Yes, craft and cooking blogs are my form of Internet porn. Here is the link to the directions : Spearmint Baby Button Monogram. It was intended for babies or children, but I modified it by using our last name letter instead. These pictures show you what I did. Not one paper cut, not one stab wound and no fingers were harmed by paper during this crafting project.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Super Easy Really Means Super Easy

One of my 12 goals is to cook at least one recipe from each of my cookbooks. It should be made clear now that I love cookbooks. I seldom walk into a book store without purchasing one. I love going through the pages and picking out all the recipes I'm going to try by marking them with little Post-it tags. Sometimes I actually follow through, but most often my little tags get forgotten and dusty on the bookshelf in the dining room. So, all of that said I have at least 40 or 50 books to work my way through in the next year.
My favorite book shopping haunt is Half Price books. Just last week I picked up Betty Crocker's Money Saving Meals. (I'm all about frugality these days. Just ask Adam about my excitement over Price Chopper sales.) The first eye-catching recipe was called Super Easy Chicken Manicotti. It was eye-catching for several reasons. Number one being that Adam likes everything in it. Those who know Adam know he has very specific food tastes. I stop short of saying he's picky - but only because he doesn't like it when I say that. Number two being that I had everything needed for the recipe already in my pantry minus the manicotti noodles. I didn't worry about this because I knew Price Chopper had ridiculously cheap sales on pasta that week. (See comment about my Price Chopper sale enthusiasm) Number three, it really did sound super easy. However I have also been fooled by the likes of Rachael Ray and her so-called 30 Minute Meals. They should be called 30 Minutes of Prep Work Meals, $30 Special Ingredient Meals, or I'll Be 30 Years Older by the Time I'm Done with This Meals...but I'm not bitter. In fact, I still love Rachael. But that's for another day and I digress. I followed the super easy directions and what happened was just short of miraculous. This is a dish I liked AND that Adam liked. It was inexpensive, and it was truly SUPER EASY! Best of all, it's pretty healthy, which helps with goal #1! Here's the recipe if anyone wants to give it a go.
Super Easy Chicken Manicotti

Friday, June 24, 2011

For Those Who Don't Know Me

I'm Stacey. I live in the Kansas City metro area...the good side, the Kansas side. I'm 32 years old. I teach 4th grade, and love every minute of it, even the awful, horrific minutes. I am married to Adam. We've been married for 2 1/2 years. He's my best friend, and so he's pretty cool. We have his and her dogs : Burton the Bichon Frise  (hers) and Pepper the Aussie Mix (his). They are kinda sorta the center of our universe since we don't have any children yet. I'm addicted to reality TV - especially anything involving 48 hours and mystery or chefs mastering their craft. I love to read, cross stitch, craft, cook and all sorts of things your grandma probably enjoys, too. Unlike your grandma, I have a passion for sports - particularly Kansas basketball - but I also enjoy Chiefs football, and oddly enough, NASCAR. Oh, and my favorite color is green.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

And So It Begins

Not too many days ago, I came to the realization that I (me, myself, I!) am the only one that can change what I don't like in my life. It only took 32 years (and 4 months, and 5 days, but who's counting?) for this realization to play out in my head. I feel many never fully come to understand this, so I feel thrilled with the opportunity to give change a shot. After reading an article in a local publication about a woman who created an age 30 "bucket" list, I decided this is how I could begin to make the changes I need in my life. Like her, I've decided to lay out a one year plan. I've determined 12 things I would like to do to better myself in the next 365 days. Some of these goals are lofty, and others are so simple I have already begun to complete them. Some are fun, some are work. Some are free, some are expensive. No matter the cost or the effort, I owe it to myself to try. My plan is to update the world on my progress through this blog. I'm viewing this blog as my teacher to whom I am accountable for turning this "homework" - and the readers of it I hope will be my cheerleaders to finish my largest homework assignment ever in just one year.

12 By 2012 Bucket List
1. Lose 100 pounds 
2. Participate in a 5K race 
3. Categorize my classroom library by genre/author
4. Clean out all boxes stored in the garage and around the house
5. Make at least one recipe from each of the cookbooks in my large collection
6. Complete a volunteer/service project at least once a month
7. Take a vacation to somewhere I've never been just for fun
8. Purchase new living room furniture
9. Join the National Marrow Donor Registry
10. Buy our first house
11. Complete at least one crafting/sewing project each month
12. Maintain and regularly update a blog about these goals and accomplishments