Thursday, December 31, 2009

May I have a word with you?

I just love this blog world. I do. It's all still so new to me so I suspect I'm a bit like a kid with a new toy. Every new angle I find makes me gitty.

The trend this week in blog land seems to be picking a word for the new year. I love it!

Some people disdain New Years Resolutions, deeming them trite or cliche. Though it does seem most resolutions get ignored after only weeks, I like the idea that masses of people take time, even just once a year, to think about how they can better themselves. We could all use a little improvement, right? Some of us spend a lot more than once a year thinking and reorganizing our lives to grow. Others wait until late December. Either way, pushing ourselves out of our warm fuzzy ruts is a good thing, in my opinion.

So I'm totally on board with this word thing. Here it is... my word for the year is...


It's totally broad, I know. Maybe even a cop out, because it covers basically everything. But it works for me. I'd like to..

Focus on each moment. What am I intending to do at this moment? Whether I am intending to write a blog, get my daughters dressed for the day or unload the dishwasher, I need to "focus" on that task. Sure, I can multitask with the rest of them. But if I'm multitasking am I truly present in the moment?

Focus on what matters. My family. My faith. My friendships. Health. Keep my actions in line with the way I'd like my life to turn out.

Focus on reducing my stress. For me, that almost entirely means doing more at night to prevent stress in the morning. I have a list of "to do's" that I never do. Every morning I beat myself up for not doing them. If only I had given myself the gift of packed lunches last night, i wouldn't be stressing to get them packed in the two minutes before leaving. Same goes for kids clothes and putting away laundry. Every minute I spend doing something for tomorrow is 5 minutes saved in stress tomorrow.

I whole heartedly believe that what you focus on grows. You reap what you sow. I'm going to mindfully focus on what I want to grow, instead of letting my mind be taken every which way by whatever weeds decide to take root.

Do you have a word you'd like to share??

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Happiness Project

Have you heard of the new book, The Happiness Project? This is SO up my alley. The author, Gretchen Rubin, spent a year trying different antecdotes for happiness. She pulled happiness theories from all over the place - different cultures and eras (from Aristotle to Oprah) - tested them out and then wrote about her findings in this book.

This is especially interesting to me because I consider myself a student of happiness. In fact, a few years ago, I went on my own little happiness journey where I gave some serious thought to joy and whether or not it could be consciously increased. Along my journey, I documented all of my "ah ha" moments. I also collected quotes and thoughts from people I thought were on to something. My personal favorite is the apostle, Paul.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and to have plenty. I have learned the secret to being content in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. - Philippians 4:11

What I have personally found is that thinking about happy things helps bring out the happiness from within you.

So when I came across this book, I bubbled with excitement! I also came across the authors blog here

I think she might like lists as much as me too! I'll close with my favorite bible quote ever from Philippians 4:8:

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have received or heard from me or seen in me - put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. - Philippians 4:8

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Couch vs. Movie Theater

I took my kids to see "The Princess and The Frog" today. It was a cute movie. It cost me $27 admission and $13 for treats and water. $40 for the three of us to see a movie. For the low, low price of $40, I got the following:

  • The first showing was too full to sit together, so we had to wait an hour to see the next showing.

  • Since we feared not getting a seat, we arrived at second showing 45 minutes early. That meant my 3 yr old and 5 yr old had to sit for a total of about 3 hrs (45 minutes early, 10 min previews and 2 hr movie)

  • During the movie, my 3 yr old had to get up to go potty more than once

  • She also wanted to leave halfway through and made it known she wasn't happy we couldn't

  • My 5 yr old complained that it was way too loud (she was right!)

  • She also got scared and wanted to sit on my lap, with the other daughter

  • The teenager next to me texted the whole movie

  • My water jug fell on the sticky floor - eeeww

Was that all so bad? No, it wasn't. But it did get me thinking, when did going to the movies become less of a treat than having a movie night at home?

At one point in my life, going to the movies was AWESOME! As a kid, it meant enjoying an uninterrupted movie on a colorful, clear giant screen... for $1.50. As opposed to watching some random fuzzy tv show and sitting through commercials. And as a 20 something, going to the movies was the end all date for me (what can I say, I was easy to please?!).

But then we had kids. And a few years later the flat screen TV joined the family.

And now we have TiVo and a blue ray player. Both have a pause button. We also have a super comfy couch and a bathroom right down the hall. My husband NEVER texts ANYONE while watching a movie with me. And if my water drops on the floor, I'm not completely repulsed.

So it's official. I would now rather watch a movie at home than go to the theater. I think that might make me old or boring. But I'm okay with that.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Surprises

Christmas morning was full of surprises!

Our first surprise happened at 5am when our youngest daughter woke up with a fever and vomit. Poor little thing felt so sick most of the morning, she didn't even finish unwrapping her gifts!

Then the tylenol kicked in and she perked up...

My 5 yr old was thrilled to get the leapster she had been wanting... along with a mountain of pink toys that made her squeal in delight.

My little one was surprised by the cute little stuffed animal that her sister bought her at school.

And the Pet Care center that she really wanted. Along with her own mountain of pink treasures.

No, Santa didn't bring their prized goods. Their loving family did. We downplay santa in this house. He does stockings and one gift each, that's it. And it never seems to be the one they wanted. Hmm. This year he gave them little princess tents to put in their rooms.

I got the waffle maker I wanted. Saturdays are going to be waffle days in the plummer household. I tried it out the day after Christmas. It was messy, but they were good. I'd love to get my hands on a good (HEALTHY) waffle recipe to make.

Great Grandma and Brooke surprised us all by curling up together and taking a nap. Is that sweet or what?

But the most surprising of all was what a wonderful day we all had, despite the flu!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Just like so many others today, I have last minute gifts to wrap, a house to clean and in-laws to entertain. I just thought I'd stop in to say Merry Christmas to my blog friends! Hope it's a great one!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Reindeer Food

I was introduced to Reindeer food yesterday and decided to try to make a batch today. It was fairly easy, albeit a tad messy. My only complaint is that they taste sooo good, it was really hard to control myself!

How to make Reindeer food:

What you need:
1 lb white chocolate (melt slowly in saucepan)
2 cups cheerios cereal
2 cups rice chex cereal or chex mix
2 cups pretzels
2 cups salted peanuts
1 12oz package of plain m&m's

What to do:

1. Melt white chocolate in pot on low

2. mix all ingredients together, inside pot with melted chocolate

3. Spread on wax paper to cool. Once partially cool, break into pieces and put in refrigerator to cool more.

check out my little one sneakin a bite!

1. I spread mine a little too thick (typical!). I think you are supposed to spread it pretty thin.

2. This batch makes enough for 6-10 goodie bags, depending on how full you make them (and how much you eat!)

3. In February, you can put red and pink m&m's in it to make "Cupid's Food"

My daughter decided to make her own chocolate covered pretzels with the leftover white chocolate and chocolate chips. They were surprisingly good!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Porcupine Meatballs

Don't worry, they aren't actually made from porcupines. :)

I thought I'd share our family's favorite recipe... porcupine meatballs. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine!

Here's what you need:
1 pkg beef flavored rice-a-roni
1 egg
1 lb ground beef
3 cups water
large bowl
large pan with lid

1. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, egg and rice-a-roni (don't put the seasoning packet in yet). The best way to do this is with your hands. Gross, but true. Mix it really good (not pictured) because you need the egg all throughout so they don't fall apart).

2. Make small meatballs and put in large pan to brown.

3. Once meatballs are browned on all sides, mix seasoning packet with 3 cups water & pour over meatballs (it should completely cover meatballs)

4. Cover and cook on Low-Med for 50-60 minutes. Check it after a half hour because if it looks like the water has been dried up, you'll need to add more.


  • I typically double the recipe so that we have lots of leftovers
  • I have tried it with ground turkey, but they aren't as good. However, I doubled it tonight and used 1lb gr turkey and 1lb gr beef and they were great
  • We usually serve it with either mashed potatoes (or mashed cauliflower) or drop biscuits, and broccoli
Here's my little one helping make biscuits. Note: if you have kids help you, little dixie cups are a huge help!! You can measure out what they are in charge of and pour it in dixie cups. It's way easier and less messy than measuring spoons.

Tonight we served it with drop biscuits with a recipe I found on all recipes (below). They were g00000000d!

Do you like my cheesy country Christmas plates?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mom My Ride

Have you ever seen the show "Pimp My Ride"? I haven't, but apparently it's about a group of auto professionals who take an ordinary car and turn it into a sleek, "pimped out" car, to the thrill of the owners.

Then there is the spoof of it called "Mom My Ride". This one I have seen. This group of auto professionals take an ordinary mini van and "mom" it out with dents, spilled milk and other fun stuff.

Here's the link in case you want to (you have to!) watch it....

And now, a true story about my car and how it has been mommed.

Once upon a time, we bought a nice new minivan (2006). 3 short years later, it is trashed.

Here's a pic of it today.

Looks okay, right? Let me show you a closer look (do I dare?!!!!)...

The drivers side door panel is popped off - from mommy slamming the door in irritation of a screaming kid. Not my proudest habit and one that I have since broken. The dealer said it would cost $750 to fix. Husband tried tape, but it didn't work. I guess I'm stuck with it.

Here's a typical view of the carpet..

I thought about vacuuming the car out before posting this, but in the interest of true photo journalism, I opted to show you as-is.

There are mystery scratches on the side and front bumper. Don't ask me... I have no idea where they came from!

I found this little guy hiding. I don't blame him.

The change/drink holder in front was broken when my 3 yr old stepped on it while it was open. It's holding on for dear life right there so I opted not to pull it off just for a photo.

There isn't anything gross in this photo, unless you count my icky diaper bag that needs to be retired. But I wanted to show you the clever "errand" basket that I keep in my car. It's great! It typically holds school paperwork, mail, notebook paper and pen, etc. It really comes in handy. I think every car should have one!

There are a few other things not pictured, sadly. Stains on the carpet, and a letter "B" that was written on one of the seats. The back window occassionally gets stuck open, presumably from being played with too many times by my daughters toes while I drive. And there's probably more too but you get the picture.
My ride has officially been mommed. Lucky me!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Craftycapped idea for extra Christmas cards

If you are like me and order inexpensive Christmas cards from Costco, you probably order more than you actually need (each additional 25 is only $5.95 so if you need 5, better order 25 more!).

Maybe it's all the craft blogs I've been reading, or maybe it's green guilt. Whatever the reason, I decided to make something from my extras this year, instead of throwing them out.

I'm having a heck of a time getting these photos to move in this blog... I don't know why!?! Anyway, I'm making due with it so bare with me if it seems weird.

Here's my craftycapped attempt at making Christmas tags from the extra cards...

First, here's a pic of my card. It's called making lemonade from lemons, since my 3 yr old obviously didn't want any part of spreading joy in our family photo.

My card has pics of my kids on the side, which I cut out to make the tags. I'm using them as gift tags to their teachers and school employees. I made tags with each alone and some with both of the kids (for common teachers like the dance teacher).

Pretty basic design. I'm sure you don't need me to walk thru the steps. I just cut and pasted to my hearts content!

They aren't incredible, I know. But I think they are cute... and i didn't waste cards!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Swap Till You Drop

I saw a neat idea in Better Homes and Gardens this month and I had to share.

It's called "Swap Till You Drop". Here's what you do:

1. Invite guests - They say 5 is a good number. You ask each friend to bring 10 very nice used items that they no longer want.

2. Tag each item - You set your house up like a boutique, with pretty tags on everything. Appetizers and drinks to make it festive.

3. Set up a claim system - Each person is given 10 clothes pins with their initials on them & they take turns "shopping" for one item at a time. If they want something, they just stick their pin on the tag. If more than one person wants the same thing, you put the pins in a hat to draw a winner.

4. Box up leftovers & donate to charity

Everyone has a ball and goes home with 10 "new" things, without spending a dime. Doesn't that sound fun?!

I'm thinking about hosting one after the holidays. Orange County friends... want in?? Notice I didn't say "OC". That's because my life doesn't resemble the show "the OC" at all. My life also (thankfully) does NOT resemble the Real (ya right) Housewives of OC.
Stop by tomorrow... I'm posting a little Christmas Tag craft I made... :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy List

My blogger friend Darlene (Music to My Ears) tagged me on her happy list and I was THRILLED to get to play! Okay, so here's my happy list...

Happy Thing #1: My family. They drive me nuts sometimes (can you say sibling fighting?!) but they truly were picked for me by God and I'm happy to have them. Especially after I get a break!

Happy Thing #2: Lists. Yes, you read right. I love lists. Open up excel, or grab a piece of paper. It doesn't really matter, as long as I can jot down the random list that's in my head. I have an excel file called "lists" where I store my brain in lists. Below are the different tabs in the file (it's crazy long).

My list of lists:
life list
Healthy Kid meals
My favorite things
Notes to mommy from daughter (Imaginary - trying to imagine my daughters perspective)
My life lessons
Hormone cycle (tracking PMS)
Quotes and Verses
Role Models
Who do I want to be (my mission statement)
Address Book
Frequently dialed numbers
Garage (things we need to do to the garage to make it pretty)
House projects
Camaflage Chic rules (good book I read, just typed the notes here and donated the book)
Be the parent notes (GREAT parenting book, jotted down the main points)
Whole house cleaning list
Daily chores
Daily schedule
Things to do
Kids wish list
Products to replace (with greener alternatives)
Cool off ideas (for the 100 degree summer days)
Magazine tid bits
Peace (ideas on how to find it!)
Christmas shopping list
Winter fun ideas
Umm. holy cow. This list is long. Sorry to bore you but I started and couldn't stop!

It's important to note that the daily chores, rules, and schedules rarely get stuck to completely (if at all). But a girl can dream, can't she?

Happy thing #3: Rain. You probably already know what rain looks like, but I'll put a photo anyway, just for the heck of it. You can see the view from my front yard. And a picture of my husbands cute little car.

Happy thing #4: Tea. Hot or cold, it doesn't matter. I don't go a day without tea. Just like my mom and her mom before her, I make a big pot of black tea in the morning (loose tea leaves, not bags) and drink it all day long.

Happy thing #5: Watching my kids do something totally kid-ish. Like climbing a tree, digging in the mud, or putting on a dance show for me. It warms my heart to see them using their imaginations and playing together nicely. If they could do both of those things every day, I would be the happiest mom in the world! P.S. Check out my little ones shoes. They are from her build-a-bear so only her toes fit in them... but she wore them all night. It was HYSTERICAL.

Happy thing #6: Souplantation. Weird, I know. My family eats here A LOT. The kids eat healthy there. We have our routine down. We know what approximate booth we sit in, what food to grab first, who likes what and who doesn't, etc. I probably shouldn't admit this but when Souplantation had a little e-coli scare... it didn't stop us from going. It's ALWAYS clean and the food couldn't be fresher. Maybe it's just ours... I don't know. Anyway, we love it.

Happy thing #7: Exercise. I love exercise, especially the way it makes me after it's done.

Happy thing #8: Reading. I really enjoy reading, particularly before bed. I usually have a few books going at once. Here's my current stack of books...

Happy thing #9: My camera. I have a Canon Digital Rebel and it's great! I'm not a good photographer but it's so much fun. I'd like to learn how to use it manually, instead of only on auto. But it's fun the way I use it too.

Happy thing #10: Scissoring with my husband and night. That's what we call the position we lay in when we are plopped on the couch together. We try to get some good scissor time in daily. We like each other. Just watching TV together is a joy. Usually we watch Top Chef, Biggest Loser or the Office. Oh, we love each other too, that sounds weird saying "like", but it's true so there it is.

Picture two people in sweats laying down on the couch with feet intertwined.

Phew... that was long huh? Sorry!

Here's where I'm supposed to tag 10 people, huh? Almost all of the ones on my list have already been tagged, but I'll put my reading list down here anyway. I found two new blogs in a magazine this month... you might like them.
The Goat and the Kid
Music to My Ears
all a flutter
Clover Lane
Living the Fit Life
Lovely Design
Tales of a Nursing Student
V and Co

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Christmas Craft For the Craft Impaired

Decoupage Christmas Ornaments

Here's an easy Christmas craft that anyone can do, for little money. I am not super crafty, at least not compared to some of the amazing moms I've been following on blogs. Some might even call me crafticapped. So that should give you an idea about how easy this craft is!

Here's what you need:

  • wood or cardboard ornaments (.25-$1 at Michaels)

  • craft paint (mine is acrylic)

  • mod podge glue

  • something to spread paint and glue (I used sponges)

  • a photo

Step 1: Cover ornament with paint, let dry

Step 2: cut a photo to fit on your ornament

Step 3: Completely cover ornament (front/back) with glue

Step 4: While glue is still wet, put photo on ornament and apply glue over the top. Make it thick, because this is what makes it opaque and glossy

Step 5: let dry and then bling it up with whatever you feel it needs. I painted gold dots around the edges of mine.

I also made this hanging decoration using the same technique on thin wood pieces. I just hot glued them to a fancy ribbon and voila!

Enjoy!!! :)