Friday, February 12, 2010


Well an early morning hi there to you! How are you doing today? I, obviously, could not sleep so I’ve been up listening to the rain and decided to get an early start on my writings and my day. I think that once I drop the kids off, I’m going to go hang out with my mom. She always has a way of refreshing my spirit when I get the doldrums. And believe me, I have the bad weather blahs something fierce. Stuck inside 24-7 cause its too cold and wet and nasty to do anything outside tends to get you down… especially since its been this way for months now! Add to that health issues that just make your body hurt to tears courtesy of the cold weather… it makes for an easy situation to get the winter blues. I’m ready for a little sun and warmer weather… not real hot though… I don’t like that either cause it makes me sick too! LOL!

My battle against the clutter, as you know, is ongoing. However I think I have finally won in the kitchen! Pegboards on the wall holding oversized utensils and frequently used pots, things hanging up, a new paint job, thrown out a bunch of things, etc. My cabinets actually close now! YAY! Working on my bedroom and bathroom now. The closet is cleaned and organized with hooks along the back wall, clothes taken out and donated, boxes labeled and organized on the top shelf, etc. There are a couple of things I need to find homes for still but its coming along… it mainly leaves my living room and craft area… which is a scary thing! LOL! I’ll keep you posted.

Crafts… well I finished the hubs Valentine’s Day card. It’s not exactly like I planned but its original, creative, and I hope he likes it. I put pictures from our wedding on there because those were some happy times. I used scrapbook papers, ribbons, sequins, photos, glitter, etc. LOL I like things that sparkle. Well today is the last weekday before the big Valentine’s Day weekend. Maybe it’s the last day that your sweetie will be out of the house giving you enough time to make or plan & prepare something special. So here are a few last minute ideas for a great holiday.

True Romance for Couples with Kids: 10 Inexpensive Ideas
by Susie Cortright

Anyone can splurge on a formal dinner or a pricey bottle of perfume, but it takes creativity, forethought, and time to be truly romantic.

The key lies in personalizing your celebration. Here are ten ideas to fuel your own creativity:

1. Empty a box of chocolates. Then cut out 50 to 100 hearts from lace doilies, construction paper, or fabric. On each cutout, record something about him that you love. Be specific, "The way you smell when you come to bed at night," "The way you take care of me when I'm sick," "Your recipe for pancakes"...

Fold the cutouts, place them in the chocolate box, and top with a red satin bow.

The time you spend coming up with these ideas will contribute to your own romantic mood, and what he thinks is a plain box of chocolates will be a gift he'll keep close to his heart forever. And you can add to the box on Valentine's Day, his birthday, your anniversary, and other holidays throughout the year.

2. Build a romantic fire. Before the kids go to bed, have fun roasting marshmallows. After their lights are out, host your own indoor picnic, complete with a bottle of wine and chocolate-covered strawberries.

3. Recreate your first date together. What were you wearing? Where did you go? Do you remember what you talked about? Spend the evening reminiscing and reflecting on how far you've come as a couple.

4. Spoon all night.

5. Choose a book in which you are both interested, fiction or nonfiction. Read a new chapter each night before bed. This cozy tradition will allow you to spend some quality time together and often makes for thought-provoking breakfast conversations.

6. Make a tape of the songs special to your relationship. Include "your song," songs from your wedding, songs from favorite movies. Add a personal voice dedication and leave it in his briefcase, Walkman, or car stereo.

7. Turn off the TV.

8. Kidnap your husband. Arrange for a babysitter for a few hours -- or a few days. A friend of mine had a lot of success with this one. She knew her husband had always wanted to get married in Vegas, but he had agreed to a large, formal ceremony hosted by her family. So, after they had been married 10 years, she surprised him at work with a packed suitcase. They caught an evening flight and renewed their vows before an Elvis impersonator in a Vegas chapel. Years later, they're still talking about it.

9. This one requires a babysitter, too. Next time you're visiting your parents or in-laws, leave the kids with their grandparents and travel to another town, where no one will recognize you. Check into a hotel or B&B. Dress like another woman. Act like another woman. It's fun to slip into another persona from time to time.

10. Have a scavenger hunt. Write a few poems, wrap candy kisses inside, and hide them around the house. Each poem should be a clue to finding the next one. Make sure the final clue lands your man someplace you want to end up for the entire evening. A romance package, including a bottle of champagne and new lingerie, is a nice touch.

And now what’s next kids… yep… food. Well this is the weirdest thing. I had a craving for those Cup O Soup things by Maruchan yesterday afternoon… ya know one of those 15 cent squares of noodles or the 30 cent cups you cook for 3 minutes and its done? Yea so the kids went to the store and picked up some for me. But they brought back a BUNCH of them! They said I need a break and tomorrow (meaning tonight) THEY are making those soups and hot sandwiches for everyone! They brought home 6 cases of the squares in various flavors and 6 cases of the cups in various flavors. They said that’s at least 2-3 soups per person LOL! They said they can’t make homemade soups like I can, but they want to take care of me for a change cause they know I’m hurting. LOL wonder what gave it away… the distorted faces or the tears or what? LOL! Isn’t that sweet though?? So in my house the kids are doing Ramen Noodle Soups and hot sandwiches… LOL this should be interesting! Even if it doesn’t go well, I gotta say I got a good group of kids! They make me want to keep them all and have more of my own, but I know neither is possible. Anyway, I know that you all come here looking for inspiration, so I am gonna share this remarkable recipe with you.

Chicken Florentine Casserole


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 (13.5 ounce) cans spinach, drained
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cup bacon bits
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the spinach and mushrooms. Stirring constantly, mix in the garlic, lemon juice, cream of mushroom soup, Italian seasoning, half-and-half, and Parmesan cheese.

Pour half the mixture from the saucepan over the mushrooms. Arrange chicken breasts in the dish, and cover with the remaining sauce mixture. Sprinkle with bacon bits.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes in the 350 degrees oven. Remove and cover with mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake about 10 minutes longer or until cheese is bubbly.

OK gang, its time for me to get my kids out of bed and try to get everyone ready for school but remain all toasty warm. Join me tomorrow for another addition of stuck-in-the-house-wet-rainy-season-crazy antics and articles LOL! Wherever you are, wherever you go, be safe, keep warm, and be happy! Until tomorrow… HUGS!

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