Thursday, 27 June 2013

Flowers in the Ground, Garden Planted!

I have had everything planted for about a month now but am just not getting to posting about it.

Here are some before pictures of the garden and flower bed.





First step...procure the flowers. I went to Stranges because I have tons of shade in my yard. I find that Home Depot and Lowes don't always have the best shade lovers!

Second step...gather your tools and helper. ;)


Third step...clear out the old and plant the new!

Camille picked out these for her garden.

Ignore the broken board...it gives the fence character right? We planted tomatoes and jalapenos this year.

I also planted parsley, rosemary and basil.

And in the flower garden, I planted sweet potato vine, inpatients, coleus and ivy.




All those pictures were from May. I just went out and snapped a few of how things are looking today. We have had so much rain, everything is flourishing.


 
  No tomatoes yet but we have a few jalapenos.



Looks like I need to do some weeding. 


Here are the planters at my back and front doors and patio.



 Our yard still needs so much work! It is so hard to find the time.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Menu Planner


 

We last minute packed up and hit the road for Sandbridge last Friday afternoon. We had such a fun weekend but are tired and getting back in the swing of things today.

Here goes with this week's menu planner....

Monday - Asian Salmon, Fried Rice, Salad

Tuesday - Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap

Wednesday - Taco Casserole

Thursday - Omelets, Bacon and Toast

Michael plays soccer on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in the summer so on those nights there is not always time for an elaborate dinner hence the omelets! ;)


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

My kitchen featured




I have talked about my kitchen many times on this blog and actually it is the saving grace in my house! We live in a 1900 square foot brick 1950s ranch. There are 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. We bought the house from the original owners and moved in when I was 8 months pregnant with Clyde. The kitchen smelled of mildew and we lived with it for about 6 months before we gutted the place!

The toys are overtaking our house and it is always a mess. I show houses to people with tons of space and huge closets and basements and think gosh that would be nice. But it isn't in the cards for us to move right now and we have an awesome neighborhood and a roof over our head so I am thankful for that. It could be a lot worse.  But back to the kitchen, it is the best part about our house. We have tons of storage and it is very functional. Many thanks to my sister, Anne Hunter, for saving this place!

And my H2 Design kitchen is getting a little press. We are featured on the Hooked On Houses blog today. Click on over and vote!

This is the family room that opens to the kitchen and where the customers wait for their order in my short order kitchen ;)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Happy Father's Day! & Menu Planner

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband! Such a great Dad to Camille & Clyde!


Also, thinking of my dad today. Hard to believe he has been gone 6 years....



Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.  Here goes with this week's menu planner....

Monday - Chicken Fajita's

Tuesday - BBQ Pizza (carryover from last week)


Sunday, 9 June 2013

School Year Resolutions Update & Menu Planner

Last August, I made two school year resolutions, eat dinner as a family and start a chore and good eater chart. Now that the school year is over, let's check in on how I am doing.

Eat Dinner As a Family: FAIL!
I really would love to be able to have dinner waiting on the table at 6:00 pm when Michael walks in the door from work but I couldn't get it altogether and it was creating a lot of stress. First problem, Camille & Clyde were starving and from 5:00 until 6:00 pm and they asked me every other minute if dinner was ready. Second problem, I am short order cook and Camille and Clyde eat something different from Michael and me and sometimes each other. So a lot of nights, I am preparing three different meals and that made it harder to get it complete by 6:00 pm. Third problem, Michael doesn't always want to eat dinner the minute he walks in the door. Fourth problem, I have a job and my hours are not 9:00 am until 5:00 pm and sometimes work things come up and I can't start dinner at 5:00 pm.

I still have a big problem with Clyde as a picky eater and my pediatrician told me to make the same meal for everyone and if Camille & Clyde don't want it offer one boring option as a back up such as peanut butter sandwich and offer that every time. The hope is they will get so bored with peanut butter sandwiches they will try what you made. I have given it a lot of thought and need to decide if I am disciplined enough to do this.

I think the new goal perhaps should be one a week we eat dinner as a family. Baby steps here. And maybe we can work our way up to more nights.

Start a Chore and Good Eater Chart: PASS! 
Let's end on a high note. I think I passed this one!

We still keep up with this and I even have Camille & Clyde helping to unload the dishwasher and put away their laundry now. It works well for us and I can really get them to accomplish a bunch if we are two or three stars away from a TOY! As a reminder, once they get 15 stars, they get to select a toy from a basket of $5-$10 toys I keep in the attic.

Here goes with this week's menu planner....

Sunday - Salmon & Guacamole Sandwiches, Corn on the Cob

Monday - Brown Butter Gnocchi

Tuesday - Spicy Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Cream

Wednesday - BBQ Chicken Pizza and Pepperoni for Camille & Clyde

Thursday - Veal Saltimbocca, Sauteed Squash and Zucchini


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Our trip to Vegas....

Michael rarely travels for work but recently had an opportunity to attend a conference in Las Vegas. We decided to extend his trip and I would fly out to meet him. I have been to Vegas on numerous occasions when I worked as an event planner for Circuit City but never for vacation. It is truly a unique location.

We had a great time hanging out, laying by the pool, going out to dinner, watching the Today Show & Ellen with no interruptions, just generally doing nothing!

We stayed at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay for the first two nights and Hard Rock the last night. The rate for THEhotel tripled on a Friday night so we moved over to Hard Rock that day since we would be getting up early to go to the airport on Saturday.

View from our window at THEhotel
The first night, Wednesday, we had dinner with Michael's coworkers at Postrio in the Venetian Grande Canal Shoppes. It was pretty good but I was completely exhausted because of the time change. We walked the strip that night as well and saw the water show at the Bellagio.




We hit the pool at Mandalay Bay on Thursday.

Thursday night we had dinner at The Border Grill at Mandalay Bay. It was pretty good...we split two entrees and one was better than the other. After dinner, we played some of the slot machines and listed to a band that was playing in the hotel.




I lost $60 at the slots! :( But Michael ended up about $300 ahead.

On Friday, we moved to Hard Rock and I felt like a fish out of water over there! We had lunch at this really cool place called Culinary Dropout, I loved the decor. The food was so so!



After lunch, we hit the pool. It was super hot so we didn't last long there.


I got a massage that afternoon at the Hard Rock spa before we had dinner at Nobu which is soooo delicious. We enjoyed every bite there!

Saturday, we got up early and flew back east to Newport News then drove straight to Sandbridge where Camille & Clyde welcomed us with this....


Many thanks to my mom and Michael's parents for watching them! They did so much with them and the kids had a blast!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Superhero Soccer Party

A few weeks ago, Clyde turned 4 and we celebrated at a local sports park, Scor. He wanted a superhero theme to go with the soccer party so I did my best to pull that off!

First off, I purchased this clip art from Etsy.

I was going to try to design the invitation myself but am lacking talent in that department so ended up getting local Elizabeth from Sunshine Ink Studio to create for me.

Much cuter then what I pulled together. 
For the cake, I ordered plain cupcakes with green polka dots from Kroger. The polka dots were far from what I had in mind but the kids didn't care! I ordered cupcake toppers using the same clip art from The Sister Studio.



Camille & Clyde both got new shirts for the occasion. Clyde's batman shirt came from TwoTwoCute Designs on Etsy. And Camille's is from CutiesTieDyeBoutique. They worked with me to do a chevron background to match the invitation.



For the goodie bags, I purchased the red bags from the Dollar Tree. And then free hand cut the black card stock and just printed the superhero clip art off my computer. Inside, I put watercolor paints that I found for around $1 at Walmart and a superhero bracelet found on eBay as well as these lollipops found on Amazon.com.



I used tablecloths from Camille's 4th birthday and the Target birthday banner found at the Goochland Goodwill.  The masks were in the pack with the superhero bracelets. The plates and napkins are from Walmart.



The cupcakes flipped over on the car ride over so they were not pretty! 

Red bin from the Dollar Tree




The kids had a blast and it was so stress free being at SCOR!

Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures...my camera was on a weird setting for most of the party! Boo!