Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This Week's Menu

Hello all! I have been planning a weekly menu for the past couple of months and thank goodness for Pinterest for such great dinner ideas! I am going to casually post what we are having for the week, that way you may get some ideas for your dinner menu.

My hubby made this last night and it was INCREDIBLE! Not the healthiest thing around but everything in moderation... and TOTALLY worth every bite!!
Now this is not by any means healthy, but once in awhile that is ok :). I love Ree Drummonds show on the food network, Pioneer Woman, and am going off of many of her recipes this week. Her recipes are so real and easy that anyone can make them. This was an easy recipes. It was delicious!! I paired this with rigatoni topped with pasta sauce with ground turkey and a side salad. Very yummy!
I LOVE my crockpot so much I might marry it! There is such great things that come out of having a crockpot. The dinners are never ending! This isn't a recipe I have tried before but it was very easy to put together (it is in the crockpot right now). Sometimes crock pot dinners have so many steps and so many ingredients it can get annoying. But this recipe was not like that. I will let you know how it goes over with the fam.
Another crock pot recipe! I will admit I may like this recipe more than my kiddos will because I love mushrooms in any meal and they do not. But what they don't know won't hurt them :).
And I will pair this meal with:
We are a potato loving family! We eat potatoes pretty much every week whether it is with dinner or breakfast- we love them!
Now onto desserts!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Recipe : Ree Drummond : Food Network -
I I really need to say anything about this recipe?? Just look at the picture! With a homemade Oreo crust and homemade peanut butter filling who could ask for more? Is your mouth watering yet!
Cookie Dough and Candy | The Pioneer Woman Cooks | Ree Drummond
I saw Ree Drummond make these on her Food Network show and they looked so yummy and delicious! And I cannot get enough of peanut butter cups.
Hope you get some ideas for your weekly menu! There will be more posts like this to come!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Listen To Your Mother Auditions

I had the wonderful opportunity to be part of a show called Listen To Your Mother a few years ago. 
It was a very emotional time for me since it was so soon after my mom passed away and getting up and speaking about it was so helpful to me. 

There are MANY different cities that are putting a LTYM show together. To find our if your city is holding a show and how to try out check out the Listen To Your Mother Website.

For NWI readers CLICK HERE on how to audition.  

 And if you would like to relive the glory of my performance :), you can watch it below or read my post from the past.

Check out the LTYM YouTube channel for all of the performances.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I am on a swap frenzy!! Thank you to whoever invented some of these amazing swap websites that I am going to share with you.
Being a snail mail addict, sending and receiving mail just puts a big smile on my face. If you love to get mail (and also de-stashing your crafting or sewing room at the same time) then head on over to these websites I am frequenting lately.
As far as my online swapping pursuits have gone, I fee like I have hit the gold with swap-bot! This is a site where you swap in categories that are set up by members of the website. Signing up is totally FREE. Once you sign up you set a profile of likes, dislikes, crafts that you are interested, and swaps that you like. Then you search for swaps in your interested area (i.e. paper crafts, postcards swaps, thrift store finds swap, stationary. etc). and get set up with swap partners. There is always a signup date and a sending date.
I few that I have joined are postcard swaps, crazy thrift store book swap, handmade notecard swap and handmade envelope swap. There are so many possibilities that I just get excited about getting all my swaps together and putting them in the mail!!
If you join, look me up! My user name is Stephhaus.
This is a wonderful site for those looking for different swaps on the internet but don't want to spend hours searching for them. It incorporates all kinds of different swaps in internet land on one page. All you need to do is visit SwapDex, scroll through and find a swap (or swaps) that pertain to your interest, click on the link and follow the directions for signing up for the swap on the designated website. BOOM! Done! Swap away! A few that I have signed up for are the handmade Valentines day card swap and the ninja book swap (look for posts on these in the future!)
Clink on these links for some regular faves of mine that I have posted about before:
Happy Swapping!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Foodie Pen Pal Swap

Most people who know me are aware of my fondness for snail mail... and food.
 How fitting is it that I came across a foodie pen pal swap!?
I came across it during my usual late night internet browsing. It is put together by the ever organized Lindsay at Lean Green Bean.
If you have never done an online swap, it goes something like this. You head over to the designated website and follow the instructions for signing up for the swap. This usually includes filling out a form with your name, address (so they know where to send it), likes or dislikes pertaining to the swap, and email address so the coordinator can let you know who your swap partner is.
This swap called for the swappers to put together a package with their favorite food items ($15 limit).
Here is what I received!

Black Bean Pasta (made from black beans only!) This was something I had never seen or even heard of so that was really cool to get that!

The next item was a Basil Pesto sauce (in which my swap partner wrote to me and said she likes to put that on the black bean pasta). I LOVE pesto sauce so of course excited about that item!

She also sent me a Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam. Sounds yummy huh!? I had never tried this type of jam before and she let me know it goes well with crackers and cheese. That is right up my alley! Can't wait to try this.

Then she sent me a little assortment of teas that are her favorites.
Overall this was a really fun and exciting new swap to do. I even signed up for the next months swap, so be on the lookout for another Foodie Pen Pal Swap post.
Click Here to check out other bloggers that were part of the swap and see what they received!

If you would like to sign up too, just follow this link and get all your favorite foods packaged and ready to make someone's day!
*If you do plan on signing up, do so before the 4th of each month.
My swap partner doesn't have a blog so I will let you guys in on what I sent her. I am very pro-DIY so majority of the items I sent her were handmade/homemade by myself.
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
-Homemade Canned Bloody Mary Mix (with veggies from my garden)
-Mini Vodka
-Fun Recipe Cards
-Handmade Men's Shirt Apron
-Cute food stickers
I will leave you with this food for thought:

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bloody Good Time

YAY! I donated blood today! It may not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but it was actually something that I have been wanting (and trying) to do for a few years.
Donating blood is close to my heart since my mom had to get quite a few blood transfusions when she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. They were a life saver at times.
The year after her passing was a hard one for me and I decided to get out there and donate blood because it was something that was felt so close to home. After going through the interview part of the donation and getting my hemoglobin tested, I was told that it was too low and I wasn't able to donate at that time. I was literally crushed. I walked away with tears in my eyes. I didn't let it get me down and decided to try again after that. I ate all the right food, drank lots of water and headed to the donation center-only to be told my hemoglobin was still too low! Crushed again, I decided to wait longer in between trying again.
My boys' school was holding a blood drive tonight and I decided to give a third go-and IT WORKED! I was very nervous that my hemoglobin count was too low again but it was perfect this time. YAY! I know, I know, not a super big deal to some other people, but it was an emotional accomplishment for me. I felt that my blood could go on down the line and help someone in the same position as my mom, giving that persons family more time to love them.
Please, please, please go donate blood. It is free and doesn't take much time. And most importantly,

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekly Menu

I am not sure why I didn't think of this before or realize that this would really help my busy family out, but we have started a weekly menu plan. The light bulb finally turned on after visiting a friend in Michigan and seeing her dry erase board full of dinner ideas for the week. I was getting pretty bored with my usual dinner routines and scrambling around at the last minute and making a mish mosh of random items for dinner. I also knew it was getting pretty boring for my family when my husband announced that we have tacos like 3 times a week!

I already have a dry erase board that I use to write down the activities for the month so I took the side of it and designated it the dinner menu side! The boys and I brainstormed on what we should have for dinner for the week. I wanted to include them because if it was up to me I would make vegetarian or adult dishes all week and I would hear the lovely whining of "I am not eating this! It is gross!". Including them really worked out well and they get really excited to check to see what is for dinner that night of the week.

It also really helped when going to the grocery store. I usually just had a mental menu that I would try to remember when going shopping. Or I would just get whatever and throw it together and see how it turned out. This way I was able to figure out what we had and what we needed. I was even thinking that it may help if I ever wanted to venture into the crazy life known as couponing!

Here is am amature photo of what our menu is like for this week:

With the boys starting soccer and tae kwon do, we are busy every night this week! This menu has been so much more helpful than I ever realized it would! And thanks to Pinterest and the All Recipes App for my phone, I am able to find new recipes when I am in a rut.
Here are a links to some of the recipes I am making this week:
*Kids Fave
Meat Loaf
Picture Via: Better Homes and Gardens
Jiffy Scalloped Corn Casserole
Picture Via Yummly.Com
Picture Via
Lasagna Roll Ups
Pinned Image
I hope to make this post a weekly thing! Good Cookin' to ya!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

EEEK! I am on Pen Pal Of The Week1

Awhile back I posted about the Lost Art of Letter Writing and I sent a Pen Pal Ad to Pen Pal of the Week and I am on there now! My Pen Pal Ad is appropriately titled Dreadlocks! Check it out! :)

Stephanie 1
Stephanie 2
Stephanie 3

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I love Books....Again...

Maybe it is the cold weather or the time I get by myself in my car waiting to pick the kids up from school, but book reading has come back into my life once again! My friend Cynthia also had a part in this because she let me borrow a book and I really enjoyed it and kept the reading train going! Here are a few books I have been reading.
*You can click on the pictures for more information on the books.*

This book literally made me laugh out loud! It was very witty and catching and had me not wanting to put it down. Which all equal a good book. It is about a man who has a series of unfortunate events happen to him. One very big one, in which his Father passes away and he has to go back home and be around his crazy family while dealing with all the ups and downs of his life. It was a very good book.
"Often sidesplitting, mostly heartbreaking...[Tropper is] a more sincere, insightful version of Nick Hornby, that other master of male psyche." --USA Today

The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. There is, however, one conspicuous absence: Judd's wife, Jen, whose affair with his radio- shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the demise of his father and his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit shiva-and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. The week quickly spins out of control as longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed and old passions are reawakened. Then Jen delivers the clincher: she's pregnant.

This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper's (One Last Thing Before I Go) most accomplished work to date, and a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind-whether we like it or not.
This book was a little slow at first, but it definitely got better. I like an ending to a book that makes me smile and this ended like that. It is about an aging rocker who was in a band with a one hit wonder. He finds out he has to have life saving surgery, but isn't exactly sure he wants to have it and continue with his pitiful life. There were some definite tear jerker parts to this book. I liked the previous book a little better, but this one is very good too.
The bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You returns with a hilarious and heart-rending tale about one family's struggle to reconnect.

You don’t have to look very hard at Drew Silver to see that mistakes have been made. His fleeting fame as the drummer for a one-hit wonder rock band is nearly a decade behind him. He lives in the Versailles, an apartment building filled almost exclusively with divorced men like him, and makes a living playing in wedding bands. His ex-wife, Denise, is about to marry a guy Silver can’t quite bring himself to hate. And his Princeton-bound teenage daughter Casey has just confided in him that she’s pregnant—because Silver is the one she cares least about letting down.

So when he learns that his heart requires emergency, lifesaving surgery, Silver makes the radical decision to refuse the operation, choosing instead to use what little time he has left to repair his relationship with Casey, become a better man, and live in the moment, even if that moment isn't destined to last very long. As his exasperated family looks on, Silver grapples with the ultimate question of whether or not his own life is worth saving.

With the wedding looming and both Silver and Casey in crisis, this broken family struggles to come together, only to risk damaging each other even more. One Last Thing Before I Go is Jonathan Tropper at his funny, insightful, heartbreaking best.

Motherlunge cover mockup
I am currently reading this book and like it so far, I will give you more when I am finished.
I thought I would just share some of my favorite books with you guys in case you are looking for something to take up some extra time and expand your mind!
The Time Traveler's Wife
Stones from the River
White Oleander
The Catcher in the Rye
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Day Menu

Happy Valentines Day! It is a fun day to wear every piece of red or pink clothing you have! Well, at least that is what me and the boys do!
If you don't feel like being tacky-ily dressed on this day, why not find the way to your families heart through their stomachs?

We got Valentines morning started off right with some Red Velvet Pancakes for L and poached eggs with heart shaped toast for B (sorry he ate them too fast and didn't get a picture!)

 Red velvet pancakes with cream cheese "syrup"

Lovin' them pancakes!
And surprise surprise, I didn't make them from scratch! (Hey, this mama is not too much of a morning person!) I got the mix from good ol' trusty Aldi. And I have to say it was delicious!!
Since the boys will be at school for lunch, this Mama is probably going to have a candlelit lunch in front of the TV with some delicious Valentine's chocolate, that I bought for myself and hid just for this occasion...shhh...don't tell :).
For dinner we will be having these awesomely good spinach lasagna roll-ups via SkinnyTaste (one of my favorite recipe blogs)

These are so easy to make and my boys just gobble them up!
Besides any chocolate that may be left over from my "lunch" earlier, dessert will be a layered Red Velvet Cake! YUMMM! I cannot wait. If anyone had the cupcakes I made for my friends shower, the homemade frosting that was on those, will be on this cake. It is a secret recipe handed down to me from one of the best cooks and bakers I know (Becky). I hope it will look something like this.
Pinned Image
Once again, I will be using a box mix for time reasons, but I will be adding some sour cream instead of milk to make it more moist and delicious!
Do you do any fun Valentine's day menus? Leave me a comment here or on my facebook page to let me know what you are making.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Lost Art

It kind of baffles me that writing a letter or sending a card is a lost art these days. And I was saddened to hear that the post office was going to stop Saturday mail delivery for many reasons, but one was the lack of people using the post office.
I am lover of all things mail. I like to send, and receive :), postcards, letters, cards and mail art. Come on, who doesn't like getting a special something in the mail that is addressed only to them?? And if you do not like getting this feeling when you get something in the mail, then you are using your email too much. Put away the computer and WRITE a letter, a thank you card, a postcard, draw a picture just WRITE something! Anything! To someone you love or haven't seen in awhile. I bet they will send something in return and then you will know what it is like to feel that special feeling when you open up the mail box and see something other than a bill addressed to you.


My friends and family know that I like to send things in the mail, but did you know that I I also love being Pen Pals? Yep, the good ol' fashioned pen pal is always there when you need to send something to someone in the mail. I am actually a member of the Letter Writer's Alliance based out of Chicago. I have mentioned them before in past posts, and I really enjoy being part of it. You pay a one time fee to become a member and receive a member card. You will also get two pen pals out of it. One for you to write to and one that writes to you. They can give you a pen pal based on your age and any other special preferences such as female or male pen pals or if you do or do not want to write to someone living outside of the country. I have gotten a few pen pals from them,  but they kinda fizzled out. I just actually got two more pen pals per my request and I am enjoying starting to write to them. You can also get some unique stationery goodies on this site.

I came across this website while browsing around one night and it is so cool and unique. For one the creator, Julie, makes her own stationery. Beautiful stationary I may add! And she has a few parts to her website that stand out. One is pen pal of the week in which she interviews and shares the answers to someone who likes to send and receive mail. And she is very good and keeping the variety in the people that she interviews. She also has a spot called Pen pal ads in which you send her a letter and she posts pictures of the envelope and then also scans and posts your exact letter onto her site. She asks that you write your top ten quirks, a little about yourself and what you want in a pen pal. Then others who are interested in contacting you can do so after reading your ad. It cuts out the mystery of finding a great pen pal. I did send an ad to her, but we will see if it gets posted. She also has lots of links to fun mail oriented blogs. Be sure to check it out, you won't be disappointed.
Here are a few other websites to check out if you want to send something in the mail:
Wreck This Girls Mailbox (lots of cool mail related parts to this website) (free to sign up, you get to make a profile of what you want to send and receive) (free to sign up, start sending and receiving postcards from all over the world)
Givers Log (this woman sends fun things in the mail that are 13 ounces or less)
If these haven't spurred your interested in writing, I am not sure what will! Honestly, don't let the lost art of writing pass you up. Send anything that your heart desires to someone you want to just say hey to. It will brighten their day, there's no way it can't!