Valentine Kick-Off Breakfast — So Much Fun!
Last night, after the Ferrell boys had FINALLY gone to sleep . . . Dave and I decorated the breakfast area.
I need some red or pink placemats . . . and some red hots or conversation hearts for the candle centerpiece . . . and another chair . . .
But other than those little issues, I think the table was very Valentiny for the surprise Valentine breakfast.
Dave helped me hang the Valentine Countdown Calendar that I had made earlier in the day. We draped it around the breakfast window . . . I need curtains for the breakfast window. . .
I raided my craft supplies and found some foam sheets in Valentine colors that I used to make the hearts for the calendar.
I cut out a large heart and a small heart . . . 14 of each . . . and hot glued the smaller heart on top of the larger heart. I put the glue in a “V” shape at the bottom of the small heart and left the top of the small heart open to make a pocket.
I used my Cricut to cut out white vinyl numbers to stick on the hearts for countdown days.
And then I attached the hearts in numerical order with clothespins to the wired heart garland I got at the Dollar Tree. This project cost me $1 to make since I had all the supplies already except for the wired heart garland.
I think the breakfast area looked really cute and Valentiny (is that a word?) when Dave & I were finished.
This morning Dave and I got up a little earlier than normal to get everything ready for the boys’ surprise Valentine Kick-Off Breakfast.
Dave made the heart-shaped bacon . . .
while I used a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the pats of butter . . .
Dave cooked the pancakes while I fixed the boys’ drinks. I put red food coloring in their milk to dye it pink! We used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the pancakes.
When Zach walked into the kitchen . . . he was soooo confused!
What is going on ?!?
As you can see . . . He loved it!
Zach doesn’t like milk so I squirted red food coloring in his orange juice which made it a bright pink! Totally freaked him out at first until I told him it was his normal OJ!
Alex was also thrilled with the surprise breakfast . . .
Shane wasn’t very cooperative this morning . . . He wouldn’t let me get a picture of him!
I thought the breakfast turned out very cute . . . and I didn’t buy anything for it. We already had the bacon, sausage, and pancake mix . . . and the Valentine plates and napkins too . . .
Wonder what fun Valentine activity or treat is waiting for
me and the Ferrell boys tomorrow . . .
Be Mine — Valentine! Countdown to V-Day!
|Picture and instructions at
|(picture from gallamorewest.com)|
So . . . Be Mine - Valentine! or at least . . . Mine and the Ferrell Boys!
Week of Jan. 30th – Menu Plan
Crockpot Spaghetti sauce (made with lean ground beef instead of ground turkey)
Crockpot Potato Soup
Toppings: bacon & cheese
Pizza — Homemade using Basic Pizza Dough recipe
Weekend Menu – still pending
Can you tell I’m in a cooking mood this week?!? BTW: I lost another 1.4 pounds last week! Woo Hoo! I was somewhat surprised by this since I went on an eating binge the past three days and did not drink any water over the weekend! Just Diet Coke! This week I’m getting back to the basics . . .
I’m a little worried about the potato soup . . .
Part of the problem with dieting is how long it takes to get anywhere with it. You know what I mean. . . 1 pound this week . . . 1 pound last week . . . pokey pokey pokey.
So to help me get out of the binge-eating-binge I was going through . . . I decided to raid my closet.
I should take a picture of my closet. It’s bad messy! It’s a huge walk-in closet with two rows for hanging clothes on the left side (for me ) and two rows for hanging clothes on the right side (for Dave) and one tall row across the back (for my dresses etc). It’s pretty full in there. So when we brought the final load of clothes from the old house . . . over a year ago . . . I had to pile them in a giant pile in the middle of the closet . . . all the racks of rows were full already . . . and that’s where they have stayed! I’m so being reeeaaal honest here folks!
Anyway . . . I started digging through that pile of clothes. They are neatly piled together . . . still on hangers . . . stacked on top of each other . . . I found some clothes I haven’t seen in a while . . . I wore a black dress to church Sunday that I haven’t worn in a while . . . like since before I had Shane . . .
Today I wore a striped turtle neck sweater with a black skirt . . . again something I haven’t worn in a while . . .
Now I will say that I haven’t been able to wear these clothes comfortably in public until now so this was just the type of boost I needed to keep me on the WW program. The funny thing is what Dave said to me this afternoon . . .
He looked at me with a curious smile and said . . . “Where have you been getting all these new clothes?” Ha! Like I’ve been out spending his money! Like when would I have done any shopping and with what?!? He’s so funny!
Hope you have a great week!
Love ya! from the Ferrell boys and me!
When starting to think about IVF often you run into a ton of emotions. From finally there is an answer to your problems, to the dreaded, how are you going to pay for this. Often in there is the dreaded fear of all the injections that you will have to pump into yourself. After a while you may convince yourself that everything will be okay. That you will not be terrified of doing this. You really do want to do ANYTHING to have a baby… then you get THE BOX!
The monster thing it is! Mine looked just like it would hold a baby! Maybe the doctor shipped my baby to me insted. I really can’t open this box up… but if it is a baby I should at least allow it to breath right? After a few deep breaths you open it up and discover a maze of needles and packages that say refrigerate this and leave this one at room temperture. You start second guessing your choice of “room temperture”. I mean I like it at 72. Is that good for my meds? This corner has a bit of a draft, maybe I should put it closer to the center of the room. Oh that might be tricky with my next dinner party with this all hanging out there. What sort of questions will people ask. Ugg! Must avoid this. I know, I will take a thermometer and go around my room and find the ideal spot for the meds and put them there… in this closet, surrounded by a blanket.
Now you look at your refrigerated meds. Where should this go? Now for me this question was easy. They got their own little dorm style refrigerator. I could make them happy in there and not bother my other food. However for other people this isn’t an option. So where do you put those? Some try the crisper or the shelf, maybe the egg tray… yeah that would be a great spot after all they will help you make eggs!
Now those needles! Do they really expect me to inject myself with these? How am I going to do this? I REALLY want a baby but is this really the only way? Sadly this is one area where you just have to live through it to know that they really are not that bad. Yeah it isn’t fun, but at least your not having to be awake when they do the egg retrieval and take out the REALLY big needles.
Inside my box was 2 sharps containers, more needles and syringes then I could ever use, alcohol wipes, Repronex, Gonal F, Lupron, Noverel, Progesterone in Ethyl Oleate, Doxycycline (antibiotic), Medrol (steroid), and prometrium. I used this corner of my bedroom to stage all of this. It worked well for me.
Don’t worry you can and will get through this. The big box turns smaller and smaller after a few days into your cycle. By the time your done, you are thankful and just pray that it will work… and odds are it will!
Jennifer (BL-3 ladybugs)
After two weeks of menu planning, I’ve discovered something. I need flexibility on the weekends. So this week, I’m only planning our weekday meals. Afterall, I have no idea what we’ll be doing this weekend . . . so far in my meal planning, I haven’t followed the weekend menus anyway.
So here goes for this week:
Chicken Fajitas (Aztec flour tortillas & fajita seasoning mix on sale @ grocery)
Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
(Grands biscuits on sale @ grocery)
(Picture & recipe from http://www.bubblecrumb.com/)
with all the Fixings ( corn chips, sour cream, cheese, diced onions)
Grilled Chicken Tenders in Garlic, Herb & Wine marinade
Noodles Alfredo (I like the wide noodles instead of fettucini)
I went to Weight Watchers this morning, and I had lost another pound! Yea!
I’ve had some of my friends question me as to how I’m doing Weight Watchers and cooking all this food I’m planning every week.
First of all . . . I don’t eat everything I cook. For instance, I’ve cooked macaroni & cheese during the past 2 weeks, and I haven’t eaten any of it. I’m eating what I cook, but I’m weighing the meats and measuring the food carefully. I’ve been tracking my points and staying within my daily points target trying hard not to go over into the weekly points allowance. It’s not always easy, but Dave has been very encouraging to me.
Hope you all have a great week!
Tina and the Ferrell boys
I love to decorate for the holidays. . . . every holiday. If I could have come up with something festive for MLK day, I would have decorated for it!
With Valentine’s Day just a few weeks away, I’ve been saving several items concerning Valentine’s Day in my favorites folder. That’s the way I “pin” things I see. I have yet to master the “pinning” technique for pinterest.com, so I’ve just continued saving recipes and crafty items in my favorites’ folders like I always have.
Here are some of my favorites for Valentine’s Day :
You know how much I love to cook and when I saw this Chocolate Cherry Whoopie Pie recipe, I just knew I was going to have to make them for Valentine’s Day!
I’m not sure about using cherries in the filling . . . but who knows . . . maybe I’ll even give the cherries a try too!
And then I found a similar whoopie pie recipe called Heartbreakers using a red velvet cake mix that I might try instead . . .
|(picture & recipe from asmallsnippet.blogspot.com)|
She adapted her recipe from a whoopie pie recipe at www.bakerella.com/easy-and-easier-valentine-treats/ by making them heart-shaped instead of round.
|(picture & recipe at myblessedlife.net)|
|(picture from gallamorewest.blogspot.com)|
She has some great ideas for Valentine activities and treats for each of the 14 days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Sounds like something fun for the Ferrell boys and me! She even made the chalkboard too! I’m so inspired! I loved her ideas for the Valentine’s Day chex mix, the footprint cupid, cupcakes topped with heart brownies, the love shack houses made from graham crackers, and the heart-shaped breakfast. I probably won’t do all of that, but I think the countdown calendar is definitely going to happen at the Ferrell homestead!
And lastly . . . a burlap Valentine’s Wreath I saw at my blessed life. net. . . Oh my! I so want to make this! But I’m a little intimidated about the amount of time she said it took to make the wreath . . . 1.5 hours!
|(picture from myblessedlife.net)|
|(picture from 4tunate.net)|
It’s made with a wire hanger and strips of fabric tied on . . . I couldn’t get the original website with the instructions for making this wreath to come up on my computer so I may just “wing it”.
I’ll let you know as I venture into making some of these Valentine’s Day projects.
Menu Planning Update:
So we are midway though the week and the menu planning has worked out great this week!
I made the Lemon Chicken Tuesday night.
It got 3 out of 4 Ferrell thumbs up.
Shane didn’t want to eat chicken, and I don’t think he would have liked the lemony taste of the chicken anyway. It was pretty tangy with the lemon and Italian seasoning sprinkled on the chicken.
Alex, surprisingly, did not like it. He’s usually the one child I can count on loving my new dishes. . . Zach liked the chicken . . . dipped in ketchup.
If I make it again, I will cut back on the amount of lemon I use. Also, I only used 1/2 stick of real butter. It was very good and if I had used a whole stick of butter I believe the dish would have been greasy. Dave & I both liked the Lemon Chicken. However it may be a dish for grown ups more so than children.
Tuesday night I went ahead and fixed the Chicken Tortilla Soup up to the point of cooking it. I put the crockpot crock in the refrigerator where it stayed until lunch time on Wednesday and then I started the soup cooking on Low.
It is really good. I loved it! And it’s Weight Watcher friendly which makes it wonderful! One cup of soup is 3 points!
There is a drawback to this meal . . . soup is not a favorite meal for my boys unless it’s Alphabet soup . . . so I stuck a frozen pizza in the oven as a standby for them. Shane ate 4 pieces of pizza. He loves pizza, spaghetti, and chicken nuggets. I’ll be glad when he gets a more mature palette and will try new foods. Nowadays, he looks at the dishes I make and says “that’s yucky.”
Here’s the Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe with my modifications.
Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced ( I didn’t use the 4 to 6 breasts recipe called for)
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans of petite diced tomatoes
- 1 (16 oz) can of mild enchilada sauce (couldn’t find 14 oz can)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 can chopped green chilies
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 (14.5 oz) chicken broth (I added water to make it the 32 oz the recipe called for)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2/3rd (16 oz) pkg frozen corn (Couldn’t find a 10 oz bag)
Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Stir. Cover and cook on Low for 5 to 6 hours or on High for 2 to 3 hours. It made almost 13 cups of soup for 3 points a cup.
I did not make the corn tortilla strips in the oven like the original recipe called for. Instead, we ate the soup with tortilla chips, sour cream, and shredded cheese.
It was great! Of the 3 Ferrells that tried the soup, this soup got
3 out of 3 Ferrell thumbs up!
I froze 5 cups of the soup for another day and saved some for tomorrow’s lunch.
Tonight, Thursday, we’re having Tacos and Mexican Rice. I’m trying a new recipe for Mexican Rice so I’ll let you know how it turns out. My boys love the Mexican rice that you get in the restaurants so I hope it tastes like that.
I hope I’ve inspired you to try some of the recipes I’ve found or some of the Valentine’s Day crafts I’m trying.
Have a great rest of the week now that we’re over the Hump!
Tina and the Ferrell Boys!
Five Ferrell Thumbs Up on the Ribs!
So I put the Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Ribs in the crockpot this morning around 9 o’clock. I used the ribs I had purchased on sale yesterday at our local grocery store. They looked pretty good except they were all frozen together in a great big block! The ribs were cut into portions of 3 or 4 ribs together . . . and all of these portions were frozen together and I couldn’t get them to break apart!
Dave suggested I take the box (closed of course) to the front concrete porch and throw the box down like a bag of ice to break the ribs apart. Somewhat skeptical . . . I did as he suggested. It worked! It didn’t break all the ribs apart, but it broke enough off and separated for me to use for tonight’s meal. Here’s the ribs at the start of the cooking process. They were still frozen.
I seasoned them and poured 1 cup of Dr. Pepper over the ribs and left them to cook on low all day (8 hours). Here’s what they looked like right before we took them up.
We took the ribs out and set them on a cookie sheet to pour the liquid out of the crockpot. They were very fragile . . . the ribs kept breaking apart because they were so tender . . . and fall apart good.
The recipe said to brush BBQ sauce on the ribs and place them back in the crockpot for 1 hour to continue cooking. (See the white crockpot . . . that’s my “baked” potatoes cooking)
Instead of putting the ribs back in the crockpot . . . Dave wanted me to put them on the grill and finish cooking them there and since I was cooking the ribs for Dave . . . I did as he wished.
Here are the ribs right before I took them up.
I cooked them on the grill at about 300 degrees for a few minutes on each side. I had to use a spatula and tongs to turn them over because they were wanting to fall apart!
Dave loved them! In fact, everyone loved them! We give this recipe:
5 thumbs up from the Ferrell boys and me!
Last night’s menu is also worth sharing. We had grilled boneless pork chops, brown rice, and green bean “bundles”.
Shane helped me in the kitchen when I was making this meal. He’s a big “helper”.
I used the Mesquite marinade on the pork chops. I got one of the great guys in the meat department at the grocery to cut me some boneless pork chops about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. I think pork chops do better on the grill when they’re a little thicker. I let them marinate for about an hour in the refrigerator while I cooked the rice and green beans.
The brown rice recipe I use is in the local bank’s cookbook in the side dish section. You need these ingredients:
You mix 1 cup of rice, the two soups, 1 tbsp of butter, and 1/4 cup of water together in a casserole dish. Put a lid on the dish and cook it at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Mix and fluff the rice before serving.
My boys don’t like the little brown onions from the french onion soup in the rice . . . they pick them out! Next time I make it, I’m going to blend the onions up so they won’t see them!
The green bean “bundles” are my lazy way to make them. Here’s the ingredients:
You pour the 2 cans of green beans and juice into a casserole dish. Lay the bacon across the top of the green beans and sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper. I cut the bacon in half.
Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 1 hour. I always make these green beans and the brown rice together since they both cook for an hour. Sometimes I’m not lazy and I actually make the bean bundles, but this lazy way is really good too. The bacon cooks and crisps on top and adds great flavor to the beans!
Right before the rice and beans were ready, I put the pork chops on the grill. I cooked them at 300 degrees on the grill for several minutes on each side. I turned them over 2 or 3 times and let them cook at least twice on each side of the pork chop. I like to cook slowly on the grill so as not to burn the food.
The pork chops were really good. The mesquite flavor made them so yummy! The fat on the outside of the pork chops burned a little (see the black) but the pork chops weren’t burnt. I went to check on them one time and opened the grill and . . . the fat on one of the pork chops was on fire! Freaked me out a little.
But of course, while I’m grilling, I have a little “helper” in the kitchen which can be distracting . . .
“Look Mom . . . I’m in a box!”
It’s a wonder I didn’t burn all the pork chops! “Look Mom . . . I’m running fast in the box!”
I am working on a little project I saw on pinterest.com, but I haven’t finished it yet. When I get finished I’ll be posting it to show you. I’m making it from some of the wood from the torn up piano . . . which by the way . . . is still on the front porch!
Don’t stress about the piano . . . we were told by professional piano tuners to chunk it. Dave has been dismantling it since before Christmas . . . I just hope it’s gone by Easter ! Here are the pieces I’m trying to repurpose through my crafting projects.
Dave thinks I’m nuts. LOL!
Well, I’ve got to go. We’ve got school tomorrow and have to get up early after an easy . . . lazy . . . day at Ferrell Farm!
So long . . . and sweet dreams from
the Ferrell boys and me!
So here we go:
Easy Lemon Chicken
(picture & recipe from thequeenbeeshive.com )
Toppings: cheese, sour cream
(picture & recipe from thelarsonlingo.blogspot.com )
Tacos (The taco kits were on sale this week at Tems)
(picture & recipe from tastykitchen.com)
Take-out Mike’s pizza (cause I hate to cook on Fridays)
Lunch: Alphabet soup & grilled cheese (My boys love this!)
From the freezer: PW Chicken spaghetti (we didn’t eat it this past Sat. like planned)
Lunch: Roast/gravy/carrots/rice/rolls [Dave is off this Sunday so I'm planning a ole-fashioned Sunday lunch]
This week I’m trying a few new recipes (Poor Dave!), but I think they sound pretty good! Maybe they’ll be keepers!
When I planned my menu for this week, I used our local grocery store sales paper in deciding what to have . . . the ribs were on sale this week. They had 10lb. box of baby back ribs for .98 cents a pound. I was a little concerned about buying a box of ribs I couldn’t see . . . so I called Robert, the meat man at the store, on my cell phone . . . I coincidentally have his cell phone number . . . and asked him about it. He said they were really good ribs with a lot of meat on ‘em at a great price . . . so get ‘em! So I did! If you can’t trust your butcher . . . who can you trust?
I planned on getting the skinless, boneless chicken breasts that were on sale too . . . but they were frozen with hairy ice crystals all over them and I didn’t like the way they looked. . . So I opted for the chicken breast and chicken tenders that weren’t frozen and also not on sale.
The taco kits and the garlic bread were also on sale. I love my local grocery store! They also had some California clementines. They were not the Cutie namebrand, but I’m still gonna give them a try!
We’ve had an easy weekend. I’ve been cleaning around the house and washing clothes. My house is not anywhere as clean as I want it, but I took several breaks to play with my boys.
Zach got uno attack! for Christmas and we played it some this weekend. The boys love it! Tomorrow, we’re going to play the dominoes that Alex got. Fun.
I cleaned out three drawers from the boys’ old nursery wardrobe . . . one drawer had pajamas that used to be Zach and Alex’s when they were Shane’s age! Spiderman, Hulk, Cars, Buzz Lightyear, Thomas the Train, and even more Spiderman pajamas all for Shane! He was so excited. He immediately had to put on the Cars pjs.
Friday afternoon Alex spotted an Eagle flying over the catfish ponds near our house. We saw eagles at Dollywood this summer. The Dollywood Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is a 30,000-square-foot aviary that houses the country’s largest presentation of non-releasable bald eagles. Read about Dollywood’s Eagle Foundation HERE.
They also have a live bird show with all kinds of birds like hawks, bald eagles, golden eagles and other birds (whose names I can’t remember).
The boys loved it . . . especially Alex. See how excited he is pointing to the eagles. He’s my little nature boy. . .
When he said he could see a big bird and he thought it was an eagle, I doubted him. I told him it probably wasn’t an eagle and remember, eagles have white heads. He said it has a white head. I pulled over and looked up and sure enough it was an eagle. Actually two eagles flying around and swooping. It was so cool. It made Alex’s day.
Shane has spent the entire weekend watching Despicable Me over and over. I had recorded it for the boys a while ago, and it has become Shane’s favorite movie. He’ll ask me to please put on “da-pickle-me” movie. It took me a while to understand what he meant, but now I’ve heard it so much I know what he’s talking about.
Well, anyway, that’s our weekend at the farm. We’re all off work and school for MLK holiday. I’m going to my WW meeting in the morning, but after that, I plan to spend the day with the boys . . . playing cards or board games or maybe even laser tag! I hope Dave feels better and can play with us too!
Hope your weekend has been exactly what you hoped it would be!
It certainly has been for the Ferrell boys and me!