Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm Starting From Scratch

I'm on day 2 of the Taco Soup that I posted in the last post. I made another pan of cornbread today, and I think it needs some "tweaking". I think it's a little too sour from both the sour cream and buttermilk. It's still good, but has too much of a "twang" for my liking. So I'm going to work on the recipe and get it right and I'll repost.

Happy New Year's Eve Eve.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Taco Soup and Cornbread-It’s What’s For Dinner


This weather is STILL getting to me, so I do what I do best….eat. My Taco Soup recipe is an adaptation of the famous “Weight Watchers” one. Like every recipe, I always tweak it here and there to my liking. I’ve also included my Sour Cream Buttermilk Cornbread recipe. This soup recipe is super easy and you can throw it all together in a crock pot in the morning, then make the cornbread when you get home.

Taco Soup


  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp. cooking oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 can pinto beans (drained)
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 2 cans light red kidney beans (drained)
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 1 can Original Rotel
  • 1 can petite diced stewed tomatoes
  • 2 pks. 1 oz. Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing mix (powder)
  • 2 pks 1 oz. taco seasoning mix
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 cups water
  • Optional: sour cream and shredded cheddar for topping.


  • Heat oil in medium skillet. Add ground turkey, breaking up with back of spoon.
  • When turkey is about 1/2 way done browning, add chopped onion.
  • Finish cooking until turkey is no longer pink, and onions are translucent.
  • In a crock pot or large cooking pot, add turkey & onions.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add more water if you want a thinner soup.
  • Cook on low in crock pot for 4-6 hours, or on stovetop for 1 –1.5 hours.
  • Top with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and/or diced avocados and tortilla chips.

*Don’t add extra salt….the seasoning mix has a lot in them.

*This soup freezes really well. In fact, I think it’s better AFTER it’s been frozen. I usually double this recipe, and freeze the other half.

*We like to eat our soup with cornbread….here’s my recipe…..

Sour Cream Buttermilk Cornbread

FYI-This is not a sweet cornbread like the Jiffy mix, and it ain’t low fat girlfriends.


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. butter (the real deal butter)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Put butter in a 10-inch iron skillet and put in oven.
  • In the meantime, mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add rest of ingredients and stir thoroughly until mixed.
  • Let rest a few minutes.
  • Check skillet and make sure the butter is completely melted and starting to bubble. You don’t want it to start to brown too much.
  • When a drop of water sizzles in the pan, add batter.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick in center comes out clean.

*You can also make these as muffins if you don’t have an iron skillet. You don’t have to preheat the muffin tins, just spray with cooking spray.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Hey Weatherman! This Ain’t Funny!

I am seriously dying in this cold weather.  Here’s our 5 day forecast.  Look at Friday!! 8 degrees. My Florida peeps, please, please come get me. My lips are chapped, my hands are cracked, and my toes are numb.


Doc Lancelot mentioned planning our ski trip for February.  I told him I couldn’t even talk about it. Right now, that’s not my idea of a vacation.  Spending a week packing ski clothes to go spend another week in more snow. Um, no thanks honey. I always love skiing, and I know once I get there, I’ll love it.

If I had a weatherman like this to deliver the bad news, I might find it a little (just a little) more bearable. I just want to squeeze him.  God love him, he’s probably laughing at something totally inappropriate…which is why I like him even more.  Enjoy…..and please come get me. Please. Now. Go On. Scurry. NOW!

Friday, December 25, 2009


I've been trying to find a way to convey the story of Jesus' birth to my daughters. I think at their ages, just reading the Bible verses would be too hard for them to understand. I came across this interpretation and decided to share it with the girls (and you).

I plan on printing this and reading it to the girls. Hopefully it won't be too long and they'll get the meaning of it. I thought it was a great way to share the story of Jesus' birth.

"The Greatest Gift of All"

By Jennifer Leigh Edwards

(The Story of the Birth of Jesus)

A long, long time ago, in a town very far away, there was a man named Joseph who dearly loved a young lady named Mary. Mary had been told by God that she would be the mother of a very special baby boy. She was so excited! She just couldn't wait to hold her baby in her arms. She would make clothes for the baby, and Joseph, being a good carpenter, would make things the baby would need, like a cradle and special, child-sized furniture. They anxiously awaited the birth of their new son. It seemed that the day just couldn't come soon enough.

holly leaf

One day they received news that the king wanted everybody to be counted. He didn't want to just count all the people in one town, or two towns, or even three towns. He wanted to count all the people in the entire kingdom. And the king didn't think it would be good enough to simply go from house to house to determine how many people there were. No, he wanted every person to go back to the town in which they were born in order to be officially counted.

Mary and Joseph riding on a donkey

Mary and Joseph busily packed their clothes and other necessary items for their long journey. No one had cars or any type of vehicles back in those days, but they did have a donkey to help carry their load. Sometimes they would walk on the dusty roads, and sometimes Mary would ride on the donkey to rest her sore feet. Day after day, night after night, they kept moving. When nighttime came, they would try to find a room at an inn, so they could get a good night's sleep. But sometimes, since so many people were being forced to travel, it just wasn't possible to find a room, because all the rooms were taken.bells

It was a very long, very dusty, very tiring trip. Finally one night, they saw the small lights off in the distance. "We are almost there," Joseph told Mary. Then they started to go slightly faster. "What a beautiful city Bethlehem is from here!" Mary exclaimed. "I wonder if it is just as beautiful inside?"

Once inside the city gates, Joseph tried to get a room at the inn. Unfortunately, the inn keeper had to turn them down. "I'm sorry," he said. "There just aren't any more rooms."

Mary and Joseph at the Inn

donkey"But we have been traveling for days, and we are so tired. Are you sure there is no place for us to stop and get some rest?" Joseph asked as calmly as he could. It was getting very late and he was getting quite frustrated, but he tried to be kind and patient.

Seeing the problem and feeling compassion, the inn keeper said, "Well, there are still no rooms, but I could offer you the stable." Now, a stable is actually a barn. It's a place the inn keepers kept the animals that were traveling with his guests. It wasn't a very good place to sleep. There were no beds, and it had a bad smell because of the variety of animals, but it was a shelter where they could lie down for the night.

lambJoseph thanked the inn keeper for his kindness and led the donkey to the the stable. Mary gathered piles of straw to make a semi-comfortable bed. They laid down for the night and were finally able to sleep.

Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus

But, suddenly, Mary woke up. She turned to awaken Joseph. "What is it?" Joseph asked sleepily. "I think the baby is coming tonight!" Mary said with excitement. Joseph bolted upright, forgetting how sleepy he was.

That night the special baby that had been promised to them was born. Mary cried for joy and cuddled him closely. Joseph took his turn holding the little baby. They didn't take long to decide what they were going to name the baby, because God had already told them the name. Joseph held the baby up and said "His name will be JESUS."

They wrapped him in a soft cloth to keep him warm, and Mary made a bed of straw in the manger, which was usually used for the hay that the cows eat. What a wonderful night it was there in the small stable! Baby Jesus, the GREATEST GIFT TO THE WORLD, was born that night.


I wish you a blessed and joyful Christmas. My prayer for you is to be safe and remember those less fortunate than yourselves. Even at our lowest times, there is always someone in a worse situation than us. Peace be to all of us!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Young, Fabulous, and Newlywed tagged me for "Ten Things That Make Me Happy". She's a new blogger on the block, so go over and say, "Hi."

This is such a busy time of year, and we all could probably name a million things that make us "unhappy" and stressed. So making this list is a good way for me to remember the things that make me smile and count my blessings.

Ten Things That Make Me Happy
(With the exception of #1, these are in no particular order of importance)
  1. Without a doubt, my family makes me happy. I am so blessed to have the husband that I do. Boy, he tolerates a lot with me. I can't imagine being with ANYONE else. My girls are my life! Everyday is a new adventure with them. I love seeing them grow and explore. I especially love to see how much they love each other. The even choose to sleep in the same bed every night. They are such sweet cuddle bugs. Having my mom and my sister and my hubby's sweet family in our lives is wonderful too!!!
  2. A clean house makes me pretty darn happy. I feel totally unsettled when things are messy and dirty. With children, my house is never "exactly" the way I want it, but them being here is what makes it a "home".
  3. Talking to girlfriends is more helpful to me than therapy. I talk to my best friend in Chattanooga at least a couple of times a week. I still don't know what we manage to talk about after 20 years, but I always look forward to talking to her. Oh, and let's not forget my blogger/Twitter friends. I never dreamed I would meet lifelong friends by blogging, but I have. I am still in awe of how close we've all become. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!
  4. Getting pampered is high up on my happiness chart. I love mani/pedis, massages, facials, and gettin' my hur did. I honestly would take a good massage any day over a piece of jewelry or flowers.
  5. The beach---aww, the beach makes me super, duper happy. No explanation needed, right?
  6. Being creative not only makes me happy, but really is necessary for my everyday life. Whether it's interior design, flower arranging, entertaining, or photography, I need some sort of outlet.
  7. Being healthy and feeling well are good indicators of how happy I am. I've had some health problems the last year, and let me tell you....I am not happy, spunky, or fun to be around when I'm feeling bad. If I'm tired and haven't had enough sleep.....I can be downright awful. Sorry, my dear family. Sleep makes me want to frolic in the fields and chase butterflies and rainbows.
  8. Going to church makes me extremely happy. We've finally found a church where we're growing and meeting new people. Doc Lancelot is singing with the worship ministry, so it makes me happy to see him doing what he loves and serving God in such a great way.
  9. Eating good meals is like taking a little "happy pill" for me. It can be at a good restaurant or at home. Yummy food, particularly if I don't have to clean up, is the bombdiggity!
  10. Last, but not least.....blogging makes me happy. Everything about it is great. Coming up with topics to blog about, reading other blogs, and the actual writing process is therapeutic and fulfilling to me. Even if I don't have time to make "one-on-one" connections in real life, I have a way to express myself, vent, and share with others.
So there it is, my "happy" list. Speaking of blogging, here are a JUST a few blogs that I visit daily. Go take a looksy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Puff! Now You're a Mushroom!

I have several tried and true party recipes. I enjoy trying new recipes, but when I need to make large volumes for parties, I always go back to my favorites. These Mushroom Puffs are one of my "go to" make-ahead recipes. It's adapted from the Jackson, Mississippi Junior League cookbook, "Come On In!". I have found so many good recipes in this cookbook. Those Mississippi girls know how to entertain!

This is a great vegetarian recipe, and even those that claim to not like mushrooms, love these.

Mushroom Puffs
Yields: about 48

  • 2 pkgs Pillsbury Crescent Dinner Rolls
  • 1 pkg 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 can 4 oz. mushrooms, drained and chopped (I do mine in the food processor)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. seasoned salt (like Accent)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbs. poppy seeds-I never measure this. I just "eyeball" it. I like a lot of poppy seeds!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay out 2 large pieces of aluminum foil or plastic wrap on counter. Put one package of crescent rolls on each sheet. Press roll perforations to seal. Mix cream cheese, mushrooms, onions, and salt and spread equally between each package of crescent rolls. Start rolling up jelly roll fashion, using the foil or plastic wrap to keep the roll even. *This is the point where I freeze mine. You can put these in the freezer ahead of time, slice and pop in the oven, or freeze slightly to help with slicing.
You'll have 2 of these rolls.

Using a serrated knife, slice into 1" pieces. Lay all the pieces on a plate(s). Brush with egg, sprinkle with poppy seeds, and put on an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until bottom is brown and top is golden. Be careful with the bottoms of the puffs. They tend to brown faster than you would expect.
Serve hot.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Last Minute Gift Ideas

I went to a girls' party last night and we all brought a $20-$30 piece of jewelry for playing "Dirty Santa". Target is usually my "go to" place for that price range jewelry. Unfortunately, it's on the other side of town AND it's connected to the mall. I just can't bear the mall traffic this time of year, so I went to Kohl's, which is a hop and skip from our house.
Here are the deals I found:

This costume ring cost only $11.99.

I'm going to put in a box with these gloves I got for $8.00.

I stuffed the fingers with tissue paper. Isn't this a cute way to present a gift?

I couldn't just stop at one idea like that.
I figured I might need another gift, so I came up with this one.

It's a stretchy ringer and I got a scarf in a similar color and
just threaded the end through the ring.

The ring was $13.40, and the scarf cost $12.00.
Here's a close up of the ring.
This would be great to wear to all those holiday parties.

This Cozy Wrap is an aesthetic upgrade from the Snuggie.
It was regularly $39.99, but it was on sale for $15.99. It sells for a penny more online.
Here's some lovely, lounging ladies.
These Cozy Wraps shout "sexy" with a capital "S".
Watch out girls, or you'll end up like me in my last post.

This ruched clutch is a perfect girl gift.
Seriously, who wouldn't want a gold clutch?
I may have to go buy one of these for myself.
It's super soft and has a chain strap tucked inside.
It's regularly $36.00, but was on sale for $17.99.
Sadly, the price online is $21.60.
I don't know why the pricing seems to always be different than the store price.
Do you have any inexpensive, unique gift ideas? I still have a few more gifts to get, so I'm always on the lookout.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This is me 8 Christmases ago. Yes, I'm as big as the honkin' Christmas tree.

This is what you look like when you have a 10 lb., 12 oz. baby/linebacker.
Yes, Bookworm was that big.
And yes, I was that big....swollen face and all.
This picture should be good motivation for you all to eat healthy over the holidays. he he

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Funny Christmas Decorations

Click the link above to hear about how people stopped and tried to "rescue" this poor Clark Griswold.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Most Embarrassing Shopping Experience EVER

Every Christmas season, I hit the malls like everyone else look for the perfect gift. I *sometimes* brave the sales the day after Christmas too. But not anymore.....

About 10 years ago, I had gotten some dresses, pants, and jeans for Christmas. I had a lovely Christmas dinner and wore a dress and tights. I had lost a few pounds, so I wanted to try on everything. That way, I could return the items that didn't fit when I went to the after-Christmas sales.

During my "trying on" extravaganza, I left my tights on. What was the point of taking them off, right? It was late, and I decided it was time to go to bed if I planned on getting up early for the sales. I took off the clothes I'd been trying on and laid them on the bench at the foot of my bed.

The next morning, I decided that I'd just throw on my new pants and hit the mall. It was time to do some shopping! When I got to the mall, I noticed people were doing 'double takes' to look at me. I was seriously turning heads. I thought "Dang, those five pounds I lost has made me one FINE mama! I still got it goin' on!"

I was feeling so confident as I walked around for 2 hours looking, shopping, and yes...doing a little strutting. I was walking out of a store, and I felt something stopping me in my tracks. I felt like I had a "tail" and someone was stepping on it. Well, I did have a "tail"and yes, someone was stepping on it.

An old man was accidently stepping on the tights I had on the night before. I didn't feel them in the pants because they were thinner than the Spanx ones we have now. When I hurriedly put on my pants that morning I had forgotten that I took off the pants and tights all in one fell swoop. The tights were still in the pants and looked like this for the 2 hours that I was shopping.

No one told me, and I didn't see anyone laughing, so I just assumed that those were the most flattering pants EVER. I was alone and didn't try other clothes on, or I would've caught this mishap. This goes to show you.....don't be thinking you look all fine and could have tights hanging out the back of your pants.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Flat Iron Review

Photo: Target

I saw a flat iron review in the December "Good Housekeeping" magazine. It praised the Remington Frizz Therapy " Straightener . It claims to provide 65% less frizz, even in humidity. The "Good Housekeeping" website doesn't show the extent of the testing they did. The online review says that it "changed the lives of those who tried it." Hmmm. Really? Does it do dishes too?

I'm too lazy to type or paraphrase, so I scanned the magazine article.

I've been having some serious static and fly aways with the yucky cold weather. I've tried all the tricks, but nothing has worked. When I saw the article, and what a great bargain it was, I thought I'd give it a whirl. What did have to lose? I already have 7,349 other flat irons.

I found the Remington flat iron at Target. On the website, it sells for $49.99, but it was $39.99 in the store. Check out the Target customer reviews. Holy smokes, these chickadees loved it.
I came home and immediately tried my new little "Frizz Therapy Friend". I have to say.....I love it. It heated up in less than a minute, and instantly smoothed my hair. I'm hooked.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

You Gotta Keep 'Em Separated

My girls are just 28 months apart, so from the time Sassypants (my youngest) was born, I've struggled with keeping their clothes separated. When I do laundry, the hardest part is making sure the socks, underwear, and pajamas go back to the right child's bedroom.

I've tried giving each girl their own dirty clothes hamper and marking the inside tags with different color Sharpies. The clothes still got mixed up BEFORE they were washed, then I still had to separate another time. Confused yet?

Now I have them put all their dirty clothes in the same hamper, and worry about separating them after they get out of the dryer. I don't know where I found this nifty little pop out laundry basket. Probably Wal-Mart or Target. It has a "divider" in the middle and folds flat when you're done.

When I'm folding clothes I automatically put each girls' clothes in their own "side". The basket is easy to carry up the stairs, and makes putting clothes away A LOT easier. This is also a great opportunity for my sweet muffins to help out. They are responsible for their own clothes and it takes less than a few minutes for each of them to do it.

I wrote their names in silver Sharpie.
*I've blurred the girls' names.
Here you can see the divider that's held in place with a velcro strip.
*You can also see my earlier attempt at labeling the inside tag.;-)
Here's the handle.

I couldn't find this exact one online, but here are a few similar ones.

Laundry is the bain of my existence. I am always looking for tips. If you have a laundry/organizing tip, please share!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Artichoke Chicken Recipe

Last week I had a pack of chicken breasts, and was tired of my same old recipes. So I asked my pals on Twitter if they had any suggestions for a yummy and quick chicken recipe. I got lots of responses, but one suggestion stuck out in my mind. Mrs. Jetplane told me about a yummy recipe from a fellow military wife called Artichoke Chicken.

I wasn't able to get a detailed recipe because of our "140 character" limit on Twitter messages. But the overall idea for the recipe included chicken, mushrooms, artichokes, sherry, sour cream, and Parmesan cheese. How can you go wrong with cheese and sour cream? I looked online and saw several variations of what Mrs. Jetplane was talking about, combined what I thought looked good, and here's what I came up with.

Artichoke Chicken
*Disclaimer: This is my last minute version of this recipe,
so measurements may not be exact.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (almost 2 lbs.)
(My grocer has packages of "tenderized" chicken). Just ask the butcher to run your meat through the tenderizer a couple of times. I do this with my beef too for country-fried steak.

  • 1 small onion or 3/4 to 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of artichokes, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cooking sherry
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup Panko Japanese-style bread crumbs (for topping)
  • salt to taste
*In some of the recipes I saw online, the chicken breasts were put in the oven raw. The first time I made this dish, I found the chicken made the dish "watery" and made it hard for the artichoke mixture to thicken. The second time I made this, I sautéed the chicken in a pan before putting the artichoke mixture on top. This also saves time cooking. While the chicken was cooking, I mixed together the rest of the ingredients. Super quick!

I think this would be a good crock pot recipe. I'd just leave the Panko off the top.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large glass baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Mix together the artichokes and rest of ingredients, except the Panko breadcrumbs.
  3. Salt the chicken breasts and sauté in a pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Cook until done, but not browned.
  4. Put chicken breasts in glass baking dish. They can overlap.
  5. Spread artichoke mixture over chicken breasts. *Warning* This dish ain't purdy.
  6. Bake uncovered 30-45 minutes or until artichoke mixture is bubbly, thickened, and starting to brown slightly.
  7. Turn oven on broil.
  8. Take chicken out and sprinkle the top with the Panko crumbs. I added this because I thought it would a nice crunch to the chicken.
  9. Put chicken back in oven and brown the Panko. This is important.....don't walk away during this step. The Panko crumbs will brown very quickly. The top can burn...I'm telling you stay right there. Trust me on this;-)
  10. Take out and enjoy! *My husband didn't get the memo about needing a pretty picture of the finished chicken for the blog. He jumped in and got a plate before I got back with the camera. Those men and their hunger!
I'm going to add mushrooms next time. We ate ours with rice and green beans.

Doc Lancelot came home and said, "Something smells W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L! He liked it so much that I made it again the next night. He requested that I double the "sauce". I did, and thought it was a little too much...but would be the right amount for (6) chicken breasts. If you like artichoke dip, then you'll love this!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I've Got One Hand in My Pocket

I have to share something with you that I found at the Mart. Wal-Mart that is. It's the 42 Pocket Over-the-Door Organizer. You can find in near the clothes hangers/plastic bin section of the store. I first got one of these for the back of my bathroom door. I love it because: 1) You can't see it because it's behind the door, and 2) The things I use every day are right at my fingertips. The pockets are mesh so it's breathable and they don't stick together like the clear plastic ones.
*Remember to double click picture if you want to see it bigger.
It's not all glamorous and "fru-fru", but it's functional and it saves me from digging in drawers and in my cabinets.

I started getting cold last week, so out came the gloves and mittens.....and the beginning of me trying to keep up with them. I have a coat closet in the back entrance from the garage. It's pretty small though and hard to get things out. I had a couple of bins in there-one for gloves and mittens, one for scarves, and one for hats. It is ALWAYS a mess, and things get so mixed up once the snow starts. On top of the mess, if things are wet, they'll never get dry in the closet.

Tonight I got another over-the-door organizer to hang on the inside of the closet to organize everything. I'm so glad I did! I put Doc Lancelot's stuff at the top, mine in the middle, and the girls' on the bottom rows. Once again, the mesh pockets are super functional. The girls can easily find what they need, and if anything's can dry right in the pocket.

I can see so many uses for this organizer. You could store crafts, toys, shoes, cleaning supplies, spices, socks/lingerie, etc. You could even put guns and ammo or Velvetta in it. Just kidding. I was seeing if anyone actually reads this.

If you're tight on space, it's a great solution---all for around $15.00. It is a little "dorm roomish", but if it's hung behind a door, no one will see it. Whatcha think?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Dress The Bear

If you're a mom, you know how difficult it can be getting out the door with your precious little "time stealers". When I try to get Bookworm and Sassypants ready for school without any outfit planning, it usually ends up in a power struggle and us being late.

When the girls were toddlers, I saw ideas (don't remember where) about different ways to get your children's outfits ready for the week. There were suggestions of using those hanging closet sweater organizers to organize outfits for each day of the week, putting outfits in labeled Ziploc bags, etc.

All those ideas seemed good in theory, but with me being such a "visual" person, I knew there had to a better solution. Then I saw the idea of laying the planned outfit on the floor the night before. I tried that, but didn't like the idea of the clothes laying on the floor. One night the clothes were on the floor and I looked over and saw Bookworm's big bear, so I came up with "Dressing the Bear". If there is a similar patented idea out there somewhere, I don't know about it, and I'm not tryin' to steal your thunder.

So here's what we do every school night and Saturday night (for Sunday morning church). We "Dress the Bear" and "Dress the Gorilla". We have this huge teddy bear for Bookworm and a gorilla for Sassypants. Together we look at the next day's weather forecast, and choose an outfit accordingly. This outfit goes all the way down to socks, shoes, and any hair accessories they would like to wear. Since the girls wear uniforms, that's half the battle during the week. We usually do this while the bath is running or after pjs are on and we're deciding what bedtime book to read.

Here's what the "dressed" bear looks like.

You lay the clothes ON TOP of the bear.
You're not trying to actually put the clothing ON the bear.
The girls have tried doing this and it's disastrous, so try not to go there.
Think: missing buttons, stretched out shirts, and crying because you can't get off the get my drift.

We also choose socks and shoes.

I can't tell you how many times we've had to look for shoes the next morning
because they were taken off in a different place and then forgotten.

Don't forget to choose a hair bow or headband.

I really like this way of outfit planning because:
  • It saves time trying to coordinate an outfit in the morning when everyone is tired and often rushed.
  • It allows your kids be a part of the planning process.
  • It helps them take responsibility for making decisions in their everyday appearance.
  • It helps them select weather-appropriate clothing.
  • It lets you have a "preview" of what an outfit will look like when it's all put together.
  • Most of's fun for the kids! You can start this as early as 2 years old, and give them a few "choices" and let them put an outfit together. *Disclaimer: As mothers, you know you'll want to make it "match", so narrow down the choices to 2 outfits that you pick out. Giving the children free closet reign can come on days you stay home or if you are feeling like, "What the heck! They can dress like a homeless person or Pippi Longstocking today."
I even lay my clothes out the night before. I don't dress a bear....I dress a chair. I lay out my outfit on one of the chairs in my bedroom. I also get out socks/tights and shoes. I try to get as much done the night before as I can. Oh dear.....I'm such a nerd. Really, I am.

Do you have any ways that you help your kiddos get prepared for the next day? Any tips? I can always use ideas! Have a fabulous weekend.

BTW, I *promise* to post the Artichoke Chicken recipe I talked about on Twitter.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hit Me Baby One More Time....

I keep seeing a fashion trend that I rocked in the early 90's....knee socks. We all know Britney became famous for her outfit and knee socks in the video "Hit Me Baby One More Time".

Knee socks and over the knee socks have made a comeback in a big way. I personally like them if done right, but I'm not sure if this old lady can rock them for a second time.

Chloe looks darling in her knee socks. She puts them together with tailored skirts and blouses. I think conservative clothing and shoes is what makes knee socks seem 'of the moment' and trendy rather than "Britney-like".

Here are some more examples of knee socks and over the knee socks.

This is my favorite look.
Elegant, but the socks add a little "edge" to the dress.

A little too "clubish" and young for me, but cute.

More casual. I think the tights are crucial for this look.
This is more the look I could see myself wearing.

Hey wait, Sarah Jessica Parker is over 40! Right????
Maybe you (ahem, I) can pull this off even if you're (I'm) not 20.

So what's your thoughts on knee socks and over-the-knee socks?
Trashy or Trendy??