December 19, 2012

in da kitchen with L*Dizzle

If you know me at all, you know that I can't boil water without screwing it up.  Much less cook an entire meal.  It doesn't matter if it has directions to every step...

I'mma mess that mug up so much that even a rat behind the dumpster wouldn't eat it.

Well ladies and gentlemen (<-- I wonder who came up with the term 'gentlemen'? Am I the only one married to a loud, clumsy, heavy footed man? Nothing "gentle" about Toasty)

ANYWAYS! 

as I was saying...

I have come across a few recipes that  my husband doesn't spit out into a napkin when I'm not looking.

Or maybe he does.

psadogj;dslgje'pOJF'ajoew'PTOJet;'owef~!

Because I have the soul of a fluffy little kitten...I am going to share these with you!

Except you've probably already pinned them on Pinterest :)

Now, I have two rules regarding recipes from Pinterest:

1) Can't have too many ingredients that I have to buy specifically for the recipe
*If I already have them, then be my guest, please, call for every spice in my cabinet. But, I'm not going to go spend 5 bones on some little flaky substance that I won't ever use again.

2) It can't have too many steps when preparing/cooking.  
*I love the crock pot recipes, but I can occasionally hit the jackpot without the crock pot.

I must preface this by saying I have a pretty picky HusbandMan when it comes to cooking.  He will eat whatever I make, but he will always...ALWAYS...offer some "advice" about what he would do if he cooked it.

Here are a few recipes that I have mastered, so far!

THE PERFECT CHICKEN


The first time I made this Adam deemed it,"Phenomenal!" He also said it was the best chicken he has ever had, even from a restaurant.  I loved it, but I didn't have paprika.  I used Crushed Cayenne Pepper and it was almost too spicy.  But still, it was yummy! I served it with salad,  pasta, & green beans.

We are going through a vegetable phase.  I usually put the veggies on the stove for about 1.5 hours with tons of butter.  It's home country cookin'!

BEEFY NACHO SOUP


Now, this is my kind of recipe.  Not too many ingredients, and only a few steps.  The only thing I added was sour cream once I poured the soup in a bowl.  If I get a wild hair next time I make this I may add in some beans.  But this was also really good! 

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN


Best. Thing. Ever.

I'm serious.  This is better than any S&S chicken we've ordered from a restaurant.  It does have a good amount of ingredients, but it's ingredients that you use more than once.  And we have had this a couple of times and I haven't had to buy anything but the chicken.

Honestly, one of the best things I've ever made.  Serve it up with some fried or steamed rice, and some broccoli.

ZOMG! GET IN MAH BELL-AY!














December 13, 2012

Pinterest Project

Last weekend we ventured into a store here called Essex Bargain Hunt.  It's basically a place where Overstock and Amazon send their returned items and they have the prices marked down to a very decent price.  

We didn't have anything we needed, we just wanted to check it out.  

And WOWZAS!

The stuff they had, and the cheap prices were pretty amazing.  Baby beds for $40. Every kind of kitchen gadget you can imagine for low prices.

We stumbled upon a Better Homes & Gardens Entertainment Hutch.  Obviously, the box was torn up, but it was SO cheap!

Originally $269 (which is cheap to begin with) but they had it for $169.


Now, I should probably state that the contraption that our TV is on right now is ghetto.

Story of our lives.

Like, Adam got it off the side of the curb on UA's campus..type of ghetto.

But this bad boy has hung around through all of our moves and has been a champ.  It's not fancy, but it does the job.


I KNOW!

Except ours is more of a grey-ish color because of the dust...keepin' it klassy round' here!

We bought the BH&G one for $169 and hauled that mug home.  We opened up the box and saw that it was scratched up pretty badly.  But we kept on truckin' because  we knew for the price it probably would be perfect.  We pull all of the pieces out that were in the box and just stare at it.

Like, that's it?

There's only 4 pieces in front of us.

And no cabinets.

There was literally, like, half of this thing missing! And the pieces that were in the box were torn in half, scratched, and dented to the high heavens.

We took it back the next day and got a refund.  But now I am on a mission to get something for our TV because the littler terror (Presley, as if I needed to clarify) has started shaking ours and any day now the TV will be shattered on top of her.

While I think that's the best way for her to learn a lesson we'd be out a TV and we can't have that :)

KIDDING! 
But seriously, we need the TV.

I had originally been eyeing a DIY (read: take it to Dads house and get his help) project that consists an old beat up dresser and turning it into a TV thingy-ma-jig.

Like this



I have found a few dresser online that are pretty cheap, I just have to gather everything I need to do it!
I'm not sure that I want to paint it stark white, but maybe an off white.

Anywho, I will definitely do a before and after of it all once I find what I need!

December 12, 2012

indoor play areas

Sorry I've been MIA lately, not much going on and I've just been in a funk! We are going to be busy over the holidays so I may not post too often!

One of the things I love about living in Huntsville is the options of activities to do with Presley.  There are tons of really nice play grounds, Monte Sano State Park, and several indoor play places.  

Since it's getting colder we have only been to a few outdoor play grounds, but we have found a couple indoor play areas that are super nice!

The first one we went to is called Up A Creek Family Adventures.  It's about 20 minutes away but totally worth the drive.  They have Walk-In Play a few times a week and then on Saturday.  All we pay is $9.50 for Presley and we can stay for as long as we'd like! It's worth every penny.  They have an area for smaller kids, but then have a few blow up bounce houses that Presley loves! The only draw back is Presley wants to spend most of her time on this one particular blow up thing that has a mechanical surf board, and most of the time there is a big kid on it and when someone wants to ride the surf board there can't be anyone else around them.  So, we spend most of the time pulling Presley off the bouncy part and she screams. 

Every once in a while it won't be crowded and P can play on it for a while, but she loves that one in particular!

They also have a tree house, and Presley likes it too.  There's a slide attached to it but it's basically like shooting out of a cannon.  I put her through the slide and she hit her head, basically I should have been arrested by the Mommy Police right then and there.  

Up A Creek also has a rock climbing wall, which I want to do so badly! Maybe one day we can go when it's not too crowded and I will attempt it :)



Another indoor play place here in Huntsville is called Kid Venture.  They actually just opened up at a new location last weekend.  It's about 10 minutes from our hood.  Last Saturday we had planned on taking Presley, but when we walked in we decided it would be better to go to Up A Creek.  Kid Venture is very nice, but I feel like the equipment was more for older kids.  They had one bounce house and the other contraptions were a little too big for her.

I guess.

Honestly, it was so crowded I couldn't really tell what was what.  Maybe we will try again in a few weeks once the crowd dies down.  It was opening weekend so I am sure everyone was there just to try it all out!

I wish Tuscaloosa had some kind of indoor play areas, but they don't.  The only thing remotely close was Chuck E Cheese, and it got destroyed by the tornado in 2011.  I feel like even if there was some indoor play areas they would get run down pretty quickly, that seems to be a big problem in T-Town!

Up A Creek

Her favorite thing to play on at Up A Creek!

view from the tree house

death slide!

toddler play area at Up A Creek

another picture of the tree house

Kid Venture

KidVenture- picture from their Facebook page

via KidVenture Facebook

This room we didn't see when we walked in, Presley may have enjoyed this more than we thought!  





December 4, 2012

Christmas Tree Cuttin'

On Saturday we headed over to a local Christmas tree farm to chop down our very own tree! When I was growing up that is what we always did and I have always wanted to create that memory and tradition for my kids. 

The first Christmas Adam and I were married this was our Christmas tree.  Remember, we lived in a shoe box for an apartment on UA's campus and this was all we had room for..


I considered that one hell of a compromise considering Adam would've been okay without having a trace of Christmas decor in the house, let alone spending our hard earned bones on a tree.

Then last Christmas we would have cut down our own, but the only Christmas tree farm in Tuscaloosa (that I knew of) wasn't open anymore. So, we went to Lowe's and picked out one that they had already cut down.  Close enough for me! 

Funny story (remember I married the Grinch)...Adam told me that I couldn't buy lights or decorations for our tree.  I'm not sure if he was joking or not but something tells me he was for realz.  So, I did what any wife would do...

I bought a crap ton of ugly ornaments and lights and decorated that bad boy.  It was ghetto FOR SURE...but considering we lived in the hood it was quite fitting.


Please excuse the awkward looking butterball in that picture.  Not sure why this is the only photographic evidence we have of this craptastic tree even existing.

This year though, we were doin' it.  We were going to make it a family affair, roam around the ol' farm, and Adam was going to saw that mug outta the ground if it's the last thing he ever did.  

My Dad and Missy met us at our house and we all drove over to the farm.  Silly me forgot the stroller which, I am now realizing was a terrible mistake.  We parked, signed some papers, got our saw, and walked over to the Leyland Cypress trees.  This farm was huge and had the different types sectioned off, but luckily the kind I wanted was near the entrance of the farm.  I'm not a very picky person, so I didn't spend too much time choosing a tree.  Basically, I wanted one that wasn't too tall or fat, because I didn't want it to take up too much room.  The only thing I knew I wanted was a Leyland Cypress tree because it was the only one that didn't have pokey needles.  I knew Presley would be all over this tree like white on rice, so the feathery texture of this tree was perfect!

Adam also lucked out, because the stump of this mug was skinny.  It only took him a few seconds to cut down and then we were on our way. 

Meanwhile, Presley was screaming her brains out because GOD FORBID someone put her down.  I was confused because I thought the big open space for her to run around on would be fun, but apparently I know nothing about anything.

It took us a day or two to get the tree up and decorated but here she is in all her glory...still semi-ghetto. I'm not the type of person to go all crazy on our tree. I mean, some lights, ornaments, and candy canes is about as good as it gets. 

Disclaimer, though: I have to get more lights. I thought we had several strands but I can't find them. So we are only working with one strand right now.


Also, there is no organization to our ornaments and it basically just looks like something diarrhea'd ornaments everywhere.  

Next step: getting presents under there.  Or not, because remember, we have a nosy little 16 month old.