Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I can't live without...

Let's just say up front that my husband, children, dogs and family in general are at the top of this list but since you already know that we'll just skip to the random stuff that makes my life happy.

In no particular order....

1. My camera.  Whether it's my beautiful Nikon D90 (gifted to me in Italy by my wonderful mother) or my phone camera, I live for taking pictures. While capturing the big moments in life are important, I love capturing the random moments and being able to look back at them.  It puts a smile on my face. 

2. Cheetos and instant mashed potatoes.  Yup.  You heard me.  Cheetos and instant mashed potatoes...preferably a meal.  When I was in high school and my stepfather had to travel, my mom and I would make this huge batch of mashed potatoes and do a face plant in a bag of Cheetos at the same time.  Try it!

3. Vampire Diaries.  I also watch Downton Abbey, Pretty Little Liars and The Carrie Diaries but if I was forced to pick just one it would be Vampire Diaries.  I LIVE for Thursday nights at 8pm!

4. Scrap Club.  First Sunday of every month from 10-4.  It's my time away..a creative outlet...a chance to recharge my batteries and so much more.  This is the day that 4 (sometimes 5) of my truly amazing friends and I get together in my mom's super kick-ass scrap room and just hang out.  We scrap, edit pictures, eat  brownie cookies, laugh, make lunch, celebrate birthdays, laugh some more, learn new things and drink lots of  blue moon margaritas. 

5. Clean sheets.  Aren't they the best?  My entire house can be trashed but if I'm able to crawl into clean sheets at the end of a long day everything seems okay. 

6. Girls Night.  We all need them so you can stop pretending like this wouldn't make your list too.  This is a chance to hang out with other women, bitch about our husbands, express concern about our kids growing up, drink, eat, gossip about the ones who didn't show up, drink some more and laugh about it all the next day. 

7. Snuggle time.  Okay, so this has to do with the kids but it's something I can't live without.  I love gathering all of my babies around me (snuggled under multiple layers of blankets) for weekend movie time.  They let me snuggle and pet all I want because they're too involved in the movie to notice.  It's even better if they've had a bath....sigh....

8. Traditions.  Thanksgiving at the parentals followed up with a walk on the cart path and football in the home theater room.  Christmas Eve munchie food and gift opening.  Easter egg hunts or birthday lunches at the kids' school.  I live for them all.

9. SHOT.  Strategic Hierarchical Operations Team.  I can't give away any more details except it applies to work and alcohol....but not in the office or during working hours. 

10.   Hair appointments.  One may say that this is something that I can do without since it's  been almost a year since my last appointment.  Wow...that's pathetic.  But nothing makes me feel better than a cut and highlights.  And I'm normally way more on top of this but it's  been a busy year. 

11. Nail night.  Every other Thursday unless it's a holiday or I'm on vacation you can bet I'll be at Judy Nail's with mom getting our nails all beautified.  And let's not forget the summer months when we indulge in pedi's too:)

What about you??  What can't you live without???

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Recipe of the Week - Lasagna with Homemade Tomato Sauce

Who said eating healthy doesn't taste good??  Thinking that you have to give up everything yummy is just ridiculous.  Thanks to this delicious lasagna recipe, we were able to eat something that is normally thought of sinful.  Served with salad (Bolthouse Yogurt Ranch dressing), we were not only full but one very happy family.  Complete recipe is posted to the left under Healthy Cooking.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Recipe of the Week - Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken

I had this week's Recipe of the Week all figured out until I made dinner tonight.  The kids all LOVED these yummy chicken tenders and I like that the green onions and dill add a little something special.  Super easy meal served with corn on the cob (no butter for mommy) that we'll be making again soon. 

Full recipe posted to the left under "Healthy Cooking". 


The Paynes - January 2013

This month's favorites....

Ayden's Favorites:
Outdoor Activity - Playing tag
Color - Red
Toy - iPod Touch
TV Show - Slugterra
Snack - Goldfish

Jameson's Favorites:
Outdoor Activity - Playing with his Snakebite
Color - Red
Toy - Beyblades
TV Show - Slugterra
Snack - Cheez Its

Ava's Favorites:
Outdoor Activity - Riding bikes with her Hello Kitty helmut
Color - Purple
Toy - Playing kitchen
TV Show - Dora
Snack - Gogurt

Outdoor Activity - RC cars/trucks
Color - Blue
Toy - Revo
TV Show - American Horror Story
Snack - Peanut M&M's

Outdoor Activity - Walking with the dogs
Color - Yellow
Toy - iPad
TV Show - Vampire Diaries
Snack - Low fat string cheese

Friday, January 18, 2013

Did you know....

  1. I'm really, really, really scared of spiders.
  2. I love purses.  I buy a new one every season and then store the old ones in a couple of boxes in the attic.  I've never reused a purse...
  3. My hair is longer now than it's ever been.  This isn't exactly a preference on my part but the inability to find 3 spare hours for a cut and highlights.
  4. When I become "obsessed" with something it tends to take over my life completely.  I managed to watch 2 1/2 seasons of Downton Abbey in only 3 days and after becoming addicted to Pretty Little Liars I had to read all of the books. 
  5. I don't mind sorting, washing and folding laundry.  I have a problem with putting it away.
  6. Overcomitting is one of my worst habits.  I'm slowly starting to say no to things but it takes me forever to get over the guilt. 
  7. My mom is my best friend. 
  8. Seeing my daughter in pig tails makes me melt. 
  9. I only close the blinds in our bedrooms...and only when it's time for bed and then open them back up as soon as we're awake.  Closed window treatments make me feel claustrophobic.
  10. I love the color black.
  11. I dance to Kelly Clarkston's "Stronger" CD when steam cleaning our carpets. 
  12. Procrastination should seriously be my middle name.  What was my mother thinking when she chose Elizabeth instead??
  13. I love to cook but only in a clean kitchen.  Unfortunately I haven't cooked a real meal in 3 days.  Oy!
  14. I see myself as a work in process... there's always room for improvement.
  15. Target is one of my many weaknesses.  Seriously, can you go in there and spend under $100???  If so, please share your secrets with me!
  16. Gummy bears, Easy Cheese, light string cheese, cheddar & sour cream chips, scrapbook supplies and my childrens' cheeks are just a few more of my weaknesses.
  17. I love going to the chiropractor. 
  18. I truly believe that vacations without my children are very important.  I always come back a much better least for a week or two. 
  19. When I was pregnant with Ayden, I picked a HUGE fight with Jason because he didn't get up to purchase the milk I asked for within 3 seconds of me asking.  Nine years later, he still judges how important something is to me by asking "Is this like the milk thing?".  I guess it made an impression.
  20. What in the world do  they put in the Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos???
  21. I have to have the fan on in our bedroom in order to sleep.  This is a serious issue when traveling. 
  22. My favorite vacation is our annual sailing trip with my parents.  I can wear the same clothes for a week and no one will care. 
  23. All three of our dogs sleep in bed with us.  There is barely enough room for me and Jason. 
  24. I have a weakness for my middle child. 
  25. I am the luckiest girl alive.  I have an amazing husband and three beautiful babies who love me despite all of my issues.  When we're all together, my world is complete. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Recipe of the Week - Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak is one of Ayden's most favorite meals.  Surrounded by mashed potatoes and drowning in gravy...yummy!  But this mommy knows that it's not exactly considered healthy.  Nope.  Not at all.  Not wanting to deprive my baby of this cherished cuisine during my quest to live a healthier lifestyle in 2013, I consulted Weight Watchers eTools hoping I would find something...ANYTHING...that came close. Well let me tell you!  Not only did I find something to try,  but it was a huge hit with Ayden.  I believe the exact words out of his mouth were "Mommy!  This is even better than Cracker Barrel.".   Served with some Green Giant Mediterranean Veggies, we voted this recipe a keeper.  The full recipe is posted to the left under Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.


Friday, January 11, 2013

One Little Word 2013

For the past five years I've followed along with Ali Edward and chosen a "word" to focus on for the upcoming year.  My first word was "Simplify".  Hmmmm...not a lot of progress there as we found out we were expecting Baby #3.  I think I chose a word for the next 3 years but history repeated itself and I didn't do a thing about it. 

This year I've come up with THE word for me. 


It's perfect...because most of the time I feel like I have none.  It's a constant daily struggle to balance all of my roles.  Mommy, wife, career, taxi driver, family CFO, housekeeper, friend, daughter...etc.   Most days I feel like just about the time I'm finding my groove in one role, I have to switch to another.  I think most busy moms feel this way one time or another so I'm sure I'm not alone. 

I picked a word.  And now I'm going to do something with it.  I want this word to be a part of me.  Something I'm consciously trying to achieve every day.  I want to be reminded that I chose Balance as my 2013 word because it's important. 

So I've decided to take Ali Edwards' "One Little Word" class through Big Pictures Classes.  I bought all of my supplies today and I can't wait to get started.  By the end of the year I should have a full album about this journey of mine to find balance in my life.  I may succeed...and I may not.  But at the end of the year, I'll be able to look back and remember this amazing year filled with so many journeys and triumphs. 

If you had to choose...what would be your "word"?