Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Fun: Our Stay-cation at Caesar’s Palace

Last weekend we had the chance to kinda get away as a family. Curt got a certificate last year for two free nights at one of several hotels on the strip. We chose Caesar’s Palace. The boys and I packed Friday morning and went after my doctor’s appointment. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account Friday afternoon traffic. By the time we got to the hotel – an hour later- we were exhausted. The A/C is still out in my car and well, this picture pretty much describes how we all felt…


The room we got was really nice, facing the pools, all the way up on the 27th floor. The boys loved going in the elevator so much. Well after cooling off a bit, I still didn’t have the energy to take the boys down to swim before the pool closed, so we relaxed in the room and waited for daddy to get off work.


Andrew had fun hiding in the pillows

and of course jumping on the bed! Open-mouthed smile

Dad finally got to the hotel and he brought us dinner and we watched a movie together.

The next morning, daddy had to go to a training so the boys and I went swimming.

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Poor little Ben got cold pretty fast so we didn’t last too long. We went back up to the room and took a bath in the HUGE soaker tub instead. 

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Daddy’s class seemed to take forever so we just went exploring. We went down to the Forum shops and went to the big aquarium and saw all the fish. The boys were mesmerized watching the huge sting rays and then we stayed and watched the fountain show. Poor Ben almost had a heart attack. I didn’t know there was fire in the show and we happened to be super close. He freaked out the first couple times and then we kind of expected it.

Finally my husband was done with his training class and brought us some lunch that we ate in the room. We relaxed for a little bit and then headed out for a walk on the strip.

Our walk was….LONG. haha I didn’t realize how long it was going to be ahead of time, luckily I did wear ok walking shoes, not the best, but not flip flops. We walked down to the Sweet Factory, then continued on to the M&M’s store. The boys did pretty well. Andrew walked most of the way before needing to sit in the stroller (we only took a single stroller). At the M&M’s store we watched the little 10 minute video – I was grateful to sit down and cool off. Then we headed back. My husband used his running app to measure how far we went and just from the M&M store back to Caesar’s was 2 miles, which didn’t include all the walking we did through the Forum shops before that. So in total we estimated we walked 5 miles or so. Smile with tongue out
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After the walk we went swimming. We got back so late we only had about 30 minutes in the pool. After we showered and went to dinner.

Here’s the bathroom (and my belly), it was HUUUGE!
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Dinner was yummy (and expensive!), we stopped by the Forum shops one more time and I picked up a piece of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory. Then we came back to the room, closed the blackout curtains, turned off the lights and the boys were asleep in no time – including my husband! haha. I sat in the dark eating my piece of cheesecake and watched some tv.

Overall it was fun. It doesn’t sound like we did a whole lot, but more than anything we spent time together as a family, talked lots on our huge walk, and just got away from the house.

I did learn several things:

1) don’t pack the morning of. I forgot my hairbrush, my powder makeup, shirts. Yeah I forgot to pack shirts somehow. So I had to stop at H&M to pick something out, rough I know.

2) Bring lots of snacks. Luckily I did think to do this. I got apples, bananas, string cheese, grapes, crackers, bagels, and some sweets. This helped us tremendously to keep the cost of this stay-cation down. No way was I going to pay $6 for a bagel for breakfast. The bummer was the fridge was full of mini-bar stuff and no room for the stuff I brought, luckily we didn’t need much kept cold.

3) Better walking shoes. I always forget how far apart everything is. Just from the car into the front desk alone was seriously like a mile! Tennis shoes next time. Might not be the cutest things, but for this preggo mommy, my feet would have been so much happier.

Anyway, there you go. Our little stay-cation summary.

What are your plans for this weekend?

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tandoori Chicken

We had the missionaries over for dinner last night. They were really nice, but I always struggle when deciding what to feed them because I want to make sure there is always enough they don’t feel bad to take more and everyone’s tastes are so different I would hate to serve something they didn’t like.

This recipe seemed to do pretty well, makes a lot easily and they enjoyed it. Oh yeah, can’t forget my disclaimer: this is a recipe passed down to me from my mom, Carol. If you like it I’ll give you her email address and you can thank her Open-mouthed smile haha. I’m teasing, mom. Maybe.

Alright so for the sauce you’ll need; yogurt, garlic, onion, chili powder, coriander, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice.
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In a blender mix all of the above ingredients. It should be a tangy, but not too tangy, yumminess.

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Take your chicken, I used drumsticks this time, but feel free to use whatever part you like. Give each piece a slash or two and brush with the sauce.
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Broil on high for about 10 minutes each side until done.
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I serve on a bed of rice slathered in sauce and a side of broccoli. This is my son’s plate. I served his plate before the missionaries arrived to let it cool, but was too embarrassed to take pictures of my own plate once the got here, so this is what you get. haha

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Yummy yummy stuff. My boys are awesome, they gobbled it down – starting with the broccoli! Love them!

Here’s the recipe. It’s really not super exact, once I mix it up, I’ll adjust to taste.

Tandoori Chicken: (this is the original recipe, I always double it because we like lots of sauce)
  • about 3 lbs chicken (breasts, thighs, drumsticks, whatever you like)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 C plain yogurt
  • 1/4 C lemon juice
Remove skin from chicken and slash a couple times. Combine remaining ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Brush on chicken. Broil 10 minutes on each side until done.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pallet Wood American Flag

A little later in the day than I normally post, but it's apparently it's Flag Day and I just so happened to have finished it last night!

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It’s 100+ degrees this week so I wasn’t too motivated to go out and work on this one outside or in my garage, but I finished! Yeah!

So I started by ripping my pallets apart. For that I used a friend’s reciprocating saw (aka Sawzall) and cut the board apart. I’m no good at explaining – take a look at this tutorial on how to dismantle a pallet, awesome info!

Then with the boards separated I found the ones I wanted and attached them to a scrap piece with small screws just big enough to go through the scrap board and a little into the board itself from the back. I did it like that so I wouldn’t have screws showing in the front.

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So it looks like this all put together. I gave the whole thing a pretty good sanding to prep it for painting. One word of wisdom – be picky with your pallets. This one was pretty junky, the wood was really horrible to paint. Take the condition of the wood into mind when picking up a pallet to use for art like this. The end of wisdom. Smile

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Then I studied very carefully the dimensions and proportions of the United States flag on Wikipedia. With my measuring tape, yard stick, and a pencil I measured and marked out the stripes and canton – or union- the blue part Open-mouthed smile

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After that I retreated out of the sun into the garage. Now we’re all friends, right? You’re not going to judge me by these photos of my garage and all the mess (aka an unfinished projects – or two), are you? Good…Then you may proceed. Smile 

I got lots of help on this one. Ben felt it necessary to hammer it a bit more. Nice.

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And Andrew wouldn’t let me do all the painting. I painted the outline and asked him to stay in the lines and he did. Works for me.

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Coming along nicely…Oh and notice the bit at the bottom that’s not painted. Just a little extra that I cut off to keep the proportions in check.

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So for the stars, I attempted to put something together on the computer to make it nice and exact or close to exact. Then I planned on rubbing chalk on the back and tracing the stars on, but, it was too small for the canton. So I scrapped this method.

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Instead I scrounged up a glow in the dark star from my son’s room and used it as a stencil. Worked totally fine, just took more time and was a bit harder to get the spacing right.

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It worked out though and I think it turned out pretty great!

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Now to hang it. My husband really wants to hang a huge flag on the empty side of our house. I’m hoping this will fulfill that desire!

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Check out more creative pallet ideas over here:

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Always Tucked Little Boy Dress Shirt

I was at the park with some other moms last week and one of the ladies brought up how much she loved this idea, but once you hit potty training stage, it kinda gets in the way. So I’m going to really be thinking how I can translate this concept to a potty-friendly version for the little bit older boys. Another mom – who has teenagers- said that this shirt should be mandatory for all boys until they’re 18+. haha. Totally, nothing more annoying than tucking in or asking your kid to tuck in their shirt 20 times in one church day. 

Anyway, I’ve posted this project in the past, I just figured I’d give you some better pictures and better instructions with this one.

Ben recently out grew all the shirts like this I had made for Andrew, not too surprised. So I had to make a new one.
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I laid the shirt out on my cutting mat and with my yardstick, lined up the bottom of each side and cut across. I learned from the last ones not to take too much off, my boys grow so much faster in length than they do in width so I need all the length I can get.

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Then with my onesie, I did the same thing. I think I measured 5” from the top of the leg hole. It was just a guess. I wanted it to be long.

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Unsnap the onesie bottom and with right sides together fold it up over the dress shirt and line up the bottom edges.

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I didn’t have anyone to help with pinning so I had to improvise…haha. Anyway, pull the onesie to match widths with the dress shirt and start pinning. First on one side, then the other. Then in the middle front, then middle back, etc.
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All pinned.

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Then sew with a zig zag stitch to give it a little stretch. This will make it easier to get on and off your kid. You’ll also probably have to stretch the knit to match the dress shirt if your onesie was slimmer than the shirt, like mine.

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Once it’s all sewn, get your model and try it on him.
Ignore the mess – I’m keeping it real. This is what happens when I try to sew and the boys are awake, especially this little cutie. Model pose! hahaha

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“Oooh, camera! Gimme!”

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Ok, couldn’t get him to look at the camera, so this is as close as I get. Open-mouthed smile Anyway, there’s several inches of room for him to grow into and it fits well over his cloth diapers, which is another thing I didn’t plan for when making the others so he grew out of them extra quick.

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It was so much better not fighting untucked tails all day. I didn’t get a picture though because it was straight to nap for this kid. Church sure wears him out!
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