Random Ramblings: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012



I am in the process of making Chloe a little red, white and blue dress.  I decided to major spring clean the house in the middle of it, so it sits unfinished still.  But I am hoping since it is so far before 4th of July (ok not really since it is practically June already). 
But when I ran into Target a few weeks back I grabbed these blue sandals for her so they could match her new dress. 
Then I had a great idea (ok I kind of had the idea in my head before I bought the sandals I just wasn't sure if I would actually get to it)
But I did.  I needed to get to Joanns for some red and blue thread so I couldn't do much on the dress anyways, so I decided to work on the shoes. 

It started with these from Target.  They were only $2.50 and I often see them on sale for only $2.00.

Now I took my fabric about 3 inches tall and cut quarterish inch strips.  I am not one for measuring exactly and since I knew I would be trimming it all up in the end I wasn't too worried about being exact. 

I cut the fabric from the two patterned fabrics and then from a solid red I had laying around here.  Then just take the strips and start tying them onto the strap of the sandal.   

You just continue all the way around the shoe strap until it is full of fabric.  Then I gave it a little haircut.  Just random so that they were all about the same size and not as tall and wild as when they were when first tied on.   

They were really that simple.  I did this entire pair in about an hour from cutting the strips of fabric to tying them all on.  I can't wait to make her more of these in all different colors. 

Have you spruced up any shoes before?

Now if I can get that dress done anytime soon I will be doing great. 

~ N I C O L E

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I have yet to come across anyone who didn't like a cassarole. 
Cassaroles are my friend.  I love one pot dinners.  Makes it so nice on busy days.  You come home, throw some stuff into a pot and it pretty much cooks itself. 

I wanted to share this cassarole reicpe with you today.  I have been eating this cassarole since I was growing up.  My mom often made it and it is now one that I make for my family. 
I wonder how this one would come out in the crock pot?  hmmm... I might just have to try it one day.
I don't know what the official name of this cassarole is so I just named it beef, corn and rice cassarole.  Whatever works, right? Right!

. . . . .


2lbs. ground beef (or you can use turkey or a combination of both)
1 bag of frozen corn
2 bags of boil in bag rice (or whatever kind you use that equals the same amount)
4 cans of cream of chicken soup (or you can use 2 cans of chicken and 2 cans of mushroom)
Salt and pepper

(*really you can make this however you want, that is another great thing about cassaroles, its your own creation... sometimes my mom puts grean beans in with hers too)

* Brown meat in a skillet and drain.

* Add rice, corn and soup.

* Mix well.

* Cook until all of it is heated through. 

*Add salt and pepper to your taste

Now that is it.  Serve with salad for a good quick dinner.

What are some of your quick go to cassaroles?

~N I C O L E

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I told you I was going to get all caught up posting these pictures. 
Posting them really makes me want to get them all printed and into my binder.  I can't wait for next year to start adding memorabilia to the binder as well.  I don't want to do it for this year since I haven't been saving stuff so only the last half of the year would have it, and not the beginning.  Oh and I don't have the envelope pages this year either lol. 

Yesterdays appointment at Childrens Hospital left little Jacob feeling a little worn out for today so he didn't go to school. Daddy told him he had to go rake the backyard if he wanted to stay home so he went out back and started to rake it up. Daddy was joking :)

I got Jacob a grilled chicken salad from Toms for dinner tonight. We took it out to him at work. That is alot of chicken and it sure looked so good.

St. Patricks Day. Today we put corned beef, potatoes and cabbage in the roaster and Jacob took it to work to feed his crew

Grandma (Jacob's mom) bought Caleb his very own tomatoe plant since he LOVES tomatoes. He loves taking care of his own little plant

When Jacob is on swing shift I put the kids to bed, then come here to my desk in our room. I edit pictures, or do something crafty

Chloe and her baby dolls. She loves her babies. Oh and her purse too. She holds her babies bottles in her purse so they don't get lost. Lucky for this baby it still has her clothes on, unlike many of her dolls.
Fajitas for dinner tonight. YUM. I love the bright colors of the onions and peppers all mixed together.
This is Chloe's new craddle. It was mine when I was a baby. I recently came across it out in the shed. I had forgotten all about it. I glued the broken part back together and I plan on spray painting it white and making a cushion for it. I can't wait to give it to her.
Daddy enjoying some dinner with the kids, at Chloe's table. I love moments like these, it is what the kids will remember forever. ♥
Spray paint. I ♥ spray paint. It gives a new life to something old.
Netflix. I love our netflix. We watch it through the wii and we get movies in the mail too.
Our house. We love our house. We have great landlords on top of it which makes that even more wonderful.
Jacob's working on the dead grass situation too.
This afternoon Marcus called me and said they were on their way home early from track practice because Ryan had fallen and been hurt pretty bad.
He was racing another kid and tripped and hit his chin and then his head on the cement ground. He was pretty scratched up and sore. I asked him if he wanted to go to ER and he said no. His eyes were not dialating at first, but after a day or two of rest he was doing much better.
He was more upset about loosing the race since he fell than getting hurt.
Me and the kiddos make chocolate chip cookies today. We added Easter M&M's for fun.
The kids wanted to help me make dinner tonight. We were making jambalaya and they did a great job stirring. I love when they like to help.
I ♥ Target. Target is the store I shop alot at. It is my favorite place to coupon shop and it is close to home. I wish they would make my Target into a super Target, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
Caleb and I got into a water fight today. I started it, and I started it in the house. We started with just the squirt guns, then as he walked up the stairs I dumped a cup of water on him. It escelated from there and it ended when I turned the hose on him out front. It was fun.

Are you getting your photos printed for your Project Life? 

~ N I C O L E

Friday, May 25, 2012


I have all my pictures taken it just always seems that I get behind on editing and posting my {mantooth 365} photos. 
I got all caught up for 3 months and am once again behind on editing and posting them. 
Such is life... 
But I did finally get some actually printed out to go in my binder.  YAY ME!!  Then I ran out of one color of ink in my photo printer... Always something. 
But tomorrow I am going to grab some more ink.  Then maybe, just maybe I can get all caught up with putting them in my binder as well.  Ya we will see. 
Tonight Ryan made fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner.

Marcus decided that since Ryan made dinner last night, he wanted to make it tonight. He made tacos, refried beans and spanish rice.

Then this morning Jacob made us breakfast. It was fried eggs, hashbrowns, sausage and bacon. It was so good

My salvation army finds. A mirror for our room, hanging flower baskets, jeans, summer jammies and a sweater for Chloe, 2 pairs of capris for me, a jacket for Lily and a tank top for Jacob and Caleb. All this for $20.00. I love thrift store shopping, especially on half off days.

Dinner at Aunt Jamies new house with the girls

Jacobs prescription for new meds.
The doctor is really keeping on him.

The gas prices are getting out of hand. At this rate we wont be leaving our house for anything ever. I hope they go down cause this is going to kill us.

Flowers blooming on the trees in the backyard. Signs of spring in the air.

I rearranged the family room again today. I couldn't stand the tv on the other wall because with the blinds open the sun glare made it hard to watch tv. I am really liking this new arrangement.

Chloe wanted to make sure she got every last drop off her plate. She had sour cream on her plate and she loves sour cream. Funny thing is that she was eating it with pizza rolls. Silly girl.

Wheat bread. We have switched to wheat bread since we are trying to eat healthier and loose weight.

Kids doing a giant puzzle on the kitchen floor.

This is grizzly. We have had this dog the longest. He can be a pain, but he is a good dog. I feel safe when it is just me and the kids home knowing hes out back. And he is one crazy dog. He doesn't play with balls, he plays with rocks., big rocks. He carries them around and throws them in the air and goes to catch them.

Our routine for when we go down to Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, is having lulnch at McDonalds before his appointment.

How are you coming along on your Project Life?

~ N I C O L E

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Today I wanted to share this baby cradle. 
A few months ago I was out in the shed looking for something and I came across an old bag and inside was this old cradle.  I had completely forgotten all about it. 
So I dusted it off and brought it in the house.  It loose in one spot but otherwise in great condition. 
Instantly I knew that I wanted to do something with it and give it to Chloe.  She is our only girl and I always wanted to be able to give her all of my old dolls and Barbies. 

You can see a little on the left top it was a little cracked, but it was just where the head part had come undone. 
So I took it outside and glued it in those spots and it was good as new again. 
I went to Joanns and found some bright fabrics to make her a cushion for it.  As soon as I saw these bright fabrics I knew it was exactly what I wanted.

I first took the cradle out front and spray painted it white. 
Then I used some foam and made a cushion to fit perfect in the cradle bottom.  I had just enough of the orange fabric left so I made a little pillow for her dolls too. 
She LOVES the cradle and some of her baby dolls sleep in it everynight. 

In the picture below you can see some of the cracks, but I think that is part of the charm of this cradle.  Knowing it was mine almost 30 years .  ( I think I got this when I was 2 but not positive)  Now I love the fact that I gave it a good bath and some TLC and Chloe loves it just as much as I did.  I often wonder now if it is something she will one day give to her daughter. 

Another great thing about this project is that it barely cost anything.  The fabric was fat quarters at Joanns and on sale that day for .99each.  The foam was maybe $2.00 .  The spray paint was ours and the cradle.  So I made this for Chloe for around $3.00.. You can't buy a cradle for that amount, and you can't put a price on the story behind it.  What a wonderful gift for her.  I am so glad my mom kept it so I could do this for her.  

Have you given your kids anything that was yours as a child? 

~N I C O L E

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


This is one of those dinner ideas we do that we love. 
It is a very quick and easy dinner , which on some nights it just needs to be something that is quick and easy. 
And it is very versitile, for the little ones we don't use the Franks Red Hot on it and just put mayo or ranch on it for them and they love them just as much. 

I often get chicken patties on sale for very cheap (especially at Target with those Target coupons).
So on a night when we have some in the freezer and have no idea what to make for dinner I will pull them out and pop them in the oven. 
Then we pull out some buns and the bottle of ranch and bottle of Franks Red Hot. 
Now after that it is so easy. 
Take the bun, pour on some ranch and some Franks Red Hot and put the chicken on the bun and WAH-LA dinner is done. 
If we have fries in the freezer Ill throw those in first before the chicken and we will have that with these.  Sometimes we will just have some left over sides from the fridge (becuase that way they will actually get used).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
{ F R A N K S   R E D   H O T   C H I C K E N   S A N D W I C H E S }

Frozen Chicken Patties
Franks Red Hot
Hamburger Buns
Ranch Dressing

* Cook chicken patties according to packaging
*Put Franks Red Hot and Ranch Dressing on toasted buns
*Add chicken to buns

~ N I C O L E

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


 { C R A Y O N   W R E A T H }

Since the end of the school year is almost here I thought I would share the crayon wreath I made for my little guys Kindergarten teacher last year.
It was alot of fun to make and she loved it when we gave it to her.

You start with a cross-stitch hoop and a few boxes of crayons.
I had a bunch of boxes of crayola crayons sitting around the house so I used those, becuase in my opinion there is no better crayon than crayola crayons. 
Now what I did was a trial and error.  I first started just glueing the crayons on and I didn't have good spacing.  I also was trying to do all the red together then all the orange together...etc.  And that is wehere I ran out of space at the end and wasn't going to end up with some of the colors on the wreath.  And I tried to glue them further down on the hoop and the circle was not round. 
I am telling you this so hopefully you don't make the same mistake as me. 
So I did end up having to carefully pull all the crayons off my hoop and start all over.
This time I decided to do a row of red, orange, yellow, green...etc and then start over again so that it would be colorful all the way around. 
I found the ruler ribbon at Joanns and I cut the apple out of my silhouette. 
I then cut little triangles and letters of the teachers name.  I made a fun banner across the wreath with her name on it.  And I have to say those tiny little banner letters are so darn cute. 
 I tied in some string and tied some crayons in there for some added fun decorations. 
I also tied the ribbon to the hoop so that it can be hung up.
It was alot of fun to make and any teacher would love to get a fun gift like this. 


Monday, May 21, 2012

{UPDATING} the blog look

Sorry if you have stopped by and the look of my blog is something of a big mess. 
I finally found a blog template that I really like, and stayed up working on it last night until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. 
So my goal for today is to get it back into smooth working order. 
Thank you. 


Friday, May 18, 2012

{FRAMED} Teacher Subway Art

Last week I shared with you what the subway art looked like.  So today I am going to share with you what it looks like all printed out and framed. 
Like I mentioned I have tons of empty brand new frames laying around not being used. 
So I went to the closet and wah-la there was a perfect one, just what I imagined this to be in when I designed it. 
It was in the wrapper and everything still.
However it didn't have any matting in it.  Nor could I find an 11x14 one that I liked.
So being on the cheap frugal side I wanted to create something that would work just the same.
I thought about using some scrapbook paper and cutting a big square out of the middle.  But then I figured that wouldn't work becuase a 12x12 piece of paper is smaller than the frame so I would have to paste it together and I just knew it would not look like I wanted.  So my next thought was to get a piece of poster board and just cut it to the 11x14 size and glue the printed page on it. 
So I headed out to the dollar store and found a black piece of poster board for .50cents. 
So it sat on the dining room table for almost a week and I finally got around to it yesterday. 
I just took the glass out of the frame, traced it onto the backside of the poster board and cut it out.  Then I put some adhesive on the back of the printed out subway art and glued it on.
Then I put it the frame, put it all back together and TA-DA!!
From a distance you can't even tell that it isn't a matted photo.
It will be perfect. 
I can't wait to give it to her. 
Im still deciding on what else we are going to make for her.  

Have you found any good ideas for teacher gifts?
What kind of teacher gifts are you making this year?  or not making?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

{mantooth 365} more February 2012

Just yesterday I started actually printing out some of my {mantooth 365} photos.  It feels so good to get them into the book.  I am loving how it is coming along. 
I have to say that this year I went pretty simple, with just the 4x6 photos and the journaling cards. 
The album and inside pages I got at the end of 2010 for the 2011 photos.  That didn't happen so I am using it for this year.
However now Becky Higgins has created some really awesome new inside pages for the albums. 
You can see a video on her blog HERE about all of the new pages they offer.
I am pretty excited for them for next year. I figured since I comepletly failed at this last year, it was better to start the project with a more simple version to actually get it done. 
Then next year I with the new pages I can add all the fun memorabelia stuff to go along with it, and maybe even make some fun week titles for each page as well like Nichol Magouirk does.

Now until then...
I will just continue to share my individual photos with the journaling.  

so here we go...
It snowed today. Nothing major that even sticked to the street but it still was snowing. Love it.

Happy 7th Birthday to our little Jacob today. We are headed to Las Vegas to take grandma and grandpa to the airport. So he got to open his presents first thing this morning. He got 2 nerf dart tag guns from mommy and daddy.

We decided to splurge for lunch today in Las Vegas. We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. It was seriously the BEST food ever. It was so much fun in there and such a cool place to eat lunch. I am so glad we got the chance to get away for a few days and spend some good family time together. Do we really have to go home tomorrow...

We ♥ Las Vegas. We stayed at Circus Circus which was so much fun. We had the greatest time playing in the carnival upstairs and the kids got to see the little circus show they put on too. It was a much needed mini vacation that didn't last long enough..

This is our dog Mickey. Hes a pain in the butt.

The kids were all out of school today so we went to Big Bear with Debbie and George and Jamie and Casey and all the kiddos. It was a nice drive and alot of fun. We had McDonalds for lunch up there and then headed home. We stopped a few times to play in the snow too.

I have yet to figure out how the kids ever even get clean with the amount of toys that are always with them in the bathtub. This isn't even as many as usual.

Crab tostadas. These are so good and we love them. I usually don't like fish type foods but I often crave these. They are so simple to make too.

This is our dog Minnie. She is pretty yappy. We got her for an inside dog, but she doesn't like to listen so she is now an outside dog.

Back to Las Vegas we went today. But only a turn around trip. We went to pick up grandma and grandpa from the airport. We stopped at state line and had dinner and I won $20.00 from a $5.00 bill I put into a machine on our way out.

Today was little Jacob's 7th birthday party. We did it in a monster theme in bright colors. I made these funny eyed chocolate cupcakes for the party.

Caleb is learning to dress himself. He NEVER gets matching socks. I used to make him change, but really this is SO Caleb.

The kids love to watch Netflix on my cell phone. Even though we have 3 tvs and 2 computers they can watch it on, they still like my phone, broken glass and all.

My view tonight as I cook dinner. I love when the kids play together without fighting.

Chloe loves to help me cook dinner. I really think its just the sitting on the counter that she likes, not the helping.