Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy...

1. Eating this...

... while watching a movie with my favorite boy.

2. My best friend since the 4th grade...

.... having a baby today!

Her second little GIRL!
~ Juliette Irene Kell ~

We are heading up to the hospital tonight to meet her!
So if I get some time before we leave for Missouri tomorrow I will post some pictures of the little doll!

3. These...

 ... mini glass milk bottles

And these...

... vintage gingham cupcake liners!

Both of which I am so tempted yet holding back from buying!
However, if you want them, or better yet, want to buy them for me (hehe)... you can find them at one of the best baking supply websites I know...

4. And finally I will leave you with a picture I have been swooning over and dreaming about! ...

Anyone want a barn wedding?!
I do! ... again.

Hope you all are having a great week!
We are Butler bound as of tomorrow afternoon!

Chat later,


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad

This is a summer classic and a family favorite around our house!

This Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad is pretty easy to make...

First, grill some chicken or fry it in a pan, cut it up, and set it aside to cool.

Second, toast some walnuts (or pecans or almonds, whatever you have on hand) on the stove top.

*NOTE: To toast any kind of nut just pour them into a pan and cook them on your stove top for a few minutes on a med./high burner. Set aside to cool as well.
If you're feelin' real sassy, I usually throw a couple tabs of butter in with the nuts and sprinkle some brown sugar over it... then not only are they toasted but they are browned and caramelized and delicious!!!

Third, cut up some lettuce!
Romaine, iceberg, it don't matter... again whatever you have on hand.

Forth, cut up your strawberries.
I cut the tops off and then turn them upside down so I can cut thin slices of the whole strawberry.

Finally... layer it all together like this...

Last thing to do is top with the dressing!
You can use store bought poppy seed dressing and I am sure that would work fine.
I however always make my own.

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing...

3/4 C. Mayo
1/4 C. Milk
1/4 C. White Sugar
2 T. Balsamic Vinegar
1 T. Poppy Seeds

Whisk all ingredients together and that's it!
If you find it's too thick and prefer it to be a bit more runny... just add another splash of milk.

Like I said... this is one of our family favs!
It is the perfect quick summer dinner idea!
And speaking of quick... if you really wanna make for minimal meal prep... just make the dressing in advance along with frying up the chicken and toasting the nuts!
You do all that a day or a few hours ahead of time and when you need to throw dinner on the table it should take no time!

Perhaps this could be dinner tonight?!
I think it might be at our house! :)

Chat later,


Looking for other ways to use up your strawberries, try either this recipe, this recipe, or this recipe!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Jenessica Sets Sail!

Remember last weeks post when I unveiled that Loren had the best Father's Day ever and got a boat?!
Well, the Jenessica (Jen & Jessica - both boys wives) finally set sail and took to the open water this weekend!

Friday night the Appleberry's and the Petersen's met down by the lake to take that baby for a ride!
And here he is, Mr. Appleberry... about to pee his pants with excitement as we head out to the lake! :)

 Once we got to the lake, we backed up, dropped the Jenessica in....

 ... and the boys were off!

The babes stayed on shore tryin' on their new life jackets!
And let me just say.... they were so excited!
Greta was strikin' quite the pose!

Tuck was a little grumpy that his Daddy and Uncle B took the boat out first... with out him!
But it was for his own good! The boys wanted to make sure it wouldn't take on any water and there was no problems with the motor.

And sure enough, all was well, and Daddy was back ready to take the babes on their first ever boat ride!!!
(do you see this smile?! Haha... ear to ear I tell ya'!)

At this very moment I was questioning if it was a good idea to let my two precious children on a boat with two men?!
But... they were all too excited for me to blow the whistle and turn back!

So, away they went... with me hollering "Greta... be careful!"
"Tuck... be careful!" "LOREN... be careful!"

 While my two babes were off on the best boat ride of their lives I was able to keep myself distracted by playing and chattin' with this little babe!
She had quite a bit to say that night! :)

Ahhh, and there they were!
Back, lovin' the boat, and already asking if they could go again!

Even though this is a fishin' boat meant mainly for the boys... I think our family and most definitely the babes are gonna benefit from having this boat around all summer!

Nothin' like toolin' around the lake on a Friday night!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Chat later this week,


Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Birthday Party & Pony Rides!

This morning we spent some time at Bunker Stables to celebrate our friend Juliana Schmitz turning two!
We were invited to join along in Pony Rides, Pizza, Birthday Cake, and some good ole' Outdoor Fun!

And what a good idea it was to take all of the babes on a Pony Ride!
Our kids were in love the second they laid their eyes on all those horses!

They had so much fun and after getting to ride their very own ponies... they felt pretty big!
Greta came up to me while Daddy was turning in her riding helmet and asked if she could come again... but of course only if she could bring Jack! - go figures! (Greta has a small obsession with Jack!)

Speaking of Jack here he is watching his little sister open her presents!

And the littlest of the Schmitz babes... Baby Jay!
Or Matt just 50 lbs. bigger as I like to call him...

All in all it was a GREAT morning!
The babes had fun riding ponies and running around and we had fun catching up with friends!

Happy 2nd Birthday Juliana!

Thanks Matt & Chelsey for such a fun party!

Chat later,


If you wanna check out the birthday girl blowing out her candles... just click on this link!

Friday, June 24, 2011


So... this morning my cousin Alysha left to start a new chapter in her life.

Her, her husband Nick, their two babies Landon and Addison and their puppy Lucy will be moving to a little town in Wisconsin called Prairie du Chien.

A couple months ago Nick lost his Dad (you may remember this post) and I believe that is what set this new chapter in motion.
It is not a bad chapter but a good chapter I believe.
A chapter for them to start fresh, make new friends, and most importantly make memories with Nick's family which they have not been able to do much of because of living so far away.

However, this chapter in her life leaves me feeling sad.
But in the midst of my sadness I am also very happy for her.

Happy that she is doing what she wants to do and feels best for her family.
But mainly my happiness has had to take the form of support.

I would not be a good friend or cousin if I didn't support her and her decision. So even though her decision leaves me feeling so sad that my memories with her will start to become few and far between... her decision is her decision and I love her enough to stand behind her and say "good bye for now."

For those of you that know me, you know that Alysha has been more than a cousin to me.
We have always been more like friends... and even sisters at times.
Alysha comes from a slightly crazy background (and I say slightly loosely) so at different times in my life she has even lived with us! ... making our bond even stronger.

We have shared so many memories and moments in our lives... and I guess as we grow older this is just another part of life and another moment that we will share together.

I know, I know... it's not like she is moving to another country... it is only 4 hours away.
And I know that with life, jobs, and kids, it's not like we hang out like we did back in the day... back when we had all the time in the world.
I think what makes me most sad is that feeling of knowing she is not going to be right there.
She will not be just 10 miles away. She won't be able to stop over after she picks up her kids from daycare. There won't be the option to go grab coffee or a drink or run into her at Target.

The fact that if I really needed her... she wouldn't be right there, 5 minutes away... is what is going to be hardest to adjust to.

But enough with the sad... thank goodness for facebook is all I have to say!
I know we will keep in contact via that, emails, texts, and phone calls.
So even though she will physically be that far away from me... I know that if I desperately needed her she is only a phone call or text away!

I am also hoping she gets her butt back for the majority of family functions... trust me... they are not the same or as much fun with out her!

So, here's to those bittersweet moments in life.
The one's you don't want to face, but know you have to, and are just apart of this beautiful thing called life.

To my sweetest Alysha,

You will never know how much you mean to me and how much I have cherished these last 26 years with you in my life. We have lived together, laughed together, cried together, and done many a fun, monumental, and crazy things together.
You hold such a special place in my heart and I am so thankful and blessed to be your cousin.
I am excited for this next chapter in your life and where this journey will take you.
I am so proud of the person, mother, and wife you have become! You have fought great odds to be who you are and where you are today.
Your strength and character is definitely something to be admired and looked up to.

I love you, I will miss you, and I will look forward to and cherish every moment we get to be together from this day forward.
It was a pleasure getting to spend so much time with you and your babes over the last two days.

Good luck Smethurst Family!
Here's to a blessed and smooth transition into your new life.

Love you!


We will miss you all so much...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Greta says...

Over heard this morning from the back seat of the truck as we were headed to grammies house...

Greta: "Mommy I don't like this rain!"

Mommy: "Me neither! I wish it would stop raining so you could go play outside today!"

Greta: "I can't play outside today, there's going to be a thunderstorm."

Tuck: "No geta, a tornado!"

Greta: "Don't worry Tuck I will keep you safe."

Tuck: "I need go in gamma's basement!"

Greta: "Ok Tuck, I will take you in grandma's basement and put a pillow over your head so you stay safe!"

That girl is definitely a sweetheart!
Always acting so big and looking out for her brother!

The age old saying of "they grow up so fast" couldn't be more true!
My little baby girl has grown into a big girl who has such a neat, big, and chatty personality!

How about your babes... say anything funny lately?!

Hope you all are havin' a great week!

Chat later,


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I was lookin' for a quick dessert I could whip up last Friday night and really the only thing I had in the fridge that was dessert like was strawberries.

Then I remembered our rhubarb patch in the backyard!

When we moved in, this small patch of rhubarb was already there from the previous owner, so we just left it.
Being the "Suzy Homemaker" that I am I always knew I wanted to use it and give rhubarb a try....
so here is my recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp...

2 Cups of Rhubarb
2 Cups of Strawberries

Cut them up and put them in a greased pan or casserole dish.

For the Crumb Topping...

1 Stick of Butter at room temp.
1 Cup of Flour
1 Cup of Old Fashion Quick Oats
1 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Cinnamon

Combined all of those ingredients together and it should form a crumbly topping.

Sprinkle it over the strawberry/rhubarb mixture in your pan and pop it in the oven

Bake at 350 for about 25 - 30 minutes
And that's it!

Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or eat it plain!
It is quite easy and quite delicious!

And both my boys just LOVED it!
Loren had seconds and Tuck had thirds!
After each scoop he kept saying "Momma I want more."

Maybe this could be for dessert tonight!

Hope your week is getting off to a great start.

Chat later,


P.S. Like the new look and sound of the blog?!

I thought it was time for a change and a more summery, personalized header!
And I am loving the cool, relaxed sound of some of the songs on this playlist!
They make me want to grab a glass of  sweet tea and relax out on my porch!

(if the playlist didn't automatically play for you, go down to the bottom of the page and click the play button. I've been having a little difficulty with their site this morning.)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day!

Well, Happy Father's Day to all you Dad's out there and most importantly...
Happy Father's Day to the wonderful and amazing Mr. Appleberry!

As all Father's Days goes... today was a day all about spoiling Loren, making him feel loved and appreciated, and me taking the full load with the babes! But no worries, my Loren is well worth it!

We started the morning with a delicious Father's Day breakfast of cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, and sausage!

Then went to church...

...and headed off to Mom's to spend a nice warm day swimming...

... and spending the day celebrating our Dad's together!

It was a good day!
A really good day if you were to ask Loren!

See, right now as we speak, Loren is off enjoying his Father's Day to the fullest! 
He is out living the Father's Day dream.... FISHING! 
Or as he would say... FISHIN'

But the fun doesn't stop there for him!
Actually this year Loren's Father's Day present surpassed just about all Father's Day presents!
This year, Loren got a BOAT!

Yeah, that's right... a boat!.

Loren and my brother in law Branden went "halfsies" on the purchase of a boat... and now Loren can proudly say he is a boat owner! 

It's nothin' fancy, but it is exactly what he wanted and it is perfect for the boy's late night cat fishing trips!
Remember this post?! 
There's a great picture showing what the boys look like when they wake me up at 2 in the morning to take a picture of them and their catch for the night!

This boat is actually something he has wanted for a long time and it is something I have been secretly saving up for with a little side cash from our Louise's Basement earnings! - and it couldn't have worked out better that Branden has been bit by the cat fish bug and wanted in on the whole "halfsies on a boat" thing!

So, it all worked out and most importantly... my Loren is happy!
And that is what brings a smile to my face every Father's Day... seeing Loren, the best Dad I know... happy!

You see, growing up I never liked Father's Day much.
Those of you that know me know that I have a different family dynamic and not the strongest connection with either of my Dads.
And Father's Day always reminded me of what I didn't have and left me feeling worried I would never find it for my children. 
But then, God set up a divine appointment... and I met Loren!
And the second he moved way up here to Minnesota and changed his whole life just to be with me, I knew I had found a man that would not only be thee most loyal and devoted husband but father as well.

Every day I thank the Lord at how blessed not only me but my children are that we get to call Loren our very own!
He is our rock!
He is my rock!
And thee exact man I spent night after night dreaming and hoping I would find for my children.

Loren... if you ever read this some day, I just want you to know how grateful I am to you!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such and amazing example to our children and showing me what the love of an earthly father was meant to look like.

I love you!
Happy Father's Day!

"Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one you ask?"
"Because He was seeking Godly offspring." Malachi 2:15

To all the Dad's out there.... 
Here's hoping you had a wonderful day as well and are blessed enough to feel the love and joys of your family!

Chat later,


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy...

.... this girl...

 My adorable niece Paisley, who is now oh-so-big and eating rice cereal!

... and loving it might I add!


... Funny Faces!!!

I know, Tuck's really good at it, right?! Haha!

Hope you all are having a great Thursday!

We are having the usual "thursday night crew" over tonight.
Oh yeah, and we are surprising them with some delicious home grown Missouri steaks!


Chat later,


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Recent Discoveries

1. Many of you know that I am a (newly) avid couponer! Remember this post?!
Well, Loren told me last night that my couponing has gotten out of control! Haha...

 That pantry does not look out of control!
However it does look organized and packed to the gills!

And our bathroom drawers and linen closets are quite full of cheap and FREE products!
 Even the outside freezer....
 ...and back up freezer are quite full....

But I told him... I don't think all of this stuff means I'm out of control... it means YOU need to build me some storage shelves! ;)

2. I am totally burnt out on painting!
Guess that's what happens when you run your tail end off painting and getting crap ready for 2 different stores, hitting it crazy hard for 2 weeks!
I know I said last week that I was gonna go on hiatus and take a break... looks like that feeling has kind of crept into this week too!
Oh well, I am slowly easing back into things by doing 1 or 2 custom order signs this week... and they are turning out stunning if I do say so myself!

3. Oh, you wanna know what is so exciting and makes me keep couponing....
When your savings total MORE than what you spent!

Last night I spent $46.91 at Target
Saved $47.33!!!

When that happens I run laughing to truck as if I just stole something!

4. Tuck LOVES to watch Ellen with me in the mornings!
Obviously his favorite part is the dancing... but he still loves her!

I am looking forward to snuggling up on the couch with him tomorrow morning and gettin' in our Ellen!
Other than that we have some little things planned that the babes and I need to get done for Father's Day!

What about you guys.... have any big plans or cute gift ideas for Father's Day?

Hope you all are having a great week and hopefully we'll chat again before weeks end... unless the lazy bug takes over or I get buried alive in my stock pile of a pantry! lol

Chat later,

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