Friday, August 30, 2013

8x10 Custom Initial Prints

 I just added a few new cute initial prints to our Etsy shop Mary Bobbins Boutique. These are super affordable (just cost $5) and very easy to print and really dress up a child's room.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Brownie Cookie Cups

A few weekends ago, we went to a family picnic and one of our cousins (Jason) made these. They were so yummy I decided that Nathan and I would make them to take camping with us.  Nathan LOVES to make brownies so he was definitely in for helping me.   I exchanged a couple of text messages with Jason about how to make them and 30 minutes later we had our dessert all ready to go!  They were a huge hit!  I am glad that there were other people there to help eat them otherwise I would have eaten them ALL!

  • 1 Box (9x13 size)  Brownie Mix- prepared but not baked
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough- prepared but not baked.  I used the tub kind that was already prepared.  
Makes about 18 treats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare brownie mix as directed on the box then pour into a well greased cup cake pan.  If you pour them not quite half full you should make about 18.  
Drop a large dollop of cookie dough into each brownie.
Bake for about 23-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let them cool then loosen edges with butter knife and gently remove from the pan.

Winner Winner Crock Pot Chicken Dinner

I am such a nice wife, I even make dinner when I am not going to be home!  Ok not all the time, but this time I did.  There are not any pictures of the dinner when it's done, because I wasn't home to take them.  I am sure that I could have asked Nathan to take them he always wants to take pictures of his lunch (weird kid...who takes pictures of their food).  I threw this dinner together with stuff I had in the fridge/pantry and from what I hear it turned out pretty darn good.

  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1 lb of Fresh Green Beans
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon Thyme
  • 3/4 + 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 4 Russet Potatoes Cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 6-7 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
Serves 4-5
Layer onion in the bottom of the crock pot.
Place sliced potatoes on top of onions.
Place green beans on top of potatoes
Mix together garlic, rosemary, thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and chicken broth.  Pour over veggies.  Season chicken with paprika and remaining salt and pepper.  Place chicken on top of green beans.  Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours or until chicken is cooked thoroughly and veggies are tender.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Garlic Ranch Chicken Kabobs

I have been trying to do some serious catching up blogging.  Summer vacation is certainly keeping us busy around here.  So not only am I way behind in blogging (I must have 30 posts that I am working on!  YIKES!) but we have been experimenting with lots of SUPER quick and EASY dinners.  Summer baseball has taken over our week nights but we love it!  This recipe was part of the week when I accepted the challenge to keep the oven off...I took the challenge more for simplifying dinner than to not heat the whole house.  But either way the week was a success! Obviously, we have been in a big hurry around here...I only had time to snap one picture of the chicken.  Sorry that it had to be one of the raw chicken... It looked much more appetizing after it was cooked.  Easy and delicious

  • Minced Garlic
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Parsley
  • Boneless Chicken Breasts (cut into large cubes)
Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Pour over chicken and marinate for about 45 minutes.  Place chicken pieces about an inch apart in skewers.  Remember if you are using wooden skewers you need to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before you place them on the grill to prevent them from burning.  Cook on grill until chicken is cooked thoroughly.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

Halloween FREE Printable Banner

Here's another Halloween FREE Printable! Hang this cute Trick or Treat banner near your front door or by a party table. This one isn't too spooky, maybe I'll create another spooky one!

To download, click here.

Halloween- You've Been Booed!

We did something similar for Easter, and so here is a Halloween version. I know, it's seems too early to start working on Halloween crafts! It is still 90 degrees here in Cincinnati. However, all of our friends on Pinterest are already pinning Halloween stuff, so I figured why not get ahead of the game and give everyone a free printable.

Here's the directions, leave the "You've Been Booed" note, along with some candy for a friend or neighbor. Be sure to stick the "We've Been Booed" sign for them to hang as well. Then, they continue the string of booing by turning around and doing it for one of their friends or neighbors. It's a good way to spread the Halloween spirit! But remember, do not tell them who the Boo is from.

To print, just right click and save image, then print as a full sheet photo.

Grilled Garlic Cilantro Pork Chops

You are probably thinking the exact same thing that I thought as I was preparing this...."Cilantro...On pork chops?"  Yep!  I bought cilantro earlier this week for a different recipe and I hate to see things go to waste (I have tried growing cilantro twice with no success, if you have any tips please share!) so that is why this marinade was concocted.  My family is very critical when it comes to trying new recipes, so I didn't even want to tell them that I put cilantro in the marinade.  

  • 4-6 Pork Chops (I used 6 boneless thin cut)
  • Cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
Serves 4-6

Combine all ingredients except pork chops in small food processor and process until well combined.  
 Next I used the new meat tenderizer that I got from Pampered Chef.  It is double sided.  One side is flat for pounding out/flattening meat and the other side is spikey. I used the spikey side and lightly tenderized the pork chops.  Then I Salt and Peppered both sides of pork chops.  
 Pour over pork chops, flip to make sure all sides are coated, and marinate for 30-60 minutes.
 Heat Grill and cook pork chops until desired temperature flipping throughout.
I served with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Check out these other favorite recipes

Grilled Bourbon Pork Medallions

Creamy Garlic Ranch Pork Chops

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Getting Organized- Family Plan

This summer has been hectic! I will be the first to admit that I have let my kids routine and behavior get out of hand. So I decided it was time to get us all back in shape. As usual, I scoured Pinterest for ideas on just how to take on this big task. Nothing quite matched what I was in need of, so I picked pieces from several websites and then threw in my own.

The first thing I knew I needed was a "hub" center with our family plan. I didn't have a bulletin board, the fridge wasn't big enough and those hanging fabric organizers just didn't do the trick for me. So I just bought 2 pieces of black foam board and hung on the wall with removable mounting squares. From there I was able to put all if our components into place.

Now your family plan may need to vary slightly from mine. I wanted a place to track the most important things to keeping us all I. A good plan, but didn't want it to be too overwhelming. Here is what I decided to include:

Daily Routine
Healthy eating chart
Family Rules

I don't have it up there, but they have rewards for eating their fruits and veggies-they earn $2 each week if they eat the "vegetable/fruit of the week" each day. With the behavior chart, they start each day on green, and I they break any of the family rules they move to yellow. While in yellow they have the opportunity to move back to green with good behavior. But if they break the rules again and have to move to red, they are grounded from tv, computer and iPad.

I plan on switching the healthy eating to a chore chart in a few months. Hopefully they can keep up the healthy eating without the chart!

Please be sure to check back often, as I am in full swing organization mode and I'm sure I'll have lots more to share!

Home Organization Binder- Tips and Free Printables

As I have already said, I am on a major home organization project. With school starting, I need to get us all organized and I need to keep it all straight! I previously posted my 2014-2015 School Year Calendar and Planner Pages, so be sure to visit that post for those free printables and my tips on what binder/notebook system to use.

In addition to needing monthly calendars and planner pages, I added a few more things to my binder to help keep me organized. All files are listed below for you to download and use. I created 5 tabs in my binder-

  • Calendar
  • Planner
  • To-Do List
  • Menus/Grocery
  • Budget

After the tabs, I included folders for each member of the family to stuff misc. paperwork. I also included a recipe folder to hold loose recipe cards I pick up along the way.

Here's to starting the school year off on the right foot!
 To Download, click on each link below:

Monthly Menu Planner

Weekly Menu Plan and Grocery List

To-Do List

2014 Budget Worksheets

FREE 2014-2015 School Year Calendar and Planner Pages

UPDATED!! And just in time for back to school! This planner set is great for any mom, teacher or student. This year I have added more pages to make a complete planner.

I must admit, I am an organization junkie. But I also like my organization to be stylish. So while I love planners, the standard stuff you can buy already put together just doesn't do it for me. Several years ago I found a few products and websites that changed my life!

The first were Circo products by Levenger. They offered a fully customizable notebook/planner system complete with removable pages, inserts, tabs and folders. You had the flexibility to add and remove pages like a 3-ring binder, but with the flexibility and portability of a standard spiral notebook. I later found that Staples offers a more affordable version called Staples Arc in stores that I recommend because you don't have to order online and they are cheaper.

Yet I still ran into one of the same old problems- their planner pages that they offered just didn't suit my needs either! That is when I found this awesome website called DIY Planner. This website has lots of templates to create just about any planner pages you could imagine, and in lots of different sizes to fit just about any standard planner cover. However, I do find the site and templates a little difficult to navigate. So I just figured I'd share the calendar and planner pages I created for myself and make it a little easier for our readers.

Below area few "must haves" for any organized mom or teacher for this school year. Click on the links below to download the pages.The first is a monthly calendar for the 20145-2015 school year.  You can easily put this into an existing planner, use the Arc system I mentioned above, or keep in a 3-ring binder. Next, I have weekly planner pages for the entire school year. The monthly calendar shows a brief overview, but the weekly planner pages are your true tool to keep everyone in your family on time to events and appointments.They have hourly slots for each day of the week to record appointments, games, practices and events. Finish it off with Notes Pages and a stylish Planner Cover and voila! Super organized for the start of the school year:)

Click on each link below to be taken to the pdf file. Just save on your computer and print.

2013-2014 School Year Calendar

2013-2014 School Year Weekly Planner Pages

Notes Pages

Planner Cover Page

Please stay tuned as I post all of my pictures of my actual family planner notebook with these calendar and planner pages!

FREE Printable Lunch Box Jokes

You may have already seen our sweet FREE Printable Lunch Box Notes, so here's another freebie in our Back to School series. These funny Lunch Box jokes are sure to amuse your little ones. To download, just click here.

Be sure to check out all of our other Back to School freebies!

Dirty Rice with Smoked Sausage and Chicken

Several years ago, a friend of mine brought dinner to our house and we thought it was the BEST dinner ever!  And if I wasn't trying to eliminate processed and packaged food from our dinner rotation I would probably still be making dirty rice from a box.  Tonight I perfected the replacement!!  And I am quite proud of myself!  I started thinking that it was actually possible when Sherrie posted the Cajun Brown Rice recipe.  I took some suggestions from her and this is what I came up with.
  • 2 Small Chicken Breasts (cooked and shredded)
  • 1 (13 oz pkg) Smoked Sausage (I used Turkey)
  • 1/2 Green Pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 Red Pepper (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Onion
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water
  • 3 Cups Brown Rice
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • About a Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Corn (I cut the corn off of two ears of cooked corn on the cob)
Serves 6-7

Heat olive oil in large skillet.  Cook onions for about 3-4 minutes.  Add in garlic cook another minute.  Add in red and green peppers.  Cook for 3-4 more minutes.
Pour in water and chicken stock.  Turn heat to high.
 When it comes to a boil add in rice, chicken, and smoked sausage.  Stir in Cajun seasoning, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and parsley.  Bring mixture to boil.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add in corn stir and fluff rice.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

FREE Printable 8x10 First Day of School Signs

As you may have noticed if you've been reading, we are in full back to school mode. And that means lots of BTS crafting and designing ideas. Here are some adorable First Day of School Signs that you can have printed for your little one to hold as a photo prop. Just click on the image below and save to your computer, then print as an 8x10 photo. Easy Peasy!

If you would like a customized sign with your child's name and other fun details, please check out our Etsy store listing.