Friday, February 27, 2009

Gettin' crafty with it...

Just call me Martha Stewart today. I stumbled across this cool "craft" a while ago and figured today was the perfect day to try it.
I bought these silicone trays earlier this week thinking I would use this idea for "treat bags" for the kids who come to Jackson's birthday party. Oh, and Jackson had a massive bag of crayons that he would never use up even if he colored for hours a day.

The longest part of the project was unpeeling all of the crayons. Jackson lost interest in doing this with me in the first 5 it was just me left to do the tedious task. Bake em for 15 minutes and let them cool for 1 hour and voila!

Cute little treat bags all ready to go for Jackson's party. No procrastinating for this lady the night before his party!

I'm in love with the bright colors! Sure beats a candy bag if you ask me!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Crawfish Boil

We decided to have a crawfish boil last night. Now don't get me wrong, we've been to many many crawfish boils, but never have we "done the dirty work" ourselves. It's a process, and it's fun!
Since we've lived here for almost SIX years, and haven't learned this fine art yet, James figured it was time!

I remember when James and I were getting married. We had a crawfish boil at our rehearsal dinner. It was so much fun watching all my friends and family who had never encountered a Louisiana Crawfish Boil. They were like, "You're gonna EAT that?" Needless to say, they all loved it! (at least from what I remember). My friend, Cory, picked up a whole crawfish and stuck it in his mouth..aww, northerners. We forgive you. And we gave everyone a lesson on how to eat the little delicacies.

James decided that after this crawfish boil, he "needed" a bigger pot. We boiled 20 pounds of crawfish (for 4 of us!) and had to do it in two batches. The second batch was way always is.

Looks like we have an "escapee." Not to worry, Champ wasn't going to let him out of his sight. I have to admit, live crawfish FREAK ME OUT. I hate the noise they make crawling all over each other in the bag...and the sounds they make involuntarily being dumped into boiling water....makes my skin crawl. I never watch that part. Makes me kinda sad....but not for long! Cause soon it's grub time.

Here lie dead crawfish in a pot. Soaking up all those delicious flavors. Soon they will be in my tummy. yum.

Charlie needs another haircut. Can you tell?

Our finished product. The mushrooms are my favorite. They are so tasty. We put extra in last night so there'd be plenty for everyone.
See that honkin' big clove of garlic in the middle? THOSE are yum too.

Charlie had to get in on the action. He wasn't afraid to touch the crawfish. Jackson, on the other hand, wouldn't dare touch....I finally coaxed him into holding a broken off claw. That's as far as he'd go.
And Charlie thought he'd like to put the spicy crawfish in his mouth. Ouch, burning lips!

The cool thing about having crawfish boils is that it's such a social event. You dump out the crawfish on a big table and everyone stands around and peels and eats crawfish as they please. You can take a break if you'd like, then come back for some more.

What a great way to end Mardi Gras!
And if you come and visit us, we'll throw a crawfish boil for you...since we know how to and all.
Ps James....well done! Those were some of the best crawfish! Thank you:)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blanket Addict

I had a weird urge the other uh, make my Charlie look like a girl. I had success. James thought I was just plain looney for doing this. But I don't care. All I did was put his hair up in a ponytail. It's time for a haircut.

Oh, and Charlie LOVES his blanket(s). He has two that he sleeps with. He calls them a word that I cannot decipher yet. But it's the same word everytime he says it.
He must suck his two middle fingers when he is holding his blankets. Both blankets have that satin trim on them. It is just precious to watch him rub his baby fingers between the fabric. I had a blanket as a child and remember doing the same thing. I want to join him when I see him doing this.

We usually keep the blankets in Charlie's crib. But lately I don't know how they've managed to make their way out....
He trotted in my bathroom and got comfortable...on the hard, cold tile floor. I tried not to disturb.

He tried laying on Champ. But Champ kept getting up and moving to a new spot.

I wish I had kept my blanket. It was blue. And it was soft too.

Mardi Gras '09. Part Deux.

You may, or may not be sick of seeing Mardi Gras pics. If you aren't, then you're in luck.
I've got LOTS more pics to come. I just have to get my hands on them.

I dragged my husband and kids to New Orleans on Saturday to catch some parades. We met up with our friends, the Pierces, at 2pm and caught then end of the Tucks parade. They had been at the same spot since 9am that morning "staking" out their spot for the parades that day. Long story short, we didn't get home til midnight that night. It was a LONG day..but the boys had so much fun (and James did too, actually).

Kid Rock (not a fan) was the Grand Marshall of the Endymion parade and much to my surprise, REO Speedwagon was in the parade. They had their band set up on a huge float and were playing all their classics. It was AWESOME. You know their songs, "Can't Fight This Feeling", "Time For Me To Fly", "Take It On The Run"...good 80's music.

That picture up there is the aftermath of the Tucks parade. It was just one big party after another. With a sea of trash up and down the streets. Mardi Gras is crazy.

Jackson and Tyler were throwing beads on this little tree and decorating it. Had to kill some time between the parades. That's our friends, Tony and Tracey up there on the side of the pic.

Lana caught these interesting beads Friday night at the Orpheus parade here in Mandeville. We had quite the set up Friday night. James put his long flat-bed trailer out on the street the night before the parade. We had a firepit, heaters, a grill, a table and chairs, oh and lots of food and people on our trailer. It was so much fun. Tim manned the grill and I made a huge pot of red beans and rice. Definitely the way to go for a parade. Tim and I decided we'd be starting a new tradition every year.

Waiting on more pics from other people's cameras....Happy Lundi Gras.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mardi Gras 2009

Such a GREAT family picture....of James and me! We went to our first Mardi Gras parade last Friday night here in Mandeville. It was nice to just "walk" to the parade and leave when we wanted.

Charlie had so much fun catching beads. I suffered a slight head injury from apparently not being a good catcher of the beads...oh well. I shook it off.

We stood on my cousin's flatbed trailer. This way the kids were trapped and couldn't escape.

What does he see?? There was lots of marching bands and music. He danced the night away.
Jackson chose to sit on his daddy's shoulders. Just what James wanted...

This was a day parade in New Orleans on Sunday afternoon. We were walking to the doggie parade (Barkus) and got to catch some of this parade. It was fun! But TOO many people.

Going down Canal Street.

Here we are at Barkus. Christian is in the background. It was a fun afternoon. I think we saw a breed of every dog imaginable that afternoon. Made me want to go out and get a new puppy.......(yeah, right).

The dogs (and their owners) were all dressed up in costumes. It was so cute. Back when I was single (wild and crazy) and had no children (obviously), my cousin, Steph, and I marched her basset hound, Lulu, in this parade. It was so much fun. We are entering Champers in the "Mardi Paws" parade here on the northshore on March 1. The kids will have a blast. Any ideas of what our "theme" should be??

A New Orleans Lucky Dog!

This is our friend, Luke's dog, Gumbo. He's a cutie. The kids love him. Our next parade is this Friday night. Hopefully, I'll get some better pictures. I was too scared to take my good camera to the last parade.

Friday, February 13, 2009

V-Day Fun

Cupcakes are yum. They're one of my favorites. I make them, any excuse I can. The Martha Stewart Living magazine has AMAZING cupcake recipes this month. And nothing too fancy either. Go buy yourself a copy and eat lots of cupcakes.

A happy face :) I had one too after I finished one off! And of course, Jackson was nice enough to share his (second) cupcake with his little brother.

Cupcakes are FUN to eat...

I made little valentines for each kid in Jackson's class at school. I took the easy route and baked brownies and used a heart-shaped cookie cutter and cut out a brownie for each kid. I was in a rush this morning getting everyone out the door, I forgot to take a pic of the final product. But trust me, they were cute.

Charlie says: Take my picture. Love me. I know I'm cute.

Being a camera hog! Actually, it was ok with me. I wasn't having the best all around looking day :) Allergies=puffy eyes. Hair in ponytail=my signature look. No make-up=who has time? I did get my teeth brushed. Go me.

Tonight is our first Mardi Gras parade! We are going to my cousin's house (within walking distance of our house) and eating together then walking to the parade. The roads all close here at 6pm and the parade starts at 7pm. It's lots of fun and the kids really like catching everything the people on the floats throw off. Charlie should have a blast this year! Hopefully the rain will hold off. Have a GREAT weekend!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Let me start by saying, I had to get rid of the polka-dot layout. It was too "loud" for me and made me think about having seizures. Not that I've ever had a seizure, but I thought about it.


James bought one of those backyard "fire pits" for the backyard. It's been fun to build fires and sit around it and make s'mores. I LOVE s'mores. They are yummy. Anyways, I really don't know how to build a fire, I mean, I could do it if my life depended on it. Guess it all boils down to me being lazy and just letting my husband do it. There's a point to my story...
James wasn't coming home until late that night and the boys and I had already eaten dinner. And we wanted dessert. Well, me actually... I didn't "feel" like building a fire just to make s' we improvised...take a gander at my ingenious mind:)

Tell me that doesn't look yum in the tum...


If I do recall, I'm pretty sure I conceived two couldn't tell that in this picture. They found my curlers...and Charlie has the perfect hair for curlers. I love Charlie's face in the pic below...I'd give a million $$ to know what he was thinking....maybe "ouch?"


So, most everyone who knows me, knows me to be pretty fashionable. I try, at the least. I've always been interested in it, and for goodness sakes, have a bachelor's degree in it. (Not that it's put to use now or anything). But I remember picking out my mom's outfits when I was in kindergarten. She used to volunteer in my classroom when I was what, 6? I didn't want to be "embarrassed" by her attire, so I'd assemble her outfits the night before (as I did my own). And from what my mom tells me, I was good at that job, and she always wore what I picked out...Go me.

So my question is, "What the heck and where the heck did my son get this hideous idea?" We were rushing out the door to go meet James for dinner, and I told Jackson to go get his shoes on.....this is what greets me at the door. I did a double-take. I stuttered and blinked a lot. Never did I expect to see this. It's gotta be like in the top 5 of fashion faux pas right??


One of those random pics I found on my camera when I got back from Pa last week. James had gotten him a "cap gun" and it came with the "cowboy works." Wow, I never knew how much I liked to quotation mark stuff. Hope it doesn't bother you, cause it's not going away :)""""""

Micah, Lana and "Hern", Andrew Hern. (pre-race) See, it's not even light out yet...

Anyways again, Lana had her first 1/2 marathon race (13 miles) for those who aren't up on their race distances. She did amazing...I mean, like 2 hours 6 minutes amazing. And it's her FIRST race. She couldn't start with a dinky 5k (3.1 miles) race and work her way up or anything...she had to go all out and show off her superior running abilities...We're running a 10k (6.2 miles) together in April, and this feat pretty much sealed the deal that we WON'T be running partners in that race. That's ok...I can bring up the rear. I have no shame.

Post-race. With smiles on their faces. After 13 miles, you would have to peel my face off the sidewalk to take a picture...

This was really cool. Lana went online and found this tattoo (it's fake)...(she got a running jersey too) at

Check it out. I'll be sporting this look at my big 10k in two months.

Lana and I made Mardi Gras wreaths for the front door this afternoon. We think they turned out pretty darn great.

Back at Christmas time, my Aunt Barb taught me how to make bows for my Christmas wreaths. Well, that was 3 months ago, and I forgot I called my mom. She couldn't teach me over the phone...huh? (She's more "hands-on" you could say..) I googled it, and think they turned out pretty good....

Stella- cat giving me a look.
Finished product. Not too bad, eh?

By the way, just in case you had any doubts, I DO like to get comments in my comment box. So, hint hint...leave me one ;) Tell me how cool I am.