First Day of School

The first day of school is always exciting. You can see how excited the kids are and can definitely feel it too. Nicholas gets this excited energy that leaves him feeling a little queasy for a bit. He is just like his Mom and Dad. Every year on the first day of school I would have so much nervous energy I would be sick to my stomach. I remember the worst year was first grade. My mother had to take me into the bathroom. Yes, I threw up on my first day of first grade. Of course, as soon as you get to class it all goes away.

This morning I was reminded of those first days of school. One of Nick’s classmates was so nervous she would not let go of her Mom. I could even see tears. I remember that she was in Nick’s class previously so I talked to her and had Nick say hi to her in hopes she would feel better. I’m not sure if it worked. I asked Nick at the end of the day and he said she was fine after awhile in their new classroom.

Here is my cute little man on his first day of second grade – I would have got more picture at school drop off if my camera had not decided to act up. Looks like it’s time for an upgrade.


This is him last year and I can’t believe how much he has changed in one year.


Happy First Day!


Recipes I Must Try

I have fallen into a rut lately when it comes to cooking. I seem to make the same things over and over. I am trying to break free and try some new recipes. A friend gave me a great black bean and corn salad recipe which was super easy to make and very yummy. I made it for a BBQ and served it with tortilla chips and it didn’t last long. I will be posting the recipe soon.

I often see recipes on my favorite blogs and sometimes print them out or bookmark it. Usually though I forget out about it and they never get made. It is my hope that by writing this it will give me the needed kick to start making them.

I am always looking for side dishes to go with my grilled meats. The Pioneer Woman makes some amazing food. This Mexican Macaroni Salad looks awesome.

Another great food blog is Pinch of Yum – can’t wait to try this yummy recipe - Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna

And check out Simply Scratch as well, so many great recipes – including homemade sauces, dressings and spice mixtures. This Lemon Dijon Grilled Chicken sounds delicious and easy to make and who doesn’t like quick recipes.

Hope this helps you find some new recipes to try out. I am always looking and these are 3 of my favorite food blogs.

Happy Cooking.




Maple Mustard Salad Dressing

A friend of mine gave me this recipe after finding out we made our own maple syrup every winter. I would give her a real shout out but she is one of those rare people who does not have any social media accounts. I don’t think she even has a home email address.

This recipe is easy to throw together in a mason jar.

The ingredients -

1/4 cup course mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 maple syrup
1 tsp. any herb you would like
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup olive oil


Throw all the ingredients except for the oil in the mason jar.


Slowly pour in the olive oil -


Put the cap on the jar and shake well.


Super yummy and super easy to make. I even used it as a marinade for chicken.


Happy Cooking.



Favorite Things – Mason Jars

One of my favorite household items of all time is mason jars.


Originally used for canning there are so many more ways of using them.

A few days ago I posted about mason jar salads – You can make about any type of salad you want in these jars. I use the quart size for salads, it gives you plenty of room to stuff a lot of lettuce in there.

I also use them to make salad dressing. All you do is throw all the ingredients in and shake it up. I will be posting a yummy dressing recipe this week.

We also use them as many people do for our beverages. They are the perfect size for a cup. I use the pint size for drinks.


Another way of using mason jars is as a vase. The size you use will depend on the flowers you have or the size of the centerpiece you want to make. In our house we only have the two sizes but they both work perfectly to hold flowers.


Really you can store just about anything in these handy jars.

You can get them at just about any hardware type store and are also available on Amazon.

How do you use your mason jars?


The Walking Dead Vol. 21

What do you do on a stormy summer night when the power has gone out? I take out a book and read. Luckily the same day I received my copy of The Walking Dead Vol 21 . I had been waiting and waiting for release day so I could find out how the war would end. I was not disappointed.

I will say that the ending was not what I had been expecting but after re-reading the last few pages I completely understood it. The need to rebuild society definitely won out over the need for revenge. Volume 21 picks up during the war and gives us closure and a hopeful new beginning for Rick and his group of survivors.

I won’t go into too much detail, don’t want to put any spoilers out there for those who have not read. I am very interested to see where they take the story next. What did you think of the conclusion of the all out war?

Happy Reading.


Summer Vacation and Movie Review

Last week I had a much needed stay-cation. My parents come up every July and I take the time off to spend with them every moment I can knowing I won’t see them again until December. Usually we have amazing weather but I guess we can’t get lucky every year. We had some good days and some not so good but still had a great time.

On one of those not so great days we decided to go bowling which none of us had done in years. I had not been bowling in over 10 year and it was a blast. Watching the kids bowl was a lot of fun, they didn’t care about the score just that they knocked some pins over and got to throw a ball around.

Ok, my Mom claimed she had not been bowling for 5 years but I have my suspicions …. she kicked butt and took names both of our games.


Nick has never really been bowling and he had more of a ball toss than roll but it worked for him.


On the other bad weather day we went to the movies. We wanted to pick a kid friendly movie so we chose to see Maleficent. I had not really thought about seeing it before but I am very glad we did. It wasn’t at all what I expected considering I was thinking of the animated Sleeping Beauty with actors. Boy was I wrong. The story is not the Disney animated Sleeping Beauty at all.

In Maleficent we see the story of how she came to be a spiteful and cruel “queen”. A love gone bad and powers to make him pay, she puts a curse on his daughter which can be broken by no one. The only thing that can possibly break it is true loves kiss. She is certain true love does not exist so the curse will be for eternity. What she does not realizes is true love need not be a man’s love for a woman.

Maleficent was beautifully filmed and the effects were great. We see a winged fairy Maleficent flying around her world full of amazing color and beauty. Angelina Jolie played Maleficent amazingly well as did her sidekick Diaval (Sam Riley). I definitely recommend this movie for a family movie night. I was worried some of it may be too scary for young kids but my seven year old enjoyed it very much and gave it two thumbs up as well.

Hope you are all enjoying summer.