Thursday, August 28, 2014

Operation Lunchbox...Uncrustables Frozen Sandwiches

We are closing in on the end of 
the fourth week of school here!
I can hardly believe it!

My children have taken their lunch
to school EVERY day too!
I can hardly believe that either!!

I've been hot & heavy keeping my pantry lunchbox stocked!
(secret pantry that is, the little rats never think to look in kitchen closet under the stairs)
((wicked laugh....bahaha)) ;)

At the grocery E has begged me to buy these nasty
Smucker's Uncrustable Sandwiches in the freezer section.



I'm sorry, people...
These are just not good for you,
sooooo much sugar &
added junk.
Blah!!

I hunted around & found a way to make my own on Pinterest 
(of course).
But I forgot to pin the source!!
(of course)

I made a few of these & put them in the freezer
(because my life revolves around food I can freeze, it's genetic).

By lunch time they are thawed perfectly...
but still cool, not soggy.

That night the peeps were quick to let me know how they were...

Big O said those ham sandwiches were the best he'd ever had!

Miss O said that was the yummiest pb&j EVER!!

Sneaky E said "don't ever put those in my lunchbox again"

Two outta three...
ha!

So, I thought I would quickly share 
the making of 
lunch box uncrustable sandwhiches 
right here in P Mama's Kitchen.

Here are the things we used this week...


Nature's Own Whole Wheat Bread
Boar's Head Ham (my kids like it shaved, falling apart)
Sliced American Cheese
Mayo
All Fruit brand, Strawberry Jelly
Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter (see, I don't hate Smucker's) 
& sharpie for labeling 
foil for freezing

I started off laying out my sandwich bottoms and measuring with my Pampered Chef cutter gently pressing down to leave a circle imprint (because sometimes my kids help me & this keeps food from being cut off & wasted).



Then, I added my sandwich ingredients to each circle spot
(seriously, nothing fancy).

I just used a half a piece of cheese for each one, 
that's plenty since the circle is smaller than a normal sandwich.



Then I put the sandwich tops on & pressed my cutter down to seal the edges.



Sometimes they are beautiful & seal all the way around,
sometimes they just look ugly & don't.
(you get what you get & you don't throw a fit)

Sometimes I keep the crusts to use later to make croutons.




(yeah, right)
((I do aspire though))


Most of the time I toss them to the birds &
maybe share one or two with my vicious attack dogs.




I wrapped each one in foil, 
labeled them with a sharpie...
maybe drew a heart on there too...
gotta let them know mama loves. :)




Then, packed them in my freezer door,
ready for a lovely week at school!
The picture above is Big O's sandwhich pile for the week...
that kid is eating me out of the house!!!

I don't always cut off Big O's crusts, but how can I not!?! Nothing says "Mama's Boy" quite like my giant, tenth grade son nibbling on a crustless fancy lil sammich in the high school cafeteria. ;)




In the morning, I grab these out of the door when I pack lunches.
I make Sneaky E one FRESH, of course...
that rotten little monster! 

Oh, speaking of school...
my little nephews got off to pre-school this week.
I die!
They are so cute, 
I just want to put kisses all over their little faces!!




And, a friend of mine shared this picture from her daughter's homework
that I could not help but share....
I laughed out loud (to be honest)!!



Too funny!

Well, I've got to get these little darlings ready for bed. 
Friday is coming for us,
football,
softball try outs...

Whew!!!

Wishing y'all dreams of high school football, college football & pro...
it's finally Football Time in Tennessee!!!



Mwah!

Mandy

Sunday, August 24, 2014

August Nibbles...

I just realized that it's August 24th...
Labor Day weekend is upon us!
Summer is OVER!!!
Yikes!!!

Let's get caught up, shall we?
Here are a few nibbles from the P House this month...

1.

I've taken on a commissioned job to paint a cutie kitchen...
I don't normally do cabinets, but this is a small job & how on earth could I walk away from an opportunity to paint kitchen cabinets in Provence blue!?!?

I swoon!!



2.

My little chickens have gotten off to school!

10th grade, 7th grade & 2nd grade...
seriously, how did that happen!?!

(& yes, I sobbed like a baby watching Big O DRIVE OFF to school for the first time...stab mama in the heart a dozen times, why don't ya!)

3.

The Sneaky E Dyslexia Adventure has taken a turn...
but it deserves its own post.

Good things are happening in that department!



4. 

So, I might have mentioned...
Our kids are attending PUBLIC SCHOOL this year.
(We have exceptional public schools & teachers here, we are very fortunate.)

Yes, we thought private school has just gotten too expensive.
(newsflash, college is coming at us...fast)
No, none of our kids were kicked out of private school. (really now, people)
Yes, it was mostly our kid's decision to make this change ((& they are in there gettin' after it))!

& No, we do not regret our decision.

(cough, cough) ;)

Moving on...

5.

I per-ordered this book...
I comes out in October!

I absolutely loved Rhett Butler's People, I have not a doubt that this one will be just as good!
(did I mention that Mammy is my hero???)
((I can't wait to read it))




6.

Big O played in his first real VARSITY football game Friday night...
My nerves were so tore up, I didn't eat a bite all day long!!!


This boy...
Oh, how I love him!!


7.

Speaking of football...
I am about to DIE for real football season to begin!!



We stay so busy through the week,
nothing makes me happier than Saturday
snuggling with my people,
in the recliner,
watching college football!!!
♥♥♥♥

8.

The Ice Bucket Challenge...

I am all about helping people & donating to charity...
I've been known to donate clothing to school children & slip cash into the pockets!
I am all about helping others! 

I, in no way mean to be disrespectful to anyone who has done this challenge, I think it's amazing how much money has been raised for this cause!

However, I'm going nicely say that I would like to challenge Americans:
to do a dance,
jump in the pool with clothes on,
kiss a monkey,
or something...

Just please stop wasting water. 
((I know, every party has a pooper...))




I noticed someone on Facebook this weekend saying they were going to CALL OUT the people who had ignored their challenge.
(ahem)

Things to consider:
Not everyone has money to donate.
Shaming someone publicly is (bullying) not cool.
The end.
;)


9.

I got football on the brain right now...
did I mention that? ;)





10.

Can I just share how darling my daddy was this past Friday night?

Headed out to cheer for his grandson, who is a third generation Blue Devil.
Daddy has on a polo that has been hiding in the back of his closet for 20 years!

P Daddy & I teased him about the embroidery on the breast...
shirt so old, it might been done by hand!! LOL



Ah, good times ahead for our family...
love me some Blue Devil Pride!

Well, 
I guess I'd better go help Miss O.
We (& when I say we, I mean ME)
painted her bedroom,
ripped out her closet,
painted that,
put in a new closet system...

NOW we are getting ready for the floor guys
to come in the morning & put down some hardwood.

You can imagine the dread.
OMGosh, it's a mess up there!!
(hold me!!!)

Wishing y'all a blessed, beautiful Sunday!
I'll be back to share a couple of finished paint jobs tomorrow.

Mwah,

Mandy


















Thursday, August 21, 2014

Just Like That...

I am in the car. 
Waiting. 
The story of my life lately. 
School has started, people!
& I bet I'm not the only mama living in her car. 

It's been pretty busy around here lately. Aside from getting my kids back in school & painting like an absolute fool...I've gotten my behind back to the gym!

(Warning: personal, fool rambling ahead)

Last month I woke up & decided that I was sick of being miserable, flabby & funky...

In all honesty, I think I've been a little depressed. Between the death of my dear friend Sharare, homeschool & driving the dyslexia school bus to Murfreesboro, P Daddy being super busy with the office AND working on a dental certification in implants (& as blessed as I am that he trusts me to be in charge of our home & children while he accomplishes this goal...it is draining & exhausting for P Mama)...life has just seemed to jump off the tracks these past few months...((like off the tracks & over a small cliff))!

I've wanted to try this (what appeared to be miserable & impossible) class at the gym for a few years now...but I've been TOO SCARED!! 

One morning after falling asleep praying...I woke up & realized I needed some extreme change to get my train moving again. ((Thus leading me to say "hey, I might die...but, I'm doing that awful class...ha!))

Today...
((Just for fun...))
I decided to document,
before...


And after
60 minutes of
Body By Will...

Lifting two 20 pound weights (cough, barely), planks, sprints, more planks, more weights, lunges, more sprints, bear crawls (hiss, spit) & a few other horrible things I've already blocked out of my mind...

I'm still alive! ☺️



Mostly because for the past two months, Will has taught me that in order to get stronger I've got to compete with me..."be the best you that you can be", he said.  

I may always be the weakest link in that class (don't make me tell you about the day we had to carry a partner up a hill on our backs & nobody wanted to be my partner). ;)

I'll probably always get smoked by women ten plus years older than me...
and that's ok (because they're my heroes). ☺️

The point is, I drug my wussy butt up there & I tried to be the best Mandy I can be. 

I did hard stuff & I didn't die! 

I know that I can face that (other) hard stuff now too! 

If you're local & you want to give it a try, come on up there! We will get after it & I'll cheer you on...be the best you that you can be! 

"Just like that", as Will always says! ❤️

**********

I am finishing this blog entry while the volleyball team warms up...I'm merely minutes away from jumping back in the car to take E to football. 

I will be back, I've got a dozen new paint projects to show you!!

Wishing y'all the most lovely Thursday!

Mwah,

Mandy ☺️

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Men...that I LOVE!

I was just (standing there folding clothes)
thinking the other day...

there are a few men that I just love,
I mean...absolutely ADORE 
(for various & specific reasons)
with all my heart!

When I gave it some thought...
what a void!
My life wouldn't be the same without them in it. 

I decided right then,
I needed to break from reality for a minute
& blog about them. :)

Of course my number one men would always be
Jesus...
then my sweet daddy &
precious P Daddy,
but these men on my list deserve a little recognition too.

Some sing, some act,
some write, some paint &
some are not even real people at all.

Welcome to my top ten...
a list of pop culture
(real & fictional) men,
that I just love! ;)

Let's start the countdown...

10. Paul McCartney (& The Beetles)

His music is an instant time portal in my mind...
it was playing my entire childhood!
My parents had a chance to meet him & his wife Linda when they lived in Lebanon one summer (this first picture is Paul with my Uncle Doug & wife, Libby).

We saw him in concert about four years ago...it was an experience of a lifetime!
I do love me some Sir Paul.





9. Elvis Presley

My Granny was the biggest Elvis fan.

We're talking a huge fan!




I feel an instant connection with her anytime his face or music crosses my path.
I've tried hard to keep his musical memory alive for my children to have that same connection with her too. 
My grandfather was not a huge fan of his (probably because my granny loved him so much) & I always loved his animated dislike anytime his name was mentioned. ;)



8. Fictional Character "Han Solo"



I do love Harrison Ford as well, but his work as Han Solo is my favorite...
his sarcasm & modest heroism will always have a place in my heart.

(besides) How many times in my childhood did this fall out of my mouth?

Laugh it up, fuzzball!
--HAN SOLO, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
 

7. Clark Gable

I can't explain it & have it make any sense.

I love Clark Gable as Rhett Butler.
In my mind, he IS Rhett...it's just that simple.
I love Gone With the Wind, I love Rhett, the end. ;)




But he also reminds me of my grandfather, who passed away when I was 14.
I was the biggest Poppa's Girl, I loved him so much...I still tear up when a smell or a song stirs a memory of him. Clark Gable in The Misfits took my breath away & I love to watch that one and think of my sweet poppa with his sweet slicked back hair.




6. Morgan Freeman, actor 
Oh, my goodness...
he's awesome!
He's just awesome!
We don't have time for me to list all the things I love about this man.
Awesome will serve. ;) 



5. Chevy Chase
I have the truest love for Chevy Chase mainly because the characters he has played remind me so much of my daddy. Having someone make me laugh is one of my most favorite things. He has made me laugh for as long as I can remember and is a true beloved person in my world. 




4. John Candy
Try to imagine life without John Candy movies...
I'll wait...
Yeah, that's what I thought.
You just can't.
He was a hilariously, giant teddy bear.
I still get a lump in my throat when I think of his passing so young.
He was definitely someone I would have wanted to meet in real life.



3. Steve Martin
I think I fell completely head over heels in love with Steve Martin during his 3 mintue cameo in the original Muppet Movie.

This man has had me laugh with tears...over & over again.
If the characters he played were no so much like my own daddy, I would for sure wish that he were mine.  I could sit here all evening trying to decide which movie of his is my favorite...I honestly cannot decide!




2. Andy Griffith
How I love this man...
I grew up watching The Andy Griffith show &
I have the greatest appreciation for having such a wonderful, respected male character as a role model.
When he appeared in that Brad Paisley video I cried like a baby, he was just so precious!
  

and my 1. Ronald Reagan
Could any man in history be more beloved? 
He was precious!
In addition to being my favorite president, he was in the White House during the period of my childhood when my grandfather passed away. He's another beloved male with slicked back hair that I will always respect and adore. 

I will forever be grateful that he was the leader of our country, what a wonderful man he was!


 

Honorable mention:

(because, I could go on & on & on....haha)

Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird...gentlemen, take note...that's a real man right there!
Mike Myers as Wayne, as Cat in the Hat, as Austin Powers...hilarious
Kermit the Frog, I still tear up singing The Rainbow Connection
Spencer Tracy, his movies...I cannot pick a fave
Jimmy Stewart...he is just beloved!!!
Garth Brooks, read my rambling real life encounter with him here
JR Ewing, I refuse to apologize...I loved that evil man! ;)
Horatio Craine, CSI Miami...shamelessly adored
Claude Monet...my favorite artist, his work rocks my soul
Peyton Manning, a true class act in a sea of often poor quality individuals
Robin Williams, he's made me laugh since Mork
Gilligan, the Skipper, the Professor & Mr Howell, you know you loved them too
The Rock, Dwayne Johnson...he's hilarious, especially in Disney movies
Harry Connick Jr, his music...his pride of being southern, swoon
and lastly,
Jake Ryan...yes, even if he doesn't know I exist. ;) 
Notice I am not listing heart throbs here...
here's my one & only heart throb,
going on  23 years (holy mercy)



love me some P Daddy ;)
 
Who are your favorites?
I would really love to know.
Please leave a comment here or comment over on my facebook page.
I'd like to put together a list of my READER favorites...
that would be fun! 
I'm headed to the garage, it's cooling down
& I'm going to get some painting done.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Mwah,

Mandy





Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On My Nightstand...Eugenia Price

I've been a reading fool the past few months!

Here's what's on my nightstand right now...

Eugenia Price, Savannah



I've had this book forever,
I picked it up at Goodwill for $1.50.

Goodreads sums it up as:

Few writers have earned a place in readers' hearts as dear as Eugenia Price. Her novels entice us into a vanished world, peopled by characters who immediacy makes their joy, sorrow, heartbreak, and soaring love something we can share and savor. Eugenia Price chose Savannah, Georgia as one of the most fascinating cities of the South, as the setting of a quartet of novels that follow the fortunes of the city and families that gave it life.

Orphaned Mark Browning was only twenty when he renounced his father's fortune and sailed to Savannah, his mother's birthplace...and the home of two remarkable women. The first is Eliza McQueen Mackay, his mentor's beautiful wife, whom Mark loves with a deep, pure love that can never be spoken. The other is lovely young Caroline Cameron, whose life is blighted by a secret that has tormented her grandparents for half a century--a secret that affects Mark more closely than he imagines. Desiring one woman, loved by another Mark must confront the ghosts of a previous generation, and face the evil smoldering hate, before he can truly call Savannah his home.



Unfortunately for me,
this book is the beginning of a QUARTET series...
I've already uploaded the second book on my Nook!

I hope the next three are as good as this first one has been!

What are you reading right now?

We are headed to the gym for a good old fashioned butt kicking.
I've been taking a class this month called "Body By Will".
It's a one hour boot camp type class
that I can assure you I swore I would never be interested in doing!

I have no idea what possessed me...
I may do it every time he offers it now,
it is CHALLENGING & 
just plain MISERABLE...
but I am really feeling awesome & STRONGER!
I love/hate it! ;)

Wishing y'all a fab Tuesday!
I'll be back to share my latest two painting jobs...
whew, they were monsters!!

Mwah!
Mandy


Monday, July 14, 2014

Dressing Mama...Summer in Lilly

I have always loved Lilly Pulitzer...



it is timeless style
and nothing says SUMMER to me
quite like her happy, bright colors!

If I had my way,
our entire house would look like this:



(maybe)
(yes, definitely) ;)

I love Lilly all year, but I'm nearly love sick over her things in the summer.

Thank goodness it is SO EXPENSIVE,
otherwise I would go crazy!

I've splurged on ONE Lilly dress in my lifetime...
(still one of my most favorite pieces in my closet)


everything else I have has been purchased
(often) second hand,
on ebay.

Yep.
Y'all know me better than that! ;)

This year, I wore an eBay find to our fund raiser...
I snagged it NEW WITH TAGS (($268, it said...cough)),
I got it for $80 & free shipping.
(oh, how I love eBay)





It has pockets, did I mention that!?!
I die!

Anyway, this summer I've snagged a couple of really cute
Lilly Pulitzer summer tops on eBay (cheaply, of course) &
I've just had the best time hunting over there for things in my size.
Her pieces are happy & make me feel pretty
& those are the best kind,
don't you think? ;)



While I was looking for something else entirely
(I'm sure I've never said that before),
I happened upon a gold mine of CUTE
Lilly inspired goodness on Etsy!

Some of these things were just so darling,
(and dog-gone affordable)
I wanted to share them with you guys.
(and sharing here is much cheaper, I'm sure P Daddy will approve).

I am crazy about this:

Monogrammed Lilly Pulitzer Market Tote, $15.99...

so sassy!!!

 

 





A Jellies Be Jammin Steering Wheel Cover...
my kids would be horrified!
I totally want one!!! ;)
So cute & just $23.95:


Now, I love the title on this listing...
raw honesty! ;)

Lilly Pulitzer Inspired She's A Firecracker Fake Hand Painted Jack Rogers Sandals

 These are $53, gorgeous detail!








Lilly inspired racer back tank, $28
(looks so amazingly soft, I want to wear one right now)



Lilly inspired PJ Shorts, $18.50
(I may or may not have ordered myself a pair...don't tell on me)



Sass, oh sass!
I wish wasn't an old lady,
I would wear a bow bracelet every day!

This cutie is just $17:





Lilly print Monogrammed Charger Decals,
two for $11.
These are darling!!



I NEED one (or three) of these!!! 
Lilly Pulitzer Inspired Monogramed Camelbak Water Bottle, $18


Lilly Inspired Iphone Case, $12.95 

These are SO pretty & would make a great gift!

 

 Monogrammed with Lilly fabric...FISHING SHIRT!

Awesome way to spiff up your fishing trip or pool day, $50!

 

Or a Lilly print front license plate, $15.99...
these are so pretty!



I am seriously thinking about ordering one of these...
Comfort Colors Pocket Tee with Circle Monogram, $26.
These are the cutest & that brand is AWESOME quality!


Or a TANK TOP, $23...
decisions, decisions... ;)


Sigh...
I had better stop there...
I would love to have them all! ;)

Have you seen any cute ones,
please share!!

I've got to go read with Sneaky E,
the rat is all about some Berenstain Bears lately...
gotta love it! :)

Wishing you all the most wonderful Monday evening &
a very fabulous week!

Mwah,

Mandy

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