Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shutterfly Christmas Cards

I get the exciting opportunity to review some fabulous Shutterfly cards and tell you all about them!
I have been using shutterfly for years and have never been disappointed. I make photo books for my kids every year and they love these special little treasures.
I have also used Christmas cards in the past and am excited to use them again this year.
They have literally hundreds of designs to choose from.
Some of my favorites are these:
Retro Snowflake - I love the simplicity and yet cute design of this card.
Initially Chic - This one is so sophisticated and chic, and I love the green!
Golly Holly Jolly - This one just screams Christmas to me! I love the greenery swag and the fact that is says "Holly Jolly"
Brighly Merrily - This one is just cute and snazzy. I love the words Merry & Bright.

I am going to have a hard time choosing just which one!
I am very excited to get some fabulous Christmas photos taken this year and put our happy family onto one of these super cute cards. Hopefully after I see the pictures, I will be able to choose the card design.
Tell me, what would you choose?

Check out some of these other cute Shutterfly projects!
Pewter Ornaments - Would be a great First Christmas gift!
Wall Calendar- I have made these several times and they make great gifts for the family!

So there you go, head on over, right now to Shutterfly and find something fabulous to make this Holiday season!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Holiday Baking Ideas

Because I'm sick and consequently bored, I thought I would start posting some holiday ideas.
You never know when you might be the reciepient of some holiday kitchen goodies from yours truly!

Homemade Oreos- Killing me softly.

Cookie Dough Balls- Someone may die eating these.

Ginger Molasses Cookies- Different is good.

Christmas Cookie Bowl- I'll never make this, but it sure it cute!

Peppermint House- This got me to wondering...I wonder if you could make a house out of Pop Tarts. Hmmmm.

Yuletide Treat Logs- I saw these last year and thought they were so cute.

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna- Ok, so this has nothing to do with Christmas persay....just thought it looked good.

White Trash- Everybody makes it different, but you gotta love it!

That is all for now. There will be plenty more to come this holiday season.
What is your favorite Holiday standby?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Come on!

Trust me, you do not want to miss this event. 20 + local vendors displaying handmade and homemade stuff for you to buy for everyone on your Christmas list...not to mention a few little prizes for yourself :)
Check out the By Hand Boutique website and enter to win a gift certificate to get you started!

I'll see YOU at the market!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Potato Soup & Writing Things Down

I know everyone has a recipe they love for Potato Soup, but I have yet to find one that is my favorite. So today I invented one. Both children loved and fawned over it with reckless abandon all the while groaning and making "Bob" sounds. (The movie, "What about Bob?"). They then begged me to write it down so we can have it again.
Well, since one of the things that has been on my mind a lot, has been the death of a set of parents that we know of, leaving behind 3 kids ages 25, 19, and 13, I figured I should again be better about writing things down.
I'm not trying to be morbid, I just think of these things, like random potato soup, that I want to leave for my kids if something were to happen to me. Don't tell me you don't do the same thing. I won't believe you.
So here it is, in complete un measured form:

Potato Soup
1 carton chicken broth (the large kind)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
5 diced potatoes
6 baby carrots sliced thin
1 celery rib, sliced thin

Here's where I don't know measurements:
I threw in some minced onion, some garlic powder, some salt, some pepper.

Threw it all in the crock pot around 10:00 this morning, on high.
Around 1:00, I turned it to low.
Around 2:00, I added a handful of shredded cheddar.

Around 4:00 I turned it off so it could cool some.
Around 4:30 we ate it...oh how we ate it...we ate it with cheese, and sour cream, and bacon bits. MMM. We ate it with smiles on our faces, a glass of water by our sides, and a pumpkin muffin to top it all off.

Why, you may ask, did we eat it so early? Well so we could go to football practice and then come home and eat some more of course!

So here you go my little kiddies, Mama has documented this soup for you, so that noone can turn to you and say "No soup for you!"

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I love this picture. I've seen it several times at a Drs office I go to.
Today I googled it, and it is by J A Hampton and is in the Hyde Park, London series from the 1930's.
I really want to know the story behind this picture, if there is one.
Was this planned? Was this an impromptu jump? Did he make it? Where was he going? What is in his hand? What is on the other side?
Really, I don't know what it is about the picture that captivates me so much and makes me need to know more details.
Maybe its the fact that this guy was willing to jump....to take the chance and just do it...to get to his destination quicker, without having to go the long way around.
Whatever the facts are, I like this picture and want to know more.
Good job J A Hampton.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Oh Lana

I just wanted to document this story because it was the hardest my husband has ever laughed at our daugther.

If you don't know this, Lana has some intestinal issues and had to have a Berium enima on Wednesday. During this we discovered that she has some loops in her colon. Its a funny looking little colon. While doing the Berium enima you can see what is going on inside on the screen. It was pretty cool for her to see her insides.

This spawned her "illustrating" a book she called "Exrays". Actually spelled "Ecxrays".
It is a little book of drawings of her intestines. Very funny in and of itself. Some of the drawings are um...interesting.

Well today we were at lunch in Chattanooga with my dad and Lana tells us that she is going to right another book. This book will be called....brace yourselves....are you ready???


OH my goodness I have never seen Stacy or my Dad laugh so hard at her!
I cannot deny that she is my child. I love her.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

On the Table

On the Table, thanks to Veazer, AKA as Karen, this is the name I will always call it when posting dinner menus.

I must say that I am very happy about the way my grocery shopping has been going. Going to 3 different stores is kind of a pain, but I like the end result of saving money and therefore will keep doing it as long as I am able.

So for this weeks menu we have some of the same ole same old, and some old tried and trues that I haven't made in a while. Plus a newbie.

Let us commence:

Ritz Cracker Chicken & Rice. Green Beans
4 chicken breast
1 can cream of mushroom
1 cup sour cream
1 sleeve Ritz Crackers
1 stick butter
2 cups cooked rice

Cook rice. Put into the bottom of 9x13 dish.
Salt and Pepper chicken and place on rice.
Combine cream of mushroom and sour cream and pour over chicken.
Crush crackers and sprinkle on top, and top with melted butter.
Bake @350 for 30-45 minutes.

Taco Tuesday - Unless something crazy happens, I foresee Tuesday being taco night for a long time. Its cheap, my family loves it, and its easy. The end.

Sloppy Joe Bake & Brocolli

1 c. bisquick
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
1/2 c. water
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 tsp salt
1 can tomato sauce ( 8 oz)

Stir together bisquick, 1 cup of cheeze, water, & egg. Set aside.
Cook beef and drain. Stir in ketchup, tomato sauce, and salt.
Heat until Hot.
Pour into dish & top with bisquick mixture.
Bake @400 for 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese and cook 5 more minutes or until cheese melts.

Again, until the end of the world presumably, we will be having breakfast for dinner (brinner) on Thursday nights. My mantra...its cheap, they like it, its easy. The end.
This Thursday will probablly be Bacon, Eggs, and Blueberry Muffins.

Leftovers. Friday night is fun night at my friend Crissy's house, so the kids and I go there and Stacy gets a free night all to himself.

MMMM, Taco Filled Pasta Shells. This makes 2 pans, so I will make 1 to freeze for probablly next Saturday night. I need easy Saturday night/post football game meals for Saturday.
You can click back on THIS link to an older blog post for the recipe.

I don't usually cook on Sunday. That is so not the southern woman thing to do, but its the fact around here.

Italian Pineapple Chicken, homemade mac'n cheese, and green beans.
Go to THIS LINK for the pineapple chicken ( I dont add the cheese btw).
And I posted my mac n cheese recipe, HERE.

See previous Tuesday. And the Tuesday before that. And the Tuesday 2 months ago. And 5 Tuesdays into the future.

My new (new to me) recipe for the week!
Bowtie Lasagna. The Pioneer Woman likes it, and if she likes it...well, that is good enough for me.
You can find the recipe, HERE.

*I'm going to go ahead and predict that at least one member of my family does not like this recipe. (insert me licking my lips because I will certainly like it and they will certainly go hungry)

Breakfast. For Dinner. Remember, cheap, they like it, easy. The end.
Brinner this week will be dependent upon, a. what I have left in the house. b. how nice my family is to me. c. what I feel like making.
Don't you wish you lived in my house?

Start all over again.

Thats whats on the table at the Lowery house. Now go get to cookin!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Feelin' Crafty

I've been feeling Crafty and Nesty here lately, so I thought I'd share some of my latest craftiness.
I will go ahead right now and assure you it is nothing spectacular and that you too can do anything with Modge Podge glue and the Dollar Tree!

Project #1:
I've had this mirror, FOREVER. As a matter of fact I think it is one of the first things I bought for Stacy and I's first apartment over 11 years ago.
I still like the mirror, but it needed some work.

Enter Modge Podge & Hobby Lobby
Really, it couldn't have been easier. Modge Podge some paper, paint a letter, and add some embellishments. I like the change.

Project # 2:
I got this magnet board on my recent trip to Pigeon Forge with my sister.
I've been wanting something to hang on my back splash, that I could hang recipes on when I'm cooking.

Again, could not be easier...stickers, some modge podged clothes pins with a magnet on the back, an embellishment, and some ribbon.
Missy's my name. Simples my game.

Project #3
I've been seeing the idea all over the Internet for this dollar tree craft using a vase and a candle holder.
You get the glass candle stick holder, and the glass vase/candle holder, and glue them together.
Some people use hot glue, some people use e6000 or something like that. I use hot glue cause thats what I have.

Since Fall is in the air today, I made a little Fall candle holder. Me likey. Me ready for Fall.

Project #4:
Another Dollar Tree craft that again is SO easy.
I saw these napkin holders. I love the bubble look on the outside, and thankfully they are flat on the inside.

Enter Modge Podge Glue and cute paper!
I just so happen to have double sided paper I had bought at a scrapbook outlet store in PF. Unfortunately I only bought 1 sheet of that fabulous paper. But I have been able to make 2 napkin holders out of it.

Lookey how cute! I made this one a couple weeks ago, but I made another one today, but didn't take a picture yet. The one I made today has a tag in the middle that says "S & P", and I have, thats right, you guessed it, Salt and Pepper shakers inside it.

Oh how I love Modge Podge Glue, Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, scrapbook paper, stickers, and feelin' crafty!

For the first time ever, I am going to link to Todays Creative Blog, for "Get your craft on Tuesday". I love to see other peoples ideas and crafty craftiness.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

1st week of School. AKA "All the stuff I did wrong"

Monday August 23rd is the day that is on my calendar as "FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!"
Monday August 23rd kind of came and went and turned into Tuesday August 24th.
It couldn't be helped. Well. Maybe it could have. But I just didn't feel ready.
I tend to set a lot of store in our first day of school. Its like it makes it or breaks it for me.
So when Monday rolled around and my house was not in order, my software for school was not installed, and we were all half dead from being so busy, I felt as if we should have a "get our butts in order" day. And we did.

Tuesday August 24th. FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!
I am pleased to announce that Tuesday went fairly well.
Lana was so happy and loved her new Language Arts book.
Logan. He pretends not to love it but secretly I think he does.
We started reading together a book called "Big Truths for Young Hearts" to start our day and I like it.
The big glitch. Math. On Tuesday I still had not figured out how it works.

Wednesday August 25th. I have to work on Wednesdays. Almost every single Wednesday this summer, it has worked out for Stacy to be home in the morning.
Wouldn't you know on the week we start school, he has to be out in the field.
So we gathered up our reading materials and the kids went with me.
No biggie really, they've done a few hundred times, it just sure makes for us all being hot and tired when we get home around 2.
Some school happened in the afternoon. Some.
Guess what else happened Wednesday afternoon. Guess!
Diarrhea. 2 days in to school and already a little bug. 2 days in to HOMESCHOOLING.

Days go by....more days go by...and here go some more days....

And here we are, Thursday, September 2nd.
2nd week of school. AKA a very crazy week.

Here is what I love about homeschooling. Life and homeschooling don't work separate from each other. It is not 2 separate entities pulling and fighting for a place. They just mesh together and you make them both work. Its kind of like my marriage vows..."For better of for worse".
2 weeks into school and we have had glitches, and Dr appointments, and errands, and sickness, and a whole bunch of life stuff. And yet, my kids are enjoying school (except maybe not today with my sour attitude) and learn along with me to go with the flow and take it all for better or worse. I'm pretty sure we haven't REALLY stuck to my typed out schedule. Its more of a guideline I suppose. We just plug along and work together to make this life/school thing work.

It has been a week. One of those weeks. One of those weeks where I find myself looking at beach condos because I so badly want to get away and stare at the ocean.
As we near the end of this "those weeks", I am thankful for a merciful God that is patient when I am not, that is loving when I am not, and that is gracious when I am not.
Thank you Lord for new days, new weeks and Your hand in all things.
I have a feeling next week is going to be much better.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

On the Table

I still can never decide what I want to call the postings with my menu's. Surprises are fun right?

I'm going to try to be diligent about posting weekly menu's, if for no other reason but to keep me on track.

These next 2 weeks are going to be boring and not the most healthy as my budget was a little tight this week. But bear with me, in the coming weeks I am going to pull out some old recipes, and everyone will be happy :)

So for this weeks b.o.r.i.n.g menu, here goes:

Monday- Golden Mushroom Chicken, Rice a Roni, Green Beans

Tuesday- Tacos, refried beans, corn

*Bonus* I'm going to a meeting Tuesday night and I'm going to try to bring THIS AMAZING CREATION

Wednesday- ~Here is where you will gasp~ Beef Strongonaff, UM, Hamburger Helper. And a big fat salad!

Thursday- Blueberry Muffins, Eggs, and Bacon

Friday- Going to Logans Football team cookout

Saturday- Pizza Biscuit Cups, Salad, and maybe some Ice Cream if my family is nice to me and I feel like going to the store again.

I feel the need to tell you that at Publix this week I got 6 boxes of Hamburger Helper for $2.50.
I mean really, I know its not the most healthy, but its cheap, and I like cheap.

I promise, more fun menus are on the way!
Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Upcoming Stuff

I am very excited that I have decided to overcome my chicken...bwack bwack...ways and get back to blogging.
After reading back on previous posts I realize how much it helps me stay on track and keeps me on my toes. Of course even on my toes I don't reach much more than 5 feet, but still.

So...things coming up in my life. AKA, plates to spin...

Trip with my Sister
Oh yes, I have waited and anticipated this fun event and Sunday it begins.
I call it, "Sleep/eat/float/shop/movies/chill/sistertimeathon!"

Are you ready for some football?
Logan (10) is playing his first year of football. Yikes. He's fired up though, and I'm fired up for him! 4 months of our life goes to football. Its a good thing I love that boy.

Home School
Year #4 of homeschooling begins August 23rd. We joined a new group. We got some new curriculum. We're doing some things different. We got rid of the school room.
Good grief...what am I thinking?!

Mom & Me Baking
If you don't know about it, you will. Lana and I really want to start back up in September.
Stay tuned.

Group Publishing
I have recently been hired as an independent worker for Group Publishing.
I'm called a "Group Ambassador". You may call me Madam Ambassador.
No really, I'm not kidding. Call me that...in your head...now out loud...right now.
I will get the exciting opportunity to go into churches and do trainings on different church curriculum. Really excited to get this going!

Now, if we could just get some fallish temperatures in here I would be a whole lot more motivated to do all of the above.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I have been a bad bad blogger. A wayward documenter. A slacker of monumental proportions.
Really, if we want to be honest....a chicken. Bwack bwack. ( I don't know how you really spell a chicken noise, but I think bwack bwack should be close.)

The reason for my blogging slackness boils down to 2 issues.
1. Comparing myself to other blogs that highlight all the wonderful things they make, create, and show us all, and feeling HIGHLY inferior.
2. Feeling like my blog was too random and I needed to reel it in and focus on something.

Bwack bwack bwack.

I'm done with these issues now and have decided to move onward.
I have decided that I don't care if anyone reads my blog, follows my blog, thinks my blog is worthwhile, or even judges my blog for lack of beautiful pictures.

I enjoy reading back on my blog and remembering the things I have documented here.
My kids are growing and doing new and fun things. They say funny and random and serious things. These are things I need to document and remember.

My faith grows. My thought processes go up and down. My desires change. My goals come and go.
These are all things I need to document and challenge myself with.

We are soon to start a new school year and I am going to succeed on some things and fail tremendously at others.
These are all things I need to document and learn from.

My sister and her family are stateside for only 8 more months. I have 4 beautiful nieces and an amazing sister that I don't get to spend enough time with, but the time I do get with them, I need to document and remember on those lonely days when they leave me again.

So here we have it. Plates a Spinning...the re purposed edition.
Its going to be random. Its going to be funny. Its going to be serious. Its going to be down right confusing at times. There may or may not be pictures. But by golly, I am going to be a blogger again.

Read it or don't read it. All I know is that I need to do this. For me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm gonna do it

Thats right. I am. I'm gonna. And you can't stop me. The only one that can stop me is, well me.
Stay tuned....

Friday, February 5, 2010

My First Day with Coupons

Well today I did it....I shopped at Publix with my envelope full of coupons.
This is a big deal for me because I am mostly an Aldi shopper with some Wal-mart thrown in there. (BTW...I still have to go to Wal-Mart. I hate you wal-mart for making me need you!)
Anyhoo....I spent several hours yesterday at http://www.southernsavers.com/ going through their list of Publix stuff, printing coupons, and then cutting my own out of the newspaper.

Here is my break down:

1. I usually have $200 to spend for 2 weeks. This includes non-food items...toiletries, dog food, medicines, cleaning supplies...all of that annoying stuff.

2. The non-food items I needed today where as follows:
Dog food
Dog treats
Lysol Wipes
Laundry Detergant
Fabric Softener
Q tips
Ziplocs (large and small)
Aluminum foil
Paper Plates
Total I spent about $40 on these items, but I did get some good deals.
For instance.

Dog Treats: They were $3.69 each, but where buy one get one free. I also had a $1.50 off of 2 coupon, so I got $7.38 worth of dog treats for $2.19.....Total Savings $5.19

Windex: (I actually got "Glass plus" ) It was $2.49, but was buy one get one free, making it $1.25 for 1. I had a $1 off coupon, so I got it for .25.....Total Savings $2.24

Comet: $1.19 each usually. Walgreens had a coupon for 2 for $1...Total Savings $1.38

Food items:
These were some of my favorite food deals.
PREFACE: I usually buy Aldi brand snacks and cereals. I don't have a problem with it, however my husband....well lets just say, it will bless his heart to have some name brand snacks.

Cheezits: $3.19 a box. On sale, buy one get one free. I had 2 $1 off coupons. So I got 2 boxes for $1.19 . Total savings: $5.19

Claussen Pickles: On sale for $2. I had a $1 off coupon. So I got them for $1.

Frenchs Mustard: On sale for .93. I had a .50 coupon, but AHA, Publix doubles coupons, so they paid me .7 to buy mustard today!

Kraft Cheese: On sale for 2 for $4. I had 2 $1 off coupons, so I got them for $1 each.

I have a lot of deals like that.

Now, I did also go to Aldi cause lets face it, they cannot be beat on milk, bread, and fruit.
I spent $35 at Aldi. I figured up that if I would have bought the items I bought at Aldi, at Publix, I would have spent $50 on those items. ( Because there was no sales or coupons on those items.)

Walgreens had some good coupons, and since Publix doesnt consider them a competitor they won't take their coupons. So I did go into Walgreens for several things.
I spent at Walgreens $8.84, and saved $7.04.
This was on Campells soups, Comet, Chicken Broth, and Green Giant Vegetables.

Back to my Publix total.

I spent (and I always take a big gulp when I see this amount of money being spent, but I do have to remind myself that I got ALOT of stuff and nobody in my house will starve, smell bad, be dirty, or complain about Aldi crackers!)....$159.95 and saved $96.47.

So to sum up:

Total spent (at 3 places) $204.06
Total saved........................$118.51

I feel really good about that, escpecially considering the amount of stuff that I got, and the fact that this will last for at least 2 weeks.
Hopefully in 2 weeks I can do even better because I'll have more coupons stored up, I won't have to buy as much non-food items (i.e. dog food), and I will know a little bit better what I am doing.

Also, I know about the CVS thing, and I had planned on doing some stuff with that, but honestly, I am out of money, so it will have to wait.

I still have to go to Wal-mart to get some vitamins and duct tape. Oh well.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lets get "LOST" tonight!

It is here. The night that many of us have waited for...hoped for...longed for....
Groundhogs Day Night............

Er, I Mean, LOST night!

Stacy and I started watching Lost about a year ago as something we could watch together. So we rented them from Net flix and spent the next several months with the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 on the mysterious Island in the middle of nowhere.
About 8 months later we finished all 5 seasons, and now find ourselves like everybody else...still confused, having to wait, and above all else, LOST!

Tonight begins the first episode of the last season. The season where it all comes together and all our questions are answered. Ahem...we shall see.

My husband and I have been anxiously awaiting this night. WHY? Is it because the show is THAT good? YES. Is it because it is one of the only shows that we both like and can watch together? Double YES. Is it because we can lock ourselves downstairs for 3 whole hours while the chidren terrorize each other upstairs. Yes, you have it, triple YES.

So to commemerate this evenings much anticipated "date night", I have planned a Dharma Initiative feast. If you do not know what the Dharma Initiative is you should go away now.

To Start the evening we will be dining on:
"Loin of Wild Boar"
"Seasoned with John Lockes 11 herbs and Spices"
"UPC # 4 8 15 16 23 42"

With a side of:
"Roasted Root Potatoes"
"Given special attention by the 'Sun' and cooked over an open flame".
"UPC # 4 8 15 16 23 42"

And of course some veggies:
"Native Vegetation"
"Others must have been here"
"UPC # 4 8 15 16 23 42"

And to top it all off, some Desssert:
"Dessert for the Deserted"
"Contraband from Sawyer. What else is he hiding in that tent?"
"UPC # ( can you guess whats coming? 4 8 15 1 6 23 42"

And in case your wondering what that REALLY means, the menu is as follows:
Peppercorn crusted Pork Tenderloin
Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
Corn on the Cob
M & Ms and brownies (or MAYBE Duncin Donuts if my husband brings some home!)

So there you have it, our own personal Dharma Initiative date night.
Do not disturb between the hours of 7-10. We will be LOST!