Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tasty Tuesdays - Mini Pizzas

I cook a lot.  I actually enjoy cooking and trying new recipes.  The Ferrell boys love to cook too, but they don't like trying new recipes!  :)

Sometimes the boys help me cook and sometimes I plan meals especially for the boys to cook! 

The best time to let the boys help me prepare supper are those nights when Dave is working.  He isn't very comfortable with the boys handling his food!  Ha!

The last week when Dave was working at night, I let the boys make their own mini pizzas using can biscuits.  Preparation is the key for success when cooking with the boys.  This picture is a little dark but it shows how I laid out all the pizza toppings for them . . .  cheese, pepperoni, pizza sauce, and bacon pieces . . .

I also laid a sheet of tin foil out for each boy to roll his biscuit out on.  I ended up taping the tin foil down onto the table because it kept moving when the boys were trying to roll it out.

We used the rolling pins I bought for each of the boys this past Christmas . . . so each boy had his own rolling pin to use.

Shane had a great time sprinkling the flour onto his tin foil sheet. 

Rolling out the biscuits and then adding the pizza sauce . . . The boys were careful and precise in spreading the sauce out.  Alex rolled out all 3 of his biscuits and then added the sauce.

Shane rolled out each biscuit and added the sauce to each pizza individually. 

This is a fun activity for little ones.  :)

Zach even made a little pizza for me.  Sometimes he can be so sweet.

The boys loved making their own mini pizzas with the canned biscuits so much . . . we actually had them two nights that week while Dave was at work.

My sweet sweet Shane . . .  the Pizza Chef . . .

He says . . .  "You have to pat it like this Momma."  :)

Our biscuit-crust mini pizzas before going in the oven -- made the Ferrell boys way!  Pretty tasty looking!

A close-up of the finished pizza . . . after it has cooked according to the biscuit can directions.  Yum!

The mini pizzas were such a hit with the Ferrell boys that I used two cans of the biscuits to make a homemade pizza for our Family Fun Movie night.  (Can you tell that the biscuits were on sale?)

It turned out so good too!  But after two nights of mini pizzas and then Friday night's large homemade pan pizza  . . . all in the same week . . . We probably won't be having these pizzas for a while at the Ferrell household!  We kind of burned ourselves out on these!  But just know . . . they were pretty good! 

And I always have a can of biscuits in the refrigerator for quick snacks and meals for

                                 the Ferrell boys and me!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Makeover Monday - Grout Cleaning

This week's "To Do"  item on my Breakfast Room Makeover is cleaning the grout in between the floor tiles.

When Dave and I laid the floor tiles, we used a product that you mixed with the grout and was supposed to seal the grout.   It seems to be working with the tiles in the bathroom, but the tiles in the kitchen started showing some serious dirt in the grout.

Here is a picture of the floor tiles under the kitchen table.

I took some close-ups of the stains to better illustrate the problem.  Yuk!

So I did some research on how to clean grout.  I decided to try OxiClean.  I followed the instructions for mixing the oxiclean for grout cleaning.  . . .  4 tablespoons of oxiclean for a gallon of warm water.  The first time I did this, I actually heated the water up on the stove and dissolved the oxiclean into the water, but after that, I just mixed the oxiclean into hot tap water.

I poured the oxiclean mixture onto the grout/tiles and let it sit for 30 minutes.

I started using a foam paint brush to apply the oxiclean mixture because it seemed to give me more control over the mixture and didn't waste so much of the mixture on the tiles.

The oxiclean mixture started foaming and bubbling up . . . that's how it works!

The bubbles show that the oxiclean is working!

After the 30 minutes was up, I used a hard bristle brush to scrub the grout.

I cleaned the grout a little bit at a time . . . in 30 minute segments . . . throughout the day.  Zach even pitched in to help me clean the grout. 

Once you scrub the grout with a hard bristle brush, then you mop up the area several times.  It may take 3 or 4 times mopping the floor with clean water to get all the oxiclean solution off the floor. 

Here is the tile/grout in the Breakfast area once we had cleaned the grout with the oxiclean mixture and mopped the floor several times.

The floor is still wet in the picture shown above.  Once the grout dried up, you could really tell a difference.

I took a picture to show the difference between the grout I had cleaned next to the kitchen area where I hadn't yet cleaned the grout.  I think you can really see the difference.

Here is the Breakfast area after I had cleaned the grout and the area was completely dry.

Before . . .

Same spot after . . .

But even though the grout cleaned up to the original color we used . . . I still wasn't happy with the color of the grout.  What to do?  Read about it in Makeover Monday - Grout Refresh with . . .

                             the Ferrell boys and me!

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Makeover Monday -- Patio Door Finally Finished!

I started making improvements to the Breakfast Nook earlier this summer.  The boys and I hung the curtains and then I started painting the back door.  We had never painted the back door after we moved in . . . Someone (probably my Daddy) wiped their paintbrush on the door . . . leaving a nice white smear . . . but other than that . . .the door was unpainted and plain.

I first "primed" the door.  I had to paint the moulding around the window panes too.  I started painting around the windows without taping it off . . . which wasn't very smart.  I got a lot of paint on the windows.  :(

So I decided to tape off the windows before I continued painting the door.  Taping off windows is a tedious process, but it beats scraping paint off windows!  I painted a coat of white on the door.  Even though I had primed the door, it still needed two coats of white paint.  It was that last coat of white paint that I just didn't seem to have the time to do.

I started painting the door around June 6th . . .  You probably noticed the blue taped windows in some of my pictures.

Here is a picture from Halloween . . . See the pretty blue tape . . .

Thanksgiving . . .  Pretty blue tape . . .

Christmas  . . . Still pretty blue tape on the windows . . .

Even as recently as our Snow Day . . . still pretty blue tape . . .

So today I got all my paint supplies out and put on my painting clothes and tackled this project that's been taunting me for months!  :)

I waited a little while and pulled the blue tape off.  And there waiting for me was the paint on the window panes . . .  Oh no!  Now I have to scrape the paint off the windows . . . or do I?

Zach volunteered to help me scrape the windows.  It was so nice to have a little help.

And finally . . . the patio door is painted.  Yea!  Oh and check out those icicle lights hanging on the back patio . . . I'm trying to charm the snow back!  :)  Oh and see our sweet momma cat peaking in at us!

Number 2 on my list is completed!  Now to move on to Number 3!  Clean the grout in the floor tiles!

Now that is going to involve some effort!  But I have a plan!  So next Makeover Monday I'm going to tackle cleaning the grout in the floor tiles and demonstrating a product for changing the color of your grout . . . if you're not happy with the color you picked . . . or the color your husband picked!  ;D

So it's grout cleaning for next week's Makeover Monday with . . .
                               the Ferrell boys and me!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Family Fun Night

A couple of months ago . . . we started having a Family Fun Night a couple of times a month.  I usually plan it on a Friday night when Dave is off work, and we don't have any other conflicts.

So far . . .  all the Family Fun Nights have been movie nights at home.  It's easy and doesn't require a whole lot of effort from me.   I am eventually going to have a Game Night . . . but those who know me . . . know I don't like to play games!  Ha!  So far now it's just going to be Movie Night!

I usually pick up a new release movie from Walmart that is appropriate for the boys.  The first movie I purchased was Brave.  Since then I've purchased other new releases and during Christmas, I bought some older Christmas movies for the boys like Home Alone and Polar Express.  Remember our Polar Express movie night . . . Here are Shane and Neal making hot chocolate during the movie . . .

In the beginning, I would get take-out pizza from Mike's and pop some popcorn and start the movie.  The boys were happy with that easy movie night method . . . All they really wanted was for me and Dave to sit in the living room and watch the movie with them!

But take-out pizzas from Mike's (we have to buy 2!) and purchasing dvds from Walmart can add up to an expensive night at home!

Since Christmas . . . I've gotten smarter about getting the movies.  The last two times we've had movie night, I got the new releases from the local Redbox!  That Redbox is super convenient and much cheaper than actually buying the movie!


I've also started making homemade pizza for dinner on movie night instead of buying it from Mike's.  I still LOVE Mike's pizza . . . just need to save take-out pizza for those nights I don't have time to cook.

This past Friday Movie Night, I made homemade pizza in my Pampered Chef large bar pan.  I think it looks pretty tasty . . .

Dave and the boys loved it!  Half was pepperoni and the other half was made for Dave with added jalapenos and onions.

Because I'm saving money by making the pizza myself and by renting the movies from the Redbox, I felt that I could splurge a little in other areas of Movie Night.

I bought some of the candy in the boxes like they sell at the movie theater and set up a little "concession stand" for our Ferrell Movie Night.

Dave and the boys loved snacking on these special treats.  Zach and Alex wanted to run the concession stand!  Ha!

I had bought some little cardboard popcorn boxes at the dollar store for Shane's birthday party, but never used them.  I pulled them out and filled them with popcorn.  Alex and I added m&ms to ours for a yummy sweet and salty movie snack.

I had rented two movies for the night.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid:  Dog Days and Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.
We watched Diary of a Wimpy Kid first.  I wasn't sure if Dave and I could stand the Dr. Seuss movie.

We always let the boys get in their pajamas and lay out their sleeping bags for movie night.

Most of the time they "camp out" in the living room after the movie and spend the night in there.

Sometime during the movie, Dave noticed that Shane had disappeared.  When I rented the movies, I also rented a Wii game for the boys.  I let Shane pick out the game since he has just started getting interested in playing on the Wii with them.

Dave found Shane in Alex's room busy playing the game.

He wasn't interested in Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  He didn't want me to rent it.  He wanted me to rent The Lorax, and I guess since we weren't watching The Lorax, he decided to go play the game.

When the movie was over, the boys all settled into their sleeping bags and watched The Lorax until they fell asleep.   It was a fun night for us all.

The first movie night I planned was met with a little resistance . . . the boys wanted to play their video games and Dave always has things he needs to do  . . .

Now when I announce that we are having a Movie Night, everyone gets excited and ready for it!  Even Dave!  :)  It's nice to all sit together as a family watching a good movie and snacking on some movie foods.

Spending some family fun time together just . . . 

                                    the Ferrell boys and me!

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