Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dreamzzzzz

I had a dream about my past last night that felt like the present. For some reason I was re-living an old hurt, and experiencing old fear. I saw my children small and innocent, and I dreaded the pain that was about to envelop them. I knew what I had to do, but did not know how I was going to do it. In the end, it was my grandmother who comforted me by telling me I had nothing to fear, that we would get through it together.

 I woke up and I was again 38 year old Dannette, married to 37 year old Nicholas. My girls were no longer little hand holding babies, but the gigantic tweens they have grown so beautifully to be. Even though my heart still hurts sometimes, I no longer need to fear. I know my life, I know what I need to do, and I still have my grandmother comforting me.

 I guess sometimes your brain works through things in that dream like state, only for you to be so relieved and grateful when you wake up that you made it through in one piece, happy, and alive.

Today I am 38 years old, and for once I feel pretty happy about that.

Dreams.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week!



I realize the purpose of a blog is to give you ideas BEFORE an event...but I am just not that good. So here is what I did this year and you can tuck it away for later or use it as an inspiration to do something way cooler. :)


 
On Wednesday they were bringing in Subway for the teachers so I made my Twinkie Strawberry Shortcake for them to enjoy. (I used Little Debbie Cloud Cakes since Twinkie's are temporarily no more)
 
I also knew I wanted to do some type of little emergency kit for Quinn to give to her teachers. I decided on a teacher's desk drawer emergency kit.
 
 
 
 
I kept it very simple, as we were making 24 of them to give out, and I didn't want to cost to get too high. I had found these foam apple cut-outs on a clearance shelf at Target last year and tucked them away for this year. They sure came in handy! I printed off my version of the kit and glued them to the front of the foam apples.
  
 
I also made these little tags and had Quinn color them in. She loved them!
 
 
 
As indicated on the list above, I bought erasers, Advil, chocolate coins, anti-bac gel, coffee candy and band-aids.


 
 
 
I then put them in a little clear bag, and stapled them to the back of the apple to secure them. I tied a ribbon around the top so I could add Quinn's tag.
 
  
 
 
If you look close, you can see that the anti-bac gel is for men...we made some for the male teachers as well. I put them on the green apples so they would be easy for Quinn to find.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Of course there were many more, but this gives you the idea! :)
 
Also, on Friday a lot of moms were bringing in glorious desserts, so I decided they needed something savory to balance them out. I had made some meatball sliders for my sister-in-law's baby shower, and decided they were the perfect easy thing to do. Now some of the teachers were wanting the recipe because they were SO good. LOL. I have to LOL because it wasn't a recipe at all. It's what I call a get 'er done recipe.
 
All it took was a good ole trip to Costco. I bought their beef meatballs, and their 2 pack of Heart Smart Prego Sauce. I bought mozzarella cheese and these amazing Italian sandwich rolls that are already cut. I put instructions on the crockpot to put the cheese in the roll, and top with the meatball. That way the cheese gets melted and you don't have to deal with microwaves or ovens. I must admit it's a tasty little sammich!
 
Here are the meatballs I bought:
 
 
And here is the sauce:
 
 
 
I don't have a picture of the rolls...but I think we all know what they look like. You could also use hot dog buns in a pinch! :)
 
Quinn and I had such a fun time doing this together. She told me that it made her feel special when she can take something in for the teachers like that. That's exactly why I do it! :)
 
Hope you have a wonderful week!
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thrifty Thursday

I think I've shared my love of thrifting a garage sales a few times...and it's that time of year again! I've already started hitting them up on my lunch hours so here's a round of what I scored.


I have a cookie cutter collection, so I was quite excited to find these all in one back for .75 cents. I have a big gingerbread man but these are little mini ones and they are so cute! My brain couldn't quite remember what symbol I was missing up top there...


 
Until I found it the next day randomly by itself at Goodwill! Why do things like that make you want to skip out of the store? She gave it to me for free since it didn't have a price on it. I also found a pair of snow pants for Quinn for next year for $1.99.
 
 
 
Napoleon might be a tad played out...but this T-shirt was a must have. He has a way of always making me smile. I have a small obsession with all things pop culture.
 
 
 
 
Speaking of obsession....25 cents got me this old Clueless book for my daughter who is currently obsessed with this movie. As if!
 
 
 
I love having towels in the kitchen that are a little festive, and since I just purged some old ones I got this little cutie pie with 4 matching napkins. :) OH .75 cents.
 
 
 
My daughter Sayler is always in need of church clothes. She isn't in to dresses and things so I try to find dressier tops that she can wear with dark pants. This J Crew sweater vest was $1.49.
 
 
I found this Eddie Bauer jacket for her too...$1.49!
 
 
 
A dollar for this adorable dessert plate? If you are going to splurge, I always like it to look pretty while I'm doing it.
 
So that's it for now. I do know I don't need a bunch of crap, but I do purge throughout garage sale season. Don't judge. I don't smoke anymore. I don't drink. I have to have something!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Window Wednesday



What a dreary day...week...year...I think all of us Iowans are in that depression from lack of vitamin D.

I, for one, needed a visual pick me up....here's what has my sun shining this week!

I joined Weight Watchers again. It's the one program that really works for me. I'm not the kind of girl who uses points on a bunch of processed foods either. I generally eat pretty healthy. I just eat too much of it! :) Here is a great site I found that has tons of family friendly WW recipes.


I have been planning some fun stacycation things to do with my girls this summer. We are all obsessed with garage sales and thrift stores. I've already taken the day off for the Hwy 141 garage sale. I might have to take Nick's truck for our haul!!


Part of spring and summer is busting out the grill! I thought these were some interesting ideas to shake up the grilling menu....foil packets!

Do this, today.

My husband and I were like, what kind of music is that to end Game of Thrones with? Now I know.

My skin has been seriously freaking out. I just turned 38 and the closer I get to 40, the more my skin rebels. I've been using the same skin regime forever and I'm extremely diligent about taking care of my face. I've decided to re-vamp everything and I'm going to buy the Simple Skin care line. I'll let you know in a few weeks if my face likes it or not!

I hope you all have a great rest of the week! It's still raining here. BOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Love ya's anyhow!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Why saying NO is hard...but sometimes necessary.



This is a picture of my husband (then boyfriend) and my daughter Quinn on her 4th birthday. We had been dating for around 10 months when this picture was taken. She was having a Nemo pool party and she wanted her nails done and being that he is a girl dad, he was happy to oblige.
 
 
 
This is Quinn now, 4 years later, fast approaching 9 years old. She is my youngest and my baby.
 
 
 
This is Sayler right around the time I started to date Nick. She was 7 years old.
 
 
 
This is Sayler now. 13 years old and taller than me!
 
 
 
Here is Meredith at a birthday party about a year after I met Nick. She was 10 years old.
 
 
 
This is Meredith NOW. 15 years old with a school permit and her first car.
 
 
 
So what's the point in showing these pictures other than my kids are growing like weeds and that time flies? I guess that would be part of it, but the main reason is to show why I'm going to have to start saying NO.
 
The last few years have been very draining on me. Our girls started going to three different schools. Meredith is in swimming, Sayler is in soccer, and Quinn transitioned from dance to gymnastics. This means I spend a lot of time in my car. I also work full-time. I am a Deaconess at my church, one of the wedding coordinators, and I also assist with the women's ministries. Not only do I have my little family, but I still join gatherings and birthdays for my side (which is also blended), my husband's side, and I run my girls to their side as well. I'd say about 98% of the time I am making some type of food for these gatherings, and it's also fair to say that at least half of these are in my home.
 
 
 
This is me hugging one of my nieces (from my old family) during a drop-off.
 
 
I'm sure that most of you are in the same boat as me. Running around being a working mom, trying to get everything done. I'm not trying to say that I'm any different or that I have it any worse than anyone else. I do, however, have a few obstacles that make things a tad harder for me. I have some good days and some bad, but planning things in advance gets really tough when pain wants to take you down. It's very hard to keep your chin up and not feel like a failure.
 
 
 
My daughters with their cousins on their dad's side. My bunnies!
 
 
Now when I say my "old" family, I assume you know I am referring to my family during my first marriage. It's not easy to leave 7 nieces and nephews behind. In the past few years, my heart has grieved for my old family, especially during birthdays and holidays. I love my new family very much, and I know they love my children, but you can never force a bond. The bond my children have with their family on their dad's side is very special. It's not something that can be helped, but for me, it's very painful as I grew up in a blended family as well. Even though you love people that aren't your blood and feel like they are your family, it doesn't mean they will love you back the same way. Not like their "real" grandkids and nieces & nephews. At least not in my experience. Dealing with this loss and pain during drop-offs has taken some time to heal, and I'm still not all the way there. I am grateful that I can still be hugged and called Aunt Dannette...it does help ease the pain a bit.
 
 
 
My girls are related to Abraham Lincoln on their dad's side!
 
One more thing has happened in the last year that has made my heart very heavy, and made it a bit hard to pull myself back up. My ex-husband was sent to prison for 27 years, 7 of them mandatory. This obviously broke my children's hearts. Watching your children in pain is hard. It's even harder when it's something you can do nothing about. They love their dad very, very much. Mommy can only do so much to ease the pain of him not being there. There has been a lot of tears, and a lot of questions. With lots of love and support, they have come a long way. This is why I work so hard at those drop-offs. They need to be around their family as much as possible as nobody else can ease their pain the way that their dad's family can during this time.
 
 
 
Our beautiful girls in church
 
So I guess the point of me sharing all of this is that I feel I've been a bit flaky the past year or so. I can't seem to give 100% to anything because not only am I spread too thin, but my heart has also been a bit heavy. I do feel as far as that goes, I'm coming out on the other side. I have a wonderful relationship with my old family, and we have all pulled together for my girl's sake. I also have a very loving and supportive husband. I honestly don't know if I could survive without the peace he brings to my heart, and love he gives to my girls.
 
As far as any extra duties in my life, I have decided that I need to take a step back. I do love being involved in church and helping others, but I've finally realized that it's taking a toll on me. The worst part is that when I want to do something with these three growing girls, I am too tired to fully be there and enjoy it. This is my last shot! I will not have more children. This is it! They will soon be gone and I know I will regret not making this time the best it can be. I am sure that everyone will understand, or at least, I hope they do. Right now not only do my girls need to come first, but so do I. I am nothing to nobody if I don't take care of myself.
 
 
 
This was the last time I was able to hold my baby. Thanks to my friend Jamie for capturing the moment as it's now just a memory.
 
I'm off to make today a better one!
 
Love & Blessings, Dannette
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What I've Been up to...


Happy Wednesday!
 
I thought if I gave you a picture-rich post about where I've been, you might forgive me for staying away so long.
 
 
I had taken all of these pictures with the intention of sharing, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. During the holidays, I had Thanksgiving and 5 Christmas celebrations, 4 of which were in MY HOME. I cooked for every single one. I wanted to do it to help everyone out but I ended up wearing myself out so much that it took me quite a while to recover.
 
I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to, but why not share what I got?
 
For Thanksgiving, I saw this cute little tray on Pinterest, and wanted to make my own. I had to tell everyone that it was supposed to be a turkey. Not quite a Pinstrosity, but not a glowing success either I guess.
 
 
I had to draw a little face on the radish. LOL
 
 
 
Our little Meredith made this little scarecrow out of a corn cob when she was little, and I always pull it out at Thanksgiving. My grandma always had fruit around at Thanksgiving so I bought some apples and clementines and I also made some of my candy acorns for extra cuteness.
 
 
 
Ok so before my Thanksgiving I had attended the Twilight Marathon. I actually wrote about the experience here. Oh yeah, I've started writing for VideoETA here and there. If you want to see my list of movies for 2013, you can read them here!
 
 
 
 
If you read the above article, you will see that I did attend the LOTR Marathon as well. Much more brutal experience! I went with my little brother and we had the best time...although we were beyond worn out! 12 + hours of the extended LOTR magic. By the end we were crying and begging Frodo to throw the ring in the lava!!! It was a real time Hobbit adventure. It was a great prep for the new movie which we attended a week or so later.
 
 
 
 
This year they announced our yearly sales convention was going to be over Valentine's Day. (insert sad face emoticon here) To cheer myself up, I bought 3 pairs of shoes for convention. My favorite pair, are pictured here.
 
 
 
Here was my "Dannette the Salesgirl" outfit.
 
 
 
 
I won the Inside Sales Associate of the Year for the East Region!!
 
 
 
 
I came back to my seat to this lovely masterpiece celebrating the upcoming release of Monsters University!
 
 
 
The next morning we came down and the whole room was transformed in to Game of Thrones complete with the 2nd season for each of us! It was the highlight of the trip for me. The theme song was blaring when we walked in and I literally had goosebumps!
 
 
 
When I went up to my room between meetings, there was a delivery waiting for me from my hubby since it was Valentine's Day. He sent me these gorgeous chocolate covered strawberries! Who deserves the award now??
 
 
 
 
Me in a massive standee for Oz-Great & Powerful!
 
 
 
During lunch Fox had these amazing Cirque performers doing the most amazing tricks to Adele's "Skyfall"...it was hauntingly beautiful.  
 
 
 
 
 
On my last day as we were sitting waiting for the bus to take us to the airport, I broke out in hives EVERYWHERE. Was it the strawberries? We don't know. I only ate two of them and shared the rest. Maybe preservatives in the strawberries?
 
 
 
This is a very tame example of what I went through for over a week. I don't want to muddle up this pretty post with my ucky hive pictures. Trust me in telling you that my whole face was swollen and my entire body was covered. Not fun!
 
 
I was barely over my hives when I had to make a cake for my (old) sister-in-law who was getting re-married. I still love my (old) family very much and was happy to be able to do this as my gift to them. I'm not decorator, but I love to make cakes. I got this recipe here, and it was beyond delicious.
 
 
 
That same weekend, we had a Sweetheart Banquet at church in which I was heavily involved. Due to the massive amounts of meds I had been on from my hives, I was SO SICK during this day. I didn't want anyone to know but I could barely handle being around all of that food. I just sucked it up so that the day could happen. Two of my church sisters put that curtain up with the lights and I thought it looked amazing!
 
 
 
Cake #2 in the same weekend. This was a vegan chocolate cake. I got the recipe here.
 
 
 
 
I also made these white chocolate chip stuffed raspberries which I also saw on Pinterest. Everyone adored these and they are the easiest and loveliest thing to make.
 
 
 
 
We plated up the desserts so they would look like something from a fancy restaurant. I don't have pictures of the food as I didn't have time to take any, but the menu was out an out of this world vegan feast.
 
 
 
The guests played the Newlywed Game which brought lots of laughter and fun.
 
 
 
 
Fast forward a few more weeks, and my other (old) sister-in-law was getting remarried too! Again I made a cake as my gift to her. I got the recipe here. This one made me famous folks. It was beyond amazing!
 
 
 
 
I also made these mini key lime cupcakes topped with more of those cute little raspberries! I bought those edible hearts at Michael's. These were made from a mix, and were delicious...if you like lime. :)
 
 
So there you have it. Some of my craziness in between working full time and being a mom to three girls.
 
 
And this is me, with my new shades and red lips waiting for summer to start.
 
What have you all been up to?? :)