Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Angry Bird-day!

My son Benjamin recently turned SIX! I know, that's crazy! And each year when I ask what type of party the boys want...lately their answer is always STAR WARS! I don't quite understand what the appeal is with Star Wars, so I was very happy when Ben suggested having an "Angry Birds" party! He loves playing "Angry Birds" on my husband's phone, and I have to admit I like playing it too!

I found many ideas on Pinterest. And since Angry Birds is fairly new, there isn't any type of party decorations (unless you have a ton of money to spend on Etsy). So I had to come up with ideas on my own or should I say with the help of the internet! ;)

I LOVED this balloon idea! It can be found HERE.
 The party stores in the neighborhood wouldn't fill latex balloons with helium, so I bought a small helium tank from Walmart and filled my own. Or should I say my hubby filled them for me! I know that latex doesn't hold helium long, but my balloons started falling about a half hour after we filled them! :( So that was a bust! But they sure were cute while they lasted!

What was neat about making these little characters was that the paper weighed down the balloons a little, so we left them hang from the ceiling and it looked like the little angry birds were looking down on us! ;)
 I think the little blue one is my favorite!
 I found these little plush pigs and angry birds at Toys R Us...so I bought them and we set up our own little lifesized Angry Bird Game.
 We were going to use a real slingshot, but it was too hard for the boys to work, so they just threw the angry birds! They had a blast!
 As for the cake, I ordered it at Walmart. I could have baked a cake like this, but I try to eliminate as much added stress as possible lately, so we had the party catered, and I ordered the cake. I did however decorate the cake myself. I was going to make little angry birds out of clay or fondant, but again I wanted no stress, so I ordered the Angry Bird Game off of Amazon.com and just used the game pieces. I think it made the cake look fun!

I was a little upset with the fact that the cake decorator inscribed the cake wrong. I specifically gave her what to write in writing, but she still managed to screw it up. It was supposed to say: "Happy Angry Bird-day Ben!" But she wrote: "Happy Angry Bird Birthday Ben!" But oh well, it's just minor and bothered me just a little! ;)
 But in the end Ben loved his cake and that's all that mattered! :)
Here is the invitation that I made him. I think it's horrible, and I could have done a much better job had I hand drawn it, but I digitally drew it on the computer which is hard!
And finally here we are in our Angry Bird shirts that I waited to the last minute to buy. In the end I traveled about an hour to find our shirts in our sizes! Alex is going through this stage where he makes faces everytime we take a photo! It's exhausting! lol
So that was our simple Angry Bird party! Do you play Angry Birds?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chicken Tomato Alfredo=YUM!

I have a love affair with pasta! I would be in some serious trouble had I married an Italian! ;) Luckily, my husband is Polish but holidays can be fattening with all of the homemade pierogies & cabbage rolls! lol

Anyway, here is one of my new favorite pasta recipes. This is super yummy! A couple weeks ago I had made a homemade alfredo sauce, but it called for butter, garlic, flour, half-and-half, Parmesan Cheese, Colby-Monterey Jack Cheese, and Sour Cream..among other things. The recipe was super super rich and my husband and I didn't care for it. It was a highly rated 5 star recipe on allrecipes.com...but for us it was merely 3 stars if that. My husband and I didn't even have a second helping...it was that bad. I think it was just too much cheese, butter and sour cream!

Anyway I had made this Chicken Tomato Alfredo and fell head over heels in love with it!

This is my second time making it and I made a few minor changes from the original recipe, and to us it is perfect! The original recipe can be found HERE. I love her blog! Her recipes look sooo yummy! I definitely want to try more, especially after this recipe turned out soo well!
While her recipe was super yummy, I found that two cans of tomatoes like she suggested in place of mushrooms was just too much. My husband liked it, and while it was good, the second time I used only one can and it was PERFECT! I ate three huge plates! I'll be totally mad when it causes me to put on a few pounds, but I promise you...it's sooooo worth it! ;)

Here is the recipe exactly as I made it!

Chicken Tomato Alfredo

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup olive oil

3 chicken breasts (halves), cubed

1 regular onion,diced

2 tsp minced garlic (I used 4 large cloves)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 package Alfredo sauce mix (I used Knorrs)

12 oz. Fresh slice mushrooms (I didn't add any mushrooms because my hubby hates them, but I imagine it's sooo good that way)

1(15oz) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/4 cup chopped parsley or 2 T. dried (I used dried)

2 T. dried basil

1 lb fettuccini or any pasta you like, cooked according to package directions (I love using Penne Pasta)

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (not the shaker cheese...use the real shredded cheese)

Heat the oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, onion, and garlic and cook until chicken is no longer pink. While the chicken is cooking, whisk the cream and alfredo sauce mix together in a small bowl. When chicken is cooked pour the cream sauce mixture into the skillet with chicken. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat while stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir in Parsley and basil. Remove from heat and toss the sauce with cooked pasta and parmesan cheese.

This is soo yummy and it makes just enough sauce for 1 lb of penne pasta! Blogging this is making my mouth water...it's nearly 9 at night and I think I'm headed to the fridge for leftovers! lol


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Beach- Day 6

This was our last full day camping at the beach! This day we went back to Assateague Island (Maryland) to enjoy our day!

The boys have a blast at the beach!
 They could spend all day just playing, or laying around in the sand!
I can be found usually bent over, picking up shells that wash up on shore! 
 I love when we are visited by the horses!
And the horses love walking all over everyone's beach towels and eating and pooping on anything they can! As a matter of fact, the guy in the right of the photo had a "present" that was left on his beach towel! ;)
Some of the horses just stand and watch the ocean for hours!
 This sweet little pony enjoys lunch on the beach.
 Then she decides to take a nap! I love how the other horses just watch her sleep! There's something wonderful about a sleeping baby!
 Sandy toes!
 And one happy family sad to see their beach vacation over! :(

We stayed for a week, but I'm not posting photos of our last day. We didn't do much but pack up our camper and then eventually head home! We had soo much fun and I cannot wait until next year until we go back!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beach- Day 5

During our fifth day at the beach it was raining, so we decided to take a little road trip. We ended up driving to Assateague Island in Virginia which is about a 2 hour trip from Assateague in Maryland (where we were staying). I had saw online that they had a lighthouse, and I knew it was something that I wanted to photograph. It was literally pouring, so the conditions weren't that great but we really had a fun time!

I love this chippy little lighthouse!
 Sorry, this photo is out of sequence. It was really cloudy and just plain BLAH when we first arrived! This photo was after we had gone to the car and it had gotten sunny! I hiked the trail to get some better shots! lol

I tend to over pack when we go on a camping trip. This year I packed even more than last, and had decided to pack their rain gear! It worked out perfectly...and these little rain jackets look so darn cute on them!
 Ben was very nervous at the top of the lighthouse. I couldn't get a photo of him relaxed and smiling nice.
 Here they are at the top. Still very nervous looking! lol
 Here is a view from the top. It was pouring...so it looks very hazy! I just took a couple quick shots because I didn't want to get my camera soaked! As you can see from the photo there is a lot of stagnant water that surrounds the lighthouse. This meant that the mosquitoes were BAD! I normally don't get bit up by bugs, but they were feasting on me! They were flying into our cars and they were just everywhere! I never in my life have seen mosquitoes this bad!
 Love these old windows and their views!
 Like I said, the weather was soo crappy! But eventually and it figured it waited until we got to our car...it cleared up and became beautiful! So Ben and I hiked the trail (the only way of getting to the lighthouse)! But it was totally worth it!
 After we visited the lighthouse we decided to take the "nature loop" scenic drive. And it was totally worth it! There were amazing views and amazing wild life! We saw a huge eagle perched in a tree, many beautiful birds and this huge snapping turtle!
 I love the placement of the bird in this photo. It was soo serene there and such a perfect way of ending what would normally be a stay in the camper type of day!