Friday, April 22, 2011

Five For Friday

I like random lists which is why I like doing Five for Friday posts.  This week I want to share five things that I am currently lovin'....

1.  Adele's "21" CD - This is a fantastic album and I like it more than "19".  I have been listening to it all week and there I like every. single. song.

2.  Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino Ice Cream - Makes this SAHM's world go round!

3.  Ali Edward's Scrapbook on the Road Class - This self-paced online class just might change the way I scrapbook our vacations from now on.  Similar to her December Daily album, Ali walks you through setting up a scrapbook prior to the start of your vacation.  While you are traveling, the album acts as a journal and place to keep your ephemera.  You add your photos once you get home.  I love, love, love this idea and have no idea why I haven't been doing this all along.  I have a hard time scrapping vacation photos and all the little bits that I collect along the way.  We have a trip coming up and my album is nearly finished. 

4.  Old Navy's Flip Flops for little girls - Not only are they cute and functional...they are dirt cheap!  Best deal to be had at ON.  I bought 2 pairs for each of my girls back in early March and I am so happy I did because I can't find them online now. 

5.  The fantastic weather we are having right now.  It is near the end of April and we have had temps in the 70's for the past couple of days.  Seriously, pretty much perfect weather for me.  There is a slight breeze to keep it comfortable and nice enough for flip flops and capris.  My girlies are enjoying the weather but L is terrified of the bugs.  My solution to avoiding epic meltdowns due to the mere sight of an insect is a spray bottle filled with water.  L has no fear when she has that in her hands. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sticking With It...

I posted last week about our quest to eat more vegetarian meals for dinner most days of the week.  I have suprised myself with how much I love the challenge and enjoy feeding my family healthier meals.  Here are some of the recipes I have tried recently. 

This salad was inspired by a salad I used to get at Panera during the summer.  So yummy and very simple.  When I make salads I usually toss the lettuce with the dressing before adding the toppings in.  I prefer this way because I use less dressing as it is right on the lettuce and not all over rest of the fruits, veggies, and cheese.  These ingredients are yummy on their own and don't need to be covered in dressing to taste good.

For this salad I used a bag of Romaine lettuce and tossed it with about 1/2 cup of Poppy Seed dressing until the lettuce was coated.  I added 1/4 cup of toasted walnuts, sliced strawberries, blueberries and a little bit of feta cheese to the top.  Easy, very delicious and everyone eats it.  It doesn't get better than that. 

I found the recipe for this Grilled Mushroom Salad from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.  I borrowed this cookbook from the library and I am really glad I did it has so many great recipes that I can't wait to try.  Because I obviously can't keep the library book indefinitely I had to order my own copy from Amazon.  This salad was delicious and we all loved it. 

Here is the recipe, with my modifications because I could not locate a couple of the ingredients at the commissary. 

1 large shallot, finely diced
Salt and fresh pepper
1 tbsp aged red wine vinegar
2 large portobello mushroom caps
Olive oil for the mushrooms
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bag of arugula salad mix (original recipe calls for watercress)
3 tbsp walnuts, toasted and chopped

Dice the shallot and put it in a bowl with 1/4 tsp of salt and the vinegar and set aside.  Brush the mushroom caps with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill or broil the caps for about 4 minutes on each side, then cut into wide strips.  Whisk the 3tbsp of olive oil into the shallots/vinegar and season with pepper.  Toss the mushrooms with 1 tbsp of the dressing and then add the rest to the arugula and walnuts and toss until coated.  Divide the greens and then arrange the mushroom slices on each serving.  Serves 2 to 4.

I made a pear and apple salad that wasn't my favorite recipe of the week and that one is going into the recycle bin. It was edible but just not my cup of tea. 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Feeling Under the Weather and a Reminder.....

We are all feeling a little crappy from a cold that has hit us all at the same time.  I am thankful that it is just a cold and nothing worse.  So we are taking it easy and waiting to feel better.  I wanted to post real quick to let the winner of the chocolate and other treats from the Spring Blog Hop, Janice, know that if I don't hear from her by 12 p.m. EST Saturday (tomorrow) that I will be chosing a new winner.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


We have recently decided to add more vegetarian meals into our lives and this week I have done a bit of recipe searching to find some new things to add to the menu.  I found a recipe for a Fresh Tomato and Zucchini Tart with Mozzarella and Basil from The Best of Cooking Light cookbook.  I decided to give it a go and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious this was! 

Here is my take on the recipe:

Fresh Tomato and Zucchini Tart with Mozzarella and Basil

1 10 oz can refrigerated pizza crust dough (I used Pillsbury)
1 cup diagonally sliced zucchini
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch slices (I only used 2)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (I used a light version with fantastic results)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1 tsp garlic seasoning, such as Johnny's Great Ceasar! Garlic Spread Seasoning  (I love this and use it on pasta,  popcorn, salads and garlic bread.  I have even seasoned meat with this before.  Good stuff!)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Unroll dough onto the paper and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Pat the dough into a 12x12 inch square.  Brush 1 tsp of the olive oil over the crust and sprinkle the garlic seasoning over the crust.  Arrange the zucchini and tomato over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and fold the edges of the dough over the veggies.  You just want to form a small lip, not cover all the veggies.
3.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then top the tart with the fresh mozzarella and bake another 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.  Remove the tart from the oven and drizzle with the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil then sprinkle the basil over the top.  Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before cutting into 4 squares.  Serves 4.

This was an easy and fast dinner and the portions are large.  The olive oil came out a little fast so I may have gotten a little extra but it tasted fine.  James at his like a pizza and found his hands to be greasy from the oil but I ate mine like a lady and used a fork and knife and did not think the tart was oily at all.  The girls liked it and that makes me happy. 

Anyone have any yummy yet healthy vegetarian dishes to share? 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blog Hop Winner

I apologize for posting this so late.  We were away for the weekend and returned home later than I expected yesterday.  I can't wait to share our trip to Vienna and the gorgeous Melk Abbey later this week.  Here is a photo of Schloß Schönbrunn.  It was stunning and the photos do it no justice.

I want to thank everyone that stopped by my blog during the Blog Hop!  I hope you were as inspired as I was looking at all the fun projects by a group of super talented ladies.  I look forward to participating in more hops in the future.  Thanks to Amanda for doing a fantastic job organizing everything.

The winner of some yummy chocolate and other tasty treats is Janice.  Janice, please send me an email at srsurman (at) hotmail dot com with your snail mail address so I can get your prize mailed out to you soon.  I already have a couple of things to send that include some treats from Vienna!

Now I need to get caught up on laundry and get a shopping list started.  I love vacations but dislike returning to reality!  :-)  Have a fantastic Tuesday!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Spring Blog Hop brought to you by my fellow Club CK peeps!  If you have been following along with the blog hop you should have arrived here from Melissa's blog.  I made a cute little spring project just for the blog hop so read on to get all the details!

I made this adorable (at least I think so) Happy Spring decoration for my kitchen door.  I used an 8x8 piece of chipboard and covered it with Dear Lizzy for American Crafts patterned paper.  I love the little chick on there with all the eggs and thought it was a perfect fit for my project.  I used my ATG to adhere it on although I did think of using Mod Podge but I am too impatient to wait for it to dry :-). 

I cut a thin strip of green cardstock and used a pair of micro tip scissors to cut blades of grass.  I used my corner rounder on the bottom corners and adhere the strip along the bottom edge.  Finally, I ran my fingers along the edge to give the grass some lift.

I used the Create A Critter cartridge and cut out the chick, egg and tulips.  I cut everything from Bazzill Basics cardstock except for my egg which is white cardstock from Xerox.  I lightly inked the edges of the egg with Close to Cocoa ink from Stampin' Up! to help it stand out a little against the background.  For the chick's tummy I used some yellow tinsel trim by Webster's Pages.  I covered the surface in adhesive and then pressed the tinsel down with my finger.

I adhered down the chick, top of the egg and larger tulip using my ATG.  I used Zots dots behind the bottom of the egg and small tulip to lift them off the background.  Finally, I used Puffy Thickers to add "Happy Spring" across the top and a piece of yellow raffia as a hanger. 

Here is a little tip that I have for hiding your hooks.  Since we rent our home and the houses built here in Germany usually have concrete walls I use 3M Command Hooks all over our home for just about everything.  I love that I can remove them quickly and easily without damaging the walls.  However, I find the hook and strip of adhesive rather ugly to look at so I try to cover it up as best as I can.  In this case, I used a cute blue flower that I printed off and used a bit of tape (hot glue works too) to stick the flower onto the hook.  If you look back in the first photo you will see that the flower covers the hook and looks like it is part of my design!

If you leave me a comment I will enter you in a drawing for some German chocolate and gummi bears.  Winners will be selected Monday morning and posted here.

Next stop on the blog hop is Amanda's blog (  If you are just popping on or have gotten lost along the way you can visit Amanda's blog ( to get started or find your way. 

Thanks for stopping by and playing along today.  I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Lolo!

Three years ago Lorelei made her grand entrance into the world at exactly 4:30 in the morning!  My life has been filled with so much love and our family complete since that very moment.

This girl was tiny compared to her big sister (nearly 2 pounds lighter) and had a lot less hair.  When she was about 4 months old she started to get chubby cheeks and sweet fat rolls on her arms and legs but had nearly no hair until she was about 18 months.

She loves to be with both Mommy and Daddy...If her daddy is doing push-ups, she is too. If I am cooking in the kitchen she is right beside me.  She will sit and look at books and get lost in her own little world for long stretches of time.

Lolo has become a fun little lady who makes me laugh all day long. She is the most independent girl I have ever known and is always saying "I do". She is not a morning person and likes to sit quietly for a bit when she first wakes up.

Lolo adores her sister and is always the first to compromise.  She loves to play dress up and can usually be found wearing a dress and fancy shoes around the house.

Happy Birthday to my sweet Lolo!  I love you so very much and we are blessed beyond words that you are a part of our lives.  xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Post Where I Ramble On and On....

The past week has been busy, as a matter of fact, the entire month of March was busy!  James had training for nearly the entire month.  He spent some time back in the States for training and a quick weekend visit with his parents and son.  I was holding down the fort here and planning a lunch for some friends. 

On Thursday we had a small flood in the laundry room and found we needed to replace the rubber seal on the front loading washer.  That was the second time in a year we have had a tear in the seal.  We do not wash anything crazy so I am not sure why we keep getting holes in it.  Since the Army loans us appliances while we are stationed here I am not complaining too much because we don't have to pay for the repairs but after this I have no desire to have a front loading machine when we move back to the USA. 

Just this morning something malfunctioned with our furnace and we had no hot water or heat.  Fortunately, the weekend was warm and we didn't need the heat last night but we will be dipping back into the low 40's tonight and I like to use the heat at when it is that cold.  The landlord and the repairman just left and it is all fixed.

So that is a low down of the every day stuff in my life.  Since I was rather busy last month I didn't get a chance to be too crafty.  I finished a project for a Spring Blog Hop I am participating in this week and I can't wait to share it on Friday.  I am so happy with the way it turned out. 

I also made a birthday card for my friend's niece and I liked the way it came together.  I used some paper from my stash and the Cricut Create A Critter cartridge.  I added lots of bling and some Stickles for a glam card for a 1 year old.  I was inspired by a card made by the fabulous Maren Benedict from the March/April issue of Paper Crafts.  Unfortunately I have misplaced my issue and can't give a page number. 

Thanks for reading this rambling blog post today.  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and a wonderful Monday!