Sunday, September 23, 2012

Seafood Paella

Mike and his cousin went scalloping on Friday so I needed a scallop recipe. I found this seafood paella recipe which was so easy and very tasty as well. Here's the recipe - enjoy!

8 oz. chicken tenders - cut into cubes
8 oz. jumbo shrimp
8 oz. sea scallops
8 oz. fresh fish cut into cubes (I used talapia)
4 tsp Creole seasoning
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Chicken broth
2 oz. chorizo (casing off and diced)
mussels (debearded and scrubbed) (I used about a pound)
1/4 cup green peas
4 cups cooked yellow rice

1. Season the chicken, fish, shrimp and scallops separately using 1 tsp creole seasoning for each.

2. Heat oil in skillet large enough to hold all ingredients. Start with the chicken, sauteing until partially cooked through, then ass the scallops, fish and shrimp. Saute for a few minutes until the seafood is nearly cooked through.

3. Add the chicken broth, chorizo, and mussels. Simmer until the mussels open. Discard any any that do not open.

4. Last, add the green peas and yellow rice, stirring frequently to make sure all the ingredients are evenly mixed.

5. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


Friday, August 10, 2012


I'm still here! Wow, it's been about a month and a half since I blogged last - Really, has it been that long? :) Now that I'm working overnights and sleeping during the day along with doing other usual things like grocery shopping, taking care of family and laundry I just haven't had the time. Oh, and did I say sleeping? LOL Lately, I've been run ragged working 10:30-7am, then coming home for a 5 hour "nap" (as I call it) and then starting over again. I didn't realize it would take so much out of me. I had today off but I worked last night. So, my morning was like this:
 - leave work at 7am
 - home by 7:30
 - take trash out
 - pay bills and make phone calls
 - wake kids up
 - shower
 - take Jennah to 4 hour sewing class
 - take puppy to groomers
 - wander around Wal-Mart with Kaylee while waiting for Jennah
 - visit brother while still waiting for Jennah
 - go pick up Jennah
 - go pick up puppy dog
 - home again
 - get dinner ready
 - eat
 - dishes
 - hang up picture frame that I've stored behind the spare bedroom door since the first week of July
 - and now blog!

Yes, that was my day off. Needless to say, It's 9:49pm so I've officially been up for over 24 hours!

Time for bed! Hope to blog again real soon - Sunday maybe!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rain, rain, go away...

Here on the West coast of  Florida, we've been hit hard by tropical storm Debby with strong wind gusts and tons of rain. Monday was the worst day. It was so windy, there were tornado warnings everywhere, power outages (ours was out for 9 hours) and lots and lots of rain. I measured the water in our rain barrel - 10.5 inches in 12 hours. Our pool overflowed and our yard was flooded on one side but, we were some of the lucky ones. Many people not too far from us had to be evacuated as the water went into their homes. It's a sad thing to see - families losing everything they've worked hard for, especially in this economy. When it finally stopped today, I went out and took somd photos around the yard and down the road. I've got to say, the city workers where I live did a heck of a job cleaning up the tree limbs and all the other debri on the roads.

 This was taken at the end of the road behind us.

 The rainbarrel measurement. It holds 55 gallons and was about 1/3 full

The water on the side of our house - it's about 6 or 7 inches deep.

The icky baby frogs - there were hundreds of them in our driveway in the morning but they disappeared after about an hour or so.

Friday, June 15, 2012

EZ Peel Eggs

Jennah's birthday was last week (sniff sniff, she's TEN) but we didn't have her party because I had to work. So, tomorrow is her big day. Being that she's the "foodie" of the two girls, I asked her what she wanted for the get together. Her reply... "Ham". Anyway, I decided to also make devilled eggs as well. Some of you may know I have the secret EZ peel recipe but some may not so I thought I'd share it again. Here goes:

First, leave the eggs you're planning on using out on the counter for about an hour - it's ok, they're perfectly safe!

Grab a large pot. One that's big enough to hold all the eggs.

Fill the pot with water (leave room for the eggs) and place on burner.


Bring water to a rolling boil.

GENTLY and SLOWLY add eggs ONE AT A TIME using a slotted spoon. Dont just let them drop to the botom, you must gently place them in the pot.

Once all the eggs are in the boiling water, continue to boil the water for 10 minutes.

When ten minutes is up, drain the hot water and immediately add cold water and lots of ice cubes.

let sit for a few minutes until eggs are cold enough to handle.

Now, you can either place the lid on the pot and shake the eggs around to peel them or just tap the egg on the countertop. The peel should come right off.

If I'd have thought about it, I would have videoed the whole process but here is an egg that I peeled - Enjoy!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kindergarten Graduation

Well, the time has come - you know, Kindergarten Graduation. When all the kids are happy and all the moms are sad. Kaylee has made it to first grade! She is so excited about 1st grade yet she is already scared that she won't know anyone. Rest assured, all will be fine come August. For now, we'll enjoy the summer! Here is the graduation photo they took at school... enjoy!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My first no-bake cake

So, here it is, my first no-bake cake! Ok, so it's a diaper cake but it is my first one and I'm going to pat myself on the back and say I'm pretty proud of it! I can't wait to give it to Mike's niece at her baby shower. Really, it wasn't hard to make at all. I'm looking forward to making another one - any takers??

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm still here

Yes, I'm still on the planet! I just haven't had the time to blog lately with work and all. For my readers that don't know, I started working the graveyard shift about a month ago - and that's the excuse I'm using for my lack of blog posts! I'm going to do my best to try to hop on here at least a few times a week. For now, things are going well. I love my new workplace and the fact that I can still be home when the girls are out of school. Yes, the housework has slowed significantly but I have two girls that are always willing to help mommy with the laundry and the dishes. Not to mention a wonderful husband who doesn't care if dinner comes out of a box! So, there you have it. My last few weeks in a nutshell. I'll post more later this week. For now, I've got to sleep! :)

Monday, April 30, 2012


Today we came back from our cruise to Cozumel. Not just any cruise but a cruise to honor a dear family friend, Randy Franklin, who we took with us on board to have his ashes spread out to sea. For many of us, it was the closing we didn't have when he passed away and for most of us, it was a sad but happy time.  It was a wonderful time to ourselves on the back of the ship where no other passengers are allowed to go. A lovely poem was read, his ashes and flowers were tossed into the ocean and a few tears were shed as well. Then the good times afterward - the fun memories we had to share, the Bahama Mama drinks (his cruise favorite), the Groove for St, Jude Children's Hospital (a charity he supported) and so on.  Something little yet meaningful came to mind for me every day of the trip. For example, the cruise was originally booked by my mom and Randy for a quick get-away trip. When we arrived in Cozumel, Mike took a picture of the ship, the Carnival Paradise. Paradise - where Randy is now. It couldn't have been more appropriatly named. Then, Randy's sister Carole, my aunt, uncle, Mike and I were at a local restaurant where the five of us were seated at a table for six. The sixth seat was for Randy - we just knew it. He would have loved to chat with the locals like we did. We laughed as he would have. We told stories as he would have. Most of all, we shared one thing in common, he was with us and we all felt it. To Randy: Thanks for the memories we will always have of you. You will always be here with us.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Transition

Today is my transition day - As many of my followers know, I'm now employeed as a CNA! I've done my orientation and officially start on Monday. I'll be working the overnight shift so I can be home in the morning and evenings with the family. Right now, I'm trying my best to stay awake in order to transition from a normal daytime person to a night owl! Funny thing is there was a point not too long ago where I was having trouble sleeping at night so I didn't think this would be so hard. It's come a little easier than I thought though. Of course, once I'm at work there will be things to do, unlike here at home where I really can't do anything while the rest of the family is sleeping! I have another day to mess up my brain before I head out to work the graveyard shift. It may take a few days or a week to get adjusted to the night shift but I'm sure it will happen. So far, so good.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

keeping busy

Here's what's been happening this past week:

- Took and passed the Florida State CNA Exam!

- Our little Kaylee turned 6!
- Took Kaylee to her favorite place (Cracker Barrel) for dinner. She loves their pancakes and bacon!
- Let Kaylee open her big present; Barbie Malibu Dream House (She LOVES it)

- Received CNA license # online.

- Filled out on-line job applications for CNA jobs
-Went shopping for birthday party goodies

- Mike turned __!
- Huge birthday party for both Mike and Kaylee at our home. :)
- Lost an hour of sleep during the time change!

- Legoland Florida all day - soooo much fun for the kiddos!

-Received actual CNA license in the mail
-Received call for CNA job interview
-Went out to buy new outfit for interview

- Had job interview at 10:30am
-Hired for job at 11:00!
-Drug test and background check
-Celebration dinner at Chili's

-Spent all day with Mike (he took the day off)

So, you see, I've been pretty busy. Now, I'm savoring my time off before I head out to work! I don't know when I'll start yet. They're waiting on my background check to come back and then they'll schedule my orientation! Yay! So excited! I'm going to work the night shift so I can be home with the kids in the evening before work. :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

There's a Birthday girl in the house!

It happened.... How, I don't know... But it did - We let Kaylee turn 6! She's so excited that today is her birthday. Last night (when she was still 5), she told everyone that they had to get hugs because it was her last day of giving 5 year old hugs and kisses! This morning when she woke up, the first thing she said was "Yahoo, I'm six now!" I just can't believe my little baby is 6! It seems like yesterday that we brought our little (and I do mean little) bundle of girly-ness home from the hospital! Anyway, she has her week planned out already. Being the birthday girl in our home means you get to pick what you want for dinner that night. Kaylee's choice: Cracker Barrel for pancakes! She'll have her birthday party on Saturday with family and a few friends over for her other favorite: pizza and cake! Then on Sunday, we're taking her to Legoland. Needless to say, she's going to be the happiest little six year old for a while - and then she'll turn 7! :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Challenger Dash

My 9yr old girly girl Jennah participated in her schools version of the Race for the Cure this past Saturday to raise money for the American Cancer Society. It was called the Challenger Dash. (Challenger after the name of the school) Not so much a race but more of an obstacle course. I'm so proud of her to want to take part in something like this though it didn't shock me as she's always been such a caring person. She made it through the whole course with stride - more than I could say for myself if I had to do it.

All in all, between asking for donations and purchasing items where the money was donated to the cause, she was able to donate a total of $99.00 with $50 of it being money she received from various family members. The other $44.00 came from her love of cotton candy, a t-shirt for her dad, and a few granola bars! I'm so proud to have a child as giving as she is. I can't wait to hear what the grand total raised from her school was. In the meantime, here are a few pics - enjoy!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Finally! Kaylee's hair is long enough for her to wear a pony tail! She was so excited this morning! So, here she is on her way to school.... Enjoy!

Friday, February 17, 2012


There's not much for writing these last few days so here are some of my favorite pics from our trip to Disney last weekend... Enjoy!

I'm not sure what they're doing - but it's a cute picture!

They were trying to be like Tigger in This picture...

The princess with her castle behind her

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day! I hope everyone had a good day today. I want to share a conversation Kaylee and I had this morning on the way to school. Keep in mind, we are going to exchange Valentines cards, etc this evening when we have more family time and we're not rushing out the door:

Kaylee: "So mom, Balentimes Day (yes, that's how she says it) is about love?
Me: "Yes Kaylee"
Kaylee: "Well I hope I get a Barbie Dream Castle for Balentimes Day."
Me: " I doubt it Kaylee. Valentines Day is when people give a LITTLE gift like flowers or chocolates to show their love for someone else. A Barbie dream castle is a BIG gift that would be more for a holiday like Christmas."
Kaylee: "Well if you got the the Barbie Dream Castle for me for Balemtimes Day, it would show that you have LOTS of love to give to me. So, can I have that because you always tell me you love me so much."
Me: ________________.

No, I did not cave in, she's getting some chocolate! :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Off to Cinderella's Castle

We're taking the kids to Disney World this weekend. I've been telling Kaylee that she has to clean her room before we go. We've also been trying to get Kaylee to try new foods. Last night, we had Chinese food to eat. She normally will eat the sweet and sour chicken minus the sweet and sour! She calls it Chinese chicken nuggets. In trying to get her to try the sauce that goes with it, I told her if she put her finger in the sauce and tried it, I'd help her with cleaning her room so we could go to Disney. She did it! She tried the sauce! It took me telling her that it tastes sweet like melted lollipops but hey, it worked! She actually ate two pieces of chicken with the sauce! I know, it doesn't sound like a big deal to most of you but if any of you know what we've been through just to get her to touch food, it is a huge deal. Anyway, after dinner, I got busy with laundry and helping Jennah with her homework so I told Kaylee I'd help her with her room "tomorrow". When she came home from school the next day, she went to her room and said "OOOHHHH mom, you didn't clean my room." So I just said "Well, I haven't had time yet today." She then looked at me and said "Well then, you're in big, big trouble and I'm not sure you can come to see Mickey Mouse with me and dad and Jennah."

Really? I got in trouble? HAHAHAHAHA

That's my girl.

Monday, January 30, 2012

back to reality...

A few weeks ago, Mike and I took the girls on a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. We had a wonderful time. It's always so relaxing to go on a cruise. There's nothing to worry about. You don't have to drive, there is no wondering where you're going to eat and most of all, there's someone there to take care of the kids for you if you want to step out to visit the islands or see a show! Needless to say, the week flew by. The girls had a fantastic time getting to hop in the water while we were in Nassau to experience being close up to the dolphins. Jennah especially loved it! At the next two ports of call (St. Thomas and St. Maarten), Mike and I ventured out on our own and enjoyed some tours of both places. In St. Thomas, we took a ferry over to St. John since we'd seen St. Thomas before. There are some beautiful beaches in St. John and we'd both love to go visit there again. In St. Maarten, we sat and had a few drinks with some friends we made from England. It was nice to share stories with them. We then hopped on a bus and took a tour of the island. I always enjoy seeing how people from other parts of the world live. All in all, it was a wonderful trip. Can't wait until our next cruise!
a dance with Salvador
My view from the hammock - I could have stayed in it all day!
Kaylee getting her hair braided on the way to Blue Lagoon in Nassau
St. John

Sunday, January 22, 2012

in memory of...

I haven't posted in a while but today, I needed to find the time. It is a sad yet happy time for us. Sad because we've lost a very dear member of our family last week - Our friend Randy. We've known him for a very long time. He was our bartender, chef, driver, photographer, cruise director, Disney tour guide and most of all, our friend- just to name a few hats that he wore in our family. Randy was and will always be a huge part of our family. He loved us as if we were his own and we loved him back the same way. He was like a step dad to me and a grandpa to our girls. He was always there when we needed him - yet never asked anything in return. We will miss him dearly but now we have a job to do. We must carry on his smile and his kindness and be happy knowing that he's in Heaven, without pain and sickness, looking down upon us. We love you Randy and will always remember the fun times we had. RIP
Randy Franklin