Thursday, February 28, 2013

March Fitness Challenge

If you read my post from Monday, you know that one of my priorities is myself. And one of the things I want to work on is a toner tummy. So, why not challenge myself? And why not encourage others to do the same? It's boring to do it alone anyways! I created a little printable--print it out, post it on your frig (or wherever) and let's do this together! I will keep you posted on my challenge through Facebook (not a fan yet, what are you waiting for? Click here and follow along!) and then at the end of the month, I will share my results. Sound fun? Thought so!

Okay then--this challenge starts Friday! The first two weeks we will do 2 sets of the circuit. The last two weeks we will do 4 sets of the circuit. Do this every other day (or if you are really eager, every day)! We will be in it together. We've got this! Let me know if you plan on playing along! Don't forget to share it with your friends, too! The more the merrier!

March Abs Challenge get your abs ready for summer

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tasty Tuesday--Over the Rainbow

Ugh. I'm so ready for Spring. Warm weather. And most of all, no snow. We are expected to get another snow storm today. We've gone most of the winter without snow and then BAM--the month of February shows up and it decides we need that white stuff. I'm ready to wear flip flops and take a run outside! 

Well, maybe my treat I'm sharing today will bring a little sunshine into your life! Today I'm sharing a cake my daughter and I created awhile back for a school event. What a fun thing to do for the upcoming St. Patty's Day celebration!
rainbow cake

We baked a box mix, added some food coloring in a frosting tub (I know, I know...its not homemade!) and frosted the cake. Next, we bought rainbow colored Jelly Belly jelly beans. We made a rainbow shape in the rainbow colors, using two rows for each color. Then we added a piled up some marshmallows at each end for the clouds. FUN, CHEERY and BRIGHT!

Do you do something fun with your food/desserts for St. Patty's day? If so, please share!


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Monday, February 25, 2013

I can do anything...

I've been pondering a few things over the last few weeks. I've come to realize that even though I try very hard, every day, I know I can't do everything. There is so much I want to do, though. There is so much I want to become. There are so many changes I want to see in my current life. I try. Every day. But I realized that even though I know I can do anything (because I'm a woman afterall!!), I can't do everything. I realized I needed to determine my priorities. I needed to set limits for myself. If I don't do this, I will fail at everything. I need to give 100% of me to those priorities. My #1 priority is my family. That will never change. I always make time for their sporting events, school events/homework, etc. But we need more quiet family time together. And my husband is also included in the first priority. I vow that we have at least one evening out together each month-- no.matter.what. We deserve it. My #2 priority is me. Sounds silly to actually type and read that one. But, I am important. I'm excited to get back into my exercise regimen after my foot surgery. I want to do fun 5k's this year to celebrate different causes and raise awareness. I want to tone my tummy. (not sure if that is possible after two kids, but I'm gonna try!) My #3 priority is my career. For those of you reading this and know me personally, you know and have heard (many times!) how trapped I've been feeling. I need to focus and truly figure out what I want to do and then GO FOR IT. I'm losing valuable time and knowledge by staying in a position that doesn't value what I can contribute. My #4 priority is this blog. I started this as a creative outlet--where I could share what I cook, create and find along my everyday ventures. It isn't supposed to be stressful or sufficating. I don't need that. So, right now, because I am a working parent of two active kiddos, I can't commit to a certain number of posts per week or judge myself against some of the amazing and awesome blogs I read on a daily basis. This is the beginning. I'm still learning and I want it to continue to be fun.
Whew. I feel so much better to get that out in the open. Thank you so much for following along and reading my blog. I'm blessed that in this short time I do have people subscribing to the blog, following me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It's an amazing feeling when you get an email notification that you have a comment. I read them. I cerish them. I get giddy and smile at each one (so far I haven't received a negative one...but I'm sure that it will come someday and then I won't be smiling!). I created a printable with a popular saying, basically the theme to today's blog post. Do what you do best if you like it--print and share!
I can do anything but not everything quote

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rainbow Cupcakes

St. Patrick's Day is quickly approaching! I'm not Irish, but it's fun to do all things RAINBOW and green for a day, right? Last year (before I was blogging!), I made these cute cupcakes for a fun treat for the kids and their friends. They were super fun so I thought I'd share them with you! It took some time, but loved the result! And it all starts with white cake mix and bright food coloring. Here is the quick how-to, just in time for you to do this for your family:
St. Patricks rainbow cupcakes


What you need:
White cake mix, and the ingredients to prepare
Neon, bright food coloring
Cupcake liners
Cool Whip
Mini-Rainbow Twizzlers

How you do it:
Mix together the white cake according to the package directions. Get six small bowls and equally distribute the white cake mix into those bowls. (if you don't want to use all six colors, use how many you want to use) Drop a few drops of the food coloring (one color per bowl) into each of the bowls and mix until the color is bright. Taking a teaspoon, carefully layer each color into the cupcake liner into a rainbow pattern. Bake as directed on the cake mix package. Allow to cool.

rainbow cupcake

For frosting I used Lite Coolwhip. To make it look like fluffy clouds, I added a few drops of blue food coloring and carefully folded it into the cool whip. Spoon onto cooled cupcakes. Using the back of the spoon, make small peaks. Add your rainbow Twizzler by pressing it into the cupcake. Store in frig.

St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cupcakes

So, do you do fun things for St. Patrick's Day, even if you aren't Irish? Thanks for stopping over today!


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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tasty Tuesday--5 Star Steak Hoagies

Looking for a quick, tasty steak dinner? Try this amazing 5 Star Steak Hoagie recipe! I made these Sunday night for dinner after having a hankering for some grilled steak. It comes together quickly and the payoff is juicy, mouth watering steak sandwiches! I got this recipe from Sandra Lee on the Food Network. Loved her show Semi-Homemade--why isn't it on anymore? Anyways, this was a hit with the entire family the first time I made it and was once again a big hit on Sunday.
Steak Sandwiches

5 Star Steak Hoagies

1.5 pound top round steak
2 Tbls. worcestershire sauce
1 Tbls. soy sauce
1 Tbls. spicy brown mustard
1 tsp. dried Italian Seasoning
Hoagie Rolls
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Season steak with salt and pepper. Grill steak to medium. In large bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside. Remove steak and cover with foil. Let it rest 5 minutes. Slice steak thinly and toss in sauce. Fill hoagie rolls with steak, sprinkle with cheese and place under broiler until melted.

Steak Hoagies
Steak SandwichesSteak Sandwiches

The sauce really makes these hoagies amazing. Yum...glad we had leftovers!

Thank you for stopping by!


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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! {free LOVE printable}

Happy Valentine's Day! This is the day to share the love with all those that are near and dear to you! I'm excited to get home after work and get on with our Valentine's Day Traditions. I wrote about them here. You know--the scavenger hunt and heart-shaped pizza's! I'm going to try to make the scavenger hunt a little trickier this year since both kids are getting older! I'm also looking forward to snuggling up to my sweetheart. This picture is from last August when we went out for a nice dinner for our anniversary. This year we celebrate the big "15" and are hoping to take a family vacation to England! I love our story. Maybe I will share it with you sometime!
I was feeling in the "loving" mood and created a little printable for you. I hope you love it!
1 Corinthians 13

Happy Valentine's Day!


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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tasty Tuesday--"Take 5" Pretzel Sticks

Happy Tuesday! Hope this week is off to a great start! It's cold and windy here in Northern Illinois! I'm so over winter! Today I am featuring a very popular sweet treat that I took to a Super Bowl party. It really was a "duh" moment when I realized that I never thought to put this combination together before. Originally I was planning on bringing chocolate dipped pretzel sticks because I know the kids like them, but when I was grabbing the pretzel rods out of the pantry, a bag of caramels appeared and the lightbulb went off!! I love Take 5 candy bars--they have every bit of goodness in them--sweet, salty, crunchy! YUM! So, why not make Take 5 Pretzel sticks? Thought it was worth a try and OMG--seriously, they are delicious. I dunno about you, but I've never had them before, never heard of them before--so if they are out there and I was blinded, so sorry--this was a new discovery for me and I'm glad it happened!

So, here is the quick and easy low down on how to make these bad boys! Melt your caramels according to the package instructions (I used an entire bagged of wrapped caramels). Pour the caramel into a tall, heat proof glass (this is a trick to get the caramel on as much as the pretzel as possible!!). Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and spray with cooking spray (caramel sticks to waxed paper!). Dip pretzel rod into the caramel and let drip over glass. Place on the cookie sheet. Continue until the caramel is gone or you run out of pretzels. (Side note: you may need to reheat the caramel during this process, try not to overcook the caramel--low setting, for only a few seconds at a time)

Chop a handul of peanuts to sprinkle on the finished pretzel rod and set aside. Once the caramel is set, melt chocolates. I used 1 bag of chocolate chips. Pour the chocolate into a tall, heat proof glass. Dip the caramel dipped pretzel rods into the chocolate. Let chocolate drip off into the glass. Replace the pretzel back to the waxed paper and sprinkle with the chopped nuts. Let set. I covered mine and put them in the garage to firm up quicker. I couldn't wait for them to set to taste the ooey, gooey goodness I created!

Here it is:
Take 5 Preztel Stick crazylou

Take 5 pretzel sticks

Take 5 Pretzel Sticks

1 bag of pretzel rods
1 bag of wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1 bag of chocolate chips
handful of peanuts, chopped

Melt caramel per instructions on bag. Pour the caramel into a tall, heat proof glass  Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and spray with cooking spray . Dip pretzel rod into the caramel and let drip over glass. Place on the cookie sheet. Continue until the caramel is gone or you run out of pretzels. (Side note: you may need to reheat the caramel during this process, try not to overcook the caramel--low setting, for only a few seconds at a time)

Once the caramel is set, melt chocolates. I used 1 bag of chocolate chips. Pour the chocolate into a tall, heat proof glass. Dip the caramel dipped pretzel rods into the chocolate. Let chocolate drip off into the glass. Replace the pretzel back to the waxed paper and sprinkle with the chopped nuts. Let set.

So, who's with me--are Take 5's one of your favorites?

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Sweetheart S'more Pops

ALERT!!! Valentine's Day is only 3 days away! I don't know about you, but I LOVE S'MORES! We have campfires during the summer and s'mores are a must have! But, who says we have to wait for summer to enjoy these tasty treats??? I made these over the weekend for a quick little treat for the kids and to give to some of our favorite sweethearts! I found the original idea from Cheryl over at Tidymom, except she did hers for Halloween.
chocolate covered smore pops

First, break the graham cracker in half, top with a marshmallow (I used heart shaped ones) and top with some Hershey's chocolate bar. 

chocolate covered smore pop

Top the with the other half of graham cracker. Place in the microwave and cook for 10 seconds.

As soon as you remove them from the microwave, insert a Popsicle stick. Continue to assemble as many as you wish to make. Then, place them in the freezer to set. This  makes it easier to cover in chocolate. About 30 minutes later, melt your chocolate (chips or almond bark works!). Dip, cover and sprinkle! Let set before you eat or package up for your sweetie!

sweetheart chocolate covered smore pops

Kids loved them and we can't wait to share them with our sweeties! Happy Valentine's Day!


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Friday, February 8, 2013

Love Lunch Notes {free printable}

I thought that Valentine's Day was the perfect time to create another lunch note printable! (here's my other lunch note printable!) Sneak these into your child's love on Valentine's Day or heck, any day!! Now, all I have to do is come up with a creative lunch for both of them!  
How cute are these??
Free Printable Love Lunch Notes

Right click on the image to print! PIN for next year or share with your friends!

Have a super awesome weekend!


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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine's Day FREE Printable

Hey everyone! It's been awhile since I created a FREE printable for my peeps! So, just in time for Valentine's Day, I created a simple Valentine's Day Printable! Go ahead--PIN it, SHARE it, PRINT it...
Be True To Your Heart Free Printable



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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tasty Tuesday--Tortellini Pasta Salad

Whose up for an awesomely easy and tasty pasta dish? This comes together quickly and can be changed up with items you have in your frig or pantry or to your liking! I love the dressing for this salad--it can be used in a variety of different salads, too!
We celebrated my husbands grandparents wedding anniversary over the weekend and this is the dish I brought. I can't believe they've been married for 72 years!
Tortellini Pasta Salad on Crazylou

Tortellini Pasta Salad
serves 8-10

2 pkgs Cheese Tortellini, cooked according to package
1/2 pkg cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cucumber, diced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 can black olives, chopped
shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 c. olive oil
1 Tbls + 2 1/4 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
minced garlic (to taste)
fresh herbs, minced (I used Italian Parsley)
salt & pepper (to taste)

Combine salad ingredients in large bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients together. Pour dressing over pasta salad. Mix to combine. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Top with additional herbs and Parmesan cheese.

YUM! This would be great in the Spring or Summer if you grow fresh herbs in your garden.

Thanks for visiting!


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Friday, February 1, 2013

Sweetheart Mantle

I have major anxiety over my mantle. I just never know how it should look. Typically I only change it up around Christmas, but this year, I decided to spice things up and surprise my family by decorating it for Valentine's Day! It was simple to do and everything I put up there I already had from previous years of decorating for love day! I don't go all out for this occasion, so the mantle is it in our house!
Crazylou's Valentine's Day MantleHere are pictures of each of the "little" projects that make up the entire mantle.

Dollar Store Candle Hurricane
Here I am using one of my Dollar Store Hurricanes. You can find the how-to here. I filled them with Dollar Store glitter hearts.

I added my daughter's play pink feather boa to the mantle for a little extra spice! Then I stuck in more Dollar Store Glitter Hearts (I kept these on the sticks).
A True Love Story Never Ends
 This is a printable I got either last year or the year before.You can get the printable HERE. Hanging from the printable frame is a tissue flower kissing ball. I have another one on the other side of the mantle too. You can find detailed instructions on The Idea Room's blog. The kids and I made these a couple of years ago--messy but fun!
LOVE Blocks
These LOVE blocks were so fun to make! And super simple too! I had the hubby cut down to the size I wanted and then I painted them a light pink with craft paint. Next, I sanded them down and cut scrapbook paper down to size. Modge Podge came in handy for the next step as I secured the scrapbook paper down to the wood. I let it dry and added the cut-out letters (done on my cricut) and Modge Podged those down too! I added a little ribbon on the sides for a little extra touch. You can see the other tissue kissing ball here too!
felt kissing ball
I took the idea of the kissing ball and used felt circles. Cutting the circles was a lot of work, but putting it together was super easy. Here was my inspiration. I put it on top of a clear candle holder and tied tulle around the neck of the candle holder.

That's it! There is my Valentine's Day Mantle. Do you change up your mantle for each of the Holiday's or seasons?

Thanks for stopping by!


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