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Don’t “Be Afraid” of Halloween Decorating

It’s that Ghostly, Ghoulish, Wonderful time of the year again and I can hardly contain myself.  I absolutely love Halloween!

Who doesn’t?  I mean, it’s like the launch party for a new Album!

Halloween is the kickoff party to the Holiday Season!

I always do a few things around the house.  A little here and a little there.  Last year, I did a similar post that showed a few of the decorations I did.  If you missed that one, you can check it out here.


I reused most of my decorations from last year and added just a few new ones.


It occurred to me after I decorated, that I must REALLY be into skulls.

I contribute that to the 2 weeks that I sat in a room by myself and did nothing else but watch Sons of Anarchy.


(*Enough Said)

Hey!  Who is up for a little game?  Let’s see how many skulls I used in my decorating……  (ANSWER AT THE END OF THIS POST!)


I love this in the front entry way.  This is the “kid’s center” with all their craft supplies and books that they like to read (when I make them).

The cute “Be Afraid” vinyl stickers with bats, I picked up at all places, Kroger’s, for only $4.99 for the entire set.

I already had the other decorations.  I picked them all up at Walmart last year.



The Entertainment center has a few surprises too!  Again……. more Skulls…..


(Further Away Look)


(Left Side)


Can’t forget the legs of whatever my house “fell” on.  Would it be creepy to put some ruby red slippers on the feet?   Pretty sure my children would forever be scarred and never be able to watch The Wizard of OZ again.   😉  *I might do it!


My coffee center never looked so festive.


Bats, Spiders and All!


However, I do have to admit that I have been a little slack on the housecleaning as of lately.


I’ll have to work on that.


*By the way, if you guessed 5 Skulls, you got it right!*

Did you miss the one on the tombstone in the entertainment center?  I almost did! 




Decorating, For The Home, Mom News, Ramblings

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I’m Back, JACK! …….. and I got some Vodka Sauce to go with it!

Whoo!  It has been a long time since I have been able to type on these pretty pages.

It’s not my fault though, it’s my HUSBAND”S FAULT!!!

Let me explain:

First, he goes and get’s me hooked on Breaking Bad.  Did I mention that I had never seen a single episode?  He tells me, “Don’t worry sweetie.  Netflix has all of them and you can watch them all there!”

Word of advice:  Never watch it!  You will become consumed and it will take over your life.

Well, I finally finished all the episodes and I was done.  Life was worth living again and I was fine.

Enter:  Sons of Anarchy!

Again!  My husband says, “You have to watch this!  Netflix has all of them too!”

“NO!”, I said.

“Just watch one episode and you don’t have to watch anymore”, he says.

Five seasons later (*Don’t judge me!), I am finally alive again and not living in a leather made world of tattoos and motorcycles.  (*Except for on Tuesday nights when the current season comes on…….)

I have neglected you and I feel bad about it.


As a peace offering, I give you this:

The easiest ever Shrimp Fettuccine in Vodka Sauce!


Now, I was going to try and make my own Vodka Sauce, but by the time I added up all the ingredients that I would need to make my own, it just seemed more reasonable to go another route.

I am a very practical girl and I’m not afraid to use a bottled sauce every now and again.

I usually buy Bertolli products when I purchase my pasta, so since they had a Vodka Sauce, I decided to go with them.


So so yummy!


I used shrimp and a lot of it because my family is what you call BIG EATERS, but you could definitely use chicken.

Best part is that this is probably a 20 minute meal!


Not to mention that it only has 5 ingredients and the whole family will LOVE IT!


Here you go!

Recipe:  Shrimp Fettuccine in Vodka Sauce



– 1 – 2 lbs. of Raw Medium Shrimp, peeled   ( I used 2 only because I have a family of 5 and they eat A LOT!) or 1 lb. Chicken Breast, cut into cubes in place of Shrimp

– 16 oz. Fettuccine

– 2 tbsp. Olive Oil ( I use extra virgin)

– 2 (24oz) jars of Vodka Sauce (*I used Bertolli)   *I USED 2 JARS BECAUSE I HAD 2 LBS. OF SHRIMP, BUT YOU COULD DEFINITELY USE 1 JAR)   OR  still use 2 jars if you like a lot of Sauce.

– 2 tbsp. fresh chopped Basil (Optional)



– Cook Fettuccine according to package directions.

– Meanwhile, heat a large skillet on medium heat.

– Add Olive Oil and Shrimp and saute 4 minutes or until shrimp are cooked and are no longer opaque.  *Try not to overcook shrimp!  Set aside.

– In the same skillet, heat Vodka Sauce and let simmer for 10 minutes.

– Return cooked Shrimp to pan with sauce and add cooked Fettuccine.

– Top with chopped fresh Basil.

– Serve immediately.

*NOTE:  If using Chicken, cut chicken into cubes and saute’ in place of shrimp about 6 to 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and cooked through.  Continue with recipe.



Kid Approved, Main Dishes, Mom News, Recipes

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Beef Orzo Skillet


Now that school is back,

I really want to utilize my time and be more productive during the day.  I have all these wish lists of things I want to accomplish.  Like for instance, simplifying MY LIFE!  LOL!  That will always be #1 and most important on my list.  However, I will probably NEVER accomplish it……. and I’m ok with that………  most of the time.

One thing I can probably, maybe, sort of do that with is dinner.  You always hear about 30 minute meals and while some of them are good…… others are GREAT!

I happened to find one of those the other night when I was scouring the internet for some culinary inspiration.  I ended up finding this one on my Calendar site I use,


It was SOOOOOOO good!  The best part was that my kids gobbled it up and my little one didn’t even realize that there was Spinach in it!

It’s so nice to only mess up one pan when cooking and not a   million  bajillion  (is that a word?) of them.  I honestly do not know how my fingers do not shrivel up and wither away from all the pots and pans I wash????


You MUST give this one a try!



Recipe:  Beef Orzo Skillet


  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes ( I use the garlic, basil, oregano flavor)
  • 1½ cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 tsp minced fresh oregano or ½ tsp crumbled dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 8 ounces orzo pasta, dried (1 cup) – try whole wheat if you can find it!
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • ½-¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Sprinkle salt into a 10 to 12 inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Crumble beef into pan and cook, stirring often, until meat begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium, stir in onion, and continue to cook, stirring, until onion is soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Drain grease from meat in a colander and return to pan.
  • Add garlic, tomatoes (break them up with a spoon) and their liquid, broth, oregano, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil then stir in pasta. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until pasta is tender to bite, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, squeeze as much liquid as possible from spinach. Stir spinach into pasta mixture just until heated through. Serve with cheese to add to taste.


*By the way, if you like a spicy kick, do what my hubby and I do and add cayenne pepper to yours!





Main Dishes, Mom News, Ramblings, Recipes

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Getting Organized: Baby Steps


Every year, I say I am going to get organized.  I’m not one of those who has to have the Spring Cleaning bug to get me going.

It could be anything.  Something I saw online that inspired me or the simple fact that I have too much clutter in my house and I have procrastinated too long about taking care of it.

This was a combination of things this time.

I finally got the entertainment center of my dreams after looking and looking for one.  I have this very awkward space in my family room where it needed to go. Everything I liked was either too large or severely too small to fit the space.  The one I had there previously was really small and I have always wanted a wall unit, but never had a home with a space for one.



Is it not Glorious?????

The coolest part about it is it expands.  I mean, WHAT!

That is the only way I was able to find something to fit the space.  If you look closely at the middle console, you can tell.

Now that I had my wall unit, I had to figure out what to do with the previous entertainment center.  I didn’t in anyway want to sell it or get rid of it.  I wanted to reuse it somewhere else in my house.


I decided to put it in the foyer and use it for a “kid center”.  Before, my little ones would go upstairs to the bonus room and “do crafts”.  By “doing crafts”, I mean tearing up the whole entire upstairs and leaving all the mess for me.  This usually goes unseen for a week because I do not frequently visit the upstairs.  Have you ever seen a mess from kids that has accumulated over a week?  Let me just tell you………. It ain’t pretty!

So, I decided that the “kid center” would house their art supplies or should I say, “doing crafts” supplies.  ………. AND it would be DOWNSTAIRS…….. where I could keep an eye on it.

I haven’t finished yet, but

here is what I have done so far:


I took a simple wash basin bucket, which was just a plain white……. which I didn’t really like.


Took some spray paint.  I had bought this spray paint a while ago and forgot I had it in my storage closet.  It is a gray spray paint that goes well on plastic.


I made sure to keep it back about a foot and spray in a back and forward motion so that it wouldn’t puddle and run. (*according to the painter’s directions.  the painter also known as the “hubster” or “the Zman”.)


Then, I made some labels on my laptop, printed them off, and laminated them.  (*I always knew that thing would come in handy at some point!)

I made one for Paper………


One for scissors, glue, and tape……….


And one for crayons, markers, and colored pencils.  Then, I remembered that I had this really handy little cutting tool from my scrapbooking days that rounds the corners of pointed edges, so I used that for the labels.


Then, I just stuck them on the front with tape.

I’m still not done with the “kid center”.  I know it is a process.

I have a space for their reading books and all the buckets for their crafts.

Hopefully, I will come up with some really cool ideas that I can share with you and update soon!  🙂

Baby Steps…….  Baby Steps………  I’ll get there!


Do you have something like this in your home?  What kinds of things do you keep there?




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