Melissa Kaylene: May 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Easy Pesto Pepperoni Pizza Rolls!

Easy Pepperoni Pizza Rolls
 Tasty Tuesday is here, and I want to show you something quick, easy, and tasty that I threw together the other night for dinner! Pesto Pepperoni Pizza Rolls! These went great with a simple side salad and a glass of wine. ;) Here's what I used to create them:


{1.} One bag of pre-made pizza dough (Safeway sells these in their deli area for $1.49-1.99, I used an herb kind)
{2.}Pesto - enough to cover the dough, or to taste
{3.}One small package of pepperoni or salami
{4.}Mozzarella cheese - or any kind you would like!

Preheat oven to 350.

Easy Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

First, roll out the dough to approximately 1/4" thick, then spread the pesto sauce evenly over the dough. Then slice the mozzarella and cover dough. Then place your pepperoni and or salami on top of the cheese.

Easy Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Slowly roll up the same way you would as if you were making cinnamon rolls, making sure to keep it fairly tight. Then slice into approx. 1" slices and place on well greased pan.

Easy Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

Bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are slightly browned. Enjoy!
Easy Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

I love how easy this is, and how yummy they taste! Even my children enjoyed them, and I must say, using the herb dough made a huge difference in extra flavor!

~ Melissa 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

5 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Kids to the Park!

I know your kids don't need any reasons or excuses to head over to the swing set - but many parents dread or even fear taking their children to playgrounds and parks - but here's 5 good reasons why you should let them go and play. 

parks and kids

Happy Memorial Weekend everyone! :) We are on the road to visit family for a couple days. I've been thinking about kid activities lately, with summer quickly approaching and my pre-anxiety about keeping the kids entertained increasing on a daily basis. So I began creating a list of 'to dos' with them, and of course taking them to the park crossed my mind.

So why should you make it a priority to take your kids to the park as much as possible?

1. It's free. We quickly forget about parks with all of the other summer options, zoos, fairs, summer camps, etc. Those are all fine and dandy, but I guarantee you'll be forking out a lot more dough than some string cheeses and juice boxes for a playground adventure.

2. Your kids WANT to go. Every child I have met doesn't miss an opportunity to go. It great way for young children to learn ways to interact and socialize with other children and develop coordination skills. For older children it helps keep them physically active and stimulates creativity.  

3. Hello Vitamin D.! I'm sure you've heard of all of the latest hype on it. Doctors are checking everyone's levels and recommending supplements because it seems as if we are all not getting enough. The best way to get some? Going outside into the world and enjoying the sun! Vitamin D. helps our bodies absorb calcium, so goodbye osteoporosis! Just make sure you slather up some
SPF on the kiddos.

4. Mommy time!  Invite a friend and her children to go with you, the kids can all play and bonus you two can catch up! It will make park time fun for everyone, and its an even better experience if there is coffee involved! Even if your kids are young and you spend half of the time chasing them around or pushing them on the swings, it will still be a bonding experience for everyone!

5.  It will help elevate your mood. When we are outside in the sun our bodies increase serotonin levels, these hormones work alongside with Melatonin and help elevate our moods. Ever heard of the winter blues? Seasonal Affective Disorder? (S.A.D.- ironic name, I know) Well there really truly is a link between the two. I don't know about you, but going outside to play seems to really have way more advantages than disadvantages!

So, as you are thinking about your summer plans, don't forget about the little things! Believe me, it will make everyone smile!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

{SO} Excited to Show You! My Daily Planner!

Happy Thursday Everyone! I wanted to show you something that I myself am very, VERY proud of, a.) because I'm not that smart on the computer (yet) and b.) I LOVE how this keeps me organized... did I mention I created all by myself?!? ;)

SO this my daily planner. My organizer. I fill this out every evening (well MOST evenings) and try to use it as much as possible. I find when I sit down and think things out and write them down somewhere where I can refer back to them, well, then I am so much more likely to complete them!

As you can see I have a Top 5 List, these are the things that I really, I mean really want to accomplish for the day. To the right I have my meal helps if I actually think ahead of time what to cook for dinner!

Then I have a time schedule, with the hours I am generally awake. This helps keep me in track so I'm not finding myself wasting to much time in one area or another. Then I have my daily routines. These are just things that I really need to do on every day. I created a little check box so I can mark it off, that way I feel like I'm getting my work done!

daily organizer

I also have a weekly household chore sheet that I created that I can refer too, this is one I just made recently and am still trying to get into the routine somewhat...

daily organizer
I just love it because I tend to find myself doing certain chores over and over again constantly (like vacuuming) meanwhile neglecting others (ehem, like the bathrooms).So, being able to glance at this for the day helps my poor overworked brain out!

And where do I keep these you ask? Why in my Home Management Binder. I finally broke down and created one a couple months ago, and I love it! It is categorized with everything to do with our family and household things. Its still a work in progress, but I definitely plan on showing you sometime soon!

How do you stay organized? Its ALWAYS a challenge for me, but I love the strides I'm making to become a more orderly lady ;)
~ Melissa

DIY Easy Tealight Candle Holders

easy tealight candle holders

Today's post will be short and sweet, for lack of time and more pictures.... I wanted to show you what I have sitting on my windowsill which is above the kitchen sink. They may not look super spectacular, but they are fun, and kinda cute. What are they? Tea light candle holders. What are they made from? Recycled glass jars. Two of them were from old candles that I cleaned out, and the other were food jars.

Here's what I used:

Hot Glue Gun
Glitter Spray (I used Halloween gold hair glitter! You can use whatever you want, or have available!)

(1) First, I thoroughly cleaned and dried the jars.
(2) Next I made a solid glue line vertically up the back of the jar,
(3) then I carefully and somewhat quickly wrapped the twine around the jar.
(4) Then I sprayed with glitter, and viola'!

candle craft idea

They are kinda fun because the twine frays and so it doesn't have to be perfect. The candlelight looks really cool when its dark and it peeks through. And even though you can't see it in this picture very well, the glitter adds just a cute little shimmer to them. These would be fun to make in different sizes for perhaps a backyard beach party or BBQ for a simple cute decoration!

~ Melissa

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Simple and Delicious Stuffed Date Appetizer!

It all began when my husband and I went out to a Spanish restaurant one evening. The appetizers they had were slightly exotic to my taste buds and oh-so-delicious. One of the hor'derves I sampled involved using dates. I went home and have since made my own altered versions using ingredients that I already had..

stuffed date appetizer

One version I have made is super simple, quick and easy, and tastes like you took along time to make! All you need is four ingredients.

1. Dates (as many as you'd like to serve)

2. Feta Cheese

3. Honey

4. Chorizo (or any other kind of sliced meat,
or even bacon)
stuffed date appetizer
1. Slice the dates just enough lengthwise to remove the pits. They will become an open shell to  fill.

stuffed date appetizer

2. Slice the Chorizo (or meat of choice) into strips, and roll up and place inside of dates. You can experiment with whatever kind of meat you want, I just happened to have some Chorizo in my fridge I bought from Grocery Outlet to try, and I was surprised at the smokey flavor it had, and how well it blended with the other tastes!

stuffed date appetizer
stuffed date appetizer

stuffed date appetizer

3. Sprinkle and place Feta cheese inside the dates.
                                                     stuffed date appetizer

4. drizzle honey on top and place them under the broiler until the cheese is browned slightly.

 stuffed date appetizer
 Eat them warm and enjoy!!! My husband loved the surprised combo of the Chorizo as well. He quickly devoured the plate (okay, I helped too!) As they practically melted in your mouth!! Mmmm :)

stuffed date appetizer
stuffed date appetizer


Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Recap & Mommy Monday Inspiration

     Well, the weekend is over again, and the rain has returned in Oregon. We were spoiled with above average temperatures for well over a week and the sun really helped brighten every ones mood. But today I am okay with the clouds and rain, as I sit here with my cup of coffee and my two Little's watching Max and Ruby on Nick Jr. I could be washing the dishes or one more load of my never-ending laundry.... but that can wait for a while. There are toys strung out on my living room floor, and Sundays newspaper is scattered on the coffee table. Normally I wouldn't be so relaxed on a Monday morning, because normally I am running errands and straightening up after the weekend. But tonight I am working a night shift, and so I know (from experience unfortunately) that today I need to slow down a notch and conserve my energy a little bit more as I will be up until almost 9 am tomorrow, and then I usually only sleep until noon or 1pm (or else I have trouble going back to sleep at night time) Night shift completely throws me off schedule and I know I end up getting jipped on the Zzzz's. But I am blessed that I only have to do this a few times a month. I used to work night shift full time before I had three kids. I never got enough sleep, I just couldn't force myself to sleep the whole day away, and then get up and go back to work. And I am not the kind of person that wants to pop a sleeping pill every morning because I 'have to'. So for the mom's out there that work full time night shifts, I commend you.

    On this Mommy Monday I've been pondering what to write about, and not alot popped into my head at first. The weekend flew by as usual as Wayne worked part of Saturday away, and I did the never ending job of housekeeping and taking care of the kids. Saturday evening my bestie Carolyn came over and we went out to celebrate a friends birthday - which just happened to be the same time as McMinnville's big annual UFO festival. So we HAD to dress up ;). It was a great little break from long emotional week.
UFO festival
UFO festival
UFO festival

UFO festival
 Sunday came, and it was 'grandma's' 89th birthday, so we threw together a little celebration at our house with Chinese food and brownies and ice cream.

   The next three weekends will be busy as well, Memorial weekend we are driving down to southern Oregon (4 hour drive, without stopping for the kids a half dozen times) because my Great Aunt is coming in from Texas, and we will be able to stop in and say hi to my mom for a day as well. The weekend after that, if all goes as planned, we will be extending out fence out. We've recruited a few friends and hope to get it done in a day. Its not a huge fact I think there will be a post on it in the near future :). The weekend AFTER that is someone's 27th birthday. Not sure what I'll be doing yet!.

                                     Monday Inspiration___________________

    I've been reflecting alot lately on my personal life, and trying to define what it is. Yes, I am a mom, and I love being a mom to death, but there are many ups and downs (which I will not go into detail as of right now), but lets just say SOMETIMES I question that saying that God only gives you as much as you can handle... because sometimes (well alot of the time) I feel like I am beyond that point. But I think I just need a break to reflect on things to make me appreciate it a little bit more. So, I'm a mom, and I am a nurse...not the nurse I WANT to be, but alas, a nurse (There's a little joke about LPNs vs. RNs....LPN's are L.ow P.aid N.urses, and RNs are the R.eal Nurses ) sure, I cannot wait until I am a Real Nurse someday, mostly because of the increased job opportunities, and increase pay. Increase pay to me means working part time and still being able to bring home decent money for our family. Right now it is my goal to not have to work full time. Not while I'm raising the kids at least. So, Mom, and Nurse,...but what else am I? What makes me tick? Who am I? We all get so lost in our busy day to day activities that I think we forget who we are, or we are constantly thinking about the future and how much better that will be than the present. I encourage you to sit down and write down what makes you you. What defines you? How to you want to be remembered? If we can get a clearer picture on who we are then we can more easily decide who we don't want to be. Little things that we do on a daily basis should compound and help create ourselves, not distract ourselves from who we want to be. Let me explain. One thing I want to be defined as in life is a good friend. To me, relationships are very important. So, if I want to be a good friend, what do I have to do on a weekly basis? Is it making sure I have called a friend that I know has been having a rough time? How about scheduling a lunch with one so we can catch up? Or even setting up a play date with another so our kids can play too, while we sip on coffee and chat? I do not have many friends, I have a few close friends. To me, a friend is someone I consider family. Part of that I believe defines me. So sit down, write a list of what is 'you' and break it down. If you have children obviously Mom will be on that list, but make sure that part of that list is for yourself. If you want to be a successful person, well, define success. Whatever you write down, break it down as far as you can and see what you come up with! I've done it before, but I'm going to do it again. It really puts your priorities into perspective. I read a blog today  and she wrote an amazing piece that I just have to share,

"Peace must be found in the very life that is lived and breathed, not the moments in between."

So stop thinking about how better things will be in the future, and accept things as they are today and make them the best days! We only live once! Make it count! Happy Mommy Monday everyone,

                                                              <3 Melissa

Friday, May 18, 2012

Family Fun! Sesame Street Live!

Happy Friday! Well, I meant to post this last Friday, but my week flew by to fast, so here I am getting it posted today! So, as I had previously mentioned, we took the family up to Portland to see a Sesame Street Live performance, "Elmo Plays Music" (or something like that!) for Noah's 2nd birthday. The timing was perfect as it was the day before his actually birthday, and on the weekend. I conned my sister and My dad and April into attending the show with us because I knew the kids would LOVE it. I hopped online and ordered the tickets. Since it was the last performance, they had a family four pack deal and I saved a bundle. And my dearest mother shipped cash for Noah's birthday which paid for the majority of the tickets! (THANK YOU!!!)
Since Wayne's family and my friend Carolyn still wanted to wish Noah happy birthday we decided to all meet up at Izzy's buffet before heading up to Portland and have cupcakes and a few presents. They normally have a 5.99 lunch bad, we got there at 1pm and apparently on Sunday's they have a brunch until we ended up paying twice as much as I had planned! At least now I know for next time!

The best photo I could get of me and my birthday boy!

sesame street live

Elmo on Stage

sesame street live

Shaking their cookie jars to make music!

sesame street live

The spectators!

sesame street live

sesame street live

sesame street live

Photo opp. next to the Elmo toys!

sesame street live

Emma was just happy as a clam going to see Sesame Street too!

The best part was, I kept the entire thing a secret until last minute. We told them we were going to Izzy's for lunch, and then I told them after lunch that we were now going to Portland! Noah of course didn't really understand it, but boy Emma sure did! So it made for fun for everyone. I generally end up spending that and more for a party on the kids, so this was actually a cheaper option, and one that they aren't likely to forget for a while.

Finally that evening we headed home, and Noah had one more surprise coming....his Uncle Vince fixed up a super cool Spider man big boy bike for him! Complete with a backpack to match! Noah love, love, loves anything with wheels, and he had been scooting along on his sisters pink trike for quite some time. So this boy had a fun birthday, and thanks to everyone pitching in with the costs, the entire day (including a present we got him - a camera to take pictures with) was under $100.

2nd birthday ideas

<3 Melissa

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oh Ya, Relaxation and Organization!

Happy Thursday! As usual, I climbed out of bed with two out of the three kids hollering for their morning 'coffee', which consists of warm milk and a teaspoon of creamer :). They are quite addicted to it these days. Then I got everyone ready, Anika went to school, took Emma to preschool, then Noah and I loaded up all of our recycle to turn it in, and a few other errands. Today was nothing special and out of the ordinary...until quiet time came....
The weather has been unusually gorgeous for this time of year around here, and amazingly both Noah and Emma fell asleep. So I threw on some old shorts and a tank top, grabbed a cool drink and a girlie book and snuck out onto the back deck to catch up on my Vitamin D. The normal part of me had to resist using this time for cleaning or catching up on things that needed to be done. I managed to stay out in that glorious sun for a whole hour before Anika came home and the Little's woke up. I am so glad that I seized the opportunity when it was available. Too often we just keep going and going and don't slow down to enjoy the little things in life, and relaxing in the sun is definitely one of them! Make sure you steal a little time to yourself every week when possible!

So, this IS Thursday, so I do want to show a little organization I have accomplished and feel slightly proud about. I actually did this a few weeks ago, and miraculously it is still in order. So one problem area we have always had is our storage under our TV console.....


Ya. BIG mess. There were old VHS, Cd's, Games, DVDs everywhere...the children LOVE to help me keep that organized....NOT. Well, its not perfect, but here's how it looks now.....


I bought a couple plastic bins from Walmart for a couple bucks and put them to work. On the top left next to the fax machine (I know, its ancient! LOL) is a little bin with CD'S, below that is all of our Wii stuff....I found a cute plastic pull out drawer that holds all of the game stuff now. On the Right side I have most of the DVDs/Cd's in zippered holders, I ditched the excess cases.  The middle right has more that I haven't finished going through yet, but at least they are all contained now. And there are some old VHS on the bottom. SO not perfect, but its a start and a huge improvement!

<3 Melissa

Monday, May 14, 2012

Craft Idea! Paper Plate Masks

So, I am always trying to find something to keep the kids occupied. AND I'm always sorting through magazines that accumulate and trying to save the articles I want and then recycle them. Well, a couple years ago I saw a craft idea in one of those magazines, a simple one, using paper plates and pretty much whatever other craft materials you had around the house. So, We got creative. We grabbed our paper plates (we had the heavier duty Chinet plates that worked well) Then I gave the kids my old magazines and let them have at it; their job was to find face pictures for their 'mask'. We had some old paint sticks that we wrapped in leftover material and hot glued on buttons for decoration. These were used for handles. Yarn was added for hair, and we had leftover beads and hair glitter we decorated them with.

It made for a fun afternoon, and kept them out of trouble. ;) The best part is, they still have them. They are up as decoration in their room.
   crafts with paper plates

                                                                  Emma's mask (mommy helped)

craft idea with paper plates

And Anika's self creation!

craft ideas with paper plates

The girls showing off their masterpieces!

So, the next lazy afternoon when the outdoors are either to hot or to cold, search your house and have some fun with the kiddos!

<3 Melissa

Well, where did that week go?

Well, as soon as I create rules, I break them! A busy week, and I turn around and its been a whole 7 days since I have posted! I will be adding more posts this week as I get free time. With three kids, a house, a job, a business, a job, and a husband...sometimes things are slightly more chaotic than I'd like! I did the best thing this past week though: I took a 'mommy minute'. And since this is Mommy Monday, how appropriate to share. Wednesday was just one of those days when everything that could go wrong, pretty much did. So Thursday I took the opportunity to catch up with my friends, and myself. I had my sister come out and watch the kids for me so I could go to a work meeting, and decided to go have lunch with a friend first. Then Thursday night, we got the kids in bed, my two friends, my sister, and I, just went out for a while. We met up at our local McMenimans for happy hour, and just had some really good 'girl talk'. We ended the night playing some pool and with promises not to let time go so long before our next rendezvous

My friend Jessica, Me, and My sister Crystal
aka Charlie's New Angels ;)

My friend Carolyn and I

Jessica and I - Celebrating National Nurse's Week!

A farewell photo, to remember all of the fun we had!

If you haven't noticed, I love photos. It helps me remember the good times. I know when I'm having a bad day and need a smile, I'll dig out my pictures and reminiscence. I hope you get a chance to do the same! :)
XOXO, Melissa

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pretty Painted Pedicures :)

Happy Monday! It was a busy weekend over here, with family over and my sons second birthday! We decided to just do a little lunch with family at Izzy's buffet, and then we loaded everyone up and drove up to Portland to see Sesame Street Live! The best part was, I kept everything a secret until last minute, so the kids had no clue! Stay tuned, pictures will be posted for my Family Fun Friday post :)

I also stopped at a local winery on Saturday to finally sample some of their wine.....I had bought a Groupon deal, which included to tasting flights and two bottles of wine. We left with that and also a bottle of their flavored sea salt and a mini bottle of white truffle oil. I've always wanted to try it, but haven't been brave enough until now...hmm perhaps a recipe will be created for Tasty Tuesdays in the future....

So, since I have introduced you to my love for pretty polished toes, I thought I would show some of my favorites that I have remembered to photograph. One thing I love about pedicures, is that you can look down at you feet and see something pretty, a little splash of color, a little artwork. You can change it depending on you mood, or the time of year, and it makes even the ugliest feet look a little more friendly! I can't get mine professionally painted as often as I'd like, so when I do, I always make sure that I put them to work and make it look extra special, because I can paint my toes, but don't have the patience to make them look this cute!

cute pedicures

This was the pedicure I got for my sons baby shower...mine is on the right, my friends is on the left...

cure pedicures

not a good photo, but it was a french pedicure, with a light glitter over the whole nail, and a black tip with a pink highlight....was so cute!

cute pedicures

Red with white polka dots created by yours truly :)

cute pedicures

I <3 this and my girls. I went and had a pedi, then they wanted one so bad, I painted their toes to match mine!

pretty pedicure

Interesting orange design they created on my toes
cute pedicures

and a twist on the french classic... glitter with black tips...

Have a Happy 'Mommy' Monday, and make sure you do something just for you today!