Melissa Kaylene: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

10 ways I know I Have a True Friend...

It's the last day of July already! I cannot believe how quickly this month flew by, and I have a sneaky suspicion that August will do the same.

After all of the hectic things that happen in daily life I find myself just sitting a wondering sometimes (this is a rare occasion though with three children!) anyways, I was thinking about my best friends, and what makes them so special. I've had friends come and go, and others who I consider friends, but nothing like this.

You know you have a true friend if:

1. You don't care if they come over, whenever, even if your house is in a state of utter chaos and you haven't brushed your teeth - or hair!

2. They can tell if you are worn out, tired, exhausted, etc. and BRING YOU A COFFEE!

3. They can tell if you are worn out, tired, exhausted, etc and BRING YOU WINE! ;)

4. They love tolerate your children, and will offer to help watch them if need be.

5. They don't judge you. They accept you, and all of the choices you make. (well, within reason ;) )

6. They are the first people you unload on when you have some drama you need to talk about.

7. They come over to your family functions/birthday parties/BBQ/ -and make no excuses.

8. They keep their word.

9. They bring you random gifts on occasion to show how much you mean to them. (awe)

Adorable mini cake with pipe cleaner heart. Cutest random gift ever!

10.  They STILL love you, even after you accidentally spill breast milk on them during a Toby Keith concert when you were 'discretly' trying to pump, and then cheer you up after you finished crying over all 'liquid gold' you wasted on them.  Better yet, then your "breast friends" for life. True Story.

the night we became breast friends.

This post is dedicated to my Besties - you know who you are <3. How do YOU know if you have a true friend? What's your definition?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Life Unexpected.

Well, it has been quite the little weekend around here. My daycare provider was the sweetest ever, and realized I was having a tough time this past week with the kids, so she offered to take them Saturday for a sleepover...all three! There is only one other person (Carolyn! <3 ) that will even offer to watch all the kids, so I was more than happy. I knew the kids would have a fun break too.

I dropped them off around lunch time and then kept myself busy until my husband got off of work. I decided to window shop on third street in Mcminnville, and visit the public market they have every Saturday. I browsed through the tasty homemade breads and chocolates, rummaged through second hand books and peeked at all of the precious handmade jewelry and artwork galore. There was an aura of family friendliness mixed with a hippy flair. I felt at home. :)

fresh locally grown fruits and vegetabes

I finally drug myself away when Wayne told me he was heading home. Our plan was to have a quiet evening at home, and cook up some fun new dinner recipe together, and end the evening in the backyard with a fire pit and a bottle of wine. Well, it seems when you make plans, it is almost a sure thing they will be broken. My step-grandfather was rushed from Southern Oregon to the VA in Portland Thursday. What they once thought to just be a large hernia bugging him turned out to be much more. He kept insisting for two months something else was going on, and it wasn't until this week they found a large tumor wrapped around his spine, and in his bladder. The performed surgery immediately, and luckily no damage happened to his spinal chord. The tumor had deteriorated 1 1/2 of his lumbar vertebrae; doctors were able to replace them with steel rods and a metal cage. So far, he is doing remarkably well. We went to visit him, and our family, putting our 'date' on hold.
They are currently still testing to see what type of cancer he has. Depending on the results, we will see if radiation/chemotherapy, or surgical removal of his bladder will be the next move.

He is extremely positive.
It amazes me.

Wayne and I didn't leave the hospital until nearly 9pm, and we were starving. Luckily we made it to Rose's before they closed and inhaled the world's best Reuben sandwich, onion rings and a chicken apple salad with candied walnuts and mozzarella cheese. We took some creme brulee' cheesecake and a slice of chocolate cake to go and eat around our fire, but by the time we got home we were just to exhausted. We fell asleep and woke up, ate breakfast, and went to get the kiddos.

Things don't always go exactly how you want, but sometimes knowing that you made someone elses day and did the right thing, makes everything worth it.

Life is short.

And when you're feeling down and sorry for yourself, remember to count all of the blessings you have in your life - starting with your health, because we seem to take that for granted.

Happy Mommy Monday. Remember to breathe. <3

Creating. Simplifying. Inspiring.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

{Oh So} Easy Italian Appetizer

Hey! I hope everyone is having a fab week! It's flying by here.
I just want to thank everyone who has been so kind to comment on my posts lately, I love reading them!
As I was loading these pictures for this post, it occured to me that I have been showing lots of recipes the past couple weeks. It's probably because cooking is something that pretty much has to be done daily whether I want to or not. So every now and then I try to get a little bit creative because I tend to fall into food ruts, and as much as I love cooking, I get tired of my own cooking, and bored. One of these days I'll show off some more crafts and organizing ;)

Today I have a simple, tasty appetizer that is a slight twist to the classic tomato basil bruschetta, because instead of bruschetta I used cresent roll dough.

Easy Italian Appetizer


fresh basil
red onion
roma tomatoe
mozzarella cheese (fresh would be delicious, but I didn't have any)
crescent rolls
balsamic vinegar

Unroll crescent rolls and flatten together on a baking sheet.
Thinly slice mozzarella and cover dough
slice Tomato, onions, and layer on top of cheese
top with basil and drizzle balsamic vinegar.

Bake @ 350 for approx 15-20 min, until crust is golden brown.

I topped mine with more fresh basil after it was done baking.
Cut into squares and serve on platter drizzles with more balsamic.

Enjoy :)


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

***~ Blueberry Tart! ~***

Gees Louise has it really been 6 days since I've posted anything? Sometimes it amazes me how quickly time flies after you have children. Days are non-stop and seem to run together, and before you know it its the end of the month! I've been trying to get the kids bedrooms under control the last two days, first I had them clean it, then I went in, and we really cleaned. It is crazy how much stuff can fit underneath beds and dressers! Two garbage bags full of stuff later...we are almost done with the girl's room - which was the biggest chore. On to Noah's now which shouldn't take me too long. :)

After a very stressful week I was able to sneak away for a couple hours and catch up with some of the girls Saturday night. The hubs popped a tent out in the backyard and him and the kids camped out while I snuck out. Lets just say we were both tired when we got up the next morning!

So, blueberries are in season now and I love them. I haven't gone blueberry picking with the kids yet, but will soon. I personally think blueberries are perfect for kids to help with. They are easy to reach, easy to pick, and have no thorns. I try to take them down to Farmer John's once a season and let them pick away and then reward them with a smoothie or milkshake.
I was lucky and my friend gave me two gallon size bags of blueberries, so I went ahead and made a blueberry tart. Bad idea. I could NOT stop eating it! And worse, I convinced myself it was good because of all the oats and berries. I mean, its pretty much like breakfast, right? ;) Seriously, it was that good. You have to try it....

Blueberry Tart

What you need:

1 cup oats ( I used a granola that I hammered into little pieces ;) )
2 cups flour + 2 T
1/2 cup butter melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds

1. Mix oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and butter together.
2. Take out 1 cup of mix to use as topping.
3. Press the rest into the bottom of a pan. I used two smalled pans.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes @ 375.

5. While that is cooking clean berries and place 2 cups of them in a pot with the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and add flour to thicken. (you can use corn starch too, flour is all I had at the time. To use flour as a thickener, mix with an ounce or two of water and then pour into blueberry mixture.)

6. Take crust out and pour berries on top. Sprinkle remainder 1/4 blueberries over. Then top with the reserved 1 cup oats mixture and finally top with almonds.

7. Place back into the oven for 50-60 minutes.


Mix Oats and brown sugar (I had mostly granola, with a little plain oats)

Take 1 cup out to use for later

Press into bottom of pans

All ready to bake

Final creation. Cut into squares and place on serving dish. They won't last long! :)

Until the next adventure,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baked Zucchini Boats

Happy Thursday everyone. I know it totally should be Thirsty Thursday ;) but since I haven't had time to drink my way through creative cocktail concoctions, you'll just have to buy some wine for tonight and make something delish to go with it.Thirsty Thursday is a good idea though...hmm... ;)
So, after browsing through so many tasty looking recipes on here lately, I decided to get a little creative with what ingredients I had on hand here at my house. This is super simple, but tastes really really good. Here it it:

Baked Zucchini Boats

Zucchini (I used five)
Ricotta cheese
Cheddar cheese - or any kind of shredded cheese blend
One can fire roasted diced tomatoes

Clean all the zucchini and then slice lengthwise.
Using a spoon scoop out the middle of the zucchini to make a 'boat'
spread ricotta cheese on the bottom, then top with tomatoes and then cheddar cheese.
Bake @ 375 for approx 45min-1hr.
I lost time there at the end, so I'm not exactly sure...I'm thinking it was about an hour total that it was in the oven. What I did was cook the zucchini in the same dish as my chicken breasts, and I just poured the rest of the tomatoes in with it. It was a really easy dinner that tasted like it was much harder to make ;).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pictures and Versatile Blogger Award

This week is flying by! Lots of things have been going on, between doctors appointments, dentists, two year old tantrums, and a dear friend has been going through a lot and I've been trying to help her as much as I can. Here's a peek into the last few days around here...

A rare moment of all giggles and no whining! :)
Anika wanted to take a picture of me trimming the outgrown rose bushes
Parades Parades! Mcminnville had their annual Turkey Rama fest last weekend and we attended the parade. Noah absolutely freaked out when he saw this! He was so excited :)

My big girl ordering curly fries all by herself <3

Blue Italian Ice lips girls

My much needed Mocha. There may or may not have been peppermint Schnapps inside...

Last time I wrote I mentioned that I was so lucky to be nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks SO much Sugar Plums and Lollipops!

Here's the rundown for the award. (1) You are supposed to link back to who nominated you. (2.) Tell everyone 7 random facts about yourself. (3.)Include the award image in the post. (4.)Nominate 15 other bloggers. Link to their site, and comment on their site to let them know they have been nominated!

Random facts? Hmm. Here goes.
1. I have an extra lumbar vertebrae. Ya, weird. The chiropractor had a perplexed look for a second as he looked at my xrays! :)
2. I was a CNA for 7 years before I became an LPN. Actually, I still have my CNA licence...not that it matters :)
3. I am kinda obsessed with honey mustard - the way kids {heart} ranch.
4. I'm a talkative person, but it takes me a long time to open up. So when you first meet me, you will probably think I'm a quiet person. :)
5. I <3 Riesling.
6. I can't swim. Still need to take those lessons.
7. I'm creative, but impatient. I can't stand things that take longer than a day to complete!

Okay, so now I will nominate some fellow bloggers! Since I am pretty new here and am still 'meeting' people, what I'm going to do is pick some people who have been following me, and a few I've been stalking!


Until the next quick break from chaos, ;)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Little Kitchen, & Thank You's...

small kitchen

Here's my little Kitchen. Its nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. It has an eclectic collection of creations from my children included sporadically throughout it. It isn't magazine perfect, and its slightly cluttered. But it is where a majority of my time is spent. If I had my dream kitchen I would opt for almost anything other than oak cabinets, icky fake pergo floors, and the green counter tops would go too. But it is my first house, and if you have little kids, you know you don't want anything 'too nice' because it surely will not stay that way.

small kitchen

small kitchen
The fridge is a proud revolving art gallery of my children's creations. A little calendar with the family's schedule is always hanging.

small kitchen

Even less organized on the side, is where I throw all the junk mail until I get around to going through it, obviously in this picture it was about time! The not-so-good picture of the wooden basket next too it, is where I keep our bread and apples. It was a cool find at a Christmas bazaar one year. Its made from a tree trunk and the handle is a root.
small kitchen

small kitchen
I keep our knifes handy on the counter, and our most used cooking utensils in a mason jar. The blender and coffee maker stay on the counter as well, because we use them pretty frequently. Between them is one of my favorite little items, an old glass cake stand that I found for a steal.

small kitchen

But perhaps my favorite part in my kitchen is our little farm animals. These are NOT pretty to most, but I simply {heart} them! My two girls made these when they were little, they are little plaster of Paris creations we poured into little animal molds and they then painted them. Anika must have been 6, and Emma just 2. They have had lots of love, and a few bite marks in them!

small kitchen


small kitchen

If my husband gets off of work in time, we are going to go down and check out the Saturday market, and Mcminnville is having an "Artists Village" this weekend outside the oak trees at Linfield college. Over 50 Oregon artists, 10 local winery's, and some delish snacks will be there. Hope we can check it out, and if we do, I'll be sure to take pics :)
Lastly, I'd like to thank Kimberlee from The Peaceful Mom and Terry from Cherished Treasures for both featuring my post 31 Fun Kid Activities.
ALSO, much thanks to Sugar Plums and Lollipops for nominating me for the Versatile Blog Award! When I get a few extra minutes I will talk more about it :).

Well off I go, back to mom-world.
Til next time,