Neapolitan Krispie Treats

Last week while cruising Pinterest I came across these amazing Neapolitan Krispie Treats from Bakingdom.com.  Do they not look amazing?

Strawberry-Nutella-Krispies-Treats-from-Bakingdom

Since my family and I all love rice krispie treats I thought this would be a good thing to try for our memorial day cookout.  One of these days I will learn to follow a recipe as written instead of thinking I know what I am doing.  First of all, this recipe called for nutella along with plain rice krispies to make the chocolate layer.  I did not have any nutella, but I had cocoa krispies to substitute.  That layer actually turned out just fine.  Where I really got into trouble was with the strawberry layer.  Her recipe called for strawberry jam and freeze-dried strawberries.  I had the strawberry jam but no dried strawberries.  I decided to substitute some real strawberries I had by throwing them in the food processor.  The result was less than perfect.  The strawberry layer was too moist and not nearly pink enough.

Neopolitan-Rice-Krispies

I must say though that they tasted just great and we had no issues emptying this platter.  The next time I am at the store I am going to get some freeze dried strawberries and try this again until I get it right.  Fortunately the smoked ribs and the grilled salmon turned out perfect thanks to the hubby.

RIbs-and-Salmon

On a post-surgery recovery note, I am pretty close to losing the cane but still having issues with range of motion, meaning I can not get my knee to bend more than 95-100 degrees.  Optimal for post TKR is 125 degrees.  My physical therapist tells me the issue for me is that I still have a significant amount of swelling in the joint and until that is reduced my knee will just not bend any farther.  I need to spend more time laying on my back with my knee iced and elevated above my heart.  Still looking for a way to do that and keep working my day job.  Maybe my IT guy can rig up something that will project my computer screen to the ceiling.  Any ideas?

 

Honoring and Remembering

Dad

Today I am thinking about my dad Jesse Spencer, my father-in-law Kenneth Guetlich, all of my uncles, my brother David Spencer and friends, Fred Weixeldorfer, Fred Weixeldorfer, Jr, Jake Boswell, Ashley Powell and Samantha Pittala, plus all the many others who have served our country providing us with a daily  freedom that is easily taken for granted when that is all you have ever known.   For those that have given their lives in service to our country,  mere words of thanks seem so very inadequate, but I am forever grateful.

Post-Op Update

I am quickly approaching the five week post-op mark since my TKR (total knee replacement) and have made great progress in many areas.  I have  replaced the walker with a cane, started outpatient physical therapy and drastically reduced my pain meds.  All of those milestones are good things, yet I can not seem to shake the “feeling sorry for myself” phase.

Two of the last three weeks the MR. has had to travel out of town for business.  This means I have had lots of alone time which has contributed to this mental state.  My daughter was with me in the evenings the first week he was gone which was a good thing since I was mostly confined to the second level of my house.  I was just starting to come up and down our 17 stairs and did not feel comfortable doing that with no one else in the house.  I have a little fridge in my master closet and we stocked up a basket with fruit, crackers, peanut butter and other snacks for my lunches.

foodbasket

I did not need anything and got along just fine, but you can only watch so many episodes of Million Dollar Listing without going a little stir crazy.

This past week when the hubby was gone again,  a friend took me to my physical therapy appointments and even out to dinner one evening since I am not suppose to drive yet.  It was great to get out of the house.  She even forced me to have ice cream after one of my sessions!

Sonic-sundae

I have also gone back to work, which in my case means commuting down the hall to my home office.  I started part time a couple of weeks ago, but this past week I worked full time.  I do not recommend going back to work so early in the post surgery recovery.  Between physical therapy and the stress of work, I have been REALLY tired.  Bedtime has been about 8:30 or 9:00 each evening.

I am so looking forward to this holiday weekend and trying to move closer to my regular routine.  We will be attending a wedding, cooking out with family and working on a couple of home projects.  I already feel the fog lifting.  Have a great weekend friends!

A week out

One week post-op and I am alive to tell the tale.  Overall I am doing well but I have decided that TKR – Total Knee Replacement must be similar to child birth.  The pain is quickly forgotten in retrospect.  That must be the case because I totally do not remember having this pain a year ago with my other TKR.   I know that I never cried at physical therapy before, but that is exactly what I did at my first home session on Monday.  My PT is as nice as can be but he totally reminds me of a retired marine drill sergeant.  He is built like a bulldog and sports a totally bald head.  He ask often if I am doing ok, but does not let up on pushing me to do one more heel slide.  He is intense and totally the meanest most serious of all the PT’s I have worked with.  I know he is just what I need to push past this pain, I just wish it was more of the “licked on by kittens” pain instead of the “my leg was just sawn in half” type of pain.

To help get past this “feel sorry for myself” phase I decided to look back at one of my pinterest boards created just for occasions like this.  The board is titled, “Things that make me smile!” and here are a few items included.

MOM (via Taylor Lampson)

HokeyPokey(qualitypeoples.com)

gladyour home(via SherryCurrie)

Baby(murat Tavli)

To see all the things on this board you can follow it here:

You can be sure I will be looking at this Board many times over the next few weeks.  If you can think of other items that will make me smile, please send them my way.  I need all the help I can get!

 

 

Bits and Pieces #7

1.  My husband is an enabler………he knows my weakness.  Hello my name is Theresa and I have a problem.  I love PEEPS!  My kids always received PEEPS from the Easter Bunny and they did not even like them very much.  Bad bunny!

Peeps

2.  Went shopping at Joanne’s last Sunday and picked up some material for a couple of new projects.  Here is a sneak peak.  Any ideas what I might be making?

fabric

3.  Everytime I go to Joanne’s I stop by to drool over watch the Husqvarna Viking Embroidery Machines do their magic.   I really, really, really want one of these.  This time I even picked up some brochures and brought them home.  Maybe if I lay them around the hubby will take notice and surprise me someday.  You think?

Viking-Husqvarna-Sewing-Emb

 

4.  Although I have had my spring chalkboard up for a LONG time, it seemed to take forever for spring to finally arrive.  Hopefully it is here to stay now.

Spring-2014

 

5.  In less than 24 hours I will be undergoing the last of my four joint surgeries!  I am very much ready to conclude this journey I started four years ago.  I have many plans and goals to pursue and I am READY to get started.  However, those first 3-4 weeks post surgery are excruciating for me.  Sure, there is pain and mild physically therapy torture but that does not hurt me as much as the dependency on others and inconvenience to my normal schedule and activities.  To say that I have a lack of patience is a little bit of an understatement, so if you hear a little (or a lot) of whining for the next month, please bear with me, I will get over it!  See you on the other side!

Never-said-it-would-be-easy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Gatherings|April|Brunch|Cinnamon Rolls

Last Sunday was stormy, cloudy and the perfect day to stay in and host a brunch for friends.  We started with a fun Bloody Mary Bar that included the usual vodka and Zing Zang.  For the adventuresome who preferred to build their own we added tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and pepper.  Toppings included lemon and lime slices, celery sticks, green olives and jalepenos.  Yummy!

 

BM-Bar

Although this was not an Easter brunch per say, I could not resist adding some fun napkins folded in the shape of bunny ears.  There are many tutorials out there in blog land to show you how to fold these.  Here is a link to the one I used.

Bunny-ears

table-setting

When I host a brunch I frequently purchase a Honey Baked Ham because it is SOOOO easy and most everyone enjoys it.  The serving instructions suggest just bringing it to room temperature.  Could it be any easier?   Dave also likes it because we usually have enough leftovers for his lunch for an entire week.

 

Honeybaked-Ham

Our friends pitched in with a couple of savory egg casseroles, some muffins and amazing individual cherry cheesecakes.  I also used this occasion to make a batch of my mom’s cinnamon rolls.  When I was growing up, my mom made bread every Sunday and I never once saw her use a recipe.  I also do not recall ever seeing her measure ingredients.  My sister inherited this baking gene and she is always in charge of hot rolls on holidays.   A few years before my mom passed away I had her tell me her recipe and I wrote it down.  She said she was just guessing on the measurements.

Nena making cinnamon rolls

I have only tried making these a few times and they have turned out differently every time.  They tasted fine but they did not measure up to my mom’s or even my sister’s cinnamon rolls.  I will keep trying though!

Iced-Cin-Rolls

Here is the recipe if you would like to try also:

Nenas-Cinnamon-Rolls

For a printable version click Nena’s Cinnamon Rolls.

 

Goodbye to Eddie

A moment of silence please!  In a few days we will be saying good-bye to Eddie, a valued contributor to our family for over twelve years.

Eddie

When he first came into our life our daughters were only only 17, 14 and 10 years old.  Eddie accompanied us to many music lessons, dance class, swim meets, cheerleading practice, work and countless trips around town.  He taught two of the three girls to drive but they each felt he was a little too big and not really “cool” enough for their taste.  He did not take this rebuff personally though and continued to accompany us to work and even on vacations.  He moved all three girls into dorm rooms, and other dorm rooms, apartments and other apartments and back home again.  He has gently carried the wedding dresses of two of our daughters on their special days.    He even professed his love for our Kansas City Chiefs by prominently displaying their logo on his license plate for all the world to see.

As Eddie got older he spent more and more time resting in the garage and letting the younger whipper snapper take on the day to day operations.  He was only called on for those really hard days when his special skill was very much appreciated.

Explorer-snow

The day he met his maker was dark and stormy.  He was performing flawlessly as usual, keeping our youngest safe from violent winds and hail.  Boy was that hail nasty looking…..

Hail-storm

It was just too much for Eddie to bear.  They told us it was a total loss.  The cost of surgical repair far out- weighed the quality and value of remaining life.  It was best to let him go.  Farewell to our 2002 Eddie Bauer Ford Explorer.  You served us well!

And hello to you sweet young thing, you have any plans for the next ten years?

New ford edge

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

 

 

 

Countdown Redo

You would think I am ready to give birth with all the “nesting” that has been going on around here.   I am pretty sure it is related to the event that is going to happen in less than two weeks.  A couple of months ago I mentioned I was on a countdown for  knee-replacement surgery.  What I have not mentioned is that the weekend before my surgery I came down with an ugly virus.  It seems that dr’s do not like to cut you open when you are running a fever.  It was probably for the best since I was feeling pretty rotten, however, since my ortho doc is scheduled two months in advance, I had to wait eight weeks to get on his schedule again.  So now I am in countdown mode once again.

One thing I have been doing in preparation is “refreshing” my master bedroom.  Not really redecorating, just switching some things out and spring cleaning like crazy.  No drawer or closet is being spared!  Since I live in a two story house, those first few weeks after surgery I will be spending the majority of time in my bedroom so I do not have to climb my full flight of stairs too often.

stairsjpg

It is not such a hardship staying in my room with my favorite recliner, a 40″ HD TV, Netflix, my laptop, kindle, and a small refrigerator in my closet.  However,  it will not be a vacation by any stretch of the imagination.  I am already having nightmares about those dreaded white compression hose.

post-knee-surgery

The pain isn’t much fun either, hello happy pills!  I figured anything that can help brighten my mood during those first two weeks is a good thing, so I started by ordering a new duvet from pottery barn.

PB Essential Duvet Cover & Sham

I am typically someone who likes to decorate using lots of color.  However, for my bedroom I was thinking  about keeping it very neutral and calming.  The walls are painted my go-to color, Sherwin Williams Trusty Tan and the woodwork is painted white.  There is one slight problem with selecting this white duvet…..I have a black cat who thinks my bed is her bed.

Sleep-on-bed-2

I may regret this decision down the road but the good news is that this duvet can easily be thrown in the wash.  I will probably also keep my handy 3M lint roller in my nightstand drawer.  Oh the things we will do for the love of a family pet!

I also would like to get some new curtains, a couple of new lamps and a few new things for the walls.  Do you think I can get all this done in less than two weeks?

 

Tea Time

Our small town boasts one of Missouri’s top rated Tearooms as ranked by Teamap.com.  It is actually the only tearoom I have ever visited but based on my experiences here I would love to visit others.  It is located on the lower level of Henry’s Antiques and Collectibles, both of which are housed in a former historic church.

ChurchOn Saturday, I meet a group of friends for lunch, tea and great conversation.  As soon as we were shown to our table, we were provided with hot peach herbal tea and a shortbread cookie.

Tea

On this particular day, there were four entrees to choose from, each described in detail by our server.  All selections included rustic potato soup, a croissant and a salad with vinaigrette dressing.  A few in our party choose the Spinach and Bacon quiche.

Quiche

A few others choose the chicken salad.

chicken-salad

The portions were just perfect for lunch and everything tasted wonderful.  After the entrees were cleared, we were shown the dessert tray.

dessert-tray

I am pretty sure I gained five pounds just looking at this platter.  Since dessert is part of the price of lunch we felt obligated to indulge.  No one really had to twist our arms very hard.  Our choices included Missouri Mud cake, Carrot Cake, Bread Pudding, Ganache topped Chocolate Cake, Susie Q cake and Tea Cake.  A very difficult decision!

Besides being a very enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon,  I was inspired to add a Tea Party to my ever expanding list of entertaining options for my Small Gatherings Project.  Tea anyone?

 

Road Trip to Houston: Levi, Ikea and Food Trucks

The hubby and I took off a couple of weeks ago and headed south to visit  our daughter, son-in-law and this precious baby.  (I am not at all biased!)

Levi-in-carseat

We had so much fun watching Levi crawl and pull up on anything he could find, including Percy his dog.  Speaking of Percy, she has found a new favorite place to hang out, right under Levi’s high chair….there is always something to snack on!

Percy-with-cracker

While in Houston I had the opportunity to visit IKEA, something I have wanted to do for a long time.

Ikea

What a fun place……walls of dishes, candles, frames and about anything else you can think of.

Dishes

I need to find a place for these baskets in my house, love them!!

baskets

I may have found a couple of items that I could not live without and therefore had to bring home with me!  So excited for the Kansas City store to open this fall.

Our trip included an evening of music under the stars while enjoying dinner from Houston’s multitude of  food trucks. Our fare included Lobster Mac and Cheese, Tofu Enchiladas, Catfish Bites and Fish Tacos. Yum!

food-truck

food-truck-1

A really fun part of our trip was joining Levi while he attended the first birthday party of one of his friends.  I was able to capture him in a RARE moment of stillness.  I think he was watching the birthday boy walk all over the place and dreaming of the day he could do that!  I can guarantee it will not be long.

rare-moment

We had a great trip and I can’t wait to go back!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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