Curly Crafty Mom: March 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

30x30 Challenge KICKOFF - April. My 30 Items

Well, it is time for another 30x30 Challenge, this will be my FOURTH... If you are wondering what a 30x30 Challenge is, it is when you select 30 items from your closet and wear them exclusively for the next 30 days. The 30 items does include shoes, but not jewelry or accessories such as scarves, hats or bags. Kelly over at Modern Camelot is hosting this challenge and you can visit her 30x30 Challenge page to read all about what the challenge is about.

I recently became a stay at home mom (see post HERE), so this will be my first time doing the challenge wearing 'mom' clothes. In the previous challenges I wore a lot of slacks, but this time it is all jeans, except for some skirts and a dress. I also only have one pair of heels out of the six shoes, because flats rule when you are chasing around kids all day. I do want to wear heels from time to time, but I need to invest in some comfier ones... I am eying the Spring Toms wedges. Anyway, I am really looking forward to this challenge and I hope you will follow along!

Photos from Previous 30x30 Challenges I've Done:

November 30x30 Challenge
August 30x30 Challenge

May 30x30 Challenge

Now, let's get started... below you will see the 30 items I will be wearing for the next (eek) 30 days!

1. Old Navy Silver Flats
2. Gap Neon Yellow and Tan Flats
3. Charming Charlie Navy Flats
4. Nine West Wedges
5. Sperry Gold
6. Toms White Lace

7. Old Navy White Sweetheart Crop Pants
8. Forever 21 Mint Jeans 
9. Old Navy Polka Dot Jeans 
10. Express Barely Boot Stella, Regular Fit, Low Rise
11.  Old Navy Skinny Fit Distressed Jeans

12. Gap Navy/White Striped Maxi Skirt
13. Gap White Eyelet Skirt

14. Old Navy Chambray T-Shirt Dress

15. Old Navy Jean Jacket
16. Nordstrom Utility Jacket

17. Old Navy Grey Cardi
18. Loft Light Pink Cardi
19. Old Navy Kelly Green Cardi

Button Down Shirts
20. J. Crew Anchor & Polka Dot Button Down Shirt
21. Forever 21 Plaid Shirt
22. Old Navy Chambray Shirt

Sleeved Shirts 
23. Banana Republic Polka Dot Sequin Shirt
24. Banana Republic Pink/Navy/White Striped Shirt
25. J. Crew Pastel Tee
26. J. Crew Coral/White Light Sweater
27. Gap White/Grey Tee

Sleeveless Shirts
28. Forever 21 Floral Sleeveless Shirt
29. Forever 21 Lace Sleeveless Shirt
30. Banana Republic Pink Sleeveless Shirt 

See the other ladies 30 Items for This Week:

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Instagram Blog Hop

Please read carefully over the rules for the hop! And don’t forget to link up your Instagram web profile below!!

Follow your host and co-hosts
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2.) Link up your Instagram webprofile
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This option is easier! Simply go to click “login” then click “my photos” & copy and paste that url like shown & choose a photo and you are done…

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Curly Momma's Weekend Happenings and Meal Plan, Week 6

It is week 6 of meal planning and this week brings warmer temps! Last week was the most challenging week I've ever had with the whole meal planning thing, because all of us (except Brian) came down with the plague stomach bug. We are all feeling MUCH better now and I am craving any extra calories I can get this week. You can see the meal plan for last week (week 5) by clicking HERE.

SOOoo. Usually I include photos of a few of the meals that I made last week, but since we were in survival mode I didn't take ANY photos. Sorry... but, I am going to include photos of a few of the meals that I plan to make this week to make up for it!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 

My brilliant idea while I ran for the first time after recovering from the plague (stomach flu). A bath picnic. Yes, this is ALL for ME. Oh heck yes!!
Friday I got my last long run in for my half training (8 miles!) and then went to the grocery store and got salami, cheese, crackers and wine and then enjoyed a Lush bubble 'bath picnic'. 

Hit my usual stores (Banana Republic, Gap, J. Crew and ON) today at the outlet stores. I shopped and shopped and shopped... Wow, I scored some deals. Here are a few dressing room selfies... I am really digging all the anchor pieces and got several for me
On Saturday I went to see Divergent at the 5 Star (where you get reclined seats, food service, etc. ahhh!!) and then I hit my favorite stores at the outlets for some Spring discounts. I can not get enough of all of the anchor outfits and accessories out there... especially since we are going to Destin this summer! I also fell in love with this chambray t-shirt dress at ON (first photo), I can't wait to style it different ways such as with a belt and cardi or utility jacket.

Easter blog graphic
Sunday was pretty low key, but I started my online Easter Bible Study with the Good Girls, did our meal plan and grocery shopping for the week and planned out my 30x30 clothes for the next challenge.

Are you ready for the meal plan for this week? Here ya go!

Menu Plan for Week of March 30, 2014:

Sunday - Chinese
Every other week we get take out Chinese for dinner. Yum!

Monday - Tacos We didn't get to tacos last week due to us being sick, so I am making them this week!

Tuesday - Breakfast Burritos (from freezer stash) with a fruit salad, recipe HERE   
These breakfast burritos are packed with either sausage or bacon, egg, Velvetta cheese AND tater tots! This freezer recipe makes TWELVE burritos, so you can eat two for dinner and freeze the rest for a quick morning meal or even breakfast for lunch on the go! Just pull it out from the freezer and pop it in the microwave for 80 seconds on each side.

Wednesday - Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup with Bread-maker White Loaf Bread, recipe HERE
Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup Recipe from   
Nathan tried some vegetable soup at Schnucks when he was there with Brian getting groceries and now wants me to make some. The Schnucks recipe looked really time consuming and made A LOT of vegetable soup! I wanted something easier so I found this slow cooker vegetable soup that is easy to tweak... such as, I am not sure if I'll leave the meat in it or the lima beans... I also plan to add some sliced potato chunks. Anyway, it should be easy enough and I hope Nathan enjoys it!

Thursday - Slow Cooker Steak Diane with Twice Baked Potatoes, recipe HERE
Two days in a row of slow cooker meals? Why not! Also, I've been craving some Twice Baked Potatoes! Yummmm!

Friday - Pizza (Frozen) Fridays are SO crazy around here and it seems I never feel like cooking by the time Friday evening rolls around. So, this Friday we are having Mama Lucia frozen pizza!

Saturday - Bourbon Chicken with Rice, recipe HERE
My second week of meal planning, tonight I made Bourbon Chicken with white rice. The kids always gobble this up, it is one of their favorite meals I make. Link to recipe and to the rest of my eats for the week in my profile or   
The kids LOVE this meal and I do, too! It is SO easy, too! I actually got this recipe a LONG time ago from the Babycenter Bargain thread!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring is in the air! Easter eggs galore!

Spring break was last week and we had maybe ONE and a half days with Spring-like weather! So, Autumn is quite the artist and she has been B.E.G.G.I.N.G. me every hour... ok, every minute... to dye eggs! Sooo... since I love to dye eggs out on the patio, I said we could do it if it got warm enough. Which it did... so, HERE are the kids with their big bowl of eggs!

Autumn helped me set up the table outside and it turned out really cute... it was a little windy out that day, so we did need to weight a few things down... but, it worked out really well!

And let the dying begin! They both had their own sets of dye, so they didn't need to share... which worked out perfectly.

Nat-dying-an-egg Nathan-hand_Dying-egg
Nathan at work.

Aut-dying-an-egg Aut-looking-at-an-egg-and-holding-it-up
Autumn at work

Here is another one of Autumn, isn't this the most colorful photo ever? I love!

Nat-and-his-Ninja-turtle Nat-holding-up-pink-egg
Nathan showing off some of his finished eggs... I love how his 'jack o lantern' look is starting to fill in some... he really lost a lot of teeth right after Christmas!

Autumn took forever to dye all of her eggs and Nathan was much quicker... I think due to him being a couple years older. Nathan loved turning all of his eggs into Ninja turtles, so that sort of evened out the time... while she was still dying, he was working with stickers.

Egg-Thrown_in-grass Egg-Thrown_Nathan-looking-at-egg-Aut-threw
Every so often, Autumn would just randomly throw one of her eggs out into the yard... she'd tell us that it was an 'ugly' egg and she didn't like its color. Nathan would then run out and take it, even though it was cracked! lol! These kids crack me up!

My favorite egg that Autumn did... she used a wax crayon and wrote her name and it is so dainty and small. I had no idea she could even write this small. Oh, I just want to keep this egg forever. :)

After they dyed their eggs, I got a photo of them with the eggs under the tulip tree.

All of Nathan's ninjas

Autumn and her eggs... poor girl didn't have as many as Nathan, because he dyed them faster before I realized it AND she threw several in the yard, because she didn't like their color. lol. But, she was proud of her eggs!

After the eggs had dried, I told the kids to wait in the house and I hid all of their eggs in the back yard. Then, I let them search for them. Ohhh, did they have fun. :)

Egg-Hunt_Nat Egg-Hunt_Aut-looking-for-eggs
Both of them looking for eggs

Except... Nathan thought it'd be funny to throw one of Autumn's eggs at her and it hit her on the back of her shirt. And... it just so happened to be her most favorite pink egg and it was now cracked. Oh did the tears fly. Don't worry, we made her a new pink egg inside... I had an extra pink dye tablet leftover from a previous year. Oh, bless her heart. :)


Fortunately, Nathan's most favorite egg did not get cracked or damaged during the egg hunt.

Nathan counting all of the eggs he collected. What a fun day that was... I wish the warm temps would have stayed as it SNOWED today! Ugh!

A little Monday pick me up, since I  am still recovering from a cold  Autumn and I went to Hobby Lobby after school, I have a Spring wreath idea, had to have the ceramic egg holder, Modge Podge and a darling little bird cage that I plan to use for a proje

If you follow me on Instragram, you saw that I went to Hobby Lobby this week and found the most darling ceramic egg holder. I hope to display a few of their eggs that they dyed in this until Easter. Oh, do I love HobLobs! Stay tuned for some Easter and Spring crafts coming your way on the blog soon! Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Recipe: Skinny Zucchini Lasagna

I made this recipe the FIRST week of sahm bliss and I have been meaning to share this recipe with you, but haven't had the chance to yet. I always think of zucchini lasagna dishes as vegetarian dishes, but this one has ground beef in the homemade tomato sauce. I made an 9x12 pan of this dish and not a drop was wasted, it is so good and I think it is one of my favorite recipes I've made at home. You can find the original source for this recipe HERE, I did tweak a few things from the original recipe in this post.

Preheat the oven to 350. First, you will make the homemade tomato sauce, which is OH so good. I really would love to make this my tomato sauce for everything! First, brown the meat (I use ground chuck) then drain any fat. Add olive oil to the pan and add garlic (I used the jar kind) and onions until cooked through. Return the meat to the pan, add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low for at least 30-40 minutes. The sauce DOES take some time to make, so if you want to save some time, you could make it the night before.

Cut-up-zucchiniNext, you'll want to use a potato peeler and peel off the skins of the zucchini. Then, use a mandolin to slice the zucchini into 1/8" slices. My husband has a mandolin, but I didn't know where it was... so, I just hand peeled them... they look a little sloppy (sorry!), but honestly you could not tell once I layered it with the meat sauce and cheese and it still tasted great! So, if you don't have a mandolin, do not despair! You can still make this recipe. :) You want to lightly salt the zucchini and let it sit for 10 minutes, it will sweat and you want to soak up the water with a paper towel. Zucchini retains a lot of moisture and you want to expel some of the moisture out of it so that your lasagna isn't soggy!

Cook the zucchini 1-2 minutes per side on a pan on the stove.

In a bowl mix the ricotta cheese parmesan cheese and egg. 

Then, we are finally at my FAVORITE part of making lasagna... the LAYERING! First, add some sauce on the bottom of the 9x12 pan and layer zucchini on top to cover. Then layer the ricotta cheese mixture the mozzarella cheese and REPEAT until everything is used up! Top the lasagna with the remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese and then cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes covered and then 15 minutes uncovered. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving so it is easier to cut.

Then, eat up! It is so, SO good! This recipe is such a keeper!

Does anyone know where you can find colored or fancier baking dishes at? I would love to have something prettier for baking up casseroles and lasagnas and my 9x12 clear glass Pyrex is so dull these days. Any ideas where I can find affordable yet fancy baking dishes?

Zucchini Lasagna (
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1/8Calories: 345


1 lb 93% lean beef (I used ground chuck)
3 cloves garlic (I used the kind that comes in the jar)
1/2 onion
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8" thick (I peeled the skins off the zucchini before slicing)
15 oz part-skim ricotta
16 oz part-skin mozzarella cheese, shredded (Sargento)
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1 large egg

See directions above or at

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