Thursday, December 18, 2008

My little Christmas princess

Christmas time...

I love Christmas time. It's by far my favorite time of year. I love the colder weather, the snow, the Christmas lights around town, the way my house looks and feels with the Christmas tree up, Christmas music, and making my house fill up with the aroma of baked goodies. I also enjoy decorating my house. Even though it's on a very small scale, I like putting little Christmas tidbits around the house, enough to make me smile and feel all warm and "Christmasy" when I look at them. I thought I'd share with you a few pictures of things around my house.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Things that bring me joy (besides my family)...

reading a good book
listening to music
decorating my home
drinking wine
tree lined streets
houseplants in pretty pots
creating things with my hands
getting new all natural skincare
learning about healthy living and eating
new books and DVD's from the library
watching romantic comedies
eating Haagen Dazs chocolate ice cream
connecting with a friend
my bed
shopping at Target
a clean, organized home
good coffee
eating at a favorite restaurant
looking at decorating blogs and magazines
shopping at Whole Foods
Christmas time (baking, listening to Christmas music, decorating, snow)
hot bubble baths
research/intellectual stimulation
browsing Barnes & Noble with a cup of coffee


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ridiculously simple, yet the best sugar cookies you'll ever eat, sugar cookie recipe...

3 sticks of softened butter
2 cups of sugar
(cream together)

add 4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
(beat with creamed butter and sugar)

2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
5 cups flour (I did 3 cups organic, unbleached white and 2 cups whole wheat pastry)
(mix in separate bowl first, and then beat together with creamed mixture to make dough)

Put dough in fridge for about 15 minutes to harden it a little. Roll out the dough to desired thickness and make shapes with cookie cutters.

I make these every Christmas and my family goes nuts over them. I know they are LOADED with fattening, ingredients, but, hey--it's Christmas. You gotta splurge sometimes!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New York, New York

I just got back not too long ago from a trip to New York. What an amazing experience. I have a cousin that I am very close to and grew up with that lives there. My friend from Las Vegas who is close to my cousin as well flew in to New York also. We all got to hang out like old times. I actually went by myself. No kids, no hubbies. It was great. I even flew by myself, which I was nervous about, but ended up loving it. I was only there for three days which was just enough. Any longer and I would have missed my kids too much.

I have to say, I absolutely love New York but I couldn't live there. I little too fast paced for me. Everybody is always movin' and a groovin'! Riding the subway was definitely an experience in itself. My cousin lives in Brooklyn so we spent quite a bit of time there. We also took the train into Manhattan and walked around (ALOT!) and did some shopping and eating. We went to China Town and Soho. I got to shop at the Whole Foods in Manhattan which was amazing. That place was huge with two levels and a huge restaurant area. I loved it!

One of my favorite places to eat was a place called Paloma's in Brooklyn. One of the contestants on "The Next Food Network Star" opened this place up. It had great food, amazing atmosphere and yummy drinks. This place was probably one of the highlights of the trip for me. My friend, Sheila, was freaking out because she didn't know that the owner was a contestant from "The Next Food Network Star" and she LOVES that show. She ended up talking to Camille Beccera and getting an autograph and picture with her.

I definitely want to visit New York again. I actually would like to bring my family with me next time and stay longer. It's one of those places that you at least have to visit once in your lifetime!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Free to wear Sunscreen!

I wanted to share this video with you. The words were written by a lady named Mary Schmich in 1997. She wrote it as an essay assignment. It was later published in the Chicago Tribune. This was also used in the movie The Big Kahuna. I hope it touches you like it has me!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First day of preschool!

Today was a monumental day in the Grigsby household. Maleah went to preschool. After 4 years of being at home with mom she is spreading her little wings and venturing out to make new friends and learn new things. She was soooo excited about going. She woke up bright and early and ready to go. I, on the other hand, was a wreck. Well, not really, but I felt really weird. I felt anxious and unsteady. We rarely get a babysitter for her let alone hand her over to complete strangers for five hours a day, twice a week. But, this preschool is awesome and I feel very comfortable leaving her there. They were very loving and nurturing towards her. I actually think it's going to be very good for her. And Lord knows I need the "me" time. I drove around today after I dropped her off and I didn't know what to do. It felt so foreign to not have her. Thursday will be different. I will get into a routine of cleaning the house, going to the gym, shopping, having coffee with girlfriends and whatever else may come my way. Lovely! I think I'm going to enjoy this season of my life.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First football game...

Here is a picture of Jarod in his football uniform at his first game this year. Doesn't he look good?! Unfortunately, they lost their first game. But I assured him it was okay because they had many more games to play and win. Go Jarod!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hot Peas N Butter!

I bet you think I'm talking about food. Nope! Hot Peas N Butter is a children's musical group. They have been featured on Nickelodeon and Noggin. They are awesome! They were in town and we took Maleah to go see them. We had a great time. Their music is very appealing to adults as well. It's a little bit of jazz, funk, latino and some other really cool sounding music. We bought their cd and had each of the members sign their name on it. Malaeah even got to take a picture with them (sorry, it's a little blurry). She was pretty proud of that. Check them out at

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A new green smoothie concoction...

Let me first start off by saying that I'm sorry it's been so long since I've blogged. We haven't done the "Around the World" meal in a couple of weeks because Jarod has been gone. He was staying with his football coach while they had two practices a day; one at 6am and one at 6pm. It's a long drive to his practice, so to alleviate some of the pressure for me to get him there he just stayed with his coach for these past two weeks and came home on the weekends.

Now, to the subject at hand, green smoothies. As most of you know, I LOVE green smoothies. I have one pretty much every morning. Some people use coffee to get them going in the morning. I use green smoothies. I wanted to share with you a concoction that I came up with the other day that I'm really diggin' right now. It's pretty calorie loaded, but I don't eat anything else until lunch time.

1-2 frozen bananas
1 avocado (yes, tastes good)
2 mandarin oranges
handful of spinach
1 cup or so of water

Throw in your spinach and water and then blend together. Throw in your bananas, your peeled avocado and your peeled and seeded mandarin oranges and blend. It's really creamy and yummy. If you can't find mandarin oranges (they look like oranges only smaller and darker orange) then you could use oranges. I really like the mandarin oranges because they are super juicy and they are sweeter than oranges; but they are also hard to find.
If you come up with your own yummy concoction let me know! I love trying new things!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Well, it was off to Thailand tonight. The dinner was actually pretty easy to make. After browsing the internet trying to find Thai recipes, I quickly found out that coconut milk and fish sauce were two main staples in Thai cooking. On the menu tonight was: 1) Corn soup. This was just onion, corn, coconut milk, fish sauce, rice vinegar and water. It was pretty good, but a little heavy on the onions. To my surprise, Mike really liked it. This was his favorite. 2) Chicken Satay with Satay sauce. This was very good. It was cut up chicken breast marinated in oil, onion, garlic, sugar, water and fish sauce. The Satay sauce consisted of coconut milk, peanut butter and a little fish sauce. It was delicious. I love peanut butter.3) Vegetarian Fried Rice. This was fried rice with peas, carrots, pineapple and onion mixed with a curry-based sauce. It was very yummy! Al in all, everything was tasty, except I wasn't a huge fan of the fish sauce. We were all very full and satisfied after eating our Thai dinner.
In trying to decide where we want to venture to next week, we spun the globe and Maleah's finger landed on Poland. Our preliminary search for Polish recipes revealed that they are big on sausage and other meat laden dishes. This should be interesting considering I don't eat pork!?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Big Fat Greek Dinner...

We started a new tradition in our household tonight. One night a week (right now it is Tuesdays) we choose a country we want to learn about and we cook a meal together that mirrors what that particular country would eat. Tonight was Greek. It was so much fun. Mike printed out a couple of sentences in Greek that we had to say out loud. In English, it said, "Today our foods emanate from Greece. We thank the Lord for our food." I don't know if we pronounced any of the words right, but it was fun trying. Mike even stopped by the library and picked up a Greek music cd that we listened to while we cooked and ate our meal. On the menu was: 1) Greek salad. This was mainly cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and feta in a olive oil and lemon juice base. 2) Tilapia fish. We put a piece of tilapia on a piece of tinfoil topped with tomotoes, oregano, garlic and olives. We folded it up and threw it on the grill. 3) Fassolakia ladera. I have no idea what this means, let alone how to pronounce it, but it was good. It was green beans, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and garlic. 4) Baklava. (not pictured) This is a very sweet Greek dessert. Everything tasted amazingly good, especially the dessert. I was very proud of Mike for trying (and liking) EVERYTHING. Things he thought he wouldn't like he ended up really enjoying. This was a fun experience and actually very educational. Next week we head to Thailand. As they say in Greece, "Opa!"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blueberry Patch...

Maleah and I got up early this morning (6:30am to be exact) and headed out to the Blueberry Patch. It's one of my favorite things to do in the summer. The patch sits on a couple of acres of land and it's absolutely beautiful. I love going early in the morning when the sun is just coming up and it's still fairly cool outside. Sometimes there is even a little dew on the ground. I love being surrounded by nature with all of its lush green foliage and the sound of birds singing their morning songs. It just makes me feel so serene, so peaceful. As if I'm closer to God; as if that's the way it's supposed to be. Maleah enjoys it too, but she usually ends up eating 95% of what she picks. I'm totally okay with that, though, because blueberries are extremely good for you and these are organic. No pesticides used whatsoever. I usually get around 3-4 lbs. We use the fresh blueberries on cereal, in muffins or just eat them plain, and we freeze a bunch for smoothies. It's one of my favorite fruits. Maybe one day I'll have blueberry plants of my own.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Garden Blues

I am quite frustrated with my garden. I don't know what's going on with it, but it's not looking so good. The leaves on a lot of the plants are a yellowish color, not lush and green. My two tomato plants are not producing tomatoes (it had one tomato on there that has been on there for weeks and is not turning red) and the leaves are withering and turning a yellowish color. The cherry tomato plant's leaves look the same but it's producing tomatoes. I have two pepper plants. One has done absolutely nothing and looks like bugs have been chompin' on it. My other pepper plant has one pepper, but it's small, not growing and has been on there FOREVER. Basil is doing pretty good but growing very slowly. Beans look terrible. The leaves on it are very yellow. Cucumbers are growing somewhat. I have a couple of cucumbers but there are flowers on there that look brown and dead and the leaves are also a yellowish color. SO, this is what I did. I pulled up some of the plants, including the two tomato plants. I added some store bought, composted cow manure and also some old homemade compost I had that, actually, is not completely broken down. I added these two things to the whole garden. I planted a few more basil plants today and tomorrow I will plant more beans and tomatoes. We will see what happens. I am praying that the added nutrients will turn things around. I will keep you posted and add more pics in a week or two so you can see the progress. Say a prayer for me that this will work!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

All Natural Skincare

As most of you know, I am passionate about using all natural and organic products and food. The other day I was trying to find local companies in Kansas City that sell organic skincare. I normally order mine online, but I wanted to find a local company that sells it. I think it's so important to support our local small businesses whenever you can; especially the ones that are making a difference in our health and our environment. I also like supporting the small local businesses that are trying to grow and make it instead of always giving my money to the big dogs. You know, the BIG NAME health food stores. I won't name any names. Anyway, while doing an internet search I found an awesome company called Caren. I looked at the products and all of the ingredients. I was extremely pleased. The products they carry are truly natural and organic. The owners are very picky about what they will sell. I have tried a few of their products and love them. I ended up calling the owners to talk to them about their company. It's two stay-at-home-moms, Carol and Ellen (thus, the name Caren), and they are wonderful. We met up for coffee the other day. They are truly passionate about what they do. I enjoyed talking to them so much and liked the products so much that I am actually going to start doing some work with them for the business. Their website is They have a referral program where you can get $5 off just for referring a friend. Check them out and let me know what you think!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lemon Vinegar Cleaner

I have been using all natural cleaners for a few years now. They are inexpensive, work well and are better for the environment and for you. The one that I use most often is my vinegar and water cleaner. I mainly use it for the kitchen counter tops and windows. I put half vinegar and half water into a squirt bottle and then add essential oils of lemon and eucalyptus. Well, I just learned a new trick. You fill up a jar of straight vinegar and add fresh lemon slices and let it sit on the counter for a couple of days. You take half of this mixture and half water and pour it into a squirt bottle. That's it! It has a nice lemony smell and the lemon cuts the vinegar smell way down. It works awesome. Both vinegar and lemon are effective in killing bacteria and germs and are natural deodorizers. I bet you could even add orange slices instead of the lemon to get a nice citrus smell. I might have to try that next.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Table redo

I have had this table for years. It's just your basic farm table with a light oak top and white legs. The chairs (which are not pictured) are the same. I was tired of it and was wanting a new look.
This is the picture that inspired me...

I redid the top of the table to make it look old and aged. I sanded the top like crazy. There was a ton of varnish on it. I then took a hammer and a screwdriver to it and beat it up a little. I took some Minwax stain and wiped it on and then wiped it off. I am very pleased with how it turned out. I just need to paint my chairs white. I will post more pics when the chairs are finished.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dresses, dresses...too stinkin' cute!

When I was pregnant with Maleah, I remember thinking, "There is no way I am putting my little girl in pink." I hated pink. It was too "girly" for my taste; and since I rarely wore dresses, I figured I would not put my daughter in them either. And then she was born. I immediately started dressing her in pink because she looked so cute in it. I also started decorating her room in a few pink accessories. I never did do the dress thing, tough, until recently. I don't know why, but lately everywhere I go I am seeing these adorable dresses that I just can't resist buying her (she's now 4 yrs old). They aren't the frilly-type dresses. They are very simple, yet oh so cute. I just had to share a couple of pics. I have also noticed that a lot of women are wearing these simple-type dresses that look really comfortable and have beautiful colors in them. Who knows, I may just have to venture out and buy one as well. Though, I wouldn't expect any pictures of that.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Growing, growing, growing!

I can't believe how much our garden has grown after planting it only two weeks ago. My husband put up the trellis for the tomatoes and cucumbers. Maleah and I actually got to eat a salad with things from the garden today. Yummmm! We harvested some leaf lettuce, basil and green onions. To the salad I added some walnuts and feta cheese and poppy seed dressing. It was delicious. I can't wait until we can eat some ripe, juicy tomatoes. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Square Foot Gardening

Well, I finally got my garden planted. This square foot gardening is the slickest thing. I can't imagine gardening any other way. Maleah is having a lot of fun helping with it too. My husband is even helping. Hallelujah! We planted tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, carrots, beans, basil, onions and cucumbers. I ran out of room in the square foot box, so I started some container planting of lettuce and spinach. I need to get more soil and containers to plant even more spinach and lettuce since I am using those two things almost daily for my green smoothies. I can save a ton of money by growing them myself.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Green Smoothies

I wanted to share with you a perfect and easy way for you to get your fruits and veggies in on a daily basis. Green Smoothies. I started making these a couple of days ago and I'm hooked. I am already feeling the difference physically. More energy and less hunger. All you need is a good blender. Add 1-2 cups of water, depending on how thick you want it, and then add your greens. The darker in color the better. I like using kale and spinach. Romain lettuce is good too. Use a couple of good handfuls of the greens. Blend this up into liquid. Then add your fruit. I like any combination of cut up apples, kiwi, frozen blueberries, fresh bananas, and pineapple. If you really want to make it healthy add flax oil. It is one of those must haves foods/supplements. Flax oil (which I get at my local health food store) promotes cardiovascular health, colon health and healthy skin. It contains high quality protein, lots of fiber, and lots of vitamins and minerals. I highly recommend it.

If you want to see smoothies being made or just want to get inspired, go to and type in green smoothies in the search engine. There are lots of good videos on there. I challenge you to drink just one smoothie a day (preferably in the morning) and see if you don't feel different! Here's to your health!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A wonderful Mother's Day!

I had such a wonderful Mother's Day. My husband got up with our 4 year old daughter and let me sleep in until 7:30. Woo hoo! My daughter came in to wake me up because she was so excited. She said I had a surprise in the kitchen. Jarod (my 16 year old son), who is so sweet and so generous, had put this "display" together on the kitchen table. He went all out. I could hardly believe it. He got me (on his own with his own money) a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble, a real white gold and diamond necklace, a huge bouquet of flowers and a bunch of my favorite organic skincare, which I know was not inexpensive. He got 7 bars of soap, lotion, room spray and a jar of salve. He even went that morning and got me a cup of coffee from one of my favorite coffee shops. I almost cried I was so overwhelmed. Oh, and my daughter (and daddy) made me a card, which is the one in the picture that is standing up.

After church we went and ate at Cheesecake Factory on the Plaza (an upscale shopping area in Kansas City) and then walked around. Oh, I also got to get a new pair of shoes the day before, so I told my husband that was my Mother's Day present from him. It's the practical things that count, you know. I had such a lovely day. My hubby and kids made me feel very special. It's days like this when you truly feel appreciated.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Another bulletin board...

I got this picture about 4 years ago from an antique store in Texas and it has been sitting in my basement collecting dust ever since. I got it because I liked the frame. I finally figured out what to do with it.

I painted it an antique white color and distressed it (sanded it). I then glued a cork board over the picture and then screwed in four hooks at the bottom. I'm going to hang it on the wall right above my computer desk and put some of the papers on there that are taking over my desk.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bulletin Board

Here is my first bulletin board that I made. I think this will be one of many. It was fun to do. I took an old picture frame and painted it. I then wrapped batting and fabric around a cork board and stapled it with a staple gun. I used tacks to hold the ribbon in place and then used a glue gun to put a button on the top of the tacks. It was a lot of fun and I'm very happy with the results.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Zucchini-Avocado Salsa

I just had the most amazing salsa ever! A couple of years ago I started making my own pico de gallo (chunky salsa) with homegrown tomatoes. We lived off of that stuff because it was so good. Well, I just tried this new salsa recipe that is just as good, if not better, and I had to share it. This tastes best when made with fresh, organic ingredients.

2 small zucchini, diced (about 2 cups)
1 cup of fresh or frozen corn
2 green onions, sliced
2 medium avocados, diced
2 Tbs. of fresh lime juice
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tbs. chopped up fresh cilantro
dash of hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Steam zucchini and corn together for just 2 or 3 minutes until colors are bright. Place in a bowl with remaining ingredients and stir together and chill for at least one hour. And that's it! You can also add 1-2 tomatoes chopped up, which I did. I think that gives it more flavor.

I had some left over grilled chicken breast that I chopped up and put on the side to make it a complete meal. I also ate the salsa with those Tostitos that have a hint of lime. YUM!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's been way too long...

I can't believe how long it's been since I last blogged. I have been soooo busy. Lots of changes. Let's see, there was Christmas, in which my parents came and stayed with us for a week; and then there was the big move. Yes, we finally moved to a bigger house that accommodates our family better. I have been busy trying to get everything put away and making the house look nice. There are so many things I would like to do and buy for the house, but financially, we just can't do it all right now. Little by little it will get there. I have included pictures. Everything is in it's place, but I haven't hung very many pictures. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do in each room; although, Maleah's room is done, except she is still sleeping in her toddler bed because we need to get mattresses for the bunkbeds. If you have any suggestions let me know. I always welcome new ideas! I will add more pics later.