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Thursday, September 30, 2010

LAST DAY!

Today is the last day to enter the Couple's Subway Art giveaway!  Entries are still low.  Come over and get yours in now!  Also, don't forget to come back tomorrow when we kick off October Spooktacular: Crafty Tricks and Neat Treats!  It's gonna be fun!

Thoughtful Thursday: Lover's Playlist

Ok, I adore music.  Growing up, I constantly had music playing in the background in my room.  ALWAYS.  My parents' power bills dropped drastically when I moved out.  Now that I have a crazy little monkey with two volume settings, "loud" and "louder", I don't play background music as much.  It's just a little too much noise.  Alas, I still love popping a CD in the player when we're in the car or the ear phone buds in my ears when I need a little vacation.  And music can set the mood!  I love that.  If I'm upset, I turn on my 'angry music' and it helps me work through it.  Ok, I'm sure you're thinking "we get it, get to the point".  So here it is.  A list of some of my favorite, romantic songs.  Perfect for setting the mood for Date Night!


1. Rascal Flatts - Fast Cars and Freedom
2. Amy Grant - Baby, Baby
3. Savage Garden - Truly, Madly, Deeply
4. Bryan Adams - (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
5. Boyz II Men - I'll Make Love To You  (if you weren't in the mood before, you will be...)
6. John Mayer - Your Body is a Wonderland
7. Elvis Presley - Burning Love
8. Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On
9. John Cougar Mellancamp - Hurts so Good
10. June & Johnny Cash - Time's A Wastin'
11. Goo Goo Dolls - Before It's Too Late
12. Joe Cocker - You Are So Beautiful
13. Rod Stewart - Have I Told You Lately
14. Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice
15. Mariah Carey - Touch My Body
16. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
17. Diana Ross - Ain't No Mountain High Enough
18. Sonny & Cher - I Got You Babe
19. Black Eyed Peas - Rock That Body (dance to this... I bet it'll end happily...)
20. Paul McCartney - Maybe I'm Amazed
21. Four Tops - I Can't Help Myself
22. B-52's - Love Shack
23. Plain White T's - Hey There, Delilah
24. Journey - Any Way You Want It
25. Counting Crows - Accidentally in Love
26. Deanna Carter - We Danced Anyway
27. Lady Antebellum - Our Kind Of Love
28. Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love
29. Flo Rida - Right Round (Save this for the bedroom... Not what I want my 1 year old repeating... Or my 8 year old sister...)
30. No Doubt - Underneath It All
31. Michael Buble - It Had To Be You
32. Garth Brooks - To Make You Feel My Love
33. Jason Mraz - I'm Yours
34. New Radicals - Mother, We Can't Get Enough
35. Lady Gaga - Love Games (refer to #29... ditto comment)
36. Emerson Drive - You're Like Coming Home
37. Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Outta My Head
38. LeAnne Rhimes - How Do I Live Without You
39. Faith Hill - This Kiss
40. Lifehouse - First Time
41. Chicago - Can't Fight This Feeling
42. Frank Sinatra - L.O.V.E.
43. Natasha Bedingfield & Sean Kingston - Love Like This
44. Lonestar - My Front Porch Looking In
45. Aerosmith - I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing
46. Queen - Somebody To Love
47. Shakira - Hips Don't Lie
48. Shania Twain - You're Still The One
49. Taylor Swift - Love Story
50. Venga Beach - Sex on the Beach (Bedroom Appropriate)

Grab your iPod and go load up a playlist...  Happy Lovin'!

So,what songs are on your romantic playlist?



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Beef Stir Fry

Stir-fry is one of our favorites.  It's great because you can change it up just enough that it's like a whole new meal every time!  One of my favorite recipes:

STIR FRY BEEF & SNOW PEAS


3-4 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 tablespoon of oil (we use EVOO, but have used vegetable in a pinch)
1 tablespoon minced ginger root (or 1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger powder)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (or 2 teaspoons of garlic powder)
1 lb beef round steak, cut into strips (we've used other cuts of meat too, and it still tastes delish)
10 oz snow peas (I buy the bag from Costco and use half to two-thirds of it)

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce and brown sugar.  Then mix in the corn startch.  Set it aside.  Heat oil in a wok or skillet on medium high heat.  Fry the ginger and garlic for about 30 seconds.  If you are using powders, wait to add them until you add your sauce.  Add the steak and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until evenly browned.  Add the peas and cook an additional 3 minutes.  Add the sauce mixture (and your powders, if applicable), bring to a boil and stir constantly.  Turn heat to low and simmer until the sauce is thick and smooth.  Serve.  Enjoy!  Caution:  It WILL be hot... but oh, so yummy!

Use any meat you'd like and you can also add any veggies you would like: mushrooms, carrots, peppers, zucchini, water chestnuts.  Sometimes we cheat and buy the frozen bags at the store... It turns this quick meal into a SUPER quick meal.  Mmmmm.  My fave: quick and easy!



Monday, September 27, 2010

Couple's Subway Art Giveaway!

So, I have another giveaway!  I'm trying to get you all excited for my October Spooktacular... there will be several giveaways then too.  So, be on the look out... cuz' who doesn't like free stuff?

Let me introduce you to the project first.  I love the subway art movement out there right now.  Each piece is the same idea, but no two pieces are the same.  So, no matter what, your piece is one-of-a-kind.  I love personalized things.  They mean so much more when they aren't in everyone else's homes too.  So, I'll just let the pictures do the talking... each one is worth a thousand words, right?


The Details:
Winner will receive an 8"x10" framed, personalized subway art tribute to their sweetheart.  Don't have a sweetheart?  Give it as a gift, perhaps?  Or choose a different theme, still in the subway art format.  Frame color, whether the frame is distressed or not, whether your frame is backless or not, and vinyl words are all customizable.  I put our last name and wedding date on ours... you can do whatever you want.  Vinyl will be a matte black.

Now, if you want one of these little lovelies for yourself, here's what you gotta do:
1) Become a follower of While He Was Napping.  Leave a comment saying you did.  If you already are, thank you, and just leave a comment saying you already are!

For extra entries, complete the following and then leave a SEPARATE comment for each.
1) Visit my Etsy shop and "heart" your favorite item. (1 entry)
2) "Heart" my Etsy shop. (1 entry)
3) Buy something from my Etsy shop (5 entries)
4) Become a fan on Facebook. (1 entry)
5) Post my button (code on sidebar) on your blog... not picky, I don't care where.  Include a link to it in your comment though. (2 entries).

Giveaway ends this Thursday, Sept 30 @ 11:59pm PST!  Open to US residents only.  Hurry and get your entries in!  And check back on Friday for the winner, as well as the beginning of October Spooktacular: Crafty Tricks and Neat Treats!  There just might be another giveaway.......!

GOOD LUCK!!
See my side bar for some of the parties I'm linking to.

Craftsy 'Cause I Can: Couple Subway Art

I'm so in love.  With the subway art movement!  No worries though, I'm still smitten with My Mr Right, too.  I love subway art.  It's all the same idea, but each project is different and unique!  The sizes, the colors, the topics, the words, the shapes, the word placement... Ahhh.  It's gorgeous.  Well, I had to try my hand at this... so... Here it is:






Sorry for all the carpet... and the weird angles... 
the glare was so bad, and I didn't bother to fix it.  Eek!
I distressed the edges after I spray 
painted my frame matte black.
 I used a matte black vinyl and stuck it right to the glass.
Took the backing out of the frame.  Glued the glass in with tacky glue.
And TA-DA!
I really like it.


Get your own personalized Couple's Subway Art... Available in my Etsy shop.  

Check out my side bar or Link Party page for the link parties I participate in.

FHE reminder

Family Home Evening is up.  Just a reminder. 

familyhomeeveningsmadeeasy.blogspot.com

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fanciful Friday: Homemade, Kid-proof Fridge Magnets

So, my little Monkey LOVES to play with the stuff on the fridge.  My mom keeps every paper that enters the house on the fridge.  Not the best combination!  And not literally every single paper, but there is a lot on that small magnetic box.  We cleaned off the fridge within reaching height of The Monkey and let him play with some of the magnets.  He loved it.  The magnets weren't special ones, but he terrorized and wrecked them.  I decided he needed a little more durable, kid-friendly magnets to play with.

First, I found clip art on the internet of things he likes.  You know, boy things... trucks, cars, tractors, dump trucks, bulldozers.  That sort of stuff.  Actually, I learned a very valuable lesson: When searching images on the internet, search "bulldozer", NOT "back hoe"!  Not the images I was wanting to display on the family refrigerator.  Anyway, I copy and pasted them into Word, sized them big enough that he couldn't swallow them... 'cause he so would if he could, then printed them out on regular white printer paper.  Then, I put contact paper on the images and cut them out.

Next, I took a flexible cutting board (found mine at Wal-Mart.  Three for like $2 or something.)  I took some rough grit sandpaper and roughed up the cutting board.  Ok, I admit that I skipped this step on my first go-round... but, the papers kept falling off.  Once I roughed it up, the glue stuck better.  I just used the cheap Wal-Mart brand boards.  I've seen them in kind of an almost a clear, see-through sort of color, but the ones I used are just white.


Next, I used Tacky Glue to glue the cut out images to the cutting board.  Clean up any excess that squeezes out under the edges.  You could probably also use hot glue if you get the edges down quick enough.  I laid heavy books on mine until they were good and dry.  This is important because they tend to curl if they aren't dried flat... Also learned from the first try on this project.  (Haha, live and learn, right?)



Then, I cut the pieces apart.  I left some of the cutting board around the border so they would be a little more durable and water spit proof.  I put a line of hot glue on the edges of the papers to help hold them down, but Monkey pulled those off within like two days, so... that step is up to you.  Ironically enough, he didn't eat the hot glue.  But, I'll count my blessings on that one.  (Yes, there is a water mark on the image, but I couldn't find good clip art that didn't have it... besides, my little Monkey won't care.)




WINNER, WINNER

Hey Everybody!  We have a winner to announce!

We had such an awesome giveaway.  Thanks to everyone who participated!  There will be more giveaways in the future, the near future actually, so be on the look out!    There were less than 50 entries, so I'm choosing one winner.  The moment you've all been waiting for... Our winner is:


CONGRATULATIONS JAMIE!!  I sent you an email, so as soon as you respond to it I'll get started on your book. 

Thanks again to everyone who entered.  If you are still interested in a Choose Your Own Adventure Date, they are posted in my Etsy shop.  I have them listed at a reduced price right now, for a limited time.  Hurry and take advantage of it.  I will produce them in a first come, first serve fashion.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Just a Reminder

I Just wanted to remind all my FANTASTIC Followers that there is a Giveaway going on (my first, actually, but far from the last).  It's a super fun date night package.  Entries are still pretty low, so if you're interested, come on over and get your name in the running.  Ends TONIGHT at 11:59pm PST.  Entry information is toward the bottom...  Sorry, I'm so long-winded... it was just soo much fun I had to share!

Also, I noticed some new Followers, so I want to give you all a great big, warm WELCOME!  I hope you enjoy your time at While He Was Napping!  If you have any requests, suggestions, questions, or comments please don't hesitate to contact me.  There's a tab at the top of my Home page that will get you to all the information you could ever want on the subject of contacting me.  Again, thanks for spending some of your time in my little corner of the blogosphere.  I know that time can be a precious commodity.

Thoughtful Thursday: Hide & Seek

I love the little reminders... you know, the love note scribbled on a Post-It, the cookie iced with I♥U, bringing me home a handful of Tootsie Rolls from the "treat bowl" at work.  The little stuff.  Sure, I like the flowers, chocolate and jewelry too... but with current circumstances the little reminders are far more frequent.  But no less important or meaningful.  Today's Thoughful Thursday is, by no means, original.  But it's still a good idea (that's why it's not original!) and an easy one at that.

Whether you grab yourself a few pages of printer paper, a stack of Post-Its or your own handmade notes, you'll need several pieces to write on.  It is completely up to you how formal you make these.  I found a cute little DIY notepad tutorial over at The Dating Divas blog.  These are cute, fairly simple and cheap, and compact enough to stash in your purse.  Now... here's the fun part... It can be as long as a Post-It or as long as a sheet of printer paper.  As funny as Saturday Night Live or as serious as... I don't klnow, rabies or something.  Now, the really fun part... Once you have all your love notes written... HIDE THEM!  In their pants pocket, on the TV, in the fridge... possibilities are limitless.  I did this before My Mr. Right went on some Army training.  He LOVED finding the notes, especially after he'd been gone for two weeks.  He wrote something back on each of the notes and stuck them back in his laundry (that's right, I'm one of those wives).

Easy, takes ten minutes maybe (a little longer if you make your notepad), but it's nice to be reminded that you're loved.

Disclaimer.... Be careful where you hide any "PG-13 (or higher rating)" notes if you have older children (or worse, in-laws) in your home.  This will save you some VERY awkward explanations.  Like when your dad gets up for a glass of milk in the middle of the night...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Idaho Tacos

So, I've had a couple of questions from my Menu Board... What are Idaho Tacos.  Well, until about two and a half years ago, I was right there with ya.  I'd never heard of them.  This is a recipe My Mr. Right brought to our happy little union.  Quick, easy, scrumptious... It's one of my favorite dinners, hands down. 

IDAHO TACOS

Baked Potatoes (Enough for your family)
Sliced olives
Sour cream
Shredded cheese
Shredded lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Sliced mushrooms
Ground hamburger
Salsa
Any other taco toppings you enjoy (yes, taco toppings)
Bake the potatoes like you normally would for a baked potato. (Wrapped in foil, 450F, 45ish minutes).  Top with your prepared taco toppings.  Serve.  It may sound a little weird... but I promise it's delish!  And way easy right?  Enjoy!



Friday, September 17, 2010

Fanciful Friday: Menu Board

When I first got married I was appalled at how much time went into cooking dinner every day!  I never really appreciated it when I lived with my parents.  And I even cooked a couple times a week when I was single, but I didn't have to do it everyday!  It can be exhausting.

Then, My Mr. Right and I started making out menus for a couple weeks at a time.  It made dinner soo much easier!  I didn't look at the clock at 4:30pm and think 'ugh, what are we gonna have for dinner?'.  I just looked at our menu and figured out when I needed to start things to have them ready at a decent time.  And we saved money because we could do our grocery shopping all at one time and we knew exactly what we needed.  No more last minute trips that end with a dozen other things too.  It was fantastic.

Then our lives got all tipsy turvy when My Mr. Right abruptly became unemployed... again.  We used our savings to pay off baby bills and were anything but prepared to have no income.  We ended up moving in with my parents when we moved for hubby's new job because housing is ridiculously expensive here...

And so is my mother's meal planning.  It was, by no means, uncommon for her to come home from work at 4pm and ask "What should we have for dinner?"  I hated cooking!  Everything was such a mess... and since I didn't do all the grocery shopping anymore I didn't know what we even had in the cupboards.  Enter sanity.  At least where dinner is concerned.  My hero: the menu board.  First saw this idea on A Girl and a Glue Gun... HERE... But I've since seen many a menu board floating around blogland.  Here's how I did it:


I bought some super cheap cookie sheets from Wal-Mart.  They came in a pack of three for $4.  Mainstays brand.  In case you wanna go cookie sheet hunting.  I'd never cook on these... They were all scratched up by the time I got them home.  Asking for a rust problem...?  I think yes.  Anyway, spray paint the pan.  I did a matte black.  It's what I had on hand.  Cover the black with clear paint to protect from scratches.  Then, I hot glued on some cute digi scrapbook elements I had printed out.  (Embellishments from Dinner Party Kit by Sara Carling @ www.shabbyshoppe.com).


Then I collected any and all dinner ideas and recipes my family and I could think of.  I typed them all up.  Laminated them.  Actually, it was contact paper, but it worked.  Cut them apart.  And them stored them in a plastic baggie for about 2 weeks... This step is totally optional and in no way effects the outcome of your menu board.


I put magnets on the back of each paper.  It was a lot of papers!  I found a pack of magnet strips also at Wal-Mart for $.97 and you can't beat that.  It had about 15 strips and I used about 5.


Add some more cutesies at the top of the board.  Then I glued some ribbon across the pan and put my magnetic days of the week papers across that.  I put magnets on the back in case we wanted to go M-Sun instead of Sun-Sat.  Then I took some other ribbon and created a grid pattern out of it.


Made up my menu plans and sat back to bask in the world of sanity I just created.  Ahh!  Feels good.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday: Choose Your Own Adventure Date Night

THE DAY YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR...
Ok, probably not.  You probably don't have the faintest idea what I am talking about.  I'm not so crazy to think people actually frequent my blog...  yet.  But you will after this.  At least you should.  I've got some super awesome stuff coming up... But I digress, onto the reason you are really here:

My Mr. Right and I went on the funnest date a couple weekends ago.  (Funnest is not a word?  What?!?  Since when?)  I had seen tons of ideas for a "Choose Your Own Adventure" Date.  Most of them consisted of putting the different choices in envelopes and then choosing the envelopes and surprise!  The instructions inside the envelop are the next activity.  Well, we did the "chose an envelop" date last month, but I still really loved the idea of a "Choose Your Own Adventure"(CYOA) date.  The envelop date was fun, by the way.

Did you ever read the real "Choose Your Own Adventure" books when you were younger?  You know, the ones where you read part of the story and then at the bottom of the page you get to choose what you want to happen, followed by which page you turn to in order to continue the story with that decision?  Maybe I'm the only crazy bookworm?  Well, I really enjoyed reading those.  So, I decided I was going to write my own story for our CYOA date... Crazy, right?!?


I started out with a list of choices... Dinner at "Our Spot" (a special place in town that My Mr Right and I enjoy going, just the two of us) or at a park down by the river.  Flying a kite or throwing a frisbee (which we did on our 3rd date).  Playing mini-golf or playing games at the arcade.  Sundaes at McD's or Frosties at Wendy's.  You get the idea.

My "Ideas" List

The Cover of Our Book.
One of the story pages.
One of the "reveal" pages.
Then, I started concocting the story.  Now, I'm no pro story maker-upper.  It was goofy and lame and cheesy, but still a ton of fun to come up with.  I tried to make my choices in the story relate somewhat to the activity, but it was a stretch sometimes.  For example:  Our main characters had to decide whether to eat on a hillside or down by the river.  Or to escape a rainstorm in a cave (the arcade) or amongst some old buildings (the mini golf course has a couple castles and haunted houses and other random small buildings).  The one I had to explain to My Mr. Right was the kite flying vs frisbee reference.  Our main characters were helping a poor family by giving them either some of their jewels or some of their gold coins (jewels=diamond=shape of kite(but not our kite... haha)=kite flying.  And the frisbee was round like gold coins would be)... See, a little far fetched.  But it worked out nonetheless.  And we had fun.

Ours had quite a few choices.  They went all the way from dinner up to the bedroom.  I had almost 30 pages in my book.  There was, by no means, the need for that many.  Several of our activities only took 5-10 minutes though.  I think next time (that's right, I wanna do this all again... it was THAT much fun!) I'll plan fewer activities that take a little longer.

Some of our "choices" included:
Dinner location
Kite Flying or Throwing a Frisbee in the park
Miniature Golfing or Arcade Games
Carving love notes in Stone (sand at the beach) or on a tree (cards from $ Store)
Ice Cream Sundaes from McD's or Frosties from Wendy's
Lingerie or a Scratch Off Card
Bedroom games or a "Taste Testing"
A Paper Airplane Contest or A Paper Boating Contest
and others...

Dinner at "Our Spot"

Flying Kites

Mini Golfing!

Love Notes "carved" in stone.

The choice was between lingerie and a scratch off card... My Mr. Right always gets everything!  =]
It was such a BLAST!  I promise if you put the time into your story it will totally be worth it.  If you need any help, feel free to ask.  Email me: whilehewasnapping[at]gmail[dot]com.  I'm more than willing to answer any questions.  Don't want to make that much effort?  Let me know...


Jamie was the winner of this giveaway and here is the post she put up of her experience with one of the generic books.  Take a look.

**GIVEAWAY CLOSED**

You know it's a winner when the man who never writes a love note unless it's in a birthday or anniversary card takes the time to leave you a message on the white board... 

Choose Your Own Adventure Dates are available in my Etsy Shop.  There are three versions available, choose the one that's right for you:














Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Butterscotch Marshmallow Brownies

You can't tell me that doesn't just sound super yummy.  And the butterscotch makes me think fall, it's just got such a warm flavor that goes so perfect with those chilly nights!  So, let's get to cookin'!

BUTTERSCOTCH MARSHMALLOW BROWNIES


1 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups miniature marshmallows
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Melt butterscotch morsels and margarine in a large bowl in microwave. Stir the mixture well and let it cool to lukewarm. While the liquid mixture is cooling, mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and eggs into the butterscotch mixture; mix well. Fold in marshmallows and chocolate morsels. Spread batter into a lightly greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake 25 minutes. Be careful not to overcook.  ENJOY!

It takes a little work, but is soo worth it, promise!


Check out this post for a great date idea and my first GIVEAWAY!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Heads Up!

Just thought I'd throw out a heads up... You're gonna wanna check out Thursday's post.... It's gonna be pretty intense.  And there just might be a giveaway...........  If you want a super awesome date, this post is for you.


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