Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up, Classic Tuna Casserole, Way Back When... (My Favorite Things Date), First Avenue Rocks Date, Quotable Quotes

Good Tuesday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - My nephew, Brad, and his future bride-to-be had their Bridal Tea this past weekend...

And it was fun!

Roxie and Stephanie.

Roxie was called into work, so she showed up pre-Tea to visit a few minutes.

These were just a few of the gifts.

I'm telling you...

It was a good day.

Stephanie's Dad had set up a video table with a great DVD of Brad and Stephanie through the years.

It was a favorite.

As is customary, Brad showed up toward the end of the Tea to help load everything up and visit a little.

Grandmother and Brad.

The chalkboard Stephanie made for her countdown to the wedding.

Stephanie and Brad.

Aren't they pretty?

RANDOMNESS #2 - Roxie's Senior Pics were taken in July by Southern Exposures Photography... and I think they turned out very nicely.

And that is my professional opinion as a MOM.

Quotable Quotes

"Be a fountain... not a drain." Anonymous

I really need to apply this to my life.

Classic Tuna Casserole

Okay. Josh asked me if I could make a Tuna Casserole, and I can honestly say, I don't think I've ever made one before last night.

I know I've eaten them...

And even liked them.

So I did the only thing a Pinterest fanatic can do when asked if they can "make" something.

I searched "Classic Tuna Casserole Recipes."

You will need the following:

1 can tuna, drained
8 ounces macaroni (or other pasta)
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup milk
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.

3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add in the onions and green pepper (and any other vegetables you wish to add at this point, except the peas). Saute over low heat for about 5 minutes.

4. Add in the flour, salt and pepper. Stir until smooth and bubbly.

5. Reduce heat to low and add in the milk and the soup. Stir until smooth and thick.

6. Add in the cooked pasta, tuna, peas and half of the cheese. Mix well.

7. Pour the mixture into a buttered 8" × 8" or 9" × 9" casserole dish, top with the remaining cheese and bread crumbs.

8. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.

Josh loved it.

Mike liked it.

Roxie ate leftover lasagna.

Way Back When...

My Favorite Things Date

Think, think, think. As a person, what are your favorite things to do? Where do you enjoy going for fun? What's your favorite restaurant? Where do you go to unwind or relax? When you've answered all of these questions, plan a special, one-of-kind date between you and one of your kids. This is what I would do.

1. Tell the child to be ready to leave the house at 9:30 a.m.

2. We would have brunch at Klingler's European Bakery in Vestavia. (Brunch is my favorite meal of the day. It just seems a little more special and celebratory.)

3. I would have the child a gift bag in the van, and ask him/her to remove an envelope marked number 1. Inside the envelope would be the name of my favorite book of the Bible. I would explain why it was my favorite book, and ask them about their favorite book.

4. After brunch, we would get in The Big Gold Van, and I would ask the child to remove an envelope marked with a big number 2. Inside this envelope would be the name of my favorite book and movie. I would explain why those were my favorites, and ask them what their favorites were.

5. We would arrive at our next destination... The Botanical Gardens. This is my favorite place in Birmingham to just "be." We would walk around the gardens talking, talking, talking. I would ask them about their favorite place.

6. As we walked and talked (depending on the child), I would take pictures because that is my MOST favorite thing in the whole world to do. (If the child hates having pictures taken, I would take only one or two.) Again, I would ask them what was their MOST favorite thing to do in the whole world.

7. Back in The Big Gold Van, there would be a gift wrapped in the bottom of the bag marked with a number 3. Inside the gift box would be my favorite scented candle (for a girl) or my favorite candy bar (for a boy). What is their favorite?

8. One more envelope in the bag marked with a number 4 should be opened. Written on a piece of paper in the envelope would be my favorite Bible verse. I would then tell them why it was my favorite... and ask the now familiar question, "What is your favorite?"

The date itself is not very expensive, takes only a little planning and gives you an opportunity to share the things you enjoy with your child. It lets them know you a little more as a "person," and not just a "mom" or a "dad."

It goes without saying, make this date your own. Have some fun one fall Saturday morning coming up... just you and one of your kiddos. Mark it in pen on your calendar because it is IMPORTANT.

First Avenue Rocks Date

I saw my young friend, Alex, on Facebook the other day, and he had taken his lovely girlfriend to First Avenue Rocks.

It's a rock climbing wall "thingy" located on 1st Avenue South in Birmingham.

They had finished climbing for the day, and from what I could tell from the picture, no bones had been broken...

And they looked happy.

When I bumped into him this past weekend, I showed amazing memory skills and actually asked him the questions I had tucked away in the back of my brain when I first saw his pic.

"Is it dangerous?"

It kind of depends on you, but not really.

"Is it crowded?"

Can be.

"Do you have to rent the shoes?"

You don't have to rent the shoes, but you should.

"Why weren't y'all wearing harnesses?"

No one wears harnesses on most of the walls. They will put you in harnesses if you are a kid... or not unlike The Enchanting Belinda.

"Since you don't wear harnesses, how cushioned are the pads under the walls?"

You would not be disappointed.

"How long can you physically last before you call it quits on this date?"

You buy a day pass, so you can rest as you go along. In other words, you can stay for awhile.

At first, he thought I was asking for myself...

Which made me laugh...

A lot.

But when I told him I wanted Roxie and Hunter to give it a shot, he couldn't say enough good things about the establishment.

Roxie and Hunter went on this date this past Sunday, and I think they liked it pretty well.

Roxie told me she wanted to get a gym membership there...

And I told her, "I don't think so!"

But as far as a good date and a great workout goes...

This was a good thing.

Call ahead to get details (cost, best time of day, etc.) for you and yours. This would be a great parent/teen date or even a spouse date.

The phone number is 320-2277 or you can go to

Have a lovely day. I'll be back Friday with Weekend Happenings, more pics and hopefully something you will consider useful to you and yours.

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

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