Friday, November 21, 2014

2015 Early New Year's Resolutions

New Year's resolutions are starting early with me. I figure if I start now, I'll have a better chance at completing at least one of my resolutions for 2015!

1. List daily goals to check off as I go.

2. Make weekly menus and shopping lists.

3. Have Sunday "stuff" ready by Saturday evening. Singing in my head starts: "Saturday is a special day. It's the day we get ready for Sunday."

4. Cook more homemade meals, double the recipes to freeze one bake one or give and take one. Hehehe. I just made that up.

5. Stock my pots and pans with better quality, durable pots and pans (my current ones are so old). Oh, preferably Rachael Ray's red gradient set - hint, hint.

Que long, off-track story here: I bought one of  Rachael Ray's pots at Target a week or so ago when it was on sale. It's the 8 quart red gradient one. I used it for the first time today and oh my goodness gracious! I L-O-V-E IT! Oh, and a garbage bowl. I thought that was lame until I watched her cooking and using it. Sooooo flippin' smart! I make so many trips to the trash or piles on my cutting board of what veggie scraps I'm saving to give to the chickens or dog later! Um and helloooo! I want to try out her Bubble and Brown pans too! One day, Rachael Ray, one day I will have them all.  #RachaelRay  #BubbleAndBrown - I do not get paid nor compensated for my almost illustrious opinions. Although I wouldn't be opposed to it either!

Okay, back on track... I shall stop with my resolutions here. I will not chance putting you through another tangent like the one above. We will continue this later. ;)


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Today's Goals 11/20/14 (9:26am) - UPDATED (11:15pm)

Early New Year's Resolution #1 - Listing daily goals to check off as I go.

I'm not even going to attempt to blog about this daily, but I want to start off on the right foot. I want to start off with a bang and the way to do that is accountability.

Today's goals are (not in any particular order):

1. accomplish a decent day of homeschool - DONE - We did "Home Ec" today. ;) (See goals below.)

2. wash / dry / fold / put away clothes. - DONE - 1 load (that counts, right?)
3. boil chicken. - DONE

4. make chicken enchiladas. - DONE - 2 large pans & 2 small pans

 PLUS Fiesta Beans as a side for the enchiladas.
 
5. make brownies (using Halloween candy). - DONE (forgot to take the finished picture)



6. make homemade raspberry lemonade. - DONE

7. wash / put away dishes. - DONE - 1 load (I'm counting it.)
8. deliver a meal or two. - DONE
9. bring kids to eat dinner with hubster. - DONE
10. go to grocery store and attempt shopping with munchkins. - DONE (& we went to two stores!)
11. cook down chicken broth to thicken. - partially - will finish tomorrow

12. make Italian pasta salad.
13. make cake pops.
14. clean kitchen. (see how he nicely wipes the table off --- with the broom)

15. sweep and throw away dirt pile (don't ask - Okay, embarrassing, but accountability is at stake here. There may or may not be dirt swept into a pile that may or may not still be in the same place as a few days ago. It may or may not have grown since the first sweep - if it even happened in the first place. Don't judge me. We all have dirt piles somewhere.) - (It may or may not still be there.) 

Soooooo. I've completed 10 out of 15!! That's preeeeeeetty dern tootin' good!

Plus, we made fiesta beans (see #4), made & delivered a gift basket to friends that lost their home in a fire, and helped feed a friend's horses.


Have fun making and keeping your goals!

Coming soon... this months overdue Visiting Teaching handout, our holiday crafts, and more!


 

Friday, October 24, 2014

French Toast

Lately, I've been attempting to make "memory meals". Those are meals that my mom made during my younger years. Some off those are spaghetti, strong-enough (stroganoff), chicken and dumplin's, and French toast. My mom is known for cooking with some of this, a little of that, a ssh here, and not really knowing the exact measurements. She gets it honest though. My grandmother does it too. That's also why I have trouble with exact measurements.

Oh, my mom's recipes are also different from the normal recipes. For example, our stroganoff (which we grew up calling strong-enough) is over rice not noodles.

Oat, so I decided to start with French toast.

Momma's French Toast

Ingredients
Eggs
Milk
Cinnamon
Bread
Butter

Directions
Mix the eggs in a bowl as though you are making scrambled eggs. Blend in the milk, and cinnamon. Heat your skillet on the stove. Dip the bread into the egg batter, quickly flip it over, and then place it in the skillet. Lightly brown on both sides, place on a plate and add a bit of butter on top. Drizzle syrup on top and enjoy!

My husband also adds powdered sugar.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The NEW Smiley360!!!

Click this link to join http://h5.sml360.com/-/cy2b

"Smiley360 is an online community of influential consumers who try products, content and other experiences for free and share their opinions with others. As a member, you will receive offers from the biggest brands and share your experience with that brand, as well as with friends, family, coworkers, neighbors and other consumers like you." taken from Smiley360 webpage

Monday, September 22, 2014

This Little Piggy Went to Enrichment...

Our upcoming Relief Society Enrichment's theme is "This Little Piggie..." and I was asked to make the invitations. I am so excited that I was asked to make these!
 

I did have "Come paint your piggies, stuff your snouts, and learn!" But the eat some grub is a less offensive way to invite people. ;) Hope you like these. If you need any additions or changes made for your use, let me know. I'd love to update the information for you!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 2014 Visiting Teaching Handout

 
My excuse to skip this month was actually semi-decent. Our homeschool started, I made our Church Ward talent show invitations, my niece's baptism invitations, along with my niece's birthday invitations and printables. But, when Kim Gabriel left her comment on last month's entry about missing this month's handout, I felt guilty. I felt like I had let her down and anyone else who uses them. I also felt that I had let down the people who would have received them. Soooooo...
 
This one is especially for you, Kim Gabriel. ;) Thank you for the support, compliments, and encouragement. I really appreciate it.
 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Addie's Angels

My daughter, Addison aka Sissy, and I had the most blessed opportunity to meet another little girl named Addison and her grandfather at Chick-fil-a today. This beautiful little girl is only four years old right now, but boy is she mature! Her golden curly locks reminded me of my niece's hair.


Sissy asked Addison's grandpa what happened to her arm because, you see, as he so eloquently stated, "She was born without it. God made her special." And that he did! Her "difference" definitely doesn't slow her down. 

Can you believe it?!? We met THE Addie from Addie's Angels (facebook or website).


 

What an honor! She is radiant just as I would imagine an angel would be! If you are searching for a cause to donate towards, this young lady and her family are reaching out in order to help others with similar situations. Their facebook description states:


"Non-profit organization benefiting children who have lost the use of one or more limbs, or have limb abnormalities. Addie's Angels is maintained by Bill & Amiee Gallagher, and was named for their daughter, Addison Claire Gallagher."

If I remember correctly, Addie is in the process of being fitted for an electronic arm and hand! How awesome that will be for her. 

I do hope that she remembers these few things:
* God may have "made her special", but she's no different from you and me.
* She is in a position where she and her family have helped and will help more people than they will EVER know.
* She is a daughter of an awesome and almighty God and He is King, which makes her a Princess!

I am truly grateful that I was blessed by this chance meeting! Had I been on time to meet with my friend, I probably would've missed this opportunity (1 point for procrastinating). 

Addison Gallagher, her family, and all of God's Angels aka Addie's Angels from this point forward will be in my prayers.

I hope we meet again Addison and Grandpa!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wheat Free Life by Michelle Badger

I love checking the mail and finding packages that are addressed to me. It doesn't matter that I ordered and paid for them. It's like Christmas --- or my birthday! I get to unwrap a special item.

The newest of my presents to myself is also a wonderful addition to my cookbook library:

Wheat Free Life by Michelle Badger


I have merely glanced in it, but I came across some really exciting new recipes. Plus, it includes an inspiring story which is pushing me to change my cooking / eating habits. Oh, and she includes the shopping lists too! How sweet is that?

I am so excited and I will definitely add more as I test the recipes in it! I can't wait.

Thanks Michelle, for the time, effort, energy, and love that you put into making this book in order to help people like me!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

I wanted to do something nice for my VT ladies on Mother's Day. Simply because mothers don't really get vacations or time off. Sundays are hectic days for those of us who forget to use Saturdays as the "day we get ready for Sunday". So to help tomorrow, which is Mother's Day as well as a Sunday, be a little less hectic, I chose to try this simple idea I found on Pinterest:

http://www.creativecapitalb.com/2012/05/latest-of-last-minute-ideas-for-mom.html
 
She even offers the printable for FREE!!
 
I completely forgot to get cups and napkins, but I went with plates, bowls, spoons, and forks. Plus, the ribbon is adorable, but my plates and bowls don't match so the coordinating ribbon was out of the question. Generic Ziploc bags saved the day! The larger bag is the gallon size and the smaller silverware bags are the snack size. I would love to have had cellophane or saran wrap with which to wrap it up. Anyway, here's my version:
 

 
 
 
I hope these help my ladies and give you an idea for your friends, neighbors, or VT ladies. It's a quick and easy gift idea. You might even have these items in your pantry already!



Friday, May 2, 2014

Fruit Pizza

Amanda here again, and have I got a treat for you!


Fruit Pizza


If you haven't had it before, try it out! It's yummy and it has fruit! Win, Win right?


I cheated some with my recipe today as I did not use a homemade cookie crust. But why bother with perfection when Miss Betty Crocker has already made the perfect cookies right!


Ingredients:
2 Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mixes (or your favorite)
Ingredients called for on Mix - (2 eggs, 2 sticks of butter softened)
1 package 8oz cream cheese - softened
about 3 cups of Powdered/Confectioner's Sugar
Fruit - Strawberries, Kiwi, Banana, Pineapple (also try with blueberries! or any other fruit you enjoy)


I started with two bags of Betty Crocker's Sugar Cookie Mix.
Make as directed (my bags called for 1 egg and 1 stick of butter each)




Take a large cookie sheet with sides, spray with Pam or other cooking spray. Spread cookie dough onto pan until it fills the pan.




Bake as directed (375 for about 15 minutes). Allow to cool completely.


While this is baking/cooling, take the softened cream cheese and place into a mixing bowl.
Add about 1/2 a cup to 1 cup of powdered/confectioner's sugar to the bowl at a time. Mix using hand mixer until all sugar is incorporated. Continue adding until the taste is a bit on the sweet side. I used about 2 1/2 cups of sugar.






Wash the strawberries. Cut up strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, and banana.




Once the cookie is completely cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture over the top.



Place cut up fruit on top of the cookie and cheese spread.




Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cut & ENJOY!!!



Also try Personal Fruit Pizzas...instead of making one big cookie, follow the recipe on the cookie dough to roll out and cut cookies. Cut them either into fun shapes or just into circles. You can also allow the kids or guests to put on their own fruit!


Let us know what kind of variations you try!



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Graduation Announcements

I just had the pleasure of creating graduation announcements for my littlest sister! (Of course, all the written details are changed.)

Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think of them. If you'd like me to make an announcement for someone you know. Email me and I'll get back with you about all the little details.


Isn't she beautiful?!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Colored Glue Volcano

Because of the site Bath Activities for Kids, along with Growing a Jeweled Rose, I am starting an attempt at embracing "messy play". I have the hardest time allowing the kids to make messes or do anything messy. I buy all of the stuff needed to do these activities, but then I chicken out when it comes to the actual doing.

Crystal and a few others are encouraging "messy play" and even offering easy to clean ways to encourage messy play!!! These are my absolute favorite. All kids like to get messy, so why not let them do it when, where, and how you want them to?

I chose her Erupting Paint Recipe for our first one. My children were bored, and I was desperate! Of course, I am also impatient so we didn't actually use it as paint, but we still had fun and made a contained mess (my favorite)!

So, because of my impatience, I used the following:

*bowls (my daughter's kid chef ones)
*cookie sheets (with high edges around them -- I almost used cake pans)
*glue that I had already colored with marker "guts" (you know those sticks from inside the markers)
*baking soda (from the already opened box that had been sitting in my fridge for no telling how long)
*and apple cider vinegar (cause it was the only vinegar I had on hand)

When my daughter saw me grab these items, she began to get all excited.

"What are we making mom?"
I didn't answer, but I asked her to get 2 cookie sheets.
"Oh, yes! We are making cookies!"
I told her: "No, dear, we aren't making cookies. [LONG DRAMATIC PAUSE HERE] We are going to make a mess."

You should have seen their faces! This was extremely new to them. I have NEVER encouraged them to make a mess. They were also very timid at first, double and triple checking that I was sure they could do this. Poor babies.

I didn't actually make the paint part. I let them mix the glue and baking soda. Then, I poured the vinegar and let them play in it with spoons and plastic Easter eggs. (Of course, I left a warning that if we wanted to more of this we couldn't get it outside of the cookie sheets. -- I really tried to let them be messy, but I couldn't go that far.)

Here are my munchkins playing with their colored glue volcanos!

 
 
 
 
I was surprised at how well they kept their "messes" on the cookie sheets!
It was definitely a contained mess.
 
Yes, my kids dress themselves and no, I don't care if they match or not. ;)
 
 
Let me know which messy play and experiments y'all have tried and how they turned out?