Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sneaky Attempt #1: Pumpkin & Spelt

The picky eater—he loves banana muffins. And I happened to have canned pumpkin in my pantry. And some spelt flour in my fridge. So, I gave pumpkin bread, in the form of muffins of course, a go.

Problem was I had never made pumpkin bread in my life. Crazy I know. What’s a girl to do when she wants to make something she has no recipe for? Why go to for sure. I do love that site as you will soon see. Here’s the recipe I used:

Here’s the part I always love about the comments in recipes on this site (and I’m sure on other recipe sites). The people NEVER make the recipe as is and you end up with this laundry list of changes. Well, folks, I am not exception. Here’s what I did a little differently:

  • Used 3 eggs because all I had were jumbo eggs and I thought 3 would be plenty
  • Cut the oil in half and added 1/2 cup of natural applesauce to make them a little healthier
  • Only used 2 cups of sugar because oh my goodness 3 cups freaked me out
  • Cut the flour to 2 cups and added 1 1/2 cups of spelt flour to add some protein and fiber
  • Added 1 teaspoon of vanilla because that’s how I roll
  • Omitted the ground cloves only because I didn’t have any and I wasn’t making a trip to the store to get it
  • Baked them for 20 minutes because I made muffins instead of loaves of bread

I know, I know the sugar. It’s a lot even cutting it by a cup, but in my mind I balance it out with the extra fiber, protein, and vitamin A he is getting. Maybe I’m delusional but whatever.

pumkin Muffins

The verdict? Both boys loved them and so did hubby and I. I froze several of them too. I’m a big fan of freezing bread. Definitely making this again. I think I’ll try to sneak in some pureed sweet potato next time too. Think I could get away with that?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Momma Got Her Craft On

This weekend I went crafting and I am too excited about what I made to not share it. I’ll tell you all about the pumpkin muffins I got the boys to inhale tomorrow. But today. We relive my weekend.

On Friday night we had a meet and greet type thing. When I arrived, I received a swag bag to keep all my treasures in. And then I found out we got to keep them!

swag bag

And there where several different make and takes areas set up. Here are my favorite things I made that night.

headband with rosettes—in Thunder colors of course


cute little earrings


and this wire word to go in my classroom next year

wire word


When Saturday rolled around, it was big project time! We made moss letters, vintage jewelry, etched glass, and started a smash book.

moss letter decorated for the Thunder as they play in the NBA Finals

moss letter 

vintage jewelry necklace—my first attempt at making jewelry. I had a lot of help though.


etched glass—could not believe how easy this was. I will be making more soon.

etched glass

smash book—the beginnings of one anyway. This particular page is from Sweetie Pie’s first time fishing. Daddy was teaching him. The writing is a letter he wrote thanking his daddy for taking him fishing.


Phew! That’s it. By the end of the day my heart was full and my mind exhausted. It had been too long since I had done anything crafty, and this made me realize I need to start scheduling craft time into my calendar. And you should see my DIY board on Pinterest now. It. Is. Full. And that, my friends, makes my heart smile.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Let the Deception Begin

Here they are. My little nuggets of nutrition I’m going to sneak into my boys’ food whenever I can. I have pureed sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, & cauliflower so far. Spinach is waiting patiently to be next.

To puree the veggies, I just cooked them—steamed the cauliflower & carrots and baked the sweet potatoes and butternut squash—then put them in the food processor, added a little water, and off we went. Once pureed, I put the veggies in ice cubes trays I had leftover from my making baby food days and froze them. Then I put the cubes in the bags and labeled them. And there you have it. Easy peezy. Took me maybe an hour to cook, puree and get it all into the freezer.

photo (8)

So, I say LET THE GAMES BEGIN! I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, please keep your fingers crossed.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I’m Back! And I’m on a Mission

Let’s not even discuss the fact that it has been FOR.EV.ER. since I last blogged. Or maybe we should. I’m pretty sure I can sum it up by saying two things. 1.) I’m pretty sure 24 hours is not actually 24 hours anymore. You know, the way a half gallon of ice cream isn’t really a true half gallon anymore? And time, it’s just moving faster the older I get and the older these munchkins get. 2.) The other reason I quit got sidetracked with the blogging thing? I felt like I had nothing else to say. I ran out of words. But now I am on a mission. And I have a lot to say.

My mission? To get my family and I eating healthier.

Now, this eating healthier thing isn’t a huge problem for my husband and me. We both like to try new things and don’t mind experimenting. In fact I already have a couple of new favorite recipes that we LOVE that I’ll be sharing. We are really working on lifestyle eating changes. Like turkey burgers or teriyaki chicken sandwiches instead of hamburgers. More veggies and less meat kinds of things.

Now getting the boys to eat healthier? That’s a-WHOLE-nother story.

***insert hilarious, uncontrollable, rolling on the floor cackling here***

Sweetie Pie will sometimes try new things with a little lot of coaxing. The hubs gave him a talk about using his “open-mind” to try new food and to my amazement it actually worked. Go figure. If I had been the one talking, it would have gone in one ear and out the other. All hail kind dad! But I digress.

Boogaboo—where do I even start? He is my picky eater. And that is the understatement of the century. Let me list what he’ll eat. It’s okay. You can keep reading. It is a VERY short list.

Corn Dogs
PB & J
Pop Tarts
Chicken Nuggets
Hot Dogs
Baked Beans
Spaghetti (Apparently not anymore)

That’s it. We make sure he gets his vitamins because, hello? Not a whole lot of nutrients there. So, I made a decision. I’m going to hide yummy, nutritious veggies and fruits in food. Deceptive? Maybe. Necessary? Absolutely. (See the above list.)

Here’s my plan. I am going to try new recipes and share the results with you guys. Surely I am not the only parent out there who has picky eaters at home. If the result is good, I’ll even share the recipe. I’m helpful that way. Sometimes these will be recipes I have “hidden” fruits and veggies in, and other times they’ll just be recipes that the hubs and I (and maybe Sweetie Pie—fingers crossed) are eating to be more healthy. and recipe might be a term I’m using loosely. Sometimes “instructions” might be a better word.

It’s going to be a journey folks. Probably an imperfect one. And I’m starting now.


PS—Boogaboo just ate pumpkin muffins made with spelt flour! Hello Vitamin A and fiber.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Perspective & Opportunity

I am heartbroken for another Oklahoma family. When the tornado went through our metro area this past Tuesday evening, a Piedmont family lost not only their home, but two young sons as well.

This is the story as I know it. I believe it to be accurate, but I’m piecing it together from various sources.

The father of the family was out of town. As the storm approached the mother, who is pregnant, took cover in the family’s bathtub (which is recommended procedure if you can’t get underground) with her three children. When the half-mile wide tornado hit, it tore their home apart and ripped the 3 year old boy from his mother’s arms.  I know the mother is is critical condition & has undergone several surgeries already. They did find the baby’s heartbeat. The 5 year-old daughter is in serious condition, but she is expected to be okay. The 15 month old boy did not make it. About 36 hours after the tornado the body of the 3 year old was finally found.

You guys, I can not fathom what this family is going through. Can. Not. I have cried numerous tears for this family. This family I do not know. I broke down in my kitchen and sobbed uncontrollably yesterday. I feel a kind ship with this mom because our boys where close to the same ages.  My heart is heavy for them.

This family’s story has given me a healthy dose of perspective. I have hugged & kissed on my boys so much they are sick of it. I have a thousand times more patience with them than I was having. It has been a reality check to me about just what precious gifts my boys are. I cherish the time I have with them. Really cherish every minute. That word—PERSPECTIVE—has constantly been in my head.


I want to help. But where do you begin? So, I did the one thing I could & prayed for them. And I will continue to do that.

But yesterday another opportunity presented itself. And the best part is that you can help too. This might be a pipe dream, but it is worth a shot. This community is pushing to get Extreme Makeover Home Edition (EMHE) to build this family a new home.

Here’s where you come in.

Go on over to EMHE’s facebook page. On the left hand side of the page you will see a discussions link. Click on it & find the discussion titled  “Help Rebuild the home of the Hamil Family” & and a reply in support of this family. (There are several discussion threads for this family, PLEASE find the one by this title because I believe that is the only one that counts as far as nominations go.)

That’s it. In as little as 5 minutes you could do a small part in helping this family begin to piece their life back together. The question is,

Will you?


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pinching Pennies

Yes, I’m doing that coupon thing that is all the rage right now.  But, no, I am not being crazy coupon lady. Or at least I’m trying not to be. ::side eye:: It’s hard not to hoard when you can get things for free. But you’ll be glad to know that I’m refraining from getting 72 bottles of mustard. (Although I did snag 6 boxes of FREE tea last week & 4 things of FREE pasta.)

I have to credit my friend & her sister for getting me started on this.

I resisted for awhile because who has the time, right?

But then?

I saw how much MONEY THEY WERE SAVING. And you’ll just have to trust me on this.

It. was. astounding.

So, I decided to give this couponing thing a real shot.

I only started a week ago & have already saved over $200!!!! & all on stuff I’d normally buy anyway.

Several of you have asked me on Twitter how this works, so here is what I have learned so far. Remember I have only been at this for a week, so I am by no means an expert.

1. You will have to invest some time into this up front. Figure out some system to organize yourself. My system is this box. I have the following in it:

    • Envelopes for coupons that are tabbed for categories & stores. (When I make my shopping list for a particular store, I put all of the coupons I will need in that store’s envelope so I only have that one envelope to carry in the store with me.)
    • Scissors
    • Coupons that need clipped & filed
    • Notebook to make shopping lists
    • Pen


2. Create an email address for just for couponing. You’ll need it to sign on on various sites to access their coupons.

3. When you go to print your first coupons, your computer might have you install a program before it can print the coupon. This is okay. The program it wants to install will enable your printer to print the bar codes. You need these.

4. You can usually print 2 of the same coupon from each computer. (Read between the lines there. 2 computers means 4 coupons.)

5. Find out which grocery stores in your area double coupons & when they do. For example, some stores will always double them, but other stores only double them the last week of the month or whatever.


6. Find a local blogger who posts coupon match-ups* for the grocery stores in your area. Here are the ones I have been using. The grocery stores are local to my area, but I believe the Walgreens, CVS, & Target match-ups are national. (Don’t quote me on this. Like I said, I’m new to this, but it’d be worth checking out.)

Coupon Closet

Deal Detecting Diva

Simple Saving Savvy

Consumer Queen

*The match-ups are important because this will save you time. These bloggers have already put the puzzle together for you. (i.e. matched the sales up with the coupons out there.) Some coupons will be from Sunday’s paper; some will be printables. Here are the match-ups I used for the haul pictured below. It’ll give you the idea of how this coupon thing works.

On my first coupon trip to the grocery store this was my bounty. I spent $18.73. I saved $64.88 between sales & coupons. This store doubles coupons. I got several items FREE even.


That whole chicken was around $3. I think I spent $.50 on the A1 steak sauce. The ball Park hot dogs where $ .50. 4 things of pasta, 2 boxes of tea, a tube of toothpaste, Chinet napkins, homestyle Kraft mac & cheese, 2 packages of warm & serve Rhodes dinner rolls, & 3 boxes of Wheat Thins Stix all FREE. 

Now my trip to the grocery store this week didn’t seem like quite as good of a deal to me (I think because I only came away with a few freebies), but I still got this:

Homeland Haul 2

Spent $24.25. Saved $69.68

Here is my first Walgreens haul. Walgreens & CVS (which I haven’t even attempted yet) are a little more complicated than the grocery store because they have RRs & ERBs. Check out those about links to blogs that can explain those way better than I can.

WG 1

I basically got the 3 boxes of Splenda free after the RRs. Turned around & used the RRs on a second transaction for the rest. Got the 4 cleaners for $.50 each. The razor was $1.99 as were the blade refills. The wipes where on sale for 2 for $5. Had two $2 off coupons so I used one on each, which means the wipes where $1 for both boxes.

Oh, one more thing.  This couponing has a language all it’s own. Here is a run down of the lingo.

Phew! I know that’s a lot to digest all at once. Get organized & spend some time checking out those links. I promise it really is pretty easy &, once you figure it out, it isn’t all that time consuming. The hard part is done for you if you find the right sites.


It will be so very worth it when you start saving money!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Painkillers? Yes, Please!

In 12 years of teaching, I never had a truly embarrassing moment in front of my students. Never left my pants unzipped.  Never fell flat on my face. Never walked around with lipstick on my teeth all day. Never accidently tucked my dress into my panties & walked around. Never went into labor in class.

But yesterday?

It happened.

I passed out in front of a class of 8th graders.

I was subbing in the same school I taught at for the past 6 years—thankfully in a place where I knew everyone & they knew me. I was sitting at the desk & bent down to get something out of my purse & TOTALLY threw my back out.

But, of course, that wasn’t enough.

Apparently the pain was too much for my body to bare at that moment. The room started spinning. The noise became muffled. I was having an out-of-body experience. I knew this feeling. I knew I was about to pass out.

I sent a student over to get the teacher across the hall. I know she probably thought I had to go to the bathroom or something. She walked in, and I motioned for her to come over to the desk. I had just enough time to tell her what was up, & I was gone. Out like a light. And apparently I stayed that way for about a minute.

When I came to, I was so disoriented. My friend was standing there & now an assistant principal was too. The kids were all trying to figure out what happened. I had no idea where I was or what had happened.  I was covered in sweat.

I finally started to get my bearings; I realized what had happened. And I was completely mortified. But, hey, what could I do? The assistant principal found a teacher to cover the last hour of the day for me, & I gathered myself & my wits & went home.

And now? Percocet will be my best friend for the next couple of days.