Monday, February 17

Happy Homemaker Monday (2-17-14)

Bible verse, Devotional::: From "Made to Crave"
"Food can fill our stomachs but never our Souls
Possessions can fill our houses but never our Hearts
Sex can fill our night buts never our hungry for Love
Children can fill our days but never our Identity"

The weather::: More snow today but then a warm up later in the week!

On my reading pile::: "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeust

On the menu for this week:::

  • BBQ chicken sandwiches
  • Mexican Lasagna
Cooking for the Freezer::: Individual meals for Ken's lunches, individual oatmeal & cookies- maybe whole wheat chocolate chip...
Tip/trick/useful information::: Wake before your kids! Whether you decide to just drink your coffee in silence or get started on your To Do list, I promise your day will start off on a better note!
Today's To Do list:::
  • Exercise class
  • Pay bills online
  • Vacuum
Posts I am working on::: Still working on the new site. Launch date expected March 1st. YAY!
Something you may not know about me::: I am scared of roller coaster and being home alone at night.
Highlight of the past weekend::: Dinner Friday night w Ken. Even though we were unhappy w the meal it was a great night. (Really enjoying having babysitters now)
Looking forward to this week::: The weekend :) Lots of fun things planned!!!
What Cora has to say::: While playing Peter Pan:
"Mae how come I have to be brother John all the time?""Well bc, Mom, I have long hair like Wendy but you have a boy's hair cut." 
HAHA, she's not always sweet as can be; although I believe her intentions were good :)

From the camera:::

Monday, February 10

Happy Homemaker Monday (2-10-14)

Bible verse, Devotional::: "B/c I am omnipotent, I am able to bend time & events in your favor. You will find you can accomplish more in less time, after you have given yourself to Me in rich communication. Also, as you align yourself w My perspective, you can sort out what is important and what is not."
- Taken from my devotional this morning: "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young (Love love love this devotional that my dear friend, Jenna gave to me. If you don't have it you need to get it!)

The weather:::

On the menu for this week:::
  • Olive Garden's Zuppa soup
  • Broccoli Rice casserole
  • Fondue for Valentine's Day

Cooking for the Freezer: Mini loaves of lemon blueberry bread, Ken's favorite!

Tip/trick/useful information::: Keep yourself hydrated with WATER! The benefits are great: less headaches, better skin, eat less- just to name a few!

Today's To Do list:::

  • Exercise class
  • Phone calls
  • Laundry
Posts I am working on::: I am actually working on a whole new site. Did you hear? I bought a domain! Launching it in a few weeks! 

Something you may not know about me::: I am NOT "techy" what so ever! Since buying my site & working on setting it up I have been forced to teach myself tricks of the blogging world. You can do it too :)

Highlight of the past weekend::: Spending Saturday- Sunday w just Ken at our house in Peoria.

Looking forward to this week::: Valentine's Day. I've got some fun things planned for Mae

What Cora has to say::: "Mommy I had a lot of fun at grandmas but I did miss you every minute"

From the camera:::
While we were in Peoria we went to see Gravity in 3D. :)

Wednesday, February 5

Lamb Meatballs

1 lb. ground lamb
1/2 c.  chopped green onions
2 tsp. Pampered Chef's Greek Rub
1/2 tsp. marjoram
dash of cinnamon
-Mix all the ingredients together.
-Heat a large skillet w oil or butter
-Roll meat mixture into meatballs
-Cook about 10 minutes, turning until all sides are brown
-Cover, bake at 375 degrees for about 20-30 minutes

Tzatziki Sauce:
10 oz. (2 individual containers) Greek yogurt, plain
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded & shredded
1 tsp. salt
1 lemon, zest from whole lemon & juice from half
1/2 tsp. Pampered Chef's Greek Rub
dash of salt
-Place cucumber in a colander, sprinkle w salt & allow to sit for about 30 minutes to allow excess juice to drain off
-In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients. Mix until incorporated.
-Serve w meatballs

Monday, February 3

Happy Homemaker Monday (2-3-14)

Bible verse, Devotional::: During the last conversation Christ had with his disciples He spoke these words: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" -John 16:33

The weather::: Cold, w more snow Tuesday/Wednesday.

On my reading pile::: "Made to Crave" by Lisa Terkeurst- so far I am really enjoying it!

On the menu for this week:::
  • Macaroni & Ham casserole
  • Lamb chops & mashed potatoes
  • Penne pasta w marinara
Cooking for the Freezer: Mini muffins (I can't keep enough of these in the freezer-my girls gobble them up)

Tip/trick/useful information::: Play music when at home trying to clean. It really gets ya moving :) (Love Pandora on my Iphone!)

Today's To Do list:::
  • Exercise class
  • Write Thank Yous
  • Pay Bills
  • Put laundry away
Posts I am working on::: Lamb meatball recipe

Something you may not know about me::: Tomorrow I turn 29 for the 2nd time ;)

Highlight of the past weekend::: Sunday, it was a fun day filled w family

Looking forward to this week::: Saturday, going to Peoria to get our house listed to sell.

What Cora has to say::: "I am so glad you joined my family & became my mommy" (Tell me she is not the sweetest thing, EVER!)

From the camera:::

Thursday, January 30

30 by 30~ January

So here it is, my last "30 by 30" post before I turn 30 29 (again). I am proud of the things I got marked off, although there are several I should have worked harder at. These monthly posts were a great motivator to me & I am in the works of coming up w another goal type post that will keep me accountable in 2014. Stay tuned & thanks for following along w me!

Blog Related:::
1. Host a blog give away. DONE. I held 1 in early June to celebrate my 250th post. I also had a giveaway in October for national breast cancer awareness month!
2. Host a guest post. DONE. For World Breast Feeding week I "interviewed" a friend, Ruth Nelson. Read about it here.
3. Keep up on blog series I have started (Happy Homemaker Monday, 2 on 2 & Pinterest Projects) Took off all of December & some in January but hoping to get into it :)

Home Related:::
4. Organize & de-clutter every room in the house month by month. Before our move I de-cluttered a lot.
5. Make several different household products. I tested several ways to clean w vinegar here is Part 1 and Part 2 , Foaming Hand Soap. and Dryer Sheets
6. Cook something for my freezer at least once a week. This month: refried beans, mini-banana muffins, almond butter brownies, cookies, waffles, individual baked oatmeal
7. Have a garage sale. DONE. Happened in April. I made about $70 and I sold things using Facebook & have made $99 in 1 week. :)
8. Add 'curb appeal' to our home (shrubs,grass, flowers, stone work etc.) Didn't do & won't happen now that we moved
9. Plant something I've never planted in my garden. DONE.We planted strawberries!
10. Hang an outside clothes line  Didn't do & won't happen now that we moved

Family Related:::
11. Go on a few dates w/ Kenny. Anniversary dinner at 157, Dish in July Mid-October we went on a lunch date to Pikks in Valpo. December we went to his Christmas dinner & in January we went to Valley in Valpo, delicious!!!
12. Plan a Shipshewana, IN trip. DONE.We went mid-August.
13. Plan something special for Ken's 30th birthday (September) DONE!
14. Document the year through pictures/Be more intentional w/ new camera Didn't do so good w this one
15. Take girls to the zoo. DONE.We went for Father's day.
16. Teach Cora the the letters of the alphabet. Here to admit she knows some letters but not all of them.
17. Open saving accounts for girls
18. Get back on track using coupons, price matching, staying w/i our weekly grocery budget So Far, So Good
19. Go on a family vacation DONE. WE WENT TO FLORIDA FOR 11 DAYS IN MARCH!

For Me:::
20. Lose baby weight (I'll do this slowly b/c I'm nursing. I will not start a crazy diet plan. My plan is simple: eat healthy, walk & give it time!) DONE!!!
21. Treat myself to a manicure OR pedicure. DONE. Went w/ some friends in May
22. Do something totally different with my hair, DONE. read this post.
23. Do something special for my 30th birthday (in February)
24. Create & implement a daily cleaning schedule Didn't do this, which is ok bc w our move I would have needed to change it if I had ;)
25. Start journaling my bible reading time. I need to get back into the routine of following Priscilla Shirer's 5 Ps of bible study.

For Others:::
26. Do something neighborly for at least 2 of my neighbors. We took Key Lime Cookies to our neighbors Jim & Rose & we also delivered a dozen sweet corn to another neighbor.
27. Get more involved in our Preschool program at church. DONE.
28. Teach at least 1 friend how to pressure and/or water bath can DONE. I pressured canned w my mom
29. Be a bell ringer for Salvation Army during the Christmas season. This didn't happen :(
30. Act out at least 3 random acts of kindness (No plan for this- I will wait for the Holy Spirit to guide me) These happened :)

Wednesday, January 29

Already ANNOYED w the "Real Eating" Community

Loved this! :)

Here is why I am annoyed: I have visited numerous blogs, read several articles & "liked" a few pages on Facebook devoted to Real Eating. I have already come across several articles that discuss the topic of real eating/clean eating being just as affordable as your old ways. That simply is not true!
-Organic Anything is more expensive than non-organic
-Pure maple syrup & honey are more than double the price of the generic brand
-Grass fed beef/free range chicken costs more
-Greek yogurt is double the price of Yoplait
-Raw sugar & whole wheat flour cost more than the refined, white variations
-Cooking Oils, Oh my! Coconut, olive & cod liver oils are extremely more costly than vegetable/corn oils.

Here are some examples of items I have NOT started buying (due mainly to cost) even though the Real Eating community suggests:::
-Organic milk & dairy
-Eggs from free range chickens
-Organic produce
-Cod liver oil (I love olive oil & will continue to use it)
-Grass fed beef (I have a freezer full of beef & I know it came from a good source)

I was not naive about the cost of swapping Real ingredients & I am not complaining. I just don't understand why so many Real Eating bloggers claim "you won't notice a change in your grocery bill." The truth is you will notice an increase & you have to be the one to decide what changes you can afford & which changes matter most to you!

Monday, January 27

Real Food- Freezer Cooking *Update*

Here is an update on my Real Food-Freezer Cooking! Only 1 more recipe to go!
Are you cooking for your freezer too?

  • Cream of Celery soup
  • Banana Chocolate Chip mini-muffins
  • Waffles (with a few alterations)
  • Individual baked oatmeal cups
  • Refried Beans
  • Cookies (with a few alterations) I decided to make almond butter chocolate chip cookies! Yummy! 

Individual Baked Oatmeals, mini banana muffins & almond butter cookies

Happy Homemaker Monday (1-27-14)

Bible verse, Devotional::: "Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him." -Psalms 127:3 (I have a little scroll hanging on my kitchen cabinet that says this! Love this gentle reminder)

The weather::: More bitterly cold days. I don't mind winter or snow but negative temps are hard to deal with!

On my reading pile::: I still haven't received my book & I am getting annoyed!

On the menu for this week:::
Lamb meatballs (I still haven't come up w a recipe! Got to do that this week!)
Homemade chicken noodle soup (My Grandma Haggerty's recipe)

Cooking for the Freezer::: Individual baked oatmeal & refried beans

Tip/trick/useful information::: Keep your nails painted- they will grow faster, better & stronger!

Today's To Do list:::
Finish Real Food- Freezer Cooking
Put away baskets of laundry
Write Thank Yous

Posts I am working on::: "Already ANNOYED w the Real Eating Community"

Highlight of the past weekend::: Saturday....just Saturday...

Looking forward to this week::: An all day Pampered Chef training course on Saturday!

What Cora has to say::: As she is watching me put her gross antibiotic in her milk: "Mom, you really don't need to put that in my milk bc I am feeling much better."

From the camera:::
I made this "real" pasta dish the other night- It was full of broccoli & red peppers & a hit w the family!

Friday, January 24

Evie's 12 month Check up

Last Thursday I took Ev for her 12 month well visit. She weighed in at a staggering 16lbs 15 oz., 3rd percentile. And 28.5 inches long! (Just slightly bigger than Cora at the same age) Oh, how I love my little runt babies ;) She is healthy & well.
The night of her birthday she slept through the night for the first time & has been doing so since! YAY!
She really enjoyed her birthday cake...

Love you so much, Evelynie! Can't wait to celebrate many more birth days of you!

Thursday, January 23

Pinterest Projects- 45 Uses of Vinegar Part III

I tested these uses & wrote this post right as we were moving from IL to IN. It got put on the back burner until now. I have really been intrigued testing various ways to use vinegar! You need to give some of these a try!!!

I found a list of 45 uses of vinegar on Pinterest. I have tried several of the suggestions. You can read about the other uses I  have tested Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

I made Dryer Sheets using vinegar and I love how they turned out. This idea was NOT on this list "45 Uses of Vinegar"  I got the idea from my sister in law. Be sure to check out how I made them!

15. Put an end to itching.
Dab a cotton ball soaked in white vinegar on mosquito bites and insect stings. It will stop them from itching and help disinfect the area so they heal faster. I tried this on Cora when she had a mosquito bite. It seemed to help! But since I didn't have one of my own it was hard to know for sure.

16. Whiten your teeth.
Brush your teeth once a week with white distilled vinegar. Dip your toothbrush into the vinegar and brush thoroughly. It will help prevent bad breath, too. I haven't noticed a difference yet. Probably bc I drink too much coffee ;)

17. Make nail polish last longer. Before you apply nail polish, wipe your nails with a cotton ball soaked in white distilled vinegar. The clean surface will help your manicure last. Hmmm, I don't know about this one. I don't think it made my OPI last any longer than normal. But I'd say try it for yourself :)      

37. Sticky stickers. Don’t scratch at the residue left by stickers or price tags. Instead, apply vinegar to the gunk, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe the glue away. This worked great. Cora leaves stickers all over the house. These 2 have been on my floors for awhile now....But w a few squirts of vinegar they came right up!!!
Have you seen this picture floating around Facebook? Some reports don't support the claims on this picture. But I am going to try it! When I researched apple cider vinegar benefits I found several other claims too: heals sore throat which I currently have :( A shot in water, juice or a smoothie everyday for at least 30 days to see if I can tell a difference in any way. If I do notice any effects I'll be sure to post!
So *Cheers* to apple cider vinegar! ;)

Tuesday, January 21

"Real Food" Freezer cooking


Holidays are over & I need to replenish my freezer! Anyone want to do some FREEZER COOKING with me? Did you read my post about trying to feed my family real food? The recipes below will allow me to have convenient meals/snacks that are real food! (Although, some of these recipes will require altering to make them "real")

I plan to make each recipe by next Tuesday! 6 recipes in 7 days, that's doable, right? We'll see.....

  • Banana Chocolate Chip mini-muffins
  • Waffles (with a few alterations)
  • Individual baked oatmeal cups

Monday, January 20

Happy Homemaker Monday (1-20-14)

Bible verse, Devotional::: "You don't have to know Everything {about the bible} to go & tell the good news of Jesus!"

The weather::: A possible 12" of snow coming in tonight & then temps drop into negatives. Ekkk! Looks like we'll be staying in for a few days! But that is ok w me....I'll just cook!

On my reading pile::: I ordered Lisa TerKeurst's "Crave" but I STILL haven't received it yet!

On the menu for this week:::
Soup (not sure what kind though)
lamb meatballs (trying to come up w a recipe myself)

Cooking for the Freezer: homemade cream of celery soup (I didn't get it made last week)

Tip/trick/useful information::: Your kids will never notice spinach/kale in smoothies ;)

Today's To Do list::: Not much, Cora isn't feeling well. So we are staying home.

Posts I am working on::: Uses for Vinegar- Part III

Looking around the house::: Cora is eating breakfast next to me & watching a princess movie, Ev is destroying the living room.

Highlight of the past weekend::: Celebrating Evie's birthday

Looking forward to this week::: 70 degree temps...oh wait...

What Cora has to say::: Upon receiving a card from an IL friend: "Oh my goodness, I have to put this picture next to my bed bc Makaela is my best friend & I won't be seeing her for awhile. Oh, I miss her."

From the camera:::

Wednesday, January 15

2014 starts Real Food/Clean Eating

2014 is bringing a change to our home- Real/Clean Eating.
I studied nutrition/dietetics in college (never graduated, but that is a post for another day) so I have known for years the benefits of healthy eating and for the most part I feed my family healthy. I've had a garden for years, canned as much possible & tried to make the best choices in the grocery store. But until recently, preservatives, food dyes & other additives never bothered me much; especially since I could get convenience foods dirt cheap using coupons. And thus, my problem, breakfast, snacks & lunches. Dinners I make at home are healthy & already "real food" by using yields from my garden, meats from a good source & good fats.
I am hoping to replace the junk food I bought at the store w/ real food from my freezer. Thursday, I spent the day making mini-banana muffins & refried beans. After a small taste test everything went into my freezer for later use. I have several other homemade replacement recipes I plan to try: cream of celery soup, almond milk, tortillas, almond butter brownies....
I am excited to feed my family better and am anxious to see what changes I notice.

What changes are you making in 2014?

Tuesday, January 14

12 months of Evie

Today, my sweet Evie turns 1! What an amazing year it has been! Today, lil miss Ev is so busy. It is hard to remember her so tiny as these pictures show. Ah, time flies...
We had a great day celebrating Evie & are looking forward to more festivities this weekend.
I thank God for my Evelynie daily, I am so gratful she is mine!
Love you to pieces, Evie <3 p="">

1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months

10 months

11 months

12 months!!!

Monday, January 13

Happy Homemaker Monday (1-13-14)

Bible verse, Devotional::: Marital problems are almost inevitable when couples overcommit themselves during the early years. The bonding that should occur in the first decade requires time together--time that cannot be given if it is absorbed elsewhere. Success will wait, but a happy family will not. - Dr. James Dobson

The weather:::

On my reading pile::: I ordered Lisa TerKeurst's "Crave" but haven't received it yet!

Cooking for the Freezer::: , Applesauce mini muffins, Almond butter brownies & cream of celery soup

Tip/trick/useful information::: When I boil chicken I season the water well w: S&P, parsley, bay leaf, & thyme. Once the broth is cooled, I freeze it. I usually have plenty of chicken broth in my freezer & never have to buy canned.

Today's To Do list:::
Faithful fitness
Clean up apartment
Grocery store

Posts I am working on::: "Uses for Vinegar Part III", Real Eating & "12 months of Evie"

Highlight of the past weekend::: Going on a date w Ken to a great place downtown Valpo that tries to serve only local ingredients.

Looking forward to this week::: Evie turning 1 Tuesday. Not sure if I'm looking forward to it or dreading it :*(

What Cora has to say::: "Mom, Evie is such a stinker baby. She is always taking things out of the cabinets. But I am still glad she joined our family."

From the camera:::