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Showing posts from January, 2012

Cuz' I Eats My Spinach......

"I'm Popeye the Sailor Man, I'm Popeye the Sailor Man. I'm strong to the finich cuz I eats my spinach! I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!"

I've been able to get a few kiddos to try spinach just by singing Popeye's song. I haven't met a boy yet who wouldn't like to have bulging muscles like Popeye. I love spinach so I am glad that it is full of nutrients. Here is what can be found in spinach: Loaded with flavonoids ~ antioxidantsVitamins C and A for a healthy heartRich in potassium (lowers blood pressure)for great cardiovascular health. Vitamin K, Vitamin A and magnesium which is good for bone health.Beta-carotene and Vitamin C for gastrointestinal healthAnti-inflammatory properties help with osteoporosis, arthritis, asthma, and migrainesHelps brain heath!Lutein which helps fight eye disease such as cataracts and macular degenerationFull of iron which is good for energySo eat up your spinach my friends!
Omelet made from farm fresh eggs (Thank you,Henny Pe…

My Hero

I am the daughter of a great man.  While I was growing up I thought my dad knew EVERYTHING. I still do.

Chicken Nuggets and Pizza

This is the year that I am plunging into the effort to only (ok, let's be realistic here. MOSTLY) serve GOOD food in my home. I pledge to serve real food to not only myself but to my family and my daycare family. I've always tried to feed the kiddos well. We have always eaten lots of fruits and vegetables. However, a couple times a week I'd serve kid-friendly meals in order to appease the kids. With my Year of Less I'm taking hot dogs, chick strips and frozen pizza off the menu.

Here's a couple new recipes I've tried this month ~

Homemade Chicken Nuggets Three Chicken Breast cut up into chunks2-3 T Coconut Oil1-2 C. Whole Wheat flourA few shakes of saltA shake of pepperA couple pinches of Wildtree Garlic and Herb Blend Heat coconut oil on medium heat. Mix dry ingredients Dredge chicken through flour mix. Drop into pan. 
Easy, yummy, and most the kids like it.
At Laurie's Little Sprouts we do two things on Pizza Friday. As the name suggests, we eat pizza. We…

Super Duper Power Smoothie on Traditional Tuesdays

Part of my less in 2012 is eating and serving my family and extended family (meaning my daycare family) less processed foods. I have a few favorite blogs which I subscribe to that provide not only recipes but also motivation in obtaining this goal.

Delicious Obsessions is one such blog that educates, motivates and inspires me to eat REAL food. Delicious Obsessions also hosts a blog party featuring traditional foods and today's Traditional Tuesday's Nutritional and Delicious Blog Carnival not only features my Smoothie recipe but also has quite a few recipes that I am anxious to try. 

I haven't made my own Super Duper Power Smoothie in awhile and am in dire need of a "pick-me-up". 

I can't wait to try the breakfast rice pudding, sourdough starter and the savory hummus recipe. Check out the other great traditional food ideas or submit your own at Delicious Obsessions Tradition Tuesdays.

Felted Toys

In my hopes to give homemade gifts this year, I contemplated what I could possibly make for the birthday of a one-year old boy. Since he loves throwing things, usually toys not meant for throwing, I decided to make him felted balls. These balls are great in that they bounce and even better......they don't hurt when one bonks you in the head!  I used wool to form the ball and then added wool roving for a bit of color.
After needling the ball a bit to bind the fibers, I put the ball into a old knee high stocking.
3-4 balls can be fit into each stocking, just tie in between each ball. Wash on hot - the hot water will shrink up the fibers and fuse them together.

Tada!  Soft, washable and homemade.

Shared on Polly Want 2 PARTY! Mondays

Homemade Furniture Polish is Not Just for Furniture

Last week I was "detailing" my dining room. As part of my "LESS in 2012",  my goal is to get every room (even the laundry room) detailed clean and clutter free. Last week I picked the easiest room in the house. It's always good to feel a little success when the project before you seems a bit overwhelming.  While cleaning, I pulled out my homemade polish to shine up my pie safe/craft cupboard, my antique clock and my dusty plant. 
The polish is simply olive oil and lemon juice.

 I took a feather dust to my plant first but that did little in removing the dust. I poured a little oil on a polishing cloth and gently wipe the leaves.

 The little crevices in my clock are impossible to get to with a polishing cloth so I grabbed a stiff painting brush, dipped it in oil and gently brushed away the dust! After dusting/oiling the crevices, I wiped the excess oil with the polishing cloth.

With all my "pretties" dusted and shiny it was time to polish up the craft c…

Gratitude for New Tricks

I grate soap to use in  laundry soap, liquid hand soap and shampoo. Usually I give this dreaded job to The Boy and take over when he tires of it. Today, as I was grating cheese in my Salad Shooter, I was eyeing my soap which was "curing" on the counter.  As the cheese shredded and shot out onto the chips (Nachos were requested for lunch today), I was thinking about the dreaded task of grating soap.  Like magic, a light bulb switched on in my head. Why hadn't I thought of this before?  I cleaned the cheese out of the Salad Shooter, popped in a hunk of soap and VIOLA! Beautifully grated soap! Ah, my days of scraping my knuckles against the grater is over. Time will be saved.  Four bars of soap grated in two minutes vs. four bars of soap in two hours (that may be a slight exaggeration). Life is just a little bit easier all because a friend showed up at my house one day last fall and said, "Hey, I bet you could find a use for this".  At the time I had no idea how …

What was that word?

Today, as I was reading one of my favorite blogs (I have many), An Oregon Cottage, I was excited to read that she too had a "word" and so do several others who have joined a link party dedicated to Words for 2012. Jami's word was eliminate which seemed vaguely familiar. What was my word? I was completely stumped. I had to go back to my blog post to find out.

Simple? Abundance? What was it? It hasn't even been a month when I chose that word. The word that would guide me and my decisions through 2012. LESS. Oh yes, that was it. LESS. have I been doing on that?

 LESS refined, processed, fake food. So far so good. I've been baking bread, making healthy meals and reading labels with a vengeance. LESS spending...still working on that. I started tracking my money spending on "The Birdy" I didn't think I spent money carelessly. I've found that I do. I have room to grow in this category. LESS stuff. I've been making slow progress. One garba…

The Mama Knits

Watch out, I've moved from crocheting dish clothes to trying my hand at knitting a scarf. I've decided that this scarf is my practice scarf. I do a few rows of knitting, a row or two of purling. I'm not keeping track so it will be a haphazard pattern and I'm ok with that.

Like crocheting, the first hour of learning this new skill was difficult. The thought of my hands working together with the long, awkward needles seemed like an impossibility. Eventually it did come. The other night I knit while watching a so-so movie with a really great soundtrack ("The Tree of Life"... beautiful yet bizarre and lacking of something I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's the lack of dialogue.). The music along with the rhythmic motion of my fingers was so calming. I'm hooked.

Cooper is peeking in here. I think he is confused, and a little put off, with all the attention I'm giving my yarn.

The Boy Paints

I think I may need a frame.


As my chili is cooking on the stove, I am thankful. Thankful that I've learned to use my time wisely (well, kinda wisely....let's not even talk about my facebook problem or my addiction to reading blogs). See, ten minutes ago I was racking my brain as to what I'd feed hubby for lunch. He gets home from work in half an hour. The thought of running to Subway was appealing but then that defeats my desire to feed my family well. My lazy Saturday morning of reading didn't want to be disturbed with time spent in the kitchen. During the week I prepare and serve meals for my family and daycare kiddos. That's five breakfasts, five lunches, five dinners, and ten snacks (yes, those little ones are ALWAYS hungry), not to mention the loads and loads of dishes. I'm not whining, I'm only trying to create an excuse for the reason I don't care to spend any time in the kitchen during the weekends. But back to today's lunch.

At 10:45 I was thinking, "Oh shucks, …

New Uses for Old T-Shirts

Last summer, after thinking that weaving t-shirt rugs was a great idea, I enlisted the help of family and friends to obtain used t-shirts. I was excited about all the rugs that I'd make with the SIX garbage bags full of tees...until I found that weaving rugs just wasn't my "thing". I've been slowly going through these bags and finding other ways to re purpose the clothing. Today, I decided to make a few bibs! The striped shirt on the top of my pile shows that I simply cut from the shoulder to the bottom of the shirt making an easy slip over the head bib. Nothing fancy. Simple and useful. Not pretty but practical. On the right side of my pile is a stack of shirts that I cut into various sizes and will be used for runny noses and baby bottoms. (Don't worry, I keep these separated). I hate spending money on supplies that are disposable. Sometimes I wash my cloth wipes/Kleenexes to use again but occasionally I will throw my wipes away after one use. Poop wipes g…

Whole Wheat Recipes ~ Chocolate Cake and French Bread!

One of my goals for 2012 (yes, I have many) is to eliminate my home of processed foods and do most, if not all, my baking at home. Although most my baked goods, such as cake, cookie, etc. are homemade made. But I'd like to strive to have everything not only homemade but also with REAL, unprocessed ingredients. No bleached flour in my I cupboard!
Yesterday I found (and made) a recipe for French Bread. The recipe is PERFECT. Perfect explanations, perfect tutorial pictures and perfect results so other than showing the ingredients that I changed, I'm sending you on to the blog in which I found the recipe. I know that I will be returning to Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes again to try more of her recipes! 
Whole-Wheat French Bread

3 cups of durum whole-wheat flour ->-> I used 5 cups organic, whole wheat flour

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tbsp + 1 tsp vital wheat gluten I skipped the gluten

(If you don't have vital wheat gluten, use 3 cups all-purpose and 2 cups whole-w…


2 T. yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1 t. honey

2 eggs
1/2 c. oil (I used 1/4 c. coconut oil and 1/4 c. Wildtree Grapeseed Oil - Tuscan European Dipping Oil)
1/2 c. honey
1 t. sea salt
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. milk
4 cups of Prairie Gold Whole Wheat Flour

Mix first three ingredients and set aside to "fester".

In another bowl, beat egg and mix in oil, honey, salt, water and milk. Add yeast ingredients and mix. Add flour and knead (or let your kitchen aide do it for you).

Let dough rest for 10 min. Knead again, cover with a towel and let rise (1/2 hour or a tad more).

Punch down and knead again on floured surface. Let rise until double in size.

Form into desired size - small for dinner rolls, big for hamburger buns, etc. Let buns rest/rise for 10 minutes before putting into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350.

Tutu Creations

There are bunches of tutu tutorials on the web, (I know, I looked at many of them) but I thought I'd share some tips and shortcuts that I learned along the way. If you haven't already guessed by my previous posts, I'm all about finding a faster and less complicated way to do EVERYTHING. I'm short on time and often short on patience. My first tutu was a flop even though I followed the directions. It took a lot of time, I was using more tulle than what was recommended (meaning my inexpensive Christmas gifts were becoming quite expensive), it was ugly and I had less than a month to make eleven tutus. Before giving up, I took my first tutu apart and tried again....and I found some tricks to help me accomplish my goal!
The waist can be made from ribbon (something wide ~ I used ribbon with a 4 in width) OR elastic (this will need to be sewn ~ I did mine by hand) OR elastic headbands. I loved the ribbon because I left long tails to be tied around the waist (mak…