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Archive for the month “February, 2011”

Stickler for the Rules

How many of you out there are sticklers for the rules? You abide by them at all costs. I have to say, I am not one of those people. In fact, I was never any good at following the rules. I remember in grade school, my homework rarely got done on time, if at all, and my  room, rodents could have lived in it.

I of course, am exaggerating, but I am not what you would call a neat freak, by any means.

Little C however, major type A personality. I can already tell even though she is all of 17.5 months old. We walk down the stairs and she is quick to point out all the problems with the house: The dog bowl should not be on the floor (I might splash in it), the door to the bathroom should be closed ( I might drop my toys in the toilet) and the baby gate should be closed at all times (I might try to climb up the stairs by myself).

C knows all the rules. In fact, she reminds me of them. She regularly goes over to the China cabinet, give me a big grin and then innocently says, “NO”.

I can only sit here and wonder what type of person she will be…

This Little Piggy

C surprised me with a cute little trick today.

We were sitting on the floor reading a book with farm animals. The horse says, “neigh”; the cow says, “mooooo”. Then I point to the pig and ask, “C, what does the pig say”? I am half expecting a cute little version of the “oink” sound, and half expecting silence. What does she say you might ask???


She points to her toes and says “Weeeeeee”.

What an excellent observer I have, because in fact “this little piggy DOES cry wee, wee, wee, all the way home”.

Small Successes

This weeks small successes was particularly challenging for me this week. It has been one of those weeks that I feel like I am running in circles. So here goes nothing!

1) Applied for a job. I created a resume and got some references together. The whole bit! Just waiting to here back.

2) Got C to Mother’s Day Out on time both days this week, even after I over slept by 50 minutes one of the days.

3) Got inspired and came up with a really good book idea. (I think anyway) I won’t give it away, you’ll have to read it when it comes out, somewhere around 15 years from now 🙂

Thank you guys so much for reading! I Just started getting the Daily Digest from Faith and Family Live. It is what inspired my blog in the first place. Feel free to comment and give me any tips or feed back you can think of! 

Banana Ice Cream

As I was browsing the internet I came across this very interesting idea, to make ice cream out of solely frozen bananas and a food processor. I will admit that some aspects of it do not sound all that appealing. For example: the very banana taste that I expect accompanies this “ice cream”.  I will however say that I once tried whipped cream made out of pears and it turned out to very delicious and healthy. I will give this a try and let you all know how it goes. In the meantime here is the website that I found this idea at:

http://cravingchronicles.com/2010/08/04/banana-soft-serve-ice-cream/

Let me know what you think!

The Total Money Makeover

Since student loans are approaching us quickly we have begun to take a good look at our financial situation, or lack there of. I picked up Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover, in hopes of finding some answers before true money problems actually set in.

I found this book to be particularly insightful. I will admit that it is more geared toward those who find themselves sitting a heap of financial ruin, not those that are just starting out. The book presents a 7 step path to financial freedom. It begins with saving a tiny rainy day fund, then moves on to getting rid of debt, paying off the mortgage, all the way to donating your money and living “the dream”.

Ramsey has a very interesting approach to finance. He basically suggests that you should ignore your credit score and avoid credit cards at all costs. Some, including myself, could find this concerning if they are looking to obtain a mortgage or make any other major purchase that requires having credit. I will say that I love the idea of only purchasing what you have the money for at that moment. He also goes on to suggest, that if possible, a person should pay in full for his or her home. I think this may be unrealistic for most people to save up enough money soon enough to buy a home in cash. He does, however, mention that he realizes that it may be optimistic to challenge people to do that.

Lucky for us, the book offers a great launching point for tackling debt. He calls it the “snow ball effect”. He suggests that a person pay off the smallest debt they have as soon as possible, while continuing to pay only the minimum balance for the larger debt. After the small one is payed off add those old payments on to the next smallest debt. Eventually all the debt becomes eradicated!

My favorite part about this book is the worksheets he provides in the back. There are budget worksheets and helpful budget guidelines. Once we get a budget finalized, I will be sure to post a version of ours to see how it compares.

I highly suggest going to the library or the bookstore and picking up a copy of this book to read for yourself. It is full of helpful advice!


Perfect Pancakes

Hello everyone! Here is the recipe that I have come up with for pancakes for weekend morning breakfasts. I did of course utilize a rather old, Good Housekeeping Cookbook as my base recipe. These pancakes have been a big hit at our house and the added whole wheat flour adds to the nutrition level. In fact this morning my one and a half year old daughter ate 4 of them and cried when I told her that she had had enough.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour

3/4 cup All-purpose Flour

1 and 1/3 cup of skim milk

2 TBSP baking powder

1 egg

3 TBSP Sugar

1 TSP vanilla

2 TSP cinnamon

1/2 TSP nutmeg


Directions

1) Heat griddle to aprox. 275 degrees.

2) Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk.

3) Spray non- stick cooking spray onto griddle, can also use butter or vegetable oil.

4) Pour 1/4 cup of batter, per pancake, onto already hot griddle.

5) When bubbles form and begin to pop flip pancakes over.

6) Cook until golden brown on both sides.

Note: You can also add in 1 cup or berries or apples to the batter for pancakes with an extra kick.

Hope you enjoy!!

My Pride and Joy

A few days ago J, C and I were walking through the grocery store when we were stopped by a smiling elderly man. He looked at C and then at J, and asked, ” Is that your pride and joy”? He was, of course, referring to C. J and I both smiled and nodded our heads in unison, that C was in fact our pride and joy.

Then with and even bigger grin painted across is face he asks us if we would like to see a picture of his pride and joy, as he excitedly opens his wallet to pull out a photo. Here we were expecting a picture of cute little chubby grandchild. That is definitely not what he showed us!

As I look down I see a photo of Pride and Joy detergent. All three of us cannot contain ourselves as we burst out laughing. C catches on and joins in on the fun. I could tell that the man was very pleased with himself and his little joke. After we were finally able to contain ourselves, long after the man disappeared, J and I discussed the fact that the picture looked over 20 years old.

This must have his much cleaner version of the old pull your finger joke. It was nice to see this elderly man still getting a kick out of the simpler things in life. Do you have a go- to joke that you always tell?

That Four Letter Word

Today J humored me with a funny little story about our daughter C. Since I was out the door extremely early this morning, J was getting C ready for the day. He was changing C out of her PJs when to his disbelief a four letter word, that started with “S” popped out of her mouth. Not only once, but 4 or 5 times! “Make it stop”! He thought to himself. Trying to think back to the way we talk at home, he thought that this word could not possibly picked up from our home. Where did she learn this?! She in fact, only currently has a vocabulary of about 25 words. Why was this word the choice for number 26? Then, all of a sudden, she picks up her top for the day and points to it and once again says that pesky little word. In relief he laughs out loud realizing that she was just unfortunately mispronouncing “SHIRT”. I hope this little story brought a bout of laughter to your day as it did mine 🙂 I am only thankful that she hasn’t, so far, pointed out a shirt to anyone else outside of our home.

Hidden Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Since I cringe at the idea of Easy Mac or the yellow powdered “cheese” from Kraft, a few days ago I decided to venture out and make my own homemade mac and cheese. Then I thought, why not spike the nutrition up a notch and add in a little cauliflower. Cauliflower is pretty bland, so you won’t even notice it right? Correct! I thought it was going to end up such a disaster, but it turned out surprisingly tasty. So go ahead, give it a try! This recipe is based off of a recipe from Dr. Will Clower’s book, The French Don’t Diet Plan.


Ingredients:

pinch of salt and pepper

splash of extra- virgin olive oil

2 cups of elbow macaroni

2 TBSP of unsalted butter

2 TBSP of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of whole milk or cream

1 bay leaf

1 and 1/4 cup of grated Cheddar cheese

1 cup of steamed cauliflower

Directions:

1) Cook the elbow macaroni according to directions on the package

2) put the steamed cauliflower into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth

While the pasta is cooking:

3) Melt the butter over medium heat in second sauce pan. Add the flour and mix it throughly with the butter to form a roux. Brown it only slightly.

4) Pour in milk, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to simmer and whisk until smooth.

5) Remove bay leaf and stir in grated cheese and cauliflower to complete the sauce. Let it heat completely

6) Drain the macaroni and toss with sauce and enjoy!

Note: You can always switch up the cheeses to your liking or toss it with some cubed ham!

Small Successes

Here are my three small successes for the week:

1) Beginning this blog! It may not be perfect yet, but so far I am enjoying every moment of it 🙂

2) Getting my daughter to enthusiastically eat cauliflower. Okay, I admit I tricked her into eating it by hiding it in homemade macaroni. (The recipe soon to come)

3) Waking up before anyone else in the house today, so I had a little time for myself!

Note: I am unable to get the Small Successes button to work on wordpress.

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