Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Foods You Can Easily Grow Indoors

Its winter still here- but a warm February, I would venture to say the warmest on record.  The kind that makes me think it would almost be okay to go buy seeds and prepare starts in my house.  I've seen them for sale at the store already.  But I'm trying to refrain as I always start my starts way to early.  And that is usually April.  It may be a 60 degree February but "It is not Spring"- that is what I keep telling myself.

So I can't garden outside yet.  But I've seen a few articles online recently about growing food indoors.
I thought I would leave those links here as a reference for myself for the future and any readers who are also interested. Maybe growing some food indoors will help me curtail my desire to go plant some cold crops outside way too early.

1. Twenty Foods you can Grow Indoors.
This slide show goes beyond a little kitchen window herb garden.  With suggestions about carrots in pots indoors, potatoes in grocery sacks indoors, and citrus trees in your entry way... that sounds decorative and delicious.

2. Foods that Magically Regrow From Kitchen Scraps
Whole Foods has this attractive info graphic about foods you can re-grow from the leftover pieces you didn't use in last nights dinner.  Lettuce, celery, onions and even pineapple.  It might not really be gardening- but it might feel enough like gardening to keep me from filling my laundry room with starts.  Plus who doesn't want to make their groceries go further.

3.  Seven Foods to Grow From Kitchen Scraps.
Happy Money Saver is a great blog mostly about being frugal.  She did some experimenting with regrowing food, including using the potatoes you forgot about in the pantry that started sprouting and creating an entire harvest of new potatoes in a trash can in your kitchen.

4. Healthy Foods to Grow Indoors
Greatist.com has a beautiful explanation of foods to grow indoors that will not only grow well indoors, but also are a selection of super foods- avocados, micro greens, greens and ginger.

5. Indoor Citrus Trees
BC Living has a great article here about growing citrus trees inside.  I think this is maybe the thing I am most likely to try seeing as how I can't even grow citrus outside in the summer because it is too cold.   A gorgeous mandarin tree in the dinning room would be amazing.  I guess its time to shop for the perfect pot.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

New Blog. It's About the Pie - Make the Move

For anyone who might still follow me here. THANK YOU!
I loved this Ready Set Plan blog in its time.
But I found that when my kids health problems consumed my time, they seemed to consume this old blog as well. In content.  And then eventually I quit contributing to it.

Literally years have passed since my last post.

But good news.
I've been blogging again!
A brand new site with a brand new blog

It is called It's About The Pie

A blog about simple things that make life great. Like Pie.
Lots of pie.
See the thing about pie is, there are so many different kinds of pie it is hard to get bored.
And other simple, beautiful, and delicious things.
Like recipes, home decor, photography, design, and motherhood.

I hope you follow me over and have a slice!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tamale Pie. And Allergy Friendly Food

This is a great recipe.
We are obsessed with tamales in this house.  And when I say "We" I mostly mean me.
I found a way to make some tamale pies, and indivualize them so that some can be lactose free, gluten free and fructmal friendly.

The most important thing to this recipe is individual ramekins to cook in.  That is what makes the individualization possible.  If you don't have any go check the Dollar Store.  That is where I got mine, and I love the possibilies it gives me to make casserole again with specific ingredients for those who can and can't have whatever.

Tamale Pie

3 large chicken breasts- cooked and shredded
1 cup cheese (rice shred for lactose free)
1/2 cup sliced olives
1/2 cup enchilada sauce- I used green, but red would make it more traditional
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup frozen corn
-really feel free to get creative.  beans, stewed tomatoes would also be good.

1 1/2 cup corn meal
1 cup King Arthur GF flour (or regular flour if that works for you)
1 Tbls baking powder
2 Tbls  sugar
1 tsp salt
4 Tbls oil
2 lg eggs
1 cup milk  (we used rice milk)

Put desired personalized filling into each ramekin.  So easy to personalize based on specific allergies, plus you could let the kids help putting what they would like into their own dish.
Mix together dry ingredients for topping.  Wisk together milk oil and eggs in sepearate bowl then combine.  Once well blended pour over toppings in each ramekin.  We were able to make five 6" ramekin individual tamale pies with this recipe.  Place ramekins on cookie sheet and eat 375 for 25-30 minutes.
Let cool for ten minutes before serving then top with sour cream or avocados if you like.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fructose Malabsorption Diet

We have a son with Fructose Malabsoprtion and Lactose Intolerance.  
When he was diagnosed it was nearly impossible for me to find information quickly online.
Everything I read was contradicting and it made me want to give up, or maybe just slam my head against a brick wall several times.  Even now cooking and shopping take a lot of thought.  I made a list for our own family with ideas and approved foods for an easy reference for me or somebody taking care of my child.  I thought I would post it because I want other's searching to be able to find something.  After all I know how challenging it can be.
This is in no way medical information, and may not be what works for individuals with similar issues, however it is what has worked for us at least as it  usually works for my son.  

Fructose Malabsorption and Dairy Free Diet

rice milk
Almond Dream Ice Cream (without coconut)
Vegan Cream Cheese (plain)
Rice Shred Cheddar Cheese

rice milk- limit to 4 oz a day
HINT flavored waters
Chocolate milk- made with rice milk and melted chocolate almond dream

Spreads/ seasoning
Adam's Peanut Butter
Planter's Natural Peanut Butter
Justin's Nut Spreads (1 Tbls)
Mayo made with olive oil
Simple natural jam's made with berries and reduced sugar
olive oil
cocoa powder

white rice- plain
plain oatmeal
sourdough bread-1 piece a day or
sourdough english muffins- 1 a day
corn tortillas
corn bread- homemade
gluten free noodles
rice noodles
gluten free pancake mix
gluten free bisquick

bacon- 1-2 pieces
Nathan's hot dogs 1-2 a week
applegate turkey lunch meat
applegate salami

Fruits and Vegetables
banana-one a day
berries-2-4  a day
oranges 1/2 a day
cucumber unlimited
spinach- unlimited
lettuce- moderate amounts
honeydew melon- unlimited
watermelon- 1 -2 slices a week
avocado- 1/4 a day
green or yellow pepper- 1-2 small slices a day

Treats and Snacks
Barbara's Puffin Cereals
Dairy Free natural chocolate chips
dumdums- 1-2 a week
French Fries- all natural no garlic
Pirate Bootie in moderation
all natural popcorn
rice cakes
potatoe chips
tortilla chips
rice krispies
corn flakes
gluten free cereals
gluten free  crackers
annie'e fruit snacks
annie's gluten free snicker doodle cookies
potato sticks
pop chips
sugar free jello
gluten free, dairy free cookies 2-3  a week

fruits and veg not on list
brown sugar
corn syrup
Maple syrup
most artificial ingredients

Breakfast Ideas
1.  Egg Sandwich on Sourdough English Muffin with one strip of bacon

2. Oatmeal with cinnamon

3. Approved cereal with rice milk and small amount of approved fruit.

4.  French Toast made with sourdough bread and rice milk and egg.  Top with Approved PB or Jam.

5.  Gluten Free Pancake Mix. Top with three berries, or PB. 

6.  Chocolate Chip Waffles made with GF waffle mix and five approved. Choc Chips. No need for topping.

Lunch Ideas.
1. PB  & J made on Udi's with approved spreads

2.  Approved Salami and Vegan Cream Cheese on Gluten Free crackers- like lunchable

3. Corn dog muffins- Homemade corn muffins with approved dairy, oil and reduced sugar.  With two to three slices of Nathan's gluten free hot dog cooked inside.  Dip in mustard

4.  Hamburger.  Topped with lettuce and mustard and approved. mayo.

5. Turkey sandwich made with Applegate meat, Udi bread, mustard and lettuce and basil or avocado.

6.  Gluten Free crackers topped with tuna and mayo and sliced cucumber

Dinner Ideas
1. Gluten Free Noodles with Shrimp, approved vegetables and homemade pesto (omit parm cheese)

2. Gluten Free Noodles with hamburger meat, spinach and small diced peppers.  drizzled with olive oil and salt.

3. Turkey Dinner with Baked Potatoes

4.  Roast Dinner with Baked Potatoes

5.  French Dip Sandwich.  Roast on Udi's bread dipped in Homemade beef broth.

6. Pot Pie.  Shredded Meat with potatoes and zucchini topped with GF bisquick

7.  Chicken Bowls.  White rice topped with Grilled Chicken and 1 Tablespoon soy sauce.

8.  Breakfast Casserole.  Eggs, chopped bacon, and potatoes topped with Rice Shred cheese.

9. Couscous Salad-  See recipe on ReadySetpLan.blogspot.com and add grilled shrimp.

10.  Homemade pizza. Topped with homemade pesto (omit parm) salami, and approved vegetables.

11. Tacos.  Meat, Rice Shred Cheese, avocado, lettuce, in corn tortilla

12. Taquitos.  Shredded beef or chicken rolled in corn tortillas brushed with oil and salt and baked.  Dipped in Smashed avocado- like guacamole. 

* some recipes found on ReadySetPlan.blogspot.com  Listed as FM friendly and dairy free

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Green Clean with Castile Soap- free printable!

I was making up a gift today and thought I might share my graphics.
I've been getting more into green cleaning.
And I almost go giddy when I find a new scent of Dr. Bonner's Castile Soap.
I especially like that they have a Tea Tree Oil one.  I add it to everything as it is suppose to fight bacteria.

If you are on pinterest than you know what Castille soap is and how to use it.  If not, you can see from all my sweet cards that it is an all natural, all purpose soap.  Mix it with other household ingredients and you have most of your cleaning supply needs.  I like it for preparedness sake. A few bottles take up only a bit of space and they can be mixed and used in a variety of forms. 
Plus they are natural.
Plus they smell nice.
Sold and sold!

I made these cards for a gift basket.  Somebody I know and love is getting a wide selection of castille soap in a cute basket.
You are welcome to print them and use them however you like too.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, FructMal Friendly Dessert

Chocolate Waffles.
sorry no picture.

My husbands family has a tradition of making chocolate cake waffles topped with ice cream for Sunday dessert.
We use to do this once in a while in our own family to carry on tradition.
It didn't take much convincing.  They are delicious.

Tonight I attempted a new version to fit our kids diet needs.
And it worked out wonderfully.
And delicious.
I know others who are looking for Gluten Free, Dairy Free or Fructose Low foods might enjoy the recipe as well.
Treats and snacks are where I find myself usually struggling the most when feeding the kids.
So I am always happy to have something new.

These are super easy too.  You'll hardly realize you are eating a modified dessert.

1/2 cup cocoa powder.
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup rice milk or dairy sub of your choice
1 3/4 gluten free bisquick (god bless the geniuses who made this. really)

Chocolate Almond Milk Ice ream

Mix together ingredients for waffles.  Cook like waffles in your waffle maker.  I spray coat my maker really well, then the waffles usually take 4 minutes or so.   Just follow your makers directions.
Immediately after removing from waffle maker, place on individual plates and put a 1-2 Tablespoons of Almond Milk Chocolate Dream "Ice Cream". It will melt making a kind of syrup/ frosting.

Everyone enjoyed these and it was fun to be able to carry on the Freeman Family Chocolate Waffle tradition.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wheat Free, Dairy Free, FructMal Friendly Cookies

I found a recipe here

It is similar to a monster cookie I use to make when we just ate whatever we wanted :)
The picture if from there too.... these don't have M&M's in them of course.
I thought I might try to alter it for us to eat for snack today.
They turned out great, and I actually thought the dough alone was good enough to eat by the spoonful.
Low sugar, flour and wheat free, and dairy free cookies that will please.
Here is my altered recipe.

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons oil (whatever works for you, I used olive)
3/4 cup of sugar (for FM- this will come out around 5 or 6 grams a cookie)
3 eggs
2.5 teaspoons baking soda
4 cups quick oats
1.5 cups Adam's Peanut Butter
1 cup chocolate chips (we get some made with no dairy and evap can juice from Whole Foods)

Heat oven to 350
Beat oil and sugar together, then beat in eggs.
Add baking  soda, peanut butter and oats until blended.
Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon into balls onto greased cookies sheet and cook for 10 minutes.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Greek Couscous Salad- FM Friendly

Greek food seems to be all the rage these days.
I mean have you pinned a recipe that did NOT contain Greek yogurt?
I thought so.
Trying to be "in" with the trend but eating dairy free and fructose free we found this greek salad recipe.
I think it would be perfect to take to the next potluck or summer BBQ.

1 package prepared couscous- except omit the olive oil
some tomoato chopped
1 raw zuchinni- slice thin and cut to quarters
4 basil leaves chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup feta cheese

Combine olive oil, lemon juice and pepper to make a dressing.
Toss all other ingredients in large mixing bowl.
Stir in dressing to coat.
Chill for 4 hours and serve.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fructose Low, Gluten Free, Egg Free Friendly Cobbler

This is  a modified version of Pioneer Woman's cobbler.
It is simple.
I love recipes that I can memorize.  So few ingredients and all of them in equal proportion make it easy on my brain.
And it is not perfect for Fructose Free  Lactose Free eaters, it is close.
My kids are on the fairly tolerant side, so we should be able to get by with it for a special treat.

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup flour (what ever works for you, but we like King Arthur multi purpose just fine)
1/3 cup organic evap. cane juice (I recently found this in the bulk section of WINCO!)
1/2 cup melted butter
two handfuls of berries.

Heat oven to 350
Grease baking dish
Wisk oats, flour, cane juice and butter together and pour into baking dish.
Drop in berries
Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon cane juice
Cook for 60 minutes.

My kids thought it was amazing.
It was actually a bit chewy- but that is because of the cane juice, so if you choose another sweetner, it likely won't be.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lactose Free Sugar Free Popsicles

We are feeding our kids lactose free and fructose free now.
Due to food sensitivities and allergies.
It is a lot of work.
You can't imagine where you'll find sugar hidden as an ingredient.
If I can hardly find lunch meat that meets our new diet standards, the chances of my finding a popsicles are basically 0  to never.
And the forecast for today suggests it may reach 109F.  UGGG.
My kids have been desperate for popsicles.
I mean what is summer without them?
So I found these popsicle molds at Target and went to work.
Some mom's I know are pros at feeding their kids without dairy and sugar.
I am stretching my mind to find things my kids happily eat.
But we came up with two recipes today in a popsicle treat that fit the bill.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pops
(dairy free, fructose low)
1 Banana
1 cup Rice Milk
1/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter (special without sugar or dairy)
1/4 cup chocolate Almond Dream "ice cream"
1/4 cup of ice.
Blend in blender
Freeze til solid- about 4 hours.

Strawberry Banana Pops
(dairy free, fructose low)
1 Banana
4 strawberries 
1 cup rice milk
1/4 cup of ice 
Blend in blender
Freeze til solid about 4 hours
*strawberries are not the best but I figure they are going to get like 1/2 a strawberry in the pop, it just makes it look way better in color.  Can't wait to try with blueberries instead.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Buy Gift Cards for Less

Wanted to share this sweet new site I found today.

You can buy gift cards for less than there balance value.
You know how you got to buy a gift card for somebody at the grocery store and they charge you $2 or $3 for a service charge so your $25 gift card costs you $28 instead.
Well here you can get a $25 gift card for $23 instead!
The way they work is they will buy gift cards people are not interested in from them, then turn around and sell them to you.  Recycling gift cards if you will!
I don't care how it works really, all I know is there is a Home Depot card right now that has a balance of $288 and only costs $266.
Perhaps before I make my way to Utah for vacation I'll have to pick myself up an H & M card $50 balance for $46.

Go here and check it out.

When ever I find sites like this I just shake my head and think "how did I not think of this"

Monday, April 30, 2012

Faux Giclee Art

Have you seen this floating around pinterest.
Well I liked it.
I actually had a canvas from a previous attempt and fail at art for my babies room.
I actually had painters tape.
And I actually had tons of acrylic paint.

Some crazy painting.
Measuring.  Taping.  Painting white.  Peeling and touch up later.
We had something we kinds of like.

It is my first attempt at painting.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kids Growth Stick

I'm getting stuff done around here today. 
No really, normally that would be a joke, but not this afternoon.
I have two kids napping- a lucky moment two of the three fell asleep on the 20 minute drive home from the farm.  And I kept them sleeping.
I've taught K how to read 10 new words, and she got it so quick I felt I had been a great parent for just 20 minutes.  So then I moved on to something I wanted to do.
I finally finished this growth stick for the kids...
oh you finished yours at Christmas along with every other person on pinterest.
I know I'm slow.
Even my five year old kept asking me when we were going to make it.
She remembered when I drug her to the store to buy the lumber I guess, 
or saw it sitting in the garage untouched every day.
It is pretty bad when your kids start nagging you you haven't done a project in a while.

I'm pleased. 
I think I combined about ten I saw on pinterest (here) and (here) and on everybody I knows wall to get the finally results.
And aren't I lucky that my sister-in-law got a vinyl cutter for Christmas?
Such an easy project too.
1. Sand your board
2. Stain
3. Mix acrylic white paint with water 
4. Tape off stripes and white wash in between tape
5. Apply vinyl
You could of course obviously paint the numbers on, which is what I had planned to do until I found I had a vinyl cutter so close.

Mine was made starting 7inches from the ground so it can be hung on the wall above baseboards.
And still needs to be hung obviously.

K asked me why I wanted to measure her since I'm always telling her "there is no growing up in this house"
They never listen any ways. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Store Adventure

I had this post below posted on my other blog and thought readers here might also enjoy it.
I've been out of the blogging habbit for a while.
Babies, moving, and some health problems with our kids have kept me away.
All good excuses I think.
But lately the husband has been working nights, which means I am alone in a quiet house
And sometimes I find, that that interest to blog and write comes back.
And lately I've noticed that even though I am mostly MIA over here,
I still have readers.
I still have lots of pinners.
And I am so pleased with all of you.
I even feel bad I am so negligent towards you.

Please take this re-post as a semi hope that you may have some attention soon.

I went grocery shopping at the store today.  With all three kids.
I normally save that type of thing for when Kate is at school, or when I can sneak away after they are all put to bed.  But I've been using Kate's school time to take Sam to the doctors and for labs, and Jake has been working late every night.  It had been almost two weeks since I really went grocery shopping, though I had managed to grab a few things at the store somewhere in between.
It was getting slim pickins in the house.
I mean making prune puree to replace butter in muffins, pancakes for dinner, even the spagetti and rice is gone slim.
I just didn't want to take all the kids to the store.
It is a headache.
But not seeing any window of oppurtunity in the near future for which to go alone, or with less children,
and not wanting to raise my children on soft pretzels any longer...

Just getting to the store takes so much energy.
Where are you shoes?
Stop fighting about who like  popsicles  more!
Why don't you have pants on?
Get buckeled up.  
Get buckeld up! 
and one fussy (is she teething) baby.

I pull in to the store.
I leave the kids in the car while I secure a cart from the parking lot and bring it to the car.  We won't make it in the store without somebody being pushed in it. 
I enjoy the 45 seconds where I can't hear anybody.
I wipe down the cart as best I can.
Get unbuckled.  
Get unbuckled!  
I put M inside the main part of the cart in her car seat, Sam goes in the seat, and Kate has to walk.
Stop trying to tip the cart over Kate.
Stop putting your mouth on the cart Sam.
Stop trying to pull my pants down Kate
And we are in the store.

I bargin.
They are having a really bad day.
Sometimes they play together like angels. 
Then the next they fight non stop.
Yesterday they played like angels, so you guess what kind of day it was today.
If you guys can listen and be good I will let you pick out popsicles
"our own kind of  popsicles ? because I don't like boy popsicles"
"I want spidermand  popsicles mama"
"I want purple". 
"No I want red"
"No I want purple and yellow..."
whatever, yes, your own popcicles, just please let us get through this store.
I give Kate a job, the list holder.
I give Sam the job of making M smile.

The store is crazy.  It may be early in the morning but it is a Friday.  
We can't get through an aisle because people take too long reading the backs of pacakges, of can't decide what to get, or get distracted while standing there and start thinking about their upcoming vacation, or world peace, or something.....
I don't have that luxury.
A quick skim of the prices for what is cheaper, grab and dump in the cart.
It doesn't take much time to select each item off the shelf, it is really navigating the people.

 Some lady runs into my back with her cart. She doesn't apologize.  Is she trying to prode me along like cattle?
Kate keeps almost getting run over by people, or lost.
And believe what you want, of the tons of people in the store, not one other than my three was a child. Not that I saw.
Just adults treating grocery shopping like some kind of leisurely event.  Even shopping with their friends socializing.
I don't have that luxury either. 
Grocery shopping isn't a social event, or leisurely for this mom.
It is a mission.  I even said that when I hurried around a man and he gave me a look.
I'm a Mom on a mission I say. Smile.

The bulk section is a winner.
I tell the kids they can pick out a reverence treat for Sunday.
They do, and with some negotiating I get them to pick the penny candy instead of the $7 a lb jelly beans they always want.

M starts crying.  We still have dairy and frozen foods to go, plus checkout.  
We are almost done.
We are almost done!
M gets a tube of lip chap from my purse to teeth on.

Don't give M that plastic bag to eat Sam.
Stop trying to tip the cart over Kate.
Stop putting things in your mouth Sam.
Stop touching the cart Kate.
No we are not getting that.
No we are not getting that either.
Because. Because. Because.

And I'm over people looking at me.
I just know I'm not in Utah any more, their eyebrows raised, smirks and comments make that clear.
I don't even wear a wedding ring most of the time so I can imagine their ideas.
My kids are half in their pajamas still too, which adds to their judgement.
At the checkout an elderly grandma type is looking at me.
Is there sympathy here?
I jokingly say "remember when you had your hands this full" with a smile to try and smooth over the fact my kids are loud and climbing all over.
She replies "I would never have children so close"
of course not.
She seems worn out watching me.  Like she needs to sit down.
I want to make some comment about how it is awesome because I can kill two birds with one stone since grocery shopping is also my work out for the day.
But I don't think she will find it funny so I keep my mouth shut.

Of course we are at a bag your own type place.
I have to take the kids out of the cart now so the groceries can fit bagged.
I try to keep track of everyone while paying. I notice those two kinds of  popsicles cost me $7, they certainly didn't earn $7 worth of popsicle
I give the kids jobs. Kate pushes the button that forces the groceries down the line.
Sam puts things into bags.
I pay.
I stop the kids from squishing all the groceries as they bag them or attempt to.
Everything is in the cart.

We go to the car.
Stay close to me.
Stay close to me!
we make our way through the parking lot.
Into the car.
Instant demands.
"I'm hot. I'm hungery.  I want my popsicle.Turn on the heater (they mean air conditioning) I want to go swimming when we get home. Kate took my car. I'm thirsty. Sam hit me...".
and they aren't even buckled up yet.

Perhaps I should have just continued raising them on soft pretzels.
But where would be the adventure in that?

I joke with Jake about how when we were first married and I ran a small mental hospital.  And how I had no idea how well it was preparing me for motherhood.
Meeting the constant demands of multiple irrational people.

And I laugh.
There are still days when it isn't funny.
But today it is.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A New Baby

I've been MIA over here on this blog.

What have I been up to

Well- I had a baby (She is already 5 months old and the most adorable thing in the whole wide world)
Moved to a new state (California to be exact. The verdict is not out yet on the state or the move)
and wrote a cook book. Crock Pot of course, what else is there?

My husband laughed it too me so long to complete this.
He didn't think all the witty comments and jokes were necessarily ingredients in a crock pot meal.
He was very wrong.

You can get your downloadable copy here

Friday, September 23, 2011

Raspberry Picking

I found this website online. A u-pick raspberry farm about an hour away from us.
I in-visioned this perfect fall evening. With happy children running up and down the rows, perfect fall weather, perfect lighting for pictures, ending in perfect fall family memories. Ha Ha!
It was memorable that is for sure. And fun in the end too.
But we were lost and driving frustrated around Payson for over an hour to find the farm. If you are going to go I recommend a map, and calling me first. We had directions of google, a smart phone with GPS and three phone calls to the farm itself and it still took us about a hour to find, and we were seconds from just going home. Lesson learned.
I am a Utah girl who always thinks I will just be able to find something from an address abra- cadabra. It never works.
We arrived and started picking. And withing about five minutes Marianne- who was in a front pack on me, pooped and peed all over the both of us. And silly me- having never had this happen with her, did not have clothes for either of us. Marianne ended up wearing a sweatshirt for pants, and I luckily had a sweatshirt in the car which covered the mess but was still disgusting.
Once we were cleaned up though we headed back out. Jake and the kids had already picked a few pounds of raspberries. We spent about an hour, and managed to pick 6lbs. And it was fun, finding good rows, and watching the children do such a great job, and the weather was perfect.
Six pounds though- Crazy Town!
This morning we turned about half of it into a year supply of freezer jam for us.
Fun fall traditions for the family I think.... but next year we will know where we are going and bring some extra clothes.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Closet Organizing with Shoe Racks

I went a little crazy with organizers on Saturday.
I mean it.
I went back to Wal-mart two times to purchase more of them.
I was cleaning out closets on Saturday and this idea came in really handy.
They made my closets look oh so neat.
Seriously, who ever though to use shoe organizers for something other than shoes.
A great way to use up all that vertical space.

Plus the clear pockets make it easy to find everything.

Do you know how many times I have purchased fever reducer for the kids. Well I had like eight that were not expired hiding in the closet, that is not including several that were expired that I threw out.
Or how we seem to never be able to find tights for Katerade on Sunday morning when we need them, though I know they are in her underwear drawer somewhere.
Or how every time I open the pantry that box of plastic silverwear comes crashing down all over the floor.
Or how I don't even use the vacuum accessories because that would mean digging around the back of the hall closet.

Not any more

Me and my shoe organizers FOUR different ways make me feel like a genius.
A super organized genius.

Kid's Closet
What is inside?
swim diapers
water wings
dance clothes
1 million hair bows
ties and bow ties
and more hats
Bathroom Closet-
What is inside?
Bug Spray
Ib profen
Baby nail clippers, snot suckers etc.
Kids fever reducer
Kids Vicks and Teething Ointment
Rubbing Alcohol and Hydorgen Peroxide with Cotten
Bandaids with Neosporin
Diaper Cream
Extra Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
Extra deodarant, contact solution and shampoo
cleaning supplies
This closet is of course closet with a child proof handle

What is inside?
Trash bags
grocery sacks to reuse
Spice packs
Plastic Utensils
Plastic Cups
Potty Treats
Coat Closet-

What is inside?
Diapers and Wipes- so we don't always have to run upstairs
Running watches and accesories
Vaccuum cleaner accesories
Curtain tie-backs
Lots of empty pockets for stuff I think up later
And actually some shoes.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pudding Pops- Keeping Summer Going

I'm just starting to feel like myself again.
And it turns out I totally missed summer.
Well there is no reason just because it is fall, I can't still serve summer-ish treats.
After all, I missed summer being pregnant and nursing a newborn round the clock.

Today we tried out these pudding pops I've been seeing around the blog world

Simple as can be really.

Things you need.
-Your favorite flavors of instant pudding. 3 packages of pudding made 8 pops.
-Small sized plastic cups
-Craft sticks

Then you just make your pudding. I used chocolate, butterscotch and vanilla, and layer it however you like into the cups. Don't wait for the pudding to set up, just mix it, and start layering. Stick in a craft stick and let them freeze for five or so house.
Then just pull them out of the cups (make sure they are good and frozen otherwise you'll just be pulling sticks out), and serve them up.

These were a big hit with the adults in this house, even more so than the kids.

I have about 4 more in my freezer even after serving them tonight and I intend to eat them through out the week and pretend like it is summer 'round here just for a few more days.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Church Quiet Book

I've been gone for a while now.
That is because I have THREE kids now. All four and under.
Our sweet new peanut arrived mid-Aug to a very exhausted me.
She is about as perfect as can be.
More on that in a minute.
The two older kids and I made this church quiet book for them this week. They enjoyed making it. I think that was mostly because they were thrilled to have some attention from their mother again. They enjoyed playing with it too. We are going to attempt our return to church on Sunday with all three kids. I hope this quiet book helps the two older stay quiet and content, at least for a little while.

Cost: $12- and that is mostly in markers
Time: 20 minutes
Supplies: 3 ring binder
30 or more sheet protectors
Pencil Pocket
Dry Erase Markers
Printer and copier

What You Do:

1. During the Back-to-School sales pick yourself up some sheet protectors, a pencil case that clips into a binder, a 3 ring binder and some dry erase markers.

2. Go through your collection of Friend Magazines. If you are anything like me, your parents or in-laws likely have every single one since the mid 70's on their bookshelf. Tear out, or color copy the games, activities, coloring pages, and mazes.

3. Or go to the Friend website and print out the coloring pages and games.

4. Or do both

5. Once you have 30 or more games and activities, slip them back to back into the sheet protectors. Put them in the binder

6. Put your markers in the pencil pocket and clip that in also.

7. Slip the most current issue of The Friend in the front- for kids to look through and also for decoration.

8. Make sure you have wipes in your church bag to wipe the sheets clean. I always do. But if you don't, a plastic bag of them could be slipped in the binder as well.

9. Just a note- Have more than one kid who needs an activity book. You don't have to make several books, just unclip the pages and hand them down the pew.
Kids can do the games and color the pages, then wipe them clean and do them again. It actually works really well.
You can get dry erase markers in tons of colors. These above are what I found- though they were $7.
Then I saw these. Dry Erase Crayons might be worth trying. I think they were around $6 for the pack off Amazon.

Can't wait to see if this helps us manage three kids four and under for our church meetings. We will see.

Oh did you want to see that gorgeous newborn of mine???

She may look big but she is all of only 6lbs!
You can always see and read more about my family life at http:// jakeandcrystal.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sideboard Refurbish- a Long Time Coming.

I have been working on...
or meaning to work on this sideboard since November.
It sat in the basement for a while. Meanwhile we actually finished the basement and she took up residence in the garage, and my husband had to park in the driveway.
And that is a sad state of affairs at our house because it is a pet peeve of our household when people can't manage to park their cars in their garage.

She finally got finished up last week.

Here is what she looked like when I got her.
I found her at the local thrift store where they were asking $100. I talked them down to $80 seeing as how somebody had cruely cut off two of her feet.
After lots of clean up, putty and sanding, the top was taped off and got four coats of stain.
It could not have turned out prettier, and I almost wished I would have stained the whole thing.
Though I doubt those beat up legs could have ever come out so smoothly.

The majority of the piece got high gloss Behr Creamy White paint left over from trim painted in the basement. I know some funky emerald green paint would have made people swoon, but I wanted it to be classic and I didn't want to have to repaint it in a year or two when trends change.
Because it took hours and hours and hours to paint.
Even my husband pitched in to help, as his 8 month pregnant wife while sat on the cement garage floor trying to finish the project.
I tried to cover the piece in KILZ first but it did nothing for it.
I ended up having to paint and sand and paint again five or six coats of the white paint.
The handles were spray painted rustoleum hammered metal.

again- before
You could call this another before picture as well. This was the old tv stand, with the old tv.
Though the black stand had been functional and well enough looking for the past 8 years, I am not sure Shopko furniture is meant to be used that long. I actually took it to Savers to try to donate it and they wouldn't take it. Sad sad sad.

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