Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Cancer Story...I was never going to tell here..part one

I was never going to tell this story here.. not because I am ashamed of it...not because I don't want people to know. I just kinda wanted this blog to be cooking and crafts..and crazy parenting stories. But I woke up this morning with the need to tell this story...with the need to let it be known... Which you know what that means to me. Someone out there needs to hear it right now. Someone out there is where I was.. So share this story..send people to this page if you know they are fighting and need to hear it... Even when they give you no hope... there is hope.. there is always hope. I am living proof of that. I will tell it in parts..because its a very long story..and although I am proud to have fought it...telling it for me is reliving it. To be honest with you.. I wouldn't change a thing. It made me who I am today.. it shaped me and my heart.

I'm 31 and a stay at home mom... of soon to be 3 kids. I can close my eyes and I would still be riding horses down trails.. slinging mud on four wheelers ...chasing chickens around.. waiting on Friday night or Saturday morning..because that's when the adventures always began. It didn't last long enough... those care-free kid days. I lost them at 17 years old. I went for a job that required a physical. A simple finger stick changed my life. A few days after that finger stick I was told my life was over. When I was 17 years old I was diagnosed with A.M.L. leukemia. A rare and aggressive cancer. At the time they found it 39 percent of my blood was cancer. I was told no one over 18 percent had every survived it. Therefore I was terminal. They gave me 2 weeks to live. Every time those doctors opened the door and came in they had bad news...horrible news. I was then offered an experimental chemo... If I took this hair would fall out... I would never be able to have kids not that, that mattered because I would live maybe 4 weeks. Boy did they sell it good. To a 17 year old what they just describe was as good as saying your gonna die anyways how bout you be a guinea pig first. I refused the treatment. Because in GA 17 is a legal adult and they couldn't do anything to my body that I didn't approve of.  My Uncle lost his mind on me. My Uncle Bron... I was always close to the men  in my family. My Dad wasn't around much... well my biological Dad I didn't meet until I was 16 years old... and my Step-Dad whom came into my life at 2 years old didn't have much time for me. But my Papa... my Uncle Bron and my Uncle Greg had plenty of time for me. I was the first born grand-baby. I was born to a teen Mom. Who loved me but my grandparents were controlling.. and so they and my Mom raised me. I bounced back and fourth between everyone in my family though. I was a village baby. What I mean is everyone had a hand in raising me. So today the person I am is as much pieces of my Mom as it is pieces of my Uncles and Grandparents...all squished into the pieces that could be only me. Back to my Uncle. I was in Atlanta 80 miles away...he drove towards me like on a mission. I believe I could even feel him heading for me. I waited in my hospital bed dreading what was coming... In stomps Uncle Bron... I figured he was mad he wasn't he was crying. Not openly but I could look in his eyes and read it. The tears he wasn't shedding in front of me. I could feel his fear..his sadness and his anger. He loved me...he wanted me to fight... we are fighters by nature.. Way too much Irish courses through our veins to lay down and take it. He begged he pleaded and eventually he conned me into it. So I took those treatments. He stayed with me through round one. Asked me if I needed or wanted anything... he would get it for me. I did. So I rattled off my list. Pizza Hut Pan Pizza with pepperoni and extra cheese, a tattoo and a corvette. He looked at me with a serious face and said I will get the pizza now... I will pay for the tattoo and hold your hand if the Dr clears it...and you will have that Corvette as soon as I can find you one.. He left and went all over Atlanta in search of Pizza Hut...  Its not one of the main chains down there so it took him an hour to find one and get back. By that time I was set up for my first chemo. I sat there with chemicals pouring into that central line that had only been placed this morning. My first in what would be a long line of surgeries. I couldn't feel the chemo going in. Just like they said. I wouldn't feel any pain from it... that would come later. Anyways my Uncle Bron walked in with the pizza and sat it down. I couldn't eat. I was a bundle of nerves. He walked over to the window and said here is your Corvette...pointing to what I thought was outside. I got up excited the chemo forgotten for a moment... and padded over to the window to look down. I couldn't see a corvette in the cars below.. He said its there keep looking. So I did I kept looking... finally I turned to him and he said look down. I looked down and sitting on the window sill was a hot wheel corvette. I busted out laughing.. Called him a jerk and got back in bed. He cleared the nerves out...and so I was ready for pizza... I ate that pizza only to feel the first of the side effects kick in just a few hours later and lose that pizza.. which he was also there for.. there to hold my hand for the first treatment and he was there to hold my hair back for the first of the side effects.... he was there beside me for the whole and on... the village that raised me was all there at one point or another.... I am looking at the corvette now. It sits on my desk.. it sits on my desk and reminds me everyday...everyday is a gift..and someone I love...loved me enough to beg me to value that gift...even if it was for 2 weeks... or a month. I am just blessed it has been 14 years now... Sadly the man who loved me so much is no longer with us... he knew more about the gift of life than I realized at that time.

To be continued.....
This was just part one of a very long story...

Sum it up Sunday....Apple Bread

Well to sum up my weekend its been pretty good. We had alot of fun.. it got cold here all the sudden. Friday found us out for ice cream cones and playing at the park... but Saturday was hoodie weather..and today it time for a cup of hot cocoa. I woke up this morning and got started on a few household chores... laundry and cleaning up from last night. Weekends always do that.. They are lots of fun but they destroy the house. I started a loaf of apple bread so the kiddos would have something to munch on today....and now tonight I am making something I have never done before. Have you seen Dorito Casserole? Sounds horrible... and it may very well be.. but it is what my husband picked out after I rattled off things I could do with some of the left over cooked chicken.  Jury is still out. I found a few recipes and then I kinda of winged it with other ingredients..because I can't follow a recipe to save my life...or so my husband Here is my recipe for Apple Bread... Try it out. The family loves it. See you later this week darlings.. Since I have absolutely no plans to try and kill myself with a big project again... freezer cooking in small doses is about all this preggo chick can handle.

Apple Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sugar
 1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup applesauce
 2 eggs
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups peeled and chopped apples

Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a 9 by 5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. Combine the flour baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Stir with a whisk till equally combined. Add in the butter, applesauce eggs and vanilla and stir until combined. Fold in your apples and any add ins*. Scrape the batter into your pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

*good add ins are 1/2 cup of raisins or a 1/2 cup or chopped pecans.

P.S. Isn't that bread pretty... lets keep it real here... the reason you only get to see one side of the loaf... my 3 year old helped himself to a hunk while it was Check out the links below where you can find my bread recipe and lots of other cool links...

Sew Can Do-Craftastic Monday

Project Inspire-Just Something I whipped up

You are Talking too Much-Meet Me Monday

Or So She Says-Great Ideas

DIY Home Sweet Home-MMM #80

Sumo's Sweet Stuff-Market Yourself Monday

Mom's Crazy Cooking-This weeks craving

Adventures of a DIY Mom-Terrific Tuesday

Home Stories A to Z-Tutorials and Tips

Not just a Housewife-Show me what you got!

Family Food and Travel-Wonderful Food Wednesday

Sew Much Ado-We did it Wednesday!

Southern Lovely-Show and Share

Someday Crafts-Whatever Goes Wednesday

Creations by Kara-Look What I made!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Losing track of time

Well I have been inactive blog wise for a few days. I don't want to let it fall by the wayside. I like writing and building friendships here online. But sometimes life swallows me up.. Its a busy thing taking care of a 3 year old, a 2 year old and being pregnant. I have been freezer cooking since Monday. I cant do alot or get it done all at once. I have been having contractions.. So I have to do everything in stages. I am only 27 weeks pregnant so contractions are not a good thing. I did this with both the boys. I go early. My husband is 6ft 5in tall and just doesn't make small babies...and despite being a plus size girl from what my Dr says I am just built small on the inside so... Here is what I have done since Monday. I did 2 pans of chicken enchiladas... 2 pans of a chicken and broccoli casserole. I baked banana bread. I have cut and bagged almost 40 lbs of chicken... I have the chicken cooked so that tomorrow I can assemble... Chicken spinach manicotti... mexican chicken casserole... Chicken Parmesan and a few other things. The great thing about the chicken parm is I just breaded and cooked the chicken breasts...flash froze them so now all I have to do when we want to eat them is bake for 20 mins and they can be eaten with or without sauce... It gave me the idea for some chicken parmesan sandwiches too. I know it doesn't seem like alot but while I am doing all this I have to stop...fix and clean breakfast up... stop fix and clean lunch...and stop fix and clean up from dinner.. I have a big doctors appointment tomorrow for the sugar test... blah I hate that orange sugar syrup they make you drink. It makes me sick every time. I am going to stop by and get me a iced coffee as a treat after... have a small caffeine fix and hopefully come home and get this stuff done and over with so I can have a great weekend. I have to tell you the enchilada sauce I made may be the best I have ever got done. I have some left over in the fridge and I have an idea to make a chicken enchilada stack for dinner this weekend. What have yal been up to? Anything fun? I could use some fun right now.. fun to fight the exhaustion. Hopefully I will be back with some recipes as soon as I get this done...

Cas <3

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I am still here just working away....Freezer Cooking

I just wanted to say to any comments or new followers I have got in the last few days I will get back to you as soon as I can. We had a busy weekend... very full with fall plans. We had leaf fights and picnics...and campfire cooking. Lots of wonderful family time. Yesterday I was exhausted because 27 weeks pregnant and non-stop go-go-go with two very active boys is a recipe for being wore out. I did take the time to start gathering what I needed for today.... Today's adventure is freezer cooking. I plan on making at least 5 meals that can go in the freezer... This is very unplanned but hey go with the inspiration right? So far the main ingredient is chicken breast. Because that's what I recently got a good deal on. I got 40lbs of organic chicken breasts for 1.99lb. So part of it will be trimmed and cut up and just bagged for meals. Then half of it is going to be made into the actual meal and frozen. First up Chicken Enchiladas... I have to cook the chicken and make the enchilada sauce.. Then I am going to do some chicken spinach manicotti... I am going to throw together a bag or so of a crockpot meal..that way it just dumps and cooks...I also am going to do a couple of different chicken casseroles. I am winging it today but I will certainly post a list of what I was able to accomplish. Do any of you do any kind of freezer cooking? If so what is your go to recipes?

So just know all my wonderful new friends I am not ignoring you... I promise I will be back.. just as soon as I get my head above the water...or out of the freezer...or away from the

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Wishes

We have plans this weekend...lots of beautiful fall plans. So far a camp fire with a hot dog and marshmallow roast. Raking leaves pretending to fuss when my monsters jump in them. A picnic to a local historic battlefield location. So I may not post again until Monday... Till then I wanted to wish each and everyone one of my followers a Merry Weekend...a Happy Weekend... a Magical Weekend.

Just in case you can't read it it says:
-And above all watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

So this weekend I urge matter what life throws at matter what is going on... take a minute and find the magic. Its there you just have to look. Now lets go see if this night owl can magically make herself go to sleep.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The gift of Motherhood

The best part of my day comes early before the world is awake and going...its when I hear those sleepy footsteps come rushing to my bedroom. I smile into my pillow when I feel him scramble up and over me...its a king size bed with lots of pillows but I know within a few moments I will have my pillow stolen. He will cuddle up to me and I will pull him closer wrap him tighter in my arms...I don't fall back asleep as quickly as him...My brain has woke up too much...I marveled a second too long at the gift he is. So I say a prayer of thanks slowly saying thank you for each of my blessings..Haven..Soren... Brian...this new little baby wiggling in my stomach...asking that they be protected and watched over..the list goes on till I drift back to sleep...depending on what time it is I may only have a moment...if I am lucky a few hours....Hours of him close to me... breathing with me...his heart beating near me...we were this close once...closer..for 35 weeks he was mine all mine and now I share him with the world..My last thought before I drift back off is usually that I almost missed this magic...I almost missed out on these amazing tiny moments...we wake up noses almost pressed together...tangled in quilts and each others hair..looking directly into each others eyes...the sweetest smile with sparkling blue eyes is staring right at me...he usually pats my cheek in the way I guess I have his since he came into my life...He says hello Moma every morning...and my heart melts...every never gets never gets boring...hearing those words is magic every time...seeing that face is a gift.. I am so very thankful for the gift of being a Mom...for the moments I get to share with him..both of them...all of them...being a Mom is the greatest gift I have ever been given. I am so thankful each and everyday...for every moment...for every second that I was given of being a Mom. At 17 being told I had cancer and 2 weeks to live... to surviving but being told I would never have children... Sometimes like right now I see that gift so clearly... so sparkling, so shiny and new. I hold on to these moments... Because being a Mom isn't always isn't always fun... sometimes it hurts sometimes its heartbreaking... but no matter what the day brings... I held 2 little lives in my stomach... and if I am blessed in January it will be 3... I have had more blessings in this lifetime than some people see in several. I have been given the gift of Motherhood...and will be forever thankful.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Butter...and a temper tantrum

Its that time of year...pumpkin pumpkin everywhere. There are alot of ways to use pumpkin. Since I am a Fallaholic...yes that's right I am officially addicted to Fall. Its my favorite time of year. I thought I would show you one of my favorite pumpkin recipes. Its pumpkin butter. Have you ever had a fruit butter? Like apple butter is pretty common...and peach butter is out there.. Basically what you do is you take pumpkin and some ingredients and then cook it low and slow. It is awesome served on toast, bagels, scones or a hot buttered biscuit. I have a few ways I like to use it that I will post recipes for.. but first things first I got to show you how I make it. Because you cant make the other recipes...if you don't have the star ingredient.

Now I really like to make things homemade. Its fun for me. Generally my pumpkin butter is no exception. I love to get a pie pumpkin cut it and roast it and make homemade puree. I tried to do that this time. Except I bought an indestructible pumpkin. Nothing I did would cut it. I have never had this happen before. I used my sharpest knife...and then I sharpened it even further. I may or may not have went to my husbands tool box and got a screwdriver and hammer...ahem.. NOTHING WORKED! I then may or may not have had a little temper tantrum where I threw the pumpkin down outside on a concrete porch...and that pumpkin may or may not have BOUNCED...into the yard like nothing happened. Needless to say after gathering my Southern belle composure (haha) I proceeded with the recipe using a can of pumpkin. So check it out...this is the method before pumpkin madness...

Pumpkin Butter

1 can of pumpkin
1/2 c + 1 T. Brown Sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. cloves
2 T. Orange Juice
3 T. Apple Juice
2 t. vanilla
1/4 -1/2 c. pecans

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast the pecans for 5-7 minutes. Put the pecans in your food processor and make a paste...adding a little pumpkin puree if you need to. I literally had to process it for almost 5 minutes with my little mini processor. Put all your ingredients in a sauce pan.. bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes. Taste along the way and feel free to sweeten additionally or add more spices to your taste.This will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks... or you can freeze it for 6 months
*you see those weird spaces up there... pretend it was on purpose and not just that I repel technology and blogger hates me...because no matter what I do...they wont go away!! Even my husband computer guru extrodianar tried and looked at me and said well you did it broke technology.

I am linking up at the following:

Someday Crafts-Whatever goes Wednesday

Mom's Crazy Cooking-This weeks Craving

Southern Lovely-Show and Share

Sew Much A Do-We did it Wednesday

At Home, Take 2-Wonderful Food Wednesday

Somewhat Simple-Blog Linky Party

Blissful and Domestic-Friday Feature

Western WarmthWeekend Warmth

French Country Cottage-Feathered Nest Friday

Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons-Kitchen Fun and crafty friday
Simply Designing-Simply Linky
The Shabby Nest-Frugal Friday
Lovely Crafty Home-Lovely crafty Weekend
Just us Four-Pinworthy Projects
Homemade Simple-Foodie Friday
Tatertots and Jello-Weekend Wrap up
Six Sisters-Strut Your Stuff
Or So She Says-Your Great Idea

You are talking too much-Meet me monday
DIY Home Sweet Home-MMM #79

Let's talk dirty for a minute... as in laundry. Homemade Laundry Detergent Actually

My monster man... is a dirty man. He does dirty stinky nasty work. I have 2 monster boys... they also like to get pretty dirty. Needless to say laundry at my house is a chore...and buying laundry detergent can put a dent in my household budget. For a while now homemade laundry has been blowing up the blog world and I really wanted to make it and save some money. I however refrained...because I wanted a guarantee it worked. I also wanted a promise that my super sensitive skin wouldn't have a meltdown that resulted in a trip to the dermatologist for shots... See I tried cutting corners with laundry detergent. I bought Sam's brand that was supposed to be comparable to Gain. Gain is what I always used so that is the results I wanted. I had a very bad allergic reaction and broke out everywhere... ahem...everywhere. That resulted in a huge dermatologist bill because I had to get shots... a few actually. Not to mention that I had to rewash every piece of laundry in my house because by the time we figured out it was the detergent it had been a while. So lots of money, time and hours of work lost. I swore off ever switching laundry detergent again...because it was worth the extra money knowing I wouldn't be a walking hive with itchy parts you cant really itch in public. Well you can..but people get all judgy. Almost a year passed and again I was feeling the pressing of the budget and couponing helps but not enough. So I looked into making my own detergent. Everywhere I looked I seen you had to buy bars of laundry soap and grate it...and then you mixed in a big tub and it didn't smell good. See that's the thing I need my laundry to smell good... I know its kinda vain and maybe silly but to me its comforting. I love at night after a shower burying my face in a towel and breathing in fresh laundry. Or how it smells when you pull a quilt out of the linen closet when you are making your bed... so yeah I need smell... Then there were recipes that you cooked and it made thick liquid detergent supposed to be similar to store bought... but it was hit or miss..every time I read a comment that said it was great the next one said it was awful. Also I read  more than one review that said it screwed up their plumbing and septic yeah that's all I need cost the family even more trying to save money again. I didn't want to waste time and money on awful. So I kept searching. Till I came across a liquid recipe that involved no grating...and I it had good reviews. I made it and it didn't work as well for me as it did some of the other people... So I tweaked it a little changed some of the measurements...and added something to make it smell. So now I have been using it for about 3 months. I love it. It smells awesome. It gets my clothes clean..also it gets my stinky monster's clothes clean.. and the best part is...It only costs me about 1.20 a gallon (or less depending on the couponing deal I get for the dish detergent and smell booster)...and every gallon I can get between 26-30 loads out of... say what???  Yep its cheap its easy and it smells so good!!  Its all really thanks to the original post I found at One Good Thing by Jillee. You can click the link for the original...but below is mine.

1 gallon of laundry detergent

6 T. Borax
6 T. Washing Soda
6 T. Gain in Wash Scent booster
5 T. Dawn dish detergent ( I use the blue original only)
Almost a gallon of boiling water.

I take a gallon jug. I recycled some vinegar jugs. I go thru alot of vinegar. I use it for cleaning and laundry. Anyways take a funnel and measure the Borax, Washing Soda, and Gain into the jug. Now I take a glass measuring cup that holds 4 cups and microwave water till it almost boiling. I pour that into the jug and shake..with the lid on. I take the lid off in between shaking though.  I leave this on my counter because it takes a little bit of shaking to make and get dissolved. I keep microwaving water and filling and shaking till I get almost half way this time pretty much dissolved. So then I measure in the Dawn and shake some more... now this causes suds... but its ok... I shake into everything looks good and dissolved. Then I top it off with warm water directly out of the faucet and shake a again. As your topping off with the warm water the suds actually come out. Let it cool and its ready to use. I generally shake it before using every time. I use between 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup per load...depending on the size of the load. On my husbands really gross clothes I use about 3/4-1 cup.

Here are a few things I thought you might have questions about:

It doesn't make suds in the washer... that does not mean it is not cleaning.
It is really thin and watery.
It starts out pink because the gain granules are pink..
It turns blue because the dawn.
It has been great on my sensitive skin.
It seems to me that the clothes actually smell better longer. Because when I walk into the closet or towel cabinets it smells fresh all the time.
For each gallon I get between 25-30 loads.
It costs me about .5 a load..gain costed me about .16 a load.

Linking up at:

Hope Studios-Tutorial Tuesday

Sew Much a Do-We Did it! Wednesday

Southern Lovely-Show and Share

The DIY Dream-From Dream to Reality

Farm Girl Friday

Somewhat Simple-Blog Linky Party

Blissful and Domestic-Friday Feature

Western Warmth-Weekend Warmth

French Country Cottage-Feathered Nest Friday

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons-Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday

Simply Designing-Simply Linky

The Shabby Nest-Frugal Friday

Lovely Crafty Home-Lovely Crafty Weekend

Just us Four-Pinworthy Projects

Clever Chicks Blog Hop

Tater Tots and Jello-Weekend Wrap up

Six Sisters-Strut Your Stuff

Or So She Says-Your Great Idea

Project Inspire-Just something I whipped up

You are talking too much-Meet Me Monday

DIY Home Sweet Home-MMM #79

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Me, Myself and I:October

I got a new reader today and I hoped over to her page to check her out and get to know her. I do that will all you guys. Her first post was a set of questions that she answered. I thought it was great because it helped me get to know her. Since the only thing yal know are the bits and pieces of what I posted on my first-ever blog post I thought I would do it to...and maybe give yal the chance to know me a little know without having to read an entire autobiography.. I followed her link back to the original and will post my link to their page so here goes.

1. What is your favorite season?

Without any hesitation I can say Fall. I wait for it all year long. I love the cooler temps... I live in the South and I understand as a woman we aren't supposed to sweat... so I I love the changing color of the leaves. I am looking outside my windows right now and my green Maples are kissed with orange and yellow. Everywhere you go there is a kaleidoscope of colors. We went up in the mountains the other day and stopped at an overlook... It looked like Mother Nature had laid out her most beautiful quilt. Reds, oranges, browns, yellows and green took my breath away. There is a magic in the air...almost a breathable sparkle that is only there at this time of year. This is my time of year... Summer kills me... The Fall breaths me back to life.
2. Talk about a moment that changed your life.

I could tell you a thousand moments that changed my life..that shaped who I am today.. but I will tell you about the biggest. When I was 17 years old I was diagnosed with AML Leukemia. I was given 2 weeks to live... because at the time that they found my cancer I was 39 percent cancer cells instead of blood. No one past 18 percent had ever lived. I was offered an experimental chemo that they hoped would give me an additional month. I took that chemo at the insistence of my Uncle Bron. He was the only one who could talk be into it. After the first round of chemo they could no longer find the cancer in my blood. In the end I took 7 rounds of chemo over the course of a year and a half almost. Each round of chemo had 2-4 drugs in it and lasted anywhere from 5-7 days. I almost died several times during treatment. I am now 31 years old. The doctors begrudgingly gave me the title of remission after the cancer never came back after the first chemo treatment...but I had to follow the protocol laid out and take all the additional rounds. It has remained in remission and I pray that it does so.. I pray everyday that it does so... So the moment that changed my life.. I became a cancer warrior!
If you could be any crayola crayon color, what would you be and why?
I would be midnight blue... because I am a night owl. Midnight is my morning. You know how everyone waits for sunrise.. Well I appreciate a beautiful sunrise.. but my heart sings underneath the moonlight. A full moon in a dark sky with diamonds sparkling around it will always be my time. I force myself to go to bed when my inner clock says stay matter how early I get up midnight will always be my time!
4.Describe yourself as a Superhero: Superpower? Name? Sidekick?
Hmm I thought about this one alot...because its a good question. The truth is I probably would not make a very good superhero... I know myself to well. I probably wouldn't save anyone... because my kids need saving every 5 minutes and I am occupied enough with them. If I could fly it wouldn't do anyone any good.. I am afraid of heights.. and even if I could fly have you seen Ironman? The military tried to shoot him out of the sky.. and that would be my luck. If I was psychic enough I would totally be on a lottery number mission. So in short I don't think that I would ever be cut out to be a traditional Superhero... However I do think there is one that I could absolutely pull off.

5.If you had all the money in the world but could only shop at 3 stores, where would you shop?
Super Target
I have a confession it may get me kicked out of the girls club. I don't like to hardcore shop. I like to cook and craft and sew. I like to go to antique stores and flea markets.. but as for hitting the mall...ummm no thanks..
Now if you enjoyed this head over to My Beautiful Crazy Life


Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 10/15

I menu plan just about every week. It helps me alot with time. It saves me money because if I am prepared we aren't as tempted to order takeout. But because I am pregnant sometimes my tastes changes so I make my menu flexible. I keep a list of meals that I plan on making that week on my calendar. I keep lunch ideas...snack ideas so I can feed my monsters in case prego brain kicks in...and the boys say we are hungry mommy...otherwise you know I might stand in front of the fridge staring in the cavernous depth with no clue what to make. Just in case you have never been pregnant...let me tell you a fun fact most moms leave out... I don't know if its a conspiracy...or they can't remember to tell you. Being pregnant destroys brain cells... I am so forgetful now its unbelievable.. I don't know maybe I was before 3 pregnancies... I can't I choose to believe babies are killing my brain cells. Anyways down to my meal plans for this week. Mainly I just list the main entree and leave sides off because its easy for me to do veggies etc... sometimes if I want something specific with them I will list the entire meal.

Breakfast plans- Egg Nog French Toast, Pumpkin Muffins, Strawberry Yogurt Parfait, Baked Oatmeal Muffins (these are all the special breakfasts I plan on making. Most mornings we have toast with eggs, or we have eggs and biscuits...but if I feel inspired to make a special breakfast I list it on the menu...because otherwise shortly after the inspiration and acquiring of all ingredients...I will forget ) Breakfasts are usually with a side of eggs or fruit and a yogurt cup.

Lunch plans- Tomato Soup with grilled cheese sticks, individual pizzas, homemade lunchable, pb & j with Veg. Soup, Baked chicken nuggets.. Plus they can have any leftover dinner items they choose. I generally serve everything with a veggie and fruit. So they have options of carrot sticks, broccoli fries, corn cobbettes, apples, bananas, and pears.

Dinner Plans

Teryaki Chicken and Veggies served over brown rice.

Baked Pasta/Cheater Lasagna, Salad and/or Steamed Broccoli, and garlic rolls

Parmesan Tilapia, Roasted Potatoes, Slaw, Hush Puppy Muffins

Chicken and Dumplings Casserole, Green Beans, Faux Fried Apples

Cinnamon Rolls, Trash Eggs, Baked Hash Browns (trash eggs-scrambled eggs with crumbled sausage or ham, cheese, sometimes mushroom or other veggies I have on hand)

Hamburger Steaks with Mushrooms and Onion, Creamed Potatoes, Sweet Peas, and Corn Bread

Camp Fire Hot Dogs, Chips, Slaw and Baked Beans (this is going to be our little home Halloween type requested the menu..and they requested to cook it over a fire)

I stumbled upon a place where other people get together and show their menus... I think its awesome because its going to help give ideas for future meals so I am linking up. Go check out

Menu Plan Monday

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cheating never felt so right...

I cant help myself. Sometimes I cheat. There I admit it. Ive got it off my chest. I am not the good little farm girl. Sometimes I am the bad life in the fast lane.... and by fast lane I mean sometimes I just don't have time to cook from scratch. So whats a girl to do... Take some help from the grocery store. That's right. Get it however you have to.. If its good and it makes you happy and your family happy then do it. My husband doesn't like sweets or so he says. Except occasionally I make something and he will literally make himself sick eating it..especially brownie experiments. So what does that mean. It means I go wild with brownies. I add things that make no sense. Sometimes it makes perfect sense when baked and sometimes I know that I probably need to go back to the drawing board. This is not one of those times.. I nailed it. Now the name might be confusing Strazzberry what is that? Well I make alot of jams and jelly every year and I experiment with flavors on those too.. this is made with my very own jam...its a strawberry-raspberry blend... but feel free to just use raspberry or you could do strawberry also... its all good. So go out and get the stuff...or if your lucky you have already got it in your pantry... and make these now!

Brownies with a Strazzberry Cheesecake Swirl

1 box of brownie mix (your choice of brand plus ingredients called for on back of box)
8 oz cream cheese softened
1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
1/2-3/4 c. Strazzberry jam thinned a little

Preheat your oven to 350 (or the temp called for on the brownie mix). Grease the bottom of a 9 by 13 baking pan.

In 1 bowl mix your brownie mix with the ingredients it calls for on the back of the box following the directions. I listed vanilla as optional because I replace a tsp of water with a tsp of vanilla extract. Just because its out of the box doesn't meant you cant boost the flavor.

In another bowl mix the cream cheese, sugar, and 1 egg until smooth. I like to add a splash of vanilla here also and a dash of nutmeg... Admire my technical cooking jargon.. if I had to put a measurement on the vanilla it would be 1/2 tsp..and the ground nutmeg would be just a sprinkle. Again your just boosting the flavor so you can choose not to use those optional ingredients.

For the jam to be thinned you can heat it for just about 20 seconds or so in the microwave...

Now put half the brownie batter in the bottom of the pan. Spread it out as evenly as possible.

Next put the cream cheese mix over top...again spread evenly as possible.

Top the cream cheese mix with a thin layer of the jam. None of this has to be perfect as your spreading some batter will probably peak through. Its ok..

Now follow it with the last layer... The rest of the brownie batter again spreading it out as evenly as you can.

Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes (ok the time could change based on the mix you use. Start with the time on the back of the box...check it.. if they are still really wet add 5 mins and check again. With the batch in the picture I started at 23 minutes and went all the way up to 33)

Now cool and enjoy!

Linking up at:

Somewhat Simple

Someday Crafts-Whatever goes Wednesday

The 36th Avenue- Share Awesomeness

At Home Take 2-Wonderful Food Wednesday

French Country Cottage- Feathered Nest Friday

Blisfull & Domestic- Feature Friday

The Shabby Nest-Frugal Friday

The Fresh Egg Farm Girls-Farm Girl Friday

Six Sisters-Strut your Stuff

Or so she says-Great Ideas

Western Warmth-Weekend Warmth

Project Inspire-Just something I whipped up.

DIY Home Sweet Home

Skip to My Lou-Made by you Monday

You are talking too much-Meet me Monday

Family Food and Travel-Wonderful Food Wednesday

Mom's Crazy Cooking-This Weeks Craving

Monday, October 8, 2012

Where did the weekend go?

So I am sitting here surrounded by Christmas and Halloween Crafts... It feels like a bipolar holiday. On one side of me is bats..and another is Santa Claus. It was one of those weekends that seems to fly by... some fun... some smiles... a bunch of stuff goes wrong. Today I sat down and worked on a few holiday things. I am trying to finish a garland for our mantle.. little black felt bats... and maybe some twine and fabric.. I will certainly post a picture when it gets done. For now although its a bit ahead of schedule I got an ornament done for our tree. See our tree is a mish mash of different ornaments. No two are alike. At one time I made and sold my arts and crafts. I was always so busy making things for other people our tree suffered. I got the urge today to make one for my I broke out my sculpting tools and clay. Here is what I came up with.

So now you know a bit of what I did this weekend. What were you guys up to? Did you get crafty...or maybe creative in the kitchen?

Linking up with the following.

Project Inspire- Just Something I whipped up
Sew Can Do- Craftastic Monday

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Trouble Strikes Again....

I have two boys...great boys.. but sometimes.. sometimes I think they are out to get me. Last night I discovered their latest attempt. We have a deep freeze. I try to keep it stocked. With this pregnancy and not always feeling good especially. Anytime I felt like it I made twice as much food as we needed and froze half.. So my freezer had homemade things like...chili, veggie soup, choc. chip cookie dough, peanut butter cookie dough, roll dough, bread dough, pizza dough, spaghetti sauce etc... plus I had stocked it with easy meals, treats and ice cream. We are a one income family. I coupon and save and scrimp to make ends meet. A few months ago we had a massive storm roll through and because we live so far out in the country it took them 5 days to get our power turned back on... yeah well that killed everything in  my fridge and freezer. So I have been rebuilding. I like to have it stocked.. knowing that some weeks my husband may not have a good check if  his hours are cut or whatever.. I wont have to worry about food so much. This past Friday my boys were messing with the freezer they know its where the cookies and treats are. I told them to get out of it.. they shut the door and left it alone... It has an alarm if the door is open or if the temp goes up in it. It never sounded. I went in there last night to pull the pile of clothes I had made there this weekend. I am pulling winter stuff out to wash and get ready for this year. When I picked them up they were a sodden mess. My heart dropped I jerked open the freezer everything was dripping and blood from meat was everywhere. I think I stopped breathing for a minute or two. My husband helped me clean up everything. It took hours. I cried hours. I know it may seem silly but I had put so much time work and energy in that freezer.. plus MONEY. I managed to salvage a few things some meat in the back was still cold because it was under a few pkgs.. So I have them in my fridge to find a way to use today... but I am at a loss mentally...and I am more than a little sad. I know I can replace it all.. with more work and more time....and the kicker..more money.. right here when we are fixing to have a baby... and still need things for her...and right around Christmas time. Life sure knows how to kick you when your down. I'm off to go see if I can find some deals to save money...and stock my freezer back a little at a time. If anyone has any freezer meals they would like to share I would love to hear them.. or if you have ways to save money....I am certainly all ears.