Thursday, February 24, 2011


I tackled my jewelry last weekend. I had enough of not being able to find matching earrings. I couldn't purchase anything so found some useful things around the house. I used a old collage frame for an earring holder (remove the glass and backing - staple screen on the back). Great for fish hook style earrings!  I had three coat hooks so I screwed those into the wall for necklace holders. I could use more of these but for now it works!  I'm happy to say that a week later it still looks as nice as the picture below.  Yay!

I've been taking classes to keep my teaching license current so haven't been blogging or cooking much.  It's a ton of online work.  I have two more weeks and can't wait to be finished for another 5 years.

  It had been so long since I tried a new recipe that I finally broke down last night and found a recipe that I had all the ingredients on hand.  I made Pastor Ryan's Carbonara from The Pioneer Woman's site and Emeril's garlic knots.  The cabonara was amazing - so much better than I've had before.  And the garlic knots?  Pure carb heaven. 
Yes, it was a carb heavy meal that was so very needed! 

My little one is growing so big that I can never tell what will fit before she tries it on.  The problem is, if she puts it on she will not take it off.  I have to remember as it goes through the wash to put it in the too small box.  This dress was on the short side but once she put her black boots on she completely rocked the go-go dancer look :) (at church - woohoo)!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Puljols: More Than the Game - Book Reivew

Since he is one of my favorite players, I found myself extremely happy to read Pujols: More Than the Game by authors Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth. Anyone having the opportunity to see Albert Pujols play will be amazed by the sheer athleticism on display. To find out there is a deeper, spiritual side to this man proves to be inspirational.
Raised in the Dominican Republic, son of a famous baseball pitcher, Albert desired to be like his father and play baseball. He emerged as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport; however, that is not the real story. Albert Pujols and his family live to glorify Christ. According to Pujols, baseball is his platform for sharing the Gospel.

A significant part of the biography occurs when the authors address the question, “what does it mean to be a hero to your own family?”
According to Pujol’s wife Dee Dee, “being a hero means fidelity, honesty, abiding love, and friendship. To his children, being a hero means time, talk and taking interest.”

The authors take the reader from Pujol’s humble beginnings in the Dominican Republic to his first ten years as a major league player. The journey is interspersed with stories from the game itself creating more than enough interest for the sports fan; however, the real story is the Pujol’s family and their devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a baseball fan I found the book delightful, as a Christian, I found the book inspirational.

I received this book free from the publisher through BookSneeze, and am not required to post a positive review.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Feeding Discontentment

broken tv. Pictures, Images and Photos

Did you know that the most conservative statistics say the average American is exposed to 247 advertisements per day (from Consumer Report)?   This morning my pastor articulated what I have been feeling for a few months about our society and advertising.  What is the purpose of advertising?  Feeding discontentment.  We have 247 voices telling us each day that we need something else for our lives to be more complete.  If you had this or that you would be much happier (thinner, stronger, prettier, more organized, whatever).  Of course, he relayed it back to nothing solving the problem of contentment but Christ.  Go read Philippians 4: 10-14.

In December we canceled our satellite.  Our TV is 10 years old so we get NO channels.  The kids still watch some movies and cartoons on DVD but with NO COMMERCIALS.  This has made a huge difference in our lives.   I would hear about all the stuff they saw advertised on TV.  We had to talk about their immediate reaction to these things.  It was often, "I need that!", or "I want that!", while I tried to let them know it was OK to like the things they saw but none of it was a need, and to think if they really did want it and why. 

I don't want to raise kids that want a lot of material things
 but raise kids that know they don't have to have a lot to be happy. (And yes, I try to model this myself :)

Our oldest daughter's birthday was earlier this month and do you know what she asked for?  Nothing!  It was plain and simple.  She hasn't seen commercial after commercial telling her what great toys are out there that she just had to have.  When asked, she couldn't really think of anything that she wanted.  What is that?  Contentment. Beautiful!

When we recently went over to my in-laws the girls turned on the TV and not five minutes later I heard, "Mom!  Mom!  You just have to come and see these (insert cute toy marketed for my wee ones)....".  Sigh.  I know I can't shield them from it all.

You know what works for me?  No TV on a daily basis.  What a blessing!

Go visit We are THAT Family for more Works for Me ideas.

Monday, February 14, 2011

2011 Valentine's Day Card

We use these signs every year for pictures we make into a card for Daddy and the Grandparents :)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Kit Kat and Candy Cakes

Have you seen Kit Kat cakes?  HERE is a better look at my Valentine's take of them.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cheerios Peach Crisp

The folks at Cheerios asked me to come up with a breakfast or springtime experience my family will love using Original Cheerios and seasonal ingredients. I made a Carmel Apple Cheerios Picnic Mix and then couldn't accept that I made it using fall ingredients (even though it is great for spring picnics).  The next thing I came upon were peaches.  Our family drives through Georgia each year, stops at a roadside stand and loads up on peaches.  I freeze them just for peach crisp and they are still so pretty when spring roles around.  So on my second attempt I came up with a peach crisp using a ground Cheerio topping.  YUM!!  We all love this.  The Cheerios give the streusel topping so much more depth of flavor than a regular white flour base.  This will be my go-to peach crisp.  So, can we all get on board with peaches as a spring ingredient?  LOL, probably not.  I missed the mark again with the seasonal ingredients but I sure didn't miss the mark with the recipe!  I even ate it the next morning for breakfast, you know, just to be in line with the given theme :)  Try it!

Peach Crisp with Cheerio Streusel

9 ripe peaches, peel and pit, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons wheat flour (or ground Cheerios)

1 stick cold butter
3 1/3 cups Cheerios, divided
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine peaches, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and flour in a 9x13 pan.

Put 3 cups of Cheerios in a blender and blend until it's the consistency of flour.

Combine ground Cheerios, butter, sugars and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Using your hands (or a pastry cutter) rub through your fingers until the topping is a coarse texture.  Add remaining 1/2 cup of Cheerios and blend well (smoosh the butter mixture all around the whole Cheerios)

Place topping on top of peaches.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  The topping will be golden brown and peaches will be bubbly.

Eat it warm topped with vanilla ice cream. 
Skip the ice cream when eating it for breakfast the next morning (or not :).

Have you visited the Cheerios Facebook page yet?

Caramel Apple Cheerio Picnic Mix

The folks at Cheerios asked me to come up with a breakfast or springtime experience my family will love using Original Cheerios and seasonal ingredients.  Mine turned out a little fall like but is a GREAT addition to picnics or park outings - which are certainly spring like!  My girls couldn't get enough of this!

 Caramel Apple Cheerio Picnic Mix

6 cups Cheerios
1 cup caramel bits (or regular wrapped caramels)
½ cup dried apples, diced
3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, lightly salted
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon water
large paper bag for mixing

 In a large bowl, melt caramel with vanilla, and water in the microwave. Cook on high for 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Stop when all ingredients come together – about 1 ½ minutes.

 Add 4 cups Cheerios and ½ cup peanuts to the caramel mixture and stir to coat.  I like some of the ingredients not coated to balance out the sweetness but if you like it really sweet, you don't have to reserve any and coat it all.

 Put ½ cup powdered sugar in a brown paper bag. Put the Cheerio mixture on top of the sugar and the last ½ cup sugar on top. Fold the bag over may times and shake to coat Cheerio mixture.

Empty into a clean bowl, add remaining Cheerios, peanuts and dried apples. Stir gently and serve.
Bring on a picnic - it's yummy and portable!  Perfect for you next outing.

Have you checked out the Cheerios Facebook page yet?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cauli with Curry Butter and Almonds

Cauliflower with Curry Butter and Almonds


Serves 4.

1 medium head of cauliflower, about 2 pounds
4 tablespoons butter 1 shallot, peeled and finely diced (can use 1/2 a small onion)
2 teaspoons curry powder (Pinch My Salt used a Red Curry Powder, I used Madras - I would double it because Madras isn't spicy)
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
3-4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted**
salt, to taste

Rinse cauliflower under cold water and cut into small florets. Steam cauliflower in a basket over boiling water for 5-8 minutes, or until just tender. Remove the cauliflower to a plate or bowl and set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until softened. Add curry powder and stir for another 30 seconds. Stir in lemon juice, cilantro, and honey. Add steamed cauliflower and almonds and toss until well combined and heated through. Season to taste with salt.

Serve over steamed white or brown rice or alone, as a side dish.

**I put my almonds in a cast iron skillet and put them in the oven until they were golden brown.

This post has also been linked to:
Mouthwatering Monday at Southern Fairytale
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace
Tuesday at the Table at All the Small Stuff
Hearth and Soul at A Moderate Life
Recipe Swap at Prairie Story

Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Friday, February 4, 2011

When Little Hands Snatch the Camera

Here is what I find....

And about 100 others pretty much just like it :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

You Make My Heart Melt

I made these Valentine's cards for my preschool class.  They were featured in Family Fun magazine this month and I just fell in love.  Aren't they sweet :)