May 31, 2013

This Moment:

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule


May 30, 2013

Easy Vegan muffins with Cranberry Sauce

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar (brown sugar is yummy)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cup water


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl.
2. Add water and oil. Mix together. Place baking cups in a muffin pan or spray with nonstick spray.
3. Pour mixture into cups. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes.
4. After the muffins come out of the oven top with a little cranberry sauce.  VERY yummy!

Cranberry Sauce
1 bag cranberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Bring water, cranberries, and sugar to a boil.  Boil about five minutes until the berries have burst and put into the fridge to cool. 

May 28, 2013

Tackle it Tuesday - The Fridge

(click the pic above to get to other Tackles for this week)
My tackle for this week is another one I have been putting off.  Cleaning my fridge.  I am the only one who does this and it gets quite disorganized and messy.  So I emptied it, cleaned it, and organized it.

Here is my fridge before:

Here is my fridge after:

Cinnamon Bun Bread Pudding

3 cups milk
6 - 7 cups cubed or torn stale bread
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or more to taste
5 eggs, lightly beaten
(would be good with added raisins but was a huge hit just like this)

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine the milk , sugar, salt, cinnamon, and eggs. Place bread cubes in a bowl; pour over bread. Cool. Pour mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until set. Pour Glaze over top while still warm. (I made a HUGE batch of this and it was still gone by sundown!)

monday's homestead barn hop

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blog hop button

May 27, 2013

Ten Tips for Planning a Big Move

Since I am moving a family of 6 to a whole new province, (and I have moved quite a number of times) I thought I would compile a list of tips I can come up with:
  1. Have a box marked "Open First".  Put in it all the things you will want that first day, instant coffee, paper plates, cups and plastic silverware, soap, face cloth and towel, toilet paper, a teakettle, a small pot, some cookies, a toaster, and liquid soap, etc. This will save you from rummaging around for basics and allow you to get on with the business of unpacking methodically.
  2. Clearly label the boxes, especially ones containing things you use on a regular basis.
  3. Set up a change of address at the post office so that you will continue to get mail from anybody you forgot to notify.
  4. Arrange for you utilities and services before you get there.  It is so nice to be able to let the kids sit down and watch a little tv while you unpack.  Arrange utilities to be turned off several days after you leave your old place, and turned on several days before you arrive at the new one.
  5. Empty the refrigerator the day before moving day. Eat up any leftovers, decide what you want to bring with you, and give the rest to neighbors. Unplug the refrigerator and leave the doors open overnight so the moisture can evaporate.
  6. Load the truck carefully. Use as much vertical space as you can: Stand sofas on end, load mattresses and box springs so their long sides are vertical, stand up armoires and tall dressers. Put tall things along the sides; moving trucks have bars or tracks onto which you can tie ropes to keep things vertical. Area rugs should go in after the furniture (so you can roll them out before putting the furniture down in the new place).
  7. Don't pay for packing supplies.  You can get them free at grocery stores, dollar stores and liquor stores.  Liquor store boxes are very strong and not too big so they are great for books and heavy items.  Sometimes come they with handy dividers which are great for vases, and glasses. 
  8. Take this as an opportunity to purge your home of unwanted or unneeded stuff you have poked away in closets, attics, and basements.  You will be surprised at how much stuff you have.
  9. Budget space on the truck and money you will spend.  Allow for the fact that you will need more of each than you think you will.  Always.
  10. Line up help, even if you have movers.  It is great to have help with the kids, with food, with finding things in the new town, and moving in general.

Cookie Reese's Brownie Treats

Fun idea I found for a yummy treat for the kids!  Prepackaged Cookie Dough on bottom, Reese's in the middle, and brownie batter on top. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes.

Baked Sloppy Joes

  • 1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) sloppy joe sauce
  • 2 cans (12 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated Big & Buttery crescent dinner rolls
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in sauce. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  2. Unroll 1 can of the dough; place in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Press in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of dish. Spread beef mixture over dough; sprinkle with cheese. Unroll second can of dough; place over cheese. Sprinkle with sesame seed.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and dough is golden brown. Cut into squares to serve.

May 26, 2013

Gratitude Sunday

Gratitude Sunday
Sunday's heart felt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
Here are some things I am grateful for this week:
A cute little guy who loves to cuddle his blankets and his stuffed monkeys when he goes to sleep.

Cute little girls who love to dress up with funny hats, baseball jerseys and princess dresses.

A baby boy with beautiful big eyes who love it when his sisters dress him up.

The smell of freshly made muffins and how much my kids love and appreciate my baking.

Cute girls who love to spend time together, even big sister loves to eat at their little table.
Little girls who always greet me with a big smile. 

 A baby boy who has grown big enough that he greets me sitting up in his crib with a great big smile
Cozy nights watching movies with Prince Charming.
A baby boy who sleeps later in the morning now.
Our big move getting closer and closer.


I have been a little quieter than usual, but it is simply because I have a really bad headache.  I hate when this happens and I have them for several days at a time.  The joys of having TMJ.  Oh well.  I will try to get another post up later today.

May 25, 2013

Cinnamon Glazed Tea Biscuits


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup coconut (optional)

◦1 cup confectioners’ sugar
◦1 1/2 tablespoons milk
◦1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1.Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
2.Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly.
3.Add milk and coconut and stir gently only until ingredients are combines.
4.Turn dough onto floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes (You will want this dough to be nice ad smooth)
5.Roll to no less that ½ inch thickness
6.Cut out round shapes about 2-1/2″ in diameter with cookie or biscuit cutter.
7.Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 450F for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
8.Combine the icing ingredients and drizzle mixture over warm biscuits

May 24, 2013

Move Thoughts

I am getting anxious for our move.  I worry about silly things going wrong and I stress myself out.  This morning with Prince Charming, I ran through my train of worry thoughts last night.  He laughed at me and said it was too funny.  Even I could see that a lot of it was ridiculous, but that is me worrying over things I can't know will happen and things I can't fix.  I just really want this move to go well and for us to get there and everything to be okay. 

I can't wait to be living I the same town as Notsosnowwhite.  I look forward to girly chats, to helping her with her wedding plans, to just spending time together with our families. 

Now it turns out my Sister-in-law will be moving in next door to us.  While I have some trepidation about potential things that could go wrong, (see first paragraph LOL), I am excited at the idea of having a built in community.  I love the idea of having family around for holidays, Saturday brunches and summer bbqs and all that good stuff (of course family includes Notsosnowwhite who is like a sister to me).  And, it will be good for the kids to have cousins right next door that they can spend time with and get to know. 

This Moment: Sister and Brother

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

May 23, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Pancakes

This batter makes light, fluffy, and delicious pancakes.  (my kids like leftover pancakes made into pancake peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. LOL)


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons white sugar (my family likes sweet, I use 1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon oil

1. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk the water and oil together in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet. Stir just until blended; mixture will be lumpy.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto the griddle, and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry. Flip, and cook until browned on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter.

May 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Playing together

Wordless Wednesdays
Click the pic above to get to other Wordless Wednesday Participants or go check out


Vegan Peanut Butter Muffins

  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2/3 cup Quick Cooking Oats)
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter (I used creamy)
  • 1 cup Rice Milk
1.Preheat the oven at 350F 15 minutes. Grease with little cooking spray or line the muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
2.In a large bowl combine together the flour, oatmeal, cocoa powder, sugar and baking powder.
3.In a small sauce pan, over low heat, melt peanut butter in milk, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
4.Once the peanut butter mixture is cool, incorporate it into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
5.Spoon the batter into the prepared pan filling it to the top of each cup.
6.Bake in oven for 13-15 minutes.
The flavor of peanut butter is not dominating. It has the perfect blend of chocolate and peanut butter. The sweetness was right for us not as sweet as the store bought muffins. So If you prefer it sweeter add some chocolate chips or increase the quantity of sugar to 1 cup.

May 21, 2013

Tackle it Tuesday - The Yard

(click the pic above to get to other Tackles for this week)
My tackle for this week was the yard.  I got outside and cleaned up all the junk that had made its way into our yard over the winter.  The neighbor kids like to leave junk there and so does Princess Belle.  So now that is one more thing checked off of my moving list and my yard looks lovely! 

Yesterday I went through my closet and packed most of the stuff in there that was not in boxes. 

Next, I have to get more boxes and get the rest of the stuff packed.  I also want to go through the things we have stored to get that take care of too.  My to-do list is long but I am taking care of it one thing at a time. 

TOS Review: Joyce Herzog- Scaredy Cat Reading System Express

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We were given the opportunity to review Joyce Herzog’s Scaredy Cat Reading System Express with Princes Magpie (age 4) and with Princess Belle (age 11) for the past month or so. 
It consists of teacher training with:
  • activities and suggestions
  • board games,
  • all the stories,
  • all the word lists
  • sentence lists for Levels 1, 2, & 3 – mastery based phonics available from

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As Princess Magpie is only just learning her letters and The Letter Master Story was a great way to introduce the sounds of the letters, and the analogy of ‘scared vowels’ builds a great picture for kids to remember when vowels make short sounds and when they make long sounds!  That was even a great reminder for Princess Belle who enjoyed the games which made learning more fun and served as a reminder for her as well.

This curriculum is very versatile, and is designed in such a way that it can be adapted easily to whatever learning style your child has.  It’s easy to jump ahead if your child is further along in his his/her reading or a good beginning for children like Princess Magpie.  The book has fifteen rules and lots of ideas on learning and studying and having fun with it and the CD includes songs to help. We are at the very beginning of our reading with Princess Magpie and I can see this being really useful in our journey as well as a lot of fun.  I am also using it with Princess Belle to help reinforce her understanding of the rules that she often forgets in her writing. 

This program is available for $30 online.  It includes the 122 – page book, two multi-use board games, all the word lists, sentence lists, and stories for practice, the SRCS Rules Songs CD with songs for each of the rules, The Story of LetterMaster MINI, and Using LetterMaster as a Teaching Tool and also has a downloadable sample. You can take a placement test to determine where in the series your child should start. 

Don’t just take my word for it! Check out the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew blog for more reviews on this and several other Joyce Herzog products from other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew..

May 20, 2013

Monday Mumblings

1. I must be the most klutzy person on the planet.   I fell down today.  I was going to sweep the floor, one of the little's called me and I turned around and stepped on the broom and down I went.  Ugh, now my headache is worse than ever!

2.  I have switched to black coffee.  I have thought of doing this for a while now, but I was nervous.  Turns out I quite like the flavor of black coffee.  So now I don 't have to worry about the nutritional content of the additives in my coffee.  Simple black coffee is better.

3.  Princess Belle borrowed the curriculum I had bought for Princess Magpie after we move and she LOST it!!!!  Now I have to buy another one.  I have turned the house upside down but I can't find it!  With all the extra expense right now, I just didn't need that!

4.  It is a month to my move and I am so excited.  I can't wait to be there and to have this all done.  I can't wait to be home!  I can't wait to start settling in to my new home.  I can't wait to decorate and make it mine. 

5.  Princess Belle has taken to making sandwiches with hot sauce and butter or hot sauce and mayo.  It sounds yucky, but she loves it.

6. The town I am moving to had a snowstorm yesterday!  On the May 24 long weekend!  That is crazy.  I laughed and said that as long as it is all gone for my move, I can live with it.


  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oil an 8 cup muffin tin, or use paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl, combine oil, milk, and egg. Beat lightly.
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Toss in chopped strawberries and stir to coat with flour.
  4. Pour in milk mixture and stir together.
  5. Fill muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 minutes, or until the tops bounce back from the touch.
  6. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans.

May 19, 2013

Gratitude Sunday

Gratitude Sunday
Sunday's heart felt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
Here are some things I am grateful for this week:

1. A big girl who is starting to enjoy the same things that I am.  It is getting more and more fun to share things I love to do with her.

2. Being greeted by this happy, smiley baby every morning.

3.  Two little girls who are best friends.

4. How much the girls, especially Princess Magpie, enjoy their baby brother. 

5.  Watching my little ones play and enjoy each other.

6. Watching Little Prince grow and learn and seeing how amazed his big sisters are by it all.

7. I have happy, funny, playful children who fill my rooms with giggles, squeals, and whispered secrets on a daily basis.

May 18, 2013

Saturday Photohunt: Glass and Hands

The themes this week are: Glass and Hands.  I chose pictures from our trip to a museum last summer.  Princess Magpie got a kick out of the displays.  She liked to put her HANDS against the GLASS in the displays so that she could get a good look inside!