Jul 30, 2013

Yummy, Healthy, Overnight Oatmeal

My breakfast this morning was SUPER-YUMMY and easy!  Here is what I did:

1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup 0% greek yogurt
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1.5 tsp Truvia (or other plan approved sweetener to taste)

1/2 cup berries

Mix it up the night before and enjoy cold for breakfast. 

Note:  This is super-yummy and I am doing Trim Healthy Mama right now and according to that book, this is an FP breakfast!!  Woohoo!

TOS Review - Gryphon House (The Homegrown Preschooler)

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Recently, I was really excited to be offered the opportunity to review The Homegrown Preschooler: Teaching Your Kids in the Places They Live through the TOS Review Crew!  With a 3 1/2 year old and a newly 5 year old in the house, I am always on the lookout for good ideas to use with them.  This 204-page beautiful, FULL COLOR, soft cover book is a WONDERFUL resource! I so am COMPLETELY impressed. This is VERY NICE resource for instruction and encouragement for moms of preschoolers.  The Homegrown Preschooler is available from Gryphon House for $29.95.

The Homegrown Preschooler by Kathy H Lee and Leslie M Richards is a large, colorful paperback book of ideas, tips and tricks for using everyday objects to teach preschoolers. I really enjoy how the authors use their combined early childhood and homeschooling experience of over 20 years to inspire you to take advantage of learning experiences that take place in everyday life, to take advantage of learning opportunities as they arise.

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The book is divided into two sections: the first consists of nine chapters on the preschooler learning at home covering a variety of topics from learning through play, to making time, organization and managing in special circumstances. It covers a variety of activities such as home life, fine motor skills, and sensory fun.  This book doesn’t only contain tips for teaching your child but includes recipes, real-life experiences & even worksheets to help you get started. Or alternately, the book finishes with 80 pages of activities and really cool ideas, that you can have for them. I really like that there are some activities that are young for Princess Snifflefritz (good for 2-3 year olds) and some that would be great for Princess Magpie (Kindergarten / First Grade aged kids).  I also like that most of the activities involve making homemade things with things you normally already have at home.

All in all, I have to say, I LOVE this book.  Its beautiful, is a quality resource, and the content is awesome.  I have been enjoying the activities and I can see many days in my future taking further advantage of all the wonderful ideas to be found in this book! 

About the book:
Click to read Crew Reviews

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Jul 29, 2013

Monday Mumblings

Happy things first:
  1. Happy to get MANY, MANY loads of laundry done today, including a load of adorable little cloth diapers for the Little Prince.  (WHERE does that laundry all come from??)
  2. The house got a bit of a tidy today too, which is nice.
  3. Beautiful sunny day, which means a BBQ for us today.  Yay!
  4. I was given a great book, "Trim Healthy Mama" and I am enjoying trying it out.  The food is yummy and once I got the hang of it, the diet wasn't as complicated as I feared at first. 
Now the less nice things:
  1. Princess Belle got into the the homeschool stuff and spread it EVERYWHERE!!!  Oh that kid can make a mess!!
  2. The neighbor (whose fenced yard is attached to ours) was less than impressed to find that Princess Belle had gotten at his water hose and filled his Kayak with water.  (I was HUGELY embarrassed and apologized profusely)
  3. I am now hiding in the basement doing laundry hoping to avoid him (and any other news of other mischief Princess Belle got up to in his yard) while finishes moving out.

Jul 28, 2013

skinny strawberry ice cream

1/2 cup  Almond milk or skim milk (I used vanilla Almond Breeze)
3/4 cups  Fat free Greek Yogurt, (plain or vanilla)
1/2  cup  Strawberries, chopped
2 pkts Stevia (or 1 tbs sweetener of choice, or to taste)
Optional  Topping: fat free whip cream

You can use an ice cream maker for this, but I just blend it in my blender, use frozen strawberries and make it more of a really yummy smoothie.

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. The sound of rain hitting our room while I sit warm and dry drinking a cup of coffee, listening to my children play.
2. Saturday afternoon visits with friends.
3. Living in a quiet, friendly, neighborhood where everything is close by.
4. Birthday party fun with friends and family.

5. Prince Charming laughing and playing with his girls
6. beautiful sunsets while I spend time with my Prince Charming in the backyard.
7. Family BBQs

Jul 27, 2013

Strata Cups

This was a yummy recipe that I plan to make again and again.  (I will get pics next time)
  • Bread crusts, cubed (about 6 slices)
  • 1/2 package of bacon
  • 12 eggs
  • cheese, grated
  • (there are many other optional ingredients that you may wish to add)
  1. fill muffin cups with cubed bread crusts
  2. sprinkle crumbled bacon over the bread
  3. whisk the eggs.
  4. pour over bread crusts and bacon
  5. let sit for a few minutes to soak into the bread a little
  6. bake for 10 - 15 minutes at 350 degrees
  7. sprinkle each cup with cheese
  8. place into oven until cheese melts.
  9. Enjoy!  So good and so easy!

Jul 26, 2013

Amazing Caramel Sauce

Recipe yields 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup packed brown suger (light brown or golden is best)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Melt butter in pot, mix in brown sugar, cream and salt.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat and whisk gently for about 7 minutes or longer if you doubled.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat, add vanilla and return to cook for another minute or so to thicken a bit more.
  4. Take it off the stove and pour into a jar then pop it into the fridge and VOILA you're done!
This recipe is amazing! This is great as a tablespoon of this added to a cup of coffee and nothing more, or on ice cream, or for dipping apples, the possiblites are endless!

This Moment: Turning Five

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

Jul 25, 2013

On the Threshold . . .

In this house, the little ones have a lot more freedom.  They have access to all areas of the house and they are loving it.  I am trying to teach them, that my bedroom is mostly off limits.  Trying to teach them about personal space.  I am not too hung up on it, but I figure it is a good lesson for them. It cracks me up though, because if I am doing something in my room, Princess Snifflefritz hangs out in the doorway, making up stories, dancing, showing me her toys and telling me jokes.  Sometimes Princess Magpie joins her.  It is just too cute.  The fact that she mostly sticks to the doorway is kind of silly but it at least means she understands the limit I am trying to create.  And ti makes for some VERY fun stuff for me to see.

Here are some pics I snapped with my cell phone (they're a little blurry, but then that girl is always in motion . . . every second of every day . . . it is a wonder I have any pics at all of her not in motion!):

New York Cheesecake

  • 2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2  cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 5  eight  ounces packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4  cups sugar
  • 2   tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons vanilla
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3  cup whipping cream
  • 1   teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • For crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Stir until well combined. Press onto bottom and about 2-1/2 inches up the sides of a 9x3-inch springform pan.
  1. Mix cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolks, beating on low speed just until combined. Stir in whipping cream and lemon peel. Pour into pan.
  2. Place pan in a shallow baking pan in the oven. Bake in a 325 degree F oven about 1-1/2 hours or until center appears nearly set when shaken. Cool 15 minutes. Loosen crust from sides of pan. Cool 30 minutes more; remove sides of pan. Cool completely. Chill 4 to 24 hours. If desired, garnish with fresh berries. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 664, Fat, total (g) 48, chol. (mg) 247, sat. fat (g) 27, carb. (g) 48, pro. (g) 12, sodium (mg) 494, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Circle Time - TOS Review

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I as really excited to get the chance to do a review of Circle Time ($4.99) by Kendra Fletcher of Preschoolers and Peace (I am a long-time fan of her blog!).   Circle time is something I have incorporated into our homeschool and it is a big hit with my littlest girls.  They really enjoy it.  So to get the chance to get new inspiration was a wonderful opportunity!

I was so excited by this book that I read all 33 pages in one afternoon!  I was completely inspired by it.  I found myself making notes of new things I wanted to include in our circle times. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that what I read could be applied to homeschooling my Princess Belle as well Princess Snifflefritz and Princess Magpie!  I love it when I can find ways to include all my children instead of focusing just on one at a time.  I love the idea that this is a way for me to incorporate a wider variety of things for all of the kids.  With four kids to mother and teach and a household to run, sometimes it is hard to find enough hours in the day to get everything done, but this is a way of getting a little more accomplished in a way that the kids love. Kendra Fletcher teaches how to bring children of all ages, toddler to preteens (or even teens!) all together. To learn more about Kendra Fletcher, click HERE.

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The book is divided into 9 chapters, focusing on what to include in circle time, suggestions for motivating children to be involved, and parameters for various ages. At the end of a book is a "wish list" for possible circle time activities.

From the Circle Time webpage:
  • Planning a Circle Time That Works for You
  • Strategies for a Peaceful Time Together
  • How to Get Your Kids on Board
  • Questions From Moms Like You
  • Words of Wisdom From Other Moms Who Do Circle Time
  • Resources, Activities, and Ideas
  • Printable Planner Sheets
Circle Time encourages little ones to sit still and focus and the book provides reasoning and suggestions for encouraging that, circle time is a great way for the family to spend time together and connect.  This book is a unique resource and source of reassurance that schooling days aren't chaotic when you've got a plan in place. The book is an easy, quick read written from one homeschooling parent to another.

While Princess Snifflefritz would sometimes wander off, she did show interest in circle time when I made use of some of the great strategies in the book that give ideas on how to get your children interested and creating circle time that works!  She also included some helpful printable planner sheets.  The printouts that are included give you a wish list that will help you decide how your circle time should be used for your needs. 

The Circle Time book is only 33 pages long and cost $4.99.  It’s in PDF format and is downloadable instantly.  It is a great resource to help you plan and implement your own circle time. There are no limitations to what you can do with this! Don't forget to check out other reviews from my Crewmates!


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Jul 23, 2013

No Bake Almond Butter Bars (Low Carb and Gluten Free)

I was shown this recipe from "Living Low Carb, One Day at a Time".  They sound yummy!  I am posting them here so I can remember to give them a shot too!  I have Sunbutter here, I wonder if that would be good instead of almond butter?  Hmmm . . . I may try that.
  • 3/4 cup almond flour 
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut 
  • 3/4 cup equivalent powdered sweetener
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp almond butter (or any nut butter) 
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil 
  • 4 1/2 oz dark chocolate
  1. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut, and sweetener.
  2. Over medium-low heat melt 1 cup of almond butter and coconut oil.
  3. Once melted, add the almond butter to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Press the mixture into a 8" x 8" baking dish.
  5. Over medium-low heat melt 2 Tbsp of almond butter and the chocolate.
  6. Once melted, pour the chocolate over the almond butter mixture and smooth out the top for even coverage.
  7. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until the almond butter mixture has set. To reduce the amount of time for the almond butter mixture to set place the bars in the freezer until set.
  8. Cut into 12 even bars.
No Bake Almond Butter Bars: 5.5 net carbs per serving (yields 12 bars) Almond butter layer: 33 net carbs (without chocolate topping)

Happy Birthday to Princess Magpie

Beautiful Princess Magpie turned five yesterday! Can you believe it?   I can't.  She is such a sweet little girl these days.  Full of love and laughter.  It was a wonderful day with friends, balloons, cake, presents, and food.  What more could you ask for?

Here are some pictures from the day . . . warning, there are a LOT pics.  I had troubles choosing.