May 30, 2014

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

Ideas for your backyard!

Since I spent most of my day outside in our backyard, I thought I would share some ideas that may work for your yard!

Hang a bucket so you can wrap the hose around it and keep the sprinkler inside the bucket.

If your fence has holes, place marbles in them to make it beautiful! You could even drill the holes yourself, it's that nice.

Create outdoor chalkboards for the kids!

DIY music wall

DIY backyard sandbox

Homemade fairy garden for kids

Homemade water play station

Bird-watch by making easy bird feeders

Easy tofu and vegetable skewers (Vegetarian, low fat)

  • 1 package firm or extra-firm tofu, well-pressed and chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 zucchini, chopped 1-inch thick
  • 8 mushrooms, chopped in half
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped into chunks
  • 3/4 cup Italian salad dressing
  • bamboo skewers, pre-soaked
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Next, slice your tofu into 1-inch cubes. (works best if you have pressed your tofu first)
  2. Combine tofu and veggies in a shallow pan or sealable plastic bag. Cover with salad dressing, and allow to marinate for at least one hour; overnight is better.
  3. Arrange tofu and veggies on pre-soaked skewers, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. Place on heated grill for 5-6 minutes, turning once, until veggies are cooked and tofu is lightly browned.

Note: If you're new to grilling tofu, you might want to check out these tips:
  • Tofu tends to stick to grills, so prepare your barbecue with a non-stick cooking spray or by rubbing it with oil.
  • Use firm, or if possible, extra-firm tofu, and always press your tofu well before grilling. You may also want to freeze and then thaw your tofu. This will allow the tofu to absorb more of the marinade flavors.
  • Marinate your tofu in your favorite marinade for at least 30 minutes before grilling. I like to marinate tofu in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator overnight. You can use just about any barbecue marinade recipe that you like, or try a store-bought marinade. Have a favorite salad dressing? That will work well too!
  • When marinating your tofu, even just a simple soy sauce, barbecue sauce or vinaigrette will do the trick. A marinade containing a bit of sugar is best, as it will caramelize and help the tofu get nice and crispy and crunchy on the outside, so add a bit of sugar, rice wine vinegar, honey or maple syrup to your marinade.
  • Use bamboo skewers rather than placing your tofu right on the grill. 
  • Grill over a pre-heated grill for 6-7 minutes on each side, brushing occasionally with extra marinade.

May 29, 2014

Throw Back Thursday

In my Throw Back Thursday time machine, I am travelling back to the summer of 2007, when I was mommy to only one precious baby girl and Prince Charming was graduating from college.  Who knew how much our lives would change over the coming years. 

Mediterranean Style Zucchini (Vegetarian, low fat, whole grain, high fiber)


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cups finely chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan, and stir in the rice. 
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a separate medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  4. Stir in onion, red bell pepper, and garlic, and cook until tender. 
  5. Mix in tomatoes and zucchini, and season with oregano, salt, and pepper. 
  6. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Stir cannellini beans into the tomato and zucchini mixture, and continue cooking about 10 minutes. 
  8. Serve over the cooked rice.

Easy Vegan Italian Salad Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight lid. Shake the jar well and let stand for one hour at room temperature, then chill. Shake well before serving.

May 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Princess Fun


Click the pic above to get to other Wordless Wednesday Participants or go check out the following links:

Crockpot Stuffing (vegetarian, low fat, high fiber)

  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pkg sliced mushrooms
  • 12 cups vegan cornbread or whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp savory
  • 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups veggie broth
  1. Cook onion, celery, mushroom, and parsley in a little veggie broth.
  2. Pour veggies over bread crumbs in a very large mixing bowl. Add all seasonings and toss together.
  3. Pour in enough broth to moisten. (I added extra broth halfway through for a moister stuffing)
  4. Pack stuffing lightly into crock pot, and cover. Set on High for 45 minutes; reduce to Low and cook for 3 – 4 hours.
Makes 8 large servings.

Fun DIY decorating and creative creations for your home

Here are some cool ideas for your home

Spray paint a trash can and flip - instant side table

Super easy DIY Console Table

Shelf on top of the old door headboard

DIY Canvas Map

Bookshelf Decorating Ideas

window box storage in bathroom

Stack and glue flower pots together- Use for keys, etc to put in entry or for jewelry in the bedroom. Such a good idea!!

No more "who's cup is this?"

May 27, 2014

Okay . . . Not Everybody

Just when I am ready to sign myself up to a private island, and get away from the human race all together, someone reminds you that there are good people out there.  What started out as a horrible thing, turned out okay and while I am still wanting to move (and saving to move) to be closer the autism clinic for my son and my daughter, it doesn't have to be right this minute.  I can wait until we are financially ready.  So for now, I will work hard, save hard, do my best, count my blessings and move when I can.

Pasta with Fresh Tomato (vegetarian, high fiber)

  • 2 -3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Whole Grain dry pasta
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. Place the garlic clove in a pot of salted water, bring the water to boil and add the rigatoni.
  2. Cook until al dente.
  3. Drain well.
  4. Return the pasta to the pot that the garlic was cooked in.
  5. While pasta is cooking, chop the tomato into chunks and place them in a small bowl.
  6. Sprinkle the tomato chunks with basil and pour oil over the tomato.
  7. Place tomatoes in the pot with pasta.
  8. Toss well and eat while warm.

Sometimes it just sucks!

Having a bad day today.  Sometimes people suck.  I just with I could have a genie in a bottle and rub it and get enough money to get out of here.  I should have known not to move here.  This happened here before.  People here don't seem to trust that you can homeschool your kids and take care of them.  I am being held hostage here by a lack of the money I need.  I am saving as fast as I can but I won't have the money to move my family and all our stuff until October at least!  I need to have peace of mind and I need to have Little Prince and Princess Belle close to the autism help they deserve and all of us close to the homeschoolers we know and love.  Just a few thousand dollars would make all the difference in the world. 

I NEVER talk about this stuff here and I should probably just delete it and go back to sunshine and roses but all of this stuff on top of a hurt back and I am lost and upset and broken.

May 26, 2014


Well I did it again.  I hurt myself and I have NO idea how!?!  I woke up this morning with back pain and I can't even bend and stand/sit.  It hurts!

I have FOUR kids.  I have things to do!  I DO NOT have time to be hurt!!!

Breakfast Casserole (vegetarian)

  • 3 cups cooked potatoes, mashed but not peeled
  • 1-1/2 lbs. firm tofu, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Paprika
  1. Mix together the potatoes, tofu, and soy sauce. 
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until translucent. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°F. 
  4. Mix the onion and garlic into the potato mixture, and add the parsley, basil, and black pepper. 
  5. Spread into an oiled 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish. 
  6.  Sprinkle with paprika and bake for 35 minutes.

May 25, 2014

Sometime They Suck!

Sometimes kids suck.  Not my kids, because I think they are the best kids in the world, of course.  But the kids in the neighbourhood.  Those 10 and 11 year old boys who can think of nothing better to do than to make my girl cry.  Not every day but some days they seem to get in their head that there is nothing better to do in the world to do than to tell her how unimportant she is, how NO ONE could ever like her, how NO ONE could ever be her friend.  How ugly and uncool she is.  She comes home, broken, crying, and there is nothing I can do about it.  I HATE that.  The fact is, at least one of these kids should know better, should be on her side.  But he isn't and most of the time, he is the instigator and it really gets to me.  Sometimes weekends, boys and autism all suck so bad!

Signed, Wishing I Could Bully Proof the World for Her.

(At least she can come home to her sisters who let her know that she is by far the coolest girl they have ever met!)


Quick, Easy, and Creative Home Decor Ideas

Here are some quick, easy, frugal and creative home decor ideas that I am going to try:

Repurpose your old necklaces to make curtain tiebacks.

DIY .. pompon rug

Easily switch out seasonal plants by placing your potted plants IN pots.

DIY light curtains

Use a sharpie and draw a design on a light bulb to cast a neat shadow when the light is turned on.

Framed utensil artwork

Jute rope is a cheap way to add a rustic/nautical touch to any window dressing.

Try papering the backerboard to a bookcase before attaching it — or try papering small panels that can be inserted into the back of a built in.

Tie shower curtains on with bows instead of metal rings that rust.

Frame maps in embroidery hoops

Poke holes in a dark lampshade for a starry effect.

These candle centerpieces look really easy to make and are just lovely.

For a statement wall hanging, Staples does oversized prints called “engineer prints.”

Use embroidery floss to weave a welcome message onto your screen door.
Use embroidery floss to weave a welcome message onto your screen door.

Use a paste of water and cornstarch to make removable wallpaper out of fabric.

For a cheap and classy alternative to bookshelves, use stair treads and corbels.