Friday, May 27, 2011

Buckwheat Pancakes for Breakfast

For breakfast I tried these Arrowhead Mills buckwheat pancakes- yummy!  I topped them with chopped fresh strawberries sweetened with a tablespoon of melted honey.  Very filling and very tasty.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cookbook Review

I've been trying to eat less sugar and preservatives- and trying to consume more whole grains and vegetables. And can I just publicly announce that I really, really miss the sugar!!!  

I realized that most of cookbooks I own aren't very helpful in this area- they have gorgeous pictures of amazing desserts.  Even the main dishes are made with lots of processed ingredients and people put sugar in the strangest things....  So, I splurged and purchased two new cookbooks. 

I found the Power Foods cookbook on Amazon for $15.  It has lots of extra information about healthy foods to include in your diet- but so far, I've just been focusing on the healthy recipes.  I've tried the walnut- crusted chicken (I replaced the walnuts with pecans) and the lemon chicken with avocado-corn salsa chicken and both were excellent! 

I'll let you know how the other cookbook is (if I like it)- just browsing through it I noticed several unusual ingredients and the recipes seem to call for quite a bit of sugar... so, we'll see.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Small Shelf Makeover

I found a dilapidated, battered shelf at the Salvation Army.  Some of the hooks were broken off- really in quite bad shape and not the most attractive red color either (so sorry that I forgot to upload the picture from my camera before reformatting- sob- I really wanted to show it to you!).  Just think broken, scratched up shelf without much of a ledge on top....try really hard to imagine it so you can be impressed when I show you the finished project ;o)

For the makeover I used duck egg chalk paint (Annie Sloan) and aged everything with dark brown wax as a top coat.  I wanted to make the shelf more substantial.   I looked through the scrap wood in my husbands shop and found a piece that was almost right.   He cut the wood down for me. I stained it with dark walnut stain and waxed it with the dark brown wax- he attached it to the top of the shelf  for me-  such a sweetheart-- then I added a few knobs that were kickin' around this place.  To top the shelf I used a crochet edged napkin, a silk plant with a burlap and vintage earring bow, and some glass bottles.  I'm sure I'll change that up as time goes on-  I need to keep tweaking things.

The empty squares could easily be filled with black and white family photos, illustrations, love notes, piano music, chalkboards, or maps- whatever you love- I found my free vintage seed packet clip art here.

Hurrah for makeovers!

I've linked up to:
Making the world cuter

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Picture frame into Magnetic Message Board

There seems to be a plethora of magnetic boards and picture frame makeovers.  The only thing unique about this one is the source of the metal backing.

I found this gold intense frame at a thrift store for about $3.  I found this ugly cow metal sign at dollar tree for $1.

I painted the frame ivory.  I painted the metal duck's egg blue.  I put them together.  Now this frame can be a message board or a Jewelry holder.

5/27/11  I've linked up to sisters stuff

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Activity Day: Mini Service Projects

For our activity day group (girls ages 8-11) this week we did some mini service projects.  I set up the activities just like centers.  At one center the girls decorated and ate cupcakes (their snack).

At the art center they made and wrote cards to say thank you or "have a happy day" to a person of their choice.  Stamps were available if they knew the address and wanted to mail the cards from my house.

At another center they made floral hair clips- hopefully to share with a sister or friend

And at the cooking center the girls helped make snicker doodle cookies to give to a friend- we even had dollar store paper plates available with saran wrap so they could package up their goodies- all ready to be delivered.

We read the quote that I have at the top of this blog: 
Each of us can do something to help someone... we are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness-be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord's hands here upon the earth. -Thomas S. Monson
Then we discussed a bit about showing kindness and scattering sunshine.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Sorry I've been missing in action.  Our family is home from a trip to Utah where our daughter (pictured above) was married. 

While on our journey I ate most of a  pound and a half of See's Chocolates (the pecan roll candy bars, the butterscotch squares and the milk Bordeaux are the best).  I also consumed at least 9 crispy cream doughnuts and a million other calories- and lost about four pounds.... go figure?!

I'm just about done with this shelf makeover (don't you just love the linoleum on my craft room/ storage room floor?!  It's actually very practical).

Hubby purchased these pretty peach roses for a late Mother's Day gift (now that we are home and can enjoy them).

Yesterday, I turned a few silk flowers into hair clips for my eleven year old to wear in her hair.  Nothing fancy- but still pretty.  In the background you can see a bit of my new summer bedding- LOVE it!

It's good to be back!


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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kind of Healthy Granola Recipe

I decided to make some granola yesterday.  I combined some recipes and ended up with this:

7 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 c. powdered milk (non-fat)
1 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut (ribbon style)
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. vanilla

1/4 c. maple syrup
3/4 c. honey
1 c. canola oil

2 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the dry ingredients and stir together.  In a microwave dish mix the moist ingredients- (warm in microwave to melt the honey and make it easy to mix).  When the wet ingredients are mixed pour them over the dry ingredients and stir well.  Spread the granola evenly on the two cookie sheets.

Bake for 20 min.  Stir once half way through cooking.  Cool.  Add raisins or other dried fruit.  Store in an air tight container.

My hubby likes it- that is always a good sign!


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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Healthy Gingerbread Muffins and the World's Best Mom

I was blessed to be born to an amazing mother.  I am the fifth of nine children.  Although my mom was from a large family she had to work and learn about how to be the kind of mom she wanted to be.  She read books, talked to friends and prayed.  She decided she didn't want to spank her kids.  So, when she lost her temper and one of us received a spanking she would spend some quiet time in her room.  She would think through the situation and pray asking God to help her find a better way.... He blessed her and she did.  I don't have many heroes- because I don't use that term lightly- but my mom is my hero.

If I was to write a tiny portion of all that she is and all that she has done to help me this would be an endless post.  So, I'll just move on to one other tiny tribute.

My mom tried to feed us in a healthy way.  To her that meant using whole grains.  So, I thought of her when I made these gingerbread muffins.  They are actually quite healthy and pretty good.  I hope you enjoy them.  The original recipe was found here.  I tweaked it and came up with the following:

Gingerbread Muffins

1 1/4 c. Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/4 c. nonfat powdered milk
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder

1/4 c. buttermilk
6 T. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. molasses
3 T. agave nectar
1 T. canola oil
1 egg

Pre-heat oven to 190 C (350 F).  Use liners to in a 12 cup muffin tin.  Mix the dry ingredients together.  Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Mix dry and wet mixtures together just until moist.  Use all the batter to fill your muffin cups.  Bake for about 15-20 min. Remove from pan and enjoy. 

If you are not used to healthy recipes you may notice these are low in salt, sugar and fat.  I still like them- especially with a spoonful of unsweetened applesauce on each half.


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Monday, May 2, 2011

Sewing: Making Luggage (Duffel Bag)

We've been getting ready for our family trip- so, I spent a few hours and sewed a simple duffel bag.  I LOVE this fabric and have had it for a long time.  I believe it is a duck cloth print (they currently have some super cute patterned duck cloth at Hobby Lobby).  Just remember to wash your duck cloth before sewing- I had some that shrank like crazy when I washed it (full length curtain became a valance- almost).

There are patterns for this "luggage" bag available at most fabric stores (Simplicity 2274, free pattern online, etc.).  I just made up my own pattern.  I serged the interior seams- I am hoping that reenforcement of the seams will give the bag some extra strength.... here is to many happy journeys!

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