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Showing posts from January, 2013

POPCORN PARTY!

So you might have noticed on my meal plans that on Fridays, for lunch, we have a Popcorn Party!  This is something I made up.

Basically I just cut up cheese, and fruits and veggies that the girls and I enjoy eating, and we make some delicious air popped popcorn for lunch.  It is of course drenched in yummy butter.  Then we pick out a fun movie to watch and eat on the floor in the family room.

There are two rules to a Popcorn Party:
You have to eat your healthy food before you dig into the popcorn.  Just popcorn is not a meal.We always pick a different movie.  I know kids love to watch the same movie over and over, but I have A LOT of kid's movies, plus I record some, so there is no need for repeats. It is pretty fun, and I like to think that by making it a weekly thing its something fun they look forward to.  I know they love making the popcorn with me, because when we are running late for lunch and I make it while they are eating, they are very disappointed.  Cooper wakes up durin…

Meal Plan 1/27-2/2

So I decided to quit planning breakfasts and lunches, and just make whatever we have time for.  I was very rarely following the meal plan on anything but dinner, so it was a waste of my time.  This time when I was planning I tried to find things I really thought we would like, even if they were not quite as healthy as the last couple weeks. 

Sunday 1/27
Meatball Pizza Casserole

Monday 1/28
Quick Chicken Cordon Bleu

Tuesday 1/29
Garlicky Steak

Wednesday 1/30
Fettucine Alfredo

Thursday 1/31
Potato Crusted Salmon

Friday 2/1 (Can you believe its almost February?)
Frozen Pizza

Saturday 2/2
Beef and Provolone Sandwiches


This post may be linked up at one of these wonderful blog hops: 


Super Awesome Things About Breastfeeding! - Flashback Friday

In an effort to continue posting on a daily basis, as well as allow more people to see some interesting blog posts that I wrote a long time ago, I am going to start re-publishing some of them on Fridays.  I will make some additions, which will be in pink, like this paragraph. :)  I will also be changing the pictures because I am trying to keep things legal, now that people other than my best friends look at my blog.  Plus they draw in "views" that don't actually VIEW my blog, just the picture.  All of the posts will be at least a year old, and have gotten a small amount of real views.  I am calling this Flashback Friday!


Originally Titled: Are You Interested in a Way of Lowering SIDS, Childhood Cancer Rates and Other Bad Things?  In my new font however, SIDS looked like a bunch of scribbles.

Me too!

So I suggest you breastfeed. Well actually since only two people appear to read my blog, and neither of them have kids, that might be kind of weird and inappropriate consider…

Recipe Reviews - 1/24

So mostly I did another failure week on meal planning.  But I do have two recipes for you, and they are both yummy!  We didn't really have any fails, because we had old stand-bys instead of the new stuff I had planned.

Super Easy Pork Chops

So these are actually Michael's recipe, but I changed it up a little bit.  He always used Cream of Mushroom Soup, but since I avoid that whenever I can, I made the sauce myself.

These pork chops are super easy to make! If you choose to use a can of cream of mushroom soup instead of all the other ingredients making it absurdly easy!

This is delicious served over rice.

Serves 2

Ingredients 2 pork chops2 tablespoonsbutter you could also use coconut oil (slight flavor change) or lard2 tablespoonsflour1 teaspoonbeef bouillon you can also use 1 cup beef broth and not add the bouillon or the water1/2 teaspoonsalt1 cupwater you can also use 1/2 water and 1/2 cup milk if you want it a little creamier
Directions
Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Put the pork c…

Wonderful Wednesday Link-Up!

Today is my first link-up!

There is only one rule for my link-up party: keep it clean! I don't care what you post about, I just want to make sure that its not full of profanity. Keep in mind that my hope for this blog is to encourage people and bring glory to God. Anything that I find not fitting for those purposes will be removed. Other than that, have at it! I don't even need a link back, mostly because I don't know how on earth to make a button.

I will try to pin all of the entries, and next week when I run another party I will feature the top 3 posts! Please play fair, and don't vote for an entry more than once.




Winter Wonderland

It has been iced over for like a week now.  Luckily their isn't any rain or snow so its not dangerous driving conditions.  I think it looks awesome, so I bundled up and went out to take some pictures.  Which look a lot better than our gas bill will when they add up how many therms we used while the temperatures never went about 32°.















This post may be linked up with one or more of these wonderful blog hops:


Make Your Own "Cream of" Soup

I am not the queen of healthy cooking.  Given the choice (which I guess I have, but my health and waistline pay for it) I would eat pasta, bread, cheese sauce, pizza, and french fries pretty much every day.  Another thing I do that isn't very healthy is make a lot of recipes with "cream of" soups.  I  hate spending a dollar of each of them (I know, a dollar isn't much, but when you read how cheap it is to make at home you will certainly agree its to much!) and I hate running out of them and then not being able to cook something.

So I found a recipe for making them myself.  I don't remember where I found it, so I can't give credit where it is due, but here it is.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon bouillon (whatever flavor you need, beef for cream of mushroom)
1 cup water

Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Add the flour and salt, stirring until smooth with a wire whisk (make sure its silicone coated if you h…

Meal Plan 1/20 - 1/26

This is our meal plan for this week.  If you read last weeks meal plan you will notice some repeats.  This is due to us choosing to have other things for meals instead of what was planned, so we still have to have those meals since I bought ingredients for them.

Sunday 1/20
B: Cheese Quesadilla
L: ate breakfast late, skipped lunch
D: Easy Slow Cooker Lemony Garlic Chicken Breast

Monday 1/12
B: Collard Green Pineapple Smoothie (high chance of grossness and actually having eggs and pancakes)
L: Peanut Butter Sandwiches
D: Super Easy Pork Chops

Tuesday 1/22
B: Omelet with Spinach and Cottage Cheese
L: Tuna Salad Italiano
D: Chicken Fried Steak

Wednesday 1/23
B: Blueberry Smoothie
L: Peanut Butter and Banana Wraps
D: Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

Thursday 1/24
B: Fruit and Cheese
L: Turkey Sandwiches
D: Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

Friday 1/25
B: Breakfast Smoothie
L: POPCORN PARTY!
D: Pizza

Saturday 1/26
B: Kate B's Amazing Kale and Eggs (No idea who Kate B is)
L: McDonalds or Something Equ…

Review - Seven Everyday Slings

I got this sling because it was free, I only had to pay shipping.  Since I bought it, I have found out that it is VERY easy to find codes for this to be free, and I am pretty sure that if you ever pay full price for one you got duped.

I was SO excited.  I wanted a baby carrier really bad.  I didn't have a baby, but I am always collecting baby things.

In case you were thinking that I only review things that I like, I HATE THIS SLING! 

I have used it with tiny babies, older babies, and toddlers. 

Pros:
- Adorable, and available in a variety of colors
- Lightweight and compact, you can easily throw it in a diaper bag or purse
- Works from birth - 35 lbs


Cons:
- Terrifying to use with small babies.  They sink down in it, and its almost impossible to keep them from having their chin tucked to their chest, which is a huge no-no in baby carrying.  Basically when I had Cooper in it as an infant I spent the entire trip to the park making sure he was still breathing, then I started sticki…

Recipe Reviews - 1/16

So my menu planning has not been going so hot.  Or rather my menu following has not been going so hot.  My husband is being a little reluctant to eat "diet food" and things have got switched around a little bit.  So, it didn't go exactly according to plan.  I have made a few things, and I will share them with you, along with if I thought they were good or not.  The good ones will have recipes, the bad ones will have links to recipes if you don't trust my judgement (I am a very picky eater, so my judgement might be flawed).


Yummy

1) Breakfast Smoothie
    Delicious!  We both really liked this one, although it was a little to thick to drink
    without a straw, so I used a straw I had lying around and Michael ate it with a   
    spoon.  I think I just added to many frozen strawberries.

RECIPE:
makes 2 servings
each serving is 2 cups
211 calories, 5.6 g fiber, 4.5 g protein
-1 cup orange juice
-1/2 plain yogurt (I used greek)
-1 banana
-2 1/2 cups frozen strawberries

Ble…

Homegrown Goodness vs Store Bought Scary

This is a picture of scrambled eggs.  The eggs on the top are from a friend's chickens.  The eggs on the bottom are from Winco (probably, every once in a while I shop elsewhere).
I was cooking the "farm" fresh eggs, and noticed that they seemed really yellow.  So I took some "regular" eggs out of the fridge and scrambled them too.  The second batch looks almost white compared to the first batch.  I didn't add anything to them except salt and pepper.  Which was pretty unnecessary seeing as how I didn't NEED more eggs for breakfast and ended up giving them to the dog...
Now I REALLY want my own chickens.  That much more color has to mean all sorts of good things that I know nothing about.  I know that butter is more yellow in the summer than the winter (at least when free-range, pastured cows are producing it) because they get gresh grass instead of hay and get out in the sunshine.  But these are winter eggs, so that shouldn't be a similar thing...
Do yo…

Meal Plan - 1/13 - 1/19

Here is my meal plan for this week.  If any of the recipes turn out great, I will be sharing them in future posts.  If you want any of the recipes before I have a chance to see if they are good, just ask and I will add them :)  Some meals are pathetic, and please keep in mind I am trying to get away from processed food, but I am not going to quit cold turkey.

These are just main dish plans.  So it doesn't seem like enough food, but fruits and veggies will be added, as well as rice or pasta when it fits the meal.

I also plan to serve a big salad right before dinner, so Michael and I can fill up on salad before we eat the main meal.

Sunday 1/13
Breakfast: Breakfast Smoothie
Lunch: Probably something crappy like raviolis or ramen
Dinner: Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

Monday 1/14
B: Banana Blueberry Smoothie
L: Caesar Tortellini
D: Penne with Spinach Sauce

Tuesday 1/15
B: Fruit and Cheese (pretty much just what it says)
L: PBJ
D: Easy Slow Cooker Lemony Garlic Chicken Breast

Wednesday 1/…

Review - L'Oreal Sublime Mousse

Last Saturday I went on a bit of a shopping spree (Target had their Christmas stuff 90% off, who can resist that?).  I also stopped by Wal-Mart to check out their Christmas stuff (only 75% off and not as good of selection), and I found L'Oreal Sublime Mousse on clearance.  There were a couple of colors and I choose "Pure Dark Brown".  Now I had kind of decided not to dye my hair anymore, but I had been wanting to try the mousse dye since they first came out with it.  It is always more expensive than the regular stuff, and since I have long, thick hair it takes two bottles to dye my hair.  So I had never tried it.  I bought two boxes (for only $9 total) and dyed my hair last night.  Michael wasn't super impressed, it kind of annoys him when I dye my hair, because I always say "I'm not dying my hair anymore." and then I always do.  I didn't actually WANT to dye my hair this time, I really just wanted to try the mousse, and since my hair was about 40…

Poisoning Myself... Ooopsy!

I had a brilliant idea.  At least I thought it was.  I was going to make toothpaste. 

I have read recipes, and generally coconut oil and baking soda are common ingredients. 




I thought I was being clever, and decided to melt the coconut oil, and then stir in the baking soda, the idea being that it would combine together like flour and fat when you make gravy.


So after the coconut oil melted, I added the baking soda and stirred it until it became "the desired consistency" (which was really just however I thought it should be).  Honestly it smelled pretty bad, but I kept going. 
Now, I put it in a little container.  It started separating, which was not what I had hoped for. 
Then I realized I made a big mistake and neglected to add water, so eventually it would solidify and be unusable.  So I added some water and stirred it (ironically with a flosser that has fluoride on it, which probably added a bit of the poison to my "healthy toothpaste"), and it became a powdery …

Bittersweet

Last Saturday I went a little crazy with the Post-Christmas sales.  At Joann's I bought some cheap-o little make your own ornaments, and at Wal-Mart I bought a few turkey magnets to paint.  All in all I probably spend about $5 on a bunch of little craft projects for the girls to do next year, not a lot of money, but quite a few projects.


When I got home, I realized with some sadness that its a very real possibility I won't be watching them next year.  Perhaps buying art projects was a little presumptuous.  I would LOVE to be watching them next year (and the next, and the next, etc.) but I have little to no control over that.  Any number of things could happen, they could move away, or find cheaper care elsewhere (I don't think I overcharge, but then I have never really looked into it, I mostly just charge what I need to make to pay the bills and have a little left over).  One of the parents could quit, or lose their job.  I am just a baby-sitter, and as Michael has pointed …

Rachel Goes On and On and On About Menu Planning and the Cost of Food -OR- A Sad Post With No Pictures

I just spent about two hours planning all of our meals for the next two weeks after payday.  I used a free trial of Plan To Eat, which is pretty cool.  I actually won a free years subscription on a blog giveaway, but I have not gotten any info about it so I might end up paying for it later.  I am trying to get on top of it, as Michael and I have been eating like crap for the last year or so since we moved out of our apartment.  I want to cook and be a good wife, and make healthy food for us, but if I don't plan it out, I usually revert back to Hamburger Helper or a trip to McDonalds.  You can judge me if you want, but I know its bad for us, and that is why I want to change it! 

My meal plan involves some very expensive grocery shopping, and I might need to reign in the spending depending on how it actually turns out to cost.  The main expense is going to be from my desire to make smoothies almost every morning.  Frozen fruit is generally pretty expensive...  But smoothies are a q…

Rachel's Church Fail

I always go to church on Christmas Eve.  Michael goes to his extended family's party and I walk to church (we generally only have one car).  This year we moved to a new town, and its very close to our old town, but its REALLY far when you are walking.  Our town only has one church, and its Catholic.

I am not Catholic.  I have never been in a Catholic church before, other than to listen to music one time.Like I said, Michael goes to his family thing, so I always go to Christmas Eve service by myself, and usually its not a problem.  This time was different.

It was really cold outside, so I bundled up and walked to church.  As soon as I walked in I was uncomfortable.  There was an angel statue in the entry that was holding some (what I am assuming was) holy water.  There was a sponge in it, and people stopped by it, but I had no idea what it was for, or what they were doing, so I just walked by it.  Then I noticed the people in front of me were kneeling before they got into the pews.  …

More Resolutions For Me to Break!

Before we get to the resolutions here are the winners of the giveaways!  I will be emailing you this afternoon to get your contact information and you will have 48 hours to respond :)

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil:  Brittany M.
Sincerely Pure Sampler Basket:  Shelley B.
Martha Stewart Living Subscription:   Melle E.

Congrats to the winners, and a big thank you to everyone that entered.  Also a HUGE  thank you to all my guest bloggers!

Every year I make a pretty long list of resolutions, and every year I fail fairly miserably at sticking to them.  And I am pretty much okay with that.  Someone asked me why I make resolutions if I know I am going to fail.  The reasons are threefold:
Goals are good, even if you don't meet them, its nice to have them in sight.If I ever DO manage to meet them I will be extra stoked.I blog, and sometimes coming up with blog posts is hard, so at least one a year can be tackled with a resolutions post :P This year I have only two resolutions.  There are plen…

Infant Adoption - The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Our last adoption story, and the final post in the Twelve Days of Christmas is from April. 

I was sitting in church after a miscarriage, one of many and it just hit me. The preacher kept repeating we are all adopted children of God.  I looked at my husband and we both said it at the same time "We can adopt". we started researching it right away, and found out that a coworker of his, their daughter has an adopted child so we used their facilitator.

We met our son's birthmom 4 days after we turned in our application, in October 2005. It was a very good relationship. I took her to the Doctor we would go visit her every other weekend and have a bite to eat. Our son (like me ) was to be born on December 22, 2005 but no he was as snug as a bug.

On December 24, 2005 at 11:45 pm, the phone rang. "My water broke and it hurts"! Well, lets just say a three hour drive thru the Calafornia desert took about two and a half. her labor was fast! I had the honor of …

Open Adoption - The Eleventh Day of Christmas

Today Ophelia is sharing her story with us. 

"When I saw my sister in law Annie and her husband Dean at her baby shower, it was easy to see that they both had been using again.  We felt more and more anxious as Annie's due date approached, nervous about what that meant for her unborn child.  Jaxson was born at 2:35 in the afternoon and was beautiful. I got to hold him when he was just a half hour old. I got to help with his first bath. He had to be taken to the NICU about two hours after birth The drugs were ravaging his little body. Annie and Dean were discharged from the hospital three days later. They hadn't seen the baby since he was taken to the NICU. Two days later Jon and I were called by a cps worker, we went to our first planning meeting. We told CPS that we wanted him, instead of him going into regular foster care. By that Thursday we had gone to court and We had legal guardianship of him. We got to see Jaxson in the hospital. We also had three day…