Friday, June 29, 2012

4th of July Menu

Looking for some crowd pleasers to serve on the 4th? Here's a few recipe ideas!



And for dessert-The SPECTACULAR Aunt Erran's Peanut Butter Fudge Cake.
This cake will cause fireworks in your mouth-I PROMISE!

Happy 4th! My family is heading off to Georgia for the week!  


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Do you suffer from Heartburn?

Do you suffer from heartburn?
I think we've all suffered from it at one point or another.
Assess your symptoms over at my friend Thea's new blog, A Cheerful Heart.  


Make sure you follow her!



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Organization Plan

Summer always comes with a long organizing to-do list.  Not because I'm OCD or because I'm a great organizer, but because as a teacher, major organization doesn't happen around here during the school year.  From August through May, I'm in survival mode and I just try to keep the toilets clean. LOL
All kidding aside,  I do love being organized and summer is the time for me to get to it.  
For me and all of my teacher friends, we make this long, dreamy summer bucket list of things we want and need to accomplish. But then, before we know it-it's August and we feel completely inadequate, because we've been lucky to cross off 2-3 of things on our mile-long list.

I've gotten better at this over the years.  Here's 5 tips that have helped me accomplish my summer organizing bucket list.

1.  Don't make a mile long list!  Your list should include only 6-8 tasks.  This is manageable for a 6-8 week summer vacation.
2.  Tackle one room a week.  I spend about 2 hours a day working in that room.  So I still have plenty of hours in the day left for pool time, reading time, t.v. time, nap time, friends, or whatever my kids and I decide!
3.  Donate or sell LOTS of stuff!  Whatever you have to do to get.it.out.of.your.house.  It's so much simpler to be organized with less stuff.  
4.  Make your kids help.  Of course, this depends on the age of your kids.  At 8 and 13, my kids are prime workin' age.  I have them work in their rooms or help me by taking out garbage or getting bags for me.  They only have to work a short time as well.  But this is valuable training time.  I want my children to grow up to be organized adults.  That doesn't just happen.  We have to involve them.
5.  Don't beat yourself up if you don't check everything off your list.  Enjoy every minute of your summer and time off.  You know how quickly it passes by.  Take the pressure off!  Summer is not about working.  It's about doing what you WANT to do.  It's about refueling for the next school year.  It's about spending time with your own family and being available to them in a way you can't be from August to May.  It's about sleeping in, staying up late, making home cooked meals for your family, spending time in the sun and RELAXING!  ENJOY.EVERY.MINUTE. That's the bottom line!

As I wrote in #2, I tackle one room a week.  This week was my bedroom.  It wasn't a hot mess, (like my daughter's room-next week's task), but it did need some attention. 

No, I'm not moving out.  This about a 6 foot high stack of boxes filled with things that I'm selling at my brother's yard sale.  And as a result, I have this:

An empty drawer!! 

I cleaned out my husband's drawers.  I rolled all of his t-shirts.  Rolling is my new favorite way to put clothes and towels away.  We'll have to see how he reacts when he gets home and looks in his drawers LOL.

And lastly, I purged lots of clothes, color coded them, and tidied up my closet.



It feels good to be organized and check something off my list!
Now, I'm off to pack for our Naples trip this weekend.
Happy Summer!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Verse That Changed My Parenting Forever

Do you raise your voice at your children? "Raise your voice"-that's the Christian pc way of saying "yell". LOL
Quite a few years ago I read Proverbs 15:1 in a parenting context. And it literally changed the way I parented. I began to see that when I used a soft answer MY wrath was turned away. The more I used harsh or loud words, the more anger that was stirred up in me and my children. Of course, there are times that I feel my anger swelling and my voice rising. It happens. But it's infrequent and by the grace of God He reels me back in and reminds me of Proverbs 15:1. I challenge you to make this one of your parenting life verses!
I'm linking here:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day Gift Idea


Grab some of your dad's or grandpa's favorite nuts.  Don't forget the peanut M & M's!

Put them in a cute bucket.  I found one in the dollar spot at Target.


Take a picture of your kids being "nutty"!

And put it all together for a cute Dad's Day Gift!



I'm linking here: Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Keeping It Simple

Kitchen Gadget Organization


As I've previously mentioned, I have 1 drawer in my kitchen.  I'm sure some of you just can't imagine.  Here's how one drawer works for me-and to be honest I wouldn't want it any other way!


And here's my secret weapon:

This tool turn a-bout from Pampered Chef is housed in a lower cabinet to the right of my stove.  Because my counter space is limited and the only thing I allow to 'live' on my counters is my Keurig, I prefer to store it in a cabinet.  A lower cabinet makes sense because I can easily see all of the gadgets from above.  All of my gadgets are within reach as I cook and prepare food.  

Now, the key here is to not have an excess of tools.  You can't have 7 spatulas, or 20 wooden spoons.
That many tools just aren't necessary.  I've learned (the hard way) that the main ingredient to being organized is to have less stuff!!    I challenge you to check your drawers and purge, purge, purge!!
Blessings to you,




Friday, June 15, 2012

3 Points & 3 Minute Oreo Madness

Here's a quick, simple indulgent dessert that will surely satisfy any weight watcher!

Take one of these puddings:


Use 1-2 tbsp of fat free cool whip:


1 oreo:


Crush it:


YUMMMM-O


3 points/ 140 calories

Blessings to you,



Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Have Been Featured!

Thank you, Flour Me With Love for featuring my Brownie Waffle Sundae post!


If you're looking for great real recipes,  Flour Me With Love is the place to go!  
You'll love her blog!
If you like her recipes, make sure you follow her! And if you're not following my blog yet, what are you waiting for?! :)

Blessings to you, 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Map My Walk

I wanted to share a cool app I've been using.  If walking or running is your exercise of choice, you'll love this free app.  You simply sign up-(for free) and then record when you start walking.
It logs your distance and time.



For each mile that you complete, it audibly tells you and tells you your time as well.  You can choose to share your workout with Facebook or Twitter or keep it private.
If you're competitive like me, this is a fun way to compete against yourself.  I'm trying to improve my distances and times.  Just a little way to help motivate me to do one of my least favorite things!
Hope it's helpful for you too!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pages Updated!

I recently gave my blog a little makeover.  
One of the features I added is the page menu just under the heading.
I finally added links under each of the pages.  So be sure to visit them.
 My favorite is the LONG list of recipes! Enjoy!



Chicken Stroganoff-WW Friendly


This chicken stroganoff was a winner at my house.  
No one suspected that it was "weight watchers friendly".
I would even serve this for company!

Ingredients:
32 oz. of chicken breast
1 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
2 cups (1 can) low sodium chicken broth
2-3 cups of mushrooms
3 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp. of fat free sour cream
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
Tony Chachere creole seasoning

1.  Add the chicken breasts to skillet with an inch of water.  Sprinkle Tony Chachere's seasoning on both sides of the chicken. (If you don't have this seasoning, just season with salt and pepper.  But seasoning is important!)



 Cover.  Let the chicken simmer for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.


Here's the chicken I used.  It was on sale this week at Publix.


2.   Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp. of canola oil to a skillet and saute mushrooms until brown and soft.  Use as much or as few mushrooms as you would like.  They're 0 points, and my family LOVES mushrooms so I loaded up.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and 3 tbsp. of flour until blended.

Add to mushrooms.


4.  Stir until it boils and then let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Stirring often.


5.  While the mushrooms simmer, cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces.

6.  Add the chicken to the mushroom mixture.  Simmer for 5 minutes.

7.  Remove the chicken mixture from heat and stir in 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp. dijon mustard, 4 tbsp. fat free sour cream.


8.  Serve over 1/2 cup linguine (add 2.5 points)


Serving size-1 cup is 5.5 points. (The entire recipe has 6 servings)

Directions:

1.  Add the chicken breasts to skillet with an inch of water.  Sprinkle Tony Chacheri's seasoning on both sides of the chicken. (If you don't have this seasoning, just season with salt and pepper.  But seasoning is important!) Cover.  Let the chicken simmer for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
2.   Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp. of canola oil to a skillet and saute mushrooms until brown and soft.  Use as much or as few mushrooms as you would like.  They're 0 points, and my family LOVES mushrooms so I loaded up.
3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and 3 tbsp. of flour until blended.
Add to mushrooms.
4.  Stir until it boils and then let simmer for about 10 minutes.  Stirring often.
5.  While the mushrooms simmer, cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces.
6.  Add the chicken to the mushroom mixture.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
7.  Remove the chicken mixture from heat and stir in 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp. dijon mustard, 4 tbsp. fat free sour cream.
8.  Serve over 1/2 cup linguine (add 2.5 points)

Serving size-1 cup is 5.5 points.

Enjoy!


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