Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This Season

I'm in a season of change.  Not only did we move last month, but we are preparing for me to be a SAHM by this fall and my schedule and family commitments have been exhausting.  I do manage to find some free time here and there, but that time is spent on things other than my tiny little blog.  It seems that some women are blessed with exceptional time management and motivation.  I am lacking in both at the moment.  I feel as if I barely have time to keep my house clean (ish) and the family fed.  And when the kids want to hang out or play, well, they have priority over most things. 

So, I'm sad to say that this blog has been neglected.  At some point I'm going to find a reliable way to store and post my photos; I'm having issues with Picassa and I can't figure out how else to post pictures on blogger.  Maybe this is why I'm always seeing posts about switching from blogger to wordpress...  With so little free time, tackling technical issues for which I have no apparent answer just doesn't sound as appealing as getting cozy on the couch with a good show or see what some of my blogging friends are writing. 

So, during this season of change, I am asking for some grace from my readers.  I know, I've been asking for/needing a lot of grace lately! I'm hoping to figure out my technical issues and to start writing again.  I'd really like to document our transition from me working full time outside the home to staying at home and homeschooling my children.  But for now, I have to pause and talk to you later.  :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year, New Resolve... Again

I find myself saying the same thing this new year as I did last year: This is going to be the year that I get to my goal weight.  This year, I say the same thing with the shame of failure, a couple more extra pounds, and  frazzled confidence.  My pastor gave a sermon last week about how instead of resolving to take things out of your life (stop eating sugar, quit smoking, etc), why not resolve to add to your life?  My resolution: gain confidence in my abilities and my appearance again. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Cookie Hangover

I've been BEYOND busy with Christmas activities and moving.  I feel like a loon for choosing to move in December, but c'est la vie right?  :)  Anyhoo, I would like to apologize for my 10-part series on Christmas Traditions only being a 6-part series.  I was having some technical and scheduling difficulties.  Also, today marks the first anniversary of my tiny little blog, so I thought it fitting to re-post my very first post.  What's different between now and then is that I would make this delicious recipe using whole wheat flour.  Thank you so much for coming over to read my blog and thank you for extending some grace my way until some of the crazy makes it's way out of my schedule. 

Originally Posted 12/26/2011

It is the day after Christmas.  All of the presents are opened, the house is messy from entertaining, everyone stayed up too late playing with their new treasures, and I'm standing in my kitchen trying to figure out a breakfast that doesn't have sugar in it.  Normally, I'm very quick to whip up a batch of fluffy waffles or pancakes, but this morning, I can barely see straight because of all the sugar I've consumed the past four days. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Favorite Christmas Traditions Series: English Toffee

photo credit
My oldest daughters favorite Christmas treat is this amazingly simple English Toffee.  I’ve always been intimidated by making candy.  But this is so easy, it’s next to impossible to mess up.  This recipe comes from my Grandma’s recipe book and only takes 5 ingredients and about 20 minutes.  I also give this out for quick, cheap, and easy Christmas and Hostess gifts.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas at our house without some of this in the candy dish. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Favorite Christmas Traditions Series: Soft Ginger Cookies

photo credit

If you could capture the essence of Christmas in a cookie, this is it.  I make these delicious gems every Christmas and they don’t last long in my house;  I will abstain from admitting who eats most of them.  *ahem*  But once your kitchen is filled with the wonderful aroma of these cookies, you’ll have a hard time waiting for them to cool before eating one. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Favorite Christmas Traditions Series: Christmas Lights

Christmas gives many of us the excuse to decorate our houses in pure Griswold-style both inside and out.  Our streets begin to twinkle and many neighborhoods become winter wonderlands.  It doesn’t take much effort or money to enjoy these glittering displays and start a fun Christmas tradition.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Favorite Christmas Traditions Series: Must-Watch Christmas Movies

Photo Credit
We are big movie fans in my family.  We enjoy snuggling up and immersing ourselves in a good movie.  So naturally, Christmas movies are always included in our activities and many have become tradition.  We usually watch the shorter ones on a weeknight and the longer ones on a weekend evening, and always with hot cocoa. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Amazing Chocolate Cake With Peanut Butter Frosting

I made this amazing recipe for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.  I like to try at least one new recipe each year.  I'm so glad I stumbled upon this incredible, perfect chocolate cake.  Paired with peanut butter frosting, this cake can't be beat.  There is absolutely nothing healthy about this cake, but that's OK, I'll make an exception, it's that good!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Two P’s of Keeping It Simple During the Holidays

Have I told you that the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year?  There is something so magical about the traditions, extra focus on family, and all the sparkle.  But there’s a dark side to the holidays for me: fitting it all in and making everyone happy.  Oh, and don’t forget not eating too many of the amazing treats, finding the perfect gifts while not breaking the bank, and displaying the patience and generosity of a saint while being stretched in a million different directions.  As magical as the season is, it can be downright maddening.  It has been out of necessity to simplify that I’ve developed my “P” strategy.  It’s not rocket science and it’s certainly not original, but it works for me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Favorite Christmas Traditions Series: Santa Exploded

Every year, Santa explodes in my house.  Ok, Santa Clause didn't actually explode in my house, but it sure looks like he did!  I do Christmas decor in a major way.  If it can be decorated, draped, hung from, or otherwise decorate-able, it is.  Every square inch of my home is decorated for Christmas, which has led to my family (and friends) describing it as looking like "Santa walked in and exploded all over everything...twice."  It may sound obnoxious, but I feel that there's only once a year when I can get outrageous with my decor, so I may as well go big!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Favorite Christmas Traditions Series: Hot Cocoa Movie Nights

I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS.  It is by far my favorite holiday of the year, and thus, my favorite celebration.  I just realized that we are only 47 days away from Christmas!  So what better time to begin a Christmas Traditions Series?  In my family, Christmas traditions are sacred to me.  They create lasting memories and a wonderful feeling of excitement in our home from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Day.  I look at it as a legacy of mine, hoping that my children will pass on the traditions, or at least the spirit of them, to my future grand-babies; you're welcome, future grand-babies.  So I'm happy to share some of my family's favorite traditions and recipes with you over the course of this 10-part series (yeah, I have a lot of traditions...). 

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Little Break

Things have been really hectic lately.  I'd love to be able to post all the great projects I've been working on, but they're Christmas presents and their recipients follow my blog. *thanks* :)  I've been experimenting a lot in the kitchen but haven't brought the camera out.  So, realizing that I don't have a post for this week and don't know what to post, I thought I'd take a quick break (about a week or two) to catch my breath and work on some content for LAA.  So be sure to check back in a week or two and I promise I'll have something cool.  Until then, enjoy the many adventures this life has for you in even the smallest of things.  :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Weekend in Flagstaff, Arizona

For my birthday, my Handsome Hubby organized a trip to Flagstaff, near the Grand Canyon in Northern Arizona.  We go there sometimes in the summer to escape the heat of the desert and sometimes we visit in the winter to play in the snow.  Yes, it snows in Arizona.  Northern Arizona actually has four seasons and is at a higher elevation than the rest of the state.  So, we rented a tiny cabin for the weekend and went to enjoy the changing colors of the leaves and some great fall weather.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seared Pork Chops with Wilted Spinach

We recently picked up a half pig from Date Creek Ranch, a local ranch here near Phoenix.  They are a local, family-run ranch that takes a holistic grazing approach; and they're just super-nice people.  We've ordered grass-fed beef from them in the past and LOVED not only the beef, but the prices as well.  Their prices are very comparable to conventional meats in the store.  So when we re-ordered our beef for this year, we ordered a half-pig as well.  It is delicious!  I've not been a big fan of pork because I've always thought it smelled and tasted funny, but I am now a fan of the pastured pork from the ranch.  No funny smell and the taste is nothing short of wonderful.  If you have access to pastured meats, I HIGHLY recommend you give it a try and taste the difference. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dino Hoodie Rex

I’ve seen a bunch of cute tutorials on making these adorable dino-hoodies.  I wasn’t able to find one that didn’t use felt or that didn’t cover the raw edges of the fabric.  So I sort of made this up as I went along.  Luckily, it turned out great.

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