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I am a stay at home mom who finds little snippets of time to craft and create.

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Lentil sprouts - Day 81

                     Day 1                                                                                                       Day 4


I went to a preparedness fair a few years ago and got an attachment to make a canning jar into a sprout maker. It has taken me forever to figure out what I wanted to do with it, but finally I have done it! What you do is take the plastic grid from the craft dept. and cut it to fit the lid of the jar and viola! It is super easy. I took dry lentils, about 1/4 cup, and place into the jar. Fill it all the way up and let it soak 24 hrs. Then strain the water out and put it in a dark place. I keep mine under my kitchen sink. Every morning when I go to get my dish washing detergent I see the jar and remember to fill it up and dump it out. I do this a few times and put it back. After a few days I have yummy sprouts to eat! Did you know that an average person needs 40-50g of protein a day and lentil sprouts give us 10g! That is extremely high for a plant.  If you also have other protein veggies in the same meal, you may get all your protein in one sitting! Who new!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Date jar - Day 80

So I hate it when the hubby calls and says we are going out tonight and I can't think of anything new to do. So we end up going out to dinner and a movie, again. I never think to research on the internet for ideas. So I did this one day and I compiled a list in Word and printed it off. Then I took an oats container and decorated it. Then I labeled it Date ideas. So now I am prepared. You just draw an idea out of the container and go!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lets talk about Salad - Day 79

I love salads when they have great stuff in them other than carrots and lettuce. So here is my take on salad.

The base I always use is spinich. I hate the stuff cooked, but love it raw.

So then I add veggies. My favorites are olives, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, raisins, avocado, strawberries, blueberries, cucumber, grapes, green bell pepper, corn, and mandarin oranges. I don't put all of them in at the same time, but you can mix and match.

Then I add a cool topping like pine nuts, croutons, or every once in a while grilled chicken.

My favorite salad dressing is raspberry vinaigrette and it goes with just about anything.

The boys love eating all the fun "surprises" they can find in their salad. So go forth and eat plants!

Friday, October 28, 2011

I LOVE Cilantro - Day 78

I use Cilantro a lot in my cooking. It is also hard to keep it fresh. I found this recipe on Pinterest and tried it.

2 cups cilantro (1 bunch you buy at store)
3 cloves garlic
3-4 tbsp. lime or lemon juice (I used bottled lime juice)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt (I used kosher)

Combine all ingredients in your food processor and pulverize.  Divide and freeze (in mini muffin tins or ice cube trays), then pop out and store in a bag and freeze again.  Or serve fresh for some amazing flavor.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

keeping bananas fresh for shakes- Day 77

So I have a banana every morning in my shake and I was having a hard time keeping them fresh. So I blended them one at at time with a little drop of water and froze them in muffin tins. This way they will be fresh and frozen for the shake!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lentil pasta - Day 76

Our fist vegan meal was a hit. We still have meat in our house so I am using it, but once it is gone it will be replaced with a vegetable substitute. Last night I used Polish sausage and it will be replaced with veggi-sausage. It will taste the same. Even Daniel LOVED it!  Here is the recipe:

Lentil pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup dry lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces vegan sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices (optional)
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 (12 ounce) package rotini pasta (I used elbow)
  1. Bring the vegetable broth, lentils, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and bay leaf to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Add additional broth if needed to keep the lentils moist. Discard the bay leaf once done.
  2. As the lentils simmer, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, thyme, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Cook and stir for 1 minute, then add the sausage. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the onion has softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the kale and rotini pasta. Cook until the rotini is al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove some of the cooking water, and set aside. Drain the pasta, then return to the pot, and stir in the lentils, and onion mixture. Use the reserved cooking liquid to adjust the moistness of the dish to your liking. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast to serve.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Forks over Knives - Day 75

Since I started this raw diet my life has completely changed. I have more energy, I am more satisfied, which means I eat less, which leads to loosing weight, and I am so much happier. It is amazing how changing your diet can completely turn your life inside out for the better. A friend of mine recently watched this movie called "Forks over Knives" and Daniel and I started to watch it last night. It is unbelievable! They have so much research and statistics that show how meat and dairy poison our lives. They also talk about how as Americans we think the only source of protein comes from meat. Not so! You can get just as much from plants or legumes and you don't have the life altering side affects like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. They even go to say that it can prevent cancer. A study in Asia found that they ate this diet and there were 18 cases of cancer. That same year there were 114,000 in America. This was taken in 1950! NO wonder we are so sick and so big!

They polled some Americans and asked why we eat meat and every one said protein. We as a society only eat meat because we think it is what we need and it is socially required. Interesting.

So our family is going to start the transition to semi-vegan. Tayrien and I are allergic to milk, so we are already drinking alternative sources for calcium. Almond milk is my favorite. I also picked up some soy cheese and can't tell the difference. We will eat fish because we don't think it falls in the red meat category that causes bad health. Whole grains, fruits, veggies all apply. We will be cutting back on all processed and refined sugars.

We aren't going to totally restrict our diet in that we won't have Thanksgiving dinner, or eating what our extended family eats. I don't want to go to a restaurant and not eat what sounds good.  Eating meat sparingly gives us the healthy nutrients our body stores. A few times a year is no biggie.

You guys need to watch this video. I think it is on Netflix. It will change your life. I am not crazy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The burning house - Day 74

I saw this image on pinterest a while ago and last night I did it for myself. It is a picture of one person and if their house were burning, what would they grab to save? Here are some examples:

I walked through my house looking at things and thinking about what could be replaced. I came up with not very many things. This surprised me since I like to hang on to things. I guess it is because all of my keepsake items are in storage. I would have pulled a few things from there. So here is my burning house(I didn't include dogs or ppl-they are a given) :

(Left - Right - Top row- Note from Daniel, rock in the shape of my childhood dog speckles from my dad, the sheep my granny made for me when I was little, Granny's jar of buttons- Middle row - Vacation jar to Sarasota, my favorite box camera, my phone (info), Sweetheart journal - Bottom row - Eiffel tower wedding cake topper, Ben's owl, my scrapbook.

I didn't include a lot of photos cause they are replaceable. Also a lot of antiques because I am sure I could replace them. I think I need to evaluate what I have in my house if I don't LOVE it! I feel a purge coming on! What would you take?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

1, 2, 3, 4 - Day 73

 I bought these amazing mirrors at a garage sale for $1 and knew what I wanted to make with them. They were already painted all black so I found some amazing knobs and affixed them to the mirrors. I hung them on the wall by my front door as a coat rack. I knew I would find something to do with them later. Much, Much later I have painted numbers on them using contact paper, my cricut, and some paint. I think they turned out fabulous. I think you could do with without the mirrors. Just the hooks and numbers on the wall.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Uh Oh jar - Day 72

I was told that when your child turns three you need to change up your disipline routine. So I have been listening to the Love & Logic theory and it is working so far. You are supposed to give empathy before you give them the problem. They are supposed to solve the problem, not you. It creates problem solvers. So say Ben ripped a book page. I would say "Uh oh! That is too bad the page is ripped! That is a real bummer!" Then I would introduce the problem and say "What will you do to fix it?" Then he has to find a solution. He doesn't always think of something so then I give him to solutions. One would be to use tape, or to take money from his piggy bank to replace it. So in case I can't think of two options I made a "Uh Oh" jar with extra chores in it. This way he just gets a chore. This is probably for little things like too much whining or throwing a fit. Things that need to be addressed, but where time out is not effective or does not apply. We have already used it and it catches him off guard and makes him focus on the chore at hand and he forgets what the fit was about or what he was whining over.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween frame - Day 71

I attend a group called MOPS - Mother Of PreSchoolers, and this month the craft we made was a cute frame with Halloween in mind. You can purchase these wood frames at Wal-Mart or Michael for a few dollars. We used scrapbook paper and modge podge to cover the surface. I used sandpaper and sanded the edges and added a bow and rosette. Then I just added a photo of the boys and I have a frame that I can reuse every year!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chore chart frame - Day 70

I needed a way to have a cleaning schedule where I could see it and know what needed to be done as well as mark things off. I saw this idea of putting one in a frame. I also included Daniel and Ben's chores.  I printed it off and used pretty paper to back it and put it in a black frame. It sits on my island and I use a wet erase marker and cross it off when I am done. Simple!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Household journal - Day 69

 A few years ago my mom and I both made our own home organizers. I used to have so much stuff in it that it was too hard to lift or tote anywhere. I recently de-cluttered and reorganized it and now it is much more manageable and I love using it everyday! I designed the front page on InDesign and printed it at Staples. The first page is my morning checklist. This is the first thing I do in the morning.

 Here is the second page

This is the first page in the calendars section
 The other sections include menu tab, where I keep tabs on my fridge and pantry inventory, and then an information tab where addresses, emergency contacts, and doctor info. I used to keep a Christmas tab, but I made a new book for that which I will store with my Christmas decor. This book has changed my life for the better.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Soap dispenser recycle - Day 68


My kitchen and dining room is vintage shabby chic. There are no dispensers that I think fit the space so I made my own. I took a foaming soap dispenser and cut off the top, just below the ring. I drilled a hole in a canning lid and fed the top through the hols and screwed the bottom on the other side. I slipped it into a ball jar and screwed on the lid. It looks so cute. One day I will switch the dispense part to a metal or something better looking. I make my own foam soap to put into it. The recipe is 1/3 dish soap and the rest water. Shake it a little and you are good to go. That way you can use it for hands and pans!

You can see the plastic top of what used to be the old soap dispenser on the bottom side of the jar lid. So it is like screwing the dispenser lid to the base, be the rest of the base is gone.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Pills - Day 67

With both of my children I have had postpartum depression. It has been a real challenge and I hated being on them, but I know I needed help. Recently a friend told me about an organic way to treat it. She gave me a list of vitamins and Daniel picked them up that day for me. The result was overnight. Literally. I was so amazed and happy how quickly it helped. Usually prescriptions took 3 weeks to kick in and I was a monster till then. I after a few weeks of the vitamins I forgot one night and I was totally fine the next day. I kept taking them, but every once and a while forget and the symptoms would stay away. So one day I decided to experiment and the symptoms stay away! I am so happy! Every once and a while I have a horrible day where the monster creeps in, but I just take my happy pills and the rest of the day is fine. Some of the vitamins also have added bonus metabolism help!

So here is the recipe of vitamins:
Vitamin B 100
St. Johns wort 300 mg
5-HTP 100 mg

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Armor etch - Day 66

I attended a bridal shower a week ago and my mother and I went in together on it. We got her a 9x13 glass pan with a lid and some other things, but we wanted to personalize the dish. We picked up some armor etch from the craft store and used the cricut to cut her new last name in vinyl. You adhere the vinyl to the side of the glass and slather on the armor etch. The directions say to leave it for 60 seconds, but I left mine on for a few minutes. You have to make it thick and don't let it touch your skin!!! Then take it to the sink and rinse the stuff off. Peel the vinyl off and let it air dry. There you go!

 Check the backside to make sure you have covered every part


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Juicer - Day 65

This last vacation to Florida I couldn't help myself and I bought a juicer on a garage sale for $15. I has been on the shelf since May and I finally used it the other day. I juiced carrots. I store the juice in one container and the extra "mulch" in another. I use the juice in my shakes. I don't use a lot, just a little for the vitamins. If you add too much, it will start to taste funny. I am excited to make other juices.

You just feed the carrot down the top tube and out pops the juice underneath and then pops the pulp out the skinny end. I am in need of ideas for the pulp of the carrot. Anyone have a good use other than in jello (my granny does this and it is nasty)?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Raw Burrito - Day 64

So here is the first recipe and it was delish! I tried cabbage instead of lettuce- big no, no. Stick to lettuce.

2 avocados
3 tomatoes - diced
1/2 jalepeno pepper - diced
3 cloves garlic - minced
1/4 c cilantro - choped
2 tsp lime juice

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shake, shake, shake...Shake, shake, shake...Day 63

Shake your.....Ok I have shakes on my mind. My mother introduced me to a great way of making healthy shakes and I use this method for breakfast. You first start by putting in raw oats. You blend it till it is fine. Then you add spinach, other fruits, and a liquid like milk or water. You can add ice cubes if you want it more frozen. My mom also adds activia yogurt, but it is expensive so I use it sparingly. You mix it up and have a fortified breakfast shake. The kids love it and it is super simple. I have two ninja blender sets and I rotate every other day. I use one and wash it, the next day the opposite so I don't run them down  faster. I am excited to try hot shakes when it gets cold outside!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Fly Lady - Day 62

Daniel bought me this book soon after we were married and I started to read it and was so motivated, and then fizzled out. I didn't have kids then and was in school, so I guess I thought I didn't need her process. Now that I have kids I have been struggling with keeping my house clean and organized. I picked up this book again and started reading and following her process. I am doing much better. I struggle with being consistent. I am a creative person and I don't do well with confinement of any kind. Including a regiment. My favorite line in the whole book was about this problem I have. She says that this process will not confine you. After you have it down and it is like driving, your thoughts can wander. If you follow this process it will free up your day to do what ever you want to. So Now I am excited to do my process because it only takes a little of my time and the rest I can do what my heart wants. I hadn't thought about cleaning that way. My creativity flows better when my house is in order and I don't feel guilty about doing what I want. Here is a link to her website. You can follow the steps without reading the book, but it is more than just steps. She helps you work on yourself too.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A new day - Day 61

Daniel and I have decided to change our eating habits. We have decided to do the raw food diet. The raw food diet excludes meat, dairy, carbohydrates, sugar, processed foods, and cooking over 110 degrees. We are only going to use a 50/50 raw diet. We will still include some meats, some dairy, and the kids will eat what they need or want. The purpose is to get back to basics.

Smoothies will be a big part of our breakfast.  I will be sharing some great recipes in the future. Soup, salad, and clever tricks will be the rest of our diet. Stay tuned I will share disasters and success on our road to healthier eating.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Olive oil and dogs? - Day 60

When I first started this going green challenge I thought I would never make it to 60 days. Well, I thought I could make it to 60, but then I would give up and run out of ideas. Not so. I am amazed by when you start looking at the ways to go green, things just pop up that you never even thought of. I am very grateful to not have run out of ideas. Now that I have said that, I will introduce my newest discovery.

Actually I have Daniel to thank for this one. This past summer the fleas have been so bad that we can't get them off the dogs. We applied flea and tick medication and it didn't phase the fleas. We started to wash the dogs multiple times a day and it would kill the fleas, but the dogs skin would get so dry. We just gave up and the dogs started to loose hair, and then weight, and then started crying all the time. We were so sad. Then two days ago Daniel read that olive oil drowns the fleas and at the same time keep the skin moisturized. The dogs are still itching, but I think it is from the bites left from the last fleas. They are completely gone and the dogs are eating normally again and sleeping. I have never been so happy for olive oil.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Reusable Pumpins - Day 59

The store Michaels has fake pumpkins every year for the fall season. A few weeks before Halloween they go on major sale and this is when I bought it last year. So each year we cut out felt or foam as a face and use tape to affix them to the pumpkin. This year we used foam and Benjamin actively helped cut the shapes out. He loves it and we don't have to deal with goopy glop from a real pumpkin. Maybe when they are older we will embrace that one!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Family Home Evening chart - Day 58

When I was preggo with Ben my Relief Society made FHE boards as a craft for Christmas. They supplied the boards, paint, and vinyl words. I had to supply the knobs or hooks and the tags with names. It sat in my storage for two and a half years and I finally found what I wanted for knobs. I was once again at my favorite shop and saw these old glass knobs. They were small for a dresser and relatively cheap, so I went for it. I got three clear and two white with texture. I applied them to my board and I couldn't be more happy. I made these cute little paper tags, but they only lasted a few months before little hands grabbed and munched them up. So I am still in the market for what I can do for tags. It was super easy to make and everyone needs an FHE board! Let me know what you guys suggest for tags that can hold up to boys!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Shabby chic mail bag - Day 57

 A while back My cousin bought a mail bag at my favorite store and I decided to make my own knock off. The original had the word mail printed on fabric and sewn to the front, but it wasn't that girlie, so I added a rosette instead. I used burlap fabric and cut two long rectangle shapes. I sewed three sides together and rolled down the top instead of hemming. I added a fabric loop on the back to hang on the wall and sewed the handmade rosette on the front. I love it. It is where I put all the mail that we need to go through.The paper butterfly is a way I attach my outgoing mail to my mailbox and this is where I store it when I don't need it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Honey Lime chicken - Day 56

I tried a new recipe a few weeks ago and fell in love with the chicken marinade. It is supposed to be used in a chicken enchelada, but I use it for my chicken tacos. It is super easy and quick to keep in the fridge.

Honey Lime Chicken
6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
I baked chicken in the oven before hand and shredded it. Put chicken in zip-lock bag. Mix above ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken in bag.  Toss your heart out and squish it a little bit. Let sit in fridgerator for at least a 1/2 and hour to half a day. 

I keep in the fridge and put it in a tortilla with cheese and sour creme. Yummo!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DIY photo canvas - Day 55

 I have seen a lot of ways to make your own photo canvas, but I was in a rush to finish the boys for their birthday, so I did the simplest way. I printed 8x10 photos as Wal-Mart and bought the same size canvas from there too. I used modge podge by painting the canvas, putting the photo on top and more modge podge. It looked great. I think I will paint the edges so they blend in more, or add decorative scrap book paper. I did one for each of the boys and they are now on our family photo wall!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bedtime Pass - Day 54

  Ben has a horrid habit of getting out of bed a million times at night and I have been putting up a baby gate to at least keep him in the room. I saw this wonderful idea of using a bedtime pass to letting them get out of the bed a few times and feel not so restrained and yet setting boundaries. I designed two passes and we tried it tonight. He has used one pass for a movie while he goes to sleep and we have yet to use the other one! Let's see if it lasts more than a few days!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Autumn Bucket list - Day 53

I love the idea of seasonal bucket lists so I made one and I am sharing it with you all!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy Halloween banner - 52

I had a little burlap on hand and decided to make a cute banner for the season. I cut equal squares for the saying "Happy Birthday" plus one for a symbol. I used freezer paper and cut out letters and a pumpkin and ironed them on the burlap squares.

I decided to use regular black acrylic paint since I would never wash this banner. I stippled the black paint over the stencil letters. After they are dried, peel the stencil off. I then then used some orange paint and a pencil eraser and placed dots all over as little embellishments.

I decided to use a jute rope to hang them on. I used a sewing machine and a zig-zag stitch over the string. It was the easiest part of the project. Then I hung it up on my front window!!!!