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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Kawaii Obsessed

I was on pinterest for a very long time on Saturday Night.  This led me down the internet rabbit hole that led me to all things Kawaii.  What is that, you ask?  The term "Kawaii" means "Cute", and it is a style of things from Japan.

from Wiki:  Kawaii (かわいい?[kaw͍aiꜜi], "lovable", "cute", or "adorable"[1]) is the quality of cuteness in the context of Japanese culture.[2][3][4] It has become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular cultureentertainmentclothingfoodtoyspersonal appearancebehavior, and mannerisms

Hello Kitty is included in this genre of things (stationary, little charms, little stuffed toys, etc).  I could describe it, but I will just show you photos...





It all started with a stationary kit that I saw, that someone had put together.  (Yes, I did order it on Amazon, as it was only about $4!)  In her kit, she had these amazing stickers that I haven't seen anywhere else.  There were also unique sticky notes, and pens... all pink and cute.  This led to discovering that there is also a whole movement dedicated to pimping out your FILOFAX and PLANNER.

Check out this blogger: Lucy in Wonderland

Also, check out http://happie-scrappie.blogspot.com.  She's amazing.

I love to organize things.  I love cute things.  I watched hours of people revealing these artistic and well organized binders of happiness.  I haven't been using a paper planner in awhile, due to my iPhone, but it isn't as good.  Most people would agree--I am much more apt to accomplish my to-do list if I have written it out with fun markers, stickers, and tabs!

I had a planner from Russel and Hazel, so Sunday was dedicated to making it cute.  It is just the beginning, but here it is.   If you have any favorite stationary links, please feel free and add in the comments section.





Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The cold weather has made me Squishy.

When it is cold, it is no surprise that I want warm, yummy food.  But when it is really cold, I want warm yummy HEAVY food.  It has been freezing.  This does not take away from my enjoyment of winter, but I do not like when I carry extra poundage.  I don't, however, diet.  It is evil.  I do, however, change what I eat and increase my movement when things are feeling heavy.  I think all this planning ahead with the meals helps, too!  I eat better, as does the familia, and we spend less time going out to eat.

Here are some things that I have been enjoying when I need to eat leaner...
Only 108 calories, but so filling.
This idea is from my friend, Bella.  Roast a veggie in the morning for the week.  You can use it with any dish to build up quantity of food with lower calorie content.  You can use zucchini, beets, any squash, cauliflower, even potatoes.
butternut squash+olive oil+onion+brownsugar+s&p.
I have finally figured out how to love Crock Pot Chicken.  I used chicken breasts, Bone on, skin on.  I crocked with onion, spices, broth, and msg free bouillon.  CROCK FOR ONLY 6 hrs on low.  It saves it from turning out all dry tasting.  It was perfectly cooked.  (In the past, I always let it go all day...and it has that dry grainy texture.) I shredded it, removing all the bones and skin, and then spooned in some of the broth to keep it moist.

You can use this in a chicken pie, in a brown rice bowl, with pasta, in a tortilla....whatever.  This is good protein that tastes good, and was minimal effort.

150 calorie snack.  You won't be hungry afterwards.
Here are some other ideas, but unfortunately I do not have photos!  Sometimes, I am just trying to fit in the eating before the next request for a story, playdough, or painting with Ms. S.

  • Imitation Crab 1/2C+ Salsa 1/4C+ 1/2 Avocado+Green onion+Lettuce
  • Imitation Crab+Yogurt Dressing+Cucumber+Lettuce+Green onion
  • Butternut Squash+Chicken Sausage+Brown Rice+Spinach
  • Brown Rice+White Beans+Garlic+Carrot+Spinach
  • Ground Turkey Spaghetti Sauce+White Beans+Roasted Veggies
  • Butternut Squash Soup+Ham Chunks+Avocado Chunks
  • Refried Pinto Beans+Tortilla+Taco Sauce (only 300 calories, and easy to freeze)
  • Egg+Low Fat English Muffin+Ham Slice+Dijon Mustard (also easy to freeze)
  • Blueberries 1/2C+ Oatmeal 1/2C+1 TBS pecans+cinnamon

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Spring Fashion 2015

I was sitting in the car wash waiting room, and saw the Spring InStyle from across the room.  I was so excited!! I can't wait to be inspired to dress for a new season.  I took a few photos of things I saw, and it got me mentally planning my wardrobe for the warmer months.  (Plus, with the SURPRISE visit to FL in a month or so, I get to try a few things out early.) 
Love these braids for sweaty days!

Flower Belt?  Yes, Please.  
One of my March Outfits.  I'm sooo excited!
And this one... I was cracking up laughing.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  How do you change position?  What happens to those flowers when you walk?  If you are interested, they have it in both long and short lengths.  Bahahahahahahaha!
Also inspired by the fashion, Miss S decided to put together this get-up one morning... 
And lastly, I was inspired to go through all of her clothes and organize them for now, as well as for the spring.  We have a HUGE pile for the consignment store!  Now.... if I could only be as inspired to tackle my own closet.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Where have I been? Winter 2015

I have been thinking of blog posts while in the shower, in line in the grocery store, and during my daily chores.  Yet, for some reason, I haven't been able to post any yet this month.  What is wrong?  I love blogs!  I love other people's blogs!! I am silently sad when a favorite blog of mine hasn't posted!!  (Damn Facebook!)

We've been snuggled in, nursing colds, and TCB (Taking Care of Business, as my husband says), and my poor blog has been neglected.

It is easier to catch up on photos, rather than words...


Homemade (non-ugly) Pillow Case
My Puppy
Getting back to the gym
Crafting makes a HUGE mess.


New 'do

Prep for my Candle Making Party

Special Little Collection

Another Collection
Planning a Trip to...Guess Where?  Shhhh...It's a Secret!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Meal Planning--I'm trying again!

I've spoken many times, (in conversations, on Facebook, and on this blog) about how Meal Planning helps my life out in a huge way, when I TAKE THE TIME TO DO IT.  Yet, for some reason, I do it once, and then go back to my bad habits of waiting until the last minute, which leads to take-out or the kids having pasta way too often.

This month, I was inspired by someone on my Facebook who seriously took on "Once A Month Meals".  The idea behind this, is that you cook for ALL DAY, prep and prepare a ridiculous amount of food, making it easy for you to feed your family for the entire month.  This woman kept posting photos of her progress, getting me more and more excited with each photo.  (Ok, the clean up photo was daunting, but the pay off seems worth it!)

My kids are picky.  BUT, I thought that this is worth a try in some form to do at my casa.  Instead of once a month, though, I have been trying this out for the week, and then a little extra.  It works wonderfully.

Things that work great:
1.  Fruit Salads using Bonne Maman Jars
2.  Lettuce Chopped up and put in Quart (wide) Mason Jars
3.  Pasta Meat-cooked, seasoned, frozen in bags
4.  Chicken Pot Pie*
5.  Pork Chops prepped for Crock Pot (in freezer bags)
6.  Veggies for Pot Roast/Roasted Chicken (in freezer bags)
7.  Breakfast Burritos (Egg, Bean and Potato)
8.  Bean Burritos
9.  Taco Meat (half turkey/half beef)
10.  Meatballs

*This was a favorite amongst those who ate it.  (That would not be my children, as they hate any sort of gravy.)


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter

Maybe because this is my first Winter in MI after 20 years, but I don't mind it.  In fact, I love it.  I love the flow of the seasons, the fact that you do certain activities only certain parts of the year, and it is exciting to welcome each season back every year.





From my car window.

I lived where it sunny and warm all of the time from age 7-13.  I never wore shoes.  I didn't have a coat.  South Florida will always feel like home, but once I experienced seasons, I prefer the rhythm of the living somewhere that has them!

My uncle now lives in AZ, and is always posting the temperature.  You can keep your 65F, because, "Is there anything better than a gentle snow falling, a warm beverage in your hand, while cuddling under a cozy blanket?"  I say no.


Instead of wishing you were elsewhere if you are deep into winter, look around.  It is fabulous!  My friend, Claudia (who lives is FL), sends me her big chunky sweaters because she can never wear them.  Today, as I was driving through fresh snow, everyone had to SLOW DOWN.  In this busy world, I love the reminder and excuse to do just that.

What is your favorite part of WINTER?



Thursday, January 08, 2015

Waldorf School Bread

I just searched for a SOLID HOUR for a post (with a bread recipe) from long ago.  Now, if I couldn't find it, there is no way in hell anyone else is going to find it either.  Also, I had to remind myself at some point, that I have the recipe memorized, so I could stop obsessing as I looked.  (But I just know it is somewhere, as I have sent the link to many a person!!)

Anyway, my kids both started their education in Waldorf schools.  We were lucky to have connected and/or attended 3 different schools, and have been part of online (ironically) homeschool groups, even though my kids go to public school.  (If you don't know what Waldorf school is, google it because google can give a much better description than I ever could!)

Ok, back to my story...  At all of the Waldorf schools that we have been a part of,  they make this wonderful homemade brown bread as part of the early years curriculum.  That bread with butter and honey on top, as you drink a little tea=complete bliss.  The bread is made with whole wheat flour, which creates a very filling yummy bun, which my dad refers to as "those 2 lbs rolls you make".

Many friends have asked for the recipe, when they try it at my house.  Tate, who is 9, can make the bread by himself, but chooses to let Mama make it, while he steals bit of dough from the kitchen.  Without further ado, here is the recipe:

WALDORF SCHOOL BREAD
2 TBS yeast
1 C warm water
1 stick butter
1 TBS salt
1-2 TBS honey
2 C milk
1 C hot water
4 C whole wheat flour
4 C white flour
*optional: cinnamon, sunflower seeds, nuts, raisins, any spices you like


2 TBS yeast+1 C warm water+teeny bit of honey.
Set aside.
In another large bowl, add:
1 stick of butter (8TBS) room temp+TBS salt+large wooden spoon dollop of honey.
Heat 2 C of milk and add 1 C hot water.
Pour over butter+salt+honey.  Stir with wooden spoon until butter is melted.
When mixture is cool enough to keep finger in for 10 seconds, add yeast mixture and mix.
Add 4 cups of whole wheat flour.  (Mix well with wooden spoon after each cup)
Add about 4 cups of white flour.  (Keep adding slowly until dough is formed.)
Set aside in warm place for 30 minutes.
Add enough white flour to knead the dough* until smooth and form into little rolls.
Bake 350F for 25-30 min.

*Knead the dough for a few minutes.  This is forgiving, as 2-5 year olds usually knead their own bread and it always turns out.



Making little buns out of the dough
Kneading the dough
Yes, those are Mr. Potato Head glasses.