Radiant Orchid and Lovestruck!

posted in: color, design | 0
I’m absolutely loving the Pantone “Color of the Year”… Radiant Orchid.  What color combos do you like to use with it?  I really love this bold aqua and the chalkboard gray with it :)

Maybe it’s cheesy to say in this way, but today I feel SO BLESSED!

We had a big release of new Valentine-related items at Prairie Sweet today and I am honestly just so happy with how they turned out.  My sister and I have been collaborating for well over a year now, trying to create something better than what either of us could do on our own.  I’m grateful for this creative outlet and opportunity to improve my talents… and to learn about running a business, being a mom/wife, church youth leader (and how to balance it all!).  Anyway, I’m especially happy with this new Lovestruck line of products I just finished…

 Deluxe Design Kit: 8 Digital Papers, 9 Digital Embellishments
 5×7 Two-Sided Valentine Cards
Facebook Timeline Covers

 

Free Weekly Calendar/Planner/Agenda Printable

posted in: be organized, freebie, printable | 2

I’ve been having fun trying to get myself a little more organized lately… it all started over Memorial Day weekend when my husband had 4 days off in a row and we decided to stay home instead of going on a little weekend vacation.  We planned in advance and accomplished so much!

Well, now, I’m thinking about summer.  My older daughter will be going to school for the first time in the Fall and it’s all day!  So, I want to make sure we do a lot of fun things this summer and work on some kind of schedule, to help prepare her for schedule-oriented school.

I made a super simple weekly calendar/schedule printable for my own use, so I thought I’d share.  Use it however you like (personal or non-profit use only!), whether you want to use it to create a weekly menu or track your daily health/fitness routine.  It’s designed to print 2 on a page (8.5×11).  Enjoy!

Recipes to use up leftover baby cereals!

posted in: recipe | 0

I don’t know about you, but now that Evelyn is out of the baby food stage, I have a ton of baby food cereals leftover!  So, I went on a search for some recipes of things she (or even the whole family) could eat so these cereals don’t go to waste!  Let me know what you think of these or if you’ve tried any modifications or other recipes!




Nutritious Banana-Oatmeal Cookies:

  • 1 cup enriched all-purpose flour (you can use unbleached or cracked wheat flour for more nutrition)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon (you should leave this out until your baby is 12 months old)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar (optional, you can substitute ½ cup juice and add an extra ½ cup of oatmeal)
  • 1 large egg (if your baby is under 1yr., you can substitute 2 egg yolks, or 3Tbls. Applesauce)
  • 2 or 3 bananas, mashed and very ripe (we recommend pureeing them to get ALL the lumps out)
  • 2 ¼ cups infant oatmeal cereal (you can use regular rolled oats but you won’t get the extra vitamins. When using rolled oats, use 1 ¾ cups oats and 1 ½ cups flour)

You can make these with or without the sugar depending on whether you would like to eat them too. It isn’t a lot of sugar and the cookies aren’t very sweet, so they are a good treat for your baby. This recipe will make 5 dozen baby sized cookies or 3 dozen regular sized cookies. (Juice will make cookies very soft.)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl.
3. In a large bowl, cream the shortening and sugar (or juice with the oatmeal).
Beat in the egg and bananas. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls 1 ½ inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 12 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on rack.
You should freeze what cookies your baby won’t be able to eat in 5 days.

Infant Cereal Cookies (High Iron)

  • 3 cup (60 ml) blackstrap molasses
  • 3 cup (180 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cup (60 ml) butter or margarine
  • 2 tsp. (2 ml) baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups (500 ml) infant cereal, dry
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla
  • 3 tbsp. (45 ml) whole milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F.  Grease cookie sheet.  Lightly cream butter/margarine and molasses together.  Mix in egg and vanilla.  In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and cereal together, and blend into butter mixture.  Mix in whole milk. Combine thoroughly.  Drop onto greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly brown.  Cool on wire rack.
Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.
IRON CONTENT: 22 mg per cookie

SUNNY DAY COOKIES

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups infant cereal (any variety)

Directions:
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix together flour, soda and Infant cereal. Blend into creamed mixture. Shape into small balls and drop by spoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheet: flatten with floured fork. Bake 375°F oven for 10-12 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen.


Baby Cereal Pancakes

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (this will make a dense pancake; you can use 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked commercial baby barley cereal from the box (or rice ommercial baby cereal) 
  • 1/2 cup uncooked commercial baby oatmeal cereal from the box
  • 1 cup formula (or another liquid such as milk) 
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (or fruit of your choice) 
  • 1 tbsp melted margarine or butter (unsalted type) 
  • 3 egg yolks 
  • apple juice (about 1/2 cup) or use water if you prefer

**Add cinnamon, nutmeg, dash of vanilla or other flavorings if you wish.

Mix all ingredients together and add enough juice to make pancake consistency. Cook on your cook top in a frying pan as you would with “regular” pancakes. Cooking these baby cereal pancakes on a griddle will work better as you will have more control over the temperature and will be better able to keep the temp. at a constant heat.

**Freezes Well**

Mini Fruit Pancakes
Ingredients:

  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c infant cereal
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2-1/2 c partially skimmed milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T oil
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 c fresh or frozen unsweetened fruits (peaches, strawberries, blueberries)

Instructions:
On a large sheet of waxed paper, combine all dry ingredients, except fruit. In a large bowl, mix milk, egg, and oil and lemon juice. Add solid ingredients to liquid ingredients and stir lightly; carefully fold in fruits. Cook on a preheated and greased skillet for 3 to 4 minutes. Makes about 20 small pancakes.


Elaina’s Cookies
Ingredients:

  • 2/3c. Butter, softened
  • 1/2c. Apple sauce
  • 1/2c. White sugar
  • 1.2c. Packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1c. Dry infant cereal (any variety)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1tsp. Baking soda
  • 1tsp. Salt
  • 1/2c. Wheat germ

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease or line baking sheets w/ parchment paper.
2. In medium bowl, mix butter applesauce, white sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
3. In another bowl, infant cereal, flour baking soda, salt, and wheat germ. Add to wet ingredients and mix well.
4. Spoon onto baking sheet; bake for 8 to 10min. at 375 degrees, or until just set. Let cool before storing. Makes 2 ½ dozen.

Teething Biscuits

  • 2 Tablespoons Shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Egg (no whites until a year, so you may want to use two yolks)
  • 1tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 1/2 Cups baby cereal

Directions:
Heat Oven to 300 Degrees F. Cream shortening and sugar together. Add Egg, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and water. Mix until well blended. Gradually stir in cereal. Knead well until smooth. Pat into rectangle (12″ x 2 1/2″). Cut into 12 (1-inch) bars. Smooth edges so they will not be sharp. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 20-30 Mins., or until dry. Store in uncovered container overnight. Makes 12 biscuits.

Eggless Baby Teething Biscuits
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup dry infant rice cereal with bananas (or other flavored infant cereal)
  • 1/2 cup dry plain infant rice (or other) cereal
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • ice water

Directions:
Preheat oven 425F.  Mix flour and cereal.  Gradually stir in oil. Mix a little ice water at a time (start with 1/4 cup) until dough begins to form a ball and pull away from the bowl.  Roll out to the thickness of a cracker on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 10-12 min. or until lightly brown. Cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

a little motivation…

posted in: freebie, motivation, printable | 0

I’ve been looking for a little motivation.. in general.. and I’m a sucker for inspirational quotes and phrases.  Maybe you are too!  Here’s a simple free printable for you to download.  It’s sized to 8.5×11, but could easily be printed as an 8×10 as well.  Enjoy!

Leave a comment if you snag it!

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

posted in: recipe | 1
About a month ago, I posted THIS picture on Instagram and since then I’ve had several comments/notes from friends about them, so I thought I’d share!

These are the best peanut butter cookies I have ever had and the EASIEST recipe ever.  My sister Gina told me about them years ago and I’ve never forgotten.  Thanks, Gina!!  So, here’s the recipe!

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

INGREDIENTS
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

DIRECTIONS
Mix ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Roll into small balls, place on a cookie sheet (I don’t grease it, but you can if you want).  Then smash them down (you must smash them down or they will burn.  These don’t spread much).  We like to do the simple criss-cross pattern with a fork.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

They will still be super soft when you take them out (if they’re not, try less time next time), so let them cool completely before trying to take them off of the cookie sheet.

I like to sprinkle a little sugar on top when they’re still warm.

Yes, that’s it!   I’d love to hear what you put in them to make them more exciting, but I also LOVE them plain!  I’ve heard of people adding nuts, chocolate chips (maybe do a little less sugar), whatever you want!  Enjoy!

Taco Casserole (Beef) Recipe

posted in: recipe | 0
(UPDATED 5/16/2013): In my haste, I realized I wasn’t too thorough with this recipe, so I’ve added some more details.  Also, I made a mistake on the rice, so the photo of my recipe card is not quite right!!  I meant for it to be 3-4 cups COOKED rice… and really, it should be more like 2 cups, maybe 3 if you really like rice :)

I found these great (FREE) PDF Fill-in and Print Recipe Cards from Love vs. Design.  I love the style and how easy it is to type everything in without it looking messy.  It’s a great design, well-thought design.  This is the first recipe I printed out.  This is one of those fail-proof go to meals, which is very important to me… I’m admittedly not the best or most creative cook, but I’m learning!  It’s so addicting and delicious and you can easily modify it to fit your own lifestyle/make it a little healthier.  It’s the BEST leftover.  Yum.

Taco Casserole (Beef)

INGREDIENTS
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 c. rice (COOKED amount) – I like to use brown rice, but white is good too!
1 can chili beans (drained)
1 can green chiles
1 can mild Rotel
1 c. chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken
1-2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
garlic powder
onion powder
chili powder
cumin
salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Brown beef and season to taste (salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin).  Spread beef along the bottom of a baking dish (9×13 or whatever you like… I like to use a deep pyrex casserole dish).  Pour 1/2 cup chicken broth over the beef.
2. Prepare rice as indicated on package.  Add green chiles, rotel, cream of chicken and 1/2 cup chicken broth to rice.  Season to taste using listed spices (I’m pretty generous with the spices…).  Layer rice mixture on top of beef and spread evenly.
3. Pour chili beans over the rice mixture and spread evenly.
4. Top with shredded cheese and bake.

Bake at 375 until cheese is melted and slightly bubbling along the edges (approx. 20 min.)
Serves 6.

I like to garnish this with a little sour cream or greek yogurt, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce.

Enjoy!

Free Printable | Weekly Dinner Meal Planning

It’s a new year and like most people, I have been motivated to organize my life.  I’ve created a new budget for my family and have realized that we spend way too much money on food simply because we don’t usually have a plan for dinner.  I HATE trying to decide last minute what to make for dinner and then it seems like I never have the right ingredients.  SO.  I’m going to try my hand at Meal Planning.  I created this simple printable to help me stay organized and hope it might be able to help you too!
If you find this useful, I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know!  Also, if you have any meals that show up frequently on your menu, I’d love to hear about them!

Stick Puppets made from Stickers

posted in: DIY, tutorial | 0
Adelle was SO EXCITED to get these stickers, so I didn’t want her to just put them on random things and use them all up right away.
  I just glued them on to paper, then hot glued popsicle/craft sticks onto them.  Now they’re stick puppets!  She’s been playing with them for hours!

Bamboozled – A Personal Note

posted in: Uncategorized | 3

Yesterday afternoon I took a little break and got on Pinterest to look for a little Independence Day-themed activity I could do with my 3 and 1/2 year-old daughter.  Let me first say that I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest… there are SO MANY great ideas, things to make (as if I have the skills to really make most of them).  It’s like a one-stop guide on how to be perfect at everything in life.  Honestly, it kind of overwhelms me.  There are enough things in my life that I want to do and haven’t found time to do yet.  I only open it maybe once a week or if I’m looking for something specific.  Well, as I was looking, I of course got sidetracked by some other things that had been pinned by friends.

I have fallen prey to pinning anything I think I might want to look at again… and like most women, I’m sure, I have a “Get Healthy” board.  I know that I can live a healthier life than I do now, so why not, while I’m pinning what I seem to think is the complete guide to PERFECTION, pin a collection of healthy foods/recipes and fun workouts that will keep me active.  Well, I came across a pin yesterday that looks like this:
The picture already made me hesitant to put it in my own Get Healthy board, but I saw the caption… simple instructions for a simple routine that I could easily do every day before I get in the shower.  Great!  Well, I have this bad habit of pinning things without actually going to the website it was originally pinned from… I know you do it too.  So, this morning I got a second to get on the computer (Pinterest was already open from the night before), so I clicked on the pin after I had already pinned it, seeing that some of my friends had repinned it as well.  By actually clicking on the pin, it revealed the website where it came from (I’m not even going to provide a link to the website – I couldn’t even find this picture as I scrolled through and saw way more than I wanted to.) – a bombardment of photos of extremely lean and barely dressed women (practically pornographic), doing “fit” poses and showing close-ups of their abs and rock hard bodies.  My stomach seemed to rise to my shoulders and then do a back flip into my rib cage.

My body is a temple.  It is a house for my spirit and I am amazed everyday about what I can accomplish because I have a body.  I need to take better care of it and I WANT to be healthier.  I want to have more energy than I do now.  I want to be an example of good health for my daughters.  BUT.  I will NOT let something posing as “good health” become something that makes me feel ashamed about my body or about who I am as a person.  My weakness in this area does not define who I am as a person!

My worth is not defined by how I look (neither is yours).  It is definitely not defined by how I look compared to others.  Learning how to live a healthy lifestyle that suits your life – that is a worthy pursuit.
We can make positive changes that can help us feel better physically and emotionally.  We can make small, realistic goals (I write this for myself as well).  We can reward ourselves for meeting those goals (a reward does not have to be food!).  We can do ALL of this without comparing ourselves to others.  We can even do it without stepping on a scale.  Imagine that.

I found this article interesting… what do you think about it?

Please excuse my rant.  I’m done… for now.

posted in: Uncategorized | 1

This week, I have the opportunity to be a sponsor at 365 Cards!  As I’m sure many of you know, this blog started out as a home to my handmade cards, something I still love to do, though don’t find as much time for these days… as a former DT member at 365 Cards, I am so excited to see what these wonderful card makers come up with using my digital papers!  So far, there’s no disappointment!!  Also, I am offering a special 40% discount to 365 Cards readers and anyone who sees it!  Just use the code 365365 on ANYTHING in the shop through Saturday, June 2nd!

Enjoy!

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