Sunday, July 31, 2011

Menu Plan for the Week 7-31-11

This is the last full week of my summer vacation.  I am not too happy about that, but it is what it is.  I am still working on more goodies for the shop.  I have felt super productive!  It's been crazy and fun all at the same time!  It's pretty much just about getting pictures shot and the rest of my products listed.  I think I want to make a few other things, but we'll have to see how the next couple of days go.

For the first time I am not buying stuff for my classroom.  I usually have all kinds of things going on already, but this year I am just going to make do with what the school and parents provide.  We'll see how that goes! I am going to have a much larger class, so there are going to be many adjustments this year!  I am trying my best to keep a good attitude and an open heart.

My goal this week is to pack the freezer with goodies and breakfast foods.  It is suppose to be pretty hot, so we will see how well that goes.  I bought everything I need, now it's up to me to get it done!
I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Here is what we have planned to eat for this week:

Breakfasts: Cereal, Oatmeal, Biscuits, Muffins, Pancakes, French Toast, Waffles, Fruit

Lunches: Ham or PB & J Sandwiches, Meat and Crackers, Leftovers, Fruit or Veggies, String Cheese, Hard Boiled Eggs, Granola Bars, Fruit Leather, Homemade Chewy Bars


Sunday- Spaghetti, Italian Sausage, Buttered Bread

Monday- Pasta Salad

Tuesday- Fajitas, Beans


Thursday- Tri Tip, Rice Pilaf, Asparagus

Friday- Pizza, Salad

Fettuccine Alfredo, Chicken, Salad, Buttered Bread

Find more menu planning inspiration at Organizing Junkie.

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Homemade Chewy Bars

Last year (or was it the year before?) I found a recipe for homemade chewy bars.  I knew I had to try them!  I was thrilled that I found a recipe with ingredients that were whole foods and not preservatives and refined sugars. I followed the recipe exactly the first time I made them, but I was looking for a different consistency.  So I did what I always do and started tweaking the recipe to make it work better for us! 

After sharing with friends and family I think it is ready to share with you all!

So here you go!

Homemade Chewy Bars

3 cups Regular Oats
3 cups Quick Oats
3 cups nut mixture (I use coconut flakes, sunflower kernels, peanuts, chocolate chips)
3/4 cup Coconut Oil
1 cup Honey
1 1/2 cups Peanut Butter

Prepare your pan by greasing all of the sides.  
The pan I use is quite large, about 16x12.  If you don't want that much halve the recipe and use a 9x13 pan.

First measure out the oats and mix well.  I like using the different oats to help out with the consistency.
Next mix the nut variety in a separate bowl.  When I do mine I use about 1 1/4 cups coconut flakes, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 3/4 cup sunflower kernels, 3/4 cup peanuts.  You can add raisins or other nuts or fruit.  As long as it is three cups total you really can't go wrong!
In a stock pan mix the coconut oil, honey, and peanut butter over low heat until they are a smooth liquid.  I always measure the coconut oil first so my measuring cup as a little layer of oil to help get the honey out!

Turn off the stove and quickly add in the oats mixture.  

Once the oats are thoroughly coated add in the nut mixture.  Mix well, if you are using the chocolate chips they will most likely melt.  That's okay!

Pour mixture into your prepared pan.  Smooth out to the edges with a spatula.  Make sure the thickness is consistent throughout the pan.

Put in refrigerator to cool.

When cool slice into bars.  I make 32 bars with this recipe.  Wrap in a small sheet of plastic wrap and store in a basket in the refrigerator.  Ours usually don't last long, but they have been known to keep for several weeks.

Until next time,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Menu Plan for the Week 7-24-11

My vacation is winding down, but I am going to stay busy at home right until I pick my keys up!  I have been in a sea of fabric.  Cutting, sewing, ironing all to be ready for a hopefully busy giveaway week!  Aprons are filling my house and I am a happy camper listening to the hum of my sewing machine.

I will also be working on getting our freezer stash of breakfasts built up before we head back to school.  It is truly amazing how nice it is to be able to get the boys a hot breakfast without a whole lot of work or extra dishes!  Hopefully I can keep cool long enough to have a griddle marathon.

I still have some other projects to finish up around the house.  If I keep to a list I am sure I will be able to get everything finished! 
I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Here is what we have planned to eat for this week:

Breakfasts: Cereal, Oatmeal, Biscuits, Muffins, Pancakes, French Toast, Waffles, Fruit

Lunches: Ham or PB & J Sandwiches, Meat and Crackers, Leftovers, Fruit or Veggies, String Cheese, Hard Boiled Eggs, Granola Bars, Fruit Leather, Homemade Chewy Bars


Sunday- PB & J

Monday- Hot Dogs & Hamburgers, Fries

Tuesday- Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus


Thursday- Tri Tip, Rice Pilaf, Squash

Friday- Pizza, Salad

K's Birthday~ Ham Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli, Cheesecake

Find more menu planning inspiration at Organizing Junkie.

Until next time,

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lessons I've Learned

Since my husband has been out of work for just over two years I have learned a lot about myself and our little family.

I have learned that going to a horrible job at a terrible place is much worse on a soul than not having a steady paycheck coming in every two weeks. The spirit that has filled my husband since he lost his job is such a blessing. He is happier, looks, and feels better than he did while he was dragging himself to that office everyday.

K was helping me with Marketing my aprons!
He said he had to make the "macho face" for the full effect!
Pretty cute model, don't ya think!

I have learned that we don't need a whole lot to be happy. Our boys are perfectly content staying home and playing their games or with their Legos. We don't need fancy outings and elaborate vacations. The true blessing of our personalities is that we are all pretty much homebodies. So fitting since we need to stay home now!

My building boys!

I have learned that we are a very good team. K and I work very well together, we balance each other! Putting our heads together we have been able to figure out better ways to take care of our boys and our home. We invested in bicycles a couple of years ago and it has been so nice to run errands around town together. We get some one-on-one time together, some exercise, and save fuel. K has also put the word out to friends and family that he's available to help with projects or repairs on just about anything. It has been a blast helping K when one of our friends needs something done to their home.

Someday I will learn how to take a better picture of us!

I have learned that I don't need to go run errands every day. I have plenty to do at home, so using the fuel to go run around really isn't necessary. Making trips into town are much more planned and farther and fewer between. My sewing machine is my friend and we have been spending a lot of time together creating. I am hoping Amy's Monkeys continues to grow and supplement our family. Bringing extra income to our home while still being at home is an awesome thing! I never had the courage before to try to market myself and my creations, I guess I needed a push!

I have learned that it is okay to pray for us. I used to think that we were doing pretty well so other than being thankful we really shouldn't pray for specific things. Not any more, if I am having a great day or struggling or frustrated or my back is really hurting I am praying about it. I have had more conversations with God than I ever did before. Man was I missing out before. Weight is lifted from my shoulders. No more borrowing trouble for me.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~Matthew 6:34

This job loss has truly been a blessing to our family. We are better for it. Do we wish K had a full-time income? Absolutely. Will he settle for a horrible working environment again? I hope not. Financially it has stretched us, but emotionally it has strengthened us beyond measure! We will make it through financially, someway or another. Friends and family have blessed us and we will continue to make do!

Until next time,

Linking up:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shop Update!

Well the shop has some new aprons!

They are super cute if I do say so myself!

Color Pop

Tropical Love

Black & White

Tangerine Fun

This is my new favorite color combination!
It makes me happy!

I've added some baby towels too.
Pink ones are on their way!

So head on over and take a look!

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


We were able to sneak away for a day to visit my grandparents who had come in from Arizona. It had been almost 6 years since I had seen them. My boys kind of remember them, but not well.

I think it was totally worth having a long day to be able to see the boys interacting with their great-grandparents! They giggled and talked and got to know each other. It was amazing!

L and N showing Grammy how to play a game on the ipad from my classroom

All the the big smiles!

This is the last set of grandparents K and I have left, so every day God chooses to let them stay with us is a blessing. After losing my other set of grandparents in the last year I am acutely aware of the importance of getting in as much time with the people you love as you possibly can!

Family shot...did you notice how tall Z is?!?

I am grateful that we were given this chance to visit! The smiles that it brought and the joy in lots of hearts will stick around for a long time!

Until next time,

Joining up with Heavenly Homemakers for Gratituesday!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!

I found this old barn complete with a beautiful flag in honor of Independence Day.

This day is for all those that stand up and are so very proud to live in a land where we can celebrate, complain, argue, thrive, and enjoy the ups and downs of this crazy world.

Happy Birthday America!