Friday, February 21, 2014


Have you heard about Pinterest?
Are you on Pinterest?
Have you pinned the entire internet yet?

OH MY WORD! I am so addicted! I pin, and pin, and then I pin some more. I think I would have to live to be 199 years old in order to do all that I have pinned.

Breakfasts, desserts, chicken dishes, crafts, decorating ideas, and the list goes on and on.

I want to get married again (same man, new wedding) so that I can try out all of the amazing things I have seen on Pinterest.
I want to go back and have my children be little so that I can give them a PINTERESTED childhood!

I need to build a brand new house with all of the great ideas I have found for storage and organization and then I will need to remodel it right away cause there are just too many ideas out there to fit into one house!

So if you are not on Pinterest, What are you waiting for? Get over there and start pinning. But let me warn you, your life will never be the same again! You will never again be able to throw away a toilet paper roll without thinking: Hey I can make this into a great cupcake stand, Easter bunny craft, TV stand (okay I'm kidding about the TV stand, but give someone a few months and they will figure out a way and then they will pin it)!

And if you are on Pinterest come and follow me! We can pin the internet together!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Doughnut Muffins With Chocolate Glaze

Doughnut Muffins. So Yummy!
These were DELICIOUS! And really they were not all that much effort either! The glaze was made in the microwave (easy peasy) and the muffins came together rather quickly too.

The next time I will double the muffin recipe (but not the glaze as I had plenty leftover) and I will also double dip the muffins. The glaze did take longer to set up than I expected so next time I will need to remember that and start them a little earlier so that the glaze is not quite so runny when we sit down to partake of the GOODNESS!

 Doughnut Muffins (original recipe)

Doughnut Muffins (plain)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin tins with cooking spray.
In a large bowl beat together sugar and egg until light and fluffy.
In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Pour flour mixture into egg mixture and stir until well combined. (the next time I make this I am going to wait and add the flour mixture until after I have added all the wet ingredients because it was very hard to get the lumps of flour out of the batter).
Add in vegetable oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix well!
Pour into greased muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 full (I probably over filled mine).
Bake for about 15 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Melty Chocolate!
Doughnut Glaze (original recipe)

6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup hot water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 Combine the butter with the powdered sugar and mix until well blended.
Add the vanilla and the hot water. Mix until smooth.
Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave another 30 seconds and stir again. Continue microwaving for 30 seconds at a time and stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Add the chocolate to the butter mixture. Blend until smooth.
When the doughnuts have cooled, dip each top into the glaze and then flip over and cool on a plate until the glaze firms up, about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Setting My Mind

“You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind.  You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.”   – Zig Ziglar – Motivational Speaker
Often I have heard mums say, “I’d love to have a tidy house, but that will never happen”.  Yes it will you just have to set your mind to that’s what you want and it can be done.  Form new habits and create routines.  You will soon get order into your household.

I read this a few days ago on a blog (I really need to do a better job of writing down the blog names). And it made me think, so I copied and pasted it into a word document and went on with my reading. But all day this thought kept popping back into my head. And then for the next few days I found myself thinking about it more and more. I have read it over and over. Pondered it. And prayed about it.

I have looked around at my house and my life and wondered "WHY, why don't I have things in order? Why are the kids not doing school? Why is it 5:30 and I have not even started dinner?" Why, Why, Why?!

Well, I have the answer! Because I didn't MAKE the plan and WORK the plan and get it DONE! THAT IS WHY! It's not rocket science, it's laziness! And I REALLY need to Set My Mind on what I want to accomplish and then accomplish it!

So I have three areas that I am going to SET MY MIND in.

ONE: Homeschooling - I will make sure that every child does school everyday Monday through Friday (of course I know that their will be exceptions (like when Dad is off work, or it's a holiday) but I am going to plan for school EVERY SINGLE DAY! So I will be working on creating new habits and routines that will help me accomplish this!

TWO: Meals - I already cook almost all of our meals at home. 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That's a lot of cooking! Thank God I love to cook! But I am not so great about cleaning up, or planning ahead, or working the plan. So I am going to create new habits and routines in this area as well!

THREE: My Bedroom - Lord have mercy on my bedroom! It's the dumping ground for all things homeless. Seriously, my bedroom just might make the cut for that Hoarders show! It's ridiculous and embarrassing and it has got to be fixed! So I am going to work on cleaning it up and then creating habits and routines to keep it cleaned up!

There are many more areas of my life that I need to get a handle on but these three are my TOP priority. So I will start with these and as I get them under control I will branch out to other areas.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Easy Taco Salad

Easy Taco Salad
 This recipe should be called VERY EASY TACO SALAD! or it could even be called VERY EASY VERY YUMMY TACO SALAD! But no matter what you call it I am VERY sure that your family will love you for fixing it and you will love how quickly you are in and out of the kitchen! I make this recipe on church nights because it's quick to the table and clean up is EASY too!

Print Recipe

Easy Taco Salad

Course: Main Course


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Taco Seasoning
  • 1 bag iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 1 bag Mexican Cheese shredded
  • 1 bag Nacho Doritos
  • 1 bottle French Dressing


Brown ground beef. Drain fat. Toss with dry taco seasoning. (Please note: this recipe does not call for water.) I add lettuce, tomato and cheese to individual bowls (for easier clean up) and then right before I am ready to serve I add the beef, Doritos and dressing. And then we just mix up our individual bowls ourselves. Using individual bowls also allows for customizing the salad for those who do not like some of the ingredients. Such as my boys who will not eat tomatoes.

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Easy Taco Salad
I do not let the hamburger cool down before using it on the salad.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Needs Vs. Wants

So we are having an issue at our house. I have noticed it more and more and it's really starting to annoy me! It's the NEEDS VS. WANTS problem and I'm determined to slay this mighty beast!

Now surprisingly enough I am not talking about THINGS! My children have a very firm grasp (due to the fact that we live on a pretty tight budget around here) on the things they NEED VS. the things they WANT. For instance my children know that while they may WANT hundred dollar shoes they do not NEED them. And no matter how much they WANT the latest video game they certainly do not NEED it.

The battle that has been raging at our house (probably for much longer than even I realize) is the battle between knowing what they WANT to do VS. what they NEED to do. For example, I told my daughter this morning to go and wash her hands and then to come and help me with breakfast. About 5 minutes later I looked around for her and she was still sitting on the coach playing her video game. I reminded her very firmly that she had been told to do something to which she replied, "But I NEEDED to finish this game so I could save it!"

I have noticed this happening more and more with my children over the past few weeks. I am hearing I NEED to do this or I HAVE to finish that. When clearly (at least to me) they do NOT NEED to finish the game, read the rest of the chapter, finish the movie, respond to that text, or finish the Facebook post. They WANT to do those things before they help me with meals, start their school lessons, clean their rooms, or do a chore.

So I have been quick to point out to them NEED VS. WANT in these instances. And then I did what I hate to do and starting looking for where this battle was coming from. From where did they pick up this BAD HABIT of confusing what they NEED to do with what they WANT to do. Of course, I didn't have to look very far or very hard for that answer. Just the bathroom mirror! How many times have I felt the NEED to finish reading a blog, or check an e-mail, phone a friend, or lay down for a few minutes instead of switching the laundry, starting dinner, washing the dishes, or (Heaven Forbid) spending a few minutes talking to my children.

I hate to tell you that in this house, I am the worst at confusing my time NEEDS VS. time WANTS! And my children have picked up my bad habit and now battle the same beast that I battle. I have no idea how to slay this beast but I do know that I had better figure it out (and quick). Because there is no way that I can equip my children for this battle if I'm not in the trenches fighting it right along with them!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Child the Plant

OK some of you are going to think I've lost my mind. And some of you are going to shake your head and say "Yep, I always knew she was crazy!" But maybe one of you will have an "Oh My Why Didn't I Think of That" moment and then I can have someone to be crazy with (for a change).

I am awful (and I mean really awful) about finding time to pray! Sure I can read my Bible and do my devotions but I have such a hard time going into my room, closing the door and praying. I know I don't have to do that (pray in my room with the door closed) and I'm working on praying other ways. Hence my new idea!

I have decided to buy a BIG BEAUTIFUL PLANT for each of my children. I wanted to buy a tree but since we rent I did not want to leave the trees behind when we move and I really don't see my husband out digging up trees and transporting them to a new house in a few years. So I settled on a plant! A BIG BEAUTIFUL PLANT!

Now, you are probably asking how in the world is a plant going to help my prayer life. Well, my plan is to have one plant for each of my children (maybe even one for my husband) and each time I water the plant or feed the plant or notice the plant I will pray for that child. It might not be a big long prayer but I am sure there will be days when it will be. Simple prayer or intercessory prayer, my prayer is that having these visual reminders around my house will allow me to focus on praying for my children in the midst of my busy day and perhaps will lead me into a deeper more involved prayer life!

I don't seem so crazy now do I? OK, yes I'm still crazy but I think this may be a good crazy!  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Year Round Homeschooling

In our homeschool, we school year round. We do not take a summer vacation. Instead we take many small breaks throughout the year. Such as the entire month of December off.

We do this for several reasons. One, we live in Orlando, Florida and summer is the worst time for us to take off of school. It's hot! It's crowded! And did I mention it's HOT! Second, I realized after our first "Summer Break" when our oldest was 6 that I had to do a lot of review in September before we could get back into the school year. I did not enjoy that and decided that those 2 short months of vacation were not worth going back over the last month or two of last year. So I decided that we would be "Year-Round" homeschoolers. And it has worked for us!

Through every season we have been in, it has worked! I love having the flexibility of extra days! I love that when my husband gets a rare day off of work the kids and I can take a day off school. I love that if my family or friends need me or one of my children we can forgo lessons and be a help. I love that we are able to drop the books in order to help out at the church. And I love that when I'm stressed out and need a break I don't have to worry if taking a few days off will cause our school year to run longer.

As the children have gotten older I have wondered if this "Year-Round" homeschooling was still a good idea. If I was cheating them out of summer breaks and then I realized, YEP, I am cheating them out of a summer vacation. And then I realized something else. I am OK with cheating them out of a summer break (YEP, I'm the meanest mom on the planet).

Now, let me explain why I am OK with not giving them a summer break. I am not raising children. I am raising adults. I am looking ahead at who I want my children to be and what I want them to become. And at no time in my adult life or my husband's adult life have we ever had a two month summer vacation (we have never a had a two month vacation at anytime of the year let alone summer - just encase you were wondering).

So for now at least, we are going to keep our "year-round" approach and continue to hit the books throughout the summer.

What about you?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How Do You Forgive Them?

Someone that I loved hurt me!
Not just me but my entire family.
They took things from us!
They took money, trust, friendship and security from us.
They betrayed us.
They lied to us.

And now we are trying to forgive them.
We are trying to not hold a grudge.
We are trying to pray for them.
We are trying to love them again.

I know the Bible calls me to forgive them.
I know Jesus has forgiven me for so much worse.
I know that I am expected to love them.
I know that I am to bless them.

So I pray.
I read my Bible.
I go to church and ask God to speak to my hurting, unforgiving heart.
AND I WAIT! Because I really don't know what else to do. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Family Meal Times

Our meal times are pretty special around here. Not so much because of the food (even though I do try my best to put good food on the table) but more because we are able to eat most of our meals as a family.

My husband is a United States Postal worker and that puts him home at breakfast, just about every day of the week.

We homeschool our children so that puts them and me home everyday for lunch.

And while on some days Dad does not get home in time to eat dinner with us. The kids and I eat dinner together every night and then we have our dessert all together while Dad eats his dinner and dessert.

The older our children have gotten the more enjoyable these family meals have become. They no longer (OK well most of the time) talk with food in their mouth. They no longer have to be told to sit up in their chairs, to stop playing with their food and eat it. We get to sit around and talk, find out about everyone's day, discuss the plans for the evening and the week, debate hot topics and learn to respect each others opinions (we are still working on that one, Mom and Dad included).

Our days are definitely based around the table! And I LOVE it!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Baked Hasselback Potatoes

Baked Hasselback Potatoes (adapted from Chicho's Kitchen)

5 medium potatoes, scrubbed but leave the skin on
8 cloves of garlic 
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons Grated Parmesan cheese
(I doubled the garlic mixture because I did not feel like there were was enough for the potatoes, I changed the recipe to show the doubled amounts)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Slice each potato crosswise at 1/8-inch intervals, cutting to within 1/4 inch of the bottom. Be careful not to slice all the way through. The potato will fan out a bit as it bakes.

Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, smoked paprika and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl.

Lay the potatoes on a baking sheet (I used one of my baking stones). Carefully insert pinches of the garlic mixture in between the slits of the potatoes (this is really important. I did not take my time and make sure that I got some of the mixture in between each slice and I really needed to). Rub the outside of the potatoes with the residual mixture.

Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes. The inside should be cooked through and the outside of the potatoes should be a bit crispy.