Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Recipe: Cornbread

It's September and that means the weather is starting to cool down, well at least in most of the country, Arizona seems to have a delay until about mid-November. But with cooler weather that means yummy fall flavored soups that we can make. And you know what goes well with those yummy soups? CORNBREAD! mmm . . . I love a hot cornbread muffin straight out of the oven with melted butter and honey drizzled all over it!

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Recipe: Skillet Enchiladas

So the other night I wanted a quick and easy Mexican dish for dinner. Looking in my pantry and fridge I had all the ingredients to make Chilekiles, aka Skillet Enchiladas. So I will share with you this super easy dish. Seriously it takes like 15 mins!

First this is what you will need.

only 3 ingredients!

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Meal Planning and Prep

Some of you have been asking me about my meal planning and prep secrets. To be real honest I really don't have any. But I will share with you what I have been doing.

First you want to find meals that are simple and have similar ingredients, this cut down on how much you'll be spending. Write them down, I usually plan meals for 4 days each week and leave one day for leftovers.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Halloween/ Fall Round-ups

I know school just started, but as I'm walking through the stores, Halloween is now jumping out at me! Say What!!? Pretty soon the temps will drop and it will be cooler. Yea for cooler weather! I'm melting out here in AZ and can't wait for the lower temps.

I thought that I would do a little round up of ideas to get your juices flowing for Halloween and Fall.

Here are just a few:

Specimen Jar
Fall Table Scape {Dandelion House}
Spooky Wreath {Just a Girl Blog}
Front Porch display {Midwest Living}

Halloween Candle Mason Jars {Jedi Craft Girl}

To find more ideas you can follow my Halloween/Fall Pinterest board.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Be Prepared - August: Veggies

Hey friends! Wow, I can't believe how fast this summer went and school is back in session! We are also halfway through August! WHAT?!

Well, I wanted to touch base with you all and see how you're doing on your Food Storage/ Emergency Preparedness so far.

January - Milk, Cheese and Eggs
February - Grains
March - Fats and Oils
April - Garden Seeds
May - Water
June - Sugar in all its forms ex: jams and honey
July - fruit

Cash Stash: $160 up to date

You can print out each month HERE.

This month we are to be collecting veggies. One of my favorite things about prepping my food storage is canning! I don't do it often but when I do I really enjoy it. My MIL has taught me a lot. I actually just taught a good friend how to can. She came over and we canned fresh jalapenos from the garden. We had an awesome stash when we were done! Not too mention they are SUPER TASTY and HOT HOT HOT!!

If you don't know how to can it's very simple. You will need a water bath pot and accessories.

You can get one through Amazon or from Emergency Essentials.

Mason jars you can get just about anywhere, from small jelly jars to the quart size mason jars you see all over Pinterest. haha!

Pictured above I used pint and 1/2 pint jars to can the jalapenos.

If you don't want to can that fine too, you can collect canned items from the grocery store. Be sure to be on the look out for good deals on canned items. I know my local grocery store will have a Mega sale on canned goods and that is when you would want to stock up.

Remember collect what your family will eat and not just because "it's on sale". Think about what your family eats on a daily bases and go from there. Be creative.

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Be Prepared: June - Sugar

This month we will be collecting sugar in all it's forms; from white granulated sugar to jams and honey. Sugar is most definitely a staple to have in your food storage. You need it for baking, preserving and flavor.

You're probably asking: How much sugar should I have in food storage for my family? Well I have an answer for you. I found a calculator to help me figure out how much I need for my family of 5. It has you enter the number of family members ages 7+ and ages 0-6. This is what I got.

Or course you would need to adjust this as your family grows. You should always be updating the amount of food you have stored for your family to make sure you have enough.

How to store white granulated sugar

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Be Prepared: May - Water

I know that I'm late in getting this posted but life has been a bit crazy. This month's good storage item is water. Recently I've read in the news that California is going through a major drought and the water is almost dried up in the state. YIKES!! I can't believe it, one of Earth's most renewable resources is being depleted in California. Now more than ever is the time to store water. I live in Arizona, but still the thought of not having enough water to help sustain my family and our home kind of scares me now. I started storing water a few years ago but haven't been very consistent. I have a few gallons stored in the bottom of my pantry, but it's not enough to sustain my family for a year.

There are so many different ways to store water or even collect it. I want to share with you some ideas to help you get started.

If you live in a state, or region where the average rainfall is more than 2 inches a year, a rain barrel is going to be a good option for you. There are several different sizes to fit your needs. The good thing about having a rain barrel is you can use it to help water your garden, which you should've started last month, or whenever your prime planting season is for your area.

Another option is to refill milk jugs or large juice jugs. My preference is clear, so that I can see what is inside. I label it with a date, and I store it in my pantry. You should always store your smaller water bottles and containers in a cool dark place to avoid evaporation.

You can also order small water pouches for your 72 hour kits. Or get canned water. Did you know you can can water wig a hot water bath process, like you do fruits and veggies? Yep, pretty cool, huh!?

You also want to make sure you have water purification items just in case you get caught with unclean water. You want to be able to clean it enough to drink it so that you don't get sick.

May preparedness file

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Recipe: Skinny Philly Cheesesteak

So in January I enrolled in Weight Watchers, for the like the 3rd time! ha! I've been doing really well. I'm 4 lbs away from my 5% goal. Whoo hoo!! Well anyways, in order to stay on track with my points I've been finding yummy recipes. This time I wanted to try to do one on my own. For dinner the other night I really wanted a sandwich, but wanted to do something different. I was looking online and then the thought hit me! Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. Ya! So here is how I made it for 9 points.

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich


1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1/2 onion
thinly sliced roast beef, deli meat
reduced fat provolone cheese
1 whole wheat pita bread

First you slice the veggies thin and saute them in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Stir them occasionally.

Next place the meat in a pan and warm it through, stir occasionally.

Then heat up the broiler. Butter your bread. (the sub rolls were for the hubby and son)

Then put the meat, and veggies on the bread, put 2 slices of cheese. Stick back in the broiler until cheese has melted. Now you have a yummy and easy, 9 point Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich (Pita). MMMM

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Nursery Singing Time Ideas

I felt that I needed to share my ideas for Nursery Singing Time.

I am the designated singing time leader in my ward (congregation) for Nursery, and I LOVE IT! I have been in this calling for 2 years now, and in that time I have come up with ideas to make singing time fun and interactive for the little ones.

Here are a few things that I have made for the list of songs that we sing each week.

Bracelet Bells: made from colored pipe cleaners and small silver bells. We use these when we sing, If You're Happy (children's songbook page 266).

Sunbursts: cut out using my Cricut, laminated with the clear shelf liner, and large popsicle sticks. This is for Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam (children's songbook page 60).

Stars: I found there cute stars in the Super Little Singers CD that I bought. I printed them out on yellow card stock and laminated them with the clear shelf liner and used large popsicle sticks. We use these when we sing I Am Like a Star (children's songbook page 163). You could also use these for Twinkle Little Star.

Ribbon Wands: I used small dowels, I found them at Michael's, with 3 different shades of blue ribbon and pinned on top with a thumb tack. The kids love these, but I always have to remind them to wave them down low to mimic water, as we use these when we sing "Give", Said the Little Stream (children's songbook page 236).

Egg Shakers: I used plastic eggs filled with beans, they make more sound than rice. I hot glued the eggs shut. We use these when we sing Do As I'm Doing (children's songbook page 276).

I also like to let the kids choose the songs instead of me. So I've made a few things to help with that.

Music Sticks: I painted large popsicle sticks in different color, and wrote the songs on each stick that we sing each week. I try to give each kid a turn to pick a stick.

Fishing: I found pre-colored fishes in the Super Little Singers CD that I printed, cut and laminated. I wrote on the back of each fish a sing. Each fish also has a paperclip on it. I also made a fishing stick using a dowel, ribbon and magnet. This is also a big hit with my little ones.

Music Flowers: This is my newest way for the kids to pick the songs. I found pre-cut foam flowers at Joann's. I painted large popsicle sticks green for the stems and wrote the songs on each of them. Hot glued the stems to the flowers and put them in a cute little basket to carry. Go HERE for the tutorial to make them.

Here is a list of songs that I teach each week.

"Give," Said the Little Stream
I Am Like a Star
Do As I'm Doing
Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam
If You're Happy
Book of Mormon Stories
Head, Shoulders

I also have a reverent song that gets the kids ready for their lesson time, which is I Am a Child of God. But just before we sing I will give each kid a "reverent" sticker. For my older nursery kids I also do a wiggle song to get them ready for the reverent song, which is My Hands (children's songbook pate 273).

Each class takes me about 10-15 mins, which is recommended. It allows the teachers to get ready for the next part of their schedule.

I have a few other ideas that I plan on making, so once I have those made I will share. But for now this is all I do.

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Music Flower Tutorial

With Spring here I wanted to make a new way for my nursery kids to pick the songs that we sing each week. So I came up with music flowers, here's how to make them.

pre-cut foam flowers
large popsicle sticks
1 sheet sticky back yellow foam
1 sheet sticky back orange foam
green paint
small basket

The first thing I did was paint the popsicle sticks green.

Then I cut out the orange and yellow middles and stuck them to the pre-cut flowers.

I then wrote the songs on the back of the sticks and hot glued them to the back of the flowers.

Voila! There you have super cute music flowers that the kiddies will enjoy! Mine loved them!

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Friday, March 6, 2015

New Etsy Item

I'm totally excited to announce that I finally have finished a new item to add to my shop! Ya, I know it only took forever to do it but better late than never, right? haha

I will now be listing the Bapron in my shop.

my adorable baby modeling the 6-12 month bapron.

Here is the bapron, a bib and apron combo for babies and toddlers. There will be 2 sizes available, M (6-12 months) and L (2-3T) it could possibly fit a 4T toddler if they are small.

Oh they are also reversible!

This one will be listed in my shop. The Medium size will be $12 and the Large will be $15.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Be Prepared - February: Foil, Trash Bags & Paper Towels

Told you I'd be back with more info for February's emergency preparedness.

The additional items you should be collecting are:

  • axe
  • paper towels
  • trash bags
  • foil
You're probably wondering thinking, huh? Why these items? Ok, an axe you would need to be able to cut things down. But paper towels? Trash Bags? Foil?

Let me tell you that these things would serve you in ways you probably never would have thought of.

Foil: has many uses. Let me name a few.
  • line containers for increased insulation: it will help keep food hot longer or colder
  • great for covering things
  • you can cook things in them, you know the hobo style meals you make while camping
  • you can make a funnel with foil, probably best to use the heavy duty foil for that
  • you can sharpen scissors
  • make a solar cooker
Paper towels: what would you use paper towels for?
  • use in your garden when planting
  • wrap your clean produce after it has been washed to keep fresh
  • use as a strainer
  • soften brown sugar
Trash Bags
  • use as a poncho
  • protect your sleeping bags and pillows
  • use as a tarp
  • stuff with leaves to make a pillow out of it
  • use to catch water in
  • white trash bags can be used to signal for help
So not as un-useful as you might have thought, huh?

I didn't buy the expensive ones, bargain brand will do just fine.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Be Prepared - February: Grains

It's February! How did you do in collecting your items for January? I wanted to share with you before I got into what we need to do for February, my awesome finds for the January items.

Small can of instant milk, and egg powder from Emergency Essentials

Large cans of instant milk and powdered cheese also from Emergency Essentials

I found the toothbrush kits at the dollar store and the soap at target for less than $1.

These are for the 72 hour kits, I also found these at the dollar store.
Now, onto what we need to do for February. This month we are collecting grains: wheat, rice, corn, etc. Grains are such an essential staple for any food storage. You need to make sure that you are collecting enough for each member in you family.

You can collect flour or hard/soft wheat kernels. Freshly ground wheat is one of the most nutritious foods we can eat. It's a great source of fiber and it is fairly inexpensive.

What you need to know for collecting wheat: A minimum of 200 lbs per adult is a general guideline to use. You can even go up to about 350 lbs per person max. The thing is that you don't want to be short of have an excess that you may end up wasting. I will be the first to admit that I'm no good with math so I have found a couple of sites that have done some math and give some great examples. Living Prepared has done a great example for a family 4. He has done a breakdown of how much wheat a person may consume in a year. I even found an online calculator that can help you determine how much you need.

So, using the calculator my family of 5 needs about 600 lbs of wheat for 1 year. That sounds like a LOT but when an emergency hits, it will be just right!

Where am I going to store 600 lbs of wheat?! That is a very good question. I don't have a lot of space and here in Arizona it gets hot, so storing it out in a shed is not an option, unless it has its own air cooling system. Something to look into for the future. I'm going to need to get creative in my storage place, but I discuss that at a later time.

When collecting your grains make sure you're storing the grains that your family will use and eat. Don't just store anything just to store it. Be smart about it.

Here are a few other things to consider for storing grains.

Rice: There are different kinds of rice. Long grain white rice is a popular rice to collect and it usually available in bulk through the emergency preparedness sites. But if you prefer the other types of rice collect that and make sure it is stored correctly to last. Brown rice is very nutritious, but the downside is that it does not keep as well as white rice. You may want to consider brown rice as a 3 month food storage item and not long term. Again figure out what you need, use the calculator that I mentioned above as a guide to help you out.

Corn: you can collect kernels that you can grind to make up cornmeal or use to make popcorn. Or get already made cornmeal to store.

Oats: How much oatmeal will my family need? Do I plan to use it for breakfast daily and in many other recipes? Or will I use it primarily for cookies? Are questions we should ask when storing oats. Not everyone uses oats. Again only store what you need. Side note: a #10 can holds about 12 cups of oats.

Most importantly make sure you are rotating your food storage and replacing items. Use your food storage, it doesn't have to only for an emergency. By using it you will gain a better understanding of how to use it so that when a disaster does strike you aren't scared of how to use it.

I will touch back later this month with the other items on the list that we should be collecting.

February preparedness file.

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Valentine's Day Wreath

It's been a while since I posted a craft on here. 

The other day I was at the dollar store and they had their Valentine's Day stuff out and I saw red rose bouquets with hearts and the the idea just hit me that I needed to make a wreath using those flowers. I didn't have a wreath for Valentine's Day and it was probably time that I make one.

I bought a stick wreath, those flowers, foam glitter hearts that I also found at the dollar store, wood letters, and went to work. 

I painted my letters first so that they would dry as I was gluing the flowers. I placed my flowers and the hearts and then glued in place. I had found a ribbon bow at Michaels, it was badly made so I re-tied it so that it looked prettier.

Once the letters were dried I glued them into place with foam hearts next to them. Here is my final result.

I loved how it turned out!!

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Homemade Baby Food - Take 2

I'm at it again. I'm making baby food for little miss Zoey. I found that when I made it for miss Summer it saved us a lot of money, than had I bought pre-made baby food. I was able to make big batches for less.

For example: 1 small bag of frozen green beans with a container of fresh kale made 2 and half ice cube trays for about $3. Each ice cube is about 1 serving. So if you figure that, for about 36 servings it comes out to about $0.09 a serving. Say What?!!? So compared to a jar baby food that is about $0.99 each. That's CHEAP!!

There are benefits to making your own baby food. You know exactly what is going in it. It is also very easy. The other day I had my steamer and 2 pots on the stove. On the stove I had the greens cooking. In one pot I had green beans and kale, and in the other I had peas, spinach and kale. I like to mix the leafy greens with a more solid green. Then in the steamer I had sweet potatoes (yams) cooking.

After each batch was done cooking I used my soup puree mixer and using water from the pots blended up the food. Then poured them into the ice trays and put them in the freezer. I like to let them set up for about a day, then transfer them to ziploc freezer quart sized bags labeled with what's in them and dated.

I fed Zoey her first bowl of solids with oatmeal and she loved it!

To prepare to feed the baby, you can put 1 to 2 cubes in a microwave safe bowl, heat for 40 seconds. The good thing about homemade food, I'm not afraid to taste to make sure it isn't too hot to give to the baby. The store bought stuff tastes kind of icky, bleh!

As miss Zoey gets bigger, I can't wait to use the reusable pouches that I bought!

The possibilities are endless for making your own baby food. The only drawback is that you have to keep it refrigerated or frozen until time of use, if not it will spoil.

Good luck! I will post some ideas of combos that I have made in the past and new ones that I have come up with in my printables section.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Be Prepared - January: Milk, Eggs and Cheese

I wanted to do something a little different this year with the monthly food storage/ emergency kit items for the month. I will break it down better into smaller categories so that you don’t feel overwhelmed trying to get the things. I will give you tips and where to find them for a good deal.

So with that being said, this month’s focus for food storage is milk, eggs and cheese. Along with a few other items, which I will share later in the month.

I thought that I would share how to use these products so that when an emergency strikes you aren’t scrambling (haha get it scrambling since I’m talking about eggs), on how to use them.

I will first start off with eggs. Did you know that you could get freeze dried and powdered eggs? I didn’t, that tells you how far food storage food items have come in the last several years. You can get just about anything now. Ok back to the eggs, using powdered eggs is pretty easy from the research I’ve done, or you can also use the directions on the can. I just bought my first couple of cans from Emergency Essentials, and can’t wait to try them. I found a simple recipe at Cooking with my Food Storage. She has a lot of helpful hints. In this recipe she is also using dry milk. You can also purchase freeze dried cans of eggs with sausage.

Emergency Essentials

Now onto milk, this is a staple for any emergency food storage, you can use it to bake with and drink. I’ve always been scared of dried milk, maybe b/c I had a bad experience with it. I had a friend in high school whose mom always made them dried milk b/c it was cheaper than having to buy milk almost every day. They were milk lovers. In my January Be Prepared file I have included ways in how to use milk and how to store it. Also the difference between instant and non-instant. I believe that most places sell the instant as it is easier to prepare.

To make a gallon of milk:
3 ¾ qts water
5 2/3 cup instant dry milk
Mix well and chill. You can also add ½ tsp of sugar with a 1 tsp of vanilla for some added flavor.

Cheese is fairly new to the scene, and will last up to 30 years. It’s not a powder but freeze dried shredded cheese. It comes in a variety of flavors: cheddar and mozzarella for example. You can add them to any dish that calls for cheese. Although you can also buy blocks of cheese, shred it and freeze it; the freeze dried is a good alternative if/ or when the electricity goes out, you have a back-up!

I believe that having a good variety of foods in your food storage other than the basic beans, rice and wheat will save you from getting bored of your food when a disaster does strike.

*please note that there are affiliate links in this post.

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