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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hashbrown Skillet

1 lb russet potatoes (about 2 large), peeled and shredded
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsps unsalted butter or vegetable oil, divided
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Scallions or parsley, for garnish (optional)
Rinse potatoes in a colander under cold water until water runs clear. Drain well and squeeze firmly between kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Transfer to a mixing bowl and toss with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Heat one tablespoon of butter or oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and press gently into an even layer. Cook until a golden brown crust forms on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Slide hash brown onto a plate and coat the bottom of skillet with the remaining tablespoon of butter or oil. Carefully return the hash brown to the skillet, browned side up, and cook until bottom is golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.
Top with shredded cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Garnish with scallions or parsley. Cut into wedges and serve.

Breakfast has long been called the most important meal of the day. A hot breakfast is very important in the winter time. Think of it this way if you cook a hot breakfast you also help to heat the house up while cooking. Here is one of my new favorites that I just made this past weekend

Hashbrown Skillet

2 lb frozen hashbrown potatos
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
8 eggs, beaten
lb sausage, browned

Scramble eggs and cook. Now mix all and heat til potatoes are done and all are heated through.

saturday night special Burger edition

Saturday night special is one of our all time favorites burgers but not just any burger

meatloaf burgers

3 lb hamburger
1 1/2 c oats
4 eggs
2 t garlic
1 c salsa

Mix all Pat into patties grill or fry.

Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Sorry (2015)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here

1) This song is a plea for a second chance. Are you good at forgiving/forgetting? 

forgiveness comes quick forgetting takes quite a bit longer if it ever happens I live by the three time rule (1) shame on you (2) shame on me no need to worry about (3) as it wont happen
2) Justin asks his girl to "forget this." What have you done/said recently that you wish could just be forgotten?

there have been a few different arguments that I wish would not have happened but for the most part if I said it I meant it and well, it most likely needed said.
3) Mr. Bieber says he needs just 6 hours sleep every night. How about you? How much sleep do you require to feel sharp?

I normally get about 6 hours of sleep as I work a day job that starts at 6 am On my days off I like to sleep around 10 hours or more.

4) Justin prefers D&G underwear, which can cost as much as $102/pair. Sam may be crazy, but there's no way she'd spend that much on underwear. What's something you're willing to splurge on?

Splurging is not really part of our life style. We live by the land whenever we can and love resale shops and garage sales. We play the game the other way the best for the least price.
5) He may be picky about underwear but not cuisine. He loves Big Macs. If we were going to McDonald's, what would you order?

This is probably the easiest question of the day for me, always the same at MacD's we love chicken nuggets and diet coke. Son and hubby also love their tea. 
6) When it comes to healthier fare, Bieber has told fans he enjoys snacking on bananas and grapes. What do you reach for between meals?

This depends on if I am being good or not. When I am staying on my diet it would be fruit like oranges but when I am not I reach for cookies, chips or chewy candy
7) Performing in Germany, Justin Bieber told a girl who approached the stage, "Ich liebe dich” ("I love you") and she fainted. Have you ever fainted?

nope had a friend when I was a kid who would faint all the time 
8) As a kid, Justin was teased for being one of the shortest in his class. What do you recall being teased about in school?

anything from short hair, my glasses, my shoes you name it it happened once or twice. 
9) Random question: Will you be watching this weekend's Super Bowl?

I am sure it will be on the T.V. but I like the commercials more than I like the super bowl

Join in over here

Friday, February 5, 2016

Frugal Friday

Today on frugal friday I want to share some of my favorite yet inexpensive and quick meals.

One of my favorite things to do is to take a whole chicken and boil it off the bones so that i have plenty of meat to work with. With that I can make many different meals. I can make cheesey pasta chicken casserole, chicken stuffing casserole, and chicken dumplings to name just a few.

Hamburger is another meat that I love to use. Walmart is the lowest place in my area to purchase hamburger unless a great sale is going on. But still even for my family of 8 a lb or 2 of hamburger can go quite a ways.

Peanut butter is yet another great staple in my cupboard that I keep. PB can go a long ways as you can imagine this frugal mommy can push it to a point of no come back. Peanut butter sandwiches, pb cookies, pb no bake cookies to name just a few.

I am listing a few of my favorite recipes so that you can add them to your list of quick easy frugal meals to make.

Mini Meatloaf

2 lb hamburger 1 c salsa
4 slices of toast 8 slices bacon
4 eggs
2 t garlic

Mix all but the bacon. Place mix in muffin cups. Top with bacon and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Apple Chicken

cooked chicken meat
onion, sliced
4 apples, sliced
1 c syrup
2/3 c italian dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Warm chicken in skillet. Place onion slices on top chicken. Place onions around chicken Mix last 2 and pour over top. Bake til your doneness

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Great Deal on Diapers

Right now at Walgreens when you spend $30 on Huggies products you will earn 5,000 Balance Rewards Points which equals a $5 reward. Check out this deal idea on Diapers and Wipes:
Buy 2 Huggies Jumbo Pack Diapers $9 each wyb 2
Buy 2 Huggies Baby Wipes, 168-184 ct $6 each wyb 2
Use two $2.00 off any ONE package of HUGGIES Diapers
And two $0.50 off 1 HUGGIES Wipes
Pay $25.00, Receive 5,000 Balance Rewards Points (= $5.00)
Final Price: $5.00 each

Felt Dolls

I love these little dolls so super cute. Reminds me of the paper dolls that my sister and I would play with when we were little girls. The hours we could spend just playing with the dolls is the happiness that I want for my little princess. You can make these for your little lady as well

The pattern to these are available at the etsy store Love Charla Anne or you could create your own patterns easily as well. The dolls and accessories are created out of felt.

I hope you have fun creating such a great gift for someone in your life

Food 4 Thought Friday

Breakfast ~ What is something you eat a lot?

For some odd reasons I have been enjoying lots of oranges They are good for me I know and the vitamin c I do not believe could hurt anything either

Lunch ~ Name something you should have never done.  Name something
you wish you would have done.
I should have never have taken time between highschool and college. When I was finally ready to go back life got in the way
I wish I had spent more time with my dad and grandmas in my life now it's to late and all I have left are memories
Dinner ~ What is your alter ego?
One of a crazy mom who works full time taking care of those who can not take care of their selves. In both my worlds all must be taken care of and any problems must be fixed.
Midnight Snack ~ What is the last thing you lost?
well I would say my mind but I think that has been missing for a while now. I believe it would be money
Recipe for the Week ~
check out one for yourself

What would your answers be? Share your comment and you can join in the fun here

1) What celebrity death affected you the most (all time)?

There have been several I think that Michael Jacksons' I was a counselor at camp when he died the kids had trouble understanding

2) What celebrity couple were you happy to see together?

Faith and Tim McGraw

3) What celebrity couple breakup were you the most shocked by?

Blake Shelton and his wife

4) You could replace your parents with two famous people, who would they be?

Never would replace my parents they gave me as much as they could and experiences beyond that

5) Do we spend too much time talking about celebrities?

yes, I think we do

Join in over here

Happy Birthday Facebook

Wikipedia offers the fact that today is the birthday of facebook. Facebook started as "Thefacebook" on February 4th 2004 Mark Zuckerberg along with his college roomies Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes founded facebook. Originally intended to be a network only for Harvard students first expanded out to other universities and then to everyone.

Through a combination of intelligent design, lots of smart business decisions and gradual expansion facebook has become the biggest social network on the internet. Over half of all internet users are facebook users.

World Cancer Day

Cancer is that big C that no one ever wants to hear when talking to a doctor. Many family members of my own have suffered from cancer and yes we have lost loved ones from the terrible killer as well. Today, February 4th saw many patients, families, doctors, friends and scientist everywhere will observe world cancer day. The campaign known as World Cancer Day started in 2000 and aims to promote research to cure and prevent the disease as well as improve treatment and raise awareness. The theme this year and for the next couple of years is "we can I can"

The American Cancer Society offers the fact that about 14.5 million Americans who have or had cancer are still living today. There are about 1.6 million Americans diagnosed each year and around the world there are 14.1 individuals that learn they have cancer in any given year. The most common cancers are lung, breast, bowel and prostate. The cancer survival rate in the U.S. continues to rise as well.

“Cancer affects all of us, whether you’re a daughter, mother, sister, friend, coworker, doctor, or patient.” — actress Jennifer Aniston

"I believe that we need a moon shot in this country to cure cancer. It's personal. But I know we can do this ... because there are so many breakthroughs just on the horizon in science and medicine, the things that are just about to happen. And we can make them real with an absolute national commitment to end cancer as we know it today." — Vice President Joe Biden

Thank a Mailman Day

February  4th is a very special day. It is Thank a Mailman Day. My own father was a mailman. In fact he was a rural route carrier. I can remember many Saturdays and summer days of going with my dad and having a bit of fun riding with my dad. He treasured the individuals he would meet and every once and again they would give him a special treat. He loved those days it was a special way to show him appreciation. Today is the day to think about giving back to the individual who comes to your door step 6 days a week. We keep our mail carrier quite busy show him how much we appreciate him.

You can select your own manner of giving back and showing appreciation. If you need a bit of help here are some great ways to do just that

Leave them a note in your mailbox with a gift card to a local restaurant or coffee shop. We post lots of yummy deals and freebies every day, why not surprise them with a treat? I know a warm caffeinated beverage gets me going every day!
Speaking of freebies, why not put together a gift bag of some of your recent scores?
Warm up their cold days by giving them a pair of gloves or a package of hand or foot warmers. These are usually inexpensive and can be found at any sporting goods store or online

One thing that often made my dad smile was personal notes. There were kids who got to know my dad and would leave him little notes like this in the mailbox.

Crockpot vegan Chilli

4 cups black beans
4 cups diced tomatoes with juice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cups Lentil and Rice Ground Beef Substitute
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon (1 cube) chipotle pepper seasoning (optional, for extra heat)
Grease or spray a 4-quart crock. Add all ingredients to crock. I chose to leave the “beef” frozen on top so it doesn’t get mushy. I also mix all the spices together before-hand and pour them over the “beef.”
Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours (recommended) or HIGH for 4-6 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight, reheat and serve.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Taco Pickles

Taco Pickles

2 bunches of radish
a handful of carrots
couple jalapeƱos (more or less depending on your love of heat!)
handful of chopped cilantro
salt to taste
1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Cut up all your veggies into what ever shape you like. (I used my mandolin slicer and just made them into thin round peices) Bring your sugar and vinegar to a slow boil and whisk until all the sugar is dissolved and then store in the fridge or freezer to bring it back to room temp. Once cool, add the liquid to your mix of veggies, jalapeƱo, cilantro and salt and combined. Store in a container in the fridge and eat your pickles over the next couple of weeks. Obviously great on tacos, but these would be equally awesome on salads or sandwiches or even a piece of grilled fish!

Chicken Enchilada Bites

Chicken Enchilada Bites

1 20-ounce package soft flour tortilla shells
1 whole smoked or roasted chicken, roughly chopped or shredded
1 small red onion, minced
tomatilla salsa
1 bunch green onions, sliced
red salsa
2 cups sharp or medium cheddar cheese, shredded
fresh cilantro or chives, sliced (for garnish)

Turn broiler to low and pre-heat.
Using a small biscuit cutter, cut rounds from the full-sized tortillas. In a lightly-oiled pan or panini grill, cook until lightly browned.

In a microwave-safe bowl, mix the chicken and minced red onion with the tomatilla salsa: cook in the microwave for about 1 minutes, stirring once, until mixture is warmed through.

Place the rounds on a lined cookie sheet, then add about 1 tablespoon of the chicken mixture to the center of each round.
Sprinkle with green onion, then place a dab of red salsa on top.
Cover with about a tablespoon (or so) of the cheese.
Place into the pre-heated oven under the broiler and cook for about 5-6 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Remove to serving tray, place slivers of cilantro or chive atop each round and serve immediately.

Winter is Perfect for Fondue

Take a step back in time to the '60 and '70s. The time when parties and get together were so very different as the time then was as well. Fondue was a feature of those days that would bring the gang together. Try this delicious recipe and share with a few friends.

Gourmet Magazine Welsh Rabbit

Cheddar cheese (or any sharp cheese mixture), grated, to equal 4 cups (this equals one bowl grated in my food processor)
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
scant teaspoon cayenne pepper
scant teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup beer

bread. toast it while you do the rest.

Grate cheese, and toss with next four ingredients.
In saucepan, melt butter and add beer.
Add cheese mixture 1/4 cup at a time, whisking until smooth.

Pour into fondue pot, and make sure there's a little fire burning to keep it warm. Look at it lovingly before tearing in.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken
breast halves - cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 c milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
2.In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
3.In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
4.Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
5.Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

shared at
Wednesday Showcase

Breakfast Potato Casserole

Breakfast Potato Casserole

2 lbs frozen hash browns
1/3 c chopped onions
1/4 c butter or marg.
chopped ham
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c shredded swiss cheese or cheese slices
8 eggs

Press potatoes into greased 9x12 pan.
Melt 1/4 c butter or marg, saute 1/3 c chopped onion (to taste)
Pour over the potatoes
Stir to break up 8 eggs, pour over the potatoes
Cover with chopped ham
Sprinkle cheese over the top of the casserole.
Garnish with paprika is desired

Bake uncovered for 45 min or until eggs are set.

Busy Day Beef Stew

Busy Day Beef Stew

2 lb roast meat
8 c water
1 onion soup mix
2 c peel potato
2 t brown sugar
8 carrots, sliced
1 t salt
1 c frozen peas
1 t pepper
1 c frozen corn
5 T cornstarch
 6 T water

Place the meat in pot and sprinkle soup mix over all Brown Season. Pour water over top Cook low for 8 hours. Remove roast Stand for 5 minutes. Add vegies to pot Cube meat return to pot Cover Cook low another 2 hours. cornstarch and water Stir into stew cover Cook high 45 min.

The Day The Music Died

February 3rd was a very sad day in the music world in the year 1959. Rock and Roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were all killed in a plane crash. The pilot and musicians crashed in Clear Lake, Iowa and that was the day "The Music Died".

Buddy Holly and his band had been playing on the "Winter Dance Party" tour across the Midwest. Rising artists Valens and Richardson were along on the tour. The tour and long rides between the venues had left the members of the bands on board cold, uncomfortable and tired of riding on tour buses. In addition the flu had struck the group and frostbite due to the long cold rides were beginning to affect members as well. The facts led Holly to charter a plane for him and his band members of Waylon Jennings, Tommy Allsup and Carl Bunch. Jennings gave the seat to Richardson who had the flu and was under the weather. A coin toss settled the fact that Valens would be a passenger on the plane rather than Allsup. The fate that would seal the deal and also stop the music for some awesome musicians who were stopped in their tracks at such a young age.

Carrot Spoon Cake

Carrot Spoon Cake

butter flavor Pam
box spice cake mix
2 c shredded carrots
1 box instant butterscotch pudding and pie filling mix
4 eggs
1 8oz can crush pineapple
1 c sour cream
1 c water
3/4 c oil
whip cream

Coat slow cooker with Pam Mix in bowl the cake mix, carrots, pudding, eggs, pineapple, sour cream, and oil. Beat with mixer 2 minutes Transfer to slow cooker. cover cook low 5 hours Serve warm with whip cream

source Sandra lee

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Paula Deens Gorilla Bread

Monkey Bread is a Southern treat of pull-apart bread sprinkled with cinnamon, sugar, butter and pecans. But Ms. Paula takes it one step further -- by adding a slab of cream cheese smack in the middle of the biscuit dough. I can't describe the fattening goodness of this concoction.
. Some would recommend eating this for breakfast but I'm just not a huge sweets-in-the-morning person, so I save it for other occasions. Prepare to be addicted. But don't say I didn't warn ya.

Paula Deen's Gorilla Bread (adapted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits (10 count)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
or 3/4 cup chopped walnuts + 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray (I found success with a regular round pan). Mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over low heat, stirring well; set aside. (Add a few splashes of rum and cook an additional minute or two. Or use a different flavored liqueur or flavored extract.)
Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal cubes. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with cinnamon sugar. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit, wrapping and sealing the dough around the cream cheese. (I found it worked best to make these into balls and then squashing them back into biscuit size to fully enclose the cream cheese.)
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan. Place half of the prepared biscuits in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, pour half of the melted butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup of nuts.
Layer the remaining biscuits on top, sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, pour the remaining butter mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a plate on top and invert.

Love Your Feet

February is the month with the holiday that offers lots of love is found. Valentines day celebrates love for each other but I believe it can also celebrate the love for yourself as well. Our feet are often depended on but often overlooked. We should care for our feet by offering them love as well.

Foot Care Tips, how to Get Pretty:

1-Wash your feet daily and use a brush to clean between toes to scrub away dirt and grime.
2- Use a good quality lotion to moisturize you feet.The foot skin is rough so it is necessary to mostrize
3-After washing your feet use a clean towel to dry to prevent from fungus and red faking skin between fingers.
4-Always cut nails straight and smooth them by using emery board.
5-If your skin is dry it is better to use cream and petroleum jelly to prevent from  skin cracking.
6-When you sit down do not cross your legs it will limit blood circulation towards feet.
7- If you have corns and calluses do not treat it yourself, consult podiatrist.
8-It is good that you daily inspect your feet to aware of redness or blisters, cuts and cracks.
9-Use good quality socks like cotton and avoid nylon other local bad material socks.
10-Wear good and comfortable shoes in which your feet are comfortable and you have no problem in walking because if your shoes are not comfortable then you will have many feet problems.

National Parent Leadership

February is National Leadership Month It is a month dedicated to recognizing the important role of parents. It takes a deeper look at parents raising healthy families in their homes and communities. Events across the U.S. will take place to present information on how parents and foster parents can become active leaders in promoting positive behaviors and preventing childhood injuries.

Every year there are hundred of thousands of children and adolescents at high risk for injury. Child abuse and neglect can lead to death or disability. Every year Thousands of children are determined to have been abused. Children who experience maltreatment are at an increased risk for adverse health effects and behaviors as adults. Smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, obesity, depression, suicide, multiple sex partners, and chronic diseases can all be related to childhood abuse.

Throughout the month of February take note of the many family activities that I share here on Annies Home. Being a strong parent means so many things from bringing up family teaching them right to caring for family with proper health and diet as well as having fun with family and spending time so that they know you love them.

What is Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day always falls on February 2nd. This year it falls on a Tuesday but the day of the week does not matter for this holiday it is a set day. This year I hope it is cloudy and a bit rainy without sun. The groundhog will emerge from his home to decide what the weather for the next 6 weeks will be If he does not see his shadow then an early spring will come however, if he does see his shadow 6 more weeks of winter we will have.

Many will think of the popular 1993 movie Groundhog Day where Bill Murray lived the day over and over again. Some others may creatively make a play on the day and host groundhog themed parties. There is one place where Groundhog day is taken very seriously. In Punxsutawney Pennsylvania Ground Hog parties take on a whole new theme.

February 1841 a Pennsylvania storekeeper named James Morris began the Groundhog Tradition which later would be adopted as a U.S. holiday. The editors of the Pennsylvania newspaper took not that Punxsutawney Spirit would be the groundhog spokesperson and meteorologist in 1871.

The groundhog is closely related to the squirrel family. Many are known as woodchucks as well. However it is the groundhog who is celebrated with an early morning festivals all over the U.S. There are partners of Phil the famous groundhog all over the place. It will be the groundhog who determines the rest of winter with the next 6 weeks being good weather or bad determined  by his shadow.

Groundhog Day Parties are great reasons to celebrate. Mardi Gras and the Superbowl are close to come but while we wait why not party with the groundhog in hopes that he does not see his shadow.


Celebrate Crepe Day with Banana Crepes

Crepes are common in French style cooking. They are similar to very thin pancakes and are commonly made from wheat or buckwheat flour. The word crepe means "curled" Crepes are common in France, Belgium, Quebec and many other parts of Europe, North Africa and South America.  They can be served very simple or very elaborate.

1 cup Buckwheat Flour-Whole
 3 each Large Raw Egg White-Each
 ½ cup Skim Milk
 3 oz-wt Apple Juice-Frozen Concentrate
 3 each Banana , peeled & sliced
 1 teaspoon Cinnamon-ground
 ¼ teaspoon Cloves-Ground
 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  teaspoon splenda
 Pam non-stick spray

· For the Banana filling
1. In a large hot skillet place banana.
2. When the banana starts to brown add remaining ingredients.
3. Cook until the liquid is gone and the bananas are golden brown.
4. Roll the banana filling inside crepe and serve warm.
· For the Crepe
1. In a blender mix flour, egg white, milk & 2 tablespoons of apple juice concentrate until smooth.
2. Let batter sit for 10 minutes before cooking.
3. In a small omelet pan spray with Pam.
4. Ladle a small amount of batter to make a thin crepe.
5. When crepe starts to bubble slightly on the inside turn over.
6. Cook for 10 more seconds and lay out on a baking sheet.
7. Serve hot

Heavenly Hash

Heavenly Hash is one of those versatile dishes you could serve as a salad or light dessert.    


1       can (20 - oz) crushed pineapple or tidbits, well drained
1       8 - oz container whipped topping
1       cup flaked coconut (I used unsweetened)
2       cups miniature marshmallows
1/2    cup chopped maraschino cherries
3       tablespoons milk (I used 2 tablespoons of the cherry juice to give it a pink color)

Thoroughly mix all the ingredients.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.

recipe source here

Feeding WIld Birds

The other day as I took a ride through the foot hills of southern Illinois I noticed many deer out in the open. The reason they were so out in the open is because they were looking for food. Many of those that live near the Shawnee have placed corn , feed and etc.. to help out the wildlife when the winter has left them with less. Here at home I notice birds in the yard that rely on individuals to feed them as well. Want to help out? I am sure the birds would appreciate it. Here are some tips I have found useful:

When purchasing bird seed look for high quality seed. Sunflower seed, maize and peanut granules are great. Others containing small and large seeds makes it more useable to many types of birds. Mixes containing split peas, lentils, beans, rice should be avoided as smaller birds can not use this type of seed. Place the seed in a bird feeder, sprinkle on the ground or spread out on a table are all acceptable ways of feeding the birds.

Robins and blackbirds may appreciate a treat of meal worms as well. You can purchase these from pet shop or garden center.
Fat balls offer birds food and energy in the winter. Made up of lard, suet, nuts, cereals and sunflower seeds. Sparrows, starlings, blackbirds all welcome fat balls. Purchase fat balls in pet shops or garden centers or you can make your own. Fat balls may be sold in mesh bags that need removed before hanging for the birds. Fatty food sources are hard to come by in the winter and fat balls help birds replace the natural source.

Like food water is hard to come by as well. The birds would love for you to offer them a bit of water as well. Simply placed in a large bowl the birds will find it easily Remember it is cold outside so the water bowl will have to be changed from time to time.

I Love EWE Valentine Craft


This was such a darling idea! And boy friendly too! Plus, mommy is missing her Strasburg Ram home so much--it fit in perfectly.

Now, my toddler was too young to make this by himself, and I am all for printable as a base. So, I found a site that let me use a clip art image of a sheep and add my own text! how cool is that.

To make this craft you will need:
  • Printable
  • Crayons/markers
  • Cotton Balls
  • White glue (do not try to use glue stick!)
I had my toddler color his page first, and then we added the glue (he helped--a lot!). I started with whole cotton balls, but quickly realized they were too big. So, I pulled the cotton apart in sections and it came out just as cute and fleecy.

Click to enlarge the printable and save or print or however you best do it.

shared at
inspiration monday

Senior care In The WInter

As the weather gets cold and nature changes from rain to snow and ice there are those among us who may need a bit more care. The senior population are a strong generation that wants little to no help. But as ice, snow and cold temperatures make life challenging for everyone with slippery sidewalks the older population may need more help among us. Winter dangers seem to plague seniors with more injuries and illnesses than other populations. Here are some tips for seniors and those of us who love them.

Slipping on Ice seems to be among the top reasons injuries occur. Seniors are often plagued with  falls and these are a common occurrence in the winter months. Major injuries like hip and wrist fractures, head trauma and major lacerations can all be results of falling. Every age may take a tumble on the ice but it seniors take longer time to heal from these injuries. In order to avoid such injuries make sure to wear shoes with good tractions and non skid soles and stay inside til the roads are clear. Worn cane tips should be replaced for safety sake. When returning home after being out in the weather take off shoes so that snow and ice can not be tracked through the interior.To find out more, read o ur article on Preventing Senior Falls

Cold temperatures and the exposure to it can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. The CDC gives the fact that half of all hypothermia related deaths were people over the age of 65. Many of our seniors worry about their energy bills rising and keep the temps inside down. Likewise, they may not dress properly when going outside on frigid days. All exposed skin should be covered by cloth of some sort from layers of clothing to scarves to cover mouth and face. Body temp should never go lower than 95 anything lower shows a need for immediate medical assistance.

Wintertime Depression is dangerous as well.  Seniors who have less contact with others during cold months seem to suffer from Wintertime Depression the most. Feelings of loneliness and isolation become apparent. Friends and family can help battle this by stopping in for short visits.

Driving out on winter elements is dangerous for everyone but may be more for seniors who have slower reflexes.  Cars should be serviced for winter before the season begins. Having the oil changed, tires and battery checked and wipers replaced if needed all make a difference for winter time drives. Not for sure if the senior in your life should be driving read this helpful post. Warning Signs a Senior Shouldn't Be Driving

Winter storm may lead to the power being knocked out. It is best to be prepared for power outages Flashlights and a battery powered radio should be in a close location. Warm blankets and non perishable foods is something that should be on hand as well. If power does go out be sure to wear layered clothes including a hat to keep body temp raised.

Being prepared is the top tool of taking care of yourself in the winter time. Don't be afraid to ask for help with ice and snow being removed, arrange rides to the store and dr and take advantage of any program in your local area.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Canned Food offers Moms a Hand Up

Now days moms are super busy. Not that they were not 20 years ago but to me I think the world is going faster and that means we all must be a bit busier. I am a working mom who loves my job, to spend time with my family and write on my blog as well. So when it comes time to prepare meals I look for great food but shortcuts whenever they are available. Using canned foods is one shortcut that I often use.
One of our favorite meals that uses canned foods is Taco Soup. A quick way to create a family meal that both pleases the teens and is nutritious.

Taco Soup

1 lb lean ground beef (or turkey)
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg taco seasonings
1 pkg dry Ranch seasonings
2 large cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can Rotel tomatoes, undrained
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can whole kernel corn

Brown meat and onion. Drain. Add seasonings. Drain beans and corn. Add to meat along with tomatoes. Simmer until well blended and hot. Eat and enjoy.
Add a bit of grated cheese or sour cream and this simple soup is perfect for cold

Mexican Dorito Chicken

14 - Cooked chicken tenderloins (cut into pieces)
2 - Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 - Cup of Milk
2 - Packs Taco Seasoning
2 - Cups Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
1 - Cup Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese (for the topping)
1 - Cup Sour Cream
1 - Bag Doritos Nacho Cheese Chips (16.875oz) I buy it at Sam's Club 
Mix all ingredients except for the 1 cup of cheese for the top and the Doritos.
Use a baking dish like a 9 x 11 or 9 x 14 size.  Spray the pan with non-stick spray and be sure to spray the sides too.
Crush the Doritos in the bag.  Pour half the bag of crushed chips into the baking dish.  Spoon half the chicken mixture ontop of the crushed Doritos.  Pour the remaining Doritos ontop of the chicken mixture and then add the other half of the chicken mixture.
Top with the 1 cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese.
Bake at 350 until bubbly.

Magic Cookie Bar

Magic Cookie Bar

1 c butter
3 c graham crumbs
2 can condense milk
4 c chocolate chips
3 c coconut
2 c chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees In a 9 x 13 pan Melt the butter Sprinkle graham crumbs over top Layer ingredients in order given. Press down all with fork. Bake 25 minutes Cut in bars

shared at
tuesdays with a twist 

Valentine Gift Toddlers can make

Isn't this the sweetest! Super easy to do, and whom ever you give it to will surely love it!!

To make this craft you will need:
  • Red paint
  • Construction paper
  • One pair of adorable hands
Simply paint press your child's hand (either one) on the paper at a slight angle. Clean that hand up and paint the other one. Turn the paper so it is easier for you and your child. Line up the fingers with the last set and turn their hand to an angle. Simple heart!

I added a heart outline to mine since his hands are so small and it may not have been apparent that it was a heart. And, I love to add simple rhymes to the paper as well.

Happy Valentine's Day!

**Don't forget that date at the bottom!!**

Construct a Blanket Fort

Cabin Fever set in yet or have you been lucky enough to have some great weather like we did here in southern Illinois. When children have to much inside time they often get bored which is not a good thing for those that love them. Today I am sharing a great idea that you can do with your child and they can spend hours having fun in and with

Building forts, homes, tents whatever they are called in your area is something that I did when I was a kid, my children did when they were kids and my grandbabies love to do as well Blanket forts are great to build with your child. There are many ways to build a blanket fort but I believe the easiest way is to drape a large sheet over the table and crawl under. Use the chairs to build on extra rooms. If you have a set of bunk beds hang a sheet over by tucking it under the top mattress and cover the bed below. By now you are getting the point of what a blanket fort is and ideas of how to build one.

  • Blankets, sheets, or quilts — and for added versatility, include a couple of fitted sheets
  • Pillows
  • Chairs
  • Tables, a sofa, or a bed — something as a main anchor
  • Clothespins or tape

Prep work and safety

After you’ve gathered all the supplies, you’ll need to prepare the space for construction. Look for a large space close to large furniture or a bed to use as a main anchor point. You’ll also need to clear out any breakable or valuable objects, as forts tend to be demolished once the children are tired of the creation.
You’ll also want to stay away from small tables or pieces of furniture that could fall over on the kids while they play.

Step 1

After you’ve located your space, spread a large sheet over the anchor piece of furniture, like the back of a sofa or the top of a table — in my house we’ve used our piano.
A handy tip: if you are using the back of a sofa as an anchor, use a fitted sheet to hold it more securely.

Step 2

Spread the sheet out and drape it over other pieces of furniture. Use additional sheets and blankets to add more room in the fort. You can either overlap the sheets as they drape over the anchors, or secure them with clothespins or tape (you can also anchor down the corners and sides with heavy objects or books, although it’s not recommended as they could be pulled down on the kids as they play).

Step 3

Bring in chairs or a tall support of some kind to prop up the middle of the sheet. You can use a tri-pod, a bar stool, or another sofa. Avoid using lamps or other objects that may easily fall over. Wherever you see sags in the sheets, simply bring in another chair or support to get the sheet to the desired height.
For advanced builders only: Mount removable 3M hooks in the ceiling, drop string from them, and attach clothespins or potato chip clips to the end of the string. Then clip the blanket or sheet to the clips in order to create a floating ceiling.

Step 4

Once the roof is up, use the extra blankets or pillows to fill in the gaps. You may not get every gap covered — no worries, just use that gap as another door or window.

Step 5

Create a front entrance. No fort is complete without a main door. You can use a pillows, or if you want to really get into it, use a cardboard box as a tunnel entrance

Step 6

Stock it with necessary supplies. This will include whatever age appropriate toys or items your kids want: stuffed animals, sleeping bags, flashlights, puzzles, flat screen TV with DVD player, cold beer and pretzels (oh wait — those last few are my supplies). You get the idea.

Step 7

Step back and enjoy your awesome creation.  It’s time to play.
One final tip: get in the fort with your kids. Let them be in charge of the play. It can be a great experience together.