Thursday, February 27, 2014

Food on Friday: Featuring Tanya


Welcome to Food on Friday! On the last Friday of each month, I am spotlighting other bloggers and their wonderful recipes. If you are interested in being a featured blogger, please email me at peedeemama@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

This month's featured blogger is Tanya at My Fruitful Home.
Tanya blogs at My Fruitful Home where she talks about the ups and downs of family life and creating a beautiful and loving home while living on a budget.

I love muffins. Don't you? They are such an easy breakfast, especially if you need something for "on the go." Tanya makes these A-MAZING blueberry muffins using pancake mix! You definitely need to check them out.


You can get to know Tanya better by visiting her at her Social Media homes.
website: http://www.myfruitfulhome.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myfruitfulhome
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kaitlyn24/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Myfruitfulhome

Do you have a recipe you want to share? Link up below.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Socks


Sassy Pants had practice this weekend. These are the socks she chose to wear. I found them funny. If you're not from South Carolina, the colors probably don't mean anything to you. The left sock is burgundy - the color of the University of South Carolina. The right sock is the orange of Clemson University. These 2 teams are THE rivals in SC. Of course that meant nothing to Sassy, who just wanted to make a fashion statement.

Do you have a wordless (or not so wordless) post to share? Link up below.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Food on Friday - Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Before I get to this week's recipe, I want to give you an opportunity to have a recipe featured here. On the final Friday of each month, I will feature another blogger's recipe. If you are interested in being the featured blogger next Friday (the 28th), please email me at peedeemama@gmail.com.

Most days we spend the majority of our afternoon at soccer practices and ballet rehearsals. It doesn't leave a lot of time for me to cook so I do a lot of slow cooker meals. I got this slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe from my Fix It & Forget It cookbook. I can remember my mom making chicken cacciatore when I was a child, but it wasn't in the slow cooker. She would stand over the skillet for a good long time getting it just right. I don't have that kind of time in the afternoons and evenings, so I was excited to find a slow cooker recipe to try.


Ingredients:
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
2 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 4 oz can sliced mushrooms

 Place onions in bottom of slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over hot spaghetti.

Do you have a recipe you'd like to share? Link up below.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Cozy Puppy

This is how the dog spends most of our school days, curled up on The Boy's lap UNDER the books.

Do you have a wordless (or not so wordless) post to share? Link up below.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

6 Confessions from a Closet Introvert

Image by Stuart Miles from Freedigitalphotos.net
 I have some confessions to make.

1. I am an introvert. I label myself a closet introvert because most people who know me in real life would be surprised to know that I am an introvert. Sounds a little strange, doesn't it? I work really hard to step outside my comfort zone to engage with other people. I teach a ladies' Sunday school class at my church. I sing in the church choir and in a small ladies' ensemble. I've even auditioned for some solos at church. It is HARD for me to do these things naturally.

2. Digital communication is much easier for me than interpersonal. It's far easier for me to send a text, email, or Facebook message than it is to make a phone call. It gives me time to get my thoughts organized. It's funny that I feel much less of an introvert when connecting with someone on Facebook or through blogging connections than I do when I'm having a face to face conversation.

3. I crave approval. Because I'm stepping outside of my comfort zone, I look for approval to make sure I'm doing things well (or even doing things correctly). It makes it worthwhile to hear that I did a good job on something.
4. Having a handful of my own children doesn't mean I am good at handling lots of children.  Even though I was a classroom teacher for many years before I decided to stay home with my own children, being around a lot of children at one time tends to overwhelm me. Mostly it's because of the noise. Even my own small people tend to generate more verbiage than I can handle most days.

5. Engaging with other people makes me tired. When I step out of that comfort zone, it takes a lot of energy. Here's an example: This past Sunday I taught my Sunday School class, sang in the worship service, engaged with my small people all afternoon, and finally entertained the girls' varsity soccer team that hubby coaches. By the end of the day, I was exhausted.

6. When I interact with people, I do so because I WANT to. If I spend time with you, it's because I care about you. I want to invest my time in you. Even being an introvert, other people are important to me, and I make every effort to make my relationships meaningful.


Friday, February 14, 2014

The Marriage You've Always Wanted - Review and Giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
Happy Valentine's Day! A day when you focus on relationships with the ones you love. One of my favorite authors about relationships is Gary Chapman, author of the Five Love Languages books. I was privileged to receive a new book by Chapman to review.

 About The Marriage You've Always Wanted
$15.99
144 pages
Moody Publishers

You can picture the perfect marriage in your mind, but re-creating it in reality doesn’t come easy. Trusted counselor and relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman reasons that the most sought-after ingredient in any marriage is true oneness. In The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, he presents expert wisdom and common sense methods to establishing that true unity on emotional and practical levels. Discover the wit and insight that makes his worldwide presentations and marriage conferences so popular. Are you trying to change your spouse? Do you know what it means to really love someone? Do you feel ignored or even alone in your effort to improve your marriage? Dr. Chapman has answers and action steps on topics from expressing your emotions to managing your money, all in a format that will have you and your spouse talking and learning with every page.

About Dr. Gary Chapman
As anyone who has attended one of his marriage conferences knows, Dr. Gary Chapman’s expertise in marriage begins with the success and failures he and his wife Karolyn have experienced in their marriage for more than 45 years. He is just the man to turn to for help on improving or healing our most important relationships. His own life experiences, plus over thirty-five years of pastoring and marriage counseling, led him to publish his first book in the Love Language series, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Many of the millions of readers credit this continual New York Times bestseller with saving their marriages by showing them simple and practical ways to communicate love.

Since the success of his first book, Dr. Chapman has expanded his Five Love Languages series with special editions that reach out specifically to singles, men, and parents of teens and young children.
He is the author of numerous other books published by Moody Publishers/Northfield Publishing, including Anger, The Family You’ve Always Wanted, The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and Hope for the Separated. With Dr. Jennifer Thomas, he co-authored The Five Languages of Apology.

Dr. Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, both airing on more than 400 stations. Dr. Chapman and his wife have two grown children and currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.

Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.

My Thoughts About The Marriage You've Always Wanted
Robb and I have been married for almost 18 years. If you're like I am, you got married with an idealistic view of what marriage would be. It took a while for me to realize that marriage takes work.
Whether you're engaged, newly married, or have been married for years, it's always important to continue to work on communication and oneness.

Dr. Chapman's book covers topics such as "Why Won't They Change?", "Who Takes Care of What?", and "Love and Money" from a Biblical perspective. Each chapter contains a practical "Your Turn" section, allowing you to put to use what you've read. One that I liked was:
"Forget about your feelings. You do not have to feel anything to love your partner. Feelings may change because of your actions, but feelings should not dictate your actions. Choose to love your mate, no matter how you feel." (p.51)

If you are married, plan to get married, or know someone who is getting married, I highly recommend this book. You can find more information about The Marriage You've Always Wanted by visiting the website, liking on Facebook, or following on Twitter. They also have a small group curriculum available

Not only was I offered the opportunity to review this book, but I also get to offer a copy to one of my readers. Enter the giveaway below for the opportunity to win your own copy of the book The Marriage You've Always Wanted. 
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Food on Friday - Valentine Chocolate Chip Bars


It's Valentine's Day, so I wanted to make a red, pink, and white treat for my small people. I found just the thing at Meatloaf and Melodrama. I tweaked it a bit since I'm not a big fan of a cinnamon and chocolate combination.
Valentine Chocolate Chip Bars
Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
red, pink, and white M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix melted butter with sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, beating well after each. Add vanilla and mix well. Gradually add flour, salt, and baking powder. Add chocolate chips. Press mixture into greased 9x13 baking pan. Add M&M's to the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until edges are slightly brown and toothpick comes out clean.


Do you have a recipe you want to share? Link up below.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Ice Droplets



We had an afternoon of freezing rain yesterday. These droplets are actually frozen this way off the leaves.

Do you have a wordless (or not so wordless) post to share? Link up below.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bas Relief Sand Art

This year in history, the small people and I have been studying the time period from the Civil War to present. A couple weeks ago, we read about Armenia and how the Armenians were treated badly by the Ottoman Empire because they were Christians, not Muslims.

While we were reading about Armenia, we learned about Armenian khachkars. A khachkar is a bas relief cross carved in stone found all over Armenia, especially erected to mark events of historical importance, like the Armenian massacre by Abdulhamid the Red.

The small people made sand art designs of khachkars, using glue and colored sand on a picture of a khachkar.

First, Trace the lines of the picture with glue, a small section at a time. Work from the top to the bottom so the sand won't mix.


Then cover the glue with sand, shaking off the excess.




This is a great way to do a bas relief of any detailed picture.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Food on Friday - S'mores Puppy Chow

I love s'mores, in any form or fashion. There's just something about the combination of graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate that makes my mouth water. When I found a recipe for a s'mores version of Puppy Chow at The Taylor House, I had to try it. It was delicious! Plus it made for an easy snack to take with us while we're out and about - just put some in a ziploc baggie and you've got a portable treat.

Ingredients:
8 squares Baker's semi-sweet chocolate
4 cups Rice Chex cereal
2 cups mini marshmallows
3 cups Golden Grahams cereal
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

Measure powdered sugar into a gallon ziploc bag and set aside. Melt Baker's chocolate in the microwave according to the package directions. Stir until melted and add the Chex cereal. Stir until the Chex is completely coated in chocolate. Add the Chex and chocolate to the powdered sugar and shake the bag. When the Chex is completely covered powdered sugar, put the mixture in a large bowl. Add Golden Grahams, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. Mix thoroughly and enjoy!

Do you have a recipe you'd like to share? Link up below.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Doll Clothes Superstore Review and discount

Disclaimer: I received one or more products for free in the hope that I would mention them on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Little Red absolutely LOVES her American Girl doll. She can spend hours and hours dressing and accessorizing her doll. She loves getting new outfits and dressing up her little friend. As her mom, I want to give her what she wants - new outfits, but I also want to be wise with my money and not spend a ridiculous amount on an outfit for a doll.

Enter Doll Clothes Superstore. They offer a wide range of attire for the most popular dolls and stuffed animals on the market. Not only do they have a wide variety, but their prices are very affordable. I knew we would want to buy American Girl doll clothes, but trying to just choose one outfit was difficult. There were so many to choose from! We ended up choosing the Blue Party Dress with Headband. Little Red was so excited when it got here; she raced right upstairs to get her doll all "dolled" up.
I was excited to see that the dress is extremely well made. As many times as it's going to go on and off the doll, it has to be! Shipping was extremely quick as well.

Not only does Doll Clothes Superstore have outfits for American Girl dolls, but they also have matching girl and doll clothes. They have sleepwear, dresses, and play outfits in sizes 2 all the way up to 14. What little girl doesn't love to dress like her best doll friend?

You can also find affordable outfits for My Twinn dolls, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Barbie Dolls, and Stuffed Animals.

I know where we'll be buying birthday and Christmas presents for little girls - Doll Clothes Superstore!

As a special gift to my readers, Doll Clothes Superstore is offering a special 10% discount with no minimum purchase required. Simply use the code "talesdcs" at checkout.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Snow Day

We don't get a lot of snow here. When we do, the small people make every moment worthwhile. Well, most of the small people; Ballerina doesn't like the snow so she stayed inside.

Little Red and the others had a snowball fight right after they went outside to play in our snow day last week.

Do you have a wordless (or not-so wordless) post you want to share? Link up below.

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