Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wonder Woman's 3rd birthday

This is one of my favorite times of the year!! I love birthday parties! I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I do, but I absolutely love planning my kids parties. This year I asked my daughter what kind of party she wanted and she said, without skipping a beat, "Wonder Woman!" She is her father's child after all. So another super hero party was done and it was WONDERful! Lets start with the amazing cupcakes we did this year. 

As always, we order from my amazing sister in law! www.arayofcakes.com. She does such a great job every time!

And what Wonder Woman little girl could have a party without a tiara just for her. This was her cupcake!

I didn't have a cupcake stand and I couldn't find one that fit my needs, so I got creative. I went to the dollar store, bought a small vase, and then decorated a piece of paper that I cut to fit inside! And ta-da!! A make-shift cupcake stand to display the birthday girls cupcake!

My sister in law, aside from her delicious cakes and cupcakes, also makes cake balls! And let me tell you, they are my favorite! She has many flavors and flavors of the month. The mint chocolate chip and the chocolate chip cookie dough are a couple of my all time fave's!

And because I am a sucker for themes, I had to have POPcorn. You know like in the old comic cartoons where it says, "POW" or "KABOOM". So we had "POP"corn. I know...I'm so clever, right?

I needed to have something else sweet for people to snack on, so I decided to make my homemade sugar cookies! (Recipe at the bottom of this blog). These are so delicious and the perfect cookie because they keep their shape when you use cookie cutters. I made red, white and blue star cookies with sprinkles on the blue and the white ones. 

And since I had the star cookie cutter out, why not cut the watermelon I had into star shapes as well? 

For favors, I wrapped some of the cookies I had up with a tag that said, "Thank you for coming! I hope you had a WONDERful time!" I do love my themes. 

Throw a veggie platter at the end of the table and this was her table! Popcorn, cookies, cake balls, watermelon and veggies with dip! And cupcakes to finish off this beautiful day at the park. 

I wasn't sure if it was going to rain or not, but it turned out to have sunshine and warmth so the kids to go run and play at the park. I was so proud of my little 3 year old! I love that amongst every theme she could have picked, she wanted something different and fun! O is coming into her own. She has a vibrant personality, is independent, funny, charming, beautiful and has the best curls around! Happy birthday, Wonder Girl! I love having you in my life!

Sugar Cookies (I make these every Christmas because they are great for cookie cutters!)

2 sticks softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350

Beat the butter with granulated sugar until well combined and creamy. Then, with the mixer on low, add the confectioners sugar until incorporated. Turn the mixer on high and beat until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and the vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients a cup at a time until its all mixed well. Chill the dough for 30 minutes. 

Use a tablespoon to get dough and roll into balls then place on a baking sheet. Flatten them down some. Sprinkle with sugar or sprinkles prior to baking. Or, flour a surface, roll dough into a flat sheet about 1/4 inch thick. Cut shapes out and place on cookie sheet. Depending on size, bake 12-15 minutes until slightly golden. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Manners are important. They are important for kids to learn, important for us to remember and important for general behavior in society. I have seen a great decline in manners over the years and it breaks my heart! Kids are not as respectful and kind, and parents seem to make more and more excuses for their kids to make it ok that they aren't. Its not ok in our house and my kids will learn that you have to respect authority in public and be kind to others even if you don't agree, like it or think others deserve it.

Since my son was 2 years old, we started saying that the one thing we are always is respectful and kind. We taught him to say no thank you if he didn't want to do something and imprinted in him the importance of always saying thank you and your welcome. (keep in mind, just because he says no thank you, doesn't always get him out of doing something. Sometimes, they have to do it even though they were nice about saying no.) Our kids have opinions about people, activities and things, just as every other kid does. My husband and I were to a point where we were trying to figure out, how do you make them be respectful if the other person is in the wrong or if they don't want to participate? For instance, X had an issue with people he didn't see often, like relatives from out of town. When they would come to visit, we would say, "go hug so and so" and he would scream and cry about it. I thought, why are we making him hug everyone? He's more of an introvert, and it takes him time to get used to people. By the end of the evening, he would hug everyone, gladly!! So how do we, as parents, teach our kids different options to these scenarios? We decided, ok, you don't have to hug them if you don't want to, BUT you will be respectful and kind in the process. So we taught him to politely say, no thank you. We want our kids to have opinions and we want them to be able to express themselves thats in line with their personalities, but we don't want them to be rude!

I could not be more proud of my kids and the progress that we've made in this. We still have instances where we are sad or upset about something, which is completely normal, healthy and part of growing up. However, within feeling all the emotions we have in those circumstances, we need to be polite. We say no thank you or express our feelings without yelling, crying or being upset. We aren't always perfect and as our 4 year old is coming into his 5's, he has learned to have an attitude and say things like, "I'm frustrated" or "I'm mad at so and so because..." This weekend he got mad at his grandma because she wouldn't let him have dessert until he finished his dinner even though I had given him permission. There was miscommunication and he was quite upset and mad at his grandma. After we told him to be kind, use his words and talk to her about it, he did. And he managed to tell her how he felt about it, in a kind, but firm tone; and they were able to work it out. I was proud of him because there are times that even I don't want to calmly discuss things.

And then there's my wonderful husband who has started to teach our son what being a gentleman is. He holds the doors for us now and lets his sister and I go first. My husband felt it was super important to teach him how to be a gentleman now. He also wants to teach his daughter how a gentleman should treat her, so that they both grow to know how to treat others better, and how they should expect to be treated. I want my daughter to know that you are worth something! And a man needs to treat you that way. And I want my son to grow up knowing he is worth something. That as he treats women with respect, he deserves to be treated like the man he is worth.

All of this is so important; and it all starts now at this young age. Our children need to learn to respect us, even when they're mad at us. They need to know how to treat policeman, teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents even if they don't like the rules. They will be better people for it. They will treat others well and in turn, we hope that they get the respect and the kindness they deserve. I know that as they grow and get older, reach teen years and adulthood, that this method will change as our kids develop who they are. But I hope, that my husband and I, can at least get the foundation instilled in them to treat others the way you want to be treated, to be respectful and kind even in hard times, and to stand up for yourself in a healthy way when you need to. We are constantly learning too and we will never stop trying to be the best parents and people we can be. I hope that we can always be examples for them and as a result, they grow up to be people in this world that make a difference, no matter how big or small. And I feel like all this starts with a child who has manners.

Friday, September 18, 2015

School started!

School started!! I have had a lot of very mixed emotions about it since it all began. I've been excited, sad, anxious, lonely, happy and proud. And its all kind of mixed up in one big pile of crazy. This is the first year where I don't have a kid with me. I actually have a few days a week where I am alone and I guess can get things done. I say that, but as of right now, I am not sure what to get done.

O started the 2 1/2 year old preschool class and I swear, didn't even really look back. She did hug me and then off she went to have fun. She was actually a little sad when I first got there to pick her up. What a sweet, little independent child I have. Thats where the excited, sad, anxious, happy and proud part came in. She has already learned so much and wants to go back every day! Thank goodness I still get her a couple times a week.

As for X, he was so ready to start, he knew his teacher and most of his friends names before his first day. He gets to start so many new things this year and he can't wait. I love how far he has come from the little boy who cried for nearly 6 weeks straight every time I dropped him off at MDO, to this confident, mature 4 1/2 year old who strode into class without thinking twice.

As for me, well, I need a hobby. Any suggestions? I'm open for ideas. :) I enjoy doing errands with my kids and we really do everything together, so the thought of running a bunch of errands without them just doesn't seem like much fun. So, I'd like to start doing something fun. I plan on working out while they're in school and I do want to read a little more, but I've always been crafty and would really like to do something along those lines.

Anyway, we are finally starting to get into the full swing of things and I couldn't be more proud of those two. I hope that they learn more than I could have ever thought to teach them (which they will given teaching little ones is SO not for me) and that they make friends, play hard and love school! X is even starting to read which is amazing and I love seeing the progress!! **Sigh** I just love my little loves growing up. (But I'd be ok if they stopped just a little...every now and again, just for me.)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Picky eaters

Full confession: I am a picky eater. I always have been, and I think I always will be. My husband told me that as I got older my taste buds would change, and to some extent, they have! Yeah! But there is still an array of things I do not like and will not eat. I have my quirks and I am ok with them. But what do you do when you want your child to be healthy, eat from all the food groups and you won't touch half of what you feed him? I admit that in the beginning I felt guilty because I wanted my son to keep eating the foods he so willingly ate before he got a mind of his own, yet I wasn't going to sit next to him and eat it with him. So what was I to do? Lets start at the beginning...

He ate all sorts of food as a baby! He loved anything we put near him. Then somewhere around 1 1/2-2 years he decided...NO THANK YOU to most foods. Understand, that my children are both in the 5th percentile for weight. So I wasn't too concerned about what he wanted to eat because truthfully he needed some fat. My child's favorite foods consisted of pasta, grains, carbs and chicken. Thats it. He didn't like fruits, he didn't like vegetables and he didn't like any other meat. But my thought process through it all was this: he's growing, he's developing just fine, he's never been sick, he's healthy and happy, and I hated being force fed foods I didn't want to eat, so I'll let him be. I let him eat from those groups, asking him periodically if he'd like to try something we were eating. I often put new foods on his plate, along with his usuals, to see if he'd try it and to get him exposed to new foods. He didn't like them. Our philosophy was, you don't have to like it, but you do need to try one bite and be polite about it (a new post about manners next time!! We didn't tolerate yelling, screaming or being rude.). If you don't like it, say no thank you, and the discussion is closed. And this is how the next 2 years went. He did add some things to his repertoire such as, taco meat, chips, apples, pretzels, and eventually carrots. Not exactly the best diet, but we were getting somewhere.

***Side note: We did talk to his pediatrician about it to make sure he was getting the vitamins and such he needed. We were told to let him eat and grow the way he is for now and not stress too much about it. We just kept exposing him to different foods, hoping he would branch out. We also did give him a vitamin supplement in his drink so that he did get more.

Then something happened! Around 4, he started looking at what we were eating and saying, "can I try some of that?" Of course!!! We stuck to the same rules of be polite even if you don't like it and you only have to try one bite. Oh man!! The doors of new foods started to open left and right! He now eats spinach, salads, corn, bananas, cheese, yogurt, soups, casseroles, and he will try ANYTHING you put in front of him no matter what it is with no complaint!

About a month ago, something else changed. He said, "Mommy, I don't want to have to eat chicken anymore. Why do we ALWAYS have to eat chicken?!" My response was simple, "because you won't eat any other meats." From then on, he asked for ANY meat but chicken. This kid now eats, burgers, steak, chicken fried steak, ham, turkey, pulled pork and pretty much any other meat you put in front of him. Yeah for him!!

This is what I learned from all this. I am proud of him! And I am glad that I wasn't so harsh about it in the beginning because he may have grown to not like more and resent us for making him eat something he didn't want to. My husband made a good point the other day about how he learned he could trust us and that helped a lot. X knew that when we said only one bite, we really were only going to make him eat that one bite, so he never complained about having to try something. And his response to did you like it, usually was, "no thank you." But eventually his plate got boring and he was ready to venture out. I love that now, I can put anything on his plate and he will try it. Most of the time he will eat it all and then say I don't want that again or that was delicious! I try to respect what he likes and doesn't and steer clear of some of his dislikes. And there have been times when I order him or make some meat and he turns his nose up to it. His option is eat that or the chicken nuggets from the freezer. He usually replies with "I'll just eat this". Seriously, this kids is so anti chicken right now. This has also made our lives easier in the dinner department because whatever I make, everyone eats. I no longer make a meal he'll approve of and then make a meal the rest of us will eat. Life got way easier!

I could learn a lot from X. I need to start trying one bite of something and seeing where my taste buds will take me too! So to all the parents of picky eaters out there, don't stress too much, give them some choice and freedom to like or dislike something and let them come to you when you're eating something thats way better than what they have...and healthy too!! Until next time...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Team work

Running a household and a business, along with raising two little kids is not always easy. We have a budget, business expenses, household expenses and so much more to have to figure out. When you first get married, things are wonderful and looking long term at all the joys of budgets, parenting, and general grown up stuff is really not in the forefront or our minds. Yet, 7 years later here we are in the midst of it all. There are days when its hard and months where we go over budget. There are days when we look at each other and wonder how in the world are these two kids going to listen and mind when we, ourselves, are still trying to figure out parenting. But with all that said, I wouldn't want to do it with anyone else.

Sure, you can think about what it would be like to have your own money, live alone and spend what you want on what you want and not have to share with anyone. But I wouldn't have it any other way. My life is so much more complete now than it was 10 years ago. Even though living within a budget has its good and bad months, I still would rather share that with my husband than do it alone.

There is something to be said about teamwork. We often say around here "Team Ray!" We do it with our kids and with each other. We want our kids to know that we operate as a team during hard times, good times...all the time! Its nice to know that you can talk to someone who will help you work through the problems. Its awesome to have someone that you can look at and say, "I don't know how to deal with X's attitude" or "O's continued lack of listening skills". I love that we can sit down and talk, be frustrated and be upset at the situation, but still love each other unconditionally through it all. Its not ever his fault or my fault, its our fault and our solutions that get us through the rough patches. And they aren't all rough patches. We have a lot of confused patches and questionable patches. We are constantly having new patches of "what do we call this one?" Our kids are entering different stages in life. We are moving out of the toddler years and into big kid years where attitudes, opinions and questions have become a daily part of our lives. And we don't always have the answers. But we have each other. To me, that is the best tool we have.

We don't always agree on the solution, but depending on the problem and who's more invested in it, we have found that we surrender, we follow and we back up whoevers solution is the one we are going with. We even have times where that solution didn't work and we say, "ok, what was yours? Mine failed. #parentingfail!" (another common saying in our house) But I constantly thank God for the person He let me marry. I am in constant awe of His grace and the blessing I have of getting to spend the rest of my life with someone who will help me tackle life's problems. I love that we are apart of something bigger than bills, parenting, and the daily grind. We get to raise two beautiful, smart, independent thinking children who are funny, creative and just pure awesome! We get to share in life together! My husband and I are constantly laughing, trying to be goofy for each other and finding common interests together as we age and find new things we like. We aren't the same people we were when we got married. Our lives have changed, our interests have developed and our priorities are different, but our hearts for one another are bigger, our passion for each other is stronger and we have a much firmer stance in what we want in life together.

Life is messy, not easy, sometimes down right unfair and hard. But having a companion, a soul mate, a friend, a teammate to go through it with you, makes all the difference in the world. It makes the dark times brighter, the bright times better and overall, makes life worth living!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cookie swirls

We have had a lot going on in our house the last couple weeks and sometimes, instead of going over some scary things we have to face in our future, you just need to take a break and make some sweets. So this post is a light hearted post about how to make some delicious cookies! 

Cookie Swirls
2 boxes of cake mix (any flavor) I personally love yellow cake and chocolate together!
4 eggs (2 for each box)
4 teaspoons of milk (2 for each box)
2/3 cup of oil (1/3 for each mix)

Add one cake box mix into a mixing bowl, and add eggs, milk and oil.

Do the same for the second box of cake mix.

Mix well, until this yummy batter looks like this!

Do the same for the second box. Pretty easy so far, huh?

Then cover them both with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Believe me, you will want to do this. Otherwise, the batter is too delicate to work with.

This is a little girl who is waiting anxiously for some cookies! "Mommy, take a picture of me!" How could I resist?

After 30 minutes, scoop a teaspoon and a half of one batter and roll into a ball. Set aside.

Now, do the same with the second batter.

Then combine the two and roll into one big ball.

Place a couple of inches apart on a cookie sheet. I could eat these like this! But lets bake them...


Bake at 375 for 12 minutes and they come out looking oh so good!!! 

So, if you need something sweet in your life that is decadent and worth all the work, these cookies are for you. Here's the recipe written out. Enjoy and until next time.

Cookie Swirls
2 boxes of cake mix (any flavor) I personally love yellow cake and chocolate together
4 eggs (2 for each box)
4 teaspoons of milk (2 for each box)
2/3 cup of oil (1/3 for each mix)

In a mixing bowl, add the cake mix, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons of milk and 1/3 cup of oil. Mix well until there are no clumps. Do the same with the second box of mix.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then take a teaspoon and scoop about a teaspoon and a half of batter and roll into a ball with your hands and set aside. Do the same with batter #2. Then roll both balls into one big ball and place onto a cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 12 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool completely. Makes around 15 cookies.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Our life here is pretty easy. We have great kids who are healthy and growing like they are supposed to, happy and well adjusted. So when something difficult comes along in our lives, it often hits us harder than it should. About a year ago, we started noticing that our son's left eye was going in a little further than it should. Our kids are rarely sick, so we were never in the dr's office for me to ask about it. I decided to wait until his 3 year old checkup to ask since it wasn't that far away. The nurse practitioner saw him that day and we did ask and she assured us that we had nothing to worry about and advised us to just wait. I'm not sure what we were supposed to wait for and looking back I should have asked more questions, but I have grown to trust the people we take our children to for their health and prosperity. I didn't really think anything of it.

A few months later, I noticed it hadn't changed much and he was about to start school. I knew that he would go when he was 4 years old to get the hearing and eye tests, so I asked his teacher if she could see if he could go even though he was a year younger and get it looked at. She had the nurse look at it and decided that there was no concern, he was doing well in school and didn't appear to be having a hard time seeing. My daughter was to have her well check a couple months later, and I decided to ask the new pediatrician that we were going to about it then. I wasn't happy with the answers I had received so far, but I didn't necessarily think it was that big of a deal to need to be drastic and take matters into my own hands. At her well check, the dr looked at his eyes and said that they were moving together which was the big deal and since we were only 4 months out to his 4 yr old well check, we could wait until then. Which we did. Finally, it was his day to really talk about it. It had been a year and nothing had changed. The dr referred us to an eye dr and we went a few days later. We were told that his left eye was having a hard time strengthening and his right eye, which has perfect vision, was doing all the work. His left eye was essentially getting lazy. He needed glasses and to wear a patch a couple hours a day until further notice. I asked how long is further notice and the answer was until we say it's better. Meaning this could be a very LONG process. If nothing gets better, then the answer is surgery.

This information took me and my husband by complete surprise! I felt incredibly guilty for noticing the problem and not dealing with it sooner. The eye dr told us that if you catch it early, you have a chance of fixing it sooner. So to my husband and I, we felt like we had wasted an entire year that we could have been fixing this problem and instead we put it off. We were upset with some people along the way that told us to put it off. The entire thing was devastating for us. We felt for our kid, who by the way, took the eye test with no tears or worries, told us he could sit in the chair by himself, was super excited to hear that he would get glasses and will gladly tell you that they are "to help me see the wittle wetters (little letters)". So really, this was an issue my husband and I were having. Not our kid.

It's been a couple months and our child has taken it like a champ. It really showed my husband and I how to put things in perspective and go with the flow more like our 4 year old. He showed us that even amongst a shock or hard thing to think about dealing with, can be easy, not a big deal, and kind of fun!  Every night at patch time, he gets excited, claims he's Nick Fury, grabs his eye pad and enjoys the down time. I don't want to take away from anyone that has dealt with or is dealing with far greater things in life with their children. My husband and I have been reminded multiple times and shown the humility of our situation in comparison to others. We are so grateful for a God that has walked through this with us and helped us see that this, in retrospect, and in the grand scheme of life, is a minor bump that is easy to take and fix, even if we don't like it. Most of all, we have seen God's grace, humility, laughter, and greatness in our 4 year old son, who has taught us that you take life as it comes and move on. Thank you, X, for that! Thank you for showing mommy and daddy to chill, to let it go and keep our perspective about things in life. Its never easy to hear that your child isn't "perfect", though we know none of them are. Its never easy to think that he may need glasses for the rest of his life or even surgery, but OH MY GOSH! If thats the worse that is happening right now, then THANK YOU LORD for this life we live. Please understand, that in writing this, I am making fun of my husband and I and how we sometimes take life too seriously and how we are not by any means saying that our problem is the worst you can deal with. We understand there are far more parents in this world that deal with far more, and they are in our prayers. I thank God for teaching us new things daily and how to take things in stride and not let life get us down. We are here to live and to serve Him and I am thankful for that opportunity and to see Him more and more in our brave, courageous, and strong 4 year old! Oh and X, you are so handsome with glasses!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Happy 2nd birthday, Halloween style!

This is how busy we are and how so not altogether I am sometimes, that I blogged about my son's 4th birthday and I totally forgot to blog about my daughters 2nd birthday back in November! Oops. So, here its, the makeup blog to celebrate my brave, adventurous, energetic, sweet little girl. Her birthday is on November 5th and her birthday just worked out that we could have it the weekend before on November 1st, so my husband had the idea to have a halloween party and have the kids come in costume! We had a blast! I decorated with pumpkins and had a pink/orange pumpkin princess sort of theme. We had lots of fun orange foods and the most gorgeous princess cake!

We had an awesome set up with a bowl of little tangerines, a platter with yellow bell peppers, carrots and cauliflower to look like a candy corn, along with veggie dip. We had rice crispy treats with black and orange sprinkles, yummy cake balls, wheat thins and dip with the dips being held in hollowed out small pumpkins! They were so cute. Then I got a couple small pumpkins and used fabric paint to write her name and '2' on them and then placed them on candle stands.

I don't think we have ever had a more precious cake! My sister in law does all of our cakes and she out does herself every time! www.arayofcakes.com This cake was beautiful and sparkly! I couldn't cut into it!

Seriously, could she get any cuter?

We loved celebrating her! 

And for fun, this is what we went as for Halloween! Batman, Captain America, Superman and Super girl!

We loved having our friends and family over to say happy birthday to this beautiful little girl! We loved seeing all the costumes and having a fun halloween/pumpkin party for our daughter! I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful, beautiful, independent little superhero! Happy Birthday, O!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A superhero 4th birthday

How in the world do I have a 4 year old now? It seems like just yesterday he was a baby. My first born, who I still look at as my little one and not at all what he has become, which is a handsome big boy! He is so energetic, sensitive, wonderful, funny and one of the coolest kids I know. He loves superheroes, planes, helicopters, legos and games. He is a protector of his sister, a smart boy who loves to learn and a kid who has a heart for others. We could not be more proud to celebrate our Valentine baby this year. Valentines day changed for us 4 years ago and its no longer about dating my loved one, its about enjoying our gift to one another, and that's our little man! We had to have a superhero party because isn't that what every little 4 year old wants? So we decided that we would rent a bounce house...and not just any bounce house, a superman one. The kids loved it! And ours loved jumping in it before and after the party!

We decided to have a brunch which included:
Super fruit: blueberries, raspberries and strawberries served along side yogurt covered pretzels

Thor's hammers: cheese with pretzel sticks

Pigs in a cape: 

Fantastic cake balls, courtesy of www.arayofcakes.com

Eggs and Ham Unite: which was this awesome ham, egg and cheese biscuit that I made. (recipe at end of this post!)
Power punch: which was pineapple juice, orange juice and sprite. (recipe at end of post)
And of course, no superhero party is complete without a superhero cake! Courtesy of www.arayofcakes.com
Seriously, if you need a cake! She's the best!
The table was amazing and I had so much fun planning things for this lithe guy to have the best 4th birthday ever!
For party favors, I found these awesome totes and filled them with batman rings, spiderman masks, superhero erasers and bracelets!

I can't wait to watch this kid continue to grow and become such a polite, respectful, amazingly fun, hilarious, smart BIG boy! I have to say, that when we first found out we were having a boy, I was a little freaked out. I grew up mainly with my mom and sister and I had no idea what I was going to do with a boy. I now know more about superheroes, cars, star wars and legos than I ever thought I would...but my heart could not be more filled with joy and I am so happy that God intended for me to be a boy mom! I wouldn't trade it for the world! Happy birthday X!

Power Punch recipe: 
1 46 oz can of pineapple juice
1 can of frozen orange juice which I thawed beforehand 
1 2 liter bottle of Sprite! 
I put a cup of ice in as the party started so it would stay cold! I also doubled this recipe which was perfect.

Ham and Eggs Unite: 
1 1/4 Cups bisquick
1 pint of half and half
4 eggs
a good amount of salt and pepper
diced ham (however much you like. I used about a 1/2 lb of deli sliced ham that I diced up)
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese

Bake in a mini muffin pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

I actually made this mixture the night before and left it covered in the fridge. The next morning, you just spray a pan and you're ready to go!

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Now that the chaos of the holidays is over, sickness in our household is diminishing and things are starting to get back to normal, I feel that I can now blog. Its been a while, but sometimes with the day to day being so hectic and busy between thanksgiving and new years, its hard to find the time. We did survive the holidays and new years, and the weddings, and events and school programs, etc....see, BUSY!

So back to life. I love to cook. I have loved to cook ever since I went off to college and found myself inspired by my first small, run down kitchen in a duplex I rented my sophomore year. Plus, when you're on a budget, ramen noodles, pasta sides and spaghettios can get tiring and boring. I started making casseroles on a Sunday and eating off of them most of the week and trying something different from week to week. I really enjoyed it. Then came the holidays when I was at home or at a boyfriends family house, and I loved to help and pitch in. I started watching Food network and reading about cooking and collecting cookbooks. I felt passion and a yearning to want to learn more. 

Then I got married and as I started caring for another, my skills expanded quite a bit. I was cooking new things and trying new ingredients that I hadn't before and really learning to love it all. This only blossomed as I brought children into this world and now I feed 4 of us daily, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Staying home has only made these skills better.

Today is our 6th anniversary, and tonight, I am cooking up a mushroom stuffed beef tenderloin. I tried this recipe out 5 years ago when we first married and I remember thinking, I don't want to mess this up. I read and reread that recipe like 50 times trying not to make a mistake. And it took me forever to cook, because I was slow cutting and just not having the hang of my kitchen skills at full scale yet. Tonight, I am making it again. I haven't tried because I remember the process being so tedious and taking forever. But, I reread the recipe a couple days ago because my husband requested it, and to my surprise, it looked easy! I love it! I love that over the years, what once terrified me and seemed to daunting, I look at now and say, "oh i got this!". 

For Christmas this year, we even wrote a cookbook. My husband threw in a lot of grilling and smoking recipes and I did most everything else. We had some family recipes that we got from people and put those in as well and then had it professionally bound and shipped to us. It looked great and I was so proud of it. I loved it so much, that I have already started gathering recipes for book #2. 

So for those out there who are starting to learn to cook, or have some inspiration to do more, my advice is keep at it. The more you cook, the better you get at it. I have been cooking now for 10 years and I am so impressed with where I have come. I have to look back to what I used to know how to make to now, and I am pleasantly surprised by myself. That doesn't mean I don't make mistakes! In fact, a couple weeks ago, I had some melted butter and onions on the stove and I went to change clothes and brush my teeth, thinking I had time, and when I returned, they were burned. I haven't burned onions in years! So it happens. And you will make mistakes, but don't let that ruin your desire, passion, curiosity, whatever it is, to stop trying. I raise a spoon to all the foodies out there! Good luck, keep cooking and maybe someday I'll start sharing recipes on here too! Until next time...