Jul 17, 2014

apple pie

i am slightly addicted to making new CLEAN recipes now...
{probably because that is all i can eat...for the next 26 days (and seriously counting-but that's a whole different post)}  

after making paleo chocolate chip cookies for the fam i decided i needed something sweet too.  i came up with this apple pie type thing.  it is just what the doctor ordered for my sweet tooth.  but i must admit, i do feel like i cheated...even though i don't think i did.

makes 2 servings (maybe 3 or 4 if you stretched it)

  • one apple
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 3-5 dates (i bet figs would be good too)
  • water (eye ball this amount)

  1. preheat oven to 350
  2. put cashews and almonds in blender until crumbly to form the crust
  3. line a small ramekin bowl (or some other bowl that can handle the oven) with the crust and gently press down
  4. place apples on top
  5. add a little bit of water
  6. add a few cut up dates on top and even some cinnamon
  7. i had some left over "crust" so i sprinkled a little on top...it was a bit too much when i actually ate it though (this is why you may have enough crust to make 3 or 4)
  8. bake for about 20-25 minutes


paleo mayo

i'm amazed at how many ingredients go into making things taste the way they do (and by that i mean, good)...EVERYTHING has added sugar (and usually not the good kind).  doing this whole30 has caused me to get creative with my foods.  i would like to make egg salad and tuna salad but i can't use regular mayo and i bet the kind i can have is wayyyyy tooooo expensive.  i found a paleo recipe in my blendtec book and tried it...not bad.  

**there are tons of whole 30 and paleo recipes online if you don't like this one

the pepper like things in the mayo are from the dijon mustard

  • 1 large egg AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon style mustard (watch ingredients)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup olive oil (wondering about coconut oil??)

**there are a couple of ways to do this...mine was made in a blendtec blender
  1. place ingredients (except olive oil) into blender in order as listed
  2. press the "pulse" button and hold for 10 seconds
  3. press the "speed" button until blender reaches speed 6-allow blender to run for 10 seconds-then slowly add the olive oil (add this graduallly until mixture has thickened
  4. allow blender to run for about 1- to 15 more seconds
  5. refrigerate 30 minutes
  6. enjoy!!


Jul 16, 2014

40 what?

did i mention that i recently turned 40?...i know what you are thinking..."she doesn't look a day over 25."  well, it is true.  

and...since i am a hunger games addict, i decided to make it centered around this theme.  now, now, before you go judging me for picking such a negative and horrible theme...i kept the....hmmm, shall we say "elimination," on the down low.  about half of the people hadn't watched the movies and didn't know the idea of the movie, so for them, it was a fun night of playing strange games involving weapons.  over half dressed up, which made it extra exciting.  mark and i dressed as though we were from the capitol:  effie and haymitch, to be exact.  the victors were my neighbors and in true form, received a mocking jay pin and bragging rights...until next year!  


cake pops

i finally decided i wanted to make cake pops...i've heard two sides and wanted to test it out:  

one: they are really hard and laborious to make

and...two: they are easy and delish!  

VERDICT IS IN:  they are easy AND delish!  this was our first "treat day tuesday" and the girls LOVED making them with me.

**P.S. did you see the crazy hubs photo bombing in the background?  he thought he was so funny


  • cake mix and ingredients to make cake (i used betty crocker super moist devil's food)
  • frosting
  • candy wafers (i used vanilla)
  • cake pop sticks
  • sprinkles (or other decorating items)

1.  bake cake according to directions on the back and then let cool almost completely


2.  using CLEAN hands (of course) break the cake apart into small, ground up pieces (resembling dirt almost)-this part was clearly fun for lil boo.


3.  add a little bit of frosting to the mix and stir (but not too much frosting or it will be too wet-like).  i believe i put about one BIG spoonful.  
4.  then roll into small balls (please refrain from the gross comments of these-geesh, you think i was raising boys the way my girls were giggling).


5.  melt a little bit of the white chocolate wafers and then dip the sticks in the chocolate and gently place in the balls...about half way down (if you can figure out how far that is without seeing the inside-i may have goofed a bit on these, but it worked out in the end).
6.  put in the freezer for about 20 minutes


7.  melt more of the chocolate wafers in a tall glass (if possible-it makes it easier to dunk the pops) according to the directions on bag (usually 30 second intervals).
8.  dunk the pops into the melted chocolate and sprinkle and place somewhere to dry.  

**note:  i did not have any styrofoam to place these in as they dried, this is why they are laying downward.  you can do either.  if giving them as gifts, they look better when you dry them right side up in styrofoam.
**other note:  don't move the pops around too much in the melted chocolate, just dunk and let the chocolate coat them.  i had several pops fall off of the sticks because i moved them around too much-don't worry though, i just ate those as i went along-oh, look at that...they tasted just as good :)


***ENJOY...i felt like one could be consumed in about 2 bites, which made me think i could eat about 3 of them to truly equal one piece of cake...i just made that up...but it worked for me.  we enjoyed these TREMENDOUSLY!!!


treat day TUESDAY

i must first begin by saying one of my offspring DETESTED this and one LOVED it...

that being said, i found this recipe from an instagram superwoman (@lilsipper).  she has amazing recipes (and a few i probably wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pool- i.e. kale cake with squash frosting)...but i digress.  

this is a recipe for a CLEAN klondike bar
 (i mean, what would you do for a {CLEAN} klondike bar, right?).  
**i doubled this recipe to make 8 total.

  • 1/2 cup soaked almonds (or cashews)
  • 1 banana

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup raw cacoa powder (i used hershey's cocoa 100% cacao-hoping that is ok)

  1. puree almonds and banana (don't add water)-used the blender and it worked splendidly
  2. poor into a bread pan lined with parchment paper
  3. freeze for 2 hours
  4. cut into 4 (or 8) squares and place back in freezer for 20 more minutes while you prepare the sauce

  1. mix coconut oil and powder (should be melted enough to pour)
  2. then dip/pour/spread sauce all over bars (this got super messy)
  3. freeze for another few minutes

**i thought they would also be good rolled in sliced almonds...i may try that next time!
**these are not sweet, sweet, like milk chocolate, so you can add honey or agave (to keep it vegan) to the sauce or even vanilla extract-they are definitely a bit of an acquired taste
ENJOY! :) 


summer fun schedule

got the mid-summer blues? 

kids askin' ya every day 
"what are we doing today?"  

well, here is a little pick-me-up to help you plan a little something fun for each day of the week.  

**by the way...my kids ask me this almost everyday, but i DO.NOT.HAVE. the mid-summer blues....who doesn't really love summer (especially when you are a teacher). 

  • make something MONDAY
  • treat day TUESDAY (this is their 2nd favorite day)
  • wheeling WEDNESDAY
  • try something new THURSDAY
  • field trip FRIDAY (this is favorite day)

try clicking on the picture to enlarge and print out.  if you have trouble just email me and i'll send you a copy.


Jul 15, 2014

popsicle stick bracelets

i was feeling like gettin' my craft on with the girls since it was "make something monday".  i turned to my tried and true friend:  PINTEREST (did i mention i heart pinterest)?

here is what you need:
  • craftsticks
  • modge podge
  • glue gun or white glue
  • decorative paper or washi tape
  • cup for drying/shaping
  • container for soaking
  • any other fancy decorating items
soak sticks in water for a VERY.LONG.TIME...the post said a few hours, but i soaked for almost the whole day.  you will know they are ready when you can gently bend them without them breaking.

gently bend each stick and place inside of a cup to form the shape.  there will be a few casualties along the way.  also, some may start to break along the sides.  these can be salvaged..just file them down with sand paper or a nail file before decorating.  i let these dry over night...and then some!

when they are finished drying they will look like this.  some of mine didn't quite get the shape of what i was hoping for and they don't necessarily fit my girls' wrists, but that's ok...it was more for fun (plus, they fit mine, so i'll be wearing them : : wink, wink).

cut paper and either use a glue gun or white glue to adhere the paper to the bracelets.  i cut the paper slightly bigger than the bracelets themselves and then after they dried i cut off the excess.  once dry, brush on the modge podge over the paper and let dry.  this will give it a shiny, protective coat.  when they are completely dry you can decorate even more with fake flowers, beads, etc.  i added a felt pink flower to one of mine to gussy it up.  i also used washi tape on a few of them and it turned out looking good.

here are some finished products.  i think they turned out pretty stinkin' cute if i do say so myself.


from taco bell to paleo....

for about as long as i can remember i have had a real love for food...not all kinds, just the kinds that are really bad for you.  i am not sure where it came from, since my mother insisted on serving us vegetables EVERY night for dinner (and setting the timer if we didn't finish in time too).  nonetheless, i would MUCH RATHER eat taco bell, chase it down with a dr. pepper and then for dessert have some chocolate sweet of some kind.  this is the complete opposite of the hubs.  he has been known to steam some brussell sprouts just for fun...he is not ok, err i mean healthy-minded.  he still certainly enjoys his sweets and taco bell with me, but he also fills up on healthy foods as well.  i was recently talking with a friend, who told me about the Whole 30 program.  it sounded like another horrible way to torture someone who likes to eat taco bell, carbs, and cheese.  i began looking into it deeper and found that it just might be a good thing for me to try (plus, she was doing it and i thought i'd join for support and accountability).  so...yesterday we started.  i was soooooo grouchy and hungry and felt deprived...even questioning why i had even started this dumb thing.  i spent several hours researching the program and meals, recipes, etc and decided it might not be so bad to try.  after all, it is fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein (basically nothing else)-much like the paleo diet.  i found a GREAT website of a woman who also did this program and cataloged every meal she eat.  she helped me realize that i just might be able to do this.  her food looks so good.  i thought i'd take her lead and try to journal this journey from taco bell to paleo.  i will most likely add food and thoughts every few days.  stay tuned!

day 1:
this was a hard day because i was at my in-laws house and, although they always have a TON of food, are going out of town for an extended period of time and are trying to get rid of their food.  so, yesterday was not a strong start.
  • breakfast:  scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado, coffee
  • lunch:  1/2 chicken breast (seasoned with sea salt and thyme), raspberries, banana with granola (pretty sure that is a big no-no)
  • dinner:  pulled pork (no sauce and no bread), green beans, and a FEW potato waffle fries (old habits die hard)
how i felt:  HORRIBLE!  i hated every minute of it and was grouchy all day...UNTIL i filled up at dinner and felt slightly better.  i thought about quitting about 50 times and, if it weren't for many texts with corrie, i would have.


day 2:
  • breakfast:  scrambled eggs with spinach and cucumbers, coffee
  • lunch:  taco meat on a HUGE bed of lettuce, with salsa and a pinch of lime juice, cucumbers, and monkey salad (banana, cashews, and coconut flakes-delish recipe from THIS gal)

  • dinner:  left over taco salad with salsa, strawberry balsamic salad - this was a mixture of strawberries, cucumbers, almond slivers, and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
how i felt:  GREAT day...since i FINALLY went grocery shopping today, i got really excited about cooking and preparing some good meals.  i drank a TON of water...with lemon and cucumbers and lime to flavor it.  peed all day long, but that was ok.  i know there are going to be really tough days, but today was a good day and i feel less bloaty and yucky...i'm sure it is psychological, but who cares!

day 3:
woke up with a massive headache today..im sure it is slightly related to this new program.  i am drastically cutting out sugar from my diet and my body is missing it (so is my mouth).
  • breakfast:  had a hard time eating bfast today-just wasn't hungry.  but i forced myself.  scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms and 2 pieces of bacon, coffee
  • snack:  larabar (coconut cream pie)
  • lunch: leftover taco salad from yesterday
  • dinner:  pulled pork (recipe found here), sweet potato fries (baked with sea salt and coconut oil), sauteed mushrooms and squash, monkey salad
how i felt:  tired and hungry!  the headache lasted most of the day (but was reduced to a dull pain)-hopefully that will go away tomorrow.  overall, still happy i am doing this, but really missing taco bell and donuts! 

day 4:
woke up with another headache (argh!)...i went for a run in the late morning and it did go away...go figure!
  • breakfast:  eggs-sunnyside up (my favorite), mini bell pepper, coffee
  • snack:  larabar
  • lunch:  taco salad repeat, apple pie (don't worry...CLEAN ingredients and W30 approved) recipe HERE
  • dinner:  leftovers from last night,  sauteed squash, green onions, and cherry tomatoes with a dash of garlic and sea salt, small fruit salad

how i felt: awful...tired, hungry, wondering why i am doing this stupid thing...hoping tomorrow is better - - it will be the first night we go out (date night).

day 5:
woke up motivated and feeling good again...amazing what a night of sleep will do (regardless of how much i usually toss and turn).  went to the OC fair with the fam and couldn't believe i actually bought them a funnel cake and DID.NOT.TAKE.ONE.BITE...amazing will power, you say...oh gee, thanks!

  • breakfast:  no surprise here...scrambled eggs with spinach and coffee
  • lunch:  went out to panera with the parentals (thanks, mom and dad)...had an amazing 1/2 salad of greens, chicken, strawberries, pineapple, tangerines, and walnuts.  with a side of fat free poppy seed dressing, bag of whole30-ingredient-approved, potato chips (potatoes, sea salt, and oil were the only ingredients-oh they were so good)
  • dinner:  out with the hubs to the habit-had a dry lettuce wrap and sweet potato fries...what's that?  oh yeah, i had 2 potato french fries to..shhhhh

how i felt:  overall good...still a bit tired...but that could be because i went on my first power walk with my friend dee and she kicked my rear...i was walking faster than i usually run...wow...i was am sore (in all the right places, though.

day 6:
woke up feeling fine (especially since hubs fixed me some delish breakfast), but the day took a turn for the worse.

  • breakfast:  scrambled eggs with onions, mushrooms, and spinach (a new fav), coffee
  • lunch:  tried to eat tuna with paleo mayo and avo but nearly threw up, watermelon
  • dinner:  shredded lime chicken salad with guacamole, watermelon, cucumbers

how i felt:  had a breakdown between bfast and lunch...not sure exactly what went on, but basically the combination of waiting too long between meals and perhaps too much coffee (???like really there is such a thing), but i went into a weird attack of sorts.  i had trouble breathing, chest was tight, felt very anxious, and had to lay down for almost an hour.  it was horrible.  i immediately made a doctor's appointment, so we shall see what happens in a few weeks.  i am thinking anxiety or hypoglycemia...we shall see!

day 7:
i made it...ONE WEEK!!!  just barely (and i am pretty sure i have cheated...).  feeling tired (but what else do i expect, i have two little girls), but feeling good healthy.  i am liking all of the new recipes i am trying and the new ways to feed my family truly healthy meals.  the hubs is in heaven!  i even made paleo, flourless, chocolate chip cookies for him (with bittersweet chocolate chunks).  phew, that is love!

  • breakfast:  officially ran out of eggs.  i had to make a run to starbucks, order their artisan sandwich, sans cheese, gave the bread to my girls and downed the egg and bacon (not sure what other ingredients were in the eggs-probably dairy).  i was desperate to NOT purposefully cheat, so it was the best i could come up with.  oh, and of course, there was an iced coffee involved too
  • lunch:  left over crock pot chicken salad with cucumbers and tomatoes, watermelon
  • snack:  1/2 a larabar (hubs ate the other half...whatever)
  • dinner:  taco salad with salsa and cucumbers

how i felt:  first time i have felt pretty good (besides the given tired).  i feel like i am getting healthier.  i must confess though, i did eat a paleo choc chip cookie.  i am sure this will most likely discredit everything i have done and all that shall follow, but whatever, i needed it.  looking forward to some sausage tomorrow morning...went grocery shopping again!! 

day 8:
nothing major to write about beforehand
  • breakfast: two sunny-side up eggs, coffee
  • lunch:  egg salad sandwhich with paleo mayo, watermelon and cherries, paleo cookie
  • dinner:  "brinner"-scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms and sausage

how i felt:  in general felt good all day.  went to the {hot} beach, so i craved fruit all day.  ready for another day.

Jul 12, 2014

ahhhh...summer is here

well, i made it...there were times i wasn't sure i was going to get through this past school year.  not because i had troubled kids, actually quite the contrary...this is by far one of the BEST years (of students) i have had (in my 16 years of teaching).  i taught a 5/6 blend....14 6th graders and 21 5th graders.  generally speaking, blended classes are made up of independent, bright students.  this blended class was no exception.  WOW!  i would say the class average was an A-....seriously, i had some of the brightest, most creative students...they taught me so much during this year.  it was a fun and unique year, though, because i kept finding all of these fabulous projects on pinterest to try out on my students-especially since i had never taught 6th grade before.  i spent so much time on the computer and planning...and it paid off though...we had some pretty cool projects and lessons.  because of this, however, i was spent...just tired and ready for a summer break to do whatever i wanted-whenever i wanted!  so...summer is here.  i HEART summer!  here are a few pics of the craziness of this year...PS did i mention that i really like to "get into character" when i teach...
 the queen of mesopotamia
 my favorite pinterest project..."when we grow up..."
 jenny, a pilgrim girl from the mayflower voyage
 who doesn't love "nerd day"?
a greecian princess

Jul 2, 2013

fruit of the spirit

i am currently reading a great book by elizabeth george entitled raising girls after god's own heart.  i am quickly realizing i am falling short of this task (not that i needed the book to show me that).  i purposed to make this summer a time of spiritual growth for both me and the girls.  so, after much thought and research i came up with this great idea to use the fruit of the spirit.  each week we will have a missionary family to pray for (our church supports several missionaries, some of which we have had the opportunity to meet), a bible verse to memorize, and a "fruit" to learn about.  we will also be looking for ways to share the gospel or at least be an encouragement to our neighbors (make cards, cookies, etc).  i thought the best way to remember to do these things was to have a visual reminder...enter the laundry clip chalkboard labels.  i bought these labels on a website called very jane (i am sure they are super easy to make though) and then i painted them and added magnets to the back so they'd hand on the fridge in plain sight, and did some fancy writing with my chalkboard pen (from michaels).  another idea would be to glue them onto an old rustic board or piece of wood...but i don't have the wall space...so the fridge it is.

i found this great website here that gives activities and ideas to help teach the different "fruits."  i just looked up bible verses that would go along with the "fruit" and then printed them as well.  to start i found some coloring sheets too of the fruit of the spirit for the girls to color as i begin to talk about them.  the missionary cards are from our church...i just picked up several of them so we could have a variety during the summer.  so excited for our new journey this summer!

get your craft on-pinterest style

i just love pinterest...and i try to emulate the recipes, crafts, hair designs, nails, etc that i repost.  i saw this reading nook on one post and knew i wanted to make it.  the problem was where to put it in the girls' room.  i finally decided the only place would be in the closet doorway.  off to hobby lobby to buy material and a tension rod.  i sewed (and boy do i use that term loosely) a little seam in which to place the tension rod through and viola!  the reading hide out was finished...the girls are so excited and don't care that i didn't sew the seams all around..shh...don't tell them-they think it is just about the greatest thing.

a visit with friends

we love the stenzels...when they visit we always have soooo much fun and make the most of our time.  we barbecued at the park, went to church, worked out (thanks, boys), surfed, went to the beach, boys went shooting (you're welcome, boys), painted nails, got haircuts (thanks, am), got ice cream, and rode the ferris wheel.  what fun!