Sunday, February 27, 2011

martha's delish strata...but my style :)


today our family had a funeral brunch for my Grandmother's brother.
i never follow recipes (accept for baking), but i used
recipe loosely as a guide...then pimped it.
i have made this dish different ways & it's great for bringing.

so what's different?
(sorry i HATE typing recipes, so you will have to refer to the link above)

*of course i have more people to serve so i increased all the ingredients. i decided to add even more cheese too.
*i used a mexican cheese blend along with the parm.
*i tore the english muffins into pieces too make them go farther. which makes the strata into more of a casserole.
*i used turkey breakfast sausage instead of canadian bacon. have used turkey bacon & turkey ham before.
*i sauteed a white onion & bellpepper before i browned the turkey sausage. cooled it & added it to the milk & egg mix. usually i add other veggies or a jalapeno at this step too.
*i also added ortega chilis, a dash of soy sauce & garlic powder to the milk & eggs mix. usually i add worcestchire sauce, but i dont have any here.
*for full effect i let it all soak in in the fridge overnight.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

i heart my doggies {a special winter coat treat}

I heart my doggies!

yesterday i took the big doggie girls to the self wash. it was a fun little outing & a few mile walk in the sunshine.
But man the bath took about 2 hours & was ALOT of work. their hair just kept coming out. i had to unclog the drain like 20 times.  when we were done the place was covered from floor to ceiling with hair.
the guy said "this was the longest dog wash EVER!" & "i've never seen a dog shed so much"
(me either sir!)
don't know if it's the new food we are trying or the major change in temps, but this morning i made my girls a special treat to help get their winter coats back in shape & help with the shedding.
back home in So Cal the weather changes are milder, they feast on our avocados & get other goodies like flax, omega oils, etc...
i was very surprised to learn that raw eggs were not good for dogs (like everyone, including me thought), but are great when they are cooked.
i actually like cooking for them (anyone really).
after i cooked turkey sausage for our breakfast, i used the same skillet & fried one egg each for the girls in olive oil. added a omega-3 fish oil tablet & plopped it all on top of their food. (don't worry i shared a few bites with little Ollie too).
a cooked egg a few times a week & the fish oils daily should do the trick in time!

think they enjoyed it?

our old girl Kahlua...loves ALL things food!

our new girl Mahalo loved it too.
she came to us in October...
 (after A LOT of work)
  she's a keeper :)

it was gone before i could even snap the pic!
Kahlua's has always has major shedding. i heard about this brush, did some research, read the reviews & i am thinking it may be a good investment.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

our gluten & dairy belly blues experiment

can not believe im posting this pic that makes me look like im totally pregnant [not.a.chance]
but .... shows my point.
i've had stomach probs for years & my 5 yo ALWAYS complains about her stomach, but even more so recently. i thought she just had a nervous stomach.
 about a month ago i felt absolutely terrible, bloating, nausea, stomach aches esp at night, etc...(i'll spare the details).
i started researching gluten, celiacs disease (which is becoming extremely common in my age group), wheat intolerance etc...& journaling what 3 & i ate.
i self diagnosed the two of us. then decided to go gluten-free, we're not dairy people but cutback even more on dairy & coffee for me (even though i only drank 1/2 a cup occasionally not daily).
(also with my water keifer in addition)
with the way we eat, it was actually pretty easy. i'm a label reader anyway. trying new products is fun for me as is coming up with new food ideas. 

within just a few days we felt tons better. even the physical transformation was amazing. FLATTER STOMACH!!! 
AHA! right?

BUT in order to prove the test, this week i added gluten & little dairy back.
you get the picture above & we feel terrible again! 
so after a little detoxing 3 & i are slowly going as gluten & dairy free as we possibly can. 
(except for plain yogurt maybe).

*according to my research you should not remove gluten from your diet unless you are bothered by it & the others don't seem to be affected (except that one guy, but he wont admit it!)

*ok, ok...i will admit to putting on a few pounds this trip...unlike our little So Cal village THERE'S TAKE OUT HERE & we've been visiting our faves!!! AAAAND my mama's delish homecooking...she fries everything, bakes the best desserts & LOVES her chili dogs nights & fish fry!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Family fun day{before saying goodbye}

family fun day {before saying goodbye}
today before He left we wanted to enjoy the weather & have some family fun.
 so we went to a park & their new-to-us bike complex.
1. pretty parking lot ponies
first a little treat for 2.
we got to say hello to these pretty ponies as they passed thru the parking lot from the horse trail.
2. bike track
 among other things, there is an awesome BMX track & bike trail. my girls are awesome on their bikes & have been dying to hit the track. we already cant wait to go back.

you would not believe this little 5 yo girl & her amazing bike handling skills.
 she is fearless, loves to jump & fly & always has something to prove.
gotta keep up with her older sisters & the competition is fierce!

3. dog park
we stopped by the parks doggie park on the way out. it was so much fun. happy happy tails wagging all over the place. we ended the fun saying hi to ALL of them. we cannot wait to bring our doggies out.
they will def be in doggie heaven on earth!
 4. nap in the truck

Saturday, February 19, 2011

surprise surprise {we absolutely love this man to death}

yesterday He surprised us by showing up much earlier than we were expecting him.
its at least a 5 1/2 hr drive from our home. he sent me a text that said "leaving"
(he said he would text me when he was on his way).
then about 15 minutes later he walked thru the door. ahhhhh!!!
we were & still are so extremely happy he's here.
there is almost not enough of him to go around with us 4 girls.
he's staying until Monday & every since he stepped foot in the door we have all
...including him...
been saying we dont want him to leave.
we absolutely love this man to death.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

{visiting back home}water keifer

{visiting back home}
water keifer grains
& one my new faves

can you see the water keifer grains on the bottom?
i call them my babies.

(they badly need to be separated & shared so they can keep growing healthfully, im waiting on my jars to be delivered)

i've been doing research on keifer & all its healthy goodness (see link below)to help with my stomach issues as well as other benefits, but i did not want to use milk keifer grains.
i was so happy that my friend shared her water keifer grains with me.
we keep ours on our living kitchen counter lab, out of sunlight.
after about 3-5 day the fermented water is drained.
this is the finished product that goes into the fridge & is ready to drink.
to us it tastes like sweetened green tea soda (though it doesn't smell like it).
the girls love it & ask for it everyday.
 it has helped my stomach immensely (3's too).

after collecting the drink, the grains are rinsed. 1/3 cup of organic cane sugar (i'm going to try honey or agave one day)& 3/4 jar of water is all it takes to restart the process, shake it up & return the grains to the jar
& return back to the fermenting spot.

find much more thorough info, recipes & instructions here

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

{visiting back home}magnet making mania

{visiting back home}
magnet making mania

this has been so addicting & fun!
in our So Cal house everything is stainless steel so we dont have anthing to put magnets on.
 we went a little crazy
not sure what we will do with them when we get back.
 kinda hard too see,
but they are all different & cute.
im proud of my little set
we just leave the materials out & when we find a pic, we make a little magnet easily & quickly.
surely everyone knows how to do this but here you go:
*clear flat backed glass marbles (Dollar Tree)
*round magnets (Wally World)
*mag pix, drawings, etc... 
*watered down glue (or Modge Podge) to glue pic to the marble
*regular glue or hot glue to attatch the magnet

*use marble to measure mag pic, then cut out.
*brush watered down glue or modge podge on to marble & flat side of marble.stick pic on image side down (showing thru the round front of marble)
*let dry then glue on magnet.
easy peasy fun!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

{visiting back home}lots of reading

{visiting back home}
lots of reading
without all of our normal obligations we are enjoying lots of reading time.
here's some of it.
  • daily Bible reading & study...(im trying!)
  • we are listening to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry on cd as part of our black history study. the girls had NO clue. they ask to listen to these cd's. they listen very quietly & attentively as they find the topics discussed & history all very interesting.
  • finished Snow Falling on Cedars (FINALLY!)
  • currently The Five Love Languages of it! it's such an eyeopener to see things from the unique perspective (love language) your child uses to communicate love. part of this post.
  • next & also currently The Heart of a Woman. my goal this year is to read only african american authors or books. got the idea from ebony mags essential african american library list of books
{while we are away from our So Cal home}
the week after we left Grrrrr!

 we like, the rest of our little village (which is rather opposed to growth mind you), have been watching it progress from the very beginning in either anticipation or opposition.
make no mistake we are thoroughly excited!
the library has become one our fave resources.
i wont give it all away yet, but it LEED certified & has a super cool living roof im dying to see.
besides the beach it is one of the 1st places we cant wait to go to when we get home!

Monday, February 14, 2011

{visiting back home}my Gram

{visiting back home}
 my Gram

*can you tell Gram seriously does not like her pic all?*

spending time & helping out with my Gram is the other main reason we are here.
(my Gram is hilarious & quite the practical joker)
(actual real knitting, not circle knitting)
...TRYING to get her back outdoors in the sunshine & in her garden.
anything we can do to spend time & make her moments less lonely. sure she wont remember this stuff...this time, but the girls & i will. Gram remembering is not really the point. being here is. 
love & family is.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

{visiting back home} Baby Coco

{visiting back home}
Baby Coco
*so stinkin' cute!*
  one of the main reasons we are here is to babysit Baby Coco. she is here almost all day most days of the week.
it's so fun having a baby around & having 4 girls (like im supposed to).
she fits right in.
the girls change their first diaper!
it took all 3 of them but they did pretty good :)

*we've had this nasty flu bug going on 2 weeks now. hope to back in the swing of things soon!