Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Banana Nut Bread

A guest post from Katie...

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups cake flour we used 1 cup white flour and 1 cup wheat flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup milk
3 small or 2 large bananas mashed
1 cup chopped pecans


In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. then add the eggs and vanilla.
beat until fluffy. mix together flour, salt,and baking soda.
add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture alternately with the milk, bananas,and nuts, beating well after each addition.
preheat oven to 350 degrees. pour the batter into a
bread pan. bake for 50 min. or until brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
then wait when its done its a great treat for the whole family!

And the babies have the most fun licking the spatulas!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Housekeeping Printables

Time-Warp Wife has some adorable housekeeping printables available here. Choose from her June or July housekeeping calendar and her weekly meal planner. So cute!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Save Money Monday

This saving money tip is so easy. Anyone can do it!
Drink Water.

That's right, Drink Water!! By drinking water with 2 meals and snacks each day we save an average of $11.50 each week. This doesn't even include the money saved on doctor visits and dental fillings that are prevented by our extra water consumption.

Money Saved Example
Before water diet:
Milk~ 3 gallons a week, $10.50
Apple Juice~ $4
Sweet Tea~ $2, making it 3-4 times each week.
Soda~ $0 (We don't buy soda. We get our soda fix at Nana's house on the week-ends)  ;)
Total: $16.50

After water diet:
Milk~ 1 gallon a week, $3.50
Coconut/almond milk~ 1/2 gallon a week, $1
Apple Juice~ $0 (I only buy %100 juice when it's free with coupons)
Sweet Tea~ $.50, making it once per week
Soda~ $0
Total: $5.00

Savings: $11.50

I know drinking water can be especially unpleasant for some children. My kids would like to drink soda with every meal. They would probably put it in cereal if they had their way. Thankfully, they have not thrown any fits or even complained much about our water drinking habits.
Do you have any tips for getting kids to drink more water?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Basic Green Smoothie Recipe

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup spinach
(I don't know how to properly measure spinach. I just crammed it in a 1 cup measuring cup.)
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
2 Tbsp. honey

Begin by adding the coconut milk and spinach in the blender. Blend these together until smooth. Add in remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more coconut milk or a little water if your smoothie is too thick. All ingredients can be adjusted to suit your taste.

You might also like to try this Kale Smoothie Recipe.

This post is linked to:

Raising Homemakers

day2day joys

Monday, May 16, 2011

Save Money Monday

I'm going to *try* to do a series on saving money. I can't promise I will have a new Save Money Monday post every week, but I'll try. :)

One of the ways we save A LOT of money is by using coupons. Some people think if you use coupons on groceries you are eating hamburger helper and frozen dinners, but you can eat a healthy food and use coupons. Did you hear that? You can use coupons and eat healthy! One way to do this is to use coupons for your personal care items. I bought 9 toothbrushes, 6 packs of floss, and two sticks of deodarent at Kroger (pictured below) and they were FREE after coupons. This frees up money for you to spend on items where coupons are not available, usually fresh produce. Occasionally there are coupons available for natural food items. See the chips in the picture? They are all natural, from the healthy food section at Kroger and they were FREE after coupons. I used this opportunity to stock up on chips. I bought 6 bags. I'm not saying chips are healthy, but these are a better choice than Doritos. The whole wheat and veggie pasta was also FREE after coupons. I only bought 6 because I still have a good stock in my pantry from the last sale. I paid $2.25 total for the 3 almond milks and 1 coconut milk after coupons. The Mom's Best Cereal was $.24 each after coupons. If you stock up on items when they are well below retail price you will rarely have to pay full price again. If you'd like to start using coupons, go to and click on 'store deals' to find out the best deals at your local grocery store each week.
My total for these groceries was just over $19 and about $6 of that was sales tax!

This post is link to:
Raising Homemakers

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How does your garden grow? Week 5 update

I am excited to see little tomatoes on all the tomato plants!

Here is my little helper and the herb garden. The big plant is sage. The parsley, basil, and cilantro are all coming up, but are still quite small.

We decided to make use of some extra space around the raised beds so my wonderful hubby tilled up this spot and one behind the beds. We planted pie pumpkins and watermelons on the side and popcorn on the back.

We have a bit of lemon balm growing at the base of a tree. I don't know what to do with it. Can someone give me some suggested uses for it?

Here's a look at how the whole garden is growing.

This post is linked to Smockity Frocks Frugal Gardening 101.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Donna Young's Homeschool Resource

Have you been to She has an abundance of resources for the homeschooling family.
You can find everything from printable planners to handwriting worksheets. I would recommend bookmarking her site.


Donna Young started this web site in 1998. She was teaching her children at home, had bought a new internet capable computer, and decided to put her homeschool and household files online. Aside from a few donated files, Donna makes all the content for using several programs such as drawing programs and word processors. Most of all, this website is a place on the internet from where you may print homeschool plannershousehold plannerscalendarshandwriting lessons, printable worksheets or papers for several subjects. has grown over the years and continues to grow. Meanwhile, Donna's children have graduated from home school and life goes on.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Easy Beef & Bean Burritos

I found this recipe on Money Saving Mom back when she was doing a series on freezer cooking. It's so easy and everyone loves it. Enjoy!

Easy Beef & Bean Burritos
2 lb. ground beef, we use venison
2 cans refried beans
1 can enchilada sauce ( 1 1/3 cups)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup dried onion or freshly minced
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 cups shredded cheese, mexican or cheddar
20 flour tortillas, burrito size

Brown meat, drain off fat. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20ish minutes. Spoon meat and bean mixture into tortilla and roll up. Top with sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese.
Ta Da! Done.
Wasn't that easy?

If you have a lot of leftovers, try freezing your rolled up burritos. Wrap a couple of burritos in a paper towel and then wrap in foil. Freeze. When you need a quick lunch just pull them out of the freezer, remove the foil and microwave for 1 minute.
Ta Da!
Easy lunch!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

free fun

The kids have always wanted to play with one of these. Daddy was kind enough to let them pack up their bikes and go test their speed today. They tried running, but it couldn't detect them.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

How Does your garden grow? Week 3 update

It has been 3 weeks since we started our little garden. Last week-end the only thing not making an appearance were the cantaloupe plants. Not a single little cantaloupe plant was coming up! I wasn't sure if the seeds were all bad or if I some how forgot to plant them. I replanted them last week-end and about half of them are showing now. Looks like I must have forgot to plant them.
We bought tomato plants. They've been in the ground 2 weeks.
The squash plants and grass are looking good.

The cilantro is coming up. 

We planted 8 blueberry bushes. After a couple of weeks we noticed the leaves were disappearing off a few of the plants so we bought wildlife netting and covered them. This has stopped the deer, but didn't go over well with the snake.
Poor guy, he must have tried to go through at least 20 holes in the netting and was stuck for good. 

This post is linked to Smockity Frocks Frugal Gardening 101.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

See The Light ~ Free DVD offer

Art is one of those subjects that often gets pushed to the back burner of our homeschooling. Even though I love art, I couldn't draw a stick person to save my life. I have sent my children to art classes, but it's difficult to take them to all of the extra curricular activities and have you seen what some people charge??! Well, last week I received a free sample copy of See The Light DVD art classes. We watched them today and they are wonderful. I love that she uses basic supplies, incorporates truth from the Word, and the best part..... we don't have to leave the house! You can purchase the whole 9 volume series containing 36 lessons for $99.99. See The Light is still offering a free sample DVD. Go here to request yours. Enjoy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Get a free tree at Lowe's on April 23

If you are heading out to Lowe's tomorrow for this free kid's workshop then make sure to pick up a free tree while you're there!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Raising Homemakers ~ Lesson 2 ~ Baking Bread

In this lesson we learned about baking bread. This is familiar territory for our girls because all their mamas love to bake bread. We used some freshly ground wheat in our bread, but this recipe will work well with all white flour too.

Items to cover in this lesson:

  • Yeast~ Yeast is a tiny living plant. Cool! It's even mentioned in the Bible. Check out the verses at Bible Gateway.
  • Types of yeast~ dry, active, rapid rise. What makes them different?
  • What makes yeast grow?
  • Different types of flour, white, wheat, freshly ground wheat
  • How to measure flour ~ scoop the flour into your measuring cup and gently run a the straight edge of a knife across the rim to level the flour.
  • How do you knead bread. This is the fun part! We used a three step method, fold-push-turn   
  • Fold~ flatten the dough and fold it in half toward you.                                                               
  • Push~ using the heels of your hands, push the dough down and away from you.         
  • Turn~ turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat.

hard white wheat before grinding

freshly ground hard white wheat

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups freshly ground whole wheat
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons yeast

Combine water, oil, and honey. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit a couple of minutes then stir to combine. Mix in flour and salt. Knead for 5-10 min. Let dough rest for 30 min. Knead again for 5 min. Let rest again for 30 min. Knead for 1 min. and shape into loaf. Let dough rise in loaf pan in warm place for 30-45 min. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. When done, let cool in pan a couple of minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

I use this recipe almost daily. I place all ingredients in my bread maker and run the dough cycle then I let it rise and bake in a loaf pan. I have recently starting using less unbleached flour and more whole wheat and it has worked well. I find that using an electric knife works best for slicing bread.

The girls showing off their loaf shaping skills
You can find lesson 1 here.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Banana Creme Whoopie Pies

This was my first time making whoopie pies and they were delicious!

Banana Creme Whoopie Pies
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 package cream cheese (8oz.) softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Additional powdered sugar for dusting

1. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl combine banana and buttermilk. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Gradually add to creamed mixture alternating with the banana mixture.
2. Drop by tablespoons 2 in. apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet. (I used a Silpat) Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 min or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before moving to wire rack to cool completely.

3. Filling: Beat together cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter until fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread about 1 tablespoon of filling on bottom side of cookie and then top with another cookie. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, if you have any leftovers ;) These pies are best right after they are prepared. Our left over whoopie pies were sticky after being stored in the refrigerator.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Great Lands End Sale!

Lands End is having a family and friends sale through April 11. You can get 30% off your order and free shipping when you use the promotion code FAMILYSHARE and pin 6319. 
Here are a few deals I found:

Get this boy's Microfleece hat for $1.39!

They also have boy's trekkers for the same price.

Time to stock up on t-shirts!

Monday, April 4, 2011

How does your garden grow?

We had such nice weather this past week-end! We were able to pull the weeds out of the raised beds and get the seeds in the ground.

We started these raised beds last year. We put in a variety of dirt, potting soil, composted manure, peat moss, you name it, if Lowes sold it we put it in there. I thought they all must be good dirt so we needed a little of each. Well, the beds didn't turn out so well. We got a handful of produce for about $200 worth of dirt and seeds! We were trying to go the organic route without any fertilizer. NOT this year. Along with the seeds, we mixed in some triple 13 fertilizer.

You can see here that last year's sage is doing well.

Last year's oregano is also doing well. In fact, it's already bigger than it was last year!

We planted cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupe, purple hulls peas, kidney beans, squash, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, parsley, basil, and cilantro. I am going to plant some okra, zucchini, and tomato plants later.
I'll update as things start to grow.

Don't forget to check out the Free Garden Planner Printables here.

This post is linked to Smockity Frocks Frugal Gardening 101

Friday, April 1, 2011

Free Veggie Seeds & Gloves from Annie's Naturals

Annie's Naturals and are inspiring kids to dig real food.
When you buy 2 Annie's products between 1/15/2011 and 4/30/2011 you can fill out this form to get a free gardening gift pack. I hope these gloves will inspire my kids to pull more weeds ;)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kid's Workshops

We love going to these workshops. I like to let my older kids try to do the project on their own. This gives them a chance to work on following directions. If they skip or alter a step their project won't turn out just right. I'm hoping this is teaching them to pay closer attention to directions.

You can make this window birdhouse at Lowe's on April 23. The birdhouse sticks to your window so you can actually see the nest. Pretty neat. Sign-up here.

Home Depot will be offering this planter/basket on April 2. This looks like a fun spring project. I'm picturing it filled with herbs in little terra cotta pots. Find all the info here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day

Mark your calendars! Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day is April 12, 2011. We rarely go out for ice cream, so this is a special treat. In the past, our local Ben & Jerry's took donations for a local charity and offered customers extra scoops for each $1 donation they made. You can get all the details here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011