Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vitamins are good for you! :)

I've been meaning to start taking more vitamins and paying attention to that kind of thing. My parents have always taken a large assortment of supplements, and some friends talk about vitamins all the time. (Are you reading this, Holly?:) I'm talking bout you and Bethany.) So I bought quite a few kinds today! I gooogled around to find good vitamins for women to take. I'm posting this to see how I'm doing in a month. Today, March 28th, I will begin taking (in addition to Echinecea for immune system health):
  • B-Complex (rose hips, rice bran, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, b6, folate, b12, a little biotin, pantothenic acid) These helps convert food into energy and are necessary for normal functioning of the nervous system. 
  • Folic Acid--This is essential for red blood cell formation. This may reduce a woman's risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord birth defect. (I'm not expecting anytime soon, but it's just in case.)
  • Co-enzyme Q10--This is expensive! Plays an important role in cells and is utilized in the normal process of energy production. Also a key nutrient that may help maintain a healthy heart.
  • Zinc--Plays an important role in the development and normal function of the immune system, reproductive system, and in proper growth.
  • Flax Seed Oil--Helps promote healthy cardiovascular and immune system function. 
  • Biotin--Provides dietary support for healthy hair and nails. Also aids in the metabolism of carbs, protein, and fats.
  • Fish Oil--Essential for the healthy function of the brain, heart, joints, and immune system. Also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Chromium--Helps metabolize carbs, protein, and fat. Promotes healthy blood sugar.
  • General one a day for women--Supports bone and breast health
OH MY! I'm going to need a big glass of water or figure out a schedule for taking these. I hope to feel more energized, lower my blood pressure, and overall feel more healthy. I'm also starting to track my work outs. 

Passion Tea Lemonade & Amelia Bedelia

I should buy some passion tea bags and lemonade mix and just have this on hand at home all the time, because it's just so soo good. Today I had this at BN with a friend called Cassie and stocked up on Amelia Bedelia books for my classroom library. It is just my happiest place. In 2nd grade we had to do a book report where we dressed up like a character and then acted like them, telling about the story. I did Amelia Bedelia because I loved her funny stories. She does things like this: She is told to throw a surprise wedding shower, so she hides with a hose and sprays the bride and yells surprise! My high level readers will be reading her books during reading groups this week! I'm wondering if they will get the humor. They're just starting to understand puns and so I think this will go over well.

We're almost getting a dog!

We have always wanted a dog...but then we think realistically how much of a big decision it is. Taylor's worried about his computer cords being chewed, as his family puppy used to do. We think about taking him or her outside and being around enough to do that. But then I see all these people at our apartment with dogs and I think, "Surely we are as responsible as these human beings and can also handle a dog." So we're going to try for June to find the right dog. I'll be home enough to train the puppy because of my summer break. I hope this happens. I have the need to care for and love something small and cute. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I came home and smelled bleach. Then I saw a completely cleared off countertop where I could set my bags and bags of groceries that were almost pulling me to the ground. And then a little further, I saw a picked up living room floor. And I saw my husband running around putting things in their proper places! I was elated! I needed help with dinner and the apartment tonight and he picked up on that after my whining on the phone. I love you, Taylor!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chocolate Chip and M&M Cookies

I use the classic stand by recipe for chocolate chip cookies: Nestle Toll House! With just three small changes:
  1. I don't use butter, rather butter-flavored Crisco sticks. This makes fluffy picture perfect cookies.
  2. No nuts...instead I add extra chocolate chips, M&Ms (in this case), or pb chips.
  3. I cook them, one dozen on a sheet, for only 8 minutes.


I've only started liking guacamole within the past year or two, so I'm not really an expert on the subject...but I've created a variation that we really like. It's incredibly easy using a chef's chopper or food processor. When I say semi-chopped in the ingredient list, I just mean that the pieces are small enough to fit in the chopper, but they don't need to be chopped neatly or anything. It takes about 4 minutes from start to finish!

2 ripe semi-chopped avocados
about 2 tablespoons semi-chopped onion
about 2 tablespoons semi-chopped tomato
dash of lime juice

Add all ingredients to the chopper and pulse several seconds until it's well mixed. Ta-daa!

Crockpot Beef Carnitas

These were soo good and soo easy! I found the recipe from It's called Ronaldo's Carnitas, but I changed it just a bit from what the comments said about using a crock pot instead of the oven. I was glad I did, just because crock pot cooking is the easiest way to cook! Cooking beef like this is also called's cooked with liquid and cooked slowly. This made plenty of meat for us with lots leftover. I served the carnitas with homemade guacamole and blue corn chips.

chuck roast (I had a 2 lb. roast.)
garlic (powder or minced)
cayenne pepper
1 small can of chopped green chilles
toppings for tacos (cheese, lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, guacamole, etc.)
1. Place the roast in the crock pot. Sprinkle cumin, garlic, cayenne pepper over the roast on both sides.
2. Pour chilles directly on roast. Fill the chilles can with water and pour around the edges of the roast, twice.
3. Use your judgement with your crock pot for cooking. I put mine on high at 1pm. Soon it started cooking too much I thought, so I switched it to low for the rest of the time. I was planning on serving it at 8pm, but it was ready by 6:30pm.
4. Shred the meat on a plate. It should shred very easily with two forks. Return to the crock pot, which should still have lots of liquid. Sprinkle seasonings again, depending on how spicy you want it. You may want to add another can of chilles to make it extra flavorful.

Quick Breakfast Casserole for the Weekend

I found this recipe in a Gooseberry Patch recipe book called Almost Homemade. I love recipes with few ingredients that you usually have already in the kitchen. I tweaked it to fit in a pie plate instead of a 9x9 baking dish. This smelled so good while baking and was the perfect size for Taylor and me for Saturday morning and to reheat on Sunday morning. I served it with fresh pears and strawberries. We loved it!

1/2 bag of hash brown potatoes almost thawed
1/3 cup of melted butter (I think next time I'll use can see it's a little greasy looking.)
1 cup of cheddar cheese
handful of chopped ham
handful of chopped cooked bacon
any veggies like onions, peppers, spinach
3 eggs
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 tsp of seasoned salt
9" pie plate greased

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay hash browns on bottom of pie plate and pour butter over. Mix to coat hash browns. Bake for 25 minutes.
2. Add cheese, ham, bacon, and any other toppings.
3. Whisk eggs, milk, and seasoned salt. Pour over top.
4. Return to oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked thoroughly.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Two Days Left

I have two days left of my Spring Break! Yikes! I haven't accomplished much, so I'm posting a to-do list to motivate me for the day. Goals for today:
  • Dishes need to be done DONE!
  • Work out DONE
  • Shower & get ready!DONE
  • Grocery store visit DONE
  • Get a Peoria library card DONE
  • General cleaning/picking up MAJORLY DONE!
  • Make dinner DONE
  • Finish reading Love Your God With All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland
  • Pick up & Mail a birthday gift (maybe just 1st part)DONE
  • Trip to Dixon's for fish for dinner DONE
Can I do it all? We shall see...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Hero

This is my adorable class with my loving and super cute husband. He came to visit us on the 100th day of school, dressed as Zero the Hero. Each 10th day of school "he" left a zero shaped treat for the class. This picture made me crack up when I noticed the punch to his armpit and the "may the force be with you" sign right by his face. Kids are so fun to be with all day. They will keep me young. They will keep me sharp.

Tomorrow I have no work to wake up to! I can't wait to sleep in and do housework type of stuff leisurely. Being a stay at home mom must be the best job...having enough time to take care of your house and family...what could be better than that? How can stay at home moms complain? I don't get it. Maybe someday I will. But for now, I'll just be happy having time off from my job! Today I didn't do much. I did have time to cook an amazing dinner for us though. Taylor took a picture with his phone and I don't know how to put that on here yet. But we'll see tomorrow.

I also enjoyed a couple of hours on the phone with my friend Jamie. We laugh so hard at the most ridiculous things. They usually involve the idea of a woman acting and dressing like a man. I think we have the same sense of humor as the day we met in junior high...and at this rate probably always will.

Then I got to speculate why the police were at the apartment building. I couldn't really see or hear much, but there's always some kind of drama going on here. Taylor called it "Mama Drama, like when mamas are yelling." I am glad to know that police would actually be able to find our building though, in case of emergency. It's hidden like a secret palace. 

Monday, March 08, 2010

Clean Start

Our apartment is so clean right now. It's fresh and neat and spring-y. Welcome, rainy days again!

That's all. :)