Bizz & BooBoo

A hippie mama doing her best!

Thankful Thursday – 9/29/2011! September 29, 2011

Filed under: About Me,Thankful Thursday — bizzandbooboo @ 5:00 am
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I am thankful….

for my amazing family (beyond my hubby, Bizz & BooBoo)

I am thankful for my parents – who have always loved me for who I am and encouraged me to live my life and be happy, no matter what paths it may lead and where it may take me! I am so grateful to live close to them and have them still be such a regular part of my life!

 

I am thankful for my sister – my friend. With a 7 year age gap between us, my sister and I were long distance sisters and friends for a long time as I grew up. But now, we live closer to each other and I am so grateful to the friend, amazing Auntie, mud race partner, fashion consultant, and pizza, perogie & venison loving sister that I have!

I am thankful for my brother. Again with a large age gap there has been more time my brother and I have been apart then together throughout our lives. But my brother is one of those people who I know if I ever needed something – he would be there for me, without a doubt, without a second thought, without question. He inspires me with his deep involvement in the lives of his children and his dedication to his family.

I am thankful for my second parents (I guess most people call them in-laws). I truly have the most amazing parents in-law that a girl could ever ask for. From the moment I met them they treated me like family (along with the joking and loving). They are some of the most generous & kind people, parents and grandparents that I know. When I hear others talking about “dreading” a day with their in-laws or a visit with them I can’t help but always think quietly to myself of how very lucky I am!

What are you thankful for today?

~Jesse

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Thankful Thursday 9/8/2011!

Thankful Thursday!

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Homemade Play Dough! September 28, 2011

Making homemade play dough is one of the most simple and most fun activities to do with your children!

It costs very little, and most of the ingredients you probably already have in your house!

This is the recipe I use:

Kool-Aid Play Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 pkg unsweetened kool-aid
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup boiling water

*Side note – my son thinks that kool aid packages are for the purpose of making play dough because we don’t drink that stuff!

Directions: Mix dry ingredients while water is heating up. Add oil and boiling water. Knead for 5-10 minutes or until dough like consistency. Store in airtight container!

It is really neat to make because when you mix the dry ingredients you don’t really see the color granules from the kool aid – and then as you slowly pour in the boiling water make sure your child is watching, because like magic the mixture turns into the color of the kool-aid!

Bizz adding the green kool aid to one mixture (we made two batches)!

I let Bizz help me add all the dry ingredients and mix them well. Then I added the boiling water and mixed with a fork for a few minutes until it was cool enough to touch. Then we took turns kneading it!

Both bowls after the hot water was added - Blue & Green!

Here is the dough after being mixed before being kneaded.

 

Bizz showing off the finished product!

Have fun and go make some play dough!!!

~Jesse

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Coconut Macaroons – Fail, kind of. September 27, 2011

Filed under: Food,Recipes — bizzandbooboo @ 8:04 am
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After making carbonara for dinner the other night I was left with 4 egg yolks, as with anything I hate to waste food that is perfectly good. What can I do with 4 egg whites, what can I do?

Coconut Macaroons from Nourishing Traditions!!

So I pulled out my trusty Nourishing Traditions Cookbook (if you have never perused Nourishing Traditions – you must – it is a bible of sorts for real and traditional foods and how to prepare them!)

I found the macaroon recipe –

Macaroons

Yield: 2 dozen

  • 4 egg whites
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups commercial dried unsweetened coconut meat, finely cut

Directions: Line baking sheet with buttered parchment paper. Beat egg whites with salt until stiff peaks form. Beat in arrowroot and slowly beat in syrup and vanilla. Fold in coconut. Drop by spoonfuls on parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees for about 1/2 hour until lightly browned. Turn oven down to 200 degrees and bake another hour or so until macaroons are completely dry & crisp. Let cool completely before removing from parchment paper.

Sounds easy enough right!

First I mixed my egg whites to stiff peaks with a pinch of sea salt!

Then I added in the arrowroot powder and mixed well, then added the syrup and vanilla. Though I had a hard time getting the syrup to “mix” well with the egg whites. The egg whites are so light and the syrup so heavy that it seems to want to just flow to the bottom – and I did not want to over-mix it and kill the fluffiness of the egg whites. So I mixed them in the best I could!

Finally it was time to fold in the coconut! The batter looked pretty good at this point.

Until I started to spoon it onto the cookie sheet.

The first few were okay, then they got really runny and did not stay together at all.

The batter was so runny after I had spooned 3/4 of them out that I got out some of the coconut chips I had and added them to make it stay together a little more.

This is what went into the oven, you can see the ones I added the coconut chips to that stayed together more and look clumpier:

And here was the finished product:

Thee upside was that they tasted pretty good – they were a little dry, I think I could have cooked them a little less at 200 degrees. But the kids loved them, as did hubby and I!

Maybe next time I will use half coconut chips and half finely cut coconut meat.

~Jesse

*Shared on Traditional Tuesdays: Nutritious & Delicious 9/27/2011!

*Shared on Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter 9/29/2011!

*Shared on Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday 9/30/2011!

 

Giveaways & Discount Codes 9/24! September 24, 2011

Here is the weekly giveaway links post!

Let me know if you win anything, it will make me smile

Giveaways! (If you would like your giveaway added next week please contact me!)

Sorry I don’t have many to share this week – it’s been a busy week.

As always good luck, it is just too much fun to win stuff 🙂

And here are some more coupon codes/special deals that I’ve found to share with all of you! Hopefully it may be a code you can use for something you want or need! Here they are:

  • Coldwatercreek.com – $25 off purchase of $100 or more. Expires 9/30/11 – CODE: NZA7266
  • landsends.com – $10 off purchase of $50 or more + free shipping. Expires 10/15/11. CODE: SIMPLE11   PIN:6212
  • JustKidCostumes.com – 10% off purchase. Expires 10/16/11 – CODE: BLOGGER10
  • j.jill.com – $25 off purchase of $100 or more. Expires 10/31/11 – CODE: MM1011
  • crazy8.com – 20% off purchase. Expires 10/31/11 – CODE: 11XQ6HRLM289724
  • Prairie Moon Nursery – $10 off orders of $50 or more. Expires 11/1/11 – CODE: FALL2011

~Jesse

PS – Vote for me through Picket Fence Blogs daily by clicking the “We’re on the Fence” button to your right! This will help get my blog out to more people and hopefully help me start to host more giveaways! Thanks!!

Disclaimer statement: Most of these giveaways I post about I am able to gain extra entries in return to increase my chances of winning. All opinions and the decision to share the links are my own! I am not being paid to share the promo codes and I have not even been in contact with these companies, I just have gotten these codes in the mail, online or in magazines I have been perusing and thought I’d share :)

 

I think we all struggle. September 23, 2011

Filed under: About Me — bizzandbooboo @ 5:00 am
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I am a very optimistic person. I have been told time and time again that I always seem to be bright and chipper and good to be around.

This is me - crazy happy face...

This makes me happy – I feel (somewhere deep down) that I am supposed to be a person who brings the upside to conversations, to situations, to the lives that surround me.

That being said, it isn’t always easy.

  • It isn’t easy to always do what we want.
  • It isn’t easy to always do what we should.
  • It isn’t easy to always find the good.
  • It isn’t easy to be who you want to be all the time.

Some examples:

Food~

I want to provide my family with good, real, nourishing food 100% at least 80% of the time. I want to share with my friends, acquaintances and even strangers what a difference real food can make in your life. It will improve your health, improve your mood, create a more sustainable world where real food is grown with healthy soils and organisms.

As easy as I may make it sound on some of my posts and in general, it is not the “easiest” way to live when you are still adjusting to it. It takes time and money to buy good foods and prepare them correctly. You can get great deals, but again it takes time and diligence to find them. There are nights I want to go to the supermarket and buy a frozen pizza and breadsticks and eat it with ice cream sodas. But I don’t – instead I make a homemade pizza with the kids help and use sprouted pizza crust, homemade pizza sauce and organic whole milk cheese – and we have it with kombucha! And in the end – the 2nd way was a lot more fun, a lot better, and there was no guilt and yucky stomachs or sugar highs afterwards!

I love to share the information I have learned and am still learning with others who can benefit. But I have learned that they have to *want* to learn it also, it cannot be forced and everyone will not welcome it with open arms. It can be hard to understand why someone is unwilling to want to hear what could help them – but I know I have been unwilling to hear things from others before…

I choose to take the route that may be less traveled. I choose this because it is important to me, and because I KNOW it is making a difference. This is what keeps me going and keeps me happy!

Find the beauty in everyday.

Parenting~

I want to be a parent who is attentive to my children, fun to be around and who enriches their daily lives with knowledge and life experiences. I want to kiss their boo-boo’s each time they fall, I want to read them stories all day, I want to run through the sprinklers and roll through the dirt with them and not care.

But many times I don’t…

There are the times I didn’t sleep well so I don’t want to go play outside first thing in the morning and I put Bizz in the living room with a movie on and give BooBoo some colored pencils and paper and I spend time on facebook instead of with them.

There are times I get so frustrated that I have to repeat the same question or word over and over again to get the result that I want that I raise my voice or speak angrily.

There are times I get so overwhelmed when BooBoo wants to be held constantly that I just put her down and let her cry.

I just hope that I can continue to learn everyday how to be a better me and how to grow my patience, my love and my caring for my beautiful children.

Bizz & BooBoo

What is the point of this post?

To understand, to grow, to share experiences with others.

It is hard to share the not-so-pretty sides of parenting, and eating real food and living in this crazy busy world. But when I feel detached from that person that I long to be, I try to remind myself that I am not alone. That to be perfect is not to be perfect. But to try – to care – and to be present.

In that I will continue to struggle…. and to find my way.

And I will continue to have my happy, optimistic outlook on life (with a few “I’m going to go crazy” moments intermingled)!

~Jesse

 

Wordless Wednesday – A day at the Lake! September 21, 2011

Filed under: Wordless Wednesday — bizzandbooboo @ 5:00 am
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Recently enjoyed a couple wonderful days at Whiskeytown Lake with my Mom, sister, Bizz & BooBoo!

Beautiful Whiskeytown Lake!
My Mom making BooBoo laugh!
Bizz keeping busy when he wasn’t swimming!
BooBoo playing in the sand!
Bizz playing in the sand!
Auntie Amy & Bizz down at the water
Glamorous BooBoo!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

 
~Jesse
 
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Holy Tomatoes!! September 20, 2011

Filed under: Canning,Food,Preserving,Recipes — bizzandbooboo @ 5:00 am
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I am a very lucky lady. In the past several months as I have become more and more frugal with our spending and I have been amazed by the generosity and kindness of others! Freecyclers are amazing, I have recently received spice jars (to store my homemade spices and herbs) and some wonderful magazines and books through our local Freecycle group. And I have passed on a large mirror which will be used by kids in 4-H to practice showing their sheep, along with a box of cleaners & beauty supplies that I no longer want or need!

Beyond the “stuff” I have also gotten some amazing deals on food – free and inexpensive. The peaches from my Putting Up Peaches post were a great deal from Chaffin Family Farms, the oranges from my Putting Up Oranges post were gleaned downtown – cost some time and ladder climbing. I also recently got 2 big bags of plums (post forthcoming!) from a freecycler. And most recently…. I got a call from my Mom Saturday morning that one of her co-workers had an abundance of tomatoes and would love to share with me!! My lucky day 🙂

Now, when I say abundance of tomatoes – I mean it. I have never had so many tomatoes in my house at one time before! I am starting to dream tomatoes.. and I love it!

My first project with the tomatoes was to make some good old-fashioned Spaghetti Sauce. I used the recipe from The Busy Person’s Guide to Preserving by Janet Chadwick – along with some adjustments from Lisa (my Mom’s co-worker) and a few slight changes of mine. *Note – if you are water-bath canning tomatoes you must be very careful that you have enough acidity for your canned goods to stay safe to eat – therefore before you change any recipe make sure it is a change that can safely be made!

Lisa also let me borrow a hand crank food mill – thank goodness!

The first step was to get tomato puree from the tomatoes. Everyone helped out (except BooBoo.. she played and then went to sleep)


Once the tomatoes were pureed I placed the puree with all the additional ingredients in my stockpots – I didn’t have a big enough one for a whole batch, so I split the recipe in half and did two batches!

Once the tomato sauce came to a boil per the directions I transferred the sauce into oven safe cookware and placed it in the oven overnight (for 10 hours @ 200 degrees). It can also be reduced on the stove top by simmering and stirring often. Though the oven method takes longer it was easier for me because it was already late in the evening (as usual!).

After about 9 hours in the oven (bright and early the next morning) I started getting the jars, lids and canning water bath prepared.

Once enough time had passed I transferred the sauce into jars!

And I ended up with 2 quarts and 10 half pints! Can’t wait to make a pasta dish for everyone to use it.


Jan’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce (with Lisa’s changes and Jesse’s alterations!)

Yield: 6-7 quarts

The original recipe is listed (what I actually did if different is in parentheses)

  • 10 quarts tomato puree
  • 4 large onions (Thank you GRUB for the excess onions!)
  • 1/2 cup dried sweet basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano (added an extra teaspoon, yummy oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup honey or sugar (I used 1/3 up of raw honey)
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram (Didn’t have any, so this was omitted)
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1 teaspoon per Lisa’s recommendation!)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder (I used 2 plus a little)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons dried parsley (used my own dried parsley that I dried a few months ago – yay!)

Direction:

  • Puree tomatoes in a hand strainer (thank goodness I got to borrow one!). Chop onion finely. Put all ingredients together in a large pot and stir well. Bring to a boil on top of the stove.
  • Cook uncovered in a 200 degree over for 10 hours – do NOT stir.
  • Start prepping lids, jars, water bath an hour before cooking time is up.
  • After 10 hours transfer hot sauce into hot jars. *To ensure safety of the sauce add 1/2 teaspoon citric acid OR 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice to EACH quart jar. Leave 1/2 inch headspace .
  • Process for 35 minutes once water has returned to boil.
  • After jars have cooled (I usually let them sit for 24 hours), remove bands,check seals, label and store!!! (and start enjoying!)

I have also made in the past 2 days…..

  • Pizza Sauce
  • Catsup (maybe… it might end up just being more pasta sauce, lol)
  • Salsa
  • Whole Canned Tomatoes
  • Tomato Juice
  • and I’ve given several flats of tomatoes to my Mother in Law…

Tomorrow I am going to figure out what to make with the remainder of tomatoes that are left!

What is your favorite way to preserve tomatoes?

~Jesse

*Shared on Traditional Tuesdays: Nutritious & Delicious 9/20/2011!

*Shared on The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter 9/22/2011!

*Shared on Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday 9/23/2011!