Monday, July 28, 2008

Sign My Map!

I just added something new to my blog. Scroll alllllllllllllll the way to the bottom and you'll see my buddy map! Sign it so I know where you are!

Monday, July 21, 2008



Right now I have a big pan of granola in my oven. In total I'll have about 12-14 cups of granola for a fraction of the cost of the store bought variety. And, if I do say so myself, mine will taste better :-) At least hubby thinks so too!

Granola is one of those things that isn't hard to make and is super easy to customize according to your family's likes and dislikes. The recipe I use it out of "Whole Foods For the Whole Family" cookbook, but there are many recipes out there.

One Pan Granola

A recipe for granola is as good as your imagination and the ingredients on your pantry shelf.

Start with:
5-6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
Add 6 cups total of any or all of these:
soy flour
whole wheat flour
wheat germ
rolled wheat flakes
sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds
non-fat dry milk powder
shredded coconut
unsalted nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans)

Options for dry mixture:
1 cup bran
1/2 cup millet
1/4 cup soy grits
2T nutritional yeast
2t cinnamon
1t salt

Heat in large roasting pan:
1/2 to 1 cup oil or 2 sticks butter
1/2 to 1 cup honey, molasses or maple syrup or any mixture of these
1/2 cup water
2 t vanilla or almond extract

When liquid mixture is warm and thinned, begin adding dry ingredients; stir each in well with a large wooden spoon. Here's one situation where "too many cooks" are an asset-let all helpers have a turn!
Granola may be toasted right in the roasting-mixing pan! Set oven at 250; bake approximately 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. You may spread mixture on cookie sheets, too, for shorter baking time (about 30 minutes at 325). Turn with pancake turner at 10 minute intervals. Watch carefully until done to your family's taste; remember granola becomes crisper as it cools in the pan. If you have difficulty getting the mixture to taste cooked, you might try toasting the flours lightly in the oven or by stirring in an iron skillet for a few minutes.
When the cereal is cool, mix in iup to 2 cups of dried apricots, apple, or pineapple, raisin, dates or prunes. Serve "as is" for a snack, with milk or yogurt for breakfast, or create your own granola bars. It makes a thoughtful gift for the mother of a new baby with older children at home, or for friends at holiday time, packed in a decorative tin. Carry along for camping and hikes in little paper bags. Share with squirrels! Quantities of granola are easily adjusted up or down, according to family size. This recipe make about 14 cups.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mum Power

Guess you shouldn't make a Momma Bear mad....

"A McDonald's manager who told a young woman to stop breastfeeding found himself faced with a demonstration of Mum Power.

Maddie Reynolds returned with five friends she had met at ante-natal classes and they staged a mass feed-in at the restaurant.

'We all walked in to McDonald's together and sat around one table right by the counter,' said 27-year-old Miss Reynolds, a nursery nurse from Bournemouth.

We began breastfeeding our babies all at the same time to make a point. We caused a bit of a stir among customers but none of the staff looked our way.
'Someone told a manager what we were doing but he just muttered that he couldn't comment.'

Alison Purves, spokesman for McDonald's, said the company was 'disappointed' by the junior manager's actions. Breastfeeding mothers were welcomed in all its restaurants.

'This manager was working unilaterally and not following company policy at all. If another customer ever expressed their discomfort about breastfeeding we would encourage them to move rather than the mum.

'What we don't want to do is to make mums feel as if they have to hide away.'
She said the manager involved had been told he had made a mistake.

'We are confident he will make the right decision in future."

Read the whole article here

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We Are Family

Ever seen "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"? It's a good movie. You really should see it. If you haven't seen it or if you come from a small family, then you'll have no idea about what I'm about to talk about. So maybe you should just skip this post. Or not. You might find it amusing. Read on.

My family reminds me of the family in the movie. Everyone is in each others business. Sometimes it can be good. Sometimes it can be cool. The way we're always there for each other. I told my husband one time "My family may be colorful, but we've got each others back".

But (and you knew that was coming) sometimes, it can be tiring. The way we give unsolicited advice. Opinions. The way that we all know that we are the correct ones in the situation. Maybe all families do this. Maybe it's just more noticeable when there are 8-10 opinions flying.

As you've already guessed, my family is currently going through one of these moments add nauseam (sp?). This is where I want to graciously bow out because I can't change anything by giving my opinion. So why am I having a hard time doing so? I have no idea. But I think I'll go crazy if I continue hearing everything from both sides.

I'm tired. I'm going to bed now. I'll think more after sleep and caffine.

The Rule of Half

Long time, no hear. Sorry to all of you out there that have been waiting for a post. I'm in the middle of a hermit phase. This happens everytime I move. I get almost everything done around the house that needs to be done after a move, then I turn into a hermit because I have no friends and I'm bored. I'll try to do better.

So, to try and get myself out of said "hermit phase", I decided to post a Works for Me Wednesday idea. Enjoy :-)

A while back I was cruising around on some fugal pages and found "The Rule of Half". It goes like this. Use half of the normal amount of something. Anything. Dishwasher detergent, soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, etc. If you can divide it up, then do it! I found that my dishes were getting just as clean as before. I'm sure it is partially due to the unreal amount of heat that the water heater is set at (which, at our former residence, was not controlled by us). I use this rule in the shower by watering down all the soaps and shampoos. This works well since the kids use too much anyway.

Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more useful tips!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Baby Sitters

I was recently reading some blog posts where someone had asked how much they should pay a baby-sitter. One person responded with this, a baby-sitter rate calculator. I was shocked. Floored. Speechless. I have never paid a baby-sitter anything close to the rate that it says that I should. Granted, most of the baby-sitters I hire are younger than 17 (the youngest age possible in the calculator), but I tend to think that I'm not off the hook that easily. The interesting thing is that I searched for the rate in my little hometown in Indiana that I grew up in. Instead of the $13.75/hr rate that I would have to pay here, it's only $6/hr!

Conclusion: I need to find another family that is willing to do baby-sitting swaps if I ever want to go out on a date with my husband again.