Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day 1 - Playing in the Dirt

As promised, I began my newest adventure today...Gardening. Because we still have a high probability for another frost here, I decided to start my sweet little seedlings in a mini self-watering greenhouse. I went to Walmart (I know, I know...I am going to the local gardening store for everything else...I swear!) and grabbed a Burpee's Self Watering seed starter for about $20, a 1cu ft bag of Miracle Gro potting soil and two cute little 12 in plastic flower pots. Then I picked up seeds for a few veggies (like carrots, onions and spinach), a 4 pack of perennial flowers grown mostly for cutting (hollyhock, shasta daisies, echinacea, and coreopsis) that will be going in my little raised flower bed and mixed flower pack for those flower pots I got.

I followed the directions on the seed starting kit and planted my veggie and perennial flower seeds in it (72 hopeful plants!). Finally, I filled my flower pots with the potting soil and let the 7 year old help me sprinkle the mixed flower seeds on top. We added a little more soil, added water to all the seeds and sent up a prayer that these things start sprouting soon ;) Day one is down...now grow seedlings grow!!

Come On Spring!!!!

If there is one time a year that I feel is longer than any other time, it's March. It seems that the entire month is filled with days that each could be, but wont be, spring days. Moving to New England from the Midwest, I have realized that winter is not always the same in different regions and here, winter is cold and gloomy. Most days are overcast enough that just getting out of bed is a chore much less finding the energy to do anything productive. Between that and looking at the snow that is  covering the ground more often than not, you have ideal conditions for cabin fever. I have been pining away for spring since December and we are finally almost there! In preparation for being outside most of the summer I decided that I will try my hand at gardening. Yesterday I went and bought seeds and a few planters for several vegetables and a few flowers. I am going to post my progress on those as well under this new category. I am planning on starting my little seedlings today so check back later or possibly tomorrow to see how it begins ;)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Great Outdoors!

I spent, and I am not kidding, a minimum of 3 hours this week looking online for fun things to do outside with kids. I have been waiting for that first warmish day, which in New England seems to be any day in the upper 40s, to get my girls outside. I even created a new board on Pinterest so I wouldn't forget anything I saw that looked entertaining. All of that and I overlooked the one thing that not only doesn't take any preparation but little to no effort...and thanks to my husband it is now my number one outdoor activity. How could I forget GOING FOR A WALK!?!?! It cool and a little windy so I bundled the baby up, put a sweatshirt on, grabbed the stroller, a scooter for the 7 year old and we took off. We only spent maybe 45 minutes on our walk but I cannot stress how much good it did! The 1 year old laughed and laughed watching her big sister and daddy play. Between watching the kids and my hubby and all of that beautiful sunshine I felt like a whole new person by the time we got home! We got a little exercise, a little fresh air and some quality time together. I do believe we will be doing that as often as possible ;)

Check back soon for more ideas on outdoor activities for the family!

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Friday, March 22, 2013


If you have any suggestions on a great novel or series to read, please send me a message on my Facebook page! I could always use backups since I go through most in just a couple of days ;)


Unexpected Surprise!

Seeing as though I just started this blog within the last month, I was a little surprised to log in and see that over 800 people have seen the post I added yesterday evening. Talk about the wonders of social networking. I feel like I need to find something extra inspirational to say now! Seriously though, it got me thinking about how so many use things like Facebook or Pinterest to spew negativity. Clearly things spread like wildfire when it come to the "inter-web", as my husband joking calls it. Here is to me trying to keep this blog about positive things, delicious foods, epiphany causing novels and some fun things for kids. If you have comments or suggestions I would love to hear them! You can like my fb page and share them with the world ;)



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Every Mother on the Planet Should Read This!!!

I have seen more moms condemn other moms for not breast feeding, giving their baby Gerber baby food, going back to work, etc. Its disgusting. These choices are a mothers prerogative and how dare anyone judge them for doing what deem best for their baby and their family!!

I remember being completely embarrassed when a fellow mother asked me "You mean you feed your baby that?" while I was feeding my 9 month old a meal from a jar. What the hell does it matter to you lady? I am not a drunk, I have never physically, verbally or emotionally abused my kids, I have never abandoned them nor will I. I simply didn't have time to prepare an entire meal for her before I left my house yet I felt like less of a mother because she felt that GOOD moms only fed their baby home grown organic veggies and grass fed beef.

I have been given lectures on giving my baby a pacifier. I gave my older daughter one and not only has it not caused any emotional defects but she also has beautiful teeth. My baby will use one as long as I decide to allow it. I am sorry if you lose sleep over that.

I had an epidural with my first, I fed her formula and I went back to work after she was born. I had a natural birth with my second, breastfed her until 10 months and I and quit my job to become a stay at home mom after she was born. They both have had pacifiers, slept in my bed, worn huggies, eaten gerber baby food, taken naps lying on my chest and I love them both beyond measure.

 That being said, I have never read a blog post that made more sense than this one...
Some of the best quotes from it:

"So if you want to put your baby in all organic diapers and grow and make your own baby food, go right ahead. If you just gave your toddler a can of cold Spaghetti-os for lunch, no problem, you are in good company (even if no one else admits it)."

" For the first time I started to see parents treating each other with absolute scorn. No longer were women just a little defensive over their choices. What came next was out and out war."

I am seriously going to print this and give it to every new mom I meet. You do what you know is best for your baby and give other mothers that same freedom.

I know this has been a long post but please read the letter to moms that this lady did... it is really amazing.

Thanks for listening ;)

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The Promise of Stardust

This one hooked me from page 1. Pricille Sibley's story about a man torn between following through with his wife's wishes to take her off life support after a horrific accident or keep her alive long enough to save the unborn baby she had always wanted is one I am thrilled I bought a hard copy of. My favorites always make it to a bookshelf as opposed to spending its lifetime in my kindle library. I was on the verge of tears for, literally, half the story. It reminded me of a Jodi Picoult book (no wonder I loved it) in that it is based on an ultra controversial issue; the only difference being I felt this author focused more on the main characters stories than what was happening in the court room. This was this authors first novel and I can honestly say I will read her next one no matter the topic!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Outdoor Waterbed

While perusing Pinterest for the first time in weeks I came across something that reminded me why I LOVE that website!!

Being that I seem to have a hard time finding fun outdoor things to last all summer I repined this once right away and decided this is numero uno for the first hot day we have!!

I found instructions for this awesome thing at Utah County Mom's Blog

Genorosity of Children

I took the kids to the evil store (aka Walmart) about a week ago and by the time we got out of there the 7 year old and I were STARVING. She took full advantage of that and convinced me to buy a bag of the Cool Ranch Doritos for us to share. We got in the car and started the 40 minute drive home with her in possession of the chips. She handed me 4. Not wanting it to be that kind of trip home I took what she had rationed me. I reached me hand back a minute or two later and the sweet child handed me 2 more chips. I really taught her the gift of sharing! After finishing those I asked if there were any left to which she responded (while jabbing her hand in my face), "Nope, but you can lick my fingers if you want!" HAHAHA! Saved the best for last and offered it to me. I respectfully declined. Kids....I swear!

I Know This Much is True

Just last night I finished a book that my husband's cousin recommended; I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb. Centered around Dominick Birdsey, the sane brother of schizophrenic identical twin, Thomas, you bear witness to his story of self discovery, forgiveness and atonement. While dark, morbidly depressing and gut wrenching at times it is also incredibly inspirational. The complex bond the brothers share is only one of the relationships you dive headfirst into during the 900 page novel but is, by far, my favorite. By the end of it I was really amazed at how unapologetic the author was telling the story: This is life. Family, pain, love, anger, betrayal and redemption. No big fairy tales here. I think that is why the book really got to me. Def one I would suggest to anyone!

You can find more about this novel on www.goodreads.com

Women's Clothing Boutique Grand Opening

A friend of mine has just opened her brand new online women's clothing boutique!! In the months to come, they will be offering an even wider selection of clothing including jeans, jeggings, shorts, tons more dresses and tops, maternity clothes, baby and toddler clothes, jewelery and accessories! Check out her new site by clicking the link below. You can even contact them if there is something you have seen on Pinterest or Wanelo and they will try to find it for you!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


While cleaning up after dinner, I called my cousin for yet another one of our ever enlightening conversations. I told her that my hubby finally mentioned having another baby. As I started listing off a couple of cute baby girl names for this hypothetical child she reminded me of the risk we run of having twins. I then explained to her why I know that wont happen...I have always heard that God wont give you more than you can handle and Lord knows my patience runs too thin to have two babies at once. Crisis diverted right? Lol! Guess we'll see one day ;)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Blogging My Little Heart Out

...And enjoying every minute of it! I created a Facebook page to go along with (Click here to be directed to All That is Woman FB page) and have well over 100 likes in the first few days! Pretty cool!! I am working on really getting some awesome recipes up for people to try and will work on getting kid friendly activities and some book review type posts up soon. Who would have thought it would be so hard to find time to sit down and type up old recipes between cooking 3 meals a day, cleaning, doing laundry, getting the hubby out the door and to work every morning, the 7 year old to school looking as clean and awake as possible, keeping an eye on and playing with the 1 year old, reading a chapter or two and watching some of my new favorite show, Sons of Anarchy. LOL. What an amazing life I lead. I love every second of it and wouldn't trade it for anything ;) More tomorrow


Mango Smoothie

Here is a fantastic smoothie recipe. I went through a phase where I literally had one everyday for weeks! Much healthier than ice cream ;)

2 cups frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup to 1 cup orange juice
1 small container yoplait strawberry banana thick and creamy yogurt
1/2 cup dannon vanilla yogurt

Blend all ingredients well. Serve immediately. Add more orange juice if too thick, more mango if too watery.

Hashbrown Cassarole

One of my favorite comfort foods...

1 lb frozen hash browns
1 stick butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cup onion, peeled and chopped
1 8oz package shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Sausage Balls

This is definitely a family favorite! My aunt will make enough to fill 4 gallon size freezer bags and it lasts a couple of days at the most.

3 1/2 cups biscuit mix (like bisquick)
1 lb of sausage (we ALWAYS use Jimmy Dean Sage or Hot)
1 lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Let all ingredients come to room temp. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all three ingredients together and roll into appx 1 inch balls. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Can also be frozen. Just writing this makes me want to go make them! Maybe I will just have to do that....

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Old Faithful - 7 Layer Dip

Layer in order in a 9x13 in baking dish
16 ounces re fried beans (or bean dip)
1 cup sour cream  
1 cup guacamole
1 cup salsa (Mild or Medium depending on your own preference)
1 cup Mexican blend cheese
1 cup sliced black olives
1 cup chopped green onion
I usually sprinkle a little more cheese on top for good measure.

Always a favorite for a reason!

Spinach Stuffing Balls

Here is a recipe for an awesome little snack. I made these to take to a party and they were the first things to go!

1 pkg.  (6 oz.) flavored stuffing mix (I use stove top for chicken)
1-2/3 cups hot water
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 pkg. (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained and patted dry
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 small  onion, finely chopped
4  egg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix stuffing mix, hot water and butter in a bowl until thoroughly blended. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir just enough to mix (you don't want to smash all of the stuffing into mush). Spoon 1 inch balls onto non stick cooking sheets.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Can be served with ranch, sour cream, salsa or by themselves!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Greatest Website!

For anyone that loves to read, this is the greatest website ever created! You can set up virtual bookshelves and add, rate and categorize every book you have ever read. I have book shelves set up for books I have read, book I want to read and then books that changed my life. On top of all that you can get recommendations based on the ratings you have given the books you already read! I have come across some pretty awesome books by using this feature. Plus, its kind of fun to log in and see that you have read 180 books ;)

Do yourself a favor and check it out!

Goodreads: Book reviews, recommendations, and discussion

Friday, March 1, 2013

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

While perusing Pinterest one day, I found the solution to our "Run out the door in the morning with a nasty poptart because we woke up late and didnt have time to make breakfast" problem.

                                   Click Here to Get the Recipe for Freezer Breakfast Burritos
It literally took me an hour to make TWENTY FIVE burritos! My hubby and I ate them over the course of a few weeks and they were fantastic! Probably saved us a truckload since we weren't stopping to buy a $4 breakfast burrito... just threw one in the microwave for a couple minutes and grabbed it as we flew out the door! I even changed it up and bit (we were on a health kick at that moment) and I used whole wheat tortillas, turkey sausage and half egg whites half whole eggs. They tasted awesome and made our mornings a little smoother.

The Best Steak on the Planet

The first order of business when making restaurant quality steak is to buy... quality steak. Fortunately for us there is a butcher a mile away where we buy the most beautiful sirloins I have ever seen. Second, bring the steak to room temp. Don't ask why because I don't have a clue. I believe it has something to do with the steak steaming instead of searing if you don't. All I know is it works for me and I am going to keep on keeping on.Just set them on the counter for an hour or so.
Once the meat is room temp, pat dry with a paper towel and season. I just use salt and pepper...maybe even a bit of garlic powder but usually not.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. As the oven heats up, put the cast iron skillet on a large burner and heat it up to med high temperature. Add about 2 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil to your skillet. Once it is bubbling hot, lay your steak in the skillet and DO NOT MOVE IT. Our steaks are close to an inch and a half thick and I generally let it cook for about 4 minutes then flip it and let it get another 3-4 minutes.
Using an oven mitt, place the skillet into the oven and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from oven and, using tongs, place the steaks on a plate before covering with foil to let rest.

We always have this with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts or maybe sauteed green beans.
                                                          You're welcome ;)

No Bake Energy Bites

You will need:

1 cup oatmeal (old fashioned)
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey (or 3 tbsp Agave Nectar and 3 tbsp honey)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
Layer coconut flakes on non stick pan and place in oven at 325 degrees until lightly browned. Then, stir everything above in a medium bowl until well mixed.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, use a cookie dropper (or a spoon if you don't have one handy)!  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. Ours never last longer than a couple of days though ;)

slightly adapted from http://smashedpeasandcarrots.blogspot.com/2011/08/no-bake-energy-bites-recipe.html