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Archive for October, 2012

Feed Your Family Friday

Thoughtfully penned on October 19th, 2012 and generally concerning In the kitchen, Menu Planning

Since our menu runs Friday through Thursday, I thought I’d start posting it on Fridays. It helps me to have it posted here; both so I have a reference during the week, and so I can look back on previous weeks for ideas. Anyway, this is how I will be feeding my family this week…

Friday – pizza

Saturday – lunch: picnic at the pumpkin patch / dinner: honey lime tilapia, crash hot potatoes, green beans

Sunday – lunch: leftovers or fend / dinner: Fallapalooza at church

Monday – chicken and cheesy rice casserole with broccoli

Tuesday – Easy Noodle Stir Fry with veggies

Wednesday – leftovers

Thursday – south of the border skillet

Happy Friday!

October FOUR

Thoughtfully penned on October 16th, 2012 and generally concerning FOUR


(Last Tuesday)

On the fourth we spent the morning at the park with friends. Enjoying the moment and visiting with someone is who is dear to me, yet I don’t see often, meant pictures were forgotten in the fun. The four were there. The memories are there. Even if there is no photographic evidence.

Last Tuesday we spent a good part of the day at the zoo with friends. The weather was beautiful. The kids had fun. I enjoyed visiting with another friend. I remembered to capture some of the moments on “film”.

Part of living in the moment is being present without distraction. Enjoying the time and making memories without the presence of the camera.

Part of living in the moment is being present and recording the fun. Enjoying the time and taking pictures to look back on and remember.

Both are good. Both are right.

My life is hectic. Often the camera is forgotten. But I hope my children remember – remember the fun, remember the friends, remember the joys of their childhood.

If they do, I have served them well.

Getting UNREAL

Thoughtfully penned on October 13th, 2012 and generally concerning Good Eats, Reviews

As most of you know, at the beginning of this year our family made some significant changes to the way we eat. One of the things that had to go (much to the dismay of our children) was candy. When you are avoiding high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors, it’s hard to pick up candy at the grocery.

When I was presented with the opportunity to try Unreal candies, I was intrigued. Unreal has made it their mission to “unjunk” junk food. Their mission statement says, “We believe that all junk food can be made differently, with better ingredients, without the junk, with great taste, and at the same price.”

Unreal makes candy with real cane sugar, real milk, more cacao, and more protein and fiber; and WITHOUT corn syrup, artificial preservatives, hydrogenated fats, and artificial colors or flavors.

But how does it compare to the “real” stuff?

As the host for an in-home party, I was able to put my guests to the test…the taste test. (My kids loved this part). Everyone took a blind taste of “real” thing and then a taste of the Unreal thing. Unreal definitely held its own, and even surpassed the “original” in a lot of cases.

Because of the higher amount of cacao, the Unreal chocolate has a darker chocolate taste (where the usual grocery store fare is milk chocolate). That was really the main difference noted by the taste testers. You can definitely taste the real ingredients in Unreal. One big difference was the size of the peanut in the candy coated chocolate with peanuts. The “original” has a peanut “chip” where Unreal has an actual, whole peanut. Definitely better!

Overall, Unreal got great reviews. Everyone said they would definitely pick it up in stores (it’s available at many national and regional retailers). I enjoyed the opportunity to share better junk food with my family and friends. And I am thankful that I now have an option to give my children a treat that is easily accessible and doesn’t contain HFCS and artificial colors!

And now for the disclaimer…I received product to review and share with my friends and family as well as monetary compensation for my participation in this campaign. The money did not have any bearing on the words I wrote. This stuff really is tasty and better for you (although, still junk food). I just have to make sure you now I was paid. But, whatever, you need to try it.

Our Big One Year Old

Thoughtfully penned on October 1st, 2012 and generally concerning M

Wow, I haven’t done an update on sweet baby M since she was six months old! Some kind of mother I am! LOL

Now that she is 13.5 months old, let’s catch up on a few things…

M was an early crawler (like all of the kids around here). She was up on her hands and knees at six months and zooming around not long after that. Walking came at 11 months, and now she’s running (which is pretty funny to see, actually).


She never really liked puréed foods, so we used a baby led weaning approach to food introduction. She started solids about 7 months and by 8 months was eating most anything she wanted. She still hates to be fed with a spoon.

She finally started sleeping through the night between 10 and 11 months.

She started out a little hesitantly with words, but now her vocabulary is growing by the week. She said Da-da for months, but that was about it. Labor Day weekend she finally started saying Mama. She also says “di-di” (bye bye) while waving (often with something over her shoulder like a bag) and “eeee” while reaching when she wants something to eat. Her very first word was “this” followed shortly by “that”.


M thinks sign language is hilarious. We’ve tried for months (since she was probably 7 months old) to introduce basic signs (more, please, thank you, all done, drink, eat, amen), but anytime we sign to her she just laughs. She has been known to sign “more” on occasion but not regularly.

M loves her blankie, her thumb, and her Little People. She will sit in her bedroom floor for 10 minutes playing with the dollhouse and castle.

She also loves her siblings. She wants to be involved in whatever they are doing, and if any of them is laying on the floor she will lay down on them or sit on them.


M is a precious, adorable, fun baby girl. We love her to pieces, and I don’t know what life would be like without her. We love you, baby M! You are the cutest, sweetest baby in the world!

sorry for the blurry pictures. they were all taken with my phone, and we know how that goes with a child constantly in motion.