12 Thanksgiving Crock-Pot Recipes

Whaaaat?!?!?! Dare you say “crock-pot” and “Thanksgiving” in the same sentence? Yes, yes I did……We do it the hard way or just accept that cooking the T-Day meal is downright challenging in and of itself. I opt for the latter.

It’s totally acceptable and really, kinda smart if you ask me, since everyone else is doing things the hard way. Break that bad boy out and ease the pain of preparing food for the small army that is about to descend upon your house!

  1. Mashed Potatoes
  2. Sweet Potatoes
  3. Pecan Pie
  4. Candied Yams
  5. Apple Crumble Dessert
  6. Apple Cider
  7. Pumpkin Cobbler
  8. Green bean casserole
  9. Sausage and apple stuffing
  10. Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding
  11. Cranberry Sauce
  12. Apple Butter Yeast Rolls

Is there anything a crock-pot can’t do? I mean, seriously! We own two of these bad-boy cooking machines and you had better bet I plan to use them this year….

What will you be crock-potting this Thanksgiving?

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Random Acts of Kindness | Week 1

What it’s all about: awakening the capacity to love and the ability to give within our community. This can be a global act if we take the time to share our good deeds – let’s inspire others to do the same!

  • Spread the word by sharing the daily posts for the next 30 days.
  • Post a picture of what you’ve done that day to bless others
  • Tag your friends, fellow bloggers or pages admins; we want to magnify the message to the furthest reaches of the planet! We’ve been given the chance to heal through love – now that’s grace if I’ve ever seen it ūüôā

If there’s one song to sum it all up, it’s this one: “Come Alive” by Lauren Daigle

In the spirit of the challenge, I am also offering up some alternative ideas. To take part, you don’t have to do what is posted, it’s just an idea for the day to get the creative juices started. Here’s a few more ideas to carry you through the week:

  1. Offer to help an elderly neighbor with housekeeping duties or carry in the groceries
  2. Pick up the tab for the mom in line at the grocery store
  3. Pay it forward at Starbucks
  4. Leave a little post-it note on the mirror in the bathroom that says “You’re beautiful”
  5. Give a police officer a Visa gift card and a thank you note
  6. Surprise the office with donuts in the morning
  7. Bring the neighbor some cookies

Disappointment and Kindness

There are many times in this life where things don’t go the way we planned and it’s okay to feel let down or to be sad about it. In the midst of all that is going on in the world today, many of us are feeling raw but today I am going to give you a reason to carry on. An no, this is not another political post, this post is about life in general.

Love – it’s the reason we are here. We aren’t here to be famous or to get rich, we are here to learn how to love one another and currently, as a species, we are failing miserably.

In a world of social media and information overload, we often feel alone even when in a room full of people. I think it’s normal to feel the frustration of not truly being understood or even known; now is the time to put down the devices that cause the divide. It is time to look people in the eye and let them know you care.

I decided that, as a response to current events, I would not partake in the hate and divisive propaganda. I choose to show love as fiercely as others show hate, even to complete strangers.

For example, we went to dinner the other night and our waiter was clearly struggling. The others in my party were complaining about how terrible the service was and I think he overheard the conversation because he distanced himself for a bit and had someone else bring us stuff. ¬†When he came back, before he made any eye contact or could take our order, I asked how his night was going. You could see his shoulders relax and his face lit up, he was excited that someone actually cared enough to ask. ¬†As it turns out, it was his third day on the job and his first shift solo. If you’ve ever waited tables before, you know it’s a challenging thing, especially in the beginning. I asked everyone in the party to leave an unusually good tip and I wrote out a note and left it for our waiter, reading simply:

“You’re doing great! Keep up the good work!”

As we walked out to the car, I could see the waiter collecting the tab receipts and reading the note. His face lit up like Christmas day and he excitedly ran over to a co-worker to show off the note; he was beaming! All it took was one simple act of kindness from a stranger to let him know that he would survive the new job and that he wasn’t a complete failure. One simple note changed the outcome of his evening and who knows what else.

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We often get too wrapped up in our own world to notice what is happening with anyone else around us. Now is the time to start a revolution, the kind that can truly change the world for the better. Stop protesting in the streets, stop hurting people, stop whining about what hasn’t even happened yet and start leading by example.

Amidst all my efforts to do nice things for others, it seems the world is getting tougher on me. I choose not to let my disappointment stand in the way of making peaceful progress.

It is truly hard to stay this path when I am personally mourning the loss of what I thought was a sure bet, but I choose to be the storm.

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I am going to issue a challenge to each and every one of you:

  • share this post
  • share how you’re showing love to others.

My personal goal is to share one Random Act of Kindness with a truly random person each day for the next 30 days. Let’s be the change we wish to see.

 

This Just Feels Dirty | 2016 Election

The one thing I can say with complete confidence about this election is that it will be talked about for years to come; history has been made. The American People are tired of the establishment…… But will it be the end of the Two-Party System? I doubt it.

Collectively, as a people, we voted between two known criminals to lead the new world. Living in America feels a bit less like a functioning Democracy and bit more like living in The Republic from Star Wars. Where is Queen Amidala when you need her?

I sat silently on the couch last night, eyes transfixed on the TV screen as election results rolled in, praying the People would make a good decision. It was the first time in forever that I’ve denied my kids access to their beloved Netflix as I watched the news roll in. ¬†My kids, 4 and 6, watched as they passed through the room and only sat next to me near bedtime as they wondered what all the fuss was about.

I explained to them that history was being made tonight, that we were voting between a hot-headed business man and the first potentially viable female President of the United States who was also a terrifying choice. I also explained that Mommy and Daddy had both cast our votes alongside most of the other Americans and that we would have a new leader for our county soon. They marveled at the idea of being able to witness something so big.

Near 10pm, my husband switched off the TV and said he was tired of watching this crap. It’s easy to get caught up in it and forget that the popular vote isn’t always a match for the electoral college vote, so we switched it back over to Netflix to take our mind off of things.

I woke up to my Facebook Newsfeed for election results: Trump won.

Crud.

Now what?

I knew my candidate wasn’t going to get the popular vote, but a small part of me wished a miracle would occur and that Gary Johnson would win. It’d be the ultimate message to The Establishment, but I knew deep down that we are only in the infancy of this fight. I cast my vote for him anyways, though. I don’t tell you this to incite further debate because frankly, I’m tired of the arguing. Can’t we all just get along and appreciate the fact that we all have Freedom of Speech?

So, this morning has been a roller coaster of emotions. I wasn’t going to be happy either way, but now I am living in fear, just like the other half of America who didn’t vote for Trump.

The last thing the American people should fear is their future under the President Elect, but a lot of us do. Some have already drawn parallels between movie character bullies and Hitler.

The rest of the world just collectively did a face palm.

This all¬†just feels dirty. We feel raw emotionally. I kinda want to just cry and I know I’m not alone in this.

The good news, though?

The good news is that although he’s been elected, he cannot act alone. Our forefathers had the presence of mind to build in fail-safes into our Constitution and government workings that do not allow the errant lunatic to run stark raving mad unchecked.

Yay!

The bad news is that we now have to place our faith in the hands of career politicians who are responsible for the mess we are already in…. you know, the whole reason the American People thought it as a good idea to elect this guy? It boggles my mind that almost all of the politicians in my state up for re-election won their seat back while the populace is raving about how bad they’ve been representing our interests. Change starts locally and it cannot happen if you keep the status quo in office locally.

I think it all boils down to how we, as a whole, handle the future. How do we move forward? The same way we always have: with our heads held high, always remembering our values, hard work and above all else, remembering to be kind to each other.

We cannot move forward if we are constantly pushing each other back based on opposing view points. ¬†Appreciate, creatively disagree if you want, but always value each other and be kind. It’s going to be okay…….

Don’t forget to teach your kids¬†its okay to have your candidate not win; it’s not a reason to give up. Teach persistence.

 

Bug Bites and How I Deal

My regular everyday full time job, in addition to being a sarcastic mommy-blogger, is a senior portrait photographer. My primary place to photograph clients is at a well-known outdoor garden which was recently voted the most beautiful place in the state but due to the large ponds and acreage of plants, it also harbors a large number of mosquitoes, therefore bug bites are a regular part of my on-the-job life.

I’m not a fan of spraying myself down with pesticides and chemicals known to cause cancer, so I have explored just about every other option out there.

You all know that I have a love affair with essential oils, so my first attempt to stave off the flying and biting bugs was to try Purification Blend from Young Living; while I have had pretty good results from this one in the past, but the bugs in this garden seemed resistant to it’s “charms.” Purification Blend is made up of¬†Citronella oil, Lavandin oil, Lemongrass oil, Rosemary oil, Myrtle oil, and Tea Tree oil. I tried it as a roller top and a spray to cover more area. Verdict: Works against normal bugs but not the insanely blood hungry beasts flying around the outdoor garden I work in.

Purification Oil

Next, I tried Melaleuca’s Natural Insect Repellent, which boasts 99% effectiveness against mosquitoes and other biting insects (ants, ticks, fleas and mosquitoes mentioned on label). While using this bottle (over a period of 3 weeks at work plus a camping trip with the family), I saw no reduction in mosquito bites and my son came home with a tick after our camping trip. Active ingredients listed on the label: sodium laurel sulfate, citric acid, peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, lemongrass oil, thyme oil and geranium oil. Verdict: Not impressed, no change in frequency of bites. It may actually attract them.

Melaleuca Insect Repellent

At this point, I was feeling a bit disappointed because I knew my options were dwindling for ways to keep the bugs off of me without being covered in poison.

While shopping at Wally World recently, I found Repel Natural. Skeptical at first, I read the label over and over thinking I’d see something terrible on the ingredient list, but there wasn’t (it’s not the best line up for healthy stuff). ¬†Contains: Geraniol, Soybean oil, water, isopropyl alcohol, carbon dioxide, vanillin, sodium benzoate and polyglyceryl oleate. Verdict: It works and it works well!

repel natural

Conclusion: While there are plenty of options on the market that may work for small stints in the open, sometimes there are stubborn bugs that just DGAF about what EOs you’re wearing. Repel Natural was the best non-pesticide option I’ve been able to find on the market and it smells nice. Side perk: it was also the cheapest of the three options.

Stay tuned for Part Deux: Bug Bite Remedies

 

Essential Oils: The Debate as old as Ford vs Chevy

I LOVE EOs! Yeah, I said it. I am a skeptic when it comes to most things considered “hippy dippy” but essential oils completely won me over a few years ago…..

**Cue the flashback track**

Almost 4 years ago, I was a sleep deprived but happy stay-at-home mom with an energetic two year old boy and a colicky breastfeeding infant. Life was pretty good except for a nagging tooth infection following a root canal that was going to require a 30 day dose of heavy antibiotics and would end my breastfeeding experience with my daughter. My heart was breaking at the thought of switching her to formula, especially with all the formula recalls, articles about allergies being linked to formula usage and her already existing soy allergy… the road ahead looked bleak.

Out of desperation, I turned to essential oils to heal my tooth and get my health back in order. I started oil pulling with unrefined unprocessed organic coconut oil before brushing and my dentist saw a difference in as little as a week! My gums and teeth were improving, but I still needed to reach the infection at the base of the tooth root. I needed a miracle…..

I’d heard about the wonders of oregano oil, so my first purchase, I knew, would include this oil.

I threw a call out on Facebook to all of my friends to see which company I should purchase from and my peers would steer me towards Young Living…so I checked them out. The prices were a bit of a turn off, but I liked what I saw when it came to purity and long-term reputation.¬† “If I’m gonna do this, I should do this right.”

From where I was standing, after all the dust had settled from my fast and furious Google “research”, my only two real options were DoTerra or Young Living.

  • Both offered Oregano Oil that could be used in the mouth.¬† Check!
  • Both were pricey. Ugh!
  • Both were MLMs… double Yuck but whatever, I’m not getting into the business end, its just personal use for me!
  • Both had good reputations. Check.
  • Both boasted the highest quality oils, suitable for ingestion. Check.
  • Both offered a similar cold and flu blend (Thieves vs On Guard)

The factors that helped me make my decision:

  • Trusted friends & family spoke up in favor of YL
  • YL had a 20+ year track record – the oldest by far
  • YL Seed to Seal Guarantee
    • First press vs 2nd or 3rd press: If you own the distillery, why wouldn’t you keep the first press when you’re producing it anyways but first press is more highly prized? It’s a “Duh” business move….of course you would!
    • 2nd, 3rd and other presses are sold off to competitor companies who adulterate the mixture by diluting and mixing with additives or preservatives for more mileage.
    • I love that they’re willing to scrap an entire batch/harvest because it doesn’t meet their standards.¬† Most companies are unwilling to do that…. if they even own the fields the crop was grown in!

About a year into my love affair with essential oils, the curiosity started to get to me again. At that point, I was taking part in little vendor shows at neighborhood kid resale stores and there would usually be another oil lady there from either DT or YL (depending on the month). After a couple of months, I finally mustered up the courage to ask the Do Terra rep if I could smell her oils and compare side by side with my own kit of YL oils. All the drama talk of “Us vs Them” was getting under my skin and I just HAD TO KNOW once and for all. The results were more surprising than I ever thought they would be….

I always carry Lavender and Peppermint with me in my purse; I don’t leave home without it. I’d overheard her talking about how their lavender and peppermint were so superior to YL because of the smell difference so I honestly expected the DoTerra oils to put up more of a fight….

  • Lavender: I started with lavender because I knew it would be the most obvious one for me. Up until I started YL, I thought lavender smelled like crusty old ladies, attics and bad perfume. Young Living lavender smells like a real flower would, it doesn’t give me a headache and I rather enjoy the smell of YL’s oil.¬† One sniff of the DoTerra oil and BAM! My nose wrinkled up and I reeled away….. it was better than those cheap lavender air fresheners but it still smelled terrible to me and now I was starting to get a headache.
  • Peppermint: I’ve used peppermint for many things and have grown accustomed to the smell of YL peppermint oil – its in constant stock around my house! The sniff test revealed to me that DoTerra peppermint oil includes some additives or perfumes because it smelled like a candy cane to me. Having cut most of the sugar from my diet and knowing how to make candies and sweets, it makes no sense to me why a natural plant (aside from licorice) would smell sugary sweet unless it was not as pure as it claims.

Here’s another troubling thought directly from DoTerra’s website: CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade is a registered trademark of dŇćTERRA Holdings, LLC representing internal standards of quality assessment and material control. The CPTG protocol is not administered by government or industry regulatory agencies and does not imply regulatory approval of dŇćTERRA products.


 

The more you dig, the more you’ll find on the cat fight between the two companies especially since DoTerra was the lovechild of past YL corporate officers who thought they could “do it better.” If you chase this one down the rabbit hole, you’re just going to feel dirty. I try to just ignore the drama because, frankly, I don’t care. I just want oils that are consistently good and I’ve found that in Young Living.

I am not going to tell you which brand to choose because like me, you’re just going to have to do a little research and make your own decision on which path is right for you and your family.¬† I always advocate listening to your gut when it comes to making decisions that affect your family and trust me…. you’ll end up using oils for just about everything on just about everyone, so it should be a family decision.

I achieved what I wanted to with essential oils and no smear campaign is going to change the story about how I avoided additional dental surgery and potentially irreversible internal damage from antibiotics by using essential oils. I continued to breastfeed my daughter up until her 2nd birthday and that is irreplaceable to me. That’s memory gold.

I have many, many more life-changing stores about how essential oils have worked for me, but I’m going to save them for another time. My goal here was just to help others understand why I chose Young Living in the beginning and continue to choose YL, the rest is up to you.

Oh, and by the way, for all those naysayers who say it’s dangerous or illegal to use essential oils internally…. Young Living, in case you hadn’t heard, has actually been cleared by the FDA for internal usage as a dietary supplement. Last I checked, it was the only one cleared to do so. The Vitality Line – check it out.

If you’d like to see more stories about how people have used essential oils in their lives, check out www.oil-testimonials.com.

Got questions? Want to learn more? Drop me a line! I love to talk oils and I can even arrange an Intro to EOs class for you either in person or online!

Shop or sign up for your distributor discount at Young Living here

Morning Favs: Chorizo & Potato Breakfast Burritos

In our house, WE LOVE BURRITOS. We love Mexican food to be exact, but breakfast burritos happen around here fairly regularly because:

  • they’re cheap
  • they’re tasty
  • they’re easy
  • they store well in the freezer
  • they’re awesome for a quick breakfast on the go during the week.

Making one or two with the leftovers during the weekend will eventually create a valuable stockpile of burritos you can pull from as you jolt out the door during the week.

Having grown up in Southern California and Arizona, I find that my tastes for “authentic” Mexican food is a little different from the typical local restaurant and that the further you get from “the border”, the more the idea varies. Don’t even get me started on that junk they serve at Taco Bell! I struggled to find a good chorizo y papas (chorizo & potato) burrito in Colorado; I haven’t even tried since I hit Tulsa.

My husband fell in love with chorizo burritos after the first time I made them but never really respected the “technique” until he was confronted with making them himself. While his attempt was a valiant effort, he just couldn’t understand what I did to make them so yummy! You see, lots of places will make it like he did, with a layer of scrambled eggs and a layer of the sausage topped with the potatoes, but it ends up being salty, spicier and the texture just isn’t quite as nice. Here’s the secret to a rockin’ chorizo burrito.

Ingredients:

  • Tortillas (burrito size)
  • Eggs (8-12 depending on how spicy you like things)
  • Frozen potato shreds (hash browns) or Potato O’Brien Mix
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salsa of your choice

Directions:

  1. In one skillet, cook potatoes according to directions on their package. Set aside.
  2. In second skillet, open the chorizo and squeeze into the skillet over medium heat. Immediate crack open desired number of eggs into the same pan (the more eggs you add, the less spicy it will be. We are spice wimps, so we go with no less than 8 eggs to a tube of chorizo sausage.) Mix the eggs and sausage together until it looks like an orange pan of scrambled eggs; the sausage will blend into the eggs without any lumps if cooked over a medium-low heat. The sausage will be cooked once the eggs are sufficiently hard scrambled.
  3. Place a scoop of the chorizo mix down the middle of a tortilla. Top with a scoop of potatoes, shredded cheese and salsa. If you’re eating it right away, feel free to add some sour cream to taste. Fold the top and bottom in, then roll from one side to the other.
  4. Leftovers: build burritos (minus sour cream), fold and wrap in tin foil and store burritos in a freezer bags. Freeze until ready to eat. To re-heat, remove foil, wrap in damp paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes.

Is anyone else craving burritos now? I’ll be in the kitchen if you’re looking for me…..making burritos ūüėČ

Product Review: Crayola Color Alive App & Coloring Pages

As my family and I prepare to move for the first time (to another state), I find myself searching for fun things to keep the kids occupied on the long car ride out.  We will essentially be in the car from sun up to sun down Рthis is no easy feat for kiddos of preschool and kindergarten ages.

Last time we made the trip to visit family, roughly 8 months ago, I stopped by the dollar store and loaded up on lots of cheap new toys to capture their attention on the ride.  This lasted roughly two hours.

I find that coloring books can be a huge help for creative kids since coloring takes some time to complete a page.  The downside is that crayons often fall to the floor, inciting tantrums for the smallest of the two kids and potential melted messes for me if not caught soon enough in the summer heat.  The tip here is to make sure you have a limited number of crayons for car use and count them to make sure you have them all when you get out of the car.

On my last trip to Walmart, the kids were begging for some new toys (because they get one every time they go with Grandma, so they expect it from me now, too, lol!).¬† I put a $5 cap on the spending per child in an attempt to get out for cheap.¬† Well, they won…. they each ended up with a cheap toy fitting the price cap AND a new coloring book!

My oldest found a really cool coloring book retailing for just under $7.¬† The coloring book itself wasn’t the cool part though… (I’m a cheap-o when it comes to coloring books, so if it didn’t come with the capabilities it offers via the accompanying app, I would have passed it up).

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The Crayola Color Alive series features standard coloring pages with small set of crayons that, when scanned into the app, can be rendered into “4D” using the same coloring patterns your child put on the page.¬† The drawing comes alive and moves on the screen!¬† How cool is that?

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This is sure to capture my 5 year old’s attention on the long car ride – if only for an hour or two. There are 16 pages to color in the book, so while that’s considerably less pages than a standard coloring book, I have to admit the whole “bring it to life app” is pretty cool.

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The downside to the entire thing, other than a shortage of coloring pages is that the app seems a little buggy.¬† It seems to crash a lot or freeze on my iPad and it doesn’t seem to auto-scan the image the way it’s supposed to, so I am forced to line up the image with a template before screen capture which can result in a less than accurate rendering of your child’s coloring skills (ours had uncolored areas when he actually colored over the lines).

Since my almost-three-year-old likes to do everything her big brother does, I found they offer free downloadable/printable coloring pages from the website.  Without spending extra money to prepare for the trip, I can print girly pages for her (she loves girly stuff) and   let her participate in the fun, too!

Thank you, Crayola! (Nope, I wasn’t paid to say that) You may have saved my sanity for a small portion of our road trip. He spent about 30 minutes coloring the page and, so far, another 30 minutes playing with his new dragon friend ūüôā

Death is Never Easy.

There it is. I knew it was coming and thought I was prepared to handle it, but the text came in a few minutes ago that my dog had “passed peacefully.” Although the words themselves are designed to say it softer, the reality of it hit me like a semi and after a few brief minutes of staring at the screen, blinking in disbelief, it started to sink in.

I picked JJ (short for Jesse James)¬†out when he was just three days old. He was the¬†first dog of my adult life and the only¬†one I had owned full-time all to myself. My only other experiences were friend’s houses and when I’d visit my Dad’s house during Summer Break.

He was a stubborn PITA but I loved him nonetheless. He was originally a gift for my ex but when we broke up, he left the dog to starve in the back yard (I had moved out first). Being the animal lover that I am, I took him in and loved him like he deserved to be loved. He was a loveable little troublemaker like Marley in Marley and Me, except he was a Black Lab mixed with German Shepherd and Chesapeake Bay Retriever; hyper, smart, stubborn, strong & sweet. He was also great with cats, babies and small children but feared the wind, plastic bags, shadows and moving boxes, lol!

Anyways, fast-forward a few years and I met my husband. They hated each other at first sight and while my husband¬†tried & tried to convince me to get rid of the dog, I always replied with, “No, he’s been around longer than you have!” (That always won the argument, lol). Well, eventually he finally talked me into having¬†JJ move to the in-law’s house because my FIL is retired, my BIL is always home and they have a yard; we live in an upstairs condo with exterior stairs that ice up in the winter and at the time, I had just given birth to our first child. ¬†The idea of navigating icy stairs with a newborn in my hands while an 80lb dog tows me along was a little too frightening to bear and leaving a newborn unattended while I take the dog out for piddle breaks and walks just didn’t sound like a bright idea so eventually, he won- JJ moved in with the in-laws.

They spoiled the snot out of him. I watched every ounce of training fly out the door and eventually, the high-strung dog gave way to a dog that resembled more of a bear rug than an 80lb bouncy ball. ¬†He was living “the life” with 24/7 companionship, Milk Bones galore and the occasional table scrap.

In more recent years, he was starting to have issues with arthritis, as large breed dogs tend to late in life. ¬†He would struggle to get up or lay down on the hardwood floors and was slow about moving about if the weather didn’t agree with him. They had put him on anti-inflammatory drugs to help with the pain, but it still seemed like he had lots of life left in him; my loveable nanny dog.

Right around the turn of the New Year, the in-laws informed me that JJ had a rare, inoperable cancer on the roof of his mouth and radiation was not certain although expensive and chemo would kill him. They said it would probably progress quickly and that it would either grow up into his brain or block his airway because of where it is. ¬†In the last week, it had grown quite a bit and you could tell he was suffering more and more. ¬†He was also starting to waste away, as people do with cancer. ¬†He was dropping weight daily and had stopped drinking water. ¬†When I saw him on Sunday, they were saying it wouldn’t be long now.

Well, *the* text just came in. In a haze, I headed to the bathroom to blow dry my hair because I was supposed to go to the store for groceries but as I turned on the drier, the hot tears began to flow.  At least I was alone in my sorrow for a minute because the kids scatter when the dryer turns on.  A few tears at first but then the floodgates opened and it was unstoppable.  I was full-on ugly crying in the bathroom mirror and could do nothing to stop it.

I miss him. I’m not as prepared for this as I thought I would be and at some point, I have to pony up and tell my son (he LOVED JJ and was crying when we told him on Sunday to say his goodbyes).

My son learned about death just two months ago when one of our cats died of intestinal cancer. He wasn’t too fond of that particular pet so it didn’t really phase him except the vivid image of what pets really look like when they die. ¬†He was more concerned about MY grief but this time *I know* it’s going to hurt him and I am not looking forward to it, but at least we can grieve together and I can show him that grieving is healthy, appropriate and okay.

Now, to strategically find a time/way to tell him…..

Abracadabra | Cookie Recipe Turned Into Muffins

Yesterday morning was much like any other except that I was more groggy than usual.  The kids were nipping at my heels, asking about breakfast the moment my feet hit the floor. My husband was rushing around trying to get out the door and my only saving grace was a warm robe and a cup of coffee.

Typically, I will finish my cup of coffee before attempting to communicate or do anything…..

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Oh yeah, this picture says it all……

Anyways, the cupboards were sorta bare because I hadn’t made it out to the store, so creativity set in. ¬†When I say creativity, I use this word loosely because at three sips into my first cup of coffee, we are lucky the neurons are firing enough for me to form words, let alone walk. Reading and comprehension levels at this point were “iffy” at best.

I decided to make oatmeal muffins.  The task seemed simple enough, I mean the recipe was right there on the oatmeal lid, so I just had one job: read & do.

I had most of the ingredients mixed together when I realized the result looked nothing like a muffin batter….nope, what I had was in fact cookie batter! Ugh. I took a sip of coffee, rubbed my eyes and re-read the title of the recipe; sure enough, it was oatmeal raisin cookies.

Crap!

We can’t have cookies for breakfast! ¬†Well, technically we could, but I generally wouldn’t feel too awesome about giving my 2 & 4 year olds cookies for breakfast, lol! (They’d be thrilled!)

Are you ready for it? ¬†Oh yeah….

By then, I was 2/3 done with my coffee and the brain cells were just starting to fire properly. ¬†Like a ninja, I added about a cup of milk and 1/4 cup oil to the recipe, mixed it up and VOILA! Bob’s your uncle!

Magic ensued.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies or Muffins

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3/4 c brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-1/2 c old fashioned oats
  • 1 c raisins (I used dates because its what we had, but raisins would have been fabulous!)
  • Bonus ingredients: 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Heat oven to 350¬įF. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

To make muffins, do this: drink coffee and wonder why you have cookie dough and not muffin batter.  Add 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup oil to mixture, blend well and fill muffin wraps to 2/3 full.  Bake for 17 minutes or until golden brown on top and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Cool in pan 3 minutes.  Remove and cool on wire rack.  Store in airtight container.

To continue making cookies: Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

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2014-09-30 10.33.22

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