29 April 2014

Old Books

I do. My son and I are reading To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which was a lucky coincidence to coincide with her birthday yesterday. My favorite books of all genres are older books. I have my mother's 1964 edition of Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. Muzzle gave me 2 first editions of Little Women and Little Men and they are so precious to me. 

Do you have any books that are special to you?

28 April 2014

Gluten Free Household

Over the years we have forced our children to try various diets. Not just the I-need-to-lose-20lbs-now type of diet, but for health reasons. For instance, my youngest son has some learning and speech issues. His speech therapist told us to put him on a gluten-free and casein-free diet at age 3. We've done this periodically throughout his life. My daughter is lactose intolerant. My husband has done low-carb, juice fasts, South Beach, Salmon diet, on and on. My husband is a naturapathic doctor so trying these things is something he feels has has to do to see if he should recommend them to his patients/colleagues. He no longer practices, but he still tries various things to see how they work. We are now trying paleo. Unlike low carb, cheese isn't a main source of one's diet and you can have fruit and a few grains, but not wheat. My husband has hypothyroidism (no grains), my daughter is pre-diabetic and the lactose issue (little fruit, sugar, and cheese), and I cannot eat leafy green vegetables (because of a medication) or seafood (allergic). It is very difficult to adhere to these tight boxes. I mean, good grief! My youngest, thank the Lord, has no special dietary issues any longer except for him being a MEAT LOVER.

In our homeschooling today, my son and I were studying the Great Depression. I told him about how Nana and Muzzie lived through it and have told me stories. Nana told me that they were not hungry because they lived on a farm. Because they didn't have much money or sugar, there was not many opportunities to have junk around. They had bread, but it was freshly milled. Muzzie's grandfather was actually the county millwright when she was growing up. Grains were locally grown and typically pesticide free. Nana said they did not spray the trees and vines when she was little. She grew up with an organic garden before organic was "cool". Her family was self-sustainable. That's how they survived the Depression.

We've gotten so far away from that today. I'm struggling to come up with the menu this week because of the "diets" everyone is on. Gluten free, soy free, milk free, pescitarian, fruitarian, paleolithic, Atkins, etc are driving me batty! On a television show a few weeks ago someone made a joke about if someone wanted to wipe out the world they would just have to open a jar of peanut butter. All I know is that I want us to have foods that Nana had on her farm. Do y'all have any recommendations?

This is what I have so far:

Brunch- leftover Gluten Free chocolate pancakes and turkey bacon (pork for me)
Dinner- tomato basil soup and gluten free corn muffins

Breakfast- eggs with peppers
Lunch- Neiman Marcus dip with tortilla chips
Dinner- beet salad couscous and Greek chicken

Breakfast- paleo protein bars and fruit smoothie
Lunch- leftovers (I hope)
Dinner- southwest quinoa and asparagus

Breakfast- eggs and bacon
Lunch- Annie's gluten free macaroni and cheese and an apple
Dinner- tuna salad on a salad (egg salad for me)

25 April 2014

A few pictures from Easter

Teenage girl's Easter basket

Teenage boy ane me

Scrabble, sorta, we weren't truly following the rules. 
Easter 2009

23 April 2014

The Panic Sets In

This will be the rambling conversations listed in this Tumblr picture.

Change. I love change. I'm always up for an adventure. I'm so ready to move out to the country a bit. We've lived in an apartment in the middle of the hustle and bustle for 14 years. I'm over it. My oldest is in the Army. The middle child is looking for an apartment to move into with a friend. The youngest is still in high school. There's nothing keeping us in the city, so why not move out to the "country". So, I'm looking for rental houses and apartments out a bit.

I realized that next month marks the day that I will be exactly halfway between 35 and the big 4-0. Panic!! Have I lived my life? If you go by my grandmothers I would not be halfway through my life at 40, but really, who knows? I mean, don't you remember when 40 was old? I'm pretty proud of the fact that I only have 1 fine line on my forehead with no other wrinkles. I'd like to keep it that way. I'm considering purchasing my first wrinkle cream along with sunless tanner. I've always enjoyed having a tan, but not the sunburn that typically comes first to age my babyfied skin. Recommendations please!

Today I received an email from Target showcasing their bathing suits. Our pool opens in 1 month, ugh, but yay. So many emotions and I'm not even at that emotional time! I love to swim, and with my surgeries swimming will have to be my main form of exercise. I cannot wait to go swimming, but I can wait to put on a bathing suit. Yes, I've lost 50 pounds, but I was 80 pounds over weight. So, I have another 30 to lose. Will I look better than I would have if I was still 50 pounds heavier? Sure, but I'm still not there. I still have 30 more to go and I know that I won't look as good as I could if I were a few pounds less. Am I doing everything in my power to lose the weight? That's a negative. Sad, but true. I still eat pimento cheese, occasional pizza, and creamy dressings on my salad. I don't eat much, but what I do eat isn't usually very healthy. I'm not able to exercise except swim, but that requires said dreaded bathing suit, enjoying my roller coaster yet?

Now that I've run y'all off with my rambling, I just want to say that I'm blessed. Yes, blessed, and not just because of my smooth-as-a-baby's-butt skin, but because of everything I'm panicked about, there's nothing really wrong. Nothing some St. Tropez Tanner, Clinique Line Eraser, prayers for the children, and eating healthy won't cure.  I think I'll have some sweet tea and relax for a bit on the porch. 

21 April 2014

Menu Plan Monday

We had a wonderful weekend (post to come), which includes some leftovers so I'll be working with those this week. My husband and daughter are doing the caveman diet (Paleo). I am not physically able to do so and my 16 year old doesn't need to lose a pound so we are not strict ourselves. I cannot have loaves of bread hanging around or anything so though I'm not strict, it isn't fair to eat a croissant in front of them ;). My husband and I have decided that if I need a sugary iced coffee or a sandwich then I will go out and buy them. (After our banana pudding is finished...oh my heavens it's TDF.)

Breakfast- Trader Joe's chocolate croissant and homemade sausage balls
Lunch- Cracker Barrel
Dinner- ham, green bean casserole (do not use cream of Campbell's...purchase, if possible, at Whole Foods), smashed potatoes, deviled eggs. banana pudding

Breakfast- Paleo Protein bars
Lunch- deviled eggs and potatoes
Dinner- black beans and rice and salad

Breakfast- overnight oats
Lunch- salad
Dinner- pea and ham salad and mashed potatoes

Breakfast- Paleo protein bars
Lunch- salad
Dinner- tuna patties and asparagus

Breakfast- eggs and turkey bacon
Lunch- salad
Dinner- quinoa and vegetable to be purchased at farmers market on Wednesday ;)

Breakfast- overnight oats
Lunch- smoothie
Dinner- polenta pizza

Brunch- fruit, cheesecake pancakes and bacon
Dinner- curry
Dessert- chia pudding...maybe

14 April 2014

Easter Week

 Are y'all prepared for Easter? I bought candy with CVS deals over the last few weeks, but the children and my husband ate it all...yep, so now they do not have any candy, but I will have other things for their baskets. My children may be adults or near adult, but they still have baskets. I normally put something springy in there like Nerf guns, bubbles, etc. I also put in items from the christian bookstore, so they do not forget the real reason...Jesus' death and Resurrection. This year will have gift cards instead of Nerf guns. :)
 I have been menu planning for the week to include lighter foods. However, it is supposed to be a tad cooler and rain a few days this week so there is soup planned one day and meatloaf another, on the coldest, rainiest days (today and tomorrow). The other days are tuna patties with asparagus, Cape Cod salad, curry, and out for Easter Sunday to Cracker Barrel (our tradition).
I like Easter week. Not only is it a time to pray and reflect, it's also a time to feel free. Feel free as Jesus died for our sins, but also free from winter's wrath and the clothing and food that go with it. I hope y'all have a very blessed day Easter week!

**Images from my Tumblr page.

10 April 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Please follow along at The Simple Woman's Daybook.


Outside my window...It is beautiful...perfect spring weather. We have not had a true spring in a few years. We typically go straight from winter to summer within 2-3 weeks, but this year we have enjoyed cooler days and cooler nights (cool for Hotlanta is 60's/40's). Today it is sunny, with a light breeze that is making the Dogwood's out back slightly sway, the birds are chirping, and the high is expected to be 70 degrees.

I am thinking...I need to find a balance between being a push over and "losing it". It must be the progesterone I'm taking, but quite frankly, I will take and take and be pushed and pushed and then when I finally say something I lose it and the family is like, what's wrong with you. I need to figure out ways of speaking up about feeling stressed or whatever is the issue without spouting off and losing my cool. 

I am thankful...To walk. Last night I was texting with a friend that has fibromyalgia and I asked her if she was eating well and exercising. I'm doing pretty well on the eating front but because of my back surgery last year exercise has been an issue. I was feeling frustrated, but then I thought at least I can walk. We didn't know if I would be able to as I didn't walk unassisted for about 6 months. I can't wait until our neighborhood swimming pool opens as that I exercise I can do!

In the kitchen...Breakfast: Oatmeal with peanut butter; Lunch: leftover GF green onion and cheddar corn muffins and salad; Dinner: tuna patties (for the non-allergic) and roasted asparagus, strawberry peach smoothie for me; Drinks: Strawberry lemonade and tea

I am wearing...I am staying home today so plaid pajama bottoms and light blue v-neck.

I am creating...Our lesson plans for the rest of the year.

I am going...To be home today.

I am wondering...Does anyone have any tips on working from home while homeschooling your high school child?

I am reading...At Home in Mitford (starting the series again), latest Garden & Gun magazine, and school books.

I am hoping...to get a better schedule. This week I have been waking up at 7am yet still going to bed around midnight because I get so caught up reading that I'm laying there with my eyes half-open so I can continue reading. I need to learn to turn off the light!

I am looking forward to...resuming our picnics in the park this Sunday.

I am learning...to embroider...slowly.

Around the house...I finally packed up my oldest son's clothing in bins for when he's finished with his training. I need to start spring cleaning!

I am pondering...Can one do it all and do it all well?

A favorite quote for today..."For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." Audrey Hepburn

One of my favorite things...Clinique's Redness Solutions foundation. It's amazing for my rosacea.

A few plans for the rest of the week: We are taking it easy today and tomorrow school-wise, but I will be working. Haircuts and some spring clothes shopping tomorrow. On Saturday we are free! On Sunday we have church and picnic planned. With my allergies in high gear though we will see how it goes.

A peek into my day...This is the pollen on our (rented, for now) Prius.

I hope y'all are having a wonderful week!

07 April 2014


How do you divide up your housewifely duties? For many years, when the children were young, I would divide my humble abode into zones and would spend one day doing:

  • Zone 1-My bedroom, closet, and bathroom.
  • Zone 2- Living room and kitchen
  • Zone 3- Children's bathroom, closet, and bedroom
Now that the children are older, we have one day that we spend doing what we call "weekend chores" and "daily chores". We spend one day on the weekend cleaning the whole house. We each have daily chores to keep up with the house during the week. The oldest child has to do the bathrooms. I'm going to dread when the youngest leaves and I'm back to doing toilets! :)

05 April 2014

Go Big Blue

Tonight is the big game for the Final Four. Hopefully UK will be the champs. You can take the girl out of Kentucky but you can't make her blood not bleed blue. 

PS For football and baseball I'm a Bulldog and Brave ALL THE WAY!

03 April 2014

Southern Belle Cookbook Commandments

Ten Commandments for Teenagers
1. Stop and think before you drink. 
2. Don't let your parents down, they brought you up. 
3. Be humble enough to obey; you will be giving orders yourself someday. 
4. Turn away from unclean thinking at the first moment. 
5. Don't show off when you're driving; if you want to race, go to Indianapolis. 
6. Choose a date who would make a good mate. 
7. Go to church faithfully; the Creator gives us one week, give him back 1 hour. 
8. Choose your companions carefully; you become what they are. 
9. Avoid following the crowd; be an engine, not a caboose. 
10. Better still, keep the original Ten Commandments. 

Beatitudes for Parents
Blessed are parents with a sense of humor, for theirs is a smoother life. 
Blessed are strict parents; for they shall inherit orderly children. 
Blessed are the parents who hunger and thirst after the things if God; for their children shall be filled. 
Blessed are the consistent parents; for they shall obtain their children's trust. 
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, you wise parents, for your children will honor and respect you. 

02 April 2014

Sarah's $40 Grocery Haul

I'm about to head out to Aldi so I thought I would check out Sarah's healthy foods haul and menu plan and thought y'all might like to see how it works to eat healthy there.

PS. I've looked at my stats and I'm getting like 200 page views per day but no comments. If y'all read this blog regularly, please leave a "hey how's it going comment" or such comment. What type of things would you like to see here?

01 April 2014

My Stockpile

Alright, so I'm not going to show you pictures of my "stockpile" because they are not organized in one place. It's in various cabinets around the house, but suffice it to say, we have a stockpile. Thanks to Crystal, I've learned about "stockpiling" for a rainy day. When my husband lost his job, our rainy day, er, 9 months, began.

For years I took for granted that we had plenty of healthy foods, roof over our heads, my fast food addiction covered, vehicles and money to put gas in said vehicles. I would shop at Whole Foods twice a week plus mega hauls at Costco and Sam's at least once a week. I justified it by saying that we had the money and 3 growing children so it garnered spending $1000/mo on food. That's not including toiletries and cleaning supplies from Target/Walmart. Boy was a stupid! Yes, we had the money but we were also $110k in debt. Now, we are still in debt, but it took my husband losing his job to make me stop spending.

I began shopping for deals at CVS so that took care of our toiletries and some of our cleaning products. There is where the stockpiling began. I get all of our toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouthwash for free or nearly free. Our shampoos and razors are pretty inexpensive. I get my daughter's make up at a discount (I only buy when there's ECB's for Physician's Formula or Burt's Bee's). Most weeks they have discounts on some cleaning product. For instance, they had Buy 1 bottle of All detergent Get 2 free. I had 3 coupons so I paid $1 per bottle and so I got 6 bottles.

For our food, I began making more meatless meals. My son still protests so I make bacon to put on his salad on those nights. Nobody can protest to bacon! Still working on "Southernizing" quinoa as it's disgusting, but so far, no good. Also, we eat more chicken and I make tuna for the rest of the family frequently. Last month Costco had their wild caught tuna and salmon in cans on sale so I stocked up. I had to take away from my other stores, but since it was such a good deal I decided it's best to stock up. For all other goods we shop at Aldi. Now, I'm married to a food snob. I love to cook and it has to be natural ingredients; preferably locally grown. However, when you have little to no income coming in or you're trying to pay off debt, you have to decide if having locally sourced spinach is really worth the extra $4. I've decided that for this season of life, it's not. Aldi has begun carrying many organic items. Last week they had their grass fed beef for $4.50/lb. That's cheaper than Laura's Lean Beef and has a higher fat content so the burgers taste better. Sarah has a great video of her Aldi haul. You can eat well and inexpensively. Maybe I'll do another post to give more details.

Back to stockpiling. we stockpile canned goods and grains when possible. I do the same for meat when it's on sale and freeze it. You have to if you don't want to be staring at your pantry and wondering what you're going to feed your family when there's nothing there and nothing in your bank account. Been there and done that, but will never do that again.

My husband is employed again, hallelujer, but we are still watching our budget and eating out very little. We've learned a lot. Let me know if you have any questions and though I'm not expert (Crystal is), I'll be happy to help.


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