Yam and Black Bean Chowder

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I thought I would try something new to make for dinner last night. I had a couple cans of yams and decided to make a chowder.

To see what I came up with, click here

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Deep Dish Apple Pie Re-post

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I made deep dish apple pie last Sunday. I had some apple pie filling I made about a year ago in the freezer, I didn’t think I could wait until Thanksgiving to use it. I felt I had pushed the limit on how long it was in the freezer already. So I decided I had better bake up a pie, and it tasted delicious!

So I thought I’d repost this recipe . . .

With this pie, I used a different pie crust recipe. I have always used a simple Crisco, flour and water based pie crust without complaints. But the website I adapted my pie from (Chickens in the Road) had a pie crust recipe with vinegar and egg.

So I used it. My mom and I were curious as to why use vinegar. So we did a bit of research to find that just a bit of acid (need not be vinegar, but cider vinegar is traditional for fruit pie pastry) helps relax the gluten formation that would otherwise toughen the pastry. And I have to say that I had no complaints.

So give it a try if you haven’t made crust like this before, and see what you think.

Click here for the recipe

Some Seasonal Re-Posts

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Seems like it’s been forever since I posted . . . Lately, I have found myself on the blog here to find recipes for pumpkin (and today for deep dish pie crust) that have been posted previously on “Out of Our Minds to Yours.”

So I thought ,”Why not repost them for other people as well?”

Why not indeed . . . take some time to browse through these recipes, I have ūüôā

Today, let me steer you in the direction of our Wonderfully Versatile Pumpkin page.

Where you’ll find such delectable bites as:

Pumpkin Chili

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips (which doesn’t make it 2 ingredient anymore does it? But still easy!!)

Also great baked in a bundt cake pan as well!

Pumpkin Chowder

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta

Pumpkin Waffles

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


And, more! So click here and stroll down until you find the recipe you want.

100 Days to Christmas starts Tomorrow!!

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Are you ready to jump on the bandwagon with me to discover what we can do in the next 100 days
to make the upcoming holidays more enjoyable?

I hope so! I’m actually more excited about this than I thought I’d be.
As much as I love the holidays, the stress starts to build immediately as they approach.
It’s usually because I bite off more than I can chew – which in turn creates havoc for me to get it all done.
And, when I do, I generally forget something key and important that pretty much negates all my hard work.
And then I deflate like a balloon.

But not this year, right? We are going to be organized and live to tell about it!!

We will “own” the holidays this year and enjoy them!!

Are you with me?!!

Okay first things first, if you haven’t checked out the 100 Days to Christmas website or the ebook, go here

Secondly, if you you haven’t check out the Facebook page, go here

Lastly, Join the Facebook Party tomorrow to kick off the start of 100 Days to Christmas properly, go here for the details

I hope to see you there!
Oh, and wish me luck ūüôā

I have a feeling I’ll be needing it, following an organized plan for 100 days may be quite a challenge for me!!

Countdown to Christmas! Really?

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Okay, It is not my intention to pull the retail store thing on you – you know, when you walk in on an August day and find every thing has been transformed into a fall wonderland. We still have a 2 weeks of summer left so enjoy them!

What I am trying to do is to bring to remind you that we have 4 major holidays vastly approaching
and not to fear because I have found some really cool resources that can make our holiday season a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable.

I don’t know about you, but¬†I always experience a certain amount of stress and dread that underlies the joy of the holidays. It’s starts at the beginning of October and doesn’t end until after Christmas. I have come to realize that this is mainly brought on due to my lack of “owning” the holidays with proper planning and preparation. Often times, if I do a descent job on the planning side, the prep work and actual action are left wanting.

In other words procrastination sets in, not because I’m lazy and don’t want to do the things I have planned (although I won’t lie ‚Äď that does happen from time to time) but it’s usually because there’s just not enough time to get everything done. Hence, the planning and preparation steps are very vital to the overall objective.

Last year I stumbled upon a couple of great websites¬†after¬†Christmas of course, that address these issues. And in my quest to do better with organization, what better time¬†than the¬†holidays to put these ideas to work? So, I kept them bookmarked and made a note in my blogging notebook so that I could revisit and share it with others in plenty of time for¬†this¬†year’s holiday season.

So . . . hence the countdown to Christmas already blog.
I have to get the information out to you in plenty of time to ensure we are all well planned and organized this holiday season ūüôā

Let’s start off with 100 Days of Christmas, an ebook written by Jennifer Tankersley, who is also¬†the owner of List Plan It,¬†a great¬†organizing resource website with all kinds of organizational ideas and lists to download and print to keep our life in order. The ebook, which is based on the¬†popular blog series¬†100 Days to Christmas, is a journey that begins on September 16, and leads you step-by-step toward a peaceful and meaningful holiday season.¬†¬†It has 109 pages + 25 downloadable lists from ListPlanIt.com. ¬†It covers planning for all of the fall holidays, gifts, cards, food, family, home, decorations, etc.

I am really excited about this and think it’s a brilliant idea. I only wish I had found it earlier! Don’t forget you have the option of following the blog at¬†100DaystoChristmas.com¬†(free) and¬†100 Days to Christmas 2012 eBook¬†($5). ¬†The eBook includes links to nearly 30 printable¬†ListPlanIt¬†worksheets and lists. You can also follow on Facebook.


The 13 weeks Series is a holiday challenge from Taylor at Home Storage Solutions 101, I joined her 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, back in January – in fact, I introduced it my January “Get Organized” Month post. The concept of organizing your home one challenge at a time, one week per challenge is an awesome way to get organized without becoming too overwhelmed.

Anyway, Taylor has developed her 13 Weeks Series¬†mapping out a weekly challenges to prepare for this year’s holiday season, starting on October 5,¬†a new post will go up every Friday thereafter, for 13 weeks. It will walk you through Halloween and doesn’t end until after Christmas is over, to help you pack and store your holiday items in a¬†planned and organized method so you will be set for the following year.

You can check the site each Friday for the newest challenge for the week, or if you sign up for free, you will receive an email reminder to make it easier to follow along. You can also follow on Facebook.


I am excited to have this information available to me in plenty of time before things get hectic around here. 100 Days starts next week on Sept. 16th, and 13 Weeks starts Oct. 5th. Jump on both band wagons and make your holiday season the most enjoyable yet, I’ll be there ūüôā

September is National Sewing Month!

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The observance of National Sewing Month began in 1982 with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan declaring September as National Sewing Month ‚ÄúIn recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.‚ÄĚ

Sewing and I have a love/hate relationship. At times I love it, and at times I hate it. Well hate is a strong word. Let’s just say I have to be in the “mood” to sew.

It can be fun and very¬†gratifying to see a finished project that you made with your own hands. But as with anything else, sometimes it can be frustrating, especially when the projects don’t turn out the way they should ūüėČ

I decided to take advantage of the month of sewing and try to finish a few projects I have sitting around the house. I have some outfits for Chase, and I have material to sew bedding for both Chase and Xander. So I have plenty to keep me busy. I’m sure I won’t get to them all, but if I can knock out one or two I will be pleased.

  


I guess I’m going to have to dust off the sewing table and remove the dust cover from my machine before I can get started. Wish me luck!

Back to School Review

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A couple of weeks ago I went to our “Back to School” page with the intention of adding a few more things. I was amazed at how I still needed to heed my own advice!! It’s so easy (for me at least) to slip out of our routines somewhere around mid-year and wonder why things aren’t working like they were.

Click here to visit the page and review: We have breakfast and lunch ideas, how to prepare the night before, things you can do to ensure you get out the door in time, and organizational ideas.

I got rejuvenated for the new year, now it’s your turn.

Mexican Black Bean and Corn Salad

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Looking for a great dish to take to your weekend BBQ,
and one that’s easy to fix?

This dish is it.¬†It’s delicious and it’s fresh.

I made it a couple of weekends ago for a BBQ
and had some requests for the recipe.

Of course you know my answer was,

“I’ll be sure to put it on my blog.”

Click here for the recipe

Yummy Monday: Banana Blueberry Muffins

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My mom shared this recipe with me a while back, I think she may have gotten it from my sister.
It’s an extremely quick and easy recipe to make, and the muffins are naturally moist.
It is also wonderful to use for those couple of bananas that have gotten a little too ripe.
The only thing you may not have on hand are the blueberries but worth buying some!

Click here to our “Yummy Monday” page and browse through our collection of recipe!

Banana Blueberry Muffins

YIELD: 12 regular size muffins
Preheat oven to 375¬į

3 large ripe bananas
3/4 C sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 C melted butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C flour (I actually like to add another 1/4 C – I think they just bake up a bit nicer)
1 C blueberries (I like to add about another 1/4 C just to be in blueberry heaven!)

Directions:
* Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.
* Add sugar and egg.
* Add melted butter.
* Combine dry ingredients and gently stir into to banana mixture.
* Add blueberries and gently stir them in.
* Pour into 12 well-greased muffin cups
* Bake at 375¬į for 20 minutes or until browned and toothpick comes out clean.

I told you it was very easy to make and they are delicious!

Tiered Skirt “How To”

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It has taken me a year to make this outfit!






Last year I decided to make this cute shirt and skirt for Chase’s Kindergarten graduation/Easter outfit. I spent many hours online searching for a good pattern or tutorial for a 3 tiered skirt. I finally found one I thought would work and got to started.

Chase and I spent quality time in the fabric store picking out about 7 different types of fabrics that we thought went well together. After tweeking a pattern I already had to make the top, I was ready to tackle the skirt. After much thought, planning and measuring I finally had each tier cut out and sewn. After sewing the waistband¬†and the first tier together I had her try it on and we came to the sad conclusion that it was not big enough ūüė¶ So I had to rip it all out and add more material pieces to both the waistband and the skirt tiers.

Needless to say it didn’t get done in time for the graduation or Easter, and I had lost interest in it due to my frustration and disappointment. ūüė¶

This spring I decided to renew my sewing project with zeal and conquer this skirt.
I had already added extra pieces of material to each tier and sewed them all together, only to find that they still didn’t have enough for good gathers.
We wanted this skirt to be full and have lots of¬†“twirl factor!”

Which meant I needed to add even more inches to each tier.
Finally, I got it to where I wanted it and finished in time for Easter this year.

I will be sharing my calculations on how I made this skirt with you. It took some time to figure it all out because I had added some pieces here and there more than once.

And . . . I waited a couple of months to sit down and document it, so unfortunately it’s not all fresh in my mind ¬†‚Äď

BUT. . . I think I have it figured out!!!!

Click on the “Twirl Factor” picture below for more