Monday, August 27, 2012

What Ever Happened to Home Ec?

For some reason I never took a Home-Ec (or Family and Consumer Science as it's called now) course when I was in school. I don't remember it ever being an option while I was in Texas, and by the time I moved to Utah all of my classmates had already taken it. 

Now I know that some people have no desire for a course like this, and to be honest when I was in high school I probably wouldn't have wanted to take it either. Some people might see it as old fashioned or unnecessary, however, now that I've got my own home to run and take care of I really wish I'd learned a few more skills. Now that I'm a young mother I find myself without the knowledge and skills that I could have wished. 

I don't even try baking bread or pies from scratch, they scare me. 
Trying to figure out the best way to clean my home takes me doing hours of research on Pinterest first.
If an appliance stops working I always wait for Tad to come home and fix it.  
I can't operate a sewing machine, in fact I can't even sew on a button! My husband has 3 shirts sitting in the back of his closet he can't wear because it has missing or broken buttons and I am too afraid to try replacing them! How pathetic am I? Sometimes I feel very........unprepared.

What I'm wondering here is where you people have learned skills like this? Did you take a Home-Ec/Family and Consumer Science course? Did you learn it through your mother and grandmother? Did your church offer some kind of training? Or are you like me, and you never quite learned? I'd love to increase my skill set, and I'd love to know how you did it?!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Seriously Yummy: Sweet and Sour Chicken & Fried Rice

For months now I have been craving Panda Express, but have been either too poor or too lazy to go get it, but when I saw this on Pinterest I pinned it vowing to make it. Last week I did, and it was SO GOOD!!!!!! I ate myself sick because I just couldn't stop. I will tell you that I cooked for 2 1/2 hours, but maybe that was because it was my first time using these recipes. Even so it wasn't difficult cooking, there's just a process you have to go through. However, it was well worth it. I'm excited to make it again! So if you're looking for a great recipe, that also reheats really well, this is it!

I found the Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe on Made it. Ate it. Loved it.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

adapted from: Mels Kitchen Cafe

Chicken Breading:
3-5 chicken breast
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup canola oil

Rinse chicken, trim off fat or extras and then cut into 1 inch cubes. season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken into cornstarch and coat all the way and then into eggs. Heat oil in large skillet. Cook chicken until browned. Place in baking dish. 3 chicken breasts can be in a 9x9 but 5 chicken breasts fits better in a 9x13.

3/4 cups sugar
4 Tablespoons ketchup
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Whisk until smooth. Then pour evenly over chicken. Turn chicken so the sauce gets on both sides and then put in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. turn chicken and then cook for 15 more minutes.

 And I found the recipe for the Fried Rice (which Tad raved about) on Life As A Lofthouse
Fried Rice                                                                                             
3 cups cooked white rice (day old or leftover rice works best!)
3 tbs sesame oil
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (thawed)
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce
      On medium high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the peas/carrots mix, onion and garlic. Stir fry until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled. Now add the rice and soy sauce and blend all together well. Stir fry until thoroughly heated!   **You could really play around with this rice too! Try adding some diced ham, or green onion :) Yum! 

So get to the store if you need to and get home to make this quick!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Say Cheese? Pictures Gone Wrong

 This is more of what I'm hoping for when I ask my kids to smile for a picture. It's sweet, and cute, and very rare. I can only seem to get cute pictures of my kids inconsistently. What I USUALLY end up with is shown below....

I just have one thing to say. Telling your kids to 'Say Cheese!' DOES NOT WORK! If you don't believe me, look above!

So what I need from you people is a list of ways to get kids to take good pictures, and not one's where they look like they're in pain. So if you have some good tips, please share the wealth

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wheel of Time Book 1: Eye of the World

This series has got to be my favorite of all time. I know it's lengthy and complex, but it is so worth it! I've read and re-read all 14 books over and over anxiously awaiting that final book that will be coming out in January of 2013. My excitement has mounted and boiled over to the point that I've decided to do a post on every book! Don't worry, I wont do them all at once! But if you love to read, and you've never read these I intend to convince you to pick them up. 

Book 1, The Eye of the World revolves around 3 village youths, Rand (middle), Mat (left) and Perrin (right). The world Robert Jordan created has a very 'Lord of the Rings' feel to it, but it's a unique world of it's own. While the 'age' that Rand, Mat, and Perrin live in speaks of 'the age of legends' that had wondrous things that sound suspiciously like light bulbs and automobiles.

In the Age of Legends there was a war between people who walk in the light and the Aes Sedai (men and women who could weild something called the one power, which is kind of akin to magic) and the followers of the Dark One and their dark Aes Sedai who are called the Forsaken. During the Aes Sedai's attempt to defeat the Dark One they managed to force him into a prison, but only at a very terrible cost. The Dark One managed to taint the male half of the one power and turn all of the male Aes Sedai mad. These men quickly went crazy and broke the world wielding the one power.

The most famous male Aes Sedai of that time was called Lews Therin, and people called him The Dragon. When the madness hit him he killed every person who had a drop of his blood in their veins including his wife and children, and when he'd realized what he'd done he killed himself. As the world tried to survive and piece itself together a prophecy was revealed that The Dragon would be reborn in the world's greatest time of need and would be the cause of much destruction and chaos as well as being the people's last hope of surviving another breaking. The people of Rand, Mat, and Perrin's age live in fear of that time coming to pass.

Rand, Mat, and Perrin live in a place called the Two Rivers, it's a village that has been mostly forgotten about by the world. One day 2 strangers appear in this small town, Moiraine and Lan. They create a stir, but that is nothing compared to the next set of strangers who show up that night. 

They are known as Trollocs (the strange half animal half people monsters in the background) and Fades (creatures that ooze hatred and fear and are deadly quick and vicious). The show up in the Two Rivers in the middle of the night and set fire to the town while they attack it. 

Moiraine and Lan manage to save most of the town, but they reveal to Rand, Mat, and Perrin that the attack was aimed at the 3 of them. They are convinced that they must leave the town or risk putting everyone they love in more danger.

Rand al'Thor is a shepherd boy who lives on a farm outside of town with his father Tam. He's sweet and thoughtful along with being stubborn and more than a little confused by women, particularly the mayor's daughter Egwene. He's eager to help out where he can, and smart and able enough to be a great asset.

 Mat Cauthon has a reputation for playing pranks (for good reason) and causing trouble, however he's also got a mischievous smile and manner that you can't help but love. Even though he's constantly getting his best friends Rand and Perrin in hot water, they still find themselves eager to join in his plans. Behind his afinity for thrills and jokes he's the kind of guy who will go out of his way to help the downtrodden and risk his life to save people in need (even though he'll probably complain the whole time he's doing it).

Perrin Aybara is the blacksmith's apprentice, and has forged large muscles along with steel during his long hours in the forge. He takes his time to think things through before he acts, and is always careful to be gentle so he doesn't hurt someone accidentally. Some people might think he's shy and a little slow, but if you try and push him you'll find out that he's no easy meat.

Every time I start this series over I feel like the boys I meet in book 1 are completely different people from the men who are in book 13. They are so innocent and naive in the beginning, starting out on a journey that will not only change their lives, but the entire world as well. So after the town is attacked these 3 boys leave the Two Rivers in search of safety and answers, although fate does not let them leave alone.......

Thom Merrilin is a Gleeman who had the bad fortune to be hired to perform for a festival in the Two Rivers that happened to be coincide with the attack. If you're asking yourself what a Gleeman, it's someone who is a great storyteller, juggler, musician, acrobat, etc. Thom is a man of many talents, and someone who's got a very interesting past. He spots Moiraine and the boys trying to leave in the night and takes the opportunity to leave town with them, unaware that this is far from being the safer choice.

Egwene al'Vere, you might remember, is the mayor's daughter who drives Rand crazy. She's been training to be a Wisdom (someone who looks after the sick, and helps the mayor look after the town). She also notices her friends trying to sneak out of town and demands to be included in the journey.

So this group vanishes into the night pursued by dangerous creatures of the dark, trying desperately to outrun them and reach safety. However, the Two Rivers was not going to give them up without a fight.

Nynaeve al'Meara is the current Wisdom who was training Egwene, and she manages to catch up to Moiraine and the rest. Nynaeve has a large temper that boils over frequently, and nothing makes her more angry than Moiraine. Although Nynaeve planned on bringing the boys and Egwene home to the Two Rivers, she gets swept away by fate as well.

This book is the beginning of an incredibly complex and intriguing and addicting story that you will never be sorry that you began. Every time you read it you'll notice something you didn't see before.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

3-Ingredient Root Beer Pulled Pork

Are you looking for a new, easy, great recipe to try? Well this one couldn't be easier and it's really good! I found this on Pinterest through Quick Dish.Give it a try!


  • 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin (pork shoulder or butt can also be used)
  • 1 (12 ounce) can of root beer
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle of barbecue sauce
  • 8 hamburger buns


  1. 1Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker and pour the can of root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until pork shreds easily with a fork.
  2. 2After pork has cooked, drain and discard the root beer. Shred the pork and place it back in the slow cooker. Pour the barbecue sauce over the pork and stir to combine. Serve immediately or keep warm in slow cooker until ready to serve. Serve on hamburger buns.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Question of The Day: Are You a Homemaker or Not, and Why?


Ok ladies, there's a question I wish to pose to you. WHY or WHY AREN'T you a homemaker? I want to know why you've made the choice that you've had, or perhaps you'd LIKE to be a homemaker but are needed to work. Either way I want to know your reasons for what you do and why you do it.

In case you're wondering why I do it, here it is:

To be honest I never wanted a 'career', at least in the typical meaning of the word. I always knew I wanted to be home with my family. Some of it is because I wanted to be in charge of my own schedule, I've never really liked being told what to do. I know some of you moms out there are shaking your heads because, yes, our children are bossy and often try to tell me what to do. But I've got that Mom Card I can play.

Another reasons is that I wanted to be sure that I was the person who had the most influence and contact with my kids (at least for now while they are still at home). If someone is going to teach them bad habits then that person is going to be me!

One final reason I'll give you is just that the idea of being that mom that has fresh baked cookies waiting for the kids when they get home from school always made me smile. I know I'm no June Cleaver, but I love sitting with my kids over a batch of cookies we've just made and some glasses of milk talking about our day. Even if my 3 year old's answer to "What was your favorite part of the day?" is always, "Playing with daddy!"

There are a lot of reasons I do what I do, some selfish, some idealistic, but now I'd like to hear from YOU. I know there are so many different ways to be the Matriarch of a family, and I sincerely want to know how you do it and why.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Inspiration Begats Creativity: My DIY Jewelry Display

So I took a trip to GoodWill last week and came away with some great finds! I went on my shopping trip because I'd been inspired by a good friend of mine and her jewelery display.

Jess at A Few Of My Favorite Things did a great post on her most recent decorating project and I just had to make one of my own. The above picture is a peek at her post, if you want to see more check it out here.

For my jewelry I found this little number for $8. I'm still piecing together the rest of my setup, but for my necklaces, bracelets, and watches I thought this would be perfect. 

I may paint the base of it soon, but for now what do you think?
(also, does anyone have any clue what this might have been meant for originally?)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Which SuperHero Would You Want As Your Super Boyfriend?

I'm not sure I could choose! I love them all :)
Green Lantern - Kind of a screw up, but one that always comes through in the end. He's powerful and capable of doing anything he can imagine!
Played by Ryan Reynolds - And you can't really go wrong with Ryan Reynolds. He is one of my favorites :) Funny, sexy, and HOT! If you want to know more about him and why I like him click here.
Thor, God of Thunder - Although he starts as the over-privileged and over-confident son of Oden, but his time on Earth teaches him compassion, humility, and the true meaning of honor. (Just a sidenote, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I really loved the movie Thor, it's really good! You can watch it on Netflix Instant)
Played by Chris Hemsworth - And Chris is no slouch himself. Heavily armed with muscles, looks, and just plain sexiness.

Batman - Somewhat dark and brooding, not to mention that he comes with definite baggage, however he's found a way to channel his issues into making the lives of the people around him better. Not to mention he's also a rich playboy!

Played by Christian Bale - Oh, I cannot tell you how much I love Christian Bale. He has been a favorite of mine since I saw him in Newsies when I was little, but I like him more and more as time goes on. He was incredibly awesome to go and visit the victims of the Aurora shooting! If you want to see more on Christian click here.

Spiderman - Poor Spiderman, nothing ever seems to go his way. Even his hardest efforts to protect the people of NYC get twisted and turned and somehow he gets portrayed as the bad guy! Even so, he's funny, witty, incredibly smart, and fiercely loyal.

Played by Andrew Garfield - This is the one movie I haven't seen yet, so I can't give you an accurate opinion on Andrew. I plan to rectify that soon! I will say the he looks promising :)

Iron Man - I will admit that I new very little about Iron Man until his movie came out, but as soon as I saw it I was hooked. He's a rich playboy who always gets his way and just happens to be incredibly talented, which only adds to his feeling he needs to get his way all the time. Either way, he makes me laugh.
Played by Robert Downey Jr. - I hadn't really kept track of Mr. Downey Jr. ever before, but I've gotta say that I love him in this role. I love his attitude :)
Hawkeye - Oh Hawkeye, you have always been a favorite of mine. I know he doesn't have any special powers or cool rings or robotic suits, but he's awesome! Like Batman he's got an edge of brooding about him, and he doesn't take well to stupid people. He's got deadly aim and he doesn't stop until he's hit his target. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...