Sep 26, 2016

Anyone else ever feel this way?

To be honest and fair, it should really say “my children”, but the point is the same.  Does anyone else deal with this same problem?  We definitely expect the kids to keep their rooms and school areas picked up, but for some reason their idea of cleaned up and ours is not quite the same.  Then what would take me, maybe 15 minutes to straighten, ends up turning into a saga that leaves me looking like Mr. Bones in that picture!!!

Sep 23, 2016

Friday Feasting: Protein Balls

**photo credit - found HERE**

"As Baby #8 Birthday approaches, I remember how spectacular it was last time around with #7 when my sister showed up with three gallon-sized bags of energy/protein balls and “breastfeeding balls” in three yummy flavors.  They were a game-changer, folks!  I snacked on those things all day and all night.  They were gone in no time!  But it was SO NICE having that quick snack to help keep milk production up and the “hangry” mama feelings away.

(I *may* have even told my kids that if they ate them, it would make milk leak out of their nursies. Boys, too.  Hey – a mama’s gotta do what a mama’s gotta do!)

So here are a couple of basic recipes.  Make them for the new mom in your life.  She’ll remember it forever!  And mix it up!  Use dried cranberries or cherries, walnuts, and almonds.  You don’t have to use the whey powder either.  Just play with the dry vs. wet ingredients until you get the consistency you need"

Chocolate Protein Balls

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
2 tablespoons flax seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon chocolate-flavored protein powder, or to taste

1.  Stir oats, peanut butter, honey, chocolate, flax seeds, chia seeds, and protein powder together in a bowl until evenly mixed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2.  Scoop chilled mixture into balls. Keep cold until serving.

**photo credit - found HERE**

No-Bake Lactation Cookies

2 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup ground or milled flaxseed
3 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup dark chocolate chips

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add all ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Mix on low speed until mixture is well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Roll mixture into 2-tablespoon sized smooth balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or enjoy right away. Once the bites have set, transfer them to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Sep 19, 2016

Monday Meme: Making Everyone Happy??

Making Everyone Happy?

How does pizza really make everyone happy?  Think about it.  Can one pizza really make everyone happy?
Pizza can make everyone happy because there are so many types and varieties.  The crust alone could be deep dish, thin, tavern cut, self-rising, cheese-stuffed, and even gluten free.  Then think about the sauces and the toppings.   You can even do a half pepperoni and half sausage.  Then the combinations? And don’t forget the dessert-type of pizza. The possibilities are endless.  THAT is how pizza makes everyone happy:  a different type of pizza for different types of people.

So the next time the MOM in you has done everything and people are not happy, that is possibly not your fault.  You are not necessarily so flexible and versatile as pizza.  People have different expectations and wants.  Pizza can be made to order.  You can’t.  You are unique.  Sometimes people choose to not be happy.  Order a pizza for that person, but don’t live in that person’s cloud of misery.  Keep your happy spirit, and don’t forget to order yourself a pizza once in a while and smile…

Sep 16, 2016

Friday Feasting: Tuscan Chicken (Instant Pot Meal)

Tuscan Chicken (in the IP) 
Serves 10-12

6 chicken breasts, split in half, length-wise
Italian seasoning
Oil for sautéing
4 garlic cloves, diced
½ C chicken broth
Fresh spinach, a bunch or 16 oz bag
½ C heavy cream
4 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp flour mixed with water (slurry), optional
½ C Parmesan cheese, grated

1.  Turn on IP to saute. Once hot, add oil.
2.  Cut chicken breast in half to make thin pieces, creating 12 servings.  Season with salt and Italian seasoning.
3.  Brown 3 breasts at a time, turning after 2 minutes.

4.  Remove to a plate and continue with remaining chicken breasts, adding oil as needed.
5.  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
6.  Add all chicken pieces back to pot, add broth, put lid on and set to manual for 4 minutes.

7.  When done, release pressure and turn IP to saute. Add heavy cream, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese and stir until thickened, about 1 minute.
8.  Add slurry if you would like a thicker sauce, and cook an additional 2 minutes.
9.  Add spinach and stir until wilted.

10.  Turn off IP and serve Tuscan Chicken over rice or noodles.

Sep 14, 2016

God, Family, Work

Via my distant cousin/relative Nick Ball:

“Our family is a classic one of hard working immigrants, who got the ‘American Dream’ by putting God, family, work in that order. Then working every day to make it one gave our family anything. Everything they got and passed to us; it was not luck, but hard work.”

I wish every history and social studies book in America had that statement engraved in the front pages.  Life has no guarantees.  No handouts either.  Government entitlements can be given.  Or taken away.

Quite often, we moms want to help our kids, and we end up doing more for them than we should.  If our kids don’t learn from their mistakes, they may end up relying on their parents well into adulthood. So while it's hard to see them struggle through life's hardships, it is a necessary lesson.  Again, my cousin states the lesson well:

“Everyone wants to help their kids. I see no problem in this, but making it easy for them just makes them dependent on Mom & Dad or the government instead of themselves. No one likes to see their kids struggle. But it is in the struggle that the true character of what they learn from home comes into play and benefits them in the long run...........Doing too much for your kids handicaps them in life and since things come easy if given, the incentive to work hard is destroyed......why work? ...there is always Mom and Dad or Uncle Sam!”

This applies to all kids.  As one of my sons stated, he has to face the real world.

Thus, the priorities are set:  God, family, work.