Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Easy Cheesy Crackers–100 Days of Real Food


Yes, we are in it for 100 days!!  This is Day 3 for us and to be honest it is already just becoming a lifestyle change.  I guess it has to be when you are stuck at home on a snowy day and you have gotten rid of anything processed in the pantry. Winking smile  So, we thought we would try making our own cheese crackers.  It was a success! 

Thanks to the Leake family once again for another great recipe Easy Cheesy Crackers

All you need is 4 simple ingredients and a food processor.  (Which, I don’t really have. So, thank you Sara for letting us borrow yours.  Love our neighbors!)  They were delicious…all gone in one day, and so easy to make simple tweaks to. I did tweak the original recipe just a little by adding a little salt and changing the baking time because of our altitude.

Easy Cheesy Crackers


  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese…the sharper the cheese the cheesier the crackers
  • 1 tsp. sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine all  ingredients in a food processor and blend. The mixture will eventually turn into one big ball chasing itself around the bowl. Be patient because it can take a few minutes.
  3. Roll the ball into a log about 1 ½” in diameter. At this point you could refrigerate the dough until later.
  4. With a sharp knife slice ¼” thick pieces off the log  and place each one flat on an ungreased baking sheet. Try to rotate which side you are cutting down on because the top of the log does start to flatten a little. It is like your very own homemade slice and bake!


*  If you want your crackers to look a little fancy take a fork and gently mash down the top of each one before baking.

        5.    Bake for approximately 6 minutes or until golden brown.

These crackers can be stored in the freezer so double the recipe and save some for later!

Yield: Two dozen



Sandpaper Leaves….Even for those not crafty! ;)

We got our craft on with this easy and quick project with Daddy this evening before bed.  Not crafty?  No problem!  This is so super easy and you probably have everything you need at home.

Thank you to Marylea at Pink and Green Mama! Sandpaper Leaves



  1. sandpaper (any kind)
  2. crayons
  3. pencil
  4. scissors

We have been checking out and collecting a lot of different kinds of leaves lately. 

So, pick your favorite one and draw it.  Then trace it with a black crayon.


Next, color!  The harder you push the more vibrant the color =)



Lastly, cut. 


Fun, colorful and definitely easy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Can You Draw A Ladybug?

What happens when there is no TV?  Kids are creative all on their own!  I snapped a few pictures of the kiddos yesterday afternoon while I was preparing dinner.  Our schooling area is always very accessible to them since it is in our family room Winking smile  Together they decided they wanted to draw.  Super fun watching them work together deciding which insect they would draw, why and what the habitat will look like around it.

I picked up a few drawing books at a consignment sale this summer and the kiddos love them!  They feel so successful at drawing using these books.  They do not need to be readers yet to use these books especially Goose’s favorites.  They follow step by step directions through pictures.

This is one of their favorite things to do when they aren’t outside exploring or playing with friends.





For little peeps ……I Can Draw Usborne Playtime Series by Ray Gibson 

Goose’s favorites!

For bigger kiddos….. I Can Draw series by Walter Foster

I just know these are going to be a hit as the weather changes and we spend more hours indoors.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Homemade Granola & 10 Day Pledge Complete!


So many friends and family know that we committed to a 10 Day Pledge of Real Food.  No, not Raw Food!  I was inspired by the Leake family when I ran across their blog 100 Days of Real Food to cut out processed foods from our diet.  We have never felt healthier!  Yes, we can feel the difference in just 10 days. 

The kiddos have loved the challenge, recipes and our time cooking, baking and learning more about nutrition.  Crew even got his haircut the other day and told  Ms. Jenn that he didn’t want a lollipop because we were doing a 10 Day Pledge of Real Food.  Well, believe it or not this lead to her asking questions and gave Crew and I the opportunity to share with her the Leake’s blog and our new journey.  Who knows maybe she went home and started it with her family Winking smile 

We are loving the journey within our own family as well as talking and encouraging others to join us! 

Nutty Seed Granola

We got the main recipe here Granola Bars/Cereal but made a few changes.  There are so many different variations to Granola so experiment and have fun!


  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw sliced almonds
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Place the oven rack in the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a large rimmed rectangular baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the oats, almonds, cashews, coconut, seeds and spices in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Heat the butter and honey together in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter melts. Stir in sea salt and vanilla. Remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the hot liquids over the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the dry ingredients are evenly moist. Turn the granola onto the prepared pan and press firmly with a spatula to create an even layer, about 1/2 inch thick. Bake until the granola is firm to the touch and a deep golden brown, about 45 – 50 minutes. (The granola will become crisper as it cools.) Cool completely in the pan, then lift an edge of parchment and break the granola into pieces
  5. Store in plastic bags or air tight container at room temperature. The granola will keep at the height of its texture and flavor for 2 weeks.

You can Serve with dried or fresh fruit and milk or yogurt, or just eat it by itself!

Makes about 2 pounds



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall in is the air!


It is so very beautiful outside so we thought we would brighten up our storm door once again. This is a super easy and fun craft and if you don’t have a storm door, what about the slider or a window?

We did this project last year too.  You can see more details from last years post….  Here they are below using water colors to paint coffee filter leaves.


The computer in the background is playing Seeds of Courage. One of our favorite CD’s that you can also listen to online.  Check it out!

October Sensory Tub…

….filled with corn, plastic spiders, insects, Halloween cups, spinning tops and more!

I really didn’t think my kiddos would still be interested in a sensory tub but I thought I would put it out and see what happened.


So far, hours of fun =)



Filling & Balancing Cups


Spinning Tops


and much, much more.  We hope you are all enjoying Fall too.  Don’t be shy…..share your ideas, crafts and traditions!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

10 Days of Real Food–What’s for breakfast?

We have enjoyed our 1st week of our Real Food Pledge!  Here is a glimpse of what breakfast looked like for us this week…CIMG0378CIMG0379

Scrambled eggs w/veggies, grapefruit, whole wheat toast w/cream cheese for Goose and fruit spread for Crew and about 4oz of fresh squeezed OJ.


Overnight Oats….one of my favorites and super quick for those busy mornings. Oh yes, and my cup of coffee with whole milk.

Whole milk and full fat yogurt in a low/non fat world?  Have we gone nuts?  We are cutting out processed foods and are TRYING to eat food as close to natural as possible.  Will post on this subject another time. I love it in my coffee….mmmmm creamy!


Plain Greek (whole fat) yogurt topped with blueberries, dried cranberries, walnuts and chia seeds 

Okay, so I must say I wasn’t sure how whole fat or plain yogurt was going to go over with the kiddos.  Whole fat is a thicker texture and plain….well, can be a bit sour (is that the right word?)  They love the low-fat Greek yogurt with the fruit already in it Winking smile  Well, I bought a huge tub (which was way cheaper) of the plain full fat and thought I would give it a try.  They loved it!  They love to choose their different toppings (You know makes them feel like they are in control.)  Turns out this is one of their favorites now and they love to have this for a snack too!


Oatmeal with diced up apples, walnuts, chia seeds and cinnamon


Our new kind of cereal Winking smile  Whole grain corn puffs…..$1.49 a bag! Crew had his w/dried cranberries and a sprinkle of granola and Goose had hers with blueberries.


Whole wheat pancakes with flax and blueberries topped with peanut butter and 100% pure maple syrup.  So yummy!  Double the batch and freeze some for later in the week.

Are you ready to try just 10 days with us?  Join us….let’s share recipes and ideas!!  Take the 10-day Pledge

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

10 Days of Real Food….C’mon Join Us!!

One of my interests the last year or so has been nutrition.  Many of you know that I have been learning how to deal with a crazy thyroid.  I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a couple years ago dealing with hair loss, weight gain, fatigue, depression, muscle cramps….the list goes on.  I was willing to try/do anything to feel healthy again.  I slowly started changing things in our pantry, recipes, etc.  Well, continuing to always look for ways to live/perform better I came across a great blog .  We are taking the 10 day pledge.

When I told friends that we were going to take the pledge (trying to encourage them to join us Winking smile) they said you already eat healthy.  We definitely can makes some tweaks in our diet.  We are cutting out processed foods!  I am so excited!! 

So, I needed to clean out (throw out…because it’s not coming back in) our pantry.


Before….don’t judge Winking smile



Join us and let us know how it goes.  Keep in touch….let’s support each other and spread the word to others!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Did You know Crickets……

… lettuce, carrots, grass and each other.  Oh yes, and how they make baby crickets!  We are studying about Field Crickets.  Why?!  Well, because we started finding them in our house.  As the weather is cooling down, they are coming in!  I never knew how interesting learning about crickets could be =).CIMG0098

Preparing their habitat!


Measuring just the right amount of dirt


Pretty cozy, don’t you think?


That’s right; lettuce, carrots and grass!


Okay, we didn’t find all of these crickets in our house.  We ended up buying some more at the pet store to have enough for some of our investigations.


Observing!  They did this a lot!  And for long periods of time!!  Who needs TV?


Yes, they are inside our house! 

So, what did we learn?  Scientific name, body parts, habitat, diet, identifying male and female, interaction, the noise they make and….I am sure I am missing something.

Chapter 4 – Chirping Crickets… this book!

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