Fun in the Kitchen

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Last week was our 2 year anniversary. Which with all we got going on lately we did not really celebrate in big way. Which is fine. He spoiled me in other ways just we didn’t get to go out without Xavier or anything like that. I have not posted bout this but I actually stopped working last week. I got laid off due to being pregnant. Worse part is they waited til I was almost 7 months pregnant to do it. So now me finding a new job is difficult to say the least. So with 2 kids and one on the way to support, plus the holidays money is SUPER tight to say the least. But as you know I live my life the best I can with positivity. Like I am once again a stay at home mommy & wife. Which is great to have this time with my son again. Helping him play and learn. Plus I am getting lots done I have been wanting to get done. Nesting helps push it along as well. I am a crafter as ya’ll know so I am also able to focus on that and I do sell my crafts so that is nice. Plus since I can do cakes I am able to actually take orders for them. Which today I got a order to do a construction/tool cake. I am super excited about that.

Anyways, with last week being out 2 year anniversary. I spoiled my love a little more than I usually do. He went out and had a guys night which he never gets and has never done. He got to use the poker set I got him. He enjoyed that. I surprised him with Oatmeal cookies, his favorite, a LARGE card, & then I made a homemade blueberry sauce for him to put on his Fluffy french toast I made him. Now it is not regular french toast since it is dipped into a homemade custard like mix. He enjoyed it and was so thankful for it! I also made a special dinner. I made Chicken wings which I marinated in Dale’s seasoning sauce. We had a green salad, homemade scalloped potatoes, & baked beans. Also My love usually works nights so we are opposite shifts. But he is currently on days. No idea on how long this will last and being on days he doesn’t get as many hours. But positives are we get to have family dinners again. We are on the same schedule and I get to go to sleep wrapped in his arms each night.

Here are some pictures & the recipes in case any of you want to try them. 🙂

BlueBerry Sauce:

This recipe makes about 4 cups of the sauce. But if you think this is unnecessary large amount, please reconsider. This is very versatile sauce. You can eat it with your pancakes, waffles, pour over yogurt or vanilla ice cream. The sauce is wonderful served with a lemon cheesecake or pound cake. And it will keep up to a week in the refrigerator. Also can freeze it. Jar it and makes a great gift. 🙂 That is what I have done with some of our extra.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (it is not necessary to thaw frozen berries)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water

Directions: In a large saucepan combine the blueberries, water, sugar, lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for a minute or two; the berries should soften slightly, and some of their skins will pop. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water, and add it into the berries. Simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. You have to cook the cornstarch sufficiently enough to get rid of the chalky starch flavor. Taste to be sure it’s gone. Remove from the heat, cool, then refrigerate tightly covered.

Fluffy French Toast:

Makes about 7 to 8 pieces.

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • scant 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 7-8 slices whole wheat bread (or the bread of your choice!)
  • Butter or oil, for greasing pan

In large bowl, add flour and slowly whisk in milk until well combined. Whisk in the eggs, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract and sugar until well combined.Heat a skillet or flat-top grill over medium-high heat. Allow butter to melt and bubble in pan.Place a slice of bread in the cinnamon-custard mixture, flipping several times to fully coat. You want the bread to be thoroughly drenched but not completely falling apart. When pan is nice and hot (almost smoking), carefully place fully-coated slices of bread in pan. Cook over medium-high until bottom of toast is crisp and golden brown. Flip and cook for another couple of minutes, until bottom is golden brown. Serve hot off the grill, buttered and drizzled with maple syrup. You can freeze french toast to serve up the next morning or a month from now. Wrap up the slices in plastic wrap or parchment paper and place in a freezer bag. Just pop them in the toaster and they’re ready to eat!

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Hehe those flowers are over 2 weeks old now still gorgeous.

Well that is all for tonight. I hope each of you have had a wonderful week and if you have not well hey tomorrow is FRIDAY!

✌PEACE💟 LOVE & :)HAPPINESS

From 💜Nerdy Mama Owl💋

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A struggle for me but I am proud of myself

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Health and fitness is very important to me. Anyone that knows me can tell you this. Now I have not always been this way. Growing up I was always thin and fit from being active. Once I got my son my body completely changed.  I gained 70 pounds with my pregnancy with my son. I hated it! I lost myself and my confidence. I can’t say weather for sure it is society that influent that.  I find all women beautiful no matter size or figure. However for me, my preference is I feel better being small. I however don’t want to to just be small I want to be healthy and fit.  I want too be able.to chase my kids around and play and not be put of breath. I feel better bout myself the more fit and toned I am. I like seeing progress and my hard work pay off.
Now a diet…is literally impossible for me. I love food, especially sweets. So it isn’t easy all the time.
I took about 2 years for me to get my body where I felt like me a day was happy. I was back in a size 0-3 but I also was toned. I have muscles you could see in my arms and legs I still had my curves. I even started having my abs show. My hard work was paying off. But I made a promise to get my body back. The promise was to my husband and my son.  But my husband is now my ex husband. So it was more for my son and me. Now I get to help others reach their goals and I love it!  I also am showing my son how to be healthy and fit. I want him to always find the happiness in that. 
I of course am now pregnant.  I do struggle GREATLY on being okay with my body changing and gaining weight.  I know it is for my baby girl so worth it. But it is extremely difficult for me to go through this. I have just now at bout 7 months pregnant gained 20 pounds. I still have a lot of my muscle, thank God! I was a size 3 and now I am a size 5/6 so not a lot bit my hips and my thighs are bigger and I hate it.   I still got my top abs and when I flex you can See the definition show some.  I know I will get it back. But it is so difficult for me to except. I never used.to be like this so I also have being so hard on myself. I have managed.to stay fit and healthy for this pregnancy.  I am so proud of myself for it. My yoga us extremely important to me still. I am still smaller than I was with my son so I find peace with that.
I know I am being silly to some of you. I love seeing and encourage everyone to be confidence but also to be happy and healthy. 🙂
But it is harder for me to accept it.
I hate being a hypocrit. Since I am only human and at times can’t accept my stuff.
When others tell me they are inspired by me I am like why? Lol I am nothing special.  But then I get reminded by my loved ones why. So I am grateful for anyone I help a small can show it is possible to be happy healthy and fit. No matter what your goals. 🙂
Here are some pictures of my weight loss and my yoga 🙂

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These have the dates the first is 4/11/11 my son was born 2/1/11 so was about 2 months post baby

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The now 2 as taken in may literally 1 weeks before I got pregnant.

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This picture was May 5th. RIGHT before I got pregnant. 

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These are the most recent pictures of me.

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And here are some yoga and fitness. 🙂

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Zombie run!! I was 4 almost 5 weeks pregnant

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We did the color run 🙂 I was bout 2.5 months pregnant here.

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What is something you all struggle with?
I hope each of you that reads this knows you are all amazing and beautiful!
Sending Peace Love & Happiness to you and your loved ones.

Love Always
Nerdy Mama Owl

Baking & Cooking Adventures

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It is no secret that I love baking & cooking. Specially trying new recipes or techniques. 
I have had a few new adventures in these areas lately.
My baking adventure was for my bestie Jamie. She is currently pregnant with her 4th baby, a boy. His theme they chose for him is Eyeore. 🙂 I know so cute right.  Well I made the cake for her baby shower. 
I made my first 3 tier cake. It was quite the adventure lol. I also had to fight off a rambunctious 3..almost 4 year old boy for eating it all day. This cake was not perfect and could tell a professional did not do it but the important things are it was so delicious as well as made with lots of love. And the Jamie & Drew loved it. 🙂
Then again as Jamie said since when is anything in the 100 acre woods nothing is perfect. 🙂

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Now for my cooking adventures. I have made 2 new recipes recently.
The most recent one is a Meatloaf cups. Who doesn’t love meatloaf? A favorite comfort food. Now this is new for 2 reasons. One I have never made Meatloaf cups or as some refer to them as meatloaf muffins.  They are super cute and great serving sizes. But also I made some regular meatloaf but the rest I made them as Cheddar BBQ meatloaf cups. I must say this does sound interesting but they looked so good. They tasted even better. 🙂 I paired them with mashed potatoes and brown sugar baby carrots. My family gobbled them up. Guess next time I will make a double batch 🙂
Here is the picture of some the Cheddar Bbq Meatloaf Cups.

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Here is the recipe in case anyone wants to try them:
Cheddar Barbeque Mini Meatloaf Cups
based on a traditional meatloaf recipe
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1 small onion, grated
1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef*
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup barbeque sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Combine egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, worchestershire and onion in a large bowl and mix well. Crumble ground beef into bowl on top of egg mixture. Add bread crumbs and gently combine all ingredients with hands, taking care not to over-work the meat (don’t “squeeze” it through your fingers).
Divide meatloaf mixture into 9-10 cups of a muffin tin. Using the back of a spoon, press meatloaf mixture firmly into cups then create a shallow indentation or divot in each (no more than 1/4-inch deep). Bake meatloaves at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove meatloaves from oven. Pour off any excess grease if possible (I did this easily by tilting the pan) or use a clean paper towel to blot it up.
Add about 1 tablespoon of barbeque sauce into the divot of each meatloaf. Sprinkle meatloaves evenly with cheddar cheese. Return pan to oven and continue cooking until cheese is bubbly.
Remove from oven and serve immediately. *Use lean ground beef because the excess fat won’t have a way to cook away from the meatloaf cups in the muffin tins.

My second recipe I tried I made it the day I was working on the cake and then I had my son running around lol plus my fiance was in bed super sick, borderline ER visit.  So it was perfect for a hectic day.  But it was so delicious. It is called “Creamy Chicken & Rice Crockpot Recipe” This is a simple &  easy. It is a crockpot recipe.
Ingredients
4-5 large chicken breasts (mine were still frozen)
2 cans Cream of Chicken soup, low-sodium
2 cups of water
2 cups Baby Carrots
3 celery stalks, cup into chunks (not diced)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 ts Paprika
1/2 TB minced garlic
2 ts Garlic salt
Black pepper, to taste
A dash of dill weed
1 cup instant Brown Rice or white.
Turn your Crock Pot onto high. Place the chicken breasts into the bottom of the crockpot. In a separate bowl, mix up all the other ingredients, except for the rice, to create a chunky, creamy sauce. Pour this over the chicken in the crock. Cover and leave to cook on high 4-6 hours. The chicken will become more tender the longer you let it cook! At 3 or 4 hours I shredded up the tender chicken with 2 forks and stirred in the rice. Note: Use 1/2 cup more rice if you would like a thicker consistency. Recover the crock, leave it on high, and let it cook for about 1 more hour. Once the rice is nice and soft (and has soaked up a lot of the liquid), dinner is ready to be served! This recipe came out to the consistency of a thick and hearty stew. Served with a small salad & bisquits. So yummy! 

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That is my adventures in the kitchen lately. I hope we can inspire you to have some of your adventures and try some new things. If you try any of these recipes let me know what you think. As well as love to know ow any great recipes you have to share.  🙂
I no leave you & your family with ✌Peace, 💜Love, &😄Happiness from Owl Family to Yours.
💟Nerdy Mama Owl💟

Time for Thanks

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So I keep forgetting to post this. Things are quite hectic with us lately. But not going into that. This is a time to be positive and thankful.
I want my son to know the reason for the holidays, that it isn’t about gifts and being greedy. One way we are doing this is a family tradition of ours. “Our Thankful Tree.”
Now this is something really simple but also fun for all of us. And I must say it makes for a great decoration.
We went walking in the woods and got a small tree branch. We then collected rocks as well. Which is a ton of fun for my son He for some reason has a a fascination with rocks. No idea why or where it came from. He is always collecting them and bringing them inside. He picked up rocks no matter where we are at.
Then we spray painted the tree silver. That is what color Xavier wanted. We got one of our large Mason jars and placed the rocks & also added some green marbles in it. I still need to get some pretty ribbon to tie around the jar. 🙂 We cut put some leaves and each day we each add a leaf that had something we are thankful for on it. Last I hot glue the leaves on the branches.
I put our 2 white mini pumpkins around it and our small pumpkin we used in pictures.
Slowly decorating for the fall seasons.

Here are the pictures. What do ya’ll think? What are you thankful for?  What are your fall decorations? Do you have any family traditions? 

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Just before we painted it lol he was excited

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The paint we used

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Also I am gonna share my Day 5 what I am thankful for. I am grateful for my amazing man! This is what I got to wake up too. He works evenings &over nights so he gets home at like 330-530am. The fact that he stopped when I know he is exhausted means even more. I am so blessed & grateful for him. Can’t thank God enough for sending him to me & my son. It is a amazing feeling to find someone that loves me & here for me. But to find a man that is here for my son and loves him probably more than he loves me is priceless. There are so words. Now we have a baby girl on the way of our own & I couldn’t be happier.  We have literally been through hell in our relationship yet somehow we always make it work. He is patient to with me. He supports us in every way. And so much more I could go on & on. I love him and am glad he is my best friend and my other half. ♡ We got something that rare and special. From all we have been through in our past and since being in each others lives we are able to appreciate our love and connection that much more. 🙂

Well I hope you have a great day! 🙂
Sending ✌Peace, 💜Love, & 😄Happiness to all of you! God Bless!

💚🎀Nerdy Mama Owl🎀💚

Did you get a trick or a treat?

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Hello There! I feel like Dorthy. Oh you know from Wizard of Oz. I went to bed at my home in Florida. However I seem to woke up in a FREEZING state. Hmm..what happened to my warm Florida weather. Oh that is right Fall is here. TIme for warm fires, hot coco, hoodies, & boots. But seriously, we have freezing warning tonight.

Well how was everyone’s halloween? My day was horrible. But I won’t hash that out on here. As you know I live my like with Positivity. The good part is that after work and that horrible day I got to come home to a amazing man and we got to take Xavier trick or treating. My outfit didnt work since my pregnant belly is Popping out finally. But I did do my Sugar Skull Make up. My son was his favorite character, BATMAN! He was also batman last year. Which he wore the costume twice. Hey SAVED me some money. Plus last year my dad had to go to like 5 stores from My town to almost 2 hours over to find the Batman costume my son wanted. Because he said it had to be the one with muscles. So getting 2 years of wear and play out of it is perfectly fine with me.

This year since my son is 3 he was all excited to go trick or treating. At each house those he would use his manners, which makes for a proud mama. But he also would turn and ask us if we were going to get more. Each time we would respond with yes lets go to the next house. Took 3 blocks before he stopped asking. Priceless!
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As you know I am a crafter as well as a hands on mom. The night before halloween. We did some painting and crafts. We made a pumpkin stamp from a potato. We make a Frankenstein, black cat, pumpkins, & a spider & web.
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The weeks was full of fun. It was my sisters birthday so I made her a girl camo cake. The boys had their soccer & football games. Those went great! Anthony was picked for all star team. Which only the best players get picked for that team. I am SUPER proud of him. Both boys for their great jobs at their sports. I kept them Saturday night and we had pizza night.. seems to be tradition in our family. We also had a BON FIRE! Sorry I love bon fires. My country girl comes out. Even made smores. I live in the country so it was a stary night with a warm fire & I relaxing next to the fire in my hammock. I was in HEAVEN!
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We also got our branches and rocks picked for our Thankfu llTree! Which I will explain tomorrow on that. 🙂 But for now I am gonna go to bed. Its almost midnight. Sweet Dreams!

As always,

Peave.Love.& Happiness to you all!

Nerdy.Mama.Owl

Lauren Akin