Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Favorite & Giveaway!!!

So I was pretty content on never having to really cook again and just relying on my freezer meals for the next...well forever I guess.  Then Tuttorosso sent me a box to give their product to try.  The box included a few delicious sounding recipes but I decided to go for the pasta sauce one.  I have tried making my own sauce but it has always come out pretty bland.  So I usually just stick to one of the premade, store bought sauces.  My mom and mother-in-law both have wonderful homemade sauce recipes and going home for spaghetti is the ultimate back-home-comfort-meal for me.  I want my children to feel the same way when they grow up and leave home!

I set out with skepticism in my mind because I have never had luck before. I threw the recipe together in about 20 minutes and let it simmer on the stove for about 2 hours.  The result:
Sooooooooo delish!!
Health facts about Tuttorosso Tomatoes:
-100% natural-no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
-The antioxident Lycopene is found naturally in tomatoes
-A fat free food
-Good source of Vitamin A
-A gluten free food  
  
   
The critics:
~My six year old said, "Mommy this is the best sauce EVER!"

~My four year old (who never wants sauce on her noodles) asked for seconds and then thirds and wanted more but we were out of noodles.

~My husband (with a surprised tone to his voice) said, "This is really good!" And went back for seconds as well.

-Me:  Big smile (and some sauce) on my face! 

Verdict:
Goodbye store bought sauces...this is my new favorite! Easy, full of flavor, loved by my whole family!  And the recipe made enough to feed my family at least two meals! I can't wait to try the other two recipes, Savory Skillet Chicken and Versatile Italian Relish! 

Next meal we used the sauce for:
Italian Subs-get sub rolls, put sauce inside and top with mozzarella 
 These got devoured!
  
Visit Tuttorosso Tomatoes website to learn more, recipes and to enter their daily giveaways of products and kitchen tools! You can also find them on Facebook at Tuttorosso Tomatoes

 Tuttorosso is owned by Red Gold, a fourth generation family of tomato experts with a family tradition of “producing the freshest, best tasting, tomato products in the world!”

Now for the Giveaway..would you like to receive this in the mail???
you know you would :)
 All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this post and I will let random.org pick a winner for me at the end of the day!   
 Remember to find me on Facebook at My little smarties 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The 4 Gifts Idea (Read)...

4gifts

1. Something we want
2. Something we need
3. Something to wear
4.  Something to read

 Thank you to Sunny with a Chance of Sprinkles and Vintage Sunshine for hosting this series and making me rethink the way we do Christmas!

Back for the final week in the 4 Gifts Series with our "something to read" list:

Of all the lists, this one is the easiest...maybe too easy because my kids love books and I love buying books for them.  I definitely couldn't stick to the 1-3 limit on this category. 

 If you are looking to not spend a fortune on books, check out the Scholastic Book Orders your child(ren) bring home from school.  The books are great prices and every time your order online, you get a $5 off your next order coupon!  You might want to ask the teacher to get the order to you and not hand it to your child to bring home (that happened to me recently...oh well they got some early Christmas presents.)  Another place I have found some really cheap, cute books is Ollie's Discount Store.  Not sure if you have one in your area but you can get hardback books for as cheap as $1.99!

For Harper and Palmer (daughters ages 6 & 4):
 These are the books that they picked out but they will be getting books I have ordered from Scholastic too.

Archer (son age 13 months): 
 Archer will also be getting some books from the Scholastic book order.
 
Me:
 I know I'm so behind on the Hunger Games books but I want to read them before I see the movie.

What is something you have been wanting to read that you could ask for, for Christmas?  I would love some more suggestions on books for me. I love to read, it's finding time to do it that's the hard part!

Find me on Facebook at My little smarties


Thursday's Tip of the Day

Linking up my tip of the day with Lindsey at Apple of Mama's Eye for:
Today my tip is how to organize headband craziness! Both of my girls wear a headband just about every day. So as you can imagine we have quite the collection.  I originally just decided a plastic shoe size box would be fine to keep them in. 

This is what it has ended up looking like: 
Pretty much a big ol mess!  When they would go to pull one headband out, it would be tangled up with another headband.  And searching for one certain headband would result in the whole box being dumped out.  I decided we needed an easier, quicker and more organized way to grab the one headband they wanted to wear.  So I took a couple of Archer's empty formula cans, some fabric (97cents/pack at Walmart), and some glue and got to work. 
This is what I came up with:
 

 Here are the results:


I put all their big pony tail holders inside the cans

This was a fun & easy project.  The girls enjoyed picking out the fabric and love their new handband organizers.  If you don't have any formula cans, you can use empty oatmeal canisters or something similar.

Find me on Facebook at My little smarties 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

So What Wednesday...

Linking up with Shannon at Life After I "Dew" for:
So What Wednesday
 
This week I am saying "So What" if...

-I'm still not in that holiday spirit and haven't bought more than a couple of gifts.

-In two months, I have gone from never having a cup of coffee in my life to a morning cup and sometimes even a lunch time cup. 

-I have to have Natural Bliss coffee creamer in my coffee or I can't drink it (vanilla and caramel are delish and don't have all the junk in them like other creamers do!)

-I already opened my Christmas gift.  The hubs went out on Black Friday and brought me back an awesome tablet with attachable keyboard.  He said he didn't want to wait a month to give it to me.  I didn't even know I wanted one until I messed around with it...it's pretty awesome!

-My son is getting a shelf for his room for Christmas.  I know, not very exciting but he doesn't need anymore toys, he needs a place to put the ones he has.  Plus, he's only a year old so I'm going to get away with it while I still can :)

-I have decided to let my girls start paying for little trinkets, etc. they are always asking for when we go to the store.  They earn stickers for doing good deeds, being sweet to each other, listening, etc. and they can turn 10 stickers in for $1.  They have loved being able to go to the Dollar Tree and pick out something and pay for it themselves. It has also been easier than telling them, "No" all the time.  Now when they ask for something, I say, "Do you have your money to pay for it?"

-Even though I sell Shaklee, I decided to try Shakeology.  Had my first shake yesterday (chocolate with pb & banana) and it was pretty darn good.


-I said I would never homeschool my children but with the disappointment in the school system here and the cost of private school, that option has made it onto my list for next year.

What are you saying "So What" to this week? 

Find me on Facebook at My little smarties

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mess-eating Monster

I was recently reading posts from one of the blogs I love to follow and was smacked in the face with a brilliant idea!  She actually got her idea from another bloggin mama. I love how we moms can share and learn from each other!!! Here is the blog I am borderline obsessed with (seriously want to join her family) and here is the original idea blog post (this is a new favorite blog). 

As moms we pick things up off the floor about a million times a day and this awesome idea is going to change that around my house.  I will ask once for it to be picked up and if it's not then the item will go in my box.  No, I will not keep it forever but to get it back the perpetrator must do a chore.  

Now for my favorite part, not all the slips of paper have serious chores on them....some are just plain silly or even just a warning slip.  It's such a great way to not get caught up in the, "I told you 6 times to pick that toy up...blah blah blah!" argument with your child.  I know I need to laugh a little more and not take things so seriously with my children. I want them to remember me as a fun mom who was silly, would play and laugh with them, not a mom who constantly got onto them, punished them, and was so serious!

So I printed off my chores and cut them into slips, stuck them in an envelope and put the envelope on a plastic storage bin that I have named Mommy's Mess-eating Monster.
 Here are the chores I put in my envelope.  Feel free to copy and paste and then change some around to suit your household!
Clean out van
Clean out pantry
Pull weeds in back yard for 10 minutes
Pull weeds in front yard for 10 minutes
Rub dad’s feet for 10 minutes and do, ‘this little piggy’ to him.
Clean Archer's room
Wipe down kitchen counters
Wipe down kids' potty
Clean a bathroom mirror while singing any song.
Clean out silverware drawer
Wipe down outside of fridge and have a treat afterwards.
You are free but this is a WARNING!
Vacuum living room rug
Scrub kids' bathtub
Give mom and dad a hug and say, “I will never leave my stuff out again.”
Clean/wipe down front door
Wipe down door going to garage (both sides)
Empty all garbage cans
Write a letter to someone who has done a service for you and tell them thank you.
Dust the tv stand and all items on it
Fold 10 pairs of socks
Rub dad’s head for 10 minutes while telling him how thankful you are for him working so hard.
Rub mom’s head for 10 minutes while telling her how thankful you are she sweeps 200 times a day.
Sweep front porch and run around the house 1 time
Watch Archer for 10 minutes
Clean out/organize desk drawer
Dust living room
Clean kitchen table
You are free but this is a WARNING!
You are free but this is a WARNING!
Tell your siblings and parents 3 things you love about them.
Write 2 times “I will not leave my things out.”
Do 25 jumping jacks while singing, “I am a cleaning machine.”
Run around the house for 1 minute and see how many things you can pick up and put away.
Tidy up the art room.
Draw a picture of you picking up things and your mom and dad smiling BIG!
Make up a song about a clean house and perform it in front of your family.
Make your bed blindfolded.
Clean Archer's high chair (in and around)
While hopping on one foot, wipe the kitchen counters off.
Choose 2 items of yours to donate to Goodwill.
Vacuum the playroom.
Scrub an air vent with a toothbrush.
Hand wash 3 dishes
Scrub your toilet while singing, ‘whistle while you work’.
Pick up backyard, do a flip on the trampoline and beg your mother for forgiveness.
Sweep back patio
Design a machine on paper that cleans the whole house and gets you ready for the day.
Water the plant in the living room.
Tell us the story, ‘The Little Red Hen.”
Organize mom and dad’s shoes.
Vacuum Mommy and Daddy's room
Give all family members a kiss and a hug
Tell us three things you are thankful for
Clean/organize Archer's train table
Lead prayers at bedtime tonight
Call grandparents to tell them you love them

Find me on Facebook at My little smarties!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Favorite...

I love putting a little love in my daughter's lunch box to let her know I'm thinking about her during the day. I came across a website called Say Please that has the most adorable little notes.  On the front there is a short note and on the back there is a fun little fact for you child to learn and share with their buddies over lunch. Even though my daughter is only in kindergarten and learning how to read, I put them in there and challenge her to sound out the words she doesn't know.  And even if your child doesn't pack a lunch, you can stick the note in a backpack or binder. 

I ordered a set, which came with 8 volumes and 12 cards in each volume.

 Here is an example of one I recently put in my daughter's lunchbox:

Do your Black Friday shopping online and check out Say Please today and you can get 60% your order. You can also find them on Facebook at Lunchbox Love.
**If you go to the site and click Lunchbox Love Printables and fill out the name and email form, they will send you a 10% off coupon just for checking out the site :)

 They even have Lunch Box Love for Birthday Girls & Boys, Camp, Everyone in Your Life, Those you Appreciate, your Girlfriends, Those you Work With, Loved Ones, Holiday Love, ...literally something for everyone!

How do you show your kids a little love?

Remember to find me on Facebook at My little smarties
 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday Shopping

Shop Black Friday with Shaklee to give the gift of health this holiday season! This Friday-Sunday, I am offering free shipping on ANY order if you purchase a membership for $19.99.  The membership is lifetime, no monthly required orders, no signing up for anything you don't want...just receive 10-15% off all our products forever!  Click here to start shopping.
 Here are a few great gift ideas:
1. Vivix Cellular Anti-Aging* Tonic Dietary Supplement in the middle of a wreath, or inside a beautiful ribboned wine glass or wine decanter.   
2. Cinch Snack Bars or Meal-in-a-Bars to stuff stockings. Or give a box of Snack or Meal-in-a- Bars along with brochures for hiking trails and bike routes.

3. Cinch Energy Tea sticks tied in a pretty bow, inside a beautiful mug or lovely teacup. Or try with a cute teapot and tea cozy.

4. Basic-H2 with a sponge in a bucket filled with car magazines.


5. Shaklee Energizing Soy Protein in Cocoa or Cinch Shake Mix in Chocolate for healthy hot chocolate along with a warm hat, scarf, and gloves.
6. Enfuselle Nutrition Therapy Skin Care System collection with a fancy makeup mirror.


7. Enfuselle Lip Treatment SPF 15 wrapped up with ribbons at both ends to slip into cards you’re mailing...or into a Christmas stocking...or given away as a small memento for co-workers, teachers,
mail carrier, etc.


8. Enfuselle Moisturizing Shower Gel, Ultra Moisturizing Shea Butter Cream, and a Bath Sponge in a pretty shower caddy or with a set of monogrammed towels.

9. Enfuselle SPF30, LipTreatment SPF15, and ShakleePerformance SportsDrink with golf balls and gloves.

10. Shakleekids Incredivites and Mighty Smart along with books, games, and a world globe.

11. Herbal Blend Multi-Purpose Cream with some nice slippers or designer socks and a note about how Multi-Purpose Cream soothes tired feet all year around.   
12. Joint & Muscle Pain Cream with a microwaveable comfort pillow.

13. Get Clean Fresh Laundry Concentrate & Soft Fabric Concentrate with a set of bath towels.

14. Meadow Blend Soap-Free Cleansing Bar and Ultra Moisturizing Shea Butter Cream with a pretty ceramic soap dish.

15. Cinch Snack Bars wrapped in see-through colorful net and tied with ribbon.

16. Shaklee Performance Sports Drink, Cinch Snack Bars and Joint & Muscle Pain Cream along with a sports bottle, football, soccer ball, or a signed ball or signed sports personality photograph. For a nice variation, use the same products and package with gardening accessories like a hat, cotton gloves, and/or kneeling pad.

17. Shaklee Physique with a jump rope or exercise video for someone making a New Year’s resolution.
18. ProSanté Hair Care System with a really nice brush and other hair accessories.


19. Shaklee SPF 30 for Body with sun hat, ball cap, sunglasses, or picnic basket.

20. Shakleebaby Personal Care Products with some fun tub toys, or a set of baby clothes, blanket, etc.

21. Cinch Starter Kit to start the New Year right, along with a nice calendar.

22. Cinch Pedometer and Shaklee Performance with a great music CD for walking.
 Remember to find me on Facebook at My little smarties and shop here
Happy Shopping!!! 

The 4 Gifts Idea (Wear)...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

4gifts
1. Something we want
2. Something we need
3. Something to wear
4.  Something to read

Back for Week 3 in the 4 Gifts Series with our "something to wear" list:

Harper & Palmer (daughters, ages 6 & 4): 
I racked my brain and asked the girls some things they might want for Christmas that they could wear.  The only things we could come up with were slippers and Christmas pjs.  They have more clothes than should be legal and shoes too.  And they have enough coats, hair accessories, jewelery, dress up outfits and pockets books for a class full of girls. They have grandmas that spoil them rotten as well as friends and cousins that pass down their clothes. So two things in this category is all they are getting.
#1:  Slippers and they want doggie ones 

#2: Christmas pjs (these will be opened on Christmas Eve so they can wear them)

Archer (son, age 1):

#1:  Some soft shoes.  He is very slowly trying to walk and wants to do it when we are out and about but when I put hard soled shoes on him, he acts like they are too heavy and pulls them off.  He has a couple of pairs of Robeez but has almost outgrown them so some little shoes like these would be perfect for a new walker!

#2:  Fleece sleep sack.  With winter coming, his cotton sleep sacks aren't going to be sufficient enough to keep the little guy warm so a couple of fleece sacks should get us through those cold nights.

#3:  Christmas pjs so he can have his festive jammies on to open up presents in Christmas morning.

Me:
#1:  I love all the trendy, cute scarves everyone is wearing and I'm sad to say that I'm not the proud owner of any.  So I would love a scarf or two to keep me warm and looking cute this holiday season. :)

#2:  I also am loving all the knee length boots I see everyone wearing and I want some too.  I will take a pair in black and a pair in brown...thanks!

#3:  Clothes-some essential pieces that I can make several outfits out of.  I can not tell you the last time I went clothes shopping. I am still wearing the same stuff I have worn for years and it's worn out and well I'm just ready for a change. 

What are some things you can wear that you want for Christmas??

Find me on Facebook :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So What Wednesday...

So What Wednesday

This week I am saying "So What" if... 
 
~As I am typing this (Tues. am), we still don't know what our Thanksgiving plans are.

~I still haven't started my Christmas shopping...heck, I haven't even made my shopping lists yet.

~I have decided I am one of those people who can only handle one holiday at a time.  I can't get in the Christmas decorating, getting a tree, listening to Christmas music kind of spirit until Thanksgiving is over.

~My husband and I were always those crazies who got up to go shopping at 2am on Black Friday but since we have had kids, I haven't gone...I kinda miss it. 

~I think I'll do most of my shopping online again this year.  With three kids and always having at least one of them with me, it's a little hard to get to the stores for Santa shopping.

~I am praying that my kindergartner doesn't come home from school saying that someone told her there was no Santa.  I want my kids to believe in the magic of Christmas as long as possible...once it's gone, it's never quite the same. 

~Before we had kids, I only drank girlie, fruity drinks-hated beer.  After our second child, I started liking the taste of beer. Now that we have had three kids, I love beer and prefer it over "girlie drinks" and wine. Good thing we are done having kids or I might end up drinking the "hard stuff." haha

Happy Thanksgiving from the Smart family!!! 

Remember to find me on  Facebook at My little smarties :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

I have loved seeing all the versions of Thankful Trees  everyone has been posting about and I love the idea even more.  So I decided instead of just talking about what we are thankful for, we would join in the fun and make our own family Thankful Tree. 
Here are Harper and Palmer putting leaves on our tree.  I think they were as excited about me letting them sit on the counter as they were about doing the tree. haha  As they hung a leaf, they said one thing they were thankful for.  My husband and I participated too. After putting on all the leaves, the girls said they had more things they wanted to say so they took the leaves off and did it again...a few times.
Proud of their tree!
We are limited on where we can put the tree because of a certain little man around here that likes to destroy anything he can get his hands on. The girls decided they wanted anyone who came over to see it so we put it up on the counter near the front door.
It cost me $0 to make this....we had the empty pot, the girls collected rocks and the tree limb outside, the stickers and ribbon were in my scrapbook stuff and we had the leaves already.  It doesn't have to be super fancy, beautiful or takes tons of time to make...getting your kids involved in saying thanks is what really counts!

What are you thankful for this holiday season?

Find me on Facebook at My Little Smarties!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Must have lists when grocery shopping...

Whether you are doing all the cooking for your family's Thanksgiving or just taking a side dish, here are a few food choice tips to remember so you can make your holidays healthier...


2012 Dirty Dozen List: Foods to Buy Organic

These foods are better to buy organic because they are the fruits and vegetables are the most pesticide contaminated.

1. apples
2. celery
3. sweet bell peppers
4. peaches
5. strawberries
6. nectarines (imported)
7. grapes
8. spinach
9. lettuce
10. cucumbers
11. blueberries (domestic)
12. potatoes
**This year the EWG also mentioned green beans and leafy greens (such as kale) as additional foods that contain enough pesticide residue to warrant concern.

2012 Clean 15 List: Foods Okay to Buy Non-Organic

These fruits and veggies are ok to buy non-organic because they were found to have lower pesticide residue.

1. onions
2. sweet corn
3. pineapples
4. avocado
5. cabbage
6. sweet peas
7. asparagus
8. mangoes
9. eggplant
10. kiwi
11. cantaloupe (domestic)
12. sweet potatoes
13. grapefruit
14. watermelon
15. mushrooms

You can visit EWG (Environmental Working Group) website where they have all kinds of information about the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 and even an app you can download onto your phone so you will always have these lists with you when shopping!

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!!

Remember to find me on Facebook :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Favorite

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is participate in the putting together of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. And in honor of National Collection Week (Nov-12-19) this is my Friday Favorite.  

This is one of my favorite things because it is something we enjoy doing with our children and such a wonderful learning experience for them.  Not only do they learn about giving and being thankful and grateful but they LOVE going to the store and picking out little goodies to send to a boy or girl their age.  Back home, our church participated in this but since we moved I had to hunt for a new drop off location. To find a OCC shoebox drop off location near you, look here.  

Last year we got to track our shoeboxes and find out what county they were sent to. The girls thought that was super neat and what a good lesson on geography and how mail gets to it's destination that led to!

If you haven't filled a shoebox yet, there is still time! But don't fret, even if you don't think you can get yours done before the National Collection Week is over, Samaritan's Purse has a way to build a box online

Here are some ideas of what your shoebox(es) can include:

Make sure you include $7 in the shoebox to pay for shipping costs and put a label on top so the box will be given to a boy/girl in the correct age group. Click here to download the informational sheet and labels.

Sending such simple gifts to a needy child can make all the difference in the world. 
 You can change a life for only a few dollars!
I strongly encourage you to take part in this amazing and wonderful operation! To learn more, please visit http://www.samaritanspurse.org

What is your favorite way to give back during the holidays? Do you participate in OCC? I would love to hear from you!

Find me on Facebook :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The 4 Gifts Idea (Need)...

We are so blessed because it was hard to think of what things we really needed.  But after some thought this is what we came up with...
4gifts

Harper and Palmer (daughters-ages 6 & 4)
#1-A new humidifier. They usually get a cold or two during the winter months and we always keep a humidifier in their room when that happens.  Unfortunately, the one we were using was recently dropped and broken into many pieces.

#2-I don't get the girls hair cut often but by Christmas time they will definitely be in need of a trim and shape up.  There is a place that caters to children's haircuts called Snip-Its. The girls love to go there but seeing as it's a little more than I want to pay for a haircut, it's not often they get to go. They would love to get a gift card to this place.

#3-Some workbooks for enrichment. They love doing these and we are in need of some new ones!

Archer (son-age 12 months)
#1-My son has been using his sister's old pink blanket on his bed. I think it's about time to get him a more boyish one.

#2-Diapers-can't have enough of those!

#3-Wipes (I love making homemade wipes but sometimes it's just easier to grab a pack and go.)


Me Ok so I decided to include myself in this one :)
 #1-I know this sounds cliche but I NEED to spend time with my family.  Last year was just plain crazy...we moved on Thanksgiving day (with a 1 month old) and Christmas was lonely. I was having a super difficult time with my newborn but didn't want my daughters to miss out on Christmas with family, so my husband and girls drove 3.5 hrs away to spend Christmas Eve with his family. So, yes this year, I need my family! And as I was looking for a family picture, I also realized we need somemore of those...this one is the only one I could find of all 5 of us!

#2-I always need a calendar for Christmas and I love this Mom's Calendar.  I write down everything, am a list maker, and just love to be organized so this is something I definitely need.

#3-Now that I have gotten into freezer cooking and making healthier recipes for my family, I have all kinds of recipes in about three different places...not ok with me. Like I said, I need to be organzied so a place to store all my recipes would be great! 

 What do you need for Christmas?  Was is as hard for you as it was for me to think of things you actually need instead of just want?

Find me on Facebook!  

Thursday's Tip of the Day...

Handheld Hide-n-Seekgreat activity for the kids and such an easy and fun thing to take in the car, waiting at the doctor or dentist's office, to a restaurant, all kinds of places!
 
One day I decided to give my kids a mission.  I handed them each a clear plastic water bottle and told them to go around the house and find at least 8 things that would fit inside.  They took off and came back about 10 minutes later with their "treasures." We dumped each child's items out and I let them tell me what they found.  I wrote each thing down on an index card.  After both girls had their lists, I let them pour (with my help) dry rice into their bottles...all the way to the top.  Then I glued the tops on and attached their lists on with a rubberband.  They were so excited that they made a toy/game.  Now we use them in the car, waiting at the drs office, at the dinner table while Mommy gets their plates ready, anywhere where they need to sit still for a little while. 




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

So What Wednesday...

 Time for Wednesday's Link up:
So What Wednesday

Today I'm saying "So what if..."
  • I still think my husband is super hot even though we have been together for almost 12 years :) Something about watching him with our kids makes him more attractive than ever!
  • My daughter didn't feel well Monday night so I let her stay home Tuesday even though she said she felt better and could go to school.  It was her first sick day of the year, so I didn't feel bad about it for one minute!

  • I am so freaking out about having a Shaklee table at my daughter's school this Friday for a holiday extravanga. It's my first event...ahhh!

  • I have not even started making my lists for Christmas shopping much less started the actual gift buying.

  • My hubs and I haven't decided what we are doing for Thanksgiving yet. If it weren't for the kids, I think we would just stay home and eat some K&W Cafeteria Thanksgiving dinner meals. This is the first time since we've had kids that we don't live near either of our families.  Last year doesn't count because we moved on Thanksgiving.

  •  I am not a fan of winter! Fall I like but winter can get lost! Cold temps, wearing coats, being cold, having to get coats on and off the kids (so it takes twice as long to run errands), being stuck in the house because it's too cold to go out and play, cold and flu season, did I mention that I don't like the cold!?

  • I am also not a fan of the time change! Why do we still do this? I mean really all it means is it gets dark at like 4:30 now...depressing! And our electricity bill goes up because we have to turn lights on earlier. I swear I remember hearing (a few years ago) that we weren't going to do this anymore after 2013...anyone know what the deal is???
What are you saying "So What" to this week?

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Homemade Cheez-Its

So dinners have definitely become less processed with freezer cooking and making our own muffins, poptarts, pancakes, and other items have made breakfast less processed but I am still buying things I don't really want to for easy snacks, for home and for Harper to take to school.  Then a friend sent me a link to how to make our own Cheez-Its.  I was so excited because my girls love little cracker things and the recipe looked pretty darn easy.  So yesterday, the girls and I headed to the kitchen to try this out ourselves.  

Here's the ingredients we used:
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (you can use the pre-shredded kind or use a grater on a cheese block) 
  • 4 Tbs of butter (I would soften it. I had mine out of the fridge for a little while before using it but it needed to be softer because it was a little hard to get it all mixed in well.)
  • 3/4 cup of flour (we used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • coarse or sea salt to sprinkle on tops of crackers 
*This recipe will make between 9 1/2-10 dozen crackers.
Taking turns rolling out the dough

Instructions:
  • Put all ingredients into your food processor and pulse until it forms a doughy consistency (I do not own a food processor so we used the blender and it worked just fine.) 
  • Take your dough out and put it between two pieces of wax paper.
  • Using a rolling pin (I actually have one of those..haha) roll the dough out to about 1/8 of an inch thick.
  • Using a pastry wheel or small cookie cutter or even a pizza cutter (like we did) cut dough into shapes.
  •  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1/2" apart from each other.  
  • Poke a hole in the center of each cracker (we used the back end of a wooden skewer and it was the perfect shape and size) so that they don't puff up too much.  
  • Sprinkle with coarse or sea salt
    Harper poking holes in the center of the crackers with the back end of a skewer
    Bake at 350ºF for 8-12 minutes (depending on the size and shape of your crackers), until lightly browned on the edges. Cool on the baking sheet and store in an airtight container.
 
Sprinkled with coarse salt and ready for the oven


I definitely had my doubts but these were delicious and the girls loved them too. Guess what Harper requested to take for snack at school today?!

If you give these a try, let me know what you think and please remember to like me on Facebook!