Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes

As I may have mentioned about a million times before, my son is on a Gluten-Free/Casein-Free diet for autism.  He is a very picky eater!!!  One of these things I can almost always count on him eating is pancakes.  We use the Kinnickinnick pancake mix.  Problem is, my two girls love pancakes too so I always have to make GFCF pancakes and regular pancakes.  Until recently, I just made simple Bisquick pancakes.  Super easy.  Hubby is  a bit of a pancake snob though.  Did you marry a man who loved his mama's cooking and yours just doesn't compare?  My hubby is like that about his Nannie's pancakes.  I'll admit they are good, but I'm too lazy to beat my eggs to stiff peaks in a seperate mixer every time I want to make pancakes.  It's too much trouble and quite frankly I'd need to get up 20 minutes earlier to do it, which isn't gonna happen very often.  Then, I discovered a new recipe from Real Mom Kitchen

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

•2 cups all purpose flour

•2 tablespoons sugar

•2 teaspoons baking powder

•1 teaspoon baking soda

•1/2 teaspoon salt

•2 cups well shaken buttermilk (you may need a little more if you want a thinner batter)

•2 large eggs

•1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)

1.Mix dry ingredients together in medium bowl.

2.Add all wet ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, and oil) to a separate bowl and stir just until blended.

3.Add the wet ingredient to the dry ingredients just until combined. Do not over mix, batter will be slightly lumpy.

4.Lightly coat skillet with oil. Heat to medium low (I do one notch below medium).

5.Drop 1/4 cup of batter onto heated skillet. Use the back side of a spoon to help even out the batter.
    (I cooked mine on a griddle and they were fine)

6.Cook on first side until bubbles begin to form on surface and underside is golden, about 2 minutes.

7.Flip over and cook another 2 minutes until golden brown and center springs back when lightly touched.

8.Serve warm with maple syrup and butter. Makes 10-12 pancakes.

YUM!  Easy as Bisquick and a WHOLE lot fewer bowls to clean.  Not to mention I'm a whole lot less gripey not having to get up twenty minutes earlier to beat the durn eggs! 


Monday, August 30, 2010

The Emmy's

Did you watch the Emmy's last night?  Oh, I love award show season!  Award show season is when I really miss working.  My coworkers and I (Lisa and Peg, especially) loved to talk about what everyone was wearing and what shows did win or should have.  So, since I'm not working, I decided to discuss among us. 

I'm not sure if it's my love of acting and the career that never was or just my love of TV in general, but I am always so excited about the Emmy's.  It seems so much more relaxed than it's sister show, The Oscars.  I was very excited that some of my favorite shows, actors and actresses came out on top. 

1.  Mad Men won for best Drama Series.  Have you seen Mad Men?  I looooove it!  It's based on a 1960's ad agency in Manhattan.  It is fabulous!  I highly recommend it.  It's one of my favorites.

2.  Best Actress in a Dramatic Series went to another fave of mine...Kyra Sedgwick from The Closer.  I love her character, Brenda Lee Johnson.  She plays a southern detective moved to LA and is Chief of the Special Victim's Unit.  Her Southern charm/accent, etc. is very entertaining and she always outsmarts the bad guys.

3.  Best Actor in a Comedy Series:  Jim Parson from The Big Bang Theory.  I love this funny show.  He plays Sheldon, a brilliant, yet socially inept scientist.  It is funny and I am pretty sure Jim is supposed to have Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism.  It may not be written that way, but he sure shows the signs.  It is brilliantly funny.

4.  Temple Grandin.  Of course, being the mom of an autistic child, I naturally want to see any and all movies about people with autism.  This movie is the story of Temple Grandin.  She is a Professor of Animal Science in Colorado and is a leader in the field of animal rights.  This movie does a fantastic job of showing how her mind works and how she sees things.  It was nominated for 15 awards and won 5, including Best Actress in a TV movie, Claire Danes and Best Supporting Actor in a TV movie, David Strathairn, and Best Supporting Actress in a TV movie, Julia Ormand, and Best Director in a TV movie, Mick Jackson and the award for Best Made for TV Movie. 

Now, let's talk Emmy fashion.

Love Eva Longoria Parker's dress.  I love all the fabric flowers.  So pretty!

Claire Danes looks gorgeous in this elegant beaded dress.  I bet it weighs a ton!

I think Amber Riley looks great in this dress.  Love the belt showing her waist line and the halter style is slimming on her arms.  I think she looks lovely!

Stephanie Pratt.  It's a lovely little dress.  If you were blessed with great legs, why not show them off.  BUT, I do find myself praying she has on underwear.  Bend at the knee, honey.

Okay, I try really hard not to talk ugly about other women.  I think it's just mean.  After all, I'm not a fashion editor and some people have trouble putting their pieces together.  After all, I'm terrible with jewelry.  But, if I were this lady....I think I might've asked for some help from a stylist. 

Seriously?  She looks like a little girl playing princess.  Bless her heart.  She needs Rachel Zoe.  I'm sure she is very talented and has a lovely personality.  So sorry for being ugly. 

Okay, enough of that. 

One more thing I have to say.  I adore Jimmie Fallon.  He is HYSTERICAL.  Did you catch the opening number with the cast of Glee, Betty White, Jon Hamm, Tina Fey, Tim Gunn and Kate Gosselin?  It's long, but fabulous!  Best opening number EVER.  Amanda, I thought of you when I was watching this.  I know how you love Glee.  View it below.

Have a great day!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hoot! Hoot!

So, ya know how owls are all the rage right now?  I've seen owls everywhere from walls to shirts to bedding to stuffed animals to jewelry.  EVERYWHERE!  When my SIL was here a few months ago and we were checking out some of my favorite blogs, we came across Toad's Treasures.  Emily (aka Toad) is married with two precious boys.  She has lots of cute tutorials and etsy site with precious patterns.  I loved them all, but especially this cute tutorial.   

Toad's owl.  How CUTE is that?

So, my SIL and I decided that I would have to make one for my neice, "M".  She loves owls!  Her birthday was on August 18th, so I am a little late with school starting and everything.  Wanna see how mine turned out?

What do ya think?  Isn't it cute?  M's bedding is black, white, gray with a little yellow, hence the colors.  I wish I had a picture of it on her bed.  Hope she likes it.

My daughter loved it so much, I had to make her one too.

I'm linking up to these parties:  The DIY Show-Off, It's So Very Cheri and



Keeping It Simple
The Girl Creative
Get Your Craft On Tuesday

Show and Tell Green


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Getting To Know You Thursday...Silly School Girl Crushes

Today, I thought I'd let loose and have a little silly fun.  Remember when you were about fourteen and you'd get together with your friends and talk about boys?  You'd talk about the cute celebrities and musician's we all had crushes on?  Did you ever have a really weird crush that nobody quite understood?  That's what we're talking about today - crushes. 

Wanna know the first crush I remember?  I'm dating myself here.  You ready for this?

Telly Savalas "Kojak"  I've always had a thing for bald men.  I think I was seven when Kojak was out.  Maybe it was because he always had Dum Dum lollipops in his mouth.  I love those and I was seven.  Maybe it's the way he said, "Who loves you baby?"  Weird, huh?   Know who else I loved?  John Denver.  I had a blue shirt with John Denver's picture on it and I wore it CONSTANTLY.  I loved him and his music.  I jumped around singing Grandma's Feather Bed on a daily basis.  I also had crushes on the Hardy Boys too, especially Sean Cassidy.  He was so cute!

Then when I got a little older, I had a thing for Duran Duran, specifically for John Taylor.  What can I say?  I grew up in the 80's when all musicians had big hair and occasionally wore makeup.

Soo cute and he had a British accent too.  

Then in college, I had a thing for.....

John Malcovich - awesome actor and again with the bald thing.

Know who I adore these days?

Patric Warburton.  He is stinkin' cute and HILARIOUS!  I LOOOVE a good sense of humor. 

Wanna see my biggest crush EVER?

My sweet Hubby!  He's got the almost bald thing going on AND the great sense of humor. 

Tell me about your crushes!!  I can't wait to hear!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

There's A What On My House?

So, in yesterday's post, I mentioned a surprise party for my parents.  We were at my aunt's house about 20 minutes away from home for the party.  We left my aunt's house around 6:30 and headed home to get ready for the Dallas Cowboy game.  My nachos were cooking in the crockpot.  We reserved a movie for the kids so we could actually watch the game without pausing it every 2 minutes.  I was soooo looking forward to a night on the couch with my sweet Hubby, eating my nachos, screaming at the TV, etc.  We were about 5 miles from home when my cell phone rang.  I didn't recognize the number.  I started not to answer it because I've been getting a lot of calls from credit card companies urging us to buy credit life protection plans, etc.  Anyway....I answered.  The man asked for me by name.  I told him it was me and got ready for the speech I was sure I was about to hear.  Then he identified himself as Officer Booher.  I just knew he was about to tell me our house alarm was going off, but instead he told me we had a tree on our house.  "I have a what on my house?"  I asked.  You have to understand that we have zero trees in my yard, except a 4 foot maple we recently REplanted for the third time because storms keep taking them out.  Anyway, he explained to me that our neighbor's tree had taken out my fence and landed on the back of our house.  I told him we were a few minutes away and told Hubby to head straight for home instead of stopping to get the kids' movie we had reserved at Redbox. 

We drove home on the road that comes up behind our house.  It's on a hill and plain as day, you could see a big ole tree was on top of my roof.  FABULOUS! 

My fence.  My neighbor's tree.

Nice, huh?

So, I finally got the tree guys out here today.  They had to wait for the crain to be available.  Bless their little hearts.  They worked soooo haard today. 

Don't they look like they're working hard??  I mean they really worked up a sweat.  I should've offered them a glass of tea or something.  (Hubby piled up all the toys to mow last week in case your wondering if we make our kids climb on top of the table to ride in that car).

Does this picture look kind of funny to you?  Here's the deal.  I was unloading the dishwasher while they were out back working so hard.  I was dying to take pictures so I could share this exciting experience with y'all, but I didn't want to get caught taking pictures.  I didn't want them to think I was some kind of weird stalker lady who has a thing for guys with chainsaws or something freaky like that.  So, I put the camera on top of a box in the window and as I was doing the dishes, I'd just push the button every once in awhile and take a picture.  The pictures aren't great because they're taken through the screen and the window, but at least they won't see me taking pictures of them and think I'm completely NUTS!

CRAP!  BUSTED!  Now they think I'm a FREAK!  Oh well!  Maybe I should've suggested they take a dip in our fancy pool (the yellow one behind him) since they worked so hard.  Nah.  Then they would've really thought I was a freak!

So, anyway, they got the tree off the roof and now I'm literally waiting for the framer to get here to give me an estimate on fixing my joists, etc. that the tree broke - and roofer - and the fence guy - and the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.  FUN!  So, I have done NOTHING cool and crafty to share this week....YET!  But, I do have a project planned for the next few days.  Fingers crossed.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Last weekend was the culmination of lots of planning for a special family get together.  We told the parents it was a family reunion, but it was actually a surprise party for my parents for their 60th birthday.  We had a great time visiting with family, playing cards and of course, eating.  AND, they were actually surprised.  I cannot believe we pulled it off.  I am a terrible liar.  I cry when I lie - dead giveaway.  Anyway, thanks to my aunt and cousin Jamie and my sister for pulling off all the planning.  YEA! 

Here's a picture of the birthday folks.

My dad was talking when I snapped the picture.  OOPS! 

This is their cake (their last name initial is "N").  It looks so much better than the cakes I make!

As I said, we had lots of good food.  One of the things I made was Sausage Triangles.  YUM!

Sausage Triangles

8 oz Pork sausage

1/2 lb Mushrooms, diced

1/4 lb Monterey Jack, shredded

1/2 c Butter, melted

1/3 16 oz pkg. frozen phyllo


In 10" skillet over medium-high heat, cook pork sausage and mushrooms until meat is well browned and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally.

With slotted spoon, remove sausage mixture to paper towelsto drain. In large bowl, mix sausage mixture and shredded cheese.

With knife, cut phyllo lengthwise into 2" wide strips. Place strips on waxed paper; then cover with slightly damp paper towel to prevent phyllo from drying out.

Place 1 strip of phyllo on work surface; brush top lightly with melted butter. Place about 1 teaspoon sausage mixture at end of strip.

Fold one corner of strip diagonally over filling so that short edge meets the long edge of the strip, forming a right angle. Continuefolding over at right angle. Continue folding over at right angles until you reachthe end of the strip to form a triangular-shaped package.

Place package, seam side down, in 15 1/2" X 10 1/2" jelly roll pan; brush with butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo strips and sausage mixture.

If not serving right away, cover with foil and refrigerate.

To serve, preheat oven to 425 F. Bake triangles 15 minutes or until golden. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen hors d'oeuvres. Each triangle: About 50 calories, 4 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 90 mg sodium.

TO FREEZE AND USE UP TO 1 MONTH LATER: Place unbaked triangles in freezer container with waxed paper between each layer; seal; label: and freeze. About 35 minutes before serving, preheat oven to 425 F. Arrange frozen triangles on un-greased jelly roll pan and bake 20 minutes or until triangles are golden.

Just for the record, I hate phyllo dough!  Wanna see how much I wasted?

Nice, huh? 

Have a great day everyone!  I'm linking up to:

Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays


Monday, August 23, 2010

Wow! What a Crazy Week!

So, what y'all been doing?  It's been absolutely CRAZY at my house for the last week.  Last Thursday was the kids first day back to school, so the beginning of the week was full of last minute doctor's appointments, making breakfast for my 6 year old's preschool staff, teachers and therapists because my friend D and I wanted to make sure that they knew how much we love and appreciate them before we took our babies out of their loving hands and threw them into the real world of Kindergarten.  Then Tuesday night we had Open House at two different schools.  Wednesday was last minute school stuff. 

So, as I said, Thursday was the first day of school.  I got up at the crack of dawn and put on makeup and stuff (that almost never happens before school), made a big breakfast and rushed around to get everyone ready for school.  We dropped off my big boy at his school and he went in all by himself.  I was so proud of what a big boy he was.  Then we dropped off my 12 year old at her school and off she went to start the 7th grade.  Then, we were off to take L to his first day of Kindergarten.  We walked into his classroom and talked to his teacher for a few minutes and L refused to let go of our hands.  He knew what was coming and he was NOT happy about it.  When we finally did head for the door, he started screaming.  I didn't cry until I heard him, and then I lost it.  I cried off and on all day.  Poor E was lost without her brothers and sister.  She kept asking if we could go get them.  The second day of school went much smoother.  No crying, well at least not for L. 

Everything went smooth except for the picking up.  All three kids go to different schools.  J gets out at the same time as L.  Thursday I got to J's school 45 minutes before the bell rang so I could pick him up and rush to get L.  I made it to the pickup spot right before the buses were about to turn in (if the buses are in the parking lot, they won't let you in).  Friday, the guy directing traffic refused to let me in the parking lot where I pick up my son.  He yelled at me and told me to go to the other parking lot.  I tried to explain that I had a "special education child" to pick up and I had to pick him up at this parking lot (the other elementary kids are picked up in another parking lot at the front of the school).  He still refused to let me in and I just LOST IT!  I pulled over on the side of the road and cried trying to decide what to do.  I was so frustrated.  I could see my child 30 yards from me, but I couldn't get to him.  I was so angry.  This guy was three times my size, but I was so angry I think I could've taken him.  I got out of the car and walked up to get L.  His teacher said, "He had a really good day today.  No crying at all."  Then she looked up to see tears rolling down my cheeks.  I could not stop crying.  I know she thought I was completely NUTS.  So, as it stands now, I can't physically be in two places at once at pickup time.  I'll keep trying and hopefully the traffic will get better this week.  But, I swear if that man yells at me again...I'll...I'll...I'll cry some more and hopefull he'll feel really bad.  I'm so tough, I know.

Wanna see our awesome back to school picture? 

Nice, huh?  They refused to cooperate with me.  UGH!

So, here's hoping we have a better week this week. 

Later this week, I'll be sharing about this:

Because my week just wasn't stressful enough....


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Getting to Know You...School Memories

Since today is the first day of school for my little ones, I thought we could share school memories - best and worst. 

I think my best memory of school would be in high school.  You have to understand that I wasn't an extremely popular girl.  I had very close friends that were popular and I had plenty of friends who weren't popular.  I tried really hard to be friends with everybody.  My favorite memory had to be when I was a senior in high school.

It was fall, but still very warm outside.  I was running late, as usual.  I wore a red dress with small white polka dots.  I was sweating underneath all that taffeta.  I rushed into the gym to find the other girls lining up and the band warming up.  We'd skipped class the day before to practice, but all of a sudden I worried I wouldn't remember what to do when it was my turn.  The guys were lined up on the other side ready to go.  The student body filed into the gym, the band started playing and the announcer called our names one by one.  Finally, he called my name "Maid, Tanya...."  and I nearly passed out.  Luckily my feet started moving and I could see my escorts about half way down the aisle - my friend Eric, with whom I ate lunch a lot and went to church with for years - and John, the boy I had a crush on since 5th grade.  I looped my arms through theirs and we walked to the stage.  Sigh.  Almost done.  Just a few more girls to go.  That's when the tears came.  I tried not to cry, but it somehow hit me that this would be one of those days I would remember for the rest of my life.  This is the day that I was one of the chosen ones.  Then, the announcer said, "Stephanie...your maid of honor" and I watched through tears as Stephanie walked down the aisle and took her seat.  Then the announcer said, "Everyone please stand to welcome your homecoming queen....Sara...."  We all stood to watch our school "Miss Everything" walk down the aisle with our quarterback.  When "The Queen" got to her seat, she turned around, looked at the audience, held out her arms wide and mouthed "Thank you, thank you" and blew kisses like she was Miss America and this continued for what seemed like five minutes.  Seriously?  Does she realize she's the homecoming queen in a small town in Arkansas and not Miss America? 

Anyway, after a wonderful ceremony, there was a short parade.  I rode in a red convertible mustang with my two escorts.  Then that night was the football game ceremony where my dad walked me across the field.  Durint the football game, the girls sat on a small stage they built close to the end zone.  Then after the game, we all went to the dance.  I don't remember that much about the dance, but everything else that day is engraved in my memory.  Sadly, even the way our "Queen" acted is as fresh as it was yesterday.  I can't think about it without rolling my eyes.  UGH! 

My worst, most embarassing day in high school would have to be the day of the blood drive.  It was senior year and, of course, we all wanted to give blood so we could skip class.  So, I stood in line and was terrified.  I'd never given blood before.  Was getting a needle jammed in my arm and filling up that durn blood bag really worth not having to hear Mrs. Tanner talk about the Holocaust?  Um, maybe so.  So....I waited and tried not to freak out. 

Finally it was my turn.  I sat down and looked away, trying to distract myself with having a conversation with Franky and John.  They were reassuring me that it was no big deal.  They were already filling their bags with a smile on their face.  But they were big, strong football players.  They wouldn't admit it if it was horrible.  Here we go......the stick in the arm....the pumping the tennis ball....don't look at it and you'll be fine, I thought.  Meanwhile, my football player buddies were done and eating cookies a few feet away.  I never met a cookie I didn't like.  Something to look forward to.  "All done!  You're a good bleeder!" the nurse said as if that was a good thing.  I sat there as she took off the cotten ball and turned to get another one.  Blood streamed out of my arm and dripped down to the floor......Then suddenly, the football players and I were standing on a cliff and jumping into the lake below.  They had jumped and they were calling my name.  "Tanya!"  Then, I hit the water.....or actually, a cup of water hit me in the face.  I had passed out in the chair and my football buddies were calling my name before someone threw a cup of water in my face and hit me with the smelling salts.  Weird fainting dream.  So, there I sat in the library, soaking wet with mascara running down my face, eating cookies, with Frankie and John, my crush and Homecoming escort.  How embarassing! 

What are your best and worst school memories?


Monday, August 16, 2010

Encouraging Your Children

My friend, Mary Joy is having a wonderful linky party this week.  It's all about encouraging your kids.  I cannot claim to be the best mom in the world.  I can't even claim to be the best mom in Arkansas, but I am the best mom I can be for my kids.  So, how do I encourage my kids?

Hubby and I are very affectionate, loving people.  We constantly tell the kids "I love you" and are always available with hugs and kisses.  I asked my twelve year old once if she thought her friends' families just openly said "I love you" all the time like we do.  Her answer was no.  I thought that was so sad.  Recently, Hubby and I were watching a documentary on HBO about these African children who took a test to see who in their school would get scholarships to advance to middle school.  There were many children trying for eight or nine scholarships.  Those who didn't get a scholarship would not be able to further their education.  These children were under immense pressure to get these scholarships and they knew their parents and families were depending on them.  They featured one sweet little boy, with a huge smile.  He was one of the top students in his class, but apparently didn't do well on the test.  He was very upset and his family stood by and watched him cry and feel as if he had let them down.  NOT ONCE did they hug him or tell him they the loved him and that it would be okay.  My heart ached for that little boy.  I wanted to step through that TV and into the heat of Africa and wrap that little boy up like he was my own.  I know not everyone is as openly loving as we are, but that poor little tortured boy broke my heart.  Sometimes a good hug just makes everything better.  Knowing that you are loved, no matter what, always has a positive impact on a person, especially a child. 

I always tell my kids that I am proud of them.  My parents always told me they were proud of me.  Was I a straight A student?  Nope.  Was I amazingly talented?  Nope.  Do I have major career accomplishments?  Absolutely not.  I almost laugh when my Dad says that to me today, because I cannot imagine what I have done to make them proud.  I'm not abnormally smart, funny, talented or successful.  But, I am a good person.  That is what I try to teach my kids.  When my son comes in and says, "I won the race, are you so proud of me?"  I always say the same thing, "Yes, I am proud of you whether you win or lose".  At the end of my daughter's 5th grade year, she won several awards, including Honor Roll, but what I was most proud of was the citizenship award.  I told her I was always proud of how polite she is and how she always put others before herself.  She always stuck up for the kids who got picked on.  She was always respectful of others.  That is what makes me the most proud, that she is a good person.  The bottom line is I always tell them how proud I am of them. 

Postive reinforcement is also very encouraging for my kiddos.  We try to always point out when they are doing something right, especially if it's something they used to do wrong.  This works wonders with my 8 year old.  He does get grounded when he does something wrong.  He does get disciplined, but making a big deal out of something he is doing correctly, ALWAYS works.  He gets very excited and it has a longer lasting effect on him then getting on to him when he's doing something wrong. 

I feel that these things will build up their confidence.  I think if they have confidence in themselves and know that we love them unconditionally that they can achieve anything.  It gives the freedom to try their best and to know that we still love them even if they don't do well at something. 

Head on over to Mary Joy's and share some of your encouraging ideas!


Friday, August 13, 2010

My Kitchen Canisters

Some of you may remember when I painted my kitchen red back in February.  I love my red kitchen and I've loved getting rid of all of my early 90's red, white and blue decor, but I still had my white and blue canisters. 

I've had those canisters since 1994.  I have been past due for an update.  Only problem is, the ones I wanted were soooo expensive.  We're talking like $80 - $180, which I just cannot fathom spending on canisters, even if I did have lots of extra $.  So, I decided to make do with what I could find for CHEAP.  Really cheap, in other words FREE! 

Ignore the crap on my counter - crackers and ziplocs of Teddy Grahams and Pop Tarts, etc.  We are such healthy eaters around here.  HA!

I had these lovely acrylic beauties in my pantry.  They used to hold various snack packs (cookies, cereal bars, etc.  again, we eat so healthy).  I taped them off and got out my beloved chalkboard paint. 

Now, isn't that better?  Yeah, I think so.  And FREE definitely works for me!

I'm linking this project to  Finding Fabulous and
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating