It’s Soup Season!

Happy December!

We are *STILL* waiting for cold weather here in Florida, but something about fall/ winter makes me ant to eat. all. the. soups.

I have made three different soups in the last two months (which doesn’t seem like a lot, but still)

First, in October, I made a Crock Pot French Onion Soup. We took this one to Disney with us and made it in coffee mugs there. It was a little strong on the thyme for me, so next time I will dial it down to 1 teaspoon.

Anywho, here’s that recipe:

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Crock Pot French Onion Soup

1 HUGE onion
1 tsp thyme
EVOO
1 container Beef Broth
2 Bay Leaves
2 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 loaf French Baguette
Thick sliced cheddar cheese

Cook onion with EVOO and thyme until tender. Add to Crock Pot. Add beef broth and spices. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Place soup in coffee mug, place French baguette and cheese on top and broil for 5 mins or until cheese is nice and melty and brown.

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New Traditions: Friendsgiving

For the last couple of years, my husband and I have talked about having a Friendsgiving, but it wasn’t until this year that I made it happen.

Since it’s Thanksgiving break, lots of our friends are out of school and work, so we settled on a day during the week to have all the mommies and kids over for snacks and crafts.

We made paper plate turkeys by:

1) coloring the paper plates brown
2) cutting out feathers
3) gluing the feathers to the back of the paper plate
4) hot gluing googly eyes
5) hot gluing a stick (if needed/ wanted)

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Then, the kids played outside on the playground/ with Legos, etc.

We had lunch of Chick-fil-a nuggets (because all kids eat those, right?!), broccoli cheese casserole, candied yams, pumpkin pie, veggie straws, Tee Pees, Corn Pops and more. It was potluck and all the moms brought a dish to share.

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Then, I had my hubby put a table outside for painting. We used square Legos as stamps to make Indian corn.

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All-in-all, I’d say it was a successful day and I hope to make it an annual tradition for our friends (and maybe include the dads next year)

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Have you ever hosted a Friendsgiving? What did you do for it?

BREAD! Recipes for Zucchini & Banana

I saw a video probably back in October for Death by Chocolate Zucchini Bread and thought, that is A LOT of chocolate. Not so sure how healthy it really is.

I had never made a zucchini bread, but any way I can sneak veggies into my kids (and hubby’s) meals, I’m in!

Hubby also just found out he has a fatty liver and has been on a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Zucchini bread was one of the few things he said he could eat for dessert.

I also had a TON of chicken eggs that needed to be used and I read that breads are a good way to use them up, since most bread recipes call for at least 4 eggs.

HOLY MOLY! This bread is delicious. My kids don’t even notice the zucchini and eat it up for breakfast or we even eat it as dessert! It is SO GOOD.

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How to: Build Raised Garden Beds

It’s almost fall here in Florida, which means I’ve been getting my garden ready!

I planted cucumbers and pumpkins inside our house starting in August (it was WAY too hot here to be growing ANYTHING here).

In September, I moved them onto the patio and moved the sprouts to bigger pots.

Hubby and I (with a little help from the girls) put up a fence next to our chicken coop. It’s 16 feet by 16 feet off the side of the coop, which is 4 feet wide. The entire “garden” area is 16-by-20.

Hubby tilled inside this area and we put river rocks 1 foot around the edge of the inside of the fence.

Inside the fence, we are putting 4 foot by 6 foot raised garden beds. We used 1x6x6 and 1x6x4 and screwed them into 4×4 posts stacked three high. To make the beds 18 inches high.

We then stapled landscape mesh underneath each bed.

We then filled them with potting soil and we are starting to put out sprouts in it!

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Recipe Share: Homemade Blueberry Muffins

With Emma starting preschool, breakfast around here has been hectic.

I’m not used to leaving by 8:20!

I had picked up some mini blueberry muffins from Publix, but I went through two boxes of them in two weeks!

So, to Pinterest I went and found a few different recipes that I liked.

I wanted to use whole wheat flour.

I didn’t have any plain Greek yogurt to use.

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So this is what ended up being my recipe:

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From this…To that!

Last year for Halloween, my girls were Snow White and a Bumblebee.

And it was adorable. See for yourself:

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But I wanted them to have matching candy holders for each of their costumes.

I wasn’t finding what I wanted online or anywhere for that matter.

So I made them myself.

When I was younger, we just used good ol’ pillowcases for Trick-or-Treating.

1) There’s no way my kids can carry a big pillowcase

2) They don’t need that much candy

So I went to Wal-Mart and bought two regular orange Jack-O-lantern pumpkins. Then, I got brown packing tape and some red duct tape.

When I got home, I wrapped each pumpkin in it’s respective tape until the orange and the faces were no longer visible.

For Emma’s, I did an apple since she was Snow White and finished it off with some green ribbon wrapped around the handle.

For Addie’s, my bumblebee, I took black permanent marker and wrote “HUNNY” on it (like Pooh).

All in all, the project probably took me a day to complete (during nap time and after bedtime)

And my kids had one-of-a-kind Halloween treat bags.

This year, we are going as the Sanderson sisters (from Hocus Pocus) so they will have little cauldrons as their treat bags.

More on our costumes and those in a later post!

Happy Halloween!

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Homeschool Guilt

So we had kind of a big thing happen in our lives recently and I’ve been hesitant to post about it online for fear of judgement.

But keeping it in has proved very hard on me and my family.

My daughter, Emma, recently started preschool.

But wait? Wasn’t I homeschooling? Yes. I was.

And I still am.

After our cruise, it was clear that both of our girls have a very hard time separating from us.

It’s been nearly 4 years and very few days apart.

So, Emma started going to a local high school just 2 days a week, 3 hours per day and has been doing wonderfully!

She hasn’t cried once. She has picked out her outfits and packed her backpack and picked out her snacks every day.

But we are also still planning on doing school here at home.

As my husband told me, we are merely using this as a “tool” to help her learn something I can’t teach her- separation from me.

He said it’s just like if I would take her for Algebra classes or Spanish classes or anything else.

It was very hard for me. I almost felt like I had lost my identity as a “homeschool mom.” And if I wasn’t that, what was I?

I felt like I had failed at homeschooling.

But I didn’t.

And I haven’t.

The End.

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How to Survive a Hurricane…with Toddlers

I’ve lived in Florida all my life (all 31 years) so I’ve seen my fair share of Tropical Depressions, Tropical Storms and Hurricanes.

I was 7 when Hurricane Andrew hit.

I was in college when we had 4 hurricanes hit in 2005.

I’ve seen streets flood.

I’ve had the power go out.

I’ve got kind of a “been there, done that” attitude about hurricanes, as most Floridians do.

We throw Hurricane parties.

Until we have kids.

Then, we have to figure out how to keep them (and us!) sane cooped up inside for DAYS…

Here’s a list of things we do on Hurricane Days:

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Homemade Granola Bars

Who does’t love a good granola bar?

My oldest daughter recently took a liking to them, which I was thrilled about!

They’re a healthy snack and one more thing she’ll actually eat! SCORE!

Except, I was paying $5 for 5 granola bars. Yikes.

And she would eat like one a day.

So pretty much every week, I was buying another box of granola bars.

I decided I wanted to try to make my own. How bad could it be? I had made granola before, so why not granola bars?

I scoured the Interwebs for recipes.

I wanted something with chocolate chips.

But still chewy.

Must be toddler approved.

I ended up using parts and pieces of a few different recipes. Here’s what I came up with:

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Olympic Crafts

We have had Olympic fever in this house since the Opening Ceremonies!

These are the first Olympics my kids have been old enough to watch and understand!

It’s been so fun sharing it with them!

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Emma says her favorite Olympian is “Katie Tedeky” aka Katie Ledeky.

We have been watching the Olympics almost every day and I have been encorporating crafts, which have been really fun for the girls.

They recognize the Olympic Rings now because they’ve made them and they talk about the gold medals because we’ve made our own.

Here are the slew of crafts we’ve completed over the last 14 days:

Torches

This was our first craft that we made for the Opening Ceremonies.

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They were quite simple:

Two toilet paper rolls

Painted gold or white (I looked up the past torches and they have all been gold or white)

Glue

Red, yellow or orange tissue paper for the flames

And that was it! For my older daughter, we wrote USA on hers since she is working on her letter recognition

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