Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Morsel of S'mores Goodness

This recipe is super easy and really good. My husband advises people to not eat it in the evening as it is very sweet!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Benefits of Planning Ahead

A very real but messy picture of our medicine boxes.
I enjoy reading preparedness articles and while I am not a "prepper" in the true sense of the word I do like to plan ahead. Planning ahead is just a smart thing to do. If you know about something in the future that will happen or is likely to happen, why would you not get ready for it? If you were to ask my husband about my planning ahead he would probably tell you that sometimes it can be annoying (planning a 3 day vacation to a destination 2 hours away, 9 months in advance) but when he sees it in action it's appreciated!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Mixer Died

photo credit
Well, I apologize for leaving everyone in the lurch for the past two weeks! Since my last post I: had company, prepared for and hosted my husband's change of command reception, baked for a bake sale, baked for Thanksgiving, killed my mixer, went home for Thanksgiving, killed my diaper bag, and today have been without running water during my normal dinner prep time (hello pizza delivery, also very thankful for the water bottles I had filled and stored in my pantry).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies

While perusing Pinterest (of course) I saw these yummy cookies from The Cooking Photographer and had to give them a try. They are fantastic! I also found they were much better if you microwaved them for a few seconds to soften the caramel before eating. Please be careful not to overheat them in them in the microwave so you do not burn your mouth! Below you will find Laura's recipe with my my comments in italics and in green.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Homemade Fruit Fly Trap

This summer I was having the worst time with fruit flies congregating around my bananas. I'm not sure how they got here but they thought they were here to stay, until I set a trap for them that is. This trap requires no special materials, most of which you probably have in your home. I hope this helps you as much as it did me!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mock Lofthouse Cookies

While browsing through Pinterest a few days ago I saw a recipe for Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies (my mother calls them "sugar coma cookies") that was posted by Lisa at Authentic Suburban Gourmet. You know those wonderful little cookies every grocery store sells in the bakery. Well, between my sweet tooth and my frugalness I decided to give them a try.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Homemade Fire Starters

Fire starters are a cheap and easy item to make yourself. They are not very time consuming and only use items we would consider trash anyway. I have seen and heard this idea many times and doing a quick Google search will bring up many results with an explanation or video showing you how to make them. The basic concept is a cardboard (not styrofoam) egg carton with dryer lint shoved in each egg's cup and wax poured over/soaked into the lint.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Preparing For Winter

Photo courtesy of www.don-denver.blogspot.com//2009/12/yule-blog-after-storm.html

Growing up in the Midwest, winter is never too far from my mind. This descendant of many generations of farm families tends to put on her "preparedness hat" as winter draws near. I have noticed that this is even more important to me now that I have children. If we lost power my husband and I would be fine, but we have an infant and she would not fare so well without heat. I can count on one hand the number of times in my whole life that we have lost power in the winter; however, that does not mean I shouldn't prepare for it. In January 2009 over 2 million people across 7 states in the Midwest were without power for an extended period of time, some for more than a week (Wikipedia).

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I love garage sales!

I love finding something I was already going to buy at a really good price. My husband works very hard for his paycheck and part of what I consider my job as a homemaker is to stretch and not squander our money. In this economy I think it is even more important to get the most bang for my buck. This last weekend I was blessed to attend a community wide garage sale and find 3 items on my wish list, clothes for both of my daughters, and a few clothes for my SIL's upcoming baby. I also purchased a few other items and spent less that $40. What I am most excited about is the dehydrator I bought for $10. It didn't come with a manual, however I was able to find a PDF version on the internet. Look for a post on dehydrating in the near future.

In the mean time I would like to challenge you, in the next few weeks, to think of ways you can obtain or make the items you need for much less money than you would usually pay for them.

Monday, September 26, 2011


 Paella is one of my family's favorite meals. Not only is it tasty it is also really easy to make and takes about 1 hour from start to finish. This makes enough paella for my family (2 adults, 1 toddler, and one baby who doesn't eat food yet) with enough for an additional meal. I doubled the recipe when I took these photos. You can also add seafood or other local meats if you desire. If you use brown rice use the amount of liquid indicated on the packaging and increase your cooking time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chili and a Toddler

After having a very hot summer the cooler weather of the impending passage of seasons is finally upon us. This cooler weather has made me anxious to cook hearty soups, specifically chili, however my very picky 2 year old will not eat beans. She loves bean dip but if there is even the slightest resemblance of a bean she will pick out the bean and hand it to me while saying "here mommy" in her sweet little girl voice. Because I am no longer willing to run to the kitchen 3+ times per meal, to accommodate her palate, I only cook meals I know she will eat and if she decides she will not eat them she is offered yogurt or applesauce (she is only two). This has prevented me from serving chili to my family for a little over a year but not anymore. A few nights ago I stumbled upon a brilliant solution. I'm sure there are many, many mothers who have thought of this long before I have, but my epiphany only occurred last night. I simply mashed up the chili beans. You will find that mashed beans will significantly thicken your chili. Below you will find my quick chili recipe, add variations to suit your family. I served this with cornbread muffins and cheddar cheese.

Quick Chili with Mashed Chili Beans
1 package Store-bought Chili Seasoning or Homemade equivalent
1 pound Browned Ground Beef (I pre-brown and freeze mine 1 pound per freezer bag)
1 can Chili Beans, mashed (I mashed mine in my KitchenAid Mixer)
1 can Diced Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
2 cans Tomato Sauce (8 oz cans or equivalent)
approximately 1/4 cup water (more or less to desired consistency)

Cook covered on medium heat for 30-60 minutes on the stove top, stirring somewhat frequently.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Beginning

Hi blog world, my name is Sydnea and I am a stay-at-home wife/mom. My husband and I have two of the world's cutest little girls! For the sake of their privacy I will be referring to my oldest as A and my youngest as B. While sharing my life with you my hope is that I can share things that make your life easier or you at least find amusing.