Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Most Economical Recipe

Several people have asked for budget friendly recipes. Well here it is, the recipe that saves me the most money. We are talking big bucks people. And the best part is that the recipe is user friendly, budget friendly, earth's so friendly that one of these days it's actually going to stand up and say "howdy" to me :)

Make Your Own All Natural Laundry Detergent

In 15 minutes you can save money and live greener by making your own natural laundry detergent. It only cost .79 cents to make 5 gallons!!!

3.1 oz bar all natural soap (I use castilles. You can find it at target and other stores.)
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
½ cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

5 gallon container
Pot large enough to hold 5 cups water
Long stirring stick or spoon (I use a yard stick)

Shave the soap into small strips and place in the pot with 5 cups of water. Bring water just to a boil and stir until soap is completely melted. Pour 3 gallons of warm water into the 5 gallon container and stir in soapy water until well mixed. Then add ½ cup of washing soda and 1 cup Borax, stir until dissolved.
Let it sit overnight and it will gel. It will be lumpy and watery.
Use 1/2 cup per laundry load. For high efficiency machines, break up lumps. This recipe should yield 110 loads of laundry for .79 cents!

Yup. I make my own laundry detergent. And it's less daunting than it seems! I promise. I hope you go out on a limb and try it for yourself.

Retro Wednesday

I thought this really captured the spirit of my husband.

Colorado, summer 2000
The dinner table at my grandmother's house.
Hope you laugh today!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

As I promised...

I vaguely remember saying this morning, "Don't worry. I'll post the recipe on my blog for you later today," about 10 hours ago to a group of people. Now, I cannot remember what recipe that was. Sometimes (OK, more often than not) I have diarrhea of the mouth and word flow freely off my lips with little observation or control from myself.

I think the recipe in question is the popcorn I made for our MOPs meeting this morning. Please correct me if I am wrong and I will post the desired recipe. As for my mouth, I will turn on my brain next time I choose to use it!

Trail Mix Popcorn

Coming soon...more recipes!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today Monday, January 26, 2009

Outside my window...bone-chilling-wet, grey cold skies.

I am thinking...that several people have asked me to post fun recipes, inexpensive recipes, healthy recipes, and other nutrition ideas over the past 9 months and that I should get to it! I have tried to avoid the inevitable turn of making this a nutrition blog. But, a leopard can't change his spots now can he? I will be posting on such subjects soon. I promise.

I am thankful for...the many good things that make up our lives. They keep us busy and take up much of our time. But they always give back more than I could have predicted.

From the kitchen...7 grain pancakes with walnuts and blueberries topped with organic pb and the real deal Canadian maple syrup (not pancake syrup that is actually high fructose corn syrup with caramel coloring and artificial flavor) will be served for dinner tonight. Mark made the pancake batter Sunday morning but we didn't use it all. I'm sure Savannah will have blueberries, kiwi and kefir for dessert. That's all she ever wants these days. (See, I am giving helpful nutritional hints along the way :)

I am wearing...chocolate brown corduroy pants and a big wool sweater. Although I have make-up on, my hair is wet and in a towel awaiting further instructions.

One of my favorite new running shoes I picked up this morning with Mandy for the marathon. They are a LONG overdue addition to my workout ensemble. LONG overdue. I was almost embarrassed to show the guy at the running store my old shoes. Thank goodness they don't show a mileage number like a car!

I am reading... Tracie Peterson's "Shadows of the Canyon." The verdict is still out. At first I thought this might be a sappy love story (not my style of reading) but last night there was a murder so, things are looking up!

I am creating...plans.

Around the house... it is a mess! We had a very busy weekend and I ran out of the house first thing this morning. So, there's lots of catching up to do. Laundry, the store, picking random things up, etc. all await me. They may await my attention until tomorrow!

A few plans for the rest of the week...MOPs tomorrow, training for the marathon, my new woman's bible study begins, disciple now (I have jr high girls this year. I hope it goes well, my 11th and 12 th grade girls are so mature, I can really go deep with them. this might be a big change!), a meeting for go-ministries tonight, and Savannah and I are going to review a restaurant in Shreveport for a contest. She has an interesting way of elaborating on the food she eats. It could go very well or she could freeze up and not say a word. Either way, it will be a fun night out for the 2 of us.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...I don't know this puppy. I don't know where he came from. But somehow he ended up as a photo in "my pictures." I thought it was kind of funny so, I decided to post it. Cute, isn't he?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Resolution Follies

Mark and I arrived home from a week of chaotic Christmas celebrations to find an over entertained, sugared up, whiny kid. Savannah has always been one to creatively play on her own but we noticed that even before Christmas, she began the habit of needing someone to entertain her. This behavior along with a few others prompted us to get her back to her normal diet.

Around the time of Thanksgiving "treats" began to increase in our daily routine. And before we knew it Savannah was expecting a "treat" of some kind after every meal and gold fish type crackers (we buy the organic, non-hydrogenated version of this cracker but it's still junk food) for a snack.

So, Mark laid down the law the week of New Years. And you know that book, "Have a New Kid By Friday?" Well, he should have just written, "Get junk food and sugar out of your kid's diet and have a new kid by tomorrow!"

It was amazing! And we didn't have that much processed food in the diet to begin with! It's not like there are cheetos or anything crazy like that around our house. Just imagine if other people nixed the junk out of their kid's diets. Needless to say we were content with the changes in Savannah. She was back to her normal happy self. That was until a few days later when she yelled "POO POO!!!!!!!!!" every 15 minutes or so.

OK. Change of plans. Fruit only at meals (unless it's a banana) and cheese sticks, yogurt (plain, not that yucky flavored kind), or keifer for a snack. And a few organic crackers at snack time every now and then.

Live and learn.

Next up on the list of follies is me. I run but that's really not enough to get my full body in shape. So, Mandy being the good friend that she is, let me borrow her "Beach Body" workout DVD. She said it's an intense workout but she got burned out on it after several month. This is a woman who goes to zumba 3x week so if she said it was a good work out it will be a good work out.

Mark began his new job and with it came more traveling. Which in return, prevents me from getting out and running. So, one day I popped that DVD in and got to work.

The first thing I noticed was the timer at the bottom of the screen. 60 minutes. OK. The next thing I noticed, there was no warm up. My new on screen trainer just jumped right in. OK. 15 minutes later I realized if she maintained this intensity, I was not going to last 30 minutes much less 60! Next she said let's take a break for a minute and jog in place. Uh, can I sit on my mat for my break? I don't think my legs will hold me any longer.

I thought I was in pretty good shape but after 30 minutes I had to stop. I began to think of Mandy as the goddess of fitness for doing this video several times per week for months!

I sat down and looked at the DVD case to try to get more information about this insane woman leading me on TV. And I realized, I put the wrong disk in, level 3 no less.

We are trying in the Peteet household but not without humility!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Retro Wednesday

The back of our house when Mark moved in.


Man, we have put a lot of work into this house!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Monday, January 19, 2009

Outside my window...bright mid-day sun soaked blue skies are begging us to come back out and play. But, it's nap time for the little one and work time for me. After blogging of course!

I am thinking...that the new background on my blog is not the one I chose. I have no idea why this one showed up. But, I don't want to mess with it anymore. So here it is.

I am hearing...the washer, dryer (always laundry on Mondays), and the wind whooshing through the bare limbs and rustling fallen leaves.

I am hoping...that Mark's real first day on the job goes well and that he continues to find contentment and achievement in his work.

I am wearing...darn! sweats again! I think it's because I blog on Mondays that I am always wearing sweats. It's my laundry day guys. Seriously, I am not that big of a bum. That's it, I'm going to start doing my day book on Tuesday because that's when I dress cute!

From the kitchen...tonight we will have a beans and rice dish. Nothing exciting. However, last night Mark and I had an awesome date night dinner out at a fabulous modern Mexican restaurant. Mole anyone?

I am creating...uh, that's a tough one. I am cleaning out cabinets and closets and packing things away for a garage sale this spring. Reorganizing can be creative! I am trying not to "create" anymore ideas for house remodel right now until Mark gets settled in his new job and we have more time.

I am thankful for...being able to go to Dr. Kyle's (our chiropractor) and get adjusted every week. Last Thursday I felt like I was getting the flu. I could feel the aches all the way down my back. But after getting adjusted by Kyle and submitting to a good night's rest, I was fine! I LOVE how I feel after getting adjusted. Savannah does too. Giggles and smiles flow from her as Kyle works on her. It cracks me up. Then she says, "oh momma, I feel better!"

I am post the link to other daybooks for your enjoyment.

I am reading..."The Christians, An Illustrated History" by Tim Dowley. I walked by it at the library and decided to take a chance and pick it up. I had no idea if the guy who wrote it was a historian, theologist, and/or atheist. It was a little boring at first as it bravely recapped the book of Acts (the book of Acts provides more detail and is one of my favorite books of the bible. So, his abbreviated version was a bit dull and uninspired.) But then it picks up where the bible leaves off and brings us to present date. It's no secret that I am addicted to learning especially when it comes to history. That said, this book has been great! It has answered one of many questions that have long bothered me such as why the books 1 & 2 Maccaabees are left out of our bible. My innate personality causes me to question things and this question has been eating at me for a while. My unanswered inquiry led down a path of, "Well what else have the left out? Or worse, added?" Ignorance is dangerous. But now I know why they left it out and so many other things make sense as well now. There is a black cloud over organized religion in society right now. I think if people actually researched their questions and sought God directly in their quest, they would be surprised. Man, I love history! There is no other way to learn which way to go, until you've seen where we have been. Plus, God and the bible keep being proven every time!

Around the house...stillness. Quietness. Peacefulness. Oh, and laundry waiting to be folded.

One of my favorite things...reading. Though I read often, I cannot quench my thirst.

A few plans for the rest of the, AWANA, Mandy and I begin training for a marathon. Mom's doing it too but she's a little far away to train with us. Lets see, what else? Play dates, to do lists, and Mark and I start a financial bible study together at a friend's church. I love finances and I am looking forward to a bible study Mark and I can do together.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Vacation, summer 2007
Mark, myself, Savannah (2 years) and Ella (11 months)
Aunt Becky is in the row behind us.
Savannah is missing Ella today.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Out of pocket

So, some have you have been wondering where the Peteets have been. It's not like me to go a week without blogging. Yes, we were out of pocket this past week although not always out of town. I think we missed 4 social events last week. And it is not like the Peteets to miss a party!

We were out of town for my little cousin's wedding and then came back home to meetings and busyness along with the addition of my niece who had never been away from her mother before. Mark left town for a week and after a couple of days my mom, sister, and nephew arrived.

I don't know why it was so busy. There were lots of obligations and little but constant things scheduled and that needed to be done. And then there was the scary taste of what it would be like to be a single parent of 2 (I had both Ella and Savannah.) Yikes!

But we had fun as well. A slumber party in my bed with a 2 and 3 year old can be quite fun and adorable (notice I didn't list restful). The trip to Gator and Friends to pet zebras, camels, Scottish cows, kangaroos, and etc. provided entertainment. Trips to the store and just having lunch with a cousin provided massive amounts of giggles. I mean massive amounts of giggles people!

Our week together was set to end on a high note with horseback riding at Mrs. Kim's. Savannah looked forward to another ride on Mr. Ed. But to our surprise, 10 minutes before we arrived a horse expectantly died (not Mr. Ed). It was not a pretty sight for the kiddos to witness. We said hello and then left them to tend to the long list of things that needed to be done. Savannah was disappointed that the "sleeping" horse did not feel well. But with a promise to come back and ride some other time, her mood boosted again. Until she realized that when we headed back home, Ella would head to Dallas with her mom and then fly home to Aspen.

Poor Savannah cried and couldn't understand why we weren't going back to Aspen with them. I could see her confusion. After all we usually do go home with them. I think we have been together every month since July??? So, now we have all gone home to our respective states and towns for the time being at least. The girls will have to be separated 2 1/2 months this time.

But, we are all back "in our pocket" now. Although sometimes I think we are "out of pocket" so much, that that really is our pocket. Hmmm, somethings to ponder.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, January 6, 2009

Outside my window...the rain has ceased after two non-stop days of down pour. The grey skies are beginning to part and reveal a hint of bright blue.

I am thinking...about vacation. It always happens in January. I begin to feel the need to plan. Savannah and I are going on an awesome train trip to Chicago this spring with my Dad. She loves sky scrapers and is a little obsessed with subways so my Dad thought to top it off with a train ride as a means to get there and you have the perfect trip for her. I agree. But other than that, we don't have a family vacation planned this year which is very unusual. However, Mark started a new job today (very exciting!) and so we won't be vacationing with him until he gets more settled in this new position. In the mean time, I will plan multiple trips in my head and then we can just pick one when we have the opportunity to ;)

I am hoping...that Mark gets home in time for me to go to a meeting tonight. His new boss is in town to help him get set up. It's likely that will take a while.

I am thankful for...Mark's new job. In light of today's economy, we feel amazingly blessed.

I am going to... post the link for The Simple Woman's Daybook because I always forget to!

From the kitchen...coconut milk soup. Hey, don't knock it till you've tried it! It's deliciously memorable.

I am wearing...jeans (yea! no sweats or PJs!), a long sleeve dark brown shirt, a new necklace that Becky made me for Christmas and house shoes. In about 10 minutes I will trade the house shoes for ballet slippers and pick up Savannah from day school.

I am creating...nothing really, but I am reorganizing the house and cleaning things out. I began in Savannah's room today while she was at school and man was it fun!

I am reading...Frommer's travel guide to Italy. This is one of my favorite forms of literature to read. It contains, history, food, culture, and most I have several travel guides lined up after this one.

I am hearing... "Yours" by Steven Curtis Chapman playing on XM. The perfect background music for my global frame of mind right now.

Around the house...everything is clean, and laundry is done but cabinets, closets and shelves await my attention in hopes of redeeming organization.

One of my favorite things...uh, travel people. At church on Sunday 2 different people mentioned they were planning trips to disney world. I jumped in anxious to help but refrained from screaming out, "I'll plan it for you!" Side note: I don't care if you want to plan a trip to Six Flags, I LOVE to help and most likely have already researched your destination just for fun. So, if you want help, I'm there! After church Mark asked sarcastically, "What did you go to graduate school for?" I answered, "Umm. Nutrition." And what do you really want your career to be?" In spite of being thankful for my education I humbly reply, "To plan vacations and trips." It's a good thing I didn't become a travel agent though. With the internet, they are shrinking in number. I'll just have to find another career in that arena that uses my food expertise as well;) Just for kicks: and check out there unbiased and honest weekly podcast. There, now I feel like I helped.

A few plans for the rest of the week...a wedding, my sister and her kids coming in from Aspen, a couple of meetings, hope of a possible date night, and all the everyday stuff.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Walt Disney World
Fall 2007
Savannah was young enough to believe in the magic.
Mark thought Jasmine was pretty magical too!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Peteet's Retreat

Well, we are rested, rejuvenated and ready to take on 2009 after our two week holiday break. After my last whiny post (which I apologize for) I went for a good long run. It's now clear that I am addicted to exercise induced endorphins. Without them I am sluggish and my mood plummets. Thus was my problem immediately after Christmas. I had gone too long without my drug and I needed a fix!

After my return to normalcy, we enjoyed a week of reading, games, football, exercise, and friends around the Peteet house. New Years Eve friends came over for smores, sandwiches, silly string, and sparklers (I love a party with alliteration!). Yes, the next day after I swore off hostessing for months, I invited friends over. I told you running rejuvenates me. I am again ready to take on the world! One party at a time ;)

Here are the highlights from Christmas:
Our tree.
I love the way the lights reflect off the hardwood floors.

The week before Christmas, we headed up to the square...

to see Santa.

We attended a birthday part for Jesus with many friends.

Savannah helped tell the story with finger puppets. Afterwards the children miraculously sat still and emitted the cherub sound of children singing Christmas carols. One of the most beautiful moments of Christmas.

Then we were off to Grandma's in Dallas for a week to meet up with Ella and Burton.
Savannah helped Grandma make homemade sweet potato cinnamon roles.
She is an expert at needing dough!

Lots of laughter.

More Christmas carols

The kids can't resist the guitars.

Unwrapping of a few presents.
The used ribbon and bows provided much entertainment.

A spontaneous Christmas fashion show featured Savannah wearing her aunt's underwear.
I walked in on the end of this scene just in time to snap a picture.
I take no responsibility here!
Sorry, Dawn. But you had to know your underwear would end up on my blog.
At least I didn't post that pair you got for Christmas;)

Sweet Burton.

I returned back home for less than 24 hours to host a Christmas slumber party for our church's youth high school girls. We had a blast and stayed up until 5:30 am! After which I drove back to Dallas just in time to co-host a wedding shower. It was insane!
But I love my girls. They oddly enough make me feel young and old at the same time.
And I love my cousin and his soon to be bride.
So, it was worth it.

Next was Christmas with my Dad's side. I wish we could have spent more time with them.
The kids had a blast and Savannah plays with her cute, girlish pink Tinker Toys non-stop!

The following day was spent with Mark's side of the family.
Savannah loves her Papa and Sherry!
This is the post-present hug.

That night (Christmas Eve) we threw reindeer food out in the yard. Ella and Savannah thought this was way cool.
Notice the legs? That's me. And that's as close as it gets to me being in pictures during any holiday or event.
A down side to being the photographer.

I held Burton and helped Ella set out the last of the reindeer food.

Afterwards we finished the cookies for Santa. There was more double dipping, sprinkle eating, and illegal licking than any sanitation commission could stomach. We went through no less than 10 defiled spoons and 10 defiled knives. I try to run a clean kitchen.

You can read the guilt on Ella's discoloured lips.

This cookie was special made for Santa.

Christmas morning provided excitement and magic for Savannah.

Next we went to Dot-Dean's house for Christmas with my mom's family.
More joy. More cousins. More fun.

But sadness struck that afternoon when Ella left to go back to Colorado. Savannah and Ella both were on the verge of tears. Savannah kept saying,"I'm so sad."
I think it might have been their most intense good bye yet.
This is the two girls hugging good bye for the 8th time after Ella was strapped into her car seat.

And with that Christmas was over and our week of rest began.