Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dear Clothes Designers

 I know you don't know me from a bar of soap and I'm sure you don't give a hoot what little ol' me has to say, but after just returning from Walmart and failing miserably at finding a pair of comfortable shorts to wear, I found it imperative to bring to your attention a few little things.

Far be it from me to tell you how to do your job but I'm just hoping you can explain the intricacies of your shorts designing.  I'm just very curious.

See, I'm about to turn 37 years old and all I want is a comfortable pair of shorts for the summer.  It's hot here in Arizona, I mean really really hot, like scorching hot where you need shorts unless you want your pants to melt onto your skin.  So you may see my problem, or maybe you don't, but don't worry I'm getting to it.

I went to Walmart with my family today and while we were there I thought "well I am losing weight, I haven't bought myself clothes in a long time and I could really use some cute shorts to wear around the house and to go to the store or on vacation with the family this summer".  So I innocently proceeded to your ladies clothing department and much to my chagrin I found rack after rack with the cutest shorts......that I couldn't wear.

Don't get me wrong where you fail is not the actual fabric or pattern, but I feel I need to ask you.  Was there a shortage of said fabric when you were producing these shorts?

It may just be me, I don't know, but when did shorts become hot pants?  Do we no longer make shorts that go to at least halfway down the legs???  At least, I'm saying, see I'm not even telling you to make them capri's or bermudas, I'm just asking for an extra inch....or two....or in this case 6 or 7.

Listen, I don't know about you, but the last time I wore hot pants was............well...........actually now that I think about it, I've never WORN hot pants and I don't think that a 36 year old should take up that habit now, maybe embroidery or bird photography or something along those lines....but hot pants and showing off my butt cheeks in public???  NO THANKS!!!!

My husband of course would absolutely love that idea and I'm starting to think that you make these with the men in mind.  

So I implore you, please, if fabric shortage is the problem, I have tons here at home, feel free to look through my stash and use whatever you need.  Just please make some SHORTS for us modest ladies who don't want to look like a 2 dollar hooker.  It's really not much to ask.

A thirty something who would rather keep her butt covered

Friday, April 29, 2011

Shopping the Case Lot Sales


I try to go to the Case Lot Sales held on base to stock up on things, but there are times that I honestly don't see anything that I need and I am not one to just buy just because it's on sale.  If I don't need it, I don't buy it, plain and simple.

Our local Base Commissary is having a Case Lot sale this weekend, so this morning the kiddos and I headed over to see what was on sale and this one actually ended up having quite a few things that I needed, so let me show you what I came away with.


Sliced Ham was on sale, for about $2 some were $3, so I got 4 which I've popped in the freezer.


Caprisun box of 4 packs - $5
Mac & Cheese (yes you'll see mac and cheese in this house lol) - $6
Martha White Blueberry Muffin mix, box of 12 - $5
Arizona Tea 2 x 12 pack - $3.00 each
Coffeemate 50 count - $1.49
Shampoo 6 count - $4
Conditioner 6 count - $4


Hamburger patties were on sale as well.  Packs of 4 for - $2.00
Personal pizzas - 99c each
Large 16 inch pizza - $6
BBQ Chips - $2


24 pack water - $3
Mission Tortilla rounds, HUGE pack - $3


Xtra laundry detergent - $5
Chef Michaels 11.5 lbs bag - $3 each


Big box of assorted cereal 10 count (my kids love the individual boxes) - $10

Total after coupons = $80

Not bad at all.    I'll have to go back tomorrow to do my grocery shopping but at least I have a few things that will last me quite a while, especially the shampoo/conditioner, the tortilla chips, the cereal and the dog food etc.

If you want to find out more about your local commissary or when the next case lot sale is for your base, just click on this link.

The great thing about buying in bulk is being able to freeze whatever you need.  I came home, got everything packed away and after I cleared out the fridge for tomorrow's grocery, I had a few things that I hadn't made that were on the menu for the past two weeks.  So I made them anyway and froze them for future meals.

Like this wonderful Mini Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches, great for a snack, a lunch or even a light dinner.

Mini Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

Do you shop sales?  Are you a coupon clipper?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I've been....

Been:::  Taking walks after dinner with the family and collecting flowers as we go


Been:::  reveling in my beautiful garden and amazed at the growth I see every day

Yellow Squash

Green Onions and Eggplant

Been:::  using up the last lemons from my tree to make limoncello


Been:::  reading a plethora of books for upcoming reviews.  Some really good ones like this one that I just finished last night.  Too Rich for a Bride by Mona Hodgson

Been:::  finishing up homeschooling for the year. Nicholas only has 4 lessons tomorrow and he'll be done with second grade and Jasmine has next week of lessons but she's determined to finish everything this weekend so she'll also be done with sixth grade :)


Been:::   getting wonderful surprises in the mail, like the new cookbook from Sheryl Crow and Chuck White called "If it makes you healthy".  I haven't even had a chance to page through it because it JUST came in the mail, but I can't wait to try some of the recipes and there will be a review coming up too.

What you been up to???

{ Cooking Thursday - April 28 }

Good Morning everyone, here we are on another Cooking Thursday edition.

I want to start by thanking you all for faithfully participating each week even if I don't get around to visiting all the recipes, I do try but life has been so crazy.   I'm sure you've noticed that I've been around here a lot more the past few days and that is because homeschooling is coming to a close for this year, matter of fact we will be done by the beginning of next week YAY.

So anyway, I wanted to run something by you all this morning, next week Thursday, we're not doing Cooking Thursday but we're going to have a special edition of SLOW COOKING THURSDAY.  Remember that is how my little Thursday feature began, with slow cooking recipes and then it started dwindling out with people running out of things to share so I switched to Cooking Thursday, but I tell you, I miss my Slow Cooking days.

Will you join me next week for a Slow Cooking Thursday????  It can be a recipe you love or a recipe you haven't tried yet but want to.  Won't you tell your friends too?  I'm hoping we can get a lot of participants next week so that we may all benefit from a huge stack of new slow cooker recipes.

Alright enough jabbering let's move on to the recipe for today.

Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans

Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans
Credit:  Prudence Pennywise

1/2 to 1 lb bacon, chopped
1 large onion, minced
3 (15 ounce cans) pinto beans, drained
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons mustard (I've used yellow or dijon with good results)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet, fry bacon until almost crisp.

Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans

Pour off most of the fat. Add onion in with the bacon and continue to fry for five minutes.

Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans

Add in all ingredients and mix well.

Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans

Pour into 2 quart casserole or 9 by 13. Bake, covered with lid or foil for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 30 minutes longer.

Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked Beans

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Diary of a Stay at Home Mom on Facebook

I know, I know, tons of posts today but this is what happens when I've been kind of MIA and then frantically back and trying to catch up and update :)

You'll find lots of great book reviews today and in the next few days as I participate in TLC's Blog Tour for some of the best books out right now :)

You'll also find reviews for other products coming up and there may be a giveaway or two.  Stay tuned.

But for now, will you help me welcome Diary of a Stay at Home Mom to Facebook?

Yep, I finally did it, finally made a little home for this bloggy over at Facebook, this way you can stay updated on new posts, contests, recipes etc.  If you wish of course, I wouldn't dream of forcing it on anyone.

Diary of a Stay at Home Mom on Facebook
Full Bellies, Happy Kids on Facebook

Go forth and click the like buttons, it will make this girls smile!

God Bless!

Ice Pop Joy by Anni Daulter

If you're a fan of Anni Daulter's books then you're going to just LOVE this new one called Ice Pop Joy.

I love the way she approaches cooking, it's all about using organic fresh fruits and vegetables, natural sweeteners and getting your children involved in the cooking.  Big thumbs up from me just on that alone.

Let's face it, all kids (and plenty of grown ups)
love ice pops, but not all kids love healthy foods.
This collection of wholesome and heavenly
ice pop recipes are cutting-edge nutritious and
delicious for the whole family. 

So chill out! You can indulge in tasty sweet, and
juicy ice pops without consuming refined sugar and
fake sweeteners. Using fresh, seasonal fruits; sweet,
nutritious vegetables (yes! vegetables); protein packed
whole foods; and a multitude of other
exquisite ingredients, Ice Pop Joy contains a wide
variety of recipes for scrumptious frozen treats any time of the year. 

My kids sat with me as I looked through the book and all I could hear was "ohhh that one"...."mommy make this one"...."Ohhhhhh Oohhhhh I want that one".

I don't think there were any pops in this book that I didn't want to try, though I have to say that some of the ingredients I don't keep in that house and that stopped me from making a few but other than that, it's just easy quick and simple recipes using fresh fruits and veggies and I tell you, delicious.

We settled on Pure Sunshine using Strawberries and Honey.  Yum!


Just a handful of fresh ingredients, like lemons, strawberries....

Some honey, some ice and blend it all together

Fill up your ice pop molds and into the freezer it goes.  That's it.

These were SO refreshing, SO good.  We all really enjoyed them and I think would be just perfect on a hot summer afternoon.


Tastes yummy, it's definitely kid approved.


If you're looking for an amazing book filled with delicious ice pop recipes and using nothing but the best of freshest and organic ingredients for your family, then you have to get yourself a copy of Anni Daulter's latest "Ice Pop Joy".  You won't regret it, I promise.

You can get your own copy for only $18.95 and I really do recommend it, especially with Summer around the corner.

Thank you to the author Anni Daulter for sending me a copy of the book for review. 

Far to go by Alison Pick Book Review

When Czechoslovakia relinquishes the Sudetenland to Hitler, the powerful influence of Nazi propaganda sweeps through towns and villages like a sinister vanguard of the Reich’s advancing army. A fiercely patriotic secular Jew, Pavel Bauer is helpless to prevent his world from unraveling as first his government, then his business partners, then his neighbors turn their back on his affluent, once-beloved family. Only the Bauers’ adoring governess, Marta, sticks by Pavel, his wife, Anneliese, and their little son, Pepik, bound by her deep affection for her employers and friends. But when Marta learns of their impending betrayal at the hands of her lover, Ernst, Pavel’s best friend, she is paralyzed by her own fear of discovery—even as the endangered family for whom she cares so deeply struggles with the most difficult decision of their lives.
Interwoven with a present-day narrative that gradually reveals the fate of the Bauer family during and after the war, Far to Go is a riveting family epic, love story, and psychological drama.


Again, huge fan of Historical fiction so this one was a joy to read.  This book is set in the days leading up to and during the Holocaust, I think one of the darkest moments in the world's history.  But what I love about books like these, as I've said before, is that I'm not only enjoying the story but I'm learning as I go and I love that. 

For instance I had no clue about Kindertransport and this book certainly taught me the intricate details of it. 
Kindertransport managed to rescue nearly 10,000 Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia.   The way they went about rescuing these children is heartbreaking, it's just hard to imagine having to be in this situation but I think for a child you do anything you can and this just shows the huge hearts these people had......children and babies were stuffed into dresser drawers, or sent alone on trains to the United Kingdom, where unknown people raised them during the war.   The sweet part of it all is that not only were these children saved but most survived but very few managed to be reunited with their parents after the war. 

The author loosely based this book on her own family's experience, mainly her grandparents who escaped Czechoslovakia to Canada.

This book was thrilling, it was brilliantly written and I found myself unable to put it down, I don't think I've read a book as fast as this one, it literally went with me everywhere I did.  Kudos to Alison Pick.

Tuesday, April 19th: Acting Balanced
Wednesday, April 20th: Reading on a Rainy Day
Thursday, April 21st: The House of the Seven Tails
Tuesday, April 26th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, April 28th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog
Wednesday, May 4th: Books Like Breathing
Thursday, May 5th: Diary of an Eccentric
Monday, May 9th: In the Next Room
Wednesday, May 11th: Rundpinne
Thursday, May 12th: Library of Clean Reads

 TLC Book Tours provided a proof copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are mine alone.

Island of Lost Girls Book Review

Rhonda Farr pulls into her local Mini Mart for gas before a job interview. She is struck speechless by the sight of a giant bunny rabbit coaxing a young girl out of her car and into the rabbit's car. It happens in the blink of an eye and as they drive away, Rhonda realizes that she has just witnessed an abduction and is horrified that she did nothing to stop it.

The little town is galvanized into action. A small command post is set up by Pat, the owner of the Mini Mart. We get to know Rhonda and her childhood friends, Lizzy and Peter. Their families were inseparable as children. The present day story is just as much about the hunt for missing Ernestine as it is about the relationships and lives of the now grown children.

The story flips from present to past, about 15 years ago. The childhood days of Lizzy, Peter and Rhonda are exposed in alternate chapters. Although their childhood appeared idyllic, there were unsettling undercurrents.

I read this book while I was sick last week, hence why my review is late.

I have to start by saying that I'm not a mystery genre fan, I just prefer Historical Romance and such but there have been a few good mysteries here and there that I thoroughly enjoyed and this one has to go into that category.

It deals with something that definitely touches all of our hearts, it's not easy to hear about a child being abducted and especially when you throw in a huge bunny costume which just makes it that much more scary. 

I think the author did a good job of going back and forth between past and present, it did get a little confusing at times, again this back and forth is important for storytelling purposes but I'm not a huge fan of it and that may be why I didn't enjoy those parts that much.

All in all, if you like a good mystery thriller suspense, I think this book will do it for you.

Monday, April 18th: Sara’s Organized Chaos (Promise Not to Tell)
Tuesday, April 19th: Jenn’s Bookshelves (Promise Not to Tell)
Tuesday, April 19th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom (Island of Lost Girls)
Wednesday, April 20th: Life In Review (Promise Not to Tell)
Tuesday, May 3rd: Book Journey (Promise Not to Tell)
Wednesday, May 4th: Rundpinne (Promise Not to Tell)
Friday, May 6th: In the Next Room (Promise Not to Tell)
Monday, May 9th: Reading Through Life (Promise Not to Tell)
Tuesday, May 10th: Tina’s Book Reviews (Promise Not to Tell)
Wednesday, May 11th: In the Next Room (Island of Lost Girls)
Thursday, May 12th: Book Journey (Island of Lost Girls)
Monday, May 16th: Sara’s Organized Chaos (Island of Lost Girls)
Monday, May 16th: Stephanie’s Written Word (Promise Not to Tell)
Wednesday, May 18th: Rundpinne (Island of Lost Girls)
Thursday, May 19th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog (Promise Not to Tell)
Friday, May 20th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books (Island of Lost Girls)
Monday, May 23rd: Stephanie’s Written Word (Island of Lost Girls)

 TLC Book Tours provided a proof copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are mine alone.

The Note Winner

Thank you all for entering and being interested in this wonderful project.  Unfortunately only one can win, but those who don't you can still order yourself a kit from The Note website, go on over and check it out.

I used and the number that popped out was:

#10 Maggie

Congratulations Maggie, I will be contacting you shortly.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Making use of the Freezer

I'm such a slow poke, no really, I'm usually the last one getting anything and then when I do it's a big hoopla because I can't believe I ever lived without one.

This time it's a chest freezer.  I know, go ahead and laugh you're probably sitting there with your mouths wide open shocked that I didn't have one, but you see up until now we really didn't need one and living on a military base, trust me, there is not much room for a freezer.

So a week ago, we bit the bullet and bought one on sale at the BX. 


There she is, ain't she a beauty?  Don't get me wrong, I wish I could hide her somewhere and out of the way but I just don't have the room in this small house, but we do what we can right???  A little pretty flower on top and it's good to go.

Now that I have the freezer I'm going to start planning my menus a little different, it's time to incorporate some freezer meals and start doing some batch cooking.

Before I get into all that though, one of the things I'm enjoying is being able to buy fruit and veggies in bulk and not worrying about them going bad.


Hubby and I are trying to lose weight right now so with that comes portion control and calorie counting, but honestly it's already such a battle trying to keep yourself on the right track and not fall into the bad habit of eating the junky stuff laying around the house.....then you throw in calorie counts and it's just downright frustrating.


So to make things easier for hubby and I when it comes to snacking, we've been buying huge amounts of fruit and then I take a Sunday or Saturday afternoon and peel and chop and sort into ziploc bags, write the amount of calories per baggie and pop it in the freezer.


Trust me, it's so much easier when you get a craving to be able to just reach in the freezer, grab a little ziploc bag and know exactly how many calories you are ingesting.  It's helped us alot, so much so that we've both dropped 7 lbs this week :)

But using the freezer is not just about weight watching and portions.  It can be used for SO much more and I plan on sharing with you, over the next few weeks, just exactly what I'm doing in there.  Well not literally in there, but you know what I mean.

So next time you have a few spare moments, throw on some good music or one of your favorite shows on your laptop and chop and pack your veggies/fruits.  You'll be glad you did :)

Just cleaning

Doing some cleaning around the bloggy homestead, hope you like it because this one really makes me smile :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Homemaker Monday - #14 - 2011


The weather in my neck of the woods:
A little cooler today, only 64 degrees but by Wednesday we're supposed to be back in the 90's.

Things that make me happy:
Making my children's birthday cakes

Book I'm reading:
Too Rich for a Bride by Mona Hodgson

What's on my TV today:

Paranormal State New Season
Edwardian Farm
Any William and Kate thing I can find LOL

On the menu for dinner:
Out to dinner to celebrate Jasmine's birthday, baby girl is turning 12 today. 

On my To Do List:


New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:
Brown Sugar and Bacon Baked good.

In the craft basket:
Teapot Cozy

Looking forward to this week:
Looking forward to celebrating my girl's birthday today and also looking forward to continuing weight loss.  Hubby and I have started drinking just water and counting calories and we've both dropped 6 lbs this past week, I feel so much better :)

Tips and Tricks:
If you are counting calories or watching portions when you eat, make use of your big chest freezer.  Cut up the fruits and veggies into servings and place them in ziploc bags, write down the amount of calories per serving and place them in your freezer.  It's a little time consuming but right now I have tons of veggies and fruits all ready for hubby and I, it makes snacking a lot easier.

My favorite blog post this week:
Back in Time at Curlew Country.  I'm a professed Anglophile, I just adore anything from England and English, what can I say.  Maybe I was born in England in a past life LOL  This post at Curlew Country was filled with amazing photos and literally a step back in time, how neat and especially since I'm watching Land Girls right now :)

Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers):
Joyful Abode

No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):


Lesson learned the past few days:

That I still love royalty LOL  No really, I know a lot of people are just on overload with the William and Kate wedding but I love it and watch every single thing that comes out about it and you better believe I'll be up watching the wedding too all of Friday.  

On my mind:
My weight loss
My children and husband
My family

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. – Acts 1:3 (NIV)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Walk through my garden

"To dig and delve in nice clean dirt can do a mortal little hurt." -John Kendrick Bangs (1962-1922)

Oh I only wish I had tons of land at my disposal so that I may have a huge garden to walk through and sit at with a good book.

But alas we must make do with what we have and I find that the best way to go through life is to really stop and enjoy it, to make the most of what is given to you, of what is at your disposal.

Living on a military base really does limit the imagination in some areas, we are confined to small homes that are not really ours, we can't paint, or rather, we can but we must then repaint the home back to the original color when we leave and honestly I don't have the patience LOL

But back to the outside areas, they are very iffy with what you can and can't do in the yards, but truthfully to make this home feel like ours, I can't but walk out side and put my own touches.

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. 
~Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

Let me walk you through my garden, let me show you what I have growing and let me tell you that I'm beyond thrilled because I've always been such a Thumb of Death filled with envy of all of those out there who have stunning greenery and can grow veggies and flowers like no tomorrow.

Maybe I've finally broken the pattern, or maybe I lucked out in the house we're at and have a good mixture of sun/shade and soil???  Who knows, I plan on enjoying it to the fullest and not ask questions.


My tomatoes are doing so well, it thrills me to see the little ones growing :)


Lettuce, green, vibrant and I grew it from seeds....I mean, ME, I grew something from seeds and it actually didn't die LOL



While walking through the garden, I spotted this beautiful robin's egg shell.  Isn't it the most stunning blue color???

Robin's egg

Cantaloupe that Jasmine planted is doing great too.


Here's my lavender.  I've been trying for YEARS to grow it here in Arizona and I've never had any success, so far this is the furthest I've gotten in growing any.


Nicholas planted Melons and this is one of his coming up.


Here's my the scent.


And here we have my herbs, there's chives, parsley, oregano and I think cilantro, I can't even remember now


Green beans.....the kids think it's funny that there's a beanstalk LOL

Grean Beans

My garlic is still going strong


When it gets too hot for some of the plants, we bring them inside and give them lots of love and attention until they're safe to head back outdoors.


Look at my Basil, can you believe it's still growing so strong???  And the aroma.....heavenly.


"He who sees things grow from the beginning with have the best view of them."
- Aristotle

I know it's not much but for this gal who has never been able to enjoy watching plants grow from nothing, I have to say it's made me smile over and over again ;)