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Friday Finds…

February 25, 2010

…sliced lemons for my tea

Before I forget (like I did all week), I wanted to let you know that I finally figured out how to put that subscription button over there on the right.  So if any of you would like to sub to MinivanLife , you can now!  If there’s any problems with it, or with anything on the page, please let me know.  There’s so much to learn with this blogging hobby!

This week I was…

Inspired by this pretty little thing… and this is very cool.   This too!

I came across this about a year ago and I still journal this way.  Isn’t it great?

My kids would enjoy making and playing with thisthat, thosethis too, although perhaps not this attitude therapy (but we’re going on a 7 hr road trip tomorrow so I’m thinking it would be the perfect time to test drive her theory! hehehehehe)

So many touching articles this past week by blogging Mama’s… about friendship,  the messy truth, the simple truth, a reflection and juggling

Inspiring, honest and thoughtful homeschooling posts like this.

Pure unadulterated adorableness… and just for you Beth!

Recipes I’m looking forward to trying… in the crockpot, for those days like hers, and ohhhh myyy!

Did you come across anything particularly inspiring or memorable this week?  I’d love for you to share it!

“Hey good lookin’….

February 24, 2010

…What ‘cha got cookin?”

“Hello.  My name is Brandy……. and  I’m a chocoholic. ”

My brownie recipe need tweaking now that I’m dairy free (nursing dairy sensitive babe).  I NEED chocolate.  And for the present, my chocolate fix is limited to Junior Mints (that I admittedly love) and Ghirardelli’s semi sweet chocolate chips (yummmmm).  But sometimes a girl just wants to bake!  Needs to bake!  Here’s what I’ve come up with if you ever find yourself in need of a dairy free brownie…  or in need of a seriously fudgy brownie.  And we like ’em fudgy around here…as in “will not come out of the pan in one piece fudgy”.  Is fudgy a real word?  Because it’s sounding a little weird at this point…..  anyway… on to the recipe

Dairy Free Fudge Brownies

  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup oil (your choice canola or veg.) divided into 2 different 1/3 amounts
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 & 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Whisk cocoa and baking soda together in large mixing bowl to remove any lumps.  Add in 1/3 cup oil and mix until smooth.  Next add the 1/2 cup boiling water and stir until well mixed and thickened.  Now add 2 cups sugar, 2 slightly beaten eggs and 1/3 cup oil.  Stir.  Add flour, vanilla and salt.  Stir until JUST mixed.  (don’t beat the heck out of it!).  Now poor into a greased 9×13 in pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 min.

Try to allow it too cool for an hour or so before cutting.  Although we rarely do if I’m being honest.  Now cut and enjoy!

And now for a totally unrelated brownie note… this weekend I found green tomatoes at the grocery store.  So last night I whipped up a batch of Fried Green Tomatoes…. YUM!  I also tried out this recipe that I read about over at By Sun and Candlelight.  We ate it sans bread however.  It really was good!

Have you tried any new recipes out lately that you loved lately?  Care to share?


February 23, 2010

Do you collect anything? I don’t consider myself a collector.  But I guess I am in a way.  And it’s usually only vintage things…  milk glass, Pyrex, red handled kitchen utensils, fabric, tableclothes and linens.  But really, I buy whatever catches my fancy.  I’ve always loved antiques and went antiquing with my Mom countless times growing up.  I didn’t start thrifting until just a few years ago.  And let me tell you, I love it!

Every item in this photo was either thrifted or bought at an antique store.  The shelf is actually part of a hutch that I picked up from a small roadside flea market.  It’s a cream color that someone had started removing the paint from.  I have considered painting it, and I still may, but I love it as is for now.  The milk glass hobnail pitcher and 5 matching glasses is something that my mom and I spied on one of our thrifting/antiquing outings.  I loved it and she insisted on buying it for me.  I adore my mom!  She is so much fun to shop with.  And we love to do that kind of stuff together.  I hope that one day my kids will enjoy those kinds of things with me as well.  The daisy salt and pepper set I found at a thrift store.  And the milk glass chicken and doily at another thrift shop.  I make it a point to use these items all the time.  And every time I do, I can’t help but smile.

I’m curious… do you consider yourself a collector?  What do you collect?  And do you find more joy out of displaying it or using it?

Two things I love…

February 23, 2010

~ Happy Tuesday!  ~

Today, I thought I’d join along with “Two Things I Love… around my home” hosted by Kassi over at BacWoods Fern.  After giving it some thought, I decided to show off these vintage curtains I scored at a local thrift store a few months back.  A solid cafe curtain for the top of the window and two panels for the lower window.  Vintage yellow and white gingham fabric with white rick-rak  and aqua thread.  Even has a little chicken scratch stitching on there!  In perfect condition and at the unbelievable price of a whopping $3.  I am as smitten with them today as I was when I first snatched them off the thrift store shelf!

Second, is this art print that my sweet husband bought me for Valentine’s Day (along with a few pieces of jewelry).  He bought it from the shop Volume 25 on Etsy.  If I had a few extra thousand dollars lying around and thought I could actually cram all six of us in a camper that size, I would sooooo have one all spruced up just like the one in the drawing. Aqua and pretty… but I don’t and I can’t (not without everyone breathing down each others’ neck!) so for now, this will have to do!  I love this print and the message it reminds me of.  Thanks Babe!

Anyone else want to join in on the fun?  What two things do you love around your home?  Jump on over to Kassi’s blog and link up!

Here are a few pics from our gorgeous sunny weather this past weekend.

It’s a wonder that I ever get anything accomplished around here with all the kissing and snuggling this kid inspires… seriously, could he be any cuter?!

Sure wish it was this beautiful right now!

~How’s the weather where you are today?~

Homemade Pizza & a Movie

February 21, 2010

Typically, in our family, Saturday night is reserved for Family Movie Night.  We take our food downstairs to the den and eat while we watch a family friendly movie.  This past weekend our movie night was postponed until Sunday night.  Mainly due to the fact that I didn’t make it to the grocery store on Saturday and we didn’t have what I needed to make homemade pizza.  But by Sunday afternoon, I had corrected that error.  So after I straightened up the crap oops excuse me… craft room, I put together the ingredients for the dough and let it rise…

I used a basic pizza dough recipe from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen cookbook…tripled… I really like it.  Great flavor, crispy edges with a chewy bite.

This past week, Jennifer over on The Prairie Girl , was saying that she preps a large batch of tomato sauce at the beginning of the week to use in various dinners throughout the rest of the week (they have their pizza/movie nights on Fridays).  I thought this was a fantastic idea and followed her basic recipe for the sauce.  Started with some olive oil in a skillet… threw in some chopped onion and garlic… added some canned tomatoes followed by salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and a little sugar… then let it simmer while I nursed Jacob and chopped the veggies (not simultaneously!).

I made 3 different pizzas (we had leftovers);

1 pepperoni & cheese

1 pepperoni, cheese, black olive and red & yellow bell peppers

1 pepperoni, black olive and red & yellow bell peppers with NO cheese

Until I started nursing my kids (all have been sensitive to dairy), I had never tried a pizza with no cheese.  And quite frankly, I wouldn’t have wanted to.  Pizza with no cheese just sounded….. wrong.  Very very wrong. But I have always loved a good pizza, so when I started nursing, I had to find a way to make it work.  And to my surprise, I love it!  You can really enjoy all the flavors of the pizza and it leaves you not feeling so heavy afterwards.  Try it sometime if you never have.  It really is fantastic!

Anyway, we watched The Secret Garden while we munched on homemade pizza and really enjoyed it.  It was the kids first time seeing it.  Such a lovely movie.

Does your family have movie night?  If you do, what are your favorite family movies and dinners?

Friday Finds…

February 19, 2010

I’ve decided to make Fridays the day to share what I’ve seen and read about on other blogs.  There is so much that I get inspiration from and want to keep a record for them so I can keep them in mind.  Plus, you might find them interesting too!

  • I saw this video over on Modcloth and just loved it!  So cute and fun! Check here for the interview….
  • Unfortunately, while nursing I can’t eat any dairy, but if I could,  I’d be gorging myself on this… right NOW
  • In awe of this homeschooling Mom and her honesty… because I can 100% relate!
  • Vintage Measuring  Tape growth chart… such a cool idea!!  It’s a free download…
  • Two great ideas all rolled into one…  Wouldn’t those spool hangers be neat in a sewing room or maybe even the laundry room?
  • I’m thinking we’ll give this a try over the next week sometime… I think the kids will really enjoy it.
  • And I really want to start doing this on a random basis… just seems like such a fun thing to find every once in a while around the house!
  • Such a cool photo that A Cup of Jo featured…  made me smile…
  • I’m thinking that I might just send this tutorial over to my sweet woodworking Father in law…  not because I want one of course (wink wink)!
  • And last, but not least, I must must MUST make this... and soon.  It is over the top fun!!  My kids would think this was the coolest… and therefore make me the coolest!

Oh, and to end this post off with some cuteness… here’s my Jacob who turned 2 months yesterday!  Sigh… I could just love on this little fellow 24 hrs a day…

Catching that rare big grin…

February 17, 2010

A picture from our weekend snow…  it is so rare to get a photo of this girl with a full on laughing smile…  for some reason she seems distrustful of the camera!  This picture just lightens my soul and puts a grin on my face …  my sweet girls…

Some links I’ve recently discovered that I want to share…

How pretty is this?!  Made from vintage sheets….

loving the ideas from here

Listening to tunes and discovering new favorites…

This inspires me to use my crockpot more often… Tuesdays are supposed to be crockpot nights as we get home later than usual due to the girls ballet classes.  But more often than not, I forget!

I want one of these!  or this one!

Sweetest family photo EVER…

Honey Lemon Tea and our morning…

February 15, 2010

For the past few days, I’ve been enjoying a new  “tea”.  It’s touted to be a natural detox and good for the skin. Some even claim that it aids in weight loss. I have it once in the morning (during school with the kids) and once in the evening during dinner prep or after the kids go to bed.  Very soothing, relaxing and very tasty to boot!  Thought I’d give it a try and see if their are any noticeable benefits.  I’ll keep you posted!  Here’s the recipe if you want to give a try along with me…

A few glimpses into our morning of school and tea parties…  it’s a good morning…

Oh my, I’m….

February 12, 2010

…enjoying these so very very much….

Our very own Winter Wonderland!

February 1, 2010

We had ourselves quite the little snowstorm here in western NC Friday afternoon.  And for this south GA native, it was quite the event!  We had another snow event back in December, but I missed it due to the fact that it happened an hour AFTER I was admitted into the hospital for the birth of Jacob.  Nothing like watching the snow out of a tiny hospital window complete with view of opposite hospital room and patient right outside said tiny hospital window and the added bonus of post surgery nausea and pain from a csection.  Yeah, that’s  nice.   But this time, this time,  I was able to enjoy it with coffee cup in one hand and new babe in the other.  And it was just beautiful.  We ended up with 7 inches in our yard. I snapped some photos and thought I’d share them with you.  By the way, for those of you that subscribe to MinivanLife via bloglines or a reader, be sure to click on over and check out the new banner. Yes, October is FINALLY over and I changed it to February.  GEEZ, October lasted a looong time didn’t it?!  Oh well… moving on….

Our view of the neighbors yard and trees…

Our front yard…

Aidan, thinking he’s going to pelt his mom with a snowball… don’t worry, I threatened to ground him for a  month if he did it…

…he did it anyway…

Our driveway and willow trees… sigh…I do love willow trees…

My Lilianne….  my girl… my mini-me…  (will those teeth ever grow in?!?!!)

Sarah, loving her sled… thanks Nana!

I LOVE this photo…. I can’t believe I caught her face like that!

Our home… the hubs took this photo… that’s me, the little green spot, on the bottom front porch.  I really need to buy myself some snow boots.  I had on my cute new blue converse and couldn’t bring myself to walk thru the snow in them.

My oldest two and their snowman…

I edited these photos with Pioneer Woman‘s actions….  I just love the way they turned out…

Again with the willow trees… sigh… I do love my willow trees….