a busy mama's diary to inspire

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Advent "calendar"


Last year our beloved little slippers-on- a-string Christmas countdown broke. I was on the hunt for just the right thing this year. At Sweet Home (where I sell my creations) one of the gals was selling this old 7up crate, and I thought it would make the sweetest little countdown, and also not take up a lot of wall space! You can find these crates at my shop or also antique stores. The other materials were all purchased at Target. I bought these little drawstring bags for each day of the month and filled them with things like: candy canes, Christmas chocolates, love notes, coins, gum and stickers etc. I rolled them up as small as I could and shoved them in the boxes ;) The number stickers were in the dollar section and I just put them on a gift tag and taped them to the box with washi tape. Easy peasy! (I've also seen cute countdown stickers at Hobby Lobby!) I decided that the 25th bag will be hiding in the tree on Christmas morning :) Hope this inspires you to start a new tradition as well. Merriest Christmas, friends. Enjoy this most wonderful time of the year ♥

Banana bread

Another family favorite. My kids squeal when I have fresh, warm banana bread just waiting to be buttered and set before their hungry little faces!
Here's my recipe:
(*I double this to make 2 loaves)
1.5 cups gluten free (or all purpose) flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cooking oil
Grease 2 loaf pans. In medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/8 tsp salt. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture. Set aside.
In another bowl combine the egg, bananas, sugar and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir just till moistened.
Spoon batter into pan(s) I like to sprinkle the top with a cinnamon & sugar mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool on rack.

Monday, November 21, 2016

my favorite chili

It's finally getting chilly outside, so that also means chili season! I make this A LOT because the whole crew loves it. Cheers! To cozy days and warm, full tummies! :)
(I'll post my favorite white chicken chili soon!)
Recipe for my favorite:
1 lb beef
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
3 teaspoons chili powder (I use extra!)
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
Put all in a crockpot, stir and cook for 6-8 hours on low setting.
I serve with a salad and cornbread with honey butter!

Monday, October 10, 2016

easy apple galette

This simple (and pretty!) dessert has quickly become a favorite of fall. After a beautiful, crisp morning at the orchard, I had a fun day baking in the kitchen with my littlest loves & our harvest.

what you will need:
your favorite crust recipe or store bought pie crust
3 apples for baking (I use McIntosh) CORED, PEELED AND SLICED!
brown sugar
3-4 T butter
parchment paper-lined cookie sheet
(yes, that's it!)

I used my apple corer, peeler slicer from Pampererd Chef and highly recommend!
Cut the apples in half.
Roll out your pie crust.
Layer apple slices in a circle, leaving enough room to fold over the crust.
Top with desired amount of cinnamon and brown sugar.
Fold crust up, a section at a time.
Brush crust with MELTED butter, and drizzle the rest of the butter over the apples.
Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown and apples are tender. (about 45min-1 hour)
*optional: top with caramel and whip cream :)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Happy birthday, Ya'll!! (3 Sept babes)

I love fall. ADORE IT! I love the crisp air, the cozy sweaters, the warm drinks, the running along the lake admiring God's gorgeous masterpiece. I also really love that my 3 September babes love having a family party together! It is so fun! I love the time with them planning and shopping, and baking and preparing. Being that I grew up on a farm, I was extra excited for this one! :)
Clara, Ty & Addie:
I love you. I love celebrating you and (hopefully) making you feel special. You bring so much joy to your daddy and me every day. Happy birthday, my loves. You have my heart.

Lila's face. 



  Precious time with Auntie Natalie


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

overnight crockpot pumpkin oatmeal


I've always wanted to try the overnight oatmeal thing. THIS was delicious...IF you love pumpkin. Half of my kids weren't a fan ;) Honestly, they were scared to eat it because it does not look appealing :) I would definitely make again though! Put all the ingredients in your crockpot and stir well. Cook on low heat for 7-8 hours. (I started mine at 11 pm one night) Turn off crockpot about a half hour before you eat...give it a stir and let it rest. Top with brown sugar, pecans and butter for added sweetness. We had lots of leftovers. For a snack we even topped with a little reddi-whip. It tasted just like pumpkin pie!

1 1/2 cup can pumpkin
2 cups steel cut oats
1 TBSP PB2 (peanut butter powder)
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 TBSP vanilla
7 cups water

easy crock pot orange chicken

Orange chicken for dinner anyone? I loved this one!

You'll need:
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
2 TBSP soy sauce
3/4 cup sweet orange marmalade
4 chicken breasts (cut up)
sesame seeds
Cook in crockpot on low 6-7 hours