December 17: About Me

I got tagged but never participated in the "# things about me" on Facebook, so I figured I'd do it today. I was blessed to have a few hours by myself this afternoon to do some Christmas shopping, so I had some uninterrupted time to listen to my thoughts. :) Here's my day & a few things about me. 

I have the privilege of hanging out with these crazies during the day. Even though our income seems to be inversely related to the number of children we have, The Lord provides and has allowed me to be home. The kids drive me nuts sometimes, but they even it out by being pretty cute. I can't believe I have two kids in school already. I know that I'll blink and five years will have passed and they'll all be gone during the day. 

And even in that statement I'm making some assumptions. I'm assuming that they'll all still be here in five years. I'm assuming that I'll still be here. We don't know what tomorrow will hold, & I pray that this next year I'll assume less & be present, and grateful, more.

This is the first "real" haircut I've had in years, literally. I normally chop it off myself over the bathroom trash can. If you didn't know that, I'm glad, because it's probably not good if I look like I cut my own hair. I'm liking it! :)

I didn't have any kids for a few hours this afternoon. Weird. I haven't been out of the house during the day without the baby, I think, ever. Today was a first! Even if the other kids are away with the grandparents, I still usually have her. 

I really like Chip Ingram. I often listen to his podcasts while I'm driving during the day. He's a great speaker, author, and teacher who continually challenges me to be a better person & Christian. 

This one goes without explanation. But incase you're wondering, I accept $25 & $50 gift cards. ;)

I got to go in the Women's bathroom today. BY MYSELF. This, my friends, is a big deal. You see, I normally go to the family bathroom with my entourage in tow {i.e., Toby & Eva}. I didn't have to worry about anyone flushing the toilet while I was still on it or prematurely opening the door while I sit helplessly on the toilet five feet away, pleading with them to SHUT IT RIGHT NOW FOR THE LOVE and really wishing I had go-go-Gadget-arms. 

For all of you that can potty by yourselves on a regular basis, don't take that small blessing for granted. 

2 of the 4 articles of clothing I wore today were maternity clothes, but I'm not pregnant. Is that wrong? They were on clearance, & I can't pass up a good deal. I may or may not have dressed to match my boots. Also, everything I'm wearing is from Target. And I took this picture at Target. Ironic.

On a related note, I have been living in these leggings lately because, a) they are comfortable yet stylish, and b) most of my other pants are too big. Like all other women, I have struggled with self-image issues my entire life. I was never thin enough, pretty enough, or smart enough as far as I was concerned. But you know what? I've decided to start appreciating myself and my body for what it is NOW, today, instead of what it could be or should be at some point. 

Not that I need another winter coat, but I love this one at Target. I keep checking for it to go on clearance, but so far no luck. Then I saw Despicable Me 2, and I want it even more because Lucy wears one just like it! I feel like she's similar to me in some ways. Up until high school I wanted to be an FBI agent--that's like the Anti-Villain League, right? And, of course, she has red hair. And we seem to have the same taste in outerwear.

So does that make Ben Gru? Yes. Yes it does. He is so Gru. Lol.

Up until today I hadn't even started my Christmas shopping. A few hours with no kids, and I'm done!!

Their afternoon without me went very well, obviously. Worn. Out.

My time during the day at home can be divided into three categories: cooking/cleaning, entertaining Toby, and picking up after Eva. She's like a living, breathing "undo" button. I fold the clothes, she puts them back in the hamper. I put away the tupperware, she gets it back out. Tonight she even went so far as to put it back in the dishwasher. Oy... Fourth category: coffee. Lots of it.

I love this stovetop popcorn, and I promise you will, too!! It's the best popcorn in the whole world, and it's so easy to make! Melt 2 tablespoons butter & 3 tablespoons coconut oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat with 1/3 cup popcorn kernels. Cover the pot and swish the kernels around every 10 seconds or so to prevent burning until the popcorn begins to pop. Don't move the pot once the popping begins. The kernels will pop furiously for a bit and then start to slow between pops. Turn the burner off as soon as the popping slows and let the pot sit there another minute or two until popping stops. Salt to taste and enjoy your buttery, wonderful popcorn!!

What's something I may not know about you? Do share! I enjoyed reading all the lists on Facebook! :)

July 30: Stovetop Popcorn

Great day for the pool and park. On a very positive note, I stepped on a scale today for the first time in months and I was pleased to see a number even lower than my pre-pregnancy weight!! The wonders of breastfeeding--I'll take it! :) To celebrate, I think I'll order a pizza and eat it all myself since Daddy is out of town tonight and can't help me with it. Just kidding, I'll save some for the kids tomorrow. I think. ;)

We ended the night with a bedtime snack of homemade popcorn with coconut oil, which we made on the stove for the first time. We used this recipe, and it was great!! The kids loved it so much they said they wanted it everyday. They also thought it was pretty cool that they could see it pop in the pot. Daddy is out of town at least through tomorrow, and I'm definitely missing him right about now... Off to drown my sorrows in a large pizza, as every good, emotionally healthy American should do.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal {Whatever} Muffins

I love recipes that fall into the "whatever," category, as I like to call it. Whatever's on hand, in the pantry, on sale, or in the fridge will work for this recipe or any other "whatever" recipe that I post. "Whatever" recipes are great basic recipes to have around because of their flexibility and versatility. And I love the creativity of it--I often find great and unexpected taste combinations that I want to make again.

In this particular case, we're talking about the fruits and nuts that go into these Whole Wheat Oatmeal muffins.

I've made them with blueberries and almonds...

 Bananas and walnuts...

And dried cranberries and flaxseed...

And they've all turned out great!! I've finally got the recipe down, so here it is! 

Whole Wheat Oatmeal {Whatever} Muffins
{will yield 24 muffins}

2 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups whole milk {or almond milk for DF}
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey
6 tablespoons butter, melted {or coconut oil for DF}
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups fruit {dried or otherwise}
1/2 cup nuts {optional}

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating, combine the oats and milk in a large bowl to allow the oats to soak. Add the other ingredients to the bowl up to the flour and stir to combine. Add the flour and stir to combine. Finally, gently stir in the fruits and nuts. The mixture shouldn't be too stiff but have the consistency of a thicker batter. If it's too thick {if you added some flaxseed or the like}, just add a little more milk to thin it out. Pour by the 1/4 cup full into lined muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Will yield 24 muffins. 

Again, this recipe yields a larger amount, but these muffins freeze very well. They also make a great breakfast, snack, or even a lunch! Enjoy!