Saturday, April 30, 2011

Easter Eggs

I decided to go all natural this year. No store bought dyes for us. I read this post about Dying Eggs Naturally over at What's Cooking with Kids and decided we would give homemade dyes a try.

We decided on three of the colors: Red-Orange, Blue and Yellow.  Well, I decided because they would be the easiest for me to make since I had everything on hand. Or at least I thought I had everything on hand. I had to send my sweetie out looking for turmeric.

I started the pots of boiling water and in no time the house smelled of cabbage, chili powder and Indian food...not very Easter smelling.

While the dyes were brewing, we all got busy putting stickers and rubber bands on the eggs. This was easier said then done. The stickers wouldn't stick and most of the rubber bands kept sliding off. The boys lost interest very quickly.

I put the eggs in the dyes and we waited.

The end results were some nice soft Easter shades. But I think next year we will go back to the store bought dyes, they are just more fun to decorate.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Five Question Friday

Wow this weeks questions were not easy to answer! But here goes...

1. If you could buy any car, money not an option, what would it be?
This is very hard to answer. I'm not a car person. I just want one that works and gets me from point A to B. I would really like to get a hybrid car and not a mini-van for the next car purchase.

2. What was your worst first date ever?
I've been very lucky in this department. All the first dates I remember were fine, it was later that I figured out the problems with those guys! ;0

3. How old were you when you fell in love for the first time?

Again hard to answer. There were times I believed I was in love, but looking back it was just a crush or teen-hormones.  So I would have to say it was actually when I was 19 or 20.

4. When was the last time you reconciled your checkbook?
Two days ago. I'm very anal about money and organizing things. 

5. If you were going to fashion a "Wanted" Ad for a best friend, how would you word it?

Wanted: A best Friend.  Must be able to deal with some complaining about spouse and other family members, must enjoy scrapbooking and workout together. Would be nice if they liked to hang out at home, drink coffee and/or wine, can look pass a messy house. Must not smoke or be too serious.  Needs to want to laugh a lot and share in lives general craziness.  All those interested should stop by with a large Robust Tea Latte for an after bus pick up interview. :)

If you would like to join in with the Five Question Friday, check out My Little Life

Also, stop by tomorrow for the One Little Word Blog Hop for April.  If you've missed the previous months, check out these post.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reading Food Labels

I just had another lesson in reading food labels.  It's not my first lesson and I'm sure it will not be my last.

I purchased some vanilla creamer for my coffee. It was a new product from Organic Valley.  Since it's not something that my food allergic child would be consuming I just did a quick scan of the ingredients.  The next morning, as I waited for my coffee to brew, I read the label again.  This is something I always do, read a label before using the product, even if I read it at the store.  And boy was I surprised!  My vanilla creamer had almond extract in it! What? I did a double take. I even doubled checked to see if I did indeed buy the vanilla creamer and not hazelnut. You might think what is the big deal since he doesn't drink coffee, but I do and then I go a wake him up with a kiss. Something that simple can cause him to have a reaction and it's not worth it.  I tossed the creamer and bought my normal brand...of course I read the label carefully before putting it into my cart.

I've had this happen it me a few times. Once with a box of cereal that to my amazement had peanut flour as one of the last ingredients and one time with some lip gloss I bought that had almond oil as a main ingredient.  Even if the product is something you buy all the time, you must read the label each and every time.  Products change without notice.  It's frustrating and time consuming, but it's an important step in keeping people safe.

It's important to remember, when shopping for food, read all food labels carefully and completely. Don't assume that a food you've always eaten safely will have the same ingredients the next time you purchase it. Read the label each and every time you shop.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Day in Photos

... from my hands view point.


See more days here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yesterday & Today - Week 13

Journaling reads:

When you begin a journey, you have a path and goal in mind. You can envision what things will be like at the end of the journey. But sometimes things don’t go as planned and your journey takes a turn that you had never thought was possible. When this happens you can feel so many different emotions: Fear, Disappointment, Anger, Loss, Betrayal, Failure, Confusion and Regret. When you are still on that journey and these things happen it’s hard to make since of everything.  What happened? How did it go so wrong?

Currently I’m on one of those journeys. It’s hard to write about it when I’m still in the middle of it. I don’t know how I will feel when it’s over or what good I will be able to take from it. Right now it’s just all jumbled up. My emotions about it change so often, it’s like being on a roller coaster.

This journey started out as one to grow our family. We wanted another child.  Since I cannot have anymore child, we looked at adoption. We went through all the frustrating paperwork and the parenting classes. We sat through seminars and had testing done. And we waited and waited. Almost a year from starting the process we received our first referral. It was for 2 little girls. We struggled over what to do. We didn’t plan on adopting two. In the end we make the right decision and said that we could not handle two more children.  At that time I started to rethink whether this was a good decision for us – to adopt.  I was happy with my family. Adopting from Russia can be risky.

But shortly after turning down that referral we received another one, this time for one child. We did all the stuff you should do. We had a doctor look over her medicals. We looked up things on our own. And we talked about what we should do.  We decided to travel to meet the little girl.  In the end we decide to adopt the little girl. 

This is where our journey started to change. Things seemed to be going well. The problems we had in Russia were explained away as normal or just temporary because of the adjustment.  But we soon realized that these issues were problems. We were not told everything. We were told half-truths about this little girl. The doctor we hired in Russia did not translate some information properly. The issues were causing many problems in our family. Our other children were being negatively affected by the behavior of this child. Our family had changed, but not for the better. I could not believe what I did to my family. I was scared that I made a huge mistake that would cost my entire family. It was a heartbreaking time and a very confusing time.

After talking with experts and other families, we decide that we were not a good fit for this little girl. She needed a different environment. She needed a smaller family, where she could get much more of the attention she needed. The feeling of failure and loss was so great during this time. How could this have gone so wrong? What was the point of all we went through: in time, money and emotion? Not everyone understood our decision. Some were very angry and difficult about our decision and made the whole process worse. We were not happy about having to dissolve the adoption but we needed to do what was best for our entire family.

Luckily, I met some wonderful people that help us through all the ups and downs of making this hard decision and then going through the process of the disruption.  We were blessed in finding a family that was a good fit for the little girl. She has now lived with them for two weeks and things are going well. We are awaiting a court hearing to revoke our rights as her parents, so this other family can adopt her.  It’s still a time for healing and understanding, but we are on our way to a better place.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

I was almost tempted to for go the meal plan this week. It's late and I didn't get around to it and I have a crazy week coming up. That's when I realized, if I don't plan, it's going to be even crazier.  So I'm started off with a dish that I had on my plan last week but didn't do and I added some of the quick and easy dinners that I've used in the last month.  Nothing new this week. I don't have the time.  Here's to the quick, easy and tasty!

Monday: Spaghetti with Simple Tomato Sauce, Salad, Garlic Bread Sticks

Tuesday: Baked Bean Quesadillas , Mexican Rice & Salad

Wednesday:  Easy Garlic Broiled Chicken with Home Fries and Veggies

Thursday: Hot Dogs & Alpha Tots with Fruit & Veggies

Friday:  Pizza

Saturday: Grandma's Birthday Party

Sunday: Chicken in Crock Pot with Mashed Potatoes & Carrots

If you would like to share your meal plan, join in at

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Yesterday & Today - Week 12

I know. The Yesterday & Today class ended about a month ago but better late than never. I finally had some time to work on the finally few layouts.  Week 12 assignment was to use the stuff you find laying around on your desk, counters and other surfaces.  The paper stuff that seems everyday but has some meaning or importance to your life right now.

The items I included in my layout were our Vacation planning sheet, a picture my youngest made me, some grocery receipts, Great Grandma's 99th birthday invitation, paint swatch for my oldest room, Detroit Zoo Map, Magazine Order form, Letter I wrote to our Senator, a Bakugan card, a drawing my middle child drew, a love note from my oldest and my meal plan for the week.

Another interesting perspective on capturing our story.  That is one of the things I love about Ali's classes and her style, she makes you think outside the box when it comes to telling a story.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Card Challenges

I had time to play today, so I took on three different challenges this week.

The first challenge was from Papercraft Star. This weeks challenge was a theme: Earth Day.  I pulled out a stamp set I've had for over a year and never used. I'm not sure who made the stamps because they are not in the packaging anymore.

The second card I made works with two challenges. One from Play Date Cafe using these colors:

And Less is More with the challenge of being "Off Center".

I used the Technique Tuesday stamp set Loving Words by Ali Edwards. Everything else were just items in my stash of goodies.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Five Question Friday

Here's another week of great questions from My Little Life.
1. What is your favorite Easter tradition?  I love the hunt for the Easter goodies. EB (Easter Bunny) leaves the empty baskets in the bedroom with a clue to the first goodie and the second clue.  It's a big scavenger hunt throughout the house. EB has left things in shoes, by the toothbrushes and inside closets. You just never know what he will come up with or what he will hind.

2. Are you a "shower" or a "long, hot bath" kind of person?  Shower. I can not sit still long enough to take a bath.

3. Can you parallel park and if so when is the last time you did it? I used to be good at this when I worked downtown. It was something you had to learn if you didn't want to hike it from a parking structure. That was close to 20 years ago, so I don't think I could do it anymore. I usually avoid parallel parking now.

4. What is your favorite Easter candy?  Cadbury mini eggs. Just give me a little bag of those.  I say little because I would eat a big bag by myself and then be really upset with all the extra calories I ate.

5. Easter: do you go all out with the Easter Bunny or focus on the religious part of the holiday?  We are an EB family.  

Hope you all have a blessed Easter Holiday!

Clear the Clutter

This week for my Organized Junkie Clear the Clutter, I've decided to tackle some cyber clutter.

I noticed that even though I was busy during the day I was not getting my usually work load accomplished. I was having a hard time figuring out what the problem was, I wasn't reading more, I wasn't meeting up with friends more, I was actually working out less, but I wasn't getting more done.  Then I looked at my Google Reader.  The amount of blogs that I was following had grown tremendously. I was spending all my time reading blogs and surfing the web.

I read this post at Steady Mom about setting limits regarding computer usuage and I said "Yep, I've gone beyond my limit."  Time to declutter.   Please don't be offended if one of your blogs don't make the cut. It doesn't mean I will never visit, I just have to set limits.

So how do I set the limit.  Within my reader I had categories: Crafts, Cooking, Family, Home, etc..  I decided my first cut will be to only have a max of five blogs in each category.  Some blogs are part of a family, so I decide to have only one in the family because if something really earth shattering was happening at the sister blog they would point me to that posting.

This was not as easy as I thought it would be. To help I would look at the last 10 post on that web-site. I would ask these questions:

  • Was I really inspired by most of them?
  • Have I moved on to another faze of my life?
  • Has the blogs focus changed?
  • Do I get the sites emails along with the blog post?

These simple questions really helped narrow everything down.  Before this process I was following close to 60 blogs. Now here is were I stand:

Allergy Blogs (3)
Challenge blogs (3)
Craft blogs (5)
Food blogs (9) 
Family Life blogs (5)
Inspiration blogs (2)
Friend Blogs (1)
Photography (1)

I'm working on getting the food blogs down to five, but I'm having a hard time. Some of those blogs are baking or frugal cooking or picky eating. I want to make sure I keep a good mix for the five.  I'm going to see what the post are like over the next few weeks and see which ones I tend to use more. But even with my over load on Food Blogs I'm now down to less then 30 blogs I'm following on a daily bases.

To maintain this I will have a folder for new blogs I want to check out. I can keep a blog in there for 2 months to evaluate if it will be added to another folder.  If that folder is at the max then something has to go.

After removing these blogs I worried about what I was missing, but I realized I was missing more by being in front of my computer.  Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by! And I understand if I don't make your cut.

Update: I've realized after writing this post that I do let these rules slide when I'm taking an on-line class. I like to look at other classmates blogs during the weeks to see their take on assignments. When a class is over I will  evaluate my lists and decide which ones I want to follow daily.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fundraiser Event

A friend of mine is hosting a fund raising event on behalf of her 7-year old son, Stefan, who has high functioning autism.  Stefan was diagnosed 4 years ago, and like other families affected by autism, they have spent thousands of dollars on treatments for this diagnosis. The money raised at this event will not only help to support Stephan, but also assist my friend in beginning a non-profit organization. The goal of this organization will be to provide resources and support to families affected by autism.  If you are interested in helping out please Stefan's Hope on Facebook.

I made something for my friend to use for her Silent Auction. I'm hoping it will help but since I usually just make my crafts for me or friends, I'm not sure how other people will perceive the item. My friend plans on putting the item in a "family" basket and I'm hoping it helps her sell more raffle tickets.

If you are in the Detroit area and would like to attend the event or if you would like to make a donation, please go to Stefan's Hope on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Part 4: Going to School: Questions to have a Safe Education Experience.

Welcome to the fourth and final part of the Coping with Food Allergy series.  Check here if you have missed any of the previous post. This post is all about going to school. Going to school can be a very frightening experience for a food allergic family. You have to put the safety of your child in the hands of others. With planning and open minded staff and teachers your child's school experience can be much less stressful.

End of the School Year Check List:

If possible, the transition into the new school year starts the year before. The beginning of the school year is so crazy that I feel it's important to start the communication and education the year before.

  • Have a meeting with the school nurse (if applicable) and the principal every school year.  
  • Get all paperwork that will need to be turned in at the beginning of the school year. 
  • Go over any issues from the previous year and any policy changes. 
  • Request to find out your child's teacher for the new year or at least have you email past onto the new teacher so they can contact you.
  • Request a meeting right before school starts to go over any concerns and policy

Beginning of the School Year Check List:

  • Have a meeting with the school nurse (if applicable) and the principal.  If possible, have your child's new teacher attend the meeting.
  • Go over all paperwork.
  • Have a checklist of questions and issues.  Check here or here for more sample checklist. Keep and revise your list for each year.  There are some ideas to consider when making a checklist
    •  Where are emergency medication stored and who has access to them.
    • What are the emergency procedures for the school
    • What are the snack and food policies for the classroom. Are they willing to make the room a non-food treat classroom?
    • How are other adults (i.e. volunteers, substitute, student teacher, high school aids) informed and trained about child allergy?
    • All families in classroom should be informed about allergy information. This is usually a principal letter that goes out the first day of school.
    • School Bus policy regarding food and emergencies
    • School policy on bullying.
    • Discuss type of rewards given by all teachers. 
    • Lunchroom policies. How are tables cleaned? Will child have a designated seat?
    • Food in the curriculum. How will parent be notified and will food be avoided in lesson plans.
      • Signs for classroom.
      • Pack a safe snack box for your child's classroom, so they have something safe to eat at any time.

    Through out the School Year:

    • Keep lines of communication open with your child's teacher.  This is the most important thing to do. 
    • Don't be afraid to talk with the teacher or principal if things are not safe.
    • If things are not going well you can submit a Section 504 Plan.

    One big key with keeping your child safe at school is education.  Use the resources available to help educate the people caring for your child. Most people are very understand and want to keep children safe. You might run into that person(s) that just are to stubborn to use an open mind and commonsense to keep all children safe and that's when policies and procedures will help protect your child.

    I hope this series on Coping with Food Allergies has been helpful.  Eduction is the key to living with food allergies. Spread the word to help keep these children safe.

    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The posts on this blog do not constitute medical and/or legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Always discuss individual health questions, concerns and medical issues with a qualified personal physician. 

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Knock, Knock...

    Who's there?


    You Who?

    You who, is anyone out there?

    This is the question I'm asking. Is anyone out there? I'm starting a new class over at Shimelle's blog, Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers. The purpose of this class is to help this blog go to the next level. It will help me get to know you, my reader. Improve the content and interest of my post. And help me build a community here on my blog.  Sounds good to me!

    Prompt 1: Ask Your Reader

    My blog. What is it? It started out as just a way to share some family memories with other family members and share some of my scrapbook pages with on-line communities. This year it's grown.  I have a few main topics I like to blog about:

    • Scrapbooking and Card Making
    • Food
    • Home
    • Fitness
    • And of course, my family life
    I know most blogs just focus on one of these topics, but I'm not out to sell my latest e-book or product line. This blog is not my business. Maybe in the future that could change, but right now it's an outlet for me to express what's important to me.

    As my reader I would like to know:

    Which type of posts do you find more interesting?

    I would love to hear your comments, so please do not be shy. 

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Meal Plan Monday

    If someone would have told me that the ABC Frittata  I made last week we have been enjoyed by my picky eater, I would have bet them they were wrong. My picky eater (or selective eater as we call it sometimes) doesn't eat much of anything.  Well, not only did he like it, he was excited about it. He watched it in the oven and exclaimed "It looks like a pizza."  Maybe that was the trick. If I can get more things to look like a pizza or a hot dog he will eat them.  Hmmmmm.  I'll have to think about that one.

    Four our of Five of my family members enjoyed the ABC Frittata . The Fifth member said it was too much like an omelet and he doesn't like omelets. This recipe got two thumbs up from me because it was easy to put together, used ingredients I always have on hand and was frugal for our budget.

    Now on to this week. I'm trying to just work with what I have in the freezer and cabinets.  The one exception is for Sunday, which is Easter, and I'm hosting a brunch.  Here's the plan:

    Monday: Turkey burgers with salad, Smoky & Cheesy Baked Mashed Potatoes, and Carrots.

    Tuesday:  Turkey Pot Pie (Clean Eating Magazine Jan 2010)

    Wednesday: Asian Style Tilapia (Oxygen magazine May 2010) with Brown Rice and Veggies.  (This Rice Recipe cooks like pasta and only takes 30 minutes)

    Thursday: Pizza Night

    Friday: Left Over

    Saturday: Spaghetti with Simple Tomato Sauce, Salad, Garlic Bread

    Sunday: Easter Brunch: Eggs, Bacon, Chocolate Chip Scones, Cinnamon Bread, Hot Crossed Buns, Haeffekrunz, Blueberry Muffins, Fruit Salad. 

    Haeffekrunz is a traditional German yeast type bread.  You can make it many different ways but it is always DE-LI-CIOUS!!

    I'm also going to dye eggs this week using this natural egg dye recipe.  We are going to use just three colors to see how it turns out.  Have a wonderful week!

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Card Challenge

    I spent some time being creative the other day and enjoyed the latest The Play Date Cafe challenge.  Here are the colors for the challenge:

    I really loved the colors....beautiful earth tones. If you look in my closet you would find a lot of brown and green.

    Here's the card I pulled together for this challenge.  Sorry about the scan, the colors came out darker, but my camera is acting up.

    I used my Tim Holtz dies for the background label and flourish. The stamp sentiment and stickers are from CTMH and I used distressing ink on the edges of the card.

    Do you have any tips on taking pictures of your cards for posting? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for stopping by during your weekend.  Enjoy your day!

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Clear the Clutter and Something New

    It's been a few weeks since I posted anything about my fight with the clutter in my home. Well, I hate to disappoint but, I don't have anything to post this week either. I've been busy redoing one of the bedrooms in our house. My oldest requested to have his own room. We had a room that use to be the nursery, but is no longer in use.  Over the last few weeks I've been slowly removing wall paper, patching walls, sanding walls and washing walls.

    Later today I will paint a sample of the paint he picked out to see if we like the color. If it looks good then I have to get more paint and start taping off the room.  My goal is to have the room livable by next weekend.

    I'm planning on getting one of these Elfa shelf systems for his room.  I'm looking around to see what option I have but I like this idea instead of a traditional desk and shelves.

    So stay week I should have some pictures of the new room and how we organized his space. And then how I decluttered and organized the other boys room.

    On another note, I'm also going to join in on a weekly activity going on at My Little Life, called 5 Question Friday (5QF)

    Each week she post 5 questions for you to answer. Some are just fun and some are thought provoking but they are all interesting.  Here's the questions for this week:

    1. What is your favorite sign of spring?  My daffodils blooming - which they just did yesterday. I was all giddy when I saw them!

    2. What was your best birthday ever?  My last one - the big 40! We had a costume whirly ball party with many of my dearest friends. It was so much fun to get dressed up and just act crazy!

    3. What is your favorite dessert?  This is so hard. I love sweets! In restaurants I usually will get tiramisu. At home, I usually make a chocolate cake from scratch.

    4. What is the best excuse you've ever used to get out of a ticket?  I've actually ever been pulled over once. I was driving home from work and had a terrible day. I took off from a red light like a bat out of *ell and realized pretty quickly that I was going to fast. I started to slow down and when I looked in my rear view mirror I saw a police car weaving in and out of traffic. I pulled over before he even put the lights on. I knew he was coming for me.  I told him my mind was on other things and I didn't realize how fast I was going. He told me he didn't want to ruin my perfect driving record and gave me a warning.

    5. Do you wake up before your alarm, with your alarm, or after hitting snooze several times?   Lately it's been after hitting my snooze button a few times. I really need to get to bed earlier because I do so much better when I wake up naturally.
    So how would you answer these questions?? 

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Farewell 2008

    I'm a random chronological scrapbooker.

    You might wonder "What the heck is that?"

    I have albums for each year and like to have my pages in order. During the year I will work on current pictures when the mood strikes. I will put this pages in storage (a large storage box) until I'm ready to put them in an album. When I'm ready to put the years album together I go through all my photos for that year and make a list of topics/pages that I would like to have for the year. Then I go through the pages I already did and cross off the items on my list. After that I look at what I have left and work on those items in chronological order.

    When I have all the items on my list crossed off, I purchase the albums I need and start putting everything together. Then I start the process all over again with the next year. So I can now say farewell to 2008 pages. I finished the last few and now I will move onto 2009.

    Here are the last few. Some Halloween and Christmas joy.

     It might seem like I'm years behind, but like I said I do work on current pages when I'm in the mood. This method might sound a little confusing but it works for me. I can not let go of the chronological style, but I don't always want to work on things in order. 

    What style of scrapbooking do you use? chronological? random? your own style?  Has your style changed over the years or because of a class?

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Part 3: Cooking and Eating Out: What to eat and What to ask.

    Welcome to the third part of my food allergy series.  Here are Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them. This post is all about food. One of the first things you have to learn when dealing with food allergies is what to eat and not eat. This is a constant learning process because ingredients are always changing.  There are a tremendous amount of books and websites that deal with cooking for food allergies. Once again, I’m going to highlight the resources I go to most often and that have helped me learn how to cook for my food allergic child.  
    Kids with Food Allergies

    I have to mention this website again. I listed them in Part 2, but they have a wonderful recipe database that can be live saving when dealing with multiple food allergies.  Check out this link for information on basic substitutions for different allergens.

     Food Allergy Mama

    Talk about delicious recipes!!  I have not been let down but Kelly Rudnicki’s creations.  Her recipes are Nut, Dairy & Egg Free, but they can easily be changed to fit other needs.  Her book “The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book” is a wonderful collection of her recipes.  As I’m typing this my house is filled with the smells of her banana bread recipe!  I use her recipes at least a few times a month.

           Peanut Free Planet

    This is a great site to shop for ingredients and special items. Everything they sell is peanut free. They also updated their site so you can limit your search based on other allergens.  Great place to stock up on sunbutter because they carry the 5 lb. tubs.  Some other items we really enjoy from this site are the AllerEnergy Bars and AllerEnergy Marshmallows.

         Allergy Grocer  

    This is another wonderful site to sop for ingredients and special items. They have a great search engine to limit your search based on allergens or type of diet. I get my corn-free powdered sugar and baking powder from this website.

    Learn to cook.   

          This is not a website, just my suggestion. The best thing you can do for your family with food allergies is learn to cook and teach your family how to cook. You don’t have to cook fancy meals, the simplest things are the best. This way you know what is going into your families body. 

    Now I know times are busy and you don’t always have time to cook from scratch. Here are a few of my go to processed foods that we use to get us through those days.

    Please remember to read ingredient labels every time you buy something. Things change without notice. Also ingredients can be very different on the different varieties of similar products. I can not stress reading the label, even if you have bought it in the past. Recently my son's favorite bagel changed their ingredients and now use corn flour. So now I'm on the search for a safe bagel for him again.

    If you need help learning how to read food labels for allergens, check out this post or this post.

    Now eating out can be a difficult adventure when you have a food allergy. My biggest piece of advice is to find a few local restaurants that you can trust and use them. We hardly ever eat out. But before we do here are the things I do.

         Check web site for restaurant.  Many restaurants have nutrient and/or allergy information.

         Call the restaurant.  Do not just go by the web site information. Things change and the site does not allow get updated. Talk to a manager or the chef and discuss the food allergens you need to avoid.  Emphasize that the problem can be fatal and make sure they understand the risk of cross-contamination. If you do not feel confident after talking to the manager, do not eat at the restaurant.

           If you feel your needs will be met then once you arrive at the restaurant, speak to the manager and/or chef and review all the ingredients and procedures again. Do not hold this discussion with the wait person, you need to talk to the person making the food or responsible for the kitchen procedures.

    Next week we will look at going to school. What type of things you need to ask to make your child's education safe.

    Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The posts on this blog do not constitute medical and/or legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Always discuss individual health questions, concerns and medical issues with a qualified personal physician.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Crafting with Kids

    We are a big book family. A problem with this is we never can find a bookmark when we need one. So when I saw this craft on Papercraft Star blog, I knew it would be a great activity for over spring break.  I like the idea of a corner bookmark because they will not fall out of the book, which is always frustrating.

    I made the one above using the Xtreme Stamp Set by CTMH (which concludes my 5 Project Challenge).  The boys loved this so much that they made several.  This was a wonderful craft to use up some scraps and to let the boys individuality really shine. It's always fun to see what colors and embellishments they decide to use for their bookmarks.

    Their creations are now tucked into their favorite books, holding their places for the next night of reading.

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Meal Plan Monday

    Last weeks big winning dishes were the Smoky & Cheesy Bake Mashed Potatoes and the Dinner Rolls.  Yes, both carbs but they were so good!!

    Here's this weeks menu:

    Monday: ABC Frittata with Salad and Fruit.

    Tuesday: Cocoa Chocolate Chip Pancakes w/ homemade berry sauce from Sneaky Chef cookbook

    Wednesday: Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ Chicken from Sneaky Chef cookbook

    Thursday: Hot Dog & AlphaTot Night

    Friday: Leftovers

    Saturday: Beef Taco Bowl

    Sunday: Leftovers

    Card Challenge

    I'm really enjoying the Less Is More challenges.  This weeks challenge

    A One Layer Card with the SENTIMENT
    as the focus of your creation.

    The first one I made was this
    Cuttle bug die. Autumn Leaves Swirl Stamp.
    but I felt that the dog was the focus not the sentiment. So I made this card

    Cuttle but embossing folder. Distressing Ink.

    I was having so much fun I also made this card

    CTMH Stamp Set. Distressing Ink.

    I love when I challenge gets you to pull out tools that you haven't used in a long time. My cuttle bug has just been sitting there, so I was glad to use it not only once, but twice in one day.