Detox Update & Natural Shampoo & Conditioner Recipe!

Phew, the last day & 1/2 was not pretty. Not sure how I could describe it. I didn’t feel ill, but I certainly didn’t feel like myself, so I needed to take a day off of posting. If I would’ve posted in the mental state I was in, I would’ve cursed the yeast detox up & down, sideways & backwards. That wouldn’t have been helpful to you at all.

But today I’m feeling great & almost better than ever!

Latest Measurement Updates:

Waist: 34 & 1/2″. I have lost 1/2 an inch!! 🙂

Arms: same

Thighs: same

I have come to the conclusion that the detox won’t do much for my arms & thighs, but that’s ok. I’ll be starting Insanity soon, Lord help me, & that will most assuredly take care of those problem spots.

The last recipe I told you about was the stew. I don’t recommend it. It turned out tasting just like chicken noodle soup with a lot of extra work & no noodles. 😦

Last night we had pan fried pork chops, mashed potatoes (my 1 night of red skinned potatoes) & roasted asparagus. Yum-my!

Todays Menu:

Breakfast: Omelet with left over roasted veggies

Lunch: green salad with light dressing

Supper: Almond Crusted Chicken with roasted broccoli, onions & walnuts

Almond Crusted Chicken

2 tbls Dijon mustard

4 Chicken breast, pounded to 1/2″ thickness

1 c. sliced almonds

One 14oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 c. baby corn, drained & cut crosswise into 1″ pieces

1 1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 tbls chopped cilantro

Brush the mustard all over the chicken, place almonds in a shallow dish, add the chicken & coat both sides.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken & cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add the tomatoes, corn, curry powder, salt & pepper & bring to a simmer. Partially cover the skillet & simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat & top with cilantro.

Roasted Broccoli with Red Onions & Walnuts

6 cups broccoli florets

1 small red onion, cut into 2″ wedges

1 tbls olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 c. walnuts

2 tbls balsamic vinegar

1 tbls honey

1 tsp dried thyme

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, onion, oil, salt & pepper. Toss to coat the veggies with the oil. Arrange on a large baking sheet in a single layer & roast for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the walnuts, vinegar, honey, & thyme. Remove the baking sheet from the oven & sprinkle the walnut mixture over the top. Return to the oven & roast until the broccoli is crisp-tender & the walnuts are golden brown, about 10 minutes more.

Homemade Shampoo & Conditioner

Today is a twofer blog post! I want to share with you about the baking soda shampoo & cider vinegar rinse I have used on my hair.

So far I’ve used it twice & the only word to describe it is weird! It works, but it’s weird! Not having something lather up in your hair is an odd feeling. And maybe I have the mixture too baking soda heavy, but it’s gritty, which REALLY feels strange! But when you rinse it out, my hair does feel squeaky clean.

I have put the cider vinegar mixture into a spray bottle which makes it easier to apply. I am using Bragg’s Cider Vinegar, which seems to be a lot more potent than regular cider vinegar. Bragg’s is unfiltered & supposed to be better for you. It smells to high heavens, but once I rinsed it out, my hair felt clean, but very stringy. I have overly processed hair, so I’m sure that is the reason my hair feels like a haystack after both of these treatments.

After the shower, I was able to comb through my hair easily. I guess vinegar is a detangler. Bonus! I have been afraid to blow dry my hair because it just feels SO dry after using these natural products, so I’ve been letting it air dry. Takes forever, but just to scared I’ll look like a frizzed out lion if I take a blow dryer to my hair.

The end result is hair that is full of body!! My volume is equal the volume I get after applying 2 different volumizers with a blow dryer, so that is cool. The ends of my hair do seem to be a bit more frizzy than before. Probably because of the hair color & the fact that I’m in need of a serious trim.

I can’t say I’m totally sold on this method. With the condition my colored hair is in, it just makes me nervous that I am drying it out more than helping it by going natural. So I am on the fence about continuing. I’ve read you need to give it 3 weeks for your scalp to rejuvenate it’s natural oil production. That means 3 weeks of questionable hair styles, lots of hats & maybe scarves, ala Grey Gardens. (if you don’t know about Grey Gardens, look it up, it’s fascinating!! Especially if you are a Jackie Kennedy buff.) GREY_GARDENS_still

Here are the recipes if you are so inclined to go natural on your hair:

Shampoo:

1 part baking soda

1 part water, distilled

Take an empty shampoo container & add your equal parts baking soda & water with the help of a funnel.

Shake before each use because the baking soda will settle in the container.

Apply to scalp & work your way down to your ends.

Rinse with cool water.

Cider Vinegar Rinse:

1 part cider vinegar

1 part water, distilled

Add to a spray or squirt bottle, apply to hair & scalp, rinse with cool water.

The smell does go away after your hair has dried, I promise!

Let me know if you try these natural hair cleansing products & what you think!!

Til next time, kids!

sjb

 

 

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sjb’s Yeast Detox

Good Monday Morning, kids! I’m back & like I promised, I have a new, tailored, just for me, yeast detox plan.

As you read, push play & listen to my new theme song! There ain’t no mountain high enough that is gonna keep me from my goal!

Over the weekend I read SO much information it made my head spin! Some stuff was junk, some was stuff I already knew & some stuff was really helpful! I took the best of each bit of information I read & made a yeast detox plan for myself that I think is going to work really well.

Here is What I Learned

Thankfully last week was not a total loss. I did do some things right. And I did notice a difference in how I was feeling over all. But this week I need to cut out all the starches; no potatoes, no rice cakes, no brown rice. And I shouldn’t be eating peas since they are one green veggie that has quite a bit of sugar.

I can, however, have butter which I thought I couldn’t have before, lemons, limes & sour cream! But what good is sour cream & butter if you have no potato to put it on? Well, I am allowed red skinned potatoes, but only once this coming week.

And I already knew I needed supplements. If you really want to clean your digest track, gut & colon of yeast molecules & spores they are a necessity. You won’t be doing much good if you don’t use some sort of supplement plan. What I didn’t know is you need to have a rotating supplement plan. So I am taking 2 different rotations of supplements. The 1st set I am taking this week & the 2nd set I will take next week.

This weeks rotation:

DIDA Clear is a sort of multi-supplement. It contains garlic, carprylic acid, undecylenic acid, grapefruit extract & lactobacillus acidophilus. All of which are needed to kill the yeast fungus & their spores! I take 2 capsules twice a day, which is a heavy dosage, but that is what is needed in the beginning. If I start to feel like I have the flu, that means I am having die off symptoms & just need to back down my dosage.

Olive Leaf is the other supplement I am continuing to take, but like I mentioned on Facebook, I need to up the dosage. I will be taking 2 capsules 3 times a day.

Maca Root is the 3rd supplement I will be taking. It isn’t for yeast detox per say, but it helps with energy. I’ve taken Maca Root for years to help me with my extreme fatigue & already know it offers a great afternoon pick me up, instead of Pepsi, like I used to use.

The 2nd round of supplements is Colloidal Silver, Psyllium Husks & Oil of Oregano. I will talk more about each of those next week.

My Meals for this Week:

This week I am cooking from the cookbook: Robin to the Rescue by Robin Miller. She was on Food Network for awhile. Not sure if she still is, but I love her cookbook!! Tons of fast, but really yummy, & what I would consider, “fancy” meals!

Sunday Night

(back tracking because I got back on track yesterday!)

Breakfast: skipped it. SHAME ON ME! But sometimes I’m just not hungry in the morning & coffee is all I need.

Lunch: I took left over roasted chicken, topped it with salsa mixed with mashed avocado. It was delish & I have enough left over for today’s lunch!

Supper: Flank Steak with Ancho-Honey Mayo:

One 1 1/4 lb Flank Steak

salt & freshly ground pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

Ancho-Honey Mayo

1/2 c. mayo; subbed sour cream because I cannot have mayo, & it was fantastic!

2 tbls. honey

1 tsp ground ancho chilies; we don’t have these in our store, so I used green chilies. No clue if this is a comparable substitute or not because honestly, what the heck is an ancho chili?

2 tbls chopped fresh cilantro; MKB hates cilantro, so I used fresh chopped parsley.

*Don’t ya love how I follow a recipe! 🙂

Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Season steak with salt, pepper & garlic powder

Place under broiler for 5 minutes, each side. Remove & let set for 10 minutes before cutting into 1/4″ thick slices.

In a medium bowl, whisk together mayo, honey & ground ancho….or whatever substitutes you came up with. 😉

Top steak slices with sauce & fresh cilantro, or parsley just before serving.

Since I can’t have most potatoes or bread, I am trying to make my veggie sides as interesting & fun as possible. I hit a homerun first time out!

Side: Roasted Tomatoes, green beans & olives

Coat a baking sheet with olive oil

slice tomatoes & olives in half, place on baking sheet (any olives will work, I used California Green Ripe)

Toss green beans onto the sheet

Drizzle with olive oil & salt & pepper to taste (I used seasoned pepper, no salt because the olives were salty enough)

Put in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. I go a little longer because we like them reaaally roasted.

This was an awesome meal!! It was seriously the best thing I’ve made in a long time! The meat & the veggies were so equally good, I didn’t know which to shove in my mouth next! MKB piled his veggies on his meat so he didn’t have to decide! Ha, ha!!

Monday’s Meals

Breakfast: back to the pomegranate oatmeal & hot lemon water. Really gonna try & stay away from the coffee this week!

Lunch: Chicken & salsa/avocado mix

Supper: Mulligatawny Stew

2 c. instant rice (omitting)

1 tbls olive oil

1 c. chopped onion

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced (additional garlic to my diet will do nothing but help me!!)

2 tsp peeled & minced fresh ginger (1st time I’m cooking with fresh ginger! I’m excited!)

1 1/4 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces

1 tbls curry powder (great seasoning to chase away the yeast!)

3 1/2 c reduced sodium chicken broth (I made my own from the roasted chicken carcus!!)

1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk (GREAT to heal you of anything!!)

1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro (using parsley again)

salt & pepper to taste

Cook rice according to directions

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic & ginger. Cook until veggies are tender, about 3 minutes.

Add chicken & cook until golden brown. Add the curry powder, stir to coat & cook for 1 minute longer.

Add the broth, bring to a simmer, & continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk & simmer for another 2 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in cilantro & season with salt & pepper. Spoon stew over rice in bowls, if you’ve made the rice.

Side: Not sure what side I will use tonight since this is a stew. We usually have some sort of bread with a soup/stew & THAT is out this week. Sooo, when I decide, I’ll leave the recipe on my Facebook Page. 😉

SNACKS

My snacks will be pretty much like last week, minus the rice cakes. And what about the wine?? I really shouldn’t, but I’m not going to say “no” completely. The supplements I am taking help me to digest the sugar in the wine better, so if I’m really jonesing for a glass, I’m not going to deny myself a glass or two.

Sorry this is such a long post, kids. But I learned a lot this weekend. Most of all, you need to go back in time. Back to before people cooked with margarine & other fake products. Most of my research led me to kitchens of the 1920’s & earlier. This is a time when people were also using Colloidal Silver to treat chest ailments, as well as many other diseases, since penicillin hadn’t been invented yet! Colloidal Silver was quite affective, but once penicillin came on the scene in 1928, Colloidal Silver was long forgotten. That is why it is being used in my detox. It works to rid the body of not only yeast, but many other infectious “bugs”! We actually use it during cold & flu season to stave off those nasty bugs! Nothing we have tried works better!

As a new addition to sjb, I am going to leave you with a “Short Cut” from my 1950 Betty Crocker Cookbook:

If you feel tired, lie down on the floor on your back, put your hands above your head, close your eyes, and relax for 3 to 5 minutes. 🙂 REFRESHING!

Love ya, kids!

sjb

Results after Day 1 of going Yeast Free!

I am happy to report that my tummy bloat is already ceasing!! 🙂 I was so happy this morning when I went to buckle my belt & I had to return to a notch I hadn’t used in…well, a while. 😉

I did stick to my plan, for the most part. While I was preparing supper last night, I caught sight of some golden raisins in my pantry & I grabbed a hand full. They were so sweet & plump. I savored every last one! But other than that, I didn’t cheat! Yeah ME!

My sister texted me yesterday & told me she was proud of me for sticking with it. I had to fess up that I have tried this “diet/detox” 2 previous times & only lasted 3 hours each time!! So I’m not really someone to be proud of. I do have better motivation this time, so I really think I’m gonna make it all the way through!

I did have a major brain fog moment yesterday. I had put some oven cleaner on a spot in my oven in the morning & totally forgot about it until last night when my daughter went to use the oven. Holy smoke balls!! So that was fun.

And I also was pretty itchy by the end of the day. I hadn’t been sweating or had huge amounts of sugar, sugar also sets off my body rash, so I believe the detox is already working & the itchiness is my body’s way of letting me know I’m on the right track!

I was pretty tired by the end of the day, which is a symptom to be expected during the next 2 weeks. I fell asleep pretty easily, but then around 10:30 I woke up & was very jittery, like I had had too much coffee. I had a hard time falling back to sleep after that. Not sure if that is a symptom of a detox or what it was, but I didn’t care for it.

Today I did have my regular cup of coffee. I just can’t drink that tea. Thinking about it made my stomach turn. I looked at the sugar content of my coffee drink & it’s less than the sugar in a sweet potato. I’m allowed sweet potatoes, so I’m putting “coffee drink” back on my OK list. 😉

For breakfast I had the pomegranate oatmeal. It was very good & quite filling! So I’m excited about that.

For lunch I am going to have left over pepper steak. That turned out so delicious, I can’t wait to have it for lunch. Plus, I’m excited that I’ve had enough of each supper meal to eat for lunch the next day. I’m not looking forward to egg salad with out the creamy Miracle Whip dressing!! ::shudder:: The longer I can prolong that meal, the better.

Snack today will be a rice cake & some yogurt. This will help with my sweet tooth & hopefully I won’t need to break into the raisins again tonight!! 🙂

For supper tonight I am making chicken breast with roasted asparagus & sweet potatoes.

And as always, I will have my lemon water with me all day.

I hope you are finding these day plans useful. I’d love to hear from anyone that is doing this detox or has done it in the past & what your experience has been.

Tomorrow I am going to share with you some of the other good things I am doing for my body besides changing what I eat. For example, I have been cleaning my face with olive oil for the past few days!! Sounds disgusting, doesn’t it? But wait until you read about my experience with it so far! I bet you’ll be trying it soon, too!

Til next time, kids!

sjb

Day 1 of Yeast Free Diet

I thought I’d outline what day 1 of being yeast free is going to look like for me. If you are following along, share what your 1st day will look like. Suffering is more fun in groups!

I started off my day by walking into the corner of a door. I don’t suggest you do this. It’s painful & you sound stupid when you try to explain you really DID walk into a door.

Next, I made a cup of French Vanilla Chia Tea. I normally drink an English Toffee coffee drink, so thought this may be similar. It’s not. I’m just not a big hot tea person. Give me iced tea any day of the week & I’m happy. Hot tea, not so much. But I need something hot in the morning & I don’t like plain coffee, so this will have to do.

For breakfast I had 1/2 of a cold left over hamburger w/o any toppings or bun. Sounds gross probably, but it really is yummy. I never have time to make a breakfast, so I usually grab something from the fridge or pantry that is easy to shove in my mouth & not messy. Today it was a hamburger. I did buy myself some pomegranate multigrain oatmeal, but by time I realized I was starving, I didn’t feel like waiting 2 minutes for oatmeal.

I took a probiotic supplement after I ate because as my body gets rid of all the bad flora from my gut (again, yummy!) I need to replace it with good flora. I can do this by eating yogurt & taking the supplement. I buy all my supplements & vitamins from VitaCost.com. They are a great company that carries a lot of different vitamins & supplements. I’ve never had a problem with them, except their shipping is extremely slow. Expect a week for your items to get to you if you order from them. Through their refer a friend program, you can get $10 off your purchase & I’ll receive a $10 credit towards my next purchase with them! 🙂 Win~Win! Follow this link: VitaCost.com.

For lunch I plan on having a stuffed green pepper. This is also a left-over from the weekend. I had made Philly Steak & Cheese green peppers with sautéed onions & mushrooms & they were SOOO good! I’ll have to forgo the cheese, but I can eat the rest.

For snack I plan on having some pumpkin seeds & celery sticks with peanut butter.

For supper we are having pepper steak over brown rice & green beans as the side. I’m totally getting all my “greens” in today! And that is basically all you need to know to follow this diet. You can eat any green vegetable to your hearts content. All other veggies are ok, but green are the best.  No fruit, no sugars, no breads, no dairy…the end. Oh, & no alcohol. 😦

I will be drinking my lemon water throughout the day as well. Lots & lots of it. I weighed all the benefits of lemon water compared to plain water & figured that 1 slice of lemon a day was not going to sabotage my yeast/sugar detox. I was worried about the extra sugar, but lemons are a natural dextoxer, so I think I’ll be fine.

So that is the plan for the day. Hopefully I’ll stick with it! It shouldn’t be hard because I’m trying to look at these next two weeks as an opportunity to try new foods. Last night I ate salmon for supper, I never do that because everyone else here hates fish. It was yummy! A little evoo, a little basil & dill. Scrumptious!!

I’ll report back tomorrow & let you know if I stuck to the plan & how I am feeling. I will be weighing myself later, I was going to do it earlier, but running into the door knocked me a little silly & I forgot why I was in the bathroom after that. Not sure if I’ll post my weight, but I will write it down & at the end of 2 weeks I’ll be able to tell you how much I’ve lost. I’m also going to take measurements of my muffin top, tree trunks & bat wings…tummy, thighs & arms. I am hoping to lose a lot from those problem areas! Especially the muffin top!!

MKB is trying to get me to do that Insanity work-out. He said since he’s going yeast free, I should go insane with him. (skipping obvious joke here) Jury is still out on that. I hate to “work out”. I like to take walks, do a little yoga or Pilates, but not all that jumping & hoping around. I’m supposed to look up the infomercial on YouTube today & let him know what I think. Do ya think I can still claim “brain fog” & forget to look it up??

Ok, that’s all for now kiddos. Have a great Monday! Go make someone smile!

sjb

Professional Organizer Hoarders Annonymous…Which Do I Need?

If anyone is looking to get me a gift, I am in serious need of a professional organizer! My house is one big cluttered up mess. Oh, to the naked eye, my house is neat & tidy, but on closer inspection you will find piles of papers that need a home, coats that need to be put on hangers, not on backs of chairs, shoes that need corralling, a pile of clothes that need to be boxed up & donated. The list goes on & on.

In our 1st house there was a place for everything & everything was in its place, mostly because it was so small. But since our move FOUR YEARS AGO, our new house has never felt settled to me. I have so much storage here that I think it overwhelmed me. I have just stuffed things into cupboards because I could, a luxury I didn’t have at our old home. But there is no rhyme or reason to where I have placed things.  I even have a few boxes of things that are not unpacked yet, just stored away because I didn’t want to deal with them.

I used to scoff at people like me. “How can you not unpack a moving box?” I’d say. “How can you live with a pile of papers & whatnot on your counter?” “Doesn’t that weeks worth of dust on that table bother you?” But not anymore! I’ve joined the ranks of overwhelmed moms who can’t keep up, so just let it go. But now I’m in a border line hoarders trap & need help to escape!!

I’ve mentioned that I follow numerous blogs & each one of them has a post or series on organizing your home. I’ve read them all, but that is as far as I’ve gotten. I even started an organizational challenge, but dropped out when it got to the hard rooms like my storage room.

I have plenty of good excuses. I am tired by the end of the day from work & don’t feel like cleaning up then. We have basketball tournaments every weekend, so I’m not home to clean up then. Naptime is my only break, so I don’t want to start an organization project then! I could go on, I’m good at making excuses. 😉 But it needs to stop! I need to get organized & I need to brainwash teach my children & husband to become better organizers too!

I am asking for help. What is your best organizational tip? How do you cut the clutter? How much can I pay you to come organize my house? 🙂

Sorry, no real helpful info in this post, but I’m hoping that since I have now admitted to being a sloppy house wife as of lately, it will catapult me into Spring Cleaning & Organizing gear! Hopefully.

Til next time, kids, send me your favorite organizing blogs or ideas you’ve found on Pinterest! I’d love to read them! (it puts off having to actually do it even longer, ha, ha!)

sjb

Lumps In Your Gravy? Try This!

There are some things I just can’t get right. My mother in law’s raspberry jello salad, crispy fried chicken, & gravy. But last night I conquered gravy!!

::the personal cheer squad in my head goes wild!::

gravy

Photo courtesy of blog.bedbathandbeyond.com

My gravy always starts out too thin, so the recipes always tell you to add cornstarch. I add & add, but it never thickens up. Then it starts to lump up on me, even though I’ve mixed the cornstarch with a liquid before adding to the pan. By time I’m done, I’ve got a thin, lumped up, bland tasting gravy that no one wants to slather over their mashed tators. 😦

A while back, during my usual blog perusing, I read a tip that I stored away in my mental files of “try THIS next time!” I have no idea which blog it was I read this on because I follow so many, but I certainly would cite it if I remembered! Bloggers get real edgy about you not citing them. I’ve seen some pretty nasty comments left by people who feel they’ve been plagiarized. What is funny is most things that are on blogs all came from some other magazine or cookbook that came out 20 years ago, but hey, that info is THEIRS! Sorry, little pet peeve of mine that I had to have a mini rant on.

Anyway, back to the gravy! To thicken your gravy without turning it into a lumpy, tasteless goo, use POTATO FLAKES! Hush if this is not news to you! I think it’s brilliant! Last night I made Pioneer Woman’s Salisbury Steak with mashed potatoes. As I started the gravy, it was going down a familiar road. Too thin to start, added cornstarch & it immediately lumped up on me. I fished out the cornstarch lumps & remembered POTATO FLAKES! I happened to have some on hand because I love mashed potatoes & always have some instant in the cupboard for when the mood hits me! These happened to be Loaded Baked Potato flavored. I hesitated a minute thinking the bacon flavor may throw off my gravy’s taste, but then thought, hey…I bet that would make it taste even better!

It took about a tablespoon of flakes to thicken up my gravy. It worked fast, & the taste? Oh, good gravy! It was fantastic. Best gravy I have ever made!! I dumped out the cornstarch from my Argo container, cleaned it out & filled it back up with the unused potato flakes (because it is a great little container), & labeled it POTATO FLAKES, then smiled. 🙂  I will no longer have cornstarch in my house. I have no use for it! I used to use it as a GREAT diaper rash paste, but I don’t have babies of my own anymore, so I didn’t hesitate one bit about tossing it out.

So that is my helpful hint of the day. Thin gravy? Add potato flakes! They thicken & flavor all at once! Brilliant!

Til next time, kids, don’t eat lumpy gravy anymore! You deserve better!

sjb

* A little bonus for you!

Cornstarch Diaper Rash Paste

Put some cornstarch in a small dish, I start out with 2 tablespoons & add more as I go along

Add enough water to turn the cornstarch into a glue consistency, kinda like my old gravy

“Paste” your baby’s bottom with the mixture, poor remaining paste into the diaper

Diaper rash will diminish with each application. Be careful when changing the next diaper because the cornstarch will have dried into powdery clumps. Messy! But boy does it work great!

If the diaper rash is really bad, make a cornstarch bath & let baby soak in it for 10 min. or so.

This works way better & faster than the name brand diaper creams! Cheaper too!

Love Dare, Day 9; Love Makes Good Impressions

Last night I avoided another fight! I have mentioned that MKB is the coach of my oldest daughter’s club basketball team. This takes up a lot of his time & during the season it eats into our family time, as well as interferes with our youngest daughter’s birthday. Last night MKB told me my plans for her birthday party probably won’t work because we may have to work at the tournament that is held that weekend. Inside I exploded because year after year our youngest’s birthday gets put on the back burner because of basketball. Don’t get me wrong! I love the sport & I love to watch both my girls play, but I just want this one weekend free.

Rant over, on with my story…I didn’t outwardly explode. I calmly (or what I perceived as calmer than usual in these situations) said I’m going to have to put my foot down & say our daughter’s birthday is more important than this tournament. I honestly don’t remember what was said after that because I was repeating in my head “Don’t say anything else. Stay calm & let it go, it will work out.” MKB left the room to get ready for practice & that was pretty much the end of the subject. No, nothing was worked out yet, but a knock down, drag out didn’t take place either. Hopefully it will all work out, it usually does. And this time we will do it without the stress of arguing about it. I am making progress each day!

Love Dare, Day #9

Love Makes Good Impressions 

Greet one another with a kiss of love. 1 Peter 5:14

Now THIS is a greeting!  Christmas 1996

Now THIS is a greeting!
Christmas 1996

Dr. Chapman starts off this chapter by saying “You’ve covered some serious ground so far in this journey.” HA! You ain’t a kiddin’ Doc! Gracious! Today’s dare presented me with a problem. Have you been reading these dares & thinking to yourself “I want to do these, but what about HIM?! It’s not fair that he doesn’t have to try & change!” If you are, you are not alone. I had that thought when I read this love dare challenge. 

MKB leaves for work at 3:30am, so we don’t see each other until 3:45pm when he gets home from work. He comes home after 10 long hours & comes into the house at the busiest, most crazy time of day for me. The daycare kids have recently woken up & had their afternoon snack, so they are recharged & ready to GO, my own kids are just getting home from school & want to talk about all that went on in their day or tell me things I need to know for the week ahead. So our “greeting” for the day is lacking a lot! We barely have time to SAY hello to each other, let alone give a nod acknowledging each other.

I’ve read that your first greeting to each other will set the tone for your day…in our case, our evening. So I have tried on occasion to make a big deal about him coming home. I’ll greet him with a smile, give him a peck on the cheek, maybe a hug, while saying “hello”. I don’t get much in return because he is beat. He’s had a long day & has a long night ahead of him. I have been just letting this go because I understand he is tired & as long as he feels welcome when he comes home, I’m fine with whatever he says to me in return, even if it’s just a grunt.

On the weekends however….that is a whole other story! Since we don’t get to greet each other each weekday morning, I want Sat. & Sun. mornings to be special! He is always up before me, so when I come out to the living room I go over to him, kiss his forehead & tell him good morning. I get the SAME dull & lifeless greeting from him that I get during the week. Not acceptable!! I’ve complained numerous times to him about this, but he doesn’t get it I guess. 

My dare for today is to greet MKB with a smile & enthusiasm. I already did this last night since I didn’t have much to do with the jealousy dare. Like usual, nothing really happened after I said hello & pecked him on the cheek because it wasn’t something out of the ordinary for me to do. I am dumbfounded on what to do next. Since this isn’t an issue for me, but is for MKB, what do I do? I’ve already told him I would like a more pleasant greeting, especially on the weekends & he doesn’t do anything different. Maybe when this challenge is over I can read this chapter to him? I don’t know. Any thoughts?? What do you do when it’s him & not you for once?

Til next time, kids…

sjb

Cooking With The Pioneer Woman

Cover of "Julie & Julia"

Cover of Julie & Julia

For Christmas my beautiful mama gave me a red porcelain dutch oven and my beautiful mama-in-law gave me the latest cookbook from The Pioneer Woman. I have been a big fan of Ree’s from the moment I stumbled across her blog two years ago. Before she wrote her 1st cookbook, I had printed off nearly every recipe she shared on her blog. Her food is delicious, easy to cook and usually is a crowd favorite around here. When the fam asks “what’s for supper?” and I answer “Pioneer Woman” the crowd goes wild! Well, I may exaggerate a bit, but they are certainly happy to hear that instead of “something I came up with”. 😉

With my new cookbook and dutch oven I decided I am going to share with you all the recipes I make of Ree’s this year. I have shared a few in the past, but not consistently. In 2013 one of my goals is to be more consistent, especially here on simplysjb.

My first inspiration to blog came from the movie Julie & Julia. I write about it here: Julie & Julia. 
And my inspiration to become a better cook came from Ree’s blog, The Pioneer Woman. 
To pay tribute to my two inspirations, I am combining the two of them into a new blogging segment called Cooking With The Pioneer Woman. I can’t cook the Pioneer Woman way every day because that would get pricy and we would all get fat! But I promise each time I make a new Pioneer Woman recipe, I will share the recipe, shoot a pic or two of it and tell you what my family thought! Are ya excited? I am! 🙂

Be looking for the 1st new recipe soon!

Til next time, kids!

sjb

Homemade Laundry Detergent!

In my never ending effort to save money, I was reading about making my own laundry detergent. It is one of the most expensive items on my grocery list! There are a lot of recipes out there for both liquid and powder. Some of them are very involved. I don’t do involved. I like things that are quick and easy.  Yesterday I finally found on the blog One Good Thing by Jilly a detergent that was quick, easy and cheap to make! She says that it makes a years worth of detergent for $30. SOLD!

Here is her recipe:
3 bars Fels Naptha, grated ($1.33 x 3)

1 box Borax  ($5.85  –  76 ounces)

1 box Washing Soda ($4.07  –  55 ounces)

2 cups of baking soda ($0.53 cents)

2 containers of Dollar Tree Oxyclean (I bought mine at Family Dollar store…SUN Brand…$4.00 each)

1-2 containers of Purex fabric softener crystals ($6.97  –  28 ounces)

Use 2 tablespoons per load. Put it right in the barrel if you have an HE washer.

Under her recipe a lot of people commented that they are also making their own version of laundry detergent and gave their versions. After reading through all the comments and Jilly’s recipe, I came up with my own version:

3 bars Ivory Soap: $1.50, Dollar General (You can also find Fels Naptha at Pac N Save)

1 Box Borax: $4.00, Dollar General

1 Box Baking Soda, Arm & Hammer: $3.50, Pac N Save Grocery Store

2 C. Baking Soda (had on hand, so I don’t remember the cost)

Total: $8.85 plus cost of baking soda

I did not add anything for smell because it isn’t that important to me. I may add some essential oils at some point, but this concoction has a fresh smell which is good enough for me right now!

Also, I did not add the Oxyclean because both stores were out of it! Go figure.

I added 1/4 c. to my laundry instead of 2 Tbs. because we are the “more is better” kind of family. Actually, my husband is a big Doubting Thomas and doesn’t believe only 2 Tbs of detergent is going to clean a load of towels, nor will it last a year with all the laundry I do…2-3 medium sized loads a day, every day.

*As I am writing this post I have a small load of towels in the dryer. My one hand towel still looks dingy to me, so the Oxyclean is a must! I’ll check back in the stores later this week to get some and add it to my detergent.

Here is how I mixed the detergent step by step in pictures:

Your ingredients: A&H Washing Soda, Borax and Ivory Soap. Not available for picture: Baking Soda and Oxyclean.

Tools you will need:
Food processor and large tub to mix ingredients in.
Oh look! Baking Soda decided to show up!

 

Put your 3 bars of soap and 1 cup of Borax into the food processor to grate up the bars of soap. Don’t have an “ewww” complex about putting bars of soap in your food processor. What do you wash it in? Soap. My family freaked OUT when I did this. Don’t be like them. And if you are, take a cheese grater & build up your muscles while grating soap. The food processor took literally 5 seconds…just sayin’.

Finished project. You want it to be a very fine grainy substance. I gave it one more go around after this picture and it was perfect.

Add the soap/Borax mixture to the tub along with rest of the Borax, Washing Soda and Baking Soda. Mix and sift it all together with a slotted spoon.

Put your detergent in a pretty jar and you’re done!

 

If it doesn’t all fit into your laundry container, store the excess in a ziplock bag. 🙂

Jilly also has a recipe for a bleach alternative for people who have septic systems, like us! So I’ll be making that next!

Until next time, tell me what your version of homemade laundry detergent is, or if you make it for the first time after reading my post, tell me your results! My in-house mathematicians tell me I’ll save $150 a year if this works! Here’s hopin’!!

Love ya, Kids!

sjb

 

 

Bulk Meal Prep

I’ve been hearing a lot about bulk meal prep lately. The idea is the take one day out of your week and cook and prep as much of your meal as you can then store it until you are ready to serve it. I’ve never done this, but have always thought it was a great idea if you had a whole day to devote to cooking, which I normally don’t. But because my meal planning this week utilizes the crockpot a lot, and because I seem to have a lot of crockpots…I decided to give this a try!

Here are 4 meals I have prepped for this week and it only took me 30 minutes:

Saturday

Hamburgers and brawts on the grill

I have pre-mixed the hamburgers in a bowl and will let them sit in the refrigerator until 20 minute before grill time.

My hamburger mix is:

2 lbs. Hamburger

A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Uncle Dave’s Steak and Burger seasoning (to taste)

1 egg, beaten

Serving with Ore-Ida sweet potato fries.

Sunday

Crockpot Chili

1 lb. Hamburger

1 can chili beans in mild sauce

2 cans diced tomatoes for chili

1 jar mild salsa

Fill the empty salsa jar half full of water and add to the crockpot

Simmer on low all day. When it’s done I’ll unplug it, let it cool and store it in the refrigerator until one hour before supper time. One hour before supper time, I will plug the crockpot in to reheat and serve it with warm cinnamon rolls.

Monday

French Dip Sandwiches

In another crockpot I am cooking a 3lb arm roast seasoned with salt and pepper.

I added 2 cans of Campbell’s French Onion soup and one can of Campbell’s beef broth.

This will simmer all day. I will shut it off, shred the meat, put it back into the crockpot and store in the fridge until 1 hour before supper. All I need to do is plug the crockpot back in and reheat for an hour. While the meat mixture is reheating, I’ll saute some onions. I’ll be serving them on hoagie buns from our stores bakery, topped with provolone cheese and the sauteed onions. Before I put the top half of the hoagie bun on the sandwich, I’ll put them under the broiler long enough to melt the cheese.

Tuesday

BBQ‘d Pork Sandwhiches

3lb pork butt roast

1 large bottle of Uncle Dave’s Sweet and Sassy bbq sauce

1 bottle of Dr. Pepper

Pour enough bbq sauce to cover the bottom of your crockpot

Place pork roast in crockpot and cover with the rest of the bbq sauce then pour the bottle of Dr. Pepper around the roast.

Let simmer all day. I’ll do the same with this roast that I did with the beef roast. Shred the meat and return it to the crockpot, store in the fridge until one hour before supper, then reheat.

I’ll be serving these with cheesy broccoli and home made coleslaw. The sandwiches taken on a whole other level of yummy if you top the sandwich with your coleslaw!

French Dips, Hamburgers and BBQ Pork sandwiches.
My 3rd crockpot is across the room. I ran out of plug-ins!

So now I’ve got 4 meals done and ready to go shortly before meal time with little prep work to do in the evenings. I’m going to be so grateful to not have to “cook” this week! Do you do this bulk meal prep each week? If so, what do you make? I would love some more ideas so I can keep this up! 🙂

Normally I write these posts in the evening and post them the next day, but we are in the 2nd quarter of the Husker game and we’re winning 35-0, so I got bored.

GO BIG RED!

Happy Saturday, Kids! Til next time!

sjb