Smiles and Shambles

Learning to love life even when the cookies burn!

My perfect vacation Smoothie May 31, 2009

Filed under: Recipes,Smoothies,Uncategorized — bethymeww @ 3:46 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

068 (2)

My perfect get away involves random fun, a deserted beach, and an expansive cool ocean. Summer always makes me crave a vacation. But unfortunately my beach vacation is a month away so here I am stuck in my hot kitchen trying to figure out a suitable snack.

In honor of that future vacation I decided to put all the ingredients for my future vacation into one delicious smoothie!

Digging through my refrigerator and pantry I came out with one tangerine, frozen strawberry’s, milk, and some coconut extract. All these ingredients scream tropical vacation to me!

But, these tropical fruits, although yummy they may be, just didn’t pack the punch I dreamed about for a smoothie that represented my vacation. I quickly added some honey and for that random unexpected punch some Nesquick chocolate powder! What is a relaxing vacation without some unexpected fun and chocolate?

069 (2)

For my smoothie put the following into your blender:

-about a cup of milk or so (I’ll be honest I did not measure…I like my vacations enpredictibe and not measured!)

-About 5 strawberrys, frozen or fresh

– Once tangerine, Peeled of course (fro the splash of the tropical)

-a cap full of coconut extract (for even more exotic flavors!)

-Squueze in a few table spoons of honey for some sweetness

– And a few teaspoons of Nesquick for a chocolate kick!

Blend…pour in a big fun glass..Sip..day dream about vacation

071 (3)

But why sip the taste of my vacation when you could your own? Make your own smoothie that represents what you want from a vacation, it’s refreshing on a hot summers day and takes you away for awhile.

What would your vacation smoothie be?

074 (2)

 

Part Five: How to Love Grocery Shopping May 27, 2009

Filed under: Monthly Series — bethymeww @ 2:12 pm
Tags: ,

138

Our grocery shopping trip is about to come to a close. All we have left is the basic diery, bread, and maybe some juice. It’s fairly simple!

I think cheacking for cracked eggs is a basic, but I’ve seen so may people simply grab a carton and run. Try to stop for a second and open the carton to examine that all your eggs are still intact…no one wants to pay for eggs they can’t use. My eggs even come in a clear carton that makes things super easy!

Next check expiration dates. This is super important in these last few sections. I am a bit OCD about this and like to hunt for the product with the latest expiration date.This is so important on any dairy especially, such as sour creme, eggs, milk, and cheese.

105

I LOVE fruit juices. Our store has some fresh sqeezed ones that are amazing. I like to try wierd flavors such as carrot and citrus Juice …they are surprisingly great! I encourage everyone to try a new juice in a weird flavor, YUM!!

For bread cheack for mold! I buy from the stores bakery, I’m an artisian bread junkie. If you are to I suggest looking at the “When Baked” date as well. If you buy the bagged loaf bread you just do what my dad does, find the softest!

This section is self explanitory for the most part. SMILE, you are on your way to the check out!

125

At the check out remember to put fragile stuff such as eggs and bread last and group like items together. I like to put all heavy jugs up front followed by all cans, etc…

But, if your store is like mine this works opposite! We simply leave the basket at the front of the checkout and they sometimes have a nice person help bag. BUT, I always tell them we are ok and to go help someone else out since they only have a few bagers for a bunch of checkouts. I enjoy bagging my own purchases.

Usually my husband pays and deals with all that stuff while I happily chat with the cashier while I bag up my food finds the exact weird way I like! Be really careful not to crush delicate things. If you have cloth bags even better! Then with a “have an awesome day” to the cashier we are off!

020

I hope you enjoyed Mays Wednesday Segments!

Coming Soon:

For the month of June we begin a month long tour of my tiny home with crafty decor and storage ideasthat cost next to nothing! After spring cleaning I feel confident having you over!

 

The Monday Sunshine: Excitment, and plans for the summer May 25, 2009

116

I’m really looking forward to this summer since I have lots of exciting things planned! Here is my list of 20 amazing plans and the small, simple, happy things that get me pumped for summer:

  1. Mine and husbands oldest niece spends the summers with my mother in law. I love this girl to no end and am so excited to hang out with her this summer. I’ll be helping my mom in law with her at home day care this summer which means I get to hang out with niece an amazing mother in law (and my nephew to) a bunch this summer.
  2. Lots of swimming in my amazing new swimsuit. I actually got one that makes me feel great and confident this year!
  3. Our family trip to the coast! Relaxing and having fun on the beach with husband and his family, my favorite weekend of the WHOLE YEAR!
  4. TTC!!!!! Hopefully this summer husband and I will get pregnant. If not we sure will have fun trying…
  5. First summer as a married couple, always nice.
  6. I have got several new sundresses, they make every summer day brighter…this paired with pink heart shaped sunglasses.
  7. Picnics in the gardens with husband, layingaround lazily in the sun.
  8. Lazy days by myself spent reading in the warm patch of sun that shoots onto my bed.
  9. Working over time on my home making. Nothing inspires me more to make our home clean and homey then being able to open all the windows on a sunny warm day!
  10. Digging in my first ever garden! Even if it is a 2nd story balcony garden made from potted herbs and plants, it’s still fun!
  11. Yummy summer fruit ripe and in season.
  12. Wild flowers decorating the now green grass.
  13. It’s been such a rainy spring that I doubt we will have a burn ban! This means we will have a GREAT 4th of July!!
  14. All the fun lawn concerts and festivals that summer brings.
  15. Rolling the windows down and turning the music up as we drive down back country roads on the way to bar-b-ques.
  16. The way laundry smells when hung out on a line to dry in the summer sun.
  17. Going to the lake
  18. I love the smell of sunscreen because it reminds me of high school summer band and color guard camp!
  19. Drinking lemonade
  20. The random fun summer brings!

What things do you look forward to in the summer?

098

 

Chocoholic Cookies May 21, 2009

Filed under: Cookies,Dessert,Recipes,Uncategorized — bethymeww @ 5:19 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

006

When I first moved out on my own I was pretty clueless about baking. I had cooked a bit back at home, but we weren’t really the family to have a full stocked kitchen with flour and cocoa . We would however buy cake box mixes and tubed cookie dough on occasion.

The first house I rented was horrible and the last thing I wanted to do was spend time near the oven in a house with only one window unit and a stove that only worked on occasion. Needless to say my love for home making was not pushed to it’s limits here, in fact I think my room mates and I spent more time trying to stay out of that place then living in it.

Well, we were not in it that long thank goodness. After a horrible break in and getting heat a painful heat rash we had learned our lessons! We had all got great jobs, were settled into the ideas of living with no parents, and ready to be real adults..we quickly moved to a really nice place that had a cute and functional kitchen. This is where I decided to impress my then boyfriend with some fresh home made cookies!

005

I have had a lot of bad baking experiences and it’s been a long hard road to get me to where I am now with the baking. But these turned out great considering they were my first attempt ever at from scratch baking of any sort. I have a speacil place in my heart for these since they opened up a new door and love for baking for me..plus impressed my boyfriend. Thank goodness for that might I add, that boyfriend is now my husband!

Although  I have moved on to more complicated recipes these are still my go to. I have changed the recepe a tiny bit here and there over the years, letting it evolve as my baking did. But, when I need a quick chocolate kick I can always count on these.

They are a one bowl recepe that is super easy to make, very versitle and can use whatever chocolate you have on hand, and I always have the ingredents! It only calls for  2 eggs and has no milk, along with the kitchen basics. This make these perfect for the end of the week when I’m in great need for something sweet but have not made it shopping yet!

Another plus is this recipe makes quite possible the best cookie dough ever tasted on earth! It’s sometimes all I can do not to just eat the dough without cooking it!

013

♥ Chocoholic Cookies ♥

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Softened non salted butter

1 cup sugar

6 Tbsp Non sweetend Cocoa

2 Tbsp vegtible oil

2 Eggs

2 Tsp vinnla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

Chocolate chips (you can do your favorite or a mix)

nuts (optional)

Directions:

1) Preheat the Oven to 350 F

2)Creme butter and sugar together

3) Next combine cocoa, oil, and extract with the butter mixture, follow with eggs one at a time.

4) Add the flour and baking soda a little at a time tell all combined

5) Fold in chocolate chips (and optional nuts). I never measure this, I just add to my taste! I sometime do a mix of milk chocolate, semi sweet, dark, and white..somtimes just semi sweet…it all depends on what I have on hand!

6) Taste cookie dough (it’s yummy!)

7) spoon onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes

8)Let cool and enjoy!

017

 

Part Four: How to Make Grocery Shopping Fun! May 20, 2009

Filed under: Monthly Series — bethymeww @ 6:37 pm
Tags: ,

137

I spend a lot of time in the baking aisle, but skip the cookie and cracker aisle. In other words I am very picky about the prepackaged and overly processed foods we purchase. Since my favorite past time is baking we never have a reason to tempt ourselves with a walk down that aisle.  If we want a cookie I’ll make one.

Our grocery store is a unique setup that really aids to this concept. For the most part it’s an open layout with a supriseingly refreshing lack of aisles! Our wine section is actully bigger then the canned good and chip section even, tempting adults more then the kids…but that wine selection is a story for another day.

We do however have a full section that has almost candy dispenser like things full of dried beans, rice, granola, candy, coffee beans, candy’s, rice,oatmeal, and the such that allows us to grab a ziplock bag and pour the excat amount needed. I usally go to this section for the such items becauae it’s fun, I find much more cost effective, and I would rather get the simple straight forward stuff then the overly colurful packaging. I really don’t have a lot of cabnet space to waist on that extra packaging at any rate.

They also have a thing where we can get peanut butter out of a big tub and pour our own syrup! This is super cool!

052BUT, I’m not here to tell you to not get your favorite cookies if you don’t really enjoy baking. Or to even tell you skip out on the extra big pre bagged thing of rice if you have a big family and need that big bag! When it comes to the pre packaged food I think it is really dependemt on life style. If you work full time those frozen meals may be your best choice for a lunch, but for me thay would be an extra. This part is really based on your familys size, dietary needs, and time scedule…maybe even storage space at home!  manily just have tips so you can get what YOUR family needs!

Tip #1: Know Your Store:

This may be harder depending on your grocery store! In my old town our grocery store moved around a lot more, it was hard to keep up! But, luckily our new rocery store never moves, it’s comforting! I know EXACTLY where my cereal is, we always get the same brand because it’s a good price, healthy, and yummy! We will however switch between different types of this brand. I know my husband has a weak spot for suger filled cereial that is geared toward catching a kids attention….therfor it grabs his to, go figure! We are lucky that out cerial is at the end of the aisle so don’t even need to tempt him by going down that aisle fully!We have to avoid the overly sugared cerials in the morning because my husband has trouble focusing without a healthy breakfast. I try to make his breakfast, but somtimes there is no time. Anyways, knowing wherethings are can help you when n aisle is particulary crowded, when you are avoiding temptaion, and also just helping things stay low key!


Tip #2: Treat Yourself every once in awhile:

Every once in awhile it’s good to get something a bit fun. For us that thing is ice creme or these amazing chocolate truffles are store carry’s! Knowing that every few grocery shopping trips we will get a special something we love that we normally try not to keep in the house makes us less grabby and gives us something to look forward to! Also, if something looks good right then and we decided to use it as a treat next time it may not look as good then.

Tip # 3: Pay attention to Size:

I used to be really bad about grabbing the wrong size can (usually to small) for recipes that call for a certain size can of condensed soups and such! I started writing the amount I needed beside the item on the list and things have been better since.

Tip #4: Sometimes it’s good to try a new brand or type:

We found our favorite chocolate chips, cocoa, and ice creme this way! If you love something don’t feel pressured to try a new type. But, if you are just “ehhh hmmm” about something go ahead and try a new brand! You may love it.

056

That is really all I have for the ‘aisle’, processd, and packaged foods section. We try to only buy what we abosloutly have to here…but it is such a persional needs section that it’s all up to you!!


Next Week:

Part Five: Bread, Milk, Eggs and the such!

 

The Monday Pick Me Up: Oh to be pregnant May 18, 2009

My husband and I are on a mission. What kind of mission you ask. ‘well, it has been top secret or about 3 months now, it’s highly classified! We like to call it ‘Mission Big Adorable Belly’!

Well, the secret is out, my Husband and are TTC, or for those of you are not hip to internet baby lingo that is Trying To Conceive. At first we were keeping our TTC a fun secret between us, but we have big mouths and basically the word got out. Things like this can take months, years even! So who knows when it will happen, but I do know that we can’t wait to be parents.

I think this deserves the honered Spot in a ‘Monday Morning Pick Me Up’, dont you? It’s great news. I’m excited about the moment my test shows positive, I’m excited about watching the baby grow inside if me, I’m excited to watch all he adorible things my husband is bound to do such as talk to my belly and rub it, I’m excited about hearing the heartbeat, I’m excited about holding our baby for the first time! I’m positively giddy about the thought of the baby growing up to, what is the point of being a mom if you can’t wait to see what kind of kid the baby will turn into! I can’t wait to be a parent! I know I will make a lot of mistakes, but I really hope we are amazing parents and that baby dust comes our way and we get to begin soon.

In honer of our TTC coming out I’m featuring some fun baby stores, and adorable baby items I love to pick you up out of your Monday Slump!

Picture Taken from Peanut Shell Website

Picture Taken from Peanut Shell Website

My first store that I would like to mention is Peanut Shell. I ran across this site on complete accident and bookmarked it before husband and I even decided to go TTC. I love the fabrics! My favorite item is this retro girly baby sling. It’s cute but the purpose is even more cool. It’s a sling that has a built in seat of sorts so you can keep your baby close to you and comfortable while doing other things. I love this idea since I’m clumsy and carrying a big baby carrier with me spells disaster! It also has matching nursing covers, diaper clutches, and swaddlers that I love! (www.thepeanutshell.com)

Picture taken by HazelMay

Picture taken by HazelMay


Another great Baby store that i recently found is Hazel May on Etsy! She has all sorts of cute fabrics and items, but the one that caught my eye and is my MUST have is her ‘Robots and Rocket Ship’ items. She has blankets, bibs, burp rags, and a burp n bib combo that all come in this (and other) adorable fabric! My husband is a huge geek and we both LOVE robots. In fact our wedding cake topper was “Us Robots” that we made from Model Magic clay so these Robot themed baby items are perfect for us! On top of being so cute and lovable the fabric is soft and absorbent, so functional and perfect for messy baby. These items are hand made by s stay at home mom so you know they are made with LOVE! (hazelmay.etsy.com)

Well I’m off for today, Wish me baby dust and have a great Monday!

 

Saturday Sunshine: Paint a pretty Picture! May 16, 2009

129

When I was a kid I would break out the paint evry chance I got. I swear my mom hid it from me because it was always so hard to find in my house. But, who could blame her with such a messy daughter. I get in a creative frenzy and all you see is a paint title wave, oh what a mess!


My husband loves to paint to. He is the creative type so when we first got together I came up the idea of surprising him on his birthday by having a paint date! I put on old clothes and bought us some kids washable paints and paper and set them up for a funny and romantic afternoon of birthday, messy, paint filled fun. He accidentally got some one me when he was reaching to grab a new paint brush and the war was on!! I think we got more paint on each other then the paper. It was amazing and I like to think really set the mood for our relationship… fun, funny, creative, and expressive.

130

My husband and I both had a day off today and decided to brush the dust off of our old paints and go outside for some afternoon picture making. We sat in our urban garden (AKA our “fire escape” balcony that we use to plant potted herbs, flowers, and other plants. It over looks our “community” backyard and is usally sunny and high enough to get a nice breeze.) and enjoyed silly fun together.

So today I suggest painting a picture as a bit of Saturday Sunshine! We always grab the kids washable finger paint stuff so we have no added stress. If it gets n the floor who cares, it washes of hands in second, and if the urge for a paint fight hits we can go right along with it and reek havoc on the other person.

You could paint alone if you are seeking creative solitude. But, I suggest doing it with someone you love who is fun and care free! Don’t worry about how the painting looks, just paint and create something you love. My husband is actually really good, he painted a beautiful field today. I on the other hand made a picture of “purple sky”. Which consisted of me using blues, purples, and pinks to make a swirly”sky” of  abstractness. As you can see from my paint marked face on the picture below we got super messy and laughed a lot.

144


So Saturday Sunshine Challenge:

Go paint that pretty picture!!