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Monday, December 31, 2012

Tofu Parmesan Recipe!

This is my absolute favorite way to cook tofu!  It brings the tofu close enough to the texture of chicken that most people wouldn't realize that they aren't eating chicken right away.

Extra Firm Tofu
1 jar Pasta sauce
Whole wheat spaghetti, cooked
Mozzarella, shredded
Bread crumbs

Slice your tofu into about 1/3 inch thick slices, starting at the short end.  Arrange them on a cutting board, freeze for 20 mins.
Whisk a couple of eggs in one bowl, and about 1c of seasoned bread crumbs in another.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Dip the tofu in the egg, then coat with the bread crumbs.  Lay onto a baking sheet.
Bake at 375F til golden brown and crisping up a little.
Spread a small amount of pasta sauce into a baking dish , then layer Tofu, ricotta, pasta sauce, shredded mozzarella, tofu, ricotta, pasta sauce, mozzarella.
Bake at 375F till the cheese is melted and browning around the edges.
Serve with the pasta tossed in leftover pasta sauce.

{ Weekly Meal Plan }

* Grilled chicken bleu cheese avocado salads with sweet potato fries. *
Fry recipe here:

* Tofu fajitas with black beans and corn. *
Tofu fajita recipe here:
And how to cook your tofu first:  cut it into half inch by 2 inch strips, lay all pieces side by side on your cutting board.  Place in the freezer for about 20 min.  Remove and toss in enchilada sauce.  Let sit 5 min.  Move to baking sheet, bake at 375F for 15 mins, turn, and bake another 15 min.

* Grilled tilapia with chimol , herbed quinoa and steamed spinach. *
Chimol recipe here:

* Sun dried tomato chicken sausages (Trader Joe's) with herbed quinoa and brussel sprouts. *

*Breaded, baked Tilapia nuggets with mashed cauliflower and steamed veggies. *
Mashed cauliflower recipe , here:

*Quinoa and kale patties with leftover steamed veggies and sliced farmers cheese from the coop. *
Quinoa and kale Patties recipe here:

And some pictures from last week...

Monday, December 24, 2012

*Weekly Meal Plan*

I can't help but feel a little fickle.  I never seem to keep up with my blog.   But I'm going to give it another shot ;-)

We've been making an effort to eat healthier and incorporate more all natural and organic foods into our menus.

Finding all natural and organic foods that fit a budget can be difficult, and I'm so thankful that a Trader Joe's has opened up near us.

This weeks meals are as follows , though in no particular order ...

Homemade Pizza with Avocado Bacon Bleu Cheese Salad.  Using this dough recipe.

Tofu Parmesan with spaghetti and salad.

Tilapia with brussel sprouts and herbed quinoa.    I cook the quinoa according to instructions, then saute onion, garlic, fresh Italian parsley and dried thyme in EVOO, add some lemon juice, and fluff it into the quinoa.   I do this for any recipe that uses quinoa.

Chicken burgers (ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, seasonings, shaped and grilled) on homemade buns with steamed spinach.  I use this bun recipe:

Sweet potato and black bean chili over whole grain rice with salad. Chili recipe here:

Quinoa and kale patties with mixed veggies and farmers cheese.

We bake white whole wheat bread to use for pbj sandwiches , and the kids alternate between cereal, oatmeal with raisins and bananas, pancakes, etc for breakfast.

Below was my grocery list with an estimate of cost, I ended up spending about $80.  We already had some things on hand, like frozen tilapia, and staples like oatmeal, quinoa, flour, butter, rice, etc.

I bought most of our food at Trader Joe's, then follow up with Krogers for items that I know will be substantially cheaper or that aren't available at Trader Joe's.

Cereal , organic 2.50
Milk 3.30
Juice 2.00
Sugar 2.50
Eggs , organic 2.79
Marinara sauce, organic 1.99
Cheese 2.00
Mushrooms, organic 2.00
Salad  2.00
ground chicken  3.50
Tomatoes 2.00
Pickles, organic 2.00
Organic frozen spinach 1.70
Organic frozen Mixed veggies 1.70
Salad 2.00
Tofu , organic 2.00
Spaghetti , whole wheat, organic 1.40
Cheese 1.88
Organic pasta sauce 2.50
Ricotta  2.50
2 Onions 1.60
Bag of sweet potatoes 1.89
2 cans organic black beans 2.40
Can of fire roasted tomato 1.00
Cheese 1.88
Coffee, organic fair trade 8.00
Salad 2.00
Pears, bananas, apples 4.00
Natural peanut butter 2.50
Garlic .50
parsley 1.00

Please comment with your menu!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

BOB Stroller giveaway at Ascending Butterfly!

Ascending Butterfly is giving away a BOB stroller to one lucky winner!  
Check it out here:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

{Williams Sonoma Crumb Top Blueberry Muffins}

I use this recipe all the time!  Super easy and quick.  You could also sub frozen raspberries for blueberries...hmmm... Maybe next time?
I also sometimes omit the topping, or just lightly dust with cinnamon sugar.

2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground mace (I use nutmeg)


2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 orange, zest of, grated

2 large eggs

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk (I use the buttermilk substitute from this site)

1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat the oven to 375. Have ready one 12-cup muffin pan. Grease 10 of the cups and fill any unused cups with water to prevent warping. (I usually grease all 12).

To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, and mace (or nutmeg). Cut the butter into pieces and, using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

To make the muffins, stir together the flour, sugars, bakng powder, baking soda, salt and orange zest in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk toghether the eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir the butter milk mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined. The batter should be lumpy. Fold the blueberries into the batter just until evenly distributed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Spoon the batter into each muffin cup, filling it level with the rim of the cup. Sprinkle each muffin with some crumb topping.

Bake until golden, dry, and springy to the touch, 20 -25 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes, then remove each muffin from its cup with a small metal spatula. Serve warm.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

{Chevron Tote Bag}

I made this beauty for a friend , along with the matching little zippered cosmetic bag.
I almost kept it.
It was made with inspiration from this one.
Isn't it cute!?

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Lunette Cup!

Ok, obviously I suck at keeping up with this blog, but lets put that aside for a minute.

 Ive got to share my excitement for a new product (at least new to me. The Lunette cup. The name sounds so cute , what could it be...?
A menstrual cup. Yep , that's right. Menstrual. Gone are the days of ill fitting tampons , diaper like pads. These are medical grade silicone cups , from Finland. Sounds high tech , huh?
 Here are some tidbits of info:
  Hygienic & Safe Lunette menstrual cup doesn’t absorb moisture like tampons or cause sweating like pads. Lunette is made of soft medical grade silicone, not of rubber latex.
  Economical The average woman spends between $48 – 84 per year on disposable tampons and pads. The Lunette is a one-time cost that will last for years. That saves you a chunk of money!
  Environmentally friendly A Lunette menstrual cup is an eco-thing. It will last for years and during the cup's lifespan, there will be no waste to dispose of – no accumulation of plastic applicators, wrappers or bio-waste from used tampons and pads.

 It also greatly reduces risks of TSS , as the silicone doesn't grow bacteria like tampons can. It can be left in for up to 12 hours (talk about saving on last moment bathroom rushes!)It can be worn overnight. This silicone is FDA approved.
It comes in 2 sizes , one is for those who have given birth or are over 30, the other is for those under 30 who have never given birth. I obviously went with the first option.
 And two of the biggest sellers for me: No more icky trash!!!! So much $$$ saved! One cup will last for years. I can only comfortably use one of the most expensive tampons , so this is a huge plus! Also, some other brands only come in clear, Lunette comes in different colors:
How Does It Work
You fold it over twice (shown in the manual below), and insert. It pops open, creating a seal. When you are ready to remove it, you pinch the bottom to break the seal, and empty contents in the toilet. It has a little 'tail' at the end, which can be left, or cut down to what size you want.

Now, Ive heard about various brands for years , but what always irked me is what you would do in public. After reading some, you simply wipe it out, using the Lunette single wrapped disinfecting wipes (pictured below) , or if the only thing at your disposal is toilet paper, use that. You can give it a good cleaning when you are home. And that means no sneaking around bathrooms with a wad in your hand trying to find a garbage when the feminine trash cans are absent in a stall (or god forbid no can in someones house).

 When you are done with your cycle you boil it ( or some run it through an empty dishwashers sani cycle), put it in its little bag and set aside until the next month.

  My experience: Not much yet. I just received it today and aunt flow has not arrived. I did try it out, and it seems like it will be perfect, it was super easy too insert on one try,definitely seemed to create a suction, the only thing that I could not too noticeably feel was the 'tail', and I can just trim it off. I'll definitely do a full review in a couple of weeks!


The Lunette cup and the box of disinfecting wipes (purchased separtely)
Cute little box, pulls out of a sleeve:
The cup, its little bag, and the instructions:
The Lunette , and the Lunette next to a spool of thread:
Its little carrying bag.
Box of 10 wipes:
The Lunette cup retails for $39.99 , I was able to get it for around $35 on sale at SweetBottomsBaby with free shipping. Visit for more info.

  I bought this product myself and received no compensation for this review.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Deck 'Refresh'

It has been way too long since I updated this blog, which I'm going to blame on . I'm now selling custom nursing covers, camera strap covers, boppy pillow covers AND little girl dresses, which will soon include some mommy and me sets. You should check it out. Really. Anyway, I found a blog that I'm loving, . Its a lovely mix of DIY projects, recipes ( check out the bananas foster bread spread, delicious!), and her decorating posts. It has inspired me to do this post on our deck 'refresh'. I say refresh, because I wouldn't classify it as a renovation. Now onto the good stuff. Here is the deck, looking the way it has for the past 8
Andrew decided to scrub and stain it. It was looking pretty rough and dirty.   I cant remember what brand we used, but we used a washcloth to apply a fairly cheap eco friendly deck cleaner. (My vegetables are growing along the deck).Then we used a heavy duty brush, and scrubbed it. All.
Aye Aye Aye.

Here it is after the scrub:

 We chose this stain, as most required 2 coats and this one only required one, I highly recommend it!

 We stained all of the rails first , and then did the actual deck last. We applied a fairly thin layer, using regular brushes. Here she is halfway stained. Quite a difference.

We also replaced the post caps, we found these solar caps at Lowes for about $4.88 each. Super pretty once it gets dark! We still had the same table on the porch this week. We got some plants : The pygmey palm is my favorite, a steal at home depot for $9. The large hibiscus was about $10, we already had the pot. Looking better...

And then some long lost friends made a trip to Atlanta with us, and bought us the table,bench,and 2 chairs that I was pining over at Ikea. 4 adults, a toddler, and the giant box riding back to Knoxville was interesting. The table looked like this . We used our leftover redwood stain, and stained the table and chairs as soon as we got a chance. The wood was treated , but not really waterproofed, So we stained it the moment we got a chance. We are almost done, but I need pillows! So I searched, and couldnt find 4 pillows that I liked for less than $60. Ouch. So I decided I'd buy some cotton calico from hobby lobby, make my own pillows in the prints I want, and then scotch guard them. Great idea, it would work, but oh so time consuming.
 Then, I happened to be walking throuht JC Penney yesterday , when I saw a lovely beauty, an Ikat pillow, on clearance for $7!! But only one. I quickly googled it, and saw they also had other prints, so I drove over to the JCP on the other side of town, and they had the other prints that I liked, for $7 each also! I was thrilled! For now, my deck is complete. Ya know, til I get that new grill... ;-) . . . Here are the pillows, you may be able to find them for $7 in store right now, but the online price of 2 for $25   is also a steal!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Winner of Giveaway

The rafflecopter generated winner of our nursing cover giveaway is .... Amberlie Owens! Congratulations!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thirsties Duo All In One

Here is my picture review for the New Thirsties Duo All In One. I have the size 2.
Inside, the soaker is sewn down on the sides only.
Here is the Thirsties Duo Pocket size 2 (Left, shown in cool stripes) next to the New Thirsties Duo All in One (Right, size 2 in Blackbird). They are both open to their largest settings.
Side view on largest setting.
Side by side on smallest setting.
Side view on smallest setting.
All in one on the left, pocket on the right. Inside.
Open side by side, duo pocket is much longer.
The Duo All in One has a much lower rise.
The pocket is open on the back and the front to create a 'tunnel' for adding extra inserts
Front opening.
Side by side with a Bumgenius 4.0. The rises are very similar.
Slightly slimmer through the middle than the BG 4.0.
The snaps are aligned vertically.
Back view of the Duo All in One.
The Duo all in one on my 19 month old 21 pounder.
I will note, this diaper doesnt have a PUL flap at the front near the stomach, so as you can see, if it isn't sized and positioned right then the fleece inner may poke out of the top, which could cause wicking.
Here I repositioned the snaps and it alleviated some of the problems with the fleece sticking out the top.
Here he is in the Duo Pocket for a comparison of the different fits. The All in One definitely seems to have less of the boxy, bulky fit that the duo pocket has.
The front of a Duo Pocket.
All in all, I think it is a good diaper for the price, especially if you can get it on sale. The lower rise will be good for older babies on the smaller side. It is sized more like a regular one size diaper as far as the rise. It is bigger through the waist, as my child usually has 4 or 5 sets of unused snaps across the middle of a BG 4.0 or a rumparooz, whereas only 2 with this All in One. It doesnt have the gussets that many thirsties products have, however the leg elastic looks to be very similar to the way the BG 4.0s are sewn, which is great for us. I would love to see some stretchy tabs and a flap at the front to prevent wicking!
Disclaimer: Products were bought by me and reviewed by me. I was not endorsed in any way for this review.