Friday, September 28, 2012


Ten years ago I was 24 and in labor for the first time.

As the first born you were our test subject. 

Everything about parenting was new to us and we had to "figure it out" as we went along.

You were tough on your parents.

You were not one to go to bed easily, in fact we took you on many a trip in the car at night just to get you to fall asleep.

You had your quirks. 

For example when we were driving, and you had fallen asleep, you would cry anytime we came to a about always praying for a green light (and I may or may not have punched it a few times at yellow lights).

Over the years things got a little easier.

You grew more independent and always had a little twinkle of mischief in your eye.

You are one of my 3 greatest gifts.

To watch you grow up and become this sensitive, funny, and intelligent boy just blows my mind.

You are just so clever and now that you are getting older it is like talking to a real person.  We can talk about more grown up things.

I cannot wait to see how the next 10 years go.

Remember you are unique and special and when it comes to your life you can do anything you want.  We will always be here to support you.

Happy Birthday Owen!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Not My Finest Hour

Well yesterday was going along pretty swimmingly until I slammed my right hand in the car door.

The pain and loss of feeling was instant (suprisingly I didn't swear at all).

I thought I had broken my hand, but alas just a very VERY deep bruise with swelling.

That being said typing is a bit of a chore so I am going to cut the chatter short and dazzle you with some Pinterest finds from this week.

I would so love to have a kitchen towel like this one

Pumpkin apple coffee cake...for Fall the pumpkin in this is just calling my name

Adorable dress I would love to have for Caroline

Source: via Meredith on Pinterest

Book that I would like to read

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

Awesome table for game night...while munching on this:

Angry Bird vegan pizza!

I hope you all have a lovely Thursday.

Tomorrow I have a special post coming as my oldest child is turning in the world is this happening?

Oh and the winner of my Progresso Soup giveaway is Mekara!

Remember today is your last day to enter to win my Kashi giveaway (here).  The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kashi Chocolate Squares giveaway

Today is giveaway #3!

First things first congratulations to Anna (Crunchy Creamy Sweet) for winning the Fiber One gift pack I post about on Monday.

Remember there is still time to win the Progresso Soup giveaway I posted yesterday (see here).

On to today's post Kashi Chocolate Squares.

As a member of Mom's Meet I was given the opportunity to sample these squares with my family.

What particularly intrigued me about the product when I was asked to sample it was that it contained the normal 7 whole grains that Kashi is famous for however the "hidden" ingredients were sweet potatoes, black beans, and agave for sweetener.

I was totally sold when black beans were thrown in the mix, I love them in brownies.

The texture of the squares is chewy and moist, but my kids were less than thrilled with flavor.

I think they were wanting something MORE chocolaty, like dessert, instead of a snack bar.

I think they have just the right amount of sweetness, and for other adults I think this is true.

However if you heat a bar up in the microwave and put a small scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream on top you indeed have one superb dessert/treat.

Guess what?

I have a giveaway from Kashi to share with you all.

What will you win?

Kashi lunch bag and 2 coupons for free Kashi products.

The coupons are good for these bars or for any of Kashi's other fabulous snacks or cereals.

How do you win? 

Fill out the rafflecopter below.

The winner will be announced Friday the 28th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet
SM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetSM blogger, I agreed
to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Progresso Soup Giveaway

Let the giveaway's continue!

Yesterday I posted a giveaway from Fiber One (there is still time to enter so head over here) with a very cool gift pack.

Today I have another "souper" cool gift pack to provide one of my fantastic readers.

How would you like to win this (I feel a bit like Bob Barker from the Price's Right here):

  • water bottle
  • insulated lunch bag
  • soup mug (with attached spoon)
  • 2 cans of Progresso light creamy soup
Each serving of soup is 100 calories (or 2 points from Weight Watchers).  A great way to keep up wholesome eating while the fall rolls in.

Progresso has 40 flavors of light soup.  Head over to their website and see which ones might soup suit you!

To enter the giveaway use the rafflecopter below.

The winner will be announced Thursday the 27th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  The coupons, information, and gift packs have been provided by Progresso® through MyBlogSpark

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fiber One Giveaway

I've ended my Yoplait giveaway and selected the winner...Valerie.

So I assume it is time to start another giveaway, yep it will be on one of those weeks.

See my oldest is turning 10 this week so in his honor I will be gifting you all with items all week long.

Today I have a giveaway curtesy of My Blog Spark.

  • lunch box
  • sandwich wrapper
  • pencil case
  • pencils
  • ruler
  • pencil sharpener
  • water bottle
  • lunch notes (my kids always appreciate a little note)
  • 2 boxes of Fiber One chewy granola bars
What is nice about these bars is that they don't contain HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).  They do however make a very convenient snack for the ride home from school.

Would you like to be the winner of this gift pack?

All you need to do is fill out the rafflecopter below.

A winner will be selected and announced on Wednesday the 26th.

Disclosure:  The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have all been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yoplait Giveaway

The air outside is crisp and cool.

Football is back on (go Packers!!!)

That means that Fall is here (well techinically it begins Saturday but who is policing).

When the fall arrives people tend to eat more comfort foods and, a bit like bears, we tend pack on a few extra pounds.

People we are not hibernating and even though some comfort food is good we should also keep healthy foods in mind.

I have been given an opportunity through My Blog Spark to give one lucky reader this gift pack:

  • yoga ball
  • water bottle
  • Yoplait work out towel
  • coupon for Yoplait light
  • coupon for Yoplait Greek yogurt
Did you know that Yoplait is now endorsed by Weight Watchers?  Greek yogurt is 2 points per serving.

My kids will be enjoying the yogurt I received, but I am thinking about taking my yoga ball to work with me, and using it in place of my chair...I am sure I will get some funny looks in the male dominated office I work in. 

Do you know anybody who does this?

Would you like to be the lucky winner?

Just use the rafflecopter below.  A winner will be selected Monday September 24th.

*Yoplait provided me with free product, information and gift pack through MyBlogSpark*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bean - Restaurant Review

Last week I went to Charlotte, NC for a 3 day class in Uptown Charlotte (I think they call it that to be pretentious).

Anyway downtown was lovely and had some vegan options for me...however I do like to branch out when I am in a different city and sample from local restaurants.

While in town I tried Bean Vegan Cuisine.

If you happen to go please do not be discouraged by the outside (it looks a bit like an 80's pizza joint), it could use a little renovation to bring it a fresh new look.

However the outside aside the food was delicious.

I tried their BBQ tofu sandwich with sides of potato salad and fruit salad.

I didn't actually get to eat the fruit salad with dinner (no worries I saved it for breakfast) because I wanted to save room for the carrot cake cupcake.

The sandwich was perfect.  The tofu strips were crunchy and I actually thought for half a second that they might actually be chicken (upon further inspection I realized they were not).

The BBQ sauce was a little sweet and wasn't added in such copious amounts that all you tasted was sauce.

The veggies to go on top were fresh and crisp making for a delicious sandwich.

The potato salad though left something to be desired.

It was a bit watery and lacked flavor (a pinch of salt may have helped). 

I didn't enjoy it so I didn't bother to finish it.

The perfect end to the meal though was the cupcake.

A perfectly spiced cake with delicious buttercream on top...mmm scrumptious.

When you are someplace new do you go to a local restaurant or do you stick to your favorite chains?

Bean Vegan Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 17, 2012

Veganized Bo-Berry Biscuits

Here in the South there is a fast food restaurant called Bojangles.

They are known for fried chicken and biscuits.

Nothing on their menu is for me for many reasons :)

However one thing they have is a Bo-Berry biscuit.

The put blueberries in a buttermilk biscuit and top it with a glaze.

Ok they might be onto something here...but I think my way is a wee bit better than their calorie heavy animal product laden biscuits.

Start out with my vegan buttermilk biscuit (originally posted here):

2 C flour (I used white wheat from Trader Joe's)

6 Tbsp Earth Balance (cubed)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 C buttermilk
1/2 C blueberries (I used frozen)
cinnamon and sugar to roll dough in

To make buttermilk, if you don't have any on hand, just take a cup of milk (I used regular almond milk, NOT the vanilla) and added 1 Tbsp of white vinegar.  Let the two sit in a bowl for about 5 minutes before adding to recipe.

In a food processor add your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Pulse for about 10 seconds to get everything incorporated.

Next add in your Earth Balance and pulse until a crumb mix is formed.

Add in your buttermilk and allow to process until a dough ball forms (takes about 30-45 seconds).

Gently fold in blueberries.

So take about a tablespoon of dough and roll it in your cinnamon and sugar mix and place each ball in a pan (I choose a spring form pan, but any cake or bundt pan will do).

Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes (depending on the closeness of the biscuits you may need to cook a little don't want a doughy middle).

All baked and ready for the finishing touches!

Once the biscuits have cooled for a few minutes put a dollop of glaze  on each biscuit.


1 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
almond milk

Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix (you only need enough almond milk to make the desired this case thicker is better).

When you are finished this what you end up with:

Oooey sticky goodness!

Do you have any restaurant foods that you would like to see made over?  Or have you made over some foods you found in a restaurant?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pinterest in the Raw

Last Friday I was overcome with chocolate.

I feel a little guilty about the copious amounts displayed...ssssssooooooo this week

I decided I would show a healthier version of my Pinterest loves.

I am very intrigued by raw food. 

I have only attempted one raw dessert and it was from Natalia KW's book Cupcake Heaven.

They were quite tasty, but for whatever reason I have not gone back to raw. 

So I am feeling inspired and hopefully I will actually make some of these glorious foods:

Have you tried any raw food?

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and if you need some resources on raw food check out Gena (pronounced Jenna) over at Choosing Raw...such a wealth of knowledge.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quick Pizza Dough

I mentioned on Monday that my Saturday was filled with made from scratch food.

Continuing on with that I have another recipe I would like to share...Quick Pizza Dough.

When I say quick I mean you don't have to give the dough time to proof/rise.

Amen for shortcuts!

My husband, an omnivore, has been wanting stromboli for weeks...but by the time we remember he wants it there is no time to allow the dough we use to rise.

So enter the quick dough (perfect for pizza, stromboli, flat bread, you get the idea):

3 C all purpose flour
1 pack of active yeast
2 Tbsp oil (I used vegetable)
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 C warm water

Put all of your dry ingredients together and stir up.

Add your oil and water to form a dough.

Put your dough out on a floured surface and roll out for pizza/stromboli.

I spread a marinara sauce on the dough and then topped with:

mozzarella cheese

I brushed the top of the dough with almond milk and then sprinkled garlic salt and Essence of Emeril on top.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes (so that dough is cooked through and the crust is crispy):

This was large enough that it could be cut into 6 healthy portions.

My husband said it was good, although he prefers the dough when it is given time to rise (if he could have his pick between the two).

Do you have a dough preference?  Have you ever made a no rise dough?

What toppings do you like to put on your pizza or stuff in your stromboli?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIAW The Scratch Edition

Welcome to the weekly party that is What I Ate Wednesday hosted by the lovely Jenn from Peas and Crayons.

The theme this month is "fall"ing into good habits.

Last week I announced that I have gone vegan and guess what?

I still am vegan.

I am loving the daily joy of figuring out how to eat (I know eventually it will become second nature).

I must say that I haven't enjoyed food this much in quite a while.

Now that it isn't 100 degrees outside (I mean who wants to bake in that heat) I have cranked out a few yummies:

Breakfast vegan buttermilk biscuits with baked apples and caramel:

Lunch (I didn't eat it but the hubs did) quick dough stromboli (recipe will be posted tomorrow):

Dinner wasn't terribly exciting so let's skip to the dessert...OOH this is just the best dessert.

Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pie from Chocolate Covered Katie topped with Coconut Whipped Cream from Oh She Glows:

Holy Cow this pie took the cake for the weekend of scratch made items.

The pie is rich and creamy and bursting with chocolate flavor yet not heavy on the calories (I think Katie worked it out to 143 for 1/8 of the pie).

The coconut whipped cream was so much fun to make.  As soon as I saw the post from Angela I KNEW I had to make it.  It was so simple and delicious (and follow Angela's advice and be sure to put in the vanilla).

Both of these ladies are indeed rock stars and that is why they are both writing books to be published in the near future.

So have you eaten anything this week that just knocked your socks off?

Be sure to head over to Peas and Crayons and check out the other delicious eats from my fellow blogging buddies.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

11 years ago

It is hard to believe that it has been 11 years since the attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the crash in Shanksville, Pa.

The imagery brings back to the surface all of the emotions of the day for me.

I remember that I was at work and one of the captains came in and said there was a crash at the World Trade Center.

We went into a conference room to watch the news and as we were watching we saw the second plane hit.  It was a period of confusion and bewilderment as to why this would happen.

Working for a municipality we had a heightened sense of awareness for surrounding areas and certain locations we thought could be possible targets.

I am glad that in 11 years since then we haven't had any further terrorist attacks.

Hopefully we will go many more in safety.

To the military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and EMS workers thank you for all that you do.  You are the only ones who rush into a burning building when everyone else is running out.

You are a special breed of people and ones who should be thanked on a daily basis.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ultimate Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits

This weekend, Saturday specifically, I got on a wild tear and everything we ate was made from scratch.

By the end of the day I was a little tired from the cycle of cooking and cleaning, but in the end it was totally worth it...

Especially when the day started out with these:

Vegan buttermilk biscuits topped with baked apples and a caramel sauce.

Buttermilk Biscuits:

2 C flour (I used white wheat from Trader Joe's)
6 Tbsp Earth Balance (cubed)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 C buttermilk
cinnamon and sugar to roll dough in

To make buttermilk, if you don't have any on hand, just take a cup of milk (I used regular almond milk, NOT the vanilla) and added 1 Tbsp of white vinegar.  Let the two sit in a bowl for about 5 minutes before adding to recipe.

In a food processor add your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Pulse for about 10 seconds to get everything incorporated.

Next add in your Earth Balance and pulse until a crumb mix is formed.

Add in your buttermilk and allow to process until a dough ball forms (takes about 30-45 seconds).

I found that this way was WAY easier than using a fork or pastry cutter to incorporate the butter.  Plus there was just one bowl to clean up afterwards.

At this point you could flour a surface and roll your biscuits out if you wanted to have a cut biscuit but I wanted to make drop biscuits which were rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

So take about a tablespoon of dough and roll it in your cinnamon and sugar mix and place each ball in a pan (I choose a spring form pan, but any cake or bundt pan will do).

This is what I ended up with:

I still have a bunch of apples from my mother-in-laws house so I decided to add them to the mix.

In a skillet I added about 8 cut apples (I left the peels on but you are welcome to remove them).

To that I added 2 Tbsp Earth Balance and sprinkled about 1/4 c of brown sugar (homemade).

As the butter and sugar melted together a caramel was formed.

Pour the mixture on top of your biscuits and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes at 450 degrees.

It didn't photograph all that well, but I did have three very happy (albeit sleepy) children who were very willing to eat it despite the not so pretty appearance.

The biscuits were so soft and fluffy...they really did turn out perfectly, if I do say so.

Here I left the last bite for you (with the crunchy caramel goodness on the bottom):

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Pinterest Cravings

Today is Friday...WOOHOO!

I have had some delicious vegan food this week, and I really haven't had much in the way of dessert.

I have a serious craving today for chocolate.

I know you get it too.

To help sate that feeling I pinned several vegan delights via Pinterest and wanted to share them with you today:

I now sufficiently have a tooth ache and feel a bit of sugar overload...but sometimes it is worth it.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.  I am looking forward to heading to the farmers market to see what great finds I can come upon.

What are you cooking/baking this weekend?