Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!

My life as a mother began at the end of August 2004. I was living with my new boyfriend who had an almost 3 year old daughter who came to live with us for 3 months. Seeing as my boyfriend was a truck driver and I was left to manage this little girl. That was how I fell in love with Maddy. Two years flew by and in that time we had some major changes. We had a major custody battle in which Madison came to live with us permanently, my niece Dee Dee was born, and we bought a house. Then Jay and I were married. Now we were a family.

Ashlyn added another depth to my motherhood. I had been through all the potty training, preschool antics with Maddy- but never a newborn. It took us 2 1/2 years to get pregnant with Bean so we had a stressful worrisome pregnancy. But when she was born the euphoria set in. I was so thrilled and amazed that I had 2 little girls. Now I had to learn to juggle 2 kids.

The past 2 years having both my girls have been so much fun, so crazy, and most definitely irreplaceable.

So to all you mamas out there snuggle your little ones tonight and have a wonderful Mother's Day!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fruit & Oatmeal Bars

Fruit & Oatmeal Bars


  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal

  • 1 1/2 cups fruit jam or pie filling


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Combine the butter, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and rolled oats.

2. Press 2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the preserves over the top and sprinkle with the remaining crumb mixture, gently pressing crumbs into jam.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Old Fashioned Pineapple Upside Down Cake

(This one was baked in a pan hence the rectangular shape)

Old Fashioned Pineapple Upside Down Cake


  • 4 eggs

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 (20 ounce) can of sliced pineapple

  • maraschino cherries

  • 1 cup sifted flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 tbsp melted butter

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2. In a 10 inch heavy skillet with a heat-resistant handle (I use a cast iron skillet), melt 1/2 cup butter or margarine over very low heat. Remove from heat, and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over pan. Arrange pineapple slices to cover bottom of skillet. Distribute cherries around pineapple; set aside.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Separate the eggs into two bowls. In a large bowl, beat egg whites just until soft peaks form. Add granulated sugar gradually, beating well after each addition. Beat until stiff peaks form. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks at high speed until very thick and yellow. With a wire whisk or rubber scraper, using an over-and-under motion, gently fold egg yolks and flour mixture into whites until blended. Fold in 1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine and almond extract. Spread batter evenly over pineapple in skillet.
4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip. 5. Loosen the edges of the cake with table knife. Cool the cake for 5 minutes before inverting onto serving plate.

***You can also bake this in a baking pan in the oven. Just layer it the same way.****

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bread Bowls and Chicken & Dumplings...

It is cold and rainy here today so I decided to make chicken & dumplings to warm the house up and give it a yummy smell.

And these recipes taste even better if you have raised the chickens that contributed the eggs and donated their lives to these dishes :)

(The nasty rooster that was harmed for today's food was warned on several occasions to stop attacking Maddy. Obviously he did not listen.)

Bread Bowls:


  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages of active dry yeast

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water

  • 1 tsp brown sugar

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 3 cups all purpose flour

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1 tsp cornmeal

  • 1 egg white

  • 1 tbsp water


  1. In a large bowl dissolve yeast and brown sugar in the warm water. Let stand until frothy (usually about 10 minutes).

  2. Add salt, oil, and the 4 cups of whole wheat flour to the yeast mixture. Mix well. Add the all purpose flour 1/2 cup at a time mixing well.

  3. When the dough is well mixed, place it on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth.

  4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to lightly coat in oil. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow to rise until doubled (usually about 40 minutes).

  5. Punch down dough and divide into 8 equal pieces, kneading and forming into a ball shape. Place the loaves on a lightly greased cookie sheet that has been dusted with cormeal.

  6. Allow to rise until doubled (~30 minutes).

  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make egg wash by beating the egg white with the tablespoon of water.

  8. Brush each loaf with egg wash. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.

  9. Remove from oven and brush remaining egg wash on each loaf. Return to oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until brown.

  10. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. When you are ready to serve cut a 1/2 inch piece off the top, scoop out the insides, and fill with a hot soup.

Chicken & Dumplings:


  • 1 (2 to 3 lb) whole chicken

  • 1 cup chopped carrots

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 2-5 cloves of garlic, chopped

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 egg

  • Any seasonings you would like


  1. In a large stockpot cover the chicken and vegetables with salter water and simmer until cooked all the way through.

  2. When tender removed chicken from pot and cool. Once cool add pieces of chicken back to the broth.

  3. To make dumplings: Sift 2 cups of flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour in 1 cup of the chicken broth. Use a fork to mix well. Add a whole egg and continue to mix with fork.

  4. Once totally mixed place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

  5. Seperate the dough into 4 or 5 parts and roll into a thin strip. Cut the strips into 2 inch pieces.

  6. Bring chicken broth to a boil and drop dumplings in (be careful you do not want boiling broth to splash on you). Simmer 10-15 minutes and serve hot.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Time again for "It's Monday, What Are You Reading?". Make sure you take time to head over to visit Sheila and link up.

Well I finished "Guilty Pleasures" last week. It was a very fun read, a mix of comic book/supernatural mystery. I will definitely be finishing this series.

Onto "The Laughing Corpse" by Laurell K. Hamilton for this week. I have been totally sucked into the Anita Blake series. I mean what can I say? She is totally bad ass and yet down to earth at the same time. She can successfully slay vampires but then again has to will herself to not vomit at crime scenes, my kinda girl.

I'm hoping that if I can finish this one within the week (no promises, my 2 year old believes the only thing I should be reading is books to her) I can start "Breathers: A Zombie's Lament" by S.G. Browne. My sister recommended this book to me and since she has never been wrong yet I feel I should give it a shot. Plus that way I won't fly through the Anita Blake series and get bummed like I did with the Twilight series.

So It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- R.I.P. Corey Haim

Corey Haim
December 23, 1971 - March 10, 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Evil Dead: The Musical...

I am so excited! Evil Dead: The Musical is headed my way!!!

I am a total Deadite, I admit it. I am obsessed with the Evil Dead Trilogy, own several Evil Dead video games, have owned the same car that is all the movies ('73 Olds Delta 88 was my first car), and actually named my daughter Ash after Bruce Campbell's character (although I did draw the line at Ashley).

The show is playing in Buffalo at the Alt Theatre from March 10-April 3. Be there or be square!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

There Will Be Therapy In My Kids Future...

I decided to bake some pita pockets tonight to have for lunches and such. I then had the brilliant idea to make pita pizzas for dinner (kill two birds with one stone).

I have these beautiful daughters, who are just angels. So I make smiling faces on their pita pizzas.

Then while they were eating came the sure sign that I watch way toooo many zombie movies and allow my daughters to watch parts of said movies. Both my daughters would take a bite out of their pizza people and mumble "BRRAAAAAAAINS"...

Spring Is In The Air...

Well the sun has been shining for the past 2 days and the temperatures have been in the low 40's. I might have even seen some snow melt.

The increase in vitamin D in my system is making me cheerful, and even a little hopeful that Spring is on its way!

My chickens and turkeys are taking advantage of the sunny weather to peck around and the roosters are even showing the hens a little love!

When I checked the seeds I planted under the grow lights today, I even found one of my hollyhocks and my basil had sprouted!!! I just planted them this past sunday.

Hopefully this evening I will get around to planting some more of my slow growing flowers.

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday again. I have to say I really like this meme, it is motivating me to read more and also opening up my eyes to books I probably wouldn't have given a second look at.

Right now I'm about 80% of the way through "Under the Dome". Hopefully I should be done with it by Wednesday.

Next up is "Guilty Pleasures" the first book in the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. My sister is in the middle of this series and says it's right up my alley.

I hope everyone has a great week and happy reading!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dusting Off My Green Thumb...

Winter has been getting me down. So it was time to start cheering myself up.

I started getting all my seeds together. Somehow my lovely husband misplaced about 30 packets of my seeds, but for the moment I'll forgive him because I won't need them for awhile.

Seeing as March starts tomorrow that gives me about 8 weeks before I can plant anything outside. And that is being cautious. Where I live our last possible frost date is June 1st, so by putting things outside a month early that means there are nights I have to run out and cover all my plants.

Tonight I started up my grow light and heating pad. I planted dill, basil, cilantro, rosemary, holly hock, and sweet pea.

I have grand dreams of having fragrant sweet pea and holly hock growing outside my bedroom window. I tried planting them last year but I waited until too late in the season and they never took hold. So I'm starting them early this year.

(**I should mention it is still snowing outside**)

(This is where my holly hock and sweet pea will go, my pond is somewhere under all that snow)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me...

Today is my 28th birthday. I feel old.

Why is it that I am getting ever so closer to my 30th birthday and yet I still don't feel like a grown up?

Maybe wishful thinking on my part...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Its Monday, What Are You Reading?

This week I'm about 60% of the way through "Under the Dome" by Stephen King.

I have to say I found this book really easy to get into. That is one of the things I like about King's novels, how easy it is to picture yourself in one of his suburban hells. I can picture Big Jim Rennie and honestly believe the female version of him lives about 2 miles down the road from me.

Maddy is going to start "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret." We are starting to slowly have the birds and the bees talk and I thought this was a fitting book to read since it deals with all the craziness that comes with puberty. I remember reading this book when I was Maddy's age and thinking "Thank god, it's not just me that feels this way". We'll see how she likes it.

Bean got to go to the bookstore with us and picked out "Dora's Potty Book". She was very excited that it has a button that makes a flushing sound when you push it. Ahh, the simple joys of being a toddler.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Bean!!!

"I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me" -Heartland

Today is one of those bittersweet milestones in my baby's life...she turns 2 today.

Two years ago today as I sat in the hospital scared out of my mind. I was scared of the major surgery I was facing (C-section), I was scared my baby would have to go to the NICU due to complications from my gestational diabetes, and most of all I was scared my baby wouldn't do well with me as his/her mom (we didn't know the sex of the baby until she was born).

The very first picture of Bean

Well at 12:58 pm all those worries went away. The surgery was uneventful (other than taking 45 min to retrieve Miss Chevelle from her comfy spot jammed in my rib cage), she was perfectly healthy, and I was on cloud nine.

Her "thinking face"

At first I thought it was the pain meds that were making me so euphoric, but then I realized it was just the happiness and joy I found in my baby. She was so perfect and beautiful. So here is a letter to my beautiful daughter on her birthday.

In her christening gown, 5 months old

Her 1st Birthday

Dear Ashlyn Chevelle,
First I want to wish you a happy birthday!!! I am so proud to be your Mama, you are the apple of my eye.

I thought you changed a lot your first year of life, but I definitely think you changed more during your second year. You started this first year just having learned how to walk, not quite sure of yourself. I was so proud that you could say "Mama" and "Dada". In the past year you have gone from toddling around to running, jumping, doing somersaults, and climbing. You speak in full sentences, ask questions, learned to tattle (much to your sisters dismay), and have developed a sense of humor (you have even learned how to use sarcasm).

You are a very inquisitive and independent little girl. You love to be Mama and Dada's big helper, always running up to me while I am kneading bread ("I helper you Mama") or grabbing your tool box to help Dada ("I good fixer Dada"). You adore your big sister and cousin, even though you drive them a little crazy. You feel the dogs are your personal jungle gyms, and the chickens and turkeys are your personal pets. You love digging in the dirt and jumping in puddles. You are my little tomboy. A go-kart ride will make you smile and laugh anyday.

You have a little dare devil side to you. You climb onto the back of the couch just to dive off and give me a heart attack. You love coloring (even when it consists of crayons on my wall). You help me clean, and love the bath tub. You would live off of waffles, hot dogs, donuts, apples, and strawberries if I let you.

There is not a day that goes by that you do not make me laugh out loud. You come up with the crazy ideas sometimes, and are not afraid to laugh at yourself. You make my life better everyday you are in it. I can't imagine my life without you. I love seeing things from your eyes. You remind me what is good about the little things in life.

The lyrics I put at the top of this post make me tear up everytime I hear it. I know it is meant from a father to his daughter but I don't know how any father's feelings could surpass a mother's. I loved you first. From the moment I knew I was expecting you, I loved you. I loved every kick and hiccup I felt. The moment you were born my heart swelled and I thought it would burst. I still feel that way everyday. You are my miracle I didn't think I would ever be able to give birth and then I received the greatest gift.

So for this next year Bean, keep having fun. Keep being my silly girl. Sing your songs, chase bugs and chickens, color beautiful pictures, enjoy ice cream, make mud pies, and just have fun. You are well loved, and I hope you enjoy being 2!