Monday, December 24, 2012

Hearts at Home

I have been able to attend the Hearts at Home conference for a few years ... and it is amazing!
“Do you want to be refreshed, revitalized, challenged, and educated to grow in your marriage, mothering, friendships, and faith? You’re not alone! Come to a Hearts at Home conference and join with thousands of moms who share the same desire. Registration is now open at”
 I promise that you will not be disappointed!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Little Mama's Christmas Round-Up

This "Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt", from Layers of Learning is a great activity that you can do with your family.  Maybe it could even become a tradition!  I shared it with my local MOPS group, and it was a hit!  Click here to go to the page for a printable version.
I absolutely LOVE this idea!  Homemade pizza shaped like snowmen!  You could totally change the ingredients to fit your taste.  Maybe use mini pepperoni or sausage instead of olives.  This great idea comes from Delia Creates.  Click here to view her instruction page.
The 36th Avenue has put together a collection of WONDERFUL Christmas printables!  They can create great opportunities for imagination and creativity!  Check them out here!
Tell the Christmas story with handmade ornaments from Little Blots!  These are adorable, simple and inexpensive to make!  A great activity to do with kids or just do them yourself!  Directions and printables can be found here.
52 Mantels has a great idea for decorating or gift giving! I'm thinking this would be a perfect teacher gift!  Fill a shadow box with ornaments!  Instructions can be found here.
Create a family tradition with this idea from The Imagination Tree!  The idea is to pack a "Christmas Eve Box."  She suggests items like new pajamas for everyone, hot cocoa, popcorn and more.  See her idea here.
 One of my favorite decor ideas is this tomato cage, lighted Christmas tree.  I have seen this all over the web, but these instructions come from New England Design and Construction.  I have a bunch of tomato cages stored in my shed for the winter!  They have some other neat ideas too!
I have a TON of extra buttons in a box.  I use them from time to time on various craft ideas, but I think I have found my favorite idea!  This one comes from Martha Stewart.  Yes, I love Martha!  This adorable wreath ornament is made of buttons, floral wire and a piece of ribbon.  You could definitely do this with the kids too!  Check out the instructions here.
Save your scrap pieces of wrapping paper ... you know, the ones that are not big enough to wrap anything.  Adventures of a DIY Mom made this cute craft using craft paper, but I think you could also use wrapping paper scraps.  Get the instructions here.
Subway art is super trendy right now.  While He Was Napping has a FREE subway art printable that is Christmas themed.  Check it out here.
And another FREE subway art from Eye Candy:
And now the finale ... tips from August Tea Photography on how to capture great photos of your Christmas tree!  This is so helpful to me because I am still learning what settings to use in various environments.  Read the post here.

Merry Christmas from Little Mama!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pomegranate - Super Fruit

Pomegranates are in season!  These super sweet fruits are in season roughly the end of October through the beginning of November.  These fruits are not only delicious, but they have super health benefits too!  They are packed with antioxidants, various vitamins and folic acid.  Research has also shown the potential to combat certain cancers, arthritis, coronary disease, Alzheimer's and other aging ailments.

So, what the heck do you do with them?  Looking at a pomegranate, I can't help feeling a bit perplexed.  Have you wondered, too, how to use this fruit?  Here is some help!

Preparing a pomegranate can be a bit messy.  It's dark red-purple juice will stain anything it touches.  I used a paper plate to cut mine.  The juices pooled toward the center of the plate.  You may want to wear an old t-shirt in case you get spattered ... I did!
Cut into the crown of the fruit with a large knife.  There is a thick chunk of membrane that you will be cutting into.  Cut down about 1 to 2 inches.  If you cut down any further you will slice open the seeds ... You just need a slit that you can get your fingers into to break it open.
Work your fingers into the cut and gently break it open.
Follow the same process on each half, breaking the fruit into quarters.
Gently break the seeds away from the membrane over a large bowl.  One fruit will yield a generous amount of seeds.
Finally, gently rinse the seeds in cool water to remove any membrane that is stuck to them.  Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
So, now what?  Well, the seeds are super yummy to munch on just the way they are.  Also, try sprinkling them over a salad, pancakes or waffles or frozen yogurt ... get creative!

Want juice?  Personally, I would recommend buying it by the bottle, but if you really want to make your own ... it will take about 2 pomegranates to yield one cup of juice.  Give the seeds a quick pulse in a food processor and then press through a sieve.

Though I haven't tested it, I have also read that you can freeze the seeds by spreading them in a single layer on a sheet pan until frozen and then placing them in a freezer bag.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Buttermilk Blackberry Waffles with Quick Homemade Butter

Around my house, waffles for dinner is a huge hit!  I had a bunch of blackberries (grown organically in my backyard) in my freezer.  I decided that instead of blueberries, blackberries would make delicious waffles.  Then I took it a step further and decided that in lieu of the standard recipe, I would make buttermilk waffles.  My daughter loved them so much that she declared them to be, "the best waffles she's ever eaten," and she at twice as many as she normally would.  I'd say that this recipe was a success!  It's a pretty standard, buttermilk waffle recipe from my BHG cookbook, with the addition of the blackberries and quick butter.


You will need:

  • 1 3/4 c. unbleached AP flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • 1 t. real vanilla extract
  • 1 c. blackberries (fresh or if frozen make sure they are thawed and allow the juices to drain)

Make it:

  1. Combine dry ingredients thoroughly in a medium to large mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center.
  2. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
  3. Add wet ingredients all at once to the "well" in the flour mixture and stir just until ingredients are incorporated, there should be some lumps.  
  4. Gently fold in the berries.
  5. Cook in your waffle maker according to its normal directions.  Since all waffle makers are different, yours probably does not cook the same as mine.

Quick Butter

This is not a replacement for the butter that you buy at the store.  My daughter did this project at school and was so excited about it that she wanted to do it at home with me.  It is a very simple process and yields a very tasty product.
  • Pour heavy whipping cream into a container that has a tight fitting lid.  I would not recommend more than 1 cup at a time.
  • Shake vigorously until the cream thickens into butter.  For 1 cup of cream it took us about 15 minutes.
It really is that simple!  This does not work well in recipes, but to top bread, toast, waffles, pancakes etc it is VERY yummy!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jalapeno and Cheddar Corn Bread

 When I discovered how easy it is to make corn bread from scratch, I vowed to never buy a "corn bread mix" again.  It is every bit as simple to make from scratch as it is to make it from a mix.  My inspiration for this corn bread comes from a restaurant in Branson, MO ... White River Fish Co.  Most restaurants serve a french bread or dinner rolls, but they serve jalapeno corn bread.  I started with the basic corn bread recipe, added in some fresh organic jalapenos from my garden and then thought of how well cheddar pairs with jalapenos ... so I decided to add cheese to the recipe.  Hubby said it was great!  :)

You Will Need:

  • 1 c. corn meal
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. milk
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 2 to 5 chopped jalapenos (depending on your taste)
  • 3/4 c. shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. oil

Make It:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  3. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean

The Slow Roasted Italian
- See more at:

Monday, September 10, 2012


Last night I had a feeling that the sunset was going to be vibrant.  I grabbed my camera and drove across town to the top of a hill where I could get a good vantage point.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My First 5K!

It is the morning after my first 5K run.  My calves are so sore that I can barely walk.  Yesterday was the first time that I had ever run that far!  It was soooooo worth it though!

I ran the Alzheimer's Association 5K.  My grandma, Oda, passed away in March from Alzheimer's.  It is a terrible illness that is incredibly difficult to watch.  I ran in her memory, and raised almost $300 in donations.

I felt very "out of place" while waiting for the race to start.  Everyone around me looked like seasoned runners.  I knew that I would finish close to last and was hoping I could finish in less than an hour.  The town of Washington is very hilly, so that didn't help much!  It started out mostly level with a few gentle slopes here and there.  I'm not sure how far I made it before my foot falls turned  to steps.  I did have to walk more than I thought I would.  The hills kill me!  In general I walked the up hills and ran the down hills and flats stretches. 

At about two miles I started to think that I wouldn't finish.  I knew that there were a few people still behind me, so I pressed on.  I was running for Grandma, and not about to give up!  At the last water tent, about 1/10 mile from the finish, I grabbed a cup and sipped.  Bad idea!  I was so close to the end, I should have waited.  I'll spare you the graphic content and just say ... It's a good thing there was a sewer grate nearby!  One of the few people behind be passed me at the point, but I finished just seconds behind her.

At the finish line, my FIRST FINISH LINE, the crowd was cheering, clapping and holding up signs.  It felt so strange, in a good way, to have people cheering for me.  I finished in 37 minutes and 35 seconds!  I was hoping for under and hour and actually trying for 45 minutes.  I'd say I made my goal!!

Now, I want to ask you to check out the Alzheimer's Association website.  There is a lot of information there and a lot of resources.  I think that you will be surprised to learned how many people are affected by this disease.  September is world Alzheimer's month and they have suggestions for some ways to get the word out.  If you feel led to give a donation to the Alzheimer's Association, you can put in the tribute box "In Memory of Oda Snyder".  I hope that I made her proud yesterday!

Wear purple on September 21!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sweet Shot Tuesday

I didn't get much practice this summer, I am still very young in my photography hobby.  I love it, and when I get a great shot it is an amazing feeling!  I have learned a lot recently and am trying to get a lot of practice.  I am told that practice is one of the most important parts about learn the different elements, but practicing them is what makes you truly understand.  Anyway, so far my favorite thing to photograph is flowers.  Maybe because they are so beautiful or may because they don't move around and I don't have to wait for them to smile :)  I got this shot a couple of days ago and am completely in love with it!  Tell me what you think.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Photo Friday :)

It occurred to me that I have not shared any of my photography with you recently.  I have been loaded down with distractions, and have not photographed much recently.  I do have some photos to share with you though!