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I have been taking a break from blogging, well from the internet in general. I have been overly exhausted and unable to keep up with the daily chores around me, therefore I cut out the internet. I occasionally check my email and pop on to facebook, but that is it.

Things that I have been doing instead of those chores and spending countless amounts of time online: playing with my daughter! It has been such a joy to watch her develop and grow. She is able to actually play and problem solve and interact. It has been my joy to stop everything and smile, giggle and play like a kid with my kid.

I have hundreds of ideas for posts, from recipes to tips to craft projects. But none of them have any importance compared to just being with my daughter. So, I don’t foresee much blogging in my future. I don’t think you’ll mind too much!

p.s. Now I want a Kit Kat!

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What is so great about Flax Seed Meal? Why should we eat it as meal and not as seeds? What do we do with the stuff any way? That is exactly what I am about to tell you!

First of all this stuff is packed with nutrition. It has carbs, protein, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. It also has vitamin B6, vitamin E, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus! This stuff is amazing. Out of all of those, the omega-3 fatty acid makes it quite amazing. More and more research is uncovering the amazing effects of omega-3 fatty acid. It has been shown to aid in heart health. The benefits of omega-3 fatty acid are innumerable!

If you eat a whole flax seed, it will come out the other end as a whole flax seed! Leaving you with none of its nutrition! That is why it is important to eat it as a round meal. You can purchase it ground already, or you can save some pennies and grind it yourself in a coffee grinder. To keep all the nutrients in tact store what is not being used in the fridge or freezer, and don’t grind more than you will use in 3 months time.

How should you use it? The possibilities are endless. It is recommended to have 1 to 3 tablespoons a day. The most common uses are to sprinkle it into smoothies or over oatmeal. But it can also be used in baking. It can partially or completely substitute as the fat needed, but extra moisture will need to be added as flax is very absorbent and will dry out your baked goods. I do not have this substitution down to an exact science, I am still experimenting with how much to use in each recipe. I use it often in waffles and muffins.

The Flax Cookbook by Elaine Magee is an excellent resource. This book explains the benefits of flax, from the diseases that it wards off to the nutrients that are so rich within it. It also gives loads of recipes! Some of the sections are: muffins, smoothies, bread, power bars, entrees, and desserts. I checked this book out from our library and have loved all of the information and recipes I have obtained!

So, flax it up!

Last night was very….well it was very something! It had some good moments, but mostly not good moments!

The hubby had to work all day and then in the evening. We only got to spend less than one hour as a family in between jobs! Neither Little Miss or I liked this! She cried as he left and crawled to the door. A good thing: when he got home she woke up and cuddled him. It was adorable, the highlight of my night!

As far as dinner went, nothing sounded good. I made some homemade cornbread, it was delicious. I hate half a pan of cornbread and some cantaloupe, probably lacking some keep nutrition in that meal. But at least I enjoyed it and didn’t want to throw it up!

Then we get to bedtime, the most dreadful part of the day. Little Miss actually went down seamlessly, and a half an hour EARLY! She was so tired. But, 20 minutes later: awake and crying. When I went in there she was trying to put her sassy (pacifier) back into her mouth with no success. I helped and laid her back down. She laid down with no trouble and fell asleep. But, this kid is a light sleeper. I stuck around for a few seconds to make sure she was asleep. Her eyes popped open in 3 seconds. We continued this for 45 minutes! I finally got tired of standing/squatting next to the crib so I moved to the bed only a few feet away. She did not approve of this move. She didn’t need to hold me or hear me sing or anything, she just wanted me close. She stood up and let me know how much she did not like the move. But, I stayed because I was too tired to stand/squat next to her for another 45 minutes. After who knows how long, I finally decided that she was not sleeping on her own, so I scooped her up to bring her to our bed where I wouldn’t have to fight her anymore, or at least I could do it laying down.

On the way to our bedroom, I needed to go to the bathroom (which happens A LOT when you are pregnant). So, we made a pit stop. As I go to flush, my lovely daughter drops her night time stuffed animal right into the toilet! YUCK! I was so upset. I grabbed it out and threw it in the sink (where it still remains) to be cleaned later.

Once we finally made it to the bed, it took over an hour of wiggling and rolling for sleep to actually come to that beautiful little girl. It was so exhausting. Then she slept for less than one hour and woke up SCREAMING. I mean she was letting me know that she was unhappy. At this point it is only 10. She wanted to be nursed, but I am trying to cut down the night time nursing. Because 5 times a night is just too much for this preggo. What happened next? We both balled our eyes out. My crying actually had a bit of a calming effect, but not for long. I finally gave in after 15 minutes of holding her and sobbing. She ate and fall asleep happy soon after.

Hubby came home and I was able to share our evening’s events. When we went into bed our little girl woke up and cuddled with her papa. It was adorable! Then, she refused sleep again. And screamed and wiggled and kicked. And then tooted! twice, really big! It is so hard to tell when she is acting fussy because she wants us, doesn’t want to go to sleep, or has painful gas. I really cannot wait until she is talking!

Here is hoping that tonight goes better!

I don’t know. And, I am such a slacker that I am not even going to look it up! Teaching myself French has been a challenge. I have been using books that I found at a used bookstore: an old grammar text book, a dictionary, and a verb book. So, it has pretty much been on the fly. Finding time to learn has also been a challenge with a Little Miss demanding my full attention a majority of the day and chores demanding the rest of it! But, I was determined to persevere. I want my children to be taught a second language with ease. However, pregnancy changes a lot of things. I am exhausted! I mean really, sleep is what I want to do most of the time. By the time I get to the point during the day where I can actually crack open a book, one in a foreign language is just not going to work!

So, au revoir French. Maybe we will meet again in a little while.

Laundry Soap

When I first saw this recipe I was intimidated. I thought it was too long and complicated. It actually took me over a year before I tried it. The first time that I made it I was finished with everything, including cleanup, in less than 15 minutes. Once I was finished I had enjoyed making it so much that I just wanted to do it again. This stuff lasts a long time too. It makes about 2 gallons of laundry soap, and at 1/2 cup per load you wont have to make it very often.

Tools required:

medium saucepan not to be used for preparing food after used to make laundry soap

grater (same rules apply about food)

large spoon (same as above)

3/4 c measuring cup (same as above)

bucket

containers to put it in (we use the “party pail” 1 gallon ice cream containers, makes 2 of these)

Ingredients:

1/2 bar Ivory soap

3/4 c washing soda (not baking soda!)

3/4 c borax

water

1. Put 6 c water in the saucepan. Grate the 1/2 bar of soap over the water and heat until the soap dissolves. Add3/4 c washing soda and 3/4 borax. Stir until dissolved.

2. Pour 4 c hot water into a bucket. Add the soap mixture and stir. Add 1 gallon plus 6 c water to the mixture and stir.

3. Pour the mixture, which is completely liquid,  into the containers and seal with the lids.

4. The soap needs to rest over night for 24 hours. It will look  gel like, this is perfect! Make sure to get both liquid and gel substance in every load. Use just 1/2 cup of soap for every load.

This is what it should look like the next day. It smells so great!

Happy washing!

Homemade Bagels

Bagels have been sounding so good to me lately. So, I searched to see if I could make some from scratch! I came across this recipe, and tried it out.

I made a few substitutions. I used White Whole Wheat flour from Bob’s Red Mill and I used a squirt of honey instead of sugar. I did not do the egg wash, I sprayed them with a little cooking spray. Which, I also used instead of parchment paper. I guess I did a lot of things differently, but they turned out great! Check them out:

The whole wheat white flour gave them a rich flavor. We sliced and toasted ours and add some butter. They were scrumptious!

Ok, I know that this is terrible for you, but it is the only thing that I want to eat! The whole time I am making it I say “eww, I can’t believe that I want to eat this!” I don’t like pig products, I don’t like fatty things like gravy, this is so not me! But, the belly is speaking and sausage gravy it is!

Ingredients:

ground sausage

flour

milk

biscuits (I used store bought because I was too hungry to make homemade)

Get your biscuits cooking while you make the gravy. Brown the amount of sausage you want, I did about a third of the package. Then remove the sausage from the pan, leaving the grease behind (so gross I know, but that is what makes it taste so good). There should be about 2 to 3 tablespoons of grease in the pan, if there is more than that discard some. Add an equal amount of flour, 2 to 3 tablespoons, stirring continuously. Keep the  burner on medium to medium high, slowly pour over the milk, about a cup. Keep stirring while the gravy cooks and becomes thick, it may take a little while, just keep stirring. Once your gravy becomes thick add the sausage back and voila you have sausage gravy!