My faith

I'm a Mormon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Apple Carrot muffins

Or what I like to call: Carrot cake for Breakfast!

If you even remotely like carrot cake, you'll love this recipe! (adapted from

1 3/4 cups raisin bran cereal
1 1/4 cups wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup finely chopped peeled tart apple
3/4 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1.In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the egg, buttermilk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apple, carrots and walnuts. Fill paper-lined muffin cups or cups coated with nonstick cooking spray three-fourths full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

My 2 year old loves everything about these, except the walnuts, which you can omit. In a brilliant move, I shredded a bunch a carrots I bought in bulk and froze them. There's my pat on the back for the day! (wink!)

Oh, and if you don't have buttermilk, no worries. 1 cup regular milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar is a substitue for a cup of buttermilk. For this recipe I use 3/4 cup milk and almost a tsp of vinegar. Happy baking!!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I love tacos! Taco salad, taco soup, anything with taco seasoning is just delicious. But I hate store-bought taco seasoning. I haven't found many that don't have MSG, and the seasoning packets can be expensive. Not to mention high in sodium. So I found a recipe from allrecipes and tweaked it a little. It was delicious in my taco salad topping! Hope you enjoy!

4 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon paprika
6 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon black pepper


In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.

*Image courtesy

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

101 THings to do

Instead of hitting or yelling.

I'm pretty much against hitting, spanking, yelling, or any kind of punitive reaction to my children's behavior. That's not saying I don't ever lose it. I do. I did tonight in fact. This list might have helped me. Maybe it will help you!

I'm not sure if we're having some regression in B.G.'s sleep, or if she's getting sick, but tonight was not good. She's sleeping on my bed right now. I'm going to go join her as soon as I do the dishes.

What do you think of a 2 year old taking a dance class?
Some moms in my neighborhood are trying to get a group together, and I don't want to give in to peer pressure, but I hadn't planned on doing any tot dance classes until my girls are 3 or older. I guess I just feel the importance of having my children near me while they are so young and impressionable. I know DD1 would LOVE going to dance (she loves anything "big kids" do). Maybe we'll just do our own little dance class at home and practice moving our bodies in fun ways. I don't know. Maybe I'm being crazy. But do I really want to start having my kids go all different places for different activities? I guess I have my answer.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sleep training days 3-6

She's sleeping through the night!! Yahoo! I've realized that one key is trying to keep her schedule consistent. She doesn't necessarily nap at the exact same time every day, but she's pretty good at waking up at the same time each day, so that helps!

To summarize, B.G. basically cried 20-30 minutes the last few nights.

On Friday night I brought her to my bed about midnight, but she didn't nurse, and she didn't wake up again to nurse until 6:30! That was pretty awesome!

Last night She cried for less than 20 minutes when I put her down at 9:30 pm. I closed our bedroom door when I went to bed and I briefly woke sometime in the middle of the night when I heard her cry, but I ignored it and went back to sleep. She must not have cried very long. I woke up at 7 AM and she was still in her own bed.

I can't believe it. This little gal, who I thought would be sleeping in my bed until she went to college, is starting to sleep in her own bed. She still isn't thrilled with her bed, but we're getting there! This is great! Now I can start the weaning process!

Oh, and I must mention that last night she decided she wants to use walking as her primary mode of transportation! I also took care of an itchy rash she had a few days ago, and since treating that, life has been much easier!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Real Food for Healthy Kids

At the local library a few weeks ago I came across this book. What a gem! Not only does this book give delicious, healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, but the authors explain strategies to help with picky eaters, how to involve kids in the meal process, and the importance of good nutrition. Each recipe has special tips as well as nutrition information! I heart this book!

Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Kiss of Honey Wheat Biscuits:
2/3 C sour cream
1/3 C milk
3 Tablespoons honey
1 C whole-wheat flour
1 C plain cake flour (I just use regular white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter (I use salted)

Preheat oven to 425 F
Stir in the sour cream, milk, and honey together.
Combine dry ingredients, then add butter and crumble with fingers.
Add sour cream mixture just until mixed.
Flatten into 3/4 inch thick circle and cut out. Place on greased pan and bake 13 minutes.

Good Day Pear Crisp

Half of a ripe Bartlett pear (You can also use plums, apples, peaches, etc)
1 small lemon wedge
1 1/2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp rolled oats
1/2 Tbsp chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tsp unsalted butter
pinch of cinnamon
1 rounded Tbsp cottage cheese or plain yogurt for serving

preheat oven to 400
halve the pear and core, cut into slices and place in a 6-oz custard cup. Squeeze lemon on top, add the sugar, oats, nuts, butter, and cinnamon, bake 20 minutes until bubbly and golden and the pears are soft.
Let cool 5 minutes before adding cottage cheese. Yum!

Extreme Granola

3/4 C pecans
1/2 cup natural almonds
4 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 C sesame seeds (optional)
1 stick unsalted butter (8 TBSP)
1/3 C pure maple syrup, cane syrup, or honey at room temp.
1/4 tsp fine salt
3/4 C chopped dates
1/2 C dried blueberries or raisins.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a large shallow baking sheet w/ foil. Spread pecans & almonds on sheet and roast for 8-10 minutes, until lightly toasted. Transfer the nuts to a board, cool, and chop.
Reduce oven to 300 F. Pour the oats & sesame seeds in a mound on the same baking sheet. Melt the butter in small bowl in microwave, stir in the maple syrup and salt and drizzle on top of oats. Stir well with rubber spatula and then spread out eh oats in even layer.
Bake oats 30 minutes, stirring once w/ spatula halfway through, until oats are lightly colored. Let cool; the mixture will crisp as it cools. Add dates, blueberries, and reserved nuts and toss.

And now, one lucky reader can win a copy of this book! This is not a sponsored giveaway, I just want to promote healthy eating!
(After all, it's my birthday!)
There are four ways to enter:

Entry 1: follow my blog. Leave a comment

Entry 2: Go here and leave your favorite recipe for your kids. (One you use all the time) Come back, leave a comment and include the recipe.

Entry 3 (4 entries): Try one of the recipes I listed, and come back a review it. Leave 4 comments for each recipe you try. If you try a recipe you get 4 extra chances to win!

Entry 4: blog about this giveaway. Come back and leave a message and link to your blog.

Giveaway closes September 23 8 pm MST.

*This is my own giveaway, not sponsored by the authors or publishers of this book.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sleep training day 2

If it were easy, it wouldn't be hard...*

Wednesday Morning Nap: Soothed B.G. to sleep at 10 AM. She immediately woke up when I put her in her bed (shock!) and screamed. I let her scream 30 minutes, got her, and had her asleep by 10:40. She slept about an hour.

Wednesday Afternoon Nap: It seemed pretty obvious that B.G. needed good quality sleep, and while I want her to get used to her own bed, she sleeps better on mine. So I soothed her to sleep and put her on my bed around 2:30.

Wednesday Night: I knew B.G. needed to go to sleep earlier, but to have some consistency, I didn't put her down hours earlier. I started her bedtime routine by 6:30, and she was showing obvious signs of needing to go to bed by 8:30, so I sang her some songs, she was drowsy, and I put her to bed. Screaming commenced and lasted 50 minutes. She was asleep by 9:30 and slept until 12:30, at which point I brought her to bed.

My Baby Girl is still the happiest, most playful little thing there is. In other words, there has been no sign that she is not handling this well. Which makes me think the Sears' don't know everything. And they might even be wrong about how babies interpret being left to cry it out.

Isn't it funny how many different perspectives there are about how to raise children. On one extreme of the spectrum you have Baby Wise, which works great for many people, but can be dangerous to a baby's health if taken to the extreme. On the other end is Co-sleeping and child-directed parenting (also known as attachment parenting.) Whenever you share what you've decided to do, people come out of the woodwork with horror stories, or telling you "I could never let any baby cry, it's inhumane, you must be a monster." Or if you co-sleep "Heavenly Father knows I could never survive if my baby didn't sleep through the night." Really? Or how about "Why do some parents just 'give in' to their child? I'm the parent, my child does what I say." Yeah, good luck with that when he's a teenager.

What we really need as mothers is support, not judgement. Do we need information? Often. Do we need advice? If we ask for it. Do we need love and understanding? Definitely. This is what I've prayerfully decided to do.
*Sheri Dew

Sleep training day 1

Tuesday Morning nap: I put Baby Girl in her bed a little before 10 am, mostly asleep. She immediately awoke and cried for 30 minutes. After that period, I went and got her, soothed her back to sleep, then put her on my bed. (I decided to follow Dr. Weisbluth, but only for 30 minutes during nap time instead of the hour he suggests.) She then slept for an hour, which is a good nap for her.

Tuesday Afternoon Nap: B.G. fell asleep on the way home from an outing in the stroller, around 2 pm. She slept for more than an hour after I transferred her to my bed.

Tuesday Night: I got home from Yoga (which was awesome, btw) and followed B.G.'s routine strictly. I also made sure she was showing definite signs of being tired (ie rubbing eyes, yawning) and then put her to bed. Awake. I know, I'm brave. She cried for 20 minutes. No, let me amend that: she SCREAMED for 20 minutes. In my mind as I listened to her scream, I imagined her being mad at me. "Throw me any tantrum," I thought. "I can handle a mad baby." What I can't handle a sad baby whose needs aren't being met, so I reminded myself that she had everything she needed, just not what she wanted. After all, Heavenly Father doesn't give us everything we want the minute we yell for it. If he did, we wouldn't be stretched and shaped into the glorious Beings He wants us to be. I put her to bed at 9:20 pm (I'm working on earlier, but like I said, I had Yoga, and DH gave her a bath, so props to him!) and she fell asleep for good at 10 pm. She woke up screaming after 1 AM and I brought her to bed. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I wasn't ready for hours of middle-of the night screaming.

So, the plan will be the same tonight. I might wait to let her scream in the middle of the night until Friday, when DH can be home for the weekend and we can tag-team naps. At any rate, I count last night as a success because she only nursed 2 times. I nursed her at 8:30 pm, then again at 1 am and again a couple hours later. She didn't nurse this morning until after 9, so weaning should be a cinch once I get her sleeping through the night. I gotta be honest, I'm excited to have my body back. It's been 3 1/2 years straight of pregnancy, nursing or both. Boy, can I use a break. (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE it, but I'm excited to parent without sharing my body quite so fully!)
*The picture is from May. I couldn't find a more recent one of B.G. sleeping. lol.