Wheat & Corn Free - Apple & Pear Cobbler ~~ Yummy

Apple & Pear Cobbler

2 cored, sliced & peeled Granny Smith apples
2 cored, sliced & peeled Bosc pears
2 cups sugar divided
1/2 cup water
8 tablespoon butter*
1 1/2 cup barley flour
1 3/4 teaspoons of gluten free baking powder
3/4 teaspoons of salt ~ (baking powder & salt turns the flour into  self rising)
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of all spice
1/4 teaspoon salt

-Preheat oven to 350

-Combine apples, pears, 1 cup of sugar, cinnamon, all spice & water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes; remove from heat.

-Put the butter in 3 quart baking dish & place in the oven to melt

-Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour (personally I used barley flour since we are allergic to wheat ~ Barley only contains a small amount of gluten, so is rarely used to make bread, with the exception of unleavened bread. It has a slightly nutty flavour, and can be used to thicken or flavour soups or stews. Blended with other alternative flours it is also fairly versatile for cakes, biscuits, pastry, dumplings etc) & baking powder & 3/4 teaspoons of salt & milk (for this recipe I used plain soy milk) mix slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. DO NOT MIX

-Spoon fruit on top gently pouring in the syrup. Batter will rise during baking

-Bake 30 -45 minutes

*Daughter seems to be ok with butter so we still use it


Don't Give Up....

“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”~Dr. Seuss~


The Season of Giving - Aiden's Monsters

With the holidays being just around the corner, I have been trying to come up with ideas for gift giving. I happened upon this news story yesterday that left me in tears and the answer to my gift giving problem.

Aiden Reed, 5 years old is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. To say the least the family is struggling in this already hard economy to pay for the chemo treatments that he badly needs. So his Aunt decided to use what makes Aiden happy and use it to pay for his treatments. They are selling copies of his monster pictures! He loves to draw monsters. I really hope that you will check out their Etsy store and buy a $12 monster picture. This is a great Christmas present! Pay it forward!!


Married to the Mob

I was wondering to myself today when exactly that I became a member of the mob? At what point exactly did I feel that it was necessary to go the extreme of threatening my children with bodily harm or bribing them just so they will behave in public? Do I really need to be happy with the fact that my kids are rich and scared because of me? I don't the answer just yet. I can tell you I sure like the nods from the adoring public because my kids did not throw temper tantrums in the middle of the cookies aisle or the smiles from the older generations thanking me for being more like June Cleaver with my precious well dressed angels. So until I no longer have money or threats that make my kids cower in submission, I will continue with my mobster ways!!



Conversation between sisters:

Little Sister starts whining.
Big Sister says "Why you crying?"
Little Sister "I lost my cookie"
Big Sister "You didn't lose your cookie. It's in your tummy!"

Last night we went to a corn maize. Man, it was a lot of fun! They had both a haunted maize and a regular maize. Big sister thought she was old enough so hubby took her through and to my amazement she came back all smiles. It was not scary at least to her!! LOL!!


Wordless Wednesday - Best Friends

It has been a long time since I have posted a Wordless Wednesday but I thought this was great picture. We have to drive about 5 miles out of town to get to my husband's work and on the way is this pasture with cows and these two. My daughter loves them not only because one is a horse (appaloosa horse, if you ask her) and one is a donkey but they are always together. So we call them best friends!


Hey Baby, Let's go to Vegas!!!

Today is our 12th wedding Anniversary!! I can't believe that we have made it 12 years!! WOW!! That's a big deal for someone who has commitment issues. I love you, Big Daddy!! Thank you for 12 wonderful, eventful years, 2 beautiful children and life full of laughs, love and fun adventures. I still can't believe that we just got on a plane, flew to Vegas, got married and then told our moms!! LOL!! I wouldn't change it for anything. You are my ace in the hole and I'm your lady luck. Bet on love and let it ride!!!! 10.10.10


First Time for Everything

Yesterday was truly a wonderful day!! After acing my entrance exams to the nursing program, we went to the fair. It was such a beautiful day, not too hot and not a cloud in the sky. It was little sister's first time at the fair but Little Bell had been before. She was not tall enough to really ride anything super fun but this year she got to ride the tilt-a-whirl twice and her very first ROLLER COASTER!! She is addicted just like her mom! I tried really hard to get a picture but just got blurs. It is OK because I will never forget what I saw. As they were coming down the first steep drop, just like her mom, she buried her head in her dad's arm and held tight! I really don't know if she even opened her eyes again. Guess what her first words were after they got off....Let's go again!!!

I am truly blessed and thankful for days like these, they make the rest of the stressful, emotional, long days worth it.


Dear World....

Just in case you forgot...I am AWESOME!!!


Month in Review

So I am going to try and catch you up, hopefully it will be painless. I went back to school and picked up more letters to add after my name. I applied for the nursing program, waiting to hear is the hardest part.

We made a choice to homeschool our 1st grader. She woke up the day before school was set to start with hives all over her face. Looking back now, I realize that we made the right decision. Don't get me wrong for the last few months all I have been telling myself was I made the wrong choice. It was been soooo hard. I thought when we made the choice to homeschool her it was a mutual effort, everyone would do their part. Man was I WRONG, but last night before bed I was talking with Sister about really nothing much just small chit chat. She looked at me and said something that blew me away. She told me that when she was 5 & 6 (just turned 7 in Sept), that she would look at herself in the mirror and think that she looked weird? You have to understand something, she is BEAUTIFUL. I know all moms think that their children are beautiful but she really is gorgeous. I cannot tell you how many times people have stopped us from birth even until last week and tell us how beautiful she is (doesn't happen for little sister). I know this sounds strange but in that instance I had the assurance I needed that we made the right choice about homeschooling. Now it kind of makes all the nights I stayed up late getting homeschooling projects ready for the next day, or studying for my exams, or doing housework because there is not even time in the day just seem justified. I hope this year at home we can work on her self image and make her more confident in herself.

So here we go...Month in Review...

Watching - Young & the Restless - It is the only show that I get to watch by myself. Most week nights you will find me snuggled on the couch at midnight yelling at Victor Newman...their your daughters!!
Reading - The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and the Bible...I know odd combination but I really find it alot easier to read the Bible and understand it with the methods I learn from the Dalai Lama!
Making - A better life...I went back to school to add more letters to end of my name.
Eating - RIBS!! Our local grocery store had a big sale on ribs a couple of weeks ago. I bought some because of the great deal and plus we had never tried cooking them at home. Needless to say, it is required at our house once a week by everyone.
Feeling - Stressed and lonely. All the extra work I created for myself with homeschooling, returning to school myself, making sure my husband works as many hours as possible, and the normal keeping up with all things household..I have been a little stressed then add to the fact that my in-laws still have nothing to do with my kids (going on 5 months)..I am a walking time bomb waiting to explode.
Wondering - If I made the right decision about returning to school and homeschooling. Wondering why my in-laws hate me sooo much, other people like me, I think.
Hearing - "Oh my gosh, Mommie" my 2 year old new favorite saying about everything.
Liking - My new elliptical machine. Yes I choose the machine over Wii fit. Man am I glad I did, I have been working out for about 2 weeks now, everyday 30 mins a day and well I have more energy. I don't know about weight because I refuse to own a scale but nobody asked when my baby was due this week. (Yes I get that ALOT from people...Word of advice if you see someone and you think that they look pregnant but are not completely confident about it, don't say anything. I don't go around asking people about the freak accident they were in and how it disfigured their face. Nor do I ask people when they are going to get their noses fixed. I can diet and loose weight without major surgery ugly people cant change their appearance!)
Wanting - A real Date Night with my husband...or maybe 1 hour with nobody asking questions, or screaming, or fighting, or cooking, or cleaning...
Playing - Lots of music..keeps me sane and happy
Wishing - I was more organized and had more time
Enjoying - The cool mornings and beautiful temps in the afternoon. I love FALL!!!

I am making a commitment to keep up this blog not for free stuff, promotions and give aways but for a record of how my life is changing and a place to vent!

The Art of Happiness

I have been reading "The Art of Happiness" by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I am actually quite enjoying the book. This is the second one of his books that I have read. The first one I read was "Becoming Enlightened". I highly recommend these books no matter what religion you claim. The Dalai Lama's view is that he does not want you to become a Buddhist, he wants you to take the simple information about inner happiness and peace, then apply it to your religion. Which I think is awesome, especially since you really NEVER hear that from christian authors. They just want to convert you!

What I have gotten from this book so far is to just be happy with what you have right now. Don't go looking for things or people that you hope will make you happy because "we don't need more money, we don't need greater success or fame, we don't need the perfect body or even the perfect mate - right now, at this very moment, we have a mind, which is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness." So today on Sunday the start of another week, don't go look for happiness in others or material things this week, be happy with yourself. If you find yourself where you are confused about whether something will make you happy, ask yourself...Will it bring me happiness? Seek happiness inside yourself!!!


I'm Baaccckkk!!!!

Hello World
I hope you didn't miss me too much!! I did not fall of the face of the Earth, although I have had a couple of moments where I sure wish I could. Like everyone else in this bloggy world, I have been super busy!

I took my next course in nursing to help move myself up the ladder just a little bit. I decided to home school my first grader, still don't know if that was a good idea yet. I started applying to nursing schools and updated all of my shots. I managed to throw one heck of an awesome birthday party for my 7 year old with a super surprise of horse riding lessons! I managed to piss my in-laws off and they still are not talking to us 4 months later (email if you need a good idea to get rid of your in-laws for a couple of months). I still have not lost any weight though!!

I hope to get back in the swing of things and started contributing my two cents to world on a regular basis again!! I know you all have been jonesing for me, so your dreams are coming true! I'M BACK!!

Here's picture of my 7 year old having her dream for 5 years coming true, riding a horse!!


And the Winner is....

Thanks so much to all that entered! This was truly a great first giveaway! So I used and the winner of the $50 CSN gift card is.....

Jennifer said...

Kristel, I am an avid follower of your blog. I feel like I know you. And I would buy some bread pans to make my sourdough bread in and I would think of you each time I made bread, which is twice a week.

9:46 PM, August 03, 2010

Thanks Jennifer, I will be contacting you. I love that you would think of me twice a week and I expect to hear from you on those 2 days!!!

Be sure and come back I have lots more giveaways headed your way!! Have a great Sunday!!!


Six Word Saturday..

Hosted by Showmy Face

Just remember, it could be worse!!

Award, Coupons & Dora....

So once again I went MIA for a couple of days. I was busy registering my 6yr old for 1st grade (sniffle, sniffle), trying to get a grasp on wheat and dairy free life, and buying school supplies.

As far as the diet lifestyle change, I am doing better but I still have a hard time planning for more than one day at a time! I won a new cookbook over at All About...Vegan Food, it's called Mission: Impossible Pies by Hannah Kaminsky. Which is great because we are missing sweets bad! I am sure I will have lots of recipes to share don't worry!

I also got my FIRST AWARD!!

 I am completely honored. I got it from The Truth About Motherhood 

which I completely love. She was one of my first blogs that I followed!!

Other things random things I came across this week:


Wheat & Dairy Free Recipe

Here is a great recipe for those of us who have food allergies or know someone with food allergies!

Banana Bread:

2/3 cup of oil
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs or egg replacement
1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups of barley flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In large bowl, mix the oil and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the bananas and vanilla. Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda and stir into the banana mixture. Add the nuts if desired. Pour into a loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour or until done. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.


**GIVE AWAY** CSN Gift Certificate!!!

I am sooo excited!! I have been bouncing off the walls all week long because I was contacted by CSN Stores about hosting my First Ever GIVEAWAY!!! Which is completely awesome because I love CSN Stores. You can find almost anything on over 200 online stores from dinnerware to dog beds to sofas and suitcases!!
It is your lucky day because CSN Stores wants to give you a $50 gift certificate! You can buy replacements for the plates that were broken, like me,
or maybe you need this...

Whatever it is, CSN Stores has it!!

So leave me a comment, with your email address, telling me what you would love to own from CSN Stores! Hurry contest ends August 7, 2010 @ midnight! Only open to US & Canadian readers only!

Additional Entries:
  • Follow me - 1 entry
  • Blog at this giveaway - 3 entries
Good Luck!!!

To the Top Tuesday Blog Hop

I know you can't believe it, I found another blog hop! This one is hosted by One Little Mister & Mommy is Crafty! The rules:
  • Follow both hosts!
  • Follow featured blog - The Baby Store Plus
  • Link your Blog
  • Find 4-5 new blogs, tell them how you found them!
So link up and go explore. Find someone new today! Don't forget to come back. I will be having my FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY!! I know you need a gift certificate to!!! Who doesn't want free money?!?

Follow Me Back Tuesday...Giveaway coming

BWS tips button
It's Follow Me Back Tuesday. Hosted by Survey Junkie, Little Yaya'sReview Retreat , Boobies, Babies & A Blog & our special guest co-host for the week Shanna from Mommy Of One...And Counting!

If you are new and stopping by Welcome! Remember come back later today I will be posting my FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY!!! YEAH!! If you love, come back and enter the giveaway!! Who doesn't need a gift certificate? Also I am shopping for a button! Who designed yours?


First Giveaway...Coming Soon!!!

I can't tell you how excited I am about my FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY!!!!! It will also be my first blog anniversary!! WOW, 2 cherry poppings in one day!!! Now I need your help, BUTTONS! Where do I get one? Let your recommendations in the comments, please!! Don't forget come back for my BIG GIVEAWAY!!!

Monday Minute

Monday Minute
Hosted by Daily Dose of Reality, which I always need!


Brown Eyed Girl Jenn

Co-hosted this week by Brown Eyed Girl Jenn

Describe your life in one word

Promising - likely to turn out well

Is there something you wish you had learned how to do as a child?
Yes, playing the piano and baton twirling lessons!

Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
God, I have always wanted to be enlightened!

What is your greatest dream/hope/aspiration?
To finish nursing school, completely, then go on to become a CRNA. Of course, that my girls are healthy, happy and loved, too!
Do you believe you have reached your potential? Why/why not?
No. I have sooo much more to offer this world!
Now that I have disclosed my life to you, join in! Answer the questions and Link up!


Week in Review...Blogs I Love

I have found sooo many new blogs! I must share, I can't hold it in anymore!!!! So go explore and tell me what you find!!

BWS tips button

BWS tips buttonBig Mama Cass' Button

Mass Hole Mommy

Leelou Blogs

Getting to Know You...

Getting to know YOU

Hosted by Mannland5

The Q's..

1. If you were to win an award today, what would it be for?
I don't know why this is such a hard question....ummm...I guess hottest! It is sooo hot here today. We will be reaching actual temperatures around 105 and humid! I feel titty sweat coming already and its not even noon!

2. What is your shoe style?
Shoe style sadly is flip flops for warm weather and Uggs for cold! Easy, like me, hahaha!

3 Does your car reflect your personality?
Nooooo! I drive a Camry, not by choice. I really see myself as a VW kind of gal! On the outside its sleek and contemporary, on the inside a race car!!

4. If you could take over someones body for a day..whose would you choose?
I would choose Jennifer Aniston. I love her. She has a great body, and I think beautiful!

5. Love or be loved?
Be Loved!!! We always want what we can't have, right?

6. If you were on death row, what last meal would you choose?
A big juicy steak and potato. Maybe chocolate cake for dessert!

7. Have you been on vacation this Summer, if so where?
We decided this year instead of going just going to one place, we made lots of little visits in neighboring cities. The rules were, we had to go at least 1 hour out of town! We have been to 3 different lakes, 4 museums, 2 zoos and 1 water park. It was lots of fun and didn't realize how much we had right around us!

8. What is your favorite food related guilty pleasure?
Dr. Pepper and peanut butter cups!!

Now that you have seen more of me than you wanted to, answer the questions and link up with MannLand5!! Have a great Sunday!!


Action Plan

We had our consultation with Little Bell's allergist yesterday and well all I can say is...that's it? Short medical background on Little Bell: She was always a healthy child until last Sept. She started kindergarten but it was not her first exposure to school. She also attended a daycare at 3 then pre-school at 4, so she has been exposed to lots of germs! Since Sept of last year, she has had 6 sinus infections, 4 strep throats, 3 ear infections, 1 regular flu, 1 "piggy" flu and lots of "viruses". We finally took her to the allergist. So here's what we found out, she has asthma - not severe but enough that we have to an inhaler on hand. She is not allergic to any, you heard not one, environmental element. Now food is a WHOLE different subject. I know you saw my post of going dairy-free. Well needless to say, we are still on day 1! So here are her know food allergies, list from greatest to least: Wheat, corn, milk/casein, egg whites, oats, rice, peanuts, chocolate and soy bean.

For some reason, maybe denial, I am having a hard time grasping the concept of having to find all new things to cook. Like lots of people, I have 3 very picky eaters. Hubby and Little Bell, I can pretty much talk them into "trying" new things but baby sister, I will use her favorite quote "No way!".

I found myself on the computer for 2 hours trying to decide what to feed my kids for lunch and then when my husband nor the kids could take it anymore, he brings home hot dogs and burgers! Really?

I am very frustrated with the concept of change. I like cheese, I like bread, I like corn!! Don't give me crap for wanting Reese's peanut butter cups! I am not a bad person!! Sorry I forgot this isn't Free Therapy Day!!

On top of that, baby sister is really showing her age! She is 2! She is the most stubborn little thing. I get so frustrated with her tantrums. Tonight's episode ended with mac'n'cheese on the fridge and her red bum in the "no-no" chair!

I am so pissed off at the allergist doctor. I very clearly remember her telling us that she would set us up with an action plan. I remember feeling so relieved knowing that at the end of all the tests, we would have a precise "action plan". She had a ton of information on environmental, nothing on food!

New action plan????


Thank You Very Much

It's Free Therapy Day! That's right, you heard me! No more excuses as to why you can't figure out why all your relationships SUCK! Visit Daily Dribbles and grab the button and let it all hang out! The way it works is that you take out all your frustrations on people/things that peeved you off during the week and thank them in a very sarcastic way, for being who or what they are/doing what they did. So hold on your panties, girls, I am getting me some FREE THERAPY!!

  • Thank you very much, my precious little 2 yr old for making me hate the phrase "No way". I remember, not that long ago, using it in sentences and thinking to myself, Man I am REALLY Cool. Now after hearing it repeatedly day and night, I know I can live the rest of my life not hearing it again! So thank you for making me realize that I am annoying, not cool.
  • Thank you very much squash bugs. Without your need to kill my plant, I would have never known, truly what a terrible farmer I really am.
  • Thank you very much my beautiful little girls, without you I would be such a stuck up mom. Just when I start to get a little bit of a big head about what angels I have raised, you pop that bubble with a simple, "Mom why is sister taking her diaper off?" Of course, we are in the middle of Target! How, why and exactly when I have no answer to but I can tell you, she at least had enough decency to wait until the parking lot to pee!
  • Thank you very much soccer. Don't get me wrong, I can go all day with David B. and no shirt but really you need to be that interesting? Can you at least have shorter innings or whatever you call it, 45 minutes, really? By the time the game is over, I am too tired and have done forgot what in the world I was mad about, really?
So now it's your turn to let it out! Grab the button & link up.

Welcome Wednesday

Here I go again, off to find great new blogs!

If you want to be a part of Welcome Wednesday, just follow these 5 simple steps:
1. Follow the Welcome Wednesday Host (Take It From Me) as well as the 2 Spotlighted Blogs of the Week. (These will make up the top three slots on the Linky)
2. Link up your blog name and URL with our Linky. (You only need to add your info once for it to be seen on all the blog hops)
3. Grab our Welcome Wednesday button and include it in a post about the event on your blog.
4. Go to as many blogs on the MckLinky as you want and Follow them. Be sure to tell them you are from Welcome Wednesday!
5. Be sure to Follow back any followers you have gained from our Welcome Wednesday event!

So if you are stopping by for the first time, Welcome! I love new followers and always follow back. Be sure and check out my first ever GIVEAWAY!!


You Got This...

I love my husband but really? So yesterday was a loonngg day. My 6 yr old woke everyone up at 5 am with a scream that would wake the dead. She had a bad dream :(  The day got progressively worse. I am not one to complain much, I said MUCH OK!

Sister, 2 yr old, is now refusing to take naps, WTF? Little Bell, 6 yr old, was in a bad mood which I can't blame her, nobody likes being woken up after being chased by GIANT CATS!? Jack*ss (the loving nickname I am using for my husband today! DON'T JUDGE ME!) works 12 hour shifts on Sat and Sun so needless to say I HATE WEEKENDS!

Within 10 minutes of my husband Jack*ss returning to work after lunch, my door bell rings. It's my sister, she never ever comes to my house so I knew it was serious. She has a 7 yr old little girl so the 3 cousins happily played together while my sister (who is not in the blogging world) proceeds to lay it all out there. Let me just say without giving too many juicy details, it entails another recently separated man. So I find myself watching not only my house fall apart but my sister, too. I have such mixed feelings so I won't even began trying to explain!

Luckily, I had to pick up my husband from work (he drives work truck on the weekends). Otherwise I think she would have stayed all night! I was 10 minutes late picking up Jack*ss which of course I have to hear all the way home! We had not even pulled into the driveway when he gets a call from work. (He works for a data center, don't ask me, I am just pretty) If you don't know, we have our beloved cat, Seraphina, and our not so much beloved dog, SeeSee (my 6 yr olds version of CeCe). The cat gets to come inside not the dog, sorry.

On the weekends, I feed the girls their dinner before my husband gets home then we eat together later. We walk in the door from picking up Jack*ss, I immediately head to the bathroom for baths because I am always trying, hardly ever achieving, bedtime at 8:30. My kids are sleepers, big shout-out to Jesus! Water running, check. Kids in bath, check. Dirty dishes still on table, check. Remainders of tornado that ran through my house, check.

For some reason, I still do not know why, Jack*ss let the dog in the house then abruptly heads to the front door. This is what I hear "I am headed back to work. I let SeeSee in and she is chasing the cat! Uh Oh Seraphina is on the table! Yup, there goes SeeSee after her! Well I gotta go. You got this!" The door shuts. CRASH!

Morning after, we still have a dog and a cat. We no longer own a complete set of dishes, excuse to spend money. Both kids did not drown. One husband who is very sorry or least that is what he said. And a very BIG hangover! Thanks Hornsby! Yes this all happened on a Sun. Don't even get me started on my conspiracy theory about how God has it out for me! He has been on my butt for years to go to church on Sundays!

Monday Minute

I love exploring new blogs. Once again I have found a great new blog Kmama! I think I will give myself a pat on the back, I deserve it! So here's what I found, Kmama is co-hosting a great Q&A.
So link up with Kmama  @ The Daily Dribbles!
Monday Minute

So here we go:

1. Who is your "what-if" person?
Weelll, if I must....thank gawd my mama does not know how to turn on a computer (much less a man, sorry I couldn't resist)! The last I heard of him (thanks fb), he was married to the slut girl he left me for with 2 very beautiful kids. He is a "musician" and manages a website that sells silver pendents. I think I traded up! (No offense to musicians, I wish I was talented enough or silver pendent website managers. I'm just saying.)

2. What is your nickname?
Depends, if it is my husband...darling. My bestie...whore, slut, Kris you know anything affectionate. My sisters...babysitter, dog babysitter. The people that I very kindly yell ask to move out of the way whether it be grocery store, post office, any place that large crowds of idiots gather...b*tch!

3. If you could choose how you died, how would you like to die?
WOW! What a question...I know how I don't want to die. Young, I don't want to drown. I don't want to burn or be murdered. Crap I could go on and on and on. So I'll ask someone with a slower less complicated brain, no the kids are asleep. My husbands reply "The best you can hope for is to die in your sleep. You got to know when to hold'em. Know when to fold'em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run!" Awesome, now I will have to hear him sing that stupid song for the rest of the night.

4. If you could have named yourself, which name would you have picked?

You do not know how many nights I laid awake at night thinking about this question. You see, I do not like my name, Kristel (pronounced Krystal or however to want to spell it). It is a common name with a uncommon spelling! Actually, my parents claim that someone in the hospital changed the spelling on my name, really. Until I was in the 7th grade, myself and my parents spelled my name Krystal. That is how my name is spelled on all report cards until the 7th grade. We moved the summer between 6th & 7th grade. At the new school, they required a birth certificate (apparently my parents did not need one when I enrolled in Kindergartner). On my birth certificate my name is spelled Kristel. So to answer the question, I always wanted a different name until 7th grade!

5. Who were you named after or for what reason did your parents choose your name?
I am not named after anyone. It just fit the rhyme. I have 3 older sisters Amy, Angela, Kristin and me Kristel or Krystal depending on when you knew me! Yes all of our middle name rhyme, too. I can't wait until Fawk You, Friday!



So here we go again...School is almost upon us and I am feeling the need to shop for backpacks, shoes and school supplies. (Am I the only one that gets that sick feeling in the pit of their stomach when they smell Elmer's Glue. You know that feeling of OMG I didn't do my homework and the teacher just called on me!)

I have a 1st grader this year and I am super nervous. You see I am a worrier. I worry about EVERYTHING, which is a great post for another day. Today I am worrying about backpacks. Last year, I bought 3 different ones, all of which didn't suit my kid's ridiculous needs. So this year, I have decided to shop online and include her the entire way. I have been doing my research and have come up with some great choices. Here is what I found (BTW these are all eco-friendly aka PVC free):

  1. Rawganique - They are a company that sells hemp made clothing, food, pretty much anything. After we found out my daughter was allergic to milk, casein, wheat and corn, hemp seems to be one of the only alternatives.
  2. Timbuk - This one lets you design your own backpack.
  3. SealLine - I am not really sure about this one but at least it is an option.
  4. Patagonia
Well I have 4 options for her maybe we can find one that we both like? Probably not but since Mommy has Daddy's credit card, I have the final say! Right Daddy!!


Eat Pray Love

I recently started reading the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know it is about time, the movie is coming out in a couple of weeks! What can I say, I am a late bloomer!

Well, needless to say I am really enjoying the book. It is a great book for anyone who is confused as to where their life is leading them and needs a little push in the right direction.

I am not very far into the book and I won't share too much so not to ruin it for anyone wanting to read the book or watch the movie but there was a part that struck a cord with me. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote it best "The great Sufi poet and philosopher Rumi once advised his students to write down the three things they most wanted in life. If any item on the list clashes with any other item, Rumi warned, you are destined for unhappiness."

That's where I am, trying to figure out the 3 things I want most in life. That is my assignment for the weekend. So how about you? What are the 3 things you want most in life?



So my husband's vacation is over. He had 10 whole days off with us, his adoring family! I know that doesnt seem like a long time but for someone who hasnt had a weekend off in 2 years it was a blessing. Last night while we were laying in bed, I asked him what he was going to tell his co-workers what he did on his vacation. His reply "Nothing but relax with the family"! Which is completely true! I had a very long honey-do list and it is still very long. I think we got one project done, the rest is still a work in progress.

I enjoyed every moment we had together and cant wait for the next one. Some of the highlights were going to the river, the aquarium and of course our little sister's 2nd birthday!!

Carbon Neutral Blog...

carbon neutral offers and coupons with

I found this great new blog! Which lead me to yet another great cause, reducing my carbon footprint. There was a program that was started in Germany, that has a goal of trying to reduce carbon emissions. They plant a tree in honor of your blog and help reduce your carbon footprint for the next 50 years. It is real easy, check out the original post.


Day 1 - Dairy Free

Well we officially have gone dairy free at our house!! After my 6 yr old's allergy test, we decided the best thing to do was start with dairy and see how the changes affect everyone. I can pleasantly say that nobody at our house really missed it! It is just day 1.

After my overwhelming experience on Monday with the grocery store, I pleasantly returned on Tuesday morning. I am happy to report the outcome was different this time. Instead of leaving with nothing but a big headache this time I returned home with lots of fruits, veggies and lots less money. I did realize that it would be a lot cheaper and smarter to learn to cook the basic things from scratch, like spaghetti sauce. I am nervous and excited about learning to cook again.

So for breakfast yesterday we had blueberry pancakes with soy milk, lunch we had peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and for dinner we had stir fry over rice with watermelon. The kids loved the veggies in the stir fry quite to my surprise. I do have to say that the gluten free dairy free bread was quite chewy. Thank goodness we only used bread on one side, it was more for dipping. I am looking for ideas of better gluten and dairy free bread, if anyone has any!

HookableDesigns Giveaway...

Courageous Mother is having an awesome giveaway that ends today!! She is featuring HookableDesigns on Etsy. The jewelry is beautiful...

The giveaway is from the I Am Wonderful collection. It is for your choice of headbands so link up and enter to win!



So my 6 yr old had her first allergy test done yesterday and well it wasn't what I was expecting at all. Even now all I can think! She is allergic to milk, casein (the protein used to make cheese), wheat and corn. Thank God she is not allergic to peanuts, chocolate or eggs.

So if you don't know much about casein (which I didn't until a lot of questions and research) it is in all dairy products. Not only will we become gluten free but dairy free also. WOW. I cant even began to explain our love for dairy products at this house.

I made my first visit to the grocery store to find something for us to eat. It is all so overwhelming for me at this point. We still have one more allergy test before our "action plan" visit with the doctor so I have plenty of time before totally freaking out. But still even now, when I really starting thinking about meals my mind just shuts down and all I can think is...WOW!



I got this email today and I had to share...

Friendship ~ None of that Sissy Sh*t

Are you tired of those sissy 'friendship' poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of true friendship You will see no cute little smiley faces on this ~ Just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.

1. When you are sad ~ I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you sad.
2. When you are blue ~ I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.
3. When you smile ~ I will know you are thinking of something that I would probably want to be involved in.
4. When you are scared ~ I will rag on you about it every chance I get until you're NOT.
5. When you are worried ~ I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining.
6.. When you are confused ~ I will try to use only little words.
7.. When you are sick ~ Stay the hell away from me until you are well again.. I don't want whatever you have.
8. When you fall ~ I will laugh at your clumsy ass, but I'll help you up.
9. This is my oath .... I pledge it to the end. 'Why?' you may ask ~ because you are my friend.

Friendship is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, but only you can feel the true warmth.

2nd Look Saturday..These are My Words

2nd Look Saturday Button

So here is a great new blog hop that I found today! The rules are simple. Re post a blog of your own that you think deserves a second look! Post the button and link up!

So here is a post from June 24 not that long ago!!


So where have I been? I could tell you some BIG lie about being so busy that I just haven't had a chance!!! Well I haven't been busy at all. I could tell you that I decided to DISCONNECT from technology for a while but if you really knew me, you would know that was simply untrue!! I would sleep with my iPhone if it didn't bother my husband. I really do not have one good reason why I haven't been on my OWN website. I even got an award!?! (BTW..that was completely AWESOME!!)Well, I sure hope that you will forgive me for being away cause I AM BACK, BABY!!

So what now? I have a serious question that needs an open and honest response. How many true friends do you have in your life? By true friends I mean the ones that you can honestly rely on for anything, not the ones that you think will be there for you only to disappoint you. I can honestly say that I have 2 true friends in my life. One of course is my husband and the other is my high school bff. She lives 4 hours away but is always with me in spirit. (Notice I didn't mention family members outside my home!)

So throw a dog a bone and leave a response! I don't think you can write it off your taxes but you can have a nice feeling knowing that you helped a lost soul in search of some answers!!! Oh, and don't forget...SMILE, someone needs it today!!!!


Follow Me, Chickadee...

Once again I have not been around lately due to "bad weather"?!? No really I just haven't been into much lately but it is slowly changing! I found this great HOP from MannLand5 and cant wait to see what new and exciting posts I come across today!! Check out here for rules!!

I am so thankful this Friday for love, luck and everything in between!! So here's to a nice working weekend. May all your chores get done and maybe even get some extra sleep this weekend!!


I think I finally had a victory yesterday! We have been struggling since September of last year to figure out what was going on with our 6 yr old. She has been constantly sick. I can not tell you how upsetting it is to hear your daughter wake up almost everyday and tell you that her head, stomach and throat hurt. Not just because that she is sick but because I had no way of helping her. We have spent so much money on co-pays, deductibles, medicine and anything else that was suggested to us to buy to help her. Now 10 months later, I realize that her Dr. is a moron, that has been taking us to the cleaners. It seems to me now that she never even tried to help us. She would merely classify all of her illnesses under a "virus" and tell us that all little kids have a bad year when starting school. All kids miss over 40 days of school? Really? I can tell you for a fact that we will NEVER return to her practice.

So my 6 year old has been diagnosed with asthma & severe eczema. We have to go back 2 times next week for skin allergy testing. The Allergist says she is more than positive that she also has some kind of food allergy. Which is no surprise to me because I asked her regular Dr. to test her for gluten allergy. She refused because she didn't think that had anything to do with her "viruses".

I feel vindicated but extremely upset and sad. I didn't want to be right, I just wanted my daughter to feel good and be able to go to school like all other little kids. I guess the moral of my story is that even though they may be doctors or lawyers or rocket scientists, they are still human. I am the only advocate that my kids have and I will never stop yelling, screaming or fighting just because someone with a degree tells me I am wrong.


Down in the Mulley Grubs...

* This post was completely inspired by EOS Mom

So yes I have been down in the mulley grubs here lately and as many other people do I started questioning my existence and reasoning's behind many things in my life. I started knit-picking at all of my insecurities and faults, which really doesn't help when you are already low. It is just like the ceiling fan from way down here it doesn't look that dirty but once you getting all up in it's business you can find a lot to clean!!

While going through all the new posts today I came across one that woke me up! The post is just 5 simple questions about yourself, nothing too life changing but it was the remembrance of a song that clicked with me.

Of course most people have heard this song and probably know that it was taken from The Bible, Ecclesiastes 3. After I heard the song, it reminded me of a Bible study that I had attended on the Book of Ecclesiastes. One of the things I remember most about the class was chapter 3 not only because of the song but because for me it had the best life lesson. You have no idea what God's time schedule is so the best thing to do is just rejoice, do good in your life, eat, drink, and enjoy all the good that comes from your labor because it is a gift from God! (3:24-26)


Getting to know YOU

It's time for a little Thursday Five action..
To play..Just post 5 things that have made you..
Totally Stoked

Then link back up with MannLand5

My 5

  1. I am sooo thankful for an air conditioner!! We have been in an excessive heat warning for over a week now. Thank you, thank you Lennox for making my life savior or maybe sweat saver!!
  2. I am totally stoked about planning our summer vacation!! We have narrowed down the options, no definite plans yet but I cant wait to have 12 whole days with my husband and girls!! Yeah!!
  3. I am grateful for all the hard work that my husband has done this week on the yard!! It totally needed it.
  4. Nothing delights me more than when my two little girls (6 & 2) play happily together!!
  5. I am happy to be one day closer to find out who I really am!!