Saturday, November 27, 2010

How To - 5 Ingredient Meal - Leftover Turkey Rice Soup

Dear Friends,
Your How To Homemaker has a yummy and easy recipe to help you use up some of that leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.  Having soup is such a change of pace rather than having a plate of food like we've been having the past few days.  Not only is it delicious, but it is only 5 ingredients and tastes great! 
Serves 4 to 6

Turkey Rice Soup
  • 1 cup cooked turkey, diced or shredded
  • 2 cups rice, cooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can mushroom soup
  • 2 cups milk
Combine all ingredients in a dutch oven or stock pot.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Heat thoroughly and serve.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Help Me Maintain Consistency...Please!!!! (Part 1)

Hi Friends,
My consistency, or lack there of, has been on my mind quite a bit lately.  I struggle with consistency.  I will exercise faithfully and then I fall short.  I menu plan for a while, then it goes by the wayside.  I have a wonderful home organization system set up.  I follow it for months and my home functions like a well oiled machine, then I let it slip.  I scrapbook for a while.  I blog for a while.  I read the Bible daily for a while.  Then it slides.  I pick these things up again......for a while.....and so on....and so on.

Why am I like this?  I know my life changes and so different areas in my life take precedence, like my Emily, or my business.  But why can't I maintain consistency?  All these things: reading the Bible, menu planning, blogging, home organization, exercise, are important to me.

I used to make long lists of New Years Resolutions, things I really wanted to work on.  Of course I fell short.

I tried a couple of years to choose a single word and focus on that word for the year.  That did work better.  One year I choose "Enough" as my word and another year I chose "Simple" as my word.  Like I said, it worked better, but those were words my family did NOT choose so my efforts were somewhat limited.

A couple of years ago my resolution was a phrase, "Keep Ahead of the Game."  I tried.  I struggled. I worked on that.  In hindsight, it did help me stay organized and on top of things, but in my mind I fell short at times.

Last year I chose one resolution, "Menu Plan".  It would work for a while then I'd get away from it, then go back to it, then away from it and so on.

This year, I am choosing, as my resolution, as my 'word', "CONSISTENCY".  Between now and Jan. 1st, I have time to keep it in my mind and think about why I have difficult maintaining consistency.  I want to look for solutions to help make me more consistent.

I've been identifying some steps that I think will help me move towards being consistent and I'll share those steps with you in different posts between now and Jan. 1st.  This way, whatever you choose as your New Year's resolution, hopefully you can consistently stick to it!

If you have any tips or ideas on how to maintain consistency, please leave me a comment.  If I use them, I'll be sure to give you credit.

So here's to Consistency, which if I can achieve it, I think will be a very good thing.

Happy Homemaking,
Nancy

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Best Recipe For Applesauce Ornaments


Dear Friends,

We've been getting ready for Christmas here at the Jacobs' house.  It may seem early, but I want to have the decorating done by Thanksgiving so it is one less thing to think about and just makes the season that much more relaxed.

Anyway,  are any of you getting ready for Christmas?  Last night the kids made chocolate covered pretzels.  Yum!!!  Of course we have to have those as a snack on Thanksgiving day.

Emily has started seeing an endocrinologist for her Hashimoto's and Vitamin D deficiency.  That has meant more lab work for her.  Poor kiddo is a pin cushion these days.  After Thanksgiving she gets in with pediatric infectious disease about the chronic lyme disease.  I really believe God is shining and getting her going in the right direction.

I also started with a company called Rendi.  So now I have two small businesses, Rendi and Scentsy.  Rendi is personalized home decor and is a brand new direct sales company that just launched October 1st of this year.  It's actually a sister company of Danieleson Designs which has been around 20 years.  I feel I'm on the ground floor with it and much can be done on the internet for it so I don't anticipate it taking as much time as Scentsy (which has been keeping me pleasantly hopping).  I'm really pressing forward with getting the mortgage paid off on the house.  Hallelujah when that happens!

Have a blessed Sunday.  Hope you are all healthy, we've been getting over colds here, and hope all is going well in your part of the world.

Love and hugs,
Nancy

Now onto the Applesauce Ornament Recipe!
This post was originally on my blog over at Basketmaster's Weavings last Christmas season.  I hope you enjoy it today!


It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas! At least it is here in the Jacobs' house!

Every year I have to make a batch of Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments so when I tell you I'm giving you the best recipe, I'm truly giving you the best recipe I've ever run across for these little Christmastime nuggets.

Now don't limit these to just ornaments. Put a couple of these into a small basket in your bathroom for a great air freshener. Hang one in your closet to get rid of musty smells or shoe odor. Place one under the seat of your car to help get rid of any fast food smells it might have. Please remember not to let the children or anyone eat these. They do smell yummy.

BTW...Did you notice the one on the right shaped like a basket? Too cute!

Enjoy!

Nancy


Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

1 cup cinnamon--Get it at Sam's Club or Costco for best prices

2/3 cup applesauce

3 Tablespoons white school glue--Remember to stock up on this during back to school sales

Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl.
Wrap the thick dough in plastic wrap and let it set for about 1 hour.

Take some dough and roll out between two sheets of wax paper. I find it best to work with about 1/2 of the mixture at a time.

Roll the dough to about 1/4" thick.

Cut with cookie cutters
or
Shape into circles and press with your rubber stamps

or

Press dough into ceramic cookie molds
Be sure to create a hole for hanging before dough dries. I used a small straw.
or

Press a straightened paper clip into the back of the shape to act as a hanger.

Let ornaments dry for several days turning them from time to time to keep them from curling.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

How To - 5 Ingredient No Fuss Holiday Salad - Cherry Pineapple Delight

Hi Friends,
Your How To Homemaker has a dessert salad today that tastes so yummy and I promise it can't get any easier.  This is great for your holiday meal.  Except for the Cool Whip, set all the ingredients on the counter the night before.  On Thanksgiving morning, just put it together and refrigerate.  Soooo simple.

Cherry Pineapple Delight
  • 1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
  • 1 large can crushed pineapple drained
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate before serving.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Update on Emily - Finally some news

Dear Friends,
Below is a post I wrote last night for my other blog Basketmaster's Weavings.  I write more personal stuff over there.  I've pretty much kept my personal life out of this blog but this is one time I'm asking for prayers for my daughter.  Thanks wariors!

If you've been reading this blog for some time, you know my sweet Emily, age 15 1/2 was struck with fibromyalgia beginning about a year and a half ago.  There are two schools of thought with fibro.  The first is that it is its own disease.  The second is that fibro is a symptom of something else going on in the body.  I choose to believe the second because I want to believe we can "fix" her.

We have been to so many doctors and specialists.  The pediatric rheumatology/fibromyalgia specialist that she sees has tried everything in his bag of tricks.  I've tried everything that has been sent or told to me.  Nothing has worked and all lab results, exams, and testing have come back normal.  Until now...

We had been referred to a medical office that does more alternative therapies of medicine.  We first went a couple of months ago.  Emily first saw a nurse practitioner who spent about an hour and a half going over EVERYTHING regarding Emily's fibro history.  She ordered some blood tests.  I thought to myself, Emily has been tested for everything under the sun already.  The nurse practitioner said I had to go to a specific lab because this is the only lab in the city/state to run some of these specific tests.  While I wait the 6 weeks for the tests, Emily has been back to this clinic for massage, healing touch, she's started yoga, and will soon begin acupuncture.

This morning was our follow-up visit after 6 weeks.  Would you believe there were some lab abnormalities?  I was shocked.  She, the nurse practitioner, spent an hour with us again today and there were three significant findings.  The first thing she said is that Emily has Hashimoto's disease.  This is a disease of the thyroid, the antibodies that the thyroid produces, that is not treatable, but is pain causing.  (Emily's thyroid is functioning properly, just not the antibodies it is producing)  I also question if the other two issues get resolved that possibly the Hashimotos will resolve itself???  Maybe??

Another abnormality that was VERY low was a specialized Vitamin D test.  Not your standard test and Emily has started today on some medication to bring that up.  Low test results here cause pain.

The third abnormality is something that could be carried by ticks.  Not Lyme disease, but related.  It has something to do with her lymph system and according to the nurse, there is only one doctor who treats for this specific issue in the United States and that doctor is in Kansas City.  Again, this was a specialized test and Emily's results were VERY low.  She thinks these three things are all interrelated and all causing her pain.  She also thinks it will take a year once treatment begins for Emily to start feeling better.  Back to the tick thing.  Emily had been bitten by a tick. (I don't remember the nurse asking us about ticks at the first visit and I didn't even think of it at the time.)  She was bitten back when we lived in Florida.  The nurse practitioner thinks that it is possible that Emily has carried something in her body that has remained dormant.  Then when she got very sick 1 1/2 year ago, high fever and so forth at the time all this fibromyalgia started, what was dormant in her body became active starting her pain.

So what happens next...Emily is now on super high doses of Vitamin D that we've started today.  The nurse practitioner asked her to start the Paleo diet, Emily calls it a cave man diet.  I got the book and we are starting it tomorrow.  Tonight I research this doctor in Kansas City and begin the process there.  Emily continues with yoga, massage, healing touch and accupuncture.  Whew....

I have been elated today to hear news that I'm hoping and praying will take us in the right direction with her.  I've been watching the television show "Mystery Diagnosis" faithfully to see if any of their cases are similar to Emily's.  There was a case of Hashimotos on the show.  I remember thinking, well Emily doesn't have anything wrong with her thyroid as it is functioning properly so I didn't pay much attention to that episode.  I'll have to go back and watch it now.  The final thing is that the nurse practitioner wants Emily to have some counseling.  Emily is such a sweet and loving girl, but as you can imagine, being in pain every day takes a toll on her both physically and mentally.  Sometimes it is hard mentally for her mommy here to know that my child is in pain, but we take it day by day.

So with all this said, please Please keep Emily in your prayers that we are doing the right things and finally getting her the help that she needs to remove this pain from her body.  Also please pray that she has the strength to deal with the pain until we get it resolved.

With love and blessings,
Nancy
(Update)  Upon further research regarding Emily's lab tests, it appears that she has Chronic Lyme Disease.  So much was given to me earlier that it is all hard to digest.  The more I read, the more I find people first being diagnosed with fibromyalgia for years only to discover that they have had chronic lyme disease.  Could it be that this has been her problem all along?  Now, what about the Viatmin D and Hashimotos?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thanksgiving Preperation free e-book - This is Wonderful!

Dear Friends,
Here is a bit more about Thanksgiving preparation.  I ran across Organizing Your Way and they had seriously the BEST post regarding Thanksgiving preparation with a free e-book and some great printable lists. 
http://organizing.yourway.net/thanksgiving-your-way-recipes-traditions-decorating-more/
For a free e-book this one is tops.  It includes recipes, how to carve a turkey, making memories with your family and more.  On their website they have a comprehensive series of organizing your home for the holidays.
I thought this is one of the best sites I've run across for getting ready for the holidays that I've seen so I just wanted to share it with you.
Have a blessed Sunday and happy homemaking,
Nancy

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thinking About Thanksgiving - A Prep List to Get you Ready

Hi Friends,

Are you the one hosting the big Thanksgiving dinner at your home?  I understand what you might be feeling if you are because it can seem like a monumental task.  Do you think I'm overwhelmed lately because it seems like I'm sure posting a lot about organization.  I tend to post as the inspiration strikes and organization seems to be on my thoughts a lot.  Guess I'm feeling the need to be more organized with the holidays approaching.

Anyway, here are a few tips to help you get ready for the big dinner coming up in just 2 1/2 weeks from now.

1.  Start eating out of your refrigerator and freezer now to help make room in them.  Make sure your refrigerator is clean and has plenty of space for salads, desserts and sides.
2.  Don't do all the work by yourself.  If anyone offers to bring something, LET THEM!!!  Get the kids involved in helping get the house ready and assign older children a recipe to make.
3.  Make a menu.  Write your menu out from appetizers to desserts and include the drinks.  Having a menu helps when people ask what they can bring.  You can go through your menu and let them choose from your list of choices.  If you know your aunt always makes the best pumpkin pie and she wants to bring a dish, suggest  she makes dessert for you.
4.  Grocery shop early.  I'm already stocking up on baking and candy making supplies for all the holidays.  Go ahead and buy your canned pumpkin or canned cranberry sauce now to have it ready.  Also get your beverages now.
5.  Look at your recipes and cook what you can in advance.  Some stuffing recipes taste better the second day when the flavors have had a chance to mix together.
6.  Get the house in order as early ahead of time as possible.  Then on Thanksgiving day just quickly check the bathrooms and set out clean towels.
7.  Keep your appetizers easy.  Simple cheese and crackers, a fruit plate.  Don't choose complicated recipes for the appetizers.
8.  Have plastic containers ready to hold the leftovers.
9.  Give thanks as you prepare your home for this blessed holiday season.  As you clean and cook ask the good Lord to give your family safe travels, good health and take the time to remember your all the blessings that have been given to you.  Try to set the mood by being cheerful, calm and quiet.  Play some peaceful music and you will be creating memories for your children and family that will last a lifetime.

Blessings and Happy Homemaking,
Nancy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How To - When Feeling Overwhelmed with Homemaking

Dear Friends,
Today I want to give some advice on what to do when you feel utterly overwhelmed with caring for your home.  Did you try tackling your 6 most important things I mentioned HERE?  I completely finished four of my six items.  The other two got started and to the point where I had to turn them over to someone for the next step.  I did as much as I could for right now with those two items.  I also made my list of 6 for today and have finished that list!  Now for tomorrow one of the things at the top of my list is to put away the Halloween decorations.

Sometimes there just seems like so much to do in the house I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and I can't focus on anything.  Ugh!  Do you know the feeling?  It's like where do I even start?

The very first piece of advice I have for you is to stop and take a few minutes with God.  This will help you get your priorities straight and will strengthen your spirit which will in turn give you some motivation.

Start with one room or one area of the room and focus only on that area.  Have you ever taken a toilet paper tube and looked through it?  You only see a small piece of the room.  Look through the tube.  Clean and focus only the area you see.  When it is done, move to the next space. 

Let your trash can feel the love by filling it up.  Usually when I'm feeling overwhelmed it is because I need to simplify and get things out of the house.  Look at what is out of place.  Do you need it?  Do you use it?  Do you love it?  Do you have something else that could do the same job?  Grab a box for donations and put it in the car as soon as it's full.

Just force yourself to get up and move.  Just do something!  Force yourself to work for 15 minutes and even set a timer.  This is a Flylady trick.  The other thing she says is what I mentioned in the paragraph above.  Get rid of the clutter!

Affirm you good work and remind yourself that what you are doing is a blessing to your family.

Blessings to you all and Happy Homemaking,
Nancy

Monday, November 1, 2010

What are your 6 Most Important Things?

Good Morning Friends,
I came across a great article.  It is about listing and completing your 6 most important things.
HERE is the link to it.  They are selling some programs at the bottom of the article that I'm NOT affiliated with nor do I know anything about those programs, but I hope you will take the time to at least read the article and how it can help each and every one of us.

There are currently a few items on my To-Do list that have been in place for a while.  Mainly because doing those things takes me out of my comfort zone to accomplish them.  Regardless, they are items that I can't ignore and must be completed, so sooner is better than later, and I know I'll feel such a sense of relief once they are finished.

So today, I'm making my list of 6 and I'm moving forward with it just like in the article.  I know by doing my list of 6 I will feel like I'm accomplishing more and even growing as a person.

It's easy for me to make a list of 25 things that need to be done in one day and do the EASY items on the list, but I'm going to try focusing on only the 6 most important.  Want to join me?  I'll report back tomorrow and let you know how I did.

One of the benefits I'm hopeful for is that by getting some of these heavy items done and off my shoulders, I'll have more time for me and doing things I enjoy like blogging here!

Blessings and Happy Homemaking,
Nancy

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