a place to share ideas

Why I love facebook

by Suzanne - October 28th, 2010

I love that I can quickly and easily:

Get a quirky question answered

Catch up with old friends

Commiserate with friends and acquaintances

Peer into friends lives on my own time

Keep up with friends children that grow to fast and are far away

Update all of my friends quickly about something important

Let certain friends know updates since I have created groups

Traveling with small children…..

by Suzanne - October 19th, 2010

So we had a family wedding to go to in Nashville TN. We live in Michigan. We have a 1 and a 4 year old.  A little stressed about that doesn’t even begin to cover it. Let me start by saying I don’t enjoy traveling, really at all. I love seeing new places and visiting friends, I just don’t like the actual driving in a car for hours part.

So to avoid as much awake time in the car as possible we drove at night. So that meant that since Todd and I took turns driving, we didn’t sleep much, I am not as young as I used to be and staying up that ate driving, really messes up the next day or the next few days for me.

But we did it and it wasn’t that bad, Todd even says we should do it once a year, I think he is a little crazy, I just wish it wasn’t a 9 hour drive, at least we have great highway to travel on and thank goodness Todd is ok with driving as long as he has music to listen to.

I do wish I could see my friends more often, I miss them too much, especially after becoming a mom, we are now all moms and there is just something so awesome about other mom friends who love you and knew you before children.

So I am making more of an effort to stay in touch with them. hopefully it will pan out.

what are your secrets to traveling with small children. And by the way, we do have a DVD player and yes we used it, Ice Age 3 was a welcome escape for our 4 year old.

Challah Bread, it might just be the best.

by Suzanne - October 7th, 2010

A gorgeous loaf of homemade bread is a wonderful welcome to any meal. I love to make this bread when company is coming, it is always a hit.

Our friends Mike and Barb used to have us over every Friday night for a Sabbath dinner and this was always on the table. She shared her recipe with me. This is a light and fluffy bread, used as a side, not so much as sand which bread. and when eaten, you simply tear a piece off, no knives needed.

1 and 1/4 C. of warm water minus 1T

2 egg yolks (save the whites)

2 T butter

1 tsp. salt

2 T sugar

2 T non fat dry milk

3 C. of flour

2 tsp. of yeast

We throw everything in the breadmaker except the egg whites and let it do it’s thing. Take it out and separate into 3 even balls, with plenty of flour so it isn’t sticky, roll each ball into a long strand, then braid the strands. lightly paint on the egg whites and let rise for an hour. just before baking, paint another coat of egg whites on it very gently so it doesn’t fall. Bake at 375 for 20-25min. it should be golden brown.

Eat right away with lots of butter and homemade strawberry jam, or make some cinnamon honey butter yum! I haven’t made it in a long time since I can’t do flour anymore, but a few weeks ago I made it with 100% spelt flour and it was good, it didn’t rise and the braiding was a waste of time, but the flavor and texture weren’t bad at all.

Hot spinach and artichoke dip, Move over Fridays.

by Suzanne - September 30th, 2010

I love hot dips, they make everything feel so festive. I was looking in the cupboard for some inspiration and wouldn’t you know I found some on my Knorr Vegetable recipe mix. It had a recipe on the back for a hot dip. I decided right then that we should run to Meijer, I needed other things anyways, I also needed to eat this for dinner, I mean as a side dish of course.

So here is the recipe taken from the back of the Knorr Vegtable Recipe Mix

Hot Spinach and Artichoke dip

1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 pkg cream cheese softened

3/4 C of Mayo

1 and 1/2 C of shredded cheese (cheddar or monterey jack) divided

1 pkg. Knorr Vegetable mix

1 can artichoke hearts drained and chopped

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

Mix all together except a 1/2 C of the shredded cheese, put in an oven safe dish and cook at 350 for 30 min, then sprinkle the rest of the cheese and cook for another 5 min. or until heated through.

We served it with corn chips and it was divine, I ate too much of it.


A Sigg Bottle for $4.95 hurry and check it out.

by Suzanne - September 23rd, 2010

Then Join One Kings Lane! PLEASE let them know sent you! Right now if you join and tell them sent you you get a $15 signing up bonus (and so do I!). SIGG bottles are on sale for $14 and under on One Kings Lane–so you only have to pay shipping ($4.95)!

Who doesn’t like free money, as my husband likes to say “free is my favorite price”

Places run these promotions a lot, I just joined under a friends referral and I already have my $15 credit. check them out.

Playing in the fall

by Suzanne - September 16th, 2010

This was our Wednesday spent in Goshen at Kerchers farm market.

This is how we went apple picking, he loves hanging out on my back, he even has a cherry tomato stuck in his cheek.

We went with my cousin Wrennie and her son Evan on the left.

This boy takes my breath away and steals my heart at least twice a day :)

And this boy is the sweetest little dumpling, don’t ya just want to nibble on those cheeks?

And just for fun this is what he does lately, I gave him some crackers and he puts them in a bunch of different plates or bowls?

Community Supported Agriculture, Going Local

by Suzanne - September 8th, 2010

How to eat local without breaking your bank.

We joined a CSA this spring, each one is run a little different. This is run by some amish farmers north of us. A friend who ives up there and commutes down here 3 times a week, brings this bounty down to us.  We paid $20 at the start of the season to cover seeds and a few other things, then each week we paid $15 for this:

Then if you take off the top layer you find this:

It s by far the best deal we get for food, well besides what comes from our own garden and I just haven’t perfected that yet. It is a chalenge to eat this many vegetables, seeing as there are only 4 of us and one is just a year old. But I have made and eaten things I have never had and I have enjoyed them, like beet greens and crispy kale.

I would encourage anyone to seek out local fare to eat, but joining a CSA is a great way to dive right in, it forces you to cook creatively and try to see how little goes to waste. Se those raspberries in the photo?

Yeah, they are gone within minutes :) I thought ahead and ordered more this time, they might last a whole day this week. We only have one more wek for our CSA as we get i from up north and there first frost usually happens around the 15th of Sept.  What will we do next week when this food doesn’t magically appear on our doorstep to save me from another dreaded trip to the grocery store.

I’ll have to think of something. I have to admit it does make me look forward to next summer.

No more Plastic!

by Suzanne - September 1st, 2010

Cheap up-front, costly in the end
Not bio-degradable. Plastic is food for no one. It never completely breaks down.
Litter. Even when thrown into the garbage, plastic bags easily blow away. These
bags are unsightly, distracting on highways, and clog storm sewer systems.
Can’t recycle. Plastic can only “down-cycle” – making at most one stop on the way
to landfill or litter.
Toxic. Plastic particles get into our food and air. Many types of plastic have been
associated with increased incidence of cancer and other disorders.
Kills wildlife. Sea turtles and marine mammals ingest plastic bags thinking they’re
Choking the ocean. Plastic debris is everywhere on our beaches and in the ocean. In
a recent surface trawl of the Pacific, six pounds of plastic were found for every pound
of zooplankton.
Green Sangha collaborates with a number of civic and non-profit organizations to stem the tide of plastic
pollution, including Californians Against Waste (CAW), Earth Resource, and Good Earth Natural Foods.
For more information on the costs of plastic, go to or call CAW (916) 443-5422.

Oh the Mommy Guilt.

by Suzanne - August 27th, 2010

It is sometimes unbearable, and who do I have to blame for this, Myself.

I never thought ahead about what being a mama would make me feel like, I never thought it could bring me to my knees and beg G-d for help.

Until I held that little baby in my arms and knew he was ours to keep forever and ever, I never knew the meaning of responsibility, I thought I did, but I didn’t.

Until it dawned on my that I am responsible for this boy, I will care for him and teach him in the way he should go, talk about a scary overwhelming thought. I don’t know how that wouldn’t strike fear in anyone.

So here it goes.

Jesus, you have literally given me these two beautiful boys. Please help me to be the best mama to them, and where I fail every single day, please please be there for them, help them to learn not only from my triumphs but from my shortcomings also. Shape them up to be Men after your own heart. They humble me daily with how much of a gift they are. Please let this be my mothers prayer. Amen

How I lost 20 pounds in 10 minutes

by Suzanne - August 24th, 2010

oooor the title could read, upcycling a mens t shirt into a womans fit. but I liked the super fast weight loss better, it’s an attention getter right?

Earlier this year, when it started to warm up, I realized I had very very few shirts that still fit me, I had gained too much weight over the winter. I picked up a couple of Mens L shirts at a garage sale, they were nice colors and soft, and I hate buying new clothes, it is terrible for the environment and the anti consumer in me just won’t let me do it very often. Plus if you buy used you don’t have to worry about who made it, and yes I am concerned  about that.

This summer I have lost some weight and recently saw a picture of myself in one of those T shirts, it looked horrible on me and easily added 15lbs to my frame, yuck, who wants to look heavier than they are.

So I got to thinking, I thought I could fix the shirts. here is how I did it.

I took one of my own shirts that I like the fit on me and turned them both inside out. Lay the smaller one on top of the larger one, center and pin them to each other, I’m sure you should iron and stuff but I’m a rebel like that.

See my mad picture taking skills at night.

See how different the sleeves are, I don’t like the too short sleeves on most womens shirts, I feel like they are not flattering, I wish they would start lengthening them, maybe I will have to contact “them”

Then after it was pinned, I simply serged down the line of the red shirt, sure you could use a sewing machine and them trim it, but serging is faster and I have one so I used it :)

Here is a before and after, yes I know they are not the same shirt, I forgot  to take a before pic, bad blogger I know, but it is the same size so it shows the difference, I think it makes a big difference, and it means I still have a couple shirts to wear that the colors are flattering and the material is soft.

So there you have it, it took me about 10 minutes to do, and I think the pictures shows that I lost 20lbs in 10 minutes, better than slim fast eh?