Don't Miss Out!

I know I've been closed for business lately, but I'm back now! So, be sure to scroll down to catch all three new posts!
Video Vednesday, I'm BAAACK! and Mangiare Monday for Dog Lovers


3/31 Video Vednesday...

3/30 I'm BAAAAAAACK !!!

The pic above was taken by my husband, don't I look like a BA?? :) I took a 'spring hiatus' of sorts, primarily due to my computer being out for repairs (sorry for the shotty video last week), but also because I've had a lot going on. This is a blog after all, not a job and the best part is I answer only to me!
Leo's party took a lot of preparation, my in-laws are in town for a while to visit, Paul's grandparents were here for a few days, my sister Trish was here for a couple of days after that, we have a community garage sale coming up that we're preparing for, I got my nephew to jump in the pool in his skivvies in the FREEZING cold for $10 and tipped him $10 more when he actually did it, his face really says it all below, doesn't it? ;)

our trio of 'girl bunnies' practiced immaculate conception and surprised us with 6 baby bunnies, we also got a call to come rescue 4 wild cottontail bunnies and boarded and cared for them over the weekend until we could take them to the wild rescue on Monday....

that was all mixed in with MOPS, play dates, photo shoots, household duties and life in general....and guys, that was all just within the last week!!

The PC is back in action, I'm slowly coming out of computer withdrawal and the topics have been piling up in my mind. Lucky you:) Til next time...

3/29 Mangiare Monday...DOG LOVERS!

It's not only unarguably healthier, but it's actually easier on your pocketbook too, not to mention your dog will think he's died and gone to heaven!! Try this...

Meat, veggies and rice are a well balanced doggie diet. I boil the meat and then boil the rice and fresh veggies in the same water to retain flavor. It's simple! Just mix the rice, veggies and meat together and store in the refrigerator for your drooling canine to enjoy a cup and a half at a time:) Also, take a break from meat every few times and make some fish. They'll look forward to the change!
beef, lamb, chicken, pork
(cut or ground)
brown rice, long rain rice
green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, peas, spinach, etc etc etc
(fresh can be boiled and diced. canned should have 3 ingredients or less and can be added as is)
(scrambled works and hard boiled can be used as treats as well)
My precious pup loves it all! Remember also that a little basil leaf, some parsley, or mint can make your mix even tastier and can help aid in digestion!


3/23 Will health care be passed or become the past??

Who didn't see this coming? It's like a comic book, beside the fact that we can't just throw it in the trash if we don't like it! Honestly, Axelrod? The name reeks a villainous aroma! The country is divided into more than two sides, the President's not interested in what the people have to say and our economy is buckling under pressure. The health care bill will be signed into law in a few hours and there's nothing that can be done about that....for today.

However, something like 30 states plan some sort of action against the bill and it seems as though they'll succeed. It WILL be repealed. There are too many people against it! They were able to fund enough executive vacations, state foundations/projects, etc to get the 216 needed, but they had to know that here, in America, the PEOPLE make the decisions! If we refer to the earliest documents that we created and built this country on, we'll be reminded that the people are supposed to be in charge. Which is why Obama keeps saying he's doing this "for the people"...that's a phrase that's instinctively attractive to all Americans.

I know there are a great many who do indeed want this bill passed and for completely valid reasons. There are a lot of really fantastic points and changes that would actually be good to carry over to a new bill, made and agreed upon by the people. The very fact that there was complete unwillingness to come to some sort of middle ground and that the race to sign the bill was made in record time should be alarming us all. My instincts tell me that means something stinks! I'm not completely for or against the entire bill. I am for a bill that encompasses a more objective and fair layout. All sides of the issue need to voice an opinion and a fair balance needs to be reached. All sides refusing to budge is immature and fruitless.

What are we? North & south? Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party Patriots???...or are we AMERICANS?! Lets get our heads together, come to a peaceful conclusion and remain united. With all the up rise and terrorism, etc going on in the world and especially against America, we need to be on top of our game. We need to be using our funds, intelligence and time and keeping this country protected and free. I hope the Supreme Court ends up declaring this bill unconstitutional and we can start over fresh or freedom might become a term of the past.


Here it is!!

With the Willy Wonka movie playing silently on the television, the soundtrack playing in the background, plenty of games to play, food to eat and guests to entertain....this party turned out fantastic! It was supposed to be an outdoor party at the park, but when a blizzard ruined those plans, we just brought it all inside and had it at our house. The kids didn't care, which means neither did I:)

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Leo's Wonka Party
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox


a Willy Wonka Party for Leo :)

This week is all about Leo. He's 3 years old and is having quite a celebration this weekend! I thought I'd take the opportunity to show you how to plan a fun, exciting, colorful and completely decorated birthday extravaganza on even the smallest budget. So, come back for more ideas and helpful hints if you have little ones. These ideas can be applied to all sorts of different themes!
Scroll down for Mangiare Monday, the first part of the Wonka party...

Ooompa Loompa Doopity Doo
Mommy loves this stuff, because she's just a big KID too ;)

3/15 Mangiare Monday...

One of our most primal instincts is that to eat. Hunger is something we simply cannot deny. It's so deeply rooted in the human race that it has become what we turn in most any situation. We're happy and want to celebrate?...we eat. We're upset and feeling low?...we eat. We're bored, anxious, stressed, etc.?...what do we do?
Using this knowledge you can be a better hostess for any function. Wedding, funeral, cocktail party, child's birthday and the list goes on. The one thing they all have in common is that if you want people to come to them, you've got to offer something to eat!
Today we're going to be talking about MY child's birthday:) Leo turned 3 years old on Saturday and next Saturday, when all his friends and family can be in town, we're having a Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory birthday party! You'll hear much more about the preparations, cake and party throughout the week, but today we're focusing on the invitation.
If promising food at the party brings a smile to your guests faces, then don't you think offering something tasty in the invitations would be even better? Well, I thought so;)
The guests we invited to Leo's party received a small package instead of a regular invite or email last week. I labeled each envelope 'Wonka' to entice them and inside was a genuine 'Wonka bar' with a special Leo's Birthday label. The best part was a Golden Ticket Invitation with all the right information to get our guests to the party. I got calls from everyone when they arrived and they were already excited to see the rest! It's the details that make things special;)

All you need:
-candy bar of choice, label removed
-paper cut into label size w/new 'fake' label drawn or printed on it
-gold paper w/party info on it. here's what ours said;

Leo's 3rd Birthday Golden Ticket
Greetings to YOU, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket. Present this ticket at the factory gates of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory located at the (place) located on (location) at 11am on March 20. Don't be late!
In your wildest dreams you could not imagine the marvelous surprises that await you at Leo's 3rd Birthday Party Celebration!!
Oompa Loompa, Doopity Doo it won't be a party without you!
RSVP ###-###-####


3/11 Where I come from...

This tree is famous, if you're from here you know exactly where this is :)

I love the Kansas sky :)

*Scroll down for more pics*

3/11 Where I come from...cont'd

I enjoyed sitting in with the Methodist Ladies Circle yesterday, these are very special ladies and it was a nice meeting:)
Leo got to ride in the firetruck Papa and his friend Scott bought for the Shriner's Club!!


Leo and Papa at the rope shop, he loves this place!



I know there are probably many of you who are just beside yourselves wondering what to do since I'm on vacation and there is no blog....rest easy, I'll be back next week after some much needed R&R at my parents house with Leo. So, pick yourself up off of the floor and go on with life as you know it;)


Every day things can't hurt us right?!?!

Things we consider 'normal', things we use on a constant daily basis can be really damaging our bodies. The same goes for the foods we eat and what's in them. Just because something is prevalent or 'normal', does not mean it's good for you! ...and please do not argue that the government wouldn't allow seriously harmful products/chemicals to be used or consumed....What exactly are they doing with cigarettes?? I don't know if these clips are 'real' or not, the point is we need to be individually aware of what we are consuming and surrounding ourselves with. Our lives and their quality depend on it!!



There are TWO Mangiare Monday recipes today, so please scroll down for both!!
Also, I've added an 'easy access' archive of my Mangiare Monday recipes, as you requested, at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!!

3/8 Mangiare Monday #1...recipe for surprise

It's easy to get stuck in a rut, making the same handful of meals over and over again. Your family seems bored and can almost predict what meal you'll make, almost before you do! Sometimes, we have limited resources because of the area we live in and sometimes we just don't have an more ideas, right?! Well, an easy way to switch things up a bit and excite the taste buds of your clan is to put just a bit of a spin on any of your classic recipes!

This picture is just a regular old hamburger right? Can't get more American than that:) On the other hand, it's not really the same old over-grilled, under-seasoned 'hockey puck' that some of us may be used to serving up! I simply added some garlic, worcestershire, pepper, basil, etc to my ground beef and the trick to a juicy burger is under cooking it, because it will still cook for a few minutes AFTER you take it off the grill. I used slightly buttered and toasted (on the grill)sourdough bread instead of a hamburger bun. I replaced the standard Kraft cheese slice (which isn't actually cheese) with a generous pile of smoked cheddar and havarti cheese. I then topped it with a beautiful tomato, some nice red leaf lettuce, mustard and mayo . Any meal becomes more exciting when it's not predictable! Use this recipe or get creative with one of your own and I guarantee you'll have a new-found love for your cookbook. The possibilities are endless!!

3/8 Mangiare Monday #2...recipe for healing

There are things that come from our earth and the creatures on it that are so amazing and wonderful that the uses seem endless. Honey is one of those things! Find honey harvested in your area and you'll be sure to ward off seasonal allergies. Honey can be used to prevent bed-wetting in children. It can be used as a healing agent and an antibiotic. Use it for your heart, migraines...even conjunctivitis! This link http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/articles/Health-benefits-of-honey.html gives you a lot of valuable information on this miracle of nature. My favorite use will always be drizzled on top of creamy peanut butter on toast, but I cannot deny the vast number of benefits we can enjoy from this delicious resource.
Ok, so don't scroll down if you have a weak stomach....really, I mean it. I took in a bunny with a horrific, severe case of ear mites. The bunny's ears were rotting and so heavy with crusts that it couldn't lift them itself. She whined terribly when you touched them and so I called a non-profit rabbit shelter for some advice. (Using non-profit facilities is a good way to acquire information on natural remedies. They aren't trying to make money off of you by selling you chemical medications, so they want to help you help the animal in a frugal manor. Natural remedies are safer as well, especially for small animals.)
Following their advice I 'drowned' the ear mites with 1T mineral oil in each ear. After about an hour of letting that work, I covered the ears with honey. The very next day, every single crust was gone. I kept applying honey in the days that followed and, even though her ears were covered in sores where the crusts had fallen off, she developed NO infections. In less than a weeks time, more like 4 days, her ears were completely healed. These two pictures below were taken less than a week apart. The bunny is more active now and has even grown a bit and enjoys holding her ears straight up!


3/5 FOX Friday??...again :)

Well, I started to feel like maybe I was off of my rocker! Maybe I just had too much going on? I started my morning off yesterday with a good work-out and an even better cup of coffee and was feeling pretty fantastic until...My husband and I had to deal with an unexpected problem. It was one of those problems that was there by no fault of our own, but still had the potential to impact several important things in my little world! When I realized this issue may affect my sons birthday that's just around the corner, I flipped! No way, anything but that! On top of that I had several things I needed to do around the house and my parents were going to be in town for the afternoon and I was trying to meet them on-time. My husband and I spent much of the day on the phone or computer trying to rectify the problem and thankfully at the end of the day all was well. We were reassured that we have a great support system to help us out when we need it and those who wronged us eventually made it right!
In the middle of a day like this it's easy to get overwhelmed by the weight of it all. Maybe if I had taken a few moments to close my eyes and breathe, I wouldn't have felt that way? As I said before, was I loosing my mind? Was I that out of touch? I was so proud of myself for handling the day and all it's duties AND still staying on task enough to write and post the days blog! It would've really been terrible if I had fallen short and neglected to do it, right? So, it's a good thing that I added this task to an already full and somewhat stressful day...
...until around 6 or 7pm when, out of nowhere, the fact that it was Thursday popped into my head and along with that fact the realization that Thursday is an optional blog day and that I had entitled my blog FOX Friday!!!! Oh my gosh! How embarrassing, right?! I guess, but when I looked at the number of people who read the blog and even commented on it on the site or on my facebook I didn't feel so bad. You know who you are, did you even notice? If you did, shame on you for not saying something! I bet you're the type that would let me talk to you for an hour with spinach in my teeth, hahaaaaa.

The moral of the story? Take it easy, slow down and everything will go much more smoothly. Stressing out doesn't help anyone and laughter at the end of a tough day is DEFINITELY the best medicine....even if it's laughing at yourself:)


3/4 Controlling contollers...(formerly entitled FOX Friday :) )

Seriously? This is what we are getting upset about in an economic crisis? This is what we're upset about when there are murderers, rapists, child molesters and the likes out on the loose?? This?! I'm not sure how much peace and tranquility in our country there would have to be or how low the crime rate would have to sink, for me to think of this story as news-worthy....but apparently America does. So, here goes.

Unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere, you have to have heard about the little boy and girl who were giving commands in the air traffic control tower. At work with their dad, giving the exact commands he told them to (and doing a good job in my opinion) they were probably having the time of their life! It was obvious to anyone with half a brain that they weren't terrorists or there wasn't any 'foul play' going on. Who didn't like going to work with mom or dad and pretending you were doing their job? The pilots could obviously hear the commands clearly and were not thrown off by the tiny voices, so why the big stir??

Why? Because we're a country who likes to make something out of nothing! We like to dig up dirt and make other people look bad so we feel ok about ourselves. We like to boss people around and we overlook positive points in these cases, like the fact that these children have quite possibly had experiences going to work with their dad that have impacted them or inspired them to be controllers themselves. What about the fact, that it's wonderful to see a dad who takes his children to work and tries to teach them things instead of a dad who works all the time making no time for his kids at all?!

It just doesn't make sense and it IS NOT news! Let the kids be, leave the dad alone and let's get back to sweating the 'big stuff'. Dont'cha think?


3/3 Video Vednesday...what are we eating?!

Read this article about the specific ingredients that are in our 'favorite foods':


Watch this video about an interesting upcoming show that will show us just how poorly we are doing at teaching our children about healthful eating:



*Music controls for Tamara's Tunes are at the top of the left side bar. Come back to hear what my next pick will be and don't forget to scroll down for today's blog!*

3/2 Healthy living now, for the future...

Watch this video and see what ya think! My father-in-law and fellow health and fitness junkie sent it to me and am I glad he did?! The man in the video is pretty much a bad-a**, but more than that he's a true inspiration! He's a reminder that we choose our future. We decide every day how our bodies are going to serve us in our 'older age'. He seems to have all the bases covered too!....faith, determination, well balanced diet and an overall well being. It seems, from the video, that he has a great support system and is rooted in his family.
How can I be upset about getting a pimple, when I got it because I drank I giant Dr Pepper? How can I complain about a stomach ache, when I know very well the meal that gave it to me?! How on earth can I curse my cellulite, if I don't get up and work out? Why am I surprised to get sick when I know I'm not boosting my immune system with the right foods??
Now, I know there are valid reasons why many people literally cannot exercise or have conditions that interfere with a totally healthy lifestyle. I respect that. On the other hand, the man in the video is a cancer survivor! If we can do it, and we know if we can or not....we just should!! If the only excuse getting in our way is "I just don't have any energy for it"...I can personally tell you that on days I start with a work-out my brain is sharper, I'm more productive with my tasks and I have an abundance of energy compared to days that I do not. It's true!
If we decide our future, I wanna be kinda like this guy....you know, minus the whole being a guy and a pro weight-lifter thing;) How 'bout you?


3/1 Mangiare Monday...

My friend in Italy gave me a great recipe for shrimp risotto and even though I'm sure some details were lost in translation, it turned out very tasty! Everybody in my family enjoyed it and my husband actually came home from work for lunch the next day to have some again! That's what I call a winner, folks;)
By 'lost in translation', I'm obviously referring to the differences in what we call things, but also the difference in shopping choices. More than that, she learned to cook from a long line of cooks who don't measure anything! So, she says "you'll know Tamara, just put enough". At first I thought I would fail terribly and end up wasting good food, but I tried anyway and I'm glad I did.
-Start your rice boiling and then get out and prepare the rest of the recipe
(the rice should be round...arborio, etc)
-With a little olive oil in a large pan, simmer your chopped leeks
-Add a little salt & pepper
-When the rice is done, do NOT drain all the water
-Add your shrimp to your leeks in the pan and add a little white wine or brandy
-Stir in a can of diced tomatoes
-Fold in the rice, a little excess water and some peas and let simmer for just a moment
(we used snow peas, but regular peas work deliciously as well)
-Season to taste
.....and serve before the shrimp are overcooked!