Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our Little Peanut Bean

I went with a friend yesterday to my 24 weeks ultra sound. It was wonderful, I absolutely love hearing the sound of his heartbeat and seeing him wiggle around in there. Thanks to all of our handy dandy technology these days, I was able to video tape the ultra sound and will get to watch it "with" my husband later today  Skype. I love Skype, I absolutely can't imagine going through this deployment without it. All of you woman who had only phone and email, those who only had phone, and even further back, those who only had letters... You are amazing!

Back to the ultra sound! I was hoping to get one of those cute and adorable ultra sound pics where you can see the shape of their face or they are sucking their thumb... Well, instead, what you are looking at above these words is the back of his head and back. He decided to face backwards the whole time. What a little stinker!  Still, it was amazing to not just hear, but see his heart beating, and I was happy to hear that it was, in fact a boy. The next time I see my little one he will be in my arms...I can hardly wait!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the back of my baby's head ;)

Bea and little bean~

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Diaper Bag Dilemma

As you all know, I am about to become a first time mama. I'm trying not to get swept into the wonderful whirlwind of fantastical baby supplies. Through much work and self control I believe I have succeeded. Except for this one thing...I have this fascination with Diaper Bags. I find this to be a little odd because I only own one purse at a time, and I buy a new one every 3 or 4 years... I thought I would put the same lack of care into a Diaper Bag as I do my handy dandy purse. I was wrong. So, so wrong!

I have shopped at Target, WalMart, Babies R Us, KMart... I found nothing. Either they were sturdy, organized but were ugly, or they were really cute and completely impractical. So, I decided to maybe broaden my horizons a bit (aka my budget). I found an amazing bag, sturdy, practical, reliable, organizational, washable, beautiful, spacious and a whopping $169.00.I think I actually gasped when I was shown the price tag. In fact, since I immediately had to cough, I'm pretty sure it was a very violent gasp.

This brings me to ask myself:  Is it so much to ask that I have the best of both worlds? Since when have woman ever NOT wanted to have practical and affordable matched with attractive and fashionable??? THIS IS NOT A NEW CONCEPT!"  I will step off of my soap box now...

I am still searching for a practical yet attractive diaper far there are a couple candidates, but I'm still trying to find something that fit's our budget. I will report back to you when and if I find one deserving of our money. Feel free to offer any suggestions you may have, I am very open to any and all wise and knowledgeable council.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Slightly Long Book Review!

I'd like to start the week off with a book review on my current favorite. It is an inspiring and informative book that I believe every woman should read. It has given me such insight on pregnancy and birth! I already knew what I wanted, but reading this really helped me to become strong in my decision and, I believe, has armed me with the knowledge I need to succeed. What is this amazing book? 

"Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" By: Ina May Gaskin

I'll give you a bit of history, Ina May is one of the leading midwives in our country. She has brought many women back to the basics of birth. She is the founder of a place called "The Farm". This is a whole community of people who live as naturally as possible, but they are known for their amazing birthing center. So thorough is their knowledge and so wonderful is the experience of birthing at The Farm, many women travel from all over the country to birth there. Although I will not pretend to be quite the hippy Ina May is, I value her knowledge and appreciate the truth that she speaks so openly.

Now, on to the book!

The first section is several birth stories. The purpose of this is to show us that birth does not have to be like what you see on TV. There doesn't need to be panic or fear, even intense or unbearable pain. She wanted us to know that we can have a peaceful, beautiful and low pain birthing experience. All of them are real women, real situations from all walks of life. I found all of these to be so inspiring and reassuring. Some of them did not start with good past birth experiences; they talk about unpleasant things that happened to them while receiving care from an OBGYN at a hospital, there are others that have had wonderful experiences from the beginning. Despite how all of their stories began, they all ended with them embracing their bodies ability to birth on it's own, without the help of the constant interventions you find yourself receiving at a hospital or with an OB. They tell you why they came to choose natural med free birthing vs medicated intervention filled birthing.Ina May describes this part of the book with these words:

" It almost goes without saying that the birth stories told in Part 1 differ from those of most American women. Overall, the stories are too positive; there is too much talk of joy, ecstasy, and fulfillment. These stories do not describe the usual proportions of forceps, vacuum extractor, or cesarean deliveries that are representative of these interventions." Ina May Gaskin~

The second section is more informative. She mentions that the women who have given birth with the midwives at The Farm Midwifery Center (FMC) had a 2% rate of interventions (cesarean, vacuum and forceps...) vs above 30% for those who birthed in a hospital with an OB (The national ceserean rate is over 30% in the US, it is supposed to be between 10-15%). The rest of section 2 is an explanation for why that is and how you can prevent unnecessary interventions happening to you.

She begins by talking about the "mind/body connection". One of the things that has resounded with me and helped to change my view of labor is when she talks about contractions. She talks about our interpretation of pain, and how our mind set can affect how we feel and how it affects us. The idea being, if you go in with the preconceived notion that this is going to be the most painful thing you've ever experienced, than most likely it will be. Not to say that labor is not hard, intense and painful. Just that maybe that pain is different than what we have seen on TV. Maybe it is not unbearable. This part is not just about pain, but also about your ability to have a quicker and easier birth.

The next bit is about what happens to your body during labor. What hormones your body is producing, why they are important, and the steps your uterus and cervix are taking to bring that baby into this world. This is a relatively short chapter that just talks about the basics of birth.

There are so many wonderful elements to this book, I want to right a review on every chapter...I suppose I shouldn't do that, this might get unbearably long... Soo, I'll just put the rest into a nutshell.

She talks about the sphincter law vs the law of the three P's. Ina May says :

" According to the Law of the Three Ps, if a woman;s labor doesn't produce a baby in the time allotted, it is her fault: She grew too big a baby, has too small a vagina or too weak a uterus. According to Sphincter Law, labors that don't result in a normal birth after a "reasonable" amount of time are often slowed or stalled because of lack of privacy, fear, and stimulation of the wrong part of the laboring woman's brain"

She goes into that much more than I am going to, but I assure you, it is worth reading! The chapter on prenatal care and what is truly important. What causes the now common complications during pregnancy and how to prevent them.  Something that women are becoming more aware of is the use of different birthing positions. why they are necessary and how they can make your labor and birth that much easier. She has a chapter on this that is quite interesting and talks about birthing history.

As if the wealth of knowledge she has already packed into this book were not already sufficient; she goes on to talk about what makes certain interventions necessary and how often they are necessary vs how often they are given. I know this is getting a bit long, but I would like to stress how vital the information in this part of the book is. I consider myself to be well informed already, and found that the information regarding certain risks that we have come to believe are "common" are maybe not so common or have become so because women and providers alike have forgotten what we are capable of. She talks about going into labor, about what your amazing capabilities are as a woman and about the healing time after. There is also a chapter on choosing a health care provider...

All in all, this is the most helpful and explanatory book on natural birthing that I have ever read. It is logical, it is simple and it is truth. I know that I have not given birth yet, but reading this has strengthened my belief that my body knows what it's doing. I believe that because I have selected a provider that has that very same belief that I have a much lower chance of having any complications. I believe that I will be able to discern between an impatient provider vs a true problem, if one arises. I am no longer frightened of the "pain" but prepared for the hard work ahead of me. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is pregnant, or ever hopes to be in the future.

I hope you have enjoyed my rather lengthy and winded review!

Oh Baby!

I am obsessed.
It could be that I am a first time mom to be, it could be that I have WAY to much time on my hands because my husband is currently deployed, it also could be that I am almost 6 months pregnant and "nesting" is in full swing or most likely, it is the combination of all 3. You probably guessed what I am referring to by now, but just in case, I will spell it out. No pun intended... My obsession is the little one growing inside of me.

Every second of every day I am going through my mental checklist of everything we have, what we need to get, what can be bought before the shower, what can be made, what is truly important vs. what is just a luxury... it goes on... and on.... and on....

To give myself a constructive outlet for my almost obsessive compulsive need to research and prepare, I am going to name this week "Baby Week". Creative huh? I thought so. I'll be talking about pretty much whatever pops into my head. It will be interesting, and scattered and a lot of fun!

I hope you all tune in!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas with all of there loved ones! I am making EggNog French Toast for breakfast, watched "A Christmas Story", talked to my amazing husband and will be topping off my day with more Christmas movie's and a mini version of Christmas dinner. I will be posting all the recipe's tomorrow.

Have a wonderful holiday!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Egg Nog French Toast

One of my favorite things about the holidays are all the delicious foods that are served. I love hearing about everyone's different food traditions. In my family there are foods we only eat between Thanksgiving and New Year's. This is one of those recipes. A few year's ago my cousin C. made me EggNog French Toast, and let me tell was absolutely to die for! I now have adopted it as a little tradition I want to bring into my new little family. I hope you enjoy it!

EggNog French Toast

Texas Toast or other thickly sliced bread (as much as you will eat)
EggNog (home made is best, but store bought is fine to as long as it is thick and not really watery)
1 egg per 1 cup of EggNog (only if your using store bought EggNog, or thinly sliced bread)
Maple Syrup or Whipped Cream

One of the beautiful things about this delicious recipe is how little effort it takes to prepare. If you have time to butter a piece of toast, you have time to make this!

All you need to do is melt a little butter in your skillet, I keep my temp set between medium and low.
At this point you can add about a tsp. of nutmeg to your eggnog, or you can wait and sprinkle it on your french toast later. Or if you really love nutmeg, you can do both!
Dunk your bread into the eggnog. You want to make sure its really well covered, but you don't want to dunk so much that it is soggy.
Lay it into the pan and cook it just like you would regular french toast. About 2 minutes or so on each side depending on your temperature. You want it to be a golden color.

To serve, put a couple pieces on a plate, and put on a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle it with nutmeg OR you can cover it with maple syrup. Either one is DELICIOUS!

I love this for the day after Thanksgiving, and am thinking about making it for myself and a friend on Christmas morning.

I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Im Dreaming of a White Christmas...

For as long as I can remember I have always had snow for Christmas. I grew up in Colorado and than moved to Iowa and both of those places are known for snow! Now I am somewhere new and am facing the possibility of a rainy Christmas instead.

This leaves me to think about what one does with a rainy Christmas? Do you throw water balloons instead of snow balls? Will Christmas be the same without 5 inches of beautiful white fluffy snow to go play in?

Growing up we always went and looked at Christmas lights on Christmas eve in our pajamas while drinking LOTS of hot chocolate. This is one of my sweetest memories, literally. We would sing Christmas carol's and as a small child my parents would end the trip by telling me that Santa would be there soon so I better head to bed! I always slept on my floor, I really don't know why or how that got started, but that is what I did. I remember always waking up around 2 in the morning every time... and having to wait until at least 7 before waking up my parents. Than of course, we run out to open our stockings, than our presents and would top the morning off with a delicious breakfast. Later in the day we would watch Christmas movies and go play in the snow.

I am curious to see how this Christmas plays out. It will be the first Christmas I have spent without some kind of family around... I can't help but think that a white Christmas would help make it special even though all those I hold dear to my heart will not be together this year. I think I will spend the day doing ridiculous amounts of baking for my husband while waiting around for a phone call, watch tons of Christmas movies and hopefully...go play in the snow.

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know..."

Time for an update!

Hello everyone!
I know I haven't been on for several months, it's been quite eventful and I just haven't been able to sit down and write. Now that things are slowing down, I thought I would give you an update :)

The first bit of news is my husband and I are expecting our first baby in April! It was a completely unplanned surprise, but we couldn't be happier. We are excited that it is a boy, although, we found out pretty early so we have another ultra sound to confirm it later this month. The second bit that's kept me so busy is my wonderful husband whom I love with all my being, is deployed to Iraq as of November. I have been helping him get ready to deploy, getting ready for our little one and after he left I went and visited family for a few weeks. This first month has been tough, I miss him more than I could ever have imagined possible. Thankfully we have been able to talk on a regular basis, and because of the genius who invented Skype, he has been able to watch my belly grow over the last month. He is scheduled to come home for his 2 weeks of R&R around my due date so we are praying that he will be able to experience the birth of our first child.

SO! There is your update! I will be posting on a regular basis again. I have all sorts of fun things to write about in the next few months and I can't wait to get started!

Bea ~

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Free Pedicure

Ok, so maybe it's not entirely free, but its alot cheaper than a $70 spa fee! Since my husband and I are on a pretty tight budget, going and spoiling myself at the spa really isn't an option. My girly, need to be spoiled self  just can't except that, so I like to recreate a pedicure at home. I start with something light and healthy to eat, mostly because there's just something about the spa that makes you want to eat something delicious and light. Than I start in with the feet. There are a number of things you can do, to start with though, Ill just put my favorites on here.

Pedicure Night Requirements:
Something light and delicious to eat (some kind of salad, or salmon or something)
Foot soak
Foot scrub
Your favorite nail polish
Nail rhinestones,
Clear Nail Gloss
A really good movie
Something comfy to wear

Let me just say, that I almost prefer this to going to the spa. Ok....maybe that's not quite true, but if your on a tight budget, this is pretty darn close! It's even better if you have a bunch of your girly friends over. Than it really is more fun that a spa.

For starters, Ill put the salad recipe up here. It's one my mom invented, and it is delicious and simple. I love it.

Oriental Chicken Salad Wraps

Here's what you'll need:

Cardinis Asian Sesame Dressing (or your favorite asain dressing)
2 Chicken Breasts marinated in soy sauce and a little asian dressing
Spinach or spring mix
Feta cheese
Dried cherries
Sliced almonds
Crunchy Oriental sticks
Spinach wraps (optional)

Ok, so this is reeeally easy to make and is fantastic as just a salad or folded into a wrap. First your gonna marinate the chicken breast for about 2 hrs in a mix of soy sauce and dressing, a little more dressing than soy sauce. You don't need much, just enough to coat the chicken. Then you want to grill it in a pan on medium heat till it's cooked. Slice it up. Cool it in fridge.

Now, put your greens into a bowl, throw in a handful of feta cheese, your dried cherries, almonds, those crunchy oriental sticks (im sorry for the life of me i cannot remember the name, but there in the asain isle at wall mart in a blue container and there yummy in salads!) and chicken. Put as much dressing as you want and toss it all together. If your planning to eat this as a wrap, now is the time to whip out your spinach wrap and fill it. Or just put it on a plate and eat as a salad. This is really yummy, and soooo easy! I hope you like it :)

Rose Foot Soak

This is my favorite foot soak. It's very luxurious and makes you feel rich.

All you need is water, dried rose pieces and a bowl big enough for your feet.

Heat enough water to fill the bowl about half way.  You want it to be almost boiling so that it stays hot while your steeping. Add the rose pieces and let them steep for about 10 minute. Now ease your feeties in and relax. Keep a towel near by for when your done.

Olive Oil Body Scrub

This works wonders all over your body, but I love it for my feet especially. The salt works as a fantastic exfoliate, the peppermint is refreshing and the olive oil makes your skin soft as butter. You wont even need lotion when your finished with it.

1 cup Kosher salt (you don't want super fine salt)
1 cup olive oil
5 peppermint oil

Mix it up, if you have extra it stores fantastic in a jar. Don't be afraid to try this next time you shower, you'll come out of the shower feeling amazingly soft!

Now all you need is to do is paint on your favorite nail polish and you'll feel like you just spent ridiculous amounts of money at the spa.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mac and Cheese Philosophy

So, my husband left for almost 4 weeks of training extra early yesterday morning. I have this philosophy that if I give myself 24 hrs to completely feel crappy, and mope around, be lazy and eat crappy foods, than after that 24 hrs, I can continue on with my life. Not to say that I still don't miss my husband. I just wont turn into the cat lady after that 24 hrs. When my husband was gone for basic training, I realized that I can't just sit around and wait for him to come home. If I do that...I will miss out on life. So, I created the Mac and Cheese Philosophy.

I love Kraft Mac and Cheese. The problem is, it is sooooo bad for you! So I don't eat it.  EXCEPT! during my 24hrs of depressed. I make myself one box of mac and cheese. I stuff my face with mac and cheese cause I'm bummed and don't have a husband to impress at this time so I'm fat for a day...its my rule. Then, when my 24 hrs is over, I have to get up, go to the gym, know, normal stuff grown up people do.

I am telling you all of this, because yesterday was my depressed mopey day. Today, I am up, I am getting ready to leave for the gym, than I will shower, eat lunch.... I will follow my schedule almost religiously so that I don't go crazy waiting for my husband to come home. Here's where you come in. I will be writing about all sorts of stuff to do when you need to pass some time. Everything from hosting a girl's night, to scrapbooking, to a new butt busting exercise if I find one... whatever crosses my mind and keeps me busy. Aren't you glad my mommy taught me to share???

Although I went through 5 months of basic training on nearly only letters for communication... this is my first real taste of army life. My husband is calling this 4 weeks "Our Pre-Iraq Training". He sais that not only will he be training for Iraq, but I am learning to have a life without him here. It is a little trial period for the upcoming 1 year apart in a couple months. Personally, I would be fine without a trial period! Apparently the army does not agree..... which brings us back to my mac and cheese philosophy!

I'll be back tomorrow with more updates on this "trial period",


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rasberry Blueberry Cobbler

This is a fabulous recipe that my husband deemed "awesome". You may think thats not a big deal, but I assure you, my husband is a man of very few words. When he sais something other than "Good", it means something. He consumed 3 helpings and than had the last of it before dinner the next day. When my husband likes something that much, I feel like its a crime to keep the recipe to myself! Plus, its cheap, easy and quick; which are some of my favorite words to apply to a recipe.

Here's what you'll need:

Cobbler Topping:

1 stick salted butter, softened

1 c. sugar

1 c. flour

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla
(optional, I put vanilla in the berries, so it really doesn't need it in the cobbler)

Berry Filling:
(Any berries will work for this)

1 pint blueberries

1 cup raspberries

1 heaping tablespoon flour

2/3 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

So dump the berries, sugar, flour and vanilla in your cobbler pan. Mix it up.
(Pre-heat oven to 350)
In a separate bowl, cream together sugar and butter, add the egg and flour. Mix it until its smooth. Carefully and gently spread it over your berry mixture. I think the easiest way to do this is one spoonful at a time. Your probably gonna need to get your fingers in there.

Bake for about 25 minutes, maybe 30. You want it to be golden brown like this. It smells so good at his point you'll feel slightly intoxicated....

Now just spoon it onto a plate. Make sure you get all the gooey delicious berry juices.... This is so good! SO GOOD! It's a party in your mouth. It's that good.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is my ode to end of season berries. A delicious eatable ode.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Real Women of The World UNITE!

So, I was watching this show called "How to look good naked". It's basically about women of all shapes and sizes learning to love themselves inside and out, not being afraid of whats in the mirror and learning to embrace their uniqueness.

This really struck a chord with me...I mean, how often do I look at myself and say "This is as good as its gonna get!"?. There was a scene in this show where a woman had to look at the pictures of other women from the neck down and judge them. She had to say what she thought of their bodies. She pointed out several features she would like to see on herself. The last picture, she said, if I could look like this, I wouldn't be so hard on myself. Well, you might have guessed by now that this in fact was her own body! It made me relize that maybe our own perseption of our bodies is not completely accurate. Maybe it's time we all united together and helped eachother love ourselves. Maybe it's time we all relized that what makes us different is what makes us beautiful. If we all looked alike, there would be no such thing as beauty!

For me, it is time for a reality check! It is not just my outsides that make me beautiful. It is time for me to be confident. It is time for me to live my life without the fear of what other people might think. It is time for us real women to unite! To stand together for REAL beauty, the kind that is made of confidence.

In case nobodies told you today,  let me be the first to say, you look lovely!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

And The Winner Is.......

I have been looking forward to announcing the winner all week! I had to keep reminding myself to wait until midnight to find out the winner.I feel like a kid on christmas! Only...I'm not getting the present, you are!

Remember, the winner has 48 hours to contact me with their information or a new winner will be selected. Are you ready???? I am most definitely ready!

According to the True Random Number Generate from, the winner out of a total 57 posts is!!!!!!!!

42.  Pamela S said...

I love everything blackberry! Blackberry cobbler, blackberry jam, blackberry yogurt even! Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)aol(DOT)com

August 13, 2010 12:37 PM
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you love your Huckleberry Haven Breakfast Crate!
Be sure to check your email!
This has been a fun week for me, I hope you all have enjoyed it as well!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blueberry Crumble Bars from the Tasty Kitchen

This is a delicious, to die for, heavenly, amazing, exquisite, guilty pleasure recipe I found on one of my favorite recipe websites called The Tasty Kitchen . If you've never had the pleasure of viewing this site, I encourage you to click on the link! This is just one of the many wonderful recipes to be found. I have no doubt you will enjoy it just as much as I do. It really makes the world a better place.

Click on this wont be'll be so incredibly happy. I want you to be happy, so click on the link.
Blueberry Crumble Recipe

Also, today is the last day to enter my giveaway! If you haven't already, you should! Really... because huckleberries are super yummy...

Bea ;)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Berries & Cream

This is probably the most comforting way to eat berries. My personal favorite is blackberries, but any berry will do. I find it to be a little reminiscent of the warm milk and cookies before bed days. When I'm eating blackberries with sweet cream, I am usually in very snugly jammies, curled up on the couch and either reading or talking to someone I love. I'm not sure why it always turns out this way, but I think it has to do with the comfort aspect. Something about it just makes me feel at home and safe and peaceful. Just another way berries affect more than your taste buds!

Here's what you need:

1 cup heavy cream
2-6 tbs sugar, depending on your sweetness preference
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
A handful of your favorite berries, (you'll want to slice your straw berries if that's what your using)

In a small sauce pan pour in your cream and vanilla, heat on low. When the cream is warm at sugar and gently stir until sugar is dissolved. Continue to heat until the cream is not quite hot.
Put your berries in a bowl, and pour the warm cream on top. Now just curl up on the couch in your favorite PJ's and read a book.

We're nearing the end of Berry Week, there's just one more recipe to be posted and only 2 more days to enter my Huckleberry Haven Giveaway. I'm excited to see who will win!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blueberry Cream Cheese.....

This recipe was inspired by the desperate need for a cream cheese dessert I had at my sister-in-laws bridal shower. One of her friends made this heavenly concoction of cream cheese, blueberries and graham crackers. I searched all over the internet until I found something similar and than made my own little adjustments here and there until finally, this is what I came up with.

Here's what you'll need:
3 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup chopped pecans, walnuts work too

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

3 tablespoons butter

2 8 oz package of cream cheese

2 tbs honey, warmed

2/3 cup powdered sugar, add a spoonful or two more if necessary.

3 teaspoons lime juice

2-4 tbs milk (optional, to lighten consistancy of cream cheese)

4 cups fresh blueberries (any berries work for this)

1/2 cup Cool Whip

Pour in the cinnamon, sugar, graham crackers and pecans into a bowl, stir in butter. In another bowl, mix cream cheese, honey, lime juice and powdered sugar , you want this to be smooth. Make sure you do a "taste test" to see if its sweet enough for you.

Serve this in any large serving bowl, but if you have a clear glass looks quite lovely. Your gonna wanna layer it in. Start with a thin layer of graham crackers, than some cream cheese, berries. Graham crackers, cream cheese berries...continue till your out of everything and than top with a thick layer of cool whip. Maybe add a couple blueberries to the top, or a sprig of mint... Oh my goodness is this ever delicious!

Bring this to any gathering and you'll be the new favorite cook, I promise. It might even be better than cheese cake. Ok...maybe I got a little over-excited... It's REALLY good though!

Only 2 days left to enter the Huckleberry Haven Giveaway! If you haven't already entered click here to find out how. You don't wanna miss out, this stuff is fantastic.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Strawberry Cleanser

To start off the Berry Week recipes, I felt I should share this Strawberry Cleanser with you. It's a recipe I believe we should all have, I simply couldn't justify keeping it to myself! It's a fairly well known fact that berries are packed full of antioxidants. Not only do they boost your immune system, but they do wonders for your skin. I envy whoever relized you didn't just have to eat strawberries to better yourself, but simply rubbing them all over your face works too! This cleanser leaves your face feeling clean and truly glowing. When I say glowing, I mean soft and supple with the glow of youth! Do a before and after picture, you'll see a difference.

Strawberry Facial Cleanser
4-5 fresh strawberries (frozen work fine, but you'll need to thaw and use 6)
3-4 tbs witch hazel

Stick your strawberries in the blender and blend until smooth. Add your witch hazel and blend for a few seconds. Now, go into the bathroom and generously apply to your face and gently rub into your face. You'll notice the seeds will be gently removing any dead skin you might have. After you've massaged for a few minutes, just rinse with warm water and pat dry. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.
This is a great replacement for any cleanser and if stored covered in the fridge, it will last for 3-5 days :)

Don't forget to enter my Huckleberry Haven's Breakfast Crate Giveaway! You can see how to enter by clicking here.

More tomorrow!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Berry Week Giveaway

Berries. They are so amazing I am dedicating an entire week to them. When you bite into a berry  it is not just your taste buds that are affected. Not only are these little gifts from God beautiful, fragrant and delicious, they tend to affect the emotions. My dad once told me that when he bit into a ripe berry it made him feel elegant and wealthy. For a moment he could imagine himself sitting in a mansion surrounded by fine things. Why? Because a berry is a decadent treat that people from all walks of life can enjoy. Couples often find them to be an aphrodisiac. They spark a little romance...what woman wouldn't want to walk in to a room that contained a bottle of champagne and some chocolate covered berries? As an adult, you may look back on your childhood and remember glorious days spent picking berries, or helping your mother make a berry pie. What more could a person ask for in a fruit? This week, I plan to give out my favorite berry recipes. There will be desserts, skin treatments, snacks...who knows. Anything can happen during Berry Week.

In the spirit of Berry Week, I have decided now is the perfect time to conduct my first giveaway! I will be giving away the Breakfast Crate from Huckleberry Haven. This stuff is so beyond delicious! It comes with, Wild Huckleberry coffee, almond flap jack mix, Wild Huckleberry syrup and jam. I don't know if you've every tried huckleberry anything,'s an experience we should all have. It is yet another example of the beauty of berries.
Here's how you win:

1) Become a follower of The Whimsical Housewife.
2) Leave a comment on any of the Berry Week post's letting me know what your favorite berry related food is. Don't forget to leave your email! ( Please comment no more than once per day, per post)
3) Please no entries after Friday at 9pm.
4) Make sure to check back by Saturday Aug 14th to see if you won.
5) You will have 48 hrs to contact me with your information or a new winner will be selected.

Let Berry Week begin!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stuffed Jumbo Shells w/ Spicy Vodka Cream Sauce

It all started with me in my kitchen, facing incredible boredom at the thought of cooking another "typical" dinner... I decide I need some excitement. I need some flavorful punches to the taste buds. I need to take a bite and have it quickly followed by a sigh of pure ecstasy. I decide I must create something delicious. I decide to let my creative juices flow, if you will. From my juices comes a delicious creation. When you bite into it, you will be transformed....I don't really know what I mean by just seemed to make the dramatic point I was going for. I promise you want to try this. Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of this flavorful taste bud punching meal.

Spicy Vodka Cream Sauce

1 29 oz can of tomato sauce (not the spaghetti sauce)
1 can of plain tomato paste
1/2 cup vodka
1/4 cup cream or whole milk
2 tbs butter
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tbs dried basil (of course, fresh is better, but i didn't have any)
2 tsp onion powder
2-3 tsp-ish cayenne pepper, or however much you want
salt and pepper to taste


2 15 oz containers of WHOLE MILK ricotta
1 hand full of shredded romano or parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups or so of cooked, ground spicy italian sausage
2 cups coarsely chopped spinach
a drizzles worth of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

OK! Here's what your gonna do.
Start with cooking your italian sausage. While that's cooking your gonna start your sauce. I highly recommend using a deep skillet, a cast iron skillet is perfect. Set your temp at medium and add the butter and minced garlic. Once the butter turns a beautiful golden brown color, slowly add your vodka. It will probably sizzle, a steam. It's all part of the experience. After it's cooked down for about 2 minutes, add your milk. Mix it just a bit, and add your tomato sauce.  Turn the temp down to medium low. Once that starts to simmer add your tomato paste and mix it well. At this point, your sauce is probably going to taste a little bitter. Fear not! It will get better, I promise. Stir in all your seasonings and let it cook on low. Take your sausage off the burner and let it cool.

Next step, start the water to boil for the noodles. Add a little olive oil to prevent sticking. If your serving this with a salad and garlic bread, you'll probably only need 3 or 4 per person.

While your boiling your noodles, start the the filling. In a bowl add your ricotta, romano, spinach, sausage and a light drizzle of olive oil. Mix it well. At this point, give your sauce a taste test. Make any adjustments if you need to. Maybe a little more cream, or cayenne...

You don't want your noodles to be completely cooked, you need them to be a little sturdy while your filling them. You'll probably cook them for 5-7 minutes. Keep checking on them. When you think they are ready, just move them to a bowl and gently toss with a bit of olive oil so they don't stick together and rip. Stuff them as full as you can with filling with a spoon. Set them cheese side up, into the pan with sauce. You'll probably fit about 15 if you pack them close together. After you've filled the pan, turn the heat up to 3 and cover for about 15 minutes.

What is happening now is a thing of beauty. The noodles finish cooking in the sauce, the cheese gets warm and soft and the seasonings in the sauce start to form a close relationship. The outcome is....delicious!
Not only that, it is beautiful. Very pleasing to all of your senses. Plate them with the tips in the middle and drizzle a little sauce of them. I say drizzle, what i mean is, poor it on in a flattering manner. Take a bite...enjoy transformed by it!

If your left with more cheese than you could use, it stores great for 5 or 6 days. Save whatever sauce is left and make some for a delicious lunch the next day.

I hope you liked it, I certainly did!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

For My Love

If ever two were one, than surely we.

If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee.

If ever wife was happy in a man,

Compare with me, ye women, if you can.

I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold

Or all the riches that the East doth hold.

My love is such that Rivers Canneot quench,

Nor ought but love from thee give recompetence.

Thy love is such I can no way repay.

The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.

Then while we live, in love let's so persever

That when we live no more, we may live ever.
~ Anne Bradstreet

I love you husband...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's raining, it's pooring....

It's been raining for 2 days now. It's fabulous! Full on thunder storm. Just a few minutes ago, the thunder was so loud 3 car alarms went off. No joke! There's something incredibly comforting about a good storm. It cleanses the air, smells amazing, begs you to drink a warm cup of tea and curl up with a book... They're the perfect excuse to relax all day. I just can't get enough of them. When I was little my mom used to drag me and my little sisters out to the porch everytime we had a thunder storm. We'd sit out there until it was finished, just soaking in the sounds and the scent... This tradition has carried over and I love sitting on the porch for hours listening and watching for lighting. My husband often has to drag me inside. What can I say? It brings out the little kid in me!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

Had a fantastic birthday today. My amazing husband planned a surprise for me. I spent the entire day completely mystified as my husband told me to get dressed in something cool and took me on a 2 1/2 hour road trip to an unknown destination. As it turned out, he was taking me to an AWESOME amusement park. We spent the whole evening there, it was filled with lights, fireworks, super fantastic rides....I felt like a little kid. For an entire night there was nothing else in life going on but me and my husband walking around in a colorfully lit forest filled with bubble machines and carnival music. I don't know if I've ever enjoyed an amusement park so much!
I have the most amazing husband in the world, just so you know...
I think I'll keep him, I wanna see what he has planned for next year!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Girls Night In Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my girls night in (G.N.I!). This is the part where I start give you a few recipes for a little Girly R&R.

Oh my goodness is this stuff ever good! Such flavor...such amazingly delicious flavor. Your taste buds will love you forever more. It's incredibly easy to make with fantastic results. Make it for yourself as a healthy and delicious treat or make a big batch for a party. You just can't go wrong with Bruschetta. I'm eating it as I type and....oh my....

Ok, so for starts, here's what your gonna need:

5 Ripe tomatoes, i prefer a mix of yellow and red, but either are fine
2 1/2- 3 tbs. Fresh chopped basil, dried works fine
1 tsp. Fresh chopped parsley, dried works fine
2 tbs. Olive oil
1 tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
Mozzarella (optional)
Parmesan (optional)
1 lf Herbed italian bread
Softened Butter

For starters, chop your tomatoes into small pieces and toss them into a bowl. Next, add your herbs and seasonings. You'll notice its smelling very yummy right about now...
Add your olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You can add more or less if you like, it really depends on what you like, experiment a little. Mix it up a bit.
Ok, now, I prefer to let it sit for at least 60 minutes. I think it makes the flavors happier. They've gotten to know each other a little... But, if your in a hurry, or just cant resist the deliciousness any longer, than go ahead and start on this next part immediately . It's still to die for.

It's time to pay a little attention to that italian bread. Your gonna slice it about 2 inches thick, make as many slices as you need.
So your gonna spread your slices with butter and put into a heated pan and toast them. Think how you would toast a grilled cheese sandwich. I like to call this Gourmet Toast.
When there golden brown on the outside, set them on your serving plate. Pile them as high as you can with the bruschetta topping. Top with a small shaving of parmesan.

If your eating this as a meal rather than an appetizer, I like to melt a slice of fresh mozzarella on the toast before I top it with bruschetta. Either way it's delicious.

Oh need to take a bite right now.

Banana Facial
This is one of my favorite facials to do. It leaves my face feeling smooth and hydrated. The healthy glow it leaves behind is great too! Bananas and honey contain a lot of vitamins and minerals that are good for your skin. These happen to be the 2 main ingredients for this wonderful facial. Witch hazel is the last ingredient and will leave your skin feeling clean. The combination results in a refreshing mask that requires very little money or work.

1 ripe banana
11/2 tbs honey
1/2 tbs witch hazel

I like to start by sticking the banana in a blender to make it smooth. You can use a fork, it's just a little lumpy. After the banana is smoothed add the honey and the witch hazel, mix it up and apply generously to your face and neck. Leave it on for about 10-15 minutes. I recommend applying wet tea bags to your eyes, or cool cucumbers...put on some relaxing music and pretend your at the spa for the next 15 minutes.
When your ready to take it off, wet a washcloth with the warmest water you can stand. Set the wash cloth on your face and allow the mask to soften for about 30 seconds and wipe off.
I highly recommend finishing this process with your favorite moisturizer. Spoil yourself a bit and give yourself a facial massage while your rubbing it in, moving in slow outward circular motions. You'll feel fantastic when your finished, I promise!

This along with watching 16 Candles and a fresh coat of nail polish concluded my lovely Girls Night In. I hope you enjoy my recipes, I feel rather spoiled myself....

Bea ;)


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Girl's Night In

These last few weeks my days and nights have been pleasantly filled with my wonderful husband. Sadly,the hubs is off doing field work until sometime tomorrow evening. Since I haven't had time to make any friends yet, to fill my oh so lonely evening, I have decided to have a "Girls Night In" with me. I'm goin all out tonight baby! Delicious bruschetta for dinner, a chick flick, body scrub, facial, manicure and pedicure and anything else extra girly I can think of before the testosterone comes home. Ooooooh yaaaa! Bring it on! When my hubby gets home I'm gonna look and feel smokin.
A little later on I will be posting my delicious bruschetta,homemade body scrub and facial recipes. I'm excited for this evening! It's gonna be a blast and I can't wait to share it with you!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Home Made Cleaning Products

My husband and I, being newlyweds, have currently had a lot of expenses! I have been on the look out for any way at all I can save money. One of the ways I've found is to make my own cleaning products. This is something I have done before, but it was usually just to have on hand in case I ran out of something. The need to save money along with what I am continually learning about chemicals and the impact on our health was all I needed to convince me that this was a good choice for us. I've put a little info about the ingredients I use and the recipes :)

White Vinegar
This is gentle enough to use on hardwood floors, but can cut through dirt and soap scum. It is also a deodorizer, this doesn't just cover up the smell! Plus, the vinegar smell goes away as soon as it dries.

Baking Soda
This is a great replacement for other scouring powders. It is mildy abrasive and is a natural deodorizer.It works well for the bath tub and kitchen sink.

Essential Oils (Therapeutic Grade)
These don't just leave a pleasant scent behind, they have been proven to contain disinfectant properties equal to those in other more toxic cleaners. They also make a nice cover for the smell of vinegar while your cleaning!

Disinfectant Essential Oils (Therapeutic Grade)

Lavender (use this in combination with another as it is more for scent)

All Purpose Cleaner (Windows Included)

9-15 drops of your favorite disinfectant Essential Oils
(I use Lemon and Peppermint)

Get your "squirt bottle". Mix 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water. Add the oils, put on the lid and shake.
This is my favorite cleaner mix. It cleans glass beautifully, and I know that the oils are disinfecting. Plus, it leaves a very fresh scent behind.

Bathroom Cleaner
Same as All Purpose Cleaner but with Cinnamon and Clove Oil

Tub/Sink Scrub


6 tbs Baking Soda
5 drops of your favorite Essential Oil (optional)
5-6 tbs Water

Your gonna mix the water and baking soda into a paste and add the lemon oil. Grab your sponge and your ready to go! (For tougher soap scum let sit for 10-15 minutes)

Fabric Softener

1 cup Vinegar
5 drops of your favorite Essential Oil

This not only helps keep your washer free of soap buildup, but it softens your clothes without leaving an residue. This is great for anyone with sensitive. No worries, your clothes will NOT smell of vinegar. If you prefer dryer softeners, just cover a damp wash cloth with 5 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

10 drops Clove and Cinnamon Essential Oil (Optional)

Fill spray bottle with vinegar and oils. Spray directly into bowl and scrub.
Poor vinegar straight into towlet bowl and scrub with toilet brush.

I hope you find these useful. Not only are they easy and effective, but they are incredibly CHEAP! WOOOWOOO! I love when those three words can be put in the same sentence!

I'd love to hear if you have any home made recipes of your own!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"The Omnivores Dilemma"

Time for a book review! I may or may not have told you this yet, but I am a slight health freak. Not that I don't have some unhealthy recipes, but for the most part, fresh organic fruits, vegetables and meats is something I strive for.

My mother-in-law bought me "The Omnivore's Dilemma" By Michael Pollan as a gift for my birthday. I am nearly finished with it, and I think it is one of the most informative books on modern dietary practices so far. He breaks down whats really in the foods we eat, and what it means for our bodies. Italic

If you are looking for information on how to be truly healthy, this is an amazing book to read. This is not a diet book. There are many questions right now about what true health means. A lot of people are questioning the food that is being forced down our throats. Even more people are wondering if the medical problems we have today are directly related to what we are eating. Well, the answer is, YES! Even those who may think they are eating "good" foods may be surprised at what they find in this book.

Please read this book! I learned SO much, and am SO glad I did. Women tend to feel a huge sense of responsibility to keep their families healthy, and often a strong sense of guilt when they don't know how to do that. Much of the food we consume is no longer made the way it once was. I feel more educated than ever on what to look for when I am purchasing food for my family. Knowing that I'm doing everything I can to keep my husband and I healthy gives me peace of mind.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Pretzel Chicken

This is a delicious recipe I got from one of my sister-in-law's. At first, I was a little sceptical, I really don't like pretzels. On second bite though, I realized it is quite delicious. There a crunchy delicious spin on Chicken Tenders. Please try them, there delicious. Did I mention there really delicious?

Pretzel Chicken

2 chicken breasts, sliced
3 c. crushed salted pretzels
1 tbs. parsley
1tsp. garlic powder
1tsp. fresh pepper
2 eggs (be sure to use eggs, milk isnt sticky enough to hold the pretzels)
Oil for frying

So, your gonna start by crushing up your favorite pretzels. You can do this with a food processor, but I've found that it usually gets a little too powdery. So I like to smoosh them with a cup in a bowl. Next, your gonna lightly scramble the eggs in a separate bowl. First, dip into the eggs, than dip into the the pretzels. Make sure its really well covered.

Now, set the chicken in a pan of hot oil. I usually keep the heat just under med-hi.

After about 3-5 min flip it over. They should be a deep golden brown.
When there finished just set them on a plate lined with paper towls to soak up excess grease. All thats left now is to eat that crunchy delicious chicken.

I hope you love them! My sister-in-law serves them with steamed new potatoes and spinach. My husbands loves it with a salad and roasted potatoes. My personal favorite is with a spinach salad. The possibilities are endless!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bookaholics Anonymous

My name is Bea, and I'm a bookaholic.

It all started with my mom reading me bedtimes stories....the next thing I knew I was hiding books and flashlights under my pillow! Now.... now I frequent all sorts of book sales, used book stores and amazon collecting cook books, fiction, non-fiction, educational, craft books... I'm unstoppable!

Now, you might be saying, " Bea, that's not so many books! Nothing a book shelf wont cure!"

I must confess a bit more.... I still have a good 30 books in storage... I've already started looking into the local library sales. I mean... who can pass up $0.10 a book???? As of now there is no proven treatment for bookaholics.

So I guess...that means I can keep on buying books...and stacking them up...and reading and re-reading their marvelous content! In fact, the more I think about it, I don't have a problem at all! Thanks for helping me clear that up, I feel much better now!

Bea :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Little "Efficient Living"

There is a lot of talk going on about "Green Living". For me, it's not so much about being "Green" as its about "Living Efficiently". In my opinion, "Going Green" is often impracticle and expensive. I think a lot of women feel like I do, we want to do our part for the environment and our economy; but in a practical way. For us, our families come before our environment. We aren't interested in spending money on "solutions" that don't fit into our day to day life. We want to do our part, SAVE money and live efficiently.

Here's a few practicle and cost effective options I found:

1. Switch to cloth grocery bags. Not only are they cheap and reusable, but you can find some really fun ones that can be used for more than just groceries. Many stores even take $0.05-$0.15 off your total for each reusable bag you use. It's not a lot, but every penny helps!

2. Lower the temperature on your water heater to 140 degrees or lower if you can stand it. I like my hot shower's so we had ours set to 160 degrees. I was a little concerned about this one, but found that 140 degrees still allows for a nice hot shower without using quite so much electricity.

3. Purchase reusable water bottles for you and your family. These can be as pricey as you want them to be. It depends on what your looking for and how flashy you want them. However, no matter which way you look at it they eventually pay for themselves. Not only that, you don't have to worry about that pesky BPA.

4. Shop at your local farmers markets. Not only does this give you a chance to get outta the house and spend some time with your family, but it gives you an opportunity to see what is readily available. This is a HUGE economy booster.

5. Consider using more natural cleaners. You can make your own out of vinegar and baking soda with a few drops of essential oil (extremely cost effective) or you can purchase natural cleaners with recyclable containers. Both are an effective way of cleaning your home and helping the environment.

6. Recycling. I just see no reason at all to throw something out that can be reused, so for those of you who live closer to a recycling post, this is rather easy and can actually bring in a bit of money. Most grocery stores will accept your metal and plastic recycling bags. An added bonus, kids tend to find this to be a really fun chore!

I hope you've found this helpful! I know there are many more ways to "Live Efficiently", but these are the ones I've been able to easily implement in my own home.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Happily Domestic

One of my "Blogspirations" is Happily Domestic. It's filled with lots of tips for homemakers everywhere. Its really quite enjoyable. If you scroll to the top of this page, you'll see a button that sais " Celebrate the Joys of Homemaking". This little button will take you to her lovely blog and show a rather fantastic giveaway she's having starting the 17th of this month. Be sure to check it out,you'll be glad you did!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Vanilla Bunt Cake w/ Chocolate Fudge Icing

I would like to start this post with a little conversation I had with my husband around 1am this morning. He had been sleeping about 2 hrs at this point. It went a bit like this:
"That was good babe"
"That was good"
"What was good?"
" The cake, it was really good"
" know that was like 3 hrs ago right?"
"What...? Oh..."
I was laughing...really hard. I think maybe the recipe was pretty good if my husband was dreaming about it... You see, I had an intense craving for cake last night. Since, the hubs obviously liked it so much, I thought I would share it with you. I'll add a recipe for chocolate buttercream icing later, but I was feeling a bit lazy last night and just used store bought. I hope you like it!

Vanilla Bunt Cake

1/2 c. unsalted butter ( salted works too, just don't add any salt to dry mixture)
1 c. sugar, minus 2 tbs.
2 tbs. light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tbs vanilla

2 c. cake flour (regular flour works fine, cake flour makes it a bit lighter)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. whole milk (trust me, whole is better :)

Pre-heat 350 degrees.
In separate bowl cream butter and sugar. After mixing add one egg at a time making sure to mix well. Add vanilla. After mixing dry ingredients, slowly add it and the milk to wet mixture, mixing as you go.

In buttered bunt cake pan poor mixture until about 1/2 to 3/4 full. You'll need to bake it for roughly 30 minutes, but keep an eye on it. You don't want it to be brown. As soon as its cooled, slather on as much iceing as your heart desires!


Bea :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Puppy Prospects

For about 2 months now I've been trying to decide what kind of dog I want. I've thought about several breeds and the choices were down to a great dane or a boxer. I grew up with a boxer/pit mix that was fantastic, so when I realized that a great dane just couldn't happen, I started looking for boxer's in our area. I could not be more excited at what I found! Boxador's. What is a boxador you ask? A boxador is a boxer/labrador mix. These boxador's happen to be a black lab mix. They have the boxer bone structure with the sleek black coat of a black lab. These puppies are the cutest things I've ever seen! The one I am hoping to get is all black with a little white diamond on her chest and a white tip on her tail. My husband has been teasing me because I have been trying to decide on a rather unique name. Im not a typical name sorta person. "Sugar", "Fifi", "Blacky" just wont do! This little poochy needs a good name! Any idea's? Whoever you are?


Monday, June 28, 2010

Its about time!

Its taken me a few weeks to do it, but I am FINALLY putting up my first post! For those of you who do not know me yet, I am newly married. My husband and I have been a couple 5 years in august. The hubs is in the Army, and we have just moved to our very first home! It has been very busy, new and exciting. I must say that Kansas is different than anything I expected. Lots of hills and even more trees, its really quite beautiful. Growing up in Colorado I thought nothing could top our sunsets, and yet here I am in beautiful Kansas with the most brilliant sunsets I've ever seen. Now, down to business! This is a new blog, so you may be asking yourself "What is this whimsical housewife about?" Please, allow me to satisfy your curiosity! I hope to share with you my experiences as a wife. Not just any wife mind you; the wife of a soldier! Im a little on the quirky side, anything could happen. There will be recipes here and there, photos, stories and the occasional link to a neat article. Well, thats all for now!