Life on the inside. I've been sentenced 18 years to life and The Wardens are doing their best to drive me even crazier.

Archive for the month “August, 2013”

Fluffy Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pancakes with Chia Seeds

These pancakes are so fluffy and yummy that you don’t even really NEED syrup for them. I don’t even have pictures because my kids were eating them as fast as I could make them up! I love pancakes. They’re fast and easy to make, the ingredients are common, and they can be made in a way that they’re almost healthy, but are at least a great source of fuel to start your day on! However, most recipes are too dense and too… Blah for my tastes. This morning I started to improvise on an old recipe and came up with these light and airy, sweet and yummy beauties! I think I will make them again tomorrow and I’ll try to snag some photos of them before they disappear down my munchkin’s bottomless pits. 😉

1 1/2 C unbleached all purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 heaping Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp chia seeds
1 1/2 C whipping cream – (a little less than two small cartons, shake a little first)
1 egg
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla extract


Put dry ingredients into medium mixing bowl, make sure there aren’t any lumps in the brown sugar! Mix to combine with whisk.

In another bowl, stir egg until its all mixed together, add the melted butter and vanilla and whisk. Slowly pour in whipping cream, whisking vigorously. When the mixture starts to thicken you are done. Add the cream mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until fully combined into a batter.

Heat your flat top grill to 350. Use a ladle to pour out small rounds of batter. This mix takes longer than some recipes so be patient. Watch for bubbles to start coming through the batter. Wait for the bubbles to stop, if the sides are risen and cracked, you are ready, if they’re not, wait for them to rise. Then flip them over. And wait for the bottoms to brown up. When you lightly touch the center and it feels like a fluffy cake texture (or bounces back from your touch like a sponge) then the pancake is ready.

Move to a plate, top with syrup, and serve!! (Or just hand one dry to your child as he runs away from you!)

Update, as I was typing my son stopped to investigate with one of the pancakes in his hand so I actually caught a blurry picture before he ran off. Haha!


Body Image – A New Look

A while back I had this wonderful idea that I wanted to do for some friends of my family. I was having one of those moments where I was really annoyed with someone because they were so insecure with themselves. And then I realized that I was annoyed with another persons insecurities. How tragic is that? I wanted to help her. She’s one off those women that even when you compliment her, she turns it into an insult. She absolutely cannot in any way accept anything positive about herself. That’s a very tough thought for me to take in!

Many women have issues with their image and are subject to this notion that we can’t be proud of our so called flaws without looking like a fool. Have you seen The Beautiful Body Project? This inspires me in so many ways. I’ve never been one to take part in self bashing, and when I slip up, I always feel sick about it. How on earth can this be healthy? I remember sitting around a table recently and every single woman there was exchanging flaws and self disgusts and diet “tricks”. Sounds like a bad movie but it was really happening!

But wait, there’s more.

I honestly hate when I try to encourage someone to do something and they say “No, you can because you’re skinny and pretty, but I’m too fat and ugly for that.” I always try to tell them they are wrong but this person can’t fathom the idea that they actually are pretty and therefor, nothing I say helps.

Where it gets really upsetting is the moment you hear “I don’t know why he even loves me, I’m too fat for love.”

Yes. I really heard that. Too fat for love. Those were the words that came out of her mouth.

That. Is. Heartbreaking.

After these events, I was laying in bed, letting my mind wander, when I thought, “They just need to see themselves the way their partner does.”

Slowly, I formed an idea. If you have image issues, please, take part in this exercise. If you don’t have image issues, take part anyway! It’s a healthy way to boost your self esteem!

All you need is a pen, some paper, and a partner. It can be anyone you love, trust, and respect. Whether this means your husband or boyfriend, or if you’re single, your mom or best friend or sister. Feel free to exchange and each do it but it was originally designed for a husband and wife duo to help the wife. So adjust it to your needs, the idea remains the same. 🙂

First, write down 5 things you hate about yourself. Easy, right?

Now write down 10 things you love about yourself. A little harder, but you can do it!

Next, have your partner write down 10 things they love about you. Then have them read their list to you.

Now, here’s where the magic happens. After hearing the wonderful ways your partner sees you, take the 5 things you originally said you hate about yourself, look at them in a new light, and turn them into something positive.

Now stand up and read your new list of 15 things you love about yourself.

You are SO beautiful, in so many ways. I only want you to be able to see it.

I made some printable pages you can use if you like, because who doesn’t love pretty printables!? 🙂 I hope this could help at least one person.

I had a friend, “M”, volunteer and test it for me, she opted to do an exchange with her best friend. They each took part in both sides and ended up with a wonderful new outlook on themselves! This is what she had to say about it:

“It was really hard for both of us to turn some of our dislikes into positives… Like my tummy and her nail biting. It was also hard to come up with 10 things we liked about ourselves. We almost gave up! But we finished and I guess it worked pretty well!” -M.

Thanks to M for volunteering in my exercise! Now, the rest if you, go do it and learn to love yourself just a little bit more!!

Here are the printables!





I Love Being a Mom, But Parenting Sucks.

Parenting sucks. I mean, being a mom is great. But parenting? That sucks. Know why? Because apparently it’s EVERYONE’s business. And it starts before the baby is even born.

You’re keeping the baby? You’re putting her up for adoption? You’re not finding out the gender? Your naming him/her THAT?

You’re going to do unmedicated birth? You’re going to use DRUGS? You’re going to do a home birth? You want a doctor telling you what to do?

You’re not breast feeding? You’re not covering up while your boob is hanging out? You’re supplementing? You’re NOT supplementing?

And I could go on and on. But here it gets worse. Because it starts coming from places where you’re supposed to feel supported. But you can’t please everybody.

If you chose to spank, someone says you’re abusing them. If you chose not to, someone says you’re spoiling them.

If you chose to CIO, you’re torturing your child and starving his attention. If you chose to pick him up, you are spoiling him and fostering feelings of attachment and insecurity.

If you chose to feed them mainstream food, you’re poisoning them and you’re lazy. If you chose to feed them natural and homemade foods, you’re trying too hard and think you’re better than other moms.

If you chose to use generic brand products, you’re injecting them with chemicals and setting them up for sickness. If you chose to use organic products with fewer chemicals, you’re, once again, trying too hard and think you’re better than everyone else.

If you chose to raise YOUR child, YOUR way, then you are a know-it-all, selfish, better-than-everyone-else idiot.

I hate that this is what parenting has turned into. I hate even more that it comes between families, even between couples. I hate that we aren’t even free to make choices for our children anymore. When did parenting become a public affair? Just because I am a mom, doesn’t mean I lost all of my rights as a human when I gave birth to one.

Cooking from Scratch (Finally)

Happy Birthday! Thursday, August 15, was my mom’s birthday. My mom lives 8 hours away from me so I didn’t get to see her. However, my brother lives 5 minutes away and was going to visit her this weekend, so, I decided to bake her a surprise birthday cake and send it with him! As you can guess, I made the cake, and icing, from scratch! OF COURSE! Haha. So, this is the most recent example I can give of how cooking from scratch is cheaper.


Sorry for the horrible photo. It’s too bad the cake didn’t really survive the trip to my mom. All the roses melted off of the sides! It was in AC the whole way but Texas heat can’t be reasoned with. My mom said it tasted great though! So that’s all that counts I suppose. I was still sad about my roses, though they weren’t much of a loss considering I kind of messed them up anyway. Ha! Anyway, on with the math…ugh.

For me to have baked this cake from a box mix,it would have cost about $16.00:

(These are rounded off to make this easier)
Boxed cake mix: $3.50
2 tubs of icing: $5.00
Milk/eggs/oil for cake mix: $2.00 give or take.
Raspberries for the raspberry filling: $4.00
Purple gel food coloring: $1.00

Or if I bought it from the bakery, probably around $20.00 right?

Here’s what it cost me to make from scratch, with items I keep on hand because I like to bake often.

Cake, recipe can be found here, I cut the recipe in half to make a smaller cake (two 6″ rounds instead of two 9″ rounds)

Cake Flour: $4.00 per 2lb box, I used 1 1/8C = approximately $1.50
Milk: $4.00 per gallon, I used 1/2C = about $0.12
Eggs: $3.00 per 18ct carton, I used 3 = about $0.50
Almond Extract: $2.00 per 2oz bottle, I used 1tsp = approximately $0.16
Vanilla Extract: $2.00 per 8oz bottle, I used 1/2tsp = approximately $0.02
Granulated Sugar: $7.00 per 10lb bag, I used 5/8 C = bout $0.25
Baking Powder: $3.00 per 10oz can, I used 2tsp = $0.10
Salted Butter (sticks): $2.00 per 4 stick box, I used 6tbsp (3/4 stick) =$0.75

Icing and raspberry filling. Recipe for icing can be found here, I doubled it to make filling and have extra. The filling was about 1/4 of the total icing, with fresh raspberries and 1tsp of raspberry extract added.

Salted Butter (sticks): $2.00 per 4 stick box, I used all 4 = $2.00
Confectioners Sugar: $3.00 per 2lb bag, I used 6 C = about $4.50
Vanilla Extract: $2.00 per 8oz bottle, I used 2 Tbsp = about $0.25
Milk: $4.00 per gallon, I used 3Tbsp. = approximately $0.19
Fresh Raspberries: $4.00, I used about 1/4 of the bag (approximately 1C) = $1.00
Raspberry Extract: $2.00 per 2oz bottle, I used 1tsp = about $0.16

So my total, from scratch, was $11.50! That’s cheaper!

Now, aside from my cake costing less, I now have all these ingredients on hand, which means I can bake any time I want and it will all be cheaper unless it requires a lot of a special ingredient.

Now, I’m not here to tell you “and knowing what goes in my food is priceless” (even though it is) because you may be like my husband. In his eyes, he doesn’t care if it’s healthy or not, if it doesn’t cost less, then it’s not worth it. So we are JUST talking bottom line here.

But the beauty of cooking from scratch is when you meal plan with it. Meaning, plan for meals with similar ingredients and your money will go further! Now, I also bake bread from scratch. Ingredients are flour, yeast, salt, and water. It ends up being less than $1.00 per loaf! Where at the grocery store, you may pay $2-3.00 per loaf with all kinds of preservatives in it!

How about actual meals? Well, a favorite of mine is pork fried rice done the lazy way. We mix pork chops that I’ve sliced up, rice, and frozen mixed veggies to make a meal that all 4 of us eat WITH enough leftovers for lunch the next day. Wanna take a guess at the cost? About $5.00. FOR TWO MEALS! Now, buying fried rice as takeout or in those handy little microwave cartons is what, around $4.00 per carton? Times 4 people equals $16.00, times two meals equals $32.00!? I’ll take $5.00 over $32.00 ANY DAY. And guess what? Yup, there’s pork chops, rice, and mixed veggies still in my kitchen waiting to be used on another meal.

Am I making any sense yet or do you need more math? I hope not. I hate math. Haha! But seriously, the budget that the wardens has put me on is pretty tight, but their appetites keep expanding, so I’m having to learn how to save every penny I can. I hope to have an expansive vegetable garden one day to cut even more costs from our grocery bill, but that’s not an option at the moment so I will stick with learning how to cook from scratch in preparation for when I DO have one.

Good luck to all of you! I hope I can help at least one person save money!

Rough Week! B’s Real Name is “Clark Kent”

First, y’all should know that cooking from scratch was the clear winner of the “Pick Your Topic” post, and I will do it, however, this past week was a little different and I didn’t do near enough cooking to do the post.

This post will be over something that has been ruling our world this past week. About a month ago, B was diagnosed with autism. It’s a mild case but it has its struggles. We are learning about what this means for us. We are having to change some things. We are having to plan a lot of new things, like speech therapy. This past week, we have had our eyes opened to another issue that can often come with autism: SPD. Sensory Processing Disorder can come in many forms, and for us it’s proprioceptive. My son is a crasher, a lifter, a jumper… He is Clark Kent in a two year old’s body. He NEEDS the feeling of lifting or moving heavy objects, the sensations of climbing up to high places, the feeling he gets when he suddenly hits the ground (or a pillow) after jumping off of something. All of these sensations help calm his nervous system, which is what is out of control. He can’t process “normal” feelings so he needs the extremes. Living with this has made our lives very complicated. On a daily basis we have to deal with furniture being moved or turned over, objects being climbed on and jumped from, off-limit zones being constantly intruded upon, and the fear the one day, one of B’s moments of sensory input will cause Row to get injured.

We’ve been dealing with these habits for quite some time, but only recently have I come to the conclusion of SPD after looking at autism and some of its problems. We are currently looking for safe activities and sensory clothing (weighted vest and backpacks, heavy blankets, pressure clothing) to help calm him. But until then, we have had to screw all of our furniture to the walls or floors to prevent any accidental injuries. I want people to understand that THIS IS REAL. He’s not “just being a boy” and it is VERY hard to live with.

When you take this desire for pure destruction, add in my son’s genetic strength and his inability to communicate properly, then you are left with very frustrating daily lives. I will keep you up to date as we walk this road but for now, we are just learning to deal with it and make our home safe. Here are some photos of what is my daily life.

Disclaimer: I DO NOT condone or encourage any of this behavior, I take photos for evidence because no one believes me and because I’m not worried about his safety. He has impeccable balance and I get him down immediately after I take the photos. I do, however, make sure it’s not immediately dangerous before I take the pictures. There are many incidences without photo because I needed to act IMMEDIATELY. This is my life. And B is only 2.5. Also, please excuse my messy house and his nudity. He doesn’t like diapers.





But then he has to go and be absolutely adorable with the hat he just HAD to wear even though it was 90+ degrees outside. I love this kid, even when I don’t know what to do with him. He certainly keeps life interesting. And my love for The Wardens is the only thing that stops me from going completely insane when they suddenly decide to literally shred their mattress. The only thing.


Next-Morning Update: As I was writing this post, B slammed Row’s hand in their bedroom door. I had to stop editing so we could take him to the ER to make sure it wasn’t broken. Luckily, no bones were broken, however, it did burst one of his blood vessels. So now he has a club hand where we ace-bandaged a cooling gel pack to his hand. He kept pulling at the bandage so we put one of his favorite socks over it. Now he has learned to use his club-hand as a weapon for revenge and is chasing B around the house, whacking him with it. If it weren’t so cute and if B didn’t find it so funny, I’d make Row stop. But for now, they’re happy. So I am, too.


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