Behind the Scenes of One Mama's Life

Pinning It Down {5} – Breakfast Casserole

I missed last week’s Pinning It Down *sigh* – chaotic week! But this week I get to combine Pinning it Down with a quick breakfast solution. This recipe arrived in my inbox one morning and it looked simple and delicious, so I pinned it. It was for a one-minute egg casserole. While I am learning to be a better homemaker, I am still NOT a morning person. So this sounded like a great solution – it was quick and contained three food groups! So we tried it one morning; and it made a return appearance the next morning! Diva really liked it a lot; LegoFan was a little on the fence, but even he opted for it over his usual favorite the next morning. So I think we have a winner.

I apologize that this is not a really pretty photo – it’s not a really pretty meal. I mean it IS a casserole. But it’s not important how pretty it is, as long as the kids will eat it!

It is SO simple to make. All you do is break up some bread, add some milk and shredded cheese, then one egg. Mix it all up and microwave it for one minute. Done! Please click through to the original website for the exact recipe. Try it, you’ll like it…

I also tried another item I pinned to my Helpful Tidbits board. Amy Bayliss had done a post on Cajun cooking and this tip was found there. She said that if you put your onions in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you need to cut them, you don’t cry!!! This was something I had to try. So last night, I was making burritos and was adding sliced onions and peppers. I remembered that tip and decided to try it. Ya know what?! IT WORKS!!! Not one. single. tear. Ya’ll (said in my best southern accent as a tribute to Amy) are just going to simply have to give it a try.

Looking forward to seeing what other pinned down this week (and last week ’cause I’m just a wee bit late…). Feel free to follow me on Pinterest.

This post is linked to Pinning It Down, Titus 2sday, and Raising Homemakers.

2012 in 2012 – Week 5

I’m getting this week’s report in a day or so late, but here it is…
My son and I did get to go through some of his clothes, but we did not get to all of them. My daughter, however, continued her purge – I am SO proud of her! She got rid of some more clothes and a bunch of toys.
I did sell a few things on ebay, but I’m not including all of them as they have not yet been paid for. Sometimes these items just don’t end up leaving the house, unfortunately!
  • 20 Items of Kids’ Clothing
  • 44 Horse Related Toys
  • 5 Misc. Toys
Thrown Away:
  • 2 Shower Caddies
  • 1 Shower Curtain Liner
  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 3 Torn Shirts
  • 2 Pairs of Underwear
  • 1 Broken Testors Model
  • 1 Out-of-Shape Plastic Cup (actually recycled)


  • 1 T-Shirt
  • 1 Hoppy VanderHare Rabbit


  • Donated: 69 Items
  • Thrown Away: 11 Items
  • Sold: 2 Items

Week 5: 1877 – 82 = 1795

Now, two of the items we threw away were replaced – you kind of need a shower curtain liner, and a shower caddy is certainly helpful when you have multiple people and all their various bottles! But I still counted them in the totals because we got rid of three things that were no longer in good condition.

Diva is starting to see the difference she has made. Her room is much cleaner without all the clutter, and she has more space to play with the toys that are more important to her. I think this has been a valuable lesson for her. Now I just need the lesson to sink into LegoFan’s head…

Though, if truth be told, I think they both get it from me. I’m thinking that I may need to provide an even better example. We’ll see what happens this week!

Anyone else purging? How’s it going?

Weeks 1-3

Week 4

2012 in 2012 – Week 4

(Here is the first post in this series: Weeks 1-3) Here I am at the end of Week 4  and I have worked really hard to catch up! Actually, I must commend Diva as she was pretty selfless this week in her donating. It’s difficult sometimes to teach this to children, so I am so glad she is learning it early. At one point, she wanted to keep ALL of her clothing as she grew out of it “for her little girl.” I had to explain to her that an awful lot had to happen in order for her to be able to do that; not the least of which was the storage of all these items… We have compromised on a few of her favorite dresses instead of everything she has ever worn! She has also, on her own, decided to donate some of her puzzles and toys. She has come a long way. This coming week, we tackle LegoFan’s clothes…
Oh, we were blessed with our tax refund this week and we finally purchased a new blender! Yay! Our old one was so pathetic – the center part of the lid no longer stayed on by itself! So, even though we bought a new one, I’m still listing the old blender as a throw away. I am oh-so-glad to get rid of it!
So let’s see where we are as of the end of Week 4:
  • 6 Puzzles
  • 1 Pair of Boots
  • 1 Pair of Dress Up Shoes
  • 1 Baseball Hat
  • 2 Head Bands
  • 1 Pair of Pants
  • 1 Small Purse
  • 1 Belt
  • 1 Play Wand
  • 1 Placemat (still looking for its counterpart…)
  • 1 Child’s Hat
  • 1 Wooden Crate
  • 1 Bag of Foam Pieces for a Foam Craft
  • 1 Christmas Garland
  • 13 More Ornaments
  • 8 Articles of Kids’ Clothing
  • 1 Christmas Stocking

Thrown Away:

  • 2 Pair of Tights
  • 2 Christmas Garlands
  • 1 Pair of Pajama Bottoms
  • 1 Broken Hanger
  • 1 Dragonfly Magnet with Broken Wing
  • 1 Pair of Socks
  • 1 Broken Flashlight
  • 1 Damaged Picture Frame
  • 1 Brush
  • 1 Rocking Chair (sad…)
  • 1 Ottoman (sad…)
  • 1 Broken Blender (oh happy day!)


  • Nothing sold this week, but I listed a bunch of items on eBay tonight. So, hopefully by the time I write this next week, I will be able to add something to this category!


  • Donated: 42 items
  • Thrown Away: 14 items
  • Sold: 0 items

Week 4: 1933 – 56 = 1877

Boy, I sure do like seeing that number go down! And as I sit here thinking about it, the new blender is really the only thing we brought into the house. Other than food and toiletries, etc.

But there is one more funny thing I want to add… Diva is really getting into the spirit of this project! She wanted to count every piece of paper she recycled too!

Now, I am off to get some sleep and enjoy a day of rest at Mass, with God, and with my family before I start to tackle LegoFan’s clothes…

How did your week go? Were you able to donate, sell or throw away anything to de-clutter your home? Tell us about it in the comments!

Chocolate Waffles – Pinning It Down {3}

This week I was looking forward to pinning a few things down. This link-up party has really made me think about doing these things on pinterest NOW instead of some arbitrary day in the future. The only problem? We can’t seem to kick this cold – it’s been passed around from Diva to LegoFan to me, and back to LegoFan. And the only person who can’t seem to get rid of it completely is me. So glad my family shares with me!

So, instead of pinning down a couple of things during the week, I found myself looking for a recipe for Sunday night’s dinner. I had promised Diva that we could have waffles a few days earlier, as we enjoy breakfast for dinner! But the problem was that I had lost my favorite waffle recipe when I lost everything on my hard drive this summer. It was from Crystal Paine’s (Money Saving Mom) Make Ahead Batters {Crystal, if you read this, how do I get another copy of your wonderful book?} Boy, do I miss that recipe… It was quick, simple, and delicious. Can anyone help a Mama out?

Anyway, I found this recipe for Chocolate Waffles and decided to give them a try. After all, I also needed some serious comfort food after the Ravens lost that game. What heartbreak! I mean really, that WAS a catch in the end zone. They should have gone for the tie field goal the first time. Then, they should have made that last field goal. I mean, who misses a 32-yard field goal, especially when the Super Bowl is on the line?! But I digress…

So, as I was saying I made Chocolate Waffles from here. They were relatively easy to make, but did require three separate bowls to make the batter. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when you’re physically not feeling up to par and your team’s no longer going to the Super Bowl, well, three to clean is just too much. But, they were delicious.

Here they are right after they came out of the waffle iron:

And here they are after we added the necessary topping:

I was told by both children that this was a “keeper!” So I guess we will be making them again. I’m looking forward to seeing what everybody else Pinned Down this week!

This post is linked to Pinning It Down.

2012 in 2012 – Weeks 1-3

The other day I was visiting At Home, At Work, At Play and this is what I saw (Catalina gave me permission to use her graphic – thanks!):

Catalina had started a quest to get rid of 2012 things in the year 2012. Here is that original post. I told her that I really liked this idea and was going to tackle this as a goal for myself and my family – although the family members in question are unknowingly participating. The problem is that when I do the math that comes out to almost 40 items per week! And I’m three weeks behind…
Now I have 41 items to get rid of each week. Sigh. I still think it’s a doable goal though. Between the four member of this family, we can purge enough to make this goal a realistic one. So, here I go:
  • 2 pair of pants
  • 12 articles of kids’ clothing
  • 32 kids’ rubber stamps
  • 1 teddy bear
  • 1 tree topper
  • 26 small Christmas tree ornaments
  • 1 doll

Thrown Away:

  • 1 pair of tights


  • 1 book
  • 1 collectable catalog
  • 1 fairy ornament


  • Donated:75 items
  • Trashed: 1 item
  • Sold: 3 items

Weeks 1-3 ~ 2012 – 79 = 1933

As of January 20th, 2012 I have removed 79 items from my home. The problem is I have no idea how many items made their way into my house. I suppose I should keep track of that too, but that may become too depressing. The idea is that we should get rid of more than we bring in, so that there is a net loss at the end of the year. However, I wouldn’t look at it as a loss…

It would be a gain of space. Less clutter means more open space in which to live and breathe.

It would be a gain of time. Less stuff means fewer things to clean, dust, and launder.

It would, in a way, be a gain of money. I would be spending less on cleaning, laundering supplies if I had fewer things. (Ok, maybe that one’s a stretch, but it feels good to put that in there.)

So, will anyone else join me on this journey? Let me know in the comments. If I get a couple of people, perhaps I can look into putting a linky-thing on here in the coming weeks so we can support each other in this endeavor. Who’s with me?

This post is linked to Titus 2sdays, Women Living Well, and  Raising Homemakers.

Handmade Holidays

Well, now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays is complete, we can sit back and just relax while we enjoy the remainder of the Christmas season! I am so glad that this season does not just end at 11:59 pm on December 25th.

So while I’m relaxing I thought I’d share some of the handmade gifts my children and I made for our recipients. I joined pinterest earlier this year and began saving ideas of gifts to make and recipes to try for Christmas. Feel free to check out my boards.

The first project Diva and I made included a few varieties of Sugar Scrubs. These are really expensive in the stores, but are oh so easy (and much less expensive) to make at home. Here’s the links to what we tried: Sugar Scrubs, Coffee Scrub, and Foot Soak.

And here’s what we made…

The kitchen smelled so wonderfully when we were done, even though we used a variety of scents. I won’t go into details on the recipes for each of these as you can go directly to each tutorial from its link on pinterest. But I will tell you how we personalized them. After mixing each batch, we put each scrub or soak into a clean canning jar and tied a pretty ribbon around the lid. I cut tags using Papertrey Ink’s Tag Sale #1 Die and wrote some basic instructions on each one. For the labels, I used Papertrey Ink’s Limitless Layers 1 3/4″ Circle Collection (Letter E), wrote the scent on it and ran it through the Xyron Sticker Maker and attached it to the lid. We then added the completed jars to a basket for an at-home spa gift.

We gave this to my cousin who is pregnant with her second child. Her daughter, who was about to turn two a couple of days later, absolutely loved the coffee scrub! She loved its aroma so much that she refused to put it down and open any other presents!

Next Diva wanted to make some gifts of her own for her Godparents. She collaborated with LegoFan to make a set for their Grandmother as well. What did they make? Well, they made their own versions of these Post-it Note Holders and Decorated Clipboards. We forgot to take pictures of the ones for Diva’s Godmother, but here are the ones for her Godfather and their Grandmother…

I think it’s obvious which set is for the Grandmother and which is for the Godmother! It doesn’t show up really well, but we used glitter mod podge on the blue clipboard. On each piece we die cut a label using Papertrey Ink’s Angled Labels Die Collection (scroll about half-way down the page) and attached it with more mod podge.

This last gift I’m going to mention here is my absolute favorite. I made this for my brother and my sister-in-love who have been married for a little over a year. Anyone who has been reading my blog for the past year knows that my marriage has been a rocky one at best. We have had some major issues over the last 11 years because we didn’t make our marriage a priority. We are actively working on changing that – a New Year’s Resolution of sorts.

I recently came across a blog called Dating Divas, which has a wealth of ideas on how to keep the romance alive in your marriage. One post was how one of their readers took their date ideas and turned them into a gift. They provided some printables that made putting this together really easy. The only real work I had to do was decide on the dates and format the instructions. Once that was done, I printed them out and placed everything into a couple of pocket folders. The idea is that each spouse plans a date on the alternating months, so that they get 12 dates during the year. They are not supposed to share the date ideas with each other so that each month is a surprise. They are also not designed to break the bank. They are simple, fun, creative ways to continue to grow in love as a couple. I really hope that they have fun with this gift – it was my favorite gift to make! There are a few other couples in my circle that may see one of these gifts in the future – it’s a simple, homemade gift that has the capacity to last a lifetime!

Well, that covers most of our handmade gifts this year. If you give any of them a try, please let me know how they turn out.

On this New Year’s Eve 2011, I pray that you and your family will celebrate safely and that we will all welcome in a wonderful New Year. May God continue to Bless you all this coming year.

This post is linked up to Pinning it Down at Amongst Lovely Things.

* None of these links are affiliate links.

Sewing Lesson

I’m not a seamstress. I’ve sewn a few things, but none of them very well. I think my most ambitious project to date was a set of bloomers from Marie-Madeline Studio. There are several errors, but my daughter really likes them:

I enjoyed making it for her, but I haven’t done anything since. However, earlier this summer, Diva and I were looking through a class list for JoAnn’s Summer Camps and she decided she wanted to take a sewing class. Since I wasn’t sure I had much to teach her, I let her pick her favorite class. She selected a beginner’s quilting/applique class.

We selected her fabrics and a tote bag (on which the applique would be sewn), and I was not at all surprised when she selected pink fabrics, with a little green and sparkles.

Today was the day.  We took my sewing machine and her fabrics to JoAnn’s. She met with the instructor and the one other student, and I left. I really wanted to stay with her, but they highly encouraged parents to let the girls learn on their own.

Near the end of the class, I returned and was able to snap a few photos of her work.

Diva really enjoyed herself! She said, on the way home, that she wanted to continue to sew.  I was pleased, but now I need to learn right along with her. I am looking forward to helping her; and learning along the way.

Here’s her finished project:

I am proud of you Diva!

This post is being linked to Building Our Homes Together, Raising Homemakers, and Women Living Well Wednesdays. Be sure to head over and check them out!

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