Healthy Banana Oatmeal Muffins – Pinterest (Fail?)

I’m in a quest to try as many of my Pinterest pins before I die….although that might be difficult because I can’t seem to stop pinning. So many recipes, crafts…things to do…. Anyways, I saw a recipe for a healthy banana oatmeal muffin here.  I had all the ingredients…especially some bananas that were well past their prime. Now, I’ve made many, many muffins in my life but never tried one without flour. And I really am trying for more healthy cooking.
They were quick and easy to make…but not so much a hit at my house. Middle son (who usually woofs my banana bread) said they were just all right. The little ones ate them…but not the whole thing and didn’t ask for more. Out of a dozen muffins I ended up giving four to the chickens two days later. I think it was the texture of the muffins that threw us off. I didn’t really like it. It was kind of like eating a mushed together oatmeal. Oh well, I’ve seen another one that has some added flour…and maybe if the oats were pulverized first?
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And no, that’s not my hand. I just forgot to take a picture first.

52 Week Money Challenge (Pinterest)

52 Week Challenge

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I’ve seen this pin floating around on Pinterest for awhile as a fairly painless way to save some money. Start with a small amount of money each week and keep adding to to it to end up with over $1300 at the end of the year. Sounds good doesn’t it? I would love to have some money saved up for my summer vacation. Unfortunately, I don’t usually start thinking about it until its close to school being out and by then it’s too late. My plan however is to do it backwards…$52 now….the down to $1.  It’ll be less painful to put in a smaller amount of money as the year progresses. If I let it go all the way until Christmas I’m pretty sure putting in a couple dollars a week will be easier.

The new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

A New Year

Hard to believe another year has come and gone. I think there really is some truth to that thing people say about time moving faster as you get older. Seems like I just blinked and a whole year has passed. Scary.

I do like the New Year though. There’s nothing like a fresh start…

I found a website called MyOneWord.org where you choose a word to focus on for the year. The idea of course being that you don’t make an incredibly long list of resolutions you’ll probably never complete but choose  one word that focuses on your character and helps you create a vision for your future. Sounds easy, huh?

I’ve spent the past couple of weeks trying to decide on a word and have finally settled on Generosity. In the beginning the words I came up with were peace, calm, and simplicity because I’d really like those things to be what my life is about. However, one of the things suggested on the website is to take it to God in prayer to see what He thinks. Interesting how it changed up because the words in the beginning were were pretty much about me and what I want to make things easier for me. After praying about it this word generous kept popping into my head. This was also just days after hearing how much our healthcare costs have gone up. Being generous to others was not exactly at the top of my priority list. I want someone to be generous towards me! :). Of course, right after seriously considering this word an opportunity was placed right in my lap.
A woman on our local freecycle group put out there that she wasn’t able to provide Christmas for her kids. I was able to get together food (yay for food storage!) and buy a couple of small gifts for her kids. At the last minute I put some cash in a stocking for her (definite God urging because it was two days before Christmas and I still had more shopping to do).

Well, ever heard the saying that you can’t out give God? Two days later I had unexpected cash given to me…more than what I had given to this woman. I’m a little excited to see what God has in store.

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Luke  6:38

Be Thankful

Today I am thankful for the technology that’s out there to help me hear God’s voice….a Bible app that reminds me that it’s Satan’s plan to make me weary but God’s plan for me to be encouraged and strengthened through developing an intimate relationship with Him through reading His word….and wonderful blogs that remind me to be thankful.

EPH 6:10 NIV

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

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This week in the Little Farm in the Middle of the City

My oldest daughter stayed with us over the summer while she was on break from school. She was had me laughing so much because she swears we have a little farm going right in our backyard. All summer she was taking pictures of the chickens and their antics (and their eggs!) and texting them to her friends. Or pictures of strawberries just picked or tomatoes we were eating minutes after they came in from the yard.
Or new kittens running around the house.

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It’s so funny because from my perspective what have going is so small compared to the acres of what I see others online growing. But the real city city girl from the Bay area and her friends see what we have as such a big deal because we can walk out into the back yard and get eggs that are an hour old or eat a tomato right off the vine.
Anyways, this week I harvested more Rond de Nice zucchini (although that’s it for this year because one of the chickens got out and decided to sunbathe on top of the plant), some tomatoes, a few small white peaches (delicious!), and some grapes. My peach trees are only two years old…pretty small with small fruit.

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Also gave a couple of the smaller sunflower heads to the chickens. They weren’t really worth the time trying to get out the seeds. I did make some grape jelly with the my grapes and some grapes a friend gave to me.

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I’m back to work this week so time in the garden is going to get pretty limited. I did get some green beans in to the ground a few days ago. The goal is each week to try and start something new since we can grow year round.

Today’s harvest and one of the sad realities of having animals

Today’s harvest included some tomatoes, nasturtium flowers, a Rond de Nice heirloom zucchini and one egg.

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However, I may not be getting many eggs for a bit. Depends on how traumatized my girls were early this morning when a raccoon attacked them. Two dead hens and five who are fortunately not injured but acting shell-shocked.

I think what bothers me most is the fact that raccoons don’t seem to even eat them. They just tear them up. I’m going to be picking up feathers for days.
Also, time to rethink how they will be housed. We live in a small university city of about 64,000 people but still have lots of wild life….the raccoons live in the sewers. They’ve just never been an issue because we always had Abby, our Golden Retriever, in the backyard to protect them.

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And protect them she did. She was a force to be reckoned with when it came to her chickens. Unfortunately, three weeks ago we had to have her put to sleep because she had cancer. And now the coons think they can do what they want.
I don’t think so.

Today’s Harvest

Some chili’s, cilantro, bell pepper, chives, green onion and tomato….looks like salsa is in order. Only three eggs so far. I think the heat is slowing things down for my girls a bit.

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Edited to add a picture of what’s left of the salsa. Turned out pretty spicy…my chili’s are hot this year!
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NCP National Consumer Panel

Sign up with National Consumer Panel and voice your opinions to help manufacturers and retailers make decisions on what products to develop or improve. Plus you’ll be rewarded!

If selected (I’ve been a member for several years) you’ll be provided with a hand-held scanner and every time you or members of your household shop, you’ll use the scanner to scan the bar codes on all of your purchases. Then, once a week, you’ll send in your purchase information and you’ll earn points, which are redeemable for electronics, household items, jewelry, toy, gift cards, and more.

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Each week you scan and send us your purchase information you’ll earn entries into our MANY exciting sweepstakes – increasing your odds of winning! For instance, with our Grand Prix sweepstakes you could win $20,000 or a new car or truck! So make your consumer voice count, while earning great rewards!

I love this blog….

Makes me take a serious look at how easy my life is… http://buildingtheblocks.blogspot.com/2013/01/on-other-side.html