Forcing the Bloom

Happy, Healthy Mommy Blog


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Clean Eating Chicken and Dumplings!

This week we’re experimenting with some clean eating, crock pot recipes.  This one turned out great!  Very yummy!  Courtesy of The Gracious Pantry.

http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-chicken-dumplings/

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My 4 Month Old Baby

I can’t believe my baby boy is 4 months old!  I love watching him grow.  I’m sure I’ve done everything wrong as a new mommy, but I’m also sure he’ll get over it (in time or with therapy ;0).  He loves to smile, giggle, coo and scream.  He loves being naked!  His mood can change faster than the weather.  He can switch from laughing to crying and back to giggles before I can grab the pacifier.  I love watching him find me in the mirror.  His newest thing is putting his toes in his mouth like a little monkey.  He has also started enjoying “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, although I can’t sing to save my life.  (Have you seen the YouTube video?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qee0Gmr9XJU)  He’s trying very hard to put things (everything) in his mouth, but he’s only successful about 25% of the time.

I’ve decided to start a baby moments book.  I’ll keep it in the baby’s room and jot down all his special moments.  The time he pooped on me, the time he threw up out his nose, you know, those precious moments.  Hopefully these mommy hormones will subside at some point and I’ll actually be able to read the stories without crying!  Such sweetness!

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24 Hours of Booty!

That’s right!  From 7 pm Friday until 7 pm Saturday we rode our bikes around a 3 mile loop in Charlotte known as the Booty Loop.  It was a charity race and we had a team of 6 riders.  Each rider took turns so that we had a rider on the course for the entire 24 hour race period.  Yes, that meant someone had to ride at night.  My husband rode from 11:30 pm until 1 am, 4 am to 5:30 am and then again from 4 pm to 5:30 pm.  (He’s asleep right now.)  I rode from 7 pm until 8:30 pm on Friday and then 5:30 pm until 7pm on Saturday.

It was pretty awesome seeing hundred of bikers packed into a 3 mile loop.  The only thing that would have made the event better was a way to keep track of our team’s total miles.  We were not wearing time chips and the race only kept track of 24 hours of biking, not distance.  That being said, it’s a great race.  It was very organized and well supported.  There were even people cheering at 4 am!

So, why is it called the Booty Loop?  This 3 mile loop is located in one of Charlotte’s nicest neighborhoods with canopy trees and million-dollar homes.  The sidewalks are wide and the lawns are watered and groomed.  It’s simply a great place to strut your stuff and a great place for a charity race.  Can’t wait for next year!

http://www.24hoursofbooty.org/site/PageServer


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Cheap, Healthy, Homemade Pet Treats

My weekend challenge is to find and make cheap, healthy dog treats.  I have no doubt making my own treats will save money.  There is probably a substantially mark up on anything related to pets.  We have a  soft spot for pets.  They are surrogate children.  We feel inclined to spoil them unreservedly.

Despite our extreme love of animals, we have no idea what we feed them.  We never make pet food.  We wouldn’t consider it.  Alpo and MeowMix must know what they’re doing.  Right.  Maybe Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog, Dog Chow, Beneful, Kit’n’Kaboodle, Tender Vittles, Purina, Gravy Train, Kibbles ’n Bits, 9Lives, Skippy or Nature’s Recipe know better.  Probably not.  How about pet treats?  Should we rely on products called Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages or Pounce?  I have!  From what I’ve read, the U.S. pet food market is about $15 to $16 billion a year.  There’s got to be some room for heathy savings.

SO…I’m going to see what it takes to make a few dog and cat treats.  Any suggestions?  My first project will be easy.  Baked sweet potato slices in place of raw hide.  Cut sweet potatoes long way into flat strips and bake for 3 hours at 250.  Any other ideas?


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Save Money Making Homemade Hummus!

I knew I could save money making humus but I didn’t realize HOW much money.  I guess it’s that way with most homemade things.  Or so, I’m discovering.  Ignorance is bliss.  Now that I know, it’s hard to go back to shopping as usual.  And finding ways to save through homemade goodies is addictive!

My local grocery store sells a 7 oz container of hummus for about $6.00.  Sometimes you can get it cheaper depending on the brand and flavor.  I made about 4 times that amount (and that’s being conservative) for about $5.09 or about $1.27 for that same amount (7 oz).  Even if you rounded up to $6.00 to make 28 oz of homemade hummus, you still only spent $1.50 (compared to $6.00)!  My figure is based on 1/2 cup of tahini ($7.00 for 16 oz) and 2 cans of garbanzo beans ($1.67 each).  There is a little cost for some lemon juice, olive oil or whatever seasoning you add.

That’s big savings!  Assume you buy hummus once a month.  You could save as much as $56.73 per year making homemade hummus.  And if you make your own, you know exactly what’s in it.  You can determine the amount of salt, oil or seasoning.  You can also have fun with flavors.  Add a little pesto or garlic or black beans.  Hummus is good on everything.  Try is on sandwiches, crackers, toast, or veggies.  I made so much hummus with 2 cans of beans that I froze half of it for later!  I also got several “yum” reviews from the family.

Simple recipe: 2 cans garbanzo beans, 1/2 cup tahini, 2 T lemon juice, olive oil to suit your taste; Blend in a food processor until creamy; Enjoy!


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The Crib

I decided to move our baby into his own room.  I don’t know why but it just hit me to give it a try.  He’s been sleeping next to me in a little bassinet but now he’s getting too big!  I’m hoping he’s getting to the age where he can sleep more confidently and for longer stretches.  He’s almost 4 months.  We’ll see.  So far, he’ll sleep for 5 1/2 to 6 hours.  I have no urge to make this transition quickly.  Now, I have to worry about the monitor, bumpers, and all those funny noises.  Ugh!


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Homemade Crackers!

One of this week’s challenges is homemade CRACKERS!  According to Karen: Put two cups of your favorite flour in a food processor and add another half cup of wheat germ, bran, flax-seed ground, or what ever you like; Add a little salt, pepper, basil…whatever; Add enough water to make dough that sticks together (about a cup).  The trick is to roll them out very, very thin!  Sprinkle flour under and on top of the dough so it won’t stick to the counter.   Cut dough with a pizza cutter and bake at 350 till crisp (about 15 min).  Enjoy!

Also, using the flour from the counter you can add salt, spices, nutritional yeast, etc… and roll into the top of the cracker.  She also adds a half cup of tomato paste and basil to the dough when making tomato basil crackers!  You can also try ground nuts or ground sun flower seeds in the dough or rolled into the topping!