it’s fancy nancy

so A and her cousin are both close to two and a half… and completely obsessed with Fancy Nancy (or Fancy Fancy as A call her).


I saw this idea this morning and just had to share it with you… go over to Make it and Love it here to check out the whole idea! It is something that anyone could do for their girl.


spilled beans

So a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how neglected this blog was becoming and why. What I didn’t mention is that there is also a baby on the way! I have felt just wiped out, but now I am starting to get some energy again. It felt like it would never come back to feeling any better.

Due in June!


on the menu – peanut butter pie

something started a tradition of love in my family with this pie! We have it all the time. It is so easy and just silky, nutty goodness. It takes only ounces of time and always turns out beautifully! This is a great recipe to include your little ones with and is fun to change up. See below for some ideas on this-



  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 3-4 big peanut butter cups, unwrapped and chopped up
  1. Mix the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and peanut butter together until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping. Spoon the mixture into the graham cracker crust.
  2. Place the remaining whipped topping over the top of the peanut butter mixture and garnish with the peanut butter cups. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.

Ideas to change things up

- using caramel and chocolate sauce on top

- using a Oreo crust

- using a Butterfinger crunched in the PB mixture and then on top

- making fun designs with the chocolate



Okay, I am totally obsessed with this dessert cafe.

The Chocolate

the chocolate bakery jonathan canlas orem utah oem

I took my mom there while she was in town last week. She had a piece of the dark chocolate and I had a piece of the vanilla (what I get every time). When I want something sweet, this is where I go. Lucky for me, it is just down the street and around the corner. You can check out their website here.


financial food for thought no.4


Grocery shopping helps

Did you know the average American spends $5.00 for every minute they are in a grocery store? Did you know that 2 out of 3 items in your cart are impulse buys?


I watched a movie in my cooking class a while back that really inspired me to not go to the grocery store hungry!… and with kids. It made me sick thinking that I spent that much on things that we really could do without. So I am trying to do things differently now. Here are some tips that I gleaned from the class

  • Make a weekly shopping plan- take ONLY the amount of money you will spend on one week’s worth
  • Check newspaper ads – buy staple items on sale and stock up
  • check your inventory- LOOK in your fridge before you go to the store. I cannot tell you how many times I have come home and realized I already had what I bought.
  • Kids- shop when they are rested, when the store is less crowded, let them add one item to the cart – in my opinion, don’t go with your child if you can manage it. You need to pay attention to prices and labels. You can’t do that AND keep a kid in the cart (or 2 for that matter).
  • Coupons- use the for food WHEN the price is right
  • Know the store layout – it will help you make your list in order that you go through the store. this  will save you time and money
  • Be aware of marketing techniques- end of aisle displays aren’t always good deals
  • Limit convenience foods- they are ALWAYS higher prices
  • Read the labels
  • Ingredients- are always listed largest quantity to smallest… watch that sugar!
  • Check dates for freshness- you don’t even want to know about expired meat being repackaged! YUCK!
  • Eat meat less often- use beans and lentils if you can
  • Choose brown or enriched rice… they are healthier for you
  • Plan meals around specials
  • Make a LIST!!!
  • Know your prices- why you shouldn’t take your kids shopping
  • Be sure to check the scanner for pricing errors – check your receipts before you leave the store
  • Use unit pricing
  • Try store brands – they may taste better than you expect
  • Buy fruit and veggies in season
  • Start a garden at home

Hope these tips help you in your next shopping experience!!!


on the menu – pumpkin butter

I attended  a fun class on pumpkin butter the other night. Sadly, due to botulism, it is not something you can make and then can it, but you are allowed to freeze it! This recipe is a great way to use those uncarved pumpkins on your doorstep!


  • 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree or 4 cups of freshly baked, pureed pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently.
  2. Transfer to sterile containers and chill in the refrigerator until serving.



well, if I haven’t neglected this blog for a while! Things just kind of picked up in my family where priorities changed. They still are changed… we are just trying to make it through some schooling for my hubby, finding a master’s program for him, and finding a job for him too, company at our house, and then my little A was in the urgent care yesterday again! That leads me to take care of lots of extras and it has worn me out! So you will just have to forgive if I am not as constant as I would like to be with this blog right now.


reshape your plate series – part 5 – meal


So here we are with some good education about the Plate Method now in our minds, but now to conquer it in our lives!


When we meal plan, things can get pretty complicated! How do we ever stay in budget (a leader for a new series coming soon), stay in the pyramid guides and make things our families like? The Plate Method is here to make some of these things easy for us.




This is how you can do things really simply-

Make a menu on a sheet of paper for a week with BLD on three separate lines underneath the day. Then I go through and pick one from each category using my placemat. For example for Breakfast on Monday, I would choose

  • 1/2 c. strawberries
  • 1 c. tomato juice
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 2 scrambled eggs
  • 3/4 c. yogurt

That’s it! Then once your menu is filled for the week, you need to add up how much you need to buy of each item. (Are you thinking a spreadsheet?!?!) I think SO! I would throw this all into one in an instant. Anyway, so if I had yogurt for three mornings, I would need (3/4+3/4+3/4)= 2 1/4 cups yogurt.

Then, I need to multiply that by how many people would be eating that meal (my husband and I and A, but for right now, let’s just say my hubby and myself). That would be (2 1/4 * 2) = 4 1/2 cups of yogurt for the week. This is for teens and adults. If I was feeding my teenage brother, we would have to count his eating as 2 people’s servings (he is an athlete to the highest degree).

Now, for children and toddlers. A good rule of thumb is about three quarters to half of what you eat per day. So that would just make my family’s multiplier 2.5 (1- hubby, 1-me, 1/2-A).

This also makes planning meals for company really easy! Just multiply!

Here are some other helps. I am seeing if I can get some better copies of these for you to link to and print out-


Here are some helps for planning your menu- make sure that you are keeping things LOW fat! Cooking your veggies in bacon fat is not allowed :)


So we have come to the end of this series- I hope you have learned some. I find this information most useful when I am eating out. But it truly is good for anywhere. If you are served at a friend’s home and the meat is 3/4 the plate, just eat a 1/4 and then get some more salad to cover the other 2 quarters :)

The last things

  • as you try this, I think you will be amazed at how much food this really is! Most nights we cannot eat all on our plates! It goes into a Gladware container for a snack another time.
  • It is hard to shop for more than a week in advance because you are eating a lot of produce – and it may spoil.
  • During the winter it can be hard to get fresh fruits and veggie – and expensive. So there are other ways you can get these – freeze or can some from summer, pre-canned, frozen, buying in season, and watching for sales can help.
  • DON’T give up! It can be frustrating to get it all down and get the hang of it. I find that I like to make recipes that use items from multiple groups. In cases like this, I just try to imagine the ratio of uncooked items on a plate and figure how much would be a serving in the dish. For example, a chicken pot pie has chicken, veggies, milk, and some bread. I wouldn’t count the bread really. In the recipe I might double the veggies to get a good ratio and then for how many people I am multiplying with, just make that much meat servings in the whole dish.

We are so lucky to have the ability to create our own meals! We can change recipes and make them healthier, we can make things within our budget, and we can make them taste better! How blessed we are! And how blessed we are to have enlightened people to think of and produce guidelines that help us be healthy. Props to them!

Here’s to Reshaping Our Plates!



I just finished reading these two books:



Both books were wonderful in their own ways. However, I think I am partial to the humor and characters found in Emma. Now to watch the movies… again.

What are some good books you have read? I need a new one!


on the menu

This is what we are making today with the abundant produce from Saturday. I don’t know which I am more excited for… the actual butter, or my wonderful smelling house! In the meantime, I will be babysitting a load of kids and trying to clean my crazy house to make it look as good as it will smell. Happy Monday!

Honey-Apple Butter

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 pounds apples - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground salt


  1. Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix the honey, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples in the slow cooker and mix well.
  2. Cover and cook on high 1 hour.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown.
  4. Uncover and continue cooking on low 2 hours. Stir with a whisk, if desired, to increase smoothness.
  5. Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate or freeze.