Friday, March 30, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal

Until a few months ago, I hardly ever made breakfast for my family.  We were on the night shift, so often would stagger getting up and then I never wanted to cook first thing.  I was able to get boxed cereal for around $1 a box, so I wasn't very motivated to do anything else. 

Then I decided I should try to cook breakfast for my family.   I had heard that making oatmeal was an inexpensive and healthy to make breakfast for my kids.  The problem for me was nightmare experiences eating oatmeal as a kid, made oatmeal, extremely unappetizing!  When cooked on the stove top, old fashioned oatmeal is really gross, tasteless, and the texture is something that I will not soon get over!

I went on an endeavor to find the great tasting, yet family friendly oatmeal.  After quite a few unsuccessful attempts at crock pot and stove top oatmeal, I discovered Lynn's Kitchen Adventures!  She has been a life saver with her Baked Oatmeal Recipe!  I can't thank her enough for sharing all the different flavors that she makes.  Here's a place to start trying her versions:

I cook this every day of the week, because it takes me about five minutes to throw together and then 25 minutes to cook (we are at a higher elevation, so you should only have to cook it 20 minutes).  This is my version of two of our favorites - Baked Oatmeal and Homemade Cinnamon Rolls.  My pickiest eater gets cranky if I don't make Baked Oatmeal, as it is more like eating cake, instead of cereal.


Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal

  • 2 TBS butter, melted
  • 3 cups oatmeal (I use 1/2 cup Old fashioned  oats and 2 1/2 cups quick oats)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  1. Put butter into a 9x13 pan.  Place pan in oven and preheat it to 350 degrees. Leave pan in until the butter melts and remove.
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Put into warmed pan with butter in it it.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

While the oatmeal is baking, make a simple frosting by whisking together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 tsp. milk.
Here's what the oatmeal looks like before adding the frosting.
Drizzle the frosting over the top and enjoy!  Mr. Right enjoys his with milk on it, but the rest of us like it plain.  It is wonderful later for a snack too!

What do you do for breakfast?  Please let me know how this works for you, and don't forget to visit Lynn and all over her wonderful Baked Oatmeal recipes!  I will be linking up to the blogs over in the right column!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Exercise Embarrassment

I am going to be brutally honest here - I find exercise to be embarrassing.  Why? I don't want people to see me do it.  I think it's embarrassing to sweat, to wear immodest clothing, and more importantly, after five children, things move that shouldn't.  All that aside, I have been making the effort to exercise every weekday in some way shape or form.
In my home, by myself, is still very embarrassing!  My kids will come in and out and see me suffering.  Yes, I am sensitive to the comments (not intended to be critical, but still comments.)  You know kids can be honest, brutally honest!

 I decided to try the Wii out last week as a part of my routine.  This attracts the little kids - they sit down in a row to watch the "game" right behind me.  As I'm trying not to think about the embarrassment and am telling myself that it's good for them to see their parents exercising regularly, I hear it.  Yes, my belly flab bounces and makes a noise!   Thankfully, my children refrain from any question or comment, and I continue with a prayer, that maybe someday, it won't be that flabby.

So now, instead of my personal exercising being embarrassing in person, I've shared with the world on the Internet my embarrassment.  Really, I'm not making excuses for this.  I have spent years trying to not be embarrassed by exercise.  It just is!  But I persevere and pray about it every day. What about you?  Is exercising embarrassing for you? 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Free Easter Printables

Our Little Monkeys is offering a Free download HERE for tots.  You have to sign up for an account, but there is no cost.  I just love to snag free Preschool activities like this and make them into Activity Bags for my youngest kids!  It gives them more variety in their daily activities and reinforces what they are learning!

  Here's an Easter Printable for First Graders that is Free.  Click HERE for this math printable.  It seems like there are a lot of freebies out there for preschoolers, but with a 2nd Grader in the house, I'm always looking to give him appropriate activities too.
Another great homeschool activity books are Lapbooks.  I found this Resurrection Lapbook HERE.

I am using a combination of these to put together Lapbooks for both of my kids.  I will post a picture soon of how they work out for us.  I'm actually using a combination, so that I can cater to the abilities of my kids that are 2 years apart.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cricut Sale Today

Today is the day!  Cricut Cartridges are on Sale!  If you have a Cricut, you won't want to miss out on this opportunity to miss out on this sale from 9am-9pm Central Time at My Website Here.  When you purchase one Cartridge for $55, you get 30% off the second.  Creative Memories has exclusive Cartridges that can't be found in any craft store, so this is a great opportunity to get them!  (Of course, I would love it if you would consider purchasing them from me, since I am an independent consultant!)

Product Image
'Tis The Season
Product Image
Traveler Cartridge
Here are the cartridges we carry.  If you would like to go to the direct cartridge to see more information, please click on the title under the picture.

My personal favorite is the Traveler Cartridge. I like to use them for my travel and camping albums!  Which ones do you need?
Product Image
Reminisce Accents
Product Image
Stork's Delivery
Product Image
This & That
Product Image
Divine Wedding

Product Image
Cheerful Seasons



Friday, March 23, 2012

Chore Sticks Tutorial

Making children's chore charts or job jars are not a new idea, but it seems that every few months, I'm trying something new to get the kids excited and motivated to get their chores done.  (I'm wishing I had someone doing the same for me, too! lol)  Well, we were due for a change with the move.  Our last round, we had a laminated list with clothespins to move down the charts.  They conveniently disappeared in the move (wishing the chores disappeared, too).

I decided to dig into my scrap piles and make some chore sticks.  Here's what you will need if you want to make them too:
  • Mod Podge
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Paint brush
  • Scrapbook paper scraps
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Nail file
  • Ink pad
  • ABC Stamps
  • Jars of choice
Here's how you make them:
  1. Cut strips of paper that are as wide as your sticks.  I used the little sticks, but you could use the tongue depressors, too.  I just used what I had on hand.
  2. Using the Mod Podge and paint brush, brush the glue on the stick.  I got the kids to do this part for me!  This way, they had an interest in doing the chores later!  he! he! Aren't I sneaky?  Don't worry if it's not perfect or if they are too long for the stick, you can see here, it's too long!
  3. Let them dry completely.  I know this is the hardest step.

4.  Using the nail file (it's the red one in the picture.), file off the excess paper.  No measuring needed for this project!
5.   Using the ink and stamps, stamp the chores you want on each stick.
6.   Paint a top coat using the Mod Podge to protect them.

Voila!  You have chore sticks!

Here are the basic sticks.  I used blue papers for my so and purple papers for my daughter.

Yes there are a lot of chores, but this is their entire morning for school included.   The activity sticks are for activity bags.  They get to pick a bag to work on for each one.  I figure if they do the activities first, oh well, at least they all get done.  The rule is they have to finish all the sticks to get lunch.  It works perfectly for timing if they aren't misbehaving.  We've had some close calls for missing lunch, but not quite!  Love it that everyone wants to eat!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cricut Cartridges on Sale!

Be sure to mark the date: Monday, March 26th from 9am to 9pm for the Crazy About Cricut Cartridge Sale!  For that one day next week, Cricut Cartridges exclusive to Creative Memories will be on sale.  If you buy one Cartridge, the second will be 30% off.  Creative Memories Cartridges are normally only $55, which is lower than the cartridges in the stores, so getting two of them for $93.50 is a deal!  These are the full size cartridges!  Plan to visit my website at: My Site

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Trying Something Different

If  you read my post HERE last week on my old blog, you will know that I don't really have a love/hate relationship with exercise, but I am trying to live healthy.  So this week, thanks to the advice of a reader to that post, I decided to go ahead and try something new for working out. 

I seem to get really stuck in a rut when I eat and when I work out.  I feel like I can't go to the next routine until I've mastered the first one.  I know that if you change it up, it actually is better for your body, but I get in a rut and od the same thing.  So for the last month and a half, I've been working out on the treadmill everyday doing the same two routines.  I just didn't feel like it was getting better, so I didn't move on to anything else.

Today is a new day, so I decided to try out the Wii Fit again! It's been over a year since I checked in.  Really?  It seems like yesturday since I was doing that everyday!   I only used the basic program that came with the Wii Fit, but it at least gave me variety from my Tread Mill.  Then, just before I stopped using the Wii, I found the Biggest Loser game at a pawn shop for only $12!  I snatched it up!

Today I was Alli on the Biggest Loser!  I started with some Yoga and then went on a biking challenge for nine rounds and won!  Ok - so I'll be pretty sore and unable to make it up the steps without remembering this workout, but I did it!

What have you tried new for our workout lately?  Have you changed your rut, or routine lately?  Maybe you are just beginning your path to healthy living - so what have you tried new? 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Scrap Stash Clean Up

If you are a crafter, (or hoarder) you may have the same dilemma that I have: too much of a craft stash!  I knew this about myself before moving to the Prairie, but actually packing it all up, seeing the amount of  boxes it all took and then trying to figure out what to do with it once I got here was quite an eye opener.  While packing things, my craft room was actually my last thing to pack, because I just didn't know what I could give up.  

Well, here I am with a huge scrap pile, and no where to go with it.  I'm way too practical to have moved it across country to abandon it now, so I have decided to get rid of it by making things from it!  All of it!  Yes, boxes and boxes and boxes of stash!  I can't even bring myself to posting a picture of it because it embarrasses me so much!  It is overtaking my bedroom to be sure!

Of course, I won't be doing this overnight, but I have put it on the forefront of my priorities!  So each week, I am going to feature here, a new project or to from my Scrap Stash that I am getting out, using, and then really getting out of my house!

Pinterest is certainly a big help in this area.  Oh - I would love to have you follow me Pinterest. (I'll get the button up in my side bar as soon as I can figure out my design here.)  

While surfing around on Pinterest I found this great project and whipped up several in no time.   I won't bore you with a tutorial since The Ribbon Retreat did such a wonderful job of it here.I made this one into a headband, because at 5 1/2 inches, I wanted to be sure that it made just the right statement.  It is so cute!

While I was sitting on the couch making these, my 5-year-old, looked over and stated: "You know that look it belongs to me!"  Not a question or a request - just a statement.  Both of my daughters love these so much, I've had a hard time keeping them away from them!  (I think I'll have to give some for an Easter gift, for sure!) 

Speaking of Easter gifts, or gifts in general, if you would like to purchase this or any of the others that I will be listing soon from my Etsy Shop, please go HERE.  All proceeds from my shop are going to benefit my son who has been awarded a 4-H trip to Japan this year. 

What are you doing with your Scrap Stashes this week?  I urge you to get something out and just do it!  Don't forget to share what you've done!  Oh, and I am working on linking up to those blogs I love to link up to in the right column.  It's taking longer with the new blog!  Thanks for your patience while I get it all moved over!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Prairie Scraps - A New Begnning

This has to be the one thing that I was most hesitant about changing names - starting a whole new blog.  This time, I hope I have chosen a name that will travel with me.  Prairie, because I graduated from Sun Prairie High School and because I now find myself back on a prairie after the biggest move of my life!

Scraps can mean fabric scraps, paper scraps, scrapbooking and even the scraps of my life.  I hope that this can be a place where my life plays out - the place where I share whatever scraps I'm working with whether fabric, paper, or even children, food, or relationships.  I hope those from my old blog, Sparta Savings will join me and enjoy the new life I am beginning!