Monday, January 28, 2008

Bran Muffins

This is my favorite recipe for bran muffins; my mother's recipe & the one I grew up on. They are no diet muffins, but the bran is good for you, right? They have plenty of sugar, which is why I like them. Also, the batter keeps for a long time in the frig and I love fresh muffins! Actually, fresh muffins are about all I'll eat. As my husband will attest, I will only eat fresh, out-of-the-oven breakfast carbs. No reheated biscuits, muffins, pancakes or waffles for me. So I love that I can just pop 3 or 4 tins of bran muffin mix into the oven and have fresh goodies any day. Especially since I'm scheduled to have my baby on Wed. Nothing like an easy to prepare breakfast in those first few weeks. Hope the boys like them.

Bran Muffin Mix

2 c. Post 100% Bran
2 c. boiling water
3 c. sugar
1 c. oil
4 eggs
1 qt. buttermilk
5 c. flour
5 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 c. Kellogs All Bran

Add the boiling water to the 100% Bran and let sit.
Mix the sugar, oil, and eggs in a very large bowl. Add the buttermilk and mix. Add the hot bran and mix. Add the flour, soda, salt and mix. Add the All Bran.
Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Will keep for 6-8 weeks. Bake at 400° for 20 min.

A note - I can't find Post 100% Bran at the grocery store anymore. It is very similar to the All Bran, like little sticks. I'm guessing you could just use All Bran for the whole thing. Today I tried half bran flakes for the 4 c. at the end, for a little variety. We'll see how it turned out tomorrow morning. Maybe your grocery store will have the 100% Bran.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Jeanna's Wedding

Congratulations to my long-time friend, Jeanna Williams. She finally met the man of her dreams and they were married on Dec. 15th. I threw a bridal shower for her here, which I should have posted about at the time, but am not so interested now. But I think everyone had a fun time and she received lots of fun little things to keep them busy on their honeymoon in Hawaii. Jason Eggers is wonderful and he and Jeanna have obviously been waiting their whole lives for each other. His only shortcoming is not living in Mesa - so I miss Jeanna since she moved to San Fransisco with Jason. They made a beautiful couple with lots of great wedding pictures - I pulled these off Shutterfly.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Being a SAHM vs. bringing home a slice of bacon

This was written 6 months ago... don't know why I never posted it.

As much as I love being a SAHM, and am grateful to my husband for enabling me to stay home – sometimes I wish we had a little more income than he provides. Don’t get me wrong – he is a great provider; we have all our needs met: food, shelter, clothing, health care and even many extras. But what about all my wants? I want to take my kids on vacation. I want to buy them a swing set, new bikes, and cute stuff for their room. More selfishly, I want to try out the latest jeans trend, splurge on a mani-pedi now and then, go out to lunch often with my girlfriends (and kids), or even purchase new furniture once in a while. Not to mention the new make up products, cooking tools, and books I need (want).

So I needed to find a way to make some cash to pay for wants, without sacrificing time with my kids. Many options came to mind, but unfortunately I am not pretty enough to be a model, talented enough to start my own crafting boutique, or strong enough to work at night and live on 2 hours of sleep a day. So I thought harder and finally came up with a few choices – some more practical than others. I could write a best-selling book while the kids are sleeping (please recommend this to all your friends!), I could become an awesome graphic designer/crafter while the kids are sleeping and sell my work online, I could slowly empty the contents of our house and sell them on e-bay while the kids are sleeping, or I could actually use my talents and college degree and do some tutoring while the kids are sleeping. Do you see a trend here? Luckily my kids still take good naps and go to bed early, and eventually they will be in school and my free time will be a little more flexible. And so I printed 250 business cards and headed to my local high school to hand them out to the chemistry teachers. Then I sat home and waited. I got a call that self-same day, but only tutored this girl once – guess she wasn’t impressed. Then I waited some more. About 3 months. I had pretty much given up and was looking for the next money-maker, but I finally got a call 2 weeks before the end of the school year from a girl who was worried about passing chemistry and graduating. Luckily this worked out well; she was able to come to my house every day while my boys napped. She graduated and I made $180. Enough to pay for the dental work I needed. (How do you classify those items that don’t make it into your monthly budget, but are obviously not wants?) So much for the new shoes I wanted for myself and the boys.

Sunday, January 20, 2008



We are planning to put all three boys (Alden, Emmett, & new baby) in the same room eventually, hopefully in the next 6 months. And after dealing with this closet mess for the past year+, I realized there wouldn't be any room for another person's clothing and stuff. So I decided we needed to redo the structure and add a closet organizer. I couldn't really find one I liked that was reasonable priced, so I decided to do it myself. Well, I decided to design it and asked my dad to implement the design.

Somehow I forget how well my Dad and I work together, and after a frustrating (for both of us) look at the plans and a trip to Home Depot, I decided to do it myself. Who cares that I am 8 months pregnant; I am a handy woman! So over the course of a week and a half I got it done. Aaron watched the boys a lot on both Saturdays, and I worked on it when I could during the week, with loads of help from my 2 monkeys.


Obviously I haven't finished organizing & decluttering yet, but there is way more space for the junk now! Notice the double shelves up above, the double rods, and the shelving tucked on the sides. This will eventually hold little shoe dividers. Which can wait until after the baby comes. And I will paint any non-white showing parts then too. As far as I'm concerned, check this project off the "To Do Before the Baby Comes 2008" list. Yes, I have had one of these lists for each of the babies. And yes, I actually accomplish most of the stuff on the list. Not sure if I'll get to finishing my 72 hour kit this time, but am determined to catch up on my photo albums, which I've already made a good start on. Incidentally, I'm estimating this project cost me $75-ish, which is way cheaper than those predone organizers and it's exactly how I want it.

Friday, January 18, 2008


I know this is a silly name and some of my more sophisticated friends have made fun of it, but it's not like I named it. This website is dedicated to shopping, which I love - and has a whole community type of vibe, which I'm not into. But basically it is set up to make web lists. I dowloaded the little toolbar, which is just 2 buttons and fits on my existing toolbar. Then anytime I am at a website and want to mark something - you just hit the "Add to Kaboodle" button and it brings up a few options and saves the picture, description, etc. of your choice and has a spot to make notes. You can have lots of different lists, for the kids, for the home, clothes, beauty products, etc. Rather than saving a bunch of cut-outs from my magazines, I look up the products and save them here. I made myself a Christmas wish list and sent the link to Aaron & my mom - which was very productive since I received lots of the stuff on it. I hope they remember how much new moms deserve presents too! My Kaboodle Lists.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Shoes

Tara Thinks...

anyone who experiences carpal tunnel syndrome while pregnant should get cortisone shots. And new shoes. I got both on Friday. At my almost 36 weeks doctor appointment last Wednesday I got the happy news that I am dilated almost to 3 cm, and 75% effaced. If you don't know what that means... well, who cares. It means I have a better chance of delivering early, but not necessarily. Anyway, I have been suffering mightily and noisily with the carpal tunnel and told the doctor he either needed to induce me, or find me some relief. He vetoed the induction, but told me to feel free to seek a carpal tunnel treatment.

Thursday I called around to 10 or so orthopedists and asked about cortisone shots. Most couldn't get me in for 2-4 weeks, but one said, "how about tomorrow?" It was in Phoenix, but also happened to be within a mile of Last Chance, a great store for shoes that I've been trying to get to for 6 months. So I set up the babysitting (thanks Candice & Mom) and enjoyed a full afternoon to myself. Last Chance was pretty busy, as always, but my huge belly gave me a little forward press and I found plenty of cute shoes. Too many, but I pared it down to three. Which I knew was too many, but didn't care. Hey, I'm about to birth my 3rd son, I deserve it, right? I was looking at heels mostly, since all I've had to wear to church is flip flops, and I hate wearing those to church. But my lovely shoe collection has gone the way of Alden's afternoon nap - I have grown out of it. So, the 5 or 6 pairs of heels I had to choose from for church needed to be replaced. I will list my 3 new pairs as I described them to Shannon on IM last night. Gold high heels with a peep toe. Black suede low heels, with a Mary Jane strap and patent leather piping. And tan leather wedges, with some black detail stitching. She promptly made fun of my descriptions, but freely admitted she owns like 5 pairs of shoes and wears the same pair to church every week - so I wasn't exactly hurt. Just like I wasn't hurt when Aaron said the wedges look like old lady shoes - he's not exactly known for his cutting edge fashion advice.

Incidentally, my appointment at the orthopedist went great, I got a cortisone shot in each wrist. They took a couple days, but I am miraculously 90% better. My hands no longer keep me up at night - that job has been usurped by 2 monkeys who each feel the need to wake up 2 to 3 times a night. I'm sure it's all to get me ready for a baby who needs to be nursed half the night. Somebody tell me parents actually get to sleep all night some day!