Saturday, October 30, 2010

Double Duty Recipes...Apple Butter Pork Chops AND Pork Fried Rice

So, I've been on the look-out for recipes that do Double Duty! You know...a "cook once, eat twice" type of thing?

I found a recipe online for Apple Butter Pork Loin that I converted into an Apple Butter Pork Chops recipe I will share below. Then a couple days later, we used the leftover pork to make some DELICIOUS Pork Fried Rice!! (Now...had I been thinking, I would've made the pork fried rice the same night, and saved myself another night of cooking, but the fried rice is so super quick and easy, it really wasn't a big deal.)

Without further ado...Double Duty:

Apple Butter Pork Chops

1-2 lbs pork chops
2 cups apple juice (next time, I will use apple cider instead!)
Onion Powder
Seasoned Salt
Apple Butter

1. Place pork chops in slow cooker. Season to taste with onion powder and seasoned salt. Add juice until chops are completely covered.
2. Cook on "high" for 4 hours.
3. Remove from juice and place on a baking sheet.
4. Brush each chop with apple butter and place under the broiler for about 2 minutes to create a nice bubbly glaze.
5. Enjoy!

And then...

Pork Fried Rice

Leftover Pork Chops from Apple Butter Pork Chops recipe
2 eggs
3 cups cooked white or brown rice
1 cup peas (frozen)
1 cup diced carrots (frozen)
2 Tbsp margarine
Soy Sauce to taste

1. Heat skillet over medium heat and add pork, peas and carrots, plus a dash of soy sauce. Heat until veggies are no longer frozen.
2. Push veggies and meat to the side and scramble 2 eggs in the pan, and then incorporate into the meat/veggies.
3. Poor cooked rice into skillet. Add butter, and fry for several minutes, stirring pretty constantly.
4. Add several splashes of soy sauce, to taste. (I like more than less) and make sure everything is well mixed and heated through.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 2 - 30 Days of Truth

This is part of the "30 Days of Truth" series I'm taking part in at Live Beautiful. As I mentioned in my original post on it, I am not doing a post/day...just whenever I feel like answering the it will take me longer than 30 consecutive days to finish, but I'll get there.

Day 2: Something You Love About Yourself

I can honestly say that I love that I put others before myself.

There’s that old saying, “You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time…but you can’t please all the people all the time.” I think it’s my life’s mission to prove otherwise. LOL!

I genuinely care about my friends and family and will do everything within my power to make sure they are happy, healthy, well-fed, and entertained. I’m kind of the “mom” of our group or friends (fitting, being that I have several kiddos! LOL!) and I take it upon myself to make all the snacks and make sure everyone is comfy and has enough to eat/drink at gatherings. Weekends at the race track too, I make sure everyone eats and is ready to go for race time.

I am very likely to put others before myself, and well I’ve had some people tell me that’s a downfall (or that it can be), I disagree. I am a firm believer in karma, and know that putting out positive energy and giving to those around me will come back to me in the end.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hoo Are You Tuesday?!?!

It's already Tuesday again?? Holy WAH! Where does the time go???

As with the past few weeks, I am participating in Night Owl Crafting's "Hoo Are You Tuesday"! Click on over to check out and get to know more of your fellow bloggers!

1. How Many Times per year do you get your hair cut?
I am TERRIBLE (truly) about getting my hair cut more than once a year...sad, I know. I'm hoping now that I'm going with side bangs, and have my hair dyed, I will be FORCED to at least get a trim every couple of months. We'll see though...
2. Where is the worst palce to be stuck waiting?
In the OB/GYN office where they bring you back to the exam room, have you "gown up", and then leaving you sitting on a table for twenty minutes waiting for your doctor. I flippin' HATE that! LOL!
3. What are you favorite pizza toppings?
Mmm...I love pizza! We're having homemade pizza tonight in fact! My famous Buffalo Chicken pizza is one of my faves to make at home. Out and about, I prefer ham & pineapple. YUMMY!

4. What is your favorite thing about where you live?
It's a low-crime area which is great for raising the kiddos.

5. What's your favorite Fruit? Veggie?
Hmm...I think my favorite fruit would be cherries!! So yummy! I love making cherry pie in the summer! My favorite veggie is probably tomato. (Or that a fruit? If it's a fruit, then I'll go with...ummm...probably peas. Mmm!)

That's what I got...and now you know!

Monday, October 25, 2010

10 in 10 Recap

So here was my original 10 in 10 list...

My 10 in 10...
1. Get photos up on the living room walls.
2. Get art up in our room.
3. Get the boys moved to their new room.
4. Finish kids headboards.
5. Make sea salt caramels
6. Make taffy with the boys.
7. Finish kids art display project.
8. Try Freezer Paper stenciling.
9. Reorganize Kitchen Cabinets
10. Get my hair done.

Honestly, I was pretty much a failure all around! LOL!

1. I didn't get photos up BUT I am putting in an order for photos it's underway!
2. I haven't done a thing with our room. I don't even sleep in there. Sad but true. :(
3. I am very sad to say, the boys are still in their old room, BUT on a happy note their room is fresh and clean (thanks to the hard work of my son Luc!! Good job buddy!)
4. Finish kids headboards is underway...I painted Will's headboard but wasn't happy with it so I need to sand it down a bit and Adam is going to help me repaint. It's nice to see how it's going to look though!! I bought the paint and stencil for Kenzie's bed but I don't love it and plan to return it and do a scrapbook paper treatment instead!
5. I didn't make sea salt caramels because i couldn't find a candy thermometer...even at Walmart. WTH?
6. We didn't make this, but we DID make pretzel-turtles! Yummy!
7. Still not done...haven't touched it.
8. Again, no-go. I suck.
9. This too is underway...I will have pictures to share when I'm done! Yay!
10. DONE! Yes...mission accomplished!

hahaha...Ok, so maybe I'm too busy to set such lofty goals, but at least I got some things going and will of course share as I finish! I hope everyone had a much more productive 10 in 10 than me!!

Much love,

Hello Health - Week 3

Ok...first things first, I had a crazy hectic weekend. So 10 in 10 recap will go up TONIGHT...I promise.

On to Hello Health Week 3...where I link up with sweet Katie over at Along the Way with K + J!

Days I've worked out this week: 2-ish. I did a workout I recorded from TV, and I'm counting a day spent with my kiddos playing outside and having a good ol' time.
Minutes per day I worked out: 45 minutes-ish
Health find/tip of the week: I have been looking for lots of great healthy recipes online. I will post about them as we try them if they’re yummy!
Health question of the week: How do you motivate yourself to workout when you are lacking in energy? (Answer my question in my comments, and if you're linking up at Katie's blog, use this spot to ask your own health question for other's to answer)
Pounds lost this week/so far: Another 1.8 down, woot!

On a health related note, I went and bought a used Elliptical machine yesterday and was SO excited to work out this morning. BUT...we drove it home in the rain in the back of a truck and I think we might have ruined the electrical console (which controls the resistance). I am so bummed I could still cry. I'm hoping it will dry out, but we'll see... **sigh**

Friday, October 22, 2010


I didn't forget!! Update post and link-up will be up tonight!!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

30 days of Truth - Day 1

This is part of the "30 Days of Truth" series I'm taking part in at Live Beautiful.

Day 1: Something You Hate About Yourself.

Ohhhh geez. Now don't get me wrong...I'm not all into self-loathing or anything, but on certain days (and today just happens to be one of them) I could really go off on a tangent about things I dislike about myself.

  • I'm a procrastinator...and I suffer unnecessarily because of it.
  • My body is just ICK. (Yes...I realize I just had a baby but I am simply miserable with how I look...)
  • As I get older, I get more and more impatient...
But more than any of those things, I struggle with the "J" word...yes...jealousy.

Ugh. I see photographer's making it happen. SAHM's able to stay home with their babies. Fairytale romance in movies. Lottery winners. And while I am honestly and truly happy for all of these people, I wish so badly sometimes to have what they have. It's frustrating and counter-productive, but sometimes I can't help myself. I think what frustrates me about it more than anything (well, besides that fact that jealousy is pointless) is that I just need to DO something about it to get where I want to be in life. Obviously I can't will myself to win the lottery, and I am rational enough to know that "The Notebook" is a story...not real life...but I CAN keep doing my photography and hopefully someday will be making enough that I will be able to BE the Stay at home Mom I want to be. I just have to keep at it and not let the nasty old green-eyed monster get me down.

Some days, if you ask me if I have jealous tendencies, I'd say F@#% that. But on a crappy day like I've had today...yeah...sometimes I am. And I guess I just need to get over it or do something about it. And someday, I will...and that's the TRUTH.


Can You Handle the Truth?

All over blog-land, people are jumping on the "30 Days of Truth" band wagon. I love honesty. I think it is important to be honest with others and equally important to be honest with ourselves. I have "truth" tattooed in white ink on the inside of my right wrist. I have trust issues...that I'd like to think are getting better. But I need to feel surrounded by truth on a daily basis.

Here are the daily questions. I will start Day 1 in a separate post, and each day will link each question back to this post so you can click on the day and see the post with my corresponding answer. I probably won't do it for 30 consecutive days, but I'll get them all done.

Day 1: Something you hate about yourself.
Day 2: Something you love about yourself.
Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 8: Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 9: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12: Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14: A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15: Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16: Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17: A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18: Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19: What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21: (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22: Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24: Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25: The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27: What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28: What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30: A letter to yourself: tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself.

Check out the Live Beautiful blog for others linked up:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hoo Are You Tuesdays!

Last week I joined in over at Night Owl Crafting's "Hoo Are You Tuesdays"...super fun to get to know our fellow bloggers a little bit better!

It's a new week, and a new Tuesday so I'm all set for a new set of questions.

1.What was your favorite meal growing up?
For dinner, probably meatloaf and mashed potatoes...I'm a sucker for comfort food, and my mom makes a mean meat loaf! Close second would be "Camp Special"...venison steaks and fried potatoes cooked by my step-dad. YUMMY! For breakfast, my dad is King though...he makes the BEST scrambled eggs EVER. I watched him make them once. He put a whole stick of butter in the pan. I'm not exaggerating. But YUM! OMG. And he always mixed in crumbled up bacon. Mmm...i haven't had one of his breakfasts in YEARS!

2. What's your favorite month?
It's a tie between June and September. June I love because it's finally starting to get warm enough to's my birthday month, so it's my JENNAPALOOZA month, which is always an amazingly awesome time, and it's the kids first month of summer vacation, so they're excited and ready for adventure. September I love because after a few months I am sick of the heat and ready for the weather to be a little cooler in the morning but still nice and warm during the day. Football comes back, and the kids go BACK to school, which is always a fun time of year!

3. What store is most represented in your wardrobe?
Oh geez...I don't even know. We don't have a lot of shopping choices around here so I can't frequent any place but Walmart pretty much...but I rarely shop for clothes there for myself. (Come to think of it, I rarely shop for clothes for myself at all. That's kind of a bummer...hmm....)

4. How many times do you go to the movie theater each month/year?
Hmm...probably about 4 times/year on average, I'd say. We love movie nights at home!

5. Fill in the blank- I've never been able to ___________________
Um. I've never been able to get over my fear of speaking in front of crowds. I get all shaky-voiced and red in the face. I hate that...I don't even care, so I don't know why I physically react that way.


Monday, October 18, 2010


I have 6 tattoos.
I have 6 tattoos and I don't care if you don't like them.
I have 6 tattoos and can't wait to get more.

I love, love, love tattoos. My boss doesn't get it. My mom doesn't get it. And you know...that's alright with me. Every tattoo of mine is deeply personal. (I would never, never, NEVER just walk into a shop and pick something off the wall. If you would, that's cool...but I would not.)

I'm linking up at Mama and the Dudes. I love to show off my artwork!

My first tattoo, I hate. I don't hate what it was supposed to be, but I hate what it ended up being.

This is what I asked for:

See it down there...bottom left corner? It's vintage-y and beautiful and I had wanted it since I was 14 years old!!

Years, I waited, until I was 21, and I finally took the plunge...and got this:

Not only is it was poorly done. I still need to find someone to vintage it up for me...someday.

Tattoo 2 and 3...

The man and I decided to get "matching" tattoos. I'm a sucker for words, and typography. We went with "truth" tattoos which mean so much to us. We each have different fonts, but they're both on the inside of our right wrists. Mine is white...can you see it?I love it...

It's white ink and it's very special to me.

I have another white ink tattoo on my other wrist. It says "live" but it doesn't match as closely as I hoped, so I will be covering it, probably with "live" in a scripty black font instead with some sort of image...we shall see.

Tattoo #4...

The second "matching" tattoo the man I got. "Amor Vincit Omnia"..."Love Conquers All". His is on the inside of his bicep...mine across my back. (I chose the scribble-esque font...and love it.)

Last was my birthday gift from my tattoo artist friend. It turned out better that I had ever imagined. "All You Need is Love". (This was HANDS DOWN my most painful tattoo). That's said tattoo artists actual handwriting...with embellishments. I adore this tattoo of mine.

And then there's my bird...ohhhh, my bird, how I love you.

Also done by my tattoo artist friend (actually, ALL of the tattoos with the exception of the first were done by him...). He drew me this and it is more than just a sparrow to me. It means so, so much more. It is about peace and science and acceptance, all in one gorgeous piece of artwork. And I love her. I can't wait to get married some day so I can wear a strapless wedding dress and show that baby off!! <3

My next piece will be a big paisley, boho-inspired piece on my upper left will incorporate the names of my boys. Momma's boys. :)

There are SO many more on my list, including some that were (or are being) designed just for me!!

Want to see more artwork?? Check out Mama and The Dudes!!


Hello Health - Week 2

I am taking part in a weekly "Hello Health Party" over at "Along the Way with K&J!" Week 2 already...wowza! Time flies when you have no time to work out! LOL!

Days I have worked out this week: Actual (Sorry!) But I did get some cardio with chasing kiddos all week long. I think a day at the pumpkin patch, carrying pumpkins, bean bag tossing and wearing a baby counts as exercise!

Minutes per day I worked out: N/A

Health Find/Tip of the Week: I had the brilliant idea (ha) to DVR some workout shows from FIT now I have some workout "videos" at my disposal when I do find time for a work out.

Health Question of the week...: How do you make sure you're maintaining proper portion control? I really struggle with that sometimes... (If you are linking up, answer this question in my comments, link up over at Katie's blog, and input your own question in your weekly update for others to answer in your comments!)

Pounds lost this week/so far: I am down 1.2 pounds today! Woot! It's a start!


So I was DOWN in weight this week...I've been trying to remain concious of my eating habits. I did well most of the week...not as great yesterday. (We always have food, football and friends on Sundays, so I guess that's my "day off".)

I'm just happy to be headed in the right direction...slow and steady... :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Patch - 2010

If you're not in the mood for A LOT of pictures, this is not going to be the post for you! We had a GREAT time at the pumpkin patch today! We started off the day with some sausage, egg and cheese breakfast muffins (recipe soon!). The kids HATED them. LOL! I don't know why? They were delicious! Even Adam liked them and he hates eggs. They rocked. I think the boys just woke up in a mood.

But, promises of a trip to the pumpkin patch lifted everyone's moods. We packed up and headed out with Grandma (my mom) to the Berryland Farm. They were tentative when we first got out of the truck, but it didn't take them long at all to warm up to the fun and activities!

Luc, Mikey and Benji...

Checking out the haybale fort! They LOVED this thing!

Time for a trip into the corn maze!!!!

More photo fun!

Ring and Bean Bag toss!

They also had arts & crafts areas and face painting! FUN!

Duck races...they loved this!

Then it was time for the (mildly) haunted hayride!

And a pumpkin hunting adventure! (This is Mikey with my mom!!)

Wish Will, McKenzie and Adam had been year, for sure!

And last, but not least...hanging out with the smallest of my best friends. <3

After such a busy day we all zonked out for an afternoon nap! Bliss! I made pea soup for dinner (recipe later) and now it's almost bedtime!

Had a great day! Hope everyone else did as well!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Project: Cookie Monster - Week 2 (Homemade Oreos)

We didn't forget about our weekly project already! I just didn't upload the photos until today...LOL! Busy, busy! You know me!

So for week two, we made Smitten Kitchen's Homemade Oreos! (Check out that blog, if you haven't before...TONS of really amazing recipes! Yummy!)

Her recipe is as follows (this is just copy and pasted):

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar [see recipe note]
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
  5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.
The only difference between her recipe and what we did is that I couldn't find Dutch Process cocoa so I had no choice but to use natural unsweetened cocoa...I'm not sure how that affected the cookie, but they were still yummy!

They were actually a little on the sweet side for me, but the kids LOVED them and so did the folks at my work that I shared them with! The recipe was very easy to make and was not difficult to assemble. I'm sure we'll make them again sometime!

I didn't take any pictures of the process, but did take some finished pics! (Sorry...I got sidetracked that evening and we forgot!)



In week three we are making Vanilla Wafers...can't wait!!!

Linking up all over this Friday...


Friend Finding Fridays

The DIY Show Off Fall Friday

Stop on everywhere and check out the other projects and blogs and make some new friends!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

M&M Game

I grew up in a town that has a FIERCE football rivalry with the town I live in now. Every year, the “M&M Game” takes place between our neighboring towns…the oldest Interstate rivalry in High School Football History. It’s a BIG deal. I BLEED Maroon & Gold…you have to be FROM here to truly understand how deep our loyalties lie.

When I purchased my house, and moved to the enemy neighboring town, I didn’t think about football. My kids are little…what difference does it make? Well…it does. This morning, I dressed my elementary school aged boys in PURPLE (I’m gagging as I type) and sent them off to school for their pep rally. **heavy sigh**

This is NOT going to work…LOL! Is it sad that I’m considering open-enrolling them into a different school district? Haha! (Ok, kidding…sorta.)

I’m actually not GOING to the game this year. (Boo!) My brother, who is a senior this year, decided to quit football (DOUBLE boo!!) but I was there last year, all decked out in my Maroon gear cheering on the team with my family! (The games are better the year’s they play in my home town anyway! We have a far superior field…I think most folks from the other town would agree, to be honest.) BUT, tomorrow at work, we get to dress up to show our support for our home teams, so I will be here in my Maroon & Gold, loving on my “home” team in spirit!

Check me out...last year with my "little" brother!! (We won!)
And in high school...that's me...second from the right. U Rah Rah. :) (The cheerleading pic is actually from the Detroit Lions old stadium where we played and WON our State Championship game!)
A few (ok, maybe like 10) years ago, my Grandparents told me about an old tradition of the West End bar (which has since been torn down, (by my dad, actually) and replaced) making split pea soup and serving all of the bar patrons after the Saturday day-game. That tradition is sadly, long gone but in honor of it, this weekend I will be making Split Pea soup (so watch for that recipe!) My kids and I will be taking a trip to the pumpkin patch so that will be a yummy, warm lunch to come home to. More on that later!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homemade Donuts - SUPER easy recipe!

Not much makes my kids happier than DONUTS for breakfast. But seriously...who feels like getting up and running to the store bright and early? Not this girl!

Thus, you can understand my excitement when I came across this SUPER easy recipe for homemade donuts! My kids were STOKED (as was momma...not gonna lie!)

We paired ours with a Danimals Crush Cup yogurt and breakfast was complete!

1. Open a can of southern style biscuits. (Do NOT use the "flaky" kind with the layers!) I just used a generic brand.

2. Using a cap from a 2 liter bottle (or any other small round something you may have) cut a hole out of the middle of each donut. Don't throw that extra dough away!! Fry it up for donut holes! YUMMY!

3. Heat oil in a skillet until "hot enough" ( helpful am I right now? Sorry!) Cook donuts on one side for about a minute.

4. Flip and cook on the other side about a minute. (I slightly undercooked mine on accident so they were doughy in the middle...icky.)

5. Remove from oil and place on paper towel. Blot to remove oil.

6. While still warm, dredge in a plate of sugar. (Next time we're going to try homemade icing and sprinkles!!)


(Edited to add: For the record, my wall isn't filthy! That's spots on the camera lens. I forgot to touch them up in this photo! LOL!)

Try it out! You won't be sorry...TRUST me!!

Linking hopping!!

Here, too!!

Creations by Kara



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