A busy mom balancing life and making sure to live it to its fullest

I am just proving how indecisive I can be :) November 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftybalancing @ 8:41 PM

I have changed my mind again :).  I am moving my blog back to blogger 🙂  I have posted a great new recipe for personal pizza’s that have a ton of hidden nutrients for your kids.  Come over and check it out!

My Balancing Act


Great Grandma’s Trunk November 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftybalancing @ 9:57 PM

Do you have anything in your home/life that means a lot to you for one reason or another?  I love family heirlooms and things that have a history to them.  It is natural for me to have collected quite a few of them over the years from both sides of my family as well as some from my husbands side of the family.  I love that Cha Cha over at Sit Relax and Read has started Sentimental Sundays because it has given me a chance to look around the house and think about the things that mean a lot to me.  The first thing that came to mind is this old trunk that my Grandma (maternal side) gave me.  I have always loved big old trunks and have always drooled over them in the antique stores and had my heart set on buying one someday.  My mom mentioned this in passing to my Grandma when she was visiting her in Oregon and my Grandma told my mom that she had one out in her garage or shed that was just sitting there and that I could have it if I could get it up to Alaska (my home at the time).  I did some fancy coordinating and got this wonderful trunk sight unseen by me and I love it!  I love that it is beautiful and has history but I love even more that the history is part of me and from my family.  It is gorgeous and to top it all off, it had some wonderful treasures inside that I get to share with you in the future. 

I don’t know who put this picture in the lid of the trunk or who it is but I love it!  Iwill never remove it because it is part of the character of the trunk and it is fun to use my imagination and make up a story to go along with it. 

I hope everyone is making it a great week!


Monday Menu 11/1/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftybalancing @ 3:31 AM

Happy Monday!

I am in a great mood considering that it’s a Monday. I think that because I work from home that Monday is not a lot more significant than the rest of the week. I would rather have my mister home with me though :).

Monday– Taco Stew.  This recipe is from my beautifulcousin and sounds super yummy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 3 or 4 chicken breasts
1 can corn
1 can kidney beans
1 can chili beans
1 can black beans
1 can of diced tomatoes                                                                                                                                                                                         1/2 chopped onions
1 packet of ranch seasoning (I would never have thought to add this on my own)
1 packet of taco seasoning

Put it all in a crock pot for at least 3 hours. Pull the chicken breasts out and shred or chop. Return chicken to the crock pot.
Serve with:
Sour cream
corn chips


Tuesday– Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  Lets keep it easy at least one night this week 🙂

Wednesday- Cheesy Chicken Crescent Supper (from my Pella, Iowa cookbook) and green beans (I personally hate green beans with a passion but my family likes them and its good for them)

2 cans boned chicken (I put a frozen chicken breast or two in a crock pot for the day on low then shred)
1 cup grated velveeta cheese (I use cheddar)
2 cans crescent rolls
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 375. Combine chicken and 3 Tbsps. cheese. Separate rolls into triangles. Place chicken mixture evenly onto triangles. Roll up.
In saucepan, combine soup, milk, water and 1/3 cup cheese. Heat until cheese is melted. Pour soup mixture into ungreased 9×13″ pan. Arrange filled crescents in hot soup mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with more cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.

ThursdayMeatloaf Cordon Bleu, baked potatoes and asparagus.  This will be a new one for me…let me know what you think if you try it. 

Friday– Order Pizza  

I’m usually exhausted by Friday’s and when we can get a great pizza for $5 its well worth the money 🙂

Saturday– Pasta and Vodka Sauce (-the vodka) and garlic bread

Sunday– Chili, corn bread and yummy cookies

Make it a great week!


Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce October 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftybalancing @ 5:07 AM

This is a wonderfully healthy and easy recipe from my new favorite cookbook The Sneaky Chef.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely minced or pureed

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup Orange Puree

1/4 cup White Puree

1 can, about 28 ounces, whole peeled tomatoes with liquid

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

Cook onions and garlic in a saucepan with oil over medium heat.  Cook until they are translucent but not brown.  Mix in the Orange Puree and White Puree, tomatoes and tomato paste and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until sauce thickens (I didn’t have to wait nearly 15 minutes because it started off fairly thick).  Transfer sauce to a blender and puree until smooth

Stir in salt and a few grinds of pepper, to taste.  You can refrigerate this for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 6 months. 

I have personally tried this and think it tastes great!


White Puree

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftybalancing @ 4:54 AM

This is a great, easy puree to sneak into meals to add a ton of nutrients that I found in the cookbook The Sneaky Chef.

2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets

2 small to medium zucchini, peeled and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3-4 tablespoons water, if necessary

Steam cauliflower in a vegetable steamer for 10-12 minutes until very tender. 

While waiting for the cauliflower to steam, start to pulse the raw peeled zucchini with lemon juice.


Drain the cauliflower and add to the pulsed zucchini with two tablespoons of water.  Puree on high until smooth.

This makes about 2 cups of puree.  It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen in 1/4 cup portions.


Orange Puree

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftybalancing @ 4:42 AM

A great puree to add to a variety of meals from  The Sneaky Chef

1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and rough chopped

3 medium to large carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks

3-4 tablespoons water

Cover carrots and sweet potatoes with cold water and boil for about 20 minutes until yams, and especially carrots, are very tender. 

Drain water and pure carrots, yams and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. 

This makes about 2 cups of puree.  You can store them in 1/4 cup portions in the freezer.

I ended up with a little more than a cup of this but these gladware containers are the perfect size and when you get eight of them in a pack for a little less than three dollars it works perfect for freezing the extra for another night 🙂


Great Jar Pumpkin Craft! October 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — craftybalancing @ 9:52 PM

Monday, October 25, 2010

I’m going to be taking a week to reorganize my blog. I’ve decided to switch names and blog carriers so I’ll be coming back with everything new. I’ll make sure to post on here what my new URL is so that you can easily find me. I’m excited about this change and I think it will make my blog easier to follow and navigate. Thanks for your patience with me this week and I’ll be back soon!

Aren’t these cute?! I got the idea for these from Emily over at Not So Idle Hands. She has a ton of other great Halloween craft ideas as well.

We have joint custody of Aubree so we had her for the second half of her Fall Break. I knew before I picked her up that we didn’t have a ton of extra money to entertain her with things like shopping, movies and stuff that she likes to do. I decided that we could have fun around the house doing some baking and crafts together. I mixed that with some Grandma time and some friends coming over she had a great Fall Break.

You will need some clean empty jars, orange tissue paper (Walmart for $1), Mod Podge, small paint or sponge brushes, green paint and black paper. We didn’t have a ton of jars laying around so we asked for some on and a wonderful woman gave us her extra ones.

Doing small sections at a time we painted the Mod Podge on the outside of the jar and used 1″ to 1.5″ strips of the tissue paper and smoothed them out over the Mod Podge. We ended up overlapping the tissue a little.

I love the imperfections and character that come with homemade craft items so I told Aubree not to stress when she got some tears in the tissue paper or couldn’t get all the wrinkles out.

We waited patiently for them to dry 🙂

We painted the top rim of the jar green and cut faces out of black paper and glued them on.
We started out with seven of them and now have five left. Aubree wanted to give one to Grandma and we filled one with candy corn and gave it to her teacher.
I used to always make it a point to go out shopping after every holiday and buy clearance decorations to save for the next year. I’m learning that instead of buying cheap items that will break quickly I would rather spend the time making inexpensive homemade items that will last from year to year. Not that I won’t check out the clearance items anymore 🙂