Peaches and Pumpkin

Enjoying the sweet and sour in life.

Top Five Ways to Enjoy Your Morning December 30, 2011

Filed under: How to's — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 9:01 pm
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The mornings are always a tough time for us. Everyone needs to eat, laundry has to be done, dishes need to be washed. The to-do list is endless, and can be overwhelming. I started thinking of my favorite things to do in the morning, that make my day better, and here are my top 5:

  1. Put things away the night before: I realize this is more of a night time thing to do..but if I pick up all of the toys, and half way put things in their home before bed, I wake up and have less things to do. Therefor, I feel less rushed and stressed out walking out of the bedroom.
  2. Add some light: Opening the curtains, or on a warmer day, opening the doors and windows instantly brightens my day…literally. I’m not sure if it’s the fresh air, sunshine, or a combination of the two, but I instantly feel refreshed.
  3. Savor your cup of coffee:  It’s so easy to rush through that first wonderful cup of coffee. Especially when I have so much to do. I found that if I wait until my chores are done, or until I have a minute to sit uninterrupted (which seems impossible, I know!) I can enjoy that sweet cup of goodness!
  4. Find time for a workout: With two kids under the age of two, it sometimes seems impossible to find time for a workout. But studies have shown that working produces hormones that make you happier. I use this site: www.bodyrock.tv for my workouts. Not only is it free..but majority of the workouts are less than 20 minutes. I know everyone has at least that to spare. If you find that the kids just won’t go down for a nap, or won’t let you have that much time..include them in your workout!
  5. Laugh: I know that sounds strange..but laughter is truly the best medicine. Play with your kids, go outside, or enjoy tickle time! Having a good laugh always makes you feel better.

What do you do to get through your morning?

 

 

Away from home..and dogs.

Filed under: Staying Home with the Kids — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 4:08 pm
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Day 2 away from home. It seems like every week, I think how great it would be to have some alone time, and peace and quiet..then it comes, and I think it’s too quiet, and I’m bored. Until Sunday, I have the pleasure of keeping two Dobermans and two horses. Brandon’s mom is keeping the kids..who I miss!! It’s a little too much work to have both of them here, plus take care of the dogs, and the horses.

Being here with these guys, makes me realize how lucky I am to have been raised around animals…dogs especially. I love being in this house because of how safe I feel. With the 220 pounds the dogs are combined, I know no one is getting through that door unwelcome! Ever since I was little, we’ve always had bigger dogs..mastiffs, and labs. I wanted to make sure that Paige wasn’t scared of dogs from day one.

We got our dog, Tank-an American Bulldog, in March of this year. I was a little skeptical at first about how he would be around her. I did my research, and found out that the bulldogs were one of the best family dogs. Once they grew out of their puppy stage, they were very protective to the people they are used to. This has definitely proven to be true. There isn’t a thing Paige can do to that dog that bothers him. She can crawl on top of him, bite his ear, eat his food..I’ve never seen him get mad. Although he drives me crazy 75% of the time, we are definitely blessed to have him.

Besides being wonderful with children..his other good quality is that his name fits him perfectly. He is literally a tank. In the last year, he hs broken his leg, eaten poison and ran head first into the wall (leaving a nice hole). Nothing phases him. He can also eat anything, including shoes, plastic toys, and raw chicken. The chicken wasn’t my fault. It was in the middle of the counter, and to this day, I don’t know how he got to it. At the end of the day, when I see Paige and Tank laying in the floor watching Finding Nemo, I know we picked the right dog! I just hope that Colt will take a liking to him as much as she has.

 

 

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies December 28, 2011

Filed under: Deserts — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 2:45 pm
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This is a wonderful desert I found yesterday. Adds a little spin to plain old brownies. You could also play around with it, and maybe add marshmallows, or different types of chocolate chips. Enjoy!

Baked Peanut Butter Cups

from Baked Perfection:

  •  1 box brownie mix
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and grease mini muffin tin.
  2. Prepare brownie mix as directed, and distribute evenly into muffin cups. Bake 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out slightly wet when inserted.
  3. Once brownies are out of the oven, wait for the centers to fall. This usually happens upon cooling. If it doesn’t, you can take the back of a teaspoon and tap the tops of the brownies.
  4. Microwave the peanut butter in a microwave-safe dish for 45 seconds, then stir.
  5. While brownies are still warm, spoon a small amount onto each one, then top with peanut butter chips, and chocolate chips.
  6. Cool completely before serving.

 

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

Filed under: Main Dish Recipe — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 2:35 pm
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This was our dinner last night, and really good! Brandon is off all week, so I have more time to experiment with new recipes! He is definitely my picky eater, and he had two plates. I originally found this on realmomkitchen.com, and made a few changes…I added parmesan cheese, and instead of chicken we actually used leftover turkey, and you couldn’t even tell a difference. Let me know what you think!

Cheesy Chicken Lasagna

  • 2 (12 ounce) cans of evaporated milk (not fat-free)
  • 1 (1 ounce) package of dry Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 3 cups of cubed chicken, cooked
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (8 ounces) package of lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2-2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2-2 cups grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook the noodles according to the package, and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine milk and Ranch Dressing Mix in a large saucepan. Heat over low, and stir constantly until dry mix is dissolved. Stir in chicken and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, about 25 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. In a well buttered 9×13 dish, layer as follows: half of lasagna noodles, half of chicken and milk mixtures, half of the cheeses, then repeat.
  4. Bake 35-45 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Let dish rest about 10 minutes before cutting.

 

Crepes: Tuesday’s breakfast December 27, 2011

Filed under: Breakfast — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 4:22 pm
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Today, I made crepes for breakfast. They were definitely a hit! I used chocolate chips and strawberries for the filling. This was actually my first time making them, so let me know if you have any tips.

Crepes

From allrecipes, and made my own

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Heat skillet over medium high heat, and place a small dab of butter to melt. Pour 1/4 cup of crepe batter into the pan, and tilt completely to coat the surface. Cook about 2-5 minutes, or until done, flipping once.
  3. Fill crepes with desired ingredients.

 

Patty Melt Panini: Christmas Dinner at Home December 25, 2011

Filed under: Main Dish Recipe — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 7:20 pm
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Hey Everyone!

After a wonderful lunch at Brandon’s grandparents house, I decided to skip our usual Chinese and save money. I’m making patty melt’s, which has become one of my favorite dishes. It’s soo easy to fix, and really tasty! Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

Patty Melt Panini

From Family Circle Magazine, and made my own.

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 8 slices of bread (we use white)
  • 8 slices of American cheese
  • Thousand Island Dressing
  1. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, 2o minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, oregano and pepper in a medium bowl.  Shape into 4 patties, mimicking the shape of the bread.
  3. Heat a panini press or George Foreman grill to medium hot. Grill beef patties for 3-4 minutes or until done. Remove to a plate.
  4. Place 4 slices of bread down, top with one slice of cheese, one beef patty, 1/2 cup of onions, one slice of cheese and another slice of bread. Grill 2 sandwiches for 3 minutes, then repeated with remaining 2 sandwiches. Serve with salad dressing.

This is wonderful with the salad dressing..it really makes it different from other patty melts I’ve had. Let me know if you make any changes:)

 

Merry Christmas!

Filed under: Staying Home with the Kids — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 7:05 pm
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I’m so excited to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. This has definitely been our most memorable one yet, and I hope everyone reading enjoyed their’s as well. Paige (19 months) is finally old enough to understand the concept of Christmas, and enjoy opening presents. This year, we had the pleasure of having four! The first was with my mom. Meeting Colt for the first time, and just being able to visit for a couple days from Florida, really made it special…

We had Christmas at my dad’s, which is always fun…

We had Christmas at our house, with just the family, Paige, Colt, Brandon and myself…oh and our dog Tank…

 

 

The Greatest Gift of All December 22, 2011

Filed under: Staying Home with the Kids — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 2:43 pm
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I started thinking today about the greatest gift I had received to date. The first thing that popped in my head…being a mother. The most wonderful feeling in the world to me is watching my children’s faces light up when they see me, or run to me when they get hurt.

The moment after I birthed Paige and Colt, there was a moment of ecstasy. I’m still not sure if it was relief, excitement or a combination of the two, but at those two moments my life changed forever.

But with the good comes the bad…many women aren’t able to have children. Everything in life happens for a reason, and some things are truly meant to be. Families like the Duggars…who choose to have 20 children, have their own television show, and are almost rewarded daily for their ability to get pregnant. It almost makes me sick. While she is having a new baby every year, many women are having trouble conceiving. However, I was very sorry to hear about their loss, no family should have to go through that.

It seems like everyday there is another story of abuse, or death of a baby. Everyday a child’s innocence is lost, and they won’t ever be able to lead a normal life. I truly believe that if more people considered adoption, the world would see a lot less crimes directed towards the youth. As long as man exists there will always be flaws, and always be wrong doing.

I want mothers who read this post to know how blessed you are. Whether you birthed your children or adopted, don’t take any day for granted.

 

 

Oreo Balls: Our Favorite No-Bake Treat!

Filed under: Deserts — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 9:17 am
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A friend gave me this recipe last year, and it has definitely become one of our favorite deserts. Make sure you have a little time on your hands to do this though. The recipe usually makes about 70 balls when I do it, but the size of them can vary. You can also experiment with different types of Oreos. I know the mint flavored and the peanut butter flavored are great for this recipe. These are a great, easy holiday gift I usually make..if Brandon can go without eating all of them! Enjoy!

 Oreo Balls

  • 1 Package of Bark White Chocolate
  • 1 Pack of Bark Milk Chocolate
  • 1 Package of Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Package of Oreo Cookies

Directions:

    1. Separate the Oreo cookies, and the cream filling. Mix together the cream fillings and the softened cream cheese. Crush the Oreo cookies very fine. Slowly mix into cream cheese mixture.
    2. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Roll Oreo mixture into one inch balls, or sized to your liking. Place on wax paper, and freeze for one hour.
    3. Melt white chocolate according to package. Using tooth picks, dip Oreo balls into chocolate, and allow to cool on the wax paper. It usually takes about 15 minutes to cool. If you find that the balls are falling apart, or the chocolate is becoming gunky: try sticking them back into the freezer for a few minutes before dipping them into the chocolate.
    4. Melt milk chocolate according to package. Drizzle over Oreo balls, and allow to cool on the wax paper.
    5. You can leave the finished Oreo balls out at room temperature, or serve them frozen.
 

Fifteen minutes later… December 21, 2011

Filed under: Staying Home with the Kids — Peaches and Pumpkins @ 8:58 pm
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With Christmas almost here, I am frantically trying to make sure everything is ready. So after a request to go to the store, I went ahead and picked up my holiday baking needs, and dinner for the family (sorry no recipe tonight!), and left the kids with Brandon.

Fifteen minutes later…

As soon as I walked in the door, all I hear is “Ashley!!!”

Colt, who has had tummy troubles for the last two months, only poops at most once a week. There isn’t anything wrong with him, that’s just how his body is working for the time being. Well anyways, his last BM was Sunday. The thought of him pooping while I was gone didn’t even cross my mind. Wrong! I follow Brandon’s voice to Colt’s room, where he is naked on the changing table, with poop all over him, the table, and Brandon’s hands. I can’t help but laugh. Of course, I got him all clean!Brandon is still amazed that I can keep my food down everyday. After getting Colt all cleaned up, we could continue to dinner.

On a lighter note..(literally)
We got a new car today!! Our cousin Melanie has been nice enough to let us borrow her car while she went away to basic training in the air force. After having it for six months, then having to go back to my two door, single cab truck, we quickly realized it wasn’t going to work for the four of us anymore. We are now the proud owners of a 2007 hummer H3. I know many of you are questioning the gas mileage. Although I know that there are so many other vehicles that probably would have been a better choice, I ultimately picked something we both liked, and I would be the happiest with. Not to mention, the gas mileage is significantly better than a lifted F-150 and 2500HD. Here is Paige and Brandon testing out the sunroof…

 

Don’t worry, Brandon is holding her!