Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why Go to the Farmer's Market When the Farmer's Market Coms to You?

Who needs to go to the Farmer's Market when you have a friend who loves to share the fruits (or veggies) of her labor! You too, can find some of Amy Shelburn's produce at Homegrown Foods on the corner of Cherry and Pickwick. It is sort of like a flea market for area farmer's to bring their produce and they sell it for them. Amy was nice enough to bring me two huge bags of veggies pictured above - and this isn't even all of it - there is more in my fridge and my tummy! :-)
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Blueberry Beauty

I know I've already blogged about Pappy's Blueberry Patch but these pictures are just too cute not to share. If you have not been to Pappy's then definitely put it on your to-do-list. We have been 3 times this year and have frozen MANY bags of berries...but have eaten a lot of berries too. I just can't pass up blueberries - SO YUMMY! My niece, Zeda, apparently loves blueberries too! Her and Jey kept eating the berries FROM THE BUCKET by the handfuls. Needless to say, it took us quite a while to fill our buckets.

These Blueberries are DE-LISH!

Would you like a blueberry, Aunt Sarah?

Mom won't mind if I eat a few more.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Yet Another (almost) Free Weekend

Now this challenge is just getting fun. In attempt to save some money this summer we have been looking for fun, free entertainment around Springfield. This little project has been fun and the activities that we have found are way more fun than anything else we could be doing that would cost a lot of money! Plus, hangin' with my family has been, well, FUN! Here is what we did this weekend...

Friday: Took Jey to the library where we spent 2 HOURS (!) playing on the computer, playing with the toys and reading books. He also got his "Flip Card" for participating in the summer reading program. If you haven't gotten this card yet for the kiddos there is still time! Your kids will get a ton of free stuff with this card!
On Friday Night we attended the VBS Family Night at our church where we had a potluck dinner and a children's program - very entertaining!!!

Saturday: Matt took Jey to the zoo for a "Feast with the Beast" pancake breakfast. This was not free but entrance into the zoo was with our "FOZ" card. Last year for Christmas and Birthday presents we asked for memberships/season passes for various things around town such as the zoo. These make the best gifts because we DO use them a lot and it provides a lot of free entertainment throughout the year!
Saturday Night we decided to work through some of the things on the Flip Card we got from the Library. We were able to get a free kid's meal at Chic-Fil-A for Jey and I had a coupon for a free Chic-Fil-A Sandwich so all we had to do is buy Matt's dinner! :-) After dinner we headed to Silver Springs Pool. Jey's admission was free using his Flip Card, Matt and I donated a canned good for free admission. We had never been to this pool and it was really neat! The pool was slopped and shallow; there were a few water fountains planted in the pool that kids could run through; and it had a huge water play structure that kids could play on, squirt water everywhere and dump buckets of water on any one's head that was standing nearby. Jeremiah LOVED it!

Sunday: After church and lunch and a nap, we headed to my parent's for a swim. I also received a free pedicure and massage - you too could get this free if you have a mom like mine! Thanks mom!

What will be in store for next weekend? Let me know some of your ideas for free entertainment!
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A free weekend...almost.

One of the things that I love about living in Springfield is that there are a lot of neat things that happen in the city and a lot of free things to do! Because I took the summer off to be with the kiddos we are having to find CHEAP entertainment and it has been a TON of fun. I will keep posting on our cheap/free weekends so that perhaps you too can take advantage of some of these things.

Friday night we took advantage of the free family movies at Founder's Park in downtown Springfield. Every Friday and Saturday night in July and August a family friendly movie plays at dusk. Just take your snacks and a blanket/lawn chair to enjoy the movie. To make this movie free you need to stop by Doling Family Center or Chesterfield Family Center to pick up the free tickets. Otherwise it's $5 at the gate. You can get a complete list of movies by calling the park board or they are listed in the Springfield News-Leader. Our movie was "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs". We grabbed some Andy's Frozen Custard and headed to the movies (that is why our weekend wasn't totally free - we bought custard!).

Our Saturday started off as it always does with Matthew's Famous Blueberry Pancakes. My dad invited us to Ozark Coca-cola's 90th anniversary celebration where we had the opportunity to tour the bottling plant. It was pretty cool seeing fresh Dr. Pepper being packaged. They even gave us a Dr. Pepper right off the bottling line - it doesn't even have a label yet! Jeremiah of course loved the opportunity to take a sip of soda! On the tour they gave each of us some Coke/Dr. Pepper souvenirs and served us a picnic lunch complete with burgers and ice cream sandwiches. Oh, and did I mention it was free? :-)

Saturday night we enjoyed a Round-Up Campfire at church with games for the kids and a cookout - it was of course, free! Pictures will be posted soon!
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another new blogger!

My friend, Jan, has entered the blog world and I couldn't be more excited! Jan is one of the funniest people I know and I can't wait to see what she is going to say in her blog. Jan has a huge heart, a great singing voice, a very creative mind and a ton of personality! :-) Check her blog out at funnyfluffyfatchick.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Today's Farmer's Market Loot

One of the best things about living in the Midwest is the farmers and their willingness to share their produce. I've been on a Farmer's Market Tour this summer (which will make it into this blog eventually). It's amazing just how many farmer's markets are in the area! Today, I had some errands to run on the south side of Springfield so I stopped by the Greater Springfield Farmer's Market located in the parking lot of the Battlefield Mall. Pictured here is the loot I brought home today...minus the whole-wheat chocolate chip cookie that I treat myself to every time I go to this farmer's market. They are SOOO good and only $1. :-)
When shopping the farmer's market I tend to want one of everything because it all looks so good. This summer, in my attempt to buy local on a more regular basis, I have had to pace myself. So I go to the market with a plan. First, I look at my menu for the week and decide what produce would go good with the meals I have planned. Second, decide what would make good snacks. Third, don't spend more than $10. The plan for the above food includes roasted corn with cilantro pesto (I'm growing my own cilantro and will use it for this recipe assuming the dang bugs don't get to it first!), tomato and cottage cheese for lunch, blackberries with our supper this evening, one zucchini for frying, one zucchini for baking bread, and cantaloupe for a snacking.
What are your favorite treats from the farmer's market?
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Welcome New Blogger!

I must say that jumping the Blogging Bandwagon has been super fun! My original goal was to post daily but with a new baby it's been more like every two or three days. :-) I'll get better, I promise. :-)
Since starting this blog many of my friends have mentioned that they too would like to enter the blog world. I would like to share some of these with you so hopefully this is one of many "Welcome New Blogger" posts - hint, hint to those of you who said you wanted to start a blog. ;-)

My friend Amy has started a blog "The Heavy Metal Hippy" and will be featuring some of her super creative recipes. Amy has a huge garden and cooks many different things from the food that she personally grows. Her facebook statuses of what she is cooking up are inspiring so I can't wait until she posts some of these recipes in her blog. I love her creativity and I know you will too!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Look out Starbucks!

I love my Magic Bullet. :-) As I was feeding Ava on Saturday afternoon, I was flipping through channels on the tv and the ONLY thing I found to be of ANY interest was a Magic Bullet infomercial - how sad is that!?! Anyway, I got completely inspired to try all of these new things with my Magic Bullet, one of which were these yummy blended, frozen coffees. (This would work in a blender as well.) Just throw in some ice cubes, a 1/2-full cup of coffee, a splash of cream, a splash of your favorite flavored creamer (we used Caramel Macchiato), and a spoon full of caramel. This, of course, is just what I felt like putting in at the time but I definitely plan on playing with this recipe!
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Fiber is your Friend!

For those of you who know ANY thing about me, you know that I LOVE FIBER!!! Fiber can do amazing things for the body.... and not so amazing things to the body if you aren't used to eating it often. :-) What are some of the benefits of fiber, you ask? can help lower your cholesterol, control your blood sugar, keep your colon healthy, and manage or reduce your weight! Thanks to my fiber-lovin'-friend, Amber, I have found a new breakfast favorite! This new, Fiber Plus Cereal, is packed full of fiber and tastes super yummy! In one cup, which is 170 calories, you get 10 - that's right - TEN grams of fiber. Of this fiber, 4 grams of it is soluble (this is the stuff that lowers your cholesterol) and 6 grams of it is insoluble (this is what bulks the feces and makes know). The best part of this cereal, other than the fiber, is that it is very tasty!!! Throw a handful of blueberries on it for a little extra benefit and you are good to go!

Oh, one more thing, notice on the box of cereal that you can submit a mail-in rebate and try this delicious cereal for free!

***Disclaimer: 1) If you are not used to eating a lot of fiber - you must ease into it. Fiber can cause A LOT of GI distress if you increase the amount you eat too quickly AND if you don't drink enough fluid while increasing the fiber. And 2) I don't work for Kellogg's - I just really love fiber. :-)
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

It was not meant for me to be an herb farmer...

I've planted herbs before but this was the first year that I planted herbs AND they were fruitful! See how beautiful this basil plant is...was! My dad and Jeremiah picked this lovely plant up for me on one of there outings. After watching it grow and multiply for a few weeks I did what any normal culinary savvy person would do - I put pine nuts on the grocery list and pesto on the menu! Apparently the Japanese Beetles put basil on their menu too as they didn't touch any of the other herbs growing on the deck. Check out the pesky little critters feasting on MY Basil!!! :-( While the Japanese Beetles did not eat the dill these pretty little caterpillars did! Look real closely and you can see 4 or 5 of the green and black striped thieves.

While both plants were completely devoured I am starting to see some life come back to the basil but the dill has been reduced to bare sticks. I'm glad SOMEONE enjoyed the herbs...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Fourth, Fireworks, and Family

What a fun weekend! The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays - it's so relaxing and carefree. This year, Jeremiah made it super fun! He was so excited about every tiny, little firework and would just laugh, clap his hands, and get so excited at every "POP". I loved it! For our 4th festivities this year we took an overnight trip to my parent's "Branson House" where we stayed with the kids, my parents, my sister and her family, and my Grandma B. Above is a picture of my babies from this fun weekend, which by the way, is the FIRST time Jeremiah held Ava! He even looks a little happy! :-)

When we were kids, the 4th of July was spent in the culdisac where we lived and with our great family friends/neighbors, The Horsey's. Our 4th of July tradition for the past several years have consisted of going to Branson to eat and then watch a firework display but has ended up with us just chasing firework displays. For the past few years we've TRIED this and now it's just comical. The first year we tried this the plan was to meet up with our family friends, The Horsey's, and go to the Chateau for a BBQ and fireworks. We get there to find that the BBQ was actually held on the 3rd and we missed the whole thing....ooops. The next year we tried the Chateau again but there was a severe thunderstorm and we watched the fireworks in our car with a wonderful lightening display in the backdrop (this was Jey's first 4th of July and we have pictures of him with his little American Flag shirt sitting in our backseat - ahh, memories). The next year Matt and I took Jey to Branson and headed to Big Cedar for their fireworks which didn't go off until well after 10:00pm - try that with an 18 month old! :-( Last Branson; but we did spend it with the Horsey's at Cathy's brother's home that backs up to the James River "I Love America" firework display and it was SO fun! Which brings me to 2010... last weekend the College of the Ozarks in Branson was putting on an "old fashion picnic" ending with a firework display (the weekend before the 4th) and had planned to go with my parents and Becca & Jarrod. We packed our picnic, our lawn chairs, and headed to Branson to find that the whole area was in a severe thunderstorm warning. It rained, it poured, it thundered, it lightening, and we DID NOT go to the picnic; a very familiar Independence Day celebration in Branson. :-)

The actual weekend of July 4, 2010 was great! Spending the weekend with my family in Branson was so fun and relaxing. Sunday we spent the 4th with the Horsey's at Cathy's brother's house again to watch the "I Love America" fireworks (Thanks again, Cathy, for the invite!). And My Matthew had Monday off, which we spent relaxing at home. I'll say it again... What a fun weekend! I love our traditions, they make me smile. :-) What are some of your favorite traditions?
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