Friday, December 21, 2012

Mmmm...Homemade Honey Wheat Bread

We LOVE bread in this house. LOVE IT. But we're also very picky about our bread. It has to be just the right texture, just the right amount of wheat, and just the right amount of flavor. Store bought bread is just not very good (in our opinion), has ingredients that we try to keep out of our home, and can be quite expensive.

So, I scoured the web searching for the perfect recipe and found a great one here at 100 Days of Real Food.  I changed the flour contents to 60% wheat flour and 40% white flour. For us, too much wheat is too heavy tasting. We have been known to eat an entire loaf in less than 2 days.

Here's my version of her yummy recipe! Enjoy!
I only use a bread machine. Making bread where I have to actually knead the dough is a disaster for me 100% of the time.

  • 2 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups white flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups warm water (not too hot or it will kill the yeast)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter)
  • 1 packet or 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast
Place the ingredients in order in your bread machine. I use the regular bread setting with the lightest crust. Once it's ready, I pop it out of the pan and rub butter all over the warm bread. Yum!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

On Being a Preschool Mommy

Our oldest (4 years) has been going to a wonderful church preschool for the past two years. We love it and so does he. You know they're doing something right when he asks if he can go to school!

Anyway, I'm not friends with any of the moms in his class. We say "hello" in passing and make small talk when we happen to stand next to each other during pick up times. I believe most of the families that attend the preschool also attend the church. So it makes sense that a lot of the moms know each other and have lots to talk about. Sometimes, I get a feeling of being an outsider when I see small groups of moms chatting and laughing, but I'm not in that mix. I'm pretty shy, so I'm certainly not going to walk up to them and join in on the conversation.  Ugh, feelings of middle school start popping up. Don't get me wrong...when I do chat with these ladies, they are all super nice.

However, the things I see going on there make me question whether I'm a good enough preschool mommy.

Sound crazy?

It is. But it's true.

There is pressure to being a preschool mommy.

I have no idea what preschool was like when I was four back in 1981. (There, you now know my age!) I assume there was the usual birthday party invitations, bringing snacks for the class, having a Christmas book exchange.

Well, let me just tell you what goes on nowadays. It stresses me out. It has made me question myself. It has made me a bit angry, too.

At my son's school (and let's face it, this probably happens at most schools across the country) I've seen mommies this:
  • When unable to attend another kids birthday, they bring a gift for said child. OK, while I think it's sweet and thoughtful to bring a birthday gift for a child, is it going a little far to bring one for the kids that you don't know on a personal level? Where you and your child's only interaction with them is at preschool? Am I being unreasonable? 
  • Speaking of birthday parties, these parties for 4 year olds that cost minimum $300 just for the party (not including cake, decorations) just drive me crazy! What expecation is being set for next years party? Why do we need to invite every child in the preschool class? And what happened to having a fun party at home with just simple cake and ice cream? We did this last year with our oldest and it was a huge success. We invited his three closest friends, they played inside and out, ate cake, hit a pinata, and opened gifts. It was so much fun! 
  • And lastly, as I dropped him off Thursday for the last day before Christmas break, I caught wind of at least 3 moms who brought Christmas 'gifts' for each child. OMG, am I now supposed to bring gifts for 16 kids?? 
Please hear me: I LOVE TO GIVE. I'm HAPPY to give. I LOVE being involved in my boys' preschool class. I get such joy out of seeing him learn, participating in Zoo Days, Fireman visits, etc. But I don't feel the need to buy 'things' all the time. We don't have the money for it, and even if we did, I'm not sure I would spend it on those kinds of things.  

I guess I don't understand the reasoning behind it. Is it out of true kindness? Is it out of a sense of wanting your child to be well-liked (or wanting to be well-liked yourself)?

Those scenarios mentioned above are what stress me out about being a preschool mommy. And make me question myself as to whether I'm doing it 'right.'

On Thursday, as I was stressing to my husband about whether I should've bought gifts for all the kids in class, I was tagged in a Facebook post with a link to this article: Why You're Never Failing as a Mother
It was a true reminder that I don't have to be the 'perfect' mommy and bring Christmas gifts to each kid in my son's class. I'm doing a great job just being a mommy in general. I love my boys, I spend all my days with them interacting, baking, creating, singing, playing, name it. That's good enough. That's more than good enough.

Are you a preschool mommy? Do you ever feel pressure in the preschool classroom? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bloggers Block

Have you ever experienced this? I'm in a serious blogging drought right now. I have about 10 posts saved as drafts but I just can't seem to find the creativity (or time, or energy) to finish them.

Hopefully, I'll be back soon...until then, please feel free to keep up with me on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, December 7, 2012

My Grand Opening!

I had my first official Grand Opening party for my Shaklee business on Tuesday. I called it my Health and Wealth party. It was a great success! Of course, I didn't get pictures. Boo.

I had to give my two minute story on how I found Shaklee. Can I just tell you how much the idea of public speaking terrifies me? I waited until my very last semester of college before I took the required Public Communications class I needed in order to graduate. Surprisingly, I did not die from sharing my story. In fact, my sweet friends told me I looked like a professional up there! Liars.

After sharing my story, my business partners quickly shared theirs, then we launched into the Shaklee presentation...what Shaklee stands for, how we are the NUMBER ONE natural nutrition company in the US, and a demo of some of our best selling products.

My friends were impressed. Some of them were a little hesitant to attend because they didn't want to be sold ocean front property in north Texas, or feel pressured to purchase something. They (and myself) have had experiences like that from other MLM companies. And it is no fun.

I didn't have the party to get them to buy something from me, however, I appreciate greatly those who did. I had the party to share my passion about Shaklee and how the products have helped our family get clean and healthy! I want to spread the word about healthy, non-toxic living...especially to those I care about.

So everyone who attended the party, thanked ME for inviting them! They told me they were pleasantly surprised that they didn't feel pressured to purchase products. They told me, our presentations were wonderful and gave them lots of insight on Shaklee. I'd call that a huge success!

I can't wait to have another party soon! I love helping others!

Would you like to have your own Shaklee Health and Wealth party? Contact me and we can get you set up!