Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Blackberry muffins

Every year we go to the blackberry farm and pick blackberries.  Its a summer tradition.  And every year, we seem to get carried away.  I mean, you just start seeing all these huge beautiful blackberries on the bushes, and you get sucked in.

You just wander up and down the rows and it is so hard to pass them up, even if your bucket is full!

And then before you know it you have 15 pounds of blackberries and you remember you have to pay for them.

So after you get over the shock on the drive home from the blackberry farm, you start imagining all the things you can do with the 15 pounds of blackberries.  And blackberry muffins are one of them.
*note, blackberries freeze wonderfully!

Muffins are a staple in the breakfast rotation.  And this recipe isn't just to use up your blackberries.  It can handle any add in you throw it's way.  I've done strawberry, chocolate chip, raspberry, and blueberry.  Just use this muffin base and get your creative on. (Your cranky preteen son will wake up and give you the biggest hug for making them.)

Blackberry muffins (makes 12)
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
about 1/2 cup milk
1 generous cup of berries or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  
In a 1 cup liquid measuring cup, measure oil, add egg, and enough milk to make 1 cup.
Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
Add berries.  Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 15-18 minutes

I'm not going to complain about the now 13 pounds of blackberries in my freezer.  And I'm pretty sure my family won't either.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Their dad

You never really know what kind of a dad your husband will be when you marry him.  It's true.  You can think you know, but you really never know, until it happens.

My kids - they have no idea how lucky they are.  Their dad loves them so much, spends time with them, nurtures them, hugs them, is there for them whenever they need him.  He would lay down his life for them.

Not everyone can say that about their dad.  But I thank God every day, my kids can.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Coconut Chia Bark

I bought this large container of chia seeds.  Because you know chia seeds are all the rage.  And that large container of chia seeds has sat in my pantry, for a really long time.  So when I stumbled upon an entire book at the library on how to use those chia seeds I checked that sucker out.

A version of this recipe was in the book, but it called for lemon zest and I am sorry - lemon and chocolate should not be in the same bowl, if you ask me.  So I omitted the lemon and added some sliced almonds to make them a little prettier.

This one is for my sister, Traci, who desperately wants to eat only things of nature but absolutely can not shake her love for chocolate.

Coconut Chia Bark

1 bag of dark chocolate (must be dark so you can justify the chocolate)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Melt chocolate in double boiler.  When melted, remove from the double boiler and add the coconut and chia seeds.  Mix well and spread on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Freeze for 30 minutes.  Break them up and eat them with no guilt.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Rookie Middle School Mom - Chapter 2

Middle school boys are frustrating creatures.  We mothers birth them, love them, nurture them, and what do we get in return?  Conversations like this.

So I'm dropping off Carson this morning at a science camp.  He didn't know anyone and I had butterflies for him all the way there.  I was so proud that he was stepping out of the comfort zone of his best buddies and doing something simply because he wanted to.  So as we stand in line to check in , I say "you're so cute".  My mom, who is with me, says "You should wait to say those things to him at home, and not here in a new situation".  Then she turns to him and says "You're really going to have fun.  You're going to make all kinds of new friends."  I looked at her and said, "Really?  Was that much better?".  In the meantime Carson had walked away from us and up to someone who looked in charge and had checked in.  Um...bye...

I randomly wonder all morning what he's doing.  Are kids being nice to him?  Is he having fun? Will he even want to go back tomorrow? Grandma had pick up duty and I couldn't wait to talk to him so when his sister called me I told her I needed to speak with her brother.  As she hands him the phone I hear him saying "Why?"  

Me: So how was it this morning????!!
Him: good
Me: Did you know anyone?
Him: yes
Me: From your school?  
Him: yes
Me: So you had fun?
Him: yes
Me: So you still want to go back tomorrow?
Him: yes.
Me: (exasperated)  Is that all your going to give me??????
Him: yes.
Me: sigh.  ok.
Him: click.

He totally hung up.  Like the conversation was over.  
Oh.  My.  Goodness.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Neelster!

See this girl?  She's 10 today.  This is how she does everything.  This is what her personality is like.  She's the middle child.  She's crazy musically talented.  She does the best impersonations of family members.  She loves kids.  She has a tender heart for those left out.  She makes us laugh all the time. She makes us consult our nonexistent parenting guide daily.  Her favorite past time is to pester her older brother. She thinks she's 16.  She will make a difference in this world, mark my words.  
Happy Birthday Neely!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


It's Nation Running Day!  Did you run today?

I think it deserves a My Top 10 Favorite things about running list.

1.  When I run by myself, I always win.
2.  I have a reason to buy new shoes every 6 months.
3.  If I'm ticked, I can "run it out" and I usually have a new/better perspective when I'm done.
4.  It gives me energy.
5.  It reminds me I need nothing but to keep putting one foot in front of the other and I will get to where I want to go.
6.  I get to enjoy the outdoors.
7.  Playlists.
8.  Its a good example for my kids to get out and stay healthy.
9.  I like to wear visors.
10. It's contributed to the better version of Amy.

Get out and run!

Here's to my favorite running partner and my favorite running shoes.

Happy Running!!