Banana Oat Pancakes

I’m standing here in my kitchen, flipping pancakes at 1:30 in the afternoon.

Why? Well, two reasons. One, my son asked for pancakes for lunch; and two, I’ve been meaning to make pancakes for the past week or so and I already had all the ingredients on hand.

I like to make a double batch of these and freeze them so I can pop them in the microwave for the kids during the week. It’s a great way to get some fiber in and I feel better giving them these than the frozen boxed ones. Although the boxed ones are fine, I just have issues taking shortcuts. Apparently I enjoy creating more work for myself :)

Banana Oat Pancakes

1 c rolled oats, ground in blender or food processor

1 c whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 very ripe banana, mashed

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c plain yogurt (I use the Stonyfield Whole Milk kind)

2 eggs

2 tbsp canola oil

Mix together the oats, flour, baking soda and brown sugar. Stir in the banana, vanilla and yogurt. Add eggs and oil.

Heat a griddle and spray with a non stick spray. Pour about 1/4c of batter onto the skillet for each pancake. Cook over moderate heat and flip when the bubbles burst on the surface.

I noticed that these pancakes require superior flipping skills compared to a white flour pancake recipe. I think maybe the lower gluten levels may be the reason for that. So, be aware and bring your A-Game to the griddle :)

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Corralling the Chaos Overview

Long time, no blog. It’s a long story, but all my crafty stuff is packed away. It stinks but I am hopeful that we will soon find a space in the house in which I can once again be creative!

I was asked to help out with a round table discussion on “Corralling the Chaos” at my local MOPS group a few weeks ago. I thought I’d blog about what I’ve learned so far. Not sure why they asked me!

I think it’s because they all saw the back of my minivan. :)

First off, I am no expert. Just a regular ole mom of three. Many days I think I stink at everything and am an utter failure, organization wise and a hundred other ways! Well, at least compared to my Pinterest fantasies. And that’s what we are always up against, our perceptions of realities. Those perceptions will hurt you. Enslave you. Damage you. So take a deep breath and cut yourself some slack. I have to do that all the time. Sometimes I need my friends to remind me of this!

Second, motherhood is NOT A COMPETITION. There is no medal to win for who has the cleanest house, who lost the baby weight the fastest, who contributes to the greater community more.

Third, other moms are a WEALTH of information and knowledge that you can glean from. I do that all the time! My friend Tia coached me through my freak-out-attack about getting my then 4 year old, 2 year old, and newborn up, dressed, fed and out the door by 8:30 am last summer. I’m happy to say that her suggestions worked and I still use them! (She suggested everyone get dressed, beds made & teeth brushed before going downstairs to have breakfast). Ask for ideas and then see if it works in your house.

I have blogged in the past about some of my organizational challenges that I have sort of overcome. You can check out my past posts on:

Systems and labels work really well for me. I like to label everything so I don’t have an excuse of where to put something and just seeing a label reminds me to put my stuff away!

Better Homes and Gardens has free label downloads that I really like. Some of the templates you can personalize (as in no handwriting! because my handwriting stinks!). I used the basket weave template to organize our bathroom closet. I have six canvas bins to hold all of our stuff in categories- Children’s Meds, Adult Meds, Topical/First Aid, Lotions, Hair Products, and Hair/ Nail accessories and have a catch all bin at the bottom for extra stuff. I could probably use more bins, but I don’t have anymore room in the closet!

Bathroom closet 

I have also created labels on my Silhouette as well, for everything from Monday-Friday clothing tags for my kids’ clothes to laundry room labels.

We used one of our old college bookcases to house shoes and laundry necessities in our basement laundry area. I repurposed some vintage flour/sugar canisters for detergent, clothes pins and a lost & found. I also have some baskets for items that need to go to the Salvation Army, items that need to be mended an dryer sheets.

 

My closet isn’t a fancy California Closet type thing, just regular wire shelving, but adding labels helps me stay on track with putting clothes in the right places. The blue labels for my husband’s items also prevents me from overtaking his space in our shared closet.

What are some chaotic areas you’d like to corral?

I’m out of time today, but next time I’ll share what exactly is IN all those compartments in the back of my minivan!

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Family Command Center and Entry Organization Progress

School starts in a few short weeks and we’ve been working on organizing our lives house in hopes of smooth and happy mornings.

Our side entry door is the door we use 95% of the time and it is usually 100% responsible for a sudden negative change in my mood when coming in or out of the house due to its’ tiny-ness and clutter. We also had a need for a family calendar/ command center somewhere in the house and adding a wipe off calendar to the the wall here has seemed to be a good solution.

We worked on shoe organization down in the basement to keep the 3 by 3 foot area clear. We had the hooks on the wall, but they tended to be overrun by everything and our terrible habit of not putting things away.

Adding individual labels for each member of our family (dog included!) has helped keep the chaos at bay and our door can ACTUALLY open all the way! I used photos and images to label so my non-reading preschoolers can put things away. Plus, I like looking at their cute little faces.

The calendar is one part of our in-progress family-calendar project. This is a 4 month at a glance wipe off calendar that I had from my college days. We use color coordinating dry erase markers for each family member’s activities/ appointments. I saw another calendar somewhere that said “Our Busy Family” and I changed it to “Our Purposeful Family” to remind myself to not be just BUSY with things to do, but to try and be purposeful in our schedule.

We’ve been using Google Calendar for a few months now to keep our family calendar. I chose this calendar because I am able to send my husband invites to swim lessons, doctor’s appointments, social events and it works on his work calendar (Lotus) and shows up on his blackberry calendar. This is really helpful for us because I can just send Keith a quick invite to something and get a response right away, instead of trying to remember to talk to him about it after he  is home from work.

What are your calendar ideas? What works? What doesn’t?

 

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Filed under DIY, home decor, home life, Household Helps, organization

Summer Stories Booklet- Free Download

While I was making the “Big Brother” and “Big Sister” booklets, I created a Summer Stories one as well.

We gave one as a birthday gift! (Along with a girly Lego set).

I worked with Savannah on this while her siblings napped this week. I thought it would be nice for her to practice writing and storytelling while documenting what SHE remembered about her summer.

Savannah will be ready to go with a recap of her summer once her grandparents arrive tomorrow!

The pages include a section to trace, write, and draw pictures.

You can download you own copy from my google drive, either in Publisher format or PDF. Remember to print duplex. The page with “I love summer because…” is the first page after the cover page.

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Big Boy Room Progress

My little man is growing up.

He runs, he jumps, he swims, and he climbs (out of the crib). It’s time for the Big Boy Room.

We’ll be needing that crib for the baby soon enough. For the time being, Sydney’s in a basinette in our room.

I found an inspiration room on pinterest and made my own twists on it. We’re going for the “hunter/ explorer” theme and this is the progress we’ve made so far:

Bedding- I bought the bedding from (gasp) Pottery Barn. Honest, it’s the only Pottery Barn purchase I think I have ever made. It was crazy wicked on sale, so I don’t feel too guilty, and making a quilt myself at this current juncture of having a new baby in the house would probably send me to the nuthouse (so said my loving and level headed husband).

I made the throw pillows with some duck cloth I had on hand and stuffed them with an old pillow cut in half! I used my Silhouette and freezer paper to create the name and antler stencils.

Window Coverings- I saved some money by NOT purchasing the coordinating valence from Pottery Barn. I just made my own with $5 worth of fabric.

Organization- I used my Silhouette to make hanging labels for the drawers for organization (more on household organization next week!).

Some things we have left to do:

  • Wall Mural- We’re thinking an acacia tree of some sort. I have a board on Pinterest if you want to weigh in on the candidates!
  • Hanging decor
  • Bear rug- I saw this on the Cabella’s website and decided it was too expensive, so I am going to DIY a bear rug for a fraction of the price.
  • Storage
  • Reading Nook
  • Lighting

Good thing we’re not in a huge rush to get this all done. Slow and steady wins the race!

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Please Pray for Dani and Cordelia

My friends’ 4 month old neice is undergoing a liver transplant today.

 

Cordelia suffers from a rare condition called Biliary Atresia and her little liver is scarring and on the road to failure.

Cordelia’s mom, Dani, is scheduled to undergo surgery first to remove a portion of her liver to be a living donor for her daughter. Her only daughter. Her only child. Oh, my heart.

Please join me in praying for this family today!

You can read more about Cordelia’s story here: Cordelia Faith .

Thank you for your prayers.

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Big Brother Big Sister Booklets

I honestly tried to have all these sibling craft ideas all ready to go and tied with a bow before #3 was born. That didn’t work out quite as planned! I had things done in bits and pieces, but I wasn’t able to wrap them all together. Oh well, I think Luke and Savannah will get over it!

I’ve been trying to get on top of the educational type stuff this second half of the summer, and I figured making a little booklet for the kids about having a new sister might peak their interest in a little writing and give them something to do while I was in the hospital.

Follow this link to my google Drive to download them for yourself! I have it in Microsoft Publisher format and in pdf format. Print the cover on a colored sheet of paper, then print the rest (duplex) on white. Line the pages up and either staple it together or run a straight stitch on your sewing machine through them all to complete the booklet.

Some of the pages I used a dotted line font for the kids to trace part of the sentence and write the rest. One page is a fill-in-the-blank. Here are some samples of the interior pages:

Hopefully I can package these up with Sydney’s baby book. It should be fun to look at years down the road.

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