April 27, 2015

Signs of Spring

The month of April has been busy. I thought I'd share some signs of spring we've observed around our home as a little recap of the month. We had one surprise, in particular, that thrilled the whole family.
Little Sister collected worms and dandelions.

April 13, 2015

A Quiet Break

I'm taking a little spring blogging break, friends. It's been a busy month with overnight company and going out of town...every weekend. This week I begin physical therapy for my shoulder. My free time will be limited, so it's time for a little break. Be sure to explore our recipes, crafts, and homemaking ideas if you are looking for inspiration.
Happy spring!

~ Annette
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April 9, 2015

Ranch Chicken Recipe {Oven-Baked}

Baked chicken doesn't have to be boring. Oven-baked ranch chicken has a light breading and just enough flavor to be a family-favorite. Easy prep makes it great for dinner guests, too.

I've been making oven-baked ranch chicken longer than I've been married. It's that good...and that easy! The ranch provides just enough flavor and acts as a marinade.

(Please note: The photograph below shows my seasoned couscous with the ranch chicken breasts.)

April 6, 2015

Photo Shoot Tips for Kids at Home

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for OshKosh B’Gosh. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I've been taking photos of my children at home for a few years now. I don't have a DSLR camera, but I can still take a decent picture of my kids at home. Today I'm sharing five tips for a photo shoot at home. Though I prefer outdoor pictures, sometimes you have to stay inside.

Spring is here, so it's getting to be time to put away the sweaters and knee-high socks...or at least once it warms up. Spring and Easter mean new clothes for the children, so this is a great time to take some pictures of the kids in their favorite outfits. #ImagineSpring

April 1, 2015

A Bit of Personal News

I began blogging in 2009. Since then, I've learned how much I enjoy writing. Blogging has given me a voice.
I began the Little House Companion blog seven months ago. During this time, I have been writing a book about the Little House books. My book will be a companion guide for children and will include historical context, activities, and questions to make the reader think deeper and connect with the Little House books.

If interested, please read more about my book idea at Little House Companion. You can support this in a variety of ways, even just reading the blog!

Thanks so much for your support!
~ Annette
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March 30, 2015

Deep Cleansing Sugar Scrub (Giveaway x3)

Please read to the end for the giveaways. I'm often late to the game. I read books after movies come out. (Except Unbroken. That made it to my favorite books of 2013.) Or after I can read the complete series at once. I'm behind in fashion, too.  I still don't have riding boots (and that's okay). And food. It's been in the past year or so that I learned I do enjoy yogurt. No one has convinced me to love fruit and vegetables though.

Better late than never.

A friend told me she made sugar scrubs as teacher gifts. I wondered what the draw was. But then my husband gave me a wonderful sweet pea body sugar scrub as a Christmas gift a few months ago. I was surprised at how great my legs felt and how the sugar scrub helped relieve my dry legs after each use.

March 26, 2015

What Is a Seizure?

Purple Day is simply a day to raise awareness about epilepsy.

I'm sharing today because my son's experience with seizures and epilepsy. Though his first seizure was rather terrifying, and his second seizure looked completely different, he is doing very well. He has been seizure-free since November 2012. However, his last EEG showed seizure activity that lasted for one second as he fell asleep. (This does not mean he had a seizure. It only means there was an electrical surge in his brain of seizure activity.) Although he is seizure-free, we understand his medication is helping him to do so. We
Brother's first birthday was spent in the hospital. 
By then he had mostly recovered from the strong meds.

Seizures impact about 1 in 100 people and all ages. It's good to be educated.

March 23, 2015

Stove-Top Mac and Cheese Recipe

Like many families, we enjoy macaroni and cheese. I try not to depend upon the blue box, or as my kids call it, the "unhealthy" macaroni-their favorite. However, the grown-ups in the family have a favorite, creamy macaroni and cheese recipe and the children still gobble it up.

This macaroni and cheese recipe is very creamy. Once I doubled the amount of pasta but not the cheese sauce when making it for ourselves and a friend...and it was still delicious (and my friend didn't think it was dry). I don't recommend it though for the full tasty goodness.
creamy macaroni and cheese made on the stovetop

Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese 

March 18, 2015

Bacon Cheeseburger Muffins from Scratch

I was all set to make a bacon cheeseburger roll-up. The ground beef, bacon, and onion were in the frying pan. My 20-minute bread dough was rising. It was just a matter of putting it together.

And then I decided to do something different. Instead of making a roll-up, I made bacon cheeseburger muffins. They were a big hit.

Bacon cheeseburger muffins.

Bacon Cheeseburger Muffin Recipe

bread or biscuit dough (I use my 20-minute bread dough. It includes the rise time!)
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup onion, finely diced (more or less to preference)
3 chopped pieces of bacon (or 2-3 tablespoons bacon bits)
1+ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Prepare dough as directed. 
2. Oil (or spray) the muffin pan.
3. Cook ground beef, onion, and bacon over medium-high heat until browned.
4. Place a chunk of dough in the bottom of each muffin cup. Scoop ground beef mixture on the dough. Top with a small handful of cheese.
5. Bake at 375° for 25+/- minutes and enjoy.

Next time I will probably roll out the dough and then use a biscuit cutter to cut the dough. I pinched the dough off this time. The bacon cheeseburger muffins were rather bread-y, but still so good.


~ Annette
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March 16, 2015

Bedwetting Help

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for GoodNites* TRU-FIT*. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Bedwetting can be frustrating for parents and kids alike. The older the child, the more embarrassing it is for the child. Diapers are for babies. Big kids may not have nighttime control, but they want to feel like a regular kid at night.
Bedwetting help for children with real fabric underwear.