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"Every Good and Perfect Gift Comes From Above" ~James 1:17

"Every Good and Perfect Gift Comes From Above" ~James 1:17
Thank you so much for coming to check out my brand spankin' new blog! I've never "blogged" before, so here goes nothin'! This page is inspired by our adoption process, and I am hoping to get words of encouragement or advice every step along the way :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Easy Homemade Dog Biscuits

 I decided the other day to make my own dog treats. It seemed easy and, to be honest, we had been out of treats for a while. The dogs kept looking at me like I was the worst owner on the planet.
Could you say no to this face? ----------------------->










 Anyhoo, I had seen lots of tutorials for dog biscuits on Pinterest, however I don't have a fancy cookie cutter in the shape of a dog bone. Plus I usually end up breaking regular Milk Bones into halfsies anyway because my lab is quite on the hefty side. So I decided to make this easy as can be and just make little hush puppy type treats.
Here are the ingredients I used, in no particular order:
Oats (of any kind unless your pup has an allergy)
Flour (again, any kind will do)
Peanut Butter
Eggs
Milk
I ended up just throwing ingredients in to the bowl until I got
a consistency I thought would work in order to roll the treats
into balls. Here I put in flour, PB, oats, and 1 egg.
This was obviously too sticky, so I decided on more flour.

Oops. The flour kind of exploded. The beauty with this non-
recipe is that you can keep adding things until it comes out
right. So I then added another egg...

Much better! Semi-sticky but not runny or goopy.

Here they are all rolled out. You can make
them big or small, I chose bite-size for my
lab and my Boston Terrier kind of has to
chew it for a second or two. His name is Jim
and he is special ;)

Sticky stuff.
PS I used my old cookie sheets, I do have better ones so
no judging! :)

Mom, please hurry. It smells awesome in here.

Waiting with baited breath to lick the bowl.
I admit I did try them before I cooked them. They tasted like
oat-y peanut butter globs, just what dogs like! I don't know
about you, but my dogs sometimes eat cat poop. Anything
would be an improvement.

Jimmy licking the spoon. Right after this he yanked it away
from me and took it under the dining room table. There goes my
wooden spoon!

What they looked like after 15 minutes in
a 350 degree oven.

They got slightly browned on the bottom and top so I knew
they were done. They weren't too hard or too soft.

Little hush puppies!

I don't have measurements but the amount I made just fit into
our dog treat canister. If you don't have an air tight container
I would refrigerate them, or freeze half the batch to keep them
fresher longer.

My boys were very happy!
~Erin XOXO

Thursday, September 20, 2012

If you like the Pumpkin Spice Latte:

I LOVE this time of year. I love Publix cinnamon brooms, leaving the windows open (not quite there yet in FL I'm afraid), getting out the Happy Fall Y'all wood sign I got in NC at a craft fair, and all of the pumpkin flavored drinks and food that come out! The Starbuck's Pumpkin Spiced Latte is my absolute fave, however now that I'm counting calories (ughhhhh) I've noticed how not so fab it is. Here are the facts:

Grande Pumpkin Spice w/ 2% milk and No whip     = 310 Cals
Grande Pumpkin Spice w/ soy milk and No whip     = 300 Cals
Grande Pumpkin Spice w/ nonfat milk and No whip = 260 Cals
--for comparison only--

Yikes.

So in order not to totally ruin the experience, I have been experimenting with drinks over at the store-with-the-green-straw and this is what I came up with. I must say, it is ah-maz-ing.

Order a Grande (or whatever size you like, but I think a Tall is gone in like 2 sips) Latte with Sugar-Free Caramel Syrup and your milk of choice. This would be soy for me, and my other lactose-intolerant friends. Then add 1 (one) pump of pumpkin spice syrup. This takes the drink down a whole lotta Cals! 170 Cals for the latte (120 for ICED), and an extra 33 Cals for the pump of Pumpkin. Let me say, it is yummm-myy! I had 2 co-workers get one as well and they said it was awesome! Grand total = 203 (hot) or 153 (iced), better than 300 Cals :)

I called this drink the "Erin" since it is such a mouthful to order each time. "Yes, I'd like a Grande iced sugar free caramel soy latte with an extra pump of pumpkin spice syrup". No. "I'd like the Erin please."

Then you can tell your husband you are going to do some "Erins", and he thinks you are doing errands instead of going to Target and shopping with your new fave drink! ;)
~Erin XOXO

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hopin'.. and Wishin'... and Prayin'...

I hope I got that song in your head :) Because it has been stuck in mine for a while! Heehee...
Just logged on to share that we sent our paperwork in today! I felt so good taking that huge pile of documents with our lives' details spelled out, wrapping it up in a nice thick priority mail envelope and shipping all the way from Orlando to... Winter Garden. Ha! I know, I could have driven it over at that point. But the $5.15 stamp cost less than the $3.79/gallon gas that I saw today.
Other than that, nothing new to report on the adoption process. Just waiting around for things to start happening. I HAVE however been planning things, because those of you who know me know I like to PLAN! Yay for plans! So, I decided on a mermaid themed room (thank you again Pinterest) and found some great stuff already at Home Goods. I really wasn't going there with the intention of buying anything for our little girl and just storing it away. Really, I wasn't. But it's HOME GOODS and it's like they can read your mind or something. So I walk in with 3 bags and David is like, what's that? Me: "Oh, you know, things we needed". David: "Oh". He can portray a sarcastic tone with just one word. I don't know how. Maybe I was feeling guilty! Thankfully HG is cheap so it wasn't a money issue, it was just the idea that I am buying things for someone who may or may not exist yet. Silly right!
This led me to think about Austin's Harry Potter party we had this year for his 7th birthday. I *might* have gotten slightly carried away. I planned and planned the crap out of that party. I picked up "odds and ends" at different craft stores, antique shops, even a garage sale or two. The fabric I got right after Halloween was over last year for a great deal on clearance (that goes to show how far in advance I planned. Halloween= October, Austin was born in April). I'll put some pictures of it up, since Halloween is getting closer and he wants to be HP again this year- thought I may decorate the house with the leftover party stuff!

The birthday boy, on Halloween 2011





We had the guests enter through Platform 9 3/4.
Making this probably took the longest!
We got an old sheet from Goodwill and
sponge painted the bricks.



Odds and ends found from various craft and antique stores.


The food table, complete with witch hat cupcakes, witch nails, and goodies from Honeydukes (including Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans!) and other munchies.

I totally can't take credit for this idea, although it turned out so well! I got it on Pinterest right here:
http://blog.hwtm.com/2010/04/harry-potter-birthday-party-ideas-part-2/



A great suitcase that I had Modpodge'd (is that a word??) Harry Potter crests onto.
This is where Austin keeps his HP costume and special wand :)
I made wands from wooden dowels we got at Michael's,
put some hot glue onto, painted black, and then let the
kids each choose one to personalize. It then went into their
treat bag (see below)



Microsoft Word is my very good friend :)
I had each kiddo pose with this poster.





Of course we had to have the Golden Snitch!
This is also some more of the fantastic Halloween fabric that
we found on clearance last November.
Potions class. You can't see it but there is
dry ice under the table!





The kids playing with their magicalcolor changing drinks. The cup looks empty, but there is really a drop of food coloring in the bottom. When you pour in the clear liquid (Sprite or water, etc.) it changes colors magically! 
Too bad some of the kids were too smart for me and figured it out ;)
I thought I was pretty clever actually! LOL



Dumbledore, aka my dad, shows up as a surprise to everyone-
including me! He did this all with the help of my mom
and my sister. I <3 my fam!!!
Dumbledore and his favorite pupil :)




The witch treat bags. Again, found this one on Pinterest!
http://blog.hwtm.com/2010/04/harry-potter-party-birthday-ideas-part-1/
The treat bags, with a list of common
spells in the background.



Dumbledore and Harry at the end of the night, sharing a Butterbeer (If anyone cares I can post a recipe!)
It turned out quite well actually! 
~Erin XOXO



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Just Keep Swimming...


Well, just sent out a whole lotta documents today. With a whole lotta money! Passports are both needing to be renewed, of course, so that is in the works at $100 a pop. Austin really wants to go so he gets one too. Fingerprinting documents sent out today cost about $700 for the document, and a measly $80 each to do the actual 'printing'. Then we sent medical forms, health insurance forms, financial forms... I am so ready to never evereverrrrrr sign another form, and I know this is only the beginning!!! I guess it is good that I have OCD tendencies, in order to stay organized in this process! But I am excited still, and keep reminding myself to be like Dory. So sorry if it gets in your head, but "just keep swimming swi-mming swimming"! :D

~Erin XOXO