Saturday, September 5, 2009

Delicious Sour Cream Berry Scones

I've never been a big fan of scones, since most tend to be dry & really crumbly. It wasn't until we were at a friend's house, and her mom made some homemade blueberry scones that were to die for, that I decided to give them a second chance. After stuffing myself with 3 of them, I begged her to tell me her secret. She said, "Sour cream".

So today when I was looking for something yummy to make, I decided to search the web for a sour cream berry scone recipe. The following is what I found, and if it's any indication of how good they are, my family could have easily eaten the whole batch in one sitting.

Delicious Sour Cream Berry Scones
recipe from Recipezaar--Kittencal's Jumbo Bakery Shop Blueberry Sour Cream Scones
Serves 12


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or use 1 teaspoon vanilla)--this is what I did as I don't care for almond
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (measured 4 cups exactly)
  • 1 cup sugar (can use a few tablespoons more)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (or use 2 semi-heaping teaspoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)--I used 1/2 teaspoon & it was great!
  • 1 cup very cold butter (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries--can also use frozen berries, and a mixture of berries
  • vanilla glaze (optional)
  1. Set oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
  3. In a small bowl blend the sour cream with the egg, vanilla and baking soda; set aside while making the rest of the recipe.
  4. In a large bowl mix together the flour with sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt and cinnamon (if using).
  5. Using a pastry blender cut in cold butter cubes.
  6. Add in the sour cream mixture; mix JUST until moistened.
  7. Gently mix in the fresh blueberries.
  8. Roll or pat the dough into about a 1 to 1-1/2-inch thick round.
  9. Cut dough into 12 even wedges.
  10. Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet about 2-inches apart.
  11. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the the bottoms are browned.
  12. Drizzle the top of each warm scone with glaze if desired or when the scones are cooled dust lightly with confectioners sugar.
I dare you to be able to eat just one :-) Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Classic Berry Crisp

The other day we were looking for something to do, so we decided to go pick raspberries at our local U-pick garden. Unfortunately, their fall raspberry crop was just getting started, so the pickings were pretty slim. However, their blackberries were in full force. As a general rule, I have a hard time paying for blackberries, since they're practically the state's weed. But we were there, really wanting berries, and they were thorn-less, so that in itself, was worth it. We ended up picking around 8 lbs of big, juicy berries in little less than 2 1/2 hours--not bad.

We brought them home, and decided to make homemade blackberry jam. We used the little 8 oz jelly jars, and made 9 beautiful garnet colored jars of yummy jam. Then we noticed there were still berries left over, but not enough to make another batch. So, without further ado, one Berry Crisp, coming up! And here's the recipe, so you can make your own delicious crisp. Enjoy!

Classic Berry Crisp

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 6

4 cups of berries, washed--we used blackberries, but you could use any combination of
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats
4 tablespoons soft butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place berries in a greased, deep baking dish. Sprinkle them with lemon juice and granulated sugar. In a separate bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon & oats. Cut in butter until mixture is evenly blended and crumbly. Spread mixture on berries, and bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite ice cream or whipped cream.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Homemade Strawberries & Cream frappuccino

In my quest to avoid caffeine, which by the way, is not going very well :-(, I decided to investigate some of the other things Starbucks has to offer, as I didn't want to give up the whole "going to coffee" thing. I noticed they also made frappuccinos, and one of them even had no coffee---the strawberries & cream frappuccino. Okay, this is just heaven in a glass! Unfortunately, it's also major calories--not a great trade-off.

So I decided to go home, and try to make a homemade version that's a little less bad for you...Besides it's fruit, right? This is what I came up with:

Homemade Strawberries & Cream Frappuccino
Serves 2


2 containers of strawberries, washed & hulled
1/2 cup of milk--I used 1%
3 large ice cubes
1 cup whipped cream---I made my own from 1 pint of heavy whipping cream, a couple teaspoons of sugar and a couple teaspoons of vanilla, whipped with a hand mixer until firm---you will have some left over. For a quicker option, you could also use Ready Whip or Cool Whip.


Place all ingredients into a blender, and blend until smooth. I prefer the cream mixed in with the rest of the ingredients, but you could add it to the top after blending if you'd like. You might also want to add a little bit of sugar or Splenda, if you like your drinks a little sweeter. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yummy Chicken Burritos with Black Beans & Chicken Nachos

It's been awhile since I've posted any recipes, but I just finished eating these amazing nachos, using the leftover filling from the chicken burritos I made up last night, and thought I'd share the recipe with you.

Yummy Chicken Burritos with Black Beans
Serves 4


Burrito filling:
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp cumin--I added more since we love cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt---I added a couple dashes of garlic salt instead since we love garlic

8 flour tortillas---we used the mini ones, so it actually made up 10 burritos
Nonstick cooking spray
Tortilla chips
**you can also add any of your other favorite nacho fixins', like olives or onions, to this's very forgiving :-)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large cookie sheet generously with cooking spray. Coat it well enough to see a thin layer of oil. In a medium mixing bowl, combine black beans, chicken, cheese and spices. Heat tortillas in microwave for 20 seconds so they don't break when you fold them. Divide mixture evenly among tortillas. Roll tortillas around filling and hold together with toothpicks.

Place on prepared cookie sheet. Spray tops of burritos generously with cooking spray. Bake 6 minutes. Turn burritos over and bake another 6-8 minutes until golden. Remove toothpicks and serve.

To make into nachos:

Place tortilla chips on microwavable plate and cover with burrito filling mix. Put in microwave on High for 30 seconds, or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May Day 2009

Last year we started a new tradition in our family: the celebration of May Day--see previous post here. So when May 1st came around this year, Kyra and I once again went to Michael's to get our craftiness on. And like last year, we delivered baskets to the neighbors on either side of us, as well as both Grandmas. One funny thing: Kyra really got into the "ringing the doorbell, and running and hiding thing" this year. And now every time we go visit our neighbors, she says we should ring the bell, and run and hide...

Here are some pictures from that day:

Flowers for Grandma A.

Flowers for Grandma H.

Supermarket Saver

We've all been there, or have been witness to this: The harried parent in the grocery store, just trying to survive the trip. The children, if not currently screaming, are pulling items off the shelves or taking "samples" from the bulk bins, trying to climb out of the cart, or finding new and improved ways of tormenting their brother or sister.

After several trips like this, I decided to search the web for a creative solution to save my sanity. I was so excited when I found the following at Parents magazine's site: Supermarket Bingo cards that you can print out right from your computer. Brilliant! You can find the link to the article and Adobe PDF here. You may need to create a free online account with them before you can actually download the cards. Sorry about that, but they also have lots of good info, as well as special offers from time to time.

Good luck, and here's hoping your future visits to the grocery store will be much more pleasant for everyone!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hopping for fruit

We consider ourselves quite lucky, because our dear daughter loves fruit. So when I found this adorable Fruity Frog recipe on Family, I was very excited: not only is it super-cute but she'll actually eat it :-)

Fruity Frog

Green apple (such as a Granny Smith)
Cream cheese
Chocolate chips
Green grapes

Cut the apple into quarters and remove the core. Cut a thin wedge from one quarter for a mouth. For the eyes, shape cream cheese into two half-inch balls, and set them in place. Insert a chocolate chip, point-side in, into each cream cheese ball. 2. Use the grapes, cut in half, for the legs and feet. Slice four halves to create toes. Arrange the pieces as shown and serve on a paper lily pad--I just used a green napkin.

Here's our girl & her frog:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yummy Smoothie Fruit Salad

The year was 1995. The first Zuka Juice smoothie bar opened up in Provo, Utah, the brain child of several BYU students who realized they could make great drinks using real fruit, and make some serious money. The Smoothie movement was born and Zuka Juice was everywhere. Then in 2000, Zuka was sold to Jamba Juice, an inferior chain, in my opinion, and the commercially produced smoothie treat lost its appeal for me. However, my love for the home-blended version was still very much alive, and remains to this day. And I've passed on this love to our daughter, who would eat them 24-7 if she could.

So the other day I was looking for a good side dish to go along with our delicious BBQ pork loin, and realized I had the makings of a great fruit salad, using smoothie ingredients as the base. And it was super easy!!! Best of all, I thought I'd pass it on to you, so here it is:

Yummy Smoothie Fruit Salad


4 cups of your choice of fruit, peeled, chopped and/or sliced--can also use frozen fruit
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
orange juice

Prepare fruit and place in a large bowl. Place the yogurt in a measuring cup that holds at least 2 cups. Then add enough of the orange juice to the yogurt to bring the mixture to the 1 cup mark, and stir to combine. Add this mixture to the fruit in the large bowl, and toss gently.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

On being 3...

"I'm NOT sleepy! I don't WANT to go to bed!", said the hysterical, shrieking little girl. This after being sent to her room, not once, but twice during dinner, for repeatedly getting out of her seat, throwing food and being generally naughty.

On days like today, when no sleep happens during rest/nap time, it's a pretty good bet that around 6pm, all you-know-what breaks loose. Unfortunately this also happens to be dinner time, so you can imagine all the fun that that generates. The good news is, when she finally settles down enough to catch her breath, she's usually out in a matter of minutes. It seems sleep IS what she needed after all. And tomorrow is a new day.

Be sure to get out and enjoy the sunshine this weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mind your Ps and Q (tips)

Recently while on a cross-country car trip to Wisconsin, for a family member's funeral, we found that if we stayed in motels that also had swimming pools, we could preserve what little of our sanity that we had left, by taking nightly swims. There was a downside to all that swimming, however. Besides our skin retaining that oh-so-lovely smell of chlorine, my poor ears had built up quite the reservoir of water. Finally on the second to last day I couldn't stand it anymore, and decided to take some action.

I grabbed a Q-tip and swabbed the inside of my ear. When I was done, I took it out, and noticed the cotton tip was no longer on the end!!! I looked around on the floor, in my hair, down the back of my shirt, but it was nowhere to be seen. I asked David to look in my ear, on the off chance that it had lodged there, although it didn't feel like it was in there. He looked, and didn't see anything, so I just assumed it had gone flying under a chair or something.

Fast forward to yesterday. My ear kept feeling really funny, not really painful, but just like there was something in there, like wax or something. David felt obliged to suggest it might be a bug like in the Wrath of Khan, which I promptly put a stop to that talk! I even tried putting some rubbing alcohol in my ear, as that used to work when we'd get swimmer's ear from swimming all summer, but with no success. I finally decided to call the doctor and make an appointment.

When I saw the doctor, I sheepishly told her I'd been cleaning out my ears with a Q-tip, after swimming, and that the tip had broken off, but it couldn't possibly be in my ear! She took one look, and said, "THERE IT IS!" So she got to play with her long, skinny tweezers, and pulled it right out.

Needless to say, I felt like the kid with a button up its nose, but at least she was able to get it out fairly easily. And I guess that will teach me not to use cheap Q-tips from now on!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Left out...

Recently I decided to eliminate all forms of caffeine, including decaf coffee, most teas & even chocolate (GASP!) from my daily life, as it was doing some really lousy things to my system. Now if you've ever tried to "quit" something you really enjoy, you know how hard it is, to stay with it. It's only been a week and a couple days, and already I'm finding myself craving a delicious mocha, or even just plain hot chocolate...

But what I'm finding to be the hardest part is the whole culture that seems to surround caffeine consumption. Take for instance: getting together with a friend. How many times have you been asked to "go get some water"? No, it's "Let's get coffee sometime, or get a Coke." And admit it, don't you feel part of the in-crowd, as you balance your triple-shot, no-foam, Venti cappuccino in one hand, and your laptop in the other???

I guess all I can say is, in the long run, I should feel better,health-wise, and my bank account will probably thank me. In the meantime, I will just have to be satisfied with enjoying the wonderful aroma of the coffee shops, while trying to find a decent herbal tea that doesn't taste like feet. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Birds of a Feather

As a parent, it's always a challenge to find something fun to do with little ones that doesn't require taking out a second mortgage on your house. So, when I find something that fits the bill, I need to make a better effort of sharing it with my other mommy friends.

That said, the other day we were looking for something fun to do, around town, on a day David had off from work. After checking out Oregon Live's events page, we found this great little field trip/ adventure near the Delta Park/Jantzen Beach area called the Macaw Landing Wildlife Refuge and Environmental Learning Center.

Along with its big name, the curator, Jack has an even bigger heart for these beautiful birds. In addition to the more than 90 macaws that call this place home, you will also get to meet all the goats, chickens, a donkey named Speckles and a great rescued horse named Atticus. When it comes to visiting the macaws themselves, Jack hands you a pair of earplugs, and if you're brave enough, you can walk right into their huge "flight", which is a fancy name for really big bird area--kinda of like a large shop. Now if you're not a big fan of bird flybys, or birds over your head, or you avoid the Lorikeet display at the Oregon Zoo like the plague (yes, Laura, I'm talking about you!), this is probably not the place for you. However, most people, after they get over the initial shock/noise, will really like this little gem of a place.

One thing to note: In order to give the birds (and the curator), a little semblance of normalcy, this is not a drop-in place. They do however, give tours seven days a week at 12 and 2pm, by calling 503-286-0882 to make a reservation. They also ask for a $5 minimum donation, per person, but I would bet once you visit, you'll find that's money well spent.

I'll leave you with some pictures from our visit---notice the macaw on the wall in the second picture---I happened to turn my back on him for just a second, and he decided my jacket was something to snack least it wasn't my hair!

Scarlet, the first macaw
at the Reserve

Kyra is not sure about that bird!

Happy Tuesday friends!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I finally did it!

I finally got the missing pictures in our Birthdays & Christmas 2008 post, so go check them out here...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Very Different Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day. For some people, the mere mention of this holiday makes them break out in hives. Others look forward to it all year long. Of course these are most likely the florists, chocolatiers, and card companies who can literally make it or break it based on this annual winter event.

I know for me, growing up, I tended to be a lot more enthusiastic about Valentine's Day when there was that special someone. Although I'll admit, having a special someone around that time didn't always guarantee a happy occasion. In fact, I can remember one especially memorable Valentine's Day that was during our church youth group's winter weekend camp. Everything started out great. I had a boyfriend who was also going on the trip, there was lots of snow promised, and it was looking like it was going to be a fabulous weekend! Then said boyfriend decided, on Valentine's Day, to break up with me! Nice, huh? Oh well, his loss.

Then in college, my best friend Kippy and I decided we were going to boycott Valentine's Day, as it was a silly holiday---too much pressure for those who had someone, and too painful for those who didn't. So we started a new tradition of wearing all black, instead of the normal red, pink, etc., in protest. Scary thing was, it kinda caught on, once we explained what we were doing, and why.

I also remember working downtown in a big office building, after graduating from college, and seeing the wave after wave of balloon bouquets, flowers and boxes of chocolates being delivered all over, and just wishing that for once, there would be one for me. It also didn't seem to matter if Valentine's Day fell on a weekend. It just meant that Friday would be delivery day instead, but the amount of loot was just the same.

This year, like the last several years, I'm a stay-at-home mom, with a young daughter who is not yet in school. So Valentine's Day looks very different than in years past. We made homemade valentines with construction paper, markers & stickers, baked heart-shaped sugar cookies from scratch with Daddy, and David & I went out to dinner last night to avoid the "day-of" restaurant rush. Funny thing was, we chose what we thought was mostly a non-kid-friendly restaurant, Benihana's, as we hadn't gone there in a long time, and had a babysitter :-) We knew it wasn't going to be a quiet, intimate experience since we were a party of two, and you're always going to be seated with 6 total strangers, surrounding a large grill, and its loud exhaust hood. But we were surprised at how many young kids were there, even babies!

Now it's Valentine's Day proper, and we've just finished dinner at home, all three of us--poached salmon, steamed rice and applesauce. And in a little while, we'll have a little ice cream & a couple of our cookies for dessert. Sounds like a great way to celebrate to me :-) AND, I'm wearing red!

Happy Valentine's Day friends!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Great Scallop Debate

As I'm typing this, our 3yr old daughter is slouched down in her seat, at the table, all by herself, engaged in what we have now named, "The Great Scallop Debate". Both David & I like scallops, and also try and introduce new things to Kyra now and then, so she will have a more varied palate then just mac & cheese and peanut butter & honey--things she'd live on if she could.

So the other day David went grocery shopping and picked up these big beautiful scallops from the seafood department, and tonight I found a recipe for them. It turns out it was not one of our favorite scallop recipes, as the marinara sauce really overpowered the delicateness of the scallops. However, both my husband & I ate our fair share, and paired with green beans & pasta, it made a good dinner, at least from the adults' point of view.

Kyra, on the other hand, has refused to even try the scallops, and is saying, "I don't like them, I don't like scallops." And we're saying, "How do you know if you like them or not? You haven't even tried them. All you need to take is just one bite."

So now the scallops are cold, she sits alone at the table, and has been told there will be no getting up from the table until she takes one bite...She doesn't even need to eat the whole scallop, just one stinking bite!

I know when I was growing up, we always had to have what my parents called a "No thank-you" portion. Basically we had to at least try it. I also remember my sister trying to feed our cat her lima beans because she did not want to finish them. And I know all the parent guidebooks say don't make a big deal about food, because you will have kids with food issues when they grow up. And I know they also say pick your battles.

So here is a little snip-it of her pleading her case, and our responses:

Kyra: I don't want to eat all my dinner....Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, I don't want to eat all my dinner. I don't want to eat all my dinner, Mama.

Me: Just one bite of scallop, and you can be done.

David: Don't you want to read Curious George? Just eat one bite.

Kyra: MOMMY, are you listening to me? I didn't eat it. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy...

David: You don't have to finish it all, just one scallop.

Kyra: Mommy, Mommy, Mommy I don't want to eat all my scallops. Is there ONION in here? I don't like onions! May I please be excused?

Me: No, Kyra. Get back in your seat, and eat your one bite of scallop, and then you can be excused. Just one bite.

Kyra (getting down from the table): I'm done eating. I DO not like scallops! I'm not done eating, you can't eat ice cream if I'm not done.

Me: Get back in your seat, and eat your scallop bite. 1...2....

David: Ok, Kyra. I'll eat this half, and you eat the other half---just a little piece. If you eat this I'll get you that popsicle you wanted.

Okay! We now have progress. The scallop piece is in her mouth. Of course, the hysterical crying and moaning has also started--her modus operandi when she has something in her mouth she doesn't care for.

So, we sorta caved. We promised dessert if she would eat it, which is also a big no-no according to all the experts, but she ate the scallop!

Does anyone out there have a good tip or two for getting kids to eat things they're not really enthusiastic about? Would love to hear from you.

Take care friends!

P.S. Now she just said she loves scallops---Don't you just love 3 yr olds?!?!?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Birthdays & Christmas 2008

I know, it's the middle of January, but I just realized I'd never written about this year's Christmas & Birthday marathon, so here we go.

In my family the birthday/Christmas whirlwind that is December and January, begins on December 12 which is David's Dad's birthday. Next is my birthday on the 23rd of December, then of course Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, then Kyra's birthday on the 29th of December, then New Year's Eve & Day, then David's birthday on January 3rd, and then finally David's brother's birthday on January 4th. Let me tell you, that's a whole lot of celebrating! We have a joke in our family that we have 5 weeks of birthday cake :-)

However, this year's celebrating was a little different due to a certain snowstorm and a prophetic statement made a full year ago--more on that later. It started with my birthday. David & I were going to go downtown to the Melting Pot for a nice quiet dinner, just the two of us. But with the icy streets, we decided to forgo that plan, and made fondue at home instead! We also got to use our fondue set that we got for a wedding gift, so that was fun. Kyra wasn't too thrilled with the whole idea, as she said the cheese was "too sour & too hot", but she liked the bread :-)

Next up was Christmas. Typically we've spent Christmas Eve at my parents' and Christmas Day at David's folks---we got lucky in that our two families had celebrated like that forever, and both sets of parents live in town. And this arrangement worked fine for the many years we were just us, no kids. But as any parent knows, dragging little children around from place to place, missing naps & regular bedtimes does not make for a very happy time. So after last year, David looked at me the day after Christmas and said, "Ok. You have 365 days to get ready for Christmas AT OUR HOUSE next year."

One thing you need to know about me. When God was handing out the spiritual gift of hospitality, I must have been absent that day. In fact, I read somewhere regarding spiritual gifts that you'll know if something is your spiritual gift if the pleasure of doing it, outweighs the work it takes to do it. For me, having people over is very difficult. So when David said that, I said, "Well, that will never happen. I have 365 days to change his mind."

Well God must have been doing some big work in me over this past year, because we did have Christmas Day dinner at our house. We still had Christmas Eve dinner at my parents' house, because my mom insisted, which was fine, and really nice.

All in all, Christmas day dinner went well. However, I still struggled, because although I did ask people to bring something, I still ended up putting together a pretty elaborate sit-down meal using my good china & wine goblets, of beef tenderloin, risotto & sauteed green beans, none of which could be done up ahead of time. This meant I was stuck in the kitchen, while everyone else got to visit. Yes, this is partly my fault. I could have ordered take out Chinese, or pizza, but some part of me wanted to make it nice for everyone--pride maybe?? Anyway, it was a nice gift for my husband, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

Then came Kyra's 3rd birthday. Awhile back she had asked me if I was making a Pooh Bear cake for her birthday this year (see last year's birthday post here). I said, "No, we'll do something else this year. What would you like? How about Veggie Tales?" This little girl lives and breathes these vegetables. So she says, "Bob & Larry?! And Junior, and Laura, and Archibald, and Madame Blueberry!?! That's a LOT of cake". And then she just cracks me up, because she goes on to say, "We're going to have to invite a LOT of people!"

So after searching online for a Bob & Larry cake pan, which I found out they don't make anymore, I found a site where people had posted their own Veggie Tales cakes. Using that as a guide, we did a pretty good job of making our own---It turned out so cute! And this time, like in past years, we ordered pizza for everyone, nice and simple :-)

Someone does not care for the
Birthday song...

Kyra & her good friend M

Finally David & his brother typically don't make a big deal about celebrating their birthdays, as they're only one day apart, so no big parties were planned. This year, David wanted to go fishing for his birthday, and I said I would go with him. Now remember, it was still extremely cold, and most of the local rivers were flooding, but I was willing to go anyway, to spend time with him. We even had a babysitter lined up for Kyra. At the last minute, he decided he didn't want to go fishing, and we ended up touring the wintery Columbia Gorge with Kyra---much more fun, in my opinion :-)

So there you have it--our birthday/Christmas Celebration for 2008 and part of 2009. Enjoy this beautiful sunshine!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Helpful tool

Ever have one of those days where you think, "If I get through this day with everyone still alive, it'll be a miracle!"??

I'm guessing if you're a parent of small children, this can be a daily mantra for you. Whether it's realizing your child has just discovered Sharpie markers make great eyeliner pencils, or your Dry Clean Only bedspread was the recipient of a stubborn child who refuses to use the big-girl potty, we've all been there. That moment where you become a raving lunatic, eyes bulging, face turning bright red, and noises coming out of your mouth that you thought only wild animals could make.

Luckily I've found a great book that has helped me tremendously in navigating this journey with our wonderful little spunky and spirited girl. It's written by two moms, Michelle Nicholasen & Barbara O'Neal, who have been there & done that, and have survived! Everything from throwing food to potty training, it's in there.

What I really appreciate about this book though is that it's written in such a way that if you need a quick reference, the table of contents is designed to jump quickly to a particular topic/conflict, instead of having to wade through a bunch of pages to find what you need.

And yes, like most self-help books, some of the language or phrases they suggest you use while in the middle of a situation sound a little Psychology 101, like you couldn't ever see yourself saying that. However, I find because I have to slow down to "talk like that" because it's not natural, it gives me that extra few seconds to reign my temper in, and catch my breath, if you will.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is currently in the middle of the toddler/preschool years, and would even go so far as to give it as a baby shower gift, because those days are coming sooner than you think :-)

Have a great weekend, friends and be sure to get out and enjoy this beautiful sunshine! And, Hang in there! :-)