Monthly Archives: September 2011

Book Review: Hermie, A Common Caterpillar by Max Lucado


When I was given the opportunity to read a children’s book by Max Lucado, I JUMPED on it!  I was sure it was going to be good, and I’m happy to report I wasn’t disappointed.


Book Description

Hermie and his friend Wormie have always felt common. They don’t have stripes
or dots, they aren’t very strong, and they can’t find anything special about
themselves. But every time they pray, God tells them that He loves them all the
time just as they are and that He isn’t finished with them yet. When Hermie
becomes a beautiful butterfly, he realizes just how special God’s plan is for

My Review:

This book is everything I’d hoped it would be.  A completely sweet story, beautiful pictures that kept my kids enraptured, and more.  The message is powerful and uplifting, but is put in a simple, sweet way so that my kids didn’t feel they were being “taught a lesson”.  They simply enjoyed themselves while I read the dear message shared.  This is a book I’ll read time and again to my kids, and that will open doors to many discussions in the future.  As I mentioned, the pictures are vibrant and beautiful.  Designed for a level 2 reader, the story itself will be enjoyed by a wide range of ages.

I’m giving this book 5 Stars:  I LOVED IT!

*I received no monetary compensation for my
review.  I received the book free of charge from BookSneeze in
exchange for my honest review.  The opinions are mine, and mine alone.

Menu Monday and Family Day

Did you know that today, September 26, is Family DayA Day to Eat Dinner with Your ChildrenTM?

Family DayA Day to Eat Dinner with Your ChildrenTM was launched in 2001 by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Family Day is a national movement that informs parents that the engagement fostered during frequent family dinners is an effective tool to help keep America’s kids substance free. Dinner Makes A Difference!
I hope we can all sit down with our kids at dinner today…and if it’s not possible today, that we’ll find at least ONE day this week to do so.  What a worthy cause, and enjoyable too!

The menu plan for this week is:

MondayGF Chicken fingers, fruit salad, corn on the cob


Tuesday*Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas, salad


Wednesday – Leftover night


Thursday – Breakfast…pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham or sausage, fruit


Friday – Peach smoothies


SaturdayDana’s Corn Salad, grilled chicken



Friday’s Food – Gluten Free Lemon Bars 1 comment

Thank Heavens for so many fantastic Celiac Disease resources out there!  I’ve found so many great GF (gluten free) recipes, and I’m excited to share the ones I love with you!


This recipe for Lemon Bars came from the book, The First Year:  Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free by Jules E. Dowler Shepard.





Lemon Bars


1/3 cup butter

¼ cup sugar

1 cup Nearly Normal all-purpose flour*



2 eggs

¾ cup sugar

2 Tbsp Nearly Normal all-purpose flour

2 tsp finely shredded lemon zest

3 Tbsp lemon juice

¼ tsp GF baking powder

powdered sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar; beat until combined.  Beat in the flour until crumbly, being careful not to over mix.  Press the dough into the bottom of an ungreased baking pan.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Combine the eggs, sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and baking powder in a bowl; beat for 2 minutes or until combined.  Pour the filling over the baked crust.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until set and lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.  Cut into bars when completely cool.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.


*You can use any gluten-free all-purpose flour if you have it.  I made a homemade blend that I got from the above-mentioned book, titled Nearly Normal all-purpose flour.

Linked up at:


It's a Keeper

Lisa's Gluten-Free Advice and Healthy Living

Friday’s Freebies

Like Sportsman’s Guide on facebook and get a free $10 e-gift card!


Go here to request a free sample of Disney vitamin gummies. My youngest son has Autism and has sensory issues with eating and nutrition.  These are the only vitamins he’ll eat!


Head on over this way to get a free 2011 Holiday Recipe Brochure from Land O’ Lakes.


Register at Dove to get a free sample of their Nourishing Oil Care Leave-In Smoothing Cream.


Those with a lactose intolerance can go HERE and request a free sample from the LACTAID brand.





Tuesday’s Freebies

Print this coupon/certificate and take it to your nearest Aveda Store to get a free sample of their Hand Relief.


Go here to request a free FIX Teas sample.


Like CVS on facebook and get a coupon for a free drink or candy.


Burger King is offering customers a free soft serve cone with a Value Meal purchase from now until October 9.


Lee Jeans has a free surprise for their facebook fans TODAY, 09/20.


Don’t forget to order the 2012 Women’s Health Calendar HERE.

Menu Monday

Another week, another menu…I feed my family of four on a monthly budget of $300.  That budget includes any going out to eat, diapers for my son, and general household needs (toiletries, cat food, etc).  I wanted to post what we eat on a weekly basis to give you an idea (an asterisk indicates a new recipe I’m trying) :

I’ve done so terribly sticking with the meal plan this month….which means you’re going to see some repeats.  The good news is that we’ve eaten from home, and I didn’t even do a grocery shopping trip last week!  First week of my adult life that I haven’t gone grocery shopping, so I’m proud of myself.  Maybe now this week I’ll impress myself again and actually STICK to my plan!




Monday – *20 Minute Teriyaki Chicken and Rice, fruit salad

Tuesday – Creamed Tuna over rice, salad

Wednesday – Baked Taco Rollups, green salad, fruit salad

Thursday – *Honey Chicken Kabobs, fruit salad, veggie tray

Friday – leftover night

Saturday – *Brown Sugar Chicken, crockpot baked potatoes

Sunday – Dinner at my mom’s


For more great recipe and meal plan ideas, visit