Chicken Puppy Stew

I love making dog food! My pups are truly spoiled with what they get to eat…and I love that they can not comment back if it’s not 100% delicious.
I was feeling a bit creative this afternoon, we have a LOT of butternut squash and cherry tomatoes. A lot. So I started at pinterest looking for some interesting recipes. Now there are a few things dogs can’t eat and some things that are use in moderation that you will find in most recipes. So I usually skip or reduce those ingredients. I found this one neat recipe that inspired this recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 Chicken Breasts, cut into 1 1/2″ long strips
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • 3 cups Water +1/2 cup {can sub. with Chicken Broth}
  • 1 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Sage
  • 4 cups Butternut Squash, 1/2″-1″ cubes
  • 1 medium Carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup Brown Rice, uncooked
  • 1 heaping tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
  • 8 Bell or Cherry Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Peas

I try to make my recipes as simple as possible. I hate making dirty dishes and it’s easier to share if it’s easier to cook!

I started by putting the water, chicken, garlic {clove}, oregano, rosemary, and sage into my dutch oven.
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This is about the size of garlic clove I put in.

imageWhile the chicken was simmering in the dutch oven I steamed my butternut squash. After about 10 minutes I pulled about half of the squash out and put into a bowl. At this point I put the brown rice in with the chicken.

When the rest of the butternut squash was all steamed, I put it into a second bowl {2 bowls of butternut squash}. Then I put the carrots into the steamer.

While the carrots steamed I put the first bowl of squash into my trusty cast iron and roasted it in the coconut oil and butter.

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The second bowl of butternut squash got smashed and thrown into the dutch oven.
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Then I added the diced tomatoes.image

And the frozen peas.

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I let it simmer for about 15 minutes on low and it was done!

It does thicken up quite a bit at the end of cooking so added about 1/2c more water at the end. All the recipes I have here for dog food have been people and puppy approved. My hubbies only complaint was lack of pepper or Montana steak seasoning…which isn’t the greatest for pups but feel free to add to your own plate!

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Occupancy

My mom got a camping tent at an garage sale for $5. It’s just a two man tent but the kids are loving it.

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Have you ever noticed how a tent will be labeled as a one-man, two-man, or four-man tent {some can get really big, but you get my drift}.
We always found it hysterical that something would be labeled to fit 2 people and it would only barely fit 1. As I was laying on the massage table at the chiropractor, it dawned on me that cars are that way too! Take the Jeep Patriot, it has a occupancy listed as 5 people. 5 people!! Has anyone sat or even looked in one? Some days it is barely enough room for a family of 4. I think next time I look at {or any of y’all look at} a newer vehicle I will be looking at the max occupancy and dividing it in half. Because my 5 person vehicle comfortably fits 3.

So Many Levels of Depressing

My hubby has been working on an old farmhouse…sigh not mine.

There are some many levels of depressing with that statement. There are 3 main reasons why this is so depressing to me.1) It was a beautiful old farmhouse with lots of functionality to it. I hate seeing old houses destroyed…converted into something they were never meant to be. This place originally had gorgeous wood floors on the main floor, upstairs still has its wood floors but they are not nearly as pretty. It was originally 4+ bedrooms and 1 3/4 baths. All the rooms are/were decent sized. Each tenant that has lived/used it has sucked more and more of its character out of it. The thought of what it once was and what it could have been breaks me. I know, I’m a total sucker for old houses. I thinks its the fact that I see past the debilitated exterior and see the promise in it. Like it’s just screaming for someone to fill it with joy and laughter.

2) This place would have been a perfect fit for us if it wasn’t for its location.  It had all the basics for us. We never would have had to seriously think about additions or such. The basement and foundation were in considerably better condition than our house now. It has a good sized lot. The garage is attached. The location? Right next to a busy highway.

3) Probably the most depressing thing about it is it’s not mine. Mine, ours, sits half finished. Projects have been “resting”, most over 4 years. Livable, but not finished and every day less functional.

The Best Fit

It is so hard to find the best fit when you have such an awkward space.

Example: 15’x11′ kitchen with a 3’x9′ bump out, 3 doors and a hall entrance. Blah…and let’s not forget the ceilings are not even 8 feet tall and the bump out has an angle to it so it is even shorter. Again, blah. The awkwardness on top of a “possible” kitchen remodel after the addition is done and a small budget makes it really depressing. Hubby doesn’t want to put too much money into the kitchen now since I have asked for an half remodel after addition is finished…about 8 years from now.

I’m finding inspiration in lots of places; gorgeous planking or shiplap, beautifully detailed trims and fabulous diy tutorials. But when I try to fit them into my space they fail miserably. Pinterest and Houzz offer lots of solutions but do not work with my problems. Normally I can be creative and solve problems like this, apparently not when it is my own house. I want wall cabinets {I only have 2 and no spot for more}. I want 9′ ceilings, shoot 8′ foot ceilings would be awesome. If I have to come in my front door to the kitchen, I want it to be an amazing first impression. Honestly, I  would just settle for it being finished.

ABC’s of a Homeschooling Mom

I love my kids and I love homeschooling. Yes we homeschool…thru the good, the bad and the ugly. For some people it is an easy decision, others not so much. I was homeschooled and loved it. Sometimes it is amazing, wonderful, and beautiful. Other times it can feel like “why am I even attempting” or “no way am I good at this”. Below you will find the ABC’s my mom and I came up with in our exhausted, migraine filled, somewhat sleep deprived brains.

A is for Annoying
  “why aren’t they in school?”
B is for Boisterous,
in which boys always are.
C is for Catatonic,
a horrible state.
D is for Doubtful
they will live to there teens.
E is for Excuses & Eye Twitches
of which I get a lot.
F is for Fruit Loop,
not just at breakfast.
G is for God help us…
a frequent prayer.
H is for Hair Raising,
the things my children do.
I is for Irritating,
my husbands interruptions.
J is for Jubilant,
the feeling when finished.
K is for Kinesthetic,
the way my kids learn.
L is for Looney Bin,
where I may end up.
M is for Migraines,
they give me many.
N is for NO.
O is for Overwhelmed,
from looking at curriculum and finding the best.
P is for Patience,
at the end of the day I have none.
Q is for Questions,
they never end.
R is for Radical,
my family members think I am.
S is Sibling Rivalry,
need I say more.
T is for Temper Tantrums,
at least 5 a day.
U is for Uncanny
the things they pick up.
V is for Valium,
why do I run out so quick.
W is for Wasted
time, energy & air.
X is for eXhileration,
when grandma takes them for the night.
Z is for Zzzzz
thank God for bedtime.

Not Enough of Anything

Here I sit Saturday on a huge to-do list and the few things I can accomplish by myself I don’t have enough of something to finish it.

Wow, that’s a very vague sentence. After feeling nasty the last few days I figured I could finally attack a project or two.

First attempt…I am working on this cute primitive like wall shelf for a few of my books. It’s mostly put together, but I wanted to get my fancy edges cut with the jigsaw before I got farther along. I know, putting the carriage before the horse, but I wanted to get it on the wall asap. Last weekend when I started it, I got stopped by the lack of the jigsaw. This week? Lack of a jigsaw. Apparently my hubby left it on the kitchen table most of the week and then took it again. Blah. Strike one!

Second attempt…as y’all know we are working, trying, sweating to get our house finished. Well at least I feel like I am, my house may not look like it. Well since we figured on doing a loft style master bedroom in the new addition and I can’t find a new paint color I like for our existing bedroom {apparently the can of gray paint was crappy}, I decided, and hubby approved, of painting our bedroom the color of the living room…which was also on some of the walls before I started the painting fiasco that is my bedroom. So after not being able to work on my bookshelf, for lack off jigsaw, I thought “okay lets paint upstairs”. Downstairs I went to grab the paint. Somewhere in my brain I confused paint cans. Somehow I had gotten it in my head that I had 2 extra gallons of the paint color. Wrong! I have about 1 gallon. Definitely not enough to paint upstairs. Strike two!!

Third attempt…as I have mentioned in a previous post, I am in the process of Kon Mari’ing our house. Okay, I figured since I can not work on my bookshelf and not paint my bedroom, km’ing my hutch to fit curriculum in it sounded good. Now where I was hoping to put it has Xmas dishes. I love Xmas!! If you have followed me long enough you will know I am a Xmas freak. Well I pulled out the one area of shelf I was thinking of using and starting putting the curriculum in its spot. Right now the curriculum sits in a metal wire basket on the counter. It looks nice in the basket but not on the counter. Well after pulling out my Xmas breakables, lo and behold 3 or 4 of the books are too tall for the shelf and I would have to clear off another shelf area for my son’s curriculum. Sigh…Strike three!!!

So here I am, struck out on projects for the day. Hopefully when hubby gets home soon he will let me have the jigsaw and I may get something accomplished this weekend.

Priorities in Life

This past couple of months have brought around a lot of changes in the way I have been thinking. Between getting started on a little {big} something called Kon Mari and an interesting week with my husband I have been looking at priorities. Everyone has different priorities; faith, family work, etc. At the beginning of summer I was feeling off balanced and started seriously thinking about my priorities. What they are, why they weren’t working, and what they should be.

I was becoming mentally sick of my life and wanted to drop it all and start from scratch. I felt like there was no end and I was just a hamster in a wheel. I kept running and not getting anywhere. Then one of my neighbors introduced me to the Kon Mari Method. Let me tell you at first I thought “yah, yah, I’ve heard about it before” then I started seeing her after pictures…I immediately bought the book and read it in one afternoon. It was so well worth it, my house is starting to look amazing. However I still kept having the nagging feeling of imbalance that I couldn’t shake off. I started thinking about what I wanted my priorities to be. Part of the Kon Mari process is visualizing what you want your house/life to be like when finished. What my life was starting to become was not as pleasing as I thought it would be. I started mentally making a priorities list in my head. Then my hubby and I had a big misunderstanding and it cemented my mental list. This past week the hubby had a discussion on my list of priorities. Thankfully he approved AND agreed!

Priorities in Life

Triple Thick {Review}

Update: I have been working on my sewing area {trying to expand to an office/work area and had a chance to use this on my new DIY desk. After giving the whole thing a very thick coat I was left with wood rougher than 120 sandpaper. I definitely will not be using this on any future projects…and I still have a third of the quart left.

I am always on the hunt to find products that make my projects go easier. On one of my previous trips to Menards I stumbled upon Varathane Triple Thick Polyurethane.

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It  boasts the capability of 3 coats of varnish in 1.

I tested it out on 2 different kinds of projects to see if I would love it or not. The first project is a faux beam that we put in our present bedroom {I say present because next year we plan on starting our addition}; the second is our dresser. I started applying the water based varnish with a foam brush and quickly realized that was going to be a no {looked like the new foam brush was disintegrating}. Then I switched to one of my nicer brushes {technically for paint but the varnish is water based and came right out.} The consistency was like a stripper, so it was kind of interesting.

The faux beam consists of 2 2×6’s that equal to about 14′-15′. I’m not totally sure how long it is, I can never remember. I stained the 2x’s in kona using my sock rag method. I had thought of sanding some of the kona off, but didn’t remember that until I had already started varnishing it. The triple thick poly went on really well on the beam and gave me just the right coverage.

The dresser was painted, in Valspar “Country Lake”…which I love! Now technically the poly did not say whether or not you could use it on painted wood {just said stained wood}, so this was definitely a “lets pray it works” scenario. I ended up putting 2 coats on the dresser since I did that project first and wasn’t quite sure how thick I should apply it.

Things I noticed about the Triple Thick Polyurethane by Varathane:

  1. It dried VERY fast! Which is okay if you use a thick layer.
  2. It shows a lot of streaks on painted surfaces. Now again the can never says it can be applied to painted wood. I also think if a thick coat is applied to a light or more neutral color it would not be as bad.
  3. There were no runs at all on vertical surfaces. Loved that!

I loved how nice and easy it was to use on the beam! I will definitely be using it on stained surfaces in the house. I did not love how it looked on the painted wood. I believe I will be giving the dresser a light sanding and getting some spray varnish.

Under the Weather

Why do they say “under the weather”??? Supposedly it has nautical origins, but that means nothing to me after having a headache of varying levels of uncomfortable and pain for 3 days. Today turned the tide on this wave of discomfort, I managed to sleep in {8am…for me it is sleeping in} and then was able to nap most of the morning and then about half the afternoon{on the couch}. Most of my normal remedies were not working for my noggin, so a day of rest seemed to be the best option. My babies all behaved wonderfully for me! No loud fights{or bright lights} or destroying of chew toys. I am somewhat paying for it now and am wide awake at midnight.

The best part of my evening tonight was at bedtime the kids came in my room to check on me and my son asked me if I needed an ice pack since my head hurt and he could get one out of the freezer for me. He is 5 and never ceases to amaze me on how much he loves to help his mommy. I think tomorrow some homemade brownies are called for to reward awesome behavior!