12 December 2011

Fertile thoughts for winter...

As Christmas runs around again I think of Christmases past..

09 December 2011

Here's to my faithfuls... praying to have the time, energy, and heart to blog more this holiday season. ♥

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07 November 2011

Crockpot Potato Soup

  • 3 lbs shredded or diced frozen potatoes (thawed), or fresh peeled & diced. (Divide this into 2lbs and 1 lb.)
  • 1 16 oz bag frozen cauliflower, thawed & chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 large shredded carrot
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb diced extra-lean ham
  • 1-2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock (enough to cover, +/- more/less to desired consistency)
  • 1/2-1 cup flour (gluten free flour mixes work GREAT but you may have to simmer them longer to achieve a creamy texture)
  • 1/4 oil or butter
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • seasonings to taste (salt, seasoning blends, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and/or herbs de provence are all good add in options)

  1. In crock pot combine 2 lbs potatoes, cauliflower, celery, onion, carrots, garlic, & ham.
  2. Add broth to cover by 1" and cook on low 6-8 hours; It can remain on low afterwards until you are ready for step 3.
  3. In a nonstick skillet on stove combine butter/oil and enough flour to make a thin paste. Cook on medium-low for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk in half & half until completely combined then add parsley & black pepper. 
  5. Add to crock and season to taste.
  6. Stir in additional 1lb of potatoes.
  7. Allow to cook on high for another 30-60 minutes to thicken.
  8. When potatoes are cooked, stir in cheese and add broth until desired consistency.
  9. Allow to warm through again and serve.
  • If cooking on stove top, process remains the same but time is lowered to 1-2 hours in step 2 and 15-30 minutes in step 7.
  • If using gluten free flours an additional 1 hour simmer may be needed due to the texture of the grains.
  • The add in of the 3rd lb of potatoes is to add texture and the first 2 will cook down to a creamy consistency. If you prefer more texture you can divide 1lb for step 1 and 2lbs for step 6.
  • Never allow the mixture to boil after adding cheese and half & half. It won't spoil the soup but it will spoil the look as it will separate.
  • The cauliflower is optional but is a great way to hide it from your kids.
  • This can also be created with chopped broccoli used in place of all or half oft he potatoes.
    Until later! Anne Marie

    23 September 2011

    What's the hold up?

    Ok so I lost 4.2 lbs my first day on Atkins... which I am sure was built up water since I peed ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT LONG. Today I am holding steady at the same weight.. but I had to up my carbs last night.

    There are three major side effects to Atkins and apparently I am going to get them all.
    Predicted Day 1-3 headaches from your body missing the carbs
    Predicted Day 2-4 exhaustion from your body missing the carbs
    Predicted Week 1-2 severe leg crams from lack of potassium - apparently we get most of our potassium from a lot of high carb foods.

    The headaches I'm used to - I get migraines arouns AF time, O time, and anytime I'm stressed  So the dull ache I had Mon & Tues was not terrible... bring on the Aleve.

    I'm home alone right now and my main purpose in life is wash/dry/fold laundry... so I can nap in between - so the exhaustion is workable.

    But the cramps. O. M. G.!!!! Last night I was laying in bed with Kaelyn watching Heathcliff on Netflix.. laying on my side, knees curled/fetal position. And I needed to get up & go pee. Thank heavens it wasn't an emergency because my knees & calves had cramped up so bad it took me about 5-10 minutes to slowly flex & unflex them till I got my legs straight!!

    I talked to DH and he agrees with me that I need to wait to hit it hard core until I get to the store this weekend and get some potassium supplements.

    Until then I am going to stay "lower than usual" carbs. Since MFP was documenting my pre-Atkins carbs at usually near but occasionally over 300... I think I need to wean while I'm waiting on my potassium.

    I'll still have my lunch salad, but have a small potato or serving of rice with dinner and last night I had some peanut butter on a slice of bread. I'll be diligent but not so high or so low. I think I'm going to am to have 80-100 carbs comfortably by the weekend & re-start Monday. I also have a pantry full of gluten free foods that I can't eat on the diet.. like my GF pastas and flours that are $5/lb. I can feed it to my family.. and I do/will, but it's too expensive to "waste" since I can now buy them regular/gluten-loaded options for 96¢. (Side note: I made Gf pasta last night and didn't eat any because it was before the cramps... anyway 46 carbs per 3/4 cup serving!!!!)

    I found this list, and what I have like this* I had at least 1-3x a week on my previous diet so it's no wonder that I'm missing my potassium!!!

    Food (100g) Potassium (mg)
    Apricots 1380
    Bran Wheat 1160
    Tomato Puree 1150*
    Raisins 1020*
    Figs 900
    Wheat Germ 950
    Dried Fruit Mix 880
    Mixed Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin) 650
    Mixed Nuts 600*
    Baked Potato with Skin 600*
    Roasted Potatoes 530*
    Bran Flakes 530
    Boiled Soy Beans 510
    Veal 420
    Whole Grain Pasta 400*
    Banana 400*
    Soy Flour 1650*

    Once I pass induction (2 weeks) I can add seeds back, and some nuts, as well as soy products - all in moderation but that will get some potassium back in my diet.

    When these 2 weeks are done add 5 carbs per week until I reach a steady goal of 2-3lbs per week loss. And I can re-cycle induction in when I feel I need a boost.

    Lets' see if I can hang on to the 4 lbs I lost till Monday!!!

    Until later! Anne Marie

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    18 September 2011

    Weight Loss Round 3 - since 2 didn't work

    Back in January I started looking at Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a natural way to help with some of my "ailments" from body aches & pains, migraines, and infertility. I came across a local practitioner in Cary, NC and started talking to her about things to help without ever having met her. She suggested starting an anti-inflammatory diet to determine food allergies based on the extensive questionnaire she had me fill out.

    To my surprise, I determined I have a wheat allergy.  Some of my favorite foods where delegated to a "do not eat" list and over the next few months I lost about 15 lbs. Not a lot, but for someone who had been stuck at a weight over 230 lbs for YEARS, it was an accomplishment.

    In July I reaccessed because I determined a new lifestyle change by finding wheat alternatives. I set a goal of 2lbs loss per week for 10 weeks. 22 lbs.  I figured out how to add pastas, bread, cakes and cookies back into my life as wheat-free options - and I failed that goal. Im currently at a gain.

    In January-June, "wheat free" translated to mostly "carb free" because I didn't know about all the wheat-free options outt here. And because ofthat I focused on eating more of a whole foods, fruit/veggie diet.

    I also noticed that when I added wheat free carb options I just wanted more... so I started eating wheat based carbs again as well.

    I'm done. Starting Monday, September 19, until my birthday on December 3, my goal is to lose 2lbs per week which is about 21.5 lbs.  Because of the HUGE success of a friend with Atkins, and the fact that NOT EATING heavy carbs combined with my wheat-free diet helped me tremendously health & weight wise, I bought the new Atkins book Saturday and I'll be LOSING again soon.

    Until later! Anne Marie Would you like a free tarot reading? Click here.

    28 August 2011

    So big!

    This is the runt yelling "school!" to take a pic for her grandparents her first day of school...she's really growing up too fast! :(

    25 August 2011

    GF Masa Flatbread

    Basic Recipe
    1 c. masa harina
    1 1/2 c. water
    1/2 tsp. salt

    This was easy. Mix it together. Heat your skillet with 1/2" oil. Spoon batter in and flatten to 3-4" circles. Fry on each side until brown. Drain on paper towels and salt lightly.

    Pictures coming soon!!

    Where Flowers Bloom

    Do any of you remember when I had my graphics blog?? I found a kit I made and I want to start adding them back to the blog :-) and I'm even contemplating joining the Blog Train Blog!!!!

    And yes, I know ... I got a little carried away with the purple but I used a color palette from a shot of the hydrangeas at my MILs house and I never left the palette!! I'll work on some matching alternate colors to tone it down, but I hope you can find at least a few graphics or papers you like in this set :-)

    Between papers, elements, word art, and the one page (clippable) alphabet there are about 50 files so I uploaded to 4shared as a .rar file. Click here to download.

    click the pictures for larger previews.

    Until later! Anne Marie
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    22 August 2011

    Card Petition
    Will WSO's business be a success?

    Card Drawn
    The World, Reversed

    Daily Freebies: BRB

    Card Petition
    Will BRB have another child?

    Card Drawn

    Daily Freebies: TN

    Card Petition
    Will TN get to carry a pregnancy to term?

    Card Drawn
    Ace of Swords, Reversed

    18 August 2011

    A rant.

    There are some important days in a child's life where she wants her daddy.. her first trick or treat... first day of school... first date... graduation... her wedding.

    Since work seems to make him want to miss the first few.. maybe he'll make her first date or graduation??

    Until later! Anne Marie
      Would you like a free tarot reading? Click here.

    Gluten-Free Flour Mix

    I have borrowed every GF cookbook my libary has. I have tried different mixes from heavy on rice, to heavy on sorghum, to heavy on cornstarch - this one was fluffy and so YUMMY - like a flour cake... next day it was like eating sawdust cake!

    My favorite comes from the gluten free waffle recipe, so I just made a huge batch. I have determined that (so far) for the things I have made, it doesn't matter if I use potato starch or tapioca starch. So use what you can find of the two, just make sure it is STARCH and not a flour...

    Gluten-Free Cooking Tips

    Having a had time making your GF recipes like you'e used to?  Can't find (or afford!!) guar or xanthan gum? Or maybe it just doesn't agree with your already sensitive digestive tact?  Try some of these tips I've discovered since I started my GF lifestyle.

    15 August 2011

    Tarot: Daily Freebies - Quickie for me!

    I asked the cards if I would carry a biological child to term  - really just to see if I could do a fertility based reading for myself...  and I was told to get my behind to the doctor because whatever my problem is, it's an easy fix.

    09 August 2011

    Tarot: Daily Freebies - T2B

    Card Petition
    Are there any good changes coming at work  for T2B?

    Card Drawn
    Queen of Cups, Reversed

    Facebook Fan Giveaway!

    In order to promote my crafty goodness I am hosting a FB giveaway.

    As of 8/9/2011 I have 27 fans! Thank you for your support! The last few months have been fun and I'm glad you were there to help keep me motivated and believing in myself!

    Please Show your support again by sharing my page ( with your friends.

    As a thank you, when I reach 50 fans, I will give away a pair of Swarovski crystal earrings, and when I reach 100 fans, I will give away a Swarovski crystal bracelet.

    Both pieces will be made with the winner's choice of Swarovski colors and in your choice of one of these 2 styles.

    ~~~Contest Info~~~

    • You must "Like" my Facebook page to be entered in the drawing, as an added bonus FB fans have access to "fan exclusive" discount codes and the "inside scoop" on upcoming discounts.
    • Share it with as many of your FB friends as you'd like. There is even an event listing you can just "share" to make it easier for you!
    • Every fan (except my husband!) has an equal opportunity to win, so no one has to come say "______ sent me!" Simply click the "like" button to enter. That means every fan has a chance to win a matching set!

     The faster I get the fans the faster the drawing is done, (and let's be honest - it's also "the faster I get to start creating these new pieces!!!") so get those likes in!

    And if you want some ideas on what color to choose if you win, check out Pantone 2011 Fall Fashion Colors Released!

    Until later! Anne Marie

    08 August 2011

    Tarot: Daily Freebies - JFJ

    Card Petition
    Will JFJ be a biological mother?

    Card Drawn
    Ten of Pentacles, Reversed

    Tarot: Daily Freebies - Baby C

    Card Petition
    How's Baby C doing?

    Card Drawn
    Queen of Wands, Reversed

    06 August 2011

    Don't be afraid to experiment

    My dieting quest really kicked into gear when I talked to a holistic doctor/accupuncturist who suggested the anti-inflammatory diet to discover if food was causing some of my abdominal pain, allergies, and/or headaches.

    I discovered that my cuprits were:
    • meat (severe PAIN worse than AF cramps when I have even a 3-4oz serving)
    • wheat (heavy congestion, hay-fever like itchy/sneezy symptoms, and headaches)
    • and dairy products add to the congestion.
    I have backed off of meat and dairy and I try my best to cut wheat out of my diet at least 6 days a week.

    13 July 2011

    30 Day Blog Challenge Day 7 - Your opinion on cheating People.

    My opinion on cheating people is that they suck. Really if you aren't happy in a relationship you shouldn't make BOTH of you unhappy by cheating.... just leave.

    Until later! Anne Marie

    11 July 2011

    30 Day Blog Challenge Day 6 - The person you like and why...

    Redundant much Challenge?? See post # 3 please!

    Until later! Anne Marie

    10 July 2011

    Gluten-Free Holiday Cooking Challenge

    I was surfing through old bookmarks and found some holiday recipes I had wanted to try last year... and I didn't. But it got me thinking. This year there is going t ohave to be a whole new kind of recipe experimentation for the holidays.... gluten-free! So I sat here and wrote out our traditional Thanksgiving & Christmas Menus for me to create a new cooking challenge for myself.

    30 Day Blog Challenge Day 5 - 5 things that irritate you about the opposite sex/same sex.

    5 Things that bother me about WOMEN:

    1. CATTINESS. If you wanna be a bitch, go for it. I am. Let it all hang out and don't pull punches, but don't be a snotty brat! (And for the love of GOD if you MUST be CATTY do NOT DO THE HEAD WIGGLE THING!!!!)
    2. Their penchant for DRAMA. Same reason. If you have something to say, say it. Don't whine! I have kids, I hear enough at home. Grow up!

    30 Day Blog Challenge Day 4 What you wear to bed.

    This one is easy! LOL!  T-shirts and unders. That's it. George is an oven and it's too damned hot to do otherwise!

    Until later! Anne Marie

    08 July 2011

    30 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE Day 3 What kind of person attracts you

    7/08/2011  ~   Day 3. What kind of person attracts you.

    This one is easier than it sounds LOL! I admit I had my days (and nights) of hunting and dating the god-like males... very pretty to look at but not many had personalities.

    When I met my husband and we started dating, no one we knew thought we'd last. He was cute, but not my usual. He liked to street race, rollerblade, and play video games.

    So. Not. Me.

    However of the numerous couples that were formed within our group, he and I are the only couple still HAPPILY together, married (not contemplating divorce), and did I say HAPPY together?

    I think this is because he makes me laugh.. whether I want to or not. He takes me seriously, but won;t let me take myself TOO seriously. He got me hooked on a few video games, we go out just to have fun.. no romantic movies for us!!  We goof off while shopping, and wrestle until I practically pee myself at home... because he pins me and tickles me - just because he can LOL!

    He's my Peter Pan, keeping me happy &young at heart ♥ and I'm his Wendy, keeping him grounded.. but only when necessary ♥

    Until later! Anne Marie

    07 July 2011

    Gluten-free Childhood Faves: Marshmallow Rice Treats

    So I have been seeing in stores that Kellog's is marketing Rice Krispies as gluten free. Of course the first thing I thought was RICE KRISPY TREATS!!!!!! But I wanted to eat the 100% natural, whole grain, gluten-free brown rice puffs I bought first. I like them. Really. But I only eat them plain, straight out the canister - they get soggy in milk. So it's taking me a while.

    Tonight Kaelyn was asking to eat a marshmallow so I pulled out the bag we got for camping of these HUGE marshmallows and they were labeled "Gluten-Free!"  Maybe all marshmallows are gluten free?? I don't know, but my first thought was "Why don't I make RKT out of the cereal I have?"

    30 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE Day 2 How have you changed in the past 2 years?

    7/07/2011  ~   Day 2. How have you changed in the past 2 years?

    "Things do not change... we change." ~ Henry David Thoreau

    It's really just this last year, but I have gotten a lot more serious about my health. I started an "anti-inflammatory diet" and I discovered that I have a wheat allergy and it hurts my body to try to digest meat.. all the

    06 July 2011

    Wordless Wednesday...sorta

    Frustration Pictures, Images and Photos

    Until later! Anne Marie

    Caylee's Law Petition

    Let's help make a "Caylee's Law"!

    Please to go and sign the petition to create "Caylee's Law"!! There should be a new law created that will make it a felony for a parent or guardian to not report a missing child in a timely manner!

    I did yesterday, and my NC Senator Ellie Kinnaird, wrote back to me this morning.

    30 Day Blog Challenge Day 1 Weird things you do when you’re alone

    7/06/2011  ~   Day 1. Weird things you do when you’re alone.

    When everyone goes to bed at night I like to sit on my computer, gabbing on yahoo.. with my headphones plugged into my ears and media player or youtube cranked LOUD and lip-sync to really old school tunes LOL!

    Until later! Anne Marie

    05 July 2011

    Gluten-Free Potato Bread

    Oh! So. YUMMY!!!! This stuff is soooo amazing I had to put my.. 3rd? 4th? slice down to type this!!! No, I'm normally not such a pig but I LIKE THIS STUFF!!! It has been so long since I had a GF bread that I like!! Even Kaelyn has come back several times just to ask for more bread.. plain bread!! Of course it is great toasted with jelly too!!

    27 June 2011

    Growing up...

    Two posts.. in ONE week?? Whatever has happened to me?!?!? LOL! Ok so I've been slacking! This one isn't even about food!!!  It's about one of the loves of my life... and how she is growing up too fast!!

    Seriously? Can they just STOP growing up on me? They get smelly & mouthy & ..... le sigh. Oh well, suck it up, Mom! Enjoy it while it lasts, huh? At any rate, my baby girl, Kaelyn turned 5 the beginning of June and in August she will join the ranks if school-going children everywhere. I'm gonna have a hard few weeks until I realize I enjoy the quiet LOL! We've started slowly grabbing school clothes one suit at a time and I'm letting her pick and she has done well.

    Gluten-Free Cornbread Recipe

    My husband loves cornbread with his chili. I prefer crackers, Well a wheat free girl only has so many options. I'm not ready to try my hand at crackers yet so I opted for a GF cornbread...

    23 June 2011

    Gluten-Free Homemade Twin Bars

    I found this recipe here @ "The Sweet Details" (CHECK OUT THIS BLOG!!!! Drooooollll!!!) and wanted to make it for father's day, so I adapted it to GF and slightly larger for the size pan I used.... I apparently also can't read because I just realized that I used sweetened condensed milk, but hey, it worked so I'm leaving it! LOL!

    Please ignore his wheat laden Oreo Frosting topped
    Confetti Cupcake that The Princess wanted to make him also....
    FOCUS On the yummy wheat free "twix "bar!!

    Wordless Wednesday: Coming this week!

    Until later! Anne Marie

    15 June 2011

    Wordless Wednesdays

    Until later! Anne Marie
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