Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup {recipe}

This soup is super easy & quick to make and tastes so delicious! If you can, I would suggest preparing this one day before you plan to have it for dinner to let all the flavors marinate, or if you cannot make it a day in advance, try making it in the morning & let marinate in the fridge! The measurements used below was enough for 4 servings, so feel free to add more depending on the size of your family!

1 Chicken Breast, thawed
Taco Seasoning
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic Powder
Cilantro, dries or freshly chopped
Salt for seasoning
Olive Oil
1 yellow Onion, chopped
1 Stalk of celery, chopped
1 dried/roasted red chili pepper
1 Tbsp. Poblano Pepper, finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic
3 Cups of Chicken broth
1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 Can of Black Beans
1 Stalk of White Corn
1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
Black pepper
4-5 Tbsp. Sour Cream
3 Tbsp. Flour
Vegetable Oil, for frying
1 Avocado, mashed
Shredded Cheese

Directions for Chicken: Season your chicken with: salt, desires amount of cayenne & garlic powder, taco seasoning, and cilantro. Drizzle the top with a bit of olive oil and bake at 350 degrees until tender and done. Cut into small thin strips.

Preparing The Soup:
Place about 2 Tbsp of your olive oil into your pot. Saute your onions, celery, garlic, and peppers until onion has browned and celery is tender. Add about 1/2 a cup of your broth to your pot, then add your chicken.

Add tomatoes and black beans. Stir. Now add the remainder of your broth and your fresh corn. Season with black pepper, coriander & cumin, and salt only if necessary.let simmer for about 10 minutes. Mix your sour cream with your flower. Now add a few spoon fulls of your soup into your sour cream and flour mixture & stir well. Pour & stir mixture into pot.

For Your Fried Tortillas:
Simply cut your tortillas into short 1/2 inch strips. Fry your strips in your heated oil(make sure your oil is not too hot). STRIPS WILL BROWN VERY QUICKLY therefore you will only need to keep them in the oil for two or three seconds. Place your strips on a plate. Top with shredded cheese and cilantro. Place in the microwave long enough to let the cheese melt.

To Serve:
Pour your soup into a bowl and garnish with shredded cheese. Serve salsa, sour cream and avocado on the side for both your soup and tortilla strips! Enjoy.

This meal would go great with a lime/lemonade over ice or if you really need a kick..a lime margarita:)

Fawn & Forest {for the chic-contempo kid}

How adorable! I love these pieces from Fawn & Forest! Their kid products are contemporary, fun, and colorful. I especially love the mobile below & I am trying to think of a way to make one of these myself to hang over the crib for our baby girl which is due in May! I'm thinking pastel butterflies! I will keep you posted on that! Anyhow, if your kids room or nursery has a contemporary feel, then you should head on over and check them out. Even if you do not have a contemporary feel in your child's room, they still carry some adorable pieces that would fit any style of decor!

Cardboard Picture Frames {craft time with the kids}

Lesson Learned: shapes, colors, centering,and measuring.

Need a new idea for your arts & crafts time? Then try making these super easy picture frames with your little one! We found this project out of Highlights Magazine and not only was it easy but all of the supplies needed you most likely have at home already.

Supplies Needed:
Paint Brushes
Scrap Paper, torn(construction paper/newspaper, etc.)
Cardboard/Cardboard Box
Box Cutter / X-Acto Knife
Computer Paper

Directions: mix your glue and a little but of water water together. Set aside.

Place a sheet of computer paper over your photo. draw the shape that you want to frame the picture(the inside of the frame, which the picture will show through. Now cut out your shape. Place your shape onto your cardboard and trace around your shape. Then draw the shape of your frame around that shape, making sure the opening will be centered.

Use your box cutter/X-Acto Knife and cut out the inside and outside of your frame.

Glue scraps of paper to the front of your frame. Let Dry. Center your photo where you want it through the opening and tape the corners of your photo to the cardboard. Use a strip of cardboard that is about four inches longer than your frame and tape it to the back of the frame, folding the remaining portion of your cardboard strip upward so that your frame can stand on it's own.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mary Janes Attic {vibrant yarn & fibers}

I love the color palettes of yarn and fibers that you can find on Mary Janes Attic! The colors are fantastic and their yarn seems reasonably priced, so all of you knitters felters, and crocheters better click on over for some fiber goodness! I am dying to get back into learning the proper way to knit. It has been much too long since I have held a pair of knitting needles!

PS to all of my fiber readers in San Francisco! Visit the storefront for Mary Janes Attic:

Urban Fauna Studio
Fiber Boutique & Craft Studio
1311 16th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Linguini With Garlic Crab Sauce {recipe}

Ingredients for Crab Sauce:
Crab Legs, fresh
2-3 C. Water
Salt for water
Beer (optional, yet the alcohol cooks out and adds a GREAT sweetness to your crab)
1/2 Lemon, fresh & cut into small wedges
3-4 Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp.Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Flat Leaf Parsley
4 Tbsp. Butter/Margarine
1 Tbsp. Sour Cream
1 Roma Tomato, diced
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Bay Leaf
1/8 tsp. Black pepper
Pinch of Crushed/fresh Basil
1/2 Tbsp. Red Wine

Ingredients for Linguine:
Salt for Boiling Water
3 Cups Spinach Leaves
1 Tbsp. Sour Cream
1/4 Tsp. Crushed Basil
Dash of Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp. Butter
Drizzle of Olive Oil

Topping/Garnish: Fresh Parmesean Cheese

Directions for Crab Sauce:
Pour your water, salt, lemon, & beer(optional) into a large pot. Add crab legs & let steam until warmed. Remove from heat. Crack open your crab legs and remove the meat from them. Place meat into a bowl or onto a plate.

With stove OFF, drizzle your olive oil into a pan. Add remaining ingredients including the lemon wedges from your steamed crab and simmer on high until your butter has melted. Continue simmering on low for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat, cover, and set to the side, as you do not want your crab meat to overcook.

Directions for Linguine:
After your linguine has boiled to a tender texture in your salt water, add all of your ingredients and toss together.

To Plate: lay a bed of linguine onto your plate and top with your crab sauce. Garnish with fresh parmesean cheese!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Days {little black books & organization}

I recently went through a long period of time where I would re-write, and re-format written out schedules on sheets of notebook paper to help clarify my life and my responsibilities. I had the hardest time trying to figure out how in the heck to organize my days, especially with having so many responsibilities and goals. Well, just recently I finally came up with an idea that seems to keep me inspired and organized and it involves two "little" black books!

I am in charge of the budget for now so I keep a 4 column ledger in which I keep track of EVERY single transaction that is made with our card as well as savings. I also do this for our business accounts as well. I keep small "check" registries at hand for those. In a large 3 ring binder is where I keep my life..LOL! But really, it feels that way. I love this book! I keep EVERYTHING tabbed in here that includes in this order:

In the front I keep a Daily Schedule/To-Do-List & a Two Week Menu(where i try to write down dinner ideas for 14 days) & a Pre-Printed Grocery list with space for special ingredients(I write down ingredients needed for the dinner ideas here & this way by the time i go grocery shopping i will have everything i need already in a list format)

Special Holidays/Birthdays

2009 Calendar

Address of special friends

Categories of My Life: Special Friends, Event Planning, Budget, Ymib, JuBella, Style Gypsy, Inspiring Mama, Crafty Hues, Tulips & Honey, Mery Tut)

Projects-to-Do & Project Wish lists: This is where I keep a running list of craft projects that I need and want to do as well as little notes about the current crafts I'm learning about

Homeschool Tabs: Reading, Writing, Spelling, Phonics, Math, Science, History, geography, Culture, Arts & Crafts, & Culinary(our little one LOVES to cook and says he wants to be a chef, so for now we are entertaining the thought...hey ya never know!)

So, in respect to not making this post into a book, I will spare you the details of each tab and will most likely share many of them in a few "Tips That Work" posts later on. I wanted to share this because like I said, organizing all of our responsibilities within motherhood can be not only challenging but can get really out of hand, which leads to unnecessary stress, & believe me, I have had so many stressful days and still do at times! I use to try to keep all of my life categories organized in separate binders, and it was beginning to get quite aggravating keeping up with them all. Having everything at hand in one binder is so much better!

The funny thing is that once baby arrives and our son starts his homeschool program through k12 this fall(we will register next month..keep your fingers crossed for us as far as getting through the registration process easily), I will have to totally re-arrange all of this! yet for now it works, and I am beyond thankful to have at least some sort of guide to live by!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

After All Have Gone To Bed

How Do You End Or Begin Your Days?

As much as I would like to say that I am a morning person, I am just not! I happen to enjoy the late hours of the day when everyone has snuggled up in bed and have fallen off to sleep. This is when I find my quiet time. I take a hot shower/bath, find something good to sip on/snack upon, light a candle, grab my favorite floral/thrifted sheet and nestle in to the corner of my couch. Usually you can find me in this spot up until about 2am blogging, working, budgeting, dreaming, watching either the food network, nick-at-nite or some random movie. I find total peace at night. I have always been that way ever since high school! My favorite is to have a cup of chai and something sweet to keep my taste buds company while I write.

I think it is crucial for all mothers...anyone really, to find that special time within the day as well as a special place that you can just be at peace. A place to daydream, a place to feel inspired. Whether it is morning, night, or mid-day!

14 Day Menu : 2/14 - 2/27 2009

Hi everybody! So, as mothers, we all know how frustrating dinner can be, yet one thing that I have found to be lifesaving is to develop a 2 week menu for my dinners. I cannot begin to express how much time and stress having a pre-made menu has helped me! I am always on the prowl for fresh ideas for dinner because leftovers pretty much does not exist in our home and repetitive meals can get quite boring(but I must say that I do have my standard "back-me up, because I do not feel like cooking a darn thing dishes...aka pizza, sandwiches, burgers, etc.)

I watch the Food Network during the day at random, and this helps me get at least an idea if not an entire recipe of new things that I can try in the kitchen. My favorite is Ina Garten/"Barefoot Contessa", "Everyday Italian" with Gaida, "Jamie At Home", and I have started watching "Healthy Appetites". I truly think that you do not need hamburger helper or fast food to make your family happy. All you need is a bit of patience, creativity, and the will to feed your family wholesome food with love! Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, a raw foodist, or an avid meat eater, you can make most of your meals specials!

In addition to planning out my menus, I also have pre-printed grocery lists and menu outlines that I can just grab and take with me when I go grocery shopping, which is usually every two weeks. I wake up Every other Saturday around 7am and head out to the market, grab some hot tea or a "Naked Mighty Mango" smoothie, pull out my list held firmly on a clip board along with a pencil and calculator(oh yes, I am serious about our budget...LOL). The grocery lists have all the basic items that 99% of the time I will end up needing. I did this because I was growing tired of writing out grocery lists every 2 weeks that contained the EXACT same ingredients more or less. I keep a space at the bottom for miscellaneous ingredients that any special recipes may call for.

Ok, so here is our tentative menu for the next two weeks. I will try my best to share these lists with you all as I make them twice a month as well as photos every now and then! Ok, here ya go. Bon Appetit!

The Menu:

Baked Zuchinni Crisps w/ Roasted Tomatoes over Marinara Spaghetti. Red Wine

Chipotle Tofu Burritos w/ Chips & Salsa & Lemon Chillers

Chicken & Chick Pea "Tagine" w/ Cinnamon Oranges & Bananas. Sweet Tea

Pizza w/ Salad

Turkey Burgers w/ Fruit Salad

Sea Scallops Wrapped in Smoked Salmon over Homemade Pasta/Rice & Withered Spinach

Linguine w/ Crab Sauce

Lasagna w/ Turkey Meat Sauce

Tomato Basil Soup w/ Personal Spinach Quiche Cups

Shrimp Ceasar Salad w/ Homemade Rustic Bread

Baked Tilapia w/ Avocado, Tomato, & Corn Salsa, Jasmine Rice, Broccoli

Shrimp w/ Brussel Sprouts & Corn on the cob

Black Bean & Portobello Mushroom Burgers w/ Baked Fries. Lemonade

Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwiches w/ Fruit Salad & Chips

Dessert Ideas:

White Chocolate & Macadamian Nut Brownies

Personal Fruit Tarts w/ Lemon Cream

Pineapple Smoothies

Meal Idea: Chicken & Spinach Alfredo Casserole

Note: please forgive me for my lack of measurements, as I am usually stepping into the kitchen freestyle and just taste and test until I get it to where I want it, Yet as I grow this blog, I will make it a point to offer exact or approximate measurements for you! I promise!

Here is a super simple meal idea for those nights that you feel like whipping up something quick but tasty! If you are not a fan of chicken, then you can also try substituting the chicken with some baked shrimp seasoned the same way as you would the chicken below.

Ingredients I used:

Large Macaroni Noodles,cooked & salted
Chopped Spinach
Fresh Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
Olive Oil
Mozzarella Cheese

For The Alfredo Sauce:
1 Block of Cream Cheese
Olive Oil
Crushed Basil
Dried Oregano
Salt to taste
Hot Water or Cream (I used water)
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper
Dash of Sugar

For The Chicken Breast:
Olive Oil
Crushed Basil
Garlic Powder
Dried Oregano
Black Pepper

Simply combine your noodles, chopped spinach, cooked chicken and sauce into a casserole dish. Stir until well combined & sprinkle mozzarella on top. Top with fresh bread crumbs and drizzle with a bit of olive oil on top. bake until fresh bread crumbs are golden brown and crisp. Garnish with a fresh sprig of parsley. Serve with a nice red whine or iced tea!

Lesson Plan: I Spy a Word

A great way to reinforce the sounds of letters that your young child may be learning while reading is to take a few moments after you are done reading and ask them to think or find things within the room that starts with the letter. For example, if you are learning the sound that "P" makes, then ask her: "what words can you think of that start with letter "P" or ask him "can you find something in the room that starts with the letter "P"?" Write down as many words that you and your child can come up with. Another great thing to do is to help them think of words that they themselves say during the day to make the letters even more relative! Sometimes while you are talking, you or they may say a word that starts with the desired letter, and when you do, make it exciting, and point it out!

Once you have a list of words, you can use the words on your list and practice spelling and writing them for another lesson!

Tips That Work: Pre - Seasoning

Here is a quick tip that can save you at least a few minutes in the kitchen while preparing dinner. If you you already know what you will be having for dinner during the week, try pre-seasoning your meats before freezing them after you come home from the grocery store. This works especially well with ground meats such as turkey, beef, and chicken! if you eat chicken, you can also pre-season your chicken breast as well as fish filets!
*Do you have an Inspiring Mama Tip? Share them with us by sending us an e-mail or by leaving a comment!

Zid Zid Kids {safari enchantment}

I am in love with these pieces from the Zid Zid Kids line! I absolutely love the poofs and the plush toys are simply adorable. I can imagine a childs room decorated with these up against a simple white/beige wall. A very simple room, with lots of fabulous accents such as these...perfect! And if you cannot afford their designer prices, I am sure it would be a breeze to make your own versions, especially for all of you crafty ladies!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Make Your Own Candy Kits {learn something: eat something}

If you like this review, then be sure to check back often for a wonderful giveaway sponsored by Glee Gum themselves. 3 lucky Inspiring Mamas will receive their very own candy making kit. Stay tuned for details! Yay!

Recently we received two "Make Your Own Candy Kits" from Glee Gum. One kit was for making chewing gum(not bubble gum), and chocolate candy. I must say that both of these kits were exceptional and to top it all off, each kit comes with easy to read directions and a really great educational lesson on the back.

With the chewing gum kit you will learn about how the natural chicle ingredient, which is included within the kit is harvested & it's relation to the Guatemalan rainforest! The kit also comes with packets of both fruit and peppermint flavoring. I must note that the flavor is very mild, so let your children know ahead of time, that this is no bubble-liscious that you will be making! I really like this because it used a natural gum base and none of the synthetic stuff you tend to find in other gum kits.

$13 Chewing Gum Kit Includes:
Chicle gum base
Confectioners Sugar
Corn Syrup
2 Flavor packets
Pan for softening chicle gum base
Instructions & the story of chicle

Makes Approximately 50 pieces

With the chocolate candy kit you and your child will learn about the history of cacao, it's harvesting in Costa Rica, and the development of how chocolate candy came about. The cool thing about this kit is that you can add so many ingredients from your own pantry to make these little candies even more delectable!

$13 Chocolate Candy Kit Includes:
Certified Organic Cocoa Butter
Cocoa Powder
2 Cocoa Beans to Study
Confectioner's Sugar
Starter Crystals
A Temperature Indicator
Paper Candy Liners
Instructions & the story of chocolate

Makes 8oz. of dark chocolate

You can really make these kits into a great science and history lesson. As well as: art, math, writing, and brainstorming. We cut our chewing gum pieces into large strips(you could cut yours much smaller) and wrapped them up in tin foil and then used typing paper to make little wrappers for them. Break out the markers and crayons & let your child get creative with the wrapping! Now as far as the chocolate, I must say that this was our favorite kit, even though the gum follows up close! I highly suggest having some extras around such as marshmallows, nuts, coconut, cherries, etc. to fill the center of your chocolate candies. Here we used marshmallows in some of them.

My biggest tip with the chocolate kit is to not think that your temperature strip does not work. it may take a while for your chocolate to cool to 94 degrees. Also, you will want to make sure you DO NOT add the starter crystals until your melted chocolate mixture has reached the desired 94 degrees fahrenheit. Once our chocolate was cooled we ate a few of them and then chopped the rest up and baked a small batch of chocolate chip cookies!

The kits are recommended for ages 8 & up, however I was able to do these kits with my five year old and it worked great. He was able to help with putting in the time for the microwave, stirring, and opening some of the packages. I was highly impressed with both of these kits and would recommend it to any mom with kids, and most of all it makes wonderful and rewarding lesson plan. In fact you can find guided lesson plans for both the chewing gum and the chocolate kits on the Glee Gum website:

Chewing Gum Lesson Plan Chocolate Candy Lesson Plan

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Recycle My Craft: Soy Candles

Lesson Learned: the importance of recycling, color, scent(if you use a fragrance),temperature, time.

This is a great project for those empty cans from your canned food, that would just otherwise in up in the trash. Try preserving them just a bit longer by turning them into soy candles!

Supplies Needed:
Empty Can, washed and dried
Soy Candle Wax, microwavable
Colored string or any other decorative element you would like to use on the outside of your can
Acrylic paint
Modge Podge or any clear drying sealer
Glue Stick, quality
Candle wick

How To Make It: Take your can and paint/decorate the edges and the bottom your can. If using acrylic paints, you will have to do a few coats to obtain a nice rich & even color. Let dry and seal your painted edges and bottom with modge podge. Once your modge podge/sealer has dried. Grab your glue stick & cover a portion of the side of your can with glue. Starting from the top of your can wrap your string around the sides gradually covering the entire can as you work your way down to the bottom. Trim off ends If you are using a different embellishment, simply use your glue and embellishments to decorate your can. Let sit & dry for about 10 minutes.

Place your wick in the center of your can. You can use a small dab from your glue stick or double sided tape to keep it in place. Melt your wax (once melted you can stir in your fragrance oil) as directed and slowly pour the hot wax into your can. Trim your wick & let your wax dry according to directions.

Light and enjoy!

Psst..Here is a good video on making soy and beeswax candles. They do make lovely gifts!

Mothering Balance

So, we as mothers tend to have to juggle a lot of little things that tend to snowball into one big enormous task that at many times can be truly hard to carry. I have found myself writing and re-writing, and formatting, and re-formatting a daily schedule for myself for months now; and while I think I have a decent schedule to follow, I find it quite hard to actually...well..follow it!

It's funny how life may seem complicated, but for the most part it can be very easy to manage if one can learn and discipline themselves to manage themselves properly. I find that when I fight the ongoing battle with procrastination, and push myself to put things back where they belong, that my life and my day to day tasks just flow perfectly. I think that life is about not only living within this world, but understanding that their must be balancement, and sometimes we may not be able to accomplish each and everything on our list, but, we can accomplish a portion of the tasks, and set goals to accomplish them over time.

When you can spread your patience amongst the time allowed within the week to accomplish your tasks..that to me is balancement. Balancement is not accomplishing one thing while letting something else fall under but allowing yourself to focus and nurture each task for a given amount of time during the day until it is done by the end of the week or month, or however long it takes to complete it.

So, as I learn by trial and error the art of balancing it all, I hope to learn more about myself, my standards, and to set a good impression for my children to live by. If I ever had to tell my children something to live by on my death bed, I would say: “live simple, live organized, and lived balanced”.

Question: How do you try to stay organized and balanced throughout your goals and days? Any helpful mama tips? Please share by leaving a comment!

Friendship Day. Love Day. Valentines Day {Whatever You Want To Call It, Here's A Craft Project For It}

Lesson Learned: with this project you can incorporate so many learning opportunities such as writing, spelling, the meaning of love, measuring, eye-hand-coordination, and math!

So, the little one and I made some friendship day cards for a few of his friends and his grandparents this past Friday. He thoroughly enjoyed this project, but I think he enjoyed “test tasting” the candy than actually putting together the cards. Every time I asked him to cut or stick something somewhere, he would say “hold on, I have to taste this one”. Anyhow, we were very frugal with this project.

Here are the supplies we used to make our cards in case you want to make something similar next year:

Red Poster Board
1 Square of Pink Felt
Heart Shaped Lollipops, wrapped
Chocolate Hearts, wrapped
Typing Paper
Glue Stick
Pink Crayon
Copier/Scanner(Optional..but I had him write “Happy Love Day” once on a heart shape cut out of typing paper, as sitting there with him to do write it 8 times properly would have worked both his and my nerves)
Brown Lunch Bags & Mailing Tape

We were able to get 8 heart shaped cards out of a large piece of poster board. I folded it in half length wise first and placed my heart template over it. You want to be sure to have the fold in tact, as this is what will make it a “card” and not just single hearts. Then I strategically folded areas of what was left to get the remaining cards, as you will only get about 6 from your first fold. However, if you make your heart smaller, I am sure you could get a lot more from your initial fold.

With a pen or marker, draw a heart shape on a piece of typing paper that is slightly smaller than your cards. Then have your child write a message within it. If your child is learning to write straight, you may want to write the words out using dashes and let him/her trace over it. Then place on your copier and copy the amount needed. Color each heart with a pink crayon and proceed to cut the hearts out. Use your glue stick to adhere it to the inside of your cards.

Next your will assemble the front of the card. We just cut out small felt hearts. Our lollipops were wrapped in a clear wrapper, so we put heart shaped stickers in the center on each side of the wrapper. Then we positioned the lollipop where we wanted it(you can use a rolled piece of tape on the back of the lollipop wrapper to keep it in place if you like. Now glue your felt heart over the lollipop stick. Place a piece of rolled tape on the back of your chocolate heart and adhere it onto the felt heart.

Packaging: We used a simple brown paper lunch bag to mail our cards in. Lay your bag flat and cut the bottom square piece off. Place your card inside, making sure to leave room at the bottom and top for closure. Flatten the top of the bag so the edges are equal and roll the edges up. Secure with mailing tape. You can decorate the paper bag with stickers and if mailing, you can use labels for your address.

Meal Idea: Orzo Stuffed Tomatoes

So, just the other night I prepared a great dish for the family that involved some orzo stuffed tomatoes. I served it alongside a shrimp ceasar salad, yet this is supposed to be a vegetarian post, so please do feel free to leave off the shrimp(psst..I made the ceasar dressing myself..this was the first time making a creamy dressing, and I was so excited...the hubby loved it! I will be sure to share that recipe with you all the next time I make it!) Ok, so back to the orzo.

After cooking the orzo in salted water, I seasoned it with the following ingredients:

Garlic powder
Blackened sun dried tomatoes, julienne cut(sear tomatoes in some olive oil until blackened and crisp)
Olive oil
Dash of salt
Crushed basil
Feta Cheese
Red wine

I must say that the red wine really topped it off. It brought out ALL of the flavors and the sweetness from the tomatoes. This is definitely a dish that I will be making again! You will want to cut the tops and the bottoms slightly off some large steak tomatoes. Rub them all over w/ a bit of olive oil and bake them in the oven on 350 degrees & for a few minutes I put it under the broiler to get a mice "roasted" effect along the edges of the tomatoes(be sure that you so not leave it under the broiler or baking for too long as your tomatoes could burst)! Then stuff with your seasoned orzo. This meal is truly delish and is vegetarian friendly also, but you can easily add some roasted chicken breast to the orzo to make it more filling. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Welcome To Inspiring Mama {enjoy}

Oh hi there! I finally got around to getting this blog up and running. So, let me start off by introducing myself.

About The Blog:
Inspiring Mama is a blog that I not only wanted to create to categorize my life as a stay at home/home-schooling mom & wife, artist, and writer, but a blog that I felt would really help keep me inspired to be a better mom each time I come here to post or share a motherly rant! LOL. Here on Inspiring Mama you will find an eclectic mix of my days within motherhood, creative mothering & teaching ideas, recipes & menus, as well as product highlights & reviews of all the things that I'm currently loving!

About The Mama:
My name is Ericka & I am a stay at home mom of a 5 year old little boy(Imsety) who is filled to the rim with creativity and imagination, and we are expecting another bundle of energy next May! I create within a home with my talented husband Dante, as we strive to make our dreams of raising a free and creative family come true. I heart all things creative and hate anything ordinary, anything taken to the extreme, and overly mainstream style & opinions(hey, I'm an artist, I like my individualism!) In between picking up toys over and over and over, and cooking dinner, and folding laundry, and all the other things we mothers have on our to do lists, I enjoy painting, creative cooking, arts & crafts, hot chai tea after everyone has gone to bed, mid-day naps, fashion, decor/design, and well, basically any and everything that inspires a creative life!

So, I hope you enjoy my little abode for motherhood! Leave a comment should you feel compelled, or simply drop by to pay a visit or two, either way I'm glad you came to visit!