Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ryder's FAVORITE Blueberry Pancakes: NO added junk!

Ryder loves pancakes... especially blueberry, or "bluebabies" in Ryder language! The kid can eat 5 blueberry pancakes in one sitting. He LOVES them.

 I made a big double batch of them for this weekend for Ryder since Austin and I are going on a date WEEKEND this weekend. YES, you read right. Austin & I are going to the beach, alone, for two nights and leaving Ryder at home. His Mimi, GG & grrrampa.. AKA my mom, his great grandma & grandpa are all coming down to spend the weekend with him! he is going to have a blast. A little piece of me is jealous he gets to spend the weekend with them.. but just a teeny piece that is. 

Anyways, I thought id share our favorite blueberry pancake recipe. It is oh so good and not bad for you. My favorite recipe before we found this had sugar in it, but we have cut out refined sugars so I had to give up that recipe and I am not disappointed with our new recipe at all! Hope you enjoy too :)

****(Easy to follow directions and ingredient list toward bottom)****

Start by first mixing all dry ingredients together, whole wheat flour, baking soda & baking powder and set aside. I use Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat pastry flour when making these pancakes. As well as Trader Joe's Aluminum free baking powder. and if you are wondering where the salt is, there is NO added salt! Who needs salt?! 

In another bowl whisk together all wet ingredients, eggs, yogurt, vanilla & milk. I love  what the yogurt adds to the pancakes, thick & creamy taste. We buy Organic plain whole milk yogurt but if you choose to use a flavored yogurt you might not need to add vanilla to it.

Then pour wet ingredients slowly into dry ingredients as you whisk together, looks like this:(could it get any easier!?) : 

Now here is where you can dump in your blueberries OR you can be like me, and place the blueberries into the batter once poured on the griddle. I do this because I HATE when they clump in the batter and aren't evenly distributed though out the pancake (pathetic I know!)

I used an electric griddle today, but you can use a pan, or skillet, doesn't matter. 
I don't spray the griddle or put butter on it, leave it dry and pour mixture on & add blueberries!

Cook on both sides (obviously).. keep cooking until all mixture is gone. and all cooked.. YUUUMMMMMMY

Serve with some 100% Pure Organic Maple Syrup.. no more artificial fake maple syrup... this stuff is SOOO much better. ..... and give it a try, to be honest it took me awhile to actually enjoy and CHOOSE the pure maple syrup over the stuff that came out of the container shaped like an old lady! I literally craved that stuff for far too long after making the swtich to pure Maple Syrup. But I can honestly say I prefer the pure Maple over the fake stuff now! Finally ;)  One piece of advice, I have found that I prefer the grade A maple.. bought a different "grade" and was not liking what I was tasting AT. ALL. 

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do in our house!!! 

Here is an "easy to read" recipe: 


1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup Organic Plain whole milk yogurt
1 cup Organic whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

100% Pure Organic Maple Syrup for dipping 


1. Heat griddle to 325-350 degrees. 

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl, flour, baking soda and baking powder-- set aside.  

3. In another bowl whisk all wet ingredients, egg, yogurt, milk and vanilla.

4. Combine wet and dry ingredients together and whisk until no clumps

5. Use 1/2 cup scoop and pour onto griddle or heated pan, add blueberries and cook both sides. (cook times vary) 

6. Drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Waiting Expectantly: Matthew 7:7

ever heard of the Holy Bible app? I never wanted to be that person who at church when the Pastor asks us to open to a verse to whip out my iphone.. but guess what. I am guilty. It is convenient, easy, you can change versions in literally a tap of a button and I like it. but it isn't the same as reading scripture straight from the Bible. 


one thing I do like about my Bible app is the "plans." I have been reading a Joyce Meyer devotional: Promises for Your Everyday Life. It is 365 days of a short devotional content and a complimenting verse to go along. I have enjoyed it. But today the devotion really hit home. It wasn't just the "oh i needed to hear that" reaction. it was "THAT is EXACTLY what i was falling into" reaction. I don't want to get too deep into my situation but I have been in the same "rut" for a little while now. Praying hard and feeling like i'm not seeing that breakthrough.. (in a sense). I am not a passive person, but I feel like I was starting to be passive about waiting for God to answer some prayers. but Joyce Meyer's has again helped me see things more clearly. 

This is what my daily devotional by Joyce Meyer read today:  

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. -Matthew 7:7

"Have you been praying about a situation in your life and found yourself waiting for a breakthrough? Are you wondering why the answer hasn't come yet? Do you feel as though victory is passing you by?

Sometimes when we pray long and hard about a situation in our life without receiving any answers, we just learn to live with it. We go on about our business, wondering if or when God will send the answer. But God does hear those prayers, and He's working out the answers even though we may not know all the details. Our situation can change suddenly, quickly, without warning!Until then we can either wait passively or expectantly. A passive person gives up, but the expectant person, on the other hand, is hopeful, believing the answer is just around the corner, due to arrive any minute. His belief is not a passive thing. His heart is full of hope, expecting his problem to be solved at any moment. He wakes up every morning expecting to find his answer. He may wait and wait, but he'll keep asking until suddenly, God turns everything around."-- JOYCE MEYER

Not that I was going to give up on waiting for God to answer but part of me was is wanting to just "forget" about it. Stop asking. stop caring. stop putting so much heart into my prayer. BUT deep down do I feel that is the right path for me? no. I don't. Is it easier? Yes. sure it is easier to just "give up." However, I want to wait expectantly not passively. I want to wait with my heart full of hope and faithful that He will answer and that no matter what the answer I will be content and continue to give all thanks to the Lord. 

that is my ramble for today, a little peak into my heart. and remember, ALWAYS:

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever- Psalm 136:1

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Molly's Suds Review

For awhile I have been debating about making my own laundry detergent or even simply using a more Organic laundry detergent. But I have always put it off.  Ryder has been having some issues with his skin and I have switched him over to only coconut oil on his skin and it has helped a lot (more on that in another post!) but I have been feeling like I needed to do more! We also found out that Austin has slight eczema, and has since he was little.. little did we know! 

We have always been a Tide family, always. Until recently.. this is kinda embarrassing to admit but, Austin has some sick obsession with Whisk laundry detergent! A few months ago I caved and bought it just for his laundry.. then ran out of Tide and started using it on ours. (Now Im not saying Whisk is a bad product, or a brand that won't clean your clothes, but for someone like me that tries to reduce the amount of chemicals I expose my family too this isn't  the best product.. just smell it, it is STRONG and it leaves our clothes feeling like there is a film on them. Nasty right.. and chemical wise, I'm Tide is no better) 

Anyways, had a discount code for Molly's Suds, who I have been wanting to try. It was a Friday night and Austin had made me a mixed drink that was "one shot too strong" and it gave me the courage to spend the $61.25 (including shipping) and just do it. Which was actually a great deal.

One thing I loved was that there was tracking on the order. So I could see exactly where it was. The shipping said 3 business days, but because of the holiday it took about 5 days to get to it's new home! 

When I saw the box sitting outside my front door my first thought was, "thats a small box!" But it was just packed very well ;)

Everything fit so nice and perfect in the box!!

This is what I ordered: 

*1 bag of laundry powder- 128 Loads
*All sport wash- 32 loads
*6 wool dryer balls
TOTAL with SHIPPING: $61.25 (with discount code) 

(You can order the same "starter package" for $65.00 right now + shipping HERE

They end sent me a 20% off coupon for my next purchase! 
and added some cleaning tips as well.

The second I opened the package I HAD to try it out. So I grabbed a load of towels and threw them in. The instructions say to not overload the washer because it needs room for agitation.. I opened the bag of laundry powder and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the smell, it smells wonderful.. i wanted to eat it (they advise you NOT to eat it). I have front load washer/dryer so I put one scoop of laundry powder directly over the clothes (which felt strange!) To my first few loads I added 1/2 cup (ish) of vinegar in the fabric softener tray like suggested to help assist in the removal of buildup from our old laundry detergent and for softening. I washed the first loads with warm water like suggested as well. When the wash was done I was pleasantly surprised how fresh our towels smelled. For my whites I added some baking soda to the wash to assist in brightening..  I then threw them into the dryer with 6 dryer balls and turned it on. The towels came out soft and smelling clean! I am happy!!

Since we do not put any of our shirts, or any of my jeans in the dryer I was worried they would come out feeling hard or stiff, but they hang dry soft just like before. 

One thing I have noticed now that I have washed more of our clothes is that our clothes aren't left feeling like they have laundry soap or dryer sheet residue still in them. They feel clean and fresh and no residue left over which is great.

*I have washed in both warm and cold water and see no difference in the effectiveness.. both worked great, however Molly's Suds recommends warm water wash. 

Austin isn't really loving the dryer balls. He thinks that they are too loud in the dryer and I kinda agree. I took three out an the noise was reduced and made him a little happier! He does agree though that they make our clothes super soft. 

One of the main things that drew me to Molly's Suds was this statement:

"No sodium laureth/lauryl sulfates, no phosphates, no petrochemicals, no formaldehyde, no parabens, no 1,4 dioxane, no fillers, no Diethanolamines, no synthetic surfactants, no PEG (polyethylene glycols), no NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylates)."

 WHY IN THE WORLD would any of that crap need to be in our laundry detergents? Just sayin.. makes no sense.

Overall, I am VERY happy with my Molly's Suds purchase. I love her story, her mission, this product. Really you should head over to and give it a try!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Mr. B

HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY BRUCE! We can't believe he is already 5. To be completely honest, we thought he was turning 4... oops! I had to get his paperwork out to get him licensed and I saw his birth year being 08.. Not 09 like we thought. Our first born is getting old! 

We missed his birthday by a day (sorry B) so we celebrated yesterday. He just loves wearing party hats ;) 

Me. B is the best dog in th world. Hope he sticks around for many many more years! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fall crafts!

I am getting into the Fall spirit, which is odd for me so early because I just love summer. I am actually getting excited for Halloween too.. I need to figure out Ryder's costume.. hmm any ideas!? We have started doing some fall crafts. Last week we did two and they are super cute, I actually was getting teary eyed watching Ryder do the pumpkin one.. aww so sweet! He loved it.

Anyways, I was on Pinterest and came across a picture of a spider made out of hand prints and I remember doing this craft with the preschool I worked at years ago and I thought it would be fun to do with Ry. It is super easy!! All you need is paint, paper & googly eyes!

The second craft we did was this pumpkin activity. It was a spur of the moment craft. We had just gotten back from getting more craft stuff and I got new construction paper and I opened it and ripped a piece on accident. So I thought why not do a ripped paper craft. This was Ryder's first real experience with liquid glue. He liked it, but wanted me to put the glue down and he wanted to "cover up goo" with the paper pieces.

For the pumpkin craft, I traced a big circle for the "pumpkin" and told Ryder to put orange in the middle. This was guided, but he actually did really well! He wanted me to do the glue, SO I would put glue down and he was take an orange piece and cover the glue. Then we did green for the grass and blue for the sky. I had cut out triangles for eyes and the mouth and let him put them wherever he wanted and then I glued them down for him. He was confused because the triangles din't look like eyes to him. He wanted the googly eyes so ran to the closet where the crafts are and insisted I get googly eyes. I think he turned out pretty cute ;)

I am loving the age of 2, despite the meltdowns and temper tantrums Ryder is such a blessing and I love watching him grown and explore! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Toddler Crafts

Every month or so I try and restock our "craft" bin and activity ideas. Since my background is in Elementary Education I feel like there is a little bit more pressure on me to be more intentional on "educating" our son. First world mom problem I guess. I know its a total ludicrous thought and Ryder just turned two..  we count, say our ABCs, read, sing, you know, the typical toddler stuff. On my FACEBOOK I have shared various crafts/ activities that I have done with Ryder but never blog about it. Now I am NOT artistic in any way shape or form, so if you think we are Picasso up in here you are far from right. I am just getting more and more excited because Ryder is more and more into the crafts/ activities that we do! He will ask me, "craft mama after nap?" (so cute how can you say no?)

1. Pipe Cleaners & strainer: (pinterest) How easy is there, it cost me $1. Pipe cleaners from the dollar store and a strainer that was in the cupboard. It keeps Ryder busy and builds his fine motor skills, win win. 

2. Dot Painting: Another cheap activity, bought bingo markers from the dollar store for a dollar, got a few colors but only opened the red. Ryder was doing great keeping it on the paper. I went inside to check on something in the oven and came back to this:

How cute is he though!? Luckily he was already half naked and OUTSIDE! He was having SO much fun. I let him continue to play but kept reminding him he couldn't put them in his mouth :) 

3. Painting with water: umm FREE! (if you have a paintbrush)
We did this activity the same day as the dots as you can tell. I figured it might help with getting the red marks off.. he "painted" the deck for a good 30 minutes! He was having so much fun, he even painted himself!

4. Q-tips game!: LOVE this, it is so cute watching little ones pick them up and put them in the cup. You can switch it up and get a narrow mouth cup to make it more "challenging." We don't really get the q-tips out as much anymore like we use to.

5. Hopscotch: To be honest when I made the hopscotch pattern I did not think Ryder would have any interest in it and it was mainly just for me haha but he loved it, granted he wasn't jumping on one leg but he was jumping down it and laughing so hard. I wish I had a picture to share! But next time you have your chalk out play some hopscotch.. and even if its raining draw one on the garage floor! 

We did a super cute Halloween activity today, I will share it later! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013


meal planning. Do you plan out dinners for the week? We do in our house, and if we don't we wouldn't have anything to eat. (just another "Erika" list) On Sunday night/ Monday morning I make our grocery list and compile our week of dinners. Every week I ask Austin what he wants and the answer I always get is, "oh I don't care, anything!" Austin keeps telling me he wants to  just make two different dinner lists and rotate them every other week. HA nice thought, but I don't think so.

This week we did no planning on Sunday, or Monday because of the holiday. So Tuesday I threw together a quick list of easy dinners and hit the grocery store with Ryder in tow... THIS is what we came up with for the week:

MONDAY: Organic meatballs with spaghetti sauce, Rice (Austin requested rice instead of noodles--odd I know) with shelled edamame.

TUESDAY: Grilled Cheese & Tomato soup with Broccoli (we had been painting all night and we finally ate at 9:30-- this wasn't the "planned" meal but it worked)

WEDNESDAY: Crock pot (my fav) chicken Alfredo with broccoli, bow tie noodles & bread. 
------ EASY- 4 chicken breasts in crock pot, two jars of organic alfredo sauce and 16oz of organic broccoli. Cook on low for 6-8 hours and serve over bow-tie or egg noodles! yum. 
THURSDAY: Grilled Steak, grilled zucchini & mashed garlic red potatoes (Austin got a new grill, have to try it out ;))

FRIDAY: Lemon pepper chicken and veggie skewers!

SATURDAY: Nothing planned. Austin and I are running the Warrior Dash so left dinner open. 

SUNDAY: Turkey meatloaf, red potatoes and veggies. 

There you have it. That is dinner. Austin takes leftovers to work for lunch. Dessert isn't big in our house but we do occasionally have ice cream, Trader Joes Ice cream cookie sandwiches are AMAZING. or when I get into baking moods we might have some sweet treat. I need to go marinate the steaks for dinner tonight :) Have a blessed Thursday.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A clean home is a HAPPY home...

hi. my name is Erika and I like lists. At any given moment I have at least 2 lists I am working off of. Reminder list, grocery list, to do lists. You name it, i've either got it, had it or will have it! haha I would consider myself to be very type A and am slight OCD. I like things to be organized, to have a "home" and to be clean (im sure my mom would beg to differ when I was in high school given the state of my room & car..) I am constantly changing up how I keep our house clean. Since we just said "goodbye" to summer and hello to fall I thought i'd share with you my new fall cleaning schedule. Now, I get sidetracked, things happen, the floors don't get swept, dishes get left in the sink, but having it all organized on paper helps my brain be less stressed and our house more clean (typically!) I was talking with another mama friend about cleaning schedules and she asked if I had one, and as a matter of fact I do! summer always gets a little out of wack, we are always so busy and running around stuff, cleaning, tends to get pushed to the back burner.

I thought i'd share my likes and dislikes of cleaning :


FLOORS-- Ugh, how I hate vacuuming, sweeping, moping, swiffering, anything that has to do with cleaning the floors. I love when they are clean, but I don't like doing it. Floors are Austin's "favorite" so he will do them on the weekends, or when he feels like it.. usually after I do them and he says they aren't clean enough (haha)

BUTCHER BLOCK: SO we just moved into our new home recently (house tour to come soon, promise) and in the kitchen we have awesome granite counter tops EXCEPT for the large center island is butcher block. ya ya ya it looks cool but functional.. not so much. It has some stains (a little OCD girl over here and stains drive me nuts) and you can only wash it with vinegar.. I HATE the smell of vinegar. Quick story, I was making our dog Bruce bones and had a bowl of eggs next to me, some how i knocked it over all over the butcher block. It was absorbing into it and I was beyond grossed out. I cleaned it with vinegar but I still don't feel like its sanitized enough. Anyways, We are going to replace it with granite but we can't match it 100% so we are trying to figure out the best granite option for our kitchen. So for now, I live with the butcher block.

FAVORITE "chore":
Bathrooms! I love love love a clean bathroom. There are times I clean the toilets in our house multiple times a week.. why? I dunno, throw a pair of gloves on and it's easy and everyone loves a clean toilet!

Okay, back on track.. Here is my FALL cleaning schedule! It will be altered, things will be added but for now it works!

A clean house is a HAPPY house!

Make Bed(s)
Start load of laundry
Unload dishwasher

Switch over laundry (or) fold laundry
Clean up kitchen from lunch
Wipe down counters
Finish unloading dishwasher, load 

Before bed kitchen must be SPOTLESS (Minus soaking pans ;))
Dishwasher started 
Toys picked up

Clean out fridge, discard old left overs, outdated food
Wipe down shelves and drawers in fridge
Clean sweep of pantry
Grocery shopping- Restock food & prep food if needed

Bathrooms (all 3!) 
-toilets, counters, sinks, showers, mirrors & BASEBOARDS
-Sanitize switches and doorknobs


Wash all sheets
wipe down baseboards (obsession of mine)

Dust all rooms & mirrors not in bathrooms
FREE DAY-- pick a month task

Project day!-- monthly task or yearly task

 Garbages & Recylcing (AUSTIN)

1st of the MONTH:
Pay bills & budget :)
Make list of needed household supplies & ordered necessities

Vacuum couches
clean under sink in kitchen & bathrooms
Organize kitchen drawers
Organize closets/ drawers
Organize bathroom drawers  & wipe out
Go through Ryder’s clothes and pack up too small
Window tracks & windows
wipe down blinds
wipe out all kitchen cabinets
clean out cars

Go through toys and donate

Now the fun begins, fall. I love summer but fall is one of my favorites as well. I hope we can find some fun activities to stay busy this fall.. I hope to blog more too.. it's been awhile!

(Here is a picture of us from Ryder's 2nd Birthday. I cannot believe our little man is 2! )