twohundredseventy

Overcoming Deployment One Day at a Time

Homemade Hot Pockets

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Flaky crust with ooey, gooey goodness inside? Yes, please!

Well.  As I’ve said I cannot make any promises that I will ever eat entirely Paleo.  It’s because of recipes like this one (and because I adore sweets more than occasionally…shame, I know) that I cannot make such a promise.  Since the day I made these, though, I have begun eating cleaner-very little dairy if any, no added sugar, etc.

Anyway.  These homemade hot pockets were so much fun to make, especially with my boy’s help.  I got the recipe off of Pinterest, of course.  I mean…are there other places to get recipes these days?  I’m not so sure.

Here’s the link to the yummy blog that put this recipe in my kitchen:  The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife

What I Used:

1 large sheet puffed pastry, thawed (I used Pillsbury brand.)
1 ripe avocado, halved and mashed
9 dollops cream cheese, or approx. 1/3 cup (I used Philadelphia Cream Cheese.)
9 dollops salsa, slightly less than 1/3 cup (I used the fresh stuff from the produce section.)
sea salt and fresh-ground pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten
How I Did It:
1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with foil then grease.   I usually grease with Pam Cooking Spray.
2.  Follow the puff pastry package directions to thaw.  I did not thaw entirely.  I found it easier to cut the pastry when it was not entirely thawed out…less sticky that way.
3.  Once thawed cut the pastry into 2”x2” squares.  You should get 18 total squares, which will make 9 pockets.
4.  Split the avocado among 9 of the squares, followed by a dollop of cream cheese on each of those 9 then a dollop of salsa on top of the cream cheese on each of the same 9 squares.  (I used less than 1/3 cup of salsa mainly because I didn’t want my pastry to get soggy from too much liquid.)
*NOTE:  You can add however much of the 3 above ingredients as you like.  Some people may want a little extra avocado, or a little extra cream cheese, or a little extra everything.  Just make sure you don’t overstuff to prevent oozing.*
5.  Sprinkle sea salt and freshly grind a bit of pepper onto each of the 9 square with all the goodies on them.  (I am not a huge salt fan, but these need a little salt love.)
6.  Use the 9 leftover/plain pastry squares to top the filling, and press each side firmly down with a fork to create a tight seal.  (No openings=no oozing!)
7.  In a small bowl, beat an egg to create an egg wash.  This is where my son came in.  He applied the egg wash…with a turkey basting brush.  🙂
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8.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until desired browning and puffing occur.
9.  Enjoy!
Servings:  9
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Eat Cleaner. Start Here.

 AdditiveFoodBlog

If you’re anything like me, you want to eat cleaner, healthier but you don’t know where to start.

Here.

Start by cutting these 15 things out of your diet. Completely.

15 Scariest Food Additives

You’re welcome.  😉

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Diabetes-Friendly Online Tool (ADA Article Included)

The subject of diabetes always hits close to home with me.  Many, many of us are either affected by diabetes ourselves or know someone very close to us who is dealing with the disease on a daily basis.

That’s just it, though.  You have to deal, take care of yourself and continue living your life.  I found this pretty awesome tool on American Diabetes Association’s website.  It’s called My Food Advisor, and it makes living with diabetes just a little easier.  No one is alone in this.

Do You Know What You Are Eating?  

I have to add this… Just because your doctor may recommend LESS fat intake does not mean you should turn to low-fat or no-fat substitutes. Most are riddled with chemicals that damage your body, especially patients with diabetes. Chemicals in low-fat and no-fat substitutes are known to create spikes and severe drops in blood sugar. Opt for all natural lean meats and fibrous veggies to keep you full.

Enjoy life!

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Know Your Food (Forbes Article Included)

KnowYourFoodBlog

I cannot stress the fact enough that people need to understand what is going into their bodies.  Many of us (myself included) do not eat exactly the right foods to keep us healthy.  For that reason (and many others), the least we can do is understand the products that go into our systems and their effects.

*Warning*  The following probably isn’t for the weak-stomached.  It’s strictly for informative purposes only, but you may find yourself gagging once or twice.  Be careful.  😉

Here’s an article with just a few examples of what I mean.

6 Disgusting Things You’re Eating (And You Don’t Even Know It!)

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Bugs: They’re What’s for Dinner (Yahoo! Health Article Included)

Choose fresh over frozen or canned. Here’s why. 

8 Bugs You Don’t Know You’re Eating | Yahoo! Health.

 BugFoodBlog

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Life with a Two-Year-Old

What happened to my sweet, precious baby boy? He turned two. That’s what happened.

I remember when my son started crawling.  My first thought:  “Oh, how I miss the days when he would just sit and play.”

In the blink of an eye, he started walking.  At that time I thought, “Man, he was so much easier to control when he just crawled.”

Then he turned 1.  That’s when I realized our lives would never be the same.  I told everyone – “He must be hitting his terrible twos early because he’s a wild child.”

But wait.  Then he turned 2.  Everyone has told me, “Just wait.  Three is so much worse.”  I don’t believe it.  It’s impossible.

Don’t get me wrong, my little boy can be SO sweet, charming and gentle…about 5% of the time.

See? He can be sweet, but don’t let that face fool you.

The other 95% of the time, I spend telling him to sit on his bottom when he’s on the couch…among these common phrases:

  • “The couch is not a trampoline.”
  • “Don’t hit people with your toys.”
  • “Your little sister is not a baby doll you can drag around by the leg.”
  • “Eat.  Your.  Food.”
  • “No, stop.  Don’t play with your food.”
  • “No, you cannot have a snack.  It doesn’t matter how cute of a face you make at me.”
  • “We cannot go outside for the 10th time today.”
  • “Don’t get out of bed again.  Go to sleep.”
  • “If you get out of bed again, you’ll get a spanking.”
  • “One, TWO…….Three!”
  • And my latest favorite, “No, don’t say that.  That’s a bad, ugly word.”

Yeah, let’s talk about his latest phrases for a minute.

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Peace and Quiet

Both of my babies are napping.  *Knock on wood.*

There’s peace and quiet in my house, so why do I find myself at a loss for what to write?  Perhaps my mind is stuck on needing to finish part three of my “A Bubbly 2nd Birthday Blowout” post.  Maybe I need the chaos of my 2-year-old running around, screaming in glee, and my 2-month-old fussing until I pick her up and carry her around for hours on end as motivation to sit down and write.  Most likely, though, my mind is too focused on packing.

I need to start packing for my 9-month vacation back to Louisiana during hubby’s deployment.  I have very little time to get everything together that the three of us will need for 9 months away from our current home.  I’m just not ready to face that reality yet, though.

I can tell myself all day long, “It’s just a vacation,” but the gut-wrenching feeling in the pit of my stomach knows better.  It’s telling me what is really happening-My best friend/love of my life won’t be going on this “vacation” with us.

While there’s peace and quiet in my house for now, my emotions won’t settle enough to feel the peace or enjoy the quiet.

–End pity party here.  Onto something more exciting-finshing my 2-year-old’s birthday party blog.  Now that’s the type of party I like!–

Update:  “A Bubbly 2nd Birthday Blowout [Part 3]” has been finished & published.  I just couldn’t bring myself to break up those posts with this random thought.  I need organization in my life, after all.  😉

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A Bubbly 2nd Birthday Blowout [Part 3]

**This particular post is more geared toward the do-it-yourself party planners with tips and ideas.  It’s part of my twohundredseventy blog because this is something very special my husband & family got to do together before he leaves.  Enjoy.**

Finally!  We’re almost to the party part of this blowout blog.  Preparing for the party was a much longer process than I expected.  Writing these posts about the party have proven to be the same, but I love being able to share how we did everything and the time we spent together.  Please go check out the 1st and 2nd parts of this post.  I think they’re fun.  🙂

Onward to the party & activities.

Again, I have to give credit to Beth Kruse’s Custom Creations blog for putting these ideas in my head. Y’all should go check her out!

First we took part in some bubble art.  (And that’s about as far as my rhyming skills take me.)  Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of how I set everything up, but here’s a final product.

This is my 9-year-old sister-in-law’s final product. All the kids really enjoyed blowing different colors of bubbles.

What We Used:

  • 4 Styrofoam Cups
  • 4 Bubble Wands
  • 4 Bottles of Bubbles (I used the leftover bottles of bubbles I had after making all the party favors.)
  • Food Coloring (Red, Yellow, Green, Blue)
  • Multi-purpose Paper/Printer Paper
  • Highlighter (Blue…To go with the bubble theme…)

How We Did It:

It’s simple.  I filled each of the cups with one bottle of bubbles then added one food color to each cup.  You can determine the amount of food coloring you put in.  It just depends on how light or dark you want the bubbles.

I made sure to take the bubble wands out of each bottle of bubbles, so each color would have its own wand.

For every kid who came to the party, I wrote his/her name on a sheet of white paper with my handy blue highlighter.  (Blue is a must at a bubble party.  😉 )  This way every kid knew which sheet of paper belonged to him/her.  I’ll do anything to avoid fighting children.

During the party, the kids took turns gathering around the table (OUTSIDE) and blowing various colors of bubbles onto their papers  until their little hearts were content.  There were so many beautiful pieces of artwork.  I wish I would’ve taken more pictures:  Another lesson learned.

I do have this great picture of my husband and son participating in the bubble art, though.  🙂

There were many precious moments like this one at this party that I’m so thankful hubby got to participate in before deployment.

Next activity:  Pipe cleaner bubble wands

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A Bubbly 2nd Birthday Blowout [Part 2]

**This particular post is more geared toward the do-it-yourself party planners with tips and ideas.  It’s part of my twohundredseventy blog because this is something very special my husband & family got to do together before he leaves.  Enjoy.**

My husband and I had so much fun hand making all of the bubbly party decorations together. (Go read “A Bubbly 2nd Birthday Blowout [Part 1]”.)  As two avid perfectionists, I was very proud of our ability to maintain composure at every slip of the scissor and not kill each other.  We even ran into a bit of a predicament when we tried to go to our local party store the morning of the party for balloons.  It was a Sunday, and I guess people don’t need party supplies on Sunday until after noon.  Fail.

As soon as I began to panic, my husband maintained complete composure, took me to Wal-Mart and found me my own little helium tank and almost every color balloon I was in search of.  Now that’s perfection.

With all these said balloons, we designed an awesome “bubble” wall and welcomed our guests with your go-to “We’re throwing a party here today” sign-balloons on the mailbox & up our walkway.

The “Bubble” Wall

What They Used:

  • Balloons (light blue, dark blue, silver and white)
  • Scotch tape

How They Did It:

My husband, who is full of hot air ;), father-in-law and sister-in-law blew up many, many, many balloons in different sizes and colors:  light blue, dark blue, white, silver.  Then my mother-in-law and father-in-law spent about half an hour taping the balloons to our back wall of windows.  I loved how it turned out.  Very bubbly.

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A Bubbly Welcome

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Out Floating “Bubbles” Walkway

What Hubby Used:

  • Store-bought helium tank
  • Ribbon (white and blue)
  • Party weights (blue and white)

How He Did It:

Putting balloons on a mailbox is pretty self explanatory and extremely common, so I won’t even bore you with the details there.  For the walkway, hubby blew up the balloons with the helium tank, tied ribbon to the end of the balloons then to the weights and placed the floating “bubbles” along the walkway up to our front door.  The only problem we ran into with this was the wind.  It took out these floating bubbles within an hour.  Otherwise, I thought it was an awesome idea that I can’t even take credit for.

While all the balloon decorating was taking place, I got to the good stuff- baking the semi-homemade bubbly cupcakes.

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A Bubbly 2nd Birthday Blowout [Part 1]

**This particular post is more geared toward the do-it-yourself party planners with tips and ideas.  It’s part of my twohundredseventy blog because this is something very special my husband & family got to do together before he leaves.  Enjoy.**

The days leading up to the dreaded 270-day deployment aren’t all bad.  This past weekend we celebrated my son’s 2nd birthday.  Thanks to Pinterest, Beth Kruse’s Custom Creations blog, a little imagination and my very helpful husband and inlaws, my son’s 2nd birthday party was a hit.  It was full of homemade decorations, semi-homemade cupcakes and activities all with the bubble theme.

 If you’re looking to make your own decorations for your next party, can I suggest not waiting until the night before?  It is very time consuming, but totally worth it to have some creative freedom.  Here’s some of the things my husband and I got to work on together-time I cherish right before the D-word.

Bubbly Party Favor Tags

ImageWhat I Used:

  • Card stock (Silver, indigo and powder blue)
  • Scissors
  • Printed notes (“Thanks for popping in!”)
  • Hole puncher
  • White ribbon
  • Bubbles and sunglasses (as the party favors)

How I Did It:

First, I found different size round objects around the house that I could trace onto the card stock.  Then I cut out 4 round “bubbles” in the various colors I bought for each party favor tag, and I arranged them in such a way to give them a little dimension.  Each tag turned out a little different than the last.

 My computer-savy husband designed the actual “Thank you” part of the party favor tag using a Microsoft software.  We printed an entire sheet of those on the powder blue card stock, cut them into oval shapes and placed them on the bubbly party favor tags.

I then punched a single hole into each tag, inserted the white ribbon and tied it around the favors.  Simple, cute and therapeutic to do yourself.

The homemade birthday banner was also very therapeutic.   Read the rest of this entry »

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