Back to school for me.

Godaddy.com gave me a free course at the Shaw Academy and I chose Introduction to Web Design.  Today (10/17/16) was my first day.  I really enjoyed the class :), I learned so much.  Today was about notepad++ and HTML at least the basics.  I created my first page design, it was only a couple of lines but until today I couldn’t have even done that.  On Wednesday we will be learning more HTML and CCS, I can’t wait.

The last time I tried doing any type of computer programming was back when the dinosaurs   roamed the earth (lol) at least that’s what my kids would say.  Really it was when I was a teenager and it was before you had a personal computer at home.  I was also taught how to repair computers too, but they were still huge and mostly at banks and places like that.  Not long after that you could get them at home and I was still able to work on them.  Now it’s easier (and usually cheaper) to just buy a new computer than to fix the one you have.  Things have changed so much which was good for me.  I know that I am only learning how to design a web page with HTML and CCS and that’s the easier part of web design, but it has given me the confidence to go on to the next phase of java script and I’m not sure what the other part is called.

I’d forgotten how much I liked School.  I love to learn new things and this has been so up lifting for me, I can’t stop smiling.  If you have a chance to learn something new take it, enjoy it.

Have you taken (or are taking) any classes that make you smile? Please let me know so we can all smile together.

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a Blessed day,

Vickie (zebiesmom)

Vons shopping (savings) trip on 2/22/16

Today I went to Vons and saved more than what I spent, and I only used five coupons.  I used one that was from the Vons ad which gave me $5.00 off purchase of $50.00 or more, two $1.00 off cereal, and two $.50 cents off enchilada sauce.   All the rest of the savings were from the sale with my Vons club card.

What I bought at Vons today

What I bought at Vons today

This would of cost $107.34 but with the Card Savings $54.71, Basket Savings $5.00, and the Paper Coupons $3.00 which is a total savings of $62.71 a 58% percent savings.  I only paid $44.63 I did have to get a rain check for the Birdseye steam fresh vegies they were on sale for $.99 cents each.

I know some people might cringe because I bought frozen burritos, cereal, and frosting, but there are times when they come in handy.  The cereal on the other hand is a necessity when you have an autistic daughter who doesn’t always eat what you make or is up in the middle of the night and wants something to eat and there is no one to  cook for her because we are asleep.  When you have children with special needs you learn very quickly that there are some battles worth fighting and some that are not.

With her we have come a long way since she finally got off the bottle at a little over two years old and would finally eat some things but would not use forks or spoons because she didn’t like the way they felt in her mouth.  She is now 20 turning 21 in April and I am still making her try new foods, yes I said making because if I don’t she would never try anything new, there are somethings work but a lot doesn’t.  I am grateful for every little victory when she likes a new food or just a new way a food she likes (like hamburger) is made.  In fact one of those victory’s came from a new recipe I tried from The Pioneer Woman “Salisbury Steak Meatballs”  it was really good.  I highly recommend it, you can find the recipe on her website thepioneerwoman.com she has a lot great recipes and other things on there so go check it out.

The Salisbury Steak Meatballs that I made sooooo good

The Salisbury Steak Meatballs that I made sooooo good

What recipes (if any) have you tried from Ree “The Pioneer Woman”?  Please leave a comment I’d love to know what you’ve tried.

Thanks for stopping by and have a Blessed Day,

Vickie (Zebiesmom)

 

 

Panda’s Cheeseburger Soup

My family is always telling me that I need to write down my recipes so I can create a cookbook.  I am not one for measuring my ingredients, so every time I make something it is never the same, and sometimes I can’t even recreate it at all because I don’t write down what I put in it.  I am the type that might start from a recipe and then add what every I want to it and make it my own.  In fact I hope that is what you do with this recipe, tweak it to make it your own.  As for the name I chose referring to “Panda” it is named for my daughter Freya who loves Pandas and really likes my Cheeseburger Soup.  I have to admit that because I had to measure the ingredients to write this it was actually the best batch of cheeseburger soup I’ve made (what a surprise).   So here goes:

 

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PANDA’S CHEESEBURGER SOUP

Ingredients for step 1

  • 1 pound of Hamburger
  • 1/2 to 1 chopped medium Onion ( I used sweet onion)
  • 2 to 4 Garlic Cloves  minced  (we like garlic so I used 4)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chicken Bouillon
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of Montreal Chicken Season
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Granulated Garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Pink Salt or your salt of choice  (we only use pink salt now I get mine from Amazon in bulk.)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Turmeric

Ingredients for step 2

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce ( I used Lea & Perrins)
  • 1 (10 3/4 oz) can of Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup

 

Ingredients for step 3

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Better than Bouillon Beef Base (plus) 32 oz  of Water {OR} 32 oz of Beef Broth
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Mustard
  • 2 to 4 cups of Potatoes ( I like lots of potatoes so I used 5 large Gold Potatoes)
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese ( I used Sharp)
  • 1 Serrano Chile  minced*

*( I used  plastic gloves to avoid direct contact when I cut up the Chile, because hot Chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes. If your bare hands do touch the Chile peppers, wash you hands well with soap and water.)

 

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  1. Put all the ingredients for step 1 into your crockpot (if you have one that has a brown/sauté feature like mine) or in a large skillet, cook over medium heat until the meat is brown.

 

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   2.  Add the ingredients for step 2 and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes.

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  3.  If you used a skillet to brown in put the mixture into the crockpot.  Add the ingredients for step 3 into the crockpot, stir to combine.  Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 11 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 5 1/2 hours.

 

 

Serve and enjoy

Serve and enjoy

 

 

You may think that the Serrano Chile is going to make this hot but it doesn’t.  I made it once without the Chile (only because I forgot to get it and didn’t have time to get one) and I found that it does need the Chile, it really adds a lot of flavor.

I hope you try this and enjoy it as much as we do.  Let me know how you liked it.  When you made it did you make any changes, if so what were they?

Thanks for stopping by and have a Blessed day,

Vickie (Zebiesmom)

 

Creating my first printable

Hello,

I am so excited because yesterday I created my first printable.  I took a webinar class from I Heart Planners to learn how to create your own planner pages.  They taught us how to use excel to do this, which was great because I had been trying to figure out how to use excel, and had no clue.  I now understand why most people would rather buy them then to try to create them themselves.  It does take sometime to create them and when you are first learning it takes a really long time, but for me it was worth it.  I really like learning new things and by learning how to create my own I can customize them just for me and my family, or even one day start making them myself to sell.

 

I made this for my daughter, she likes to do list. It is an A5 size and will fit perfect on the new paper we bought to go in her planner binder.

I made this for my daughter, she likes to do lists. It is an A5 size and will fit perfect on the new paper we bought to go in her planner binder.

 

If you would like to learn how to do your own go visit I heart planners.  The class made it easy for me to learn and as a I heart planner club member I was able to get the class for 50% off.  If you like printable planners and don’t want to make them yourself they have a club you can join and you can download all the planner pages that they make.  In fact if they don’t have something you want you can send a request to see if they can create it for you.  Because I am member not long ago I asked if they would create a printable to keep tract of craft supplies and they did, it’s really cute too.

I heart planners in no way ask me to write this blog.  This is my own opinion, I wanted let you know of a great place that I found for the things I need, and perhaps something you may need.

 

Do you like to use planners like “to do list”?  If so what kind do you like to use and where to you get them from?

Thanks for visiting and have a Blessed day,

Vickie (Zebiesmom)

 

Peppers Anyone?

Hello,

I am the main cook in my family for better or worse.  Some days it’s worse, like the time I burned the chicken.  It was really crispy (black) on the outside and still a little moist on the inside.  My family not only ate it, but even said it was good (go figure).  That has not always been the case.  In all my  years of cooking I have only made a few things you couldn’t eat (not even the dog would eat it, so you know it was bad).

But that wasn’t the case when I made my stuff peppers last night. When I make my peppers they are never the same twice, even if I try to make them the same exact way.  The only thing I always use is the pepper (of course), hamburger and cheese.  I use what ever else I may have and even the cheese may not be the same kind that I used the time before.   They were so good even my picky eater Sonja ate the stuffing part of the pepper (she never eats the pepper itself).  I was very surprised I didn’t think she would eat it because it had hot Italian sausage and cilantro in it, but when I  cook  the sausage with the hamburger and add the other ingredients it wasn’t that hot anymore.  Of course there was some sour cream involved.

Ok I forgot to put the eggs I used to bind the stuffing in the first photo.  I browned the hamburger and the sausage with a little pink salt, garlic pepper and turmeric (of course I forgot to put those in the photo too).  While the meat was cooling I cut the end of the peppers off, took out the seeds and then rubbed them with extra virgin olive oil ( that’s in the brown container) to help soften the skin during cooking.  After the meat cooled I put it in a bowl and combined it with the panko, cilantro, cheese and eggs.  I then stuff the peppers put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  I served them with a little (or a lot) of sour cream.  I must say this again they were sooooo good.

Do you like stuffed peppers?  If so what do you like to stuff them with?

Thanks for visiting  and have a Blessed day,

Vickie (Zebiesmom)

Christmas and Almost New Year update

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a Blessed Christmas.  We had a great day, my girls only got two gifts on Christmas day (Freya only ended up with one on that day.  One of her gifts didn’t get delivered on time, she did get it the following Monday).   At their age I get them things all year long and only save a couple of things for Christmas day so they have something to open.  I have a hard time waiting to give them the gifts to enjoy when I buy them.  My fun for Christmas is watching them trying to open their gifts.  Since they were little, but at the same time big enough I tape their gifts so that there is no exposed edge to the paper.  Every year they know they are really going to have to work to get to their gifts.  That might sound mean, but they actually have fun and try to see who can open the gifts the fastest it’s more of a game to them.

Sonja and her new game

Sonja and her new game

Sonja and her zebra pillow pet. (she is why I call my blog Zebiesmom, loves zebras and has one called Zebie)

Sonja and her zebra pillow pet. (she is why I call my blog Zebiesmom,  she loves zebras and has one called Zebie)

Freya and her backpack (she has a thing for backpacks, wish I knew why *lol*) she also got a panda pillow pet on Monday.

Freya and her backpack (she has a thing for backpacks, wish I knew why *lol*) she also got a panda pillow pet on Monday.

On Saturday we went to my oldest daughters house to have Christmas time with them.  Them being my daughter Natasha, my son (in-law) Sal, and my grand kids Alexzander and Aaliyah . 20151226_125847 20151226_125743 20151226_125509 20151226_125309 20151226_125225 20151226_125147 20151226_125100

Yes your right I forgot to take a picture of Sal.  He was at work when these were taken and didn’t get home until a few hours later, oh well next time.  The last three of the photo’s are items I made for them.  I knitted a poncho for Aaliyah and scarf for Alexzander and crochet a cowl for Natasha.  As you can see my granddaughter is a true ham and I love it.  It’s so funny when I bought the sports band for my daughter she didn’t have one, when I got there I found out that she had bought one not long before that (figures right).  Now she will be on two separate teams (lucky her… lol).

Our Christmas dinner at home.

Our Christmas dinner at home.

As you can see this year I kept Christmas very simple from the gifts to the food, it made for a very stress free holiday.  I was able to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas much more.

 

Now that Christmas has past and we are about to start a New Year, I have decided that I am not going to make any New Year resolutions.  Instead I am making life changes one (baby) step at a time, I want what I am doing to last not fade away after a short period of time (for me that is what usually happens).  In fact I have started with one goal this week which is getting organized.  Yesterday I started to re-do some of my daughters Freya room.  Today I am going to finish it (I hope) it won’t be perfect, but it will be a lot better than it has been.  It’s very hard to keep either of my daughters Freya or Sonja organized because they are autistic and not the organized ones the very un-organized kind.  I not only have to organize my self and stay organized for my self, I have three others that I have to do that for (yes a husband too).  My husband is like me we put something some where it safe and will be easy to find (or so we think LOL) and then we can’t find it, and end up buying a new one because we need to use it at the time (picture me trying not to pull out my hair looking for what ever it is we have but can’t find).  I mean I use to have fun playing hide and seek as kid, but this is so not the same.

 

How about you, are you making resolutions for the up coming year?  If so what are they?  Please leave a comment and let me know what they are.

 

Thanks for visiting and have a Blessed day,

Vickie

Making Christmas Cards

My daughter Freya and I made Christmas cards for her to give to her friends at church.  It took three days only because we would work on them a little at a time each day.  We had a lot of fun.  She was so excited about using her new Baby Blue die cutting machine from Tattered Lace (which she is going to review on her blog lifeofanuglybetty.blogspot.com).  Almost all of the products we used to make the cards were bought from Create and Craft.  The dies we used we all from Tattered Lace, Freya cut the small ones with her Baby Blue and I used my Crossover for the larger dies.  We used white card stock, black card stock, blue vellum, silver hologram card stock, glue, tape runner, silver pigment ink, Christ is born stamp, embossing ink pad, gold embossing powder, heat gun and baby whips to clean up the stamp.

Here is the progressing of the card making:

 

all the supplies we used expect for the tape runner

all the supplies we used expect for the tape runner

back of the card

back of the card

front of the card

front of the card

front of the card after being embossed

front of the card after being embossed

assembly of the cards from start to finish

assembly of the cards from start to finish

Freya showing off the card just before leaving for the party at church

Freya showing off the card just before leaving for the party at church

 

We made 20 cards for her to give out.  On Tuesday (15th) the day of the party we also made 4 batches of cookies for the party.  We made two batches of ginger bread cookies (one of them was gluten free) and two batches of chocolate chip cookies (one of them was gluten free).  It was the first time I ever made gluten free cookies and they came out great.  You couldn’t really tell the difference between the them and the ones made with flour.  For the gluten free cookies I used Bobs Red Mill flour, it was a one to one so it made it easy to make the same recipe for both kinds of cookies.  We made gluten free cookies because a couple of the girls in the church group have to eat gluten free.  They were so happy to see that we thought of them and made something they could eat too.  They thought they were really good and took some home.  In fact the gluten free chocolate chip cookies (she doesn’t like ginger bread cookies of any kind) were Sonja approved.  I know that saying something is Sonja approved may sound funny to most of you, and for us it is some what of a standing joke, but not at the same time.  Sonja is the one of my two daughters (still at home) who has the tack tile problem with food, so for her to like something is a big deal (at least to us).

I just recently started my own blog site.  I did use blogger.com so if you would like to read any of my earlier post you can go to zebiesmom.blogspot.com, there you can find out a little more about my life and my family.

Thank you for stopping by and have a Blessed day,

Vickie

 

Meal Prep Haven product review

Hello,

Today I am reviewing a new product I bought from Amazon, it is the Meal Prep Haven’s three, two and one compartment food prep containers.  They say they are BPA Free, Microwavable, Freezer Safe, Stackable, Reusable, and Dishwasher Safe.  I have to take their word that it is BPA Free, but I tested one of the three compartment containers and I have to say they are all of the above.

I put food that could leak and possible not freeze well.  I put in a half of a chicken breast that I cooked in a slow cooker with some of the broth that it was cooked in (in the large side).  In one of the smaller compartments I put instant mashed potatoes and in the other some canned baked beans.  I put them in the freezer,  waited for two weeks to take it out, reheated it in the microwave, then put it in the dishwasher.

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Before it was put in the freezer.

Before it was put in the freezer.

After it came out of the freezer.

After it came out of the freezer.

After coming out of the microwave.

After coming out of the microwave.

After coming out of the dishwasher.

After coming out of the dishwasher.

I really like the product.  The liquid that was with the chicken did not leak into either one of the other compartments and after heating the food in the microwave it tasted just like it did the day I made it.  They are a little more expensive than some of the other products like it, but they are very sturdy and the sides that stick out a little don’t really get hot and it makes it easy to take out of the microwave.  The only thing I wish I would of done differently when I was heating up the food was to take out the bake beans sooner so they didn’t over cook.  The potatoes and the chicken took longer to heat up because they were right out of the freezer.

So if you are looking for meal prep containers I highly recommend this product.  I got them because my daughters and I are on a change of life habits path.  I would normal say we are trying to diet and lose weight, but that only last for so long.  We are working on losing weight, eating better, saving money by not wasting leftovers.  I have found that we don’t eat right mainly at lunch time because nothing is ready to just eat so we end up eating what’s not good for us, or something that was made from a box or a can.  Sometimes we would just not eat at all, which is just as bad.  Both of my daughters that are still home are autistic and one has a tactile problem when it comes to food.  With her she usually doesn’t eat what we do or even when we do.  Using these will help with her eat better, because I can use my vitamix and blend up veggies that she won’t eat and put them into the things she will.

What do you do to eat better and/or save your left overs?

Thanks for stopping by and have a Blessed day,

Vickie