Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oatmeal with Craisins and....

Since we've gone gluten-free and discovered Daniel's egg allergy, breakfasts have gotten more complicated, or more interesting, however you'd like to look at it. One thing we've been eating a lot more of is oatmeal.  But what do you do when you run out of your "standard" toppings?  You have to get a little more inventive.

I've been watching some episodes of Cupcake Wars lately, and one thing that they do a lot is mix two flavors that you might not otherwise put in a cupcake.  So, I decided to try the same thing with my oatmeal yesterday.

Usually I put brown sugar in my oatmeal, but we ran out on Saturday when I made a GFCF apple crisp.

We did have Craisins on hand, and they taste great in oatmeal.  But, I wanted something salty to help soothe my sore throat, balance the sweetness of the Craisins, and give me a little protein with my carbs.

Enter.... BACON.

That's right.  I put Craisins and bacon in my oatmeal yesterday and it was.... GREAT!  I'll definitely be doing that again.  :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Happy Birthday to my loving husband, Daniel!  :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Promised Foodie Review

I mentioned last week that I might do a food review during ICLW, so here you go, on the last day of ICLW!

Last weekend we were invited to another couple's house for dinner, and I offered to bring dessert.  I had a box of Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Brownie Mix on hand, so I decided to whip that up and take it along.  Good thing I started early, because it was an epic fail. However, I don't think it's a bad mix.

Let me explain.  I didn't follow the instructions to a T, and I made one modification to the recipe.  Here's a list of the things I think might have gone wrong, and how I'd like to change them for the next time I attempt to make this mix.

Possible Issue #1--In addition to all his more run-of-the-mill allergies, Daniel is also allergic to eggs.  So, that means I have to get a little more creative when I'm baking.  I had some Ener-G egg replacer on hand, so I decided to use that in place of the eggs.  Next time, I think I might try something like applesauce. I've done that in cakes before, and it has worked just fine.

Possible Issue #2--Our oven's temperature is off by as much as 50 degrees.  We are aware of this issue, and we know how to compensate for it.  But, it might just be that this particular GF mix is not forgiving enough. Next time I think I might try to get my hands on an oven thermometer.

Possible Issue #3--You're supposed to test it with a wooden toothpick.  I don't have any.  So, I did what I always do with all my baking, and tested it with a metal knife.  It never did come out clean, even though the top got hard and crispy.  Next time I'll use a match if I have to!  :P

Possible Issue #4--I left my pizza stone in the oven while it was baking, like I always do.  But again, I'm wondering if the GF mix is just too finicky for that.  Next time I'll take the pizza stone out.

Possible Issue #5--I used a glass pan.  The instructions call for a non-stick or dark pan.  I have neither (nor would I want to.  Teflon and heavy metals? No thank you!).  I won't be changing anything about that.

So... there you have it.  Five possible reasons why my gluten-free brownies didn't turn out last weekend.  I will say though, that the batter tasted just fine (no eggs, remember?), so I think that the mix itself is still good, it's just my baking process that may need a little tweaking.

I did turn up some reviews on Amazon of other bakers that had similar issues with this mix and Ener-G egg replacer.  I do not recommend using Ener-G egg replacer with this mix.  It just seems like too many of us have had issues with the mix and that replacer for it to be a coincidence.

Friday, January 25, 2013

There's a First Time for Everything

Today I'm filing business taxes for the first time ever.  *gulp*  I'm a little nervous about it.  I was REALLY nervous about it until yesterday when I called the Department of Revenue and a nice lady there walked me through the e-file process and helped me to figure out exactly what categories I needed to file under.  I'm so proud of myself that it looks like I collected enough tax to cover what I owe!  :D

So, yep, first time filing business taxes.  Fun stuff.  :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Who did I nominate?

In case you missed it, yesterday I was given my first blog award!  I had to nominate 11 other bloggers for it, so you can check out yesterday's post for the list of bloggers who I nominated!  :)  I hope they'll all answer my questions!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My First Blog Award!

Jamie over at IUI to Roux-en-Y to ?? has given me my first blog award!  :D  I feel loved!  I'm going to have to respond to this award in two parts, since I'm just about going to be late for the bus if I don't start moving NOW.  Come back tomorrow to find out who I'm passing on the award to, and my answers to Jamie's questions!

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.  The award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another. What a fun way to get to know other bloggers!

If you receive a nomination, there are a few rules to follow:

1) Each blogger nominated must post 11 things about themselves.
2) Then answer the 11 questions the tagger has asked.
3) Blogger must then create 11 questions of their own to ask the bloggers they decide to nominate.
4) They must choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and link them on their blog post.
5) Bloggers must be notified of their award!  (I will likely slack on this one - Jamie)
6) No tag backs!

11 things about me:

1)  I was born in a foreign country that hardly anyone can find on a map.
2)  I'm the only person in my immediate family who lives in the US.
3)  I'm infertile, but founded an online community that teaches Fertility Awareness.
4)  I love cats.
5)  I've only driven our car once since the day we bought it.  Incidentally... it was the day we bought it. :P
6)  I met Michael W. Smith by "accident" in 2005. My mother has powerful prayers.  :)
7)  When I was in high school, it took me 3 buses and a ferry to get to school.
8)  Growing up, my favorite food was spaghetti with margarine and Parmesan cheese, topped with Ranch dressing.  Unfortunately, I can't eat any of that any more.  :(
9)  I'm a good writer, but I only managed a C on my grade 12 English final.  Go figure.
10)  I hate poetry. (See #9)
11)  Summer is by far my favorite season.  Unless we get a foot of snow in winter.

Jamie asked me 11 questions:

1.  When was the last time you played a board game?

When my parents and my sister were here for Christmas.

2.  What game did you play?

Geografacts.  Dad is the only person who will play with me, so I only get to play when he comes to visit.

3.  What was the last book you read?

The last book I finished was Emerald Windows by Teri Blackstock.

4.  What movie did you last see in the theater?  How was it?

Les Miserables.  It was good!

5.  What item(s) are you never without?

My glasses.

6.  What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?


7.  Do you have siblings?  Are you close?

Yes. I have 1 sister and 1 brother.  I don't think we're extremely close, but we're closer than a lot of siblings.  :)

8.  What kind of music do you listen to?

Christian music, or classical.

9.  Have you ever met anyone in person that you met online?

I love this question.  The answer is yes.  Most of my closest friends I met online.  I've met a few of them, and Daniel and I actually took a vacation to see one of them (and her family) in 2011.

10.  Do you still have a land phone line?

Yes.  With all of my immediate family in Canada, it's still cheaper for us to maintain a landline.  :)

11.  Do you watch reality TV?

Yes.  And that's all I'm going to admit to.  :P

Here are the 11 questions for my nominees:

1. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
2. What is your favorite topic to blog about?
3. What is your favorite dessert?
4. How did you meet your husband?
5. How old were you when you got your first cell phone?
6. Who is your favorite author?
7. What do you love most about your husband?
8. What was your favorite memory of 2012?
9. Why do you blog?
10. What is your favorite TV show?
11. If you could move ANYWHERE in the world, where would you move, and why?

And, finally, my 11 nominees...

The first four are dealing with infertility.  The last seven are either pregnant, or parenting. I don't read a lot of blogs, can you tell?  :)

2.  Amanda, from Genuine Greavu

3.  Slynn, from Home Grown Love
4. Rebecca from Life of an Army Wife
6.  Lisa, from (Still) Trying to Conceive
7. The Griswolds from Our Grisworld
8. Jules from How I Spend My Dash
9.  Monica, from Captivated by Love
10.  Kristina, from Mythical Family
11. Melissa, from Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Go Improve Yourself 2013

Daniel and I are involved in a process called Go Improve Yourself to kick off our year.  We each chose one area of our lives to focus on for 60 days.  We're both focusing on getting our home businesses off the ground. Daniel is working on getting an IT company up and running, and I'm working on growing my piano studio.

But, what I really wanted to tell you about today was my assignment for this week.  I'm kind of excited, kind of stressed out about it.  My assignment for this week is to write down, every half hour, what I did.  At the end of the week, I get to review it, and then re-design my ideal week.  I'm anticipating this is going to be a real eye-opening experiment.  And yes, I already quit my one major Facebook game because I knew it would make my week look better.  The other two wrenches in this assignment for the next week are these:

1)  The MTHFR family I work for has been sick, and continues to be sick, and may still be contagious.

2)  I'm on call for jury duty.  I didn't have to report in yesterday (were the courts even open?), but I have no idea if I'll have to report in tomorrow (I have to call in again tonight).

Usually my weeks consist of Tuesday and Wednesday with the MTHFR family, but I already know Tuesday won't be happening, and Wednesday may not either.  If I get called in, and selected for jury duty... then who knows HOW long my schedule will be completely shot.  :P

So... this week may be an adventure.  I'm glad all my ICLW friends are here to keep me company this week!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Welcome ICLW!

If you're stopping by from ICLW: Welcome, and thanks for stopping in!  :)  You can read more about me, our about our TTC journey (updated since last month!).

I don't have much more to say today, other than this blog is slowly starting to take shape and move in a cohesive direction, much like my life is right now.  :)  So... you'll probably see a gluten-free product review this week, some reflections on my piano students, maybe a post about my work with the MTHFR family (yes, that's an alias), and some musings on my walk with Jesus.  If you stick around all week, you may even hear about my allergy test results.  I'm expecting to get those some time this week.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Test Results!

I called the lab this afternoon to see if my test results were in, and they were!  :D  So, I walked up there, and got them.  Turns out I've got one copy of the C677T gene, just like Daniel!

I came straight home, sent Daniel an e-mail, called T (of the MTHFR family), and then Skype'd my dad.  My results mean that one of my parents has at least one C677T gene, and one parent has a "normal" gene.  Can't tell who is who unless they get tested.

We still don't know about my COMT status.  That will come later when we have enough money to do's genetic test.  :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Good (Cheap!) Gluten-Free Eats!

Yesterday I vented a little bit, since I don't know what else to write about MTHFR, but people are telling me I should write more on that topic.  In order to do so, I need your help, so please read that post and leave me your MTHFR questions!  :)

But enough about that. Today I want to tell you about one of our favorite gluten-free products, that you can get for a super awesome deal on Amazon!  (Yes, links will be affiliate links to Amazon.)

Gluten-Free Pantry's Muffin & Scone Mix is a versatile base for muffins and mini-loaves.  In addition to being gluten-free, it is also casein-free, and works well with egg replacers, which is great for people with casein and egg allergies like Daniel! There IS corn in the mix, which is problematic for people on a GFCFSFCF diet, but it's from Canada, so it is not genetically modified. The only soy in the mix is from possible cross-contamination.

We add a bunch of things to ours, like raisins, craisins, chocolate chips, pumpkin, banana, applesauce, and quinoa flakes, but every time, it turns out great!  I'd like to play more with it, and see what it's like just on it's own without a bunch of extra stuff (like the pumpkin, banana, applesauce, and quinoa flakes) but adding stuff to it does make it stretch further.  I think I got 36 regular size muffins out of two boxes.  They were gone pretty quick, so I ordered 12 more boxes.  I'm out of applesauce right now, or I'd have some more in the freezer already!

Oh, that's another thing!  Muffins made from this mix freeze VERY well.  We usually just keep ours in the freezer and pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm them up.  With everything you can add to them, they make a great breakfast on the go!

*UPDATE* I forgot to mention that this is an Add-On item, which means it will only ship if you order $25 worth of stuff at the same time.  We've ordered ours with Christmas presents, and a few other random things so far.  I may start buying two cases (total of 12 boxes) at a time, and ordering it with my prenatals on a monthly basis.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Do you want to know more about MTHFR?

Besides our family and friends, a number of people have found our blog via Google.  Most of them want more information about the symptoms of MTHFR deficiency.  But... I'm not really sure how to expand on what I already wrote:

What is MTHFR Deficiency?

Why Should I Get Tested?

Symptoms of MTHFR Deficiency

What can be done about it?

I feel a little frustrated, actually, since I've already shared basically all I know, and yet, people are still pushing me to write more (and exclusively!!) about MTHFR, autism and Asperger's Syndrome.  I'm not sure why I should write about autism or Asperger's, since I have not researched either topic much at all beyond their potential connection to MTHFR, and don't really know any more about them than what I've already shared.  And quite frankly, I don't really know what else to say about MTHFR, because I've already shared everything I know. Or, at least I think I've shared everything I know about MTHFR.  So... the ball is in your court now.  If you want to know more about MTHFR, you need to ask questions.  Otherwise, I'll just keep repeating myself, and both of us will get bored.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hockey, Conspiracy Theories and Blood Work

Daniel's brother and sister-in-law gave us hockey tickets (to FOUR games!) for Christmas, and we used one set last night.  The first few minutes were quite boring, and then the visitors scored.  I thought it was goign to be all downhill from there, but we managed to come back and win the game 5-3, with 2 goals in the 1st and 3rd periods, and 1 goal in the 2nd.  Three fights, and three injured players later...  I think all the players are probably okay, but I tweeted at the team just to be sure.

Besides winning the game, the other interesting thing that happened was that there were two gentlemen sitting in front of us, speaking what sounded like Russian, and taping some of the more exciting parts of the game with their cell phones.  We're kind of wondering if they were scouts or something.  No, we didn't talk to them.

I'm finally going to do my MTHFR and allergy blood work today.  I'd put it off from last week, since I psyched myself out about the needle.  Daniel has today off, so he'll go with me and hold my hand.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Busy Week!

Sorry to disappear for two days!  This week turned out to be a lot busier than I expected.  I started back to work with the MTHFR family on Tuesday and Wednesday.  After I finished there yesterday, I taught my other two students over there, and by the time I got back last night, I was exhausted.  I slept pretty good last night!  :P

Yesterday our naturopath called in the order for my allergy test, and my MTHFR test, so I'm looking forward to getting those results, though I'm not really looking for ward to the process of getting them!  I hate needles!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Great Day So Far!

This morning we had some errands to run in the next town over.  We went to Ted Brown Music to buy some books for my students, pick up some soap from the MTHFR family, and pick up a book I forgot at my students' house. Then we swung by Ebony & Ivory pianos, and talked to the owner for a little while. He even let me play some grand, upright, and digital pianos.  That was a ton of fun.  Probably the highlight was playing the grand.  :)  <3 it.  They even too my contact information in case they have people come in looking for a teacher!  I met their on-site teacher who said he's totally swamped right now. He seemed relieved to hear that I have some spots available.  :)  We'll see what happens!

This afternoon I have a lesson with my oldest student. I'm glad we'll have a half hour to play the piano this time. Hopefully this will give me a much better idea of where she's at.  I picked up more books today to try with her, so hopefully one of them will work, and we can return the rest!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Almost done!

This has been a very.long.week.  Finally, Daniel is just about done inventory.  In the last 4 days, he's worked  nearly 44 hours, with another 8 to go tomorrow.  I'm excited to have him home for two days on Sunday and Monday!  :D

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wednesday's Lessons

went pretty well too!  :D

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pleased as Punch

Who knows what that actually means... :P  But it sounds about right.

I'm so excited that my trial lesson with my oldest new student went well yesterday.  It was awesome.  Her mom is a real sweetheart, and the student is great.  Turns out we both started playing flute in the fifth grade, so we may be able to some flute/piano duets as well!  :)

But... since yesterday's trial lesson went so well, I'm concerned about today's!  Today's students are 10 and 12, so a little younger than yesterday's student.  I think it will go okay though, since I've already met the kids, and their mom will be around during the lesson.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Plan

2013 is going to be an exciting year for Daniel and I.  In mid-December, I won a free spot in Go Improve Yourself. Dustin, our fearless leader, graciously agreed to let Daniel join in on the fun.

Last night we worked through a six-page (double-sided) document, writing down our one year and five year goals in various categories.  It was a fun exercise, and sparked good conversation.  :)  We're looking forward to buckling down and tackling some of our goals right off the bat.

Dustin is encouraging us to pick just ONE goal, and focus on that for the 30 days we'll be in the Go Improve Yourself program. I've picked a goal to continue to grow my piano study. Ideally, I'd like to have 9 students by the end of the year.  I have four right now.  Over the next 30 days, I'll take steps to move closer to having 9 students. Daniel has been helping me out with that by setting up my new website. In the next few days, I will write, and post, a new Craigslist ad.

This afternoon, I have my first trial lesson and new student interview with a prospective student.  Tomorrow I have two more (brother/sister pair).  I'm very excited about getting this ball rolling!