food, Food Review, kids

Roseville Farmers Market

Hi y’all!

Today I went to the farmer’s market with the kids. It’s a cute little farmers market in Roseville and they do it in the Whole Foods parking lot. I haven’t been to this particular one in probably 8 years but not much has changed.

The vendor that sells the stuffed Paratha and Chutney is still there! And it’s as good as I remember. A large piece of spinach paratha was $6 and an 8 oz container of cilantro chutney was also $6. I find this very reasonable as it is very delicious! They sell different kinds of paratha, samosas, naan and different chutneys.

The first thing that the kids saw was the kettle corn so of course we had to buy a small bag of that. It’s a decent sized bag probably about 20 oz. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and salty and was $6.

Next up we saw olives that looks pretty good, and were in a salt water brine but a little too pricey for me, one jar of Kalamata olives was $12.

The kids were thirsty at this point but they left their bottled waters in the car. If you do go to a farmers market I highly recommend you bring your own drink not many of them served water or have drinks for kids. Although next up we did see a boba tea vendor who was also selling pork buns potstickers and other Asian food items. I purchased a boba milk tea for me, the kids tried a sip but did not care for it. I thought it was very well made and was only $4, very reasonable.

The pork bun was not a BBQ pork bun which is more of a traditional dim sum, and what I was expecting. The steamed white bun was tasty however inside was a pork filling that was very similar to a potsticker filling. Not what I was expecting although it was tasty. I probably would not buy it again because my idea of a pork bun would be the traditional Chinese cha siu bao. It was also overpriced! It was $3! Normally for Chinese dim sum, it’s about $3 or $4 for 3 buns.

Next up were the cookies. I was very surprised to see that the package said they were made in a home kitchen. When I researched farmers markets before they had told me everything food- consumable had to be prepared in a commercial kitchen. I guess they made some changes in 8 years.

The cookies were from Foresthill Cookie Company, and they were $2.50 each or there was some deal if you bought about six cookies. Considering they were so big, a very large cookie I only wanted to buy two for my kids. My kids sampled them and my son decided on the birthday cake cookie. My daughter wanted the Oreo, chocolate cookie which was called the Oreo dirt clod cookie LOL. It also looked similar to that. These cookies tasted like pure sugar. Not much flavor, in fact it just tasted like a big sugar cookie to me. If I close my eyes and take a bite of each they taste pretty much the same. The owner was friendly and my kids were happy to get a cookie.

Next up where the fruits and vegetables. I usually like to buy something different or unusual at a farmers market. And the next and that I went to had figs and immediately I thought the recent Instagram Picture by Jennifer Garner where she was roasting figs with a balsamic glaze and goat cheese. It looked amazing however I’m not a big fan of anything goat related. However I am a fan of flatbreads so I am seeing a fig, caramelized onion and feta cheese flatbread in my future for dinner tonight. I saw a recipe on Pinterest so if I do make that I will come back to this and Link it for you. I have some naan in my freezer but I’m going to probably make just a simple traditional flatbread.

The ladies that were selling the figs also had some yummy looking cherries. They told me if I purchased two containers I could get the third for $2. Seemed like a good deal. My son picked out the red traditional cherries oh, and I got the figs and cucumbers. About eight mini cucumbers, half of which were a little too bendy for me and did not seem crisp. However I think if I use them right away in the next couple of days, maybe do a cucumber salad, I think they will be okay.

I would have purchased more but at this point I was at almost $50 and surprised that I spent so much money.

Lastly I picked up two small artichokes for $1.50 each. A little high-priced but I think a very nice size for me and the kids. I think I will cut them in half, use a little olive oil, salt and pepper and grill them.

I will post some pictures of my creations and links to the recipes when I’m done. I hope you return to check out what I make with our farmers market finds!

Have a great day!

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Flowers, Gardening, Living, Parenting, Sophia

Apartment Patio Gardening – Planting Flowers & Herbs

Sophie was my little helper this morning planting some herbs and flowers on our patio. We have a lovely shaded patio that only gets evening sun for a couple of hours. I wasn’t sure what to plant so I headed to our neighborhood Lowe’s and asked a garden representative what would work best for our shaded patio. I knew that I wanted to have a few herbs that I use quite a bit such as basil and thyme, but I wasn’t sure what else would do well.

The gentleman there didn’t seem very confident, however he pointed me in the direction of the shaded section of the nursery. He said that anything under there would grow well in the shade. I told him that it doesn’t really get much sun, maybe two to three hours in the late evening. I was worried because some of the tags said 1-3 hours morning sun and 6 hours of full sun. He assured me they would still do well.

We found a pretty plant called Coleus, a flowering plant called sunpatiens I’m assuming of the impatiens family, and another flowering plant called a red celosia. My daughter help me make a “flower bed” in each pot with the new potting soil, then we set in the plants and gently covered them with more soil.

The six plants, 1 rectangle plastic pot, one bag of potting soil and 3 pack of gloves was $43 with our military discount.

Not too bad for some quality time with Sophie, some pretty scenery, and some fresh herbs for cooking! Some of my favorite summer things to make are Caprese salad, Margherita pizza, fresh pesto, and using thyme for roasted carrots and my simple everyday vinaigrette. (Stay tuned for recipes to come!)

Sunpatiens and herbs; thyme, sweet basil and chocolate mint!: (planted the chocolate mint just for fun, I love the smell!)

Coleus:

Red Celosia:

Thanks for stopping by! Hope this helps you with your patio planting!!! Xoxo

Family, Life, Living, Writing

Will I Ever Be Good Enough…?

A friend of mine recently posted a meme with a question…

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There comes a point when you have to realize that you’ll never be good enough for some people. The question is, is that your problem or theirs? 

I have thought of this MANY, MANY times myself. It’s time I answer this for me too my friend. However, before I answer this with the quick rebuttal of , ” Theirs. You just be good enough for yourself. That’s all that matters. 💯 true to you. Period, the end.”

I have two questions that come to mind when asked the above question. Number 1 is when it comes down to it, why are you worried if you are good enough for “some people”? And Number two, why are you worried about whose problem it is, if it is anyone’s at all? Now, let me answer these in my own professional opinion. Because it matters.  😉

If you are worried about #1, this would be insecurity. I have some, I admit. I have a lot when it comes to family. Ever since I was little. Did I do it right? Did I do it as good as my big sister and my big brother? Am I as smart as them? Are my parents as proud of me as they are of them? I lived my life the way I wanted to and not the way they would have done it. I took the road less traveled, several times. I made mistakes. I still make mistakes.  I made sacrifices. I made a life that I have to live in. Of course I will always wonder these questions.  I finally realize that I must move on from this. The constant wondering, the constant worrying. It isn’t good for my well-being, my soul. I have tortured myself long enough and have been hard on myself for too long. Why couldn’t I be more like my older siblings? They have their crap together. They seem to,  “have it all”.  I am almost 44 years old and I don’t feel like I have my “crap together”. I did at one point in my life. ONE TIME. I felt like I “had it all”. The house, car, family life, job, living the “dream”. Did I ever hear a “We are so proud of you?” or a “Wow, you are doing really well for yourself?” No, no I did not. I think I heard a “hmm well guess you have everything now huh?” – Nothing changed but the way of MY OWN THINKING. I thought to myself, I’ll do really, really well for myself, then they will be proud of me, then they will say atta girl.  I think that is what I was looking for. Validation. Validation that I was living my life the way that THEY think I should be living it. So the point of that is, well, I should live my life the way I want to because it doesn’t matter what “they” think. If I keep worrying how I am living my life according to their standards, I will always be thinking, “am I good enough”. I have to stop. Stop beating myself up. I don’t HAVE to be like them. I don’t HAVE to feel like I’m not good enough. I need to be ME, do ME. Do whatever the heck I want in my crazy, not-so-perfect life. I live with the choices, the outcomes. Does that hurt them inside? Maybe, but if they are the family that they should be, they will always, always be supportive. They would always say, do what makes YOU happy Charlene, even though they might be thinking “even though that is not what I would do”. What if they don’t say that? Then you move on. You chalk it up to they are not “that” family. They are them, and that’s ok. You be YOU. 

Let’s dissect the question a little bit more. What people? You say “some people”. Do you mean friends? Family? Or just random people? Or guys/girls? Again, you know what? Stop worrying about those “some people”. I have to tell myself this, in fact, I will right now. Charlene – don’t you pay any attention to “those people”. Why would we waste our precious time, our precious breath with one iota of a thought or word towards these negative, hurtful people. Although, maybe they are not negative or hurtful? Maybe they never voice much to you, but you still have these thoughts about “am I good enough”. I honestly think, if I …or you, have to ask, maybe you shouldn’t hang around these people. Don’t put yourself in a position where you have to be near them. Find new friends, find a new tribe. Find your people, because they are probably not it.

Number 2 – Why does it have to be their problem or yours? Or anyone’s? It’s a way of thinking, you think you’re not good enough. Well, I’m here to tell you, you ARE good enough. God made you beautiful, important, unique. You are one of a kind. You are His. You are special and terrific. You matter. You may dance to the beat of your own drum and you know what? That is OK. If anyone thinks you are not good enough, then who cares? That is their opinion and we all know that opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one. HA!  (sorry I had to say that) What I really mean is that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And my opinion is that you are AMAZING. I’m amazing. You know why? Because out of the 7.7 billion people on this earth God made you, and me. That’s pretty special don’t you think? We all have our unique qualities, quirks and qualms. That is what makes us, well us.

Image result for quote about God creating you

That’s right, His image. Also, what does that say? He looks “past your mistakes”. That is pretty nifty right there. Does your family, or friends or “those people” do that? Why wouldn’t they? Don’t they think you are perfect just the way you are? Stop thinking of what they think of you. God says you are a masterpiece. For those of you that would like more detail on that… masterpiece: “a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship”. So there you have it.

I have finally answered the burning questions of am I good enough or did I do it right. Yes I am and it doesn’t matter. What is right or wrong? I did it the way I wanted to. I got that tattoo of my son’s foot, I have to live with it. It’s mine and I rather like it. I lived in and sold 4 houses and have not really “settled down”. Those were my choices. Wrong or right, it does not matter. Maybe all of these decisions are leading me to the life I have always wanted and dreamed of. Maybe they are leading me to somewhere better, somewhere I need to be. Maybe not physically, but mentally.

Am I happy, yes. I finally choose to be. Do I have everything I want, no. Do I have everything I need, yes. Is my life “perfect”, not at all. Is it “good enough” for me, yes. If it’s not and that answer is no, I’ll be the one to change it. I’ll change it when I want to, when the time is right and when it works for me. Or I will at least I will work on it the best way I know how. My way. It might not be “some people’s” way or “some people’s” thoughts of how you should do it, but that’s ok. Do it your way, do you.

 

I really, really hope this has helped you. Shoot, it helped me.

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crafting, kids, Mom Life

Forky Kids Craft – Toy Story 4 “Forky” Toy

Hello Again Ya’ll! Happy Friday! Am I Southern? No, but I just love saying Ya’ll. It sounds so much better than “you guys”. 😉

So the other day my kids got a spork in their school lunch and didn’t use it. So, immediately I thought, oh my gosh, we could make Forky! Ok, most of you moms are like, “Wow! She’s so crafty!” and the rest of you are probably like “What the heck is a “Forky”? or what the heck is a spork? haha 🙂 Well, a spork is a cross between a fork and a spoon. It’s to be used for either purpose and to save on having several utensils.  A “Forky” is one of the new characters in Toy Story 4 if you didn’t know. Don’t worry, no spoilers here. Just some good, clean crafting! Funny thing is they have a kit you can buy to make your own “Forky”. I saw it on a You Tube video and then saw it online at Michael’s which is around $14, but I again was able to find what I needed in our craft tote to make these little guys for free!20190614_2306188889450931147566309.jpg

So let’s get started…here is what you will need:

1 spork
Red, white and blue clay or you can use wax sticks (and instead of clay, you could use salt dough!)
2 googly eyes (small and an extra small one)
1 red pipe cleaner
1 large Popsicle stick

  1. Take your clay and roll it into the shapes for the eyebrow (unibrow) haha and the mouth. The other style of mouth can be a circle, but my kids preferred a smile. If you don’t have the clay, you can use salt dough and color it with food coloring.
  2. Next glue those 2 on with strong adhesive. I used the Tombow glue in the green/white bottle but the E6000 craft glue would work great.
  3. Glue on the 2 eyes.
  4. Next take the red pipe cleaner and bend the ends back and forth to make 3 fingers on each side. Then wrap it around the spork body a couple of times so it is secure.
  5. Then cut the Popsicle stick (tongue depressor) in half, trim as necessary. Mine were 2″ long each.
  6. Take the white clay/dough and make a little volcano shape and stick the spork in it.
  7. Stick the Popsicle sticks to the clay, glue if desired.
  8. If you want, draw on a rainbow just like Bonnie had on her Forky. You can also color the cheeks red then wipe to show a little pink. We did not do that step.

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That’s it! Your kids will have their very own “Forky” and LOVE it!!! Mine did!

I hope you enjoy this tutorial and pictures! Let me know in the comments below if you do!

Happy Crafting!

Charlene

Crafting, kids, Mom Life, Parenting

Clothespin Alligator Craft

Hi Ya’ll!

One thing I’m doing this summer to keep the kiddos busy is having a craft day!…Or two or three or four 😉 You may have heard of “Make it Monday” or “Try it Tuesday”? Well that’s what we do on those days. Mondays we make something and Tuesdays we try something. I have a whole list of projects and fun things to do with my 5 and 7 year old. Wow. Are they really that old?? Gone are the days of finger painting and water table fun. Now it is on to bigger and messier things like making slime, bath bombs, painting rocks, and making cool crafts.So I saw this cute alligator clothespin craft and thought, I can make that! I even had all the materials on hand in our craft bucket. So read on to see what you need to make this cute little guy! And please come back soon to see what else I’m “cookin up” this summer to keep my kids busy! (and LESS screen time!!!)

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You will need:1 green pipe cleaner
1 clothespin
1 strip of green construction paper (1/2″ x 5″)
2 small googly eyes
1/4 tsp. green craft paint
Hot glue or a strong adhesive like E6000
black fine tip pen (Sharpie is best)
Newspaper, scrap paper or a craft mat to use under painting surfaceStep 1 – Lay down the newspaper or scrap paper to cover your surface where you are crafting.
Step 2 – Paint the clothespin with the green craft paint and let dry. Paint a thin coat so it dries quickly. It should only take about 10 minutes to dry.
Step 3 – Cut 1 piece of pipe cleaner to about 3 inches and the other to 5 inches. Bend the ends around to look like a curved foot. If this is too big for you, trim the feet to the desired length. I started at this length and trimmed them down. Take the hot glue or strong adhesive and put 2 dabs on the bottom of the clothespin, 1 on the back of it and 1 in the middle. Quickly stick on the 2 pipe cleaner pieces.
Step 4 – Use a black fine tip pen to make 2 dots at the front of the clothespin for the nose.
Step 5 – Use a dab of glue about 1/2″ above the 2 dots and stick on the googly eyes. If using the hot glue wait a few seconds for the glue to cool since the eyes will melt a little when sticking to the hot glue.
Step 6 – Take the construction paper strip and fold it accordion fold back and forth or even square folds.
Step 7 – Glue the construction paper right above the eyes to the back of the clothespin and cut off the excess.Done! There you have an adorable alligator clothespin. You can use it as a chip clip or cut up an old magnet and glue a strip to the back so you can use it on the fridge to hang up important artwork! 😉

Happy Crafting!

Charlene

Adventure, Air Force, Mom Life, Parenting

My First Couple Weeks as a *Temporarily* Single Mom

May 20th 2019, my husband left for basic training. At 36 years old he was enlisting into the greatest Air Force in the world.

swearing in

He came to a crossroads in life, a point where he had to make a decision to either go back to school or do something he’s always wanted to do, serve his country.

We we’re both a little excited and terrified for this change. Our children are 5 and 7 so good ages to handle this but still old enough to understand what’s going on and have challenges dealing with having an absent father.

For me the challenge would be to have a busy, fun-filled summer, as a single parent. I would need to be able to balance our life, finances, meals, household chores, and basically everything else.

So far it’s been three weeks since he’s been gone it hasn’t been too bad. I prepared myself by making a summer binder in which I was able to put our summer schedule of activities, fun things to do around town, some free city programs and events, a summer bucket list and even my diet program for a little bit of weight loss. If you’d like to see more about what I created click here! I also included the direct links so you can go to these websites, support the creators and print directly from there! They are a cute design too!

I know my challenges this summer will be to stay busy, spend quality time with my kids, lose a little bit of weight and tone up, and also be able to have some me time in there somewhere…without losing my mind or drinking too much wine! 😜

I’m thankful to have family close by so if there is a need for me to have some help I do have a couple resources. I know they have their own summer plans though so I would only use that as a last resort. Luckily my daughter’s preschool teacher offered to do some babysitting so I have her number if needed!

Only 6 more weeks until my husband’s graduation from Air Force BMT! After that we’ll get to spend only 4 lovely days with him then he will go on to his technical school training in Biloxi, Mississippi for another 136 days.

Right now this seems to be a moment where we are frozen in time, moving at a slow-motion type of pace. It’s only because we are all counting the days till we can see him again, talk to him, hug him and tell him how much we love and appreciate him.

I hope you follow us on this exciting journey. It would be nice to have some new friends, especially military or military supporters. If you are Air Force please give us a shout out and leave a comment below. My husband is in Flight 531, Graduation date is 7/19/19. If you also have a Blog please let me know so I can follow along with your journey as well!

Thank you for reading and supporting us!!! Xoxo

Charlene

Flowers, Kit, Sale, Stampin up

Everything is Rosy Suite of Products Special May 1 – 31 only

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I am in LOVE with this bundle! It just debuted today and features the following items:

Medley includes these exclusive products:
* Everything Is Rosy Photopolymer Stamp Set—18 stamps; suggested blocks: a, b, c
* Everything Is Rosy Dies—10 dies; largest die 2-7/8″ x 1″ (7.3 x 2.5 cm)
* 6″ x 6″ Designer Series Paper Stack—48 sheets; 8 each of 6 double-sided designs
* 6″ x 6″ rose gold foil paper—8 sheets
* Printed die cuts—2 sheets
* Rose gold die cuts—4 sheets; 2 each of 2 designs
* Rose gold adhesive backed mirror embellishments—60 embellishments; 1/4″ (6.4 mm)
* Melon Mambo 1/4″ (6.4 mm) Ruched Ribbon—10 yards (9.1 m)
* Night of Navy/Rose Gold 3/8″ (1 cm) Metallic –Edge Ribbon—10 yards (9.1 m)
* Rose Gold Shimmer Paint—1/2 oz. (15 ml)

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All of this beauty for only $80.00! …But get it while it’s HOT! When it is sold out it is sold out!

Just look at these gorgeous projects you can make with all the pretty things that come in the kit! These are just a few!

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Contact me at sweetpiecesbyme@gmail.com to purchase or click HERE. Be sure to specify me as your Demonstrator!

Sweet Stamping!

Charlene

food, Food Review, Writing

Doggiestyle Hot Dogs Personal Review

Disclaimer: *This is my personal review and in no way paid for or sponsored by anyone, just a self proclaimed foodie/blogger wanting to share her experience*

How do you eat your hot dog? Pick it up and open wide? Take 2 bites, 1 of the dog on bottom, then 1 of the toppings? Or it’s so huge you’ll just use a fork and knife? Well, for me, I used all 3 methods of hot dog eating to chow down on this beautiful dog right here!

For lunch, I had the convenience of the Doggiestyle Hot Dog “wagon” at my work in Rocklin, CA. This was my second time trying it so I knew it would be good.  They have a very simple menu. They have a Nathan’s Hot Dog, Chili Cheese Dog, Puerto Rico Style Dog, German brat, Vegan dog,  and a Chicken Asiago dog. I went for the German brat with sauerkraut, some slices of ham and swiss cheese. It was topped with a little spicy brown mustard as well which was the perfect compliment to the smoky brat. This is a hearty meal people. This dog is not a snack food. It is filling and comforting with all of the traditional “hot dog feels” you can get. It was messy, yes. However, they do give you 3 or 4 heavy duty napkins which prepares you for this. The only thing is, I wish the temperature would have been hotter. The cheese was only slightly melted and I am particular about having hot food! Other than that, I would say that Doggiestyle Hot Dogs is a superb choice for getting your hot dog fix!

I would definitely recommend to find out their next stop by stalking their Facebook page HERE.

Thanks for visiting! Enjoy your Summer!

Charlene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doggie, Sale-A-Bration, Stampin up, Sympathy Card

Happy Tails – Pup Sympathy Card

Hey All,

Hope you are having a great day, and if you are near Denver/Colorado Springs, I hope you made it through the blizzard. I miss the snow& those majestic mountains! I wouldn’t have minded a couple of snow days myself;)

Recently also in Colorado Springs, my mother had to put down their family dog, Dawson. He was the sweetest German Shepherd that I’ve ever known. A big, fluffy, sweet, bear of a dog. I will miss his heart.

I wanted to make her a sympathy card since I know that would cheer her up a little, so this is what I came up with. I made this quick, easy card in about 10 minutes. I even made a tutorial if you would like to check it out HERE

I made 2 versions of the card, which one do you like better? I’ve linked all the materials needed for the card below. Thanks for stopping by, and please comment to let me know you were here! 🙂

Big announcement coming soon!!! xoxo