Note to Self: Little Boxes

Self. Learn how to play the guitar. Then learn how to play this. Then learn the lyrics. Then teach them to your children. Then teach children how to harmonize. Then sit around the campfire singing it.

That is all.


A Happy to Be Gluten Free Recipe: BBQ Chicken Salad

I suppose it's cheating to post this recipe on the blog, but I have no shame...I'm posting it anyway. This recipe is hardly new or inventive or complex. It's as simple as it gets, but it's healthy, easy, gluten free, and dairy free. It just doesn't get any better than that at our house!

BBQ Chicken Salad
chicken breasts
Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
canned black beans
canned corn
tortilla chips
Ranch salad dressing
more BBQ sauce
sour cream
WHATEVER you like on your salad!

In the morning, throw a few chicken breasts in the crock pot along with some Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce (gluten free!). Set on low and fuh-get-about-it.

As dinner time approaches, set all your salad toppings in bowls on the table. Rinse the beans and corn after opening and draining the cans. Chop up the tomatoes, grate the cheese, mix up the sour cream. You get the idea.

After sitting in the crock pot all day the chicken is tender and flavorful. Stir it around to shred it up.

Bring it to the table and dinner is served. Everyone can make their salad to their own liking.

Personally, I like to skip the cheese, olives, and sour cream (more calories than I need by dinnertime). Instead I mix together a little BBQ sauce and Ranch in a small bowl and spread it over my salad. It makes a great salad dressing.  (Obviously those who are dairy free need to skip the Ranch and cheese.) I also crush tortilla chips over the top to give it a little extra crunch. Lots of tomatoes and black beans for me and my tummy is happy. As is my daily calorie allowance too.


Jar Love #47: Homemade Sugar Scrub for Mothers' Day Gifts

When I was looking for Mothers' Day gift ideas a couple of weeks ago, my love of jars may or may not have influenced my search results.

Homemade sugar scrub...? In canning jars...??

Yes. Please. And thank you!

The truth: I know knew very little about what exactly one does with sugar scrub. (Do you eat it or wash walls with it?) But after a bit of research I discovered sugar scrub (and even more so HOMEMADE sugar scrub) is all the rage for those poor, cracked, scaly, summer-ravaged feet and hands out there. It claims to exfoliate and rejuvinate even the most abused skin. Ahhh! And I've been suffering in silence all this time.

So I figured I would give it a go. I found a recipe for homemade lemon sugar scrub. Now to find all the "gourmet" ingredients...

Sugar. As in regular, plain, old, ordinary, baking, table, cereal sugar. Check.
EVOO. Extra virgin olive oil. Check.
Lemon juice. Bottled. Check.
Essential oils. Screeeech!

After a tad more research I discovered essential oils can be obtained at your local natural/health food store. One quick "Kids! To the van!" later...I had some essential oils in my hot little hand. Lavender. Mmmm.

Back home and about 2.41 minutes later I had my own resealable jar full of homemade lemon sugar scrub. Fresh, fragrant, and fully capable of exfoliating all that yucky skin off my hands and feet. I tried it out on my scaly legs too and it worked beautifully! Smooth, satiny, and rejuvinated with lemon and lavender!

Side note: Someone mentioned that sugar scrub was good to shave with. I don't know if I was doing something wrong or if I'm just a wimp, but after one swipe with the razor...I have come to the conclusion that you should indeed NOT shave with sugar scrub. OUCH!

Armpit note: Scrub is not to be used on your face either. Facial skin is much too delicate.

After making my own jar of scrub I was hooked. The world must know of the goodness of homemade sugar scrub! I went on to make a couple of quadrupled batches in my big popcorn bowl. My childen kept begging for a taste as I giddily stirred my sugar, EVOO, lemon juice, and essential oils concoctions.

25 eight ounce canning jars later...

...I had Mothers' Day gifts for the moms of the primary children of our ward, thank yous for Teacher Appreciation Week, and more Mothers' Day gifts for our own moms, grandmas, and friends.

The beauty of homemade sugar scrub (besides the obvious eye appeal of it sitting on the counter in a clear canning jar) is how easy it is to make, adjust, and personalize. Don't like lemon or lavender? No problem! Try peppermint instead. Or vanilla. Or use brown sugar instead of white. Or switch out the EVOO for grapeseed oil. You really can't go wrong with this. There are tons of free recipes online for homemade sugar scrubs.

Once you have your jars filled, decorate and personalize your containers to your heart's desire. Again, if you're feeling creatively flat, go online for lots of decorating ideas. For my jars, I used a big circle paper punch to cut out circles of lemony yellow scrapbook paper. I applied it to the jar front and lid top with Modge Podge.

I figured there might be other people out there who are as clueless as I was about sugar scrubs so I added a label as well as a tag with the scrub ingredients, an explanation of what it was, how much to use, and to make sure to stir it up before each use.

I also wrote and attached a little poem to the Mothers' Day jars. I just couldn't let a good pun opportunity pass me by.

Recipe for Homemade Lemon Sugar Scrub (makes 12 oz with a bit to spare):
2.5 cups sugar
1 cup EVOO
4 TBSP lemon juice
several drops of essential oil

Combine ingredients in bowl. Mix thoroughly into a gritty paste. Pour into desired container. Seal tightly. Oil will separate as it sits; make sure to stir again before each use.

I know I'm a little late for Mothers' Day now, but this would make a great baby shower favor, an addition to a new mother basket, a thank you for the church ladies, or a "just because I was thinking of you" treat. And don't leave yourself out! Whip up a batch and spoil your own hands once in awhile. Especially after you've covered them in gardening grime, pasty paint, or crafting crud.


Dance Biscuits

Child #2, Jeigh, had her end of the year dance recital on Saturday. This girl is a born performer. She loves to dance and sing and be on the stage, whether the stage is in our living room or in the school auditorium. She may not be the best dancer or singer, but she shows no fear in her happy and carefree exhibitionism. I admire her bravery and hope she never loses it.

At her Saturday recital, her little dance group performed two numbers. We could see that her too-long dance pants were becoming rather troublesome during the first dance. As I kneeled in front of the stage recording the second dance, I could see she was becoming distressed with her pants. She kept stepping on the bottoms and almost de-pantsed herself several times. Her face showed her frustration and panic. I wanted to help her desperately, but there just wasn't anything to be done until the dance number was over and she was off the stage.

Finally, she looked down into the audience and saw me wearing my most reassuring grin. Her face lit up and she instantly forgot about her slouchy pants. What a proud mommy I was to see my little girl overcome her little trial and move forward with confidence. I couldn't help getting a little teary eyed as she finished her dance with flair. (I know, I know. I'm a big boob.)

The big parent payday came when she, the last one off the stage, shot me an "I love you" sign along with her most dazzling smile!  Golly, I love that girl! And I'm so grateful for her vivacious, loving, joyful spirit in our family!


Summer, of the 1998 Variety

Joe is coming home today! He's been out of town all week and I can't help but laugh at myself as I clean the house from top to bottom in preparation for his arrival. When we were dating, I used to spend hours getting myself pretty for him. Almost 9 years of marriage later and I spend hours getting the house pretty for him. Either way...I'm out a few hours.

I like to listen to Pandora when I'm cleaning. Today, I set it on the "Moves Like Jagger" station and bustled about wiping and vacuuming like a crazy woman. Usually this station plays peppy, Top 40, energy-inducing kind of songs. Today it took a different direction and escorted me on a trip back to Summer 1998.

That was quite the summer.

17 years old.
I worked at a boy scout summer camp.
This was the first time I was away from my parents for any kind of an extended amount of time.
It was also the first time I was around...*gulp*...boys. At least boys I wasn't related to.
I met a lot of really interesting people...(*gulp*...boys).
I grew out my bangs.
Lost 30 pounds.
Learned about "ska" music and eyeliner.
"Broke up" with my best friend over a lot of silly stuff.
Experienced my first kiss.
Endured my second kiss.
Listened to the "Romeo + Juliet" soundtrack over and over again until the CD skipped from being overplayed.

Summer 1998...
Now there's a story worth telling...

If I could just get over the awkward, the "soooo highschool", the embarrassment of doing and saying stupid things just for the sake of being young and stupid.


Happiness is...

...cheese quesadillas for lunch.

...anticipating the first visit from the Tooth Fairy!

...sharing a bowl of watermelon with your best buddy.

...feeling skinny.

...not being too busy to stop and watch the little things.

...a bucket and a baby.

...still thinking its cool to be "twinners" with your Mom/daughter.

...canning jars filled with homemade goodies.


...the "shy one" being the bravest about the pony rides.

...3 year olds in pseudo hot pants and GoGo boots.

...thrift store treasures!

...being grounded from the Wii.


Guest Blogger: "I am Not the Kind of Person to Sit Around Waiting for a Baby to Come"

Last week on the blog I shared the exciting news that my sister, Camille, had given birth to her baby daughter, Oakley, in a city hall parking lot. Several people asked, "How does that happen?!" Well, my friends, I am here to deliver. No, not a baby, but the amazing story as written by Camille herself, my guest blogger today. (And by the way, never mind that she went and gave birth by herself in a parking lot. I'm more in awe of her actually getting the birth story written down in only a week from the birth date! I still haven't written Baby Cee's birth story down and she's a "mere" 16 months. Sheesh!) Without further adieu, Oakley's incredible birth story...

I woke at 4:17 am with some contractions. They were not bad at all but got me excited so I laid in bed timing the contractions at 8-10 minutes apart. Around 4:45 I got up and did some laundry. I finished packing the bags, got ready for the day, plugged in the camera, video camera, and my cell phone… meanwhile tracking my contractions with the iPad at around 6 minutes apart. I had arranged with Christy (sister in law) to tape the birth so I texted her and she was ready to go at the drop of a hat. When I had Micah, I started contracting at 4:45 am and lost my plug around 7:00 am I was waiting for my plug to come before I got too concerned about heading up to the hospital.

By 8:30 the contractions were consistent. I was busy around the house and would yell to Tyler “START!” and he was clocking them at 2-6 minutes apart. I called Dr. Clifford (who was on vacation) to tell him but felt ridiculous because as soon as I hung up the contractions came to a dead stop and he was in Yellowstone so it wasn’t like he could have done anything anyway. Christy showed up and still no contractions.

We (Christy, Tyler and I) took Micah to daycare then headed to some stores to get supplies for our mutual activity that night. I figured the walking would help get the contractions going again. Still nothing. I asked Tyler to take me to work so I could finish up some stuff I had been working on the day before. He asked if I wanted him to stay with me but I didn’t because I already felt like him and Christy had been following me around like I was on suicide watch or something.

My boss had us employees come in for a powwow since we figured the baby was coming soon. I ended up stepping out of that meeting a couple of times to have contractions out in the hall. I would step out, stand in the hall feet shoulder width apart, and rock. Breathing in for three rocks, breathing out for three rocks. The contraction would end and I would step back into the meeting. A couple times I was mid sentence and I would just stop turn and go into the hall. I wasn’t timing them so I wasn’t aware of how close they were coming.

My biggest fear always has been and always will be, that I will be that woman who comes running into the hospital yelling, "I’m in labor! This baby is coming! Why isn’t anyone doing anything?!" Then they will check me, lean around my stirrupped spread legs and say, “Mrs. Gilbert, you are at a one. We are just going to have you head home for a bit, you poor excuse for a child bearing woman, and try to walk around till you get a little…or a lot more dilated. Alrighty mmm hm okay?” *snap off gloves* Due to this fear I tell myself, "It’s got to get worse, suck it up woman, you are not going in yet, your baby will be prettier if you wait three more contractions." You know, encouraging things like that. Anyway…

Tyler asked if I wanted to come to lunch with him, Christy, and Travis. I told him that the contractions were starting to make me sick to my stomach so I didn’t want to go eat and be contracting in a restaurant. As soon as I said “Just go without me and come get me when you are done” the contractions seemed to step it up a notch. I would rock and dig my finger tips into the small of my back to relieve some of the pressure.

I got scared at this point. I had gone through a lot of mental preparation to have this baby natural and pain free but these were hurting and I felt like I was losing focus. I was tired because I had been up since 4 and I started to get weak and think about how easy it would be to get the epidural. I had to remind myself that my discomfort was worth it to give this little girl a drug free entrance into this world.

I texted Tyler again asking him to come get me ASAP. When he got there, the contractions were really painful and coming every few minutes in fact I got in the car then got right back out again to have a contraction. While I was contracting, Erin (my sister) called. So just as a point of reference, I work at Gateway Financial on the corner of Cedar and Pole Line. I started talking to Erin while Tyler headed down Pole Line to Tammy’s house to drop Travis off. We got out of the parking lot and I started explaining to Erin that I had not lost my plug yet so I must not be that dilated. She told me that not everyone loses their plug in one big mass. Good thing I have sisters to educate me.

We had only gone one block when I started another contraction so I got off the phone with her as Tyler pulled into the V1 propane on the corner of Pole Line and Alameda. I finished the contraction then straightened up. I heard a popping noise and water came gushing down my leg. I felt her drop down and her head hit my pelvis.

I said, “My water just broke this baby is coming NOW! We need to go to the hospital!” Tyler said, “Travis can you walk the rest of the way?” Travis jumped out and I think was more than willing to get out of the situation. Ha ha! I kneeled on the front passenger seat facing backward. Tyler pulled out of the parking lot and headed down Alameda. Before we even reached the grade school I felt another contraction and I felt her head pushing down between my legs. I said “Tyler her head is RIGHT there!” I felt him speed up.

Another contraction, I put my hand between my legs and encouraged her head NOT to come out. When a contraction came, I would bury my head in the head rest try to will her not to come. Christy said she thinks I bit the headrest at one point. Ha ha! When I was not contracting I was planning and thinking about how best to deal with the situation. I could feel Tyler swerving around cars and hear him talking about lights being red. I was hugging the head rest and thinking about what will happen when we get to the hospital because there is no way I will be able to stand up.

The contractions were coming fast and I was trying to resist the urge to push but at a certain point your body takes over and does what it needs to do in order to accomplish the goal. Another contraction, the fact is made know to me that in the next contraction her head is coming out. I told Tyler, “You’ve got to pull over this baby is coming out and I need your help.”

Tyler told Christy to call 911 and she was right on it. I pulled my shorts down around my knees and put my hand between my legs in time to feel her head come out. Tyler got into a parking spot and I said, “I have her head in my hand” He ran around the car and ripped open the door as I heard Christy giving the address to the 911 operator. I thought to myself “How on earth did Christy just KNOW the address of where we are!?” Then my thoughts were ripped back to the situation at hand…or literally, IN hand.

Christy was instructed to give the phone to Tyler so the operator could talk Tyler through the delivery but when Tyler saw her head and the rest of her body coming out he threw the phone back and said, “I can’t talk right now, she’s coming!” Then with my hand on her head and Tyler’s hands on her body with one last contraction she made her grand entrance.

Labor and Delivery gown
I grabbed her from between my legs and pulled her up to my stomach but didn’t want to pull too tight on the umbilical cord. Her body was limp and her head flopped onto my arm. I started stroking my thumb and finger down the sides of her nose to clear her nose of fluid. I heard Christy talking about not having a towel to wrap her in but then she threw me the labor and delivery gown I had sewn. I wrapped her up as best I could then started rubbing her back to stimulate her to cry. I told her what a good girl she was and asked her to give me a good cry. I got a few good squeals out of her when Lieutenant Scott Marchand and Officer Jordan Johnson came up to the car. They asked me my name and how we were doing. I was still in disbelief so I just said, “We are doing great!”

They had me hold onto her until the ambulance and paramedics arrived minutes later. I just rubbed her, stroked her nose, and tried to keep her warm. It was such a beautiful thing to be able to be the very first person to touch her, to hold her. Mine was the first voice she heard and I wasn’t screaming or swearing or telling Tyler this was all his fault. Tyler and I were there as husband and wife with the newest member of our family. We had done it together and grown stronger as a couple because of that. He trusted me to listen to my body and I trusted him to not wreck while speeding and running red lights and I trusted him to catch her.

Christy had started recording by this point. I was having placenta contractions but otherwise felt really really good. The paramedics clamped the cord and had Tyler come around and cut it. I looked around at this point and saw around 15 emergency response people standing around the car. Tyler said someone yelled, “Hey you guys are really good at standing around! Why don’t you create a wall over there and give this woman some privacy?” It was then that I saw people holding up a sheet between Yellowstone and me. That was appreciated, but my dignity was all but out the window back at Alameda.

I was able to flip over in the seat so I was laying down. They took my vitals and brought the gurney over. The guy said, “Ok we are going to move you over to the gurney so we can load you into the ambulance.” I didn’t even think about it I just wrapped the towel they had cleaned the baby off with around my waist and got out of the car and over onto the gurney. The paramedics were like, “Well, WE were going to move you over, but that works.”

They buckled me in and said, “So what are we going to name this baby?” I didn’t think about it and just said, “Her name is Oakley”. I heard some approving sounds then I heard clapping. They loaded me into the ambulance and Tyler came in with a phone saying that Officer Marchand insisted on a picture of the baby because he’d been doing this for 28 years and never seen anything like this and everyone was going to be asking if he’d gotten a picture.

Christy drove the CR-V, Tyler sat next to me in the ambulance, and Oakley was at my head in the paramedic’s lap. I felt calm and in control the entire time. At no point did I feel that dreaded sinking feeling of “what if” that people often talk about. I knew that between my preparation to have the least invasive natural birth and the protection of the Lord that we had done fine and we were going to be fine. I am sure the adrenaline flowing through my veins like cocaine was also helpful in this euphoric feeling.

We arrived at the hospital where they asked how we were doing and decided to bypass the ER because everyone seemed to be good so we headed straight up to labor and delivery. On Monday night Tyler and I had come to the hospital to attend a maternity social. The class was instruction on where to come into the hospital when you were in labor, how to check in, they showed us the rooms we would be in, etc. Needless to say, that was NOT the route we took to get to labor and delivery. Ha ha!

Since Dr. Clifford was out of town, Dr. Burton was the on call doctor for the office. He arrived--a bit flustered it seemed--but soon settled into routine and was joking around as he assessed the situation. They announced Oakley’s birth weight as 7 pounds, 13 ounces and birth length 20 inches. I asked her to repeat herself because if I had heard correctly she was more than a pound lighter than Micah and 2 inches shorter. I hadn’t expected that.

I still had to deliver the placenta and was more then ready to get that process started. Dr. Burton was allowing the resident OB to do this until he saw how much pain this inexperienced student was putting me through. I think the resident was used to working with women who had had epidurals and had no feeling below the waist. I could definitely feel each harsh aggressive movement as he pushed and poked and even dug to get the placenta out. Finally Dr. Burton took pity on me and took over. Within minutes he told me to give a big "heave ho!" and we got it out. Then he sewed me up. I didn’t tear as bad as I did with Micah but there was still some reconstructive work to do. While they were sewing me up someone said, “Did we happen to get a time of birth for this baby?” Uh…no. We looked at what time we called 911...1:14 and added five minutes to that. Time of birth: 1:19 pm.

The nurse brought Oakley over and said her temperature was a little low and they wanted to do skin to skin to get her warmed up. I looked down to take my shirt off and realized what a mess it was. One of my favorite maternity shirts and it was covered in blood and birth. I took it off and realized, Oh my gosh! Our car! The seat! This warm day…heating up the car! Oh yuck! I started talking about it and the nurse said, “Now don’t you worry about that. You have this little baby and she is perfect. Just worry about that later.”

A nurse came in and said she had a funny story for me. She had been down in the ER when a patient said to her, “Did a woman just have her baby in the City Hall parking lot?” The nurse said she hadn’t heard anything about it at that point. Just after that they received the call that the ambulance was headed in with a mom and baby that was delivered in the City Hall parking lot. The nurse went back to the patient and asked how he’d known about it. The guy said someone heard it over the police scanner and posted it up on this Internet news site, then it sent him as a notification on his phone of the most up to date news. The nurse thought it was pretty funny but I was just in shock. It is odd how quickly my personal life can travel without me knowing or having a say.

Tyler came and told me he’d just gotten off the phone with Mom and she sounded like she was on the verge of tears. I guess she had texted me and stopped by the office and couldn’t find me. Then within minutes, she received a text from Tyler saying "we’d had the baby, mom and baby were fine, baby born in car". Ha ha! Needless to say, Mom was a little concerned. She came into the room minutes later and started to cry. She came to my bedside and said, “Don‘t do that to me!” It was good to have her there. In surreal situations, mom always seems to ground me and bring me back to Earth.

She asked if we had settled on "Oakley" and I said, “Yep, 'Oakley Deena'.” I don’t think we had told Mom we were thinking about naming our daughter after her so she started to cry again and was waving her hand in front of her face like she was swatting flies. I heard Tyler talking to Christy and asked what was up. Apparently his mom and Nicole did not believe that Oakley had been born in the car. Tyler was trying to convince them.

We were told we had some visitors and in walked Officer Marchand and Officer Johnson! They said they had just come to see how things were going and make sure we were good. He said there was already an email going around telling the story. He complimented me on how calm I had been and talked about how so much bad stuff happens in his job it is really nice to see something good happen. He told us that someone back at the office told him to let us know they thought we should name the baby "Justice". Good thought…but not gonna happen.

We took some pictures with them and let them hold the baby. I asked if either of them had known Officer Dan Gilbert. Officer Marchand said he had worked with him for a while. I pointed to Tyler and said, "This is his son." Officer Marchand held Oakley up and with a bit of emotion said, “So, this is Dan’s baby granddaughter.” I looked over at Mom and all the sudden she was "swatting flies" left and right!

The Portneuf PR lady came into the room and said, “Well, news travels fast! Now this is totally up to you and my job is to support your decision and help protect you if need be. I have four news sources that would like to come get your story.” I just laughed out loud and thought, Wow it must be a slow news day for Pocatello. Tyler and I agreed to have them come around 4 pm. Mom ran to get Micah from daycare and I ate some lunch.

Photography by Idaho State Journal
At 4 pm, in came two video cameras, a digital camera, and a recorder. They got the spelling of our names and gave us some instructions then continued on with the interview. It was all rather odd and I worried the entire time that I would say something dumb and they would edit it so I looked like a dumb white trash woman who was too foolish to realize she was in labor so she decided to head to the liquor store by the police station before she headed into the hospital.

After the interview we all just sat in the room for a while soaking everything in. Then we moved to recovery, Room 226. I looked at my phone and had eight texts from different people asking what was going on and what happened. Including one from Dr. Clifford that said, “You bad girl!” I had to call Kay to let her know I had gotten the stuff for the Young Women's activity but she said they were probably just going to head up to the hospital to see us. Natalie Houghton (a friend from the ward) stopped by. I made some other phone calls to family. Travis came, then Tammy and Shayla. While they were there, Dad came.

Nursery stopped in to get her for a bath so Tyler and I kicked everyone out and went to watch. Her short dark hair turned into long light hair! So, so much hair! The young women came and gave me a blanket they had tied. When they left I ate dinner. Rachel Thomas came around nine. We watched the news story then visited til ten. The nursery came to take her away for her hearing test and said they would keep her until she woke to eat. Tyler headed home.

Alone…Alone for the first time in what felt like eternity! I was so tired yet the second I rolled over to sleep the day started reeling though my head and I was wide awake. I laid there for what seemed like forever but was only about a half hour and I fell asleep.

The whole day was crazy. Looking back now, I realize those contractions that I was suffering in silence in the hall at work, that were making me sick, that was transition labor. I realize now, that my body doesn’t do "false labor". It may take a break but it isn’t giving up. I realize that not all laboring is the same, even in the same woman. I realize that with my next baby, when I feel pain in my back, I am having am likely having a baby within six hours. I realize that some people really think me foolish for even going in to work when I was feeling contractions, but they had stopped and I am not the kind of person to sit around waiting for a baby to come. I have things to do.

Of all the things I have come to realize, this is what I realize the most: Women have been having babies for centuries. It is the most natural trauma we can put our bodies through. Our female structures KNOW how to deal with a four, seven, or ten pound ball coming out of a once very small opening. If we just relax and have faith in the strength that we have within us, it will happen. You just do what needs to be done.


Jar Love #76: Homemade Taco Seasoning

Hi. My name is Evelyn. And I am addicted to jars. More specifically canning jars. Even more specifically, canning jars of the Kerr, Mason, and Ball persuasion. And if you want to get very specific, antique jars just about send me over the edge.

It's not a sickness.

They're useful. And pretty. And really useful in so many ways. And really pretty. In so many ways.

(Am I the only weirdo out there who's heart starts racing a bit at the sight of glass jars? Come on, fellow jar addicts. Give a girl a little love.)

Don't get the obsession? Allow me to share one of the uses for those empty jars: homemade taco seasoning!

For years I have purchased ready-made taco seasoning in the little packets as well as in bulk to make tacos, nachos, burritos, taco soup, etc. But it finally dawned on me recently (and more recently than I care to share) that the ready-made taco seasoning often has dairy and wheat ingredients, besides a whole bunch of other unmentionable stuff. Big no-nos for dairy allergies, Celiac Disease, and dieting.

I have to admit (for I am full of confessions today) that I initially assumed we would no longer be able to enjoy Mexican food as a family. Welp. Add one more thing to the "can't" list. *grumble*

Did you know you can make your own taco seasoning???

I didn't.

In hindsight, I feel pretty silly admitting that I didn't know you could make your own taco seasoning. Really, I'm not stupid. Way back when I had a 3.7 GPA and I did get a 28 on my ACTs. Both times I took it. But sheesh, I can be pretty slow about things sometimes.

Enough about me and my molasses brain...(By the way, I blame the kids. They sucked the smarts right out of me with each pregnancy and all the subsequent sleep deprivation. I sure hope they enjoy all those brains I utilized once upon a time.)

Homemade taco seasoning! You can find lots of recipes out there in Google Land. From the gourmet to the budget savvy. Here's the link for the one I am using lately. It's not too spicy for the kids. Plus, this blogger comes from the same mold I do. That being the jar obsessed mold.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix:
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Dump all your taco seasoning mix ingredients in the jar, shake, and store in your cupboard. Use 3 TBSP of mix per pound of ground beef.

No stress! No mess! No waste! And it just looks so cute! At least to this "jar head".

More jar love to come...Mother's Day Sugar Scrub!


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