Longing For A Simpler Life

The Search for a Simpler, Happier, Sustainable life

Cranberry Wonder Bread October 20, 2011

Filed under: Cooking — longingforasimplerlife @ 10:00 am

It’s that time of year when the weather starts to get cooler and I feel like filling the house with yummy smells. This is one of Big E’s favorite types of breads to make because she gets to pick and choose what she wants to put in it – “I wonder what we should throw in today?” Hence the name! Sadly, when Big E gets to choose the fixin’s we never get real chocolate cause she doesn’t like it (yeah, weird I know) she always likes to choose white chocolate or butterscotch. Today we made Cranberry Wonder Bread to bring in the fall season and boy was it yummy!


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups milk

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup craisins

1/2 cup white chocolate chips



Stir first 4 dry ingredients together in a large bowl.


Add milk, egg, oil, and vanilla. Stir until moist.


This is where you can get creative with your ingredients for your wonder bread. We have a pecan tree in our yard and Big E had just helped me collect some!


Today Big E chose dried cranberries, pecans, and white chocolate chips.


Fold in the craisins, pecans, and white chocolate chips


Pour batter into pregreased pan. We used 4 mini pans so we could give them to neighbors as gifts. The recipe also makes 1 9X5 loaf.


Bake bread in an oven set to 350F for 55 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy!


Baby F is on the way! October 19, 2011

Filed under: Pregnancy — longingforasimplerlife @ 10:00 am

EEEEEEEEKKKKKKKK! That was my reaction when we found out baby #3 is on the way. Due in early May. YIKES! It’s too soon! Little E is only 15 months old. But we knew it was bound to happen. In June I went in for my annual pap and was told my IUD had failed and I was pregnant and would need to have the IUD removed. It caused a miscarriage. I was so shocked and it happened all so fast I didn’t really know what to think. I just prayed and said Lord, let Thy will be done. Well, apparently his will is for me to procreate some more because a little over 2 months later, I was pregnant again. I should (and mostly do) feel blessed. You see, I honestly believe that God will always provide a way for you to do his will. However, I have had 2 very complicated pregnancies which ended in 2 premature baby girls. They had to spend weeks in the NICU and it was heart wrenching not knowing if they would be ok. Luckily both my girls are beautiful, healthy, happy kids but my Dr always likes to warn, next time you may not be so lucky! Geeez. I already know! Telling me just makes me all the more stressed out! So after we found out we were unexpectedly expecting my Dr also not so gently told me I needed a whole life overhaul. Hence, the beginning of this blog. This is the first picture of Baby F – can you tell if it’s a boy or a girl?? Me either! I can’t even tell it’s a baby. Looks like a blob to me! Pregnancy for me is scary – but I am sure with the love and help of my family and friends I can make it through!

Baby F due May 2012


What’s with the Sibling Rivalry? October 18, 2011

Filed under: Parenting,ramblings — longingforasimplerlife @ 3:55 pm

Seriously, I love my girls as I am sure every mother does. But sometimes there are days that I just want to lock them in a little box and throw away the key! At least for a few hours. “You two, if you can’t get along I am going to put you in the box and you can fight it out in there!!” Perhaps it is just that 25 years have gone by since my last slap match with my brother but I am sure (though my mother may disagree) that we were NEVER this mean to each other on a daily basis. Some of my good girl friends with sisters just sigh and laugh thinking, poor you, it only gets worse from here. Wait until boys and clothes come into the picture. NO! Why can’t they just get along? Is there really that big of a difference between girl/girl siblings and boy/girl siblings? I remember being a kid and my brother (who is 3 years younger than me) was so desperate to just hang out with me that he would let me dress him up like a girl, make up and all! I would bring home my homework and “teach” it to him and then force him to do my homework. (hey, if I could teach it I obviously knew the material and didn’t feel I needed to waste my precious free time – his was expendable) But even the meanest of things I can ever remember doing to him (oh man, this is a great story that involves me telling him when the sky was pink it meant the witches were going to kidnap him and convincing him he was invisible!) I can only remember a handful of times where we actually HIT each other. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad except that my oldest daughter, who is almost 4, is totally passive and cries when her little sister, who is 15 months, chases her around and knocks her down and slaps her and pulls her hair. I think Little E just gets a big kick out of watching Big E squirm! I have got to come up with some constructive ideas of how to tame their tempers towards each other before I have 3 and end up committing myself to an insane asylum!

This should have been a cute picture of Big E, Little E, and Daddy F - then the hair pulling!


Pestering and slap fights always make grocery shopping such a joy!

Disclaimer: My children are honestly very wonderful and I love them very much. They just have their moments…..what did I do with that key……. 🙂


A Trendy Way to Start

Filed under: Gardening — longingforasimplerlife @ 10:00 am

I wanted to start BIG in my new venture to try to live a more peaceful, sustainable lifestyle. “Honey, I want to turn this whole side of our house into a giant vertical garden!!!” I said it with such enthusiasm. It wasn’t greeted with the same gusto as I gave in my delivery. NO??? Hmmmm. True hubby may have a point that I have killed many a plant in my day. But just this last year I managed to grow a whole potted garden on our patio that lived, nay, THRIVED for almost 10 months until we went on vacation and my brother house sat and neglected to water for a whole week in 100 degree heat (SOOOO not my fault!). But still, perhaps his is right that I should find something small for now, especially with “winter” coming, so I don’t get too discouraged if Better Home and Gardens is not knocking on my door asking for some vertical gardening tips. So I searched the web and found these great little indoor herb containers. They are a little on the pricey side at $34.99 a pop so I am just starting with some basil. But they are very visual pleasing and such a great idea for repurposing a hand crafted  wine glass! I can’t wait to get my basil and try it out!

About the Grow Bottle | The Grow Bottle is an upcycled-hydrogarden that has been made completely out of hand-crafted and re-claimed wine bottles. The Grow Bottle was winner of the 2011 NYIGF Eco Choice Award for Most Innovative Product. This is the ultimate gift for any occasion and is the perfect gift for the person who has everything.


Whatever Will We Talk About? October 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — longingforasimplerlife @ 11:45 pm

What exactly is involved in my “simple life” you may ask. Well, I am asking the same question!! I have had this long time dream of moving to the country and having a Homestead Inn and Spa. Obviously, I am no where near being close to completing this dream. I need to take baby steps. My first goal will be to make my home and family able to live a more sustainable lifestyle. If any of you were following my homeschooling blog you may know that our family goal in 2011 was to try to eat more fresh and local. Which, I must say we have been doing a fair job of. Yes, we have been trying to buy local produce but why not make it a goal to take that a step further and actually GROW what we can? I have been searching out some great homsteading blogs in my new found free time and am realize I have a LONG way to go to reach my goals of being more self reliant. Of course, coming into winter I am not too sure what all I can begin to grow although we are in Texas so “winter” is perhaps not as big as obstacle as may be for others in different areas of the world! I have a lot of research to do! Have any of you tried to become a sustainable home? What were your first tasks you decided to undertake?


The Madness in the City

Filed under: Uncategorized — longingforasimplerlife @ 9:24 pm

Here I am. 30, married to a wonderful man, mother of two lovely little girls and another bundle due in 6 months. I have my own successful business that has brought me joy and decent income. I have been running a blog (www.ourwaytolearn.blogspot.com) all about homeschooling my kids. It’s just, well, this is somehow not the life I pictured for myself. So busy all the time. Pulling out my hair and throwing down TUMS daily trying to ward off the ulcers all too quickly forming in my gut. Growing up in the suburbs I always promised myself I was going to get away. I wanted to live in a quiet small town where everyone knows everyone and could call you by name. And now, I am raising my family in the same fast paced world I was raised in. Only now, it is like a million times worse. I need to escape, I need to get away, I need serenity now! I have been thinking about what I want to do for a while and finally, a couple nights ago while hanging my head over the toilet (the morning sickness has been particularly bad this go round), it came to me. I want to move to the country and build a homestead. I want it to be for my family but I would also love to incorporate my long time business goals of having an inn and spa. So….. I haven’t told my husband yet of my far fetched ideas. Sure sure, he knows I am longing to get out of the city but he doesn’t know I am LONGING to get out of the city. What will this blog be about? I am still not entirely sure. Mostly I know it will be about my journey into the simple life. Me finding ways to connect with myself, my family, my passions and hopefully fulfilling my dreams in the country. Everyone needs some time to just take a step back from the madness and just smell the roses. Perhaps its time I plant some.


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