Welcome to GOODEness Gracious

We're cooking up all kinds of GOODe things with a side of life! Come on in and check out our recipes, freezer cooking, super mommy secrets and common sense commentary on the GOODe life.


Come chill with me, baby, as we cook up a month's worth of family meals in just one day. So come on into my kitchen. We'll give you all the freezer cooking tips, tricks and recipes.

Goode and Gooseberry Patch Project

Join me as I cook my way through Gooseberry Patch's Cookbook--Mom's Favorite Recipes a la the Julie/Julia project.

Super Mommy Secrets

The world is full of Super Moms just like you that make the world go round. From play rooms to board rooms, check out how my Super Mommy friends make it all happen.

It's a GOODe Life

Life is made up of moments. The funny. The ordinary. The frustrating. Join us as we share a few of ours while we live the GOODe life in the hills of Indiana.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's a GOODe and Messy Life: Meet Tess

WARNING: Neat freaks might want to skip this post--Just sayin'

So... I gots a problem.

Truth be told-- I gots more than one problem...but that is another story ;)

Anyhoo... tonight I have reluctantly decided to introduce you to someone new--

Meet Tess

She's a mess. Tess the Mess, if you will.

Tess is a horrible housekeeper. She strings her mess all over my once lovely, but now ill-managed home. She takes advantage of my busy schedule, mommy guilt, Internet addiction and even the limited time I give El

The nerve.

Tess is not a friend. She kicks me when I am down. She embarrasses me at all the wrong times. Truth be told, she  frustrates the livin' tar out of me. She is like a rude house guest that won't leave and constantly mocks you--not that I know any;)--Or that they would be allowed into my messy house for that matter!  

I keep thinking that one day she is going to magically turn into those happy little Disney animals that help Cinderella as she slaves away... but no. 

Tess... she just sets there...

Sets there mocking me...

So, enough already. You get the picture. I am a messy. Plain and simple.

Creative types often are--and I am ok with it. I have come to realize that us messies sometimes get the short end of the stick. The world is designed for those who like things nice and neat. Messy has it's own sort of scarlet letter in our society--in the form of wrinkled clothes, unkempt car interiors and/or piles of unwanted mail. Oh! The judgement.

Problem is--my visual mind can't operate as efficiently with everything tucked away nice and neat. I operate in stacks, piles and sitings of "where I saw it last". File folders don't create the same visual clues... Filing is a no-fail way for me to lose something... Just sayin'

So, while I realize my house will never look like a page torn from Better Homes and Gardens, truth be told--it has gotten a little ridiculous lately. Ahhh who am I kidding-- for a while now.

My friend Leah says I need to hire a maid-- I don't think I could afford the search party I would have to send in after her... So now before you get ready to submit my name to Hoarders, please know that I do not have a hoarding addiction-- what I do have is a very full plate and a healthy hatred of housework to boot!

I do have a plan to rid myself--at least partially-- of Tess the blasted Mess though. That is why I brought her here tonight. Ya see, I am going to tackle her on here-- where I have the home field advantage. And, I am going to use Tice to do it. I realize this Tess Mess has a lot to do with how I approach tasks that I am completely capable of doing--yet dread (and avoid) with a passion.

I am always yammerin' on about Tice, so I thought I would walk the walk on here and Take Tess to Task with Tice.--say that 10 times fast!

The great thing about Tice is that you can apply what he teaches to any goal or problem. I was surprised--although I shouldn't have been-- at how biblical a lot of his principles are as well.

I am also going to be using Tice to tackle 20 stubborn lbs. over the next 3 months. I lost a lot of weight last year by using the principles that Tice teaches. No weight loss milkshakes, miracle pills or magical 10 minute workouts. The change happened mostly in my mind... sounds easy-- and to some degree it is-- but it does take discipline. Am I enTICE-in' ya yet?

So kick back for a 12 week series of Tice Talk Thursdays.

If you want to read along-- grab a used $5 copy (including shipping) of Tice's Smart Talk and settle in for a read that might just change your life... Just sayin'

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's a GOODe Life: An Uber-Complicated Method of Happiness

My little Life Coach is up to her wise ways again.

Teaching her "wise" Ole Mama

My girl loves people. LOVES them. And, more importantly--SHOWS them.

She has a way to make sure people know that she notices them. It is uber--complicated. Ready?

She says "Hi" and gives them a big Ole smile--dimples and all.

Doesn't matter who you are... What you do... What you are wearing ... Who is watching or who isn't...

Add will bend over backwards to say "Hi". And, I'll have ya know, I have seen her crack the toughest of stone faces.

Add knows that a kind word or smile can make someone's day--even if they don't want to admit it. 

She knows that when she gives her smiles and kindness away, it doesn't go away-- it multiplies.

Funny how things like love, kindness, leadership and gratitude do that...

How do we lose these wise instincts from childhood?  When did we start keeping our smiles instead of sharing them?

When did we stop wanting to see others light up? 
Or, did we just forget that we had the power to do that for another?

Funny thing about adulthood... so much of what we are chasing, we have had all along.

Tomorrow I am going to smile more.

I will consciously extend kindness to 5 people.

As a leader, I will encourage someone to lead with their strengths.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • Wonderful gal pals that "get" me
  • Wearing pink princess crowns at my daughter's request
  • A freezer full of great meals for my family
  • A man that loves me enough to mow my lawn
  • Corn on the cob on the grill

How about you?

Monday, April 26, 2010

GOODe Project: Personalized Decorative Pillows

I just heart making these little pillows.

They are super simple and personalized.

You just grab some muslin and tea stain it if you'd like. Once your fabric is ready, cut it into a square or rectangle. Then just use a pencil to write out whatever you want your pillow to say. Your imagination is your limit ;)  (Remember to only use half of the space. You will fold in half after you are done stitching your design to make your pillow). 

I suppose you could use patterns if you'd like, but what is the fun in that?

Then just backstitch your lines.

Super quick. Super fun.

You then fold in half--wrong side out. Sew up 3 sides with a machine or by hand.

Turn right-side out and stuff a little stuffin' inside. Then stitch up the side. I use an overcast stitch.

Nice and simple. I love decorating with them. I even use the little ones on my Christmas Tree in the winter.

Now... just what little sayin' to do next. Hmmm... Ideas?

The Girl Creative


Sunday, April 25, 2010

GOODe GOODeNESS: Beefy Mexicali

Today's recipe is Aunt Lou's favorite recipe. When we discussed doing the FREEZE-quel together, she insisted that we make Beefy Mexicali.

And, boy am I glad we did! It has become a family favorite! We have already been through both frozen portions from the FREEZE-quel ;)

Aunt Lou discovered this yummy gem in Gooseberry Patch's What's for Dinner Cookbook. I hear she has this awesome sister who got it for her for Christmas a few years ago.

You start out with 8 oz of tomato sauce.

Aunt Lou and I split this can. 

I heart Red Gold Tomatoes. I have shared before that I adored them even before I knew they were an Indiana company ;) One of the highlights of my summer was visiting a Red Gold farm and eating a tomato straight out of the field ... Yum!

Soapbox Side Note: I am not amused by Hunts' new commercial... I can assure you obnoxious Hunts guy that our Hoosier tomatoes are very proudly American... Just sayin'

Anyhoo, you take 8 oz of that fabulous tomato sauce and put it in a mixin' bowl.

Add some canned mushrooms...Yum!

Then grab some chili. With beans or without--that is your choice :)

We like the beans for the added fiber.

Mix'er all up with 1 lb of seasoned ground beef

Then take your pan and spray it with Pam. I split this recipe between two round pans to freeze.

Then layer your tortillas  to cover the bottom of the pan (we used flour instead of corn).

Then add 1/2 of your mixture (1/4 each if you are splitting into two pans like I am here).

Add in 1/2 (1/4 each) can of olives and sprinkle on their yummy GOODeNESS ;)

I heart sliced olives... 

Aunt Lou doesn't though and she despises mushrooms...An you believe it?!?  I have to tell you that her Mexicali is a little naked. *blush* Such a shame.

Then add 1 cup (1/2 cup) shredded cheese. Oooey Gooey yumminess!

Now, pop quiz! Repeat...

Mixture and olives

Say Cheese!

Then pour on 10 oz (5 oz each) of beef broth

Freeze here or pop in a 350 oven until cheese is bubbly.

This was sooo yummy! 

It is a great base for a lot of alterations too. I can think of all kinds of different ways to make this. Next time I think I will double the chili and beef and add some salsa. Then possibly top with avocado and sour cream. I bet it would be good with ground turkey or shredded chicken too.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

Thanks Aunt Lou!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

GOODe Health: Playing Yoga with Bob

Tonight I decided it was time.

Time to stop fiddlin' with this guilt over not exercising and living a way that I know makes me feel better... physically and mentally.

So, I asked Add if she wanted to play yoga with me.

Add enthusiastically agreed-- not knowing what on earth yoga even was...

If only I could be as enthusiastic about the unknown... lol!

Anyhoo, I went to grab my favorite yoga DVD and couldn't find it anywhere... ugh! This is a trait I get from my mama. We are always losing things and digging for things and finding other things... always.

This is what I was looking for:

I heart this DVD. 

Note: I did not say I heart Denise Austin. I love the program she put together and her instruction for beginners, but her way of instructing and  wispy voice grate on my nerves. 

Truth be told, this DVD is often muted when played... Just sayin'

Anyhoo, Denise is hiding. (Perhaps I offended her : \ ) I never found her.

I found Bob instead.

I have to admit I frowned when I realized it was Bob or nothin' and I had already promised the Monkey some yoga play time.

It ain't about Bob, he is nice and all.

It is just that being the lazy mama that I have been for months, Denise's relaxing version (muted) was more what I had in mind for my first yoga with my little lady.

Bob's butt kickin' yoga makes me sore and makes me sweat...

Anyhoo, I started putting the dvd in the Xbox and Add got upset.

"Mommy, no! We are suppose to play yoga!"

"Oh honey, we are going to play yoga. We have to watch Bob and see what he does."

"OH! OK!"

I hit play and up comes Bob and the Biggest Loser crew.

"NOOOOOO!!!! Mommy! Where is Bob?!?!"

"He is right there."

"No he isn't. Where is he?"

It then hits me that Add thought we were going to play yoga with Bob the Tomato, not Bob the Trainer.

I then explained that we would be working with Bob the trainer, not Bob the tomato.

A disappointed Add agreed to go on to the yoga business and did very well through the 5 minute warm up.

The rest of the workout was a combination of  Add trying to follow along with lots of encouragement from mama and then realizing it was much more fun to climb on mama when she was in all of the jungle gym like poses.

Hey, we don't call her Monkey for nothin'.

I really wish I had pictures.

It was comical.

In the end, the work out wasn't nearly as bad as I had thought.

I had a blast sharing it with my lil' Add.

And, I feel fantastic to boot.

Why have I waited so long to get back in the saddle?

Thanks Bob.

And Denise, go ahead and hide... I think I need to kick it up a notch.

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's a GOODe Life: Bubblin'

My gal hearts her bubbles. 

No. Really.

She'd rather be bubblin' than almost anything else.

So, when I saw what the store wanted to charge me for a bunch of soapy water, I got inspired by Ms. Shannon over at Quarry Orchard with all her DIY household recipes. I decided to do some online research and make my own preschooler happiness potion.

I started with 11 cups of water in a gallon jug. (Ignore my covered hand... the measuring cup was REALLY hot--straight from the dishwasher, after a long FREEZE-quel day of use.)

I then added 4 cups of liquid dish soap. Note: I was a little worried at this point. Things were lookin' a little "thick"

Then 1 cup light corn syrup. At this point, I was a lot concerned...

But like the magic preschooler potion it was, the solution turned the perfect consistency.

I then poured it into Add's amazing little no-spill bubble contraption...

Have you used these things?!?

A mama's best friend! It is the perfect size and somehow it manages NOT to spill even though it has a big Ole hole in it.

If you have a preschooler... get ya one of these things.

The bubbles turned out beautifully! They are sturdier bubbles than the store bought stuff, which thrills Miss Add. She can actually chase them down now ;)

I made $4-$5 worth of bubbles around $.50 and they are better bubbles at that. Mommy score!

Happy bubblin'

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