Monday, July 26, 2010

Is it REALLY the end of July???

Oh, I suppose it is! The stores are stocked with backpacks & various sundries in preparation for Back to School. The craft stores & clothing shops are drowning in summer clearance. And Moms everywhere are "tweeting" that they just CANNOT WAIT for school to start back up again. I can feel it. The end of summer is near.

For me, I feel like the summer has went WAY to fast & I haven't been able to accomplish many of the things I wanted to. I'm guessing I won't, either. But since it's been one of the hottest summers on record & I'm in the third trimester of my pregnancy, I am trying not to be too hard on myself. The last few weeks of summer are starting to be filled with preparing for the arrival of Miss Magic & for Smarty Pants to head back to school. Blue Eyes is rapidly making his way into the "terrible" toddler stage and is turning from a baby into a "big boy" right before my eyes. I am getting excited for this summer chapter in our lives to come to a close and a new chapter as a family of five to begin.

Here's a few pic's of what we have been up to so far this summer.


My Brother in Law is a race car driver & instructor for PDA, so we braved the heat this month & went to the races!

Smarty Pants & Grandma loved riding on the carousel!

Had a blast at the Fourth of July parade!

Visited "Old Ben" in Philadelphia!

What have you & your family done so far this summer? What kind of plans do you have for the last few weeks before going back to school?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Free Sewing Patterns

Anyone doing any sewing this weekend?? Here is a link to some free sewing patterns, including an apron, teddy bear & small purse. This would be a great indoor activity for you & your little girl to beat the heat this weekend, as well! ENJOY!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sweet White Bread & "Friendship Friday"

Good morning! This bread recipe has quickly become one of my favorites. Not only is it super easy and tastes excellent, but it is very versatile. It has a great rise & has turned out fluffy & perfect every time I've made it. The flavor is similar to that of Hawaiian Sweet Rolls or Amish Sweet Bread. The dough is a great base to use for dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls/sticks or raisin & nut swirl bread. It also makes great sandwich bread, especially deli meat sandwiches. The possibilities to modify this dough are endless!

(Makes 2 loaves)

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 1/2-6 cups bread flour, depending on humidity & temp (I like King Arthur best!)
1.In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
2.Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time (you may not need a full 6 cups). Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1-2 hours.
3.Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30mins-1hour, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
4.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30-40 minutes. Halfway through cooking, baste top of loaf with egg wash for a beautiful shine!

Some are some pictures of the bread I took last time I made it. SUPER YUMMY & LIGHT!

Also, one of my favorite blogs is hosting a "No Rules" Style Blog Hop today called Friendship Friday! Stop by "the hop" & make some new friends. There are no set amount of blogs you are required to follow. Simply follow the ones you would enjoy reading. THAT'S MY KIND OF BLOG HOP! Click the button below to get started!

Thanks for stopping by today! Let me know if you try the bread & how it turned it for you! ENJOY!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blockbuster Express Kiosk - FREE RENTALS

Who doesn't LOVE a good movie? Who doesn't love it EVEN MORE when it's FREE??? It's the hottest summer on record in 20 years (Yes, really! I heard it on the news this morning!) and its just too plain hot to spend too much time outdoors. So whether the "Littles" are driving you nuts OR you need a romantic night in with your "Honey", here is the list of the current Blockbuster Express Kiosk Codes for a free one night rental.

GL15A (expires on 7/30)
GT17A (expires on 7/30)
G418A (expiration not known)
SSD17A4 (expiration not known)
SSD17A3 (expiration not known)

To find a Blockbuster Kiosk near you, follow this link:

Unfortunately, we don't have any in our area. We are a Redbox kind of town, I guess. But I do hope that some of you will get some use out of this.

P.S. I realize this information is circling around the blog community like crazy already and you may have already seen it. But just in case you are one of my personal friends that only subscribes to my blog OR by chance you missed these, here they are! ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Tag-Along

WELCOME TO FOLLOWING HER FOOTSTEPS - The blog about living the old fashioned way in a modern day world! Hope you enjoy your visit & come back often for recipes, discussions, homemaking tips, idea's for kids activities, frugal living hints & a few personal journals mixed in.

Tuesday Tag-Along

To check out more fun blogs, click the picture above to get started on the Tuesday Tag-Along! HAVE A FUN MORNING OF READING & FINDING NEW FRIENDS!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Zucchini Cheese Patties

Last week, my Mother in Law gifted us with a homegrown zucchini. Well, my boys don't particularly enjoy zucchini so I needed a creative recipe to sneak this beauty into. I borrowed idea's from several different fritter & patty recipes I found online & created this gem of a "sneaky" recipe. MY BOYS LOVED THEM! Hope that you do, too!


1 large zucchini
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (Panko is best!)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I like cheddar!)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp minced onion
2 eggs

Grate zucchini with a cheese grater or in a food processor. Place zucchini in paper towel or cheese cloth & wring out. Transfer to dry paper towel, spread out zucchini & let dry. Make sure zucchini is dried out enough, but still retains a little moisture. Too wet will make patties not form properly & too dry will require an addition of an extra egg. In a large bowl, mix together zucchini, egg, cheeses, garlic powder & onion. Once combined, stir in flour & 1/2 cup breadcrumbs alternately, reserving the other 1/2 cup. With your hands, shape palm sized patties. Dip patties into the reserved breadcrumbs to make a crunchy crust. Grease a large skillet with several pats of butter. Once skillet is greased, pour a little of your favorite oil in the skillet. After the oil is heated, lightly fry the patties until golden brown on each side.

Note: I am sure you could probably bake these on a cookie sheet & have them turn them great, but I've never tried. My boys loved these dipped in sour cream. We served with soup on a cool, rainy day for lunch. ENJOY!

And yes, the pictures are mine. This is exactly how they looked after cooking! YUUMMY!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Modern Feminism? An article about the choices of todays woman.

Good morning & Happy Thursday, everyone! Yesterday I came across this article and I just couldn't resist sharing it with you. Why? Because I LOVE the concept of homesteading! Like the author, so many strong, independent & educated (GASP!) women I know have been forsaking professional careers in favor of the noble pursuit of homemaking. Most of these women? Friends of mine from COLLEGE (BIGGER GASP!) Even a few of my strong, independent & educated MALE friends have begun to get in on the homemaking action (SHOCK!). Why?? Because I believe that America has finally had enough. Without getting too much into politics (because this is not a political blog, after all), many people today are seeing the benefits of removing themselves from the "rat race" and focusing their internal compasses toward home. Just as the below article points out, who better to survive a looming depression than a self-sufficient home?

Published: March 11, 2010
Four women I know — none of whom know one another — are building chicken coops in their backyards. It goes without saying that they already raise organic produce: my town, Berkeley, Calif., is the Vatican of locavorism, the high church of Alice Waters. Kitchen gardens are as much a given here as indoor plumbing. But chickens? That ups the ante. Apparently it is no longer enough to know the name of the farm your eggs came from; now you need to know the name of the actual bird.

All of these gals — these chicks with chicks — are stay-at-home moms, highly educated women who left the work force to care for kith and kin. I don’t think that’s a coincidence: the omnivore’s dilemma has provided an unexpected out from the feminist predicament, a way for women to embrace homemaking without becoming Betty Draper. “Prior to this, I felt like my choices were either to break the glass ceiling or to accept the gilded cage,” says Shannon Hayes, a grass-fed-livestock farmer in upstate New York and author of “Radical Homemakers,” a manifesto for “tomato-canning feminists,” which was published last month.

Hayes pointed out that the original “problem that had no name” was as much spiritual as economic: a malaise that overtook middle-class housewives trapped in a life of schlepping and shopping. A generation and many lawsuits later, some women found meaning and power through paid employment. Others merely found a new source of alienation. What to do? The wages of housewifery had not changed — an increased risk of depression, a niggling purposelessness, economic dependence on your husband — only now, bearing them was considered a “choice”: if you felt stuck, it was your own fault. What’s more, though today’s soccer moms may argue, quite rightly, that caretaking is undervalued in a society that measures success by a paycheck, their role is made possible by the size of their husband’s. In that way, they’ve been more of a pendulum swing than true game changers.

Enter the chicken coop.

Femivorism is grounded in the very principles of self-sufficiency, autonomy and personal fulfillment that drove women into the work force in the first place. Given how conscious (not to say obsessive) everyone has become about the source of their food — who these days can’t wax poetic about compost? — it also confers instant legitimacy. Rather than embodying the limits of one movement, femivores expand those of another: feeding their families clean, flavorful food; reducing their carbon footprints; producing sustainably instead of consuming rampantly. What could be more vital, more gratifying, more morally defensible?

There is even an economic argument for choosing a literal nest egg over a figurative one. Conventional feminist wisdom held that two incomes were necessary to provide a family’s basic needs — not to mention to guard against job loss, catastrophic illness, divorce or the death of a spouse. Femivores suggest that knowing how to feed and clothe yourself regardless of circumstance, to turn paucity into plenty, is an equal — possibly greater — safety net. After all, who is better equipped to weather this economy, the high-earning woman who loses her job or the frugal homemaker who can count her chickens?

Hayes would consider my friends’ efforts admirable if transitional. Her goal is larger: a renunciation of consumer culture, a return (or maybe an advance) to a kind of modern preindustrialism in which the home is self-sustaining, the center of labor and livelihood for both sexes. She interviewed more than a dozen families who were pursuing this way of life. They earned an average of $40,000 for a family of four. They canned peaches, stuffed sausages, grew kale, made soap. Some eschewed health insurance, and most home-schooled their kids. That, I suspect, is a little further than most of us are willing to go: it sounds a bit like being Amish, except with a car (no more than one, naturally) and a green political agenda.

After talking to Hayes, I rushed to pick up my daughter from school. As I rustled up a quick dinner of whole-wheat quesadillas and frozen organic peas, I found my thoughts drifting back to our conversation, to the questions she raised about the nature of success, satisfaction, sustenance, fulfillment, community. What constitutes “enough”? What is my obligation to others? What do I want for my child? Is my home the engine of materialism or a refuge from it?

I understand the passion for a life that is made, not bought. And who doesn’t get the appeal of working the land? It’s as integral to this country’s character as, in its own way, Wal-Mart. My femivore friends may never do more than dabble in backyard farming — keeping a couple of chickens, some rabbits, maybe a beehive or two — but they’re still transforming the definition of homemaker to one that’s more about soil than dirt, fresh air than air freshener. Their vehicle for children’s enrichment goes well beyond a ride to the next math tutoring session.

I am tempted to call that “precious,” but that word has variegations of meaning. Then again, that may be appropriate. Hayes found that without a larger purpose — activism, teaching, creating a business or otherwise moving outside the home — women’s enthusiasm for the domestic arts eventually flagged, especially if their husbands weren’t equally involved. “If you don’t go into this as a genuinely egalitarian relationship,” she warned, “you’re creating a dangerous situation. There can be loss of self-esteem, loss of soul and an inability to return to the world and get your bearings. You can start to wonder, What’s this all for?” It was an unnervingly familiar litany: if a woman is not careful, it seems, chicken wire can coop her up as surely as any gilded cage.

Peggy Orenstein, a contributing writer, is the author of “Waiting for Daisy,” a memoir.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Tag-Along Blog Hop

Tuesday Tag-Along

WELCOME TO "FOLLOWING HER FOOTSTEPS"! This is the first week I am participating in the "Tuesday Tag-Along" Blog Hop. I hope to find some great new blogs & get to know some new people! Hope you enjoy the content of this blog & that you will visit back often! WELCOME!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Old Fashioned Cleaning Tips


It's no secret that I am a BIG supporter of "green cleaning". And it's also no secret that I am of a BIG supporter of keeping to a budget. Name brand, eco-friendly cleaning products can get to be expensive and many times can be made yourself using simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or cabinets. After all, do you think that Grandma or Great Grandma whipped out an array of cleaning products during the depression? No way! There wasn't any money for that! They relied on things they had around the home! And often times used the same ingredients to do "double duty" by using a single ingredient to perform multiple functions. So, if you are new to homemade cleaning supplies, I hope these few tips & recipes can help get you started on the path on an eco-friendly & less expensive cleaning lifestyle.

GARBAGE DISPOSALS: Freeze white vinegar in ice cube trays. As needed, put two cubes down disposal & run disposable blade. The blades will get sharpened as they cut up the "ice" cubes & the vinegar cleanes the disposable. Rinse with hot water once done.

WINDOW CLEANER: Fill empty, clean spray bottle with 1 part vinegar, 1 part rubbing alchohol & 1 part water. DONE! Now wasn't THAT easy???

MINTY SCRUB: 1 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup borax, 1 tsp Castile Soap (peppermint scent), 10 drops peppermint essential oil, 1/4 cup water. Mix together & use wherever you normally use "Soft Scrub". (P.S. If you are already thinking of homemade holiday gift idea's, this is a GREAT one to make with a pretty packaging!)

SILVER CLEANER: Line a large bowl with aluminum foil. Add 6 cups warm water, 1 tbsp of salt & 1 tbsp baking soda. Mix salt & soda until dissolved. Soak silver items for 1 hour. Remove & rub dry with a soft cloth.

ALL PURPOSE CLEANER: Fill empty, clean spray bottle 1/4 full with hot water. Add 2 tsp of borax & shake borax until dissolved. Next, add 1/4 cup white vinegar & 2 tbsp of your favorite dish soap (Dawn works best). Add several drops of your favorite essential oil (to your liking). Fill remainder of bottle with warm water & shake. Shake before using. Can be used for countertops, potty seats, sinks, on carpet for stains (test patch first) etc..

Hope these few idea's will get you started! More blogs to come on this subject in the future so keep checking back for new idea's!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Oh that day! What an emotional mess I was! It was the first week of February & my little Blue Eyes was getting ready to turn a year old. I was knee deep in first birthday planning & up to my neck in winter bills wondering how I was going to get the two to happily marry without going broke. To make matters worse, my stomach issues & IBS always flare up when stress is high so everything I ate made me sick. I was sick for a several weeks before feeling like this was definitely the worst case of IBS I had to date & I swore I was finally going to start taking my medication (which I never do, of course!). Ahem!

Ever notice how Moms are always right? They are clued in to the mysteries of the universe, I am certain! That being said, my mother half serious & half with a giggle suggests I take a pregnancy test. Bah! I can't be pregnant! I am a seriously dedicated birth control pill taker! How could THAT be possible? Well at this suggestion, I quickly thumb through my calendar. A long list of explicitives run through my head & I grab my keys & notify my husband I am heading to the Dollar Store to buy a pregnancy test. I had my hair in a bun, my husbands dirty sweatshirt on, tears streaming down my face & yes, I also had started to break out in stress hives (ON MY FACE!!!!). I must've looked like a broke, knocked up teenage buying a pregnancy test & paying for it with the remainder of a gift card my mother had bought my son for his Christmas stocking. Because yes, that week in February I didn't even have a whole dollar to scrape together for a pregnancy test. Oh yes, and let's not to forget to mention there was close to 3 feet of snow on the ground that week! But no amount of the white stuff was standing between me & that Dollar Store!

Well, I am sure you could guess the results by the title of this post! And tomorrow I will have only 10 weeks to go until my due date in mid-September. After the initial shock of being pregnant again finally wore off, we found out we are having a little girl. We also got a little more unexpected news when we found out there could be some potential complications. Nothing in this world is more scary then when you get that news. I "Googled" every term the doctor gave me. I surfed every forum that my web browser would allow trying to find any shred of information I could get. I cried for weeks over the information I found. I wanted to feel knowledgable. I NEEDED that information. I joined a few online support groups. And we did every test we could to try to find out what type of disorder our daughter could potentially have. If you're wondering, we really haven't gotten a good solid answer, even after an amnio. Trisomy 13, 18 & 21 have been ruled out, as well as Cystic Fibrosis. The amnio did produce a "positive" result for Spina Bifida, but since all 4 of my ultrasounds showed no sign of spinal defects, the doctor seems fairly certain it is more likely a "false positive". Of course, this gives me no confidence in the rest of the amnio results. We had the option of doing a broader range of testing for chromosonal defects, since that is what my highest risk is for, but we opted to decline all further tests. So, these last few weeks we are waiting it out & anxiously preparing for the arrival of Little Miss Magic. We have been so caught up in the testing, that we are frantically trying to pull together everything for her arrival. I pray for my daughter every day. I pray first & foremost that God's will be done in our lives. We are willing to accept the life God wants to give us. I pray for her to be healthy & that if she isn't, the complications would be minor. I pray that I can be the best parent that I can be to her & to her two big brothers. Nothing in this world is as precious as those three children are to me.

So...Yes, 10 WEEKS LEFT! My mother is coming out to visit next week so we can do some organizing & shopping. She'll only be here two days so I am sure we will try to cram as much in as possible. HERE'S TO NESTING!

Wishing my readers a blessed weekend & a productive week ahead!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Keepin' Company Thursday

WELCOME! This blog is inspired by the old fashioned living of my Grandmother! She was a wonderful woman who taught me so many lessons about what is important in this life. I hope that you enjoy the content you see here & keep coming back to live the old fashioned way with me! Enjoy your blog hopping this beautiful (AND VERY HOT!) Thursday!

Dairy Free Banana Bread Recipe

Yup! I did it! I ran out of eggs. Oops! Looks like I also had no milk. Those bananas sure won't make their way into a banana bread without a run to the store for those precious ingredients, will they? Well, apparently they will! And they did! I searched online for several recipes and ended up adapting this one, which I originally found on The great thing about this recipe is that is so versatile! It's vegan friendly. It's great for people with egg or milk allergies. And it's also a VERY frugal recipe. How does it taste? Pretty darn good. Of course, it does have a much more subtle flavor than banana bread with traditional ingredients, but it's still very good & moist. You can boost the flavor by adding nuts, cranberries, flavor chips (chocolate, carob, peanut butter, cinnamon) or whatever other yummy additions you might have hiding out in your pantry, as well. Anyway.. Enough rambling. Here it is. Go try it out!


2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 cups all-purpose sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups mashed ripe bananas

In a large bowl, cream sugar and shortening for about 5 minutes (mixture does not get smooth). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with bananas, beating after each addition (the batter will be thick). Spoon into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until bread tests done with a toothpick. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

FOOD, INC: A Simple Movie Review

It is no understatement to say that I've been avoiding this movie for a long time. I buy locally as much as I can. I buy organic as much as I can. I shop at Farmers Markets. I cook from scratch & limit meat intake. Still.. I was really worried about watching this movie. I was scared that the content would be more than I could handle. If you, too, have been intimidated to watch this movie, DON'T BE. Most of the information presented is pretty basic & it is not as gruesome as I thought it would be. The movie presents an honest look at how food production(and in particular meat production) has affected the overall economy & health of our nation. It also addresses the serious issues of fair treatment of immigrant employees, food related health costs & the rise of obescity & disease. The best part of the movie, in my opinion, are the interviews with a local farmer who practices "good moral" farming. His animals are grass fed and he takes conviction at putting out a healthier & better product for people to consume. His words are inspiring & I have to admit there are several moments I got a little teary eyed. If you haven't seen this documentary style movie yet, I highly recommend it. If the content isn't familiar to you, it will be a great opportunity to learn something new. If it is familiar, it's a good way to renew some passion for an very important topic! This movie IS NOT suitable for children, but would be excellent for your older teenager! (Side note: If your student has a summer project this would be a great subject!). If you've seen the movie, comment & let me know YOUR thoughts & opinions on it. If you haven't seen it yet, come back & visit after you've seen it to follow up with your opinion too!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Only Three Hairs

Good morning fellow blog readers! It's been a week since I've updated but I've had a lot going on with the holiday (haven't we all, right?). I've also been working on a few articles simultaneously & can't wait to finally share them with you. I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to plan to write this morning, but I ran across this little story & thought it had a very powerful message. I hope you had a fun Fourth of July weekend filled with many blessings!

The Attitude of Three Hairs

There was once a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the
mirror and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.

"Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today," so she did
and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw she had
only two hairs on her head.

"HMM," she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle
today," and she did and she had a grand day.

The next morning she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw she
had only one hair left on her head.

"Well," she said, "Today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony
tail." So she did and it was a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that
there wasn't a single hair on her head.

"YEA!" she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!"

Remember you may not be able to control what someone says or
does or some of the situations that life throws you, but you can
sure control the way you react.