This week has been an “Aaah” kind of week. My two older kids are finishing their 2nd full week of school, and my youngest has started preschool. Need I say more?

This is my New Normal.

Four days a week, I now have about 3.5 hours completely to… myself? Hmm, let me think on that one:

What My Husband Thinks I Do

  • Blog. Play on Facebook. NOT clean the house.

What My Kids Want Me To Do

  • Go through toy catalogs searching for the price of whatever they’ve been asking for.
  • Research hamsters and bunnies, their ideas of the next family pets.
  • Coordinate playdates for every day that ends in “y”.

What I Do When The Kids Leave

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National Dairy Month: Not Your Average Milkshake

by Ann-Marie on June 29, 2012

Much of the country has been under a heat advisory for several days. We hit 105 yesterday in Indianapolis and I just really feel like sticking my head in the freezer. Since June is National Dairy Month, what better way to end the hottest and driest June with a tasty, frosty & frothy milkshake!

Everyone knows (don’t they?) that a milkshake is made with milk and ice cream, plain & simple.

For a boost in flavor, texture, and yes, even some vitamins too – try adding in one or more of the following:

  • 1/2 Cup Fresh berries or peeled & sliced peaches
  • 1 Tbs Flax Seed
  • 1/2 Cup Greek Vanilla Non-Fat Yogurt
  • Skim milk instead of 2% of whole
  • 1/4 Cup granola or trail mix
  • 2 Tbs Peanut Butter or Nutella
  • For the kids … food coloring! You can even divide the milkshake, color each differently, then layer into a glass.

Indiana’s Family of Farmers provided me with a bountiful bag of goodies to help my family try many new and familiar dairy treats for National Dairy Month.

I even learned a few things I didn’t know about Indiana’s connection to Dairy …

  • There is a dairy farm in each of the 50 states. Indiana has 1500 of them.
  • A whopping 98% of Indiana’s dairy farms are family-owned.
  • 2012 is the Official Year of the Dairy Cows at the Indiana State Fair.
  • Indiana ranks 2nd in the nation in low-fat and regular ice cream production.

And how about these fun facts about cows …

  • Cows drink a bathtub-full of water every day!
  • Cows can use their sense of smell up to six miles away!
  • Cows are creatures of habit and don’t like change. You might hear an impatient “Moo!” to tell the dairy farmer he or she is running late!

Find out more about National Dairy Month with Milk Facts, Recipes and more from Indiana’s Family of Farmers and The American Dairy Association of Indiana.


Are you a Hoosier? You might like some recent Indiana deals & discounts. Also take a look at other recipes I’ve shared.

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Strawberry Bread Recipe

by Ann-Marie on May 26, 2012

After two visits to pick strawberries this week, I’m making everything from strawberry shortcakes to this delicious strawberry bread. It’s very similar to zucchini bread, and I’ve altered it a bit by using a little applesauce along with oil, and including whole wheat flour. It is moist and delicious, especially warmed a bit with a spread of butter on top. Makes a great gift, and it freezes well too! This recipe makes 2 loaves, so enjoy one and freeze the other. Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does!


  • 2 cups fresh chopped strawberries
  • 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. flax seed (optional)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup canola oil + 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Easy peazy directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9″x5″ loaf pans. Add a little sugar to strawberries in medium-sized bowl and set aside while preparing bread mixture. Combine flours, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large mixer bowl; mix well. Blend oil and beaten eggs into strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture on slow speed, blending just until dry ingredients are moistened. Divide batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes (metal pan closer to 45, stoneware pan closer to 50-55) until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes, invert onto cooling rack and cool completely.

If this sounds like something your family would love, please consider sharing this recipe on Pinterest:

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Be sure to check out more of my family favorite recipes!

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