Printable Bookmarks!

Good afternoon fellow readers!

Are any of you as happy as I am that it's summer break?!  I LOVE having my kids home all summer.  Perhaps by August, I'll be singing a different tune, but for now, I am enjoying every minute of the "schedule free" freedom!  

I am, however, afraid of the summer "lull", when the kids get a little lazy about learning, and just want to play outside all day.  Don't get me wrong, I think an outdoorsy life is awesome, and wholeheartedly encourage it!  But if there is one thing I want my children to keep at, it's reading.  EVERY DAY.  READ SOMETHING.

Luckily for me, my son already has it in his mind that if he wants certain privileges (i.e. play a video game, or get the iPad for a little while), he has to read for an already determined set of time.  In our house, it's half an hour.  He's still little, so half an hour can be a long time.  But he does it!  It used to be something he tried to avoid, but now, he just ups and does it, no questions asked.

LOVE IT.

As he grows and becomes more adept at reading, that required amount of time may increase.

Of course, there are some times when even forcing someone to do a good thing can be a bad thing.  They may come to resent the pressure, so we take it on a case-by-case basis.  If it's just going to create more trouble and contention, we may just skip it that day, but only for the right reasons.  Those reasons are different for everyone and every family, so I won't lecture anyone about how to deal with reading time in your own homes.

......well, let's get to the whole reason you're here....FREE PRINTABLE BOOKMARKS!   I love a good book mark.  So I made some for you (and for me, teehee).

Formatted for printing on standard 8.5x11 stock or paper. 


CLICK ON IMAGE > ENLARGE > SAVE TO COMPUTER.   Print, cut, give!

Perfect for a quick gift to your young students or book club!

Printable Quote: Anyone Can Be A Mother



If you want to know how I feel about motherhood, I could write until my finger tips bruise and bleed.  Yet, coincidentally and just as equally, there are no words to describe what a mother is.  Mothers are more than words, more than the list of daily tasks and chores and dishes and nose wipes and diaper changes and smiles, hugs, kisses, or bedtime stories.  Mothers are something that comes purely from the heart.

But while we all might not have the opportunity to be a mother in the biological sense, I truly believe there are mothers everywhere.  In every woman.  Because we all have hearts to give, and love to share.

You may be a mother and might not know it.  You may have a friend who continuously needs your compassion.  You may be an aunt with little nieces and nephews, who rejoice when you come to visit.  
Whatever your definition of "mothering", it's an available trait that we all can acquire and practice.  

If you're the leader of a women's group, church society, or simply enjoy this lovely quote by the wonderful Sheri Dew, please feel free to download and use this for any related purpose!   
See below for the consolidated easy print 8.5x11 version with 6 handouts to a page.  
*EASY PRINT 8.5x11 format.  Just left click on the image below, enlarge, and save to your computer!  Print however you'd like.  I recommend a heavy white cardstock.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!
to all mothers, everywhere.

****GIVE-AWAY!!**** Ends on Mother's Day 2014

***  This Give-Away is now CLOSED.  ***


****GIVE-AWAY!!****

I am so excited to give out 3 printed copies of this wonderful Family Roots & Tree printable!  If I do say so myself, I LOVE it!  And by the looks of things over at The Shop, quite a few of you seem to like it as well.  Thank you for that!

In celebration of my 300th sale, THREE winners will be chosen at random to win one printed 8x10in copy of this image.  

The best part of it is how EASY it is to enter!  



I'm hosting my give-away on my Facebook Page, so you will need a Facebook account to enter.  



1 - Be a fan of my page.  Easy!
2 - Go to THIS post and "LIKE" the post.
3 - Comment on the post, tagging the name of a friend who you think might also love this give-away!  

That's it!  Done!  Entry in the bag!

UNLESS....

...you want an extra entry!  


4 - For an EXTRA chance to win, SHARE the Facebook post with your friends so they can have a chance to win too!



****Give-Away ends Mother's Day, May 11th, 2014.  Winners will be announced and contacted (via Facebook - Bitty Birdie will repsond to the winner's post comment) on Monday, May 12th.  Each winner will be given 48 hours to respond.  Winners will only be asked for the shipping address to which they would like their print shipped to.  No other information required. ****

I can't begin to tell you all how grateful I am for the community support I've received as I've built this little business.  You inspire me!  I can't wait to see what we come up with next for the shop.  



Thank you!


Brig

FREE Children's Valentines Printables


For the last couple of years, I have that wonderful opportunity as a parent to help my child create and give Valentine's to his friends and class at school.  Who knew making your own valentines would be so much fun?!    This year, my son definitively stated he wanted to give out pirate valentines.  Being a fan of the whole Pirates of the Caribbean phenomenon, (and I hardly need add Assassin's Creed IV), I was more than willing to help him with this project.

We printed our pirate valentines on 8.5x11 sticker paper, cut them out and pasted them onto Ghirardelli squares.  He can't wait to hand them out on Friday.

So, in the spirit of love and friendship, I've set up a few FREE printable options for you!

-PIRATE - Works with any goodie or toy.
-"BEAR-Y" special valentine! - Works best with gummy bears, cinnamon bears, or anything "bear"!

I hope you like them!  Print to cardstock, paper, sticker paper, or whatever!   Cut them out and staple, or use a hole punch and tie them to your valentine goodies.

8.5x11 high resolution format.  Just left click on image, enlarge, and save to your computer! 





Healthy Honey Whole Wheat Cornbread


Welcome!  This post has been a long time coming; I make this recipe so often, I should have had it up a long time ago!  If you're familiar with the blog High Heels and Grills, you might recognize some similarities in this cornbread recipe!

In my own search for the perfect cornbread, I came across THIS recipe, and decided to alter it to fit my own health and lifestyle preferences.   I try to incorporate whole grains and natural sugars in my family's diet, instead of the now commonplace refined alternatives.  The result of this recipe transformation is what you see below!  The biggest differences you'll notice between the original (which is also still fantastic!!!) and mine is 1) the whole wheat, 2) the sugar has been replaced with honey, and 3) the amount of that sugar has been cut in half.

Here we go!

Ingredients:
4 eggs - Whites and yolks separated.  Be sure not to get any yolk in the whites while separating!  
3/4 C. Butter - melted or very soft.  
3/4 C. Honey -  My hubby found this at Costco!  Bam baby!  Although it's not an entirely huge deal whether you use raw, commercial, or organic honey while baking (since the heat kills any enzymes anyway), it was still awesome to know that the process involved in getting this particular batch of honey was in accordance to the best standards this country can regulate.  Thank you Costco!


Continuing...

1 C. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 C. Cornmeal
2 C. Whole Wheat Flour - We've been lucky enough to find an excellent Non-GMO brand at our local Walmart of all places!  
1 TBSP. Baking POWDER 
1 tsp. Salt

Directions:

First, separate your egg yolks from the whites and set the whites aside in their own bowl.  They'll be added back into the recipe at the very end.  

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine egg yolks and butter.  I just use a simple kitchen fork for most of this.  Mix together until they've combined well.  Depending on how melted your butter is, the cold from the egg yolks might solidify your butter again.  No worries!  Just mix as best you can.

Next, mix in the honey and vanilla until all are combined.

Lastly (as far as wet ingredients go), mix in the milk and stir it all up!

From here, dump in the flour.  Top that with the cup of cornmeal, then the baking powder, and salt.  Mix it all up until fully combined [pictured].   There's no real need to have all of these dry ingredients mixed together beforehand, which makes this recipe so much easier, and one less bowl to clean!  


Next, get your egg whites. Remember how we were super careful not to get any egg yolks in the whites?  If you did, this step won't work out very well.  Your egg whites will still be usable, but they won't peak like this.  Using a simple hand mixer, or similar device, beat the egg whites, gradually moving up to a high speed, until stiff peaks form [pictured].


Dump the fluffy egg whites into your batter and mix together until you no longer see anymore white and bubbles. 


Set your oven to °350.   

Grab a 9x13 glass casserole dish, or similar, and butter it.  I just scoop up about 1 and a half teaspoons of butter and run it all over the dish with my fingers.  



Pour the batter into the dish.  Grab the handles and gently shake the swivel the dish so the batter is even.  


Bake at °350 for about 32 minutes and then check the center with a toothpick.  The toothpick should come out clean, and the center should appear stable.  If needed, add 1-2 more minutes.

I have never needed to bake this for longer than 33 or 34 minutes, so I'm confident you won't need to either.  You do not want to overbake this.  Overbaked cornbread = grainy, dry, and crumbly.  

Perfect!  Lightly golden and random slight cracking lets me know it's done.

Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for about 10-15 before covering with a lid, or plastic wrap.  Keep the covering tight to lock in that wonder moisture!

Cut immediately before serving, and continue to store leftovers airtight.

I hope you enjoy it!  Thanks for visiting!  Be sure to Pin this recipe using the buttons below for quick and easy future access!  

Whole Wheat Honey Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Fall!  I am so glad it's here!  Was there ever a more glorious time?  

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, " Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." 

I agree with him!  Many of us feel a sense of renewal in spirit and person around spring-time, when the world itself begins to renew, but I definitely feel a better sense of self when the leaves turn their color, the air gets cold, and I get to pull out my cozy sweaters and boots.  Perhaps it's just the Thanksgiving cultural influence, and the upcoming Christmas holiday, but it works for me!  I absolutely and simply love this time of the year, and how it causes me to reflect on my life;  I have truly been richly blessed.    This year has been especially fun already, as my little son is finding the concept of "time" a continuous subject of study.  Days, weeks, seasons...it's all intriguing.

"Fall" also translates into two MAJOR things for me:  BAKING and STEW time.  I am jumping for joy inside.  Bring on the cold!  I am a complete soup-stew-whatever person.  Maybe I'll get to the stew later on, but for now, allow me to introduce:
Just Heavenly.  Open your windows, turn on your ovens, and let your neighbors follow the scent of the season back to your house.  Make sure you bake enough!

Recipe: GO!

List of dry ingredients:

2 and 1/2 C. - Organic Non-GMO Whole Wheat flour
2 and 1/2 tsp. - Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp. - Baking Powder
3/4 tsp. - Baking Soda
1 tsp. - Salt

List of wet ingredients:

3/4 C. - Butter (softened)  
1/8 C. - Organic Coconut Oil 
1 and 1/4 C. - Honey
1 tsp.  Vanilla 
2  - Eggs
1/2 C. - Unsweetened Applesauce (I use Organic "Treetop" Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce)
1/2 C. - Buttermilk  (You can make buttermilk substitute using 1/2 C milk and a splash of either lemon juice, or rice vinegar)
1 - Large Granny Smith Apple (peeled,cored, and finely chopped), or 2 apples, if you like more fruit chunks in your muffins

Directions:

First, combine all of the dry ingredients together in their own bowl.  They'll join this party later.

Next First:  If you want to cut up your apple, you can either do it now, or just...whenever.

Now, combine the butter, oil, honey, and vanilla.   Just beat it up til' it's smooth.


It'll look like this:


And it'll especially look like that^ if you have bright yellow mixing bowls.

(Note: If you accidentally melted the butter instead of softening it, that's okay.  Your batter will still work great!  It just won't look like the picture.  Keep on!)

Next, mix in the eggs and applesauce.  Your batter will look a bit gross, hence the lack of picture, but that's just fine.  The dry mix will fix that.

Grab your bowl of dry ingredients and dump about half of it into your mixing bowl and mix it up.  The batter might seem a little thick but that's okay.  We still have that buttermilk!

Pour the buttermilk into the batter and slowly but fully incorporate.  Add the remaining flour mixture and blend together.   You'll then have this yummy batter:


Mmm, cinnamon.  Yummy, delicious, cinnamon.   Mmmmm.....okay...

Either get your bowl of chopped up Granny Smiths, or go chop it now.  Dump it into the batter and simply use a spoon or spatula to mix in the apple chunks.


Set your oven to °350. 

If you use cupcake liners, fill the cups halfway.  (I consider it a "generous" halfway).  If you choose not to use liners, fill the cups up to 2/3 of the way full.

Top your muffins with anything from a sprinkling of chocolate chips or nuts, or keep plain.  I LOVE plain.  Bake for 17-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  You know your oven best so always be sure to check on things when you think they need to be.


Let cool and store in an airtight container.  I typically put my baked goods away while they're still a little warm to help retain some moisture.

Sorry Betty, but these are way better than anything you can put in a box.  Dense, but fluffy and moist.   They're even better when they've had time to sit and cool in their containers for a few hours.


You could even slather some frosting on top and call it a cupcake.  Might as well.  It's impossible to regret something like that. 


**I can't be sure how many muffins this recipe will make.  I always double it.  Doubled, I make 3 dozen lined muffins, with a perfect amount of batter left over to make one loaf of bread.

If making a loaf, pour batter into a GREASED AND FLOURED loaf pan and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the center appears stable.

FREE Thanksgiving Printable

It's finally September!  This month is when I start to prepare for Fall.  I look through my decor items, see what I need, and get to work on anything I feel is lacking before the official date comes around.  Fall and Winter are my absolute favorite times to decorate, so I always feel the pressure in the preceding weeks.


In prep, I've made a few variations of this new Thanksgiving/Autumn print!  All variations are included in one listing in my shop but you can get one for free here on the blog!

You might be familiar with the words in this printable from the hymn "Because I Have Been Given Much"

 Enjoy!  Happy September!  (Yay!!)

*5x7 and 8x10 High resolution format.  Just left click on image, enlarge, and save to your computer!