Thoughts on life, love, food, and living with Lupus

Starting Over . . . January 3, 2021

Filed under: 2021,Life,Love — PamperedJaime @ 9:36 am
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Just the phrase of “Starting Over” feels like a contradiction of emotions- dark, dreary and impossible- hopeful and exciting. I am not sure which side of the emotional spectrum I call into. Like most topics and issues in life, I float, landing somewhere in the middle after much pondering, praying, researching. We shall see . . .

I find myself at the place in life I never thought I would be- a single mom, life turned up-side down, and just when you thought, “OK, I think the worst is behind us now, we can rebuild our lives”, throw in The Rona- loss of most of my business, switch to virtual teaching at my other job, then laid off. Moving eldest back home, youngest lost her entire extracurricular life (her whole outlet). Darkness has loomed for months of just trying to make it from day to day, seeing what life will throw at us next. And it keeps on coming.

The only thing that has been stable is my radio job, but that does not pay a fraction of the bills on its own. My side business weighed heavily on the events industry (weddings, proms, pagents), and that is gone for a long, long time (Thanks Dictator Newsom!). Secret weddings have popped up, thank God! Being laid off from my teaching job was a big financial hit for us. Add into it, I don’t appear to be eligible for unemployment and getting help and questions answered on that front has been next to impossible. So, what is a girl to do when you don’t want to supplement with savings forever? Figure it out, like I always have.

So . . . I go back to what I know and what I have done. I am trying to see where the pieces fit together and how to make things work with my life. My girls, especially my younger, need me, as they have no one else. They are my priority until they fly. I almost forgot I had this blog! I look back at all those years ago with twinges of sadness. I was so hopeful and excited to see where life was going. I did not think I would be here. With the alarm clock ticking with so many decisions to make (work, and way beyond!) My focus must remain on providing for the three of us and healing from all the darkness and abuse that came upon us.

So here is to fresh starts, right? That is what the New Year is supposed to symbolize. Or so we thought. It is the day two years ago that things changed. It is the symbol of when the darkness took over our house. But, this year, as we drove up the coast and I told my girls, “Throw it all in the ocean- the negativity, the bad thoughts- and let it all wash away. We deserve to be happy and not live in bondage anymore.” And we won’t. I will figure it out. Where we will go, what I will do (the girls are close to flying!).

I guess coming back around to this blog could be the beginning of something good. I need good. I need direction. I need fun.


Getting ready August 17, 2015

Filed under: 2015 — PamperedJaime @ 9:40 pm
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Hustle and Bustle.

It is such a busy time of year for most, that you would almost think it is a holiday, but no, is the start of school.  This year is different.  I will not be sending my kids off early in the morning and entrusting them to someone else for 7 hours of the day.  No, this is the year it all changes.  We start homeschooling. . .

We started Elizabeth abruptly in April.  Best decision we have made.  The school she was at was out of control and Common Core has become the nightmare we knew was coming.  The hardest part of bringing her home was overcoming her feeling of being inadequate and not smart.  Why?  The grading rubrics now include “Student is incapable . . .”  Math tests graded on a rubric . . . yes, you heard me right.  It is bad enough to have developmentally inappropriate curriculum, but now grading on a rubric.

Our oldest barely made it through the end of her sophomore year intact.   Horrible math instruction, crazy english teachers and another teacher who broke her down and almost destroyed her.  Only one teacher has been a huge blessing and she will take 2 classes from him this year.  We are forever grateful for his efforts in finding the perfect niche for her to excel.

So now, we rebuild our children.  We will help them to get excited about learning again.  We look to the future and choose to do it outside of the box of conformity.  We will find the areas where they need help help them to learn and soar.  Since I have already had a couple of months homeschooling one child, I am not quite as fearful with both of the girls being home.  Time will only tell.

For now, I am simply focusing on learning and making it as fun and engaging as I can.  And to make sure that my children are learning truth, especially in history . . .but that is a rant for another day!


Ice Cream Sandwiches bring joy . . . June 3, 2013

Filed under: 2013 — PamperedJaime @ 10:36 pm
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Friday was hot!  Saturday, even hotter!  108 in the shade kind of hot!  I had a rare Friday night off and was in the mood to bake.  It started with a batch of Scotchies and it turned into Ice Cream Sandwiches.  In the midst of it, I made Sourdough Baguette . . .  I can’t help it . . . sorry . . .


The beginning . . . Butter and sugar . . . heaven



My Secret Weapon . . . my homemade bourbon vanilla . . . oh my gosh!  That is another post . . .Image



And it gets mixed into the butter and sugar . . .  I had to keep my fingers out of it!

ImageAdd the oats and butterscotch chips . . . and fight the urge to eat the cookie dough

ImageScoop out the dough, using a large stainless scoop (about 3 T.)  See how loved my baking stone is?ImageMmmmm . . . but we are not done yet!ImageNow it is time to make Ice Cream Sandwiches!!!  I use the base of the Ice Cream Sandwich Maker to trim the cookies perfectly.  A very messy job, with horribly, delicious scraps . . . ImageNow to build the sandwiches!  Start with one cookie, try not to eat any of the ones on the rack.  THey are perfectly counted out!  ImageSmooth 2 scoops of your favorite ice cream on top of the cookie- Notice my fancy technique of using the back of the Ice Cream Dipper.  No extra tools!ImagePat cookie #2 on top of the ice cream!  We are almost there!ImagePut the Maker on the plunger thingy and push down.  You have a professional looking Ice Cream Sandwich!  Some people would pay $4 for this decadent treat!  $4.50 if I rolled the sides in sprinkles!ImageIf you are not going to eat immediately, take a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze your treats solid.  Once solid, I put them in a freezer bag and they are ready for whenever I need a sweet treat!


And this is the science project that was going on in my kitchen at the same time.  My experiment of a Sourdough Baguette made with whole wheat flour.  It was warm enough for the dough to rise fast and well.ImageThis weird stuff is my live sourdough starter.  It lives in a mason jar in my fridge.  So weird and so awesome!  I have had it for about a yeaImageAfter the first rise, I shaped the dough into 2 loaves on my baguette pan.  They rose again and the off to the oven!  We were not able to wait for it to cool off . . . I had soft butter too!Image


The Backyard Adventure . . . May 20, 2013

Filed under: 2013 — PamperedJaime @ 7:54 pm
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The backyard has been a hard area to decide what to do.  We have an “L” shaped yard that includes hogs, chicken, fruit trees and my veggie garden.  Last year, we were blessed with a hot tub from my sister-in-law and her hubby.  They did not use it anymore and thought we would get use out of it.  We poured a concrete pad in the part of the yard that is closest to the house.  Great location, but it was not private, hot and dirt every where.  We then decided to save a little bit of money and start fixing it up.  We are double blessed to have a friend who is an excavator and could move our clay dirt and help dig the footings. . 

So, we decided to build a deck off of the hot tub pad.  On Saturday, the guys started pouring concrete for the footings.  I came home at the right time to help hold tape measures, get cold drinks, and then I got asked the magic question- Do you want to learn to do concrete???  And my answer was . . . YES!!!

This is one of the 3 footings that I did!  Yeah me!

ImageThe frame of the deck is now up!  ImageNow the problem of making your yard nice is that we have farm animal roaming the property.  So, my hubby is building a redwood fence on both sides of the garden to keep them out!  

My veggie garden is my pride and joy.  It relaxes me to just pull weeds.  We will have a rainbow of tomatoes this year!


Say Hi to my dog- Meg!  She is a good dog!

ImageNo backyard would be complete without a pellet gun to try to take out the gophers!  Yes, we are a bit redneck, but you gotta do what you gotta do if the varmint is destroying your yard!ImageWell, I hope to post more pictures once we get the deck and walkway done!



It has been awhile . . . May 10, 2013

Filed under: 2013,Life — PamperedJaime @ 10:38 pm
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WOW!  Life has been such a whirlwind!  We have had so many projects- our back yard dug up and ready for a patio and deck.  We also painted our home’s exterior.  We have had weeks of sewing going on in my office and it is now finished!  Every year, my 4-H members sew a project and it gets entered in the county’s Food and Arts Celebration and Fashion Review.  Besides getting their work judged, they also get interviewed, model and put on a fashion show.  My members did fantastic!  We did a fashion show for our club too!


In the middle of all the craziness, my hubby’s uncle passed away.  So we had to help with the services.  My niece is having a baby and there was the gift to finish making and the beautiful baby shower.  We have finished the talent show.  Now we just have 8th grade graduation and I think we will catch our breath!

Today, we worked the hogs.  They needed a de-wormer and then the dreadful pictures for their entry forms.  Try to get your child to pose with their hog and have all the hooves in the pictures.  OY!  Trying to get the girls to keep up with their responsiblities has been a wee bit challenging.  My goal for the summer is to get a regular routine back to the chores and eliminate some of the whining.  Wish me luck!!!!

My goal is to get back to posting regularly and keep up with recipes.  I also want to get my new business Home Ec Express steadily growing.  I would love to hear what you want to know in the sewing and cooking world!  Post your requests below!



Thank you Rand Paul March 7, 2013

Filed under: 2013 — PamperedJaime @ 11:50 am
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I love when people do brave things.  I love when someone is convicted so strongly about something that could happen, that they stand up and take action.  I love to see people stand up for our Constitution, I love seeing people be strong and stand up against bullies.  I loved seeing Sen. Rand Paul stand up against the Obama administration, even though he was criticized and called all kinds of special names.  He actually united some unlikely groups!  Imagine that!  All that for standing up for that ancient document that has been trampled on so much in the last few years, that thing called the Constitution of the United States!  He is my hero today!  But like any politician, it could be brief . . . time will tell . . .

So what did this Senator do?  A good, old-fashioned Filabuster!  I explained it to my daughter this morning with hopes that her American History teacher will bring it up today.  We stalled senate votes on the CIA director nominee.  He is opposed to this candiate because he supports the President trying to pus through drone attacks on American citizens.  In my opinion, if you are a citizen, regardless of whether or not you are a full-fledged citizen or enemy combatant, you are an American citizen, and you should go through appropriate due process.  You should not be killed and not be served with the reason why.  Too many loopholes allow any administration to use these drones on anyone. The target would not even know why they are targeted if the government does want to go through the process of convicting someone of a crime.

What Rand Paul did yesterday was gutsy.  Nobody filabusters anymore.  Obviously with Obamacare, representatives voted on that without even reading the legislation.  Why should a vote on the CIA director be rammed through that will push this policy into action.  I appreciate that he wanted to public to be aware of what was going on.  He knew this would make the news, as no one uses the filabuster anymore.  What was even cooler about what he did- usually legislators would read from the phone book or other dumb things to use up time, but he used his 12+ hours up by explaining what was going on with these current issues, and what is happening with our country, what is going wrong and what we can do about it.  He made the public aware that even the Attorney General admitted it was unconstitutional.  The same attorney general that has violated the constitution!  I wish more of my fellow citizens would please wake up and pay attention to what is going on in our country.  We cannot be asleep at the wheel much longer!  

As for today, Rand Paul is on my list of brave people that I admire.  I hope he can continue to stand up for what is right!


What a week! February 28, 2013

Filed under: 2013 — PamperedJaime @ 10:33 pm

This has been a week of the wild roller coaster!  My dear friend Karen got remarried last weekend to a wonderful man.  Coming from an abusive marriage, she and her children have found joy again!  I was honored to do her alterations for her wedding gown and to dress her (one of my favorite things to do for brides!)  The best part was knowing a surprise that was coming during the ceremony and then getting to watch the reactions!

After watching what she and her kids have gone through, it feels so good to see them all happy and joyful.  Everyone deserves that!

This has been a busy work week too!  Shows have been great this week.  The girls did cake decorating.  It should be against the law to have 2 cakes on the counter.  I feel responsible for making sure they are not wasted . . . I just can’t let that happen . . . they are gone now . . .

I finally tackeled cleaning my office.  I needed to, as I have my first adult sewing class down there tomorrow night.  I can’t wait!  I finally started my new business teaching the different aspects of Home Economics.  Check out my website-

Now the marathon begins . . . Another wedding gown to get ready and my eldest daughter turns 14 on Tuesday.  That means Birthday Hanakauh!  Melodrama and dinner Saturday with her BFFs, Spaghetti dinner with family Sunday for her b-day. Then, my mystery host show is Monday night.  I am feeling a bit anxious, like not enough hours in a day . . . I know, it always works out . . .


Juicing Class February 20, 2013

Filed under: 2013,Food — PamperedJaime @ 11:39 am
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Last week, my dear friend Melanie and I taught a class all about juicing at her store.  She is the owner of Nature’s Touch Harvest and Nursery in downtown Templeton.  She is an amazing lady and such an inspiration!  She taught the nut and bolts about juicing and I taught the what to do with all the pulp portion of the evening.

We had a huge turn out for this class!  We teach healthy and organic cooking together once a month.  I teach the cooking and recipes and she teaches the health benefits of the various ingredients and how it is grown.  We have been doing this for at least 2 years now!  Here is a peek at what we had going on . . .

Everything you need to make 16oz. of Juice

Everything you need to make 16oz. of Juice


Everything to make 1 gallon of Juice!

Everything to make 1 gallon of Juice!

The baskets have a variety of fruits and vegetables!  Ginger for your stomach issues, Spinach/chard/kale for iron, calcium and aminos, celery root for diaretic and intestine health, carrots, and various root veggies and/or fruit, depending on the time of year.

My ingredients to make my Healthy Start Muffins with the juicing pulp!

My ingredients to make my Healthy Start Muffins with the juicing pulp!


Melanie shared a couple of different juicers.  She showed them in action and had a variety of different juices for guests to sample.

Melanie shared a couple of different juicers. She showed them in action and had a variety of different juices for guests to sample.


We saved and bagged each of the different pulps from each vegetable.

We saved and bagged each of the different pulps from each vegetable.


I used over a cup of pulp- a little bit of everything- to make my delicious, and pretty muffins!  There is so much you can do with the pulp- put it in soups, casseroles, baked goods- the sky is the limit!  Extra juice?  Soup base!  Don’t forget composting and chicken food!

If you live on the Central Coast, let us know if you are interested in pricing for a private class for you and your friends!

The great thing about juicing is that it is nature’s medicine!  No need to pop a pill!






Helping with a pie . . . February 13, 2013

Filed under: 2013,Food,Life,Love — PamperedJaime @ 12:12 pm
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We had a dinner party coming for the quadruple birthday and I needed dessert, but in our little neighborhood, one friend lost their dad and another had their teenage son in a bad car accident. I thought a pie for these families would be a good thing. Once I got started, I thought it would be a good idea to snap pictures of the process. So many of you are afraid of making homemade pie crust and it is SO EASY!

I use a basic recipe that I got in high school. It has never failed me.

Using pastry blender to crumble together the shortening and flour

Using pastry blender to crumble together the shortening and flour

Add ICE cold water and mix in with a fork

Add ICE cold water and mix in with a fork[/caption

[caption id="attachment_111" align="alignnone" width="300"]Using a well floured pastry mat, mine is silicone, pat the dough into a nice circle Using a well floured pastry mat, mine is silicone, pat the dough into a nice circle.


Using your pastry mat to help fold the crust, fold into quarters and move to your pie plate.

Using your pastry mat to help fold the crust, fold into quarters and move to your pie plate.

Unfold crust in pie plate and start crimping the edges to make the pretty!

Unfold crust in pie plate and start crimping the edges to make them pretty!  A pretty pie is an eaten pie!  We eat with our eyes first! 

A close up of using the finger-method to flute your edges.

A close up of using the finger-method to flute your edges.

Completed pie crust!  Now it just needs filling . . . I still had pumpkin from November so that was an easy decision!

Completed pie crust! Now it just needs filling . . . I still had pumpkin from November so that was an easy decision!

2 delicious pumpkin pies ready to be baked and sent off to love someone!

2 delicious pumpkin pies ready to be baked and sent off to love someone!

Who says you can only have Pumpkin Pie October through December??  Not me!



The Superbowl and childhood memories . . . February 5, 2013

Filed under: 2013,Food,Life — PamperedJaime @ 9:37 pm
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Now that the Super Bowl is over, and I think I got most of the party mess over, it is time to reflect.  This year was special.  Not only am I one of the 49er Faithful, I got really sentimental.  Most people do not realize that I am not a Central Coast native.  I did marry one though.

I was born and raised in the heart of Silicon Valley.  Just south of San Francisco, I even went to the same high school where Steve Jobs and Woz had attended.  My sister and I went to school with some of the kids of 49er players.  We used to fight over who was going to marry Joe Montana (I should, of course, I am older!)  We were in the city all the time.  I still lived there when they were in the 4 previous Super Bowls that they won.

Even more unknown, I gradutated from Turlock High.  Yes, I lived in Turlock for 2 years.  The same town that Colin Kapernick is from.  (and my girls are arguing over which one gets to marry him!)  Granted, the high school he graduated from did not even exist when I lived there, we are just bursting with pride!

To top off the excitement, I had to go to “work” (in quotes since my family does not think I work on those trips) in the Bay Area, a trip to the City was necessary, just 2 days before the Super Bowl that I waited for for 19 years.  

To make my day even better .  . . . Boudin Bakery made Footbal Sourdough Loaves!

To make my day even better . . . . Boudin Bakery made Footbal Sourdough Loaves!

My hotel was just a couple of minutes walk from the NEW 49er stadium- to be ready by the 2014 season!

We had such a FUN party with the our friends and family for the big game! My heart was filled with joy to be able to share our home! Even though our team lost, it was such a great day!

Just a bit of the delicious feast we had!

Just a bit of the delicious feast we had!

Granted there were some mistakes made, the fact that the 49ers made it to the Superbowl was amazing and I beleive next year, we will be back again! I cannot wait for football season to start!!!! Hurry up fall!