Non-Gingerbread Gingerbread Houses

There is nothing like baking to bring out the Christmas spirit. This year I decided to make homemade gingerbread houses (without the gingerbread). I got the idea from my friend BreeAnn. We are not really fans of gingerbread but we still wanted to be able to eat the house. So on Christmas Eve, we sat together as a family and made non-gingerbread houses and I felt like myself again.

img_3364

Non-Gingerbread Gingerbread House Recipe

Preparation: 1 hour

2 Boxes of Honey Maid Graham Crackers

  • 1 house is 6 sheets
  • 4 full sheets
  • 1 sheet broken in ½
  • 1 sheet broken in ½ and then each ½ is cut into a triangle

Disposable Icing Decorating Bags (as many as you need)

Royal Icing (without eggs)

  • 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of meringue powder
  • 6 tablespoons of water

Different types of small candies

  • Examples: Skittles, Smarties, Gummy Bears, Mints, Sour Patch Kids, Mike & Ikes, Gobstoppers, or Jawbreakers

To begin, I got the gram crackers and prepared them. I broke them into the correct amount of pieces. The hard part is cutting the triangle pieces. You have to use a serrated knife and you slowly shave down the cracker in a straight line until they separate. Just be careful not to push too hard because you will crack it in half and you will have to start all over again. I went through quite a few crackers for this process. It takes patience.cutting

The next part of the process is to make the Royal Icing. For this process you must bag it as soon as the icing is made. Royal icing will dry out if it’s not covered. The air dries it. So if you don’t bag it then cover the bowl it with a towel. You put the sugar in the bowl, sift the meringue powder on top of it, and then add on the water. Blend it together until it’s a solid form. This should take about 5 minutes. Place the icing into the disposable bags. Make sure to have enough bags that everyone can have their own.

Take one of those bags of icing and use it to glue each house together. Make the bottoms of the houses first. Let the icing dry and harden. Then start the tops of the houses. By the time you finish the 3rd or 4th house …the 1st one should be ready. Once all of the houses are built then you let them stand for at least 30 minutes. This will give the houses time to harden so when the kids decorate, the houses do not fall apart.houses

Put all the candy onto a dish and take it all to the table to decorate.candy

Man!! I love baking! Even though I didn’t really “bake”…..it felt like baking. Today was a good day!

OMT and Dry Needling – awesome!

img_1906These last few years have been very hard for me. I’ve gone through a lot medically. I’ve seen a multitude of doctors and no one could ever figure out what my problem was. I should’ve known to take the naturopath way. I probably could have gotten my issue solved a long time ago. Anyone who reads my blog knows what I’ve been going through over the last couple of years. But for those of you that don’t read my blog, I’ll give you a quick rundown. Over the last couple of years I have had:

  • back surgery
  • sciatic pain
  • foot drop
  • migraines
  • dizziness
  • neurogenic bladder

I have just been in pain 24/7.

Well I am very happy to report that most of that is done. I was having migraines weekly and haven’t had a migraine in two months. I had orthostatic hypotension (dizzy every time I stood up)…and I haven’t been dizzy in months. My foot drop has gone away and foot function is back to normal. I no longer have muscle atrophy in my left leg.  I’m able to bend over without crying. I’m able to play with my kids. I’m able to pee without taking a pill. I WILL NOT have daily catheters in my near future. So…..Right now I am a happy, happy girl.

Over the last couple of years I’ve been to an urologist for my bladder, three neurologist for my foot drop and leg pain. I have seen an orthopedic surgeon for my back pain. I finally went to my last neurologist who happened to be a DO and she said I don’t need any more testing. I don’t need any more imaging. I just needed to get some massages and some OMT adjustments from another DO and hope that this will help. The goal was to give my body a break. She sent me to an orthopedic DO. I began the OMT (osteopathic manipulative therapy). Basically it’s chiropractic care but by a certified doctor. And it’s a little more in depth than just getting an adjustment from a chiropractor. And I have to say I loved it. On my first visit he adjusted me from head to toe and I already felt a difference. Then he sent me to physical therapy. It took two tries with two different physical therapy facilities…but I finally found one that I liked and that is helping too.

The physical therapist I’m seeing does dry needling. I always heard bad things about dry needling but the way he does it isnt so bad. The old way is where they jab the needle in you and then take it out and jab it in again and take it out and jab it in again. Painful. This one…it’s not like that. He puts the needle in til he hits the muscle, twists a little and then put the tens unit attached to it so that the muscle jumps and stretches and releases. This process was way better than being tortured by needles. And I have to say it’s great. The procedure lasts for about 15 minutes but the relief that I feel after is amazing. My back doesn’t hurt, my butt doesn’t hurt, I’m able to stretch, and able to move. I’m able to do my exercises without hurting myself. Granted there are a few times where I had a little too much to drink and stretched a little too far or did a little too much ballet. But then all I had to get adjusted with OMT and get a little dry needling and I felt 100% better. I have to say… With how I felt two years ago compared to how I feel now… It’s amazing… It’s at least 90% better than how I felt before and I’m ecstatic.