I was able to find pretty much everything I needed (minus card stock – I have more of that than I should) at the Dollar Tree Store. Googly eyes and heart stickers for the Googly Eye Heart U Valentines and heart mazes for the a-MAZE-ing Valentines. The circle punch and glue dots were the only items that set me back. I love glue dots!
Because I am completely incapable of cutting a straight line with out a guide or a paper cutter I made templates for each card -
Benson & Hedges presents Recipes from Great American Inns (copyright 1981). If that title doesn’t scream cook out of me, I don’t know what does. Have it? Heard of it? I’m guessing no. I can’t imagine that today, any establishment would put their name in a cookbook published by the cigarette industry. Over 30 years ago the Squire Tarbox Inn added their recipe for Blueberry Gingerbread and I am thankful that they did.
It’s so good, I couldn’t even get a picture of it before it was all eaten up. Here is the recipe - I’ve made it a lot if you can’t tell by the condition of this page. Oh, and the suggestion to serve it with whipped cream as dessert really isn’t a suggestion – it should always be served with whipped cream – you’re missing out if you don’t.
All these years and I never really truly learned how to make the “proper snowflake”. Leave it to the Proper Queen herself – Martha Stewart to have a step-by step guide to making the perfect snowflake. I don’t feel like less of a person that I just finally figured this out – seriously, that woman has a bazillion people working for her making crafts out of everything from chewing gum wrappers to toilet paper tubes. Trust me, you don’t have time from that kind of silliness. My twins were in awe of my mad skills – I am feeling pretty good about myself right now – may go conquer something a little more complicated now, like paper mache’.
sometime – well a lot of the time it kills me when I hear how parents speak to their children (I’m sure others think the same of me – but no one has actually told me). I should really be doing some self-reflection on this subject, but instead I’ll just point out someone else’s behavior. Today is a perfect example of a killing. I am sitting at the gymnastics gym when I hear someone shout “Moon Stay!” I thought someone was yelling at a dog – it took me a nanosecond to realize that their probably would not be a dog in the gym – then I realized, no it’s that woman speaking (if you want to call it that) to her son. Mercy me, do I ever sound like that? Plus, the one and only person I have ever heard of named Moon was Frank Zappa’s daughter Moon Unit Zappa. Parents must be big fans, by the way it’s a girl’s name.
This is something I need to begin working on yesterday – I have yet to be be so inspired. So in the meantime, I thought I’d do a little recon for Holiday Card Deals out there and share my findings with you (all two of you – thanks for stopping by).
Salted Caramels from Trader Joe’s – Fluer De Sel Caramels I would rather just buy another container of Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramels for myself and share with no one as I did with this container. But, I won’t…may be. These are additively awesome!
For the cook ispoon Kitchen Stylus. I look at this thing and all I can think is that was a no brainer – (the idea no in my brain) – but woohoo for whoever was so genius to come up with this! No more messy iPad when you’re cooking! You can grab one of these at Umbra for $7! (or JCPenny for $4.99)
Want an easy dinner idea that you can throw together before you throw yourself and everyone else out of the house in the morning? How about BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches?
All you need is:
Pork shoulder, Boston butt, Pork roast (whatever…seriously, I always buy whatever is on sale and it always works) – any size, you choose. I cook a lot and freeze the leftovers for a future meal. (I used 3.3 lbs)
Your favorite BBQ sauce. (I used an entire 29 oz. bottle.)
Rolls/buns (you can use little dinner rolls and call them BBQ sliders, or just regular size)
Put the pork and BBQ sauce in your slow cooker (or crock pot). If your pork is wrapped in a “string net” don’t forget to remove it! Set on low and leave it for 6-8 hours (or more, sometime I leave it for 10!) Once the pork is falling apart it is ready to go!
I used a potato masher to shred my pork. You could use two forks, but I am not sure why you would want to drag the pork out – shred – then put it back in the crock pot (more work than you really need to be doing).
My favorite side for this meal is a little spin on cole slaw – Nuts & Berries Cole Slaw:
Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
Amounts mixed is all your preference!
Finally, don’t forget sliced pickles for your BBQ sandwich!
I have some great (and not so safe) memories of carving pumpkins as a child. My sibs and I would grab some kitchen knives (they were usually in poor condition), our pumpkins, and a large bowl for the “pumpkin innards”. I recall the days we did this were always cold and raw (a nice Wisconsin October day). As a rule there was no parental supervision. Why would we need our parents permission let alone have them directly supervising us as we carved pumpkins with dull knives? Our hands would get progressively raw as we dug out the wet innards, enjoying the feeling as the slimy seeds passed though our little fists! Miraculously no one lost a finger or for that matter even nicked themselves. Our only wounds were severely chapped hands. We were probably no older than 8 when we began our unsupervised carving tradition. My mom did however always show up somewhere towards the end to roast the pumpkin seeds we pulled out. That was always the best and probably our reward for not impaling ourselves or severing a digit.
I don’t think I’ll let my girls partake in this beloved family tradition – the roasted pumpkin seed part yes. This year I was bored with the usual roasted with salt, so I searched around and found a yummy recipe for Salty Sweet Roasted Pumpkin Seedsat Cook The Story. If you are already versed in carving pumpkins then skip ahead to step 5.
My neighborhood puts on a Halloween parade every year and all the neighbors bring something for the after parade festivities. Alas, the parade is tomorrow and I have procrastinated like I was about to win an Olympic Medal for my performance. I need something with easy written all over it! Nothing says easy like opening a bag of candy corn and stirring in some peanuts! Have you had this combo? If not prepare to become addicted!
I was going to use plain cellophane bags and tie them up with black and orange ribbon, but a trip to the Dollar Store changed those plans quick! I found these great festive zip sealed bags!
Now it’s just a matter of mixing up the candy corn and peanuts. I am sort of a candy corn snob – only Brach’s. Ultimately my candy corn to peanut ratio was 2-40 ounce bags to 32 ounces of peanuts. You can mix yours however you like.
I filled each bag with 1/3 cup of the candy corn peanut mix. All set for the Costume Parade! And yes the bowl was from the Dollar Store also.
I am rather confused over the firestorm of women attacking Maria Kangand her “what’s your excuse” photo. Honestly when I first saw it all I could think of was “How did you get those abs! I want them! What is her routine? I need to know! You Go Mom!”. Then I saw all comments coming from other women – she’s a bully? Really? Jealousy is an awful thing ladies. And yes I will admit, I am jealous of her awesome abs. But, I am not going to tie her to a stake and burn her like a witch, call her names, say she’s a bad mother, or a disgrace to women. Talk about being a bully – it’s the rest of you out there that are bullying her.
Contrary to what others have said the fact that she is fit shows how much she cares about her family – especially those boys. I am not saying that if you are not fit you don’t care about your family, but that this is “her” way of showing how she cares. Keeping up with those boys must be a workout in and of itself! She is also setting an example for her boys on living a healthy lifestyle. When my girls whine and complain about going to the gym daycare I flat-out tell them that I need to workout so I can stay healthy for them. I also have to fight genetics and have a history of gestational diabetes. Staying at a healthy weight, eating healthy, and exercising is cutting my risk way down of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. And guess what else, selfishly I want to look good – does that make me a bad mother?
Maria is right, I have a million excuses, we all do. But at the end of the day the best reason I have for staying fit is my girls. I want to continue to ski, hike, bike, swim, play, jump rope, hula hoop, and cartwheel (yes mid 40′s and I can still turn a cartwheel) for as long as I am able. Every time I say I don’t have time to exercise I think of them and the long life I want with them – they are my excuse to do it!
I wish a photo of myself running in the winter with two dogs and the twins in their BOB Duallie Stroller - a “what’s your excuse” caption for that photo would be so would be so fitting.
How I wish I would have figured this one out years and years ago! Caring one car seat along with luggage, a stroller, and a child through an airport is the epitome of multitasking. Now multiple all those items by 2 (or more) and well you’ve reached critical mass. Here is an easy way to aid with transporting a car seat! Even though I don’t think you need blow-by-blow instruction I am going to give them to you.
1. Secure all the loose straps on the car seat (I used a rubber band). Then shove the “nicely secured loose straps” into the opening on the side of the seat as picture here.
2. Select your bungee cord. This will depend on the size and fullness of your suitcase. If the bungee cord is too loose or just right the car seat will not fit snug against the suitcase causing the car seat to shift around on top of the suitcase when you are rolling it. So make sure that you have to work a little bit to get the two ends of the bungee cord to join.
3. Feed the bungee cord though the opening on the side of the car seat out to the other side. Then feed the bungee cord through the side suitcase handle.
4. Bring the two ends of the bungee cord together. Remember you want to work a little to get the two ends to join.
When you’re not using the bungee cord to secure the car seat, store it in one of the front pockets of the suitcase. This would also work well for a booster seat.
I heard some sage advice the other day from my daughters kindergarten teacher.
Is everyone standing next to someone who is going to help you make good choices?
One little boy moved, clearly he had been briefed on this very issue. When I heard her say this I thought,”man that is good advice for life”. So often the crowd we associate with contributes to our good choices and bad choices. And I am not just talking about children here, but all of us adults. All it takes is one person in the group to start gossiping and everyone else so easily falls into this useless spiral of conversation. I could think of a million examples, but gossiping is a pet peeve of mine, so it’s an easy target.
So next time you’re “standing in line” make sure the people around you are going to help you make good choices in life.
I’ve been MIA since mid July, but so have you – now I don’t feel so bad. Below you can read how my summer began and ended.
Husband blows his ACL fishing (Who does this! Seriously what a lame way to blow a ligament!)
Mentally exhausting 3 week visit from a charming 16 year old French girl. (Note – loved having the experience, wonderful young lady, but you have no idea how much work it is to have a foreign speaking teenager in your home. Try asking open ended question to everyone you see for one day straight, then multiply that by 27 – exhausting!)
Twins turn 5! Three days later one twin develops Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and is hospitalized.
Other twin develops chicken pox from her vaccine, which then develpes into bullous impetigo and staph scalded skin syndrome and is hospitalized two weeks after her sister was.
Recently I saw a question posted (I’m leaving the source out so I don’t anger anyone) on how to handle a biter who is around a year old. I was a little stunned to see some of the advice that was offered. A few mother’s recommended biting the biter. OK, let me get this straight… You don’t want your child to bite, so to let them know it’s not acceptable you are going to perform the exact behavior on them that you don’t want them doing? Do I have this correct? Isn’t that just reinforcing the bad behavior as acceptable? Other advice recommended putting something distasteful (like pepper or hot sauce) on the tongue of the biter after they bit. I’m sorry is this an animal or a child we are trying to rear here? I put hot sauce on my candles so my cat doesn’t chew them. Can you imagine putting hot sauce on a one year olds tongue? Oh my gosh, that seems a little harsh!
Parents of a biter should know that biting is actually a normal phase, difficult, but normal. We have learned a great deal about parenting over the years and some forms of “punishment” that may have been acceptable in the past, have just proven themselves to be more destructive to children – resulting sometimes in more bad/aggressive behavior from the punished child. I am happy we have come a long way even from my childhood, because let me tell you having my mouth washed out with soap by my mother did nothing to clean up the swearing I repeated which by the way, I heard from her.
So, biting what can you do about it?
Don’t bite back. I thought that would be obvious, but apparently it isn’t. Avoid putting anything in your childs’ mouth that might be caustic. Tell the biter “No, we don’t bite”. ”No” is a word that is understood very early on with children. Remember that biting is generally out of frustration. Remove the child from the event/situation and if old enough give a time-out immediately (delaying this will have zero impact on getting your point across). No matter the reason for biting, even if the biter feels they were “wronged” insist on an apology.
We have a few rules in our house concerning stickers. No stickers on walls, windows, furniture, floors, and toys (other than plush/stuffed toys). Stickers are pretty much only allowed on clothing and paper. I thought I was so smart with my “rules”, then I failed to remove a sticker from a shirt that I washed and dried. Other than Goo Gone, I wasn’t sure how I was going to remove it and as much as I like Goo Gone I wasn’t crazy about putting that oily stuff on clothing. Then for some reason the concept of using tape to remove price tags from the glass on frames came to me (and by the way WHY do they put the price tag right on the glass?).
Then I thought, what about using duct tape! (And no it’s not duck tape – that would be a brand of duct tape).
Nothing could be easier! Place some duct tape on the sticker left behind. Press it down firmly.
Pull it off nice and fast! It may take more than one attempt, but it will come off.