Thursday, June 28, 2012

Get Crafty/Get Cleaning!

Two new ideas found on Pinterest this week! The first, a cute 4th of July rag bunting.

via Craftaholics Anonymous
I saw this & HAD to make it. So cute! I purchased fat quilt quarters from the crafty section of WalMart (.97 a piece). Their selection was the pits, but I didn't want to drive all the way to JoAnn's; so basic red, white & blue had to do.

Cut fabric into 1" x 10" strips.
This took about 45 minutes.
 Then tie the rags onto either a rope or some twine. I used crafter's twine. The knot tying was a little tricky at first, but Matty helped & it went quickly. This project took about two hours from start to finish. It looked so cute that I will definitely purchase fat quarters from JoAnn's for every holiday. You can make these are long or as short as you want.

I made a shorter version & stapled it above my mantel.

Very cute!

The next idea I found on Pinterest via The Craft Patch was a simple tub & shower cleaner. I have wasted so much money on cleaners 'claiming' to descale soap scum; that I figured I would try the simple Pinterest solution, as I already had the ingredients: white vinegar & Dawn dishwashing soap.
Take 1/2 c of white vinegar & microwave for 90 seconds. Pour into a spray bottle.
Add 1/2 cup of Dawn. Shake gently.
I emptied & rinsed out a container of granite cleaner  that didn't live up to it's reputation.
This is what happened when I added the hot vinegar. It started to melt.
Next time I will get a spray bottle from the Dollar Store.
Spray contents onto tub/shower & leave for 1 1/2 hours. The waiting was the hardest part for me. But I am glad I did. The soap scum wiped right off & I was left with two sparkling bathrooms. I will definitely use this tub/shower cleaner recipe again.☺
Once again, here's another reason to visit Pinterest! I love all the ideas I am getting from the site.☺

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Oh Baby!

We have a new baby in the family! Omid's sister, Arezou and her husband, Evan had a baby boy this morning!

Welcome Parsa Aiden!
We can't wait to meet you!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Strawberry Fields

I picked strawberries this morning.☺ I stole the idea from a friend who posted on Facebook that she was going with her boys. I decided I would go too (since I wanted to get away from laundry/housework).  Once I got there, I said hi to my friend Karen, thanked her for the great idea, then went & found my own row to harvest.

Early morning is best! Less competition for the berries.

Hello there!

7 3/4 lbs picked in 45 minutes.
 Note: I used a large reusable grocery bag for the strawberries. I do this all the time with blueberries & never have a problem. Don't do it with strawberries! So many berries were crushed when I got home. Next time, I will use the buckets the farm provides & bring shallow bowls/tupperware to transfer them to.
What did I do with the crushed strawberries? I made freezer jam (for the first time!!). It was very scary, but I think it turned out okay. We will find out for sure tomorrow morning.☺

Photo credit to Matty (thanks Matty!♥)

Here is the recipe I used for freezer jam.☺

SUREJELL Strawberry Freezer Jam from Kraft Foods
2 cups crushed strawberries (buy 1 qt. fully ripe strawberries)
4 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
3/4 cup water
1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
Rinse 5 (1-cup) plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly. Stem and crush strawberries thoroughly, 1 cup at a time. Measure exactly 2 cups prepared fruit into large bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.
Mix water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring 1 min. Add to fruit mixture; stir 3 min. or until sugar is almost dissolved. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)
Fill all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or in freezer up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Puffins Perfected!

I have been experimenting with 'mix-ins' to the Puffin recipe I posted last week. This morning I finally found the winning combination.☺  We tried bacon last weekend & it was just okay.  But maple flavored link sausage from Johnsonville made the puffins taste out of this world delicious! 

via Johnsonville

 Don't be stingy with the sausage. You want a piece of sausage in every bite!☺

I used the entire package in this recipe with two exceptions: Matty & Remy each ate a whole link.
Finally....the perfect puffin.

Puffins (half recipe) - from The Lady with the Red Rocker
1 cup Bisquick
1/3 cup water
1/2 c maple syrup
1 egg
Mix all ingredients together, pour into muffin cups & bake at 350* for 12-13 minutes.
**NOTE: The puffins took 5 minutes longer to cook with the sausage added in.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Make This!!

Another Pinterest find: Mini taco cups!

Nas & Matty LOVED these!

 Take 3" won ton wrappers
 (NOTE: not egg roll wrappers - they are completely different items!)
 Place into a well greased muffin tin.
NOTE: I used PAM the first time & Crisco the second time. Crisco was a better choice! The won tons came out crispier & less greasy.
 Add taco meat (I add a can of rinsed & drained black beans to my taco meat).
 Add cheese...
Bake at 350* for 8-10 minutes.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Raccoon Wrangling

We had raccoon visitors this afternoon. Poor Remy was going CRAZY & we knew it wasn't a squirrel. I took a peek outside & this is what I saw.
 Omid & I tried for over an hour to get them to leave, but they were very happy in our & had no plans to leave. I called animal control, but they said they were not interested in helping us out. That's all the info we needed to take care of the problem ourselves.

 Omid got his fishing net & I grabbed a box (& a big stick in case of attack!).
 Awwww! So cute, BUT so wild & this is Remy's yard!

 Swoop & scoop!
 In you go....we prefer a rabies free yard!
Omid closed the box & we relocated the twins to a wooded greenspace near our home. Remy is getting his rabies booster THIS WEEK!

Friday, June 8, 2012


The random winner of the $25 Crabtree & Evelyn gift card is commenter #2...The Astons!

Congrats Laurel! I will get your gift card to you ASAP.

Thanks to everyone for entering!☺

Make This!!

No Bake Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats!

There are no better cookies/desserts than home baked. 9 times out of 10, I prefer the treats I bake/make over store bought. So many processed ingredients, so bad for you. We were gifted with several Costco-sized boxes of cookies recently, and we just couldn't eat them fast enough. It's been weeks since I've baked, as we have been trying to eat the store bought cookies. Thankfully, the last of them went to school with Matty yesterday, and I was able to make these delicious treats.

I found these cookies on Martha Stewart's Pinterest page (surprise, surprise!). They are seriously delicious. There is a lot of sugar in them, so if you eat a few on an empty will feel sick. I know. I speak from experience.☺ Matty suggested I top them with Nutella, so that's exactly what I did. They were ten times tastier after that. ☺ We all loved them & I will definitely make them again.

Martha Stewart's No Bake Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups salted peanut butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups Rice Krispies

Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Place the corn syrup and sugars in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the peanut butter and mix well to combine. Quickly stir in the vanilla and Rice Krispies. Spread into the lined baking pan. Cool and slice into squares.

To drizzle with Nutella, put several tablespoons Nutella in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 20 seconds. Drizzle with a fork or place Nutella in a sandwich sized Ziploc bag & seal. Cut off the corner, squeeze & drizzle Nutella over treats. NOTE: Nutella does NOT set. It will remain soft/spreadable.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Make This!!

Sticky Thai drumsticks! YUMMY!

This recipe has just two ingredients: chicken drumsticks & Thai chili sauce.

Don't let the lack of ingredients fool you - these drumsticks are FULL of flavor. Just pour a cup or more (your preference!) of the Thai chili sauce over 6-8 drumsticks. Marinate for a minimum of 20 minutes. Grill, then serve! These drumsticks tasted like candy! So delicious!

Oh Baby!

Look who came for a play date yesterday!! Our friend, Moses!
 He is now 7 months old AND sitting up!☺

Just LOOK at those beautiful brown eyes!!!☺

Love this photo!
Moses was staring intensely at Nas & when I said, "Moses! Say cheese!" I was so happy when he looked at me and smiled! Such a smart boy!!!

Thanks Sarah for letting us play with your darling boy! He is such a beautiful & happy baby!!!

Netflix This!!

We Bought a Zoo!
This is a GREAT movie!!! Matt Damon does not disappoint at all. Another one of my favorite actors, John Michael Higgins, is in this movie as well.

This is the first time I have ever seen him play a 'bad guy' and he did a good job.

I loved everything about this movie & so did Omid & the kids. Netflix this movie!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


After 4 1/2 years, I think it's about time for an official giveaway!
NOT the dog! He's just my model!!!!

What is the prize? A $25 gift card to Crabtree & Evelyn. Have you tried their Gardener's Hand Therapy? Great stuff!

How do you win? Just leave me a comment!☺ Contest closes on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. PST. Winner will be chosen randomly.

*NOTE: I purchased this gift card myself - Crabtree & Evelyn are in no way sponsoring this giveaway.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Make This!!

Cinnamon Roll Waffles!

 Here is another fun & delicous recipe I found on Pinterest! Here is the link to the blog with the recipe.

Just take a tube of refrigerated cinnamon rolls....

 place them on a heated waffle iron......

 close the lid, cook, then serve!
The original recipe called for using Pillsbury Grand cinnamon rolls. I opted not to use the Grands because they were almost $6 a tube & I didn't have coupon for them.

 Make these! They are very good & a fun alternative to regular waffles.☺I will say that they are bland without syrup or frosting, so make sure you add one or the other!