Tres Leches Cake

Delicious for any occasion

Homemade Watercolors

For homeschoolers, or just fun at home

DIY Toothpaste

Great for good health, and a happy pocketbook

Vegetarian Meals for the Whole Family

Even picky kids will love these meat-less dishes

Sewing Projects and Tips

Even more tutorials to come soon

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quick Tip: Freezing Items Flat

Freezer bags certainly make stocking your freezer and dealing with leftovers much easier. You want them to be nice and flat for stacking and space-saving, but sometimes they can be a pain to get to stay flat. I happened to grab a square cake pan one day to help support a saucy bag, and it fit perfectly and worked so well! Now I use one to freeze all my bags. It provided enough support that items freeze flat, but fits in the freezer better than sheet pans. Sheet pans don't even fit in our tiny freezer...unless I empty it!
So, that's how I fit enough in our little hobbit-freezer for a family of 5.
The ones on the far right- no cake pan!


Bathroom Wishlists

Sometimes, because I'm terribly impatient, I often make little wish-lists of things I want when we have a house again. Sometimes daydreaming makes apartment living a little more bearable.

Next to the yard and garden, the kitchen and bathroom are the most thought of rooms. Always at the top of my list is an awesome double shower head. I miss a good, relaxing shower. Shower heads are so fancy these days. Massaging, rain-like, ones that move up and down. I'd need a seat in there so I could spend the day! A nice big shower stool.

I supposed for now I'll have to scratch my decorating itch with things I can do in an apartment. Swapping shower curtains and towels, maybe a decal or two. Maybe something really flowery and girly. Some big, puffy floral bath towels and roses on the walls. It may drive the boys nuts, but at least it'd feel like mine. =-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Easy Cheesy Corndog Cups

These corndog muffins are tasty and simple, with very few ingredients.

Here are the ingredients and the process:
- Start with your favorite store bought, homemade, or recipe for corn bread/muffins
I make my own mix, found HERE
- Add an extra egg to the batter when mixing
- Mix in a handful or 2 of shredded cheddar or cheddar-jack cheese (1/2 to 1 cup or so)
- Generously grease you muffin pan with non-stick spray
- fill your cups just shy of 2/3 full
- Take about an inch wide slice of Velveeta, or other processed cheese product, and cut into 12 chunks
- Cut 3 or 4 hot dogs into chunks, the amount will vary depending on your preference
The pieces should be about 1 to 1 1/4 inches long, and no more than 3 will fit in each cup
- Place cheese chunks in the middle of each cup
They will be sticking out slightly, but the batter will rise over them as it bakes
- Then plunk the hot dog pieces in around the cheesy centers
- Bake in a 425 degree oven until slightly golden brown on the tops
- Let cool for 5-8 minutes then remove from muffin pan so that they don't stick inside it

Monday, September 20, 2010

Quick Tip: Freezing Meatloaf

I like to have a few things in the freezer for truly hectic days. Meatloaf is one of them. Here is how to freeze a loaf easily:

Begin by placing a large piece of plastic wrap over your loaf pan. The meat will press it down & line the pan as you fill it. Form your loaf.

Fold the extra wrap over the loaf & toss in the freezer for a couple hours to freeze.
Pop out of the pan. You now have a firm brick-o-meat that's easier to store & keep shape.
Wrap in additional plastic &/or foil, label & toss back in the freezer =-)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do!

Even if we have tiny little toddler hands! =-)
This year we have a Peewee footballer. Which means all sorts of family cheering! Being so far away from major stores though, sometimes things are harder to find- one of them being poms in all sorts of colors. We came up with an idea to make poms out of those cheap $1 tablecloths you can get from the dollar stores. (We got ours from Dollar General.) You can usually find these in almost every color, & they are very thin & easy to cut... & now I have an itch to find other uses for these, because everyone knows they are worthless as tablecloths. We made these small for a little one to hold, but the idea can be manipulated for all sizes.

*Note- There was NO way to get pictures of a this process full-sized, so I made it tiny so I can photograph. So, ignore the rough-cut edges, and the not-to-scale-ness. To-scale would involve math. No thank you!

Begin by cutting your tablecloth in half width-wise.
We used 1/2 of a tablecloth for 1 pompom. Take your first half & cut width-wise into 4 strips.
Now, take one of your strips & fold up length-wise into something easier to cut- then cut into 1/2 inch strips.
Repeat with the 3 other pieces. You'll have a pile of little scraggly strips.
Unroll them, & layer them nicely-ish across a good-sized piece of string.
Gather the string around the stack, & tie tightly. arrange the strips into desired shape as you tighten. (This one's skimpy because I gave up on unrolling all my tiny little strips-lazy...)
We made a good-for-her sized handle by folding over the string & wrapping it in duct tape, then in electrical tape. I'm sure there are lots of other ways to make handles to-size. =-)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Handy Solution

Evenings are hell crazy around here. Trying to get everyone fed & bathed after Scouts, football, church, etc. No one ever seems to remember to put anything away, or if they do, remember where they put there things- and that really slows things down. I thought about getting everyone cubbies, baskets, SOMETHING for them to keep their bath/shower things in & be responsible for. Everything I found was waaaay too big. They were all perfect for carting around the bathroom cleaning supplies- but for one kid's toiletry junk, not so much.

Then, at Dollar General, I found these smaller caddies. They're the PERFECT size- not huge, and not super tiny. They came in the same exact colors as all their back-to-college promotional stuff, so I'm assuming that they're not permanent- so hurry up & grab some- or wait until next summer for the new ones! ;-)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Review: Bubble Babez

As a mommy of two kiddos with eczema, & a lover of smelly soaps, I am always on the lookout for quality soaps that are great smelling & gentle on the skin. Moisturizing is a MUST, and ingredients that are as natural as possible are too. Eczema is not commercial soap friendly.

So, recently, my Twitter-buddy Nikkie began a soap company. She also has kiddos with skin issues so she knew when she began making her soaps that wholesome ingredients & long lasting moisture would be the basis of her formulas. I must say, she did a wonderful job!

Even though Nikkie & I chat on Twitter & such, I was by no means asked to, or expected to buy from her or do a review. All information & opinions in this post are mine, & mine alone. All products were purchased by me, with the exception of the "Thank You bar" given to all customers, & the "Bubble Yum Fun" which was thrown in. Many companies toss in freebies to first-time, or loyal customers often, so I assumed Nikkie did the same. =-)

There are MANY scent choices on their site. From fruity, to manly, even coffee. There is something for everyone. We have 5 people in the house, & they have a sample package of 5 sample bars of your choice for $6.50. These are BIG samples, not wimpy little slivers, so this is quite a deal, & a great way to try all the scents. I like being able to get affordable samples to try on the eczema kids too, so I can be SURE it doesn't hurt them.

Shipping was fast! in only a few days I had my beautifully packaged, great smelling order.
Everything came shrink-wrapped, & carefully wrapped in tissue paper. The whole shebang was wrapped WELL in bubble wrap, & put in a bubble mailer. Not one shipping causality! ;-)
Super cute notes accompanied:
& also a cute little "Thank You" soap- It was the "Peachy Keen" scent:
Here's my order:
"Energizer" & "Desire" both have salt in them, for detoxifying & exfoliating. Both scents were strong, but not over powering. "Energizer" had a great slightly-minty citrus smell. Very clean, not at all sweet like a lot of citrus scented products. "Desire" was manly, but not brutal. Hubby LOVES it, & is expecting me to get the other manly scents for him to try! 

"Up in the Clouds" & "Infinite's Bubble Baby" are both great kid scents. Nice smelling, but not girly. (I have 2 boys!) "Up in the Clouds" is supposed to smell like cotton candy, & it does, but not super sugary sweet! We liked that! Nikkie's son designed "Infinite's Bubble Baby" himself, right down to the scent. He did a great job! Again, it's nice & perfume-y, but not really feminine (or not either).

I got "Gianni" for the baby. She has very bad eczema & this soap is for very sensitive skin. It is soft, moisturizing, & rinses cleanly away, but leaves it's moisture. It has a beautiful "new baby" smell. Great for babies, or like in our house, a toddler who seems sweeter when she smells like one ;-)

All-n-all, these soaps were loved by everyone in the family. They all smelled great, felt great, & rinsed away cleanly- everything we look for in a soap! We will be buying again, getting full sizes of our favorites & samples of new scents to try...just as soon at these BIG samples are used up! =-)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Grocery Store Score!

Be on the look out for boxes of Total cereal with pink coupons on the front. They are for $1.00 off ONE box. ONE BOX! Not two like usual! =-)

To make things even better- my local store was having a sale on select boxed cereals, 2 for $4.00. Two bucks a piece is a good deal where I live, but with the coupon, $1.00 a box for brand named cereal- that's a great deal anywhere!

I may have to go back & snag a few more coupon'd boxes!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

QUICK- Update-ish post & a Giveaway!

Nope, not my giveaway yet! =-) But Stephine Glamour is having a giveaway on her blog. Check it out at her blog.

Posts will continue to be few-and-far-between while we recover over here from summer vacation.  I have a whoooole list to blog, & a handful of half-written posts that need some attention. =-)