Tuesday, March 30, 2010
4 Chicken Breasts
1/2 cube of margarine
1 bottle of barbecue sauce
1/2 can of Coke or other dark non-diet soda
Put margarine in the pan until sizzling. Then put in the chicken and cook slightly on each side. Then pour in barbecue sauce and Coke and stir until chicken is covered. Put lid on pan and let chicken simmer until cooked through. Serve with butter potatoes.
Put 2-3 Tablespoons butter in pan then put into two cans of sliced potatoes season with paprika, oregano, red pepper to taste. Stir until the edges of the potatoes are crumbly.
This is my MILs recipe. With the butter potatoes she usually just does butter and salt and pepper. My husband and I tend to add oregano, thyme, red pepper, paprika, dill and a few other random seasonings. You can make whichever way you prefer. We love spices but if you don't just use salt and pepper.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
After you clear your egg, put it in the microwave for about 20 seconds to dry out the insides. Do not overheat or it cracks! Then dye your egg. I use 1/2-cup boiling, hot water, 1 tsp of vinegar and 8 or so drops of your favorite food coloring. Since your egg is hollow, you are going to have to hold it down in the dye.
After the dye, I put my egg back in the microwave for 10 seconds. Then I found a yarn needle and my ribbon. Thread BOTH ends into eye of the needle. Thread the needle through the egg. It is kind of tricky getting the needle to come out the other end. A lot of light is a must. Tie a big enough knot with the ends that it can't slip back through the egg and then tie a bow.
Add stickers for embellishments. Stickers honestly work the best. I should show you my major modge podge egg fail sometime.
I then sprayed my egg with clear-gloss paint.
I like it, but I think my husband hates it, but only because I kept making him hold it.
Overall this movie is definitely worth watching. In some ways, it was just like every other movie about a disaster. It channeled 'Day After Tomorrow' in a lot of ways. The same idea that most of the world is being destroyed and there is a small group of people surviving and trying to make it through.
The special effects were really good and you become pretty invested in most of the characters by the end of the movie. It had hilarious moments that kept us laughing and moments that kept our attention, waiting for the next thing to go wrong. In the end, it became kind of predictable. We could actually call who was going to die next.
It was unique in some ways, the same as everything else in others. It was exciting but also predicable in parts. It is worth your $1 at the Redbox. I am not sure that this one will ever make it into our permanent collection but I am glad we watched it once. At least now we know what the hype was about.
Planet 51 was clever in the sense that it was the complete reverse of most alien movies out there. This movie did had some hilarious parts mostly culture references to movies such as E.T. and protesters. This movie is set in the 50s, which was clever because that is when the alien craze began here.
We did laugh in parts, but even at an hour and a half this movie seemed to drag on and on and on. The astronaut from Earth was such an idiot that we wondered how the heck he ever became an astronaut. We couldn't figure out why the main character was in love with this girl that was a complete jerk to him either.
We laughed. We rolled our eyes. Overall, it was OK. It is not that long so it is probably worth a watch but just one.
Friday, March 26, 2010
You will need: A washcloth (I think the light colored ones turn out nicer but that could be just me. I love the ones with a small accent like the red striped above. It adds a little something)
a rubber band
a piece of ribbon
a marker or googly eyes to make a face
Take your washcloth and and fold it into a triangle. Starting with the small, pointed end, roll the washcloth up, until you have a single roll. Now fold you roll of washcloth in half. Then fold it in half again. Then wrap you rubber band around the front of the second fold. This is the bunny's head. You want to leave plenty of room for there to be floppy ears. Fluff its ears up. There should be a circle in the back. This is where the ice cube goes when a little one has a boo-boo. Tie your ribbon around the rubber band. Make a face for you bunny. I drew my on with a marker because my little girl is still small enough that she would eat googly eyes if they came off.
I still have such fond memories of these bunnies. Probably because I was a bit of a drama queen and often thought I needed a band-aid or an ice cube for my so called owie.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I bought a yard of a couple of colors at my local Hobby Lobby and went about making my headbands. What should have taken minutes took me almost an hour, so here, learn from my mistakes.
1. Measure you child's head according to how you want it to fit. You might want it a bit smaller than your child's head because they are stretchy and you don't want it falling off. You decide.
2. When you go to sew them, fold it in half with the right sides together and then sew a straight seam close to the edge. Seriously, put the right sides together and sew across the side that doesn't have so many frills. I didn't do this and I ended up unjamming my machine for 45 minutes.
The are really easy and so much cheaper than buying them pre-made.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I have seen these belts all over the web but since I can't afford to spend money on a ribbon/flower belt, I made up my own. I made three of the flowers, with three layers each. I then found a piece of satin ribbon and measured it so that it went just over the length of my torso.
I then took sew-on Velcro and sewed it on the ends of the ribbon, making sure it would fit comfortably when I was wearing it. I then too three flowers (you could use as few or as many as you want) and glue them using the same glue I used for the flowers onto the belt. I glued them over the Velcro so that it wouldn't show at all and appear to me a seamless piece of ribbon.
I wore mine the other day, not with the shirt pictured that was just a to show you guys shot, and I really enjoyed it. It is fun to wear and super cheap to make.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Do you love tuna sandwiches? This is how my husband and I make them and they are delicious!
2 cans tuna, drained
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 chopped green onion
Toast the hamburger buns in your toaster. Combine the other ingredients and stir until well mixed. Spoon onto buns and devour you tasty tuna sandwich. The ranch is so much better than mayo. Try it! Delicious!
Monday, March 22, 2010
You will need satin, glue, a lighter and buttons for the center.
Cut circles of satin depending on the sizes you want. I used a formula can lid as a template for my biggest layer and a cup rim as my middle layer. Cut as many layers as you want, gradually getting smaller. I did three layers but you can do plenty more.
Scorch the edges of the satin until it starts to ruffle up a bit.
Glue each layer of satin together and finally finishing with a button of your choice on top. You can glue an alligator clip to the back or stayed tuned for my idea for these flowers.
This is the glue that my MIL swears by and I now love. I think you will be way happier with the outcome if you glue the flowers using this. It holds like steel.
Friday, March 19, 2010
In this book, Percy is forced to team up with the Hunters (the Goddess Artemis Maidens that hunt with her, who hate men), Thalia and his friend Grover to save both Annabeth and the Goddess Artemis before the winter solstice.
I think this book is easily my favorite in the series so far. It sheds light on heroes of the old myths. Riordan weaves stories so the reader realizes that all hero myths might not be what they seem.
Percy discovers more children of the big three (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades) that are the children of Hades. He finds out more about the past of the Gods and the Hunters. He spends most of the book distrusted by the hunters, which he works to overcome. The other members of the quest are searching for Artemis but that is only Percy secondary goal, he wants to save Annabeth which gets Aphrodite involved and with the Love Goddess, you never know.
Good book. Great follow up to the second which I feel is the weakest one so far. I am not sure how I am going to get my hands on the 4th book but I am certainly going to try.
I didn't think this book was as enthralling as the first. It is a quick read though and still entertaining so I thought it was good enough to keep reading the next books in the series. I did love some of the newly introduced characters including Tyson, a young cyclops.
The adventures were different from the first book. They faced a completely different set of monsters as they traveled by sea (the first book they mostly were on land). Some of the creatures and monsters they came across were particularly fascinating to me because of a cartoon I used to watch (Do you remember Ducktales?) including the Sirens and Circe.
There is a lot of action in this book, but it is also obviously action written for children. It is engaging without being gory but it also lacks a certain grip on your emotions that action from some other books have. One of my only complaints? With almost every monster that Percy and his friends encounter, right before something bad happens he says something like, "I should have known," or "It seemed too easy," a couple of times I just wanted to shout at him that his is a demi-god, of course he should assume everyone is trying to kill him because they usually are. I do not believe the character of Percy is stupid but my heck sometimes he acts like it.
My final verdict? A good book, worth a read but don't expect to finish the book a changed person.
Read it! They are easy to make and Evelyn does a great job at explaining it! The only thing I do differently is have a tie for each side instead of just one!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This brownies are made in layers and they are delicious!
First you will make the brownie part.
You will need:
- 1 c. butter
- 2/3 c. cocoa powder
- 2 c. sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 c. flour
Melt the butter. Mix the butter with the cocoa and sugar. Add the eggs slowly, making sure to mix each one in. Then add the flour and mix well again. Pour batter into a 9x13 greased pan. Bake at 350 for about 22-25 minutes.
Next the frosting:
- 1/2 c. butter softened
- 1 pound of powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 1/2 tsp mint extract
- green food coloring
Mix the powdered sugar and butter. Add the milk and stir. Add the extract and enough food coloring to get your desired color. Spread on your cooked brownies and refrigerate until stiff.
Last the chocolate topping:
- 1 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 c. butter
Melt the two ingredients together in the microwave for a few minutes. Stir well. Pour over frosting and coat the pan with it. Refrigerated until stiff. Gorge yourself on brownies.
Warning: These brownies are beyond fattening and beyond delicious!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Every Friday night is pizza night at my parent's house. It has been tradition for as long as I can remember. Now, my parents order the pizza but when I was young and my dad was still in school, my mom made the pizza. This is her dough recipe that I still use and love.
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons oil
3 cups f lour
3 Tablespoons sugar>
Mix dough and let rest. Mix sauce and warm to desired temperature. Roll out dough.
Get two packets of Alfredo sauce and make according to directions. Slather on the pizza dough (this makes two pizzas or one 9x13 pan pizza). Put sliced tomatoes, chopped baby spinach leaves on and then the cheese. Finish off the pizza with pepperoni, cooked crumbled bacon, and olives. Cook the pizza at 400 until the crust browns. Top the pizza with sliced avocado.
In actually, you can make this with any topping you want, but try the Alfredo as the sauce and the dough. They are yummy!
Monday, March 15, 2010
This box contained Neosporin and band-aids. It was really simple but it also didn't contain anything really dangerous and so it could be left down where the kids could get it. My mom's was just a Tupperware container. I decided to make mine a little bit cuter.
I found a container at the dollar store and bought some fun scrapbook paper. I then cut four strips to fit the sides and modge podge them one at a time onto it.
I threw my basic supplies in the box and then finished the lid.
Now, I am sure you could come up with the cutest lid ever, but I am crazy nostalgic and this is what the lid of the original box looks like. So I stuck to it. Now the tradition of the boo-boo box continues.
P.S. We are all grown adults now and my mom still has her boo-boo box in her cupboard and we still all use it. It really beats having to get down the first aid kit everytime you need a Band- Aid.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I decided it looked like fun but I had a couple of problems. First of all, I couldn't afford the fancy baking trays. So I bought the cheap silicone ice cube trays and guess what? They worked. Second my oven was currently out of commission. So... I microwaved them. It worked great. They had to be in for about 4 minutes.
After microwaving, I let them cool and harden. (I just had to show you my mess of crayon shavings.)
Here they are all finished. I think I am going to send them to my artsy sister.
Now I guess I am officially on the bandwagon.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I was able to find black 5x7 frames at the dollar store, so the only thing that really cost me any money was the scrapbook frame and they often go on sale at Micheal's.
I desaturated all my photos, so they are not quite black and white but aren't full color either. If you want to learn how to do that, go here.
Well, what do you think?
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Cannon and Nikon are definitely the most respected camera brands. Please read both good and bad reviews of the camera you want to buy before you make your final decisions. I do not own any of these cameras, I have just been able to spend a little time with them. Here is a camera review site so you can do more research on your own.
Nikon Coolpix S630
This is the point and shoot I am currently in love with. I do not own one but I hate my point and shoot and keep wishing I had bought the Coolpix. This point and shoot runs for about $180.00. It has 12 mega pixels, which is better than some SLRs out there. It has a 7x optical zoom (which is great, stay away from digital zoom too much, it makes your pictures grainy.) It has a 2.7 LCD screen on the back. This is a good little camera.
Pros: This camera produces quality video, audio and pictures. It is small and portable. It is reasonably priced and does well in Low light.
Cons: There have been complaints about the zoom motor. It seems to go too fast and it overshoots where you were planning to take a shot. This camera takes a rechargeable battery that is made for the camera, instead of double As.
This is my current favorite mid-size camera. It does more than a point and shoot but it doesn't have changeable lenses like a DSLR. This camera has 12 mega pixels and a 26x zoom. This camera is not a DSLR! If you want all the features of a DSLR that is what you are going to need to buy.
Lots of different shooting modes.
Really good zoom for a non-SLR camera.
Have the ability to shoot fully automatic, fully manual or shutter/aperture priority.
This camera does have live view.
2.7 inch LCD screen.
This camera seems to need plenty of light. It also shoots best at 100 iso or below. The pictures tends to get really grainy when you try to bump up the ISO.
The D40x is currently my favorite beginning SLR. I have used this camera a few times. Although I prefer my camera because I know it, I did like this one and the picture quality. This camera has 10.2 megapixels and a 2.5 inch LCD screen. This comes with one lens. This camera sells for about $800.
Good picture quality. Camera shoots 3 frames per second. Cool in camera features and scenes. The graininess is not horrible at the higher ISO settings and there is an auto iso setting available. You can shoot with a flash or without and you can buy an external flash to go on top. This camera has the least negative reviews that I have ever seen.
Auto focus does not work on some lens. There is no easy button to change your white balance and ISO settings. It only has three focus points.
What are your favorite cameras? I didn't include a higher priced DSLR because if you are going to be buying one of those I suspect you are already doing tons of research. Have you had any experience with these cameras? What did you think?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I wasn't sure what to make of this book when I first heard of it. It seemed like a rip off of Harry Potter. People have been telling me to pick these up for ages and I had pretty much ignored them.
After we moved to South Texas, a friend of ours suggested them again and since I was in the market for a new book, I decided to pick it up. I am glad I did.
This book is the first in a series of 5. It follows a preteen boy named Perseus (Percy) Jackson from thinking he was just a regular kid with a horrible step dad to finding out he is the son of the sea god Poseidon. To see a demi-god in modern day was a clever concept that I have never seen before now.
The books takes Percy through his first quest to save the Gods from battle and the world from war. He is supposed to figure out who stole master lightening bolt from Zeus. It is a crazy whirlwind of a book. He sure accomplishes a lot in one book for a sixth grader but I guess he is no average sixth grader. The book did seem to treat him as older than he was. I kept forgetting he was so young but the movie previews could have had something to do with that.
Yes, there are some similar elements to Harry Potter, for instance the kids are divided into cabins at camp half blood, just like the wizards are divided into houses at Hogwarts. The similarities bothered me sometimes but then I shook them off and reminded myself that it didn't matter if Percy Jackson had some similarities to Harry Potter because it was still a good book.
Percy Jackson provides a good introduction to Greek mythology. It does a pretty good job of providing the reader with enough information so you don't have to keep leaving the book to look something up about mythology. I, however, love to know every detail so I was often looking up characters/gods from the book. It was fun to see the Greek Gods in a modern sense and see that at least according to Riordan that they are still up to their old tricks.
It is a pretty good book and I would recommend it to anyone who loves mythology, adventure books and something that isn't too hard to read. Now I am off to read number 2.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
1 carrot grated
1 medium onion sliced thin
1 lb cooked spaghetti noodles
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 head cabbage
2 teaspoon oil
6 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar
Stir fry vegetables add 2 teaspoon oil and cooked spaghetti, whisk soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar then add noodles.
I have found the secret with this meal is to really stir the sauce into the noodles well. You will know it is stirred enough when the noodles start to turn brown. If there is not enough sauce add more soy sauce but be careful not to overpower the dish.
2 pounds beef cut into strips
1 large onion
3 stalks celery
1 tablespoon oil
3/4 C. Beef bouillon
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 c. Soy sauce Slice celery at an angle into thin slices and set aside, slice onion, add oil to pan, fry up veggies remove from pan, fry beef add veggies then the rest of the ingredients, simmer 5 minutes, serve with rice.
My dad ate this while he lived in Japan, so it was a staple in our house. We used to get in major trouble for picking the meat out of the frying pan. My dad used to accompany this dish with a whisked raw egg that he dipped his meat into. I have never been able to stomach that idea so I have never tried it.
Friday, March 5, 2010
My sweet little girl has some pretty severe allergies. Her allergies are so severe that the doctor requested she wear an medical ID bracelet. She is at the age where she will eat off of just about every body's plate and not yet old enough to protect herself from those dangers, so we had to come with something.
I remembered seeing this Make it and Love it tutorial awhile ago and the basic concept was great but I needed to change it to fit my needs so here is what I did.
I bought enough half inch ribbon to go around her little wrist . I bought a long strip of Velcro that was the width of the ribbon. A small amount of vinyl and piece of contrasting fabric or bias tape.
The original tutorial, had the vinyl going all the way around but I needed this bracelet to be as comfortable as possible to have any chance of my little girl leaving it on. I went with using a small amount of bias tape that I had to cut down.
I had my husband make her a little medical symbol with her allergies .
Then I cut out a small piece of vinyl to go over the paper. I placed the paper on the ribbon and then the vinyl. I then wrapped the bias tape around the edges. I had to greatly trim it down because I used such small ribbon. I then stitched all around it with my machine.
I use a massive amount of Velcro so it would be hard for her to peel off and it has worked great. She leaves the bracelet on because there are few irritants, (it is mostly just the ribbon) and it stays put because of the Velcro.
This was a messy project. I struggled a few times before I finally got it right. It was the best choice though, one of the fancy medical ID bracelets would have costs us $25 and she wouldn't have liked the metal touching her skin. This cost me less than $5 and I have a lot of materials left over to make her another one if I need to.
I decided to upload the paper templates so you can easily make one if you want to. They print for a 1/2 piece of ribbon. One of the them is blank except for the medical symbol, the other says "Allergic to:" With a space to write in the allergies. Go here to download the PDF
Thursday, March 4, 2010
This recipe is delicious. I honestly grew up on it. My mom use to put it in the crockpot before we went to church on Sunday and the house would smell delicious when we got back. Yum. It is really easy, with just a little prep work and some crock pot time, you can have this delicious meal.
3 or 4 large potatoes
3 or 4 large carrots
1 lb beef stew meat, browned
1 or 2 can of tomato soup
Brown beef, set aside. Peel vegetables, slice and put in a crock pot with an onion, cut in half. Pour beef on top. Open can of tomato soup and pour on top of beef and vegetables. Add 1/2 can water (or use both and add 1 can water depending on how much broth you like) Cover and allow to cook on high for 4 hours or until vegetables are soft and beef is tender.
The picture is a little bit different than the recipe because I don't use the onion. I seriously used to beg my mom for the onion and she would cut it up for me and I would eat it. I thought it was delicious but alas, I married a man that can't eat them. I use snips of green onions instead. It still gives is a nice flavor without hurting his stomach and plus I am not sure I would go for eating the onion whole anymore. Besides my crazy antics, you usually just eat around the onion. It is just the for flavor while cooking.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
You only need to sand down one of the frames but the first frame I sanded down turned out really good and I couldn't bring myself to paint it. Enter the other frame, I sanded it and then spray painted it black. I then tour off the hooks on the back.
I centered my picture and then just used the two pieces of glass from both frames to smash it and keep it in the right place. I know some people use adhesive to make it stay but I didn't want any chance of marks in the frame.
Then you hot glue the corners of the glass together. Then I hot glued a ribbon on the back to hold it up. Yes, I know my picture is being held up by a nasty orange thumb tack but I am not allowed to use my husband's drill at the moment. The orange thumb tack will be around until he decides to let me use it again or do it himself.
Why am I banned from the drill you ask? It has something to do with the Scrabble bracelets I made awhile back.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
At the university food court, they sell this little sandwich call a Marv n' Joe. It was actually invented by Marv and Joe both professors in the engineering department at the school.
My freshman year of college, I worked at the food court. I was making one of my first ever Marv n' Joes for a customer, when I handed it to him, he looked displeased. He asked if he could come behind the counter and teach me to do it correctly. Who did this guy think he was? Well, I learned fast that it was Marv himself. So, after being taught by the master, I am going to teach you.
- French Bread
- Garlic Salt
- Tomatoes, sliced
- Provolone cheese slices
- Parmesan cheese
Take a thick piece of french bread. Spread soft butter on top. Sprinkle with the garlic salt and pepper. Place 2-3 slices of tomato on top to cover the bread (sometimes we used to add piles of . Pour a small amount of olive oil and vinegar, just enough to give the sandwich a kick. Top with a piece of provolone cheese and the Parmesan. Personally, at my house we use shredded Parmesan but at the school they used powdered.
Toss in your toaster oven or you broiler until the cheese is bubbly and starts to brown. The browning is very important. A perfect Marv N' Joe is browned around the edges and has a little crisp to it.
There you go. Now you know about Marv N' Joes. Is your life changed?
Monday, March 1, 2010
I am a major history nerd, especially when it comes to war stories. I read everything my high school's library had on WWII and the Civil War but I really haven't read much about the Revolutionary War. I think I have always been a little scared to read more about the revolutionary war because I have had a love affair with English history and I didn't want to be forced to see the ugly sides of it.
Because of my love affair with English History, I think this book was a perfect read for me. It really opened my eyes about history. It made me feel that a country can be really great and have some not so great leaders. It also made me realize what makes a country great is how they pick themselves up when they fall. America has picked itself up so many times after so many wars and I believe that it has become stronger each time.
This book overall made me.... sad. Is that strange? Every time I read of people's patriotism it made me sad that America doesn't band together as much as they used to. I love America. I was the little kid that cried during the national anthem and sang 'I am proud to be an American' at the top of my lungs. I wanted to be a Navy medic for a lot of my childhood, until my life took a different turn. This book made me want to shout "Wake up America, can't you see where all of the bickering is getting you?" at the top of my lungs to anybody who would listen. This book made me proud to be an American and made me want to remind others that they should be proud to be Americans too.
My favorite story in the book? I loved the one about the wife and her daughters that entertained the British army for as long as possible so that the Americans could get a head start. What an amazing woman, to come up with the idea, act on it quickly and complete what she knew she had to do so bravely. At a time in history where women didn't usually get the chance to be war heroes, these women did everything they could to help America succeed.
There was one thing I didn't like about this book. It was a bunch of short stories and so after each story, I felt like the book was concluded. Sometimes it took a lot of effort to read the next one because I was already fulfilled by the first one. It is still a good read if you can get your hands on it.
I cut the 2x4 every 3 inches until I had five blocks. Then I sanded them down. (I love my sanding block pictures below. I used to go through sheets and sheets of sandpaper until I discovered these. They last a long time!)
Then I painted them. I hated my color of green and I couldn't get to the store, So I mixed it will black paint until I had a dark green.
Then I painted the blocks and let them dry. I then cut blocks of shamrock scrapbook paper to fit slightly under the size of the blocks. I decoupage the scrapbook paper on and meanwhile I painted my letters white. When everything was all dry, I hot glued the letters onto the blocks.
I picked these letters up from Hobby Lobby. There were 77 cents a piece and it came with four letters in each pack, so you can save the extras for future projects.
Here is how they turned out. It is supposed to say Lucky but my little girl absconded with the Y block. Oops and there goes the C.
I really like these. They are simple and a cute decoration without having to find a place to store something huge!