Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Send a cup of coffee to a deployed soldier!


What an awesome service!  Green Beans Coffee, in Larkspur, CA is doing such a great thing!  They have a program where you can buy a cup of coffee or tea and send it with a personal note to a deployed soldier.  They have made it super simple for you to do.  Click here, choose your gift amount (1 cup is only $2.00!), enter your payment and they do the rest.  They give you an opportunity to write a little note as well.  Many times the soldier will email you back.  You can send a cup to a random soldier or if you have someone in mind, just give their name and it will be sent to them.

Something else they do is provide prepaid coffee cards.  Choose the base location where your recipient will pick up the Coffee Card and then select a Coffee Card value.  For each Coffee Card purchase, Green Beans will contribute an ADDITIONAL 10% IN DOLLAR VALUE to your Coffee Card's face value. Cards are available in any denomination starting at $20.

I think this is a great way to say thank you for what they are doing for us.  A great way to let them know they are still thought of.  What a simple gesture, but I'm sure it means the world to the receiver.  It only takes a few moments plus the spare change in your pocket to say thanks!!

Loving the photo gallery!
Check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Maggie sent a cup this morning.  I think we are going to save up to send a card.  Have you sent a cup?  If so, we would love to hear about it!  :)


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Whole Lemon Cake

I wanted to  make a treat yesterday, but didn't know what I wanted.  So, my first stop was to Rhonda's blog, down---to---earth.  She never disappoints!  Time and time again I can look through her posts and I find something.  And yesterday I found the jackpot of all simple treats!  She had a recipe for Whole Orange Cake.  However, I had no oranges in the house.  But I did have a few lemons and decided to adjust the recipe buy using a lemon.  I think I may have found a new family favorite!



Rhonda made hers in a loaf pan.  I decided to make individual cakes using a new pan I have.  I knew at the time I over-filled, but I wasn't too concerned.  It was hot and I didn't want the oven on any longer than it had to be by baking two sets.  Besides, I really wanted to eat one, I didn't care what it looked like!

INGREDIENTS
1 whole orange
3 eggs
6.3 oz melted butter
1 cup white sugar
1½ cups self raising flour OR 1½ plain (all purpose) flour with 1½ teaspoons baking powder sifted in

METHOD
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.
Grease your cake tin
Wash the orange/lemon thoroughly - this is particularly important if the orange/lemon is not organic or from your backyard

Put the whole washed orange/lemon into the food processor and process it until it's completely broken down and no large pieces remain. Add the rest of the ingredients and process again until everything is mixed together, about 30 seconds.

Scrape the batter into the cake tin and cook for around 40 minutes.



The "bestest" part about this cake is no peeling, no zesting (although I have a "thing" about zesting), no juicing.....just throw the whole fruit in the processor and you are done!  It's also an easy clean up! 

It was a yummy dessert after our chicken I cooked in the crock pot yesterday.  Chicken made with white wine, lemon, garlic and oregano.

Maggie and I are each having one for breakfast this morning.  :)


Monday, June 28, 2010

{un}plugged

Every year around Spring/Summer we talk about getting rid of our satellite and not having TV.  Notice how I said every year?  We talk about it every year because we never end up doing it!  Well, take note folks!  Summer 2010 our household finally became unplugged! 



We have turned off the TV before and tried to not watch so much of it, but that doesn't work.  Boredom sets in and it's too convenient and easy to grab the remote control and press "on" to get a quick fix.  This time we can't do that. :)

I've been TV-free before.  Several  years ago when I lived with good friends I had no choice but to be TV-free.  I actually got used to it very quickly.  Not only did I get used to it, I actually liked it.  I found myself doing more reading, getting things done I normally put off, being outside more.  I am hoping this will be the case for my family.

With sites on the internet like Hulu we can still watch a few of our favorites.  Like Deadliest Catch and my must watch, The Young and the Restless (I know, I know!  It's a guilty pleasure).  We also resigned up for Netflix. Maggie watched a 1972 movie last night of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. She loved it.  I thought it was great too.  Loved that Peter Sellars was the March Hare. 

My biggest motivation for this is Maggie.  I can't help but think of the old Sunday School song "Oh becareful little eyes what you see....."  I absolutely hate that you can be picky about the shows our kids watch, but then a commercial comes on and it blows your mind! 
Another thing I hope it helps with is the major case of the "I wants" that she has been having.  So many commercials are targeted towards our kids.  Something can come on and I get the "mommy, I need that" and than 2 minutes later it's something else.  {sigh}  I wont miss that!

I started really thinking about the influence TV has on Maggie the other night when Chris and I were watching The Proposal.  Maggie walked into the living room and said "Hey!  That's Betty White!  And thats Sandra Bullock!"  I was kind of surprised, but even more surprised when she said "Sandra Bullocks husband is Jesse James and he has a girlfriend named Michelle."  My heart sank.  :(  She is only 5 1/2.  She doesn't NEED to know these things!  Buh-bye cable!

So, even though we don't have our satellite working anymore, we can still watch movies together if we want to.  I don't mind a little TV.  I just don't want to be a zombie family infront of the tube when there is so much more we can be doing!  Now, before I get emails or comments about my last statement, let me just say this, I don't believe that every family is a zombie family if you have TV!  :)  Just my family.  But, if you are interested in becoming TV-free, there are a lot of good resources out there to help you, like Instead of TV.  Check it out!

Anyone else out there "unplugged?"  What do you find you are doing now that you weren't doing when you had TV?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Love......

i love this little girl........

her laugh.........


her silly wet kisses.........


her sweetness.........


i am {blessed} beyond measure

i love being her mom

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Another chance to win a Silhouette

OK folks!  Someone out there wants us to win a Silhouette!  Seriously!  You gotta run over to Thrifty Decor Chick and get yourself signed up!  You have 5 chances to win!  BTW, this is another "new to me" blog that I am excited to find!  She definitely would have gone on the "Linky Love" list!

There are so many cool things to do with the Silhouette.  One of the biggest things I love about this machine is there are no cartridges to buy!  You can download everything from their program.  That's a HUGE plus in my opinion! 

Check this bad boy out!


Isn't it awfully purty?  I sure would look great sitting on my desk!

So hurry!  Run!!  Get over there!  Contest ends June 29th!  There is still time left!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Linky Love!

I have been scouring the home DIY decorating blogs this past week.  Well, maybe scouring isn't the right word, devouring is more like it.  There are so many great blogs out there with some of the best ideas and inspiration!  I thought I would share my favorites with you!  So here they are, not in any particular order!









So, that's just a few to get you started!  Each and everyone of these blogs have wonderful blog rolls on their sidebars, so check out what they read.  I've been having fun peeking into every ones beautiful homes, I think you will too!




Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Free Silhouette Craft Cutter!

Yes!  Really!  I have been reading a great blog lately, Southern Hospitality and she has a great giveaway going on!

Here is the direct link to the giveaway.  You MUST go and enter to win!  What a great prize this would be!

Good Luck!

Strawberry Lemonade

Two words: Yummy and Refreshing! 
Strawberry Lemonade has become my new favorite summer drink.  It is fantastic!  The picture I took doesn't do it any justice.  I think I need to retake it.  I made this on a whim, talk about great mistakes!



I think you need to try it.  It's easy, it's simple and it's super refreshing on a hot day!

3 cups of filtered cold water
1 large lemon (peeled and rolled to get all the juice!)
1.5 cups cut up frozen strawberries
Sweeten to taste with whatever sweetener you like

Put everything in a blender and give it a whirl.  Poor in a nice cold glass and ENJOY!


 


Friday, June 11, 2010

MIss Mae's Coffee Crisps

Yesterday when I got done making a really yummy marinade for our giant shrimp we were going to grill for dinner, I was suppose to clean the shrimp.  It's just one of those jobs that isn't bad, just time consuming.  I wanted to do something a little more fun!  So I started searching through some of my favorite blogs to see what everyone has been up to.  Well, I happened upon one of my most favorites, SouleMama.  I was excited when I found this wonderful recipe for Miss Mae's Coffee Crisps.  Amanda had a revised version of the original recipe so I used Amanda's as it seemed a bit healthier!

Of course my little helper was more than eager to "help".  So we got out all the ingredients.  Maggie has a thing about tasting everything.  She got to taste Molasses today for the first time by itself.  She has had it in homemade BBQ sauce and other things, but never on it's own.  She thought it tasted a bit like licorice.  I have to agree with her!  :)


We got the dough all rolled out and cut.  Maggie thinks it looks like her chocolate play dough. 


Then it was time for Chef Maggie to do  her job.  Sprinkling the sugar on the dough!


Right out of the oven.  Hot and Steamy!


Kid tested and definitely approved!

I think I made mine a little thicker than they needed to be, but they were still really yummy!  I like them because they are not overly sweet.  Perfect treat when you want a little somethin' somethin'!  I can imagine myself making a little ice cream sandwich out of them.  Just add a little ice cream!


Miss Mae's Coffee Crisps
Makes 36 2.5" crisps


1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup hot coffee
1 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 cups flour
granulated sugar
2.5" biscuit cutter, or juice glass

Preheat oven to 375degrees. Dissolve 1tsp of baking soda in the hot coffee. Combine molasses, sugar, melted butter, and hot coffee mix and stir until combined. Gradually add flour until dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll thin (to 3/8"). Use a biscuit cutter or juice glass to make 2-3" circles. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with granulated sugar, if desired. Bake for 14-18 minutes, to desired crispness. Cool on baking racks.

The cookies got done, and the cleaning of the shrimp began.  As an added side-note, they were delicious!  I made a super simple marinade.  I was concerned it wouldn't have enough taste.  But goodness!  They were delicious!  It's amazing what can happen when you throw a few ingredients together!

I used EVOO, fresh lemon juice, white wine, 2 cloves of garlic, onion, salt, parsley and a few sprinkles of crushed red pepper.  I just eyeballed everything.  Let the shrimp sit for about an hour in the marinade.  Chris grilled them, basting them with the marinade.  Seriously delicious!



Thursday, June 10, 2010

Homemade Lipgloss

Maggie loves make up.  Not sure why.  I rarely wear it.  And by rarely I mean probably a couple times a year.  I used to wear it.  I used to not be able to leave the house without it.  Then I got pregnant with Maggie, had a bad pregnancy, was so sick after having Maggie I stayed home a lot and just got out of the habit of wearing it.  But for some reason my girl has gotten into playing with make up big time!  One thing she adores is lip gloss.  The shinier and glossy the better!  We go through a lot of lip gloss.  So I decided to try making my own.  In a book I have about making homemade concoctions there was a recipe that used Crisco and Koolaid.  I don't ever have either one in the house so that meant no lip gloss!  LOL  Yesterday Chris went to the market and I had him grab me a packet of Black Cherry Koolaid.  Now we are in business.  Even though we didn't have Crisco. 

For anyone who knows me well then you already know how much of a coconut oil fan{atic} I am.  Not only does it smell good, but it is so good for skin, hair, LIPS!  Perfect for our newest experiment!

Got myself a little cup to mix up Coconut Oil and Koolaid.  It's a hot day and the coco oil was a little mushy.  No biggie.  Made it much easier to mix!   I just "eyeballed" the amounts.

Then I needed something to put it in.  You would think with all the containers we have had around here of lip gloss that we would have had an extra one.  But nope.  I know now to save them!  I did happen to have a tea light candle container that was empty.  So that is what I used.


Filled the container and put in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.


And now we have lip gloss!

Super easy.  Super cheap.  Fun.  Sounds like a winning combination to me!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gooey Gunk

If you read yesterdays post about Magic Muck, then you already know that I also made some Gooey Gunk.  Well, since making the first batch of Gooey Gunk I have made another.  :)  The first batch color was a pretty Cantaloupe color.  The one I made today is Apple Green.  I don't know who is having more fun with the Gooey Gunk, me or Maggie!

In the first bowl mix 1 c of glue, 1 c of water and 7-10 drops of food coloring~I used Tempura paint


Mix well.


In second bowl, add 1 1/3 warm water and 4 tsp borax.  Make sure borax is melted before going on to the next step.


Poor Solution A into Solution B.  Do NOT mix.  Roll Solution A in Solution B 4-5 times.

Take out Solution A and knead for 2-3 minutes.  Be careful with this step as it is REALLY messy.  You may want to do this in a bowl or sink because when it first comes out it is SUPER wet and dripping.  Once it's kneaded and mixed this is the end result!



Now close down your computer and go make some!  It's super fun!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Magic Muck

I've been trying to think of ways to entertain Maggie when we are indoors.  Since the weather has finally decided to get super warm she has been wanting to be outside.  Constantly.  Which is OK, but I can only stand being in the hot sun for so long.  So getting her to come in isn't always an easy task.  So I made a few fun things for us and I am breaking them out individually so she has something new and exciting to play with.

Yesterday she had her friend Heather over for a play date.  Once outside play, dress up, coloring, etc got boring I whipped up a quick batch of Chocolate Play dough and that sparked some creativity.  Rolling pins, cooking cutters and lots of pretend baking was going on!


For today I made Maggie some Magic Muck.  Some people call it Oobleck.  Maggie has some sensory issues so she isn't ready to dig in there and really enjoy it, but she had fun with her spoon, measuring cup and other items.  She did get her fingers in for a bit, little steps.  ;)





If you would like to make Magic Muck, here is how!

3/4 c cornstarch
1/3 c water
5-7 drops food coloring (I used tempura paint)

Mix water and food coloring together in small bowl.
Slowly add cornstarch to water and color mixture.  Do not stir!
Let mixture stand for 2-3 minutes.
Pick up a handful of Magi Muck and squeeze it until it forms a hard ball.  Open your hand and the Magic Muck will turn from a solid ball back into a liquid.

I have also added glitter to this when I have made it before.  Just makes it a little more special.
Tomorrow I will post my recipe for Gooey Gunk.




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