A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Daily Ramblings, recipes, photos and whatever else I like to share along the way.

Cover Girl Wet Slicks Fruit Spritzers Lip Gloss – Review

Have you tried these yet?!

I'm still wondering why it took me over a year to try them out. *scratches head*

Sure I wear lip balm and lip stick every so often but I wanted something else that I could wear daily with just a hint of color.

Lip gloss has always been an item I had in my stash but somewhere along the line I stopped buying it. >puzzled<

I purchased two of the Cover Girl Wet Slicks Fruit Spritzers last week as another treat for myself. (I did use a coupon for the purchase & they were on sale!)

Anywho…

They are absolutely wonderful.

Great shine, super fruity scent, a bit of flavor and best of they do not leave your lips sticky or dried.

OH! they last a long, long time on your lips, my lips feel so soft and they add just the right amount of color.

This stuff is really great!

Pictured above:

Berry Splash – very natural in color

Raspberry Splash

I did it!!


After many attempts that always ended up in failure I finally made the perfect gravy last night!!

I have tried many times with the results being pasty, watery, lumpy or just plain awful in every way imaginable. *shudders*

Dh is normally recruited to make gravy in the house but he was not home last night so it was up to me.*gulp*

I really had a taste for gravy with our roast beef.

I read a few recipes online and decided to give it a go. *fingers were crossed*

All was progressing quite nicely when the phone rang normally this would mean a disaster but in this case all kept working out just fine.

Dh wanted to let me know he was leaving work, we chatted for a few seconds and I mentioned about making gravy and using a recipe.

He chuckled at me and inquired why I would need one because it was so easy to make.

Perhaps for some but not for me dear.

I remained calm and cool then stated because I am never successful at making it and really wanted it to turn out right.

He told me alright and let me go so I could concentrate on my wonderful creation.

Back on task, I whisked the end out of the drippings with added milk and poof! Gravy.

I have to admit that I did place a wee bit too much pepper in (love pepper but not that much) – spicy. Lol..

Finally, I know how to do it and have the confidence that I will be able to make it again.

Next up: how to make the perfect meatballs. (This one is going to take me much longer but some day I will conquer them!)

So what did I do?

2 Tbl drippings put in a pot over medium heat.

2 Tbl of corn starch whisked in until thickened.

Then added rest of drippings (should really defat this but I did not bother last night)

Slowly while whisking the whole time.

Then add in milk-water- or beef broth to thin it down to the right consistency. I added about ¾ cup of milk.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Be careful of that pepper :-0



Happy Halloween!!


Happy Halloween!!!

Be safe and have fun.


Odd Snack?!

Really, I don’t think so.

This is something I grew up doing (though I have not had it in years and I do mean years) and really never thought anything of it, that is until recently.

What is that odd thing?

Putting butter on top of a saltine cracker or better yet scooping up a dollop of butter on an oyster cracker and eating it.

My mom would do this all the time with the oyster crackers.

I can’t tell you how many times as a teen I would whip out the butter, the oyster crackers and then sit down to a nice portion of them.

This past weekend dh and I were talking about snacks growing up with the boys.

I blurted out that I used to eat saltines/oyster crackers with butter.

Now, I could have sworn I told him this before but apparently not.

Dh stated that it was some thing he never knew about me and thought it was a bit odd.

I just shrugged my shoulders and said he needed to try it some day. *smile*

I’m not sure what prompted me today to whip out the saltine crackers and place a nice spread of butter on top but I did.

Needless to say one turned into two which turned into lets just say a few more, they are quite addictive. *blush*

That creaminess of the butter mixed with the salt of the cracker.

mmmm….

Is it an odd snack?

Is it a regional thing?

Has anyone else ever eaten this combination before?

I can’t be the only one who does this, can I?

A tiny jewelry treat...


Alrighty, I broke down last week and purchased myself a tiny pair of earrings.

After being sick, feeling quite blue and just downright in the dumps for the past few weeks I figured I could do a tiny splurge on myself.

I have to tell you that I am just thrilled that I decided to do it.

My fingers wandered over to Etsy where I looked up Pink Poppy Studio. This is one shop I had bookmarked for quite sometime and could not wait to purchase a pair of earring from her.

Once in her shop, I found just what I was looking for and bought them without a second thought. Now the torture of waiting for them settled in but a few short hours later I received a notice that my earring were shipping that same day!!

Saturday came before I knew it and there they were all safe and sound. *smile*

The earrings were in a nice little organza bag with a handwritten thank you note. (I took the picture with the printed side out.)

I have been wearing them since they arrived and just love them, they are just beautiful.

Go on over and check out her shop, she offers a nice variety and they will not hurt the piggy bank.


Crockpot Cheeseburgers - Recipe

I have had this recipe for quite some time but never tried it.

The boys would never eat anything mixed or creamy when they were younger and well, I admit to not wanting to hear the fussing/screaming at the dinner table so I simply never tired it.

Now that they are older they are into trying new meals and asking for different foods to eat.

Such a lovely change of pace that is quite welcomed.

I made the meal up before I left to pick up the kiddos and could not wait to have some for dinner, it smelled so good.

The boys were starving when we finally arrived back home after school and haircuts.

Nate was the first one to give it a try, he was a bit unsure because of the way it looked but once he tried it that was a different story. He said it was full of flavor, tasted wonderful and when were we eating. Spencer was next and he told me that he needed a full plate to try because a taste was not enough. Lol..


Final result: A thumbs up from everyone. Great flavor, cheesy and warms you up on a cold night. I served it with No-Yolk noodles but this would be killer served on a hamburger bun.


* Exported from MasterCook *


Crockpot Cheeseburgers


Serving Size: 6
Categories : Main Meal -Crockpot

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, extra lean
1/2 cup onion -- *see Note
2 cloves garlic -- *see Note
12 ounces Velveeta Light
3 tablespoons skim milk
1 package ranch-style dressing mix

  1. Brown beef, garlic and onion in a skillet. Drain
  2. Transfer to slow cooker.
  3. Add all other ingredients.
  4. Cook on low 6-7 hrs
  5. Serve over rice, noodles or on a bun.

Yield:
"1/2 cup" per serving
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 488 Calories; 30g Fat (56.5% calories from fat); 39g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 114mg Cholesterol; 1625mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 5 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Serving Ideas : Side Salad

NOTES :
* Can sub onion powder for the fresh onions, I would use about 3 tsp.

* Can omit from recipe, cut back or even use powdered.

* Use No- Yolk noodles to reduce calories even more or even the reduced hamburger buns.

*Calories do not include the rice/noodles/buns.

Happy National Chocolate Day!!


Yes, there really is a day to honor chocolate!

Seriously you have all the right today to go out, enjoy some wonderful chocolate and not feel guilty.

It is of course National Chocolate Day.

I did my part, I tried out a new chocolate bar and it was really good.

So what did I try?

A Ritter Sport with crispy-crunchy cornflakes.

This is a 100 g German milk chocolate bar.

I have had their Milk Chocolate bar before and really enjoyed it, so I simply had to try a different type from them.

The item that caught my attention in the bar was the corn flakes.

Corn flakes + chocolate could it get any better?

The chocolate is so nice and creamy smooth, not overly sweet.

The top portion of the bar is all chocolate..mmm…chocolate.

There are a lot of corn flakes in the bottom of the bar which gives it a really nice crunch.

When you bite through that tiny square you are getting the perfect mix of corn flakes and chocolate.

There are sixteen little squares that make up the square chocolate bar but er, um.. it is really, really hard to simply eat one tiny square at a time. Shh!

This bar is really good when you are in the mood for something different to satisfy that sweet chocolate craving.

Now, I must put the few pieces away before I do any more damage to the bar.

I think your taste buds need to be indulged with any one of the eighteen 100g flavors offered by Ritter-Sport.


Under the lights...


Spencer’s last game of the season was tonight and boy was it cold outside!

All the parents were bundled up wearing winter coats and sitting under blankets.

The team did not fair too well but they did have quite a bit of fun.

One last practice on Thursday night and then it is off to playoffs/championship games on Saturday.

It is hard to believe that the end of the soccer season is here, time is sure zipping quickly.


Teen Language - Dude

Welcome to my world.

This is so Nate lately.

Who knew there were so many ways to say, “DUDE?”

Zits comic


Saturday Night...

How is everyone spending their night?

Nate is out to a Halloween/Birthday party, which he was quite excited to attend.

Nate decided last minute to be a ninja and I think he looked pretty good.

Spencer and I are sitting here watching the Penn State game.

Go Lions!!

I don’t think I will have any nails left after this game. Lol..

Brownies are cooking for a treat during the second half; mmm…they smell so good.

I have some laundry to fold and I guess I can do that while watching the game.

Over all it is a nice quiet night and most of all I am actually relaxing.


Taco Bell Taco Freebie...


So what is the freebie?!

Steal a base. Steal a taco deal.

Taco Bell is giving away a free taco for every base that is stolen during the World Series this year.

So far there has been one base stolen and on Oct. 28th from 2pm – 6pm you can receive one free taco per person.

Read more about the Taco Bell Steal A Base Rules.

Enjoy the series and a taco!

Packaging Groceries...


Below is a question that I always like to ask myself.

Why do they place glass jars next to each other in the grocery bags?!

I have to tell you that this situation really burns my biscuits!

Can’t tell you how many times I have driven home to find jars cracked or busted wide open with contents splashed about. *grrr!*

I ask nicely to please not place them together but that seems to go politely unnoticed.

Now I take my purchases out to the car and repack some of the bags so that they will not be near each other.

It is way too risky to have them side by side while they are heading back to the house.

You know I remember when my brother got his first job at the a P&C grocery store in Upstate NY (when we lived up there) and he had to learn how to bag properly.

What to place in the bottom, what went on top, what not to pack together the whole nine yards.


Does anyone not do that anymore?

Kokum Butter Experiment - Recipe

Today I felt a bit creative and the need to try something new.

I had attempted whipped butters before, mostly Shea Butter without much luck.

Now I love Kokum Butter for my heels and purchased some in the spring with the hopes of attempting to make some lotion bars during the summer.

Um, yeah, that never happened.

I flipped over some recipes I had for various whipped butters and said to myself, “Aw heck just wing it.”

So that my friends is what I did, I winged it.

I took out some kokum butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, hempseed oil and my dry-flo.
No shea butter or mango butter on hand *shakes head* how in the world did I let that happen?

There I am left with hard butters but I know it will work perhaps not whipped but the end result should be quite nice.

Added in my hard butters and coconut oil to a pot and used the double boiler method to melt them.

Once the butters were melted, I placed them in a bowl and popped that into the freezer to cool the oils down.

Tossed in the Dryflo and whipped until it became creamy.


As the product cooled down it hardened up a bit, not super hard but defiantly not a whipped consistency anymore.

I will admit to being a bit disappointed (wanted something whipped) but am thrilled with the final product.

Now this creation would be perfect for a push up container but I had to use what was on hand.

I have already used some on my feet and I love it.

I would up the amount of Dryflo used because for me it is still a wee bit greasy.

Defiantly use a push up tube/deodorant container for packaging.

Perhaps try to add in some Shea butter the next time around, it is a thought.

If you do not have Dryflo you can simply use corn starch. I have always used Dryflo in my lotion bars and is what I have on hand.

This is the recipe that I came up with

1.2 oz Kokum Butter

.5 oz Cocoa Butter

.5 oz Coconut Oil

1 tsp. Hempseed oil

2 tsp. Sweet Almond Oil

3 Tbsp Dryflo

1 tsp fragrance oil

Melt the first three ingredients, add in oils and place in freezer until chilled.

Remove, add in Dryflo, and whip with mixer on high speed.

If you are using a container, you can whip the product.

If using a push up tube/deodorant container there is no need to whip product so long.

Once you add in the Dryflo, mix well, let cool a little and pour into container.

That’s it!

Have fun with the recipe. *smile*

*UPDATE* I used the product again last night. Whoa! It is really thick and hard but melts on skin contact like a dream. I would highly recommend putting the product only in a push up tube, too hard to scoop out of a container. Ask me how I know. lol...



Kitchen Sadness

Tonight I was testing out a recipe when *sniffle* it happened.

She developed a small crack, the screw popped out and the corner snapped off of her.

No, no, no… it can’t be!!

She was gone; she totally came undone on me.

It will not be the same without my trusty friend. *deep sigh*

Looks like I will use a fork for a bit (I’ll admit that I make a mess using one.) until I find a new one. *shakes head – just not the same.*

RIP pastry blender.

Spaghetti Sauce Rave

Last week I whipped up lasagna for dinner, it is now cooler outside and everyone here has been asking for some different Italian food to eat.

Anywho, we are quite picky about our spaghetti sauces.

They have to have the right tomato flavor not too acidic and not be sweet.

Ugh, I can’t stand a sweet tomato sauce.

Perhaps I am so fussy having been born in New Jersey and lived there for ten years.

I can honestly say that there really is nothing like a Jersey tomato. *drool*

My mom always canned her spaghetti sauce and then cooked it all day.

Ooo that flavor that would be in her sauce was killer.

I do not have the room to can nor store anything that we would can, so we are left to what is in the stores.

Dh and I normally order our spaghetti sauce online from a place in NJ and have it shipped to us (it is not sold in any of the stores around here). Really it is that good and the boys will even eat it.

Last week I was living on the wild side, we were out of our normal sauce but I had a coupon for some Organic Muir Glen spaghetti sauce so I figured I would give it a whirl.

I checked out the label to make sure that the sugar level was less than 5 grams per serving and it was – well for the Muir Glen Portabello Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce I was interested in.

I came home with two jars and I had to test it immediately with a nice little slice of Italian bread. I was really pleased with the full rich flavor which of course led to another slice of bread to be tested with some sauce; I mean I had to make totally sure it was good.

Oh boy it was really, really good.

Spencer chimed in that he wanted to try it and once he tasted it I had his seal of approval.

Nate was too busy with his Nintendo DS game so he missed out and had to wait for dinner to give it a try. *poor kid*

The lasagna with the new sauce was a total hit with everyone!

I know that we now have another favorite spaghetti sauce in the house.

mm... so very good!

Srsly, I think you'll love it if you give it a try!

If you would like to see what other spaghetti sauces are available and products offered simply check out the Muir Glen website.


Apple Brown Betty - Recipe


This recipe is one my mom always made for us growing up on cool fall nights.

It is so yummy and I can ever get enough of it when I make it.

If there is any left over it makes a wonderful breakfast treat. *grin*

A quick and easy recipe that turns out great every time.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Apple Brown Betty Recipe

Recipe By: Mom
Serving Size : 8 Preparation
Categories : Desserts

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 cups white bread, low calorie -- day old
6 cups Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter

  • Grease a 11 x 9 (or close) baking dish with butter but you can use Pam spray.
  • Sprinkle approximately 1/3 of the bread crumbs over the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Place ½ of the apples over the bread crumbs.
  • Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Put ½ of this sugar mixture over the apples.
  • Add 1/3 of bread crumbs and then the rest of the apples sprinkled with the rest of the sugar mixture. Top with the final 1/3 of the bread crumbs.
  • Splash the lemon juice and water over the top of the Apple Brown Betty.
  • Cut the butter up in small chunks and place around on top of the apple casserole.
  • Bake covered at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  • Remove cover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Yield:
"8 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 235 Calories; 4g Fat (15.5% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 49g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 8mg Cholesterol; 366mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Fruit; 1 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Serving Ideas:
  • Served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top.
  • Can be served either hot or cold.

NOTES:
I use real butter to coat the baking dish, nothing like the real thing. ;-)

Cute Cupcake find....

Ok, I just had to share these with you.

Cupcake paper towels (Scott brand)!

Aren’t they so cute?

I could not resist buying them.

Dh was with me when I bought them but he did not fully get the cupcake aspect.

pfft men…

It’s the little things in life that make me smile.

I'm back... sort of...


I stayed true to my words; I took a break from everything, which for me is something really unheard of.

I slept, a lot.

Dh and the boys were in charge of all meals and clean up patrol afterwards.

Honestly, I think I will relinquish cooking and clean up on weekends to them. They really did a wonderful job. *tips hat*

I slept some more.

Spencer’s team won their soccer game but as hard as it was for me, I stayed home because I was still under the weather.

It appears I have a touch of whatever crud is going around here currently. There was another mom absent from the game on Saturday due to vertigo, vomiting, and upset stomach. She was on some meds dh was told, thank goodness I was not that bad.

Spencer mentioned late on Saturday that some kids and a few teachers had been out with the crud, too.

I still can’t eat anything but am slowly starting to feel like I am a human.

My fingers are crossed that this does not hit your family.

**

The only bad thing is that our cable went out early yesterday (Sunday) afternoon and is still out. :-/

This did allow me to write up a menu for dinners for the next two weeks, get my coupons organized and write up the grocery list. It’s nice to be on top of stuff for once.



Taking a break...

I am going to take a tiny break this weekend from it all.

I really need it.

Let me just say that yesterday would not win me any mother of the year awards.

I ended up becoming really dizzy while waiting for Spencer in the car (scared me to pieces), having him hop in the car and then me getting violently ill (not a pretty sight).

Poor kid was so scared; thank goodness we live really close to the school because I was able to zip home. I had him call dh to tell him I needed him to pick up Nate. I was not in any shape to drive, still dizzy and my neck was hurting so bad.

In the end I think this is a tiny wake up call for me to try to tone back my type A personality and get myself looked at for why I tend to get dizzy so easy (yesterday, was by far the worst.)

This morning I feel a little better, at least I can get up without swaying and my head is not spinning around.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I will be back and posting on Monday, but for this weekend I need to step away from it all.

Enjoy your weekend and hugs to all.


What does Autumn say about you?

It has been a few weeks since I have done any sort of quiz/test, so today felt like a good day for one. :->

Fall/Autumn is my favorite season. I love to see the leaves turning color, the cooler weather, pumpkins, and being able to crunch through leaf piles.

Take the Autumn Test and see what makes you tick.




Your Autumn Test Results



You are a energetic, warm, optimistic person. You approach everything with a lot of enthusiasm.
When you are happiest, you are calm. You appreciate tradition and family. You enjoy feeling cozy.
You tend to be afraid of change. You are never ready for things to be different.
You find love to be the most comforting thing in the world. You feel at peace when you're with your loved ones.
Your ideal day is active and full. You like to keep busy with your favorite things, and you appreciate a routine.
You tend to live in the moment. You enjoy whatever is going on, and you don't obsess over the past or future.


Simply Grumpy....

Alright, today I will admit to waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

I am grouchy and that is not a good place to be.

Dh has been working from home today and that normally is a good thing.

Today, not so good.

I don’t want to talk, don’t want to help with homework, don’t want to do the a laundry (that is overflowing), don’t want to make dinner, don’t want to feed the dogs, I simply just do not want to do a thing.

But… I have done all the above perhaps not as cheerful as I should have been but I did get some stuff done.

Dh was a trooper I will admit that.

He went and bought me an Entenmann’s coffee cake to help my mood (OMG! I love them). Honestly, for today it was just alright.

What a funk.

I think I will pop if I hear another, “Hey, Mom.”

Srsly, this is all I have heard since the kiddos were picked up after school.

Hopefully with some luck tomorrow will be better.

It has to be right?!

Off to take my grumpy self into the kitchen to make something for dinner.

*sigh*


They smell so good!!

My tarts!

If you recall I made some pumpkin pie tarts a little over a week ago (need a refresher click here) and I let them sit.

I have to admit I almost broke down and took one out last week; it was really hard to wait. The cold throw from them is really good and they were just calling out for me to try but I used all my might to ignore them.

Finally, on Saturday night I busted one out as quickly as I could, popped it into my tart burning bowl and waited to see if they were good.

Oh Yeah!

Only one filled our family room with the wonderful aroma of pumpkin pie. *drool*

The only down side (if you want to call it that) was the fact it made Nate and I incredibly hungry for a slice of real pumpkin pie. Lol…



Doggie Treats - Recipe

I like to treat our dogs to some homemade treats every month or so, they are so easy to make and they (dogs) really enjoy them.

I have used this recipe for a few years and they are always a hit with the dogs.

**Please Note that onions are not safe for dogs. Please read the ingredient label for the baby food to make sure they (onions) are not included.

Basic Biscuits

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 jar baby food any flavor

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until you get a dough that is easy to roll out. Roll to desired thickness and use a cookies cutter to cut out shapes.

Place ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until browned.

Cool on a towel before putting in containers.

They can also be frozen for use later.

You can use peanut butter or homemade applesauce too.


Recipe from Cheryl Butchko.

You can find this recipe and other treats recipes at Home Grown Doggie Treats.


Gosh Golly....



Gosh, golly….

Looks like all sorts of little things are coming out today to play.

This little female Green Anole was in my clothes pin bucket and gave me a huge scare this morning. Lol..

She was not moving too quickly so I was able to run inside get the camera and snap a few pictures of her.

At one point she climbed back in with the clothes pins and then back out as you can tell she changed colors in that short period of time. (She does not look too happy.)

Today is turning out to be a really interesting one that is for sure.




They came back...


I was in the kitchen ripping out some old caulking by the sink when I something outside caught my attention.

I looked up and noticed that the turkeys came back!!

I could not miss another chance to snap another picture, so quickly I raced for the camera, quietly opened up the door to the garage and outside I tipped-toed to the corner of the house.

They were on the move back to the woods in front of the house but I was determined to snap a picture or two.

They moved so quietly stopping every so often to peck at the leaves.

*sigh*

It was such a wonderful sight to see them and I am just thrilled that they came back.


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