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.

Poor Little Birdie...


This poor little feathered friend fell out of the nest today and ended up hopping into our garage.
Once inside, he/she decided to set up in front of the door into the house and chirp.
It would just look at the door and chirp, chirp, and chirp.
I could hear this feathered friend but had to do some investigating on where it was.
It was quite apparent that they did not know how to fly just yet. :-(
Dh went out and had it hop outside to the driveway where it went into the backyard for a bit.
Nate was concerned that no crows or other animals were after it (he's a good kid) and then we noticed that our friend was hopping around with momma bird (I like to think that it was momma bird).
Glad we had a happy ending to an interesting situation.

BTW- Dh looked at me when the bird was chirping so much and said, "In a ways it's like Are You My Mother (by P.D. Eastman).

Family Frisbee Fun


Last weekend we had a family member visit for a few days (it was great!).
The boys were beyond thrilled, they adore their Uncle E.
Nate likes to call him, "The Cool Dude."
We decided to take Uncle E to our city and show him around a bit.


There are many wonderful green open areas around the downtown waterfall for families to picnic, play frisbee, read a book or simply enjoy the sun.
He (Uncle E) wanted to get a frisbee to since it was such a beautiful day.
We wandered down the street to check out a few stores to find one, the toy store was the lucky place.
He purchased a Aerobie Superdisc Frisbee, what a great item!


The edges are soft (so much easier to catch), you can really make it go far and best of all it is super easy to throw.
We had a great time playing in the park and it has continued at home in our backyard.
(Uncle E left the frisbee with us.)


Spencer has really improved his throwing ability with this frisbee and I have to say that it is fun to just go out and toss it around after dinner.
Check out Aerobie Superdisc for some summer family fun!

Fun Giveaway Coming Soon!!



Don't be too hard on me..


I think I earned this as my breakfast this morning.
So, I was up way before the little birdies outside were up and chirping (that is just wrong) due to dh having to head to a major city for the day.
Notice, I did balance it with a bunch of yummy, juicy and sweet strawberries.
Not like anyone else out there has never done this before?
*wink*

BTW- it was sooo good.

Sonic Free Root Beer Float - Freebie




Enjoy free 10 oz Root Beer Float as a Thank You from Sonic.

Where: Sonic

When: Wednesday, June 3rd

Time: 8pm - Midnight

This is a nationwide give away but you might want to call your local Sonic to double check.



We have green beans!


The first green beans of the season!
These were pulled off of a plant that some how managed to be planted in with my geraniums on our patio. I did not have the heart to uproot the plant and move it to the garden.
We have a quiet a bit more in our garden that I will be collecting later today and having with dinner tonight.
To me, there is nothing like summer fresh veggies from the garden.

Ah..mosquitoes and horseflies and itching...




This past weekend it would appear that I was the local blood bank for the mosquitoes and horseflies outside.
*sigh*
I have issues with these pesky insects.
They absolutely love me.
Srsly.
This past weekend I forgot to douse myself in bug spray and I ended up with 30 bites on my legs/feet.
They are swollen, super itchy and my legs look like they have a disease.
*ick*
I have tried everything out there to stop the itch and nothing is working.

Cortaid - nope
wet aspirin - nope
vinegar - nope
Calamine Lotion - nope
Aveeno - only for about 30 minutes
Epson Salt - not much
tape - nope
paste of baking soda - nope
rubbing alcohol - nope
tea bags - nope
Caladryl - nope
Benadryl - er, about one hour (both topical & medicine)

I am trying to hang tough but I am not sure how much longer I can hold out.
As long as I can remember, any mosquito bite I would receive would swell up and itch quite fiercely ( my dad is the same way).
So, here I sit, waiting for these buggers to go down and stop itching.
Please, if you have any ideas for me to try and stop the itch I am more than willing to give them a try.

Happy Memorial Day...



Thank You


The kitchen is finally done!



Finally, the kitchen is done!

I am a bit ashamed that it took me a little over a year to get it done but I will say that it was totally worth the wait.

I had to use liquid sand on the molding on the bottom of the cabinets and top around the ceiling.
Not fun, I just simply kept putting it off until I just had to get it done.

The difference in the kitchen is like night and day.

If you want to see a before picture you can look here.



I have to admit that I simply love it!

(oh, that orange thing in the background is Spencer, he was cleaning the floor for me.)

She strikes again...

Ranch dressing and white barbecue sauce are not the same.
Chicken tonight was basted with ranch dressing while on the grill.
The white pepper barbecue sauce ended up as the salad dressing on my salad.
I did not notice until I was putting the containers away and it was too late to do anything about.
Can you say that I have been seriously distracted lately?
Ranch dressing is not as good as you think on barbecued chicken and the white pepper sauce was alright on the salad.
I would not recommend it as an every day item but it was tolerable.
Now, I hope this rash run in of ranch dressing mix ups is only a temporary thing.
I shudder to think of what could happen next.

Can you make my green grocery bag any heavier?


You know I enjoy using my green bags from the grocery store.
Fewer trips with bags and they hold so much more food.
The only downfall to using them I have found is that the cashiers simply over pack them.
Seriously.
I could get a really good work out using two of them at a time, my only fear would be that the handles would rip off and with my luck that would end up in total grocery disaster.
Does this only happen to me or are others out there experiencing the same arm building experience?

Here's a tip for you...

The next time you reach in your refrigerator make sure to double check what you are putting on your salad.

Yeah, left over white gravy does look a bit like ranch dressing (homemade) but it sure does not taste the same on that lovely salad you just made.

*gag*

*cough*not that I would know or anything*cough*

Pomegranate Kisses Soap

*swoon*

I think this is my favorite bar of soap I have ever made.

Late last week I decided that I wanted to try to create a new bar with what I had on hand (with some input from a fellow soaper) and what we created is fabulous.

This lovely bar was made with Hemp Oil, Cocoa Butter, and silk.
The lather is perfect creamy (but not too creamy), has wonderful bubbles and it leaves your skin soft.
The fragrance oil used in this batch was a B&BW type of Midnight Pomegranate (so lovely) and I'm totally thrilled with how it turned out.


Peachy Citrus Soap




This is one migh-T-y fine scented bar of soap. I was not too sure I would like it but in the end I love it!

I whipped this batch up last week and am pretty happy with how it turned out.

This bar is made with carrot juice, a touch of silk and I used Peach Grove & Citrus Blossom fragrance oil; just perfect for the spring.


Exercise...


Exercise.
It is not really my thing but I am learning to like it.
(I can't believe I said the word, like.)
Spencer and I have been going every other day for about a week now to the Y.
Really.
Scary stuff.
I guess there is some hope for me after all with exercising.

New Penny Designs...


Did you know that our penny is going to have four new back designs rolling out this year?
Yup, the new coins will be rolled out over a three month period throughout the year.
This is the first change to the penny in fifty years.
The coins are to celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birth and 100th anniversary of the penny.

A few years ago there was talk of doing away with the penny because it costs more to make it than what it is worth.
I love this cute little coin, quite happy that the decision was made to keep it and I'm looking forward to seeing the new penny.

Want to read more?
Click here


Lemongrass Beef Sates - Recipe


Nate enjoys cooking and now his interest has turned to grilling this year.
A few weeks back he asked to try a new recipe out of a book he received as a gift this past Christmas.
I took him shopping for all of the items, dh helped with cutting the meat but otherwise it was all Nateman.
The recipe is from the How to Grill Cookbook by Steven Raichlen and it is quite tasty!
There is a bit of zip to them - which is another aspect of food Nate really enjoys - spicy.
They were quite easy to make and were really good.
We have renamed them around our house Nate's Beef Sates. :)

We did not use any of the ideas for serving them but I included one of the ideas, if you want the others check out the book.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Lemongrass Beef Sates

Recipe By: Steven Raichlen
Serving Size: 8
Categories: Main Dish

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 stalks lemongrass * - trimmed & finely chopped (1/3 cup), leaves reserved
3 cloves garlic -- coarsely chopped
2 large jalapeno pepper -- seeded and chopped **
1/4 cup cilantro -- fresh and chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons corriander -- ground
1/3 cup soy sauce ***
1/4 cup lime juice
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds flank steak

  • Prepare the marinade: combine the lemongrass, garlic, chiles, cilantro, and brown sugar in a mortar or food processor and pound with the pestle or process to a coarse paste. Work in the coriander, soy sauce, lime juice and 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Score and then slice the flank steak crosswise into long thin strips and thread the strips onto skewers. Arrange the skewers in a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the beef and let marinate for 30 minutes, turning the skewers to ensure even seasoning.
  • Make a basting brush from the reserved lemongrass leaves.
  • Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill gate. Arrange the sates on the grill so that the meat is over the fire and the exposed skewers are away from the heat. Grill the beef, basting with the remaining oil, using the lemongrass brush, until cooked. 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Arrange the sates on ta platter or banana leaf and sprinkle with the peanuts and cilantro.


1/4 cup coarsely chopped fry - roasted peanuts and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Source:
"How to Grill"
Copyright:
"2001"
Yield:
"36 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 253 Calories; 16g Fat (56.0% calories from fat); 18g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 43mg Cholesterol; 750mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES:

You can use these as a light meal and thsi would serve 4.
If used as an appetizer this will serve 6 - 8

* 2 -3 stalks of lemongrass - it is up to you

**You can use 1 -3 Thai chiles or jalapeno peppers - Nate used 2 jalapeno peppers.

*** You can use either soy sauce or fish sauce.


Won't be long now...



Won't be much longer now until we have some fresh veggies!

I'm looking forward to fresh green beans and cherry tomatoes which should be here in the next few weeks.

Nothing like fresh grown veggies.



A drive thru at a festival ?!

I was totally floored today when I noticed a drive thru at the Greek Festival we attended.

A drive thru.

Seriously.

You could pull up on a side road by the festival and have the option of ordering some items from a limited menu.

Where is the fun in trying to find that parking spot, seeing/hearing the music and festivities offered, getting some exercise in by walking and yes, eating all the wonderful food?

I can understand (sort of) trying to appeal to everyone but this just seems so odd.

Really.

A drive thru...

It is going to take me some time to get used to this idea.

Happy National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day




Mmm...there is nothing like the scent of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

I mean, really, go and enjoy a few chocolate chip cookies today.


Mars Chocolate Relief Act - Freebie



I was able to get mine this morning, did you?!

This is the scoop.

Every Friday morning from now until September 25th go to RealChocolate.com and the first 250,000 people who register from 9 am - 11:50 EST will receive a free coupon for a free, full size Mars chocolate bar of your choice!

Now.. that might be a Snickers bar, Dove bar, Twix, M&M's... it is all up to you

Sweet!

Now you might not get in the first time (I didn't) but keep trying (I did) and you may just be rewarded with a sweet chocolate treat. *grin*

You can even sign up for a reminder to try the following weeks.

One coupon per week, per person and the coupon will be mailed to you.


Go on, get over there and see if you can get yours!


How creative..

This has been a long school week since it is the week the kiddos take the state PASS test.
I was busy getting dishes put away and getting some items around to make a loaf of soap.
Nate was busy playing WOW and did not want to be bothered by his brother.
So...
A few sheets of paper and a roll of tape this is what he created. ")
Spencer made a shield, dagger, and armor for his legs/face.
I asked what prompted this spurt of creativity and he replied, " boredom."
Alrighty..

(I still think it is pretty neat.)

Me... Problem?!

I always thought I may have a tiny bit of a problem with crafts but now it would appear it is true.

You see I looked at this list (see below) and *shuffles foot* I could mark off eight of them.

Ah well, I guess it could be worse.

Now, I need to quietly put those new fragrance oils away before they are found.

*wink*

10. Your interests range from jewelry making to knitting to painting and you love them all equally.

9. When you refer to your craft room, you're talking about the dining room, hallway closet, living room, under your bed, the boxes in the guest bedroom, and the bookshelf in the den.

8. You have three different projects currently going and two projects that you're saving for later in your craft bin.

7. You can't stop thinking up new crafty ideas. You even dream about them. Your husband says you call out "Michael's" in your sleep.

6. You save the scraps from every project, because you never know if you'll need that one inch scrap of lace for something else. When you save that scrap, you start thinking up another idea almost immediately and can't wait to try it.

5. There are piles of magazines in your house from ten years ago that you've saved and plan to one day use to decoupage gifts.

4. You hide craft supply purchases from your significant other.

3. Your family rolls their eyes when you start yet another project, but they love you anyway.

2. Your car could drive to every craft store in town on auto-pilot.

and the number one sign that you may have Craft ADD:

1. You know the names, birthdays and family histories of all of the employees at Michael's, Jo-Ann's, A.C. Moore, and Hobby Lobby.


Thanks to the list posted here.



Almond Lemon Poppy Seed Cake - Recipe

Last week was one of those weeks were I just wanted to keep trying some new recipes.
This recipe was one that was just calling me.
It is lower in calories (yeah, really) and it is out of this world good!
I created it to have some treats in the freezer for when I want something sweet for either a dessert or breakfast. 
This really does fit the bill for a great cake.
                     
* Exported from MasterCook *

                          Almond Poppy Seed Cake

Recipe By: Shirley Durbin
Serving Size : 18  
Preparation Time :0:00
Categories: Desserts

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1 3/4      cups  sugar
  2            large  egg
     1/2      cup  applesauce, unsweetened
     1/3      cup  canola oil
  1 1/2      cups  milk, skim
  1 1/2      teaspoons  almond extract
  1            teaspoon  butter flavoring
  1 1/2      cups  cake flour
  1 1/2      cups  all-purpose flour
  3 1/2      tablespoons  baking powder
     1/2      teaspoon  salt
  2            tablespoons  poppy seeds
          
3/4      cup  confectioner's sugar
 1        tablespoon  orange juice
1/2      teaspoon  almond extract
1/2      teaspoon  vanilla extract
1/2      teaspoon  butter flavoring

  1. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, applesauce, and oil until well blended. Beat in the milk, extracts and butter flavoring. Combine the flours, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into sugar mixture until blended. Stir in poppy seeds.
  2. Transfer into a 10 inch fluted tube pan coated with cooking spray.
  3. Bake 350 for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients until smooth.
  6. Drizzle over cake.

Source:
  "Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine"
Copyright:
  "March 2009"
Yield:
  "18 "
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 228 Calories; 5g Fat (20.6% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 42g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 24mg Cholesterol; 363mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Serving Ideas:
  • Wonderful with fresh strawberries on the side.

NOTES: 
  • Excellent cake.
  • Place a piece of wax paper under the cake (on cooling rack) to catch the extra glaze that drips off; easy clean up!

Kids & Sports & Parents...

The soccer season is now over for Spencer, he had a soccer tournament game this past Saturday.
There were cheers, and chats for children of all ages who were playing to see who would move on to the championship game.
I am a mom who does cheer on her son and those on his team.
We will share where he could try some thing new or how to improve but let it drop after that.
At that point it is up to him (Spencer) to do with the information as he sees fit.

The game on Saturday was one that really made me wonder about some parents with children playing sports.

Dh and I sat down at one end of the field where the other team was defending their goal.
It was just beyond me to hear some of the words that were said from one parent to his son on the opposing team.
Seriously.
It reduced his son to tears.
Why?
He had let in four goals.
Their team had been up 5 - 0 and was furious that he was not putting more hustle into his effort to stop the ball.
Then when the last goal went in to tie the game, when his son turned around to get the ball he made his hand into a shape of a gun, pointed it at him and well...
You know it is simply a game.
These kids are doing it for fun, it is rec soccer, not a traveling team, not high school.
I felt for this child, he was doing his best but no matter how hard he tried it was simply not good enough for his dad.
*IMHO* I see many parents living through their children who are playing sports.
Why not let their child enjoy themselves and encourage them without putting them down at the same time?

Take a knee; I think you can gather what it means.
When a player is injured you go down on one knee until they get up and are either walked off or join back in the game.
Simple enough.
Basic sportsmanship.
Apparently, not for some children.
One of our players was hit straight on in the face by a ball from a kick and he went down.
The players all dropped down but one.
No matter who told him to show respect he refused.
The other coach did nothing.
I was and still am in some aspects still shocked that this happened.
What has happened to being considerate?

This past season has made me really take a step back and see what is happening around.
I'm not liking what I see happening.

I know, that it was a bit of an odd post for me but it really bugged me.
What do you think?
What have you noticed?

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