Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Link it up Wednesday #18

Another week has come and gone and we were left with a bunch of great ideas once again.
Thanks for linking up each week!!

Our most viewed link from last week was:
Bathroom Makeover by Polka Dots on Parade found here

And now for some of our top picks...

Electrical Spool Table by Social Salutations found here

Pina Colada Dip by Life's Simple Measures found here

Yummy Taco Lasagna by 21 Rosemary Lane found here

Cake Batter Popcorn by Mrs. Schwartz's Kitchen found here

Loving Your Man When It Hurts Series by Inspired by Family Magazine found here

Stairwell Wainscoting by Forever Decorating found here


Duct Tape...The Miracle Worker?

Last year my oldest got a wart.   I can't tell you how grossed out I am by warts.  They creep me out and make me shutter.  So naturally when my boys each got warts (yes they each got 2) I was mortified. 

So I did what any mortifed person would do and I spent the moolah and bought those expensive wart remover kits at the store.  I used them religiously and burned those bad boys twice a day.  And guess what?  I thought we had killed them and BAM out of no where those pesky warts reappeared a few days later. 

The longer those warts were there the harder and more resistant they became to those burners.
Finally after months of buying and rebuying those pricey kits I remembered something I had heard as a kid.  That duct tape will kill those warts. 

I figured at this point that it wasn't going to hurt to try.  Plus duct tape was a whole lot cheaper than those kits and would last much longer.  And if I was feeling really creative I could make myself an outift out of the duct tape later :)

So I began wrapping those warts every day.  My oldest was good to leave the duct tape on all day and within a few weeks both of the warts were gone forever.  My other boy was more picky and would only have the duct tape on during night time so his took a little longer but after a month of duct taping every night his too went away. 

In fact during this time my oldest got stitches in his chin and while the doc was stitching him up he noticed the duct tape on his fingers and asked about it and I told him we were getting rid of warts and he told me that he had heard that worked good.  So I took that as a doctors endorsement :)

So as a service to you I will save you the expense of buying those kits or even paying to go see a doctor.  Just buy yourself a cheap pack of duct tape and wrap those warts as often as possible and I promise within a few weeks those babies will be gone.  And if you want to speed the process up I took a nail file and filed the dead skin off every few days. 

And I must make it be known that this post has been in the works for weeks and of course a few days before it was scheduled to be posted there was an article on Yahoo News about duct tape and warts.  I promise this was written before then:)

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Monday, February 27, 2012

TIME to Fill in the Blanks!

My daughter started to redecorate her room when she was home for a break and was bored...but she left for college again before she finished it.  I’ve now taken it over as my office since she’s not here, and I quite like her walls, except for one thing... 

...This wall isn’t finished. 

She has the clocks set for different places and the framed prints of cool buildings she likes (she’s an architecture major), but she never wrote whatever quote she had in her mind in the two middle pieces.  I think it was something about being timeless (hmmm?)  She probably told me what she meant it to say, but I’m in my 40’s and my memory isn’t what it used to be. 

Every time I sit down to work or write, I look at that wall and wonder what it’s supposed to say.   Is it saying....?

Time Out!
Time to Get to Work, Lazy.
Time never stops...so why are You?
Buildings are Timeless, until they fall down on you in an earthquake.
Once upon a Time...The End.

What should be written there?  My mind taunts me to fill in the blanks, but some of my ideas just make me mad and I find myself sticking my tongue out at that wall and saying, “Neener, neener, neener!” 

I guess I could stop writing this post right now and call my daughter and solve the riddle that haunts my working hours, but what would be the fun of that?  She’d tell me, and that would be the end.  Too easy.

As I visit many of your blogs each week to choose my pick for the linky party, I’m amazed by all the creativity buzzing around out there.  Back in my 20’s and 30’s, I had a lot of that stuff too (but it wasn’t so cool back then and nobody blogged about it).  Now that it’s cool, creativity has left me, but that’s all right...because there is enough of it out there with you all to make up for what I lack now.

I’m opening my question up to all of you to get your ideas on what my daughter could write on these frames to finish her wall.  Truthfully, she’s home so little, that I wonder if it will ever get done...but if I get some good ideas, then at least when I look at that blank space, I can fill it in with one of your uplifting quotes, rather than my nagging thoughts that make me want to throw something at it.    

So...all you creative people out there...help me FILL IN THE BLANKS! 

What would you write in these frames if this was YOUR room?     

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Sewing Table Makeover

I am not a seamstress...yet anyway!!  I just got a sewing machine from my hubby for Christmas and with my OCD personality--I needed a place to sew before I could actually start using it!!  I know that doesn't really make sense but that's just me.  Anyway, I found this beauty of a piece on craigslist and just had to get it for my newest hobby.  Once I got my hands on it I realized just how old and worn-out my precious new sewing table really was.  'This calls for a makeover' I thought to myself.  I see all of you super creative gals out there refurbishing old furniture and decided to throw my hat into the 'makeover' ring as well--even though I didn't know a thing about it.  This is where searching the Internet comes in handy.  So, here is a step-by-step project from a super newbie of a DIYer--

I didn't get a great BEFORE pic (I am already showing my novice-ness aren't I ?) but I did get a picture of it as we were sanding it.  It definitely needed a good sanding--it had a ton of nicks and scratches all over it--plus the sanding helps the new paint stick better.
Yes, my cute hubby is sanding this puppy for me!!  He's the best!
After sanding it and wiping it down, I started with the paint.  I used some black paint from Home Depot.
The coolest feature about my new table (the reason I fell in love with it in the first place) is the latch on top.  It opens up to hold my sewing machine--isn't that just sooo cool??
I put a couple of coats on--JUST TO BE SURE!  Then I had a vision of what I wanted to do next.  I love it when I have a vision of a project--it gets me very excited!  So, I painted the top white instead of black.
And here is where the real fun and tedious work comes in to play.  I found this stencil online at thecsiproject.com.  There was an awesome tutorial there with this free stencil printable.  You should go and check it out here.  Anyway, I printed out the stencil and started cutting it with a exact-o-knife.  I'm not going to lie--this took some time, but it was exactly what I wanted so I stayed strong!
After cutting 3 printed pages of my quatrefoil I started painting.  I taped my stencil into place and used a sponge dauber to apply my paint.  Then, after I was all done and it all dried I had some touch-ups to do.  This was also slow-going and a bit tedious but my vision was coming together and there's nothing better than that.  Plus, my husband and boys just kept walking over and telling me how awesome it looked.  Anytime my spirits started to lag a little they helped me keep my chin up!  Love my FAMILY!! But before I could officially say I was all done, I had to spray it with a sealant to keep the color vibrant and to avoid chipping or anything else like that that would just devastate me after all this hard work!   I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how it turned out.  It looks perfect in my crafty room and was totally worth all the time and energy I put into it.  Check out my homemade stencil job--Not too bad for a newbie huh??
And look how perfectly my sewing machine and thread fit inside.  I LOVE IT!
I think I'm hooked.  Now I just need to find a cute chair to 'redo' to go along with it.  The search is on. 
I also can't wait to use my machine and make some of the super cute stuff that is out there.  I am always seeing how creative and amazing everyone is out in the blogging world and now I can start doing some of those amazing sewing projects that I am always swooning over.  YAY!!  LET THE SEWING BEGIN!!
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chicken Toes

A recipe that my whole family loves is one from Rachael Ray called Chicken Toes.  These are just glorified chicken nuggets but they are actually tasty and composed of real chicken rather than whatever that is you can buy at a restaurant or at the store.  My kids ask for these all the time.  Throw these on the table with a spinach smoothie as a drink and you almost have a healthy meal.

Chicken Toes
In a shallow dish, mix together:
1 cup corn flakes, crushed
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice

Drizzle about 3 tbsp vegetable oil evenly over breading, tossing and turning to mix oil through mixture.  Cut chicken into 2 inch pieces.  Turn chicken in 1/3 cup flour, 2 beaten eggs, and then in breading.  Arrange toes on nonstick baking sheet.  Bake at 375 F for 15 min. till crisp and brown all over.

Dipping sauce idea:
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream

Now for the deets:  I always use panko bread crumbs instead of plain bread crumbs.  If you haven't tried panko before, they're a real treat and they add a nice crunch to your breading.  The allspice is the secret ingredient.  Don't leave it out - it makes these taste so yummy and refined.

Instead of vegetable oil, I use olive oil (not really for health reasons but because I bought a huge jug of it at Sam's and it's closer to my stove than the vegetable oil is.

Also, if you make these by yourself, plan on it taking some time and making your fingers a disastrous mess.  Assembly line style is the only way to go.  I always have one kid on flour duty, one on egg, and me on the breading.  It goes so much faster this way and makes so much less mess.

It can be done solo but it is a pain and I don't enjoy suffering by myself.  And the 15 minutes makes these perfect every time.  At least in my oven.  Just be warned that once you start making these, the kids will ask for these repeatedly.  I do feel way better about serving these up than those overprocessed bits and pieces of something or other you get at the store.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Link it up Wednesday #17

I can't believe that we have been doing these linky parties for 17 weeks.  It seems like just yesterday when we decided to start these parties and now here we are 17 weeks later.  We cannot say thank you enough for making each and every linky party a success. 

Here is our most viewed link from last week:
Monster Cookie Dough Truffles by SOMETHING SWANKY found here

And here are our favorites:

The Invisible Mom by 21 ROSEMARY LANE found here

Frozen Hot Chocolate by ONCE A MOM ALWAYS A COOK found here

Whatchamacallit Blondies by BRU CREW LIFE found here

Favorite Fabric Shops by KADYDID DESIGNS found here

Chocolate Cherry Napoleons by GALLEY KITCHEN found here

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Getting White Marks Off Your Table

About a year ago I was enjoying a nice bowl of oatmeal.  I had put it on top of a dish towel while I ate it at the table (I didn't want to put the hot bowl directly on the table).  To my horror when I finished my bowl of oatmeal there was a silver dollar sized white spot on my table.  I quickly tried wiping it away and it just didn't go away.  For the next 2 weeks I would work on that stupid spot.  But alas nothing changed.  I finally admitted defeat and had to come to terms with the fact that I had just defaced our beautiful dining table. 
Fast forward to last night.  My husband and I had just enjoyed some yummy, hot soup.  My hubby had warmed his soup up in the microwave and then placed it on top of a paper towel.  Of course when he finished eating he picked his bowl up and to his horror there was a large white mark. 
As fate would have it, I had just seen on Pinterest (don't you love that site:) a tip for getting white spots off your table.  I hadn't tried it out yet on my other white spot so when I saw that my husband had left a white spot on the table I told him to try this method. 
This method comes from here from the Little Green Notebook. Its so simple and very effective. 

First you take a dish towel or cloth napkin and get it damp. 

Then you place it over the white spot.

Heat an iron on medium heat and iron over the towel/napkin.  Make sure to never stop moving the iron. 

Do a few quick strokes with the iron and WAH LA.  The white spot will disappear. 

There is a scientific reason as to why this works and if you want to know it then click the above link.  I frankly didn't care for why it worked.  All I cared about was that it worked.  It worked on our fresh white spot and our year old spot.   Unforunately I was so excited that it actually worked that I didn't take any before or after pictures but just trust me on this. 

So if you have pesky white spots on your table try this easy and effective method.  It will transform your table into that perfect table she used to be:)

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Monday, February 20, 2012

10 Healthy Snacks for Kids

{Today we are privileged to have a guest post written by a school teacher.}

It’s never too early to get your child to eat healthy food. But how can you convince them to eat fruits and veggies when their friends are eating cookies and potato chips? Here are 10 snacks that are healthy and fun that they’re sure to love!

1. Cheese - Cheese is full of protein that will keep your kids going until dinner. Cheese cubes are easy to pack and bite-sized. For even more fun, use a cookie cutter to make cheese slices into fun shapes.

2. Fruit - Kids love fruit for its bright colors and natural sugar content. Many fruits like blueberries and strawberries also contain antioxidants that support your kids’ immune systems. Almost any fruit is great on its own or combined with cheese, yogurt, or peanut butter.
3. Peanut Butter - You may already put peanut butter in your kids’ sandwiches, but it’s also a fun dip for fruit and crackers. Peanut butter has lots of protein and fiber that will keep them from getting hungry later.

4. Healthy Baked Goods - Kids won’t notice if you sneak fruit or vegetables into a yummy muffin or cake, and they’ll be getting lots of nutrients. Try banana bread, zucchini muffins, or mini carrot cakes – there are endless recipes online.

5. Yogurt - Low-fat yogurt is a great source of calcium and protein, and it can be even better with granola and fruit. Mini yogurt cups and products like GoGurt are even made especially for kids’ lunches.

6. Sweet Potato Chips - These are the perfect alternative to potato chips – they have vitamin A, B6, C and folate and they also generally contain less grease and salt. Kids also love their sweet taste and crunchy texture.

7. Hummus - Hummus is made from chickpeas, which contain vitamin B6, iron, and folate. It works well as a dip for crackers or bite-sized vegetables like celery and baby carrots.

8. Raisins/Dried fruit - Raisins contain lots of good things including fiber, potassium, and vitamins. Even if your kids don’t like raisins, you could try a number of other dried fruit products like Craisins (dried cranberries) or banana chips.
9. Snack Mix - Save money by making your own snack mix with all the bite-sized ingredients your kids love. Nuts, pretzels, whole grain cereal, dried fruit, and popcorn contain lots of vitamins and minerals, along with a variety of flavors to add some fun to your child’s lunchbox.

10. Oatmeal Cookies - Instead of chocolate chip cookies, try baking low-fat oatmeal cookies to give your kids a healthy sweet snack. You can put a variety of tasty surprises in them, including raisins, other dried fruit, and nuts. You could even bake them with your child on the weekend so that he or she has something to show off at lunchtime.

Jan Pierce is a 4th grade teacher who has over 20 years of experience in the classroom. She also owns the site <ahref=http://www.elementaryeducationdegree.com>Elementary Education Degree</a> for students interested in earning a degree in elementary education.


Friday, February 17, 2012

We have a WINNER!!!

Thanks to all of you who have entered our sisters giveaway. 

It is now time to choose our lucky winner.  Thanks to random.org for making this easy on us.  And now drum roll please......


Our lucky winner is comment #2 who is.....


Please email us Christa at junkintheirtrunk@yahoo.com so we can get your prize to you. 

Thanks again for entering our giveaway. 

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A Bitter Rant...

Today I guess I can only describe how I am feeling as bitter.  So if you don't want to read some bitter ramblings from a jaded cynic, please close your browser now...  You've been warned.

A dear friend of mine passed away on Sunday night after a 10 month bout with ovarian cancer.  She is an amazing person and every day was just better because she was here.  She simply made the world a nicer place to be.  She is good and kind and patient and generous and I loved being around her and spending time with her.  I'm sure there was many a time when she wished I would leave but she always made it so comfortable and enjoyable to be around her that I would always overstay my welcome.  She was always there for me when I needed a listening ear or a sounding board or a shoulder to cry on.

Now she is gone and the world feels a bit darker for her not being here.  I have struggled with my emotions all week and I can only say that it has really gotten under my skin that every time I turn on the TV or radio or Internet, all I can hear about or listen to is Whitney Houston this and that.  It is really hard to lose someone you love who was good and kind and truly made the world a better place but the only thing the media can focus on is someone who died who, to be honest, was somewhat of a waste of skin (yes, I do realize that is judgmental; sue me).

I know that Whitney Houston was a child of God too but come on already.  I'm sick to my eyeballs of having to hear about her death and wonder whether or not she OD'd or not (like that's really in question) and see people who probably had never been within 500 miles of her holding candlelight vigils and weeping openly in the streets for someone who quite frankly didn't make a hill of beans difference to the betterment of mankind.  It's no secret that I not only don't subscribe to any form of celebrity worship, but I simply don't give a rat's rear end for any of them.  It's terribly obscene that our society can put so much unearned emphasis on the life of someone who did so little for others when truly good and amazing people also die every single day and they don't even get a mention on the nightly news let alone years of constant haranguing on the subject (you know who you are, cough cough, Michael Jackson, Princess Di). 

I will attend the funeral of my dear friend today and I will shed tears for years to come for a life that was cut too short.  But besides those of us who knew and loved her, you will never hear about her on Newsline, no one will twitter about her death, or rally the cry for more funding for ovarian cancer research.  She died like she lived - quietly and with honor and dignity.  If you are party to the process that allows so much attention to be focused on celebrity, please take a moment to reflect on those in your life that truly did make a difference to you and the world, who truly "passed on" a legacy worth remembering and fawning over. 

I'll miss you, Karleen!

And this is in memory of my Grandpa who would have been 106 today.  He would always sing this song to us and I loved to hear him sing it.  It was a nice melancholy tune that must have resonated with my innate cynicism.  Now, after seeing the words in print, I realize how sad the song really was.  Just seeing the words make me miss my Grandpa who was another wonderful person you've never heard about from the news.  Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

Babes in the Woods
My friends, have you heard, how a long time ago,
Two little children whose names I don't know,
Were stolen away on a bright summer's day,
And left in the woods, I've heard people say.

And when it was night, so sad was their plight,
The sun went down, and the moon gave no light,
They sobbed and they sighed, and they bitterly cried,
Then the poor little things, they laid down and died.

And when they were dead, the robins so red,
Brought strawberry leaves and over them spread,
And all the night long, the branches among,
They mourned as they whistled, and this was their song....

Poor babes in the woods,
Poor babes in the woods,
Oh don't you remember
Poor babes in the woods.


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