Sunday, July 22, 2012

FCAP Scavenger Hunt {June/July}

This time around the FCAP Scavenger Hunt was June and July combined because of how busy folks get during the summer.  I only did 9 of the 10 categories ... I just wasn't feeling inspired.  Maybe because of the dreadfully hot, dry summer that we are having ... I'm just too drained.  I don't know.  Here are my 9 entries!







Ice Cream (for some reason, no matter what I do, this photo refuses to stay rotated)


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Marble Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I made this recipe using the Better Homes and Gardens recipe as a "base".  I will denote any changes or additions with an asterisk *.


2c AP Flour *unbleached
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
1/4t salt
2 beaten eggs *locally raised without antibiotics or hormones
1 1/2 c mashed bananas (approx. 5)
1c *real sugar
1/2c cooking oil or melted butter *suggest butter or coconut oil
*1/2c mini chocolate chips
*1/4 cocoa powder

Make it:

  1. Combine first 6 ingredients, make a well in the center and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl combine eggs, bananas, sugar and oil or butter.  Add all at once to the dry ingredients and stir until just moist (batter will be lumpy).
  3. *Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  4. *In a separate bowl, combine 2c of batter with 1/4c cocoa powder.
  5. *Pour first batter into a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan.  Top with the chocolate batter and gently swirl with a knife or skewer.  Be careful not to mix, just swirl.
  6. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.  At the end of the cook time, you can cover the bread with foil to prevent over browning.
  7. *Mine actually took about an hour and a half and I covered it with foil for the last half hour.
  8. Allow pan to cool on wire rack before removing bread.
  9. *They suggest wrapping and letting it set overnight before slicing it, but we wanted ours warm so I waited until it was cool enough to handle it with bare hands :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Creative Food: One Year Blogiversary and an EasyLunchbox Giveaway...

 Check out the giveaway going on at Creative Food!  She is celebrating her one year blogiversary!

Creative Food: One Year Blogiversary and an EasyLunchbox Giveaway...: Today marks my one year blogiversary! I cannot believe I have been blogging for one year! It has been a wonderful year!  I have enjoye...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pamper Yourself {Part I}

This is the first post in what will be a series of at home spa treatments.  I plan to try some various treatments that I have found and then share with you my results.  Today I have 2 items to share with you.


According to Benefits of Honey, honey has wonderful healing properties for your skin.  I have seen reports and comments about this for years, and I notice that a lot of skin products have honey in them.
  • Honey is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs moisture from the air.  It helps hydrate your skin, it holds in the moisture.
  • Honey is antibacterial.  When applied to the skin, it inhibits the growth of bacterias.
  • Honey has antioxidants that help destroy free radicals and encourage rejuvenation of tissues.
Benefits of Honey has a page of several honey skin treatments HERE.  I did not try those recipes, but they very easy and luxurious.  What I did was a little different.  I read a comment by a skin care professional on a blog.  I can not find it back, but she said to apply a dab of honey to acne, cover with a band-aid and leave it on over night.  My ruling on this is ... It Worked!  I have an irritated spot on my chin (it was likely infected) and in the morning when I woke up the swelling and soreness had reduce radically!  It is almost completely cleared.


Over at Confessions of a Wisconsin Housewife I found a home microdermabrasion treatment that was simple and quick ... and most importantly inexpensive.   She says that she uses this treatment once a week and it leaves her with beautiful, glowing skin.  Since it was so simple, I decided to give it a try.  Her recipe is:

3 TBSP baking soda
1 TBSP water

mix well, apply to face in circular motion, let sit 5 minutes, rinse with warm water.

I found that the amounts were too much, I ended up with TONS left over.  Next time I will probably half the recipe.  My ruling on this ... Inconclusive.  At first when I washed it off, my skin felt yucky.  Then I remembered that other microdermabrasion treatments say that you moisturize immediately after washing the treatment off.  I pull out my favorite moisturizer from BeautiControl and applied according to product label.  After about 5 minutes, my skin felt amazingly soft and smooth!  I think that if I continue to do the treatment once a week, as the author suggests, I will begin to see great results.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Book Sling ... A Pinterest Success Story

Having two girls sharing one room means that there is not much "play space" after you set up two beds and all the toys.  I had a book shelf set up, but when I saw this on Pinterest I thought I could free up some floor space by making these.  I found a GREAT tutorial for it at Penny Carnival.  Rather than re-writing it ... I will show you my pictures of the process along with general steps written out.

Fold fabric in half (right sides together), iron and then sew along edges leaving a small spot where you can turn it right side out.  I added top stitching for a finished look.
Sew a 2" pocket in the long sides.

I used a 3/4" dowel and a 5/8" dowel because that's what fit the brackets that I chose.

It doesn't hold as many books as I hoped it would, but it sure is cute!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Light Up the Sky

This was my first year photographing fireworks and sort of knowing how to do it right.  I think my pics turned out pretty good considering my camera is broken.  Long story ... Anyway, I was hoping to get some of the landscape in the pics too, but the location that we were at did not offer anything appealing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Toy Jail

The idea of a "toy jail" is not new to me.  When I worked in a daycare, we used it a lot when the children would fight over specific toys.  We had a milk crate that sat on a shelf, when the kids fought over a toy it went into jail for an allotted amount of time.  I also have friends who have used this idea with their kids for a long time, too.  I saw a creative spin on the toy jail at Saving Makes Cents.  She calls it a Ransom Box ... the children pay a ransom (do a chore) to get the toy back.  Here is a link to Her Idea.  The poem is credited to Just Another Day in Paradise.

Now, I'm going to share my take on the idea along with a downloadable printout to put on your bin.
My bin :)

  1. First, get an empty storage bin to use for your jail.  I like a clear one so that they can see what's in it.
  2. Then Print out the label and chore list.  
  3. Cut a slit in the label just above where it says "choose a chore".  
  4. Tape a piece of paper to the back so that it becomes a pocket.  
  5. Cut the chore list into strips and place them into the pocket.  
TIP :  You may want to laminate or cover them with clear contact paper.

Choose your bin label from the formats below.  Click on it to enlarge the photo then right click to save to your computer.



Now for the chore list!