Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday: The Truth about Mean Girls


Now, I do wonder if there is any kind of meaning in this.... after all, these 'mean girls' (Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried) sure seem to be some pretty hot heartthrob actresses.....and Lindsay Lohan isn't really doing so hot, so.....

(PS to my followers- I am sorry I have not posted for a few weeks- I am in the early throes of some pretty intense morning sickness these days.... but I hope to be back up and running soon!)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday: PIMP "Perfectly Incredible Mashed Potatoes"

Why be a pimp when you can make PIMP instead? Perfectly Incredible Mashed Potatoes, that is. You can also call these the best mashed potatoes ever- or the most creamy mashed potatoes ever... Basically these mashed potatoes are

*incredibly delicious
*practically negative nutritional value

You can use this as a reward for yourself- or to impress cranky old relatives at family parties.

Ingredients
*4 peeled, diced raw potatoes
*4 tb butter
*4 tb cream cheese
*6 tb sour cream
*dash garlic powder
*salt/pepper to taste

Once you have the ingredients, the how-to is pretty easy.

-Boil diced potatoes in salt water

-While potatoes are boiling, put the butter, cream cheese, and sour cream into a separate bowl

-Once potatoes are ccompletely mashable and soft, drain the water and put the potatoes into your bowl with the butter, cream cheese, and sour cream, then mash, mash, mash

-Season with garlic powder and salt/pepper to taste

Add cheese or gravy to finish them and then enjoy! You won't be able to go back to normal mashed potatoes every again!


Mmm... Chicken Gravy....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday: How to Store Fruits/Veggies: Which Need Refrigeration and Which DON'T

Be prepared to be shocked. And AWED. At the fruits and veggies that actually DON'T need to be refrigerated! Ok, you won't be shocked and awed. Probably. But still, this is a handy list for anyone that buys or eats fruits and veggies.

*As a general rule, once any fruit/veggie has been cut open, you'll need to refrigerate it. Until then, however, MANY can be left out.




**Until ripe. Once ripe, refrigerate to slow aging.
Fruits Requiring Refrigeration
Fruits that Do NOT Require Refrigeration
Strawberries
Avocados**
Blackberries
Melons
Raspberries
Peaches**
Grapes
Apricots**
Blueberries
Nectarines**
Cherries
Apples
Huckleberries
Plums**

Persimmons

Pears

Bananas

Tomatoes**

Mangoes

Pineapples

Clementines**

Kiwis**

Lemons

Limes

Pomegranates












**Until ripe. Once ripe, refrigerate to slow aging.
Vegetables Requiring Refrigeration
Vegetables that Do NOT Require Refrigeration
Leafy vegetables (arugula, lettuce, spinach, etc.)
Tomatoes**
Broccoli
Onions
Peas
Garlic
Beans (black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, etc.)
Potatoes
Green beans
Winter squashes (butternut and acorn)
Asparagus (best stored in a plastic bag filled with water)
Chilies
Leeks
Corn**
Radish
Cabbage

Celery

Carrots

Ginger

Jicama

Sweet potatoes

Yams

BONUS!!

Need to ripen a fruit or vegetable? Put it in a paper bag with a banana. Bananas give off a gas that causes fruits and veggies to ripen more quickly. Knowing that, keep them way from your ripe fruits and veggies!

DOUBLE BONUS!!

To slow down the ripening of avocados, honeydews, or cantaloupes, put them in the refrigerator until 24 hours before you want to use them.



Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday: Don't be a Frumpy Mom!

Sometimes I see women without children -makeup perfectly applied, hair expertly styled, manicured toes, dressed stylishly with coordinating accessories- and I envy them. I remember when I was once stylish and well put together, but being a 'well put together mom' feels like an oxymoron now. If I can get out the door with my baby wearing something clean and my own teeth brushed, I feel like I've accomplished something.

Much as I want to spend an hour (perhaps two?) getting ready each morning and look impeccable when I leave my home, with a baby, it's really not possible (not to mention a bout of morning sickness to add to my woes).

BUT.

That DOES NOT mean that I, NOR YOU, need to be a frumpy mom.

Frumpy Momˈfrəm-pē ˈməm: Someone who uses the excuse of being a busy mother to justify lazy and poorly put together outfits. Some examples include 'mom jeans', sweats with flip flops, and the eternal ponytail.

Fortunately, keeping yourself away from being a frumpy mom doesn't have to take hours to do! In fact, while you may never be quite as stylish and fashionable as you were as a single 20's something, you CAN maintain style without compromising your limited time.


Frumpy Mom
Chic Mom


Flip Flops
You throw on any old pair because they are comfortable and easy
Flats
As easy and comfortable to wear as flip flops, a pair of flats can make your outfit look more thought out (even if it wasn’t!)

Pony Tails
Yes, they are easy to do- but don’t show any real style (though it is better than not doing anything with your hair…)
Buns
Use a few bobby pins or an extra pony tail holder to transform your pony tail into a bun. Only a few seconds longer to get ready, but it will make a world of difference in how you feel looking into the mirror.
Hats
A bolo or wide floppy brimmed hat are easy ways to cover your ridiculous hair and, rather than take away from your style, ADD to your suave-ness.



T-shirt and Jeans
It’s a classic- and can look amazing- but too often, we moms (I’m guilty, too!) wear any old shirt and jeans KNOWING it does nothing for your figure
Hanging Necklace and Sweater
Add a light sweater and a long necklace to your t-shirt and jeans and suddenly, you have an adorable coordinated outfit. With minimal effort!


Sweats/Pajamas
Eeek! You’ll only feel comfortable as Wal Mart past midnight in something like this….
Maxi Skirt/Dress

So, play it up in a maxi skirt or dress instead! Just as comfortable (if not MORE comfy) than your jammies, you can do all of your mom duties in a maxi dress but look perfectly stylish the whole time.


The options!

Shapeless Dresses
The lack of shape makes them comfy to wear and easy to pull on, but trust me: Doing you NO favors. Instead?
Long Necklace and Mini Belt
Throw on the shapeless dress- but add a long necklace to draw the eye up and a mini belt around your natural waist to break up the dress and give you’re a more slender figure.



No Makeup?
We’ve all done it. Perhaps more than we’d like to admit.
The Basics
The basic-basics take less than 30 seconds but absolutely changes the way you look and feel.
*apply blush lightly to cheekbones and then brush over eyelids
*one light, swift coating of mascara on the top lashes only
*lip gloss
Will it look as amazing as a fully done face of makeup? No. But is it a vast improvement over nothing? Hands down.




NOTHING to Wear!
This is my biggest challenge personally. I wake up, have a crazy morning, need to run out the door, and have just no idea of what to wear.
Treat Yourself Like a Kid
How often have you set out clothing for your child for the next day? Or set together outfits for vacation all read to go? Maybe even in a Ziploc bag? Make your OWN life easier- the night before, put together an outfit on your dresser, so that the next morning, all you have to do is put it on. You can even do a week’s worth of outfits and lay them out so everyday, it’s as easy to wear a stylish outfit as it would be to just roll out in your scrubs.

Just pretend you're your own Pinterest and actually SET OUT those outfits you're always pinning...

In the end, it just takes a few moments of preparation before you walk out the door- and I feel like it is totally worth it. I never want my husband to even THINK that I've "let myself go" since getting married... Plus, you don't want to run into an ex looking like a frumpy mom, am I right?

New to mom-ing? Check out 5 Tips for First Time Moms.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wednesday: Dachshund Puppy Nibbles

I always have to put baby puppy pics... cause my hubby loves puppies. They are all for him

Wednesday: SO Punny

Did you make that pun on porpoise? The punnier the better.....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday: How to Use Herbs/Spices for Home Remedies

I think it is fascinating how the spices and seasonings we typically only think of for cooking can be used as natural home remedies for various illnesses. Next time your aren't feeling up to par, raid your cupboards and see if there isn't a natural home remedy in your spices!

Here is an alphabetized list. Be sure to reply to this post with your success (and un-success) stories! What REALLY works for you? (And, of course, discuss health issues with your physician to know what is best to help you with any health issues/problems you may have.)

Allspice pimenta officinalis Although not recommended for those with low blood sugar problems, a tea made from allspice is said to help revive the body when suffering from frostbite and intense cold. Also useful in cold water as an oral rinse for bad breath.

Anise pimpinella anisum Used in tea for gas problems, cough, hiccups, and asthma.

Sweet Basil ocimum basilicum Apply fresh basil or basil made into a poultice and apply it to bee, wasp, or hornet stings. In a tea, it can be helpful for nausea and stomach cramps.

Bay laurus nobilis Use dried bay leaves in the top and bottom of wheat to keep weevils out. As a tea, it can be useful for whooping cough and can  help to clear lung congestion.

Caraway carum carvi When used in a hot tea, it can be helpful for uterine cramping and intestinal gas problems.

Cardamom elettaria cardamomum Used in a tea, it can relieve gas and heartburn; chewing a few seeds will temporarily clear up bad breath.

Chili Powder Used for pneumonia, fever, and extreme cold/frostbite.

Cinnamon cinnamomum zeylanicum Can help with indigestion and can help nausea due to seasickness/high altitudes.

Cloves  eugenia caryophyllata In a tea, it can help bronchitis symptoms and can prevent vomiting.

Coriander coriandrum sativum Oil of coriander can help relieve swelling and pain in arthritic limbs.

Cumin cuminum cyminum When used in a tea, cumin can be helpful for intestinal issues, the common cold, and abdominal cramps.

Dill  anethum graveolus Chewing on dill seeds can help fix bad breath and a tea made of dill can help increase breastmilk production.

Fennel foeniculum vulgare Use fennel in warm water for an eye rinse for sore eyes.

Ginger zingiber officinale Ginger used in tea can be a fantastic remedy for morning sickness and general nausea.

White Mustard brassica alba When used as a warm gargle, it can help relieve sore throats.

Oregano origanum vulgare Use oregano in a tea to prevent sea/air sickness and vertigo.

Nutmeg myristica fragrans When added to baked beans, it can reduce intestinal gas. As a tea, it can also improve appetite.

Paprika capsicum annuum Use in a warm salt gargle to help you recover from mild canker sores.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Used in a tea, it can help mild insomnia, nervousness, and upset stomach. It can make a refreshing mouth rinse for bad breath.

Rosemary rosemarinus officinalis By boiling rosemary leaves in hot water and then applying the cooled solution to hair after washing, rosemary can help alleviate dandruff symptoms.

Saffron crocus sativus In a very small amount, it can expel gas. Be cautious, though, and only use in small amounts.

Sage salvia officinalis Gargling a strong solution of boiled sage can help sore and strep throats.

Tarragon artemisia dracunculus  Using tarragon in a tea can help promote urination and a better appetite. Furthermore, it can help reduce insomnia.

Thyme  thymus vulgaris Use a warm gargle of thyme for canker sores. A poultice of thyme leaves can be used on poison ivy, rash, and burns for pain and discomfort relief.

Turmeric curcuma longa Can be used in an eyewash for crusty discharge from the corners of the eye.





Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday: Diaper Rash Relief

Diaper rash is, in some ways, inevitable with small babies since they always have their diapers on their precious little bums. Usually, a little bit of diaper rash cream will go a long way, but sometimes, even Desitin seems insufficient. If you've seen a bad diaper rash, you'll know what I mean. Bleeding, red, sore skin that hurts your baby to even touch it. I guess diaper rash is on my mind, as my daughter just recovered from a bad one and these are some of my few tried-and-true tips and remedies.

*When changing your baby's diaper, it can be helpful to rinse their bum off in the skin or shower, using a sprayer with warm water, rather than a wet wipe or sponge, which can further irritate their skin.
RATING: 6: SOMEWHAT HELPFUL

*Baking Soda Bath. In a small bath, dump 1/4- 1/2 box of baking soda into warm water and allow your baby to sit/lie in the water for as long as possible.
RATING: 9.5: HUGELY HELPFUL

*Naked Bum Time. For as long as possible during the day, remove your baby's diaper and allow them to play naked on a few towels on the ground, so as to give their poor bum a break from the constant friction of having a diaper against their bum.
RATING: 9: HUGELY HELPFUL

*Petroleum Jelly. This isn't something you'll want to use every time, but in maybe 1 out of every 3-4 diaper changes in a day, you can use petroleum jelly to coat their bum, as it will soften the rough, dried, red skin, and create a barrier between your baby's bum and their diaper/urine/feces.
RATING: 7: HELPFUL

*Bordeaux's Butt Cream. This costs a pretty penny, but when your poor baby is bleeding on their bum from a diaper rash, this product is well worth it. Use a cotton swab to apply the cream to their rash to get the most out of each use.
RATING: 8.5 QUITE HELPFUL

*Lecithin. For extreme rashes, you can apply lecithin to your baby's caboose; it will aid in a quicker healing time.
RATING: 8.5 QUITE HELPFUL

*Change Diaper Often. One of the most important things to do once your child has a rash is to change their diaper as often as possible, because every time you change their diaper, the affected area is
*cleansed
*dried out
*given a break from their diaper
RATING: 7: HELPFUL

A mixture of any and all of the above should help aid recovery from a bad diaper rash. I wish you all the best, as a sore bum is the saddest thing ever.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday: Re-designed Kitchen Chairs

This is a story about the fabric that changed my kitchen. I ended up with a bolt of this turqouise fabric and re-designed my whole kitched around it. I made new curtains with it, re-upholstered my chairs, made a tablecloth, I will be making a rug, and, of course, prompted me to buy a nice can of matching turquoise paint.
These chairs were pretty simple.... because my mom helped me and gave me all the tips and tricks I needed to get it right.

1- I removed the seat and then painted my chairs with a single coat of turquoise wall paint, allowed it to dry, and touched up a few places until it looked awesome.

2- I re-covered the seat of the chair. This could have gone very badly, but fortunately, my mom gave me the tips I needed to get it done. I forgot to take pictures as I was doing them, so I used a pillowcase to show you the way to do the corners. When re-upholstering the base of a chair

*Get a piece of fabric that is enough to cover the seat and go a few inches more.

*Using a staple gun, put one stable on the middle of two opposing sides of the fabric, pulling the fabric tight, but not stretching it.

*Repeat this, putting one stable in the middle end of the other two opposing sides of fabric, again, pulling the fabric tightly, but not stretching it.

*Apply a few staples to the left and right of each original center staple on side one, side two, side three, and side four. Then, in a second round, apply a few staples to each edge until you have almost reached the corner pieces.

*When doing the corners, staple it in three steps, following the picture below, by first pulling the center of the corner and stapling, folding over one side, stapling it, and then folding over the other side, stapling it.

*From there, staple any section that seems loose.

Then, I put my new seat back onto my newly painted chairs.... and they look awesome! (Well, I was really happy with mine, anyhow. I was worried about the turquoise being too much, but I do love it.)




Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday: 31 Ways to Cook Potatoes

Potatoes. One of the least expensive vegetables you can buy- easy to store- and has almost unlimited ways to cook them! I don't want to give you incredibly detailed instructions on step-by-step recipes. I just want to give you general directions, more to give you ideas when you think,

"Man! I just need to find a side-dish for tonight and I sure got a lot of potatoes...."or "What should I make for dinner tonight?"

So, persue this list when making dinner. We've got baked, broiled, fried and mixing ideas. I hope you find something whiel looking over it  that sounds like a tasty side dish for dinner.


  1. Baked french fries

*Slice clean potatoes into french-fry shaped pieces. Spread on lightly greased aluminum foil covered pan. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Deep fried french fries

* Slice clean potatoes into french-fry shaped pieces. Drop a few at a time into a medium sized saucepan, filled 2/3 full with vegetable oil, at medium-high heat. Allow to fry for 5-8 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Battered deep fried french fries

* Slice clean potatoes into french-fry shaped pieces. Drop all pieces into a mixture of

-1 cup flour

-pinch salt

-1 cup milk

-3 beaten eggs

-2 tb melted butter/margarine

Drop batter-covered pieces of potato into a medium sized saucepan, filled with vegetable oil, at medium-high heat. Allow to fry for 5-8 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Baked potatoes

*Cover a clean, whole potato in foil and bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes OR poke holes (using a fork) into a clean, whole potato and microwave for 5-8 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

  1. Baked sliced potatoes

*Thinly slice clean potatoes. Place on a lightly grease-sprayed foil-covered pan and bake for 20-30 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Twice baked potatoes

*Bake a potato as instructed in 4. Allow the baked potato to cool. Cut the potato in half, and use a spoon to scoop most of the white portion of the potato out and into a bowl. Cream and mash this white part of the potato, adding 1/8 cup of sour cream and salt/pepper to taste. Scoop this potato mixture back into the potato skin, sprinkle with diced green onions and cheese. Bake for 5-10 minutes at 350 or until hot.

  1. Baked shredded hash browns

*Using a cheese grater, shred clean potatoes completely. Place on a lightly grease-sprayed foil-covered pan, sprinkle with salt/pepper, and bake for 20-30 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Baked diced hash browns

*Dice clean potatoes into very small, bite sized pieces.  Place on a lightly grease-sprayed foil-covered pan, sprinkle with salt/pepper, and bake for 20-30 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Fried shredded hash browns

*Using a cheese grater, shred clean potatoes completely. Put the shreds  a medium sized, greased frying pan, at medium-high heat. Allow to fry for 3-5 minutes, then flip. Allow to fry a few minutes longer or until brown and crispy.

  1. Deep fried diced hash browns

*Dice clean potatoes into small, bite sized pieces. Sprinkle a few pieces at a time into a medium sized saucepan, filled with vegetable oil, at medium-high heat. Allow to fry for 5-8 minutes or until crispy.

  1. Baked potato chips

*Thinly, THINKLY slice clean potatoes. Place on a lightly grease-sprayed foil-covered pan, sprinkle with olive oil, salt/pepper, and bake for 20-30 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Deep fried potato chips

*Thinly, THINKLY slice clean potatoes. Put a few pieces at a time into a medium sized saucepan, filled with vegetable oil, at medium-high heat. Allow to fry for 5-8 minutes or until crispy. Salt to taste.

  1. English chips (battered, deep fried potatoes)

*Cut up clean potatoes in uneven dices. Dip into a mix of:

-1 cup flour

-pinch salt

-1 cup milk

-3 beaten eggs

-2 tb melted butter/margarine

Drop batter-covered pieces of potato into a medium sized saucepan, filled with vegetable oil, at medium-high heat. Allow to fry for 8-12 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Garlic butter oven-roasted diced potatoes

*Dice clean potatoes. Spread evenly on a foil-covered baking sheet. Brush with a mix of

-6 tb melted butter

-2 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

-2 cloves minced garlic

and then sprinkle with dried parsley. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Garlic butter oven-roasted sliced potatoes

*Slice clean potatoes. Spread evenly on a foil-covered baking sheet. Brush with a mix of

-6 tb melted butter

-2 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp pepper

-2 cloves minced garlic

and then sprinkle with dried parsley. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Broiled diced potatoes

  2. Also known as the best, crispiest roasted potatoes EVER.

  1. Broiled sliced potatoes

*Follow steps from 16, but slice the potatoes.

  1. Mashed potatoes

*Boil whole or sliced clean potatoes until soft (20-30 minutes) in salted water. Drain the potatoes and use a masher or two large forks to mash the potatoes.

Add (to taste):

-cream cheese

-condensed milk

-sour cream

-butter

-salt/pepper

A-freaking-mazing. Especially with the cream cheese and sour cream.

  1. Cheesy mashed potatoes

*Boil whole or sliced clean potatoes until soft (20-30 minutes) in salted water. Drain the potatoes and use a masher or two large forks to mash the potatoes.

Add (to taste):

-cream cheese

-condensed milk

-sour cream

-butter

-salt/pepper

Add grated cheddar cheese and 1 clove of chopped garlic and mix until melted.

  1. Potato latkes

* Using a cheese grater, grate clean potatoes and onions completely. (1 onion to 4 potatoes) Mix these into a batter of

-2 eggs

-2 tsp salt

-2-3 tbl flour

Pour into a frying pan with ¼ inch of vegetable oil in the bottom on medium-high heat. Allow to cook for 2-4 minutes or until crisp, flip, allow to cook for a few minutes longer. Dress with salt, syrup, jam, applesauce or anything that sounds delicious.

  1. Baked julienne potatoes

*Julienne clean potatoes. Spread on lightly greased aluminum foil covered pan. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Deep fried julienne potatoes

*Julienne clean potatoes. Drop a few at a time into a medium sized saucepan, filled 2/3 full with vegetable oil, at medium-high heat. Allow to fry for 5-8 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Boiled potatoes

*Remove the skin from clean potatoes. Boil whole in salted water on medium high or until soft. Drain water and dress with butter, salt, pepper, and a dash of dried parsley.

  1. Baked potato wedges

*Cut clean potatoes into wedges. Spread on lightly greased aluminum foil covered pan. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Deep-fried potato wedges

*Cut clean potatoes into wedges. Drop a few at a time into a medium sized saucepan, filled 2/3 full with vegetable oil, at medium-high heat. Allow to fry for 3-5 minutes or until crisp.

  1. Parmesan potato rounds

*Slice clean potatoes. Toss with olive oil. Spread on lightly greased aluminum foil covered pan.  Sprinkle a mixture of

-1/4 dried parmesan

-2 cloves minced garlic

-salt/pepper to taste

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until crisp. 5 minutes before pulling them from the oven, sprinkle liberally with fresh grated parmesan.

  1. Layered fried potato rounds

*Use a mandolin to thinly, almost paper thin, slice clean potatoes. Place in an olive-oil greased, medium sized frying pan on low heat in layers (follow the picture). Between each layer, brush with melted garlic butter (4 tb butter to 1 minced clove of garlic). You’ll want 4-5 layers of potato. Cover and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes. Using TWO spatulas, FLIP the entire potato stack, turn the heat to medium high, and allow to cook until the surface touching the pan is crisp. Slice like a pie for individual servings.

  1. Baked potato skins

*Peel a clean potato. Toss the peelings in a mixing bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic (to taste). Spread evenly over a foil-covered baking sheet and broil on high heat for 2-4 minutes or until crispy brown.

  1. Fried potato skins

*Peel a clean potato. Drop a few at a time into a medium sized saucepan, filled 2/3 full with vegetable oil, at medium-high heat. Allow to fry for 2-3 minutes or until crisp. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

  1. Whole roasted potatoes

*Peel clean potatoes. Toss peeled potatoes in a bowl with melted butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place on a foil-covered baking sheet, sprinkle with parsley, and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the top and bottom of the potato are lightly browned.

  1. Potato balls

*Mix mashed potatoes with the yolk of an egg, and roll into balls. Flour or breadcrumb them, and then fry in vegetable oil on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, turning often. Add butter, salt, and pepper to taste.








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