Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding Observations

Yesterday, I quickly rattled off a post about watching the royal wedding.  But, after watching some of the recaps, reading various articles, I have a few random thoughts about the affair.

<------- Wouldn't you hate to be this guy, standing next to Elton John, singing a church hymn.  Would you sing ?  Or would you just kind of hum along?  Personally, I think I would be too distracted by the fact that I was sitting next to Elton John!! 

I am really lobbying for Pippa and Harry to become a couple.  I think they look super cute together.   Kate and William need to step in a play a little matchmaker.   Middleton girls for the win!!

So you have been invited to the royal wedding (of the decade), How would you go about selecting the perfect hat? The hats worn by some were rather spectacular! Others were, well on the scary side.   I think we in America, need to really bring hats for social events back.    Arthea Franklin rocked her hat for the inaugural.  

  I did some online browsing and I think I have selected my hat choice. 
  I like this one  -------------->
To me, it is elegant but it still has a festive flair about it.  I like the feather detail and color combination.   

I love the fact that Catherine did her own make-up, because she wanted him to see her as she would look day to day.  

Do you have any random observations from the wedding?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

I was up bright and early this morning to watch the royal wedding.   I woke my all things princess loving little girl up to watch it with me.   I remember when I was 6 watching Princess Diana's wedding with me mother.   I thought it was something special that we could share together.  Of course, she was in total awe of the wedding and Catherine's dress.  

The wedding was simply beautiful.  I would love to have been in London this morning, just to see the crowds and share in the excitement.   I think that they are a beautiful couple and I hope that they have a lasting marriage. 

Did you watch the wedding?  Share your impressions.. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Working on my cake

I posted the other day that I entered a cake competition that will be held this Saturday.  My cake is inspired by the Captain Underpants book series.   So here is a sneak peak!
I still have a lot of work to do before the competition, but I am pretty pleased considering that I have never really decorated a cake like this, so this is completely new to me. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

                             This is me dressed as Admiral Ackbar (the squid guy)  for a charity event! This is one of my favorite pictures

Competitive Cooking Week

Be-Bop-A Blog Hop Wednesday
 Thanks for visiting everyone from Be Bop A Blog Hop!  

This weekend, both my husband and myself will be competing in 2 cooking events!   I have entered into a cake competition that will benefit the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.    The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a program through our local chapter of the United Way.   It is a program that supports early literacy.  You can sign any child ages birth to 5 years up for this program.  The child receives a free book every month up to their 5th birthday.  

Both of my children have taken part in this program. I think it is wonderful!  The books the children receive are of the highest quality, so I am really happy to take part in this benefit.

I have chosen to create a cake depicting Captain Underpants!  This was my son's suggestion and I think it will be a fun cake to make.  I will be taking pictures and posting more about the cake later this week.  The competition is not until Saturday.  

My husband's event is a BBQ cook off.  He and his friend Morgan will be competing both Friday and Saturday.    Friday night, is a chicken wing cook off.   The crowd will get to pick the winners for this portion of the event.   Then Saturday is ribs and butts, with BBQ judges selecting the winners.    I will be sharing pictures of both events and writing posts about each.   But until then, we are knee deep in getting everything ready!   Wish us luck!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

These are my pictures for the Sunday Scavenger Hunt.  If you would like to join in on the fun, visit Sunday Scavenger Hunt at Ramblings and Photos


What's Inside:  This is Harold the teddy bear hamster.  Harold passed out in his igloo for an afternoon snooze.  

Guess what this is:   This is one of those accidental pictures.   I was taking some pictures and accidental hit the button.  This is a view of my blender seen through a red plastic basket.


Playtime:  Here are a few pictures of my new costume.   My husband and I are Star Wars costumers, we were out for a charity event this last week.   I am dressed as Admiral Ackbar (that is the squid like character).  

Lawn and Garden:  
Here is the been done close up of flowers. 

Happy Easter

I want to wish everyone a happy and blessed Easter! I hope that you have a wonderful day with your family and friends. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cascarones- Confetti Filled Eggs

Tonight, we finally got to make some cascarones.  I had been hoping to get these made earlier, but it just didn't happen.    If you aren't familiar with cascarones they are an Easter tradition in Mexico. 
 Cascarones are confetti filled eggshells meant to be broken on the head of friends as part of the Easter holiday celebrations.

It is believed that the cascarones were first brought from Asia to Italy by the explorer Marco Polo.  The egg gifts were filled with perfumed powder.   The tradition soon traveled from Italy to Spain and then to Mexico.  The perfumed powder was replaced with confetti.

To make cascarones,
1. Use a knife to cut a hole in the egg. 
Let the inside of the egg drain out. 
Rinse the eggshells out and allow them to dry.

2.  Dye and decorate the eggshells and allow to dry.

                       3.  When the eggs are dry, use a spoon to fill with confetti.

4.  Glue a small piece of tissue paper over the hole.

Hide your cascarones  for your Easter egg hunt.   When someone finds a cascarone, they run up to someone and break it over their head. It is said that the confetti shower brings good luck to both.

Ziploc and Recyclebank

Ziploc and Recyclebank are partnering up to divert millions of bags from ending up in landfills. You can recycle your clean and dry Ziploc Brand Sandwich, Storage and Freezer Bags at existing in-store bins at approximately 18,000 participating retail locations that accept plastic shopping bags for recycling.

If you are not familiar with Recyclebank, they are the leading the way in sustainable platforms.  The provide special incentives for families to help increase recycling efforts.    To learn more about other Earth friendly ideas during Earth Month, visit Ziploc's website.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

 My entries are sad this week.  I just have not had much time to accomplish much of anything this week.   Hopefully, this week will be better and a little less hectic.   And so there is no picture to represent Time. It's absents represents a lack of time.

Poem and Outside-  This is an older picture, but I just thought that the beach and its beauty inspires poetry.  I don't really have a particular poem in mind.  But I am sure that there is a perfect Haiku that would work here.  

Zoom, In the Car-   This is a little carnival that we just zoomed by.


If you want to join in on the fun, this post is linked to Ramblings and Photos: Sunday Scavenger Hunt

Muggles love Chocolate Frogs too

 Since my son started reading Harry Potter a few weeks ago, I have been trying to find ways to make reading the book even more fun.   One of the great things about J.K Rowlings is the amount of details that she includes in her writings.   The treats that the wizarding world enjoy are truly magical!   So we decided that we would try making our own chocolate frogs.   

Wooden spatula
1-2 Plastic Frog Molds   ( I purchased a frog candy mold from  The mold I purchased makes 8 frogs at a time.)
Microwave safe mixing bowl

One 12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips or a 12 oz. package of white chocolate chips
rice krispie cereal

We melted the chocolate in the microwave.  Check and stirring every 15-30 seconds until smooth and melted.

I used cooking spray to coat the molds.   Then we spooned melted chocolate into the molds.    I gently tapped the molding tray on the counter to remove any air  bubbles. 

After the molds were filled.  We placed them in the refrigerator to cool.  Once they were completely cooled, we popped them out of the mold. 

We made another batch using the white chocolate chips and some fruity pebbles cereal for some extra color.  We played around with the texture on these.  We tried crushing the cereal and sprinkled it in the molds.  Then we did more, where we crushed the cereal and add it to the melted chocolate.  

The final result was a plate of chocolate frogs that any wizard would be happy to snack on. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Extreme Couponing on TLC, What's your opinion?

The last couple of weeks, I have been tuning in to TLC to catch Extreme Couponing.   Yes, we would all love to get thousands of dollars worth of groceries for just pennies.    It would save my family a great deal of money, if I could do that.   I pick and choose the coupons I use.   I am very picky about which products I purchase, so the likelihood of me spending only pennies is rare.  

 My biggest problem with the show, is the people with these huge stock piles of products that they will never really use in their life time. Don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to stockpiling. It is worthwhile and it can help families save money.

 BUT, you have to ask yourself:   Do you really need 1,000 tubes of toothpaste and continue to purchase more.   Do you really need over a years worth of diapers and have no children?  Do you 75 bottles of mustard, that your family doesn't really eat?

If you have so many items that you can never possibly use them, donate them!   There are so many people in need.  Donate to a shelter, send items in care packages to troops (which one of the couponers did, but he still has more then enough), donate to international relief groups.   Hati still has not recovered and it will be a long time before Japan is fully recovered.  By all means provide for your family. But, if you have the means put some good into the world.   Those thousands of toothpaste, deorderant, and body washes are really doing you no good sitting in your basement.   Share with those in need. 

My other problem with the show is the things that TLC doesn't show you.   Yes, they may have spent $5 at the store.  But, how much did they spend on coupon clipping services?   Why purchase coupons?   You can print coupons or spend a few bucks on Sunday newspapers.   You have people new to couponing that do not know about clipping services.   They charge anywhere from a few cents per coupon up to $1 per coupon.   If you are ordering 75 coupons that adds up.   Some of the couponers mention they use services, but they never disclose the total amount they spend on coupons.   If you are spending $200 on coupons, are you really saving money?

The show also has the responsibility to talk about ethical couponing.  There are rules!  Read the coupons, purchase the correct items.   Coupon fraud is a crime.   Those people ruin it for the rest of us.  There is a lot of controversy circling around a featured couponer that may have committed coupon fraud on screen.  Check out this article .   It makes you wonder what really is going on.  

Basically, I am done with Extreme Couponing.   It sets up an unrealistic picture of couponing for the average person.   And, frankly,  I don't really care for the greedy attitude of the people featured.   It is interesting that Extreme Couponing is followed by Hoarders:Buried Alive.   Is this how TLC scouts out new people to feature on Hoarders?  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Freebie and Coupon Roundup 4/12

Now through 4/14/11 get 80% off at when you use the code “STEAK” at checkout. Be sure to read terms and conditions
 Get a FREE Panda Express single entree when you buy a 2-3 entree plate. The coupon is valid through 4/26/11.
Request your coupon for Uncle Matt’s Organic 59 oz juice. The coupon will be mailed to you within 2 weeks

Celebrate Earth - Recycle your flip flops

Do you have a bunch of old flip flops collecting dust in your closet?   Old Navy stores will be collecting any brand of old flip flop (4/22-5/21) to be recycled into playgrounds by TerraCycle.  Terracycle is a great company that takes products that normally can not be recycled and finds new ways to use them.  Check for a store near you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dinosaur Train: Pteranodan Family World Tour DVD

If you are looking for something else to put in your Easter basket, Dinosaur Train has a new DVD.   This new DVD follows the Pteranodons as the explore the globe.   My kids love watching Dinosaur Train, but so do I.   It is a great educational program that introduces children to natural science.   

Dinosaur Train: Pteranodon Family World Tour Adventure:

Get on board the Dinosaur Train with Buddy, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and his adoptive family of Pteranodons as they embark on a roaring, exploring world tour adventure to discover a variety of dinosaurs inhabiting the globe as they journey to Asia, Europe and Africa. From the world-renowned Jim Henson Company, PBS KIDS and Paramount Home Entertainment, the DINOSAUR TRAIN: PTERANODON FAMILY WORLD TOUR ADVENTURE DVD includes eight exciting edu-tainment adventures, interactive games, coloring pages, a dinosaur reference guide and parent information. Boasting incredible CGI animation and an average monthly viewership of 11.9 million, the “Dinosaur Train” is a Parents’ Choice recommended PBS KIDS TV series and is one of the top ten shows for kids 2 to 5.

disclosure: I recieved a sample for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any monetary compensation.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Super Why: Humpty Dumpty and Other Fairytale Adventures DVD

Here is another DVD that will make a great Easter basket treat.   Super Why is a great series on PBSkids that helps teach children fundamentals of reading.   Both of my children reallly love watching Super Why.   I really like how excited they get over reading.    Super Why and other Fairytale Adventures is now available on DVD.   

Super Why, Princess Presto, Wonder Red and Alpha Pig are back with four new-to-DVD adventures!  Join Super Why and his pals as they continue to teach children the fundamentals of reading through interactive adventures in classic fairytales including Humpty Dumpty, Cinderella, Pinocchio and Rumpelstiltskin.  From Out of the Blue Enterprises, PBS KIDS and Paramount Home Entertainment, comes SUPER WHY! HUMPTY DUMPTY & OTHER FAIRYTALE ADVENTURES, the latest installment in the award winning franchise “SUPER WHY!”  The DVD includes four exciting and educational adventures, interactive games, music videos, resources for parents, printable activities and coloring pages
Specifications:    Widescreen with English Stereo
Rating:    Not Rated
Runtime:    Approximately 100 minutes
SRP:    $14.99 U.S.

disclosure:  I was provided with a sample for the purpose of this review.  I did not receive any montary compensation for this review.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Photo Challenge 5: Colorful

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 My little girl in motion, this picture fits her personality because most of the time she is a colorful blur.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

These are my pictures for Rambling and Photos: Sunday Scavenger Hunt.  

Motion-  We went to a little circus, which the kids had a great time seeing.   I got some really cool pictures of the rope performers. I thought these pictures would be great for motion.

Waiting to Click-  This is another picture from the circus.  I never did really get a great shot of the elephant. 

In Fashion-  This is my little girl playing dress up.  With her, anything is in fashion.

Animal's Perspective-  this is from the front yard.

Many-  My son is obsessed with legos.  So we have many, many, many legos.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Admiral Ackbar costume update

$5 footlong
So I have made several posts about my new Admiral Ackbar costume. 
 I am happy to say that the flippers arrived yesterday from Arizona. 

They are made of latex and unpainted. So I will be spending some time painting them to match the mask I purchased off Ebay match.   The most likely will be airbrushed with some hand painting, then sealed to protect the paint.  

Once, I get these finished the remaining cloth parts of the costume will get finished.   I am hoping that I debut the costume at a small event next week.  If not it will wait for Spring Fling. 

Randomness of the Week

I noticed this warning label the other day while ordering a sub.  

Elephants are the only mammals that can't jump.

                                       The word "nerd" was first coined by Dr. Seuss in "If I Ran the Zoo."

In Chinese, the KFC slogan "finger lickin' good" comes out as "eat your fingers off".

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This month, my husband is winning at getting on my nerves!

Today, our little girl was sick and he stayed home with her.   I am thinking ok, maybe he will do a few little things around the house.   WRONG! 

I called around 10ish to check in, she was still sleeping.  This is great!  Now is the time to be swift like a ninja and do some chores.   WRONG!

I get home, the perpetual mountain of laundry is still occupying its same spot. 
"So, what did you do today?" 

"Just watched some TV."


"Well, I laid out some chicken to defrost."

Ok, Thanks for babysitting the TV and defrosting some chicken, honey.  You have made the world SOOO much easier for me and I appreciate that.   ( You will note the sarcasm.) 

Why does it never occur to husbands that things need to be done?  Our child slept the majority of the day!You had time!!  grrrrrrrrr......

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I won a recipe contest!

I am so excited!!  I won a recipe contest from Uncle Matt's Organic.  I entered a recipe for homemade peach/blueberry muffins.   I had posted this recipe last summer.  

This is the second recipe contest that I have entered and won something from.   I only won a t-shirt and some coupons.  My husband was teasing me and asked,  when I was going to win the Betty Crocker Bake-off.

I am linking this post to:

Monday, April 4, 2011

My new Admiral Ackbar costume

Last week, for my anniversary, my husband purchased this Admiral Ackbar mask off of Ebay.   Kudos to the guy who was the seller!   His latex work is freakin awesome!     The eyes on the mask are hand painted screening under a clear plastic bubble.  I love it because I have a lot of visibility, which is something that I have not had with other masks.  This will make participating in events much easier, I won't run over any little kids.  

Since the major investment for this costume is the hands and mask.  I decided to keep it cheap on the clothing.   The pants and shirt I have about $30 into both.  I used binding tap to re-create the striping on the side of his pants.  

All that is left now, is to re-create the jerkin, paint the hands when they arrive.  Re-create the admiral rank badge, and belt.   Once I get the jerkin and belt finished I will post another set of pictures.  

Nutella No Bake Cookies

I hosted a Nutella Party a few weeks ago and since then I have been looking for recipes that I could use Nutella in.    I found this recipe for no bake cookies and thought this would be something easy to do with my children during Spring Break.  

I did make a few substitutions to the recipe.  So feel free to use the recipe as is or use the substitutions. 


Nutella No Bake Cookies

1/2 cup butter                 (instead of a whole stick of butter, I cut it down to half)
1/2 cup milk                    (substituted vanilla almond milk)
1 & 3/4 cups sugar   (cut the sugar to 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Nutella
3 cups rolled oats              (used only 2 cups)

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, milk, sugar, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.Reduce heat and continue to boil for 3 minutes, still stirring. Remove from heat and add Vanilla. Add Nutella. Add oats and mix well.

Drop quickly onto waxed paper and allow cookies to cool and set.

With the substitutions, it of course is not as sweet as the recipe, but it has a really decadent chocolate fudge  flavor. The oatmeal adds a nice nutty texture.  This was also my first time using almond milk in a recipe.  I have been slowly trying to convert the family's diet to  less animal product.   I was really pleased with how well it worked in this recipe.