Wednesday, January 30, 2008
1- Seperate broken crayons from intact ones and take off paper.
2- Sort by color and put into foil cupcake holders so as not to ruin your pans.
3- Bake at 250 degrees for about 11 minutes. Do not stir them to keep the colors.
4- Let cool for 10 minutes.
5- Remove from pans and let cool for at least 6 hours to overnight.
6- You now have pretty new crayons for wee ones to play with!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
But, until then, I thought I'd send a quick New Year's Resolution update. By now, statistically, most people have already given up their resolutions... have you? Let's see how I'm doing...
#1- Taking care of me. Have I?
I've used my birthday and holiday gift cards for.... for me!! That never happens. :-) I bought myself a new wallet and a new shirt with my gift cards and still have a bit left over for something eventually.
#2- No new magazines. Have I bought any?
No! The only magazines that make it into this house are from our two subscriptions (Outdoor Photographer for Rob and Wonder Time for me). And when those come in, another magazine is recycled out.
#3- Start a crafting business...
Well, not yet. But I have been gathering ideas and all sorts of possibilities. So, this is being worked on, but no debut as of now.
#4- Read. Have we been reading?
This is such a funny one... of course we've been reading! Ro is finally enjoying being read to and sits still for about 1/2 a book. He still prefers being sung to, but now he also brings me books to read to him. Em is up to 3 books a day on average and will often make up stories to "read" with Ro. I've only read 2 books of my own, but I have a wonderful variety of fiction and non-fiction books fresh from Paperback Swap all ready to go.
#5- Two new recipes a week.
Yes, this one is being kept, often with more than 2 new recipes each week. I've made new breads, a new pie, new chicken dishes, a different kind of chili, new cookies and even a new smoothie!
#6- Cleaning up. Are we clean yet?
This is perhaps the one I have been the most diligent about. While 1-5 come pretty naturally on a daily basis, #6 requires set aside time. And I have set aside time. :-) I've declined 39 catalogs (some are from the same company under various names and initials for whatever odd reason) through Catalog Choice. I've also called companies to opt out and have mailed out 6 different "Take me off your list" requests. The mailbox is lighter, but many of these requests can take up to 10 weeks... so time will continue to tell.
Also, the one time we've been to the park, we filled an entire plastic bag with trash (eewww!) and promptly sanitized our hands. But, Em declared the park to be prettier now and understands that keeping everything clean, both at home and while away from home, are equally important.
We've also Freecycled several bags of toys, clothes and other odd items and donated several more. Once construction is completed in my house (this summer I hope), we will be able to park one of our cars in the garage! The other side is reserved for equipment for woodworking, bike/bike trailer and several trikes.
Not too bad all-in-all.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Yesterday, my mom came over to make t-shirts with Em and I. She had NaNa-and me time with Em by making his train shirt, while I made Ro's giraffe shirt. Here's how we did it.
I found the train and giraffe pictures by doing a Google image search. Once I found the pictures that I thought would look good, I saved the pics, sized them to fit the t-shirts and printed them out.
Tape the picture to a self-healing mat (or a few layers of cardboard so you don't ruin your table) and then tape a piece of freezer paper, shiny side down, on top of that. With an X-acto knife, cut out the silhouette. Carefully remove the tape and there's your stencil!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
1 chicken breast cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes per person (I've also cut the chicken into 1 inch strips, that's yumm-o also)
Thursday, January 10, 2008
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes (easiest to cut if a little frozen). One breast per person usually works well and will make about 2 skewers. Marinade below was used for four chicken breasts.
- Juice from 2-3 lemons - at least 1/2 cup
- Juice from 1 lime (optional)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. ground pepper (white or black)
- 2-3 medium onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces (big enough to skewer)
- 1 pound white mushrooms, whole
- About 15 wooden or metal skewers. If wooden, soak in water for 20 minutes before using to avoid scorching on grill or BBQ.
- Throw lemon/lime juice, oil, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic and sugar into a big bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Put all ingredients in the marinade and mix around to coat everything. Seal bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring at the one hour mark if possible.
- When done marinating, put chicken on skewers alone. Veggies on their own skewers. Can add tomatoes, pineapple, bell pepper or anything else you like as long as they are lightly coated with oil.
- Grill or BBQ until done. Can re-coat chicken and veggies while grilling with marinade but do not use it to pour over everything after done cooking as it held the raw chicken.
- Serve with Jasmine rice, Pita and Naan bread, a giant salad and any side veggies you like. Cous cous is another great side with toasted pine nuts and golden raisins.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Seriously though, it's just hair that will grow back for me. A by product of a healthy body that I am very thankful to have.
There are others who are not so lucky. Hair loss from any number of cancers, chemotheraphy, alopecia, etc. There are two different organizations that I am looking at for giving my hair to.
One is called Wigs for Kids, a non-profit organization that provides free custom-made hairpieces for children who have hair loss stemming from a number of illnesses. The donated hair must be a minimum of 12 inches long.
The other is Pantene Beautiful Lengths, the one Hilary Swank cut her hair off on Oprah's show for. Their hair donations go towards anyone with hair loss and your hair donation only needs to be 8 inches long.
Would you like to join me in this donation? You don't need to have the hair right now... you can pledge to grow it out for this cause. Hair can be colored with non-permanent dyes, just not bleached. For more information, both sites go over the hair-cutting process. The Wigs for Kids site also shows you where your hair goes and how it transforms from a ponytail mailed in an envelope to a new confidence boosting outlook for a child without any hair.
UPDATE: To see what happened, check out this blog entry.
Friday, January 4, 2008
So, in order to distract from the waiting for our new tradition of the rainy day observation walk among other things, the munchkins and I have been busy doing "stuff". First up was a chalk creation of Daddy... newly back at work after the Christmas break and very sorely missed by Em and Ro. As soon as the masterpiece was completed, we emailed Daddy and promptly called Daddy to say hello, we miss you, here is a pic of you, we love you, kiss kiss!
After an arty morning, we ate breakfast (Ro loves to self feed even the messiest of food items) and prepared for a quick walk around the neighborhood. Our neighbors are putting in a new concrete driveway, so we stopped to watch the twirling cylinders and the pressure pumped tube spit out wet concrete and be screeted (??) and smoothed.
With the laundry finally done... a new project began... the revision of Em's room. Oma and PaPa had given Em a new bed comforter and sheet set that we exchanged for a different set... I'm not into television cartoon themed rooms personally, so we opted for Em's favorite colors... blue and green. Once that was all washed and put on the bed, I revealed the new bed to Em, who said it was beautiful and that he couldn't decide which blue and green were his very favorites... that's a good sign I think. On to accessories!
We painted his bulletin board and the shadow boxes that will hold his inspirations and creations and whatever else he wants it/them to. Those will be done next week when the pics that go in the back of the shadow boxes arrive from Snapfish. He chose a picture from our October East Coast vacation which I never blogged about. The pic is from a fun pick-your-own apple orchard in Natick, MA. The other pic is a drawing he has yet to create... so the mystery begins. :-)
With the morning crafting over with, we rocked out to Maxwell and then everyone went into afternoon rest mode. So, I am finally going to go rest with Em while Ro energizes with a nap.
It's finally raining. Heavy drizzling really, but I'll take it! Dinner tonite is homemade chicken soup and a new bread recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by baker Peter Reinhart. Dessert will be a on fast standard of Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies... right off the Quaker's oat canister. We just switch out the raisins for cranberries and leave out the nuts.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
- Taking a bag to the park and picking up trash while I'm there.
- Freecycling and donating away the things I no longer "must have" for the sake of having. (And promoting this concept to receptive others.)
- Watching my water and energy and waste so that the earth gets a little recovery from our family. (All the Xmas wrapping you see in that pic above is recycled = less footprint)
- Stopping every awful piece of unwanted mail I can! Catalog stoppage, Direct Marketing Junk, Val-Paks I'll never use...
There's more, but I think you get the idea.
Sure, I also want to lose weight and all that... but these 6 are pretty good for me. They're on pretty pieces of paper in a few places throughout the house so I see them daily. By February, they'll become habit and easier to just keep and not resolve to do like a chore.
Do you have resolutions? What are they??