Movie Review: Warm Bodies

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

With much of the world's population now an undead horde, R is a young and introspective zombie. While fighting with and feeding on a human scavenger party, R meets Julie and feels an urge to protect her. What happens next is the beginning of a strangely warm relationship that allows R to begin regaining his humanity. As this change spreads through the local undead population like a virus, Julie and R eventually have to face a larger issue when the very nature of their friendship is challenged. Caught between the paranoid human forces and the ferocious "Bonies", zombies who are a mutual threat, R and Julie must find a way common bond bridge the differences each sides must overcome so that they all fight for a better world no one thought possible.. -IMDb

You know, I was all like:  "I've got to review Warm Bodies, because I just watched it!"  Well that was several days ago, and now I'm feeling like I don't know what to write.  Shit!  So, if this review is crappy (because it certainly will be), just pretend like it's awesome, like it should be.

Mini Cherry Pie: Becuase Mini Is Always Better, Right?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

So I love cherry pie.  However, I just recently made one myself for the first time.  Holy shit, why didn't somebody tell me it would be so easy?  You can buy the cherry pie filling and some frozen crusts and ta-da you've got a cherry pie!

Well, feeling a sweet craving assault coming on, I decided to make another cherry pie.  After searching all over the kitchen, I couldn't find my pie pan.  NOW WHAT!  Now, I must have cherry pie because I'd already decided I was making one so I had to have one.

By now my crust had sat out and thawed and I was all pouty, but managed to still be creative (ha!).  I grabbed my cupcake pan and started tearing my pie crusts to pieces.  I smooshed the crust into the cupcake pans and spooned in cherry pie filling.  Then I tore apart more crust and smooshed it into the already-there crust and made these teensy little cherry pies.  Needless to say, I was very proud of myself.

I cooked them for the same amount of time as was listed on the pie crust box (which I think was around 12 minutes?) and they turned out to be this beautiful, delicious, masterpiece.  Even my husband was impressed!  They popped out easily and always kept their shape.

I can't say I'd advise eating them simply with your hands, even though my husband and brother didn't use a plate between them.  They may crumble/fall apart or whatever while holding them and taking bites, like you would a cupcake.  So, a plate might be worthwhile.  If you're careful though, you should be fine.

I'd say, this was a majorly delicious success!

Top 10 Celebrity MILFs

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Today is Mother's Day and I would like to wish all the moms I know a peaceful and stress-free day.  I hope you get to ignore your house chores and that your husbands will change the diapers and maybe even make you breakfast and let you sleep in 'til 10:00AM!

We all know that I am easily distracted when online, so it's no surprise that today I stumbled across Snooki's 10 Hottest MILFs video!  I'm so behind the times.  I'm not really familiar with Snooki except for a few headlines and video blips I've seen of her.  I did recently hear someone say that motherhood has transformed her (in a good way), so I guess that's good, right?

Anyway, I don't know what I was going to write about today (I forgot sometime during sleep), but Snooki has inspired me to give my own MILF list.  In case you're behind the times, MILF stands for Mother I'd Like to Fuck AKA hot mamas.  If you have a teenage boy or were once a teenage boy, you're probably familiar with this term (or if your mom was hot when you were in high school).

So, while I your list is fine I guess, Sooki... I think there were some really hot mamas missing and a few that didn't belong at all!

So here goes my Top 10 Celebrity MILFs

Why I Never Get Anything Done Online

Have a I mentioned that I'm gone 50 hours a week for work or work-related driving?  Yeah, well, I am.  It sucks.  A lot.  I love what I do, but...damn.  I really wish I could see my own family more.

Anyway, when I'm not working (or driving to and from work), I'm usually working on homework or cleaning.  You'd think when I got the time to sit down at the computer, I'd manage my free time better.  WRONG!

Facebook, we all know, is like the biggest distraction in the world.  I think every woman with one has fallen victim to scrolling down, down, down through the news feed and getting tangled in the web of sharing and liking and commenting.  Ugh.  I do that waaaaay too much, considering how limited my supply of free time is.

While scrolling down, down, down through my news feed, I come across awesome (and not-so-awesome) stories that distract me even further.

For example, apparently Ford had this awesome ad featuring the Kardashians bound and gagged (presumably by Paris Hilton) in the back of a Ford Figo.  Well, they pulled the ad, but I think that's a shame.  Seems pretty legit to me!

Or how about this cute little girl who was adopted as an embryo and then carried and birthed by her adoptive mother?

Then I found this awesomely disturbing Halloween costume!

And then another touching story about a baby who was in ice for 3 days in order to save her life!

I even found a list of 7 things you can steal from your kids, guilt free.  I can't wait to talk more about this one later!  Especially the controversy surrounding the diary being on this list.

So, as you can see, it's really hard to stay focused.  Oh look!  Something shiny!

Super Dad: A Dad Who Stands Up For His Son & Against Bullies

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I know this went viral not to long ago.  I know that I saw it on Facebook weeks ago, but it's really a story worth sharing.  I think all of us that love our children and especially if your child has ever been bullied can respect this father.
I stand behind my son in the fight against bullying. Please 'like' and 'share' to send a message loud and clear that bullying needs to stop now. Tell school districts that protecting bullies by turning a blind eye is wrong. Shame on Kaukauna area schools for protecting a bully in their school.
Courtesy of Matthew Bent via the Stir.
You can find the story here at the Stir or just google Matthew Bent. There are many ways this could have been handled, but I think this dad picked an awesome, effective, non-violent way to spread his message.

21 Somewhat Ridiculous Things Our Parents Said & So Will You

Monday, April 29, 2013

This list hardly covers all the things I heard as a child, but I think it covers the more ridiculous/stupid ones.  Of course, many of these have or will be repeated by me and other now-parents.  Why can't we stop this repetitive nonsense?
  1. Because I said so.
  2. I brought you into this world and I can take you out.
  3. I'll knock you into next week.
  4. Because I told you to.
  5. Because I'm your mom/dad.
  6. Because I'm the parent.
  7. Do what I say, not what I do.
  8. When I was your age...blah, blah, blah.
  9. Do you want a spanking?
  10. You'll understand when you're older.
  11. It'll put hair on your chest.
  12. It'll make you grow up big and strong.
  13. Money doesn't grow on trees.
  14. If whats-his-face jumps off a bridge, are you going to jump too?
  15. Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about.
  16. Don't make me come in there.
  17. How many times do I have to tell you?
  18. I've had it up to here with you.
  19. It's my house, my rules.
  20. As long as you live in my house, I'm the boss.
  21. Were you born in a barn?

I'm A Barbie Girl, In A Barbie World

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Holy crap!  This is just another case of me not being able to resist clicking something.  Seriously though, who can resist clicking a human barbie doll ad?

I think it's her face more than her body though, in my opinion.  She looks so surreal.

Movie Review: Mama

Guillermo del Toro presents Mama, a supernatural thriller that tells thehaunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their mother was murdered. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night. The day their father killed their mother, sisters Victoria and Lilly vanished near their suburban neighborhood. For five long years, their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), have been madly searching for them. But when, incredibly, the kids are found alive in a decrepit cabin, the couple wonders if the girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home. 

Last night, my husband suggested we watch Mama.  When I asked him what it was about he said, "Oh, it's about two girls that are abandoned in the woods after their mother dies."  I was envisioning something along the lines of Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls.  I even jokingly accused, "Why is it you always want to watch these sappy movies with me?"  He never did reply, now that I think about it.  Either a) he didn't hear me or b) I couldn't see the smug, knowing smirk on his face as he was secretly laughing at my total wrong-ness.  I'm going with b.

Anyway, when we watched the trailer, I was a little surprised to find out it was a horror movie!  My brother claimed:

I almost pissed my pants at the movie theater.  I was scared shitless!

Courtesy of my 17 year-old brother.
This kind of set my expectation for the movie, so I was automatically expecting it to be super scary.  Of course, the hubby and I were watching it after midnight in the complete darkness of the bedroom (he likes scaring the shit out of me).  He even let me lay in front of him on the bed so I could see better, but I whined a little:  "It'll be scarier in front!"

Picture from Rotten Tomatoes.
So, on to watching the movie.  The movie is about two girls who end up in an otherwise abandoned cabin in the woods after their father goes crazy, kills his wife, and wrecks his car in the woods.  After a five year search by their uncle, Luke, the girls are found.  When they come to live with Luke and, girlfriend, Annabel, everyone begin to wonder if 'Mama' really is someone the girls made up or if she's something far worse.

Got your attention so far?  Good.

Gettin' In Shape or Burning Off Mega Stuf Oreos?

So, Nabisco released the Mega Stuf Oreo cookies and I nearly fainted walking past them in the grocery store.  I, of course, have purchased three packages of these decadent cookies since their Limited Edition release.  While one blogger suggests they taste exactly the same as Double Stuf cookies, I'm going to disagree with her.  I think the Mega Stuf cookies are at least twice as good and I'm definitely on the creme side of the cookie vs. creme debate, just so y'know.  However, I do agree that it's annoying that they can't spell "stuff" correctly.

So, at about 90 calories a cookie, I'm thinking I probably should have skipped the Mega Stuf Oreos.  Afterall, I went to the gym 3 days a week for the past two weeks and I think that might have all been in vain considering last week I ate a package of these delicious cookies to myself.  I burn roughly 200 to 250 calories each visit to the gym, not counting whatever I might do with weights where calories burned is not kept track of for me.  At that rate, I only burn about 7 cookies per week.  FUDGE!  And here I thought I was getting into shape.

However, I have cut pop out of my diet, except for the occasional drink at a bar.  I tried ordering water at the bar last night and my water tasted flavored by old alcohol residue.  It was gross.  Probably the glass, but I ended up with a coke before the night was over.

I am really excited about my new gym habits and can't wait to go more, but I do need to think about what I'm eating more.  Mega Stuf oreos are not going to help me get into shape.

Resharing Some Words of Wisdom

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

  1. Smile at strangers.
  2. Don't knock it until you try it.

  3. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
  4. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
  5. Don't dumb it down.
  6. Hold your heroes at high standards.
  7. A suntan is earned, not bought.
  8. Never lie to your doctor.
  9. A handshake beats an autograph.
  10. Don't linger in the doorway. In or out.
  11. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for an caricature.
  12. When traveling, keep your wits about you.
  13. It's never too late for an apology.

  14. If you have the right away, take it.
  15. You don't get to choose your own nickname.
  16. It's not enough to be proud of your ancestry, live up to it.
  17. Don't make a scene.
  18. Know when to ignore the camera.
  19. Never gloat.
  20. Make time for your mom on your birthday. It's her special day too.
  21. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.
  22. Give credit. Take blame.

  23. Never be the last one in the pool.
  24. Stand up to bullies. You'll only have to do it once.
  25. If you've made your point, stop talking.
  26. Admit it when you're wrong.

  27. Know at least one good joke.
  28. If you don't understand, ask.
  29. Be a good listener, don't just take your turn to talk.
  30. You are what you do. Not what you say.
  31. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion matters.
  32. Make the little things count.

  33. There is a fine line between sultry and slutty. Find it.
  34. Always make goals.
  35. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.

--Words of Wisdom that friend shared on Facebook and now I'm sharing with you.

IAEYC Favorite Quotes & Key Notes

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Soften yours eyes.  When your eyes soften, your pupils dilate.  In the animal kingdom, this means:  I'm not going to eat you!
So last Friday I attended the IAEYC Early Childhood Conference (2013).  It's the first ever early childhood conference I have attended.  Other than trainings hosted by my work and CPR/First Aid training, this is my first ever workshop/training session.  I live a little over 3 hours away from Indianapolis.  My husband and I had intended to drive down Friday morning and stay the weekend as a late celebration for our 3 year wedding anniversary that was on the 31st of March.

Well, with his new gigs doing DJ and karaoke, we ended up cancelling our hotel reservations for the weekend.  Me, the hubby, and my little brother were up at 3AM on Friday...out of the house by 4:30AM.  I rode backseat all the way there with a comforter and pillow.  Well, except for when we stopped at McDonald's and I stuffed my face full of a bacon, egg, and cheese McGriddle.

Speaking of McGriddles, why don't they have more syrup?  Just a touch.  Not, like, drowning in it.  I feel like it's just a little too little.  Can you make McGriddles at home?  If so, somebody please share a recipe with me.  I will be eating breakfast 24/7.

Then I think I woke up about three times when we had to pull over on I-69 across who knows how many lanes because we were just doing 80MPH (and getting passed) and my hood latch decided to f*ck up and my hood kept popping up.  Each time I sat straight up, terrified that we were being pulled over for who knows what, because I was sleeping so I had no idea.

Poopyface is not an intentional teacher. Poopyface is the keeper of the keys to the cupboard.

Anyway, I'm glad I slept all but the last thirty minutes of the drive because the drive home made me realize how nervous the hub's mad driving skills and road rage make me.  His confidence is scary.  Where I'd be all careful and end up trapped in the wrong lane and have to turn around umpteen billion times, he just manages to find a crack big enough in a line of traffic and zooms right in.

The conference was amazing!  I rolled in just shy of 8:30AM and found myself smack in front of Lisa Murphy (aka the Ooey Gooey Lady)'s workshop, who happened to have been recommended to me by a coworker.  So, of course, I stood lounging in the doorway until some seat Nazis come and ordered us to find a seat, which I did, because Lisa was cracking me up and I wanted to stick around.  I ended up going to her afternoon session Let's Go Outside, too, and was extremely inspired by my experiences!

Also, I saw keynote speaker Dr. Becky Bailey, did a workshop on the MindUP curriculum, and sweat my butt off with Don Monopoli.  So, I want to share with you (finally) what I have scribbled in my little note pad and what I found moving and most important about my experiences at my first ever early childhood conference.

Lisa Murphy: Child Centered Classrooms

The secret to good teaching is controlling the environment.

  • Tell children what you want them to do, not what not to do.
  • One rule: People are not for hurting.
  • Routinely ask: Who needs something?
  • Engage all senses.

When it comes to learning, ask yourself: Can we bring it to them or them to it?

  • Needs to be there.
  • No abstract.
  • Literalness.
  • Ask why. Why do we do it? What is this for? Who is this really for?
  • Don't do it/buy it just because it's cute.

Play = Learning. Make a binder with proof for the nay-sayers. Must read articles first!

Dr. Becky Bailey

A 1300% higher expulsion rate in preschools than primary schools.

  • Preschool can and often does hinder social-emotional development.
  • Preschool increases language and cognitive development.
  • Accept how it is and solve the problem.

My job is to keep you safe!

  • Empathy is impossible without safety and composure.
  • STAR: Smile, Take a deep breath, And Relax.
  • Know that the child is calling for help and not trying to make you miserable.
  • Downloading = Mirror Neurons = Children learning from us.

Switch from seeking control to making connections.

  • Connect outside = Connect inside.
  • Must have: eye contact, touch, playfulness, and both people present.
  • More face to face.
  • Give them empathy when they're upset.

Lisa Murphy: Let's Go Outside

35% of our country's elementary schools have eliminated recess.

  • Ball + paint + slide
  • Blocks outside.
  • Chalk + blocks outside.
  • Straw bales - books outside
  • Spools
  • Tires (drill holes in top & side and paint inside with white, acrylic, waterproof paint to keep nay-sayers at bay)

Outside time is NOT wasted time.

  • Dress up outside.
  • Do not lift to equipment. False sense of mastery.

Ask: What's your plan? DO NOT SHUT IT DOWN!

  • Is it life threatening?
  • Weaving on a chain link fence
  • Use chain link fence as drying rack
  • Paper on/taped to walls or fence
  • Squirt painting
  • Fly swatter painting
  • Foot print painting
  • Swing/upside down painting

Not everybody needs to do. We need watchers, too.

  • Spaghetti paint/throwing
  • Bike painting
  • Sand in balloons. Same color and one for each hand.
  • Hand washing bucket (for more 'neat' or picky children).
  • All you really need is water, dirt, and a couple good books.
  • Water painting.
  • Sensory walk... Walk right through it.
  • Ramps and pathways
  • Sheets and tarps
  • Watercolor on snow

Cereal & Other Box Upcycling: Organizing Children's Books

Monday, April 15, 2013

I think this the project that started it all for me, when it comes to upcycling boxes.  Believe it or not, it was not something I discovered via Pintrest.  Instead, another preschool teacher, whose break I cover daily, uses this method in her classroom (to some extent).  For this project, I used cereal boxes, a packing box (similar to diaper box size), and other miscellaneous boxes.

My children have quite a few books and, honestly, I didn't realize no many until I was organizing them and stuffing the last one in.  Before they were all strewn across this shelf above their toy box, but now they're in this nifty little combination of boxes.

I've yet to decide on a permanent place for their book box, but I might just leave it downstairs. This is where it has been been since I finished it.  This project basically requires you have two items: boxes and a pair of scissors.  Just like in my organizing tupperware post, I took off one set of flaps, cut at an angle, and then straight across.  For the larger box, I cut off all flaps and cut a sort of smoothed V shape in the front.  Then, there you have it.

As always, feel free to decorate however you like or not at all.

How are your children's books organized?  Do you like this method? Why or why not?

Cereal & Other Box Upcycling: Organizing Tupperware Lids

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Yet another brilliant Pintrest discovery while filling up my DIY House Cleaning & Organization Pinboard. Pintrest has enlightened me and inspired me to reuse what would otherwise be considered trash.  One of my favorite and most popular upcycled items are cereal boxes and other miscellaneous boxes.  This is part one of a multi-part miniseries of posts dedicated to upcycling boxes.  Look for Organizing Children's Books, Organizing Mail & Paperwork, and Organizing Canned Goods in the near future.

Anyway, I'll show you what my tupperware lids looked like before I organized them with the boxes.  You might notice that these are, also, mostly upcycled butter, sour cream, and other containers.  More on that in a future post, as well.  As you can see, it was very messy

In order to create these nifty lid holders for my tupperware, I simply saved empty macaroni, cereal, and fruit snack boxes.  I then removed the flaps with scissors wherever the box was open.  Finally I cut at an angle most of the way down and then straight across.  I did the same on the other side.  I like this way best, but I'm sure you can modify the whole process to your liking.

As you can see, mine have yet to be prettified. I suggest colorful duct tape, fabric, wrapping paper, or scrapbook paper.  Or you could not do anything at all with them (for now or for forever) and let them simply be functional creations sans pretty.  Now, instead of needing an entire shelf for themselves, my lids are on the same shelf as my tupperware.

Have you done this or something similar?  Please share your own organization tips, creations, or recreations of this post!  Thanks for reading.

Not Enough Chocolate

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

While this might be a little late, I figured I'd share some of my Easter experience this year with you.  Easter weekend was a super busy weekend for us this year when it came to family events.  A few days before Good Friday, my husband's aunt hit the big 50.  We had our little egg hunt on Good Friday and had an extended family gathering/surprise 50th bash on Saturday, and Easter day was my husband and I's third wedding anniversary and our nieces fifth birthday.  So, yeah, we were a little busy.

My three day weekend turned out to be a lot like work except there was no pay check when it was over.  Don't get me wrong, I loved spending time with our family, my kids and husband especially, but it's not how I envisioned my three day weekend.  When I realized I got Good Friday off (even if it was unpaid), my first thought was:  Yes!  Three day weekend!  Okay, well, when you have three day weekends or any vacation time and holidays are mixed it the bunch... Ugh.  It's not much of a "vacation", in my opinion.

Friday was great.  My husband and I decided to have an egg hunt for our children this year because his family is often on the brink of war so you never know what's going to happen.  My two nieces and nephew really close and so we had it at their house (to avoid the inevitable dog poop in my back yard).  It was so much fun!  Kind of made me wish we could have an adult egg hunt.  I really want to do a glow in the dark egg hunt!  Maybe I'll find an excuse to do something like that anyway, because I'm not sure if I can wait until Easter next year.

Saturday we had to be at a relative's house at 11AM for the egg hunt that we knew wasn't going to start on time.  I, of course, was metaphorically kicking and screaming like my two year-old used to do because I didn't understand why I had to get up so early on my Saturday off work.  Don't judge me.  It was an hour drive to get there and so I had to get up around 8:30AM.  Through all my grumbling, we still went and I think we were even on time!

My grumpy, party-pooping self planned on dragging my husband out of there by 3PM, but I don't think we ended up leaving until 8PM or so.  We topped the night off with lasagna around 10PM or so.  Needless to say, it was a long day.  It wasn't a bad day or anything, but there went two days of my vacation.

Sunday was a beautiful day.  My baby boy and I went to the park.  We even took my dog Bo.  We had him climbing through tunnels and going down the slide.  Needless to say, it was a bright blip in my weekend of busy, busy, busy.

DIY Laundry Detergent: My First Guest Post

Thursday, April 4, 2013

So I was super excited to finally land my first guest post, but it was written before I started switching to the new blog.  However, it's still worth skipping over and taking a look at.  I shared with Adventures of a DIY Mom how to make DIY Dry Laundry Detergent.  If you've ever wanted to make your own laundry detergent, you should check it out.  And if you're not sure if you want to make your own laundry detergent, just take my word for it and do it!

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oz: The Great and Powerful Movie Review

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

So, I was beyond thrilled about this movie.  The Wizard of Oz was probably my favorite movie as a kid.  I remember watching it about a million times.  I was really excited when my husband discovered the SyFy mini-series based on a modernized Oz called Tin Man.  We, of course, purchased it on DVD.

You should not be surprised that I totally forgot about the movie by the time it rolled into theaters.  However, when looking at movies to go watch this weekend, there was no second thoughts on my end: I wanted to see this movie.

If you, at this point, have no idea what I'm talking's a trailer.

 I will sincerely try not to make this all spoiler filled, but I'm making no promises (just in case).

Anyway, we watched this movie in 3D.  I'm, honestly, don't understand all the 3D hype.  90% of the time, I could have done without the 3D and not have missed a thing.  I guess I just don't care about all those extras.  However, this time I was pretty impressed; and right at the beginning, no less.  Right away, the 3D blows me away in a snowing scene where the snow seems to be literally falling in your lap.  Mind you, we sat second or third row back, so I don't know what it looked like from the back of the theater, but we thought is was pretty darn amazing.

My husband claims it's the best 3D movie he's ever seen; much more worth it than many others we've seen.  If he says it, it must be true, because if there's one thing he's movies.  I call him my little movie guru.   Oh how I loathe the electronics section at Wal-Mart.  He manages to trap me in the store for much longer than I wish to be there if I let him have a look at the $5 movie piles.

So, in short, we were impressed with the 3D and think it's worth the extra.

The movie focuses on an ambitious, selfish, egotistical man who seems to have an knack for making women fall in love with him and then disposing of them after he's met his own agenda on the circus stage.  Much like Dorothy, he is whipped away by a tornado, only he's escaping the beating of a lifetime from Mr. Strongman in a hot air balloon.

Whisked away to Oz, Oscar Diggs (AKA Oz), finds himself being proclaimed the long awaited Wizard, prophesied to save the land of Oz.    My husband and I enjoyed guessing who was who.  We were almost right, thanks to his "director's intuition" and my having watching too many movies with him.  Plus, it is slightly predictable.

My husband's only complaint was the frequent monotonous voices used by the actors, although I'm sure it was intentional.  He didn't think it was...right.  I'm not sure how to explain it, but I don't think it affected our overall enjoyment of the movie.  In fact, we were both glad to have seen it.

I would reccomend it to anyway who needs a movie to watch this weekend and especially for those The Wizard of Oz fans.  Enjoy!

PS:  My favorite character is the little porcelain girl.  She's very sweet and sassy and quite funny!    
Witch Poster from Screen Crush.
Other image from The Daily Free Press.
I was not compensated in any way, shape, or form for this movie.  I paid for it out of pocket and watched it because I wanted to.  This is my opinion, without any nudging from outside sources.  Thanks!

Favorite Finds Fridays: Baby Girl Names

Friday, March 15, 2013

So, this is something new I've been wanting to start.
Favorite Finds Fridays
You don't have to favor all the things I do.  Heck, you can hate all these things I tell you are awesome.  That's okay.  However, I'm still going to share with you the things I think are pretty neat.  Someone, somewhere may appreciate it.

Anyway, this week I've been noticing girl names that I adore.  This is probably because I have two sons and haven't been able to flex my creative girl name juices.  Naming a child is a huge responsibility; and something I don't think some parents take seriously enough.  For me, I like modern and trendy while still being sophisticated and classic.  Also, I aim for unique without being overcomplicated.  Therefore, my children will not be named after food and they will not need to be in middle school before they can properly write/spell/say their own name.  Come on, people! 

Can you at least consider how hard it is for a four year-old to spell Allyvia versus Olivia or Alyxsis versus Alexis.  These poor children who are just learning the already messed up and contradictory rules of the English language are given even more difficulty because there parents can't just sound it out and spell it how it sounds.   Anyway, end of rant time.  Now it's time to see the pretty names I like (this week, at least).
  1. Lily
  2. Nella
  3. Rory
  4. Alayna or Elena
  5. Estella
  6. Gemma
  7. Sophia
Image originally from Killian Stock.

Wordless Wednesday 03/07/13

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

PicMonkey and Why My Pictures Rock

Monday, March 11, 2013

Okay, I know what you're thinking:  humble, much?  Well, maybe, just maybe, my pictures do not rock, but I'm pretty satisfied with them.  And while I do have Photoshop and a decent camera, I'm just going to be honest and admit that I'm seriously lazy when it comes to photo editing.  I, also, kind of hate editing personal photos on Photoshop.  I don't mind so much when creating random snazzy graphic displays for no real purpose whatsoever, but I just don't like doing it with my own photos.

Okay, so maybe I'm just lazy.

Anyway, I wanted to share an awesome free resource that I frequently (okay, pretty much always) use to edit my photos.  It's fast, simple, and you can become a premium member if you really want a bunch of extra perks.

PicMonkey is a free photo editing website and you can also create collages.  I remember I used to use some other website long ago that then merged with Google or something, but I can't remember the name right now.  Anyway, they don't exist anymore so who cares?

I am in no way affiliated with, sponsored by, etc. or its associates.

Fast Mini Pizzas

Friday, March 8, 2013


When creating my Letter P Lesson Plan, I really wanted to make pizza with the kids.  However, I wanted something a little simpler, personal, and relatively quick.  I discovered similar recipes online whole searching for personal pizzas.  We created a class sign up sheet and put it on the door to the classroom.  The response was amazing and I think most of our 13 kids brought in something; whether it was pizza sauce or cheese or toppings.

Each child was allowed to make their own personalized pizza, which was later cooked and served to them.  All the kids were very excited to eat the pizza they made.  The response was so good at school, and I liked the pizzas myself, so I decided to try it at home too.

I do think the pizzas are a little sweet, but I'm not sure if its the sauce I'm buying or the sandwich thins.  The pizzas were a hit at home too.  Gabriel was only interested in helping with one or two and then he left the rest for Talon and I. To be honest, Talon did all the work on the second batch.  Now he's asks me almost every day if there's something he can do to help with supper.  It's too cute!


  • 8oz Shredded Cheese
  • 1 package Pepperoni
  • 1 package Sandwich Thins
  • 1 jar Pizza Sauce


  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
  2. Use 1/2 a sandwich thin and add pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni and any other desired toppings.
  3. Repeat step 2 for all sandwich thin halves.
  4. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until desire crispiness.


Each bag makes 16 mini pizzas. You may choose not to use 1/2, but use the whole sandwich thin for a thicker crust. This makes 8 per bag, and serves approximately 2 people.

Find this recipe and more on my ZipList.

Cereal & Other Box Upcycling: Organizing Canned Goods

I'm sharing this organization tip/craft, even though I'm still not sure if this arrangement will continue long-term for me.  When I first discovered this idea and pinned it to my DIY House Cleaning & Organization Pinboard, I was super excited to try it.

At the time, I was fortunate enough (I suppose you could say) to have purchased several 12 packs of pop that week.  As the boxes emptied, I saved them.  Finally I three emptied out and I was ready to start organizing my canned vegetables.  First I tried the method that is most commonly shown around Pintrest, and that is to cut a little square in the back to insert cans in.

 Personally, I did not like this method.  I ended up cutting off the entire top of the box (it's better explained by the pictures).  Then front where you will have opened the pop case might need to be reinforced with tape, as these cans place a little more burden on the box than cans of soda.

My boxes are side-by-side in a bottom cabinet because it was the only one deep enough to fit the pop cases.  This is my biggest pet peeve about the whole thing.  However, I'm not ready to go rearranging my kitchen after I already did so a few weeks ago.  The pros of this method of organizing/storing your canned goods range from optimizing space to knowing at-a-glance what needs blights from the grocery store.  You might even want to prettify your box with duct tape, scrapbook paper, fabric, or wrapping paper.

What are smoother ways to organize canned goods or other places in the kitchen? Have you tried this method/project?  What did you think of it?  Thanks for reading.

Wordless Wednesday

Stove Grate Cleaning With Ammonia

Monday, March 4, 2013

This may have been one of my happiest discoveries while creating my DIY House Cleaning & Organization Pinboard over on Pintrest.  I'm, in no way, the inventor of this cleaning idea/tip, but I will advocate for it.  It truly saves you the headache of scrubbing, mostly unsuccessfully, to clean your stove burners/grates.  I also cleaned those things underneath the grate, though I have no idea what they're called.  The process is simple.
  1. Pour some ammonia in a Ziploc bag or other sealable container/bag.
  2. Place grates/burners in bag and zip up.  For people with single burners/grates, unlike my double ones, you can usually fit on per large Ziploc bag.
  3. Let sit overnight or so on your front porch or in your garage.  I opted for the front porch because of the fumes.
  4. The fumes from the ammonia will make it so that getting all that grime off your stove grates is much easier.
I, as you can see, have double grates.  I double bagged my grates in a trash bag, but it's not as air tight as the Ziploc bag I used for the other part of the stove.  Therefore, I've determined that you'll have better results with an air tight container or bag.  I'm still very satisfied with the results, but I'll probably have to do my grates one or two more times so they're squeaky clean.

Have you tried this?  Do you have anything to add?  What are your favorite cleaning discoveries?  Or Pintrest discoveries?

Book Review: Fifty Shades Trilogy

Saturday, February 23, 2013

You might be thinking: woah, you're reviewing the entire series? What happened to a single book review? Well, I might as well review the whole thing, considering I lost many hours of sleep last week thanks to it. E.L. James does an amazing job accomplishing her goal of writing a story people fall n love with.

I was not joking when I said I lost quite a bit of sleep over this series. Between Tuesday night and Friday afternoon, I'd had about 13 hours of sleep. I could not put it down. Fifty Shades of Grey is the first in the trilogy, and I read at a more leisurely pace than the other two. I think it took me about 2.5 to 3 days. Of course, I did not know that this series was so, well, erotic. Before you tell me that the word erotic is on the back cover, I'm going to admit I didn't even read that.

My purchase of Fifty Shades of Grey was spur of the moment, when I couldn't find the book a was looking for at Wal Mart. I realized just what I was getting myself into when I, without much preamble, found myself reading this:

Firstly, I don’t make love. I fuck… hard.
I think my eyes became the size of saucers, but I just had to read on. Throughout Fifty Shades of Grey, and the entire trilogy, E.L. James tastefully and artfully explores and exposes the erotic fantasies of Christian Grey. Even those light of heart might find themselves unable to put this series away because it is written in such a way that its not "dirty" or inappropriate, but a beautiful story.

I read Fifty Shades Darker in less than 36 hours. By the time I finished the first book and moved on to this one, all hope was lost for me. I was madly in love with Christian and Anastasia and all the characters throughout. The story was enchanting and I was lost in Fifty's world. I finished all but 50 pages of Fifty Shades Freed in 24 hours.

I hope that I have put into perspective how amazing I think the Fifty Shades Trilogy is, because I think it should be on everyone's reading list. In a few months, I'm sure Ill return to the series and fall head over heels for it again.

Have you read any of the Fifty Shades books? What are your opinions on them?

Homemade Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I love, love, love me some au gratin or scalloped potatoes. Seriously, what is the difference between the two? I need to do some research on that. Anyway, the other night when making steak, I really wasn't sure what I was going to make with it. Mashed potatoes again? No way! But I really wanted potatoes and I really did not want to fry them.

Then BAM, it hit me. Duh! Why not make cheesy potatoes? I had Velveeta cheese, which we all know is amazing...right? What more did I need? I'll admit I cheated and googled them to get approximated cook times. However, I really just kind of winged it, which is what generally happens. I think I just lie the reassurance of seeing someone else's recipe and knowing it really is possible.

The turned out amazing. Even my six year-old commented on how good they were, while insisting us father eat them. I had the hubby's approval, too. He ate what little leftovers we had before I got home from work the next day. Talon cutely announced that he knew my secret ingredient. "What is it?" I asked him. "Cheese!" He declared, and I could only laugh. He surely knows my "secret" ingredient.


  • 6 to 8 potatoes (depends on size)
  • 8 oz Velveeta cheese (about 1/2 a block & you can afford some give/take on this, depending on preference)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 to 2 cups shredded cheese (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Cut potatoes about this thin.
  1. Place pot of water on stove to start heating up.
  2. Slice potatoes into desired thickness & add to boiling water.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees while potatoes cook
  4. Boil for 8 minutes and check every 1 to 2 minutes after until fork tender (not tender enough for mashed potatoes, remember)
  5. Cube velveeta cheese for easy melting.
  6. Strain potatoes and put on baking dish.
  7. Put in milk, velveeta cheese, salt and pepper.
  8. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Stir in 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Add the other 1/2 cup on top.
  10. My Velveeta cheese blocks/slices.
  11. Uncover and bake until cheese is melted and potatoes are desired tenderness.
What my taters looked like before the cheese topping!

~ 3 adult servings

DIY Air Freshener/Neutralizer from a Baby Food Jar

Friday, February 15, 2013

DIY Air Freshener from a Baby Food Jar

This simple neutralizer/air freshener is simply baking soda plus 20 to 30 drops essentials oil.  The idea can be found all over Pintrest, so don't think I'm too original.  Use an open container or one with a lid and poke holes in it.  Shake every day or so to renew scent.  I shake mine daily and intend on decorating the baby food jar, as some point when I get around to finishing up all the projects I've started.

Cheese Rolls: An Even Faster Alternative to Grilled Cheese

Thursday, February 14, 2013

So in a pinch the other night, I had planned to make grilled cheese. I could have very well made grilled cheese sandwiches. It doesn't take very long and I had all the stuff. Do you know what's even faster? Cheese rolls. With only three ingredients, my microwave, and about five minutes... Gabe and I had supper.

Cheese rolls can be made in the oven or you could even grill them, but I just put one slice of cheese on a corn tortilla and popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds. When done, I rolled them and enjoyed with the tomato soup I made while the cheese rolls were in and out of the microwave. Flour tortillas work just as well, for those who don't want corn torts. Also, for extra cheesy goodness use two slices of cheese and melt for 45 seconds.


  • Cheese slices
  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Can of tomato soup


  1. Take 1 tort and 1 slice of cheese. Place on plate and pop into microwave for 30 seconds or until cheese is melted.
  2. While cooking cheese rolls, pour tomato soup into pot and bring to boil.
  3. Enjoy!
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