Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Tried It Tuesday- Requests and Dedications

I would love to say I tried something new this week, but the truth is, I spent all week watching tv and downing drugs. The totally legal drugstore kind, of course!! Although, I might have had a little too much Nyquil one night... So the only thing I tried were Halls cough drops that have little pep talks on the wrapper. They are super annoying when you're not feeling well, and totally not exciting enough to write a post about.

So I decided to ask you-any requests? Is there anything you've been wanting to try but are too busy/scared/resourceless to do it? Let me know!

PS- If you'd like to make a dedication, that's cool too. I spent too much time listening to late night radio as a child (my parents had a strict 8:00 bedtime for me, and my alarm had a radio. Ah, the good old days!!), so now I can't hear 'requests' without mentally adding 'and dedications'.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Links I Love: Scarf Obsession

Last week I got a scarf in the mail from my sister. I wore it twice that week, and would have worn it more if I could have! I have decided to add to my (small and pathetic) scarf collection since then. But I only know of two ways to wear a scarf: wrapped around my neck, and as a belt. So, as I always do when I lack knowledge, I went to the Google! 

The ultimate scarf tying guide! Lots of great ideas, and you can even download the PDF!

If you like it vintage, try this site

If you need videos (always helpful for more complicated ties!), click here. This site also has some awesome headscarfs that I might even be able to pull off!

Now all I need is to find about 1,000,000 more scarfs!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Tried It Tuesday- Whole Wheat Brownies

I thought take a bite before taking the picture would make it look more artistic and delicious. 
I was wrong, it just looks chomped on and kinda gross. Sorry!

The Cub Scout value for the month of May is Health and Fitness, so last week we talked about the food pyramid and what foods were good to eat. They pyramid has totally changed since I was in school, and one thing they push now is 'making half of your grains whole'. Ever since I took a nutrition class in college, I have tried to incorporate as many whole grains as possible into my diet, so I love the idea of cooking with whole wheat flour, it is SO much healthier, but sometimes the results can be dry and mealy. So when I saw a Whole Grain Baking cookbook at the library, I checked it out! I might have to buy this cookbook, it has so many great ideas!! And all the recipes have been tested several times, so you know they are good ones!

I tried the brownie recipe first:

1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on low heat. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Heat the mixture briefly until it's hot and starting to bubble. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

Stir in the cocoa, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Cool the mixture until you can text it with your finger, it should feel like comfortably hot bath water. Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth, then add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the brownies until a cake tester or sharp knife poked into the center reveals wet crumbs but not raw batter (about 30 minutes). The brownies should feel set on the edges and in the center.

Let sit overnight before serving; this gives the bran a chance to soften, giving the brownies a more pleasing texture.

Nutrition information: (if you cut it into 24 pieces) 252 cal, 13g fat, 3g protein, 8g complex carbohydrates, 25g sugar, 2g fiber, 125mg sodium, 216g potassium, 76RE vitamin A, 2mg iron, 46mg calcium, 100mg phosphorus, 15mg caffeine

For lower fat brownies: substitute 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce for 1/2 cup of butter. Add applesauce after the vanilla.

My review: These brownies are REALLY good, but they have no instant gratification! Smelling the brownies cooking, and then having to wait until the next day to eat them was not my idea of fun. I tried one the night I made them, and they were good, but they were better the next day, like the recipe said. I also didn't read the recipe all that well, and I really should have halved it! That's A LOT of brownies for two people!

While I wouldn't call them a health food, if you are looking for a slightly healthier brownie, this would be a good bet!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

News Flash

I'm blond again!!

I went to a salon in a bowling alley, which was totally random, but I got these highlights and a trim for... wait for it... $40!!! The lady was so sweet, when she told me the price, my jaw dropped and she said "I bet that's about half of what you're used to paying". Um, ya, try a third!! So I gave her a 50% tip. I'm a pretty happy camper!

Friday, May 20, 2011


While I am enjoying my life now as a DINK (double income, no kids) at some point, I do want to have babies. (Calm down Mom, I said AT SOME POINT) Along with thoughts of children comes thoughts of Oh My Gosh Am I Ready For This?? And of course, the answer is no. How can you actually be ready?? But I do think there are some things you can do to be more prepared.

I still need:

  • A really nice camera. It seems like every mom has one of these, and posts adorable pictures online of her adorable children. I guess taking pictures with my phone just isn't going to cut it once I have a baby...
  • A hobby. It seems every mom is into something these days. Scrapbooking, crafting, refinishing furniture, sewing. I have no hobby. Unless you count thrifting!
  • An at-home business. Why do I get the feeling all the moms are trying to sell me something?? Oh right, they are. I need to start a candle/housewares/refinished furniture/scrapbooking business to help subsidize my thrifting, right??
  • Friends- Ya, I know, I probably need those now, but I'm not very good at making them! It's hard! But what is staying home all day if I don't meet up with some gal pals for gossip and play dates? (Why yes, I am imagining my life will be just like Desperate Housewives, without the psycho drama and divorces. Just kidding!!)
  • An adorable nickname for my children, so no blog wierdos can stalk them. I'm leaning toward 'the kidlet'. It's cute, easy to remember, and works for a boy or a girl!

Before you lose hope that I will ever be prepared enough to have children, here is what I already have:
  • A blog. But I will probably have to change the name to something like 'Mothering and Loving It' or something cheesy like that.
  • A spare room. Because the kidlet has to go somewhere!

Of course, I'm totally kidding about this list. What other things do you think I'll 'need'?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Tried it Tuesday- White Vinegar

San Antonio has very hard water, and one consequence of this is the film that gathers over all the dishes in the dishwasher. A small helping on Jet Dry solves this problem, but it's kind of expensive, has a lot of chemicals in it, and forces you to use the heated dry setting (I hate this because it wastes electricity and if there is any leftover gunk on a dish, it gets baked on). I had heard that white vinegar can do the job just as well, but I hadn't got around to trying it quite yet. So this week I finally did. I filled the little rinse aid full of vinegar every time I washed a new load. I know there might be some down inside that little guy, but you can't see it, so I wasn't sure.

My review- AMAZING. Our dishes have never looked shinier! Everything looks better, not just the glassware. And it is cheap! A huge thing of vinegar is like $3.00, compared to a tiny thing of Jet Dry which is like $7.00. I did a little bit of research, and it turns out there is nothing vinegar can't do! Click here to get some great ideas!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Gardening Update

You know how they say that you should get a plant, and if you keep that alive, then get a pet, and if you keep that alive, then you are ready to have children? Well, if that's true... Our children are going to end up withering on our porch until Steve comes home from work...

I'm not going to lie. the garden would be dead if Steve hadn't remembered to water it every day this week! But thanks to him, our little plants are alive and well! We even had our first harvest!

 Two tomatoes! Don't they look yummy??
 The cilantro isn't doing so well, we're thinking it might need to come inside soon.
 There are a few more tomatoes on the plant!
 Did I mention we got basil? It's not taking the heat too well either. It will be inside soon.
 Rosemary is still going strong. You seriously can't kill that stuff! 
This last picture isn't from the garden, but I wanted to prove that I am not a horrible human being that kills innocent plants for fun. This plant was given to me by a good friend I used to work with. She had an amazing green thumb, and made me promise I would not kill it! Well, here is living proof, over a year later, and it is still alive! It even has some new growth. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Christmas in May!

Today was pretty exciting, and not just because it was scout night. We had two very exciting packages! One big one and one little one. The big one had a Dyson!! I have wanted a Dyson since I saw a commercial my freshmen year of college. And then Steve bought me one! Here he is putting it together! 
 And look at all of the boxes it came in!
 I bet you're dying to know what was in the second package! It was a scarf from my sister Jalenna! She got it in New York this weekend! So here I am vacuuming while wearing my new scarf! Is this the best day ever or what??

Not bad for only getting 2 hours of sleep last night :)

Lids Down, I Count Sheep, I Count Heartbeats

I can't sleep. Not even a little bit. I slept from about 11:00 to 12:30, but I've been up since then, counting down the hours of sleep I could get. Which reminded me of this clip.

It's almost 4 AM, and I've pretty much given up on sleep. I just hope that I don't end up agreeing to move to Tulsa today...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I Tried It Tuesday- Shoe Stretcher

I went thrifting this weekend, and as usual, found a bunch of awesome stuff! I promise a full post on all the stuff I got will come later, but I did want to talk about this awesome shoe trick.
I found these beauties for $1.25!! I knew they had to be mine! I tried them on in the store, but when I got home, they were a little tight. I remembered a segment I saw on the Rachel Ray show once in the gym (her talk show, not the cooking show, is that still even on?) when I lived in Phoenix. I had never tried it, but I had remembered it all these years! What you do it put rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball, rub it on the inside of the shoes, and then wear them for half an hour. Something about the alcohol makes the leather conform to your foot, and then the shoes fit like a glove! (This only works on leather shoes, btw. If you are against wearing shoes that are all leather because they are expensive, call me. I'll tell you about the magical stretching powers of leather and how the shoe repair guy can fix them like 100 times and they still look good as new. Worth every penny! Also, if you need a shoe repair guy, I have an excellent one!) 

My review: Works like a charm! After I got over my feet being pinched a little when I walked around, they stretched out nicely. You have to get the cotton ball pretty soaked with the alcohol, and you really do have to wear them for a while. But if you have any (leather) shoes laying around that aren't being worn because they are a bit too small, try this! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

30 for 30- Recap

Well, I pretty much failed at taking pictures and posting them last week! And I meant to do this recap on Sunday. Fail again... But I did finish the challenge!

I learned:

1) I didn't mind wearing the same clothes over and over, what I really missed was shoe options! If I had to do it again, I would choose more shoes and less clothes.
2) What was I thinking putting it two pairs of jeans AND a jean skirt?? I never wear jeans! My dark wash jeans didn't get worn once!
3) I need more accessories. I have almost none!
4) My black skirt is the workhorse in my wardrobe. Just goes to show that a high quality, well made piece is SO worth the price!

It was a great challenge for me, it made me realize that I wear the same 'outfits' over and over, the same pants with the same shirts and the same shoes. Being forced to remix was really fun, and I came up with combinations that I wouldn't have!

It also made me realize that I never want to post on my blog every day! It went from being something fun I do, to something I hated!! (Hence the no posting all week...) But I do have some fun posts coming up. We have added to our garden, and harvested our first tomato yesterday!! I'm also planning on doing some serious thrift shopping this weekend, and a pedicure may or may not be involved!