Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chocolate, Chocloate and more Chocolate!

In Celebration of my Chocolate Fiesta on Friday I want to share a story with you that will get your taste buds salivating!

A guy found a bottle on the ocean, and he opened it and out popped a genie, and he gave him three wishes. The guy wished for a million dollars, and poof! There was a million dollars. Then he wished for a convertible, and poof! There was a convertible. And then, he wished he could be irresistible to all women... poof! He turned into a box of chocolates.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's that?

Lucy was at my feet reading books while I was cleaning today. In her animal book at every page she would say, “What’s that?” and I would respond a monkey, bear, dog, etc. She knew all of the animals, but asked anyway. So when she got to the crocodile I responded saying, “it’s a bird.” Lucy retorted, “No mama, that’s a Cayman. Caymans live in the water.” I was quite taken back; I think I was about eighteen before I knew about Caymans. What a little smarty!

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Coming up!!!!

The thing I love most about Thanksgiving is that it is one holiday away from Christmas!!! I love everything about Christmas, especially the tree. This year I have decided to do something new. Instead of bringing out all of our normal ornaments I have decided to make my own. Now we have had a pretty tight budget this month, but I was able to make all of these ornaments for about $5 TOTAL. I bought some oranges and apples and dried those out (needless to say, our house has been smelling Fabulous!!!!) and glued a few nuts together. So now I am up to about $4. I bought a remnant of fabric for a dollar to accent the ornaments. I had the buttons and string and made a button garland (it was going to be popcorn, but could you imagine the mess.) I made the little "gingerbread men" out of cinnamon, applesauce and Elmer's glue. Finally, the giant star tree topper--I made from sticks found on the ground in the park. So now I am all ready to decorate the tree. Sadly, I won't be doing that until the 29th of November, but I will post and let you see how it turns out. The only thing I want to add are some candy canes, but I will wait until we are on next months pay check. So what do you think? Have I given you any ideas? I was even thinking of picking up some pine cones and putting those on the tree too, but I think I will wait and see how it looks. I don't want to overload  the tree. (a little side note: This is just a sampling of the ornaments I have made. I actually have a ton of each. I couldn't take a picture of all of them because the apples are still drying out.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I finally did it!!!!

I was inspired by my friend Shaye. I have made myself six shopping bags to use while grocery shopping. I have gone to the store with them twice now and I LOVE them. I just keep the bags in my car and pull them out when it is shopping time. Once I have brought in my groceries I hang the bags on my door so I can't forget to put them in my car. I no longer have to worry about the tons of shopping bags that fill up my cleaning closet. 

Making the bags were so easy to make that I am embarrassed that I was so intimidated about making them. I found the pattern here at the green bag lady's website. And the best part about it was I didn’t spend a penny on the bags. I used thread that I already had and the fabric was an old shower curtain (which made SIX bags, one with an extra pocket.) 

The kids love having a job to bring the bags into the grocery store and I really feel like I am helping out the environment by not wasting the many plastic bags. I have felt like I have needed to do this for a long time. I am glad that I have FINALLY taken a step to improving the environment. 

I get mixed responses from the checkers at the store. The first girl thought they were brilliant, beautiful and that I should sell them for $5 a piece. Another checker kept trying to put my groceries into a plastic bag, and I had to keep taking them out of the plastic bags and put them in my eco friendly repurposed bags. It irritated be at first but I will try to get use to impatience.

 I highly recommend everyone taking the step to make and use these FABULOUS bags. I tell you what, if you want some bags but don’t know how to make them, I will GLADLY make some for you—only if you promise to use them. I think they would make wonderful Christmas gift, too.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Joys of a Democracy

I don't know if there are any American Idol fans out there, but I know I watched the show religiously. This kind of reminds me of the recent elections. Sometimes we can feel this way when the one we root for doesn't prevail. I guess I am happy I was rootin' for the winners. Enjoy the drama!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Banana Butternut Squash Muffins

Yum and Double yum!!!! This was a hit at my house. I have been scouring the Internet to find butternut squash recipes for more than just soup. Did you know that you can take just about any pumpkin recipe and subsitue butternut squash? So that is what I have been doing. This recipe organally called for pumpkin but I swapped it. So try it, it is worth it!  
Banana Butternut Squash Muffins


2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups butternut squash puree
1 cup white sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins or chocolate chips(optional but make them yummy!)

DIRECTIONS:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a muffin tin or line it with cupcake papers. In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, eggs, oil, squash, and sugar. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pie spice and cinnamon, stir into the banana mixture until just combined. Fold in the raisins and walnuts if desired. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Add powder sugar frosting if desired. For the Powder sugar frosting, mix about ½ cup of powder sugar with about 1 tsp to 1TBSP of milk.