Verse On The Wall

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him...

2 Chronicles 16:9

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Caramel Corn Recipe

Okay here it is, the most asked about recipe. It is right up there with my thin mints! I found the recipe on recipezaar which is now called it is #273797. The poster said that it is originally from The Taste of Home.

- 8 quarts popped popcorn
-2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Place popcorn ( 8qts=24 cups) in a large bowl and set aside. In a saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly.

2. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally

3. Remove from heat

4. Stir in vanilla and baking soda; mix well. Pour over popcorn until well coated.

5. Pour into two greased 13x9 baking pans

6. Bake, uncovered at 250 degrees for 45 minutes stirring every 15 minutes

7. When slightly warm break up and put in and airtight container.

My Notes
I use an air popper and 3 tablespoons of kernels equals about 6 cups of popped. 8 quarts of popped popcorn is about 12 Tablespoons.

Wait only about 3 minutes after taking it out of the oven to break up and put in a bowl. If you wait too long it will all just stick together.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Little Help For My Closet

A few weeks ago I started to work on decluttering and organizing my closet. I always put it off since it seemed like such a huge project to take on but at the same time was always a burden to me having it such a mess. With my new habits I am learning from Fly Lady I have decided to tackle it only working only 15 minutes at a time. I set my timer and when it is done so I am. It really is amazing how much you can get done in 15 minutes if you just buckle down and do it!

I found out that I have a good collection of baseball hats and I wanted a better way to store them. I posted on freecycle for one of those hat organizers. I had only 1 person respond and she suggested that I just put a bunch of nails in the wall and hang them that way. I thought that was a great idea (and also a cheap one). I have a perfect wall for that behind the closet door even... Well my husband has a thing about hanging stuff on walls correctly so he didn't go for it. He did however come up with an even better idea. He said he could build me a board and put knobs on it to hang my stuff off of.

I spent $4.50 on the fabric and $14 on the knobs, the wood was leftover from another project and ended you with and nice place for my hats and bags. I must admit I did get rid of over half on my hats as well. Once they were all hung up I noticed that I actually 3 out of my 5 hats that I kept say "Yellowstone". I now can clearly see that I should get rid of a pink "Yellowstone" hat and replace it with a new Blue U.C. Davis hat (I tossed all my old ones)

The closet is not done yet but it is much more livable and no longer stressing me. Just a few more 15's is all it will take.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Towels and Toys

For the past month I have really been working to get the house in order and so far I have been successful in keeping it clean and orderly (the parts I have gotten too to far). Many thanks go to Fly Lady and Motivated Moms. Today I will share a few organizing things that I have done that have helped keep things orderly.

I had one drawer in my kitchen for dish towels and pot holders. It was always stuff full and even more so now since I have been on top of the laundry. I saw this idea about folding dish towels on the Infarrantly Creative blog and thought it was such a great idea (the picture is from the blog). I had a drawer that was holding a few bags so I emptied it out and it became my new dish towel drawer. It looks great and it hold so many more towels! I now have a drawer that has just a few pot holders and a neat dish towel drawer. I liked this so much that I also have a wash cloths and bib drawer and folded my T-shirt drawer this way! It creates so much more room and you can see everything that you have.

Another project that I have been meaning to do for a LONG time was to label the toy baskets. I had great plans of taking cute pictures, laminating them and tying them on with some cute ribbon. Two of the lessons I am learning from Fly Lady if "Do it Now" and that is doesn't need to be perfect. What I ended up doing was just using clip art, Google pics, card stock, packing tape and some string. Once the toys were sorted and grouped I just found a picture that I like and printed it on the card stock. I have some wide clear packing tape so I "laminated" it with that and tied it on the basket with a string. It didn't take very long at all to do!

Since I was on a roll I decided to also tackle Alex's room. He has a shelf of bins that are from Ikea
( I got them at a garage sale) Since there were no clip art pictures to really fit his toys I used Google Pictures and he helped picked the ones that he liked. I just printed them on plain paper and taped them on. It really tool no more then 15 minutes to complete! It should also be easy to change out as needed. Making the baskets and bins labeled makes clean up time very fast and easy. Check out one of my favorite blogs Make It and Love It to see how she labeled her bins.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm Back

It has been awhile since my last post but I am now really going to make an effort to post once a week! I am also playing around with the format and the look. This is all pretty new to me and it does not come naturally so things may look a little off at times but I am working on it. I welcome any suggestions and comments along the way.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Review of Sunshine Kids Belt Guard

Originally submitted at Toys R Us

Sunshine Kids Belt Guard Seat is an alarm device that provides an audible alarm if a seat belt is unbuckled. No more worries of child loose in the backseat. Easy to install and fits most vehicle seat belts. CR2032 lithium battery included. Sunshine Kids Belt Guard is the safety device every mom nee...

I Like It

By Jen from Modesto, CA on 7/27/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Easy to install, Small

Best Uses: Toddlers

Describe Yourself: Parent of Two or More Children, Parent of Multiples (Twins etc)

The device lets out a short audible sound when it becomes unbuckled. The noise is not to shrill or annoying but does sound like an alarm. It has helped my 3 year old to know that Mommy WILL know when he takes he seat belt off and he is now doing a great job waiting until I say it is okay to do so. It is nice and small so not very noticeable. I do move his booster seat often in different positions in the car and the device is meant to stay on one spot. I will just have to buy more if I want to use it at more then 1 location.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Kidco PeaPod

I have convinced myself that we need these for the twins. Last year we had our smaller "pod" that we were able to use while camping. It made for a very nice and safe bed for the in our trailer. I have been racking my brain on what we can do this year to have them sleep safely in the trailer. The Kidco PeaPod is the solution. They can still be secure in a bed and we could put them on top of the existing beds.

Our family would also like to start taking some vacations but the thought of having to bring along 2 pack-n-plays, ugh! They takes up so much room (and we need that for our jumbo strollers) and they are heavy and then you have to find a place to set them up....Having the peapod would make traveling easier, especially if we were to fly somewhere. I really don't want to pay for pack-n-plays to fly!

Okay have I done a good job at convincing you that I "need" these? Okay maybe desperately want is more like it.

It just so happens that someone is giving 1 away. Check out this blog.

There are also may other fun things that you can win.

Also check out for other neat products like the PeaPod Plus, Alex doesn't want to be left out!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

White Pizza Sauce

I have been making homemade pizzas for lunch lately. Usually I just use a jar of spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese. One day I decided a white pizza sounded really good and I came across this easy recipe for the sauce. It was great and very simple. I also topped it with some chicken breast and mushrooms. I only had string cheese stick so I just sliced 2 sticks and placed it around the pizza it turned out wonderfully.

White Pizza Sauce
enough for 2 pizzas
can also use on pasta

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove minced (I keep a jar of minced garlic in my fridge)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced (I used dried)
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese (I just used Parmesan since that is what I had on hand)

Heat butter in small saucepan. Add flour and stir until thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in milk, adding gradually. Stir in remaining ingredients. Will thicken upon standing.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Posting a comment

I have changed the settings again so I think you should be able to post a comment now without having to register. Let me know if you still are having problems.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nacho Bean Soup & Quiche in a Bag

We currently have a French exchange student and it is going well but I have been off my normal routine. I made these last week and having meaning to share them with you. It was the first time I made the soup and it turned out really good, I will be making it again. Alex also like to help me make it by dumping the cans into the pot.

The quiche recipe is very simple and a great way to use up extra ham.
Nacho Bean Soup

2 cans Great Northen beans (white beans), drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce ( I used two small cans)
3/4 cup canned diced green chiles (I used 1 medium can)
3 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 ounces Dorritos, crushed

Combine all ingredients except chips in large saucepan with tight fitting lid. Over med-high heat bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes or until onion is tender. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with the crushed chips. Good with some corn muffins.

Quiche in a Bag
(Freezer Recipe)
3/4 cup chopped ham
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1/8 teaspoon or a dash of Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Add chopped ham and cheese in a freezer ziploc bag. In a blender add milk, eggs, tabasco, flour and baking powder and mix well. Pour into bag with ham and cheese. Seal and label bag getting as much air out as posible. Freeze
To Serve: Thaw in bag. Shake bag well and pour into a greased deep dish pie plate or 8x8 dish. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until lightly brown and well set in the center. Cool about 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Changing Winds

I feel the winds are changing right now in my life. Like in Mary Poppins that means changes are coming. One of the first changes that I sense is that all of the kids are getting big enough to move into their bigger car seats. That means no more double snap and go and basically the way I am able to go shopping with everyone. Loading and unloading everyone and everything in the car is also going to get more complicated. Hopefully I will find a new "grove" relatively soon in this regard. Good news is at least Luke is walking and Liz has taken a few more cautious steps this week.

Another change that could be coming is in the area of agility and my dogs. Fritz has had some lameness in December and 1 expert thinks he needs some surgery, and rehab (and a whole lot of money) and he could return to the sport. We are counting the days for our appointment with a bay area specialist and praying that he has a different diagnosis. In the meantime no agility for Fritz. I have started taking Radar to a foundation class just so I get some dog training in. I think I am addicted to it :) He will never be an "agility dog" but foundation training will be good for him and me.

The third change that IS going to happen is that I am going to become more disciplined when it comes to managing my home. I have been able to keep a better handle on the housework as the twins are getting older but there is definitely room for improvement and I would like it to become pretty much a routine. I am rereading a couple of books I have on this subject and will be working on a plan. I will share my journey and tips on this blog. Here are a few bathroom tips that I use (sometimes)

  1. While you are brushing your teeth your other hand can be putting things away in the bathroom or wiping down the counters.
  2. During the kids bath time you can be cleaning the bathroom.

The first thing that I know is that I can not do this by myself. I need God's help in order to go through these changes and especially in managing the house. Isn't it great that the Creator of the universe can help me clean a house!

Okay I think I will introduce Alex to Mary Poppins today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Posting comments

A few of you have mentioned that you have tried to post comments but can't. I think you need to have a google account in order to do that. It is very simple, just your email and a password.

Coupon Organization and a Recipe

I always seemed to have a problem using coupons! I would cut them out, leave them at home, let them expire, forget to use them or just not see them just to name a few of my problems with them. I finally have found a system that works well for me and have been using it about 6 months now. I bought one of those simple cheap photo books at Target and stick my coupons in the spots for the photos. I have labeled each page with the type of coupon with my handy dandy label maker. Some examples are fast food, restaurants, frozen foods, pet, craft stores, can goods, dairy etc.. I love that there are so many pages that I can put everything in 1 place, the pages are clear and in makes it easy to see and find things, and I can make it fit my needs and how I shop.
It does require a little upkeep. On Sundays I take out the coupon sections out of the newpaper and cut out all the coupons I think I would possibly use and then stack them in like piles. I then take each pile and put it in it's correct page. before I put in the coupons I take the existing ones out and get rid of any expired ones and make a mental note if there is something that I want or need to use soon and place it on top. When I am in the store I take out the section that I am in and see if there is something that I want to use, if I happen to find an expired coupon I just wad it up (so I don't stick it back in) to throw away.
Okay now for a very simple and great recipe. We have made this a few times at our freezer fellowships.
Ravioli Lasagna

26 oz Spaghetti Sauce
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Couple handfuls of spinach
package of frozen raviolis (fresh could probably be used if not freezing)

In a 9x13 pan pour enough sauce to cover the bottom. Layer in the pan, ravioli, spinach, ravioli, sauce and top with cheese.

Bake with cover on at 350ยบ for 30 minutes or until edges are bubbly and center is hot. Take cover off and bake an additional 10 minutes

1. After freezing, I completely thaw but the cooking time has taken much longer (about double) then listed above. I have not cooked it yet without freezing it to know if the above time would be correct.
2. Split into 2 smaller dishes for a smaller family. Eat 1 for dinner and freeze the other.
3. Maybe you can even just assemble it in a crock pot and cook that way? (Mary) I might try it, I think it should work just fine.
4. Don't forget the french bread!