Friday, March 30, 2012

Road trip!

Hubby is attending a conference this weekend.  Baby Chuck and I are tagging along.  Hope you have a great weekend! 


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shoes Series 3: We've harnessed the power of ice!

If you're a follower of this blog, then you're already aware of our previous attempts to use ice to stretch shoes.  (Confused? Catch up by reading about our adventures here and then here.)
 
Figure 1:  Sandwich bags in shoes
After our initial setbacks, we put on our thinking caps.  And we thought.  And we thought some more.  What were we missing?  Why didn't it work? 

And then we took one final stab at the problem.  Instead of using shopping bags to hold the water, we used sandwich bags.  Although they held less water, they would (hopefully) allow the ice to expand in the right places. 





And you know what?  It worked!  Boy, was I surprised.  Honestly, I'm not sure why the shoes stretched this time and not the last two times.  Below, I've sketched out my best understanding of what happened on the molecular level: 

Figure 2: Arrows and dashed lines make this diagram authentically scientific.

I'm happy seeing hubby wearing some fine fitting shoes.... and knowing that we've harnessed the power of ice for good and not evil.

Will you try out this shoe stretching method?  Let me know of your results!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oh the hair! Oh the spandex!

Now that the weather is improving, I'd like to start running again.  After watching this video introducing the '88 National Aerobic Championship, I found myself strangely inspired to workout...and wear a shiny red leotard. 

Does the nice weather motivate you to work out too?

Note:  This video contains large hair, overly enthusiastic athletes, and shiny shiny spandex.  I was mesmerized!




First seen here

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DIY- Chocolate face mask

I've always had oily acne prone skin.  You know that girl in high school with the thick bangs?  That was me, hiding the pimple constellation on my forehead.  Anyhoo, because I've been breaking out more than usual I found a recipe for a diy chocolate face mask here.  We already owned all 4 ingredients, so I gave it a try.   

Ingredients:
 - 1/3 C cocoa powder
 - 3 T plain yogurt
 - 1 T honey
 - Squeeze of lemon

I mixed all the ingredients together, then applied a thin layer to my face.  The mask was incredibly thick and cool on my skin.  It also smelled so deliciously chocolatey that I couldn't help but try a taste...

 but I really shouldn't have done that because it tasted bad.  Really really bad. 

There was a ton left, so I probably could have refrigerated it and used it later.  But I accidentally left it out and so we had to toss it out.  :(

Have you ever tried making your own face mask?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring break 2012

Hi everyone,

It's me, Baby Chuck.

Last week was my first spring break.  Spring break is when daddy stays at home.  Spring break is also when daddy takes us to fun places like the grocery store and the mall.  I like spring break a lot.

Even though it wasn't warm enough to go to the beach, mom and I put out a towel and pretended we were on the sand.

I like pretend beaches

Of course I had to work on my tan too!


Mom said that one day we'd go to the real beach.  I can't wait to see the sand and the water.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Love,
Baby Chuck

Friday, March 23, 2012

rainy day music

Today the sun is hiding and the skies are looking cloudy and grey.  Here's some perfect rainy day music by Brooke Fraser:



First seen here


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nut-free and wheat-free sunbutter cookies


Today I'm going to have dinner and watch the season finale of Project Runway All Stars with two good gal pals.  They're providing dinner and I'm bringing the dessert.  I've been hankering for peanut butter cookies lately, but since we're now a nut-free and wheat-free household I had to get a bit creative.  I tweaked an old peanut butter cookie recipe and made these sunbutter cookies instead.

They look like peanut butter cookies and they taste almost as good.  I'm definitely going to try making these guys again, but I'll probably tweak the recipe just a bit because they were a bit crumbly.  (Anybody know how I should solve that problem? Or is that just the way my cookies will crumble?  Har har har...)

If you're interested in making some faux peanut butter cookies for yourself, check out the recipe below.


Ingredients (for 20 cookies)
1 C Sunbutter (Sunflower seed butter)
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

(1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
(2) Mix ingredients together
(3)  Roll 1 inch cookie balls, place them on a baking pan, and squash them with a fork to get that faux peanut butter cookie look
(4) Bake for about 10 minutes 
(5) Let the cookies cool so they harden
(5) Enjoy!

Hmm... I wonder how this cookie would taste with chocolate chips?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Baby teeth

Baby Chuck is currently teething.  We noticed the classic signs several weeks ago.  He was fussy, drooling, tugging at his ears, and biting toys.  Our suspicions were confirmed when these two pearly whites appeared not too long ago.

Since this is a pretty big developmental milestone, I figured I'd honor his accomplishment with a baby badge. 
Is it strange for a tooth to have a tooth?


And since I was drawing badges, I figured I'd also give him one to honor his foray into solids.
I'm not sure what this baby ate...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Shoe Series 2: Is it time to admit de-feet?

If you read my previous post, you'll know that hubby and I attempted a novel shoe stretching method.  We poured water into a pair of shoes, placed them in the freezer, and hoped that the shoes would stretch as the water froze. 

After storing the shoes overnight in the freezer, we moved onto steps 4, 5, and 6.  Here's what we did:


Step 4:
* Tried pulling out bags
* Realized that the bags really were stuck inside
* Let shoes defrost in sink
* Twiddled our thumbs and waited

Step 5:
* Pulled out our miniature ice feet
* Made our miniature ice feet dance
* Tried on shoes

Step 6: 
*  Realized that the shoes were still too tight
Debated whether to repeat the whole process again
*  Decided to try again
*  Repeated the process again
*  Placed the shoes in the freezer for three days

After we took out the shoes hubby let them dry out because a bit of  water leaked out of the bags.  Eek.  Once the shoes were dry, he tried them on and....

they were STILL too tight.

Should we admit defeat?  (Or in this case de-feet?  Har har har.)  Well, not quite yet... we still have a few more tricks up our sleeves... 

Monday, March 19, 2012

This weekend

We celebrated St. Patrick's day by enjoying the sunshine, attending a craft fair, visiting a nearby town, and going to a museum.


Hope you got a chance to enjoy the sunshine too.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thirsting for sunshine*


Sorry for the lack of posts.  The weather has been beautiful here.  Everyone is going a bit crazy and we're all trying our best to drink up the sunshine.  I'm especially hoping that the sun will give my pasty vampire skin a nice golden tan.

Hopefully you are enjoying good weather too!

I promise to reveal what happened to hubby's shoes and upload more posts next week.

Have a great weekend!

*Note:  This post's title was inspired by a four-year-old boy at church who said, "Mom, my body is thirsting for sunshine."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shoe Series 1: Are those shoes in your freezer?

Answer:  Yes.  I'll explain

About a year ago hubby purchased a pair of shoes at the thrift store.  They were a tad too small, but we got them anyway because they were a good price.  So far he's worn them just a couple of times but they always end up pinching his feet.  He's tried using shoe stretchers, but they've still remained just a tad too small.  

We were going to donate them until a new idea came to me.  A couple of nights ago, I went on a YouTube-watching frenzy and came upon this video showing a clever gal using ice to stretch shoes.  A light bulb appeared over my head.  It was a crazy idea, but it just might work.

Before you place me into your mental box marked "crazy people to avoid," hear me out.  Water expands as it freezes, right? Living in Michigan, we've seen those huge potholes in the road.  Aren't they partially caused by water freezing inside the cracks in the road?  Let's harness the power of ice for good instead of evil! 

Let's recap:



Step 1: 
*  Find a cute pair of shoes at the thrift store
*  Cringe because they're a tad too small
*  Walk around the store with too-small shoes on
*  Mentally debate whether you should purchase the shoes or not
*  Walk around the store again
*  Convince yourself that they aren't that tight
*  Convince yourself that you can lose weight in your feet
*  Purchase shoes anyway because they're less than 10 bucks

Step 2: 
Look for food storage bags that don't have holes in them
*  Realize that you don't own large enough food storage bags
*  Debate whether you should purchase large food storage bags
*  Feel cheap
*  Decide to use grocery store bags instead
*  Look through your hoard of ancient grocery bags
*  Finally find two that don't have holes in them
*  Mentally curse when you realize that you just ripped one bag
*  Find another bag that doesn't have a hole in it
*  Place bags in shoes
*  Pour water into shoes
*  Cringe because you just poured water into your shoes
*  Gather courage and remind yourself that the shoes were less than 10 bucks

Step 3:
*  Place shoes in freezer
*  Make sure that water will not seep out
*  Double check that the water will not seep out
*  Convince your wife repeatedly that the water will not seep out
*  Cringe because you just placed shoes next to your frozen baby food
*  Triple check that the water will not seep out
*  Close the door and wait for the water to freeze 


Have you done this before?  Have you heard of anyone doing this before?  Did it turn our well?

I'll let you know how it all turns out.  We're currently on Step 4:  defrosting the shoes in our sink...

Click here to find out what happens next!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A spread for the Lozzie in you

Lately I've been making hubby Vegemite* sandwiches to bring to work.  I take two slices of bread, spread margarine on each slice and then spread Vegemite on top of the margarine.  To finish, I place both slices of bread together and boom, instant lunch.

Hello sandwich ingredients!



After a couple of days of sandwich making, it suddenly dawned on me.  Instead of spreading the margarine on the bread and then spreading the Vegemite, what if I could spread them both at the same time?!?  And so, dear reader, I came up with this idea:  premixed Vegemite and margarine spread... for the lazy Ozzie (Lozzie) in you.

Ooh.  Someone should mass produce this stuff.... and then send me a jar.



*Never heard of Vegemite?  Australians love the stuff.  It's a super salty spread that all Ozzie kids grow up eating. 

One giant gustatory leap

I knew this day had to come. 

A couple of months ago, Baby Chuck suddenly became very interested in what we were eating
Baby Chuck:  "What is this stuff they keep shoving into their mouths?"

And like most kids, he was particularly drawn to snack foods.
Baby Chuck:  "But mum, potatoes and corn are vegetables.  These are healthy."


So, after he turned 6 months, hubby and I finally decided to take the plunge.  It was time to introduce him to solid foods.  *gulp*  At first he didn't seem to like our watery rice cereal.  But after we thickened it up a bit, he just ate and ate and ate.

Such a voracious appetite!  I have no idea where he gets that from...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Itty bitty robot musicians

They're uber cute. Watch them play the James Bond theme.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

So...what can you eat?

After learning that there might be a relationship between Baby Chuck's eczema and allergies to wheat, soy, nuts, and fish, hubby and I decided to stop eating those foods.  It was a difficult transition to make because bread, pasta, nuts, and Asian food were staples in our diet.

Here are 3 things that I've learned while navigating our new dietary restrictions:

(1)  Me encanta la comida mexicana. 
I love me some Mexican food.  Tostadas?  Hard shell tacos?  Corn tortillas?  It's great that we can make a ton of flavorful dishes using these corn products.     

(2)  You say potato, I say yum-ato.
I previously avoided these vegetables because I hated peeling them.  Now I'm rekindling my love for these tubers.  French fries?  Roasted potatoes?  Yes, please!   

(3)  I won't say no to faux.
Every so often I get a craving for one of our blacklisted items.   To satisfy my urges, we've ventured into the gluten-free section of the grocery store and tried out some products.  Although they tend to run on the pricier side, they are a nice treat.  It's nice to know that I can still have a doughnut and a faux peanut butter jelly sandwich every once in awhile.      

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sofa Series 3: Fabric arrival

After many days of internet searching,  I finally found a lovely green indoor/outdoor fabric that was cute, affordable, and easy to clean.  This past weekend, my 12 yards of upholstery fabric arrived in the mail.         

I can't help it.  I love doodling on boxes...


After oohing and ahhing for a bit, hubby and I brought it to our local vintage furniture shop.  I'm super excited to see what they do...  (Click here for the big reveal!)

New to our sofa adventure?  You can read about where we found our sofa and our decision to get it professionally reupholstered.

Monday, March 5, 2012

DIY- Rainbow rice krispies

Rice krispy treats are my new favorite dessert.  They're perfect for satisfying my sweet tooth, super easy to make, and they're wheat/soy/nut free!  Score!

This Sunday our church held it's monthly potluck and of course, I really wanted to bring them.  Since I already brought them to the previous month's potluck (I told you they were my favorite dessert), I figured I should probably shnazz them up.   That's when I thought to make some St. Patrick's day themed rice krispy treats.  Oooh.      

To make them, I tweaked the basic rice krispy recipe.  After melting the marshmallows, I divided the goo into 6 different containers.  Then, I quickly added food coloring into each of the containers (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.)  Hubby quickly followed behind and stirred the food coloring into the melted marshmallows while I added rice krispies into the mixture.

It was crazy.  I felt like Lucy, rushing to eat the chocolates off the conveyer belt.  Hubby was mixing, I was mixing, rice krispies were falling onto the floor, the marshmallows were hardening a little too quickly, and in the midst of it all we actually broke a spoon. 

As each color finished, I quickly scooped the sticky mixture into one of four mini bread loaf pans that I previously buttered.  I added color on top of color and then got these:    

Ooooh.  Here I am slicing a colorful ricey log.

Rainbows for everyone!  (Note:  Pot of  gold not included.)



Looking back, I probably should have just made one color first, then made one layer of colorful rice krispies, and then moved onto each of the following colors.  The layers would have been neater and things wouldn't have gotten so out of hand.  Oh well, there's always next time!

Special thanks to hubby for being a good sous chef.


To see my Academy Awards rice krispy treats, click here.
To see my Peep rice krispy treat, click here

Friday, March 2, 2012

6 months old

Today Baby Chuck turns 6 months old.   Here's a gift from him to you, dear reader. 
Thanks for joining us on this new adventure.


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