Sunday, July 17, 2016

Giving away one cute four year old. Oh no, no NO WAIT! I meant update on the four year old, reports on random giveaways...

Hello internets! (If there's anyone left reading here, that is). In case you didn't notice, I did not post a thing for four whole months. Then my good for nothing cat kicked the bucket and of course I had to honor him with a post, because despite being a pain in the neck a lot of the time, I did really, really love that bag of bones fur-ball.

My point is, I have been kind of deciding whether to continue this blog at all. Back when I started it a decade ago, I had a good old time posting silly signs. But these days everyone is already posting the same type of thing on Facebook so why click all the way to a blog?

I like having recipe posts up because it's easy to send a recipe to friend or my children and they do get a TON of views. But...recipes are not that fun to post.

So for today I just decided on a little family update and a giveaway review.

Family update: we are fighting fruit flies like crazy, my boy got his license, and the Head of Demolition, Little Miss Four Years Old has strep and possibly hand, foot & mouth disease.

Still cute though, no?


Now onto the giveaway review. Once upon a time my now 21 year old wanted to win a jacket online. I told her, "No one wins that stuff!" But I was wrong. She won a beautiful teal jacket that she loved for many years.

Ever since I have been AMAZED at how much stuff gets given away over the internet. And yeah sure every now and then there's a scandal and maybe actually someone didn't win something. But mostly, there's just a ton of bloggers and social media influences out there hoping that if they give away enough stuff, you'll follow them on Facebook or whatever.

I've won a couple Amazon cards, some books, a cheese plate, and a bunch of fabric that I ended up giving to Goodwill because I forgot when I entered the giveaway that I don't actually sew.

In any case, here are a couple I saw this week that I thought were interesting:

- Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital SLR Camera (plus a lightbox and some kind of start up photo course)

Canon camera giveaway


- Lego (or Lego compatible?) Star Trek Enterprise building set

Lego Star Trek giveaway


The silliest giveaway I've seen this week is one for 2000 Flushes (plus a $25 Walmart gift card).

toilet cleaner and gift card giveaway


And of course, you can still find so many, many other giveaways to enter (or links for your own giveaway) on my giveaway page.

DISCLAIMER: First off, the three giveaway pictures are NOT mine (they came from Pixabay) and do NOT show the actual prize. Secondly, I am NOT running any of these giveaways. They are just the most interesting ones I happened to see while I was looking around (I mean 2000 Flushes!). I am not responsible for providing the prizes nor are the giveaways associated with me in any way, shape or form. So please don't sue me.




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Sunday, July 03, 2016

Goodbye Sugar Tov

Hello long lost blogging world. I know I have been gone a good, long time but am just popping in to say that our sweet kitty Sugar Tov is gone. This is a cat who would answer the door, always interested to see who was coming to visit. He came to check on me if I coughed, checked on the baby if she cried too loudly. He came when called. He was a good, good cat for 15 years.

Sugar had many hobbies. Playing guitar of course:


Reading:

Swimming:


and of course impersonations (here he poses as a water bottle):



Sometimes he just liked to relax, cuddle up with the remote, and watch TV:


He never hesitated to stop and smell the roses. Or eat the roses. Either way.


He definitely wasn't lazy though. He knew when it was time to get to work:





Unlike most cats, Sugar was every bit as productive on a Mac as he was on a PC:



He was a supporter of Israel. 




And was otherwise religiously observant:



Of course he was the best guard cat ever. Here he is attacking some vicious garland that tried to enter the house:


Keeping watch from high atop the fridge:


Making sure the mattress didn't blow away after hurricane Ike:



And of course he could barely call himself a cat if he didn't vigorously check the safety of each cardboard box that entered the house:


Like all health conscious cats, he liked to keep an eye on his weight:
Above all he was a good sport and an all around wonderful animal. We will miss you Sugar. 









Sugar Tov (2001-2016)



Friday, March 04, 2016

Even Easier Than Pasta Spaghetti Squash

Once upon a time when my 20 year old was just a little girl and well before gluten-free became a thing, my then mother-in-law Irma praised the wonderful spaghetti squash.


Unfortunately for an entire decade I was afraid.

Because squash.

But recently as gluten free and Paleo were making their ascent, I began to lose my fear of squash. It started with butternut squash and soon I had made my way all the way to the famed spaghetti squash. Lo and behold, Irma turned out to be right.

In all honesty, it does not taste a whole lot like spaghetti to me and the texture is more like a watercress, but once it's covered in sauce...who really cares?

But the great thing is, it really IS as easy as my ex-mother-in-law made it out to be and presumably quite healthy too.

First, stab the squash.


You don't have to kill it all the way. Just pierce it a few times to let out the steam. I like to to stab it right where I'm going to have to cut it anyway. Because...laziness.

Then microwave it five minutes on one side, five minutes on the next side, a little longer if it's a very large squash.


Cut the squash in half.


That stringy stuff is NOT the spaghetti! Those are just some seeds and stringy stuff. Scoop it out with a spoon and toss it. A grapefruit spoon works well for this part, but I couldn't find mine.


Now the fun part: take a fork and gently scrape the sides of the squash. Ta-da! Magic "spaghetti"! Only gluten free and healthy! If it's hard to scrape, just stick it back in the microwave for a few minutes.
Scooping out the spaghetti from the squash

Then just do whatever you do to normal spaghetti. I usually cover it with spaghetti sauce but I've also made it into spaghetti-lasagna by just layering it with ricotta.

gluten free spaghetti ready to eat

And look! No huge pot of water to clean up afterward!

And for those people who like actual recipes to look at:

Microwave Spaghetti Squash


Ingredients:
One spaghetti squash
Sauce of your choice

Directions:
Pierce sides of spaghetti squash.
Microwave on one side for five minutes.
Turn over and microwave on the other side.
Cut in half.
Scoop out the seeds and inside parts that looks like it SHOULD be the "spaghetti" and throw it away or compost it.
Scrape out the actual spaghetti from the flesh using a fork- that's the part you really eat!
Serve with pasta sauce of your choice.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Paper Bag Tree Activity for Tu B'Shevat


Post contains affiliate links.  See full disclosure here.

One of my favorite Tu B'Shevat activities is a paper bag tree in blossom. They're SO easy and fun! There's no glue or other adhesive necessary since the packing peanuts stick all by themselves when wet.


Materials:
~ Colored biodegradable packing peanuts such as these from Amazon  (or just any leftovers)
~ Brown paper lunch sacks

Directions:
1) Open lunch sack.

2) Squash the middle of the sack to make the trunk.
3) Tear about four or five strips into the top of the sack to make branches. This part requires adult help for the very little ones.

4) Squish to mold the branches.
5) Very lightly wet each of the packing peanuts and put them on the tree as blossoms. This is the hardest part since kids tend to want to wet the packing peanuts enough to dissolve them. I sometimes just have them press the peanut against a sponge instead of fully wetting it.

The finished tree:


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