Thursday, March 30, 2006

LOL I WON....Again!

Wow how ironic I was just writing about how lucky I am. I actually won something this time worth noting, no stupid jar opener this time.
My mom calls me today telling me I have a huge box that arrived at her house. I had to reassure her it wasn't anything embarrassing. She was hesitant but she agreed to open it. She called me back telling me how shocked she was opening the box. Having no clue what I ordered to be sent to her house I was a bit worried. She then said the first thing she saw was Congratulations 2nd Place Winner of the Centrum Daily Essentials Sweepstakes. I apparently won a huge box of pots and pans from Farberware.
Here is a picture of them on Amazon for reference:


Anyways, my mom was in more shock when I told her how I won. Centrum has a daily email they send out to remind you to take your vitamins. I subscribed just for that, I have a bad memory. At the bottom of the email it asks if you took your vitamin...yes or no. If you click on either you get one entry in a rotating sweepstakes. Currently they have a cruise as the grand prize, and fruit of the month as the 1st prize, and an indoor George Foreman grill as the 2nd prize.

I had a feeling I was due to win something big, but I didn't expect this. I didn't put much thought in the "Entering the Sweepstakes" part of the email, I just needed a way to remember to take my vitamins.
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I Won!

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I was at Curves today doing my workout, and I won something. They have a game where you toss a quarter on the Twister mat and each circle has a "prize". It used to just be either a raffle ticket or $1 Curves Dollar (not sure what they are good for). Well this week they added something...A Small Curves Prize. My quarter landed on it, so I got a jar opener. Yeah Me!

See the thing is I always win, not to be vein, it is just true. When I called my mom today I started off by saying "Mom! You will never believe what happened today!". She responded with "What did you win?" She then proceeded to make fun of me for winning so much.
So then my husband gets home and I tell him. Not much better of a response. Unless it is big, then my winnings usually just get laughed off. I haven't won anything BIG for awhile. I'd have to say it was when I lived in Washington State. Friends of mine where going to play BINGO in the beginning of Nov. I was a little hesitant to go because we were saving money for Christmas. My husband insisted I go because I needed time with my friends, and he added "besides you'll probably win some money anyways." I laughed and told him that was impossible. I won the last time I went to play BINGO a few years ago, I can't possibly be lucky enough to win again. We made a bet, and well I ended up winning $300. That was a bet I didn't mind losing, but he made me change my screen name to ladyluck. I get the funniest responses when I give out my email address.
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Monday, March 27, 2006

Ball Gown

My husband's work is having a ball that my husband wants to go to. He really just wants to see me all dressed up, and it is the only excuse he could come up with. My mom is flying in to watch the kids, always nice to have a free babysitter.
I was making a ball gown today for this ball. I was making it out of a cheap, less than $1/yard, fabric to make sure the pattern was going to work. Good thing I did, come to find out the dress made me look pregnant. Not the message I want to send. Although I love my kids to death, I don't want anymore. So I'm going to try another pattern probably tomorrow. I need to figure out what dress to make so I can order the fabric soon.

So my tip for the day: If you are sewing something out of really expensive fabric, always make it first in the cheap stuff to make sure that you will look as good as the picture makes you think you will.
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Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Perfect Day

Today has been a near perfect day. Today is picture day at school, and my kids actually looked nice with little effort. I got my son's cow-licks in order, which is a miracle. I had a good workout, I didn't feel exhausted afterwards. I come home and find a package on my door step, which was some fabric I ordered. Later another box of fabric came in. My daughter had a nice play date after school. Then the mailman came with everything else in the world I've order in the last 2 weeks. Gosh I ordered a lot of things online. Well anyways the mailman brought some other great mail. Our insurance bill came (cars and rental), and it is $30 less a month but we get more coverage. My cable bill came, and it said I had a credit of $35. Who knew getting bills would be a good thing. My husband says he gets the day off tomorrow. I talked to a lady about getting my son in Cub Scouts, which meets on Friday evenings - which is great because there is no worry about homework then. I don't know how this day could get better.

Well aside from all my good fortune, I wanted to share a website I came across. It is called BebeReviews It is a great resource for mothers with babies and toddlers. It is a fairly new site, but it has great potential. They review everything from the latest baby products to places to take your little ones.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Spring Bulbs

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Spring is always exciting for me. I love it when the bulbs start coming up and blooming. It is always a surprise what will come up, since I move so frequently I rarely see any of the bulbs I plant. I assume I'm alone on this, because most people plan their garden out, and I am merely at the mercy of the prior tenant. For those of you who can, try and plan your flower beds so they have flowers from spring to the end of summer. There is about 3 phases bulbs go through, Early Spring when your Daffodils and Crocuses come up. Mid Spring is best known for its Tulips, which is my favorite flower. Then Late Spring you get your Lilies and Dahlias. Although, I have been noticing some hybrid bulbs in the stores nowadays that sell late blooming varieties of bulbs. This would be nice, so I could have tulips around for awhile. Once all the bulbs have died your annuals will be blooming, which should bloom all summer.

This time of year reminds me of when we lived near Seattle. They had a big Tulip Festival. It was so amazing to see fields of tulips growing everywhere. My favorite part was the Tulip Flag. Yes those are actually tulips.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Solution to Messy Kids Tooth Paste

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Living in a rental has a lot of inconveniences. Right now our kids bathroom doesn't work for them. The counter is to big for them and the sink faucet is to far away. So this causes big messes when it comes to brushing their teeth. I finally got fed up with cleaning toothpaste from EVERYWHERE, so I came up with a solution. It is the Tooth Paste Station. They have to put their toothpaste on the brush while it is on this station. Then they rinse their spit down the drain with the cup. If everything stays on this station area, then there shouldn't be much of a mess (or at least not on the carpet down the hallway).
I simply traced each item and colored a border with sharpies. I cut the paper to shape with decorative scissors. Then I taped the paper down with packing tape. I pretty much laminated the paper to the counter with the tape. It won't prevent water completely, but that is why I have a back up image on the computer.

I will definitely let you know how this new system works, and if it keeps the toothpaste from going everywhere.
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Saturday, March 18, 2006

How to Make a Layered Cake

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These are some of the things you will need to make your layered cake:
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A cake pan, parchment paper, scissors, decorative scissors (optional), cake mix, icing, pudding pack and cool whip. It helps to have an icing spatula - it is long and flat perfect for spreading, a cake spatula - great to move the cake, a Ziploc bag, a serrated knife - I use my bread knife, and a cooling rack.

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Take a piece of parchment paper and trace around the cake pan. Cut a quarter of an inch on the inside of your trace mark. Make sure none of the line remains on the paper. Spray the cake pan with non-stick spray, place the cut out parchment paper at the bottom, and spray again with non-stick spray.


Follow the directions to make the cake. To test the cake give it a little giggle in the oven. If it looks like jello it is not done yet.


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I like to put my cake in a display case, so I trace out the size of the lid on parchment paper. I then cut out a quarter inch on the inside, but this time with my decorative scissors. It is a good idea to cut out some parchment paper for the cake so that it is easier to move, regardless of how you store the cake afterwards.

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Place the cake on top of the decorative parchment paper.

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While it cools, I make the filling for my layers. I make a very basic filling made from pudding mix and Cool Whip. A small tub of Cool Whip mixes well with a small box of pudding. The final mix tests just like mousse.

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Use the serrated knife to cut your layers. You can do this by using the cooling rack as a guide. It is a good idea to cut off the dome from the top of the cake as well. The extra top is great to test for quality control. Image hosting by Photobucket


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Putting a border around the cake with icing helps prevent the filling from spilling out. You can do this by taking the icing and putting it in a Ziploc with a corner cut out of it.

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After you are done stacking your cake you can ice it. It is better to have to much icing at first and just take it off, than to have to little and constantly trying to add more. Just try and keep your spatula level with the cake to get that smooth look.

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Now you can add some sprinkles for a finishing touch.
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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Precious Lawn Chair

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The previous tenant came by yesterday. Seemed like a very professional type man, well dressed, nice car, ect. He came by to pick up something he had left. He wanted to retrieve his lawn chair. Now this chair is the kind that is a dollar at Walmart. The metal frame with plastic tubing as the seat and back support. Whats worse is this thing was OLD. It looked bent, rusted, and just overall in bad shape. We put it to the side because we didn't think it would even support a person. I just find it humorous that this guy would come back 3 months after he moved out to pick up his stupid lawn chair. It wasn't important to take with, but obviously important enough to come back for....3 months later.

I guess one man's trash is anothers treasure.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Nutella -- The Addiction Begins

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A couple of years ago my husband made me buy a jar of Nutella. I had never heard of it, so I figure why not, lets try it. My husband assured me he had tried it and it is delicious. When we got home he started eating it with a spoon, something he does with peanut butter too. The kids then joined him and fell in love with this stuff. Seeing how addicting it was I decided not to try it. It wasn't that I was afraid that I won't like it, oh no on the contrary, I was afraid I'd fall in love with it. The kids and my husband have been eating this stuff constantly since then. I have to have at least 2 jars of it in case we run out. Knowing how good it seems to be I encourage others to try it to see if maybe it was just my family. All of my friends fell in love with the stuff as well. I was more determined not to try it.

Well today I was making my daughter a Nutella and peanut butter sandwich (my kids favorite way to eat it) and I got some on my hand. Without thinking I liked it off. OH!!!! I'm in trouble now. It is wonderful! I ended up making myself a PB and Nutella sandwich as well. So now the addiction begins.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Art Class Butterflies

My son brought home some butterflies he drew in art class. I thought they are pretty cool, so I wanted to share. I'm probably going to frame them and hang them up in my daughter's room.


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Monday, March 13, 2006

Things to take to the park

The weather here has been so nice lately. Its been in the 80s for a couple of days now! This is the time I start thinking about summer and what to do with the kids when school gets out. I know, really early for thinking about summer vacation, but I try hard not to procrastinate. I'm the one who has their holiday shopping done in October.
There is some really nice parks in this area, so I thought I'd put together a bag of things to take to the park. I'm going to put everything in a tote bag and leave it in the garage. That way when we are heading off to the park I can just grab it and go. I do have some things I keep in my car, like my parachute, just for spontaneous fun where ever we are.

Park Bag Contents:
Suntan Lotion
Bottled Water
Snacks
First Aid Kit
Insect Repellent
Wet Ones
Laser Tag Game
Playground Ball
Bubbles
Velcro Mitt and Ball
A few Sand Toys
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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Quality Time With Kids

Since last weekend we spent a majority of our fun money budget on going to the circus, this weekend we are staying home. That doesn't mean that we can't have fun here. We played a family game of Hullaballo until we all got tired, it is an action game like Simon says. Then I taught the kids how to make bread from scratch. We mixed up the ingredients and then kneaded the dough. That was my kids favorite part I think. Then we let it rise, put it in the pan, let it rise again. Next the kids got to poke their fingers in the dough in order to make it a flat bread, and finally sprinkle sea salt on top.
It went well with our pasta dish for dinner that night. The leftovers were great for dipping in our cheese fondue for lunch today. I think later on we are going to take the kids to the park to get all their energy out. Maybe I can even talk my husband into putting together my new patio furniture.
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Friday, March 10, 2006

Amazon.com Tip

If you shop on Amazon often you know that if you spend $25 on "qualified purchases" you can get free shipping. Yesterday I was ordering the book Power Sewing, which is $22.02. Just short of the $25 to get free shipping. Now I admit, I'm a cheap person and my husband was laughing at my dilemma. So I was on a hunt to find ANYTHING on Amazon that was $2.98. Well after hunting on their site for at least a half hour I came across the Health & Personal Care section. There was a link for anything that qualified for free shipping, so I sorted it by price low to high. I found a spice, parsley flakes, for exactly $2.98. Ironically I did need them, so it all worked out. There was some other things there as well, but the parsley flakes just worked out for me. So for all those cheap and looking for free shipping here is a link to the Health & Personal Care section where you can find something to make up the $25 so you can get free shipping. It is like getting something free, as long as the item you get is cheaper than the shipping you'd have to pay if you didn't get it.
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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Belt

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Yesterday my daughter and I made her a belt. It is pretty cute, and very easy to make. I used Berroco's Suede yarn. I basically just took how long I wanted to make it and did a simple braided belt. I doubled up on the yarn so it is strong enough. Then I took and braided 3 strands and braided those three strands together. I tried to make the finally braid lay a little flat. Then I just took some extra yarn and tied on the button. It was fun to do with my daughter because we took turns holding the top and braiding.
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Monday, March 06, 2006

New Look

Ok, I spent all day messing with it. Here is the new look for the Creative Homemaker. I couldn't take the template anymore. This isn't a whole lot better, but its an improvement. I just wanted to make a quick post to verify my coding works.
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Circus

We went to the circus yesterday. The kids had such a great time. It was the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey "The Greatest Show on Earth". All week we told the kids that we were going to "The Greatest Show on Earth", but never told them what it was. It was so much fun getting them all excited about it. When we got to the Coluseum there was a booth selling programs, but the sells guy just called it the Greatest Show on Earth. It wasn't until my son read the program that they knew what we were going to do.

We got there an hour early for the pre-show, which was pretty neat. They had clowns performing in three different areas. They rotated the clowns so that the crowds were a little more contained. The show itself was really awesome. The kids were wide eyed the whole time. During intermission we got some cotton candy and snow cones, which of course made a huge mess. Fortunately for us they both came with wet wipes. It was cool though because they came with a suviuoir too, the cotton candy came in a tall felt hat and the snow cones where in clown mugs.

Now I must admit this was not the most frugal adventure, actually it was really expensive. However, it was a treat for the kids for putting up with this move. They were real troopers through the hole thing and they are really having trouble adjusting to a school with much higher standards than the one we left.
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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Felted Bag

I was playing around with felting the other day and I made this bag. Its kind of cute, but small, and I'm not keen on the color. I figured since I wasn't crazy about the color of the yarn then it would be ok to mess with. I probably could have felted it more, but I decided not to waste my time on it. The bottom is an eye shape and has cardboard sandwiched in the felt for a sturdy bottom. I like the concept of the bag though. Now that I think I've worked all the flaws out of the pattern, I'll go buy some yarn and make one for myself.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Etsy

I listed my first item for sale on Etsy today. I did my We've Moved postcards. Ray was a little upset because he thought they were our trademark. We agreed it would be ok to sell more without the submarine stamp on the front.
I'm selling 2 sets of 8 postcards for $6.50. I think that is reasonable, but I guess I'll find out later.
Creative Homemaker Etsy Shop
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