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Showing posts from June, 2012

Independence Day Wreath

With Tropical Storm Debby hovering over the Tampa Bay area, I was forced to finally acknowledge that I still had my Christmas wreath up. It's not being lazy, I just didn't have anything else to put up until Halloween. So I decided to take my soggy Christmas wreath down and come up with something for the fast approaching Independence Day holiday. I came up with this simple wreath for less than $1.  Yep...that's right.  Under a dollar! While picking up some supplies at the local box hardware store, I snagged some pipe insulation for 78 cents. I had some duct tape already and of course I knew I had some scrap red, white, and blue yarn. I just simply single crocheted around the ring. Add some felt stars and voila! A very inexpensive door decoration. It's nothing fancy, but very patriotic. Now my Christmas wreath can dry out and take a break for a few months. 

What's for Dinner Wednesday - Meatloaf

I've heard that the best recipes are the ones in your head that you don't have to look up. I'm not sure I agree with that because my head is always so full of stuff that I can't remember how much of each ingredient to put in. That could be a problem - ha! However, I don't think I have ever made meatloaf the same way twice. It started with a recipe and then just grew from there. Meatloaf is one of those dishes that you either love or hate. Usually that dislike stems from a bad experience with a poor serving. I've had some pretty bad meatloaf myself, but I won't mention where it came. Not too long ago, my mom bought me a meat loaf pan and now I really like meatloaf even more. It has these ridges in the bottom of the pan and little holes for the excess grease to drain into a nested pan under it. This makes all the difference in the world. I can't stand greasy food. Plus, with the grease gone, you are left with a moist meatloaf that doesn't fall a

Remove Aluminum from Oven

Remember a few weeks ago when I said I was going to finally get the oven cleaned ? Well, I finally did. Let me start at the beginning. Not too long ago, we got a new oven. So pretty! One day, I thought I was being smart by lining the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil to catch the spills on a particularly messy dish. What I didn't know was that newer oven models have a heating element in the bottom. Oops. So, my trying to keep my oven nice backfired. The aluminum foil adhered to the bottom of oven.  I managed to get some of it up, but a lot of it remained. I tried everything on it, but nothing would get it up. Then I found something on the web and I thought it was worth a try. How to Remove Aluminum from Bottom of Oven The next challenge was finding the materials to do this. I looked at Wal-Mart and Publix, but they didn't carry it. I finally found what I needed at Home Depot. The solution?  Drano Kitchen Crystals. Who would  have thought? I just sprinkled some

Debby Does Tampa Bay

When I was a kid living in Colorado, there was a big controversy of a topless doughnut shop called "Debbie Does Doughnuts" which was playing off the "Debbie does..." porn movies. It's so fitting that the tropical storm we have been dealing with in the Tampa Bay area is named Debby. She's just sitting out there in the gulf, not really moving. It's all the news channels are talking about, but it's not really a big deal. Hopefully, it will run it's course and just move on without causing any real harm. Saturday gave us about 3 inches of rain in the afternoon, with a little wind. Sunday, however, really let it pour. By mid-afternoon, we had 4 inches in the rain gauge. My poor Crape Myrtle is just drooping from the weight of the rain.  I'm sure all this standing water is going to breed tons of bugs in a few days. My poor yard is so saturated that it's starting to resemble a pond. At the end of the day, it's time to empty the g

Gala Cosplay

Pinkamena decided to attend the MetroCon Gala in her new dress. All I can say is that I'm glad it's over. I don't mind sewing, but making these costumes without a pattern is not my cup of tea. It's hard enough to teach someone to sew WITH a pattern. Not to mention that K1 swore she wouldn't make another costume. I knew she was lying when she said it the first three times and I said it before here . This time it started with her drawing. We started with the top. It began as a tube top, but turned into a tank top when she remembered how awkward she felt in the last costume without straps. Let me tell you...making stripes diagonal is no easy task! After deciding that fur would be too hot and itchy, we went with a soft tulle around the neckline and finished it off with a stuffed bow . A simple bow was added to the shoe, which already had a bow on top. I'm glad knit doesn't fray, because I was getting tired of finishing all the edges off and we wer

TOT Training Week 12

It's officially summer, but I think the weather showed up to that party a bit early. Every day it just keeps getting hotter and our traditional afternoon shower pattern has arrived. We need the rain, but it can get heavy and be accompanied by lightening. Plus the humidity only increases when the rain hits the hot pavement.  I am now in week 12 of training for the  runDisney   Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-miler .  I have successfully completed two 5.5 mile runs. Actually, the last one was pretty good. I used the roller before the run, got out 30 minutes earlier (to beat the heat) and felt really good. I wish I could say the same about my 2 mile run earlier this week. Not what I would have expected, but the weather really plays a crucial role in my running. More good news this week. I finally have my thyroid levels under control and I also have brought my cholesterol levels into normal status WITHOUT medication. I was warned that my thyroid disorder could wreak havoc o

What's for Dinner Wednesday: Honey Garlic Chicken

If you like flavor then this is the chicken for you! All I can say is W O W. I was so glad that I found this recipe. It might be a tad on the spicy side, but the flavor is so amazing that I may only cut back slightly for the kids' sake. They liked it as well, but you could tell that it was a little overwhelming for their  pallets . Otherwise, it was the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Photo from Rock Recipes Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken Breasts 4  large boneless chicken breasts Place the chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and using a meat mallet, pound the meat to an even 1/2 inch thickness. Alternatively, you can slice the breasts by placing them flat on a cutting board and using a very sharp knife to slice them into halves horizontally. Sift together: 2 cup flour 4 tsp salt 4 tsp black pepper 3 tbsp ground ginger 2 tbsp ground nutmeg 2 tsp ground thyme 2 tsp ground sage 2 tbsp paprika 1 tsp cayenne pepper M

Crocheted Hot Pad

Yesterday I was blindsided when I went for my annual physical. Somehow, my records were actually looked at and they discovered that I had not had a tetanus shot in 12 years. There was no escaping it. Plus, with the outbreak of pertussis in our county, they decided I needed the full DTP vaccination. Yea me. "It's going to hurt," they told me. Duh. I managed to make it through the rest of the work day, but the pain was bad enough that I didn't feel like doing anything that required me to move my arm AT ALL. I decided to take advantage of this opportunity to learn a new crochet stitch as I only need one hand to do that. Recently, I pinned a new pattern to my Pinterest Crochet board . The idea is to create a double thickness  hot pad  in one stitch. Kathleen @ Miss Abigail's Hope Chest does a great job explaining the stitch and provides images to help you along. In fact, the instructions were clear enough that I was able to pick it right up and not tear out any

Egg Cooker

We aren't HUGE egg fans, but when I need hard boiled eggs the last thing I want to do is stand over a stove and then wreck my fingers peeling them. When the Eggies came out, I thought, hmmm...maybe this will work. Folks, don't waste your money on this one. It was awkward, messy, and didn't work very well at all. If all you are going to do is chop them up, it might be ok. They sure as heck do not look pretty when you take them out and there are a ton of pieces. Too much! For my anniversary this year, my mom and kids got me the Cuisinart Egg Cooker. I was skeptical at first after the Eggies. You have to pierce the eggs with a little tool that is attached to the water measuring cup. I just knew I was going to crack the eggs and make a mess, but I didn't. It requires very little water (a few tablespoons, depending on how many eggs you are making) and you don't have to watch it to make sure it doesn't boil over.  It was quick, easy, AND they were easy to pee

What's for Dinner Wednesday - Slow Cook Ribs

As busy as I am, I'm always on the lookout for a good crock pot meal. This one wasn't half bad. I like sweet BBQ ribs more than I do smokey ones, so this recipe fit the bill. I found it on If you have never checked their site out, you really should. There are tons of ideas and readers leave comments with tweaks to the recipes to make them even better. Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs Ingredients: 4 pounds pork baby back ribs salt and pepper to taste 2 cups ketchup 1 cup chili sauce 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 4 tablespoons vinegar 2 teaspoons dried oregano 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 dash hot sauce Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). 2. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow baking pan. Brown in oven 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another 15 minutes; drain fat. 3. In a medium bowl, mix together the

Shake It!

I love going to the mall. It's my favorite place. Ok, if you believe that, have I got a deal for you (ha ha)! There really isn't any place I wouldn't rather be than the mall, but there are times when I have to suck it up and go. Lucky for me, this little jaunt has a silver lining. A shake shop! You can smell the sugar when you step in the door, which made me a little nervous and slightly dizzy. Or that could be partly from the bright pink and yellow decor. Just about every topping you could ever imagine and endless combinations. You can even choose yogurt instead of ice cream. All the shakes are made to order, so the girls love that there are games available while they wait. Yummy! I think she likes it, too. Even I had to admit the fresh fruit was amazing. However, the shake wasn't the biggest hit of the outing. If she could have got away with taking him home she would have. *sigh* Maybe she'll outgrow this fascination. Soon.