Ziploc Works for Me in the Morning

23 07 2008

Ziploc Twist 'n Loc - Containers & Lids, Small - 3 eaLittle Bean has a strange appetite and breakfast is no exception. Sometimes she’s ravenous, other times she just nibbles. I got tired of pouring her a bowl of cereal in the morning, only to have her abandon her mighty men to soak up the milk and swell to gargantuan proportions. Instead I’ve come up with a painless way to handle breakfast time. The night before, I fill a ziploc twist n’ loc, (which are shaped like little bowls too!), with her cereal and screw the lid back on. When she gets up, we get her a sippy cup of milk and open the container. The container acts like a prepackaged single serving, which is convenient when you can’t think straight after getting out of bed (I am really not a morning person!). She’s then free to munch what she feels like eating, with no wasted soggy cereal. Twist the lid back on and save the rest for later!

I know this isn’t an ingenious, earth-shattering idea, but it does keep me sane!

For a large variety of helpful hints, visit Rocks in My Dryer. Works for Me Wednesday!

Swimming lessons for toddlers?

22 07 2008

I read an interesting article on swimming lessons for toddlers today. The author thinks you should forgo lessons for children under age 4. The AAP says Regardless of the program design or focus, infant and toddler aquatic programs are unable to ensure that children will understand water hazards, use appropriate avoidance strategies, or attain program safety goals. Currently, no data are available to determine if infant and toddler aquatic programs increase or decrease the likelihood of drowning. Programs that claim to make children safe in water or safe from drowning are misrepresenting what is possible and are giving parents a false sense of security about their child’s safety in the water.

I have been considering swimming lessons for Bean especially since the grandparents have a pool and our health insurance will reimburse us for at least one class. I never considered that a lesson would replace proper supervision of toddlers in a pool just as I don’t envision my little Bean to become the next Elaine Breeden after a few lessons at the Y either. From what I understand, swimming lessons with babies and toddlers are just for getting out of the house and splashing around. Are there really programs that claim to make children safe in water?


Minimizing Monday in our Kitchen

21 07 2008

With a little inspiration from Handprints on the Wall, I’ve started yet another phase of decluttering the kitchen. Our kitchen is like a black hole: many things are sucked in, but very few things ever escape! I’ve managed to finish one set of cabinets. Here’s the result:

Ok, so I picked an easy cabinet that looks pretty much the same as when I started. But everything on the right came out of there and is being sent to a new home. I’ll try to finish this week.

For more suggestions and “guidelines” for making sense of the clutter monster in your kitchen, be sure to stop by Minimizing Mondays at Handprints on the Wall.

Where’s the sun? (a rant about the weather…)

19 07 2008

Here in Anchorage the topic on everyone’s mind lately has been the crummy weather.  It’s been raining and cloudy a lot lately.  I think there have been only two days this summer that the temperature hit 70.  Mainly, it’s been in the low 60’s, high 50’s.  I guess I should have known that it would be a cold summer when it snowed more than a foot on April 25.  Not that I’m complaining, mind you.  I would take 60’s over 90’s any day.  I’m just a little bummed that I can’t have the garden I always envisioned.  And there’s something inherently wrong with seeing your breath in the middle of July.

The fireweed is blooming already- usually a sure sign that summer is coming to an end.  And not much except the broccoli and cabbage has grown any significant amount yet.  Oh, I take that back, the potatoes have grown, but I’ve run out of loose dirt and extra tires to pile on them.  I’m thinking of buying a few tires from the Salvation Army ($4.25 with our military discount) and maybe digging up part of our yard so I won’t have to buy dirt at $7 a bag.  I imagine I would need at least four.  Planting potatoes in tires is such an ingenious idea, I just had more seed potatoes to plant than tires collected.

Ah, well, that’s what garden journals are for- so you remember next year what did or didn’t work!

Wishing you better weather!

Feisty Friday

18 07 2008

This is an older scrapbook page, but I just have to share it today since “feisty” is Bean’s word of the day. She refuses to wear clothing, yet has put her shoes on and is carrying her purse around saying she’s going to the store.

The flowers are made with Stampin’ Up punches and I cut the leaves freehand. I used some ribbon scraps, heart brads, and sticker letters. The colors are brighter than my camera wants to show…perfect for our little spunky one.

Celebrating Peach Ice Cream Day

17 07 2008

I love peaches! And what better way to celebrate them than with a day devoted to peach ice cream—-yum!!! (Yes, that needs 3 exclamation points) Sadly, I do not have peach ice cream right now and no prospects for acquiring any.  Maybe next year…or next week? Meanwhile, kmorganmoss at a Yankee in a Southern Kitchen has a post devoted to her quest to create yummy peach ice cream. It is a fun story, even if I don’t have a tasty frozen treat to enjoy while reading.

Playing in the park

16 07 2008

Irish Whiskey Cake

11 07 2008


My in-laws who are visiting this month brought with them an Irish whiskey cake from Downey’s Cakes.  It was beyond good, but it was a very small cake, so we of course wanted to get some more.  I had the great idea to try to find a similar recipe so that we a. wouldn’t have to wait and b. wouldn’t have to spend an arm and a leg on another cake.  Well, I am not sure it will be as good as the original, but I found a recipe from the Washington Post  based on this famous cake and it looks promising!  It is currently in the fridge soaking up all the whiskey sauce.  We are planning on trying it tomorrow.

Here is a photo of the cake- the only bundt cake pan I currently own is a sandcastle cake mold.  Actually, it really works with the theme- an Irish castle cake with Irish whiskey!


We can't wait to try this!!

Update: We had the cake after dinner tonight.  It's a little strong on the whiskey, but overall it was really good and I only had a small slice so I want more :)  Great served with whipped cream, would be great with vanilla ice cream too.  Make sure you have a big glass of milk handy!

Vegetable Stock

10 07 2008
vegetable stock

I use vegetable stock and broth in a lot of my cooking, but MSG gives me headaches. It is next to impossible to find anything affordable! So here is my 1st attempt at boiling the menagerie of leftover veggies (1 part veggies to 1 part water, more or less) from my pantry and fridge. There’s also a nice big bunch of parsley from to container on our back porch. I’ll update later with an after photo to see if it actually came out.



 UPDATE: The broth came out nicely, but I couldn’t use any of the boiled veggies, since I had added onion skins and veggie peelings to the pot. Here is a picture of the broth with some peppercorns and allspice berries being brewed up to make a tasty brine for our Christmas in July turkey.

Keeping track of library books

9 07 2008

Works for Me Wednesday!

     I love taking books out of the library, but I’m not very good at remembering when to bring them back. I don’t mind donating money to the library paying my fines, however, I’d rather take control of the situation. One way that works for me is to write the due date on the calendar as soon as I get home from the library. (So obvious, why wasn’t I doing this sooner?) It helps plan the next trip, instead of making a last minute dash to return late books. Another thing I found helpful is the “receipt,” or list of books that the librarian hands me after I’ve signed out books. I can cross off books that got returned early and use it as a checklist when gathering books to bring back.
     Lastly, I always take advantage of the online feature to access my library patron information. The library makes it easy to get a list of the books I have checked out and when they’re due (and the amount of any fines I have accumulated), as well as request books from other libraries and see my reading history. You should look to see what your library has online!

    Visit Rocks in my Dryer for lots of different Works For Me Wednesday Tips.