Tuesday, January 1, 2013

21st Birthday Present.

So my eldest and her friends are all turning 21 this year. Yikes! The inspiration for this came from a white elephant gift my niece made this year, an "alcohol tree". So, I decided to make an alcohol bouquet ! Super easy.....Super cute!

Items needed: floral sticks, floral tape, precut tule rounds (in the bridal section of craft stores), cute ribbon, small liquor bottles.
1. Use the floral tape to attach the bottles to a stick. I found 3 times around the bottle center effective.
2. Take a few tule rounds, punch a hole in the center and slide up the stick, gather around bottle neck and secure with ribbon.
3. Repeat and wrap in paper like a bouquet.

Wahla! You have a great gift for a 21 year old ready to get hopped up and make some bad decisions!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

First, do no harm...

It is really a simple statement, one that in my home is our golden rule. Do no harm. No harm to yourself or others. No harm to people, animals and property. Do no harm.

I write this today after a friend told me about some sibling issues in her home. Like many of you, her kids act out when upset. Sibling squabbles become verbal attacks and oftentimes become physical. I have seen this too many times to count and often with terrifying and lasting consequences. So, I thought I would share this bit of parenting wisdom with anyone who has ears to hear.

Do no harm.

I decided years ago that the whole rule thing was just too hard to manage (i.e. I couldn't keep track of all the rules being made) so I decided to simplify, not sweat the small stuff and implement this little gem from the Hippocratic Oath. I began managing my four children based on this one simple rule. And here's the thing; it worked and continues to work to this day. Come into my home and you will not hear screaming and crying, you will not see hair pulling or slapping. You will meet four children who get along, because they simply have no other choice. Peace.

Do no harm. It seems to simple I know, but once you think about it, it covers just about everything that's important, words and actions alike and provides endless teachable moments. The added benefit? A peaceful and safe home.

Decide now what battles you really want to fight with your kids. The way I have used this as stated above, is as our golden rule. When your kid does something and you find yourself starting to make or quote some obscure rule, stop yourself and think, is this harmful? These are the offenses that receive punishment as above all else I want my kids to know without a doubt how to treat others and use sound judgement that will keep them safe. Yes, I get annoyed when they spill cola on my newly cleaned carpet, or don't immediately do as they are told, but they don't get grounded. If my kid stubbed her toe and blurts out an f-bomb she will be corrected, but if the same word is used in anger towards another she will loose all privileges and be forced to make amends.

The point? If you implement it make it count, make it meaningful and above all else, make it something they will live by for the rest of their lives. Do no harm.

Now, go get your glass of vino and run a bubble bath, because your home is under control.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quick Summer Salads: Cucumber Chicken Salad

A great way to use up leftover grilled or rotissere chicken and super easy! No Carbs, and very filling!
***As always with my recipes, ORDER of ingredients matters!!

  • Chicken, cooked and cut into bite size pieces.
  • 2-3 TBS lemon juice preferably fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 cucumber, striped (remove 1/2 of the peel by making lengthwise stripes) 
  • Cajun seasoning (get the cheap one for $1 at the grocery)
Cut the cucumber lengthwise, then cut 1/4 halfmoons from each half. Place in bowl. Add lemon juice and toss, generously sprinkle with cajun seasoning and toss again, add chicken and toss. Let rest a few minutes so the chicken  soaks up most of the juice. Enjoy!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Quick Summer Salads: Avocado Salad (Tylor's favorite!)

Fresh and spicy! No carbs and totally addicting! The salt, lime, chili and avocado actually make the dressing for this salad.

***As always with my recipes, ORDER of ingredients MATTERS!!

  1. Juice of 1 Medium Lime (have an extra on hand in case the first one is "dry"
  2. 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  3. 3/4th to1 Serranno chili pepper minced-depending on your bravery (do NOT touch with hands, if you do immediately coat hands in butter or milk then wash well with soap and water)
  4. 1 Avocado, skinned and chopped 
  5. 1 head romaine, washed and salad chopped (Holding head flat, make 2 lengthwise slices through head, then cut from tip to base in 1 inch increments for perfect bite size pieces.
  6. Pomegranet seeds or 1/2 chopped pear, and or grilled chicken.(Optional)
Put lemon juice and salt in a bowl, add chopped chili pepper and stir. Let sit while you chop the avocado, then add to bowl and stir. Let sit while you chop the romaine, add and toss. add any optional items and toss and serve....Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quick Summer Salads: Turkey Pineapple

This is one of those recipes you will just have to TRUST me on....It is fantastic. Try it, you'll love me later! :)
LOW carb, about 10 for a cup. Kid friendly!

  • 1 packaged UNCUT hickory smoked turkey breast (I buy Jennie O, usually $6-7 at market) chopped into pieces about 1/2" size cubes
  • 1 15oz can of pineapple chunks in juice NOT syrup!
  • 6 green onions, washed and chopped
  • 2 TBS of the juice from the pineapple
  • 2TBS mayo (NOT miraclewhip)
  • sprinkling of garlic salt, @ 1/2 tsp
Combine all in bowl and toss until all is coated..."dressing" on meat and pineapple should be the consistency of milk or cream. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Herbs and such....

I like to mix my own  herbs and spices, and grow them whenever possible. Here are a few of my favorites and some tips.

Growing Fresh: Nothing is better than fresh Herbs! If you are so inclined to do a small herb garden, I might suggest that you plant 6-8 heads of Romaine lettuce along side and 1 or 2 roma tomato plants. Romaine is easy to grow and each night when you make dinner, you can simply harvest the outermost leaves on each to make your salad. Add some fresh herbs and a tomato or 2 and you have an amazing FREE salad. (6-8 head of romaine will last us almost the entire summer!)

As the summer winds down and your herbs are enormous, you will want to dry them for use until you plant again. There are a few ways to do this:
  • The long way...Tie stems together and hang upside down inside until dry, then crumble leaves.
  • The fast way....Pick leaves, place between 2 paper towels and microwave 20 seconds at a time until leaves look wilted, put on counter for 5-10 minutes till cool and crisp. (discolors leaves but works well)
  • Oven: Same as microwave but on cookie sheet with no towels, 200 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.
I suggest buying some inexpensive spice jars, (Ikea has great ones) for storing your spices. Here are a few of my favorite mixes.

Italian: Equal parts oregano, basil and rosemary. (garlic powder and parsley can be added also)

Trilogy: Equal parts salt and onion powder + 1/2 as much white pepper -ie 4T+4T+2T. (fish tacos, grilled eggplant, grilled veggies, Mexican Skirtsteak, )

Blackened steak rub (1 T. Paprika, 1 T chili powder, 2 tsp. Salt, 1 tsp. Onion Powder
1 tsp. Garlic Powder, 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper, 1 tsp. White Pepper, 1 tsp. Black Pepper
½ tsp. Dried Thyme, 1/2 tsp. dry mustard, ½ tsp. Dried Oregano (Blackened steak, hash browns, fried green tomatoes dip)

Mexican: Combine chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic salt and onion powder. (grilled taco meat, skirt steak)

Fowl: 1/4c paprika, 1Tbrown sugar, 2t cayenne, 2tcinnamon, 2t dry mustard, 2t garlic powder, 2t onion powder, 1t salt. (thirsty bird, fish tacos, grilled lemon chicken)

Everyday: Base this on what you like! I use onion, garlic, basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, cayenne, and black pepper. (salads, sandwiches, grilling)

***Note: If you like your spices fine, measure out your mix and grind in a coffee grinder.