Tuesday, June 28, 2011

With In Arms Reach

As I was making dinner the other night I went to grab a few spices from the pantry.  I was disappointed that I could not find the small jar of curry powder.  At that moment I knew that we needed to do something about our pantry.   The pantry clean up needed to start with a new spice rack.  I have a ton of spices that I use almost daily, and I can't believe how quickly they get unorganized.  I need a few good spice racks that will keep me organized and the spices with in arms reach.  I started looking around for the perfect kitchen spice racks.  I realized that there were so many to choose from.  I don't know if I want a wall spice rack or one for the pantry.  Maybe I need both.  I could keep the spices I use most out on the counter and the others could be tucked away nicely behind a closed door.  Most of my spices come in a glass jar and since I buy all my spices at the same place the jars are nice and uniform.  I am not sure which option would suit me best.  I guess I will have to try a few before the system is perfect.  With so many options for a spice rack how do you choose?  Does anyone have a favorite spice rack that they can't live with out? 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Michael J. Fox: He Still Has "It"

 Guest post of the week by Moises Henderson

For the most part, TV guest cameos are terrible. The actors don't fit in at all with the show's aesthetic or comedic pace. Every now and then, TV shows hit a jackpot. While many Scrubs fans hated Courtney Cox or Elizabeth Banks on the TV show Scrubs, many loved Michael J. Fox's epic performance on the show as a celebrated doctor that everyone respected and went to for advice. While watching the show on http://www.direc4u.com, I fell in love with his performance, too. It felt real. It felt natural. It didn't feel like the producers sat down and said "This is a big star. What can we do with them?" Michael J. Fox didn't feel like he was forced into the show. Rather, he felt like he belonged there all the time. Michael J. Fox effortlessly infiltrated the cast and made it feel like he had been on the show forever. He interacted with every character on their level. He didn't make the show change for his personality or timing. He "fit" within the show cast. I found myself wishing for more Michael J. Fox appearances on the show. He made the perfect quirky mentor for the notably quirky show, and his character's OCD made it easy for the actor to fit in with J.D.'s imagination, Elliot's neurosis, and Dr. Cox's God complex.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Learning to Remodel

Which is harder building a house or a gut rehab?  Well, I don't know about building a house.  I do know that trying to decide on everything for a house is overwhelming.  Just when I thought I knew what I wanted, I saw something new and better.  Building supplies are going green and we want to be on the edge with them.  We want eco-friendly flooring, we want energy star appliances, we want the latest and greatest.  However, the price tag attached is often high.  So where do we go to purchase?  I have been scouring online venders for the perfect flooring.  We want cork, it is resilient, soft on the feet, and best of all can regrow in a short amount of time!  Or maybe we want bamboo flooring, it also can be grown quickly.  At what price, is it a good price? Its hard to tell.  So you can see that I am having a hard time deciding on the interior cosmetics for our gut rehab house.  Once I getting this flooring matter settled, I will be moving on to the kitchen.  I can't even think about that right now!

Future Banking

Online banking is awesome, convenience is key for me.  I find that online banking is convenient.  There are so many things that I enjoy over the traditional brick and mortar banks.  Being able to check my balances on my mobile is just one of the perks.  My bills are paid automatically, and if I do need to transfer money or pay another bill, I can do so from my pajamas in the middle of the night.  There are some pitfalls when it comes to online banking.  You don't have that personal banker that you would get from a brick and mortar, that you would see when you visit your local branch.   You have to worry about the security of the web page that is your bank, and whether or not someone is going to steal your account info.  For me it is worth the worry to continue because online banking is convenient
There are many website sources that can help you jump into the world of online banking.  Knowledge is key, and you can find info all over the Internet.  Check out sites with a guide to banking online, that will provide you with a wealth of information.  I love reading all the material out there dedicated to online banking because, after all, it will make managing my finances much easier!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Time=Pool Time

We have been in the pool almost everyday for the last week.  With the temperatures soaring to 100 degrees nearly everyday, we have to get in the pool for some relief.  Not that it is a chore to take a dip in the pool and oh how the baby loves the water.  He can't get enough.  Though it is not all fun and games when it comes to the pool.  We have to maintain the pool to keep it looking its best.  So we do our weekly cleaning and filter changes.  I really do enjoy testing the water with the chemical set. 
To help cut down on the required maintenance we like to us  pool covers.  It keeps out leaves and other debris that is just a pain to vacuum.  While it does cut down on the leaves, it keeps the water nice and warm.  So I think now that the shade has covered the pool I should go on out and take a dip! 

Monday, March 28, 2011


So I bought some seeds March 15.  To be specific I bought 5 seed packs.  I think everyone is aware of the size of a seed pack.  Unfortunately I paid 6.95 for shipping of the said seed packs.  At the time I thought it was fine, I figured they would have super fast shipping to justify the cost of shipping.  I placed my order and waited.  Five days past, then six, and seven, no seeds in the mail.  On the 9th day with no seeds I emailed The Cook's Garden, and asked them where my order was.  A few hours later I got an email confirming that the package was sent that day.  Again I waited, and waited, no seeds.  I sent another email, this time I got an email back with all the shipping info and an explanation of how they ship.  They ship via UPS then transfer to USPS.  Maybe they get a bulk rate, but why not just slip those seeds into a priority flat rate envelop for 4 bucks.  So today fully 13 days later, I got my seed packs.  I won't be buying from The Cook's Garden anymore.  That shipping is ridiculous, I guess that is what I get for not buying them on Etsy, like I was going to do.  Lesson learned.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Help Me Find a Hobby!

Guest post written by Jan Marion

I'm in need of a new hobby. Anyone got any suggestions? The ones I've tried just don't seem to be any good! I've tried gardening, but that's seasonal...so you know, even if I didn't have the black thumb (opposite of green thumb!) I have it wouldn't fulfill me year-round. I've tried cooking, but I'm just not loving that, either. I'm thinking that crochet might be the best thing for me. It's something I can do with my hands (which I love!) but it's also something you actually get a permanent reward from.

See, with cooking, it's all fun and delicious...but once you've dug into it, it's gone. But if I crochet something, like a pillow or a wall ! hanging, I'll have it for life. Yeah, I think that may be for me, the more I think of it. I'm going to check around for someDomainNames Hosting sites and see if I can get a site going for patterns. We'll see how this goes!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Birds of a Feather

It's that time of year again.  The Great Backyard Bird Count.  I did a fifteen minute count this morning and got 7 species.  It is easy, and you can get the kids involved with this great scientific project.  Check out the website for all the details!  Http://www.birdcount.org

The more people that participate the better.  This weekend get outside for a bit and count some birds for a good cause.  You can count for as little as 15 minutes.  Of course you can count for a longer time if you desire, just make sure you record the time and for how long.  You don't have to be an expert birder to participate, just grab a identification book, and you are all set.  I use a field guide to help me determine which birds I am looking at.  Fun, educational and free, can't beat that for a weekend activity!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Set Sail!

Sailing is a great vacation.  We take a trip annually to the British Virgin Islands, and we charter a sailboat and have some fun in the sun.  It is a ton of fun, and a great family reunion.  We spend months planning the trip, and we love the anticipation leading up to the trip.  This year I think we are going to have even more fun planning.  We found an app for the iphone called Come Sailing.    It is a great way to track your adventure.  The price is right!  For $1.99 you get a lot of bang for your buck!  I really like the information on the Points of Sail, I will get a lot of use from that.  Not only does the app let you track the dates in the log book, but it also gives you some great information, and the all important checklists!  I know for me I love lists, and these checklists are helpful to keep you on track.  I am excited about our trip, and with this app we will have more fun planning and keeping all the info in one place.  My iPhone!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Looking Young

Feeling young is no problem, with a 1 year running circles around I have to be fast, entertaining, and fun.  Keeping the outside looking young is harder.  Using lotions and cosmetics is one way to keep your skin looking good for years.  Make sure you check the labels so you are not inadvertently doing damage.  Not all skin care products are created equal.  Sometimes it is hard to find just the right product for your skin.  Is it dry, is it oily, or a combination.  Yes!  There are great lotions out there that can help.  From acne products to treatments for age spots, you can search the web to find an overwhelming amount of info and products that you might not find at your local shops.  I love to be outside as much as possible, so for me a everyday lotion with SPF is ver important.  Every skin has needs, and you have to be choosy when you pick out your products.  When you take care of yourself, you feel better!  Buy the best you can and you will surely be happy with the results.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Expanding the garden

Last year you may remember that I dug into the veggie gardening with both hands, and was well, fairly successful.  I am still harvesting my carrots which are sweet and really big.  They are delicious.  For this year, I have started my pepper and tomato seeds so they will be ready to go once the threat of cold weather is gone.  That should be the beginning of March, since this is Florida after all.  Enough about the veggies though, and let's look at this years hot plants.  ORCHIDS!  Yes, I know they sound hard to grow, and sometimes the exotic plants are difficult.  Enter the Orchid Notebook App.  I am convinced that this great app will help me through the process.  This app is perfect for the beginner, they give you some common plant names and how to care for them.  It is not just for the novice, this app will grow with you, letting you add plants to your "collection".  The descriptions and care instructions are easy to read, and did I mention that the photography was stunning.  Just looking at the pictures is going to keep me motivated to get these plants growing.
If you are an orchid lover, grower or just interested in starting to grow a few this app is worth checking out.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Got Ink?

I was busying printing, printing, printing.  Then, of course, I ran out of ink.  I am sure that has happened to everyone.  Those pages are just going to have to wait.  And sorry baby, your coloring sheets will also have to wait.  No worries though, I don't have to brave the weather to pick up some ink.  I can just go on line to get refills on my Dell ink.  It is much easier to buy dell printer ink online than going to the store.  Online you can find cartridges for color printers, laser, or ink jet.  I love that it is easy to just click the link to my printer type and have the exact kind of dell ink cartridges that I need.   Plus, when I am more likely to purchase an extra so that when I run out I have a spare, then I can put a little note on it reminding me to reorder the same ink type.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Robotics. Wave of the Future

I am visiting the family this week.  My nephew is involved with a great robotics program.  He and his family love technology, and this is a great outlet for the kids.  They learn so much that can push them forward to wonderful careers dealing with robotics and other technologies.  This year he has come up with a slogan for the National Robotics Week.  He is competing against a few others to win the slogan contest.  I for one hope he wins, but I hope that I can get a few of you out there to vote for him too.  
VOTE HERE Vote for the slogan "Connecting Creativity and Science"  By Tre Conrader.
We will see in a few short days if he has what it takes to win!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Project nearing completion

Here is a shot of the WIP that has taken a great deal of time to do.  As I posted before when I finished the daytime quilt of the giraffes this is pieced together with one inch scraps from my fabric stash.  Each quilt is 40 inches wide, and 60 inches in length.  That is a lot of 1 inch strips!!!  No fabric was purchased for this project.... Now that is a first!  Both tops are nearly together, and now for the backing and batting, then the task of quilting.  I will be hanging out with my mom and this is the project that I will be working on.  We always love to chat and quilt.  I find that it makes the time go so fast, and before you know it you have finished quilting!
These will hang above my couch, that is if I ever finish quilting them!  Perhaps we will use them first as two fabulous play mats first.  
Enjoy this pictures.

Your Baby Can Read

Guest post written by my buddy Lavern Small
Your Baby Can Read is an excellant program for children. It consist of five videos with accompanying flash cards. The videos utilize repetition of words and sentences, along with examples and demonstrations. The program is very interactive and fun and sometimes you can even catch it on Cable Television Deals. I have a 17 mos old son who not only enjoys watching the videos but has grown in both verbal and nonverbal communication since starting the program. The program continually adds words to your child's vocabulary. It initially shows your child the word on the screen, pronounces it and then shows the meaning of the word. It will rather show an example of the noun or show someone acting out the verb. Towards the end of the video, there is a word game to help test your child and reinforce recognition. The screen will display two words, then the commentator will ask your child to distinguish between the two words. Each video comes with accompanying flash cards that focus on words used in that particular video. The flash cards are very helpful for parents to help reiterate the words learned in the video. I would highly recommend this video to anyone who values education and wants to give their child a head start in school and life.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ski Central

So now that the hectic days of Christmas and New Years are behind us, we can concentrate on a great vacation.  We live in sunny Florida and want to find a great place to do a little skiing and other cold weather sports.  It isn't easy having perfect weather year round in Florida, but we do our best.  We are researching 
Breckenridge rental homes.  The peaks of the mountains are beautiful and they are calling my name.  Though I would never want to go back to living in a place that it snows, I don't mind a short visit.  The crisp blue sky set behind the stark white snow capped mountains is a beautiful site that is one everyone must see.  It can't be missed.  There are many ways to see the mountains, but I like the thought of speeding down them on two waxed skis as fast as I care to go!  

Vacation rentals Breckenridge could be our spot this year.  There is much to do there, and it looks as if the skiing is second to none!  

Breckenridge Property Management can help you select the perfect rental for your families needs.  From a small cabin to a large house, they have it all.  Perhaps we should have the family reunion there this year.  Getting the family together in one place can be such fun.  Add that to a wonder picturesque setting and you will have one fantastic vacation.  

Holidays Gone, but not forgotten

Over the last few weeks we travelled here and there to visit friends and family.  One of the best activities over the visits was the coffee and chats by the fireplace.  Couches and chairs nestled around a gas fire was the perfect setting for our hot cocoa and tea.  Many stories were exchanged and other holidays remembered.  We heard a few stories that have been told every year without fail, and we also heard some new favorites that we will retell again and again.  That is what the holidays are about to me.  What was your favorite holiday moment?  
There were a few different types of fire that we sat in front of but I would have to say that the best of them was the fire with the gas logs.  The outdoor fire was smokey,and we all smelled like a campfire when it was time to go inside. We also watched the fire that was playing in a loop on the TV, while it was fun and gave a perceived warmth, it was, less than warm.
The gas logs gave a nice heat, and a nice realistic sound of crackling flames, and the company that we enjoyed was not bad either!  Holidays a great for gathering, and a gas logs make it even better.  Making your fireplace a gas one can be easy with the right information.  You can use R. H. Peterson Real Fyre Gas Logs and you can find all the gas log FAQs online.  So make next years holiday even better sit around the fire and remember all the stories from seasons past.