Summer day three


Summer day three! We headed to the “splash ground” which is like a playground with water.  Glorified sprinkler systems, and AstroTurf galore. There were these awesome Dr Seuss like flowers there… I’m kicking myself that the pic came out blurry. I need to go back there just to photograph the fluffy pink flowers.


Seriously, they were cool flowers. Oh yeah…

I also got to ride a pink unicorn.

But, that was on paper.


I am pretty sure the unicorn was galloping and her legs were a blur. I got to talk to my stepdaughter briefly, and she seemed happy with her friends up north.  No homesickness there. 🙂

Who could get homesick while being spoiled by grandma?!:)

Today’s adventures involve my old BFF from year back. She has a two year old now. We used to drink Long Island Iced Teas  and take pottery class together. Nothing like working with clay while you’re buzzed.  Ahhh, the old days.

Now I  play with play doh. Without the beverages. 😉

Anyway, today we’re getting together. I’m excited.



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summer day two

Welcome to the daily chronicle of Summer. Day two  constisted of waking up not feeling very well, fortunatly, a shot of coffee and an Advil cured it so we were off… to the beach.

Now, my husband chuckled when I said we were going to the beach…because I forgot to look at the sky…and he’s a meteorologist trapped inside a FedEx uniform. He totally missed his “calling”, I swear. It can be dark as night and he’ll say: “No, it won’t make it here.”  and, he’s always right.


A half hour into our excursion, the lifeguards kicked everybody off the beach, and the skies opened up with buckets of warm rain.

It was a bummer, but I’m blessed a trip to the beach is a ten minute drive away. There will be other beach trips over the summer. So, what was plan B?

A trip to Wal-Mart.

For a four year old, being allowed to pick out a Lunchable and have an indoor picnic with it is just as much fun as the beach.

It ended up raining the rest of the day, and once the sun finally broke through there were some awesome puddles to go splash in.  For the life of me, I can’t remember dinner that night- which makes me think it was some sort of leftover.  Funny how leftovers do that to you.

The first official weekend of summer consisted of car detailing, saying goodbye (for the summer) to my stepdaughter & mother in law, and attending church. Today we’re going to the water park (the free one) and making popsicles.  I’m aiming to squeeze in a magazine at some point. I have of stack that’s building up… I’m pretty sure there’s a mix of Spring and Summer issues in there.


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summer day one

Summer has officially begun with hot days and no school. The first official day of summer was hot, humid and rainy so an outing to the dollar store was in order. But, before that, we “cleaned up the house for summer”. I always find that if you give a kid a good reason to clean up, they’re a lot more enthused to do it. A reason to clean and a trip to the dollar store made for a cheap fun summer day. I got a happy kid and a clean house in return. Yay me.

We spent four dollars.

Two “at home pre school” workbooks, Popsicle molds and bubbles.

We hung out in between rain showers and I nearly hyperventilated blowing bubbles for my daughter to pop. We planned flavors for the Popsicle, and made a list of flavors of juice to buy. One of the workbooks took a little over an hour to complete and by that time the rain had ceased and it was puddle splashing time.

For dinner, it was chicken tacos with the usual side fixin’s.

Tune in tomorrow for summer day two!

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whole grains 101

When I was a kid, I never knew what white bread was until I was in first grade. I only saw white rice at Chinese restaurants and a sugary box of cereal was a big deal, and I’d get some on special occasions like my birthday. Part of all of this was because my mom was a Yoga instructor & health nut.

I tasted carob before chocolate, and preferred Edensoy over cow’s milk. Dried apricots and prunes were “candy”, and the only sugar that made it into our house was “Sugar In The Raw”. When we’d go to the movies, my mom would bring rice cakes and hard-boiled eggs. I apologize to movie patrons of the early 80’s that had to smell boiled eggs while watching “E.T.” or “The Empire Strikes Back”. Back then, it was the “norm” to me because I didn’t know any different. Of course, what happens to a health nut’s kid when she grows up?

I grew up to manage a health food store for 14 years. And, yes.. do Yoga on occasion.

Then I started a blog. A sugary sweet-deep-fried-cheesy-but tasty blog.

But I still have my roots. I keep the “crap” in moderation for the most part… but, sometimes I take my knowledge for granted. Especially when it comes to health food.

Now that the hubs is on a DASH diet for hypertension, I re-stocked my pantry with whole grains and I decided to share some nifty info to inspire you guys as well. Now… go out and get yourself some grains. 😉


Grain Cooking Chart

information from “Enchanted Broccoli Forest” by Mollie Katzen

Brown Rice (long grain) 2 cups 35 to 45 minutes 3 1/2 cups
Brown Rice (short grain) 2 cups 35 to 45 minutes 3 3/4 cups
Brown Basmati Rice 2 cups 45 to 50 minutes 4 cups
Brown Jasmine Rice 2 cups 45 to 50 minutes 4 cups
Black Japonica Rice 2 cups 45 minutes 3 1/2 cups
Wehani Rice 2 cups 45 minutes 3 cups
Wild Rice 2 1/2 cups 1 1/4 hours 4 cups
Manitok Wild Rice 2 1/2 cups 50 to 60 minutes 4 cups
Amaranth 1 1/2 cups 25 minutes 2 cups
Barley, Hulled 3 cups 1 3/4 hours 4 cups
Barley, Pearl 2 cups 1 1/2 hours 4 cups
Buckwheat/Kasha 1 1/2 cups 10 minutes 3 1/2 cups
*Bulgur 1 1/2 cups 30 to 40 minutes 3 cups
Cracked Wheat 2 1/2 cups 7 to 10 minutes 3 1/2 cups
Cornmeal (Polenta) 2 1/2 cups 10 minutes 3 1/2 cups
Couscous 1 1/4 cups 10 minutes 2 3/4 cups
Kamut 2 1/2 cups 1 3/4 hours 2 1/2 cups
Millet 2 cups 25 minutes 3 1/2 cups
Oat Groats 2 1/2 cups 35 to 40 minutes 2 1/2 cups
**Quinoa 2 cups 25 to 30 minutes 4 cups
Rye Berries 2 1/2 cups 1 1/4 hours 2 1/2 cups
Spelt 1 1/2 cups 50 to 60 minutes 2 cups
Teff 3 cups 15 minutes 3 cups
Triticale 2 1/2 cups 1 1/2 hours 3 cups
Wheat Berries, Hard (Red) 2 cups 2 hours 3 cups
Wheat Berries, Soft (White) 2 cups 1 1/2 hours 3 1/2 cups


*Soak, don’t cook.

**Rinse first.

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What’s in the fridge

My fridge was a craaaaazy mess recently.

Yeah, that bag there? See it? It’s full of strawberries. We picked them in baskets, but once purchased they got dumped into a plastic bag.

There’s quite the mixture of  health food and junk food, too.

I spy some brown rice & yogurt alongside some Yoo-Hoo…

hmmm, there’s some cherry tomatoes tossed on top of some sort of leftover casserole. I’m sure you get those in your fridge, too. Once they are covered with foil; they become mysteries. I wish “they” could make clear foil.  I know there’s plastic wrap & press n’ seal. But… some things just can’t do what foil does.

Flax oil. Gotta get those good fats, ya know.

Okay, I see a HUGE food no-no… looks like a can-o-something that was left in its can.

I wonder who did that?

I also see some pasta sauce I best use ASAP. And some items I need to toss ASAP.

This is my fridge post holiday.

It will look MUCH better pre-holiday.

😉 Whenever that is.

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pretty lids

I have been on a kick with scrapbook paper. Mainly since it was on sale for 6/96¢, and I spent four dollars.

These are jars I saved from random store-bought items and, they drove my hubby crazy, because he kept wanting to toss them. Not anymore. He says they look nice. Awww.

I gathered up several jars and lids, scrapbook paper, scissors, glue, a pencil,  and some mod-podge.

Trace a circle slighty larger than the lid, so that you can wrap it around the edges of the lid.

Glue it on in the center, then cut small divots all around.

You’ll need to get the edges really wet with glue to mold them around the rims. Allow the glue to dry, then apply a coat of mod-podge.

That’s it! Enjoy!

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kids room clutter conquer

I have to admit this and forgive me if I sound like a horrible mama; but sometimes I choose toys by how many (or few) tiny parts they have. Not because of choking hazards thankfully we are past that stage. Although I still have to say “Don’t lick that” a few too many times.

Sometimes, all those little parts make me crazy. All the little plastic hair pony brushes, Barbie shoes… ugh. If you have a boy, it may be little AK-47s or plastic insects. Then again, I have the plastic insects as well.

My point being, is that the little parts end up everywhere and it’s impossible to keep them contained, much less WITH the play set they came with.  There are tons of great colorful bins they sell out there but , to be honest I simply haven’t had the loot for a bin-overhaul. I came up with a much thrifty-er version. Yay me.

I took my covered boxes idea a step further, and let my daughter pick out the scrapbook paper for her “toy boxes”.

She has good taste.

The boxes were FREE. The paper was 6/$1.00 and the glue stick was 3/$1.

Can’t get much cheaper thriftier than that.

So, until I have an extra $75 to color-cordinate bin shelf her room, these will be just fine. I’m trying to help her to keep the ponies, little pets and people separate… but she said they like to be mixed up. I’m okay with that. 🙂

For detailed step by steps, go here covered boxes

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DIY dry erase board

I wanted to post this last month… BUT~ some were gifts for Christmas, and I didn’t want to ruin anyone’s surprise. Can you blame me?

This is awesome and this is why:

You can use any frame I used a scrapbook frame, but you can snag some cool vintage frames at a thrift store for a more shabby-chic look.

You can use any printed or plain paper behind~ you  can even make a “seasonal” dry-erase board with assorted scrapbook print paper.

It takes less than 10 minutes to make.


Hint: If you have a dollar store where you live, you can get the markers there. 😉



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whats in the fridge

It’s the New Year and I have officially resolved to be more active here. Starting with what’s in my fridge….

My fridge is jam-packed… and I have to say I am very fortunate and blessed for it. I need to get busy on my produce…I may need help from Joey though. Who’s Joey? Oh, you’ll see….

Exhibit A~is a plate of leftovers too much to toss, and not enough for a meal. I’ll have to nibble that today.

Exhibit B + C ~ See those pretty tins? One holds rum balls for my man and the other holds gingerbread truffles for me. Mmmm!

Exhibit D ~ leftover evaporated milk. I didn’t know what to do with…I  probably should toss that.

Exhibit E ~ leftover black royal icing. I may need to toss that, too.

Exhibit F ~ some wine… mainly for recipes at this point. 😉

Exhibit G-Z ~ an assortment of produce for me and Joey.


It got cold here last night so he had to come in the garage… it took both myself and my hubby to get him in there.

shhh… he’s sleeping.

As far as what I have planned for this site in the new year?

Two big things:

I will be sharing my (mis) adventures in cheesemaking…

and… sewing. I know. Total susie-homemaker. But I will vamp it up. Don’t worry. 😉

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