About Me

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I'm a mom, but I am also so much more. I'm a wife, I work, cook, shop, craft, try to stay healthy, keep up on the latest technology, and style trends, and much more! Come join me in my adventure of making a new blog that allows us to share the everyday things (ups and downs) that turns living an everyday life into living a lively life!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Can't Live Without....

There's always the obvious; food, shelter etc. but if there was one nonessential life item you "can't live without", what would it be?

My "can't live without" item is coffee.

Hot, cold, drive through, fresh brewed at home, gourmet, foldgers, doesn't matter as long as I get my coffee everyday....

This is just sheer curiosity but I'd love to know. What is your "can't live without" item?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Fastest Way to Cut a Watermelon

I have been asked often about my watermelon cutting techniques so here is a quick tutorial on how I cut up my watermelons so quickly. 

Step one: Cut the watermelon in 1/2
Step 2: Face the watermelon pink side down on the cutting board and start to slice off the sides in downward motion removing all of the white rind and the least amount of pink as possible.

Step 3: Carefully cut the 'top' off removing the white and leaving as much pink as possible.
Step 4: Trim and excess white rind that you see on the melon.

Step 5: cut the melon into slices. Thicker for larger cubes. Thinner for smaller cubes.
Step 6: Lay down a few slices at a time (2 or 3) and slice the opposite way to make cubes. 

Then place the cubes in a container and continue until the melon is cubed. Repeat with the second half of the melon. I can do a large melon in about 2 minutes and I find that this gives me the least amount of waste. 

Hope this technique works for you. 
Do you use this method or do you do something else? Let me know!

Weather Center

Since I was on a printing and laminating kick, I thought I could also make a little weather center and letting my daughter observe the weather. I just searched Google for "preschool weather center printables" and found these adorable free  images with vocabulary. 

I cut, laminated, and also printed thebwotds 'today's weather is' on a piece card stock and laminated that as well. I added some Velcro to make it easy to move the pieces on and off. Now we have a WeatherStation for her to note her observations. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Days of the week practice

My 4 year old can't quite identify the words for days of the week but I want her to start working on the concept.

I found this great printable on the web, printed it, laminated it, and hung it up so that every day we can move the little slider through and start working on word recognition for days of the week.

The link to this printable can be found here. School Sparks is a great website that provides free early learning worksheets as well ask the option to purchase printed materials.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Melted Crayon Art

A big shout out to my friend Laura who first attempted this and inspired me to finally give it a try too.

For Melted Crayon Art you will need:
-canvas on a frame (you can find at any craft store for a few $)
-crayons (crayola work the best)
-vinyl (if you wish to make a shape or letter under the wax)
-hairdryer or heat gun 


I used my Cricut machine to cut the letter I wanted on my frame and placed it on the canvas.

Use hot glue to adhere the crayons to the top of the canvas.

Using the hairdryer or heat gun aim at the bottom of the crayons but with the air flow moving in a downward direction. It will take a bit for them to start melting but once they do they will melt quickly!

I found that the dark colors overwhelmed the lighter colors. On my second attempt I used a spare crayon to add some of the lighter color. (See picture below) It was so easy to melt it and drag the wax to the area I wanted. I recommend doing this!!!

After the wax was melted and dry I removed the vinyl letter.

Here is the s finished product:

I'm very happy with how this turned out. The only draw back was that my daughter didn't participate much due to the hot glue fun and hot melting wax. This is a fun craft for adults and older kids 😃 but not the little ones. 😕

Have you tried melted crayon art?

New Handmixer!

The motor in my old handmixer gave out on me aftermath years of frequent use. I went 6 weeks without one waiting for a coupon/sale. I finally found a good deal online and ordered it. The package just arrived and in so excited!!!!  

I went with Cusinart again because both my experience and the general consensus in my research told me its the  best. I allowed myself to spend a few extra dollars and upgrade to the higher model.

I can't wait to give it a try.  What is your favorite kitchen appliance? 

Buying in Bulk

I picked up a very large wedge of Parmesan cheese from Sam's Club for what I consider a very reasonable price.

I used my Kitchen Aide shredder attachment and had the 1.5 pounds shredded in just under 3 minutes.

I got about 5 cups of fresh shredded parmesan. I separated then into 4 containers and froze 3. 
The cheese freezes great and now I've got fresh shredded parm for the next 6 months at cents per serving!

Do you have a favorite food that you buy in bulk?

Pears, Pears, Pears.

I have friends who have a pear tree in their backyard. They kindly have me a LARGE quantity of pears. I will have some yummy pear recipes coming soon! 

Do you have any favorite recipes using pears? 

New Workout Plan Needed

The school year has started again and that means I am back to work, no more summer free time. That also means no surplus of time to workout. I really enjoyed my summer workouts and want to continue my health and fitness trend but I now need to find a way to fit it in.

The above picture is shows me walking and below you will see my faithful walking companions. Sometimes this is the only reason that I do get out. These to cute pups need their walk and thats my excuse for leaving the house. 

During the summer I would walk/jog in the mornings, around 8 am or so. Now I am up at 5:30, out of the house by 6:45, I don't get home till 4:30, connect with my daughter and hubby, make dinner, then start the evening routine of packing for the next day and getting my daughter in bed. I try to sneak a quick walk with the dogs but after dinner usually i'm not feeling up to running. 

I'm looking for suggestions to give myself more quality workouts without taking away too much time from my other responsibilities and activities.

My husband purchased Biggest Loser (a workout "game" for Xbox. Im going to give that a try). 
Do you have any other suggestions?  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Waffle Cookies

For some reason I am fascinated with my waffle iron lately and found a recipe for gluten free chocolate waffle cookies.


2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup gluten free flour (I used Bobs Redmill All-purpose GF flour)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

Find a good helper to mix your batter!

Drop by the spoonful into the preheated waffle iron.

Sorry, bad picture.... but it was the only one I had.

Cook for 3 minutes (Adjust accordingly depending on the heat if your waffle iron.) The cookies should be soft to the touch but firm enough to lift and stay together when you take them out. 

Let cool on cooling rack and store in an airtight container. 

Now all that's left is to eat and enjoy!

Yum, tastes like a cross between a chocolate cookie and a brownie.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I have fallen in love with my taco seasoning recipe. No more store-bought chemical filled, processed, mixtures for me! This is not only healthier than store bought but much easier on your wallet too.

Here is what you need: 

2 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 Tbsp paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp dried onions
2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper

Gently mix all ingredients together in a bowl and store in an air tight container.

Use 2 large scoops of seasoning and 2/3 cup water per 1 pound of taco meat.

*You can double or triple the recipe to make a larger batch.

*Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper and red pepper to create a spicier flavor.

*This will last for months (and even longer) stored with your other spices. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Brownie Waffles

Here I am at 11pm craving chocolate, its way to late to heat the oven, make brownies, and wait for them to cool. So here's a chance to use another Pinterest pin!!! 

I recently read a pin about '23 things you can cook in a waffle iron'. 

So tonight we are making Brownie Waffles! 

Mix brownie mix according to package.

Pour the mix into the waffle iron just until the base is covered.

Cook for 5-7 minutes. The brownie waffles are soft but you can tell they are ready by doing the touch test. (If it bounces back to the touch they are ready.)

Getting them out proved to be a challenge but after trial and error I found the two hands, one with a fork and one with a spatula, worked the best. 

As the brownies cool they firm up and resemble the usual brownie texture.

Next time I will be sure I have ice cream on hand. These would rock topped with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

What else have you cooked in a waffle iron?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Snail hopscotch

No, it's not a slower version of hopscotch it's a circular hopscotch! 

To make this I find it easiest to start with the center circle then walk backwards in a large spiral. The beauty of this is that you can make it any side you want. If you have a large driveway the sky is the limit!

The educator/parent in me also loves that this is physical exercise, works on sense of balance, and number learning. 

Do you have any other twists onthe classic hopscotch game?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Watermelon Pizza

This was a Disney Family Fun Magazine recipe. My daughter and her cousin saw it and insisted that we make it.


Slice watermelon straight through to make a full circle.  

Spread the 'pizza sauce' aka jelly on your crust. 
(Side note: I found the jelly incredibly messy. Next time I will try yogurt, Brummel And Browns yogurt spread, or cream cheese)

Slice The bananas and spread in your pizza just like pepperoni.

Cut your pizza into slices and serve up!

Any other fun fruit recipes you've made for your kids? 

Book Recommendation

I have been listening to a great audiobook over the past two weeks. So good that I've actually looked for extra opportunities to walk the dogs just so I could listen to it for a few more minutes.

A well written book combining the love and mystery and effortlessly weaving modern times and the past. 

Here is the amazon.com review

I HIGHLY recommend this book, whether you get it as and audiobook or a paperback, it is well worth the read!!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Proud Mommy Moment

Tonight we went to the library to switch out books. In one if the proudest moments, my daughter sat down at a computer at the library but then, instead of playing computer games, she pulled a book to library bag proceeded to "read" it to herself. 

The fact that she loves books so much makes me so proud. I know she's going to be very smart and a great reader.

What are some moments that have made you proud?


I tried signing up for a website that touted  free samples of all sorts. An acquaintance of mine swears by it but I found it wasn't nearly as easy as it claimed. (Is anything in life easy?) 

Maybe she has more time than I have. I found myself wasting precious time filling out form after form and being linked to page after page, just to get a measly little sample of something.

The few samples that I did manage to complete the forms for still haven't arrived. This fact doesn't surprise me because the sites say "wait 6-8 weeks for delivery."

I have see other site out there promoting free samples for moms, free makeup samples for women, etc. Has anyone found a site(s) that really do give samples without all of the forms and links and catches?