; Life is like champagne......: 2008-07-13

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hair clips that get noticed!

My daughter has fine hair that is curly. I am lucky to get her to wear a hat, but a hair clip is another story! She changed her mind when I took out some Sally's Clippies to put in her hair!

As soon as I looked at the felted flower clips, I noticed the attention to detail whether it was a specific button used as an accent or the sewn edges. The colors combinations are very appealing such as the orange coloring standing out in the Creamsicle design.

If you have a baby and want to give her a cute look, try the flower headbands in cream or black. There are different buttons available for the flower whether it is fabric or metal.

WIN IT!!!! Sally's Clippies is offering a Giveaway of one large flower and "bling" large clip!
1. Pop on over to Sally's Clippies and check out her cute hair accessories.
2. Comment on this post which hair accessory is your favorite.
3. Giveaway ends July 24 at midnight with winners posted July 25th. US address only.

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How old is your bathing suit?

First let me start off with I just got rid of my suit that was 11 years old!!! I bought it in Hawaii when we moved there, tossed it out this passed week since I had to go to swimming lessons with my daughter at the YMCA and noticed it was a little worn. Still looks pretty good in the picture, but it had gone above and beyond.
Mommie Daze posted about the evils of bathing suits and how it can be so hard to find one we like, dealing with a few self conscious issues! She scored some at Walmart, I scored two at Marshall's! My suits were $19 each, both tankini and both sport a cute little skirt. I have one for the YMCA and the other for all of the "beeeeeeeeach" days with my Bugaboo Girl. Sorry, she rubs off on me sometimes.
So can you beat 11 years? What's you bathing suit story?

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Last call for ice!

Just a reminder, today is the last day for the Letter and Number Ice Tray Giveaway! Winners will be posted tomorrow!

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From beetles to moles

I know I have mentioned the Japanese Beetle problem we have munching on our vegetable leaves. Well I did not realize that this is also linked to the moles we have in our yard, and we do have a mole issue!
If you are a regular, than you have seen my cat, big, outgoing, basically lounges around the yard and occasionally stands over one of the mole holes. I have not seen him with a mole yet and frankly cannot imagine him catching one. He did at one point stalk the bird feeder and catch the more "slower" birds, bat them around but did not directly kill them and let alone eat them. I think the bird feeder was about the right height for him to pounce his prey. I say "was" due to the fact he hasn't done this in a few years.
Back to the mole issue! My new issue of Organic Gardening came with a nice supplement called Miracle Garden Potions which gives several homemade cures to combat diseases and pest. The moles are busy eating the grubs which come from the beetles that lay eggs and hatch into root-eating grubs. There is the cycle! Amazing how nature works. Here are the ways to defeat the beetles and grubs which will probably increase the mole population at your neighbor's house. Some of you might like that!

*Pick beetles by hand in the morning since they are sluggish during this time and drop them in a soapy water solution. Once deceased, throw them out in your compost pile.

*Place and old sheet or opened newspaper under your plants and shake beetles on to it. Again drop them in the soapy water and do the same as above.

*Work on your grub issue by spraying your lawn with milky disease spore. This is sold at garden stores which is a combination of Bacillus popilliae and Bacillus lentimorbus. Grubs eat the spores and then die.

*Japanese beetles like full sun so if you have plants that you value, place them in a partial sun/shade area. Any of your shade tolerant plants will be spared from the beetles.

And there is your home work for this week! I have a recipe for mole repellent I am going to post in the next several days. I can tell you moles do not like it as much as humans! Happy beetle hunting!

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Do you off load from the top first or Bottom?

Not something you often think about, unloading a dishwasher. But the conversation actually came up from my grandmother!
We were on the way to pick up my car which was having the AC fixed, nasty dollar amount there, and Grandma Y had stated that before she went to bed last night, she unloaded the dishwasher. At least she thought she did it all! This morning she went to put her dirty dishes in the dishwasher and noticed she had left the bottom rack still there with clean dishes! Well this sparked the question, do you unload the top first or the bottom?
My habit of unloading is the bottom first which are the plates and silverware. Then the top which is of course bowls and glasses. My Grandma Y does the top first and then the bottom. No reason, it is not like the plates have to go first or the glasses last. And here is another question, do you do the same unload routine as your mom? Guess what, I do!
How do you unload your dishwasher?

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Crazy Cucumbers!

Sometimes the garden just produces something so quickly, it catches you by surprise! I went out to do a little weeding yesterday and thought I would check the cucumbers, good thing I did! I was giving them to the neighborhood! And there are a big batch coming within a couple of days. I think I will make some pickled slices with the smaller ones.

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Not Your Grandmother's Coleslaw

This is pretty much what my father says to me when I make my coleslaw. It is obvious he is partial to his mother's, my grandmother's coleslaw which is the classic recipe. The recipe I use is not a classic, but could eventually be the classic of the family! I am asked to make it a lot in the summer time and have passed it to several friends. Here I am passing it on to you, the recipe makes enough for 6-8 servings. Pending of course if you invite over people who are big rib eaters......like my friends Bob and Bill! Then you have enough for 4 people. It may look like a lot of coleslaw but after you let it set in the fridge, the dressing soaks in and causes it to compress down.

Green cabbage shredded
Purple Cabbage shredded
carrots chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 TSP celery seed
2 TBSP milk
3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 TSP salt
1 TSP black pepper

Shred about 2 cups of the green cabbage, 1 1/2 cups of the purple cabbage and 1 cup of carrots. Mix together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients of the dressing and pour over the cabbage and carrots. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

That game.....

Oh I just had to stay up and watch the All-Star game last night, should have been over by midnight, but I know some of my blogging buddies caught me emailing them at 1:00am(Linda)! Finally being over at 1:30am then going to bed around 2am! I Love seeing Mariano Rivera up as the closer, and playing "Enter Sandman" when Billy Wagner of the Mets was there and could not get the song played for him...boohoo. Was I boasting just now, must be tired! So of course, the American League won, National League had soooo many chances, typical! There I go again, better take a nap sometime today!
Of course I should have known that the Bugaboo girl was not going to let me sleep in so who do I hear at 6am calling "Momma..". No rest for the weary! I waited about 20minutes letting her play and then got up. When then had a breakfast date over Suzanne's house for Blueberry pancakes, eggs and bacon, yummm!!! Thank you Suzanne and "HB" Girl!

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Wordless Wednesday

I just love blue hydrangea. Unfortunately, this flower does not seem to like to grow in my yard. I just go over to my friend Suzanne's house and enjoy hers! Wodless Wednesday is sponsored by 5 Minutes for Mom. Stop by and see what other photos are shared.

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Candy Wrappers as a Fashion Statement

I never stopped to think about the fact that candy wrappers are not biodegradable! Take a moment when you are waiting in line at the grocery store and look at all of the candy available to purchase. That is a lot of non-biodegradable material, not to mention if you by a bag of bit size candies! Convenience may be a beautiful think, but not so much when it comes to waste. So what to do with all of the candy wrappers, soda can pull tabs, and discarded food packages? You make so pretty sharp designer hand bags! Ecoist is a company that uses these materials and are produced in fair trade, sweatshop-free environments.

The Candy wrapper Coin Purse is the perfect size for carrying as a small clutch. You can fit a few cards, money, and even small phone in it. I was surprised how rigid it is, keeping it's shape. I love using it as a small purse in my larger bag that I carry for all of my daughter's things. The bright color is easily seen to be able to pull it out without being lost in the bag of clutter! The price is very good at $22, not to mention when you purchase any of their purses, Ecoist plants a tree in areas that have been affected by industrial development, natural disasters, fires, and other causes.

For a truly unique gift, check out the NY MTA Subway map series which has a set of 4napkin rings for $15!
SPECIAL FOR LIFE IS CHAMPAGNE READERS ONLY! All purchases at Ecoist from my readers get an extra 10% off of their orders by using the coupon code "Champagne". I know it may sound crazy, but Christmas is coming and now is a good time to plan ahead with your budget and buy a gift that is not only truly unique, but also making a difference in the environment!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Well looky here!

Look what just popped up today! My new blog design!!!!! I am so happy with it, of course I am going to make a few tweeks and adjustments but what do you think?

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Beach Mouth

You know what this is, that gritty crunchy feeling in your teeth that is like some one taking their finger nails across the chalk board! It just makes me cringe to think and type about it! So how is it when you bring kids to the beach, they seem to have no problem with eating sand?
Here is an example. An afternoon at the beach with a couple of Bugaboo Girl's friends. Of course the snacks come out and goldfish start to get passed around. The idea is to give it to them in a non-sand eating environment. Well there is non of that at the beach! Don't let them put their hands in the goldfish bag, because you will ultimately eating sand also if you snack on them. You attempt to clean their hands but it does not good. They have sand everywhere, and most seems to be on their hands, hence sticking their hands in their mouth with the goldfish, chewing on both. Just watching made me cringe. They don't seem to mind, powering through more fish! And then it happens, a handful of sand in the mouth when you can't see them because the hat they are wearing masks their face. Well, what can you do, tell them "yuck, no sand in the mouth, not food" and hope they don't do it again. Hoping they realize that sand really does not taste good(you can see it in their face)! It is bad enough when you catch them sticking their hand in the water and than tasting it, everything gets taste tested. But sand?
My daughter did taste the water at the beach today and did eat a hand full of sand. I can say it was only once and hopefully she realized that it didn't taste as good as milk and couscous she ate today!
Got any beach mouth stories?

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Tackle It Tuesday

Does this look like a storage shed to you? Guess what, it is actually an outhouse! And not your one seater, no not even a two seater, but a three seater outhouse, in working condition! My house was built in 1938 by a person named George Bailey. Ring a bell to anyone? No, James Stewart did not build the house or live here, but yes this is a funny tie to It's a Wonderful Life since this is one of my favorite movies. That story is for another day.
A little outhouse history here. From what my neighbor "Moose" tells me(and that is also another story for later), George Bailey use to sit out in the out house reading his paper, with the door open and people could faintly see him from the road, which was really only two neighbors at the time and they were also related. If you have an outhouse, you can keep it maintained but you cannot build a new one. Our outhouse has it's own foundation and three seats. This was pretty styling for an outhouse. And three seats? Not sure what that was all about, and cannot imagine all being used at the same time.

There are also some old pictures hanging in it along with a bird identification poster seen here. You can do your business and look out the window with a little bird watching!

Right now, we use it to store some lawn furniture, snow tires for the cars, and coolers. I want it all cleaned out, new curtains and usable. Yea, why not? Parties in the summer are perfect use for this outhouse. Any ideas for the curtains?

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Monday, July 14, 2008

What a funny guy.....

If I had known how much I like blogging, I would have done this much sooner! I love reading other blog entries, commenting, posting on my blog and enjoy comments left on mine! Of course, being from the old school retail world, I love to reply via email. I use to always write thank you notes to all purchasing customers, even if they only purchased a bar or soap!(Waterworks has everything from Soap to bathtubs!) So this not only feels like a job to me, but it still feels like I am working with customers, what I have done and love. Now I am doing it from my home, on my free time and enjoying every minute. Well, except for the Domain issue but that is a different issue. So, when my husband made a comment to me the other day, I had to laugh. He must think I am blogging all day long, not weeding the garden, not picking the fruit, not cleaning the house, no laundry, blah blah blah. What was that comment? "BB, take care of the plants in the kitchen?" The funny thing was I just stared, laughed and new exactly what he meant, before blogging(BB)! So I guess I am going to be using this from now on when I post.
Today, BB, I fed my daughter, did the dishes and took care of the plants in the kitchen. There you go!

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A Half Bucket List

Confessions of an Apron Queen is giving away vintage aprons, love them and after my recent post stating I will be wearing aprons more often, I can use another one! So she is hosting a Bucket list for life. I have about a half bucket on my list right now, kind of fitting with my blog name.

Travel back to Italy, anywhere!
Travel to Germany
Travel to Ireland
Travel to Scotland
See my relatives in Poland

That's it off the top of my head for the moment, will probably add more, non travel related! I need another cup of coffee to get my brain going!

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Classic Blueberry Muffins

It is the season to pick blueberries and my bushes are going to be loaded! I am averaging a little over a half pint a day off of one bush! We planted another 6 bushes this year for future crop harvest(sounds like the stock market) and right now we have four bushes. I am always looking for new recipes but sometimes it is the classics that stand out. Nothing fancy in this recipe, basic and everything you should have in your pantry!

2 Cups of Flour(reserve 1/4 cup for blueberries)
3 TSP Baking Powder
1/2 TSP Salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg slightly beaten
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup of blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter muffin pan or use liners. Add all the dry ingredients together. Add egg, milk and butter to dry ingredients and slightly mix. In a separate bowl, add blueberries and 1/4 cup reserve flour, toss to coat then add to mixture. Mix contents until most, it is not suppose to be smooth batter. Spoon into muffin tin, sprinkle sugar on top and bake for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

I baked these yesterday morning at 5:30am, yes that was the only time I had to get up and do it without any interruptions! Still there is nothing like smelling muffins in the morning......yummmm.

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Ice will never be square again!

Making ice cubes seems to be a very dull ritual. If you have seen my freezer and how small it is, you know it is even more of a challenge for me. Of course, nowadays, fridges come with an ice maker, spitting on from the freezer door half moon shaped or crushed ice.
Fun and educational making ice? Yes you can! I love the silicone Letter and Number Ice Trays found at The Spoon Sisters store. They are flexible, colorful molds that are perfect for making ice, frozen yogurt or jello! The trays are oven safe and freezer safe that do not retain odors or flavors. And yes, you can stick them in the dishwasher!
My daughter loves lemonade and I usually water it down. Instead I used the molds to freeze the lemonade and popped them into a glass of water! Fun to look at and a little added flavor.
WIN IT!!!! I have two sets of trays to giveaway today, perfect time to make some fun summer recipes! The rules are as follows.
1. Pop on over to The Spoon Sisters browse through their wonderful assortment of products.
2. Comment on this post what product you love on their site and why.
3. One post per person, US addresses only
4. Contest closes on Midnight July 19th, two random winners will be chosen and posted on July 20th.
5. For an extra entry, post my contest on your blog with a link to this post and The Spoon Sisters web site.
Then post your link on this contest post!

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Red White and Blue Trifle

I had to whip up a quick dessert for the 4th of July mini picnic we had and I did not want to have to go to a store. Let alone no store was open near me on the 4th of July except for a corner gas station! I rummaged through the freezer(have I told you about that invention of the freezer inventory scanner? Needed desperately!) and found a orange pound cake, strawberries and blueberries. Ha! Not a flag cake but a trifle! One of my favorite desserts and always so easy to put together in a flash. This recipe was for eight generous servings!

1/2 of a Orange Pound Cake
Instant Lemon Pudding
1 cup of Blueberries
1 Cup of sliced strawberries
1 nectarine sliced
Whipping cream

Start with slices of pound cake on the bottom of a glass bowl. Work with the following layered assembly to resemble a flag colors, hence red, white and blue!

Lemon pudding
whip cream
pound cake
lemon pudding
whip cream
pound cake
whip cream

Use either a footed glass bowl, there are special trifle bowls, or a nice glass bowl that you can see threw.

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More Reasons to plant sunflowers

Sunflowers are so much fun to plant in gardens. They are easy to start from seed and always look so bright and cheery when in bloom! Did you know they also have a purpose for keeping bugs out of your garden? Who knew that they beautiful big flowers pack a mask and cape, fighting bugs that invade your vegetables!
Sunflowers are a food source for a number of birds, but many birds also like to perch off of them to get a good view over the garden. Sunflower rows also harbor big eyed bugs, assassin bugs and predatory wasps and spiders which hunt for the bad bugs in your garden!
A few facts about sunflowers.

*Sunflowers are one of the fastest growing plants
*The sunflower is the national flower of Russia
*The head of the sunflower follows the sun, known as heliotropism
*The tallest sunflowers are in the Netherlands at over 25 feet!
*Sunflower seeds are packed with a lot of calcium and are used to make oil

To sum it up, sunflowers are flower power!

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