Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Photo's

It has been awhile since I've attempted to get any decent photo's of Ashlyn. One day we went to a park nearby and the next day we took advantage of the hazy fog by some train tracks and a canal. 

Boy professional photographers earn every penny they charge for children's photography. Every stick, pebble or leaf is a total distraction. Ashlyn is 6 and I learned real quick to just go with it 6 years ago. You'll get better picture's if you just let them play. But oh my, the amount of screw around and weird faces we get is unbelievable.

For every one of these.
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I get 25 of these.  I kid you not, those are real numbers.
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I uploaded a bunch to the Snapshots page. I kept several of the goofy faced ones in there to prove my point, and it's just funny to remember too. There would have been a lot more of the goofy faced ones, but I had to rush her since we were limited on daylight this particular afternoon. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Treats

We were going to make some sort of Halloween treats for friends and neighbor kids. We have only made cake balls or cake pops once before. They turned out good, but wasn't trilled with the melting of the chocolate. I had used almond bark for that. I used candy melts this time. Not impressed for what we needed.

I have since done research on google and youtube and learned several tricks and tips. We will be trying this again. One thing I learned was, not to follow the package directions when doing cake pops. Excellent. Perfect. 

Most people use a regular box cake mix. We used angel food this time. Used white and chocolate before. Both were good choices. You break the cake of your choice into fine pieces. The finer the better, you will not get the angel food as fine as regular cake without a food processor, which we did not have.
ghost cake pops (1)

Next you mix in enough of something to get it to a mixture that will hold it's shape well. Before we mixed it with frosting, which was good but in the end they were soooo sweet (we thought). This time we mixed it with cream cheese, which was good and cut the sweetness quite a bit. Next time we are trying gnash.
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Form them into balls. Then stick in fridge before 20-30 minutes to firm up. We used a recipe that said the freezer. This awesome cake pop lady suggest the fridge instead.
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Dip the sticks in melting chocolate and insert into the cake ball 3/4 of the way in. Back in fridge (not freezer) for another 15 or so. They should then sit out for 5 minutes or so before dipping in the next step. We did not do this.
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Our melting process did not go well. We went solely by the package. I tried both ways it suggested. If you were piping or decorating with it, it was perfect. But for wanting it more runny to dip these in and let the excess drip off, it was not so perfect at all. 

Nonetheless, here are our ghosts. Taste wise, they were fine. But the chocolate is so thick on them. It should not be that thick and chunky looking. 

And did you know when adding liquid or gel food coloring to melted chocolate, it creates cement. Yea, I know that now too. People who have success with this, usually mix the coloring with a little shortening, then add it to the chocolate. Because guess what the secret is to getting chocolate runnier and dipable?  Shortening. Uh-huh. Never got the memo on that fine tip til now. So the eyes and mouth did not go well. The best way to color it is with this powder coloring or by using the colored candy melt chips. 
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End result was still fine. But we will be trying this again. Since clearly, we made these completely ass-backwards. 
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Ashlyn may have a Halloween party to go to next weekend, and we were looking for something healthier to bring. Few ideas I saw.
halloween snacks (3)

Loved this one. Pineapple, Cuties and Cool Whip.
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This guacamole one is just plain gross but funny. I've seen the whole puking pumpkin puking seeds on the front steps. But never seen one food related and how perfect to use guacamole.
halloween snacks (1)

Wall Words

Getting 2 things done at once. Practicing spelling (wall words) in the bathtub with bathtub crayons. 

spelling words

Friday, October 24, 2014

Phone Dump

Sometimes I take picture's on my phone or little camera I keep in my purse and then forget about them. Nothing to exciting, but a few to share.

Ashlyn did dress up on me with make up. She took the photo as well.

She persuaded her Dad for a dress up session as well. Minus the make up.

I've never really ate much for veggies. Sweet corn. Beans from a can. Raw veggies with lots of dip. That's about it. I was reading a book that suggested roasting them for people like me who aren't big on veggies. This is a huge bonus for me, they were awesome. Easy to prepare (I don't like a lot of food maintenance and prep), olive oil, sea salt and garlic. Bake and done. They were so good. I've had them every night this whole week. Ashlyn even tried them. I paid/bribed her, but still.

Then after eating so healthy, that sweet thing came on strong. I don't keep a lot of junk on hand, because well, if you have it you eat it. But the ol scoop of peanut butter with chocolate chips trick does me just fine. One spoon and I'm good. Maybe two. Usually one.

Ashlyn and I could not believe our eyes at a park recently. We saw a WHITE squirrel. Have you ever seen one? We had not. We didn't even know white ones existed. Prettiest squirrel we'd ever seen.
Geneseo Park 001

While at this park, we intended to play for awhile. Given Ashlyn loves playing in leaves, making crafts with leaves, doing anything with leaves, she ended up in them most of the time. We don't have a single tree in our yard right now. So she had more fun with the beautiful park tree leaves.
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I don't like to think about how many animals have peed in these. I do think it, but I don't like to.
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And if you know Ashlyn at all, she's sort of got a thing for flowers and picking them. A thing, as in she's a crazed fanatic and almost can't help herself but to pick every single flower she see's. Since it was on a park plant, she was forced to leave this single rose bud. I don't allow picking from business's or personal property of others. This sucker begged her to pick it.
Geneseo Park 036

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Shaklee Get Clean Cost Comparison

The initial cost of anything these days will make people balk at it. Everyone is price conscious and watches their pennies closely, including me. I'd like to show you the breakdown of some of the Shaklee Get Clean products. They are natural, safe and cost effective and just as important....they work!!!

Shaklee's Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate Item #00015

Basic H2 is a super safe, powerful, all purpose cleaner. This product really does have over 1000 uses. The best window/mirror cleaner on the planet, removes baked on crust from pans, mop floors, amazing job getting bug guts off my car, excellent bubbles in the bath, sinks, tables, chairs, kids toys, kitchen appliances, stainless steel, sealed granite, wash vehicles, jewelry cleaner....the list really is endless. 
  • Sustainably sourced ingredients derived from corn and coconuts
  • Does not contain phosphates, dyes, toxins, toxic fumes, hazardous chemicals, fragrance or chlorine.
  • Packaging is recyclable 
  • Nontoxic
  • Natural
  • Super Concentrated
  • No phosphates
  • Biodegradable Surfactants
One cleaner, over 1000 uses, for mere pennies per 16 oz bottle. 


See how much you are spending and how much you could be saving on the Get Clean Cost Comparison chart (the other Get Clean products are listed on this chart).

Save 15 - 25% by becoming a Member. Which is normally a 1 time fee, but right now, through October 31, 2014, Membership is FREE with the purchase of a Shaklee Regimen.  Also, you'll get Free shipping up to $20 in October for all new Member regimens when part of a join order through October 31, 2014.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pumpkin Decorating

In the past we have always been pumpkin carvers, and I like to bake the seeds. The last few years, we've decided painting is safer and sort of more fun for us. Maybe it's because we paint better than we carve. I may have to hack in to one later though to get those seeds. 

We had to set up in the garage due to several days of rainy weather.
pumpkin deco (1)

pumpkin deco (2)

So serious. She could have easily painted another 20. Loves this stuff.
pumpkin deco (3)

This is only the beginning of the glitter. And glitter just doesn't show up in photo's like it does in real life.
pumpkin deco (4)

The final projects. Drum roll please.  This one is mine. Trust me, the glitter just doesn't show like it does in person. Neither do the purple metallic bats.
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Jamie was absent from the pumpkin painting party, so I did his for him. And he probably wouldn't have painted one anyway. He'd normally choose to be a spectator in the event.
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This little guy was too cute as is to paint, but we felt he deserved a photo anyway.
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The rest are Ashlyn's.
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The glitter did not photograph well on this one at all.
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I'm fairly certain this one may be one of a kind. And can you imagine, I've been saying the glitter does not photograph well. So technically, this little gem is downplayed quite a bit. The sucker really does sparkle, even after I put a "matte" finishing spray on it to hold all the layers of stuff on there.
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 Happy decorating. What is your favorite way to decorate pumpkins?

Pizza with a Friend


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Entering Germ Season

As we enter germ season, I tend to beef up my germ defenses more so than any other season. Especially since little sickness's are already creeping there way in from school.

Hand Washing
Our best defense is good hand washing. Mainly right after school where so many germs get picked up. And the obvious before eating and all that. After school, parks and stores are my big ones to wash after.

My family uses Shaklee's Hand Wash Concentrate. Item 00191  Aside from how long this soap lasts us, there are plenty of other reason's why I love it too. And they are:
  • Non-drying, gentle formula
  • Conditions and moisturizes
  • Formulated with natural botanicals
  • Contains wheat germ oil, algae extract, soy protein, and aloe, as well as linden flower, rosemary, and arnica extracts.
  • Made from sustainably sourced plant-based ingredients
Clean credentials
  • Natural
  • Non toxic
  • pH balanced
  • Biodegradable surfactants

This super mild, sudsy wash makes it so nice to do as you've always been told - go wash your hands.  It has wheat germ oil and algae extract to moisturize; soy protein to condition; aloe, marshmallow (Althaea officinalis), and linden flower (Tilia cordata) extracts to soothe; and rosemary and arnica extracts to energize. So now it's more like, "Go take your hands to the spa." 

wash hands

Basic G Item 00525 (Highly Concentrated Germicide)
Basic G is kind of like my BFF. It disinfects, cleans and deodorizes. I use it on all counter-tops, floors, tubs, toilets, faucets, door handles, remote controls, cell phones and our keyboard and mouse. I of course do my keys, steering wheel and car door handles too....but that's normal right? I use it every where all year, but I use it more often during this season.

basic g

Bacteria, fungi and viruses can wreck havoc on your family's health and safety.  Used as directed, Basic-G tackles over 60 of these pesky microbes, including several animal viruses. That makes it an excellent choice for use in the kitchen, bathroom, or pet area. Use on hard, nonporous surfaces. In addition to being economical - one quart makes up to 64 gallons.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Country Corner - New Pumpkin Orchard

We tried a new orchard this year for something different. It's like pizza, it's just another orchard as far as what they have, but a little different flavor to it. All pizza's are good, just different. I think the same of orchards. 

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The play area with swings, slides, tree house, bouncy house, corn maze and mining was all shaded with tall pretty tree's and tables and tent's set up.
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Mining was Ashlyn's favorite !
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Corn canon shooting was very cool.
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So was the pumpkin slingshot. The last weekend before Halloween they have a pumpkin canon we may go back for.
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This cow barrel ride hauled ass !!!  They even have a sign to warn against no pregnant women to ride.
orchard (16)

I'm definitely riding this next time.
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