Thursday, March 31, 2016

First use of our ice cream maker

Though it wasn't ice cream that we made.  After a friend mentioned she made watermelon sorbet I had to try it.  A quick phone call and a trip to the store, I had everything I needed.

The seedless watermelons have been really good lately so I picked up extra and decided to puree most of it for future use.  I cut up the watermelon and Hubby made a simple syrup on the stove. 

It was cooked in a pot then transferred to the glass bowl to cool it down faster.  Hubby then put it in the fridge to get cold.  I continued slicing away putting the watermelon chunk into the blender.  When I reached 6-7 cups, on it went.

This is the result.  It's so delicious I could have drank it all even though it's just pureed watermelon.

From there is needs to get strained in order to have a smooth texture.

I ran it though a fine mesh strainer directly into the simple syrup bowl.  I added lime juice and a touch of salt as well.  From here you can mix and put it in the fridge to chill.  

For me though I had two more watermelons to break down, puree and strain.  Yes, they were that good!  I strained them into a clean bowl and poured them into 1 quart containers to freeze for later use.  I also ended up with 3 quarts of cubed watermelon for eating. Note one of the round seedless watermelons will make one large recipe and then some extra for eating later.

Once it was chilled, I brought up the core from the deep freezer and filled it with the mixture.

 Quickly added the mixer part and lid.

I turned it on and walked away for 25 minutes.

It wasn't quite there so I let it go for another 10 minutes.  Hindsight, I should have used half the mixture and just saved the other half in the fridge to do a day or two later.

I had started scooping it into containers before I remember to snap a pic, but this is what it looked like.  A thick frozen slushy like mixture.  It tasted good, but it needed to be put in the freezer overnight.  

The next day we had yummy watermelon sorbet (pictured above).  I didn't post a recipe because we haven't quite perfected it yet.  It was a bit too sweet for my liking from the recipe my friend gave us.  Next time, I will cut down on the simple syrup and see how that works.  Watermelon is after all already sweet to start with.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A blast from the past

A while ago my dad asked me to help him by cleaning out the attic of all my stuff.  At this point I've gone through half of it in about a year.  Not that there is a lot up there, I just pick the worst times to do this.  Mainly because we visit when it's 12 degrees outside in the middle of winter and I'm getting yelled at that I'm letting all the heat out.  Reverse that for the summer.  Regardless, it's getting done.

Among the things deemed trash, and rodent activity there were some interesting finds.  Old children's books, teaching tools from college, and even old toys from my brother and I.  Things I haven't seen in years!  I was going to toss these McDonald's Play Food into the garage sale bin when hubby reminded me that we are giving Bear a kitchen set for his upcoming birthday.  These could be some extra play food for him to use.  If it busts or breaks or gets lost who cares.  I cleaned them all up and while they don't look brand new, I'm positive Bear doesn't even care.   

While I did not intentionally keep these for my kid, I'm glad I found them.  Have you kept or found old toys for your kids or future kids?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter 2016


Here is Bears' full Easter basket.  It was hard this year to get a pick of the hyped up toddler with his basket.  Oh well.  Happy Easter, everyone!

Friday, March 25, 2016

What's in Bear's Easter Basket

This year for Easter I picked up some interesting eggs from the Dollar Tree near our house.  I swear they have some of the cutest stuff!

I'm not thrilled they were all transparent but they work well for holding his treats or small toys. Seriously, how cute are these?!?!

Anyway, on Easter morning I wake up early and fill the empty eggs in the basket you see below with treats like goldfish snacks, animal crackers, and raisins.  There will also be one with a few semi-sweet chocolate morsels.  It's is Easter after all and it wouldn't be complete without something chocolate.  Clearly he is not getting all that is pictured, but a small portion of each.  We aren't big on getting candy for Bear at this age (2 1/2).  Instead we do other treats that we know he will enjoy that aren't all loaded with sugar.  We even tend to do some small well thought out gifts.

Also in the basket are a few toys.  Nothing big, but something that goes with that he already has.  We opted for two Little People sets.  One was a camping figure set and the other the Green Knight set.  Then there are cars from Disney's Cars and Cars 2.

They were all removed from the packages.  Those that fit into eggs great and those that didn't were just placed into the basket.  The cars didn't fit so oh well.

The next chunk of stuff I deem more educational.  Stuff he was going to likely get anyway but they work for Easter as well.  To start Bear loves Thumper and his bunny family.  Disney put out a Bunnies series so I picked up "I love you, My Bunnies" and "Thumper Finds an Egg."  Both great books.  He also likes the Duck and Goose series.  We are working on colors for with our tot school so their "Colors!" book it had to be. 

Bear doesn't get much tv but when he does get to watch it he likes Dinosaur Train.  They had an "Eggstravaganza" DVD that seemed interesting.  While not Easter themed I also picked up"Veggie Tales: Jonah."  He's missed it since Netflix dropped it.  I was a bit sad too.  The show isn't that bad.

To help out with some of the tot school stuff we do I set aside a new coloring book and some small containers of playdoh that matched his plastic egg.  These were things we already had sitting around.  To me these are fillers because They were last minute things.

The very last thing that went into the basket was something he needed.  In fact he needed it so much it couldn't wait.  Really that's my fault for leaving his new dinosaur Contigo Thermos out on the counter.  He's tall enough now to see all the way to the back if he stands on his tippy toes.  Oh well.  He loves it and so he just got it early.

For now his Easter Basket looks like this. Again I'll wake up early and fill the empty ones with his treats.

What do you put in your kid's Easter Baskets?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Exploring Old Wives Tales

We have all heard some old wives tales about predicting the babies gender.  So, before we actually find out if it's a boy or girl why not have some fun with it!

Heartbeat (over 140 is a girl; under 140 is a boy):  Early on "they" say is better for prediction because that way movement will not alter the heart rate.  I'll use our 8-week appointment heartbeat which was 166, thus indicating a Girl.  This trend has continued with heartbeats at 170 and 176 in more recent appointment.  Nothing here changes, it only reinforces what the old wives tale says.

Cravings (sweet or citrus is a girl; Salty, sour or protein is a boy):

I would say I have been craving sweets.  Give me all the candy!!!  I also have been craving orange juice and grapefruit juice by the bucket full.  So, I guess that means Girl.  This is different from last time as all I wanted was nachos, chips and salsa, and fajitas.

Mayan Calendar (age at conception and year of conception.  If both are odd or even its a girl; one odd and one even it's a boy):  I was 31 years old and the year is 2015 making them both odd numbers according to this its a Girl

Chinese Gender Chart (found here, uses your age at conception and month of conception): When I plugged my numbers in, which are 31 years old and November, it said I am carrying a Girl.

Morning Sickness (Sick as a dog means it's a girl; easy going means it's a boy):  Well I don't hold any stock in this one what-so-ever as I was sick as a dog with Bear and he is clearly a boy.  Then again they are called old wives tales for a reason so, I'll play along.  According to this one, this baby is a Girl.

Hair condition (Dull and limp hair means it's a girl; thick and glossy hair means it's a boy):  Well I would have to go with dull and limp with overall some massively crappy hair days.  Then again I didn't have great hair days with Bear either but this one also comes out as, Girl.

Complexion (imperfect complexion means it's a girl; perfect complexion means a boy):  This is the whole theory of baby girls stealing your beauty.  This one, much to my dismay, indicates a Girl.

Foot Temp (Warm and toasty means girl; Ice cold means boy):  This is an interesting one as my feet are always cold and continue to be to this day.  I guess this means I'm having a Boy.

Agreement on a Name (can only agree on one be it a boy or a girl that is the one you will have):  I had to laugh when I read this because hubby and I have been saying this for a long that we could only agree on a boys name with Bear.  This time, we can only agree on a girls name.  That means, according to this, I'm carrying a baby Girl.

To Recap:

Heartbeat: Girl
Cravings: Girl
Mayan Calendar:  Girl
Chinese Gender Chart:  Girl
Morning Sickness:  Girl
Hair condition: Girl
Complexion: Girl
Foot Temp:  Boy
Agreeing on a name: Girl

Putting the Girl total at eight (8) and the Boy total at one (1).   According all of these old wives tales, it looks like I should be thinking PINK.  Guess we will have to wait and see what this upcoming ultrasound has to say.

What do you all think of old wives tales?  Are they true for you?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

An Unexpected Purchase

A little over a week ago I peeked outside and saw this...

Our 5 year old glass patio table shattered into a million pieces.  There is nothing there that would indicate a reason for a break.  Only a foot long twig and a Frisbee that was on the deck for over a month.  Nothing one would think would like a baseball or rock.  

Our best guess was the relatively drastic change in temperature.  Within a week we had 2 inches of snow and then into the 80's.  The constant 40 degree temperature swing between day and night could have done it in a short time couldn't have helped.  All we know for sure is 6 days prior to the first picture the patio table looked like this...

Covered in snow but in one piece.  Oh well, the table is gone and there is nothing that can be done.  

Since we had company coming we needed a replacement sooner than later. I searched and after a little bit, I passed along my findings to Hubby to get his opinion.  Initially, I was only looking for a table replacement until I found this IKEA outdoor dining set.

We all piled into the car and went to the store to pick it up our new outdoor dining set, Some assembly required.

With Six chairs complete we moved on to the table.

There you have it!  Our pretty new table and chairs. No glass this time around.  For added protection we even bought a cover for it!  Our deck isn't covered so this will be useful.

Barbie Hair Fixes Part 1

Let's jump right on into it.   Every doll hair fix tutorial I could find started with brushing out the dolls hair.  It may look worse...