Monday, April 30, 2007
I told myself I'd worry about food storage and emegency preparedness more when I lived somewhere where I actually had some space to store it. Now I do and I have resolved to get started. I just wondered if there were any among us who have any level of expertise in this area (i.e. more knowledge than I do which is probably most of you). If so, can we designate Fridays for the next several weeks as a day to post a tidbit of information that you could share and/or questions that others might be able to answer???
I asked my babysitter a few weeks ago if she let her kids have snacks in the car. She seems very wise to me so I was curious what her take was. She said snacks that weren't sticky like crackers-that can be vacuumed easily-were okay with her but never drinks. In the age of the sippy cup, I was surprised at that one. Do you guys let your kids eat in the car? Fast forward to Thursday evening when I'm picking my little one up from said babysitter's house. She saw her cup in the bag and started screaming for it! I gave in because I knew she was hungry and didn't think of it again. Fast forward again to Sunday night. We're in the car on our way home from dinner with his parents and there is a stench. A bad one! Everyone denies farting or smelly feet or poopy diapers and this morning I discovered the culprit-the almost empty sippy cup. They're never quite all gone and it had sat baking in the car during our first warm weekend of the year. The moral of the story? Sippy cups left in the car are a bad idea!
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
First I fashioned a little board to our fridge like so:
On the board I made magnets for all the main chores to be done each week. Each Sunday my husband closes his eyes and pulls four jobs from the "cleaning hat." (Because I have more time at home, I am always responsible for dishes, laundry, and making the bed as well as the three remaining other chores. But you can do whatever's fair for you.) If we do the jobs we are expected to do within the week we get fifteen dollars to spend on whatever we want. If we want something more expensive, we are in "cleaning debt" (hence the negative sign by my husband's name) until we pay it off. The results are two fold: our house has never been cleaner and I have guilt-free money to spend on clothes!
The moral of the story is: When you have a hard time motivating yourself to do something, resort to childish bribes.
Here's hoping there won't be much screaming (From the baby AND the mom) on the plane.
Well, here goes: Laura Roth (of The Grapes of Roth blog and Sugar & Spice contributor!) invited me to this great group of cyber sisters! Laura and I hearken back to our undergrad days at dear Miami University in Ohio. And we also spent some time together in Columbus. She fared much better in that town than I did, I must say! My fave city is Washington, DC...which also happens to be where I met and married my catch-of-a-husband Steve. (Aw!)
Steve and I will have been living in matrimonial bliss for three years on May 22nd. (Is that enough "sugar" for you gals???) We have one sweet son named Guy who will be 18 months in May. We are expecting bundle of joy #2 some time around May 17th. (We don't know the gender. We enjoy the surprise!) Add to that that my husband is graduating from Penn State with his MBA on May 13th, and we'll hopefully be moving for a job - and you've got one busy month for our fam!
Before I got married, I worked as a TV producer for CNN, which gave me lots of good memories and unbelievable stories to tell my kids some day, although they probably won't believe me! (Do you recognize JFK, Jr. in the pic below? Thought I'd add some eye-candy.) Nowadays, I write my heart out...just for me and my family. I like to write poetry, follow interesting news stories, and I publish a monthly family newsletter for my family that I get way too into. It's a fun outlet for me.
I am afraid that I might not be able to add much by way of great recipes, because I am what I'd consider a lazy cook! I like to get in and out of the kitchen as fast as possible! Ha ha! Mostly just a way to keep myself from eating everything in sight! (I do prefer baking tho...much sweeter pay-offs in baking!) I do however hope to add my own bits of spice here and there, although with all of the amazing women on this blog it might be difficult to add something new! But I will try! :)
What else can I tell you about me? My personal website is http://jocelynandsteve.bravehost.com/ If you go there, you can read an article that I recently had published in a magazine here in State College on my experience leaving a career to become a stay-home Mother.
I like to cross-stitch. I love milk. My fave sports are volleyball and softball. I consider make-up the equivalent to a shot of V8...a double-shot is even better! :) I would NEVER bungee jump - even if you paid me a million dollars. I drive a VW named Wolfie -- my dear friend Wolfie! :) I like to dream. I like to make frequent references to movie quotes from my fave films...(I'm not a movie buff tho.) Did I stump you with the line in my first graph? Hope not - it's from D.D. - Do you need anymore clues?
Cannot wait for Spiderman 3 to come out on May 4th...Now to find a sitter! :)
Thanks for inviting me to this fun group, Laura! You are one awesome WOMAN! I am glad we are friends! Looking forward to getting to know each of you and learning from your experiences!
Hope to hear from you soon! - JocelynPS - So glad there's a spellcheck on this puppy! Prediction: Today it's lasick (sp?) eye surgery...Tomorrow people will be getting spellcheck microchip implants! haha!
Monday, April 23, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
I happened upon this awesome Challenge that is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the May Edition of Real Simple Magazine. Here's the deal:
For National Women's Health Week, the Office on Women's Health sponsors an 8-week national physical activity challenge called the WOMAN (Women and girls Out Moving Across the Nation) Challenge. There are 10,800 pedometers available on a first-come-first-served basis for participants who request one during registration.
The Challenge offers women and girls two options for participating: either as an individual or as a team. Participants record their daily activity levels on a personal WOMAN Challenge online account to move them along their chosen virtual route. Throughout the Challenge, participants receive automatic progress reports, motivational e-mails, and health education.
A virtual route is a map on the Internet that helps illustrate your progress throughout the WOMAN Challenge. "Virtual" means that you don't actually travel the route, rather you are moved along the route based on the physical activity you log on the website. There are six routes that you can choose from:
Plains and Midwest
Gulf and Caribbean
Doesn't that look cool?! So far I'm participating individually, but I thought it might be fun if you other ladies want to join as well and we can create a team. Let me know if you're interested and if you registered. I'm a fan of anything that motivates me to get off my rump and step into shape! Plus you get a free pedometer!?!
***FYI***During registration, if you choose to record your physical activity in miles or minutes, you are not eligible to receive a free pedometer. You can receive a free pedometer only if you register to record your physical activity in steps.
My lovely long, lost friend Staci invited me, and I hope you don't mind. My name is Skipper (actually, my name is Stephanie, but nobody has called me that for years) and I'm getting ready to move back to Utah. My husband and I have been living in South Carolina for the last year, and it has been a whirl-wind experience that I think I'm going to miss.
I've been married nearly three years and just had my first baby in January. His name is Spencer and so far he's been a hoot. I obviously don't have a lot of experience raising a baby, but I feel pretty confident saying that Spencer is VERY independent and determined for a 3 month old. So far he's called all the shots: when to wean himself to the bottle, when to sleep through the night, and as of last week he no longer lets us coddle him...he only wants to be held while sitting up on his own.
I'm excited to get to know all of you in this very fun cyber community!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
My name if Jennifer. My friend Stephanie introduced me to Sugar & Spice. Stephanie and I were in the same ward last year and became really good friends.
I live in East Lansing, Michigan, while my husband attends Law School. However, we will not be in Michigan much longer. He finishes in August and then we are moving to Las Vegas. My husband and I are originally from Colorado and just moved here for school. We have been married almost five years and we have a 20 month old daughter who makes life very interesting.
I little bit about me. I have a BA in Psychology and a minor in Art. I love anything with art, decorating, and a new found hobby is sewing. I love to shop (although I don't have any money), camping, and most sports. I love being a mother and a stay at home mom. I'm so excited to get know you all!!
Monday, April 16, 2007
I'm the primary music leader in my ward and I got asked to give an inservice on using music in the classroom. I have some good ideas but I know there are more out there. What I'm looking for are ideas of ways to incorporate music in the classroom, examples of music being used in the classroom. For example, one of our teachers taught the "Books of the New Testament" to his kids this year since they're learning New Testament stories in class. I know we have a few music gurus out there (Linz!) so hopefully you'll have some great input! Thanks for any and all ideas!
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
When I started buying 1st foods for my babe, I bought all Gerber 2-packs in those plastic rectangular containers. For some reason, peeling the foil lid off of those things is extremely challenging for me. I usually end up having to use my teeth (in which case I usually get some nice strained green beans into my mouth--yum), or when I do use my hand it sprays out as it opens. And sometimes when I'm getting food ready, my baby is crying because she has just awakened and is READY TO EAT so peeling the lids takes entirely too much time! So I noticed that DelMonte has jars that open in 0.2 seconds, and they are cheaper. Sounds like a great solution to me! But I've wondered if the cheaper brand means lower quality. Does anyone know that to be the case?
Monday, April 9, 2007
Here are a couple of pictures of the ones I made. I made three Easter ones, but you could really make them for any occasion.
I bought the buckets for $1 each at Wal-mart. Inside the buckets I put a piece of green floral arranging foam and covered it with Easter grass (the foam pieces were about $1 each too).
I then made some regular sugar cookies and slid a bamboo skewer in the bottom of each one as close to the top of the dough as possible before cooking them. I wet the bamboo skewers ahead of time because I was afraid they'd burn in the oven or something. I baked the cookies, let them cool on the pan some and then transferred them to a cooling rack to cool completely. I then made some icing, decorated the cookies (I got ideas by looking at professional cookie bouquets on the internet), and put them in some clear craft bags that came with twist ties. Then I just arranged the cookies in the foam and they were done. The little Happy Easter sign is just some cardstock taped to a toothpick.
An important side note:
I would put something heavy in the bottom of the buckets next time since they were pretty top heavy. I loaded them all into a pan to carry out to the car for delivery. It was really windy that day and when I got outside a big gust of wind came and knocked one of them all over the ground and the other two just fell over in the pan. It looked like a little bunny massacre. I was only able to salvage one of them. Oh well. It would probably also help to use something sturdier like popsicle sticks, but I like the height of the bamboo skewers.
Here are the recipes I used:
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1 c. sour cream
- 3 c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Mix sugar, egg, and butter together. Add sour cream. Mix well. Add flour, soda and baking powder. Roll on floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.
- 1/2 c. Crisco
- 1/2 c. butter
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. lemon extract
- dash salt
- 5-6 c. powdered sugar
Mix shortening, butter, extracts, and salt. Add powdered sugar and enough milk to make a good spreading consistency (I used a few teaspoons, but it could take a little more). Mix until light and fluffy.
When I worked full-time, I was normal and really didn't like Mondays! Now that I only work two days a week, I LOVE Mondays! It's my day to recuperate and clean and get the baby back on her schedule! My friend says the hymn, "Welcome, Welcome Sabbath Morning" is "Monday Morning" in Mom's world and I agree! We had a crazy weekend and so when the baby went down this morning, I napped too! I love Mondays! Anyone else?
Friday, April 6, 2007
Does anyone have one of these? My husband and I are germ-a-phobes so we thought we'd enjoy having one. Unfortunately I forgot to read the reviews on Amazon before I bought mine (I chose the cheapest one, Eddie Bauer brand) and some of the reviews say it's not big enough for some carts (hopefully it will work out--I didn't get it in the mail yet), but anyway, the more expensive ones are supposedly bigger. I thought it was kind of cool and something I can just throw in with the load of baby laundry.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
It's formatted so that all you have to do is 3-hole punch and stick in a binder. I think I'm going to use plastic protectors since I usually end up spilling during my cooking/baking endeavors!
Have fun cooking!!
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
So since lots of our little ones are still teething, there might not be much input on this, but when and how did you start brushing your baby's teeth? We got a tooth brushing kit at a shower and so I've just been giving M starter tooth brushes to gnaw on for months but I'm fearing toothbrush rejection when I try to start real brushing with toothpaste. Any tricks or tips?
Monday, April 2, 2007
Mom and dad are slowly figuring things out and adjusting. The first week is pretty hard! Gladly, things seem to get better each day.
45 minutes preparation, 25-30 minutes baking
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup less 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. buttermilk
Frosting and garnish
1/2 cut (1 stick) butter, softened
1-1/2 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted
3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate shavings [I used ground chocolate chips, but I think darker chocolate shavings would look more impressive.]
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with waxed paper. Grease paper and sides of pans. Dust with flour.
2. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.
3. At low speed, alternately beat flour mixture and buttermilk into butter mixture just until blended. Divide batter equally between prepared pans.
4. Bake cakes until a toothpick insterted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Remove paper. Turn layers top-side up and cool completely.
5. To prepare frosting, beat butter and confectioners' sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate and vanilla; continue beating until shiny and smooth.
6. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread frosting on top and sides of cake. Let cake stand for at least 30 minutes before sprinkling with chocolate shavings and slicing.
2. Spread one layer with raspberry jam and top with second layer. Position Oreo cookies end to end on board to form the body Join with a little thawed Cool Whip. [I didn't have any on hand, so I just used frosting instead.] Position cake halves on either side of body to form wings and secure with more whipped topping.
3. Color remaing whipped topping and frost cake. Decorate body with candy, sprinkes, Fruity Pebbles, or whatever you have on hand!
1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
2-1/2 cups flaked coconut, divided
2 small purple gumdrops
1 small red gumdrop
2 small orange gumdrops
2 pretzel sticks
Yellow, red, and green liquid or gel food coloring
Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Fill a greased 8 ounce custard cup three-fourths full. Pour remaining batter into a greased 10 inch fluted tube pan. Bake the custard cup at 350 for 20-25 minutes and the tube cake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing cakes to wire racks; cool completely.
Cut large cake in half widthwise. To form caterpillar, place one half on a 15 in. x 10 in. covered board (or a big platter). Place the remaining portion next to the first to form an "S". With a serrated knife, level bottom of small cake; place on one end of caterpillar for head.
Frost the small cake with vanilla frosting; gently press 1/4 c. coconut into frosting. Add purple gumdrops for eyes. For mouth, flatten red gumdrop with a rolling pin between waxed paper; place below eyes. For antennae, press orange gumdrops onto pretzels; insert into head.
Place 3/4 cup coconut each in three small resealable plastic bags. Tint one orange with yellow and red food coloring; tint one green and one yellow. [Hint: Some kids love squishing the bags to color the coconut!] Frost the caterpillar with remaining vanilla frosting. Press alternate colors of coconut into frosting
As you can see from the picture, I didn't use the gumdrops (I bought Dots to use, but my husband couldn't resist their allure and ate them all before I could make the cake). I used chocolate chips for the eyes and Pez candies for the mouth. If you don't like coconut, just tint the frosting and omit the coconut.