Saturday, April 18, 2009

kudos to my boyfriend

i wish i could take credit for this lovely asparagus salad, however it was part of our easter dinner created by my dear boyfriend. as many of my friends may hear me whine about his shortcomings like taking too long in the bathroom(a key complaint of mine yesterday morning) or playing rock band with the volume set to the max at 1 am when i have to work in the morning. all too often, i fail to give him credit for the things he does outstandingly namely with his culinary background, his cooking. i love that he can create wonderful dishes out of thin air like this one. in case you are wondering, the asparagus salad is quartered grape tomatoes, asparagus, crumbled gorgonzola drizzled with a lemon,olive oil, and roasted garlic dressing with salt, pepper, and herbs of course. it was fabulous. we also had roasted mushrooms(oyster, shitake, and crimini), mashed potatoes, rolls, and ham for him of course.

today's free stuff 4/18/09

free metal water bottle from santa fe tobacco company-must click yes, i am a smoker and be 21 years of age
free aveeno nourish + shampoo and conditioner sample
free appetizer up to $9 coupon for olive garden for people who used a credit or debit card there between 12/4/06-8/10/07 must mail in this form
free sample of astroglide personal lubricant
free stuff from mana energy potion
free online classes from hp on topics like digital photography, networking, etc
free cini sopapilla bites at taco john's
free coffee from seattle's best for all 39 year olds april 7-28 and buy one get one free coupons for the rest of us
free pretzels for national pretzel day on april 26th at pretzeltime locations
free baby cone at bruster's for all kids under 40" tall
free comic books for national comic book day on may 2nd
free 8 oz mccafe coffee at mcdonald's from 7am-7pm on mondays no purchase necessary
free scoop of ice cream at hagen daas may 12th 4-8pm

Friday, April 17, 2009

junior mint pastels make me sad

as anyone who read my my big 200 list of things about me, my favorite candies are junior mints and peppermint patties. although in the us, they are made with gelatin making them non vegetarian. international versions especially those made in the uk use agar making them vegetarian. hence, i haven't had them in a while. i still have fond feelings for them. they are one of the main reasons i love the song fruitcakes by jimmy buffett when he rants "I want my junior mints. where did the junior mints go in theMovies. I don’t want a 12 lb. nestle’s crunch for 25 dollars. iWant junior mints" i remember my parents buying junior mints for me in the hospital when i had my tonsils out from the hospital vending cart. the chocolaty minty flavor is so soothing. thats the essence of the junior mint. junior mints pastel destroy that as the candy coating is merely candy coating not chocolate flavor. i reviewed the ingredients whereas on normal junior mints list chocolate as the second ingredient chocolate isn't even an ingredient in their pastels. this is a perversion of the whole concept behind junior mints. additionally, they are called pastels. but, they only have 2 colors blue and yellow. i wouldn't really call this pastels. couldn't they at least throw in green or pink.

today's free stuff 4/17/09

free armor all starter kit keep refreshing until you get the armor all banner with the actual form in it
free gillette fusion razor 500 available a day from now til may 16th
free nutrional samples for product reviews
free water aerator insert to save water for earth day from home depot
free snore stop spray or fast tabs
free bowling at amf for your birthday
free peta circus activity kit for kids

Thursday, April 16, 2009

look what arrived in the mail

i know i have probably talked to death about winning smutopia's earring giveway, but i had to show you how cool they looked in person when i finally received them. they arrived last friday, but i just now got to posting the pics.

as you can see, i requested them in blue with silvertone ear wires. if you want these earrings for yourself, you can request the color of the cranes and silver or gold tone for the fittings.
here they are in my ear with my hair pulled back to show off the earring.

looking at starting at etsy

i am considering creating an etsy site to sell my recycled crayons. however, i have no idea how etsy works. i really just discovered it through smutopia's site. its a site for selling handmade products. i know a lot of my fellow bloggers out there use etsy to sell their wares. hopefully, some of you can give me some advice on selling through etsy, how one goes about pricing goods, etc. any advice would be welcome and helpful.
also, you have to create a store name for etsy. any opinions on the title daffodils and ladybugs since they are two of my favorite things?
and, i've taken pictures to feature the colors of crayons i could offer.
blue green and orange
green and red
purple and blue
a closeup of the pretty colors

finally, candy mold crayons

so, i finally mastered candy mold recycled crayons. instead of microwaving the broken crayons, i made a bowl with aluminum foil to hold the broken crayons in the oven and pinched an edge into a lip.

much like my rainbow crayons which i baked in the oven in muffin tins, i set the oven to 265 degrees and watched for the crayons to liquify. then, i carefully filled the molds. i then, placed them in the freezer for half an hour to set. as you can see, i bought an ocean fun mold. the crayon not pictured is a starfish.

today's free stuff 4/16/09

text SONIC1 to 374836 for free 1 topping sundae
free 2 year subscription to parents magazine
free breakfast at ikea this friday-sunday not valid at charlotte, hicksville, pittsburgh, and houston
free coupon for a marie callendar's pasta dish. if you are not a member of all you reality checkers, you need to signup first.
free one week supply of nordic naturals omega-3 fish oil
free sample of 1-2-3 preschool projects curriculum
6 free issues of esquire magazine
free interactive potty training success dvd
free holland house cooking wines recipe booklet and coupons
free prilosec otc sample
free 3x6 limited edition mark stewart gicilee art print
free prayer blanket
free skin md samples for bloggers
free reusable tote bag for teachers
free subscription to yachting magazine
free sample of murad active radiance serum
free sample of better than ears dog treats
free sample of nature made tripleflex liquid soft gels
free reusable water bottle at the disney store for earth day on april 22nd when you bring in 3 disposable bottles
free kiehl's sample call-in mentioned on mike and juliet show. the call only takes 3-4 minutes.
free book a month til age 5 for kids from dolly parton's imagination library program
free sample of underjams night wear
free eco smart cfl light bulb at home depot on april 19th
Free Baby’s Only Organic Toddler Dairy or Soy pediatric formula sample call (614) 898-9758 and select option #2 -it’s automated
free 60 day bjs club pass expires 7/6/09
free digital photo and frame and goodie bag at petsmart april 21st 6-8pm
free coupon for flat tire repair at mr tire good through 5/30/09

cupcakes and lemonade

at work, we decided to have a food day where everyone brings in goodies to munch on while we work for easter. i, of course, volunteered to bring in cupcakes. i swear i am still trying to use up those boxes of cake mix. i had a couple of boxes of lemon cake mix and figured they sounded relatively springy for the occasion. while i was doing the last minute easter meal shopping, i came across these easter cupcake liners
at shopper's already marked down to 50% off and knew i was set to make my cupcakes. really, aren't those adorable liners? when i baked the cupcakes, i was a little underwhelmed though by the lemony flavor of the cake mix. so, i decided to spice things up by using two different frostings for the cupcakes. the first frosting i used was a basic vanilla frosting i tinted pink with a couple of drops of red food coloring much like i did for valentine's day. i used less food coloring this time though as a i wanted them to be a lighter pink to match the yellow of the cake. the second frosting is where the lemonade part of the title comes in. i wanted to do something to compliment the lemon cupcakes. so, i got the idea to use lemonade drink mix like the kind from kool aid. you know the kind you have to add sugar to, but i didn't to add since frosting already has so much sugar in it. so, here's my super simple recipe for lemonade frosting which i am now totally addicted to.
lemonade frosting:
  • enough of your basic frosting recipe vanilla or merely sugar flavored to frost an entire cake or 24 cupcakes
  • one pack of lemonade drink mix

mix thoroughly. this works best if you have time to allow it to set overnight so that the the color can fully bloom giving it a subtly yellow color.

i used pastel chips for added spring flair.

i alternated them just for effect.

my first attempt at rainbow crayons

after my craftastrophe, i was a bit apprehensive about using candy molds to make crayons until i got the melting down. so, i thought i would try making some rainbow crayons in a muffin tin which i picked up at the dollar store specifically for crafting(so, please have no fear in eating my baking.). i wanted the swirly colored look.
so, i tried to alternate colors of the broken crayons as much as possible to allow tons of color variation throughout the final product. preparing the crayons is really the most time consuming part in all reality. peeling the paper became easier when i used a pair of scissors opened up like a exacto knife since no exacto knife was on hand. and, i broke the crayons into at least 4 pieces, so they would melt easier. i placed them in the oven which i preheated to 265 degrees and allowed to bake for about 10 minutes until they are completely melted. warning: you will want to open a window to air out the kitchen as a nasty smell will eminate from the oven. and, after you are done, keep the oven running with the door open for at least an hour to try to rid the oven of the smell. then to harden them, i placed them in the freezer for a half hour to cool. they popped out super easy.
i let a customer's grandaughter have one a try it out. she really had a great time with all the colors that came out of the crayon. here are my results:


that's the nicest way to refer what happened to me friday evening. so often on blogs, we just talk about our successes. now, maybe i'm the only one who has screw ups when i try new projects; but i seriously doubt it. so, i will begin to explain how i ended up with red crayon wax all over and i mean all over my kitchen. i would have taken pictures had i not been so embarrassed and busy with cleaning up my mess.

it all began so simply. for quite some time, i've been trying to figure out what to do with my growing crayon collection. i asked for suggestions to no avail. in my websurfing, i've come across lots of examples of people recycling crayons especially into larger crayons. so, i thought this might be a cool use for all the crayons i have amassed(trust me i literally have amassed hundreds.). i went out and bought a cute little train set candy mold. i thought this would be a totally adorable craft idea. and, it would be if i was more patient. seems like a running problem for me. i began by heating some broken crayons in the microwave. this is a slow process especially since i was using a little dixie cup. i got one train done, but thought i could speed up the process by putting the crayons in a coffee mug and left them microwaving for about 12 minutes. this allowed me to go into the living room have a bit of a snack and watch some tv. perfect plan or so i thought. when the microwave went ding, i ran excitedly into the kitchen thinking i now had enough wax to fill the entire mold at once. i should have worried when i saw the wax was bubbling. stupidly, i then began pouring wax into the mold. the mold almost immediately started melting and my countertop and floor became a river of red wax. the wax then hit my fingers. from the scorching wax on fingers, i let out a squeal that sent my kitties running and caused me to drop the mug launching wax onto just about every surface in my kitchen. dear me, i immediately went to scrubbing and pouring boiling water onto the waxed areas to help remove the wax followed by heavy doses of bleach to remove and color that seeped in. sadly the whole wax removal seemed to take over an hour and a half. i, of course, would try again hopefully with less drama.

target stock at goodwill

for weeks now, i've been hearing kimberly at fab finds under $50 talk about thrifted goods that were target new stock she has gotten from goodwill. i must say i was more than intrigued especially as those who follow may have figured out i have a bit of a love affair with target. i found this article from all the way back in 1991 explaining that target passes along returned goods and clearanced items that did not sell and need to be moved to make room for new stock. what a great program where everyone wins; goodwill makes money for a good cause, target gets a tax write off, and shoppers like myself can pick up products for super cheap. so, i have been on the prowl for target stock at goodwill shops. last wednesday, i found the goodwill shop in my area that carries unsold target products. my goodwill is literally right across the street from the newest supertarget in my area. and, look at my finds. all the shoes were $3.50 regardless of whether they were target or used shoes. they had tons of styles many of which i already owned or were not available necessarily in my size. i was on a time crunch, so i didn't have time to comb through the clothes or housewares to see what other target products they had.

see they have the elastic holding the shoes together and the original tags.

a closeup on the shoe still available online at
also still available online
and, while i was there i had to pick up this uber cute anne klein slingbacks.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

happy easter everyone

happy easter everyone from the easter frog(and of course me too.)