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Birthday Weekend

Posted August 29, 2014 By dealinanddishin

HappyBirthday

So this weekend my son turns 11…holy hell..11 years old!! Time is moving so fast I really hate it sometimes.

So often it seems we wish our days away. We want Monday or over, or can’t wait until the weekend, Christmas, vacation, etc. Just got to remember to slow down and enjoy these years. Even now as he turns 11 it seems so strange.

I have a horrible memory,  I  have specific memories of both of kids plus thousands (not a dramatization at all) of photos of them to document everything they did or do.

LEGO Shop at HomeIt is getting harder and harder to shop for him. He of course always loves LEGO and I have sets already bought for Christmas (Guardians of the Galaxy, calendar, and Fusion set). I wanted to do something a little different.

We ended up getting him a K’nex building set, Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare for XBox 360 (which I noticed later needed XBox Live so got that as well), a subscription to Star Wars magazine, and a stuffed Frankenweenie I got from my Disney Movie Rewards.

We hope to go to the Louisville Zoo (it is a favorite of ours) if it isn’t so brutally hot!! Luckily it is a three day weekend..lucky kid gets an extra day because it’s Labor Day. He gets to pick where we eat (so there will be Burger King in our future). Other than that..thinking of hitting an arcade…he loves games. Then we will either go see a movie or have movie night at home (his choice).

No birthday cake this year. He isn’t a cake fan, so instead I made him brownies. Now trying to figure out what to put on it was tough, but he did really like Godzilla. I found a playset that is the perfect size for the cake (I handwashed the pieces first). I bought some Sixlets candys at Party City to try to make a road on top..fingers crossed this turns out like it is in my head!GodzillaCakeSupplies

GodzillaBirthday

He’s a pretty easy kid to make happy, which I am thankful for.  He does drives me nuts a lot of the time, and that’s probably just us being too similar at times, but overall he is a good kid! He’s a smart kid, and practically an animal encyclopedia. He is also a kind and gentle soul, and I hope he always is.

(contains affiliate links)

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How to Make Beautifully Baked Bacon

Posted August 29, 2014 By dealinanddishin

BeautifullyBakedBacon
Once I discovered you could bake bacon, and that it is so easy and so delicious I will never fry again! I hate trying to fry bacon, cook eggs, make pancakes, or have stuff in the oven. I will always burn the bacon or get grease pops on me. So this is such a great time saver for me! Here is how to make some beautifully baked bacon.

What you need:

Cookie Sheet
Foil (Wide stuff)
Bacon

Preheat Oven to 350.

I used a half sheet cookie sheet for my bacon. These are my favorite cookie sheets for cookies, baking large batches of chicken, and baking bacon.FoilandPan

I recommend the widest foil because you can cover even the half sheet cookie sheet with one piece. That will help with clean up later, since the grease won’t go under the foil as easily as with multiple pieces.FoilCleanupCollage

Lay out your bacon. I can get 8 full strips of bacon on my sheet. So far I have tried regular bacon and center cut. The center cut has a better chance of sticking, but I haven’t been able to burn it like it does on the stove top.BaconLayout

Place your sheet about in the middle of your oven. You don’t want to be too close to either the top or bottom burner in case of grease splatters. Always check your food in your oven to make prevent danger!MiddleOven

At about 20 minutes I check the bacon and flip my pieces over. TwentyMinutesThen at 30 minutes they were done, removed from the pan, and placed on a paper towel lined plate. They will crisp up as they dry.bakedbacon
What goes better with bacon? Some fluffy scrambled eggs or maybe sprinkle or chocolate chip pancakes?

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How to Make Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

Posted August 27, 2014 By dealinanddishin

My daughter and I love scrambled eggs. My husband hasn’t been a big fan. I learned he didn’t like I how I made them. I admit they never turned out as good as you would get at a diner. Hubs did some research for me, and I am now making some great fluffy scrambled eggs.FluffyScrambledEggs

Here are some tips for fluffy scrambled eggs.

1. Use margarine to cook them in. I put about a tablespoon in the skillet, let it melt, and then cook the eggs.margarineIn

2. I add milk to eggs not water when you whisk them up. They are fluffier with milk in them than water like I used to use.
Milkin

3. Do not add salt to egg mixture. Season after they are cooked. Salt will make the eggs tougher so I’ve read.
NoSalt1

4. Stir! I have the problem on walking away and doing something else. Try to stay close and stir often to keep from sticking.StirEggs

5. Do not overcook. I have a bad problem of overcooking my eggs. That makes them tough and dry and definitely not very tasty. Turn off the heat when they are set up but still a little wet looking.ScrambledEggsandBacon

Hope you enjoy some great fluffy scrambled eggs at your next breakfast or like we have brinner (breakfast/dinner).

If you enjoy eggs, I bet you will love some beautifully baked bacon to go along with it!

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Alien Autopsy First Aid Activity for Scouts

Posted August 25, 2014 By dealinanddishin

I am in my last year of Cub Scouts, and my second year of Girl Scouts (we are Daisies). In Cub Scouts we are now Webelos II after receiving our Webelos badge at Blue and Gold earlier this month.
Webelos (We’ll Be Loyal Scouts) is the last rank and is all of 4th grade year and our 5th grade year until February. At that point they will cross over to Boy Scouts at our Blue and Gold ceremony. This is a night we have dinner, share skits, and achievements with the whole Pack. I love Pinterest, and already have a board of ideas for our Blue and Gold ceremony on. Of course I have a variety of Scout boards as well (Pinewood, Cake Bake, Webelos activities, and Girl Scouts).

My boys get bored with me just talking, so normally I try to incorporate games and activities. When we learned about Citizenship I was able to adapt this game from Pony Express District Cub Scouts to our state and current office holders. The boys learned about Citizenship, but also a little about scoring for football (which touches on Sportsman activity).

We make things for Artist, do experiments for Scientist, play Charades and make codes for Communicator. We even learned how to play Chess for Scholar (huge hit with them!)Chess1

This activity is for Readyman, but it could be used for Girl Scouts or kids for teaching some first aid skills. For Readyman you have to learn a variety of first aid skill: shock, cuts, bites, shock, burns, frostbite, etc. There is a lot to cover!

I wanted something fun for this, because with so much to cover it was going to take two meetings to get through it all.  If I talked the whole time it would not be fun for anyone.

It popped in my head to make it interactive. We could practice on each other, but with boys that can get rowdy pretty quick. They bicker like brothers some days.

Alien autopsy popped in my head. I don’t know why, but once it was there I couldn’t shake it. My daughter had a blow up alien she won at an arcade, and that was my mission to find those. Then to get some first aid items, gloves, and masks and we would be set.

The blow up aliens are available at a variety of places, but I need just five so I went to and found a variety of sizes. I bought the 20″ ones for $1.99 each. When I got mine though I had three different sizes. They are all wrapped so that you have no idea the sizes. I called the company, and sent them a photo. They took care of the problem and got them to me just in time for my meeting! Great customer service (and no I am not affiliated with them in anyway!)
image

We weren’t be exact with our gloves and masks, but trying to learn about it. I bought masks and gloves at Dollar General. I got ones like you would use for cleaning or craft projects (no latex). I hope to have a painting project before they leave me and we can use the items then too.

We made Mini First Aid kits (read more about that here).   I bought extras of some supplies for our aliens.
MiniFirstAidKits1
It was a pretty big hit with the boys. I tried to make it fun and a little silly. Our alien crashed into the corn fields of Indiana. So he got scrapes walking through the field, choked trying to eat a whole corn cob, got into pesticides in the barn, etc. He was not a very lucky fellow!

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How to Make Mini First Aid Kits

Posted August 23, 2014 By dealinanddishin

MiniFirstAidKits1

My Cub Scouts made Mini First Aid Kits as part of their Readyman requirement. These would be great for Girl Scouts as well (when my Daisy Scouts get a little older).

The other item I brought I’m in love with are Mini M&M tubes. I have been “collecting” (hoarding) these in hopes of a project. I have used them now for Readyman and Scientist! I remove the labels and wash mine on the top rack of the dishwasher.
MandMCollage

I thought they would be great little first aid containers. If you need some Joann’s had ones just like them by their cone thread for just 59 cents each.JoannContainers

The first aid supplies I used I bought through Staples. They have the First Aid Only brand, and small boxes of supplies. I only 5 Webelos Scouts so I was glad to find I could get a boxFirstAidSupplies of 10 Triple Antibiotic Cream packets for $2.49. When you shop there deals will pop up on the page for an extra 15% off so that was nice too. I spent under $20 on these supplies.
We had:

1 M&M Tube
1 roll Gauze
2 Triple Antibiotic Packets
2 Burn CreamPackets
1 roll of tape
5 or 6 bandaids

I divided everything into individual sandwich bags I had at home already.
HandoutBagWe filled the tubes with a little gauze, 3 bandaids, one of each of the packets, and the tape we rolled some onto itself to fit in the tube.RollTape
The rest store in the baggie to keep in your backpack for refilling.
LeftoverSupplies MiniFirstAidKits

You can wrap some duct tape around the outside (to use later if needed), or use paracord for a neckstrap (reusable as well).

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Viva Vantage Stretch and Strength #review #sponsored

Posted August 21, 2014 By dealinanddishin


Full disclosure: this article is financially supported by Viva

I went to Wal-mart to buy my Viva Vantage with V Flex Weave. I was impressed that it costs what I spending already, but had the added feature the Choose-A-Size. I hate wasting paper towels, especially how we can got through them.VivaVantage

Why do I use so many??

I have two kids and a husband who all have a variety of food drips and spills. Usually on my freshly vacuumed carpet!

Then I have these three crazies.CrazyCats Between hair balls, “oops” on the floor, or messy eating they use a good portion of paper towels.

How can you be mad with this face looking at you? She fell in love with Viva Vantage before I could even try it,VivaVantageKitty but got it taken away when this happened, which I guess I should add to my list above! nomorevivakitty

I decided I would try the stretch test with my Viva Vantage V Flex Weave.
First I looked at the V Flex Weave, which is easy to see. You do have stretch when you pull on it. I like the weave for more scrubbing ability.VFlexWeave

I took one small piece, got it wet and wrung out. I put it on top of a tall milkshake glass. I had to hold the edges to keep it from sliding in when I placed the raw egg on top. There is sat..no issue.
Stretchprep raweggEggontop

Then I thought..sure I say I got it wet, but do you really know I did??

So I went to the kitchen sink (ignore any mess you see or sounds you hear) and made a little video with my phone showing me putting even more water on, and still the egg did not move. I put it back in the refrigerator!

Here is a pic after water
watertest

Learn more about Viva Vantage with V Flex Weave at Walmart!

Who or what are your mess makers?

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LEGO Fusion Sets Available Now

Posted August 17, 2014 By dealinanddishin

LEGO
I’ve been watching the Lego site, and today got the email that some of the LEGO Fusion sets are available!! My son’s birthday is this month, but I’m planning to get one for him and one for his sister for Christmas.

I have never tried them, and just know what I have seen from the LEGO site. You get bricks to build and use within “A compatible iOS or Android smartphone or tablet”($34.99). There are trial games available for download in the iTunes app store, Google Play, Amazon, and Samsung depending on what device you are using.

To get the best deal: Use Swagbucks (Sign Up Here)to earn 2 points per dollar spent at LEGO site. Make sure you are a LEGO VIP member. You earn 1 point per $1 spent, and for every 100 points receive $5 to use online. Points can be earned online and in-store, and redeemed online, in store, or by phone (not at LEGOLAND stores or Discovery Centers).

There are four different ones:

LEGO Fusion Battle Towers
icon (Buying this one for my son)

BattleTowers

LEGO Fusion Town Master
icon

TownMaster

LEGO Fusion Create And Race
icon

CreateandRace

LEGO Fusion Resort Designer
icon Coming Soon (I’m waiting for this one for my daughter!)

ResortDesigner(Post contains Affiliate links)

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Stop Obsessing Over The Scale

Posted August 9, 2014 By dealinanddishin

nomorescale
I have been trying to lose weight for probably 4 years now. I did great the first time and lost 30 lbs.
—-then—-burnout hit and I gained 20 lbs. back very fast. And that began a process of up and down.
I have never gotten back to my highest non-pregnancy weight of 190, but I never get to my ideal.

Then last week I busted my ass going to the gym, exercising at home, and watching what I eat. So what happens? I gain 3 lbs.

What the hell?!?

That sorta sent me into a bit of spiral. I’m so over this.

I’m 38 years old and I weigh around 170 lbs. Do I want to obsess over 10-15 lbs. until I am 80?? Hell no!! It is hitting me more and more each day how short time is, and I don’t want to be unhappy so much over this.

I truly enjoy the gym and exercising, but stressing about workouts, food, and where I can or can’t eat (or what I can or can’t eat). I don’t want to live like that.

The more stress I feel the harder it seems to be to lose anything. I am refusing to use the scale anymore. I can’t deal with looking at the numbers and what they do to my mood.

Now is the time for me to Stop Obsessing Over The Scale! I will workout like before, watch what I eat, but have treats (or a beer) when I want, but now it has to be about feeling good (and for my clothes to fit better!)

I’m having some withdrawals with wanting to weigh, but I’m holding out and have a great friend to support me!

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Photo Scavenger Hunt

Posted August 8, 2014 By dealinanddishin

PhotoScavengerHunt

We had a Cub Scout trip to Squire Boone Caverns (Corydon, IN) for our Webelos II to earn their Geology and Forestry activity pins.

This is a very long day! The place is around 2 hours away plus in a time zone an hour ahead of us. The first class started at 10 am and lasted two hours, followed by lunch, then another two hour class, and then a cave tour!

My husband and daughter (6 year old) came along. We went two years ago as well, and she loved exploring the shops there and gem mining, candle dipping, etc. That time though we didn’t take both classes so this was going to be a little different.

She got a camera for Christmas (resale shop find) and loves taking pictures. I thought it would be fun to have a Photo Scavenger Hunt. I wanted to have a visual list for her, but forgot to make one. I now have one in .PDF form for you to print for yourself. It isn’t anything fancy, but helps give a visual to the written word for those who aren’t reading a lot yet. Photo Scavenger Hunt List

The categories were: Building, Rock, Flower, Living Thing (now Animal, which includes people), Tree, and Water. The great part is you can change the categories, write them on a scrap piece of paper if you were out, or just wing it completely!

She was so excited about this game. I was very thankful for that, because by the end of lunch she was “bored” and had already made her candle, mined for gems, etc.

We roamed around for probably an hour finding the right things to take pictures of. I did the hunt with her as well.

Here are our finds:

My daughter’s pictures (had to help with the flower one for focus)
GirlSquireBooneCollage
Here are mine:
MomSquireBooneCollage
Some pictures were combos, like the cat is actually for building. It was fun to see her be creative, and she really had fun. I think we will have to do this again. It could be a good way to learn about the world around you.

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Tag Pillow Tutorial

Posted August 3, 2014 By dealinanddishin

TagPillowTutorial

Looking for a sewing project and thought of another toy for the cats. I don’t have small cats, and they need a bigger toy to kick and bite on. This was going to be a catnip one (of course..they are little “nip heads”). Then to dress it up add ribbon tags on the side.

This is really easy to do, but turns out so cute! You can follow this tutorial to make a regular pillow, add ribbon tails, or loops to sewn items too.

Decide what size you of pillow you are making. I wanted a rectangular one so I cut a square, then cut it in half and was ready to go. Otherwise cut two equal sizes of fabric. This is fleece that we are using today. Why fleece? It has many colors, is durable, doesn’t fray, and fairly inexpensive.

FabricCollage

Pick out the ribbons you would like to use. I mainly used satin type (very inexpensive and on sale often). Ribbon frays..big time! I have this ribbon cutter by Imaginisce. Best thing I have bought!! It takes 4 AA batteries, has a wire that heats up and melts the end of the ribbon as it cuts it.

RibbonSealer

After you get your ribbons cut (I did random sizes for fun.) place them on the “right side” of the fabric and pin in place. “Right side” is the side you want shown when the project is finished.
RibbonLayoutCollage

Lay the two pieces “right sides” together and sew around three sides. Take out the pins, stuff with cotton (and catnip if you are making it for your kitty friends), and then you can either machine sew the opening or hand stitch.SewandFlipCollage I buy Poly-fil in a big box and keep it in a bag with a clip to keep it clean.
CottonFilling
I buy catnip at my local department or pet store.
Catnip
I chose machine sewing to make it sturdier, which would be good if for a pet or child.TagPillow

A hit with the cats (sharing isn’t their strong suit).
CatLove

(post contains affiliate links but original ideas)

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