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Archive for April, 2009

tortillaPhoto by hummingrow 

There is something terribly appealing about making your own food; knowing exactly what you’re eating! My husband jumped on this bandwagon first and I (a little unwillingly at times) joined him!

Mexican is the theme for the week at URS and here is my contribution:

Handmade Corn Tortillas

  • 2 Cups Masa Harina (more as needed)
  • 1/4tsp table salt
  • 1 1/4 Warm Water
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the masa harina and salt with the water.
  2. Mix and knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and homogenous. It should be soft, not sticky (think play doh!) If needed, add more water or masa harina to adjust to the right texture.
  3. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  4. Cut two squares of plastic to fit the plates of a tortilla press or you can roll out your own!
  5. Set a large flat griddle on the stove straddling two burners. Turn one burner on medium low and one on medium high (you can use two frying pans if you don’t have a large griddle).
  6. Pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough and use the press to or roll out to make the tortilla approx 1/16 inch thick. If dough breaks it is too dry and if it sticks it is too wet.
  7. Cook on the low side of the griddle for 15 to 20 seconds until the tortilla loosens from the griddle then flip it to the hot side for another 20 seconds to brown in spots.
  8. Immediately wrap in a clean, dry cloth and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  9. The scent alone will make your mouth water! Top with your favorite toppings 🙂

Notes:

  • I must give credit where credit is due – I haven’t actually made these *gasp*. My husband has many times. I did eat them though so I think that entitles me to use the recipe. LOL! Scott blogs here.
  • We use a tortilla press but you can roll it out – it’s just a little slower and less consistent.
  • They keep well in the freezer for a month+/-. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat before using.
  • They do taste much different than your store bought flour tortillas!

URS

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costumes 011

Several years ago in November, a local grocery store had costumes on for $2 and $3. Not just cheap costumes but good quality fabric costumes. I didn’t have children at the time but I did have nephews. I bought a whole bunch of costumes for them to play with.

costumes 018

The other day my sister came to visit and dropped them off as her little ones are no longer quite so little! I tucked them into the closet. Now, our weather has been crazy; we’ve had a lot of rain lately and have been stuck indoors. Chloe and Jaiden ask over and over to go outside! I pulled the costumes out of the closet and voila – a wonderful new game to play! They loved it. it is amazing how even at 2 they love to play dress up. We also have a few home-made costumes and they love those too!

costumes 004

So what works for me now: “Dress Up” as a special rainy day treat. I think that I need to make sure I have some other “treats” up my sleeve as well.

Does anyone have any great ideas for some rainy day activities? What do you do with toddlers when it’s raining out?

Now this post isn’t on Halloween. My family doesn’t participate in Halloween though I guess you could argue that in a round about way we are supporting it by purchasing markdowns (costumes/candy) afterwards but please do not turn the comment area into a debate about the issue.

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Baskin Robbins Deal!

Head to your local Baskin Robbins for a Sweet Deal!
April 29th from 5pm to 10pm
Thanks mom for the heads up!
(click on the image to go to their site!)

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mother5minformom

Amazing giveaways happening over at 5 Minutes for Mom. April 22 until May 9th there are exciting new prizes. On second thought, don’t go over and enter because that way I will have a better chance at winning the AMAZING prizes like an HP Mini 1000, a digital camera, digital frame, designer purses or gift cards!!

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A Google search of the word ‘Tune-Up’ revealed the following definition:
An Adjustment for Better Functioning
A search for the definition of ‘Adjustment’ revealed the following:
A Small Change, A Minor Correction, A Modification
More on Tune-Up Tuesday here.
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Photo by AYUMI

“Finally, brethren,..if there be any praise, think on these things.”

In the beginning of your relationship, you probably accumulated quite a list of positive attributes about your spouse; all those things that you loved about them that made you want to marry them. If you were like me, you thought about those wonderful qualities often (maybe even with that sappy, dreamy look in your eyes LOL). Then, once you got married and began living together, suddenly a whole new list started. Maybe you didn’t mean for this list to start – I certainly didn’t. But out of hurt feelings, unmet expectations or just plain selfishness, this list was created: the weaknesses, irritating traits and failings of your spouse. It’s not long, but it is there.

When we dwell on the first list – the positive one; we are thankful for our spouse and our appreciation for him increases. When we begin to think about aspects of the second list, our hearts begin to devalue our spouse and it’s a slippery slope from there. It can drain our joy and the love right out of our marriage.

Love isn’t oblivious to anything, it is well aware that the negative qualities exist but it chooses to be gracious not to focus on them. Whether or not they deserve it, Love chooses to see the best and pray about the rest! (that rhymes!)

Challenge: This week, make a list of your spouses good attributes. Aim for 10! Next Tuesday, I’ll be posting mine and you are welcome to post yours as well and link up!

Verses: Philippians 4:8, 1 Corinthians 13:7

And litte PS. I am very much in love with the awesome man God has given me, but there are moments when I become ungrateful…those are the moments I want to work on…

Tune Up Tuesday Logo

You can follow along here however I really recommend picking up a copy of The Love Dare for yourself. It contains so much more than what I am sharing here. You can purchase one by clicking the appropriate button on my right sidebar to go to my A-Store.

Related posts: Loving My God, Loving My Man, Love is Patient, Love is Kind & Not Selfish, Thoughtfulness, Irritating or Irritable?
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Do you have a tune-up you are working on this week? Are you joining me in the Love Dare? How are you doing? Leave a comment to let us know or add a direct link to your blog post below to encourage and inspire others. Don’t underestimate the power of accountability – it’s a great motivator!

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BC Posts in the Making 019

Do your cleaning supply cupboards look like mine? A disastrous mishmash of half used cleaning supplies for every imaginable occasion? I hope not. My cleaning supplies are all stuffed and unorganized into cupboards around the house – some under the kitchen sink, the bathrooms, the upstairs hall closet, the laundry room and a shelf in the garage. Well this month’s roundup was an overhaul on a cupboard and I decided to tackle my laundry room cupboards. (Eek!) I wanted to share with you the how-to’s of my project.

BC Posts in the Making 018

  1. My Plan: in this season of life with littles, I wanted as many of my cleaning supplies as possible all in the laundry room cupboards away from little hands and mouths. I also want as few products as possible while still having the ability to clean properly!
  2. So I gathered up all the cleaning supplies in the house and brought them to the laundry room. The exceptions: dish soap, dishwasher liquid and jet dry all remain under the sink in the kitchen. Method flushable wipes are kept in the bathroom for quick cleanups when necessary.
  3. I then began to purge my cleaning stash. I have accumulated a lot of products, not all of which are necessary. I don’t think that a special cleaner for each individual task though my cupboards sure tell another story! I really do enjoy cleaning supplies – I know, sort of weird. I like to try new things and pretty smelling things etc. Anyway, my point? A multi-purpose cleaner is just fine in many cases. I am going to ensure that I indulge my love of cleaning supplies only with multi-purpose cleaners as I need them!
  4. I downsized to a fraction of what was in there! What’s in my Cupboard? I still have a few cleaning supplies in there that will be used up in the next week or so and then I’ll be all set!
  5. I used an old baby wipes container to house my Soapnutscheck out my post here to explore their uses and for an opportunity to win. I haven’t yet used them for anything other than laundry but I plan to because you can use them in a variety of household cleaning!!
  6. Once I had sorted out what I no longer used, I boxed the rest up for family members to take what they would use and properly disposed of the rest.
  7. I have a plastic stackable bin with drawers beside my dryer. I am going to use these for something. I was given about 10 of these (Hurray!) for free. I was thinking about a nicely labeled drawer for Repairs – a place to keep items that need to go out to be fixed (zippers, hems etc.) and one of the bigger drawers for a Donate drawer and another drawer for Socks Missing Mates…you get the point 🙂
  8. I then gave the cupboards a wipe and put things back into them in an orderly fashion.
  • With the laundry side, I found that it is easiest (and most natural for me) to open the left door so I put the Nature Clean soap that I use most frequently over there.
  • In the cleaning side, I got a caddy for the supplies that I need to carrying with me to clean in the house. I’ll simply pack my caddy and go work on the areas I need to and return the caddy to the cupboard when I am finished

Clean Laundry Room 001 Clean Laundry Room 003

Related Posts: Downsizing: What’s in Your Cupboard? and Cleaning Supplies Frugal Friday Post – You Don’t Need All That!

roundup

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soapnuts

Soapnuts are an economical, environmentally friendly and effective replacement to your laundry soap! I mentioned them in More Green = More Green in honor of earth day!

I had never heard of soapnuts until I saw an ad on kijiji for them. It was in the baby section and advertised that they were perfect for cleaning cloth diapers. Skeptical, I ordered one of their trial bags as I am interested in earth friendly products only IF they perform. I was amazed and how well they cleaned – even with cold water!. A few weeks later, I ordered a large package.

“Soapnuts are the dried fruit from the Ritha (sapindus mukorossi) tree. There are other types of trees that produce a poorer grade of soapnuts. The ones that Superior Soap Nuts import contain very high amounts of saponin. Saponin is the substance which gives the soapnuts their cleaning power.

Many of these trees were once logged for income. Happily, Superior Soap Nuts’ supplier, among others, is harvesting the soapnuts which is a renewable resource. This is creating a sustainable income for Nepalese people in local areas.”

There are many uses for soap nuts to clean many aspects of your home in addition to laundry. I haven’t tried them yet but plan to shortly! If the results are equivalent to what I experience in the laundry room, I will be thrilled!

sally_soapnut_3

Superior Soap Nuts has kindly offered to sponsor a giveaway in participation with the Springtime Giveaway Carnival at Heavenly Homemakers. One lucky reader will receive one of their 500g packages!

Just a thought: the name Superior Soapnuts could come from the fact that they are located in Upsala, ON which means they are fairly close to Lake Superior or it could be based on the fact that their soapnuts are a superior quality.

How to Enter:

Entry #1: Visit Superior Soap Nuts and take a look at the page on how to use them. Come back and leave a comment with which way you think you would use them. While you’re there…spend a little time reading about this interesting alternative to laundry soap! PLEASE REMEMBER, that I need a way of contacting you.

Entry #2: Blog about this contest and leave a link to your post in the comments.

Entry #3: Subscribe via a reader or email. Leave a comment letting me know you have.

So go ahead and do one or all of the above to enter! And don’t forget about the Apron Giveaway here!

Wondering what a Beautiful Calling is and who am I? Read here to find out a little more!

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