Friday, February 18, 2011

Girls Night

Last night was a big night for me. I went to the Montgomery Gentry concert! My life revolves around my kids and I rarely take time for myself so it was a nice treat. Unfortunately the Mr. couldn't make it, but I was in good company. I have to admit I'm not the biggest country fan. I don't hate it, but I don't know a whole lot of country songs unless they are classics. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the show.

Tonight was girls night. We made pizzas, I baked up a batch of my chocolate chip cookies and now the girls are giving each other a spa treatment. I am going to cozy up and read my new organization book because I need all the inspiration I can get these days.  Before I do, here is my chocolate chip recipe.

Mikngayaq's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Sticks of Room Temperature Real Butter
(do not soften butter in microwave and do not use margarine)
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
2 large eggs*
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 1/4 Cups of  Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chip Cookies

*one large egg = 1/4 cup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir your flour before measuring.
Place flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream butter and sugars thoroughly. Add eggs and vanilla until mixed well.
Slowly add dry inredients to the wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips.
Nuts are optional, but if you choose to use them, add 1/2 cups of chopped nuts.

Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet  by teaspoonfuls or use a cookie scoop (I don't recommend using baking stones for this recipe. I prefer the cheapest dark metal pans as they tend to form better. I have never had luck with the air bake cookie sheets or baking stones).

Bake on the middle rack for 8-10 minutes depending on your oven. Cookies will look undercooked, but that's okay. Remove from the cookie sheet immediately and place on a cooling rack for at least 8 minutes before serving. Cookies will be soft and almost doughy, but can keep for days and still be chewy. I haven't had any complaints yet. Enjoy!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

My baby is growing up

Six years ago on February 10, 2005, I was blessed with the sweetest and most bugged eyed hairy bundle of joy. She was perfect! Fast forward to today and well, she's still perfect, but with a small six year old body and a huge personality. Unfortunately she didn't get to bring cupcakes to school on her birthday. Instead she had to spend her sixth birthday under quarantine because she has the chicken pox. I mean really?  Seriously, who gets the chicken pox these days after two vaccinations?!

She didn't seem to mind missing school. She put on the charm
and scored this bear just for getting the chicken pox.

This was my baby girl's last night of her 5th year. All goofy,
full of energy, and not the least bit ready for bed.

Instead of a birthday cake, she requested cake pops and
ice cream so she made her wish and blew out her candle.

After she devoured her ice cream, she moved onto her cake pops.

And went back to playing with the gifts she received. Can you tell she's into polar bears?  She seriously asked for a polar bear rug , a polar bear costume, and a real pet polar bear. She doesn't quite understand that she'd be be her pet's snack.

My oldest daughter, knowing I've had no time to shop or do much of anything else, drew her a picture. She said she was broke and wasn't sure if I had gotten Riley any presents. It warms my heart when my kids show thoughtfulness.

So as I sit here reflecting on the past few days, I can't help but smile and think of how happy I am to have such wonderful girls . . . . and that I finally successfully made cake pops!!! This time I made sure to read Bakerella's detailed instructions in her awesome book.

Not only are they pretty, but they taste yummy too!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cinderella or Helen Reddy?

I'm feeling a little like both lately.

I am starting school soon and am madly trying to get my house in order so that I can study with a clear head instead of  worrying about all the seriously OVERDUE purging/cleaning/organizing that needs to get done.
After hearing, for a while now, about Shaklee products, I decided to jump on the Shaklee bandwagon. Actually I cautiously leapt on. Rather than paying for a membership because I am reluctant to invest in something I haven't tried, and because I'm too impatient to order online, I found a local distributor and paid the retail price for a bottle of H2, a bottle of Basic-G and a tub of scour off. Let me tell you, this stuff is amazing!

I'm totally and utterly disgusted and embarrassed by what I'm about to show you.  Why then am I showing you?  Because I want share how excited I am about finally finding an all natural cleaning product that actually works and won't require me to dig out my inhaler.  Tired of using my inhaler constantly, I figured I should start making more of an effort to avoid my triggers. My goal is to reduce the dust and toxins around me. Throughout the years bleach has been my trusty and most loyal friend, but you have to admit it's pretty strong and not exactly safe to breathe. I've tried several "natural" products only to be disappointed because they don't do the job. Now I've only tried three Shaklee products, but I love them so far. They are all natural so they won't harm you or the earth. Yup, you heard me right! All Natural! 

Okay here goes . . . . . . . . (bowing my head in shame) . . . .

Before Cleaning

Yikes!!! I never realized how bad my oven was until I actually went to take a photo of the inside.

Here is the door. Completely GROSS! We broil steaks a lot and apparently the grease sprays all over and becomes exactly what you see here.

Here is a close up of the door. Yuck!

After using Shaklee's Scour Off and a bit of elbow grease I was quite pleased with the results. The best part is that I didn't even have to use my inhaler!


You can see that the seal around is stained.

Here is a close up of the door. The junk you see is between the panes and I'm not sure how to get that off, if it can be done at all. I was so excited I took a picture of the door before I even got started on cleaning the inside of the oven.

I had a hard time reaching into the oven, but managed to get most of it cleaned out. There were a couple spots that looked like rust on the bottom of the oven and sides. You can see around the door frame where I forgot to clean.

So if you're looking for earth/human friendly cleaning products that work, you may want to try out some Shaklee products.

Disclaimer:  I am not a distributor or affiliated with Shaklee by membership.  The opinions expressed here are my own.
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