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Simple and Posh



Simple and Posh is a lifestyle blog to inform young families on products which will help them save money while enjoying the finer, greener, healthier, and fun things in life.



Updated: 2018-03-06T02:52:25.274-08:00

 



Boo-tiful Onesie

2011-09-15T20:09:29.143-07:00

It's the middle of September and we're gearing up Halloween over in our house. My FAVORITE holiday and I just love the decorating, the crafting, and the candy eating. My girlfriend is having her baby on October 5th and wanted to make sure the precious little one had something to wear for her first Halloween so I whipped this one up for her.



I'm still experimenting with using the Cricut to cut fabric and decided to make this onesie. The new Halloween Cricut cartridge isn't supposed to ship for a few more weeks so I decided to use some fabric with Halloween colors and cut some letters to spell out "boo". It actually worked out perfect because I was working with a tiny onesie and didn't have much room for the applique. I used the Cricut Alphabet cartridge which came loaded on my E2 and cut the letters in the Font 1 Shadow. Of course I used the good ol' Heat N Bond Ultra to adhere my letters and I then hand-stitched the letters with some orange embroidery floss to make them pop.


I'm just starting up my Etsy shop and this "Boo" Onesie will be my first item in there. Hoping to get some other stuff up soon!
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The Elf on the Shelf

2010-12-01T21:43:27.401-08:00

(image) (image) (image) (image) For the last week or two, I've seen The Elf on the Shelf(image) everywhere I look. At people's homes, on Facebook pages, and even mentioned on TV shows. I feel really deprived because after Googling The Elf on the Shelf I see it says "A Christmas Tradition". Now, I grew up in a home where the holidays are a REALLY big deal which means Christmas music before Thanksgiving, lights up the day after Thanksgiving and several trees decorated with lights and ornaments. So how come we never had an elf named Curly sitting on our mantle? Can someone please fill me in on how long this tradition has been going on and I really hope that I can make up some lost time by getting one now. And who picks the name of the elf? I've seen some crazy ones on Facebook pages and I didn't know they were talking about an elf in their status update until I saw the attached picture. Another question. I see they sell boy elves and girl elves, blue eyed ones and brown eyed ones, how do you pick what to get if you have a brown eyed girl and a blue eyed boy at home? I'm really curious about this Elf on the Shelf phenomenon that no one told me about. It's kind of like when I watched the AMA red carpet last week and had no ideas who anyone was anymore. Maybe my pondering over the shelf elf is just an early sign of holiday stress but I'm really wondering about this one.(image)



It's Been A Long Time

2010-11-28T18:40:08.658-08:00

Geesh,. I just looked at the date of my last blog and it was quite awhile ago. Time got the best of me with tons of stuff going on in our family. Mostly good things like celebrating our little one's first birthday and my birthday which are the same day then my hubby's two days later. We also had our family in town for the baby's birthday bash and had a wonderful visit with them. And then of course all three of us got sick on our birthdays which added to the chaos. Somehow Thanksgiving snuck up on us without a warning and I'm sitting here the night before Cyber Monday wondering where the time has gone. After the short hiatus, I'm back to not only posting here but SimpleandPosh.com as well and perfect timing with holiday shopping time. We're still working on our gift guide and hope to have it out soon. I'm designing our holiday cards for this year and the inside says "the most wonderful time of the year" and I really mean it. These next few weeks will be so much fun and I'm really excited about the decorating, the eating, the giving of gifts and love and all of the good stuff the season brings.(image)



Movember

2010-11-03T20:57:38.863-07:00

Yesterday on the radio I heard about Movember and wanted to share what I heard because it not only hits close to home for me but most likely will for you too or at least affect someone you love. Movember is a worldwide charity event and prostate cancer awareness movement that has raised $42 million to date. Why is it called Movember? Because guys are asked to start growing a MO-ustache on the first day of November and keep it going for 30 days. This way when people ask what prompted them to start a furry thing above their lip, they can explain what Movember is and get others involved. The movement started in Australia in 2003 and now countries all over the world are participating and if you would like to or want your man to do so, visit Movember.com. Money raised will go to Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG. The statistics are astounding and scary. One in six men will get prostate cancer and there are 24 types of this cancer known to date. We wore the pink for the ladies, let's get hairy for the boys. How does it affect me? My grandfather has been battling prostate cancer for five years. My papa is one of the most amazing people you will ever meet and those who have will say the same thing. He's not just a grandfather but a close friend and I adore him just like everyone in our family does. I'm staring at my hubby's Movember moustache right now and hoping others join him in this cause and help raise awareness and funds for the battle against prostate cancer. This one's for you Papa.(image)



Tweet Tweet Card

2010-11-03T12:38:09.997-07:00


A couple of months ago I borrowed my mom's Cricut (image) and discovered how much fun it is to create cards. I really should be working on a scrapbook for my baby but there's something about cards that I really enjoy. I've done a few birthday cards and did a couple of Halloween ones and even made the invitations for my little one's first birthday. My favorite cartridge is the Create-A-Critter(image) and there are so many adorable things to make using it. This is my Tweet Tweet card which will be going to a friend just to let her know I'm thinking of her...she reads my blog so sorry for seeing this before it hits your mailbox. If any of you are into Cricutting I would love to see your creations.(image)



Wegivebooks.org

2010-10-26T19:03:31.828-07:00

For those of you who follow me, you know I'm not only a book lover but a huge proponent of reading books to our children. I found one of the coolest programs and it's called Wegivebooks.org.  Sign up for this program and you will be able to pick from tons of books to read to your kiddies online and for each book you read, one will be donated to a literacy campaign. Pick from favorites like Corduroy Lost and Found(image) and Madeline (image) or read something fun and new. We just read Goodnight Goon(image) and my campaign "Conspiracy for Good" is going to receive a book. This campaign helps replace 10,000 kidnapped books that were intended for a new library for schoolchildren in Zambia and you can choose to support this campaign or others. Reading has always been a passion of mine and I've always been lucky enough to have books at my fingertips to enjoy so helping children across the world and in our own country discover the excitement of reading a new story and losing themselves in the adventure is so important to me. If you are interested in joining the movement to support global literacy, go to Wegivebooks.org and start reading.(image)



Fun and Easy Autumn Centerpiece

2010-10-15T08:00:56.526-07:00

Our dining room furniture is black and I'm always changing up the table centerpiece to add a pop of color to the room or just reflect the mood I'm feeling. Yesterday I stumbled across the easiest DIY centerpiece and it will last through the end of November. For $5.99 at Trader Joe's(image) , you can pick up a pumpkin tree branch and just one is enough to make a statement. If you're using one, put it in a mason jar for a rustic look. For a modern twist, put a couple of the branches in a tall, thin glass vase. I also love this as a hostess gift for a dinner party. Another winner from Trader Joe's! While we're on the topic of TJ's, I just read the Fearless Flyer and saw they have pumpkin cream cheese. Something else to pick up on my next trip.(image)



Book Review: Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

2010-10-14T10:48:57.045-07:00

(image) (image) (image) (image) The latest installment of the popular Shopaholic series is out from Sophie Kinsella and I grabbed a copy the week it was released and was excited to gobble it up. Mini Shopaholic (image) is the fifth book about Becky and all of the gang and it focuses on two plot lines, her two-year old daughter Minnie's out of control behavior and Becky planning a surprise birthday party for Luke. Becky's outrageous spending habits haven't changed much despite talking about the global recession on every page of the book. Each chapter presented a dilemma she found herself in due to lying to cover up for something either related to shopping or the surprise party which made me feel like I was reading a book aimed towards fourth graders. I know it's not supposed to be thought provoking reading material, hey that's why I read this stuff, but the latest Shopaholic book was not so good. It actually pained me to read it at times and I finished it just to say I was caught up in the series. I love Sophie Kinsella and the character of Becky Bloomwood Brandon and I'm hoping the next Shopaholic book is better than this one. If you're looking for a clever book from Kinsella who can tell a chick story with humor, I recommend Twenties Girl(image) . Maybe that's why Mini Shopaholic wasn't so good because I know Kinsella can do much better. The grade I'm giving this would be lower if Mini Shopaholic was not part of the Shopaholic series. Book Report Grade: C-(image)



Getting Crafty for Fall with a Mums Wreath

2010-10-11T09:21:06.488-07:00


Autumn is such a fun time to get crafty because there are so many great ideas with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the fall leaves. Paper Source is one of my favorite places to discover new ways to be creative and I love this Mums Wreath. Besides being so pretty and realistic looking, it's easy and fun to make. The kit comes with everything you need except for the double stick tape and scissors. I have a soft spot for mums since we had them in our flower arrangements for our wedding reception (Happy Anniversary to us this week!) but if you would rather, there is a kit using autumn leaves or you can get ready for the winter holidays with a poinsettia or holly wreath. I plan on storing it after the season by putting it on a hanger and stowing it in the closet or hang it from a nail on the garage wall. Paper crafts are fast becoming my new hobby and can't wait to share some more of the stuff I've made recently.(image)



September Results of the Great Pantry Experiment

2010-10-04T09:31:21.770-07:00

(image)
(image) September is over and so is the Great Pantry Experiment. The whole point was to use what we already have in the cupboards when making meals in order to meet our grocery budget for the month. And the results? On the downside, we were 15% over budget. On the upside,  We're usually 25% over budget. The other positive to come out of this is that we tried new recipes and added some new favorites to the family cookbook. A month wasn't really enough for us to clean out the pantry and the shelves are still full so I've decided to continue this experiment. For some reason, I bought flour like it was going to be discontinued so some baking will be done today. We've had enough of the sweet stuff after going through two loaves of Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread in a week and a half (this was the best pumpkin bread recipe I've tried ever) so I'm going to make popovers. I haven't had a popover since I was a kid and I remember requesting them for my birthday to my mom. Most kids ask for a pony and I ask for a popover. Anyways, I was reading the October issue of Country Living and found this popover recipe so I'm going to try it out today. Here's to coming under budget on our grocery bills this month and to making a darn good popover even though I know it will not be as good as my mom's.(image)



Holiday Gift Guides

2010-10-02T07:25:30.920-07:00

Believe it or not, the holiday shopping season has begun. It used to be the day after Thanksgiving was the best time to get the greatest deals but now it seems the beginning of October is when the prices start dropping. We missed the boat on this last year because we were busy with the impending birth of our first baby but not this year. Starting next week, we'll be bringing back the Holiday section of SimpleandPosh.com and it will be filled with gift guides for every person in your life, where the coolest deals are, and some other fun stuff. We won't be flashing every sale, just ones we think you'll like because we like them too. If you're still having trouble finding the perfect present for someone and want some suggestions, shoot us an email and we'll be excited to search for you. Hey, shopping is fun but it's even more fun when it's not with our own money.(image)



A Reality TV Snafu....You'll Be Glad It's Not You

2010-10-01T07:05:27.118-07:00

(image) (image) For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know I'm shamefully a huge TV reality fan. Against my husband's wishes, I'll watch anything from Amazing Race to Real Housewives of Orange County and The Bachelorette to Top Chef Desserts. I even stooped to an all time low of tuning into Dating in the Dark. I used to be a fan of America's Next Top Model but I haven't been able to tolerate it the last couple of seasons and stopped watching. After seeing this clip that's gone viral of ANTM Australia, I've forgotten how reality TV can be just so darn riveting. I feel bad for the girl and I even feel worse for the ANTM host but then I wonder, is it all set up? I don't know and I can't believe I waste my time and energy on pondering such trivial things but sometimes we all need a little break from our own reality. Check out this video of the ANTM Australia finale and you'll either laugh or cringe. Which ever one you do, just be glad it's not you. Have a happy Friday and a fantastic weekend.(image)



Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger

2010-09-29T20:42:31.038-07:00

(image) (image) I was in need of some fluffy chick lit after the heavy and somewhat disturbing plot of the last book I read so I decided on Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger(image) . Weisberger is probably best known for her first novel The Devil Wears Prada (image) which I enjoyed but I can't say the same for her two books that followed Prada.  I figured I'd give her another shot with Last Night and happy to report that it was worth it. The book is still ladled with Hollywood references and celebrity cliches but there is more substance than in her two previous books. The plot is simple, not many twists and turns, and really just focuses on the relationship between an everyday husband and wife in their early 30's who have been together for several years and everything is fine and dandy until the husband's music career takes off and he's the next Justin Timberlake/John Mayer/flavor of the month on the cover of US Weekly. Even though it's a simple and fast read it's still fun and makes you contemplate what you would do if you were ever in her situation which becomes a mess. Book club worthy? No, but definitely a good weekend read. Book Report Grade: B(image)



Sassy Elmo? Halloween Costumes Gone Bad

2010-09-25T10:10:12.120-07:00


Halloween is probably my most favorite holiday (tied with Christmas and tied with Fourth of July) so when October hits I'm all about spooky movies and bagged fun size candy bars. We already have a costume for the little one but figured we needed to dress up too for the different parties and festivals we're going to this year. When looking for a safari hat in the adult section of costumes online, I stumbled across a Sassy Elmo costume. What the heck? Besides Sassy Elmo,(image) you can get Sassy Cookie Monster(image) and Sassy Big Bird(image) . I don't know why I find this so strange and somewhat disturbing. I thought maybe my son's new fascination for Elmo (the real one, not the sassy one) is what made me weirded out but it's more the idea that a grown person wants to dress up like a Sesame Street character. I totally get the notion of wanting to dress up like a sexy something for Halloween and believe me, I've done my share over the years, but what makes one think looking like Elmo is hot? He is a furry red creature with an incredibly annoying voice and is the least desirable object that comes to mind. If anyone out there has picked out one of these Sassy Sesame costumes to be their disguise this Halloween, let me know what made you decide to be Sassy Elmo. And by the way, what about Sassy Snuffleupagus and Sassy Oscar the Grouch?(image)



Butternut Squash to Celebrate Autumn

2010-09-23T11:13:41.424-07:00

Something about autumn makes me want to bake and I'm not a baker. It's too exact of a science for me and I like to be able to toss a little of this and a little of that into a bowl which you can't do when making a batch of cookies but since it's the Autumn Equinox I thought baking sounded fun. As we continue our Great Pantry Experiment, it was time to move onto the fridge and see what was going on in there. One of my little one's favorite foods is butternut squash and since the smallest organic squash in the store was about $5 and yielded about 30 zillion servings I figured I would steal from the baby and make something with it. I found a recipe from Sunset Magazine(image) for Butternut Squash Spice Cake and it turned out pretty tasty. I used regular white flour instead of the whole-wheat and added walnuts. On my next loaf I would decrease the amount of pepper because it was a little too spicy for my taste. A cream cheese frosting on it probably would have made it even better and since this isn't exactly a watch-what-you're-eating recipe because it requires a full stick of butter, you might as well go for the frosting. Well, that's my way of thinking. At least using butternut squash makes you feel a little better about the whole thing.
Tasty Score 8.5   Healthy Score 4.5

Still haven't touched the steel cut oats.
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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

2010-09-22T09:58:29.660-07:00

(image) (image) You know the old saying "don't judge a book by its cover"? Well I did and I learned my lesson. I started a Book Club and today will be our first meetup and I'm actually looking forward to discussing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo(image) by Stieg Larsson. I say this with surprise in my tone because we did a poll to determine the first pick and of the five choices, this came in last for me. I really thought it was going to be a paperback book you pick up in the airport bookstore and you start and finish on a direct flight.I was completely wrong and besides the plot being captivating, there were serious social issues touched upon which creates lots of interesting questions for book club discussions. I won't go into detail of the book but overall it's a collective mystery and love story made up of several mysteries and love stories. It's intellectual and makes you ask yourself questions you may have never asked. It evokes empathy for people you may not ever think about twice in your ordinary life. It's funny in some parts, sad in others, and just very clever. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo(image) is the first of a trilogy and I'm looking forward to reading the next two books in the Millennium Trilogy(image) and also to the conversation the five of us will have this afternoon.(image)



Smoking Deal on Sunset Magazine

2010-09-21T12:01:03.616-07:00

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(image) I love finding new recipes, decorating, and other stuff online but I still am old school and adore magazines. We get about ten different ones delivered to our house monthly and one of my favorites is Sunset(image) . Sunset Magazine has so many good ideas when it comes to living the way we're trying to live which is healthy, simple, and fun. A lot of the recipes I share on my blog come from Sunset and many of our daytrip and vacation destinations are derived from this magazine. The pictures are amazing and if you appreciate gorgeous photography than you'll want to check out this magazine just for the beautiful pics. Right now Amazon(image) has a one-year subscription or renewal for only $5 and it's so worth it. You're saving 92% off of the regular price and you'll love it. A couple of years ago I gave this as a gift to family members for Christmas and they ask for me to renew it as their holiday gift each year. The deal on this only lasts through the end of Saturday the 25th so click here(image) to get your 12 issues for a fiver.(image)



Amazon Mom is the Bomb

2010-09-16T13:45:51.585-07:00


Yes, the title of the post is pretty cheesy but I'm assuring you Amazon Mom is really one of the coolest things going on right now in online shopping for babies and toddlers, actually make that shopping period. It's free for anyone to sign up and you don't need to be a mom either. Here's the quick rundown of how it works and why it's so great. Sign up for Amazon Mom and you'll receive emails announcing deals and promotions geared towards your family.  One of the big benefits of Amazon Mom is that you can get 30% off select diapers and wipes when using the Subscribe and Save feature which is great but I think the best part of this new program is the free membership to Amazon Prime. In case you don't know what Amazon Prime is, it's free 2-day shipping on all items sold and fulfilled by Amazon which is millions. The cost is usually $79 for the year but you're getting it for free for three months just by joining Amazon Mom and you can continue to get it after the three months is up if you spend $25 a month which you will on your 30% off diapers and wipes and any other baby products on Amazon that are marked as Amazon Mom on the product detail screen. Anyone can join so I guess technically anyone can get free 2-day shipping for three months. I guess I'm super excited about this because with all of our family on the east coast we spend a small fortune shipping holiday gifts and now it's going to be free. Not to mention all of the things we order on Amazon and wait for over a week to get but will now have them in two days. Pure awesomeness. That's all I have to say.(image)



Egg Noodles, Remnants of Nesting

2010-09-13T16:44:46.286-07:00

We're almost half way through the month and the Great Pantry Experiment and we have used a little over half of our monthly budget so we're doing okay. A trip to the grocery store for a little produce happened this weekend and I got some great deals on organics but I feel some major creativity will be needed in the kitchen this week. About two weeks before my due date with my little one late last year, I decided it was necessary to make casseroles and stews to freeze for when the baby comes since we would be too tired to cook. In theory this is a great idea but no one told me the things I thought sounded good 38 weeks pregnant like tuna casserole would be the last thing I would want to eat at two weeks post-partum. In fact, I never ate tuna casserole before I was pregnant so it really didn't make sense. As a result of nesting, I have a freezer full of tuna casserole and bags of egg noodles in my pantry. The casserole just went in the trash and some of the egg noodles went to a tasty batch of Beef Stroganoff which was even tastier as leftovers. I'm really into one skillet meals these days since it cuts down on water usage (who are we kidding, it cuts down on dishes I have to wash) and I have used this recipe a few times from Cooking Light(image) . As always, I use substitutions to make life easier while maintaining the healthiness of the recipe. This recipe is actually called Skillet Stroganoff and uses ground turkey and and ground pork but I used organic ground beef. I didn't have any dried tarragon or parsley so I used dried basil and garlic powder and added a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Instead of using beef bouillon I used vegetable broth and I omitted the green onions. Of course I didn't use rye breadcrumbs either because I didn't even know these existed. The recipe doesn't take long to make and my husband says it's one of his favorites.
Tasty Score 9   Healthy Score 7.5 (we used more sour cream than the recipe calls out)

 We still have a lot of steel cut oats to deal with, I'm just a procrastinator.(image)



Remembering Today

2010-09-11T15:16:19.365-07:00

Nine years ago today I woke up almost two hours early for no reason. I just couldn't sleep and decided to head into work early. My morning ritual of getting ready included listening to AM radio on my alarm clock so I wouldn't wake up my roommate. I remember exactly what I was wearing and where I was standing in my bedroom when the radio host announced that there had been a plane crashing into one of the towers just a minute ago. I remember running to my car to turn on the radio in there and on my drive to work listening to the events unfold. I remember the announcement of the tower falling as I had pulled up to the stoplight after my freeway exit. I remember going into work and just sitting in front of the computer not knowing what to do or think. A few hours later we were all sent home and I honestly don't remember the rest of the week until it was a Friday night and us Americans were asked to hold candlelight vigils. I didn't know anyone who perished that day but when CNN.com published the victims' pictures with their names and ages on the one year anniversary of 9-1, I cried for two hours straight when I saw a picture of a young woman the same age as me. I cried for her parents who would never see her get married. I cried for her life partner who thought they would spend the next 70 years with her, and I cried for her unborn children who would never feel the touch of their loving mother. Today I still cry a little as I picture her face on my computer screen and there are tears for all of the rest. I still own the dress I was wearing the day the attacks took place and I cleaned out my closet last week and even though it's not exactly in style anymore, I can't bear to get rid of it. We're going to dinner tonight and I think I'll put it on and have a good time. I'm sure that's what the girl on the computer would've wanted, for us to laugh and live our lives in the present while having hopes and dreams of tomorrow. You will never be forgotten.(image)



Need Ideas for the Weekend?

2010-09-09T21:50:16.405-07:00

I've loved Country Living magazine for years because it has so many cool ideas about how to discover things in your own backyard. They used the term locavore way before it was trendy and farmers markets were all the rage. I'm a fan of Country Living on Facebook and the other day they shared a fun find, A Day's Outing. Just in time for the weekend, the website's mission is to help you find a day trip in your area based on your interests whether it be a festival, museum, park, or walking trail. You  have the option of finding something in various distances from the zip code you enter and you can select your date range meaning if it's going on tomorrow, next week or all of the time. After entering my info with a parameter of 30 miles I got over 30 ideas and I had done about half of them, heard about some, and had no clue about a few of the places and I've lived in the area almost my whole life. We chose one for Sunday and we're going to pack up a picnic lunch and check out a state park we've never been to and it's only 15 miles away. You can also download their app to your iPhone if you'd like but I'm sticking to the web version because it's free and hey, that's a few bucks more I can use towards having some fun this weekend.(image)



Great Pantry Experiment Update - Frozen Spinach

2010-09-09T20:38:39.152-07:00

September is a third of the way done which means it's time to check in on how the Great Pantry Experiment is going. The main point of doing this was to stay on budget or come in a little under and to use everything in the cupboards to help reach this goal. Is it bad that I'm already half way to our budget and it's only the 9th? We'll see. I did do a major haul over the weekend so here's to hoping it lasts us awhile and I'm only visiting the market to pick up produce. What I have accomplished is using three bags of frozen spinach. I stock up on the stuff since it's nutritious and there is a ton of stuff you can make with it. Spinach is loaded with anti-oxidants, vitamins, and iron. Frozen spinach stays good for up to 8 months and is fairly inexpensive so it's a cheap way to boost your health. I do buy the organic since spinach is on the EWG's Dirty Dozen list and a bag runs less than $1.50 at Trader Joe's. So here's what I've made with the green stuff in the last week. Mixed it into a marinara sauce served with whole wheat pasta, made a spinach artichoke bacon dip which we ate more as a meal (pure gluttony but it's oh so good and low-fat), used it as a topping on mini-pizzas, and as the main ingredient in a frittata. Well the eggs were the main ingredient but the spinach ran a close second. The frittata turned out really awesome and was a spontaneous creation.

4 Eggs
3 Egg Whites
Salt & Pepper
Garlic PowderFrozen Spinach (about 10 ounces)
Sliced White Onion
Any leftover veggies you need to use (we did red potatoes and mushrooms)
Any Shredded White Cheese

Super easy. Set the oven to broil. Mix the eggs with a pinch of salt, dash of pepper, dash of garlic powder, and a handful of shredded white cheese. Sautee the onion then add in the leftover cooked veggies.  Fold in the egg mixture and cook until the bottom looks done and the top is bubbling. Pull it off of the stove, throw some more cheese on top then pop it into the oven. It should take about four minutes to set but could be shorter or longer depending on your oven. Just look for the top to start turning the golden brown then you know it's done. Take it out and cut like a pie and you've got dinner and leftovers for breakfast.
Tasty Score 9   Healthy Score 9

Next up in the Great Pantry Experiment, figuring out what to make with four cannisters of steel cut oats.(image)



Labor Day is for Laboring Around Here

2010-09-06T12:53:28.672-07:00

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Call me crazy but I think Labor Day Weekend is a great time to do some pre-autumn cleaning. We usually clean out the garage over the three days but I thought our time would be better spent inside organizing and purging, including doing our regular weekend chores. One of my favorite cleaning tools is the Swiffer Wet Jet which I use on our laminate and tile floors. I love my Swiffer but I can't stand the overpowering sweet smell of the solution it comes with and causes either a headache or a queasy feeling every time I use it. After some internet research I found out I'm not the only one who feels this way. Even though the Wet Jet cleaning solution bottles are designed to make you think you can't refill them on your own, you can and it's easy. Just use a pair of pliers to yank it off or dip the cap into boiling water and it will twist off. Here's a video on YouTube to show you how to do it using the hot water method. A simple solution of vinegar and water works great (one part vinegar, two parts water) and a couple of drops of tea tree oil creates a disinfectant. Another solution which we've tried on our floors is using Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap and water which is really effective too plus you can use Dr. Bronner's for lots of other household stuff. So this Labor Day we did some laboring and a clean house never smelled so good.(image)



Support Your Local Brewery

2010-09-03T15:52:38.362-07:00


A few weeks ago we wanted to try something fun that wouldn't require a lot of driving or money. We heard there were a few breweries in our neighborhood via Yelp and thought it would be interesting to check one out, especially since we live in the 'burbs and you don't expect a brewery to be located in between the Trader Joe's and elementary school. It turns out the local business park up the road and next to Target houses a brewery with lots of ales, a few ports, and a bunch of beer drinking people on a Saturday afternoon. For $6 we had a flight of 8 beers and they poured 2 ounces of each for the tasting. Not too shabby. One I wanted to buy and the rest were just okay but for six bucks I'm not complaining. We got to try something new and had a really good time doing it. Plus we supported a local business which is always cool. Come to find out, there are two more breweries within two miles of our house so the next time we're feeling thirsty. you know where to find us. Go to CraftBeer.com to find your local brewery or two and head over there. this Labor Day Weekend. CraftBeer.com also has a really helpful pairing chart for when you're deciding what type of beer to serve with different courses of your meal. Support a business in your hood and drink some beer while doing it. You won't hear any complaints from this house.(image)



At Least We Got Our Anti-Oxidants

2010-09-02T08:11:06.309-07:00

(image) (image) The Great Pantry Experiment kicked off today with some canned pumpkin(image) . It is September now and the thought of pumpkin for dinner sounds good but in reality it's not when it's 82 degrees outside. Oh well. I made this recipe up from my own little head and it turned out pretty okay but I would only make it again if a) I had a lot of canned pumpkin to get rid of or b) I had a real recipe to use. I think it was the whole wheat pasta that turned me off because the sauce was pretty tasty. I sauteed up some white onion and garlic, poured in a can of pumpkin and about a half a cup of half and half since we didn't have any cream. Next I threw in some pinches of salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon and tossed the sauce with the pasta. Final touches included a few handfuls of grated parmesan cheese and tossed it around one more time to get the cheese to melt. I truly meant to serve a side of green salad with a vinaigrette but the crying baby prevented that one. I'll double up on the greens tomorrow.
Tasty Score 6.5   Healthy Score 8.5 (the healthy score is subjective and based on years of reading labels)(image)