Friday, June 3, 2011

Sunny California

September 15, 2008

Well, we made the big move and are finally settling in and all out of boxes. I know it has been forever since I last posted and you probably thought I must have dropped off the face of the earth...but alas you haven't been that lucky. ha. I really was surprised by how much time and effort went into getting ready for "the big move". I should know that moving and putting things in boxes ALWAYS takes longer than you think it will.

As for us making it to Sunny California...well, things have taken a little getting used to, but I am starting to feel a little more settled. It's not like I want to live in my parents basement forever, but things are just so unfamiliar here.

It's hard when you know somewhere so well and know so many people and then move to somewhere where you have no one and don't even know where the Wal-mart is (which I finally was decided that I will never go back there again. I was the only white person there. I think I was not in the best part of town. oops. Lots to learn). :)

I know Utah forwards and backwards, I know where the Targets and Wal-marts are I know where the things are in grocery stores and I can find the little things I need without much effort. I know the freeways and I know the backroads...but I don't know anything here.

To give LA some credit....It really is a great place. I love how close we are to the beach and I love how once I do find something it is almost always less than 10 minutes away. Its a great city, it just takes getting familiar with the surroundings and finding which roads lead me where. I was extremely excited to find a Costco and it is brand new only 10 minutes away...the little joys in life right?!

My husband, doesn't start school for another week so it has been nice to have him around while I am trying to find everything and get the hang of this town. I will admit that I do dread him starting school because that means days will be a little longer and I will have less to do, but hopefully I will make friends quickly and find people to do things with.

Well, I'm here and I will be blogging regularly again. Sorry for the keeping you all anxiously awaiting a future blog post for so long now. ha. :)


August 22, 2008

It's a hard job to try to educate your child and hope that you are giving them all the time and attention they need to learn and grow. I definitely don't claim to be an expert teacher or even think that my own son is a genius. I just want him to have some basic knowledge about things before he enters school (I know I have a while....). Anyway, something that my son has shown a lot of interest in lately has been numbers and letters. So I have tried to do a few craft projects with him to just introduce letters.

Here are a few of my ideas:

Bumpy Letters
Kids can learn from touch as well as sight and sound when it comes to letters. So reaching back into the recesses of my mind (when I used to tutor a little boy). I remembered this activity. We made letters out puffy paint on little index cards. We would trace the letters with our fingers and say what the sounds that the letters made. I have also played memory with the letters. Matching the Uppercase Letters with the Lowercase Letters.

More Texture Letters:

Shape letters out of as many textures and objects you can think of...


-Glue Salt/sprinkles (Use glue to shape the letter and then sprinkle salt onto the glue, shake off the excess salt. Let dry and then feel them.)

-Glue macaroni/Penni noodles to a page to shape letters

-Cookie Dough and Letter Cookie Cutters (or just shape the letter yourself) and bake them.

-Alpha-bits Cereal


-Ice Cube Trays

I am in love with the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree...
A fun way to have your child find the letters and place them on the tree as you read or just play with

Make letters on paper for your child to color or decorate how ever they likeLettera72

My son seems to love Puzzles so we have also opted to buy him a letter and number puzzle...just one more way to see the Alphabet. I am a big fan of Melissa and Doug Puzzles.

My son also loves the Letter Magnates made by Leap Frog. I have to say that I am also a big fan of them, considering they make the say the letter and then makes all the sounds that the letter makes in a cute little song. I am not a personal believer in the A is for Apple method. I like to say A says and then list all the sounds that A makes.

I know this post in only partial a project or craft, but I did also say ideas right?! Well, I hope so because I like to get ideas from people too. Maybe one of the days should be designated just to teaching ideas...what do you think?

If you have more ideas for teaching the Alphabet share them!

Product I love--My Laundry Basket

August 20, 2008

Okay, so I am a little stuck on the laundry topic since this day seems to land on the day of my laundry, but I promise I won't always post about my laundry products, they just seem to be on my mind right now. Anyway, the product that I present to you is....

The Collapsible Laundry Basket

I am in love. My Aunt and Uncle gave me one of these when I graduated from High School and since then I have bought myself two others (not because the first one fell apart, but rather so I could have one for all my laundry needs).

I have one of these for my sons laundry and then one for our whites and one for our darks. It is so handy. When you don't want your laundry basket to take up any room, wham, it fold up and takes up no space at all. Oh, and if this doesn't excite you it is only $4.50. I know I get excited about crazy things sometimes, but this laundry basket, just seems to fit my needs. It has been particularly handy when I have had to drag my laundry to a laundry mat at an apartment complex and seeing as how I am headed back into apartment living I am Super glad I have these nifty bags.

Maybe it doesn't fit your needs exactly and maybe you like your hard plastic hamper and that is just fine, but remember this for the college student in your life. They will definitely like it...with limited space and having to lug it around.

Oh, and if you don't already own more than one laundry it! You'll thank me later! ha. It is so much easier to already have the laundry sorted before you have to do it. It saves me a little time at least and it makes me feel good. :)


August 18, 2008

Breaded Ranch Chicken

This is a really easy recipe, plus it tastes super good! So it is one of those recipes that I have to be careful not to wear out, because of over using it. Anyway, you won't be disappointed by it...

3/4 C. crushed cornflakes
3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix

1/2 C. butter or margarine, melted

Boneless Skinless chicken breast halves

In a shallow bowl, combine the cornflakes, Parmesan cheese and salad dressing mix. Dip chicken in butter, then roll in cornflake mixture to coat. Place in a greased 9/13 baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 350 for 45 minutes or until juices run clear.

Camping Craft

August 15, 2008

Well, since we just got back from camping this craft is fresh on my mind. It was such an easy craft and fun for a wide range of ages to do.

However, don't you feel like Paper Bag puppets can seem a little drab or boring sometimes, well, we added some fun extras to make them a little more exciting for the kids and a little more fun to make.

We used:

Pipe Cleaner
Googly Eyes
Construction Paper
Brown Bag


It was an easy craft and perfect for camping. When you don't want to lug around a ton of crafting supplies.

Cake Decorating

August 14, 2008

Okay, so the cakes make me look more amazing than I am.

It really wasn't all that hard, you can definitely do it too!

I'll fill you in on the secrets...


They are made out of Fondant...


They sell it at Candy and Cake Decorating Stores or I have even seen it in the cake decorating section at my local Wal-Mart. So you might want to check there too. It comes in both plain white and in an already colored from. However, I like to buy it in white so I can use dye to make it the exact colors that I want it.

I used Wilton brand fondant, but I am not sure if there is a distinict difference between brands.

It is the consistency of taffy and comes in a big square brick of white (or colors).


To make the curly-q's:
I divided the Fondant into equal parts and dyed it icing coloring (see two brand pictures below). I cut the colors into strips and wrapped it around straws until it hardened and then slid them off. That's all there was to it.

Two brands of Dyes:


To make the bow:
On this cake I used one block of white fondant, then dyed it the three shades of pink. I created little loops and sealed the edges shut with a few drops of water and then layed them on their side to dry. The day before my neices birthday I put a large glob of frosting in the center of the cake and started sticking my loops (at random) into the frosting glob, until I had want looked like a pretty decent bow. I saved some of the fondant that I had dyed and made the strips around the edge of the cake at this time too.

I actually think frosting the cake is the hardest part, since the frosting pulls crumbs off the cake...what a pain! However, I have found that if you first frost a very thin layer of frosting on the cake and let that dry for a few minutes, the the next layer seems to pull off less crumbs. Just a little FYI. I am no professional, but this is what i have learned about it.

The cake only took me a long time because I could only work on it while Jackson was napping.

PS...I like to get my cakes done in advance so that I am not worrying about the cake and getting whatever else needs to happen with the birthday done at the same time. I have found that I can also molded it and then stick it into the freezer, and still work just as well.

Oh and this isn't my cake, but I love the idea of mixing the curly-q's and the bow...just thought I would share....


Products I Just Can't Live Without

August 13, 2008

I am going to start with the laundry, simply because today I am busy doing laundry so it is on my mind. Okay, so I am actually quite good at doing the laundry, folding it, well that is a whole other story. I absolutely hate folding laundry (wait is hate a strong enough word for how I feel about it, probably not). It has got to be the most unrewarding and unfulfilling job out there. I mean clean clothes easy for me to jump n board with that idea and easy for me to pull out my tide and enjoy the aroma it creates on my clothes and sheets, but please folding it?! It gets unfolded and waded up way too fast for me to appreciate the joy of having all of the laundry folded and put away. So if someone wants to know a great gift for me for my birthday or Christmas, a laundry machine that folds and puts the clothes away would do.
(Oh and my opinion is worth the splurge. It makes laundry smell so good!)

Okay, back to the products that I love. When I am doing my laundry I can't live without bleach! It has got to be up there on the BEST products EVER! I mean what gets your whites whiter and smelling more clean than bleach. I have to add this to every load of whites I do. Oh, and sheets...with the smell of bleach and tide mixed together, so heavenly clean. If you don't already use bleach in your laundry Start. You will not be disappointed. Oh, the only thing I would be weary of is the Clorox pictured below that has a cirtus smell, it isn't your true bleach and if you read the labels it has less of everything in it and doesn't do as great of a job at removing bacterial yuckies and making your clothes as white.
Okay, and as for my two favorite stain removers. I do a little mixture. First I do a little scrubbing on the stain and then I coat it with Clorox 2 (bleach for colors), followed by a sprinkle of the powdered Biz detergent. Let the combo sit for about 20-30 minutes, come back and scrub and then wash! It takes out just about everything. Sometimes on really bad stains I have had to let them soak over night in this little mixture, but it always seems to lift stains out like a pro. I have been terribly disappointed by a few products that I have used lately for stain removal that have lifted the colors off of my clothes as well, but these have seemed to be pretty good to me. I can't guarantee you won't have that problem, but overall, great products.