Sunday, April 27, 2008

On leave...

I'm going to take a break from here for a bit while I try to get the business going a bit more and try to straighten some other things out.

Jill Marie

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Mom, a survivor and my hero

Four and a half years ago, just about the time I found out I was pregnant with Rylie, my Mother was diagnosed with rectal cancer.  My Mom is a beautiful and amazingly strong woman.  Shortly after her treatment ended my father died unexpectedly.

She survived the cancer and the sudden loss of her husband.  She has been free of the cancer for 4 years now.  I am so proud of my Mom.  Once again she is participating in the Relay for Life.  Please visit her Relay Page and make a donation, if possible.  You can also see a picture of the quilt she made to raffle off for the Cancer Society.  I'm not sure of the dimension's...hmm, but I think it is like a crib size or lap quilt.  I think.

She had it up here at Rylie's birthday party and it is really pretty.  I am sure if you live out of state and contact her to buy a raffle ticket for $1, or 6 for $5, that she will fill it out and mail you the other half of the ticket.  Then if you win she can just pop it in the mail, or you could donate it to

Okay, gonna go pop a couple Excedrin Migraine and lie down for a bit.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Original Watercolor

She dances, she sings, she makes me smile and now she's an artist too!  LOL  Here is just one of the watercolors Rylie did tonight.


Home Remedy--Yellow Teeth

Here is a home remedy for whitening your teeth you can try if you don't feel like spending $20+ for a box of those little strips.

Yellow Teeth

  • Brush your teeth with baking soda. Or a mixture of baking soda and crushed strawberries. Just be sure to brush with a flouride toothpaste afterwards to clean off the natural sugars from the berries.
  • Mix salt with finely powdered rind of lime. Use this as toothpowder frequently.
  • Some people recommend using lemon juice and baking soda.  

I have heard that the only reason it seems to make your teeth look whiter is that it is citric acid and you may lose some of the calcium of your teeth.  So be very careful if you are using any remedy that includes citric acid.

I also rinse with hydrogen peroxide after I brush my teeth. It's not the most pleasant taste but it seems to work for me.  It doesn't make my teeth glow in the dark white like some people like.  But I think it helps with some of the staining.

It was so beautiful yesterday, so I packed a lunch and took Rylie back to Wildwood Park.  (more pictures) She had so much fun.  She even made a little friend, Ivy, who is just 6 months younger than Rylie.  Her mom and I exchanged numbers, so maybe we can set up some playdates for the park.  I think it would be very benefitial to Rylie's speech to spend more time with children her own age.

Mammogram today.  Ugh!  It doesn't help with all the horror stories I've been hearing.  Yes Kentucky Kat!  I mean you!  LOL  Oh well, I'll just try to get through this one time and take it from there.  Oh, by the way...I want to thank all of you who go and click on the Click to Give Free Mammograms button at the Breast Cancer site.  Without people like ya'll, this mother of 4 without insurance, would not be able to get a mammogram.  So I want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you! 

And if you haven't heard about the Free Mammograms, please visit the site and click on the little box.  It doesn't cost you anything and they really, really do give free mammograms to women who wouldn't be able to get them otherwise.  All I had to do was get the order from my doctor, call the number of the Northwest Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention (BCCP) Program and they helped me set up the appointment with a participating hospital.  Thank you to Tamara at BCCP and St. Anne's Hospital.

Have a beautiful spring day and thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cleaning tip

Good Tuesday Morning!  Here's a few quick bathroom cleaning tips.

General Bathroom Cleaning:
Bathrooms can be a source for all sorts of cleaning problems. Keeping mildew under control in the bathroom can be a challenge. Try spraying a mixture of 50% hydrogen peroxide and 50% water on the walls every six months to prevent mildew. Cut the seam off of the bottom of the plastic shower curtain to keep mold from growing there. Also, put a couple cups of bleach in the back of the toilet every few weeks to help control germs. Be careful that children and pets don’t come into contact with this water.

Bathroom Odors: Place an opened box of baking soda behind the toilet to absorb bathroom odors. Also put baking soda in the bottom of the trash cans to absorb odors.   Bathroom odors can be controlled by putting cotton balls filled with vanilla extract in bowls or under the sink.

Shower Doors: 1)Try using Resolve® carpet cleaner on clear shower doors to remove soap scum.

2) Make ammonia solution of 1/2 C. ammonia in 1 gal. water.  Pour solution into a spray bottle.  Spray the shower door.  Use a sponge or stiff bristle brush to scrub.  Rinse well.

Warning:  Keep room well ventilated while working!  Ammonia can irritate your skin, so wear gloves while cleaning with this solution.  Ammonia and bleach form a toxic gas when mixed together.  Do NOT mix the two cleaners!

3) Vinegar works well on soap scum, especially hot vinegar. Try heating up vinegar in the microwave, clean the microwave (as the vinegar will have loosened any stuck on food) and take the vinegar to the bathroom to clean the soap scum from the shower curtain and walls.

Shower soap scum:  Ifpossible change to liquid soap it is a better alternative over bar soap.  Liquid soap doesn't have any talc and talc is responsible for the build up of soap scum.  Talc only adds volume to the soap without adding any value to it.  Changing to liquid soap will reduce the frequency of needing to remove soap scum.

I'm going to go and upload some pictures to my photo journal now.  I had fun playing around with those last night.  I can't wait until things start to get a wee bit more green outside and I can get some more pictures. 

Have a good day and thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Wildwood Metro Park

Here are 2 pictures from our trip to Wildwood Metro Park.

Have a good evening!

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Recipe--Chicken dinner & dessert

Good Monday morning!  I can't remember exactly where I got the chicken  recipe, I think it was from Better Homes & Gardens. 

Chicken Breasts with Herbs
1/3  cup chopped Italian (flat leaf )parsley
1  Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1  Tbsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1  Tbsp. finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
3  Tbsp. butter
4  skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4  cup chicken broth

1. In small bowl stir together parsley, oregano, lemon peel, and garlic. Set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
2. In 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat cook chicken in butter for 6 minutes or until browned, turning once. Transfer to plate. Remove skillet from heat; stir in half herb mixture. Return to heat. Add broth; bring to boiling, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Return chicken to skillet; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
3. Serve with pan sauce; sprinkle with remaining herb mixture. Makes 4 servings.

Make some chicken flavored rice, I can buy a package for about 69 cents at Aldi's.  I'd probably also make some broccoli too.  Broccoli is one of the few veggies Rylie will eat.  Weird...a 4 year old who loves broccoli.  Oh, and she likes to dip it in ketchup.  Yeah, I don't think she will ever work in Ramsey's kitchen, lol.

I found this recipe over at the Kraft website.  Sounds kind of yummy.

Strawberry Swirl Cake
Prep:  35 min.   Total:  1 hour 35 min. (incl. cooling)  Makes 16 servings, one slice each

1 pkg. (2-layer size) white cake mix
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-O Strawberry Flavor
2/3 cup Breakstone's or Knudsen Sour Cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed
1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries

oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans; set aside. Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Pour half of the batter into medium bowl. Add dry gelatin mix; stir
until well blended. Spoon half of the white batter and half of the pink batter, side-by-side, into each prepared pan. Swirl batters together using a teaspoon.

30 min. Cool 30 min. in pans. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
sour cream and powdered sugar in medium bowl until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Place one of the cake
layers on serving plate; spread top with 1 cup of the whipped
topping mixture. Top with 1 cup of the strawberries and remaining cake layer. Spread top and side of cake with remaining whipped topping mixture. Top with remaining 1/2 cup strawberries just before serving. Store any leftover cake in refrigerator.

Frosting tip: For a great looking cake, try using a "crumb coat".  Basically it's a thin layer of frosting applied to a completely cooled cake. Allow this layer to set before you frost and decorate the cake. When the final frosting is applied, it is virtually crumb-free, since any loose crumbs have been already sealed in the crumb coat.  Give it a try the next time you make this cake, for professional-looking results!

We ended up going to Wildwood metro park yesterday, after having breakfast with David and Jill.  We had a blast walking the trails with Rylie.  I really want to take her back there this summer (with the stroller) so I can spend some time walking the trails and getting a bit of a work out.  Then we can pack a lunch and picnic over by the kids playground.  I took a bunch of pictures, I'll have to re-size them and post a few. 

Rylie  rode around on daddys shoulders.  He finally got tired and put her down telling her his shoulders hurt and he needed to take a break.  Well, she took about 4steps, sat down on the trail and said "My legs hurt, I can't walk" and gave daddy this real sad face.  LOL  Let me tell you...that girl can work it.  Daddy turned around picked her up and continued carrying that 35 pound child.  To which she said..."you're the BEST daddy!"  Is she good or what? 

I was suppose to take Rylie to the park this week.  However, Ray took my car to work again today, which leaves me car-less.  His car is here, but I don't have a car seat for Rylie as it is in my vehicle that he took.  Grrrr!  I can't take her on Tuesday because she has a dentist appointment that day.  Wednesday the weather is suppose to get wet.  Thursday I have my breast squashing (mammogram).  And I think the weekend is suppose to be yucky.  So it looks like another week stuck here at home...again.

Have a beautiful week!

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Free Nine Inch Nails...

Good morning!  If you thought I was talking about hardware when I said Nine Inch Nails, this is not your type of music, lol.  Anyway, I came across this information where you can go and download free music from NIN.  It's something new, totally instrumental.  I like some of the NIN, however I clicked to listen to some of this...maybe it's just the connection, but it soulded real "scratchy" or something.

Well, here's the link if you want to go check it out.  Click to listen and then there is a link to "download".   Nine Inch Nails download

Have a happy day!

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Sticky situation...

Ahhh, life's lessons learned the hard way.  Rylie loves gum.  Most importantly she loves the gum that her Aunt Cathy chews...Freedent.  I've tried buying her other gum when they don't have Freedent at the store.  She will stick out her tongue, lick it and then say "I don't like this.  I like Aunt Caffy's gum." 

Well, this past week Rylie and Ray made a trip to the conveinence store.  While there Rylie saw this "tape" gum.  It's bubble gum in what looks like a tape dispenser.  She just HAD to have and Daddy bought it for her.  Hm.  So she comes home, we open it and give her a slice.  She licks it..."Ohhhh, I like this gum!"  Okay.

About 15 minutes later I hear "What are you doing?  Moooooommmmmmy, you better come see what this baby has done."  (Yep, she's 4 and we still call her our baby.  lol)  So I go and look and what do I find?   My child has decided to put her gum...are you ready for this?  Nope...not in her hair.  She has taken it out of her mouth and patted it allllllll over her face.  We're talking sticky bubble gum here. what?  So I take her in the kitchen, thinking about how your suppose to take an ice cube and freeze the gum it to get it out of carpet.  Well sheesh, I can't freeze my kids face.  So I grab a wash rag and put cold water on it, hoping to get it stiff enough to pick off her face.  Ick!  That stuff was soooooo gooey!  That didn't work.

So I start to think about the trick for getting it out of hair.  Peanut butter, which works really good by the way (creamy not crunchy).  Well, I certainly wasn't going to smear PB all over the kids face.  Although how much worse was that than sticky gum all over her face?  So I grabbed the vegetable oil.  I put some on my finger tips and started rubbing it into her lil' face.  Thank goodness it started to come off. a strange and curious child like mine?  If they ever stick gum all over their lil' body go for the vegetable oil.  Send one pack of Freedent to me if you appreciated this information.  LOL

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Good morning!  Here are a few home remedies for your skin.

Wrinkles & Skin Freshener
  • Combine 2 Tbls. vodka, 1 Tbls. fennel seeds, and 1 1/2 tsp. honey. Stir well and allow to sit for 3 days. Strain mixture. Use full strength or add 2 Tbls. water to dilute. Use a cotton ball to apply to face as a toner.
  • Apply coconut oil on the portions of skin and face where wrinkles set in and gently massage every night at bed time.
  • Banana is wonderful as an anti-wrinkle treatment. Mash 1/4 banana until very creamy.  Spread all over face and leave for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water followed by a dash of cold. Gently pat dry.

Have a happy day and thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I've had this information sitting here for a while now, I wanted to post this and just kept forgetting.  I found this cute little video (from clicking a link in one journal and then another link in that journal, etc, etc).  I ended up in a journal called Almost Forty.  The writer is Pam and she's in the UK. 

Ever wonder what a hug from a big ol' lion would be like?  Well go check out the video Lion Hug.  It's kind of cute.

Let's see...yesterday I went to Wal-Mart and picked up my new BP script.  Yep, he upped it again...sigh.  Hopefully he will have reason to lower it again soon though.  While I was at the store I saw that they had generic nicotine patches.  Ray and I could share the 14 patches, which will last us a week, and spend less than half of what we spend on smokes.  So we put them on yesterday. 

I was really craving badly last night.  I finally grabbed a straw, cut it in half and was actually inhaling and exhaling.  Yep, I'm going to be one of those people...always with the gum or sucker or chewing on the straw, lol.  Oh well, if it works, it works.  Whatever I need to do to quit this nasty 25+ year habit.  I don't want to say the exact number of mom reads this and I might get grounded.  lol

There were times I've quit for a short duration.  However, living with a smoker makes it that much more difficult to stay quit.  Within minutes of coming home after Rylie was born, the first thing I made Ray do was to go buy me a pack of cigarettes.  Sheesh!  I could have been smoke free for over 4 years if I had been able to put up with Ray's smoking.

So here I sit, half a straw in my mouth, inhaling and exhaling off the little plastic stick.  LOL  I'll need to pick up some sugar free candy too.  Those little Dum Dum suckers are okay...way too much sugar for me though.  I love Life Savers sugar free wintergreen mints, I guess I'll get some of those.  I'll probably go through a bag in a day or two.  Better than a pack of smokes a day though.  I golly I really want a smoke right now.  The patch helps with the chemical addiction, so I don't know why I am jonsing for a smoke so bad.

LOL  I sound like some junkie.  Well, of all the addictions I guess I'd rather have this one.  At least I'm not stealing from family and neighbors. 

I'll just try to distract myself.  It looks like it's going to be a nice day.  I'll have to take Rylie out for a walk.  She can ride her bike or lil' car and I can take my camera to see I can get any good pictures.

Have a truly wonderful day!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cleaning Tip--Counter Stains

Hello!  I have a 4 year old here so I am constantly dealing with stains on the counter froms spills dried up before I ever knew of them.  Hopefully this little tip will help with some of those stains.

Red Dye Stains
For red food dye stains on counters, like those left by drinks, use straight rubbing alcohol, enough to puddle on the stain. Leave it for several minutes and wipe away. Use a sudsy cleaner on counter after.

A quick warning, that we learned the hard way.  When using something like straight rubbing alcohol, or a product that has alcohol in it, keep it out of the reach of children.  Even if they aren't in the room!  When Ry was about a year old Ray was cleaning some electrical device and before he even knew she was in the room, Rylie had grabbed the bottle of rubbing alcohol and started chugging it.

Luckily she was okay.  Just...inebriated.  Yep, my 1 year old got drunk.  I called the poison control hotline and everything.  I was so freaking out at the time.  It is amazing how fast (and quiet) little ones can be when they want to.

Well, I'm going back to sitting by the phone.  I'm waiting on some test results to come back from my appointments yesterday.  Wish me luck. 

Oh!  I almost forgot I wanted to put this link on here.  You can go to the site for Paralyzed Veterans of America and get address labels and send an ecard to a veteran.  Look on the left side of the page near the bottom to send the cards.  I think this is a really nice thing to do and hope some of ya'll go there too.

Thanks for visiting!

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Recipe--Contributed by Patty

Good Morning, today's recipe was send to me by Patty from When life gives you lemons.... make limeade .  Thanks Patty!  This sounds real yummy, although it also sounds like it will add about 3 inches to my bum, lol.

Bacon Crisp Sandwiches
Serves 4
8 Slices of Bacon
3/4 Cup Grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
4 Hoagie buns, sliced
2 Tomatoes, thickly cut {I use ROMA Tomatoes, so you might want more if you use them too}

Dip the Bacon slices in 1/2  cup Parmesan cheese and press to coat.

Place 4 slices of the coated Bacon on microwave safe paper towels {now if you run out of paper towels like I did last night use a plate with another plate to cover.} in a 12" x 8" micro. safe baking dish.

Cover with another sheet of paper towels.

Micro  on high for 3 to 4 mins or until Bacon is light golden brown.

Repeat with all the Bacon slices.

MEANWHILE, in a SMALL bowl, Mix the thyme,mayo,and the rest of the 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese and spread on the CUT sides of the Hoagie Buns.

Toast in Toaster oven or under Broiler until Cheese mix. bubbles. {I use my big oven at 425 until the Buns are toasted, 5 mins maybe..never did time it.}

Make sandwiches with the cooked Bacon, Tomatoes, and toasted Buns and serve right away.

Mmmm, sounds like a baked BLT...I might add some lettuce to it after it bakes.  I have everything I need except the tomatoes,  I'll have to get some this week and give this recipe a try.  Thanks so much for sharing your recipe Patty!

I had my first Video Memorial job this past week.  I received the photos on Tuesday night and had the project done by Thursday.  The Memorial was on Saturday in Oregon (the city, not the state) and I went to it.  It was a lovely service and I was glad I went.  I didn't know Anne, but her grandson works with Ray.  She seemed like a really beautiful soul and I'm sorry I didn't get to know her.

I love being able to provide this service for family and friends, although it can be a bit sad to look over someone's life and feel the love and pain the family is going through.  I'm glad that I can do something for the family that they really seem to appreciate though. 

Well, I have to get some chores done.  I have 2 doctor appointments this afternoon so I need to get some laundry and cleaning done this morning.  Rylie is going to Grandma B's while I'm at the drs.  She already has her tea party things packed and ready to go, lol.  Last night she told her dad "You go to work, Mommy go to doctor and I'm going to go play with Grandma.  We're playing kitchen and tea party."  She was real emphatic about him going to work which is funny because she usually tries to get him to stay home.

Have a terrific week and thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cleaning Tip--No Wax Floors

Good Morning!  Here's a quick tip for cleaning those no wax floors.

No-wax floors: To wash no-wax floors, add ½ cup of white distilled vinegar to a half-gallon of warm water.

I just have those little peel and stick tiles in my kitchen.  I just grab my spray bottle of diluted Awesome, a rag and get on my knees and clean the floor.  Sometimes I use a little bleach and water.  Whatever I'm using as a cleaner, I always do it on my hands & knees.  I just never feel like the floor gets really clean using a mop. 

Does everyone know that they are entitled to a free yearly credit report?  Just checking.  It's probably a good thing to do every year.  It can't hurt. 

I received this quote in my email from Real Simple and thought I would share it with ya'll. 
                         "Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a 
                                 meal. It's a way to live."  - Jackie Windspear

Have a happy day and thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Recipe--Cream Soup Base

Good Monday Morning!  Ever wake up and just feel really happy?  Yeah, me neither, lol.  I'm always a bit of a bear for the first 15 minutes of the morning.  But after that first 15 minutes this morning...wooohooooo!  I just feel "HaPpY"   I've got my green tea, the washer is running and it just feels like it is going to be a good day. 

Yesterday was beeeee-U-tee-ful!  I actually walked outside barefoot, lol.  I went to take some stuff out to the compost pile and on the way back I stopped to clear a few leafes.  Well, that was all it took.  Next thing you know I am cleaning out the wee little pond we have.  Icky...the fishies didn't make it this year and that was just a really gross job.  After awhile Miss Rylie came out to check on me.  What would I do without that baby girl watching out for me?  lol

So, 2 hours later I finish with "taking stuff to the compost pile" and finally go inside.  It was just a really fantastic day.  I was a bit annoyed though, I still don't have my rake back and the leaf blower we borrowed didn't work.  So the I had to use my lil' 3 prong garden tool to clean up the leafs.

I told Rylie that as soon as it starts to warm up a bit more, we will make a trip down to the Farmers Market and pick up some flowers for the garden.  She has her momma in her because her answer was "YEAAAAAAA!"  lol  No, all she heard was the word Market and she knows that means shopping and to her, shopping = toys.

Okay, back to the reason for this entry today.  My mom sent me this recipe for a Cream Soup Base. 

1 cup dry milk
1 T onion flakes
2 T cornstarch
2 T chicken bouillon
½ teas each basil, thyme, pepper (or use 1½ poultry seasoning)
Add 2 cups water
Use with veggies, chicken, etc.

I e-mailed her back and asked if I could use the recipe to make Cheesy Broccoli Soup.  She wrote back and said "Yes, or mushroom, tomato, meat, whatever you want."  So there ya go, make your own soup this week.

Have a wonderful week and thanks for visiting!

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

I'm official!

Well, here it is...finally...a link to my web site.  It took me all day to get this thing done.  Not bad considering I have absolutely no idea what I was doing.  LOL  If anyone see's any typo's, mis-spelling, etc., please let me know.

                                   Reflections By Jill Marie

I've only got to figure out how to put video up on there and I will be all done.  YEA me!

Well, good night...

Friday, April 4, 2008

2 recipes from Emeril

So I was flipping through the morning shows this morning when I came across Emeril Legasse on the Good Morning America program.  He made Apple Pancakes.  I've made German pancakes before, which is real similar to this recipe.  So I went to their website and grabbed the recipe for the Apple Pancakes and for the muffins they also showed.

German Apple Pancake
*Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse's "There's a Chef in My World"


4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
pinch salt
powdered sugar, for serving
maple syrup, for serving


In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, flour, and vanilla extract and whisk until just blended, being careful to not overmix. Set the batter aside to rest while you prepare the apples, at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.
In a heavy, ovenproof (preferably nonstick)12-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat. Add the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are soft and lightly golden around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, until the apples are caramelized and very soft, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and stir to melt.

Working very quickly, pour the batter evenly over the top of the apples. Using oven mitts or potholders, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the pancake is golden brown and puffed, about 15 minutes. Don't be alarmed when you see the edges of the pancake puff up and extend above the top of the inner edge of the pan – this is supposed to happen!

Using oven mitts or potholders, remove the skillet from the oven and serve the pancake, sprinkled with powdered sugar and drizzled with maple syrup, if desired.
Makes 1 large pancakce & feeds 4

Blueberry Raspberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

*Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse's "Emeril's Food of Love Productions"
Topping Ingredients:
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

Muffin Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
¾ cup fresh blueberries
¾ cup fresh raspberries


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

To make the topping, in a medium bowl, mix together the topping ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the melted butter. Add the buttermilk and lemon zest and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just to combine. (Batter will still be somewhat lumpy; do not overmix.) Gently fold in the blueberries and raspberries so the berries do not break open and pour into the prepared muffin tin. Crumble the streusel topping over the muffins and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
Let cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on wire racks.
Yield: 1 dozen

Ray didn't have to work today, so when he and the munchkin woke up I made the pancakes.  They were very good.  Although Miss Picky Eater didn't join us.  Apparently we have strange appetites as we don't prefer to eat Cheerio's for breakfast every day.

Hm, I wonder if I could make them with a cherry filling and then top with powdered sugar and cherry syrup.  Or blueberries and blueberry syrup.  Hm, now my mind is just a buzzing with the different varieties I could try.  Mmm, plain with cherry pie filling on top with some pecans and whip cream.  LOL  It's probably best for my diet if I make these just once a month and stick to my 2 egg (only 1 yolk) scrambled eggs the rest of the time.

Thanks for visiting!

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Home Remedy--Weak Nails

Good Morning!  Here are some tips if you have weak, brittle finger nails.

Weak Nails

  • To strengthen and shine nails, combine 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. castor oil, and 1 tsp. wheat germ oil and mix thoroughly. Pour into bottle. Shake before using. To use, rub a small amount into your nails. Leave on 3-5 minutes and tissue off. Follow up with more plain castor oil, if desired.
  • Soak nails in lemon juice for 15 minutes everyday.
  • Soak nails in iodine (if not allergic) for 30 minutes then take it off with acetone.
  • Blanch lemon grass and drink several times a day to treat the nails with natural treatment.
  • Mix 2 teaspoons of tea with a bit of salt, some oil drops and some wheat oil drops. Apply some on the nails, wait 5 minutes and wipe off.
  • A regular soaking with vegetable oil is very effective. It replenishes the moisture lost from having your hands in and out of water frequently. In fact, vegetable oils are better than many commercially sold nail care products because they don't have the alcohol-containing fragrances that can dry out nails.  Messy soaking in oil isn't necessary: Just brush on the oil and massage it into the nail.  And don' t forget to put a drop of oil on the underside of the nail at your fingertip.
  • If you're plagued by brittle nails, trim them shorter. Longer nails are just more likely to crack or tear. Trim your nails right after washing or bathing, when they're softer and less likely to crack or break.
  • Regularly massage your fingertips to improve blood circulation around your nails. Three or four times a day--or at least in the morning and evening. If you use some petroleum jelly while you're at it, you'll moisturize as you massage.
  • Chow down on cauliflower. A little-known nutrient called biotin can thicken nails to help prevent splitting and cracking. "Biotin is absorbed into the core of the nail, where it may encourage a better, thicker nail to grow," says Richard K. Scher, M.D., professor of dermatology and head of the Nail Section at Columbia University-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. Cauliflower is a rich source of biotin, as are legumes such as peanuts and lentils. One study showed that people consuming 2,500 micrograms (2.5 milligrams) of biotin daily had marked increases in nail thickness after six months. To get this much biotin, you'll need to take it in supplement form.

Hm, I think I'm going to try the vegetable oil and biotin supplements. 

Thanks for visiting!

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Household tips--Pantyhose

I had some errands to run this morning and I'm working with another migraine here.  Ugh!  Anyway here are some tips about Pantyhose and some others uses for them.

 Panty Hose / Nylons

  • To stop a run in panty hose, dab nail polish over the run; clear polish is best, for obvious reasons, but any color will do.
  • To strengthen nylons, spray with aerosol hair spray when you first put them on.
  • To keep pantyhose from getting runs while in drawers put each pair in the leftover toilet paper cardboard rolls. This works great and keeps them neat and organized too.
  • Acrylic nails?  Do you keep snagging your hose, when putting them on, with your acrylic nails?  Then buy a pair of plain white cotton gloves to wear as you put on your hose.
  • Freeze your pantyhose before you wear them for the first time. Believe it or not, this helps to extend their lifetime tremendously. Wet your  pantyhose and wet squeeze out most of the excess water before placing them in a freezer bag. Place the sexy hosiery in a freezer bag for at least 24 hours. (I must admit, I'd never heard that one before)
Did all that and still got a run in your hose?  Don't throw them away! 
  • Cut the leg off of the torn but clean pantyhose. Drop an onion in and tie a knot ... onion, knot, onion, knot until you run out of either onions or pantyhose. Hang in a cool, dark, ventilated area.  Ifone onion goes bad, it won’t spoil the others.  Cut onions off as you need them. 
  1. Onions shouldn’t be stored with potatoes because the moisture potatoes give off makes the onions rot quicker.
  2. If the onion has sprouted, the sprouted part can be used as a substitute for scallions. 
  3. Before slicing onions put them in the freezer for 30 minutes, or put in a bowl of ice and water, or store some in your frig to use each week.  Cold onions don't make you tear up.  I always get my onions cold before cutting and it works for me.
And here are some more uses for pantyhose:
  • Lost something small in the carpet?  Cut a leg off an old pair of pantyhose, make sure the toe section is intact, and pull it up over the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner hose. (If you want additional security, you can even cut off the other leg and slip that over as well.) Secure the stocking in place with a tightly wound rubber band. Turn on the vacuum, carefully move the nozzle over the carpet, and you'll soon find your lost valuable attached to the pantyhose filter.
  • If you have a wet-dry shop vacuum, you can change the water in your fish tank without disturbing the gravel and tank accessories. (You'll still have to relocate the fish, of course.) Just pull the foot of an old nylon stocking over the end of the vacuum's nozzle, secure it with a rubber band, and you are ready to suck out the water.
  • Bring out the shine in your freshly polished shoes by buffing them with a medium-length strip of pantyhose. It works so well, you may retire that chamois cloth for good.
  • Keep your hairbrush clean!  Cut a 2-inch strip from the leg section of a pair of pantyhose, and stretch it over and around the bristles of your new (or newly cleaned) hairbrush. If necessary, use a bobby pin or a comb to push the hose down over the bristles. The next time your brush needs cleaning, simply lift up and remove the pantyhose layer -- along with all the dead hair, lint, etc. on top -- and replace it with a fresh strip.
  • Keep your used rolls of wrapping paper from tearing and unraveling by storing them in tubes made by cutting the leg sections off old pairs of pantyhose. (Don't forget to leave the foot section intact.) Or, if you have a bunch of used rolls, you can simply put one in each leg of a pair of pantyhose and hang them over a hanger in your closet.
  • Looking for an easy way to store mothballs in your closet or to make sachets of potpourri to keep in your dresser drawers? Pour either ingredient into the toe section of your recycled nylons. Knot off the contents, then cut off the remaining hose. If you plan to hang up the mothballs, leave several inches of material before cutting.
  • Avoid getting clothespin marks on your newly washed sweaters by putting an old pair of pantyhose through the neck of the sweater and running the legs out through the arms. Then hang the sweater to dry on your clothesline by clipping the clothespins onto the pantyhose instead of the wool.
  • If you run out of twine (or need something stronger -- say, for a large stack of glossy magazines), tie up your bundles of boxes, newspapers, and other types of recyclable paper goods using an old pair of pantyhose. Cut off the legs and waistband, and you'll be able to get everything curbside without any snags.
  • How many times have you opened your kitchen trash can only to discover that the liner has slipped down (and that someone in your house has covered it over with fresh garbage anyway)? You can prevent such "accidents" by firmly securing the garbage bag or liner to your trash can with the elastic waistband from a recycled pair of pantyhose; tie a knot in the band to keep it tight. You can also use this method to keep garbage bags from slipping off the edge of your outdoor garbage bins.
  • Having trouble catching those dust bunnies residing underneath and alongside your refrigerator? Round them up by balling up a pair of old pantyhoseand attaching it with a rubber band to a coat hanger or yardstick. The dust and dirt will cling to the nylon, which can easily be washed off before being called back for dusting duty.
  • Give your young plants and trees the support they need. Use strips of pantyhose to attach them to your garden stakes. The nylon's flexibility will stretch as your seedlings or saplings fill out and mature -- unlike string or twine, which can actually damage plant stalks if you tie it too tightly.
  • Pantyhose legs make terrific sacks for storing your flower bulbs over winter, since they let air freely circulate around the bulbs to prevent mold and rot. Simply cut a leg off a pair of pantyhose and place your bulbs inside, knot off the end, and place ID tags on each sack using a strip of masking tape. Hang them up in a cool, dry space, and they'll be ready for planting in the spring.
  • When moving a houseplant to a larger or better accommodation, put a piece of pantyhose at the bottom of the new pot. It will act as a liner that lets the excess water flow out without draining the soil along with it.
  • Keep small melons such as cantaloupe and muskmelons off the ground -- and free of pests and disease -- by making protective sleeves for them from your old pantyhose. Cut the legs off the pantyhose. As your young melons start to develop, slide each one into the foot section, and tie the leg to a stake to suspend the melon above the ground. The nylon holders will stretch as the melons mature, while keeping them from touching the damp soil, where they would be susceptible to rot or invasion by hungry insects and other garden pests.
  • Here are two recycling tips in one: Save up your leftover slivers of soap, and place them in the foot section of an old nylon stocking. Knot it off, and hang it next to your outdoor faucet. Use the soap-filled stocking to quickly wash off your hands after gardening and other outdoor work without worrying about getting dirt on door handles or bathroom fixtures inside your house.
  • Don't invite the bugs in for a bite; use a small square of pantyhose to temporarily patch that hole in your window screen. You can secure the patch by simply applying some rubber cement around the hole before pressing the patch in place. When you're ready to fix the hole with a piece of screening, peel off the nylon and the glue. If you want the patch to last a bit longer, sew it onto the screen with thread.
  • Want a more effective way to skim the debris off the surface of your pool water? Cut a leg off a pair of pantyhose and fit it over your pool's skimmer basket. It will catch a lot of tiny dirt particles and hairs that would otherwise make their way into -- and possibly clog -- your pool's filter unit.

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

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