The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2010-11-28

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why it's Retro Toesday

Posting for Retro Tuesday was delayed onacounta it being Retro Toesday...

I have this left middle-finger toe thing/pain going on for like, over a month now although oddly, it looks normal.  My doctor also thinks it looks normal and is going with the assumption that I smacked the toe on Ginger's wooden dog stairs.  Entirely possible.  I walk into everything.  I also fell off my own deck and have fallen up stairs.

 And that I have ongoing residual inflammation.  She asked about pain on walking but really, between the bunion on that one foot and that Achilles tendon on the other - Walking's pretty much a cruel mistress these days.

I don't even get as far as noticing the toe.

She told me to give Aleve a shot for a week and come back if it's not better although she'll be damned if she's knows what's she's gonna do with me and she was throwing around words like FOOT DOCTOR and thems some sceeery sceeery words to me - I had a foot doctor take a Planter's Wart off the bottom of my foot once.  

He swore he was only working on my foot.  He swore that after I accused him of trying to remove my spleen through my heel and using shoddy local anesthesia.

Hey Buddy, that Novocaine come from The Dollar Store or something?

So the going to the foot doctor thing didn't sit well with me.  Oh no it didn't.

I just got home and took my Aleve and send NO FOOT DOCTOR VIBES my way.  

And so let's close out Retro Toesday in favor of Retro Tuesday finally.    No more feet.

A few months ago I found these canisters:


Those great aluminum ones.

I found them in a little church thrift shop.  I don't recall them being especially cheap - this store knew what it had.  It printed out eBay listings for similar items and taped it to what they were selling. I mean, please.  Right?

Anyway - I saw a listing come through Freecycle for 1950's aqua canisters (that is how she listed them) and I answered it right away and wow, I got them!


The largest (flour) one isn't there

retro canisters

It was just the three

aqua retro canisters

But I don't care and I can't even believe how much I love them.

They are just perfect!  I don't know what I will do with them yet; I mean what I will keep in them but I want to have them out for sure.  Not like storage in the pantry or anything.  I just find them totally droolicious!

And as a Retro Tuesday side note.  I've decided to use some things I've bought like this wallet I got at a sale for four dollars about a year ago.  


I love it and kept it and was always afraid to use it but you know that's just silly and I've just started using it.  I did take the mirror / comb out but now every time I look at it, I'm happy.

My Retro Tuesday Pals
 Lynette sent me something fabulously retro for next Retro Tuesday, so I'm ready for next week too.


Monday, December 6, 2010

A list of things I don't get, a short list

 1.  The TV Show My Dog Ate What?  -  Maybe I'm biased because my dog Sky who is no longer with us - and who died of old age and not from eating anything - ate the most bizarre things on a regular basis and I never thought once - Hey!  Sky ate a tape dispenser, call the networks.

No.  It was more like, Sky ate a tape dispenser I will be rooting - YET AGAIN-  through dog poo until all the parts um, reemerge.

2.  Pierced earrings that weigh a ton - Why?

3.  Deep-fried butter -  I think I'd rather eat a tape dispenser.

4.  TV stations that don't put current shows ON DEMAND -  I'm looking at you, Bravo.  I've yet to see The Fashion Show or Tabitha's Salon Takeover because the only thing ON DEMAND BRAVO is The Housewives of Beverly Hills and Millionaire Matchmaker neither of which I can watch without anti-nausea meds so I pass on them.

So Issac and Tabitha I'm so sorry, I'd love to watch you I really would but I don't have TiVo and Bravo insists on shoving drek at me.

  Speaking of Bravo...

5.  Companies with Twitter Accounts that only use them to talk; not respond.   Twitter's two way if you haven't noticed.  Hey, whaddya know, there's a reply link.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Johnson's Baby Oil for big girls

A few weeks ago Mom Central asked if I wanted to try Johnson's New Shea & Cocoa Butter line and I did, it being November at the time and my skin all but drying up and pretty much blowing away.  I don't remember exactly what I said but it was something along the lines of, I don't want to try it; I want to fill a bathtub with it and not come out till April.

I know - Everyone's seen baby oil.  It's great right out of the tub, on your feet before bed (cover with socks), and whenever you use it and for whatever you're helping your cuticles.  

But people forget there are a ton of household uses for it; great reasons to keep it around the house - Everything from making homemade baby wipes to shining chrome (I kid you not).  

I'd not seen this form before - It's baby oil in a gel.   Perfect.  It squeezes out without all the messy dripping all over the everything that I always do.   It never fails. I always end up with a greasy container but not with this one.  And this one really, really nice for your feet.

This  last one was a total surprise and I think it's my newest, favoritest hand lotion and I got a few for stocking stuffers.    It's more a thick cream then it sounds like it would be and it's not greasy - Odd, I know but it doesn't leave you're hands greasy and it smells so good.  So very, very good.  I've left this next to my recliner so I don't even have to get up to make my hands smoother.   Or I can just smell it whenever I want.

It smells that good to me.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Johnson’s and received the products necessary to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.


A few gift sources

Do me a favor and don't read this.


1. Free Christmas Music Downloads - There are a lot of whole CD's on Amazon to be had for FREE.  Don't know if you knew that but take a look here .

2.  If Christmas Music isn't your thing there's tons of other music downloads here and it's easy as pie.  I've downloaded and transferred to CD some of it already and wow, how much better does it get then free?

3. Kodak Photo Books - I just made a Recipe Photo Book from this last Thanksgiving.  It was fun, really really fun!   I'm seriously considering getting together every bathtub picture I ever took of my kid and putting them together in one book just to, ya know, torture him. 

4.  Freecycle -  My son wants a few things that aren't that easy to find and since he reads my blog I can't tell you what they are but damn if I didn't throw a request out on Freecycle and the next thing I knew I'm picking up that never-mind!  Who knew?

*Kodak gave me gift for trying the SMARTFIT technology at the Kodak Gallery.*


Friday, December 3, 2010

Making Flavored Coffee Creamer

Yesterday I was out of creamer which isn't that odd because I'm always out of coffee creamer.  I  go through that stuff like crazy and if it wasn't so expensive it wouldn't be such a problem but man, if I can't find it on sale a 32 ounce container goes for about five bucks which makes it more expensive then a hundred feet times seventy-five feet of things I won't buy because of price.

So I did a web search for do it yourself liquid coffee creamers never thinking there were any but I should have known better, there are. 

I found one basic recipe all over the place:

1 can sweetened condensed milk (regular or low fat)
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk

The instructions say it's best stored in a glass mason jar but I don't have one so I used plastic and that it will keep for two weeks which I don't believe for a second.  It might be true but I don't think anything but salad dressing and mustard keeps that long.

Mix all the ingredients in your container and shake (and shake and shake and shake).  Oh, and shake before using because the condensed milk settles.

You can customize the flavors by adding flavors, for example.
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon peppermint extract for chocolate mint.

1 teaspoon almond extract and 1/2 teaspoon orange extract for cappuccino.
Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon almond extract for Amaretto.

My feeling after trying it is this:

1.  It's good but not as thick, sweet, or whitening  as commercial creamers. This is not necessarily a negative.

2.  I just used 3 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and it's a lot like chocolate milk actually, although strangely, chocolate milk never worked in my coffee and this does.

3.  I'm not sure the best option is the extracts.  I have a feeling coffee syrups are better for this but I don't have any so I can't test this.

4.  Whether or not this is cheaper depends on how much condensed milk costs.  I paid two dollars for a can which when you think about adding the rest almost negates any savings.  Shop rite had a sale on creamers last week; ninety- nine cents for the 16 ounce size.  That's really, really low, lower then I've ever seen it.  But it's frequently on sale for $2 which makes it less expensive then the make it yourself version.

*An aside on price there is a low-fat  sweetened condensed milk which was not on sale and cost $2.69 because what? Fat chicks  have more money or are just (desperate) willing to pay more?  Shame on you, Carnation and all the makers of 2% American Cheese who do the exact same thing.*

5.  There are a lot of  ingredients in creamers; I assume thickeners and whiteners, and if you don't like that thought this might be a good more natural solution.

6.  But I do have to wonder if a tablespoon of condensed milk and a splash of regular wouldn't produce the same effect with more options for customization.

So would I do this again?   Well, yes because I think I want to play with the recipe a little and also I think I would keep the ingredients around because I am forever going out during a snow storm for coffee creamer.  
Even if I can't find a way to improve the recipe, the way it is now if fine and  good enough for mornings that I'm snowed in or days I'm too lazy to go out.



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Stocking stuffers you may not have considered

Stocking stuffers tend to be throwaways; trial size hand sanitizer, shampoo - etc.  Not that it's all like that because it's a great place for gift cards and every year I get my kid a metric-butt load of Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles and really nothing says 'The Holidays' around here like eating chocolate till  you're sick.

But a stocking stuffer can be lots more.  And I'm pretty sure no one thought of this one, I only thought of it this morning - 10 minutes ago on my way home as I was swerving to avoid some woman riding on wrong side of the road.  Took the ho, ho, ho right out of going ho,ho, home, I tell ya.

 Click to go to site

I don't know if anyone else knows this but you can take an ONLINE driver safety course for $19.95 given by AARP (and no you don't have to be AARP age - my son took it) and not only might you get a few tips to save you from lunatic suburban woman on cell phones driving on the wrong side of a divided highway...

Give me strength on New Jersey roads, please.

But in a lot of states you can save money on the cost of your car insurance. And the savings can be substantial; ours was FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS A YEAR!  And it's good for three years.  Granted the cost of car insurance in NJ is ridiculous and your saving will no doubt be lower but extrapolate.

The test is long, about six hours and you can't 'speed it up' by forwarding.  You have to sit through the whole thing which is good.  Because it's done by AARP there are a lot of tips for older drivers but there are also tips for people with parents who are older drivers and stuff your kid needs to know like:

Having the RIGHT OF WAY is..

*Not part of The Bill of Rights..
*It is not akin to the pursuit of happiness...
*It just might be more dangerous then the right to bear arms because people are stupid in cars...
*Having it means nothing to any other driver driving on the road because...
*They all think they have it too.

One point the drivers course drove home frequently is to "be prepared to yield your right of way"  As in yes, you might be right but how much does that matter if you are getting jaw-of-lifed out of your car?

The information is HERE and it's well worth having everyone in your family take it.  Print out the info and stick it in their stocking, rolled up with a bow... and maybe a key chain to make it at least a little fun.  Cause this gift is probably worse then your mom buying you socks.

And one more today

I got my family some new holiday music because - Okay I'm sick of the stuff they pull out every year.  I mean I get it but twenty five years already.  Enough.  Did you know you can search Amazon for Christmas Album Downloads AND some are way cheap AND some are way cool.  How 'bout Christmas with the Rat Pack?

Five Bucks

Or this one, too smooth..

Break out the martinis.  It's Lounge Christmas music, $6.85


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Drug Store Stocking Stuffer Picks

I decided to do some Holiday Gift Picks because a few people have emailed me a long the lines of, A sink?  You're asking for a sink?   Haven't you heard of say jewelry?

Here's the thing.  Everything I get that I need is one less thing to worry about every day next year.  And I know. Boring as all get out but it really it works for me.  As far as luxury items go, do you have any idea how much make-up I can buy if someone were to give me a Rite-Aid gift card for like, $25 but then I only use it when Wet n' Wild stuff is on sale for 50% off? Or Revlon and I have a coupon...

You get the idea. 

Drug store stuff is the best stocking stuffers, hands down so I want to list a few.

It's for flossing teeth.  I don't know if it works but I'm sure hoping because people floss around here and leave it, don't even get me started on that.  I'm hoping that this will clear up the floss I find around.   This is reusable after cleaning and you can carry it with you.

Okay, technically - I know this stuff is for kids but it's increDENTALLY fabulous.  I found out about this doing a review and I've purchased it since because everyone in my family (even my kid!) is using it and lets me know when they are out.  We used to us a very expensive mail order two bottle product as a breath rinse (that's it, no other benefit) that cost over $20 a month if we all used it.  

No more.  Smart Rinse isn't even minty, you just feel clean after.  I don't know what's in there but I want to bath in that stuff.

Tea Lights

I really like candles but I find the whole candle melt/tea light thing so much more economical.  I don't mind getting good quality melts but really - ten bucks for few Yankee Tea Lights just seems silly.  Yes I know they are scented but it seems like a waste to me.   Go to the drug store and get fifty or a hundred tea lights for a few bucks and spend your money on a great tea light holder and yummy smelling melts.

Technically called a pill fob but ya know...  I got this about ten years ago when my son was going on a field trip to a water-park and needed something water proof to keep his pills in.  It worked out well, he could wear it around his neck and it didn't matter if it got wet.  Since then it's become known as the xanax fob because that's the only thing that I would really want to hang on my key chain.  You can buy them in the stores or at that link online for $4.99

And speaking of Wet n Wild cosmetics...

There are a few of them I use every day like...

I like their brow kit way better then E.L.Fs

I have a few, my favorite is 904B Rosebud.  It is very similar to this gloss I had for years from Sephora.  Now this isn't glossy at all and you do have to wear a gloss but the color is dead on.  I loved that Sephora gloss and kept it long after it was probably growing deadly pathogens so I'm so glad I now have the color I love, germ free.

I don't wear it everyday but when I don't wear just powder, I usually wear this.  It's really nice and more coverage then most of the tinted moisturizers I've tried. 

A lot of their eye shadow is really (no, really) good.  This is the one I use a lot.  The middle left brown is fabulous - The bottom left brown is great.  The right middle yellow looking color goes on more a sheer gold.  It's very pretty.  It's really, really a fabulous combination of colors and even if you don't get it on sale it's only $4.99.

And because I can't leave out Ginger

Ginger's new muffin (bed)

Ginger's Muffin

CVS and Rite Aid both carry a great pet bed that goes on sale frequently for about $5 ($9.99 not on sale).  They don't last forever but that's okay.  They cost a quarter of pet store pet beds.  And Ginger loves them, they are all over the house.

This is getting long.  Maybe I'll do another one...


Who's floor will be cleaner with a brand new Libman broom...

and not looking like my before picture very, very soon?


The picks are picked and the people who will soon be sweeping have comments 14, 7, and 18.

That makes the winners:

Julie - Who wrote:  The broom I have now looks like its been around since World War 2-bristles are broken down .

I hear you, gal!

Lynette from Crazed Mind (and no, I'm not kidding) She just did the most fabulous new masthead and will soon be sweeping in pearls.

Melanie - Who wrote:  I would love a new broom. My kids took my old old broom out into the snow and the bottom got all frayed and it does not work at all now. I would definatly start in the kitchen... then the bathroom and my entry way.

Make those kids do the sweeping if they want the broom, honey!  LOL

Email me ladies with your addresses so I can forward them to Libman!

For anyone who didn't win here...

The LIBMAN Facebook sweepstakes is live! Like Libman on Facebook for a chance to win $500 or a mop a day for December!


Technically the coolest thing ever

About a week ago I reviewed the Creativa, my NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® machine  And I've noticed something funny.  People who know I have one and we're having a conversation outside my kitchen say, I hear it makes great coffee, but the people who see it say, That is the coolest looking thing ever!

 Yeah, it is but don't you want to try the coffee?

And they laugh and say of course and then realize Creativa...


Is more then just a pretty face.

Or pretty faces...

Check out all the flavors, too.  Coffee, tea - hot or iced.  Hot chocolate.  There's a lot to love here beyond the fact that the people who come to my house now think I'm the coolest thing ever.  

Okay, well, technically they think my Dolce Gusto is the coolest thing ever but I'll take upping my cool where I can even if it's a stretch.

 “I wrote this review while participating in a test drive campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto and received a coffee machine to facilitate my review.”


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