The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2010-12-12

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Why bake when you can melt...

I can't bake but it's that time of year so I drag out my recipes and melt up some cookies.


And no one misses the baking aspect; try it.

You lay out pretzels on a lined cookie sheet...


Pop on a Rolo

And bake for 4 minutes at 300 degrees...

They look identical when you pull them out but they are a-foolin' ya. They are meltly and squishable! Squish a pecan (roasted and salted is best taste-wise) into the center and let cool. I put mine outside (It's a balmy 22 degrees today) because they don't seem to harden back up and, Oh!Oh! ....



My son doesn't like nuts so in his I squish either a Hershey's Kiss or a semi-sweet morsel, whatever I have.


Danger Alert of the Most Unattractive Sort!   Hershey's kisses do not work in place of Rolo's; they melt into the most unattractive (think dog poo from a sick dog) mess in the oven.   Kisses can be used instead of the nut at then end, but not for the melty part.


Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm just addicted.

Don't yell at me; it's about planners again but look at it before you judge.

It's a black patent leather Filofax with Sworovski crystals; I found it on the UK site.

Here's what they say about something I love like I gave birth to it:

 Prepare to be dazzled (and I am, I am ) by the Filofax special edition personal organiser, embellished with dazzling CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements.  The inside of the organiser is lined with sumptuous cream pigskin suede and contains luxury cream diary pages, dividers, address pages and organiser stationery.  Presented in an elegant black giftbox, only 400 of these stunning organisers were produced for the UK! Width 117mm, height 145mm 

 It's been reduced from a heart-stopping 157 pounds ($243 US)  to an only semi-heart stopping 78.50 pounds ($121.50 US) and I'm cursing my lack of disposable income with every ounce of strength I've got; which isn't so much because I haven't taken a breath since eye-ballin' the planner of my dreams. 

I'm about to faint.

That thing is perfection in black patent leather and sparkle.  I'd wear that thing.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ginger eats dryer sheets

I got away from making my own laundry detergent a while back but recently someone yelled from the laundry room, Do we have fabric softener?

And I thought to myself, We never had to add fabric softener when I was making it.  And I was right.  So then I thought to myself, Why am I not making it and duh, make the stuff again you're spending so much extra money on something that doesn't work as well oh! I think the chicken's burning. I better get down there.

Yeah.  It was kind of a free association thing but the gist was why had I stopped?  And I couldn't answer myself.  So I started making my own laundry detergent again.

The recipe is simple, three (or four) ingredients and cheaper in the long run so Ta-Da!  Here's the recipe:

2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (grated fine)
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax

Optional - 1 cup of oxyclean powder. (I add this)

The bar soap doesn't have to be Fels Naptha - but it's the only one I can find - although it smells really, really nice.  Lemony,  fresh... Very nice.    I'd love to try the pink Zote.

If you can't find the ingredients,  don't have a food processor (or don't want to hand grate the soap), you can order this kit from Soaps Gone Buy.


I purchased everything locally.

The 76 ounce size of Borax I bought was around five dollars
The 55 ounce size of Washing Soda was around four dollars
The Fels Naptha per bar cost was about a dollar fifty and I use two per batch.

Now, you will up the cost if you use the Oxyclean which was around ten dollars but it's optional.

Math isn't my forte  - I could be wrong about this whole calculamationathing. Numbers don't make too much sense to me but -  I think this amount of Borax, Washing Soda and Oxyclean will make about ten batches (of five cups each).

And there's  a lot of laundry to be done per batch because you only need one or two tablespoons per load.  Plus, I don't recall clothes coming out of the dryer feeling like Popsicle sticks when I used it so no dryer sheets; Ka Ching! Saved money in dryer sheets.

That might seem incidental but not having to buy dryer sheets is a really good thing.  Ginger loves them; she finds them tasty.

ginger coat

But only for a while.

After she's done with them, I find them with my bare feet.

And they are not nearly as fresh as when they went in.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stocking stuffers for people with really big feet...

Okay, well maybe this is more a gift gift because the box the Literati comes in is a bit big for most stockings.


Not my stocking mind you;  I wasn't blessed with delicate human-sized feet but for most people it would be easier to stick this under a tree then in something they could stick their feet into.

Okay so first, no more feet and Yay! for that.

Mom Central asked if I wanted to try out the Literati and yes, I did.  I had two, (maybe three) main reasons...  First my kid and I have been downloading books onto our  iTouches (Or is it iTouchi? Anyhoo...) using various programs - which is nice but really, really dinky.

And second and related to the dinky thing - That eye surgery I had few years back  left me with no near or mid-vision and even though I can adjust the font size on my (teeny-tiny) iTouch the whole reading experience remains small, mushed together and migraine inducing. 


Where as Mr. Literati on the left gives me a romance novel that is spaced out, clear and not a headache waiting to happen while remaining heart tightening, shaking, and thudding in only the best way.

And three...

Over the last year I've given away so many books (which breaks my heart) because of space; books I loved and would have kept if I had room.  On an eReader the size of your house doesn't matter.

 And four...

I wish I had this when my son was in High School.  Getting summer reading books was near impossible because everyone was looking for the same books.  And eReader books are cheaper.   I also purchased every in-class book he had to read.  The cost of the Literarti would have paid for itself in a year or two - or in one summer based on how much aggravation it would saved me trying to find those summer books.  I looked around just now, the Literati can be had for as little as $79.99... and that's a bargain for an eReader. 

But did I like it?  

Yeah, I did.   It connected easily with my wifi (and found all my neighbors by the way).  It connected with Kobo,  the online eBook site associated with the Literati easily and downloaded books quickly.  Kobo offers a lot of books, even cookbooks.  Enlarging the type on cookbooks has been life altering - Okay, well life altering might be a bit much but the on with the glasses off with the glasses on with the glasses is a giant pain in my ladle so not having to do that is a dream.

 There are  a lot *a lot* of free eBooks on Kobo; with a dedicated link to some of them at the top of their website.

If you're used to a touch screen you'll need to readjust yourself, it's not a touch screen.  But the screen is very nice, large and in COLOR and there are dedicated 'touch' page turner areas on the sides of the unit.

My biggest issue isn't with the Literati - it's with Kobo.  While the store boasts 1.8 million free eBooks...

lit  have to happen upon them.  They don't come up with the dedicated link, they also don't come up when you search from lowest to highest price... And they also don't come up if you search the word 'free'.    Now, I have to be fair to Kobo and say if I took the time to make my way through 1.8 million free books I'd never get to their paid stuff but honestly that's their advertising so help me find them. Please.  There has to be some way to find them that's easier then doing a search for the exact book and then finding - Oh! It's a free one. Happy Birthday to me!  

To wrap up this review with a pretty bow - I liked it!  I think this is a great eReader ( not a computer) at a great price.   There is a lot of content plus Newspapers and Magazines - That I like a lot.  My kids college major is English so he will be able to download all the books he needs to read at a lower cost so Yay! for saving money at college! And I can now download cookbooks and enlarge the type!  I like that a lot.

And I'm thinking of downloading some books Mongo wants to read and taking them over to her...


...Because she rocks large print too!

"I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of The Sharper Image and received a Literati eReader to facilitate my review.”


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Living off your own fat for a year

This isn't Retro Tuesday although it is remotely related because it has to do with Retro Toesday.  The last Retro Tuesday I posted was delayed because I had to visit my doctor due to an ongoing toe thing.
Nothing came of the visit.  Well, not nothing.  Eventually I was told  to go to a foot doctor which is the same as nothing because I'm so not doing that because the last time I did that he tried to take my spleen out through a Plantar's Wart.

Anyhoo, when I was at the appointment I found a Good Housekeeping Magazine from September 2009 and flipping through it I found a fascinating article :  Could You Survive a Year Without Shopping? How my family and I weaned ourselves from the "goods" life — and found a richer one.

It's online ( here ) and you should take a look.   I would love to try something like this although I don't think I could talk anyone into diving in to living off the fat of their previous purchases for a year - I mean, seriously -  I think I would have to have an ambulance with oxygen on standby if I brought this up but I wonder if my family would be willing to give this a go for maybe two months?

I ripped out the article and left it around.  Here.  Then there.  Then here again.  I think I might have to be more direct and actually broach the subject.

Do you think your family would be willing to do something like this...  And if so do you think it's feasible?

 An update

**Okay -  I need to clarify ...  This doesn't include food or disposables.  And every family would need to negotiate.  Some families would include say, batteries and not buy them - others would buy them.  Some people would buy cotton balls.  I believe from what I recall this family was running around pulling cotton from medicine bottles!  What would be consider consumables varies with the family. **                                          


  © Blog Design by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates

Back to TOP