Home Maid Simple: October 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

'Tis the Season #GivingTuesday

I know I know, today is Halloween. And trust me, we're celebrating over here. I've got a Strawberry Shortcake, a friendly witch, and a ballerina running around my house, as well as a Dinosaur roaring for my constant attention today.

But I'd like to talk to you about something else today.

Giving

My family has been blessed numerous times from others generosity.  From anonymous generosity to family and friends being there through tough times. I have truly been blessed to know such giving people.

Growing up my mom taught me this
When you are down, and having a bad day. Feeling selfish or depressed. Do something for someone else. Do it without looking for returns. Do it to help them. And when you do, you'll start to feel better. You'll soon forget what was troubling you.
This piece of advice has stuck with me forever. This simple piece of advice, to GIVE, is my mom summed up. Always looking for service to give, whether to friends, neighbors or her own family.

There was one winter we were sturggling. Getting by month to month on student loans and family help.  We came home early from our Christmas trip to see Mark's parents to find many anonymous gifts.  Presents had been dropped on our doorstep for the girls. Warm coats that we wouldn't otherwise have been able to buy them and a few toys.  In the mail, with no return address, were gift cards to our local grocery store. I think I sat down and cried when I opened those up. Someone was looking out for us. Someone GAVE without need for recognition or return.
Presents for Your Porch
source
Because of this experience, I  have tried to always remember my moms advice, but not just on my bad days. I try every day to see who might need my help. I want to GIVE because I now know the immense relief and joy it might bring to someone. Knowing that feeling, is enough for me.

A couple years ago I joined Cafemom. Throughout the years one group has become very close to me and each other. These are women/moms all over the world I have connected with. Most of us have not and will probably never meet in person.

So there I was one day, trying to find more ways to Give back. I had an idea and decided to run it past the owner of my cafemom group. She loved the idea, and helped me get it going. We now have a private group on cafemom dedicated to giving back. We call ourselves angels.  I can't even begin to tell you all that this group has done. I may have started the group, but it's the ladies who joined who are truly amazing. Every year about this time, we start looking for our fellow cafemom members in need. I do the leg work and contact the members for addresses, kids ages and clothing sizes. But then my angels do the important stuff. They dig into their pockets, their own kids clothes, and they Give Back! They bless these moms who are struggling. Moms who are crying because they don't have a single present under the tree for their kids. We help. We give back. Because that is what it's all about.

That is why we celebrate Christmas.
The joy of giving to others; seeing their faces light up because someone thought of them.
The joy of knowing a child won't be cold, because you could provide a coat.
Or that a family won't go hungry because gift cards were sent anonymously.


I'd like to invite you all to a new day. Giving Tuesday!
We have Black Friday
We have Cyber Monday

Help us continue our ThanksGIVING celebrations through Nov 27 with Giving Tuesday. A day to give back. Find someone to help. Give of your time. Give smiles. Give presents. and Give Thanks.

Tomorrow I will be joining The Motherhood in a twitter party to get the ball rolling. We would love for you to join us!

What: Join a Twitter party to spread the word about celebrating the first-ever #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season to celebrate and encourage charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations. This year's #GivingTuesday will take place on November 27, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Our Twitter party will address how you can spread the word, why this movement matters and ways to get involved!
When: The party will be on Thursday, Nov. 1, at noon ET.
Where: Use the #GivingTuesday hashtag on Twitter to find us!
Hosts: Follow @theMotherhood, @GivingTues, @CooperMunroe and @EmilyMcKhann
Prizes: We'll be giving away five $25 VISA gift cards, which you are welcome to use toward your charitable efforts this holiday giving season!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Trapping Fruit Flies An Accidental Discovery

Fruit Flies - noun small annoying bugs, that infiltrate your kitchen when fresh fruit abounds.
source

 
About a month ago we had a pretty severe fruit fly problem. It was most likely because I was in the throes of canning.  Peaches, peach honey, tomatoes, applesauce and most recently apple pie filling. I came across a tip for trapping fruit flies on facebook. Just in time, I thought! So I put it to work.
 
Vinegar
jar
saran wrap
You are supposed to pour some vinegar into the jar, and then cover it with plastic wrap. Poke a small hole in the saran wrap and then place near the fruit flies. The flies will find their way in, but not out...supposedly. And eventually die in the vinegar.
 
I tried it. It worked, but it also seemed to bring even more fruit flies. It wasn't until I dumped the concotion of vinegar and dead flies, that the swarm calmed down.
 
This brings us to yesterday. Thanks to a mouse problem, I had to dump all our cereal. I hadn't made it grocery shopping yet (still haven't), so we opened a jar of peaches for breakfast. Between the 3 girls and myself, we can polish off one jar.  Normally I will either drink the peach juice left in the jar, or dump it down the sink. I don't know why, but yesterday, I left the jar of sugary peach juice sitting on the counter. When I later saw it, guess what I found?

 
 yep! The fruit flies were obviously atracted to the peach juice/syrup. I went ahead and left it out the rest of the day and overnight.
The result? No live fruit flies in my kitchen this morning.
And that is how you accidentally discover something SIMPLE.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Ladies Night Out Parenting Tricks #mompactLNO

Last week I attempted to have a Ladies Night Out/bring the kids Halloween Party. I've never really done the whole ladies night out thing. I would love to have a group of gals to get together with to chat and be adults with for a bit, but my kids and family are my life.
Whoops, I'm digressing from the point. So I planned a party, and had lots of treats and stuff to give out.
Sadly, no one showed up.  They really missed out on some great treats (seriously, not one person that said they'd come, showed up, what's up with that?!)

So what did I do? I threw a party on my facebook page of course!  That's just how I roll!  We had so much fun over there, and we gleaned mom tricks from the old moms and young moms. Plus I got to give out a bunch of prizes, which come on? who doesn't love that?

Tricks from Moms
These are the winning tips from my facebook party
 
I asked and you answered
 
How do you travel light with a baby?
"Front pack, blanket, iPhone or other app device for music and distraction. Two-three small toys that can be linked together with play links. Then the diaper bag/back pack packed depending on how long and where. Usually one change of clothes, extra socks, and diapers/wipes for the day. If I am traveling and can plan places to stay/eat then I can accommodate food and sleep needs with their amenities." - Robin M.
 
 Check out diaper buds for short day trips, and something small to slip in your purse!

What are your favorite kid friendly meals and snacks?
"I am a HUGE fan of WowButter in this house it is great for lunches and it is dairy, gluten and nut FREE! Not to mention tastes, looks and smells exactly like peanut butter!" - Eschelle (mumfection)
 
Space Food Sticks are a great chocolate protein bar for an on the go snack and boost!

What are your potty training Tips?
"A timer so it's not mommy and daddy telling them to go party instead every time the timer goes off see if they want to try and go potty...also talk up how awesome going potty in the potty is!" - Renee P.
Tidy Tots helps keep those potty training potties clean and ready to go every time!

What tricks help you stay organized?
"I like to set out to do only a couple chores a day that I know I can accomplish so within a week I have all the chores done!" - Kelsea Y.
 
With cold and flu season coming on, what do you do to keep your family healthy?
"Ohhh essential oils, definitely! And of course frequent hand washing, sufficient rest, and drinking water." - Hannah J.
 
Boogie Wipes are great for keeping those little noses crust free.

Finally, I asked what moms favorite things are to do on a Ladies Night Out
"Eat out and just laugh and talk!" - Rebekah W.
 
Besides giving out the amazing products I mentioned here to the winners, I also awarded a Penalty Pal, Kissaboo, and ToothBands to 3 of my party goers! We love these products here, and hope you all do too. Thanks for partying with us. Sadly, we couldn't get all crafty on our facebook party, but my kids sure had fun.

 
You still have a few days to win all these prizes and more from Mompact!

Are you a Hoarder or Collector? {Guest Post}

Are You Hoarding or Collecting?

source
There is a difference between collecting and hoarding. Collectors focus on a particular category of objects they enjoy. Someone that loves baseball may collect bats, cards and posters featured in that sport. The items collected are kept clean while being displayed nicely in the home. Collectors choose objects carefully before purchasing them.
Occasionally, a collector will store or sell excessive items. They do not allow the home to become overwhelmed with their collections. A collector’s home remains reasonably clean and functional. A hoarder brings random items into their homes. The objects may be broken, dirty and worthless. Hoarded items are not displayed nicely. They are left in piles and stacks. Objects in a hoarding home are often covered with dust and cobwebs. Hoarders may have no idea what is in the piles throughout their homes.

What is Collecting?

Many people have a hobby of collecting objects. A collection is typically a specific category of items. Popular collections are dolls, pottery, coins and other objects. A collector displays their items in an organized and attractive way. Collections are placed on shelves and kept clean. A collected item may be framed and hung on a wall. Small collectibles are often placed in special books for protection. Valuable objects may be stored in boxes to avoid damage. Collectors may rotate their objects to avoid too much clutter. Collector’s homes are maintained nicely. The home is considered clean and safe. It is possible to walk around the home without danger of injury. Kitchen appliances are accessible. Plumbing in the bathrooms is functional.

What is Hoarding?

This is considered an obsessive compulsive disorder. Individuals keep a massive amount of objects. Clutter fills the person’s home until it is difficult to walk from room to room. In addition, the home may become extremely dirty. A normal lifestyle is neglected. Hoarders may have so many items in their homes that it is dangerous. Danger can be from potential fire hazards. Piles of objects may cover kitchen appliances. Bathrooms become filled with items and are unusable. Water leaks may be unnoticeable under the stacks of junk. Occasionally, rodents and insects begin to proliferate in the home. The heavy weight of objects can cause structural damage to a house. As objects decompose the home develops a horrible odor. Stacks of objects may fall on homeowners causing injury. In intense hoarding situations the home may be filled with human and pet feces.


Author Bio
Lyndsi is a home organization specialist. When organizing homes she suggests storing items at self storage Everett MA and storage units Lakewood WA. Lyndsi lives in Washington with her family.

Friday, October 26, 2012

House of Minerva {Review}

At the beginning of this month, I stumbled across The House Of Minerva. Owner Kate Elfatah and I connected on twitter, and I decided to check out her website.
I just loved how stylish everything on there was, and decided I needed to get something! As the mom of 3 girls, I was immediately drawn to the Girl Dresses. They were all so cute.
It's hard to hide anything from the kids, so Princess C saw me looking at these little dresses and came over to look with me. Her heart was pulled towards the Crow Dress. 

I kind of cringed at first, because, really crows? It definitely looked cute online and all, but I was looking more at the Apple Grove dress.
*Apple Grove
I mean come on? Isn't that just adorable?  I was planning an Apple Picking family outing at the time, and thought this would just be perfect.
Princess C wasn't sold though. So after much thought, and lots of time browsing the House of Minerva website, I finally caved, and we got her the Crows Dress. 
Which turned out to be a perfect fit - for her personality, and her choice of a Witch for Halloween.

What I love about the House of Minerva
  • The dresses are long! No bum length dresses here. They are generous in size, so my 4year old Princess could actually wear a 4T size. Which was great since this was the last crow dress available and it only came in a size 4T.
  • They are quality made! Princess C has been wearing this as much as possible. Which means it's been through the wash a few times since owning it.
  • Just contact them! The owner is kind, helpful, and will work with you to get you exactly what you want. Since I was concerned about sizing, she was willing to send me a prepaid envelope just in case it didn't fit. That, people, is Customer Service at it's finest
  • They sell more than just dresses! In fact it started out as makeup bags, and has grown! From clutches and tablet sleeves, to dresses and aprons.
Connect with the House of Minerva on
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

*I was compensated with product to write this review. All opinions are 100% my own and honest thoughts.



Garlic Parmesan Baked Chicken {Foodie Friday}



Hosted at
Home Maid Simple
and
Simple Living and Eating

Garlic Parmesan Baked Chicken
Print Recipe
 
Ingredients
4 chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
1 can Progresso Creamy Roasted Garlic
Sliced smoked gouda
 
Directions
Whisk eggs in a shallow dish.
Combine flour, parmesan, bread crumbs and salt and pepper in a separate shallow dish.
Soak chicken in the eggs, and then coat with flour mixture.
Pan fry about 5 minutes each side, and place in a casserole dish. Pour the Progresso over all the chicken. Top each piece with some smoked Gouda.
Bake at 350 F for about 30-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
 
 ~This weeks Features~
 
This Chicken Biryani has some yummy looking flavors!
 
Who knew? Crockpot Applesauce would have saved me a lot of time last week
 
I love the healthy and seasonal ingredients for this Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Pumpking Chili. It's like leftover Thanksgiving
From Run DMT
 
 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Create a Time Out Corner with Penalty Pal #mompactLNO

The more I grow as a mom the more I find how I could do things differently. With each child I seem to change my ways, and do things a bit differently.
Princess V as a toddler. I promise this isn't really how I gave Time Outs.
I call it experimenting until I find the right way. Disciplining children is never fun, for the parents or the kids. Sometimes I think it hurts me more than them. So I get laid back, I don't follow through.

Have you ever done that? Not followed through? It really backfires on us. The kids think they can get away with something if we don't follow through, and the next time they'll push it even further.

I guess where my problem comes, is when they tell me I don't love them because I did follow through. It emotionally effects me, because I do love them! I have to remind myself though, I discipline because I love them!

When Princess V was a toddler, and we started Time Outs, I would have to sit there with her. Otherwise, she wouldn't stay put. It sort of defeated the purpose of Time Out. When Princess C was a toddler, we tried it again, and she would stay. So we began giving Time Outs again. At one point, I decided Time Outs just weren't effective for every situation. Sometimes, the Princesses just needed time apart. Sometimes they needed a nap. And sometimes, mommy needed a Time Out. So for awhile I would send them to their rooms for "Quiet Time". Time they could play alone, read a book, or take a nap. Usually this fixed the problem.


Now we have another problem. All 3 Princesses share a room again, so sending one to their room, usually results in the others following, and more problems or fighting or whatever was going on. We've tried sending them to our master room, but that has created other problems - like kids getting into things they shouldn't - ahem my chocolate stash.....

Well, mompact send me a package of goodies, including the Penalty Pal. It inspired me to try a Time Out corner again. Somewhere I can keep my eye on them. The great thing about the Penalty Pal though, is it allows them something to look at. Something that is fun, yet serious. It helps distract them from what may have been causing problems (ya know, like their sisters!).
I've already tried this new corner out with Princess R, and it really helped! Instead of her trying to sneak out of a Time Out she stayed there. It distracted her enough to calm down. Once she was calm, I was able to talk to her about her behavior.
"Pushing both hands on baby brothers face is not ok. Laying across sisters head is not ok. Don't touch faces please!"
 



Come Join the Mompact Twitter Party TONIGHT! 9-10pm ET #mompact
 
*I received complimentary product to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own

Halloween Costumes - Think About It!

 
Welcome back to Think About it Thursday!
Hosted by
and
 
Today's Topic Is
What was your most Memorable Halloween Costume as a Child?
 
Before I jump into todays topic, I just want to give a Birthday Shout Out to Eschelle, blogger at Mumfection. I have loved getting to know this Canadian blogger. We bounce ideas off each other, and she has given me a lot of support here at Home Maid Simple. So please, go check her out, and tell her Happy Birthday!
 
 
I'll be honest, I can think of many "memorable" costumes for me. I tried to think outside the box.  Most years as a young child I was a witch. Princess C is taking over that for me this year.
 
I'm really at a toss up for my most memorable costume. We did a lot of home made, what we could find around the house costumes. I remember one year in middle school, my aunt made a packet of pea seeds (or possible green beans). It was basically a large bag with head and arm holes cut out, and then painted to look like the front of a seed packet.
Another year, and one of the only times I remember trick or treating, my BFF and I dressed up as housewifes. We wore old jeans, t-shirts, aprons, and a bandana over our hair. Truth be told....now that I am a house wife, I tend to look like that a lot minus the bandana. Maybe it's time to pull out my bandana's again! I've still got my Red Hot Chili Pepper bandana, complete with beaded ends!
 
Though both of those are pretty memorable in my mind, I think my most memorable costume, was my completely crazy out of the box idea. I went as a shower.
Yes, a shower, or possibly a person taking a shower. It was pretty simple really. We bought a hula hoop (or maybe we cut mine down smaller), attached a shower curtain. Then I believe through the use of a hat and hangers, got it to balance on my head, with me inside. Thus a shower.
Seriously, I don't know what I was thinking. I probably got a whole lot of weird looks as people asked me what I was. I guess I could have made it more scary if I added the shadow of a hand holding a knife to it. That may have been a more brilliant idea, but nope. Just me, inside a shower, getting strange looks. 
Thinking about it now, and I'm reminded of the newer Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. Yep that was me, but behind a shower curtain, and minus the braces.
Blair Dunlop jouant Willy Wonka enfant dans «CHARLIE ET LA CHOCOLATERIE»

We'd love for you to join us in this fun meme! Just grab the button, and post about the topic. Then come back and link up! We love visiting new blogs.
 
Next weeks Topic
What 5 things are you most Thankful for?
 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

All things Kids and Travel

The Holiday Season is upon us! Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are here. For most families, this means shopping for gifts and traveling.

Starting today, One Kings Lane is having a Gifts for Little Ones and Bon Voyage sale!

With Princess V in school now, and our home preschool with Princess C I would love to have one of these black board/dry erase board combos.
 
Do you remember me telling you about our umbrella holder, and how I need a more stylish umbrella for me? Besides totes and travel bags, the Bon Voyage Sale has umbrellas! I know Mark probably wouldn't mind me getting one of these dog printed umbrella's, as long as it was the Pug
Walking Stick Umbrella, Pug
 
The sales at One Kings Lane only last for a couple days, so don't miss out! These are some really great deals, on normally expensive products!
 
*This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on them you help this blog grow! All opinions are however, 100% my own. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tricks or Treats? #MompactLNO

If you missed my facebook party, don't fret! You can enter to win a huge Prize Pack from Mompact
Including many of the products I gave away
Boogie Wipes, Diaper Buds, Kissaboos and more!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop



It's a SPOOKY giveaway!
Hosted by
I am a Reader Not a Writer
and
The Diary of  A Bookworm

Welcome to my Spooky giveaway!  I've got 2 books for you, and a book bag!
 
First up
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency #1
by Alexander McCall Smith

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency  (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1)

and our Spooky addition
Secret of the Upstairs Room and Other Ghostly Tales
by Gale Burnick
(my copy has a different cover)
 
Both books are gently used. One winner gets both books, and a Home Maid Simple Book Bag! To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below.
Giveaway open to US only
All entries will be verified
After you enter here, hop on to the over 400 other blogs participating!
 
 

Party with me on Facebook! 10/23

Hey everyone!! I would love if you came and partied with me on facebook today!  I've got a lot of prizes to giveaway.
Why party today?
A couple of reasons.
- I had a lot of leftover samples from my Halloween party last week.
- I've reached over 1000 followers on facebook, and I just feel overwhelming gratitude for you guys!
- There's a Mompact Twitter Party this Thursday, and these are samples I received from mompact
For today's party head over here
 
So if you can't make it to my party today, make sure you join us Thursday on Twitter! These parties are always lots of fun. I've made many friends, and gleaned their minds for parenting tips.
 
For Thursday's party you can RSVP here
 
Hope to see you at one or both!
 
Just a sneak peek at what you could win!
 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Golden Age Stories - Audio Book Review




Golden Age Stories
The Best in Pulp Fiction
 
If you haven't figured out yet, I love books. Reading has always been a passion of mine, thanks to my dad. My parents actually have a room in their home, dedicated to books. They call it the library. They even have a checkout system. It's probably my favorite room in their house.
 
Normally I prefer hard copies of books, but periodically I enjoy getting an audio book. Something to listen to while I get the housework done. Or in the most recent case, listening on the drive to our old house to fix some things before sale.
 
My parents watched the kids, and I got to drive the hour to our previous home, to pick up Mark. He was taking care of some painting in order to comply with the appraisers notes. While he was there, he sold our car, and needed a ride back.
So there I find myself, alone, in the car. No kids music playing, no talk radio for the hubby. My pick! I pulled out The Iron Duke by L. Ron Hubbard, and one of the many audio's in the Collection of Stories from the Golden Age. Prior to this one, I had listened to Red Death Over China, another Golden Age Story by L. Ron Hubbard. This one was enjoyed while canning applesauce.
 
About the Books: The Iron Duke is part of the Far Flung Adventure Stories. When Blacky discovers he looks like the Duke of Aldoria, plans are made, and years are spent perfecting the language and signature to impersonate his majesty. A turn of events lands Blacky and his companion in the midst of Aldoria and the unrest due to a drunken Duke who cares for no one.
 
Red Death Over China, an Air Adventure, takes place during China's civil war. American pilot John Hampton, has no allegiances, and works where ever there is money. After his gunner is shot, and he picks up a captain on the run from approaching armies, his attitude begins to change. Could there really be a right and wrong side?
 
About the Author: L. Ron Hubbard lived from 1911 to 1986.  During the 1930's and 1940's Hubbard wrote many stories for pulp fiction magazines.  Best known for his fantasy and science fiction stories, he also wrote many westerns, romances, aviation, travel and many more!
 
In writing an adventure story a writer has to know that he is adventuring for a lot of people who cannot. The writer has to take them here and there about the globe and show them excitement and love and realism. As long as that writer is living the part of an adventurer when he is hammering the keys, he is succeeding with his story.
Adventuring is a state of mind. If you adventure through life, you have a good chance to be a success on paper.
Adventure doesn't mean globe-trotting, exactly, and it doesn't mean great deeds. Adventuring is like art. You have to live it to make it real.
- L Ron Hubbard
 
My thoughts: I truly enjoyed listening to both these books. They were full of adventure, and life lessons. Not only that, but they were clean as well. These stories would be perfect for middle grade and teen readers looking for an adventure, and adults wanting to step back in time. Hubbard pulls off some well written stories.
As for the audio version, they were great! It wasn't just listening to someone read a story, you get the whole experience of sound effects as well, making the book really come alive.
 
You can purchase paperback or audio copies on Amazon. Then read more reviews, and add your own on Goodreads
 
You can also download and listen to a few short story samples online HERE.
If you're looking for even more, be sure to check out the Golden Age Stories YouTube Channel. You'll get a full theatrical version of the stories while they are read. 
 
 
* I received these audio books for my personal use to review, as a member of Business 2 Blogger. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Back on Chocolate! and a Menu Plan

Do you recall me saying I was going to skip chocolate for the month of October? I give up. I'm taking back my chocolate, and completely enjoying it!  Here's what I learned in my attempt to go without chocolate -

- I don't eat a lot of it on a daily basis. But when you take away my small doses, like a few chips in a cookie, thten later I binge on a nice big dense chocolate energy bar (Space Food Stick). They taste like Resen's, so of course, I couldn't stop at just trying one. Nope I had to go back and have another. I told you, binge!
 
- Chocolate actually does help keep me sane. I had a couple bad mommy days, where I just couldn't handle things. I let my emotions rule. Afterwards, I ate a small piece of chocolate, and the smooth creamy goodness, brought me back. So when I got whacked pretty good in the eye with a Minnie Mouse doll, I was able to keep my cool.
 
- Finally put it all together, and I learned that like most things, chocolate in moderation is good for you. I don't have a chocolate addiction. I just enjoy chocolate, and will continue to enjoy it, in moderated amounts.
 
Fyi, you can win some Space Food Sticks of your very own! Just come join the MomPact Twitter Party this Thursday October 26th at 6pm Pacific/9pm ET. Use the hashtag #mompactLNO
Plus there will be lots of other prizes as well. RSVP HERE
 
So on to this week's menu
Monday - Pasta
Tuesday - Breaded Parmesan Chicken
Wednesday - Cowboy Chili
Thursday - Hamburgers
Friday - Enchiladas
Saturday - Leftovers


Friday, October 19, 2012

Caviar Limes {Foodie Friday}



Hosted at
Home Maid Simple
and
Simple Living with Diane Balch

I don't have a recipe to share with you this week. I've been spending time trying out all the wonderful recipes linked up each week! There are some really great ones out there!!
Before I get to featuring those, however, I wanted to share with you this new fruit I've been introduced to. 

Caviar Limes
aka Finger limes
You choose which name sounds better to you.

My mom teaches at an elementary school. Two days each week the school provides a healthy vegetable or fruit snack. My mom was telling me about some of the strange fruits she's seen, and how fun they can be to eat. Some are so foreign to our area, that they have to be taught how to eat them! 
One of the days, they were given Caviar limes. I kid you not, these elementary school kids were given limes for a snack, but not just any limes, Caviar Limes! Just the name sort of puts me off, and then there's their look
Caviar Limes (a.k.a. Finger Limes)
They look almost like tiny cucumbers, and somewhat finger like. I'm sure that is where the name Finger Lime came from. The insides are absolutely amazing though. You cut them in half, an squeeze the lime out, getting a very Caviar looking pulp. So obviously where that name came from.

Well mom was given some to take home, and I am so glad she was! These definitely have your lime flavor, with a bit of lip puckering going on. However, I was able to eat one by itself and not feel it was too overboard bitter. 
What I really love though is the look. I've got visions of cupcakes with "caviar" garnish, cheesecakes, and pies, and ice cream and puddings. Oh the possibilities! These limes are going to make some elegant desserts that even the kids will love.
Of course, than mom and I started wondering where we could get these. We most definitely don't have any stores nearby that carry them.  Where do we go these days for info? Well, google of course! So I googled Caviar Limes, and the first site to come up, is an Organic Food Store in California that not only sells them, but ships them around the country as well. I love that.  Now to convince Mark that these will be really good. I may just add them to the top of my Christmas list.

Again, sorry for the lack of a recipe. Next week, I'll be telling you how to make and can a chunky applesauce!

~Last weeks Features~

Crock Pot Cheese Potato Soup from Happiest Mom on the Blog
My kids loved this, and so did I!

Crab Artichoke Dip with Asiago & Bacon ~ Sumptuous Spoonfuls
Crab Artichoke dip with Asiago and Bacon from Sumptuos Spoonfuls
With the holidays approaching this is sure to be a crows pleaser.

4 Bite Apple Pies from The Kitchen is My Playground
These are just simple brilliant. Perfect after school snack, or lunch box treat!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Facebooking Diagnosies - Think About It


Hosted at
Home Maid Simple
and
Mumfection

This week's topic
What is on your mind? Tell us about it, and then link up at the bottom of this post!

Yestrday Prince L woke up with a puffy eye.  I assumed he was just really tired, as he hadn't been sleeping as well lately.  Then he started acting just odd. He didn't really want to open his eyes, almost as if the lights hurt. He became extremely cuddly, and just wanted me to hold him all day long, wrapped in a blanket. Unless he's sleeping, he never closes his eyes, or lets me hold him for long. He would rather be looking at everything and moving around as best he can. So I started thinking maybe these symptoms were in relation to his puffy eye.  Since Mark and I had both been suffering allergies on and off, I chalked it up to that. 
To be safe though, I posted about it on facebook, and even added a cute picture.

Not looking for a diagnosis exactly, I just wanted to share my cute cuddly guy with his puffy eye. Well, a number of my friends immediately got on and said it looked like pink eye! I was feeling so lucky that after 4 kids we had never experienced this awful sounding virus. So pink eye hadn't even crossed my mind before it was mentioned on facebook.  I started looking up the signs and symptoms of Pink Eye on google, and told Mark our weekend plans might be canceled because of it. 

Mark called his brother, who happens to work in the medical field. He said looking at the picture it didn't look like Pink Eye. He's almost always been right when we call him. So I pushed my worries aside, and decided to wait it out. Then I decided maybe I should play it safe. We haven't been to a doctor since moving, and Prince L needed his 6 month check anyways. So off I went to find a doctor.



We have 1 doctor in our small town, and he was gone for the weekend (It's fall break here).  On to the next town over. I found one that could see us before we left for our vacation, and got in to see him this morning as we headed out of town. I am so glad I didn't wait!

Although it is NOT pink eye, it is a bacterial infection, and needs some eye drops. Although it's not going to be fun putting these eye drops into a 6 month old, it will be much better than watching his puffy red eye, an worrying that it hurts him.

So thanks Facebook Friends for sending me in a mild panic, but also for putting the worry there, because something was wrong.

Have you ever Facebook Diagnosed yourself or kids? Were they right? Did you send yourself into a panic with all the possibilities of what could be wrong? I'd love to hear about it!

Don't forget, you can link up any random post! We love meeting other bloggers, and reading what you're thinking about. All we ask is that you grab our button and place it on your blog, so we can get more people involved!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume {Book Review}

The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume
by Lisa Rumsey Harris
 
About the Book: Treasure Blume is a pear-shaped first-grade teacher with a love of embroidered sweaters and an awkward tendency to blurt out whatever she's thinking. And she has a family curse (or gift, depending on who you talk to); everyone who meets her (over puberty but under Alzeheimer's) initially dislikes her.

If you ask her grammy, Tabiona Blume—passer of the gift, keeper of the family lore, and star of the elite over-sixty dance team "Ruby's Red Hot Chili Steppers”—she’ll say it's a blessing. But Treasure isn't buying her explanation. Especially since Grammy Blume hasn't exactly embraced the gift in her own life.

Treasure leaves St. George, Utah bound for Las Vegas and her first job, where she referees show-and-tell, creates Sneetch shirts for the Dr. Seuss Party, and tangles with Bonnie B. Baumgartner, the school secretary. But when Grammy Blume gets kicked out of her retirement community and has to move in with her, Treasure gets tutored in the power and pain of her unlikely gift.

With her life full of kids and codgers, Treasure has given up on ever falling in love. And so has Dennis Cameron, a divorced chef who sinks from near culinary stardom to working with the lunch ladies in the school’s cafeteria to be near his daughter, Micaela, a student in Treasure’s class. At first Dennis can’t see anything redeemable in Treasure. He’s busy juggling the demands of his six-year-old daughter, his terminally-ill mother, and his selfish, plastic ex-wife. But somehow, the more he comes in contact with Treasure, the less he dislikes her, until finally he finds himself falling in love with her.

 
 
About the Author: Lisa Rumsey Harris grew up writing stories and riding horses in Southeastern Idaho. She received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English from Brigham Young University, where she now teaches writing classes. Lisa lives in Orem Utah, with her ancient Siamese cat, her husband Griffin (who cooks nearly as well as Dennis) and her two adorable daughters. When Lisa began writing this book, her oldest daughter was in first grade. Her youngest daughter finished first grade this year. Check out her world at www.treasureblume.com or on facebook under Lisa Rumsey Harris, author.
My thoughts: First, I have to thank my mother in law, for telling me about this book! Like me, she loves to read, but this one was especially exciting for her because she actually knows the author! For me, that's like knowing hollywood celebrities. 
I really enjoyed The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume. Before knowing what "the gift" is, we meet Treasure and her quirks. My first reaction was this was not the most likeable main character. With her embroidered sweaters and blunt comments. As I continued to read though, I felt an almost kinship to her.
This book is full of lessons we all need.  To look beyond the outside and first impressions we get, and see what a person is made up of inside (not their guts, their feelings, and actions!). To love children and their innocence. Finally, we can take from this book to love. Love beyond a persons flaws, beyond their mistakes, and just love them. We are all, afterall, human.

You can pre-order The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume on Amazon

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kitchen Sale - One Kings Lane

All week long, One Kings Lane is offering fantastic deals on their home and kitchen appliances!
 
With the holiday season approaching, this is the perfect sale to make sure you have everything you need for warm gatherings at your home. One Kings Lane has everything from elegant hanging pot racks to glassware to a classic buffet table for your dining room, all at great prices to make sure your home looks beautiful.
24 Hook Oval Hanging Pot Rack, Copper 
Plus, if you're new to One Kings Lane, sign up today for a $15 credit for purchases of $30 or more. Head over to One Kings Lane now before these deals are over! 

*This post contains affiliate links. By using them you are helping Home Maid Simple continue to grow.
 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Home Essentials for the Fall

Have I told you how much I love fall? yeah, I may have mentioned it a time or two, or three, or every post. I just love this season!! Something about the cool crisp air is just so refreshing, and brings out the ambition in me.

Every home needs these essentials when Fall weather hits
 
Warm blankets, scattered all around the house. My kids are sleeping with up to 6 blankets each the last few nights.
 
Great reading materials and a mug of hot cocoa or apple cider
 

And lastly you need a place to enjoy it all.
I love my couch and huge picture window. On sunny days I enjoy letting the sun shine through and just basking in it's rays.
 
I hope you are all enjoying fall, where ever you may be.

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