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Don’t dump that down the drain! Recycle your cooking water

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Yep.  You read that right.  Recycle your cooking water. With the hot, dry summer months coming this could be a life-saver (plant-saver?) if you live in an area that gets frequently plagued by droughts and water restrictions.

I’m not saying bathe in it, but don’t just dump it down the drain either! Do this instead.

Water from cooking veggies, pasta, and eggs can be used to water your garden.

Water from cooking veggies, pasta, and eggs can be used to water your garden.

When you boil/steam veggies (corn on the cob season is near!), cook pasta,  or hard boil eggs place a large bowl or container under your colander to collect the used cooking water.  Let it cool COMPLETELY.  That step is VERY important,  scalding hot water will kill your plants.  Their root systems cannot handle the extreme temperatures. Once cooled, use it to water your garden.   Not only is it eco-friendly but your plants benefit from the nutrients left behind in the water, plus you’ll save some money too by reducing your water usage – bonus!

Recycle your cooking water

My mini veggie garden starting to bloom.

Don’t have a garden to water? Have weeds in the cracks of your driveway or sidewalk?  Pour the water directly onto them while still boiling hot.  The temperature of the water will cause the cells in the leaves to burst and kill whatever is growing.

Reuse your cooking water? Let me know how you use it, or just tell me I’m not crazy, in the comments!

Get the word out! Like, pin, and share!

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Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

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Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

Sissy’s school held her spring dance last week.  She looked adorable and actually wanted to dress up for it.  She put her own spin on her outfit, but that was fine with me. I was just happy that I got her out of denim shorts and t-shirts.  I also win the award for mother-of-the-year because I forgot to take pictures of this momentous occasion.  I’ve considered having her put the same outfit on just for pictures.  By the time she’s grown up she’ll forget that it wasn’t the same night of the dance, right? Honey Sesame Crockpot Chicken

Her school’s special events are usually held on Thursday nights.  It makes for one hectic evening. Trying to get everything done, and the kids in bed on time, on a “regular” school night can be crazy some days.  Toss in an event that essentially takes 2-2 1/2 hours out of our routine?  That is pretty much a recipe for disaster.  In hopes of avoiding a meltdown from the kids (lets be honest, me and hubby too) I turned to my crock pot to take some of the stress out.  I started it shortly before I left to pick up sissy and it was ready when hubby got home.  Easy and tasty,  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Read the rest of this entry

Free Comic Book Day – review!

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I have a secret. I’m kind of a dork. My whole family is kind of dorky.  I’m completely O.K with that, we embrace it. This post caters to our dorky side.

The weekend of May 3 and 4th, 2014 has proven to be a pretty epic weekend. Between Free Comic Book Day and Star Wars Day  we were busy, busy, busy.

What IS Free Comic Book Day? Let me give you a brief history!

Beginning in 2002 the first Saturday in May was (unofficially) declared Free Comic Book Day. Its a day when specialty comic book shops around the world give away free comic books to anyone who visits their store. Comic books are a true American art form dating back to the 1930’s, when the “Golden Age” of comics began with none other than Superman. From the superheroes we know and love, to Japanese Manga, fantasy, romance, horror, even historical events – all have graced the pages of a comic book at one point and time. From young readers to adults, there is truly something for everyone at every age. Comics are a great way to get your children interested and excited about reading and may even inspire them to to write or draw their own.  Go here if you’re looking for more information about  Free Comic Book Day .

Yancy St. Comics

Yancy St. Comics

In celebration of Free Comic Book day we visited a local specialty comic shop, Yancy St. Comics. We arrived a couple hours after opening so many of the popular comics had already been snagged up by the mass number of people in attendance but there was still a table of free comics left.

Sissy was particularly excited about meeting the artists behind Realm Quest and receiving a signed print.
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There were over 15 comic book artists there sharing their amazing artwork, many selling sketches they drew right in front of you. Others were selling prints of various sizes of their original artwork.  They were more than happy to chat for a few minutes and let you snap pictures. We picked up a few free comic books, bought a beautiful Tommy Castillo print and zombified coloring book (not for the kids, obviously), checked out some of the people there for the costume contest, and spent some time browsing the shop and their awesome sale.

It took him 4 months to make this - it's his FIRST build.

It took him 4 months to make this – it’s his FIRST build.

The photo doesn't do this justice. The colors are beautiful.

The photo doesn’t do this justice. The colors are beautiful.

Tardis

Sheri and the Tardis

I, of course, had to have hubby snap a picture of me and The Tardis.

All in all, we had a pretty fun day. I wish we had gotten there earlier so we could check out more of the free comics because their supply was gone through pretty quickly. Next year we’ll go earlier. It does make me very happy to see so many people getting excited about comics, so I can’t complain too much.

Did you attend any Free Comic Book Day events? Have any suggestions on rad comic books I should check out? Let me know in the comments!

Buddy and Sissy on Free Comic Book Day

Buddy and Sissy on Free Comic Book Day

 

Philly-Style Sloppy Joes

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Philly-Style Sloppy Joes

If a Philadelphia cheese steak and a sloppy joe made a baby, it would be this sandwich.   So.Much.YUM

I’ll likely be vilified for calling it Philly style, as there are green peppers in it, but eh – I like green peppers. It’s also why I called it “Philly Style” and not  THE TRUE ORIGINAL PHILLADELPHIA CHEESE STEAK.  Are there sloppy joe purists too? I don’t know if there is a sloppy joe rule book….

It’s quick to put together, easy, and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Most importantly, 4 out of 4 on the approval rating. Even Buddy ate this happily. I thought it was a goner when he noticed the peppers, but he just picked them out and kept eating. Definitely a win.

Philly-Style Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cube beef bouillon OR 1 cup beef broth
1 cup water (omit if using broth)
1/4 cup steak sauce
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
pepper to taste

Brown ground beef, drain. Pretty straight forward here. I sometimes like to use my potato masher when browning beef. I feel like it breaks it up a little better and gives it a nicer texture when using ground meat for sandwiches. Don’t attack it, be gentle. We aren’t looking for pate.

IMGP1199
Dice onion and green pepper, mince your garlic if using whole garlic cloves.
Add it to the cooked ground beef.
Cook over medium heat until peppers and onions are tender.

IMGP1200Dissolve bouillon cube in hot water.
Put water, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, and liquid smoke into meat mixture.

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Simmer for 5-10 minutes
Serve on rolls. You could make a cheese sauce if you wanted. I was in a time crunch and used a jarred sauce.  You could go without cheese too. Doesn’t matter, whatever you want.

See that yummy roll? I’ll be posting the recipe for that soon! (Find it here! Soft Onion Sandwich Rolls)  Let me know in the comments if you tried this and what you think!

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My Family, My Niche

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When I started thinking about starting a blog, a million thoughts invaded my brain.

  • What would I post about?
  • Who would read it?
  • Am I *really* that interesting?
  • How does one even write a successful blog?
  • What is a successful blog anyway?
  • Do I even have time for that anyway?

You get the drift, it just goes on from there. So in an attempt to answer my own questions, I turned to Google and simply searched “how to start your first successful blog”  and was bombarded with information. From the huge number of pages, blogs, and articles about it, I can tell I’m not the first (or last)  person that sought the same answers. Thank goodness you can’t see my browser history, its embarrassing how much I read.  One thing kept coming up within all of the pages; to start a successful blog I had to find a specific niche. Something I know a lot about. That I can speak confidently, freely, and intelligently about. Something that I enjoy.

“That should be easy!” I thought.

So I sat down to make a list of things I’m particularly good at or know a lot about…

and…
wait for it…

Nothing. My list had nothing on it. I spent hours thinking about it, talking to Hubby, trying to come up with ONE thing I was good at. Could that be though? Could I really not know enough about *one* thing to start a (successful) blog?  That’s when it hit me. I may not know a lot about one thing, but I know a little bit about a lot of things. I know my way around the kitchen well enough to feed my family, and I enjoy trying new recipes. I’m fairly crafty, or at least pretend to be. I like to fix things myself, and if I don’t know how I’ll figure it out. I like to try new things, go new places, re-purpose items some would find as garbage. Stretch our dollar so life doesn’t become just about working. Keeping schedules figured out, how to best utilize our time, sneaking learning moments into fun activities. All of this while making time for not only Sissy and Buddy, but Hubby, and hopefully myself.  It’s a balancing act that is ever-changing, as I’m sure this will be too.
PicMonkey Collageall

That’s how this blog was born. I suppose my niche as well, a place for me to share everything that helps us babystep through life.

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