October 09, 2013

What do you mean I'm out of Maple Syrup?!?

Don't you just love breakfast-for-dinner night with those fluffy pancakes or crispy waffles that are just begging for that slathering of butter and dousing of maple syrup? The smell of bacon or sausage sizzling away, getting ready to make a new home in your belly?

There is nothing better than breakfast-for-dinner on a busy night when you really are craving something filling, tasty and BAD for you!

The plates are piled high, the kids are flabbergasted that Mom is making BREAKFAST! 

Hold up! What's missing? Where's the syrup?!?

Sometimes I could really kick myself. I mean full on insert-foot-in-backside kick myself!

I forgot it. Me. Mea culpa.

Heres a quick fix to get your food on the table with a minimum of complaint about "Hey, Mom! Where's the maple syrup?"

2 cups sugar
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon Mapleine or other maple flavored extract.

Bring water to a boil.
Add all of the sugar. Stir until boiling and mixture starts to turn clear.
Add the Mapleine and stir.
Remove from heat and let cool before storing in the refrigerator.

I re-purposed an Ovaltine jar for this and keep in the refrigerator. The jar I use actually holds the equivalent of two batches, so I usually just make a double batch, cool, then store. If you like your syrup warm over your pancakes and waffles, no need to cool!

October 08, 2013

A Fish Tail (part deux)

Last week I told you all about how we acquired a few new pets and all of the trouble that goes with having them.


I am sad to announce that Fire Flame 2 has died.


While Choo Choo Train was chugging along, it seemed that Fire Flame 2 was a survivor as well. We kept the tank clean, fed them normally (no more fishies going KA-BOOOOM!) and even "played" with them a bit.

Did you know that goldfish like to play follow the leader? They'll follow your finger if you trace it over the side of their tank!

Anyhooooo -

I took Logan to school last Friday and when I got home, I realized that the boys had forgotten to feed their fish that morning. I fed them the usual amount and both Choo Choo Train and Fire Flame 2 were ready to eat! About a half hour later, Fire Flame 2 was floating in an... awkward position in his tank.

And trust me, this time I made sure that he was dead before his "Burial at Sea."

Logan decided the next time he gets a new fish (this Friday?) he wants a Beta.

Hopefully this one will be hardier than these silly little feeder goldfish we've been getting!

October 01, 2013

A Fish Tail

Last week was the Great Kern County Fair. As always happens, we went on one of the last weeknights of the fair to avoid the pressing crowds and weirdos and we were pretty successful. It was busy of course, bit not near as busy as it could have been had it been a Friday or Saturday Night.

The kids enjoyed corndogs, lemonade, and a few rides (are those things REALLY all that safe?) and while Hubs and Logan went off to enjoy some of the “big Boy” games and rides that Caleb was too little for, I took him around by myself for a few kiddie rides and games.

One of the games was the an obvious dollar drainer; for $5.00, you get a small bucket with 30 ping pong balls and have to attempt to land one in a teeny tiny goldfish bowl to win… well, a goldfish.

Believe it or not, Caleb sank a ball after about 8 throws. In an attempt to just keep him busy for a few minutes and avoid a melt down at not being able to join Hubs and Brother on some rides, we ended up taking home a goldfish, complete with mobile home.


If I had EVER thought that he would have been able to ACTUALLY win a goldfish, I probably never would have taken him to that game booth. Dime store stuffed animals are one thing, but a $0.29 goldfish you paid $5.00 for screams SUCKER!!!!!

He named it Helicopter.

After Caleb won his goldfish at the fair on Thursday, Logan was bummed that he didn't have one. So Saturday we loaded up the family and made a trek to the pet store to get Logan his own goldfish and a tank.

Sunday night, Fire Flame (Logan's goldfish) bit the proverbial dust and we "buried" him at "sea" IYKWIM. He was fine with promises of a replacement when he got home from school, Fire Flame 2.

Thank goodness he wasn’t scarred for life.

Then Monday morning, Helicopter, Caleb's goldfish also had to endure the same treatment.

Unfortunately for Helicopter, the damned fish started flipping around in the bowl of the toilet as it was flushed.


Caleb's new fish is named Choo Choo Train. Lets hope this one puffs along longer than Helicopter.


September 13, 2013

A note from author Daisy Prescott about National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Instead of my usual Feature Friday post, I thought it would be a better idea to remind you all that September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. It’s as important in the month of September as it is in the next month and the month after that one that every woman is screened regularly for all types of female cancers, including Ovarian Cancer.

A personal note from Daisy Prescott!

“As you may or may not know, September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Ovarian cancer, like all cancers, sucks. It especially sucks because I lost a friend to the disease last October. ALE, as she is known to many, was the inspiration for Lizzy in Geoducks. And like Lizzy, she died way too young from fucking cancer. Readers may remember Lizzy as the friend who died five years before Geoducks takes place. She makes a few cameos in the book, including being the brunt of a Kevin Costner corpse joke that ties in with The Big Chill.

I'm rambling.

In honor of ALE and Lizzy, and the numerous other women in this country to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I'm donating 50% of my royalties in September to Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Both ebook and paperback.

Let's pretend it's September 1st and I'm starting this campaign on time...

Buy the book, gift the book. Let's raise some money for ovarian cancer research and kick cancer's ass.”

Added bonus, Geoducks' ebooks will be on a flash sale this weekend for 99 cents!


If you don’t have this book already, get it. You’ll love it as much as I do and it’s for a great cause, National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. If you already have a copy, that’s fantastic! Leave her a review at Amazon or on Barnes and Noble and then gift a copy to a friend!

You can buy Daisy Prescott’s book, Geoducks Are For Lovers at


Click below for more information about National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month or the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance


**Cross posted with Night Reads**

July 26, 2013

Why Legoland Could be Better Than Disneyland


I'm not gonna lie. I LOVE Disneyland! I love the rides, the characters, the corn dogs! But we recently returned from a trip to Legoland, and let me tell you, Legoland beats Disneyland in several ways.

#1 The majority of the rides at Legoland are more accessible for little kids. Having kids under the age of four is a hard thing to deal with when you want to enjoy rides with the whole family, and with the exception of a few, most rides are perfectly acceptable for the smallest of kids. Of all the rides we enjoyed, there were only one or two that our almost three year old couldn't ride. Plus they're scattered around the park, as opposed to being concentrated in one area.

Another great thing that Legoland has that Disneyland doesn't are the activity areas in the longest wait lines. Each line on these rides has a central Lego play area packed full of Legos, Duplos, tables, benches and race tracks that keep your kids occupied until it's time to ride. (Parents are welcome to play, too!) Another bonus? The boys asked for less snacks while waiting in line because they were kept busy and not bored.

#2 The whole park is full of Lego characters that your kids will instantly recognize if they're huge Lego fanatics. From the simple yellow mini-figure Lego man and Cop to Darth Vader, There are plenty of mama-razzi photo ops around the park.

#3 You are not going to find your typical theme-park food here. Legoland seems to have a much more healthier bent on their food choices, so you can easily find fruit cups, sandwiches, and grilled meat dishes more readily. We started out our morning in the park with a couple of fruit cups split between the four of us. Fresh strawberries and watermelon anyone? And here's a secret: after 5:00 PM children's meals are free at select eateries in the park. That's right! A typical kids meal in the park costs around $8.25, but dinner for the kiddos is free. EXCELLENT!

#4 Occasionally you'll find when traveling through a theme-park with kids, they start to get restless and cranky. Legoland has solved this issue with it's GIANT centrally located play structure. It's three stories of rope ladders, stairs, slides, tubes and midget heathens running their little butts off. We stopped here twice and both the of our boys said that it was their favorite part of the park!

#5 Probably the most important part of spending time in a theme park is locating easily accessible bathrooms. Again, I think Legoland has done a great job in making sure they are highly visible and CLEAN. I swear that at no time I used a bathroom was there any mess in toilets, no toilet paper strewn across the floor, or messy diaper change areas. Not even an overflowing trash can could be found. Also, the restrooms smelled nice, a plus on a hot summer day in a full park.

Despite my love for Disneyland (and I love it A LOT!) This turned out to be a great choice for us. It's obviously more boy friendly (princesses are few and far between!) as well. Give it a chance and I bet you'll want to go back like we do!

July 12, 2013

The Sunshine Vox Box from Influenster!

Normally I would do a vlog on this, but since the kiddos are rambunctious and the camera does crappy videos, y'all will just have to settle for this, m'kay?

This summer Influenster sent out what they call the Sunkissed Vox Box. You'll remember that last year, I received two Vox Boxes from them.

First up is the Dr. Scholl's for her inserts for high heels. I RARELY wear heels, so I don't think I'll even use these.

Next up we have this nail polish from SinfulShine, available exclusively at Walgreens. I received a full-size sample of their color called Manhunt; it's kind of a camo-green color with some sparkle. I'm not really a fan of the color, but at only $2.99 a bottle, I think I'll pick up a shade that I prefer at a later date.

Next up is the Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream. It's a tinted moisturizer with SPF 25. Supposedly you can go without makeup and get similar coverage effects if foundation without it feeling heavy and caked on. I've tried this several times and found that it went on quickly and easily however didn't seem to provide enough moisture.

Last, but certainly not least, we come to the Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics. This is probably my favorite thing this time around and I LOVE THEM! I have super fine slippery hair and these actually hold my ponytail in place through chasing after the boys and jumping around in the backyard. They haven't left funky creases in my hair and are gentle on my scalp. Usually with even the smallest of hair elastics, after about 15 minutes of activity, they're sliding out unless they're wrapped so tightly they give me the look of a face lift. Plus when you wear them around your wrist (because what girl hasn't dropped that habit; remember Scrunchies?) they're colorful enough to dress up a T and jeans and not lose your hair elastic. I bet you could untie these, put a little bling on them, and make them even cuter!

June 28, 2013

Confessions of a Ranch-aholic

Hello. My name is Stephanie and I’m a Ranch-aholic.

I love Ranch on anything.

Hell, everything!

But what I don’t like is the ranch you buy at the grocery store that’s so full of ingredients that are impossible to pronounce and that taste like a chemical reaction gone bad in my mouth.

So I've been searching, hoping, and waiting for a homemade ranch mix to drop into my lap and I finally found one!

I made this myself from ingredients I already had in my spice cabinet. I only left out the chives she listed, simply because I didn't have them and it’s not something I keep around.

It was DE-LISH and is better than anything you can find in a bottle!

Gwen has even listed a recipe for a “Try It” sized amount, so you can make a quick batch for dinner and try it before committing to the full recipe. Check it out and tell me what you think!
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