Saturday, June 30, 2012

chore sticks, lazy girl style

I fell madly in love with the idea of chore sticks.  Not only would they be something tangible that could be moved around to indicate a job is done (something my tactile kiddo needs), but they could also be adorable. So I started off this saga with free printable ones I found online that are simply drool worthy.  The down side of these beauties?  I had like 5 made after 30 minutes.  Yeah, I am far too lazy and seeker-of-instant-gratification-y to be down with that.  It was also a couple days into summer and I was sick to death of our lack of schedule and organization and becoming wildly desperate.

Cue the paint and Sharpie fest.  Did I mention I have a thing for Sharpies?  Um, yeah.  Disappointed that I really could only use black and silver pens, I had some fun with the colors of paint.  I did these chore sticks in conjunction with my even more desperately needed "I'm bored" sticks.  More on those later though.

So I started off with creating a list of chores that evil Mom and slave driver Dad expect done daily, weekly, and then all the other stuff we would like done that we think is kid safe (no changing lawnmower blades or checking the AC unit on the roof).  Then I put them into categories, color coded the categories, and hit Hobby Lobby for paint and craft sticks.

paint one side, then the other

let them dry

admire your pretty colors

write chores on sticks

figure out what to do next

Once I had them all made and written out I needed a system for actually using them.  I could have done separate cans, but I happened to have this horrible looking utensil holder from Hobby Lobby in a lovely shade of eye bleeding orange ... so the next part of the project was to make that not look hideous ... more to come ...

Friday, June 29, 2012

gettin' our geek on

The Meatball is a geek, just like his Mutha.  So when we heard about this whole Pottermore thing-a-ma-jig we were all over that as soon as we could be.  Side note -- each member of our family landed in a different house, and given that we are all a teensy bit competitive that really adds to the fun.

The Meatball is also a kiddo who cannot play anything remotely videogame-ish for more than about 15 minutes.  Also all the end of the world, kid saves the day type stories that he loves oh so much are also things we have to limit due to severe hyperfocus issues.  Long story short, playing things like Pottermore are a brief, fun special treat.

I think fun special treats should always be paired with the proper fun special beverage.

Cue a web search for Pumpkin Juice.  Yeah, sooo not what I was hoping for either, but it is a beverage that features prominently throughout the Potter stories.  Perhaps it is also a common juice in the UK (?) but the Meatball and I had often pondered why on earth someone would juice a pumpkin, much less drink it.  Butterbeer sounded far more tasty, so I found a recipe for it too while I was at it (hot and cold butterbeer, yay!), but that is a post for another day!

So this is why I needed unicorn horn, er, I mean cardamom.  *rolls eyes* I found a cheap bottle for around $12, and it will last us a while.  We gathered our supplies, and while I was getting the blender out the Great Finger Massacre of 2012 occurred.  A slight delay in our plans, but once I was staunched, glued, and bandaged the Meatball needed something to distract him from his apparent conviction I was going to bleed to death from my index finger.


15 oz can of pumpkin puree
64 oz bottle of V8 Splash Tropical Blend (we used about 32 oz)
1 T ground cardamom

Blend all the ingredients together and serve it chilled.  I don't have an immersion blender -- but I sure would like one -- so I had to use a regular blender.  We did not use all of the V8, only about half , and we thought it was good that way.  It already tasted mostly like the V8 Tropical splash with the half bottle, so we were happy with it.

Since neither the Meatball or I are known for patience, and I had made him wait long enough given my need for medical care, we served it over ice in my "fancy cups" and got our Pottermore on!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

of course this would happen to ME

So I haven't posted in a while, and it isn't because I am as good at blogging as I am at domesticity.

Quite the contrary, I have physical evidence that can affirm I am truly not a natural at anything domestic now, lack of blogginess was simply a nasty side effect.

Whilst trying to make something I saw on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (one of my all time fave shows!) I needed to use a food processor.  I have used it a million times before ... but this time ... well ... I had a itty bitty accident.

By itty bitty accident I of course mean that I nearly took off a substantial section of my finger.

Now before you shake your head and think "my gawd, she is even dumber than I thought!" and presume that I was sticking my hand into a food processor while it was running let me disabuse you of this foolish notion.  No no, I do not need a blade to be moving in order for it to maim me.  No, I have an amazing sort of Clutz Stigmata that makes it so I merely need to look at a dull knife, or be near to a sharpish surface and I spontaneously burst open and bleed from various places.

In this case, it was my left index finger.

Works for Mommy, not for Meatball
And I learned two very important things in the process.  First, I use my left index finger about as frequently as I inhale.  Seriously, oh my gowrsh!  Secondly, I learned that the Meatball is an amazing person, and skilled at a great many things -- but in the event of an emergency he is not the person you want near you.  I discovered this while calmly trying to staunch the flow of my life force from my dumbass finger while he firmly , and in a very high pitched voice informed me,

Mom you simply must be in shock!  No one is this calm while bleeding this much! Give me the phone, I must call the proper authorities!

Um, yeah, I did not give him the phone.

Anyhoo, I am going to spare you the pictures of my mangled pointer, but I will tell you that this is why I have been lagging substantially on the posting.  It is uber hard to type with nine fingers, man!

So that is my excuse, and I am sticking to it!  I have quite a few projects to post about, including my chore sticks (which are working out awesome!!!), making of Pumpkin Juice ala Harry Potter, and some other clever stuffs.  Not all of it is a failure, and boy-oh-boy Dr. Rocket sure needs some boosts to her self esteem after fighting a food processor!

Friday, June 8, 2012

well no wonder!

The horn of the unicorn is comprised of
Skittles, fairy dust, and cardamom.
Previously in one of my dafuq moments I mentioned that I couldn't find cardamom and left several old people at the grocery store fully deaf and traumatized by exposing them to my impatient child whilst I tried to find it.

Well apparently it was my inner cheap bitch that was preventing the locating of said ground spice.

What, is that stuff like ground unicorn horn???  Holy smokes, I found a bottle of it for nearly $10!!!

I found it at our specialty foods store (the place I go to not have to visit the "freak" aisle with all the vegan stuff because the whole store is that way) so I am hoping that it was special cardamom.


And I am hoping beyond hope that there is some cheapo cardamom somewhere else.  I will continue looking, and hoping.  Otherwise, we be needing a new recipe for Pumpkin Juice!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

the lazy crafter

Just to keep you feeling confident that at least you are a better person than me, hows about we detail this dafuq moment mentioned in an earlier post?

Sometimes you pin stuffs on Pintercrack and you are like "oh my freaking gawd, that is brilliant!  I will so do that!" even when you can see that it isn't exactly in your typical repertuar.  Case in point, chore sticks.

wow, just wow
Boredom Jars are awesome too!
Brilliant use of popsicle sticks in my ever so humble opinion.  Since the oldest of my minions is a bit ... oh how shall we say this ... completely scatterbrained? would lose his head were it not attached? has the attention span of a fly with ADHD hopped up on Code Red Mountain Dew?  Yeah, that sums it up.  Meatball is a great kiddo, but we have our issues we work through -- like how he can do long division in his head and tell you anything you want to know about any dinosaur that ever lived, but will forget the most obvious things, like one sock.  So chores are important, but, remembering to do them can be a challenge, especially when summer strikes and your old schedule and routine is suddenly worthless.  Yikes.

Chore sticks be a great plan den mon because you have to physically move them, which (teacher moment!) activates a different section of the brain and can help stimulate his tactile mind.  Helps him remember, makes him more into the idea, and gives him a sense of success when he sees the stack of "done" sticks.  So I found this one here that I thought was totally awesomesauce.

seriously, it is awesome
just a sample of a few sticks
And it is awesome beyond all reckoning.  I love it ... but I guess I am a lazy crafter because after cutting all of those out, sorting the stuff that I wasn't going to use (snow related ones, for example), and gluing about 20 of them on I wanted to make sure that it worked before I did anymore because I wasn't even half way yet.  That is because I was already beginning to get twitchy and wanted to see something finished.  So I trimmed edges, and sanded, and ModPodged one ... and while I like, even love, the final product, I just felt a bit deflated.  I get that in theory I will never have to do them again, so the effort is worth it, but I am kind of an instant gratification gal.  And this project certainly was leaving me less than instantly gratified.

So after all of that, I decided to shelf this one for the moment.  To be honest, I have images of paint and Sharpie marker running through my lazy head, and I am okay with that.  So we shall return to this project.  Soon.

I also needed to come up with a different storage system because I didn't have this spiffy cup.

All the alternative containers I saw on Pintercrack were adorably done, but am I the only one who thinks having my kids routinely touch glass mason jars when they are trying to hurry through a task is a great way to make a faboosh and dangerous mess somewhere down the road?  But I already have that idear covered, so I will share that with you when I do the project and have the final reveal.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

dafuq is dat?

Okay so not only do I suck at all things domestic, but I also seem to bomb at blogging with regularity lately.  If it makes it any better, I have been thinking about blogging and taking lots of pictures of projects, ideas and failures in my absence.  That's something, right?  Right.

To make it up to you, hows about some dafuq moments brought to you ala moi?

The best laid plans ...

So I have been pinning my ass off (oh if only that were possible in a literal sense!) with summer ideas so that we don't need to save up on a "bail fund" for mommy.  One of the many ideas I have pinned, and intend to do, is chore sticks.  Here are some pretty ones.

cool idea, but my children will
make this a weapon
very cute
the Queen of chore sticks
So I started a chore stick project I found here (pictured above).  These sticks are like da bomb, as my 13 year old self would have said.  She made a metric ton of them, with awesome ideas ranging from checking tire pressure to dusting everything in the house.  They are cute, they are numerous, and they are free!  Yay!  How can I screw this up? Oh, have more faith in me than that my friends!  More on this to come ... but here is an in progress image for you.

It shows such promise, doesn't it.  Yeah, that would be false advertising.

Did I forget a step?

So apart from being *ahem* crafty and all that, I also am thrifty.  Yes, I am the One Cheap Biotch, and sometimes I do it well.  While I was perusing my local Fresh & Easy aisles I discovered several weeks ago that they have a clearance rack.  Cue happy dance!  Yes, you can just imagine my utter joy to find items that are expiring that day or they had too many of that are marked down like 50% in some cases!

So they had some of their dough in the cold clearance for 75 cents each, and I happily grabbed two because anything that can masquerade as "homemade" without me having to haul my Kitchen Aid out is one of my favorite meals.  It expired that day, and I wasn't going to use it, so I came home and froze it.  So far so good.

Well that was like 2 weeks ago, so the other day I pulled it out to use for the next day.  I have seen my mom, who has more domestic skills than me but only marginally, do the following with frozen dough:  oil up a bowl, put the frozen dough in it, cover it, let the dough thaw and rise.  Easy peasy, right?  Yeah, I can do that!

So I coat two bowls in olive oil.  I place the frozen dough in the bowls.  I then cover with a towel and refrigerate.

See the problem?  Well I didn't, yet.

Fast forward and I can see through my clear bowl that it is thawed and risen and I am thinking I am pretty hot shit so far, now just to figure out what to do with it ... when I remove the towel.
This image search yielded a picture taken by someone
who knew what they were doing.  Show off.


My dough was thawed and risen quite nicely, and it also had this nice hard, dry layer covering it.

Last night while watching a recording of one of my most fave shows ever, Bitchen Kitchen, my hero Nadia G ever so simply explained the step I missed.  I had it right all the way up to the towel ... because under the towel you need to cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Okay, face palm, duh, WTF was I thinking?!  I mean seriously, I knew that, somewhere in my mind I did.  My mom always did that too.  Stupid, stupid.

So I ruined $1.25 worth of my "cheap" dough being a flaming moron.  Dafuq was I thinking?!

Where in the grocery store is ...?

In order to not snap and start drinking at 9:30 every morning this summer I am doing summer school/homeschool  with the oldest.  It may sound like more work, but its not.  Keeping him busy and occupying his mind is priceless for my sanity and keeps him from burning the house down.  One of the things I am doing is making a weekly grocery store scavenger hunt.  I will share them later, but ultimately I make him go do his own thing with a clip board while I get the stuff we need, both of us are happy with this situation.  But this week I felt like I was the ten year old with the clip board.

I wanted to make something special for Meatball because he is really trying not to make me go insane.  I found this recipe for the Pumpkin Juice from Harry Potter a while back and decided this was the week to make it.  So I have everything on the short list, but cardamon.  And that is what???  I am pretty sure that it is a spice, so I head to the baking aisle, a place I am not spotted often.

Do you have any idea how many freaking spices there are to chose from?!  Holy spice trade Batman!

Sigh.  Cardamom, that evasive foe.
I stood there for like 5,000 hours with a screaming baby who is able to grab things out of the cart now even from his little prison perch in the front of the cart -- that stupid buckle is worthless with Houdini baby -- and is throwing them at innocent bystanders who are dashing by desperately in fear.

And I cannot find anything that even sounds like cardamom.

When the Beans' screams reached a decibel level that I am sure had bats in South America crashing into cave walls in confusion, I decided that this was not the week for a special drink for any Minion.  Maybe for Mommy, but not for the Minions.

So I still don't have cardamom, still not fully sure what it is I need -- about to google it, no worries, I will figure this shit out -- and I am pretty sure there are people still talking about me and my howler monkey baby and clip board toting geek child.

Is this a dafuq moment?  I think so.